* Posts by ql

410 posts • joined 22 Jul 2009

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Guy puts 1990s MacOS 7 on an Apple Watch – without jailbreaking it

ql
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Re: can't resist

Sniff. I miss system 6.5, the last of the good ones. And hypercard...

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'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

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Re: Too late was the cry

> Why do you think control of the media makes power ?

Quite - remember the theatre of destroying some desktops at The Guardian which allegedly contained the magic Snowden files? All to prevent any semblance of questioning the free hand the snoops pointlessly demand.

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Google's super-AI boffin, Bilderberg nobs, and a secret Austrian confab

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True, Trevor

The mere fact that the attendees are carefully self-selected means that this event cannot ever be neutral. People in power are there get enough concessions already, and such secrecy cannot be to anyone's advantage but their select group. Very disappointing that this article gives them that leeway as "fact".

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FLYING SAUCER crashes into Pacific off Hawaii - NASA

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> the then world's biggest parachute

> the then world's biggest parachute

Which world would that be then? (Unless the article is written by AManFromMars, in which case, ah, say no more)

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Iomart snaps up SystemsUp for a cool £9m

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Clever name

I must say I rather like the name, Iomart. Techies will read it as "I/O Mart" while as it is Scottish, it plays on the Gaelic word iomairt, meaning enterprise.

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LightSail mission stalled by .CSV log file embiggenment SNAFU

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32MB?

> roughly the size of ten compressed music files

This is space. Give that to me in Arcturan megadonkies per second....

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Land Rover's return: Last orders and leather seats for Defender nerds

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Re: Mungo

:-) Yep, all bookmarked for the fateful day... Actually, I fancy dropping in an auto box as well. The on thing I miss from old Range Rover. And the comfy seats. And the self-levelling suspension. And the wonderful burble of the V8. And the body roll when blipping the throttle. And...

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Mungo

I appreciate that Land Rovers have their detractors, and that it may be hard to understand the affection with which they are held by enthusiasts, but there is something rather endearing about them. I grew up at first on a mining town in the Namib Desert, where Land Rovers were by far the most used cars.* After that, we moved to Malawi, where my father bough a Series IIa from the Museum of Malawi. Land Rovers became synonymous to me for dependability and trustworthiness, if not always fully reliable (broken cart spring many miles from the nearest road etc) and field-repairable, at least to limp home.

These days, nowhere near Africa, we have Mungo, a Defender 90 bought from new, a 2000 model year Heritage, with leather interior, white-backed dials including revs, and various other cosmetic updates. He has 185000 miles on the clock now, the battery and exhaust are still original, and the first set of BFG All-terrains lasted 88 000 miles. I wanted this one because it had fewest electronic doodads, not even electric windows, though of course the TD 5 engine is electronically controlled. in 185000 miles, it has never broken down, though once started stuttering due to oil getting into the internal wiring loom on number 3 cylinder. We did have some difficulty on the island of Skye, once, when we had a flat tyre and the encapsulated wheel bolts had bubbled after internal corrosion, meaning we needed a garage to get the wheel nuts off with welding gear. Our intention was to have a vehicle we did not need to replace for decades, and we may still achieve that with him.

We get 30mpg, year in, year out. This goes down to around 25mpg at speeds above 80mph. Once change we made was to replace the transfer box for one that had Discovery quiet gears, which also lowered the cruising RPM by 10% or so. This was done as soon as the warranty expired.

We live in the far north west of Scotland, which gives us an excuse to have a Land Rover, and I must admit, with the number of deer on the road in these parts, I prefer it when my wife takes the Land Rover to go places, as she is likely to be safer in the Land Rover than more crumply alternatives. As we are near the sea, corrosion is inevitable, but I see no other 15 year old cars in the area, 10 years being about tops before they've rusted to bits. This year, Mungo passed his MOT without trouble, for the second year running.

There is still something special about a Defender, and I still childishly purr with delight when a stranger comments about the big lad. It's very sad to see the end of this line, understandable though it may be.

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* - this was a diamond mining town, and the security guys were always after better desert transport. The best they found was a standard VW Beetle, with the "bonnet" at the back raised to allow extra air flow, fitted with standard tyres at the front, to track through the sand, and 24" tyres at the back, to float over the top. There was a notorious Namib dune that could not be scaled by any vehicle until this beetle trundled up it merrily one morning.

