* Posts by Suricou Raven

1026 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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Mobiles at school could be MAKING YOUR KID MORE DUMBER

Suricou Raven
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Re: They actually allow phones to be switched on during class?

It's not hard to hide a phone under a desk, or to quickly slip it beneath a book when the teacher is heading their way.

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Virtual reality pr0n on the Rift? 'Why not?' says Oculus founder

Suricou Raven
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I see another market open.

Third-party accessories!

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/XzJ0RHjmaYU/maxresdefault.jpg

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HTTP/2 is now utterly officially official

Suricou Raven
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Re: It should be dead anyhow

It has a few useful features:

- Server pushing. That means lower loading times on complex websites, as are fairly common these days. Rather than the browser and server playing tennis, the server can send the required resources in anticipation of the browser's need.

- Multiplexing of responses. Doesn't matter really for static content, but very useful for dynamically generated.

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BARMY bio-boffins are growing DINOSAUR SNOUTS on CHICKENS

Suricou Raven
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Or a cassowary. Those things are basically dinosaurs by most definitions. They haven't evolved far off the ancestral type. The only reason they don't kill people is an inability to aim higher than knee-height - against an animal of their own size, they are quite capable of slicing a target open with a kick from their sharp-clawed feet.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: So now ....

A different group of scientists did just the teeth years ago. This is the first lot to get the whole beak.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: It tastes just like chicken

There is no need to prove it wasn't: A world in which it is true is indistinguishable from a world in which it is false, and so the question can have no defined answer. Not only can it not be proven or disproven by practical means, it cannot be answered by any means.

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All-Russian 'Elbrus' PCs and servers go on sale

Suricou Raven
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Re: A decent market

Don't think it's a commie thing: America has had that in law since the Buy American Act of 1933, later strengthened in specific areas by laws such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 and the Surface Transportation Assistance Act 1982.

They specify that the government needs to make all purchases from American companies by preference, even if they are more expensive. Only if no American company can be found to supply the required item can they consider importing from another country. It's a blatant form of protectionism.

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Hey! Want a FREE TOASTER that makes BITCOIN? What? You DO?

Suricou Raven
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Re: Erm....

I'd use the chip from an old Yellowjacket or similar. About 2GH/s on 2.5W, as it runs straight off USB, and really cheap now if you buy second-hand, as everyone is dumping them in favor or more efficient modern chips.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Free Leccy

Revise plan: Off-grid solar gives free power in excess. You need to have enough capacity to run on a cloudy day in winter, which means you have an excess in summer and when the weather is better. BC mining can be turned on and off with ease, so it might make some level of maybe-sense to use it as a 'dump load' - a place to productively dispose of excess power when the batteries are full and the sun is shining. Truly 'free' power, because it would only go to waste otherwise.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Losing money for the consumer

Could be a good deal. Get your toaster dirt cheap, then open it up and cut the power lines to the miner and communications chips.

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Suricou Raven
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"Finding the winning hash when mining on your own is purely probabilistic, so if you have a miner capable of 350GH/s, your chance of finding the winning hash for any block is 1 in 1,000,000."

A problem reduced by mining pools, which are essential for all but the largest miners now. It's basically the same as a lottery pool: Everyone agrees to donate their hashing capacity into a common pot, and split the winnings according to the ratio of their contributions. Your expected payout is almost the same (Less around a 1% fee for the pool manager), but it comes in small and regular payments rather than a once-in-a-blue-moon jackpot when you manage to score a valid block.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Where does the electricity go?

I remember reading about another company (Probably on the Reg) trying to make a model out of combined heat and compute service: Get a cloudy rack in your office building to warm the place up. It's exactly as efficient as an electric heater (ie, 100%, by conservation). They manage all the software stuff and pay you a monthly fee. They don't pay for the power, so from the customer's expensive it's just a rather bulky electric space-heater that sends a bank deposit each month.

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OMFG – Emojis are killing off traditional 'net slang

Suricou Raven
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Re: What the hell is an Emjoi?

They have space in Unicode now - that's what makes them interoperable. Mostly. There's a lag between a manufacturer (Usually Apple) introducing some new symbols and the unicode standardisation process.

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Telco heavyweights pass packets in NFV demo

Suricou Raven
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I can see some applications for this, and I'm not sure I like them.

This would make it much easier to offer services on a per-customer basis: You can just tag traffic at the customer's modem or using a simple one-off IP address lookup when it enters your network, and then easily shunt it around through whatever optional extras they have asked/paid for.

