* Posts by Voland's right hand

2622 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

US slaps trade ban on ZTE over Iran links

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Countries do not have friends. Countries have interests

Not sure. This closely resembles (+/- translation) the first sentence of a monologue by Klaus Kinski's character in "The Death of a Dishonest Man". That is probably one of the most vicious satire movies on politics as it is and still valid today. Unfortunately you are more likely to see it in Russia than in UK or USA. Quite hilarious - the Russians used to always show it the night before the elections in the past.

This is one movie I definitely would not mind paying for (if I can get my mitts on an English translation or subtitles).

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Microsoft has made SQL Server for Linux. Repeat, Microsoft has made SQL Server 2016 for Linux

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Re: Wow

Just as Apple based OS X on BSD are we going to see Microsoft build a future version of Windows on Linux?

If that happens, hell will become the best place in the universe to perform superconductivity and superfluidics research. In igloos built out of solid nitrogen.

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Re: Wow

Also... Hell just got a whole lot cooler...

Definitely. I just booked an appointment for a pierced eardrum with my GP. The pig squadron from the nearby airbase didn't just take off, they went hypersonic above a residential area. My eardrums still hurt from that....

Looking at the calendar once, twice, thrice - nope it is still not 1st of April.

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El avión de papel del proyecto PARIS aterriza en un libro de texto

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Re: Interesting.

niño grande .

Poco niño, poco problema. Grande niño...

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Open trucker comms lets Shodan snoops alter routes, tap CANs buses.

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Realtime Embedditis

Embedded software development at its usual best.

One of the reasons the only IoT that is likely to enter my house and vehicles over the next decade is IoT I am going to write myself, outsource to offspring to write instead of me and/or get as open source packages whose source I can inspect.

Car upgrades are postponed too for pretty much the same reason - the household ones are already "Razzie-ed", but with a proper firewall in place and talking back to base via a VPN. As they should.

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

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Re: A Dollar a Day for a "Truth License"

I'm still not sure what that means but it smells like a bit of blackmail money.

My exact thought. I smell an outstanding arrest order appearing for them shortly in USA and Europe. All it takes is a couple of libel or harassment lawsuits and a no-show both of which are bound to happen.

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'You've been hacked, pay up' ... Ransomware forces your PC to read out a hostage note

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Re: One way to scupper ransomware

In a world where you still get Nigerian bank manager emails and Microsoft support scams there will still be someone idiot enough to pay.

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Re: "Eastern Europeans go free"

Exactly - the list of countries that get the red carpet treatment is ex-Soviet Union, not Eastern Europe. So the Czech's are indeed in the post.

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Brit firm unleashes drone-busting net cannon

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Re: Crikey

If you generate more than 12lbs per square inch

The muzzle on this is HUGE. There is no way in hell the puny compressed air tank attached to it can generate 12lbs per square inch (approx 1 bar) across an area with a diameter of a shoulder launched missile and more than a meter and a half in length So as far as the current regs go (and are literally interpreted) this is most likely an "airsoft"

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100metres of 20lb fishing line, what, a couple of grammes

And a hell of a drag to unwind it.

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Re: Crikey

surely it doesn't fall within the definition of an air rifle...?

Actually - it does. You do not need any frigging license to own it. Where can I buy the 300 version before they scramble to fix the licensing regime? It will look grand on top of my truck :)

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AMD to fix slippery hypervisor-busting bug in its CPU microcode

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Re: Slight Schadenfreude

I am reading it :)

You got correctly downvoted then and there. Let me explain why (as someone who has _WRITTEN_ hypervisor software in use for virtual routing and firewalls).

This is no different from any firmware or CPU bug. You can break out of protected mode, exploit buggy network card firmware, etc. If anything, virtualization, when used correctly provides an _ADDITIONAL_ layer of protection.

By the way, from that perspective, in the specific cases of virtual routing and firewalls you are better of to consider forms of virtualization which use as little as possible in terms of hardware accel features. Sure, you pay in terms of absolute performance. You get it back in terms of maintainability and security. If you do it _THAT_ way, your virtual firewall is actually more secure than one running on bare metal as you have one more layer of "defense in depth". It is more maintainable too. That is is also exactly the use case I would advocate for (and what I used to do for a living). I would also not go schadenfreude-ing on every single firmware bug as the reason to invalidate the whole concept.

