* Posts by Herby

2740 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Arm Inside: Is Apple ready for the next big switch?

Herby
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There is ALWAYS an option...

One wonders what Intel might be had IBM picked the 68k as its processor for the PeeCee. Then (1980 or so as I recall) IBM had a chunk of ownership in Intel, so the choice was made for them. Fast forward to around 1990 when Apple, IBM, and Motorola chummied up and eventually decided to go the PPC route. Who knows what the world might be if they had different decisions. Sadly the 68k processors didn't get the backing from Motorola (Freescale, whoever it is now), and the shift was on again. It happens. For the most part if all you need to do is cycle the source through a different compiler chain, and you get something that "works", I suspect that nobody will really care. Rare is the application now that touches the instruction set directly, it is all some sort of compiled code.

Personally, the 68k instruction set was pretty good, and could have improved given the chance (*SIGH*). Who knows, maybe there is a 68k emulator that runs under ARM (at reasonable speed).

Life goes on.

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Herby
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Meanwhile in sunny (it rained last night) California..

We have these things issued by our wonderful friendly DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) called stickers. We attach them to our license plates to indicate we have paid $$$ in fees and taxes to our wonderful state. These change color every year so friendly policemen can tell if you have paid up. Thankfully, they allow one to renew registrations online eliminating ghastly lines at the local DMV office (hours!).

Of course the local police aren't that observant. While I do renew, the sticker on my vehicle still says 2015. In a year or so the color will be back in vogue. If you DON'T pay (and get your vehicle smog checked every other year), the fines are a real mess. I won't even go there.

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Herby
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Of course, one wonders...

If Apple still supports an Imagewriter (2). That would be telling..

Sorry I just don't know.

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How can airlines stop hackers pwning planes over the air? And don't say 'regular patches'

Herby
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Coat

This gives new meaning to...

The friendly skies. Friendly to WiFi intrusions.

My coat is already on.

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Red Hat opens its ARMs to Enterprise Linux... er, wait, perhaps it's the other way round

Herby
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What is really needed...

Is some vendor to make nice form factor compatible motherboards with ARM CPU chips. Throw in a couple of PCI (or whatever buss is popular) slots and there you have it.

Given this, just plunk down a Linux distro and you are in business.

Works for me. Arm & Linux, a nice alternative to "wintel".

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Guess who's now automating small-biz IT jobs? Yes, it's Microsoft

Herby
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Haven't I heard this before??

I'm from Microsoft and I'm here to help you.

I'm sure everyone knows how this turns out.

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Funnily enough, when Qualcomm's licensees stop sending in their royalty checks, profits start going south

Herby
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Could be....

That Qualcomm is an acquisition target. When Apple gets a chance to repatriate all of its overseas $$$$ it might want to spend it on something worthwhile.

You never know.

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A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down

Herby
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Couple of things needed here...

There are TWO parts of an election with very different qualities needed.

First, there is the voting itself. Very "private" by its nature, and should remain so.

Second, there is the counting. It needs to be VERY public so we have some faith in the process.

The big problem is attempting to combine these two very different functions into one "device". It shouldn't be done AT ALL.

What to do? Have the "voting machine" accept nice inputs from a touch screen, and with a connected printer generate a both human and machine readable document that you stuff into a ballot box. Then anyone can tally up things and all is good. If the voter doesn't like the votes recorded (by inspection), tear it up and try again.

Will it be done this way? Probably not, but we can hope.

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New phishing campaign uses 30-year-old Microsoft mess as bait

Herby
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Joke

Microsoft Windows...

Is a feature, not a bug...

Sorry, I must categorize this as a joke, but for some reason, it isn't that much of one.

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US-CERT study predicts machine learning, transport systems to become security risks

Herby
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Nothing...

Will go wrong go wrong go wrong...

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You're doing open source wrong, Microsoft tsk-tsk-tsks at Google: Chrome security fixes made public too early

Herby
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This reminds of...

Pot...Kettle...Black.

Enough said.

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Microsoft Azure ████ secret ██ █████ ██ US govt's ███ ███ centers

Herby
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Strange partners...

Microsoft and the Government.

They probably deserve each other, but I can always turn off Microsoft, but not the government, so I wonder what is going on.

