* Posts by Schultz

1357 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

Schultz
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Mushroom

Comparing guns to cars ...

there is the little issue, that cars generate (facilitate) a good fraction of GDP by transporting persons and goods to the place where they are needed. Guns seem to have a somewhat smaller economic impact -- except in those exceptional cases of war, where the GDP tends to take the bullet (so to speak).

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The YouTube crackdown on fake news: Promoting bonkers Florida school shooting conspiracies

Schultz
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Re: Getting tired of this "blame the messenger" campaign...

I agree with the OP. Youtube doesn't claim to perform journalistic quality control but merely provides a platform to share content. If you want trustworthy news, then there are a number of journalistic outlets that work hard at earning your trust by providing well researched news, day in and day out.

The issue is the illiteracy of the wider population. People choose to believe a YouTube video from a random sourse over serious journalism. This reveals an issue with the education of those believers and not so much about the random source.

You come to the Register to read news, serious comments and bullshit. The bullshit filter in your head helps to separate the thought-inspiring comments from the jokes. If that filter breaks down, it's you who has a problem and not The Register.

Educate the people, don't try to censor free speech.

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Bright idea: Make H when the Sun shines, and H when it doesn't

Schultz
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"... when the Sun shines, and when it doesn't"

So in some 5 billion years, when the sun stops shining, this technology will really shine!

Oh, you mean _where_ the sun doesn't shine? Must have misread that part.

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A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Schultz
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Go

Re: Are there, really, any enjoyable applications of the five whys?

German Sesame Street song: Der, die, das, wieso, weshalb, warum...

English Sesame Street song: The, the, the, why, why, why...

(seen here).

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Boffins upload worm's brain into a computer, teach it tricks

Schultz
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They promised us a human brain...

(for a modest billion euros, cf. Human Brain Project) and now they deliver a nematode? Oh the humility is truly superhuman!

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Bruce Perens wants to anti-SLAPP Grsecurity's Brad Spengler with $670,000 in legal bills

Schultz
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Mixed reality

He jumped down the hole and now the rabbit has to dance. That's what happens when you discover the magic land where an hour's harvest feeds the family for a year. Just don't tell the queen for thou shalt be judged.

Manfrommars, can you proofread that for me?

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Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Schultz
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Happy

...I've seen people manage to force CD/DVD drives shut with two discs in the tray...

That's nothing. Our DVD player happily played the lower disk in the stack -- so my kids were quire surprised when the mechanism got stuck on disk #3 or #4. I had to seriously disassemble the device before I could unstack those disks.

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Blockchain bros' London powwow: Regulation, education, oversaturation

Schultz
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Go

"this thought of throwing blockchain at everything is absurd... "

On the contrary, it's the obvious solution to the longstanding problem number 2:

1) Have an idea

2) ???

3) Become Rich!

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Stripe in Bitcoin hype flight while fans blindly gobble up crypto-cash

Schultz
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Bitcoin became an investment object...

But it has no property that would make it a sensible investment: there is no inherent value behind bitcoins and there is no business behind it that would create value & profit.

So what will happen once the value of a bitcoin falls below the electricity cost for mining one? Will the whole thing break down once the bit chain stops getting updated? It'll happen as soon as the investors get scared - a Bit Black Monday.

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Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

Schultz
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Facepalm

"A basic understanding of IP and a respect for others' IP rights is therefore a key life skill."

And I just told my son that it's nice if to share with his little sister. Guess I haven't been teaching the life skills for the 21st century.

So in the future, we'll have regular family court sessions instead. I might directly litigate my wife's blatant copying of The Spaghetti Sauce Recipe (C) and I am sure the kids will get creative litigating damages for 'you totally stole that idea from me'.

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Upset Equation Editor was killed off? Now you can tell Microsoft to go forth and multiply: App back from the dead

Schultz
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Go

How to patch MS Office equation editor

I am one of those guys exasperated by the thought of retyping hundreds of equations for the next lecture. So I patched the EE based on the 0patch guide and I'll post my comments on the process here.

It took me some minutes to find the required EQNEDT32.EXE version 2017.8.14.0 on one of my computers. Desperate users can also find the files online. The rest of the patching process was painless.

It may be possible to substitute EE patching with installation of the freeware MathType -- something not mentioned in the ElReg article. A comment on the 0patch blog states: "... we recommend Equation Editor users download and install the MathType 30-day trial. After the trial period, it becomes MathType Lite, which is free forever, has essentially the same features as Equation Editor, and will receive the same security updates as a MathType registered version." I didn't try it, but maybe someone else could comment on the functionality of MathType lite.

