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* Posts by Stevie

2759 posts • joined 12 Jun 2008

Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

Stevie
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Bah!

At what point did the "Collision_Avoidance" and "Stop_The_Bloody_Car" subroutines go out of scope?

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HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

Stevie
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Re: OBE == sir?

Trudat. If you have an OBE you get called "Ringo".

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Stevie
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Re: more than just high-energy Scalectrix

Oi! Marshal that quark, please!

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Stevie
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Bah!

I would like to propose an alternate scheme, wherein sponsors submit photos that are used to make high-relief etched plates. These are fastened to the blunt snout of the spacecraft, which is driven at maximum revs into the lunar regolith, stamping the likenesses into the green cheese for all eternity.

No harpoons or drills needed.

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Beware Brit cops bearing battering rams. Four nabbed over Trojan claims

Stevie
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Re: Small beer in the grand scheme of things

The UK economy lost (estimated) 6.8 billion to cyber crime over the last year.

Yes. So your point is that the police should stop interfering with this otherwise successful business?

We have cyber bulling that remains un-dealt with too.

Bullying is a cultural issue that has more to do with the way people think than the law. Demand new law allowing civil prosecution for Civil Rights Violation and let the victims get revenge through the courts.

We have terrorists organising themselves on social media.

And everywhere else. Your point?

We have the big players dodging taxes.

A matter of the need for Tax Statute Reform - demand your MP work to close the loopholes that make this so easy.

We have companies playing fast and loose with data, with breaches all over the place.

The people in charge are human and make mistakes. That said, there should be corporate law to penalize companies that don't learn from the experience of data loss by hacking - say, if the Dimwit Bank doesn't learn to encrypt everything after their (insert large number)th break-in.

New law doesn't just happen because you want it to. You must engage in the political process. Your MP is there for a reason - use him or her. Make them earn their money. Tell them what you want and why, then pester them until they understand that they want it too. Organize.

You can't expect anything to change if you just sit there using The Force.

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

Stevie
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Bah!

Translation: Windmills won't power the Google Server Farm.

Maybe the elephant in the room is that we need less internet capacity sucking up all the megawatts?

Or perhaps we need to relocate the server farms somewhere it is cold all year round, making more passive A/C possible? Somewhere where the energy *can* be found from, if not renewable sources, clean ones. Somewhere that desperately needs the income this would generate.

Like maybe Iceland? Cold, broke and sitting on top of the world's most reliable geothermal sources.

Barges in hot, humid SF or NYC don't really cut it in comparison.

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FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study

Stevie
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Bah!

From a humorous "calendar of the year's great events" printed in Punch, around Christmas of 1971, in which every second month American Scientists proved some activity caused cancer:

December: American Scientists prove living causes cancer.

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

Stevie
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Bah!

Tsk! Russians again. Can no one stop these digital dastards?

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Stevie
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Bah!

Fools! This is a clear ploy to divert attention away from their secret project to tunnel through the continental shelf and launch an attack from the safety of the Earth's core!

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Stevie
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Point of order, Mr Chairman!

To be a "constellation" they'd have to be bunched together and stay in the same formation over geological time.

What we have here is one satellite joining a bunch of other satellites, except it probably isn't joining them so much as being somewhere completely different to each of the others otherwise what's the point, right?

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YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins

Stevie
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Bah!

It has been my experience in over 35 years in the IT business that the "lower" one gets into the infrastructure support - the closer to the metal - the more overblown the perception of personal importance to the enterprise is, with a corresponding elevation of the Dick Factor.

The observation that talent in IT seems to run hand-in-waldo with dysfunctional social skills, elevated sense of worth and a relaxed stance on ethics based on I-know-best is no surprise to anyone I would imagine, but is a cause for concern to anyone putting their business in such people's care.

I'm just racked-off that I get painted with the same brush as the San Fransisco Shirthead when it comes to expectations regarding personal ethics.

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You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes

Stevie
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Bah!

Two unnamed vendors were behind 87.9 percent of expired anti-virus subscriptions, largely because the software was foisted on users as bloatware on new machines.

OR

Two unnamed vendors were behind 87.9 percent of expired subscriptions, largely because the users of the computers failed to grasp what the virus protection was for or how important not having an up-to-date copy was and so when their three month trial expired and they were asked for the first annual subscription they clicked on "no thanks" and then took no further action to obtain and install an anti-virus solution of any sort.

I don't know if my version is any more correct than the author's, but since the author offers no evidence to support the attributed motives to the people in question I reckon mine is just as valid and I'd bet money on it being closer to "the truth" since anyone caring about "bloatware" would surely be savvy enough to install something to do the job.

