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* Posts by JeffyPoooh

865 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013

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MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pretendnaut: They are light, eat less

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Arrogance of humans

intrigid mentioned "...escape our blue ball..."

Blue Balls. Another reason to bring girls.

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Re: KSR being predictive again...

As long as you consider the risk that the entire tiny space ship might be eaten by a small dog.

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i.e. "sanitary towel mountain"

I don't think that's the sort of towel that Douglas Adams was intending.

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Good arguments can be too good...

Augment the gender argument with age and race. One can probably see where this is going.

The first person on Mars will actually be... ...somebody from the NHK / Discovery Channel joint venture video crew that arrives the day before to set up. Amusingly, it'll be 14 long months until an investigative blogger even notices and starts asking who was operating the camera.

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Google puts Chrome credentials on USB drives for two-factor authentication

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Oh, so now...

Oh, so now IT security is improved with USB ports?

I told them it wasn't a good idea to fill the USB sockets with epoxy.

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US Senate's net neutrality warrior to Comcast: Remind us how much you hate web fast lanes

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Re: Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al vice 'Net Neutrality'

AO: "The network is still a scarce resource."

It must be a case of YMMV. Here on the right hand side of the cold colony, earlier this year we were finally able to upgrade from a pathetic 1.4 Mbps ADSL to a FTTH service, and we selected the 175 Mbps option. With four people all active at once, gaming and watching videos, everything just works almost all of the time. Of course the Internet is not always perfectly reliable, but in general there's no evidence of any bandwidth scarcity in the connection from our devices to even some far corners of the web. For example, I can watch 'Periodic Videos' and such on YouTube at 1080p no problem while my lady watches subtitled dramas from Korea (can't explain it) in HD. The two gaming kidiots don't even notice.

Perhaps there's too many people living in London.

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Akamai Technologies, Inc. et al vice 'Net Neutrality'

So, are CDNs good or bad? Argue amongst yourselves. See if a consensus arises. I thought that they were good. But they seem to be a subset of things that are somehow Anti-Net-Neutrality. Imagine, somebody paying money to make delivery of *their* content faster. Evil scum!! (<- sarcasm).

See if you all can even agree on a future-proof definition of the difference between any future CDN (good?) and any future Anti-Net-Neutrality technology (bad?). Keep in mind that future technology loves to straddle previously-defined boundaries. It's a spectrum of possibilities. Drawing sharp lines in any spectrum leads to paradoxes.

I think it's all nonsense. Between H.265, multicasting, and fiber optics, the back end of the 'net is going to (over the next five or ten years) simply accelerate away from any and all bandwidth limitations. All that remains is the 'last mile' (something that Bell Aliant FibreOP has cracked; solved problem).

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Whisper tracks its users. So we tracked down its LA office. This is what happened next

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Re: apparently cloudflare thinks zdziarski.com is undergoing a DDoS

Huh? Was there a URL superimposed over the bikini pic? I didn't notice.

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Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch

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"Failed to install"

I see this all the time. Usually one update per batch fails to install. Even with default settings of what to install. Next time through it either succeeds, or it decides it wasn't required in the first place. Silly.

This happens with fairly fresh-install machines. Not some old disease-ridden junk.

Perhaps I'm clicking it wrong.

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FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless

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Re: "Regulators want to sell as much spectrum..."

Leases. Even with 10+ year terms. A much better concept than "selling".

Automatic renewal (with another fee) assuming reasonable behaviour (customer service, reasonable pricing, efficient use). Public hearings for renewal. Warning mechanisms include a shorter renewal term.

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Re: “help get around the technological and practical obstacles”

"...millimeter waves aren't very good at getting around obstacles."

Obstacles including molecules of water vapour.

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'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail

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Shouldn't they go after crocodiles and poisonous spiders?

Humans are probably the least scary thing in Australia.

Except Donk. Donk was scary. ("Nah. I don't need one. I got a Donk.")

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

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Re: Turn off the engine while downhill!

"...the Nissan Leaf has solar panels to power the air-conditioner..."

You're not very good with numbers, are you? A small solar panel might be capable of powering a fan to move hot air out of the cabin, keeping it at ambient. But a solar powered air conditioner would need (much) more than a square foot of capture area of solar panel in the 10 watt class.

