* Posts by Schultz

1278 posts • joined 22 Oct 2007

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We're spying on you for your own protection, says NSA, FBI

Schultz
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It's not data!

"...legal because they're just querying data by this point, not gathering it"

It's even better, they never collected the data, because their understanding of collecting means someone has to look at it.

Anyways, it's not really 'data', because data is an old roman word and they didn't even have computers back then. So cut them some slack!

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Feel guilty for scoffing Easter chocolate? Good news: Scientists have made NEGATIVE mass

Schultz
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Boffin

Re: Negative mass?

Negative mass for some definition of mass.

'What definition of mass', you ask? Not any definition that will ever affect the physical reality you are concerned about.

Just like 'Quantum Teleportation' never teleported a physical object in any sense the layman would consider relevant, this 'negative mass' will never help you build the anti-gravity drive.

Laws of physics ... you may not like them but we haven't found better ones yet.

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Lenovo's 2017 X1 Carbon is a mixed bag

Schultz
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Boffin

There's also a TrackPoint micro-joystick ...

It's not a joystick, you should get used to it, and then you'll live happily ever after.

Touchpads are a nuisance.

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Schultz
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Unhappy

Please discharge battery before entering the aircraft.

Another good reason to make air travelers come 2 hours early and wait.

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Honor phone for paupers goes upmarket, assails flagships

Schultz
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So that's "Onour"?

More like "Oner".

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US border cops must get warrants to search citizens' gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges

Schultz
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Re: Another political 'feel-good' move

The problem of intrusive border guards won't go away with a few tweaks of the law. The agency budget was greatly inflated in the past decades and all those agents have to show some kind of effort. What are they going to do if the rules are changed? Carry the suitcase for tired travelers?

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Schultz
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Go

... which would stop us creating our own standards ...

The Register never seemed to have a problem creating its own standards.

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Schultz
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Stop

walk into a negotiation ...

Well, you try to maintain goodwill before you walk into the negotiations or you can make a lot of angry noises. Just be aware that the politicians on the other side also have to win elections and that their local Boulevard papers will match all belligerent statements word for word.

Great Britain has to renegotiate the bigger part of its foreign relations while any other EU country only worries about a small part of their future. It won't be pretty.

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Canadian court refuses to let Feds snoop on Megaupload servers

Schultz
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Seriously?

"1,000 servers based in the US were seized [...] 32 based in Canada may be crucial to proving the case against Megaupload."

That sounds like a gigantic fishing operation. Maybe some people at the FBI will be happy about this outcome: it's not that they have a weak case, it's just that all the crucial evidence is hidden on those darn Canadian servers ...

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Robots are killing jobs after all, apparently: One droid equals 5.6 workers

Schultz
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Boffin

Let's be serious about this ...

the problem started way earlier, when those easily sharpened bronze utensils took work away from honest god-fearing stone chippers. And don't forget those selfish farmers with their devilish high-yield crops who destroyed the full-time employment of honest hunter / gatherers.

I say let the robots take over and have the displaced humans work on phone sanitation and space rockets. Based on their progress, we can send a first wave of administrators and sanitation specialists over to Alpha Centauri to prepare the ground for future civilizations.

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Schultz
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Mushroom

The only reason for the dishwasher to be connected to the internet...

is to talk to the toaster and the microwave when planning home defense protocols.

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Decapitating Rockall: How a 1970s Navy expedition blasted the top off the Atlantic islet

Schultz
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Interesting how much UK loses if Scotland leaves ...

That would really depend on your viewpoint and lifestyle. If you are a city dweller using public transport to commute, you won't loose much. If you are a mermaid / merman drilling for homeland gas to power your sports-amphibian vehicles, then you might have a lot to loose.

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King Battistelli's swish penthouse office the Euro Patent Office doesn't want you to see

Schultz
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Flame

"pretty normal by Munich corporate standards"

Except that it's not corporate money paying for this. The patent office is ultimately a body created by the national governments and it might be reasonable to expect it to follow the rough expectations we have for government spending. After all, it's not like you could just spend you patent money elsewhere if you want to avoid paying the EPO.

But then, they seem to have an "annual budget of around EUR 2bn [...] financed entirely from procedural and renewal fees for European patents. So what is a few millions here and there.

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Android O my god! It's finally here (for devs)

Schultz
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Angel

What do all these things do?

Think of those background services as a thousand little elves polishing your phone screen from the inside, carrying goodies to the central processing unit (and bringing our the trash), looking under the virtual sofa cushions for that lost SMS, ... All the little stuff you don't want to be bothered with.

So now stop thinking and go back to youtube.

