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* Posts by Charles Manning

2926 posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

Charles Manning
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That downvote

I doubt it was a chav, or cat for that matter, that down voted.

I think I'll just go back and downvote for the depressing victim attitude.

Don't like living in a chav infested cul-de-sac? Well move out! Leave another house open for the chavs to move into.

It is better to have the chavs all lumped together than spread about the whole city. Rather like cat turds in a way...

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Tiny heat-sucker helps keep Moore's Law going

Charles Manning
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What about diamonds then?

Diamonds conduct heat many times better than copper, yet are for all practical purposes perfect electrical insulators.

Heat conduction does not require electron migration, just the ability to transfer the thermal energy (in layman's terms - pass the heat "vibration" from one atom to another). Strong, rigid bonds do this well, hence diamonds perform pretty well.

As a side note, this is also why ice has better thermal conductivity than liquid water.

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Charles Manning
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24% bah!

To have any promise (ie. game changing), you need technologies that give hundreds of % increase. 24% is piddling. You get way better than 24% by doing a process shrink.

This is about the same as pure silver which is way cheaper than fancy copper/graphene mixtures.

We already have heat pipes that give us 250x (ie. 25000%) the conduction of copper. That is 200 times as good as this graphene/copper sandwich.

This is only news coz it has graphene in the press release.

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WhatsApp chats not as secret as you think

Charles Manning
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"Isn't as secret as you think"

Ok, own up...

Which numpties out there thought it was secret?

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Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

Charles Manning
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Lot's of speculation

So they've found a back door frame. It might have a solid, well locked door in it or it might have something bad people can sneak through.

Granted, the software should be resticting permissions as much as it can, but there really is no smoking gun, or even gun.

These data, as hardware becomes both more capable AND more integrated, it is getting harder to verify security just at the software level.

It is getting common for ethernet controllers, modems, etc to become more capable with complex software stacks. Many of these sit on the bus as a bus master and can access all the system resources (RAM, peripherals,...) just as easily as the CPU can. It is very much technically feasible to get these devices to snoop memory and access resource.

At that level of integration, the OS permissions etc just don't matter since the OS and the CPU are not even part of the picture.

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Shift up, Ballmer: Microsoft expands board, makes room for activist investor

Charles Manning
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The Microsoft way of dealing with persistent conflict.

Somehow the standard Microsoft way of dealing with opposition springs to mind: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

First they ask him to join them on the board, then they extend his thinking until he agrees with them, then they get rid of him.

Be very, very concerned when the enemy invites you in. Check the contents of the peace pipe before inhaling.

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

Charles Manning
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Re: Idiots

"Isn't TCP something you gargle if you have a sore throat ?"

Never use UDP - that's what gives you viruses.

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Slash tuition fees for STEM students, biz boss body begs UK.gov

Charles Manning
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Surely if anything the universities crank out more worthless vanity degrees. BA in history for instance.

Polytechs certainly are less pompous organisations that seem to focus far more on the education.

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Charles Manning
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The liberal arts people will game this

Just rename everything to "science". We already have political science, social science, ...

How long before history gets rebranded as "past science"?

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Charles Manning
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Academia != education

You're falling in the trap of thinking that education only comes through universities. That's nuts.

Universities are primarily academic institutions. That some education might happen there is almost accidental - particularly in post graduate work. The web provides so many accessible ways to learn stuff that don't involve university.

30 years ago, attending university made sense. They have libraries with all the literature, they had a computer and they had smart people. Now access to those resources has changed: the literature is online, you have a computer and the smart people are online too. What does the university really provide?

A couple of months back I decided to learn a lot more than I knew about FPGAs. Instead of taking the digital design course at the university (of which at least 50% was a bunch of number theory I was not interested in), I bought an FPGA board (sub $100) and hit the vendor's online training. Total cost: sub $100, and I got to do it when I wanted, so no loss of earnings.

