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* Posts by Frumious Bandersnatch

1285 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007

Fans' loyalty questioned as iPhone popularity plummets

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Empires Rise...@nonesuch

You can choose to have an alternate opinion and you can choose to believe that screen size is relevant factor in this.

You mean like "big screen size is so important that we're not going to make small ones" to "we made a small screen size (with crappy resolution/dpi) and it's brilliant" to "big screen size is everything, man", to ... (you get the picture).

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ARM busts out server-to-superphone superchips

Frumious Bandersnatch
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added crypto capabilities

Any link to a doc that describes what these new capabilities are? I'd dearly love to see a CPU that could do arithmetic over GF(2) fields, as used in AES, among other schemes. It doesn't even take much to do this in silicon, though I guess chip designers probably think it's too specialised to bother. There's always FPGA, though, I suppose...

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Xbox mod spreads KILLER Borderlands 2 GERM

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Re: The bugbear hits! The bugbear hits! The bugbear hits! You die . . .

"Wizard needs food, badly."

You bastard!

sudo cp /var/games/nethack/save//$UID-`whoami`.gz $HOME/scum.sav

"My, that was a yummy Slime Mold!"

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Geneva devastated by monster tsunami, millions at risk

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Holmes

I misread part of that as "Saint Gregory of Torus"

There is the theory of the Möbius... a twist in the fabric of space where time becomes a loop. When we reach that point, whatever happened will happen again...

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Oak Ridge lab: Behold, I Am TITAN, hear my 20 petaflop ROAR

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Forget nuclear modelling

Combustion is so important, they have to mention it twice

Obviously a Blazing Saddle fan...

"Qualifications?"

"Physics, combustion, materials science, nuclear energy, and combustion."

"You mentioned combustion twice."

"I like combustion."

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Boeing recipe turns cooking oil into jet fuel

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Happy

quite a nice breakthrough, if it, eh, breaks through

I quite fancy the prospect of them adding deep-fried Mars bars to the in-flight menus.

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iPad Mini: Why is Apple SO SCARED of the Kindle?

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Re: DVD

The open source (usually libdvdcss2-based) solutions usually fail spectacularly when the DVD publisher has included some arsey extra copy protection measure that makes the movie appear to be 99 titles, or makes it so open source players break unless you skip the first megabyte or so of the disk.

Agreed. I could never figure out why the default players/libs on Linux don't disregard the TOC info if it disagrees with the physical information on the disk. I had a look at the source code myself and figured out what would need to be changed in order to defeat any of the standard copy protection schemes from among DVDs that I own, so that I can transcode them and have them available on my DLNA server. I think there are probably two reasons. First, these bits of software are generally written so that they comply with the standards and they don't deal very well with the copy protection schemes, which deliberately throw in junk. This often leads to disks that work fine in a DVD player but won't play on a computer. Second, I suspect that there might not be the collective will to get around the "copy protection" (in quotes because almost all of these schemes are laughable in how they operate--essentially, as I said, adding junk so that that faithful implementations of the specs, as on computers, won't be able to read/play the disk) because of fear of litigation. Even though it's trivial to get around the copy protection schemes I've seen (and I'm not even an expert), I'm sure the big media companies have patents on exactly how they fuck with the standards (and break them--I don't think they should get away with using the DVD mark on these) so I'm sure any open source distro would get slapped with a patent infringement suit if they implemented the changes needed to ignore the copy protection mechanisms.

It's all a bit sad really, especially considering how technically stupid DVD copy protection is...

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Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release

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Re: Security

And full ACLs throughout from the ground up - not as an after thought - like for instance in UNIX type OSs.

I don't know what you have in mind when you say that Unix only has security as an afterthought. It was built from the ground up to be multi-user, with strict separation among those users (both for in-memory applications and on the file system). It also had the novel setuid mechanism and associated su and chgrp functionality pretty much from the outset. I think that the creators actually got a patent on the setuid mechanism, possibly combined with its use with the passwd program which effectively allowed each user to change their own password in a single system file while not allowing it to change anything else there.

