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* Posts by Voland's right hand

880 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

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Swiss railways ticked off at iOS clock knock-off

Voland's right hand
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Looks like average 50+ year old swiss clock

If you take a swiss clock from 50+ years back second hand is nearly always red and blobbed at the end. Even Omega used to do them this way.

These are the sole distinctive features - the rest is bog standard. So even if they had a trademark on it then, they have failed to defend it (as per trademark law) by chasing everyone and their dog in their _OWN_ country who did clocks to the same design.

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Did GM food cause GIANT TUMOURS IN RATS?

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Devil

Re: Need to independently study GM vs. "Roundup"

So was agent Orange. Originally...

With similar results. Apparently...

Frankly, as far as someone discovering statistically significant correlation between a weedkiller and cancer - I am not surprised. We have seen that movie before.

Same for the GM crops. I can bet a case of beer that they did not grow them in a lab environment free of weedkiller and bought them off the open market. If so, they are guaranteed to be contaminated with similar doses of weedkiller as to their "control" experiment. So that is not surprising either if you think of it - just an unclean negative control.

What is really bad news here is that if proven correct, it writes off the last "safe" weedkiller out there. Come to think about it - even if I do not use every second neighbor around me pours liters of that sh*t annually on their lawn to keep it clover-free, on their driveway to keep it weed-free and so on.

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Ten backpacks for tech-heads

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Devil

Too low rating for swissgear

I have a Hudson (slightly bigger version). However, if the pictures are correct this one has them too:

1. Passport/document pocket on top. Perfect for traveling - you do not spill your overflowing gadget store on the front every time you need to show an ID at an airport check-in.

2. The "document/spare clothes" stores is not big. It is enormous compared to any similar laptop-size/overall size backpack. I used to have a similar size Dicota which could barely fit a few folders there. Here you can fit the spare clothes for a 3 day trip. In fact, there is enough space for documents in the laptop compartment so this one is clearly designed with the techie day trip in mind.

3. Very nice sturdy handle on top - once again, helpful when getting it into and out of luggage racks when traveling.

Downsides: the side braces are a bit fiddly (elastics) and the combination of brace + pocket does not hold a flask very well. That is probably the only area where my old Dicota was better (it had classic belts instead of elastics).

It is definitely the "original" swiss army knife of techie backpacks. You may pay for it, but it works.

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Microsoft, RIM ink new licensing agreement

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Devil

Re: $300K, idiots

QNX already has reasonable filesystem support including the ext2(and later) filesystem family so it is not that. http://www.qnx.com/developers/docs/6.4.0/neutrino/sys_arch/fsys.html

Nothing to investigate by the way.

1. Your average SD card usually has a simplistic wear leveling algo which is designed to work with FAT. To be more exact it is designed to compensate for FAT constantly scribbling onto the file allocation bitmaps in the beginning of the disk. While most of them will work fine with other fs that is not guaranteed by the manufacturer so as a device manufacturer you prefer not to try. One more thing to go wrong :(

2. As a device manufacturer your assumption is that Joe Average Luser will pass family photos between the device and a Windows machine. If you do not interop for that you do not sell. The easiest way to interop nowdays is USB storage. The days of sync software are so passe that it is not worth it to discuss it.

3. If you have to interop with Windows you have to license patents for that which Microsoft holds. C'est la vie. The only leeway you can get here is if these patents are covered by one of the covenants from court orders for anticompetitive behavior. By the way, FAT is the de-facto standard for consumer device interop so I am really surprised that the EU commission has not looked into MSFT licensing practices for this.

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Re: Lipstick on a pig

FAT - yes. exFAT? Not so much.

The only use case I can see here is so that the phone can read cards that have been vandalized by the Windows 8 family of products into this "new FAT" format prior to that.

I am not convinced that this is a usecase which is worth paying for.

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Smartmobe Wi-Fi blabs FAR TOO MUCH about us, warn experts

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Devil

You do not need to stick a CA

Just ask for WiFi sign-up with certs pretending to be a particular high-profile site - amazon, yahoo, paypal, when the user asks to connect to that site.

Broken AP sign-up certificates and broken AP sign-up screens are endemic and most users accept them without thinking and without _LOOKING_ at what the cert pretends to be. You can even pretend to offer "free" for giving a mail or answering a questionnaire so it looks realistic.

