* Posts by boltar

2624 posts • joined 15 Oct 2008

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

boltar
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

"On the other hand you have on the order of 140,000,000 armed civilians, with enough guns to arm just about *everyone*."

Even assuming you could muster all of them which wouldnt happen (at most you'd get a few hundred thousand crazies), how do you reckon they'd fare against some B52 carpet bombing, abrams tanks, A10s or cruise missiles ? Ask the Taliban how well that works out long term. You see, this is the thing, people like you still think its 1850. Wake up.

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boltar
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

"Militias are mention in the first part of the 2nd Amendment. You know the forgotten part that many think was written in invisible ink."

Perhaps its time to change parts of a constitution that may have been relevant in a semi lawless wild west scenario 200 years ago but don't apply in a democratic 21st century society where (in theory) the rule of law applies.

And even if you think the police/legal system/whatever in america is corrupt and is run by the industrial-military complex/bilderberg group/left wing nutjobs/right wing nutjobs [delete as applicable], the idea that you and a dozen of your friends are going to overpower the US military with a few handguns is just so fucking laughable that anyone who thinks that frankly needs a psychiatric assessement.

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boltar
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Obviously a gun is involved in every mass shooting - otherwise it wouldn't be called a shooting.

Just saying.

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First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

boltar
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Re: Feeling old yet?

"~2.5 hours was what it took to cross the pond... back when I was young."

Ah yes concorde - leaving a 3000 mile long trail of crap in the stratosphere just to save 3 hours. Personally I'm glad that enviromental nightmare is gone. Yes, go ahead spotters, mod me down.

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Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

boltar
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Re: "shouldn't be on … network in the first place"

"One of the few things worse than Brexit would be if Vlad The Emailer switched off Britain's lights for a week."

Since you're obviously a fan of the EU why not ask them why they haven't written up one of their famous directives to control this particular piece of tech.

Or is it simply a case that almost all politicians are technical and scientific illterates who barely grasp the terminology , never mind the ideas and issues behind it. The fact that we keep electing people who, if they even have qualifications they're utterly useless for running a 21st century state. Perhaps a few more BSc's** and a few less MA's and MBA's in parliaments around the world might improve things immensely.

** Yes, Thatcher, but to be fair she was actually quite good when it came to supporting new tech industries back in the day.

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The Death of the Gods: Not scared of tech yet? You haven't been paying attention

boltar
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Re: --->Götterdämmerung.

"And Tolkien also pinched the central theme of LotR from the Siegfried cycle."

Partly, along with a lot of norse and germanic myths and sagas just like Wagner. And The Hobbit is basically a rewrite of Beowulf.

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boltar
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Re: "how about some positive, helpful, suggestions, instead?"

"I think that banning Advertising (and I mean a COMPLETE ban) would improve things immensely"

You might hate advertising in whatever form it takes, be it TV or radio ads or promos on twitter, but its often the only way for a new and/or small company to get known. Bad all advertising and the only people who will benefit will be the products and big corporations that the public already know about.

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boltar
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Anyone who thinks Google et all have power...

.... clearly have no idea of the historical reach and sheer political power of the oil companies and what they used to get up to, and for all I know still do.

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Rejoice! Thousands more kids flock to computing A-level

boltar
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Re: before you can apply an index to a table.

"And when you do, the flippin' developers write nested selects that invalidate the index and force brute-force table-walks anyway."

People don't write nested selects and correlated sub queries just for fun. Its probably because someone higher up dictated some output that the normalisation structure of the DB was never designed to accomodate and so contortions have to be made to get the information out. Whats the alternative (other than redesigning the DB)? Write a PL/SQL procedure or process it in the client app which will probably be equally slow if not slower.

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boltar
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Re: Fundamentals of IT

"Now you need 3 weeks of meetings - some of which must be conducted standing up - before you can apply an index to a table."

True, but there still arn't many other white collar industries where you can earn 300-400 quid a day from the get go as a contractor. IT might be full of bullshitting MBA know-nothings in management these days, but its still a damn good industry to be in and until computers write their own software you'll not find it hard to get work so long as you choose your specialisations wisely. IMO of course.

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Oracle: Run, don't walk, to patch this critical Database takeover bug

boltar
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Re: I have to ask...

"why are you still using this database,"

Have you tried the alternatives? They're even worse. Last time I was involved with sybase we considered it a win if none of the instances went down in a week. SQL Server? Yeah, thats fine for some periphery systems but its not a Bet The Business 24/7 DB. And don't get me started on NoSQL DBs, they're just a hipster nostalgia trip back to the 70s and are fucking useless for even moderately complex data relationships. RDBMS - the clues in the name.

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ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

boltar
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Re: but that's the same as everyone elses review!

