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* Posts by Voland's right hand

994 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning

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Re: Bring it on

If I have to chose between First or god forbid National Express versus EasyJet I would probably choose the latter.

So while a great idea in principle, you will have to re-regulate the railways first (as in most places where they have working rail on the continent) and then do this.

After that you will have to ensure that the truckers and other vested interest parties do not give the government yeat another set of "election donations", sorry backhanders to ensure that the government does not do something useful with taxpayers money. Example - the cost of the ultra-expensive useless toy trainset known as High Speed 2 in the UK (and the slightly more useful CrossRail) exceeds by an order of magnitude the cost of going along all main routes into London and raising the height and width of all bridges and tunnels. Why do that? Two reasons. The less important one - Eu commuter rail is all 2 floor, this will allow the train carriages to stop being "special order" and the cost will drop per supply and demand. Additionally the capacity will increase by 1.7 times overnight. The more important one is that UK goods rail is limited to "special" carriages and _CANNOT_ carry standard issue containers. They all have to go by road feeding truckers associations (which in turn provide handy backhanders) and producing pollution (which in turn is a massive backhander again in the form of pertrol excise duty).

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If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait

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Actually... for once... I disagree

Kitchen printing is one useful application for a domestic 3D printer. For once.

There is no requirement for robustness, as long as it hold together until it is moved to the dining table it is OK and at the end of the day it will be eaten anyway. That is a much better scope/niche for 3D printiing compared to people trying to do DIY and print spare parts. Printed replacement for a gear sprocket? Printed replacement for a gear level? Printed replacement for a valve? No thanks. Rather not.

Printed "To the best mum" on a cake for mum's birthday? Why not if you have the money to waste, end of the day it costs less than a full set of celebrity cook endorsed kitchen tools.

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Alienware injects EVEN MORE ALIEN into redesigned Area-51 gaming PC

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Re: phew

Once you have access to Dell's supply chain and production faicilities, the cost of putting a plastic alien and making a whole plastic alien chassis is not that different. From there onwards the stuff which goes in is not that different. Stock MB, an upgraded CPU cooler to cope with an extreme edition CPU, stock (just bigger) power supply and an upgraded (but rather standard) set of cards.

I d not see anything revolutionary here. An embedded on-Ethernet NIC firewall with some accel functions would have been nice. Appropriate keyboard, mice, joysticks would have been nice too. Oops... These actually require development. Verrrrrrrrrrry dirty word for a "Buy-N-Large" shop.

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

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Re: I don't get it

Simple reason: Gatling guns, close-up interceptor defences, etc. It is a constant arms race. Presently, it looks like supersonic, sea skimming missiles like P700 and Sunburn have a slight advantage. That is probably short lived as anti-missile defences will be upgraded to deal with these. In any case - the situation there is a close call.

Compared to these a sufficiently _MANEUVERABLE_ long range (20 miles+) supercavitating torpedo is nearly impossible to intercept. You simply cannot build an interceptor which will pull the required Gs and speed under water to get itself into position to deal with it. So your only option is to saturate its entire approach sector with depth charges across the whole range of depths and pray. You also have to do it sufficiently far out just in case someone has put a 0.5Mt warhead on that bugger. That option by is presently unavailable - there is no fleet defence ship or aircraft capable of launching the required salvo size to the required distance (you are looking at something like the BM21 or similar missile launchers (20km+ range) with proximity/depth charge warheads using some guidance/at-depth loitering and most likely multiple of those per carrier group.

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Re: Because thats what sea life wants!

Sealife? I did not know that USA carrier groups counted as sealife.

Though with DF21 from above, this from below and a couple of imported Sunburns launched from cloned (or imported) Su-34s they will definitely be entering the endangered species book (at least as far as the Taiwanese straights and the Yellow sea is concerned).

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Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

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Re: Re "which could potentially bypass missile defences"

On a more serious note, I'd say it could potentially bypass today's missile defences.

