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* Posts by Voland's right hand

891 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Want to see at night? Here comes the infrared CONTACT LENS

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Devil

Re: More realistic...

That depends on the IR band as one famous Italian celebrity of the bygone age can testify (she got nailed by this one a couple of decades back during a supposedly innocuous photoshoot).

Hint, the average summer dress is quite transparent in the near IR band.

So if someone comes up with a near IR google glass mod things may get very interesting indeed. If you think that they treat a glasshole badly in a bar now watch what will happen then.

By the way - a lot of sensors and cameras have more than sufficient sensitivity in near IR to do this so it may in fact be just a matter of tweaking the camera firmware to do this.

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OkCupid falls out of love with 'anti-gay' Firefox, tells people to see other browsers

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Re: Product != CEO

Not just that. Every person is entitled to his views provided that they are not _FORCED_ on the other (and especially on his employees). Contributing to a political cause is part of the normal way the world functions. For example, I occasionally contribute to GreenPeace (especially when they do something right like that case when they dumped a dead whale on the lawn of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin). That does not suddenly make me into a rabid environmental terrorist.

As long as he keeps his political views out of the dat to day operation of Mozilla there is nothing wrong with him doing what he has done. Same as there is nothing wrong to contributing to the opposing side.

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Tesla firms hot bottoms: TITANIUM armor now bolted to Model S e-cars

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I'm pretty sure I saw someone claiming that the 777

It probably still is - per flight hours. It is once again a function of lies, lies and damn statistics.

The accident probability in aircraft is proportional to take off/landings, not flight hours. So when you apply "per flight hour" statistics to something that is used only on 8h+ routes you get a very glowing rosy safety picture.

Same as with the Tesla - for the time being it does not see shoddy maintenance by "approved franchises". So compared to the rest of the industry it is a statistical anomaly. I do not see how will Elon manage to maintain this when (and if) it stops being an anomaly and becomes a mass production vehicle which uses the mass production vehicle mainenance infrastructure.

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Mt Gox staff tried to warn CEO of Bitcoin loss risks – reports

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Re: $1500 a day?

It is not buckingham palace mate, it is reality: cost of office, national insurance, company pension contributions, medical, employee insurance, etc. The overhead is nearly 50% before accounting for office space. If you take that into account ~ 60% is not an unfair guesstimate. That is ~ 100K per annum salary which is fairly average for the higher level IT in finance.

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Google confirms Turkish ISPs 'intercepted' its DNS service

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What is there to intercept?

DNS has no protection from transparent proxying.

The protection from MIM leaves a lot to be desired too - you can break it by rewriting all zones as unsigned from the top and downwards. While most of the TLD zones are signed, the clients on end-user machines are not yet checking for the signatures and have no expectation that they should have a signature. So you just break them all :)

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Microsoft: Let's be clear, WE won't read your email – but the cops will

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Re: *sigh*

Was there any time not to?

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YouTube follows Twitter onto Turkey's block list

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Touchy when they are showing our corruption, aren't we?

You gotta love politicians when transparency goes "out of their control".

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Hot, young under-25s: Lonely slab strokers who shun TV

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Re: Stating the obvious ..

The ones under thirty are watching TV, just not on a TV. They are watching it on a fondleslab or their laptop.

It is not watching tellie which is dead. It is watching tellie together which has finally kicked the bucket. With every teenager having a tellie in his room it was on long term life support anyway. It has now finally kicked the bucket.

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iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

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There are specific DMCA exemptions for repair and fixing and there is a raft of legal precedent existing against anyone trying to apply the DMCA in this "creative manner". So while Apple would love to apply it, it cannot.

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Returning a laptop to PC World ruined this bloke's credit score. Today the Supreme Court ended his 15-year nightmare

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Re: Greedy

Quote: "The fine article stated that it affected his ability to secure financing for a house. Even if it only affected a few percentage points, I can see that adding up over the period of the loan."

If memory serves me right, 3 bedroom semi in a prime area in the south of the UK cost ~ 125K around that time. You could buy a house in the better areas of Finchley for that amount of money in 1998. Around Edinburgh? That would have fetched you a mansion. As far as Spanish properties circa 2003 (as referred by the article as as the official reason for the damages claim) - 250K would have bought a villa with a swiming pool in a prime location in the Canaries or Balearics. I do not remember the exact numbers, but I do not recall a single property on the market around Es Cana/Cala Llonga in July 1999 to be above 200. Most were under 110K with some as low as 65-70. 166K is 2007 prices (right before the crash).

