* Posts by Suricou Raven

1074 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

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The Raspberry Pi is succeeding in ways its makers almost imagined

Suricou Raven
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Raspberry pi for a netball scoring system?

That's ridiculous overkill. You could make that on an arduino. Or a PIC chip. Or a few 4000 series logic chips.

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Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so

Suricou Raven
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Re: Advantages for the Average Joe

COW lets linux do the 'previous versions' thing that Windows can do, but better. It makes rolling back system changes or documents trivial.

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Embracing the life-changing qualities of USB power packs and battery extenders

Suricou Raven
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Re: I hate USB3 -radiates like crazy in the same bands as lots of other stuff

Actually grounding the ground at both ends isn't always a good idea. It can do weird things when long cables are grounded at both ends, or when the who-knows-how-it-is-wired UPS is involved.

It's a hazard well-known to electronics engineers: The non-obvious ground connection that burns out the input stage on your £600 oscilloscope. It's why they keep an isolation transformer on a little altar next to the workbench and offer up a prayer to it before getting out the probes.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Suricou Raven
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There comes a point when money ceases to be a tool of resource acquisition and becomes a means of keeping score.

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Germany says no steamy ebooks until die Kinder have gone to bed

Suricou Raven
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Re: So it's OK to invade Poland...

You don't have to keep all that loathing for yourself. Russia is suitable for insulting too.

Putin has invented a whole new form of warfare: Implausible deniability.

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A close shave: How to destroy your hard drives without burning down the data centre

Suricou Raven
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Not sulfuric acid.

Tried that already, while attempting to copper-plate platters. The ultra-thin coating on the surface, whatever it is, serves as very effective acid-proofing.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Irradiate the drives

A big sticker reading 'EXPLOSIVE CHARGE OXYGEN DETONATED' and an obvious plug in the equaliser port should at least buy a couple of days while they call in the bomb squad.

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Suricou Raven
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They do lose their field when heated, but not at 200°C. The temperature is material dependent, and you'll have to go a lot higher than that.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Remove platters

If you're careful you can operate on a drive without a cleanroom. I wouldn't trust the drive after, but it can be done. I've done it - replaced the cover of a drive with a plastic panel so the insides could be seen. It was intended as a working demonstration drive for an IT class.

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IWF shares 'hash list' with web giants to flush out child sex abuse images online

Suricou Raven
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Ok, pedos:

You all know what a password-protected zip is, right?

Seriously, anyone with child abuse imagery would have to be a moron of legendary scale to upload the pics to Facebook.

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Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

Suricou Raven
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Re: Safety?

Exploding li-ion cells are usually due to an internal short. An external fuse wouldn't help. Poor charging practice (over-charging, charging too fast, neglect of temperature monitoring or a mechanical mounting that compresses the cells) causes damage to the insulator inside. Once it shorts even a little the heat produced quickly causes additional damage that quickly leads to thermal runaway and boom.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Am I missing something?

There are two things that I am never going to buy off eBay: Fire extinguishers and condoms.

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Suricou Raven
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Humans are terrible at assessing risk. They overestimate risks that involve something spectacular, or that are the work of an active agent, or are so rare as to be highly reported. Exploding batteries are both spectacular and highly reported. They underestimate risks of events for which there is no responsible agent or that happen so often as to be no longer worth reporting upon, like traffic accidents.

My favorate example: In each period of a little over a month, the US loses as many citizens to traffic accidents as it lose in the 9/11 terrorist attack. Yet the country has not declared a 'war on roads,' or spent trillions on road safety investments. Road deaths are boring, no-one cares about them, but people live in fear of terrorist attack - even though they are many times more likely to be hit by a car than bombed by a terrorist.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: A battery charging a battery

That used to work. Then manufacturers started struggling to meet consumer demands for ever-thinner phones. When you need to make them no more than a few mm thick or they won't sell, anything that adds thickness must be cut. That includes removable batteries - which require the thickness of plastic each side of the cell and an extra removable back cover on the phone. Consumers may like replacable batteries, but not enough to accept an extra 2mm thickness.

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Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

Suricou Raven
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Citation needed?

There's a book called The Gay Swastika that made that assertion, but in terms of historical credibility it's on about the same level as The Da Vinci Code.

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Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

Suricou Raven
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Re: 2016

The democrats want to lock him up for decades after a trial. The republicans want to declare him a traitor and execute him right away.

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Speed freak: Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB PCIe SSD

Suricou Raven
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Re: Give me a PCIe card

Try looking at the Samsung SM951. It's not quite up to the same performance as the Intel 750, as it's an ACHI device (With promises of an NVMe in the pipeline), but it's still bloody fast. 512GB capacity, and a whole lot cheaper than the HyperX or 750.

