* Posts by Jan 0

488 posts • joined 14 Dec 2009

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Appeal court bombshell: Google must face British justice for 'Safari spying'

Jan 0
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I'm in,

but how do we arrange to sue Google at low cost to ourselves, given that we're only each going to get a few pence or a couple of quid out of Google?

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Helium-filled drive tech floats to top of HGST heap

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Re: So..

It so does leave a vacuum* behind!

A sealed, air filled, hard disc drive will always have approximately the same pressure as the ambient air because the rate of inward diffusion matches the outward rate.

In the case of a sealed, helium filled, drive there is almost no helium outside, but the helium atoms inside will move at a velocity determined by the ambient temperature and their random walks will lead some helium atoms outside. (See: Kinetic Theory of Gases). Far more Helium atoms will move out, than air molecules move in, because the air molecules are larger and are less likely to 'find' paths through the seal. I wouldn't expect a spectacular drop in pressure in 5 years, but I bet you could measure it with an unsophisticated manometer.

*partial vacuum - to be precise. It's never going to reach a high vacuum!

Mine's the one with the 'diffusion pump' in the long pocket.

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Dutch companies try warming homes with cloud servers

Jan 0
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Re: This is laughable

I presume that you don't live in a Passivhaus, or anything close.

BTW, s/math/arithmetic/ it's all you need.

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Jan 0
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Nothing to see here, ...

Ah, I knew this wasn't the first time I'd seen this idea. Why didn't el Reg report this: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/this-company-will-heat-your-house-for-free-if-you-have-room-for-its-servers-9859054.html last year? Is it because we could find even earlier examples? Well there's Microsoft's 2011(?) paper: http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/150265/heating.pdf can anyone top this?

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Want that awesome new Apple TrackPad? Don't get a MacBook Pro

Jan 0
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Nothing new about unrepairable electronics.

Suricou Raven wrote: "As electronics enthusiasts have been increasingly grumbling every year for the last two decades, modern electronics just aren't made to be repaired."

Oh, no, not just two decades, at least six. In the days before transistor radios, there was always a mysterious block of pitch with several wires snaking out to the posts on the baseboard above it. Who knew what was in the block of pitch? All the other components were standard resistors, condensers, coils, valves, lamps, transformers and switches that you could pick up in Lisle Street/<your local radio shop>, but where could you get the proprietary pitch block from? To this day, I still don't know what was in there.

<nostalgia>Where have all the mains energised loudspeakers gone?</nostalgia>

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Price slashed on Reg-branded Swiss Army Knife

Jan 0
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Re: Leatherman

@ OrientalHero

Phew! Just checked and the Micra isn't discontinued. I still have the one I was given at a SANE conference. To stop it rubbing holes in your pocket or dangling keys interfering with delicate tasks, you can get a nice leather, keyring case for it from DavidsonLeather on Etsy.

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Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

Jan 0
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Eternal problem

It's an excellent idea, but I won't buy this for the same reasons I never bought a Microwriter. It needs to be able to work with all the devices I use. I need to be confident that I'll still be able to use it, or a replacement, for the rest of my life. Until then I'll stick with the crummy keyboards that I can connect with all my devices. (Yes I need wireless and wired keyboards, but at least they all have, more or less, the same key layout.)

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OK, they're not ROBOT BUTLERS, but Internet of Home 'Things' are getting smarter

Jan 0
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"Why anyone would ever want 22 different wash cycles or more is another matter."

Well, for example, as anyone who's ever owned a Zanussi washing machine will attest, they're well made and long lasting. However, Italian water must have magical powers, because Zanussis fail to rinse thoroughly in the UK. Nowadays they come with a "super rinse" button to add extra rinse cycles, but it's hardly fine tuning. I want a fully consumer programmable washing machine, so that I choose exactly which stages are run and for how long. I want far more than 22 wash programs, I want an infinitely variable wash program. I'd like to discover for myself whether it's possible to devise a washing program for mucky cycle shoes that doesn't wreck them.

