* Posts by Tom 38

2519 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

When open-source eats itself, we win

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Apache is not a synchronous web server. Apache has a mode of operation that is synchronous. It also has an asynchronous mode. In it's asynchronous mode, it is just as fast as nginx, yet supports many more 3rd party modules.

Apache 2.2 ships, by default, in synchronous mode. Why? Because Apache is commonly used to make a LAMP stack. PHP in the form of mod_php historically does not play well in a threaded environment, usually due to it's extensions.

The solution is to run php-fcgi instead of mod_php when running asynchronously. This is actually better since it separates the PHP interpreter from the request handler, which increases performance. This model, php-fcgi and asynchronous workers, is exactly how nginx works, and the two are comparable in speed in this configuration.

So why isn't this the default configuration for Apache/PHP? Ease of upgrade. It is too confusing, say packagers, to ask people to change how they deploy their PHP apps on Apache, it cannot be changed. Also, the package will include almost every stock Apache module, and they will all be loaded by default.

So install LAMP on Ubuntu, and you get the slowest possible way of serving PHP, by design. Install nginx, and you get the fastest. This is where the lighty/nginx/New Cool argument comes from, people install the stock configuration and think Apache is some slow beast that takes all your RAM.

Apache, properly configured, is amazingly fast and light on memory. Plus, you get the entire ecosystem of Apache modules to use. There are many books written on Apache module development, and thousands of books on Apache configuration and howtos.

Finally, about web servers. Web servers are an amazingly popular bit of software to write. It's so simple to do, that they massively proliferate, each claiming to be the fastest most agile web server going - I'm looking at gunicorn, Tornado, et al here.

I'm not going to comment on their speed, but instead the speed of the thing you are serving. Frankly, how fast the web server does it's web server tasks is massively irrelevant in the overall scheme of things. Any request involving DB queries will swamp the amount of time the web server spends handling the request. Any request not involving DB queries is a static file, and should be served from cache or disk, which is a hard thing to do slowly.

There is nothing wrong with nginx or lighty, they are both excellent web servers. But so is Apache, and rumours of it's death are greatly exaggerated. If you already have Apache skills, changing to nginx means learning new syntax and gotchas, and losing all your experiences and custom modules, and it still won't go faster than your app.

tl;dr - use Apache 2.4, event MPM and php-fcgi.

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Introducing the Open Source Rookie of the Year... Whoa, it's Microsoft

Tom 38
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Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

Apple fund a lot of FreeBSD developers and projects, so I don't see where this assertion comes from. The security and auditing portions of OS X and iOS directly come from TrustedBSD/OpenBSM, which are projects majorly sponsored by Apple - just look at the commit logs.

clang is now the default system compiler on FreeBSD current, and produces correct code that runs as fast as gcc. It's not as fast at compiling as gcc currently is though.

It's all very well bitching about how evil Apple are, or how XYZ is better, but I don't see them contributing. The point of BSD is that we don't mind people reusing things, it is better when they contribute back. Successful users of BSD, like Apple, Citrix, IronPort and Netflix all contribute back.

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You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

Tom 38
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Re: In fact...

vulnerable … native animals of my country, Australia

I thought the only vulnerable animals in Australia were the humans - or have the sheep got less vicious?

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Tom 38
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Film at 11

The entire purpose of cats is to kill small animals - it's why we domesticated them in the first place. They should be killing anything they can get to, so that it stays out of the way of humans.

Hardly fair to suddenly turn around and say "OK, mice and rats, but not the cute ittle birdies or water voles".

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Fujitsu reveals data transfer protocol 30 times faster than TCP

Tom 38
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Mushroom

AC for obvious reasons

What, like making a post insulting all other posters without saying why or how they are wrong, and instead just being a gigantic dick? Top reasons.

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Worst broadband notspots in the UK named and shamed

Tom 38
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Re: Backend Throughput

Move somewhere that is.

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Revealing new pics of galactic princess Andromeda

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Andromeda, named after the mythical Greek princess known for her beauty

1) Andromeda is the daughter of Cephus and Cassiopeia, who are Ethiopian, not Greek.

2) Andromeda is "known for her beauty" because of her mother's hubris in declaring she was more beautiful than the Nereids, and was punished by Poseidon.

BoJo was right, a classical education does eventually come in handy.

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UK.gov told to get a brain in wake of £1bn IT deals collapse

Tom 38
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FAIL

Sour grapes?

