* Posts by The Indomitable Gall

1461 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: let me guess

" It is always safer to call a Lecturer "Professor" then to accidentally call a Professor "Lecturer" or "Instructor." Most people address faculty as "Doctor" just to be safe as well. "

In most of the universities I've studied or worked in, people tend to call teaching staff by their names.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: let me guess

@Cipherpunk:

" Professor is a job title, not a degree. There was nothing improper. "

True. However, in the American system, it's synonymous with "lecturer", whereas in the UK it is reserved for the academics at the top of the tree, and once you become a prof, you are always a prof, just you become a "professor emeritus/emerita" once you're no longer in post. You'll be expected to go back to your old university every now and then to lecture, and to supervise the occasional masters or PhD student, so you never fully retire.

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Shady US sigint base upgrade marred by stolen photograph

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: @FuzzyWuzzys re. @for_exposure_txt

" At a certain point art becomes bigger than the artist. "

In my case when a work measures more than 165cm in its largest dimension.

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YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: They might consider

@Yet Another Anonymous Coward

[ Re: pursuing compensation for the emergency services. ]

" What's the cut-off? "

I would say that performing a stunt in a professional capacity without a completed form signed by a suitably qualified risk-assessor and without the requisite safety equipment on-site is already illegal. And not warning the emergency services and/or the local council in advance of a potentially dangerous stunt too... but as the notification would have needed to include a risk assessment form, they wouldn't have been able to do that anyway.

The problem here is the way the so-called "gig-economy" takes amateurs and pays them, but still treats them as amateurs.

Sunday-league football, skiing, skydiving and cycling are mostly amateur affairs. Professional sports, on the other hand, are generally expected to have medical and crowd-control staff on-site, and are generally expected to pay for that.

Road racing on open roads is illegal, so I'll assume you're referring to closed-road events, where the organiser is again responsible for maintaining suitable response provision just in case there's an accident.

Rocket-powered cars for TV... well, again, TV has health-and-safety obligations. However, I do believe it's a bit of a different question whether you're talking about a competent professional racer like Guy Martin or a hyperactive middle-aged-"lad" TV-presenter like Richard Hammond. Top Gear was highly irresponsible letting Hammond go in that thing, and really the show should have been closed down permanently at that point.

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The Indomitable Gall
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@cray74:

" Now I'm wondering why the YouTube rocket scientist didn't bake his head with the plaster. Better heat transfer with the head's large blood supply? "

No -- he's lucky that he picked Polyfilla, which doesn't heat up with curing.

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More than half of GitHub is duplicate code, researchers find

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: The mote in thine eye

The purpose of the research was to inform other research that says "Language X is the most popular language (according to Github)." Analysing Github for patterns that bias other research is completely valid, and identifying patterns is part of that.

This is perfectly scientific, and in fact continuing with their original plan would have been the statistically worthless option, as modified file copies are at least an order of magnitude less common than verbatim file copies. The originally sought data would be valueless without this file-level data, so there was no point in pursuing the original plan.

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The Indomitable Gall
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I only see Java used to refer to Java and Javascript used to refer to Javascript. The figures being different for the two languages shows I'm not reading it wrong.

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SurfaceBook 2 battery drains even when plugged in

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Meh....

" ...people have done calculations and you would have to run an intensive at full belt for about 10 hours solid for it to be an issue. "

No, it's not only an issue when it runs out during plugged-in use, it's an issue as soon as you unplug with the intent to use it on the go, but find it's got no bloody battery left.

People expect laptops to be at a higher state of charge when you unplug them than they were when you plugged them in.

So... problem.

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Aussie Catholic School forced into hasty cover-up over suggestive Saint

The Indomitable Gall
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" You come down to earth and realise it's a religious statue, no one's likely to deliberately make a rude statue in church grounds and you simply need to grow up a little bit and see it for what it really is, just a statue. "

It's for a school. Yes, the people looking at it and seeing it as rude need to grow up -- that's why they're called "children".

