* Posts by Daniel 1

572 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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ULA says to BLAME SPACEX for Ruski rocket rebuff

Daniel 1

Re: Sad indictment

What it's a sad indictment of, is that no one in the US can make the RD-180 cheaper and to the same quality as Energomash.

They have that right: it's part of the contract. They could hire American workers to make as many RD-180s as they wanted. No retooling needed, no nothing. It's just that the Russian ones are cheaper and more reliable.

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SpaceX wins court injunction to block US Air Force buying Russian rockets

Daniel 1

The RD-180 is an excellent engine, delivering power and reliability that any NASA engineer will swear by, and buying Russian made ones rather than assembling them in the US (as the contract allows) is one of the ways NASA has continued being able to launch payloads at all, during budget cuts.

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Daniel 1

Re: national security

"Often these military contracts involve a local manufacture under licence part in order to minimise security concerns."

Indeed, as does this contract. Lockheed Martin have every right to manufacture RD-180s in the US. It was just turned out much cheaper to carry on buying the Russian-made ones. If SpaceX can beat the price of the RD-180 and still deliver the reliability and power of that engine they should do so.

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Plusnet goes titsup for spectacular hour-long wobble

Daniel 1

And... The DNS Servers are hosed again

Plusnet's DNS servers are, once again, directing requests for popular web sites to the Same Phishing website they were directing them to on Tuesday night. Switched my Router to use OpenDNS, and the problem immediately disappears. It's definitely Plusnet's DNS servers.

Unbelievable. Windows users on Plusnet will be getting infected with whatever is in that 'setup.exe', the site is peddling, right now, because of this. Their contact number is reporting an average 30 minute wait time, when you ring it.

Now all I have to do, is find a new broadband provider that isn't either owned by BT, already, or likely to be bought by them in the next 12 months.

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Daniel 1

Re: Was this a Plusnet security problem??

I would guess that if the router were at fault, it would have changed things on the router (a hosts file, for instance), not intercepted, and rewritten the IP addresses of the DNS servers to use. More likely your main router retains a record of the DNS servers Plusnet were offering on Tuesday evening. If you rebooted the other one, it will have gone out and picked up what they are specifying, now.

The onus still lies with Plusnet, as far as I can see. For two Plusnet customers to have observed exactly the same problem, from the same vendor, for the same period of time, seems a little suspect, otherwise. Do you know other people on other ISPs who saw this?

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Daniel 1

Re: Was this a Plusnet security problem??

Yes, I think it was. Their DNS servers were compromised all yesterday evening. I experienced exactly the same thing, and followed exactly the same steps to determine that it was so. I knew something was wrong, when I first got redirected on a machine that doesn't even have Flash Player installed. It was immediately apparent that some where in the DNS chain, there was poison. Your reports just corroborate what I experienced. Glad I didn't imagine it all. In the end, I kanked the power cable on my router and went out to the local pub quiz.

However, I'm guessing a lot of Plusnet Windows users might now have badly infected home computers as a direct result of this - because as Phishing sites go, it wasn't that unconvincing.

Of course, it is also possible something got borked during a botched attempt to fix the /original/, problem, from the day before? Maybe some Plusnet sys admin decided to download a 'This will cure all your woes' fix, that he discovered on a website whose URL ended in '.cn' TLD? These are the people who store all our broadband passwords in plain text, after all (unless they have some magic way of reversing the encryption on just letters x and y of my password - since this is their usual "security" question, whenever I phone them). been thinking of switching suppliers for some time, even though they are the cheapest (for a reason, it seems). this might be enough to make me do so.

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Daniel 1

That's not the whole of it!

For some time, yesterday evening, their DNS servers were rerouting web requests for "www.google.co.uk" to a phishing website purporting to the the download location for something called "Flash player pro". I kid you not.

After determining that it was not my router, that had joined all the other stuffed-up routers across the world, or the computer itself, I reported the matter to Plusnet. I got no acknowledgement, but I shall be reconfiguring my router to use OpenDNS from now on.

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Murdoch dumps Microsoft, prepares to Hangout with Google

Daniel 1

Re: A fool and his money are easily parted...