Sounds more like certain people were miffed that they had to do work in order to tender a bid, and are upset that, because their tender was not accepted, that that work no has no reward.

Suck it up. When you ask an engineer to tender a bid, they do a lot of work in order to be able to tender. Factored in to the bid is the cost of producing tenders, so if only if they consistently do not win bids does this become a problem, in which case they should look at why they are not winning bids, rather than bitching about the cost of working to submit tenders.

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US taxman joins UK politicoes on hunt for Amazon cash

Tom 38
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Re: Buy local

This way to protectionism...

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Tom 38
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dogged: VAT is only zero sum if you receive the same or less in VAT on sales than you expend on VAT in purchasers. Companies that spend more than they sell don't tend to last that long. Therefore, successful companies do pay VAT.

VAT is a tax on consumption. Someone on £5k only pays the 'same tax' as someone on £500k if they consume the same amount. People on £500k do tend to consume more - the Jag uses more petrol than the Mini, but it is still a regressive tax, because even though the wealthy consume more, their proportion of the overall consumption is dwarfed by the (meagre) consumption of everyone else.

The main issue is the tax code, which has grown massively since the mid 90s. There are far too many loopholes and special conditions that the top few percent no longer pay their fair way, and companies (legally) avoid the majority of their taxes. Raising VAT would not help, simplifying and rewriting the tax code would.

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China visa changes could attract job-hunting IT pros

Tom 38
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Re: Try before you buy

Depends who you are working for out there. Last time I was in Shanghai, it was China Telecom in the hotel, then VPN to our Shanghai branch office, and from there, VPN to head office in London.

At that point, even iplayer worked.

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Look out, fanbois: One in two nicked mobes is an iPhone - cops

Tom 38
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Re: I'd have thought...

What a load of bollocks. A large majority of people on the tube use their phone/tablet/kindle on the tube, irrelevant of what phone they have. This morning, I saw iphones, a galaxy s, one guy with an ipad, and a whole mess of kindles and nooks.

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Tom 38
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Re: Cut the bullsh*te

And Obviously! has never said in the past that iphones are expensive tat.

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Fusion-io touts cheap-as-chips flash to Apple, Facebook and chums

Tom 38
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Re: Hubba! Hubba!

Things like this don't go 'out of date', since you spec the iron for the project it will handle for the lifetime of the iron.

And yes, WANT. One of these in each of our DB servers, thanks muchly. (forwards to PHB)

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DoJ to Kim Dotcom: We never asked you to retain files

Tom 38
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Re: Whom to believe

So the DoJ was behind Watergate? Are you sure it wasn't a bunch of dirty crook politicians?

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Tom 38
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Re: The Battle for Hearts and Minds is Won with Smarter Intelligence Feed and Novel Cyber Seed.*

It's a bronze badge actually.

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Tom 38
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Another place where you could actually browse effectively lost.

I vehemently disagree. My (past and recent) memories of HMV are disorganized tat warehouses, where you can browse all you like, it's just they've sold out of the thing you wanted to buy. Looking for someone in particular from a back catalogue? Good luck even finding the artist.

We put up with this in the 90s, we'd pop along the high street, wandering between Woolworths, HMV and Virgin comparing prices, since usually at least two would be massively overpriced, and you'd hope that one of them was not.

Most recently, I wanted some DVD box sets for Christmas presents - nothing rare, new releases like The Wire, The Killing, Breaking Bad etc. I popped into the HMV at Westfield Stratford - presumably their most recent store. It was tiny, so crammed with people that you couldn't effectively move around, and none of the DVDs I wanted. I spent 30 minutes trying to look for them, and 10 minutes waiting to talk to someone only to be told "If you can't find it, we probably don't have it".

After that, I went home and did what I should have done in the first place - order it from Amazon. Services like Spotify mean I can browse and discover music on my phone whenever I choose, Amazon nearly always has the best price and everything in stock. Shops like HMV are an irrelevance that will disappear along with the box shifters like Currys and Best Buy.

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Hey, open sourcers: Who's your code's daddy?

Tom 38
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@vagabondo

Hmm, interesting. The whole point of the article however is about "pre-invention agreements", which are agreements about assigning ownership of works created prior to joining the company, where as your quote infers that the works were created after joining.

I don't know which is correct. If VMware did fund the creation and development of Vert.x, then what the fuck do pre invention agreements have to do with this story?

