* Posts by AndyS

742 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do

AndyS
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Re: How about:

This whole article reads a bit like an attempt to make a pig farm kosher.

If the man at the top uses an outdated and unsecured Samsung Andorid phone to tweet insults about whatever bollocks is stopping him sleeping at 3am, what chance does any IT department have?

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Gulp! Drones dodge spray from California's gaping moist glory hole

AndyS
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Re: For UK readers see Ladybower

For any other Northern Irish readers here, there's a rather beautiful example, with laminar flow, similar to the article, in the Silent Valley Reservoir. It's so close to the dam it makes it tempting to try and jump in - Google Maps link here, with it intimidatingly visible.

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Smart Hosting offers up service credit in bid to hang on to clients

AndyS
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Never heard of them.

No doubt the merger was talked up with language like "streamlining customer support" and "providing a first class customer experience" though.

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What does a complex AI model look like? Here's some Friday eye candy from UK biz Graphcore

AndyS
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Can someone explain

Simply, in a few words, what the word "graph" means in this article?

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Republicans send anti-Signal signal to US EPA

AndyS
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Re: EPA

@ a_yank_lurker

So, do you think the Repubs plan to replace it with something more fit for purpose?

Because honestly, the current drive is more like me burning your house down, because the toilet is dirty. Where are you going to sleep tomorrow? Not my problem.

Bear in mind, before answering, that the same group of lunatics are proposing to get rid of the department of education, and simultaneously defund any state-provided health care which can provide family planning and contraception.

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Inside Confide, the chat app 'secretly used by Trump aides': OpenPGP, OpenSSL, and more

AndyS
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@phuzz

Oh good grief.

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AndyS
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Re: "Hate my life"

You know what, being CIO for Trump's White House has two aspects to the job. The first, the actual tech bit, would perhaps be pretty easy.

Then there's the second bit, having to interact with Trump and his group of delinquent idiots.

I can see why any sane person would hate their life if they had to do that on a daily basis.

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NASA picks three Martian wet patches for 2020 splashdown

AndyS
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Re: Exciting times.

How far through those 250 tonnes is it? Is it nearly finished? Is this a one-off, or is it going to do it again? Which planet is this happening on?

There are so many questions to answer. Someone should definitely send a probe.

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Apple joins one wireless power group, the other one responds with so-happy forced grin

AndyS
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Re: Mis-named Wireless

> The systems are not wireless as we know it, but ... need a power cable, power supply and power outlet.

What, unlike a wireless router? Do they run on magic fairy dust without any cables or power? I must need to upgrade, my current one has multiple plugs and wires coming out the back of it.

I'd call anything wireless which connects to reference device without needing plugged in. And in this case, placing a phone/tablet/watch/mouse etc on a pad (and not plugging it in) is clearly wireless.

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AndyS
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Re: Splitters

I believe the article has been altered to include your joke.

The names do all seem a bit repetitive. Which I suppose is why this group chose the particularly stupid "Airpower" name. I suppose they could have made it worse, by including a "turbo" or "max" in there somewhere.

To be honest, I don't really see the need for 3 standards, and don't really care what ends up dominating. Knowing manufacturers' desire to control their bits of kit, it will likely take massive proliferation of different "standards", and then something like the EU ruling on micro-usb connectors for phones, before anything consumer-friendly actually happens.

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The Mail vs Wikipedia: They're more alike than they'd ever admit

AndyS
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Re: Looks bad for Wikipedia

You say that, but the difference is intention. The Mail strives for sensationalist bullshit to sell to the prejudices of small minded Little Englanders, and occasionally slips in something resembling a retelling of current affairs to convince them it is educating them. Wikipedia strives for independence, balance and accuracy, and occasionally makes a mistake. The two are simply not on the same level.

Did you see the Mail article recently about the poor lady who went into early labour while on a plane to London? She had an emergency delivery of quadruplets, two of whom died shortly afterwards. How did the Mail treat this woman? Well, I'll give you a hint. She was black, and Nigerian.

Show me anything in Wikipedia that compares to that, or to the "Enemies of the People" bullshit, and I'll listen.