Ref. "The Leaf's SL trim has a small solar panel at the rear of the roof/spoiler that can trickle charge the auxiliary battery."

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Re: Fuse wire

"...use 24 or 48 volts, rather than 12V."

Hopefully one doesn't end up with four car batteries in series.

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Mercedes E class saloon has many of these ideas...

Aluminininnium bonnet, wings, boot lid. Flat aero panel under engine. Simplified power distribution with CAN-bus controlled switch boxes scattered about. Controllable engine pulleys. It still weighs two tons. Cd supposedly 0.26, which is good, and very noticeable how it slips through the air seemingly effortlessly.

23 MPG (Imperial gallon) daily driven normally (like I stole it). Or 33 MPG if I hypermile it down the highway. What's that? +45% by driving style and route? The most important weight to remove are your heavy boots.

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Re: Fuse wire

"...those connections will fail over time..."

Perhaps Jaguar owners would consider that situation to be perfectly normal.

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Re: Cruise control

"Outperforming [ABS] in snow however is essentially impossible."

My Mercedes thankfully provides a clever override to ABS. While slowly descending an icy hill, I can press the brake pedal a bit harder to intentionally lock up the wheels (feature, not a bug). This gives my studded tires a second to dig into the icy surface to scrub off speed caused by the downward slippery slope. Of course steering is more or less useless with the wheels locked, so one must pump the brakes manually with a period of several seconds (based on vehicle movements while skidding).

Normal ABS pumping is too many Hz and provides very little braking action under these conditions, while the hill slope keeps adding speed. Normal ABS can't keep the speed under control; speed caused by slope. The override is very useful as it allows one to give the brake on time more duration so the studs have time to dig in and grip.

You're probably right about snow, but damp ice on a moderately steep hill is about a thousand times more challenging. Snow is fun. With 4Matic AWD and four Nokian studded tyres, I can make full throttle starts in snow to frighten nearby SUVs, as they typically are equipped with poor 4-season tyres and can't keep up. Snow is fun. Ice is scary.

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Re: Advanced Motoring

"breaks" is not the correct word.

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Fig 3 says it all

One way to improve fuel mileage figures, if that's the ultimate goal, is to move house further from work.

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Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

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Re: Bose noise-cancelling headphones.

@FF

That's why the legal Carry On bag and/or LapTop Bag are crammed with gadgets so that one can enjoy one's own selection of movies without being disturbed by pesky announcements. One flight from HK to Toronto, I rewatched the entire original (Carl Sagan) 13-episode Cosmos series start to finish on a laptop with only one interruption to answer 'Chicken please. Thank you.'

Best Flight Ever.

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Re: Once upon a time...

@ (more than) abit (crazy): "Did you bring a CD, a tape, an LP..."

So when your wife is browsing the endless shoes and handbags, you wander around the shopping mall with an LP tucked under your arm? And a C90 cassette tape rattlling around in the pocket of your anorak, covered with lint? Dragging these pinnacles of High Fidelity Reference Samples along everywhere, just in case an unexpected Bose Factory Outlet store suddenly appears through the mountains of handbags, like a mystic apparition through the swirling clouds of estrogen.

No. I didn't. I went with pulling off the speaker grill.

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Once upon a time...

I was bored in a shopping arcade full of handbags and shoes. So lacking the ambition to hang myself, and hoping to escape the clouds of estrogen, I wandered into a Bose store.

On a shelf was displayed a Bose own-brand bookshelf stereo system. I read the price tag from the distance as $349.99 (US). As I got closer, the price tag came into clearer focus: $3499.99

So I immediately pried off one of the speaker covers expecting to find that the speaker cones made from something exotic, perhaps iridium plated panda hymens; something that could justify the eye-watering price. While the sales clerk was leaping over the counter in panic, I was busy discovering that the speaker cones were made of crap cardboard. Not just cheap paper, but obviously-crap cardboard.

Parasites.

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'George Orwell was an OPTIMIST. Show me a search history, I'll show you a perv or a crook'

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Why does Microsoft want people to stop talking about Windows?

Solution is automatic, perhaps $100, compensation for each such false DMCA claim.

