* Posts by Nigel 11

2691 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

Nigel 11
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Re: Welcome to the 19th century

Kinetic energy = mass times velocity squared. Mass is proportional to diameter cubed. So there's a factor of about eight from the relative sizes. Double the velocity could easily account for another factor of four. Finally, there's the extent to which it dissipates its energy in the atmosphere before impacting the ground. It'll be far worse if it's coming straight down compared to a very oblique impact with the atmosphere. A large one will shed relatively little energy in the atmosphere. Small enough, and it's just a shooting star. That Chelyabinsk meteorite shed all but a small amount of energy in the lower atmosphere, which broke a lot of windows over a wide area rather than subjecting a smaller area to the equivalent of a small ground-burst nuke.

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Nigel 11
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Re: So.

If you can't divert it enough to miss the planet completely, divert it into an area with low population density and evacuate that area, or onto an island and evacuate that island. Make sure it misses cities and oceans (the latter because it'll cause a Tsunami all around that ocean's coasts).

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Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM

Nigel 11
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Distance

Millions of years isn't really the right measure of distance. Some organisms haven't changed a lot since well before the dinosaurs (sharks, for example). There are "living fossils" that are still extant, but most closely connected to larger groupings mostly long-extinct (the pearly nautilus is an example).

And then there are the Archaea, single-celled organisms with biochemistries far more different from today's main groups than the difference between a man and a cabbage.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Nigel 11
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Re: Kill that WiFi Sense thing!

Check out the OpenWRT Hardware list http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start

The one I have is the Trendnet tew-732br

http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/trendnet/tew-732br

installing openWRT Barrier Breaker was a piece of cake.

The one problem is that AFAIK there are NO ADSL2+ All-in-one routers that can run Openwrt, so I'm using my ISP's Router to NAT everything onto a piece of wire connected to the Linux router. Double-NAT isn't perfect, but I can cope with it. Or you coudl buy a proprietary ADSL2+ box that can run in bridge mode (but apart from the Draytek PPPoA to PPPoE bridges, most are doing horrible things that a bridge really shouldn't be doing)

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Nigel 11
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Re: Oh that's just great.

In most jurisdictions, wilfully aiding and abetting a crime is a crime, and inducing a well-intentioned individual to commit a crime in ignorance of doing so is usually regarded as a worse crime.

Watch out, Microsoft execs!

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Nigel 11
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Re: Kill that WiFi Sense thing!

A good solution would be a multi-SSID capable AP with VLAN capabilites (but the latter requires also support all down the chain...) to segregate some less secure device, but not every user is a sysadmin with the required knowledge, for many wifi and internet is just a plug&play "experience", and without knowledge, they can't undersand the full picture...

Well, you can get a router with that hardware for about £15 and OpenWRT to enable the capabilities for free. So with a bit of luck, someone will package it all in a form that the only slightly clued-up can use and either open-source it or sell it (if it's a user-mode wrapper running on OpenWRT or similar, the GPL doesn't force you to give away your source, only OpenWRT).

You don't necessarily need VLAN support in the rest of your hardware. You just need routing rules to segregate your subnet from the kids' one.

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Hello Tosh, got a downrated 6TB spinner? Yes, for slower workloads

Nigel 11
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How do you know that these won't last twenty years?

Over the years I have encountered models that were complete lemons, and batches of formerly reliable drives that suffered presumed common-mode component failures. Excluding these, I've found that the majority of IDE and SATA drives were working well up to the day the system they were in was scrapped. No manufacturer stood out as better or worse, but really unless you are the like of Google (who aren't telling), you haven't got a big enough sample set to judge past history let alone extrapolate the future of a newer model.

By the time you (or the manufacturer) knows that a particular design is long-term reliable, it is also obsolete and no longer in manufacture. So cross your fingers, touch wood, mirror your disks, pair different manufacturers to minimise common-mode risks, and make sure of your backups!

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Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Nigel 11
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Re: Not so good for non-textual content

Yes. But a lot of that is because the format (pdf) is not designed for e-paper displays, or perhaps that the pdf software in the Kindle is not well developed (because there's no money in it?) Not that much money in technical publishing either, compared to entertainment-type novels. That's why the mashed-tree technical books cost so much.

