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* Posts by A Known Coward

112 posts • joined 11 Dec 2009

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Blighty: Welcome your new, faceless MI6 chief – Alex Younger

A Known Coward

Re: The DA-Notice or Defence Advisory Notice ...

They pretty much have already stuck up two fingers to the committee by telling everyone where they can find uncensored pictures and then lampooning the whole censorship issue with their 'redacted' image? What better way to point out the stupidity of the D-Notice than to completely subvert it without actually breaking it?

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

A Known Coward

Re: Nirvana

Nirvana would be a round connector that works at all angles, 360 degrees and just not 2.

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A Known Coward

Re: Good cables are better

For PCIe you at least need access to the inside of the machine, which isn't the case for firewire or thunderbolt. It would be a problem for an external express card slot on a laptop.

I wonder why four people down-voted, there's nothing inaccurate about saying the DMA of firewire is a huge security risk. It's hardware level access which cannot be disabled by software, and cannot even be disabled by the BIOS on some motherboards. Apple fans maybe?

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SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis

A Known Coward

Re: SpaceX's cheaper Dragon capsule has room for seven

It's the console you see at the top of the picture, it folds away there to allow easy access to the seats then swings down in front of the two forward seats where it's reachable by the pilot and co-pilot.

There's a video of Elon Musk demonstrating it at the unveiling a few months back

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Airbus developing inkjet printer for planes

A Known Coward

"the ship from Momo"

I'm unfamiliar with that reference, but I'm curious?

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Lenovorola TRIPLE-ola: New Moto G, Moto X and 360 wristputer UNZIPPED

A Known Coward

Motorola website says new G is 4G (LTE)?

They also say that it accepts an SD card, which the original didn't. Although that was added in the later 4G model.

http://www.motorola.co.uk/consumers/mobile-phones/Moto-G/motorola-g-gb.html

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

A Known Coward

Can it move furniture?

Well? Can it move the chair and bin out from under the desk to vacuum there? Can it pick up the laundry basket or the rugs so as not to choke to death on the frilly edge? Can it climb stairs or clean beneath the cushions on the sofa? Well of course it can't, so you'll need to go around after it with a second vacuum cleaner to do all the bits that it missed.

I guess if you've got lots of money and little time for chores then it's a great idea. But if you've got the money why wouldn't you pay someone to come in and clean instead? It creates a job in this country instead of China and a human being has none of these limitations, plus they can do whole load of other jobs too.

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Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

A Known Coward

Re: Latest satellite status message

Uh no that was Queen.

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'I'll dance on their graves at 1 MILLION operations per second'

A Known Coward

Richard Dawkins?

Why would the atheists/humanists want to upvote a comment that suggests atheism is a 'collective delusion' in order to 'redress the balance'? The balance is already in their favour.

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Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'

A Known Coward
Stop

Dick's work explores ideas, it's philosophy which uses the freedom of sci-fi to create impossible scenarios in which he could pose 'what if' questions. The short story Minority Report is intended to provoke questions over the ethics and morality of the scenario. Exactly how are they going to play that out in an on-going series without it wearing thin?

My gut is that we'll get yet another mind numbing police procedural with 'a twist' with one of the protagonists ever so slowly starting to question whether what they are doing is right. Either that or the movie take on the story, which was basically just The Fugitive.

I'm sorry but I can't see how this can end well, much as I dearly want to see some intelligent and thought provoking sci-fi on TV (there's so little of it), I can't see how they can make this work.

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The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

A Known Coward

Re: Loving it so far.

I'm going to guess that it doesn't require anything like 500GB for the OS, but it recommends at least that much free space to install games into. After all with just 250GB and with some games running to 20+ GB you'd only be able to install ~10 games at a time.

Look at this way, a full linux desktop with email, openoffice etc can be installed into a parition of few gigabytes (if you're really careful about what you install far, far less). The linux steam client is a few MBs in size. There's no way that the SteamOS can consume 500GB, that has to be for the partition it will install games to.

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A Known Coward

Re: I have 34 games

Of the 91 steam games I own, 53 run on linux. Currently playing XCom: Enemy Unknown (Enemy Within) and Metro Last Light.

