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* Posts by Primus Secundus Tertius

405 posts • joined 31 Oct 2010

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Steve Jobs' bio man tackles geeks who 'created the digital revolution'

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Greek geeks

The ancient Greeks developed complicated machanical calculators, but they were all burned when the Library of Alexandria was destroyed.

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WikiLeaks reveals new draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Re: TPP: The People are Peasants

"We The People RULE."

Er, like Hungary 1956, Tianenmen 1989, ...

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Unrepresentative

It surprises me, an Englishman, that a seriously democratic country like the USA can make these proposals which are so much against the interests of the common man. Or, as FDR once put it, "the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid".

Have they forgotten "No taxation without representation"? Where are the People's Tribunes in this negotiating process?

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UK's a very popular target for EMEA cyberspies – report

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Why Turkey?

So the list of countries is:

UK - finance, probaably

Germany - engineering prowess

Saudi - probably by Israel

Turkey - This one I do't understand

Switzerland - finance.

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'Theoretical' Nobel economics explain WHY the tech industry's such a damned mess

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Hawtony - Hawaii to New York.

Or Mintex - Minnesota to Texas.

Or hyphenate those two into a distinguished double-barrelled name.

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Hedging with words

This article, and some others from Worstall, remind me of the legendary Professor Iffsen Butz, head of multidisciplinary studies at Vaguest County State College.

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Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

I, too, get downvoted or flamed if I admit that I like some of the tricks that Access and One Note can do. But not as badly as the time I criticised St Snowden.

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Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: rant-like journalism

Huh?

Trevor writes a long and serious article about real concerns with modern software, then adds a comment advocating drugs medications.

But what can I do except stick with Linux or XP?

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Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

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Re: As a fatter person

I don't drink (alcohol) as much as I did when I was young. "Beer is a nutrient", the apologists claim as they stumble between the comatose bodies on the floor/pavement.

Inheritance comes into it. I am the same shape as my mother's brother and their father. We have all seen that some people are beanpoles and others are roly-poly.

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Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Moving the goals?

Well said, Dr Ellen.

(weight)/(height**3) is constant, roughly the same as water, 1 tonne per cubic metre for those who think big.

So (BMI)/(height) is constant. Ie, for the same shape, a big person has a bigger BMI.

Secondly, most of what we eat goes into keeping our blood warm (which helps our brains to function). A shark or crocodile can live on one big eat per month, but we cannot. The proportion of food used for physical effort is only a tiny fraction.

But now we are living in warmer houses: room temperature 19th century was 15 centigrade; these days it is 20 or more. However, help is at hand. Green policies will produce power cuts every winter (when there is less solar power anyway), and we shall shiver our way to slimness.

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Look ma, no hands! The machines are speaking our language

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Is there a non-proprietary 'app' for this?

Photocopy costs.

When I was at Uni, 1965+or-, 6d per A4 sheet. 2.5p in modern coins. Today, ca 12p per sheet in small numbers. That is price growth at ca 3.25% compounded.

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Minutes of meetings

I, so often the 'acting minutes secretary', would like to see a system that could listen to a meeting with one or more microphones, and five minutes after the meeting ends the system produces a coherent set of minutes.

As an easier task, it could proofread documents.

Some major newspapers seem to rely on their reporters dictating to robots and printing the words without sub-editing. The results are dire: homophones, bad sentences... I do not accept the premise of this article that voice recognition is looking rosy.

I remember the BBC trying out, on BBC2, a voice recognition commentary at the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981. Very disappointing. Since then there have been complaints by organisations for the deaf at the poor quality of TV subtitles, and the time delays they exhibit.

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Intel 'underestimates error bounds by 1.3 QUINTILLION'

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Re: Isn't this obvious?

You would not and I would not, but then I think of some of the people I worked with...

Back in the days of hand reckoning or electromechanical machines, numerical analysis was seriously taught. Nowadays it is brute electronic force and ignorance.

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Windows 10 feedback: 'Microsoft, please do a deal with Google to use its browser'

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Re: My Fave Changes...

Also, make the now-free One Note usable without all the encumbrances of MS accounts and clouds.

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Windows 10's 'built-in keylogger'? Ha ha, says Microsoft – no, it just monitors your typing

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Re: Figures

So you type the address in "No spacing" style and the body text in "Normal". That's what those "stupid style things" are for. And for headings, of course.

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Apple tries to kill iWorm: Zombie botnet feasting on Mac brains

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admin password needed

Most software on most systems needs an admin password to install.

So install it first on a secondary machine if you don't trust the source. It may say it comes from Megacorp but are you sure???

Then be careful with those memory sticks used on all your machines.

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Rise of the Machines: FIRST HUMAN VICTIM – 2015

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Re: And this affects me how?

