* Posts by Charles Manning

2983 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

Charles Manning
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Indeed. We get the same crap about "poverty" here in NZ too.

Having grown up in rural Africa, this notion of Western poverty riles me no end.

I'd love to load a bunch of beneficiaries on a plane and send them to live in Africa for a week. Or, perhaps, to give them the full experience, send them by small ship in steerage.

The worst off 10% of people in UK, NZ etc still live easier lives - with more material wealth ans social support - than 90% of the people in the rest of the world.

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Skinny Ubuntu Linux 'Snapped' up by fat Microsoft cloud

Charles Manning
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Slimmed down... bah!

If you want a small Linux build then build something with buildroot.

It is easy to build a whole system (kernel + rootfs) that's less than 5M.

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No wristjob, please, we're Apple fans: Just 10% would buy the Apple Watch

Charles Manning
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If Apple sold blood

they'd line up for transfusions.

There are at many fanbois out there that will buy anything new from Apple, no matter on how stupid it looks or how well it functions.

More than 10%? Perhaps.

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Let's vote on breaking up Google, say MEPs with NO power to do any such thing

Charles Manning
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Let's looking at breaking up EU

If big isn't good for business, then maybe it isn't good for political entities either.

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Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW

Charles Manning
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Re: Intel never really got the "new embedded"

"Early embedded chips were just old desktop devices with narrower buse".

Sorry, I've been developing embedded systems for 30 years and I must disagree. If anything it is the other way around. Some embedded CPUs were used to make the first desktops.

Sure there have been some x86s put into embedded service, but they've never been more than single-digit-percent players.

Intel have dabbled in the embedded market often, but then dumped the industry - leaving them high and dry.

The part that really stumps Intel is how to make money from embedded and other low margin parts. The Intel corporate DNA is constructed around the concept of spending hundreds of millions to develop a new desktop/server chip, then sell them for hundreds of dollars each. This is a very high margin business.

Embedded systems and phones are a low margin business. 8-core ARM-based smartphone SoCs (eg. Allwinner) sell for about $10. You need to sell millions to break even, then millions more to be profitable.

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Charles Manning
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Darwin? A joke surely?

Perhaps Darwin has influenced people - but only indirectly.

I bet less than one in ten who talk about Darwin have ever read his writing. At best, most people have just read the overview in Wikipedia.

While Darwin has some interesting things to say, the book is heavy going. I've been reading it slowly over the last year. Not exactly a thriller.

As much as the bible is full of craziness, at least the people who use it as their guiding book tend to actually read it.

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Texas boffins put radio waves in a spin

Charles Manning
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Waveguide?

Ummm... down a waveguide?

A waveguide is essentially a pipe for RF to "flow" down.

A cellphone that has to be connected back to a tower by a pipe is going to look strange.

Perhaps Apple will be able to turn it into a "must have" cool feature for fanbois.

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Charles Manning
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Re: The solution is always...

If the answer isn't "we need more toys and funding", then refine the question....

Even though physiciast are on the quest for truth, they are still human and are desirous of an ego-rub, nice houses etc.

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Ericsson boss sticks a pin in Google’s loony Loon bubble

Charles Manning
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Re: Not a panacea

"Network can help develop rural economies..." said by a person that' probably never been to a third world country and understands the obstacles.

I've lived in some of the more remote areas of rural South Africa - which is many rungs up the ladder from other third world nations. My sister still runs health clinics there, paying for everything herself.

Programs like providing tractors to help plough fields fail, because nobody can service tractors, fix stuff,... Within a year ot two all the tractors are buggered. Lots of money spent and the only accomplishment is a bunch of rich donors feeling good that they did "something".

When you don't have even the basics like water covered, fancy stuff like twitter access is pretty low down on the list of useful tech.

Where's the BOFHery going to come from? If you can afford to send them a BOFH etc, then it would make a lot more sense to send them a few rolls of PVC pipe instead so they can get water going.

Really, really, basic stuff changes these people's lives, not fancy shiny stuff.

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Cheap blow-up baby incubator bags James Dyson award

Charles Manning
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Re: Good and bad

"increasing overpopulation in "third world" nations [BAD]"

By any of your measures, third worlders are far less of a problem than first worlders.

First worlders consume more, pollute more, fight more than third worlders.

