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* Posts by Voland's right hand

914 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

IBM turns plastic bottles into life-saving 'ninja' MRSA, fungus fighters

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Cheap 3D printer works with steel

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Re: Now this is more like it.

Not really. The cutlery set is only a part of the equation.

The difference between this uni project and a real 3D metal printer (one which you can actually use to print a gun barrel) is that you enclose the whole rig in an inert atmosphere. As anyone who has done some welding can testifiy a weld (regardless how good it is) always absorbs oxygen making its mechanical quality nowhere near that of solid metal. In other words - while it may "print" a sprocket, I am not putting that sprocket in my car any time soon as it will last only a couple of miles :)

So you need to add to it the argon bottles, pressurisation equipment, etc. You also need to make the whole rig tunable to accommodate for the infinite variety of "cutlery" sets you chuck into as well as detect what cutlery set was chucked in in the first place. That is rather difficult so you are likely to end up using pre-mixed pellets with appropriate flux and other additives mixed in too. That will not be 99p any time soon.

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Sceptic-bait E-Cat COLD FUSION generator goes on sale for $US1.5m

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Three word answer

Three word answer to your question: English Libel Law.

It does not matter what they are, unless you are the Sun or the Daily Beobachter you cannot afford being right in the UK about things like that. Uri Geller taught the press that one well.

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Swollen Reg reader recounts FALSE WIDOW spider HORROR

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That looks like multiple bites

While the false widow is an obvious candidate, you can get a similar ugly picture from a centipede.

A centipede is more likely to bite several times in close vicinity (you usually get just one nip from a spider). The bites can be quite nasty too because the venom causes local tissue necrosis around the bite. The last time I got bitten by one it took more than a month to heal properly.

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Thai man reportedly dies clutching his scorched iPhone 4S

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The wonders of having a metal phone body

If the phone has a plastic body (like my Xperia Arc S) a deffective charger leaking 220V onto it will kill the phone and do nothing to the user.

If, however, it has a nice shiny and conductive metal rim... If the user is holding it tightly by same said rim (I know - holding it wrong)... If the rim is connected directly to bits of the circuitry because it is serving as an antenna... If these connections have no means of limiting the current to a sub-letal < 200mA by design...

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VIOLENT video games make KIDS SMARTER – more violent the BETTER

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FInally... Some sanity into the discussion

This fits my rather non-scientific observations.

15 yeras ago I used to run a PC repair shop (in fact co-own it) with a couple which were fighting like cat and a dog. All the time. I moved onto other things for a year and came back to get some parts from them. I expected to find the usual constant bickering, grumbles and cold war atmosphere. Well, none of that - they were an exemplary couple. The secret - once a day half an hour therapeautic session of Doom2, deathmatch. They were discharging all of the aggression in virtual reality instead of doing so in the office.

The rest is also spot on.

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Revealed: How Microsoft DNS went titsup globally on Xbox One launch day

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Re: Learning from mistakes

No they have not.

DNS is one of those infrastructural technologies that should not have dependencies on other stuff because other stuff (like Active Directory) actually depends on it for its discovery. Having active directory control on an SME DNS server is an acceptable risk.

Having active directory to do anything with the production systems of a multi-billion corporation providing online services is a stark raving lunacy.

Disclaimer - in one of my past lives I used to manage DNS deployments bigger than MS so I am probably a bit biased here.

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Yahoo! staff! slapped! for! 'snubbing! own! webmail! and! preferring! Outlook!'

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Re: Perhaps Marissa has an evil Elop-like mission

"Eat your own dogfood". Companies (and teams inside companies) that do not, do not go far.

I for once agree with Marissa on this one. One of the reasons on why Yahoo is in its current appauling state is exactly that - nobody was eating their own dogfood. If she is to fix it (ever) she has to start from this so for the time being there is no reason to consider her to be an Elop.

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NSA-busting secure, open, router seeks cash and code from crowd

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Custom linux distribution - no thanks

Do it with openwrt and I am happy to throw some pennies in that can you are rattling.

