* Posts by Kernel

232 posts • joined 13 Nov 2011

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Jersey sore: Anchor rips into island's undersea cables, sinks net access

Kernel
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Re: Redundancy

Deciding where to lay a submarine cable involves a bit more than 'just here looks ok."

As well as having the right beach conditions, the sea bottom between the landing sites needs to be suitable, existing cables need to be avoided if at all possible and you also need to avoid having some US TLA tell you "You can't put that there - no I'm not going to tell you why!"

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Kernel
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Re: Blasphemy?

"Just to clarify, doesn't this mean that using the placcy fivers is blasphemy for Hindus?"

I think the simple solution to this (and other issues around using beef tallow in the new notes) would be to substitute vegan tallow into the process - a win win solution.

A vegan that I know is very particular about what she eats, but wearing leather is fine (assuming they still make Doc Martins with leather) and she drinks Guinness quite happily, despite the fact that until fairly recently they used fish by-products to clarify it after brewing - as is done with most beers.

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Melbourne man arrested for broadcasting fake messages to pilots

Kernel
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Re: … no hacking is required … ?

"I may have missed something here, but there is no mention whatsoever of any measures to prevent this sort of thing happening. "

The major issue is that there are many 10s of thousands, if not 100s of thousands, of standard aviation transceivers in use around the world. The time, cost, effort and risk involved in changing to a different radio platform means it's unlikely to ever happen - having tubes full of people whizzing around in the air using incompatible radios and not being able to communicate with each other or listen to instructions being given to other aircraft in the vicinity is not a safe idea.

The only way to make a change safely would be to ground all aircraft in a country (or region, such as all of Europe) and not let any aircraft of any size back into the air until it has a certified installation of the new secure radio.

I doubt the risk is all that great - the fact that the accused is an ex-employee of Virgin Australia suggests this is more likely to be an isolated disgruntled ex-employee situation, rather than an exciting new hobby for bored teenagers. There's also the fact that there would be a lot more to getting the aircrew to accept a bogus instruction than just grabbing a radio and going for it - a newcomer on any radio service used by regulars (eg., commercial marine channels, aircraft, amateur radio) normally stands out like the proverbial dog's parts. It's been many years since I did any flying, and that was only as a ppl at a small airport, but I do remember there were a lot of standard expressions and behaviours on air that would make an intruder stand out.

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Missile tech helps boffins land drone on car moving at 50 km/h

Kernel
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The next big thing!

If this concept takes off* I can see pigeon racing becoming a thing of the past, the traditional truckload of cages to be replaced by trucks carrying racks of drones to distant release points.

All of the fun but without having to field complaints from the neighbors about vast quantities of flying-rat shit on their car/washing/kids.

* Yes, I know.

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Deliver-oops! Takeaway pusher's customers burger-ed by hijackers

Kernel
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Re: this is easier

A serious issue, actually.

Pizza drivers have been killed for the pizza and few dollars they carry before today - back in 2001 a New Zealand pizza delivery driver was killed when he made the delivery - those charged with the killing ranged from 12 to 17 years old (the 12yo got 7 years for manslaughter).

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Stay out of my server room!

Kernel
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The best I've found

was back in the days when electro-mechanical PABXs were the standard - in this specific case, what was known as a BPO* 100-type.

My off-sider and I went into the PABX room at a small business and found the manager's outboard motor leaning against a wall, complete with a partially full tank and a general aroma of petrol. Cue very prompt removal of motor and petrol followed by ventilation of the room.**

We prevented this from happening again by removing the all external and internal covers from the PABX (especially and particularly the 'pulse set') , taking the manager into the room and letting him watch calls being made - with the lights out, so he could see the sparks more easily.

* British Post Office, for all you young'uns.

** This was many years ago - nowdays we'd have to have evacuated half the block and called the Fire Service, Police and $deity knows who else to deal with it, as well as filing sundry H&S reports.

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Comcast is the honey badger of ISPs – injects pop-ups into browsers, doesn't give a fsck

Kernel
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"Not defending Comcast, but it's not easy to get in touch with customers."

Both ISPs (and three separate accounts) I've used here in NZ give you the option of sending alerts to either/both of an email address of your choice or by SMS to a cellphone of your choice - it's not that difficult to make it happen.

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Google declares victory for its Wifi router before it's even shipped

Kernel
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Re: Take with a grain of salt.

'They all have the same sound - and it's not "iffy"'

This is English we're talking about here - consistency between pronunciation and spelling has never been that big a deal, so it's always a bit tricky arguing the correctness of one based on the other.

