* Posts by Alien8n

281 posts • joined 15 May 2007

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Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Alien8n
Alien

MS has it's data between a rock and ...

The problem for MS is that they could end up stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

If the US declare all data held by a US company abroad to be fair game MS will find that no matter what they do they're breaking the law, either in the US or in the EU. Note they never state in the article that the emails they wanted to see were from a US company, just that the data was being held BY a US company. Further from the wording of MS's brief it would suggest that it's NOT a US company that's being investigated. It's bigger than just MS though. I almost ended up working for a company called LexisNexis a few years ago. The company that decides how much credit you as an individual or as a company gets is US owned. If the US Govt gets access to that data they basically get free reign over every person's financial history in the UK. Add to that the increasing privatisation of things like the NHS and you could soon see pretty much every piece of data about every person in the UK being held by US owned companies.

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So this Saudi Prince calls and asks why he can't watch movies ...

Alien8n
Alien

Re: I have a mate that used to do IT on superyachts.

Having known a few of the well to do I don't think I'll be doing that as a retirement job. Not unless the owner of the yacht doesn't mind going the way of Maxwell...

"Yes, you need to get this phone working now."

"I don't recognise it, where's the asset tag?"

"It doesn't have one, it's my daughter's phone"

"What's the problem?"

"I don't know, just get it working"

Turns out the bill hadn't been paid. Which obviously was someone else's fault...

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Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Alien8n

Re: Should we really encourage 17 year olds to drop out of College?

Don't know about you, but if this kid's CV passed in front of me and I saw GDS in the previous employers bit I'd be dropping it straight into the shredder. He might want to rethink going back to college if he wants a job in the future

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Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Alien8n

Re: AI in routers

Sounds like Virgin Media already have this, they seem to believe everything must be filtered after 6pm. That or some git's just set fire to the switch box down the road again...

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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Alien8n

Re: now I know

We had a kid at our school who could play that with his eyes closed (iirc it blanked the screen on the 3rd or 4th go round the levels, and he would still continue playing it).

One of the other kids even got a game he wrote reviewed in Crash magazine. I still remember the maps for Sabre Wulf and Atic Atac in there.

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UK.gov biz dept: Yoof APPRENTICE? Get a degree while YOU'RE HIRED

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Not good for the other students

It depends on the nature of the course. If you have 20 people doing a course with a module on asp.net development and 2 apprentices doing a course which includes an asp.net module it makes more sense to dump the apprentices in with the regular students. Happens all the time at the college I work at with the English, maths and IT courses, you'll get a real mix of students from across the college, from arts students through to engineers, all in the same room because they all need to improve their English or maths.

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Alien8n
Alien

Not good for the other students

Does anyone else spot the elephant in the room here? So you do your apprenticeship degree and the govt will now pay 3/4 of the fees. While I'm all for getting more people into STEM courses it does mean that if you're unfortunate enough to be a full time student on any of the courses that the apprentices are on you are left with the undeniable fact that the person studying right next to you effectively has a full grant for the course while you're left with a 9k (probably more as the fees will most likely have to rise to pay for the apprentices) debt each year. The only way this can be fair is to go back to the old grant system and scrap tuition fees.

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GT sapphire glaziers: You signed WHAT deal with Apple?

Alien8n

Re: Been there, done that.

Works the same with software. I've just been poached back by an old boss as I know more about how the software they use actually works than the developers. Not that hard though given that over the last 6 years most of the new features in the software were specced and designed by myself for the specific use of the company I was working for.

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Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Alien8n
Alien

Jumpgate

Hopefully this won't go the way of Jumpgate. Jumpgate was a very nice Elite style space game, but the single biggest issue with it was the sheer volume of idiots who decided that the only way they could enjoy the game was to spawn camp and kill everyone regardless of affiliations. This then had the result of driving a lot of the core gamers away from the servers.

Personally I've stayed away from Elite: Dangerous for the time being as I found the cost of participating in the Alpha and Beta releases to be eye wateringly exhorbitant.

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Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

Alien8n
Joke

Re: Qi (pronounced chee)

So the next version will be Obi Wan?

