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* Posts by Destroy All Monsters

8127 posts • joined 3 Jun 2008

Crushing $1.17bn Marvell patent judgment could set record

Destroy All Monsters
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End of a story then?

Nicely applied tech, products and jobs go *phut* in an instant?

CMU gets dosh, but what will it do for it? Pay Elsevier Publications? Buy a few Global Hawks for the Uni's robotics department? Free tuition fees forever?

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Rocket 'Grasshopper' leaps higher than tall building in single bound

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WTF?

Re: No idle talk

You are thinking all wrong and socialistically.

> Well, if you wanted to and had sufficient funds, you could give away- utterly free- a high-end smartphone to every person in the world.

MAGIC MONEY FOUNTAIN! MAGIC PRODUCTION CHAIN!

> The Smartphone industry would then be massively disrupted, but it'd do bugger all to really help anyone.

On the contrary. About a trillion dollar that were magically sitting in your bank [how?] have suddenly been disbursed through your factories to upstream suppliers and their workers. Everyone has suddenly a free smartphone. This liberates money that people wanted to spend for other things.

> SpaceX are just being better and cheaper than everyone else- but sustainably.

How does that make sense? Why would anyone be "better and cheaper than everyone else- but sustainably"? Hell, get everyone as customer RIGHT NOW. That's what drives improvement in the competition, dontcha know.

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FAIL

What exactly in "Not NASA" do you not understand?

> The DC-X Delta Clipper hover tests did more and better fifteen years ago.

Yeah, I remember. But so what? Typical meatball project. Wakypedia says: "In a post-accident report, NASA's Brand Commission blamed the accident on a burnt-out field crew who had been operating under on-again/off-again funding and constant threats of outright cancellation. The crew, many of them originally from the SDIO program, were also highly critical of NASA's "chilling" effect on the program, and the masses of paperwork NASA demanded as part of the testing regimen."

More and better. Does not fly.

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Paris Hilton

Re: No idle talk

> provided it's done properly

How exactly is that?

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Some deserted rural landscape instead of huge gantries and buildings?

With a rocket so pristine it looks like something out of a Lonnie Zamora UFO sighting?

Leisurly descending on its own flame?

That seriously looks like Hollywood. Good job!

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Osborne stumps up £20m of your cash for wiggly wonder stuff graphene

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Alert

Re: Oh dear the UK governemnt has backed another "winner"

Hush! You will be downvoted!

Here are your pompoms.

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Re: A winrar is you!

> Without any such protection then nobody is going to invest in it.

I always wonder how humanity survived before Intellectual Property was invented back in the last Ice Age.

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Facepalm

Re: Break even

Newsflash:

You contribute to the economy by NOT paying taxes.

Do you really want to feed Mr Paper Pusher next door instead of feeding Mr Engineer?

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Trollface

A winrar is you!

"Backing a winner", eh?

If it's such a clear winner, there should be private money rushing in, especially now with cash sloshing around more fiercely than kerosene in a Saturn V first stage.

So why some neo-liberal intervention?

"the UK had beaten off competition from Singapore and America to keep core graphene research and scientists in the UK since graphene was discovered in Manchester by two Russian scientists in 2005"

Oh, okay, making it difficult for research & investment in the first place, coupled with misplaced nationalism and mercantilism. And probably misperception and cargo-cultism about how a whole "industry" can arise via development of new production processes.

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Chill out, biz barons... your new IT system might not look like the old one

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Meh

Re: What the fuck does "overly prescriptive" mean?

Insulting your customers?

That's a formula for success.

> designing IT systems for about 40 years

40 years ago, IT systems were 1 mainframe and 2 terminals. What are you saying here?

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Steve Jobs' Apple yacht freed after family settles the bill

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Trollface

Re: Venus in chains

No link to Wikipedia needed, really.

We know about literature and stuff.

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Ten… top tech cock-ups of 2012

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Black Helicopters

Re: Martian conspiracy?

Only in the "invited guests" stand, directly next to Obama.

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Pint

Re: Why can't they just be honest?

