* Posts by Tom 38

2627 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Vodafone: So what exactly is 'ludicrous' about the Frontier report?

Tom 38
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Re: Hello, Mr Kettle...

Isn't it about time someone conducted a similar analysis on Vodafone

No?

The report is talking about how BTO, which is an entity created to provide "market prices" for fixed line services to both other providers and BT, is gouging the other providers to create a higher profit for BT group than Ofcom had provisioned them to do on their level of investment*.

Vodafone doesn't have an equivalent unit, so what would you be analysing? Is this just "OMG VODERFONE IZ EVIL CUZ TAX?"

* BT invest in BTO, Ofcom allow BTO to make a profit because of the investment. The report in question says that BTO should only have made £11bn when they made £16bn, and that they are ripping off the other providers, whilst BT say that the numbers in the report are incorrect.

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700,000 beautiful women do the bidding of one Twitter-scamming man

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Because by exercising, your body in getting toned works more efficiently and burns more calories at rest, too.

So by working more efficiently, it uses more fuel? Are we using a special meaning of the word "efficient"?

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Helium-filled drive tech floats to top of HGST heap

Tom 38
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The article mentions that He10 is an SMR drive, but it doesn't explain what that means. SMR, particularly device managed devices like the He10, are not at all comparable to regular spinning disks.

Device managed SMR drives are only really suitable for write once/read many archival workloads, because of the massive expensive (performance) cost of the shingling on writes combined with the non-aware access of the device - the OS will treat it like any other type of drive - and you will get atrocious performance.

This review includes a comparison of rebuilding a RAID array comprised of 8TB Seagate SMR drives, compared to HGST He8 drives, which are PMR. The rebuild took 57 hours on the SMR, compared to 20 hours for the PMR drives. Average read/write speeds during the rebuild were both around 155MB/s on the PMR array and <10MB/s on the SMR array.

Host managed SMR drives (which are not out yet) will allow the OS to understand the performance characteristics of the drive, and use it in a totally different way to a PMR drive. Until then, they are really only useful in a single disk archive.

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Adobe Flash fix FAIL exposes world's most popular sites

Tom 38
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Re: Not just the seedy side of the web...

The Flash advert doesn't normally run on the site you are looking at it runs on the site of the agency. It is only through the miracle of the World Wide Web that it appears to you to be running on the site you are looking at.

Which sites are you thinking that host the flash adverts themselves?

"host" is the same as "run", right?

Nice hole, keep digging.

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Tom 38
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Re: Not just the seedy side of the web...

The Flash advert doesn't normally run on the site you are looking at it runs on the site of the agency. It is only through the miracle of the World Wide Web that it appears to you to be running on the site you are looking at.

Wrong.

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Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Tom 38
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Re: Dot matrix? Pah!

My uni was bought out by the borg, all of our CS department had sponsored Dell-Windows kit. The one redeeming aspect was that they took the less decrepit old hardware and gave us a "linux lab", with a daisywheel line printer that was free to use from linux (compared to 10p a page for any other printer). I still have several of the more useful RFCs I spent hours printing out on it...

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Taylor Swift snaps up EVEN MORE pr0n domain names

Tom 38
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Re: You have to wonder.

I doubt Ms Swift is even remotely aware that this is happening. She generates (metric) fucktons of money, and there will be an incessant number of companies and people constantly thinking of ways of relieving her of it helping her deal with these sorts of things.

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

Tom 38
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Re: UK Channel 4

If you want full coverage, tough, you cannot. You can pay Sky, this gets you most England games. You don't get warm up games, although they are televised and commentated on. You don't get CPL because that is on BT Sport (admittedly, not much of a loss, but still..). You constantly get the feeling you are subsidizing for all those fucking footballers too. You also only get foreign games involving Sky affiliated broadcasters, so you get all the NZ And Aus cricket you like, but no Saffers or asian teams though.

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Our 4King benders are so ace we're going full OLED, says LG

Tom 38
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Re: Is LG a good brand?