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Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

AndyS
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Re: Fake News

Pat, li-ion batteries don't go on fire when they get wet, and the recommended action in the case of a li-ion fire is to douse it with large amounts of water (or place it in a bucket) to cool the surrounding cells and any other combustibles and stop the fire spreading. See the FAA document here.

There is this odd urban myth that just because it has lithium in it, it will spontaneously combust when it gets wet, but this simply isn't true. The quantities of metallic lithium are very small, and very well sealed in plastic etc.

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Euro bloc blocks streaming vid geoblocks

AndyS
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Re: Too little too late

Moan moan moan.

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Facebook investors yell at CEO: Get the Zuck out of our boardroom!

AndyS
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Yes, I think in this case you're right. The interests of the largest shareholders (who will be in for the long haul) and smaller ones (who can come and go more easily) _should_ be aligned, but if they are not, it is likely that the larger shareholders have the interest of the company at heart, while the smaller ones only the short term profit.

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Phishing: Another thing we can blame on Brexit

AndyS
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Re: Oh perleees...

> And the evidence for this assertion is what exactly

Simple. People running phishing attacks are looking for idiots.

Middle of the year, Brexit happened, which let them know the UK is a ripe target - attacks increased.

Later in the year, Trump happened, which showed them an even riper one - attacks declined.

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Juno how to adjust a broken Jupiter probe's orbit?

AndyS
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I love how often redundant systems on spacecraft end up being used, and how often the whole thing seems to hang on a Heath Robinson bodge.

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Tails Linux farewells 32-bit processors with imminent version 3.0

AndyS
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Sad to lose old hardware

While I fully understand these decisions, and would make the same decision myself, it is a shame to have to abandon fully functional hardware due to a lack of software.

I have an ultraportable laptop from 2007, which is still in good working order (with a bit more memory and an SSD). I've been using it for setting up and in-field configuring of a couple of quadcopters. I run Ubuntu on it, which still supports 32 bit, but many of the specific programmes I need to run use it for are Chrome apps. Chrome, and hence Chromium, no longer support 32 bit, so it cannot run them. So despite being perfectly capable of the job, it's now basically obsolete.

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Protest against Trump's US travel ban leaves ‪PasswordsCon‬ in limbo

AndyS
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Re: Alternatively...

> the 11 countries that totally ban people with an Israel passport entering their countries

Sorry, which of those 11 countries is he hosting a conference it?

Oh, none? Then in what way is "other countries are worse" a defence?

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New measurement alerts! Badgers, great white sharks and the Lindisfarne Gospel

AndyS
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There's something fishy about that standards page.

The definitive guide to the speed of a sheep in a vacuum concludes that:

> The Vulture Central standard velocity for a sheep in a vacuum is, therefore, c/(50+0), or 5,995 km/sec

However, the units converter pegs it at 2998 km/sec.

Additionally, the volume of the known universe is missing entirely.

Reg, has your standards bureau been infiltrated?

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As the world quakes over Trump, CGI has dollar signs in its eyes

AndyS
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Screw them.

Screw the lot of them. Profiteering bastards, leeching money out of society based on the fears and prejudices of the ignorant.

When the only people who stand to make money are arms dealers and tax consultants, the very humanity of the country has gone to shit.

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EU whacks first nail into mobile roaming charges' coffin

AndyS
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Re: Cue the Mobile companies

> £80B contract cancellation charges

In 2 years, that will be worth, what, about £3.20 in today's money? Sounds like a pretty good deal.

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Kylie withdraws from Kylie trademark fight, leaving Kylie to profit from… existing?

AndyS
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Re: 30 year career? Ha ha... seriously, she should be so lucky.

So... You fancy her, is that what you're saying?

I guess she defined a period, in the same sense as the Spice Girls and Take That after her. The difference is that, being a solo act, she still exists, and is still in charge of, and actively managing, her own image.

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Trump's FBI boss, Attorney General picks reckon your encryption's getting backdoored

AndyS
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Re: Back to MD5, et. al.

Bob, you really are a bit simple, aren't you?

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Irish townsfolk besieged by confused smut channel callers

AndyS
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Wait a minute...

Ireland may be a little behind the times, but whole towns don't usually have one phone number between them.

