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* Posts by Voland's right hand

914 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Why next iPhone screen could be made of SAPPHIRE - and a steal...

Voland's right hand
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Devil

Fantastic

We shall all congratulate Apple with innovating this new and wonderful innovation in the world of consumer electronics. This is so exciting and such a good reason to buy this new and innovative gadget. I just cannot wait until the hype wave starts rising and all the usual suspects try to ride it under the rainbow and into the sunset.

They will call fossilized grumpy old men those of us who can remember that Motorola KRZR K1 (2006) shipped with a Al203 glass (and you could use it as a hammer or chisel - best built phone I ever seen, pity the software was major s***age). Actually my Poljot high school watch from 30 years ago used it and so does my current Fossil.

It is the usual Apple - taking an old, tried, tested tech, twisting the arm of a few manufacturers to mass-produce it and doing the mother of all marketing campaigns to pretend to have innovated it.

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'Chinese' attack sucks secrets from US defence contractor

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Devil

What do you expect

Nothing in this report surprises me in the slightest. At all.

Welcome to the world of corporate IT in the 21st century. Underresourced, Outsourced, Undecompetent, Outstretched and so on...

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Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

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Devil

Re: Time to troll

I can suggest you another troll option - time to find some hay fever sufferers and asthmatics and talk with them about plant aerosols.

Just make sure you have a Kevlar vest as well as the flame-proof jacket.

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New Google Play terms ban non-store app updates

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Devil

Re: Err - I see a flaw

Err... BS.

Just look at how Sygic and other Aura apps are implemented. There is a loader and small core app in the APK, 120Mb or so extra code and resources downloaded after that just to be able to run the app.

Presently that is being updated along with the APK. Nothing prevents them from doing those two out of sync - the APK may stay relatively unchanged for a long time and extra "resources" downloaded regularly to be up to date. So all the developer needs is to structure its app accordingly (it will still be fully compliant to GPlay terms this way).

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jQuery 2.0 kicks old Internet Explorer versions to the curb

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Devil

Re: Make jQuery browser specific

And are you volunteering to support all the 10+ branches of that in production by any chance?

Gues you do not (I would not).

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AMD posts mediocre numbers, cites 'difficult market environment'

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Devil

Re: Poor AMD

Seconded.

Fusion is way better than anything Intel has on offer. However its supply is abysmal. I had to trawl through 3-4 web shops to get an FM2 Socket CPU yesterday. All had motherboards - none had the CPU. A couple of months back AMD dropped production rates to eliminate glut in the channel. They quite clearly overdid it - instead of glut now there is scarcity.

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Library ebooks must SELF-DESTRUCT if scribes want dosh - review

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Re: Back into medieval times

Close the libraries - not so sure.

It will be a decade or more until ebooks or ebook services on a tablet will get anywhere near acceptable quality levels for children books as well as some types of reference literature (art, travel, etc). So we will need a local library as long as there are kids and as long as kids want to have a bed time story read to them (mine do).

Lump sum - definitely not. This will continue to bring the argument about deterioriation which is bogus. Rent - pay. If the govt cannot process it hire Paypal, google or someone else who can. Micropayments are not that difficult.

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Leaked memo: Apple's iMessage crypto has DEA outfoxed

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Happy

Re: Tempus fugit

Just use Russian. Use properly that is (as native, not as a foreigner).

It can have 3-4 or more meanings between the lines which will require someone who actually knows language, culture and context (not someone who has passed the MI5 analist test) to decipher.

Change the position of two words and the whole sentence completley changes its meaning as well as its level 2,3,4 meanings, etc.

While this was a natural property of the language in the first place, 80 years of having to talke double, tripple and quadrupple speak to avoid статья 58 and ГУЛАГ improved it quite considerably. It is now at the point where if two russians want to speak between themselves without anyone "non-native" understanding them they can do it any time any day today. As a side effect makes for great stand-up comedy too :)

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Giant solar-powered aircraft to begin cross-country flight

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Devil

Re: I love stuff like this..

