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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1157 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Mars rover stalks mystery space alien object

Dr. Mouse
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Martians, beware!

"NASA now plans to despatch a new, much larger - Humvee sized - nuclear powered rover"

So they are going to crash a large, nuke-powered 'bot onto Mars. Up to now, the Martians have been getting on with their lives in their underground cities, but they may take offence to us chucking a lump of unstable, radioactive material at their home. They may see it as an attack, and despatch their fleet (carefully hidden until now) to wipe out their unfriendly neighbours.

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UK border control can't count

Dr. Mouse
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Couple of points...

@Steve 18

"Unfortunately, since there are an infinite number of real numbers between every positive integer, 6 and 147 are infinitely far apart."

Yes, but as there is an infinity quantity of real numbers between 0 and 6, and an infinite number of real numbers between 0 an 147, they must be the same number! :P

@Chris Thomas Alpha

"What should we give your score for not realising that 6+140=146 whereas in the article, you state 147"

He was saying it would be great IF the figure was within 140. It isn't, so it's not great.

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EU court rules 11-word snippets can violate copyright

Dr. Mouse
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FAIL

Must agree here...

AP is stupid and greedy. This news aggregator service probably makes them money. It is free advertising.

News aggregator scans in their paper, searches the content for keywords, and send a snippet of only 11 words to their client, along with WHERE IT WAS FROM.

Now, what REAL news article will make sense from only 11 words? So the client must go out and buy the paper to read the article.

The only way the paper could loose money from this is if the client would otherwise buy the paper every day and read through for articles of interest. But it will make more money than it looses, so it is being a money grabbing ingrate by doing this, and I am very tempted to take an 11-word snippet from one of their newspapers every day and post it on my website, just for shits and giggles. Or maybe on FB, or in El Reg's comments.

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McKinnon lawyers vow to take fight to US Supremes

Dr. Mouse
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Please

I have asked this before and would really like to understand the answer:

Why is he being extradited?

McKinnon was in the UK when the (alleged) offense took place. He did not travel to the US. "Hacking" is an offense in this country (quotes for obvious reasons). Therefore he committed an offense in this country. So why is he being extradited, when the "crime" was committed here?

Where is the line drawn? I really do fail to understand. Maybe I am just being stupid, but if he can be extradited for this, does that mean we all have to make sure that everything we do on the 'net is legal in every country in the world, just in case the server we are connecting to is based in a country where what we are doing may be illegal? Or is it just American laws we need to learn, as they have taken on the role of judge, jury and executioner for the entire planet?

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McKinnon loses judicial review

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

Free McKinnon...

... with every purchase of a Happy Meal!

Sorry, just popped into my head.

On a serious note, I really don't get it. He committed an offense in this country. He was not in the US. Why is he being extradited?

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Small biz warns on contractor law

Dr. Mouse
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@Chris W

"nobody would even consider getting out of bed for 5 quid an hour"

Actually, I think you will find that many people do. In fact, many people have no choice. It works out as more than you get on the dole, and especially if you have a family to support, what choice is there? £200/wk is better than nothing, in the end. You will find that many honest, hard working people will accept whatever work they can just to give the best possible life to their family, even when they know it is barely worth the effort.

Personally, I would have to be quite desperate to accept such a job, but I would do it rather than live on the dole for too long.

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Scotch lovers asked to cough up £10,000 per bottle

Dr. Mouse
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Wish I could afford it!

A bar at my university got in a bottle of 40-year-old Scotch. Me and a couple of mates went down to have a wee dram, and it was one of the loveliest drinks I have ever tasted.

However we were quite fortunate. Although he was only selling it at cost, it was still very expensive (I have no idea what the price, not £50 a shot of course but expensive), but the stupid barmaid didnt realise it was any different to the normal stuff. Hence we got it for normal price, about £1.50.

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Windows 7 Ultimate product activation hacked?

Dr. Mouse
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DRM/WGA etc.

