* Posts by boltar

2435 posts • joined 15 Oct 2008

Text bomb, text bomb, you're my text bomb! Naughty HTML freezes Messages, Safari, etc

boltar
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Re: Wow. It's 2018 and "terminals" can still be hosed by sending files of control characters.

"Anti-aliasing, screen DPI scaling, kerning and graphics acceleration are a few extra complications to consider."

Fonts are just small vector drawings, there's nothing special about them in particular. The OS doesn't care whether they're a letter or an emoji. Now either there's an issue with the HTML/URL parser, the font mappings, the font drawing routines or the standard graphics subsystems used to render them. If it was the last 2 we'd have probably seen this bug long before now IMO.

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boltar
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Re: Wow. It's 2018 and "terminals" can still be hosed by sending files of control characters.

"Displaying variable fonts with all the typographical bells and whistles is an hard job."

Its not really. utf8 code maps to font character data, character gets drawn. I don't see the problem unless somehow they're defining new font characters on the fly or calling font drawing routines direct. Of course if we still had bitmap fonts instead of this fancy vector stuff it wouldn't be an issue in the first place! Now get off my lawn!

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boltar
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Re: Downplayed

" Hint to the AC: Remember that email address you used to sign up?"

I can create an anonymous email address in gmail via Tor in 20 seconds. Far more useful would be the IP address they normally connect from - unless they're using Tor for that but I doubt it.

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Destroying the city to save the robocar

boltar
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Re: Obviously the solution is....

"The cost of insurance is meant to cover the cost of covering the risks involved, plus overheads, plus some sort of profit margin."

Originally yes. Now that equation has been skewed so far to the right that its pretty much ALL about profit. Need an example? Loyal customers of insurance companies who don't have any accidents still getting screwed with an inflation busting premium rise year after year.

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boltar
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Re: Obviously the solution is....

"Meet Yamaha Motobot, not just an automated motorbike it can actually race:"

Its got stabilisers. Doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Then put a 100kg biker on top who moves around and see how well it manages. Also bikers have to be able to read the road and obsctructions and muck on it far better than a car driver. What chance would a computer have of spotting some oil or mud on the road ahead?

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boltar
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Re: Obviously the solution is....

"Cold and rainy pretty much describes the weather in the Netherlands between October and April/May. Yet it is a popular and oft used method of getting around. So claiming cold or rain is a problem for bike adoption is mostly just about mindset, not any real problem."

The netherlands is also as flat as a board with plenty of segregated cycle paths - a molehill would be considered a significant geographical feature. This makes cycling rather easy. Now try cycling in the UK on a normal road probably covered in potholes in the pissing rain in twilight up a 1 in 20 with cars and 40 ton trucks passing you by at 50mph. Not so much fun now is it?

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boltar
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Re: A strange idea

"A city isn't a human scale creation; it has of itself no community. Just huge ghastly blots on the landscape, absorbing resources to create a sort of battery farm for humans."

Cities do have communities, lots of them. And some of us like living in cities with everything nearby rather than in a dormitary village or barn in the middle of nowhere. Not all of us are on the spectrum, some of us value social interaction.

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boltar
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Re: Obviously the solution is....

Two wheelers are the fly in the ointment of this whole automated car nonsense. For automated cars to work properly and not constantly be gamed by human drivers then all manually driven cars would have to be banned from the roads. And given the chances of an automated motorbike or bicycle being developed are close to zero (and who would want to ride one anyway?) they'd have to be banned from the roads too. And good luck with any government that tried that!

Fully automated cars are not for our benefit - they're just a wet dream of governments who want more control over their citizens movements, and silicon valley bros who want to cash in their shares in 20 years time and retire as billionaires. Hopefully neither will get their way. If someone can't drive for whatever reason there are already good alternatives - public transport or taxis. We don't need - and I suspect most drivers don't want - fully automated vehicles with no option of manual control.

