* Posts by Richard 12

2518 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

The story of .Gay: This bid is too gay! This bid is not gay enough! This bid is just right?

Richard 12
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Re: @AC Religion really has become a very "special" form of politics....

Homophobic much?

62.1% is a resounding result, and 60.5% turnout is very high.

Ireland showed far more interest in and support for same-sex marriage than most other democratic questions. For example, the current president of the US had a higher than usual turnout at 57.2%, with 51.1% for Obama.

Yes, the Irish are far more interested in allowing equal marriage rights to all their citizens than most Western democracy are in who governs them.

PS: If two strangers love each other and want to, WTF shouldn't they get married? It cannot possibly have any negative effect whatsoever upon you or anyone you know, so why stop them?

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller special: The WHO bacon sarnie of death

Richard 12
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Re: As to the danger of bacon

Indeed, and it's also important to round up the percentage change, preferably to the nearest positive hundred.

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Richard 12
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Re: Going hannibal with the weiners...

Given that 100% of hot dog factories are staffed by humans, that simply means they occasionally touch the produce.

Or forget their hairnets.

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Richard 12
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Re: Replace technology drudgery by automated life-cycle convention.

Compilers can never produce code as efficient as hand-optimised assembly.

In most cases, this really doesn't matter in the slightest.

But sometimes it does - albeit very rarely these days.

Even in modern embedded hardware you can end up needing to hand-optimise (or even hand-write) assembly segments.

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We suck? No, James Dyson. It is you who suck – Bosch and Siemens

Richard 12
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Re: A Lot of People..

The Dyson Airblade is an interesting hand drier.

Impossible to use if you're short or in a wheelchair.

Rather hard to justify given disability discrimination legislation.

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Joining the illuminati? Just how bright can a smart bulb really be?

Richard 12
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Re: Bayonet? - Why not a bayonet cap option?

Extra low voltage halogen is a lot more efficacious than 230V halogen. The filament is also a lot stronger so handles shock better.

And extra low voltage LED is usually more efficacious and lasts a lot longer than the 230V versions as well. It's the power supplies that die on those.

Unless you're switching to Florey tube, you're better off sticking with the 12V halogens and just making sure you get the really wide beam angle lamps.

The narrow ones are very common, and utterly pointless!

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Richard 12
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Re: I agree with all of the posts so far (which is a first)

Indeed. My truly ancient smoke detectors have built-in lights.

MR12 halogens in fact.

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Richard 12
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Re: cart before horse

We've been selling those for years - cheaper than these lamps and last much longer as well.

Including genuinely wireless and batteryless light switches to control them - yes, you can buy a stickyback light switch.

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Richard 12
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Boffin

Re: cart before horse

Yep. PLT happily goes between the lighting and ring final circuits.

Also through your electric meter, your neighbours meter and into their house.

And everyone else on your phase of the local substation.

You need a really big inductor to block it - or a passive termination circuit specifically designed for the task.

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Wait a minute, Doc! Are you telling me that you built a self-driving car ... out of a DeLorean!?

Richard 12
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Terminator

No, they need to know how to do this

Currently self-driving cars appear to be using "statically-stable" configurations, where the route presumes and requires that the wheels do not skid in such a way that requires any input from the nominal 'driver'.

In the real world, cars can and will skid. The road surface isn't perfect, and it's not always possible to tell whether the road surface is good enough until the vehicle is already on it. A collapsing road, a flooded road, a road with 'black' ice patches.

So if the wheels do skid, the computer needs to know how to maintain control and stay within a safe route - which might not be the route originally planned.

In theory, it should do a lot better than a human driver in a skid because it can have the same knowledge and power that the traction control does, along with control over steering and route planning.

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So just what is the third Great Invention of all time?

Richard 12
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Re: Limited Liability

No it isn't.

Shareholding is fundamentally a way that a business raises initial capital.

- Even Dragons' Den gets this right.

The shares are sold to get some money to start the business up. Later on more shares might be sold to raise more capital - several banks did major share issues in the wake of the recent financial crisis, in order to get cash to meet their new leverage obligations.

That dilutes the original shares so shareholders generally don't like it.

After the share issue, the business has more cash, and some obligations to those share holders - eg. to pay dividends.

