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* Posts by Voland's right hand

920 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

More chance you came a cropper on a UK road than bought a Chromebook this year

Voland's right hand
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My hand is up

I bought one (Samsung arm version). Did not like the spyware. Formatted it into Debian (it is possible to do that if you know what you are doing).

Did not like that either:

1. The disk is excruciatingly small. I got sick of constantly marking folders as "do not cache" so I could keep the disk space under control

2. The default touchpad mac-like-ishness is extremely annoying. As anyone who has spent the last 15 years pasting by simply hitting the middle button (or right and left together) this "luser-friendly" pseudo-apple design quickly got on my nerves (5-7 motions to cut-n-paste instead of 2).

3. The onboard qualcomm modem is very buggy. It loses connectivity and only a hard reset can cure it every 30-40 mins.

4. It is "open source my a***". The only working kernel for it is compiled out of a crippled repo of a hacked 3.4.0, has half of the security fixes missing and is missing a whole raft of key drivers - usb IR, vpn modules, nfs, autofs, other filesystems, you name it.

So end of the day it got relegated as a backup wireless X-term in my house which is of no use once you have left the premises. Even that leaves a lot to be desired - its video subsystem is not particularly fast so the speed is sub-par.

I do not often say that MSFT got the point, but with their campaign on the subject they probably do.

IMHO it is the only use for it at present. If you are working vs windows - install a RDP client (f.e Remmina) and leave it at that. vNC or X for linux environments.

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Weather forecast: WiFi storms make meteorologists look mad

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It will only get worse

When regulators look at the effects of a-band WiFi they usually pay attention only to interference with military radar. In realiy, the military is fairly interference resistant.

That is not the case with weather radar. Modern ones use much lower power than 40 years ago. First weather radars like USSR MRL2 or its USA counterpart used 1kw beam with 4m+ antannas. They did not give a damn about interference at that point :)

I order to operate with much lower power, the newer ones use quite a lot of signal processing. The algorithms usually have some provisions for military radar as these have had to coexist for several decades. There is no provision for wifi - so no surprises there.

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Job for IT generalist ...

Voland's right hand
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Re: Depends on the country

Quote "This reply both amuses and annoys me"

Err... There is nothing easier than getting a work permit for a generalist. Rule number one - you do not put generalist on the application

A generalist by definition has more than one skill. Just list a combination of skills on the job spec. By the time you have listed 3 skills the likelihood of finding a local person from the specialist pool is in the 0.1% or less. Four or more, which is possible if you are highly qualified generalist which can apply for a mid-level job on the basis of a single skill alone,

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Voland's right hand
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Depends on the country

There are countries where problem solving is valued and so is the breadth of knowledge needed to solve problems (real ones). There are countries where it is not.

Based on my personal experience (I am also a generalist) it is pointless to apply for any job in a UK company unless you are applying solely on the strength of one particular single skill. You will only be wasting your time. Breadth is not valued and is considered a hindrance or a potential threat - "someone who can replace me as a manager, let's not hire him". You will also be paid solely on the basis of that particular single skill. Once upon a time you could get around this problem by maintaining multiple identities with multiple mail addresses and multiple CVs. Not any more. That is no longer feasible nowdays.

So you are better off just dropping UK jobs altogether and concentrating on opportunities listed with US and to a lesser extent continental outfits. As far as Europe is concerned the "cult of the superhandiman" is the more pronounced as you go East. That is not such a bad idea - if you look at salaries in Bratislava, Brno, Sofia or Warsaw for example (as well as the buying power these salaries provide) they are definitely a better place than cranking out more useless "social" drivel in yet another startup @ Silly roundabout. You will probably be doing real work too.

As far as the rest of the world (outside US/EU) is concerned there are countries which follow the UK tradition and countries which are more US-like. Cannot really say - my familiarity with "discrimination against the generalist" is limited to Eu/US.

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Software 'appointed to board' of venture capital firm

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Re: I guess the only way to bribe VITAL will be with...

Electtttttttrrrrrricity... Even AC... Ffffff(t)...

For those who have not read Henry Kuttner "The Ego Machine", pick it up from Gutenberg and read it:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32108

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Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

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It is not russians which you need to be afraid of

Quote: "Assuming your neighbours aren't Russian"

As a person of Russian descent I appreciate the humor. However, it is a bit off from reality. It is not Russians you need to be afraid of.