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Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)

boltar
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"doesn't change the fundamental nature of what it is: A statistical model."

Indeed. And no matter how clever those models are or what algorithms they use (SVMs, decision trees, linear regression, neural nets) those models only do one thing. Train a model to recognise faces and these days it can. Brilliant. Now let the same model look at pictures or cars and it won't have a clue. Yes, you could train it on cars too, but the more you train it on diverse subject matter the less accurate its predictions become.

Currently there is no algorithm or neural net that even gets close to representing the human brain. In fact current neural nets arn't even structured in the same way. Whether that matters remains to be seen but there is something fundamentally missing yet. You can't just point a neural net at the world and say "go on , learn about and contextualise your enviroment" like as insect can manage, never mind a human. And this problem won't be solved by ever faster hardware. There needs to be a fundamental structural change in the way these systems work.

The singulairity is a long way off yet.

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Wondering where your JavaScript libs went? Spam-detection snafu exiled npm packages

boltar
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Re: Development: Gone Wrong, Gone Bad

"Meanwhile, Java code is happily humming in the backend, uses threads and SQL for normal levels of productivity and sanity"

And boatloads of memory compared to a similar backend system written in C++. ;o)

But I'd still take java over the kiddies playpen enviroment known as javascript where code writing monkeys (sorry, I'm not going to call them developers) seem to think its perfectly ok for the crap they dish up to pull in unverified code from multiple different sources every fucking time it runs because they're too goddamn incompetent to write even simple algorithms that wouldn't challenge your average school kid computer enthusiast. I mean where the hell do you start with the security implications of that not to mention the network inefficiencies? The whole web stack is an utter POS and should be redesigned from the ground up from the HTTP model via javascript to CSS and all the other 2nd rate brainfarts that got included into it because the W3C couldn't even spell "clue" , never mind get one.

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No wonder Marvin the robot was miserable: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

boltar
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Re: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

"i don't know where you live, but in the UK the improvement of the agricultural equipment came about 100 years after people flocked to the cities. Most farms in the UK were not fully mechanisaed until the early to mid 1900s."

Rubbish. Horse/ox drawn and powered agricultural machines that did the work of a number of men had started appearing at the end of the 17th century. I suggest you google jethro tull - and I don't mean the rock band.

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boltar
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Re: AI will make the rich richer – and the poor poorer

". That's why they flocked to the towns: being a poor wage slave was a vast improvement over a starving peasant."

They flocked to the towns because the revolution in agricultural equipment meant fewer people were needed to work the land you numpty. And when they got to the towns they usually ended up living in conditions far less sanitary than out in the countryside, disease was rife and life expectancy plummeted. It took 50-100 years for this situation to improve. But hey, lets not let facts get in the way of your rose tinted view of the industrial revolution.

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Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

boltar
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Re: Eh?

"Have you been to the slackware website? It's 1991 in there."

Perhaps they spend their time doing important stuff like maybe, oh I dunno, updating the distro, rather than wasting time fucking about with style sheets and other bloated BS web stack eye candy which makes no difference whatsoever to the actual product.

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boltar
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Re: Eh?

" Or if they do they don't realize its a rock solid, slim and simple distro."

And no goddamn systemd either. Which in my book would be reason enough on its own to use it. And I do.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

boltar
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Re: Eh?

"The thing is, some people like to pay more for luxury"

Except its not luxury as in being a better quality product than a normal laptop (apart from maybe the OS but you can change than on a PC anyway). In fact it has less hardware functionality than many cheaper laptops. All you're paying for is the Apple logo. Thats it. Thats not luxury or quality, its just fashion. Its the male equivalent of a designer handbag.

I actually like Apple stuff and if they sold their machines at a reasonable price I'd buy one, but 3x the price? They're having a fecking laugh.

