* Posts by Steve the Cynic

748 posts • joined 28 Jul 2009

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Falling apart at the seamless: Inside Apple's LTE Watch fiasco

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Thanks for the explanation

"It would be very annoying if your watch 'rang' every call you got if your phone was next to you."

It does that anyway. And no, it isn't annoying, once you decide to treat the Watch as an extension of the phone that sits on your wrist and also tells you the time rather than a separate device in its own right.(1)

That is, it's no more annoying than hearing the land-line phone in the bedroom ringing at the same time as the one in the living room because they are on the same line.

The current (pre-iOS11) idea is that you can use the Watch to see who is calling (it shows that information on its display) and decide to answer or to reject or whatever and then if you answer, you take the call on your hands-free that you're already using. The hands-free sets I've used have all had no (obvious) way to *reject* a call, so without a wrist display you're left listening to it ringing and wondering who it is (because the caller doesn't have a per-contact ring-tone attached for whatever reason and the phone is stuck in your pocket).

(1) A Series 2 has enough extra hardware (notably a GPS receiver) to have a limited independence(2), but it's still essentially an extension of the phone.

(2) You can go open-air swimming with it without having to find a way to carry your phone in the water, and you can still get a GPS track from the swim time. As I said, *limited* independence.

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Google's Big Hardware Bet: Is this what a sane business would do?

Steve the Cynic
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"Even Microsoft are better at hardware than Google."

Yeah, but don't forget that Microsoft have been doing hardware for nearly 40 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z-80_SoftCard

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Quebec takes mature approach to 'grilled cheese' ban

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Comfort food!

"But, just to confuse us right-pondians, a US grill is also a sort of flat, hotplate where things like eggs and bacon are fried."

Or burgers. In the student cafeteria where (and when) I was at Uni, they could generally coax a four foot high sheet of flame out of a couple of burgers(1) on such a grill. It made ordering lunch a bit more entertaining than you'd normally expect.

(1) I'm left wondering if that makes them flambéed rather than fried, but no brandy(2) was involved.

(2) For solid amusement value, watch an expert making Crêpes Suzette, especially if he can hold the pan in one hand and light the brandy without using the other hand and *without* putting the pan down.

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Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware

Steve the Cynic
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Joke

"or even list them all - there are too many"

Presumably the Patent Office lists them all?

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Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

Steve the Cynic
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You need an entirely different sort of prowess if you're looking to wow non-IT staff.

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Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Brilliant idea

"3-key combo requiring both hands"

Yeah, but one-handed Ctrl-Alt-Del has been possible on PC keyboards (some of them, anyway) since 1987, when the first 101-key PS/2-style keyboards were released. Left hand. Thumb on Ctrl, little finger on Alt, index finger on the non-keypad Del.

No. Scratch that. They weren't PS/2 *style* keyboards. They were *actual* PS/2 keyboards. On Personal System/2 machines. That sort of PS/2. But it was 1987, and the keyboard finally had both Ctrl AND Alt on both sides of the spacebar.

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Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Steve the Cynic
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"You can force your phone to require a PIN to unlock rather than a fingerprint"

I don't understand this comment in the article. My phone uses a PIN to unlock rather than a fingerprint. I have an iPhone 7 on iOS 10.3.3. I have *never* used a fingerprint. OK, my first iPhone was a 4,(1) but I went from that to a 5S and from that to a 7, and never turned on fingerprints, and so I use a PIN to unlock.

(1) This may be why, of course, since I've managed to migrate the settings every time I upgraded EITHER the phone OR the OS.

And I checked my list of not-64-bit apps. Nothing I'll miss. I'd say that pretty much all of them were last launched a couple of years ago, if not longer. That sort of "I won't miss it". So when the phone decides to let me know about the OS upgrade, I'll pick a time to do it, but not until then.

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Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware

Steve the Cynic
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Re: So...

"Any tips on how to get rid of it?"

Corporal Hicks: I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit.

[looks to Ripley]

Corporal Hicks: It's the only way to be sure.

'Course the neighbours might not like that...

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Jon Hamm of Mad Men to lend his lungs to bounty hunter Boba Fett

Steve the Cynic
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Greedo didn't shoot.

And, according to the novelisation of ANH, the other customers in the cantina returned to their drinks with no more than a shrug because they thought he got what was coming to him for not insisting that Han kept his hands on the table where Greedo could see them.