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Tom 38
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You haven't read it right at all.

He wrote the project initially, before he ever worked for VMware.

VMware then 'bought' the project, by employing him and making him sign over ownership of the project and his pre-existing contributions to it as a condition of employment.

VMware then employed him to work on the project.

He decides to leave the company, VMware assert their ownership of his works he previously assigned to them.

He should never have signed over his work to them, or have been aware that signing his work over to them meant it was no longer his.

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Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

Tom 38
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It's better when you don't get caught, tbh.

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O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product

Tom 38
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Re: they were mavricks

Citation for the caps, throttling and shaping? I don't see any of that on Be.

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Tom 38
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Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

Presumably this sale will include Be, which makes me very sad. I've been with Be since before launch (I'm still on the introductory special offer rate!), and for me the service is beyond excellent. Whenever I rarely have technical issues, their support team has been excellent - I don't even mind the offshored Bulgarian call centre, they all seemed extremely polite, knowledgable, and better english than BT's "Steve" in Bengaluru.

I already take Sky TV, so I've had the option of cheaper broadband for some time. For me, Be is the service that I want, so it is worth paying extra for it.

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Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

Tom 38
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Re: @ Tom 38

Nope, considered that one, I was listing current shows and cancelled shows. Sanctuary ended on schedule.

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Tom 38
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Pah, all ST and B5 is bobbins, the best sci fi in last 30 years has to have been the amazing Andromeda. Only kidding.

@Carl Williams: There is a bit of a dearth of "future" sci-fi at the moment, the tendency has been for more dramatic "near now" sci-fi, and for making it with very high production values. Shows have either had to be brilliant (BSG reboot) or long running (Dr Who reboot) to survive. We're missing a current show that has the appeal of an SG-1 though. Here are some current shows to look out for:

Alphas: Sci fi? It's 'Heroes' on the SyFy channel, with a little pseudo science thrown in. Bit too much magic, I wouldn't disagree with anyone who classes this as "fantasy" rather than "sci fi"

Continuum: Canadian time travel, eh? What's that aboot? It's not bad actually, but it's from cable, so only ten episodes a season, but not at the whim of Fox or NBC. I can't quite work out if it is paradoxical that the "good guys" in the future are actually right wing nutters, or if it is designed to appeal to Fox viewers. Hoping the former. Season 2 will be interesting as they delve into some of the paradoxes.

Falling Skies: Americans are loving these end of days kind of shows. This time, aliens invade, and for some reason want our kids to hook up their machines. Crazy.

Fringe: Coming to the end, definitely sci fi, but less believable as the series roll by. JJ Abrams designs shows that grab me for 5 years, I get to the end and the dénouement and think "WTF? What a crock." (see Alias, Lost). He's an evil evil fucker, and I love him for it.

Haven: Another SyFy show that has me asking "is this SF or fantasy?". Precious little science in the show.

Person of Interest: Is this Sci Fi? A computer that can track people around the world and predict if they are going to come to harm, and rings up a team of people to protect them. They don't go into the SF angle much until it's a plot device. JC is a badass.

Revolution: Ridiculous SF that I still watch. In the future, somehow electrons no longer flow, cue fall of civilisation. Some people have amulets that sometimes allow electricity to work. Add to that the dialogue is ropey and the acting (especially the lead character) is awful. I've not heard this getting cancelled yet, but it would not surprise me.

Red dwarf: Hah, still going. Don't like the new episodes though, give me "White Hole" any day.

Walking Dead: SF? Another near now apocalypse show, this time with zombies.

Warehouse 13: zomg, SyFy make some bad shows. I'll watch anything with Saul Rubinek in though.

Having said that, here's the recent sci-fi cancelled list:

Alcatraz - Interesting premise, too slow, cancelled. Could have gone somewhere, but got no viewers.

Dark Angel - I still can't forgive this being cancelled

Defying Gravity - liked it, it had promise, too slow (hence cancelled)

Dollhouse - Whedon lets another one get away

Eleventh Hour (US and UK versions) - both deserved to get canned

Eureka - ran it's course really, tea time SF

Firefly - Cap'n? Shiny.

Flashforward - cool show, but once you've done the flash forward once, what happens next season? Another flash? Please! (hence cancelled).

No Ordinary Family - Modern Family cross X-Men. Huge promise, ratings died on it, so it died.

