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* Posts by Steve Knox

1480 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION

Steve Knox
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Re: The first rule of software development...

The second (and almost never followed) rule is to also have a less powerful computer than your end users.

That way, you can see what happens when you write and test code on a Core i7 with 32GB of RAM, and a user tries to run it on an AMD A4 with 1GB of RAM.

You can then choose a course of action somewhere on the spectrum between spending weeks of development time optimizing for old hardware, or the Microsoft approach.

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Androids in celluloid – which machine deserves the ULTIMATE MOVIE ROBOT title?

Steve Knox
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Re: Exterminate

The Daleks have been in films.

You do not want to see the films they were in, but they were...

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The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose

Steve Knox
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Boffin

It's the Internet

They just haven't fitted the flashy light to it yet.

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Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

Steve Knox
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Headmaster

Re: Biased?

GCSE needs a HUGE more expertise to pass.

For example, a basic understanding of the different parts of speech and how they work together to create a coherent expression.

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SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google

Steve Knox
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Re: We'll never get longer lasting batteries...

It's way simpler than that harebrained conspiracy theory.

Every time we get better batteries, we use that improvement to make them work harder, rather than last longer.

Compare what the average person does with a smartphone now with what they did just ten years ago.

And you're surprised that the batteries don't last longer?

As for the car battery analogy, the amount of power needed to move something as heavy as an automobile for even a few miles at any reasonable speed is at least a full order of magnitude greater than that needed to power a high-end smartphone for a week.

My Samsung Galaxy S5 gets 2-3 full days at moderate usage on a 3.85v 2800mAh (= 10.78Wh) battery. At 3x my usage, it would take a 75Wh battery to keep that phone running for a week.

My Prius C, on the other hand, can drive for 1-2 miles at up to 30MPH on its battery, which is a 144-volt 6.0Ah (=864Wh) battery.

As for a 1000+ mile range on a 15-minute charge? Bollocks.

To get a 1,000 mile range at a pedestrian 30MPH that Prius C would require a 432kWh battery (assuming best case scenario, and increased battery weight fully offset by motor efficiency improvements), or roughly 4,007 Samsung Galaxy S5 batteries.

(For a check, gasoline contains about 33.3kWh per US Gallon. Since a good gasoline engine pushing a small car might get 50MPG (US) at 30MPH, that would mean 660kWh of energy to go 1,000 miles. So I am being quite optimistic for the battery here.)

To charge that battery in 15 minutes with a perfectly efficient charger would require 1,728kWh, or about 7,200 amps at 240 volts.

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Don't like droopy results, NetApp? Develop server-side SAN

Steve Knox
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Wrong Trend Line

While the trend line looks nice, the latter results clearly show a pattern of seasonality, which had likely been previously masked by NetApp's growth. Separate quarterly trend lines would be more appropriate.

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NHS: Go digital or you won't get paid, warns Kelsey

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Only in Government

is a 24-month span considered a "rigid date".

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Annus HORRIBILIS for TLS! ALL the bigguns now officially pwned in 2014

Steve Knox
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Re: Remote execution? huh?

Since the primary victims were the server versions of Windows, it stands to reason that the vulnerability is exploitable via services such as SMTP, MSSQL or IIS (to name but a few.) Any of these might be configured to use the SChannel stack. Pass an encrypted packet to these services, and they send it to SChannel to decrypt.

Essentially, if you've provisioned a network service on a Windows box, and thought you were making it safer by turning on encryption, you may have actually made it worse...

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FLASH better than DISK for archiving, say academics. Are they stark, raving mad?

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Endurance?

Isn't the endurance issue with flash caused by degradation from multiple overwrites?

If so, then a write once, read rarely, overwrite rarely* use pattern should be fine at all but the most sensitive endurance level.

Or is there degradation over time (or reads) as well?

*Which, for those who like to stretch acronyms to the limit, could be called Write Once, Read Rarely, overwrite rarelY. I'll just go and chastise myself for thinking that up, thank you very much.

