* Posts by Chemist

2132 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Space paparazzo captures bipolar butterfly

Chemist
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Just a bit worried that if a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane what this devil might get up to.

Great pic though.

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Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

Chemist
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Re: Plasma Spewing

"How is that energy concentrated around the black hole, a giant energy sucking beast?"

Try : http://www.space.com/5285-powerful-black-hole-jet-explained.html

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Chemist
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Re: Plasma Spewing

"I think scientific theory has a long way to go on the black hole subject."

It said by a black hole not from a black hole

"Astronomers have witnessed two big blobs of plasma, shot into space by a black hole"

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Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

Chemist
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Re: 99% of users don't know/care/have a choice

"I see. You say they don't know, and you're right."

That what I get for assuming that intelligent people can understand that some percent don't know about Linux, some don''t care - they're happy with what they have (?) and some are using company machines that are tied down.

The latter will be the case for a good percent - for example I had a company desktop - that had to have the company standard build of Windows - my department (spread over a number of sites in a number of countries ) needed Linux as we were moving from SGI and all our extremely expensive scientific software only ran on Unix-like OSs - so we had 2 machines, a Windows machine for the corporate email / Office and a big Linux workstation for the hard stuff.

I don't know what point you are trying to make - plenty of people know about Macs, Linux and esp. iPads and Android. Yet you didn't know you could get x86 Android

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Chemist
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Re: We must obviously agree to disagree

"then you tell me why Linux is not on 99% of PCs."

Simple 99% of users don't know/care/have a choice. That 1-2% chose to replace/dualboot/build their own is still a major testament to Linux not evidence for its potential.

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Chemist
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Re: How delightful

" and how many people know how to make a bootable USB key, apart from your friends ?"

Those that can Google ?. You can do it from Windows as well as Linux

e.g. https://en.opensuse.org/Live_USB_stick

BTW the common users ( your words not mine) buy their computers with Windows ( unfortunately) already installed although, personally I know as many people with Macs as I do with Windows.

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Chemist
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"Android runs on a PC ? That's news to me."

http://techposts.org/how-to-install-android-x86-5-0-2-on-usb-drive/

http://techposts.org/install-android-5-0-2-lollipop-on-pc-and-laptops-with-windows-linux-and-mac-os/

I certainly tried out Android x86 several years ago on a VM under Linux. Yep, still have it Android x86 4.0 for eeepc.iso ~180MB

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

Chemist
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Re: Windows -> Linux

"Photoshop?

TurboTax? Quickbooks? Quicken?"

Like all things - if you really, really* need them stick with Windows. It's not obligatory to move to Linux. However in my experience (I've used Linux since the mid-90s and abandoned Windows ~2006) there are plenty of alternatives for what I need as I mentioned earlier. In any case all the scientific software I use was written for Unix/Linux or Mac and easily ported

*From past experience many people say they need Word when they want to just write a letter, or Photoshop to shrink a photo or adjust curves.

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Chemist
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Re: Basically

"But wasting keyboard strokes to chastise the Linux tribe is like throwing pennies into a pond for the blind. They hear the splash, but they'll never figure it out."

I'm glad you joined The Register today to be so abusive. Hope you feel better and that your eyesight never fades.

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Chemist
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Re: Windows -> Linux

"Windows -> Linux "

Vast topic to reply to :

My most used programs (for non-scientific uses)

Video editing - kdenlive

Raw photo developing and manipulation - Darktable

E-mail - Thunderbird

Browser - Firefox

Vector drawing - Inkscape

Web page creation - SeaMonkey

Media - Vlc & GNOME Mplayer

WP/Spreadsheet - LibreOffice

PIC programming - MPLABX (runs perfectly under Wine)

Editor - KWrite.

File Manager - Dolphin

Photo viewer - Gwenview

Others - Google Earth, Skype, get_iplayer, motion (web-cam motion capture), minidnla (media server), Yast for system admin. Samba, NFSD for my file server, Cups for print serving

I'm rather puzzled about your utility program requirements. Usually there are so many programs to perform a task that finding one that suits is the problem not lack.

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Chemist
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Re: Mint is the way?

"Last time I updated it, GIMP doesn't do 16-bit colour"

I don't use GIMP much but I do use Linux for photography as well as everything else. There are other programs - in particular Darktable is a truly excellent RAW processor and general photo manipulation tool. In almost all cases it's the only tool I use to process photos from my 6D & 550D Canons. It's quite heavy on memory as it manipulates images at very high precision. It will if required output TIFFs at 32 bit or 16/8 bit. It also supports tethered shooting which might be quite useful for astro.(what do I know )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darktable

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Pirate MEP: Microsoft's walled garden is no consumer pleasure park

Chemist
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Re: Earth to Microsoft

"So I don't do weather forecasting or anything else highly technical"

But if you did you'd mostly be using a Unix or Linux . :

http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240151055/Met-Office-says-open-source-is-backbone-of-operations

"Speaking at the Open Gov Summit, Mallin said the agency has used Linux for 10 years.