If you wait a few months you might be able to get the promised NVMe version of the SM951.

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Suricou Raven
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You can provide reliability at a higher level. The btrfs filesystem does almost exactly as you describe: Everything it stores, it stores with checksum. If data it corrupted the check will not match and it will detect the error. If you've set it to provide protection too, it'll have another copy it can use for recovery.

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Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

Suricou Raven
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Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

They have pretty vicious teeth. I can't see a fox managing to bite an adult human fatally, but I can easily envision a trip to A&E for some stitches and a bit of a scar.

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Is that a FAT PIPE or are you just pleased to stream me? TERABIT fibre tested

Suricou Raven
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Re: I'm not a telco engineer but...

Bits-per-hertz is actually a simper way of saying exactly the same thing, yes. You're quite right. The bits-per-second-per-hertz unit is stated that way because it relates the number back to the situation in which it would be applied in the real world.

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Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

Suricou Raven
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What about purely non-fun uses?

A VR headset can be a good way to shove a great deal of information into a person's perception without needing a bulky multi-monitor setup and in a quite small physical footprint. Just need to get high enough resolution in the panels, and that's a solvable problem. You've potentially got a good interface for those who have to coordinate very-high-information systems. Air traffic control, military command, network operations, real-time social network moderation, industrial control.

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Assange™ celebrates third year in Ecuadorian embassy broom closet

Suricou Raven
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Re: What is Ecuador getting from this?

Maybe it is a sense of international justice. Or it might be publicity - standing up for a popular individual on the run from the oppressive US makes them look good to a lot of people. Or perhaps he is a bargaining chip for future use - if they ever need a low-level concession during some negotiations with the UK, the US or Sweden, they can offer him up in return.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: What prison sentence would he be looking at if found guilty?

Time served only counts if in custody, and it doesn't matter: Assange believes the charges are part of a conspiracy, lead by the US, to discredit and imprison him for his role in disseminating classified information. I do not know if this is true, but it does sound plausible and the timing is certainly suspicious. He is concerned that if he went to Sweden for 'questioning' he would arrive to find a string of trumped-up charges sufficient to imprison him for decades, or else a convenient extradition request to the US where he could be disappeared into a secret prison for the rest of his life. He is avoiding trial because he does not believe it would be a fair trial.

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OK, forget DNS for a sec. Why not shift IP addresses and protocols away from Uncle Sam?

Suricou Raven
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Re: ICANNT BELIEVE THEY PAY US FOR THIS

The purpose of those names is to be easily readable and learnable to humans. This means some names are going to be more valuable than others, possibly very highly valuable. It also means some are going to be trademarks. This in turn means you need the legal system involved, and so a degree of centralization and administration to allow judgments to be enforced.

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Jurassic World: All the meaty ingredients for a summer blockbuster

Suricou Raven
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Re: To quote from Mock the Week...

They don't need insurance. Everyone remembers what happened to the last lawyer to try to close the park.

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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

Suricou Raven
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There was an Outer Limits episode that addressed the slavery thing. Aliens came to enslave a group of humans, and one of the humans went so far as to point out that this was silly: Any civilization that can build starships has no need of human slaves.

The alien explained it very simply: Their culture considers the use of mechanical labor 'demeaning.' Presumably slaves serve for them as a form of status symbol: Anyone can afford a robot, but having slaves to tend to their needs is the mark of true wealth.

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The weapons pact threatening IT security research

Suricou Raven
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Age has an advantage too, though sheer experience. Those who have been working in a field for a decade know all the odd little quirks and the backwards-compatibility features that might lead to a vulnerability.

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Suricou Raven
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Not even effective.

I like the intent of prohibiting export of censorship tools, but what's the point? This is now super-sophisticated code: Any halfway-advanced country could just develop their own. Hell, I could knock up a program for searching for forbidden terms in HTTP requests and sending TCP RST packets like the GFWC does - it wouldn't be as sophisticated or as scaleable as theirs, but it'd work.

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Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Suricou Raven
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No drying. That sort of coolant doesn't evaporate. You have to let it drip off, and you'll never get the thin slime off completely.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: hard drives?

The He6 has a niche then.

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Intel adopts 40Gb per SECOND USB-C plug for Thunderbolt 3.0

Suricou Raven
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Re: Price

Thunderbolt is the new Firewire. It's superior to USB3 in most ways, but it's also insanely expensive - and who cares, when USB is 'good enough?' There is no consumer application that might require more bandwidth than USB3 can provide, so thunderbolt is stuck in the same niche as Firewire once occupied: High-end AV gear and super-fast external drives.