"while a roll-your-own phone OS can be pretty intimidating."

Tbh a roll your own phone would probably be banned from most networks anyway since the network providers wouldn't trust your baseband code not to have something nasty hidden away.

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boltar
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Re: but that's the same as everyone elses review!

"there you go... could make it yourself for 70 quid for a single unit. reduce cost by at least half for bulk purchases and injection moulds."

Sure, if you don't value your time at all and don't want to make any profit. I'm not claiming RCL spent much time on this, but the cost of the actual physical stuff with most products is a usually a small percentage of the final price, its the time spent designing, testing and - in the case of houses - building that takes the lions share of the investment.

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The age of hard drives is over as Samsung cranks out consumer QLC SSDs

boltar
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Re: QLC? It's not the one for me

"This works by using analog levels to cram more bits into the signal, which itself is carried on a carrier wave."

Everything is analogue if you go down far enough - the point is where the analogue values come from. The relative levels of amplitude, phasing or frequency compared to the carrier signal strength of a radio signal will always be the same as its actively generated. The hardware in an SSD however is fixed and so maximum voltage levels in the cells will decline as they age, but more to the point - not uniformly between them. So the firmware can't simply adjust its voltage level parameters to account for it.

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boltar
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Re: QLC? It's not the one for me

" Is it really worth it?"

Not in my opinion. These cells store multiple bits by using multiple voltage levels instead of just on/off, high/low or +ve/-ve- ie its an analogue system with all its inherent problems. There's a reason we switched from analogue to digital computers 70 years ago and those reasons haven't gone away. One of those reasons is that as components age the charge they can store drops. Thats not a problem if its binary since generally it has to drop a long way before a 1 becomes a 0. However if you have multiple analogue voltage levels it won't take much degredation to flip a 4 to a 3 or 3 to 2 etc.

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ZX Spectrum reboot latest: Some Vega+s arrive, Sky pulls plug, Clive drops ball

boltar
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Re: It looks a bit... "cheap"

"So most of what the Z80 in a ZX80 is doing is executing NOPs."

Even for its day the ZX80 was a pretty nasty design when compared to the Apple II, TRS-80, PET or other 8 bit computers that had come out a few years before. If it had been dirt cheap that would have been fine but it wasn't, it was actually quite expensive at 100 quid assembled which is probably equivalent to 300-400 quid or more now.

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boltar
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Re: As with all these cases, eveyone out for themselves, the customer comes last

The phrase "A fool and his money are soon parted" proved correct once again. Hopefully some of the suckers who invested in this have learnt a valuable lesson - ie that the laws of good financial governance arn't put on hold just because the money is being raised on some trendy hipster crowd funding site.

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Riddle me this: TypeScript's latest data type is literally unknown

boltar
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Re: void *

No, it couldn't because it works on arrays. I'll let you figure out the rest.

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boltar
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Re: void *

"Okay, so tell me why I'm wrong and what your example is."!

man qsort

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boltar
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Re: void *

"You can just as well use an opaque structure instead of void *, it makes the code more readable and unlike void *s the compiler makes sure variables aren't passed to the wrong function."

Opaque structures? Wrong function? Wtf are you talking about? If its C it can't be passed to the wrong function since there's no concept of function overloading and the whole point of void is opaqueness anyway except you're not limited to a particular structure!

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boltar
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"If you're still using JavaScript, you're shooting yourself in the foot."

If you're using javascript it means you're a web dev. But don't worry, one day you might get a real programming job using grown up languages.

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boltar
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Re: void *

"In my experience, whenever there is a question, and void * is the answer, either the answer is wrong or the question is wrong."

Or you don't understand why void* exists and why its sometimes required as a function parameter.

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Dear alt-right morons and other miscreants: Disrupt DEF CON, and the goons will 'ave you

boltar
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Right wing nutters vs self important anti establishement brats

I'll get the popcorn...

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Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

boltar
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Re: Not to mention ...

"Slackware's systemd free"

And runs nicely and is perfectly stable because of that. Maybe it takes an extra few seconds to boot compared to a systemd distro but who the f*ck cares? I'll take system stability over a quick boot time any day.

"And, for me at least, 14.2 has been completely trouble-free since I first upgraded from 14.1"

Same here, been using 14.2 since it came out, everything worked out of the box including media and apart from having to download some printer drivers for cups it didn't need anything for it to be work ready.

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Scumbag confesses in court: LuminosityLink creepware was my baby

boltar
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Re: Colton Grubbs

"Name suits."

Nominative determinism in action?

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Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

boltar
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Re: The Rout of Civilisation

"Just think, they can now falsely direct a vehicle down a too-narrow lane, across a river without using a bridge, the wrong way down a one-way street, across fields, under bridges that are too low and all the other things that real GPS does to vehicles."