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Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

Steve the Cynic
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Pint

Re: Warning

"active mouse cancelling"

"passive mouse blocking"

"reduce the ambient mouse"

"fit that reduces mouse"

Using autocorrect does not reduce the need for proofreading. ;)

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: That eight hour flight...

"Thankfully gas turbines tend to have peak efficiencies at high-end of their power range"

This is because the compressors consume terrifying amounts of power over almost the entire range, even at idle. At cruising thrust levels, something like two-thirds of the output power of the engine core is consumed by the compressor.

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Dover

My own experience of hovercraft includes three:

* Some time in the earlier part of the 70s, when there was a tourist-y hovercraft service on the Thames in London, including drinks served.

* Sometime a bit later in the 70s, an SR-N6 on the Solent, where there were NOT drinks served owing to a lack of 30mph speed limit coupled with a lively response to sea state.

* 1996 at a bash to celebrate the initial release of our new ATM switch. The company threw a big party and among the activities for a bunch of hardware and software engineers were:

** Blindfolded driving a Land Rover with its steering geared backwards (turn the wheel inside left to turn the wheels outside right) and the other team members calling directions.

** Archery

** laser clay pigeon shooting

** AND, the prize one for me, little one-man hovercraft that we could drive.

And yes, all the comments here about turning are correct. You turn the rudders and the craft rotates on its axis. Actually following a curved path takes a little longer. And left to themselves, if the ground isn't level, they drift downhill.

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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

Steve the Cynic
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Re: The best one there was

" get in to space, me thinking of 'space' as high up above the karman line, my friends thinking it (probably quite correctly) as orbital velocity"

XKCD pointed out that it's easy to get into space (it's just a matter of altitude), but hard to get there in a way that lets you *stay* up there. The latter is a matter of speed more than altitude, although if your perigee is less than a couple of hundred miles, you'll eventually find yourself contemplating the virtues of aerobraking.

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Hubble catches a glimpse WASP-12b, an almost pitch-black exoplanet

Steve the Cynic
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Re: WASP-12b is about two times less reflective than the Moon

"I was going to quote one or two of the obvious howlers in this article "

Like the point that at 2600°C, the surface is getting towards hot enough to boil iron(1), so glows rather more brightly than "slightly red like hot metal".

(1) The analytical part of my brain knows this is possible, but the other bit gibbers somewhat at the thought.

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Chrome to label FTP sites insecure

Steve the Cynic
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Re: FFS, stop the nannying

> we already know the username, it's "anonymous"*

Just to be difficult, and because it's easier to type, I usually use "ftp". I have yet to find an FTP server that didn't treat it as a synonym of "anonymous".

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Why the Apple Watch with LTE means a very Apple-y sort of freedom

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Battery life

"The reason why the Apple watch has such a terrible battery life ... WiFi radio ..."

Pretty much this. OK, a Series 2 with WatchOS 3 is heaps better than the original Watch with WatchOS 1.X and 2.X, but at least some of that is because of WatchOS 3. And because my utilisation has settled down into a less-thirsty pattern.

The main advantages of the WiFi are:

* I can be in WiFi range but out of Bluetooth range, and the watch can still find the phone.

* If I'm doing some sort of large sync task, it can use WiFi instead of 3 Mbps = 375KBps(1) over BlueTooth.

(1) YMMV if you use binary Mbps and KBps.

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Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Peace prize

"I'd have thought that was pretty self-evident - no sleep, so no sleep apnoea for anyone within a hundred yards,"

You might think that, and there is some justice in the implied accusation, but...

There's actually a practical aspect to it: there's some evidence that among the causes of sleep apnoea, you'll find poor muscle tone in various parts of the airway, and playing ... difficult wind instruments, especially e.g. harmonicas and didgeridoos, where a great deal of muscular control is required(1), helps develop better muscle tone in those areas, and may, therefore, act to mitigate the sleep apnoea.

(1) The key is that for both these instruments the airway helps shape the sound of the instrument, so the musician must learn better control over his airway in order to get better control of the instrument. This is especially true of 10-hole diatonic harmonicas, where there are missing notes in the "nominal" range of the instrument, especially in the bottom octave, but these notes can be played by getting both reeds of the relevant hole to sound. *That* requires the musician to manipulate the shape of his mouth and throat, and *that* requires increased muscle control and tone.(2)

(2) I actually damaged a reed in my harmonica when I was trying to learn how to do this.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: hmm

"What does this mean?"