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Donald Trump confirms TPP to be dumped, visa program probed

Kernel
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" Not going to shed tears for the employer that's forced by the market to pay a good wage, really."

And presumably you will be just as happy when the market forces you, the consumer, to pay more for the product - because I can assure you that in the long run any extra labour costs will not be coming out of the employer's pocket.

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Kernel
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Re: oh yea..

"@DavCrav - I'm tempted to vote you down, but decided not to as your point is potentially valid even though the way you delivered it was not."

My reading of the content of the original comment lead me to believe that the OP was one of the 'displaced' US workers that would be able to get a job if only the evil H-1B visas didn't exist, in which case I'd have expected a much higher standard of English out of the box.

However, despite DavCrav's enthusiasm for correct English, he totally failed to detect that labo[u]r was spelt wrong in the original comment. :)

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Hackers electrocute selves in quest to turn secure doors inside out

Kernel
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Re: Push The Button To Exit

"I'd like to know how a high-security compound meshes with the fire code."

In the most obvious way possible - all the buildings I've worked in that require swipe to exit, or even just pushing a button to exit, automatically release the door magnets when the fire alarms are activated.

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Hacker's Mac pwning expedition: 'Help, I've got too many shells!'

Kernel
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Re: We can stop security hacking! It's very EASY to do!

You might get taken more seriously if you drop the shouty bits and fix the spelling/grammar mistakes.

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Dirty code? If it works, leave it says Thoughtworks CTO

Kernel
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"Where I work there are probably over a hundred hand-tailered slightly different versions of the same 20 year old software for each customer installation. It's a mess and it's becoming unmaintainable.

There's a new platform which is supposed to save everything, however it's Java and it's not high transaction so customers are rejecting it."

I have a feeling you and I may work for the same company.

Your name's not Sam, is it?

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Kernel
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Re: She's not heard of technical debt

Part of my job involves fault finding on systems involving a number of integrated servers and applications to produce a single product - this is probably close to 20 years old now, with continuous updating and development during that time and I suspect very little code from earlier versions has been cleaned up.

We're now at the point where there are so many errors, especially Java errors, in the logs that quite often the only way to tell if an error is relevant or not is to look at a functioning instance and try and work out which errors can be expected and which are not just a result of normal operations.

Add to that the vast number of code blocks, still present, that apply to obsolete hardware and deprecated processes (or even integrated applications) which result in duplicated config files and dead ends - well, you end up with a nightmare to maintain, but it's all ok, because development cost has been minimized.

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Nokia's great lost smartwatch? #SavedYouALandfill

Kernel
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". Carrying a slab of frangible glass round in the pocket is not great, and if you work in a vaguely hostile environment and only a bigger and stronger slab will survive then its even worse. "

Which is why they invented "hunter" style pocket watches - personally, I'd take a hunter, in a case designed for the expected conditions, over a wristwatch any day of the week when it comes to surviving extremes. There's no rule that says the case has to be made of a soft material like gold, and if made properly moving a pocket watch mechanism between an industrial strength hunter style case for daily use and a more traditional case for evening wear would be a trivial task occupying little more time than changing wrist watches would.

Combine the above with the fact that under normal circumstances my torso is less exposed to random violence than my wrist then the pocket watch (IMO, as always) comes out a clear winner in the survivability stakes.

Wrist watches got their big push during WW I, where ease of access to the watch was determined to be more important than its life span.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise to outsource global IT team to CSC borg

Kernel
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Re: will there be anyone who is any good left

At least this is their internal IT services they are outsourcing - we can derive a small amount of joy from the fact that what's left of HPE will soon be feeling the same pain as the rest of us do.

Following on from his successful search for the man who rules the universe, Zaphod's next mission is to find the person who actually does the IT work - I suspect it will turn out to be some poor sod in India with an ancient PC and and a truck load of access tokens.

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CERN boffins see strange ... oh, wait, that's just New Zealand moving 2m north

Kernel
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Re: More a storm than a quake

"Are there fierce "gun control" (aka population disarmement / victim training) laws in NZ?"

More to do with the fact that the insurer has paid out on the loss, therefore what's left belongs to the insurer, not the original owner - this is fairly normal with insurance. The salvage companies may have either purchased the insured items off the insurer or be acting on the insurer's behalf to recover what they could. Either way, once your insurance claim has been accepted and paid out it's not your stuff anymore.

Not that long ago someone from Christchurch was doing a moan on TV because they'd accepted the insurance money on some piece of artwork that had been destroyed, but they thought the insurer should also give it back to them as well once it have been recovered from under a pile of rocks.

