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* Posts by Steve Knox

1302 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

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True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

NOOOOooooooo!

NO optical zoom on selfies PLEASE. I don't need to see more details on any of those faces...

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NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star

Steve Knox
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Happy

Around a red dwarf you say?

Shall we name it Fiji, then?

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BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

Steve Knox
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This boss appears to be worthy enough for Simon and the PFY to actually induct him into the Arts of Bastardry rather than do him in.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

They generally let a few secrets loose shortly before the offing -- gives them a little more motivation.

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Steve Knox
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Re: Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

I'm not certain that anybody would survive the experience, but I'd pay good money to watch Dominic against the BOFH in an interview...

Whilst it might be fun to watch the fur fly, there's the much more sinister possibility that they actually get along... Would it be worth the risk?

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A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally

Steve Knox
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Re: Why?

They should have made it more useful - a timer starts after the first SMS is sent. You inform airline that it is out of your control - unless the timer is reset by your fingerprint in 24 hours, the case will explode. that would get it back quick enough...

No, that will get it blown up by a bomb squad at whatever airport it's in, and you twenty or more years in the nick.

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Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run

Steve Knox
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Coat

Aw, come on guys...

This ain't exactly rock.... what? Oh it is? Precisely?

Never mind.

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SpaceX Falcon tests HOVERCRAFT tech – despite ISS outage

Steve Knox
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Re: ohoh

Resources maybe, money is quite often a wash. Remember it frequently costs more to fix things than to make them from scratch these days. And I say that as someone who'd really rather fix than replace in most instances.

Since the only long-term value of money is as a proxy for finite resources, this says more about the weaknesses of our economic systems than it does about the validity of the reuse philosophy.

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Steve Knox
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Re: Trusting trust

@Pete 2 - Agreed. +1 for the Ammonia Avenue reference.

@heyrick - if you don't trust them to provide you with accurate and necessary information regarding the security of your data on their server, why are you trusting them with your sensitive data at all?

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Citrix, Google kick XP's still-twitching corpse

Steve Knox
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Coat

Sure, but...

can they pipe Crysis?

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The Great Hash Bakeoff: Infosec bods cook up next-gen crypto

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Re: Having a cracking time

The ideal password security system would contain features that would be unknowable to, or unusable by, people to whom the security credentials did not belong.

Given the repeated findings that people give up their own passwords under the flimsiest of pretexts, the ideal system would contain features unknown to the very people to whom the credentials do in fact belong.

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SQL giant Oracle plans NoSQL standards body – top Reg sources

Steve Knox
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WTF?

Standards!?

The emphasis of the standards body will be on go-to-market strategies, marketing, promotion and further commercialization of the technology rather than defining technical specifics, we understand.

What strange usage of the term "standards body" is this? Sounds more like a sales team.

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Judge strikes down Apple attempt to bar Samsung's 'untrue' patent comments

Steve Knox
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Holmes

I've figured out the cause of all this.

No, it's not the late Steve Jobs' "war on Android" comment.

The problem is, Apple has too much cash hanging around.

See, their shareholders have been pushing for payouts, and they don't want to pay out. So (here's their mistake) they went to their lawyers looking for a way not to payout. The lawyers' response:

"Well, some nice costly lawsuits (patent ones, for example -- we could really draw those out forever) could convince the shareholders that you need to hold onto that mountain of cash as a legal reserve..."

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Intel uncloaks next-gen 'Braswell' Atom, 64-bit Android KitKat kernel

Steve Knox
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Meh

Re: How many mentions of Microsoft can you on the front page

Sounds horrible.

Until you realize that there are 54 articles (not counting highlight spots) on the front page, meaning they're only mentioned upfront in about 24% of articles. Since for some of them (like this one) you'd have to read the subtitle to get the MS reference, Microsoft probably figures prominently in only about 16-20% of articles.

Considering how much Microsoft affects the IT world, that's not surprising, except that it might be surprisingly low.