It'll be especially handy for those new porn filters the government has been firmly nudging towards - you can use tags to send only the traffic for the filtered customers through the proxy, rather than having to use some hideously ugly load-balancer mess to try to keep up with the flows using only the IP address. That makes it more affordable to offer fine-grained control.

Or you could use it to supply some 'value added' services, like transparent HTTP-inspecting antivirus.

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Avengers: Age of Ultron – blisteringly big banter, brawls and brio

Suricou Raven
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Release date?

When does it come out on 720p torrent?

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Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

Suricou Raven
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Re: My first thought

4) Terms of acceptability.

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'Leaked' EU digi wish list: Junkets for Eurocrats, sops to copyright and telcos

Suricou Raven
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Re: VAT?

VAT is not sales tax. They both look the same from the end-purchaser's perspective, but the accounting behind them in the supply chain is different.

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Suricou Raven
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They actually saved money - that's why they did it - because the new physical limit means they don't need to license Sky's expensive enryption and DRM system.

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AssangeTM ♥s dictator Kim Jong-un say Sony Pictures' lawyers

Suricou Raven
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My favorites include the things relating to Dr Oz - he who has recently faced professional condemnation for pushing quackery in order to improve his audience appeal. Sony's strategy documents shed more light on this - they don't have 'smoking gun' instructing him to lie, but they do record that he was directed to promote more stories about 'health products' because they tend to get higher ratings, and warned that he was running too many weight-loss segments that made his audience feel fat and less likely to watch more.

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Google has tested its speedy QUIC internet protocol on YOU – and the early results are in

Suricou Raven
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Oh, joy.

Another session of firewall-and-filter configuring.

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Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

Suricou Raven
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Digitise vinyl? It's easier to just download it off a torrent site.

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The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

Suricou Raven
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Re: ... IoT devices generally have no real world advantage over their dumb counterparts ...

I've been thinking the same. I came up with some very niche luxuries, but nothing life-changing.

- Preemptive heating: Check the weather forecast and act accordingly.

- The 'house is empty' button. Press to turn off all lights, sound systems, games consoles and TVs, and reduce heating. Checks with the front door too - if the door doesn't confirm proper closure within one minute, texts you to remind you to close it.

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Suricou Raven
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You can simplify it further - just put the label in a human-readable format, then the iron needs no extra hardware. The operator just has to glance at the label and turn a dial.

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Nvidia's GTX 900 cards lock out open-source Linux devs yet again

Suricou Raven
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Perhaps there is another problem with the business model.

Nvidia sells cards that can be swapped between performance level with a firmware trick. Market segmentation at work: They deliberately cripple their low-cost products in order to prevent them from competing with the much-higher-margin high-performance parts. I understand the business case, but it still has the whiff of something slimy about it - especially when Nvidia have to go to the further measure of deliberately building in anti-tamper measures with the express purpose of stopping their customers from using their purchases to their full potential.

Still, it's not just Nvidia - it's really a very common practice throughout the industry. I've seen plenty of RAID cards that won't enable write caching unless you install a crypto-authenticated £300 battery, and the console gaming industry would be quite different if manufacturers couldn't use such measures to shift the effective cost from console to games. Goes all the way back to the old mainframes, which I am vaguely aware sometimes shiped with features disabled until the vendor was paid extra to remove the limiters. I expect AMD does the same.

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This open-source personal crypto-key vault wants two things: To make the web safer ... and your donations

Suricou Raven
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FPGA?

Seems a bit overkill for this. You don't need high-performance for this - you're limited by that serial link anyway. You could do this with a USB-serial converter, a PIC chip, and a crude hardware RNG. Cost about five quid, mass-produced.

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Dev gives HBO free math tips to nail Game of Thrones pirate leakers

Suricou Raven
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Obvious idea.

I had this idea years ago - only my variation was using slight edits to scenes. One version has a banana in the fruit bowl, one an orange. Static changes in shots with no moving camera so they are almost trivial to apply. Sixteen of those gives you 65,536 different versions.

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Four boggling websites we found hidden in the BitTorrent network using the Maelstrom browser

Suricou Raven
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Re: Freenet / Entropy

The level of indirection needed to ensure users cannot be tracked also comes with a considerable performance penalty: They are rather slow.