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Charles Manning
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Experience levels

Experience is often misunderstood, particularly by the people who think programming is a young person's game.

In the early 1980s, when went to university and entered the industry, the amount of experience needed to be a valuable contributor was pretty low.

At the time, many of the programmers - especially COBOL programmers - had a 3 month training course before they entered industry. Many organisations took their brighter filing clerks, sent them to training for 3 months, and now had a staff of programmers.

Our university courses managed to cover a large % of the known universe of computing. It was a big step up from the 3-month programmer. A graduate was a pretty valuable and useful thing.

These days this no longer holds true. Each field in computing has got vastly more complex and you need years of experience to be really productive.. All a degree says is that you seem to have the capability to hold your head above water and might turn into something useful in a while.

This should skew the industry towards older workers. Not all of them though. Our industry is one of constant change and people need to constantly update and refresh their skills. If I look back at the stuff I learned at university, none of it is really relevant now. I've kept up reading/experimenting at an average rate of approx 5-10 hours per week. If you're one of those people who thinks you can just sit back now you have a degree then you don't belong in this industry.

Unfortunately there are enough of the old slackers to build the "can't teach an old dog new tricks" myth whereby you need to refresh the staff to get a handle on new tech.

Companies that operate like that do themselves a disservice by removing the experience and guidance that is needed to train up entry level staff. They also shed staff that are just entering their prime.

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It's 2014 and Microsoft Windows PCs can still be owned by a JPEG

Charles Manning
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MS Resources

Dear Sir/Madam

Your attempt to find programming resources has been forwarded to another division. All resources previously dedicated to programming have been reassigned to the FUD department, since this is how we now preserve our market monopoly.

Yours

Microsoft.

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Twittapocalypse! Twitter implodes, locked out tweeps around the world

Charles Manning
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Quite entertaining actually

A real Twitter fan in our office was outraged... and could not tweet about it.

Had to resort to spilling his vitriol on Facebook!

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Charles Manning
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Good thing it isn't used for anything serious

Nothing the narcissists can't fix with an extra week of therapy.

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What did you see, Elder Galaxies? What made you age so quickly?

Charles Manning
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Re: None of these is really measured

It is broken in the sense it is not working.

Good old Newtonian physics works fine at normal day-to-day scales, but it breaks down when you go very fast, very small or very heavy. Then some of Einstein's magic, or quantum physics, step in.

The same happens here: those galactic distance models (eg. red shift) probably work fine over (relatively) short distances etc and with various assumptions, but when you're probing the boundaries and violate the assumptions they don't work any more.

So when you find a galaxy is older than the universe you need to find something to fiddle with until it all makes sense again.

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Charles Manning
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Sun damage

Sun damage cause premature aging. Moisturiser helps.

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Charles Manning
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None of these is really measured

The distances are not measured using a tape measure, trigonometry, or something that everyone else would do in a real world distance measurement.

These galactic "measurements" are spat out of mathematical models. When the numbers don't stack up, it is worth thinking about whether the models are broken, or are used outside their application.

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Finally! Some actual, novel tech: Apple patent to revive geriatric gear

Charles Manning
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Re: Your power supply already adapts

s/crackle/cackle/

Now that would make Siri sound like a horrible old crone as "she" ages.

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Charles Manning
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Applying different threshold voltages also exists

These days many NAND flash parts have a re-read feature to try different read threshold voltages to find one that generates the least ECC errors.

This is a bollocks patent.

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NASA to programmers: Save the Earth and fatten your wallet

Charles Manning
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"dinosaurs didn't have a space program" - look what happened to them

Indeed, look what happened to them.

According to Wonkapedia, the dinosaurs lasted 135 million years as the dominant vertebrates.

So far we've lasted around 200,000 years and making just 1 million years seems like long odds right now.

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MtGox, that bastion of unregulated e-currency Bitcoin, turns to Texas judge for protection

Charles Manning
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Re: Perhaps someone can explain to me...