Almost anything that can be implemented using ACLs can also be implemented using the user/group and setuid/setgid mechanisms. About the only area that I can think of where Unix is perhaps more permissive than it should be (for a paranoid sysadmin) is in allowing network access for all users (*). But then again, Unix wouldn't have been such a resounding success without networking, I think. If the designers had wanted to include some sort of "access rights" for the network, then they'd basically end up with something like VMS's security model instead. But then, it obviously wouldn't be the Unix that we know and love :)

* Actually, I realise that this can be done in modern Linux using an iptables command to drop traffic based on userid. I don't actually know how early Unix implementations implemented network access. For all I know, all the network access functions might have actually used a device file at the lowest level. If so, then it actually would have been possible to restrict net access on a per-user basis using the standard user/group security mechanisms...

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Microsoft: Welcome back to PCs, ARM. Sorry about the 1990s

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: CISC vs RISC

Whereas with ARM there is no opcode translation to do at all!

No, but there is still a decoding stage, so there's still something there to "get hot". As ARM CPUs have a fairly orthogonal instruction set, though, this stage is vastly less complex than the decode stage on CISC CPUs. This also allows, for example, reserving a few bits to encode for conditional execution and a few more for whether and how to rotate one of the instruction operands. These features are available with most, if not all instructions and effectively come "for free" from the programmer's perspective.

As you might have guessed, I quite like the ARM architecture. It's one of the nicest CPUs I've coded for, though 68000 is really nice too, and I've also got a soft spot for the PS3's Cell architecture. All of these are a complete joy to write for compared to the abomination that is the x86 architecture!

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Pandora boss urges 85% pay cut for musicians

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Surprised Face

Except they already do.... Comment is "Free"

I've been wondering when they're going to rebrand that "Talk is Cheap" ...

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Sky support dubs Germany 'Hitler's country'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Mushroom

hitlers country

Maybe he was just channelling Nostradamus and typo'd "Hitlers country" for "Hister country", aka "the land of the Danube".

Bestes farouches de faim fluves tranner:

Plus part du camp encontre Hister sera,

En caige de fer le grand fera treisner,

Quand Rin enfant Germain observera.

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Übertroll firm bags DRM patent for 3D printing

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Pah

Within 6 months it will be cracked wide open...

That's not a given. It's possible to have a DRM system with mathematically provable security. That doesn't mean that they're easy to implement, though, and the state of the cryptographic arts always gets better while your DRM has to stay static.

The biggest problem with DRM (from a technical standpoint) is key exchange and key management. You could theoretically make a perfectly secure DRM system, but it means that every user or device has to have their own personal key, and the hardware has to be resistant to tampering. In practice, this makes it totally impractical.

The biggest problem with DRM in 3D printers (as in this case) is that it's impossible to prevent them from making a new printer that simply doesn't have any DRM in it :)

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Apple begs ex-Google bods to fix crap maps app

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Apple to fix new maps app

And Lo, on the eight day, after his day of rest, lord Jobs invents cartography.

Ah, but did he invent the Dymaxion projection?

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Microsoft drives German patent tank into Google's front room

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Is this how the Germans get all that work done?

They don't have any cell phones any more?

Oh no! Where is mein handi?

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Astronomers tell story set a LONG time ago in a galaxy far, FAR away

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Space, and the enormity of it

And we are RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE?

Unlikely. That's just an effect of isotropy. If everything is receding at an equal pace from everything else then every place seems to be the centre of the universe. No doubt many other planets have astronomers that are still struggling with heliocentricity, so I wouldn't feel too bad about the mistake you made :)

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Google's Android celebrates fourth birthday

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Maybe it's a good time to look back and learn

I can only imagine you've never tried to code against [X11] Kafka couldn't have done better.

I don't know. The client-server paradigm they use is pretty cool (even if they decide to swap the names around). I think if you really want Kafkaesque then you have to be an iphone user. Your arms and legs may no longer be in the place you expect them to be and and you're experiencing difficulty coordinating your extremities to perform what should be a mundane task, but still all you have in mind is asking Siri whether you can make the next train in time for work.

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Raspberry Pi patch adds warranty-safe overclocking

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Kernel Patch?

Newsworthy because its a load of kernel and other code ...

