* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2646 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Australian senator Pauline Hanson wants devilish scam calls to flash '666'

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: I propose another use for 666.

Telecom companies get revenue for connecting spam callers that (so far) exceeds any fine that might land on them, hence the excuses and tantrums any time there is pressure on them to do something useful.

Someone also needs to explain to Pauline Hanson that scam calls are not be convincing by design. Scammers require gullible idiots (preferably with Dunning-Kruger syndrome). The calls include blatant warning of the impending scam so scammers do not waste time on people who will catch on before giving their user name and password for on-line banking. The solution is to teach critical thinking in schools. Lie to children and reward the ones who catch the teachers out when they lie. The down side is that politicians with Dunning-Kruger syndrome would have a hard time getting elected.

Neutron stars shower gold on universe in big bang, felt on Earth as 100-second grav wave

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Re: Neutrons → Protons

The weird bit is not neutrons becoming protons, but why neutrons exist at all. Neutrons have more mass than protons and left to themselves decay to a proton, an electron and a neutrino. The half life of a lone neutron is about 15 minutes, so without some mechanism to keep them around they should all have gone before the universe was a week old.

The first excuse for neutrons comes from two places. Protons repel each other with the electromagnetic force and attract each other with the strong force. Neutrons are not affected by electromagnetism but are attracted to protons and neutrons (nucleons) by the strong force. Move two protons close to each other and the combined mass of the pair increases because of electromagnetism and decreases because of the strong force. The strong force is effectively zero at long distances but becomes stronger than electromagnetism at very close range. When the protons are close enough together the part of the mass that comes from electromagnetism is bigger than difference in mass between a proton and a neutron. One proton decays into a neutron, a positron and a neutrino. The positron and the neutrino wander off leaving a proton and a neutron bound together. The neutron cannot decay to a proton because the extra mass the new proton would need to be so close to the other proton is bigger than the difference in mass between a neutron and a proton. (The difference in mass between particles far apart and particles close together is called the binding energy).

There is a bit of quantum weirdness (called degeneracy pressure) that also makes neutrons stable in the nucleus of an atom: No two bound particles of the same type can have identical quantum numbers. The cheap way to get different sets of quantum numbers is to change the spin of one particle. As there are only two possible spins getting more than two protons or two neutrons in the same nucleus requires extra mass (reduced binding energy). That mass can be from nucleons being further from the middle of the nucleus or moving faster (in real life it is a bit of both).

Really big atoms cannot exist because keeping all the quantum numbers different takes nucleons beyond the range of the strong force. To hold a big atom together we need a long range attractive force. Crush the mass of two suns into the space of a city and there is enough gravitation binding energy hold neutrons together despite degeneracy pressure. Neutron stars are our second excuse for neutrons. The neutrons in a neutron star cannot decay into protons because they would be too close to the few remaining protons (the increase in binding energy from reduced degeneracy pressure would be less than the decrease in binding energy from electromagnetic repulsion).

For our next experiment, we need two neutron stars in orbit around each other. The pair lose energy by emitting gravitation waves. That energy comes from gravity as as the neutron stars get closer together. Conservation of angular momentum requires the neutron stars to orbit each other faster, which increases centrifugal force [The first person to say "there is no such thing as centrifugal force" has to name the direction of the force that a test tube exerts on a centrifuge]. Centrifugal force on the outside of the neutron stars counter act gravity until blobs of the neutron stars are thrown out. Once these blobs get away from the intense gravity they have no excuse to exist and start to decay into protons. The electromagnetic repulsion of the protons breaks the blobs into atoms - big ones like gold and uranium.

Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

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Re: In the spirit of the BFR...

When BFR became the official name I assumed it would be backronymed with a minced oath like Flaming. As it uses methane, Farting is a viable choice. The official politically correct backronym uses Falcon, but that could change... After a quick web search I found someone has already called Ajit Pai a falcon idiot. So far there are no falcon twits or falcon morons but I am sure commentards somewhere will fill the vacuum.