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SUPER-JAMMY Philae comet probe got down WITHOUT harpoons

Stevie
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Re: @Stevie

Why? Because I pointed out that so far the only part of the mission to have worked as designed was the bit that required only maths, and that the bit that required engineering has proved to be packed mostly with fail?

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Stevie
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Bloomin typical !

Well played that man.

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Stevie
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Re: Kind of reminds me of a couple of rovers who could (and one still can).

If the rovers had arrived with their wheels broken maybe I'd concede the point. The rovers wore out during the mission, while working hard. This poor little lander's comet acquisition and snaffling machinery broke down en route.

And now they can't even figure out if the screw piton legs have worked or whether the lander simply bounced until it got fouled in the comet.

Make them give back their grant money, I say.

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Stevie
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Re: Bah!

"You might find a few engineers taking exception there, what with the machine managing to perform even though it was multiply knackered after many years in a brutally harsh environment."

Presumably these would be the same engineers who were asked to design a harpoon scheme and thruster that would survive the journey? Because, you know, 0/10 right there.

Or was this a six-month flight that fell foul of the Google Maps navigation system?

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Stevie
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Re: Indeed, the hibernation didn't work out too well in 2001.

It was working brilliantly until the computer threw a wobbly, which just goes to show that robots should not be used for space exploration. They are untrustworthy, mutinous, murderous and creep out the humans with their voices just to be gits.

They are no good at amateur radio repair either.

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Stevie
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Bah!

So the counter-thruster broke, the harpoons malfunctioned and the lander is down and attached.

Sounds like this plucky little lander is taking names DESPITE the so-called "scientists" who designed and built it.

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Hacker Hammond's laptop protected by pet password

Stevie
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Bah!

Indeed, it was stupid to pick part of the password to match the name of his cat.

But how did the FBI hacker get the "CHEWY" part?

That is the clever bit.

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ATTACK OF THE DRONES: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

Stevie
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Bah!

I'm thinking The Register could, instead of just providing the usual fireplace in which to allow the conflagration of people's outrage to blaze, provide some solid leadership and pointing of the way to the Rest Of Europe by running a competition to design the rebus-onna-pole needed to warn would-be snoops that they are entering a No Drone Zone.

My first attempt would be a red circle on a white background, said circle surrounding a horizontal black two-bladed propeller with a stylized eye below it, and a red diagonal bar o'er all.

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Facebook's plain English data policy: WE'LL SELL YOU LIKE A PIG at a fair

Stevie
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Bah!

Dear me, I would have expected a journalist to understand that there is no requirement that "plain English" be in any way ambiguous.

In fact, it has been my experience that High Legalese is pretty much designed to obfuscate and phrase ambiguity upon ambiguity with the utmost ease.

Or haven't you read a software EULA?

The fact that lawyers, when assured of an audience, lose the capacity to phrase anything in unambiguous language (or even grammatical English) does not make dense polysyllabic gibberish a requirement of the process of drawing up a legal document.

Only the need for weasel clauses requires that sort of nonsense. Otherwise, all software vendors would have to write "although you paid a lot of money for the privilege of using our product, we do not promise that it can do what we say it can in any way, shape or form and you, by buying it, have agreed that you will not hold our feet to the fire if it doesn't". Much better to drone on about parties of the first part and non-transferable n-seat license privileges until the reader's eyeballs have shriveled up.

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Assassin's Creed bugs shift setting to LSD-drenched 1960s Paris

Stevie
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Bah!

Re: first video:

Bowman falls through a star gate designed by Jack McDevitt.

"My god, it's full of fog".

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Sky: We're no longer calling ourselves British. Yep. And Broadcasting can do one, too

Stevie
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Bah!

British, Italian and German companies merged.

Movies still mostly American.

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Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'

Stevie
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Bah!

So, despite the downvotes and snarls I got for saying so, the lander is down DESPITE the design engineering, which can be summed up as:

Anti-Recoil Thruster System - Fail

Harpoon Landing System - Fail

causing

Screw Piton Lander Securing System - Fail

and thanks to all the above

Primary comet analysis-thru-drilling mission - Fail.

Telemetry will be interesting of course, assuming the lander can maintain power enough to provide it, and I look forward to the time when the so-called scientists get bored enough to launch Mission Spacehopper which will definitely be a first. Perhaps the lander ought to be rechristened "Mario" in an effort to lure in the Luck Gods. Even now I suspect they are feverishly concocting a mission goal to justify doing it. Let's hope the gear retracts don't seize up in the meantime.

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Amazon: DROP DATABASE Oracle; INSERT our new fast cheap MySQL clone

Stevie
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Bah!

Someone at Amazon must've clocked the licensing terms on their Oracle contract after a hardware manufacturer swap.