I mean, how does one go about phoning "Westport?" Or does this grumble-line happen to operate exactly the same number of phone lines as there are in Westport, with conveniently overlapping sequences?

Presumably, there is one poor person in Westport who is innundated. And the solution, which would be quite easy (and it's far from the first time this has happened), is for him/her to change number.

But I suppose that wouldn't make such an interesting story.

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Assange reverse-ferrets on promise to fly to US post-Manning clemency

AndyS
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Re: Almost wonder if he has some sort of deal with Trump

That's a nice theory.

Sadly I'm beginning to suspect the reality is much duller - he's not an American, he's not in America, and he's not the source of the leaks he published. So perhaps the Americans simply don't care as much about him as he (and many of us) assumed a few years ago?

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AndyS
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That's clearly what he is saying he meant.

However in Manning's shoes, I'd be pretty happy with the current situation.

In all honestly, it's a good way to handle it. The law was still broken, but the punishment has been dropped. Assange doesn't look good in getting 99% of what he was wishing for, and acting insulted over the 1%.

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Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis

AndyS
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Re: Bah!

"It is disturbing to think that one of the world's most profitable corporations would try to make even more money by deceiving parents and taking advantage of Mississippi school children,"

Isn't it more disturbing to think of an entire state auctioning off the education of their children to the highest bidder, bringing one of the most profitable commercial advertising companies in the world into contact with one of the richest, most profitable markets (American children), and then acting all surprised and upset when they try and push some adverts?

Bloody corrupt idiots.

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Japan's terrifying techno-toilets will be made foreigner friendly, vow makers

AndyS
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Re: Clarification

The answer might be in the translation in the second link at the foot of the article?

> Button (おしり) --> Water spray to clean your bum

> Button (ムーブ) --> Have the spray move in a forward and backwards manner

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Search for MH370 called off after new theory about resting place is ruled out

AndyS
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> Except pilots have a seperate oxygen supply for just such an eventuallity and besides, none of those would have caused the plane to do an almost 180 degree course reversal in stages over a period of a couple of hours

Please, read the link about the Helios flight - you'd be amazed at how badly people function with low-level hypoxia. I've been there, and it is extremely strange - despite acknowledging the symptoms, my reaction was a shrug, "oh well," and carry on with what I was doing - no remedial action.

Oxygen deprivation isn't an on/off switch. Let's say, for example, that cabin pressurisation failed for whatever reason, and the pilots were using their oxygen, but didn't realise they were suffering hypoxia. Maybe the bottles were low, maybe there was a leak, maybe they just weren't using it correctly if at all. Or maybe there was a slow enough depressurisation that they just didn't react correctly, and took a long period to decline to unconsciousness. Re-routing would be a perfectly believable action. Who knows what was going through their heads.

Maybe these scenarios seem unlikely, but something very unlikely has happened - so the explanation is also bound to be pretty unlikely.

I still agree that a deliberate act seems likely, perhaps more so than the scenario above, but unfounded statements of one explanation being the "only" logical one are simply wrong. As above, it is a tragedy the plane won't be found, primarily for the families of those involved but also for the lack of ability to learn from the accident and, potentially, to prevent a repeat.

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AndyS
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> The only logical explanation

Or oxygen deprivation, or decompression, or poisoning of the cabin air, all of which could be caused by mechanical faults, sabotage, terrorism etc.

I would rule out terrorism as nobody has claimed it (thus defeating the point of terrorism). Pilot suicide (whether or not the captain of the plane was in charge) seems quite likely, but so does failure of the cabin air system - see also Helios Flight 522 for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helios_Airways_Flight_522

Short answer is there is currently not really any really good explanation, which was one good reason to want to find the wreckage.

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Weaky-leaks: Furious fans roast Assange in web interview from hell

AndyS
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Re: @ AndyS

@ Eric Olson

The interesting thing about Republican voters, who put Trump in power, but don't know that repealing Obamacare will leave them without insurance (they're insured through ACA after all - totally different thing) is the reaction of the rest of the world to the harm that these people will suffer.

It goes like this:

Oh well.

