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* Posts by Charles 9

3634 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

Charles 9
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Re: Whilst I fully support "MOP" as a unit of mobile data use...

Even that's variable. You can encode that same minute at different bandwidths. You'll get differing results, but for a porno tube transmission, a rate of ~500kbps would be acceptable. You'll either need to provide a bandwidth or a quantizer setting to make a concrete result.

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Charles 9
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Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

1.5Mbps? Sounds like you could cram HD-level porn in that bandwidth. I would think something more in the neighborhood of 500kpbs video is more to be expected from a mobile porn stream.

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Charles 9
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Re: Unit of data

How long average per track? Disco tracks can range from relatively tame 3-minute affairs to 15 minutes plus (some of the longer songs of Donna Summers).

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Apple cored: Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S4 in a month

Charles 9
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Re: Samsung 1 Nokia 0

Unfortunately, that can happen naturally in capitalism (what I call "Winner economics"). Once a firm gets a big edge, they can leverage it to push everyone else out of the market: even to the point that even a disruptive innovation doesn't have much impact.

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Aha, I see you switched on your mobile Wi-Fi. YOU FOOL!

Charles 9
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What about for just casual "check the news while you wait" kind of browsing? Especially for newer phones that don't have Flash installed on them? Sure, there's the drive-by, but wouldn't a drive-by penetrate a tunnel?

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'Leccy car biz baron Elon Musk: Thanks for the $500m, taxpayers...

Charles 9
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Re: The US government made about USD$26 million on the deal...

ItsNotMe is claiming that's a one-off: the result of the selling of pollution credits. Let's see them repeat the feat in the NEXT quarter.

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Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

Charles 9
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Re: Forgot to ask

That would just about rule out milk and meat, and those are the two things that are subject to the kosher restrictions (primarily, you can't have both of them at once, and anything dairy can't follow meat for a while). Avoid them altogether and you can probably get it Pareve.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is Plausible

Trouble is, those amounts differ from person to person. Glandular deficiencies, birth defects, and so on can radically alter the required diet.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not the perfect food..

Actually, it would be valuable if the cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (such as that found in fish). HDL actually helps to keep other cholesterol levels under control.

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Charles 9
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Re: Is he rebranding milk?

Making a substance that is perfectly healthy yet perfectly safe for everyone sounds impossible to me because some otherwise-helpful substances trigger dangerous allergic reactions in some people.

- Can't use peanuts or tree nuts. Some people are allergic to them to the point of anaphylaxis from just trace exposure.

- Can't use wheat, barley, or any grain with gluten in it. Caeliacs, you understand.

- Can't use milk or anything with lactose. Intolerance.

- Did you know there are even people allergic to CORN? Makes life in North America tough (corn is the big grain of the US, and most things there have corn in them somewhere).

Pretty sure if you dig deep enough, you'll find that everyone has a bad reaction to SOMETHING you would need to make this "Soylent" complete.

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Charles 9
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Re: Licence

No, because there is no TRADEMARK on the term "Soylent". Indeed, the makers can probably claim the term is too simple (it's just a portmanteau of "Soy" and "Lentil"--see "Make Room! Make Room!") to make the word eligible for trademark.

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James Bond inspires US bill to require smart guns for all

Charles 9
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Re: gets my goat

"Well-regulated" CANNOT mean "organized" in this case, as that implies rules, which implies government...and government is the intended adversary OF the militia in the worst case. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to guarantee the people (the militia is defined as the regular people--see the Federalist Papers) the last resort...and it must be against ANY government because what if ALL the government levels are in cahoots?

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Charles 9
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Re: gets my goat

Ever heard of a one-man army? How about a one-man militia? Entirely possible and within the law (by definition, militias are outside government control; the National Guard doesn't count). And regulated in this case means equipped (like the Regulars).

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Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

"Also, I'm not massively familiar with US law on the subject, but Vernor vs. Autodesk seems to indicate that the US courts take a very similar stance, so I'm fairly confident that the idea that US companies can shovel any old shit onto their consumers in their EULAs is a misconception too."

Vervor v. Autodesk was thrown out on a technicality. Turns out Vernor never properly got the copies from their original location. Autodesk proved (with a LEASE contract, no less) that the copies were part of a service agreement—they were meant to be destroyed or returned to Autodesk as they were sending the original company the next version of the software.

As for the EULA, it wouldn't be shrink-wrapped because it would occur the moment you turn the console on, meaning it's prior to activating your Live account and starting your first game. Maybe not a lease but a SUBSCRIPTION or a SERVICE AGREEMENT (which IS enforceable--that's what threw out Vernor v. Autodesk) Something or other that requires a continual good faith and terms and conditions to remain in the service. IOW, the disc is no longer the product itself: just a one-time-use key (and Sony is working on a similar idea only without the online requirement—using RFID tags instead). And like I said before, no one's managed to force Valve to make their games resellable, so there must be some kind of legal standing that keeps Steam running in Europe, and Microsoft's new model is much like Valve's.