"Engineers are confidently predicting that a wind powered vessel 'could sail indefinitely, at 2-3 knots average, depending on weather conditions".

Bollocks.

Last time I remember the "pinnacle of wind" - the steel hull, steel mast windjammers from the end of the 19th century outsailed with ease german cruisers at the start of WW1. Germans could not catch up even with the sorry hulk which was Cutty Sark by that time (it had a mast missing and had 1/4 of the crew it needed).

The speed of these 4-5 mast monsters was ~ 15 knots. That is in fact on par with most cargo fleet till this day (only ferries and some container ships sail faster and only on short haul). It was not speed or carrying capacity that terminated the windjammer fleet - it was a combination of the canals (Panama and Suez) and manpower costs.

The saddest part about attempts to reintroduce windpower in ships is that none of it gets even close to where we were 120 years ago. Parachute sails/kites my a**e. A proper "salty dog" rig of the kind which took the route around cape Horn to California or Cape Good Hope to Australia in the 1890-es can run circles around it any day.

The only reason for wind to be slower in the end-to-end play is that it requires different routes. You usually cannot sail straight from A-Z. That is why the canals decimated it in the first place. From that perspective, considering where the Suez/Middle East situation is going lately we will be considering wind again very soon (same as we did during the previous Suez problems).

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Boffins birth man-sized military ROBOT JELLYFISH

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Devil

Re: pop quiz

Used to be sunfish. I thought we transformed most of them into sushi by now so at least as far as Mediterranean is concerned it is "lived in the ocean".

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Voland's right hand
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Devil

It is scary week all right

First the "fishnet stealth", now this. The most interesting thing about jellyfish propulsion is that it has the potential of being absolutely silent. If this is built, anything inside an enemy harbor becomes a target that is impossible to defend.

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MasterCard stings PayPal with payment fee hike

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Devil

Re: Coming to a wallet near you...

Quote: "The main restriction on a company that wishes to issue such a card is that it must usually have some sort of banking / credit-issuer license, so it's not something you do lightly"

Right... So what was the capitalization of a 3rd rate regional bank headquartered, let's say in Six Mile Bottom, Cambridgeshire vs the Google daily spend on fruit and veg for the umpah-lumpahs... Right...

If Google would want to process money end to end it can do so tomorrow. Same for PayPal which already has bank registration in Eu anyway. IMHO both Mastercard and Visa are having a death wish here. Do not trouble the trouble or the trouble will trouble you.

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Oi, Microsoft, where's my effin' toolbar gone?

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Devil

Re: What is this article supposed to be?

Quote: Sorry, but they are far from alone, I gave up using Word some years ago but its lack of ability to display formatted text correctly as one inputted is legendary.

You forgot to put the correct emphasis on "inputted" - that word has a ligature. Something which Word has failed to render correctly to this day. It is still not even to the level of ~ 1980es typesetting.

Write the following sentence in word (at 44pt to see the difference clearly): "It does not matter if you inputted it or not - it is still utter garbage demonstrating that MSFT cannot render correctly basic English like 'f*** off'". Try the same in LaTeX. Print. Compare. Weep (Hint - look carefully at how ligatures - t followed by low letter, double t, double f, etc are rendered in either case).

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Vietnamese high school kids can pass Google interview

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Devil

Re: LOGO

Logo was not the only language in those days. There were others - you could write a decent game in graphfort (in fact some of the commercial games for Apple ][ were written in it).

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Global warming fingered as Superstorm Sandy supersizer

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Devil

Re: Why not just....

You do not toss a coin over the idea that most late season hurricanes will turn west and obliterate the Eastern Seaboard on a regular basis. Even 5% (not 50%) would be pretty much a call for action if this research is correct.

Now add to that an eruption on Cumbre Vieja and welcome to the day after tomorrow.

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eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

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Re: Maybe if they bought relevant ads?

Quote; Sure you didn't mean "Whales?"

It has offered to sell me the capitals of two european countries, an island in the Canaries group and a few others like this.

