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* Posts by Charles Manning

2963 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?

Charles Manning
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It's not just computers

Funification detatches people from the reality of just about everything from science to arts.

Chemistry is more than just fizz, bang and stink.

Consider what would be a typical classroom interaction today:

Kid: Miss, I've finished my macaroni collage. Do you think 'll be an artist?

Miss: Well done Johnny, you'll be a fine artist.

...

A more thruthful session would go something like:

Kid: Miss, Ive finished my macaroni collage. Do you think 'll be an artist?

Miss: Ok Johnny, compare it to what Pete and Suzy have done. If you're going to be a real artist you will have to learn to accept critisism and competition. The hard part of being an artist is selling enough to keep you solvent. You will need to find other ways to earn a living. Go join Betty who's over in the corner practicing flipping plasticine burgers.

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Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE

Charles Manning
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re: "The origin of sex goes back a lot further than fish."

Certainly, but that was not one-on-one penentrative sex, it was more akin to plants dumping their pollen and hoping some of it ends up where it is needed.

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Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST

Charles Manning
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Yawn, nothing new

Microsoft already released their watch. A decade ago. It was crap.

As for the watch in the picture. It is clearly a photoshop job. Seattle does not do cloudy and sunny, it does rain.

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Damage control (noun): When Microsoft's CEO kickstarts diversity plan after women pay gaffe

Charles Manning
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Real affirmative action would not look at school ties, geneder, race etc.

It would look at the individual and would correct for personal circumstances.

If you're a white male, raised by alcoholic trailer trash parents then surely you're more deserving of affirmative action than a black female raised by professional parents who nurtured you academically?

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Charles Manning
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Most ceilings in Western societies are self-imposed.

Dear AC, you seem to have hit the "I'll blame my lack of progress and gumption on toffs" ceiling.

We all have some obstacles. Some of us just give up at the first chance we get, then blame everyone else. "The little man just can't get ahead", blaah, blaah, blaah.

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Greedy datagrabs, crap security will KILL the Internet of Thingies

Charles Manning
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Pointlessness

That's what will really kill IoT.

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Lies, damn pies and obesity statistics: We're NOT a nation of fatties

Charles Manning
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Re: Moving the goals?

Or perhaps...

Your volume might go up according to the cube of your height, but your surface area goes up according to the square of your height.

If we say a fattie (or which I am one) has an average of F cm of fat under the skin, then the fat will be approx constant x F x height squared.

So maybe square is a fair measure?

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Antarctic ice at ALL TIME RECORD HIGH: We have more to learn, says boffin

Charles Manning
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"Done properly"... bollocks!

The Alkaselzer tab would have filled the bottle with almost pure CO2.

If he had done it prooperly he'd have put 400ppm CO2 in the bottle.

If you want to, repeat the experiment by blowing into the bottle. That would put approx 1% CO2 in the bottle.

That would have put the two lines so close together that other variables (eg. direction of the light) would have far bigger impact.

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

Charles Manning
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Re: According to the patent lobby...

I wrote some of the software that MS claimed was infringing. It was not, and MS finally backed down after a fight.

By my calculations, MS would have made somewhere between $50M and $100M out of my efforts.

When one of the phone vendors wanted me to investigate something, they offered no payment. I was feeling a bit grumpy that day and suggested they'd paid MS for the use of the software so perhaps they should ask MS for tech support too.

You can't get too twisted up about this because you'd just end up a bag of ulcers.

According to one of the lawyers I dealt with, MS has a huge patent portfolio that is well orgaised and indexed. They have people going through the patents and trying to see how these might be applied. Anything that looks like it might be close to infringing is thrown on the pile. This is a huge revenue stream for MS, so it pays to spend a few million per year organising it into a profitable money spinner.

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Man brings knife to a gun fight and WINS

Charles Manning
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Re: You Have Twenty Seconds To Comply

Nothing special about police dogs. They are just considered property like police cars etc.

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Internet of Things? Hold my beer, I got this: ARM crafts OS to rule them all

Charles Manning
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mbed is not new

Been around for at least a year or two.

The cloudy bit might be new though.

