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* Posts by M Gale

3496 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

Success! Curiosity Mars lander arrives precisely on schedule

M Gale
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Trollface

"Hmm... Another indication of which OS is preferred by The Best and the Brightest™"

If @NASAJPL is to believed, that would be VxWorks.

Though I'm sure the Macs look nice on telly.

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Curiosity landing live from NASA's JPL: How the drama unfolded

M Gale
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204,000 views...

TOUCHDOWN!

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M Gale
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184,000 views...

...and NASA have telemetry. Coo, that's quick.

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M Gale
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Over 161,000 views...

...and here we go!

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M Gale
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125,000 viewers

And it seems stage separation is complete.

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M Gale
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Over 100,000...

The bandwidth requirements must be pretty damned mind-boggling.

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M Gale
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Make that 89,000 ustream viewers

Holy pants.

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M Gale
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66,000 ustream viewers and climbing...

This has got to be one of the most publicised things NASA has done for years.

Biting nails right now.

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Judge rejects Apple's calls for Samsung censure

M Gale
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Re: @Craigness

Imagine if LG produced TV sets all but identical to Samsung's top-of-the-range line...

LG

Samsung

Sony

Sharp

Panasonic

JVC

Fujitsu

Just saying.

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M Gale
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Re: Yeah, RIGHT!!!!!

I still remember working the tills at PC World, and some chap comes over with a Nintendo DS. As the script demands, I ask "business or personal use?" A slight smirk, because who would buy a games console for business use?

Imagine my surprise when it was for business use. Then while capturing details for the VAT reciept, I find out it's being bought by a director for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe?

So no, Apple buying competitor's phones doesn't surprise me. However, tearing down phones to look at antenna designs doesn't seem to have paid off all that well, it must be said!

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Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

M Gale
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Re: I wonder...

"what optimizations were made to go from *6* frames per second to 320fps or so?"

It's amazing what a few microseconds saved can do...

...on a loop embedded inside a loop inside a loop inside a loop.

Just guessing.

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M Gale
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Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

Perhaps, but it is clearly inferior to Windows in terms of device support - which was the original point made - need another shovel yet?

You still have yet to show this.

Come on. We're waiting.

Linux still supports more hardware than any other operating system on the planet. That you cannot deal with this is not anybody else's fault but your own.

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M Gale
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Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

See as far as I'm aware, there's no way of updating Windows Phones in Windows. Isn't that what the whole WP7-WP8 debacle is about? Sad, really, especially when it's obsolete by design rather than any other reason.

No iTunes? Well.. asides Linux not needing iTunes to talk to iPods, I have to say that not having iTunes is a blessing in disguise. Go complain to Apple about it, if you're that concerned.

And don't lie to yourself or anybody else about graphics card drivers. The biggest complaint was, and still is, that NVidia only deliver binary blobs. Every other major card manufacturer has open sourced their drivers since then, but NVidia still sticks with blobs. I've had Voodoo-era cards working in Linux, let alone more modern stuff. I think the hardest it got was downloading a file and typing a modprobe command, which I've not had to do in years.

Oh, nice list of devices. Smaller than I thought it would be. It would be nice if Microsoft had a "drivers required" page, because it bloody well needs one. Seriously, if that's the sum of hardware not supported in Linux, I don't think anybody has anything to worry about. Wonder how many device manufacturers are going to be leaving customers in the lurch come WIndows 8? You do remember the whole Vista driver cock-up don't you?

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M Gale
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Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

I like posting histories. They let me look at RICHTO and go "hm.. either a troll, shill, or completely clueless".

Maybe RICHTO doesn't remember the whole Bluetooth thing, where you had to hunt down and locate the prcise BT driver for your dongle, usually from some awful, slow .com.tw website if you were running Windows. Linux? Plug in, and hey presto. Took Microsoft two XP service packs to figure that one out.

What about the old Belkin F5D series of USB wifi adapters? Windows driver disk installs some crap out-of-date management software that immediately needs to be updated by searching around on the Internet for a driver. Linux? Just plug it in.

Graphics cards perhaps? Oh hang on, that too. Same deal, be it ATI, NVidia, Intel or some other chipset.