Of course mentioning security and Microsoft in the same sentence is always problematical.

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Programming bootcamp compiles $375,000 check after triggering New York AG's error handlers

Herby
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So...

This is where the "wonderful coding" that populates The daily WTF. They must use the _Learn_<insert topic here>_in_24_hours_ as a textbook.

Sorry, but it takes a few years to be "good", and hopefully you have some "real world" experience.

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Watch out for Microsoft Word DDE nasties: Now Freddie Mac menaced

Herby
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Joke

Security warnings??

Isn't that the Windows Boot screen. There is no 'OK' there.

Maybe this isn't a joke after all.

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Has Git ever driven you so mad you wanted to bomb it? Well, now you can with this tiny repo

Herby
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Joke

That does it...

I'm going back to SCCS.

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

Herby
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What, me worry?

I always called it FORTRAN.

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Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Herby
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It just happened to me...

Yesterday the power went out (unbeknownst to me) and my wonderful wife with iPhone in hand complained to me that out WiFi wasn't working. So she rolled over and handed me the iPhone and I attempted to look for WiFi to no avail. The next complaint was that the charger wasn't working either. This usually happens when I switch off the outlet connected to the light on her size of the sleeping apparatus (there is a switch on my side). So I flick the switch and hope that the light comes on. Nope that doesn't work either. I then "rise and shine" and look around. No power. Not a good thing.

So, yes, it can take a few minutes to realize that the power is out, and it did happen to me.

(*SIGH*)

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

Herby
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Is anything ever obsolete?

I suspect that "new" video display boxen (aka TV's) will attempt to be compatible with new standards, but you never know. In my house, I still have (count 'em) 5 NTSC only TVs. They still work quite nicely with the TiVo box that emits proper signals. Yes, I do have a bunch of "adapters" (with enough $40 coupons you can get quite a few) and a single W I D E screen video display box for watching sporting events at times (it also makes a great display for a Raspberry Pi).

Someone should have designed the ATSC standard to last a bit longer. NTSC lasted over 60 years in one form or another, and served us quite well. One thing I learned is that we humans can interpolate quite a bit in the visual field, and while some things need lots of resolution (computer monitors seem to be high on the list), entertainment TV got by quite well at 480p resolution for quite a while!

So, life goes on and another standard goes obsolete. (*SIGH*)

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Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Herby
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What happens if...

You guess the password and do it anyway?

What is "authorized"? By whom?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Now if they will convict the ransomware people, that would be a start.

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Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

Herby
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By design?

Maybe some government entity is lurking in Redmond's back pocket. They always wanted backdoors.

Than again, trusting Microsoft is a risky thing anyway.

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Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold

Herby
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Windows Security??

I believe that that is an OXYMORON.

For some reason I believe it will always be until Redmond turns to dust.

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SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation

Herby
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Pumpkin spice??

Wasn't that one of the Spice Girls. At least that is what I thought.

p.s. I really don't like pumpkin for eating AT ALL. They are bet for carving weird faces to scare people. Candles for illuminating optional. Oh, yes, they don't last long so you do it a couple of days before. Be sure to throw away sometime on November 1.

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Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

Herby
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The lesson here...

Is that the internet is "forever" and "very public". Lose these lessons, and you are in a bit of trouble.

As for the former secretary of state, if she lost a hair for each of the lies she told, a cue ball would have more hair (probably by an order of magnitude).

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Uber loses bid to avoid trial in Waymo case

Herby
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Joke

This just in....

Uber for sale. Please take liabilities as well.

Google may get a bargain price then. You never know.

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Pennsylvania cops deploy electronics sniffer dog to catch child abusers

Herby
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I suspect...

That a dip in ammonia (let air dry) will probably do the trick.

As for the particular case, I suspect that they already had a warrant for the entire premises, and locating the nasty device was the task at hand, the pooch assisting. Just a time saver for the police who didn't want to paw through "everything".

Of course "encrypted cloud storage" is the order of the day.

Yes, beware of the BOFH!

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US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

Herby
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Searches, Searches...

When you cross a frontier, EVERYTHING is subject to search for contraband. If a customs bozo opens up your suitcase and sees plans for (insert terrible thing here), what do you think he is going to do?