Yep. I haven't looked yet, but it seems that they'll have fixes for two problems I ran across...

1. No native kernel driver/firmware for some quite popular (read: cheap) wireless dongles.

2. Fix for excessive interrupt rate (dwc_otg.fiq_fix_enable=1 now the default) as mentioned in last paragraph.

I managed to find the fix for these myself thanks to the excellent forum and blog posts that people are making about the Pi, but it's certainly to be welcomed to have these baked in for less technically skilled users. As for the overclocking, the rpi version of xbmc has been overclocking to 800Ghz for quite a while (and there's been the option to do it in the /boot/config.txt in regular pi distros too). Nice to see that there's room to push the envelope even further and still be safe.

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Who queues for an iPhone 5? Protesters, hipsters and the jobless

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Lightweights!

Heh... if you were Huckleberry Finn you'd just nick the one off the neighbours windowsill.

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NASA working on faster-than-light drive capable of WARP TEN

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Oh noes!

simultaneous events are ones which occur at the same time according to an observer

Hmm.. I was going to pounce on this and ask "yes, but relative to what observer?" My point being that simultaneity is a relative concept. Then I reread what you'd written and realised that you hadn't made the mistake I thought you had (when working in a relativistic framework).

Still, at least I get to post a link that explains it a little bit better

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladder_paradox

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Re: The Plinkett Equation

at 25:25 explains it all

if man is still alive ...

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The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Tried not to get involved but

Re: no SD on Neuxs or Nexus 7

Yes, Google also fucks up

The way I see it, the lack of an upgrade slot was a deliberate design decision to achieve two things. First, since they're basically subsidising the hardware, they want to keep costs down. Second, they don't want to piss off the other Android suppliers by making a phone or tablet that's too good (again, particularly if they're subsidising the cost). I'm only surmising this, but I feel that they want to produce something that's a pretty good showcase for Android, but want to avoid being accused of "stealing" the market from other Android makers. So I see the lack of an SD slot here as being kind of a middle ground, with the assumption that if users want to upgrade, they'll check out the other android manufacturers.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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2nd battery (was Re: Jai, I agree but with this qualification......)

A few years ago I was using a basic Nokia 6310 phone. I think that's the model number. Anyway, it had pretty good standby time for the most part--probably about 2.5 days. The big problem with it, though, was that if it went out of coverage it meant that it ramped up the power to the GSM radio so if I forgot to turn it off or keep it on charge during the day (we had very bad coverage where I worked), I'd have a flat phone by the end of the day. That's the first reason people want a replaceable battery--as a backup in case they get caught with a flat battery and no easy way to recharge once they notice it.

The second reason is that batteries deteriorate over time. A three-year old phone won't last as long as the day you bought it. I agree totally with the article here--it does seem like a very cynical ploy by Apple to keep you on the upgrade cycle to the next shiny, when really all that's wrong with the 3-year old phone is that it needs a new battery.

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Work for beer, Neil Gaiman's wife tells musicians

Frumious Bandersnatch
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@Chris Wareham

On a similar (ahem) note, I think someone should do a Lisa Simpson on it. Bring along their saxomophone, do all the rehearsals and then on the night do the signature solo and swiftly exit off stage.

Well, probably not.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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alternatively...

I guess they might be able to find a job in a different profession that's better paid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Departures_(film)

Not meant to be taken seriously, of course. I just enjoyed the film!

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'Over half' of Android devices have unpatched holes

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: This article...

Looks like the "write once, read never" approach. Makes me wonder why I bothered.

And yes, I did use the "send corrections" link.

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New guide: Bake your own Raspberry Pi Lego-crust cluster

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Graphics

Probably not very good. Ray tracing tends to exercise the I/O an awful lot so even if you assign one pi to a particular section of the screen it'll still end up accessing other parts of the scene in a pretty random access pattern (rays bounce). With only a 100MBit connection (and the fact that the USB and Ethernet share a bus) it's easy to saturate the available data channels--a problem that only gets worse as you scale up (though working with different net topology and having more control nodes could definitely help, to a degree).

On the other hand, having the farm render a typical fractal image would be a perfect application for it since each screen section is typically independent of each other one.