He said most of the Met Office's website runs on open source, with some proprietary software, such as an Oracle database.

Mallin said the Met Office used IBM’s AIX proprietary operating system on its supercomputers, but was running Python internally for programs, with Red Hat also running on its IBM mainframes.

“The desktops are also a mixed economy, we have 1,800 people working at the Met Office and 1,300 have Windows. But 500 of our scientists use Red Hat, as they find it a faster way of doing things.”"

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Chemist
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Re: Earth to Microsoft

" because if you've heard of Linux you're an 'advanced user' and if you actually know how to use it you're a computing genius."

What !

~~1-2% of users use Linux -that's a lot of 'computing geniuses' indeed I guess it doesn't leave many for other OSs.

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Snowball spud gun shows comets could have seeded Earth with life

Chemist
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"The problem I have with the Panspermia theory is that it violates Occam's razor."

Occam's razor isn't an absolute. It certainly can be wrong

I prefer Einstein's version which is (roughly) " Everything in science should be as simple as possible consistent with the facts but no simpler"

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Put it away: Dwarf's 'supermassive' marvel is actually smallest thing boffins have ever seen

Chemist
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Re: moiety

"A mass with a Schwarzchild radius of 443 metres would be c.0.15 solar masses, not 50,000."

Certainly the calculator at :-

http://physics.unl.edu/~klee/flash_astro/bhole_sim010.swf

would agree with that

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Windows 10 climbs to 3.55 per cent market share, Win 8.1 dips

Chemist
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Re: First hand numbers, just in case

" I wonder why though a tiny amount of Linux desktops as a percentage isn't considered a fail when a similar percentage of windows mobiles in use was."

'Linux' isn't a single entity with an agenda, marketing budget, or desire to be a monopoly.

'Linux' doesn't in general come installed on hardware ( Android excepted)

'Linus' doesn't try to force itself on you.

People using Linux, in general, have chosen to. That is they've bought a computer without OS or dual-booted or deleted a Windows installation and put a Linux on.

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Boffins: The universe is DOOMED and there's nothing to be done

Chemist
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"So, I guess it's a bit premature to be planning an "End of the Universe" party?"

But you know which venue to book for it - right ?

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Perhaps middle-aged blokes SHOULDN'T try 34-hour-long road trips

Chemist
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Re: priorité à droite

"priorité à droite "

In countless thousands of miles driving through France this has never been any kind of problem. It's been phased out in so many places hat it only seems to occur in the centers of old towns and villages occasionally or very rural crossroads.

Driving in Paris is a very different matter !

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Chemist
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Re: The reason for French motorwaybadges...

"The new Dartford crossing toll system in the UK forced me into a tedious, slow and utterly stupid process involving a long detour to a village shop, a long wait while the shopkeeper found the right instructions for the terminal and a three pound fee instead of the two pound fee I was expecting. What are this government’s economists smoking/sniffing?"

What ? You can either pay one-off on-line (before or after the event) or have an account for frequent use when it becomes similar to the telepeage scheme but with different vehicle recognition mechanism and with a useful discount

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Chemist
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Re: A few things

"and nobody will give you an insurance for 6 months abroad "

Nonsense. My motorhome has exactly that and it's the standard policy.

"France is by far the worst country in Europe to travel through. Idiotic junction layout, nobody following rules, horrid tolled motorways"

Many european countries have tolls, junctions are fairly standard, autoroutes although having tolls are mostly empty except at peak season. I drove back from Switzerland on 29/30th July. On the A26 between Troyes and the A4 (~60 miles) at morning peak period I saw ~20 cars/trucks on 'my' side of the motorway, on the A26 towards Calais things got busier with maybe 3 vehicles a mile density.

I admit the farmers, ferry workers and indeed migrants are a nuisance but the only delay on the journey was the UK Border Force at Calais using just 3 booths out of ~12 so what little traffic there was had to queue for 30 mins.

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Chemist
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Re: French tolls

"This seems to be the case in the South anyway , which is the area I know best."

And everywhere else in France - I've driven more than half the motorways. The only places I can remember a manned toll is at the big bridges like Pont Normandie or the Millaud viaduct . Most exits (as opposed to end of sections) are fully automatic although there must be a person around to sort out problems. As I said earlier I can't recall having to pay a person for years. There may well be some manned tolls but they've been rapidly replacing them in recent years

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Chemist
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"Something that I'm glad I've done (hey! New experiences!), didn't enjoy doing "

I regularly drive from Dover ( leave hotel ~2:15) catch a ferry and drive to Saas-Fee in Switzerland arriving by mid-afternoon. Especially if done on a Sunday it's an easy drive of ~550 miles. ~ 470 miles are motorway - I enjoy it and I'm 64.

