* Posts by Brangdon

341 posts • joined 15 Sep 2008

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Phone fatigue takes hold: SIM-onlys now top UK market

Brangdon
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Re: swappable battery - Why?

1. So you can reboot the phone in hardware by removing the battery and replacing it.

2. So you can switch the phone off, with high confidence, by removing the battery.

3. So the phone lifetime doesn't end when the battery lifetime ends.

4. So you can replace a flat battery with a fully-charged one in the field.

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Fake news ‘as a service’ booming among cybercrooks

Brangdon
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Re: Ahhh. News, Fake News, opions, memes and social media

Conflating fake news with biased news is part of the problem.

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Apple succeeds in failing wearables

Brangdon
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Re: battery life

My Garmin has a 9-day battery life, yet the display is always readable in daylight. You only need the backlight if it is so dark you also need a torch.

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Quantum computers could crack Bitcoin, but fixes are available now

Brangdon
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This affects a lot more than Bitcoin

If you can break elliptical curve cryptography, Bitcoin is not the only target to attack. It is used quite widely.

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Bitcoin drops SegWit2x hard fork after community objects

Brangdon
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Re: Transaction fees must rise, anyway

Putting off the inevitable does make some sense, though. SegWit was added last August, and it will take time for people to switch to using it, and more time to build layers like the Lightening Network on top of it. Until that's happened, it's hard to tell what the blocksize needs to be.

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Parity calamity! Wallet code bug destroys $280 MEEELLION in Ethereum

Brangdon
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Re: "it's a girl!"

"It's a girl!" would refer to a newborn baby. Babies are not persons. They develop into persons.

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US says it's identified six Russian officials as DNC hack suspects

Brangdon
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re: have been copied far too rapidly for it to have been done via a web connection

So someone copied them a second time after the initial download? The timestamp data isn't as compelling as you seem to think.

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Fitbit health alert: You appear to be bleeding

Brangdon
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Re: I'm not sure about the two-horse race

I'd say three horse. If you want a fitness tracker that will be able to make mobile payments, then it's just Apple, Fitbit and Garmin. I have a Fitbit and Garmin. The Garmin has the benefit of a 9-day battery life and an always-on display, but I'm currently finding it a bit flaky in other ways. Vibrates randomly and heart-rate can be inaccurate. Shame.

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Jeff Bezos fires off a blue dart, singes Elon Musk and SpaceX

Brangdon
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Re: a fair bit of rework to reuse

SpaceX have said the first one cost substantially less than half the price of a new booster. Presumably later boosters were quicker as they got more experience, and the forthcoming Block 5 is said to incorporate lessons learned and is cheaper still. As far as we can tell, being able to land the rocket is already important. SpaceX don't pass much of the savings onto customers, though. Customers and insurance companies seem to accept that reliability of pre-loved boosters is the same or better as new ones.

Using parachutes means splashing down in the sea, which exposes the rocket to salty water, which is highly corrosive, which ruins reuse.

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Brangdon
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Re: Yowzers!

I dunno. New Glenn isn't due until 2020 or so. BFR cargo will probably be flying within a few years of that, so New Glenn will be redundant a couple of years after its born. Especially as it's hard to see how Blue Origin will ever be able to reuse their second stage.

I wouldn't be surprised if BFR makes orbit before New Glenn. SpaceX have more experience with orbital-class rockets, they have a bigger company, they have the engine and fuel tank well in hand. New Glenn might be delayed. In any case, it's going to be quite close. Blue Origin may turn out to be a vanity product of a multi-billionaire, with little commercial or industrial importance.

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Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon

Brangdon
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Not near the poles

Any lunar base will likely want to be located in a region near the poles that gets constant sunlight. Without that you have to cope with nights that are 14 (Earth) days long. That's a long time to go without solar power. You'd need vast amounts of batteries. (Or a nuclear reactor, but that probably won't happen for political reasons.) The weeks of darkness are followed by weeks of sunlight, leading to extremes of temperature that are a pain for engineering. Finding lava tubes, although good science, won't be useful to early lunar bases unless they are in a good location.

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Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

Brangdon
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Re: h4rm0ny

I'm not referring to the blog post about how to un-hypnotise a rabid anti-Trump supporter. I'm referring to this one: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/152226715516/how-to-legally-vote-more-than-once. It starts, "If you find it annoying that you only have one legal vote, here’s how you can get a few more." Here's step 1:

1. Set the stage by cleverly hiding the fact that you are a Trump supporter. Say some good things to your intended targets about Clinton’s plucky attitude, her place in history, and the breadth of her experience. Once people believe you are on the “right” side, they will find you more persuasive later.