Terminator: TSC - Good, but bleak. Could have had a third series if they'd tried.

Terra Nova - Can't spend that much per episode for that few viewers, hence cancelled

The Event - Aliens invade! I liked it, I think they were running out of ideas..

V - Hah. The first time I saw one of the lizard men pop out of a human skin, I almost wet myself laughing it was so ridiculous. I'm impressed this got a second series before being cancelled tbh.

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'Better than Adobe' Foxit PDF plugin hit by worse-than-Adobe 0-day

Tom 38
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Re: Significance

Google for ``smashing the stack for fun and profit''.

How I learnt how to do buffer overrun exploits too :)

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Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

Tom 38
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I concur, need line stats to see why. Is router plugged into master socket, have you considered installing a replacement NTE5 faceplate with integrated filter, is internal wiring correct, yadda yadda.

My old man lives in the real middle of nowhere, 6km as crow flies from the exchange, initially he got 512k download synch, I replaced the faceplate and he now gets 3.5Mb, plenty enough for iplayer.

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Ruby off the Rails: Enormo security hole puts 240k sites at risk

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Confused (was: Surprise)

Is this a really bad joke, or are you not aware RoR has nothing to do with MS?

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Tom 38
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: If only . . .

It's only £7k without the warranty - which is essential - so add another £2k to each one. We broke two of the machines within a month of moving here, simply by, as the engineer put it 'making too much coffee'. We didn't pay that much anyway, I think around £6k with warranty.

Before we had the machines, in our old offices, we had tubs of Nescafe, which no-one drank, and loads of people popping out each hour to get their fix. £36k over 3 years in capex, but it keeps employees in the office and working.

There should be some sort of coffee icon..

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Tom 38
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Re: Sweet Poison

No HFCS anywhere apart from the US and Japan. Even the Mexicans don't put it in their Coke.

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Tom 38
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Re: Workplace coffee sucks. Always.

Our workplace coffee comes from beans roasted and milled the second you press the espresso button. Coffee isn't meant to be a drink drunk in gallons, just small powerful shots that you neck - drink water if you're thirsty.

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Tom 38
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Re: If only . . .

You need to find a better boss, we have 6 of these babies dotted around the office.

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Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Takes

Depends upon the type of rice. Basmati rice takes about 12 minutes, brown rice takes about 30 minutes, long grain or wild rice is inbetween, depends how much it has been washed or polished.

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Scientists snap first film of giant squid in action

Tom 38
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Re: Once again, a reminder

More people have been to the moon than to the deepest ocean floor.

More living people, definitely.

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BT in ad slapdown after 'misleading' punters on fibre deployment dates

Tom 38
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Re: Misleading

My landlord is a useless dick who likes charging stupid fees, so that would make a lot of sense.

It would make even more sense for BT to say this themselves!

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Tom 38
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Re: Misleading

My exchange is done. All the cabinets in the area are done. People in the apartment block next to me can get infinity, people in my block cannot. BT won't say why, when or even if our block will get it.

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Don't shoot the Windows Live Messenger, cry IM users

Tom 38
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Looking at this from the wrong perspective

What about all the Skype users now being asked to share a network with the plebs who use WLM. It's like a second eternal September.

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Toy train company bids for West Coast Mainline

Tom 38
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Re: Human after all!

Oooh, you cynic you.

Whatever deficiencies our system has, it is miles better than the US system, where they have separate democrat and republican 'civil servants', every time the executive changes, so do a lot of the 'crats.

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Tom 38
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Re: Human after all!

A private secretary is a mid level civil servant assigned to a specific minister with a remit to express his ministers' views, manage the ministerial diary, prioritise and correspond with people who wish to talk to the minister, and most importantly, to record a non political factual notes of decisions and events.

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€1.5bn swiped from EU cards: Fraud mainly takes place in the US

Tom 38
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Re: Verified by VISA is horrible

Phil, that sounds like a clever system. HSBC have a much more tighter control that apply to my account - not by my choice.

Every time in the past 12 months I've tried to buy anything significant online - over £100 - HSBC have refused my card, requiring a phone call to them to say that yes, I did order a bunch of computer kit today, filling in the VbV forms.. Verified by Visa, not trusted by HSBC.

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First rigid airship since the Hindenburg enters trials

Tom 38
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Re: I wonder how much helium they waste

I actually mentioned it in the original post - alt.suicide.holiday FAQ.