Another custom linux distribution? Forget it.

In any case, by today's standards 1GBps is not something to shout about. There is plenty of hardware from that can do this using "stock" openwrt checkout from trunk. Most of them are mips based though. Having a ppc for variety would be nice.

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Undercover BBC man exposes Amazon worker drone's daily 11-mile trek

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Re: Is this a story?

Quote: "Try walking continuously for 8 hours"

In the days when I was supporting an end-user network consisting predominantly of Windows 3.11 (and later Windows 95) I used to do that on a daily basis for a living as an IT job. Mileage was not that far off either. With staircases and lugging PCs to/from the repair shop inclusive.

I used to clock even more as an intern doing molecular biology work - 8+ hours a day, running constantly between 4 different pieces of equipment located in 4 different labs _AND_ washing dishes with nicely grown "molds" on them in the meantime. McDonalds and Amazon are a song compared to some of the lab work out of there. Even the most disgusting customers in a restaurant are nowhere near a petri's that was used to grow Bacillus Subtilis grown on it.

It is not the mileage which is the problem here - it is the Amazonic attitude.

They have a name for this type of services - "The Mechanical Turk". The metrics, work organization, etc are meant to convert you into a machine attachment. It is the idea - you are a service orderable on AWS (Amazon's own storefront orders it along with everyone else). It is this which gets you, not the mileage. You are an automaton, you have been hired as one, you are controlled as one and you shall be one.

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Nvidia reveals CUDA 6, joins CPU-GPU shared memory party

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Re: Unified Memory

Quote: "unless they start building themselves a serious x86 core". That is "Plan A".

Nvidia has also "Plan B" - burry the hatchet into x86 back and start shipping arm on their chips. Even a 64 bit arm core will be only a minor addition to the BOM and heat envelope and it will have synchronized memory and working spinlocks. The underlying x86 will become a mere carrier of Arm blades. One step further and it will disappear altorgether in some setups.

I would not be surprised if we hear from them that they have implemented CUDA 6 properly (not as a steaming pile of hacks and cludges) on such hardware and are shipping it.

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Acer's new Haswell all-flash Chromebooks sip power for less than $200

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You are not getting upscale regardless of what you want

You are not getting much upscale.

The ChromeBook general spec is controlled by Google so it is nailed down to run ChromeOS. Any chromebook you pick on the market will have at least 1366x768 with a decent screen (no 1024x600 market cripplware idiocies from the netbook age), 2 USB ports and at least one of them being v3, SD card slot capable of accepting high capacity cards, 16GB SSD and 2G RAM. Accer may be straying a bit to raise the spec to 4GB but that is as far as its "liberty" will go. Not any further until mothersip says so and mothersip will not say so because this means that you will keep your data locally instead of giving it to Google to monetize (by all means necessary).

In any case - if you need a Debia/Ubuntu in-flight typewriter that lasts across the transatlantic on one charge (sans takeoff, landing and meal times) any chromebook fits the bill. You can shrink the original ChromeOS without wiping it completely to 6GB leaving 10GB or so for an adult OS. Linux, xfce4 and libreoffice take a G more leaving you wih 9G for your mail and documents. For most people that is more than enough.

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'I'm BIG, I'm BALD and I'm LOUD!' Blubbering Ballmer admits HE was Microsoft's problem

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Re: where ballmer succeed and planted seeds and where i think he may have failed...

1. They tried to (almost) give it away. Windows XP embedded licensing cost pennies compared to the "first born" Microsoft charges for desktop. It could not be given out for free because of Microsoft being under "observation" for anticompetitive behaviour.

2. It was a failure. They _FAILED_ to strip it down to bare essentials so its "embedded" level ended up being a joke. Many times the footprint of embedded Linux (and Android).

3. They failed to port it in time to the fastest growing platform out there - ARM. Similarly, they let their existing Crippleware OS for embedded (Windows CE) fester, putrify and die.

