* Posts by Herby

2949 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

BOFH: Shove your project managementry up your mailbox!

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Using a Bat

Of either persuasion (Cricket, or Baseball) is revered to as "Impact Therapy". If applied all at once, it may also be termed "Impulse Impact Therapy".

As for project managers, they need a constant dose! Multiple times per day!

Apple Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

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There ARE alternatives...

My Mac might go to system 8 or so, as its a Quadra 840AV. While it is a bit underwhelming at this point, it is a pretty nice Mac, and with System 7.6.1 running on it, it does what I ask it to do (not much currently).

A thought for Apple: Maybe have an option to install Libre Office/Open Office at the same time, free of charge. It is pretty much compatible and will up the user base of that product (might make the people in Redmond unhappy, but Apple already does that). It would be a great service for those who are using Macs for "real work".

Just a thought!

What happens when Facebook follows MySpace?

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What is "permanent"?

As the article says:

Any thoughts as to the best way to achieve this?

Actually, there is no real "safe" way to archive much of anything. There used to be a Library in Alexandria that went to ashes bunches of years ago (they are making a new one). That was thought to be long lasting. Here in the USA, our census records are pretty long lived, but one has gone to ashes (1890?) already. Stone edifices have lasted quite a while, but weather takes them out after a while (and they have low storage capacity anyway).

History is a fickle thing, it is usually written in the current era, hopefully using "sources" from days gone by. Sometimes things CAN be saved (my family has company documents from a covered wagon company headed out to California during the gold rush in 1849), but good historical documents are the exception.

What to do? Lots of copies, and keep making them. Hopefully they will be on media that can still be used in 10-20-30 years. Nice to keep old units (anyone have 9 track tape drives?) just to make sure.

So, keep those 8 inch floppies, they may be needed!

New lightest-ever material: Ideal power for electric car

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I thought that Upsadasium was the lightest material. Of course the government has confiscated all of it. The last it was heard of was back in the 60's

McDonalds staff 'rough up' prof with home-made techno-spectacles

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All of this discussion has yet to yield an answer to the basic question of why did they attack the person in the first place? Was this ever explained to the wearer in the first place?

From the looks of it this attack was just because he looked weird, and not much else. It also appears that (again from the reports given here) that there was no explanation given to wearer before the attack. Back in the late 30's in another country, attacks for having hooked noses seems similar, but I'll leave that discussion to another time.

All in all, a bad sign.

Advise to all: Get out of Paris and enjoy the countryside. Generally there are better people there (or at least it was that way when I visited last in 1991).

Washington State to allow voter registration via Facebook

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Now all my friends can register

Even though they none of them actually reside in the state of Washington. This yields to the saying:

Vote early, vote often.

Look for those headstones and register even more bodies. Do you need to be alive? Do you need to be old enough (over 18 years currently)?

In regards to the last question, there was a discussion I saw that indicated that it was not very easy to verify a person's age on the client side of a browser. I have doubts that this function will be any easier in this instance.

My take: This is a bad idea (but that is my opinion!).

Build a bonkers hi-fi

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This whole episode proves:

That a fool (in the form of an "audiophool") and his money are soon parted.

The scary thing is that the SELLERS of this stuff actually believe the propaganda they produce to sell the kit. Most of the buyers think: "It MUST sound good, I spent lots of money on it."

The effect is similar to wine. Some inexpensive wine is pretty good, but after about $30 or so, the price does not accurately predict quality.

Another item where high price does not necessarily mean better is watches. After about $30 or so, the money spent has NO correlation to accuracy (I assume that is why you buy one in the first place). Above that limit, it is almost ALL jewelery! A cheap Timex keeps as good time as the multi thousand Rolex. While this is now true, 40 years ago it wasn't the case, and mechanical movements that worked well WERE expensive. Now days they are all battery powered crystal controlled movements, which are VERY accurate.

Shuttleworth: Why Windows 8 made us ditch GPL Linux loader

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Then you have other problems...

Will they "support" this signing stuff two years from now? Will you need to sign with another key when motherboard vendors do a change? But I want to upgrade to the "next" version, and this motherboard only supports "this" version. Sorry, you need to get another hunk for hardware. Sound implausible? Not really!