'Open sesame'... Subaru key fobs vulnerable, says engineer

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Re: Home made CD-RW

For £6 you can get an 8GB μSDHC card that will store the boot code needed to access your improvised optical storage device. If you delete the rest of the rest of the improvised storage device and just keep the μSDHC card to store codes then you have saved space, money, made the device more robust and drastically cut the power requirements.

People gave up trying to develop a competitive RW optical disk years ago.

I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

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For further confusion ...

The consonants for the name of god transliterate to YHVH, but the wrong vowel points were added to avoid saying the name out loud by accident. Jehovah's witnesses use those wrong vowel points (and get the first consonant wrong). If we start calling them Yahweh's Auditors will the get the message?

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Acronyms

The gym I used to go to had "How does it feel in my arms" playing every half hour. It started with arms, then the chorus had the line twice with a little delay so the s of one arms came right after the ar of the other. By the end of the song the lyrics become completely blatant but apparently no-one else heard them the way I did.

I leave you with my favorite jarjon acronym: People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms.

Western Dig's MAMR is so phat, it'll store 100TB on a hard drive by 2032

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Patents required because of ... patents

Presumably WD have patents required by Seagate and they have cross-licensed. Years ago, it might have kept others from starting a hard disk business. These days, a new hard disk business would cost billions to create, provide thin margins at best and never get investors to part with the start up cash.

What these patents do is protect against someone patenting the "idea" for a multi-stage actuator with no clue about how to build one. After WD/Seagate do all the development, buy the tooling, get a product to market start getting a return on investment the person who patented the idea could cash in.

Computers4Christians miraculously appears on Ubuntu wiki

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@Pompus Git

"The problem here is that rational humanists don't go on the street to help their fellow human beings."

Actually they do. Not all of them, and not all the time, but the same is true of Christians. The big difference is that atheists help other people to make the world a better place for everyone. Christians do what they do to buy comfort for themselves in their afterlife.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Nebuchadnezzar's experiment

Nebuchadnezzar's experiment requires a fiery furnace and three people with faith that their god will protect them. You can find the experiment documented here along with Nebuchadnezzar's results. It is possible that the source document is not entirely reliable, that Nebuchadnezzar never conducted the experiment and the results were fabricated. I would prefer not to make such allegations without evidence.

There are countries where preaching Christianity is a crime that carries the death sentence. A quick web search for "missionaries burned alive" gives a distressing number of results. Clearly Nebuchadnezzar's experiment has already been tried repeatedly (although possibly not by the man himself) and the results contradict the original publication. Perhaps the experimental subjects lacked the required faith. Perhaps they were not given sufficient opportunity to change their mind about the strength of their faith as Nebuchadnezzar did (allegedly).

I would gladly abandon conducting the experiment if the existing evidence is widely accepted as proof of the non-existence of god. Until then, any volunteers?

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Your point of understanding is wrong

Why is it wrong? How do you measure right and wrong? The usual tests for truth in religion are "I read it in a book" and "in my heart I know it is true" (often a bit both). I am a scientist. In science, the test of truth is an experiment. A good experiment is well documented so anyone can check the experiment actually tests the conjecture. It should be repeatable so any who doubt the results can do the experiment themselves. There is in fact a well documented experiment to test for the existence of the christian god. I am not convinced that the published results are entirely accurate, so I would like to re-do Nebuchadnezzar's experiment.

Any volunteers?

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

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Attributing to others the sins we commit ourselves

On the surface politicians sound thicker than a salted slug. It is hard for techies to believe such monumental levels of incompetence are even possible. Perhaps there is an ulterior motive. Perhaps it is just an act. Techies are bright enough to find such motives, like ignorance is more easily forgiven than corruption. Because we can think of such things we attribute the ability to do likewise to others.

May called for a general election two years early. I think that confirms the salted slug theory.

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To survive it is not necessary to out run a tiger. You only need to out run the person next to you.

This applies equally well with becoming Prime Minister and competence.

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Re: Politicians WORK with Experts Idea

Beautiful theory, practical implementation is tricky.

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Re: Mycho

But does she really have to go out of her way to prove she is the most determinedly ignorant twit in the cabinet?

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Rudd-er or not, the Home Office has a clear direction

Experts: 'You are going to crash into the rocks!'