So Linux and Android on top of it stepped in like the knights in shining armour and slayed the dragon (the dragon being the idea that you need a special hard real time OS for anything embedded). They showed that a general purpose OS with a best effort scheduler can be as good. It may cost more in terms of hardware. It pays back by reducing software development costs.

Microsoft failure in embedded is not due to lack of trying. It is due to an abject failure to execute. That however is something which is definitely a problem that goes all the way to the man in charge.

The end result - my new car stereo runs Android instead of running Windows Embedded. Game over.

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AMD will fling radical 'Kaveri' chips onto streets in January

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Re: data movment?

What movement?

That is the whole idea - synchronized cache. You do not move anything any more and you do not wait for synchronization any more. A trivial barrier instruction of your choice causes a full sync.

AMD has been preparing for this for the last year or so (at least) - if you read the recent OpenCL specs they are written so that a lot of the instructions magically use a move if the underlying hardware does not support this and fall back to a NOP if it does. Previous specs were saying "copy", "synchronize", etc.. Current specs say "if needed".

A whole raft of things in networking and day-to-day OS tasks which was out of bounds for OpenCL because of the initial overhead to load/copy and synchronization overheads has just become feasible.

Hello Intel, Check, Check, Mate.

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Hand over the goodies, Brazil tells Chocolate Factory

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Quote: "That is the wonder of the Internet"

That is also the wonder of national firewalls.

Great Firewall of China, Great Firewall of Britain (sorry, officially it is supposed to be called PervertWall), seisure of DNS assets in USA - you name it

The idea that "you can take your site offshore" is no longer feasible. All the governments that did not implement certain level of national "protection" before are going to do now. Because of you know who... That catch 22 gunner character...

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SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

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Not just creepy

Has a very nasty sting too (though not sure about these exact species).

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Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

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Re: That headline...

Cyanogen (even unofficial) is not available for most low cost tablets. I have been tempted to build it myself for some of them only to find out that most of the common low end socs (various Exynos, WonderMedia, etc) and their matching GPUs (WonderMedia and Mali) have support ranging from zero to zero.

If you have a phone (even an ancient one like Xperia Mini Pro) or a mid-range tablet you are in luck. Once its factory OS is EOL-ed you can cyanogen it (EOL meaning anything from 15 minutes for Google Nexus 7 Gen 1/2 to a couple of years for Sony Xperia). If you have a real landfill sample like the ones sold by Gotab, Tesco, etc - you are out of luck.

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Surface Pro 2: It's TOOL-PROOF and ultimately destined for LANDFILL

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Re: What decade is this?

They did, and it is for recycling purposes. However, it is not enforced as rigorously as it should. Electronics are not being policed not rigorously as car manufacturers, which have to _PROVE_ that their creations have 90% recyclability score before being allowed on the market.

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Re: Fans?

Quote: I wouldn't want a passively cooled one, they would get too hot.

Well, here is the answer to your question - they probably have the wrong CPU in the first place. Intel may have improved their benchmarks. However, once you build a system with an Intel CPU you realize that they have improved their benchmarks and it is still "Intel Inside".

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It is not a question of repair

It is a question of recycling too. I do not see how a system like this can comply with recycling requirements of the WEE (and its USA equivalents). It is a pity that these are not enforced in electronics as rigorously as they are enforced in other areas like car manufacturing. If you build a car like this, it will not pass CE certification.

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Microsoft boffins test rival 'Google Glass' geek goggles, say insiders

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Re: Another SciFi sighting

Well, as we are descending towards the society described in that book, we might as well wear the same eyeware.

By the way, while Stevenson is a great master of rants, the rant about pizza delivery in that book beats all of them. By far.

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Top architect: The TRUTH about dead Steve Jobs' new spaceship Apple HQ

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Hehe...

Well, the lab gheto is still in the corner of the plot out of sight of dream offices - it did not fit into the new "superbuilding".

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ICANN approves Arabic, Russian and Chinese global domain spaces

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Not really

We are now ready for НSВС - this is by the way Cyrillic "N", Latin "S", Cyrillic "V", Cyrillic "S".

Isn't it just lovely? Every phisher's lucid dream coming true...