This is no different from the argument which Cisco tried to mandate to all of its indoctrinates ~ 10 years ago that they answer that PIX is more secure than firewalls which use combined kernelspace + userspace mode because it runs everything privileged in a monolithic system. That as we all know is bollocks. Sure you get a bug from splitting things once in a while - that is still better than doing everything in one blob.

By the way, looking at the bug, it offers a specific exploitation route in kvm. That does not mean that it does not have an exploitation route outside virtualization domain. There is a gazillion ways to trigger an NMI on a NUMA system. In fact, I have some userspace, unprivileged code lying around somewhere which will kill any older (and probably newer) 2+ socket Xeon running Linux within 15 seconds by hard fault through NMI storm. It is not that difficult.

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French parliament votes to jail tech execs who refuse to decrypt data

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Re: Irrelevant to Apple, even if they pass it

but if what they are asking for is IMPOSSIBLE then they can hardly fine Apple or throw Tim Cook in jai

Au contraire, mon ami. He will be spending time in the slammer because he deliberately made it impossible. Double time too - half under encryption laws, half under "obstructing the course of justice" laws. Do not forget that France has a good form in the latter - it is the only country in the world which applies the "obstructing the course of justice" statute to GPS vendors and other sources which publish list of fixed speed camera locations. Successfully too.

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Re: SIEG HEIL, Monsieur Hollande

SIG HEIL, Madame Le Pen - more likely. SIG HEIL, Monsieur Sarkozy - definitely. Hollande - not so much.

Monsieur Hollande happens to oppose this idiotic madness which originated on the far right somewhere in between the frankonazi and nazifranko part of the tabloid feeding populists. Same as in every other country - it is the same type of politico proposing it and the same type of politico driving it

They usually also think about children. A lot (with or without "the" in that sentence).

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India challenges US visa price hike at World Trade Organisation

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Re: Apart from India

Who else does this impact on?

Nobody

Imports from other countries are really (not fraudulently) based on qualification and business need and quite often fit L and M visas instead of H1B anyway. The costs incurred by companies for people relocated under that heading are so high that a one off 4k is practically pocket change. You usually pay more than an order of magnitude more than that for all the expenses around relocation.

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That is an interesting take on it

So, India openly considers trading in people to be kosher? I guess it is good to know where we really stand on this one. In any case, I thought Abraham Lincoln did away with the idea of "people as goods" a while back.

In any case 4000 is not enough. The way H1B (and similar programmes in other countries) is formulated it postulates the same salary for the import as the local. This does not reflect the real cost of the local vs import. You nearly always end up with additional retention costs for locally hired staff - you have to raise their salary and run salary reviews, you have to provide bonuses, share options, etc. That in IT accounts for ~ 50K of employer costs per retainable head. At least.

So frankly, the cost of the work permit should not go down. It should go UP. To 50K or thereabouts so that only qualified staff which is worth it is imported on work permit programmes.

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Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin

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Re: Stating the obvious

Gandalf

Didn't I tell you to take his staff away?

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Fifth time's the charm as SpaceX pops satellite into orbit

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Re: "How are we going to get to the Moon if we can't talk between two buildings?"

Hint: A 2nd smaller barge,

I thought there was a support ship already. While the barge is fully autonomous during the landing itself it is crewed on the way in an crewed on the way out (if it survives). That crew has to go somewhere in the meantime.

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We’re not holding biz to ransom, says pay to play ad-blocking outfit

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The industry is ripe for a new google

When google added ads for the first time up everyone was happy because it served high value relevant unobtrusive ads which did not eat 90% of the resource of your PC.

One of the reasons why it bulldozed everyone out of the way was exactly that - its ads rocked and the lusers actually did click on them.

That continued until it ate double-click resulting in a fatal brain rotting inf*cktion. The admen which Google was effectively driving out of a job took over and destroyed the fundamental basis for Google's competitive edge. The math based algos for ad relevance were replaced by crap. When that happened my revenue from my website went down by a factor of 10+ times in a matter of a few months so I just decided to throw in the towel. The unobtrusive ads were replaced by utter tripe same as double-click was serving pre-aquisition and which it was losing market share on. And so on.

In reality - it is not Google who acquired DoubleClick. DoubleClick acquired Google and Google is the new DoubleClick. That actually means that if someone comes with an ad + search platform which apes the one which practically drove DoubleClick into the ground pre-aquisition, the market will be ripe for the taking once more. What goes around, comes around.