IMHO the court was actually on the generous side awarding the initial 166k. There is no way someone who needs a loan to buy a laptop would have been able "consume" more over the course of the 10 years while this case has dragged on. In fact I fail to see how this could have costed him 166k. A default on an unsecured consumer credit agreement raises the cost of your credit by ~ 2 points (if you never default on credit cards and other ongoing payments) 2% extra cost means that he has to have 800000 worth of credit outstanding for it to cost him 166K. Yeah, right, a person who will be given 800K worth of credit agreement in need to take a credit to buy a laptop.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

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I was going to say the same

Took the words out of my mouth. Hoola-hooping != harrassment, sexism, etc. People should get a life and stop behaving like HotLips.

Now the rest, including involvment of spouses in work matters is beyond disgusting (if even a small fraction of it proves to be true).

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This city's smog is so TERRIBLE, people are told to stay indoors. Beijing? No – PARIS

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You are mostly spot on

I have had to deal with multiple french car from both major french manufacturers over the last 25 years.

First of all, it is only PSV which suffers from the oil burn problem. Renaults generally burn clean even when they are 20 years old. We have given away a 1989 Clio we used to have as a present to relatives and it is still running at this age somewhere in the "Wild East" and still having a very nice clean burn. No smoke, no smell of oil at all. Passing MOT emissions with flying colors every time.

Second, PSV has gotten better now. Their worst years were during the cooperation with Ford on engines ~ 10-15 years ago when every PSV (and every Ford for that matter) started to stink of burned oil between 5-7 years of service. These are now are behind them (newer ones are nowhere near as bad). That is not surprising as the reliability after 5-7 years was also complete crap. Funnily enough their own engines (ones they did not cooperate with anyone on) from the same period f.e. the 1.9 basic non-turbo diesel which went into vans and the lower spec Citroen Xara estate do not stink, do not burn oil and still run like a clockwork till this day (16+ years after they have left the factory line). So it may not necessarily be PSV's fault anyway - it may be the "partner" from that period.

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Elon Musk slams New Jersey governor over Tesla direct sales ban

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Re: IMO, Elon is a huckster

I agree with you provided that the manufacturer wants to have franchisees in the first place. Elon does not.

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Re: right idea

That does not quite work. The way the anti-consumer state authorized racket... err... dealer-only laws... work in the USA is that you cannot register a new car in the statet unless it is bought from a dealer. So in fact, no New Jersy customer will be able to register a new Tesla in New Jersy from now onwards.

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Watch the MIT MER-BOT – half droid, half soft 'fish' – swim by itself

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Re: Can a head mounted laser be far behind?

Definitely not far. It can now execute the "evasive action after successful attack" maneuvre.

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FANBOIS' EYES ONLY: United Airlines offers FREE MOVIES on iOS kit

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Re: Suits me

That app is already monstrous and does anything but cleaning the dishes.

No thanks, can I have a _SEPARATE_ app for that so that the one that matters (the one that has mileage, boarding passes, etc) actulaly works.

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Forget superstars, this HYPERGIANT star is 1,300 times the size of OUR SUN

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Re: Black hole in the making?

First things first, someone needs to put things into perspective.

No boom today, boom tomorrow. There will always be a boom tomorrow. Boom.

6-7 magnitude fop a star that is not a white or blue giant means it somewhere fairly close. A quick google shows 12k light years. Difficult to judge really. If it goes supernova we may end up with way more tan than we would like. Not particularly bad though - the last close supernova (the crab nebula) was 6.5k away.

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Candy Crush King plans IPO valuing it at $7.6 BEEELLION

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Re: You're having a giraffe...

Neither F***book, nor Tw*tter have a successful addiction model. I have no idea which slime has come up with the idea of "micropayment to skip a mandatory wait between games", but that is real moneyspinner. I was watching someone playing it (rather cluelessly too). They were a mark for the taking. I suspect that King has patented every single means of implementing this.

