* Posts by Frumious Bandersnatch

1403 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007

Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Important

And what about the first novel ever written - Don Quixote or whatever it was ?

I think that the Japanese might have gotten there first. _Genjimonogatari_ was published "before 1021" according to Wikepedia, which would put it around 600 years before _Don Quixote_...

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Russians hear Tim Cook is gay, pull dead Steve Jobs' enormous erection

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Re: As I previously stated

If we are of the divine and the divine abhors homosexuality then it simply must be a choice because if it is natural then either God made these people deliberately perverted and irredeemable or the believers are just plain wrong - one way or another.

That's the nub of most of the religious arguments that homosexuality is wrong, as far as I see it. It seems to me, as a non-religious person, that they have to trot out this line that it's a choice rather than being something genetically programmed because if it was the latter then it would logically mean that God made them that way. That simply isn't something they can countenance, any more than the idea that any of the other monotheistic (or polytheistic, for that matter) religions could (also?) be right.

It also seems to weird to me that religious types have so much revulsion around "non-standard" sexual identities and relationships, but not so much vitriol is afforded to people who eat lobsters or shellfish. Bear with me on that: the bit in Leviticus that religious types use to justify their homophobic views also includes an injunction against shellfish (and ungulates, I think; talk about arbitrary), calling them "abominations" (well why did He make them, and make them so tasty, at that?). Personally, I agree with the idea touched on by several posters already that rather than sex and gender being black and white or either/or, they are both very much on a continuum. IMO, the discomfort that many people (especially religious, it seems) feel about LBGT is that if they examined themselves they might find their own sexuality not quite black and white and the anger they're expressing is mostly sublimated fear about themselves and what they might be.

There was a documentary on C4 (I think) a while back showing the way that people suspected of being gay in modern Russia are being hounded and bullied by what are effectively vigilante groups. It goes without saying that it made me feel very sad for the victims, but I couldn't help but feel that the people doing the hounding/bullying are themselves victims. They're being duped by Putin's mob into attacking these convenient scapegoats. I feel really sorry for these "useful idiots", too. The whole thing is quite sickening and a sad reflection on what constitutes Russian culture these days:(

And now for something completely flippant (to dispel some of the gloom): "I'm on a horse!"

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REVEALED: Apple fanbois are 'MENTALLY UNSTABLE' - iShop staff

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: The Apple Store is weird

Drop trousers around ankles. Suddenly it's all "Can I help you sir?" Reinstall trousers.

Hmm... are you sure you weren't at the airport?

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Oh, dear! Scientists uncover Afghan VAMPIRE DEER

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Re: Photoshop or genetic mangling?

What, like a chupalope, you say?

In the spirit of thinking "horse" before "giraffe", I think it's more likely to be just a regular jackalope and not some weird cross with a chupacabra. Still obviously a vampire variety, though.

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One hard ghoulie: 1985's Ghosts 'n Goblins

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: C64 version for me

Another Halloween themed classic on the C64, Cauldron, well worth a punt

Absolutely. Similar difficulty to GnG but very satisfying because of it.

The "Druid" series of games were kind of in the same theme. Not quite as hard, but lots of fun.

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Spooky GHOST LIGHT reveals DEAD GALAXIES torn apart over 6 BEEELLION years

Frumious Bandersnatch
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wand'rin' stars: heaven in goodbye forever shocker

You nearly managed to shoehorn in lyrics from that excellent Lee Marvin song...

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Chinese hackers slurp iCloud passwords, Apple's CEO jumps into his jet for China

Frumious Bandersnatch
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demon headmaster?

What, he's going to hypnotise the Chinese?

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Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape

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answering machine works both ways

I always figured that the conversation in "Untitled" on the "Miscellaneous T" album (two people apparently in a conference call) was accidentally recorded on their Dial-A-Song answering machine.

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Stonehenge's HUMAN ABATTOIR was just a prehistoric Burning Man hippyfest site

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: U2

More like Spinal Tap. With realistic (if not life-sized) henge replicas.

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: I propose ...

...we erect a couple of giant tennis rackets around the equator that will deflect any incoming rock. We might even fit space elevators inside the hollow "handles". Come on, it's a win-win!

But what if out opponent is a giant blancmange? On second thoughts, that's probably no problem. Unless the blancmange is actually SCOTTISH...

(this is no fun any more)

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: We're going to need to breed some kind of Big Bird to take care of these spiders

Then we're going to need to genetically engineer some kind of enormous cats to take care of the birds...

Obligatory bit from the simpsons (via tvtropes):

Skinner: Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.

Lisa: But isn't that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we're overrun by lizards?

Skinner: No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They'll wipe out the lizards.