After that transparently proxy with a MIM any connections to that site. Capture credentials. No need to stick a CA at all.

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Prof casts doubt on Stuxnet's accidental 'great escape' theory

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Devil

Prof does not know what he is talking about

LAN extension is quite common method of delivering Internet in the 3rd world and ex-Soviet block.

Plug a cheap switch in the basement of the apartment block, everyone gets a Cat5, all flat, virus paradise (most people do not run CPEs either).

Cheap as chips too - costs per sub is a few $.

So if the virus was designed to stick to LAN and an infected machine was connected to one of these Internet networks it would have escaped same as on LAN.

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Apple Lightning adaptors reveal limitations

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Devil

Re: Yikes!

That depends on what are the license conditions and the royalties. The new connector will surely have a few patents slapped on it (this is Apple we are talking about after all).

Apple effectively killed the 3rd party power adapter market for the Macs a few years back. I would not be surprised if they refuse to issue licenses for power-only accessories for the new one (they definitely will not kill the home/car electronics interface golden goose).

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

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Devil

Re: And?

Apple user population are on 2 year contracts. This may not be a compelling reason to throw out your shiny No 4. It will however clean up the "upgrade shiny No 3/3GS" market.

By the way - same as you are I am underwhelmed. This does not mean however that it will not be a commercial success.

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Boffin named Jubb to fire whopping hybrid thruster

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Unhappy

Re: Hard as I try

Not even that.

42 years ago the gas marketing association which sponsored the Blue Flame decided to milk its success to the hilt and they refused to finance any further attempts. It was effectively mothballed after its record setting run.

What people forget however is that it was a _TEST_ run for all practical purposes. Due to the engine being worn out during static tests and initial testing it was limited to 50% of its maximum thrust. It achieved 630 _AT_ _HALF_ _ENGINE_ _POWER_...

If it was rebuilt with a new engine and allowed to run full blast... Oh well... if...

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Dutch unleash intelligent robot bins: No ID, no rubbish

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Devil

Re: Right.. / @Some Beggar

Not just less hassle - it can actively contribute to the reduction of your heating bill.

Most wood burning stoves, fireplaces, etc can burn plastic too. Most of the plastic packing in use today burns quite nicely with little or no toxic fumes. Just do not burn electronics or cable insulation :)

The days when you could poison the entire neighborhood with the smoke from PVC packing are long gone. 99% of the packing now is polyethylene and friends. All you need to burn this one is sufficiently warm stove (or fireplace) and good supply of oxygen.

I burn 90%+ of my rubbish when I am at my summer house and it makes a very good contribution to the heating. I wish I could do it at my main one. Much better than burning it in the garden :)

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iPhone 5 to boost US GDP says JP Morgan

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Devil

Just goes to show how flawed this metric is nowdays

Right, so consumer spending on a product where 60% or so of it goes straight to China and Korea raises the GDP of country. Nice economics... When you can have it...

More like raise the trade deficit if you ask me...

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Health minister warns ISPs: Block suicide websites or face regulation

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Devil

Re: Guidance

As someone who has studied toxicology properly (as a part of a Chemistry MSc degree) I am going to disagree.

Past a certain education level in Chemistry, Biology or Pharmacology (~ 2-3rd year in uni) you learn enough to terminate anyone you like with ease - including yourself. So if we go down this route we should also ban access to most Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry and Microbiology sites while we are at it. After all they contain dangerous material ya know. Actually we should ban studying those subjects and replace them with Politology and MBAs.

Though that will not be original. Previous government already tried that including restraining orders on subject so they do not attend chemistry courses (I remember writing a request for Q in the commons to my MP on that one).

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Amazon: Pay more for Kindle Fire, smoke ads from slabs

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Devil

Depends on the advertising

Amazon knows enough of your shopping and "browsing for the next thing to buy" history to be able to nail you with anything from an "offer you cannot refuse" to or a simple reminder "didn't you want to buy this?"

I have noticed Amazon ads on other websites - they are 99% spot on (scary in fact).

So as far as Amazon is concerned their ads work.

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Airbus predicts catapult takeoffs and formation flying by 2050

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Devil

Re: Dirigibles

Why just dirigibles?

