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* Posts by Pet Peeve

387 posts • joined 22 Nov 2009

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The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled

Pet Peeve
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Re: CANCELED?

That's POPEYE, some other hobbyist balloon project. Nice pictures though.

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BlackBerry ditches T-Mobile US after iPhone advert spat

Pet Peeve
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I believe the term is "shaking in their boots".

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Soccer's dull? A MIND-CONTROLLED robo-suit will be used to take first World Cup 2014 kick

Pet Peeve
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Re: Amazing...

Of course it's a good idea, and there's work being done with it too - biocompatibility and durability of electrodes (which somewhat act against each other) are the big issues there - it is orders of magnitude simpler to strap on assistive devices, or to replace limbs entirely. Baby steps!

Seconding the pints all around (or I would, if something hasn't seemed to have eaten the icon bar in firefox). To think that wheelchairs and hook limbs might fall into myth in my lifetime - it's great to be reminded that, flying cars or no, we're living in the future.

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Homeopathic remedies contaminated with REAL medicine get recalled

Pet Peeve
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Re: Allergy, or not?

Leave it to homeopaths that the one time their snake oil contains biologically active compounds, the results are worse than useless.

I don't know what the heck they think they were doing, but STOP MESSING AROUND WITH ANTIBIOTICS. We have precious little time left before many will no longer be effective - releasing useless amounts into the bodies of gullible people will only shorten that time.

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Move over Microsoft: RealNetworks has a GOOGLE problem

Pet Peeve
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Riight, there's no more ill-will towards realplayer. Embedded adware, crappy performance, formats with no exit, demanding you explain why you were uninstalling before it would uninstall - all water under the bridge.

Seriously, screw these guys. The world doesn't need them, as has been well proven already.

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New WebCL toolkit hooks browser apps into GPUs – and that's not good news for Apple

Pet Peeve
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WebGL? You mean the thing that everyone said to turn off when it was even in beta?

Native code in a browser=bad idea. I think noscript already disables it, even if you don't do it yourself in the browser settings.

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LOHAN bloodhound unleashes solar-powered minitracker

Pet Peeve
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following myself up - the detailed article talks about the service time. A single AAA battery keeps the board running for 30 hours, 70 hours for a AA. Since they've had some "challenging" retrievals on past tests, they would not want to skimp on power capacity for the tracker. Given the mountainside landing on one of the tests, it would probably be worth going with an AA.

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Pet Peeve
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volts aren't everything - the amperage pulled by the device and the total maH needed for the trip is likely more than a watch battery can provide. That said, I've soldered ultrabright LEDs to disc batteries (CAREFULLY), and they can last for months!

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Pet Peeve
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Comment removed, I think it falls into the "too soon" category. Still found the trollface comment funny though.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: just a thought

Predicting the landing point for that would be fun! Getting approval from NASA to pitch it out a service lock would probably be costly though. Maybe get an EVA astronaut to carry it in a spacesuit pocket and oops it earthward?

It's an interesting question - would an object lobbed by an astronaut hit the earth in a reasonable time? Depending on which way you threw it, it could even go into a higher orbit.

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Heroic Playmonaut wowed by LOHAN's bulging package

Pet Peeve
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Playmonaut

Does your intrepid pilot have a cockpit window, or is he flying on instruments? It's not like there's any shortage of the latter...

The tea cup is so perfectly British!

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The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

Pet Peeve
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Was any of that necessary?

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Who earns '$7k a month' but can't even legally drink? A tech intern!

Pet Peeve
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What the story doesn't say is a) this is temporary employment, often with no benefits and no guarantee of a job after the internship is over, and b) you make this much because they will work you so many hours that on a per-hour basis, you're not making nearly as much as the salaried employees.

Anyone who says a job is nice solely on pay doesn't appreciate the existence of a life outside work. Is it worth doing as a kid out of school for a few months? Probably (though look at the employment contract closely). Is it going to get you some great dough? Maybe, if you don't flame out from working 80 hour weeks.