Ok, so the only real value in an exchange is to overcome the useless transaction time of a wallet to wallet transfer?

If so, surely it would make sense to only keep a few $ worth there (eg. if you're pub crawling on bitcoins then a few quid's worth).

From what you say that is now an issue that litecoin addresses, so there would be no reason to keep litecoin in an exchange. Correct?

In this day and age, where even swiping a credit card takes too long, and NFC payment has emerged, any "currency" that requires multi-second, let alone multi-minute, transactions is doomed for day to day usage.

When bitcoin was, or was at least perceived by many to be, the One True cryptocurrency, it had some value. Now there are lots of them and there seems no reason why Mike down the road can't start Mike'sCoin in his mom's basement. This must surely undermine any "scarcity" value and erode confidence in bitcoin as a medium of transferring value.

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Charles Manning
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Perhaps someone can explain to me...

I don't have bitcoins, and never intend to, but this whole shebang makes me curious.

The bit I don't understand is this:

If I own some bitcoins, then surely all I need to do is store the bitpatterns somewhere. It might be a laptop, it might be in drop box or printed out and stored in a hole in the ground.

This is supposed to be a liberating financial instrument. Something like gold or whatever, but without the problems of physical existence and hassles moving it around.

Question:

Why would anyone want to park bitcoins in an institution like a bank, exchange or Mt Gox? It would be stupid to park, say, gold in a bank where they could slam the doors shut and loot the deposit boxes (or if I was a crim, shut down access). Surely parking bitcoin in an account defeats the whole purpose?

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Projector on a smartphone? There's a chip for that

Charles Manning
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This one *is* different

Unlike phone projectors that have gone before, this one works by changing the phase angle between the emitted electrons.

In many ways this replicates what a phase array radar does, just at a much smaller scale (light wavelength instead of microwaves). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phased_array

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Bletchley Park board member quits amid TNMOC split-off spat

Charles Manning
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Re: This lack of colaboration is a disgrace

Napoleons or Napoleonesses, not much difference.

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Charles Manning
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More specifically... White, straight men.

Sorry, it is our fault.

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Charles Manning
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How is it that you can say "we need more women for job x because they think differently", but you cannot say "we don't need women for job y because they think differently"?

If, as a generalisation, women do think differently from men then "women think" is surely suited to some functions and "bloke think" to other.

For example, the massive gender imbalances in programming might just favour "bloke think" and no matter how hard we try paint programming pink, it just won't appeal to women in general.

Now of course gender should not be used as a selection criterion. We should just select people on their individual merit. We should not assume that a bloke is going to be a good programmer (there are thousands of counter-examples) and nor should we assume that women won't be. However artificially moving the needle to seek some ideological balance is surely broken.

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How AGILE DIPLOMACY will spike PUTIN'S GUNS

Charles Manning
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We can all do something...

I, for one, won't be playing Russian roulette any more.

I'll still drink vodka but say it with a hard V, ie not "wodka".

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Charles Manning
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It is easy to tell if they are legitimate

If they are buying their weapons from us, they are the good guys.

If they are getting them from elsewhere, or using the stuff we sold them ten years ago, then they are not.

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'Hacked docs' prove MtGox has 1 MILLION Bitcoins, claim blog-snatchers

Charles Manning
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Playmobil

We haven't had Playmobil for a long time. Need it Now!

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Mt Gox fielded MASSIVE DDOS attack before collapse

Charles Manning
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Re: The headline is rather misleading...

Rather confusing old chap...

In cricket and baseball it means catching and handling a ball hit by the opposing team.

Since baseball is probably bigger than the military in Japan we can probably use this meaning.

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Happy 75th birthday, Adam Osborne

Charles Manning
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"You mean he might not be dead by then?"

Woosh.... It is a sad day when you have to explain a joke....

