* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

It was the MacBook Air sub-notebook

Herby Silver badge


No, it probably won't run XP, only Vista.

US.gov sets Real ID rules in stone

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It doesn't help much...

While all of this is filled with good intentions (the read to hell being paved...) it won't help that much and causes MUCH grief for anyone involved. For example...

A couple of years ago the state of California decided to match drivers licenses with names on social security numbers. Good idea? Think again! My father (turned 91 a couple of weeks ago) in applying for a RENEWAL of a drivers license (he doesn't drive now, please bear with me) showed up at the local DMV ready to take a driving test (which he passed that year). Everything was fine UNTIL they ran a name check. It seems that the name his social security number didn't match the name on his drivers license. He has used his middle name for so long (except on his drivers license) that even his social security card had it. So off we go to the local social security office to explain to them how to change a name after being on the card for over 60 years. Oh, do you have anything with your "real name"? No, just this drivers license. Oh, that will do! Go figure. Medicare doesn't care what name you use, and the tax man doesn't care, WHY should the DMV care? Even the social security act says that this number can't be used for identification (go ahead look up the 1935 law!). The whole thing is just plain STUPID.

Of course, will it prevent anything like 9/11/01 from happening? To quote a song: "I may be wrong here, but I don't think so! (its a jungle out there)".

MySpace reveals child predator blocks

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What was the 50th state?

Inquiring minds (etc...). If only 49 states and the DC A.G. were in on the deal, what happened to the last state? Does it have any child predators? Who knows? Of course it could be a state that has a lawsuit pending and doesn't want to be in on the deal so it can get more $$$ out of the state, and not really protect anyone.

Hoax: German IT boss sacks three non-smokers

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Unfortunately this wouldn't fly in California...

But who would want it to? Sometimes smokers aren't that bad (yes, sometimes they can be REAL bad). In my case, wife 1.0 (I'm on 2.0, who doesn't which is much better) was a smoker. I didn't mind that, as I had a brother that (still) smokes. Yes, things will probably kill us all, and smoking is one of them. In our wonderful golden state they now have regulations about smoking in cars with kids (bad, you know).

Unfortunately some people are just INCONSIDERATE. A couple of years ago I was in a nice restaurant in Paris which we (wife 2.0 again) were told was non-smoking. Unfortunately some of the patrons (I guess it is normal for the French!) didn't understand. Just more inconsiderate people, what else can I say.

p.s. My grandmother lived to 93 and only quite in the last 10 years of her life. My mom quit over 50 years ago with no ill effects. Go figure.

Latest Vista SP1 tweak open to everyone with a week to spare

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Welcome to the world of beta (Microsoft release) testing

Your mission should you decide to accept it.....

...this mission will self destruct in 6 months (maybe less!)

Why would anyone decide to TEST a service pack is beyond me.

California to snatch control of citizens' air-con

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"Controlled" air conditioning...

I've personally been "working" on this. Back a bunch of years ago I went to Tyler Texas (don't ask!) and the Motel I stayed at had "intelligent" thermostats. In those days, it sensed motion and only if you were moving around did it cool the room. My work partner and I saw this as extremely bad form, so we (in usual BOFH form) decided to "override" this "feature". It was a good thing, as we were there on one of the hottest most humid days of the year (remember it was Tyler Texas!). The most interesting thing was when we returned back to the room, and saw the condensate trails on the walkway. Most were small dribbles, but ours was a flowing stream. We had a wonderfully nice cool room that night and slept quite well. I can't say how the others in the motel faired, but I suspect they weren't as comfortable.

If a law goes into effect like this, I can see a wonderful market for "adjustment" services, and I'll do my part to assist.

Mobe snap murderers face justice

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Having smarts...

...is NOT a prerequisite to committing a crime. This is a well known property. If they were "smart" they never would have found out, etc...

Now you know why there are so many stupid people in jail.

p.s. Why do you think the BOFH and PFY get away with so much?

Polish teen derails tram after hacking train network

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@frank Not all 192... addresses are "local"

Did these IP addresses begin with 192. by any chance? If so those are internal network addresses.