Sound cards? Oh hang on, that works immediately in Linux too. In fact I've never seen a sound card not recognised in Linux.

About the only thing Windows seems to have more drivers for is printers, and even then that gap is closing fast. Do you know what the installation steps are for an HP printer in Ubuntu, Mint or any of the mainstream distros? Plug the printer in. Click "yes I would like to automatically download and install the drivers." Err.. and that's it.

Good luck getting your Windows to work in anything other than a PC though. Can't wait to see the Raspberry Pi version of Windows 8. What.. there won't be one?

Maybe Microsoft's advantage is in the IIS web server? You know.. the one that has bits of itself welded into kernel space.. so that.. uhm.. a security failure takes down the entire fucking system.. oh. Maybe not then.

Question: How many NT4 service packs did it take to fix the incredibly well-known Unicode hack in BackOffice? Was it:

A) 6

B) 6

C) I don't know

Question: For how many years did Microsoft sit on their collective arses and let Internet Explorer fester? This one's not multiple choice.

Teehee.

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M Gale
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"Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

You do know that Linux supports more hardware than any other operating system on the planet, right?

Sure, a few niggles with certain wifi chipsets, but nowhere near the woe you get if you try plugging anything other than popular hardware into a Windows box. Have fun hunting for them drivers from dodgy Taiwanese sites that have the user friendliness of an attack dog and the understandability of a dyslexic Welshman.

Also, uhm, you ever compiled competently written software? Let me clue you in on how it's done:

./configure

make

make install

Well that was hard. That's assuming the package manager doesn't do the compilation step for you, in which case compiling your software is "check the box, click the install button". You might as well complain about having to install your software as compile it. This ain't 1991 any more!

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M Gale
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"billions of calcs per sec ought to be fast enough."

How many calculations do you think it takes for the A Star pathfinding algorithm to find a solution on how to get from one point to another on a 2D map for, oh, let's say a distance of 300 units, including walls and corridors in the way? Bear in mind A Star is a pretty simple 2D pathfinding algorithm. You can find it through a Google search easily enough.

Now multiply that by, let's say, 500 active sprites.

Now add the calculations for a few thousand texture mapped polygons.

Now add the calculations for AI, which will also need to be calculated for 499 of those 500 active sprites.

Now add in collision detection. Just to be simple we'll just use circular, rectangular and convex polygon bounding boxes.

Now realise this needs to happen within 1/60th of a second.

Suddenly those "billions of calculations per second" don't seem like that many at all.

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M Gale
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Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

Most of my games are in that price bracket. If they were available for Linux, I'd buy them for Linux. As-is, they're either for Windows, DS or 3DS. Well, except for a few notable Id Software and Epic titles. And yes, they seem to run better under the toy unix, too.

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M Gale
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Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

If you can render a 100,000 polygon scene at 300fps, imagine the level of detail you could shove in at 60fps?

And then imagine putting 16-17% more detail in if you use OpenGL.

That's why.

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M Gale
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Re: On the subject of Linux gamers worried about Steam

But what about those of us with a big Windows game collection that still don't use Steam?

Just because it's on Linux, doesn't mean I'm going to start using it. You go ahead if you like - that's the lovely thing about freedom - but I won't be buying your products if they need me to create a Steam account or go through some activation bollocks.

Maybe the problem with Windows is the people that use it, eh?

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M Gale
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Re: Why the Steam hate?

Pretty much what the AC said. It's a toy, not nuclear launch codes. If it's not as simple as "install, play", then my money goes elsewhere.

Fortunately for me, I'm not addicted to the shiny. I get as much enjoyment from the (DRM Free) Gratuitious Space Battles, as I do from something like Dead Island or Half Life 2 (which, amusingly, I played to completion at a friend's house who got both from the Bay). That's £17.38 + £4.99 + £6.97 for GSB + Galactic Conquest + physical CD delivery to Positech Games and approximately £0 to Valve. Yes, GSB is available on Steam, but when it's a DRM-free download direct from Positech's website, why the hell would you want to punish yourself?

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M Gale
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Re: Gabe!