Lisa: But aren't the snakes even worse?

Skinner: Yes, but we're prepared for that. We've lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.

Lisa: But then we're stuck with gorillas!

Skinner:No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

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TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

Frumious Bandersnatch
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transmutation?

Wouldn't that involve messing with the number of protons and neutrons in the material, as in transmuting lead to gold? If "transmuting" isn't the right word to describe breaking of chemical bonds, I vote for "transmogrifying" in honour of Calvin & Hobbes.

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Xen to practice art of motor vehicle embedded development

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Re: And Mr.Pirsig quietly puts the wrench back.

Is that good, or not good ?

Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

(excellent article title, guys)

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Tor-rorists get sneaky Aphex Twin album peek in dance guru hypegasm

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: In my day

They just released an inflatable pig from a powerstation

So... still replacing the batteries in your copy of Pulse every few years, I guess?

/ΔMi−1 = −αΣDi[n][Σ Fji[n − 1] +F exti[n−1]]

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It's WAR: Internet of Stuff firms butt heads over talking-fridge tech standards

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Lactose larceny

Add green food dye to your milk. It tends to put the milk thieves off... :)

Nah... just write "milk experiment #339" on it and throw out the odd conversation about how fascinating various moulds and chemical reactions are. Bonus points for walking around in a white lab coat stained with ... something.

Green dye is just liable to get your milked flushed down the loo by housemates fearing an "it came from the fridge" scenario.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Happy

toasters and fridges and washing machines. Oh my!

All this IoT stuff always makes me think of Michael Marshall Smith... and smile.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Sounds an awful lot like

the time machine in "Primer". Resonant cavity and all that.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Boffin

Re: Questions for rocket scientists:

The only thing that will need a bit of calculating is the turnover point for deceleration

Off the top of my head, use a Bussard collector to pick up ionised hydrogen along the way, store it somehow (a tokamak since you're generating a magnetic field anyway? an aerogel-like substance?) and then use it somehow (mixed with LOX?) for the "descent" stage to provide more thrust than could be achieved by the outbound engine.

Nothing wrong with hybrid systems I guess. If you can make a solar panel that doubles as a sail (like a parachute, or perhaps a neat origami structure) you could probably get useful thrust for part of the journey out of that. Maybe if you could get LCDs working, you could vary the albedo of the sail so that you can transition between converting solar power to electricity and direct propulsion, depending on what you need at any point along the journey.

Anyway, this sounds very interesting. Let's hope that they can continue to test and maybe one day get something up there that can be tried out for real, and not just in the realm of sci-fi or "possible, but not practical" systems...

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Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Maybe his photos weren't very good?

By "his", I assume you meant Marx?

Which obviously reminds me of the classic Tommy Cooper joke...

“I was cleaning up the attic last week, with the wife--filthy, dirty, covered with cobwebs (but she's good with the kids). And I found this old violin. This old violin and this painting--oil painting. I took them to an expert and he said to me "what you've got there--you've got a Stradivarius, and a Rembrandt."

Unfortunately, Stradivarius was a terrible painter and Rembrandt made rotten violins “.

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

Frumious Bandersnatch
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power grid

New Scientist did an interesting piece a couple of years ago on what might happen if a large CME hit the power grid. Let's just say it wouldn't be trivial to recover from. China would probably be hardest hit due to higher voltage used in the transmission grid, but multiple cascading failures would take quite a while to recover from since we don't tend to have many spare HT transformers lying around and pumping oil tends to need electricity ...

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Internet of Stuff my Pockets: Investors plough 1 BEELLION dollars into IoT

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: And why...

...would I want my refrigerator talking to my sex toys?

You might be more convinced if your fridge had the silky-smooth voice of Pierce Brosnan.

(Mmmmm... unexplained bacon)

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That stirring LOHAN motto: Anyone know a native Latin speaker?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: to the pub

Yeah, sorry about that but I learnt what little latin I do have from the Asterix books which when I think about it might not have been the most accurate source.

In the same vein, how about "the sky will not fall today". A bit elliptic/tangential (being more Gaul than Roman), but it has a nice rousing feel, even if it's tinged with a sense of potential doom/failure. No idea what it is in Latin.

On second thoughts: "hic sunt Playmonaut!" (for a mix of Greek/Latin/Plastic)

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: chav spotter

Kind of like only detecting tanks when it's rainy:

A network learns the easiest features it can. A classic (possibly apocryphal) illustration of this is a vision project designed to automatically recognize tanks. A network is trained on a hundred pictures including tanks, and a hundred not. It achieves a perfect 100% score. When tested on new data, it proves hopeless. The reason? The pictures of tanks are taken on dark, rainy days; the pictures without on sunny days. The network learns to distinguish the (trivial matter of) differences in overall light intensity. To work, the network would need training cases including all weather and lighting conditions under which it is expected to operate - not to mention all types of terrain, angles of shot, distances...