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Tesla's battery put in the shade by current and cheaper kit

ql
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Re: Details, details

Gosh, a simple bit of information on real world experience shouldn't elicit such a response. But still, let me try to be a little clearer. If you are off-grid, then you have to take steps to ensure you do not over-tax any piece of the system, and one of those is the battery bank, which, if you abuse it, reduces the life of the most expensive component dramatically. Power comes in from wind and sun, and that you can see using an ammeter. Rough state of charge is given by the under-load voltage. We know we can use around 300 AHrs of a fully charged battery bank assuming no charging regime, before we start damaging the battery.

Now there is no point in doing the maths to tell us power input and output in kilowatt hours, as we have to concentrate on the two things easily measured. Yes, after 7 years of off-grid living, I do know one or two of the more basic formulae, but I was simply commenting on how things work in practice. I hope that makes things clearer.

If I'm missing some practical knowledge about managing a battery bank using kilowatt hours, I would very much like to know more, though, but if it's just ideal bench theory, well, that's a bit less helpful.

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ql
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Details, details

This is an interesting development for us, as we're off grid. The idea seems sound to me, to have an all-in-one device that contains the circuitry to charge, invert, feed-in and feed-out. That's the interesting bit, not the battery bank or capacity.

FWIW, we have a 15kWhr bank, never taken below 50% SOC, as that kills the life. But we don't think of its capacity in kWHrs, as that's useless. Amp-hour rating is more important. Comments here about batteries with 300A capability are not too relevant, as these are for car starting conditions, not the typical requirements of deep cycling. And assuming you /get/ the full rating from a battery bank is also misleading, though admittedly non-lead-acid batteries are less affected by deep discharging.

We installed a desulphation unit, a simple device that puts a high frequency pulse across the terminals constantly, and that has keep the batteries sulphation-free for 6 years (touches wood.) Sulphation and over-deep discharge are the two killers of lead-acid batteries.

But our conditions, off-grid, are not really anything like those for which one assumes these Tesla power packs are designed. Our details just for interest...

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SHA-1 crypto hash retirement fraught with problems

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> Ken Munro, a director at security consultancy Pen Test Partners, warned...

Whew. It took an effort of will to read further after a source like that was defined, and sure enough, the expected series of possible doom scenarios followed with no sensible route forward. I do wish so-called security consultants would be heavier on reality and lighter on gleefully talking up every possible negative outcome, no matter how unlikely

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Debian ships new 'Jessie' release with systemd AND sysvinit

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Re: "needrestart"??

> apt-get install understand_irony

Nah, that's now "apt-get install systemd_understand_irony" and it's a dependency so is installed by default.

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ql
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Re: Choice during install

A short test on an XFCE desktop clean install of jessie suggests that it turns out to be hard to remain clear of systemd on debian now. You end up constantly having to alter the pinning, things break as though you're running an early instance of testing and so on. Practically it seems a non-starter to me to run anything other than systemd. I haven't tried a server install yet, but it may well be easier. For servers, I think Devuan will get a good test when it arrives.

Now testing Manjaro with openrc on an old laptop. What a joy. Anyone not scared about the implications of systemd's over-reach should well beyond an init system should start wondering where they want linux to go.

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Who runs this world? Sony Pictures CEO jokes about getting UK culture minister fired

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Re: New Great Games ... Not the same as the older Great Game

I, for one, welcome AManFromMars' political commentary, which makes far more sense than the mainstream media. That first sentence, spurning the use of punctuation and with delightfully whimsical gratuitous capitalisation, came closer to explaining the Westminster system than anything else so far.

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Lib Dems wheel out Digital Rights Bill pledge as election sweetener

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Re: Oh look - the Lib Dems are making us a promise just before the election.

Our LibDem MP also voted for DRIP, having previously promised that he would not agree to anything like it. He claimed that some things had to be done when you're in guvmint and are Tough On Things(tm). The frustrating thing is that these were LibDem principles which were sacrificed for expediency, not for any reasoned purpose. For that reason, I see no reason to give them a vote, and their election leaflets, which are entirely negative (it simply says "vote for us to keep the others out") re-inforce that view.

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HP Stream x360: Flippable and stylish Chromebook killer

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> Right about now some of you will be asking, can you run Linux on this thing?

>In a word, yes. I booted Ubuntu 14.04 off a USB stick and everything worked

>perfectly apart from the Wi-Fi radio. Even the touchscreen worked faultlessly.

>I’m guessing a full install and a quick furtle with the Broadcom BCM43142

>Wi-Fi card’s drivers would fix the wireless problem.