Several Eastern European countries made a pretty good living during the cold war by buying export version Russian gear (one without the expensive analogue EMP resistant control systems) and bolting a cheap PC to the back of it (something similar to what Israel used to do with old US kit). They also manufacture quite a bit of russian small arms kit under license. In any case, these countries had a flow of small arms per capita compared to which Russia or even the US look distinctly unarmed.

My recollections from the days when I used to live in an apartment block in one of those countries was that with our family's 2 NPK Arsenal "commando issue" 9mm heavy duty hydraulic harpoons and a high power air gun were practically unarmed. The neighbors under us had a couple of AK47, the cop living above me had a Dragunov, an arsenal of hunting rifles as well as his standard issue handgun. That was _DURING_ the cold war when there was a resemblance of law and order. That number increased during the crazy 90-es and the post-fall-of-the-wall wars to a point where I did not dare contemplate how much armament did they have.

So if you are sporting an Apache helicopter, the likelihood that neighbors pissed off by the noise will shoot it down is fairly low if they are Russian. Your chances of taking off more than once are roughly NIL if they are Georgian, Bulgairan or let's say Armenian. If they are Moldovan there will be a smoking crater where your property used to be.

Not kidding by the way - I used to keep a link to an article about an idiot bookseller (one I used to buy books from) getting arrested for being drunken and disorderly and threatening his in-law with a shoulder launched Strela missile in an apartment block.

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LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

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Realtime Embedditis strikes again

Let me guess (this is a very educated guess by the way - I have seen this idiocy one time too many). Some moron in his infinite wisdom has used a realtime OS for the flight planning as a whole. It did not run out of memory per se, the combined "alloc more memory" + compute exceeded the realtime constraints on the path computation task.

.

If you do that in an RTOS you get a BOOM - a reboot from the global system watchdog at scheduler level.

There is a gazillion ways of triggering it and this is a demonstration why some stuff should not just be done on realtime OS-es and given to vendors that will stick a realtime OS into it out of principle.

The only place that needs RT in the whole system is the realtime collision avoidance which can be standalone, the rest has as no need for RT whatsoever. There may be _HOURS_ before the flight plan is punched in and the actual time it needs to be executed. Doing that realtime on realtime OS under realtime scheduler constraints is beyond idiotic (I can bet 100 green ones on that this is what was shipped here - the name of the vendors speaks for itself).

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Britain'll look like rural Albania without fracking – House of Lords report

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Re: If it's really 2015 @The Other Hobbes

Quote "You give me power from a wind turbine, and I can store it for a time. Either as electricity-to-gas, electricity-to-compressed-air or as electricity-to-heat."

Err... You missed the lowest capital cost, highest power density and easiest for UK to build.

Energy to water gradient. Take a dredger, pump out a rectangle shaped damb in the wash, stick a pump/turbine unit on one end, hook up to the existing wind farm grid, move a mile, do another one, and another one, and another one. You can make them double-up as tidal too.

As usually - designed by the Dutch and they intend to start building them in half a decade or so (they also have excess wind power to store).

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Boffins say hot air makes Antarctica COLDER

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Re: there's a lot....

Err... you are missing the point.

The reason why you have coped, cope and contiue coping is that the politicos in Holland have learned that some stuff just needs to be done and should not be part of "playing politics". Canals need to be dredged, pumps need to be maintained, farmland needs to be in "sacrifice" mode, any building on flood plains must have at least 3m of hardcore dumped on site first to elevate it and so on.

Compare this to the UK - it has two regions originally brought from under the sea by Dutch in the 17th century (East Anglia and Somerset Levels). The difference is that they are not getting Dutch maintenance.

* Canals are not being dredged because that is not policitcally expedient. You get an occasional charity cleaning a couple but that is about it. There is no mandatory annual expenditure on dredging.

* The pumps are maintained only when the region voters vote for the "right party" - for example Tony Bliar revoked the maintenance on the main East Anglia/Norfolk pumping station after he won power and it did not get a single penny for maintenance until he got the boot. By that time out of 4 units on the site only one was fully operational.

* The developers build on flood plains as they like and how they like.