That said, Oracle has perhaps the most airtight data recovery mechanism outside of UNISYS's. Complicated by their no read lock architecture and time consistent view technology too. You get what you pay for, as with everything else in this world.

Not sure I'd want to push my enterprise DB out into a cloud infested with so many buzz-phrases either. (Actually, this is a bluff; I don't reckon putting your enterprise D/B on the cloud is a great idea in any scenario if you have the dosh to do it any other way).

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Philae healthier... beams CHEESE: Proud ESA shows off FIRST COMET SURFACE PIC

Stevie
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Bah!

So at least the picture-beaming gubbins is working on this fail-plagued machine. I assume there will be a full inquiry as to why.

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My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

Stevie
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Bah!

Heheheh! Back in the early '90s Coventry's answer to the abysmal parking situation was to demolish the largest car park in the city and ask everyone to park miles away and use a "park and ride" bus. No attendants were used in the (not free) parking facility to save even more money.

Completely unpredictably, thieves had a field day knicking people's car radios and thieving stuff out of their boots while the owners were in Owen Owen or Marks 'n' Sparks.

This being the precursor to tearing the entire town down in a very convincing re-enactment of The Blitz and re-tasking it as a tourist and retail mecca, I was not impressed (but having moved to the USA, neither was I affected).

It was also hot on the heels of the rush to emulate, mistakes and all, the American Model for the Privatization of British Rail, the Post Office and The Seven Trent Water Authority. Talk about a train wreck. With *actual* train wrecking.

For a while I wondered if someone was putting something in the water. Then I realized there was no centralized water authority to speak of any more so it had to be something akin to the Cyberman Control Signal o' Doom.

Then the digital radio controversy started and it all fell into place. Britain was under the iron heel and direct mental control of the BBC. This also explains how they can get away with the scripts for Doctor Who.

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Doctor Who trashing the TARDIS, Clara alone, useless UNIT – Death in Heaven

Stevie
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Bah!

Thank you for clarifying my confused, general "I hate this" without requiring I spend any time to work out the details of why. Spot on for me.

Perhaps the worst thing I can say about this episode was that I got bored with it halfway through and started multi-tasking (ie doing something more interesting while using DW as background).

This series has suffered from appalling writing, with cgi and wire-fu standing in for character-driven stories at every turn. This episode simply turned up the volume, stealing shamelessly from other people's ideas.

Please, for the love of Hartnell, please, BBC, hire some proper UK science fiction writers to come up with character-driven stories with tech oomph for scenery before this show goes tits-up AGAIN.

If nothing else please get rid of the Orphan Black Plot Generator that informs everything made by Auntie these days. Don't let writers put in "cool" weird stuff unless they understand NOW how it all fits in. No more Prisoner Plot Endings (aka "I haven't a f*cking clue how to wind this up but I'm under contract to do so"). No more Clara Oswald Walkaways.

Inexplicable stuff unresolved is not clever or compelling., It is annoying and boring. Just ask anyone who read book five of the Game of Thrones saga.

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MOULDY DICK: France aims to snatch EXPLODING WHALE crown from U.S.

Stevie
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Bah!

Well, if these mighty beasts of the ocean are liable to explode unexpectedly it sort of explains the grumpy Japanese temperament. No-one is at their best if they are daily expecting to have their teeth blown out while tucking into a Double McMoby With Cheese.

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3D PRINTED GUNS: THIS time it's for REAL! Oh, wait – no, still crap

Stevie
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Re: The solution is rockets.

But gosh, wasn't that how the monumentally unfit-for-purpose Gyrojet pistol worked?

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Stevie
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Re: takes lots of ability and very specialised knowledge and tools

But gosh, wasn't the trusty Sten Gun made out of a bit of drainpipe and whatever else came to hand?

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Stevie
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Re: Plastic + Adhesive + Ceramic = Composite = Strength of Steel

Yesyesyes, but ceramics must be baked in a kiln, not half-baked in a printer that uses weed-whacker wire.

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Stevie
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Bah!

"Ignites the propellant which burns quickly, generating heat which is transferred to the now-gaseous molecules of the propellant gas, exciting their motion to many times that demanded by ambient heat and Brownian Motion requirements such that their molecular vibrations cause them, when they collide, to transfer large amounts of energy into the so-called translational mode, making them move across space very quickly in what, to the macroscopic observer is manifested as an increase in pressure..."

Fixed the lamentable lapse into common-or-garden speech for you Lewis.

I love this design improvement that calls for the firer to lose an eye (as well as possibly one or both hands).

This whole printable gun thing should have a wonderful side-effect when I start writing to congressmen telling them that they can buy a 3D printer of their own from Dremel (respected American tool maker though the printer is a rebranded SourceForge model I'm told). Works "out of the box" apparently and looks really good on a desk.