If you look correctly at the proper RFC, only those beginning with are "non routeable addresses. There are others ( and See RFC1918.

I suspect that they were "private addresses".

Academics slam Java

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Oh, well....

Back to Fortran (which is what I'm using at this very moment).

Yes, java is terrible. So is (IMHO) C++.

People should learn all about command line interfaces before doing much else. Leave that GUI stuff to silly artist types.

Government rejects elephants for pets e-petition

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But Hanry Mancini would be proud!

We could all listen to his "Baby Elephant Walk" (which is a really good score by the way!).

Then again, if you have to ask about the food bill you probably can't afford it. When the elephant starts wanting more food, lots will be devoured!!

Revealed: USB 3.0 jacks and sockets

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This should have died LONG ago

Unfortunately, it didn't, so we have junk like USB. Way back when, before USB, there was ADB (Apple Desktop Bus) which, while limited worked quite well for its intended purpose (keyboards and mice). Intel and Microsoft (among others) wanted similar stuff, and USB was born. Then the "growing featureism" crept in, and ALL sorts of things were connected to USB all wanting bandwidth to the host and power to boot (hook your scanner up right here!). Now the speeds are ever increasing and the battle ensues between FireWire (looks like high speed serial SCSI) and USB. They should have let FireWire have it all. Oh, well.

If the standards people had any foresight, they would have used power with 10Base-T (and the nice easy to get RJ45 connector) and done it that way. The ethernet guys had it all working, all they needed to add was the power. It would have solved BUNCHES of problems, and every nice device could have its own 'hub'. You could have two ethernet interfaces on our your computer (one powered) using one for local stuff and the other one for TCP/IP networking. So the keyboard/mice protocols wouldn't be routeable, but it isn't necessary for a desktop only network.

Next we will all wait for USB version 4. Due out in a year or two if the pattern holds.

NY corpse attempts to cash welfare cheque

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Need biometrics!!

Of course, the answer to all of this is biometrics. Oh, you need a fingerprint, no problem, I'll get him in here to give it to you. Never mind that the finger has assumed room temperature (or lower). Pay no attention. I have the ID card here somewhere.....

Out the door in great haste.

'Dangerously alluring' Ukrainian joins Bond 22

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Barbara Broccoli

Yes, that is her REAL name. The family invented the vegetable a bunch of years ago. Her dad was called "Cubby Broccoli" and was the one who bought the rights to Ian Flemings works. The only thing is that one book (Thunderball) was written with a co-author, which is why there were two pics based on the book (one produced by Broccoli, and another by a different producer). Both of the movies starred Sean Connery.

Mk II... er, Tank Chair trundles into Las Vegas

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But how fast will it go??

The Abrams tank (US Army issue) will go 90 mph (down a dead end street). With this 2HP motor, how fast will this thing go? If you want to get there (wherever 'there' is) you do want to get there FAST! Squash the peons who get in the way!

Get out the RPG's and missile launchers!

Oh, it doesn't have a game interface built in (shaker input and joystick output). Bummer!!

GPS is killing children

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Does the SatNav have a "race" function?

While they do have "shortest path" (or equivalent) that takes us through residential stuff, and the "road slowing" features (chicanes or squeeze points) are introduced, why not have them introduce to us a "race" feature to exploit these. You could enter a desired circuit length (say 3 kM) and then a degree of difficulty (oval track to Nürburgring) and go from there. It might even get competitive, who knows.

Exposed! Bill Gates' last day at Microsoft

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Not a moment too soon...

Enough said.

Microsoft previews TellMe phone voice control

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Is voice "efficient"

Is it just me, or does it seem that this voice controlled stuff is just plain inefficient? When phones first started out, you picked up the phone, and the operator (they used to exist, really) said "number please". You said something (KLondike 5-9845 or some such) and presto chango, you were "connected". We have since evolved thru rotary dial phones (remember those?) and then nice push-button phones (Touch-Tone/DTMF) all to save time. Mostly this saved the time of the phone company, but the side effect was that it saved the USER of the phone the time as well. How fast can you say a phone number (AND have it understood) as opposed to "punching it in"? I get stuck with all these silly voice response systems and if I had a simple menu system I could get the information sent in MUCH faster.