(from a random page I Googled about neural networks)

In practice, this sort of problem is well known, so it's unlikely to be a factor.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Separated at Birth

William Gibson had an interesting spin on the use of mugshots to identify people in one of his novels. Observing that people are bombarded by the faces of celebrities on a near-constant basis and that we develop really good recall of what they look like, his fictional facial recognition is based on matching faces based on similarity to known celebrities. It might work, but I guess that there might be unconscious bias based on the kinds of roles played by those actors. So if you look like Alan Rickman, say, you're probably more likely to be hauled in than if you look like Ben Kingsley (more people would think of Gandhi, I guess, though if you've seen it, it would be hard to forget his performance in Sexy Beast).

Anyway, it's definitely in the realm of fiction, but I still couldn't help wondering whether it could actually work in real life...

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L33t haxxors compete to p0wn popular home routers

Frumious Bandersnatch
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open firmware

I didn't follow any links, but I hope that they also include some OpenWRT, DDWRT and Tomato firmware in their challenges. Why should only the OEMs get some free security testing?

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Chinese biz bloke builds his OWN 3,500-mile Tesla charger network

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Grrr

So it's that Tesla. I'm disappointed. I thought he'd managed to get Nikola Tesla's wireless power transmission system working.

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Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Manco

Then there's "mushi, mushi"

Eh, you mean "moshi, moshi". Mushi is an insect and mushimushi is an onomatopoeic word for hot and humid.

If you start a phone conversation with "mushimushi" instead of "moshimoshi", my bet is that you're a kappa.

Also, 'manko' really is a pretty crude word. I like 'manjuu' as a euphemism.

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Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage"

Were they fish tacos? Inquiring minds want to know ...

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IBM's $3bn bet on next-gen computers: Carbon nanotubes, neuro chips

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: O tempora, o mores...

re: "outside of"

People having been using that for quite a while, viz.:

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read" --- Groucho Marx

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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how about this for a solution?

A quite significant amount of space has to be devoted to lines for carrying the clock signal. Instead of etching lines to carry this signal on the silicon, what about using radio emissions in selected bands to keep individual parts in sync with each other? In fact, why stop there? Tiny directional antennae would give near-perfect fanout and it might open up new parallel processing capabilities. Throw in a few diffraction gratings (created by etching regular logic areas on the silicon) and you could claim to have some quantum-level processing available too.

Of course, I know next to nothing about these things, so this idea is almost definitely a crock of shit.

Anyway, for the real reason I wanted to post: thumbs up for "scrying". Take that, spell-checker!

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True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: Impossible, I say

re: Guinness

There's a relativistic time dilation effect going on when you first order the pint and you're watching it settle and waiting for the barman to get around to topping up the head and serving it to you. No matter what the true length of time taken by this, it always seems longer. This effect always occurs in close temporal proximity to the act of Guinness flowing through the pipes, so it will naturally occur when it's coming out the other end, too (even in diluted/semi-metabolised form).

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: "... a long and wider urethra results in faster flow ..."

laminar flow?

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MPAA, meet the Streisand effect: Picture ass. slaps Reddit with takedown

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Re: A completely different Ass

It might be a different Ass., but it IS the same mindset.

OK, I'll have to climb down off my horse and agree with you ... it is an ass of the same colour.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: I guess the MPAA forgot.

Their mindset is still in the 'home taping is killing music' era.

That would be the RIAA. A completely different Ass. (as per official el Reg abbreviation standards).

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Streisand Effect? Nah.

More like a flash in the pan. Quite like Hollywood "movies" (note: they're also "talkies"!) in that respect.

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Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: If we are going to build a wall

Lets build one about 50 ft high at our southern border

A noble sentiment, but it's still not going to stop people from the US entering Canada.

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Might I suggest a better way?

If mixing of two massive amounts of hot/cold air is the problem, then why not build big air ducts with pumping stations at appropriate locations? Obviously we can't expect to be able to mix huge weather fronts, but we might be able to "pre-mix" enough of it so that the larger twisters simply don't have a chance to develop.

As it is, if the solution is to build a wall, then surely it's just moving the problem somewhere else? Unless you build it long enough that the warm fronts will have dissipated by the time they get around, I guess...

Also, wasn't there a Russian who thought you could stop hurricanes by flying around them backwards?

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Drone-assisted Swiss construct virtual 3D castle

Frumious Bandersnatch
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have a look at insight3d

For a free system for stitching the photos together and producing the 3d point cloud. As far as I know it doesn't use telemetry data (such as location and angle of the camera when the shot was taken) to stitch together the various photos. Also doesn't come with drones.