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Remember the 'budget' iPhone SE? Apple plans an update – reports

The Indomitable Gall
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Headphone socket...?

I've been considering getting an SE or a 6s as a "last iPhone I can use my VideoMic Me with" before they disappear off the shelves, so I'll be interested to find out whether this SE2 will have a headset socket or not...

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Baaa-d moooo-ve: Debian Linux depicts intimate cow-sheep action in ASCII artwork

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: I don't wish to complain, but

What you consider "wasting time" appears to me to be something called "user feedback".

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Hmm

" I’ve looked hard and I’ve no idea what you’re on about. "

Tux looked hard too -- that's the problem!!

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The Indomitable Gall
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@davidp231

" No, that's a plain dependency. There's nothing recommended about them. If something requires a dependency to install, it will be automatically selected. And that method isn't restricted to the Debian-esques... it's a method use by all distros."

Did you read the article? It clearly points out that the issue arises because Debian installs recommended packages silently out-of-the-box. You have to specifically configure it not to do that. You can criticise the OS makers for their choice, but "recommend" is semantic metadata, and I don't think there's any specific suggested action.

" Debian user Felicia Hummel installed a package called "cowsay", [...]. But with default settings of "install suggests" enabled, a controversial second "recommends" package called "cowsay-off" was also installed. "

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Closed: By Design

" Ascii 'art' was funny for about 10 minutes in 91 "

No, I'd say it was funny after 10 minutes... once you finally finished downloading it.

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Borat creator offers to cover mankini fines. Is nice!

The Indomitable Gall
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It takes a man with a certain je ne sais rien to wear one of those!

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Back to the Fuchsia: The next 10 years of Android

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Smartphone rather than the OS

" Smartphones do more or less the same thing. Does anyone have a killer app that can only be used on one OS? "

How about "all the apps that I've already bought and don't want to have to pay for replacements for"?

For several iterations, iOS was the best option for video and realtime audio, because the abstraction layer in Android made syncing massively problematic. Even a simple drumkit app in Android could be useless because of the unpredictable lag between the user's finger making physical contact with a hotzone and the device playing the sound, which would differ across devices.

Major audio software and hardware producers refused to support Android because they didn't want the blame for the OS's weaknesses.

Now that's a thing that's firmly in the past, and all major audio device manufacturers support both platforms, but it has left me very dubious about Android support even this far on. (Plus, I'm tooled up with iOS apps, as I say, so I'm reluctant to leave the ecosystem and start afresh...)

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Chainmail tires re-invent the wheel to get future NASA rovers rolling

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Terrestrial uses ?

The design spec is very different.

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: It's PEBKAC

" It's more worrying that people presumed to be logical ( as in techie minded) don't see that. "

While at a transistor level, computers are about logic, everything above that level is a baffling mess of arbitrary decisions, and any minor variation results in complete failure.

If PEBCAK was an assembler opcode....

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The Indomitable Gall
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" Why the hell are there multiple helpdesks that can't pass a ticket between resolver teams? "

The clue's in the title of the software in question: OS/2.

Corporate thinking on helpdesks (and the architecture of the software supporting them) has changed a lot since the 90s....

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The Indomitable Gall
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Coat

@Spacedinvader Re: daily i wish

" Remote connection request. I actually asked one of my HD guys if anyone clicks "deny" on Tuesday. "yeah, ALL the time!" O_o "

Interesting... I wonder what's so special about Tuesdays that makes them do this...

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Corporate systems

Indeed, and that is why they came up with the notion of the generic service desk that logs calls for every IT problem as well as all facilities problems from a broken coffee machine to a crack in a supporting wall.

There are two problems that have crippled the notion of "service desk":

1) A truly generic service desk rarely resolves problems on first call, which irritates some users and looks bad against a key performance metric of the services it replaces: calls resolved on first contact.