An Example of such stupidness:

I had to work on a nice 2Wire DSL modem/WiFi/Router to change its credentials to access the DSL line proper. The unit was "locked up" needing a password. Not to worry, there is a "I forgot" button that (eventually) gets you to a page that says "use the 20 digit number displayed below and call support they will get you a temporary password". The problem is that the vendor (2Wire) and the DSL provider (who the vendor had pawned off all (and I mean ALL) support had lots all knowledge of the (I assume) simple program that translates the 20 digit number to a temporary password. So, the solution was to buy a new box to replace a perfectly good one that I lacked a password for.

Could this happen for signing and motherboard vendors? I don't know, but we will be at the mercy of a SINGLE vendor for all of this mess, and things could change on Steve Ballmer's whim. This is NOT good!

New gov.uk site hits beta, flashes SINGLE typeface to punters

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This of course begs the question...

Will it work on Surface?

Reg hack attempts gutsiest expenses claim EVER

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There IS a high-tech solution here!!

On eBay there are lots of nice receipt printers available. It takes a small bit of software to make it look right and maybe a bit extra for the expense of the receipt printer. You could even add nice logos and make it look VERY official. Even better to make up receipts for others, a cottage industry. As a side comment, I see a BOFH episode here.

You want a receipt, I'll give you a receipt. Kinda like if you want a green coat, turn on a green light!

Apple users get pricier hotel options from Orbitz

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Now if they did this for browsers...

Safari: Top tier

Firefox: A little bit lower

Chrome: We'll have to search for it.

IE7: Average

IE6: Do you want something near the slums?

I just don't know where Opera would fit in this range.

Comments welcome.

Microsoft loses appeal against EU antitrust smackdown

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What to do?

Maybe they can use the Euros to help out Greece.

Just a thought! Lord knows they need it. Of course, maybe Bill can buy Greece and save it, but I doubt it.

NASA counts down to nuclear tank invasion of Mars

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Then there is the "invited guests"

Down at JPL in Pasadena (California, not Texas) and an auxiliary site a city or two away, LOADS of people are going to visit. All sorts of politicos and "distinguished visitors" of every stripe. Having a brother in law in charge of working the antennas (the deep space network, Hi Wayne!) didn't get me a seat at all, so I have to watch it on a computer as the Satellite service (DirecTV) doesn't have it on the default channel list (curse, curse).

The weird thing is that by the time the telemetry gets back to Earth, the whole thing will have done its deed (pass or fail). When we get word of it entering Mars (little) atmosphere, it will all be over. Hopefully the Mars orbiter will snap a pic like it did on the last lander. At 8:30 we'll get nice pictures and all will be well! I'll then go back to bed.

No one watches TV, Nielsen, and you know it

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The only thing worth measuring...

Is the effectiveness of the adverts. If you make unique adverts (the late night ones usually have a different telephone number or some such) one can judge the penetration of what you are offering. To a company that DOES advertising this is the only thing that really counts. The program content is secondary. Unfortunately the rating people concentrate on the program content, and assume that the commercials will be watched.

Thankfully on the Internet, you have 'click-thru' to see what works, and charge appropriately.

Bottom Line: If you are selling ad space, measure THAT.

p.s. I'm over 60 and actually have a DVR. My wife uses it to skip over commercials and repeat program content (between yelling at the politics on the TV. For me, I just do things like bring up this page during commercials. Go figure!

Amount of meat we eat will barely affect future climate change

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Of course there are "Beefeaters"

Somehow this evolved into a nice beverage that is best enjoyed with a splash of vermouth and a nice olive (I prefer a nice onion, but that is another story). In fact two weeks ago I enjoyed a nice juicy steak (it was around 12 ounces). Mighty tasty.

In addition I have a nice grill fired by propane (the one that uses charcoal briquettes hasn't gotten much use since I got the propane one). It produces wonderful tasty devices that are wonderfully fit for consumption.

So yes, I am a member of People Eating Tasty Animals.

Voyager ticks one box for interstellar arrival

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Consider this...

The spacecraft were launched in 1977, 35 years ago. It was probably designed a few years before that as well (microprocessors were a little primitive in that era). If I remember correctly, the Voyager spacecraft didn't have much of a micro to speak of anyway. So, does anyone out there have a computer from that era that is in working order?

Oh, and the speed of 7200 bps was pretty fast in that era, and consider the distance the data travels, it is a few km/miles between us and the spacecraft is only a few watts of power in its transmitter.

Quite an accomplishment if you ask me!

MJS77 lives!

Mystery buyer scoops working Apple 1 at auction

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Buy for $666.66 and sell for $350k (what the seller got), a better investment might be Apple stock, well almost. $666 got you around 222 shares when the company went public (equivalent, taking into account splits), and at Friday's close that was worth around 127k or so. So if you got 2 Apple 1's (one that failed and had to be discarded) and added in the improvements (power supply, etc) you may have been better ahead with the stock. Of course you wouldn't need an auction house to sell it either.