Dyeing fabrics would become much more convenient with a programmable washing machine. Although you can dye some items in a washing machine, the cycle lengths aren't suitable for many combinations of dye and fabric types. (If you've ever done home dyeing in open containers, you'll appreciate having the whole process confined in a self cleaning apparatus.)

Other fabric treatments, such as "wash in" water repellent treatments could also be improved - the treatment manufacturer might provide a downloadable program.

With the ability to turn off churning and precise temperature selection, you might even use your washing machine for water bath cooking.

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

Jan 0
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Canada?

So you tell us about a Canadian, being stopped on entry to Canada, by Canadian Border Agency personnel. Why then is the bulk of the article about USA law? I know the poor Kanadyjczycy have to put up with living next to the USA, but they still have their own laws don't they?

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NetApp’s effort to feed big data beast through NFS makes no sense

Jan 0
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Errm

Recent ONTAP releases support NFS 4.1 with pNFS, which works nicely with Hadoop, although I agree that the 100TB volume limit is a bit puny.

Your comments would be spot on for NFS3.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Jan 0
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Re: Content and Style

>Change tracking by use of diff? Or is that just too complicated?

Well it worked for the House of Lords back in the '80s. (They bought a Sun 4 purely to use 'diff'. I prefer 'sdiff' - it's designed for humans.)

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: El Reg eggs Benedict

Jan 0
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Headmaster

Re: Just for clarification?

> "Semolina is the hard bit"

Errm, not quite. In the UK, semolina is just a stage on the way to flour. The first, wide spaced, rollers generate a coarse product which is screened to separate the semolina from the bran. Semolina is milled again to produce flour. It's the particle size that distinguishes semolina from flour.

Where's the pedant's pedant icon when you need it?

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Hacker catches Apple's Lightning in a jailbroken bottle

Jan 0
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Re: "If the cables *eventuate* - ffs !

Re: "my new word of the day": AH, so you want to be a manager?

Oh, you don't? You think you're human being? Then 'appear' or 'happen' will do nicely.

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Jan 0
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Re: I wonder why Apple customers don't sue for such things

@nematoad

It's probably someone who thinks they can cook on a barbeque.*

Mind you, some of us wonder about the spelling of your name. Since nemato- is the prefix, what does the -ad signify?

*Why don't the spelling simpletons just use 'cue' everywhere?

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Vint Cerf: Everything we do will be ERASED! You can't even find last 2 times I said this

Jan 0
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Re: As soon as I get home ...

Just make sure the paper is kept in an ULT freezer to stop it all going black. Personally, I'd use a daisy wheel printer.

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Jan 0
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Re: Turtles all the way down?

> "This basically means that we not only need to keep all your .doc files on a reliable storage medium"

Is there any useful data in .doc files?

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Back seat drivers fear lead-footed autonomous cars, say boffins

Jan 0
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Re: Nothing to see here....

Hear, hear!

Besides, I hope that I'll be able to face backwards in my driverless car, just as I do in trains. Also I'm not sure that I want any permanently clear windows in my driverless car. I may want to watch a film or pleasure my passenger(s) without distractions.

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Internet of Thieves: All that shiny home security gear is crap, warns HP

Jan 0
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Marooons?

Launch the IPv6 Lifeboats now!

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Keyless vehicle theft suspects cuffed after key Met Police, er, 'lockdown'

Jan 0
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Re Alarms and "tow trucks"

> "It wouldn't stop someone with a tow truck from being able to just pick it up and drive away if it had no alarm."

I see you've never been to East London, where you'll hear plenty of alarms from vehicles being towed or on low loaders. Nobody takes any notice.

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

Jan 0
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Boffin

Kerr

I have a vague memory of using* or maybe seeing a demonstration of the use of Kerr Cells to measure the speed of light when Iwas a sixth former. (So long ago that it wasn't clear that the 'speed of light' was a constant regardless of frequency.)

*Well, we did alll kinds of things in school science labs back then that today's students will only see as a video, if they're lucky.

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Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

Jan 0
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I'm confused.

I thought that estate cars were called station wagons in the USA.