A screen effect monster can deliver a nice in-between - slower than turbojet, much faster than dirigible.

Similarly, it is likely to be considerably more energy efficient than a turbojet as well and there are plenty of routes where I would rather travel for 4-5 more hours but in comfort like transatlantics and transpacifics. In fact, anything over the ocean.

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Samsung accused of using child labor in its own factories

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Devil

Re: Child labour

Slightly different cattle of fish.

China is simply (ab)using the old student labor system which kept alive the Soviet block. In that system students either got a small fraction of the money they were supposed to get or did not get any money at all while working 2-3 months a year to fill the labor gaps in agriculture, food processing, etc.

Same story here.

This same story however is "bad news" for all those who have bet their companies future on the "super flexible" supply chain starting there (Apple's Mr Cook is a prime example). If China's supply chain flexibility needs gap filling through the forced drafting of students it is:

1. Not flexible at all. In fact, if the student labor goes away the supply chain will probably collapse (same as it did in the ex-Soviet block agriculture in the 90-es).

2. The quality will deteriorate significantly after a time. Students see the slavery obligations as such and start "sabotaging" "work". I remember what we did 30 years ago - as nobody listened to us we got relatives to pull their connections in H&S, Sanitary control or labor authorities, we acknowledged openly that the quotas were rigged and worked towards like 10% of what we were supposed to do, etc.

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Re: Shut these slave camps down

And what exactly are you going to recommend as an alternative?

If you trace the supply chain down to its origin _EVERY_ technical gadget on our shop shelves starts its life in a slave camp. The sole difference between Samsung and let's say Apple is that it outright owns its slave camps as wholly owned subsidiaries instead of outsourcing the blame baton to the likes of Foxconn.

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Intel teaches Xeon Phi x86 coprocessor snappy new tricks

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Devil

Very Intel

Separate VPU and Floating Point Logic?

How quaint... And how very very very Intel.

They still do not get it.

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Global warming GOOD for biodiversity, say boffins

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Devil

Re: As it snows early in Germany...

Global Warming == Europe Freezing or to be more exact more continental climate.

Any climate model out there shows that an _AVERAGE_ 1C up over the northern hemisphere should result in 2-4C down across most of Europe. To make matters even more interesting it will be coupled with increased temperature differential so you should expect 3-4C more in mid summer (which we got) and 6-8C (or worse) less in mid-winter.

The reason is that the first victim of global (or to be more exact northern hemisphere) warning is the Gulfstream.

As a result European climate comes closer to normal for the European lattitudes. As a comparison Germany is at the same lattitude as Hudson Bay in Canada or Kamchatka in Russia. Both are known for their lovely holiday resort climate you know. Similarly, Italy and the Mediteranean is at the lattitude of New England, Washington (not DC, the state) and Oregon . Similarly lovely resort climate.

In any case, if the global warming proponents are right buying a 4x4 and MS/Snowflake tyres for it is advisable. If they are wrong - same story. So you will be freezing in both cases.

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Now Apple wants Samsung S III, Galaxy Notes off the shelves too

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Devil

Re: Apply this logic to cars

ANY modern car pays price tag contains significant amount of IPR royalties either direct or indirect (through royalties on component pricing).

The difference there is that an engineer which has designed something _WITHPOUT_ doing FTO (freedom to operate) and PLA (patent landscape analysis) first is walked off the premises by security straight away with his belongings in a bag.

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Here we go again: Critical flaw found in just-patched Java

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Devil

Re: 2 birds with one stone

"The language(s) used are likely to be choosen to make teaching those fundamentals easier."

Cough, sputter, sputter. Read this: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/ThePerilsofJavaSchools.html

Java is one of the worst languages to teach fundamentals of programming because it has one too many failsafes. In fact in java you cannot teach even the most basic things like reference/dereference and pointer manipulation. It should be taught as an elective after (and on top of) basic CS material which uses something more low-level in which you can teach students basic data handling.

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NASA funds sexy, stealthy, sideways supersonic flying wing

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Devil

Re: Red herring design

First of all, the idea is not as bonkers as it seems. Quite a good one actually.

1. It really needs to be efficient only in hypersonic mode. Subsonic is a matter of "getting there" and "getting back". Symmetric shapes are very reasonable in hypersonic flight.

