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* Posts by John Gamble

334 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

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Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape

John Gamble
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Re: 718- 387-xxxx

Hmm. My earliest TMBG CD is a 1987 release, and it has the 718-387-6962 ("Free if you call from work") number.

I suppose it's possible that this is a re-release (I bought it in the nineties) with the booklet updated. And of course your point on the area code stands.

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Watersports-friendly e-reader: Kobo's Aura H2O is literary when wet

John Gamble
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Re: e-ink

Yes, but... while I love my now-aged Kobo, I've also said that I'd upgrade once it had some features that I've been wanting.

In particular, EPUB3 support (I read a lot of math texts). So finally, a reason to buy a new e-reader.

(Plus, back-lighting that doesn't have to be used until actually necessary is a plus as well.)

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Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box

John Gamble
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A Little Extra Bit Of Information

For those who are wondering why the heat treatment is required on the shipping boxes, see the links here on the asian long-horned beetle and the emerald ash borer.

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LOHAN crash lands on CNN

John Gamble
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"Backronyming"

No no -- that's how you define mission scope.

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Gotham gets the Smallville treatment with Jim Gordon in lead role

John Gamble
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Before They Reached Their Peak

Comparing this to Smallville is definitely damning it with faint praise. At least this show isn't littered with people who can't act pretending they're still teenagers.

It's a bit early to make a judgement here. Yeah, the future Catwoman isn't a very good pickpocket yet, but that's probably because she's still a kid. I'm more interested in how they're sorting out the characters from Gotham Central that they're using -- Bullock, Montoya, and Allen were all fully-drawn characters, and I'm just hoping that they're not being used as cliched antagonists (unfortunately, after only three episodes, I'm already concerned about how they're using Montoya).

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Woman says narco-cops used her PICS to snare drug lords on Facebook

John Gamble
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Re: Forced to use their real name?

"So how do you go about differentiating between the various people called John Smith..."

Not using John Smith's photo, nor photos of John Smith's children, would be a good start.

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Re-light my diode: Trio of boffins scoop physics Nobel for BLUE LEDs

John Gamble
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Re: Reducing Electricity Consumption???

"LEDs will also be sold for fashion rather than practicality, their size and low heat output allowing a whole new generation of lighting which will be exploited because it looks different, ..."

Until it goes out of fashion, that is. Fashion is inherently over-priced and costly, but it is also transitory.

In the mean time, using an LED for its basic purpose -- light -- will always be cheaper than the equivalent incandescent, even if you add a few extra bulbs1. This is what the Defenders Of Incandescents (a tinfoil hat subsidiary) keep trying to draw our attention away from.

---

1. I doubled the number of bulbs in my kitchen, bringing the wattage to ... 24. Still a bit less than the original 175 watts.

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

John Gamble
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Re: It's Dr Who

"As far as I can recall ACC never had FTL travel in any of his stories"

You do not recall correctly. He didn't dwell on it -- he didn't have anyone try to justify the travel in-story -- but he certainly had characters moving from point A to point A+many light years.

His best stories were all either on Earth or within the Solar system though, so that may have contributed to your not recalling this.

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The elegant, strange and fascinating world of Three Body comes to English readers

John Gamble
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Re: Point of clarification?

Perhaps you could clarify this comment yourself, and provide links? Why should El Reg provide links to books by a different author?

The Tor website link (provided in the article) was informative, and there's a Wikipedia article for Liu Cixin, which in turn provides external links for more information on the author.

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Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead

John Gamble
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Meh

Re: Hopefully there is no nuclear reactor involved this time.

Like it wasn't totally screwed before he got into power?

Didn't you know? Everything is the fault of Keynesian econonics -- volcanoes, manufacturing errors, programming languages we don't approve of, and so on.

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Super Cali so litigious, Uber is the focus. Even German judges say it's something quite atrocious

John Gamble
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Coat

Re: Taken a ride?

You have to admit that black suit is much better than black soot.

Unfortunately, the sizes are always wrong and the tailoring is atrocious.

