* Posts by Chemist

2680 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

Swiss sausage sizzler 4.0 hits 200 bangers per hour

Chemist
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Re: Judging by the mugshot I'd say he definitely deserves a "Man In Shed" award.

"Clearly a fellow with a fine shed of delights to work in."

Sheds are called 'stadel' around those parts - although more like a small, massively built, barn.

Our local butcher does a line in what look like small cumberlands pinned with a stick but the machine looks like it is designed for bratwurst or kalbsbratwurst

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Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11

Chemist
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Re: Basic skill of slide rule

The other advantage of slide-rules was that it was 'necessary' to approx. the order of magnitude answer - which was good brain training.

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Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Chemist
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Re: Dear Sir Geoffrey,

"merely a proof that one was in numerous locations at the same time"

Or a cat

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There's just one month left 'til the big day: May 25... but don't panic!

Chemist
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Re: Have a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster on me !

"Or 6 pints of beer... "

With two heads on - I assume

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Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

Chemist
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Sabre rattling ?

I've always assumed that this involve rattling the sabre in it's scabbard. Funny place to put ones nose !

On a more serious note it makes you wonder how many more issues will surface.

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Chinese web giant finds Windows zero-day, stays schtum on specifics

Chemist
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Re: ActiveX

"Has anyone found an IP camera that doesn't require an ActiveX plugin to configure, that also doesn't cost too much??"

Well I'd suggest an old Android phone with an app. Or better a Pi with camera running Motion. At client end VLC or in my case ffplay

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NUC, NUC! Who's there? Intel, warning you to kill a buggy keyboard app

Chemist
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Re: VNC

"And you have to create huge great holes in the firewall"

Solved by ssh tunneling

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Chemist
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Re: VNC on Linux???

"Use the Secure Shell on Linux. That is what it is for."

Depends on what you need to do. I usually use ssh but if i want a secure vnc session I then use tunneling for vncviewer

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Linux 4.16 arrives, keeps melting Meltdown, preps to axe eight CPUs

Chemist
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Re: "the absence of an MMU was a PITA..."

"I recall the Amiga had a multi tasking OS sans MMU."

It did but any serious glitch would crash the whole system (Guru Meditation)

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Why a merged Apple OS is one mash-up too far

Chemist
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Re: There's more than one way to skin an app...

"The real skill is in the removal."

Recurses !

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Chemist
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Re: re not such a big deal

"Right now, you have your choice of at least a half-dozen very different desktop UIs for Linux, so clearly it is far from an insurmountable problem."

AND have them running at the same time.

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Details of 600,000 foreign visitors to UK go up in smoke thanks to shonky border database

Chemist
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Re: Why anyway ?

"I remember arriving in Calais by ferry in the early-1980s. It was lunchtime. French border control/customs were no where to be seen."

I passed through a border about the same time - I think it was Lux.-France. There was a border post but all that was visible was the bottom of a large pair of boots hanging out of the box ( officer attached )

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Chemist
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Re: Why anyway ?

"France has been scanning passports on leaving the country for a non-Schengen country for as long as I can remember"

That's certainly not true at Calais. The recent terror incidents have often resulted in French troops searching car boots (duplicated by security staff BTW) but no scanning passports as far as I can recall. (I'm usually too annoyed by the size of the queue at UK control.)

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Chemist
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Re: Why anyway ?

"issue of "Frontaliers" (people who work in Switzerland but live in France where it's cheaper)"

Indeed when leaving Switzerland via the crossing near Vallorbe at ~0600 I'm always amazed by the number of cars streaming towards Switzerland from what is a relatively sparsely populated area of France. The Swiss have a shortage of all sorts of workers and low unemployment so I can't see this being easily changed.

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Chemist
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Re: Why anyway ?

"Switzerland and France are both in Schengen, the UK is not."