BTW comments about tolls. In my experience most French tolls are automatic, credit card devices - I've certainly not handed money to a real person for years and I drive ~4000-5000 miles a year in France.

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Beaming boffins feel the rhythm as neutrinos oscillate over 500 miles

Chemist
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Re: Fusor...

"My physics teacher was brilliant"

Mine worked on the Manchester 'baby' before becoming a teacher.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Small-Scale_Experimental_Machine

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Sane people, I BEG you: Stop the software defined moronocalypse

Chemist
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Re: The 80% of us who think they are "better than average" drivers

"while a normal distribution isn't necessarily a bad assumption, it is still an assumption."

Quite. The number of times I've argued with HR people on just that point.

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It's Suntory time: Japanese whisky to be distilled in SPAAAAACE

Chemist
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Re: Fun except

"Was hoping they where going to something clever with the vacuum of space to do the distillation."

You don't need vacuum to distil such a low-boiling mix. If you did use one it would have to be relatively weak and you'd need very cold condensing surfaces to avoid losing it all.

What "high-dimensional molecular structure consisting of water,....." is supposed to mean I can't imagine !

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Petrol cars are dead in the water, says Tesla CTO waving numbers on the back of an envelope

Chemist
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Re: @Graham Dawson

"A single cargo ship can pollute as much as 50 million cars."

That's sulfur pollution - v.nasty but just one pollutant.

From your own ref.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates that Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping were equal to 2.7% of the global human-made emissions in 2007[1] and expects them to rise by as much as 2 to 3 times by 2050 if no action is taken

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Chemist
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Re: Still a bit confused

"1. Power plants are more efficient that car engines, the pollutey far less per unit."

Official US figures for thermal electricity generation put the average efficiency at ~~ 35% which is ~similar to diesel cars.

http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=107&t=3

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_08_01.html

I think combined plants that produce district heating etc. are much better but relatively rare

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Chemist
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Re: "...power plants can be fitted with scrubbers much more easily than moving vehicles."

""Reportedly the 15 largest ships in the world combined emit more air pollution than all the cars on Earth combined."

That figure seems to be the amount of sulfur emitted. Not other pollutants AFAIK. Note most land-based fuels are now low-sulfur

(Sulfur not sulphur because I'm a chemist and that's the way we spell it now - not saying I agree)

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No, Microsoft: Your one-billion Windows 10 goal is just sad ... really sad

Chemist
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Re: "A billion ain't what it used to be"

"Too right - on this side of the pond (UK) it used to be 1,000,000,000,000!"

~40-50 YEARS AGO !

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The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters

Chemist
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Re: asymmetric fud...

"Looks interesting but you need to know what you want before you make the distro image."

It's certainly not for the first time user but is truly an excellent resource.

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Chemist
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Re: asymmetric fud...

"Excellent - where do I download a good selection of packages in DVD image form?"

http://software.opensuse.org/132/en - Download DVD will get you most common packages in iso form for 1 bootable DVD

https://en.opensuse.org/Package_repositories gives links to download lots of official and other repositories that you can install on a HD/USB stick or burn to DVD ( why DVD in this day and age) or more usually instal on-line using YAST package manager

They warn :

If you have enough disk space, you can also download a repository snapshot, but be advised that this can take up to 20Gb or even more.

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Chemist
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Re: asymmetric fud...

"I will, of course explain that NVidia graphics kit has to be binned"

??

Strange that mine works then including video acceleration using vdpau admittedly with the NVidia binaries. Not had a WiFi problem for ~10 years and I've got all sorts of kit.

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Chemist
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Re: asymmetric fud...

Must mention too the excellent Studio service that lets you build an entire distro to your own requirements.

https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:SUSE_Studio

https://susestudio.com/

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Chemist
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Re: asymmetric fud...

"To my knowledge, Debian is the only distro that caters for offline installation of a significant selection of desktop software in this way. I'd be delighted to hear of alternatives."

OpenSUSE repositories can be almost anything including CDs, DVDs, Hard drives, local iso images, UBS directories/images/isos as well as lots of networked sources.

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Blessed are the cheesemakers, for they have defined the smidge

Chemist
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Re: "........ consider how to translate 0.15625ml to a dry measure of furikake"

"No meniscus in dry measurement, just scoop, swipe & dump, so no worries there."

Very sorry jake - being teetotal (I wish) I assumed dry furikake was a cocktail hence a liquid.

