* Posts by Mage

6237 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

Mage
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Devil

Re: "drain the swamp"

However anything NOT cross platform, or available ONLY on Mac or Win10 etc is Evil.

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D-Link joins hands with Microsoft to give 'Super Wi-Fi' a push

Mage
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Re: 54Mhz?

There is no TV "white space" either. It's a dishonest spectrum grab.

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Mage
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RUBBISH!

"and so it doesn't interfere with TV transmissions, 802.11af uses a cognitive radio to sense other spectrum users, and a localisation database to keep track of broadcasters."

Totally flawed. Can only work if EVERY TV receiver is reporting to a central database with frequencies and locations used. Apart from the lack of internet access in 10% to 30% of cases, there is a privacy issue too.

Also assumes no mobile TV.

See "hidden transmitter syndrome". If these are not 100% illegal, then the regulators are not fit for purpose. I can imagine the howl if Mobile or Military licensed channels used.

This is pure evil.

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

Mage
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Re: The only reason Apple still make macbooks

is that Apple employees doing web pages, programming or stuff in the Apple store don't have a Lenovo or Dell logo on the laptop lids.

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Mage
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Re: Bye Bye Apple

Ives isn't a HW or SW guy, purely an Arty type copying Dieter Rams. Fine for book cases, radiogram or a pocket radio in 1960s, bankrupt for computers, phones and tablets. He's a stylist with no originality. Not a product designer, never was.

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Mage
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Alternately

Buy a nice Lenovo, look at E460, they offer Win7 Pro.

Download Linux Mint + mate 64 bit to a USB stick, boot and install. It lets you drag space for Windows vs Linux on GUI.

Then you have Linux for all the serious work and Windows 7 for games.

Apple has no commitment to OSX, only to iOS.

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Microsoft's cmd.exe deposed by PowerShell in Windows 10 preview

Mage
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Re: feedback?

They are "listening" to the wrong people and interpreting telemetry & feedback according to pre-conceived notions.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Weird move...

It's not that PowerShell is good or bad, we have had it for nearly 10 years and you can use it any time you want. It's the constant gratuitous changes to GUI and behaviour of the system, that's arrogant and wrong. The argument should NOT be about if Powershell is better or worse than cmd.exe, but the misleading change to user interface.

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Mage
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Re: ksh or nothing, thank heavens for cygwin

Yes, this change is arrogant as all that want Power Shell are using it.

" It can, for example, pipe not just text but objects, as well. It can manage the Windows registry and Windows Management Instrumentation. It can batch rename files. It can read a list of users in an Excel file and automatically add them to an Active Directory group."

I'll grant that the regular shell probably just pipes text, but I think you can do all the other stuff without powershell.

---

Piping objects sounds a little dangerous, like Active X in a Web Page, or DCOM, or even the original OLE / COM. IMO the only place for an "Object" is in the program that created it, anything else is a reliability and security horror. OLE/Com was a bad idea. DCOM and Active X in Web pages are evil.

Also embedding a Visio or Excel or something might seem clever and useful till you email the Word Doc to someone that only has Word. There are better ways to transfer content between Apps than the MS way.

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Samsung flames out as Chinese march on

Mage
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14% vs 6%

So Apple, without exploding batteries didn't do well either.

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Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

Mage
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Big Brother

"you take the crazy stuff away from people."

That logically means closing Facebook, Twitter, most of Murdoch controlled news, Buzzfeed etc ...

Maybe even state censorship Russia / NK / China style. Careful what you wish for.

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Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

Mage
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Re: Company law

"It is the duty of the Directors to maximise returns for the shareholders, unless the company articles state otherwise."

Actually the duties of the Directors are:

1) Keep the law.

2) Supervise the "boss" to ensure what ever goals are decided are aimed for.

The Shareholders and originally the articles of incorporation decide the goals, the priority. There is no inherent obligation to short term bottom line or immediate or long term profit. Often too much of a focus purely on profit today is the mark of speculators and asset strippers, not responsible directors. Yes, a business must make profit, that's not always best to have as MAIN priority. Growth or survival can be more important sometimes.

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Mage
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Pint

dark is cool

It's certainly cold outside in the dark.

But yes, all true.