Lets face it, all copy protection will be compromised eventually. Just like all encryption algorithms. In fact everything will be found to have some exploitable flaw sooner or later.

In the end all these 'features' do is piss off the paying customers. Take, for example, games which refuse to work unless you have the disc in the drive. Why? I have paid for the game, and I don't want to have to hunt for the DVD every time I play it. I have plenty of HDD space, everything is installed anyway. Hence, even if I have paid for a game, I will download the no-cd crack. If I am doing that, why not just download the game?

The more DRM shite they bundle on software, the less likely I am to buy it. Hence they would probably make MORE money if they just didnt bother.

When you add to this that MS is known to, indirectly, make more money from pirate software than it looses (by maintaining it's "monopoly" instead of causing those who cant afford / don't want to pay move to alternative OS's), I could see MS actually releasing cracks themselves.

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BIND crash bug prompts urgent update call

Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

Why?!

"BIND is used on a great majority of DNS servers on the Internet. DNS maps between easy-to-remember domain names, understood by humans, and their corresponding numerical IP addresses, needed by computers. Simply put, the system can be compared to a phone book for the internet."

Hang on... aren't the people who read this site supposed to be technically literate?

Surely you do not need to explain a fundamental technology as if we were Daily Mail readers.

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Cameron condemns Tweeters as tw*ts

Dr. Mouse
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@ Dibbles

"... the problem is that while Twitter has a remarkably low penetration ..."

You owe me a new keyboard!

All this talk about twats on twitter, and you HAD to mention penetration!

(TBH Considering the average twitterer, I would say the comment is correct)

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Oz Firewall still standing after inconclusive filter trial

Dr. Mouse
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Typical

This was obviiously a trial of technical feasability. They have proven it is possible. They don't care about the rest, they just wanted to know if they COULD put a filter in place, so now they will do so.

And, yes, they will build the goal posts around the results.

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Swedish lesbians suck sperm banks dry

Dr. Mouse
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@Will 22

"This isn't about enlightenment, it's about basic fucking biology. If you don't pack the gear (borrowing a line from Full Metal Jacket) to make a baby then you shouldn't have one. My point of view isn't based on any weird religious grounds but simple logic. Two guys can't make a baby, nor can two women so they have no business obtaining one using methods which, let's face it, were set up to assist infertile heterosexual couples."

Erm, on these grounds surely "infertile heterosexual couples" also "don't pack the gear... to make a baby". I am not expressing an opinion either way here, but your argument falls flat on it's face.

Back into the spirit of the discussion, if any Swedish lesbians out there need 'assistance', I'd be happy to oblige. I have plenty going spare, and I will accept cash for a simple donation of fluid, or else we can go the traditional route and I will provide the service for free.

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NZ nude mum snap auction a hoax

Dr. Mouse
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FAIL

I like it

It's a fairly good stunt IMHO, and if it had been applied to advertising something, I reckon the campaign would be a hit.

HOWEVER: if you are going to lie in an advert, you need to not get caught. He got caught. FAIL

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IT workers grumble about lack of career path

Dr. Mouse
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My 2p

The problem is that a promotion normally involves being 'in charge' of a team. I certainly don't want that. I am not a manager, and likely never will be.

From what I have seen, the only real way to get a promotion from a technical role is to be bad at your job. Good engineers/programmers etc. are kept doing the job they are good at. Those who are crap at their job are promoted to management.

As has been stated previously, the main career path open to skilled techies is to move to another company, or to threaten to do so to your current employer (if you are valued enough), which gets you a better salary but no real career advancement.

In short, techinical roles are not a career, they are a job, just like shelf-stackers in Tesco. Work through the week, party at the weekend, and always keep your eye out for a better [paid] job.

Suits me fine, but then I work to live, not live to work, and the main things that differentiate a good job from a bad for me are the pay packet and how much your boss/colleagues/others within the co appreciate the work you are doing (I know it's not much, but a pat on the head every now and again, maybe a bonus or pay rise, do actually make a big difference to me)

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Opera slams Microsoft's Windows 7 E move - again

Dr. Mouse
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Ha!

