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* Posts by John 62

940 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

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New BOMB detect-o-tech 'could give sniffer dogs competition': TRUE

John 62
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Re: Curious about the dogs

"As I recall, Drugs dogs do well opposed to bomb dogs because the dogs are actually addicted to the drug(s) they are sniffing for. This is why they have a short working life."

Wasn't that Brian in Family Guy?

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Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

John 62
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Well, it doesn't have any other land anywhere round it. Supposedly there's a very isolated grouping of islands in the Pacific, but this is a single islet.

The English Channel services most of Northern Europe, which is a very densely populated and relatively rich area of the world, which just happens to keep very good records of shipping. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records-1000/busiest-shipping-lane/

As for airports, Heathrow is very busy (busiest in Europe), but Atlanta ATL is by far the busiest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_busiest_airports_by_passenger_traffic#2014_statistics

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SpaceX FINALLY lobs six sats into orbit (don't mention the landing)

John 62
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Re: Tall items don't fall intact

+1 for mentioning Fred Dibnah.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

John 62
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Black Helicopters

Re: light enters the material, and is absorbed and converted to heat before it can escape

This material is very conductive to heat and is 'grown' on a metal surface (in the photo it's aluminium), so, yes, the heat will have to sink somewhere, but it could be dissipated easily if you have enough surface area on the other side or some other heat sink, like a ground contact, or the jet fuel like in an SR-71.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

John 62
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Boffin

Re: Choose better source material

lol! But it depends on the noise floor of the system :)

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Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

John 62
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News Feed was dead to me before I heard about this

The official line on Facebook's blog from when they introduced 'Top Stories' was that they were doing it for our benefit or we'd miss the new baby pictures from our aunt! But then again, back then they said Top Stories was only for when you hadn't logged in for a while. Now, while at least the website stays on Most Recent more than it used to, the default on mobile phone apps is for 'News Feed', which is the top stories nonsense. But it is dead to me because it lists posts out of chronological order and I know I'm a masochist, but every time I check Facebook on my phone I deliberately go to More > Most Recent.

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Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

John 62
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Re: Fantastic analogy

I tend to listen out for the bass guitarist and am disappointed if I can't hear them!

Peter Hook is the exception that proves the rule that bass players should melt into the background of the song. He's possibly a one-trick musician, but I can't get enough of his bass lead lines! I saw Peter Hook and the Light live last year and they were brilliant, right up there with Pama International* for best concert ever.

* Finney didn't really look up for it that night possibly due to a wrecked knee, but even despite that he's one of the best singers I've ever heard live.

Mr Myslewski, I salute you and wish you all the best for the future.

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Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

John 62
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Re: Missed some

Not to mention that the Highway Code is very explicit, which means the majority of cyclist/pedestrian incidents shouldn't be happening in the first place.

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You MUST NOT cycle on a pavement.

Laws HA 1835 sect 72 & R(S)A 1984, sect 129

https://www.gov.uk/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82/overview-59-to-71

Though I have seen people ride past police on the footpath with no incident and I've seen police cyclists on footpaths and using Pelican crossings while mounted (bit like police cars and motorbikes cruising down the motorway at 75mph, grumble, grumble).

Sadly even when there are urban cycle routes, they mostly follow the one-way system designed for cars. Then the mixed pedestrian/cyclist areas are often designed in braindead ways to frustrate both cyclist and pedestrian.

Finally, though, I have seen photo evidence of a selfie of a cyclist and a policeman where the policeman was ticking off the cyclist for going through a red light.

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John 62
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Re: Missed a few bits!

Road bikes can do anything an MTB can do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhabgvIIXik

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Farewell Felix Dennis, deal-maker supreme of tech publishing

John 62
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Computer Buyer

I spent a lot of money on that magazine as a spotty teen (though most of my mag money went to Future: Commodore Format and Edge; and EMAP: Mean Machines Sega, Sega Magazine (I've got the entire collection!)). For some reason I preferred Buyer it to Computer Shopper. Maybe it was because it was slightly smaller or I thought the cover discs (remember those!) were better. The John Diamond columns were a bonus. I always wondered why Dennis had two very similar magazines.

