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* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2546 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

Seven ate Nine! Watch Microsoft reveal new Windows 10

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The announcement makes me wonder

Will it blend?

OK, OK, I am leaving

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Here we go again..

A life-support system running windows gives a whole new dimension to the term blue screen of death.

Sorry, couldn't resist, shooting fish in a barrel time again, it seems

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Supercomputers: The Next Generation – Cray puts burst buffer tech, Intel Haswell inside

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Permission to drool, please?

Lovely computerssss, my preciousssss.

Sorry, sorry, I have taken my little pills, won't happen again. Now where was that advice form to send to our HPC centre for suggestions what to buy as the next big supercomputer.

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Anti-Facebook Ello: Here's why we're still in beta. SPAMGASM!

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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It will be very hard to promote any paid-for service now users are so used to have their social network for "free" (free as in beer, not free as in not-having-everything-you do-or-click-on-analysed-and-sold). Any "free" item will have to be paid for either from ad income or from selling analytic results, or both.

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'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Triassic Park

Don't let anybody in Hollywood get the idea of 3D printed archeosaurs living in a park.

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Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I can see plenty of jobs for 32 x 32 cores with masses of RAM (just mopped up some drool after reading the specs), but unfortunately not all in DB territory. DB acceleration has much the same pros and cons as any specialist accelerator (like a GPU). Great for some tasks, suck big time on others. I must wait and see how these processors would perform on the tasks we have in mind.

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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: it makes sense

Is this why I have often felt like saying

THERE'S BEER IN THEM THERE HILLS!!!!

when in Belgium?

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Indian MOM just LOVES it on Mars, tweets fave holiday snap

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Methane?

"Since most politicians talk out of their arse, I would expect their "hot air" to have a high methane content."

But only in such quantities that it cannot be extracted usefully, I fear

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Methane?

It can be both, althoug most politicians produce more hot air than methane

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Well done MOM!

Great work from that team, great effort for very little cost (comparatively speaking, of course, I gather it boils down to less than a cup of tea for each person in India).

I'll raise a glass to them this evening (and it won't be tea)

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US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Pilot?

Interesting point. They clearly don't have enough room for a playmonaut, although they may have had place for a legomonaut (does not look like they had, however)

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GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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I thought I had come to the right place for an argument

but I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition

Sorry, couldn't resist.

I went to a Jesuit school, and had frankly exhilarating discussions on life, the universe and everything with the (very few) priests who taught religious education. They greatly encouraged our setting up an astronomy club, and I was in my turn honoured to be invited to a (voluntary) extra class on "religious and philosophical matters" as one Jesuit put it. He said he knew I was an atheist, and that I had very good arguments, so wanted me on board "because I like people to think about their beliefs," as he put it. Hats off to the attitude of respectfully differing in opinion of those particular priests.

Hats off too to the scientists behind both BICEP2 and the follow up. Science is about presenting your findings, warts and all, and to encourage others to scrutinize your work. You should not fear losing face because you might be found out to be wrong. Most of the time, all you produce is not the next piece of the puzzle, but a glimpse of what the next piece might look like.

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: The Russians are still the best evidence...

Given the spate of downvotes I see on even the most innocuous comments, I can only conclude:

Houston, we have a conspiracy theorist!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: about that International "Space" Station...

The ISS is real, I have seen it with my binoculars (solar panels visible), but then maybe I am part of the conspiracy too (wish NASA would pay me, in that case).

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alien

Good effort but alas

nVidia will not convince the conspiracy theorists, because none are so deaf as those who do not want to hear.

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Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Am I the only one...

I have started to use it in moderation, and found it quite OK. There are some useful groups on it, and I do not get bombarded with loads of idiocy. I also like to post the odd solar image on it. Not a Facebook or Twitter user, but I find G+ tolerable.

To make it more geeky, they should have called it Google++, of course, but that plan might have offended g++ users.

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Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Well deserving of an Ig Nobel prize!