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US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

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Re: The US isn't actually forbidding the export of crypto...

Maybe the BIS was getting too many of these Self Declaration confessions, and they want to discourage them. It'll probably do exactly that.

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What about Apple?

When you have "strong" on-device crypto with the lengthy keys protected behind a weak 4-digit PIN (probably 7852), does that constitute an Export Controlled item?

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HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'

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Re: I can handle a couple more subscriptions.

J7: "I'll drop the license fee."

Canada here. I'd like to pay the License Fee and have full access to all BBC programming. The only issue I can foresee is not enough hours in the day.

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Re: Broadcast and Comercial TV is dead

YouTube ads? What's that?

Translation: there are solutions for most of them.

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City council thinks what we're all thinking: 'Comcast is terrible – and NOT welcome here'

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Confused...

"...*New* England..."

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Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

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Re: Well it's not just the hassle and faff is it?

A&W "... tells me to turn it down :/ "

Once upon a time, I was once pulled over by a police officer from the other side of a dual carriageway, I suspect because my car had four 12-inch speakers and the stereo was turned up to 11. At my car's window (with everything off and my ears ringing), he mouthed something, and I replied "WHAT!!??" Again, his mouth moving in silence, deafened me responding "WHAT!!??". This exchange repeated several more times until he realized it was pointless and wandered off. Real life comedy.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Pure H2O versus Flavoured drinks

Interesting posts.

I also have some speakers equipped with Dipole Ribbon Tweeters. Quite a few actually (a dozen perhaps?) because I went around two provinces and bought up every last one when they were on clearance sale for 75% off. They're very nice, the tweeters themselves. The speakers they came bolted to are, at best, average. But the dipole ribbon tweeters themselves are 'to die for'.

For live recording classical music and ambient 'nature sounds' pieces, these tweeters get quite a few -2 point penalties for being so distractingly good.

I have a 'St Martins in the Field' CD where there's a truck gently rumbling by, outside the church, embedded in the track. When I forget, I have to pause the CD and look outside. Crazy.

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JeffyPoooh
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Pure H2O versus Flavoured drinks

Has the marketplace shifted from striving to achieve perfectly pure audio reproduction towards the flavour of the day?

Such home theatre systems should be judged on one criteria: start with 100 points and deduct one point each time the judge thinks "God, that's sounds awful!" and deduct TWO points each time the judge thinks "OMG! What an amazing sound system! The bass is... Oh, did I miss an important plot twist? Rewind a bit."

My silly 15-inch 200 watt RMS subwoofer rates about -158 Points due to the real world movie interruptions caused by breakable things falling off shelves in the next room, and dust raining from the ceiling.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

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Re: Physics 101

AC: "fast breeder reactor has a core ~~ 1 m^3 ... ~ the power in question."

A bit disingenuous.

1) You're comparing FB core to LM entire reactor vessel (the fusion core being a plasma).

2) You've ignored the difference in the geometry of a pressure vessel (surface area vice flow thru).

3) You've inserted more than the allowed number of "~" into your argument.

Anyway, the point has been made. How do you shove 100MW of heat through the walls of a vessel. 100MW from a little box becomes a major plumbing problem. Perhaps liquid metal cooling is the way forward. Hopefully the liquid metal in question is not their vessel walls having melted. I trust they'll be thinking of this (they're clever), but I suspect that the optimum solution might settle down to a bit less than the "100MW on the back of a truck" headline.

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Re: Physics 101

"What's its surface area ?"

You may assume the 1 cc object is made from carbonized coconut, and has a surface area that is vast (Wales sized) on the microscopic scale, if you think it'll help. The area at the macro scale is on the order of 6 cm^2 (if we assume a cube for simplicity).

"Thermal conductivity ?"

Feel free to browse the Periodic Table. Help yourself.

"...in a vacuum ... or liquid sodium ?"

Help yourself. Anything you want. Your goal it bring the temperature down to, heck, 4 digits would be a major accomplishment.

The point of the 1 cc Thought Experiment is to assist those with poor conceptualizing skills to catch-on to the fact that moving power as heat implies temperature. 100MW is a lot of power. Size matters. It cannot be made arbitrarily small with practical materials.

