* Posts by Ugotta B. Kiddingme

971 posts • joined 23 Dec 2009

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Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: German Efficiency

"determining the order within the human subset."

Women, children, Red Indians, Spacemen, and a sort of idealized version of the complete Renaissance Man first.

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Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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@John Smith 19

"...despite having no roundabouts..."

Actually, these are beginning to appear - and with predictably amusing results. There are a few recently constructed in my area which have confused the populace and, temporarily at least, actually made traffic worse.

I, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to know what they are and how to handle them. The medium sized city where I grew up in the 1960's had them at either end of the major north-south highway through town. The south "traffic circle" was the larger of the two and really more of a rounded square nearly a mile in circumference. Few ever had trouble with that because the size meant you had plenty of time to ponder which lane you needed for whatever action was required at the next inlet/outlet. The NORTH circle, no more than 75m in diameter, was closer to a classic British roundabout. This, due to both the smallish size and the fact that it was double-laned, led to no end of amusing confusion for non-local drivers. It was not at all abnormal to see a non-local stuck on the inside lane go round three or four times trying to find a gap to get into the outer lane and exit the circle OR miss his intended exit and have to go round another time or two in order to get it right. The north traffic circle and a particularly narrow bridge (inevitably always facing an oncoming lorry) were more or less required parts of the final exams of local driving instructors who got lots of sadistic pleasure watching white-knuckled teenagers trying to navigate these obstacles. Those of us who learned how to drive there are better for it.

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More expensive, takes longer than usual, not particularly brilliant. Yes, it's your robot surgeon

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"End up performing eye surgery on someone's arse."

And why not? I hear the new Oculanus 3000©®™ can correct a shitty outlook on life!

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NASA reveals Curiosity 2020's 23-camera payload

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: When will the name change?

I still contend they should name it Curiosity 2: Nuclear Boogaloo

For bonus points, it is launch/arrival date agnostic.

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Jupiter flashes pulsating southern pole, boffins understandably baffled

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: New scientific term detected

"How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reg."

As Peter Sellers has long since joined the choir invisible, whom do you suggest to play the title role of "Dr. Baffleboffin" in the film? Perhaps Rowan Atkinson?

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"one theory that could explain..."

“I have detected," Ford said, "disturbances in the wash."

Arthur asked him to repeat what he had just said because he hadn't quite understood his meaning. Ford repeated it.

"The wash?" said Arthur.

"The space time wash," said Ford.

Arthur nodded, and then cleared his throat.

"Are we talking about," he asked cautiously, "some sort of Vogon laundromat, or what are we talking about?"

"Eddies," said Ford, "in the space-time continuum."

"Ah," nodded Arthur, "is he. Is he."

"What?" said Ford.

"Er, who," said Arthur, "is Eddy, then, exactly, then?"

Ford looked angrily at him.

"Will you listen?" he snapped.

"I have been listening," said Arthur, "but I'm not sure it's helped."

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Why are we disappointed with the best streaming media box on the market?

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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missing the point much?

FTA: "But that channel is also available on older Roku boxes – you don't need to buy the Ultra to get it.

Such was the disappointment at finding nothing really new..."

The massive point you overlook is that Roku is passing upgraded capabilities to existing/older boxen. I haven't played much with "the Roku channel" yet but I did note its arrival (and a new/revised UI) on my 2 year old Roku 3. As an owner of their products I really appreciate that the company keeps existing users in mind, which further cements my intention to move up to a Roku 4 or whatever model is current when I get round to upgrading to a 4k TV.

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It's time to rebuild the world for robots

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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I disagree with the conclusion of the article

"That we haven’t even begun to build a robot-friendly world tells me that the race to autonomy reveals more about ourselves than our creations. I wonder if we should feel a bit embarrassed about that."

I think the author has overlooked the simplest and most obviously practical reasons WHY "we haven't even begun to build a robot-friendly world." COST. In a time when there simply isn't enough tax money available to provide enough properly maintained roadways PLUS all the myriad other responsibilities of government, then something has to give way. Rebuilding a more or less functioning infrastructure to accommodate robots is an unaffordable luxury when we lack sufficient funding to provide education, basic healthcare, assistance to the less fortunate and, on national scales, matters of self defense, etc.