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

Actually, Microsoft and Sony seem to have put serious dents in piracy (at least where their chief markets are concerned). Tamper resistant packaging, constant updating, and so on have stymied all but the most determined efforts to pirate (compare the level of piracy on the 360 and PS3 to that of the original Wii). Put it this way; if you have to open the box to hack it, you've already accomplished a fair bit. Not much you can do about the determined hackers or the outer markets where there's little control, but if you can keep casual hacking to a minimum, that's progress.

I'm willing to bet both the XBox One and the PS4 will carry something similar to a Trusted Platform Module (available for x86 platforms), and the CPU will probably have a hardware encryption unit. That'll make things more difficult.

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Charles 9
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Re: The sleek, black 64-bit system carries an eight-core x86 processor...

Plus PCs have had multiple cores for nearly a decade (and gaming PCs for longer). Every gaming developer worth its salt realizes multicore (as well as using the GPU for more than graphics) is the way to go and has been working hard to tune their games and engines to use them more efficiently.

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

"Tying discs to an Xbox account is another matter but, as has been said, there are other laws that make that illegal in the EU."

What if Microsoft classes all software transactions as LEASES instead, exempting them from exhaustion and making the EULAs binding lease agreements?

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Charles 9
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Re: XBox One == Creepy Snooping Apparatus

Isn't Valve working on a Linux-powered Steam box?

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Charles 9
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Re: Not looking too good

Any word from Sony itself about how it will handle things. Because, lest we recall, there is one other company that adopts a similar model to what Microsoft is proposing.

Valve.

Funny how we don't get too many complaints from Steam users about the lack of resale (and I would imagine Microsoft's legal team has their files all set up for Europe as well--bet you every software transaction is a LEASE and therefore not subject to exhaustion).

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Charles 9
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Re: XBox One vs PS4

IIRC, NONE for either one...YET. Live demo units don't seem to be available for either one as of yet.

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

Since the XBox One will use BluRays, odds are the serialization will occur at the ROM Mark. This still allows for rapid pressing of the BD discs. You can't burn a ROM Mark (you can't be certified as a BD-R device unless you explicitly DON'T have the capability), and only the pressing plants have the ROM Mark machines (which are carefully monitored by the consortium). Quite simply, no piracy unless the console is hacked (and I would think Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been doing their homework regarding hardening against hacks).

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Opera rewrite comes to Android

Charles 9
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The main problem I've seen with lightweight browsers like Boat and so on was that to fit in those small memory footprints they had to eschew various rendering capabilities like CSS layouts, fonts, and especially scripting (which more and more sites require). It ultimately came down to a case of they made too many sites messed up to the point of unusability.

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Charles 9
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I suspect memory has more to do with Opera's performance than anything. The problem with my old G2 (aka Desire Z) was that it only had some 384MB on board, most of which was taken up by the system and essential processes, leaving maybe 80-100MB or so to play with. As the web became more interactive, Opera Mobile struggled to stay within its bounds, and Turbo/Off Road didn't help any because most of the advancement was in scripting, which those things can't accelerate much. As Opera hung up more and more, I realized the problem was only going to get worse. That was the sign to me that time was pretty much up for my phone.

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Charles 9
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Seems I jumped to the GS4 just in time. Opera Mobile was already clunky on my old phone (so were all the other browsers, though). I've mixed opinions. It runs fine here, but what about older phones?

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Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces

Charles 9
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I've given these things some thought. Perhaps not not, as they seem to be rather a nascent tech, but perhaps with a little polishing we'll see them find their place.

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Charles 9
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Re: Micro USB charging

"The aforementioned Agent watch currently on Kickstarter might pique your interest then. It is set to include wireless charging (QI)."

Could be a winner for GS4 owners. It is Qi-capable though not out of the box (however, Qi backs are slowly coming onto the market. Having both phone and watch Qi-capable would make a Qi pad more useful.

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

Charles 9
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Re: Well I like it....

Having the removable battery is less a matter of the spare battery and more a matter of being able to shut the thing off if all else fails. I'm a bit leery about non-removable batteries in spite of the presence of hardwired reset switches. Switches are all well and good...until they break. For my money, there's no peace of mind like being able to pull the plug (or in this case, pull the battery), as I've yet to read of a way a device can keep running for long without a source of electricity.

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Charles 9
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That's entirely up to you. I was willing to go cutting edge because my old phone was getting clunky and I wanted to get a phone that would see me though for the next two years, preferably three or more. Admitted, phone tech keep pressing on, but things seem to be plateauing a bit which gives me hope the phone will last a bit longer.