Thank you very much for this additional bit in the review. I really wish all system reviews included this information, so this is very welcome. I hope all future El Reg reviews add this too.

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Torvalds' temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

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Joke

Re: "Visual polish on the Xfce 4.12 interface is noticeable"

> Where?

Based on your handle, don't you mean "!WHERE?"

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ql
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Diary of a nobody

> Xfce's biggest problem seems to be that no one sticks with it.

As both me, all in my household, and some clients have run XFCE under Xubuntu and OpenSUSE for at least the last 5 years, that must make me a nobody. Where is the "Help, help I'm being repressed!" icon?

XFCE - just enough desktop, along with useful little wrinkles, like the "Open a terminal here" option.

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Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure

ql
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Re: So what about the other nineteen states and the U.S. Government

> Religious freedom != religious beliefs

Worse - the article implies that this law says a business can have religious beliefs, which, if that is the case, conflates corporates as human constructs with the humanity that devised it.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

ql
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Curate's egg - good in parts

I've ordered winter tyres for my car from Germany, and even with extra postage in comparison with UK suppliers they arrived a lot cheaper than the equivalent here. Ditto a weather station I was after. A Dutch company shipped it to me a lot cheaper than UK suppliers, and yes, VAT was paid on both. The weather station arrived with a faulty sensor. A replacement was shipped without quibble and straight away. English was spoke in both cases, the Dutch supplier obviously keen to dust off his language skills.

I would have tried to get a laptop I was after from Germany, only there is no chance of getting a UK keyboard, presumably because the manufacturer or distie restricts the market. It would have mean not having to pay the UK MS tax, because the same model was available with FreeDOS, when my intention was o run Linux on it, and it was a lot cheaper, even with shipping.

I suspect a lot of sellers and buyers invent rules they think may be in place that make cross-border sales, but actually it usually works quite well.

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

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Re: Wow!

Let's take it to its logical conclusion. Why centralise all your data in the cloud? It makes far more sense to have your systems running close to where they're actually used. What's more, the more people who do it, the less the centralised data centres are needed, so everyone's a winner.

And they said I'd never be a marketeer...

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Greedy web borg Facebook to SLURP news websites' golden nuggets

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Re: Can't be worse than the new BBC site

Average BBC cock-up - they got the user feedback from the Teletubbies show mixed up with the specs for the new web site. An innocent mistake, especially just before an election when people may want, you know, to know what's go on in words of more than one syllable.

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Mono Magic: Photography, Breaking Bad style

ql
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Re: Such a complex subject

> Colour photography happened very shortly after black and white

Yeah, I meant for practical purposes. Even now, doing film-based black and white work is far more do-able than colour work.

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ql
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Such a complex subject

I've been an amateur photgrapher for decades, and while I was uncomfortable with the "progress" model of early digital gear (you know, wait 6 months, and the new version has so many more features) this aspect seems to have plateaued a little recently, and this article reminds us what could be achieved by the mature model of phtography just prior to the digital era.

But I recently did a module on visual research for a degree (rather late in life) and it got me thinking about whether the early pioneers of photography would have been quite as purist as we can be. For example, they were restricted to monochrome by the state of the art, but I am sure would have rejected monochrome for anything but very specific expressions of art had they had the ability to do colour work.. Our thoughts these days on monochrome are much more complex, conditioned by an expectation of an authenticity in a black and white image.

Myself, I miss the beautiful engineering of the film era. Where is the joyful silkiness of an OM1, the re-assurnace of a quick range-finder or the sense of permance that comes from using a two-and-a-quarter-square? But that's nostalgia, and maybe we need to work at finding the joy of the digital era too. For myself, something like the Fuji x100 may be close, but who can afford that? I want the equivlant of my little Olympus Pen half-frame, that was my constant companion for close to 20 years.... But then I am sure I'd miss my Nikon D3100.

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Russia's Putin IT spend in reverse gear, fast

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Why can't they learn from the UK?

News this morning is that the new UK farm subsidy payment system has been canned even though farmers were forced to use it, as it doesnt work. A mere £154million has been spent on it, but hey, that's technology isnt it?. That's the proper way to deliver givernment IT systems. Why can't the Russians understand this?

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We're not sure what it is, but we like it: Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV

ql
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Re: Just driven in one

:-) A hit sir, a palpable hit. (but profraeding has never been strong in this one...)