The reason for this is eBay are idiots - they have exported their search term lists which included "location" additions to the search done by people to lazy or clueless to use the eBay distance to seller search facility. That term got dumped into adwords. Of course this will have negative ROI. It would have been surprising if it had given a positive one. Any search for Rome resulted in an eBay ad being displayed (and charged for) "Do you want to buy Rome" (Rome being an example - I had that one with another Eu capital).

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Microsoft backs law banning Google Apps from schools

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Devil

Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

You are correct on the motives.

However, IMHO the bill is good and it does not ban google apps per se. All it means that Google will have to sell them at their real price (not at the advert subsidized one).

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Canuck rumps resist Street View arsebusters

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Devil

Not just arses

They have re-shot the pics of my street because it had some prominent photos of locals showing the spymobile the classic "Antonio Banderas" style salute (hand crossed at elbow). It will be interesting to see the algo to pick up that one as it is more difficult to pick up algorithmically compared to a naked a**e.

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Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

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Re: Huh.

I have a 4 year old using a Linux desktop for a year now and an 11 year old who has been using his for 6 years. In both cases it is on a networked system with NFS shared $HOMEs so they are dutifully logging with their own accounts. They have been doing their homework with the older one preparing for exams (SATs) doing his school research and playing games (as all 4 and 11 year olds do) on that too.

When I observe them having problems with the system being unfriendly I will sure tell you (from a desktop Linux machine too). Or I can ask their 70 year old grandma to do so (she has been using a Linux desktop since the days of enlightment 16 - 1997) also without problems. When her linux desktop broke 5 years ago she had windows for 3 weeks. At the end she lost it, took the comp to the local repair shop smacked it on the table and said that she is not leaving until they "fix it".

As far as the Mac CoolAid - I have a Mac in the household too - SWMBO got a MacBook Pro. She regularly ends up turning around and using the Linux thin client in her home office instead because that "always works" (TM). While it is a nice machine, Apple software (especially when mixed with MSFT) tends to manifest some temperament when you do not want it to.

Note - I do not use gnome (and never will), neither does anyone in the household.

In any case, as far as Miguel being a troll - nothing new. He has always been. Though he is probably applying for a job @apple now instead of Microsoft so he has changed his naso-rectal orientation.

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UK injects £88m into Euro bid to build Hubble-thrashing 'scope

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Devil

I suggest you go post to the Daily Beobachter forum

Price of telescope: 88m

Price of building the site using cheap local labour - 1m

Price of building the telescope high tech components - mirror, cameras, actuators, software, control etc (nearly all of it in Europe) - 87m.

Which part of this f*** equation do you fail to understand?

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SpaceX rocket reaches orbit but Dragon fails to spit fire

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Devil

Re: Give them a break!

Soyuz: 724 successes, 21 failures, most of them in the early years. In the recent years its reliability is better than the UK railways for example or national express bus network.

Space X (and even Ariane) have a _VERY_ long way to go until _THAT_ gold standard.

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NASA probes spots temporary third Van Allen radiation belt

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Devil

Re: Unfortunately we can't ...

Actually, we can. Just robots have to go first.

The "cheapest" defense is to hide behind your own propellant (or inside it). Robot first, get an ice block from the asteroid belt and meld the ship living quarters into it and voila - here is your protection. One small ice asteroid (a few hundred meters in size) will be enough to fuel (and protect) our exploratory fleet for a few decades (even accounting for growth).

It is not perfect (even 50m of ice cannot really compare to the Van Allen belts). It is however definitely better than nothing and it would nicely make up as your propellant too (just melt it, ionize it and speed it up to a a few thousand m/s - something we can do already). This will also decrease travel time from 501 days to a couple of weeks so the exposure window will drop too.

As far as gravity, last time I heard angular momentum was rumored to do the trick. Not that it will matter if travel time is down to a couple of weeks.

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Spectra: Tape is dead? We installed 550PB of the stuff in 6 months

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Devil

Re: Tape is one of these things that is always dead

As the saying goes: Never, ever underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes.

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German boffins turn ALCOHOL into hydrogen at low temp

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Devil

Not just that

There is a whole raft of processes which produce methanol cheaply. Cooking coal with hydrogen and/or water (referred to in the article) is probably one of the most expensive ways to do it.

