* Posts by Voland's right hand

1326 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

EU battles over 'anti-terrorist' passenger records slurper law

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Re: Why only in Europe?

It is given if they require it already. The sole difference for the time being is overflights.

USA requires overflights to supply this information as well. This matters little as there is only a handful of flights which overfly USA airspace without landing there - flights to Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

I am not sure if Russia requires advanced passport info on overflights, if it does, avoiding that will make it quite interesting as it is quite expensive (our outright impossible without an extra refuel stop) to fly from Europe to China, Korea, Japan and the rest of the Far East without going through Russian airspace. Ditto for China.

Russia, China, etc (no idea about Cuba) definitely require passenger lists in advance for flights landing there.

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Bendy, but hangs loose too: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android tab

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It still justifies it in my book

Nexus has an extended "life expectancy" because of the third party (AOSP/Cyanogen) ROMs.

While there is some work on getting a working build for the Yoga it is neither very active, nor very successful.

That alone (the extended life option) gives the 9 a slight advantage. Not that I need one - for the time being the old Nexus 7 and Samsung 3 are more than sufficient in their "electronic pacifier" duties. If either one of them breaks I would go for the 9 (or something from Samsung which has a Cyanogen port) instead of a Yoga.

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Chinese coder's got 99 problems and getting hitched is one: Huge iPhone woo plot FAILS

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Re: Was the young lady a smuggler or something?

You'd think a software developer of all people would understand creative resource usage beats over-provisioning any day. But no...

You obviously never had to work with Huawei software.

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Was the young lady a smuggler or something?

This is the only reason I can see for offering 99 shiny shiny along with the ring.

If she was not into smuggling them (AFAIK you no longer need to do that down there), then her decision is not surprising.

The cost of 99 Shiny Shiny is the start of the price bracket for an Audi or Beamer convertible. Looking at BMW UK site, series 2 starts at 29K. That is a grand total of only 58 Shiny Shiny. 99 Shiny Shiny will get you a nice spec series 4.

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IEEE turns crank on new wired Ethernet standards

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AC is not the driver

There's more than a few applications that push gigabit cable to the limit at a sustained rate

Linux and Mac network stack speeds:

UDP and other datagram protocols, single packet per RX/TX - 1.6Gbit per core

UDP and friends, multipacket rx/tx - 3GBit per core (Linux only, Mac does not have the relevant syscalls).

TCP without any offloads: 3-5Gbit per core

TCP with offloads - 6Gbits or thereabouts per core

Not sure what Windows state is, but it should be of the same order of magnitude.

So looking at these numbers, there is plenty of "need for speed" without having AC as an excuse.

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Autonegotiate over 8+ different bandwidths?

I do not want to be the one who builds the MII for this.

Autonegotation over 10 (if supported), 100, 1000, 2500, 5000, 10000... Right... Someone is smoking something very cool and not sharing it.

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AT&T drops plans for LTE data networking on commercial flights

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This would have required new capacity

Antennas on existing ground sites do not point up so this would have needed a considerable investment into additional infrastructure. Add to that a fair share of technical challenges - LTE was not designed for terminals moving at 800km/h.

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Kryder's law craps out: Race to UBER-CHEAP STORAGE is OVER

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That graph with "industry projections" seems wildly optimistic. The best fit to that curve is that "we just hit the wall" and it is "flat from here onwards".

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This 125mph train is fitted with LASERS. Sadly no sharks, though

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Good, but not good enough

A lot of what they are measuring can be picked up using a trivial black box style sensor package mandated to be attached to every train.

1. Missing clips - trivial image recognition.

2. Vibrations, etc - indicating the early stages of deformation in the rails - accelerometer and GPS.

3 ...

In fact, you can probably do most measurements using 200£ worth of off the shelf phone hardware with a couple of extra cameras. It will not replace the "proper" measuring train, but it will vastly improve the track safety. It will also mean that track is inspected every 5-10 minutes, on every train not once in a few months when the budget has allowed one of the few precious yellow trains to run a particular track. Actually - I take my words back - this should be enough for a lot low speed sidings and local lines which never get a seeing using the precious "yellow train" anyway.

Yeah, I know - while the technology to fit such realtime ongoing inspection to all engines is there already, because of the way railways are deregulated, making their owners fit it is nearly impossible without legislation.

