* Posts by Jan 0

525 posts • joined 14 Dec 2009

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Boffins go to FUNGI town: Riddle of 100-year-old HAIRY, ICY dead wood finally cracked

Jan 0
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Re: Next ...

@Mark 85

I think you've forgotten that "cream' is also a generic term.

After all we've creamed our jeans , used shaving cream or applied Baby Bottom Cream(\tm), haven't we, without involving any dairy ingredients?

I'm partial to many kinds of ice cream, but the best vanilla ice cream in the UK has to be Swedish Glacé and Booja Booja cashew based ice cream knocks spots off most commercial dairy ice creams. I've also been surprised to eat stunning non dairy ice creams in Sicilian ice cream parlours! I'm prepared to eat any good ice cream whatever its basic ingredients, so long as it tastes good and has the right mouth feel.

As to the idea of using fungal ingredients rather than alginates to prevent large crystals forming, I say STOP! As a kid I used to love the way that fragile hexagonal slivers of ice would nestle in ice cream. Please bring them back!

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Pluto revealed as KING of the Kuiper belt

Jan 0
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Re: No persuasion possible

I applaud LaeMing's comment: I grew up with Australia as a large island. Nowadays it pretends to be a continent, but it's still the same Australia. Hurrah for Pluto, hurrah for Australia, long may you prosper!

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Blighty's BONKERS BANKING BONKING BONANZA: Apple Pay arrives

Jan 0
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Re: Gone are the days of searching for your wallet

What we really need is one card to act as a proxy for the array of cards we (may) currently carry.

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Cell division: The engine of life – and of CANCER. Now some of its secrets are revealed

Jan 0
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Boffin

Re: "We all start out as just one cell"

Rich 11 asks: "Is there anything that could be said to be "us" before the zygote is formed?"

I'm sure, that if you were a gamete and you had the power of speech, then you would talk about "us" (gametes).

BTW, given that 'zygotes' looks like a word with a greek root, do pedants rhyme it with 'Headcoatees'?

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The Great Barrier Relief – Inside London's heavy metal and concrete defence act

Jan 0
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Boffin

Manual operation?

I'm intrigued by these sentences:

"The barrier's gates rely on a simple system of industrial plant with multiple levels of redundancy. In a nightmare scenario of lost power and computers, it is possible to operate the gates manually out on the barrier."

and

"One last thing to see: down and into a narrow side chamber housing a single piece of gear that looks like a piece of massive drill: an 11-foot screw shaft black with grease and with a series of levers at one end. .... In the event of a total hydraulic failure, operators could also use this to lift the gate from the water."

This suggests that the crew^H^H^H^Hstaff could manually turn the screw shaft, presumably with a giant capstan, to quell the flood. If so, just how many puny humans are needed to open or close each gate?

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From doodles to designs – sketch it out with a stylish stylus

Jan 0
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Re: They're All Shit

Well, yes. They're all shit because they ignore the great achievement of modern pointing devices: moving the pointing device away from the display, so that your hand doesn't obscure the image. Just because artists can draw or paint directly on a surface doesn't mean that that's the ideal way to do it. The ideal way would be to do it entirely by thought, but taking a little time to learn to offset your hand movements is a useful skill that most people do, albeit a little clumsily, whenever they use a computer mouse in a WIMP context. A stylus on a dedicated sensor surface is much better for controlling fine movements in two dimensions. The dedicated sensor surface can be tailored to give an appropriate feel* to the interface without compromising it's transparency (because it doesn't need to be transparent:).

*coefficient of friction, rigidity, etc.

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Microsoft emits Office 2016 for Apple Macs (you'll need Office 365)

Jan 0
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Rare time?

> "A launch for Office 2016 on OS X is a rare time in which Apple users will get first crack at a new Microsoft suite. The Windows version of Office 2016 is not expected to arrive until later this year."

Rare? I thought Microsoft Office on Macs is traditionally released a year or more ahead of Office for Windows. However, the two versions have been confusingly dirfferent. Is there any chance that the Mac and Windows GUIs will look similar this time?