OK, these may already have been addressed but I got bored with reading all the comments so I'll just add my own 2p

The point about this is not about bundling a browser. It is about abuse of monopoly. This one is aimed at all those who say "It's MS's OS, they can bundle what they want."

This IS abuse of their dominant position. Imagine if MS decided to bundle Office with windows. The majority wouldnt even look at another product, they would just use whats bundled, hence killing the competition.

Similarly, think of Windows Media Player. Because this is bundled with the OS, most people don't bother looking at better alternatives, they just use what's there. This artificially inflates their market share, and makes it harder for people to compete in this market.

Those who say "Well Linux bundles browsers", well yes they do. Actually, this just proves the point, they bundle BROWSERS, plural. And you can easily remove them and install something different if you wish. However, even if they did only provide a single browser, they do not have a "monopoly" (the quotes are there because it isnt really a monopoly, but it is a very dominant position which puts it on the same footing) so their actions are not anti-competitive.

"With great power comes great responsibility". When a company has such a dominant position in one area of a market, it cannot be allowed to (ab)use that position. For all those pointing out the car analogy, imagine there was one car mfr who had a 99% share of the market, who went into the oil business and started setting up their own petrol stations, giving away the petrol to owners of their cars. This would force all other petrol co's out of business, at which point this car co would have a monopoly on petrol aswell. Although at the start, people would praise the co for giving away petrol, once the monopoly was established and they started charging what they want, what do we do then?

You have to think long term, and the EU here is just sticking up for us, as it should. MS just threw their rattle out of the pram in what they did, but I am sure that anywhere they sell Win7E they will just start giving away CD's containing a browser, or a few browsers. Theres no problem here, and those who are whinging should seriously look at the facts and THINK (If they are even capable of this, which judging by their comments is unlikely)

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Would you leave your child alone with a cabinet minister?

Dr. Mouse
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Clarification

This legislation seems (as was stated in a precious quote) quite vague. Is this aimed at those who are working with children, or those who have regular contact with children (or vulnerable adults).

Let me explain in terms of an example. Say I am a member of an amateur dramatics society, which puts on a Pantomime once a year. The rehearsals go on for 3-6 months, and children are involved. Now, none of the adult members are "working" with children, but all have regular contact with them. So would all the members of the society have to be vetted? Or just the committee? Possibly only the MD/Producer etc? Where is the line drawn?

I am sure this applies to many similar situations where a group of mainly adults includes children in their activities. I see them as important to the children involved, as it teaches them how adults interact and prepares them for life. If this legislation required all members to be vetted, you would see a dramatic decline in this sort of interaction, to the detriment of the children involved.

Now I am involved with an AmDram group, and if the legislation means I have to be 'vetted' I will not be involved in these performances again. I may have nothing to hide, but I have everything to fear.

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Government defeats Tories in 'McKinnon' extradition vote

Dr. Mouse
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I really don't get this case

He was in the UK. Hence he is subject to UK law. Hence he should be tried in the UK under UK law. Simple.

In the hypothetical case where, say, a UK citizen posts a bomb from the UK to the US, and this explodes and kills people, once again he has committed said offense in the UK, broken UK law and should be dealt with in the UK.

As soon as you allow this sort of thing, how can anyone be sure of which law they should be following? You could, say, post a comment on a forum which is perfectly legal in this country, but because the server is hosted in the US you are extradited and imprisoned (I know this is at least bordering on reductio ad absurdum, if not already there)

This smacks of the US govt's oppinion that it is the judge and jury for the entire world. How accurate the title of the 2004 film written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Our govt SHOULD stand up to them, but then do we really expect them to look out for their citizens interests anymore?

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Phone hack obsession obscures NotW privacy scandal

Dr. Mouse
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Joke

@AC 12:02

There's nothing wrong with databases! You must be a pussy if you're afraid of a database! "Run away, run away, the databases are coming!" Pussy!

