* Posts by Herby

1910 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Man trousers $15,000 domain name for $10.99 amid registry cockup

Herby
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Good for him.

As the old adage goes: Find a need and fill it.

At least he is setting up the web site to be "useful". Of course, the others who buy $15k domains "on spec" are asking for trouble. What should happen is for the REAL speculators should get only pennies for their efforts.

Then some things lead to weirdness when "accountonline" is actually a well known bank. Go figure (I can't!).

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Polish chap builds computer into a mouse

Herby
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Re: What I'd like to see...

"Is a monitor with a fast serial port (i.e. based on RS-485) with a megabit per second or so which uses its OSD hardware to emulate a high resolution xterm with nice crispy sharp bitmap fonts."

Well, if you are doing a bit mapped display (or something similar), 1/3 megabit is about what a 640x480 display has in pixels. Given that, you would get a frame rate of around 3 per second. This assumes that there aren't any timing bits in the stream.

There used to be a market for "X-Terminals" that did all the X-server things and you hooked them up to bigger boxes to get graphics. They used a 10-Base-T ethernet to get things to go fast enough.

One megabit just isn't fast enough. Of course now you have USB speeds way up there in the GHz range.

The solution: a single 75 ohm coax standard for what the HDMI cable gives you. It would probably be in the GHz range anyway.

Now if they were REAL cool the MouseBox would have a small transmitter to send out an 8VSB signal on channel 3 (take your pick) and you would just "tune it in". An on screen keyboard (as needed) and the charging mat and you would be good to go!

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Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

Herby
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Used to be...

That software was just something used to sell the hardware. When people started trying to make $$$ on it they hid it from everyone. Personally I would like to see what is behind the curtain before I buy something.

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Microsoft turns the power of FINE PRINT onto enterprise licensing

Herby
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I always thought the license agreement was:

Question: How much is your budget?

Answer: The license will cost you 110% of that.

There is a BOFH story here somewhere!

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Lube company merger receiving second 'in-depth' probe

Herby
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Just so you know...

Here in the USA, KY is the state abbreviation for Kentucky. I'll leave out the comments about the kind of residents that live there.

This article brings out the best in commentards.

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Verizon wants to sell 'antiquated' copper assets, stick to wireless for voice

Herby
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"better"??

Well, for the revenue stream it is. Having a nice flat rate line with unlimited data (at the speed my DSL line provides) is VERY nice thank you.

Moving to wireless will probably take these data and voice limits away, and when I trip over a limit (wireless bandwidth, being a shared resource) it will cost me dearly. Yes, I do like to download those Linux install disks, and maybe go back a revision. Just one of them will chew up a bunch of data. Now add in the updates that I do on a regular basis (and Microsoft does on an irregular basis) and you run into data limits and the cash register (till) just keeps ringing up the big bucks.

No thanks.

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BOFH: A miracle on PFY Street

Herby
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The question abounds...

Gina??

Oh, that is why we need to escape early!

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BOFH: Capo di tutti capi, bah. I'm having CHICKEN JALFREZI

Herby
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Be careful...

For what you ask for, you may just get it.

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Devs: Barack Obama's gunning for your job!

Herby
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Typical...

He writes JavaScript. Maybe he will continue with Basic (on a CP/M machine probably).

Of course, it has no bugs either, just ask him!

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Herby
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It gets worse...

My recent experience was traveling though JFK airport. You see when you come in from overseas, you must pass US customs at the first point of entry. Fine enough. The problem is that after you do that, they consider you "unscreened" and to get on the plane to the other side of the country, you need to pass through theatre "security" again. Why why WHY can't they just have a "bypass" (you DID get screened before you got on the plane in Venice?) and go directly to the gate. Oh, it would be nice if they had a nice luggage conveyor to route the just passed customs luggage back onto the plane you will be taking soon.

Now I know why when you do a connection that involves customs, you need to provide HOURS of time. At least you can get a bite to eat while waiting at the gate to be loaded in the cattle car coach economy.

Yes, it is just theatre. I can hide my pocket screwdriver inside my eyeglass case, and carry on (yes, I do this quite frequently!).

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BOFH: Santa, bloody Santa

Herby
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You get...

Female, Consultant, AND Lawyer all in one. Is there anything else in this Gina package??

Got to get a handle on this one. Looks pretty complete to me, but I amy be missing something, who knows!

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BOFH: Everyone deserves a little DOWNTIME

Herby
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Question to pose...

How many unlisted numbers have modems that answer on the 10th ring?

Those that respond with the game of "Global Thermonuclear War" excepted.