That is, use deception and lies. Make people believe something that isn't true (namely, that you are a Clinton supporter). That's how he works.

(Sorry I don't know how to do formatting on this site.)

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Brangdon
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Re: I think Linehan has it right

I'm not the previous poster, but Scott Adams is a bit of a dick. He admires Trump and uses similar methods, including lying a lot. Much of his "persuasion" amounts to saying whatever is needed to get the other fellow to do what he wants, whether or not it is true. A few days before the election, he made a post about how to discourage Clinton supporters from voting. He's a climate change denier. Most of what he writes distorts the truth.

I still read him. One of the sad things is that there used to be meaningful criticism in the comments to his blog, but nowadays it's become a pro-Trump echo-chamber.

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SpaceX gives free ride to replacement for Facebook's fried satellite

Brangdon
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Re: Foresight

At the time it was said that the contract gave SpaceCom the option of either a free launch, or $50m to go towards a launch with another provider. It now sounds like that $50m was actually a deposit, so they would have been getting their own money back. The normal list price for a SpaceX launch is $62m, so I guess they've saved $12m or so. (Offset against the cost of renting space from someone else's satellite until their new bird gets up.) The insurer carried the loss of the satellite, and SpaceX carried the loss of vehicle and damage to pad.

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Combinations? Permutations? Those words don't mean what you think they mean

Brangdon
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Re: Hmm, Finite does not mean limited

It's more common to encounter the flip side of that: people saying "infinite" when they mean "unbounded". For example, a Turing Machine doesn't have infinite tape, it has unbounded tape. It will never use more than a finite portion of it, but there is no upper bound on how large that portion can be.

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Xperia XZ1: Sony spies with its MotionEye something beginning...

Brangdon
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Re: Real world usage

Yes. I have one of the Compact ones. If you want a small phone with long battery life, waterproof and other flagship features, there's not a lot of other choices. I'm sad they took out the FM radio.

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Brangdon
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Re: Great review...

Did you read the paragraph about reception in areas of poor coverage?

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Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

Brangdon
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Re: More engines!=more safety

The point here is that more engines may mean more failures, but it also mitigates the cost of those failures. With 31 engines, loss of one or two or a few of them should not lead to loss of vehicle, crew and passengers. It's good that an aeroplane can fly on one of its two engines, but even if it loses both, it can glide to a crash-landing and most humans aboard will survive. Not so with a rocket.

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Brangdon
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Re: But it's a lousy analogy, Elon

> transport, on its very first trip, all the infrastructure

It doesn't have to do all that on its very first trip. There will be several ships used to test entry, descent and landing, and these will bring cargo which will help found the Mars based. Part of the point of Mars is that it has resources in situ from which fuel and oxidiser can be made. It's certainly a challenging project. Musk's point here is that he knows he can't do it alone.

> Mars is exponentially harder

It really isn't. The Moon is harder because it has no atmosphere, nights that are 14 days long, lower gravity, less water and generally fewer other resources. There's a reason for picking Mars over the Moon. Musk knows the Moon is there.

> Even partly reusable ones

BFR will be completely reusable for most uses.

> Orion-style nuclear ships

Well yes; but now you are talking fantasy that won't happen for the foreseeable future. BFR has a real chance of happening within the next decade.

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Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

Brangdon
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Re: To be fair

The password isn't being stored anywhere. The hint is being stored. Unfortunately the hint was being set to the password (and the actual hint lost). This happens when the drive is created, not when it is accessed. The code that fetches and displays the hint doesn't know it is the password.

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Musk: Come ride my Big F**king Rocket to Mars

Brangdon
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Re: What is the actual fucking point?

We can do more than one thing at once. People have skills in different areas, and the ones who are good at rocket science are unlikely to be good at the social problems we have on Earth.

And I doubt anyone is smugly thinking that. Mars will be less pleasant then Earth for the foreseeable future. Musk is planning for unforeseeable events, with long horizons, not some situation likely to arise within the lifetime of anyone currently alive.

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Brangdon
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Re: What is the actual fucking point?

It's not that it's no biggie, it that's having a few million humans survive on Mars is better than humanity being wiped out entirely. Especially if those few million can help the ones left on Earth recover.

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NASA tests supersonic parachute, to help us land on Mars

Brangdon
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Re: But how...

Part of why SpaceX is so confident they can land on Mars without a parachute is the testing they've done in high Earth's atmosphere.