....

Oof! Sorry about that, I Kempf'ed out for a minute there... That was a weird sensation, I even thought I could feel a penis growing out of my forehead for a moment...

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Cats mix baby 'cry' with purr to score dinner

Dr. Mouse
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FAIL

Simples

Wow, cats find a noise which makes ppl feed them... come on guys what is the point of this "research"?

Incidentally, my rats take a different approach. They start by climbing to the top of the cage and staring at me. If that doesnt work they start pushing the food bowl around. If that doesnt work, they start making as much noise as possible, distracting me from watching TV untill I get so ****ed off I feed em.

After which they hide all the food in their "house", then start the staring again, as if I dont realise where it's all gone. Well, at least they used to before I caught on.

Animals simply learn the best way to get what they want. All animals are the same, it's simple, and this research doesnt merit a story.

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Whining serial commentard bemoans Reg bullying

Dr. Mouse
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Godwin's Law in action

And only 5 comments in. Impressive!

"I would like to officially end this thread by noting the similarity of the aforementioned flamer with the title of a work by a mister A. Hitler from 1925."

Back on topic, Mr. Kempf: If you can't take it, don't give it!

I will add my request to the others for his contact details, so we can further extract the urine without clogging up el Reg's database.... I mean comments section.

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KIlling ID cards and the NIR - the Tory and LibDem plans

Dr. Mouse
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Too right!

I have never understood why even a national identity card would "need" such an intrusive database.

An ID card (or passport) should contain all information required to verify the bearers identity. The only thing which could be added to that is (as stated by "The Original Ash" above) a hash of (some of?) that data held centrally to verify that the card has not been forged.

They could get a lot more support for a NID programme if they did this, plus one other part for the convenience of the holder: User defined data areas.

What I mean is this: The card has additional data areas which can be used by other organisations. For example, a membership number for a club, or your bank card details, even 'electronic cash'. Even a phonebook, if you wanted... the point being that ANYONE can store small amounts of data on the card (with your permission).

Now obviously this presents some security issues, and I havent thought this through fully, but the idea is simple (and I can't understand why NuLab havent pitched it to get people on board): If you want to get more people on board, give them something that will make their lives easier. The convenience of these additional features, added to the assurance that only a hash of your private data is held, would probably win over the vast majority of people, and would still be a great help to law enforcement, imigration, and anyone else who needed to verify someone's identity.

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Prof: People reject news which conflicts with beliefs

Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Down

Quote

"Presumably this research has only a one-third chance of being accepted by people who consider the population - and by extension themselves - to be generally open-minded."

This made me chuckle.

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Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Up

My above comment

Should have had the <- thumbs up icon not thumbs down.

Sorry, I'm having a "special" day today...

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Apple races developer to censor smut

Dr. Mouse
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Am I the only one...

who read this:

"Human nipples, when attached to female bodies, are clearly pornographic"

and got an image in his head of people stapling human nipples all over their body, or wearing them as earings?

Yes?

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ISPs vs BBC iPlayer: Missing the point?

Dr. Mouse
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Sorry but...

I pay my ISP (Be, incidentally, and I agree with Tom15 they dont complain over the HUGE amounts of data I transfer, normally filling the 18up/1.3down link) for a pipe to the internet.

They tell me it is an unlimitted pipe (somthing I have issue with, especially as since IWF came into play it is untrue for the vast majority of ISPs), so I download what I want.

They then complain I am downloading too much, as are other people.

Me: "Hang on, you told me it was Unlimitted"

ISP: "Yeah, but your DLing too much, its costing us too much, and we arent making enough money"

Me: "Tough s**t! You should have thought of that earlier!"

Simple.

If you got a contractor in to do some repairs on your house, got a quote, he started then told you he needed to charge more because the materials cost more than he thought, what would you say?*

All in all, it's the ISPs who need to sort it out, not the 'content providers'.

* I know they do this regularly, and I know a lot of people accept it (which is WHY they do it), but think on the principal...

