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* Posts by Chemist

1853 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

Chemist
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Re: Fluorescents

AFAIK it's the UV spectrum emitted by the ionized mercury vapour, I presume also that it needs to be readily vapourized -it's heat of vapourization is ~59 vs ~230 kJ/mol for Indium and the boiling point is much lower too

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Chemist
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Re: Fluorescents

"Sooner or later someone will invent a really safe bulb"

In the link to Osram they had researched alternatives to mercury like xenon for generating UV in fluorescents but the energy efficiency was much lower than mercury, although doubtless much better than hot wires.

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Chemist
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Re: Errata

" mercury-filled fluorescents"

Not really a very objective way to describe a tube that (these days) contains generally a few milligrams of mercury. A trace would be more appropriate in common parlance.

That said I agree that phasing mercury out should be considered a good thing but AFAIK the likelihood that such efficient lighting can be produced without mercury seems very low (see http://www.osram.com/osram_com/sustainability/sustainable-products/sustainability-criteria/key-performance-indicators/mercury/why-mercury/index.jsp)

But there is always LEDs

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Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

Chemist
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Joke

Re: Modern island life or a tale of simple countryfolk

""oh no, can't repair this. Has to be couriered to Dell. I'll build you a new one. I'll even dispose of the old one for you in an environmentally friendly way.""

You don't really understand life in a remote community, do you. Get caught at this sort of thing and you'd end up inside a wicker man with someone with a lit torch about to reprimand you.

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Chemist
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Re: Upgrade to a more useful, sexier, *real* operating system. Linux

"but everyone who believes that it will come without major issues will be disappointed."

I have used SUSE & OpenSUSE since the late 90's - I've NEVER had major issues.

I currently run OpenSUSE 11.4 on my low-powered, file/print/odds&sods dual core ATOM server, laptop, netbook and dual-core Intel at our holiday home. I run 12.2 on my two work stations ( AMD single & dual cores.) I've almost always used KDE.

I have no problems with graphics including hardware accelerated 1080p/50 video, 3G dongles, serial/USB converters, scanner/printer & printer. I can process RAW DSLR files at 16bits/colour, video edit 1080p/50 video and heaps more. I use SSH to my file server for proxy access to iPlayer, etc whilst I'm away. Skype, GoogleEarth all fine.

I do use Libre Office which I find sufficient for my needs - big spreadsheets are slower than Excel but otherwise....

On the other hand I've got a great selection of programming languages , of which I regularly use C and tcl/tk & shell scripts.

I don't recognize this picture you paint

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Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

Chemist
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Re: @Eadon - openness selling Android

"even the most radical Linux dudes have eventually returned to the MS Borgship after a couple of years"

Nonsense - in a big organisation maybe, before I retired I had 2 workstations - a Windows PC for (corporate) e-mail and attached Word documents and a big, powerful Linux system for the real work of data analysis, protein modeling & 3D displaying.The company insisted on the Windows machine.

Since 'retiring' - I'm a scientist we never really retire - I've use exclusively Linux - nobody has complained that documents that I've processed with Libre Office are a problem, people send me spreadsheet data as CSV in any case as that's the format that a lot of science uses as it can be processed more readily by all sorts of means.

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Nokia axes 300 IT bods, outsources 820 to Tata, HCL

Chemist
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" about an OS that isn't tied to one specific hardware manufacturer"

er, like Android, do you mean ?

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Chemist
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Re: Hardly

Me, I jumped from SC/MP assembler to 6809 assembler/Forth to C on 68K and the x86 C under Linux. I have used a MS 6502 ROM basic but it had a huge bug in its garbage collector.

Today all 6 current machines run Linux.

I suppose you don't believe any of this either, but I must admit I don't really care.

