* Posts by Andy The Hat

257 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

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Soil and sand harden as SPEEDING MISSILES and METEORS SLAM into GROUND – boffins

Andy The Hat
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Re: Hypersonic jobbie?

... just the result of a Sprout Chilli Massala ...

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

Andy The Hat
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I'm disgusted!

All the comments here and none, not even one, expresses significant concern for poor Colin!

I'm very upset, I must be as I had to wipe the tears from my eyes as I read about poor, lost, lonely Colin. I can see his poor, sad face now. Tired and starving, he pees up a broken lamppost then gnaws on the last scrawny penguin remnant on the island. The only consolation is the penguin is strangely fresh due to a touch of gamma irradiation ...

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Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Andy The Hat
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I remember a 5-line piece of BASIC to generate the set ... ran on a BBC micro I believe.

I used Fractint as a performance benchmark for some years - I had a 3.5" floppy with speeds of machines scrawled on the label (initially straight then the writing filled gaps up the side :-) ) starting with an 80186 and finishing at something like the second generation Pentium.

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UK call centre linked to ‘millions’ of nuisance robo-calls raided by ICO

Andy The Hat
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Had a good one last night - a 'foreign national' scammer rang me at stupid-o-clock trying to sell a service to block all nuisance calls including those from abroad. The irony of the situation was lost on her ...

ARGHHHHHH.

Can't someone invent remote Tasers?

"Hello"

"... I'm not selling anything Meesta ... urr ...Ga... ", click, pfzzt, thump!

"Thank you for calling. How very enjoyable. Please call again tomorrow." :-)

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Dark matter surveys turn up new satellites … orbiting the Milky Way

Andy The Hat
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Re: Get it right

What about 'some stars'?

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Sick of Chrome vs Firefox? Check out these 3 NEW browsers

Andy The Hat
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It's interesting how few have anything good to say about Vivaldi given it's pre-alpha (and has been for ages) and has heritage. I'm scribbling this with Opera 11.x, normally use 12.x but have partially defected to IE or Chrome as I can't get 12.x to 'liaise' with our IT departments MS firewall/proxy/naughty-filter-total-lockdown-BOFH config ...

Opera innovated - loads of stuff you see now was Opera. How many here use tabbed browsing for instance? IE, FF and Chrome all used Opera features. For some reason Opera felt it was sensible to fork the product, strip out the stuff people liked (mostly its own innovations), and anything else that could be potentially useful, replace it with a software nonentity and effectively kill the v12.x fork.

I like the fact that Vivaldi are attempting to take us to Opera 12-2015. To a large extent I don't care what the underlying engine is, it's what I can feel that matters. When I poke it I want it to respond, instead of wriggling like a wet eel then saying "no, whatever you were trying to change, I know better, hard luck." Get it compatible with modern standards, let me have my tabs and configuration options back and I'll be happy.

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Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

Andy The Hat
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Some electrons, a laser and a wire and you get a wobbly thing.

Exactly as I predicted in my treatise "On the reaction of a wire-restrained aardvark when irritated with a frikkin' shark-controlled laser pointer."

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COSMIC FATTY from the DAWN of TIME simply can't exist – astroboffins

Andy The Hat
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Big bang black hole

Black holes slowly evaporate via Hawking radiation which is basically invisible but stuff falling into black holes liberates huge quantities of energy (equivalent to more than 10 freshly toasted pop-tarts).

How gravity could suddenly stop such that a super-enormo-black-hole becomes a not-a-black-hole (ie the big bang) in less than 10^-36 seconds is somewhat theoretical. Even more theoretical would be how a black hole could 'bang' in such a cataclysmic manner (*) but still leave a black hole 'from which nothing can escape' ...

(*) is "cataclysmic" the correct term for creation of 'something' from 'nothing'?

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MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

Andy The Hat
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In defence of Sammy tvs, I've recently bought two smart and two dumb and they're pretty good. The one I bought for the other half streams stuff fine and can (sort of) web browse and she is happy. Being a computer geek, I haven't even connected mine to the wireless ...

Having said that, I hate problems with audio "un-sync" on Freeview ... but that doesn't seem to be a brand related problem but blamed on a more general issue with tv hardware 'unable to cope with the requirements of the data stream'. Sorry, 13 grains-per-sec on "Dave-ja vu-yesterday+1+24+7" too much? Why is there no hard sync between the video frame and the audio?

