* Posts by Mage

4463 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Saturn spacecraft immune to mysterious Planet 9's charms

Mage
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Cassini is unaffected by Planet 9's gravitational charms

Well, it's close to Saturn and it's very big. Even an uncharted moon of Saturn will have more effect.

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BlackBerry boss mulls mid-range Androids

Mage
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Re: Just can't make it work?

Teams too big

Changing goal posts

Stupid input from Marketing

Bureaucracy

Political infighting / empire building

Not specifically Microsoft. Nokia went wrong in about 2002- 2003

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Former Microsoft HoloLens man: It's NOT about gaming

Mage
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Re: UWP

If you just want to display more simply rendered polygons at a lower res - or even 2D schematics marking out the location of electrical cabling, say - the hardware required is far more modest.

Obviously you don't understand the differences between say 3D stereoscopic and a headset, the response time to changes isn't the same as the GPU ability to draw (which is often poor for 2D CAD compared to video).

You need very much more responsive systems to avoid motion sickness.

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Mage
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UWP

Oh dear.

How stupid.

Windows Phone is dead.

How would a phone or tablet have the computational power to avoid lag in movement?

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WordPress pushes free default SSL for hosted sites

Mage
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Re: It means millions of websites will be safer from spying and interception techniques.

If my ISP did either of those I'd get at different one. Sadly though many people have no choice or can only use Mobile, which isn't broadband.

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Mage
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Re: It means millions of websites will be safer from spying and interception techniques.

If you have to log into a wp site then your user/password doesn't get sent through all the intervening servers in plain text.

Seems daft that the majority of email and website logins are unencrypted. What were the designers of websites and email systems thinking of?

So for most sites it's only the Administrators. But can't MITM attacks be done on HTTPS anyway, most easily via "free" access at cafe or Hotel etc (WiFi or ethernet). I use a VPN to my home server if I'm using public internet.

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Mage
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It means millions of websites will be safer from spying and interception techniques.

How?

Like how much content on a typical WP site isn't

a) Public

b)The same view for everyone?

So this makes uploading draft pages & posts you haven't publish yet more private. That's about all. It's of some benefit if the Wordpress has shopping plugin, are those even possible of WP own hosting rather than 3rd party?

I'm all in favour of encryption. But what value is it for content 100% public and the same view for everyone? Can someone explain the value to me?

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Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA

Mage
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re: No word on actual data transfer rates.

About 10 hours per access operation, minimum according to the article. Really slow but high density and long life. A USB stick might be 5 to 10 years. A writeable CD left on window sill less than a week?

An old HDD in a drawer might last a long while (not sure about shingled or other very density).

Tape can last 20 years if stored properly, you need to make copies as slowly get print through.

I think Magneto Optic storage was good (I remember 3.5" Sony cartridges in 1990s with 250Mbyte)

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Mage
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Facepalm

No individual or company is above the law

True.

So you go after the person with the key. You don't force lockmakers to make faulty door locks so everyone's car can be stolen and house burgled.

TSA keys are online.

If you weaken encryption so you can get in with a court order, without the users key, then shortly all the unfriendly governments and criminals can do it without a court order.

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Dropping 1,000 cats from 32km: How practical is that?

Mage
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I'm disappointed.

Torpex isn't made out of boiled cat.

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Mumblehard spam-spewing botnet floored

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Microsoft?

For a moment I thought this was another article about MS's Chatbot, Tay.

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Ultra-rare WWII Lorenz cipher machine goes on display at Bletchley Park

Mage
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Wonderful

I hope they have a good reunion.

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Bezos defends Amazon culture in letter to shareholders

Mage
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Kindle

it and Kobo have REALLY poor User Interface and book sorting/organising features. I've got a Kindle and Kobo, I love the hardware and eInk. The software is terrible. We had better document organisation software 30 years ago.

Amazon's CreateSpace is a dreadful website.

Amazon KDP, Author Central and retail sites are terrible GUI / UX too.

They are good at marketing, not at software. I suspect the HW is mostly bought in consultancy?