Then there is the security aspect. OK, you call your bank, then you SPEAK your account number to the voice response system. Oh, to have a handy pencil and paper nearby to copy down these nice numbers to order a new TV set for me. Really smart, eh?

The other fact is that most voice response systems aren't that good (they are improving, but...). If you had your nice secretary/administrative assistant with the accuracy rate of the voice response unit (asking "is that right") you would hand out the pink slip pronto!

It looks good on TV, but in real life it just doesn't fly!

ObTechnology: I'm reminded of the race between morse code and IM keying on a cell phone. Guess what one won?!

Solar Cycle 24 is go: Official

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We can only hope for sunspot maximums

Many people dream of the maximum that happened around 1959. It has been downhill ever since. Maybe this time it will reach the high of the "good times".

P.S. When it DOES come, be sure to turn down the RF gain, the signal is much clearer.

WWV predictions N9 (we can only dream!)

Nature sticks entire archive online

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Nature is an interesting publication for lots of reasons

For instance: If you make observations about how tossing a kushball around at a party, then add in a strobe light, you get the 'letter': "Failure of Visual Estimation of Motion under Strobe". While I haven't read the whole 'letter', I do know the author and the subject matter can be interesting.

Then again, the New England Journal of Medicine would be good to do a similar service!

Remembering the Cray-1

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Cray & NCAR

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away some of the lab rats (aka graduate students) that "worked" in the lab I (really) worked in did some remote batch entry to the CRAY at NCAR (this was in the 70's). It was a really big deal, and we used an exciting "high speed" (1200 bps) modem to get the data across. One "feature" that we all were amazed about was the "terraBIT" memory they had there. I never got to see it, but I was told that it was HUGE. Now we fast forward to the present, and think nothing of 128Gbyte (equivalent storage!) disk drives that can be had for less than $100 and hold in the palm of ones hand. My how times have changed.

Google preps Street View Big Mac search

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But what happens...

...if one just posts a bunch of random letters and numbers? Will Google index that as well? If everyone did that (uniquely) it would be like tinyurl or some such. Find me? ask for slrfcbq (or equivalent). That would be interesting! Of course finding out street numbers is another thing, so one should have LOTS of those.

As for character recognition we still need to spell (or get larger signs) as our friend mentions above.

Spam King Ralsky indicted over stock spam scam

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Why it (spam) is done

Its pretty simple, people SPAM because it works. It got these people a couple of $$$ in their scheme. Most of the junk in your imbox is there because on some level it works. It works because even though the participation rate is miniscule (1 per million), millions of SPAM letters are sent. So what if only 100 or so people respond, that is enough to rake in the big bucks.

Yes, everyone who even considers SPAM is guilty of helping out. Just delete it and go on with your life. The trouble on the prosecuting end is that there is not enough individual harm (only a couple of bucks each sucker) to get any district attorney interested. Until they think in the aggreate, nothing is going to get done!

Just a case of making money a dollar at a time. Oh, well....

Microsoft readies Hal 9000

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BOFH time...

Must find out how to reverse those skin resistance measurements. Not enough current for accurate measurement, so increase the voltage. Bzzzzzart.. maybe that was a bit much, eh. Oh well we didn't need that beancounter/boss anyway.

We now return you to your normal activities. Carry on, nothing to see here, please move on.

The Electric Car Conspiracy ... that never was

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But what will they do on CSI-Miami?

Those guys go around everywhere in silly white Hummers and stop the crooks in only an hours time. They could convert to a battery powered goodie and do everything within the time it takes for the battery to be used up. Then they get a week to recharge it. Pretty simple, eh?

The problem is that nobody is realistic. People buy the vehicle that they want, for whatever reason they want. My mom has a Prius, and while she likes the vehicle for its economy, that isn't the reason she bought it. She bought it because she doesn't need to go to the [gas|petrol] station as often. If there was a Hummer that had a 100 gallon tank (US/UK it really doesn't matter) and would take her as far on a single tank of gas, she would probably use it.