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Printing Bad: Meth found in laser printer cartridges

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Re: This doesn't make sense..

The Russians have managed to invent the "safe method" already. There heroin, morphine, cocaine and meth are yesterday's OAP drugs. The fun compound of the day are artificial cannabinoids, aka Spice.

Every time the regulatory bodies declare the current variety a control substance, it gets modified - a methyl group here, a hydroxyl there, some experimentation on the local drug addicts and voila here is the new legal high - perfectly legal for the next 6-9 months despite being as addictive as heroin. All that is needed is for the drug syndicates to employ a couple of PhD level organic synthesis professionals.

So no matter what the Atreides from the state police do, "The Spice Must Flow".

By the way, as far as the West is concerned it is a lose-lose situation. For the time being the Spice is confined to the borders of the old Soviet Union. It is not a matter of "if it will break out", it is a matter of "when".

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Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu

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Devil

Re: "What the hell have you done with all the tits!!!"...

We'll soon have all you bloody ornithologists banned!.

Come on, there is nothing wrong with observing some boobies and an occasional shag *

* Isn't English language just lovely :)

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China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog

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Re: Stay Calm, Click OK on the dodgy cert, and Carry On!

Should it change the nappy too?

The fool and his money will soon be parted. FFS, my 6 year old daughter reads warnings thrown by the browser and refuses to click past something that looks fishy. Granted, the same daughter has been caught trying to pick a lock with a hairclip at the tender age of 4 so she is not a representative sample of "user population".

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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

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Re: Not just windmill nutters

powerless GSM mast - Err.. BOLLOCKS.

As someone who has worked for 7 years designing GSM basestations, there is no such beast. If GSM mast is operational it is powered and has equipment attached to it. The only case where it is not powered is a DAS, but that is usually not used for masts, only for in-building antennas and very rarely urban deployments - f.e. multiple antennas on building edges..

Your average GSM mast has 1+ antennas, a basestation and for most of them a power unit which feeds the BTS and (in the case of microwave backhaul) the microwave P2P links which connect the basestation to the network. In addition to that the basestation cabinet and the power unit may also have environmental - heating and cooling (depending on the geographical location and the basestation model). All of these do generate sound across the spectrum. Usually (unless you are dealing with some really idiotic design) it is not much, but it is there.

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Re: Not just windmill nutters

Queue letters coming in to the local council about headaches, sleepless nights, nausea,

Some people do get all of these. They are not however related to GSM, WiFi sensitivity or other psychobabble. The microwave intensities are simply not there for that. The root cause is different.

Plain and simple - these are people that have very low tolerance to vibrations and infrasound. Different people have different sensitivity, however every one is affected. As an experiment - you can put infrasound ~ 7Hz at >40 db in an office. Nobody will hear it (it is under the hearing threshold). It does affect every one, so by the end of the day people will have headaches, nausea and will be at each other's throats. Some will be violently sick too.

A turbine field will generate infrasound - it is the laws of physics - the collision of air waves deflecting off the blades off neighbouring turbines as well as lower harmonics generated from interference of higher frequency sounds from blades, etc. So will a lot of the power supplies for a lot of electronic equipment - they all generate ultrasound (from the power conversion part) and some generate infrasound as well as a result of intereference between higher frequency harmonics.

Usually the intensities are nowhere near 50 db :) This however does not mean that you may not run into someone with a "weak inner ear" who will be affected at lower intensity. It also does not mean that a particular turbine field has not been designed so badly that it resonates and some more sensitive people sick over time. Ditto for basestations and other electronic equipment.

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

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Re: Apart from the inbuilt creepiness

You fail to fully comprehend the creepiness.

Look carefully at the lower picture. Then ask it to open the pod bay doors and do not be surprised if it answers "I am sorry Dave, I am afraid I cannot do that".

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Antares apocalypse: Orbital points finger at turbopump FAIL

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Re: In this case, it's not the technology.

You missed one more. Pulling the dusty files out of the dark corner of the brain where they were confined after I got my Chemistry MSc and went to the dark side of IT: Many light metal alloys are not steel, they change with time and some of them quite a lot. Some of it is change in crystalline structure, some of it is oxidation, some of it is dark magic which noone understands :)

Most Al, Ti, Mg, etc alloys (as used in space tech from half a century ago) would have undergone a considerable change of mechanical properties over 50 years (not necessarily bad by the way, Al alloys generally become less fragile and more plastic with age). What would have been well within the tolerances 60 years ago, may not necessarily be usable today. If the pump has any elements made out of Titanium or Al alloys that would have been the prime suspect in my book.