At a mundane level, it could make car theft easier.

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No, Big Data firm, the UK isn't teeming with UBER-FRISKY GIGOLOS

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It all makes work...

Many years ago a song was released that described how the gas man broke the water pipe, which fused the electricity, which scorched the plaster, which fell into the water pipe and blocked it. Or something like that. The chorus line was, "It all makes work for the working man to do".

I have been waiting ever since for the song, "It all makes work for the working girl to do".

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What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Mechanical typewriters

I watched new graduates start working with computers during the 1970s, and it was obvious they had no typing experience. By the 1980s they had typed before, though sometimes not accurately. And, like Nigel Molesworth, there speling was excrable.

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Re: Keyboard commands for select, copy, paste and find

Re teeline

I am guessing that is a system of shorthand. The two systems I have heard of are Pitmans and Greggs.

I know computers can turn handwriting to print, provided it is live writing on a touch screen or pad, as opposed to an image file. Does anyone know whether they can read shorthand?

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Microsoft's nightmare DEEPENS: Windows 8 market share falling fast

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@Potemkine

I just bought a new Lenovo. I ordered the Win7 option, but it also includes recovery DVDs for Win8.1. So after I prepared the Win7 recovery DVDs, I am giving 8.1 a tryout. Lenovo have done customisation, including a start menu, so their 8.1 is more agreeable than the Microsoft trial 8.1 that I tried last year on another machine and did not like.

US software and chips, Chinese assembled. I guess pretty well any country can tap into that, then.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

Primus Secundus Tertius
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How much power?

A car going on an uphill stretch of motorway uses some 50 kilowatts of power.

The energy of sunlight is about 1 kilowatt per square metre, and about a tenth of that can be turned into electricity by solar cells.

So the car above, if electric, would need 500 square metres of solar sail. Bit of wind resistance there, one feels, plus problems at night. Worstall's hydrogen cells are unlikely to be significantly better.

Chemical energy is far more concentrated than electrical or mechanical energy. That is why we can make bombs, dammit. There is no sensible substitute for petrol.

And as most of the world's carbon dioxide comes from volcanoes under the ocean, our use of petrol makes no significant difference.

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That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN

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Re: "But we're still in the dark about how it rained down on us"

England and Scotland were separate in palaeozoic times. Then by some geological catastrophe England was encumbered.

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Re: Oxygen not new - some is, but not a lot yet!

The CNO nuclear cycle that you mention only runs in the bigger hotter stars, of which our sun is not one. So in our sun it is the process of two protons forming a deuteron plus an electron. This is a weak reaction and very slow. That is why stars shine for billions of years rather than exploding straightaway.

The deuterium reacts quickly to eventually form helium-4, which is why there is very little deuterium at any moment, and any excess in the original galactic mix would disappear.

So the sun does not currently form carbon or any nucleus later in the list of elements. When it becomes a red giant, billions of years hence, it will burn helium to carbon.

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Oxygen not new

Our sun has not created oxygen atoms from hydrogen, so they must have been part of the cloud from which the sun was born. Similarly with nitrogen and carbon.

Hydrogen is overwhelmingly more abundant than the C N O atoms, so they will exist as hydrides: methane, ammonia, and water. Rather like the atmosphere of Jupiter, then. Yes, these hydrides will have existed before the solar system was born, though they may have been unformed and reformed by solar processes.

The article seems to be saying the deuterium abundances are a signal. But deuterium does not disappear until temperatures are high enough for nuclear reactions. So it is consumed within the sun, but not in the planetary zone. The measurements the article reports seem to buttress standard theory rather than saying anything new.

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Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

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Re: Windows Schitzo?

or Windows Rondo -- round and round as fashions change and later repeat. Visual effects one year, plain background and capital letters the next, then visual again...

Nothing changes, but there is the Parkinson's Law of programming: software expands to fill the available hardware.

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FBI: Your real SECURITY TERROR? An ANGRY INSIDE MAN

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Cost of Snowden

@Frankie L

You beat me to it. "...costs ranging from $5,000 to $3m...". How much did Snowden cost?

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

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Re: Always been there or new?

DAM good analysis there.

I never had much faith in eyeballs at code reviews that I chaired.

Compiler listings(1) and robotic pretty prints(2) I found were useful. I dreamed of analysers that would create flowcharts, but never worked with any. Lint was good for C, but so much today is in various scripting languages.

(1) for misspelled variables and simple general correctness.

(2) for code engulfed in previous comments not properly terminated, or vice-versa.

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Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR

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@ A Grunt

I once bought a new Renault. Drove it home, put my usual junk into the boot, then the boot door would not close.

After that I defected to Ford.

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ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7

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Re: At last

@Steve D3

I thought it was Alfred who cooked a charred cake.