Debating whether I'd enjoy the X3 series (Terran Conflict, Albion Prelude, Reunion), loved the space combat aspect of X-Wing vs Tie Fighter back in the day, but not sure whether the whole accounting/trading side of X3 would be fun.

Will definitely be buying Metro 2033 Redux when it's released and may buy Witcher 2 when they've shaken out the bugs. Looking forward to all the games (including AAA titles) which are due to arrive on the platform, especially since so many of the AAA engines have been ported to Linux in the past year.

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Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

A Known Coward

Re: Seamonkey

"Iceape isn't a 'spinoff' ... it's Seamonkey with Mozilla's (trademarked) branding removed."

And they were forced to remove that branding because ...

Yes, that's correct, they modified the code. It's a fork of Seamonkey, a spin-off, it's a knock-off, it's not the genuine article.

Speaking as an open source developer who is about 5 minutes away from requiring Debian to stop using a trademark for the same reason. Their buggy, broken packages which apply unauthorized patches are damaging to the reputation of many software projects. That's when they aren't introducing huge security flaws (SSH keys etc).

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Tiny steps: HTTP 2.0 WG looks for consensus

A Known Coward

Re: Mandatory encryption?

It's going to be interesting to see how that encryption works. TLS requires the use of trusted certificates, certificates that cost a hefty amount per year for an individual running a small two page website.

If HTTP 2.0 isn't going to create a two tier internet, one for the masses which provides no default protection against snooping (HTTP 1.0) and another for corporations which does (HTTP 2.0), then they'll also need to rethink the certificate system. At the very least making cheap ($1) certificates possible. Perhaps requiring them to be issued along with domain names as a complete package, your domain registrar issues a basic cert, they have all your details anyway and know you are the registered owner of the domain.

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A Known Coward

The protocol is still plain text. Only that text is then compressed and encrypted. The intended recipient can still decrypt and uncompress it to produce the original plain text.

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Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

A Known Coward

Re: Who says he wants to spy on his people?

Exactly, this is no different from what Europe wants to do to prevent the US snooping on their citizens. With Russia it's automatically assumed that they just want to increase control over their citizens, but that Europe is just acting to protect it's citizens?

Sure Putin isn't a good guy, but then not everyone in Europe is convinced that the motives of the European leadership are entirely benign.

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'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

A Known Coward

1961 or 1970s ???

You've quoted the OED saying that the Octothorpe originated in the 1970s, but then you quote them saying "By 1961 Hash was being used to refer to the octothorpe symbol". If the Octothorpe originated in the 70s it can't have been around in 1961 ... So which is correct?

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

A Known Coward

Re: "first known example"

Not exactly, Mythbusters used vacuum pads which is an entirely different technology and pretty old hat. What Darpa demonstrated is cutting edge and very cool.

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What the frag? Earn millions as the world watches you SLAY rivals

A Known Coward

Re: Not a good review

"You even need to "export" to get an H264 file???"

Sigh. No, you need to export to get an MP4 container. The default encoding is H.264 in a standard MPEG-TS container - the type used for blu-ray, DVD, many cameras and broadcast TV. If you're still confused I suggest you google for the difference between a video codec and a container.

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A Known Coward

Re: Performance?

I would have thought the mechanism was obvious from the images in the article if not the text, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just missed it.

"Configuration is much the same on both units, consisting of simply connecting HDMI or component cables from the console into the gaming PVR. The HDMI output from the gaming PVR goes into the TV. "

Both devices operate as a man-in-the-middle on the HDMI cable, passing though the signal to the TV in real time while simultaneously passing a copy to it's onboard video encoder. Since your computer is only acting as a storage medium (optionally, since the Rocket can operate without a PC, with storage directly attached) there is no slowdown. These things are mainly designed for use with consoles, but there's nothing stopping them being used with PCs as well or indeed anything that uses HDMI (but not HDCP, so that rules out your STB or Blu-ray player).

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Elon Musk wants SpaceX to launch spy sats – and will sue US gov to do so

A Known Coward

Re: Crap, more launches.