It's not a monthly publication, somehow people only wanted the one issue, and after that all their mail was returned...

And it is quite interesting. Suicide was never 'sinful' until the god botherers got the idea that part of you - the soul - isn't yours, it's part of a cosmic godhood that you are just renting, and don't do anything bad with, or you go to the hot place. Greeks and Romans viewed suicide very differently.

There are lots of different methods documented in the FAQ, some are crazily efficient, some are crazily inefficient, and most suicide attempts use the inefficient ones - either they don't know better, or they don't really want to die.

Eg, hanging, you can hang yourself quite easily - and asphyxiate to death with a crushed windpipe. It's excruciatingly painful, and if discovered before you pop your clogs, unlikely to work. Alternatively, buy the right rope, tie the right knots, fall the right distance for your weight, and your neck will snap instantly, with almost no chance of failure.

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Tom 38
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Re: Hot Helium anyone

BTW you can make helium in a fusion reaction, the only problem is the radioactivity....

And the cost.

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Tom 38
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Re: I wonder how much helium they waste

Death by helium asphyxiation is the top recommended method in the alt.suicide.holiday faq-file. Simply get a canister of helium, rig up some breathing apparatus so that you are breathing almost pure helium. You get none of the 'omg I'm suffocating' gag reflex, since that is actually due to the build up of CO₂ in the blood, and you gradually lose consciousness as you lose oxygen in the blood. After about 20 minutes or so, you've had a comfortable, pain free death,

Downsides are that if discovered 'in time', you've typically suffered brain damage. Lots of it.

The other suicide method that has intrigued me is slashing the wrists and bleeding out in a warm bath, as favoured by the Romans, who saw 'patriotic suicide' as a way of dying with dignity in an impossible situation, eg Cato the Younger, who disembowelled himself - ripping out his own intestines rather than let a doctor tend him - rather than live under the despot Caesar.

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John McAfee the Belize spymaster uncovers 'ricin, terrorist plots'

Tom 38
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This is almost the plot to 'The Tailor of Panama'

His 'operatives' continually find new and interesting things, because McAffee keeps paying them. "Oh, John, my cousin Jesus in immigration knows about these Hezbollah terrorists coming in to Belize, all he needs is some chatting (and $10k USD)".

OTOH, It is a life-long dream of mine to make enough money in technology that I can afford to go bat-shit insane on soft drugs in a tropical paradise with my friendly 19 year old bed warmer. Kudos JM.

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Victory on mobile belongs to Google in 2013

Tom 38
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Google Now

Is there an easy way to sign up for this magical service that allows a computer to predict everything that you interested in and sell that information to anyone interested keep you fully informed about the world.

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Ubisoft probes sudden rash of hijack attacks on gamers' accounts

Tom 38
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Easy solution

Join my boycott of Ubisoft. No more issues with any of their shit.

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'SHUT THE F**K UP!' The moment Linus Torvalds ruined a dev's year

Tom 38
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Re: Err...

Sure, if Mauro was in any way Linus' employee. Which he isn't. He can't take him aside and give him a talking to, or sack him. The only nuclear option he has is to beat on him in public, so that his employers take notice.

OTOH, there is no need for someone like Linus to take that sort of tone on-list. He could have just said something along the lines of "Mauro, please re-check this, as I am convinced you are wrong in this", which would be just as painful for a senior dev to receive.

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Aw grandad, I asked for an iPad and you got me an iPod

Tom 38
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Hi Obviously!, why you using AC?

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Outlook 2013 spurns your old Word and Excel documents

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Re: Curious...

New shiny! New shiny! Ignore the fact that you can no longer open any archived documents! New shiny! New shiny!

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There’s more to selling email than meets the eye

Tom 38
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Free is still there

MSPs replace internal services with external ones, meaning you no longer need to manage those services, someone else does it for you.

Managing stuff isn't free, so when we moved from Notes to Google Apps, it freed up one Domino developer to do stuff that didn't make him sad all the time, 1 sysadmin whose job was keeping the global databases in sync and making sure the notes-blackberry bridge stayed working suddenly had time to work on some of the infrastructure backlog, and a bunch of rack space suddenly became free.

It's far cheaper to have google supply mail and calendaring tools than it is to do it ourselves.

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Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: Google

For fucks sake what an idiotic comment. I'm now stuck at work with the irresistible urge to google Heather Brooke :/

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