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'$5bn for Slack?! I refuse to pay!' You don't pay – and that's its biggest problem

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Re: Speaking as someone who knows bugger all about Slack..

It is not just yet another one. It is yet another one with a proprietary protocol.

I may not like XMPP as it is often way too verbose, but it works, interoperates and is proven to run and ludicrous scales (Google hangouts/talk and f***book messenger). I really do not see why an attempt to reinvent the XMPP wheel via JSON sreaming should be valued at 1Bn.

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Facebook paid £4k in tax. HMRC then paid Facebook £27k – for ads

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No more Nookie for Blighty as Barnes & Noble pulls out

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Re: Another white flag is raised

This is not the tablet market, it is the content market.

The way large publishing houses have set-up their digital content agreements prices, discounts, etc are applicable _ONLY_ if you sell X amount per year in a geography. If you do not, you no longer get discounted prices and in the worst cases you do not even get content licensed for that geography.

Nook failed to get its numbers. So it effectively lost its content source.

That is not surprising - the Amazon juggernaut is now unstoppable and effectively unsinkable. I originally started with Kobo. I have now got rid of all the devices (thankfully, only a couple of books on them were paid for) and switched to Kindle. So have most users. All other eBook content distributors in Eu are now effectively dead. The only content is Kindle or pirated (for Kindle).

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Essex cop abused police IT systems to snoop on his in-laws

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Why did he make the searches?

Well, reminds me about an Eastern European joke:

Dada, dada, why is granny running around the yard and hiding behind the trees?

For you - granny, for me - mother in law. Shut up and pass me the next clip.

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Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun

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Not even that

It is a downwards spiral. The less users look - the more shouty the ads get. The more shouty the ads get, the less the users look and the more ad-blocking you have.

Frankly, as the internet marketeering and ad scumbags have only two brain cells in-between them it will probably take a regulatory intervention from the rest of the industry which depends on them for their revenue flow to fix it.

A regulatory enforcement of "text ads only" (as the original google ones) on mobile will be a good start.

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

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Bygones

helped invent FM radio, DAB, RDS and NICAM, and hundreds of other broadcast and media technologies.

Bygones are bygones. In those days it had R&D. Today it has procurement.

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Facebook's Latin America veep set free by appeals court

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Facebook actually can comply

message content from a WhatsApp messaging group, geolocation information, and other data.

Let's break that down.

1. Messaging group content - that is not encrypted end-to-end.

2. Geolocation information - F**book probably has it

3. Other data - not clear

The interesting part is that Facebook is choosing deliberately not to comply with this and other requests because it knows that Brazil will not risk ban it. That takes some hubris and IMHO pride goes before the fall. While Brazil state will not risk banning it, it is in the possession of all the means to ensure Facebook earns no money from the country.

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Regular Fast Radio Burst detected outside our galaxy

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Re: Microwave radiation..

That microwave would fail a CE test.

The door relay should cut-out the emitter before the door opens - as you press the open button on the older ones or the moment the door separates on the newer ones which do not have the "open" button (it is usually a reed relay).

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Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away

Ok, which moron forgot to to turn on the white noise jammer when test firing the microwave pulse cannons?

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Hardcoded god-mode code found in RSA 2016 badge-scanning app

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The app was developed by?

Well... well... well... Why does not this surprise me.

Elliptic ciphers and broken RNGs anyone?

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Turkish hacker pleads guilty to $55m maniac global ATM heist

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21st century bank heist

Err... No.

21st century my a**e.

This was a standard ATM cloned card fraud using the magnetic stripe. Cards were issued by banks servicing individuals and organizations stuck in the 1990-es.

The only "new addition" is removing limits instead of targeting the debit cards of UAE cittizens which had no limits to start off with.

That as last century as it can get and then some.

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ISS 'nauts wrap 'historic' 340-day mission

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Re: Welcome back to the blue marble

I think you got Poliakov confused with Sergei Krikalev.

Thanks for the correction. I have indeed mixed them up.

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Re: Welcome back to the blue marble

It is historic in the sense of properly planned and with proper control on Earth. It is the first time someone has thought of using an identical twin for control.

Poliakov's longer "lost in space" stay on Mir was not planned by any means (it was a result of the general post-USSR clusterf***).

