* Posts by Killing Time

61 posts • joined 1 Apr 2011

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Tidal music launch: Pop plutocrats pour FLAC on rival Spotify

Killing Time

Thought that myself. Nicki Minaji? Vaguely recall someone obviously dressed to draw attention but with a backside that reminded me of a Neil Hannon lyric. Absolutely no recollection of their contribution to music though…..

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Assange™ lawyers demand Swedish prosecution files or no London interview

Killing Time

Re: @Killing Time...

I agree he needs to face justice, however I don't believe he is a threat. Due to his theatrics his credibility is completely blown. His self promoted relevance has long faded.

Ninety five percent there.......

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Killing Time

Four years...four years...and counting....

I have had highs,lows,travelled, partied, a fair balance of excitement and the mundane...hell I have even had a marriage in past years which lasted less time than that.

I like to think I have lived in that time whereas St Julian has sulked around the same building....

No matter what happens with the Swedish investigation, it's still going to end the same way. He skipped bail in the UK and will have to answer to the UK courts.

Given this evidence, I am supposed to believe that these are the actions of a rational man whose opinion and intellect should lead me to believe in his personal cause and beliefs.

Nope, I will continue living my life until the inevitable day when he leaves and faces the music. I suspect however that by that time I will have completely given up caring.

I am ninety percent there already..

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Wind turbine blown away by control system vulnerability

Killing Time

Re: Security?? Wot's that?

"Re putting 'em in reverse <joke alert> / syncing them to the grid. Aren't these beasts dc with some fancy electronics interfacing to 50 Hz?"

Yep, got the point that you weren't being serious but if you are exporting to an AC grid no matter how you get there you have to interface at an AC voltage (fancy power electronics or not) and independent protection is in place. Rotor speed depends on gearing and No of generator poles in place. If no gearbox,2 pole and synchronous generator, max revs = 3000 (50hz). 4 poles= 1500, 8 poles = 750 and so on. Once you are synced, the revs will not increase as the grid frequency will resist any acceleration of the generator. A single few MW generator is no match for the multi GW of the grid. High wind speed v the grid will produce the huge torques which knacker this kit.

Not a particular proponent of this form of generation, just making the point that adequate systems are in place to provide protection over and above some deficiency in what essentially is a remote monitoring system.

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Killing Time

Re: Security?? Wot's that?

“if only it were possible to connect 'em in reverse to the grid as motors....”

You don’t need to connect them in reverse. Synch to the grid at a lower voltage or frequency and the grid will drive the generator as opposed to the generator trying to drive power into the grid.

However, the totally isolated, independent, probably redundant generator protection ‘relay’ would open the breaker on the first indication (a few milliseconds) of reverse power.

Just because these remote interfaces to largely view only monitoring systems have vulnerabilities, doesn’t mean the whole system can be compromised. There are multiple independent systems overseeing power generation kit, and long may it continue. It keeps the amateurs out!

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Killing Time

Re: Oh Good Grief

Seriously? …… Do the commentards here really believe that an industry as mature as industrial electrical and control would not have processes in place which circumvented any possibility of remote access to a piece of kit presenting a hazard to the operators or maintenance guys ?

Even more so, designs which could somehow via remote manipulation deliberately endanger members of the public? Overspeed protection is either mechanical and failsafe or electrical/electronic,isolated, redundant and failsafe. This is then backed up by remote siting and restricted access.

Windmills have been around for centuries, they haven’t suddenly become these terrifying monsters just one step away from slicing and dicing the nearest unwary citizen.

Come on, drop the FUD…..

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Hated biz smart meter rollout: UK.gov sticks chin out, shuts eyes

Killing Time

Re: A waste of money

@Ledswinger

Got to agree with your assessment here, the nonsense which is continually being recycled on this subject along with the power market debate is laughable.

I am no fan of this particular metering 'initiative' however I will go out on a limb and state categorically that the prospect of remote domestic supply isolation by this project and technology whether 'smart' or 'advanced' is a big fat zero.

The idea is complete bollocks.