2) Many companies create their service desks by simply rebranding the IT helpdesk; giving them extra work and no extra staff. This leads to a longer backlog of calls, and it's the desk staff that get it in the neck, as their performance goes down against key performance metrics... including calls resolved on first contact as while they can reset user passwords online, they can't exactly unblock the third stall on the right in the gents lavs over a phone call....

So yeah... service desk is a dream. I'm sad to live in reality.

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Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: I ain't Spartacus

" The one true doughnut is an irregular globular shape and filled with jam and covered in sugar. All others are impostors. After all, it's called a doughnut, not a doughring. "

Go grab a metal bolt, and that metal thing that goes on it... what do you call it? A sort of ring thing, with a hole in the middle? Oh yes, a nut.

(I'm well aware that this is false etymology, but then again I'm pretty certain that the original doughnuts were unstuffed fried doughballs not much bigger in size than a modern "doughnut hole".

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The Indomitable Gall
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I think the best way to think about religious offence...

I think the best way to think about the offence taken by religious people is this:

How would you feel if this was your mother?

I mean, even if there is no god (I'm an atheist myself), religious people genuinely feel filial love for their figures of veneration. Thus, think about whether you would insult someone's mother that way.

Now before anyone says "it's a delusional feeling", well yeah... I personally agree with you, but it makes no difference: they feel it, and making them offended doesn't free them of the belief -- it just offends them. So what is the purpose?

So let's get back to the sausage roll.

If someone replaced my mother with a sausage roll, how offended would I be? Not very. Unless it was presented explicitly as an insult. So I do think it's a bit of a silly overreaction, but guess what...? A handful of Twitter users is nothing. You're talking about the overreaction by a tiny number of people... so aren't we also guilty of overreacting.

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Fake-news-monetizing machine Facebook lectures hacks on how not to write fake news that made it millions

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Good idea

@Big John,

There certainly is some quality journalism left, but you can see how quickly it has been forced to move towards clickbait-ism to compete with the fake news crowd.

I suspect most journalists would be very pleased with reductions in clickbait, as right now they're all being forced to dumb down and would like to be able to do more good stuff.

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Viasat: We're going to sue Ofcom over EU-wide airline Wi-Fi network

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: I Have to side with Viasat on this one

@TheVogon

The playing field was only even in that Viasat could have ignored the terms of their license too, but that's not what we usually mean by a level playing field.

Inmarsat gained commercial advantage by ignoring the regulatory process.

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Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

The Indomitable Gall
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Facepalm

Funny this comment should pop up today, because while I'm not having a server room problem, I discovered last night that the cleaners are storing waste paper in a fire equipment cupboard at my current workplace.

I have logged this with the very top of our "security and safety" department, alongside a lecture theatre with both fire exits blocked during exam sittings.

Not a happy bunny today.

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Raspberry Pi burning up? Microsoft's recipe can save it and AI

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Cooling

The most ridiculous one I've seen yet is the geek who suspended his Pi in a small fishtank full of mineral oil. With that much oil, he didn't even see the need to include a circulator, which is fair enough as convection should probably handle it.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: "a fan mount that positions a small blower"

I wish people would stop talking about bacon. I'm living in a country where it's not illegal to eat pork products, but as most of the country doesn't, almost nowhere sells bacon. Certainly nowhere in my town. :-(

Although that said, what I'm missing most at the moment is a toaster and sliced pan bread.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: "a fan mount that positions a small blower"

" Also, that's too hot for a good fried egg. "

Erm... no.

The 67 degrees C mentioned on the Guardian article is for sous-vide cooking, and it takes aaaaaaaaaaaages. Sous-vide is a deliberately low-temperature cooking style. I imagine most people actually frying their eggs will be using a notably higher temperature.

(I suspect most folk would say I fry my eggs at too high a temperature anyway...)