If anyone should be denied healthcare and fertility treatment it should be the first worlders.

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Charles Manning
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Re: Good and bad

Beyond the basics, you don't need much funding to make a difference.

When the numbers have too many zeros on the end, the beuracrats smell the gravy and productivity dies.

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UN: Fossil fuels should be TERMINATED 86 years from now

Charles Manning
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Needs

Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

Pre industrialisation, most people lived in the bottom bit - even struggling to get into the bottom bit. Until 50 years ago, famine was rife. Now it is fairly close to nonexistant, except for disturbances caused by local conflicts.

The same for disease. Sure Ebola is making a lot of news, but that's not even 0.1% of what the 1918 flu pandemic was.

Booming industry has brought us this wealth, and that is largely driven by low-cost energy.

As people get more wealthy, and use more energy, their aspirations improve. One of the things they want is a cleaner environment. Wealthy societies can spend more on clean ups.

USA and UK uses more energy (including oil) than ever before, yet the rivers and air are cleaner now than 50 years ago.

London air is now far cleaner than it was in the 1960s and the streets cleaner than they were in 1900.

The clean up is happening without the UN telling people what to do.

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Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST

Charles Manning
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When all else fails, find a scapegoat.

What horseshit.

A team of US engineers designed the craft and are responsible for the ongoing servicing of the program.

Part of the design process is qualification and testing of the components that went into the product and making sure they were fit for purpose.

If they designed in a defective component, then failed to respond when the component was found to be defective, then that was their fault.

Likewise, NASA is, as the name says, an Administration. They are filled with Administrators. Part of the administrators' reponsibilities is to ensure that the projects are audited and run well so that public money is not wasted.

All we're seeing here is a bunch of defective administrators and engineers looking for a scapegoat.

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Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report

Charles Manning
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NSA were amateurs under GWB.

" The NSA and other acronyms were "allowed" to mature if you will, "

Perhaps. But the NSA of the Bush era was limited by the technology of the day. That has always been the case.

In the Obama years surveillance tech has got to be many times more powerful and plentiful. It is not Obama's fault that tech improved, but it is his responsibility to understand the implications. You can't blame GWB for stuff that increased by a factor of 10 since the end of his watch.

The Utah Data Centre, and indeed the whole Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative were developed under Obama. Sure, bush approved the later, but when Obama took over this was still young enough to have been redirected or reduced.

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Charles Manning
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Perhaps it is rather trying to give a frame of reference for the timescale.

A bit like "a whale the size of three London buses" and other Reg units.

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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

Charles Manning
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Re: much better light quality?

"LED source is simply too long a wavelength to have the decent mix of phosphors."

Did you steal a physicists scrabble board?

LEDs can produce a wider range of wavelengths than the human eye can see. All the way from UV to IR.

"mix of phosphors"??? WTF does that mean.

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Charles Manning
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Re: LED Bulb price

You're right, but not the way you think. The cost of LED lights are killing it for Sammy.

They were predicting a lucrative LED lightbulb business. The prices have dropped so low, so fast, that it has become a race to the bottom. Even the dirty cheap units work pretty well.

Samsung has become a premium brand and are wasting their brand and energy chasing the LED lightbulb market.

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HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist

Charles Manning
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Re: Bah!

An X-class was never a combat sub. It could not fight. It just had two charges which it could sneak in and plant. No defensive weapons.

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Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET

Charles Manning
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Blaming the music industry is pointless

Things have changed.

There was a time (60s, 70s, maybe even the 80s) when being up to date and trendy with music was fashionable and the yoofs would spend all their money on records and looking cool. Every street had at least one garage where some wannabe boy-band was making crap sound they call music. The music industry made a lot of money.

Music is no longer fashionable.

Fashions come and fashions go. Music has gone, just like bell bottoms and stovepipe jeans and various haircuts. We don't blame the hair industry fro the demise of the duck tail, so why blame the music industry for the demise of music.

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Charles Manning
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Re: saturation...

Saturation is certainly an effect: once everyone has a few hundred songs of the genre they prefer, the buying will slow down.

The other thing is crapness. How much good new stuff has come out recently? Stuff worth clicking on and buying.

Top twenties etc was part of the 70s and 80s. Nobody does that any more.

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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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