* Posts by Andy The Hat

513 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Andy The Hat
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Security concerns?

Chewing gum in the USB ports, WAN interface disconnected at the router, executables completely locked-down, any updates (unlikely) and data retrieval via one secure station and lo! A malware-free and secure XP network. As long as it has been running reliably it should continue to do so (give or take incompatible hardware *replacement* - not upgrade)

It works for the UK education system ...

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HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

Andy The Hat
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... because she was already sold ...

Show me a scrapyard owner anywhere in the world that pays £x for something and when offered £x+n for doing absolutely nothing declines it. Perhaps the £15m was just wishful thinking?

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Ofcom fleshes out plans to open up BT's ducts and poles

Andy The Hat
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Can someone clarify ...?

I thought the idea of spinning off Openreach was to make it equal and open to all? (I won't mention cronies and hedge funds making a fortune out of it on the stock markets). If that is the case, why are we talking about other companies having access to the ducts/poles etc surely that will still be overseen by Openretch? If not I have visions of telegraph poles and ducts looking like those in Bangalore, the exchanges looking like my mums knitting basket and the whole lot being completely unserviceable.

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New British flying robot killer death machines renamed 'Protector'

Andy The Hat
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Oh dear ..

Now't wrong with Peacekeepers ... Claudia Black ... err ... where's the tap for the cold shower? :-)

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Lenovo: If you value your server, block Microsoft's November security update

Andy The Hat
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End user ...

As an end user I don't see this problem. And, kindly, Microsoft automatically install my Win10 updates that will work 100% on the time and will never brick my system, alter its configuration or impact my workflow at all.

Thankfully, Microsoft have explained that they are infallible, always correct and there'll never be an occasion when they get it wrong and cost me time and money so I'm happy for them to continue.

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Whiffy kitchen after last night's chips? Clear the air with SPACE PLASMA

Andy The Hat
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Damp squib?

How is the plasma sustained in a steam atmosphere (typically common when cooking). I would have thought it would collapse as, at eht levels, the electrodes would be effectively shorted out ... Unless there's a really massive power supply hidden under the desk ...

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Really weird quantum phenomenon spied lurking near neutron star

Andy The Hat
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Read the paper ...

In a vague attempt to understand the 'polarised light' image I read the paper that is linked. Try it. Your brain will melt and it still doesn't help with the image but there's the vague amusement of several references to a paper by a scientist called Boffin ... :-)

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Nutanix makes thundering great loss, stock market hardly blinks

Andy The Hat
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I don't understand ...

Investment to build the company resulting in expenditure (debt) I do understand.

But how can increased revenues and a larger customer base, yet an obvious trend to eat cash with accelerating losses per customer, be regarded as good? There must be something else about this the market likes apart from the balance sheet ...

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Jeremy Hunt: Telcos must block teens from sexting each other

Andy The Hat
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Hunt/Trump?

Isn't this the social media equivalent of Trump's Wall? Hunt's "Impossible to Build, Bloody Stupid Naughty Fence"?

If this is such a problem (and I'm sure it is), ban under 18's from owning phones that can display pictures, censor all sms for obscenities (eg fucking, tit, Hunt) then force the use of computers under adult supervision. There, sorted. In addition the parents will save a fortune on phone bills and may actually get to see the kids occasionally ...

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Six car-makers team to build European 'leccy car charge bar network

Andy The Hat
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Re: UK Charging points

That's a bad overall example as the unleaded pump is a standard fitting, as it the diesel, as is four star leaded (where available) and all are standardised fuels.

Autogas is better as they have whatever delivery fitting the supplier decides and the vehicle owner can use an adapter to their specific vehicle if required.

The real issue is that in the case of fossils, you can basically find a nozzle that fits and squirt. With electric, not only must you get the adapter but the charge voltage, current and charge methodology must also match. Stuffing a 1Kv high power charger into a 240v slow charge car, even using the correct physical adapter, would be quite spectacular ...

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Andy The Hat
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Vegans are hippocrites anyway

For those that don't eat meat based on the taste or husbandry of animals that's fine. But how many cry out because their phone was manufactured in a plant (sorry) where humans are forced to occupy small stalls for twelve hours a day in return for minimal sustenance, allowed only to sleep at night in small rooms and never allowed to see natural daylight?

Vegans have the perfect right to deny anything that involves mistreatment of animals ... as long as they remember humans are animals too.