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Chemist
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Re: Hardly

Evening RICHTO, still plugging away at the cr*p

"much of the early home computer revolution was powered with Microsoft BASIC"

much of the early home computer revolution was hindered with Microsoft BASIC - fixed

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FAA grounds Boeing's 787 after battery fires on plastic planes

Chemist
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Re: Aircraft + fire just about the worst

"Spacecraft + fire the worst, then?"

Aircraft tend to have a LOT more people on board

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PR people 'put duty to the public ahead of employers' interests'

Chemist
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Journal of Mass Media Ethics

Good grief !

A very slim journal published every 100 years?

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Viruses infect vital control systems at TWO US power stations

Chemist
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"Linux.."

Evening RICHTO,

What you fail to grasp is that the 'examples' you give are bugs, which may or may not be exploitable. With older versions of Windows it was a design choice to let USB sticks auto-execute.

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Satnav blunder sends Belgian granny 1,450km to Croatia

Chemist
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Re: Non-information

""Hm... "Lille" may either give a coastal city in France, or a small village in the north of Belgium. Not always that obvious you must select country.""

What about the major French city of Lille that is neither of those ?

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Chemist
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Re: Question:

"Europe is pretty open, until you get to the extremes."

Agree entirely, go to the mainland a lot, 4 times driving last year. Only stops are Dover on the way out - motorhomes are a magnet for security checks, Swiss border but usually only to buy a motorway pass, and British entry check at Calais.

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Scientists spin carbon nanotube threads on industrial scale

Chemist
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Pint

Re: Full circle

"Power the CO2 to nanotube conversion with shale gas."

Power it with what you like - get the CO2 from brewing - Igor, more BEER !

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Microsoft flings out emergency patch for Iatest gaping IE hole

Chemist
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Re: Unfortunately,

Thanks for the laughs Michael. Not entirely a joke on my part as a I really did hand-assemble my first software on a Science of Cambridge Mk14 with the hideous NS SC/MP instruction set/arch

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Chemist
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Joke

Re: Unfortunately,

"Compile... Compile ! " - eeh, we used t'dream about compilers. We had t'make do wi' hand-assembling - wi'out hands !

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Unbelievably vast quasar cluster forces universe-sized rethink

Chemist
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Re: Buses, huh?

"...that would mean they'd all turn up at once."

IF by once you mean over >4 billion years then yes

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The 10 best … Windows Server 2012 features

Chemist
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Re: MS vs Linux

"SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 Kernel (3.0.10) Limits

max. # logical CPUs 4096 (x86_64)

OracleLinux 5/6

Max Number of CPUs/Cores Unlimited"

The above are quoted from the SUSE & Oracle websites.

https://www.suse.com/products/server/technical-information/#Kernel

http://www.oracle.com/us/technologies/linux/025994.htm

The SUSE limit may be logical cpus but Windows Server 2012 is limited to 64 physical cpus

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Chemist
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Re: MS vs Linux

"Microsoft - Server 2012 scales to 640 processor in a single server - linux kernel 3 scales to 512 processors in a single server"

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 Kernel (3.0.10) Limits

max. # logical CPUs 4096 (x86_64)

OracleLinux 5/6

Max Number of CPUs/Cores Unlimited

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Chemist
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Re: MS vs Linux

@AC 13:33

Still punting the unpuntable eh RICHTO ?

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White House rejects Death Star petition: '$850qn too pricey'

Chemist
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Joke

Re: This @ dssf

"The Death Star on the other hand has already been built and is hidden in orbit behind the moon"

Due to massive budget cutbacks it's now the "Death Star starter edition" and is hidden behind the dustbin !

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Forget 3D: 13,000 UK homes still watch TV in black and white

Chemist
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Re: WTF?

And the signal is transmitted as a square wave ? With the harmonics going on forever ? Are you sure ?

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'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis more massive than first thought

Chemist
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Re: So Unlucky.......

Your chances of winning the lottery will be much better assuming you enter twice every week for ~23 years.

I'd make it ~~1 in 6000 ( if you just spent £1 a time )

Good luck !! ( either way). Of course your number might be drawn the day the asteroid falls.