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Where did all that water go? Mars was holding it wrong, say boffins

boltar
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"scientifically speaking, water has been changed to gaseous materials due to high level of molecular division of water due to high level of heat that burned the oxygen in the water and in the atmosphere. Water can be regenerated if we can be able to grow certain type of plants and by doing Yagna/Homo those are done in India. Not convinced?"

No. The water was not split by heat but by UV and you can't burn oxygen out of anything, burning is the combining of oxygen (or some other reactive gas) with another material to produce a lower energy compound. And good luck finding a plant from this planet that can recombine oxygen and gaseous hydrogen. Water expired from plants comes from a combination of water from its roots and nighttime respiration of stored carbohydrates. There may well be some bacteria or archaia than can deal with H2 direct however, I don't know.

Some lessons in basic science wouldn't do you any harm.

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'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

boltar
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Re: I'm not sure what's worse

"Recieving the photos on a mobile phone in the post, or"

Actually I'm not sure whats so funny about that. The farmer may have lost the cable, not have any drivers for his PC if he even owned a PC, the phone might not have had an SD card and the photos were in its on board memory, or he may not have had an internet connection or if he did it was dial up only in which case it could well be quicker to post the phone than upload the pictures! And being a farmer he'd be busy 12 hours a day and probably had better things to do than visit an office that could be miles away to deliver it by hand.

Its easy to take the piss if you don't know the facts.

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Reminder: Vast majority of serfs toiling away as Mechanical Turks for megabucks Amazon earn less than min wage

boltar
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Re: Poor relations

"Then you bang about how great you are and ultra socially responsible you are by only shopping locally, as though anyone who doesn't do the same is some sort of complete bastard!"

No, just have no right to complain about working conditions at Amazon if they actively support the business by using it. The only thing companies like Amazon care about is money.

"Given that their business profit margins are razor thin I very much doubt they'd do the same for you in return for your business!"

So what?

"Sorry but my money goes to the best value I can stretch out of it, I'm not poor by any means but why should I waste it? I worked hard for it and I spend it where I like."

Ah, the I'm Alright Jack argument. Since when is supporing local business wasting money? But yeah, nice one mate, hope you feel proud of yourself. And you criticise me? You stinking hypocrite.

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boltar
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Re: Poor relations

"Probably not but they may appreciate do-gooders in a rich western nation forcing the ultra rich people profiting off their labour into giving them a bit more money per hour."

How did Bezos get so rich? He didn't inherit it. I'm afraid people love to be SJWs on social media and protest about how unfair it all is, then next thing they probably do is order something off amazon. I put my money where my mouth is - I have never ordered from Amazon or any other online retailer, I visit my local shops as it supports local business and keeps cohesion in the community having shops around and the staff are on more than in Bezos sweatshops.

Yes, it costs me a bit more. So what ? Morality often comes with a cost to the person exercising it.

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Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

boltar
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Re: Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

" It's in every Intel IME, and a whole heap of other embedded systems."

Err no, there are allegedly parts of minix in Intels IME, they're not saying one way or the other. And do you really think they'd have kept the message passing side when this stuff has to run in microseconds in an interrupt? Remember , this is inside the main processor, its not AMT which resides in a sideband CPU.

"Think before engaging keyboard, mate. There's a lot more to tech in this machine-to-machine world than end-user-facing OSes."

Wow, thanks for the heads up there Yoda. Wish you'd been there when I was studying OS's back in the day.

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boltar
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Re: Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

"Wow, a whole terabyte of data! So impressive!!!! Tell me, is that per day or per hour?"

Sorry, I didn't realise this was a dick waving contest. My mistake. A terabyte is a lot of data when it doesn't involve video.

"you are seriously out of touch with CS."

You might want to get a clue before you post. No wonder you posted A/C.

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boltar
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Re: Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

"Tying yourself down to a legacy technology stack like that doesn't make much sense."

Neither Oracle nor SQL is legacy despite what the NoSQL vendors may have you believe. Having used Mongo in anger I can assure you I'd far sooner use a relational DB for almost all business operations except for simple document storage and lookup as it sucks at just about everything else.