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Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Schultz
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Facepalm

Confirmation checkbox needed

Make sure the user will think about it:

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Do you really want to send this message?

Cancel message: Cancel / Yes

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Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Schultz
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Boffin

...surely the density will be the same as the density on earth? h2o is h2o init?

Oh my, where to start. As you can see in the phase diagram, there are multiple forms of frozen ice, helpfully enumerated with Roman numbers from I to XV. But I guess for practical purposes, this type of density change is quite negligible if your water might be 90% of whatever they sell for sand up there on Mars.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

Schultz
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Go

"How did they approach such crimes before electronic devices?"

They don't worry about old-fashioned physical crime. We live in a brave new world and have to deal with thoughtcrime. OK, try again, we live in 1984 and ... no, that's not right either.

Laugh if you like, but when they try to ferret out potential terrorists they are looking for thoughcrime. Should you stop crime before it happens? Should you lock up bad people before they do bad things? The consensus seems to move towards a yes. China serves as an example that prosperity and progress are possible despite intrusive government. Most of us feel safe that our democratic societies won't turn on us, so it's OK if they first go for the terrorists. Orwell lived in a time closer to the nazi and communist regimes and saw freedom fighters instead of terrorists -- some things are in the eye of the beholder. I expect our western societies to become less freedom-focused unless/until people see negative consequences (i.e., Things That Go Wrong as they did in the first half of 20th century).

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Take notebooks: About those new Thinkpads...

Schultz
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FAIL

...left out the caps lock LED...

What is that caps lock you are talking about? I don't have such a function on my Windows or Linux computers.

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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

Schultz
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Thumb Up

I regularly see one or more [..] machines in the household receive patches days before the rest.

Welcome to the exclusive Guinea Pig program. You receive early updates with exciting functions -- it's fun for the whole family! I, for one, am grateful that you perform this very important role. Keep it up, and don't forget to yell at MS if you find any issues before Tuesday!

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Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Hololens with lightfield simulation

I spot a little problem with your 'simulated lightfield': if it is simulated than it is not real and nobody will see it. Better go with real light. That one interfaces really well with those light sensors in the human head.

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Schultz
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come on, be fair...

They created a great virtual product. It's so good that thousands of investors think it's real! Then there is the money, 6 G$, that surely is real. Enough to warp space time and bend people's minds. Awesome!

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Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

Schultz
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MF - EMF - WTFMF

They measured magnetic field exposure with a 'Emdex lite' device. The data sheet gives a frequency range though, so they are really talking about electromagnetic fields.

I browsed the paper and, boy, do they have a lot off caveats on how they split up the exposure groups, and how they ascertained that the single measurement day was 'typical'. I am almost willing to bet that the effect will vanish in the upcoming Big study where someone will look at a large population (for better statistical significance). There is also always the possibility that certain lifestyles lead to higher exposure and higher stress -- and therefore crate correlation without causation.

I have worked in labs next to Serious magnets. We considered that running the NMR was one of the safest things a pregnant synthetic chemist could do. Let's see if that changes. I guess we all know that EM radiation can cause skin cancer if you forget to put on the sunscreen. Let's see where this one goes, it's a big Nature paper, so it'll be properly scrutinized.

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FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

Schultz
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Boffin

"... give everything possible to people who didn't do anything for it ..."

Sometimes giving something away will make you richer. Your example is perfect: "free college educations to illegal immigrants" creates a more productive workforce, GDP growth, richer society, ... everybody wins.

Well, except if you want to define your well-being through your status compared to the rest of society. Suddenly some of those l̶a̶z̶y̶ hardworking immigrants will move up the ladder and make you look bad. Think of Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, or George Soros. They didn't deserve their success, because their ancestors were not on the first boat making it to American shores, right? But your alternative is a static society where the Haves keep what they have and the Have Nots stay in their place. I bet the Egyptian Pharao felt really good -- a god at the top of the world -- until he died of those ringworms. I'll take that socialized medicine instead, TYVM.

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Kentucky lawmaker pushes smut filter law (update: maybe not)

Schultz
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Trollface

...allow Kentuckians to have the blocks lifted, but only after paying a $20 fee...

Good idea. It's like that public television fee ("GEZ") you have to pay in Germany to watch TV. Or to not watch TV, because they found it's too much hassle to figure our who is watching stuff online. So, Kentucky, go ahead and make it a compulsory fee -- use it to fund 'quality entertainment'.