2. Who said it has to be symmetric in the first place. It has 2 operating orientations, not 4. So it does _NOT_ need to be symmetric at all. It is not that difficult to do an asymmetric shape which flies well. Scaled composites ARES is a good example. It is as asymmetric as assymmetric gets and it flies very well :)

3. Subsonic efficiency especially at low speed can be improved considerably through wing mechanization - slats, etc. That is besides the fact it may not be necessary as the wing shape does not need to be symmetric in the first place.

4. Most of hypersonic lift in the more efficient designs is generated by deflecting sonic boom reflections from the engine intakes off the wings and the fuselage. So engines are probably in the wrong place - they need to be on top, not on bottom. However, for subsonic some of the problems may be solved by going Coanda like An-72. Dunno, without running tunnel tests hard to say.

5. Transition is the most difficult part here (not any symmetric/asymmetric arguments). Even if it is 100% done by the computer there will be loss of lift and loss of control during the process. To put it bluntly, to satisfy basic safety requirements the designers will have to design a shape which allows the aircraft to successfully enter and exit what is effectively a flat spin at will. AFAIK that is yet to be accomplished by any aircraft.

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'iPhone 5' released by Chinese Apple copycat

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Devil

Re: Well..

This is released before Shiny No 5. If it's look-n-feel is identical to Shiny No 5 it will get interesting. It is released _BEFORE_ it so these guys can pretend that it was Apple who copied it... Where is the popcorn...

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Leaked Genius Bar manual shows Apple's smooth seductions

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Devil

Re: Impervious

Some intrinsic... Some acquired...

If you grew up on the east side of the iron curtain during the days of the great gerontocracies you are probably immune to any sort of patronization (empathic or not).

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Google gets hands on 'glove-cam' patent

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Devil

Re: And the purpose is...?

IIRC the power glove did not have a camera.

However, if memory serves me right, surgical gloves with a camera on them have been around for a long time. It is just one of the many forms of an endoscope. You do not wave these though - you generally stick 'em in places known as "where sun does not shine".

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Open source author pulls code after GPL abuse

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Devil

He needs to read the GPL

There is no such thing as unauthorized fork under GPL. Any fork is authorized fair and square as long as the original copyright notices are retained and any derivative work is GPL too.

As a matter of fact he is violating the GPL too as there is no such thing as withdraw. Once it is out and once you have distributed it (which he has) you are obliged to supply the source for a reasonable time after that.

The only possibly "unauthorized" bit is the "commercial" distribution. However you are allowed to distribute commercially GPL software too. There is nothing wrong about that (once again, subject to notices, copyright, source, etc).

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XBMC media player now running on Android, Nexus Q

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Devil

More like "I can has a fire extinguisher"

One of the reasons why I do not run XBMC as a media center is that it does not have proper idle handling. It just cycles through pretty UI pictures full blast when in idle. In fact on many platforms it will eat more CPU idle than playing. That may work fine on a console but stinks royally elsewhere.

Coming back to the idea of running it on a mobile device - if it has retained its original boneheaded design and lack of idle handling - no thanks. I do not want my android device to burn my knees or set the table on fire.

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US deploys robot submarine armada against Iranian mines

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Devil

Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

And you think that the support team which has launched said fox will be twiddling their thumbs. On a second thought - yeah, why not, even more stupid things have happened in the military.

In any case, it should be possible to improve this thing so that more of it is reusable (detachable warhead, etc) if it has to be used en-mass. For a limited deployment 100k military list pricing is not that bad - f.e. a modern torpedo costs north of 10k.

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Apple rejoins EPEAT green tech cert program

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Devil

Yep

Their silly rules are quite explicit in specifying that "joe average recyling plant worker" should be able to disassemble the kit for recycling. I do not quite see Apple current generation of kit complying to their "silly rules".

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Re: Our relationship with EPEAT has become stronger as a result of this experience...

Quote And crank the RDF generators up to 11!

Exactly.

Is it me being particularly thick on a Saturday morning or there is just no way for its gear to stay certified. Key requirement is ease of dissassembly for recycling purposes. Disassemble a new MacBook Pro or Macbook air anyone?

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UK's web super-snoop powers could be extended to councils

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Devil

The problem is not with the councils having access

The problem is with the councils _ALLOWED_ to investigate in the first place.

