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* Posts by Herby

1866 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Russia: There is a SPACECRAFT full of LIZARDS in orbit above Earth and WE control it

Herby
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What a way to....

Sell insurance!

Note to USA impaired:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEICO#Advertising_campaigns

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

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One Windows doesn't work!

The environments Microsoft is aiming for are different. On the one hand, tablets/phones are "one handed" devices that you poke and slide across (while holding in the other hand) and laptops/desktops are "two handed" devices that you use a keyboard and a mouse. These just aren't compatible. You need a different set of rules to make it all work.

Apple HAS figured it out (my many shares are looking pretty good here!) and the "feel" of the different devices is adapted to the different environments.

So having steering wheels on horses and reins on autos just isn't that practical but it might work if you wanted it to. The end result is at best a comprimise and doesn't get the job done.

So, one to rule them all isn't going to work!

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Who should do security clearance checks? Did you say 'chat-bot'? This military slinger hopes so

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Well known.

Talking to a "non-person" is a process. The mentioned process indicated that people were more likely to "open up" when a non-person was the other party. Sure it sounds stupid, but it actually does work. This non-person is a (very) disinterested entity much like a psychiatrist is in normal like. Kinda like "Dear Abby" for security, but a two-way conversation.

The other fact is that if the responses are "stress tested" one can tell the suckers subjects state of mind and the truthfulness of the answers.

Caveat: HR Droids are almost as devoid of smarts as well. Use with caution.

Note to self: Relax!

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

Herby
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All of this??

So you can convert it back to something around 12-18 volts to power the computer that is the size of a laptop.

Yes, many things run from low(er) voltage DC in these days of solid state devices. Just look around your desk and see. There are lots of "wall warts" of varying sizes needed to power everything. Now this doesn't include charging your Nissan Leaf, or Tesla roadster, but many things just use the 120/240 volts mains to get from point A to point B. The actual use is another matter.

OK, there are some exceptions, like the refrigerator and the clothes washer (they have motors!) but not much else.

The big problem with lower voltages for power distribution is that a voltage drop of 1 volt is significant (it is not at the higher voltages). With more current these add up to a bunch of heat (and melted insulation if you aren't careful).

Oh, don't forget: 400+ volts of DC is not very "user friendly".

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Microsoft's MCSE and MCSD will become HARDER to win

Herby
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Go

El Reg Certified BOFH

Where do I sign up. This ought to be a good certification. Maybe El Reg can make a buck/quid or two.

How to do it: Get a bunch of people who want the certification and let them make up questions for others to answer. I'm sure Simon will have the final say.

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Herby
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Sometimes...

A "FIRE" warning light actually means something. In my instance it was on the control panel of a C-130 flying south from Cristchurch, NZ. Got the pilot and the others in the flight crew REALLY excited. Thankfully it was just flashing, which indicates an overtemp. The (well trained) pilot just backed off the throttle and the flight engineer scanned the books on what to do (answer: back off the throttle, see what happens).

Nobody in the rest of the cargo hold (in a C-130 people are treated as cargo) was bothered. I was told to not say anything (what light?). Life went on. I survived.

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The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots

Herby
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Precision, transparency, honesty

Well put! Sadly lacking.

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US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account

Herby
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Scott Mc Nealy is right!

You have no privacy, get over it.

Note to self: Don't use the "cloud" for nefarious purposes. Talk person to person, and not where it could be recorded.

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Elon Musk GIVES UP ON SEX: He'll make do with a 'cheap' Tesla III instead

Herby
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SF (San Jose) to LA (Pasadena) nonstop??

Well folks it can be done. You just tank up the nice SUV (all 21 (US) gallons) and go for it. Barreling down I-5 playing Parcheesi with the big-rigs and the SLOW cars that won't get out of your way until you hit Bakersfield. Yes, it can be done. The biggest problem is the wife's bladder, and the want for a nice In-N-Out about half way down (Kettelman City).

Now if Mr. Musk thinks that his nice battery will work at 70+ MPH in the heat of the California Central Valley (AC necessary!) and have the range, I invite him to do it. I suspect the 400 mile range will be a bit diminished in the conditions stated, and I really don't want to spend any more time on I-5 (dull, boring) than I really need to.

Of course, what I usually do is tank up at the Gilroy Costco and get a $1.50 hot dog and soda (tasty for the price), adding a bit of range.

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Female! ex-Yahoo! coder! says! female! boss! fired! her! for! refusing! sex!

Herby
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We intend to fight vigorously to clear her name....

After a private confidential settlement of $n million. Assuming it is true.

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Microsoft's new 'Adam' AI trounces Google ... and beats HUMANS

Herby
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Yes, but...

Will it play Jeopardy and win? Isn't that what neural networks do?

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Herby
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Soon to be (unfortunately)...