Osborne was the "inventor" of the Osborne Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osborne_effect whereby people don't buy the current product because the pre-announcements make the next one sound more appealing.

Get the joke yet?

If not, let me continue... Since I expect the 76th birthday to be better than the 75th, I an going to apply the Osborne Effect and ignore the 75th and wait for the 76th.

Get it now???

If not, I want my typing back.

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Charles Manning
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I'm going to ignore this birthday because his 76th birthday will be better

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Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!

Charles Manning
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Re: Open your fucking eyes.

See, that's the problem...

Blokes never see all these male nursing/kindergarten/whatever websites because they don't know they are there.

The terachers at schools, and society in general, does not push them. We don't have bloke nurses sponsored to go to schools and talk about how cool nursing is.

You managed to find 5 with Google.

The females in IT/engineering barrow is pushed MUCH harder: newspapers, govt media blitz,...

For instance, here in NZ a woman can get free engineering training at polytech. Blokes can't. There are huge billboards promoting girls in IT. Nothing about nursing for the boys.

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Newsweek knocks on door of dad-of-six, tells him he invented Bitcoin

Charles Manning
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" something people find of value,"

There's nothing like a good old fashion witch hunt to bring in the crowds.

Not all people find BC "of value" particularly those who remortgaged their houses and bought in at $1200 because their thinking was that BC must go up by another order of magnitude or such.

Like the people caught out by the sub-prime mortgage bubble, they were already surfing Bayliner.com looking at boats but now they have a huge hole in their finances. They cannot face the truth: that their greed wiped them out. No, they want someone to blame.

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Hubble 'scope snaps 200,000-ton chunky crumble conundrum

Charles Manning
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It was a swarm of them

They were flying in a stealth formation.... Us meatsasks thought there was just one out there until they went into attack formation.

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MEEELLIONS of unloved iPhone 5Cs gather dust in warehouses – report

Charles Manning
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Even the best tennis players whack some into the net.

Apple have had some brilliant marketing results, but this time they missed.

If they are intelligent, which they are, this is going to help them understand their buyers, and the market, better.

As paleoflatus says, the bling is part of the Apple attraction and buying a blingless Apple product - to save some money - will look cheap in front of your mates. If you're tight for money, then buying an Android will save face.

Many pundits pegged this one to flop. Apple still probably did the right thing though; unless you experiment and try different strategies you will never find the bounds of the market.

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Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

Charles Manning
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Not one mention of latent heat

Warming means adding heat. It does not mean raising temperatures.

The biggest problem I see with any of the models I have looked at closely is the omission of latent heat.

The leaked models from CRU, and enverything else I have looked at, try to directly model temperature change from inputs.

The earth has ice, water and water vapour - like a pot of water with ice in it. Put the pot on the stove and start heating. The water does not increase in temperature by much because the heat is being used to mealt the ice. Thus, there is very little commection between heat absorbed by the system and its temperature. Once all the ice is gone though, or it becomes so small as to have very little effect, the temperature will start to rise. The same happens again as water changes to water vapour.

In other words, modelling temperature is broken, we need to model heat then figure out temperature as a secondary effect.

We have a lot of ice and water vapour on this planet and unless these are factored into any modelling

the models are just broken. People will get "results", but they will just be the output of tweakery to reflect the modeller's bias.

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WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH

Charles Manning
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Re: Fuck a duck...

Blame Al Gore. That covers Apple and Climate Change in one hit.

No wonder we need such a big hockey stick - to protect us from these asteriods.

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Charles Manning
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Meter

It is a new Reg unit - like swimming pool, London bus etc - just smaller.

Like feet vary until we standardise on one person's foot, meter will vary depending on whether we're using a light meter, gas meter, dial or digital, etc etc.

In order that we standardise this more rigorously, I decree that we use a meter close to the Greenwich Meridian. The width of the electricity meter in the Royal Observatory at Greenwich will do fine.

Beer (honourary) to the first comentard that gets down there and reports back the metric equivalent.

