* Posts by Charles 9

4859 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

$100m fine? How about, er, $16k? AT&T teabags FCC with its giant balls

Charles 9
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Re: Fine seems reasonable

"So you want your cell network all clogged up with people BitTorrenting and streaming Netflix because it's "unlimited" while you're trying to download driving directions or, I dunno, having a phone conversation?"

As the saying goes, "Give an inch, take a mile." Don't offer something you're not fully prepared to provide. If you can't truly offer unlimited and allow BitTorrents and the like, don't offer unlimited. By my book, any service that has to artificially limit bandwidth (as opposed to natural limits like contention and aerial bandwidth) is not unlimited and therefore false advertising in violation of federal laws.

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Charles 9
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Thing is, there's another line somewhere on the scale: the metric of how much it will take for them to go "Sod this" and pull out altogether. The thing you don't want is for the "Sod this" limit to be lower than the "OK, we'll play clean" limit.

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New twist in telco giants' fight to destroy the FCC's net neutrality

Charles 9
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Laws or not, telecom is a utility with big upfront costs. If the incumbents pull up stakes and take their infrastructure (which they legally own) with them, who's going to pony up to build it all back again without appealing to the reluctant taxpayer to foot the bill?

Title II or not, the government can't prevent a business from performing a voluntary liquidation, especially if it makes financial sense (which then goes to fiduciary duty; if the government presses, they can countersue and pit law vs. law in court).

And who cares if the bodies float downstream. They'll have been looted long before then.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

Charles 9
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Re: Look on the bright side

How do you traffic shape an encrypted connection that can come from anywhere?

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Charles 9
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Re: How come...?

"Your response is exactly the sort of 'can't do' attitude exhibited by the people running these organizations. It's a failure of imagination, and a failure to have a vision of an improved method. Perhaps there's a failure of attention to detail. Perhaps it's a lack of hands on experience in the circumstances where such improvements would be valuable."

Or perhaps it's an overabundance of caution in a real world where great ideas can have unintended consequences. Such as lawsuits and Big Brother concerns...

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9 - Torrent is as Torrent Does...

"That's a relief for me because I always disable UPnP on my gateway/router and on any device that offers the bloody damn thing."

I just used it as an example, since it's a common setting on P2P programs to allow for ease of use. If Microsoft was hell-bent on this, they'll probably employ a middleman system like Skype and Live use to get around a double-NAT situation. And credits to milos it uses the same address(es) as legitimate web connections to known Microsoft and/or partner sites, meaning you can't block the middleman connections without blocking legitimate sites: again, collateral damage.

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Charles 9
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Re: Torrent is as Torrent Does...

I don't know if it realistically can be regulated. At least BitTorrent clients let you pick the ports, but some also let you randomize it and use UPnP to open the port on the router. If Microsoft uses this technique and also ties it to the download port, I don't see how you can block one without blocking the other. And given the peer-to-peer nature of torrents, trying to figure which address(es) the torrent is using would be like a game of Whac-A-Mole.

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Charles 9
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Re: How come...?

"How come when you pick up a gadget and wake it up, it's very common that it will choose that point in time to start checking for, downloading,and installing updates?"

Because 9 times out of 10, when the human puts the thing down is also the time it goes to sleep, meaning most of the stuff needed to do updates is powered down. And most humans don't want their devices waking up on their own when they're not around. Not only are there privacy implications, but also power-related ones, especially if the device isn't plugged in often.

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Charles 9
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Re: Wuh!!?

Not even if the update files are signed?

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Charles 9
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Re: Security vulnerability waiting to happen

Depends on how well the updates are signed and/or verified before applying. At least BitTorrent uses hash checking to verify segments as they're downloaded.

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Charles 9
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Unhappy

There's another implication. Since the update files can come from practically anywhere, there's no practical way to block them at the firewall. So not only are home users required to accept updates but there's no practical way to block that feature upstream without collateral damage.

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Edge out rivals? No! Firefox boss BLASTS Microsoft's Windows 10 browser brouhaha

Charles 9
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Re: Linux

"Depends on the 'Linux' (or BSD) distribution you choose and how you install it."

Most Live distros pack a default browser such as Firefox or a variant thereof. I think most user-oriented installation routines also set a default browser and leave it to you to pick an alternative later on from whatever manager is at hand.

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Will the PC glory days ever return, WD asks as its finances slip

Charles 9
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Re: They probably now have their Linux and will move to *BSD

An isolated Windows machine precludes both ZFS and NAS4Free. Besides, in such a setup, doing it my way doesn't involve too much fiddling (I use FastCopy to to the bulk copying work) and has the added benefit of immediate access when they're needed without having to use a network.