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Gemalto: NSA, GCHQ hacked us – but didn't snatch crucial SIM keys

Andy The Hat
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Gemalto are in a difficult situation. "We didn't find an intrusion" either means

1) there was a really good intrusion that they didn't find.

2) it never happened.

or

3) there was an intrusion but it wasn't too bad so can be swept rapidly under the carpet.

Option 3 is always likely as Gemalto will be wriggling for their financial lives and is the safest way out (admit a bit, declare "we're great, we coped with it" and "it's self terminating over time so it's ok" or "nobody uses it anyway").

Option 1 is scary and, if true, someone will be in a spooky bar drinking to a job well done!

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Spacewalking NASA 'nauts hook up power and data cables to ISS Harmony module

Andy The Hat
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Re: You think you 'ad it tough.

Carrier pigeon? Lookshury!

All we had was an Iceland frozen chicken with a punched-tape message tied around its gizzard all wrapped up in shiny christmas paper to make a nice packet that we transmitted by throwing from person to person in a long line. Most of the time the 'transmission line' personnel did nothing (hence the term "bored rate").

This was obviously less than efficient - paying people to do now't I mean - and our Sheffield boffins developed a tube-based satellite message delivery system (under the codename "fookin' 'uge chicken tosser!") One cold fowl and a simple high-energy sub-orbital tube-based delivery system generally usable by numpties ("GUN") and we were at the freezing edge of chicky-sat comms ... In hindsight we could have stopped there with long distance KFC delivery systems and ruled the world. But as great British boffinery must advance! We were on the verge of testing it, and had already developed encryption (by cleverly tuning the chicken into a block of frozen chicken soup and encoding the message in vegetables) when development was halted by the Government. Just little errors like siting the secret test launcher in Iraq, pointing it at our reception desk in Tel-Aviv and calling it the Souper Gun ...

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£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

Andy The Hat
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Re: myBOL - How appropriate

This is only for one year. The ongoing financial obligations for terminated/cancelled/failed contracts are not included so the figure may initially seem low but could be ten times that over a few years.

Our council had to pay compensation after the withdrawl of an incinerator contract without a brick being laid. However not all that money came out of one year's Council funding so "the final cost will be £40million ..." but a single year's cost is as little as £13 million. Still nice work-for-no-pay if you can get it.

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Virgin Media to splurge BEELLIONS on UK network infrastructure expansion

Andy The Hat
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Optional

Shove a gigabit connection into a few properties and multi-hundred megabit into a few thousand that are easy to do and imagine what that does to your 'average connection speed'! Relatively little outlay, marketing can have a field day and the average punter can get the same old crap down a massively contended line.

I've currently got 2.5Mb/s and "they" keep offering me a deal on fibre, I keep explaining that my overhead string seems to regularly dry out, the plastic cup at the end is cracked so leaking data and it's unlikely to have ye olde shouty-cup-to-fibre-adapter ... "Yes, but I can assure you that you *can* get fibre Sir ... We will have to send an engineer to check though ..." Doh!

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FOCUS! 7680 x 4320 notebook and fondleslab screens are coming

Andy The Hat
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But, being human, I'd have to stick it to my eyeball to notice the difference ...

Another attempt to stimulate the market by getting gullible punters to replace perfectly good hardware with hardware they really don't need ... they'll do it in 3D after that.

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BEHOLD the magnificent lunar backside in our MOON VIDEO

Andy The Hat
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South Pole-Aitken basin is one of the oldest things in the Solar System ... and was found in 1959.

I think that makes it nearly as old as my mum. She'll be glad to know she's officially now the oldest thing in the Solar System ...

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Andy The Hat
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I haven't seen such a frenzied discussion about Hi-Fi since "The Great Gold Sticker on the Mains Plug" debacle of 1988!

At least these leads are aimed at absolute idiots with more money than sense, my elderly neighbour bought a replacement tv and was hassled by a salesman into buying a scart lead (that they didn't need) for £110 ... the git

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Microsoft explains Windows as a SERVICE – but one version remains a distant dream

Andy The Hat
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Apart from the naming, how does this differ to what's already happening now?

