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* Posts by Voland's right hand

994 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

UK injects £88m into Euro bid to build Hubble-thrashing 'scope

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Devil

I suggest you go post to the Daily Beobachter forum

Price of telescope: 88m

Price of building the site using cheap local labour - 1m

Price of building the telescope high tech components - mirror, cameras, actuators, software, control etc (nearly all of it in Europe) - 87m.

Which part of this f*** equation do you fail to understand?

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SpaceX rocket reaches orbit but Dragon fails to spit fire

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Devil

Re: Give them a break!

Soyuz: 724 successes, 21 failures, most of them in the early years. In the recent years its reliability is better than the UK railways for example or national express bus network.

Space X (and even Ariane) have a _VERY_ long way to go until _THAT_ gold standard.

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NASA probes spots temporary third Van Allen radiation belt

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Devil

Re: Unfortunately we can't ...

Actually, we can. Just robots have to go first.

The "cheapest" defense is to hide behind your own propellant (or inside it). Robot first, get an ice block from the asteroid belt and meld the ship living quarters into it and voila - here is your protection. One small ice asteroid (a few hundred meters in size) will be enough to fuel (and protect) our exploratory fleet for a few decades (even accounting for growth).

It is not perfect (even 50m of ice cannot really compare to the Van Allen belts). It is however definitely better than nothing and it would nicely make up as your propellant too (just melt it, ionize it and speed it up to a a few thousand m/s - something we can do already). This will also decrease travel time from 501 days to a couple of weeks so the exposure window will drop too.

As far as gravity, last time I heard angular momentum was rumored to do the trick. Not that it will matter if travel time is down to a couple of weeks.

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Spectra: Tape is dead? We installed 550PB of the stuff in 6 months

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Devil

Re: Tape is one of these things that is always dead

As the saying goes: Never, ever underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes.

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German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp

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Devil

Not just that

There is a whole raft of processes which produce methanol cheaply. Cooking coal with hydrogen and/or water (referred to in the article) is probably one of the most expensive ways to do it.

You can get methanol as a natural result of waste disposal - f.e. by heating up cellulose under pressure. Much easier to produce than ethanol. As far as its toxicity goes - good old petrol is toxic enough as it is even in this day and age when it is not spiked with lead-organics (which are extremely toxic too).

All in all, I really fail to understand why we continue do d*ck around with hydrogen. It does not make sense at the elementary physics/chemistry level.

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Apple patents situational awareness for oblivious fanbois

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Devil

Re: Um, were the US PTO asleep when this went across their desk ?

BMW M series radios had the "audio" portion of this for more than a decade. The volume autoadjusts and is jacked up when you rev the engine so you can still hear the beat. Plenty of other pror art too.

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Outsourcing your own job much more common than first thought

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Devil

Re: Not hard at all.

Quote: The amazing thing is that the chap was bright enough to outsource, but dumb enough to fail at the remote access.

Nothing particularly amazing. He was business bright and technically dumb. In fact, business dumb too - he would have made more money registering himself as a company and working that way (would have had better tax positions too).

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Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist

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Devil

Re: One question I have always asked myself

Quote: "The main effect would be one of cooling."

Errr, no. Second law of thermodynamics - you cannot "lose" it (same as you cannot "make" it). It just moves elsewhere. So the "cooling" from slowing down fluid friction will be compensated by emitting heat from all the electrical appliances to a net effect of 0.

In any case, wind gets an unjustifiably high level of attention as a renewable. Solar (both cells and collectors) in the right location (Sahara instead of northern Europe), geothermal, tidal and wave have a much bigger promise. IMHO Europe should be building artificial tidals (4x4 mile simple "holding pen" with turbines on one side, rinse repeat - a standard port digger can build one in a few month) all over the wash, irish sea and the shallows around the North Sea coast. Much better idea than all the windmills because you can use that as an "accumulator" to compensate for fluctuations in demand as well as for proper generation.

All of that is being left untapped at the moment. In fact it is being destroyed as a potential energy source by stupid windmills all over it in a way which prevents us rebuilding that for tidal without demolishing them first.