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Chemist
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"........ consider how to translate 0.15625ml to a dry measure of furikake"

Just use a 0.15625ml jug (brimmed - depending on what sort of meniscus dry furikake has)

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Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

Chemist
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Re: 0xdff058

"Is it sad that I remembered my favourite hardware register, 0xdff058, almost quarter of a century later without having to google?"

Don't worry about it - I can still remember some 6809 op-codes even though it had thousands of them.

( I too remember my A1000 with affection even though compiling Lattice C was a disk swapping operation until I got a hard drive)

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NASA: 'Closest thing yet to ANOTHER EARTH' - FOUND

Chemist
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Re: 1400 light years

"If you could do it at a continuous 1 to 2G acceleration, then it'd subjectively be a relatively short trip."

If, as you say, you could develop the propulsion the occupants might well experience a short trip but for the ones here waiting for the information it would still be 2800 years.

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The French want to BAN .doc and .xls files from Le Gouvernement

Chemist
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" but one in particular was the ability to click on a chart, and move intersection lines into positions on the curves."

"The lines were not specifically associated with the chart."

I don't understand what you mean by this. Surely a line not associated with a chart is just a line why would clicking on a chart enable you to move a independent line ?

Just playing around with this a line can be drawn on a chart that seems to be fixed to the chart if it's drawn during the definition of a chart from Insert-Object Chart.

If you define a data set and click the chart icon then an independent line can be drawn later that can be moved around.

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Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Chemist
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"I have found that my own Linux boxes are not vulnerable,"

Same here and for multiple reasons. Some due to the default settings and some due to my sshd configuration/firewall/router firewall.

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Chemist
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FAIL

"However (seeing as Linux isn't really used on the desktop),"

Linux is really used on the desktop but not generally by casual computer users. A lot of scientists/engineers/academics use it for example. 1.6%, of course, is actually a very good number considering that many people have to get off their ars*s and install it themselves.

In answer to AC earlier (perhaps you could mention it to him !) the graphics performance is often the reason for using desktop Linux. I and many of my colleagues use if for hardware stereo 3D graphics for protein modeling. Rotating a large protein complete with all its bonds smoothly in 3D whilst running further computationally intensive modeling programs is about as demanding as it gets BTW.

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Chemist
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Re: That's NOT why

"What are you talking about? Commercial software sells on its own merits. "

Agreed. For years I've been using seriously expensive protein modeling software that was written for Unix/SGI/Linux. The sort that needed a license server (or worse only had a few copies available via a token system )

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An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one MEEELLION miles out

Chemist
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Re: British Summer Time

"It's way too far out to be the ISS, that orbits at 250 miles. Looks more like a dodgy pixel on the camera's CCD."

Well it might be but as there seems to be quite a few more around the image I'd guess they were stars.

Yep -just altered the curves on the high res-image - space is full of e'm

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Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

Chemist
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Re: Chrome sleek and fast, Firefox bloated and slow

"Does anyone know of a way to get some of these metrics?"

Is about:memory what you are looking for ?

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Chemist
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"Chrome ...... performs noticeably faster at common tasks, like switching between tabs."

Blimey - you must have quick reaction times ! Even this old dual-core, 2GB with on-board graphics switching tabs is 'blink and you'll miss it ' .

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Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers

Chemist
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Re: Bad marketing El Reg @Khaptain

"I am thinking about moving over to Linux and I can't say that this article helped me at all."

My advice for what it's worth - get a few Live-CD/pen-drive distro - try them out (without needing to install) to check the hardware and UI. They'll run slowly but that's not the point at this stage.

For example http://software.opensuse.org/132/en and chose "Click here to display alternative versions" to get live-cd of KDE or Gnome versions

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Chemist
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Re: Bad marketing El Reg

"The 2GB is needed to run Firefox. Regardless of desktop/WM/OS..."

That's total borax. Although this laptop has 8GB, my other machines have 2GB and indeed one is a 1.4GHz Celeron with 1GB. All of them run the latest Firefox on top of a full-fat OpenSUSE 13.1/2 KDE desktop. All run Firefox well. Currently this laptop is using 380MB for Firefox with 9 tabs open - the highest I've ever seen is ~800MB.

I can see that you'd need to be anonymous BTW

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Chemist
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Re: Financial models matter

Thanks for that Will. I've been a long term user & advocat for Suse/OpenSUSE since V5. Excellent trouble-free distros

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Chemist
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Re: I have a beefy PC, but still run ye olde GNOME 2

"I could never get into KDE myself and I never understood why Linux couldn't settle on one desktop"

I like KDE - if there was just one Linux desktop I'd want it to be KDE . So I'm happy that there are a number of both desktops and distro. esp as changing desktops is easy.

If you're arguing there should be an 'easy' distro with one well-supported desktop I might agree but multiple desktops and distros are one of the main strengths of GNU/Linux and I wouldn't want that to change at all. If people want to develop a distro then so be it.

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