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UK NHS 850k Reply-all email fail: State health service blames Accenture

Kernel
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The usual suspects

"Irritated folk then began clicking "Reply all,"

Whether or not there was an incorrect setting in the email system, the actual problem appears to be the usual shower of idiots who can't tell the difference between 'Reply' and 'Reply All'.

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Britain must send its F-35s to Italy for heavy overhauls, decrees US

Kernel
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Re: WHAT F*** Economies of F*** Scale

"Just that setting up major repair shops everywhere for such limited volumes may also not make sense."

In a commercial situation that would be quite correct - but in a defense situation where profit and loss are not a consideration then surely it is up to the customer to decide if they want to spend the money or not.

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Mark Zuckerberg is dead – Facebook confirmed

Kernel
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Like they say

If it sound too good to be true it probably isn't.

Alas, I am another one who's hopes were briefly raised and then dashed on to the sharp rocks of reality - again.

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Silicon Valley VCs: We're gonna make California great again – on its own

Kernel
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Re: hypocrites

" Zed on welfare and oxycontin in Appalachia"

I presume that as we speak Zed and his buddy Cooter are screwing the lids firmly back on their jars, packing away the still* and heading for Silicon Valley to take up all those soon to be vacant technical jobs - or maybe they (and a few others) need just a tad more education before the golden dream of a great 'murica with jobs for all comes true..

In the meantime, while Zed and Cooter are finishing their education and completing their engineering degrees, perhaps some of those nice, qualified, people from overseas can keep the industry going until our two friends are ready to take over?

If a company only needs 40 employees it only needs 40 employees, regardless of the size of its balance sheet or how wealthy the owner is - it is not the role of a commercial company to create unnecessary jobs just because they can. In most countries that's a government function realized via publicly funded infrastructure projects, but for some reason the average US citizen appears to consider this to be a blasphemy and dang it, nobody better be thinkin' of taxing me to pay for it!

If you're really concerned about providing long term, viable and local jobs for Zed and Cooter, start pushing for taxpayer funded research on things that will drive industry in their locale that they actually have a hope of being able to work at - clean ways to use coal for energy, so that mining can restart, would be a good beginning for a lot of people in that part of the states.

* Yes, I'm sure that not all of Apalachia is populated by Zed and Cooter, but after watching a few episodes of 'Moonshiners' .........................

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

Kernel
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Re: At least they're recalling them, unlike Whirlpool.

"Don't buy a Whirlpool, get a Maytag."

No, the new Maytags appear to be of poor quality and have a bad reputation - what you want is a machine from the Whirlpool Jenn-air range.

The Jenn-air range is pretty much a traditional, laundromat grade, Maytag in disguise.

The design of these machines has not changed in at least the last 20 years (I recently fitted my 20 year old Maytag with a set of brand new recently manufactured Jenn-air tub seals) - they will not, under any circumstances, report the contents of your laundry basket anyone.

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LeEco – the Chinese biz that said it'll topple US tech giants – has already hit the rocks

Kernel
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And this time 007, bring it back in one piece!

"The electric bike, powered by Android, looked needlessly complicated and oddly specced (rearward-facing twin lasers....)"

Gone are the glory days when field agents didn't have to worry about business plans, budgets and which cost centre it should all be charged to.

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Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

Kernel
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Re: Obvious bull

"Right. Because you couldn't have possibly included (de)compression code for both algorithms in all versions of the OS"

No, wrong - because nowhere has it been stated there would only be two versions of the algorithm required needed - it should be quite obvious to most people that X and Y are examples to keep things simple and that in reality each cpu architecture would require its own algorithm - and at the time there was more than two architectures in play.

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Web devs want to make the Internet of S**t worse. Much worse

Kernel
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Re: Wrong

You forgot the Joke Alert icon - I hope.

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Blood donors' privacy anaemic after Red Cross data breach

Kernel
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What ???

"Confusingly, the Red Cross says it is confident that all copies of the data are now in safe hands,"

Perhaps someone needs to take their spokesperson aside and gently explain the difference between carbon copies and physical file folders, and the similarly named but totally different on-line variety.

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Samsung's free-falling financial flameout

Kernel
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Re: Internal Fire Extinguishers

"But seriously, what kind of stresses did they test these batteries for"

Given that only one model of the large range of mobile devices containing this battery technology that Samsung make that has had this sort of issue, I would take a guess that they used industry standard tests that have proved adequate in the past - in the future there may be additional tests. It now seems obvious that many users were doing something different when charging the phones than what the tests expected. It could turn out to be something as simple as leaving the phone turned on when it was being charged - or vice versa. I think it's reasonable to not jump to the conclusion that it was badly manufactured, inadequately tested, batteries, since batteries from both manufacturers exhibited the same problem.