"What is this hell of coporate GMail of which you type?"

Using coporate GMail is like using Gmail. If you don't like Gmail, you won't like coporate GMail.

In our company (big company, thousands of employees across the entire globe) Outlook/Exchange never really worked very well, anyway, so the switch hasn't made much impact on how the business runs.

There /may/ be concerns about client data and confidentiality, or whatever - I cannot say, as I do not work in a client-facing area of the business. However, from a functional point of view, the only difference is that I no longer get emails about my inbox being over its size limit, and I no longer have to go back through my email history and work out what I can safely delete (and then delete it from 'Deleted items', of course, and then delete it from 'Recover Deleted Items', and so on... until I finally get some inbox space back).

Also, because Chrome automatically becomes the default browser across the entire company, you tend to hear less about things looking funny in (insert-version-here) of Internet Explorer. Forget about having free rein to install whatever you want, in your own copy of Chrome, any more, though!

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Exclusive: SNOWDEN and ME. TRUE MOSCOW story of OPEN DATA HERO

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Windows 8: Is Microsoft's new OS too odd to handle?

Daniel 1

Re: Windows 8 task manager?

Well, everyone wants a pretty task manager, don't they? Personally, I always want to be visually dazzled and inspired while forcing my unresponsive applications to shut down. I hope it comes in that special shade of purple - you know, the colour of someone's vomit after drinking red wine - that we are seeing in all the pictures.

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Daniel 1

Re: expect the howls of dismay from users trying Windows 8 for the first time to quieten eventually

They won't have to wait 5 years. Within nine months, that fuck-ugly abortion of an interface will look about a 'hip' and 'groovy' as one of Jimmy Saville's old shirts, and Microsoft will be struggling to rush a new de-Metroised Windows 9 out to market.

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Northgate IS issues suppliers with Ts&Cs change ultimatum

Daniel 1

Re: So you tell all your suppliers to take a pay cut or fuck off

I wouldn't cry too much for them. Many of the 'suppliers' concerned have names like 'Microsoft', 'Oracle', 'IBM', 'HP', 'VMWare' - basically a shooting gallery full of all the bastards you'd like to do this to, yourself.

In part, it has been prompted by a 'supplier' approaching Northgate and demanding license fees for software sold to the company in the late 1990s/early 2000s, and allegedly still in use. It's basically up to NIS to prove that the software isn't in use, and it is therefore not liable. (This supplier approaches NIS, and several other ex-customers, every few years, with this jolly little scam.)

No naming names, of course, because that would be naughty - and those affected will already know who I'm on about.

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Daniel 1

Re: IT Giant?

Northgate has some business in the Public Sector, (notably every UK police force) but while these are large portfolios they lack the profits of the real money, which comes from private companies - many of them multinationals. That means Airlines, Insurance, Phamaceuticals, Motor Industry, the European arms of an Internet Search company whose name eludes me...

You may not realise this, because its offerings are often repackaged as those of its own clients (i.e. banks, mostly - think of business accounts that come with services bolted on). The outcome, however, is that Northgate is now directly responsible for managing the pay of 1 in 3 of the UK population (that definitely means some of you, reading this). So, it's a fairly big fish.

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Retina MacBook Pro nukes Apple's green credentials

Daniel 1

@Obviously! and Maxson

Indeed, they don't just rebrand Foxconn kit* since, in this case, we're talking about a laptop - which means it was probably made by Quantacom, in Taiwan, rather than Foxconn.

So, sometimes they rebrand Quantacom kit.

*Nor are they the only ones, since Amazon Kindles are also 'Foxconn kit', and Xbox 360s and Nintendo Wiis are 'Foxconn kit' - in the sense of actually having been made at Zhengzhou Technology Park, in Henan. Strictly speaking, large portions of my Samsung Galaxy S2 are 'Foxconn kit', but since it was assembled at a different plant, in a different country, that particular droid probably isn't the Foxconn you're looking for.

And if you're reading this on a high-end laptop there's about a one in three chance it's actually Quantacom kit.