All the other ways of getting capital (or goods to sell) involve debt - borrow from a bank, borrow from customers (ask them to pay up front), borrow from suppliers (buy on credit), borrow from the public (issue bonds).

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Richard 12
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Re: Limited Liability

In what way?

You pitch your great business idea to Mrs Investor, she agrees and wants to invest in your business.

She buys a 20% stake, and you agree to give her 20% of the post-tax profit. You keep the 80% for yourself.

You then screw up royally and the business goes bust, owing far more than its assets.

Without limited liability:

You go bankrupt, the creditors take everything you have.

She's also jointly and severally liable for your fuck up, and also goes bankrupt.

- If you run away, the creditors go after her instead.

So your screwup not only killed the business, it bankrupted you and everyone who believed in you - perhaps including all your employees if they had shares too.

Is she likely to let you run the business, or is she going to want to micro-manage absolutely everything you do?

With limited liability, the shareholders are only liable for the book value of their shares. If they already gave the business the money then they've already paid.

Thus if you screw up, you don't (necessarily) also go bankrupt. You personally only owe the 80% company share value, and your shareholders have already discharged their obligations.

They are still able - and may even be willing - to help you try again.

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Richard 12
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Surely it's the general-purpose computer itself

The idea of a single machine that can simulate any arbitrary thing, given time, energy and somebody to write the program.

Prior to that we had any number of specialised machines for calculating or simulating specific problems - log tables, addition, ballistic trajectories etc.

The big leap was realising that we could build a single machine that could do all of that - which leads to awe-inspiring levels of economy of scale.

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In 2015, your Windows PC can be owned by opening a spreadsheet

Richard 12
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Re: Office 2016 - Mac updates

Ah yes - the usual behaviour of Sparkle is also to download the whole thing.

Just automatically.

It does however appear to be possible to do patch updates using it, which would be nice.

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Richard 12
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Re: Office 2016 - Mac updates

Not heard of that before - interesting, thanks!

(Apple don't seem to think it exists.)

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Richard 12
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Re: Office 2016 - Mac updates

They're Full installers. Whole thing as on the original (maybe) DVDs.

Patching an existing install on a Mac is apparently "ungodly difficult"*, so all updates have to be a complete, full reinstall of the whole thing.

* At least, I cannot find any way to do it. If you, the reader know how, please tell! I really want to do it but it seems impossible.

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Big biz bosses bellow at Euro politicians over safe harbor smackdown

Richard 12
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Wrong recipient

The US Government is the entity that breached the Safe Harbor treaty.

Would these companies blame their beancounters if one of their customers refused to pay for years and the head beancounter told them "We can't ship that customer any more stuff until they pay their bills"?

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The Emissionary Position: screwing the motorist the European way

Richard 12
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They'll all have to change their cars

Well, most of them.

Diesels to Euro6 have been on the market since 2014, so some will already comply.

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How much do UK cops pay for Microsoft licences? £30 a head or £137? Both

Richard 12
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Traffic?

It's camera "enforcement" that's killed Traffic.

The beancounters can clearly see that a set of ANPR cameras can "enforce" many kinds of traffic offence so replaced most of the traffic cops with cameras.

Never mind that a traffic cop can do something on the scene, or spot a driver doing something silly or illegal before they actually crash.

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Richard 12
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Re: buying an OS-less PC

Dell?

They used to do N-series desktops that came without an OS installed.

I'm not sure if they still do, but if you're buying 50, they will offer it!

However, as a supplier will obviously only offer hardware support if you do that, they can easily scare management away.

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'Safe Harbor': People in Europe 'can get quite litigious about this'

Richard 12
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Re: One option

And for what the US does about it.

The result of that case will either kill all US "cloud" providers forever, or permit them to have wholly-owned EU subsidiaries.

Yet the US TLAs do not see that - or don't care.

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PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Richard 12
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The usable range is longer than you think

Sure, using most of the certified CE-marked readers, the range is only about 5-10cm

Using a high-powered antenna package, you can get several metres - this is used in other RFID systems, eg automated warehousing to count widgets on a pallet.

However, 5cm is still easily enough to swipe a few hundred cards while on public transport or walking down a busy street.

5cm thick trousers are somewhat less common than casual plate armour.

To some extent, one protection is to fill your wallet with many contactless cards so they all clash.

Or chain mail. That probably works too!