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SpaceX Falcon 9 grounded by 'sledgehammer' winds

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Re: Why super-cooled fuel?

This looks like sucking every ounce of performance out of an existing design.

It is an interesting cost equation to work with. Sure - you can push more with a normal Falcon before going to the heavy lifter, but your cost of scrapped launches increases significantly. At this "scrap rate" the extra money you generate from improving the launcher may not be sufficient to pay for the costs incurred when you have to abort and delay a launch.

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NASA funds new supersonic airliner research

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Re: Now if there was a way to talk to people in far away places...

There are cases where you need to travel. I definitely would not mind traveling on holiday you know... In that case getting there in 4 hours is not any different than getting there in 6-7. It is still a whole day lost as you lose 4 hours to get to the airport and get on the plane and 2.5-3 hours to get off the plane and to destination from the airport on the other end.

Supersonic does nothing to address the key constraint in air travel. To put it bluntly, the sky is full. There is simply no more capacity in the air over London and South East of England, Holland, New England, Tokyo metropolis and to a lesser extent other large metropolitan areas.

Funnily enough 90% of these also happen to be next to large bodies of water and/or the sea as well as existing port facilities. The answer to future air travel is not a supersonic. It is not 2 deck monsters like the 380. It is a Spruce Goose NG - a flying boat, even if it is 100-200mph slower than current planes. It is bleeding obvious and I have seen that come up on several economic analysis so far.

By the way, if I put my HUGE tinfoil hat on, this is one of the reasons why Бориска Мер Лондонграда, got a hatchet into his estuary airport project. It had an additional future option which all of those incumbents with astronomical investment into land infrastructure were not keen on.

I'd much rather NASA finance THAT. Otherwise the aircraft our sons and daughters will be flying on holidays will be by Beriev or its Chinese clone. It is also going to be distinctly subsonic :)

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Wakey wakey, app developers. Mobile ad blocking will kill you all

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Re: An ad blocker is the only app I'd pay for

Not necessarily.

I'd rather pay for an app up-front or as a subscription than be flooded with irrelevant ads which have a high probability to carry a malware payload. It will also show exactly what the app costs and make people pay only for apps which are worth it.

I do not regret paying for Torque, Sygic and a few others I paid for.

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Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

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Re: Who arrests the watchmen?

So go on, enlighten me. What offense has been committed and what exactly are you expecting the police officers to do about it?

Attempted theft. The tripod is the property of the photographer, the photographer is entitled to take pictures in the area in question, this is plain and simple attempted mugging as far as the law is concerned.

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Google Project Zero reverse-engineers Windows path hacks for better security

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Re: win32? in 2016? really???

The path API containing the sorry mix of VMS and MSDOS semantics is still in there too.

This is one thing which Unix got right early on - mounting volumes at a filesystem point. It provides for a clean and flexible path API. Compared to that the MACHINE::VOLUME::PATH VMS and offspring convention is a complete and utter dogs breakfast.

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Google robo-car backs into bendy-bus in California

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Re: Bus vs. meat bag

Only in Florida? I thought that applied everywhere here in the States

Only in the States? I thought that was a universal constant.

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Windows Phone devs earn double what poor Android devs pocket

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Re: Average?

Unfortunately, I suspect those averages were calculated from within a smaller and more successful sample, than the language used suggests.

That is indeed the case - the sample is based on developers which have infested their app with the "monetization" provided by the ad network which authored the report. So people who decided to honestly earn a living by making their app sell for X $$ need not apply.

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Intravenous hangover clinics don't work, could land you in hospital

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Re: Not quite

Err, no. Alcohol is diuretic and some forms like beer have added "woomf" from other stuff. So you lose _BOTH_ salt and water. Just drinking pure water (unless it clanks like Perrier) will make your hangover much worse.

If you want to go "natural" to cure your hangover you need salt + water + something to keep your liver occupied so it stops making ketones and aldehides out of alcohol while your body gets rid of it via sweat or normal kidney function.

In order of effectiveness the natural cures are:

1. Tripe soup - as made on the Balkans, Caucasus, Turkey and (if memory serves me right) Iran. It is actually quite nice if done right by the way.

2. A couple of cups of stock cube + boiled water. Used to be more effective before the war on salt. Thew new "improved" cubes which have lower salt content need extra salt to restore potency.

