* Posts by Mage

4702 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

How one developer just broke Node, Babel and thousands of projects in 11 lines of JavaScript

Mage
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Bloody stupid!

"Left-pad was fetched 2,486,696 downloads in just the last month"

There are LOADS of reasons why the current dependence on 3rd party sites & domains of websites is stupid, not just this example.

Privacy

Security (not serving malware if someone hijacks a domain)

What's wrong with actually storing everything your webpage /site needs on your own server? If a site with a lot of transactions you can even cache whatever it is in RAM, or even on another server.

This is an example of what's wrong with programming and website development. As for people using google's content to make their site go ... Well just stupid and a poke in the eye privacy wise of their users.

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Error checks? Eh? What could go wrong, really? (DoSing a US govt site)

Mage
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Moral on the -1 passed as array index?

Check array indexes.

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Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Mage
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increased levels of physical searches on or near transportation hubs

Then they would blow up supermarkets (or shopping malls like in Africa).

It's "Security theatre". There are no easy answers, except the long term analysis of "why do they exist in the first place" and dealing (slowly) with the sources of the problem.

There is no quick fix, nor "Security Forces" solution as has been proven.

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Mage
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Re: Security expectations

It's of the nature of terrorism that any increased state "protection" is actually a win for the terrorists as they want to create terror and subjugation. They are not fighting a military war.

It's totally impossible to stop terror attacks.

If the State gets very militaristic it even breeds recruits. US reaction to 911 has made the world worse, not safer and created terrorists.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: Safety Check

Facebook is an irrelevant parasite.

Also about the most bandwidth hungry method to communicate.

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Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

Mage
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Scratch

You can buy the Pi as a set with SD card preloaded.

Plug it in to mouse, screen, keyboard and Ethernet

No scripts needed or visible,

Scratch is on it as standard.

LEDs for GPIO port are available.

Current Scratch can turn them on & off.

Not sure why this strange thing exists.

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Champagne supernova in the sky: Shockwaves seen breaking star

Mage
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Safe distance

Certainly the sort of wave you want to watch from a safe distance. What is the safe distance?

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Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

Mage
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Joke

maybe next year ...

They will discover there is also a market for candy bars, flip, sliders and BB style QWERTY.

Not everyone wants a slab with only a touch screen.

What's wrong with choice? Even Ford eventually did cars in colors other than Black.

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Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

Mage
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Re: Obviously a definition of "new" that I was previously unaware of

Or on some systems since 1990s! (laptops, desktops etc).

Actually in 1982 I was selling nice Amber mono CRT monitors (some used on Apple II !)

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Mage
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Meh

Sigh

I hope they don't think they can patent or copyright this?

It MAY work for OLED screens, but LED lit LCD are violet/blue LEDs with yellow phosphor to provide the "white" backlight and this idea is poor on them compared to colour CRT, decent OLED, or eInk illuminated with a filament operated bedside lamp.

Ditch LED and CFL lamps in bedrooms and use long life filament (Halogen not so good) (less blue than high efficiency types)

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'Contractual barriers' behind geo-blocking could breach EU rules

Mage
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Divide and Conquer

I think region locking DVDs, Games, BD & Geo blocking digital content funds piracy.

The books issue is two fold.

1) A hundred years ago, USA simply ignored copyright on English Language books. The USA and UK publishers more or less "divvy" up the world.

2) A book publisher doesn't usually have audio rights, no more than they have film or TV rights. Nor for worldwide unless not in English (see 1). A publisher of Audio needs to acquire these separately from author.

There is a separate issue that often the Publisher acquires books rights for life of copyright. It ought to be no more than 25 years and then revert to author (copyright would STILL exist and be unchanged from POV of public).

Copyright life is also now too long. Death of Author + 25 years is generous. The current death + 75 is simply a licence for people like Disney or Record companies to make money, as they will have acquired rights with a minimal up front and small royalty on sales (or in case of cinema, maybe profits which are mysteriously non-existent).

Always negotiate a percentage of retail sale, never "profit", accountants are too clever.

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What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Mage
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Pint

OK Then

The main purpose of Democracy is really to ditch stupid leaders without the bother of a bloody revolution?

So it's maybe OK that they pick a name themselves if they get a bunch of loony tunes.

