* Posts by Tom 38

2913 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Labour

as people went to vote they remembered Tony Blair, and Gordon Brown thought ah that David Miliband

Well done for paying attention to who was in the red corner...

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Telstra builds trans-continental land bridge for data

Tom 38
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I was going to moan about how slow 40ms is for that distance, then I checked the distance - I forget how big Australia actually is.

Light travels go at the speed of light (funny that), but bounces all round the fibre instead of going straight, roughly add 50% to the distance to account for that, giving a total travel time of approximately 20ms.

The distance is probably longer than I've calculated, fibre doesn't travel as the crow flies, but its in the ballpark. For comparison, London to NY is routinely about 60ms and is about 40% further (5500 km vs 3900 km).

ish.

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Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer found guilty of code theft … again

Tom 38
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Re: *Whose* code? @ David Dawson

Most people's definition of theft is...

irrelevant - the only definition worth considering is that in law, and that says:

A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and “thief” and “steal” shall be construed accordingly.

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Tom 38
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Stop

Re: *Whose* code?

One of the conditions of the GPL, as you doubtless well know, is that you are enjoined to publish your own modifications to that code freely for the benefit of others.

Fallacy. You are only required to share your modifications if you distribute the modified version. If the "you" is a commercial entity, and you only use the modified software in-house, then there is no requirement to share your modifications with anyone.

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Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

Tom 38
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

Before PulseAudio nothing worked.

PulseAudio works as well as every other userspace sound daemon ever, and has just as many pitfalls. Look up ESD, or artsd, same shit, different name. The trick with PA is that it got included in to GNOME as a default requirement (if you pay attention, you might spot Leonard's MO), and we all got to find and fix its shortcomings.

Part of the problem is that Linux developers love to reinvent things rather than improve them. On all UNIX, we had OSS, the Open Sound System, worked on Linux, BSD, many UNIX, but it didn't have channel mixing. Linux went through OSS, the aforementioned sound daemons, ALSA (including dmix) and finally PA. On BSD we just added virtual channels and mixing to OSS.

PS: I presume the "nothing worked" refers to mixing multiple

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Shields up! Shields up! ASTRONAUTS flying to MARS will arrive BRAIN DAMAGED, boffins claim

Tom 38
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Re: Tinfoil Hats?

The ISS is more than 400 tons. Should I call the astronauts on board to tell them their home is not feasible?

ISS is only in LEO. This chart might come in handy.

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Tom 38
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Re: Not really equivalent

As I understand it, you get a bloody great rock into a cyclic path back an forth between Earth and Mars

So that's what happened to the dinosaurs...

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Netflix looses FIDO hack attack dog as open source

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

The tool is part of a series of open source security offerings Netflix has gifted the community.

Last year it released three tools Scumblr, Sketchy, and Workflowable under the Dirty Laundry project.

Plus they use FreeBSD and nginx for their storage nodes, and heavily contribute back to the community.

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OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Tom 38
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Unhappy

"mwahh" is a kissing sound?

On IRC 10 years ago it meant "I am an evil genius and my plan to take over the world is about to bear fruit."

mwahh

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Intellectual property laws in China, India are flawed, claims US govt without irony

Tom 38
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qv USA 19th Century?

They don't like it up em.

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Tom 38
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Re: We had a choice of steak or fish

Surely, they can't be serious?

It's a rorschach test to determine the humourless amongst us. And stop calling me Shirley.

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Tom 38
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Joke

We had a choice of steak or fish

From what I recall, the pilot and co-pilot are not allowed to eat the same food as each other, just in case one set of foods a bit off and makes one of them ill, the other pilot who ate different food won't be ill.

I had the lasagne.

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High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

Tom 38
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Re: Latency

I get <1 ms on the AV500 home plug kits I've provided for my family. I'm surprised your wifi is so low latency, mine varies wildly from 1ms to 50ms.

The ones I've provided for my are all to ensure that wifi signal extends in to the rooms they want it to extend to. I used "TP-LINK TL-WPA4220T", which is a £60 kit with one base station unit and two extenders, the network signal is sent of PLN to the extenders, which then have a built in wifi AP. The APs support WPS push button setup, and the PLU is also PBS, took all of about 2 minutes to pair to the base unit and Virgin superhub, and get my (nursing) sister online in the room she likes to sit in when feeding the baby.

I think its the first time she's ever appreciated that I'm a techy ;)

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Apple Watch WRISTJOB SHORTAGE: It's down to BAD VIBES

Tom 38
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If you're not going to make an amusing pun out of a typo like Simon did, there is a simple button underneath the page to report errors and corrections, which are always gratefully and warmly accepted by el reg staff in my experience, and you won't attract so many downvotes for being a smarmy know-it-all.