I admit that this one is hovering somewhere between being an estate car and a People Carrier, but if van is the USA term for an MPV, what would they call a UK style van? I'm guessing mintruck, but preparing to be flabbergasted.

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Helium HDD prices rise way above air-filled spinning rust

Jan 0
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When the helium runs out, we could use hydrogen instead. Probably a bit harder to contain than helium - I remember that it diffuses through steel at a much higher rate. Embrittlement is probably not a problem. Viscosity is still going to be much lower than air. Hydrogen only gets scarce near to the heat death of the universe, so our grandchildren won't run short of it.

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Twin Adam Sandlers shake El Reg's movie unwatchablathon team

Jan 0
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Pearl Harbor

If it's unwatchable, would that have allowed Mitsubishi Group* to sponsor it without anybody clocking the product placement?

*Warning: May contain MHI (the manufacturer of a very capable long range fighter 'plane).

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Living with a Renault Twizy: Pah! Bring out the HOVERCRAFT

Jan 0
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Re: Why would you get one of these?

That Carver may look nicer, but what happened to the tall, slim, four wheeled, electric leaner that I saw a few years ago? A slim leaning car with four wheels, or at least two at the front, becomes a vehicle with the advantages of both cars and motorcycles, but it needs to be short and tall to be a city vehicle. ("City" as understood outside most of the USA.)

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Boffin finds formula for four-year-five-nines disk arrays

Jan 0
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Re: what about enclosure failure?

This is the proposal that DougS made in the first post. I don't understand why it's accumulating down votes.

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The firm that swallowed the Sun: Is Oracle happy as Larry with hardware and systems?

Jan 0
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@lowly programmer

Don't lowly programmers pine for DTrace?

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Jan 0
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@ex-Sun UK Solaris/SPARC support engineer

The support from Poland was fine, considering the pitiful access they had to Sun hardware. They had some good brains out there with creative solutions to problems.

Sun's demise was an example of the triumph of marketing over product quality. it's a bit ironic that another marketing driven company* bought them and heartening that the marketing company have finally realised that they have a have high quality products to sell.

*I will grudgingly admit that they gradually turned a technically inferior database into something that was at least rock solid.

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Chunky Swedish ice maiden: Volvo XC60 D4 Manual EE Lux Nav

Jan 0
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Clarification please

"Peter Horbury was in charge of design, but he’s since been kicked upstairs to run design for Volvo’s Chinese parent Geely’s" <what>? What's the missing word or phrase? Bus Division? Wallpaper Department? Motorcycles? (Ok, I know that Geely doesn't make wallpaper.)

Also, who needs front (or rear) sensors? Haven't impact resistant bumpers been mandatory all over the world since the 1970s? When parking, my senses tell me when I've touched the car (or bollard/wall) in front/behind. I don't want to know when I'm near them, because to park in a restricted space I need to use all of it.

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Snowden SLAMS iPhone, claims 'special software' tracks users

Jan 0
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Maybe it's because he can't afford a smartphone.

Is Snowden doing any paid work in Russia or just getting by with a little help from friends?

He's done a great job for us all, but how's he earning a crust nowadays? Russian minimum wage is only 5,554 Rubles pcm, which is about 77 Euros - that won't leave a lot of disposable income for shiny toys.

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SCREW you, GLASSHOLES! Microsoft unveils HoloLens

Jan 0
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Holographic?

This article doesn't give the slightest hint about how these might be holographic. It seems that Microsoft doesn't either. Can the user really focus at different depths in a 3-D image, or is this just another stereoscopic display? Holography captures a whole light field, does this display generate a light field?

The shape is nice and reminds me of my Casco Speedster, but I don't think I'd like too much augmentation when I'm out on the treadly.

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FERTILISER DOOM warning! PESKY humans set to WIPE selves out AGAIN

Jan 0
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Re: There is plenty of both.... we just have to get over the..

Re: "nitrogen laundering".

At least it helps to maintain nitrogen levels in the soil, so there doesn't need to be as much nitrogen fixing going on.