Patented and locked away so it will take 20 years (or so) to find useful purposes.

Just sayin'

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Hackers' delight: Hotel cyber-cafe, er, business centers, apparently – US Secret Service

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Note to self:

Don't use business center computers. Use own laptop instead. Duh.

Then again how do you print things out? Like boarding passes. Thankfully credentials are short lived. Then again, a bogus boarding pass might be used for... (as the helicopters emerge over the horizon)

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NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports

Herby
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Of course, the microUSB connector...

To be used for anything OTHER than power. How about a nice device USB port so we can make peripheral devices to other machines?

As for power, I have a nice 2 amp wall-wart to supply power. Had to wire it up special for the micro USB, but it works quite well!

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No need to worry: US blows $174m on new Cray to simulate nukes

Herby
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If they bought Raspberry Pi's with the $$$

And connected them all together, what computing power would that be?

Begging the question: Can a simulation be done with a bunch of RPi's. I suspect we will never know.

Interesting thought experiment though!

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

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They had a full sized billboard here locally

Back in the day the Coppertone people put up a BIG motorized billboard on the local freeway (motorway) in San Jose. It had the dog pulling down the little girl's bottom (just a little bit) to expose the tan line. In BIG letters, lit up for all to see were the words "Tan, Don't Burn" in sync with the motor reveal.

We've come a long way in political correctness (which isn't by the way) in the years since.

No, I don't know what happened to the billboard. Probably the dustbin of history!

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10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire

Herby
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Wire up my home?

Please. I'll do beta testing cheap. Make that DSL line into a nice wonderful firehose of bits.

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That AMAZING Windows comeback: Wow – 0.5% growth in 2015

Herby
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As the saying goes:

Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it.

Many have asked for things compatible with Windows (of whatever ilk) and they have been stuck in the Microsoft web for ever more.

Just now people are coming to realize that other alternatives exist, and to the detrement of Microsoft, have gone to them. These are the people who don't want all their eggs in one basket. Rightly so in my estimation. YMMV.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

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Just remember...

The crowning achievement of the Apollo program was the Saturn-5 rocket. Werner did a really good job on that!

Everyone notes that when Apollo 8 rounded the moon in December 1968, the USA had won the space race. Finishing on time with Apollo 11 was almost anti-climatic. Exciting, yes, but almost a foregone conclusion.

A new rocket will put the USA back in space properly. I'm all for it!

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Oh SNAP! Old-school '80s Unix hack to smack OSX, iOS, Red Hat?

Herby
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The paper is interesting, but wrong!

It has several examples of wildcard expansion, and fails to note that the expansion is done in alphabetical order (where '-' collates first). Then goes on to show several commands where the file name expansion takes place after ALL the options are processed (like the tar command) and options are ignored. Oh, and 'ls' collates differently as well.

This falls into the trick of putting a file name of '*' in someone's directory and then asking them to delete it. Not for the faint of heart.

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NHS delivers swift kick to Microsoft's wallet over fee demands

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All of this "License Talk" has me wondering...

How much does it cost just to keep all these licenses in order? From the looks of it, it is a daunting task, that nobody really know how it works. This MUST be a cost involved, and I suspect that it isn't a small one.

Given that, how much does this add to "Total Cost of Ownership" that everyone talks about? From the looks of it it isn't even considered, but the compliance keeps popping up as necessary to do. Then consider the "overbuying" of licenses just to keep from not having the proper ones. All of these items add cost to the compliance.

Might be worth looking into!

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Future Apple gumble could lock fanbois out of their own devices

Herby
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Make NSFW actually work.

When you get into the "work" zone, it automatically makes sure that NSFW is enforced.

Then again, there might be a NSFH(ome), which is different from NSFM(istress). This could get interesting when filtering mails as well as pictures.

All to insure domestic tranquility.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

Herby
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Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder...

Wonderful article. Even some good science. Time accuracy is important, and many of the first CD recordings did not have reasonable phase-linear input filters, and were noted as being "blurry" at the high end. As we generate sound from our computer sound cards, typically the "5.1" system, the low frequency is made to be non-directional by design. Good accurate transducers wouldn't need such band-aids.

As for "audiophiles" (audio-fools), they seem to be members of a mutual admiration society, and to enter the "club" they need to spend lots, without thinking about it. When they start talking about multi dollar mains cords and the "unidirectional" connections, I just want to puke. Put a bunch of them in a room and do double blind tests, and they will only give excuses (while they pick the inexpensive amplifier as being the best). What you see advertised boggles the mind. I don't know if the marketeers actually believe in the products, or are laughing all the way to the bank. Somehow I suspect the latter. They seem like the over-the-phone psychics I hear on TV.