I have a nice Ford Explorer and since my wife seems to want to fill it up when we go on trips it is quite necessary. While it takes about $65 (this week) to fill it up, one tank of gas will take it from sillycon valley to the "ELLAY" area, and it is easier than taking a plane to travel the same distance (who wants to check bags, and sit idle around airports for silly window dressing security??). Besides I get a vehicle at my destination without renting one.

Yes, some people will use electric cars and like them. Maybe even me for my 12 mile commute (each way). The big problem is that a vehicle in the USA is an expression of "freedom" and we don't want to give it up.

p.s. Don't get me started on 100 watt light bulbs. That is another rant.

More woe for SCO as Nasdaq says 'go'

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Be the first on your block to own SCO stock

It will probably be available pretty cheap (more than before) real soon. If it gets down to $.01 it might be worthwhile for everyone to buy a single share so we can tank this thing (put into the skip!). If they issue stock certificates, a wall of SCO wallpaper comes to mind.

Can't say they haven't brought all of this on themselves.

(They could be bought out by Microsoft, but that is another comment...)

US Army loads up on Apples for 'better security'

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Gotta like that phrase! All software needs to be for that matter.

It seems to me that most of the "lupine-halitosis" problems come from a town in Washington State (USA). Then again, I'm a bit partial!

Another question: Do penguins suffer from the same problem as the pigs, or does the wolf just freeze up?

Now RIAA says copying your own CDs is illegal

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Fair use doesn't apply here??

I suspect that RIAA doesn't want CD to be sold either. If you want an interesting touch on the subject, go to http://www.foxtrot.com which will be up for about a week or so. Interesting comment!!

Oz govt pushes mandatory net filters

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Won't work with a preloaded iPod!!

OOOPS! Someone got a preloaded iPod, and it has nasty pictures. We need to censor those as well. Then to get information on the list, we need to have an uncensored feed, so why bother! I assume that information on the list is off limits! Oh, well....

Antarctic Xmas punch-up airlift cost £45k

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Alcohol?? Who could have guessed??

Yes, alcohol does exist, even at the south pole (been there, done that). It usually flows quite freely, and is under control of the "doctor" who it is assumed has the smarts to control its use. As for the "cabin fever" aspect, I doubt it. It is light outside ALL DAY. Where I was (over 30 years ago mind you) the sleeping quarters were all darkened up to make it reasonable. The major problem is that the cost of booze is quite cheap, not being taxed and all, and the equivalent to just sodas (they cost the same to bring down there!). Obviously someone had "no restraint" and kept gulping. Then the "liquid courage" took over, and the results are plain to see. For those "wintering over", they go through a bunch of psychology tests to make sure this thing won't happen. When I was there, one of the scheduled "winter over" people (I didn't) was "removed for cause" from his stay because the others (about 25 stayed that winter) didn't like his personality. If you don't get along with the rest of the people, you don't last long. In the summer (like now) the shrinks don't monitor much, so the riff-raff gets in. It happens!

Cloudy outlook for climate models

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Thumb Up

Al Gore shoots Smokey Bear?

Since we need more aerosols to cool us down, why should we put out forest fires. Al Gore should encourage the increase of particulate matter in the form of forest fires and wood burning fireplaces. That would help us better balance the climate, wouldn't it?

I mean Al needs to do more to offset his mansion he has with its electric meter taking off.

Oh, here I am in sunny Southern California, but I rember that the Rose parade was rained upon a few years ago for the first time in a bunch of years, so something is happening. Cooling, warming, man caused, natural, take your pick. The "science" is there somewhere to support it.

Dell's laptop customisation options not very customisable

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In the same sentence

Computer vendor (ex: Dell) and Customer service/support. In the same sentence, I'm surprised. Given the state of things these days, it is easier to either "build your own" (especially if it is a tower), or get an upgradable one at a dumb retail outlet. You need to make VERY SURE that you test it well, because it probably has a "tail-light guarantee" (If I can see your tail lights, it is guaranteed). Bring your Knoppix CD/DVD along and see if you can TEST it fully.

Of course, this being written on a Dell Latitude D810 running Linux....

US TKOs Antigua in bizarre WTO arbitration decision

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New headline:

Antigua welcomes Pirate Bay.

