* Posts by MondoMan

540 posts • joined 8 May 2007

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False Northern Lights alert issued to entire UK because of a lawnmower

MondoMan
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BTDT

I remember chatting with a Caltech student some decades ago as he described his friends' plan to set off the Southern California major earthquake alert system by simultaneously detonating (very) small charges near a number of Caltech seismographs in the region. Apparently, at least 3 seismographs had to register an event for the major earthquake alert to be triggered. This was in pre-GPS days, so getting the timing right was the tricky part of the plan.

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MondoMan
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Re: "what had caused the huge anomaly"

I see your #Z80assembly and raise you #6502machinelang for 1977's snow in Palo Alto.

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California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

MondoMan
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"high end" computer power use

A more realistic value of power use for a high-end system with some power-intensive gaming use would be 250W. Multiply by 7% to get 17.5W, or about 0.25kWh savings during a 14-hour workday. Using a typical US electricity price of $0.13/kWh, the savings amounts to a bit over 3 cents/day USD, or almost 12 USD for a year in which the computer is in use 365 days a year, 14 hours/day.

Even in such an unrealistic high duty-load case, the savings are a bit sad, aren't they?

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MondoMan
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Re: CPUs vs PSUs

"It is way better to use low power CPUs than high efficiency PSUs."

Surely you mean "high-efficiency CPUs", not "low power CPUs", right? The ultimate "low power CPU" is achieved just by unplugging your computer, but that may or may not increase productivity.

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MondoMan
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Re: abundant, reliable, sunshine

Having grown up in California, I distinctly remember walking to school before sunrise and later on, returning from work at 5PM after sunset. Methinks solar production for either domestic or office use would suffer greatly at such times. Perhaps you have a brilliant scheme to store solar power from the summer for winter use -- a sort of anti-seasonal modern equivalent of the old icehouse? Or perhaps your plan is to seasonally populate ANZ with Canadian and American snowbirds?

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MondoMan
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Re: Maybe this will encourage popularizing low wattage cpu's

Sadly, you've missed the forest for the CPU tree. :)

Firstly, the wattage ratings are intended as indications of the *maximum* power used under constant full load, just as the CPU internal clock is a ceiling, not a constant. Modern CPUs, dynamically adjust their clock speed, internal voltage, etc to provide just enough performance to accomplish the requested tasks, wasting little energy on full voltage or clock when the load is low. Thus, your 2GHz low-performance CPU is severely limited in its maximum performance vs. a standard 3.5GHz Intel CPU like the i5-6500 (65W maximum TDP), but likely uses not much less power when both are at idle.

Secondly, the relevant power use is the system's power use, not just the CPU. Depending on the chipset, motherboard design, memory type, power supply, and other components, as likely as not your AMD system uses more power on a system basis when idle than does an equivalent system built around the i5-6500.

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Cats, dogs starve as web-connected chow chute PetNet plays dead

MondoMan
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yet another SciFi plot made real

IIRC this was a plot device in one of Larry Niven's stories about warlike alien felines he called Kzin. The Kzin leader is assassinated by human hackers who inactivate the leader's home kit-feeding mechanism. When he returns home, he is attacked and devoured by his own starving kits.

Perhaps PetNet owners should exercise caution in opening their front doors?

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Seagate defrags 14% of workforce: 6,500 axed

MondoMan
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Re: WD Red drives

I believe the utility name is WDIDLE3.EXE (at least for running from a freeDOS boot stick).

Even many of the RED drives were apparently wrongly set with a short idle timeout from the factory, as became apparent when they started failing after less than a year's use. The WDIDLE3 utility can report the current idle setting on a drive (via command line switches), so it's worth using it to check both 2.5" and 3.5" WD drives you may care about.

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MondoMan
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Headmaster

Surely the title should be "fragged", not "defragged"?

"Fragging", at least in the Vietnam War era, referred to doing away with a troublesome member of your own military unit IIRC. "Defragging" OTOH refers to rearranging bods (or data) to coalesce the free space into a larger block with any doing away with data.