Amber: 'You are just a bunch of sneering "experts", what do you know? Full speed ahead!'

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Re: Mad Mike

Not convinced the solution you and Amber propose will work. If you use violence to get rid of the politicians (or the experts) they will be replaced by people who are more ignorant.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

But this isn't a new area for legislation

"... there is a sea of criticism for any of us who try and legislate in new areas ..."

I remember people patiently explaining to politicians why this was a stupid idea in 1993, so it is hardly new. The idea has come up again and again since then and I am sure there are grey beards among us who remember pointing out the same issues to Julius Caesar and Gilgamesh.

"I don't need to understand how encryption works to understand how it's helping – end-to-end encryption – the criminals."

Perhaps the NSA are a bunch of criminals, but I am not convinced that is what really she meant. After spouting this non-sense months ago, she has had plenty of time to listen and understand. As she has just stated she has not learned anything (and didn't even try) all we can do for now provide sarcasm and ridicule with the faint hope that she will be replaced by someone less wilfully clueless.

Bad news! Astroboffins find the stuff of life in space for the first time

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I did not know my home town is so old

I saw CH₃Cl and read it with the IUPAC name. A moment later I discovered I my home town is over 3.9 billion years old: "... chemical known as Freon-40 or methyl chloride (CH3Cl) or chloromethane in places that predate life ..."

Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

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Getting useful numbers for VASIMR from the internet is like pulling teeth, but eventually I found this example. In summary a 48T VASIMR tug uses 79T of propellant to take a 61T Mars lander from LEO to LMO.

BFR's lander is 85T plus 150T cargo. 1100T of propellant gets it from LEO to surface of Mars. At a guess, only 20T is needed to get from LMO to Mars surface, so here is a sensible guess at a VASIMR+BFR mission.

First use 1⅓ BFR cargo launches to put 4 VASIMR tugs in LEO. This is a one-off cost, but from now on the tugs must be serviced in space. (A BFR can get 1 tug from LEO to Earth, but it may need 0.1 tanker launches to do it).

Launch a BFR passenger ship and about two tankers to fill up the tug's propellant tanks and give the passengers some landing fuel. I think at this point VASIMR has saved 2-4 tanker launches.

After a quick trip to Mars, Elon wants his space ship back. Martians load it up with 1100T of propellant and it can go home by itself. That leaves four tugs in LMO. Martians could probably shuttle about 50T of propellant at a time from the surface of Mars using their BFR (if they build an Argon mine), but it would cost them 1100T for each trip.

Earthlings could have launched an extra couple of tugs in the first place added an extra two taker runs to fuel them and then the 6 tugs at LMO would have 111T of propellant left over to get home. They do not have to rush because they are not pulling tourists, but I have no idea if 111T is enough for a slow ride home. The example does not include the return journey in the budget.

Factor in Musk's plan to send multiple BFRs to Mars at the same time and you can see why he hasn't ordered a fleet of VASIMR tugs. This back of the envelope calculation shows VASIMR is interesting, but it costs R&D money Elon doesn't have.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Private escape pod for the rich

Even with the worst predictions of climate change and Musk delivering a self sustaining Mars colony on schedule, Earth will still be more comfortable for the rich for centuries.

If you want asteroid redirection, would you fund SLS or buy a ride on a BFR?

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Re: ledswinger

Sorry I can only give you one up vote.

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Re: Damn good reason EMDrive hardly funded

I read Shawyer's grant proposal for EMDrive back in 2001. The clear defect in the mathematics was so glaringly obvious that it would take government grade stupidity to miss. Shawyer at least had the brains to avoid showing his face at EPSRC where anyone with A-level mathematics would have laughed in his face. Shawyer got his grant from DTI who clearly lacked the skills to spot blatant deception.

In science, the test of truth is an experiment. The experimental results for EMDrive are 0 ± experimental error. Sometimes people get a non-zero result, but wait a year or two and a source of error is identified sufficient to make the result 0 ± experimental error. Given such consistent results it is amazing that anyone gives Shawyer the time of day.