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Tearful LOHAN Playmonaut bids adiós to Spain

John Gamble
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Pint

Raising A Glass for Brid-Aine Parnell

Not only for her ability to navigate bureaucracy, but also for her excellent articles.

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Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'

John Gamble
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I'm wondering about the degree of randomness the domain generators use.

The spam from the random-four-letters dot eu addresses seem to be tapering off, but that seems to be a factor of the anit-spam utilities, and surely it can't be that hard to reset the code creating these malware domains. Particularly if the paper and future ones give a list of techniques to avoid.

It makes me think of the early days of creating crypto-level hash and random number generators, and the race to crack them. Which resulted in better, more difficult to crack functions. We may be seeing something similar here.

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Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

John Gamble
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Happy

Re: When do the films come out?

Ooooh. I like "Bay of Pings".

Please somebody, find this vulnerability, as soon as possible.

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Last chance to snaffle LOHAN Kickstarter goodies

John Gamble
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Tosed In A Few Bucks/Quid More

With 21 minutes to go, I felt a need to round the pledge amount up.

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Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time

John Gamble
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Links, Please?

Searching did get me the pages for Quantum Espresso and OpenFOAM, but GADGET-3's site was left behind in a plethora of other 3D "gadgets" and the sites explaining Inspector Gadget in too much detail.

So... where can GADGET-3 be found?

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Mathematica hits the Web

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Open source maths packages

And SAGE, which incorporates many existing packages with a python interface.

They even say on their main page, "Mission: Creating a viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica and Matlab."

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SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn

John Gamble
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Re: This announcement worries me

"...does Micro Focus actually have any commitment to Linux ..."

Hard to say. As a company, Micro Focus actually does good work (even if it is mainly known for its COBOL products), so I'm not concerned about SUSE suddenly being re-written into an unrecognizable mess.

If this is a response to Micro Focus's presumably shrinking product base, more power to 'em. Let them grow past their boundaries.

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3D scanning made easy: Reg man ponders terrifying Xmas pressie

John Gamble
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Happy

I've Grown Accustomed To That Face

I take it that the "World's Creepiest Chess Set" sub-title was written by an editor who knows what Simon Rockman looks like?

Maybe a Cthulian chess set might be a better Christmas choice.

Just a friendly suggestion...

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FCC boss Wheeler: Lack of broadband choice is screwing Americans

John Gamble
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Facepalm

Re: @ John Gamble -- Well, then...

Everyone has influence (oh look, a list). That wasn't what was claimed though, and we've got enough conspiracy theorists here without adding one claiming that the FCC is Sekretly Kontrolling the DoJ.

Honestly, get a grip.

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John Gamble
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Facepalm

Re: Well, then...

"Well, then, seems that the best thing you could do, Mr. Wheeler, would be to put a stop to the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger. I'm sure you'll get right on that, now won't you?"

Yes... because anti-trust law is handled by the Federal Communications Commission.

Oh, wait. It's not.

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

John Gamble
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"Brits, by contrast, ..."

We are insufferable boors.

Now now, don't be too hard on yourself. You're not insufferable.

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Firefox 32 moves to kill MITM attacks

John Gamble
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Re: Call it what you like.

"It is still "paid for" by Google. Whatever they have done - they will not "bite" the hand that feeds them."

Okay... just what in the way of "biting" do you think Firefox should be doing? Because right now your comment looks like a context-free knee-jerk.

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Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen

John Gamble
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Re: Is it just me…

"Who on earth uses anything other than cash to buy low-cost items like icecreams?"

Possibly someone who is buying more than one? Like for a family, or a softball team?

Or possibly someone who is reserving their cash for emergencies instead of a frozen treat?

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

John Gamble
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Re: Personally ...

I can imagine that you might do some scripting with VI but 250 pages of Sci-Fi novel sounds a bit dubious.

Seriously?

First: Look up "typewriter".