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Panasonic patches cameras to block rivals' batteries

Dr. Mouse
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This is gonna **** ppl off

People who already have these cameras, and already have 3rd party batteries, will install the update and find these no longer work. This will cause problems.

If safety WAS the only thing they were concerned with, surely a pop-up message saying "WARNING: This is a non-panasonic battery. Use at your own risk" or similar would do a better job. It would scare off many people and yet still allow those who wish to take the chance. The only reason to completely block 3rd party batteries is to make more money.

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Spanish court in favour of topless celebs

Dr. Mouse
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lazy me but...

4) BOOBIES! BOOBIES! BOOBIES!!!

BOOBIES!

I will add that if these celebs are stupid enough to take their tops off where ppl can photo them, they deserve it plastering all over the tabloids. If they dont want that to happen, keep your top on! It aint rocket science!

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El Reg commentards offered extra iconography

Dr. Mouse
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Hows about...

...a "theres too many icons to choose from" icon?

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Prof: Global windfarm could power entire human race

Dr. Mouse
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Coat

Sorry but...

"McElroy's global windfarm is going to take some time to build, as it requires the erection of massive 100m-tall turbines on every single piece of land where the load factor would be better than 20 per cent"

Huhuhuh *giggle*

He said erection!

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NASA moon-attack probe beams home first lunar shots

Dr. Mouse
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Grenade

Science, gotta love it :)

If you want to see what something is made of, grab the biggest hammer you can find and hit it... hard!

Works for small things (only the hammer is another small thing, done in a big thing - particle accellerators) so why not the moon? Crash something into it and see what happens.

Maybe my boss will let me do the same with the old P3 I am forced to use to access one specific network...

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Surveillance response 'inadequate', say Lords

Dr. Mouse
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Slight alteration

"the increasing monitoring of citizens was breaking the bond of trust between the Government and the people"

replace with

"the increasing and already overwhelmingly intrusive monitoring of citizens is further damaging the already tattered mess of any remaining trust between the Goverment and the people"

I don't think there is ANYTHING that they could do, even if they wanted to, to regain my trust. This applies equally to all parties.

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NASA takes stick over feet and inches

Dr. Mouse
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Coat

@Bassey

"When was the weights and measures act? 1969?"

I feel a song coming on...

"I got my first real six-string.

Bought it at the five-and-dime.

Played it till my fingers bled.

It was the summer of '69."

Sorry I know this isnt helpfull. Dont need a coat in this weather...

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BOFH: Stick this

Dr. Mouse
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Quality

Nicely done Simon!

Well, I guess it is a hard concept for a BOFH to understand, I can see the PFYs confusion. I mean, REWARDING the user for doing what he should? That's a sissie approach.

In this situation, the correct level of response would be to TELL the user to clear out his mailbox. If he didn't, delete it. Simple. The users must do as they are told, and they must learn this.

I think the company was careless anyway. They could be sued for the faulty fire extinguisher bracket!

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F1 waves goodbye to KERS

Dr. Mouse
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No surprise...

They screwed up with the rules on KERS.

Now, had they allowed them to implement something more akin to the hybrid tech we see on the roads, incorporating regen braking, adding power and reducing fuel consumption, it may have worked. Say, no charging the batteries from 'mains', all energy to come from the engine or regen, power limit on the motor, or maybe the ability to use whatever size motor but reduce engine size or rev limit if you choose a big motor, but apart from that do as you wish. So the car can then be tuned to take advantage of the motor for whatever they want, not as a 'turbo boost' like you get in racing games, but as a truely integrated part of the car.

Well, I for one would like to thank those involved for cocking it up and stopping such a valuable development arena from helping advance the motor industry.

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Engineers are troublesome 'expert loners', says prof

Dr. Mouse
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Got bored...

I seem to do that alot, but I got about halfway through the comments here.

I agree completely that breaking the project down into chunks for each person works best, you just tie that up a bit so everyone knows a little about everyone elses part to make it a team effort.