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ql
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Just driven in one

Oddly, we're with a friend at the moment who has just bought one of these. The technology really is astonishing, and the UIs seem remarkably intuitive. Re comments about Chelsea tractors, it's not as big as it seems, although you do sit at bum level, of you see what I mean, neither climbing down nor up to the seating position. Our friend bought it on the basis of 6 trouble-free years from his previous Lexus hybrid, which he bought as a two year old. Inside, I was expecting to feel claustrophoc, as the apparently titchy windows, viewed from the outside, might make it feel too enclosed, but from inside, it doesn't feel this way at all. As some have commented, this is by no means my personal cup of tea, even if I could afford such a thing, but I can definitely see its appeal. My friend was also very impressed by the Edinburgh dealership, and I suppose if you're in the market for cars at this price, you expect a lot from your dealer.

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Microsoft chucks patent sueball at Kyocera over Android phones

ql
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Self caricature

"We're hopeful this case can be resolved amicably,"

The only thing missing is the torso-shot and the stroked white cat.

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The spy who leaked me: Ex-CIA boss Petraeus 'fesses up to blabbing intel to his mistress

ql
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> his visiting professorship at the UK's University of Exeter

Oh good grief. I knew there must be some kind of law that meant we had to provide cosy sinecures for our own establishment apparatchiks, but now we have to make provision for americans too? Mind you, Save the Children US think Blair is a humanitarian, so maybe it goes both ways for once... https://charitywatchuk.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/save-the-children-blair/

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

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> Hardly the sleek, shiny, graceful vision of ion propelled vehicles science fiction promised, is it?

No, but Red Dwarf got it right. So I'll see your Petersen and raise your Kochanski.

<DOES_FULLY_DOUBLE_RIMMER SALUTE>>/>

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Microsoft working on 'Nano' version of Windows Server for web-scale ops

ql
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Technical leak

If it was a leak from a set of marketing slides, it would say "All of this and you can still run Office."

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MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

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> Is there a particular reason MP's seem to get away with resigning when this happens?

Yes - so that they can immediately get elevated to the Lords without any of that messy investigation business or other scrutiny. The establishment knows how to protect its children even if the poor Lords have to subsist on a mere £300 a day with only some bribes that have to be worked for to help the poor dears.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

ql
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Ah, the reverse cloud moment

Old-style telephony, the one that works without standards problems, network QoS issues and so on, classically has its intelligence centralised, and often can be, and in the very old days, had to be by law, fully outsourced. Old-style telphony is what "the cloud" in other IT really want to be, VOIP proposes swinging that around, pushing the intelligence to the end points. That's the issue that has created the difficulties of getting to this point in its evolution, and conceivably the reason it could well have its moment.

But I wonder how many people are actively pursuing a cloud strategy on the one hand while pursuiing an anti-cloud telepony strategy on the other. It may be worth while thinking about this architectural aspect when thinking about VOIP.

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Mozilla mulls Superfish torpedo

ql
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Re: I love crapware

> Makes the machine cheaper.

Except that it doesn't. In jurisdictions where you can buy a Lenovo without windows, the windows alternative is more expensive. So at best, crapware is a windows subsidy. I don't think Lenovo or other manufacturers should be given such an easy let-off as an assumed economic necessity. Let them make that case, rather than us potential marks inventing such excuses for them.

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

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Re: Stupid

> I think calling Marxism 'stupid' is incredibly arrogant and.... stupid.

True, but the real issue is the assumption that we live with a duality of choice, marxism/socialism/communism versus capitalism/free_market. While the discussion is mired in the convenience of an either/or scenario, it can't really enlighten us. It's hard to find information on alternatives to these apparent opposites, but distributism is the school of thought that seems to me to get closest to meeting the needs of the human condition, and therefore it offers a better critique of both capitalism and communism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism

So I would say the argument made in this piece is academically of minor interest but so narrowly defined as to be a mere straw man.

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Royal Mail's Colossus move gets ex-WREN's stamp of approval

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Real nostalgia...

Remember when GCHQ was working for us and not targeting us?

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So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish

ql
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Re: Laptop manufactures take note!

Except that I couldn't even buy a UK lenovo a year or so ago which didn't come with windows,let alone a disk, when the exact same model was available in Europe for a lot less.

Having said that, I'm conflicted by this story, even though it only affected the consumer end of the market. The keyboard on the E145 on which I am typing this went bezerk a few months back, and I steeled myself for the inevitable series of stumbling blocks the support line would place before me. Instead, I spoke to someone knowledgeable at the first step, who, within 5 mins, had arranged ofr a replacmeent keyboard. The keyboard arrived the following morning, by courier, who had driven from Greenock to our remote and rural location in north west Scotland.