It is _NONE_ of their f***ing business to investigate. It should be the police (or the taxman) doing it with them being allowed only to provide technical assistance when and where needed. Councils should be allowed to request a matter to be investigated and that is where their powers should end.

Unfortunately this is not the case - councils are allowed by UK law and precedent to pry into what is:

1. Various cases of fraud by misrepresentation - all the "who lives where and is entitled to what" cases.

2. Environmental issues of various sizes starting from minor misdemeanors like fly tipping to things that are criminal and have well defined crimes on the statute book.

3. Fraud of various shapes, colors and sizes related to the building trade and city planning.

4. Tax offenses of various shapes and sizes related to local taxation.

The pretext is that it will be "cheaper" than the police doing this. This pretext is false - each council uses hundreds of people across multiple departments where the police (and HMRC) would have used the part-time of less than 5-10 people to cover the same region. On top of that the councils _FAIL_ to bring most of the cases that should to be prosecuted to prosecution.

One you have fixed the underlying cause there will be no need for the council to look into anything. Until then, they will continue to ask.

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LOHAN to brew thermite for hot ignition action

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Devil

Re: Thermite

Make sure you _DRY_ it very well if you use this approach of building a thermite head.

I am speaking this as a chemist and someone who can now turn the sausages on the BBQ without a fork - I had an unfortunate incident with humid thermite during my first year in a university. It was wet and went into an air-dust cloud which burned instantaneously. I got lucky - 3a degree burns across most of my palms and a few spots of 3b resulting in losing most of the heat and pain sensitivities in them forever.

So based on experience - make sure it is in correct proportions (a bit difficult using the wet dip method) and is dried properly. Otherwise... Things can get funny...

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Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

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Devil

Who cares about the SD slot, can I have a car craddle please

7 inch is exactly 2DIN on a car.

If someone starts printing out simple "amplifier only" units that take this as a screen + controls were are going to see some very interesting jitters in the last place where the AV industry continues to charge insane amounts of money for an abysmal 10+ year old near-obsolete set of features.

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China reveals new strategy of stockpiling rare earths

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Devil

Re: So what if they are stockpiling?

Quote: "The only way to remove the stranglehold on rare minerals that China has would be to open up the Australian mines to run at a loss..."

No. The existence of EXPORT quotas entitles everyone to IMPORT quotas as a retaliatory measure.

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Europe's prang-phone-in-every-car to cost €5m per life saved

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Devil

Re: AirBag activation

1. Women + Fiat. Let me guess - a petite.

Fiat is notorious for not having their airbags activate if the "weight sensor" under the seat decides that you have a kid in it. There was at least one recall on the Stilo and a few on others for the same reason (the limit on the Stilo being set to values where it throws an airbag fault for any smaller size adult).

2. There are _LOTS_ of sensors in a car (including said sensors for weight which are regularly faulty in some Fiats) which override the airbag deployment - belts, door closure, etc. The fact that the car did not deploy the airbag does not mean it did not detect the crash so if the cellular notification takes input from the crash detector _PRIOR_ to any of the specific airbag overrides it may still be useful and reliable.

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Re: Normal prank in 10 years

Not if the unit is active only with the key in the ignition which is likely to be the case if the unit is integrated with the car stereo/dashboard.

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Re: Nanny state...

The emergency services are already called to more or less every knock where the airbag is activated (which is likely to be the trigger indicator to invoke this system in most vehicles).

So this is not much different.

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Wrong numbers

The 100£ assumes nothing is in the car, not even a factory fitted stereo. Sorry, that is utter b***s.

For an average low-end car with a stereo sans GPS and sans 3G with some sort of stereo the incremental should be under 50£. This is roughly what it will cost to replace the stereo controls with Android or some embedded clone of Windows, add a limited SIM and basic GPS and connect the "active" indicator from the airbags control unit to a GPIO pin.

This cost drops to zero going upmarket. The ~50 is for todays equivalent of Peugeout 106 (or whatever the cheap model of the sole manufacturer obstinate to install Eu recommended safety features without a regulatory mandate).

The moment you go up from there the incremental cost to the stereo drops rapidly to zero as it is likely to be Android driven anyway, have traffic updates anyway and as you go in the upper half of the market have GPS anyway. This directive will simply accelerate this a bit.