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Charles 9
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Re: Density play only

There's also the consideration of bulk storage. Flash and post-Flash tech has the speed advantage, and in terms of reliability it varies somewhat, but when speed is less important than sheer capacity, spinning rust still wins. Especially as the size of the average "thing" continues to grow.

As for the PC itself, I expect it to shrink and niche but not disappear altogether. Workstations will always be needed to produce content, plus there are plenty of enthusiasts and amateurs who will need its versatility and/or raw localized power (media authoring and gaming are two big examples).

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Charles 9
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Re: They probably now have their Linux and will move to *BSD

You can say the same thing about optical discs. Many aren't designed to last more than a few years. Trust me, I speak from experience. I copied all my opticals to external hard drives and still lost some of the data to optical bit rot. Yes, I know spinning rust can break, which is why I keep two copies of the data (the second on a different lot from the first) and rotate them periodically. The odds of a simultaneous double failure are extremely low. I also use parity archiving as a guard against gradual failure (raising the odds of reconstructing badly-read or -copied data).

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

Charles 9
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Re: How much airspace above your house is considered property?

In the US, the limit is about 4-500 feet. Above that is considered commercial airspace controlled by the government. That said, the FAA has authority over all aircraft regardless of height. And since UAVs are considered by them to be aircraft, this slips into a legal gray area: regulation of aircraft vs. protected expectations of privacy, both federally regulated.

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Charles 9
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Re: I've spotted a market

Not unless it's a guarded rotor, in which case it'll deflect off the guard and continue flying.

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Charles 9
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Re: Getting them

Tresspass, certainly. Voyeurism would depend on its actions during the intrusion.

As for shooting down, that's something of a gray area. If one could bag, net, or otherwise capture the drone while it's over your property, one could at least argue confiscation and get off. Shooting it down will take more arguing before the judge since the circumstances can result in collateral damage, which is why most localities don't allow discharging within their limits.

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Charles 9
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Re: So what's the best way to down a drone?

For a low-flying Peeping Tom drone like in this incident, how about a decent-sized throwing net, say 2m diameter? Toss it up, bag the drone, pull it back to earth, and report to the police with the evidence, so to say, in hand?

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Charles 9
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Re: Hard to hit with a shotgun?

From what I've read, it was only 3 meters, not 83, so almost point-blank (which I think is < 1m).

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Charles 9
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Re: Good for him

Birds are generally benign so don't constitute a threat (possible exceptions being a hawk that threatens your pet; if that happens, fending it off and then calling Animal Control would be considered reasonable).

As for airplanes, they're usually in the government-owned airspace above the space you own (private property extends upward to the edge of commercial airspace).

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Charles 9
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Re: Hard to hit with a shotgun?

"As far as endangerment of his neighbours goes, I've always got the impression that on a clay-pigeon shoot, no-one's too bothered about who's the other side of the hedge at the end of the field, as if you're firing almost straight up, standard shot will have lost pretty much all of its kinetic energy by the time it hits the ground."

Is it the norm to actually have homes on the opposite side of shooting ranges over there?

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Charles 9
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Actually, a homeowner normally DOES possess air rights to the space immediately above their homes, up to a certain height where it's government-regulated airspace instead (where airplanes fly). I know this because my neighborhood signed an eminent domain settlement giving the Navy an easement allowing the jets of a nearby airbase to fly over our neighborhood in exchange for compensation. They wouldn't do this unless the homeowners actually owned the space over their houses.

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Charles 9
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Re: Let the arms race begin...

Shot can't keep a ballistic trajectory (shotguns are smoothbore), which is the key reason bullets fired up are still deadly coming back down (because their spin from the rifling stabilizes their flight). They'll tumble instead and fall to the ground with about the force of a comparably-sized pebble dropped from the shot's apex (1-200 feet, I think). Meaning, at worst, it can be annoying but it shouldn't be lethal.

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Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim

Charles 9
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Re: RE. Read the Fine Print

Still that 200GB SD represents the limit I think in terms of flash on SD. The dimensions of the card are now constraining what chips can go into it three-dimensionally. Thus 200GB instead of 256GB as it should be.

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Charles 9
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Re: Manufacturing capacity

You can say the same thing of 3D Flash. It always takes time for production to ramp up. Thing is, this new tech appears to be lagging 3D Flash only be a few months. If it really is everything it claims to be, it has the potential to strangle 3D Flash in the cradle, before it can really break out into the mainstream.