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Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

Mage
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Re: Email? What Email?

Older Models (than 2013) won't get an email if you already are up to date. The firmware on some models IS since 2013, but not at all new.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201994710

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Mage
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Old versions ...

The "new" versions of software in some cases are out well over a year.

see link

OK versions of Kindle Firmware for 22nd March 2016

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Mage
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Re: I applied the big update to my Mk2 Paperwhite a couple of weeks ago.

Why had you no backup?

Changing account on a Kobo or a Kindle, for instance, wipes the content.

Amazon's "Cloud" mostly only has a backup of books bought from Amazon*. It's nothing to do with DRM!

[*If you are daft enough to send your OWN stuff via Amazon cloud instead of USB, then Amazon keeps a copy that's reloaded, of random DRM free content. I tested it.]

After a firmware update, you may need to reload any backup, this is common on many gadgets.

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Mage
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Re: And folks wonder why I won't use one.

Import the Amazon books into Calibre via a suitable extra plug-in*

Make backups

It's a PUBLISHER decision, not Amazon's if a book has DRM. Anyone can publish on Amazon without DRM.

[*Best if you live outside the USA]

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Mage
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Re: 62 PAGEs of books

The books not in collections are listed after collections, in collections view. At least on Kindle DXG ver 2.5.8 firmware.

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Mage
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Re: OTA vs USB

They are not too likely to have WiFi & Broadband and no PC of any kind?

If you have no PC at all*, then a 3G Kindle is worth while. Curiously I know of one person that managed to get PC World to connect his Kindle.

[ANY OS supporting USB storage and Web Downloads will work to put content on/off a Kindle, unlike Apple's iThings, possibly even some tablets]

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Mage
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Re: Expired certificate

DRM is optional

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Mage
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Re: 62 PAGEs of books

There are "Collections" on Kindle and Kobo.

Sadly not hierarchical. But a book can be in more than one (say Westerns and Romance).

It took me a while to figure out how to have a book in a collection on Calibre (best way to organise) automatically be in that on Kindle/Kobo. You need to make an extra column and change settings on Calibre.

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Mage
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Re: Non-cloudy thinking

Kobo uses also DRM based ePub (evil Adobe)

Kindle also uses DRM free prc, mobi

Amazon AZW doesn't always have DRM, it's a publisher choice.

Smashwords sells DRM free for Kobo and Kindle.

I have a Kobo and Kindle, the Kobo is over priced, but I wanted the 6.8" with hi def for PDF manuals, marginally better than large 9.7" DXG for PDF. For books the paperwhite is best value at 1/2 the price.

Calibre (with a file import filter plugin) is your friend to buy DRM from Amazon or Kobo and read on you Kobo or Kindle and backup.

Never rely on a Cloud except for temporary collaboration.

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Mage
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Coat

OTA vs USB

USB based updating is safer and more reliable. It's not difficult.

Download update

Copy via USB

Disconnect and run menu option to update.

I almost never use OTA anyway, but download books I buy, import to Calibre, connect Reader to Calibre.

I back up my Calibre Library. This way my reading habits on Kobo or Kindle can't leak and I don't depend on anyone's Cloud. I do buy some books from Amazon, but most of my paper ones are from charity shops and eBooks from gutenberg.org and archive.org I buy as much books as I can afford.

The only update my Kindle DXG has had was in 2013 when it was bought, I doubt it's getting an update. The free 3G might be useful if I travelled (only Wikipedia & Amazon, all else is 60M limit a month), but I don't.

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Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1's throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

Mage
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Re: "One solution is to boot a Linux USB stick ..."

Years ago I slip-streamed a CD with added SATA drivers for XP.

But still, MS attitude to Win 10 smacks of desaturation. They developed USB for NT4.0 and then decided not to release the SP. I tested the beta USB stack on NT4.0 and it worked with Win2K drivers (if you made the OS report as if it was Win2K, stupid Driver designers looking for an OS version instead of a capability, at the time MS dev advice was to look for the capability you needed, not specific OS strings. I guess few people listened or they not have to skip Win 9 ...)