Today - yes, yesterdays' - no. I love the smell of hypervelocity missiles encountering a baloon barrage early in the morning. It smells... it smells... like burning money...

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Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

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Re: I'm more impressed

If your TV is one of the new really smart ones with a camera (as Intel is proposing) leaving it on may not be such a good idea.

Face it - we are approaching the total surveilance sosciety, next thing we will be sending the marks back in time where a young looper will be waiting for the candidate dead body with a blunderbuss.

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NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

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Crusoe

How quaint... Nvidia reinventing crusoe via Arm. Just this time it is microcode optimization of arm instruction set instead of run-time optimization of VLIW interpretation of x86.

I just choked on my coffee... What's next? Hiring Linus Torvalds?

Deja Vu all around.

The more interesting point here is who owns all of old Crusoe IPR. Intel bought and perpetually licensed some (but not all). What happened to the rest?

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China to test recoverable moon orbiter

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Err... That does not fit my understanding of orbital mechanics

Moon escape velocity is way lower than 11.2km/s. 11.2km/s is earth. All you need is (if memory serves me right) 3 km/s or thereabouts to escape the moon gravity well. Then you fall into the 11km/s gravity well towards Earth.

In fact, if you align yourself correctly you can slingshot to > 11.2 and escape the Earth + Moon gravity well this way (long range probes regularly do that by doing a few Earth-Moon slingshots). That is what makes the moon potentially attractive as a space base (though frankly, its Lagrange L1 and L2 are way better than the moon itself - you can nudge yourself out of these using only a minimal amount of propellant).

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Russia, China could ban western tech if they want to live in the PAST

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Re: Works all ways

That is the case if the technology requires signficant tangible investment and cannot be reproduced locally. So silicon, advanced material tech, etc - all theoretically fall in that category. Practically - they are all in China already.

Software does not fall into that category. Even North Korea can write the software it needs nowdays.

In fact, the west may find it more difficult here as the number of qualified software engineers (total and per capita) and their productivity is significantly higher outside USA and UK.

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relied on good coding and engineering efficinecy to compensate for brute force

No it did not. Same as for weapons it relied on maths. I am going to give a weapon example here (space tech was not that different).

How does West build a AAA system. It has a corporation (Raytheon, BAE, Matra) write the most complex piece of rubbish realtime code known to man to achieve the highest possible probability of hit with the smartest possible _SINGLE_ missile (plenty of examples, Patriot is not the only one). Efficiency is... cough.. cough... sub-95% (that is if Raytheon, BAE, etc is to be believed, actual engagement so far has shown much less).

How did Soviet Union (and Russia still continues) build an AAA system. It has a couple of math PhDs working on Optimal control problems (I know some of them by name by the way) define a _MULTIPLE_ pursuit problem, express it via differential games theory (and more recently differential inclusions), define the system of equations to solve it. The result can be coded with high school level of coding. You hook it up to fire control firing _MULTIPLE_ relatively _DUMB_ missiles, according to the equation solution (it looks very wierd by the way - it fires missiles into open sky way off from the target). Result - Buk (the internal, not the export version). Letality - 99%+

Same for P-700 Granit/Sunburn (the non-export version) vs ships and so on.

By the way, I know there is a method in this madness - the reason Raytheon and Co are doing it is because they will not be able to get the barrel of pork they are getting now if the solution is a small notebook of equations (instead of several men-millenia of realtime code).

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Shuffling Zombie Juror – aka Linux kernel 3.16 – wants to eat … ARMs?

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Re: Hardly breaking news

Predominantly arm and predominantly working on arm is a different story.

The interesting announcement is proper Exynos support. Presently the only thing that works on these are kernels from vendor repositories such as 3.4.0 (yes, 0) for the ARM Chromebook. They have breakage across the board in various key subsystems which are by default disabled in the original crhomebook kernel including basic stuff like NFS. Other SoCs are not much better. If you look f.e. at kernels used in various Android phones, etc you will see a mix of 2.6.33 and an occasional 3.0. Off the top of my head I cannot think of a phone or tablet that is beyond 3.4 and which will work properly using the generic kernel off kernel.org without a raft of vendor patches. There are in fact only a handful of SoCs which are "open" enough to run with a stock kernel and for some of them there is no way in hell to get the actual kernel mods (in blatant violation of the GPL).