I will paraphrase: Those who can, do. Those who can't, manage. And to be frank, I have seen this alot: Those who are good at their jobs don't want to become managers, they want to do their job. Those who are crap at their job want to train to become managers. Not always true, but it seems to apply the majority of the time.

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School worker's Facebook post prompts suspension

Dr. Mouse
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Idiotic

Firstly, what people do and say in their own time is their business, IMHO, unless they are a public figure.

What she said may have been made 'public', but I deride my employer in the local boozer after a few beers, loud enough for people to overhear, and I do not think this should reflect on my employment status.

Secondly, as "Waggers" pointed out, "just as bad" doesn't mean they are bad, and she didnt name the school, hence it should not have brought the school into disrepute.

And last of all, in starting these procedings, they have brought it into the public eye which HAS brought the school into disrepute.

EEJITS!!

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Pirate Party wins seat in European Parliament

Dr. Mouse
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Anonymous Coward 11:24 GMT

I quite agree. There is noone running for govt who even comes close to being who I want in power. If it was possible to tick the "Vote of No Confidence" box, and it was taken into account (i.e. if enough of these are cast, noone wins) I would. But the protest vote options are limited:

a) vote for a party you dont agree with, but who is unlikely to win (e.g. Greens/BNP etc). This is idiotic in my view as it suggests you support them, and you are screwed if they actually get into power.

b) Spoil your ballot. Problem with this is it still doesnt actually count.*

c) Dont turn up. Although this tends to suggest you don't care... which I do.

I can also see a (d) of running yourself, but I would make a terrible politician. I am not a leader and wont pretend to be.

So, what can I do. a, b, and d are useless, so that leaves c: I dont turn up.

*Interestingly enough, a friend was 'used' by the Lib Dems as a 'token' candidate. He said the candidates have to all look at a spoiled ballot and agree it's spoiled. That led him to (when he lost) praise those in his speach who wrote such things (and this was a mild one) as "You can all f**k off and die for all I care".

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Acer: Android netbook to come with... Windows

Dr. Mouse
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Smacks to me of...

MS putting their (dual-)boot in, pardon the pun.

Something along the lines of "Your OEM rates may be going up soon. Now, why dont you put Windows on those netbooks and we'll see what we can do"

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Police deny targeting kids for DNA

Dr. Mouse
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Backdoor politics

This is how this govt operates, it pushes everything through the back door (and I know the conotations of this sentence... it still applies which ever way you take it... and theres another pun in that too lol)

Anyway, the police will not admit it, but the more people they arrest, the more DNA on record, the easier for them in future. As you cannot object, or else they will force you, there is not much which can be done except try to get the rules changed. Untill they are, this will continue.

Once they have enough DNA on their database, of course, they will just say: "well we have most peoples DNA, so why should we not have yours. everyone is to submit for DNA sampling immediately, or you will be arrested"

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The return of the diskless PC

Dr. Mouse
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Cheaper alternative

"the Windows O/S is a dog, and replacing the hard drive with an SSD looks to be the only practical way of turning our desktop mutt into a greyhound"

Also AC 11:42 "We know from history that whatever extra speed and resources we throw at microsoft they find a way to thrash them beyond their maximum!"

Yup both true. MS feels it is their right to consume all the resources in the PC, whether it be with their OS or their apps.

Thankfully there is a cheaper alternative to expensive SSDs: Run Linux. Even using a standard set up of Ubuntu (normally I use customised Debian-based setups) the interface is fast an responsive, whether on an old PC (K6-2 anyone?) or a new one, whether top end or bargain basement, and any extra resources you throw at it allow the apps to run better. Need a windows app? If WINE doesn't work for it, and it's amazing how many it DOES work for, and you can't find a suitable replacement Linux app, use a Windows install within KVM or Xen and you're laughing.

Of course this won'e suit everyone. Those who want to run the latest Windows games, or specific Windows apps, or similar, are tied down atm. But I reckon the majority would love it if they gave it a chance.