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What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Moan bitch ... starve?

In the words of Noddy Holder. "To you it's a Xmas song. To me it's my pension". If you wrote a best selling song and someone did a cover of it I'd bet you'd want your bit of the profits regardless of how long ago you wrote it.

Copyright is about right in the UK. It enables an artist to benefit for their lifetime and then their dependants to benefit for a while afterwards. What isn't right is the American way of "oh, it's coming up to Walt Disney's anniversary of his death again, quick, let's lobby for another 10 year extension to copyright to stop China making Mickey Mouse knock-offs".

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: This is the future

Have you actually looked at how much profit record labels and streaming services actually make?

There's a hell of a lot of money to be made in music, the problem is that the big companies aren't interested in providing a living wage to musicians. It's not helped by the fact that the amortisation groups that are supposed to distribute royalties are actually working on behalf of the record labels. In some cases musicians aren't seeing a single cent of the royalties paid by radio stations and streaming services. Famously 30 Seconds To Mars were actually sued for $30M by Sony for "losses" from their biggest selling album. These losses were incurred via inflated "costs" for the use of Sony's recording equipment and marketing. It's a classic example of how big companies can stitch up the content creators. Oh, they're due a $1M royalty cheque? Quick, re-release the album and charge them $1.5M in "marketing" costs.

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Alien8n
Alien

Re: LHC Reboot

All bow down to our giant marshmallow overlords

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Alien8n
Alien

It started out as green, but after so much exposure to cosmic rays and ultraviolet light from the sun it turned grey over time (see the article about what colour the flags on the moon are :) )

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Got a STRAP-ON? Remember to TAKE IT OFF at WORK

Alien8n
Alien

After many years as an engineer and having to take off pretty much everything every time I went into the clean room I stopped wearing any jewellery. Nowadays it's smart phone and a pocket watch (tells the correct time 3 days out of 7 when I remember to wind it up). It's the polar opposite of when I was younger and into the rocker look (hair half way down my back, denim and more bangles than you can shake an Egyptian at on a Manic Monday).

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: Batteries in a watch??

Self wining? Merlot or Chardonnay?

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Banksy denies Banksy impostor's claim to Banksy.com – which isn't owned by Banksy

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Impressed

Please don't confuse real artists with the Sunday Broadsheet supplement darlings. It's sad to see that in almost every case real artists that can actually create stay overlooked and poor while Turner Prize winning idiots make millions from rubbish (often literally). There is more real art on the CD covers in a music store than there will ever be within a modern art museum. The great artists of the Louvre must be spinning in their graves when looking at the rubbish created by the likes of Hirst et al.

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HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Correlation does not prove causation.

I have the perfect binary star system for you with one of each. There's a slight problem of the infestation of sentient lifeforms but I'm sure you can come to an arrangement with them (probably from space with the aid of mass drivers)...

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: Perhaps whales killed them off?

I can see them now...

Megashark vs Giant Orca

Followed shortly by Giant Orca vs Megasharknado

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Planning to fly? Pour out your shampoo, toss your scissors, RENAME TERRORIST WI-FI!

Alien8n
Alien

Re: So when

Fairly standard for a few people I know.

My uncle regularly gets the full cavity search treatment due to having lots of middle eastern stamps in his passport. He's a H&S manager in petrochemicals so is often in places like Iraq, Saudi Arabia etc.

I once worked with one guy who was looking at the timber industry in Peru. His flight back was via Venezuela with a change in Miami. As soon as he landed he was whisked off the plane, strip searched and marched onto his next plane under armed escort and the passengers in the seats next to him replaced with armed air marshalls all the way back to London. To make matters even more perverse the client who had arranged his trip to Peru? The US State Dept.

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US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'

Alien8n
Alien

Hello?

We just had a load of these calls at work today.

Twice in a row I just replied "No, you're not from Microsoft, you're a scammer, goodbye" and hung up on them. That's the problem with calling at work, I don't get to play with them until lunch time...

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Daft article

You can if you believe in conspiracy theories.