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Apple fanbois DENIED: Mac Pro deliveries stalled until April

Pet Peeve
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Re: C-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-clickbait!

It's a completely BS story, as anyone who actually has a mac pro on order knows.

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Pet Peeve
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Hey Jasper, stop making stuff up for clicks!

Apple called me about my January Mac Pro order on Thursday - I will have the machine by next Friday. All Mac Pro orders that were delayed are getting rush shipping as soon as they come out of burn-in.

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Collective SSL FAIL a symptom of software's cultural malaise

Pet Peeve
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Monday morning quarterbacking. There is always one test you didn't realize you needed to perform. Remember that situation with some unixes where they created horribly weak SSL certs due to a subtle bug that didn't mix in enough randomness? This stuff happens, relax.

By all reports, the test case would be an unholy bitch to create, which makes me wonder exactly how exploitable the problem really is.

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Curiosity now going BACKWARDS

Pet Peeve
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@Gray ham

Maybe there's a loose part rubbing on the wheel that flaps against the wheel when going forward, but rides on top in reverse. I've seen that happen in auto accidents, where the fender is pushed in just the right way and only one direction works without grinding the crap out of the tire.

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

Pet Peeve
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Re: Wii failed NOT

Calling the wii a failure is dumb. if you say that, you're bad and you should feel bad. This is a console that made more for its maker than any other in its generation, and still gets use years later. It got our parents to play games, hell our great-grandparents to play games.

The problem with the wii U is that nobody who has a wii needs one - they're still using the wii just fine to play the games they like, the component video is plenty good enough for the cartoony graphics that work well in those games, and the hardware was pretty bombproof (if you didn't throw your wimote through your monitor). Does wii sports bowling HAVE to be in HD? I don't think so, it looks good enough on a 50 inch set with the right cable.

Anyone who wants games in HD probably has an xbox or a playstation too, and there's no reason to upgrade both, especially with the cross-platform developers dumping the wii ports.

I would love it for nintendo to survive, because they do understand how to make games fun for everyone. But it's going to be rough sledding for a while.

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HELL is other people ... Thousands play SAME Pokemon game on TV. Mayhem ensues

Pet Peeve
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Some years ago, our local planetarium had this amazingly simple gadget - a button on each arm of each chair (red on left, green on right), and at certain points in the presentation, you could steer the projector by what the group wanted to do. It was surprising how well it worked.

There was an unexplained demo before the show where the buttons would cause a dot on a projected display to blink (dots not corresponding to your seat in the auditorium, totally random as far as I could tell), and everyone spontaneously got the idea to play "figure out which dot is me". It was really fun to work out a strategy while 300 dots were blinking all over the place. I used morse code (SOS), and found my dot in under a minute.

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LOHAN cops a faceful of Raspberry Pi

Pet Peeve
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Re: Too late but still

Something like the pop-in lenses you can use with LEDs might have worked, if you can find the right size. I'd feel better about the "supersonic airflow" thing if a lens mount suck outside the skin, instead of having a divot in it.

I assume the cabin isn't airtight, so as long as there isn't a partial vacuum inside that may want to go find the epoxy hole to escape through, it's probably OK. The right epoxy can make a great bond to plastic, so it may not be the path of least resistance anyway.

LOHAN is looking as great inside as out.

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Silk Road reboot claims: Hacker STOLE all our Bitcoin funds

Pet Peeve
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Sounds like BS

What possible maintenance activity would require the coins to be accessible? And wasn't this vulnerability supposed to have been fixed ages ago, with mtgox only vulnerable because they were using an old version?

Betting it will turn out that silk road 2 (electric coinaloo) was a scam all along, waiting for enough people to deposit and then disappearing. Certainly not the first time for the currency for that to happen.