Now if you were Steve, and looked at your investment (he sold a VW bus to finance the circuit boards of the Apple 1), and look at what HIS stock was worth, well you get the idea...

PFY vs Bearded 80s Netscape Bore: BOFH

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Reminds me of...

...An episode of Top Gear (UK version) from long ago ("lost season") that was run on TV last night here in the USA. They used a jet car dragster to torch a Caravan (travel trailer in USA). Everyone agreed that it was the proper thing to do.

FCC: Let's kill analogue early, fob diehards off with converter boxes

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The nice thing about standards...

...is that there are so many of them. It would be nice if the "digital" was common between the cable companies and the over the air companies. You buy this nice new wide screen TV and then need a converter box to hook it up to cable. WHY? So the cable companies can have their "OWN" digital distinct from everyone else to limit your reception. What a mess!

If the FCC does allow cable companies to go "digital" they should force them all to go with "wonderful" ATSC format.

I long for the days of more reasonable things. Analog TV worked quite nicely around here and at one time we had channels up to number 83 (around 890 MHz). Now cell phones were allocated the range from 800-890 MHz, but since that was the 'analog' (generation 1) phone system, it isn't being used much. Perhaps the FCC should force users to actually USE their allocations or have them removed. Since you can't buy an analog cell phone anymore, why do they need the allocation? The answer usually is "we fought for it and need it for ...". Life goes on!

PGP founder, Navy SEALs uncloak encrypted comms biz

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There ARE alternatives

Back in the 30's they had this machine called Enigma that worked pretty well. Didn't have CALEA to bother with, only Bletchley Park which didn't "exist" until the 70's. One can only suspect that something will "exist" in about 40 years, who knows.


Spy #1: I've got the yo-yo.

Spy #2: I've got the string.

Spy #1: It's OK, I Can keep a secret!

Spy #2: So can I!

Volkswagen Up!

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Now for the IT angle...

Is this "UP!" car from some people here in sillycon valley. I thought that Yahoo! was the only brand that had a '!' in its name.

Now for a comparison: The original VW Bug had a 36 HP engine until about 1960, and then it went up to a whopping 40 HP. All with a 1200 cc engine. I drove a 1964 one, and 'upgraded' it to a little peppier 1400 cc. It found hills a little easier after that. Of course in the 60's VW Bugs sold for $1995 (they put it on a billboard).

Vint Cerf: 'COMMUNISTS want to seize the INTERNET'

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This is the same UN

That allows countries like Iran and Algeria to head human rights commissions.

Of course they accept our (USA's) tax dollars and pay off corrupt officials, what else is new. The organization has probably outlived its usefulness. Maybe if they move the HQ to a nice country near the equator (Africa has a couple) they might sweat a bit.

How to put "Stuxnet author" on your CV

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It might be good if...

You did something like:

Spam stopper.

Generated software that took down botnets and their control channels. Reduced the amount of unwanted email by 50%. Aided in the prosecution of those involved. Recovered millions for end users.

The above is pure fiction, of course, but if it actually happened, I'd be willing to hire the guy!

Transit of Venus, live-ish from Australia

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Sic transit gloria mundi

Sorry, I couldn't resist. I didn't see it directly, but the NASA video was kinda cool!

Somehow the video of the "largest zit" being popped came to mind, why I really don't know.

Techies beg world to join the 1% on IPv6 launch day

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No, June 6th is...

...Voting day in California (ans some other states). We here in sillycon valley get to cast votes on a variety of issues. Oh, yes there IS that Venus transit, if you miss it, there will be another one a few years from now (maybe your clone might attend!). Didn't you see it a few years ago, as these things happen every so often. Sorry the intervals are measured in years, but there was one in 2004.

Facebook stock plunge leaves tax-dodge Saverin WORSE off. Haa ha

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This falls into the catagory of...

Be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it.


Now if they raise the capital gains tax at the end of the year, my $7.00 basis Apple stock will kill me tax wise.

US officials confirm Stuxnet was a joint US-Israeli op

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The disclosure was...

...pure politics, no more , no less.

I guess the current people in the White House don't know what the word "secret" actually means. Then there is the propaganda ministry (aka New York Times) that prints whatever they are told to do by the higher ups.

In any other administration, there would be ALL sorts of congressional inquiries with calls for prosecution (see Scooter Libby case!).