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boltar
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Re: Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

"Complete rubbish. You have no idea what you are talking about."

I do actually, but you're entitled to your own opinion.

"Real-time, efficient, message-passing kernels have been around in embedded systems for over 30 years"

And almost no one uses message parsing kernels any more because they're slow. None of the major OS's use it and neither does embedded linux. Minix used it and look how well that didn't do out in the wild. Message parsing is a lovely idea on a whiteboard with a bunch of neckbeards nodding sagely, but when microseconds matter it just gets in the way.

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boltar
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Re: Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

"You're missing the point: if you're building a new app as microservices, then it won't be 500K lines of C++, it will be structured as separate services which call each other either directly or via queues"

If the new app can be built as small seperate RPCs (because thats all this really is) communicating via queues then its A) not realtime, B) inefficient C) become an unmanageable mess at any reasonable code size and far harder to debug than even the worst event driven program. RPCs have been available since the 80s, however there's a reason they were never used in anger. I'm waiting for the current generation of wheel re-inventers to discover why.

"Furthermore, you *can* run your Oracle cluster in Amazon - it's called RDS for Oracle"

Yes, I wonder what the network latency for that is?

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boltar
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Re: A true paradigm shift!

"Basically, you now only need a sysadmin if you have any data. Which must be a terrible relief to all those businesses out there that don't keep or process any data."

I'm wondering how long it'll be before someone (probably american) completely fails to spot the sarcasm in that and berates you with some choice insults.

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boltar
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Cloud, REST, HTTP, PHP, trendy NoSQL DB de-jour, blah blah, whatever...

This is for toy web & phone applications. When AWS and "serverless" (aka anonymous servers) can run a business critical 500K line multiprocess realtime C++ application connected to a terabyte sized Oracle** cluster we might start giving a shit and considering it at a serious corporate service. Unless then we'll stick with actual physical servers run by people who know what they're doing and can be called upon within seconds if there's a problem.

** Yes I know Oracle the corporation are a bunch of ****** and their support apps are generally crap, but their core RDBMS is the best in the business so lets not get into that argument.

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It's a decade since DevOps became a 'thing' – and people still don't know what it means

boltar
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@CheesyTheClown

"We’re currently replacing about $20 million of data center equipment and about 150 IT people with some Raspberry PIs and a dozen programmers."

I hate to be the one to break the news to you sunshine, but if thats true (I have my doubts) then most of your department about to be outsourced. I'd get your CV sorted out ASAP if I were you.

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boltar
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Re: Yawn...

I thought it meant developers who were co-opted into doing sys admin and DBA work (or vice verca) because the company they're working for is too tight to hire enough staff.

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Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

boltar
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"Not an uncommon incident."

It should be. Assuming this story is correct and no apochryphal, the linear motor should have had a speed limiter and a cut out that operated as soon as the linear motor had rotated enough times (if it was geared) or beyond a certain angle (if it was direct drive) that the head would be off the disk or squashed up against the spindle. These are the sort of things industrial systems designers have to consider, obviously the world of HD manufacturers was different back then.

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NiceHash diced up by hackers, thousands of Bitcoin pilfered

boltar
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Re: OK, I'll bite

"and only a "working wallet(s)" connected to the internet, and only connect the "main wallet(s)" to the internet periodically and just long enough to sweep coin to/from the working wallet(s) to keep operations working?"

Iran had its nuclear enrichment facility control systems air gapped. It only took 1 USB stick to let stuxnet loose on it. You think these bitcoin exchanges would do any better? If a powerful nation state wanted to destroy bitcoin or at least make it worthless, then IMO it could.

