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* Posts by Michael Hoffmann

157 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007

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Amazon HALVES cloud storage prices after Google's shock slash

Michael Hoffmann

RIP Rackspace?

I'd been using Rackspace for years. It was problem-free and the price difference was small enough that I saw no reason to shift.

Now, however, it's significant. I wonder if this could doom Rackspace, who just can't keep up with a destructive price war.

Should I make the switch? (yeah, yeah, never ask El Reg for advice for they shalt say both yay or nay...)

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Forget superstars, this HYPERGIANT star is 1,300 times the size of OUR SUN

Michael Hoffmann
Boffin

Re: Thin Star Stuff

Which makes me wonder whether, once it starts shedding layers as they frequently do, enough mass will remain above the Chandrasekhar limit to go neutron star or black hole.

It may end with a whimper, not a bang...

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The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

Michael Hoffmann
Facepalm

Just great...

What if I *was* a US resident at that time, but no longer am?

I better start a lawsuit to get my $10!

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HP 'KNEW' about Autonomy's hardware sales BEFORE the whistle blew: report

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Caveat emptor

Seems to work just fine. 4 links, two with epic burn, plus two with PP slides for evidence.

Never thought I'd see something that raises Oracle in my esteem!

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JAILBREAK! US smut spam king Kilbride flees minimum security prison

Michael Hoffmann

Confused about time frames

If he went to jail in 2007 with a 72 month (6 year) sentence, then why was he scheduled for release in 2015? Were there other sequential sentences involved?

Asking because when I started reading I was halfway expecting a "dumbest criminal" story where the perp escapes despite only having a couple of weeks left anyway.

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Galaxy is CRAMMED with EARTH-LIKE WORLDS – also ALIENS (probably)

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Billions and billions

Was I the only one who mentally read the "billions and billions" in a Carl Sagan voice? Or even more so, in a Johnny Carson Does Carl Sagan voice?

I feel old...

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Murdoch: I'm a Jawbone fanboi - and it's going to help me live to 100!

Michael Hoffmann

This is the guy I think of...

... when I tell people that longevity or "immortality" advances in science and medicine would be a Really Bad Idea.

Never mind overpopulation and all that! The simple fact that it's people like this who would benefit, preventing planet Earth and the rest of us plebs from at least getting natural relief of their ilk after around 4 score years, is what would make it the most irresponsible invention ever made.

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Long time ago? Galaxy far, far away? You ain't seen nothing yet

Michael Hoffmann
WTF?

Re: "An artist's rendition of..."

Am I missing something? Image processing (to normalise the massive redshift) isn't the same as "artist's rendition". Where did it say that first photo is merely created by some "artist"?

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BlackBerry inks deal to go private for $4.7bn

Michael Hoffmann
Unhappy

Worth it for patent trolls?

In the vein of your post, and possibly a sign of the times, my first thought when I saw the announcement was whether a patent troll syndicate would spend $4.7 billion in the hope of raking in far more through (threat of) lawsuits and settlements.

If the plan is to get some of the cash back then make more by going on a suing spree it would possibly be the biggest gamble the PTs have ever undertaken. Of course, anybody buying up pieces would want to gain some of that IP with it. So, could the consortium make all their $4.7b back by selling smallish IP chunks to the PT maggots descending on the carcass that was BB?

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Michael Hoffmann
Headmaster

Re: No wonder

I swear there was a Wikipedia article on this, but google gave me:

http://voxy.com/blog/index.php/2011/03/hardest-languages-infographic/

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Language_Learning_Difficulty_for_English_Speakers

(yeah yeah, Wikibooks is almost like Wikipedia)

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Finally it happens: MAN BITES DOG - after stabbing himself

Michael Hoffmann
Paris Hilton

Re: That's not a "hound".

What's wrong with dogs being a "conversation piece"?

Our conversations generally go like this:

Me: "Dear, <any random dog of our pack> just threw up what looks like pieces of possum again and smells like he rolled in cow pats."

She: "Bath time *again*?! And YOU clean the carpet this time!"

Country dogs make great conversation pieces!

Though I agree with the sentiment on the type of dog the object of the icon tends to have.

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Another big SAP project hits the rocks in Oz

Michael Hoffmann

Going troppo

Having worked on projects up there myself and having no intention to defend the Ibmentureitsu style conglomerates, the "natives", i.e. Darwinites, frequently aren't a help either.