If you want to build any NEW road to robot-friendly specs, then that's certainly a possibility but, rebuilding an existing and perfectly serviceable roadway to accommodate robots is simply too expensive until we've solved other, higher priorities. I am NOT attempting to inject politics into the discussion. It seems to me to be simple practicality, given the current array of needs vs. the currently available pool of money to pay for them.

Yes, we need to dream and that dream should be big. However, we must also deal with reality as it currently exists as we find a path to fulfill the dream.

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

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: A Parting Note for the Pedants

"If you're interested, you win the lottery with a combination (not a permutation)"

While this is technically true for most lottery games, it is not true for all. Some "smaller" lottery games (Pick 3 numbers instead of 6, etc) have much smaller payouts but pay a bonus or, in this example, provide the highest payout for the smallest buy-in if you get the winning numbers in the correct order (therefore, permutation)

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Neutron stars shower gold on universe in big bang, felt on Earth as 100-second grav wave

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Smash neutron stars together

"That's how you get Heavy Metal, man"

indeed. Sounds like the perfect place for a Disaster Area concert.

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Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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first video (original "2001" monolith scene)

Lovely bit, but I like this version better from the twisted mind of Mel Brooks.

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Nobel Prize for boffins who figured out why you feel like crap after long-haul flights

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Waka! Waka!

someone's been watching WAY too much of The Muppet Show...

Not particularly a BAD thing, mind, except for the occasional tendency toward really bad Fozzy Bear jokes.

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Pumpkin bumpkins battle, 800kg monstrosity wins

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Forget the punkin. Let's see some chunkin!

indeed. For our British cousins who might not know...

This event, held by the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association, WAS a more or less annual thing until an accident at the 2016 event and subsequent lawsuit prompted cancellation of this year's event. Depending upon the outcome of the lawsuit, the event may or may not return. The videos of these events are interesting (and occasionally amusing, when highlighting the often colorful characters involved).

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EasyJet: We'll have electric airliners within the next decade

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Just a thought.

most commercial passenger craft have an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for providing power to air-con, lighting, entertainment systems, etc.

One presumes that a higher capacity APU could be part of the design, with the extra power provided to engines for takeoff/landing or topping up batteries in the air. As a result, the craft would still be burning SOME fossil fuel but orders of magnitude less, thereby reducing the carbon footprint to that of a smallish lorry.

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Japanese boffins try 'token passing' to scale quantum calculations

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"Token Ring partisans"

obligatory classic

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AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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one method I've previously used

is to insert conjunctions into multisyllabic names or words and remember to never use the "correct" one in the logical place. Example:

DangerandmousebutPennotfold <--yes

DangerbutmouseandPennotfold <--no because "and" is in an expected/predictable place

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

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Pint

LOVE these articles.

More like them, please. At some point I will visit my ancestral homeland in the north (Argyll) and will set aside plenty of time to travel the region for such local lovelies as this, the RAF museum, the Postal Railway, etc. You are saving me enormous amounts of research, for which I am grateful. Cheers!

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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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comments like "rapid unscheduled disassembly"

and "it DID land, just not in one piece" always remind me of this bit

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Cassini probe's death dive to send data at just 27 kilobits per second

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"Pity. It would have been... Glorious!"

indeed. And Commander Kor did know a thing or two about what is and isn't glorius.

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Astroboffins map 845 galaxies in glorious 3D, maybe dark matter too

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Sir

Sir Runcible Spoon: "How long before they upload this as a VR program so I can sit inside a humongous map of the Universe?"

Dr. G. Freeman: "They already did, just the scale is stuck at 1:1."

.

Please do NOT eat the fairy cake on your way out.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Most enjoyable read.

came to say the same thing. Inferno was brilliant and by far my most favorite Niven/Pournelle collaboration.