Thus they can try these magnificent expressions of the Second and Fourth Amendments in the comfort of their own offices.

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Google DoubleClick goes TITSUP. ENJOY your AD-FREE WORLD!

Stevie
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Re: Subscription to the Reg...

So would I, but I know deep down that six months after I subscribed I would fall foul of some twisty small print and be seeing "certain special offers" just like before.

Because I've paid for add-free content that has suffered this sort of salt corrosion before.

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DODGY THRUSTER won't stop PHILAE hurtling toward COMET SHOWDOWN

Stevie
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Bah!

And what do these "scientists" learn when, after the first harpoon stabs the comet, there is an almighty "THRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPP" and a general and random zooming all over the place as the comet shrinks to nowt?

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Apple patents AUTOGRAPHS. Checkmate, eBay

Stevie
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Bah!

Actually, what this is is a digital bookplate, something book owners use when a) they don't want to have the book itself defaced or 2) The author cannot be present for a promised signing.

I once attended a signing by Joe Haldeman that took place via Skype owing to illness, and he had kindly provided pre-signed bookplates to the organizer as a next-best option.

No, it wasn't the same as meeting him in person and getting him to deface my books.

The digital version does recapitulate a discussion I had with Charles Stross some years back when he was in New York and was hot for all things digital (pre iPad, to give you a feel for the years gone away).

I wonder how he feels about it all now people want his books with his name on them?

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Stevie
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Bah!

"We can't help but wonder, however, if this whole idea sort of misses the entire point of the autograph"

Yes, yes it does.

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'Older' WireLurker previously tried, failed to leap from Windows to iThings

Stevie
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Bah!

I knew this would end up somehow being Microsoft's fault.

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Home Depot: Someone's WEAK-ASS password SECURITY led to breach

Stevie
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Bah!

Anyone remember when cash registers were not connected together using an unfit-for-purpose technology?

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Yes! It's DRONE PORN. And we don't mean shiny pics of UAVs

Stevie
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Bah!

I haven't viewed this footage yet, but I am bewildered as to how the forces of Law and Public Decency were not alerted to this outrage by the aerial make-out music booming from the drone.

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First space Hasselblad goes under the hammer

Stevie
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Re: But why.....?

"Seeing as nobody else has asked what seems to be an obvious question, I'll ask it....why is he wearing 2 wristwatches in the 2nd photo?"

Because he's a f*cking astronaut and can do what he damn well pleases! Dagnabbit, Wally Schirra craps more awesome after a night on Sam Adams that you can bring in a week with all your computer cleverness!

Now, get off his lawn!

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The late 2014 Apple Mac Mini: The best (and worst) of both worlds

Stevie
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Bah!

I've never really understood why anyone would buy one of these - the price alone gives me the heebie-jeebies and I cannot for the life of me understand the "form over function" philosophy it seems to embody. Why anyone would care what the computer itself looks like has always left me scratching my head. Then again, I don't have a glass-topped desk so I rarely cast a glance at mine.

As for the figures on how hungry Windows is, all I can say is that my laptop never consumes anything like 7 GB unless I make it do so. I've filled the 8 gig I fitted to it three years after I bought it only once, in a deliberate effort to crash it which failed miserably. It typically uses less than half the memory installed, floating higher when I start Oracle (I use the lappy as a lab machine sometimes).

I would think that the mini-Mac would be unattractive even to solid Mac users/buyers given the massive and inexplicable downsides, but it is there money and their choice and I don't think them less than human for wanting one.

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Trolls pop malformed heads above bridge to sling abuse at Tim Cook

Stevie
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Bah!

So many people. So much energy. So little sanity.

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Virgin 'spaceship' pilot 'UNLOCKED tailbooms' going through SOUND BARRIER

Stevie
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Re: When can we see the apologies?

Never, to judge by the experience of the grievously slandered by world+dog Richard Jewell.

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Caption this: CERN needs pic tags. Serious answers only, kids

Stevie
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Re: My contributions

You owe me a new monitor and keyboard you stupid sod.

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Virgin's SpaceShipTwo crashes in Mojave Desert during test flight

Stevie
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Bah!

Terrible news indeed. My condolences go out to the family of the lost pilot, and my best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to the injured crewmember.

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DR LIPS warns: DON'T KISS that NEWT - it's got FLESH-EATING PLAGUE

Stevie
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Bah!

*Now* you tell me.

Wait: "Dr Lips?"

Your clock is six months slow you twit. It's Halloween already.

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Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

Stevie
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Re: The engines, albeit 50+ years old, are solid.

Thank you Tom, for making the point that shouldn't have needed making (but did). Upvote for reading around and getting it.

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Stevie
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Re: Apparently not what?

Not solid. Sorry for the rage-inducing confusion. Take your meds.

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