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Lib Dems to oppose porn checks in Blighty's Digital Economy Bill

Andy The Hat
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Who's watching?

There are currently 46bn pages indexed by Google, that of course doesn't include the billions of pages that are protected by paywalls or whatever.

Are the individual pages subject to BBFC classification or just the domains? If it's the pages I guess there's going to be a big job advert posted soon for 'employment until blind and fed up of cats', if it's for domains, then sites like The Times and CNN should watch out as they have fallen foul of 'adult content' filters on a regular basis due to graphic depiction of dead bodies in war zones which would also fall foul of BBFC '18' classification but, in one story, would wipe out the entire domain as unclassified ... Remember, this is adult content, not just 'porn'.

And how are these sites to be found? Is it going to rely on the 'volunteers' from the "Mary Whitehouse was my granny" brigade to report every unclassified site they find with a boob on it as I can't see how they could automate the process of linking 'adult content' and unclassified pages.

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Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

Andy The Hat
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Re: Be careful what you wish for!

It will end up like Network Rail where the Government ploughs millions of pounds of taxpayers money into it to prop up the Chairman's salary, so the telecoms companies like BT don't get massively, but indirectly subsidised by the taxpayer ...

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Half-ton handbuilt CPU heads to Centre for Computing History

Andy The Hat
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Nice ...

I wrote an 8-bit, semi-graphical processor simulator in Pascal under DOS about n++ years ago to show kids how low level programming really worked below the hood. It worked really well and they ended up using it for a few years but I probably learned more about processor hardware functionality than they did! Like the megaprocessor, it was initially a bit of fun that ballooned into something interesting. Later on someone wrote a much better Windows '6502 emulator' that was ... well actually a naff text emulator in a Windows box ... most disappointing.

I'm not sure that kids even get taught the basics of how a processor works any more.

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Deliver-oops! Takeaway pusher's customers burger-ed by hijackers

Andy The Hat
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Please!

In a story on fast food fraud, who would knowingly use the phrase "domino effect" ... then again, I get your point.

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New state of matter discovered by superconductivity gurus

Andy The Hat
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Who?

"... a completely different structure that breaks time-reversal..."

Sounds like the inside of the Tardis - is there a doctor in the house?

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International Space Station celebrates 18th birthday in true style – by setting trash on fire

Andy The Hat
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Fibreglass and cotton ...

so it won't be so much of a fire, more of a smoulder.

Well it would be on Earth but I guess in space no one can predict how you'll burn ...

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Smart meter benefits even crappier than originally thought

Andy The Hat
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Better selling this as a franchise. Sell the bottles to the franchisees to fill or, obviously at extra cost, with a 'customer self-fill kit' to allow tight or high-volume customers save money on refills. Then there's the markets for customised filling pipes, portable filling equipment, sanitising products, deodorisers, IoT connected fill gauges, the Asian, Caribbean and Amazonian snake-gas imports ... blimey there's a profit in this!

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Australia teases binning x86 for Power CPUs in new supercomputer

Andy The Hat
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Have I missed something?

On the one hand it's got to be hardware compatible with Win Server 2012, on the other hand it's got to run SUSE Enterprise Server ... is this an upside-down Aussie spec for a machine actually running SUSE but *could* run Win Server if they wanted to (as a nod to the competition gods)?

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Former Autonomy CFO indicted in USA for misleading investors

Andy The Hat
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Extradition?

Will there be a possibility of extradition? The UK are not allowed to extradite to countries where there is the risk of the use of torture. Trump has loudly proclaimed his support for US using torture ...

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Panicked WH Smith kills website to stop sales of how-to terrorism manuals

Andy The Hat
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Re: @Andrew Jones 2

Would you actually need a book to work out how to 'shoot and stab' anyone or would you just watch Rambo, Die Hard or any other Hollywood "blockbuster" produced since 1950?

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Britain must send its F-35s to Italy for heavy overhauls, decrees US

Andy The Hat
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Imagine the service call ...

"Hello, you've reached Turkish Engine Rebuilds and Kebab House. Press <1> for F-35 service, <2> for back of the factory cheaper parts and servicing, <3> for Doner Delights Kebab"

"I need an urgent F-35 engine service"

"Well, we're a bit busy at the moment. If you can drop it off the first week of December we'll try to fit it in ..."

"When will it be done? I really need the plane flying as we're currently having a bit hoo-har don't-you-know."