Ah! You miss the point. the user currently has the control over when and where updates are performed and whether pointless "apps" like IE11 are installed.

In the future M$oft want more control ... then, naturally, the user can be "offered" upgrades to purchase from Redmond's Dodgy Software Emporium. "Didn't want that app Sir? Sorry, you've downloaded it and you've been billed $15 as it wasn't a security update but an optional functionality upgrade which you've obviously accepted ..."

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'People ACTUALLY CONFUSE Facebook and the internet in some places'

Andy The Hat
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Facebook is the internet?

Who writes this rubbish?

I thought everyone knows that "the internet" is a small box ... I know because I saw it in sit-com ...

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Amazon's tax deal in Luxembourg BROKE the LAW, says EU

Andy The Hat
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@Tom30 said "I still don't understand why this tax haven is permitted to be part of the EU. Their entire country's economy is predicated on fucking over the rest of us by providing low taxation headquarters."

I wish you would stop answering your own questions ... :-)

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Disk areal density: Not a constant, consistent platter

Andy The Hat
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Memories ...

I haven't seen a disk platter like the headline pic in years ... oh the memories of the smell of oxide dust in the disk pack :-)

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Cool Large Hadron Collider to fire into doubly powerful ring

Andy The Hat
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Bit odd ...

Is it me or did I just read an entire article about the LHC without Prof Brian Cox or black holes slurping the Earth being mentioned? (that's black holes doing the slurping not the Prof you understand ...)

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Is there ANOTHER UNIVERSE headed BACKWARDS IN TIME?

Andy The Hat
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Unfortunately I can't get the abstract. However there are several possibilities in my mind to 'backwards time'.

1) the arrow of time is literally reversed, this would imply that the entire life of the universe is pre-ordained to allow the opposites to happen. It would also result in the spontaeous creation of life from the charred remains of death ...

2) actions in one time domain are exactly the opposite of the other - ala Red Dwarf scenario. At the very least this would be painful and result in bad hair days ...

3) the arrow of time is relative. In other words the actions taking place in each universe/dimension may be identical but the action on a larger scale is not. Take as an example two sensory-deprived people pulling on opposite ends of a rope, each pulls with apparently identical parameters but to an observer they are pulling in exactly opposite directions ... This is the doppleganger scenario ...

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Virgin Media's ad fibs EXPOSED by bitter rival BT

Andy The Hat
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re Who actually funds the ASA?

"the 0.1% levy on the cost of buying advertising space and the 0.2% levy on some direct mail "

It's also interesting, according to their own reports, that they resolved more cases in 2013 and 2014 than complaints lodged ...

http://www.asa.org.uk/About-ASA/~/media/Files/ASA/Annual%20reports/Website%20KPI%20publication%20-%20Q1%202014.ashx

Perhaps I'm missing something ...

But at least if you're ruled against they do actually have teeth - they can put you on their 'non compliant' page like all of these ...

http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Non-compliant-online-advertisers.aspx

It's like being at school; "Was Steven naughty today? You can check to see if we put his name on the 'Wall of Shame' which can be found in the basement behind the third cabinet on the left ... remember to take a torch."

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A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

Andy The Hat
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re offering school leavers a bursary to study maths or physics

So they withdraw the windfall for newly qualified physics teachers (ie those who have made it) and announce 'new money' to give to 'potential' physics teachers instead.

Still, at least the support staff (who actually have to teach some of these muppets as practical skills are next to nil) are known to be able to exist on just above basic minimum wage ...

I hate the Government.

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Government locked into £330m Oracle contract until 2016

Andy The Hat
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and instead they're spending it in spendings?

No, don't be silly that would not be planning for the future correctly.

As we all know, they've probably got a consultant in (at £extortionate) to *tell* them they can spend it in spendings but not until *after* the election so that's a saving by this government and 'planning for the future'! And of course, not only do they shaft the incoming governments finances but what they could have saved long term will be more than offset by the spendyness of the consultants and the pocketing of directors fees by ex-ministers ...

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Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

Andy The Hat
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Fastest ADSL offered to me is direct 75Mb over fibre ... why would I want a short hop Gb connection *outside* the house? Inside I'd use ethernet anyway ... Don't see the market.