Life goes on, and educating the audience to "good sound" in an ongoing exercise, often thwarted by those who should know better. (*SIGH*)

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Bitcoin was illegal in California? Whoops, governor fixes that 165-year-old money law

Herby
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Then there is Article 1, section 8

The Congress shall have Power...To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof

We here in California do things a bit differently. Of course "coin money" means different things to different people.

Sorry, Governor Moonbeam.

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Microsoft's anti-malware crusade knackers '4 MILLION' No-IP users

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Good thing...

I use DynDns for my stuff. Thay might have better service too.

Of course, they just started charging for their use, and that gives an audit trail that crooks don't like. Thankfully I'm not (I hope) in that category.

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Herby
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Re: I know this BOFH is only satire...but...

Look, BOFH is NOT satire. It happens every day, and we all want the proper cattle prod that we can use on the current "boss", but he hasn't approved the budget yet.

One of these days.

As for spreadsheets: My dad could "audit" spreadsheets that were produced manually in the 60's (sometimes they took a full day to do all the calculations). He could take a quick look and point to cell "H10" and say "This is wrong". It scared lots of people.

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Average chump in 'bank' phone scam is STUNG for £10,000 - study

Herby
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A fool and his money...

...are soon parted.

It has been that way for a LONG time. The convenience of computers just makes it easier to find the fools. While (say) 50 years ago, scammers wanted the "big score", the more recent model is to find LOTS of fools and suck what little they have out of their "wallets".

Life goes on. As mentioned in previous posts, their needs to be a "standard" method of authenticating the "bank" on the other end of the phone. If all banks agreed (like calling you by name and something else) it would go a long way.

Will it happen? Probably not.

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Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

Herby
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Maybe we should encourage them...

To try the mining operation, so they can LOSE $$$ in the process and give up on the idea after all.

The herders will price themselves out of business. Novel concept. When do they start.

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Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

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FAIL

So you recite your card number

In a nice public place (Grand Central/Paddington) where everyone can hear the 16 digits of your account number.

I should equip myself with a nice microphone/recorder and standby. Shopping for goodies as I go. Wonderful!

Then they will raise my card fees to cover the added fraud that is BOUND to happen.

I don't think so!

Little known fact: Entering the number by keypad is much quicker and takes less compute power than voice recognition. Since it takes less time the costs of the call are less (the bank IS paying for it). So it is cheaper to use the keypad. Of course you don't get the prompts "tell me what you want to do?" that are so vague, you can never tell what it will accept.

p.s. The answer is "Deposit $1,000,000 please."

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Senate heavyweights forge bipartisan accord on phone unlocking

Herby
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Now if they would...

Get rid of the necessary subsidy payments after the contract period as well, that would be nice as well.

The standard contract when you buy a Jesus phone has three components:

1) The up-front cost of the silly device

2) The subsidy that the carrier pays to the Jesus phone maker (makes my stock better!)

3) The cost of the plan you buy.

Unfortunately #2 and #3 are combined in what you pay FOREVER! Bummer!!

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DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Herby
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Joke

So, they release Surface 3

When will "service pack 1" happen? Isn't that what everyone waits for these days??

Maybe this isn't a joke (*SIGH*).

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France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

Herby
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Coat

You ask: What next??

This is a simple question to answer:

.stupid

Gone in 60 seconds!

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Mellanox gives InfiniBand a 5 BILLION PACKET/sec cloud dose

Herby
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Mighty Speedy!!

That's putting it mildly. Do we have CPUs that can keep up? Time will tell.

Yes, I know it is expensive.

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Herby
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Reminds me of the "Cat stuck in a tree" call.

You see, after you call firemen about the "cat stuck in a tree" they reply: "Have you EVER seen a dead cat in a tree". Of course the answer is NO, so there is no need for the firemen to "rescue" the stuck cat.

I feel the same applies here as well. If he got into the mess, surely he can get out!" (probably in more ways than one!).

As for other comments, some pretty good ones. Lots of upvotes.

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US spanks phone-jamming vendor with $34.9 MEEELLION fine

Herby
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Now...

If they could get ALL the devices that violate FCC Part 15 it would be even better. Plasma TV's are among the WORST.

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

Herby
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I've got the string...

So, you have the Yo-Yo. What now?

Maybe it is a way to send secret messages and other stuff. What can they encode doint this.

Me? I can do a few tricks (still, 50+ years later) on a Yo-Yo!

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US Supremes UPHOLD troll-busting Alice v CLS Bank decision

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Note to USPTO:

Please read this decision. Twice. Then read it again!

Oh, and FOLLOW IT!

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

Herby
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Genetic diversity?

While it seems that ChipZilla is reasonable at getting speedy CPU chips out the door, why not have a little variety in the overall chip offerings? One of these days, we will all find out that there is a DEEP flaw and almost be powerless to do anything about it. To be sure every chips gets tested, but these things DO happen (Floating point divide flaw, etc..). One of these days the chip USERS will understand that it is probably a good idea to not put all the eggs in a single (ChipZilla) basket.