Sigh, I don't know why I'm bothering about this. Really I'm still waiting for a a fully debugged Word 5.1 for Mac OS X (frankly, 4.2 would be more than enough). Why do I need more bloat?

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FLICK my FLINT and SNIFF my TREE on the streets of Naples

Jan 0
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Re: Online retailers

@Terry 6: somehow I don't think you buy much stuff online. Normality != Sanity

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Jan 0
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SItes

Hmm, so you didn't like Naples? If you'd visited Herculaneum you'd realise that modern Napoli is just an endlessly repatched antique city, with the new merging imperceptibly with the old. Notice how many of the roads are constructed from the same stone squares as the 2000 year old ones! You also have to gawp in amazement at the autostrada on stilts that lurks high above the tower blocks, but don't gawp too long as you may find yourself run down by a funeral carriage that seems to be about 300 years too late for the funeral. If you want to feel truly alive, try plunging into the traffic on a nippy motorbike. Oh, did you also notice that it's still possible to buy a real pizza there? A circle of dough with just the minimum of topping to enrapture your mouth.

Naples always makes me go wow! Visiting Naples is like being in a pacy thriller.

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Apple to replace DODGY hard drives that go BELLY UP in 27-inch iMac

Jan 0
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Re: 40GB FC drives affected as well

Whoa, $1,200 for 40 GG FC drives, is the antiques market that bullish? I have some 450 GB FC drives that are pretty long in the tooth, but when were 40 GB FC drives last sold?

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Oculus Rift noggin-bucket ... heyyy, errr ... have we all got them on already?

Jan 0
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Re: So have they fixed the problems yet?

The delays might be the killer, but this article doesn't have anything to say about resolution - which has been underwhelming so far. I find the low resolution far more irritating than the delays.

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Jurassic Part: Vertu announces lizard-skin phones

Jan 0
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@Ru'

If you think that pillows need to be soft, I suggest that you need to watch "Seven Samurai".

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In tech? You’ll want to be in London for Interop in June

Jan 0
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Wow! The Legend arrives in the UK?

Back in the '90s Interop and CeBit were the dream exhibitions, needing days to attend, that I always wanted to go to. Is Interop still cutting edge, or is it just more corporate bollocks like IP Expo?

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Sorry we called you a fatty, say Kiwi spies to Kim 'Slim Jim' Dotcom

Jan 0
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Delusional?

What does he see when he looks in a mirror?

Is he the antithesis of anorexia? (Totally unaware of his true size.)

Does he see himself as a healthy human being?

No matter how noxious the NZ spies may be, how is it inappropriate to call a morbidly obese individual a fatty?

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

Jan 0
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It's not just the Pacific!

Right now EU MPs and MEPs are plotting to foist TTIP on the EU. Today Veolia is only suing the Egyptian government for changing a national law, tomorrow it could be your government. Suddenly "The Syndic" is getting less fictional.

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

Jan 0
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Re: As the old saying goes...

> "and baths - oh come on. My bath, and I'd guess a lot of reader's baths have a hole at the bottom and one or two taps (single or mixer). The only wire in sight? The required earth wire..."

No wires? How do you stop your bath overfilling while you go and make breakfast? Does your mixer tap fill your bath at exactly the temperature you enjoy? Aren't we all geeks or boffins here?

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What an eyeful: Apple's cut price 27in iMac with Retina Display

Jan 0
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Wot, no 5k Thunderbolt Display yet?

A tad bigger than 27" as well, to really float my boat!

Chad.

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Your CAR is the 'ultimate mobile device', reckons Apple COO

Jan 0
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Boffin

Car?

Isn't your bicycle the ultimate mobile device?

You don't need to tax it, fuel it, charge it or wind it up.

You can fix it yourself, or get anyone you want to fix it. You can replace all the parts using components from any manufacturer you choose (including washing manufacturers if your Graeme Obree), or make them yourself with basic machine tools.