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175-year-old in storage deal

MondoMan
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Re: Is this an article...

El Reg's comments are a great source of "colorful" English expressions for those of us who live far away. The words containing "k" pack special punch when spoken!

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FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

MondoMan
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

Actually, some of the classified emails were marked classified before Team Hillary sent them through the server.

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Lester Haines: RIP

MondoMan
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Sad news

It was always immediately clear when an article had Lester as its author (usually in a good way :) . The culinary journeys, the journeys over land and water chasing after projects, and even tilting at windmills enriched my life on a far continent, as they did many others, especially those who knew him personally. My deep condolences to Lester's family and to the Reg family.

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Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

MondoMan
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Cool gadget

This is a really excellent article, Simon! Great context and a clear description of the many important new conclusions.

One minor clarification: polynomial *texture* mapping is a method to look at the *exterior* of an object by synthesizing images of it taken under different lighting conditions.

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Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

MondoMan
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UP TO ten years -- it'll be a lot less.

Reading the details makes you (sound) wise.

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New periodic table names

MondoMan
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Trollface

Re: always good for educational value

Or you could read John Rain novels and learn about Nihon AND hand-to-hand fighting. :)

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As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

MondoMan
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Re: Capable of encryption

Re: "the household may have changed supplier a dozen times"

Not in Seattle -- the monopoly electrical utility for over 100 years has been the city-owned Seattle City Light.

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Great, IBM has had a PCM breakthrough. Who exactly is going to manufacture?

MondoMan
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Best article I've read here in a while!

Not too dumbed-down, useful background info added, handy run-down of the commercial implications and positioning. Good job!

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If you know what's good for you, your health data belongs in the cloud

MondoMan
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Boffin

There are different types of diabetes

It's probably worth clarifying that the story author was writing about the autoimmune disease type I diabetes (often called "juvenile onset"), which is quite rare but getting less so. In it, blood sugar levels are not well controlled, and can get either too high or too low (the latter being the condition requiring prompt action alluded to in the story).

The vast majority of diabetes in the modern world is now type II diabetes (caused not by autoimmunity but rather by obesity and lack of exercise), where the problem is too-high blood sugar levels (not too low), which causes chronic problems, but does not demand a prompt response.

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Girls outpace boys in US IT and engineering test

MondoMan
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Re: Ahh

"gaming journalists"

is that like "military intelligence"?

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Miniature car maker drops massive malware

MondoMan
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Facepalm

I

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MondoMan
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I'm not surprised that "Joolma" would lack patches. I recently ran a diagnostic on my laptop's RAM, only to have it report that I had a "Kinston" module installed -- ?.

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Legal fight against USA Today's news app info-flogging OK'd by court

MondoMan
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WTF?

Re: Beyond a visitor who clicked on a website.

I think you miscommented; this story is about tracking and other info gathered by smartphone apps, not by visiting websites.

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Cash-strapped Sprint to raise $2.2bn by flogging off its network hardware

MondoMan
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Re: Buh-bye, Sprint

Yep, I was a longtime Sprint customer until switching over to T-Mobile about 5 years ago. It was a revelation -- data fast enough to be useful! Even when I had WiMax signal under Sprint, there was plenty of lag and waiting.

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MondoMan
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Re: Pardon?

@youngone

Sprint is in 4th place out of 4 major cell carriers in the US, and for a long time now has been running a promotion where customers of the other 3 companies can switch over to Sprint, pay only 1/2 the monthly plan price they were paying, have their old phone and multi-hundred dollar switching charges paid off by Sprint, and also get a good price on a new Sprint phone. Thus Sprint has to pay out many hundreds of dollars for each such new customer, and only gets half the normal monthly revenue from them until(if) they decide to switch to a different Sprint plan.

Big payouts up front for possible profits years in the future...

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

MondoMan
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Re: Freedom

I think it all came about because a few years ago WA state's attorney general, in a publicity-seeking move to raise his profile for a crack at the governorship, sued an elderly flower arranger who didn't want to participate in a male-male wedding. That the government would take this type of action had been specifically denied by proponents of the earlier WA state-wide initiative to make official same-sex marriages (which passed, in a credit to WA state's voters).