Or, to look at it from another entirely plausible angle, spending 4 times less money will mean their budget being slashed by three quarters which is something they definitely don't want to happen as there will be less loose change to spend on their pet projects. Just because you aren't spending the money this year doesn't mean you won't want it in next years budget. Plus the larger a budget, the easier it is to siphon money from it without anyone noticing.

This is why every year local governments in the UK go on a spending spree just before their budget is reviewed, if they haven't spent all the money allocated to them for the past year they get less money for the coming year. So suddenly they care about fixing all the potholes that they've ignored for the preceding 11 months. They'd much rather have too much money than exactly the amount they need.

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Mad Raspberry Pi boffins ripped out its BRAINS and SHRANK them for your pleasure

A Known Coward

Re: It's still too expensive

For home automation you only need a single Pi with XRF radios (Slice of Radio £9.99 for Pi, XRF £11.88 module + circuitry) dotted around the place to control relays, take temperature readings etc. XRF is cheaper than XBee and incredibly easy to use.

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Snowden: Canadian spooks used free airport WiFi to track travellers

A Known Coward

What's traceroute got to do with anything?

Andy, can you enlighten those of us who thought traceroute was just a diagnostic tool and not a surveillance tool created by the government? I'm intrigued.

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Crippling server 'leccy bill risks sinking OpenBSD Foundation

A Known Coward

Re: OpenBSD is included in ... third-party packages ...

"Code patches developed by OpenBSD is included in those packages"

Yes, and that may be what the author meant, but it's not what he wrote.

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A Known Coward

OpenBSD is included in ... third-party packages ...

"OpenBSD is included in a number of popular third party packages that include SQL Lite, BIND, Sendmail and the Lynx web browser."

Err, you mean the other way around? OpenBSD includes those packages (by default), they do not include OpenBSD.

Not that those packages are specific to OpenBSD. It's a bit like saying "Windows is included in Skype" when what you mean to say is "Windows includes Skype".

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No sign of Half-Life 3 but how about FOURTEEN Steam Machine makers?

A Known Coward

Re: SteamOS

The benefit is that you don't need Windows at all, forget dual booting, just switch to Linux.

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Worried OpenSSL uses NSA-tainted crypto? This BUG has got your back

A Known Coward

Used by the NSA? Perhaps not?

This discovery actually puts a dent in the theory that the NSA were relying on this weak random number generator to crack SSL encrypted traffic. If they had been so reliant, they would have spotted early on that OpenSSL implementations weren't vunerable despite including the flawed generator. Yet they never reported the bug to OpenSSL, even though we are told it should have been in their interests to do so.

So can we conclude that either the NSA have more than one 'backdoor' into SSL and so they didn't need Dual EC DRBG working in OpenSSL, or the rumours about them exploiting Dual EC weren't true to begin with?

The Snowdon leaks have played into the NSA's hands in one respect, if terrorist feel they cannot trust the internet they'll go back to the old method of using trusted couriers to communicate and that is great news for spies. They can't simultaneously watch all internet cafes, hotels, libraries and other locations of public internet access to follow subjects back to their hiding places, but they can follow a man from A to B. It's a cheap, reliable and very well rehearsed bit of spy craft, they were doing it throughout the cold war.

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HELIUM-FILLED disks lift off: You can't keep these 6TB BEASTS down

A Known Coward

Re: less helium than a balloon

Helium is a finite resource, once it escapes it cannot be recovered or re-created (on Earth at least). Hence the 'paranoia' about the quantity being used. There have already been calls to ban Helium balloons to preserve stocks.

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Terminator-style robot busts leg in martial arts demo mishap

A Known Coward

Re: Narcissism

Isaac Asimov suggested that human form robots were ultimately the most practical and versatile as they could use human tools, drive human vehicles and navigate human environments. Although ultimately more complicated to design, a human form robot could be used for almost any task currently performed by a human without redesigning our whole world around it (at incalculable expense).