I know all about Schengen - I've been enjoying its advantages for years. My point is Switzerland seems to cope with a free movement in highly desirable country without having to record every in/out. It's basically done another way if you want to remain/work. Until France tightened up security at Dover recently* and UK exit checks were introduced it was normal to drive UK-France-Switzerland-Italy and return and show passports once (at UK border in Calais). Before Schengen most European borders involved cursory checks if any.

*Schengen is very strict border controls at the outer border - Oh yes, even now at the French 'border' at Dover the passports are usually just glanced at if at all

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Chemist
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Why anyway ?

I travel by road into Switzerland via France 3/4 times a year - nobody checks, we have a holiday and return again without checks ( other than UK) . If Switzerland can manage without being completely overrun how come we have a problem. ( We stay in our own apartment BTW so no checks there either )

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UK.gov: Here's £8.8m to plough into hydrogen-powered car tech

Chemist
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Re: The New Hybrid

The flash point of methanol & octane (for example) is about the same (~12C)

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2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations

Chemist
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Re: I Don't See The Problem

"At the quantum level, there is uncertainty as to position, or even the outcome. It seems these cards are modelling that behavior."

Point is they're not supposed to be doing that. Even if the algorithms generate deterministic chaotic outputs that wouldn't explain 2 cards being OK

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It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

Chemist
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Well I've got a mixed estate of 8 Pis

1) is a motion sensitive camera overlooking the back of the house, a temp. sensor reporting to pi2 and an in-house web-server

2) is a file server, iplayer server, runs a daemon that controls 4 remote wireless mains sockets and records temp. measurements from around the house.

3) Has daemon controlling external house-lights via a Power MOSFET, has a temp. sensor reporting to pi2.

4) Motion sensitive camera and PIR sensor.

5) Motion sensitive camera, has a temp. sensor reporting to pi2

6) Controls via Pi2 a heater in otherwise unheated utility room, has a temp. sensor reporting to pi2.

7) has 2 temp. sensors reporting to pi2.

8) testbed - at mo' has a Schmitt trigger light sensor tracking dawn-dusk

Very simple jobs which could be combined into a smaller number but would mean swathes of wiring around the house.

Combining the capabilities can be usefull. Just tracked over the last few weeks an area of loft that had an intruder that sounded

too loud to be a mouse. So PIR detector switched on light and motion cameras spotted a mouse and a few days later noted its demise.

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Cryptocurrency miners go nuclear, RSA blunder, Winner back in court, and plenty more

Chemist
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Re: I don't really have a problem with it

"Electric resistive heaters, CPUs and GPUs are very inefficient ways to heat a building."

They are ~ 100 % efficient. Where else does the energy go ? . A desirable use of electricity - that's another matter

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Full shift to electric vans would melt Royal Mail's London hub, MPs told

Chemist
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Re: Modular reactors are the only real answer.

"The only realistic option will be a new fleet of subsidised CCGTs, and they will then undermine the case for SMR unless SMR also get subsidies."

Agree entirely. Just a glance at the current load on the grid is quite scary. (OK it's very cold but luckily it's windy). The coal/nuclear contribution is ~40%

http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

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Until last week, you could pwn KDE Linux desktop with a USB stick

Chemist
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Re: Re:logged in as root and using KDE.....

"Back in the day, sUSe used to have a lovely screen background for anyone logged on as root into a KDE desktop.

Is it still around?"

Don't know - never log into the desktop as root ! No need !

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Chemist
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"It's bad enough auto-mounting by default"

Well it's just box clear/tick in System Settings to enable/disable automount. There are finer grained options as well if you do want to automount something.

What I can't remember because I always have it turned off is what the default setting for a fresh install is.

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Data scientist wanted: Must have Python, spontaneity not required

Chemist
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"Quite the opposite. It's a tool that is more than good enough for both "proper" software engineering and quick and dirty analysis*. "

Agreed. I worked (~2003) for a while, on secondment, with our Computational Chemists and was suprised at the extensive use they made of Python. Mind we had an extensive set of in-house and commercial libraries, tools etc.