I heard Felix on R4's Loose Ends a couple of years ago, being interviewed about his poetry. He said he didn't care what the critics thought because he was selling loads of books.

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Coulson GUILTY of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006

John 62
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Re: Brooks is FOUND innocent

Maybe I'm a bit of a conspiracist (too much X Files, Shadow Line and House of Cards), but someone must have known that the Milly Dowler phone hacking accusations would just be a convenient straw man that would divert attention from the very real corruption going on long enough for the people to forget about the shady stuff after the outrage faded.

Plus, as @DrPizza tweeted: if Andy Coulson could be found guilty under existing law, then why do we need new laws to regulate the press?

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Star Wars museum to land in Chicago

John 62
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Re: Mashup time

I'm on a mission from the force. We're gettin' the falcon crew back together. Gotta save the padawan oprhanage.

[I cannot say enough good things about The Blues Brothers. It was amazing in every way (car chases, one liners, cinematography, music, the sheer scale of the thing!) apart from not having enough Blues music. Hopefully SW VII will be better than BB2000, which may have been a worse insult than SW I.]

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Blame WWI, not Bin Laden, for NSA's post-9/11 intel suck

John 62
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Re: Mephhead Maphhead All Governments are ...(@ MasterBollocks)

Going back to the topic of the Federal Reserve being the cause of all ills: it was war with the French that meant King William III introduced the first UK government bonds, predating the Federal Reserve by quite some time.

And Jan Smuts of South Africa had wanted less punitive reparations on Germany. Though some historians have said that the treaty of Versaille's treatment of Germany wasn't as bad as many make out.

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NASA uses new technique to snap high-res asteroid images

John 62
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Re: “30 times brighter than what Goldstone can produce observing on its own”.

yes, brighter. I'm not up to speed with the maths (I don't have a crossbow in my desk drawers), but the resolution will be dependent on the wavelength of the radar, combined with the fact that even if the resolution is being improved, there's a limit to the usefulness of it because of the signal to noise ratio. A brighter signal means the stuff you want to measure stands out more against any sources of noise, hence narrowing the error bars for each pixel. There's a reason a cheap low-res webcam can give better hobbyist astronomy photos than a fancy DSLR.

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Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

John 62
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Re: Nope

Turbine engines are very clean burning, though!

Wrightbus looked into diesel turbines for city-based buses that don't have to go fast. They said the emissions were great, but the fuel efficiency was about the same as a normal diesel engine and with crap torque/power (can't remember which).

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UK govt 'tearing up road laws' for Google's self-driving cars: THE TRUTH

John 62
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Re: Not happening anytime soon

The very fact you have thought of these things means that engineers will most likely have already thought of them and are working on these things. Things like ambulances/fire engines/police cars are all cases where it will be likely that cars will be communicating via a mesh and advertising their immediate intentions to each other. These things are not intractable.

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Brit lands on Rockall with survival podule, starts record attempt

John 62
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Mushroom

All the best to Nick, hope he gets a knighthood, but IIRC last time el Reg went to Rockall there was a bit of a falling out.

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Sony Xperia Z2: What we REALLY thought of this Android fondleslab

John 62
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"enough to run Key-lime Pie... If and when it ever gets released"

I thought Key Lime Pie was renamed KitKat. The next release will be Lindt Bunny or something.

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China to become world's No 1 economy. And we still can't see why

John 62
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Re: They aren't all like Huawei

On the topic of inflating to balance the trade books: the Euro was set up for precisely that reason. Italy would rack up huge debts buying German goods, then Italy would inflate its debts away thus indirectly subsidising Italian manufacturing, leaving Germany's manufacturers very cross.