So if we have a stable non-3.4 kernel that finally has decent Exynos support, that will be quite interesting. Ditto for other SoCs.

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It's WAR: Internet of Stuff firms butt heads over talking-fridge tech standards

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Re: Love the picture on the first page

You totally missed the point.

What is the technological difference between a toaster and a thermal printer?

Would not it be lovely if you had some ads printed on that toast?

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

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Re: Upgrade, use old one as backup, rinse, repeat.

I do the same on a house scale. Old drives from the house main server RAID set are first re-purposed as MAID for media, then as backups, then as desktops (going all the way back to the days when the server was a K6 with 2 40GB Maxtors).

The current set is due for a change soon. I will probably not put WD though (my luck with them has been terrible).

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

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Re: TalkTalk blocked my site

I've checked my three WordPress sites, and none are blocked.

They may be shortly. Talk Talk blocker is not real time, it walks your site after one of their subs has visited. So if you find it blocked in half a day or so after their filter processes data do not be surprised.

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

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Re: I have argued for many years

Exactly:

1. it's too broad: for example 'possession of material likely to help a terrorist'... a map of the London Underground? A recipe for gunpowder? Lunch?

Why go so far. Example the brain of a chemistry degree educated person. According to UK legislation the possession of my brain would be a lifetime jail offence because it contains:

An MSC in chemistry from the days when we did study toxicology from a chemical weapons perspective as well as proper organic synthesis. How would you like that Tabun, with TNT or hexogen sprinkles? All I need is to dig around the more dusty corners of it for the correct syntesis steps for it.

This law if applied literally should lead to immediate jail time for:

1. Anyone with a Chemistry Degree

2. Most people with Molecular Biology and all people with Microbiology Degrees

3. Most electronic hobbysts and pretty much anyone with an electronics engineering degree

4. A large fraction of degree educated software developers

5. Most people with civil engineering degrees. After all, the knowledge of what it would take to knock out a building is the most essential possible material of use to terrorists (and so are things like how to build gas pipelines, etc).

6...

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Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists

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Re: So sad

Mandatory KAL007 reference

The more appropriate reference is Siberia airlines flight 1812 which shows that Ukrainian military has the experience in shooting them too. So nothing new here.

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Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

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Dunno about UK

Elsewhere in Europe up to the late 1940-es births were regularly recorded up to several days after the fact and birth certificates issued with dates different from the actual birthday. My late inlaw birth certificate was a couple of days out of date, one of my dad's best friends and university roommate had his 5 days out of date. To heck, some countries like Greece did not have a proper birth register and were recording births as they please up to a couple of years ago. That provided a lovely business model for some of the local "minorities" which claimed benefits for the same child 4-5 times based on registering the birth in neighbouring districts. Before pressing downvote google Maria+Greece+Blond (her "parents" had her birth registered 3? or 4? times).

So having a birth recorded a day late in the 19th century? Even in a well off family? I do not find this out of the ordinary. In fact, any date on a birth certificate not issued by a hospital and before the days of national birth registers is _NOT_ primary evidence.

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Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

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Re: Google playing ball

When they'll have to discuss the stuff they really care about. Like taxes.

Correct reasoning, wrong guess. The discussion which they want to avoid is how all of this freebee scorched earth (android, gmail, etc) ensure and enshrine their unquestionable monopoly in search and advertising.

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

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In other news

The spirit of Lambroso has popped off a bottle of bubbly in whichever bit of the underworld he currently resides.

Comparing faces based on a set of features closesely associated with crime - we have heard it before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesare_Lombroso

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Huge FOUR-winged dino SPREAD LEGS to KILL – scientists

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Re: Seen a wedgetail eagle lately ?

Ah, so it's Australian. Suddenly it all makes sense.