You can take it as normal baggage on a 'plane or pedal it from Lisboa to Lavrentia if the fancy takes you.

What could be better?

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Adjustments will be needed to manage the Macs piling up in your business

Jan 0
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Casper

Why's nobody mentioning Casper?

Take a look at JAMFsoftware.

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Mad Max: Fury Road – two hours of nonstop, utterly insane fantasy action

Jan 0
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Re: Insane waste?

Excuse me, s/co-worker/cow-orker/

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

Jan 0
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Re: Transitional period

> "Power steering - if that fails, you're back to heavy steering of old but still maintain control."

Sorry, no. Most old cars had light steering. Lorries gave you big biceps, but cars could be steered with a light touch. For example, when the power steering on my Panda fails, it makes my Series II Landrover feel agile.

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Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

Jan 0
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Re: Dust accumulating

> Is there any truth to the idea that fast flowing air can cause enough static to fry components?

Maybe. I used to have a powerful LG vacuum cleaner. When I held the steel suction tube and hoovered the polypropylene carpet, I could shoot half inch sparks from my knuckles to the radiators. (Ouch). However, it's replacement (an aluminium tube Dyson) never did the same. Perhaps there's an earth path in the Dyson. I know that just walking over synthetic carpets, with the wrong shoes, can have a similar effect, but I've never seen sparks that big without an LG in my hand.

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Debian ships new 'Jessie' release with systemd AND sysvinit

Jan 0
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Boffin

Re: "needrestart"??

@TuxIsOnFire

You must be one of those whippersnappers who's never patched a running kernel!

Nowadays you can do it with ksplice/kpatch, we greybeards just used a debugger, for example adb* with a SunOS kernel.

*adb - the one started by Stephen Bourne, not the TLA now recycled by Android.

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US Navy robot war-jet refuels in air: But Mav and Iceman are going down fighting

Jan 0
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Aircraft carrier?

Just how long will an aircraft carrier survive in a automated war?

Large warships are already vulnerable to attack by small boats.

What chance will they have against swarms of high speed autonomous surface or submarine craft?

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Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

Jan 0
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Re: Re the record players.

Somewhere in my singles store I've got a 9" single (from Nine Inch Nails, of course) that would fool it. I've only got a few 12" singles that are 33 rpm.

I'm fairly sure I've got an 8" 45 as well, but I really can't summon the energy to go on a dedicated search at this hour*.

Anyway, I jealously salute your Dansette!

* I'd like an automated disc library that would pop out and return any 7, 8, 9, 10 or 12 inch record and index them using OCR. Bonus if it could handle flexi-singles and handle the record sleeves!

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Tortilla de patatas

Jan 0
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Re: Yum!

Well actually "x 7", Re: "Victorian spelling"

There's nothing Victorian about the long 's'.

I learned to write them when I copied from Arrighi's 1524 "La Operina" ("da imparare di scriuere littera cancellarescha") in the V & A as a schoolboy. Wikipedia suggests that they originate with the Romans.

Mind you, it seems that Vincent Ballard used an 'f' with a full crossbar rather than an "ſ" (HTML not working for me in preview). (If used, the crossbar should not protrude on the right hand side of the riser.)

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Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

Jan 0
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Suddenly I see why el Reg doesn't think it needs a subscription model

I'd always thought that el Reg readers were like me. They'd have el Reg bookmarked and visit it when they had some spare time, or needed to search it directy. However, this article says: "At The Register, looking over the past 30 days, Google brought in about 47 per cent of our readers, with Google News making up a further 12 per cent; more than half, in other words." If 59% arrive from Google, presumably a lot of other traffic comes indirectly too.

Gone is the hope of a truly advertisement free el Reg by subscription. We regulars truly can't be that important. The fact that we use ad. blockers is doubly unimportant. The Google driven masses don't know about blockers.

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'Chinese hackers' were sniffing SE Asian drawers for YEARS

Jan 0
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Pint

Nice inuendo!