Not sure I can blame 'em. After a week something up there, the heat, the humidity, the beer, just saps the life out of you. I wondered how they can get anything done - and maybe the locals have given up wondering and just drink beer.

I like heat and sun, but not when it involved putting in major IT systems.

A thought occurred to me: how do the Canadians deal with their remote, isolated, sparsely populated areas? Does Ottawa take care of all of their IT projects?

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Pulsars: the GPS beacons of the cosmos

Michael Hoffmann

Missing something?

I might have to read the Arxiv article but from the Reg article it's not clear how this Galactic Positioning System would work once you move quite a ways out of the solar system.

IIUC, Pulsars are not omni-directions, in that they have quite narrow beams out of their poles. Move "aside" a bit and you are no longer swept by the beams, making the pulsar effectively invisible.

Other would "appear", of course, as you move around space, but how would map them into an all-encompassing galactic navigation chart?

This may be just general knowledge for those familiar with mapping techniques, which I'm sadly not.

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An afternoon with Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Governments and interest in science.

I can highly recommend his books. Especially "This Is The Way The World Will End" is enjoyable and fascinating. He makes a small reference to its topic in the interview when mentioning that "astronomy can kill".

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WoW gold farmer throws sueball over real world gold theft

Michael Hoffmann
Meh

Wouldn't that be...

*EX* boy friend, in these circumstances?

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Snowden's secure email provider Lavabit shuts down under gag order

Michael Hoffmann
Facepalm

Re: ECC Patents

Why does this keep popping up?

Quick check on Wikipedia, then follow the links for further research on the actual patent situation around ECC. In short, it's pretty much specific implementations that are held by former Certicom (now RSA) that are patented.

The NSA itself is a licensee nowadays.

Problem is more that *ignorance* about the patent situation is holding ECC back.

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Upstart's 'FLASH KILLER' chips pack a terabyte per tiny layer

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Sounds Familiar...

Wasn't petty, because this hyped up press release immediately brought "power breakthroughs" (a la uber batteries or micro fuel cells that will power an Alienware latop for a week at full load blablabla) to mind.

Wake me when I can buy one for <$500/TB and I'll jump on the early adopter bandwagon.

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Robot cop called in after MAD BONGER blown up in LIQUID MARIJUANA EXPLOSION

Michael Hoffmann
Coffee/keyboard

Icon says it all! :-D

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Comet ISON seen eructating 300,000km-long methane and CO2 BELCH

Michael Hoffmann
Boffin

Naming?

Could someone in the know explain the naming to me? It makes no sense: what if the ISON discovers another comet? Will that be ISON2? ISON The Sequel? Return of the ISON?

Don't comets normally get named after their discoverers, as in the actual *people? Hence, shouldn't this be Nevski-Novichonok, just like Levy-Shoemaker or Halley or what-not?

I'm confused that even NASA calls it "comet ISON".

How does the official naming system work?

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Boffins: Dolphins call each other NAMES. Not RUDE ones!

Michael Hoffmann
Alien

Man/dolphin/chimp the Streaker

And here I was hoping they'd determine the dolphins speak in Trinary and I could get my job app in for the Uplift Institute.

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Divers nearly DEVOURED by HUNGRY SEA BEASTS

Michael Hoffmann
FAIL

Swallowed? Hardly

"A humpback whale's mouth measures up to 15 feet across, but its esophagus is only about 6 to 10 inches wide."

Never mind humpbacks are baleen whales.

Cool vid though.

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Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

Michael Hoffmann
Joke

Shoulda charged a fee!

I do think he would have been in his rights to charge PayPal a "administrative and transaction fee" - or what PayPal itself calls their charges - in the reversal of this.

As a generous person he could have left it at a low, low 0.001% of the total amount. Piddly, really!

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Russian mobile operators say 'nyet!' to Apple, 'da!' to Samsung

Michael Hoffmann

Re: That's because men are men in Russia

Actually the pony-tailed drama queens and hipsters I see on Melbourne public transport are also going Android, going by the S3s and S4s. You know, because they all used Android before it was famous. ;)

Admittedly, I just switched to an S4 myself, although sans pony-tail. It's only been a few months and there's some adjustment. Do have to say I'm not quite convinced - Android feels rougher around the edges, not as well integrated. Very hard to put my finger on it - again, may just be de-programming my brain.

I don't do the zealotry thing - who knows in a couple of years I'll be back on Apple. Or brain implants (iBrain).