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GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins

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@Wzrd1

That may be because there are far fewer scientists than there are religionists.

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Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list

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Re: Get a proofreader.

@BryceP

As far as I can see, the Torygraph relies on voice recognition to turn reporters' phone calls into printed stories, with no sub-editing. The results are dire.

I am no friend of the Graun, but let's be fair.

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ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee

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Re: What costs, is capacity and content.

@Neil Barnes

It's not just Netflix et al who expect me to pay for their adverts. A British newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, pumps out about 8 megabytes of crap for every news story (typically 5 kilobytes). And they expect me to pay a subscription if I want more than their free allowance! A similar story at that satirical rag The Onion (which describes itself as America's finest news source).

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

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Slurp rates

Yes, ULF must be little better than hand driven Morse code.

Even ultrasound, which makes far more sense in the ocean, yields only kilobits per second.

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Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway

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Re: The discs last 1000 years

Of course a DVD reader built today will not be around in a workable state after 1000 years. But the disk could be analysed and a new reader built.

Some time back I read an article about an optical reader that could follow the track on an old (pre-vinyl) gramophone record and reproduce the music minus most of the background noise.

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Re: 1000 years?

As for "thousand year thingies", there are several western examples such as England, Iceland, Switzerland. In the orient there are China and Japan.

Apols to any I have omitted.

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Was Earth once covered in HELLFIRE? No – more like a wet Sunday night in Iceland

Primus Secundus Tertius
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Re: Early civilizations and dinosaurs

We are told these days that at least some of the dinosaurs were smarter than the average lizard. So I have wondered whether they ever got as far a stone age, or even putting up buildings.

But there is no fossilised reinforced concrete in mesozoic rocks, nor even pottery fragments. So probably they didn't.

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New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone

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Re: Great Scott!

Totally agree.

Typical Reg article, 3 megabytes of ads and promotional meterial, to deliver about 5 kilobytes of text. Typical MSM(*) piece, 8 megabytes for 5KB.

(*)No names, no libel threats.

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Boffins: Searching for ALIENS is like looking for PIZZA among students

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I heard stories of students' cats that grew very large on a diet of curry and chips. Saw some of them, too.

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Re: Life ...

My physics lecturers spoke of "dissipative systems", that relied on a flow of energy.

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Re: Hmmmm.

Apart from the intergalactic cock-up when they left a signal running for almost a minute, picked up by one of our ET search projects.

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Re: But even his theory...

"Lets start with a life form which doesn't require oxygen".

As on Earth for the first billion years or so. But acetic acid -> methane + carbon dioxode is a useful source of thermodynamic free energy.

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Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

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Re: They are making profits of over £100m...

Other reports suggest that Phones4u was owned by a bunch of hedgies. Those vultures (no, not you, Reg!) issued bonds for a lot of money, took the money for themselves, and left the company to repay the bonds out of future earnings. The interest payments on those bonds killed the company.

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

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Arts graduate nonsense

"Smart meters" are another piece of stupidity foisted upon us by innumerate and unscientific arts graduates. Stuff them!

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Intel's SECRET Xeons: tell us what you think Chipzilla's hiding

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Software Resistant

Software resistant version: runs the same Intel/Windows/NSA software (with the same bugs/features) no matter what version of Linux/BSD/Other you try and load.

Great for standards compliance!

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Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International

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Sauce for the goose

How about an FOI request against Privacy International? Who are they? What are they really trying to achieve? Have they made similar requests of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran ...?

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Virgin Media hit by MORE YouTube buffering glitches

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Re: You get what you pay for

@Phuzz

"...VM, not great, but not so bad...". Yes, I agree. Nowhere near "five-nines" reliability, struggling indeed to reach "two-nines". Virgin email not allowing me to receive email one day last week, and also yesterday afternoon.

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Use home networking kit? DDoS bot is BACK... and it has EVOLVED

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Cars and computers

For all I know there is a hard-wired password in my car that will make it engage reverse gear on the motorway. But I am not an expert on cars.

Equally, the vast majority of computers and routers are sold to non-experts.

In Britain the Trades Description Act requires that items sold retail be "basically fit for purpose". Whether a weak password breaks that law is debatable.

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Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

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Re: The unfairness goes much deeper

@Trevor

Google or Microsoft: not an easy decision, and I respectfully wish to disagree with you.

At least Microsoft are selling a product, software; whereas Google are selling our souls.

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'Everywhere I look ... it's bad': HP claims email shows Autonomy CFO panic, pre-buyout

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What a mess

Some of us have opinions about Mr Lynch that are full of doubts, but the other lot appeared to be beancounters led by a b*llsh*tt*r (subsequently replaced). Perhaps the lawyers deserve all the money more than the contestants.

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