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'Good job, NSA! You turned Yahoo! into an encryption beast'

Steve Knox
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Trollface

I'm sure

all sixteen of Yahoo's users appreciate this effort.

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123-reg shrugs off customer complaints over stealth domain transfer charges

Steve Knox
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The real point of this

123-reg has more than 1 million customers and has seen discussion on this from a very small number of them.

Translation:

We don't care because not enough of you will care enough to impact our bottom line.

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Hey, Michael Lewis: Stop DEMONISING Wall Street’s SUPERHUMAN high-speed trading

Steve Knox
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Oh, LOL, now explain what all of these things you just mentioned has to do with HFT?

Okay, all of those things were perpetrated by the same group of people who are running HFT systems.

And despite Tim's simplistic explanation, the algorithms used in HFT don't just perform time arbitrage. Time arbitrage is always brought up by supporters of HFT; they rarely bring up the fact that the algorithms aren't restricted to that and there is already evidence of the algorithms manipulating stock prices in ways totally unrelated to time arbitrage (beyond frontrunning).

To go back to Tim's gun analogy, would you give out guns to people who had used them to murder in the past?

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Aw, SNAP. It's too late, you've already PAID for your storage array

Steve Knox
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Re: Aw, Snap???

"Oh? How very unfortunate for you."

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Assange not running in new Australian election

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: Prohibiting eligible people running for election -- a banana republic tactic

Prohibiting eligible people running for election is a banana republic tactic.

True but irrelevant. The key is the word "eligible". That was the entire point of the article.

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Rule of law: Turkish court nixes government Twitter ban ... for now

Steve Knox
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Boffin

Tsk, Tsk...

When will these governments learn?

As any good tyrant knows, you want people complaining that you're corrupt. You want it to happen frequently, and with as much vitriol as possible. The correct counter to these complaints is to balance the economy so that the proles are just comfortable enough that they won't actually act on this information.

You need to inure the general populace to the idea of your corruption, so that new reports of your evils appear to be old hat. When the general population react to your ever-widening net of influence with complete apathy, you're ready for the next stage.

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Gr8, it's the new M8! Ideal for that celebrity funeral selfie

Steve Knox
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Coat

The battery isn’t removable

QUICK! MAKE WAY FOR APPLE'S PATENT LAWYERS!

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

Steve Knox
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Trend?

MS DOS 2.0 ... began a history of even-numbered versions of Microsoft's DOS operating systems being poorly received by the developer community – a trend it finally broke with the sixth version of the operating system

So two data points is a trend now?

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Google slashes cloud storage to $0.026 per GB. Your move, Amazon

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Re: Winners?

Long-term, Google and the NSA win.

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HP exec: 'It's our GOD-GIVEN right' to rule the world of biz fondleslabs

Steve Knox
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Meh

Based on past performance,

I'd expect HP tablets to be heavy, noisy, and to die from overheating suspiciously close to warranty expiration...

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Microsoft Australia slashes price of Surface Pro 128GB by $AUD400

Steve Knox
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Neither.

I spent less on an Acer Aspire v5-171 last year.

Better i5 (3337U) than the Surface Pro, 6GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, all in a light and compact 11" form factor. (Oh, and FYI, the Radeon HD 8400 graphics are decidedly low-end; the Intel HD 4000 in the Aspire performs better.)

None of these three devices is a performance device, which is why I might buy a new machine this year -- but it'll have to be better than the Surface Pro 2 at a lower price. Fortunately, that too is not too hard to find.

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AMD: Why we had to evacuate 276TB from Oracle DB to Hadoop

Steve Knox
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WTF?

"row limit for query results [of] 100,000 rows on the Oracle system" - !?

Can someone who works with Oracle's software confirm, deny, or qualify this?

I cannot believe a modern database system of any kind would have such a tiny row limit...

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The Reg's guide to cursing in Mongolian

Steve Knox
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So what you're saying...

Is that, in order to please your more prudish users, you had to develop a system which couldn't give a fuck?