There more so as at long it isn't someone's REGISTERED trade mark and their domain of application is different anyway, they will most certainly prevail in court.

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Apple Maps not so bad and at least the trains ran on time, yadda yadda....

Stop talking like this, it sounds like someone explaining the inner torments and global misunderstanding of a (Russian|European|African) dictator's hidden heart of gold.

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Headmaster

And then...

"it's holdings held their value"

No no no no no ... NO!

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Headmaster

Mozart was a Wunderkind, not a Wuenderkind

And "wünderkind" does not take a trema, it's just "Wunderkind" (i.e. "prodigy")

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Destroy All Monsters
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WTF?

Re: "Metro"

> German megaretailer Metro AG

I have never heard of them. They the guys running "Saturn" at el.?

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Facepalm

Re: The *Other* Side

> Right. It is important that the other side is also represented

Andrew sure is posting from holidays.

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Steve Bong's 3D printing special Xmas showcase

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Paris Hilton

Re: Tap, tap... Er hello?

Who knows nowadays?

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365 days in SPAAACE: An interstellar glance at 2012

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Paris Hilton

Orbital manoeuvers!

No mention of the Kerbal Space Program?

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Destroy All Monsters
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Mushroom

Re: And through all this, nobody consulted the Mayans.

As long as the endtimers stay away from the red button or from fanning global thermonuclear war to usher in the rapture (yes, I am looking at some "Friends of Israel" here), they can drink as much kool aid as they like by me.

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Boffins build elastic wires with liquid metal

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Re: Network

Additionally, the kinks in a stretched cable should prove interesting.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Alien

Re: End of an era...

> Did you know 'headphone' is a Greek word though?

No, but then I started analyzing the word "headphone" and the image of God pumping God's Words into the brain of a lunatic over the blower started to appear, unbidden.

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Re: ...don't want to eat... ...may be toxic...

Clever girl!

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

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Headmaster

Re: So where are all the bad ones

Magic number detected.

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Stop

Purists doing their purist faps

> "proper top," a system that could be tested and bootstrap the testing of the rest of the functions.

Yeah well, that really sounds like the "bottom" to me.

Redefine the words. Voilà, we are top down? Whatever keeps the project rolling and avoids the waterfall path into immediate obsolescence, I reckon. The goal is success any way you look at it.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Mushroom

> Drop all the javadoc, and delete all comments in the code whenever you see them

Some people are worse than Taliban nutters. Hand them some code, they want to AK-74 all of it.

Engage catapult through the front door.

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Big Brother

Re: Comments

> Big brother because he's the ultimate code reviewer, and we need him too!

Not according to Charles Stross. From "Big Brother Iron":

I am a systems manager in the abstract realm of the Computer, the great Party-designed, transistorised, thinking machine that lurks in a bomb-proofed bunker in Docklands. It’s my job to keep the behemoth running: to this end I have wheel authority, access all areas. The year is probably 2018, old calendar, but nobody’s very sure about it any more—too many transcription errors crept in during the 1980’s, back when not even MiniLove was preserving truly accurate records. It’s probably safest just to say that officially this is the Year 99, the pre-centenary of our beloved Big Brother’s birth.

It’s been the Year 99 for thirty-three months now, and I’m not sure how much longer we can keep it that way without someone in the Directorate noticing. I’m one of the OverStaffCommanders on the year 100 project; it’s my job to help stop various types of chaos breaking out when the clocks roll round and we need to use an extra digit to store dates entered since the birth of our Leader and Teacher.

Mine is a job which should never have been needed. Unfortunately when the Party infobosses designed the Computer they specified a command language which is a strict semantic subset of core Newspeak—politically meaningless statements will be rejected by the translators that convert them into low-level machinethink commands. This was a nice idea in the cloistered offices of the party theoreticians, but a fat lot of use in the real world—for those of us with real work to do. I mean, if you can’t talk about stock shrinkage and embezzlement how can you balance your central planning books? Even the private ones you don’t drag up in public? It didn’t take long for various people to add a heap of extremely dubious undocumented machinethink archives in order to get things done. And now we’re stuck policing the resulting mess to make sure it doesn’t thoughtsmash because of an errant digit.

