* Posts by Mongo

437 posts • joined 26 Apr 2009

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Helium-filled drive tech floats to top of HGST heap

Mongo
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Re: Yeah helium, great

Foil coated balloons (specifically made for helium filling and so far less pervious than standard rubber ones) steadily lose both buoyancy and volume across several weeks before entering an apparently endless half-sized afterlife (observations terminated after some months when child finally persuaded that balloon had joined choir invisible). Interestingly the foil is only a little elastic at the outset and rapidly becomes flaccidso most of the helium loss occurs at atmospheric pressure rather than being "squeezed out" by the taut rubber membrane. So from this I guess that the contents is roughly half He and half dull (air? nitrogen), i.e. indeed only half a metric crapton of new-fangled HDD per wedding.

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Mongo
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Re: Yeah helium, great

We surely don't want to run out of helium but you might want to check your target: wild-ass-guess says one helium party balloon has the same He gas content as 100+ drives (since most of interior volume is platters, heads, etc), and the average wedding party around here seems to release a couple of dozen balloons, symbolising aspirations or somesuch. So that's a few thousand drives worth, each of which will probably be longer-lived than the average marriage ;-)

Maybe Tim Worstall will drop in and tell us what the real He reserves & resources are like.

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Marathon race ace FOUND ON MARS – NASA boffins overjoyed

Mongo
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ROTM: little blighters can even run a marathon faster than me

And it's arguably better looking too. My only hope is that (like the Culture Minds) the machines keep around because the random crap I do is kind of cute.

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Microsoft enlists web security pariah Adobe to help build Internet Explorer-killer Spartan

Mongo
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So the Spartans have invited the Trojans around to advise on the decor?

"It's alright lads, they're just going to show us the newest UI thinking for decorative sculptures - it seems horses are very big this season. Boy do I feel sorry for our competitors - someone is in for a very big surprise!"

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chana masala

Mongo
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Broad beans!

You just spoke to my inner child - and now my inner child is crying and wants the horrible man to go away and never say that again. A neuron not triggered for 25 years just leapt up with the memory of leathery skin like a small and flattish Alien egg, only with the lurking surprise being the floury slightly sour taste within (a surprise transformed to weary familiarity across summer since the the damned plant was as fecund as E. coli)

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Mongo
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tinned chickpeas FTW

Else it has to be a very well organised hangover, involving washing & soaking them the night before, cooking forever, etc. Or driving a pressure cooker while still probably legally intoxicated: endless possibilities for mayhem when an impatient drunk engineer with vague memories of James Watt's glorious place in history is let loose in the kitchen.

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Guardian: 'Oil reserves will soon be worth NOTHING!' (A bit like their stock tips, really)

Mongo
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Re: The main point of the petition isn't economics, it's ethical

Then don't attempt to underpin the ethical argument with economics, since that certainly risks the argument being fought (as in these comments) and possibly there lost on the minor grounds of economics.

This is analogous to the common point that it is false and dangerous to defend homosexuality on grounds of it being an involuntary orientation rather than a choice: because this admits the possibility that it might be "cured" (gene manipulation, etc). If there is a moral point then don't stand it upon an unrelated base.

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Mongo
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Re: There will be a need for Carbon stuff in the Economy

Pre-cooked hydrocarbons will indeed be in use for a long while; the future world where it's cheaper to synthesise all molecules from scratch feels closer to Banks' "Culture" than to us. But the Guardian's argument that a big price correction could result isn't on those grounds daffy: a rapid halving of demand would be very bad news for OPEC & friends.

But of course it won't be that rapid and betting on this as an investment strategy is betting that you the newspaper reader are smarter & better-informed than the oil companies, who of course are already spreading their bets into other energy products, etc.

It's almost mythic to believe that BP & co are so wedded to their dark satanic wells that they won't aggressively reorient their businesses with the winds of change, be those winds economic, technical, or regulatory. It makes for a nice morality play to regard them as Mordor but really they're more like the firm in "Point Blank": thoroughly amoral but also pragmatic.