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Hot, horny bees swerve PLANET-SAVING DUTIES as climate warms, claim boffins

Steve Knox
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Happy

But remember, you only need one fact. to disprove an invalid theory.

Okay. The sky is blue, therefore, your theory that 97% of published climate papers are wrong is itself wrong.

Any one fact will not prove or disprove a theory, especially not one as complex as AGW. A preponderance of relevant evidence is needed. I won't go into why your observation does not rise to a preponderance of evidence here; I've answered that in a response to your response to my post below.

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Steve Knox
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Happy

Re: Don't them Warmists believe in Evolution?

Two things.

1. First, you have provided no citation for your fact of no change for 18 years, 1 month. No problem, though. Promise to identify your sources in the future, and I'll give you a source which almost agrees with you: https://www2.ucar.edu/climate/faq#t2507n1344 (according to them, though, it's only been about 16 years.)

2. This doesn't bother me, though, because they also point out the gaping flaw in your logic: you're using short-term (i.e, annual) trends to try to analyze a long-term issue. If you check the annual change in temperature, it's been rather flat. But if you check the decennial, the increase is still happening. Climate scientists tend to use 30 years, because relatively minor events (e.g, volcanoes) can affect climate trends for several years.

Think of it this way: if you go climb a mountain, there will be quite a few places along your ascent where you can walk along a level path, or even downhill slightly. That doesn't mean you've hit the peak, only that the ground is not uniform. To identify where the mountain starts, peaks, and stops you have to zoom out to get more perspective.

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Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: Don't them Warmists believe in Evolution?

Nobody with an understanding of science believes in evolution.

Scientists (both professional and amateur) in general accept that evolutionary theories provide the best explanation to date of the observational and experimental evidence we have of the origin and diversity of life on Earth. As with AGW, there are some scientists who do not agree with the consensus, for various reasons.

But anyone with a basic understanding of evolutionary theory can see why it's not really relevant in this case. In general, the time frame necessary for evolutionary processes to effect significant change in a species is longer than the time frame under which climate change is occurring.

Indeed, that is the primary concern with climate change -- not the change itself, but the rate of change. It's happening faster than evolutionary processes, and possibly human technology, can adapt.

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Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Science is about evidence and analysis.

They may have made it their life's work to thoroughly understand their own subject, but many scientists in the field of climate change could really have done with spending a little less time on that and a little more time studying statistics.

Do you have specific examples and evidence, or are you just engaging in a bit of general slander? What percentage of scientists constitutes "many"? What, curriculum, specifically, do you endorse for climate science? What methodology did you use to develop that curriculum and compare it to existing curricula?

Maybe if you gave the full details of those 97% published papers - something about the vast majority of published papers being rejected before they found a few that agreed with their foregone conclusion and that 97% is of those few.

Yeah, you've never read the study. http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/8/2/024024/article

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

Steve Knox
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Occam's Razor

So either they've discovered a particle which resolves unanswered questions, or they've discovered a particle which raises yet more questions, including the requirement of the existence of heretofore unobserved fields.

Absent specific evidence that this is not the Higgs Boson, the former theory remains the simpler, and hence more useful.

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The Imitation Game: Bringing Alan Turing's classified life to light

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Reading WAYYYYY too much into it...

I wonder why it is then that so many films insist on wandering into showing characters are "straight" when it has no real bearing on the story? Double standards at play methinks.

No, savvy producers manipulating horny bastards at play. Those scenes aren't there to show that people are straight, they're there because sex sells.

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You! AT&T! The only thing 'unlimited' about you is your CHEEK, growl feds

Steve Knox
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Precedents

Actually, most of these class action suits result in out-of-court settlements that set no legal precedent whatsoever.

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Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: What I still don't understand

Unlimited is supposed to refer to the amount of data transferred. No one says you'll have unlimited speed,

A limit on speed is by design a limit on amount of data transferred. The former is a derivative of the latter, over time.