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National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

Suricou Raven
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Re: White pylon

Vertical turbines do have one advantage though: Reliability. They have one moving part. A pivoting turbine has the rotor, usually angleable blades, slip rings designed to handle the weight of generator and gearbox, more complicated lubrication that needs monitoring. They actually need servicing, a vertical rotor turbine is almost fit-and-forget. That's a big advantage in small-scale installations where you don't want the cost of on-site engineer visits.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Nice website

Turbines can't feed into those transmission lines directly - serious voltage mismatch. You could almost make it work, but you'd need a bunch of switchgear and a big transformer down the bottom - and if you need that, it'd be more efficient to use multiple turbines all hooked up to a common substation.

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Artificial intelligence, filesystems, containers ... Amazon showers cloud gold on devs

Suricou Raven
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NFS?

This should be fun. NFS is a fine protocol for LAN use, but a little latency will cripple it.

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Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much

Suricou Raven
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Re: A school owns patents?

They aren't just a school - they are a research institution. That means they churn out innovative ideas as one of their primary functions, so it's hardly surprising they'll have patents.

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Tape thrives at the margin as shipped capacity breaks record

Suricou Raven
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Re: Best of Luck to you.

Never trust your data to any drive. Or to any tape.

You trust it to at least two drives or tapes.

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

Suricou Raven
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Re: Anarchist's Cookbook

I remember seeing thermite on Mythbusters - they mixed two secret ingredients from unlabeled bottles, which the presenter mockingly referred to as 'blur' and 'blur' to demonstrate his annoyance at the studio censorship.

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Suricou Raven
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Not exactly needed. The Anarchists Cookbook is a living document - as it circulates people add their own recipies, and remove those they consider unreliable. It's always been like that. A lot of the instructions in it are unreliable or ineffectual.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Feelgood Legislation one step away from Fahrenheit 451

Reminds me of the old Comstock laws that prohibited distributing any information relating to contraception - by declaring that the subject was 'obscene' by nature, and thus not protected by the first amendment.

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Suricou Raven
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I have it. I've never actually used it - I skimmed briefly. I just knew that lots of people were calling for it to be banned, and that attracted my curiosity, so I downloaded it to see what the fuss was about.

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Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

Suricou Raven
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The Onan thing. If you just read one verse, it looks like it condemns masturbation: Onan 'spills his seed upon the ground' and God smites him. If you read the full story you see a bigger picture. Family lines were vitally important in that society, so much that they practiced 'levite marriage' - if a man died childless, his wives would be inherited by his brother, who was then obliged to impregnate one and produce a child. This child was then considered the legal child of the deceased, ensuring the continuation of the line. In a time when many social duties were the specific task of a certain tribal line, and the vast majority of men inherited the occupation of their father, this really was important. Onan disliked his bother though, and out of spite he pulled out in an effort to avoid impregnating his inherited wife - an action that not only went against religious techings, but undermined the preservation of family lines and threatened the structure of society. That is why God smote him.

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Suricou Raven
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The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's an offshoot of the Mormon church that still condemns and forbids interracial marriage. There used to be a great many churches that forbid interracial marriage, including the Mormon church itsself - almost all of them have now revised that position, but a few stubborn holdouts remain. The FLDS split from the Mormons over that issue and a couple of others, insisting that the majority of the church had compromised their teachings for the sake of modern social acceptability.

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Suricou Raven
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It's a very deliberate phrase. It stems from a need to deny the existance of homosexuality as an inherent characteristic: If it were something people couldn't help, afflicting them by chance or nature, then it wouldn't be fair to discriminate against them. To do so would be no better than racism. So instead anti-gay campaigners go to some length to seperate the sexuality from the person. They do not talk about a person as a homosexual: They talk about someone who has 'chosen to live a gay lifestyle' or who 'struggles with same-sex attractions.' Present it as a choice, because it's a lot easier to condemn someone for a choice.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Is there no refuge?

This has always been the conflict of tolerance: To what extend must you tolerate another person's intolerance? Or phrased another way, what happens when one person is granted the legal right to deny the legal right of another person?

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Suricou Raven
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My moral compass generates a list of people I should punch in the face. It's a short list, but not zero-length.

I don't imagine it'd do much - I'm not very strong and have never been in a fight, so they'd probably shrug it off. But it's the attempt that matters.