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Apple pushes back release date for 'dustbin chic' Mac Pro

Pet Peeve
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@corestore

Did you actually find a USB3 card that works in a mac? If so, could you tell me the manf and part number? I tried to find one a while back for my cranky old 2008 mac pro, and I didn't see any that would admit to being compatible.

I have a pro on order to replace the old beast, but I may spruce it up a bit and use it as a backup machine.

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Pet Peeve
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@gordon10 - haha, no.

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Pet Peeve
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New orders only, at least so far

Yep! My order (for the up-spec model, with a few upgrades over the starting point) is still showing "February" for a ship date. This thing really needs to ship soon - my 2008 era mac pro knows something is up and already ate a hard drive.

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CERN outlines plan for new 100km circumference supercollider

Pet Peeve
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Re: Is the overlap of the rings part of the plan?

It is part of the plan - the LHC will inject particles into the new accellerator. That's the way CERN does things, and it's pretty cool. IIRC, the LHC is the fourth or fifth accellerator in the chain.

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Pet Peeve
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Plenty of room down there

"To all available evidence, we have got all the particles down pat"

No! We have the standard model particle zoo caught and stuck on the wall. What we don't have are supersymmetric particles, which are likely going to need something bigger than the LHC eventually (only a few -ino particles are predicted to come into the range even the enhanced LHC can see), and besides that, we want to BREAK the dang standard model if at all possible, because it has to break at least a little to unify to gravity.

The proposed accellerator is likely too small, but as big as political realities allow even for discussion right now. It may also be that it has to be this big - too big a step up and you don't have anything energetic enough to run through it. CERN is a wonderful set of accellerators, some half a century old, that gradually speed up incoming particles for injection into the LHC.

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iFrame attack injects code via PNGs

Pet Peeve
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Re: disable javascript in your browser! @Pet Peeve

@bluegreen: are you a doctor IRL too?

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Pet Peeve
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Re: disable javascript in your browser!

The only designerism related to jquery that I would consider harmful are css overrides, used because they can't be bothered to get their css right in the first place. Hint: if you have css overrides in your onload function, you are DOING IT WRONG.

jquery is a unequivocally great thing - I'm a little less thrilled with plugin-itis that creeps into pages these days, but in most cases I would rather have an amateur webdesigner use libraries than try to write it in code, which is always asking for trouble.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Capital iZation...

@Graham - Ha! I have to apologize to Warm Braw - I thought he was complaining about the camelcased method names in the javascript snippet, and not the word "iFrame" in the article text. I have to agree that spelling it as "iFrame" is bad, wrong, and probably because of a little too much Apple on the brain (not that there's anything wrong with Apple itself).

It's "iframe", not "iFrame". Don't do that.

I reversed the downvote, sorry Braw!

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Pet Peeve
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Re: disable javascript in your browser!

Oh, what a pile of crap. Jquery is used by experts just as much as amateurs (if not more - javascript is not exactly friendly to start with) - a lot of things you do every day in javascript are extremely annoying otherwise.

Lots of clueless snark on this story today.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: disable javascript in your browser!

Turning off third-party javascript (with noScript or scriptNo) does indeed work, though it can sometimes be a royal pain in the posterior to figure out what each site considers the minimum necessary for proper rendering the first time you visit.

So, if the png is being sent from an ad site, this will indeed stop it dead. If it's a user uploaded image on the cdn subsite, which you've authorized in noScript, then you could still get nailed by this.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: So the user doesn't notice anything happening

I don't understand why the embedded tag data in a png would be evaluated as javascript by a browser - how is this happening?

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Capital iZation...

Dude. It's called "camel case", and it's existed as a naming convention since the 80s at least. Nothing to do with apple, please find another thing to be angry about.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Pet Peeve
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Re: yawn

"Predominantly" is hipster bullshit. The question is, is there enough good stuff to watch?

I don't know what you're watching, but I have to say the last few years has had some of the best TV I've ever seen in my 51 years of watching.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: Shaky picture but with more detail

They already did this. You can get HD sets now with a 240hz refresh rate, and the 4k sets are starting out at 120hz.