This is the sort of thing that would rapidly get fixed, if Kindles were open devices.

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Nigel 11
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Re: Eventually bought a Kindle Paperwhite..

E-readers. I love them. But they'll most likely, in the long run, die just because they bloody _work_.

Not the ones that are tied into a proprietary locked-down framework for selling content. Amazon will carry on selling Kindles to supply a replacement market, because the profit is in selling the content to read on them. They'll buy the company that makes the displays if they have to. Having used a Kindle I'd buy a replacement even if my daily newspaper subscription was the *only* available content.

I really wish that there were an open equivalent to a Kindle (even if only as open as an Android phone, rather than a Linux'ed PC), but I think you've nailed why there isn't and probably won't be.

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Why SpaceX will sort out Sunday's snafu faster than NASA ever could

Nigel 11
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there has never been a rocket system that hasn't had a catastrophic failure at one time or another

For unmanned rockets, occasional catastrophic failure should probably be designed in at some level.

The penalty of any added weight for something going all the way to orbit is very high (in terms of reduced payload). Henry Ford once asked which parts on his cars never went wrong, and then ordered "make them cheaper". For getting an unmanned vehicle into orbit, there's far more justification for "make them lighter".

This is also the weak point of any proposed spaceplane. Because it'll cost very much more than a rocket, it has to be reusable many times, but that level of reliability will impose a weight penalty. It would be a non-starter, if it didn't have the advantage over a rocket of being able to do away with a large weight of oxidizer (it can use ambient air until it's a few miles up).

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Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

Nigel 11
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Re: "a pilot is also taught when it's safe to ignore the view outside"

A better simile might be "as if I had been born with brown eyes and was still 20 years old". (I have blue eyes, which are more prone to dazzle than brown ones, and my natural lenses will be less clear than they were in my youth -- give me another forty years and a cataract operation will probably be the least of my worries).

Apart from oncoming drivers who don't dip their xenon-arc lights, my other hatred is the highway designers who think it's sensible to light junctions and roundabouts to near-daylight intensity, leaving the rest of the route unlit. So you lose your night vision passing the junction, and wildlife pays the price. Why not light the whole route to a much lower intensity, say that of a full moon, for which our eyes are well-evolved? Especially now we have LEDS which are a very good match to that requirement. Heck, you could probably run LED lighting off batteries charged from small solar panels, so no expensive copper wiring needed.

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BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Nigel 11
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But most people I know rely entirely on wireless phones, which won't work during a power cut.

And I've always wondered, why? The phones have rechargeable batteries in them that last for several days on idle and many hours of talk. Why don't the base-stations also have rechargeable batteries as back-up? Maybe the battery uptime would be hours rather than days, but and awful lot better than zero.

I still have a non-wireless phone is a cupboard, so I can avoid being charged by BT for diagnosing that my phone line is OK but my base-station has died. I thought everyone did.

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Nigel 11
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Re: One big problem

the phone lines are CRAP

That ought to be an acronym.

Copper wRapped Aluminium Padding?

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Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support

Nigel 11
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Re: "in the context of"

I just can't understand how anyone considers it acceptable to have to pay a supplier to fix defects in the product they sold you because the defects were not discovered within some time limit the supplier set.

Right now I'd (somewhat) happily pay Microsoft for another XP license, complete with all the bugs that it had at its termination date. BUT I CAN'T.

I am looking at an XP PC embedded in a microscope that cost a hundred grand when new, and which is still working and useful and another hundred grand to replace it (which is out of the question). But the PC is flaking out. I can't simply stick a copy of its disk into some other PC and make it work because it's an OEM XP License locked to that (ancient) motherboard. And some experimentation is likely to be required, so even if I could get Microsoft to transfer the license once, that may not go enough to solve the problem. (It would be nice if we had an installable copy of the software we need to transfer, but needless to say we don't, and the microscope manufacturer isn't around any more).

I've wasted a day on this Wombat already. I'll need to track down a second-hand Windows XP Retail license, so I can do unlimited reinstalls. They're selling on Ebay at a **premium** to the price that Microsoft charged while XP was available for sale. What does that tell you?

