* Posts by Richard 12

1678 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

NEVER MIND the B*LLOCKS Osbo peddles, deficits don't really matter

Richard 12
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Re: It seems to me...

Tory mates or Labour mates, it's the same thing either way.

What's needed is to break that cycle.

Suggestions on a postcard please!

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Richard 12
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Re: It doesn't matter...until it does

Yes, and a little bleeding doesn't matter, but losing too much blood will kill you.

It makes sense to run a deficit in a recession - it's a way to get out of it - but you must run a surplus during the boom, or the debt will become too high to pay.

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Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app

Richard 12
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Re: Laws of physics aren't suspended for F1...

5 sec behind would be good.

10 sec behind would be reasonable.

Utterly wrong on the other hand...

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Pundits ponder perilous placement of STANDING STONES on Comet 67P

Richard 12
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Re: more like stuck?

Heat of collision could do it.

Smack two ice cubes together and they can stick together.

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Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' - from his PASSENGER seat

Richard 12
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Re: Lemmings !

Planes don't even use Ethernet as it is generally understood.

They have a set of switches that have hardcoded (from factory) routing tables and paranoid behaviour.

One of the things they do is to blackhole a packet (and if necessary, shut down the port) coming in a physical port that is addressed to an unexpected destination, is malformed or comes more often than expected, because it would indicate a malfunctioning or damaged device.

Obviously that's also reported to the pilot, who can take the appropriate action (reset or ignore the bad kit)

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Richard 12
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No, he did not.

Because this did not happen. At all. It is impossible.

He may have hacked into the inflight entertainment system. That's probably fairly easy as I doubt it's particularly hardened.

But there is not, has not and never will be a backchannel that is physically capable of sending anything from the passenger cabin data systems into the flight control systems.

The FBI are talking utter bollocks.

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Lightbulbs of the future will come with wireless extenders and speakers

Richard 12
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They can't

LED is a narrow band emitter.

"White" LEDs use a Blue LED to pump a yellow phosphor.

Thus, no Red and very little Green - and so pigments look strange, especially ones involving red, like skin for example.

They are a couple of UV-pumped ones that are excellent, but £££££

There have been experimental RGB, RLB and RLW mixes, but I've not seen them on the market yet.

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Richard 12
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Re: a light switch that cuts all power to the light...

All domestic dimmer switches cut the power completely.

Professional SCR/Triac dimmers go down to zero but have a small leakage current through the suppression caps, however you would not be putting these lamps on a 3kW rated dimmer.

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Back to the Future: the internet of things as imagined in 1985

Richard 12
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Re: Odd 2

I'll give you those

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Richard 12
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Odd

IoT is simply a buzzword, with no meaning and no genuine products.

The companies making the genuinely useful "Internet of Things" hardware and software don't use the buzzword.

They are lighting and HVAC control systems, integrated alarm systems and the like. The real product is called a "building management system".

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Home routers co-opted into self-sustaining DDoS botnet

Richard 12
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Re: "because ISPs, vendors and users have all disregarded..."

Serial numbers are predictable, thus useless as passwords.

Heck, with a little thought you can probably work out the serial number from the public MAC, as the two will be directly related in most high-volume products.

The default password simply has to be truly random, with a good source of genuine entropy.

The majority of home users will never change the password, many won't even realise they can.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Cuy Chactado – Deep-fried guinea pig

Richard 12
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It's a very rich meat

I quite like it.

Hard to find in UK restaurants though, can't imagine why.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Richard 12
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Re: Turnout

FPTP is fundamentally flawed, in that it forces a two-party system to come into being, due to the effect of the "split vote".

https://youtu.be/s7tWHJfhiyo

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Richard 12
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Re: It's not broken don't fix it

I'd love STV with something like 3-4 member constituencies.

Then I'd be able to take my issue to whichever of the members I thought was most likely to help on that particular thing.