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Nothing illegal to see here: Tribunal says TEMPORA spying is OK

Andy The Hat
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"The tribunal also found that there was no problem in sharing intelligence with the US National Security Agency, or accessing information obtained through the NSA’s PRISM programme. However, it relied on secret government policies in reaching this decision."

To paraphrase, "as long as it's Government policy, however secret or illegal, it's legal".

This smells increasingly bad to me ...

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Kaspersky: That 2 years we took to warn you about Regin ? We had GOOD REASON

Andy The Hat
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"Legspin" proves it was either Aussie or British. Nobody else in the world even knows the term to use it surreptitiously ...

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Boffins unearth the ultimate antique art - 500,000 years old

Andy The Hat
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A cynic

If I was in any way a Homo type thing, would I bother to take a long time to make a neat little hole at the bottom of a shell followed by fiddling around with a sharp stick to cut the muscle to open it? I'd just smack the hinge with a small stone or perhaps put it in the embers of the fire ...

Looks like an 'adornment' piece to me like a bangle or necklace - the hole is for a cord of some kind. Perhaps it is some kind inscription - could be Erectus for 'Ug's necklace', or may even be the Homo version of a Rosetta shirt ...

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Andy The Hat
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"I pointed out that due to the lack of reliable mobile connection the proposed meter would more often than not be able to phone home. So the shitty broadband and mobile reception here means that they had to revert to a conventional meter."

Same here a month ago. Lots of 2g but little 3g signal (yet I've got masts 1 and 2 miles away serving a town of 15000+ people ... how does that work?)

Never mind, at least I know my Nokia 1100 is as good as it gets!

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Pub time for NASA bods? Orion spacecraft test launch called off

Andy The Hat
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Why 8 parachutes? Sounds like an obvious equation

8 parachutes = one tangled mess

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Euro spacemen clear Ariane 6 for liftoff

Andy The Hat
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Doh!

Why oh why oh why do El-Reg commentards insist on using "hauling payloads" when it comes to rocket launches?

Pushing, throwing, projecting, firing, launching in fact anything "pushy" is good. "Hauling" suggests there's a bleedin' great trailer on the thing getting gently toasted in rocket exhaust ... have you ever seen a tow hitch on a Saturn V?

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Quantum computing is so powerful it takes two years to understand what happened

Andy The Hat
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Obviously

I thought they'd already considered that thing that they are talking about so I didn't bother to mention it ...

I'm sure they tested "adiabatic algorithms" in face creams but didn't use them as it caused furrowing of the brow...

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Globe-spanning SEA-ME-WE 3 sea cable feared cut, broken or ...

Andy The Hat
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Out of curiosity, how does one go about fixing an under-ocean fibre cable?

Easy. You fill in "Under Ocean Fibre Cable Fault" (form E3.7) and it gets repaired by the fibre optic fairies. Just don't complete section one as "Nature of fault: iPlayer keeps giving the roundy-roundy thing, suspect under ocean fibre fault ..."

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NASA preps mission to probe Earth's magnetic mysteries

Andy The Hat
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" ... magnetic reconnection, a process by which Earth's magnetic fields connect and disconnect."

and then weebles on about solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

Is this looking at the Earth's magnetic field or the sun's? The video is pretty to the eye but total pants when it comes to content ...

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Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU

Andy The Hat
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"Coworker"?

That spelling is bullocks ... unless of course your friend works with bovines ...

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We come bearing caviar: ISS 'nauts arrive at station in SPAAACE

Andy The Hat
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Caviar in spaaaace?

"This place stinks ... who's been at the fish poo again? Can someone please open a window ..."

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ESA's spaceplane cleared for lift-off in February 2015

Andy The Hat
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How the hell do you 'fly' a thing shaped like that? Hats off to the aerodynamicists if it's controllable.

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Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

Andy The Hat
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Take for example the just-out-of-prison 57 year old ugly bloke in a rusty 4x4 versus the pretty, 20year-old blond in the sports car. Ethics says save the girl (on the basis of heathly, young, fertile) and he's a con, and an ugly, old one at that.