Surely MS could at least sell XP Transfer licenses, so people could keep their XP running until eventually there's no compatible hardware left for love nor money (sometime around 2060 I'd guess). But no, they just want to piss on us.

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Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM

Nigel 11
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Lots of fossils in our rocks. Some rocks (for example chalk) are all-fossil. But whether they'd have found any fossils after exploring only to the extent that out Mars landers have explored Mars, I don't know.

The ruins of dams will probably present evidence of intelligent life visible from Earth orbit for some tens of millions of years after the demise of homo sapiens. Inactive geostationary satellites will last for rather longer.

BTW does anyone know if life on Earth can be deduced by the isotopic ratio of C12 and C13 in the CO2 in our atmosphere? Life selectively excretes C13 to a small extent, and our bodies are C12-enriched. When ocean life dies, it takes C12 to the bottom from where where some of it gets subducted, so the atmosphere must be slightly C13-enriched over the natural abundance. Detectable remotely?

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Nigel 11
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Re: "the mysterious loss of its magnetosphere"

Add "no Moon" (no huge one like Earth). That creates a lot of heat inside the Earth by tidal drag, and also stabilizes our axis of rotation. Our moon may well also be a key element in the not-well-understood generation of earth's magnetic field.

It's also possible that Mars's core is less radioactive than Earth's, because Mars formed further out from the sun and the natural radioactives are less volatile elements. That's a lot less certain.

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Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

Nigel 11
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Re: bad idea

Yes. I think you'd now be on mine if I'd bought one of your infected laptops described above. You've escaped by a whisker.Take note.

I still haven't forgiven or forgotten the two hassle- and stress-filled days of my life which Sony inflicted on me, by putting malware on audio CDs a good many years ago. I have a personal "buy Sony last" policy and that will last until I'm six feet under, or until Sony is in the corporate graveyard, or until enough competing vendors do enough even worse things that Sony fall off the bottom of my list.

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Nigel 11
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Re: I'd hazard a guess

Consumers are no longer valued customers,

So opt out. Become one of the folks that we are forever being told "don't exist". Run Linux on your desktop, laptop, ... and become a participant in a community rather than a resource to be exploited.

If that's too radical for you, dump the bloatware distributors. Build or buy a bare PC and buy your Windows from Microsoft. At least that way you'll be free of any 3rd party bloatware and will be able to nuke and reinstall whenever you need to.

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We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

Nigel 11
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That will work until the on board Wi-Fi gets smart enough to find an unlocked network somewhere in the vicinity to the TV then all bets are lost.

I hadn't thought of that horrible possibility. (that the malign "they" will start putting unsecured base stations out there for thingies to connect to, in case we are unkind enough to refuse to connect them to our own broadbands. Stealthed base stations with source filters, so most of the world that isn't a thingie will remain unaware of their existence ... )

I guess we'll have to open up our TVs, locate the wifi aerial, and remove or mangle it, and hope that the TV still works as a TV. But by then they'll have stopped broadcasting in favour of internet. Oh dear. The Vingean nightmare of civilisational death by omnipresent surveillance looks to be happening a lot faster than I'd hoped.

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Do svidaniya to public record as Russia passes NEED to be forgotten bill

Nigel 11
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Re: The person in the picture is definitely not forgotten

Actually, I'm pretty sure that educated Chinese are wilfully unaware. In the same way that most of the population of Nazi Germany was unaware of the fate of Jews "resettled in the East". It was a good idea for self-preservation to keep one's doubts to oneself.

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D-Wave promises chip that could SEARCH THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

Nigel 11
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Re: Lets see it working then

So, if I had one of these devices in front of me now and I set it to solve a 1000-node travelling salesman problem, would it be able to spit the answer straight back

As I understand it, a perfect 1024-qubit quantum computer ought to be able to do that. (My own belief is that our attempts to build such a device will always fail, and will tell us something interesting about the nature of the universe once the reasons for failure are well-understood).