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VW offices, employees' homes raided by German prosecutors

Richard 12
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Re: Only the first tree

Also, I would hate to be a software designer for company x and wake up dead one day.

You mean "differently alive", surely?

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Understand 'Safe Harbor', Schrems v Facebook in under 300 words

Richard 12
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That would likely be unlawful

Alas, proving they did it would be difficult in an individual case, and impossible in general.

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Exposed Volkswagen 'n' pals get 2 more YEARS to sort out emissions

Richard 12
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Re: Of course they are given time

Indeed, if the real-world figures are even close to accurate, then demanding those limits in 2017 means no new cars in 2017.

At all.

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Search engine can find the VPN that NUCLEAR PLANT boss DIDN'T KNOW was there - report

Richard 12
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Re: Can't upvote this enough!

One-way serial is extremely common.

I've installed that more times than I can count!

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Lies from VW: 'Our staff acted criminally but board didn't know'

Richard 12
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Re: Ignorance is not an excuse

Absolutely not!

If that switch was exposed, then only two positions would ever get used:

Maximum Fuel Economy

Maximum POWER!!

Neither of those are minimum emissions, by a long way!

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

Richard 12
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Re: "Democracy is the worst form of government, apart from all the others"'

You have never, ever encountered crushing poverty.

It simply does not exist anywhere in Europe.

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NOxious VW emissions scandal: Car maker warned of cheatware YEARS AGO – reports

Richard 12
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Re: Today VW ...

The new ones do.

Citroën refreshed the engines in all of them earlier this year, and now even the 1.6 litre takes AdBlue.

That said, it's pretty cheap stuff. Just in daft amounts - seems that the storage tank is not "warning level plus a whole number of bottles", so you either don't top it off or have to store a part-used bottle for a few months.

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VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Richard 12
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Re: It is all about R&D

So how do we get there from here?

It's no good saying "in 20 years we'll have a great system", because I for one expect to live through those years and want a decent standard of living throughout.

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Richard 12
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Re: Not only a perfect example of overstated bias, but

Germany imports much of its baseload from Poland, where they burn coal.

They have successfully exported their soot, sulphur, CO2, radioactivity, etc to next country downwind.

You can't help but admire the sheer balls of it - most people couldn't be that evil.

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Richard 12
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Misfuel?

I keep hearing about this, but I don't know anyone who even knows anyone who's actually done it.

The diesel nozzle is wider than the petrol one, so it's pretty obvious.

Seems like an unwarranted fear.

My current diesel's manual even says it has an "anti-misfuelling" device that claims to makes it physically impossible to do. No idea if that's actually true, but it is certainly plausible.

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Richard 12
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Re: Political nukes

You mean roughly double what we pay for coal electric, roughly 1/3 what we pay for solar PV and considerably less than what we pay for wind electric.

Nuclear isn't cheap, but it's cheaper than the alternatives to burning coal.

The UK already relies heavily on French nuclear plants - and we need more

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We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

Richard 12
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Re: One born every minute

From hipster suppliers, probably not.

They can be built to last that long, but "artists" rarely pay attention to the actual workings of their designs.

It is good to see that they appear to be using the L70 figure instead of the larger (but useless) L50 though.

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Richard 12
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Re: NI Parasol £2900????

Or add $2 of waterproof self-adhesive LED strip, £2 worth of frost and a £10 12VDC power supply to an existing parasol and get something identical.

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MoJ admits to splashing out on 2.3 MILLION Oracle licences

Richard 12
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Re: Licensing

Idiots.

Start a serious project to move %large item% away from Oracle and onto an open database system.

Oracle will either rapidly drop their price, or you'll begin to get away from their lock-in - and have experience for the next one.

Either way, the taxpayer wins.

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Techie finds 1.5 MEELLION US medical records exposed on Amazon's AWS

Richard 12
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Re: Remember, this is REQUIRED.

And as you're USian, that means that you will lose everything you own and go bankrupt should you, or anyone you care about get sick or be seriously injured.

That's what the health care reforms were intended to prevent.

Insurance is for losses you can't afford - and USians can't afford illness.

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Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

Richard 12
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They absolutely are

For a start, if they don't meet the limits they can't be sold at all.

Some taxes are based on emissions figures, which clearly affect running costs and so have a disproportionate effect on the choice.