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Mage
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Re: Another reason

Surprising

a) What is actually native now on Linux

b) Old stuff that works on WINE on Linux but not, oddly on Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 10 depending on program.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Leinster

Link to Gutenberg for Murray Leinster (unlike Archive.org they are usually proof read).

A good reason to get an eInk Kindle or Kobo (you only need to connect once to register, then use USB only. Calibre + plug ins is friend to allow DRM ePub on Kindle, or DRM mobi/AZW on Kobo)

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Mage
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Re: *Remarkably* sharp prediction?

Misses the point. It's not about how amazing it is.

There are good and bad predictions. This one is about how people might use <random technology>

Rocket motors to power only ICBMs or space exploration?

See also "Shock Wave Rider". Far better than Toffler's book that inspired it.

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Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

Mage
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Re: Not great but ...

Peppa Pig is completely demeaning to Pigs and Humans. Bring back Ivor the Engine and all the other Postgate stuff.

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Google tries to run from flailing robotics arm

Mage
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Re:Deep Mind

Except if might NEVER deliver general AI. It certainly doesn't now.

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Mage
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Re: Idea for profit

You mean YouTube ISN'T Google's Social Network?

Surely all of Google's bits have used same sign-on for ages...

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Swede builds steam-powered Raspberry Pi. Nowhere to plug in micro-USB, then?

Mage
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Re: Nope

I'd use an AC motor not DC. No brushes to wear out.

SMPSU is what is needed.

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Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

Mage
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Re: I wonder...

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/david-quinn/easter-rising-was-not-a-just-war-and-it-gave-a-false-legitimacy-to-ira-34551045.html

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Mage
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Mushroom

Re: I wonder...

"The individuals who carried out the attack might have been wrong,"

No level of injustice makes Terrorists into Good Guys when they attack civilians.

You are Gerry Adams and I claim my baseball bat beating.

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Mage
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Re: I wonder...

Does anyone know any longer ...

The guys trying to blow up your car, shoot you on the beach, or destroy the theatre are deffo bad guys.

The Governments spying on their own citizens with out specific warrant, killing people in countries they are not at war with, detaining people without trail... They are probably bad guys even if they claim it's for our own good.

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Apple iPhone GPU designers Imagination axes 20 per cent of staff

Mage
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Very sad.

Perhaps they ARE inefficient, or Apple pays too little out of greed (their margins are fat) and others pay too little because of very slim margins.

On many products there is a retailer driven rush to the bottom on prices.

I don't know what's wrong. Sure their ought to be still a good market for MIPS in Routers, TVs, Setboxes even if ARM dominates Phones and Tablets?

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

Mage
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Linux

If they release a Windows Classic

Based on updating XP, I'd buy 5 copies.

Maybe the same of Office 2003. I HATE THE LATER OFFICES, ESPECIALLY "FLAT" and RIBBON!!!

Meanwhile two machines are staying XP (but not online) and the rest are now migrated to Linux Mint, Mate Desktop, WINE. Copied all my Windows True Type Fonts to server, then downloaded to all the Linux computers.

Everything has Libre Office, which once you figure the quirks and disable some silly defaults isn't bad.

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Irish shun beer, whiskey in favour of … wine

Mage
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Cheese?

Probably An Teagasc and the NDC promote Cheese in Ireland.

There is a MASSIVE variety of Irish cheeses, today, a far cry from 30 years ago when there was Galtee processed cheese, Calvita milder processed cheese and rather suspiciously rubbery "Chedder" style cheese.

There is Cow, Goat and Sheep cheeses, in Danish, English, Swiss, French and Greek styles as well as local styles.

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Woz: World-changers to Apple Watches, why pay for an overpriced band?

Mage
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Apple Watch.

Since it needs an iphone anyway, I suspect such a gadget can be under $30 retail inc postage including decent case and strap.

I wonder what all those < $20 Chinese watches do, often more functions with an Android phone than iOS. (Via Bluetooth). Some have camera and SIM, appear to be complete "Dick Tracy" and more gadgets. They are being used to cheat in exams.

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Silicon photonics boosted with UK fabrication research

Mage
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Re: 1300 nanometre?

14nm or 10nm silicon claims are a bit misleading. They used to refer to size of a transistor, now the 14nm refers to smallest feature.