Clearly these devices are imperfect. I think there's some debate over whether they are actually quantum computers at all in any meaningful sense. But if they can outperform a conventional compute cluster eating a few megawatts and as much financial capital as it takes, I should think that's good enough for the time being.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

Nigel 11
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Re: Beat the clock

Take a look at a photo of an old enough computer that the CPU consisted of a large number of logic modules connected with a wire-wrapped backplane (for example Google "Images PDP-8 Backplane). You'll soon deduce that the interference problem is not insurmountable. It was not negligible, though!

The routing of wires within the backplane was a black art. Some were artificially lengthened so as to introduce deliberate signal delays. Others took non-parallel routes from A to B to reduce crosstalk - interference is by far the greatest between closely parallel wires. The general term was "random-wired". It was most definitely not a good idea for structure in the circuit schematics to be explicit in the physical arrangement of wires in the backplane.

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Nigel 11
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Re: Cool project, but if you want to have it easy...

There's also bit-serial parallel computing ... SIMD, with one instruction at a time broadcast to an array of one-bit processors. The ICL DAP, if there's anyone else out there who can remember that ill-fated project. I had great fun one summer learning to program it in assembly language.

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Nigel 11
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I've met computer science graduates who don't understand the connection between writing a value to an output port:

*port=0x3c

and (say) light number 3 going to brightness level 12/16.

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Nigel 11
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If you really want to go off-piste ...

A technology that existed in Babbage's time, but of which Babbage was unaware, is hydraulic logic. It's possible to create a bistable out of fluid (air) being pumped through an appropriately shaped cavity, and to switch it between its two stable states using pipework connected to the output of others. Logic gates are also feasible.

Anyone fancy building the world's first (?) hydraulic programmable computer?

Or even a simulation thereof, just to hear what it might sound like while it is computing.

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Nigel 11
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Re: Beat the clock

Those wires act as huge capacitors which need to charge and discharge on each cycle to allow the signal to stabilise.

Not huge.

The general rule for a signal to settle on a plain old wire is something like six times longer than the speed of light along the wire. (Or two to-and-fro bounces at 0.7c)

I've often wondered what is the optimum design for a discrete-transistor computer. Minimise the transistor count, build as small as possible, and clock as fast as possible, or go for wider buses and more transistors clocking more slowly? (Of course in the early days they went for small component counts, because transistors - germanium alloy junction ones - were significantly expensive, and suffered thermal runaway at fairly low temperatures so cooling really mattered. )

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Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

Nigel 11
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Re: Noise?

You can get a J1800 / J1900 Board. My home system is build around a Gigabyte GA-J1800N board (fanless, 2.4Ghz 2-core Celeron). The J1900 is Quad-core, but the cores have a lower top speed, so for single-threaded apps the dual-core may be faster. The board includes the CPU and heatsink.

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Nigel 11
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More or less silent ...

I immediately thought of a companion phrase, "slightly pregnant".

If you want quiet, the only way to go is passively cooled, SSD, no moving parts at all. You can do that with a NUC in an expensive, heavy, cast aluminium case. If you don't need such a powerful CPU, I'd recommend an ordinary ITX board in an ordinary ITX case (still small enough to attach to the back of a monitor). Boards in question have dual- and quad-core Intel Celerons with ~15W TDPs.

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It's OK – this was an entirely NEW type of cockup, says RBS

Nigel 11
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Re: Oh yes it is

The city-buster meteorite now has your name on it.

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Raspberry Pi guys want you to go topless in the heat

Nigel 11
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Re: Zeitgeist failure

3D printing costs more and yields results less polished than the hype suggests. For one-off prototyping it's great, and it may have a good future for rarely-needed replacement parts. For mass production of anything except very small components, injection moulding wins hands-down.

(Very small: well under a centimeter cubed, which a 3D printer can print in fairly large multiples per job)

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Nigel 11
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Built in SATA and space for at least one hard disk. A second SATA and space for an optical drive would be nice.

Room for a couple of expansion cards

And yes, I'd be prepared to pay thirty or forty quid for it. Frankly, I'd settle for an easily available board to make it ITX compatible.

You don't get SATA and PCI interfaces from a case! You're describing a different platform.