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Chemist
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"isn't it a bit of a coincidence"

The only coincidence I can see is that between the rock and the Earth. Don't know how many countless others have passed by in the millenia when we couldn't track them. There are a lot of asteroids moving in chaotic orbits , even though the sol system is very big given enough time one will hit again.

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Chemist
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"what error I have made in reasoning"

I'd think the error is assuming the asteroid has been passing close to Earth regularly for millions of years - it may be relatively new, having been produced by collision between asteroids or the orbit may have just started to coincide with Earths recently. The orbits of everything are affected by everything else - hence my mention of Chaos Theory earlier.

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Chemist
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Re: Science fail.

"So what the hell are all those supercomputers doing?"

Suggest you read about chaos theory

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Microsoft pats self on back over Windows 8 sales

Chemist
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Re: @Chemist - Windows it's like the belly-button

Ah well, you reinforced the belief out there that it's not possible to live life without Windows.

I've heard & seen people saying such rot as "Oh, you need it for banking", "Can't edit HD video without", "3G dongles only work with Windows", "How do you manage RAW camera files ?" and countless others.

The one that amuses me most is "How do you manage as a scientist without Excel?) - well I managed for 20 years before Excel and most of the time Excel was available the data sets I handled were FAR bigger than Excel could handle. Even now I get people to send me data as CSV files and crunch the data with purpose-written C. That's the way to handle 7 million lines of data.

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Chemist
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Re: Windows it's like the belly-button

"actually it's pretty hard to avoid having one"

Well somehow we manage to. I'm not sure why you think that you NEED a Windows machine - it's simply not true.

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Nokia chief Elop: 'Android? Hey, anything's possible!'

Chemist
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Re: either

"Godminster chedder at the mo"

Godminster cheddar is magnificent !

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Chemist
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Re: @Chemist

"And he quite clearly hasn't done that."

Agreed !

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Chemist
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Re: either

"Elop worked for Microsoft, so it was obvious he would go down the Microsoft route."

The word is "worked". His duty now is to do his best for Nokia shareholders NOT Microsoft's. That's a CEO's job.

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5.6TB helium disks could balloon, lift WD onto enterprise throne

Chemist
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Re: Pressure Differential

"when the helium eventually leaks out."

It will not leak out to give less than atmospheric pressure though. At this point there may well be slow exchange of helium/air

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Chemist
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Re: Perhaps a Full Vacuum is the best Hard Drive environment then? (Patent Pending)

I thought the heads were supported when running by the air or whatever gas inside, presumably by some sort of aerodynamic lift like ground effect - in that case a vacuum would be a non-starter.

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This photo slide scanner costs €60... The bundled malware? That's free

Chemist
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Re: Strewth,

"Just use a video projector. Plug it into your WMC box if you have too"

You have certainly never seen a quality slide at huge projection - it's never forgotten.

BTW -all Linux here, mate, what is this WMC you speak of ?

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Chemist
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Re: Strewth,

Just to flesh-out the comment. The slide I'm thinking about was taken by a Hasselblad, from Pra Gra which is high above a glacial trench near Arolla in the Valais, Switzerland. I've since stood at the same spot and the slide captured it perfectly. Unfortunately I didn't !

A quick search found me a view but not the magnificent slide I remember projected in a large hall.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/36319632

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Chemist
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Re: Strewth,

"It's a scanner for photo slides - they're so last century"

Indeed they are and I wouldn't be parted from the freedom my Canon 550D gives me. However if you've never seen a quality slide esp. 2.25" square blown up to 4m * 4m they you haven't seen a photographic image.

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'Holey code, Batman!' Microsoft to patch 12 vulns on Tuesday

Chemist
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Re: reason for Patch Tuesday

"@TiddlyPom "Security by obscurity does NOT work.