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US taxmen won't say WHY they're probing Microsoft. So Redmond is suing the IRS

Herby
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I don't know...

Who to root for in this. On one hand our wonderful inefficient government needs all the help it can get, and it has picked a nice target. On the other hand having the gestapo IRS investigate you isn't a very kind thing.

P.S. Just followed one of the chocolate factory's self drivers. They need a light to indicate if it is actually in "self driving" mode so I can do things to make it change its mind.

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I need a password to BRAKE? What? No! STOP! Aaaargh!

Herby
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They ARE interesting...

Having been next to one of the Chocolate Factory's self driving beasts, it is interesting. They seem to know what IS going on, and DO stop at stoplights. They even make proper left turns. I haven't seen them on the freeway, but it would be interesting to have them drive from the bay area down to the LA area on I-5. I suspect that they wouldn't handle the traffic as well as I can at 70+ MPH (which is the speed that EVERYONE (including the trucks) drives on this two lane (each way) freeway has.

Do i get £100 for having a positive review?

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BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?

Herby
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Printers were much simplier when...

...they only printed formed characters that were on the type band/chain/drum spaced by the fixed print hammers. The only variable was the VFU tape that you had to use the magic punch (or wield an exacto knife) to make the proper holes. No drivers needed here, just a simple printer interface and printable characters sent to the printer (maybe an occasional control character).

Times were easier in those days.

Of course the solution to most printer problems is to use postscript.

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Herby
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Re: In the old days

Actually is was easier than that. On the IBM card read/punch the motor that drove the read mechanism had a "variable" pulley. The motor was mounted in slots. With a quick "adjustment" of the pulley and sliding the motor to compensate the speed could be changed from stock 250 cards/min to around 375 cards/min (the new pulley "upgrade" was for 500 cards/min). On the punch side you could also upgrade as well, but we decided against it since the punch had more wear items. Yes, I personally participated in this, so I know all about it.

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Herby
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All of this shows...

The general public is gullible (is it in the dictionary?) and ill informed as to any science. They were sold a bill of goods and like the politicians which seem to want to control us at every turn lapped it up. We here in the USA got sold a back room deal a couple of years ago that will never work as designed. Sounds typical given recent events.

The only way to be "green" is to reduce the world's population to about 1000AD levels. It was colder then as well.

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Target, Home Depot and UPS attacks: Dude, you need to rethink point-of-sale security

Herby
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Of course it might be easier if...

They didn't use a version of Windoze as the base of the system. While this isn't in all systems, I suspect that there is an influence in many. Then they connect to the general internet and things go crazy. It seems to me that having a firewall (or similar) that detects connections to wrong places (I suspect a short whitelist would work) might stop things dead in their tracks.

Of course many of the PoS vendors probably didn't think about security to begin with, but I'll leave comments about that to someone else.

For the paranoid: Cash leaves no trail!

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BOFH: SOOO... You want to sell us some antivirus software?

Herby
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Simple comment...

SPAM and Virii exist because THEY WORK. Most of the attack vectors are in email (click here to win $$$) and these function because idiots will click them. Yes, to those who know better they are a scam, but for some percentage (probably the left over of 1.03%, 100% - 98.97%) they get through. With the small cost (if any) of email, this is acceptable to the scammers.

Moral: Don't click on email attachments unless you are VERY SURE of the source, and are expecting the attachment. Gotta be careful!

Of course it would be easier if operating system companies didn't do most of the work for the virus makers by "helping".

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Poll: Yes, yes, texting while driving is bad but *ping* OH! Hey, GRAB THE WHEEL, will ya?

Herby
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This is the same reason..

That my wife gets anxious if (for any reason) the state of charge is anything less than 100%. Thankfully she doesn't text while driving.

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Apple strap-on wristjob: You WON'T be able to spend more than $5,000!

Herby
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Look, for a watch anything over about $20-$30 is generally jewelry anyway. It used to be that you had to pay big bux for an accurate watch, whereas nowdays accuracy can be had on the cheap.

That being said, some people NEED status and order up silly things like Rolex devices, and of course they remain hidden under sleeves only to appear when the time is right to show "status". The same will be said for the Cupertino Wristslabs, just something to show status.

Me? I have a 15 year old Seiko thing with a simple twist-o-flex band. I've replaced the battery many times.

Yes, I also have a fit bit thingy that my (is there a message here?) wife gave me for my last birthday. Probably all I really need.

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Microsoft jolts awake, remembers it still makes Office for Mac

Herby
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In other news...