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Microsoft asks devs for quantum leap of faith

Schultz
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Boffin

... a computer that computes in a billion parallel universes at the same time... -- NOT

You could say that our universe calculates itself. Exactly. Exclusively. Every particle (atom, molecule, ...) is continually solving it's Hamiltonian in real time, including all perturbations from the rest of the universe. You want to calculate another universe, you need another universe.

That's how those things scale.

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Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge

Schultz
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FAIL

Speaking from a position of total ignorance ...

you might want to read up on the background of the story before making ignorant comments. Otherwise what is your point? Are you disappointed that 'a quality news outlet' doesn't share your ignorance?

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European Commission intervenes in Microsoft Irish data centre spat

Schultz
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Stop

Time for clarity...

Should your cloudy data be accessible by:

- only you,

- your government, based on your residence,

- your government, based on your nationality,

- a government based on the residence of your service provider,

- all the governments that ask nicely, or forcefully,

- everybody?

We used to have some idealistic notions in the 'Western World' that everybody should have a right to privacy and some protection against arbitrary persecution. Our governments now make it quite clear, that their ideal societies don't require such niceties. Fair play, after all, is only important if you want to denounce the other players. Maybe it'll come back when/if China is identified as serious competitor in the international PR wars.

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FCC boss Ajit defends axing net neutrality by… attacking Cher

Schultz
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He's a lawyer...

so he argues his points. Unfortunately, there is no judge to call him out on his off-topic nonsense arguments.

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Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

Schultz
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Boffin

"They'll be back."

Nah, a number of careers will depend on 'making this work', so it will work. On paper at least. They'll probably allow some special cases to stay with Linux, just like they retained Windows over all those years.

As far as I know my German politics, this is an issue of people yelling we need to update our IT infrastructure / hardware /... and the people in charge deciding that this is the perfect moment to get a bottom-up review. Deciding on a fundamental change then suddenly unlocks all that money that, otherwise, would not have been available. Everybody wins (a new computer).

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Schultz
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Holmes

Re: €49.3m for Windows 10

I guess they'll buy computers for the money?

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10 years of the Kindle and the curious incident of a dog in the day-time

Schultz
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Facepalm

I really liked my Kindle ...

but exactly two years after purchase, it decided that the warranty period was over and refused to move beyond the screensaver. I loved the battery life, beat my Samsung phone by months. But the life span of the Samsung beat the Kindle by years.

An outdated phone and a dead Kindle, which one to replace?

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While you're preparing to carve Thanksgiving turkey, the FCC will be slicing into net neutrality

Schultz
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... the age old one about capitalism vs socialism

That statement completely misses the point. Both capitalist and socialist societies are based on rules and laws. If you dream about a world without those, then you speak about anarchism.

The question is whether you worry about overly burdensome laws or about monopolistic company behavior. Seems like a lot of the US ISPs earned a negative reputation for monopolistic tendencies (pushing products that are good for their bottom line to a captive audience and not competing with the offers the customers want).

I hope you guys figure that one out, the rest of the world is watching...

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Intel finds critical holes in secret Management Engine hidden in tons of desktop, server chipsets

Schultz
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Holmes

Niche Market

So when are companies going to fill the niche market of backdoor-less computing? Low end computers without black-box Management Engine / Secure Boot /... might start to look attractive for more security-sensitive applications. It looks like the hardware can be easily custom manufactured (e.g., simple ARM development platforms such as the new Arduinos, or bigger ones like the Samsung Artik). Something like MINIX might be enough to create a functional (and transparent) platform. Create an audit trail to certify the software and sell it under a Swiss brand name.

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Cops jam a warrant into Apple to make it cough up Texas mass killer's iPhone, iCloud files

Schultz
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Go

People with power get really annoyed when they encounter any restrictions on the knowable....

I can only recommend reading the book 'Secrets' by Daniel Ellsberg. It gives a nice insight on how people in power get sucked into the belief they know more --> they know better --> the public shouldn't know (because they don't know better) . Easy to see how this leads to a vicious circle of the government collecting and controlling information. This mind-set will, of course, destroy democracy (ref.: top-10 evil regimes of human history) , but that is easy to forget when you just focus on the current crisis.

No need to invoke deep conspiracies. But then, “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.” (Joseph Heller, Catch-22)

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Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Schultz
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Thumb Up

How cute

Next, give it to some astronaut and have him drop it from the space station!

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US government seizes Texas gun mass murder to demand backdoors

Schultz
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WTF?

