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* Posts by MacroRodent

686 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

MacroRodent
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Re: Scanning Photodisk

"Full frame camera with a macro lens. It won't be cheap."

Yes, something like that. Or just any kind of digital camera that can take macro shots. The disk negatives probably have less than 5mpx worth of image information. The negative is just 11x8 mm. Too bad my current Canon compact camera (SX230HS) cannot focus that close.

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MacroRodent
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Re: Flash

"Most people are too thick to know how to turn off the flash...."

Reminds me... back in the 1980's Kodak tried to push disk-format film camera: A cartridge held tiny negatives arranged around a wheel. At some point I bough one at a flea market out of curiosity, and exposed a few disks. The camera was rather stylish (not unlike in appearance to some compact digital cameras decades later, in fact I suspect it would be mistaken for one today), but clearly it was meant for "too thick" people; There was absolutely nothing to adjust. And getting to the point: The camera had a built-in flash that always fired. No way to turn it off! The flash and other functions of the camera (automatic exposure and film transport) were powered by a battery that was not user-replaceable, and did not need any replacing at least during the time I used the camera.

(The image quality was rather grainy, because the negatives are about the size of a Super-8 film frame. Now I'm wondering how to best scan them... My flat-bed scanner does not have enough resolution, and there is no way to crunch the disk into the film scanner.)

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MacroRodent
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Re: Other phones are available

It's not just Kate. I have noticed many other people seem to use iPhone as a synonym for a smartphone, or indeed any mobile phone. Oh well, sign of the times. I remember when "Nokia" was misused the same way.

(Wish I could be there).

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Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests

MacroRodent
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Not surprising

An app inside a container is essentially native: Same CPU, same kernel for all containers. There is just a more isolation between the processes compared to the case without containers. So if most benchmarks did not run at native speed, there would be something seriously wrong with the container implementation.

I find the container approach way more sane than virtualization, unless you really need to run different operating systems on the same machine.

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Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

MacroRodent
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Linux

Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

>"Linux is the OS of tomorrow."

> And it always will be.

Actually, as you wrote that you absolutely certainly used directly or indirectly one or more devices with the Linux kernel in it. Note that includes all Android phones, most consumer routers, a good chunk of telecom network elements, servers, smart TV:s, and so on and on...

Linux _is_ the OS of today, it has just arrived in a way that most consumers have not noticed. Resistance is futile...

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Spin doctors crack 'impossible' asteroid hurtling towards Earth

MacroRodent
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(there's some odd effects that can do this)?

Yes, actually. Uneven pressure from sunlight. This was mentioned some time ago when an asteroid was observed to break apart because it started spinning too fast. There was an ElReg article about it which I'm too lazy to dig up now. Hopefully the same thing will happen to this one, before we need to bomb it.

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MacroRodent
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Mushroom

Blow up a nuke but _not_ on the asteroid

Trying to blow it up is of course silly, but some a-bombs nearby could be used to deflect it without breaking. The idea would be to use the blast of heat to ablate material from the rubble pile so that the reaction nudges it from an Earth-hitting orbit to a missing one. Probably better use several smaller bombs to make the operation "gentle".

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Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

MacroRodent
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Holmes

Re: I'm more impressed

By the fact that the phone logged the light was turned on and off and for investigators went into the phone and found that information.

I wonder why on earth would the phone log things like that? Just because it can? Some developer has not thought through all the consequences.

The low volume is just in case you have to explain why you didn't answer an incoming call.

My explanation for not answering is usually that the battery was flat and I left the phone hooked to the charger.... but I suspect that this event too would be logged in iPhone (I have a Lumia instead - I wonder how many details that one logs).

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

MacroRodent
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Re: If it can execute J2M...

there probably still is more J2M Software out there than software written for Windows Phone.

Not so sure about that these days. In any case the Windows Phone software is likely to be more useful and usable: less limiting environment. So it is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison.

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MacroRodent
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Not cheap enough

Here in Finland (generally an expensive country), shops frequently advertise bottom-end Nokia or Samsung dumphones for around 25 € (and no carrier locking). Now if the price for the new Nokia had been below 10 €, that would have been interesting, and could really have created new classes of customers.

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

MacroRodent
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animal legal rights

In medieval Times, humans sometimes did take animals to court. Even more amazing is that the animal sometimes won the case!. (Naturally with the help of a lawyer). But I suspect a modern court would throw the maqaque and his lawyer out.

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Facebook wants Linux networking as good as FreeBSD

MacroRodent
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Re: Simpler Solution?