It means they found two gynaecologists who said something positive about it. The other 98 thought it was the stupidest idea going.

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Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

"curse for the millionth time that you need coffee to be conscious enough to make coffee"

Do what I do: I have a filter-coffee machine with a Thermos jug for the coffee. Run that the night before, and leave one mug's worth in the jug. In the morning, pour it and nuke it for 30 seconds or so to get the temperature back up.

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Users shop cold-calling telco to ICO: 'She said she was from Openreach'

Steve the Cynic
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Re: BT franchise and research

'Anyone else noticed how "pressing 8" to be removed from the calling lists is singularly ineffective?'

Oh, it does indeed remove you from *that* list. And puts you on the "this number gets answered" list.

It's like they used to say about spam with a "Click here to remove" or "reply with 'Remove'" line: they removed you from that list and put you on a list of known-valid email addresses. The only viable policies were "black hole" or "bounce".

On the subject of phone calls: I have two numbers, one mobile and one nominally fixed-line.(1) I give the fixed-line number to NOBODY, so if it rings, it's someone trying to sell me stuff, so I ignore it.(2)

(1) It's a fixed-line format number (French 03 for north/east France), but arrives on my Internet connection now that I have fibre and was able to cancel the actual fixed line. Unexpectedly, they transferred the fixed-line number to the Internet connection instead of deleting it and keeping the 09-format phone-by-Internet number.(3)

(2) It's provided with my Internet service, otherwise I'd get rid of it.

(3) The first call I answered after my provider switched me to fibre was from them, trying to sell me fibre.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Accounts overdue, too

For maximum fun, check the filing history: they dodged being mandatorily dissolved a couple of years ago.

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Microsoft fixing Windows 10 'stuttering' bugs in Creators Update

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Fast startup? No thank you

Fast Startup is actually a sort of semi-hibernate, so most of its weirdness happens at shutdown. Except that there are probably many drivers that don't properly handle it. And probably some of those faulty drivers come from the company formerly known as Bill's Boys, then Monkey Boy's Crew.

And thanks for reminding me to check to see if it is still off...

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F-35 firmware patches to be rolled out 'like iPhone updates'

Steve the Cynic
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Re: @Voland's right hand

"and fingers crossed the ejection seat will still operate."

Given that the ejection seat is the one part of the plane that *must*, almost by definition, function when the plane is completely without any sort of power,(1) I'd say this isn't as such a worry, or at least not for the reason implied.

(1) It must work in the circumstance where the engine has stopped and the hydraulics and electrics are busted and it wouldn't matter anyway because the ram-air turbine didn't deploy like it's supposed to, so there's no thrust, no hydraulics, and no electricity either. You pull the handle, the rockets fire mechanicomechanically, and the canopy goes bye-bye.(2)

(2) In a pinch, just because the seat fires directly through it, but in most planes it is ejected or shattered by explosive means.

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User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Oh dear

"no it doesn't as a lot of them go in to politics!!!"

Surely that makes it *worse*, no?

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Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Time flies like an arrow.

"colourless green dreams sleep furiously?"

I see your grammatically-sound semantic hash and raise you an eight-word sentence where all the words are spelled the same:

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_buffalo_Buffalo_buffalo

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France to tack weapons onto spy drones – reports

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Geneal Atomics Reaper drone

Hey, don't diss 3000-tonne spacecraft! Up Goer Five tipped the scales at 3000 tonnes on the launchpad ready to go!

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Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

Steve the Cynic
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Location data...

The final paragraph of the article mentions the question of location data. It's entirely possible that they *aren't* using your location data as derived from a phone or internet connection. You "Like" things in a particular area, or you are *already* friends with people who said they are in a particular area (probably your local area, maybe), and they can conclude that you are probably there.

That being said, I get recommendations for potential friends in several areas (subjects or geographical) that don't really apply any more, if they ever did:

* Artists and gallery operators from various places, because I have a FBFfriend who's an artist

* Assorted ordinary Americans because of a couple of old old friends that I made over there years and years ago who later became FBFriends.

* A wide selection of people in Regina, BC, because one of my FBFriends moved there and posts incessantly.

* Various martial artists who know some of my other FBFriends from my days as a student of jujitsu.

But, returning to the context of the article: I have one account that I use sparingly, and I post things almost never.