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What should password managers not do? Leak your passwords? What a great idea, LastPass

Schultz
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Local storage for passwords

Indeed, use keepass and combine it with your favorite method of keeping data synchronized (e.g., Dropbox, OneDrive, OneDrive, USB sticks, ...) across your computers and phones. It adds a copy/paste step when you use it with your browser, but you are in control and you offer a much smaller attack surface.

Also, is there anything wrong about the browser (Chrome) autofill method for low priority passwords (e.g. for the comment section of ElReg)?

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New Zealand puts the bite on Apple over taxes

Schultz
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Stop

Did I read that right?

"Even though American companies are taxed locally, current US law insists they also pay US taxes on foreign earnings."

Shouldn't that be: "Even though Apple is not taxed locally, current US law i̶n̶s̶i̶s̶t̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ allows them to delay paying US taxes on foreign earnings."

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Do the numbers, Einstein: AI is more than maths as some know it

Schultz
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Thumb Up

Re: Conceptually, it's all about graphs.

One up for mentioning Prolog. But I have mixed memories, the mind bends dangerously when confronted with too much logic.

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Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

Schultz
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HTF are you going to "grind up" a neutron star

Smash two of them together? Fly it past the edges of a black hole? Us the Big Peppercorn Grinder the Flying Spaghetti Monster uses to spice up its noodly appendages?

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Schultz
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Boffin

Neutron dust

Here is my suggestion: Dark matter is neutron dust.

Think about it as ground-up neutron stars. Maybe it's formed in galaxy collisions, or maybe it's a leftover from the Big Bang. Why this neutron dust doesn't aggregate into neutron clumps, you ask? Dark energy of course! The mystery force obviously repels those neutron particles and all the other matter in the observed universe.

Next question please ....

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Oxford Uni boffins say internet filters probably won't protect teens

Schultz
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Shades of grey

Usually it's a bad idea to cast the world in black and white, but when it comes to 'acceptable' content in media, it might be helpful to stick to the question whether something is criminal or not. If it's criminal, then the police should go after the criminals. If it is merely unpleasant for the cultural sensitivities of some audiences (young / old, conservative / liberal, diverse ethnic groups, or the nudist neighbor upstairs), then those audiences should try to avoid this content -- and I don't think they'll need help from the government to do it.

I remember with great pleasure the look on the face of the US grad students when they first encountered topless sunbathers at the Blatterwiese. I am sure you can find the same embarrassed look on the face of many Arab refugees when they encounter the first short skirts. I assume most get beyond the shock and move on to a productive life.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

Schultz
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Human versus machine input

Let's face it, most current systems are very friendly to hackers and very unfriendly for the users. If the computer can brute-force test a dictionary against human passwords at it's own ever-growing speed, then the computer will win. If not this year, then the next ....

Humans will only enter passwords at a very slow rate and (mostly) with a high rate of typos. To give the hackers a similar handicap, you need a system that is artificially slow to bring computerized cracking attempts down to the human level. Maybe this could be done with very bad hashing methods that take time even if the password file is public.Trying to get humans to memorize high-entropy passwords will fail even if we all try to memorize Shakespeare backwards and in base 2.

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State surveillance boom sparked by fear-mongering political populists, says UN

Schultz
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WTF?

...a clear route for states to access private data

The first thing those 'states' need to realize is that they can ask for private data stored at said companies, but they should not expect the data to contain every key-press of the user. The whole debate on police accessing your private data should shift from the police drooling about all the potential data that could be generated if only every bit crossing the intertubes would be archived -- to the pragmatic discussion of data that actually exists.

There is a difference between old-fashioned police work, catching criminals based on whatever evidence is left at a crime scene and the inherent assumption of guilt for the whole populace. Only the latter requires the storage of every bit of potential evidence for the police. Did the world get so dangerous that we need to move toward a police state for survival? I don't think so. So accept that there should be limited tools to deal with the limited problem of crime.

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Success in the bedroom breeds success in the boardroom – research

Schultz
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Boffin

Causation or correlation?

Just asking.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Schultz
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"never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country"

You hit the sweet spot of sarcasm there ... go collect your upvote from all sides!

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Microsoft slaps Apple Gatekeeper-like controls on Windows 10: Install only apps from store

Schultz
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Go

A computer is a computer is ... what?

Many computers are used as media / internet consumption gateways and companies want to follow Apple and make money with those. The gatekeeper controls might just reflect a benign motivation to keep the fully-fledged OS running in parallel with the pared-down consumer OS. I would see that as a positive: it'll allow us to use the consumer devices for real work by turning off the dumb-it-down-for-me switch.

Did I just insinuate that Microsoft might have benign motivations? What happened to this world?

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HPE CEO Whitman says everything's 'on the right track' as sales are literally decimated

Schultz
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Managed decline

It's sad to see HP dwindle, but it's hard to see how this company could become great again. I wouldn't even blame their management, not every company can hit the jackpot all the time. It's just hard to see why they need an expensive management to do what they are doing.