Probably because in other respects, Linux fits the needs of Facebook better. Not being Facebook, I cannot say why. Linux has wider hardware support, but that probably is a non-issue for a company that buys servers by the boatload, and therefore could specify devices that work well with FreeBSD. Perhaps their software has developed dependencies on the details of Linux.

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Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

MacroRodent
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Re: Legacy only

Perhaps you did not notice the "now" in my the trouble is it is too different from the mainstream now. Yes, I am old enough to remember when VMS was mainstream. In fact I had some experience of using and programming on it (and TOPS-20) before I first encountered UNIX. At the time the features in VMS were not unusual, other minicomputer operating systems had similar style. But now OS'es have converged on somewhat "unixy" solutions, so it is VMS that is the odd man out. And this makes supporting it alongside other systems a pain.

Some examples of what I mean include the baroque file name syntax "drive:[dir1.dir2]filename.ext;version" (with some users preferring <> instead of [] delimiters so you must be prepared for either), and file types, so for example text files are commonly represented in several ways and the C library did not completely hide the distinction (try fwriting or seeking a variable-length record text file). Lots of pitfalls that have wasted my time over the years. Yes, I do know VMS pretty well, and that is why I don't like it!

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MacroRodent
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Legacy only

This is good news for those saddled with legacy VMS systems, but others should steer clear. VMS is a solid system but the trouble is it is too different from the mainstream now, so it is a lot of extra work if you want code that runs on it and also on Windows and *nix. Innumerable times in the various programs I have written or maintained there is one #if branch that does things for Windows and Linux, and other for VMS. I would have preferred the beast to die quietly in its sleep.

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MacroRodent
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Thumb Down

Re: hmm

"Their POSIX compliance was actually fairly good:"

But if they implemented only the original POSIX standard to the letter, you really could only run programs that read and write text files or interact via a text terminal. Networking, what's that? The Windows NT "POSIX box" was like this, guaranteeing that nobody actually used it (I think it was Vista that finally dropped it and nobody noticed).

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UK government officially adopts Open Document Format

MacroRodent
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time for MS to

...improve their ODF support. It is currently quite lame. A level playing field in file formats, finally. Must be quite a new experience for them.

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We need to talk about SPEAKERS: Sorry, 'audiophiles', only IT will break the sound barrier

MacroRodent
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Re: The ear can't hear square waves.

"It's analogous to having an array of filtered microphones feeding into a DSP."

I don't think so. Each of those microphones would be sending a filtered version of the sound, whereas the nerve cells fire more frequently when their frequencies are heard, and these firings do not resemble any version of the sound waves. (Disclaimer: I'm not an ear expert, but a tinnitus problem made me read at one time more closely about how the ear works. Tinnitus is (or at least some forms of it are) caused by some of these sensor cells getting activated for no reason. Like a stuck pixel in an LCD. That is why one hears a whining sound at a certain fixed frequency, or frequencies).

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MacroRodent
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Re: The ear can't hear square waves.

The ear does do local processing. It does not send the raw waveform to the brain. Instead you have sensor cells arranged in the cochlea that get excited by different frequencies, and the brain gets the result of this frequency analysis.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

MacroRodent
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Re: And if I actually USE Linux..........

"on my Linux box I know what every single process in pstree is doing and why it is there."

Ever heard of Linux rootkits? The first thing they do is ensure their processes don't show up in ps.

I suspect that if the NSA is really after you, it does not help very much if you use Linux.

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Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

MacroRodent
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Re: Gender of the internet???

There is no spoon.

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Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

MacroRodent
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Redirection

stats provided by Google that appeared to show that fewer than five per cent of all searches by EEA netizens were performed on the google.com domain.

Quite possible, because they by default redirect according to your location. If I type "www.google.com" to the address bar, I find myself at "www.google.fi", the Finnish version. Probably something similar happens in other countries. ("www.google.fi" does have the "use google.com" link, but I guess most people do not use it).

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Microsoft is still touting Android smartphones – meet the new Nokia X2

MacroRodent
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Microsoft the Linux vendor

Remember the time when Microsoft used to call open source a cancer?

Now they are shipping a product with Linux inside...

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Microsoft tests HALF-INCH second screen to spur workplace play

MacroRodent
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About the most pointless idea I have heard of for a long time

A separate little standalone display (no matter how cute) is precisely what my cluttered desk does not need! Besides, everyone these days has a smartphone (or two) that can do what Picco is supposed to do, if someone writes an applet for exchanging the doodles. It probably could be done even with a HTML5 web page.