Thank you, you lovely el Reg subs.

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IBM claims new areal density record with 220TB tape tech

Jan 0
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15 years?

Why do we have to wait for 15 years from demonstration to product? Instead of tinkering away and producing tiny improvements in mass manufacture, why not concentrate on introducing LTO12 in 2 or 3 years time? I want a 220TB tape cartridge and I want it now! Is everything held back by marketing departments? How about a drive using 8 x 16 Gb/s heads to fill the tape in about 2 hours? Many of us could go back to feeding the drive every day instead of using a tape library. Even better, let's have a longer tape in a bigger cartridge, which we change weekly or monthly.

To put it another way, what makes "Moore's law" perform so badly?

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Netflix fail proves copper NBN leaves Australia utterly 4Ked

Jan 0
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Flame

3D TV

Errm, it's not lack of content that killed 3D TV. It's cheesy content, clumsy eyewear, headaches and stereo != 3D.

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Drill, baby, drill: HIDDEN glaciers ON MARS hold 150bn cubic metres of precious frozen WATER

Jan 0
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Pint

I want to be self-sufficient amanfrommars2!

Spirit has already discovered high purity silica. I see a future for agriculture in locally made glass houses on Mars. The carbon dioxide atmosphere should keep the plants happy. The ambient pressure in the glass houses would need to be boosted with argon and nitrogen from the atmosphere. Glass houses will have the advantage of absorbing ultraviolet light before it kills the plants. The lack of atmosphere means that a similar amount of solar energy would be available, to the plants, as is available at our surface. Plenty of solar energy to bootstrap the production of silicon substrate for photovoltaic panels too. Solar furnaces ...

Hey, I've got my bag of seeds, where do I sign up? Beer, from Martian barley, of course.

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

Jan 0
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Coat

Re: I'm a slob...

Carpet Zamboni? Well, Zamboni was famous for his pile*.

*an extra high tension battery. I first came upon one in a WWII, Government Surplus, Image Intensifier.

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Jan 0
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Freeview

> Just as the extra HD channels on Freeview are intended to encourage take-up of kit that has T2 and H.264, eventually allowing the DVB-T and MPEG2 muxes to be converted or switched off in the name of efficiency.

C'mon Elgato, how long are we going to wait before you bring out a DVB-T2 tuner??? JFDI!

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Nuclear waste spill: How a pro-organic push sparked $240m blunder

Jan 0
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Mushroom

Re: Wood Flour explosions

Oh noes! Now we'll all be arrested for carrying plans for making fuel/air exposives in our brains.

With a little more carelessness you could have blown up the house in the same way that many flour mills have been self demolished.

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Jan 0
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Re: Why not organic kitty litter?

> "Organic cat litter I get can be flushed down the loo"

> The local sewerage people absolutely HATE people who do that.

> Seriously, if you can put it in a bin then do so.

It seems that organic cat litter is equivalent to powerline ethernet. Just say no!

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Jan 0
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Mushroom

Re: Why not organic kitty litter?

JetSetJim typed > Organic cat litter I get can be flushed down the loo

Can some cat* lover explain to us all why they don't fit pet karzies in their houses? Why not cut out the middleman^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hcat litter and go directly into the sewerage?

*also apples to dog lovers. Why interpose a pavement beween the dog's arse and the drains?

Flame, for obvious reasons.

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Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015

Jan 0
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Re: Apple Macbooks are basically pointless to steal.

> However there are no third party upgrades as of yet.

Curious - I must have dreamed that I installed 1 TB of storage in my 11" Air. Do you mean that I have to give up my other dream of putting new batteries in it?

To be fair, I know of no simple way to add memory or upgrade the CPU, let alone improve the graphics processor. So the answer is to buy an AIr with maximum memory and best CPU power in the first place. Let's face it, we've long left those heady times when CPU speeds leapt ahead every year. I expect I'll be able to install 2 or more TB of storage next year.

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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

Jan 0
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Coat

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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