Who knows. There may be a problem with little endian architecture that has escaped up (I can only hope!).

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Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank

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Why not??

Call this "The Bank of England" and eliminate further middlemen.

Pretty simple to me.

I don't know what we would do here in the USA. Maybe the federal reserve will issue credit cards? Who knows.

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A future queen, the spy chief behind the Iraq 'dodgy dossier' – and a war base rendezvous

Herby
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Who knows??

Maybe she will get a license. G3A?

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FBI arrests claims NullCrew hacker in Tennessee takedown

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So how long will he be locked up?

"If convicted, French faces up to ten years in prison and $250,000 in fines"

Wonderful. I suspect that the real sentence will be a FRACTION of that. He will probably get off light if he talks!

Of course, how much did he 'earn' from the experience: If it was $1M, it might be a reasonable tradeoff ($100k/yr).

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Bring your own device – as long as it's Microsoft

Herby
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So, you will have TWO phones?

One for "personal" use, and another for "corporate" use. Of course the "corporate" one will be Microsoft.

So why have a "personal" phone? So the "corporate" people won't screw it all up, and I can have my Angry Birds app on it.

Of course, you might need a lot of phone screen space to handle that nice "ribbon" interface you use to work on Word documents. Such fun!

Microsoft wants you to have everything (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) all the same, and doesn't understand the environments are QUITE different. Phone and tablet are "one handed" interface devices, and laptop and desktop are "two handed" interface devices. Sorry Microsoft it isn't all the same!!

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

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Please predict for me:

Would all these wonderful climate boffins please predict for me the "climate" say "next year". If all the models are SO accurate, please predict what is going to happen. Then next year we can guage how accurate your models are.

So, yes, Mr. Gore, I'm not worried about the flooding in Florida right now.

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BOFH: On the contrary, we LOVE rebranding here at the IT dept

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Now that we have gone through "rebranding"...

Does ANYONE believe that it actually does anything.

Wasn't HR ("Human Resources") called Personnel?

Shorter is better!!

Most of the time this is some silly bored buy that needs to justify his existence as a living breathing person.

Brings me back to another "rebranding". They changed "NMR" (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance") scans to "MRI" (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) simply to eliminate "Nuclear" which seems to give everyone hives or some such.

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Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

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This is what you get...

..When you have 220 volt power and need to do (more) fancy things to get the voltage down to the iPhone's nice 5 volts.

Here in teh nice USA, we have the itty bitty cubes and they work just fine in taking our more placid 120 volts down to 5 volts.

Then again, there a LOTS of counterfeit adapters out there that don't have ANY protection against "bad things" in them at all. Beware!

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Latest casualties of Iraq fighting: Facebook and Twitter

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What they really want to do

The insurgents task is to take the country (take your pick) back to the middle ages. They use social media (and cell phones) for this purpose. What they want as the end result is (of course) banning of said social media after they have taken over.

Wonderful concept this authoritative government.

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Déjà spew: US would accept higher bills for less CO2 by two-to-one

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What is "reduce"?

This is the big question. The steps many propose (as mentioned in some comments above) will not "reduce" things much at all. Even less when considered in a world context. The world runs on energy (lots of it). If it available for all to use, we WILL use it and if it is cheap enough (pick your price) the economy will take off. Put constraints or taxes (however well intentioned) and things slow down.

Most reduction in "pollution" is in self interest. If we have fewer waste products (everything makes them) then the process is more efficient, and the energy costs will be less.

Sometimes there is a problem. Humans are more efficient (they do much less manual labo(u)r than a century ago. The problem is that we tend to consume the same amount of foodstuffs. This leads to being overweight. What the efficiencies have done is allowed humans to eat less (which some do). If we don't we get overweight. Overweight in its own form is "pollution" to some degree.

Of course, the "climate change" people need to take into consideration that silly star that is 93M miles away and how it effects EVERYTHING! here on the 3rd rock from the sun.

(*SIGH*)

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

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Next...

We teach all grade schoolers the finer points of medicine? Let them go home and "play doctor" in their spare time. Look, everyone needs to understand the function of the human body, shouldn't they all be doctors?

Yes, it does seem a bit silly to me.

It boils down to "can you follow directions?", which many don't do (*SIGH*).

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Flying cars, submarine cars – Elon Musk says NOTHING is beyond him

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So...

Q section has a new supplier.

Might work.

Pay attention 007.....

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You'll never believe it: Apple stock is going for CHEAP

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Thankful...

That my mum got the stock on the "cheap" bunches of splits ago. Then again, capital gains taxes are horrendous. Live & learn.

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