PR and compensation costs less than "doing stuff properly".

Have a virtual glass of your Favourite, Dabbsy.

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Microsoft ❤️ Linux? Microsoft ❤️ running its Windows' SQL Server software on Linux

Mage
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Re:Wine

Wine is quite different to Drawbridge as it's not running an NT Kernel.

Useful for old Windows programs with no Linux alternative, and may run ones that won't work on Win7 / Win8 / Win10.

The only point to Windows was the legacy compatibility. They have badly broken it and also MS has emulated some APIs used by traditional "Forms" based GUIs in favour of GUIs written Direct3D APIs, which is crazy for ordinary non-media programs. Does MS think users only want video and games and force devs to use higher RAM resource APIs for "ordinary" applications? Mad.

Drawbridge is a proprietary way for MS to distribute to paying Linux users, it's not a good idea for users that want to run legacy applications.

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Mozilla launches 'privacy edition' Firefox... that phones home

Mage
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Re: Not surprised.... More settings hidden away each release....

And on Linux/Windows: Classic Theme Restorer as well as NoScript.

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LinkedIn officially KickedOut of Russia

Mage
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Only in Russia?

I'm suspecting that the way they run stuff at least breaks intentions of EU and similar Countries' laws

Same applies to Facebook.

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ESA lofts one astronaut and four Galileo satellites into orbit

Mage
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Pint

re: four at a time on Ariane

@Tom Womack

You need a lot of confidence, nerve or an interesting insurance policy to put so many eggs in one basket, or maybe "birds" in a nose cone.

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Mage
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Alien

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet

For a moment I thought he was on an Ariane, and I wondered, how?

Though what happened to the ESA space truck adaptation for human use? I think five have been used.

In unlikely facts, the ESA, while part EU funded, has Canada as an Associate Member and not all EU nations are members. So UK can stay in ESA after Brexit.

Good to hear the Ariane 5 Launch of the Galileo was OK.

Roscosmos is looking at a new version of Energia to compete in heavy lifting. The Indians, Chinese and Space X are getting commercial.

Arianespace still has the majority of launches and the majority of satellites in orbit launched by them. The ownership is complex. It's worth looking up CNES, ESA and Arianespace, also Roscosmos (new space centre and a pad at the European Space port), Japanese, Israel, India, China. The Americans are not as dominant as the media sometimes suggests. Chinese and Indians catching up.

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

Mage
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Re: less effort indeed

NoScript is more protection and less damage than AV. Whitelist a minimum of scripts.

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Elon Musk wants to launch 4,000 satellites and smother globe with net connectivity

Mage
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Re: Cars

The cars are subsidized by all tax payers for a rich elite. However the article is misleading in tone, though certainly hyperloop and some other Musk ideas are not practical, or in the case of "power wall" sensible.

The Energia + Buran was supposed to be more re-usable than US Shuttle. Time will tell how viable the Space X is. It's too early yet.

Supposedly Energia components are still in production use in other rockets and there has been recent talk of a new version, spurred by competition from China, Ariane (just signed off next version), India and indeed SpaceX.

There is already the OB2 project (SES-Astra partnered with others) with real satellites in orbit to avoid latency of the geostationary birds.

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Mage
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Re: Shipping

Iridium is owned by US gov, as military backup.

Most shipping uses other satellite resources.

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Facebook Telecom Infrastructure Project starts chucking rocks at mobile model

Mage
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Big Brother

So...

A social Media company thinks they can do infrastructure better than Ericsson, Nokia Networks, HuiWei, etc. And cheap boxes "better" than Arris, Thomson, Cisco, Juniper, D-Link, half of China etc etc.

Why would I trust them to:

a) Get it right

b) Not be interfering / monitoring

c) Not lose interest like Google.

They are a parasitical "social exploitation" advert selling company.

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

two-thirds of British current account holders stranded

Of ALL internet users, or smart phone users or merely Windows Phone users?

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Qualcomm taps Samsung to make next-gen 10nm Snapdragon

Mage
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Coat

Chip size and thinner?

Nothing much to do with chip size, more to do with skinnier screen assemblies, thinner batteries. Even Apple's excuse about the 3.5mm jack socket is a lie.