Than again, maybe the worm invaded the New York Times and the story "just appeared".

Study: The more science you know, the less worried you are about climate

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Be careful for what you ask for...

...you may just get it.

Oh, scientific report requested on Global Warming? Here it is, but not what you expected.

It seems that politicians do this quite often. Ask for recommendations from well meaning people, and then refuse to implement them for some reason. It works the other was as well. Implement something without ANY recommendations from well respected people.

Never mind...

P.S. there is a whole comic strip devoted to this and IT (Dilbert).

IBM’s first tape drive turns 60

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Actually worked on a 727 drive

Lots of vacuum tubes and all that. 200 bytes per inch on "standard" 1/2 inch tape. They took 2400 foot (10.5 inch) reels. The 727 had a nice feature that if you went far enough into the reel and asked for a rewind, it would "de-mount" the tape (wind out of the columns and raise the tape head) and rewind until it got closer to the beginning of the tape. Generally you didn't want to be just on the far side of the dividing point as the mount/de-mount sequence took quite a bit of time.

For the curious: The tapes (two fo them) were interfaced to an IBM 1620. Great fun (it was the 60's)!!

$US38 share price values Facebook at US$104b

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Is it just me or does anyone else want to sell Facebook at $100 short. Then again, it will inflate the home prices around here (Sillycon Valley, northern half) and raise the value of the house I'm in. As for me, I'll leave it to those with less brains then me to squander the $$$.

Vixie warns: DNS Changer ‘blackouts’ inevitable

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Use the chocolate factory's DNS servers. A nice easy to remember IP address of and have at it. No government intervention here!

I won't comment about Google's intent, hopefully they follow their motto, and I trust them more than a government (take your pick!).

Finally, it’s the year of Linux on the desktop IPv6!

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One of these days I'll change, but...

Currently my nice D-Link router doesn't seem to support IPv6. It nicely obtains IPv4 addresses from my DSL line and does lots of NAT work along with WiFi stuff.

Even with the nice Russian updates that D-Link doesn't publish in the USA, this thing won't even touch IPv6. Of course, another point is that for equivalent data on an Ethernet packet, IPv6 has a larger header, so fragmentation happens sometimes, but IPv6 is the best there is, so.....

One of these days I might change, but not real soon.

Lockheed bags $454m to tool up Pentagon's Cyber Crime Center

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Now if they actually do some work...

And capture some spammers we would all rejoice. Just click right here and send me some $$$ and I'll get you some even more $$$$$$$. Oh, and by the way, better sex and weight loss too.

Please please fix these as well.

Microsoft hikes volume prices by more than a third

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Libre Office

Is looking better with every passing day.

Swedish men ordered to present cervices in database flub

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Of course it sounds like a government...

Having a wait of 9 months for pre-natal care. Then it would send out the notice to the father.

Situation normal.....

FIVE-day ZoneEdit outage freezes thousands of sites

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As the saying goes...

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick two.

Ten... eight-bit classic games

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I believe that that is the name. There was a version running the Radio Shack (aka Tandy) Color Computer. I saw it demonstrated by the author that did the porting job from the arcade version. It was pretty cool, and according to him, he had to reproduce the "errors" of the arcade game.

Yes, the Color Computer was pretty cool, producing a TV-out signal. I remember buying one and upgrading it form 4k bytes to 32k bytes before the first day was out. Then there was a nice multi-tasking OS (OS-9) that it also ran. All before the PC-AT came about (1984).

Gaia scientist Lovelock: 'I was wrong and alarmist on climate'

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One only remembers (usually) the "true" predictions, and not the "false" ones. There was a proposed (I assume) scheme where you would pick 1024 random people and give them up/down stock predictions. Every time you would give half one way, and half the other way, continuing with the "true" half and abandoning the "false" half. After 10 of these predictions, you would have one left over "sucker" that you got all 10 predictions correct. Then you would "sell" the sucker a great something that would continue the streak for big bux. Of course the sold "predictor" wouldn't do anything, but it sure cost a bunch and had LOTS of history (selective in nature).

Somehow I believe that this "climate change" stuff fits into this type of model, but I have no evidence, just a belief.

Another fact: There has been "global warming" on Mars as well. Must be our increased CO2. :-)

Look back in Ascii: Computing in the 1980s

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First laptop?

I thought it was the Radio Shack (Tandy in UK) TRS80 Model 100. These were used by field reporters for newspapers for quite a while as I understand it. They came with a "built-in" modem (you needed a special cable, and it didn't dial). They are actually pretty nice machines (I have one).