LibreOffice continues to improve day by day, and is compatible for most (if not all) documents. Download a copy TODAY, no license key necessary.

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An 'embed' link isn't a new infringement, says EU Court of Justice

Herby
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Could have easily pointed to...

...a library book by its ISBN. Same thing.

If you don't want linking, don't publish (to YouTube or anywhere else). Of course we do this all the time in bibliographic references, and nobody complains. With the web, it is just a bit more immediate.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

Herby
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Propulsion??

Well, just mine some dilithium crystals, and go from there. Jeez, this is simple solution.

Scotty, how is the warp drive coming long??

I'm giving it all I've got Capt'n she doesn't have any more.

For the humor impaired: This IS humor.

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Was Nokia's Elop history's worst CEO?

Herby
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Most cell phone providers missed the boat...

In he year or so before, there was a quantum shift in the "customer" of phones. Before it was the phone companies that specified the "features" and dictated what was delivered. In this market, Nokia thrived. They developed and made just what the phone companies wanted. Something that talked and did a few "features" that they specified (messaging). Then along comes the fruity company and it makes a phone for the end consumer. Now the phone companies don't dictate "features", the end consumers (you and me) dictate. Lots of companies didn't see this shift, and ignored it at their peril. Nokia was but one. To further shift things, along comes Android to push things further. The shift to WP by Nokia was the realization that they didn't see it coming, and were trying to catch up.

Sorry Nokia, too little too late. One may argue that WP was a good/bad idea, and that is the continuing topic, but something needed to shift and Nokia shifted WAY too late.

As for Microsoft and Windows Phone, one should heed the words of Jack Welch: "First (Android), Second (iPhone), or get out of the way (Microsoft!)". Microsoft isn't used to NOT being in a dominate place, and they do quite a bit of fumbling which doesn't help themselves. They think they can unite the platforms to squeeze out #1 and #2, but it isn't working out.

Wait till Google gets ahold of desktops and tries to unite with its phones. That might even be interesting. I might even shed a tear (or not as the case may be).

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

Herby
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Maybe the entire ATM universe needs a refit!

Sounds to me like a Raspberry Pi can probably do the trick. Night need a USB hub to connect the cash dispenser touchscreen, and keypad. After that, a nice version of software would work nicely. Then add tamper switches that require a proper USB key to confirm proper access. If not inserted in a certain time things might not work correctly until things are more validated.

The software CAN'T be that hard. If they make it open source, it might be peer reviewed and be even better.

Like "military intelligence", "windows embedded" is a true oxymoron!

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Strange tale of an angry bean counter, Comcast and a shock 'firing'

Herby
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Just for the record...

While Comcast does provide telco services (through broadband with VoIP), it is primarily a Cable TV company. Yes, it delivers lots of services, and even owns a TV Network (NBC), but the connection is almost always a piece of RG-6 (quad shielded we hope) with an F connector at the end. Just like all TVs have now on their back panel.

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of service given over the phone, but Comcast still isn't a telco (much as they might want to be...NOT).

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Meg Whitman: The lady IS for TURNING. HP to lob printers'n'PCs OVERBOARD

Herby
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It's not Hewlett Packard anymore....

It is now lots of things:

HP printers & lappys.

HP big iron

Agilent

Keysight

Compaq

This list goes on, but it isn't Hewlett Packard any more, just HP and the minions.

Apologies to Bill and Dave, may they rest in peace.

Oh, and layoffs ("Workforce Reductions") keep on coming. Been there, done that.

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Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

Herby
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As the saying goes...

If you don't like an open source program, feel free to make your own.

From the looks of it, some people have and those that complain gripe about it. So, if you don't like systemd, or pulseaudio, feel free to make up your own substitute.

Life goes on.

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Herby
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Re: The numbering makes sense now...

No, what the "10" refers to is the year, like Windows 95. This indicates that whatever is released was supposed to be released in 2010, and probably would have made sense then.

Of course the alternate explanation is that someone got a finger cut off and they count in base 9.

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Herby
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Don't look at me.

I still have a nice fully functional StarTac phone that serves me well.

As for overpriced stuff, just look for the word "Audiophile" for a multitude of examples. They range from power cords to outlets to speaker wire. In all cases the stuff you pick up at a local Radio Shack (as long as they stay in business), or hardware store are perfectly acceptable, and do the same job. These people don't believe in A-B tests (double blind!) at all.

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Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight

Herby
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Cold and colder...