Some issues I have actually seem to stem from the S4 itself and not Android: I have hands with long fingers and I'm constantly hitting the wrong buttons, and the unit just feels somewhat awkward to me. Something I never encountered with ye old iPhone. YMMV.

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Big Blue cedes software and systems training biz to partners

Michael Hoffmann
Facepalm

Beat me to it...

... indeed, just what *does* IBM make anymore? Apart from mainframes and Lotus Notes?

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Planet-busting British space bullet ready to bomb ice moon Europa

Michael Hoffmann
Trollface

Beagle Redux?

So, this is like a certain ill-fated Mars Probe, but this time you poms get to say "we mean to do that!" ?

(downvoters ahoy: you're already going to pwn us 5:0 in the Ashes, so you can take one little jibe from your Antepodean cousins, mkay?)

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VMware waves goodbye to Zimbra

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Email is still the number 1 collaboration tool

I'm probably naive in saying that I had high hopes in Google Wave showing us what future communication could look like. RIP.

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Michael Hoffmann
Happy

Re: It's a real shame.

Note I am in no way involved with the company, just a content (as in happy) user of the software: give Communigate Pro a look.

Years ago I was a paying user, running it on Solaris in a SOHO environment. If you ran it without paying, the worst they did was a attach a little "you are running this on a free version of CGP" into emails. Nowadays, it's free with full functionality for up to 5 users with quite fair support pricing for higher numbers.

It's a full enterprise communication suite, with email, IM, scheduling, VoIP(!), and a host of others that I don't even use in my little SOHO setup. Runs happily on any Linux distro I've thrown it on, also available on WIndows, IIRC. Very kind in its use of resources.

Works like a charm with Outlook clients, if you need to, as it comes with MAPI adapters.

I was going to use Zimbra but I had many of the concerns voices here, such as expected life of the product that was being bounced around like a hot potato. In addition the free version was crippled. Not the case with CGP.

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Graphical front ends for PowerShell? Here's a couple for you

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Geh

An excellent justification for both. Which means that the ideal GUI tool would always offer the option to show the actual CLI commands being issued. Is that the case with these tools?

With that you'd follow Martin 71's example of "getting it right" via the GUI on one machine, then take the CLI output, parametrise it and copy&paste it into a CLI wrapper - for, while, whatever loops for N machines, M disks, and X files (har!).

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OFFICIAL: Humans will only tolerate robots as helpful SLAVES

Michael Hoffmann

Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad

Off to found the Mentat School now...

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NASA to flip ion engine's 'OFF' switch after brilliant 5.5 year burn

Michael Hoffmann

Been there, done that, seen the movie

Or it comes back on its own accord. "Slightly" modified.

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Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Mass of NEXT and power source ?

You're not the only one. I was idly wondering how many of these you would need to produce 1g of thrust. I expect some insanely large number, but just wanted to know to see what it would take to get "artificial gravity" along the axis of acceleration once in space.

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Flippin' Equus! Unfeasibly old horse bone DNA triumph

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Stablised

I'd venture the guess that you'll find a close genetic relationship between Przewalski's Horses and Tarpans. In fact, some quick research on some of the "horsey" sites I frequent (so yeah, I'm a geek who rides and owns horses, what of it?), indicate that horses evolved in the Americas and only survived because they migrated westward into Asia.

Interesting link here. Well interesting for those who are into horses.

http://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/11/29/why-did-horses-die-out-in-north-america/

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Michael Hoffmann
Headmaster

Re: Stablised

Makybe Diva would like to have a word with you about "bred for 1.5 miles".

As for simians on back: it only takes one to be willing.

Literally: it was apparently one, lone stallion in the Asiatic steppes that was willing to have somebody sit on him and from whom all our rideable horses are descendents. (source: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language" by David Anthony, who specialises in that research.)

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Michael Hoffmann
Coat

Re: Stablised

Yeah, "Black Eohippus" just doesn't quite have the ring to it.

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Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: How

Mine certainly thinks he's divine...

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Michael Hoffmann
Joke

Re: How

"In the beginning was the Horse..."

In which case the first words spoken were "Let there be carrots!"

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New super maxed out on first day of operations

Michael Hoffmann
Trollface

Bah, humbug!

It's because the code was written by off-shore monkeys in Java!

Back in my days we would have fit this sort of thing into 48KB and written it in Assembler, like the gods intended!