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People-powered Olympic shopping mall: A sign of utter tech illiteracy

Daniel 1

Re: Energy / Power isn't complicated

To be sung to the tune of 'Ilkley Moor':

Power is the rate of doing work(doing work)

And energy, the ability to do work

Work is the distance, times the load

Work is the distance, times the load

And power is measured in watts

And Energy's measured in joules

And watts are joules per second

Once learned, never forgotten.

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Apple's HTML5 bet against Android extermination

Daniel 1

Re: As posters have pointed out...

Actually, I think it's the fact that Ferrari are largely owned by Fiat, is what pays the RnD bill.

Beware car analogies.

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Ofcom: The Office of Screwing Over Murdoch?

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'Apple will coast, and then decelerate' says Forrester CEO

Daniel 1

So, Forrester is run by a man called 'Colon'

This explains much.

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Cameron's 'Google Review' sparked by killer quote that never was

Daniel 1

In other news

Prime ministers occasionally make up things to justify policies of dubious worth.

"I'm shocked, shocked... to find that gambling is going on in here!"

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AOL joins advertiser exodus from Rush Limbaugh

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LOHAN's flying truss: One orb or two?

Daniel 1

One balloon, two balloons... It barely matters how many, they'd have swollen to the point where they filled 80-90% of the available sky above the rig, anyway, as far as I can see, and you're only going to get a ridiculous little spurt of extra altitudefrom any engine you use, compared to what the balloons have already provided.

Better to consolidate all your LOHANs into one, easy to manage, package.

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How to tell if your biz will do a Kodak

Daniel 1

That point was made in the article

The point, implied, was that selling to Jeff Bezos isn't like selling to Tim's Hardware store. Bezos will sign five year exclusive bulk order deals, that give a 0.01% profit margin.

The message is: get in the queue to pitch to Jeff, or start work on your CV.

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Child labour, lost wages uncloaked by Apple factories audit

Daniel 1

Buy what you want

The UN reckons that 80% of the world's cargo shipping is carried on ships that would be declared unfit for service if inspected, and are manned by crews that may not have seen land, or, in some cases, even daylight, in several years. Every month ships are lost whose crew manifestos were probably false. The only thing the families ever know, is that the money stops coming back.

Buy what you want: if you're alive, today, and you've bought something handled by a slave. We forget that it is only a few decades, since companies in the developed world were compelled to pay women (and by extension, everyone else) the same wage for the same task. These liberties are easier lost than they are won.

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CES headman: 'Microsoft not gone, just on pause'

Daniel 1

US's revered founding fathers

A fine collection of slave-owners, human-traffickers, and land speculators, to be compared to, I'm sure.

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What should a sci-fi spaceship REALLY look like?

Daniel 1

Re: Realistic in one sense

For a time I knew Harry Lange, through his wife Daisy (while she studied archaeology as a mature student at my University). He didn't talk too much about his time working with Kubrick, as he was generally a rather modest man, but he did say, in general, that he and the other NASA artists, hired for 2001, took their inspiration for how the outside of the spaceships should look, from their years of drawing and painting concept art for countless proposed NASA rovers, landers and deep space probes. ("A good picture could make congress open it's wallet" he once said.) He commented that "we may have over done it", since - at the time we were talking - hardly anyone had dared to present a movie spaceship, which did not feature that same, dull, slightly grubby-looking, matt grey exterior, with ports, panels, grills, handles and ladders all over it.

I've seen some claim that Lange 'designed' the Millennium falcon (it's a claim he did not make in my presence) but I do recall, he did say it was he, who convinced Lucas to stick a comms dish on it - as a homage to the comms dish on the Discovery, from 2001. Lucas had complained that people with faster than light travel would not bother communicating using radio, but Harry had replied, is his usual pragmatic manner: "George, who says its a radio dish? A parabola is the best way of focusing any kind of radiation into a beam, isn't it?"

Harry's love of wearing tweed flat caps, on set (although, by the time I knew him, he'd moved onto trilbies) is often said to have been an inspiration for the space suit designs of 2001 - a claim Harry certainly repeated, to me on one occasion, when he showed me a Set Crew's commemorative book, that was presented to all the people who had worked on the film, after it's success - pointing out the photo of himself, wearing such a cap on set.