Animals don't fix nitrogen, neither do they return more than a small fraction to the atmosphere. (Plenty to chew on here: http://www.bmb.leeds.ac.uk/illingworth/bioc1010/ )

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Jan 0
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Boffin

Re: There is plenty of both.... we just have to get over the..

You're right that we don't effectively recycle nightsoil. In typical sewage treatment we allow a succession of aerobic microbes to convert all the nitrogenous compounds into elemental nitrogen that is lost into the atmosphere. Pure water comes out of our predominantly aerobic sewage treatment plants, separated from 'sewage sludge' that contains a variety of simple minerals, minus the nitrogen. Sewage sludge may get sprayed on fields to replace other plant nutrients including phosphorus, but it doesn't contribute nitrogen. Unfortunately it tends to contain toxic chemicals, particularly 'heavy metals', because we put more than shit and piss in our sewers. Unsurprisingly farmers, and their advisors, are reluctant to use sewage sludge.

In an ideal world we'd collect shit and piss separately and treat it in a way that killed all the pathogens*, then spray it on our fields with the nitrogenous compounds intact. However, soil microbes would still release some of the nitrogen before our crops could use it. So we'd still need to use the Haber process (invented pre-1914). Of course, we could ditch agriculture and go back to a sustainable population of hunter gatherers. That's probably about 10 million people:) If we want to keep feeding the current, growing population, in a habitable world, we need to discover how to manufacture synthetic food, without using biological organisms. That's because we're not maufacturing any more land for agriculture. Maybe we could get the energy input well below 10:1 for food calories.

*AFAIK I've only caught Ascaris lumbricoides from nightsoil. YMMV^H^H^Hour infection might be worse.

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REGARD our TINY but POWERFUL LASER, suitable for very SMALL sharks

Jan 0
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Re: The Meme is dead....

Nah, now we can have Paramecia or Spirochaetes with with frickin' lasers!

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Fujitsu: Slide your fingertip through our ring piece and show mice the finger

Jan 0
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Make Fujitsu Engineers weep!

Somebody send a Leap Motion to Fujitsu.

Let them use all their fingers. Besides, this looks as if it's made of Christmas cracker plastic.

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SpaceX in ROCKET HOVERSHIP PRANG: 'Close – but no cigar,' says Musk

Jan 0
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Re: Parachutes... No, other end.

Unfortunately the engines are the heavy bit, the rest of the stage is a float. Only a rigid flotation ring* would keep a top heavy tube safely dry in a heavy swell. In effect, you'd need to take the barge into space.

* Well the floats could be inflatable, but they'd need a very wide rigid frame to hold them well away from the first stage.

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Comet Lovejoy's greenish glow visible with naked eye this weekend

Jan 0
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Which way does the tail point?

When I were a lad ('60s), we were told that comet tails pointed towards the sun, because that's the side that's heated so stuff boils off in the direction of the sun. Nowadays the opposite seems to be true. Did we have a different kind of comet back then?

The good news with this one is that it's going to be brightening until the end of January. I think we may get a clear sky on at least one night before then. Londoners might need to travel a bit more than 62 miles, but Romney Marsh or, Kelling Heath/Weybourne aren't too far away.

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French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week

Jan 0
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Google?

If Google is funding the print run (and distribution?) where are the sales recepts going? To the families of the deceased, I hope.

As an aside, I'm annoyed with the French police for killing the brothers. I wanted to see them tranquillised or tasered, put in court and given life sentences, rather than being martyred.

Je suis Charlie.

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Eight pocket-pleasing USB 3.0 hard drives

Jan 0
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Pint

Hurrah! No irrelevant pictures!

Well done Simon Crisp. If you can do it, why can't the other elReg journalists? Keep up the good work. Have a Rökporter on me.

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BOOM! Seagate attacks storage array hardware market

Jan 0
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Enough with the unrelated pictures at the top, already!

Give it a rest. Can you guys really not find appropriate pictures?

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BILL GATES DRINKS 'boiled and treated' POO. Ah, 'delicious'

Jan 0
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At least Bill Gates only sampled one component.