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John 62
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History/Economics/Demographics

From the article, lesson the first is that Huawei is not China and China is not Huawei. Lesson the second is that Huawei is succeeding by creating products people want to buy.

That's pretty much it.

China is a vast and diverse nation with corruption problems, colonial disputes (Tibet/Taiwan), poor welfare, a future demographic disaster, both vast reserves of foreign money it can't do anything with and vast debt that could strangle it. But remember, it is a vast and diverse nation. There will be a lot of good going on.

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John 62
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Re: The Root Of The Problem

Wow. That's one of the most horrible comments I've ever read on the Register.

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John 62
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Re: Interesting

"English has to be taught young, while a child still has the capacity to develop the hearing for it. For older learners, it's a lottery as to whether an individual can discriminate between the nuanced consonants of the language." For evidence: east Asians who grow up with English as a second language and cannot distinguish between R and L.

In fact I am of the opinion that English orthography is not dissimilar to Sinitic, since English has so many rules, you just need to learn them, as phonics can only take you so far.

Mandarin will become a global language when the majority of research and academic papers use it. Which was how English became the global language.

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

John 62
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Re: Where's Lewis?

He's the Register's overall editor big cheese now.

War Is Boring at medium.com has plenty good weapons coverage if you need your fix of that.

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JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

John 62
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Rediscover the original trilogy?

No. George Lucas won't let that happen because he keeps chopping and changing and won't leave well alone. He won't even include the original cuts in the re-releases.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse back on the bacon

John 62
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Re: Rice

Potatoes now get grown in Egypt and Cyprus (Irish varieties 'peated' with Irish or Scottish soil in fact!)

Very little british wheat goes into bread because it's not the right type. Most of our bread wheat comes from Canada (though steps have been taken to be able to grow high-protein wheat varieties in the UK that are suitable for bread).

Beans for baked beans are usually grown in the US.

Supposedly the UK is actually about on balance (maybe slightly under) for food sustainability by some measures.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse crawls towards finish line

John 62
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Re: Interesting...

And people say evangelical christians are legalists!

It's only for a week, so try to live in the spirit of the thing. Though the case could be made for allowing bartering because that's what real people living in these conditions do. 'course, then you'll probably be getting rid of your fridge/freezer/storage containers/(even a cooker in some cases) to go properly authentic (many kudos to Lester for going with the big pot on a fire system).

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Asteroids as powerful as NUCLEAR BOMBS strike Earth TWICE YEARLY

John 62
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Re: I can live with that!

Saudi Arabia is mostly a vast desert. It has a population of just under 30 million people in a country just a little smaller than Greenland.

It's a fair bet they get lots of meteor hits.

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

John 62
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Re: Four words ...

Call me an heretic if you want, but here's my JMJ opinion:

Oxygene is a good album, more listenable overall than Equinox, but I really only want to listen to movement IV. Equinox on the other hand has three movements that are really worth listening to: IV, V and VI. I think every computer game music composer of the 80s must have listened to Equinox at some point!

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IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels

John 62
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Re: Skeletons in the closet

I don't think there were many companies from the time that are still around that have a whiter than white record.

The past really is the past. We have to learn from it and move on.

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Amazon buys Comixology for content crossover capers

John 62
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"comics are a cheap-ish R&D lab for character development"

The studios want this to be true, but they spoil it all by developing pretty much all-new characters for the movies anyway, such that it seems the only similarity to the comic is the name or perhaps the colour of the costume.

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Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

John 62
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Re: And from an actual user of the S5...

Key-clicks are the first thing I turn off on a phone. Like the Apple 'gloop' when changing volume and 'Start Navigation' sound on Windows.

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Samsung unveils fourth-generation Galaxy Tabs

John 62
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16:10!

1280x800 sounds good. Not the highest res, obviously, but on a 10" device, it's pretty good. You know the best thing? It's 16:10!

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

John 62
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Re: Need to send a cricket ball...

According to my web researches it was the Gaelic Athletic Association that first codified Rounders. Baseball's US founders modified the GAA's Rounders rules to make Baseball.