My first printer was a LuckyGoldstar, a 24 pin dot matrix. It was half the price of the cheapest Epson FX (which was 9 pin), and refill ribbons were sooo much cheaper.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

Tom 38
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What's wrong with teaching assembler

Everyone needs to know how to drive the car, but only a few need to know how to rebalance the wheels.

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Tom 38
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I wonder if this comes out of the license fee?

Yep. So will the budget for the educational TV programmes that explain to users (probably staff too) how to use the devices.

AKA, exactly how the BBC did it in the 80s, which led to those users ruling the world in 8 bit software development for the next 20 years.

I can't think of anything more awesome than teaching a million 11 year olds python. Even if only 10% of them bother, or are interested, thats 100,000 more python devs than last year.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Tom 38
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Re: The voters hate Osborne

If it cost more to run than it brought in perhaps it needed to be higher.

It's not that it "costs lots to run". When you change tax rates, you change peoples attitudes to earning money, and the tax generated by income taxes depends on what money people earn.

You can put the higher tax rate at whatever you like, but if you put it too high, there is no incentive for anyone earning above that level to bother to earn any more money, since they don't get much of it.

Similarly, there comes a point where the amount you are being taxed makes it advantageous to restructure your income to minimize your tax obligations. It should be self evident that the higher the tax rate is, the lower the level of personal income required to make it worthwhile to (legally) avoid tax.

Eventually, you can raise it to a point where anyone earning enough to pay top rate tax is a fool for staying in this country - in the 1974, the top tax rate on personal income from investments was 98%, and subsequently, a) its not worth investing in the UK, b) anyone affected who could leave the UK, left the UK.

Less people to tax, people (legally) working harder to keep hold of their money, people who are disincentivized to work harder and make more money - all of these things reduce the take from income tax.

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Tom 38
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Re: Too Simplistic

So the revenue is declared at the website operation, but most of the cost is incurred in Blighty.

Do you honestly believe the majority of the cost of providing to you goods from Amazon is storing it in a warehouse and then delivering it to you? Nothing about purchasing the item in the first place?

Amazon actually have this sewn up, their sales are all from Luxembourg, which is where the risk occurs (they buy things; if they don't sell those things, they lose money). They set prices, they buy stock, they pay for fulfilment and they make the profit. Fulfilment sites don't make profits, they simply do their purpose at the most efficient manner possible.

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Tom 38
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Re: The voters hate Osborne

Cutting taxes for the rich in a time when the nation is skint is daft. If it brings in another 50 or 100 megaquids, that's fine by me. An extra tuppence ha'penny would be fine.

How about if it brings in less money than not having the tax at all, do you still want it then?

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Tom 38
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Re: The voters hate Google

But I wonder how many of them use it (for free)

"Without financial detriment". It's not free.

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Thought Apple was kidding about diversity? Here's 50 MEEELLION reasons you're wrong

Tom 38
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Re: @45rpm

If you work at Apple and you are a straight male and you are going up against a member of the LGBT community for a promotion, who do you think is going to get it.

Whomever was best qualified?

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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: Is this the end of the rants?

Shit guys, just think where we might be now if davtom had been onboard.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Any OS which was built around the most robust operating system kernel ever.

What's QNX got to do with it?

Joking aside, Linux isn't the most robust operating system kernel ever, chiefly because it provides so many features. Others can be more robust, but they provide less features.

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Chewier than a slice of Pi: MIPS Creator CI20 development board

Tom 38
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Re: Media Center

Well for consumer devices, it's normally commonly listed in the tech specs, eg an Apple TV:

H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower, Baseline Profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

For the Google chromecast:

H.264 High Profile Level 4.1 (the processor can decode up to 720/60 or 1080/30)

VP8

10bit Hi422p is rarely supported by commercial devices. You'll often find it in cartoon rips, because it produces much more efficient encodes.

On my (BSD) media centre, I use a (fanless) Zotac Nvidia GT 520 GPU, which supports all of these things (MBAFF deinterlacing (thanks for MBAFF, BBC :/ ), Hi422p, 2160p, better deinterlacing than bob/weave, Hi1080p30@L5.1), and cost £20. mplayer can offload all video decoding to the GPU via VDPAU, so 0% CPU usage. Bit bulkier than a SoC though!