Gun Control failed ...

in the country that doesn't contemplate gun control. Gun control works elsewhere. Pick a peculiar definition of 'works' and you may be able to contradict me. But you'd have to try hard, because there are almost 200 countries out there and most have some kind of gun control and a correspondingly low occurrence of gun-related violence.

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

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Schultz
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Go

"Preventing agents from accessing devices in criminal investigations should not be allowed"

How very sensible. How about you contact the criminal and try to explain that. Ooh, so there is a rule that you cannot force the criminal to implicate himself? That's very inconvenient, I wonder why that was written into the law. And in this case the defendant is dead? Well, I'd say that case is closed and you should focus on the next one. And remember, no cheating allowed ;).

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Card shark Intel bets with discrete graphics chips, shuffles AMD's GPU boss into the deck

Schultz
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Whow, those b̶u̶l̶l̶s̶h̶i̶t̶ management text generators get awfully good those days!

"We have exciting plans to aggressively expand our computing and graphics capabilities and build on our very strong and broad differentiated IP foundation, [...] we will add to our portfolio of unmatched capabilities, advance our strategy to lead in computing and graphics, and ultimately be the driving force of the data revolution."

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Beware Paris Hilton's investment advice, SEC tells investors

Schultz
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Paris Hilton

I think they got this wrong:

"Celebrities [...] do not have sufficient expertise"

Celebrities are the only ones who can fully grasp the true value of cryptocurrencies. The value of those currencies is 100% based on their reputation -- just like the income and net worth of said celebrities.

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Atto, boy! Eggheads fire laser for 43 attoseconds, fastest Man-made spurt

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Sounds like cheating

"I find it hard to imagine detecting the motion of an electron in a molecule and being able to react fast enough to affect a chemical reaction."

The idea is to play with the light electric field (e.g., randomly manipulate it) until it drives the reaction in the right direction. Google 'coherent control' for the details. It didn't work with nanosecond, picosecond, or femtoseond pulses. But t̶h̶i̶r̶d̶ fourth time is a charm, as they say :).

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Schultz
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Boffin

The science, the hype ...: let's digest the digest

Science: Scientists made very short, weak X-ray laser pulses

- Pulse duration: 43e-18 s (43 as)

- Energy: some 100 +/- 100 eV

- Applications: To be found (see outlook of their paper)

Hype: We can make molecular movies, we can see bio/chemical reactions in real time.

- "... directly observe how the electrons in molecules of [phosphorus and sulphur] – both elements common in biochemical reactions move when excited." Only they didn't make a single experiment on a molecule, nor on phosphorous or sulfur, nor on anything biological. Their outlook talks about a bright future, where angels sing and attoseconds dance --maybe this got mixed up a bit in the press release.

- "...the researchers effectively found a better way to snapshot chemical reactions ..."

Chemical reactions involve atoms moving. the fastest atom motion is in the hydrogen molecule with some 8 fs ground state motion period and a ground state vibrational energy of 1/2* 4166 cm-1. Their photons have an energy of some 100 eV = 8e6 cm-1 and an energy uncertainty of some 8e6 cm-1. Using these photons to see chemical motion is a bit like using a cargo ship to feel the shape of a mussel stuck to the pier.

- "The team also hopes that the ultra-mega-super-fast laser can be used to manipulate chemical reactions as well as observing them." Photons of 100 eV energy are soft x-rays and are ionizing radiation. Common bio/chemical reactions involve energies in the range of 1 eV or below. Again a bit of a mismatch, akin to controlling the motion of a snail by running it over with your car. But then, this claim has been made for every new light source in the last 100 years, so I guess it would be odd to leave it out.

Don't get me wrong, those scientists set up a great experiment and they'll eventually find a use for their laser. But why do those press releases have to claim the suspension of all physical laws and free doughnuts for everyone?

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Security pros' advice to consumers: 'We dunno, try 152 things'

Schultz
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Re: Don't open unexpected attachments

A bit of cautionary advice won't go amiss ... otherwise users will bring their private virus collection to work when they plug in that USB stick.

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Phone crypto shut FBI out of 7,000 devices, complains chief g-man

Schultz
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The complaint is equivalent to:

We know the suspect is hiding something (diary, the secret Swiss Bank account number, the typewriter,...) , but he won't tell us.

Plus ca change....