Of course it works"

It helps as part of a strategy - but on it's own it's very risky. The gold hoard is a bit of a red herring as without any clues it really is just a matter of luck whereas scanning (say) IP addresses and ports severely limits the search scope and can be automated.

My router has one open port forwarding to a server for SSH purposes - I've run it for years and the router logs have never shown a SSH access attempt on anything other than a standard port - -the security by obscurity bit is the actual port number is non-standard but I don't rely on that - the only valid username allowed ssh access on the server is very unusual and the password is 20 characters long and horrible. As a further precaution I've now blocked access to ports below 1024 at my ISP

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Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva

Chemist
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Re: ...spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”

"I remind you that the first and worst internet worm ever was on UNIX based systems.."

I remind you that that was 1988 ( that's NINETEEN EIGHTY-EIGHT ) and probably the majority of connected computers were running UNIX

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Chemist
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Re: Oh go on, I'll feed em...

@RICHTO

"Since when does linux not let externally sourced code execute"

Let's see - browse to a page with link to a Linux executable - click on link - need to download then make executable and then run

Let's try a shell script link -oh, it still doesn't let it run automatically.

Mind your browser may be set-up in a less-secure manner.

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Chemist
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Re: The reality is all too real

@RICHTO

"Im not clear how that is FUD"

Gosh, I thought you'd know !

Just visiting the link doesn't root the phone - you have to get involved -there's even a link for donations for goodness sake.

This no more roots an OS than me deciding to put a different Linux distro on a computer as far as I'm concerned.

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Chemist
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Re: The reality is all too real

@RICHTO

"Web site to root a UNIX based system just by visiting a URL - here you go:"

I see the usual abysmal quality of your 'information' hasn't improved with the new year - what a load of FUD

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I tried to buy a satellite and all I got was this lousy $67,000

Chemist
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Joke

Re: I can do you a very good price...

"

I can do you a very good price...

... on a second hand space shuttle, only one owner..."

You do know there's no such thing as a free launch !

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The year GNOMES, Ubuntu sufferers forked off to Mint Linux

Chemist
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Re: @Fred (was: On the off-chance any of you missed it ...)

I've read all this article with a feeling of disbelief - my and mine have been using Linux happily for years without any of the problems and traumas depicted.

Only today I've edited a video, installed some bluetooth tools, converted the last of my vinyl disks to digital and done the usual e-mails etc. without any drama or bother - what is it with you people ?

Otherwise Happy New Year !

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Boffins spot planet that could support life... just 12 light years away

Chemist
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Re: Considering the distances from Earth for the *other* candidates this is pretty close.

I calculate the energy required to accelerate 1 tonne to 10%c as ~5E20 J. According to Wikipedia the sum of energy release from ALL the nuclear weapons test/uses is ~the same. Now I've not read the details of ORION but something seems amiss.

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It's official: Mac users are morally superior to Windows users

Chemist
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The joke icon...

....is, er, for a joke not a statement of fact.

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Chemist
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Re: Linux users.....

"It's almost like he's intelligent."

What an extraordinary assertion - where's the evidence ?

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Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

Chemist
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Re: mmmm

I'm glad you posted this because it does help to illuminate the general ignorance around about Linux photo tools - even though I'm just a keen amateur I find it satisfying to convert a good raw photo from my 550D through 16bit programs like darktable or showFoto or do most of the tweeks in ufraw (again 16bit) and final (un)sharpening in GIMP. Even the command-line program dcraw and it's library which are at the back of many of these programs will output 16bit.

Apart from dcraw all these are GUI programs but for efficiency a little bit of scripting around dcraw will convert, resize, enhance an entire directory of raw images into a decent set of jpg proofs ( I use 1080 v) without the large sizes associated with the original .JPGs

e.g.

#!/bin/bash

#

dcraw -w *.CR2

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mogrify -resize 1624x1080 -quality 100 *.ppm

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mogrify -unsharp 0x1+.5+0.02 *.ppm

#

mogrify -format jpg *.ppm

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