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

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Factually incorrect

USSR continued research into phages long after WW2 and developed usable phage treatments which were used in the food industry.

In the UK fresh fish and fresh meat counters gets a "healthy" dose of disinfectant spray (makes me laugh when I see organic labels on them). USSR actually used a bio-weapon instead allowing them to do with much lower doses of disinfectant :)

So there is a massive amount of prior art on that. It may be abandonware and without a present owner, but it is prior art none the less.

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Wait for it, waaiiit for it: We update an Atom tablet to Windows 8.1 Pro

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Re: 2hrs 45minutes and still not done !

Quote: "At least one poster on the Debian forums claims never to have reinstalled since Woody, "

My house server is like that. Since potato actually. When the time to do hardware swap comes along it is tarred, untarred onto a new RAID set in a new box to replace the old one. It has been in-place upgraded since some time in 1999. I have not had a single upgrade issue on it in 15 years (it has a full desktop software installation just in case too so you can run xterms off it). However this is Debian, not R00tH4t which has this polished to perfection.

As far as the general install - I have a "packing list" for new machines so I just do an apt-get install with it after initial install and continue on whatever I was doing before it. Depending on the fatness of the Internet pipe and the freshness of the cache, a fully installed, fully patched and ready to use machine is ready between 30 and 90 minutes later.

I have to do the same process at work every few months after the geniuses from IT deregister my Windows VM from the domain controller for lack of use. It takes (even with lots of magic incantations to get super-performance out of kvm on a 16G RAM box) half a day or more. It also fails half of the time because the 5GB ISO with the "latest" corporate standard happens to be 2 days out of date with the install server. After that it needs 1-2h to apply all updates. All of that just to have a fully compatible windows typewriter. Nuts...

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Microsoft holds nose, shoves Windows into Android, iOS boxes

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Re: Bollocks

Seconded.

You do not need local client software for fully functional RDP to a Tablet. 2XS has proven this long ago. I use it for demos - works flawless of my phones and tablets to a windows VM. No local client required.

WYSE pocket cloud is not a good example of an RDP client, neither is the cytrix one. They are "gateway drugs" to dope you into their eco-system with RDP being the bait.

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AMD avoids a red-ink-stained quarter for once, market says 'meh'

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Not surprised

Looking at my shopping invoices for the last Q I have contributed to these results. What they ship now for desktop is so much better than Intel that it is not even funny. The APU have come of age and is no longer the cheap runt trying to make onboard el-cheapo GPU perform slightly better. Their mobile and small system CPUs are good too. So the results are not particularly surprising.

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Kids hooked up with free Office subs at Microsoft-addicted schools

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Re: If you get them young and you will have them for life

From Tom Lehrer, The Old Dope Peddler

"He gives the kids free samples,

Because he knows full well

That today's young innocent faces

Will be tomorrow's clientele."

I guess Microsoft is going back to the tried and tested methodology. 20 years ago MSFT "educational reps" in Eastern Europe and MSFT "partners" were handing out "pirated" keys and CDs for Windows 95 the way a drug gang hands out dope laced candy. That was during the "great Eastern European recession" so the economies there had nothing to pay for it anyway.

Once the economies in the target areas picked up Billigatus himself paid a visit to the president, piracy was discussed and measures were taken. The "pirated" keys were revoked and an enforcement campaign followed. As a result Microsoft had 99% market penetration served on a plate.

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Give it a wrist, fellas: Sony's back with $200 Android Smartwatch 2

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Re: Success

I do not think it is about cool. It is about functional.

There is a whole raft of jobs where you cannot pull your phone every 10 mins or so to check something while you may actually need to do so.

Bosses organizing "no phones allowed" all day meetings, dealing with far east and to a lesser extent middle east customers, or just the plain convenience of not dragging that 5+ in super-slab pretending to be a phone out of your jacket inner pocket.

3 years ago in the days of SmartWatch 1 things were different - the average high end screen size was sub-4in diagonal. We also used the phone for phoning not as our main net access gadget. So overall, I would not be so sure about the success or failure of this one.