"Hmmm, Well, if I can get the parts - the USA doesn't like supplying us since we became a fundamentalist Islamic State and Trump dismantled NATO - it might be done in June."

"Not before that? The North African desert sand ..."

"Oh, Sir. Sand you say? The usage protocols specifically forbid use in windy or dusty environments. And <tappety tap> I see from the usage logs you've also been flying below 2000 feet over the sea ..."

"But it's carrier based ..."

"That may be Sir but your original contract said the carrier would be a white elephant, in dry dock being serviced most of its life and not used at sea. The salt will have played havoc with the engines gangol pins ... we'll have to do a full rebuild and ... you're looking at next August/September ..."

"<2> ...<2> ...bloody <2> ... Hello? How much is a used Harrier?"

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UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments

Andy The Hat
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Regulator?

Are there any rules and regulations for the operation of the state censor ... I mean regulator?

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European F-35 avionics to be overhauled at Sealand, says UK.gov

Andy The Hat
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Interesting contract ...

A 'private' company with revenues of £25m per annum gets a contract worth £2bn?

Think I'll be touting for F-35 business - on that basis I have a revenue of £10k and a motheaten shed which should allow me a £1m contract at least ...

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Andy The Hat
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Is this correct?

"the Supreme Court has very wide-ranging powers to create new law "

Before the creation of the Supreme Court the Law Lords did not have power to create law, only interpret it as the Court of Final Appeal. A fundamental part of our constitution is separation of Legislature, Executive and Judiciary.

If the quote above is indeed correct it means that unelected, indeed politically appointed individuals, have the right to make law independently of Parliament. That sounds anti-constitutional to me.

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UK will retaliate against state-sponsored cyber attacks, Chancellor warns

Andy The Hat
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Scary

The option to 'retaliate' against cyber attacks, state sponsored, state enabled or with no relation to the source state at all whilst not in a state of war is downright scary.

Defend all you like.

Investigate and subject perpetrators to the law.

Threatening 'retaliatory measures' against a state, that may not actually have sponsored anything but had a rogue actor or hacker spoofing sources, by bricking their power grid for instance is Trumping at its worst.

It sounds like Theresa May's glove puppet speaking ...

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UK.gov's pricey Five Year Plan to see off cyber thugs still in place

Andy The Hat
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But, to point out the obvious,

isn't the whole point that GCHQ would have more money for "the creation of offensive cyber capabilities" that could then be sold around the world (as Israel already does)?

(I assume here that the quote doesn't mean sending rude emails to your ex.)

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Pluck-filled platter-stuff: Bold disk drive makers fatten up

Andy The Hat
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Re: ...

hmm ... chisel means lumps, therefore texture, aha! Braille discs! They'd last for ever so would class as 'super-archive class storage'. If the mains power failed you could go fully manual - all you need is one of those unbelievable blind people who can actually read that stuff to shout the output down ye olde style phone ... - ok so the bandwidth drops towards BT Rural Broadband rates but it still works. Now, where did I put my patent-writing pen?

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Andy The Hat
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...

So I presume you believe that the 1Mb IBM hard disc cartridges that were about 16" across were recorded by Fred Flintstone and a chisel?

You have the inate ability to make some people feel sooo old :-)

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Andy The Hat
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Re: Huh?

If you have two small drives you have just two ordinary small drives, but replace it with a massive one and it's Top Trumps time!

Other than that, I see your point :-)

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Andy The Hat
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3.5 inch fat-boy

If they reduced the platter diameter slightly, they'd get a pair of spindles diagonally in a 5.14 bay ... double the height and double the spindles with a slight reduction in capacity per stack ... may work.

Or, what if we accepted a reduction in speed as a consequence of greater storage then we could have, thinking out loud here, a "5.25" device in what I will call a "full height" bay. Not sure whether platter stability would impact the density but perhaps 300Tb in a single device with little work?

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Boffins coax non-superconductive stuff into dropping the 'non'

Andy The Hat
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Thumb Down

Sort of an self-hyped report

The initial technique looks good - cook at 800+, anneal at 350 'when the superconduction properties appear' ... GREAT, high temp supers!

What isn't mentioned until the last minute is the liquid nitrogen/liquid helium cooling phase required to take us down to 25K ...

The technique may or may not be useful (hasn't been established) but the material is a worse performer than we already have ... so where's the much heralded breakthrough?