Are you aware that you can get an ITX format fanless Intel-x86 PC board with all you ask for, plus probably rather more CPU grunt, expandable RAM, etc. for £50ish? Gigabyte GA-J1800N-D2H. Built my home PC around this - a 100% solid-state PC, completely noiseless. Although to be fair this is around £200 by the time it's built into a full-blown PC, or around £100 for a bootable bare board.

More Pi-like, there's the CubieBoard series with SATA and more RAM than a Pi. I've not used one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubieboard

Cheapest linux system-in-a-box is a broadband router running OpenWRT or similar. I have a £17 Trendnet router (check the OpenWRT hardware compatibility list). Inside is a five-port fully VLAN-capable switch and double the RAM that most of them boast. Slightly dearer ones also have USB ports. Others cost under £10 for CPU, Lan and Wireless. Main drawback with routers is (usually) very small RAM capacity.

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'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

Nigel 11
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Re: Too late was the cry

Dum-dum rounds have banned for military use since ~1900...

though probably only because all the world's militaries could work out that this both looked good and was how they'd act anyway.

Because you'd rather that your bullets seriously injured enemy troops than killed them. An injured soldier consumes far more resources on and off the battlefield than a dead one.

Isn't war horrible.

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Cinnamon 2.6 – a Linux desktop for Windows XP refugees

Nigel 11
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Re: Is there a Raspberry Pi (2) version?

I imagine it could run on a Pi. Might be a bit sluggish but hard to beat the price. For a faster desktop system, you can choose between an old PC that Windows won't run in (probably scroungeable for free, but will eat £30 of electricity quite soon if you leave it powered up) or a fully solid-state system based on a fanless mini-ITX board and case such as Gigabyte J1800N-D2H or its quad-core J1900 variant.

Anyway, whatever you run it on: Cinnamon - completely recommended.

In passing Cinnamon works (yum install) on Fedora 20, maybe older Fedora. And from memory, on Centos 7.

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If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

Nigel 11
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Re: Shut up and fix the video driver mess

Intel?

My experience is that Intel graphics hardware works well with Linux, and that's because Intel have been very supportive of Linux for quite a few years. Of course, Intel graphics hardware isn't the fastest, should you actually need high performance by today's definitions thereof.

NVidia are still sticking to their closed-source binary blob. When it works it works well, but when it doesn't work with your current kernel / distro / whatever, you are stuffed. Good route to upgrade hell as well. I buy these only if there's a good reason to (most often, a package demanding a CUDA-capable GPGPU to run at all or to run much faster). I sometimes wonder if they won't go open-source because when the card isn't doing your graphics, it's pillaging the internals of your PC on behalf of some three-letter agency! (yes I know ... more prosaically, they don't want to tip off whoever owns the IP that their hardware is arguably infringing).

ATI were late to the open-source party. Don't know how they are getting on, nothing I look after uses ATI.

Quite often, what's described as graphics driver problems is actually problems in Gnome / KDE / whatever (user mode code). Nothing to do with the Linux kernel or driver, but rather with the desktop project or your distro's packaging thereof.

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HGST shimmy shimmy shingles its way to a 10TB spinning rust drive

Nigel 11
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Re: A taller enclosure?

Actually I'm fairly certain that if they could get 20x capacity by stacking a dozen or more platters, each with twice the area, in a 5.25 inch full height container, then they would. But there are good physics reasons why they can't. Such large stacks will have all sorts of extra vibration modes, and failure to tame any of these would make the whole project non-viable. There's also the extra inertia of a bigger stack of heads, increasing problems with inter-drive vibrational coupling for those who design whole storage arrays. And of course, multiplying the number of heads and platters will considerably reduce the MTBF of the assembly, to the extent that it is heads and head/platter contact issues that dominate HD failures. I'm not certain as to this being the case, but in my experience over half of disks fail "soft" with deteriorating SMART metrics and increasing bad block counts. "Instant Brick" is relatively less common, especially once drives have survived in service for a month or so.

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Nigel 11
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Re: Cannot imagine wanting under any circumstances

Spinning rust as a storage medium has pretty much reached it's limits. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that we never see a harddrive bigger than 20Tb in a 3.5" package.