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Titan sprouts 'Magic Island', say astroboffins

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Islands appearing as we look at the planet*

Isn't that what happened in Solaris?

(*well, ok, moon)

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AMD details aggressive power-efficiency goal: 25X boost by 2020

Frumious Bandersnatch
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power arbitration

They're free to steal my idea of a "power arbitration bus" that I mentioned in another thread about a year and a half ago.

(also: gating is cool. Just came across this idea when reading the broadcom docs for RPI GPU today)

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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re: NOT ALL programs use gpu properly

Or all O/S's. My graphics card runs noticeably hotter when I boot to Linux than when I'm in Windows. So much so that I had to install an extra fan to keep the machine from freezing randomly (pretty sure the north bridge was failing because of extra heat rising off the graphics card into that general area). Of course, if AMD wanted to prioritise power savings, they could totally help out the guys making the free drivers by providing a patch (or sufficient documentation) to fix this.

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Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

Frumious Bandersnatch
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re: Time to create an app called "Meh"

Complete with a "are you sure you want to send?" dialogue where the only options are "no" and "meh". Think of the bandwidth savings if neither option actually sends anything...

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Tor is '90 per cent of the net' claims City of London Police Commish – and he's dead wrong

Frumious Bandersnatch
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re: RE: Re: FUD

> >> >> > [...]

Agggh... alt.cascade.overload!

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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excellent commentary, chaps

For the first time in ages, I've been throwing out upvotes like they're confetti (and just as cheap---make of that what you will).

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: @ wolfetone

Oh god yes, Jen is gorgeous. We need more of her on TV!

Was that her in half-horse-half-human guise in TV ads not so long ago? I guess some people might be into that, but I don't think it was one of her better roles.

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ABANDON CLOUD! Docker Linux containers spring a security leak

Frumious Bandersnatch
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chroot as a concept

has an interesting history. There are many web pages describing how, basically, you shouldn't treat it as being a proper security measure, like, ever. I know that things have moved on from naively trusting chroot, and Docker totally isn't just chroot in another guise, but still, I'm not at all surprised that there would be bugs like this in it... (mind you, bugs crop up in vm systems too, from time to time...)

It was probably usability that spurred the development of the first chroot systems, and I'm sure that a similar process took place around the development of containers. Let's hope they can focus on security a bit more to squelch bugs like this so that it doesn't just end up as chroot v2.0.

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Intel reveals its FrankenChip ARM killer: one FPGA and one Xeon IN ONE SOCKET

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Meanwhile ...

Adapteva is busy fulfilling its Parallella pre-order backlog. Zynq 7010 (for the most part) combining dual ARM A9 and FPGA, also coupled with their 16-core Epiphany chips (reg link here). Looks to be a pretty well-balanced system and consumes minimal amounts of power (relative to XEON, naturally).

I'm not sure what the combination of Xeon + FPGA is supposed to achieve, but that's mainly because I don't understand exactly what Intel intends users to offload to the FPGA when they've already got super-beefy cores in the Xeon part. Maybe they're targeting some sort of FPGA-driven interconnect fabric? Still, wouldn't XEON + ASIC be a much better pairing for that particular niche/application?

Otherwise, I just don't know. Customers might "dig" the reconfigurable bit, but FPGA just strikes me as being more of a stop-gap measure until the "real" peripherals can be built... maybe Intel just wants their users to do some R&D for them on the cheap.

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Finding the formula for the travelling salesman problem

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Coffee/keyboard

"So, where do the doughnuts come in?"

Damn. I was guessing (and hoping) they'd found some way to break free from the confines of Cartesian geometry for that customer and instead routed over a topology with one hole ...

Now where did I leave my coffee cup ... ?

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Internet of Things fridges? Pfft. So how does my milk carton know when it's empty?

Frumious Bandersnatch
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Re: what is needed ...

I'm sold! How much do I owe you for mine?

Only your Atman. Mwhuhaha

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Frumious Bandersnatch
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what is needed ...

is some kind of fridge Shiva (or Ganesh). The key point is lots of arms for holding things. This would know what things are approaching their use-by date and would thrust it out at you as soon as you open the door. If you're really slow about getting to use things, it could start banging on the inside of fridge door to attract your attention. You'd soon get used to this disconcerting noise and any guests you have over who become alarmed can have their fears assuaged with a simple: "ignore it; it's just the fridge Shiva."

You might be tempted to give the fridge Shiva some other tasks, such as scrambling eggs or mixing ingredients for a cake. However, this would clearly be sacrilegious and should not be attempted under any circumstances.

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