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KCL out(r)age continues: Two weeks TITSUP, two weeks to go

Andy The Hat
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Upgrade ...

I did the routine upgrade that I'd tested before I applied it and the raid melted down ... so I restored from the backup I made before I did the upgrade ...doh!

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Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob

Andy The Hat
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Fabulous!

A 'tablet' like that has loads of potential uses. Mounted flat in the top of a low table running Invaders for a start, or it could run Galaxians or it could run Asteroids ... that's three uses before I even stand my pint on it ...

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Parliamentarians ask Obama to withdraw Lauri Love extradition request

Andy The Hat
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did it?

"The alleged crime took place in the UK."

Did it?

Despite all the extradite or not comments, the important thing to me is what the legal ramifications are in detailing *where* the crime took place thus where jusristiction lies. If it was within the UK then prosecute in the UK, if the US then prosecute in the US.

However, and it's a big however, if you accept that this hacking offence took place in the UK's juristiction then you also have to accept that hacking of UK internet plc from *any other state* would then, by prior UK case law, have to be tried *in that state*.

Now who wants Russian, Chinese or Syrian (for example) state sponsored hackers, who hack into one of our nuclear power station control systems, to be tried under Russian, Chinese or US law ...?

This case is much deeper than it looks.

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Cisco president: One 'hiccup' and 'boom' – AWS is 'gone'

Andy The Hat
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Really good financial model

While the rates are low borrow like hell, create an environment to tie the punters in, stifle the competition and produce a global near-monopoly.

Rope the punters some more, make sure the shackles are really tight.

Then, oops, financials aren't so good, our profits aren't as high as we expected, pay us double for our product which you totally rely on or lose it at the end of the month ... please.

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New Brit Hubble analysis finds 2,000 billion galaxies, 10x previous count

Andy The Hat
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Re: So...

"That dark matter and energy are increased by an amount proportional to baryons, so that we are stuck with the current intractable cosmology difficulties, alas. Not going to get out of it THAT easy!"

But that raises a produces a really nasty problem.

If we have 10x the mass of matter, that would mean the gravity would (given current theory) certainly cause universal deceleration and gravitational collapse producing the inevitable big crunchie. However that motion is not what is being observed by cosmologists - we think it's an accelerating system. Thus this new set of observations, if corroborated, may add a super-size can of worms to current theory ...

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Andy The Hat
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Ours is better than yours ...

"The James Webb Space Telescope's primary mirrors will have a diameter of 6.5 meters, dwarfing Hubble's 2.4m. The new 'scope will also do its work at the L2 point way out past the orbit of the moon, a far better spot than Hubble's orbit just 570km from Earth. The Webb 'scope will also include shields that block light and make it a better observer of infrared light."

Whilst lovely stats! But it would probably be more accurate, if less Top Trumps, to write "it's a "better observer of infra red light because it's actually designed as a short wavelength infra red telescope. as opposed to primarily optical wavelengths of Hubble."

The masses are expecting pretty pictures and, whilst there will hopefully be false colour ones released, the JW is certainly a science instrument to deliver data rather than images so may be a bit of a disappointment for the press.

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That UK law that'll share Brits' private info among govt departments? Yeah, that'll need oversight

Andy The Hat
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Sharing ...

"When it talks of 'disclosing' personal data to gas and electricity suppliers ..."

Sure enough sharing may be to benefit the disadvantaged ... or it may be so that it's easier for HM Government to sell data to third parties. As private companies, why just gas and electricity? Why not water and telecoms? What about flood insurance? Then there's care home information for the over 50s, house price data for the rich, car insurance, pet insurance, replacement windows, roofers, builders ...

Data is worth money, I can't believe the thieving scumbags don't intend to sell it.

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Boost Ofcom's powers and fix mobile market woes, Three and TalkTalk tell MPs

Andy The Hat
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Government doesn't know whether it's coming or going.

In one breath

"Market forces", "Government can't interfere in private companies", "good for Britain"

but in the next it's

"must regulate more", "must dictate corporate strategy", "nasty monopolistic practices"

The only thing that's certain about Government's position is that it always sides with the companies who have most MPs on their board ... or will have two years after the election ...

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Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

Andy The Hat
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Re: "...Earth’s magnetosphere deflected harmful radiation particles away."