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Yes, British F-35 engines must be sent to Turkey for overhaul

Schultz
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Careful when comparing space to earth

"the speed of sound in the interstellar medium is around 1000m/s (at 100K)"

The speed of sound of typical air at normal temperature (some 25C, or 300K) on Earth is some 300m/s. The speed of sound in the interstellar medium will be much higher despite the low temperature because the medium consists mostly of hydrogen gas and the speed definitely changes with the molecular mass. If you want to verify that last bit, inhale some helium and try to give your best Dearth Vader impression.

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DNA as storage? Old and boring. Boffins now chaining monomers

Schultz
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Boffin

Similarities and differences to DNA data storage ...

In both cases, you need a lot of identical data-storing molecules to read out the data. For DNA, there is a well established copying mechanism, the 'polymerase chain reaction' (PCR). So you can arguably store data in a single DNA molecule and just make some 10^(large number) copies via PCR before reading the data. I don't know the current state of the art, but for some kBs of DNA data, we probably talk about milliliters of chemical solutions being processed over the course of hours to get there.

For other molecules, there won't be such a convenient amplification mechanism, hence the chemists will have to store a big chunk of identical molecules to start with. And the stuff is truly destroyed when being read by mass spectrometry. Theoretically, you might read one bit from each molecule, but in practice you will need some 10^(decent number) extra copies to get the 'full sequence coverage' required to read out all stored data. Suggesting this method for data storage is so impractical that it should be in line for the next ignoble price.

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

Schultz
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130 milli light years away?!?

That sounds awfully close, I would rather believe the 130 million (=mega, M) lightyears quoted in the main article text. Better get those SI units right until you identify a suitable double-decker bus based replacement!

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'Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russian spies using AV tool to harvest NSA exploits'

Schultz
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Stop

in 2015, Kaspersky [...] was infected by the [American] Duqu 2.0 spyware

So the Americans harvested those AV records for a good number of years? Is this another case of the Americans being surprised that their exclusive exploits are not so exclusive and are used by other secret services and / or criminals?

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Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

Schultz
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Stop

ThinkPad 25 has the seven-row keyboard, the familiar nipple mouse and a special logo and design ...

So that's one hit in 4 tries.

I want the trackpoint but I don't care about the logo or the design - and I learned to like the chiclet keyboard. What I want instead is a good screen (my ancient netbook outshines every Xnnn Thinkpad screen by miles). And make them robust again. The Lenovos look similar to the old Thinkpads, but they are much much easier to break. It took a good tumble with the bike to crack a corner of the old X40. The newer ones damage so easily that every year-old model seems to be missing a corner.

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Angst in her pants: Alleged US govt leaker Reality Winner stashed docs in her pantyhose

Schultz
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Fed agent: "feel a little better knowing that we don't have a real serious problem here"

Ooops, what he meant to say is "feel a little better knowing that w̶e̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶l̶ ̶s̶e̶r̶i̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶b̶l̶e̶m̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ I will have a great career based on your admission of guilt"

10 years, is that considered serious?

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Ah, good ol' Windows update cycles... Wait, before anything else, check your hardware

Schultz
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Re: 'Windows 10 is here to stay'

I believe Windows is here to stay, but that doesn't hold me back from exploring less painful alternatives. Turns out that most of my families' computing needs are nicely met with some form of Debian Linux. Not even my kids manage to mess that up beyond repair and updates occur without anyone noticing.

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NASA, wait, wait lemme put my drink down... NASA, you need to be searching for vanadium

Schultz
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Boffin

Really?

The numbers don't make sense. According to this book chapter, Vanadium is found with an abundance of 100 mg/kg in the earth's crust, but with much lower abundance in dried biological matter. So there must be some magic either on Earth or Mars to explain why finding Vanadium should be a marker for biological matter. Maybe the article just fails to explain the magic properly.

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Python explosion blamed on pandas

Schultz
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Boffin

Execution speed...

when you play with big quantities of data in science, the speed is usually limited by inefficient code, not by inherent properties of the language. When I crunch my 5 GB dataset, making a for loop a little faster won't make my code run in a reasonable time -- but moving to a sparse data representation or avoiding the loop altogether will. Python makes those things easy, that's why it is a game changer for science.

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Intelligence director pulls national security BS on spying question

Schultz
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Facepalm

Language ...

It all comes down to what you mean with 'information', 'collecting', ... You say tomato, I say tomato, but who really knows what you mean. Let's just agree to disagree and carry on with business as usual.

At least they still go through the motions and attempt to obfuscate, as opposed to throwing the questioner into jail. So there is still that little bit of respect for the general public, right?

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