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House bill: 'Hey NASA, that asteroid retrieval plan? Fuggedaboutit'

Michael Hoffmann
Facepalm

Re: Stasis guaranteed

Looking at the Congresscritters involved, I don't think they're concerned, as I can't help they nagging suspicion that their thought processes run along the line "The Rapture will happen before then".

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Jack Vance: Science fiction’s master of magic, mischief and sex

Michael Hoffmann
Unhappy

Another of the Great Old Ones passes

The Dying Earth was one of my first exposures to the fantasy genre long before LotR, in my earliest teens. Completely sucked me in. Vale, Jack!

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Paul Allen buys lovingly restored vintage V-2 Nazi ballistic missile

Michael Hoffmann
Headmaster

Re: lol

Is there a nitpick icon (had to use the grammar Nazi one...)?

It's Me 262, and you probably didn't mean the Me 323. Though I did check whether there may have been a Me 232 as some obscure blueprint-only-hacked-out-3-days-before-WW2-ended brainscheme - doesn't look like it.

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Experts: Network security deteriorating, privacy a lost cause

Michael Hoffmann
WTF?

Tallyho?

Lots of talking about dealing with the threats the way we always have, which is of course by using the products these companies are pushing.

Only near the end does it come to "oh and yeah, hunt the wolves". With not one sentence on how they propose to do that. Under the assumption that Symantec, Imperva, Sourcefire and the lot won't now add missile-armed drones to their network perimeter security arsenal, just what do they propose the average organisation should do to stop the attackers operating out of Russia, China, Romania, Syria, on an on?

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Brit horologist hammers out ‘first’ ATOMIC-POWERED watch

Michael Hoffmann
Coat

Demon powered?

Was I the only one who read "gnomon" and thought... "gnome", "miniature demon", then wondered if this one of those Discworld watches that go "bing, bingle-dee-bing, Time For Work, Insert-Your-Name-Here!"

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One of the world's oldest experiments crawls towards a fall

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Ah, the memories....

Thanks for making me feel old, commenters!

The "glass: liquid or solid" brought back memories of my very first witnessed full-bore flame war. On Usenet's sci.physics. Late 80s, IIRC.

That was when even trolls could use multi-syllabic words, with proper sentence structure. Before the Darkness came, before AOL...

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Public cloud will grow when experienced IT folks DIE

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Public cloud will grow when experienced IT folks die

You and me both! I too look forward to being the equivalent of the COBOL coder of the future: grizzled, aged - and able to demand $2000/day plus expenses for maintaining IT stuff because the kids just think their data and code comes out of the cloudy/wifi/air-thingy.

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Carrie Fisher dusts off THAT bikini for Star Wars VII

Michael Hoffmann
Meh

Well there goes my hope of seeing the Timothy Zahn novels as movies. The only Star Wars sequel novelisations I ever enjoyed. :(

Looks like the entire expanded universe post-main trilogy will become non-canon? Not enough of a nerd to care, but just looking at the reams of paper that have been produced... wow!

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Meet Antarctic sysadmin Richard Youd

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Godspeed, that man.

Seeing as any sort of medical procedure can lead to massive drama and multi-million dollar medevacs, especially in the non-stop dark of winter, little things like that can increase your chance of going.

I still have my appendix, but didn't have my wisdom teeth at the time. If I did, they would have x-rayed them with extreme scrutiny and if there was a chance that they may give me trouble, they would have asked for removal before deployment.

So... requirement? Kinda, sorta. Only if you aren't one of those rare people whose WT come through straight as an arrow. Depends on how bad you want to go.

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Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Godspeed, that man.

Don't think there's really an age cut off (well OK, in your 70s maybe, unless you're one of the top experts in a special Anatarctic science field).

If you're already "close" to the action, see if you can get yourself "PQ"-ed, that's always a prerequisite anyway. If your wisdom teeth are out, your cholesterol is low, your blood pressure fine, and maybe even your appendix gone already - you should be good to go!

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Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Godspeed, that man.

If it's an option for you, try to get a full time job with the contractor, that's how I got down there.

Back then (10 years ago, *sigh*) it was Raytheon, now I think it's LockMartin? Still they HQ is still in Denver, AFAICT.

Good luck! It's an experience you'll treasure for the rest of your life.

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Google Doodle honors British bone-finder Mary Leakey

Michael Hoffmann
Unhappy

I haz a sad...

Did I already miss it? Neither google.com nor google.com.au show the Leakey doodle for me. :(

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