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Winter is coming for AI. Fortunately, non-sci-fi definitions are actually doing worthwhile stuff

Chemist
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"We created computers roughly 30 years ago"

What, in 1988 ? I think I'd have remembered that !

( I was taught Physics to A-level ~ mid-sixties by someone who had worked on the Manchester 'Baby' 20 years before BTW)

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LISA Pathfinder sniffed out gravitational signals down to micro-Hertz

Chemist
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Re: Michelson-Morley

"A bit like the current vogue for looking back at old medicines for new applications ....."

I'm not giving away any company secret but doing that was always in vogue. Difference these days is that lots of start-ups talk * about it.

* applies to other industries too

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Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

Chemist
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Re: What's the nature of a scorpion?

"Well, it's not like I have something to hide. And besides, who would be interested in pictures of my pet/my holiday?""

Well I've not got anything to hide ( except financial stuff naturally) but I do always use ssh to access my systems at home from outside - this is to ensure security so my systems don't become a playground for spammers etc. My system is as secure as I can make it.

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Chemist
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"I would think that the "security agencies" would know that any encryption with a backdoor is useless"

It's the same in other areas. I lost count of the number of times I put together very detailed proposals for/against certain approaches to tackling a disease area, going to great lengths to research what was know, list the unknowns, explain the complexities, list the pros & cons and suggest a way forward only for a PHB+2 to dismiss ( or sometimes sanction ) the whole thing after a few moments consideration.

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Chemist
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Re: There's no magic encryption tree

"Those who don't know math are doomed to repeat it."

That also recurred to me

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Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Chemist
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Re: Answering a few points in the comments...

"The UK and many other counties have committed themselves to stop selling fossil fueled vehicles."

I thought they'd committed to 'only' allow hybrids to be sold

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OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Chemist
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"Bugger me! I was blaming my phone as it always appeared "

Well for several months after an update my wife's Android phone clobbered the Netgear router (not the access point.) After much experimentation and searching it was banned. Other Android devices like a Nexus 7 did the same. Even walking up to the house was sufficient as other people had found. It suddenly stopped ( presumably after an update ).

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Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts

Chemist
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Re: Will it be that hard to drink it?

"e. From what I remember the amount of gas trapped in ice is a factor of formation speed, temperature, pressure and doubtless a few other factors not least gravity."

Depends on when the ice formed. The atmospheric pressure on the Martian surface is very low now.(~0.06% Earth and mostly carbon dioxide)

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Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Chemist
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"I don't think the 6800 (6809??) had anything like 6000 op codes."

6809

I was referring to the very extensive set of addressing-modes. which combined with the basic instructions generated ~~6000 op-codes. The data sheet mentions 1464 instructions.

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Chemist
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Re: 6809

My comment was meant to illustrate that even at the time of the 6809 processor instruction sets were getting rather complex. You could write complex data structure traversing code in just a few bytes in assembler ( The important FORTH word NEXT was just 4 bytes long ). I don't think any compiler would have used most of the instruction set. 6000 was the approx. number of unique op-codes taking into account the very extensive set of addressing modes.

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Chemist
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"RISC was originally to get as much on a single chip as possible (by making functionality simple) and thus making things fast, but this is no longer a constraint."

I thought RISC was an approach supported by measurements of actual operations in real program execution which supported the idea that compilers usually used a limited set of 'simpler' instructions., and therefore the masses of increasingly complex ops being added took-up too much silicon for their limited usage . ( Even the hard-wired 6809 had ~ 6000 op-codes from memory). I also remember a BYTE article describing one of the earliest RISC cpus being designed by students.

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Chemist
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Re: Windows 7 may not use PCID capability.

"So I'm not sure that Tumbleweed supports this, yet."

Well I get :

dmesg | grep isolation

[ 0.000000] Kernel/User page tables isolation: enabled

and CONFIG_PAGE_TABLE_ISOLATION=y in /boot/config-4.14.11-1-default.