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Wiltshire welcomes clutch of Great Bustards

Dr. Mouse
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Paris Hilton

Dry Spell

"to see Great Bustards breeding after an absence of 177 years is brilliant"

Wow that's a LONG dry spell!

Is there any real need to explain the PH icon here?

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DARPA killer AI robots to 'participate in own construction'

Dr. Mouse
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I for one...

...welcome our heavily armoured, self-replicating-like-bunnies overloards.

Well noone had posted it yet. What happens when they find that increasing their polulation is as much fun as "mount an immediate armoured assault on Beijing, regardless of nuclear response"?

PS The prospect of the software unilaterally "trying to perform those tasks to verify functionality" scares me too.

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Wikipedia bans Church of Scientology

Dr. Mouse
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@AC

"Anyone desiring information about the Scientology religion should visit the Church web site at www.Scientology.org to form their own opinions"

So, then, if you want to learn about a "religion", you should listen only to views from that religion?

I am agnostic myself. I keep an open mind. But to gain a complete perspective you must listen to BOTH sides of a debate. Religions themselves will always paint themselves in the best possible light, and offer only views which correspond to their own agenda. It is the same with anyone trying to put forth their own argument.

I will add to this that I do not condone what WP have done. It is censorship, censorship is baaad, m'kay.

But, I also dislike CoS. I believe them to be a money-grabbing business playing with peoples lives for profit. I do not believe that any religion should charge people for being a member, or to gain knowledge of the religion they are following. All facts should be made available at the start, so the person may peruse them at their leisure, and eventually discover whether they actually believe.

One last thing @AC: If you want people to take you seriously, do not cower behind anonymity. A comment on here doesn't even show your real details, just your chosen user name, but at least people don't think you are scared to show your face. It is labelled "Anonymous Coward" for a reason...

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Getting real about Linux on the desktop

Dr. Mouse
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@jake & Alastair

"If your IT staff can't handle more than one OS, I submit that you need new IT staff."

BRAVO! I wholeheartedly agree!

"You've made two big leaps of logic there.

1) People actually do find Linux fine. In my experience they don't- I know at least two people that bought original eeePCs and then took them back and traded them for Windows ones. They didn't like Linux.

2) This means users will want to try it on their home PCs. Netbooks are used for browsing and little else, home PCs can be used for all sorts of things. The average user never even reformats and reinstalls Windows in their PC's lifetime, it's quite a leap to suggest that they'll try out a Linux live CD"

WRT 1) I also know of people who did the same, but then they were idiots expecting it to be a fully functioning laptop. They were just as dissappointed with the XP versions. Those I know who bought netbooks for what netbooks are designed for (i.e. a bit of surfing, email, a few card games, IM...) were quite happy with Linux. Even those who bought the Maplin Minibook (Also CCL minibook, made by CnM) were happy for what they paid. The problem is the people who buy an eee and expect it to run the latest 3D games etc, and then whinge that they bought the wrong tool for the job.

As for 2, I know plenty of people who just use their expensive desktop PCs just for browsing & email. And the reason I walked this line of logic is that people have asked me to install linux for them, after trying a live cd that either a colleague gave them or they found given away for free. I discount the ones who actually downloaded and burned it themselves, as they actually know about computers to some degree. The low-end, non-computer-literate ppl liked the siomplicity, the speed, and the fact it was free (most of them were running pirate versions of XP before that).

What I wrote was actually based on my own experience, and that of people I know.

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Dr. Mouse
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Incremental increase

Can I just say that 15 years ago, when I first started using alternatives to Windows, most people said "Linux is only for geeks, noone else will use it!"

Now, we have moved to "Linux is for geeks and people who dont use their computer much".

Sounds like an improvement to me...

Whats happening is that slowly, Linux is gaining more users. As it gains more users, more apps are developed for it, user interfaces are improved, people become more familiar with it, and it gains more users.