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GCHQ staff 'would sooner walk' than do anything 'resembling mass surveillance’

Steve Knox
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Absolutely True.

The people who work at GCHQ would sooner walk out the door than be involved in anything remotely resembling ‘mass surveillance’.

We access the internet at scale so as to dissect it with surgical precision.

Ah, I see. It's all a matter of emphasis. It's clear that his point is that if the GCHQ were limited to doing things which only remotely resemble mass surveillance, they would quit.

Since the resemblance between their activities and mass surveillance is in no way remote, they're fine with it.

Makes perfect sense now.

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This Changes Everything? OH Naomi Klein, NO

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: Not as simple as that indeed....

This being said counterarguments based on the wisdom of unspecified "experts" doesn't cut it for me either.

Read Page 2. The experts are specified there. Tim even gave you a link to their wisdom. Simples.

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Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Re: Zoe Lofgren is a Dem

To be fair, Pauli didn't call her a Republican -- he called her a "Republication".

Give him the benefit of the doubt -- perhaps she was out of print for a while.

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Apple, GT in SECRET SAPPHIRE peaceable parting PACT

Steve Knox
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Trollface

So how much...

do you think Apple will pay for the facility at the sale...?

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Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Even easier IT angle

Bet those questions are a thinly disguised attempt to get your password...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/17/chocolate_password_survey/

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Bad news, fandroids: He who controls the IPC tool, controls the DROID

Steve Knox
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

From the whitepaper, they've simply identified an ideal target, in that pretty much all information in an Android system passes through Binder at some point.

While they've been able to simulate an exploit by hacking their own system compiled from Android code, they haven't actually produced a working attack against a production Android device.

So this is more to the point of where should smart criminals or defenders focus their efforts in Android, rather than "ZOMG WERE ALL PWND!"

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

Steve Knox
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Thumb Up

And yes, the answer is always informed by our interest in consumers: to go back to the Google example, whatever we do about that search dominance is going to depend on how well consumers do out of it. What the people at Foundem think about it all is irrelevant.

It's amazing how few of your fellow Reg journalists appear to get that last point.

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

Steve Knox
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Happy

“Hello, can I speak to [x] please?”

My favorite phone interaction with a marketing droid:

MD: “Hello, can I speak to Mr. Knox please?”

ME: "Sure."

...5 seconds of dead air later...

MD: “Hello, can I speak to Mr. Knox please?”

ME: "Okay."

...another 5 seconds later...

MD: "...are YOU Mr. Knox...?"

ME: "VERY good! Goodbye!"

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

Steve Knox
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Happy

Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

Hey, the more progress we make towards reaching ludicrous speed, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

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Microsoft confirms Surface NOT DEAD YET, next-gen version coming

Steve Knox
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Re: What's weird is...

...the Surface Pro 3, something closer to a MacBook Air than an iPad...

This is true only in the sense that a gerbil is closer to a porpoise than to a hen.

Since iPads start only a tad lower and go considerably higher you are suggesting they should be cheap because they are no good.

No, we're all suggesting they should be cheap because there's not enough demand for them.

You can justify all you want with your opinion of quality, but at the end of the day, Microsoft is simply not pricing the Surface line where they actually fall on the supply/demand curve. Until they do, they won't ship them in any kind of appreciable quantity. They've already spent billions on marketing trying to shift that line, with no practical effect. They'd be better off cutting the price by 25% and their marketing budget by 50%.

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Google wants to KILL apps with the 'Physical Web'

Steve Knox
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There's an app for that.

"Walk up and use anything".

Yeah, there's an app for that. It's called "hands".

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Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER

Steve Knox
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Re: Prediction

The output can [should] not be determinable by any means other than actually running the hash function against the data, at which point you haven't predicted it; you've calculated it.

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Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s

Steve Knox
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Coat

Domestically Manufactured?

There are also rumours suggesting the government has ordered staff to use domestically manufactured phones in the wake of the Snowden leaks.

Why should that be a problem for the iPhone (or almost any other electronic device)?