Slightly less well-researched: I also heard on the TV once that a south pacific chief was unimpressed by cricket until he decided both batsmen should play at the same time, and said they should have a bowler coming in from each end.

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

John 62
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The problem is often liquidity, not inequality

I think the problem is liquidity rather than inequality. You might have lots of shares, property, etc, but they don't mean much in your bank account when you need dosh at short notice. Likewise property often attracts lots of costs (e.g. maintenance, security, etc). Plus, owning an house only puts you at a wealth advantage if you can dispose of it for less than it would cost to house you for the rest of your life.

I recently joined the ranks of the negatively wealthy by buying an house with the help of a mortgage. I have some savings and an income so we can live comfortably right now, but we could theoretically be turfed out by the bank if it wants its share of our house's equity.

Inequality isn't a big problem so long as the bell curve of wealth is wide enough and people can live comfortably.

Magna Carta happened because no one person was powerful enough to dictate things. We celebrate it because of the philosophical value, but the reality was that it mostly affected the barons who owned lots of land. They were the ones who had most to lose if the king arrested them without due cause. The peasants' lot was most improved by the forest charter, which was also signed at the time of Magna Carta.

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

John 62
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Re: Public competition?

The design is nice, but there are no numerals on the coins! Hardly tourist friendly.

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Star Wars movie to start shooting in UK this summer

John 62
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Re: Star Wars is a remake of The Dambusters!

Maybe Guns of Navarone?

Force 10 From Navarone which came out the year after Star Wars perhaps stole the Star Wars idea of destroying the enemy's superweapon, but also stole Harrison Ford (instead of Mark Hammill)

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Samsung and Apple BEWARE: Huawei is coming to eat your lunch

John 62
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Pronunciation

Matsushita named its consumer division Panansonic, but then most English speakers would have problems with the 'tsu' syllable.

I don't think Huawei should really be 'wah - way', which is like the BBC pronunciation unit telling reporters to call the ex-Cote d'Ivoire president bag-bo instead of gba-gbo. Disregarding the tonal aspect, Huawei should probably be more like 'hwa - way'.

Huawei really came out of nowhere in backend telecoms kit, too. They ate Nortel's lunch in more than one market and I'm sure along with ZTE, they were responsible for Siemens exiting the sector and for Alcatel-Lucent posting similar numbers to Nortel for a couple of years before Nortel died. Alcatel-Lucent is probably only being held up by French and US patriotism.

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Google's SECRET contracts: Android lock-in REVEALED!

John 62
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Re: Sooooo

While I think DrPizza/Mr Bright's example of in-app-purchasing as a tool of Google lock-in was misguided, I think his point still stands: Microsoft is being encouraged from all sides to fork Android and use an hypothetical Micro-Droid OS to replace Windows Phone OS, but because of the way Google is developing Android, Android as a base OS is becoming less and less relevant. i.e. all the Google bits that are interesting to Android users (Maps, email, Play Store, Drive, etc) are Google exclusive and MS would have to replace them. Granted MS has Bing Maps, outlook.com, a Windows Phone App Store, OneDrive etc, so it has an advantage over other players, but it won't magically get millions of apps to fill out the Windows Phone App Store, because developers will have to target different APIs for the Google Play Store and Windows Micro-Droid Store, as well as getting apps accepted on two different stores.

Behold, BlackBerry did something similar, instead of forking Android, they bought in a seriously engineered OS, but whither the apps!? So they noted that a lot of Android apps just need the Dalvik VM and don't even necessarily need the Google-proprietary APIs, so they implemented the Dalvik VM for BlackBerry OS 10. That worked so well for BlackBerry that they exited the consumer market.

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The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her

John 62
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Jonathan Galecki

Is it just me or does the star of Her look like Darlene's boyfriend with a moustache? Is that supposed to be a deliberate reference to the geekiness of Big Bang Theory?