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Internet of Stuff: Chip rivals try to stop Cortex-M7 from flexing ARM’s muscle

Charles Manning
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The whole "article" is just cut&paste out of variouse press releases. The Quark stuff directly from Intel, the 8051 directly from Silicon Labs.

Only ARM covers all the bases from Coretex M0 (with devices starting at 28c that run for a year or more on a coin cell) to multicore application running Linux/whatever.

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Charles Manning
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Re: IPv6 ?

"Will this force usage of IPv6 soon?"

No.

When people speak of the IoT theny don't really mean that these devices are connected directly to the internet via IP.

What they mean is that these would be accessible via the internet. ie. you might have a "home controller" on the actual internet, but that uses Bluetooth etc to comunicate with the hundred or thousands of devices in your house (if you believe the hype).

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Charles Manning
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Re: Atmel

Atmel is an umbrella corporation. The ARM people have nothing to do with the AVR people.

The AVR people made their own top-end CPU a long time ago (AVR32). It was something amazing, but didn't pull in the customers.

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

Charles Manning
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It certainly is not as bad as Heartbleed

If you're running Ubuntu etc then the bash problem is already fixed.

The biggest problem with heartbleed is that there are a lot of embedded infrastructure devices (routers etc) that were vulnerable to heartbleed, but are very difficult - if not practically impossible - to fix.

Now in theory the same could apply here: the routers etc could, in theory, be running bash. However almost one of the embedded systems use bash for scripting. They almost all use busybox etc. That means they do not have this problem.

bahs is on servers, and some desktops. Those should all be on good patch streams, either due to being auto updated or through BOFHery.

So all this "Bigger than Heartbleed" crap is just a media beat-up.

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Charles Manning
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Re: Can you hear that sound?

"I think it's important to note that a lot of Debian systems will still be using bash as their default shell, even if dash is also available or installed."

.... and they're already fixed....

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Dotcom owns up: my name was 'poison'

Charles Manning
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Re: This bloke is deluded

" The I.M. campaign certainly got a lot of younger potential voters engaged "

Nonsense.

KDC's Internet party joined forces with the Mana party. They only got a 0.1% more votes than the Mana party did in 2011 even though they went from, essentialy, a Maori oriented party to a full spectrum party. They lost their existing MP.

While the NZ media, like any media, have biasses, it is KDC's own party that has throw him under the bus fastest.

http://tvnz.co.nz/vote-2014-news/internet-mana-made-mistake-kim-dotcom-laila-harre-6087161 Intenet party leader having a go at him

http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Where-to-now-for-Georgina-Beyer/tabid/506/articleID/55196/Default.aspx an internet/mana candidate

Did the youth turn out and vote? No. This election had the second lowest turn out ever.

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Charles Manning
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This bloke is deluded

KDC has an enormous ego and believes himself more than anyone else does.

He paid around NZD4.5M, getting a small number of votes - around NZ$700 per vote.

He ran a website trying to get people to pledge to vote - he got 422 pledges.

His "party" blames him for their humiliating loss.

His "moment of truth" email "proving" a conspiracy against him looks like the sort of fake a 10 year old might try. Even his party members think it is a fake.

Everyone in NZ is royally tired of him and most can't wait for his next extradition hearing to roll around in Feb next year.

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I saved Bitcoin and the PERFECT DRAFT OF HISTORY, says Assange

Charles Manning
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Vitamin D

Required for healthy brain function.

Assange is desperate to get himself relevant. Even jumping in the sack with Dotcom.

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City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub

Charles Manning
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Sounds just like medical school

Lots of short-bearded druids around no doubt.

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Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS

Charles Manning
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Paleontology

is a speculative art rather than a science. There's far too much assumtption and fanciful thinking to call this a real science.

From one tiny tooth fragment they'll claim a new dino species and make preposterous claims as to its size. Sure, some bones etc scale well, but some do not.

Imagine if you took girraffe bones and assumed the animal was more or less deer shaped. You'd end up with completely the wrong idea.

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California blue whale numbers soar to historical levels, say boffins

Charles Manning
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Re: TOO MANY HUMAN BEINGS?

"Maybe we're long overdue a cull?"

Volunteering, are you?

The problem with this horseshit reasoning is people want sacrafices to be made... but won't make them themselves.