That ought to get 'em interested!!

US switches off the incandescent lightbulb

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Remember other government mandates

I'm reminded about the ill fated (thank god!) 55mph speed limit we had here for a few years. Everybody ignored it and we went on with life. As for light bulbs, you don't want 100 watt ones, I'll sell you 95 watt ones. It won't take long to be repealed. We also have a silly toilet bill that mandates a 6 liter flush. The problem is that our piping system for waste is predicated upon a larger flush. Now we have plugged sewer lines in houses (ugh!). The government needs to be out of the "goody feel good" business, and get something better done.

They have legislated a 35mpg AVERAGE for vehicles. The government should START with their own cars, and make sure their own offices have CFLs. There should be a change of heart REAL SOON if this were the case.

Stop the madness!

Ofcom, US senators turn on to cognitive radio

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Unused spectrum

While it sounds like a great idea, people should note that what looks like "unused" to one person can be "very used" to another who is in a different locale (nearby). In addition, if you have a transmitter that is hopping around, how does the receiver find it?

Using TV channels this way is NOT a very good idea. These "white space" guys should go to a proper unlicensed (sorry US spelling) band like 2.4GHz that ALREADY works.

Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting

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Inquiring minds want to know...

Why does it take so long? I'm sure there is an explanation on the very advanced technique it is using to do this copy. Not having attempted Vista (I don't want to right now either), I can only surmise that it is doing a bit by bit check against some DRM database in a far away land. Yes, the screen shot is probably good for wallpaper!

Drivers on the phone face the slammer

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Radio listening is "passive"??

Not to my wife. She comments ALL the time as passenger, then fiddles with the station selector to find something SHE likes (never mind what I'm listening to). Usually this takes place during a commercial but the scanning just goes from one to another. All this tuning of the radio, and stuff is VERY distracting if I pay the slightest bit of attention to the action. Thankfully I seem to dismiss it and concentrate on my driving, as I got into an accident (previous in-"significant other") who did the same thing (I can pick 'em). I suspect the same thing applies (distraction) to young parents of un-restrained small children. Thankfully they require child safety seats here in the USA which limit the mobility of the rug-rats.

Of course there are people who get blinded by windshields (windscreens), and we have various jokes about which nationality is more affected by this phenomenon (which I leave as an exercise to the reader).

Kaspersky false alarm quarantines Windows Explorer

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Now if could only flag Vista

As being a virus, it might get some attention.

I can see it now. "Your computer is infected with the Vista virus, do you want to upgrade to XP?".

I'd mention Linux, but that just arouses more flamage....

Why Borland trashed its spreadsheet

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Yes, there are "famous comments"

In Unix: "You are not expected to understand this" is one. The Lyons book goes to great length to do so.

As for bad error messages, a machine I have had its ROM monitor error message that was returned for unintelligible input as "WTF?". The most humorous thing was that the documentation (a quite large book btw) included it in its messages. Silly as it sounds, they said it was "With Trace Flag". I'll leave it to others to deduce the "actual" meaning.

Viacom shuns Google's DoubleClick for Microsoft

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Ads? What are those?

Oh, some income producing things that appear (or not). Please go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865

for the proper way of observing the output of such mavens. Sorry IE users, it won't work on that platform.

Microsoft spits out final XP service pack, beta version

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Remember the "Vista Killer"

In many respects it is Vista itself. I was listening to a tech radio show this last weekend, and the host said that the best upgrade to Vista was XP. At the moment not much that runs on Vista won't run on XP as well. That is the rub. When applications that are perceived to be necessary (the next version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint) only run on Vista people will finally upgrade. It won't be because they WANT to it will be because they have no other choice. Until then we will hope that activation for XP is still around for the users who are fine with that version.

Unfortunately operating systems aren't like cars, as even ones built in the early part of the last century (say 1930 or so) still work "just fine" on the roads today. They even use the same gasoline (wonder upon wonders). Lord help us if it weren't so, as I still appreciate my 1997 vehicle (long obsolete by operating system standards).

Me: I'd rather be using Linux, but here at work they some silly timecard application that only works under IE which I have to use to get paid (*SIGH*).