Yes, the problem is now compounded with the amount of data you can carry in such a small space, but is just the same. Try going to places like China where after they seize your laptop they put monitoring software on to see what subversive stuff you are doing and what secrets they can have you graciously ship back to them for competitive reasons.

I suspect the moral of the story is "Don't piss off a border agent".

It would be nice if we didn't need to do such things, but that ideal world sadly doesn't exist.

I'll probably get downvotes for this (*SIGH*)

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North Korea attacks Bitcoin bods to swell its war chest says FireEye

Herby
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Maybe...

The ransomware is being promulgated by the NORKs themselves. They asked for payment in BTC, now they want to cash out.

You never know!

Of course it may be a bit difficult to get those fake $100 bills converted, but they will still try.

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El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes

Herby
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"Note that we do not have an IT helpdesk"

This is probably the smartest thing that you mention. You already have a BOFH in residence, so additional ones really aren't needed.

Best of luck.

A bit too far away for me to apply, and I might not fit the proper demographic (50 years and counting being paid for computer work).

Thankfully BOFH's are not age bound.

On requirements? Does having a bronze, silver or gold badge count?

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Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Herby
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Scott McNealy was right.....

We should all remember the quote and treat data accordingly:

"You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."

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Amazon crowd-sources new HQ location, Bezos tells mayors to woo him

Herby
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What if...

They gave a party and nobody came?

One wonders. Build a stadium? It seems that cities like to do this to get football (American) teams to move. Las Vegas likes to do just that.

Maybe he needs to build a city from scratch. Call it "Amazonia", and eventually it will have a million people fawning over it.

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

Herby
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Email...1978...Huh?

Email in one form or another has been around since the 1960's (then is was to users on the same computer). It did take a while to get from machine to machine, but there it was.

Anyone can implement and email program (I thought about at one time, but passed), and call it "EMAIL". I'm sure many have done so. Not very unique.

Invention implies "new and novel". I suspect that this chap has done neither.

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Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

Herby
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We don't care...

...We're Microsoft, we don't have to.

Seems this is the slogan they're working with these days.

At least the phone company and IBM did care to some degree. Maybe someone WILL get fired for buying Microsoft products. We can only hope.

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Chinese smartphone cable-maker chucks sueball at Apple

Herby
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Wait, more is coming...

Wait for USB-C connectors and their ilk. From what I understand most (not all, thankfully) cables will have some sort of chip in them to diddle pins around.

It is coming folks, just wait and see.

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US government: We can jail you indefinitely for not decrypting your data

Herby
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Can you keep a secret??

Well, so can I.

A secret is only a secret if ONE person knows it. I guess the same goes for encryption. Of course, we forget ALL the time.

I've always wondered what would happen if I had files of landscapes labeled as "suzie.jpg". Somehow I really don't want to find out.

Now where is the "Forgot password" for the encrypted file......

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Trump-hating Iranian is the new Uber CEO

Herby
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Uber...San Francisco...

...Trump bashing...

Nothing to see here, please go away.

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Boffins bust AI with corrupted training data

Herby
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maliciously trained network...

Or training in general. Please take note of the VW Diesel emissions software. It was "trained" to pass tests. Not the best, but an example of what can go wrong.

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VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

Herby
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Done all the time...

In a galaxy far far away, and a long time ago. Back when it was fashionable to benchmark compilers using specific programs (Drystone is but one example) is was found that some compilers had recognition code to detect such programs and emit a HIGHLY optimized program that would score better than the typical code emitted by the compiler. This was done to get specific sales to governments that used said benchmarks. I understand that the code involved had a more detrimental effect (health wise), but the cases are similar.

I would hope that the prosecutor would go up the food chain to find out the correct person to throw in the clink, but alas, those exact people are the ones that will have the highest priced legal assistance to (likely) get away with the crime. From appearances this guy was involved in the specification, but the orders must have come from higher up. We shall see what happens next.

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New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

Herby
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Why does she still have that job??

The answer to this is obvious: She is a civil servant, and they have (union) jobs for life at exorbitant pay rates. Also no higher-up is willing to take the hit for hiring her in the first place.

Life goes on. So does politics.

Now all of this begs the question, can someone who is very enterprising re-purpose these "surplus" phones to be something modern (an Android port?)? You might be able to get them pretty cheaply!