Big Dog serves a vary narrow, niche purpose - it can't pick up and fire a weapon, drive a car, dial a phone or even turn on a light switch. In fact, last I saw, it couldn't even perform all the tasks of a dog - it cannot fetch, it's more of a Donkey than a Dog.

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DEAD STEVE JOBS kills Apple bounce patent from BEYOND THE GRAVE

A Known Coward

The rule is that you must file for a patent before you tell anyone else about the idea. Apple didn't do this, he told the whole world about the idea then waited five months before filing his application.

The logic behind the rule is to prevent someone sharing an idea, perhaps even encouraging them to implement it, then snaring them in a litigation trap by filing for the patent once they are about to bring a product to market.

If you tell people without first having applied for a patent, the law assumes that you are happy for others to copy the idea - you've had a good idea and want everyone to benefit from it without seeking to make a profit from it.

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British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

A Known Coward

Re: How Much!!!!

Heh, well in my own defence, it's been a decade since I installed TRVs throughout the house and I couldn't remember exactly what they cost. Pretty sure it was more than £5 each though.

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A Known Coward

@ Ledswinger

No, we understood it was meant to be a joke, it just wasn't very funny.

I'll stick with my radiators thank you, each method has it's own pros and cons but for me, especially with the dry air issue of hot air systems, radiators are better.

Above all though the reason most homes in the UK have radiators is that the buildings are much older and of a solid construction rather than the timber frame jobs they put up in a day over in the US (only to watch them blow away in a storm). You can't easily retrofit a vent system into such buildings without losing space and gaining unsightly boxing where the vents go between floors.

You also cannot control heating on a room by room basis with standard hot air systems, with a radiator a £25 thermosatic valve can be easily attached.

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Panasonic whips out MONSTER fondleslab for serious S&M sessions

A Known Coward

Photographers

Panasonic have been touting this as far back as January to the professional and enthusiast photographic communities for viewing and post-processing their work. They seem to think that there is a market there and they've designed it to be powerful enough to run Lightroom and Photoshop which is certainly also the reason why it runs Windows and not Linux.

I'm not sure where this presentation stuff is coming from, maybe some last minute nerves from the marketing team, as it was made clear early on that Photographer/CAD Users/Artists etc were the target market. I believe it offers full size usb ports so that a mouse can be used.

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Barnes & Noble knock Nook slate down to £79

A Known Coward
Stop

Re: Sainsbury's

Looking at their website, that would be the Asus ME172. The Nook HD has it beat on Screen Resolution (1440x900 vs 1024x600), screen colour reproduction (IPS vs TN) and judging by reviews battery life (Nook boasts 8h30m for web browsing, 12h30 for video, Asus just 6h30m for web browsing no figures on video).

I've just bought the Nook, with the quality and resolution of the screen and the microSD card slot, I think it will be great for reviewing photographs when I'm out and about. Should also make a fantastic wifi remote control for the Panasonic GX7 when I get my hands on one.

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Star Wars revival secret: This isn't the celluloid you're looking for

A Known Coward
Holmes

Re: This isn't the format you're looking for

The use of CGI didn't let down the latest three films, but the _overuse_ of CGI was definitely a major contributor. Over-extended sequences, that last film in particular, seemed to be more about showcasing the CGI than about supporting the story*.

* Yes, the story was so paper thin that it needed some support ...

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Should UK tear Wi-Fi a new one at 5GHz? Speak your brains, says Ofcom

A Known Coward
Unhappy

Re: Not passing through walls is the major advantage of 5GHz

You're lucky that your internal walls aren't solid. 5GHz just doesn't work here in my 1920s built house where all the walls are brick, which is a shame really.

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Chromecast: We get our SWEATY PAWS on Google's tiny telly pipe

A Known Coward

$35 + Cost of a tablet remote

Isn't the big gotcha the requirement for a device, logically a small tablet, to act as a very expensive remote control?

Yes, a lot of people have smartphones and yes many also have tablets, but this requires the phone/tablet to be permanently available by the TV which is a big ask for a family. Which device takes precedence too, or will it turn into a battle every evening with everyone changing to their favourite programme? What happens when the kids need the tablet to do their homework, or Dad has to take a business call on his mobile and disappears with the 'remote' for an hour?