Things talking to a third party server across the Internet in order to prove you're not a pirate is a central component of DRM. Steam is a particularly virulent variety that demands you create an account in order to be buttraped effectively.

At least all Doom 3 did was contact some authentication server, and even then the worst that could happen was multiplayer got disabled if your copy didn't pass. Steam? No ta, I like to avoid malware.

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M Gale
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Thought it was pretty obvious.

DIrectX, a kitchen-sink API that tries to do everything and be everything to everyone.

OpenGL.. it does one thing, which is to push pixels, at incredible rates.

Though the only upside I could see to Steam being successful would be other games developers making stuff for Linux that doesn't require Steam. Do not want, will not buy. Just hope it doesn't come as some bundled-with-the-distro thing that I end up having to delete with every single distribution upgrade.

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Ice Cream Sandwich still a no-show for most Android users

M Gale
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The truth is most people don't care as long as the phone works.

The truth is, commentards will downvote you for speaking the truth and speaking frankly. Like hitting that little red button changes reality somehow.

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M Gale
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Re: Just get over it

Buy an Android already or are you into enjoyment of SM?

Fixed.

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M Gale
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"If you want to know what Android will look like in 18 months"

Conversely, if you want to know what future IOS versions will look like, look at Android right now.

Everyone copies each other's best ideas. Only Apple pretend that they don't. Or are you saying that IOS's notification bar was born from one of the late Steve Jobs' brainfarts? Perhaps the decision to allow third parties to create multitasking apps wasn't anything to do with Android doing so from the beginning?

Maybe IOS6 will have have widgets? Or perhaps voice recognition that works? Tethering as a standard OS feature, perhaps? Apps that contain scripts? Browsers that are more than a skin for Safari? Bluetooth file transfers? Who knows? All I know is I have all of the above already.

And it tastes gooooooooood.

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M Gale
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Re: Skin/ui customization

Anybody who likes a phone not laden down with crapware would probably go for a "pure" Android over some awful manufacturer-buggered version.

Problem is, most people don't know what that means until you stick the two side by side for a performance and bloat comparison. Leaner? Meaner? I'll have that one, please.

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M Gale
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http://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html

I find that link a whole lot more useful than a single pie chart. The rate of ICS adoption is increasing quite a bit. In fact it's made quite a jump in just three months. Doubled, if those figures are accurate. At this rate, I'd say give it six months and ICS will be where 2.x was a year or so ago. You might want to contrast that with say, Vista or 7 adoption compared to the XP juggernaut that just keeps on trucking.

Nothing to see here, move along people.

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Google opens up pay-by-bonk Wallet to all credit cards

M Gale
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Re: "Perhaps *you* should explain how NFC is hackable."

So...

Why not use electronic contacts? Why wireless? Why make it so that someone can potentially hack you by bumping into you during the rush hour? Why not just make existing Chip & PIN technology work like NFC? Insert card into slot, you can pay for anything up to £15 without a PIN. Anything over needs a PIN.

Oh yeah. It's that shiny thing, isn't it? Sorry, but simple is better in this case. If future bank cards come with RFID in them, I'll be cutting them up and sending them back.

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M Gale
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Re: But, but...

There is a subtle but distinct difference between "completely" and "permanently".

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M Gale
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"Perhaps *you* should explain how NFC is hackable."

perhaps The Register should?

or Engadget?

And it's not like these will be the only vulnerabilities, or the last. Sorry, but my bank card is going to be electrical contacts only, and I refuse to store it in a phone. In this case, simple is most definitely better.

Now perhaps you should explain the advantage of NFC over slotting a card in a machine, asides maybe two whole seconds?

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M Gale
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Re: But, but...

So can the downvoters explain how proven-hackable NFC tech on proven-hackable smartphones is better than putting electrical contacts on a card that require you to physically slot the card in a machine?

Or is it just that you're addicted to the shiny?

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M Gale
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But, but...

I already have a bank card, and it comes without silly bloody radio shite attached!

Still wondering how to permanently disable NFC, whether it'll be as simple as cutting a track. I really hope so because it's getting difficult to find a smartphone without it these days.

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Will Samsung's patent court doc leak backfire spectacularly?