All he needs now is to come up with one or more games every few years that fit into this monetisation model. If he does he will continue staying at ~ 50%+ margin (where he is now) and multimillion revenues.

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Mastercard, Syniverse target holiday payment security with mobile verification system

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Yeah... right...

So if I have taken out the SIM and put a local SIM in, I get all of my credit card transactions declined as an added benefit. Nice...

The identity of the customer in this day and age is no longer the SIM - it is the phone or to be more exact it is the identity for the "Big Three" services on that phone.

Any such harebrained scheme will be reliable only if data is enabled and only if the bank surrenders to the inevitable and asks Google, Microsoft or Apple how would they like it - with hot coffee or with ice cubes. Then it will work with _ALL_ of my household phones including the ancient "spare ones" I take with me when going to the more dodgy places.

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Sony can't wait to flash you its enormous disc ... a 1TB Blu-ray spinner

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Re: Must be a cruel twist of fate!

No reason to suspect life.

I have tried to setup backup to BR ~ 10 times over the last 5 years and I have abandoned it every time for one simple reason - too unreliable. The write out dies on a regular basis after which you have only one choice - to hit the reset button on the machine. Totally unusable for the supposedly one and only remaining role of optical - reliable long term backup.

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Space-junk RAYGUN wins Australian government funding

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Why lasers?

Second law of Newton. Controlling the orbit of the cleaner satellite will be loads and loads of fun.

Excuse me for being stupid, why lasers instead of an Archimedes mirror? A 64 segment mirror can exert 30+ the pressure of a laser while not being affected by range. A 128 segment mirror will vaporise the target outright. Sun angular diameter is 0.5 degrees so the "spread" of an archimedes mirror is comparable with most lasers. You do not need to zap that piece of junk at any time by order of supreme cheef of staff so the fact that a mirror needs to be a in a "good" position relative to the sun to be effective is irrelevant. In fact, if your job is to clean junk there is always a nice selection of targets to whack relative to the mirror. Apply the same number of whacks while "ahead" of the sun and while "lagging" it and you are in the same orbit. And so on.

Most importanly - we can build it now. All it takes is a set of precise actuators, an unfolding mirror structure, a targeting radar and some software. In fact the software (keeping the damn thing in a proper orbit) is probably the most difficult part of the lot.

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Dell thuds down low-cost lap workstation for cheap frugal creatives or engineers

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Re: What's the point?

http://www.misco.co.uk/product/Q656961/HP-255-AMD-Quad-Core-A4-5000-15-6-IN-4GB-500GB-DVDRW-Windows-8-Laptop-Notebook-PC

Apologies -255, not 220.

Costs 1/3 of the cost of the dell, has higher spec. All you need is to throw out the miserable amount of RAM HP sticks into it and put two 8G DIMMs. It will eat them and smile. Total BOM ~ 400£ so half the Dell.

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What's the point?

HP220 and other high end fusion based systems can run circles around this. They all allow to install as much memory as you can stuff in them. I have yet to see one that will not eat 16G and smile. The CPU is comparable in speed to i5 (and to i7 for the higher end model), the on-APU Radeon is about the same as the discrete part on this and it costs 350$ before you stuff it with memory.

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Review of UK data protection: Should fines go OVER HALF A MIL?

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Half a mil? You gotta be kidding

10% of worldwide turnover (at least), doubled for repeat offenders. Then it will be fine. Prior to that it is the cost of doing business so who cares.

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Get Quake III running on Raspberry Pi using Broadcom's open-source GPU drivers, earn $10K

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Re: Call *me* a cynic...

My opinion about Fred and Barney is the least of the problems in releasing the source code.

I can get away with code that is indented the Klingon way, unused variables, compilation warnings, etc in corporate code provided that it works and is up to spec.

That is unacceptable for open source projects. You have to clean up all of that so it looks like an illustration from Kernigan and Richie in order to release. That may be doable for a driver or a module which is to go in a larger project. Doing that for an established closed source project is a major undertaking (often on par with writing it in the first place).

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Alcatel unveils 'cheaper-than-Chromebook' Lapdock-alike phablet-powered laptop

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Re: MacBook Pro?

Not necessarily. The Samsung Chromebook has the same form factor and look too.

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Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

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You do not need one - the VIP cabin is below the water line. Just seal the door and open the viewports to the elements.