IMHO - this is the biggest FAIL in the Orbital idea. It is not a rocket technology fail, not a control tech fail, not a refurb fail. It is a material sciences fail.

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Microsoft's TV product placement horror: CNN mistakes Surface tabs for iPAD STANDS

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Are you referring to "what backups" Sex and the S**tty episode?

I do not quite see that episode as Apple product placement :)

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RBS faces BIGGEST ever fine for THAT huge IT meltdown – leak

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Re: Corporate fines == useless

Not necessarily, especially for banks.

Banks manage anything - including IT change control as "risk" now. The reason why jobs are moved to lower cost and lower qualification geographies is that the cost of risk in doing so does not outweight the cost savings.

This fine will be a precedent for change in the risk (and its associated costs) calculations. Will this be enough to stop some of the genuine stupidities involved in IT decision making - dunno. It will however have some effect.

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'You have no right to see me NAKED!' Suddenly, everyone wakes up at the Google-EU face-off

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Re: Wrong Target?

To me, this seems analogous to instructing map-makers to leave out the shadier streets in a town.

It is not any different from instructing map makers to avoid putting that Minuteman or SS-18 launch site on the map. That is something they have been doing since the days when the first map was drawn (just in those days it used to be coastal batteries instead).

As far as going after the search sites, if the Minuteman site on the other side of the hill is not on the map the only people to know it is there are likely to be the neighbours and the "enemy". Everyone else will not have a clue that there are 16 nuclear warheads waiting to blow up someone on the other side of the globe.

Cutting down the audience to people who know it already is usually 99.99% good enough in terms of mitigating the effect of information which is the subject of "right to be forgotten". This is in fact the aim of the right to be forgotten directive - it is not to be forgotten by people who already know, it is "not to be learned" by people who do not.

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Pay-by-bonk 'glitch' means cards can go kaching-for-crims

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Re: Who knew pay by bonk was insecure? It's bonkers, I tell you

but how are they going to hang on to it? Unidentified?

The only way they can do this is if they set up a merchant (described in the article actually). There are quite a few checks and traceability requirements to set-up a merchant nowdays. So "setting it up" is IMHO out of the question.

Things become considerably more interesting if you "own" a merchant. Instead of lifting the cards, you add your remote pay-by-bonk terminals operated by the pawns around the world to the merchant transaction system. Then you lift the money out of the merchant accounts. This is a tall order - you need to "own" that merchant's infrastructure top top bottom - interface for POS, transactions, accounts and banking backend. Not infeasible, but probably too much effort for the payback you are going to get for a normal "pay by bonk pickpocketing" in bars and malls. Now setting up a 1.5m parabolic antenna aimed at the morning queue at one of the London subway stations or drive by skimming of bus queues... That may be worth it...

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Intel: A tiny video drone? Disguised as a BRACELET? Great! Take half a million dollars!

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Re: This is the winner?

I can just see 10,000 people at a sporting event suddenly launching these things.

So do I. Just colour them correctly and launch at a Balkan or Latin American national match. The war with the neighbours is pretty much guaranteed after that.

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I am POLICE SERGEANT L. TORVALDS! Stop or I'll SHOOT

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Re: Linus don't need no gun

There is also the "deploy wife" option... She has been a national karate champion "only" 6 times...

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'National roaming' law: Stubborn UK operators to be FORCED to share

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Re: Excellent if it happens...

Popcorn please.

Most UK operator SIMs have a programmed blacklist which contains some or all competitors so that the mobile never tries to camp onto their networks. In theory, if the phone has a running SIM toolkit app, it should be possible to reprogram that remotely (this was done when Orange became EE). In practice, this may end up with a sequence of clusterf***s, so popcorn please...

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Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

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Re: There is only one hope for our undertaking....

Korolev was not alone there either. Tupolev was there too. If Hiitler waited for a year before attacking USSR, Stalin would have managed to complete the extermination of scientific, engineering and military command capacity providing the Vermacht with a walk in the park.