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Charles 9
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Re: Jedit "On the downside, being a mini-tablet it was too big for most pockets "

"It's a continued grumble in the office that our work Blackberrys are not "cool" but you can at least put them in your jeans pocket without castrating yourself everytime you sit down. Consequently, the BBs go everywhere with their owners, whereas other phones we have tried have often been left on the desk."

Have you considered a belt clip pouch? Not the quick-release types (HATE them--they come loose at the worst moments) but simple flip cover affairs with magnetic closures. I've been using these for years (since the N95) and found them to be the best solution for taking a phone with me. A comfortable case all to itself reduces scratch risks, the fact your legs can't squash the phone reduces crack/break risk, and it's pretty easy to get out if need be (and in case you ask, I also normally wear the clip under a shirt or the like so it isn't an obvious target for theft).

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Charles 9
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Re: I give it a couple of months...

Blame partitioning. Internal flash on Android phones tends to get split into different-sized partitions. Learned that when I started rooting and customizing my Android devices (I have four as of know--two are rooted and customized, one rooted but not customized due to lack of mods—it's one of those cheap Allwinner tablets—and my S4, which I'm thinking about rooting a little bit down the road).

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Charles 9
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I thought I should add in this interesting bit of information. As the S 4's back cover is just a snap-on piece of plastic, it IS altogether possible to replace the cover with something more to your liking. Samsung already sells flip covers the merge the plastic cover with a flip cover for the front of the phone, plus some aftermarket metal covers are showing up, though I read these can interfere with reception.

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Charles 9
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They're already working on it (see xda-developers).

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Charles 9
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I think I'll wait a bit for some more custom ROMs to appear. Since I got mine free and clear, I just need to unlock it, then root it (already a technique out for it). Many of the custom ROMs prefer the Trebuchet home screen, and I'm rather fond of its simplicity.

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Charles 9
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Re: No Exynos in the US

All the US models are different. The Stock model can't do LTE in the US (none of them do Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, or 20). Each US model supports that carrier's LTE bands (T-Mobile USA and AT&T use 4 and 17, Sprint uses 25). No skin off my nose; the other bands my phone supports are useable where I go abroad as well.

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Charles 9
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Re: Are the 32Gb or 64Gb version available yet?

AFAIK, not in America. No biggie in this case thanks to support for 64GB SDXC Micro cards and USB On-the-Go. I'd be more inclined to use USB OTG if they provide an OTG cable that provides BOTH the USB host socket AND power (that's my one beef with USB OTG--you typically can't both charge the phone and run On the Go at the same time).

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Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE

Charles 9
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YOU may stay away from Facebook and the like, but what about *everyone you know*? Unless you're a complete hermit, SOMEONE knows you. And if that someone took a picture of you and then posted it somewhere on a social network, then a trace on you has been established. As more pictures of you emerge, it becomes possible to identify you from a stranger's photo.

As for your supposed tech, someone will just come up with a way to block your blocker. And no, not even the paper bag technique will likely work (if you can walk the streets with a paper bag, someone else will just show up with a leaf blower).

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Charles 9
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"If a person wearing it films me walking into a shop it isn't going to inherently know who I am, my google account info etc"

It MIGHT. One of Google's projects involves face recognition. If Google analyzes the video and recognizes your face, BAM.

The big concern is COVERT recording, and that horse has already bolted. Sure, they tried to make camera phones click when they're used but the pervos (who slip the things into their SHOES, no less) just switch to video recording which can't give any audible clues (or it would spoil the recording). I'm pretty sure a sophisticated pervo would make Bluetooth camera shades...oh wait, they already have them (http://www.lightinthebox.com/Sunglasses-with-4GB-MP3-Player-with-camera-video-Bluetooth-Black-HF139-_p110137.html), with twice the memory of Spider Jerusalem's signature Live Shades, too.

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Nvidia opens pre-orders for handheld Shield console three days early

Charles 9
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Trollface

But...can it play Crysis?

(Sorry, just had to throw that in.)

But seriously, it mentions Steam, but Steam on Android is more an extension of the Steam interface rather than a gaming portal—unless that is changing. It would be something if longtime Valve favorites like Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 were to make the jump (TF2 was the first Valve game to join the penguins, after all), but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Also, I'd be interested to see if other powerful Android phones like the HTC One and Samsung GS4 can somehow get in on the party in some way.

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US government wants security research on car-to-car nets

Charles 9
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Re: “vehicle cybersecurity”

IIRC you had to be IN the car to attach something to the car's system bus. Or are you saying this will translate to the wireless transmissions, saying they will inevitably be hacked all to pieces?