At least use the correct name - it is from the Counterweight continent. Now that really makes sense (provided that you do not ask the library for a list of all the dangerous animals in there).

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Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT

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I would not be so sure

At this rate he will be commanding a nuclear driven (armed with ion cannons, kinetic hypervelocity armament and lasers) fleet before he reaches retirement age.

The only question is when he is going to purchase an island with a volcano on it.

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

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Even a "harmless" site is still a potential attack vector

Forget the k1dd13 p0rn. It can be used to spearfish you back or spearfish one of your contacts. Go and explain that it is not you to the hapless victim after that.

Unfortunately, the only known solution to the password problem equates to a full loss of internet anonymity and privacy. Namely, you can drop the passwords altogether if you use client certificates (and tie the important ones to a physical key storage). So for the time being we still use passwords - they are like democracy (as per Benjamin Franklin quote): they are bad, but we are yet to figure out anything better.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

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Re: If I coat my car with this...

Radar - most likely no. The cops have mostly switched to IR laser guns and this should be perfect for them. Ditto for any laser rangefinder - there will be nothing to return back, so this clearly has some very obvious applications.

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Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet

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Re: Use a sword

That knight probably never saw actual battle, then. Swords leave horrific injuries and are usually wielded with very uncivilized anger.

Usually - yes. If you want to be a swordsman and live to a retirement age - no. Sword requires clarity of thinking and control of emotions to be effective. The moment you "use your anger" is the moment you die (assuming you are trying to engage someone who is competent with the blade - they will make a shish-kebap out of you).

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Re: It's been done before.

Firing a missile out of a gun which after that deploys active guidance systems has been the de-facto standard for tank-on-tank weaponry for 20 years now: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M119M_Refleks

The "new" part is making this small enough to be fired out of a .50cal

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'The writing is TOO SMALL': MPs row over Parliamentary move to Office 365

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Re: Really?

Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a PICT

http://rock.genius.com/Pink-floyd-several-species-of-small-furry-animals-gathered-together-in-a-cave-and-grooving-with-a-pict-lyrics

Funny, how Pink Floyd have foreseen that more than 3 decades ago. Just, wondering which model of Blackberry is called Claymore...

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LibreSSL crypto library leaps from OpenBSD to Linux, OS X, more

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Re: Two thumbs up to Theo DeRaadt ...

Not so fast.

I am not. Theo's lot has refactored for security and maintainabilty:

1. Most of the BSD codebase (both Net and Free have taken back quite a bit from the Open tree).

2. Most of the original unix utilities - the whole net tools/inet lot, cron, etc.

3. Bind (talking of hairballs nothing can compete with Paul Vixie code - even openssl)

4. God knows what else. 1,2,3 are just off the top of my head.

If any team is capable of refactoring SSL it is them. Not anyone else.

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Re: Two thumbs up to Theo DeRaadt ...

This pretty much terminates the discussion on the future of OpenSSL.

Now watch how the linux distros will pick up this instead of any of the competing projects (even Linux foundation driven ones) the same way they have picked up OpenSSH, OpenBSD inetd, tftpd, etc.

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Acer cranks Chromebooks with Core i3 models

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Same spec can get you a decent AMD machine

Not impressed - for the same spec I can get a decent AMD based laptop. Thin computing is supposed to be cheap too :)

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Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

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Re: I still want to see ...

So if you have a copy of paradise lost or Midsummer nights dream

Or Bulgakov, Pasternak, Vysotski, Okudjava, etc - pretty much any Russian writer from the second part of the 20th century wrote in a way that has 5+ meanings in it. Part of expressing your thoughts while living in a police state I guess.

We should probably learn some lessons from them. It is becoming useful.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

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The announcement is also factually incorrect

As far as slideware goes the biggest rocket ever to be planned is still Energia in its Vulcan configuration (175 metric ton to LEO). That is 45 tons more than this. Energia was successfully tested in its Polyus (4 strap-ons, satellite payload) and Buran (4 strap-ons, shuttle payload). From that to Vulcan is just one step - attach the extra 2 boosters. The components from that are proven too - the engines used in the Energia (with some modifications) lift Zenit (Russia) and Atlas (USA) rockets into orbit till this day.