Kindle Reader was based on Mobi and the eInk Kindle is basically a poor user shell on Android + Mobi Reader.

Amazon Echo / Alexa is totally creepy. No thanks. Ever!

One tech company I worked was just like what Amazon sounds like. Most somewhere between that and acceptable. Only one in over 30 years was "reasonable". Burn out was common. Engineers were thought of as something to be used up like laser toner. "We'll hire more"

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Nest's bricking of Revolv serves as wake-up call to industry

Mage
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Re: That's useful information

Still won't save you. Who pays for the server?

The solution is things that work without the Internet, where Internet only adds optional value.

Philips actually sold of their badges. They really only do lamps and health care. Back to the core pre 1926 business!

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Mage
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Re: IPV6, TLDs, etc

Make no difference.

The problem is gadgets requiring a so called "cloud" service. It could be IPV6 and "open source" and who runs the server it needs if the original company loses interest?

Google Maps

Here

Nokia Maps

Plays for Sure

Skype on a TV set

iTunes

etc ...

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Mage
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Re: What sort of wake-up call?

Yes, Open Source won't solve this. HW or SW.

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Kik opens bot shop, promises world+dog access to teen market

Mage
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Teen

I thought for a moment they were a successful Teen massaging company.

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Windows 7's grip on the enterprise desktop is loosening

Mage
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Re: Saddo!

PCs and laptops that are not Macs last depending on what was bought and what for. Some are 1/4 price of Apple product.

My Laptop is 14 years old. Proves nothing.

For day to day work I use a workstation with 2 off 1600 x 1200 screens running Linux Mint with Mate desktop.

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Mage
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Re: 270m an achievement?

Not when it's "free" and forced down people's throats.

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JAXA confirms ASTRO-H breakup

Mage
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Alien

That's three now

That's the third failed X-Ray sensor "telescope" Japanese Launch.

Maybe the 5th one will survive.

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Egypt unfriended Facebook for Free Basics snoop snub

Mage
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Re:it is just like the normal internet

No, because it's Facebook curated.

I don't know how it actually is delivered, but it may be that you are only connecting to servers controlled by Zuck.

Why does he remind me of the business man in Fifth Element?

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Mage
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gives Facebook a captive audience

yes.

It's evil. As free as first sample from a drug pusher.

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Microsoft lures top Linux exec from Oracle to Redmond

Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Windows is their cash cow

Was...

Huge amount of free Win 10.

Are OEMs paying much for it?

Is MS strategy for future selling services and their "Cloud"? (Cloud = Opaque Hosting)

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How do you build a cheap iPhone? Use a lot of old parts

Mage
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Re: Media Praise

e.g.: independent.co.uk

iPhone SE review: gently-refined handset is the best small phone ever

Really? What are they smoking? Is it even actually small?

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Mage
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Cheap?

Maybe compared to other Apple Phones.

It's very overpriced and gives Apple a huge margin. How much tax will they pay?

I'm amazed at the praise this rather ordinary touch phone has been getting in media.

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Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Mage
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Newton

Probably Jobs was right to kill Pippin, Clones, Power PC etc. But killing the Newton was a mistake actually.

I doubt Apple will be around in another 40 years, but who knows. Apple may re-invent themselves again.

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Holding out for a Jobs: Tim Cook still auditioning for position of Apple god

Mage
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The Apple II was certainly practical

Not any more so than competitors. It was hyped and well marketed. I fell for hype and bought one.

Awkward slow non-standard external floppy with only 100K storage.

Awkward keyboard (too high and built in)

Only forty column text.

I soon got a better computer.

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You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

Mage
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Re: So I'm curious

In a larger outer box with fan(s) and dust filters. A suitably placed in vent and out vent. Needs hefty fan(s) due to air resistance of the filters. Heat from case as well as internal fans. Some PCs need additional ducts.

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When Steve Jobs was away, Apple's designers snuck out a penis-shaped remote control

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: Not sure it was even an Apple device..