Take netbooks & nettops. People are taking them up and finding Linux is fine, not the scary beast they heard of. This means they try Linux on their desktop, probably using a Live CD. They like the fact that it runs quicker than Windows, and try out the alternative apps. They like it, so install it.

Now we have a user who would most likely be quite happy with Linux on their corporate box.

I think, as was mentioned above, the real sticking point will be the IT Pros, many of whom consider themselves experts because they took a 1-week course. They have only ever dealt with Windows, and will have to learn from scratch to move the company over to Linux. So they will dig their heals in, and spread scare stories to the management about how hard Linux is to use.

As for applications, well, it is going to be a slow process IMHO, but as more ppl move to Linux at home (and the number of ppl asking me to put Linux on their machine instead of Windows is growing), the more apps will be written for Linux. This will be prompted by many, many phone calls to their help desks saying "I bought your software and it wont work on my PC", to the point where they see that it is worthwhile to port it to Linux.

All this will likely take another 10 years or so, but I seriously beleive that MS's days as dominant power in the desktop world are numbered...

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Seminal password tool rises from Symantec ashes

Dr. Mouse
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Welcome back!

I remember using this about a decade ago. At the time I was helping the Admin at school to secure the network (he'd just started, and we all knew the holes, as we'd been using them for years).

I noticed while rooting around that the password database on the NT DC was left on an unsecured share and I made a copy and took it home.

A week(!) later I brought back 200 double-sided pages of A4 containing everyone's username and password, including administrator (except mine of course). He actually toyed with the idea of changing it so the users couldnt change passwords so he could just tell them their password when they forgot. Instead we implemented a password strength policy.

It was amusing seeing the headmistresses password was... password, and of course the first one picked up by l0phtcrack. How much fun I could have had, pity I'm such an honest guy.

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SATA Revision 3.0 released

Dr. Mouse
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@AC 23:41

"I've never seen a drive which can go any where near that fast"

Just because most current drives cannot acheive the speed doesnt mean the bandwidth isnt usefull for something.

Take for instance SATA rev1 @ 150MB/s. When it was released most drives didn't even come close to reaching it. Now we have flash drives putting through sustained rates of over 200MB/s. In addition, if the data is already in the devices cache, it will be read at (at least close to) the bus speed.

The interface speed should always stay ahead of the device speed as, sooner or later, the devices will catch up.

Incidentally, IIRC, SATA rev2 @ 3GB/s is capable of 300MB/s, not 375, due to the 10/8 encoding scheme used.

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Buddy unveils Metro e-car

Dr. Mouse
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Too expensive.

As you can get a small petrol city car, which will have much more range and performance, and will not need expensive battery replacement after a couple of years, would probably work out cheaper over the 1-2years life of this thing. You would save about £7000 by going for something like an Aygo. Thats about 7000l petrol at current prices, 1540 gallons, or approx 90,000 miles (60mpg Aygo 'combined' economy), plus you would be able to take it on the motorway without being scared ****less (and a danger to everyone else)

They need the cost to be down in the £6-10k range before it will be even close to worth it.

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'Thieving' sperm whale caught on CCTV

Dr. Mouse
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Whos the thief?

So, for thousands of years these whales have been eating fish from those oceans. Then along comes a cheeky fisherman and takes those fish from the whales. Who's the thief?

Seems to me the whales are just taking back what was theirs in the first place!

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Unsafe at any speed: Memcpy() banished in Redmond

Dr. Mouse
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Simple solution

If you are a programmer, use C, check your work, acheive fast, efficient programs.

If you are a script kiddie, use a language which checks everything for you.

Seriously, although everyone makes mistakes, this is just indicative of the dumbing down of society. It's like the warning lables on coffee cups at starbucks et al, saying "Contents may be hot." IT DAMN WELL BETTER BE IT'S COFFEE!!

That warning should be replaced by a standard notice on the door saying "If you are an idiot, do not enter." Similarly "If you are not a competent programmer, do not use C"!

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