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Twitter's 280-char blog mode can be enabled client-side. Just sayin'

Brangdon
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Re: Trump achievements

There's one list from 5 months ago here: https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/63nxsn/update_i_was_tired_of_liberals_saying_trump_hasnt/

It is a mixture of easy stuff (like appointing the judge), negative stuff (revoking anything Obama did), and executive orders. The EOs generally are not so much achievements as instructions for someone else to look into achieving something, often without a real budget.

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Dome, sweet dome: UAE mulls Martian city here on Earth ahead of Red Planet colonization

Brangdon
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Musk thinks he can get the price under $500k a head, with fleets of reusable rockets, each rocket sending 100 people at a time, and then returning to go again two years later. He's quite serious. He's announcing an update to his plan tomorrow morning. 100 years is a long time; a lot can be achieved in that time if you try.

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Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Brangdon
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Re: "You can force your phone to require a PIN to unlock rather than a fingerprint"

There's a new feature where-by if it is set up to use a fingerprint or facial scan, you can force a PIN by tapping 5 times. Hopefully the police will politely wait for you to get your phone out and do that.

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Ethereum will have transaction chops of Visa in 'a couple of years', founder claims

Brangdon
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Re: Huh?

Not everyone has access to credit cards. In some countries, mobile phones are more common than bank accounts.

And there is no intrinsic need to convert it to fiat in order to use it. People would would accept Bitcoin in exchange for dollars, would also accept Bitcoin in exchange for goods and services. Supposing Bitcoin continues to grow in popularity, it's only a matter of time until the goods and services you want can be got with Bitcoin directly.

Bitcoin miners already receive fees for transactions. It hasn't been free to use for years.

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

Brangdon
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Am I the only person who also cares about FM radio? I want one partly for emergencies, partly to save data, and partly to save battery. Few flagship phones have them now, allegedly because the network operators want you to pay for internet data instead.

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NASA Earthonauts emerge from eight-month isolation in simulated Mars visit

Brangdon
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Re: Mars

Mars has an atmosphere which blocks most of the radiation. It's not as good as Earth but it's comparable to being on the ISS. The Moon has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, so it has no protection from radiation at all, and so is far worse to colonise from that point of view. (And from most other points of view, too). Either way colonists will want to spend most of their time in shielded habitats, eg sited in lava tubes.

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So thoughtful. Uber says it won't track you after you leave their vehicles

Brangdon
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Re: Why track in the first place?

The official reason is to check that the driver dropped you off at the correct place, on the correct side of the road. If tracking shows you crossed the road immediately after being dropped off, the driver probably wasn't giving service as high as possible.

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Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified

Brangdon
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Re: no one outside Denmark

She's a journalist who writes for The Guardian. It was always going to be reported in this country by her fellow journalists.

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Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spacesuit is a bit generic

Brangdon
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Re: In-flight travel vs spacewalks

These are for the manned Dragon crew to wear as they are taken to/from ISS. They won't be for EVA because that isn't required (and adds systems for heat management, waste disposal, longer self-contained life support etc, which isn't needed in a Dragon). However, the people wearing them will be real astronauts who may do spacewalks from ISS in different spacesuits later.

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Paris nightclub red-faced after booze-for-boobs offer exposed

Brangdon
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Re: Bah!

Some women don't want to be asked to expose themselves when they go out at night. It's objectifying and part of rape culture. It probably counts as solicitation - it's not much different to kerb-crawling or offering to pay random women for sex acts.

I don't know about outrage, but it's understandable that some women would want to warn their friends to avoid this bar, and the bar's owner might be annoyed at the loss of business.

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Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

Brangdon
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I doubt it is the same woman. Without face, teeth or fingerprints the torso will need to be identified from DNA, which will take time and hasn't happened yet. It could be some other crime. I doubt submarine guy would have had time or inclination to dismember, and it kinda blows away his "buried at sea" story. I mean, why use a story that will be disproved as soon as the body is found?

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

Brangdon
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Re: If you refuse to learn

In this story, he didn't refuse to learn. IT broke his email and then left it broke for two weeks. He asked for help and didn't get it, for two weeks. He has every right to be upset. If someone had explained to him he just had to click in the right place on day one, he'd have been fine, but the IT department didn't do that. They left him to stew. This may not have been Newt's fault, but he was there as the representative of IT so he should have been polite. IT was in the wrong here, not the user.

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What code is running on Apple's Secure Enclave security chip? Now we have a decryption key...

Brangdon
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Re: Demanding your PIN

Arguably, handing over a PIN only self-incriminates to the extent of confirming the phone is yours. The contents of the phone is evidence of the sort found by a search, not testimony.