Really in terms of battery and loudspeaker (if not holding it to ear, and I see LOADS of people using their phones ST-TOS style) and being robust the phones need to be fatter. Even 10mm is fine. Less than 8.5mm is a fashion statement, not sensible. People want better battery life and more robust, not thinner. No-one should need buy the stupid bumper covers, that's an indication of design failure. I've never used one, though I got one included with last phone.

Also the chip shrinkage rarely ever affects THICKNESS, but the PCB area. The Samsung SC6400 family ARM (variant in original iPhone) allowed easy design with no external PCB traces to Flash memory and RAM, as it had the RAM and Flash chips inside the package, piggy-backed. Not possible on Intel in even 2008. Even that design would let you make a 6mm thick phone.

AMOLED saves some thickness as there is no polariser, no rear/edge diffuser/lightpipe/LED illumination arrangement and the actual bare panel is skinnier than an LCD. Shorter life though as it's not LEDs in the conventional sense but more like an EL panel.

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KCL staff offered emotional support, clergy chat to help get over data loss

Mage
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Re: Always back up your data!

I AM my own IT manager and I don't trust my backups. I make additional personal ones and tell users to additionally back up everything as well as having it on their laptop AND the server.

You can't be too careful. Fire, Flood, plague, locusts, rats, mice, rooks etc. I also backup "off site".

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Curb your enthusiasm, 'India's smartphones are changing the world' fans

Mage
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Carphone warehouse

They have an event horizon.

You can only get large, larger or enormous smart phones that all look identical. Or a range of tablets that look identical.

They don't even sell keyboard covers for phones or tablets.

No phones, that can primarily and easily be used as a phone.

A feature phone with MP3 player, camera, FM Radio, eBook reader (epub or mobi) and SD card slot would be nice.

I never use data on my smart phone (I do have a tablet and laptop). I'd like a flip or slider phone. I find the smartphones awkward for actual phone calls. But then I'm not a social media addict. Who sells feature phones that work on European GSM, 3G and maybe 4G. It's possible due to stupid Ofcom and Comreg licenses that you need 3G (900/1800/2100) and GSM (900/1800) for decent coverage. The 4G coverage seems a bit of joke and there is no native voice mode anyway, optimised for smart phones and data packages.

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Facebook 'fesses up to fudged ad metrics … again

Mage
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Misreporting

Incompetence or deliberate till someone caught then out?

How often has it been only slightly wrong?

How often have they under-estimated?

Deduping is obvious.

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UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn

Mage
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Re: Non-USA options may be better value

Not sure if I meant Black Arrow OR Blue Streak.

Both part of space program, but Blue Streak more for the missile programme. Many launchers later based on ICBMs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Arrow

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Streak_(missile)

Both applicable to the past glories of UK tech before bean counting pen pushers decided it was better to outsource.

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Mage
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Non-USA options may be better value

Popeye, Delilah?

UK, the only country in the world to reach space and abandon it (Bluestreak) and abandon their own Nukes. All to please USA presidents?

Look at France, ESA (though both UK and Canada are members), CNES, Arianespace. etc.

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Getting to the bottom of the cloud debate

Mage
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Facepalm

Cloud

Only makes any sense to massively online or geographically dispersed operations.

The bulk of people and IT is actually SME, where the loss of the interconnection or arrogance of a Cloud Megacorp might mean the end of their business. For them the Cloud is just 1960s to 1980s rented offsite servers owned by someone else. For the majority, then the Cloud is a backward step that will cost them more (if there is proper backups etc). Even the connectivity to cloud could cost the majority of SME more than running their own IT. They'd still need in house IT staff even with the Cloud.

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Brit smart streetlight bods Telensa named 'global market leader'

Mage
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Alert

Remote control

a) Street lights with light sensors on top automatically come on in the middle of the day, generally obviating need for remote control. Remote control is only required for councils more concerned with saving money at 3am than safety of pedestrians.

b) Remote control over the mains is ancient and replaced time switches very long ago. Signalling rate is very low, so reliable.

How long till these are hacked?

There are huge number of daft luminare [sp?] designs out there being used by councils, including uplighters with ineffective reflector hats. Some go more for style than function.