(I'll never understand why people choose such high levels to encode at, there is little difference in quality/bitrate between Hi1080p30@L5.1 and Main 1080p30L4.1, and usually is constrained to a bitrate within Main/4.1. Still, it is nice to get a file, and play it without having to say "oh thats the wrong codec options, give me 4 hours, I'll transcode it")

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Tom 38
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Re: Friendlier than C

wtf do you think the low level python interfaces are written in?

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Tom 38
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Re: Media Center

I use the Pi as a media centre and it plays HD (MKV/MP4) fine.

Is there a more qualified statement than this? Does it decode H264 in Hi422P profile? What are the supported profiles/levels (will my "advanced" profile, level 5.1 content play? Level 4.1?)? Does it support H264 MBAFF? What is the maximum supported bitrate? Will it decode 60p content? Will it decode 2160p content?

I don't mean to be an arsehole, but if the CPU isn't enough to decode the video, the hardware offload has to be sufficient to support all media types that you might want to throw at it. Being able to decode "scene" rips is good, but if you're going to need a different device to play back DVB-S2 content..

I did a bit of googling, no word on specific profiles, it can handle up to 40Mb/s, so sufficient for bluray, can't do 60fps. Reading between the lines, it can't* do higher than level 4.0 at baseline, extended, main or high profile, and no higher than 3.1 at Hi422p, because of the stated max bitrate of 40Mb/s.

* For given meanings of the word "can't". Some devices will just flat out refuse files that they think they can't play, some just play them and there is "corruption" at the point where it can't decode the frame, possibly (depending on error settings, frame drop and so on) leading to AV de-sync, audio glitches or garbled content until the next I-frame or beyond (AV de-sync will rarely fix itself).

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Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

Tom 38
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eight to 10 hours to achieve unconscious competence at 90 to 100 per cent of their flat keyboard typing speed.

Is this people who can type or people who can't type? Achieving 90 to 100 per cent of my mum's typing speed, not impressive, the real question is can a trained typist get up to 100 wpm out of the beasty?

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Tom 38
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Re: Bye bye upgradable laptops

It's a choice between expandability/upgradability and packing all those components in to the smallest form factor possible. They didn't solder in anything that looks like an SSD, they took the chips that would normally go in to a separate component and attached them to the motherboard. It needs no cabling, is less boxy, and so it fits in a smaller form factor. The fella who changed every component in his laptop*; let's face it, its not going to be svelte is it?

You pays your money, you takes your choice. Other laptop manufacturers are available.

* surely buddy, at some point it was cheaper to get a new laptop than a new keyboard, gpu, ram, odd, hdd...

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Tom 38
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The big worry

We're one step closer to....

Howdy doodly do. How's it going? I'm Talkie, Talkie Toaster, your chirpy breakfast companion. Talkie's the name, toasting's the game. Anyone like any toast?

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Tom 38
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Re: The big problem (and risk) is connectivity

In my opinion, there needs to be two classes of IoT devices, master devices and slave devices. The slave devices provide information and RPC to the master device, which then weaves the information and RPC in to user interfaces and controllable actions.

The user would own both types of devices, the slave devices are cryptographically paired to the master device, and data only passes from slave devices to the master device. The master device can then provide that data to third party internet services based upon the single set of security permissions granted on the master device.

The current form of "smart home" devices are anything but. They are all "slave devices", which pump your data to a central server on the internet, which then makes the "smart" choices. This hides that your personal data (eg, heating information) is then available for the providing entity to mine or analyze how they see fit. Do Not Want.

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

Tom 38
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Re: VAT Fraud!

Downvoted for stating facts?

He said more than the 5 words you are quoting.

I down voted him for his pedantic stating that there is no such thing as an exempt rate of VAT, when there is.

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Tom 38
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Re: VAT Fraud!

The rich make the tax rules and they certainly don't make them for the poor.