If a driver is so thick they don't think twice before driving into a river or across a field then they should have their license revoked. Assuming they survive.

Re shipping - there was an effective system called Loran that used fixed radio masts and triangulation to piinpoint a ships position. But with the usual far sightedness inherent amonst politicians and others in power, instead of being kept as a GPS backup it was decommisioned.

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Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

boltar
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Re: reflecting opinions more than best practice

"I'm old enough to know that Python is just the present "flavor of the month" programming language"

If using a flavour of the month language means that Perl finally crawls away and dies then thats good enough for me. Anyway, after being around this long I think its fair to say Python is part of the dev furniture now, not a newcomer.

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Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore

boltar
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Re: My nearest town has two banks remaining

"In the 21st century, there should be no reason to need a physical branch near you, surely ?"

Apparently you didn't RTFA. I can't think of a better reason to have physical branches than during these sorts of cockups. And as others have mentioned, not everyone is 25 , lives in an urban area with banks a short bus ride away and has internet access. Perhaps you might try giving a shit about the older generation and those living in the countryside occasionally.

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Cancelled in Crawley? At least your train has free Wi-Fi now, right?

boltar
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Re: If only...

"Then think about the differing needs of people who are at different points in their lives."

No one is at the point in their life where they can't be without internet access for an hour or too. Even teenagers can manage to go without for that length of time if pushed. If someone really can't then they need professional help.

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boltar
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Re: If only...

"I would agree if tasks can only be done one at a time. However, that is not true is it?"

There is only 1 pot of money. Use some to provide wifi and you have less to pay for the important things.

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boltar
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Re: If only...

"And with that attitude, the UK is always destined to be an IT, technology and infrastructure backwater."

There's something known as priorities and Wifi access should be somewhere near the bottom when it comes to railways. Their primary purporse is to get people from A to B, not act as a substitute hotspot. I spend enough money on travel as it is without subsidising playtime for kidults.

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boltar
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Built in the age of steam?

FTA:

"Up until the train plunges into a tunnel built in the age of steam, of course."

I hate to break the news to you Mr Speed (surely thats a pseudonym?) , but a tunnel is a tunnel - they're big long holes in the ground. That doesn't change whether it was build 150 years ago or last week and being underground has this funny habit of cutting off radio signals. Thats right, physics hasn't changed either in 150 years. Now you can put repeaters in the tunnel but that costs money , and where do you think this money is going to come from? Thats right, the already sky high ticket prices.

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boltar
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Re: If only...

"You'd almost think that nobody had tackled the tunnel problem before. Oh, wait..."

Installing thousands of miles of leaky feeder cable plus supporting infrastructure would

A) Cost an absolute fortune which would be recovered from ticket costs

B) Would be Network Rails responsibility, not train operators.

Personally I think people should be grateful they can get wifi at all on a moving train and if they're unhappy with the free service then they can always take their chances with 4G. I'd prefer the train companies sort out their useless timetables and performance issues rather than waste time and money setting up infrastructure so some morons can talk bollocks on whatsapp or are so addicted that they can't wait an hour to get online.

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As far as the gender pay gap in Britain goes, IBM could do much worse

boltar
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Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

"So predictable with your assumptions about why women don't work in your industry and men don't work with young children."

Known facts are predictable in an argument. Thats why they're called facts. Women and men do generally have different interests, denying that only makes you look like a reality denying fool who lives in some ideological fantasy world.

"idiotic"

Says Jeremy Puddleduck.

"But, hey, let's not worry about the real societal causes for such large inequalities in certain countries"

The assumption was this discussion was about the west given that "in Britain" was in the article title. Perhaps that wasn't enough of a clue for you. So lets hear your theories on why women don't go into IT much in europe and north america. Presumably someone is "oppressing" them in some way. Who and how. Be specific, no hand waving vagueries.

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boltar
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Re: Industry drenched in testosterone

Its the usual self flaggilation from ignorant male journos who think they're being feminist on-message by dissing any industry that is predominantly male. Not because there's any in built in bias in these industries, but simply because men and women in general (obviously there are exceptions) have different interests and one of the things that interests men more than women is computers. In the same way few men are interested in working with young children so out of about 20 staff at my kids nursery only 1 is a guy. That doesn't seem to bother any of the right-on crowd however. Funny that. And I wonder how they'd react to their industry described as being "drenched in oestrogen"?

But hey, lets not worry about facts, much easier to scream sexism and collect the SJW inclusivity kudos.

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Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

boltar
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Re: the software may be insecure

"taking that view the analogy of the road holds up."

Until someone dies from slight networking or DNS lookup delays caused by a botnet then the analogy may hold water - until then its bollocks.