"So for a 3 year Mars mission, the crew spends MOST of their time inside of the shielded 'people tank', surrounded by a foot or more of water on all sides. Water with borax in it.

[for the unaware, boron absorbs neutrons]"

But for the uninitiated, don't drink unpurified shielding liquor then start bonking the crewmates to start the Mars population as borax may be linked to birth defects ...

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Andy The Hat
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Re: "...Earth’s magnetosphere deflected harmful radiation particles away."

I thought the current thinking was to spread all your organics on the sun-facing wall as a radiation shield then, as you eat/drink the shield, you replace it with organic waste - preferably on the other side of the wall to prevent embarrassment such as "... this coffee tastes like mud ..." (or a similar material less Black Adder-esque)

At least it'd stop you going mad, wibble!

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Zilog reveals very, very distant heir to the Z80 empire

Andy The Hat
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Re: Obligatory "When I were a lad..."

... well ...

we had a 'big multi-user' system with a rack of Z80 boards running CP/M on each board with a central pair of 8" floppies for boot and storage, lots of terminals with lovely TVI 920 (IIRC) terminals and RS232 interface cables ... what more could proper fanbois need? :-)

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BT Yahoo! customers: Why! can't! we! grrr! delete! our! webmail! accounts!?

Andy The Hat
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Emai 'service'?

"BT see email as a free add-on"

This seems to be the new thing. Cheaper broadband by not providing any services. I've been a happy Demon Internet customer for 22 years. Their current owner, Vodaphone, notified me that their 'improvements to service' meant I would no longer get my 'free' email - strange as it has been a fully supported service for 22 years.

So they now provide ADSL and ... well nothing apart from a 2Mbps connection for £25 a month, so I will have to pay someone else for a mail service, pay for web space, pay for anything bloody else. Needless to say I've told Vodaphone where to shove their lack of service and now have a much cheaper 32.5Mbps connection.

At the same time I changed from BT to another cheaper land-line company ... BT were desperate enough to send me a letter saying 'oh dear you are leaving BT and you will lose <blank space> services', didn't even bother to offer an alternative service to keep a customer. Says it all really.

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Boy, 12, gets €100k bill from Google after confusing Adwords with Adsense

Andy The Hat
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A child cannot enter a contract?

Actually, many countries around the world and, surprisingly, in Europe have the age of criminal responsibility under 12. I would wonder whether that definition extended to the age of financial responsibility too as an under-12 could be held liable for financial misdemeanors. Spain isn't one of them but it's an interesting question if you're defrauded by an 11-year-old Belgian hacker or a 9-year-old Maltese business tycoon ...

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Snoop! stooge! Yahoo! handed! all! your! email! to! Uncle! Sam! – and! any! passing! hacker!

Andy The Hat
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Re: Didn't break any American laws

So I'm guessing that would mean they contravened the safe harbour agreement on personal data? Time for an EU data protection complaint and a general public statement of how crap 'safe harbour' type agreements are?

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British trio win Nobel prize for physics

Andy The Hat
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Inaccurate reporting ...

"Haldane discovered how topological concepts can be used to understand the properties ..."

Get real!

No mere mortals have a hope of understanding it! But whatever it is it's probably brilliant ... :-)

Meanwhile, if anyone finds one, I appear to have lost the inside of my Klein bottle ...

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Should Computer Misuse Act offences committed in UK be prosecuted in UK?

Andy The Hat
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"If I have returned to the UK from Saudi however the Saudis wish to extradite me for drinking alcohol then I should not be extradited as this isn't an offence under UK law."

If you were drinking alcohol in S.A. then they have a perfect right to ask for extradition as a criminal offence was committed on their territory.

However, there's whole mess of the opposite - "you did XYZ in country Y and, though not illegal in Y, it's illegal in the UK so you're nicked mate". That is nasty.

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Kaleao's KMAX ARM-based server has legs. How fast can it run?

Andy The Hat
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Doh!

I got the 'it's a boxy server thing' bit but true hyper micro-converged-visor physicalized nics?

Just "Doh!"

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UK will build new nuclear bomb subs, says Defence Secretary

Andy The Hat
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Fire!

Fire I say!

Sorry Sir, Windoze for Warships is doing an unscheduled update. It says we can launch in two hours (Microsnot time)

Sorry again Sir! It says the the update doesn't support the drivers for the legacy "Torpedo Tube 1" or "Ballistic Missile- Trident" devices ... do I accept or cancel?

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