Despite how impractical this thing is, I'd still love to have one. I'm sure it's also a great teaching resource in spite of (nay, even because of) its shortcomings, necessity being the mother of invention and all that.

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Hacker uses Kindle as Raspberry Pi screen

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Looks like an iPad

"What is the point ... with Fanboi trolling?"

Maybe because it's easy to get a rise out of Apple fans with it? Low-hanging fruit, you might say.

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Google declares success for Kansas City gigabit broadband

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Kansas state

Well think about ... with that level of bandwidth maybe some kind of immersive virtual reality setup would be possible. Maybe you wouldn't even need to know you're in Kansas?

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Thomson joins vid-streamers' rush for MPEG-DASH

Frumious Bandersnatch
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I stopped reading at "Content Protection"

I had very similar thoughts on reading this. At first I was thinking, what's wrong with adapting the Transport Stream protocol, but that's not exactly scalable to differing pipes or screen sizes. At best it'll let you tune transmission for poor quality connection. My next thought was to use something like the "progressive" modes in JPEG, PNG, or (IIRC) DIrac (or similar trick as used in FLAC audio, separating the stream into a lossy part and a set of deltas). This would be much easier if the encoding system was based on wavelets (again, I think Dirac does this), but an FFT-based system can work too. The problem there, though, is how to do flow control so that the sender can stop sending the high-detail part of the stream. Then it struck me... why not use UDP for the fine level of detail and use TCP for the base image? You'd still have to do dynamic tuning on the encoder side (and a bit of buffering and stitching together at the decoder end), but at least the congestion part could be mostly handled by the network itself.

I also don't like the way that DRM is being baked into HTML5, but it's also hardly surprising. Sad, though.

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Google snags patent on price discrimination

Frumious Bandersnatch
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prior art

Haven't Amazon been outed as doing this for a while? And in this august organ, no less...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/09/06/amazon_makes_regular_customers_pay/

No-one comes out smelling of roses (surely it's all relative, but Einstein was the last great patent clerk).

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Google's stats show few Android tablets in use

Frumious Bandersnatch
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kinda scary data collection

We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical We control the diagonal.

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ENCODE’s ‘junk DNA’ claims spark biological bunfight

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Junked junk DNA junks ID junking?

proves intelligent design? Really?

I've got this banana over here. It might help to clarify His Pungent Effulgent. (or maybe not)

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Raspberry Pi production back in Blighty

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Linux

Well that's a turn-up for the book

The US has black president and white rappers and now Sony seems (if I'm not dreaming) to be actually supporting Linux.

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Finger-free Kinect coming to fondlesome Windows 8

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Minority Report style control: The only way I see 'touch' work on the desktop.

A vibrating ring for haptic feedback might be handy, though. Stop sniggering at the back!

No sniggering here. I do think that memory wire would be a lot nicer than mere buzzing. For "handling" 3d objects, obviously.

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Voyager's 35th birthday gift: One-way INTERSTELLAR ticket

Frumious Bandersnatch
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@shade82000

There is nothing beyond the edge of the solar system, it's just a big black board with pictures of stars on it.

Reminds me of Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin. On what really happened with the CCCP's space programme.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Earth's greatest achievement

Or they might just hear a loud *thunk* as it hits the edge, Truman Show stylie.

Or maybe it just wraps around, Misner-space stylee :)

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iPhone 5 wait drives record Samsung smartphone sales

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: All this proves is Samsung have more products, its hardly rocket science

the patissier sues the boulanger for using the same oven-based technique for cooking food.

Surely, since this is croissants we're talking about, they'd sue over the method of folding in the edges to make them nice and curved ;-)

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Microsoft awards itself Google-esque power over Hotmail, SkyDrive etc

Frumious Bandersnatch
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use your images for promotion?

So everybody is Everywhere Girl now? What a bunch of cheapskates.

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Space Jam: stripped bolt bugs spacewalkers

Frumious Bandersnatch
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So they can't secure the payload?

Sounds like a job for an inanimate carbon rod to me.