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'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

Tom 38
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As MS had no monopoly on desktop OS and IE did not have a monopoly in browsers.

Except it did. Even left-pondian justice department thought they did, and they don't often think that.

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Tom 38
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Why? Google has no monopoly on phone OS.

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Apple Watch HATES tattoos: Inky pink sinks rinky-dink sensor

Tom 38
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Re: excellent and distinctive way of identifying your corpse

Good luck scraping DNA out of a hole in Helmand. Most death reports are made by the officer in command and most IDs are done by sight.

And yet there is a murder case working its way through the courts in London at the moment where a man is on trial for murder because his fingerprints where found on a fragments of a roadside IED in Iraq that was next to one that killed a US serviceman. The bomb that killed him was built by someone else, someone not now living in the UK..

The fragments from that bomb were sent to the US and analyzed, and then sent to the UK and analyzed. Did someone have a massive hard-on for that specific bomb, or do they actually take more care?

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'Aaron's Law' back on the table to bring sanity to US hacking laws

Tom 38
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Re: Eh?

Hacking now means "doing something I don't want you to do" - just ask weev.

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Singapore's PM personally programmed C++ Suduko-solver

Tom 38
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Haskell?

I guess he doesn't like his Dad...

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High on bath salts, alleged Norse god attempts tree love

Tom 38
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Mushroom

Re: He did not commit the other crime

THIS law was a favorite of DiBlasio the Mayor as he hated smokers and selling single cigarettes without regard to age tax is a pet peeve of the Mayors office.

FTFY

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Tom 38
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Re: @DJV (was: Punometer)

Whose life got taken jake? They don't charge dead people with crimes, this isn't the Vatican.

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Tom 38
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Re: He did not commit the other crime

Can't the cop run after the suspect rather than just shooting them?

Also, getting pulled over and arrested by cops for a civil matter (selling ciggies individually, non payment of child support) is nonsensical.

It's about time every second of every shift of every officer needs to be recorded and kept for a minimum period. No-one trusts a word they say any more.

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The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

Tom 38
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Don't worry, even the conslutant that thought that one up hadn't gone to its inevitable conclusion. BAAS puts the entire operation of the blanket in the hands of the organization that is providing the service, which brings two obvious questions for the organization:

Why do we want to be liable for everything that happens with a blanket for its entire lifetime?

Who is going to pay more per month for BAAS than it costs to buy a dumb blanket?

BAAS is not coming any time soon.

Also:

An electric blanket would be hard pressed to do all of this computationally expensive work on its own.

Really? Its smart enough to have an IP stack, but can't calculate a few small numbers?

I'd actually be interested in IoT devices, but every single fucking one of them is being designed by people like the author of this article. Smart washing machine? Great! Smart washing machine that sends all my data to Miele and I get an app to interact with Miele's servers? FOAD.

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Why are enterprises being irresistibly drawn towards SSDs?

Tom 38
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Headmaster

RAID controllers that are not from before-time-began also know how to talk to SSDs so as not to wear a hole in them. As you move higher up the chain into enterprise SSDs, you find that the individual drives have supercapacitors and thus can do a lot of this directly at the drive level, saving further on wear

Supercaps are a feature of enterprise SSDs, but have FA to do with wear levelling.

All SSDs, enterprise or not, have wear levelling in their firmware - on an SSD an LBA does not refer to a fixed storage block, it refers to an internal pointer to a block lookup table, wear levelling rejigs the table according to use.

However, this doesn't mean that enterprise SSDs are a con - an SSD is a small computer of its own, and the quality of the firmware on the SSD operates greatly impacts the performance of the device.

Consumer SSDs can do *daft* things that are merely daft when they happen in your home PC, but cost money when they happen in your server - one example is the firmware changing its allocation approach based upon free capacity in the device, so going above 70% usage causes it to stop responding until it has restructured its internal tables, which can take several minutes. This might make sense in a home PC - users expect devices to have good performance right up until completely full, so a little lockup once is acceptable.

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Daddy Dyson keeps it in the family and hoovers up son’s energy biz

Tom 38
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Number of times I've seen a Henry being used in offices or by cleaning crews is ridiculous for something that's supposed to be a consumer model

Who says Henry is supposed to be a consumer model?

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Forget Nokia: Finland's promising future is to be server central

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Wow, there is only one meaning of "Byzantine"?

1.

a. Of or relating to the ancient city of Byzantium.

b. Of or relating to the Byzantine Empire.