You may be particularly sensitive to upscaling artifacts, and not really the refresh rate. Even 60hz 1080i is better than persistence of vision (30 fps, where POV is about 16-18fps), and any modern set showing a progressive picture is going to make it really hard to see flickering.

Edit: Turns out the eye's flicker rate is different than the POV rate. Flicker rate is about 48fps, so it is quite possible you are sensitive to flicker on a 60hz set displaying an interleaved picture. 120hz should sort that out for you.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: nope

4K is the current projection standard for theaters. What they're saying is that you're getting a theater-quality transfer, though I don't actually believe that - I imagine that digital theater projectors run on a much higher bandwidth than a blu-ray player can pump out through HDMI.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: 3D

A 4k TV can send an HD picture to each eye, plus the ones I've seen have a really bright screen with great contrast.

Personally I can't stand 3D and avoid it as much as possible, but if you like it, it will look better on a 4k tv than an HD one. Funny though, the sets I saw didn't even mention 3D on the info card.

I'm sure they support it, but since it's practically a negative marketing feature nowadays, the manufacturers are pretending it doesn't exist.

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Pet Peeve
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They'll probably look great. I can tell the difference between a blu-ray and a DVD picture at a glance, but DVDs still look quite good on a modern set, and they'll look as good or better on a 4k tv. It's all about the upscaling, and digital anything upscales very well.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: WGAF

Go and see one of these in the store and tell me you still don't want one.

Over the Christmas holiday I ran into a samsung 84 inch 4k tv (with an eye-watering price of $39,997). There was a moving cityscape playing, and it reminded me of "Gallifrey Falls No More" (spoiler alert!). It was scary how much detail there was.

It's silly to buy one now while there's almost no 4k content (though it does upscale HD stuff really, really well) and they're not ramped up for mass sales yet, but those same crazy prices were true of the orginal 1080p sets, and they came down to earth in a year or so.

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Ross Ulbricht: 'Oi! Give me back my $34m in Silk Road Bitcoin booty'

Pet Peeve
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Re: strange...

The strange thing here is the bitcoins are a string of numbers, and if I understand correctly they are worth nothing until converted to the destination currency. Is this right?

Total nonsense! You could say the same thing of any commodity. The only thing "unique" about bitcoins is that they have zero inherent value, unlike gold which at least you can make jewelry out of, or a dollar bill which you can burn for fuel or put on the wall as artwork.

The interesting thing about bitcoin is that a bunch of people have decided that because some computers have spent a lot of time searching for chains of hashes with special attributes, that some bitstreams derived from those hashes have value. It's like saying that you can buy a new car with the 49th mersenne prime. OK, maybe a bad example because there's a prize for each new Mersenne Prime found, but having found the prime, you can't plunk it onto the counter at Best Buy and pick up a new TV.

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RSA comes out swinging at claims it took NSA's $10m to backdoor crypto

Pet Peeve
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Re: Come on people

@AC, post your ENT results or shut the hell up, dumbass.

Even IF your radio-based randomizer has decent entropy (hint: it very likely doesn't, or has bouts of non-randomness when someone with a cellphone walks past your house), it still only solves one of the problems that RNGs are used for, picking session keys/nonces. For other applications, it would be worse than useless.

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Pet Peeve
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NSA *HAS* strengthened encryption

I certainly get the skepticism here, but there has been at least one notable case where the NSA has meddled with a standard to improve it.

When DES was being developed, a part of the algorithm involved some lookup tables that were used to transform input to output as part of the encryption process. Shortly before the final version of the standard, NSA published a new set of tables and requested them to be adopted for the standard.

Years later, crypto researchers analyzed what the NSA did, and found that the original tables had some serious weaknesses that badly hurt DES. The new tables fixed the problem.

