* Posts by MondoMan

608 posts • joined 8 May 2007

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Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

MondoMan

X Compact is nice

I recently picked up a US version X Compact for $300 at Amazon and really love it. Although the article snubs it as a midrange phone, I haven't noticed any slowness, and by flashing it with the UK version firmware, the fingerprint scanner works great. I've also read that it really is constructed as IP68 waterproof, but Sony doesn't want to make a legally binding claim on that in the US.

$600 is way too much for the new Compact mentioned in this article.

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Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

MondoMan

Re: a matter of pride?

@veti

Your analogies are flawed.

You might as well worry about Scotland's caber toss being "...only "sustainable" because they're the only country doing it at a significant scale." If other countries took it up at similar scale, whole forests would have to be mown down.

Better analogies are the descendants of traditional whaling-based societies continuing their traditions, or people collecting mushrooms on public lands (e.g. national forests).

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Node.js forks again – this time it's a war of words over anti-sex-pest codes of conduct

MondoMan

Re: geographical misattribution

Just as Max Zorin did, you are mis-identifying San Francisco as being in Silicon Valley :)

'tis indeed nearby, but the climate for one is drastically different.

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Phisherfolk dangle bait at dot-fish domain

MondoMan

Isn't this supposed to be a UK-based carrion dump?

Surely, someone must have been gutted...

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Don't buy Microsoft Surface gear: 25% will break after 2 years, says Consumer Reports

MondoMan

Re: CR's procedures

"CR very often listed "insufficient data" in lieu of any reliability prediction for new model years of cars that had not undergone any significant design changes since the previous model for which data were available"

Actually, I remember it as being the opposite -- the "insufficient data" was for those models that HAD undergone significant design changes.

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MondoMan

Re: Not really a "survey"

@ Updraft102 and a_yank_lurker

Like most people, you're both implicitly assuming that CR's self-selected "sample" of users both (1) represents faithfully the population of all laptop buyers and (2) represents faithfully the frequency and *types* of use of said laptops. Both assumptions are not valid, and thus it's scientifically invalid to make inferences such as "to say that Surface devices are less reliable than the competition does not seem to be a stretch at all" or "The failures is an unusually large number for that small a sample."

As ayl notes, CR also CR "refuse to take any advertising and manufacturer samples. They run tests on products they bought at retail", which is valid and enormously helpful. However, they've been suffering greatly as magazine subscriptions decline, their subscriber base ages, and people are no longer willing to wait for months for products to be tested.

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MondoMan
Facepalm

Not really a "survey"

In fairness to Microsoft, CR's "survey" consists only of asking CR subscribers to fill out long forms of details on all the sorts of things CR reviews. Thus, aside from sample bias and response bias, they've got a very low response *rate* just because of how bloody long it takes to fill out their form.

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Watch this nanochip reprogram cells to fix damaged body tissue

MondoMan

Re: pancreatic beta cells

I think the bigger problem with Type 1 diabetes is preventing the same autoimmune reaction that wiped out the original pancreatic cells from wiping out any new ones, whether they were generated via a newfangled process or just transplanted in.

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MondoMan
Thumb Up

Lots of hype for a very simple low-tech process

This seems to be a minor technical modification of a standard technique in molecular biology. For more than 40 years, biologists have been inserting DNA and/or RNA into cells by putting a DNA/RNA solution in contact with the cells, then applying a voltage which both makes tiny holes in the cell membrane and causes some of the DNA/RNA to move through the holes into the cell.

In this case, they seem to have made a tiny electrode patch (which they misleadingly call a "chip") and have developed appropriate voltage and contact conditions to transfer the applied DNA/RNA solution into normal skin cells (perhaps removing or penetrating the outer layer of dead skin cells first?).

The "reprogramming" part stems (ahem!) from the last two decades' enormous advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that specify cell type, much of it from "stem cell research". For many cell types, simply injecting DNA or RNA from one or a few specific genes is sufficient to change that cell's self-image. If the new self-image of the trans cell (e.g. blood vessel component) is more suitable than the old, Bob's your aunt.