You can patent just about anything. So far the UK patent office has drawn the line at perpetual motion machines, but for anything else, getting a patent involves time, money and some knowledge of how to game the system. Working prototypes or a design with a remote possibility of being functional is not required. If the Chinese have a satellite testing EM drive then PT Barnum was right.

If I was the guy at Boeing who spent money on EMDrive then I would try to hide all evidence that I had anything to do with it out of shame.

Mentioning Shawyer and EMDrive in the same post as Woodward is a massive disservice to Woodward. Woodward's idea is based on physics that has stood the test of experiment. When he fucked up big time by testing a defective by design prototype he did not throw a tantrum and blame an international conspiracy of mean scientists. Instead he came up with a new design that actually tests the Mach effect properly. I wish the guy luck as he is trying to measure a small force close enough to 0 that extreme care has to be taken to avoid the result being swamped by experimental error in an environment thoroughly poisoned by Shawyer.

A Mach effect thruster will never get you off the surface of Earth. It will not get you out of Earth orbit or into Mars orbit. It will not land you on Mars. The thrust to weight ratio is far too low. Skylon's tech is way more ambitious than BFR but it only gets you to LEO. I am sure Musk considered it, but he would still need BFR's upper stage to get to Mars, land there and return to Earth. He will recycle much of the upper stage R&D on BFR's booster so he gets that at a huge discount compared to expense and risk of a scaled up Skylon.

"ignore what you can't explain and keep throwing tons of money away on old obsolete tech."

I am not ignoring experimental results. EMDrive thrust is zero as expected from theory. MAT and MEGA thrust is really close to zero as expected from theory. Determined effort has got the theoretical minimum mass of useful warp drive and worm holes to approximately that of Jupiter but the entire world's economy is currently too small for an experimental test and no-one has the negative density matter required for stability for sale at all.

You may not think BFR is sexy, but it is approximately practical.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

HOTOL / Skylon / A2 is a very different cryptid

Skylon would use liquid hydrogen and air up to mach 5.4 then switch to liquid oxygen to LEO. Payload of 17T to LEO (F9 is 22T) or 10T to ISS (F9/Dragon is 6T) with anticipated launch cost of $10M. The long range aircraft variant (A2) only goes up to mach 5ish, so flight time is nearer 4½ hours. A2 has a fuel efficient subsonic mode allowing takeoff and landing at existing airports.

The advanced technology for Skylon/A2 requires large investment over a long time period. Skylon has only attracted a tiny fraction of the required funding and A2 has not been funded at all.

The other good comparison is Sea Dragon. Reusable LOX/RP-1 first stage, launch cost looks like half the price of a Falcon 9 but inflation would have doubled it a few times since 1962. 550T to LEO is almost 4x BFR. Sea dragon would have been a VBFR made of cheap thick steel, towed out to sea by a nuclear powered aircraft carrier which would break sea water into hydrogen and oxygen for stage 2. Stage 1's unpowered "landing" (huge splash) would have been spectacular.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Entire nation's goals

Congress allocated large amount of cash to NASA with the restriction that a hefty chunk of it had to be spent on SLS. If the goal had been to build a self sustaining colony on Mars then spending the SLS budget on appropriate projects would have put the US government well ahead of SpaceX.

The publicly stated goal of SLS is to create jobs. I am sure it has done so, but probably not cost effectively. Other possible goals are to create profits for aerospace contractors and to fund campaign contributions. On those terms, I am sure SLS is already wildly successful.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Economy price flight = NONSENSE

The cost/launch including re-use slide shows BFR < Falcon 1. SpaceX launch prices for Falcon 1 have been between $5M and $10M, so the upper limit for the target price is 10K per BFR seat. At first I had difficulty finding flights costing over $600, but adding business class gave me results in the required $5K to $10K range. I am sure if I change the browser id to something Apple flavoured then BFR will look like a bargain.

(Payload to LEO 150T. The payload should be higher for a ballistic flight, but sticking with 150T allows 1000 passengers with luggage weighing 150kg each. Finding 1000 rich tourists per flight may well be tricky.)