Now, I think this is a totally different situation. The problem with dual EC is not that it's weak as such (though it was actually the slowest performing of any of the randomizers in the standard by an ORDER OF MAGNITUDE), but that it is possible to create a relationship between the parameters of the curve that in effect creates a "master key" shortcut to decrypting the data, and there's no way to tell if that relationship exists. Guess who picked the curve for dual EC?

RSA had no good reason, short of money, to use this algorithm by default. It's quite possible they didn't know about the weakness (it took 3 years for mere mortals to figure out). But the fact remains, Dual EC was the worst choice of the three in the standard, by far, so why make it the default?

I've heard that some versions of Internet Explorer use it by default too, but I don't know if that's true. Dirty business.

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Pet Peeve
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It's a satire, Mr. Coward. And also, one with bait well designed to catch a certain family of asshats and twatwaffles, which I'm guessing you're one of.

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Apple iWatch due in October 2014, to wirelessly charge from one metre away – report

Pet Peeve
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Magnetic Resonance

It's a Tesla thing, isn't it? If it's what I'm thinking, you need a stupidly high voltage to make it work.

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Pet Peeve
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Why NOT wear a watch?

- They're jewelry, one of the few types that men can wear and not look douchey

- Looking a watch is more socially acceptable than pulling out a phone

- It's FASTER to just look at your wrist to check the time

- A mechanical watch is cool as hell, especially self-winders

I certainly have no problem with my smartphone, but I wear a watch almost always.

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

Pet Peeve
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Yeah, the same argument works for people selling ASIC bitcoin miners - if they work and they had them, they'd make more money mining than in selling the devices.

I still haven't decided if this is delusion or fraud, but one thing it's almost certainly not, is net-positive fusion.

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Pet Peeve
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Re: I can see how this works...

OK, that was funny as hell Bren, but seriously, bets on one of these units ever being sold? It's just a claim so he can keep his marks on the hook to fund him.

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Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Pet Peeve
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Flame

Re: The US claimed Snowden's revelations damaged its ability to fight terrorism

In the first few days of the Snowden business, I really WAS pissed at what he did (or at least what was first released), because the early stuff was mostly legal, and there's no question that disclosing it hurt intelligence gathering.

Now I find I'm not anymore. The wholesale slurping of incoming or intra-cloud communications, so they don't have to ask for a FISA warrant, puts the NSA solidly behind the 8-ball. They are bad guys, using flat-out-illegal methods because following the law was inconvenient for them. Merely making this possible puts us all at risk from boneheaded mistakes, and the US intelligence apparatus is all ABOUT bonehead mistakes.

Google has it right, FUCK THESE GUYS. If they want data, they can bloody well ask for it legally. Another good thing about this case, it finally got the movement started to use perfect forward security in SSL. I was disgusted to find out how often this simple-to-configure option wasn't used. If PFS was used at lavabit, there would have been no point in demanding their SSL key - recorded sessions would be useless.

Install the Calomel browser addon and scream at noncompliant site operators until they all pass the "128 bit PFS and better only" test. And yell at your congresscritter to put the final stake in the heart of National Security Letters, too.

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Hello! Still here! Surface 2! Way better than iPad! says slightly desperate Microsoft

Pet Peeve
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@Trevor Pott

"I think companies that refuse to name their competition or competitor's products aren't worth any respect at all."

That, by long-standing advertising convention, is exactly backwards. You only mention the competition when you're in a secondary position, i.e. you're trying to eat some of their lunch because you can't find your own lunch in the market.

Market leaders, either actual or self-perceived, do not do competitors service by naming them, ever.

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3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Pet Peeve
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Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"

Circuit board prototyping may be a killer app for 3d printing. The process now is either messy and crappy (if you do it yourself) or stupidly expensive (if you use a prototyping service).

I do some fiddling with atmel chips (none of this arduino business for me), and I would LOVE to be able to whip out a board on a printer to try stuff out. If it could do two-sided boards, I'd buy one right now.

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