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Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

John 62
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Serious question:

what's wrong with it?

Perhaps the multi-tasking vs Springboard dichotomy is a bit disjointed (better than touch-wiz's identical-looking widgets vs applications screens though) and the little chevrons for the notification shade and control centre aren't quite in line with the Helvetica Light look, but seriously, please share your thoughts.

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John 62
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Antennagate affects everyone, not just apple

http://dontholditwrong.tumblr.com/

All phones suffer if their antenna is blocked by a microwave-absorbing material, like human flesh.

Apple had one particular problem with signal-dropping if and only if the user's hand was slightly moist and they held the phone in such a way that it would bridge two of the antennas (thus detuning them significantly). Granted Apple was a bit arrogant at first (the "Don't hold it wrong" email surely didn't pass the PR dept's reviewers), but they were also rather unfairly treated by the press when competitors' phones had demonstrably similar characteristics.

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Woz he talking about? Apple co-founder wants iPhones to run Android

John 62
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Re: Ha!

Like Google's walled garden?

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/neither-microsoft-nokia-nor-anyone-else-should-fork-android-its-unforkable/

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NASA quandary: Should Curiosity channel Fast and Furious for Martian dune-buggy jump?

John 62
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The thing is, although the speed seems gung-ho, on earth, you really do need to drive fast enough to maintain momentum over the surface to avoid the wheels getting bogged down.

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Facebook turns 10: Big Brother isn't Mark Zuckerberg. It's YOU

John 62
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Mr Orlowski's Facebook experience is obviously different from mine

I have friends of all types.

Anyway, for me Facebook's real value was when it became a good-enough, free, photo album with no upload limits. Sure, it compresses images into crap sometimes, but it was pretty easy to use and let you share photos of a fun time you had with your friends, without having to go and get them developed.

However, I will concede that Facebook does not know me that well, since it chose a pretty poor selection of items for the movie it made of my life since I joined (though it was hilarious to see them).

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Duracell powers into cloud storage market

John 62
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I know I'm responding to an Onion quote, but stay with me!

Gillette didn't stick with 3 blades an aloe strip, they put a AAA battery in the razor handle and a motor that did nothing useful except make the handle heavier and threaten to give you vibration white finger.

Then they bought the company that made 4 bladed razors. Yes. Wilkinson Sword, Gillette's main rival is owned by Gillette now!

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HELLO LENOVO. Do you really, really want to make smartphones?

John 62
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Re: Lenovo's Plans

But Lenovo is already selling _lots_ of smartphones in China. Why would they want Motorola, except to get a foothold in the US market? Lenovo is arguably scared of Huawei as much as Samsung.

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ESA's Sentinel-1 earth-gazing satellite will be flung aloft later this year

John 62
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the sentinels with protect us from the X-Men

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Amateurs find the 'HOLY GRAIL' supernova – right on our doorstep

John 62
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well, considering a neutrino has a very, very small mass, it can be accelerated up to pretty close to the speed of light. From guess at the amount of energy available in a supernova, I'd say the neutrinos are all accelerated up to their maximum speed. The interesting thing is that although neutrinos have mass and hence have to travel a little slower than photons, they don't interact much with anything and travel in pretty straight lines, so photons while photons get deflected by gravity along the way and suffer from slow downs due to changes in permitivity, neutrinos can arrive sooner than photons from the same event.

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Two white dwarfs and superdense star. Yup, IDEAL for gravity lab in the sky - boffins

John 62
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Re: how? (@Nigel 11)

Your asterisk is almost right.

Bosons are things like photons, things that can pass through each other without interacting (i.e. two or more bosons can occupy the same space).

Electrons, protons and neutrons are all fermions, things that interact with each other and cannot pass through each other (i.e. two or more fermions cannot occupy the same space).

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ALIEN WORLD Beta Pictoris snapped by Earth's Gemini 'scope

John 62
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Re: I Saw this Coming 20 Years Ago!!!

sadly that's so bad it's good

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