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

You solved the biggest problem your mentioned

Today cattle are required to spend three hours laughing at the insane prices in the airport Mall.As you say, in the past 10 minute check-in worked. Security, baggage handling, customs and immigration can all happen on the boats. (The boats are required. BFR is far too loud to get near a city). Getting into an EVA suit is difficult and time consuming. Getting into a Dragon flight suit is much easier, but decompression would mean you could barely move until pressure is restored. Soyuz crew flew without flight suits (until a crew died from decompression). I expect BFR passengers will not wear flight suits.

I can easily imagine half an hour added to each side of the journey. Getting 1000 people from the ship to a BFR will take time, but one of the advantages of Concorde was you could do about twice as many flights per aircraft because the journey time was short. That goes x5 for BFR.

BFRs hanging around while 1000 people climb the stairs in the strong back is not going to be cost effective. No doubt Musk will come up with something quicker.

White House staffers jabbed with probe over private email use

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Re: why

With so much fake news around I hoped to get some help selecting the right stories to investigate. As you will not select some issues, I will pick one. Despite Edgar Welch's intense belief and armed search, he could not find a paedophile basement under Ping Pong Pizza. It is almost as if believing things doesn't make them true.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Let's make this real and not baked BS

Emails: This is not anger it is ridicule. I was highlighting the irony, but as that is too subtle I will switch to explicitly labelled sarcasm: [sarcasm]gwb43.com involved the deletion of tens of millions of emails, which were relevant to an FBI investigation, but that was OK, because they were Republicans and [/sarcasm] any evidence of wrong doing was deleted.

Asking for a list of Trump's achievements while in office was a genuine request. As John did not have such a list to hand I found a list of election promises and researched progress on the first 10. I focused on the promises to avoid arguments about whether any particular activity is a good or bad idea. By doing the research I found more activity than I expected and learned more about what is happening.

I thank you for stepping up and providing your list. Researching the ten items from the beggining of the list of promises took time and I would like to benefit from the time you must have spent checking your facts.

Increased military funding: This is in fact counter to election promise 52 as Trump's superior negotiation skills will cause a 20% drop in budget. Decisive evidence that will convince even the most determined Trump apologist will be required to convince people that promise 52 is dead. I will give you 23 as the US has had enough conventional weapons to take on the rest of the world for decades. The problem is that today enemies are mixed in with friends, allies and neutrals. Conventional weapons do not discriminate and the collateral damage creates more enemies. Trump has election promises to deal with that. Perhaps you can post evidence of progress on the relevant promises (12-16, 27-31, 36 and 37).

Veterans: Firing 500VA staff is well documented, but is only part of promise 38. I would welcome evidence supporting the rest of 38. Also evidence for 39 and 26 would be appreciated (the money for Veterans bit, we know he ordered dropping the really big bomb). You are welcome to provide evidence that Trump made and kept other promises to veterans even if he had to be hounded relentlessly on twitter to make it happen.

UN resolutions: Which ones? There are 53 so far this year. Was this an election promise? Are Russia and China backing the US or is Trump backing Russia and China? Please provide the evidence that you uncovered during your research so we can all benefit from understanding this issue.

Syria: The relevant election promises are 14, 16 and 25. I think some flexibility is called for here as some promises predate Obama bombing Syria (Trump thought that would be a bad idea and that the US should step back and let the Russians sort it out). Since then Trump has bombed Syria and now the Russians are bombing Syria. This is an issue where I have a lot to learn and I would welcome your evidence that conditions in Syria are improving because Trump dropped bombs on them.

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Re: Free pass

Hillary got her "free pass" straight from Donald. Is he a Democrat too?

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Re: why

She is in the news because journalists asked her to comment on the current Trump administration scandal. After all the congressional hearings and FBI investigations, she is an expert on how the Federal Records Act applies to email. She is the most obvious expert to consult after someone is caught (by others) conducting white house business with private email.

Take care when calling all politicians dirty. Republicans are politicians, and everyone knows they are whiter than white, can do no wrong and when they are caught doing wrong it is just dead Hillary pointing her finger because Donald broke election promise 17.