Assuming you mean a drive containing a conventional hard disk purely electromagnetic write head, you are probably right. The physics limits for that have been reached. Magnetic domains can't be pushed closer together along the tracks (they become unstable if made any smaller), and heads cannot be made any narrower (the head would have to fly much closer, and there are power density issues even if that hurdle were overcome). Stacking tens of platters isn't likely to work either (too flexible / vibration coupling issues).

On the other hand, there's HAMR which uses a focussed laser to address a narrow track. It "softens" the magnetic film by heating it, so that a wide magnetic bubble from a conventional head operated at lower write intensity can change magnetisation only of the laser-addressed track and not affect the adjacent already-written ones. I expect that can go to many 10s, maybe 100s, of TB per 3.5 inch disk if it can get out of the lab, and if there is a market for such huge drives.

There's also BPM, about which I know less.

Wait and see. It's still possible that solid-state will obsolete all magnetic disks, but not current Flash which is also close to its physics limits. 3D flash may reach an affordable TB scale. Memristor tech has the potential to surpass that. It's rather further away than HAMR.

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Nigel 11
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Re: Cannot imagine wanting under any circumstances

I can think of plenty of applications where it's useful.

To start with, anything read-mostly. Fill the disk then hardly ever change anything on it. Wonder how many YouTube / Google will be buying?

Then databases, accessing the disk directly. Storage of large objects, or aggregates of small ones that get read, updates and rewritten as a block.

Anything, once a filesystem understands the underlying technology and can aggregate writing of small objects. It's a very good match to "everything is journalled" filesystems where nothing is updated in-place. Probably still best used for filesystems that get read more than written. Archival springs to mind. So do several of the computational physics modelling projects I used to be involved with. Those folks could never get enough storage to keep a fraction of the old results that they wanted to keep.

Interesting lack of mention of anything Microsoft or Windows in that diagram!

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Soon your car won't let you drink. But it won't care if you're on the phone

Nigel 11
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Re: Slippery Slope Indeed....

you don't have to be driving, just sitting in the driver's seat can do.

Yes, one of many moronic laws that gets coupled with Jobsworthy cops and rule-following unthinking prosecutors. Someone actually did get banned from driving for being asleep in his car in the pub car park after realizing that he was far too intoxicated to actually drive the thing.

The law on using mobile phones is similar. I completely support throwing the book at anyone who uses their hand-held mobile while trying to control a car that's moving at significant velocity. But they've made it illegal to use your mobile to let people know why you'll be late, when you are stuck in stationary traffic on a motorway that hasn't been moving for minutes. This, even if you have turned your engine off to save fuel.

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Nigel 11
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Reliable?

I can't believe it'll ever work reliably.

I'm thinking, for example, of bar staff and brewery workers, who may be trying to drive home in clothing soaked to some degree with alcoholic beverage.

Or of someone sober trying to provide a taxi service to three or four well-pickled passengers who quite responsibly *aren't* driving.

Or what happens when an entire bottle of spirits gets accidentally soaked into a car's upholstery. Or some other organic chemical, which may turn out to register much more strongly on the detectors than Ethyl Alcohol.

As for circumvention: as soon as it becomes known where are the sensors, the wilful drink-drivers will cover them with a suitable membrane (rubber glove or finger thereof, clingfilm, ...).

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The watts in a box that kept West London's lights on

Nigel 11
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Re: Nowhere else in the UK would this happen

I think what the uninformed are talking about, is what happens when the weather "nukes" the infrastructure across a wide area, and there aren't sufficient generators and human resources to fix it all within hours. So there's triage. The most economically important bits get fixed first. Which does mean that London will be prioritized over (say) Swindon, which in turn will be prioritised over Lower Cheeseworth (I made that one up).

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Au-mazing! Cornwall sold GOLD to Ireland back in the Bronze Age

Nigel 11
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Talk about beeding obvious

The value and significance placed on gold may have varied from region to region

And it still does. They're confusing price with value. Today, Gold is globally traded, so its monetary cost is much the same everywhere. But its cultural significance in, say, India, is vastly greater than its present-day significance to white anglos. Which supports its price in currency, globally.