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Battle for control of Earth's unconnected souls moves to SPAAAACE

Mongo
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does IridiumNEXT still have bling?

I get a kick out of the Jove's Maglight effect of Iridium flares, the way a mote in the sky zaps me at exactly the scheduled time (in my dreams meteor showers also have such reliable payoffs)

http://www.heavens-above.com/iridiumhelp.aspx

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Mongo
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and even further along the emotional register...

(Prof. Timothy Fielding): I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Can I put this into some sort of perspective? When I caught Gerald in '68 he was completely wild.

(Gerald, the Gorilla): Wild? I was absolutely livid!

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BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

Mongo
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well you know what they say...

a million adolescents here, a million there, pretty soon you're talking serious smut-filter subversion

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Mongo
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energy for cloud-cuckoo land

For space solar to make sense either atmospheric attenuation of solar energy would have to be enormous (so that one orbiting panel replaces one thousand on earth) or it has to be supplementary, i.e. after carpeting the Sahara with panels still more power is needed (and then the energy yield still has to exceed the input of getting them into orbit and maintaining them there. In fact attenuation isn't that bad (skim read of wikipedia suggests 50-75%) and short of a space elevator or nanomachines processing captured asteroids directly into panels I doubt they can be built in an energy-profitable way (and that's completely disregarding other costs)

So fine research, keep it up - but stop justifying it as "gonna make peace with Greenpeace"

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Mongo
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is .twat reserved for ICANN?

or is it .another-avoidable-debacle?

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Fizzy bubbles at the ready: Dot-com celebrates 30th birthday

Mongo
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Re: Symbolics!

interesting speculation, that somewhat-open-source would have starved the FOSS movement of oxygen. It does seem a "curiously recurring [cultural] template", that we need the brink of catastrophe to make us notice what we're losing and have already lost - in companies this manifests itself as ceasing to innovate until it's often fatally late, in NZ environmentalism it took the loggers going into the last remaining virgin forest to get a critical mass of conservation, in general our horizons are biased to the short term

(and people aren't wearing enough hats...)

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SpaceX to deliver Bigelow blow-up job to ISS astronauts

Mongo
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At last I can explain the ISS to my children

"See that bright light moving above us? It's a bouncy castle in space!"

(next step, checking C&A for spacesuits in children's sizes, then waiting for a 2-for-1 deal and hoping that they have some decent colours left)

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Yay! Wearables! It's the future! Uh-oh! I'm going to be sick

Mongo
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"Tron, Dick or Florian"

Joy! I do hope Mr Dabbs high-fived his-sweaty-flabby-XXL-self when he coined that one

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Telly chef Jamie Oliver in embarrassing infection double shocker

Mongo
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bet 'Umble Pie is off the menu

Have to pray their ideas on food hygiene are a bit more advanced than on digital hygiene, since they define success as "victim didn't manage to prove it was our fault":

"We have had only a handful of comments from users over the last couple of days, and no-one has reported any serious issues."

Just how many sites do I visit in a day? And how long would it take me to figure out which one dunnit? And I guess I'll be complaining via an online form - once I've regained enough control. And I'll bet that if I do all that the result will be an "apologise for any inconvenience" wave-off

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'Get your privacy policy down to one page': AVG CEO throws glove down

Mongo
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Re: “Get your privacy policy down to one page in a language that everybody understands"

and none of that "this document is subject to revision without notice; the version in effect can be found at http://now.we/ve.got.you.by.the.balls " shit that tries to conflate "contract" with "blind man's buff"

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Grab your pitchforks: Ubuntu to switch to systemd on Monday

Mongo
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Re: Cue...

I'm gonna rage-quit in style: torrenting "Win ME" right now. Once those old-skool installer splash billboards start popping up I can relax a little, put a rant about "Lucas just raped my childhood" on my GeoCities site, and start planning my millennium party (obviously NOT inviting anyone who looks bored when I re-re-reiterate that it's on December 31 2000 because there was no "A.D. 0"...)