I am curious about all the evil things she has done. Does that include using encrypted email apps with automatic deletion? A list would be helpful.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Is someone maintaining a list

As John clearly cannot think of a single positive thing Trump has achieved since being elected, it is clearly down to us. I found a list of Don's promises.

1 "Build a wall along the southern border": The only wall building to happen since Donald became president has been construction work arranged while Obama was president. Trump has pencilled in some funding for the 2018 budget.

2 "Make Mexico pay for the wall": Trump has given up on getting payment in advance from Mexico. No-one has voluteered to loan the money until Mexico pays up. I think this is a fine opportunity for Donald to put is own money where his mouth is, and demonstrate that he has confidence in his ability to talk Mexico into paying him back.

3 "we're all going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' again": I have seen no executive order to that effect, but saying things like primate range and noble yawning has been banned. Happy Saturnalia.

4 "Get rid of Common Core": Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education (only just - required a tie break from Pence). She said she intends to get rid of Common Core. There are many articles on the subject, but I could not find any that mention progress.

5 "The Environmental Protection Agency might also disappear.": Trump has near enough delivered on this promise. He has put Scott Pruitt in charge and frozen spending on EPA grants.

6 "Get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something 'terrific'": In progress. The house of representatives passed the American Health Care Act of 2017, which partially repeals the Affordable Health Care Act. The AHCA2017 has yet to get passed the senate. A majority in every state is against AHCA2017 and the fact that it has got this fair make 'Terrifying' a fair description.

7 "Knock down the regulatory walls between states for health insurance". I found no evidence to support progress on this.

8 "Rebuild the country's aging infrastructure -- especially bridges and airports that look like they belong in a third-world country -- for one-third of what the United States is currently paying for such projects": Trump asked for and received a wish list of projects. The only funding to materialise so far is an EPA grant for water emergencies (see note 5).

9 "Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cutting benefits": Internet searches show Trump has cut benefits. Veterans benefits show particularly prominently. Republican excuses say the benefits cuts are not core parts of Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. To avoid argument, say they are right. They have just admitted to benefit cuts so 9 is a big fail for Donald.

10 "Defund Planned Parenthood": This is a part of AHCA2017 (see note 6).

Score so far 2 fails, 4 no progresses, 1 wait till the winter solstice, 2 making progresses and one success out of the first 10. Anyone want to take the next 10? (Number 17 is fun.)


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Using personal email for White House business does not require stupidity

If against all probability a DA actually goes as far as filing charges, they will simply fire him. Firing a DA (or seven) for purely political reasons is legal and is a tactic that has worked well for the Republicans before.

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Re: Getting a whole lot done?

A list please.

MoD brainbox repo opens up IP treasure chest for world+dog

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Re: Patentable?

You can find a silicon antenna on a Raspberry Pi 3. It is the pale grey rectangle on the corner opposite the Ethernet connector with "Made in the UK" written underneath. The basic principle is a row of field effect transistors. Make the first N transistors conductive and leave the rest high resistance. This gives you an antenna with a variable length suitable for a wide range of frequencies.

Google's pay-to-play 'remedy' is warming Eurocrats' hearts

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Re: Restitution payments already complete

When a previous EU antitrust case was getting close to a conclusion, the defendant's lawyers started looking for a new way to justify their pay checks. Their boss wanted to attack a competitor, but couldn't do so directly for anti-trust reasons. The plan was to offer funding and legal expertise in EU anti-trust law to small businesses. Some companies changed their business model from internet search to lobbying/litigation for hire. The lobbying has been so successful that it created self sustaining ill-will that it no long needs funding.

My name is Bill Gates and I am an Android user

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Re: Damn them to Hell

Microsoft Strategy:

Version 8: Copy Apple.

Version 10: Copy Google.

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Re: Thriller

Although his predecessor could have done better, the fall from 30% to 3% market share started with Elop's burning platform memo and continued because Microsoft bought Skype. Nokia's excellent relationship with the carriers quickly turned to shit (carriers despised Skype). The carriers would not offer good deals with a Windows Phone. The large number of bugs and missing / poor features caused a very high rate of returns. Phone salesmen where hiding Windows Phone marketing materials and sending determined Windows phone customers elsewhere because they did not want to spend time on the paperwork required to deal with a return.