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No need to do that

Not like this particular engine has a stellar track record. It _NEVER_ flew and for a reason too - it never passed the end-to-end tests.

Now, if this was one of the newer Russian engines (the ones Boeing buys for the Atlas), then some extra intervention to rekindle the dispute about sanction applicability would have been needed.

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Virgin Galactic vows to continue space program after 'serious anomaly'

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Re: Sad

Indeed. I remember one rare event when the human cost of the Russian space programme became clear. When the Buran flew in 1988, there were official awards given to the project crew. While Soviet News were usually quite good in "damage mitigation" on that occasion they forgot to remove the black ribbon off half of the photographs of the test pilots (more than half of the awards were given post-mortem).

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Meet Mr Gamification: He's got a NUDGE or two for you

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Does that look like science to you?

Yes Andrew, it does. That science is called anatomy. That picture does resemble something... Considering its close resemblance to that particular organ the products it produces are rather to be expected too.

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COMET 67P is basically TRAILING a HORRIFIC STENCH through space

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Missed Cyanide?

That should be "hydrogen cyanide", not hydrogen. Hydrogen itself does not smell.

This has the stench of a chemical lab after forgetting some secondary schoolers in it with the reagent cubbard unlocked.

Otherwise, this so far fits most life formation hypothesis. If you take this mixture and autoclave it for a while you will get some of the basic aminoacids (in a L-R mix) as a result.

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MAVEN snaps eight-bit SPACE INVADER

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Re: Here's hoping...

They are not exactly photoshopped :) They are however subject to very heavy processing and composition out of tens if not 100s of images. In this case you are looking at a more raw input for two reasons:

1. It was a relatively short lived event. The usual "technique" of sitting with the cameras trained on the same object and streaming pictures to be combined into a final image ad-naseum was not applicable.

2. It was moving. None of the instruments used to snap the pic were designed to be a telescope (with servo stabilization and tracking), so they had to use significantly shorter exposure.

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Jeff Bezos rolls up another $437m, lights Amazon's cigar with it

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Re: How much did they blow on Fire phone?

Phone is not capital infrastructure.

Some of that 1.3 Bn on capital went into stocking up the German datacenter with kit as it had to be seeded to be a full region in AWS from day one. However that does not explain all of it. My guess is that they acquired one more location for a datacenter this year somewhere outside USA.

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Vulture trails claw across Lenovo's touchy N20p Chromebook

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Re: The SD card design is deliberate

Surely the issue is the lack of correctly functioning drivers for the hardware, not the hardware itself?

Hardware design is "interesting". Instead of a normal unified power management controller the LID is on a separate IRQ which is not something which is handled by the normal IO. However, lid open/lid close is still presented on the input subsystem so the power manager detects a lid close from there, suspends the beast only to be immediately awaken by the lid IRQ which is in the list of IRQs allowed to wake it up.

So a "driver" is not enough. The drivers function correctly and the events are correct. The problem is the underlying design which supplies more than one event source in a manner which nobody else understands and is inherently susceptible to race conditions. As this is an arm soc which has the "design feature" of a dedicated lid IRQ (it is not even a GPIO pin), getting that folded into the normal input driver is actually non-trivial.

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The SD card design is deliberate

The SD design is mandated by the Chocolate Factory, so that you do not use this as a permanent storage expansion and keep all of your goodies in the cloud for monetization. This is on purpose, same as crippling the kernel and exterminating with extreme prejudice all of traces of network filesystems. Though shalt consume and by consuming though shalt be monetized.

Otherwise it looks like a good choice for a travel laptop once the default firmware has been wiped and replaced by Ubuntu. It probably will not require the level of surgery I had to do on the Samsung arm chromebook (I even had to write my own power manager to suspend it correctly on lid close, none of the stock ones work on that abomination).

If I was not quite happy with the HP TouchSmart which has an identical spec, replaceable drive (replaced with 500G hybird already), replaceable RAM (8G in) and better GPU (radeon), runs under Debian (or Winhoze) with no objections, I would have considered it for a Christmas stocking filler.

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Pay a tax on every gigabyte you download? Haha, that's too funny. But not to Hungarians

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Could you imagine the government pulling this in the UK?Could you imagine the government pulling this in the UK?

Wanting to pull it - yes.