So as an end-result you get the nice picture of Britain under water as it was this winter. You also get the first and only case where a whole region won from the sea by Dutch has been lost back to the sea (the Somerset Levels).

You are correct - with _LONG_ _TERM_ ongoing investment a rich developed country can successfully counter the effects of climate change. The problem is that there is just about only one country in the world where doing this has become the norm and where stuff is being done on an ongoing basis and not as a one-off after a particularly disastrous year. You are using that country as an example. Unfortunately the rest of the world is not that country. There the politicos are running around banging drums and at the same time doing diddly squat.

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Nintendo says sorry, but there will be NO gay marriage in Tomodachi Life ... EVER

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Re: AC They have learned actually

Quote: " Of course, right after creation the game would deviate and, instead of fighting, your gay soldier gets arrested for sodomy, "

That is if he was lucky enough to be a US soldier. If he was a UK soldier or a USSR soldier that would have been a jail sentence, criminal record and a lifetime ban from working for the government or any of its contractors. In USSR that would have been GULAG too - under the same section as the enemies of the state (one of the subsections of article 58).

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Voland's right hand
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They have learned actually

Err...

Do you like it or not the overall number of social concervatives worldwide is bigger than the number of people supporting the mandatory manifestation of LGBT rights in any and every aspect of a product. Note - there is a significant difference between LGBT rights and "mandatory manifestation of them in every product".

The fact that some LGBT groups are extremely loud does not suddenly make them a majority. So from a business perspective Nintendo has learned and learned well and they have made their choice - stick with the majority of the audience (something Nintendo has been doing all the time).

As far as losing billions in a market, that is exactly what they have assessed here. They do not want to have half of the world closed to them because of including the LGBT option - off the top of my head that makes the game unsellable by law or social convention in most of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, etc.

Is their choice morally right? That is a different story. Is it the right choice from a business perspective? Sure it is.

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Oracle vs Google redux: Appeals court says APIs CAN TOO be copyrighted

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Re: Probably the death knell of the "industry"

"Popularity voids Copyright"

Interesting idea... Did Google just try to sneak its implied right to steal the Linux kernel or any GPL work.

Now _THAT_ would be the death knell of the industry as we presently know it.

Do no evil my a**e. Cucking Funts...

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London cabbies to offer EVEN WORSE service in protest against Uber

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Re: Maybe the cabbies in London ....

Could not care less about the torrent of abuse. Torrent of attempts to deliberately defraud the customer by giving him the scenic route if the customer has an accent, well that is a different story. London cabbies are nowdays as bad as the Paris and Moscow ones which are probably some of the worst in Europe.

As far as Uber - I would never use them because as some other people have noted you do not know what you are getting. There are plenty of private hire companies, get the phone of one that is big enough to always have a car in your area and use it. Excellent service, comfortable cars (instead of that abominable tourist bait on wheels which the cabbies drive) and ~ 50% of the price. Vetted too.

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China 'in discussions' about high-speed rail lines to London, Germany – and the US

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I would not be so sure

Ryanair maybe one of the biggest sc*mbags in the universe, but even they comply with UK and EU airworthiness and air safety rules. United complies with both Eu and USA.

Compared to that Chinese rail complies with rules which it sets itself predominantly derived from corruption and vested interests. With rather obvious results:

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

Dunno, I would think not twice, but thrice before I ride such a transcontinental train.

If it is operated by German railways or TGV... That would be a different matter. Not that they do not crash - they do. They at the very least try to be safe and crash because of accidents not because of "natural corruption and mismanagement" causes.

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Vendors pushing fibre on developing countries, says Oz minister

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Fiber is not a cargo cult

Greenfield fiber is cheapest - it takes the same amount of money to put in the ground as new copper. It is cheaper than HFC (coax is not particularly cheap and coax street box infra is more expensive). It is massively cheaper than greenfield fiber+copper. It also has the lowest cost to maintain (assuming PON).

In fact, the same math applies to developed countries too. It is simply a matter of what depreciation period do you put on it. If you put 10 years depreciation period (a number most utilities put on their infra) instead of sub-5 years (most telcos) fiber to the home ends up being cheaper than maintaining and upgrading HFC or fiber to the curb over the same period.

The problem is elsewhere. With fiber in the ground 90% of the telco field workforce will be out of a job. Try getting that idea past the union.