Isn't optical a good way to interconnect chips on a common substrate (PCB, Alumina / Sapphire, Quartz etc).

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Mage
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10 Years only?

That's acceptable for a domestic product, but seems poor for industrial or aerospace.

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Steve Jobs, MS Office, Israel, and a basic feature Microsoft took 13 years to install

Mage
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Re: Too expensive? Yeah, sure!

Indeed, try doing 576 line, interlaced video 25fps (PAL sources) in the original XP free video Editor.

No European video support.

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Mage
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Re: Mac OS X didn’t support Right to Left (RTL) languages?

No, because you don't need OS support.

I've used MIXED RTL / LTR editing on VANILLA DOS.

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Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

Mage
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Re: Bollocks: 100,000 times quicker

I think you are wrong. It's 100,000,000 faster now. A 1979 8bit cpu is in the 100,000 times quicker class.

If we knew how to do real AI, then any computer could do it, but slowly. It's nonsense to suggest that AI is "held up" by lack of computing power. A Raspberry pi and big NAS ought to be able to be intelligent, if we knew how to write an AI program.

AI today, as is "Expert Systems" and so called "Neural Networks" are all just specialist "fragile"* database applications.

[* In sense that it's useless if it encounters anything not pertaining to the programmed domain]

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Mage
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Facepalm

Yes very significant.

Go is really really hard for a computer.

Is winning Chess, Jeopardy! and Go significant? YES

Is any of it a milestone for real AI? NO.

We don't even know what AI might be. This is specialist programming. If we had real AI, the SAME program could start learning and eventually be the best at every game, as well as many other problems.

A rook (crow) or a baby that can't play chess, go or answer Jeopardy! at all is smarter. This is searching a database for solutions using a program written by very smart humans.

ALL so called AI is marketing of specialist interfaces to databases, often for a single domain per AI program (Driving, chess, go, bridge etc)

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LG builds a DAB+ digital radio radio into a smartmobe

Mage
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Flame

DAB, DAB+ and Digital Radio Mondial

FM is better.

Even AM can be better.

DAB is too power hungry, bit rate is too low (to save money), coverage is too poor.

A DTT tuner would be more use!

Some phones have had great easy to use FM radio for ages. Ergonomics for Digital Radio is inherently poor too. DAB is a failed format. DRM on Shortwave, MW and LW has failed to get traction.

DAB and Digital Broadcast, esp. using SFN and because of pressure to save money on Mux costs, inherently benefits national stations over local and reduction of bit rate to less than FM quality. DAB+ isn't used for more quality either, just to halve the bit rate at similar quality (too poor) to reduce costs.

The BBC, Ofcom, RTE and Comreg will drool over this. It's bad for the consumer.

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Reprogrammble routers axed by TP-Link as FCC bans custom firmware

Mage
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Even with HW Radios

Europe allows 2.4GHz Channel 1 ... 13

USA Channel 1 ...11

I've had problems even years ago with idiot kit / gadgets that was ONLY programmed for USA and wouldn't talk to a WiFi point on ch 12.

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Dell's Ubuntu-powered Precision Sputnik now available worldwide

Mage
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Linux

1999

I think they first got into this, via Red hat in 1999. Certain it was about then that I was giving Linux courses to people in Dell.

There is a market, so they do it. Dell is much more pragmatic than Intel, or Intel would be designing nice SoC with ARM cores.

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Mage
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Pirate

Passwords and disaster recovery.

If it's anything important a relative or workmate etc needs to access, write down the passwords, user, email, machine, website etc. EVERYTHING.

Put it with your will or something else that will not be accessible to neer-do-wells, thieves, small children and will 100% turn up if you are knocked down / heart attack / stroke / randomly shot etc.

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US chap sharpens paradigm-busting scissors

Mage
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Prior art?

They are useful and very hard to find. But it's not new. There have been sheet metal shears like this for a very long while.

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Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

Mage
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Re: Can we stop this nonsense

However 1970s and 1980s probably was the high point of equality for Women in Computing (via Maths) and development of Computer Science.

It's all been downhill since 1990s.

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Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: But But,,,

Purely a side effect.

Like complaining a satellite launcher lets bad guys have an ICBM (it does, but we need to be able to launch satellites!)

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