The moral of the story - it's the marketeers who who should be moved to the B ark as soon as possible.

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Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

ql
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Re: Grzegorz Brzeczyszczykiewicz

Dreadful that the NSA would attack someone with Irritable Vowel Syndrome...

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Huawei Browne-noses UK after hiring ex-BP peer for its board

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That's the first thought that crossed my mind too. Huawei are simply following the convention that has institutionalised sinecures among the establishment, which, when it happens in other countries, we call corruption.

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Elon Musk's Tesla set to unveil home storage battery

ql
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Count me in, but...

For us, that sounds wonderful, but that's because we're not on the grid, and the battery bank is a perennial source of grief. However, in the off-grid home context, one of the most hysterical things to read is the "charging regime" from the battery manufacturers, who assume you are on the grid and can therefore charge in an ideal way, and every day. The reality for renewables is that you charge when the wind blows or the sun is shining. That may be predictable in California, but in Northern Europe, not so much. Still, welcome news, as the concepts underpinning the grid need a shake-up

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'Camera-shy' Raspberry Pi 2 suffers strange 'XENON DEATH FLASH' glitch

ql
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Re: Bizarre, but in the interests of science...

> when you take it to the ISS

Oh please, can I, can I, can I? :-)

Unfortunately I can confirm that a piece of black duct tape over U16, just inland of the power socket, sorts the problem, so no ISS trip for me. And no smurf poo needed either.

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ql
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Bizarre, but in the interests of science...

Yup - just tried this, as I happen to be using my shiny new Pi+ as a desktop. It falls over - no, it's felled as though it had been poleaxed, by the titchy flash on my old Nikon P5000 coolpix. If it's an electromagnetic effect, there goes taking the Pi+ into space unless the ISS has loads of bluetak on board. I'll try duct tape, though, a much more likely option in space.

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Tiger Moth: Old school flying without all those pesky flaps, brakes and instruments

ql
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Agreed, especially as it's not just a great story, but well written too.

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UK boffins DOUBLE distance of fiber data: London to New York WITHOUT a repeater

ql
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Establishment he say "Inappropriate use of taxpayer money"

A government spokesperson said today "If there aren't any repeaters, how can our trustworthy security forces tap the fibres for our safety? It's this type of so-called research that aids terrorists, child-snatchers, and ICDJs*

Oh, I wish that wasn't so plausible a response.

* - Invented Crime Du Jour

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Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

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Re: Begun the Ad Wars have

> a squid proxy cache can blacklist the adservers

Or just run privoxy, which is easier than full-fat squid. Or run an occasional script for dnsmasq - see http://www.debian-administration.org/article/535/Blocking_ad_servers_with_dnsmasq

I'm not sure of the status of privoxy on android - there seem to be a number of versions with different origins, which seems dodgy. But I think there is a build for windows if you're that way inclined.

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Microsoft eyes slice of Raspberry Pi with free Windows 10 sprinkled on top

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Re: Good work MS

> that's a pretty decent gesture from Microsoft

And in the immortal words of the Carry Ons, I, too can make an appropriate gesture...

Only a uni-digit icon, when two fingers are so badly needed.

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

ql
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Re: Am I missing something...

Just placed my order. Using the option of running off a spinning disk, whereby just the initial boot is off the microSD, which hands off to the disk makes the Pi more responsive as well as your data being more trustworthy than relying on the SD card. I see several useful serverette projects (owncloud etc) looming

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Snapchat jihadist-fearing peers return with LAST GASP Snoopers' Charter demand

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"I am not a tweeter.. but it is absolutely clear that the terrorists and jihadists do"

I am not a sponger off the state. I have not been gifted unearned power. But it is clear that the Lords are spongers to the tune of £300 a day plus their various directorships and other establishment conveniences, and have been gifted ludicrously unearned and unmandated power.

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'Linus Torvalds is UNFIT for the WORKPLACE!' And you've given the world what, exactly?

ql
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Re: How bad is Torvalds?

> Add to that the doors it has opened...

What? The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation uses Linux?

Ahhhhhh. Glad to be of service...

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Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers

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You can’t just say 'it’s national security – go away',” he said.

What? That's the way the UK as well as the US has worked for years. No wonder UKIP wants us out - good grief. Whats next? Teling us Baroness MLF wasn't democratically elected?

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