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Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

MondoMan

Re: Talking about role models

Merkel seems OK. And there's always Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga :)

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MondoMan

Re: WHAT are you talking about? -- yep, you're right

From the actual manifesto

"Women, on average, have more:

• Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing).

• These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.

"

Now, I've always seen programming, like math (not calculation, but actual math), as primarily a creative aesthetic endeavor. There's beauty in data structures and program architectures. According to the Googler's claims above, women should be flocking to programming as an artistic field!

I think the Googler has made a good start in its document, but has not fully thought out, not precisely defined, and not properly researched its descriptions of human traits and tendencies. This document clearly needs a much longer incubation to be anything of substance. For not recognizing the immaturity of its document, perhaps it's better that the Googler move on to a different company.

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GPS III satellites and ground station projects get even later as costs gently spiral

MondoMan

Re: "ground system"

The OCX "ground system" is just the command and control system for the GPS constellation. Whereas the previous systems were located in just a few places worldwide, this new system seems to be intended for deployment to dozens (hundreds) of locations at various capability levels. You don't want *everyone* to have the capability to turn the sats on and off and alter their orbits.

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Sun of a b... Rising solar temp wrecks chances of finding ET in our system

MondoMan

yep, we're interested in the water UNDER the ice

Phil, you're exactly right.

The article errs in claiming that "Other bodies such as Enceladus and Europa lack these processes, and with no help from greenhouse gases, the temperature is determined solely on the energy they receive from the Sun."

The large tidal forces generated by the proximity to a gas giant planet can create plenty of internal heating in such moons, and are thought to be the energy source powering Io's famous volcanoes. Talk about climate scientists missing the forest for the trees!

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Confessions of an ebook eater

MondoMan

Re: screen size and reading glasses

I find it easiest to be in front of something like a 32" WS monitor with multiple reading windows open and a bit of extra screen space for the odd search, calculation, or notes. One can easily get reading glasses adjusted for the slightly more distant large screen.

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MondoMan
Trollface

Re: "the Intel 80286 manual was another source of gems"

I always thought the Intel 80286 *architecture* was a source of gems...

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MondoMan

Re: Sorry, video courses for me

Video courses are much less frustrating for me if played on an app with an easy-to-use variable playback speed control.

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MondoMan
Happy

Re: O'Really ?

In fairness, the White book was from before C got "incrementally" more and more complex.

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Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course

MondoMan

Re: not EVERY single regionlism or language

I've never seen or heard of anyone on the US west coast complain about Australians -- we're even taking on their lingo!

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MondoMan

The basis in biology is not what you think...

It's in our brains -- our brains are wired to classify people into groups of "us" vs "them". It doesn't have to be skin color -- it could just as easily be motorcycle gear and a pompadour marking you as a Rocker.

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I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

MondoMan
Thumb Up

Re: Bunch of metalheads at Chez Ammabamma

Nice! I'd throw in some AC/DC favorites, and random individual songs like Dragula.

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Redmond puts wall around Windows 10 for Chinese government edition

MondoMan

Re: Legal, Pirated or Free?

Wasn't it just last week that reports suggested that China was especially vulnerable to ransomware since most of the country was running pirated copies of Windows and thus didn't dare to connect to Microsoft Update servers?

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Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

MondoMan

theft's the issue, not boredom

Smartphones are plenty to keep most occupied during flights -- it's the likelihood of theft of laptops from checked luggage that's the real issue.

Delta's baggage policy, for one, notes: "Computers or computer-related equipment are not allowed as checked baggage. You can, of course, bring your laptop computers as carry-on."

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America's mystery X-37B space drone lands after two years in orbit

MondoMan

Re: or swallowing them whole.

Everyone knows such craft require hollowed-out volcanos as landing sites -- that's why they land in Japan.