The tax rules (we call them laws) are made by parliament. Whether that is "rich" or "poor" depends on who you voted in. If we had had a Tory government for the last 36 years, that argument might have some merit, but at the moment the tax laws are largely those put in place by Labour.

If those were written in mind for the rich, some people got some splainin to do? Has Hodge been "shocked" yet that she had 11 years to change the tax laws in order to nail multinationals minimising taxes (like her family firm does), but failed each and every year?

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BACK OFF, spooks: UK legal hacking code should be 'resisted at all costs' says lawyer

Tom 38
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Unhappy

Re: Hacking....

Alas, the jargon file is full of our words, but the world does not use our words how we would use them.

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Grab your pitchforks: Ubuntu to switch to systemd on Monday

Tom 38
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Re: It's a question of complexity vs democracy

phil dude: Feel free to take all those "non open source" BSD licensed components of your Linux OS out then. Not so much fun without a GUI, ssl, ssh, png, jpeg..... is it?

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Tom 38
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Re: @DainB ZFS vs BTRFS...

zfs-on-linux is not prime time, because the guys who run the zfs-on-linux project mainly care about storing vast amounts of archive data, they don't care much about performance, so caches aren't unified and other performance issues.

If you want to do interesting things with ZFS, you're using Indiana or BSD.

btrfs is a joke. It's been "the next thing" for many years, but it still doesn't match even what ZFS had 5 years ago.

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Tom 38
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Re: read around...

i've not got a problem with binary logs, if a file is corrupted, its unreadable no matter what format its in. The journal viewing program is brilliant.

Jesus wept. What the fuck is wrong with grep and tail that they need to be re-invented in to specific single use programs?

GNUs Not Unix, and getting more not unix as time goes on. Where are the small sharp tools, the programs that do trivial things in isolation?

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BOFH in mugnificent return to Cash'n'Carrion

Tom 38
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Re: 10 Quid!

I thought all aussies were all super rich miners now, or at least ripping off the super rich bogans who do go mining.

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Mummy, what's the point of Evgeny Morozov's tedious columns?

Tom 38
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Re: Tim, if there's a weakness in the argument you've presented here

A load of bunk. Goods and services are frequently more expensive in rural areas due to lack of competition and cost (monetary and time) of travelling to alternate providers that are cheaper.

In London, with in 5 minutes of my house I can walk to 8 different shops that will sell me a litre of milk. All of them are around the same price, because if they weren't, they wouldn't get trade. The convenience stores that are open 24x7x365 charge a little more, but I can pop in to them at 3 AM on Christmas Eve and still get milk and bread.

Where I grew up in rural Suffolk, within 5 minutes walk I can get to a cow. 10 minutes in a car gets you to the nearest store - the only store for 8 miles in any direction - where you can buy milk for about 50% more than it costs than in Tesco. If you want a supermarket, its a 25 minute drive in the opposite direction, costing you a fiver in petrol.

Speaking of petrol, you'd better fill up at that supermarket, because everywhere else is 5-10p a litre more expensive. If they are still open, that is.

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Tom 38
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Re: I do not think it means what you think it means...

Wealth inequality is a nonsense. I'm one of the poorest people on the planet according to my wealth, but in actuality I have extremely high levels of comfort to go along with my high net debt. This makes my wealth less than a subsistence farmer, who at least owns his land outright and has positive wealth.

It is a nonsense pushed out to make for interesting headlines. The fastest way to reduce wealth inequality would be to forbid people to take out mortgages. This doesn't make their lives better, is worse in the long run, it just moves people from negative wealth and good long term prospects to positive wealth and no long term prospects.

That is clearly nonsense, it just demonstrates what an intrinsically bad metric "wealth" is to measure the inequalities that exist in society.

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End in sight for Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe wage-fixing lawsuit

Tom 38
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Some justice

The defendants offer bribes to plaintiffs counsel, the judge accepts it and that is justice? Why on earth should the plaintiffs settle, when the facts are clear and evidence is totally in their favour?

Oh that's right, there are no actual plaintiffs, this is a class action, so 1/3rd to the lawyers, 1/3rd to a distribution fund managed by the lawyers, 1/3rd donated to "charities" run by the lawyers/defendants.