The current One-Member system has the fundamental problem that if my Member is a Minister, or even worse, the Speaker, I'm stuffed.

The Minister must back the Cabinet due to Collective Responsibility, and the Speaker isn't allowed to express their opinion.

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Richard 12
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Re: Please, no e-voting! (@ Cynic_999)

No. It is much easier to lose or change the contents of an electronic ballot box than the contents of a physical one.

While it is relatively easy to 'lose' a physical ballot box, it leaves a physical trail that must also be hidden - 3rd party observers saw it, and every individual ballot paper has to be accounted for.

An electronic 'ballot box' has a no physical trail, only a small amount of data describes its existence - all one would need is the signature, and poof, the entire box is gone or rewritten for the Lizard Party.

The 3rd party observers would have no way of seeing this, and no evidence would exist outside the system itself to indicate that a large-scale fraud had occurred.

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Richard 12
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Childcatcher

Re: CORRECTION Powerwall economics in UK conditions: ~ 5 to 6 year payback

Don't forget installation costs, and the VAT, which adds 20% to all the above.

So what you're saying is that it is uneconomic to use these because they will not pay back within their warranty period, unless you steal from the poor.

The 14.45p/kWh comes directly from everyone else's electricity bills.

Everyone who does not have the system is paying you for all the electricity you use.

Who can install these systems? Those who own their property and have either large enough savings to buy outright, or a good enough credit rating that a bank will loan them the upfront cost. In other words, the well-off.

Who pays for the systems? The poor and lower-middle class.

Isn't that simply evil?

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Building the Internet of Things with Raspberry Pi et al, DIY-style

Richard 12
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Boffin

Unconvinced that the 240V PowerTail is adequate

It's simply a 120V version with different relay and MOVs.

While the circuit and component selection look fairly sound, the PCB design looks extra-low-voltage, and may not be suitable for EU mains voltage supplies. It's quite hard to get mains voltage thru-hole PCB design right.

Can't be sure without a sample, and there's no hint as to the backside of the board on any of their published docs, however the topside creepage looks like ~1.5mm, when the standard requires at least 2.4mm*. You don't run tracks down the isolation gap - those pins are that far apart for a reason - and Protective Earth looks really close to LN.

I don't think El Reg should mention any mains voltage kits for the EU unless they've got good reason (CE mark etc) to believe that it complies with the basic safety regs in the EU. These set of devices look like they meet most US codes, but not EU ones.

* Assuming 'normal' PCB material and that it's not hermetically sealed.

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

Richard 12
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Re: TL;DR version

Indeed - though to be fair, the Surface Pro is actually a decent laptop.

As long as you can manage with 1 (one) USB port and no hardwired Ethernet.

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Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

Richard 12
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Re: Airbus definition of 'fail safe'....

No.

A timer overflow is so obvious and predictable that you can even work out exactly when it will occur to the individual tick.

A mistake in a flight control algorithm that gives unwanted results when fed by a particular mix of wrong and right values is an incredibly hard thing to predict.

One is a failure to count.

The other is an inability to allow for and test all possible circumstances.

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KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

Richard 12
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Re: I don't think this is the spirit of Tintin's gaily colored moon rocket

It has to come down fast because it can't hover.

The throttle only goes as low as ~1.8G, so the least it can do is roughly maximum braking of a high-performance car. (0.8G)

Lower throttle isn't possible because turbopumps don't do slow, among other things.

According to Scott Manley, it's trying to drive at a brick wall at 120mph, then slam on the brakes and come to a halt just touching the wall.

This time it slammed on the brakes ever so slightly too late.

Next time...

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High on bath salts, alleged Norse god attempts tree love

Richard 12
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Why was the first response to Taser him?

Would they have shot him first instead if the cop hadn't got a Taser on him?

They can and do kill. It's not a magic stun-phaser like in Star Trek, and somebody high on drugs is at higher than usual risk of death if Tasered.