Or perhaps he couldn't afford to pay his council tax and was banged up for two days, his physical attributes are not his fault and he has his grandson securely strapped into a car seat. She is a nut case of a driver, high on drugs with an Uzi stashed in the boot ...

Stick with the science and 'take avoiding action according to the conditions'. Ethics has severe problems ...

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Hunt for Higgs Boson and dark matter now starts ON YOUR SOFA

Andy The Hat
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Thumb Down

Mauve alert, mauve alert, please change the bulb ...

I expected to find some kind of a virtual machine, how to install and let it do its thing in the background ... bit like Seti, Folding at Home etc so the tools do the work but I don't have to know what a two leprechaun decay event producing a fishing-gnome and an anti-fairy actually looks like ...

As it is, I'm not exactly a numpty and I have no idea where to start or, to be absolutely honest, if I can! Looks like I have to manually and sequentially run various shell scripts and python executable against various data sets as they're generated ... I think ...

Not for me I'm afraid.

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What should America turn to for web advice? That's right: GOV.UK – says ex-Obama IT guru

Andy The Hat
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Doh?

"one that gives primacy to policy processes and the civil service to one that puts users and delivery first."

Call me old fashioned, and maybe I'm reading between the lines too much, but isn't that the IT industry equivalent of doing a massive u-turn, nay perhaps even a j-turn with full burn-out? For years users have been, and are, the last to be consulted about anything. And as for government considering the great unwashed, isn't that tantamount to heresy?

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Andy The Hat
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Facepalm

RE: It's a moon stealing satellite of course.

That's such a silly comment.

If the Russians were going to steal the moon, everyone knows they'd need a shrink ray first ...

OH NO, IT'S A SHRINK RAY!

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Gee THANKS: Cryptoscum offer a free decrypt in latest ransomware racket

Andy The Hat
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Dycrypt one, get one file free ... DOGOFF?

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Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

Andy The Hat
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Re why stick at coding?

"I understand what he's trying to say, but why stick at 'coding'?"

Force them to learn some real-life skills rather than being career politicians. At least ten years of real work before standing as a politician might help ... Perhaps being a year of being a 'modern apprentice' (with all it's gory details) in a firework factory should be mandatory? (irony intended!)

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Rare Stegosaurus skeleton moves into plush London pad

Andy The Hat
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Re: " ... weighed as much as a 4x4 vehicle"

" " ... weighed as much as a 4x4 vehicle"

How many fridges is that?"

Everyone knows a Range Rover has a fridge beside the gun cabinet to chill the champers ... therefore, logically, the RR is a fridge ... therefore, mathematically speaking:-

1 4x4 vehicle = 1 fridge

and furthermore

1 stegosaurus = 1 fridge

However, identification of the fridge as European or African in origin is required for formal determination of capacity ...

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BOING, BOING! Philae BOUNCED TWICE on Comet 67P

Andy The Hat
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Sorry, still got images of Captain Scarlett "Moon Hoopers" ...

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DRAMA in SPACE: But Philae KEEPS TRYING to HARPOON COMET

Andy The Hat
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Boinggggg

<control> "Fire harpoons!"

<rosetta> boiiinnnggggg

<control> "Oh bugger, I forgot the stabilising thruster doesn't work ... it's like one of those boingy, jumpy, springy things you stick to the desk with a sucker ..."

<rosetta> weeeeeeeeee ... "My God, it's full of stars ... and you can call me Harpoon Assisted Lander ..."

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FIRST for HUMANITY: Fridge-size PROBOT headed for COMET TOUCHDOWN

Andy The Hat
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Re: In space no one can hear your sonar

In space, no one can hear you ping?

Or is it more like drumming its fingers on the cometary desk?

Try it - ear hard on the desk and listen carefully as you drum your fingers on the desk ... now move the fingers around and listen to the variation in response and relate that to mass of rubbish on the desk. Now, explain to the boss what you were just doing ...

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Andy The Hat
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spelling mistake?

Are we aware if the Mads (Professor) was wearing his Techno-trousers when he announced his Techno-quarks ...?

If it looks like an excuse for a pun and sounds like an excuse for a pun ...

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How Hollywood film-makers wove proper physics into Interstellar

Andy The Hat
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Having a physicist on the team helps ...

"Sunshine" and Brian Cox proves this not to be true ...

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