M Gale
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Re: Pretty much what others are saying.

"As an example in this case, why should Apple have it rights to a fair trial diminished or a decision in this matter delayed by Samsung's failure to adhere to orders and procedures? (I mean, other than the fact that you don't like Apple.)"

I didn't say don't smack Samsung on the wrist for being naughty boys and girls. I said that if the judge rules in Apple's favour it would punish more than just Samsung. Think about it:

"You were naughty, so Apple's patent is magically valid, even though it plainly shouldn't be".

How is that justice? At all?

And again, hopefully Koh isn't that childish.

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M Gale
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Pretty much what others are saying.

"I know the F700 predates the iphone, but you didn't follow my diktats so I'll rule in Apple's favour".

That would be a judge straight out of kindergarten, if it went down like that. I'm hoping it won't, as the Judge wouldn't be punishing Samsung so much as every single entity that gets sued over rounded rectangles from here on in, because the patents have been "proven valid", even though plainly they aren't.

Hopefully Judge Koh has more sense than to throw all her toys out of the pram in a fit. That wouldn't be good for anybody, and Samsung do have a point. The F700 does look an awful lot like an iPhone, and does predate the iPhone. Surely that's game, set and match to Sammy?

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Lenovo: 'Us, buy Nokia? Surely you jest'

M Gale
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Re: "can't really give a good reason why"

@Dave 126:

I had the same problem as well. However, for the first time since I updated the device, I went poking around in the location services section of ICS. They now have three checkboxes: "Google's Location Service" to use the wifi location. "GPS Satellites" to use GPS, and "Location & Google Search" to let Google use your location.

You can tick the first two boxes and leave the third unchecked if you like. Wonder what else GPS is used for on WP8 and IOS when it's enabled? Ever noticed how Microsoft and Apple only appear to be concerned about privacy when there's a bit of a Google scandal going on? It's probably because they're all in it up to their necks and are just glad it's Google that gets caught so they can look good, while continuing with as much data mining as they can get away with.

Anyway, whoever said "CIAndroid" doesn't have a clue about mobile phones. I suggest you never buy another mobile phone and destroy the one you have, because pretty much anything connected to a mobile network these days is also a tracking device.

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Thanks for all this data, UK.gov, but what on Earth does it mean?

M Gale
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Re: Bung out the data

Fortunately, on the Internet you only need one person with a computer, scripting language and some determination to find the 0.0001% and show it to everybody.

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Analyst says Surface could hurt Ultrabook, Windows 8 tablets

M Gale
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Re: Eh?

Full blown desktop OS on a tablet? If they do, they'll be sorely disappointed. WIndows 8 RT is not Windows 8, and Metro is a design experiment that belongs on the occasional smartphone, to be fiddled with before going straight back to Go Launcher EX or some other, more usable equivalent.

I believe Microsoft tried XP for Tablets a while back and it was a resounding failure.

And has anybody who thinks Android isn't suitable for tablets even tried ICS on a 10" screen yet? Personally I still like the old 2.x grid of icons, but for people who like being blinded by shiny, ICS definitely has a gleam to it.

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Nasa guides Mars Rover with Kinect

M Gale
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Re: Nice.

...and a reply from the resident Microserf? I should have guessed.

When I see anybody I know, at all, who has a Kinect, I might take you even semi-seriously. This thing would probably garner more attention as a ROM available for DS R4 carts, as it will as Kinect software.

Not saying I don't want a go but.. Kinect? Really?

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M Gale
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Nice.

Now if only I was one of the two or three people with a Kinect...

Surely a mobile version would be more widely used?

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Microsoft unfurls patent lasso, snares Linux servers

M Gale
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Bit of a masochist then, are you?

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M Gale
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Just remember.

This proves that people would rather pay Microsoft protection money for nothing, than actually use Windows.

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Readers fret over LOHAN's chilly bits

M Gale
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Coin Cells vs AAAs

Duracell CR2032, shorted through the multimeter. Maximum current reading, about 25mA. This may have been a faulty battery, as a much smaller L1131 button cell gave about 450mA, rapidly dropping to 400mA and lower.