Isn't that a BLT without the L and T? Very relevant in the context, nobody has tried lettuce to stop nosebleeds. Or tomatoes.

Roughly. It is a Blt sandwich. the subliminal lt are a vain attempt to keep Sybil happy

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Well deserving of an Ig Nobel prize!

Not only does it work, but it smells nice and therefore is also good for the appetite

I mean, I am getting hungry just reading about it. Hmm, a Vimes Special BLT sandwich with a pint of Winkles Old Peculiar, just the ticket

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Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Very interesting read. The unknown source might be something other than dark matter, but whatever it is, it is new (unless it is Dr Who reversing the polarity of the neutron flow)

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Pedantry alert

Vielen dank!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Headmaster

Pedantry alert

Given that "Panzer" (short for "Panzer Kampfwagen") is German for tank, Panzer tank sounds a bit over the top. I bit like river Avon, actually.

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Boffins: Searching for ALIENS is like looking for PIZZA among students

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Has anybody worked out

the spectral characteristics of superintelligent shades of the colour blue yet?

I'll get me coat. The one with the HHGTTG radio play casette tapes in the pocket (yes I am that old)

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Sun's MASSIVE solar storm belch to light up Earth's skies

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Might get some aurora activity here. Will be watching for it.

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: That side-on picture of the phone looks just like...

"I thought the thing looks remarkably like a Galaxy."

Nah, most galaxies are more elliptical or sport nice spiral arms, you rarely see any remotely rectangular ones (although the Small Magellanic Cloud is a bit rectangular).

I'll get me coat. The one with "Turn Left at Orion" in the pocket please

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TROUT and EELS in SINISTER PACT to RULE the oceans

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Interesting story

However coral trout != trout. They are hardly related (OK, both are fish), and I would certainly not prepare them in the same way. Both are delicous, however.

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What the BLOCK? Microsoft to gobble Minecraft-maker 'for $2bn'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Headmaster

Re: It was fun while it lasted.

It's death knell (as in bells ringing to announce death), not death nail. I think you are confused with a nail in the coffin.

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NASA said a 60ft space alien menacing Earth wouldn't harm us: Tell THAT to Nicaragua

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Boffin

Re: 107,200

Actually, you need to calculate the relative velocity of 2014 RC with respect to Earth. According to NASA this figure is 10.95 km/s. Assuming the mystery object was traveling in the same orbit, it would be a "mere" 512,460 km behind 2014 RC. They could be related of course (if they share the same orbit, they almost certainly share the same origin).

I think the most telling bit is that nobody spotted the lights in the sky. An impact like this comes from a very bright meteor, so if somebody was sitting on their veranda and heard the explosion, they would have seen it with their eyes closed.

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Beer in SPAAAACE: Photographic PROOF

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Let's raise a glass to his raising of a glass to the stratosphere

Not that an excuse is needed on Friday

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Weigh the customers

Were these Americans perhaps asked to sit on the wings? That might explain it

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DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: With incredible uptake of IPv6

Given the vitriolic comments I have seen about the design of IPv6 (don't ask me about the validity, I do not know enough about networks), I am not sure if there aren't people who would embrace NDN because it isn't IPv6 and we need something better than IPv4 at some point.

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You are here => Earth is in 'the suburbs' of an IMMENSE HEAVEN

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: just one guy created all this in six days, 6000 years ago ...

HERETICS!!! We are all just the result of a sneeze of the Great Green Arkleseizure!!

Repent sinners, the Great White Handkerchief approacheth!!

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Uber alles... nein! Deutschland imposes NATIONWIDE BAN on taxi app

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Didn't they also do live organ transplants?

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BOFH: We CAN do that with a Raspberry Pi, but think of the BODIES

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

And where had my quicklime gone?

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Vampires and Ninjas versus the Alien Jedi Robot Pirates: It's ON

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Ninja's?

"Are you a ninja? Or a ninjaaarrrgh! ?"