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Hungarian eggheads unleash not-at-all-scary DRONE SWARM

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Re: Bird Brains

You are late with your welcome by 20 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-700_Granit

See the guidance mode section.

While the welcome to these particular drone overlords would have been very warm indeed, it would have been very short too. On the order of fractions of a second to the tune of Pink FLoyd's, 'Two Suns in the Sunset' .Thankfully, it has never been fired in anger.

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China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

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Re: They advantage of an autocratic country

Quote: "Sorry for you, Ken"

If you feel sorry now, how would you feel once the manufacturing will go _BACK_ to his (and ours) countries? Ultimately, the only reason for the ultracheap Chinese tat is not the labour. Labour is not such a big part of most modern manufacturing. It is the enviromental compliance. It makes anything between 10 times the difference (paper, paints, other chemicals and plastics) and 2-3 times the difference (electronics, classic heavy manufacturing) in price. This is without taking into account the cost of energy where clean vs dirty adds 1.5 or so times on top of that (particulate and sulfur control only).

The moment Chinese put real enviromental controls in place all of that manufacturing is coming to a town near you, like it or not.

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Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

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Kettle, met pot, pot meet kettle

A fundamental requirement for a specification to be open is to have more than one interoperable implementation.

Both of these are guilty as charged here. There is _NO_ interoperable implementation capable of catering for the minimal set of features required in a templated structured document. These do not ineroperate between themselves either - I will believe them to be interoperable on the day when libreoffice will successfully read-in a DOCX index and bilbiography and vice versa. That is still a decade ahead as it was a decade ago.

In any case, on pot-kettle/kettle-pot. With the practical demise of KDE and Koffice there is no second implementation for ODF anyway so it fails to be an open standard. Same as MSFT. None of them is and none of them will be until there is one.

Lesson for both of them. If you want to establish a standard _BUILD_ a second interoperable implementation. Slap a GPL2 (if not 3) on it for good measure so it is usable as a reference implementation but cannot be commercialized in a way which is adverse to you. And be done with it. Yes, I know, this trivial idea is a bit too difficult for people who have drank too much of Redmond water supply.

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

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Re: It is rather sad

You are overestimating the level of science suriving in the Byzantium. What survived there was engineering, not science. On that one it was considerably more advanced than the rest of Europe - for example their construction technology is something Europe reached in the industrial age (if not later).

I am writing this on hols while right in the middle of the ruins a "small" Byzantian 5th century fort. Used to be an insignificant admin center in one of their provinces. Small == the size of 11th century London (if not bigger) with 16 century or so equivalent construction technology and 19th century equivalent sanitation evident throughout the ruins. So on that count they were 1000 years ahead of the rest of Europe. There a reason for even such minor cities showing such impressive walls - the hordes of Slavic tribes, Bulgarians, Hunns and other invaders from the East. Europe was anything but "trader friendly" and "culutral exchange friendly" from ~4th century all the way until the Italian cities started to reestablish trade during the Renessaince.

Back on the subject - the fundamental sciences however - mathematics, phylosophy, etc all festered and putrified in the Byzantium. Byzantium did not burn books and put scholars on a stake. It had more subtle Byzantean methods (but no less effective).

Do some historians like it or not the only reason we have the fundamental (not engineering) part of the Hellenic heritage are Arabs. They have also added advancements of their own. There is a reason why ALGEBRA is an arabic word you know. Geeks kept drawing diagrams, they never got to the point of abstract equations. In fact, in greece if a mathematical proof was not acceptable if it did not have a visual depiction.

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French youth faces court for illegal drone flight

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Re: A real shame.

Not likely. This is Napoleonic law we are talking about here. Creative sentencing as practiced by some judges in common law countries is not on the books (pun intended). The criminal code specifies exactly what the offence is, exactly what the minimum and maximum terms are and the accompanying rulebook specifies exactly how you move from the lower to the upper sentencing bound.

Though that difference is now being blurred. Various acts of Parliament (or Congress in the USA) which instigate mandatory sentencing guidelines have removed the traditional common law judge discretion. They are eroding the key (if not only) value of common law - the ability of the judge to say "this is an idiocy, I am establishing a precedent and I will judge it as follows". So as an end result we get the worst of both worlds - the strict rulebook of the Napoleonic law and the natural bias to serve the "powers that be" of common law in one nice shrink wrap package.