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Hollywood's made an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film?!

Steve Knox
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Re: "an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film"!?

@dan1980

I believe you did misunderstand me. I understand the difference between empiricism and empirical knowledge, and I respect science specifically because it does acknowledge that it is limited to empirical knowledge. A true scientist, when presented with a question or idea which is not empirically testable, will take the position you have: it is outside the realm of science, and any position taken on it would not be scientifically valid.

My problem is with those who don't recognize or respect that limit; those who truly are dogmatically empiricists, adamantly asserting that empirical knowledge is the only knowledge, in spite of the contradiction that said assertion is not empirically determinable. They are taking that assertion as truth because they say it is, and for no other reason. That is dogmatic empiricism.

Structured religion is, as you say, dogmatic. That still does not change the fact that clinging to such dogma will eventually kill it.

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Steve Knox
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Coat

Re: "an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film"!?

Or, to put entirely too fine a point on it:

Dogma's a bitch.

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Steve Knox
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"an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film"!?

There's no such thing. The intelligent recognize that "science vs religion" is a false dichotomy.

There is a very real conflict between dogmatic empiricism and dogmatic supernaturalism, but that's because those are diametrically opposed dogmas.

Dogmatism is death, for both science and religion, if not in the short term then certainly in the long term.

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BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

Steve Knox
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At what point?

Consumer Reports explained that it stress tested the mobes by supporting them at two points on either end. Force was then applied at a third point on the top of the device.

That is false. You can clearly see from the Consumer Reports video that the force is applied at a line on the top of the device.

The other videos and pictures I've seen demonstrate applying force at a particular point.

Different structural designs react differently to stress at a point and stress across a line, so while Consumer Reports' numbers may be correct for what they tested, they are likely not relevant to the actual issue being discussed.

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Rackspace to hit GLOBAL CLOUD REBOOT button to flush out Xen security nasty

Steve Knox
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Re: It is not (of course) that simple

I understand there is additional complexity, but

"requires a 2X infrastructure"

is completely wrong.

Either you're making this up or you do not understand how to manage a virtual infrastructure. You could do this with a single additional host with enough resources to support your largest single-unit guest environment. That would be quite slow of course, but you could do this in a reasonable amount of time with 1.25 to 1.5x the current utilized infrastructure.

And if you don't already have at least 1.25x utilized infrastructure available to begin with, I definitely don't want to be playing in your cloud.

And if your infrastructure isn't capable of live-migration of guests from host to host, you need to invest in technology less than five years old.

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Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Do they not have the capacity or capability...

To spin up a patched host cluster, migrate existing guests to the patched cluster, elastically growing the cluster as necessary?

Wasn't that the promise of the cloud? No downtime because if there was an issue your guest could be dynamically moved to a fixed environment, which could grow as the buggy environment shrunk?

Where I work, our network admin has done that many times with our little VMWare cluster, migrating live clients to new hosts, patching the orginal hosts, and migrating back, allowing maintenance to have exactly 0 impact on operations.

I know, I know, Rackspace and Amazon are massively more complex environments. But if the increased complexity doesn't give you even equivalent stability, WTF is the point!?

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Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'

Steve Knox
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Read the original

This is not a bad article, but it is a small percentage of the information and perspective available in the original paper, which anyone can read here: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2012/11/06/000158349_20121106085546/Rendered/PDF/wps6259.pdf

(Oh, and Tim, if you really wanted a representative chart of the state of global inequality, you should have used the chart on page 9 of the original paper. The chart you chose actually does not show changes in inequality, but changes in distribution. There's a subtle but important difference.)

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

Steve Knox
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They should play to their real strengths...

and call it Microsoft GOSH [Gaming, Office, and SQL (Server) Host]

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Yahoo! dumps! thing! that! made! it! Yahoo! and! told! to! bed! AOL!

Steve Knox
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Re: Um...

Makes sense to me. As of next year, whatever's left of this company certainly won't be Yahoo!