Second: Do a page count of Brit Sci-Fi author John Brunner's novel Stand On Zanzibar

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Echopraxia scores 'diamond cutter' on the sci-fi hardness scale

John Gamble
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Re: "the tone is rather unremittingly despondent"

The exact quote

"Whenever I find my will to live becoming too strong, I read Peter Watts."

—James Nicoll

is on Peter Watts' website.

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BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE

John Gamble
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Re: *whimper*

Vernor Vinge had a scene like that in Marooned in Realtime, although "group mind" wasn't necessarily there.

J. G. Ballard had a spider whose web had usable neurons in one of his "everything's going to pot" short stories.

For what it's worth.

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LOHAN gets laughing gear round promotional mug

John Gamble
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Coat

Re: Beer glass - excellent idea ...

Hurrah! The will of the unwashed mob of commentards people has triumphed!

Now, about the option to put the logo on a Tesla Model X...?

(Mine's the one with the LOHAN patch on both shoulders.)

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

John Gamble
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By the way, I'll be trying to get both a Europe-view and North America-view patch. Will you have your Kickstarter rewards set up to handle this?

I only ask because this sort of thing often gets asked on KS itself, at which point the project owner starts to realize they need to do special tricks. I thought I'd maybe save you some effort.

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John Gamble
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Alien

A Very Special Project

I'm in.

So... just how close to Area 51 will your launch or landing site be?

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John Gamble
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Re: **** the European badge

Downvoted for failing to check if the poster was an American. And possibly missing a point.

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Look, no client! Not quite: the long road to a webbified Vim

John Gamble
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Boffin

Instead of Javascript

...why are we taking the one of the most irritating languages around and putting it on the server rather than dedicating some effort to picking one of the many excellent languages that exist already and making it run in the browser?

Because Ryan Dahl got there first. Less flippantly, because it's easier to write a language for a server than it is for a browser, and even if you manage it, there's still the question of getting the browser makers -- a dwindling number, but still more than one -- to adopt your language.

We're sort of approaching your scenario -- if you view js as something to compile to, instead of a language to develop in, then emscripten is doing good work, and my current programming interest, coffeescript, has cleaned up a lot of js flaws (although not the '+' operator flaw, alas).

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John Gamble
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Re: Perl ... that actually is the sourcecode

I always understood Perl to be write-only? ;-)

Sigh... yeah, Perl "golfers" have a lot to answer for. Like any language (well... maybe not COBOL), it's possible to write readable, well-commented code in Perl.

For that matter, I seem to recall the write-only charge being leveled at C (not surprisingly, this was usually said by Pascal's adherents -- back in the day, they were quite numerous).

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Lenovo posts an INCREASE in desktop PC and notebook sales

John Gamble
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Re: Would be even better

"...not sold with windows."

Well, that raises a question: how easily do BSD or Linux systems install on Lenovo machines? Searching the web tends to get me disorganized lists with little useful information.

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Stanford boffin is first woman to bag 'math Nobel Prize'

John Gamble
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Re: Professor??

Not real qualifications. I got my physics gigs at Cambridge through sheer hard work. SHE BOUGHT HERS!

Err... so she didn't have to do any work? The Fields medal just dropped in her lap?

Honestly, do you not understand the qualifications needed to receive the award?

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

John Gamble
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Happy

As The Saying Goes

LOHAN Electronic Anti-Forest system.

Because the aircraft obviously can't see the forest for the ... leaves.

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Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

John Gamble
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Re: Anonmalous Cowshed

James O'Shea just wrote a fairly comprehensive response above: yes, it was mostly coincidental.

Jefferson was an influential figure of course, and his phobia of freed slaves remains a blot on his character, but no, he didn't have the influence necessary to re-work trans-Atlantic economics, even as president of what was then a small country more concerned with the interior of its own continent..

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Sony reads the future, quits e-reader market says German report

John Gamble
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Re: <shakes head>

"Living in Chicago, I see a lot of ereaders on the El (commuter trains), but very rarely a tablet."

Heh, I may be one of those ereader holders you're seeing (Red Line traveler). Given the occasional chaos of commuting, having a device that I can shove in my bag and forget about for a week, yet still have it charged when I retrieve it again, makes it the ideal device for close-quarters reading.