Otherwise, the SLS design is clearly guided by one single thought - "No Russian components". However, instead of licensing indigineous USA tech from Elon Musk, the SLS team quite clearly prefers to go technologically backwards to the days of the shuttle launcher design. It is a technological step backwards. It can bet that it will be both more expensive to run and more expensive to build than the next Ariannes or anything Elon or the Russians have in the queue. All in all - a typical government handout.

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Korea’s third biggest phone maker faces $180m OBLITERATION

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You have misidentified the customer

What people do not want is an unremarkable Android phone

People do not. Operators do. Pantech does not cater to people's needs, it caters to operator's needs.

That is why if anyone will bail it out, it will be the operators so that they have a disposable el-cheapo option for the pre-payed crowd.

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London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

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Re: Nice

+1

The cabbies should stop complaining and order some GPS enabled taximeters so I can see exactly how many times did they go around LHR before taking me to my destination.

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HDMI, thy end is near: Qualcomm's Wilocity gobble will let mobes, tabs beam 4K vid to TVs

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News at 10

Prevalent radio SOC manufacturer recommends to stick head in the microwave and disengage brain. More radio noise good, brain bad. News at 10.

No thanks, I will stick with cables.

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Re: Not so fast...

Only some actually. Out of my recent purchases less than 50% have VGA. It is all HDMI and/or DisplayPort now especially in small form factor land.

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Amazon snubs FTC: We'll see you in court over kids' in-app cash blowouts

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Re: Easy access?

Anyone who has access to your kindle can pretty much shop their brains out. There is very little protection against purchases and this is by design. Kindle is actually not the worst offender - Kobo beats it by mile. So from that perspective FTC has a point. Kind'a.

The level at which FTC does not have a point is that all Amazon purchases result in an immediate email report in the account holder inbox and are clearly visible on his device. Unless the parent was an idiot to set-up a fully separate account for the kid, with an email they cannot read and stick their credit card into that they will be getting full report of what the kids are shopping. So effectively the kindle account is a "family account" with an arbitrary number of devices associated with it while Google and Apple accounts default to a more personal and per-device setup.

I know a few households which have moved from Google Play and iDevices to Amazon exactly for that reason: "Sure, shop whatever you want - just keep in mind that I will get the bill 5 mins later and I will know what you bought". That will probably not work with on under 8-year olds as "dad will know" is not a sufficient inhibitor to a "more weapons" buying spree. If your kids are older it is the best option out there. Definitely better than Google or Apple. So will I by the way - I am definitely going to switch to KIndle's for the kid's devices over time as I swap them out as it gives me more parental control at all levels.

As far as refunds, Amazon is the only retail experience I have never ever had an issue with refunds. You ask for a refund - you get it outright, end of story. No Tesco style "you opened it you bought it".

So all in all, Amazon may probably have a case here.

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VSANs choking on VMware's recommended components

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Bad software engineering

That is exactly why a (V)SAN should be able to support rate throttling and andvanced queue management for IO operations in software before it even hits the controller. As any network engineer will tell you, throwing "more bandwidth" at a congestion problem is only a temporary replacement for active queue and congestion management. Storage is no different (regarldess of how much does it love to pretend that it is).

Take some slightly bigger server(s), throw some more cores in and voila, you just managed to congest that controller queue once more on "supported" hardware.

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Microsoft, Google et al form club to push 25/50 Gbps Ethernet

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Re: Why?

You should shop around a bit more if you pay £500

Actually, no I do not. In order for a 10G NIC to push 10G in real life you need multiqueue, adapter based hashing or flow matching and hash control at the driver so you can tell the OS to map consistently flows onto their matching consuming cores.

The 320£ or so NICs do only a fraction of this functionality. So while theyconnect at 10G pushing them to 10G in a useful manner is not feasible (or will cost you double the CPU compared to a decent NIC). So you spend 180£ less on a NIC and have to shell that in cost of extra cores in your box (or even double that).