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Yosemite National Park bans drones

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Re: Safe havwn

Petrol engine drone + idiot operator is a good recepy for starting wildfire. In fact an excellent one. Second best only to breaking glass bottles and leaving the shards behind you (I have had to participate in extinguishing a couple of those caused by glass myself - it is not fun).

I am surprised we have not had a drone fire yet.

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ARM tests: Intel flops on Android compatibility, Windows power

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Re: a paradox

User friendly for a given set of values of "userfriendly"

While the hardware is definitely more userfriendly it is also supporting secureboot from the start and having it enabled from the start. It is only a step away from this to the point where it will be impossible to disable.

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Laser deflector shields possible with today's tech – but there's one small problem

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No, it cannot - you cannot realistically maintain the plasma bubble under atmospheric conditions especially if you are traveling at 2Mach+. This is a space-only option.

Also, as far as practical implementations go, this is more of a Babylon5 solution that Star Wars. Firing plasma into the path of the laser cannon in order to disperse it is something workable while trying to surround yourself with plasma probably is not.

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SpaceX wins court injunction to block US Air Force buying Russian rockets

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Re: national security

There are no friends at that level, never were, never will be. There are fleeting momentary alliances between the non-enemies and long-term "enemy" relationships.

The truth here is that after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia stopped classing USA, UK and most of western europe as an "enemy by default". Some of Western Europe did so in return. As a result Russia runs some fairly reasonable trade and business relationships with Germany for example. USA and UK never did so and it only got worse over time (f.e. the current UK government is significantly more russophobic than the previous one). It has, is and continues to be classed as an arch-enemy with money being spent and invested accordingly.

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

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Re: Stalemate

Err... I call bull...

There is still qualified staff in quite a few locations. Dunno if it is magic pot or magic potions but that is a statement of the fact. Parts of Eastern Europe - Czech republic, Romania, Bulgaria as well as locations in Western Europe such as Northern Ireland (or Ireland proper for that matter).

We have reached the point where the qualified IT staff in these locations shows Nellie a finger straight away (actually the tradition in Eastern Europe calls for the Antonio Banderas style full arm gesture).

There is qualified IT staff and staff is being trained there (at least compared to the UK). It also _STAYS_ there. The reason why it stays there is that it is actually paid _MORE_ that most "mainland UK" companies are willing to pay their staff. So you cannot make it move. Let's face it, convincing a Czech, Romanian, Bulgarian (or someone from Belfast for that matter) that they have to have their salary decreased by 30% and move to a location with 100% higher cost of life is not a winning proposition.

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Vladimir Putin says internet is a 'CIA project'

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Re: I always thought he was a bit crazy

@ I ain't Spartacus

Who told you that he is "doing it" in Ukraine. He may have started it, but it does not look like him "doing it" any more.

For starters, Ukraine is bordering to Transdnestr which is:

1. Lawless product of a stale civil war with the mob and illegal weapons trading being the biggest economy contributors

2. Predominantly Russian (despite being in Western Ukraine).

3. Sitting on one of the biggest weapons caches in the region and selling some of it from time to time to other conflicts in the region.

4. Shipping russian nationalism and mercenaries throughout the region the same way Chechen were trading in mercenaries during the previous decade (the Bosnia wars, Afganistan, Middle East).

5. Crimea takeover was organized and executed with Putin "doing it". What is happening now is no longer Crimea.

Add to that every nationalist nuthead (and Russia has quite a few of those) picking up a gun from the closet (Russia has quite of few of those too) and shipping out south-west. Frankly, I do not think he (or anyone) is in control any more.

While I understand the geopolitical motivation of the Eu and USA, what they have done in Kiev is going to bite us in a way compared to which Afganistan and Syria will be nothing.

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Voland's right hand
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Re: Russia disconnects from Internet

An analysis of the Pros:

The master C&Cs have not been in Russia for a long time. Russia economy is emergin out of the ex-Wild East state and the ex-mobsters who have gone legit are not particularly forgiving when their interests are affected in any way. You are more likely to find the master C&C in Ukraine or one of the failed African states now. It is still run by the same mob, just not on Russian soil.

An analysis of the Cons

You live in the past. The days when mail-order brides were advertised on Slashdot and shipped to key Linux kernel developers (with all the consequences) are long over. Same story - as economy improves the migratory pressure decreases.