However, a personal favourite - in cutting costs, to produce props - was the muffin trays, from Dark Star. "If only we'd thought of that!"

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Shock result: UK's largest city best place to get IT job

Daniel 1

The map appears to be a form of "3D Buzzword Bingo".

What are the people under the separate entries for "VB.NET" and "C#" doing, that the people doing ".NET" aren't, for instance - and why does it merit 3 different salary ranges? Perl.NET, presumably.

In my area, apparently, the VB.NET people are the most expensively-rewarded of the three, but all three groups would be better off if they were doing thing called "Cisco" instead, while the plain ".NET" people wouldn't take much of a hit if they just jacked it in and specialised in "HTML".

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Woomera: Ghosts of Britain's space past

Daniel 1

English Electric Canberra

Probably a Mk 20. My dad flew these things. They were used to tow targets for training Bofors gunners, but my dad mostly recalls the gunner's preference for simply shooting at the plane.

This is probably an Australian air force one.

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Sunderland hires IBM to build cloud infrastructure

Daniel 1
Joke

The objective is, apparently, a 'smarter Sunderland'

You've got to start somewhere, however unlikely the prospect.

(This message has been brought to you by the North Tyne Information Agency)

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New 'nauts move into International Space Station

Daniel 1

It's a rotating distance-monitoring antenna

Part of the Pirs docking unit on the Zvezda module that TMAs and ATMs use to dock with ISS. Because the Kurs docking system is made in the Ukraine, by what is now a commercial competitor to RKA, the entire docking mechanism is under review. Pirs, itself, is set for replacement under this ongoing scheme, and will thus become the first section of the ISS to undergo decommissioning since the station was built.

The readout for the KURS (which is mentioned repeatedly in the commentary) can be seen in the bottom right under the Cyrillic letters 'KYPC'.

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Why your tech CV sucks

Daniel 1

He works for the City of London

You know? That powerhouse of intellectual talent and cocaine-testing that put this country in "Glad we're not Greece" bucket. You only have to look at how well all the people he's hired, so far, have shaped up, to see what a keen eye he has for weeding out life's failures.

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Amazon ups Kindle Fire production...

Daniel 1

Worth bearing in mind that they _sell_ them for £125. It probably _costs_ them substantially more, to make, than this. As with the Kindle, they'll be betting on selling content, to make up the difference. In fact, I'm guessing that Jeff Bezos is probably hoping Fire users DON'T just sit around surfing the Web, watching free videos on YouTube and playing games that Amazon didn't sell them.

This isn't just going to be a walled garden. It's going to be one where you have to pay, to sniff the flowers.

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‘Want to be more secure? Don’t be stupid’ redux

Daniel 1

Even better than that

The firewall will also prevent all your servers from connecting to the vendor, and receiving any software updates. So when your network get compromised, all the wonks who run the firewall can blame it on the vendor, for having shonky server software, and thus keep their jobs!

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Crap alchemist jailed for poo-into-gold experiment

Daniel 1

Dumbledore and Dumbleder

It shows how times have moved on, however. If you'd told the Northern Ireland police, twenty years ago, that you'd accidentally started a fire while trying to make something using fertiliser, you might have risked a good deal more than jail time!

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BlackBerry BBM, email downed in epic FAIL

Daniel 1

Not routed through Canada, apparently

It appears that the Slough datacentre is at least partially to blame, as it serves these regions.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=Bath%20Road%20Slough&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=6578l6578l0l6852l1l1l0l0l0l0l125l125l0.1l1l0&safe=on&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

BlackBerry haven't routed all their traffic through Canada for several years, now.

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Security by obscurity not so bad after all, argues prof

Daniel 1

Security by being obscure, more like

The argument holds true, in a target-rich environment, where the only thing to be had, from a given computer, is a collection of photographs of naked people doing athletic - but strangely unemotional - things, to one another, plus the login details to the likes of Facebook or Twitter.

If, on the other hand, your computer is full of blueprints for stealth helicopters, sonarless submarines, and death-ray satellites, and is housed in a concrete bunker armed by the kinds of people that only Gordon Freeman can take down, then it is no longer obscure, and all the old arguments apply.