Booting fine but I am in a VM for the moment

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MPs sceptical of plan for IT to save the day after UK quits customs union

Chemist
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Re: but they took a clear decision

"There's absolutely no point in having a referendum if you're going to ignore the result, so it was morally binding, if not legally so."

There is if a gov. is looking for an indication of strong/weak/marginal support for a proposal. In any case almost all ref. require a significant margin esp. for such a major change

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You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

Chemist
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Re: So, 2018 will be the year of the Linux desktop because of Gnome?

"Because, if the words "apt-get" or "go to the command line and type...""

If you don't want to use the command-line use a distro where you don't have to - there are plenty available. Ditto with updates

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SpaceX delivers classified 'Zuma' payload into orbit

Chemist
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Re: Mars Orbit?

"The Tesla roadster is not being sent into orbit around Mars"

No, no. It's actually a black Tesla, with a black interior being driven into the sun.

(Cheers Douglas)

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Least realistic New Year’s resolution ever: Fix Facebook in 365 days

Chemist
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Re: About virtual empathy …

"My watch recently wished me a happy new year"

My watch knew when it was midnight !

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Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

Chemist
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Re: Huge Baby Huge

" Are the Linux patches similar?"

The OpenSUSE one was ~52MB download for kernel & just had a 2.6MB Intel u-code update. Don't know if there will be more.

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Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Chemist
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Re: If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.

"Nimbusoft seem to be all sold out, but I'm looking at Entroware."

Worth looking at PCSpecialists too. OS free so you'd need to install yourself - I've got a 4 year old i7 which installed OpenSUSE without a prob. ( I'm typing on it now). They don't support Linux officially but if you select 'No OS' they'll ask if you want Linux and point you to their Linux forum.

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Chemist
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Re: If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.

"I would love to. Care to get them to supply me with a UK keyboard layout?"

Try Nimbusoft.

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Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

Chemist
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Re: Not used since 1980

"My MK14 from ~1980 still works. Never quite got round to fitting it with thrusters or it most certainly wouldnt."

Now that is an obsolete assembly language machine code. Well I hope it is obsolete. I used to write for it with a typewriter !

And, yes, I've also still got one

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Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password

Chemist
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Re: How worse than Single User Mode?

"Can we login without password on any linux distro from login screen? It is the case here."

Good of you to join to ask that question. !

The answer ( for all the ones I use) is NO

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Microsoft's memory randomization security defense is a little busted in Windows 8, 10

Chemist
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"Sure it's security through obscurity, but obscurity worked for Linux for years."

MS should also try publishing the source (from year 1 ) then - see how that works out

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Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

Chemist
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"The sooner we get rid of the knobheads the better."

Whilst we can probably agree on that it's clear that with the statistic quoted about 1 fatality in 1e8 miles it's going to take (as mentioned) a lot of testing before a) people, b) insurance companies are persuaded and then people will be put-off by the likely extra cost and (presumably) the maintenance ( sensors/computers etc. will need checking, upgrading and certifying ) regularly.

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This could be our favorite gadget of 2017: A portable projector

Chemist
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"Camping with a projector to watch a movie while I poke the campfire ?"

Camping with a projector to watch a movie of a campfire do you mean ?

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Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

Chemist
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Re: So I'm liable for my Volkswagon exceeding CO2 emissions?

"The software change appears to ruin fuel economy if you see before/after tales from drivers that have had it done,"

Well I had my Touran 'fixed' in April. Traveling to Switzerland ( a 3 times a year 1700 mile trip) returns 54-55mpg exactly the same as the previous 12 trips.

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Chemist
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Re: Forth

"That would make it a fine language to compile into".

Indeed it would but the benefit to me was I needed no other support other than an ability to lay-out & etch PCBs and a self-written serial terminal program. This was a long time ago (certainly pre-1985) when hardware was expensive and I was a relatively poor chemist. Still have the hardware somewhere ( in an enormous case).

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