2. Of or belonging to the style of architecture developed from the fifth century ad in the Byzantine Empire, characterized especially by a central dome resting on a cube formed by four round arches and their pendentives and by the extensive use of surface decoration, especially veined marble panels, low relief carving, and colored glass mosaics.

3. Of the painting and decorative style developed in the Byzantine Empire, characterized by formality of design, frontal stylized presentation of figures, rich use of color, especially gold, and generally religious subject matter.

4.

a. Of the Eastern Orthodox Church or the rites performed in it.

b. Of an Eastern Catholic church that maintains the worship of the Eastern Orthodox Church or the rites performed in it.

5. often byzantine

a. Of, relating to, or characterized by intrigue; scheming or devious: "a fine hand for Byzantine deals and cozy arrangements" (New York).

b. Highly complicated; intricate and involved: a bill to simplify the byzantine tax structure.

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Tom 38
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I'm not totally au fait with the history of the eastern roman empire, but I don't think you got either a 38 hour working week, (m|p)aternaty leave or 20+ days annual paid leave in the Byzantium Empire.

However, you probably did have "at will" employment, just like our enlightened murcan cousins enjoy.

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

Tom 38
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Re: I read about this a few days ago.

How is this more or less of a shakedown than every other new gTLD that has a sunrise/landrush period for registrations for existing trademark holders/people prepared to pay for it? All public gTLDs have sunrise/landrush...

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Eyes on the prize: Ten 23-24-inch monitors for under £150

Tom 38
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TV licence has to be paid if the device is "Capable of receiving broadcast TV", so if it has a TV receiver, you have to pay the TV licence, even if you never hook it up, or use it.

...

I only know because years ago, when I decided to ditch watching TV, I had to deal with the TV licensing guys. Their argument was ...

Their argument was bullshit. When purchasing a device capable of receiving broadcast TV, the retailer is required to collect your details and pass them on to TV licensing, but you are only required to have a TV license if you connect that device to an aerial.

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Apple swears that NO FANBOI will queue for its new gumble

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Maybe disingenuous

Rule #1 of developing a killer app, don't tell random people on the internet about your killer app before you release it.

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Tom 38
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Maybe disingenuous

But perhaps the reason is that few people would fork over that amount once they have actually used the apple watch, so make them desire it and order it without understanding what "it" actually is.

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A MILLION Chrome users' data was sent to ONE dodgy IP address

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: What amazes me...

This is one of the reasons I got out of IT support - people not actually doing what they were recommended to do. It just got too repetitive.

Jesus wept, the reason you "got out of IT support" is that you don't seem to understand IT, English or logic. Keep digging.

If you take a render of the webpage, you get the entire content of the page. When you "print screen", you get the contents of the screen, which contains (at most) the browser's viewport, a sub-set of the webpage.

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Tom 38
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Re: What amazes me...

No, you still don't understand. Pressing "Print Screen" captures a subset of the contents of the screen. This tool captures the browser pane, some of which may be off screen - it doesn't capture the screen at all, it renders the browser pane.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Since the only way to be sure you're not running any malicious code is to only run software written by yourself (and that includes the compiler itself in case you're wondering), it's quite clear any real-world use of computing will carry some amount of risk of running buggy and/or malicious code - so better get used to it.

Utter sophistry - not all software is as trusted as other software. The gpg signed and verified RPMs downloaded from CentOS - trusted. The random browser plugins downloaded from google - not trusted.

Despite not trusting all sources of software, I can still do useful things with a computer without having to have written every line of it myself. This doesn't mean that I "just get used to it" and accept software from any source..

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Tape thrives at the margin as shipped capacity breaks record

Tom 38
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Headmaster

1c per gigabyte is also not that much to brag about (and the cheaper it is, the worse the above hits you, no?). That's $100 for 1Tb. You can buy hard drives at that price on Amazon, without even trying. Just because tape is catching up with the very drives they backup, it's not much to crow over.

Ahem, 1024 GB in a TB, at $0.01/GB that makes $10.24...

Tape is not dead, you just have no use for it. Luckily, we're not all you.

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'Oh great Commission, save us from the French' pleads Uber

Tom 38
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Re: Stupid, stupid people

Depends who you buy them from, you numpty. Pretty sure lowcostholidays/expedia/cheapflights are not an airline and aren't regulated like one.

Airline tickets are tickets for transport services, regardless of the source, and as such are treated as transport services. Why does this matter? There is an industry exemption for the distance sales act that says that transport service providers may sell non-refundable services remotely.

I can see where you are coming from, the cheap firm certainly isn't giving you anything extra, but then neither are BA - everyone gets the exemption.

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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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Headmaster

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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Headmaster

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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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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