Why let the boring things like a trial, allocation of guilt and assessment of damages gets in the way of the gravy.

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First peek at the next Ubuntu 15.04 nester line-up

Tom 38
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He's not complaining about the numbering system, he's complaining about the number of different versions of the same release - the difference between "Ubuntu MATE" and "Xubuntu" ought to be one (meta) package, does that really require a separate distribution?

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Bad movie: Hackers can raid networks with burnt Blu-Rays

Tom 38
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Re: Java - again

There is no reason to have Java installed on any computer, for any reason.

How do you reconcile that position with the fact that blu ray are players mandated to support BD-J in order to get one of those lovely blu ray icons?

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P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

Tom 38
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Re: Fundamental problems

Similar issues here - we won't let Marketing maintain and run their own Wordpress server, and they refuse to allow us to maintain and run it, as they then can't just whack any plugin they fancy on it.

The impasse was solved by them buying (at outrageous prices) hosted wordpress that we have nothing to do with. It's going to blow up at some point, guaranteed, but it won't be on our servers, in our network and with our data.

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Boffin: Use my bionic breakthrough for good, and not super cyborgs

Tom 38
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Re: Once

they've perfected this technique.... theres no reason why the arm needs to remain attatched to the controller.

I think you are overlooking the role the mind plays in working out new routes for nerves to travel. You don't put on the prosthetic and away you go, you have to discover the right signals to send to achieve an effect, and train your mind to send that signal.

Part of that works because the arm is, well, an arm. This is also why the phantom pain goes away - they don't miss an arm, because they've got one. A disembodied arm is not an arm. You would need to train your mind to ignore the impossibility of it.

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Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Tom 38
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That's not a bug, that's a missing feature. Big difference.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Tom 38
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Re: vi + ms + troff (+ tbl + eqn + pic + scripts + sccs + etc. as required)

WYSIWYG was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?

You missed that he said "scripts". scripts encompasses everything, so how do you know he has no WYSIWYG?

It is trivial to have vim autosave. It is trivial to monitor files for modifiction. It is trivial to generate and display the content if it generates. It's especially trivial to automate the lot.

Open source isn't really about sandals, beards and zealots, its about having simple single use tools that you combine to do the things that you want. It's like the guy 10 posts above, "I love linux, but most of my windows applications wont run under wine" - buddy, you're holding it wrong.

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Didn't the Left once want the WORKERS to get all the dosh?

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: @Sarah Balfour - However

How much would a President Tony or a President Maggie cost the country?

"President Tony", I can put good bounds on the cost of that.

"President Maggie", I'll need to do some digging and some research...

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Porn on Blogger – Google takes stiff action

Tom 38
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Happy

Big deal

Not as if we're talking about tumblr

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ACLU: Here's a secret – cops are using the FBI's fake cell-tower tech to track crims' phones

Tom 38
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Re: How long can it work?

How would that stop your phone connecting to a base station and sending its IMEI (and location) to that base station?

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FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Tom 38
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For whom is the internet?

giving consumers better broadband choices.

We're consumers now. Brainless sheep waiting to consume whatever is pushed to us. Make sure that we can consume or we might start thinking.

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'Lenovo, Superfish put smut on my system' – class-action lawsuit

Tom 38
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Lenovo are wrong

But has she suffered $10k worth of harm? For seeing some bikinis?

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AMD's new Carrizo: The x86 notebook processor that thinks it's a GPU

Tom 38
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Headmaster

The Carrizo APU conforms to HSA 1.0, .. The HSA 1.0 specification is due to be published in the next few weeks.

Unpublished specs are the easiest to conform to.

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

Tom 38
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Re: UKIP

I was thinking of Georg Ludwig, Elector of Hanover, but yeah, there is a long list.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

Tom 38
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It's a shame that those VoIP-based call centers can't get their act together though.

There are no non VoIP call centres.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

if you have had a proper lightbulb moment you should be thinking: “Who needs a number?”

I had to re-read the sub line to check whether this was a Steve Bong article.

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