Many are too bright on the pole to look at, whatever the lumens sprayed on the ground are, thus worse for night vision. Bad design of luminare.

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Virgin Galactic and Boom unveil Concorde 2.0 tester to restart supersonic travel

Mage
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OTH

I think the Ekranoplan is cool, probably much cheaper to run and they actually exist.

Is supersonic (and hypersonic flight London to Sydney) merely egotism?

I did think Concorde was amazing. I used to watch the training flights. Noisy.

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Mage
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Re: No so great in time savings

Do we need time savings if you have in-flight cheap VOIP, data, skype etc?

Maybe then Airships with private office / cabins would be viable. Digital Nomads with no ground based office, no more fantastic than economically viable supersonic flight.

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Firefox hits version 50

Mage
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Re: I like GUIs to be obvious

The start time doesn't seem to be affected on my Windows and Linux Mint (Mate Desktop).

Classic Theme Restorer works fine on Mint too to make it like the other windows. I had to use a different plugin to fix Thunderbird.

I do wish Mozilla would concentrate on bugs and performance and security. Fix stupid default settings (make 3rd party cookies blocked by default etc) and make it easier to access permissions. Stop fiddling with cosmetics and GUI.

I turned off search and auto correct/guessing on URL bar as that is a vulnerability. I have the search entry box working in the old style. Stupid change they made.

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Mage
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Re: constantly changing interface.

I use "Classic Theme Restorer" on Firefox on Windows and Linux. The GUI on Android isn't much different than the other mobile browsers.

Do Chromium usage figures get aggregated to Chrome stats in the article? They are very different on privacy.

I see in a another post: Chromium 0.17%

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Mage
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Chrome

Why the high usage of Google's Chrome?

Is it due to phones/tablets, Android?

Do people not care about privacy?

I'm puzzled. Firefox seems to work OK on my Android 5.1 tablet. I can't see what advantage Chrome has for laptop or PC, or am I missing something?

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Forget razors and blades, APIs are the new gotcha

Mage
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Devil

Not just API charging

Never use 3rd party APIs or code at runtime. Have all the code on your own server or instance.

Web sites using APIs / 3rd party fonts / 3rd party scripts etc are nuts.

Apart from the future potential to be charged, there is the Websites are awash with using 3rd party servers at runtime. It's a security and privacy hole apart from the issue in the article.

Another reason to be suspicious of claims of cost savings with Cloud Computing. Service providers want profits. WIMPEY.

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If you can chdir you can hack CA's Unified Infrastructure Manager

Mage
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Facepalm

sequences like “..”

Amazing ...

First thing I check when I set up hosting is that public HTML can't browse at all and I can't get outside my own "home" via SFTP, SSH, control panel etc (otherwise other users maybe accidently ... never mind hackers)

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Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Marketing not Design

They like to pretend that rather plain shapes with generic insides (Jony doesn't actually do anything except appearance), mostly copied from Braun and Dieter Rams is their secret. But it's the marketing. The iTunes and record deals for iPod and the carrier data deals for iPhone.

Students of Industrial design would be wasting money on this piece of vanity publishing that can be got up in a slide show from Wikipedia if you really wanted.

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Samsung sets fire to $9m by throwing it at Tizen devs

Mage
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QT

Sadly Nokia bought Trolltech / QT and then messed it up, the original guys left.

What did Nokia do with all that stuff after they conned MS into buying the dying phone division? They didn't sell any IP to MS.

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Fake election news meltdown vortex sucks in Google

Mage
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Flame

Re: BBC

Nor helped by their own narrow agendas, nor their fake sense of balance. They DAILY print and broadcast information they later admit quietly (on Newsnight or Feedback) they knew was false. c.f. Brexit campaign.

BBC is regularly accused by Left (e.g. Guardian) of being Right Wing and by Right (Murdoch and others) of being Lefties. The fact is that they have given up fact checking, given up real journalism in favour of letting random member of public talk, or someone give a speech, that is NOT an interview. An interview involves research of the truth in advance and challenging the interviewee with it.

In contrast to BBC, the Irish PSB, RTE is merely incompetent. The BBC seems to do it deliberately as part of some sort of policy.