The harm Trump will do to the rest of the world, and the 50% of America that resembles a 1st world country, is everyone's concern, and the duty of every sane person to stand up against. But the self-defeating, uneducated, mouth breathing, racist rednecks? Never mind. Let them get their benefits cut, the insurance stopped, and their jobs exported, that's what they've voted for.

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AndyS
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Yeah, I'm not sure I get that.

Internet access too patchy to type answers, so he did a live streamed video instead? Eh?

I'm firmly in the pro-Snowden, pro-Assange camp (check my comment history if you don't believe me) but to some extent, the end always does justify the means, or debase it. Leaking private info for the sake of it seems pointless. Leaking it to hold the rich & powerful to account seems like a great idea.

So, if the end result of leaking a few unimportant emails is that Wikileaks has been played by the Russian government to help get David Brent Donald Trump into power, then they can rot in hell for the damage they have done.

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Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

AndyS
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Re: Iris scan

> So, likewise, a good, open eyed, mug shot might be enough to be able to get an iris scan ?

I paid for the "check and send" passport application service. The guy (aged 60+, thick glasses, dusty shelves with poor lighting) squinted at the 1" passport photo, and asked me if it had been taken in "a proper booth". When I said no, he tried to knock back my application, as "they need to scan your iris off the photo, so if it's not taken in a proper booth, it may not be good enough."

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Tell us about that $1m horse, Mr Samsung: Bribery probe slips deep into South Korean giant

AndyS
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Re: Thoroughbred?

Also known as the "I'm clever because I know something, but I'm not telling you what" comment.

Really adds to the discussion.

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‘Artificial Intelligence’ was 2016's fake news

AndyS
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Re: Will Andrew be burned at the stake for this heresy?

> Google effectively abandoning their self driving car effort

I must have missed that. Wikipedia makes it sound alive and well, do you have a link to something more... interesting?

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Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

AndyS
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> What a good idea. Remind me again why we can't do that?

What can't you do? Deport foreign nationals convicted of certain crimes? Deny entry to foreign nationals who have previously been convicted of certain crimes? Maintain a list of foreign nationals who aren't welcome in your country?

Must suck living wherever you do. Here in the UK we can do all those things, of course, as any decent country can.

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Guess King Battistelli's plan to fix the Euro Patent Office. Yep, give himself more power

AndyS
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Re: Do they not have...

> If all the staff that are so upset just resign on mass the resulting mess will force the hands of the governments involved

I was thinking this too, but then, maybe it wouldn't work? Maybe the EPO would just kind of, stop functioning. National bodies would pick up the slack, and the situation would resolve in a few years when his contract ended anyway.

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AndyS
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Re: Ways to get rid of him

>There are other ways, but I believe most are illegal...

Sadly we don't have what Emperor Trump referred to as "the second amendment folks" over on this side of the pond.

Even more sadly, it appears they may not be as active on the Left of the pond as Trump himself was previously hoping, either.

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AndyS
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Re: Ways to get rid of him

> 30th June 2018 apparently, at least according to Wikipedia.

Oh well, I guess we've only got another year and a half of laughing at him from over here.

Unless his contract is extended again, of course.

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AndyS
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Ways to get rid of him

The article mentions two ways - end of contract, and agreement of all 38 member states.

For the former, what date is this currently set to? I assume it is a fair bit in the future (or not even set).

So to the second, what is stopping that happening? He's French, and they don't seem to like him. You don't normally call your high-level diplomats a "disgrace to [their] country" if they are in the good books. So assuming they back dumping him, wouldn't the other 37 be persuadable?

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Patience is SpaceX's latest virtue

AndyS
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Re: Define patience...

I work in aerospace, where an incident of this size would normally lead to grounding of all similar aircraft, and very likely a large loss of life.

I suspect this is where the regulators' usual approach conflicts with SpaceX's approach. Any accident of this size that a regulator would previously have seen would have killed lots of people (or at very least, endangered lots of lives), and the companies responsible would see it as a massive incident, unforeseen, and a threat to their company's future.

They're simply not used to dealing with a company like SpaceX which can shrug off a loss like this, and in fact pretty much expects the occasional one. To SpaceX, "we'll fly again next week" may seem like a reasonable approach, but to any regulators, it is very, very far from their usual comfort zone.