I can read off a tablet too, but that's at home using the EPUBs stored on my NAS. It's too heavy and awkward for commuting reading.

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Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

John Gamble
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Re: hmm

"Granted its stability is legendary but after seeing the horrible hacks the VMS team basically forced on OpenSSL for all platforms (granted the core OpenSSL team should have pushed back a lot harder)..."

I put the blame for that squarely on the OpenSSL team. It is possible to have VMS and UNIX code exist peacefully in the same code base (I've done it), and it is possible to do a code review of submitted patches to make sure the patches don't interfere with working code (I've done that too).

VMS code didn't break OpenSSL, the OpenSSL team broke OpenSSL.

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

John Gamble
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Re: Errrr?

"It's my fault for surprising the Reg subs..."

They do seem to startle easily.

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Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

John Gamble
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Re: Incremental versions?

You do realize that that's a Google Chrome "innovation", right?

I grant you that doesn't excuse Mozilla from copying such a blatantly bad idea -- it smell of marketing hype.

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

John Gamble
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Re: Outstanding

Through the pub to the stars?

Sometimes those back doors don't open to the alley.

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NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw

John Gamble
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Re: Blocking

Install Noscript

go addthis.com (any page)

now on Noscript you can block addthis.com permanently

Blocking in NoScript is the default. You don't have to do anything (beyond not make bad default choices) to block addthis.com.

You do have to be careful as a long-time user to be sure that you didn't allow it in the past.

[checks NoScript "allow" list in my browser...]

[oops...]

[removes it from the list.]

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HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert

John Gamble
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Headmaster

Dictionaries Still Exist

"What makes him a "forensic scientist"?

"He analyses how iphones work, hacks banks, does pentests, etc."

Forensic:

adj. Relating to, used in, or appropriate for courts of law or for public discussion or argumentation.

adj. Of, relating to, or used in debate or argument; rhetorical.

adj. Relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law: a forensic laboratory.

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MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Bleeding obvious ?

"Is there anyone reading this who *didn't* think this?"

The impression I get is that the temperature swings had not been considered -- you can't just have a quantity of water in your planet of lakes to sustain life, you need to have a truly deep ocean to handle the heat flow.

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Dungeons & Dragons relaunches with 'freemium' version 5.0

John Gamble
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Re: Anyone remember Dragon Warriors?

"Not only was it complete and complex it came with its own language."

Appropriately enough, since it was created by the linguist M. A. R. Barker.

If he had been a slightly better writer his works would be compared to Tolkien.

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New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

John Gamble
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Boffin

Re: Why?

LED Lights are supposed to last... well forever...

An LED (and the bulbs made from them) will age over time, getting dimmer. Last I checked, a bulb was officially (U.S.) considered "dead" when it dropped to 70% of its initial illumination.

So far the outdoor lights, which are on continuously at night, are still doing fine, but they've only been in operation for two years so far. I think I can realistically expect another three years out of them, but we'll see.

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John Gamble
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Re: Stuff this..

Ah, interesting (I've never seen a bulb like that before, thanks). All I can say then is good luck -- it took manufacturers here years to get around to making the PAR16 equivalents that I needed, but they finally did, so presumably something similar will happen with your R7s.

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John Gamble
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Angel

Re: Stuff this..

All I want at present is a way to replace existing 78mm 80/100W halogen bulbs with an equivalent LED

Yeah, the size equivalents are available1, but the brightest that I see from my supplier are 60W equivalents (heat build-up is definitely the enemy here).

Having said that, you may want to try to swap out one of your halogens with an LED anyway, just for the sake of comparison. I've found that halogens are not always as bright as claimed, and sometimes the bulb is brighter than necessary for the room or hallway anyway.

---

1. Assuming a reflector type, the North American equivalent would be a PAR20, with half an inch to spare.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

John Gamble
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Thumb Up

Re: Terror Bird

They actually changed the headline! That was unexpected.

Must... not... let... power... go.. to... head...

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