Al Gore wants us all to go back to the stone age, except he needs his executive jet and power gobbling mansion because he has important work to do.

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Thieves steal more iPhones than any other handset, warns UK government

Charles Manning
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Careful with the numbers

These numbers are surely for those reported stolen. Where's the evidence they were really stolen?

Once a phone etc is getting a bit long in the tooth, some must surely be tempted to report it stolen to claim insurance and get a newer model.

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

Charles Manning
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"...And the orbit may also be altered so that its further away in future."

This was the astronomer's once-in-a-lifetime chance to be in the media. May as well dramatise - it makes their role in society seem more pressing.

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Charles Manning
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... or ....

25k miles/40k km is approx once around the world at the equator.

That is surely approx 3 earth cross sections/ 6 earth radii.

It is also 3.3 million London buses.

Sureley that's a far better benchmark for most people than a fraction of distance to the moon?

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Jony Ive: Apple iWatch will SCREW UP Switzerland's economy

Charles Manning
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status is subjective

Status is all in the mind of the person trying to make the statement and the intended audience.

Even animal print lycra is "status" in the right surroundings.

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Crack team weighs LOHAN's substantial box

Charles Manning
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Should have used British aeronautical technology.

Contents 1k

Box 100 quid

Shipping the rest

It would have been a lot cheaper to take a leaf from our WW2 forefathers and build with a sandwich composite construction (ala Mosquito). The box would have cost a bit more, but would have weighed a lot less and cost a fraction in shipping.... while also giving you the smugness of UK genetics giving you an advantage.

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Work in the tech industry? The Ukraine WAR is coming to YOU

Charles Manning
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Yup. had that in apartheid South Africa

I grew up in South Africa during the sanctions. There were many things we could not get - in theory. Of course it was available at inflated prices so the richest and most powerful could still get everything they wanted. It was the others that lost out - regardless of race or political persuasion.

Of course it makes everyone that imposes the sanctions feel very righteous.

Many governments were still doing lots of business with South Africa behind closed doors because that still allowed you to get stuff done in Africa.

My landlord (mid 1980s) was a multi-millionaire with a trucking business. He made a lot of money brokering food aid deals for various government releif organisaions (eg. Canadian govt). He openly told them he was from South Africa and how his operation worked: he would take products (eg. maize) in unmarked sacks to Botswana. From there his other fleet would take them to Zimbabwe and have Product of Zimbabwe labels applied, then send them off to whereever.

At the end of the day, he got the most aid through to help the most people with a documented paper trail showing stuff actually got there. Dates, times, photgraphs of recipients. Sure he took a hefty cut, but it was way better outcome than if they had run through the normal channels of corruption, bribery etc.

And being quiet, the Canadian public could still hold their heads high that they were not dealing with those terrible South Africans.

No doubt this all plays out pretty much the same in Russia. The bootleggers will just profit while western citizens get to feel smug.

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Intel goes high-fashion with wearable supermodel

Charles Manning
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Love the tech specs

So Intel have finally given up. No mention of MHz and Watts, just sell them snake skin... Makes sense, they've been selling the oil for ages.

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Isis Wallet, NOT an Islamist militant group, reborn as Softcard

Charles Manning
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Re: "In a bid to distance itself from a violent Islamist militant group..."

It's not just to protect yourself from stupid citizens either. The law enforcement types would likely shut them down for being money laundering operation. Not exactly the way to run a money transfer service.

After all, after 9/11 they had some semi-legitimate reason to attack targets in Afgahnistan, but instead attacked Iraq.... a whole 3000 km away.

Imagine bombing Moscow if you didn't like London's fish and chips! (London to Moscow is approx 3000km)

... or bombing Mexico because the Canadaina make maple syrup.

... or NZ becuae you hate kangaroos.

Nope. With this lot best not to take chances.

Just hope like hell some large unfriendly orgaisation does not spring up with Soft in its name :-).

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

Charles Manning
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Basically

If you're doing dumb shit that depends on a password for security...

and you depend on CNN for security advice...

You might as well just post it straight on wikipedia.

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Internet of Things: Major players agree on goals, but little else

Charles Manning
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Oh, we all know what the goals are...

Make tons of money out of... well... somebody.