"Well they didn't get a man on the moon in the 50's so it can't be done, so that proves the moon landings were faked"

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Curious

The physics behind it has been around for decades, they were invented in the 80's remember. However the innovation, and hence why they win an award, is that they made it a commercially viable product. Silicon manufacture isn't simply a case of saying "here's a wafer of silicon, now make me an LED". There's a lot more to it than that. I used to work in optoelectronics as a production engineer and there were so many factors that affected whether the silicon was actually any good for optics, one being the age of the caesium cyanide they were using in the waferfab, but also how well the silicon had actually been grown. Just 1% rotation in the crystal alignment and when you tried etching it they left grooves in the etched channels causing the optical fibre to sit above the silicon (so any light being emitted from the silicon was hitting air instead of the end of the fibre.

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Hiss-hiss! GIGANTIC SOLAR FILAMENT snakes around Sun

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Are we doomed?

Judging from what most people seem to believe according to my Facebook news feed, we don't need the sun to explode to doom the human race. We're quite capable of doing it ourselves...

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: First...

It's elephants all the way down...

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

Alien8n
Alien

I can see the benefits in both scenarios, but once you're running any application the benefits of a "tiled" desktop disappears straight away. More useful would be the ability to attach fixed size "tiles" to the task bar (there's more than enough room now with the bigger taskbar real estate) for various applications. Such as email notifications or even status alerts (I'd love a status alert for the servers to see how they're running).

Also at home I run some gaming servers, so some sort of application displaying network lag, users logged in etc would be useful there. But as you say, for the majority of people this would be fairly useless. How many people actually missed them when MS removed widgets?

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Gaming gasm UK: Rubbing shoulders with LEGENDS and newbies

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Really!!!

Games are like any other media. There's nothing genuinely new anymore, all we get is remakes of classics and variations on a theme, often more of the same but gorier, harder to play or just downright not on this planet anymore. Not that there's anything really wrong with that, it's possible to tell the same story multiple times, it's all down to the skill of the developers (how else can you explain game franchises like Fifa and COD).

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Staff Credits

I once worked at a company where the R&D manager managed to successfully hire a "Hugh Janus" as an engineer. Had a desk, name plate, PC and security card. At the time the company was expanding at such a rate there was at least one new member of staff each day and the bet was made that they could persuade HR to hire someone without even interviewing them or checking if they even existed.

Hugh now works as a spam filter at the R&D manager's new company...

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Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM

Alien8n
Joke

Shock result

In a shock result at the polls of the Scottish Referendum 97% of those polled vote Yes to joining Russia.

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Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here

Alien8n

Re: Its time for Notch to write a new game

Or like they have with Sims 4. No EA, I am NOT spending another £80 just so I can play the Sims on the same pc that my daughter plays it on when she's not playing it, while the install disc is still in the drive.

£15 each for a Mojang account so we can have our own logins I don't mind, but no way I'm buying the same single player game twice for the same PC.

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Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

Alien8n
Alien

Re: A year left to run on the EE contract?

Very simple really. Share price. Once announced that EE had refused to renew their share price over the next year would tank making the company completely worthless. Remember P4U is now owned by an investment bank and therefore it's in their interest to get as much money out of the business between now and September 2015 as possible. For that reason it's better to pull the plug now than wait a year and end up spending their cash reserves trying to whip a dead horse.

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Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

Alien8n

Re: Mobile Phone Theft Ratio

This is dangerously near the truth...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29053978

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True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS

Alien8n
Alien

Intent

The problem with this law is it's not looking at intent. The video become illegal to watch or disseminate due to the intent when it was created, as propaganda to promote a terrorist cause. As such the news outlets displaying the video could be viewed as promoting terrorism. By watching the video it becomes, under law, an offence as you have viewed materials produced for the purpose of promoting terrorism. So under the law as it currently stands, yes, 25% of the population are now classed as terrorists.

This is of course complete nonsense, the BBC does not want it's viewers planning the next bombing campaign of London, and the vast majority of people who have viewed* this video are quite rightly outraged by it's content and have no intention of packing their bags to visit the IS Holiday camp and adventure training ground based outside Baghdad or Damascus (bookings dependant upon availability).