So no, the price of this 'dongle' isn't $35, not even close.

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CERN re-opens 'Animal Shelter for Computer Mice'

A Known Coward
FAIL

Re: Good one...

Err, let me correct that last post having read the The Consumer Protection Regulations. The regulations preserve the spirit, more or less, of the original Act. Basically if the sender makes no effort to retrieve their property within 6 months, or 30 days after requested by the recipient, then the 'goods' become property of the recipient.

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A Known Coward
Stop

Re: Good one...

That section of the Act was rescinded by the The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000

You can no longer treat them as a gift, they must be returned to the sender.

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

A Known Coward
Holmes

Re: anyone know

Curiousity has multiple cameras, the one used to take these shots is mounted on the end of an arm, you can see parts of it in the image at the bottom right, and is not any of the camera mounted on the raised structure seen in the image.

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Malware devs offer $100 a pop for 'active' Google Play accounts

A Known Coward
Headmaster

Re: Information

Sorry third paragraph - "The miscreant is offering '$100 for sellers willing to part with an active, verified Play account that is tied to a dedicated server'."

A 'verified' account 'tied to a dedicated server'.

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A Known Coward
WTF?

Re: Information

It wasn't omitted, it's right there in the second paragraph.

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World's 'smallest' mobe unveiled in Japan

A Known Coward
FAIL

Re: It's been a long time...

"I thought 'a la mode' meant 'with a blob of ice cream'....."

Because it was a trend to serve your apple pie with ice cream, the term was misunderstood in the US.

As stated before, 'a la mode' is French for 'in the fashion'.

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Space station 'naut supplies Reg with overhead snap of Vulture Central

A Known Coward
Boffin

Which camera? Lens?

Come on, this is a tech site after all, I can't be the only one wondering which camera/lens was being used. I'd love to know what focal length was required to get this shot ... just in case I'm ever staying on the ISS for a couple of nights ...

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Seagate squeezes out 4TB desktop monster

A Known Coward
Stop

Re: But%20at%20what%20price%3F

I remember when a 2TB drive cost £50 ... the prices haven't returned to normal since the floods even though the factories are back to full production. The competition commission absolutely should be looking into the prices and questioning why the Seagate/Samsung and WD/Hitachi mergers were allowed when that left just 3 huge companies to dominate the market which isn't in the interests of consumers or competition.

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Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

A Known Coward
WTF?

If eInk readers were truly a dying breed then by the time the 'younger generation' are old they'll be legally blind.

In all seriousness, can anyone spend long periods reading from a tablet without suffering eye strain and associated headaches? Can many people even hold a proper tablet in their hands for extended periods without cramping?

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UK malls use Google in desperate stab at luring shoppers off the web

A Known Coward
Meh

Re: A state of equilibrium will be reached...

Atonnis - How long did the actual ordering stage take though? That was the downfall of online grocery shopping for me, it took too long to page through and select everything I wanted, even using the search only gets you so far. Unless you're ordering the exact same things week in and week out, or you don't care about comparing the prices between brands it's a painfully slow process. In the real world I can go down a supermarket aisle, grabbing what I want, assessing offers in seconds and be at the till with a full trolley in no time at all. In fact as it turned out I could drive to the supermarket, make my purchases and return home in a little over half the time it was taking just to _place_ the order online, never mind the wait for delivery.

Quite often I would find I had lost my delivery slot because it had taken so long! Instead of getting delivery on the day I wanted, I would have to wait another 24 hours. I would end up going to the supermarket anyway to buy bread and milk, it was pretty ridiculous.

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US military nails 'best ever' Microsoft deal, brags size does matter

A Known Coward
Windows

Re: So, Windows is...

I seem to recall (not very well) watching an interview with an IT tech working on board a UK Sub (pretty sure it was a sub not a warship). Anyway, the stand-out point for me was when he mentioned having to reboot it periodically ...

Now I freely admit that I don't really remember it terribly well, so if someone can find the vid on youtube or whatever to get the exact quote, please do.

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