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Open source port-a-thon brings Ubuntu to more phones, tablets

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Devil

Re: ubuntu hmm

As someone who runs LTS as an OS on his laptop (I have to do demos and develop on it) I beg to differ.

I have yet to notice anything particularly Orwellian in it. It is still good old Debian with some extra spit and polish. There are times when the spit and polish gets on my nerves and I have to tweak it but they are few and far between. Definitely more usable than windows and faster an by order of magnitude or so for most stuff (especially for virtualization related work).

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Linus Torvalds in NSFW Red Hat rant

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Devil

Re: Let's merge two EL Reg topics

There are three scenarios there:

1. MSFT forgets to renew key

2. Manufacturer forgets or fails to update to new key as the key is in loaded into the EFI even if MSFT does so

3. The computer is bricked during the update. Hello Samsung, what is the size of a X509 certificate record write into X509 once again?

Eeeek...

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Devil

Re: Quite frankly.....

Indeed. RedHat needs to sign it themselves and use the nuclear competition option if the manufacturers refuse to honor it.

If a manufacturer tries to refuse to honor a valid OS signing key by a valid OS vendor "because it will invalidate their MSFT compliance" then this is a competition commission/FTC matter. RedHat is both big enough to drive it through and "commercial" enough to have all the means and reasons to drive it through with the big four - Lenovo, HP, Dell and Acer. With MSFT history of competition violations they will end up paying another few billions into the "salvage nations with fraudulent accounts benevolent fund" before they can even say uncle. Either that or concede outright.

In both cases the end result will be MSFT scoring an own goal - creating an environment for shipping certified linux builds on par with their own stuff.

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Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER

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Devil

Re: So if the PC dies

Not just that.

It is yet another MSFT - OEM manufacturers "rub my back so I rub yours" which should be questioned on competition grounds. How the f*** do you prove your warranty claim If you assemble your PC yourself or you buy it from one of the few remaining small manufacturers?

Yeah, I know - they are now extinct. MSFT programme of assisting HP, Dell and Co in providing unfair competition advantage has practically eradicated them.

Though this may backfire. I can see a neat business model here - just provide 10y warranty on a computer at the cost of let's say 30% of office license. Hardware is so cheap nowdays that this should be able to cover upgrading motherboards, hard disks and power supplies for 10 years :)

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Apple updates iOS, does not fix passcode-bypass hack

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Devil

Re: Why is it?

It has grown up.

Once upon a time things used to be simple, feature-list short and dependencies easy to manage. No longer the case. Classic case of "mature platform" with "legacy". A new developer comes along, touches something he does not fully understand and all hell breaks lose in an area that is perceived as completely unrelated.

It will now take some seriously fascist release management and architecture to put that under control and based on what Apple has been releasing I do not quite see that one happening.

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AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

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Devil

Re: Holodecks aren't just about processing power

You missed the most difficult one - smell. We have no idea how to digitize smell data and replay it. We have a reasonably good understanding of the way tactile, visual or hearing receptors work. Olfactory bulb - and here be dragons.

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Baby-boulder bowling burglar breaks Boulder Apple Store's $100k glass door

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Re: $100k for a glass door?

You are missing the point. It is a designer door - part of a copyrighted and trademarked design. You do not expect that to be cheap do you?

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Google misses privacy-policy deadline, incurs EU wrath

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Re: Now we come to it

Quoting one "great" European politician who once upon a time personally ordered my great granddad shot as an enemy of the state: "There is no such thing as indispensable people". Or in this case it will read as: "There is no such thing as indispensable companies".

Out of all people, I would have expected Mr Brin to have remembered that one. Me coat.

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LinkedIn proves not all social IPOs were bubbly

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Devil

Re: Losing it...

They are losing you (same as me). They are gaining paying "customers" and food for them.

Like it or not Linkedin is the headhunter social network. Its only goal is to spread you into a nice thin easy to inspect and nitpick layer in front of headhunting lowlife. That is who is really footing the bills there.