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Man prosecuted for posting a picture of his hobby on Facebook

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Police Scotland = Morons with time on their hands

" "I don't think the police having a break and a bit of fun is them "making arses of themselves""

I wouldn't think that police having fun while on their break is 'making arses of themselves' either, but the point is that (according to the story at least), they were on duty. That's not 'making arses of themselves' , that's gross unprofessionalism / misconduct. "

A) They do say they were on a short break.

B) People in all professions go on team-building trips regular during their paid working hours. That the chief super was in there with his plods means it could very easily be justified as a team-building exercise and/or public relations.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Anarcho-Tyranny

As I've just commented elsewhere in this thread, it's more complicated than that.

In the past, Scotland hasn't always done enough to counter the glorification of paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland (and a disproportionate amount of what was traditionally done was against pro-republicans, while Rangers fans were still happily waving UVF banners at matches with impunity).

There's good reason to worry about people posing for pictures in "black combat gear", and I don't have a problem with them investigating when an image like that is presented to them. The problem here is that they didn't drop it as soon as they discovered it was someone playing a game of tig.

But the glorification of the Norn Irn situation has been a major societal problem for decades, even if mostly concentrated in Glasgow, and while the law is clearly overbroad, there is still a need to be able to stop genuine glorification of terrorist violence.

Oh, and politics comes into it to, because sectarianism has historically influenced all sorts of things, through HR hiring policies to party candidate nominations.

Don't get me wrong, I do think the law here is a mistake, and that the police officers involved acted like total muppets, but I do recognise that we have to look beyond that and look at the whole thing in context.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: What else

I suspect that what happened was that the image was published with global permissions, and it popped up in his feed randomly. It probably looked to him like someone playing dress-up as a Northern Irish paramilitary.

My guess is that he took a screenshot but not a link, buggering up the opportunity for further investigation and realising what a ninny he was making of himself.

But once they started questioning the guy, they really should have dropped it, because it's clearly all very silly.

Nightmare for the guy in the pics, though; poor sod.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Laws

In this case, I suspect it all arises from the glorification of paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland by a subset of residents of the greater Glasgow area -- it's an issue that hasn't always been tackled as strongly as it should have, but there is always a danger of overcompensating as we can see here.

The description of the picture as "black combat gear" brings it into the realms of possibility that this did look a lot like a republican or unionist paramilitary. But then again, Grangemouth isn't in greater Glasgow.

All in all, while the plods in question can be excused for flagging up the image for further investigation, the fact that their superiors saw fit to push for charges rather than dropping it is just ludicrous.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Police Scotland = Morons with time on their hands

@AC

I don't think the police having a break and a bit of fun is them "making arses of themselves" -- I think it's good to see them as humans.

I'd also like to point out that the Mail highlights the low arrest rate in an effort to make it sound like dereliction of duty, when in fact it proves that the event was pretty low risk and a break was very reasonable.

I mean seriously... come on...

Surely we should be applauding a Chief Super who jumps on for a quick dodgems ride with a bunch of his PCs...? Isn't that, like, creating a good atmosphere for everybody? (Or at least everybody except Mail readers.)

Nowhere near in the same league as chasing people for posting Airsoft pictures.

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

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Mechanical combination locks

It gets worse.

A lot of people don't change the codes very often, and the action behind keys that are used most tends to soften fairly quickly. There have been times where I've forgotten the combination to a room/building and reminded myself by just prodding all the buttons until I find the soggiest ones, which then let me in. Scarily weak security.

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: "Pedantically, neither of these phrases are correct"

Regardless, pedantically both are correct, because of something called polysemy....

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The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: They're all crap

The problem is that we've spent a heck of a lot of time on natural speech recognition, which overcomplicates matters ridiculously.

With our inefficient GUIs we've trained people out of the idea of learning "commands", and when it boils down to it, every speech recognition interface has some kind of assumptions coded into it that mean we really are dealing with a command set, but a fuzzy one, and one that isn't written down anywhere.