Duracell Plus AAA, shorted through the multimeter. Maximum current reading, about 1.5 amps.

Just out of curiosity, an Energizer Ultra+ D cell, maximum current draw of around 2 amps.

Make of that what you will. I'd go for solder-lugged AAAs, myself.

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M Gale
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Re: replace batteries

A fuel cell seems possible, but it weighs about a kilo for a 100W PEM fuel cell before you start adding the hydrogen tanks. Given the cell also requires oxygen, you'd also need that taking up as well. It's also about £800 for the cell, before you start going into specially-designed low pressure storage tanks for the boom juice.

Definitely not cheap, probably about a kilo and a half to two kilos all in, but you get a steady 100 watts at a flow rate of 1.3 litres of hydrogen per minute according to this source.

Yeah, a stack of D cells would last long enough and probably weigh less. Including, perhaps, the vacuum flask.

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M Gale
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Stack o' button cells.

Nice idea, but does a series stack of CR2032s give enough current to set a fuse off?

If not, three cheap-ish lipo cells (100-150mAh or so) probably will work. Might even be able to make the whole affair light enough to have two or three firing circuits just to make sure.

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Valve to raise Steam for Ubuntu

M Gale
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Re: Interesting rant, obviously never tried it

So...

I can use Steam without creating an account? Or hoping that Steam's servers don't fuck up for the activation of a game I've bought? In fact can I play a game without somehow activating it, like Micriosoft's insidious and just as awful WGA abortion?

Ah. I can't.

Sucks, then. Sorry. No, I haven't tried it. I just have to see other people trying it to know I don't want it. There are games out there that don't demand installation of malware though, fortunately. They are few and far between... but they get my money. Valve does not. If it's not as simple as "install and play", I am not interested. It's a toy, for fuck's sake.

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M Gale
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Re: Ummm?

Try and buy a PC game without it and you'll see what I mean. I do not want another forgettable, hackable username and password creating just to play with a toy. I will not risk some third party's servers fucking up and denying me access to software I've paid for and I resent the accusation that I'm a pirate and I need to be proven innocent first.

It's bad enough on Android with the perpetual "license error" bugs. If I'd have known that paid apps on that platform were basically Steam-ish shite by another name, I'd have not paid for them. Just another thing driving me towards root and the 'bay.

Ya hear that, Valve? Google? EA? Ubisoft? The lot of you fucking retards? Paying customer here, or I could be. Get rid of your invasive malware or I will make unauthorised, ironically malware-free copies out of principle as much as practicality. There is a bloody big difference between copy protection and the shit you are pulling.

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M Gale
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"When Steam for Linux does go live, it'll be available on Ubuntu 12.04"

Please don't tell me this is more shite I'll have to uninstall? I've been avoiding that malware ever since it came out and I don't intent to create an account for it now.

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Microsoft 'didn't notice' it had removed Browser Choice for 17 months

M Gale
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Re: Who the frig cares? Browsers never made any money....

"OSS projects have been able to gain a foothold in many server applications because of the wide utility of highly commoditized, simple protocols. By extending these protocols and developing new protocols, we can deny OSS projects entry into the market."

"By folding extended functionality (e.g. Storage+ in file systems, DAV/POD for networking) into today's commodity services, we raise the bar & change the rules of the game."

"Part of the reason that Apache was able to get a foothold and take off was because the HTTP protocol is so simple. As more and more features become layered on top of the humble web server (e.g. multi-server transaction support, POD, etc.) it will be interesting to see how the Apache team will be able to keep up."

All made possible by bundling their own browser in with an OS that has a near-100% market share. If allowed to succeed, Microsoft would quite simply control the Web and be able to tax it and exclude all others as they see fit. A bit like they can do already on the desktop.

Like I mentioned earlier, you'd think some people had never read the Halloween Documents. Take a good look, and tell me whether Microsoft don't desperately deserve everything they've been hit with and quite probably a good deal more. It's no good shouting "MAKE BETTER STUFF" if you can't "MAKE BETTER STUFF" without being owned by Microsoft, or indeed, any other patent troll.

They'd de-commoditize the English language if they could.

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