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Charles 9
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Re: hmm

"I'd heard that memristor from HP/Hynix was a done deal, simply waiting for market conditions to be right. Never sell your best if you can sell your old product line for a while longer...."

That's a fair strategy for evolutionary tech where the competition can choose to leapfrog you and go two steps ahead instead. Not so for revolutionary tech that can result in a paradigm shift, meaning your existing tech can be obsoleted cutting off your revenues. In the latter case, who dares wins since they gain the critical advantage of the first mover. If the market develops to be such that it can't support a lot of suppliers, you definitely don't want to be left behind.

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The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

Charles 9
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Re: Flat rate tax system...

Well then it's a lost cause since you'd have to apply this flat tax rate worldwide. But since many countries are in competition with others, tax havens emerge and since they're sovereign, there's little you can do directly to stop them being tax havens. So you gotta make it up somewhere.

As for the flat tax, one reason for a progressive tax code is to discourage the very rich hoarding their money away. Money that doesn't move doesn't get taxed since it's no longer income to someone. That's why some savvy wits borrow against assets instead of sell them: to dodge capital gains taxes.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Charles 9
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Re: Bloody tools

"This is the 21st century and we're talking about mobile devices right? Why don't you just use the hardware-implemented codecs on the hardware (via the SDKs)? I can play real time video on my phone's browser, or from within an app, without having to get my hands dirty writing c++ codecs."

Because time marches on. Codecs get improvements and eventually get replaced with entirely new ones. Hardware H.264 can have trouble when handling bleeding-edge video files that push the codec to its limits. And they're absolutely worthless for the new wave of H.265 video.

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Charles 9
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Re: Bloody tools

"Most of Android is built in Java,not c++."

Except performance-intensive stuff IS native-coded. And multimedia stuff tends to fall into that category: especially anything involving video. And even my S4 (also a quad at nearly 2GHz per along with a good mobile GPU chip) has difficulty doing 1080p H.264 video with subtitles (not starting with H.265). A 10% hit can mean the difference between a decent enough playback and one too herky-jerky to be satisfactory. And most consumers think opposite to you. "Screw security; I just wanna get stuff done!" Meaning you're outvoted.

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Charles 9
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Re: Great

I think the S4 is still on the Lollipop list, so it could still be updated.

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Charles 9
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Re: What?

It's referring to the Multimedia Messaage System (MMS), which uses the Simple Message System (SMS) as a conduit to enable phone users to pass multimedia attachments around. Think of it like a form of e-mail attachment. The text is sent that contains information for the phone to know where to connect to download the actual file.

Where the problem lies is that Android, like many other smartphones, tries to go one step ahead of you so you don't get frustrated in waiting. They pick up the attachment ahead of time after it receives the text, sets it up for you to see, and THAT'S where the exploit lies.

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Charles 9
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"Some thought would be need to given to older hardware which is no longer able to support the latest version of an OS. Backporting will only work so for so long. Might have to introduce official restrictions on older hardware."

And then you'll be playing right into the paranoid's hand since they figure old hardware is the only way to prevent Big Brother from watching you.

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Charles 9
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Re: filter at the telco level?

Not to mention that would make the ISPs legally liable and culpable for the content. IOW, they can now be sued or even charged criminally for not policing their network if they exploit the capability.

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Xen reports new guest-host escape, this time through CD-ROMs

Charles 9
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ANOTHER Redpill? And there are those who said a Redpill was trickier to accomplish...

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Today's smart home devices are too dumb to succeed

Charles 9
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"I can't see the problem with manufacturers doing that, they make their money on the hardware (especially the hub/gateway)."

And therein lies the problem. They want it to be THEIR hub in charge of the house, so the manufacturers don't want to cooperate with each other, lest they're considered Giving Information To The Enemy. Basically put, the competition is cut-throat. If they can't win, they'd rather NO ONE win since that means back to the status quo where they were actually doing all right.

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Charles 9
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"Ideally, there needs to be cross compatibility and standards (such as what they did with DLNA), otherwise you're going to get many different eco-systems, all with incompatible peripherals, meaning you will forever be locked into an individual companies IoT project."

I think that's the entire point. There can be only one in this case, so everyone's fighting to be the one hub to rule them all.

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Charles 9
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Re: The white light explained

That was exactly what I was thinking. You should be able to design a circuit that can recognize a "blink" off then quickly back on and see this as a safety signal and switch full white. Then a normal cycle takes it right back to the last known state before then.