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A load of Tosh: External hard drives the new 'personal clouds'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "The box only holds 3TB - USB sticks will hold more and you can carry them in your pocket. "

Your welcome!

My what now?

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Oracle knew about critical Java flaws since April

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Oracle's behaviour is disgusting.

The current sense of entitlement in IT is shocking.

It's has nothing to do with "our" sense of entitlement and everything to do with Oracle's moral responsibility. Think of Java as being like a teenager going out into the world and Oracle being its guardian. It's up to Oracle to ensure that their brat isn't going to become a public menace. A very large software ecosystem is built around Java and people need to be able to depend on it. At this rate Java is sure to end up hanging around with Flash, and that definitely won't end well.

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New Zealand softens software patent ban

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: @AC 23:47GMT - Software patents are inevitable

Math is not patentable so don't try your logic on us.

Shouldn't be, but that didn't stop the patents on RSA encryption, Lempel-Ziv-Welch compression or Arithmetic encoding, not to mention the myriad other patents surrounding video and audio compression and even bloody container formats.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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downvoted because ...

FOSS code is copyrighted. I think you're confusing it with "public domain" (as defined in the USA).

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Firefox 15 offers fewer leaks, more frags

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "... thousandths of milliseconds."

Why do they need microsecond timing on graphics generation when the viewable result changes only about every 20 milliseconds (roughly)?

Possibly because more complex games will involve multiple rendering passes, probably with tunable parameters for LOD and the like, and being able to budget accurately can make all the difference between being able to hit your window for accurately syncing to the next frame update or not. Just a little drift and you end up losing frames. You might also have to account for vsync, and being off there will really screw things up.

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Going viral 9,500 years ago: 'English descended from ancient Turkey'

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Not quite

Shenanigans galore smashing doors (via doire, for oak?) into smithereens with a shillelagh after drinking whisky and blathering on with a thick Irish brogue about seeing banshee and leprechauns.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Dubiety...

This is amazing that no real linguists have answered this thread.

Yeah, I was hoping for that, hence my tongue-in-cheek post about phrenology and so on. I'm still kind of curious about the names of the days of the week, and it would have been nice to have a linguist give an explanation. It's nice to know that many Europeans have a God/Sun day and a Moon day (along with other planetary namings), but that doesn't explain why Japan has (and apparently China had at one point) pretty much the same system. Is it actually a case of parallel evolution or did knowledge of the planets and the fashion of using them for naming the days spread via language?

Another coincidence I've noticed between east/west is "-bury" in the UK at the end of place names and "-buri" at the end of place names in Thailand. Is it just coincidence or does it denote a common root language (Sanskrit/Indic languages)? Again, I have no idea, but it would be nice to know...

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Dubiety...

Gotta chime in here too. It sounds suspiciously like they're using phrenology to back up their claims :-)

Seriously, though, it's all well and good pointing out similar linguistic constructs and then jumping to a conclusion, but a lot of this stuff might be coincidental or maybe a case of parallel development (why is the first day called "Sun" day and the second "Moon" day in so many languages, for example? I don't actually know--just throwing it out there). I'm all for clever theories but the problem with many linguistic theories is that they're not falsifiable. That being said, what's the point?

Beer, since they seem to have run out of jynnan tonnyx.

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Jury awards Apple $1bn damages in Samsung patent case

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Linux

No, but as a fellow (geodesic) dome dweller I can totally sympatise with you on the exorbitant prices they charge for curved sofas.

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Pierogi versus patatas revolconas

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pierogi <-> gyouza

I suppose that people eat dumplings nearly the world over. My favourite would have to be Japanese-style gyōza. Mix up minced pork, cabbage (finely chopped, lightly salted, then squeezed to remove moisture), spring onions, shrimp, ginger, garlic (all finely chopped or minced) and sesame oil and for the filling with just plain flour and water for the wrapping. There are as many ways to cook these as pierogi, but I think the best is to fry them first in a very small amount of oil then put a small amount of water in the pan and cover it so that the steam cooks everything. Remove from the pan when all the water evaporates and serve with a mix of soy sauce and chilli oil.

Besides tasting delicious, they look great too if the edges are pleated properly (very fiddly to get exactly right, unfortunately).

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