Truth, anonymity and the Wikipedia Way

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Of course ElReg is "trash"

That's why we read it. Then again it is very difficult to wipe ones posterior with electrons, so we don't use it for that purpose.

Then again, all the good tech news is here, so it must be good for something.

Wikipedia on the other hand seems like a mutual admiration society for those that want to be. Any true "source" would have its authors identified and verified. They could do that for a simple $1.00 charge to make sure your name was correct. Anyone who wanted to register multiple names would need both money and different credit cards with different names. Of course this would eliminate 14 year olds, but I see no problem with that.

Japan scores ballistic missile shootdown bullseye

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Defense is SO simple...

Just arm everyone with the USB wireless rocket shooters. Zillions of those at an enemy ought to do something.

I'm reminded about a small joke relating to Chinese defense during the cold war, where one top official said to another: "Well, if all billion of us yelled 'boom' at once that ought to scare 'em".

If only it would work...

Firewire to gain 3.2Gb/s bandwidth boost

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USB - yuck!

The USB bozos should have just used ADB (look that one up) for keyboards and mice. If they wanted something "faster" use something like powered 10baseT connection. It was already there. That would make a nice 'local' (only on the desktop) network which could have used any simple (even a silly made up one) non-routed protocol. It would have used nice existing technology and we wouldn't be stuck with blue screens in demo in front of big audiences (W98 launch).

Yes, Apple does come up with nice things, but the ugly market power of that other company corrupts things. Remember - until Apple used USB keyboards, USB really didn't take off at all!

Sysadmin admits trying to axe California power grid

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Proper BOFH actions are:

1) Get someone else to do it (Preferably some bean counter)

2) Make money while it is done (energy futures?)

3) Get someone else blamed for instigating it.

4) Turn in your most hated person for doing it.

5) Erase all evidence of involvement

6) Have the contract to "restore" the system.

7) Get paid for supplying the entire 20 person team

8) Split the proceeds of the contract with PFY (70/30 at least) for only doing 10 minutes of work between yourselves.

9) Have the whole thing handled while across the street in the pub quaffing a brew.

Nintendo Wii said to 'attract cockroaches'

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Game consoles attracting "roaches"??

According to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/roach item 2, definition #2, it is "Slang The butt of a marijuana cigarette.". I suspect that these ARE attracted by all sorts of game players.

On the other hand the animal types of "roaches" are attracted to anything "nice and warm" which a game console certainly qualifies as (see "dirty jobs" entry above).

The transistor turns 60

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We should also remember vacuum tubes

Which are (almost) 100 years old as well. Any way you can amplify a signal works for me. If I were doing it from scratch and knowing about vacuum tubes AND transistors, I'd pick vacuum tubes as they would be easier to make. Yes, hotter, and bulkier, but easier to make.

Look I'm the USA, and we call them vacuum tubes here, not "valves".

I don't have the exact date of Lee DeForest's invention with me at the moment so the 100 year difference may be off by a couple either way.

BBC pinches hot new columnist from Microsoft

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Microsoft "original"???

Not much other than "Bob". We all know how far THAT went!

Americans can swear at toilets, judge rules

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IT Angle

What happens when you @#$%&*@# at Vista

Going for the IT angle here, which I assume is relevant. What happens to the masses who end up cursing at the monitor when it is running Vista. That is almost like an overflowing toilet. I'll leave the readers to figure out how similar they are.

I've taken those "Intel inside" and "designed for Microsoft Windows" stickers and placed them on toilets as I thought they were more suitable devices to be labeled.


German air passenger quaffs litre of vodka

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As has been said in conversation

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

The problem is that the security people already have the frontal lobotomy. They need the bottle!!

Jackass 2.5 to premiere online

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It seems that they priced it correctly

Given the content, and modern commerce, it appears that this movie has priced itself correctly for the content it has. It is worth exactly ZERO. No more, can't be less.

My guess is that the next movie of this series (2.6??) will be priced so that WE get paid to watch it (watch this movie and you will be entered in a drawing). I don't hold out much hope for ANYTHING "direct to internet" as being very decent quality.

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