The trillon sensor summit coming soon thinks that a year-on-year exponential increase in sensors can continue unchecked forever. http://www.tsensorssummit.org/Resources/Why%20TSensors%20Roadmap.pdf

This document is a nausiating mashup of "multi-physics" and "multi-biochemistry", electronic and nanomaterials. It promises Smart Cities, Smart Environment and Smart Water. It has all the buzzwords there to lure in the greedy investor.

Anongst other things it gravely warns: "Without focused commercialization efforts and availability of standardised development and manufacturing infrastructure, the developmen and scalability of sensors will be delayed, undoubtedly delaying Abundance."

Or in other words, buy up IVV6 routers or starving chindren will die of waterborn diseases in Africa.

As I have commented elsewhere, the vast majority of the people in the world live on $10/year or less and don't exactly have budget for anything beyond food and shelter. That means that less around 1 billion people will "need" to spend $15000 on 1000 sensors each in the next 8 years or so.

That's more than the annual household income of wealthy countries like USA.

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Drone captures shots of budding APPLE SPACESHIP HQ

Charles Manning
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walled garden

nuff sed.

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If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait

Charles Manning
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Re: Like an 8 pin dot matrix printer...

The media only hype because that's what the numpty readers read. People like hype and buzz.

Don't blame McDonalds for not making lentil burgers. Don't blame the media for serving their readers what they want.

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What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?

Charles Manning
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Do something.... anything....

Whenever something bad happens, or is percieved to have happened, politicians need to be seen to be doing something.... anything...

What they do need not actually have any positive effect. It just has to push the right buttons with the citizens to placate them.

That's why government is incremental.We very rarely see them saying a rule does not work, or is pointless, so they strike it. Generally the best they do is tweak it. That is all governments - the world over.

That's how we end up with daft laws that permit the use of headsets when driving when they are as distracting as hand held phones which are banned.

Does having gun licensing reduce gun crime? Maybe, ut unlikely by much. Criminals don't bother themselves with licenses etc. Toff paying 10 quid per year seldom rob banks. But what it does do is placate a whole swath of anti-gun people who tut-tut that at least it is better than in USA where any maniac can get gun.

Of course they don't realise that USA has a vast amount of gun laws - restricting all sorts of things - many seemingly very stupid. You can buy a whole rifle at Wallmart, but you need a federal firearms license to buy some parts (triggers, bolts,...).

In USA you need a special $200 permit to buy a supressor. In Australia they are illegal. In UK you can get it one with a regular license. In NZ they are unrestricted - anyone can buy one through the post or in a shop.

As a license holding NZ gun owner, I don't mind the idea of a gun license at all - even though it costs be about $10NZ per year. It does perhaps weed out some nutters, but mainly it makes the naysayers happy so they get out of my hair.

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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

Charles Manning
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Re: It's just the way it is...

"If they've been collecting money on your behalf, you should claw it back... :)"

Unfotunately they have been collecting it on behalf of themselves.

I got an email once from someone at HTC expecting some free technical support. It happened to be on a day when I was feeling rather pissy. I suggested they contact Microsoft for support since they were paying Microsoft.

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Charles Manning
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It's just the way it is...

I wrote an open source file system that has been used in many tens of millions of devices. I have not received one cent of royalties or donations from the people building devices or the flash vendors who have sold billions of dollars of flash that use the file system.

About the only people who have made money out of this are Microsoft through gouging "Android tax" and alleging that my code infringes copyright (a claim from which they subsequently backed down). By my back of the envelope calculations they probably made $50M or so out of open source use of my work.

But, hey, that's open source. If you get all worked up about it you'll just get ulcers.

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Brit chip biz CSR rebuffs US takeover bid from Microchip Technologies

Charles Manning
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Microchip

Microchip is a has been company with 1980s technology. They still own a lot of legacy space with their 8-bit micros, but that's fading.

They really need a new game to keep their head above water in the next few years.

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Feds salute plucky human ROBOT-FIGHTERS

Charles Manning
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"The phone channel has become the weakest link in protecting individuals and businesses from scams and fraud,"

Nonsense. Human greed is the weakest link.

You can't cheat an honest man and all that...

While there are people who think they can get something for nothing or can make a deal with a lawyer wanting to hide ONE HUNDRED MILION DOLARS: $100,000,000.00 there will be a people scammed... through the interwebs, phones or people knocking on doors.