In any case - Sony's gadget actually looks like the only one that is not locked in to a particular vendor "ecosystem". It will also work with non-factory firmware (Cyanogen, etc). So, if my current watch kicks the bucket for whatever reason I may consider buying one.

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EasyJet website crashes and burns

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In fairness both of them are heading towards a dead end

The fact that all flag airlines have stopped trying to chase them and barrel scape should say volumes to both. They now have enough (and more by the day) customers which prefer being treated like customers instead of being treated like scum.

I have stopped booking with EasyJet after the last Grand Bazaar update to their website when they put numbers of people "looking" at the same ticket to force you into panic/herd buying.

250 other people looking at the same obscure ticket as me. At 6:15 am? Sorry, I find it difficult to believe it. That part of their sales process walks like something that needs a OFT intervention, talks like somehing that needs an OFT intervention and it probably needs one. I guess they will come up with the excuse that they have a "different definition of looking", mentioned in 5pt print somewhere near the rectal portion of their website (wherever that is as a URL).

My last two booking on routes I have been taking with EasyJet for the last 5 years were with LuftHansa and Iberia. The former was 20% cheaper, the latter was 75% cheaper. Nuff said. Low cost - not really. Nowhere near. Price gouging - definitely. I am also definitely not booking with them ever again.

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Island-hopping Beardy Branson: I'm dodging rain, not taxes

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Re: So tell us Mr. Branson

Jealosy much?

Let me spell it for ya: "For the same bloody reason I have rebuilt a derelict propery in the mountains of a Eastern European country which happens to have _HALF_ of UK tax rate".

I did it so I can spend a few months a year in an unspoiled location where I can work without dealing with the joys of day to day UK life. I manage to achieve ~ 200-400% of the productivity I get in the UK despite having to chop wood, fill water daily and constantly repair the bits of the house that try to fall apart after yet another 2m of snow in winter.

Hopefully, one day, I can semi-retire there (I am not one of those people that can stop working). I did not chose the place for its 25% tax rate. I chose it because it was in a middle of a wood in a national park with the closest village 13 miles away and closest city 30 miles away. The house was a ruin, the place was drop dead gorgeous.

He had more money than me when he chose his, that's all. I believe in his reasoning.

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Who here needs to explain things to ELEPHANTS?

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Re: Something to point with?

That is different - the dogs are pointing at, not you pointing at and the dog groking what you want.

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Twitter-mad twits trade 14 million shares in BANKRUPT zombie biz

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Quote: This is a trader fail

You missed the quotes around "trader".

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MI5 boss: Snowden leaks of GCHQ methods HELPED TERRORISTS

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Re: The problem is

I would second that.

As long as UK government provides political assylum and protection for the mouthpieces and political leaders of "incidents" like Beslan I find it very difficult to believe in their definition of terrorism being the same as mine.

Same goes for Al Qaeda computer specialists from Libya being given assylum.

Same goes for support for a lot of "actors" from the conflicts in ex-Yugoslavia

Same goes for supporting Syrian jihaddist militias and so on.

Same goes... The list goes on... Dunno... We probably have different definitions of terrorist I guess...

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Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite: 13.3-inch slimline notebook with a secret

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Re: Too much moolah for too little performance.

After a short moment of temptation I noticed that the RAM is soldered. So Sammy has intentionally crippled perfectly good hardware (this APU can take 16G per DIMM slot of normal DDR3). The situation with the drive is less clear - specs list it as SATA3 so there may be some chance to replace it with something more decent like a 1TB hybrid drive.

For example my considerably older and less powerful Sony 11 incher (using E series APU) has 16G already and will get 32 once the 16G DIMMs become common place. Default spec lists it as 4G Max. The situation is the same with all AMD APUs - if the vendor BIOS has not crippled this in order to provide "fair" competitive advantage for Intel offerings, they will eat as much memory as you will give them.

If it had upgradeable memory I would have gotten it straight away (I actually need memory for my stuff). However as it is non-upgradeable, sorry - no buy.