That isn’t the worst of it. The Party by definition cannot be wrong. But the party, in all its glorious wisdom announced in 1997 that the supervisor program used by all their Class D computers was Correct. (That was not long after the Mathematicians Purge.) Bugs do not exist in a Correct system; therefore anyone who discovers one is an enemy of the party and must be remotivated. So nothing can be wrong with the Computer, even if those of us who know such things are aware that in about three months from now half the novel writers and voice typers in Oceania will start churning out nonsense.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Childcatcher

User Story #3960(b)-§77

Seriously, could El Reg provide an option for "print article with comments formatted nicely" possibly with tickboxable comments, too.

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Alert

Re: @AndrueC -- Include some comments

Don't miss out on

PROGRAM ASSERTIONS

Anyone not using them (along with switching on all the compile time code analysis your IDE offers and letting Sonar run on the source every fracking day) should be looking at a pink slip presto.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Re: I wouldn't make that point

I think that engineering and art are essentially the same.

Really, only someone still at uni, a tenured prof in an isolated ivory tower or manager on an ISO 9000 trip thinks different.

This is why there is a book by Fred Brooks called "The Design of Design".

This is why Knuth titled his books "The Art of Computer Programming"

Then we have "Beautiful Code" ... "Programming Pearls" ...

Even Edsger Dijkstra who tried to light the fire of program proofs needed to pull artsy and sometimes impenetrable code from god knows where to fill his textbooks.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Devil

In truth, if functional programming is "alien" to a developer, then there is major problem on how he thinks about his code in the first place, and there is an even bigger problem with the school he attended.

Get on the level of LISP, it's just half a century late.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Holmes

Re: This would be closed source proprietary code, yes?

In truth, once you open up Open Source stuff, you may well have to grab the barf bag regardless.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Trollface

Banking and Trading Software: LOL Incompetence and dumping risk on consumers

This one I like to repost again and again (Google reveals: more often than I can remember. Frak you, Google!)

"Social Impact of Information System Failures"

IEEE Computer, June 2009 (Vol 42. Issue 6, pages 58-65); Tamai, T.

The case of Mizuho Securities versus the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) is archived in the 12 December 2005 issue of the Risks Digest, and additional information can be obtained from sources such as the Times and the New York Times, among others.

The incident started with the mistyping of an order to sell a share of J-Com, a start-up recruiting company, on the day its shares were first offered to the public. An employee at Mizuho Securities, intending to sell one share at 610,000 yen, mistakenly typed an order to sell 610,000 shares at 1 yen.

What happened after that was beyond imagination. The order went through and was accepted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange Order System. Mizuho noticed the blunder and tried to withdraw the order, but the cancel command failed repeatedly. Thus, it was obliged to start buying back the shares itself to cut the loss. In the end, Mizuho’s total loss amounted to 40 billion yen ($225 million). Four days later, TSE called a news conference and admitted that the cancel command issued by Mizuho failed because of a program error in the TSE system. Mizuho demanded compensation for the loss, but TSE refused. Then, Mizuho sued TSE for damages.

....We then segue into design horror....

The part of the system that handles order cancellation appears to have low modularity. The logic in part B of the flowchart made a wrong judgment because the information telling it that the target order had induced the reverse special quote had been temporarily written on the Stock Brand DB by the order matching module and had already been cleared. This implies an accidental module coupling between the order matching and order cancelling modules. The order cancellation module appears to have insufficient cohesion as different functions are overloaded. It is not clear how the tasks of searching the target order to be canceled, determining cancellability, executing cancellation, and updating the database are this module’s responsibility.

etc. etc.

There is a grabbable copy on the Internets, so no need to pay abject obeisance to the IEEE paywall.

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Destroy All Monsters
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Holmes

Re: No time to refactor

Gentlemen!!!

The word your are looking for is "Technical Debt".

You may want to check out the paywalled November/December issue of IEEE Software or avail yourselves to the multimedia gallery at your discretion.

Martinis will now be served on the lounge deck.