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Calling a friend? Listen to an advert. You lucky, lucky thing

Mongo
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so which network feels it can afford to lose 200m subscribers?

it'll make Ratner envious

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Accused Silk Road boss's lawyer insists he was just a fall guy

Mongo
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Effective "a big boy did it and ran away" defenses require...

...some decent evidence of big boy involvement. Otherwise we may as well say Russell's teapot did it ("go on, PROVE it didn't...")

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Nice SECURITY, 'Lizard Squad'. Your DDoS-for-hire service LEAKS

Mongo
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Re: Will the list be published?

Sure to be - the world is full of knave loops: this diagram shows the eternal circle of backstabbers (and just how far ahead it gets them)

Escher did that from intuition alone, but with this data set perhaps we can arrive at a rigorous algebra of bastardry: if A shits on B and B shits on C then can we say A shits transitively on C? And then work towards the minimal spanning tree of scumbags?

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Is is a Bird? Is it a Plane? NO! LOOK OUT it's an ASTEROID!

Mongo
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Bah!

Having shivered my butt off too many times in hope of a meteor display to rival the great shower of 1833 and generally been rewarded with "several per hour!" or "observers in clear sky locations had multiple orgasms" (then went blind...), now I refuse to get out of bed for anything that I can't see through the front door spyhole (of my basement flat...)

(to be fair one Perseid shower did have a dawn fireball with a visible smoke trail but my idea of a meteor radiant is roughly what Han Solo sees when jumping to light speed)

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Warning: Using encrypted email in Spain? Do not pass go, go directly to jail

Mongo
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> nail her

Harumph! Sir, in my day that would have been deemed fraternizing with the enemy.

--- Disgusted,

Tunbridge Wells

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Mongo
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> Navajo

I'm sorry, but I regret to say that I do not personally know a single Navajo who is working on the side of the angels. Not one single individual. And while I would normally hesitate to extrapolate from personal experiences I think in these uniquely perilous times (for when else in recorded history have we faced such dangerous threats?) we cannot waste time collecting further evidence or following antiquated ideas of personal liberty and justice.

Thanks to your useful description ("nobody understands what they are saying") I'm now ready to make a citizen's arrest of the very next Navajo I meet: probably Ms Kowalski, the blonde barista at my local Starbucks.

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NSA: SO SORRY we backed that borked crypto even after you spotted the backdoor

Mongo
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Ok, he's a liar. And that's part of his job.

But here he seems like an incompetent liar - are we meant to think that he thinks he's sold this version?

"whoopsie, it was flawed and even though we hire more mathematicians than anyone else and pay well to get the best ones and historically have been years ahead of the disclosed state-of-the-art and were part of the committee discussing the flaws we somehow didn't notice them, our bad..." (blushes winsomely)

Presuming not, what's the real message being sold? We're not so ominous really, look how we do pratfalls like your drunk uncle? Ok, here's your excuse and no we *don't* give a shit because prior experience shows it doesn't matter what we say, the Admin/Congress won't reign us in?

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Stop viewing Facebook at work says Facebook at work on Facebook at Work

Mongo
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The future is so bright it makes me cry

"Update: Mongo just ran unit tests successfully!"

-- Boss and 3 others like this

Mongo got the "Template Metaprogram cross-compilation achievement"

-- Alexander Andrescu likes this

"WARNING! Norman has just gone postal"

-- Be the first of your friends to like this!

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Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

Mongo
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Re: 10 years

Yep, a child of the days of "Cool Britannia", with its Damien Hurst spot painting to calibrate the camera and the "Blur" sample to, uh, annoy the locals? And somewhere in the background is Blair explaining why invading Iraq is the right thing to do...

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Comet Lovejoy's greenish glow visible with naked eye this weekend

Mongo
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> much better view of it with a telescope or good pair of binoculars.

or an ACME grand piano hanging from a rope above the other end of the see-saw that Mr Coyote recommends for all your leaping-5km-in-the-air needs (he does it catch road runners, I'll need to do it to get above the cloud deck)

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LICK THAT ATM: Diebold and Corning debug displays

Mongo
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Since it's Diebold

perhaps they'd consider spending more time worrying about the bugs in their software and less on the ones on the screen?