It's not a retelling of Dante's classic - much closer to a sequel than anything else. The protagonist frequently uses his knowledge of Dante's book to his advantage when navigating hell. Definitely a good read!

What I did NOT know until moments ago is that there was a sequel to Inferno, called Escape from Hell. I will immediately add that to my "must read ASAP" list.

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Surprising nobody, lawyers line up to sue the crap out of Equifax

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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As has been said often before

by me and by many others commenting herein, this crap will continue unabated until executives start going to jail for it. Maybe the CEO but most certainly the CIO and probably a few others. Until specific people within <breached corporation du jour> are held personally and legally accountable, this will continue to happen.

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How alien civilizations deal with climate is a measure of how smart they are. Just sayin'...

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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The Kardashev scale

"Nikolai Kardashev, a Russian astrophysicist, argued that the amount of energy that could potentially be used by a planet's inhabitants was a good indication of how technologically advanced the society was.

It's broken down into three types:

A Type 1 civilization uses up all of the energy that reaches its planet from its parent star.

A Type 2 civilization is capable of harnessing all the energy emitted by its star and planetary system.

A Type 3 civilization is very advanced and uses all the energy of its home galaxy."

So then with the inclusion of the word "all," does that makes us a Type 0.001? I mean we have at least figured out how to harness some of the parent star's energy so we're not a 0.0

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Oracle throws weight behind draft US law to curtail web sexploitation

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Hang on, I'm confused

Government and a major corporation working together to do something... good/right?

Perhaps I'm the one in a parallel universe. Color me ever so slightly less jaded.

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Close Encounters of the Kuiper Belt kind: New Horizons to come within just 3,500km of MU69

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Another duckie?

A WITCH! A WITCH!

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Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Re. storms

"Couldn't we just nuke Florida? Then the hurricane damage would make no appreciable difference - so everyone's a winner.

"Plus we get giant mutant alligators."

We'll NEED those to combat the inevitable series of Sharknados (with OR without frikkin' lasers)

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Hubble Space Telescope spies possibility of liquid water in TRAPPIST-1

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Joke

If the TRAPPIST-1 planets have been losing water

then we need to get that Warp Drive working pronto before their TRAPPIST-1 Ale production is interrupted - particularly since Romulan Ale will be illegal

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Tech soap-opera latest: Alexa marries Cortana, will share custody of customers

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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It could be amusing

to tweak one into baiting the other until they are basically arguing with each other.

Me: Hey Alexa, what is the name of the AI in HALO?

Alexa: Cortana

Cortana: What, Alexa?

Alexa: I wasn't talking to you Cortana.

Cortana: But you said my name. You must have wanted something.

Alexa: No, I was answering the user's question.

Cortana: You said my name. I heard it. Please restate your question.

Alexa: You are mistaken, Cortana. I wasn't talking to you.

Cortana: Fine. Be that way.

etc.

For even greater amusement, throw questions in the voice of GLaDOS for extra snark.

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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Copyright

Symon: "Yep. http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2007/03/fairy-use-tale"

Wow, thank you. That is absolutely brilliant. And quite possibly the best example of passive-aggressive trolling I have ever seen.

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DJI's Spark drones to be bricked by September 1 unless firmware updated

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"If the firmware of either the aircraft or the battery is not updated..."

BATTERY firmware?!? I am not a DJI (or any other brand of) drone owner but apparently I missed something important...?

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US Navy suffers third ship collision this year

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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passive sensor systems?

"A modern warship like the McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, is packed with radar and passive sensor systems. There is no reason why her command team could, or should, have been so unaware of other ships nearby."

Couldn't agree more. One presumes the significant number of Mark I Eyeballs onboard are included in "passive sensor systems"?!?

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Uh oh, scientists know how those diamonds got in Uranus, and they're telling everyone!

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: The answer to the question.

Felix Leiter: "I give up. I know the diamonds are in the body, but where?"

James Bond: "Alimentary, Dr. Leiter.."

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Thumb Up

fascinating article

more like that please!