But then this law has *always* been used in it's loosest sense. Try downloading a copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook** for "entertainment" purposes and see how long it is before your door gets knocked down and you're whisked away with a black bag over your head.

* No, I have not watched this, or any other video currently being pushed by the gullible like farming scam surveyors on Facebook.

** Again, no, I have not read or downloaded a copy of this. I do however remember seeing a fantastic lecture at Leicester University in the 1980's on the uses and production of a variety of explosives (complete with demonstration of firing a candle through a door using a C19th black powder musket) proving that at the end of the day everyone likes blowing stuff up for fun***

*** Or watching stuff being blown up for fun in the case of Didcot Power Station

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Alien8n

Re: So the monkey owns the copyright

Been there, done that. Took some photos for a band in a local pub (just before they headlined the Bulldog Bash) and while there was no formal agreement between us we did verbally agree at the time that I wouldn't release any of the photos until after they'd seen them. Copyright was mine, but they retained some rights to use of their image. A lot more common than you might think, a lot of bands won't allow any photographers in until they sign a form basically granting the band all rights to the images. Makes you wonder why anyone nowadays even bothers doing music photography anymore...

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: OOK!

Did anyone get the number of that donkey cart?

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BOFH: On the PFY's Scottish estate, no one can hear you scream...

Alien8n
Alien

The irony

The irony is architects seem to be very good at creating designs that generate a lot of energy, just not so good at harnessing that energy (except as Jaguar melting plants). Imagine a couple of well designed window frontages that actually focused the beam onto a solar panel, rather than onto nearby parked cars, or high rise skyscrapers that directed winds through turbines instead of creating pavement level local hurricanes...

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BOFH: He... made... you... HE made YOU a DOMAIN ADMIN?

Alien8n
Alien

That was my last role, very happy to help them out, even pointed the IT guys in the direction of the databases I'd been building to support the systems I was working on. Not their fault, their biggest client went titsup.com owing them over a quarter million.

The role BEFORE that however was literally walked out the door, here's a box and don't think about coming back. This was AFTER I'd fixed the problem caused by one of the clients (which incidentally involved a hell of a lot of data we weren't supposed to have and would cost the company thousands in fines for breaches of data protection). No warning, nothing. At least I know my domain access and email account would have been stopped immediately, which may cause them a few problems when it comes to renewal time for the remote access software :p My only satisfaction was knowing the Finance Director was using my name as a swear word for months afterwards after the company solicitor took one look at my letter to them and demanded that they pay me.

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Alien8n

That sounds vaguely similar to one of my previous roles.

To put the company in perspective I'm 100% certain that despite making sure the person with the most knowledge leaves a company with the worst feelings towards said company all the passwords for the doors and computers will still be the same ones that were being used when I left. Hell, whenever they sack someone for stealing at a remote site they still don't change the passwords on the banking sites that they use, and because they're generic accounts there's no way to tell who is logged in at any given moment. Pretty sure my admin account probably still exists as well... (No, I haven't tried it, I enjoy freedom too much and I'm damned if I'm going to tell them how to do their jobs)

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: @bpfy

My last company the IT guys would send emails to each other. Amazing how often the only female member of staff got emails of undying love from the other members of her team. Less said about the youtube videos sent from the IT Director the better (I thought you wanted videos on "goat sex").

In a previous incarnation as an engineer I once changed the desktop wallpaper on a colleagues desktop machine each morning to a different photo of the 5 koala bear paper clips that were kidnapped at the start of the week with an accompanying ransom demand. Day 1 showed them lined up with blindfolds and paws tied together. Day 2 photoshopped one of their heads onto the floor (with obligatory red smear under head). Day 3 saw 2 of them sold into sexual slavery...