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Charles 9
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Re: Some good points made

"Is a unified, extensible, open protocol too much to ask?"

HELL YEAH it's too much to ask because ALL the companies know to control the hub is to control the home. IOW, they're in such intense mutual competition that cooperation is out of the question. As the saying goes, there can be only one. The game is zero-sum here, so the companies are trying to be the ones who can control everyone else. Most likely scenarios will be (1) an outside who ONLY makes control units figures out how to control everyone else in spite of different protocols and becomes the king of the house or (2) the whole mess collapses in a stew of incompatible standards and consumer disgust over the whole thing.

PS. As for the whole smart light thing, I don't see the point of it myself for general use. I like to have real set-it-and-forget-it lights that I can just stick in and leave for a year or three. Controllable lights like this I'd reserve for specialist purposes like presentation lighting.

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Happy 30th anniversary, Tengen! Your anti-DRM NES chip fought the law, and the law won

Charles 9
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Re: Reverse Historical Engineering

Several manufacturers like Color Dreams IIRC charge-pumped the CiC, allowing them to release unlicensed games. Meanwhile, the Game Genie used a piggyback technique to slip through. However, some models that appeared just before the top-loaders had diodes to defend against charge pumps.

Tengen's reverse-engineered chip, BTW, was codenamed "Rabbit".

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Charles 9
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Re: They didnt want crap titles?

LJN was just a second NES label for Acclaim, an already-registered company. Much as Ultra Games was Konami's second NES label.

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Charles 9
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Re: Cut the reset pin and wire to a switch?

Just get one of the late-model top-loading units. IIRC they removed the CiC from them. There are also the aftermarket players that came about after Ninty's patent protections ran out. Since the NES has been studied top to bottom for such a long time support is quite extensive even by third parties.

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Boffins' audacious plan to blow up aircraft foiled by bomb-proof bag

Charles 9
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Meh

Blast containment in general, bully. Having better control over explosives is generally a Good Thing.

Now, the other aspects of what's being described in the article? Mixed feelings.

The testing sound like it has potential, but I still get the feeling it could still stand a few scenario tests. Just how was the Fly Bag tested? Under what conditions? It will help to see if more parameters need to be considered like perhaps a positive-pressure hold (to better simulate an in-to-out pressure differential that would occur while in-flight).

And the consortium wanting the bags to be mandatory? Hold your horses. Let's make sure we get this right first.

Meanwhile, this'll do diddly for the current preferred bomb technique: carry-on or wear-on explosives. Who's betting the next plane is bombed out of the sky courtesy of a kinky woman who pulls out a dildo bomb while in the toilet?

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Charles 9
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Re: From a proud Bible thumper

Dorfl: "I Don't Call That Much Of An Argument."

// obligatory Discworld reference.

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YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Charles 9
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Re: Nomen est omen

The same problem exists with nuts. From a culinary perspective, it's an edible seed, but from a botanical perspective, nuts are a specific kind of edible seed that grows on trees and has no outer flesh, among other qualifications. Thus you end up with culinary nuts that aren't botanical nuts, like almonds and pistachios (drupes: they have outer flesh so are really the single large "pit" of a fruit) and peanuts (legumes: it's the "pea" part that is botanically accurate) and cashews (straight seeds of a fruit, not to mention toxic in raw form).

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Charles 9
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Re: They were correct

There's still the matter of Eris, which is supposed to be larger than Pluto.

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Charles 9
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Re: Purely physical critera

By those qualifications, though, we could end up jumping from eight to TEN planets. Recall the article mentioned Eris, which is larger than Pluto and just as round. Meaning in terms of size and roundness, if Pluto qualifies, so does Eris. About the only question mark with it is geologic activity. The probe has shown Pluto is geologically active, but we don't know the same for Eris.

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Driverless cars banished to fake Michigan 'town' until they learn to read

Charles 9
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Re: Flat Earth...

"Oh, and you can't get heavier than air objects to fly. And super-sonic speeds, never. As for instant global communications, no way. And you can't get computer controlled cars to go about without killing everyone...."

Well, we know SOME things are physically impossible such as a deterministic infinite loop detector.

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Charles 9
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Re: Flat Earth...

Well, we could make a flying car right now if we wanted them. We've had working prototypes since the 1990s. The reality check for the flying car is the same one that did in the Concorde: practicality. Not to mention Murphy's Law combined with plain old gravity.

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Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

Charles 9
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Re: Muppets

Nice thought. All this over a typo...

PS. I personally preferred Laser Zone to AMC.

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