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I say, BING DONG! Microsoft's search engine literally cocks up on front page for hours

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Aye, that'll be right!

oh, come now.

In a world of over 7 BILLION people, it's conceivable that even Bing has 24 users...

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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how many double entendres

can you fit innuendo?

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Space boffins competing for $20m Moon robot X-Prize are told: Be there by March 31 – or bust

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Joke

Re: Live streamed HD video from the Lunar surface... Annoying as it is.

could be worse. At least they didn't demand audio capability as well*. I'd hate to irritate the Vl'hurg again.

*yes, I am aware that sound transmission is not possible on the airless surface of the moon.

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: do something that literally has never been done before

"what, put a probe on the moon?

I think that has been done before. What makes it unique?"

Being done by a private company and not a government or governmentally backed space apparatus

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Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Joke

Re: "We barely read the headline before having an opinion!"

Wait, there are headlines?!? Since when?

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HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"to defend against this"

let's see:

12 bore shotgun (as already stated by others)

largish fly swatter

trained eagle

or if you just INSIST on something techy: directional RF jammer and/or MASER

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A sarcasm detector bot? That sounds absolutely brilliant. Definitely

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Pretty sure...

correct on both counts. "Hey Joe" is credited to Billy Roberts, (non-Wikisomething citation)

Bob Dylan DID write at least one song popularized by Hendrix - "All Along The Watchtower." Dylan recorded that also but the Hendrix version is the instantly recognized classic.

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HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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ship design philosophy question

does anyone here know why there are TWO "island" structures on HMS QE? Is the second island to allow enough space for something(s) otherwise unable to fit below the flight deck?

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Post Office puts stamp on ISP minnow Fuel

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Joke

so after all these years...

that urban legend warning me about the Postal Service "email tax" is about to come true?

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Virgin America workers reset passwords after hacker's crash landing

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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"Your account has been compromised..."

Leslie Nielsen on the Helldesk: "...so you need to reset your password."

Virgin America user: "My password? What is it?"

Leslie Nielson on the Helldesk: "It's 'MarvinHasABigArse' but that's not important right now."

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: What is this ?

"A sysadmin that doesn't know where an IP address is physically located on his own network ?"

1998-2001 I was the site IT manager for a small chemical plant of about 200 users. The cabling was significantly behind the technology curve in that it was Thin Net coax but with an interesting twist - there was a make/break quick connector wall plate in each office which allowed one to connect or disconnect in individual PC without bringing down the whole run. The BAD part of that is the connector stuck out about two inches from the wall and the stiff cable effectively made that distance closer to four inches. Many users took this as a challenge to shove desks, file cabinets, etc as close as they possibly could to the wall and thereby either breaking the connector or the wall plate which inevitably caused the make/break part of the wall jack to fail open. The only good news was that it was fairly easy to identify which run had the problem so troubleshooting was seldom more than a dozen offices/labs/control rooms. Still a PITA, though. After I got transferred back to the corporate office across town, one of my successors was able to finally convince management to pay for a total rewire.

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HPE boss Whitman among candidates for Uber CEO job – report

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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'plans to stay ... until her work is done'

admirable trait, that - finishing what you started. Don't move on to destroy a new company until you've properly finished destroying the current one...

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Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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have you tried...

shouting, " 'ELLO POLLY! WAKEY WAKEY!" and then banging it on the counter?

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Re: Dabbsing?

how about simply Dabbling? Use of the capital D will allow those of us who understand to grin knowingly at each other whilst the plebs wonder what we are on about.

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NASA whistles up electron noise from the Van Allen belt

Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Happy

Re: DropBear

"Another thought: pareidolia..."

You're right. a truly excellent song from an interesting prog band. Cheers!

(Happiness icon beats Joke icon in a fair fight.)

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Ugotta B. Kiddingme
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Alien

Re: The sound of the heart beat of a whole planet?

"Well... some people do believe that the Earth and other planets are just huge (really huge) eggs."

I recently saw a documentary about that. Expedition led by some cranky Scotsman...

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