Unfortunately there is a significant fraction of us at any given time who are looking for a job. So LinkedIn will always have "food" to pre-digest and offer its "customers" for consumption.

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Ubuntu for Galaxy Nexus phones to arrive in February

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Devil

Re: This would be good

"I can see it replacing a lot of peoples laptops and a lot of desktops too."

Err, sorry, no cigar.

There is a fundamental problem here - the phone UI is designed for touch and _NONE_ of the remote UI methods including BT input devices is touch oriented with multitouch support. So the idea of hooking your phone to a screen will wait for the day when you can either remote to a touch-screen or when multi-touch input from a screen works correctly as a remote input device on the phone.

By the way, desktop will not be the first victim on that date. The first victim will be the venerable car stereo as it will become totally surplus to requirements. What's the point of having a car stereo when you can remote the phone onto the car console (with all the UI still working correctly)?

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Motorola complaint against Microsoft narrowed

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Devil

This is something that should have been sorted at filing

Frankly, the examiner did not his job. While I can understand failures to find prior art (shit happens) failures to have correct claims should not pass the patent examination process.

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Bug kills Intel gig-E controllers

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Devil

There is something fishy here

I have a whole raft of kit with 82574L - I use it on my home server and my home lab. I have yet to see anything resembling that bug. The offset in question is in the data portion of the packet so assuming semi-random packet distribution we are looking at multiple crashes a day under heavy load. I do not see that.

Further to this - 82574L is one of the most popular cards going into mid-range desktop kit from HP, Dell, etc. A bug like that would have made these unusable. I suspect that this is limited to specific BIOSes and specific VLANs. Intel cards have a feature (no, it is not a bug) where one VLAN is reserved for out of band management (1000-something, forgot the number). Traffic on that VLAN is interpreted and can be used for lights out management if the machine supports it. If the card is misconfigured so that the default VLAN instead of 1000+ is treated as management you can see all kinds of wierd stuff (including resetting the machine). The more interesting part is why is he seeing is with Asterisk because Linux immediately disables that rather insane feature on boot.

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Study: Gay marriage support linked to pr0n consumption

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Devil

Anything can be shown to correlate to anything

All you need to do is chose the _CORRECT_ scale.

Correlation coefficient is the probability of two functions being linearly dependent on each other. So, for example, if you have y = x^2 and you try to compute the correlation coefficient directly off the values from that you will get that the two variables are independent when in fact they are not. So you have to chose the correct scale/conversion - root, log, exp, etc before you compute it. And here be dragons...

When there is no obvious reasons to use a particular one you can pretty much chose anyone you like ending up with a graph of AOL vs Good Cholesterol. Just like in this case.

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Solar undercuts coal in New Mexico

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Devil

They may not need any

It is in New Mexico so they may not need any. Solar is quite good if you put it in the right location. It will suck royally if it is at New (or old) England latitudes and average cloud cover levels. New Mexico or anywhere in the tropical desert belt around the worlld- not so much.

For example, there is a substantial body of circumstantial evidence brewing up that recent French interest and interventionism in Africa is related to the idea of making Sahara into one enormous Solar collector.

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GNOME project picks JavaScript as sole app dev language

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Devil

At first I thought the calendar is wrong

My first thought was that it is already April, the first to be more exact. However on a second thought, I remembered - this is GNOME.

Whatever idiocy Microsoft does, GNOME follows drooling on the way. Microsoft promoted C# so did GNOME (its rather crippled alternative implementation). Microsoft decided that C# is no longer for the cool kids. Well so does GNOME.

In any case being an uncool kid I am going to stick to C, C++, Python and Perl. Curly bracket language which is the assembly of the Internet? No thanks.

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Linux boot doesn't smash Samsung laptops any more

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Devil

Re: Phoenix UEFI BIOS

"If the firmware has 'variables' it's not really firmware."

It is Intel and Microsoft reinventing Open Firmware. That had variables, conditional execution and a whole raft of other things (and thankfully did not have a f*** GUI).