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Place your bets: How long will 1TFLOPS HPE box last in space without proper rad hardening

Brangdon
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Re: "I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from. "

I'm not going to watch a video. Curiosity has a device to measure radiation. It gives 0.67 mSv per day, which about double the ISS exposure rate. Your figure of .7 Sv per week, or 100 mSv per day, is out by several orders of magnitude. Maybe you have your units wrong, or are confusing exposure during the journey with exposure once arrived. (If you missed a "milli" and confused weekly with daily, that would do it.)

http://www.sci-news.com/space/science-mars-radiation-measurements-surface-01629.html

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Brangdon
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Re: Not a good test

I'm not sure where you are getting your figures from. On the surface of Mars you are protected by the atmosphere, and Mars itself, so the radiation is similar to that on the ISS. You would also build a shelter from regolith, or situate it in a lava tube, which would give excellent shielding when you didn't need to be working on the surface or during solar events.

The journey there and back are another matter, but hopefully the trip will be under 3 months and the ship itself will provide some shielding. Overall we're talking risk of death by cancer increased by a few percent. If that bothers you, don't go.

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Space boffins competing for $20m Moon robot X-Prize are told: Be there by March 31 – or bust

Brangdon
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If we're allowing hypothetical third stages, why not allow Falcon Heavy, due to launch in November this year? That's probably sooner than someone could design and build and fly a third stage.

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Cloudflare: We dumped Daily Stormer not because they're Nazis but because they said we love Nazis

Brangdon
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Cloudflare acted the only way they could

I don't get it. Why couldn't they just state that what the Daily Stormer says about them isn't true?

Cloudflare seem to be saying that it is OK to tell lies about other people, but not about themselves. That's not some high moral principle. It's hypocracy.

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For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

Brangdon
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Re: where does the cash come from

The original bitcoin is not backed by real world cash. It's backed by confidence that other people will accept it in exchange for goods and services. Which is mostly true because Bitcoin is a useful way of transferring value.

The increase in Bitcoin's value came because SegWit and Bitcoin Cash represent software upgrades that a lot of people wanted. The value of Bitcoin had been artificially depressed because of uncertainty about whether the upgrade would ever come. Now SegWit is here, that uncertainty is (mostly) gone, and other technology such as the Lightening Network can be build on top.

The value in Bitcoin comes from making transactions. These upgrades increase the number of transactions that can be made per second. Hence they increase the value Bitcoin delivers.

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Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

Brangdon
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Re: despite it hurts

It doesn't hurt. That's the point of these warnings. The retina doesn't have pain nerves and doesn't signal when it is being damaged. Hence you can damage your eyes without realising it. It's easy to do if you become fascinated by what you are seeing. These warnings are necessary because the danger is not obvious. I only wish they'd take the time to explain why the danger is not obvious; then people might not be so complacent.

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Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Brangdon
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@Peter2

The very section you quoted says, "Unless the trader and the consumer have agreed otherwise...". By using the delivery service you will be agreeing otherwise.

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Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people

Brangdon
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Re: Used my parents Virgin TV system the other day

Consider upgrading to the V6 TiVo. It is 10-20 times as fast. Netflix loads in a couple of seconds. Going to My Shows takes about half a second instead of 8 seconds. It's much nicer.

It also has 6 tuners, and the remote control no longer needs line of sight so you can hide the box in a cupboard if you want.

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It took DEF CON hackers minutes to pwn these US voting machines

Brangdon
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Re: Why Electronic Voting?

They don't use paper votes because they vote on many different things at once. Their voting forms are pages long. It's much more complex than it is in the UK.

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Chess champ Kasparov, for one, welcomes our new robot overlords

Brangdon
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Re: I would guess that Mr. Kasparov is not only better than I at chess

You can adjust for miles driven to remove that bias, and then the self-driving cars already look good.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Brangdon
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Fried eggs should be

crisp and dark brown around the edges from being bubbled in immense heat. I'm fed up with places that fry with a gentle heat so that the egg is left with the smooth white texture of a poached egg. If I want a poached egg I'll have one. Fried eggs should look fried; that's the point. Yolk runny, of course, and the top white cooked by basting with the hot oil.

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UK.gov: You can't have our drone test results because... er, security

Brangdon
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Re: What about using gravity?

The terminal velocity of a drone is probably a lot less than the speed of an aeroplane.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Brangdon
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Re: Ground rules

Also, there should be no pregnancy or magic baby plots for at least 3 seasons. We had enough of that with Amy Pond.

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