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boltar
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"And I still don't understand what problem a crypto-currency is actually solving for me"

It doesn't solve any issue unless you're a criminal - then you can make (in theory) untracable transactions. For everyone else its either just a very risky investment vehicle or simply a way of trying to have a finger on the pulse of what they've been told the future will be. Personally I don't think non government cryptocurrencies will ever be big enough to threaten major governments tax income or currencies because if any of them did they'd find themselves the victims of a vicious stuxnet like cyber attack. Bitcoin might be encrypted but even encrypted data can be trashed and made worthless. Do that to enough wallets and its bye bye confidence in bitcoin.

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Google pushed update that broke managed Chromebooks' Wi-Fi

boltar
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Re: How will the kids learn?

"Learning not to rely on Google would be the obvious lesson..."

Trendy teachers seem to think that using a device (whether google, MS or apple) somehow magically transforms learning ability in kids. Its bollocks of course , what actually happens is the kids end up just pissing about on them while looking like they're working (good skills for office life of course). There is something to be said for making them listen to what the teacher is saying and look at a white/black board then make them actually write something, because writing tends to drill the facts into the brain a lot more than typing or clicking buttons. Obviously if the actual class is programming or general IT then a computer is essential, but for other subjects the computer is often a 2nd rate learning medium.

But its all swings and roundabouts in education, I expect that'll come back soon, though a lot of kids will have had a 2nd rate education in the meantime due to IT companies pushing their wares into classrooms and teachers thinking they're being cutting edge by using them.

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Apple sprays down bug-ridden iOS 11 with more fixes

boltar
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Re: Interesting isn't it

"That a company built on slave labor, over priced toys and sitting on a pile of cash bigger than Mt Everest can't seem to get it right."

For all his faults Jobs actually cared about the end product. Todays apple only cares about the bottom line and design and quality control is slowly heading out the window. If Jobs had still been around there is no way in hell he'd have released a $1000 phone with that ugly useless notch at the top (or even a $1000 phone at all) or have allowed some recent shoddy software upgrades out.

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boltar
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Re: 'one that caused the calculator to return incorrect results if numbers are entered too quickly'

"Operator precedence is something that demonstrably a lot of people don't grasp having seen so many of the facebook click-bait articles catching people out with it"

Thats the kind of demographic Apple want - people so dumb and useless at maths that they can't even get basic primary school level arithmetic correct and have no chance of figuring out that they really can't afford the latest overpriced underspecced iToy Cupertino are trying to flog them with cliched "lifestyle" ads.

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Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

boltar
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Re: Space is good for you sometimes

"After 37 years, the seals on those thruster valves still opened without damage,"

Indeed, though I do wonder why they used attitude control thrusters which are dependant on a limited fuel supply in the first place instead of reaction wheels which simply require electricity.

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UK.gov admits Investigatory Powers Act illegal under EU law

boltar
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Re: No longer laughing

"as well as failing to understand the benefits of migration for innovation and economic growth?"

The only benefits of migration are to corporations who can make a rush to the bottom in conditions and salary for blue collar jobs. Perhaps you've just come back from a monastic retreat and haven't noticed the housing shortage in the SE, the strain on the NHS, schools and transport? Anyone who thinks a unlimited migration to a small island like this either has an agenda or is a fucking idiot. Which one are you?

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boltar
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Re: No longer laughing

"What are you on about? Act of Parliament, like all the rest."

Eh? You think acts of parliament happen without the government having any say in them? What are you smoking? The Major government made a decision to sign that treaty, no one forced them too and more to the point, no one asked the british public if they wanted them to.

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boltar
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Re: No longer laughing

"I voted you down for misspelling fairweather."

Fare enough ;)

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boltar
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Re: No longer laughing

"what dreadful job the government is making of a stupid idea."

The stupidity lies with John Major's government signing Maastricht back in 92. But like all PMs he wanted his "legacy" and he's certainly got it. Though I suspect it'll turn out not to be quite what he had in mind.

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boltar
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Re: No longer laughing

"My wife and children were all born in Belfast so dual nationality is available to them and the grandchildren. So it's just me who doesn't have that line of retreat."