I wonder what would have happened if the policemen did nothing? Would he have quietly passed out after sexing the tree?

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Soil and sand harden as SPEEDING MISSILES and METEORS SLAM into GROUND – boffins

Richard 12
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Hypersonic jobbie?

Eeewww! That's a hideous image...

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PHYSICS APPLECART UPSET as dark energy disappears, Universe slams on brakes

Richard 12
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Re: Science is self-correcting

Press release != science.

Then the reporting of the press releases gets even further from the actual results.

It's primarily shoddy journalists, who simply don't understand science at all, but pretend that it's just like the arts or humanities.

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ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!

Richard 12
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FAIL

The new TLDs were sold in an almost identical manner

So that's equally 'predatory', yes?

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Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Richard 12
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Re: Lawsuit

Class action isn't really a thing in Europe.

That said, it's a wonderful own-goal by Sony.

The only possible legal results from this are that they cancel the alleged debt, or that they cancel the alleged debt and pay a fine.

The PR result is already clear.

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Richard 12
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Re: Other reasons to get your account banned

No, that's known as an 'abusive contract' clause, which has no power whatsoever in any European country.

Dear Sony, you will lose. Trading Standards will rip you a new one.

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

Richard 12
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Mushroom

I read it when I was young and foolish enough to consider making some of the recipes.

Fortunately, I was never quite foolish enough.

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Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

Richard 12
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Re: More gas please. My fire's going out...

Not that load of bollocks again.

You can find somebody claiming anything if you search hard enough.

I pity you. It must be so difficult to maintain such a flawed and bigoted worldview.

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Richard 12
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Re: Is there no refuge?

Your right to throw a punch ends before it hits another's face.

I think that explains it.

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Richard 12
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Straw man - it doesn't matter how big a religion is.

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South Korea to NUKE Microsoft ActiveX

Richard 12
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Re: "proprietary standards"

He just missed the 'scare quotes' around 'standards'.

There are such things as proprietary standards/specifications though:

A company publishes an interoperability specification which others can use, perhaps even royalty-free, but the company retains full control over it.

Most APIs are like that.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Richard 12
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Re: True. Things Just Happen

If it's hard work, then maybe it's not right.

It might be hard sometimes, but marriage isn't work!

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Microsoft gets data centres powered up for big UPS turn-off

Richard 12
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Lithium ion eh?

As far as I recall lithium ion batteries really don't like deep discharge and wear out much faster than the equivalent sealed lead-acid.

So this technique means you'll be replacing more, smaller batteries more often - hoping that 1000 small batteries costs less than 10 big ones.

Not to mention the interesting fire loading - lithium battery fires cannot be doused, and the batteries catch fire quite easily when damaged or overcharged.

You basically have to wait for it to burn out and then put out the secondary fires.

Can their fire suppression system cope with that?

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A day may come when flash memory is USELESS. But today is not that day

Richard 12
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Re: Open question...

A disc doesn't have to write a full block, it's the file systems that do that.

Not all file systems use blocks, and those that do generally allow you to choose the block size if you want a different tradeoff between storing the location of the data and the data itself.

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We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

Richard 12
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Re: A simple solution?

If I, as a Brit, want to buy German bread then I can send a German bakery money and they send me the bread.

Shipping might be expensive and a bit stale once it arrives, but I can do it and the law does not affect my ability to do so.

However, if I want to buy German television, I cannot. It is simply impossible to do without breaching copyright.

If I want to watch it, I must breach the copyright.

This is the *only* type of goods or services where this is the case within the EU, and it's obviously stupid.

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Atomic keyrings: Just how bright are they?

Richard 12
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What odd units

Under 4 microlumens per square inch.

Or 1.3 candela / sq metre in SI units.

So, roughly the brightness of a single candle diffused across a square metre.

Wolfram Alpha says it's less than half the apparent luminance of the twilight sky.

Which is very dim, as the human eye is logarithmic.