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Boffins prove oil and water CAN mix – if you do it in a gas giant

Steve the Cynic
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Joke

Re: Lucozade vs chicken soup

"Being addicted is a bitch."

Pfft. The worst addiction is the one we all have. Dioxygen. Try going cold turkey on that. It won't end well.

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India responds to internet shutdown criticism... by codifying rules to make it legal

Steve the Cynic
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"In what universe can public safety be enhanced by disabling communications?"

One where "public safety" means "safety from the public" in much the same way as "fire safety" means "safety from / in the presence of fire". That is, as a means of ensuring that members of the government are safe from members of the public.

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Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Lack of indicator lights and ports

""Is W10 like W7

Don't get me started about W10's "fast startup" option, which is actually a sort of semi-hibernate. It does weird things to the shutdown process as a result. Specifically, it switches off the display about half-way down, then continues running, I think while writing out the semi-hibernate data to disk. But it's a bit spooky, watching the screen switch off while the machine is still clearly doing something.

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Well, debugger me. Microsoft's BSOD fixer is getting a makeover

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Know your market

"ODT? Maybe. Others with slightly shorter memories (but more memory) might prefer SDA or even XDELTA."

Back in the day, when I was maintaining a particularly touchy VXD for the old 9x line(1), I used Soft-Ice. Sadly, it's no longer with us, but I really liked it.

(1) File-access interceptor for an on-access virus scanner, if you must know. My manager worked on the equivalent thing for NT, and he also used Soft-Ice.

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Trump-hating Iranian is the new Uber CEO

Steve the Cynic
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Re: A win by default?

"Its surely not that unusual for an appointment to be made after all but one of the short list has been crossed off is it?"

True, but perhaps a little unusual if *all* the others crossed *themselves* off the short-list.

(Even more so if they crossed *each other* off the list, I guess.)

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

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Just the tech please

That remark reminds me of a (Texan) guy I heard about some years back who was raising funds to build a wall around Texas to keep the damyankees out. It was suggested that some of his contributors were damyankees who wanted it to be built to keep the Texans in.

(Disclaimer. My late wife was born in Texas.)

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Airbus issues patch to prevent A350 airliner fuel tanks exploding

Steve the Cynic
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Re: I Am Not An Aeronautical Engineer

I thought that was for the temperature of the *combusted* fuel and the environment.

(Reads a little on the Unreliable Source.)

Yes, it is. There's a hot bit (combusted fuel) and a cold bit (the engine and the environment around it), and the efficiency is limited by the ratio of the absolute temperatures. Specifically, the efficiency is limited to less than 1 - Tcold/Thot.

So raising the temperature of the incoming not-yet-combusted fuel will allow the engine to spend less energy heating it to ignition temperatures, and thus raise the temperature of the combusted gas slightly, in turn lowering Tcold/Thot and thereby raising the limiting efficiency.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: I Am Not An Aeronautical Engineer

"It's been years since Thermodynamics I, but I would suspect hotter fuel makes the engine slightly *less* efficient."

It's *more* efficient because it isn't necessary to heat the fuel quite as much. The energy to do that for a bit of fuel comes, crudely speaking, from the combustion of the previous bit of fuel, and therefore it is not usable as output work for the engine. If that next bit of fuel isn't quite as cold, you don't spend as much energy heating it, and therefore you can squeeze a tiny amount more useful work out of that bit of fuel.

And a a bonus, the fuel won't be quite as close to dangerous temperatures like "the traces of water in this fuel are trying to freeze and clog up the fuel pumps with ice crystals".

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Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after first flight

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Spinal Tap (inspired) Airways

"B36 had 10, 6 piston pushers and 4 jets."

Pfft. The Dornier DO-X had 12.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_X

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Paris nightclub red-faced after booze-for-boobs offer exposed

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Not unusual

And don't forget the original peel-apart Polaroid film. I have this memory of my dad having one of the Polaroid cameras from that time. Take picture, wait for it to eject from the camera, wait 90 seconds, peel apart, throw away the other half very carefully. (Much like the pro film, I guess, except that perhaps the pro version let you keep the other half as the negative.)

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Boffins blast beats to bury secret sonar in your 'smart' home

Steve the Cynic
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Re: I wonder...

"Do the mic jack plugs physically unplug the built-in mic? If so you could simply plug in a shorted connector."

The other poster mentioned phones. Whose phone even *has* a mic jack? (No, the mike on the wired hands-free headset does not count.)