Make no mistake, this could have happened to any cell phone manufacturer (and might well happen to others in the future) - this is no more a Samsung only problem than VW is the only car maker "optimizing" test results.

For the benefit of those whose fingers are hovering over the down vote button, no, I don't work for a cell phone manufacturer, much less Samsung, but I do work with some pretty clever technology in the optics field and am well aware of how long it can take to identify a manufacturing defect in the main product, a software bug or a bought in component fault. My favourite is a software defect that only appears if a specific software release upgrade path was followed - follow any one of several other upgrade paths and the problem never occurs.

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Hangouts flameout bringing the Google blame out

Kernel
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Hangouts

One of the first bits of bloat to go once my tablet had been rooted.

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Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog

Kernel
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Trollface

Which will be retired first - A-10 or F-35?

I seem to recall reading a while back that the A-10 had already seen at least one A-10 replacement aircraft introduced and then retired - what are the chances an operational A-10 squadron will do a flypast when the last F-35 is retired from service - to be followed by an announcement that an upgrade program for the A-10s is being introduced that will extend their service life out to 2048 to cover the gap while a replacement is developed and deployed.

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Kernel
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Re: Good on them, I say...

". I suspect the Marines wouldn't want them as their doctrine is to be able to deploy as part of a maritime force on USN shipping and good as it is the A-10 isn't carrier capable."

'

Neither is the C-130 Hercules in theory - but that doesn't alter the fact that the C-130s carrier capability has been demonstrated.

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Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second summary

Kernel
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Re: Maybe..

'Dunno where you live but hereabouts if you're running an unsafe car on the roads you can get a conviction however ordinary you are.'

There's a difference between running a car on the roads that you have knowingly allowed to become unsafe, as opposed to one that was manufactured unsafe but you bought on the not unreasonable assumption that the manufacturer knew their business.

There's always some dick-wit who tries to compare to cars, isn't there?

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New measurement alert. The Pogba: 1,200Pg = NHS annual budget

Kernel
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Re: Less than £2k per person

"So was I until I lived abroad and saw that we in the UK pay over the odds for a relatively poor service."

That's what I thought about the cost of visiting the doctor in New Zealand - and then I took the cat to the vet for its annual checkup!

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Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

Kernel
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Re: Gonna get pwned one day

I got caught once, a number of years ago, by an email nasty.

Since then I've never configured an email account to automatically open the next email.

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Britain's fight to get its F-35 aircraft carriers operational turns legal

Kernel
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Re: Would we have won WW-II ?

Probably wouldn't have even won WW I - it would've taken them too long to sort out how much and how to pay the licensing fees on all those Krupps patented fuses fitted to British artillery shells at the time.

Krupps did present them with a bill at the end of the war though, part of which was paid after negotiations took place.

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Sextortion on the internet: Our man refuses to lie down and take it

Kernel
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Re: Oh no! One of Vyvyan's socks has escaped!

"Oh look! Some of Felicity Kendall's underwear, and it's really dirty!"

There's one episode where she bent over while wearing a nightdress with a fairly loose top - for a brief moment there's a lot more than her underwear to see (she wasn't wearing a bra for that shot).

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Apple's car is driving nowhere

Kernel
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Re: I'm still really impressed

"The idea that a possibly sober human should occasionally intervene fills me, as a very occasional driver, with the collywobbles."

What fills me with the collywobbles is that I might be sharing the road with people who only drive very occasionally and are possibly neither confident in what they're doing nor happy to be doing it.

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Kernel
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' Despite what car advertising look like, most people don't give a shit about driving faster than 130 km/h"

Despite most people not giving a shit about driving faster than 130km/h (citation needed, btw), there's got to be some reason why I see Ford and Holden V8s mixed in with the 550cc Daihatsus when driving to work - and I can assure you that my current 3.5litre V6 petrol gives a nicer driving experience than the previous 2.4 diesel.

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Drone idiots are still endangering real aircraft and breaking the rules

Kernel
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Re: Prove it

"There's plenty of proof on youtube "

Of course, if it's on Youtube it must be true.

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Google: We look forward to running non-Intel processors in our cloud

Kernel
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Re: 48V.

"PS. Being shocked by the 90v 20Hz Ringing voltage is hilarious because it feels exactly like the old fashioned ringer bells sound."

Yes, although I seem to remember the hilarity mostly comes from connecting some other poor sod's pliers to it when they're not looking, or tipping the wink to a switchboard operator when your mate is at just the right part of changing out a faulty cord..