Microsoft did try paying developers to port to Windows. The project "worked" in as much as they did get some software ported. That did not do anything like enough to counter disgruntled customers (wnat the latest OS? Buy a new phone!) or hatred from the entire industry.

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Just out of interest ...

... anyone know which phone OS Mr Orlowski uses?

Limp Weiner to get 21 months in the hole

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Re: Spot the magic word...

The magic word was in the title. Those of us with attention spans longer than a goldfish can remember who Wiener is and which party he was in. It you want some real fun, take a look at what happens when someone uses a personal e-mail account for White House business.

The comments are all things you have read before. The difference is who is saying them and why. This time it is the pinko lefty commies saying "Lock him up", despite all the clear and reasoned arguments from the Trump apologists. The other big difference is the democrits do not actually want him locked up. They are just saying that for a laugh, and to prompt yet another post of excuses from a Repitle. Even after 100 posts (I have not read all the comments) the Reptiles have not worked out that repeating what the Decepticons said last year is causing howls of laughter.

You are welcome to try and explain what is going on to your fellow Reprobates, but I find that an up hill struggle. For my credulous deluded snow flake comrades, I recommend reclassifying the contents of these emails as top secret, dragging Kushner in for a bunch of of congressional hearings and having the FBI investigate the lies on each of his security clearance applications forms before yelling "Jail Jared!"

Behold, says robo-mall-cop maker: Our crime-busting dune buggy packed with spy gear

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Re: Maybe

Other solution: Legalise theft and robbery for people who declare their income and pay taxes. Just think what this trillion dollar business would do for the budget - with the side effect of reducing the costs policing, the criminal justice system and prisons.

UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

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I expect politicians to be completely useless at government, but I used to think they had some skill (or could phone a friend) when it came to politics. Every politician starts their term by forgetting all their election promises, gets on with their unpopular agenda early so they are utterly despised half way through and when the end of their term is imminent they spend a pile of dosh on bread and circuses so all the bad stuff is forgotten by election day.

Calling for an election half at half time demonstrates the sort of incompetence that would get any normal employee sent to a competitor with glowing references. Surely by this time she must have worked out that thinking up policy is not her strong point and it would be better to shut up, do nothing and collect her pay check until someone competent becomes leader of the conservative party. Guaranteed job for life.

UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

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Re: How to blame the BBC

Step one: Pretend you have never left your home town, that you believe the people on the other side of the river are a bunch of thieving bastards and the greasy scum on the wrong side of the channel are far worse.

Step two: Pretend Brexit is the best thing to happen since the British Empire conquered Africa/India/Canada/anywhere else we shitted on the locals in the last five centuries. If you are having difficulty with this, try harder with step one.

Step three: Read Brexit related articles on the BBC. If you are not seething with righteous anger about all the factual errors go back to step two.

By this time you should have noticed that the lying foreigners who have overrun the BBC are trying to convince everyone that Brexit will be a disaster in the hope that the UK will come back to the EU and prop it up financially (If you are having difficulty with that, remember every bit of financial information you thought you knew was based on lies told by the fat cats at the financial times).

Round about this time, you should be able to blame the BBC for the devaluation of the pound, pot holes in the roads, the noisy neighbours (bloody foreigners - EU says we can't send them back where they came from because of the yapping pet dog) and the shortage of seating in rush hour trains.

Inflation has happened before, prices went up and when the pound recovered it took ages for prices to drop back down again because most Brits are too lazy to hunt for a better deal. This time, unlike every single other time exactly the same thing has happened it is all a because of the massive international Brexploitation conspiracy. This is obvious because ... err ... because I am always right and any evidence to the contrary is fake news. It has to be. There is no other possible explanation and if you disagree with me you are a credulous half wit or a troll.

Now take a deep breathe, have a nice cup of tea and try to come back to reality.

Google, Bing, Yahoo! data hoarding is like homeopathy. It doesn't work – new study claims

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Don't see their successes

To me, success is a conviction based on clear evidence. It is not keeping evidence hidden to identify and ignore a bigger fish or keeping evidence hidden so they can use an explosion to justify a budget increase for more big data.