The math is also broken - while you may save only 2500 lives you are also likely to reduce dramatically various costs across the medical systems by having a trauma team in place and in time even for less critical injuries. So you also have benefit for lives "improved", not just those saved.

The only people who will be bummering here are the mobile operators which have to deal with a few tens of millions of SIMs (including roaming) in continental Europe. However, once again - this cost goes to zero upmarket because the units will be using a service anyway.

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Did your iPhone 'just stop working' - or did you drop it in your BEER?

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Devil

Re: I'm pretty sure my Nokia 7650 already had something like this.

The earliest piece of tech I can think of to have it were ancient (pre-electronic days) disposable flash lamps. These had a calibrated quantity of Mg, in a mixture of gas with the electric contact serving just for ignition. The unpleasant thing about the setup was that moisture getting into the lamp gave it the tendency to explode instead of producing a nice well-behaved flash. This is why all of these had some _BOG_ standard coloured silicagel spot. If the spot was white the lamp was safe to use. If it was colored - chuck it away (unless you fancy an explosion).

Any _ANCIENT_ photography book contains reference to said device and it used to be in mass production up to a decade or so after WW2.

So some really old prior art here and plenty of newer one.

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Ten... alien invasions

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Devil

Re: What... No Hitchhikers Series?

No "Species"

No "Stargate" (the series).

No ...

Very lame list...

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'Young people don't want to become like us', say IT pros

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Devil

Re: You could say

Bingo David, I was going to say the same.

Work is _NOT_ life. Work is a source of income so you can _HAVE_ a life. Outside work you know. My wife has no clue what I do at work. Neither do my kids and that is exactly the way I want it. Neither do any of my friends who do not happen to be colleagues as well. No shop talk at the table, no shop talk in the bar.

That is probably one of the reasons why the IT profession on the continent is not so much of a a nerd central (especially in Eastern Europe).

They draw the work/life line in considerably more clear terms there. You do not need to explain to an Eastern European such basic concepts like "work != жизнь" for any values of жизнь, regardless of the amount of motivational posters, cosy happy color cushions, fruit bowl feeders in the kitchenette and socialist motivational slogans plastered on the office wall.

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Microsoft: Don't overclock Windows 8 unless you like our new BSOD

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Devil

Re: So, to summarise...

No.

The summary is - always use CPU frequency scaling and have a cooling system which has feedback control of some sorts - either 4 pin fans or 3 pin fans with integrated thermal sensors and rev control. Make sure you do not have hot pockets, etc too.

This would explain the rather strange laptop stats. The average laptop cooling system sucks bricks sidewize through a thin straw compared to a desktop. However, all of it is controlled by the OS (via acpi or whatever other interface is available) and cranked up to match the heat output. In addition to that air is taken from outside and dumped to the outside. There is no internal recirculation.

Out of all "other" reasons this is the most likely reason for "white box sucketh" results too. Most whitebox manufacturers do not have the resources to spend on analyzing and fixing airflow in their systems so they end up with hotspots here and there. Otherwise the parts which they use are not that different from "big labels".

By the way - the summary is totally valid for Linux too. If you want it stable - ensure that your cooling system operates properly and is matched by appropriate controls in the OS - lmsensors, fan control or the odd script which starts limiting the CPU frequency if the temperature crosses a particular threshold.

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Stratfor settles class-action over Anon megahack with freebies

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Devil

Re: $1.75m out of pocket

Claimants are Stratfor (ex)-customers which have been fed their "product" for a while at the prices usually paid for. You do not buy this kind of services one off - you buy them on a recurring basis. So, actually, it is pretty safe that they would have bought it - same as the month of service.

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Second win for Apple as Galaxy Nexus sales banned in US

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Devil

Re: Don't think Samsung will be too upset...

Quote: "It invented by a small company who made multi-touch keyboards and trackpads before Apple bought them. "

That is where Apple got the tech, it is not where it got the IPR. Most of the IPR is from one well known place where a lot of stuff got invented and none of it got implemented. I am tempted to say why, but I will not.

Hint - look at the original assignees of the patents used by Apple to sue people over touchscreen stuff.

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Devil

Re: Don't think Samsung will be too upset...