My Philips one and its remote looked identical. Still goes, it's never been used as a portable. Kodak killed photo-CD and portfolio CD (I had a demo one, superb mix of menus, slides and audio, played on the Philips machine and a PC app). The licence costs, lab costs to get your photo on CD, the cost of Portfolio authoring software. The later cheap Picture CDs with over compressed JPEG are rubbish.

It did PAL.

The round multi-pin connector was compatible with a camcorder crt viewfinder/eyepiece and powered it and showed video.

I never thought the remote looked like a penis. It's pretty flat.

Mine was in a sale reduced to 1/5th price. Made a great table top HiFi CD player.

I'm sure that's just Apple rebadging, maybe they had NTSC version and the CD Data feature. I bet Philips did it for them.

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Microsoft to make Xamarin tools and code free and open source

Mage
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Strategy?

Has MS got one or are they just doing anything they take a fancy to this year?

MS SQL on Linux

Their own Linux for Cloud Switches

Something else

Ubuntu subsystem instead of ancient MS Services For Unix

Various other Visual studio announcements (two others anyway for Linux, though I'd only use VS for developing of Windows, but after nearly 20 years I've stopped. 1996-2014).

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Mage
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Re: Java (especially Java 8) and C# are pretty much identical

yes, C# was originally J++, MS idea of how Java should develop. I've got a copy somewhere. Sun didn't like that idea. So MS morphed it as C#, which might be one of the last decent bit of development they did. VS + C# is certainly more pleasant to develop than Eclipse or NetBeans + Java.

Linux and Linux tools let you dev for Android for free, it's essentially writing in Java. You also can develop Java that runs fine on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux on Linux Free. I've not tried mono for developing C# on Linux, I write any c# I write on Windows, but not since early 2015. I'm abandoning windows for lack of a coherent version now that XP is nearly gone and Win7 is harder to get now. I have no HW less than 9 years old running windows. All the newer kit runs Linux.

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Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

Mage
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Re: NT POSIX Subsystem

Yes, that's my memory of Posix on NT. No use for existing applications, no use at all really without adding Internix (later MS Services for Unix, I think MS bought Internix?).

The idea of subsystems was good, but poorly supported. Politics?

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Mage
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Linux

Re: "running as a native Ubuntu binary on a Windows subsystem"

NT 3.1 to NT 4.0 (and maybe later) had five subsystems:

1) NTVDM: Run dos programs in virtual machine, even x86 on Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC etc. Today not as good as "Dosbox" a cross platform emulator that could even run DOS graphical adventure games on Symbian. Works well on Windows and Linux)

2) WOW: Translate 16 bit Windows API calls to 32bit NT calls and probably runs the code in an NTVDM?

3) POSIX: Usually off. Sort of UNIX compatibility, you needed Internix or Services For Unix to really make use of it

4) Networking used essentially MS LanManager, which was option on pre Warp IBM OS/2 and bundled with pre 1993 MS OS/2 (briefly sold as server by MS for Wn3.x workstations to schools mostly), when IBM and MS parted company on OS/2

5) OS/2: OS/2 text mode (not Presentation Manager), i.e. Console apps ran perfectly on NT4.0 as I had to put some for an Accounts Dept.

I think Ballmer depreciated all this stuff. Mostly gone by Vista?

NT was originally very modular and before NT4.0 even Graphics (Screen & Printer) drivers sensible outside Kernel. NT 3.1 was first version in 1993, possibly because partly based on MS OS/2? As well as all Dave Cutler's VMS inspired work.

With Win95 MS started to lose the plot. They totally lost it in 2003 and the development for Vista went out of control, as well as the Ribbon inflicted on Office. Was XP, Server 2003*, Visual Studio 6, SQL7 and Office 2003 the peak of MS implementations?