There is regulation and legislation in place which protects the consumer from being cut off for whatever reason, and rightly so.

Just a small amount of research would separate the 'spin', rhetoric and facts in this matter. At least that would make a valid contribution.

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Killing Time

His work will stand the test of time...

One of the few authors to make me laugh out loud whilst also making me think deeply. Given his output you could list them all day but those that immediately spring to mind, for the comedy are the interchanges between Rincewind, Twoflower and The Luggage and for the insight the whole of 'Money'.

Farewell Sir Terry. DEATH will look after you....

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Killing Time

Re: In the news over the weekend...

@ AC with the Owl and then the Belkin toys...

As with all measurement there is an associated factor of uncertainty. With modern and standards compliant metering this will be in the region of 2% for both applications.

Therefore, in the case of the Owl which measures the incomer to the domestic fusebox, this could be up to 300W. In the case of the Belkin in the 13A socket outlet this could be up to 60W as an acceptable discrepancy.

It all depends on what you consider a significant amount of power.

Power factor has little effect unless you have large inductive loads, not something you would normally have in a domestic setting.

Old and new style metering use the exactly the same sensor method, its the transformer, a current transformer to be specific. This technology hasn't changed in many decades.

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Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS

Killing Time
Black Helicopters

Re: I don't get it... ?

So just how long is a typical Mars to Earth transit period?

They have probably only just poked their noses out of the bunker where they have been 'analysing' this phenomenon.

Didn't want to alarm anyone and all that....

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SpaceX HOVER-SHIP landing scuppered by MASSIVE ocean waves

Killing Time

Re: Culture ship names

Glad to see Iain's wit and genius honored in this way.

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NASA greenlights SpaceX and Boeing to carry crew to ISS in 2017

Killing Time

Re: Still a long way to go

Regarding the Biglow kit, I'm afraid you have to allow for inflation.............

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Acer Chromebook 13: The best Googletop on the market?

Killing Time

Re: Damn it, just the one USB port

@ Gordan

Wouldn't disagree that they aren't without their problems, but for the money? The battery will give diminishing returns eventually depending on usage and age. For essentially the same amount a year later you have a range of higher specification machines to choose from.

Trade up and Ebay the old one..........If you can bring yourself to.....

Or find the US company offering replacement batteries and keep it as a small, light hugely portable standby......

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Killing Time

Re: Damn it, just the one USB port

@ AC

Yes I was planning to upgrade to the XE503C32 as the reviews were good however markets are cut throat and we appear to moving into the realms of disposable computing.

Got a 14" HP unit instead and I am happy enough with that.

Nine to twelve months from now something else will be on the market at a higher spec but for about the same money and I will probably cycle again.

Given the overall Chromebook sales figure we appear to be seeing a successful implementation of 'thin client' computing which has been banged on about for years, just never delivered.

Not the solution to everything.... but 95% of it...........

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Killing Time

Re: Damn it, just the one USB port

@ Gordan

I read release of the Sammy MK2 Chromebook got binned in the UK along with all the other Samsung PC products.

Shame really as the MK1 is great unit just a little small screenwise. It's screen limitation becomes apparent the more you rely on it..

A victim of it's own usefulness.....

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What an ACE-HOLE! This super-software will whip you at poker, hands down

Killing Time

Re: Yawn

@badger31

Yep, understood that, but rather than laugh at him, a successful player would have taken him for every chip he could because that is the objective of the game. Equally, that player would put him and every other player at the table on a range of hole cards whether he gets to see them or not.

Your point regarding the actual cards in a hand is correct but its significance is directly related to position, particularly less so in late position as you can make it very expensive for early caller/raisers to see more cards. If you are going to bluff from early position you have to be willing to put your whole stack in that hand (through to the river) and each and every time you do it, Not a particularly smart strategy when there are multiple players still at the table or one you would pull more than once in a game.

That's why a raise from 'Under The Gun' generally gains respect.

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Killing Time

Re: Yawn

@ badger31

This work is on a limit game variant so its solution will be achievable due to the constraints the limits impose on the game. When there are fewer constraints and much more nuance (as in No Limit -Texas Holdem) their approach just won't cut it.