The booster voltage on x-bar switches (200v for select and 150v for hold, IIRC) was also something worth keeping away from as well.

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CEO of shady ad site Backpage and owners arrested on human trafficking suspicions

Kernel
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Backpage is not the biggest of the problems here

If there's 10,000+ cases a year being referred to just one organization, and the typical* victim is being raped "at least five times every night for three years.” then the problem is not that a website is facilitating the advertising of such "services".

No, the real problem is that you have a population with a significant addiction to the sexual abuse of children and until that is addressed then the problem will remain. Unfortunately some of the customers will possibly be people in positions of influence that will allow them to impede any such efforts - which may be the issue the UK is having at the moment in trying to investigate some allegations of historical sexual abuse by important people.

* If they're not untypical then they must be typical, yes?

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Smartphone lost on QANTAS 'began hissing, emitting smoke and making orange glow'

Kernel
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Is it just me

or does this only happen with business class seats?

The simple solution might be to ban any form of phone or PED from business class - if you want to have access to such an item during the flight then your cattle class seat awaits, sir.

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Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

Kernel
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Re: "...charges of uttering threats..."

"I thought that was making a threat in a quiet voice."

It gets better - you can be charged with uttering a false document without even having opened your mouth - what a rich tradition of obscure usage lies beneath everyday English.

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SpaceX: Breach in liquid oxygen tank caused Falcon 9 fireball ... probably

Kernel
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Re: What is a dewer? And what is the NMR lab?

"I think a dewer is a glass of a particular single malt Whisky. :)"

No, that would also be a Dewar - you need to spend more time drinking whisky. :)

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BSODs of the week: From GRUB to nagware

Kernel
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Re: GRUB Loader crapping BECAUSE OF Windows..

" I installed windows 10 then ubuntu."

Yep, worked for me too without any problems - up/downgraded to Win10, resized the Windows partition then installed Mint on the free space - Grub was installed and dual boot happened without any extra trouble on my part.

I've never had any problem with Win10 and Mint dual boot.

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Rise of the Machines at Sea: The British firm building robot boats

Kernel
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Re: ColRegs?

"m concerned about Collision Regulations- Power gives way to Sail gives way to Fishing etc., so I assume roboboats would give way to everything."

It's not quite that simple - there are various exceptions under the general heading of "vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre", and "In construing and complying with these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these rules necessary to avoid immediate danger'.

In other words, if you are silly enough to sail your dinghy across the bows of a container ship you will probably a) get squashed, and b), be in legal trouble.

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Just not cricket: Microsoft's big data Googly called No Ball

Kernel
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Re: Just goes to show...

"That not everything can be solved purely by a computer."

Nice try, but I think some guy named Turing may have beaten you to it on this occasion.

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

Kernel
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Re: Mansfield bars

"If there is something about these Mansfield bars I'm missing that would make my statement incorrect, please enlighten me. Paris because I'm confused."

I believe the concept of a Mansfield bar is that the car takes the impact lower down on its body in an area of the subframe that is designed (in modern cars at least) to mitigate such impacts by collapsing in a controlled, energy absorbing, manner and triggering airbags, rather than across the windscreen where there is very little structural material between the driver's/passenger's heads and the comparatively sharp edge of the truck deck. I'm not an engineer, but I would suspect that the Mansfield bar would also tend to fold in under the deck, thus absorbing even more energy from the collision.

That said, there is still a definite requirement for the driver to be positively engaged in the process of keeping themselves alive and a Mansfield bar only improves your chances rather than guaranteeing survival.

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Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Kernel
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Re: Correlation does not imply causation

"Maybe I'm the only one worrying about a degree of decorum"

Yes, I think you're probably correct in that assumption.

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Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Kernel
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Re: so Desperation

"Also, CB radio today, ham bands next week...."

It's easy to make local rules about what can and can't be done on Ham bands - the tricky part of using them for commercial use is that you have no control over Hams in the rest of the world who, depending on their own county's regs, frequency and modulation mode, may be able to point directional antennas carrying several kilowatts of RF in pretty much any direction they feel like.

Ham frequency allocations are an international allocation under the authority of the ITU - it's not so easy to decide your going to sell some of it off.

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Kernel
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Re: Bubba Band is no more?

I think you'll find it's still very much alive a kicking in some parts of the US - the only thing I can't understand is how the FCC intends to regulate this, as CB is already pretty much a free-for-all.

They can't keep the CBers out of the amateur bands and they can't keep them within the CB power limits as it is, so how they think they are going track down and deal with Cooter and his mates when they blast a couple of very messy kilowatts over an LTE signal is anyone's guess.

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