Back to the LM example, at some point in the future the Steam Turbine folks are going to knock on the reactor room door, with their 1m diameter 100MW class steam pipe in tow, and everyone will be left wondering where they're supposed to connect the 1m diameter pipe to the wee cute little 100MW reactor.

I can sense some problems with the plumbing. It's because I tend to pay attention to numbers, such as (for example) 100,000,000 joule per second.

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Physics 101

100 Megawatts emitted as *heat* from a medium-sized thing. Calculate temperatures involved *at the interface* where the heat is extracted.

Yes, we know that the plasma is bloody hot; that's not the point. What temperature is required to shove 100MW though a given surface area, out where the power meets the plumbing?

By way of clarifying your thoughts, imagine 100MW being emitted as *heat* from an object with a volume of 1cc. Calculate temperature.

Even if the physics of the nuclear reactor is all good, they might well run into basic plumbing problems in moving that much power out of that small an object. That said, perhaps the world could be changed in 10MW steps instead of 100MW steps.

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Auntie hires API firm to manage new online BBC Store

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Canada calling. Where can I send in my License Fee?

For £150.00 per year (under Cdn$300 even now), and you give me full on-line access to all BBC TV programming in HD (as well as all BBC radio too, of course), where do I sign up? Live and Play It Again, just as if I lived down the street and had an aerial. Including Top Gear and everything. None of this 'Not Available in Your Area" crap. I'm paying, let me in.

Seriously. Please. Make it so.

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Coughing for 4G, getting 2G... Networks' penny-pinching SECRETS REVEALED

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Puh! You think that half-rate codecs are bad?

Rogers in Canada, at come cell sites in rural Nova Scotia, has 3G towers connected to the Internet with what appears to be a dial-up connection. Five bars of lovely 3G signal. Excruciatingly slow connection to the world. I suspect the tower is wired to the world with copper phone lines for the audio, and (being too far for ADSL) dial-up data.

I've seen it in enough different locations at enough different times to support my conclusions. Perhaps there's another explanation, but I can't think of it.

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Apple hit by INSIDER LEAK: New iPad Mini 3, iPad Air 2 blabbed

JeffyPoooh
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"...*the* [?] Apple employee who made this particular gaff..."

"the" ? Do you think that's how it works in large corporations?

Usually there would be about 50 different people involved in preparing, reviewing, approving, formatting, publishing, reviewing, authorizing, reformatting, updating, reviewing, planning, supervising, approving, scanning, approving, reformatting, approving, scheduling, authorizing, and finally uploading - exactly as was planned, scheduled, reviewed, approved and authorized.

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Re: I don't get the fuss

"I hate people shoulder-surfing when I unlock my iPad."

Shoulder? With the larger devices, your 7-8-5--2 swipe unlock code can be easily recognized from low Earth orbit.

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Something ate Google's 8.8.8.8 at about eight in Asia's evening

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Re: Bah Humbug

"OpenDNS is getting soooo sloooow."

An automated system should self learn and automatically push slow DNS servers down the list. This would eventually balance the load.

2014. Geesh.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Yeah...

Same thing with NTP. Why do I need to try this one and try that one and try another one until it finally gets a response. Happens sometimes.

A tiny tweak to the code and let the code go up and down the list of NTP servers until it gets a response. Send out the initial pings to several NTP servers in parallel so that the human isn't kept waiting.

Each NTP server should host a list of other NTP servers it considers reliable. Let them score each other. Ranked and voted. So even the list of NTP servers is automatically maintained.

2014 folks.

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Re: Yeah...

"...I'm actually a little curious as to why someone would have only one entry for DNS resolution."

I'm still wondering why, in the year 2014, somebody hasn't automated exactly what you suggest and more. Having a billion+ people all still fiddling with their DNS settings seems a bit unnecessary in this day and age. It would only take about 100 lines of code and multiple online repositories (perhaps another small section within the DNS themselves) to precisely automate it to be optimized. Self learning, etc. Default On, untick if you want manual control.

IT folks sometimes have a blind spot on such things. They love to fiddle and don't even notice the hours slipping away. I prefer if someone code it up once, so everyone else can get back to watching cat videos.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Why are we limited to just two?