Pulling it - not a chance. The IT system delivered by Cap Gemini to customs and excise to do this will go belly up taking the country internet with it. Same as with any UK govt IT project.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

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Re: The Neanderthal must have been really drunk...

The C-M/EMH may have had to beat them off with a stick, but any kids would have been an evolutionary dead end.The C-M/EMH may have had to beat them off with a stick, but any kids would have been an evolutionary dead end.

Excuse me for being thick, as I am posting this before my 3rd quadruple espresso this morning.

If it was an evolutionary dead-end then why the f*** (yes I meant to use the f*** word) does the white Caucasian and most of Asian population have 2.6 % Neandertal DNA? Did this happen as a result of the fairy dust form of genetic transfer?

Out of all theories the "Neandertal as first Garry Glitter" theory is frankly one of the most preposterous pieces of rubbish I have ever heard. If anything, it is the opposite, us modern humans being attracted to atavistic treats. We can stare into a fire for half an hour with our mind blank and I am just going to restrain myself from commenting on the effect that chest hair + muscles + 6 pack have on the prettier part of humanity.

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Trips to Mars may be OFF: The SUN has changed in a way we've NEVER SEEN

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What ISS does to dump heat is not usable for a reactor

Quote: If I'm not mistaken, they already use radiators on the ISS.

Yes they do (ammonia as a working fluid if memory serves me right), but for nothing anywhere near the amount of heat which is dissipated by a nuclear reactor. They also (ab)use the fact that the station is reasonably reflective and heat insulated by orienting it so that the radiator is in the shade thrown by the station.

The surface area of a purely radiation cooling radiator which operates in the "boiling water coolant" temperature ranges typical for modern nuclear reactors will be enormous. You cannot hide that easily in the "spaceship shade". It will be too bloody big.

The only solution is to increase the operating temperature so your heat transfer rate per m^2 is higher and thus decrease the radiator size. Getting that done and combining it successfully with a nuclear power generation cycle is a non-trivial engineering problem.

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Re: Nuclear

Your only means of cooling is radiation which is:

1. Not terribly effective for temperatures under several thousands degrees. You need to make the bloody thing glow to radiate heat.

2. Not something we have invested into over the years. Cooling through heat transfer, evaporation, etc of all shapes and sizes has been polished to near perfection by several millenia of human engineering. Compared to that cooling solely by radiating heat is in its infancy.

Putting the problem of getting a reactor safely into space aside, we need to solve the problem of working with coolants (multi-stage if need be) in the 800+ degrees zone (at least) in order to be able to use radiation cooling. If we do not figure it out the weight of the radiator will outweight any benefits of running propulsion off a nuclear reactor (pun intended).

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It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future

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Re: It was all they could have done*

They already tried Solution 3. If memory served me right, FishKill was one of the sources for AMD and video card manufacturers. That proved insufficient.

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Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill

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It is is still an E.L.E.

It is still an E.L.E. if it whacks us on the head. Thankfully this one should be a miss this time.

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NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code

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Are you sure?

Although I have G1

HTC G1 can definitely run at least 2.2 courtesy of Cyanogen. Probably later too (just not an official mainstream cyanogen port any more). Same as my Xperia Arc - it is officially not able to run anything past 4.0 and that was pretty awful, its max stable (and buggy) Cyanogen was 9. It is running at present a reasonably up-to date 4.4.4 courtesy of the Legacy Xperia cyanogen spinoff project which is ahead of what most new phones coming of the factory lines are running. It is also reasonably bug free. Average uptime is weeks of heavy use (mostly as "newspaper" and GPS).

As an added bonus I no longer have the Tw*tter and F***book taking all of the rather scarse application partition space. So something that should have been replaced by now is still perfectly usable and will probably remain "in-service" for a couple of extra years.

It will also be replaced by another Sony for this exact reason - you can get a bootloader unlock from the manufacturer straight away and all top of the line models have excellent Cyanogen/AOSP support.

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Freescale lassos Ethernet cables around car, calls it 'Internet of Things'

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Re: I am surprised

If I understand this correctly this is for infotainment and various cockpit gadgets, not for key functions.

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Ethernet to the rare seats... How modern

Ethernet to the rare seats... How forward looking...

Looks through the window at at the 8 year old truck parked in front of the house. Doesn't it have that already? Yes it does... Same as WiFi, chargers for every seat 3G connectivity and quick release tablet holders (instead of screens) for the pests occupying the back seats.