You can get methanol as a natural result of waste disposal - f.e. by heating up cellulose under pressure. Much easier to produce than ethanol. As far as its toxicity goes - good old petrol is toxic enough as it is even in this day and age when it is not spiked with lead-organics (which are extremely toxic too).

All in all, I really fail to understand why we continue do d*ck around with hydrogen. It does not make sense at the elementary physics/chemistry level.

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Apple patents situational awareness for oblivious fanbois

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Devil

Re: Um, were the US PTO asleep when this went across their desk ?

BMW M series radios had the "audio" portion of this for more than a decade. The volume autoadjusts and is jacked up when you rev the engine so you can still hear the beat. Plenty of other pror art too.

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Outsourcing your own job much more common than first thought

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Devil

Re: Not hard at all.

Quote: The amazing thing is that the chap was bright enough to outsource, but dumb enough to fail at the remote access.

Nothing particularly amazing. He was business bright and technically dumb. In fact, business dumb too - he would have made more money registering himself as a company and working that way (would have had better tax positions too).

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Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist

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Devil

Re: One question I have always asked myself

Quote: "The main effect would be one of cooling."

Errr, no. Second law of thermodynamics - you cannot "lose" it (same as you cannot "make" it). It just moves elsewhere. So the "cooling" from slowing down fluid friction will be compensated by emitting heat from all the electrical appliances to a net effect of 0.

In any case, wind gets an unjustifiably high level of attention as a renewable. Solar (both cells and collectors) in the right location (Sahara instead of northern Europe), geothermal, tidal and wave have a much bigger promise. IMHO Europe should be building artificial tidals (4x4 mile simple "holding pen" with turbines on one side, rinse repeat - a standard port digger can build one in a few month) all over the wash, irish sea and the shallows around the North Sea coast. Much better idea than all the windmills because you can use that as an "accumulator" to compensate for fluctuations in demand as well as for proper generation.

All of that is being left untapped at the moment. In fact it is being destroyed as a potential energy source by stupid windmills all over it in a way which prevents us rebuilding that for tidal without demolishing them first.

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Open source port-a-thon brings Ubuntu to more phones, tablets

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Devil

Re: ubuntu hmm

As someone who runs LTS as an OS on his laptop (I have to do demos and develop on it) I beg to differ.

I have yet to notice anything particularly Orwellian in it. It is still good old Debian with some extra spit and polish. There are times when the spit and polish gets on my nerves and I have to tweak it but they are few and far between. Definitely more usable than windows and faster an by order of magnitude or so for most stuff (especially for virtualization related work).

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Linus Torvalds in NSFW Red Hat rant

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Devil

Re: Let's merge two EL Reg topics

There are three scenarios there:

1. MSFT forgets to renew key

2. Manufacturer forgets or fails to update to new key as the key is in loaded into the EFI even if MSFT does so

3. The computer is bricked during the update. Hello Samsung, what is the size of a X509 certificate record write into X509 once again?

Eeeek...

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Devil

Re: Quite frankly.....

Indeed. RedHat needs to sign it themselves and use the nuclear competition option if the manufacturers refuse to honor it.

If a manufacturer tries to refuse to honor a valid OS signing key by a valid OS vendor "because it will invalidate their MSFT compliance" then this is a competition commission/FTC matter. RedHat is both big enough to drive it through and "commercial" enough to have all the means and reasons to drive it through with the big four - Lenovo, HP, Dell and Acer. With MSFT history of competition violations they will end up paying another few billions into the "salvage nations with fraudulent accounts benevolent fund" before they can even say uncle. Either that or concede outright.

In both cases the end result will be MSFT scoring an own goal - creating an environment for shipping certified linux builds on par with their own stuff.

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Microsoft: Office 2013 license is for just one PC, FOREVER

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Devil

Re: So if the PC dies

Not just that.

It is yet another MSFT - OEM manufacturers "rub my back so I rub yours" which should be questioned on competition grounds. How the f*** do you prove your warranty claim If you assemble your PC yourself or you buy it from one of the few remaining small manufacturers?