The lowest 10G NIC worth buying on the open market at present are the Broadcom bnx2x series which depending on the actual type of 10G interface in them retail in the 500-560 area. You also have to tune them to your job too. It is nowhere near automagic on any OS.

Even that does not do all I would like to do as there is no deterministic flow matching. For that you need to check for a few more 100s in your wallet.

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Re: Why?

10G adapter cost per port is still quite significant. I develop on an 8 core Athlon, which costs 450. The extra 10G Ethernet costs north of 500£ alone. This sounds like a rehash of "direct attach" cabling at higher rate and using a customer MAC layer (probably to avoid some royalties).

As far as 40 being already in the market the incremental cost between 10 and 40 is such that there is a market demand for something in-between.

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Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!

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Re: So you can now legally ask for flexitime?

[Wait three months]

Boss: No.

Nearly. They are now obliged to provide a justification for the no. This is something HR can do once and they can use it from now onwards.

The result is that businesses which do not want to say yes or cannot say yes for valid reasons will continue saying no. Similarly, businesses which were amenable to this before will continue saying yes. So all in all, nothing has changed as a result.

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Facebook 'manipulated' 700k users' feelings in SECRET EXPERIMENT

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Re: First comment: Useless research from the "DUH!" dept.

Sixth comment.

Next it will be the individually crafted reorder of your newsfeeds being monetized for ad-slinging (actually product placement) purposes. Welcome to the world of tomorrow, which Orwell, Huxley, Ira Levin and Gibson could not even dream of.

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New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

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Ughh... bad news

Looking at the new search area it now covers a tectonic plate boundary with its associated ridge, activity, etc.

Chances to find something down there are pretty slim. It took nearly 2 year to find the Air France black boxes in a similar location and we knew where it fell. This does not look good...

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USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

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We can't expect everyone to buy their battery chargers from John Lewis.

Err... John Lewis is still a supermarket of sorts.

Frankly, any supermarket is a disreputable source as far as "own brand" electrical goods are concerned. They are sourced in a manner similar to horse lazagna and slavery prawns by the same sourcing department.

It does not cost much more to get a genuine charger or a proper CE marked 3rd party replacement nowdays from a proper online computer supplies shop. Misco/Global Direct and the More group taken together stock pretty much everything under the sun.

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Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

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No bricks will survive category 5

No bricks will survive above category 3 tornado.

The only thing that may stand a chance is something half-dug into the ground, with nice aerodynamic shape and some tank grade armour plating to go over all doors and windows when things get ugly. Effectively "a nuclear shelter of a house". This will cost ~4-5 times more than current construction sans the armour cover for the windows and doors (just the dug-in concrete shell). With the windows and doors you are looking at 10x times or more. I do not see anyone starting to build any of these any time soon.

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What is it with cloud computing? Engage VM, disengage brain?

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Re: It'll calm down eventually.

It will not. For a different reason.

Try being a startup and showing the VCs a payroll with a 2+ qualified sysadmins (to ensure that a bus running over one does not cause interruption) and some local kit (so you have a viable DR and cloud-to-cloud transition strategy).

You will have your arm twisted until you move the whole lot to the cloud, because the cloud is good and cloud is infallible. The "engage VM, disengage brain" happens at VC/financing level, not at engineering level. All of Trevor's arguments (which I agree with and practice myself) will be brushed aside and brain shall be disengaged.

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Glastonbury debuts festival wide Wi-Fi network - fitted to COWS

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Re: Why fibreglass cows?

Yeah, I was just starting to think of the joys of managing the self-organizing network, adjusting the power in real time as the cows move, etc.

Spoilsports... Fiberglass...

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Wi-Fi WarKitteh and DDoS Dog to stalk Defcon 22

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Cats n Dogs...

Shortyly we will have this kind of kitty... http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1267112192/tt0239395?ref_=ttmd_md_nxt

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