How dare you call my wife a big hippo!!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Ninja's?

Send in Cohen the Barbarian, and the Silver Horde!

I trust all the vampires will be black ribboners

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Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Nope: te IAU has a standard naming scheme for comets: Fairly boring C/ for non-periodic comet P/ for periodic, followed by year of discovery, a letter indicating the half-month in which it was discovered, followed by a number indicating the order of discovery. Prefix X/ is used for comets without reliable orbits, and D/ indicates a comet that has broken up. This boring designation is followed by the names of the discoverer(s) (usually no more than two or three.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Well done Terry!!

I spotted one of his previous finds through binoculars, very nice one, which keot us amateurs entertained for weeks and even months. I see from the data it is too far south for us northern observers to spot it yet (and too faint to be visible in my scope), but as it swings round the sun it may become visible here

Good on ya, mate!!

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Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: "should certainly bolster sales in time for the new school term"

A maths teacher worth his salt can pose question in such a way that a regular scientific calculator is as useful as a paperweight of the same dimensions and weight during the exam. It can actually be fun to do this. In my exams I try to keep the answers fairly simple numerically, but tough in terms of algebra and insight required.

Calculators with symbolic equation solving pose more of a challenge to ensure you are testing for insight rather than skill at entering the equations and pressing "solve". The symbolic calculators are most certainly banned at maths exams at our uni.

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Microsoft Azure goes TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance)

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP)

One tea-soaked keyboard at reading that acronym

Will include this as mandatory vocabulary in my upcoming "Introduction to Computing Science" course (along with classics like BOFH, PFY, and PEBCAK)

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

I thought this had been answered by Terry Prattchet

Just read "Hollywood Chickens"

Cogito ergo cluck

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: I'd call it "Spinal Tap"

"Aren't spinal taps very, very painful and unpleasant?"

And you point is?

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

I just renamed it "Internet Exploder" on our desktop. It took ages for anybody to notice. Once they did notice, they did not know how and/or didn't bother to change it back

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Condition

Reminds me of the hitchhiker's guide episode:

Arthur Dent: "You mean you have a solution"

Ford Prefect: "No, I just knocked the bottle of wine over. But I do have a new name for our problem!!"

Quite a common marketing ploy of course. Re-brand your product once you have realised the brand name has become a liability rather than an asset.

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

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: HUD better, gestures bad, starting calls or using social media bad.

Might I suggest:

HUD better, gestures bad, starting calls or using social media mad.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Revealing answer no 1 ...

One mod many might want to make is adapting which gesture to use to get rid of a call. Swipe of the hand might be OK for most contacts, but I guess a few special gestures might be liked for "special categories" of contacts (bosses, inlaws, etc).

What gesture would you like to make to get rid of a text from your boss (especially in the weekend)?

Answers on a postcard as well, please ...

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Sounds like

Murdoch is a bit jealous (of both NSA and Google).

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NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: holy Belgium man!

Another motorised rock

Sorry, it must be all the filthy elderflower wine my friend Ford has been making. Mine is the one with the radio play of the original series in the pocket

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

The stone ended upright? Just a menhir slung over-enthusiastically by Obelix, I'll wager.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Facepalm

No real surprise, really

Whenever I let my laptop, tablet, or phone look for WIFI networks I am amazed at the sheer number of peoplpe who still have Linksys or some similar default as their network name. You just know that the majority of these will still have the default password on them.

I never try to enter, however tempted I am, not really because I am virtuous (yeah, right), but more because I cannot be bothered, and besides, who knows whether these people have not been infected by some horrible malware which might bite my system.

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What happens in Europe, doesn't stay in Europe: US giants accused of breaking EU privacy pact

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

I think you are being overly harsh, suggesting the American government can be trusted less with our data than our own dear government. I always use a non-discriminatory approach. I do not trust any government

(I am wondering why I put that joke icon there, in retrospect, it is not funny at all)

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