So

1. It is still Firmware

2. It is Intelnovation - imitating badly something done by someone else like amd64, via AES instruction set, etc.

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

Re: Sorry, wrong.

Fixed that for ya: "Worked" for windows. Quotes intended.

About 50% of what was erroneously attributed to "bad drivers" was actually bad acpi in the early days. Windows was suffering same as linux if not worse - at least on linux you could easily turn off acpi altogether.

We now have the "history repeating". I am typing this on an Asus Motherboard whose crippled UEFI implementation erroneously initializes the AMD Fusion GPU portion every 3rd or fourth boot. And that is a so called "reputable manufacturer". Everything is just like in the worst days of ACPI 10+ years ago.

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Analyst says vendors offer pretend reference customers

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Devil

Re: Old hat.

I can tell you where Gartner finds them - in the middle of the "Magic Wankdrant", sorry quadrant...

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Customer service rep fired for writing game that mocks callers

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Devil

Re: the point of the game?

What a bunch of muppets. They should have bought it off him as a training tool.

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Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

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Devil

Lester, I beg to differ

The history of the country where you are applying for a citizenship is a core value. To be more exact that is valid for both the history and its specific interpretation - the bits that are included and the bits that are purposefully omitted to form the appropriate half-truth.

In this particular case however it has more to do with Mrs May desperately trying to patch up the holes under the waterline ahead of the dreadful 2014 when the Romanians and Bulgarians influx will bring the end of British civilization (according to the Daily Beobachter).

First of all, the ones that wanted to be here are already here - there is enough means in the current system for that. Second the ones that want to fleece benefits are already doing so. Third, the ones that came here to do real work are already considering to leave and leaving same as Polish and Baltic states did before them. And fourth - she should stop asking the Daily Fail if they would like it with coffee or ice-cubes. While we can understand and commiserate with the current government having to go cold turkey off gagging on a old wrinkly Australian, replacing it immediately with Volkisher Beobachter does not do them any good. The readers of Volkisher Beobachter wil not vote for them anyway.

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Facebook DIES ON THE VINE hours after Twitter tie-in

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Re: This sounds like the IM wars...

Quote "inoperable".

Grain of truth in both.

If your service is "operable" it will happily interoperate. Try sending from googletalk account to a jabbim account or to someone who has corporate jabber. It will work without a hitch.

In fact, if you build a XMPP server of your own on your own domain and configure it correctly for server to server operation you should be able to talk to googletalk fiends and them to talk to them without having to have a googlemail account.

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Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script

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Re: Next stop: A language based on either Elvish or Klingon

Why next?KLingon programming already exists.

* Specifications are for the weak and timid!!

* This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need dual Pentium processors if I am to do battle with this code.

* You cannot really apprecaite Dilbert unless you've read it in the original Klingon.

* Indentation?! I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!

* What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases'. Our software escapes, leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake!

* Klingon function calls do not have "parameters" - they have "arguments"- and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.

* Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.

* I have challenged the entire Quality Assurance team to a Bat-Leh contest! They will not concern us again.

* A TRUE Klingon warrior does not comment his code.

* By filing this bug report you have challenged the honor of my family. Prepare to die!

* You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!

* Our users will know fear and cower before our software! Ship it! Ship it and let them flee like the dogs they are!

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Japanese boffins tout infrared specs to thwart facial recognition

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Devil

Actually, not that bad for version 0.01

Come on, give the guy a break. Does version 0.01 of your creation look any better?

In any case, I do not see what prevents you from wearing an Armani version of the same spectacles. I also do not see what prevents you from making the LED carousel trigger on a flash. In fact IR "backfire" on a flash is a well known anti-camera method. It is not particularly effective against ANPR (what it was invented for in the first place), but should do the job against face recognition (and paparazzi for that matter).

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

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Devil

Re: Just like lead

While I agree with you on most counts I am going to nitpick a few of your points:

0. First of all - I agree with you on the power stations. The amount of environmental leeway coal continues to get is ridiculous.