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Unlocking Technology Act plans to let freedom ring for devices

Charles 9
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Re: Hmm

Not illegal, just VERY bad for business. People have gotten used to Windows for over 20 years now. It's what they want, and as the business mantra goes, that's what they'll get.

Any store that has TRIED to sell Linux desktops end up with confused questions and irate customers unable to do their taxes or the like because the software is for Windows (Oops). If even Walmart can't make Linux on the desktop work, it's pretty much given Microsoft currently holds a NATURAL near-monopoly on the desktop market.

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'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

Charles 9
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Re: why bother

I'd hardly call making a small, concealable weapon capable of killing at a distance that can't be picked up by metal detectors pointless. Most airports still just use metal detectors, not to mention all the other places like courthouses guarded just by metal detectors.

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Charles 9
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Re: why bother

But most of those zip guns are made of metal pipes and whatnot. The big row is this advances the idea of making a NONMETALLIC zip gun. It's not there YET, but having something like this spurs the imagination. There's really very little metal in it; what's to say someone can't put this together with a strong enough nonmetallic firing pin and perhaps a ceramic bullet in perhaps a carbon fiber casing or the like. Suddenly you have a ZERO-metal firearm; improve the design a little more or use a printer that can use stronger plastics and you'll have yourself a nonmetallic derringer good at a short but practical range (say a few meters--too far for a knife). And since many places including many airports are still limited to metal detectors...

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Hemp used to make graphene-like supercapacitors

Charles 9
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Re: Hemp bast is a waste product?

Not really. Cotton beats hemp for most fabric uses, as it's tougher (lasts longer) and softer (more durable) than hemp. And like hemp, cotton naturally wicks.

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Charles 9
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Re: Hemp!

If it's such a miracle plant, why isn't it used more often in countries where it isn't restricted by drug regulations? The main reason is that hemp is rather a jack-of-all-trades plant. It's useful, yes, but it's no miracle maker. Furthermore, it's a tough plant to process completely.

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Charles 9
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Re: Hemp!

Nah, hemp was impractical as a sea rope because it wicks (you have to tar hemp rope before you can use it at sea), so they went with manila rope instead which didn't wick.

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Apple: ebook price fixing? Nooo, nothing to do with us, no siree

Charles 9
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Re: 'Cost' for an e-book

What if the proofreaders, editors, and the like, like the authors, work on commission or royalty, such that the cost is not one-off but per-book?

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Charles 9
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Re: Too much marketing information (for Apples peace of mind)

The trouble is that with Android taking the lead in the mobile market and with mutli-purpose tablets reaching ubiquity, the market is anything but clear. Sure the nook and Sony markets are tame compared to Amazon, but there's less lock-in with Android devices. Which means Amazon gaining a complete monopoly would be difficult—there's still plenty of room for market disruption.

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NASA: Our ALIEN HUNTING star-scan 'scope is KNACKERED

Charles 9
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Happy

Give the space engineers of the world credit. Their track record concerning exoplanetary equipment has recently been quite impressive. Remember, we're talking a telescope that is a year past its working life. You have several rovers on Mars still trundling years past the "mission accomplished" state, and European scientists just recently bid adieu to its cryonic space telescope after it managed to hang on for a few extra months. That's what I call bang for the buck.

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Rules, shmules: Fliers leaving devices switched on in droves

Charles 9
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Re: Engineering tolerances?

News Flash: This ACTUALLY HAPPENED. It's still listed as the most tragic airliner accident on record: the Tenerife disaster on the Canary Islands.

- Airport diversions due to terrorist attack, CHECK (Bombing at Las Palmas)

- Poor weather conditions, CHECK (Zero-V fog)

- Tricky landing conditions, CHECK (Airport is over 600m up and way too small)

- Poor English at the control tower, CHECK (ATCs not used to speaking English)

And note this occurred in 1977, BEFORE cell phones were the norm. As others have said, many planes have long duty cycles and therefore may not be well-hardened against internal radio transmissions. And note that frequency is not always at play--that's why even a modern GSM cell phone can still cause clicks when next to a radio, even though neither operate in the other's frequency ranges. I've PERSONALLY heard police radios (which operate around 800MHz) coming out of TV speakers which should have no tuning equipment to speak of. For the FCC, it's a case of "better safe than sorry".

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UK.gov's love affair with ID cards: Curse or farce?

Charles 9
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Let's take the argument to the extreme. How does one prove an identity without said identity being traceable? I suspect identity is INHERENTLY traceable, so there's no in-between available. Next question is: is being tracked worth the price? Let's take it to the extreme: what if privacy becomes an actual existential threat to some large area? How would you respond to this? Do you sacrifice your privacy to defeat it or let the threat come to pass and likely die as a result?

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