Made better by the fact that the Aussie tech in the department was also taking the photos and emailing them back home to his family in Australia :)

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Alien8n
Alien

Almost as bad the other way

In a previous role one of the Directors decided he was now in charge of all things IT despite having no IT skills at all, made worse by one of the other Directors deciding he needed oversight of IT as well. So effectively that gave me 2 competing bosses who spent most of their time trying to out-compete themselves for IT ignorance. As a result we moved from a Platinum certified Cloud provider to one that could barely be classed as Silver certified and I was originally tasked with moving everything within 2 weeks while having zero input while still having to do the day job and hand holding the IT (*cough*) person moving the web server and the SQL servers. Yes, the new provider had no one with any experience of setting up a SQL backend IIS front end system. It took them a month just to get the backups working on the SQL databases. Cue Director 2 moving the website design to a new company and myself then having to fix all the css scripts because the web design company couldn't code css for our websites despite being given a copy of the entire website for coding purposes. All in the name of "saving money". Anyway, you can imagine the disaster when they decided to upgrade all the security permissions for the remote workers, resulting in around 50 folders having individual permission groups being setup followed by the complaints when permissions didn't work because Jenny from Site A was at Site B helping Tony today. Almost as much fun as having myself setup as a special permission group despite being their only IT person so that I was actually locked out of most of their reporting folders, including the reports that I designed and built for them. So when a "Boss" decides they know better than their IT department now I just say go ahead, I'm just glad I'm no longer the one having to fix the god awful cluster f%&k that is the inevitable outcome.

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BOFH: One flew over the PFY's nest

Alien8n

Where did he install it and do you have to pay to visit?

(It's a slow morning, GOG is running a very slow sale...)

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Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

Alien8n

Re: Flat Earth

There are some statues from Roman times where the Emperor is clearly standing with one foot on a globe representing the Earth. So yes, it has been known for a very long time.

Although the true position is of course that the Earth is flat and it's elephants all the way down...

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Bucket? Check. Toilet plunger? Check. El Reg's 50 years of Doctor Who

Alien8n

Except that wasn't for the UK market, it was supposed to kickstart a US series which the BBC would then buy back for the UK market (hence why it was set in Los Angeles and not Cardiff). The project was then cancelled when US reaction was fairly negative (hey who knew, they actually preferred the low budget UK version with dodgy script writing).

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Like iPads? Like stuff called AIR? Here's our REVIEW ROUNDUP-squared

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Quote.... It's just an iPad, FFS

Only once the keys have been put in the ignition and the engine turned on. Until that point it's just a stationary hunk of metal and plastic, much like the wheelbarrow. I know which one I'd prefer to put the grass clippings and manure in though :p

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Alien planet is just like EARTH - except for ONE tiny detail

Alien8n

"It couldn't have formed in place because you can't form a planet inside a star. It couldn't have formed further out and migrated inward, because it would have migrated all the way into the star. This planet is an enigma," splutters Latham's colleague Dimitar Sasselov.

A slight lack of foresight there. Yes it could very well have formed further out and migrated. They just happened to look at it prior to falling into its sun. It's a big universe, look for long enough and you'll see lots of weird stuff, from black holes being formed, stars exploding, stars being born, it's all out there.

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Alien8n
Alien

Re: So....without reading to much into this...

Why enslave the human race? You do such a good job of it yourselves :)

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How I BLEW my co-workers' HEADS OFF ... without going to jail

Alien8n

I have an LCD TV like that...

It's a choice between hitting it or waiting the 5 minutes for it to warm up enough that it corrects itself anyway...

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Cash-strapped students hungrily eye up old, unloved racks

Alien8n

Re: Who says it's got to be x86 ?

A few years ago maybe, but even my old 80Gb (okay, it WAS 80Gb, it's now 500 Gb) PS3 can no longer be used as a Linux box due to the updates to the machine. Remember they removed the ability to install another OS after someone found the master security. Unless there's a way to hack it back to a previous bios?

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Alien8n

Re: It's all about who you employ

Quite famously as I recall, attempting to bomb a US warship while pretending to be Arabs. Right up until the point they got captured and revealed who they actually were...

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RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Alien8n

If it's anything like the 3rd party covers it'll close keyboard to screen with an auto-off feature so while the cover's closed the iPad is in sleep mode.

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