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Mac Pro fanbois can rack 'em and stack 'em like real sysadmins

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Re: Pah!

This is plain clueless. These guys have never done DIY server conversions.

The MAC cools bottom to top, so all you need to do is flip it on it side and lock in a set of "chucks" - the same way you chuck a car wheel when working on it. This also solves the datacenter cooling problem as this is a bog standard cold/hot isle compatible install. If you stay with the same 6 in 6 target you can also provide a very nice common switch (for clustering), wiring harness, etc for the entire rig.

Considering the stupidly cheap "special" price on the GPUs in the Mac Pro it may even make sense financally for a small CPU/GPU compute install.

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Google's SECRET contracts: Android lock-in REVEALED!

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The point is

Google has good competition lawyers.

If they did try to force the issue here it would have been a competition matter - they have market dominance in search. So they quite deliberately do not. It may sound interesting to layman. To someone who has some idea of competition law - not so much (it is the obvious thing to do).

Well done, google, have a cookie...

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Re: Goose and Gander

In that case that android phone is of very little use. Unless you want to develop all of your own apps in which case you do what? Oh, sign ot the Android SDK terms and conditions.

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Interesting

This puts the old spat between Google and Cyanogen into a new light. When Google went after Cyanogen a while back it looked strange and wierd. Looking at this, however there is an explanation now - Cyanogen in those days was providing all google apps, but none of the placement and bundling restrictions.

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The perfect fantasy flick for the online Valentine you've never met: Her

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Simulation one

This looks pretty weak compared to S1M0N3. Probably will not make my Lovefilm list once it is out on snail mail service.

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Dr Hurricane unleashes FUSION POWER at Livermore nuke lab

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Turbulence will be the least of Fusion problems

The biggest problem of fusion are high energy neutrons. Successful fusion reaction spits out >14MeV neutrons. These can neither be slowed down, nor shielded effectively by anything sane. They also will play merry "radiation corrosion" hell with the reaction construction. It destroys everything in its way. The only way of getting something useful out of them is to have a combined fusion-fission reactor or fusion-reactor/fission-breeder. That has even more interesting non-proliferation aspects - we will be producing Plutonium at a rate which will make any nuclear arms expert have a heart attack.

In any case, it will not be a clean energy source. It will be as dirty as current generation of nuclear plants if not more.

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Fibre Channel Industry Association extends roadmap to 128G bps

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Is it me being thick or this makes no sense

The bandwidth of QPI and PCIe3 is 256GBit. HT3 is slightly higher than that, but only slightly. The growth there has slowed down quite a bit nowdays. It is now crawling up by a few percents up on average (QPI7 to QPI8, etc). No more quantum leaps in that area.

Looking at these numbers there is no way for a present or near future compute system to consume it and do anything useful with it. 128GBit is an overkill. End of the day, you use storage to do something useful with it, not just to pass it from left pocket to right pocket. Being able to work on 128GBit worth of packets can be be useful - move them from on interface to another and tweak a few headers. Voila, here is your NAT or firewall. 128GBit to storage? Not so much.

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So cool it 2.4 gigahertz: BATTERY-FREE comms for international band

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Re: "produces between 120 and 140 microjoules"

One more possible application - outdoor systems that need to survive extreme heat or cold. It is not necessary for them to operate at those temperatures, just surviving an arctic winter is often more important. Last time I heard Li cells (all forms of them) were not particularly keen on -40C. Or +60C for extended periods of time for that matter.

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Incantations used to summon Magic Quadrants revealed

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So in other words - do all of their work for them

One of the key parts of market analysis is to find the differentiators between companies so you can compare them "where it matters". This is what independent analysis is all about and this is what you look for when you read an analyst report instead of a marketing vendor blurb.

It is quite interesting to find out that Gartner is now so openly lazy that they cannot be bothered to do their job, so they are asking the vendors to do 99% of it for them and serve it to them on a plate.

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Bitcoin value plunges as Mt.Gox halts withdrawals and Russia says 'nyet'

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Re: Interesting

Well, Russia here is a slightly special case. Its constitution has inherited the USSR age provision for "only our currency is legal tender". Effectively, you are not allowed to conduct any transaction in any other currency on their territory.