Yeah, I know - they are now extinct. MSFT programme of assisting HP, Dell and Co in providing unfair competition advantage has practically eradicated them.

Though this may backfire. I can see a neat business model here - just provide 10y warranty on a computer at the cost of let's say 30% of office license. Hardware is so cheap nowdays that this should be able to cover upgrading motherboards, hard disks and power supplies for 10 years :)

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Apple updates iOS, does not fix passcode-bypass hack

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Devil

Re: Why is it?

It has grown up.

Once upon a time things used to be simple, feature-list short and dependencies easy to manage. No longer the case. Classic case of "mature platform" with "legacy". A new developer comes along, touches something he does not fully understand and all hell breaks lose in an area that is perceived as completely unrelated.

It will now take some seriously fascist release management and architecture to put that under control and based on what Apple has been releasing I do not quite see that one happening.

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AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

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Devil

Re: Holodecks aren't just about processing power

You missed the most difficult one - smell. We have no idea how to digitize smell data and replay it. We have a reasonably good understanding of the way tactile, visual or hearing receptors work. Olfactory bulb - and here be dragons.

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Baby-boulder bowling burglar breaks Boulder Apple Store's $100k glass door

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Re: $100k for a glass door?

You are missing the point. It is a designer door - part of a copyrighted and trademarked design. You do not expect that to be cheap do you?

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Google misses privacy-policy deadline, incurs EU wrath

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Coat

Re: Now we come to it

Quoting one "great" European politician who once upon a time personally ordered my great granddad shot as an enemy of the state: "There is no such thing as indispensable people". Or in this case it will read as: "There is no such thing as indispensable companies".

Out of all people, I would have expected Mr Brin to have remembered that one. Me coat.

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LinkedIn proves not all social IPOs were bubbly

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Devil

Re: Losing it...

They are losing you (same as me). They are gaining paying "customers" and food for them.

Like it or not Linkedin is the headhunter social network. Its only goal is to spread you into a nice thin easy to inspect and nitpick layer in front of headhunting lowlife. That is who is really footing the bills there.

Unfortunately there is a significant fraction of us at any given time who are looking for a job. So LinkedIn will always have "food" to pre-digest and offer its "customers" for consumption.

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Ubuntu for Galaxy Nexus phones to arrive in February

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Devil

Re: This would be good

"I can see it replacing a lot of peoples laptops and a lot of desktops too."

Err, sorry, no cigar.

There is a fundamental problem here - the phone UI is designed for touch and _NONE_ of the remote UI methods including BT input devices is touch oriented with multitouch support. So the idea of hooking your phone to a screen will wait for the day when you can either remote to a touch-screen or when multi-touch input from a screen works correctly as a remote input device on the phone.

By the way, desktop will not be the first victim on that date. The first victim will be the venerable car stereo as it will become totally surplus to requirements. What's the point of having a car stereo when you can remote the phone onto the car console (with all the UI still working correctly)?

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Motorola complaint against Microsoft narrowed

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Devil

This is something that should have been sorted at filing

Frankly, the examiner did not his job. While I can understand failures to find prior art (shit happens) failures to have correct claims should not pass the patent examination process.

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Bug kills Intel gig-E controllers

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Devil

There is something fishy here

I have a whole raft of kit with 82574L - I use it on my home server and my home lab. I have yet to see anything resembling that bug. The offset in question is in the data portion of the packet so assuming semi-random packet distribution we are looking at multiple crashes a day under heavy load. I do not see that.

Further to this - 82574L is one of the most popular cards going into mid-range desktop kit from HP, Dell, etc. A bug like that would have made these unusable. I suspect that this is limited to specific BIOSes and specific VLANs. Intel cards have a feature (no, it is not a bug) where one VLAN is reserved for out of band management (1000-something, forgot the number). Traffic on that VLAN is interpreted and can be used for lights out management if the machine supports it. If the card is misconfigured so that the default VLAN instead of 1000+ is treated as management you can see all kinds of wierd stuff (including resetting the machine). The more interesting part is why is he seeing is with Asterisk because Linux immediately disables that rather insane feature on boot.