That governmental over-reach then prompted many self-promoters in other states to try and pass laws to prevent such an action in their states. Sadly, most (all?) of these new laws seem to have been poorly designed or wrongly intentioned.

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MondoMan
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Re: Reuters

I think it's more like IBM requiring everyone to wear white or light blue shirts and a suit.

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MondoMan
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Re: Biggottry

Wwould that be straw hats or top hats, sir?

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MondoMan
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Re: America

But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for...

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MondoMan
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Headmaster

Re: America

@ Trixr

You might want to read up on the actual texts and historical contexts of those amendments.

For example, reasonable people can disagree on the individual right to possess firearms -- it's not a "shonky" interpretation. Similarly, the principle is preventing *establishment* of a state church, not "separation" of church and state, which is much more extreme.

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Hope for Hitomi after tumbling space 'scope phones home

MondoMan
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Facepalm

Hope it wasn't due to buying dirt cheap "genuine" brand name lithium batteries on Amazon...

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Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

MondoMan
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Bogus premise

Did nobody (including the Reg story author) bother to check out the Stanford "survey"? It's nothing close to a proper scientific survey -- it's just a collection of anecdotes from whomever felt strongly enough to send in their comment. Thus, this story is just unfounded click bait, and you're all stuck wriggling on the Reg's hook.

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Amazon kills fondleslab file encryption with latest Fire OS update

MondoMan
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Big Brother

Re: A quick question....

Gotta agree with LaF here -- I consider the Fires as cloud-based media-consumption devices only. If a Fire breaks, toss/return it and log into another and you're good to go. When elderly relatives have questions or even real problems, just hit Mayday and video chat with helpful customer service.

It's already got all the benefits and intrusiveness drawbacks of cloud-based devices, so quibbling about device encryption seems moot. For personal/professional work and communications, I use a more standard tablet like a Nexus 7 or iPad -- works great.

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SpaceShipTwo ready to slip the surly bonds of Earth for Virgin Galactic

MondoMan
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So soon they forget!

The first two Mercury flights (on Redstone rather than Atlas boosters) were suborbital, but nevertheless qualified Shepard and Grissom as true astronauts.

As for your example, I tend to think of the Donald as a "Trumpus" -- derivation from Krampus or rumpus or both, your choice.

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Google to snatch control of Android updates from mobe makers – analyst

MondoMan
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" a release of Google Pay designed to work only on locked handsets."

Quibble about a common error -- "locked" does not mean "not rooted" -- it just means the handset will only work with a given Telco's cell network (it's locked to that network). Google itself sells zillions of "unlocked" handsets (its Nexus phones) that work fine with Google Pay on whatever cell network the hardware will support.

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EMC's Chad Sakac once made a Gangnam Style parody music video

MondoMan
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Re: He's all over it

F5 GS FTW (plus, it's shot in their building right by downtown Seattle).

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Girls! Girls! Girls! Intel brags about diversity push, Silicon Valley tells itself it's doing great

MondoMan
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Trollface

Maybe it's all just a diversion...

A cynical observer might wonder if Intel's new attention to the sex and race of its employees might not be a result of Intel's recent performance declines in the market and the lack of prospects for significant improvement. That is, perhaps Intel's leadership is simply trying to distract analysts and observers from its failing business strategy.

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MondoMan
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Re: Proof of concept? @jonathanb

Social engineering and justice is too important to be stopped by petty civil liberties -- presumably, the government would just pass a law like the one that forces people to disclose their encryption passwords and similarly force employees to disclose detailed political profiles to their HR departments. There's always MI-5 and GCHQ waiting in reserve...

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MondoMan
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Re: Proof of concept? @DCM

Yes, exactly! I hadn't known of this (I'll blame it on living in the distant colonies) -- thanks for mentioning it!

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MondoMan
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Re: Proof of concept? @AC

I agree that "There is a benefit to having a diverse set of employees: ..." --- the silly part is assuming that race/sex are valid proxies for intellectual diversity, and are indeed so important that they are the only measures that society should care about.