The one I have I expanded its RAM from 8k to 32k using chips that weren't available in 1981 (its release I believe).

Now for the real trivia: This was the last machine that Bill Gates actually worked on the software.

Taxan touts tablet for bathing beauties

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IT Angle


A picture to supplant the one for the ASUS Eee PC babe.

Are there any more pics for us to drool over??

Look, somebody needed to do it!!

Windows 8 diet exposes Microsoft's weak ARM

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So let's review...

W95 -- OK

W98 -- No Good

W98se -- OK

W Me -- No Good

W XP -- OK

W Vista -- No Good, a few years late as well.

W 7 -- OK

W 8 -- Let's Guess, there IS a pattern here. Will it arrive on time? We will see.

Draw your own conclusions, after all it is Microsoft.

El Reg posts dirty pics for old computer buffs

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Is this some "Comouter Purity Test"?

For the ancient ones, have you:

Used a machine with real core memory?

Used Punch cards?

Made up a drum card for a keypunch?


Assembler on 5 different machines (with different instruction sets)?

Entered a program with the front panel switches?

That did some actual work?

Found a hardware bug?

Fixed the hardware bug you found?

Paper tape?

ASR 33 Teletype?

Acoustic modem?

Bootstrapped the operating system from the console with out using the "boot" function?

Build up a microprocessor system from the raw parts, and wired it yourself?

Replaced a defective core memory stack with a working one (soldering it yourself)?

<<<<<The list abounds, as I'm sure others will add entries!>>>>>

Ten... Bedroom Gadget Treats

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Sleep? Sleep!!

Sorry it doesn't apply. Of course here it is a nice 3:52 AM on the West coast of the nice USA, and I'm not even near a bedroom.

Sleep is something you do when you are tired, or take some Ambien and help it along.


Culture jammers connect Lego clones with 3D printer files

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What they need now is...

PlayMobil figures for complete interoperability.

IPv6 networking: Bad news for small biz

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So, when do we migrate to IPv7 (or IPv8)?

Maybe it is time to just regard IPv6 as broken, and start all over with something that will actually WORK. For the most part the first step is to have all the nice consumer grade routers to at least do IPv6 on the WAN side. Then I can deal with the IPv4 on my own local side. Unfortunately, my routers that I use (4 sites) don't have a clue. I use an "obsolete" router that has ALL sorts of nice features, like being a print server and allowing VPNs between the various routers. Oh, one additional thing, there is code in the router to setup dynamic DNS names so if the address on the WAN side changes (which it does if I restart the router) I can keep accessing my internal NAT stuff from the "outside".

Currently most DSL lines here use PPPoE to get their address and this might continue when my ISP thinks about IPv6.

Of course, we can go back/forward to IPv5, but to do that we'll need to talk to academics down the street (Stanford University) to find out what it actually does.

Summary: Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

Munich's mayor claims €4m savings from Linux switch

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The dominoes start falling

As time goes by, they go faster and faster (being closer together). What has the Redmond people worried is always the first domino, thus their thrust to prevent it. When others wake up and start smelling the coffee, more dominoes will fall. Unfortunately it won't be recognized until it is too late.

Of course, I really like the patterns that the falling dominoes make, but that is just me!

WTF is... White Space radio networking?

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So if we take this to allow....

Your children to play in the center divide of a freeway (aka motorway in the UK). I mean that the space is not used normally, so it is nice and available, and we need to accommodate children with play spaces. Look the government already owns the space and it isn't being used, and allowing playgrounds in center divides of freeways would put the space to "good use".

Sounds about as logical as white space networking.

Weeing Frenchman sues Google over Street View photo

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Sounds like

The problem is "fouling the footpath".

So what happens when some other animal does it? Inquiring minds want to know and all that...

Queue remarks about potty humor for the remainder of the day...

Windows 8: Sugar coating on Microsoft's hard-to-swallow tablet

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When will Intel announce

the bigger faster more core CPU necessary to make this all work?

Hopefully before the launch if all goes well.

Welcome to feature bloat!

China churns out homemade aircraft for global travel DOMINATION

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Just one more letter in the alphabet..

We have 'A' planes: Airbus

We have 'B' planes: Boeing

Now we have 'C' planes: China.

We had 'D' plane: Douglas (now part of Boeing!)

Then there is a saying a friend of mine has (he works for United maintenance): It's Boeing, or I'm not going! (He didn't like Airbus much).

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