* Posts by Mage

4467 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

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

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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Microsoft introduces yet another Skype for Windows 10

Mage
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Re: With all the random changes of direction at Redmond-

Use Firefox Privacy mode (Ctrl Shift P) if the Torygraph blocks you.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Single version?

No it's stupid.

The WHOLE idea of Windows 10 Universal is STUPID.

Java has been cross platform since forever, but you write different SORTS of app and GUI to suit TVs, Desktop / Laptop (keyboard /Mouse) and small touch screens (phone). Even though technically you could run practically the same Java app on Desktop, phone and TV. In practice you use the cross platform ability to run on different OS, not radically different form factors. Really UWP is a stupid, in a different angle, as 320 x 240 Windows CE having a Win9x desktop instead of Zune / Win Phone 7 style.

At best the Win10 Universal idea suits tablets 6" to 10" that might or might not have keyboard, but typically ends up only really suiting phones and small tablets.

MS have made a pig's breakfast of Skype updates ever since they bought it. The Adverts are an insult on a platform you have to buy (Windows), yet the Linux version Skype is Advert free. (though no idea if voice and video still work, I only use text,)

MS should look at QQ. Different version for mobile and Desktop (though sadly the Linux version is only in Chinese).

Really with Ribbon and Vista it was obvious MS had lost the plot. They added flat and tiles and phone centric to desktop, yet phones are a TINY percentage of their market. Are they determined to drive people to OS X, iOS, Android and Linux?

(Maybe the MS SQL on Linux is part of plan B if they manage to kill wildly successful for 25 years Windows and Office.)

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Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

Mage
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Re: EMP

Yes, the Nuvistors are EMP resistant, all tubes / valves much more so than transistors, esp. early Germanium ones.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: May I be the first to say...

"...which are copies of RCA Nuvistors. I used to have some of these. EMP resistant before anybody needed it."

No they were not. The Nuvistor was much later and completely different construction. The Russians developed "Rod Pentodes", which are not even remotely similar to the USA "Pencil tubes" used in missiles and hearing aids.

http://www.radicalvalves.com/russian/

http://www.radicalvalves.com/russian/russian-rod-pentodes-1/

The Rod Pentodes used in Sputnik and MiG fighters as well as other early space stuff.

Superior to Germanium transistors. Much lower power and easier to make than the later RCA Nuvistors which were a last gasp dead end for USA tube industry (In Domestic products, only used in USA VHF & UHF tuner heads. Some Professional condenser microphones and hardly at all in Military).

also

www.radiomuseum.org/forum/russian_subminiature_tubes.html

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Bristol boffins blast 1.59 Gbps down ONE 20 MHz channel

Mage
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Alien

Interstellar Radio

Just needs a very big dish. The efficiency of dish goes up with cube of frequency, hence long distance UHF uses maybe an array 4, 8 or 16 yagi aerials, but microwaves use a dish (MMDS, Satellite TV etc).

Additionally the reasonable range for radio due to power constraints is maybe less than 100 LY. OTH using spectroscopic analysis we could be detected maybe 10,000 LY away due to unnatural signature of gasses in atmosphere.

Latency also becomes an issue for Interstellar radio, with a RTT of maybe 150 years if we are lucky to have a sentient neighbour with radio (if even 100,000 planets with life in Milky Way, then chance is less than 1/4,000 roughly that a neighbour has life and tinier that they have civilisation, tinier still that they they are advanced enough to have radio, tinier still they point a dish at us. Terrestrial broadcasts are not likely to be receivable more than 10 LY distance.

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Mage
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“5G breakthrough”

No, 5G is about integrating infrastructures.

This is a just a development of MIMO. Likely not much relevant to the real world, where on average MIMO adds a LOT of cost (all those aerials, LNAs, PAs, cables, couplers, band & dublex filters etc) for very little or no extra revenue.

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Wait! Where did you get that USB? Super-stealthy trojan only drives stick

Mage
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Re: Guvmint Work

I'd not trust ANY OS with a malware USB slave controller using HID mode USB as well as offering access to the Flash Memory.

I expect it's safe to plug in a CF card or maybe an SD Card and format them. I don't think they have an HID mode.

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Mage
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Re: format before any use...

Dreaded auto correct "Potentially"

Arrrgh!

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Mage
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Re: suppose you could have ...

suppose you could have some kind of special USB hub that only lets certain classes of device connect.

Except due to design of USB, currently that would need very powerful secure CPU to analyse and pass the USB messages.

I don't believe the retail market has such a device.

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Mage
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format before any use...

There is a big flaw in USB design.

It's called USB HID mode.

HOW do you insert and wipe a USB stick without it running evil HID mode software?

A USB charger, mouse, BT dongle, proprietary Wireless keyboard dongle, 3G Modem, keyboard, ANYTHING with USB can penitentially attack your gadget or PC. Not just a memory stick.

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Microsoft files patent for 'PhonePad', hints at future Windows plans

Mage
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Oh Dear

In a properly run Patent Office, this would be chucked out. This and Continuum are old ideas and implemented ages ago.

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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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