One would think that something like Republican/Democrat/Green/Socialist Alternative party membership would be a much more useful proxy for social engineering.

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MondoMan
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Proof of concept?

If there were really a large pool of interested female software/hardware engineers going un/underemployed because of some pervasive "bro" bias, you would think that someone could pretty easily start a company aimed at hiring these folks, and end up with a superior staff at a lower price.

As far as I know, this simple proof-of-concept of the existence of a problem hasn't been done, which naturally brings into question the very existence of such a problem.

I don't understand the idea that every company or other sub-grouping of society needs to match the population structure of society in general. There doesn't seem to be any societal advantage in it, and it would certainly be very disruptive to society if half or more of all our companies, nonprofits, sports teams, etc had to be totally reorganized to reflect some sort of "social justice" employment quotas.

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MondoMan
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WTF?

Article error?

According to the article, Intel has brought "... the total number of women in its workforce to 35 per cent, and minorities to 12 per cent." However, the "A Snapshot of our People" slide shown indicates that minorities comprise a bit more than 46% of the total Intel workforce. Apparently, some minorities are more equal than others...

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Cruz missile slams into DNS overlord ICANN over Chinese censorship

MondoMan
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Joke

Re: how

NK struck a blow for goodness by hacking Sony :)

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Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

MondoMan
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Big Brother

Mall landlords DO know tenant stores' sales

The story seems a bit confused on this -- mall operators usually take a percentage of a tenant store's sales as rent; thus, they know the stores' sales and would directly know the sales of any Apple stores they have as tenants.

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Eight budget-friendly 1TB SSD data packers for real people

MondoMan
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Re: Ever had an SSD fail?

My only SSD to have failed so far was also a Vertex 2.

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MondoMan
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Re: SanDisk?

The BX200 has been reported to have performance issues, so it may not be a good benchmark for comparison.

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Fan belts only exist, briefly, in the intervals between stars

MondoMan
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Good job!

This review is one of the most enjoyable articles I've read here recently -- hope it's a harbinger of the new & improved Reg.

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American cable giants go bananas after FCC slams broadband rollout

MondoMan
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WTF?

Re: fiber in Seattle

You are misinformed on the situation in Seattle. The previous mayor did sign a deal with a company to bring really fast speeds, but it turned out the company didn't have funding, so it went bankrupt and still owes the city tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. That mayor was a notoriously bad manager, so that was perhaps par for his course; he took no other action to bring gigabit internet to the city.

I'm not sure what you are referring to regarding the new mayor's actions. He did act promptly to change a local ordinance that effectively blocked fiber-to-the-block, and Comcast's competitor, Centurylink, is now bringing gigabit internet to large areas it had previously served only with slow DSL.

Given Seattle's recent status as one of the most expensive cities in the US wrt rental and housing prices, the cost of internet here is becoming a moot issue.

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MondoMan
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Big Brother

Re: "FCC's fault" & Comcast

At least in my area of Seattle, Comcast has been quite reliable and relatively high-speed in its normal-level home offering. Certainly, over time they have nickel & dimed the customers to slowly but consistently raise effective rates, but their customer service has been friendly and helpful, and their service reliable. In all those aspects, the municipal garbage, sewage, and electricity services (all city-owned) have performed much more poorly.

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iOS 9 kludged our iPhones, now give us money, claims new lawsuit

MondoMan
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Headmaster

Meaning of "kludged"?

I had thought that "kludged" meant roughly "made to function adequately by means of a notably inelegant modification". The story's headline writer clearly disagrees.

(Boosting my sense of self-worth, dictionary.com defines "kludge" as "a software or hardware configuration that, while inelegant, inefficient, clumsy, or patched together, succeeds in solving a specific problem or performing a particular task. ")

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Got a pricey gaming desktop from PC World for Xmas? Check the graphics specs

MondoMan
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Low-wattage efficient power supplies

You should check out what Shuttle sells; I recently bought one of their SH87R6 mini boxes which has a 300w 80 Plus Bronze rated power supply.

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