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Charles Manning
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Work?

What is this interesting thing called work that you speak of?

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Facebook, Instagram give dodgy online gun sales the BULLET

Charles Manning
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n the knitting trading forum

Vendor: Hello I have some knitting needles for sale.

Buyer: What size, make etc?

V: It is 9 mm thick. Made by Glocken-knit. In good shape.

B: Do you also sell yarn with it?

V: Yes I have 200 feet of yarn for extra $1 per foot.

Facebook are just trying to be seen to be doing the right thing.

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Your 'funny' cat pics are weighing down the web, so here's a better JPEG encoder from Mozilla

Charles Manning
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Why not...

just take pics of skinny cats?

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Google! and! Facebook! IDs! face! Yahoo! login! BAN!

Charles Manning
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Use! your! !! while! you! can!

Yahoo! is! looking! like! it! is! on! an! accelerating! death! spiral!.!

If! you! get! left! with! a! handful! of! !! you! will! feel! like! a! twat!.!.

Use! em! whle! you! can!!!

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Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Charles Manning
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"laughing off the IPhone"

In his mind MS already "owned" that space and once MS owned a space they had it forever. At that point in history, Microsoft had never really been beaten back on anything.

I worked on many WinCE projects (from the drivers up) starting in the 1990s. Microsoft completely under resourced the effort and did not take it seriously. The market uptake was poor, mainly because MS did not listen to the market, but instead tried to tell the market what to do.

They put a lot of effort into marketing, but insufficient into development: net result was something that never lived up to its potential. THis disrupted the space, without providing a solution - all highly destructive.

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GNU security library GnuTLS fails on cert checks: Patch now

Charles Manning
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The only reason this is news worthy...

Generally the many eyes principle works. This time it did not. Tha is the only reason it is news.

Normally a bug like this would not last a month.

The attemt to inject a back door into Linux in 2003 was rooted out in less than a day, admittedly partially due to tools detecting the issues rather than eyes.

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Bitcoin bank Flexcoin pulls plug after cyber-robbers nick $610,000

Charles Manning
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Your numbers are gone

Not your money.

Your money was gone when you bought the bitcoins. You might, or might not get the money back with or without a profit when you sell the stuff.

But the stuff that got stolen were just bit patterns, they were not money at the time of theft.

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Ever get the impression a telesales op was being held prisoner?

Charles Manning
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Really bad idea actually...

I see you're trying to help and do recognise that many, if not most, prisoners are not exactly skilled and that giving them any skill is surely a step in the right direction.

But call centre work? It sounds ideal for con men who are by their very nature excellent salesmen - but not really for anyone else.

Are they going to handle credit card info? Are they going to handle personal details? That sounds like a recipe for a disaster.

Your violent type crim got there mainly because he (mostly, seldom she) has a really short fuse and anger management issues. Dealing with frustrated customers just does not sound like a good career choice.

What's wrong with the old lag trades such as labouring (digging ditches) and gardening?

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Charles Manning
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"Prepare them for a better life"

I think I'd punch a guard and get banged up for another 3 years rather than do call centre work.

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Thanks a lot, Facebook: Microsoft turns Office 365 into social network

Charles Manning
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Trending graphs

I was going to make a joke about trending graphs, but MS beat me to it!

MS have really struggled with their collaborative work stuff forever:

Sharepoint: Not even as good as using drop box or ftp.

Visual Source Safe. Worst damn source control system ever.

Like a lot of these "add X to Y make it shiny" projects, this is icing a turd again. The bling only adds value if the underpinnings are solid, otherwise they will just grate. This is all going to suck badly unless they've done the hard bit - fix the underlying document sharing technology..

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Fanbois sent into FITS of RAGE by fake Steve Jobs statue competition

Charles Manning
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If it was a bit smaller....

They could make it into a $10 PEZ dispenser. Sell millions of them at Apple Stores.

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