We have had examples of terrorist killing people despite neighbours supplying clear evidence because the police did not have enough budget to investigate. Cancelling the big data projects and spending the money saved on pay rises and more officers will be more cost effective and there might be enough left over for a clue bat big enough for use on the home secretary.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

The purpose of targeted advertising ...

... is not to show you adverts for things you might buy. It is to increase the price of advertising by claiming the adverts only go to people who might buy. More retained data means the claims can contain a much more impressive pile of bull shit.

Linux 4.14 'getting very core new functionality' says Linus Torvalds

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: rude geeks

There are a couple of good ways to get rudeness from a Linux forum. You can start by asking a question that gets asked every month and when a "read the FAQ" response comes back start whining.

The other way is to do your research, find your problem is not answered all over the internet, then ask in the right place with evidence you have made an effort and with enough information so that someone can actually help you. If you get a rude response to that, you have not found a geek. You have found someone terrified that their fake geek reputation is about to crumble.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Pointing people at the right forum reduces cobwebs

Well done for actually typing something sensible into a search engine and reading some of the web pages. This puts you half a mile ahead of the majority of lazy whiners complaining that the rest of the world does not research and answer their every question immediately for free. Cobwebs are a problem in software, plumbing and for all I know, flower arranging. Look at the date, and if it is old, do a web search for the most relevant command mentioned in the answer. If that leads you to something that has been abandoned, then the abandonware's home page will often point you to its successor.

Looking in the right forum means there is a fair chance that someone with a clue either answered the question first, fixed poor answer or updated an answer when better solutions became available. Not pointing people at the right forums just creates even more misleading cobwebs. I am sorry not every answer on the internet has a link to the definition of every piece of jargon used. If only there was some web site you could type the word into that gave you a list of useful links for free...

Multi-OS coding: Perhaps we are looking at this from different directions. I find it is the Windows versions that are creaking from lack of maintenance. Good news - Microsoft are dusting of their Posix compatibility.

Which version of Wine? How should I know. I do not have the same version of whatever legacy software you are stuck with. Experiment. I have yet to experience "the wrong version of wine" (probably because the small amount of legacyware I have to deal with is from the last millennium). Perhaps if you asked on the legacyware or Wine forums you would get a better answer.

"Is this the year of Linux on the desktop?" used to be a headline that showed up every few months. The only reason to read such articles was for a laugh. The author always confirmed Betteridge's law, usually by complaining about the absence of some new Windows feature. The comments would then explain that Linux already had multiple alternative better solutions. The other side of the coin was that Windows only became ready for the desktop after the new feature arrived - despite the fact that PHBs used to be able to use DOS. Everyone has their own year for Linux. It was the year that they started using Linux more often than DOS/W4WG/NT/XP/...

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: 'Hope somebody answers you that way'

The answer was perfect. I tested it with a web search for 'Mint forum'. The first link on the results was to forums.linuxmint.com - as recommended by Updraft102. Asking in the right forum will give you access to people with appropriate specialist knowledge and put a useful answer where other people will find it.

Decide for yourself who you want to be: the person who bursts into tears if people do not hold his hand and lead him every step of the way, or the person who demonstrates that he will be able to make his own way once pointed in the right direction.

If you do not like the answer ask the right question.

Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

'9/11 style' commission on computer voting security

So, they will find the three biggest centres for computer voting security are crash hijack aircraft into them? No chance of that working: no valid targets.

Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Casinos don't need to do maths

It is possible to bankrupt a casino, but it takes the skill and determination of a president to do it four times.

MPs accuse Amazon and eBay of profiteering from VAT fraudsters

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Simple fix, ban Amazon from selling goods in UK

A small company could legally do exactly what Amazon are doing. The difference is that a small company would not come close to matching Amazon's commission rate as they would not have Amazon's economies of scale. Without the low rate, the small company would not attract any third party vendors.

Real simple solution: Buy cheap on Amazon and donate an extra 20% to HMRC. Any volunteers?

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