Its good to know so many people came to the UK, not because they had any interest or love for our country and were prepared to stick with it through good times and bad, but because it was economically expedient and now that economically things might be paling due to brexit they're all preparing to clear off. To those people I say: Pack your bags, close the door behind you and good riddance! We don't need fareweather friends.

Mod me to hell, I don't give a s**t.

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boltar
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Re: No longer laughing

"Her right to reside in the UK has nothing to do with her status as an EU national, Irish nationals are special in UK law, predating EU membership."

Hey, don't destroy his victimhood argument with reality! What kind of monster are you? Think of the snowflakes!

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Oops: LinkedIn country subdomains SSL cert just expired

boltar
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"How long should a browser accept an expired certificate? A week? A month? A year?"

As long as the user requires it to. The user should be in control, not the browser developer.

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boltar
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What is the point of expiry dates and signing anyway?

Self signing makes certificate signing irrelevant and expiry dates add nothing to security. If someone has stolen your current cert they can probably steal your new one too. Its extra pointless security that should only be used in specific circumstances but because its used everywhere people become blase to it and mentally filter out any warnings.

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Want a new HDMI cable? No? Bad luck. You'll need one for HDMI 2.1

boltar
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Don't forget the audiophool version

Oxygen free gold plated connectors surrounded by EM attenuation crystals attached to copper cable that was blessed by angels after smelting by unicorns that requires you to only set it up on an E-W axis because its quantum sensitivity means signals will otherwise be affected by the earths magnetic field vibrating in synchronicity with the phases of the moon.

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Surveillance Capitalism thinks it won, but there's still time to unplug it

boltar
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Re: 'Surveillance capitalism, that’s on us'

"try to decide you won't use any google services, blackhole their ASN at the gateway and see how long you last trying to get anything done online... it's a fun experiment if nothing else to determine how reliant you are on them."

Speak for yourself. Apart from some online banking everything else I do online is purely for entertainment purposes and even the banking I could do over the phone or in branch. If my broadband went down for good it would be annoying but I could carry on no problem. Don't assume everyone needs to internet to conduct their lives simply because you apparently do.

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boltar
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Re: 'Surveillance capitalism, that’s on us'

"The issue is that "99.999999% don't care" and this makes the "surveillance capitalism" possible"

Well those 99.999% will have to suffer the consequences then and the small minority left can just sit back and laugh at the idiots

FWIW I don't have a facebook account, don't own a smartphone or an amazon device and nor do I have a google log in for them to track me on their website plus I regularly delete brower cookies. It isn't hard, but to paraphase PT Barnum, never underestimate the stupidity or gullibility of the general public.

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Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price

boltar
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Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

"Using the usual conversion ratio for USD and GBP 1$=1£ you would need to drive 178,731 km to get the extra £20,000 back from the standard Tesla truck."

100k miles for a commercial truck is nothing. Some heavily used long distance ones do that in 6 months.

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Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

boltar
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"They'll be back."

Perhaps, but even if they do it won't be for a very long time.

The problem isn't with Linux as an OS, its an extremely competent, reliable and secure OS as evidenced by it running probably the majority of backend systems and web servers on the internet these days. The problem is the desktop applications, or lack thereof. What linux equivalents do exist are usually good, but there is a HUGE number of specific task applications that are Windows (and occasionally Mac) only and if they need any of these then using Linux will probably be hard.

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DNS resolver 9.9.9.9 will check requests against IBM threat database

boltar
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Re: Naive hippy nirvana

"I can see you don't particularly like people protesting and expressing alternative views"

Going on a march or demonstration occasionally is one thing, spending your life protesting while claiming benefits and contributing nothing to society at large (most of whom probably don't give a rats about the issue you're protesting about) is something completely different. So yes professional protestors - damaged, feckless goods looking for some meaning in their pointless lives.

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