The professor's argument boils down to a wilderbeest defence: stay in the herd and don't look weak enough to count as dinner. However, some of us aren't wilderbeest.

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Yahoo! fires! CEO! Carol! Bartz!

Daniel 1
Joke

But they're 'leveraging' the Company's leadership, in this case

Uh... umm, just a little extra twist - pop - out she goes!

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LOHAN seeks mighty thruster for trip to heaven and back

Daniel 1
Headmaster

But...

There are no aerodynamics, at that altitude, which is why the launch shown in the video could never occur. Nice video, though.

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Daniel 1
Boffin

Not really

You'd need something that will burn (and more importantly ignite) in a partial vacuum. That probably means an off-the-shelf ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) rocket, like those made by firms like Aerotech.

The main problem, then, will be to find an APCP blend that has sufficient thrust, for a sufficient burn time. Common long-duration mile-high-plus rocket motors like the Aerotech White Lightnings, generate about a five to seven second burn - initial burn of over 300 pounds of thrust for the first half second, followed by a sustained 80-odd pounds, thereafter.

White Lightning is favoured by those who like to follow their rocket during the ascent, but most people aiming for mile-high and more altitudes opt for extremely powerful, short-duration engines like the Redline or Blue Thunder (under two seconds burn) because sheer speed is better than a long burn. Each second spent burning, is another second spent fighting gravity, so the most economical means of gaining altitude is actually to just get there as fast as possible. I would guess that standard launches like these would tear both the plane and the gondola to pieces, in this instance, however.

Even with six seconds you need to be doing an average of 80 meters per second squared to do more than a mile of powered flight.

Slower burning types, like those used in model planes will probably not ignite and burn under these conditions, because they are air-burners. They are also tailored to the needs of devices that can generate lift via aerodynamics: i.e. they wouldn't produce any meaningful altitude gain, even if they could burn.

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Googorola versus the Android ecosystem

Daniel 1

I suspect they are trying too paint a target on their chests

Motorola was one of the remaining manufacturers that hadn't agreed to Microsoft's "We've never been able to get it to work, so you owe us" tax. It also hasn't been directly attacked in Apple's "We're the only ones who've been able to make it work right, so you owe us" lawsuits, either.

I suspect Google is attempting to step in and see if it can take a few bullets. It can't defend Android properly until it is, itself, under direct attack. At the moment, it just happens to be the maker of this 'free thing' that all these other manufacturers are getting clobbered over, for using.

I would be unsurprised that, having drawn the fire it seems to want - and presumably the game plan involves actually winning that particular battle - Google didn't simply divest itself of a (presumably strengthened) smart phones manufacturing division, since it isn't part of the company's core DNA.

If they fail, of course, we will never know what they were planning because it is a gamble that could take the whole operation down, if it is misjudged.

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Can you handle LOHAN's substantial globes?

Daniel 1

@stoneshop

Yeah, I did correct the altitude snafu: I typed without thinking.

However, your assertion about getting 5kms from the ground with a 'decent' rocket... Well, it's true, you can do it, but you're actually talking about something like an Aerotech M1550 Redline, or similar - which is a VERY decent rocket.

In fact, it's the most powerful type of rocket licensed for civilian use in some countries; and you launch from solid ground (i.e. not a balloon) to get over a mile of altitude, using a proper rocket shell (i.e. something capable of sustaining 8-12Gs of acceleration all the way). Take a look at the videos of Steve Jurvetson (of venture capitalism fame), to see what a real 'mile high' rocket looks like. You cannot launch one of them from any kind of balloon.

The Register will certainly need to be something like an ACPC-fueled burner, to even ignite, in a near vacuum - and Aerotech are a likely candidate, to provide such a charge - but the actual rocket or rockets are going to be nothing like on the scale of a Redline. It would tear both the plane and the balloon to shreds.

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Daniel 1

Then why launch upwards, at all?

Your last balloon reached 89km. Solid fuel rockets would give, what, in comparison to that? Another couple of hundred meters?

Launch the thing sideways for maximum cross-range velocity and best glide, when the inner atmosphere is met with.

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Daniel 1

Make that 30km, but still...