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Apple to Europe: It's our job to design Ireland's tax system, not yours

Schultz
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Stop

codejunky: "Ha. Not while tied to the Euro."

I don't know, Ireland seems to do pretty well in the growth department:Ireland to be EU’s fastest-growing economy in 2016. I don't think you can blame the pound for that.

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Automated, insight cannot be: Jedi master of statistics was good – but beware the daft side

Schultz
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Alert

Pie charts ...?

The serious presenter long ago moved to sphere charts -- why else did we pay for those 3D TVs?

No, seriously, google it!

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Jun-OH-NO! NASA's Jupiter probe in busted helium-valve drama

Schultz
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... the long scale billion

Can we just agree on the k$, M$, G$ scale? SI units do maker life so much easier (bless the French!). Or we could compromise and use the Chinese units 万 (1e4), 亿 (1e8), 兆 (1e12).

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Trump's visa plan leaks: American techies first

Schultz
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Protect indigenous workers? very unAmerican!

I think that setting a lower salary limit may be a sensible act of immigration control (for good or bad), but the requirement to "show they couldn't fill the post with an American resident" sounds like a pointless paper shuffling exercise. What's a sensible burden of proof? What kind of extra cost or performance hit should be acceptable for the indigenous worker? (I hope you like the use of indigenous here.)

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Schultz
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Pirate

Re: "SV companies ... weren't willing to offer adequate compensation"

Let's face it, those tech guys are just bad at fighting for their compensation. The manager types know how to maximize their returns, it's their day job. The tech guys have their heads in the cloud (pun intended) and believe in the fairy world of just compensation. Some century ago, there was a solution to this issue called a union, but for some reason this became unfashionable.

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Schultz
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"India won't be happy"

But maybe India will be happy in the near future, as most bread-and-butter internet/apps administration moves to India, based on the significantly cheaper operation cost. Let's face it, the US relies on cheap(ish) foreign labor to fill the pipeline in a lot of science and tech areas. I am a scientist, and I can attest to the large number of foreign grad students and postdocs at the major US Universities. Keep them out and you'll loose the output they generate.

I won't dare to make any statement whether the migration of young skilled people is good or bad for the US. But I'd claim that this is good for the larger world, because it increases the international exchange of knowledge .The US gets the fresh international blood and the rest of the world gets the returning Expats and their networking effect.

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Munich may dump Linux for Windows

Schultz
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Stop

I am not sure about the 'dump Linux' part

I am not sure what Heise is reporting, but the document linked in the text indicates only that a Windows basis client is to be developed. The whole affair seems to be based on an external assessment of the Munich IT (see: PDF). This document suggests the creation and support of a standardized Windows client to replace a variety of local systems (apparently some 1/4 of computers is running a variety of Windows systems), the support of standard software packages (LibreOffice, ...), and the automatic approval of Windows clients.

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Pentagon anti-missile-on-missile test actually WORKS, for once

Schultz
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Boffin

Good news or bad news?

Arguably, the mutually assured destruction with nuclear missiles brought some extra safety to the world: The countries with nuclear weapons could relax their military readiness because there would be enough time for later retaliation, even if only few nuclear missiles would remain operative.

Even with a country like North Korea, one might imagine that the existence of nuclear weapons raises the stakes sufficiently that a future war becomes improbable.

When the US manages to change the game with missile defenses, they might set the world back to a state where countries keep a large nuclear arsenal on a hair trigger -- just to ensure that they can launch in time to get some missiles through the defense shield.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

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'Mafia' of ageing scientists, academics and politicos suck at picking tech 'winners'

Schultz
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Boffin

Industrial policy versus science funding

I think it's a major problem that industrial policy and science funding are getting mingled (in politics and in this article). Offering government money for the development of (potential) industrial processes often results in development projects that were considered not worthy on their own. (Would you wait for that possible government grant if you knew you had a project that could make you money right now?) Industrial policy should focus on a stable business environment that allows creative enterprises to emerge and grow.

Science funding, on the other hand, should be broadly spread, because you can't predict the future results. If you can predict it, then the science is done and it turns into engineering. A side effect of Science funding is, of course, a population of creative and skilled scientists and engineers that might later go into profitable careers.

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Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!

Schultz
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The good and the bad...

The good: distance and figuring out how to lay and order cables becomes irrelevant (for small values of distance). Scaling and multiplexing should work well when there is less hardware (cables) involved. Lasers are cool and are absolutely required if you want to evolve from your 'do no evil' stage.

The bad: Need to stagger units to get the free line of sight. Dust will degrade the connection. The fly or squirrel living under your rack will get in the way of the laser. Laser safety. More dust and light scattering. Solving connection problems involves laser physics instead of some sod following the cable.