[*Though I preferred Win2K Enterprise / Advance Server to Server 2003, it was a bit bloated, so we switched to Linux servers only in 2007]

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Mage
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Visual Studio

I liked it for RAD prototyping of ideas in VB6. VB.net is C# with a VB syntax, pointless. C# is probably the successor to VB6, but far slower to prototype ideas in and the newer "visual" stuff replacing the VB6 era forms lack some of the earlier features. VS now seems to have 3 incompatible unfinished "models" for the visual side of windows. Why would I use it for Linux?

I can't imagine why anyone developing for Linux isn't doing it on a Linux box, given how horrible Windows has got.

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Seagate intros Innov8: A USB-powered 8TB external hard drive

Mage
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Re: Built in incapacity?

I don't like the sound of a shingled drive either. I'd rather have an inconvenient PSU and no shingles.

I wonder what is in my Seagate 1T drive? it replaced a WD 1T USB drive that died without warning. The WD is a USB drive controller, no internal SATA/PATA. I have a bunch of WD 1T desktop drives too, that I mean to connect a terminal to, I think they died of faulty firmware and you can revive them. No receipts :(

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IT freely, a true tale: One night a project saved my life

Mage
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Re: should probably change job.

Easy to say.

Easier to end up in a worse one.

Over 35 and not a manager in Tech? Don't get unemployed. They want people 3+ experience, working in a similar or more important company and don't want people over 40, except as managers.

The jobs and qualifications give away your age.

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Oracle's website, social media to wear sandwich board of shame over Java SE insecurity

Mage
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Re: …make Java, Ruby and JavaScript "illegal" to use in the US and its territories

Any language can be used appropriately or badly.

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Furious English villagers force council climbdown over Satan's stone booty

Mage
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Re: The compensation culture at work!

How many motorists have hit it since:

a) Highway act of 1980?

b) In cars since 1896?

c) In horse drawn carriages since existence of road/village?

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Ofcom puts aside a little bit of spectrum for Internet of Things things

Mage
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Flame

Spectrum Theft?

Where is the consultation with ITU?

With existing spectrum users?

With neighbouring countries?

Ofcom intends to allocate 10MHz of VHF spectrum in the 55-68MHz, 70.5-71.5MHz and 80.5-81.5MHz bands.

Those bands (55 to 68 and 70.5 to 71.5Mhz at least) are already in use in UK.

The propagation at those frequencies is very variable, from 1 mile to 1000 miles depending on conditions. IoT should be limited to 400MHz and above. There are two "licence free" bands already in UHF and many licenced bands from 300MHz to 10.6GHz possible.

This is typical Ofcom stupidity and arrogance. Though I'm surprised it's not being sold to Mobile Operators for IoT, as Ofcom cares more for them than any other spectrum user / consumer.

NFC / Wireless Chargers and some security tags* etc use "Licence free" ISM bands below 300MHz as they are supposed to be really induction loop rather that real transmission.

[*Some tags use microwave bands, the security tags are energised by and FM loop transmitter at a doorway and the tag causes a peak or dip on the receiver]

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Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Mage
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Linux

Hardly entirely new ...

1999 I was running X applications and Unix Shells seemlessly on NT 4.0 Desktop

Windows Services for UNIX (Wikipedia)

MS Unix SFW 3.0 (Win2K era, I think it was 3.5 for XP?)

Really MS should scrap Windows 10 and either give people a MS Linux distro and properly port all their applications as Linux native, or give people what they want, an updated less buggy windows similar to best of NT3.5 / XP with a Win9x Explorer (without the bugs).

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Speaking in Tech: Batman vs Superman... absolutely sucked

Mage
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Coat

Re: Transcript?

Ciscript?

Still, I wish I could produce rubbish that sold so many seats on opening weekend. Shows power of publicity!

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Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet

Mage
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Linux

Those who do not understand Windows

That would be Microsoft, progressively breaking NT since NT4.0 stupidly put graphics and printer drivers in Kernel to get 10% more performance in a era when performance WAS doubling annually.

They then added al the worst features of Win98 and Win ME.