A C.A. wrote "...thinks he's an admin..."

We muddle through... Our home network is fiber optic 175 Mbps. Three wifi routers filling the 2.4GHz band, two more on 5 GHz. A half-dozen 24-port Gb switches (many spare ports to be honest) wired with Cat 6 STP. Eight desktops. Nine laptops. Half dozen game consoles. Dozen and dozens of gadgets, endless tablets and phones, two Apple TV, two WD TVs, Chromecast, you name it. When I run Fing, I have to scroll. Per network.

So at home, yes I am the one and only admin. Uptime is enviable. Still learning all the boring, tedious, mind numbing, repetitive settings ("admin" slog) and wondering why the coder drones at MS et al still miss some blindingly obvious things. Like improving DNS.

My day job is in another tech field. More interesting by my standards. If I ever need someone to supervise the low level formatting of a multi-TB drive, I'll contact you.

Thanks.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Why are we limited to just two?

My recollection was off. It was all the various routers that have two DNS slots. And the growing Internet of Things, who knows where their DNS settings are even located. Thank you for the corrections.

I still think that there is room for improvement. What you wise and experienced network experts so carefully tweak, clearly true in this DNS area, you could be replaced by about 100 lines of code and some online meta-ness. Maybe an Autopopulate button linked to a reliable online reference. And a default list to bootstrap. Maybe DNS majority voting.

It's 2014, it should "just work". Why do we even need to notice when a DNS server crashes. With a couple of RFCs, it'd be invisible. Even for Grandma.

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JeffyPoooh
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Why are we limited to just two?

Talking to you Microsoft et al.

Why not allow a list of eight or ten or ... ? At first use, and periodically thereafter, have the client run a wee contest to rank the list. Any hiccup outside the norm, immediately send out another request to an alternate DNS. Why do the clients sit there waiting? It's 2014 already. Daft!!

There should be meta-DNS lists to provide an initial sorted list.

Somebody needs to RFC this already. Not me, cause I know nothing about this topic.

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Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars

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"...technology solves the problem of length..."

Must. Not. Take. This. Out. Of. Context...

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US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: US is losing science race

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Re: who?

"...an hour-long science show in the US?!"

PBS.

More generally, on North American satellite or digital Cable TV, waaaasy up into the 4-digit channel numbers, there's actually some high brow programming. Problem is, you have to be in the $100/month cost area before such channels come into view.

"There's nothing on TV worth watching", means " I choose not to pay $1200+ per year for access to high quality TV channels."

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"...Carl Sagan's former student..."

They reportedly met, but was NdGT actually CS's "student"?

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SHATTERED: Apple's jilted glass supplier to shut down sapphire ops

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Re: Shock news. Startup pins whole business plan on single big order and gets screwed.

Perhaps GT could prove that they clicked through the "I Agree" button while much of the contract wasn't visible on their iPhone 4's smaller screen.

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

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"Our energy consumption is not going to fall..."

I don't think that tablets and smartphones are even worth mentioning. With USB power, they'd peak at about 10 watts (5v x 2A max), and the actual average would be much less than that. Consider also that they spend much of their duty cycle on standby - best measured in milliwatts. If you own a cat, then it is almost certainly a larger heat source than your tablet.

The EnergyStar / EnerGuide lables tell the story. Year after year, the latest apppliances and TVs are off the low end of the scale as compares to the min-max range set by the previous year's models. Our new 50-inch TVs are anticipated to require just $14 worth of power per year.

My ongoing attempt to heat my house using consumer electronics is becoming more difficult with each appliance upgrade. I have achieved an annual baseload that is several times the winter hump for electric heating.

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LED Lighting: RGB vs UV/Blue + White/Yellow Phosphor

"...enables blue LEDs to be produced, and once you've got those to add to red and green ones, white light is possible and the LED light bulb could become reality."

Is the above extract correct?

Although it is certainly possible to purchase an RGB LED, such RGB LED light bulbs or similar RGB LED lighting strips seem to be more commonly sold as a accent lighting or novelty items. Based on what I've seen, most (virtually all?) LED lighting is based on LEDs using UV or Blue plus White or Yellow phosphor. Available as Warm or Cool coloured white light.

Am I correct on this point?

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