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El Reg man: Too bad, China - I was RIGHT about hoarding rare earths

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Pint

Re: @Shell.user

Inflation also means that you won't get anything when you reach pensionable age. Checkmate.

> If they bought more from us

Alternatively, if "the West" didn't think that going into debt and spewing out paper money from teller machines was A-OK and the way to Superland. Thank you very much Keynesians, Leftists and Central Banksters.

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iPhone tops US market, but trounced by Android in world+dog

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Re: One point the research may have missed

Meaning they are NEETers or what?

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Destroy All Monsters
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Re: Danger, Will Robinson!

Like moths to the ... smartphone light.

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MIT boffins demonstrate NEW form of magnetism

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Re: Didn't someone once say......

Just don't let a bit of linear algebra faze you.

And stay away from Bohmians!

This just in: Peter Woit has published the notes on his Quantum Mechanics for Mathematicians. Hundreds of pages of goodness.

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Pint

Re: Wait...

Indeed, this seems to be ongoing work.

The 5-year old story says there is a new ansatz which comes from condensed matter physics, modeling empty space as a "string net" subject to excitations. Note: Similar approaches where attempted even longer ago, additionally one may note that the whole approach which led to the idea of a Higgs field is actually a port from condensed matter physics math into fundamental physics math, postulating that empty space is some kind of superconductor for something.

If the spins that form our space organize into a string-net liquid, then the collective motions of strings give rise to light waves and the ends of strings give rise to electrons. The next challenge is to find an organization of spins that can give rise to gravitational wave.

Other theories that describe light and electrons also exist, of course; Wen and Levin realize that the burden of proof is on them. It may not be far off. Their theory also describes possible new states with emergent light-like and electron-like excitations in some condensed matter systems, and Young Lee's group at MIT might have found such a system.

So the MIT guys currently seem to be refining their math and are looking at herbertsmithite in a closer way. Which gives the El Reg article.

This also ties in nicely with the SciAm article above in which String Theory math is applied to large sets of entangled particles by postulating a string structure "going sideways" with particles at the string ends. This is unlike the case of the usual "particles are strings" idea, which transforms the path of a particle in spacetime into a tube. Whether there is more to this than mathematical approaches clicking in place is another question.

Maybe Thanu Padmanabhan has some ideas on how to use ideas from thermodynamic to fit gravity into this.

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Boffin

And now for something somewhat different

More interesting condensed matter physics + quantum phenomena here:

Strange and Stringy

Newly discovered states of matter embody what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” They defy explanation, but lately answers have come from a seemingly unrelated corner of physics: string theory

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Destroy All Monsters
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Re: Xen crystal

Bah.. probably not a problem.

Commence insertion!

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Destroy All Monsters
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Re: Didn't someone once say......

Wasn't that Zuckerberg?

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New York takes 2,100 pervs offline, gets gaming support

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Re: Testing

So you visited a professional sex worker in NY?

The descendents of the Mayflower nutters do not appreciate!

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Canadian man: I solved WWII WAR HERO pigeon code!

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Paris Hilton

But it's about WWII anyway?

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Destroy All Monsters
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Coat

It's a message from Yossarian

Just "CTH22" encoded over and over with a stream cipher.

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Destroy All Monsters
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AOAKN = "Artillery Observer At 'K' Sector, Normandy"

CMPNW = "Counter Measures [against] Panzers Not Working"

Very unlikely that one takes up the "At" in one code but the "Against" is elided in the other.

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10,000 Indian government and military emails hacked

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FAIL

Go to DEFCON "ARSED"!

“destroy, disrupt, deny and degrade”

Sounds like any standard civil servant's job description, really.

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Apple said to be testing 46, 55-inch big-screen TVs

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Childcatcher

Re: Bounties

Whenever El Reg rumormongers an Apple Rumor, a Foxconn worker has to die!

PLEASE, THINK OF THE FOXCONN WORKERS!

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Destroy All Monsters
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Paris Hilton

Why, do you have TV??

"The usual rule of thumb for screen size,"

Where does that one come from anyway, and does it apply to modern flat screens and PC display units?

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