1. Lead acid batteries are recycled in 99%+ of the cases nowdays and do not require any special tech to recycle. Very few (end up going into landfill in developed countries.

2. The "safely bound in a crystal lattice" is actually the biggest problem. It cannot be recycled and it stops being "safely bound in the crystal lattice" after a couple of years time in a landfill. Give or take a couple of years for it to be leaked into underground water and from there on we know the story. By the way - if they ban HgCdTe this way, well... that deserves an applause. How would you like your groundwater? With Hg? With Cd? Or with Te? Cd is even worse than good old Pb and some of the effects are on par with Mercury. Te is not something I would like with my morning cereal either.

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Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA

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Devil

Re: Linux nerd downvoters

You clearly have not used HP thin clients + altiris as well as many other Linux based VDI solutions out there. In fact, on the "terminal" side Linux running a Citrix client is probably a majority, not minority of VDI.

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Playboy fined £100k by Blighty watchdog for FLASHING SMUT at kids

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Devil

Re: but why are they paying pb....

"Oh, BTW, Porn sites, bit of a waste of time having thos share on facebook widgets don't you think?"

You misunderstand the function of the widget. It is not to share - it is to allow advert brokers who use FB to correlate your browsing behavior. As long as you are logged into FB going onto a site with the widget ends up in FB "snoop" files (ditto for other similar Web2.0+ lowlife). So an advertiser can after that use that to try to peddle you stuff.

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Razzies set to torpedo pop minx Rihanna's Battleship

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Devil

Re: I do not want to sound like

Quote:"I think you mean Kelly Brook in Piranha 3DD was nothing short of Lovely! :)"

That depends on your orientation and gender. You or me may be more interested in the beautiful cough... cough... "eyes" of Miss Brook. Other people may have other ... cough... cough... interests...

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Time has already run out for smart watches

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Devil

@xyz - Good idea in theory

In practice - not so much. You need a battery per device and they will all run out at different times making it royal PITA to use.

The watch had a golden opportunity - the time when sub-3 inc size was the norm so people looked at a 4-5 inch screen in the phone spec and asked "Are you out of your mind".

That time has passed. My technophobic SWMBO used to show a set of venomous fangs at the mere mentioning of something bigger than a mid 2000-es slider/clamshell. She laughed at me when I got my Arc S a year ago. She is now happily carrying an Xperia J which is the same size as an Arc and she is not alone in that. People are holding 5 inch blowers and happily using them as phones (or to be more exact "as we use phones today"). This pretty much kills the rationale of a second display outright for most users.

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Dad hires online assassins to slay game-obsessed son

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Devil

I do it myself

If junior is overdoing it, I take on him mano a mano Doom with monsters set to nightmare on the house LAN. Or a strategy game of his choice. He is quickly reminded exactly how much does he yet have to learn which usually has the desired effect for a couple of months - namely him doing his homework first and games after that.

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Sky watchers prep for early 2013 asteroid fly-bys

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Happy

Re: wait isn't Apophis...

Not really.

From the "guy" category (Anubis does not really qualify here) Sokar is probably the ultimate badass. Baal second and Apophis a distant third. More of a pompous looser than a real bad guy

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Where do old supercomputers go to die? New Mexico

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Devil

Re: In before...

It may. If you put GPUs in it.

According to spec one of the possible blades going into Altix ICE has 16 x PCIe for "networking". You cannot plug a FAT GPU into it, but a "thin" GPU (workstation class) should fit nicely.

So it depends which blades have they got. If they got the oldest ones (which have the slot) they can upgrade it at a very low cost to a very decent machine.

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'SHUT THE F**K UP!' The moment Linus Torvalds ruined a dev's year

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Devil

Re: Err...

"This kind of management behavior just serves to alienate other employees or potential employees "

Sorry dude you just broke the stupidometer by driving it off the scale. Since when does Linux employ the people working on the kernel?