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Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything

Charles Manning
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Re: And this differs from, say, what Microsoft have done for years .. how?

Exactly right. Nothing new at all. I've been in the electronics/software industry for over 30 years and it has always been thus.

Back in 1982 or so I worked for a company that used ICL kit. We had a huge line printer that came in two speed grades. We'd bought the low speed option and paida lot to get a speed upgrade.

The technician opened the case pulled out a jumper and closed the lid, leaving with the jumper in his pocket. Job done.

Does it really matter what the technician did to speed it up from 300lpm to 600? Nope. We saw value in the faster printer and were prepared to pay for the value. If this had been achieved by pulling a jumper, changing formware or installing new meachinery makes no difference.

When you buy a scope or whatever, you're buying a feature set, not hardware or software. How the manufacturer chooses to deliver the feature set is their damn business - not yours.

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Chipzilla gives birth to a TINY comms chip

Charles Manning
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Re: Looks big to me

"They could have used PoP for at least one pair of chips."

They do. The MCP thing at the bottom is essentially an PoP.

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/product/mcp/overview.

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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Charles Manning
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From where I sit...

It seems like everyone is going the other way... running from Windows CE/phone as fast as possible.

In the early 2000s, Windows CE was the platform of choice for mobile handheld profressional products (eg. top-end GIS producst like ESRI's ARCGIS). Now..... welll... nothig. They've switching to iphones and Androids. Many still have Windows phone support, but that's certainly no longer the conerstone of the mobile strategy.

I've been in this game a long time - since WinCE 1.x.. It's been all downhill since 2007/8.

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

Charles Manning
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Re: Why use the military?

Yes, the US National debt is mostly owned by its own citizens.... $10T out of $17T.

However,...

* only a paltry $7T is owed to foreigners, of which $4.5T is to China.

* The citizens are themselves in a hole greater than what Ucle Sam owes them. Sammy owes them $10T, but the citizenry owe $17T in private debt. Thus the citizens themsleves are in no position to dig a bit deeper.

* And then Sammy has a whole bunch of unfunded liabilities (eg. social security) which it owes (ie has promised) but has not yet had to pay, so don't yet show up as debt. That's $118T...

All in all, China could tear up their note and it wouldn't make any difference to the trajectory US is on. Any wonder that the Chinese don't want to trade in USD any more -even if they have a pile $5T high!

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Charles Manning
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Why use the military?

Why would China want to use the military to whack USA?

They can just sit back and watch USA destroy itself financially. Much easier than getting that messy red stuff all over you!

Anyway, it seems the Chinese have been able to get where they want for 7 years:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-492804/The-uninvited-guest-Chinese-sub-pops-middle-U-S-Navy-exercise-leaving-military-chiefs-red-faced.html

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MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS

Charles Manning
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spiders

No doubt lots of spiders to kill.

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Galileo! Galileo. Galileo! Galileo frigged-LEO: Easy come, easy go. Little high, little low

Charles Manning
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Re: They may be usable in these orbits

They're still usable in ANY orbit.... so long as they are predictable.

Pseudolites - fake satellites - are even positioned on the ground to help provide exta "satellites" when there are insufficient real ones in view.

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Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE

Charles Manning
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Tolerating Intolerance

If you don't tolerate intolerance, you're just back to where you started:effectively going back to the past where the church or the BBC or whatever were the gatekeepers of society.

Those who have the mindset of thinking they should be in a position to tell others what to do seldom seem contented with a backseat approach. Instead they slowly get more and more intrusive into other people's lives.

It is why government intrusion is always increasing, never decreasing. It is why we have crap like home owners' associations.

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Charles Manning
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Re: "teenagers hogging the phone line "

BY2K

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Government report: average Oz user will want 15 Mbps by 2023

Charles Manning
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Sure.... want away

But are they prepared to pay for it.

As the old saying goes: want in one hand and crap in the other and see which gets filled first.

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Charles Manning
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Fool me once....

shame on you.

Fool me TWICE, shame on ME!

You are a victim of your own thinking, not a victim of Microsoft.

Silly whiny-pants author. Don't like it? Don't use it!

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