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We'll deliver 'in a few weeks' says troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Still hopeful

Yeah. The TS1000 was the US version of the ZX-81.

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Microsoft bins unloved Chinese cert shops

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Why should we care what you say?

"Maybe I'm paranoid, but the older I get the more I feel like our news is mostly propoganda."

**Everybody's** news is mostly propaganda. I previously worked as a developer in the London office of a large US-based financial information service with its own news organisation. As a result, I had access to news wire feeds from the entire world. For amusement value, I ticked boxes to see headlines for a bunch of English-language feeds from countries scattered around the world.

Boy, that was an eye-opener!

Stories describing the same event looked completely different depending on where they came from. The most extreme differences were for news about events in the Middle East, comparing feeds from Europe, the US, Australia, India, Israel, and Iran, especially Iran. Wow. It was sometimes like they were talking about completely different things.

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NASA short-lists six candidates for future missions

Steve the Cynic
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Re: short-lists six candidates

Yeah, my thought was a challenge with a mission of "landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth".

The original version was also "by the end of the decade", but since the current decade has less than two and a half years to run, that might be a bit tight on the timing.

But hey, at least we know how to build a launcher that can put 47 tonnes into lunar orbit. Well, that's not obvious from the current crop, all of which would struggle, at the best of times, to put 47 tonnes into LEO. But fifty years ago, we knew how to do it.

(Yes, it was hilariously expensive per launch, but that has more to do with the size of the launcher than with its expendable nature. When the turbopumps to drive the first stage motors consume 55000 horsepower from a gas generator just to keep enough fuel and oxidiser flowing, you know you're on to something ... big.)

EDIT: 55000 horsepower per motor. There were five.

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Calling Dick Tracy?

The Dick Tracy Wrist Wizard (actually developed by Diet Smith's company) went, in its later versions, far beyond what even the most capable modern smartwatch can do. Notably projected 3D video calling.

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Steve the Cynic
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"I just don't see the point in wearing a watch as anything other than a fashion accessory if I have my phone with me"

There are things a smartwatch can do that a phone cannot, like be out where I can get at it to acknowledge alerts or texts, or to control the music player in the phone. That way, the phone stays in the pocket, which is useful when I'm sitting down. And a smartwatch can still do the essential thing that a dumbwatch can do: tell me the time just by me turning my wrist and looking at it. (But it can do other things that a dumbwatch can't do, like offer a weather forecast.)

But no, it doesn't need 4G. It might be able to offer something if it has 4G, but I don't quite see what. With Bluetooth and WiFi to link it to the phone, it has all it needs to do the things it does. Adding any sort of 4G to the already thirsty set of radio stacks isn't going to help it.

"smart watches are not attractive"

I'm with you on that. OK, they aren't deeply ugly(1), but they aren't particularly attractive. Part of it, I think, is that they have the wrong kind of squareish bulk, AND they are just a black square unless the screen is lit up.

(1) Some of the things I've seen people wear that are obviously intended to be fashion-accessory watches ARE deeply ugly. A fashion-accessory watch, in the ideal case, should be sleek and thin and elegant, not a wrist-dominating monster with blingjewels in every possible location.

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US military gets authority to shoot down citizens' small drones

Steve the Cynic
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Re: A safe way to do that? Can do.

"flat, low-lying wetlands ("swamps" by any other name),"

Marshes. Swamps are full of trees or other woody plants. (In fact, that's the main distinguishing feature of marshes and swamps. Swamps have trees and/or woody bushes, marshes don't.)

Ref: My late wife studied wildlife biology, and she was very specific about this point. They are both wetlands (but so, by at least one definition, is a stretch of ocean), but swamps are, in effect, flooded woodlands, while marshes are flooded grasslands.

See also the Unreliable Source's pages "Swamp" and "Marsh".

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Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Ohmigod...

No, he's referring to this "Come as you are":

Come as you are, as you were

As I want you to be

As a friend, as a friend

As a known enemy

etc.

As a response to "Nirvana". Sheesh.

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

Steve the Cynic
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Re: "by the size of his Micro Channel Adapter"

"the ability to pull apart a PC in seconds with that small blue lifting tool under the hood of the IBM PC"

The early PS/2s were like that. Older models, not so much.