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Study: Gay marriage support linked to pr0n consumption

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Devil

Anything can be shown to correlate to anything

All you need to do is chose the _CORRECT_ scale.

Correlation coefficient is the probability of two functions being linearly dependent on each other. So, for example, if you have y = x^2 and you try to compute the correlation coefficient directly off the values from that you will get that the two variables are independent when in fact they are not. So you have to chose the correct scale/conversion - root, log, exp, etc before you compute it. And here be dragons...

When there is no obvious reasons to use a particular one you can pretty much chose anyone you like ending up with a graph of AOL vs Good Cholesterol. Just like in this case.

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Solar undercuts coal in New Mexico

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Devil

They may not need any

It is in New Mexico so they may not need any. Solar is quite good if you put it in the right location. It will suck royally if it is at New (or old) England latitudes and average cloud cover levels. New Mexico or anywhere in the tropical desert belt around the worlld- not so much.

For example, there is a substantial body of circumstantial evidence brewing up that recent French interest and interventionism in Africa is related to the idea of making Sahara into one enormous Solar collector.

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GNOME project picks JavaScript as sole app dev language

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Devil

At first I thought the calendar is wrong

My first thought was that it is already April, the first to be more exact. However on a second thought, I remembered - this is GNOME.

Whatever idiocy Microsoft does, GNOME follows drooling on the way. Microsoft promoted C# so did GNOME (its rather crippled alternative implementation). Microsoft decided that C# is no longer for the cool kids. Well so does GNOME.

In any case being an uncool kid I am going to stick to C, C++, Python and Perl. Curly bracket language which is the assembly of the Internet? No thanks.

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Linux boot doesn't smash Samsung laptops any more

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Devil

Re: Phoenix UEFI BIOS

"If the firmware has 'variables' it's not really firmware."

It is Intel and Microsoft reinventing Open Firmware. That had variables, conditional execution and a whole raft of other things (and thankfully did not have a f*** GUI).

So

1. It is still Firmware

2. It is Intelnovation - imitating badly something done by someone else like amd64, via AES instruction set, etc.

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Devil

Re: Sorry, wrong.

Fixed that for ya: "Worked" for windows. Quotes intended.

About 50% of what was erroneously attributed to "bad drivers" was actually bad acpi in the early days. Windows was suffering same as linux if not worse - at least on linux you could easily turn off acpi altogether.

We now have the "history repeating". I am typing this on an Asus Motherboard whose crippled UEFI implementation erroneously initializes the AMD Fusion GPU portion every 3rd or fourth boot. And that is a so called "reputable manufacturer". Everything is just like in the worst days of ACPI 10+ years ago.

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Analyst says vendors offer pretend reference customers

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Devil

Re: Old hat.

I can tell you where Gartner finds them - in the middle of the "Magic Wankdrant", sorry quadrant...

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Customer service rep fired for writing game that mocks callers

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Devil

Re: the point of the game?

What a bunch of muppets. They should have bought it off him as a training tool.

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Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

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Devil

Lester, I beg to differ

The history of the country where you are applying for a citizenship is a core value. To be more exact that is valid for both the history and its specific interpretation - the bits that are included and the bits that are purposefully omitted to form the appropriate half-truth.

In this particular case however it has more to do with Mrs May desperately trying to patch up the holes under the waterline ahead of the dreadful 2014 when the Romanians and Bulgarians influx will bring the end of British civilization (according to the Daily Beobachter).

First of all, the ones that wanted to be here are already here - there is enough means in the current system for that. Second the ones that want to fleece benefits are already doing so. Third, the ones that came here to do real work are already considering to leave and leaving same as Polish and Baltic states did before them. And fourth - she should stop asking the Daily Fail if they would like it with coffee or ice-cubes. While we can understand and commiserate with the current government having to go cold turkey off gagging on a old wrinkly Australian, replacing it immediately with Volkisher Beobachter does not do them any good. The readers of Volkisher Beobachter wil not vote for them anyway.

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