Your mate's move was, quite frankly, a bad one not a bold one. Successful players shove it in early on when they think they are dominating the table and it has to be monster when under the gun due to the risk of a re-raise. Therefore you all had to put him on an ace, if he blagged his way through to the flop and no ace turned, he didn't have a great betting position on the turn, a big bet / reraise after him would have him in big trouble.

He was lucky it was a friendly game.......

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Killing Time

Re: Yawn

A fair assessment but you missed out the importance of ‘position’ (relative to the dealer button). This is all important pre-flop and on the subsequent ‘streets’. The information you get purely from your position within the round far outweighs any acting skills you think may help.

Besides, if you can't keep a straight face then you can always emulate the 'Unibomber' (Phil Laak).

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Hubble 'scope snaps ENORMO SPACE ERECTION: Pillars of Creation 20 years on

Killing Time

Re: @KillingTime

I don't have any Faith, however I fully get your point. It does make you question your significance

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Killing Time

There was a link to these pictures on Slashdot yesterday, including one to this zoomable image of Andromeda.

http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1502a/zoomable/

It's the dog's danglies!

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Cloud Printing from a Chromebook: We try it out on 8 inkjet all-in-ones

Killing Time

Re: It looks the cloud frenzy is creating some very stupid products...

"BTW: there's a lot of useful things you can do on a PC without ever sending a byte outside your local network..."

Yes I know, been doing it for a while now... but why even take the risk of a local network, if you want to ensure absolute minimal risk why bother networking at all? For me its because the convenience outweighs the risk based on my personal technical assessment, which includes a whole host of factors including the sensitivity and impact of the data I am allowing to be networked.

I am happy with that, as I assume you are within the confines of your local network.......

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Killing Time

Re: It looks the cloud frenzy is creating some very stupid products...

If you actually use the internet for anything useful then it is pretty much the norm now that you will have multiple accounts,with numerous organisations and will likely be accruing them at an ever progressing rate. Why would a document bounced through a network to a printer account and back, be at any greater risk than any other document moving around the internet?

Sounds like FUD to me unless you want to actually quantify the 'risk' rather than imply that the quantity of data transmitted directly corresponds to higher risk of compromise.

I would argue that it doesn't, risk of compromise is directly related to the level of data security which includes multiple factors not least of which would be the level of encryption.

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Killing Time

Re: A couple of things missing here, though...

I have had a 'cloudy' HP All in One in place for about a year and use it with my Chromebook.

The printer connects via your WiFi, you create an account with HP and your Chromebook works through the account. Bear in mind the print jobs are spooled through the account so there can be a short delay from pressing 'Print' to the doc appearing at the printer, not a showstopper for home use. Spooling through the account will hold the jobs so you can issue prints from remote places, turn the printer on when in the vicinity and they will print. Scanning documents is a bit of a drag as the printer effectively emails you a copy with a default document name and so you need to do some manipulation when you receive the scan, not a professional solution but OK for the occasional document. It will come.....

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Mysterious BEAM outside London Googleplex ZAPPED

Killing Time

Re: In all seriousness....

So who would be conducting this investigation, the HSE police?

Has anyone been injured, has anyone been killed? No, from what has been reported some bloke has been saved a bit of hair gel.

Despite popular belief the HSE get directly involved after the event to establish potential negligence, prior to it they issue advice and guidance.

I am not a fan of theirs particularly but I would prefer their brief as it is thanks.....

PS. the cables aren't shielded, but they are probably armoured and the armouring connected to earth, if the earth connection is dodgy then magnetic induction can take place locally.

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British drones target ISIS for the first time

Killing Time

Re: That headline, apologies to BOC

Have an upvote for cramming as many BOC album and track references as as you can...you know they should have used an ME262.......

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Antarctic ice at ALL TIME RECORD HIGH: We have more to learn, says boffin

Killing Time

Re: oracle@delphi.gr

' What worries me is that governments absolutely believe its 3'

Governments don't absolutely believe its 3, politicians are more cynical than that. Governments are judged on, among other things, job creation.