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Rejoice, Russians! The annexation of Crimea is complete and legitimate – Google Maps proves it

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Sweden is the best comparison actually

If memory serves me right Finland (which is within the 1658 borders) treats its Swedish minority as equal, Swedish is a valid language and most signs are double-language.

The previous government in Ukraine voted a similar regime to take place.

The hunta currently in power revoked it as its first act after staging the putch. If it did not we may have had a second example of the Swedish (from Finnish perspective) solution in Europe. Now we do not.

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Re: GOOD!

@Fihart

First of all Tatar, not Tartar. Tatar are people, Tartar is sauce. Crimean tatar may actually have a claim to an independent state which is _NOT_ a part of Ukraine, sauce definitely does not.

Second, Tatar Crimea existed as a independent state for ~ 400 or so years. From ~ 12th century to 16th. After that it was an administrative entity in the Ottoman Empire until the 18th century when Russia cleared the Turks off the Black Sea coast all the way out to today's Romania in the West and Caucasus in the South East.

Prior to that it was part of Khazar empire, greek colonies - you name it. The Tatars assimilated these by the 14 th century with not trace. So we will not go further back in time as there is nothing back besides tombs, skulls and bones.

Based on historical precedent Crimea can be (in chronological order without implied claim to validity):

1. Russian Province

2. Turkish Province.

3. Tatar Independent State.

All of these have viable and valid claims to it. Ukraine is not on the list. A birthday present by a dictator is not really a valid claim to ownership.

In any case, back on topic Google is reflecting reality same as it reflected reality on the Balkans long before most of the world formally acknowledged it. C'est la vie.

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Voland's right hand
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Re: GOOD!

Surely you meant 1954? If memory serves me right, Krushev made himself a birthday present after getting shitfaced off his tits in 1954, not 1953 (that is the _ENTIRE_ basis for Ukraine territorial claim to Crimea, there is no other).

In any case, the issue is simple. Is there the right to self-determination or not?

We have allowed Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Kosovo and we are now allowing Scotland to decide which way they go (though quite clearly some people in Westminster have some second thoughts about the last one). We have supported them and even forced the issue by any means necessary. Why is the population of Crimea any different?

In any case, people in glass houses should not throw stones. If the newly unelected hunta in Kiev did not revoke all minority rights as their first act of power Crimea would have probably been still in Ukraine.

As far as the "gas station". If it was indeed a gas station it would not make our Etonian graduates look like dummies every time they sit at the negotiation table. First Syria, now the "remove all illegal occupations clause" in the Geneva agreement. The Ukrainian government signing an agreement that mandates it to remove itself from power and having it countersigned by the EU and USA. I was laughing madly when I read the news for half an hour (and quite rightly too).

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AMD stock soars after positive quarterly report

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Not just prices - specs too

Intel is yet to deliver anything remotely close to an A-series APU. The recent Athlons are pretty good too. I assembled myself a new 8 core test FX yesterday and it is pretty much on par with a dual socket Xeon box that is 10 times its price.

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

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Re: 9 to 5

'If it is a company phone, it is "expected".'

So you go and hand it back - I did it in my previous job and I do not hold a company phone in my current job. I expense company use when I have to.

In any case, as far as working hours determining everything - there are industries where they do. IT is not one of them. In IT the worst productivity per capita is in the areas where they work longest hours.

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Japanese schoolkids arrested in £2.4 MEEELLION phone fraud bust

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Interesting...

This type of fraud is quite popular in Bulgaria and Romania. There it is a highly organized business - people trawl the net as well as stolen social security databases for data, prepare themselves and do it properly.

I am surprised to see this working in Japan - extended family bonds tend to be weaker in established industrialized societies.

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Back off, Siri! Microsoft debuts Halo beauty Cortana

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Guess this is one product that will fail the "wife test"

Nothing could wind up my wife as fast as Nokia's "girl in command" standard GPS maps voice. This was one of the key sell points for her to move to Android and Sygic which operates using a classic "I am your butler, how can I serve" you style voice.

I would love to test this new and wonderful product on her. My only problem is that I would have to pay for the repairs demolished Carphone Warehouse shop after the test. That and the dent in the salesman skull too.

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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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