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Microsoft alters Hotmail policy amid blogger inbox probe outcry

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Typical Microsoft

Create a complicated and opaque process to replicate the functionality of an already existing simple and relatively transparent one.

If the bar is "sufficient to warrant a court order", then why not just get a court order!?

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Steve Knox
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Re: Floppy drives

A 5 1/4" double-density disk had a 360KB formatted capacity per side. If your drive read only 360KB, then it was a single-sided drive. If it read 720KB, it was a double-sided drive.

You could, of course, use a 5 1/4" disk as a "flippy" in a single-sided drive, either by using a double-sided disk or by punching one or two (depending on the drive mechanism) additional holes in a single-sided disk. But 360KB is double-density single-sided (not single-density double-sided, because IBM didn't do a single-density 5 1/4" format.)

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Steve Knox
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Ah the 7400 series ICs...

Time was you could count on 3/4 of any logic board being covered in these beasties. Now consolidation and miniaturization have pushed most of this functionality into the CPU and the south bridge, leaving but a few lone survivors, even these remnants just miniscule surface mount versions of the original, tiny shadows of the vast herds which used to roam motherboards.

Soon entire generations will grow up having never seen these majestic beasts, except possibly in archives such as this.

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NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

Steve Knox
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So the NSA is destroying network systems?

What isn't clear about the ascertain that in order to spy on the target they seek to compromise the sysadmin and the entire network. That's like taking down a guy by first taking down his misses and then levelling the block.

Yes, that makes sense, if the point of spying were to destroy everything you come in contact with.

This is more like getting information on a guy by first getting info on his missus, and then staking out the places they go.

In other words, common spying techniques translated to a digital world.

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UK.gov! frets! over! Yahoo! exodus! to! RIPA-free! Dublin!

Steve Knox
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Trollface

The reasons [for moving to Ireland] have as much to do with access to a skilled pool of English-speaking technologists...

Well, sort-of English speaking...

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Facebook hacks out PHP alternative

Steve Knox
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Re: Great

This has nothing to do with Web2.0 and everything to do with computer programmers.

There are as many languages as there are programmers; some just haven't seen the light of day yet.

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: In other news,

Context is key.

For example, from the very file you linked:

"The age-standardised abortion rate was 16.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, 5.4% lower than in 2011, and 2.7% lower than in 2002 (17.0); the lowest rate for 16 years."

There are several more statistics, each pointing to a trend of decreasing abortion. I won't bother to list them here, as anyone can simply follow your link.

The point being, anyone can throw out a number and call it big. It takes effort to analyse the number in context and determine what it actually means.

In actuality, the abortion rate has been decreasing for 16 years. Wouldn't you consider that heading in the "right" direction? What would you prefer, a big ON/OFF switch?

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NASA: Earth JUST dodged comms-killing SOLAR BLAST in 2012

Steve Knox
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Interesting Science Fiction Take on this

Flare by Roger Zelazny and Thomas T. Thomas

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Scotland Yard defends single supplier IT gig with Insight

Steve Knox
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If you're going to lie, lie big.

...claiming it could yield cost savings of up to ten per cent over the contract's lifetime.

If you're making unverifiable claims, why not say "up to ten thousand per cent"? It's just as meaningful.

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WTF is … the multiverse?

Steve Knox
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Far too simple

If we have infinite space and energy, there are an infinite number of universes, some finite number of which would be able to attain inflation.

From this it easy to work out that the mean percentage of universes which did undergo inflation is zero, meaning that any inflationary universe you happen to observe is merely the product of a deranged imagination.

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Steve Knox
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No matter how much worms evolve in the future, they will never understand how a steam engine works.

This is not necessarily true. If worms evolve to a degree similar to our own evolution, they may well understand steam engines. Or they may evolve in a completely different manner and end up oblivious to steam engines but with a better understanding of quantum physics than we can imagine.

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Win XP holdouts storm eBay and licence brokers, hiss: Give us all your Windows 7

Steve Knox
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Nope

a Window-8-capable PC requires beefier hardware – to handle touch – than a machine for Windows 7.