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AndyS
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@ bazza

That's just... not true. Categorically, massively, profoundly wrong.

The satellite destroyed in September's RUD was $200M. Several orders out from your "few £100billion" estimate. The cost of the vehicle / launch is normally similar to, or may exceed, the cost of the payload.

SpaceX's entire reason for reuse is that everything you just said is wrong. Why should the fixed costs outweigh the cost of building new vehicles for every use? Would you apply the same argument to aeroplanes? Cars? No?

Let's break down your argument. Manpower. If by that you mean SpaceX engineers, they cost lots for the design of a product, but recurring costs drop after the first few flights. If you mean manufacture, guess what - the less you build, the fewer builders you need.

Supply and support - again, build fewer things, you need to buy fewer components.

Facilities - which takes a larger factory - one which can build a new vehicle every few weeks, or one which can refurbish vehicles in a similar timespan? I'll give you a hint - it's the former.

Cooling, lighting, land etc - see facilities.

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Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

AndyS
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TL;DR

Solution without problem, becomes problem.

More at 11.

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HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

AndyS
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Re: ... because she was already sold ...

The transactions are in the opposite direction. What that means is that the difference is worth more than the value they expect to get from the scrap.

If I sell my car to the scrappy for £100, and he's expecting to make £500 selling parts, you'd have to offer him at least £400 to buy the car off him.

Who knows how much profit the Turkish yard is expecting to turn, but presumably it is significantly more than the £2M they are paying for it.

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AndyS
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Re: Utterly shameful

"Utterly shameful"

Hah, there I was assuming you were talking about the Reg linking to that hate-rag. I was going to agree with you, and all. Oh well.

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Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs

AndyS
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So...

...Much of what America is currently famous for (high quality, fast innovation in the high-tech market, leading to virtually all large internet-based companies being US based) is now being sidelined in favour of what the rest of the world can do just as well and cheaper (low-tech manufacturing).

I get that these internet firms aren't the boost for the US economy that their size would imply, but sidelining them will simply encourage them to move elsewhere. Isn't bringing them in to the fold more productive?

I'm trying to sit back and enjoy the ride, but I just struggle to see how that will pay off for anybody (Trump, the rust belt, the trailer dwellers...).

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Missile tech helps boffins land drone on car moving at 50 km/h

AndyS
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Kalman filter...

This is already in use in any flight controllers running the Arducopter (or similar) software, such as APM and Pixhawk, called the "EKF" or Extended Kalman Filter. Essentially it takes inputs from multiple sources (1 or more of the following: IMUs, more GPS, barometer, compass...), assigns a "trustworthiness" rating to each one based on how far it said the machine was from the previous estimate, then uses that info to estimate where it is now. It works incredibly well.

It should also be able to cope with hardware failures, but my experience says a bug in the code means it can't - it appears to assign a minimum trustworthiness, which is still a long way above the deserved "0" rating. Which can lead to some interesting maneuvers.

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Apple admits the iPhone 6 Plus has 'Touch Disease'

AndyS
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Re: "after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface"

> EU law on it, start looking at Guarantees and returns.

Yes, that provides a 2 year warranty on all products bought. I know it well, and have used to to return/replace faulty goods. There is absolutely no way it provides for free repairs to a 4 year old computer, so either a) the product was under an Apple warranty or b) Apple acted above and beyond their legal duty.

Assuming it was b), she did well, but that is absolutely not Apple's usual course of action.

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AndyS
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Re: "after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface"

Hmm. What was the reason they did it for free? Had she bought an extended warranty?

My 2011 imac screen failed after 23 months. I had the 2 year extended warranty. Without that, it would have cost about £450 for the repair, despite it being clearly a faulty product. I was less than impressed - since that was the third repair within the 2 year period, and since their products are getting less and less useful*, I won't be rushing back.

* I just did a mid-life upgrade by doubling the RAM and adding an SSD along side the original HDD - things that the more recent Apple products don't let you do.

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

AndyS
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Re: Hmmm!

This reminds me of the ritual I like to call the "How the hell do I open the petrol cap on this hire car?" forecourt dance.

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