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World's largest ship swallows 900 MEGATINS of baked beans

Mongo
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Re: How big is a "Mammoth Head's Up then?

Most painful turtle's head ever?

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SpaceX: CATS with FRIKKIN' LASERS to blast off to space station

Mongo
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> make the descent while SpaceX's landing barge gets into position

So it's a big version of a kid's ball-and-cup game, skilfully move your barge to catch the falling rocket stage? Possibly while dodging exploding Russian "boosters"...

Three Kings Day - time for Xmas decorations to be packed away and copy editors to confine their imbibing to the lunch hour!

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Tor de farce: NSA fails to decrypt anonymised network

Mongo
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Joke

Re: Timing...

But with extra delays just think how long it will take to torrent a BlueRay box set!

(I'm abusing a system provided by volunteers to defend free speech around the world??? au contraire! I'm helping defeat traffic analysis by contributing noise. Yes indeedy, and if I eat your entire lunch and nick your wallet it's purely to give you a headstart on that New Year's resolution to lose weight...)

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Purple glistening plasma, you say? Orion plummets back to Earth

Mongo
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Re: New NASA development for you.

God forbid that "Harry the Bastard" should ever complain about a video nasty...

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Staples comes clean: 1+ million bank cards at risk after hack

Mongo
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Re: It's all about the money, ya stupid git!

Plus their dreadful habit of seemingly keeping all the customers' details in the db forever, because it could be useful for CRM or marketing or leaking or something. Shades of the Gary Larson cartoon of people in a rubber liferaft hauling a box aboard while remarking "We may as well keep it, though I don't know what use we'll have for broken glass and sharp bits of wire"

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Mongo
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Sub-head superhero is on fire tonight!

One hit after another - I wish the eggnog made me so witty :-)

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Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Mongo
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Re: Safe, I think

Or perhaps it's just YOU who doesn't see them on the list, your rooted router having done a little sanitising of the PDF en route :-)

[it does feel a little ironic that I'm using a device I suspect to check whether I should suspect it...]

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Crossbar says it's 'one step' from delivering miracle RRAM

Mongo
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Re: "Crossbar RRAM is targeting 100,000 write cycles"

Yep, that suggests that the byte-addressability will come with a mapping layer for wear balancing, just like flash, all so that "for i=1 to 100000" doesn't melt an "i"-shaped hole. Wonder if that will steal some performance (power & time)?

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Rosetta beams back colour pics: 67P shades of grey are SO HOT right now

Mongo
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Re: Water???? Ice????

Actually it looks a lot like a snowfield with a dusting of volcanic ash does - there too the top layer stays dirty as it melts, the dark grit "floating" on the ice because as the sun heats the rock it melts the snow beneath. On Earth the meltwater trickles down, on a comet it sublimes, but the result is an ever-dirtier snowball.

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Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Mongo
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Re: bah

ooooooooo! Nice troll!

I shall steal this for the next OS war hereabouts; any operating system being mere hand-holding for duhvelopers who code with the lights on in case the naked hardware calls them names...

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Apple lawyers fight to silence dead Steve Jobs: 'No right' to hear him from beyond the grave

Mongo
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Don't get distracted by their deliberate mistakes!

The real devilry afoot here is that the World Govt gets to perpetrate the biggest lie of all, that New York is some kind of city, and not just the studio backlot used because filming in actual Gotham is so expensive these days. Never wondered why New York "city" is named after the state? Sloppy scripting by the Illuminati, my friend!

We can argue all day about planes, missiles, demolition charges but do know that while we worry about the set dressing the puppet-masters laugh!

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Mongo
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Re: Blowin' in the wind

I don't like sand molecules. They're coarse and rough and irritating and they get everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is porous hydrocarbon slurries.

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Mongo
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Dead!? Why, no...

...just waiting.

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Linux software nasty slithers out of online watering holes

Mongo
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> hardened against reverse-engineering through the use of stripped symbol information

"That's it, man. Game over, man! Game over!"