Wrong.

If you want to run Windows 8.1 on your PC, here's what it takes:

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)

RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/system-requirements

If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes:

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Source: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/products/system-requirements

The only differences are in the CPU area: PAE (for RAM > 4GB on 32-bit systems), NX (for security), and SSE2 (for graphics, primarily). I believe some if not all of those are actually required by Windows 7, but just not listed explicitly on the page.

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Don't stare: SHRUNKEN Mercury lost 7km, but only 'cos it's COOLING

Steve Knox
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Re: I give it one week

Meh.. 7km in 4 billion years = ~ 1.75cm per 10,000 years. A little too slow for most dieters, methinks.

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Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Young is pretty certainly off the "New Jersey Father of the Year" nominations list

You haven't been to New Jersey, then, I take it...

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Is the World Wide Web for luvvies and VCs – or for all of us?

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Re: Depends on if you mean when it was designed or built?

Does life begin at conception, or at birth...?

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Steve Knox
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Boffin

Re: Idiots

No, they both invented slightly different versions on different sides of the pond at around the same. That's why we have TCP and IP.

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How to shop wisely for the IT department of the future

Steve Knox
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It might be hyper-efficient, but it would probably be of absolutely no use to the business

Reminds me of this Dilbert cartoon.

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Steve Knox
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If Nerds ran it, it would be bloody-well efficient, its non-nerd, know-nothing tw*t managers that cause the inefficiencies.

Nerd do run IT, in spite of managers' attempts to manage* IT.

* manage: n (IT) to stick your nose or other jutting appendage where it doesn't belong; to make arbitrary decisions based on insufficient knowledge or understanding; to generally obstruct or eliminate efficiencies.

Example:

"We need to manage our IT infrastructure in strict accordance with our business principles." said the CIO.

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Softbank boss promises 'massive price war' if he can buy T-Mobile US

Steve Knox
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Thumb Down

T-Mobile US HAS to compete on technology and price.

Because they don't have a network worth shit in this country. Put it together with Sprint and you may have half of what you need to compete on network coverage, but there's enough overlap that I doubt it.

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My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

Steve Knox
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Mushroom

HP Laptops and Heat

I've owned 5 different brands of laptops over the past decade: Dell, Lenovo, HP, Toshiba, and Acer.

The Acer is my current one, so doesn't really figure in my comments -- yet.

All of the others I replaced because I wanted a newer machine. They were all functional, and I sold them for a good price to offset the purchase of the replacement.

Except for the HP. The HP always ran hot, and one day (just a few weeks past warranty expiration; go figure) decided to die from heat exhaustion (specifically, the CPU overheated -- all other components tested out fine.)

I've had a few other friends with HPs of various ages, all of which suffered similar fates.

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Satisfy my scroll: El Reg gets claws on Windows 8.1 spring update

Steve Knox
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The one Modern App

I consistently use is the Weather app. It provides more detailed information that I've seen from any iOS or Android weather app, and is easier to navigate than most weather websites.

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eBay rejects Carl Icahn's board nominees as 'inexperienced'

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Preposterous!

How could you even imply that "Icahn Enterprises employees Daniel Ninivaggi and Jonathan Christodoro" would be beholden to Carl Icahn for anything!?

I'm sure they're just some promising new talent he discovered, and that "Icahn Enterprises employees Daniel Ninivaggi and Jonathan Christodoro" would always do what they believe is best for Ebay.

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VMware unleashes desktop-grade desktop-as-a-service service

Steve Knox
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Angel

Sounds Easy Enough

a SAN device that is not running any Microsoft software may be shared by more than one customer;

So that would be pretty much all SAN devices out there, then. I know plenty of SANs used to store Microsoft software; I know of none that run it.

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Boffins build bendy screen using LEDs just THREE atoms thick

Steve Knox
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Meh

And how long before this is ready for market?

Been here before. Many times, over the past 4 decades...

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