Somewhere at home, I have a Food Science paper from the Cold War era that discussed the nutritional value of human faeces as a food substitute. The authors autoclaved samples and tasted them. Mind you, they were so appalled at the prospect that instead of autoclaving the samples at 15 psi for 15 minutes (which guarantees sterility) they autoclaved them for several hours.

Coat!

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Want to shoot FIREBALLS from your wrists, SPIDER-MAN style?

Jan 0
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'Flash' cotton/paper

I see that this is actually guncotton and nitrocellulose film (or ribbon?). I used to get students to make that in 'O' level Chemistry lessons. This device looks like fun, time to break out the concentrated nitric acid, sulphuric acid, acetone and cotton wool!

Thinking further, a small gas explosion with an injection of toulene might be even fancier.

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1,000mph ROCKET CAR project dogged by beancounters

Jan 0
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Re: Fundraising

Well, now that they're accepting funding from Swiss and Indian companies, the project seems a lot less British and a lot more international. As a British subject, I feel less inclined to contribute. Also, as Mystic MegaByte points out, this is hardly a worthy successor to Bluebird.

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Forget eyeballs and radar! Brits tackle GPS JAMMERS with WWII technology

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Re: eLoran, GPS jammers, Unsymmetrical Warefare ??

@tiger99

Sir, I am immensly pleased to read that British Boffinry is alive and well.

Let me buy you a mild and bitter while we sketch a few prototypes on handy beer mats.

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde: Fun, but not for all

Jan 0
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Go

Re: If you want POWER!

I once chased one down a long twisty country road, with high hedges, on my Duc'. The driver was going at a faster pace than I could have done alone, because they had such an amazing view over the hedges. The tractor unit had stunning accelaration too, hardly surprising when you consider its normal burden. However if I wanted a cage with a colossal diesel engine, I think I'd prefer the fuel consumption of a Trident Iceni. If I could afford an Iceni, I'm sure they could fit a periscope to give the view of an artic. tractor unit without the drag penalty. (http://www.tridentsportscars.com/) Dream on: Now If only an Italian company would mass produce an Iceni equivalent at a reasonable price...

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Nunslinger, Yosemite For Dummies and Life Inside The Fall

Jan 0
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Boffin

How about something "Not for Dummies"?

Is there an up to date equivalent of "Mac OS X for Unix Geeks"?

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Jan 0
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Now I never need to look at the home page again!

> "we continue to offer this view: http://www.theregister.co.uk/Week/"

Wow, I'd never explored that link before, now there's no turning back, although I'd still like you to turn down the whiteness.

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

Jan 0
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Re: " run by Serco, with IT outsourced to Capgemini, Amore Group Attenda, BT and Vodafone"

They make sure that you attend and share the love. Perhaps they organise the Christmas party?

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Jan 0
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Re: ACME MIRRORS INC

You could cover your vehicle with corner reflectors. Nonetheless, you'd still have the same problem that the Ponce's laser has. One spot of sea spray or seagull poo on the front of the optics and it all goes pop. How can you keep them dirt free? This looks like a fair weather weapon to me.

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Virgin Media's ad fibs EXPOSED by bitter rival BT

Jan 0
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Re: The only good thing about BT is....

> "That I don't get bombarded (well weekly) with junk mail addressed to 'the householder' from VM & Sky trying to persuade me to sign up to their frankly hideously expensive crap."

Well, part of the hideous expense is the proportion of the subscription that is spent on raining envelopes through the rest of the population's letterboxes. Suppose we could, magically, all push them through Richard Branson's letterbox at the same time and watch his house explode. I'm pleased to say that I don't get junk mail from Sky, does that mean that they respect the Mailing Preference Service list?

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SCIENCE LAB TERROR: MYSTERY of the MISSING BRAINS

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Re: Don't loose your head

>"the students tended to target the mascots"

I remember mascot raids in the 1960s: The dinosaur at Brunel, the micrometer at Imperial. Does this still happen nowadays?

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