-- Anti-virus engineer Hudson

If the terrorists have got access to our secret "strip" technology then our worst fears are realised and they may be on the cusp of compiling with "-g0 -O3"...

(I know AV firms like to spice things up but that's a bit ripe. C'mon El Reg, peck back at them a bit and find the real meat behind the scare quotes)

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Misty-eyed Ray Ozzie celebrates 25th birthday of Lotus Notes by tweeting about it ...

Mongo
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> impressive corporate workflow systems

This is perfectly true - Symbian had a number of much-used discussion databases, the best of which amounted to a brain dump from some rather choice brains - when stuck at an airport there was no better reading than an offline replica of "Programming" or "Design". And each was tailored to need: some were purely for announcements without replies, some had threaded discussions, etc. It even got used for defect tracking, though the appalling search and execution delays suggested that this was better done by a dedicated system.

But that very flexibility demonstrated some of the weaknesses - it's all up the designer. Everything. So what features are exposed (and how) was quirky - some had separate buttons for "reply to post" and "reply to reply" (of course with lots of misplaced orphans hanging from the root), some had quirky ways of backing out ("NO! Don't press <Esc>, that's non-confirming irrevocable cancel entire posting!"), what shortcut keys are provided, it all depended on the database. So the "consistent look and feel" fell apart and even after years of use the muscle memory would misfire. In fact the only truly consistent bits were those most hated: CTRL-N always meant "create a new database" (not that plebs even have rights to do this) rather than "create a new document appropriate to my current context" (like an email), F5 means not "refresh view" (necessary since that wasn't automated) but "lock screen and make me enter my password again".

Of course this was a local failing: with better discipline consistent styles would have been developed and applied. But great designs find ways to guide the users into good decisions without removing their freedom and Notes seemingly didn't manage this. And even today in release 9 (2013) fundamentally poor UI persists, such as the lack of edit redo: it's great that finally multi-level undo exists (for text edits anyway, many more complex actions can't be undone) but undo too far and you can't redo: somehow in the move to an Eclipse framework IBM still managed to bring its custom, user-expectation-breaking, controls. As other commentators here have noted it wouldn't be surprising to learn that almost all their business is upgrades and license packs rather than greenfield site sales, which is sadly perverse of IBM: given the strengths of the core idea and the shallowness of many of the paper-cuts they could have been more than an industry joke.

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

Mongo
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Re: Good, good

Well in this case it was probably straightforward: pics posted on Facebook, cops get FB to cough up IP address etc, cops go to ISP and get subscriber info, etc. All quite routine unless the perpetrator is fairly careful, and the intersection of "prepared to take the time to research and execute a crime with technology" and "jilted bloke" is probably small: the "revenge is a dish best served cold" saying is memorable because it's exactly what is rarely done.

But yep, evidence can be faked, computer or real world, and we have to hope that police professionalism coupled with an adversorial justice system detects and punishes fakery enough to keep it rare.

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Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a TEST FLIGHT through Van Allen belt

Mongo
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Mk II Chocolate Teapot

Now twice as chocolatey for the same high price!

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New 'Internet Security Council' struggling to get off the ground

Mongo
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Since it lets a bunch of wannabe puppet-masters unambiguously out themselves and creates a tarpit to house them indefinitely: if everyone else quietly agrees to disregard them then it's a happy ending

(providing a wary eye is kept on their lobbying of govt; wouldn't want them "educating" the likes of Theresa May)

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Mozilla remembers 2013. Y'know, back when it still gobbled at the Google money-trough

Mongo
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3D graphs belong in PowerPoint

specifically in presentations on dodgy timeshares, complete with animated dissolves and clipart, where it doesn't matter so much that it destroys the proportionality of the areas, i.e. the very thing that you're trying to communicate.

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Internet Society slams online 'UN Security Council' plan, snubs permanent seat offer

Mongo
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...must be done!

They're misapplying the evergreen "Yes, Minister" joke:

1. Something must be done

2. This is something

3. Therefore we will do it

Because in this case nobody (besides them) seems to believe in even the first step.

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