Technology is enabling higher power generation with less manpower, coal fired stations require a larger investment in manpower for fuel handling due to its lower energy density (shipping to site, processing, handling onsite). Think uprated CCGT's, nukes etc, increased automation means manning levels remain the same as the previous generation or even a decrease.

Large nationwide installations of wind generation or PV creates high value jobs in the construction or installation sectors and finally in the ongoing service and support sector, all paid for by instigating a tax on the end user under the auspices of saving the planet.

For a politician what's not to like? its a win win situation, they create the jobs and are outwardly seen to be caring. I haven't seen a political party yet which openly manifests to knock this model on the head.

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Cable guy, Games of Thrones chap team up to make Reg 'best sci-fi film never made' reject

Killing Time

Re: The trouble with "older" sci-fi...

@Justicesays Yes either the obvious Mars related Man Plus or the Heechee saga. all books essentially about the characters more than the background.

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Indian MOM just LOVES it on Mars, tweets fave holiday snap

Killing Time

Re: Do you get what you pay for?

I understand the science was not the main goal, that has been made clear from the initial project press releases. That was exactly my point, perhaps greater investment in the science is where the additional costs go?

Much is being made of how frugal this mission is in comparison to others, yet I have no doubts whatsoever that it is reliant on the existing deep space comms infrastructure, cooperation with other space agencies and their assets ensuring the project their best chance of success .

As to AC's pure conjecture on the reasons behind the iffy resolution, lets hope so hey?

Again, all said without wishing to denigrate their fine achievement.

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Killing Time

Do you get what you pay for?

Without wishing to rain on their parade, I get a fair idea from the quality of the released image what 10x costs gets you in terms of imaging and science. Resolution leaves a bit to be desired, Its a little reminiscent of some Viking images.......

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MOM: CHEAP Mars ship got it right first time. Nice one, India

Killing Time

Re: Congrats

Hmm… relatively small payload and no doubt depending on the existing deep space communications infrastructure, that will significantly contribute to the cost savings.

SPB will be doing it in a few years. Start the Kickstarter now Lester!

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Killing Time

Re: @RC dan1980

I don’t doubt you appreciate the author, or that various technologies exist to do difficult things on the bottom of the ocean, I just see endless waffle on this thread built on towering layers of conjecture.

I would say Occam’s Razor is a concept completely alien to the majority of commentards on this particular subject, damn … I‘ve now introduced the possibility of aliens.

If this…if that… If my Auntie had bollocks she would be my Uncle! Well she doesn’t and she isn’t and neither would she circumvent 10KVdc at the bottom of an ocean with a couple of jumpers or any other such nonsense or flight of fancy however eloquently put up here.

I just don’t buy it!

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Killing Time

@RC

No matter how logically and coherently you set out your argument I don’t think you will ever convince the ‘tinfoil hat’ brigade. Unfortunately they want to believe that it’s true and that need overrides all reason.

A fine detailed article laid out in a logical progression.

Sadly it will not reach the paranoid few.

But hey, keep it up, articles like this are why I read this site.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Killing Time

Re: Flash

Nice lyric reference........ 'And Dream Of Sheep'?

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Killing Time

Re: Logic fail

Oooh, looks like I did. Presumably St Julian's maths skills are better than his supporters?

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Killing Time

Re: Logic fail

The kind of absolute moron who thinks his desperate attempt at martyrdom will make any difference at all. A delusional egotist whose relevance faded several years ago.

There is no reasoning with them, just wait them out, it’s their lives they waste. At least he has been confined to only damaging himself.

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Pentagon hacker McKinnon can't visit sick dad for fear of extradition

Killing Time

Paranoia or Publicity?

I think hardboiledphil has nailed it. So jump in the car and be there and back in a day. It's either total paranoia or a little publicity for the new project.

Personally, I would be rather embarrassed if my mother was talking publicly for me at forty eight, no matter what my 'condition', but hey ho, it takes all sorts I suppose.