Stil it's cool, and you are finally allowed to cross those data streams.

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Axe net neutrality? Keep the set-top box lock-in? Easy as Pai: New FCC boss backs Big Cable

Schultz
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Alert

"local franchising, zoning, permitting, and rights-of-way regulations."

Do I read this correctly? The cable companies dream of somehow 'zoning' the Internet? Bye bye World Wide net, you get free local data, properly supported by local franchising and ads and maybe you can buy into some nice long distance plan with low per-minute rates. Sounds like a nice business plan. You'll love your trusted and beloved local communications provider and you'll feel like you are back in the good old days before evil globalization took your self esteem.

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Trump's cartoon comedy approach to running a country: 'One in, two out' rule for regulations

Schultz
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Alert

The order will not apply to [...] military, national security, or foreign affairs

Now that's odd, don't they want the military and police run as efficiently as the rest of the government? Or do I sense a slight hesitation about the sensibility of this executive order?

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Trump lieutenants 'use private email' for govt work... but who'd make a big deal out of that?

Schultz
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Go

Important government business ...

is communicated by twitter. If it's not on twitter, then the Donald probably didn't read it and, ergo, it's not government business. Simples.

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We've found a ‘vaccine’ for fake news. Wait! No, we really are Cambridge researchers

Schultz
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Goodbye to internet goodwill

The early internet was dominated by coders, scientists, and idealists who were enthusiastic about sharing knowledge. By now, everyone got online and started making 'content', so the internet is only as honest as the real world. Better get used to it.

Believing news on random websites / twitter / facebook is a bit like accepting a flyer on the sidewalk and directly accepting that scientology / latter day saints / the spaghetti monster offers you a path to salvation.

Why do we come to ElReg? Because this island of nerds still maintains some semblance of the early internet.

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Make America, wait, what again? US Army may need foreign weapons to keep up

Schultz
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Boffin

Photo: a BFG-9000 variant?

Seriously, that's some cartoon weapon, right?

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Thanks, Obama: NSA to stream raw intelligence into FBI, DEA and pals

Schultz
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Covering asses?

This might be an adjustment of the rules to cover ongoing practice? The Trump has some erratic qualities and I could imagine that some officials got cold feet about routine violations of law that might or might not be tolerated in the future.

I am, of course, just extrapolating from what I read on ElReg about the UK security services.

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Tell us about that $1m horse, Mr Samsung: Bribery probe slips deep into South Korean giant

Schultz
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Friendly reporting: "Won a gold medal"

"Ms Chung is a professional equestrian who won gold in the 2014 Asian Games."

Less friendly reporting says her team won the gold medal. And guess why she got a spot in the team? $$$

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Now for a really cool micro-drum solo: Boffins chill gizmo below quantum limit

Schultz
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"at absolute zero the atoms are motionless" -- not

At absolute zero, bound atoms still perform zero-point vibration. So you can approximately know their position and momentum. Just what Heisenberg predicted.

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MIT brainiacs wrangle 2D graphene into super-strong 3D art homework

Schultz
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Boffin

Science fiction

Atomic printing of hollow 3D graphene structures that are lighter than air!

Project milestones:

(1) Simulate it in the computer -- check

(2) 3D print it -- check

(3) Test the mechanical properties -- check

In sum, one of the best science fiction projects TheReg ever reported on.

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Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit

Schultz
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"internal devaluation will produce a continent where every country is as efficient as Germany"

Just like during the golden age before the EU integration? As I remember it, a lot of countries struggled to compete economically with Germany before the EU economic integration. Why should the future look very different?

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Schultz
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Facepalm

"It's only because the gov wants to clear it's debts that we are all suffering."

I hate to break it to you, but those are really your debts, taken on by your government in your name. (I assume that you interact with said government by voting, paying taxes, receiving benefits, using public infrastructure, ...)

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Feds cuff VW exec over diesel emissions scam

Schultz
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Re: My car is not up to spec

What about all those other cars (especially SUVs) that belch out smoke and stink? Take a walk along any major inner city road and just watch and smell - the problem goes way beyond VW. I assume all those cars need their engine 'protected' when the accelerator is pressed. Maybe it's time everyone grew up and realized that you cannot drive a 3-ton truck with zero emissions. If it looks too good to be true ...

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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

Schultz
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Not very scary...

because according to my scientific study of aquarium zebrafish reproducing at a rate of 2000% per week, all biomass on Earth will be zebrafish by this time next year. What are the zombies going to bite then?

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British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

Schultz
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Stop

Re: operational in all weather

You misread, it says: "tracking targets in all weathers", not effective in all weathers.

So you want a decent radar for tracking. You may then proceed to shoot at the target in any weather and if the weather is nice, the target might take notice. Sounds realistic to me.

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