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RIP charging bricks: $279 HP Chromebook 11 charges via USB

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Re: Mmmm.... ChromeBooks!

@Yet Another Anonymous coward

I have one running a frankenstein off the internal disk (debian with CrhomeOS kernel because Samsung and Google violate the GPL and do not post sources for their handywork). "Most of us already have more PCs" - true, however most of us do not have one that can last 7h on one battery charge, cost 250£ and have 1360x768+ resolution. That is MacBook Air territory.,

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Re: Why?

However, it being HP there is a likelihood of compliance to the GPL including publishing the config for the kernel as well as a viable source tree tarball. So that you (or Ubuntu/Debian) can actually build a viable fully functional working kernel for it.

There is still _NOTHING_ published as required by the GPL for sammy's handywork. Contributions to 3.5+ do not count. The machine ships with 3.4 so Sammy should actually publish its changes to 3.4 for all to see. None of that is available.

So the clusterf*** with Exynos around AOSP and recent crop of Google devices is clearly not an exemption - it is the "Sammy Rule" which in English should translate to "we comply with the law only when we feel like it".

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New Terminator-style 'bots can self-assemble, leap, climb and SWARM

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Not Terminator

Stargate & Stargate Atlantis Replicators... Much scarier...

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Robot WildCat slips its leash and bounds around parking lot

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Re: OK

Quote: "I have to imagine they studied slow motion films of cats running, "

Wrong animal to study. Cats are sprinters - all of them. Try having a walk with your feline if you have one. You will note how little it takes even for a very fit cat to get tired and decide that a walk is not for it.

If you are going to copy an animal you might as well copy one of the long distance runners: dogs and wolves, horses or even an ostrich.

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. and now think of the psychological effect of seeing...

Yep, an RPG-17 costs about 0.01% of the cost of it and should do it in one hit. Next...

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Ballmer intends to remain on Microsoft board after end of CEO gig

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Re: Wall St won't like this...

That is known in Britain as "Bury Bad News".

Use the overall stinky situation at the moment to get as much as you can. Commendable effort on Billy Boy's and ChairThrower's part. I do not think it will fly though. Despite the markets being preoccupied with the banana republic situation and the impending USA bankrupcy, they are not likely to ignore this one. MSFT shareholder's revolt. Sweet... Popcorn please, I would love to watch that...

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Samsung DENIES benchmark CHEATING, despite evidence

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Re: If my car leaned out it's fuel mixture to give me 60mpg ....

Quote: But cars are exactly optimised to do well on 'standard tests'

Indeed. I can think of at least one manufacturer that has been caught more than once doing it. A french one.

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Quote :"What do you mean it's not cheating? If your bank ATM was to tell you that you had £500..."

The bank has more like 250. If it is for all customers. If not less (as per current liquidity rules).

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Probably not

It most likely looks at the actual signed developer info in the apk metadata. So simple renaming will not work here.

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Sony Xperia Z Ultra: The quad-core 2.2GHz MEGA SCREEN PHONDLESLAB

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Re: Looks like a nice bit of kit..

Quote "experience I had with the Arc S".

Nothing wrong with the Arc S - Sony has contributed everything you need to run a decent Android on it to Cyanogen and since this summer you have reasonably fresh (4.x - equivalent) nightlies to run on it. They also give you the unlock code straight away.

Caveats:

1. The Cyanogen sony load has some Wifi Problems. If you get them, enable WPA Enterprise on your AP (you need a radius server for that).

2. You need to use fastboot to flash the kernel every time. The normal update does not flush it

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Apple wins patent for entrance to retail store

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Re: Does The Government Shut Down Affect The US PTO?

Unfortunately it does not.

All US govt agencies which are self-supported by fees are fully operational. This includes USPTO, visa issuing (but not immigration checks), etc.

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Steve Jobs AIRBRUSHED from history by APPLE months before his death

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Patent law 101

A patent which does not correctly specify the inventors (regardless of are they live, deceased or ascended) is null and void.

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