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Node.js forks again – this time it's a war of words over anti-sex-pest codes of conduct

Herby
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It is called...

Sillycon Valley for a reason.

For all concerned, the new "Code of Conduct" (all inclusive if you ask me) should be:

1) Be Nice.

2) Don't be a jerk.

Enough said.

Of course BOFH's excluded, but that is another story.

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Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

Herby
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We're all in a hurry...

And the nice autonomous driving vehicles we all want rarely take this into account. Having just driven around 600 miles two days ago (coming back from the eclipse watching), I saw lots of people just doing bad things. Yes, there were all types and then you mix up trucks (aka lorries) on the road that desire to pass one another at speeds about 10 mph below passenger cars, you get frustrated. Compound that with cranky passengers that demand food/drink/rest stops NOW, and you get an interesting mix of conditions.

Autonomous driving hasn't come here yet, so we must drive ourselves around and go long distances. I challenge Elon and Company to get his nice electric vehicle from here in Sillycon Valley to greater LA all by itself. The distance is around 300 miles, and (thankfully) I can get that on a single tank of gas (petrol) in my big ugly SUV that I drive. It takes around 5 - 6 hours (traffic on I-5) but it can be done.

Yes, warning systems are nice, but educating drivers is a good start. Remember:

"Ban low performance drivers, not high performance cars"!

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Herby
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Lesson to be learned...

Nice goes a long way. You hope that the user is as nice as you are.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always go that way. I've learned that starting out "small" and then escalating is much better than starting out at the loudest level.

Patience is a virtue.

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Singapore court awards $2.9m over bad job reference

Herby
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That's one way of doing it!

"The letter requesting the reference torn into quarters and posted back."

I like this! Of course this is but one way of providing references. Look, if you are giving references, you should know what the reference is going to say. Anything else is just plain dumb.

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The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu

Herby
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I'll wait...

For python 4.

It will happen someday, and then the 2/3 mess will be behind us. Until then, I'll keep my whitespace to myself, one tab at a time.

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The cheek of it! Beach bar owner shoots nude bather in the booty

Herby
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Re: Low jeans

My sister was a principal at an elementary school where this fashion statement was in vogue. Her method of discouraging it was to say that "Looks like your diapers are a bit full there". The effect was pretty good.

Of course there is "plumbers crack" which is a whole different story.

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Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

Herby
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Simple: Artificial Intelligence...

Isn't.

They have been trying for years, and haven't gotten much. I don't hold out much hope either. Of course, given the "Intelligence" of people these days, the standard they wish to obtain is getting lower and lower as time passes.

Life goes on.

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A storage giant wants to give you 46,763...

Herby
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Possible "explanation"?

You see, the HIGHEST priced item is first on the list, and will likely do anything you want it to. The later descriptions are there to befuddle the purchaser into saying "forget it", just order me the first thing.

Of course the most expensive thing (first one) is the one with the highest margins, but who is counting.

Lots of people order things like that because they know not what they actually need, and say "Get it!". It probably leads to a bunch of WTFs along the way.

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China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

Herby
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I suspect that there might be a small problem attracting people.

The home country will probably get first dibs on what goes on, and take credit for anything that happens. So:

All your base are belong to us.

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Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

Herby
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Silly "private" dns stuff abounds.

In a previous job, they had a control LAN for various pieces of kit. It was always intended to be a unrouted local network that was only to be used for this purpose. Then they decided to "document" it, and called it "private.lan.com" in the documentation. Not so fast. You see the national airline of Chile is called (wait for it) LAN Airlines. They have a web site "lan.com". The documentation looks pretty silly and I suspect that the name server probably gets LOTS of unwarranted requests from idiots managers who think they know better and like nice documentation.

Yes, reserving ".localhost" and ALWAYS returning "no such name" is probably a good idea. Returning anything other than that (like resolving to 127.0.0.1) is probably a really bad idea. Yes, it should be in the "hosts" file, as it always was.

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Mid-flight jumbo font smartphone text shock sparks kid abuse arrests

Herby
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Re: Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

Yes, just go down I-280, and you will make it just fine. Lots of exits from the freeway.

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Teen who texted boyfriend to kill himself gets 15 months jail

Herby
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Then I remember...

The words to a theme song for a very popular TV show in the 70's. Something about doctors and war....

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