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What sort of tit builds non-bird bird boxes? Vodafone

Suricou Raven
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Re: improving cell coverage

Churches have long doubled as antenna towers. They are usually the tallest building for some distance around, and are already built and connected to power and phone lines. It's cheaper to rent a cupboard at the top of the tower than to construct and cable a purpose-built mast.

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The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found

Suricou Raven
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Re: Future mineral reserve creation

Rubbish mines have another advantage: Accessibility. You don't need to dig deep shafts to reach any deposits, landfills are right there on the surface.

I don't know how 'rich' landfills are though. Maybe once in the distant past things were more worth reclaiming - but the waste of today, even the electronic waste, looks pretty poor. Everything is plastic, and the electronics have gone down in volume a lot - you no longer find stacks of circuit boards in most appliances, just one tiny controller. Not much money to be had in that, even if you invented a magical low-cost separation machine.

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Suricou Raven
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Re: mental illness...

If one person believes something crazy, it's a delusion. If a hundred people believe, it's a cult. If a million believe, it's a religion.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Evidence.

Don't forget the ice layers and magnetic rocks.

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Suricou Raven
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Appropriately enough, the term 'Garden of Eden state' defines any state in a state machine for which there is no entry transition. Such a state cannot be reached during operation, but may be used as a starting state.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: mental illness...

I care, because they vote, and their inaccurate information leads them to inaccurate conclusions.

"Resource conservation? Recycling? What's the point of that, God is going to end the world soon."

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Observable and repeatable

The YEC would simply explain that the grand canyon wasn't formed by a little water and a lot of time, but by a lot of water in a little time - it was carved out by the Flood, a deluge of biblical proportions that scoured the earth into what we see today.

You could do much better by finding some limestone still forming and measuring the very, very slow rate at which it accumulates, and calculating how long it took your slab to form.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Understand modern theology!

Most YECs are from fundamentalists churches. Most of them believe the Pope is a heretic, though they will keep quiet about that when political expedience suggests an alliance with the Catholic church for mutual political gain.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Evidence.

The really impressive trick was walking a few thousand light years in the direction of each extra-galactic object and dropping all those photons pointing towards Earth, ready to be observed by future astronomers.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Evidence.

The standard YEC excuse is to reject the dating. They do not deny the existence of fossils - they claim the fossils were formed during the great flood, as (literal) mountains of sediment rapidly buried organisms. They go on to explain that the 'scientists' who see the fossils as millions of years old have their judgment clouded by their rejection of Christ - they cannot accept a young age, because to do so would by to admit their own fallibility and lend support to the bible that they hate.

It's almost a half-decent argument - and if it was being used to condemn one form of dating, it would actually sort-of work. Scientists make mistakes. The problem for YECs is that their chronology is in contradiction with carbon dating, potassium dating, polonium halo dates, light-lag distance dates and minimum dates, lunar helium-3 accumulation rates, extrapolated tectonic movement rates, genetic drift common-ancestor dating calculations, common-ancestor ERVs, stellar evolutionary models, observed supernova expansion clouds, archaeological dating, historical records and dendrochronology. I could accept that scientists in one field might make an error rather than admit that everything they know is wrong, but for scientists in so many different and entirely unrelated fields to all make the same mistake is utterly ridiculous.

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Sex disease surge in US state partly blamed on hook-up apps

Suricou Raven
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Where does it say that? Heterosexual transmission overlook homosexual a long time ago, and far outpaces it now.

Perhaps it means 'within the US.' That sounds more plausible.

If you think gays have no other options, your sexual imagination is very limited. Oral sex works perfectly well regardless of gender.

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Suricou Raven
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I too am very surprised at this - and if this story is picked up by wider news sites, I expect the apps to gain in popularity.

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Suricou Raven
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Trying to stop STIs by telling people to stop having sex is like trying to stop obesity by telling people to eat less. It would be good advice if they followed it - and very few will.

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EU net neutrality could kneecap the Tories' opt-out pr0n filter plans

Suricou Raven
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Re: What has Network Neutrality got to do with this

I expect they track every site you visit regardless, at the behest of GCHQ.

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Suricou Raven
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If a filter blocks 99% of all porn, that means the average length of a search is 100 attempts to get around it - which doesn't take very long.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: @PeterGriffin

Probably because he made a sensational claim without citing a source.

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Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Suricou Raven
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Physics says no: An antenna needs to be specifically sized for the intended frequency. You could use an approach like that for near-field coupling (Like those hearing-aid loops), but the frequency would have to be very low and so you're not going to move much data with that idea.

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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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