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boltar
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Re: the software may be insecure

"Harsh as it is, I don't want people running old insecure systems online. It's the same principle as forcing old unsafe vehicles off the road. It is bad luck for those individuals but necessary for the greater good."

A moronic comparison. An unsafe vehicle may cost lives, an unsafe browser may (in a miniscule number of cases) cost some lost personal data. There's an exponential difference in consequences.

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boltar
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Re: Mavericks isn't exactly a spring chicken

"It's doing networking, and Apple have been fairly aggressively tinkering with their networking stacks"

There's something called the sockets API. Its remained unchanged pretty much since the 80s and it hasn't changed on the current version of OS/X so your argument is rubbish. The changes to the networking stacks should - if apple has got it right - be completely invisible to a userspace application.

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boltar
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Re: Mavericks isn't exactly a spring chicken

"Except for the need to maintain the codebase (ifdefs increase complexity dramatically)"

Not when its different versions of the same OS. The actual differences will be slight if anything at all.

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boltar
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Re: Why use Chrome anyway?

" It seems all browsers are sponsored nowadays by the same party, and rather hostile to the users' privacy :("

Unfortunately this is the price of free these days. I rather wish GNU would write their own browser because then it really would be free but I guess the manpower required to do so is beyond their resources at the moment.

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boltar
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Re: Mavericks isn't exactly a spring chicken

It doesn't matter that its not a spring chicken, we're just talking a browser here, not some RDBMS thats intricately linked to the OS kernel. There is zero reason not to support older versions of OS/X other than they simply can't be bothered and/or the intern they've got looking after their build system doesn't understand the concept of #ifdef.

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Citation needed: Europe claims Kaspersky wares 'confirmed as malicious'

boltar
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Re: They learned from the best!

"once again became sovereign nations. If they decide to join Nato (possibly because of their proximity to Russia!), that's up to them."

Tell that to Georgia.

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boltar
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Re: You do not need evidence against Russians

"That does not mean it was the government indirectly."

Well given ukraine doesn't have those missiles in their arsenal perhaps you'd like to fill us in on who you think it might have been if not the russians or their proxies in eastern ukraine? Take your time.

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Microsoft loves Linux so much its R Open install script rm'd /bin/sh

boltar
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Re: EEE play

"Evil empire M$ with Gates in the background "

I don't think Gates cares anymore. He's taken his money and gone and I get the feeling he more or less washed his hands of MS when he stepped down as chairman. Obviously saw the writing on the wall and didn't want to go down with a sinking ship. And credit to him he's actually spending his money on worthwhile causes unlike Larry Eillison who seems to think buying yet another yacht is the pinnacle of lifes achievements.

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boltar
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Facepalm

Re: Typical installer written in a large company

"Nah, you don't have to be a pro developer. A mate wrote the install and deinstall scripts and did the whole packaging for a latex document class we developed together for .deb-systems. Yes, he is really bright, but not a software developer. He can read man pages and understand them and is OCD enough to obsess about little details until they are correct."

Yeah, because man pages cover all unexpected eventualities and gotchas and can easily substitute for years of on the job experience.

*sigh*

And people wonder why there are so many monumental cockups occuring in IT these days.

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Dinosaurs permitted to mate: But what does AT&T Time merger mean for antitrust – and you?

boltar
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Re: What does it mean to me?

"Aside from that, it's very silly to assume that changes in the IT landscape in the US have no effect on the UK"

Its just 2 US corps merging, neither of which have a significant broadband or any other type of presense IT or otherwise in the UK. Who cares?

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boltar
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What does it mean to me?

Nothing, I live in the UK (this is still a UK based site isn't it?) and couldn't care less.

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NASA finds more stuff suggesting Mars could have hosted life, maybe

boltar
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Re: Suggestive, but nothing more

"One of the big reasons no other animal has developed a technological civilization is that we beat them to it and have thoroughly occupied that niche, leaving no room for any others. As you said, "ask the Neanderthals.""

Homo sapiens are a very recent arrival on the scene - chimps were around for about 2 million years before we showed up. If they were going to evolve any further they would have done so. Ditto all the other animals.

"Your argument seems to boil down to "we're the only really intelligent species on the planet therefore intelligence is unlikely," but it's a flawed argument for many reasons."

I don't think so - it took evolution 3.5 billion years to come up with us and it was never a given - it was down to a unique set of circumstances that we still down fully understand. There is zero reason to assume it was inevitable either here (if circumstances had been slightly different) or on any other planet. Evolution evolves the fittest, not the smartest. If the 2 coincide very occasionally then so be it,, but its not an inevitable outcome.

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boltar
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The fact that I keep getting modded down for stating facts...

... shows there's either a lot of wishful thinking optimists on here or you're all a bit thick. Take your pick.

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