Still begs the question

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Windows Phone dev GM splits with Microsoft

Daniel 1

Don't worry

In desperate last minute bargaining, congress have agreed a new ceiling to the "United Stated dead Puppy Mountain".

Crisis averted. Keep Googling.

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Google claims 'bogus patent' conspiracy against Android

Daniel 1

Yes, you do have to wonder

How far would MS DOS have got, in this sort of climate?

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Paul McCartney's ex-wife makes phone-hacking claim

Daniel 1
Joke

Also because...

Many journalists are too busy diligently researching the veracity of reports that Internet Explorer users are all thick, to be bothered with whether or not other journalists are illegally bugging people.

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Chrome 13: Google uncloaks search click prediction engine

Daniel 1

It'll start like this

Then, they'll change it, so instead of searching for what you typed, it'll return the result for the search it thinks you should have typed.

I got to page three of an apparently incomprehensible set of search results, the other day, before I finally worked out that, instead of showing me the results for:

"I/O ChildEvents stEdit editTab.length must be nonzero"

It was showing the results for:

Io childrens events street editable length must be one zone

If anyone from Google is reading this, I have a word of advice for them. This idea was shit, when it was a paper clip. Stop doing it. Even you're not clever enough to do a shitty thing well.

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Googlenet runs on '900,000 servers'

Daniel 1

Long may it last

You think the Windows machines are bad, you should see how opaque the mainframe business is in this regard. Big Data users used to like to point to how they could get the maximum workload out of their gear by running at top speed all of the time, but with virtualisation, it is becoming possible for everyone to do that, to some extent, without paying out hand-over-fist for it.

(Of course the mianframe business is canny, and what will happen, is that IBM will take all of your cheap commodity servers and stick them in one big, chest-freezer-sized box, spray paint it mat black and sell it as a "Z1000", for a smidgen under a million dollars, with a label on the front saying "also runs Linux".)

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Nokia N9 joins next month's mobile match

Daniel 1

Someone's already given it a 5 star review, I see

World's full of optimists.

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Intel: Apple has online app sales exactly backwards

Daniel 1

So you fix the search

Poor search is a computing problem, not a economic one. Saying that the search is bad, and thus efforts based on search are inherently bad, is a bit like saying you should ditch your database and go with lots of little flat text files because you can't work out how to optimise your queries.

Apple's app store is a train wreck, but not because of it's one-stop approach. It shoots itself in the foot through not actually being a proper free market. That doesn't mean the model is wrong. It just means that deliberately limiting the range of goods you sell, for a variety of commercial, ideological, or, occasionally, down-right geeky reasons, is bad business.

Google's is a disaster because they don't actually want to do any organising in the first place.

The "small shops" approach simply offloads the job of sorting and categorising everything, to other people - all these supposed enthusiastic little shops. However, shopping on the high street, is something everyone seems to think everyone else should be doing: elderly spinsters in thick grey stockings, perhaps, keeping the village store alive by cycling in, once a week, to buy butter in weighed quantities.

But even when it is done, you know what actually happens: they go to the specialist store; seek advice from the knowledgeable and enthusiastic sales assistant; work out which product will be best for them; then go home and buy it on Amazon. Intel's "small shops" approach is an attempt to split what profits do exist, two ways, in hopes that this can still undercut the one-stop shop. Every app vendor will still know, however, that they'd better make sure their product was available on the one-stop place, because that's where most of the punters will actually buy from.

Why even have your own store, when referrals are often simpler and less hassle, anyway? The referrals business is growing and will probably become the model to be followed, by anyone wanting to make money from a specialist recommendations system.

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Daniel 1
Joke

I have a suggested edit for that FAQ

"Do you support in-app advertising and subscriptions?

Of course we fucking do. The whole point, of steering people into ever narrower alleyways of economic activity, is to better profile them and monitor their interests - so that we can target lots of advertising at them! We haven't actually fixed the targeted advertising bit, yet, but once we have, you'll have to use our custom advertising SDK, because, frankly, creaming off 30% of your profit margins isn't enough for us, and we want more."

"Do you actually plan to let us sell any non-Intel stuff

Non-Intel stuff doesn't exist. Here, look at this picture of a kitten."

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