It is wonderful that the automotive industry has finally reached the point where the more geeky ones between us have gotten to 5 years ago.

I bet they will try to bundle 19" mandatory "Demon" alloy wheels with that Ethernet cable because you know, Ethernet cannot exist in the absence of alloy wheels and leather upholstery. They are just born to be together.

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ARM heads: Our cores still have legs ... as shares tumble amid 'peak smartphone' fears

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Re: Intel threat?

Aside from their 'regular' chips, the place Intel should be doing is between tables and their existing market

That is not a particularly big market. It is a crack between the tables, filling it with some silicon will not take long.

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Marissa! Mayer! ends! 21! month! dry! spell! as! Yahoo! sales! grow!

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Re: Well.. that might a big part of the problem

Quote: Or did I sleep through Business 101 when they were discussing customers, etc.?

No you did not. The paying customer is the marketer. You are the subject being monetized.

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Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'

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Re: What do they care if you run linux?

I would not be so sure.

While there is no substantial difference in terms of clipping the ticket on Linux vs Windows on Azure for the base OS, with Linux they do not get to clip the ticket on infrastructure apps.

Oh well, that is a different BU so the usual depiction of the MSFT org chart comes to mind http://www.globalnerdy.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/microsoft-org-chart.jpg

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Doctor Who and the Dalek: 10-year-old tests BBC programming game

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VB for children? I need to clean my keyboard... coffee all over it...

FFS, even my junior's school got it right - they start with Python at the age of 12 - the age is chosen so that the kids know the idea of a variable.

Myself - I am a recovering perl adict in python & C rehab. As such I can see the rationale and approve of Python as a choice. You need clean, consistent, well defined concepts. No "this thing is an object, but this thing isn't". It is for the same reason Pascal was taught in Uni once upon a time. It is not because it will be useful in your career (it will not be), it is because it allows the professor to illustrate all concepts in a consistent manner.

So from that perspective spaghetty languages (Perl, C++, VB, etc) which carry 15+ years of inheritance dating back to the days when the question "What is this new and shiny object thing?" did not get you fired, are a very bad choice.

By the way, If you want to start earlier, just teach them the idea of a variable. Worst case scenario you will get yourself called to school. My dad got dragged in when I was 7 year old and the teacher found out I know negative numbers. I am expecting myself to be dragged in any day when the teacher loses it with my daughter knowing how to do tall 5-7 digit number subtraction, addition and multiplication at the age of 6.

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Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz

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No magic quadrant?

Where is my magic Ebola magic quadrant... Aaaaa... Aaaa... Continues to throw toys out of the pram.

On a more serious note - this advice is comparable in quality to their usual CIO advice. Nothing to see here, move along.

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

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DWB - Seconded

2.5 l Isuzu Rodeo Denver.

Binary driving (my wife) - sub-30 mpg

DWB (me) - 37-42 mpg which for a 2 metric ton truck is very reasonable.

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Re: Depends on assumptions

Engine pre-heaters are cheap. If you use the right pre-heater:

http://www.wolverineheater.com/

10 x more economical than a coolant fluid-preheater, you do not need to run it all night to have a usable engine in the morning. An hour or two is enough. Come in both 220V and 120V versions.

I would definitely advise putting a full front underside shield on the car though to avoid stone chip damage to the filter over time.

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No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer

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Re: No propulsion?

Ever sailed a boat?

With a correct sail design or correct payload attachment design you can make it do whatever you like. In fact, in space all you need is a moveable payload attachment design where you move the payload relative to the sail in order to adjust the centre of gravity. Designs like these do not require any thrusters except for emergencies. All they need is an energy source and a couple of rails to move the payload along. The design of solar carrier is de-coupled from the payload so you can carry nearly anything (the solar sail assembly becomes a solar "tugboat").

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Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM

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The right question is not if you should call her mom

The right question is:

I can see that you are resource constrained and do not have enough resources for your current project workload. Would you like me to escalate it so you can get some additional resource?

It sounds polite, it looks innocuous and at the same time it is clear that the escalation may be "she is incapable of doing her job due to overload, remove some of her responsibilities". She also cannot take you to the task for threatening her as it does not look like you are. You can also smile appropriately just to make sure she got your point.

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