3. Hydration + eating something with salt to spare (feta, etc).

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Re: "amps up the immune system and detoxifies the liver”,

The vitamin stuff is woo though.

Nope.

A single dose of B-complex goes a long way towards curing hangover. Tested. Multiple times (in my younger and wilder days). Any vitamins apart from C however can be quite dangerous when overdosed. While the B family is nowhere near as bad as A, D or E (these are lethal when overdosed), it can still be quite nasty.

By the way - absolutely no point to do it as an Iv - B and saline absorb fine so no need to go nuclear.

It's a pity the anti-salt warriors made a gluten-infested dog's breakfast out of OxO and Knorr so these stopped working as a hangover cure. It used to be - you have two cups and you are as good as new (hydration + salt and a significant contribution to your daily B-allowance). Not any more.

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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

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Re: I'll drink to that

Not so fast.

Let's wait and confirm that SCO is not getting an injection from a wealthy sailing fan. It took quite a few "charitable donations" to repair the decrepit rigging and outfit the old lady for so many races, it may just get another one you know. After all - anything for the love of sailing.

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Raspberry Pi celebrates fourth birthday with fruity version 3

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Still 100MBit Ethernet

The rest of the spec looks promising. I may get myself one as a "birthday present" to see if it can finally be usable as a desktop

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Samsung off the hook as $120m Apple patent verdict tossed

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Re: hold on..

"wondering if a few of my conservative Christian acquaintances are correct,

End times indeed - well illustrated by the photo. A ginger domestic winning over Siamese instead of its bits and pieces being collected for the cat equivalent of organ donations.

Disclaimer - I am a Siamese ex-staff so my view may be a bit biased.

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My devil-possessed smartphone tried to emasculate me

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Re: Clearly...

Actually, probably too little space. I wear baggy cargo pants and I never have any issues, though monstrousities bigger than 4inch in size are usually put in one of the thigh pockets not one of the top ones.

In any case, the best flip phone ever invented is not the RAZR it is the KRZR.

1. It is bombproof - it is one of the first phones to use Al2O3 for its other "glass" shell. You can probably shoot it out of a big enough gun - it will survive. I have seen it survive being run over by a car.

2. It is half the size of the RAZR while having the same feature set which was pretty good for its days.

The only thing that separated my SWMBO (and after that when we handed it down - my mom) from it was the fact that its software has some serious issues with 3G refarming of GSM frequencies. It immediately reboots. As a result despite being still intact and functional as a phone (it is somewhere around my spare parts drawer) it is unfortunately unusable anywhere in Western Europe.

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Building a fanless PC is now realistic. But it still ain't cheap

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Re: How about

Try compiling vlc.

Once you are back from holiday it may be finished.

While a razzie is a very snazzy IoT and automation platform it really does not get anywhere near what you would need for a proper desktop. If you want a fanless non-x86 you are much better off with the Imagination Tech stuff or some of the higher spec SoC of dubious provenance originating from China.

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These Chicago teens can't graduate until they learn some compsci

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Re: Comrade

When I was at school, we were given an exercise to be done individually

As expected. In the short term, teamwork is always less effective than a lone jedi doing a Death Star run.

A lone jedi does not win you the war though. A fleet and an army does.

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Commendable

Now, do they have people to teach.

Granted, my experience is from this side of the pond, but the level of computer science literacy in 90% of the math teachers who are also coerced into teaching CS starts and finishes with print "Hello World". They use Scratch as a "shield" long past the point where it can and should be used resulting in bored and annoyed teenagers in the classroom which in turn makes them hate CS for the rest of their lives. Probably that is what the powers that be want anyway - though shall not interfere with the outsourcing vested interests.

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Humans – 1 Robots – 0: Mercedes deautomates production lines

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Re: One word

Wong word. The right word is: Bespoke.

If you make a marketing point of each car being somewhat unique and made-to-order you can similarly make a marketing point that your manufacturing process matches what you advertise.

By the way, I bet they did not remove _ALL_ robots off the assembly line. Thy reduced them a bit to match what they are doing in terms of product and made a BIG marketing point out of it.

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Barking spider prompts Spanish clan shoot-out

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Close but no cigar

This explains why George Lucas had to change it so that Greedo fired first..

Come on, Harrison Ford has diarrhea when shooting that scene originally, not extreme flatulence. You can find an old interview with him somewhere on the interwebs where he explains that if he did not shoot he would have had an "accident".

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