The BBC was less patronising when Rieth ran it before WWII.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Google vs Wikipedia

Google and Facebook are not interested in accuracy, only in Ad revenue and clicks, and they pretend they are not publishers.

Because of how they work, they won't be fixed, Facebook especially is broken.

Wikipedia does get pawned, does have deliberate and accidental errors but at least has a commitment and admits to being a publisher.

I'd imagine Snopes is fairly overwhelmed these days.

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China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

Mage
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Automated Production

Even 100% automated production would not be economic, because of the supply chain. I think that's why hard drives are not moving from Thailand any time soon.

Poor locally produced component quality and prices as much killed UK Consumer Electronics as labour costs. Actually the Labour costs on some products are such a tiny percentage that it's purely supply chain and existing factory automation investment that dictates build location.

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Portable drive, 5TB capacity. Hmm, there's something fishy here

Mage
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Re: misleading headline: NOT

"states there may be a problem with the drive (something fishy here)"

No, it doesn't

Something fishy = "BarraCuda inside"

"The barracuda is a ray-finned fish known for its large size, fearsome appearance and furious behaviour. The barracuda is a saltwater fish of the genus Sphyraena, the only genus in the family Sphyraenidae, and is found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide ranging from the Eastern border of the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and Caribbean Sea. They are found near the top of the water and near coral reefs and sea grasses"

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The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

Mage
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Re: You missed the case where it has already started.

Automatic Trading isn't AI.

Also it's actually an immoral type of speculation. Someone wrote a book exposing it. If small guys do it they are sent to jail.

Can we have a more useful example that's actually AI?

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Mage
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Coat

Watson?

No big change, just the incremental development of Big Data and human curated databases.

It's only AI in a very narrow sense. The application has to be trained and curated by expert humans. Thirty years ago we called such computer databases with specialist front ends "Expert Systems". Neither they nor Watson has matched the marketing hype.

Probably such a system, if well designed and trained (curated by expert humans) would improve on the USPTO. I doubt it would reduce the job count much. They also need to charge more for accepted applications and less for rejected ones. It's the wrong way round right now.

No doubt these specialist AI applications will reduce the job count in some companies. However technology has been affecting jobs seriously since about the 1790s, power looms and later the Jacquard attachment (1801).

The effect and capabilities of "AI" is oversold and hyped with a "biological" jargon.

The 1930s saw paper tape driven automated production of many items.

"The first power loom was designed in 1784 by Edmund Cartwright and first built in 1785. It was refined over the next 47 years until a design by Kenworthy and Bullough made the operation completely automatic.

By 1850 there were 260,000 in operation in England. Fifty years later came the Northrop Loom that would replenish the shuttle when it was empty and this replaced the Lancashire loom."

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Swedish prosecutor finally treks to London to question Julian Assange

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: "I don't know what the standard term for rape in sweden is "

The UK was FAR more likely to ship him to USA than give bail and didn't. Sweden would not ship him to USA.

Wikileaks and Assange have no credibility on this.

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WileyFox Swift 2: A new champ of the 'for around £150' market

Mage
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Alert

Attempted Apple Marketing

It sounds like good value from a UK orientated company.

The marketing style, lack of documentation and lack of support is worrying.

" WileyFox talked how it had added "17 steps to the production process, two rounds of diamond cutting CNC" and made the device using "aviation-grade aluminium"."

That's all fairly meaningless, even if 100% true.

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Australia teases binning x86 for Power CPUs in new supercomputer

Mage
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Old fogey mode

I remember when Windows (NT) did support Power, MIPS, Alpha 32, Alpha 64 and x86.

I think Windows went downhill due to migrating win9x /WinME features and programmers to the dev team and concentrating on Shiny (Ribbon in Office, Aero etc).

They ought not to be specifying Windows at all.

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GitLab to dump cloud for its own bare metal Ceph boxen

Mage
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Big Brother

Cloud

The Cloud owners have to make profit every month and have ongoing overheads.

A server is always going to be cheaper to buy (for a year) if the Cloud is making money. The actual real cost of both solutions is more complicated.

Cloud is OK for cross site collaboration, if you have your own local backups. Assuming issues of privacy and security are sorted (those are often unclear for the Cloud).

Cloud = Server of someone else, out to make profit.

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