But certainly visible.

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Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store

Richard 12
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Re: Google Apps

Yes indeedy.

Why should I need to root my device in order to selectively allow/deny applications unnecessary privileges?

That is one thing Apple do a little better.

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

Richard 12
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Odd that he lists the mostly solved problems as the "huge challenges", but ignores the "make one of these things actually work" and "make it not be a bloody superweapon of hideous death"

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X+Y shows teens are teens, regardless of where they are 'on the spectrum'

Richard 12
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It's about Power

A simple and quick way to gain and retain Power is to define an "Other", upon which blame can be placed.

The powerful can either 'pity' "them", try to change "them" to be more like "us", or remove "them".

When a problem arises, it's tempting and really easy to say "The problem came from them", not "us.

Thus diverting attention from the real cause.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Richard 12
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All the Mac users I know use USB sticks daily.

Most of them use a second USB device at the same time - what it is varies, but nearly all of them do.

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Richard 12
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Re: @Dave 126 Not a universal view

So this one isn't even enough for you.

The nearest comparison is the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which has a grand total of one USB 3.0 port and one power port - and everyone I know ends up carrying a USB hub because it's not enough.

Most people use USB sticks to transfer files between computers. It's simple and intuitive.

At the office, everyone connects via the wired ethernet because it's faster - most via a desktop dock.

Surface Pro has a dock, does this?

This new Macbook is clearly intended as an alternate iPad with the same pattern of consumption-only use.

So, it's alienating all the professionals who use Mac for creative purposes - continuing a worrying trend from Apple.

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Richard 12
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Boffin

Re: In the news over the weekend...

Most modern PSUs (chargers etc) are quite capacitive and so have a low power factor in the other direction.

It's all pretty silly anyway, as after I got rid of my electric shower I've not used more than 400kWh in any given month, it's usually closer to 300kWh.

So even in a bad month, my mean (24hour) consumption is under 560W - or 1700W for 8-hour days - which means the error bars are rather significant.

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

Richard 12
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Mushroom

Re: Why?

18 months? Useless.

Mine ran for 5 years.

The replacement battery only managed 3, and I was so annoyed that I stopped wearing a watch altogether.

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Give biometrics the FINGER: Horror tales from the ENCRYPT

Richard 12
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Re: Vertical Thinking

You also need two versions to cover about 99% of the population.

No idea what you do for the last 1% or so.

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Top Euro court ends mega ebook VAT slash in France, Luxembourg

Richard 12
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I luff my 3G Kindle.

Even works in deepest darkest Peru :)

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Richard 12
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Re: it's a shame...

I'm certain that it would be technically possible for Google to do, and pretty sure that they employ people who are good at it.

However, I'm also pretty sure that doing so would have simply got them sued, gaining them nothing.

This type of limitation is usually legal, not technical.

(There are several features we've been forced to remove from our products due to stupid patents that should never have been granted. Unfortunately, the court would have been in Texas, so...)

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El Reg regains atomic keyring capability

Richard 12
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Unhappy

You bastards, the purple ones are gone!

Any idea when they might be back in stock?

I have some money here that I want to dispose of in return for a nuclear furnace.

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Firefox 36 swats bugs, adds HTTP2 and gets certifiably serious

Richard 12
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Re: @paulf - Have they stopped

That's because the guy in charge of the UI is an insane control freak who has no understanding of his users at all.

He needs to be fired, he's a bloody idiot.

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Samsung in second SSD slowdown SNAFU

Richard 12
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Re: Can we just lose FLASH already?

Ferro-electric NVRAM is on the shelves already, but the density is still very low and the price high.

I've not seen any FeNVRAM bigger than 256kbit yet. It compares very well with SRAM and battery/supercap backup, but not Flash.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

Richard 12
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Correction

Superfish were the party in question.

Unless they outsourced their entire product, in which case, they are not only evil, but stupid as well.

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