Welcome to the world of community based development. When you are employing someone you can fire them. When they are "volunteering" their incompetence (even as a part of a company sponsorship) in a community driven project you sometimes _HAVE_ to make them leave. Even if this involves deploying the F* word. C'est la vie. In fact, in many cases it would have been easier to employ the poor guy - in that case you can fire him.

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Browser makers rush to block fake Google.com security cert

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Devil

You sir, have hit the biggest weakness of the current system

Revoking the intermediate certificate will be grand. If someone was checking the revocation lists of course.

The biggest problem of the certificate system is the positive thinking when designing it: it is good in delivering the positive message "trust me" and sucks royally in delivering the message "do not trust this one". CRLs have to be distributed to endpoints and no one uses OCSP. Even if it was used, it can be blocked which makes most implementations default to "I will trust this one".

Frankly it is time we relegate the current cert system for offline uses only (it is quite good for that) and switch to DANE for internet/online trust. This puts the "trust me" message into the hands of the domain owner. The only third party trust involved are the root signing key and the TLD signing key above your domain. That is 2 parties in total for most domains instead of a 100+ list (half of which we have never heard of) of certs which can spoof anything (not just something in their "zone").

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Devil

Re: ?

On linux you need the signing key for the packages and that is in a completely different trust chain - the gpg chain of the distribution you are using. On other OS-es it will probably be no as well - the certificates and keys for the packages are chained under the OS vendor root.

In any case, it just goes to confirm one more time how many of the certificate authorities do not belong on the trusted list in the first place.

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Ubuntu for smartphones aims to replace today's mobes, laptops

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Devil

Re: Great idea!

It is not the UI which makes Android what it is. It is the IPC paradigms and specifically the whole idea of intents and activities. That allows loose coupling and interaction of applications without them having to run each other in an "embedded" fashion like the accursed Microsoft OLE.

That is actually already present in modern Linux both KDE and Gnome3 are built around that concept. In fact they are more "mobile-ready" than Win8 by far. Once this foundation is in place (and it is), adjusting the UI via a theme is a mere technicality.

In any case with 60%+ of the devices out there having a ready and available linux kernel getting this done is a mere technicality. It is also not quite "entering the crowded space". The space is crowded consumer-wise. It is not that crowded from a hobbyist/developer perspective.

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Tibetan monks lose their TVs as China's censors raid monasteries

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Devil

Re: My karma just ran over my dogma

"The problem with eliminating religion:" - you missed the point.

You replace it with "Верой в светлое коммунистическое будующее" Тranslation: belief into the bright future under communism). That is the first approximation.

That is usually not good enough so it morphs into: "Вера в светлое коммунистическое будующее под мудрым руководством товарища Сталина/Мао Тзе Дуна/Ким Ир Сена (ненужное зачекрнуть)". Translation: belief into the bright future under communism under the wise guidance of comrade Stalin/Mao Tse Dun/Kim Ir Sen (scratch out the unnecessary).

While the Manifesto and the first volume of Das Capital kinda make sense, there is no way you can follow the drivel in volume 2 or 3 or Lenin's mad syphilitic interpretation of it unless you believe in it. With fervor.

This is something which most people in the west fail to understand in their perception of communism. It is a _THEOCRACY_. It's sole reason to persecute religions is that it perceives them as _COMPETITION_ (and rightfully so). This is what all of this is about.

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Steve Jobs' Apple yacht freed after family settles the bill

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Devil

Re: €13.5m

Gotta be in the right place, at the right time and have the right connections ya know.

Same as with real designer dresses. Just look at the stuff being worn at the Oscars or Cannes. A significant portion of it (>20% on average) looks like sh*t, does not fit the person who wears it and suffers "wardrobe malfunctions".

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Devil

Re: That yacht looks terrible

Well, what do you expect. It is _NOT_ done by Sir Jonathan Ive. It is owned by Apple (actually not even that now) not built by Apple.

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Kickstarted mobe charger 'kicked to death by Apple'

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Devil

Re: Licensing terms

Charging is subject to standards, at least in the EU.

In fact Apple should have been taken to task and _NOT_ given Eu certification for any of its new devices.

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