This reminds me of a time (long ago) where I was helping out in the inner workings of a propane powered thermocouple. Due to its position (a very southern point) it was quite cold, and the propane didn't gas out as is normal. To "start" the process the parts needed to be "pre-heated" to make vapor. So, there I was with a propane torch only to find out that it too wasn't up to making vapor. The next step was to get ANOTHER propane torch, and hold it next to a warm object (my body) and use it to heat up the second torch to let it make vapor to heat up the thermocouple(s). I think it worked for a while while things got started. The "backup" power source was much more reliable, being a nice RTG the size of an oil drum that was mostly concrete and lead. Sadly I don't think this solution will work for LOHAN.

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Snooptastic US CELL TOWERS pose man-in-the-middle THREAT

Herby
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Scott McNealy was right!

http://archive.wired.com/politics/law/news/1999/01/17538

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Herby
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Spain has all sorts of problems!

NASA (actually JPL's) Deep Space Network has an operation there and they had a nice tax advantaged status. Spain decided to change the rules (that the rest of the EU was more than happy to accept. They are now thinking of moving to South Africa (previously banned by Apartheid, but not any more) for the nice new dishes. Nobody remembers that these guys DO spread a bunch of loot around in the local economy.

So, welcome to the USA. Relax and have a few. Of course, if you really want good rocket engines, ask the Imperial War Museum for that Werner Von Braun model they have standing in the middle of the main exhibit hall. It would work quite well (take a bunch of Helium to get to altitude, but you wouldn't need much.

Yes, I want the mug as well!

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

Herby
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Easy to do

I saw an IPad application that does lots of navigation stuff. Place it on the dash and presto-chango you get a heads-up display. When your trip ends, take it with you. Of course it won't answer the call from mom, but do you really need that?

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Herby
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And now for a good thought experiment!

We have the monkey take a pic that would be considered "kiddie porn". Of course it would be bad, but who would they prosecute?

Life goes on.

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Herby
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Works for hire.

Give the monkey a banana, and the photographer is the owner. The same thing goes if I'm paid for my work, and the person who pays me gets the benefits.

Such monkey business.

Of course, the owner could "license" the work and pay the monkey royalties for the use, but that is a subject of another story.

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Flying United Airlines? If you could just scan your passport with your phone, that'd be great

Herby
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What could possibly go wrong?

"So absolutely nothing to worry about there." So, fast forward to:

Data breach at security firm Jumio and the bad guys get all that nice passport information to sell to nefarious third parties (take your pick). For a couple of $$, one could get wonderful "clean" documents.

Move along, nothing to see here.

I note that there was a recent news story here in sillycon valley where some lady (more than once) got by TSA screening, and walked onto a plane.

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END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

Herby
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Wrong way?

Maybe the kiskstarter campaign is the wrong way. What needs to be done is convert a surface into a MacBook.

You heard it here first.

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Too rich for an iPhone 6? How about a gold-plated Brikk?

Herby
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Jewelry??

That is all it is. The fact that it does "phone" is almost secondary. They could be selling a simple slab of stainless steel, layered in gold leaf and with a few carbon crystals, and add the Apple logo (royalty necessary), and call it a day. No need for useless "electronics" to confuse people.

The same goes for watches these days. Almost anything over $50.00 is jewelry. They all tell time just as well.

Bling? Bah!

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FREE PARTY for TEN lucky Australian Reg readers

Herby
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Limericks

Does Australia have a town like Nantucket?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Herby
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Screws Vs. Bolts

Look it is easy. Screws are used with screwdrivers, bolts with wrenches.

No more arguing.

Me? I keep a nice adjustment screwdriver (with a magnet on its antipode) at the ready in my shirt pocket (it has a nice clip). Of course it is in reality a "multi-tool" used for all sorts of things (broaching shipping tape is but one).

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YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS

Herby
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Upgrades to software, other platforms.

"Thinking of Microsoft in the 1990s, no one at all would try to run the Windows of the day on hardware two generations older"

The interesting truth here is that with Linux, you would do just that. Wait for some discard in the Windows realm, and have a go of Linux on the "obsolete" hardware. It worked out quite well, and many people found out that this "old hardware" had a life "after windows". To a certain degree this is still true.

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Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

Herby
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There is always...

Solitare. It works just fine on my original iPad. Yes, there are more apps that are functional as well. To be sure the later versions have features like cameras and the like, but why aren't they compatible with "iOS the older"? Seems as though everything has a finite life. Look, even Linux dropped support for 386's a while back. Thankfully if I feel the need, I can go back a kernel rev or two and get someting that works.

Me? I've still got a Quadra 840AV running Mac OS 7.6 (that I don't turn on much, but still...).

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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

Herby
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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

Herby
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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

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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

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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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