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4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles

Killing Time

A silver lining perhaps?

Maybe this bandwidth availability crunch could have a positive impact on DTT channel quality. It seems to me that currently there appears to be a glut of available channels, some real junk is being broadcast, presumably as channel pricing is cheap. I can’t envisage some of this stuff really having an audience big enough to be generating enough money to make them viable long term.

Perhaps, as the pressure for bandwidth rises then only the seriously funded players will survive. I don’t see any point in tens of channels of (to put in favorably) niche interests.

Having said that, will still make a response to Ofcom.

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Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Killing Time

Re: No Surprise

RE RM

I agree us mere ignoramuses shouldn't make sweeping comments regarding the sum of scientific knowledge however it’s fascinating that you feel compelled to comment on behalf of ‘the scientific community’. I always understood science to be a continually evolving debate with fact being established through experimentation and prediction. Even then, it’s a case of test and retest.

I am sure you worked very hard for your PhD in Palaeoclimatology, as no doubt did the committee which awarded it to you however I think it’s a valid point that without an issue such as Global Warming ( I have deliberately dropped the ‘man made’ as everybody else does now), your area of expertise becomes a tad less attractive to scientific funding.

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CSIRO claims milestone in solar-powered steam turbines

Killing Time

Woo Hoo!

Errh.. I wouldn't start popping the champagne corks just yet. Whilst this achievement is admirable, it's one thing to hit a peak pressure and temperature but another to generate the mass flow to do enough economical 'work' to build a power plant around.

Scrub that, what was I thinking, that's what subsidies are for!

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Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Killing Time

Re: More legendary writers please !

Got to agree, articles of this quality are why I read El Reg. Clear technical commentary with a health amount of wry observation. Keep it coming..

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Mae Microsoft yn addysgu Swyddfa, Bing, siarad Cymraeg*

Killing Time

Meic,

you may want to look up the definition of monoglot...

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Killing Time

Re: Who is actually going to benefit from this?

@AC

I believe the comparison is completely irrelevant as by your argument we could compare any UK spend to a regional issue.

My beef is with WAG spending welsh taxpayers money and so a regional comparison is far more appropriate in my local taxpayers opinion.

Whether ‘The proportion of expenditure spent supporting the Welsh language is so small that if it was all cut tomorrow you wouldn't notice the slightest difference to any public services’ is true, is debatable in its own right but I suspect you would dismiss out of hand opposing points of view. Funnily enough the term ‘blind spot’ springs to mind.

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Killing Time

Re: Who is actually going to benefit from this?

@AC

Glad to hear you are doing your bit for the Cornish language, good for you. However the fact that I am asking who is actually going to benefit from this does not in any way suggest that I don’t support my native culture. Through extensive travel , time spent living abroad and adoption of the local language where I could (including Welsh when in that environment), I am also fully aware how other countries embrace their various languages.

Unfortunately HS2 in its current incarnation will not pass through Wales so the comparison in costs is irrelevant, perhaps you may wish to make your comparisons in public services with a more direct bearing such as school services where the languages are actually taught?

My question stands ‘who is actually going to benefit from this?’

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Killing Time

Who is actually going to benefit from this?

I consider myself a proud Welshman but from a native tax payers perspective it’s not at all encouraging to see that the Welsh Assembly Government is expending time, energy and money on ensuring their purchasing options become more focused on a single supplier.

As there are few if any monoglots in Wales, particularly of an age where they would likely rely on these products for translation, (with respect to the silver surfers, monolingualism if it still exists is going to be in the 80+ age category) this strikes me as a phenomenal waste of money, I am pretty certain Microsoft will not be doing this for free.

This canned statement regarding improved efficiency is quite frankly bollocks, if there is a weakness in their Welsh skills, ask a colleague. There has been a policy of positive discrimination regarding public service employment for years.

There is also another functional official language in Wales which, like it or not, is English.

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Vulture 2 rocket motor heater a non-sizzling success

Killing Time

Re: How about...