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Steve Knox
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Meh

Re: "Everything between sample points is lost"

There is no error there: it stands to reason that if you are ignoring the input at any given point what happens during that time cannot be passed through to the output.

This is true if and only if there is no deterministic relationship between the samples and the unsampled data (i.e, there exists no function f where f(s) = u.)

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

Steve Knox
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Coat

Re: Relief from above

Juist in time?

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Yahoo!... Our Alibaba stake's worth BILLIONS. Oh – our shares are in the toilet

Steve Knox
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Re: That's what makes horse-racing

There are those who think the market is always right. They just may, in the long run*, be correct but many of us will not live that long. One only needs to look at the day-to-day fluctuations to know that on a shorter time frame, valuations may be wrong. Sometimes, the net asset value of an issue is greater than the price. We call that a bargain, and those with patience and perspicacity often benefit.

I think you've got that exactly backwards. The market is always right, but only in the immediate term. The current market price cannot be more or less than the aggregation of current valuation by potential stakeholders at the given point in time.

Calling any of those individual valuations right or wrong presumes a fully objective valuation method, which doesn't exist. Some individuals base their valuations on short-term goals and others on long-term goals. Some base them on careful analyses, whilst others are completely irrational. The market doesn't care. There is no objective method for calculating an intrinsic value of an organization; the value always comes back to the subjective desires of the individual stakeholders.

What you call a bargain is simply a difference in strategic opinion.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

Steve Knox
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Coat

"Oh and it comes in black and white."

Really? Rather retro, don't you think?

Are there people out there who don't want a colour screen?

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Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Steve Knox
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Re: The difference is not traffic priority....

Exactly.

The camp that is most guilty of ignoring this fact is the con-net neutrality camp.

Because they know that if they let on that the ISPs already can and do prioritize traffic based on technical requirements, they lose the argument that the ISPs "have to" do their prioritizing based on source and/or destination.

As Andrew showed with the RFCs, the internet is already built to allow traffic to be prioritized based on need. What the ISPs want to do is to change it to allow traffic to be prioritized based on greed.

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Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

Steve Knox
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Coat

Grammar!

As Sir Jonathan Ive mused on 2012’s iPhone 5...

Shouldn't that be "As Sir Jonathan, I've mused on 2012's iPhone 5..."?

; )

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Steve Knox
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Childcatcher

Re: The measure of Poverty

Actually, the US government doesn't base the two major poverty definitions it uses on median income at all. They're based on the cost of food for a particular agricultural program in 1963, multiplied by 3 (to account for costs other than food), and then multiplied by the Consumer Price Index.

They are neither pre- not post- tax, nor are they gross or net. They are simply raw values. What they are compared to depends on the definition of the specific program they are applied to.

In short, like many statistical measures established by popularist fiat and then filtered through bureaucratic "efficiency", US poverty figures are not really a good absolute measure. They are essentially unproven arbitrary figures perpetuated beyond their relevance and applied inconsistently.

For more detail and links to a lot more information, see US Department of Health and Human Service - Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Poverty Guidelines and Poverty

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A spin of roulette in the sporty Ford Fiesta Black

Steve Knox
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There is another reason to buy a particular car

If you look at numbers and depreciation, you buy a BMW...

It's interesting how brand value propositions differ region-to-region.

Here in the States, for example, people who buy BMWs are, as over there, not deciding with their hearts. Generally they are not, however, deciding with their heads, either.

Well, not the heads you're speaking of, anyway.

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Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source

Steve Knox
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Re: "Stray positrons"

... are there any negatives to owning one?

No, just a very small positive.

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JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!

Steve Knox
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Re: Surely the release of this apparently "reliable" prediction could influence the result?

The more the prediction is percieved to be credible...

No, this is Bing we're talking about.

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Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Steve Knox
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FAIL

Security? We've heard of it...

...have to swipe an on-screen bar to get in, something Touchi-Peters thinks will fend off automated attacks.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sure, because nobody's ever found a way to programmatically inject input into a process before.

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