Cars, HiFis and TVs _HAVE_ that ridiculous level of patent encumberance. A single modern car diesel engine has anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand patents protecting it. It is rather unsurprising that there are a handful of sources for them nowdays. Even those have to cross-license a lot of IPR to be able to produce them.

The reason why you do not often hear about silly lawsuits is because all big players:

1. Always do FTO (freedom to operate) analysis before entering a market and quite often do fto just for new products. The standard IT industry practice of "ignore patents during development" is an absolute No-No there. You will get fired if you try to develop a new car without checking for IPR first. In IT you are likely to get fired if you do the opposite - actually check for IPR when developing.

2. Have portfolios in their main product areas sufficiently big for a mutual self-assured destruction.

3. There are very few patents by organizations which fail to monetize them so end up selling them to trolls. The up-front cost of R&D is very high so anything it produces is monetized. It is impossible for the car, Hi-Fi and TV industry to produce the car, TV, HiFi equivalents of the designs for the iPhonesque touchscreen UI, patent them and sit on that for 10 years doing totally nothing (no comment why).

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Ten... Androids for under 200 quid

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Defy MINI retails at 79£ at the moment from amazon, not 150. This firmly puts it on top of the ranking based on its sheer value for the money.

By the way, it is not its screen which is unresponsive, it is the horrid keyboard app. Replace that with Go keyboard or something else which is more sane (and less cluttered) and you have a very nice phone.

I just got Junior one of these to replace the N95 which ended up under the council lawnmower mowing the school playground. IMHO it looks like it has a chance of surviving for the next few months :)

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Price Waterhouse Cooper: Only mobile comms can SAVE HUMANITY

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Re: 2012 or 1912?

Actually, most fishing dingies (it will be wrong to call them boats) in the developing world have no radio whatsoever. In fact, they will never have any money to buy a proper ship radio rig until they are decimated by the natural transition to "big boat fishing".

A mobile phone for them is a lifeline in more than one sense of the word. I would not overestimate its "bargaining ability" though - most boats which are mobile phone dependent are 2-3 man rigs which can operate only within the range of one fishing port so there is very little space for bargaining there.

While his examples are outright bogus, there is indeed some growth induced by communications infrastructure.

I would put access to medical aid as one of the much more important factors here. When people live day-to-day between being eaten by a shark and a crocodile you cannot expect them to produce surplus and try to trade it. They have little need for that. It may rain. It may not. I may live. I may die. Whatevvvverrrr... Try to expect such a person to make more to get more. You will get a blank stare.

Breaking this fatalism by bringing medical aid (which depends on comms) and information is way more important than any "trading benefits".

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Patent trolling cost the US $29 BILLION in 2011

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Re: partially bollocks

They do not, but someone else did at some point earlier in time. Most trolls buy patents approaching end of life from big corporations who have failed to implement them and monetize them.

One particular two letter entity in the UK is a prime "troll feeder" example - it used to do lots of R&D so it has a substantial patent portfolio. However, it has failed miserably to build on any of it and its monetization is mostly limited to selling stale patents in their last 2 years of lifespan to trolls. Hint - it is the place Apple got a lot of its UI patents from. There are others.

In any case it is a temporary past-time. It _WILL_ go away.

The management consluttant driven "efficiency" and "though shall not build without a business case" drive in the type of big corporations which produce patents but fail to monetize them has killed off most of their R&D. The average "Troll Feeder" patent output is now a trickle of what it was 15+ years ago. In a few years time the trolls will no longer have troll fodder to eat.

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Sony SmartWatch Android remote

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Re: So.... pebble watch was not a totally new idea?

Quote: I don't see the point of smart-watches: Meetings run by control freaks, meetings with customers, etc. If I was still in my previous job, this would have been in the post already.

As far as their previous purchase being laughably obsolete - well, LiveView version one was dead on arrival. Bad strap design, bad watch software execution - you name it. The "proper" bluetooth watch (the one I believe Sony designed jointly with Cittizen) was too skimpy on the featureset to justify its nearly 200£ price tag. So IMO they are obsoleting Alpha (not even Beta) products here so nothing wrong with that.

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Microsoft's offices gutted in Athens arson attack

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Ladies and gentlemen...

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present you the Trojan Van.

Timeo Danaes driving a van with gas bottles...

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