Similar idea with contact pads on the fuselage (copper or brass, slightly convex surfaces to enable clean breakaway) but using lightly sprung carbon motor brushes as the contact from the battery supply / truss assembly? The brushes could be shaped to ensure good electrical contact.

If it works for motor armatures it may work here, the graphite from the brushes would provide some lubrication again to ensure clean breakaway.

Just a thought.............

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Random car shutdowns force Toyota to recall Prius hybrids - AGAIN

Killing Time

Sad Prius Driver

Sadly I have been driving one of these since 2009... Happily it is one of the most reliable cars I have ever had... Sadly I have had to return it for recall at my convenience, had a cup of coffee, read the paper and jumped back into a newly washed car... Happily I traded it for a VW Golf which despite its legendary reliability cutout at 75mph in the motorway outside lane twice on me due to a dodgy relay associated with the EMU.

Stop beating up on Toyota for providing a service.....

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Acer C720 Chromebook with Haswell battery boosting goodness

Killing Time

Re: Why?

Assuming you place yourself somewhere at least around the middle of the technical knowledge spectrum, have read the article, skimmed the previous comments and still can’t work out what Chrome OS is for, then lord help the future of IT.

It’s an ‘information appliance’ (hope that’s not too wild a concept), a means to access and manipulate ‘information’. It’s the information which is deemed to have the inherent value, far more than the means by which it is accessed. Hence the term Information Technology which has been around since the eighties and makes the distinction between the data and the supporting software and equipment.

If the appliance can provide information access and functionality at an acceptable overall cost (monetarily, functionally and in terms of privacy/acceptable data use) then it will be a success, if not then it will crash, burn and end up as a historical footnote along with a multitude of other good ideas over the last forty years.

Can you work it out now?

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Killing Time

Chromebooks do the job....

Been using a chromebook for a year... don't want to use anything else for personal use. Only really use my Ubuntu machine when forced to ( and then this is mostly to apply updates), Home Win machine went in the bin long ago and good riddance. Compelled to use a Win machine professionally, certainly not out of choice.

All these supposed 'issues' with cloud machines are frankly, nonsense. 2 GB local memory and 16GB SSD really are more than adequate (it really isn't that long ago these were KB and MB capacities in hardware), additional cloud capacity you will never exhaust.

Ooh! the big bad spy man will look at my data. Yeah, they are going to pick my cat photos out from the millions of other accounts because there are all these agents with time on their hands who want to trawl through my shit, I really am not that interesting, they can knock themselves out!

I am not dumb enough to save anything dodgy out of my control, encrypted thumbdrives are still around right?

If you have got problems tethering then pick an ISP with a shed load of hotspots you can easily access. Cloud enabled printers are in the tens of pounds price range and really not that hard to set up. I thought everyone knew they stiff you on the consumables so avoid printing and save the planet and your bank balance.

A Chromebook and Lastpass fulfills 99.9% of my personal IT use, here's hoping this is the case until the direct neural implant is invented!

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Meet NASA's Valkyrie: A SILKY BUSTY ROBO-MINX that'll save your life

Killing Time

Remember MAN+ anyone?

Looks like how I always envisaged MAN+ in my minds eye... Fact following Fredrick Pohl's fiction.

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NSA data centre launch delayed as power surges 'melt metal, zap racks'

Killing Time

No mystery here folks

Ignoring all the sensationalism and schadenfreude, this has all the hallmarks of HV flashover within the switchgear jointing bays. Sporadic and seemingly random in nature due to poorly terminated joints.

There was a time HV jointing was considered a bit of an art to avoid undue stressing of the heavy cabling, proper crimping to avoid dissimilar metals corrosion and proper insulation of the exposed metal lugs etc. You know, engineering experience. These days they will let any clown do it if they can barely read the instructions on a jointing kit.

All it takes is poor project management and someone prepared to either forgo or falsify HV DC pressure testing records, hey, who's to know when most of these project managers are from a civils or mech backgound. Electricity is mysterious and difficult so they tend to get shouty and dick swingy when the subject comes up. A dawdle to pull one over on. Nah, no great conspiracy just piss poor management.

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