Also, not all "low emissions" buyers want a hybrid. Hybrids have poor figures for long, even journeys, often much worse than the "plain" version due to extra battery and drivetrain weight.

A good diesel easily outperforms a good petrol hybrid for this type of use.

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Richard 12
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Re: One surprise...

No, because the average diesel driver isn't in a hurry to wrap their vehicle around a lamppost.

In general, the large petrol engines are bought by drivers who want to accelerate hard, brake hard and otherwise try to almost, but not quite kill themselves and a few bystanders.

The large diesel engines are bought by people who want to tow caravans.

So petrol are dangerous, diesel are inconvenient.

The smaller engines of both kinds are bought by the majority, who don't really care and just want a nice car to travel in.

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You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

Richard 12
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Re: The child sized elephant in the room

At some point, we *do* need to get the average family below 2.0 children - or to put it another way, the average offspring-per-person below 1.0.

Otherwise the planet is not going to be able to provide sufficient (insert stuff here) in the future - infinite population growth is obviously not sustainable in a closed system.

The part that really should worry everyone is that we don't know what the carrying capacity of the planet is.

We may only find out once it's been greatly exceeded for quite some time, which will have pretty hideous results.

A lot of people think we've already exceeded it. This may or may not be true - the error bars are large - but we cannot be that far off.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Fancy a ham and cheese 'dry tree trunk' sarnie?

Richard 12
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Re: Rare Bacon ?

Looks cured to me.

Also, this is the first one I've decided to make at home. Looks great!

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You want to DISRUPT my TECH? How about I DISRUPT your FACE?

Richard 12
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Disruption cannot be sold

Disruption means "A new product or service that nobody predicted".

Thus it's obviously not something that any consultant can possibly provide, and therefore anyone trying to sell it should be introduced to the stairs BOFH-style.

Companies do need to be able to spot a disruptive technology before they get disrupted, and follow Kodak.

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Richard 12
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Re: "People resist change"

Change always has a high cost.

So you have to be able to prove the change is worth the cost - to the people who actually bear that cost.

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Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Richard 12
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Re: Computer Misuse Act?

The EULA is irrelevant.

It's the definition of a take-it-or-leave-it contract, with no discussion possible. There are multiple UK legal precedents stating that any clauses a reasonable person might not expect are null and void.

Aside from that, if you've explicitly said "I don't want the upgrade", then MS laying claim to that bandwidth would appear to be unauthorised use.

At least, it does to this potential juror.

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Richard 12
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Computer Misuse Act?

Is there a lawyer in the house?

Should I be writing to my MP and asking him to demand a Microsoft representative explain exactly why they think this is legal?

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Hacker mag 2600 laughs off Getty Images inkspots copyright claim

Richard 12
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No. There is no requirement to chase copyright

There is a requirement to chase after trademarks, as a registered trademark can be lost if not "protected".

This is because trademarks are intended to be held perpetually, while copyright is intended to expire and thus requires lobbying of government to extend.

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It's still 2015, and your Windows PC can still be pwned by a webpage

Richard 12
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Fonts are programs these days

Not sure if they're Turing-complete, but not far off.

I wonder if anyone has done a denial-of-service via fonts yet. The parser can't solve the halting problem, so I wonder how it guards against a font taking too long?

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US cop goes war-driving to find stolen gear by MAC address

Richard 12
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Caution

Your (3) is a "Prove you are innocent"

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Photoshop for 40 quid: Affinity Photo pushes pixels further than most

Richard 12
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Re: Let me know when it works on computers.

If they have, then they've also decided not to support professional computing on Mac anymore.

Mac used to be huge in certain "artistic" industries.

They've now got to the point where many formerly "Mac-only" software products have gone "PC-first" because there's no Mac hardware suitable to run them on.

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So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?

Richard 12
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The issue with deflation

Is that it encourages hoarding and discourages investment.

Example:

If you believe that an item X that you desire but don't need yet will be cheaper in 6 months time than it is now, then you are likely to wait those 6 months.

You'll only buy it now if you're desperate or otherwise unable to wait.

If everything is going to be cheaper in six months, then everyone waits as long as they can before buying anything.

This badly affects the cashflow of companies selling the stuff, and it's cashflow that really kills companies (not debt or liabilities). So unemployment goes up, and all kinds of other bad juju.

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