That was the norm in USSR and the rest of the soviet block before the fall ofthe wall. We all know the result - everyone used to use Dollars and Euros anyway.

Do the Russian powers that be like it or not, it is a small world and in order for a country to participate in the world markets it needs to be able to transact in any currency. One of the reasons why the ruble cannot reach a freely convertible status after all these years is exactly that - this line in the Russian constitution. You cannot have a convertible currency if you forbid any other currencies into which you want to convert to exist on your territory.

In any case - this is a bit different from the anti-Bitcoin drive by other governments. Other governments try to deal just with uncontrolled currencies. Russia is trying to forbid anything but ruble on its territory out of principle.

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UK claims 'significant lead' in drones after Taranis test flight

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Small soldiers

My kids watched Small Soldiers yesterday (yet again). One thing that stuck to my mind was the CEO at the end: "This would have made a hell of a commercial".

So yeah, a hell of a commercial all right... A few zeroes at the end of the price tag too.

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Larry Ellison: Technology has 'negatively impacted' children

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Re: Sounds like he's having an "In MY day" moment.

It's not get off my lawn. It's get off my island (larry actually owns one of the hawaii islands).

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Re: He is indeed a massive arse.

Quote: To school kids these days, learning means copying and pasting from Wikipedia.

Whe we grew up the teachers could use memorizing or doing some trivial library research as a study method. We gladly believed whatever the books fed us too.

No more. We now have to skip it and teach the kids the next steps straight away: how to stop believing such material including Wikipedia, how to read between the lines, how to do comparative analysis of articles, how to sieve out propaganda through comparative analysis. As there is no more effort required in obtaining the data, we have to replace this with the effort of analyzing the data. Otherwise the kids will do exactly that - cut-n-paste Wikipedia and leave their brains fester and putrify.

We now have to start with the presumption that written word is false. The childhood of old, that sweet age when you believed the material you used to study now has to be over day one. So from that perspective, the effect of the information age is even more vicious.

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California high school hackers expelled for grade tampering, test thievery

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Re: They tried to cheat

Frankly, before we get to the students, this reads as a litany of failures of the school IT supplier.

They failed to do stuff that is being done as standard practice even in the relatively underfunded British state education system. For crying out loud, even primary schools around these parts can keep the teacher's system's fully separated from student's ones. In fact, I beleive doing so is a contractual requirement to the IT suppliers.

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Nvidia slips love letter to open source driver devs

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Re: Nof if they can get the current stuff to work properly

Never had that problem with Debian. The installer always worked correctly (they have wrapped it quite a bit though).

I always use the binary driver, despite (or actually in a different sense of the word) because of all the flames.

Noveau and in the AMD case the free Radeon module do not handle correctly power management.

So if you use either, you can (and if it is fanless or laptop probably will) fry your GPU).

Examples - with noveau my fanless test Nvidia Quadro draws 20W (measured by difference in draw at "the wall") and is hovering close to its thermal limit. Same card with a correctly configured binary driver in idle is sub-5W and sub-50C. In the AMD case, either one of my laptops can and will exceed 80C if pushed despite the radeon module having dynclkcs=1. Same hardware, binary drivers, temp raises to 71-72 at max throttle and stays there.

So if this code drop does not contain the power management and the clock governors, well... not good enough. Thank you, I will come again later when it does.

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THUNDERING GAS destroys disks during data centre incident

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Utter BS

Most modern disks will get damaged if you significantly change the air composition and/or air density (they all have air vents). The head design relies on aerodynamics to maintain the correct distance from the platter. Air density affects that quite a bit.

Just ask any Colorado resident - the stats for disk reliability around that parts are way off compared to stats in normal places around sea level. Some models which fare perfectly fine elsewhere regularly fail in 60 days or less.

So the fact that someone releasing fire extinguishing gas (which is quite dense by the way) has changed the MTBF of drives does not surprise me in the slightest. SAS is likely to fare worse too as it spins at higher revs and is engineered to lower tolerances.

Vibrations from "whistling", yeah some other time, b*ll*cks... The "storage engineers" that were asked need to get a clue what is a modern disk, how it is designed and operates.

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