Top of the list is one Bryan Fischer, who has previously argued that all gay men seek to rape children in order to recruit them into the 'gay lifestyle,' and most recently made the news by giving a monologue arguing that the recent plane suicide was to be blamed on the pilot's secret homosexuality.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: It's called freedom, folks

The general rule is to substitute 'gay marriage' for 'interracial marriage.' Should a business owner be allowed to refuse their service to interracial couples? Does his matter how strongly they believe interracial marriage is sinful and wrong?

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Suricou Raven
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Now, I must correct you on this: There is nothing in the bible that forbids masturbation anywhere. Not a word. That's quite an ommission - considering how common it is, if God objects you'd expect him to mention it somewhere.

You're quite right about the mixed fibers and divorce though.

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So, you know those exciting movie-style 3D visual cyber attack ops centres?

Suricou Raven
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Sounds expensive.

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Google and Obama: You’re too close for comfort

Suricou Raven
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"Google’s world – at least in the short-term – is one where the individual has no privacy, and cannot control or own the stuff they use."

Sounds a lot like Apple's world, and Microsoft's world.

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Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

Suricou Raven
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Re: I'm suprised

The political consequences would have been unacceptable - if a country doesn't respect the agreements regarding one embassy, then other countries may become reluctant to operate their own. Embassies are very useful things to have.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: @Velv

But remember that he is paranoid, and arguably justifiably so. In his mind, and possibly in reality, the potential outcome of playing along would be much worse: He goes peacefully to Sweden, strings get pulled behind the scenes, and he finds himself framed for a string of sex offenses long enough to have him imprisoned for life. Or the US files an extradition request, he gets handed over, disappeared into Quantanimo Bay, faces a few weeks of torture before finally getting thrown into an 8x10 grey-painted room where the closest he'll ever come to human contact again is a glimpse of the person sliding his dinner tray through the slot in the door.

It doesn't matter if you agree with him that this is a realistic outcome: He has reason to believe it to be realistic, and acted accordingly by fleeing the law for as long as possible and resorting to any form of desperate trickery to retain his freedom. He can't trust the British government, who are certainly close to the US and have an extradition agreement. He can't trust the Swedish government. He can't trust any government at all, but at least Equador must have seemed like the safest bet at the time.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

They would, yes. And by this point, the MET have spent enough millions of pounds guarding the embassy to make sure he doesn't leave that they can't really let him go. The term for skipping bail though is likely to be a lot shorter than a term for rape*. I imagine his biggest fear about that isn't going to prison: It's that once he is enjoying a stay at her majesty's pleasure, the US will decide to up their game, charge him with something (anything will do) and try to have him extradited directly. They can't really let him go unpunished because he would serve as an inspiration to others who might wish to compromise their security and embarass the country.

*I know it's a bit more complicated than that, but rape is accurate enough for these purposes.

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Well.That.Sucks: New rude dot-word sparks outrage

Suricou Raven
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Will Dyson be the first to apply for a subdomain?

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Want that awesome new Apple TrackPad? Don't get a MacBook Pro

Suricou Raven
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Glue is pretty common in phones, tablets and the very thinnest of laptops. It's part of the 'quest of thinness,' a mission in which Apple leads. The latest macbook air is so thin they had to reduce key displacement, and even the macbook pro lost the ethernet port because the bottom half needed to be thinner then the height of an RJ45 connector. When things get that thin, there just isn't enough material for a screw to grip securely: Glue is the only way to go. The Surface tablets do the same. It lets the manufacturers achieve extreme thinness, which is what many buyers desire - but it comes at the expense of repairability.

An extreme case is the macbook air battery: An enclosure on the battery would add too many fractional millimeters, so the cells are glued directly to the chassis. That means it's impossible to replace the chassis without also replacing the batteries, and vice versa: Any attempt to separate the two would at the very least destroy the batteries, and likely cause them to ignite. Sure enough, when Apple do a battery replacement on that model they replace the lower chassis too.

As electronics enthusiasts have been increasingly grumbling every year for the last two decades, modern electronics just aren't made to be repaired. The trend towards miniaturization has led to that. Commonplace components increasingly replaced with dedicated black-box chips impossible to replace, hand-solderable components turning into first surface-mount fiddleys, then BGA impossibilities, circuit boards growing in number of layers so circuits become impossible to even see, let alone follow. Functions that used to be done in understandable but bulky arrays of logic chips and analog components being replaced with inscrutable microcontrollers driven by secret firmware. It isn't just computers, it's everything more complex than a kitchen kettle.

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