OK, so Google will give you a rough overview of the command structure if you make a mistake, but only if you make a mistake that it recognises (such as it working out that Keiran was trying to make a call) and that it recognises as a mistake (it didn't realise it was phoning the wrong person, for example).

I genuinely think people are open to a formalised compromise.

I mean:

OK Google, Call [[person]] using [[application]]

seems straightforward, and quick. Getting rid of the "I would like to ..." part sets everything up for a straightforward paradigm.

OK Google, Switch on the [[device]] in [[room]]

And sticking with a fairly simple formula, you can get a reasonable degree of sophistication:

OK Google, open The Register in Chrome and display on the TV in the living room.

It's a strict subset of English, so easily learnable, and if you include a few clear variations (e.g. OK Google, use Chrome to open The Register on the living room TV), no-one's really going to notice that they're not able to say it every which way, because they'll get what they want done easily and quickly enough.

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GarageBanned: Apple's music app silenced in iOS 11 iCloud blunder

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Let's remain calm and reasonable, people!

You can use Garageband as a simple multitrack, if you want, and given that it's free with any iOS device, if you need a multitrack recorder, why not use it? (In fact, the original Garageband was pretty much just a multitrack with a couple of extra functions!)

Garageband is definitely not mutually incompatible with real instruments.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Femto-poll

Who let all those cats out onto the information superhighway? There's going to be a pretty messy accident...

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: ACDC?

...but not Breakin the Rules, sadly.

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Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

The Indomitable Gall
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Joke

Re: How is it different

@AC:

" That's whataboutism and you know it. "

Ah, but what about you getting the word "whatabouttery" wrong...?

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

The Indomitable Gall
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When I'm playing games on my iPad, I normally just switch on flight mode before I open the app. Does the trick. But then I feel guilty about the developers....

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Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

The Indomitable Gall
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Global rise in sea level...?

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Metric please

" How long is a stadia, pray? "

How long is a pieces of string?

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Metric please... WTF, who cares

@MyBackDoor:

" Why not just drop both of those marks and have it say "Stadium -->". "

Because it's two-and-a-quarter miles away, which is almost 20 stadia. Duh!

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How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

The Indomitable Gall
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@wyatt

" To an extent I agree, however when you look at how the cable is comprised there can be a number of differences. Quality of the connectors and the gauge of the wire are all factors which a cheap cable may scrimp on meaning slower charge times and other issues. "

The problem is that many pricey cables in shops are just cheap cables in a nice packet.

The only objective measure of USB cable quality is resistance on the +5V line -- a poor cable will have a higher resistance, meaning slower charging. Funnily enough, even though I own a multimeter, I've never checked my cables for this... must start doing so.

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The Indomitable Gall
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I went into a computer shop to get a USB cable as I had bought a wireless printer, which naturally didn't come with a USB cable (wireless, innit?) but needed one once for the initial setup. I was fully expecting to pay about a quarter again the price of the printer, as I didn't have time to wait for a £1 one from an Amazon trader or fleabay.

So imagine my surprise when instead of pulling out some nicely labelled oversized bag, the guy in the shop pulled a slightly battered cardboard box out from under the counter, shuffled around, pulled out a cable in cheap cellophane and asked "Will that do?"

I can't remember what he charged me for it, but he instantly became my first recommendation for computer repairs.

A) because he was honest enough that I wouldn't expect him to fleece customers

B) because he clearly had a successful enough business that he didn't feel the need to fleece customers on the day-to-day stuff.

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Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

The Indomitable Gall
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Degree equivalence...?

So if the company is considered equivalent to a degree in France, why didn't they just go the whole hog and become accredited as a private university, then just issue their degrees worldwide as a distance learning institution?

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

The Indomitable Gall
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Re: Who cares - the real question is

Oh god.... you've just given me a terrible thought...

...what if the device we're being simulated on is used in a higher-dimensional episode of "Will It Blend"...?

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The Indomitable Gall
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Re: The human brain itself is a simulator of the universe

Don't you mean "there is no spoon"...?

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