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Zombie patents raid TI's wallet for $US3 million

MacroRodent
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Mushroom

Chutzpah

"Other companies to have been sued by the company, over this and other patents, include Brother, Canon, Xerox"

Xerox? You know, the company where Ethernet was invented!

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

MacroRodent
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Re: How many people ACTUALLY upgrade ram???

"The ability to upgrade computer hardware should be protected by law."

Amen, brother. In the same vein, the ability to boot another OS should also be legally protected. Really part of the same issue, since keeping old hardware viable may require it, if the original OS becomes unsupported (vide Windows XP).

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British boffin tells Obama's science advisor: You're wrong on climate change

MacroRodent
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Snowing in Helsinki today

Make of it what you will, but it is not common.

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World first: ANIMATED GIF of Mercurian SUN ZOOM from MARS

MacroRodent
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Wonder when is the next transit of Earth?

On Mars, one should occasionally see our own planet transit the Sun. It would be nice if Curiosity could film it. But maybe they occur only every few centuries?

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No spinning rust here: Supermicro's cold data fridge is FROZEN

MacroRodent
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Re: DVD? ( I have mixed views)

"The beauty of photographic substrate archiving is that if you can keep the plastic stable..."

Unfortunately not just the plastic, there are several ways the image data itself (consisting of silver, or dyes in the case of colour images) can degrade with time. A really serious archival material (one with lifespan measured in thousands of years) should probably work by punching holes or at least clear pits or squigly grooves into an inert metal, such as gold, and cannot use too high information density or complex encoding. There is one example: the disk sent with the Voyager space probes.

(Gold may not be the best choice for terrestrial use, since it might get melted for its intrinsic value during the new Dark Ages, before science arises again).

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MacroRodent
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DVD? ( Re: I have mixed views)

One would assume DVD-R, stored properly would be a good format: because of its popularity, drives capable of reading it should be around for a very long time.

One web page I read recommended making 3 copies on blank media from 3 different manufacturers, just in case. One is kept at hand, the other two go into your long-term storage vault.

By the way, I wonder about the wisdom of storing non-spinning hard drives. After a long inactivity, don't they develop "sticktion" that prevents them from spinning up?

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Evidence of ancient WORLD SMASHER planet Theia - FOUND ON MOON

MacroRodent
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Back and forth

I have this collection of essays on science by the late paleontologist Björn Kurtén, published around 30 years ago, where he uses the idea that the moon was born out of a collision as an example of a plausible scientific theory that was disproved by evidence. I guess that was the prevailing view around 1980, but at some point the collision theory came back in favour...

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Supreme Court nixes idea of 'indirect' patent infringement

MacroRodent
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Re: Interesting ruling, but

In your example, I would say the ruling would not be a big problem for the drug company. The alternative would still be clearly inferior (more complex and risky to use), so few patients would take it instead of the official medicine. Certainly no doctor mindful of his reputation would prescribe it.

Remember that even though the patent on the original Aspirin has expired ages ago, the brand.name Aspirin still sells at a premium compared to generic versions (or at least it does where I live).

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Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

MacroRodent
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Re: Swift looks...

"It would be a very easy language to port it over to a real computer platform like Windows."

And risk getting hounded by Apple lawyers? No thanks. I will stick to languages that are not proprietary and owned by litigious corporations. There are still plenty of good choices.

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That Snowden chap was SPOT ON says China

MacroRodent
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Mushroom

Ah, the smell of propaganda in the morning

Reminds me of the good old Cold War days, just replace "online spying" with "human rights". The Soviet Union used to counter damning Western human rights reports with reports of its own, usually featuring oppressed trade unions.

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Pirate Party runs aground in European Parliamentary elections

MacroRodent
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Re: You can't be more wrong about that

In that case, changing the name of the party might be a good idea.

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MacroRodent
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no recent copyright outrages

I guess the reason is there has not recently been so mane high-profile cases of the entertainment industry imposing outrageous DRM, or sueing a little girl with a few pirates songs on her laptop... The pirate issue has faded.

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ET hunter: We will find SPACE ALIENS in 20 years

MacroRodent
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Re: Seems unlikely...

"where are all the Tech Billionaires and Russian Oligarchs when you need them?"

Shopping for a new luxury yacht, or the 21th addition to their collection of sports cars they never actually drive.

With rare exceptions, the hyper-rich tend to spend their wealth in depressingly stupid and tasteless ways.

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MacroRodent
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Alien

Re: I've heard that before...

"and with the way technology is going, we'll have no need for powerful broadcast radio within the next 100 years. "

I actually sent a similar objection to Seth Shostak a via mail around 10 years ago, in response to some web article of his. He answered that while the normal radio traffic of advanced civilizations will use techniques that makes it hard to detect, they will also send hailing signals meant to be heard over interstellar distances.