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Did you almost prang a 737 jet with a drone over Dallas? The FAA would like a word

Nigel 11
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Re: Don't bother investigating

I don't think jet engines are going to digest these toys very well without some serious consequences.

They have to be able to digest a goose without serious consequences (although two simultaneous geese requires a miracle to survive)

They also have to be able to digest a stone during takeoff (that might be kicked up by the nosewheel). Not sure what size of stone is tested.

In short, aero engines are pretty tough and well-tested (including confined destruction).

Which isn't to detract from the message that putting a drone in the air where an airliner might collide with it is criminally stupid and thoughtless.

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Remake, remodel: Toshiba Chromebook 2

Nigel 11
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Re: If...

First thing I did was Google "Linux Toshiba Chromebook 2" and found

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Toshiba_Chromebook_2

which says it won't work yet, because the boot device is UHCI not SATA. Anyone know more? I'd have liked a cheap full HD Linux laptop (I am one of those alleged nobodys who use Linux as their desktop of choice).

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Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

Nigel 11
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Re: @Charles 9 - Why are Microsoft giving this away?

"Free" has at least two meanings. One is zero cost. The other translates into French as "libre" and means "at liberty" or "not confined" or "not restricted".

Free software should be understood to refer to the second, not the first meaning.

Also, "cost" does not exclusively refer to money. If I let the air out of your tyres and lend you a pump, that unfriendly act has not cost you nothing, although air is free.

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Nigel 11
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Re: RE: `new features for desktop users` : Really!!!!

People don`t use Desktop Linux. It is irrelevant

Says who? With what definition of "people"?

You can argue about the size of the minority that do use Linux desktop. Maybe (and I agree, maybe not) there will come a day when the size of that minority starts growing exponentially until it is a majority. For something that has zero replication cost (ie free software) such exponential growth could come "out of nowhere" and be very fast. The past is not a useful guide to the future in software.

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Nigel 11
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Re: Thanks for spamming me Microsoft

Don't have your computer AUTO-INSTALL updates! I wait a week or so later, for those time when crap like this happens or a bugger patch is released, then pulled.

Unfortunately, if the update is for a vulnerability that is being exploited by bad guys out there, you are giving them an extra week to target your system. Also unfortunately, there may be circumstances when it is inadvisable for the vendor to tell the world precisely how important it is to install a patch (and more especially, *why*). Because if it is not already known to the bad guys, you don't want to give them any more of a heads-up than they'll get from the patch itself.

A responsible vendor should never confuse security (-critical, -sensitive, -remote-exploitable, local-expoloitable, whatever) patches/fixes with adware, or even with new genuinely useful features that not everyone will want to install (on security grounds), let alone auto-install.

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Nigel 11
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Why would you have to blow your win7 install. You can image your win7 install, try win10, and, if you don't like it, restore your win7 image

Always assuming that Windows 10 doesn't do anything irreversible to anything of yours that it may encounter out there on some network or cloud that you connect to. Just saying ....

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Nigel 11
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Re: I'm confused

was that 'Bok' short for Borked or Broke/Broken?

Or somebody's (nick)name?

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Chlorine gas horror leak at Apple data center puts five in hospital

Nigel 11
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Re: Quart in a pint pot

Is it because of the tilt of the panels?

Depends on whether "area" includes inactive area, i.e panel edges, support frames. If it does, then an inclination angle of arccos( 183/200) or greater would make sense of this. That's about 25 degrees.

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Home routers co-opted into self-sustaining DDoS botnet

Nigel 11
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Countermeasures

Routers etc. should have an effective "revert to factory" mechanism. At a minimum, this requires a switch that will boot (from uncompromisable ROM) a program that will rewrite the device's flash. Two options. One, to a ROM copy of the firmware with which the device was originally shipped. The other, to download updated and securely signed firmware from the manufacturer's site.

Then when an issue like this arises, tell home users to reload their firmware by using a physical button on the box.

Note, "reset to factory" as usually implemented is the exact opposite of what I'm suggesting. It normally resets the configuration data to factory, while leaving the code unchanged. One should be able to reset the code, while leaving the configuration data alone.

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