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Let's go live to the Uber-Waymo legal war – and see what's happening

MondoMan

Re: Uber are Disruptors

I thought only Klingons used disruptors.

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MondoMan

Re: stalling the technology

Waymo is still developing its technology -- their cars are frequently visible driving in the Mountain View area, at least.

All the excitement up in SF may help explain the high housing prices there -- police "encountering" stabbings on the street and so forth. Who wouldn't want to live there and have a front row view?

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China 'hacked' South Korea to wreck Star Wars missile shield

MondoMan

Re: Russia

Yep, it's not like taking over parts of Ukraine or possibly the Baltics or helping out Sarin-man Assad or killing off Russian expats in the West have anything to do with our relationship with the P-man.

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Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

MondoMan
Trollface

Re: Rage! Fonts

Mage Against The Machine? :)

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BT's spam blocker IDs accident claims as top nuisance call

MondoMan

re: Truecaller

Doesn't Truecaller slurp your whole contact list, as opposed to just your own cell number for something like NoMoRoBo?

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It gets worse – now WD says Toshiba memory business sale breaches joint venture terms

MondoMan
Mushroom

Re: US Nuclear Industry

"Highly radioactive" wastes are those with a short half-life -- the longer the half-life, the less radiation it emits per unit time.

That's why you let the fresh waste sit for a few years/decades while the worst stuff decays, then put the much-less-radioactive remnant down a salt mine so it doesn't get into people's food and bodies.

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Dieting cannibals: At last, a scientist has calculated calories for human body parts

MondoMan
Mushroom

What about zombies?

Given their well-publicized appetite for human brains, and no reason to think they're just a modern phenomenon, it's disappointing that they weren't considered by Fatboy Slim and his co-researchers.

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MondoMan
WTF?

Re: $ units grams lines

"the number of Americans who aren't aware that there are 28 grams in an ounce is vanishingly small."

Your definition of "vanishingly small" seems to be "approximately 300 million".

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Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging

MondoMan

Re: hotels in space

Isn't that the plan for the real and funded Bigelow space program?

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Researchers sink scalpel into Lazarus crew. Yup. Autopsy shows distinct hacker tradecraft

MondoMan
Pint

Meeting location

"during a session during its Security Analyst Summit in St. Maarten, West Indies "

Is this just so it doesn't have to be held in Russia, or do all the cybersecurity conferences happen in luxurious vacation spots (or maybe nice offshore banking havens?).

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One in five mobile phones shipped abroad are phoney – report

MondoMan

Prime ain't no sign of quality

All it means is that the vendor stores their stock in Amazon's warehouse for shipment via Amazon's system.

You've got to read the fine print for "Sold by Amazon.com" to have a decent shot at avoiding fakes (not that that worked for a couple of "Samsung" cell batteries that weren't...).

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Bloke, 48, accused of whaling two US tech leviathans out of $100m

MondoMan

Re: The "hi tech" version of the old "pro forma invoice" scam?2

We DO do concurrent sentences; wawp wawp wawp

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MondoMan

No comment from Greenpeace?

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Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins

MondoMan

Re: Complete f'ing idiots compounding their Security Theatre fails

@inf

They got rid of the last ionizing radiation people scanners in US airports a few years ago.

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White-box slingers, Chinese server makers now neck-and-neck with US tech giants

MondoMan

Re: Isn't the interesting bit missing here?

@Nate

That's what I thought at first, but the story's hyperlink to the description of who's "ODM" seems in my reading to exclude the own-design custom servers the big cloud folks are running.

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MondoMan

Re: Isn't the interesting bit missing here?

@AC

They're not part of "the normal server market" sales-wise, but functionally they certainly are. It's as if in 1910 analysts carefully followed the buggy-making companies, but ignored the auto makers.

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MondoMan

Isn't the interesting bit missing here?

Namely, Facebook's, Amazon's, Google's, Microsoft's asf custom datacenter servers & equipment?