I think this is a bit too optimistic. Why would a civilization keep broadcasting its existence "in the clear", given that it might actually be risky to do so? (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Star, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserker_%28Saberhagen%29). Maybe that is why SETI has picked up nothing... and never will.

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OpenStreetMap declared ready for paid use after satnav app debut

MacroRodent
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Re: OSM better than...

OpenStreetMap also seems to be developing pretty fast. Another of my test spots (Analipsi, Lasithi prefecture, Crete) was quite sparse in OSM a year or two ago. But this discussion inspired me visit it again and someone seems to have been quite busy there.

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MacroRodent
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Crowdsourcing

"Google crowd-sources map data too, in a sense. I've personally submitted a correction, ..."

Ditto Nokia's "Here". Although I have yet to see my correction taken into consideration. It has become my test case for map updating: Many maps have (or used to have) a short alley marked at the end of the street where I live, but it does not actually exist (probably it was planned at some point, so it appears in some fashion in official city mapping data). I got it removed from "OpenStreetMap". "Google" shows it with dotted outline and name, apparently still thinking it might come into existence. "Here" shows it solidly, despite my fixing request.

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NASA agonizes over plan for Mars rock sample return mission

MacroRodent
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Re: Something's Wrong

"maybe the answer is that it all makes the Sahara look teaming with life and Mars was only ever a dead rock"

That we know already. Any spot on Earth is more hospitable to life than any spot on Mars (with the possible exception of the crater of an erupting volcano).

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Space Station in CRISIS: Furious Russia threatens to BAN US from ISS

MacroRodent
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Happy

Re: Space Race?

"The more fun thing is, the US GPS constellation is aging, with no replacement plans in sight."

That makes the creation of the European Galileo system, long seen as wasteful me-too project, seem quite rational. Who cares about GPS if future devices manage to use also the European, Russian and Chinese navigation satellites.

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Scientists warn of FOUR-FOOT sea level rise from GLACIER melt

MacroRodent
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Re: This has always happened

In those cases, the reason is that the land has sunk locally, not that the sea level has risen. This can happen for various reasons like earthquakes, or subsidence of land.

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MacroRodent
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Re: A

That news was about sea ice, that comes and goes every year. The glacier is land ice that is gone for good when it has "collapsed".

Phil Plait's "Bad Astronomy" blog has a good writeup here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/05/12/global_warming_antarctic_glacier_collapse_may_now_be_inevitable.html

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Slow IPv6 adoption is a GOOD THING as IETF plans privacy boost

MacroRodent
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Re: What IPV6 really needs

I don't think you need NAT to implement a firewall. Your firewall can still shoot down those incoming connection request packets you want shot down, even if it does not do address translation.

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OUCH... right in the Androids! Google hit by another antitrust sueball

MacroRodent
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Big Brother

Bing Bong

"Except of course that it is the best search engine... and even though Bing has made vast improvements, you can't really say Google achieved its position by not being clearly better,"

Exactly. The only Bing searches I make happen because in my Windows phone (like in all of them), hitting the search button starts Bing and often I am too lazy to start the Google app instead (which I do have), or go to the Google web page.

But of course it is not anti-competetive if WP very strongly steers users towards Bing... what with its pitiful market share.

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Nokia, new CEO Rajeev Suri, and BEELLIONS of euros burning a hole in the bank

MacroRodent
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Dividents

"It's using this cash pile – which is bolstered by the €5.4bn it finally received from Redmond – to hand out €3bn in dividends to shareholders,"

The plans are to pay the divident at the beginning of July. This coincidentally is the month most Finns take their summer vacation, so the Finnish shareholders (like me) get a nice boost to the holiday budget.

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MacroRodent
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Happy

Re: What next? How about fixing IE?

That fortunately is not Nokia's problem.

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Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN

MacroRodent
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I guess depends on the carrier in Europe as well

My provider (Elisa, in Finland) has always required the PIN, which I consider the only sane method, because just because it is my phone does not mean it is me using it.

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Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

MacroRodent
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Headmaster

Baltic?

I have always understood the term "Baltic country" to refer only to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Besides, Denmark has coastline both on the Baltic and the Atlantic. "Nordic country" would be a more appropriate term.

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Space station astronauts pop outside to replace crippled computer

MacroRodent
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Re: It looks suspiciously like an AE-35 unit

I have always wondered why the AE35 had to be in a location reachable only by a spacewalk, except that the plot of the "2001" required it. But what plot point requires that ISS computer to be outside?

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