(Win2K & XP Era)

Then they fell off a cliff after Server 2003 and produced NT5.x series (Vista and then you have to pay for it "service pack fix" called Windows 7.). After the slight upward blip of Win7 they studied how office users hated Ribbon and put Zune GUI as Win 8.x

Then decided to out do Google & Facebook at creepymess to produce pointless Win 10 (for free to newer users), when what people really want is NT3.5 + Explorer and drivers for all new hardware (Basically a new improved XP). People DON'T want a 15" to 22" Windows Phone. Actually hardly anyone wants one. It's getting as popular as MS Watch, Zune/Plays for Sure and Kin.

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Sick to death of mighty rocket launches? Avoid these dates

Mage
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Alien

Hypothetically

Amazing! That's as much launches as we used to have in a year, not long ago. I think though Arianespace is still leader? Over 50% of operational satellites have been launched by them.

Say we had a reason* to put all world wide military expenditure into building something in space ... urgently.

How many launches a month could we manage?

I think we could have more than 20 launch sites operational fairly quickly.

(*Say an Alien Civilisation gives us plans for a Starship, or whatever scenario you fancy).

CNES, ESA and Arianspace might not get as much publicity as NASA, but do a lot. How many Europeans that know about NASA know that there is a European Space Port in South America (started by French in 1960s) with now a pad for the Russians (as their main Cosmodrome is now in Kazakhstan. I think the Russians are building a replacement in far South East Asian "Russia").

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Whatever happened to ... Nest?

Mage
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Re: Homeplug

They don't even need mains from the same source, they are RF Spectrum polluting illegal radio transmitters that only achieve CE mark by misleading not-real-world testing.

The newer faster models still can't compete with 1Gbps on swtich with Cat5e for speed and interfere even with VHF.

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Mage
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Devil

Nest

It's badly designed HW. Ought to be isolated contacts for 5VDC to 240V AC.

It's badly designed SW. Not just the privacy and Security.

It's from WRONG company.

IoT is garbage hype. There has been better SW & HW to control your heating & do other stuff maybe 30 years ... even for ordinary homes. The issue is always unless good at DIY, retro-fitting is expensive labour.

Labour or lack of DIY skill is why useless, insecure "wireless" burglar alarms and cameras are sold instead of cheaper and secure wired ones.

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X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Mage
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Re: Or a simpler (than SSH) solution

I use port 80 for VPN on my system, on the basis that some random place that has Internet access doesn't block port 80 outgoing and I don't run a public facing web server at home (I have hosting for those).

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Mage
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Re: Thanks Chris.

MS RDP is the "Windows Thing", VNC is cross platform and often on Linux by default, you have to add it to Windows.

It's usually a connection to an existing running local desktop*, unlike running X over a network, nothing is "lost" if connection is dropped, you just reconnect. So unlike X the desktop resolution is what ever it is on your target machine, the client opens a window to it, so having higher "resolution" client than remote helps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Network_Computing

Using a VPN to the VNC server is another idea.

[*No, I don't know how to set up a VNC server on a computer with no graphics card, though the target's keyboard, screen and mouse could be disconnected (or off), I suppose.]

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Microsoft did Nazi that coming: Teen girl chatbot turns into Hitler-loving sex troll in hours

Mage
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Re: Not surprising

Proves Watson is a Database "party trick" and not AI if all the data has to be curated.

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Mage
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Devil

Re: And on the other side of the world:

Hmm... I've tried reading some of the garbage that's one English Language Literary prizes. They don't mean much.

Like the so called Modern art that gets awards, loos, stacked bricks, unmade beds etc.

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Mage
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Paris Hilton

Well it proves ...

That if you edit the ancient Eliza chat bot (which wasn't AI) to add to database automatically from other humans (and probably other Twitter bots), you'll end up with something even less useful.

How did they imagine that

(a) The SW is good enough (Siri, Cortana, Alexis and your local robotic script replacement of call centre support etc are garbage)

(b)That it wouldn't get worse. There is no real "learning" self awareness or sense of context to any such software. It's going to parrot back the nonsense that people give it without discrimination. Artificial Mynah bird or Parrot?

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