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Tech titan pals back up Google after 'foreign server data' FBI warrant ruling

MondoMan

Re: Anyone else bothered by the stock map illustration?

@AC

I suspect a Russian disinformation campaign to twist the "facts" of the West's stock photo websites, leading to confusion, fake news, Irish unification and Scexit.

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MondoMan
Headmaster

Anyone else bothered by the stock map illustration?

It locates "Silicon Valley" in the East Bay rather than its proper Peninsula/Santa Clara Valley location.

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'Mafia' of ageing scientists, academics and politicos suck at picking tech 'winners'

MondoMan

Re: All new science buildings seem to need an atrium.

Paul, many (most?) of the molecular biology research buildings built in the last few decades near Boston, MA, have clear evidence of architectural design foresight, with desks located by outside windows, lab benches further in, and big common-use equipment like chemical rooms and incubator rooms in the building core. To ensure easier access, there are even parallel rings of corridors and cross-corridors. Finally, the elevators typically work.

Perhaps molecular biologists with their cool big-data genomics and fancy-looking neuroimaging can sweet-talk big donors better than the physicists (who after all developed nuclear weapons over 50 years ago now).

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'Maker' couple asphyxiated, probably by laser cutter fumes

MondoMan
Unhappy

This happened in Berkeley?

Famously progressive American cities have in recent years been enacting requirements for home carbon monoxide alarms as required equipment in all rental dwellings. In fact, a City of Berkeley web site advises:

"...Property owners should be aware that all dwelling units intended for human occupancy shall have carbon monoxide device(s) that are listed and approved by the State Fire Marshal. Carbon monoxide device(s) are required in each existing dwelling unit if the dwelling or building is equipped with a fossil fuel burning appliances, fireplace, or an attached garage. "

In Seattle, CO detectors are required in ALL apartment dwelling units without exception -- sad that Berkeley had apparently not followed suit.

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Cutting Hewlett-Packard Labs down to size

MondoMan
Pint

Re: I've never even heard of most of those memory thingies

HP Labs DID invent the thermal inkjet, which had some impact on HP's corporate trajectory :)

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Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov

MondoMan

So does this mean Trump should be the "new populist" replacement for Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill?

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Sysadmin chatbots: We have the technology

MondoMan

That T3500 warning sounds suspiciously similar to a warning about impending failure of an AE-35 unit :)

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Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

MondoMan

Re: Psycho killer

My first thought upon reading the headline -- thanks!

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NASA taps ESA satellite Swarm for salty ocean temperature tales

MondoMan

Re: Astonshing.

Rik, your 2nd point is demonstrably wrong. For example, global surface temperatures rose substantially in the quarter-century following WWI, and rose similarly substantially again in the quarter-century starting in the 1970s. However, greenhouse gas concentrations were substantially different during those time periods, with much much lower greenhouse gas concentrations in the earlier period. If greenhouse gases were really responsible for most of the 1970s warming, as alarmists claim, then what caused the 1920s warming? It seems likely that natural variation was responsible for most of the earlier warming; however, a similar magnitude of natural variation in the later warming is ruled out by alarmists without good scientific basis -- why?

As a quick closing note, the use of epithets like "denier" is associated with religion, not science.

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MondoMan

Re: Hmmm....

@ES

The problem is that all the "attribution" studies trying to calculate how much warming is natural variation and how much is human-caused greenhouse gas driven depend on the global computer climate models. Thus, they are subject to the same problems of uncertain inputs and missing parts of the climate system as are the predictions of future temperature rise as greenhouse gas concentrations rise.

AKAIK the most significant currently-identified problems are (a) apparently the estimates of atmospheric particulate concentrations for the 20th century were too high; to "retro-predict" the correct 20th century temperatures, the models' sensitivity was essentially turned up and (b) nobody yet has much of a scientific clue as to how the many types and locations of clouds figure into things.

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