But the article also brings back memories of a summer job writing code for a now-defunct company(1) whose main product was project management software. This was 1987, so Microsoft Project was some way in the future, and the software ran on a wide range of mainframes and different sizes of minicomputer. What would today be the server room had an IBM 4300-series something or other, VAXen, a Wang, probably a DG thingy, and so on. (The office was in Westborough, MA, if that helps.)

Anyway, there was this big contract with IBM, and my fellow student and I were provided with brand-spanking-new PS/2s, a desktop Model 50 and a tower-format Model 60. Trivial to open and dismantle, with floppies full of ADF files, especially with the 3270 terminal emulator cards we got so we could log onto the 4300, produce text-mode data dumps from the software running there, and download it onto the PC for post-processing to produce graphical displays.

And of course, the IBM contract provided those cards, which duly arrived and they let us two students loose to install the cards in the machines, and then to install the support software.

And there was the pen plotter. For an American size of paper, approximately the same as A1. It had a bar over which you draped the paper, and the head ran left/right along that, while the paper moved front/back. We had fun putting weird colour combinations in the pen carrier and then plotting things. The manual included detailed instructions, with pictures and words of about 0.75 syllables, on how to put the mains plug into the socket. (The socket on the wall that provides the electricity.) There were similar instructions for the other end of the cable, with just a normal kettle-type plug.

Fun times. (To say nothing of the 3.5-inch external floppy drive for the PC/XT on the other desk. It was mounted on its side, and the friction between the edge of the floppy and the bottom of the drive was low enough that the eject button could throw the disk entirely out of the drive and onto the floor.)

EDIT: forgot the footnote.

(1) "a now-defunct company": these words feature a *lot* in descriptions of my career. Maybe I'm cursed, or maybe I'm just bad at choosing companies

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Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens

Steve the Cynic
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Fussy: the GR text you cite specifically allows you to distribute the patches as you are obliged to under the GPL. It restricts your ability to publish the patches themselves just for themselves. And it doesn't even say that you cannot distribute them. It says that GR won't give you any more patches if you do.

There's wiggle room in that distinction for them to argue that they are OK, that they have complied with the *letter* of the contract, even if they have trampled the *spirit* of the contract underfoot. It's the sort of wiggle room that lawyers find Ferraris in, but there you are.

On the other hand, someone trying to argue against GR could just as easily argue that a person's obligations under the GPL effectively require them to be able to publish the patches independently of distribution of a build of a patched kernel, thus spiking GR's legal cannon. (That is, that GR's language does not override the GPL - it even says it doesn't - and that therefore GR is in the wrong if it uses that wording to terminate the contract for such and such an act.)

Again, enough wiggle room to hide several Ferraris, and I think that's the key thing to remember in all this.

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Confessions of an ebook eater

Steve the Cynic
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Foyles versus Blackwells

By Blackwells, of course, I mean the one on Broad Street in Oxford. When I moved to Oxford in 1995, they had a computing-books section that was subject-organised, with a strong slant toward books with a scholarly bent. It was a treasure trove, really, and immensely more convenient than going to Foyles. And you could buy books by taking to a till and paying the amount they asked and then leaving with the book. (Ordering books that weren't available on the shelves required you to be an adventurous soul, and was generally better done down the road at Waterstones/Dillons.)

Sadly, as the years progressed, the selection became progressively more mainstream and less scholarly in nature, probably due to competitive pressure from Waterstones/Dillons and (later) from Borders as well.

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US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

Steve the Cynic
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"Micro markets" ==> vending machines: NOT news.

In 2006 I took a weekend break in Amsterdam (not to look in ... um ... windows, as it happens), and went there and back by train. So Eurostar to Brussels Midi, then allegedly Thalys to Amsterdam. (Behind that "allegedly" lies a whole other story, for another time.) And similarly in reverse on the way home, except that it really was Thalys.

Anyway, with a certain time to kill in Brussels Midi, I wandered around the station, and I found a "24 Hour Supermarket" that turned out to be a very large vending machine with a wide range of not-too-perishable products, of the sort you'd expect to find in a "convenience store" type operation.

It's the only time I've bought a full-sized bottle of wine from a vending machine, and I mean a *glass* bottle, not a plastic one. (No, it wasn't by any measure a great wine, but I've had worse.)

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FUKE NEWS: Robot snaps inside drowned Fukushima nuke plant

Steve the Cynic
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Wouldn't be Godzilla, though, because he came from the deep ocean and dragged up trilobites along the way.

Just need an Oxygen Destroyer and we're all set.

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