* Posts by Dave 126

8758 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Wombats literally sh!t bricks – and now boffins reckon they know how

Dave 126
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Re: Kinda macabre, but alright

Only you can't - the roadkill would have been in Australia where wombats are found. It was the researchers who were from Georgia Tech.

If a car hit a wombat in Australia so fast that the wombat's body ended up in the USA, how fast was the car travelling?

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Dave 126
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Re: Actually very interesting to some people...

Fox shit seems to stick to raised areas like tree stumps perfectly adequately on account of it still being a bit moist. I'm assuming now that wombats, living in a drier climate than foxes, would benefit from absorbing as much water as possible from their faeces before they excrete it - and for that reason require a different technique (shape instead of texture) to keep their shit stationary.

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OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

Dave 126
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Re: Past meets future

Xperia phones used to have a nice feature to stop charging automatically when 90% charge was reached. Apparently there's a now a 3rd party app for phones that have compatible hardware and have been rooted.

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Dave 126
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Re: Dumb dumb dumb

The "it doesn't have removable storage!" comments have been remarkably constant in frequency and nature since the days of phones only having 4-8 GB of internal storage.

I can only conclude that no amount of storage will satisfy some people, and I wonder what they're doing with it, how they back it up, or how they possibly lived in the days when 20GB of spinning rust was as much as you could keep in one pocket.

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Dave 126
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Re: No headphone socket - no sale

Galaxy S9 is around £550 now, and gives you headphone socket, waterproofing, wireless charging, SD card, better camera, better screen, no notch.

Also you can buy it from a legitimate UK retailer who will give a you a VAT invoice which OnePlus won't do.

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Brits shun country life over phone not-spot fears

Dave 126
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Re: As it happens...

Canals are usually okay, it's in the tiny little valleys or clusters of stone cottages that a signal is hard to get.

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iPhone XS: Just another £300 for a better cam- Wait, come back!

Dave 126
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Re: Not me

It's more akin to the car salesman saying:

"Sadly materials science is such that we can't fit tyres that are both grippy and last forever. Therefore the tyres are a seperate component to the wheels and will need to be changed when they wear out, and if driving in winter conditions. "

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Dave 126
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Re: Not me

> Ie. the device, as sold, is not fit for purpose as the OP says: stupid design choice makes the device inherently susceptible to breakages.

It's a phone, not a hammer. You're either going to have a screen that can scratched or a screen that can be shattered. That's just the state of the art of material science, not a design choice.

For the rear you need a stiff material, otherwise it's internal components that get damaged by a dent. You can protect the stiff material from damage with a case.

What difference does it make if this is built into the phone or added by the user to suit their own individual use-case?

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Dave 126
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Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

Access to Google Navigation doesn't require the phone be unlocked.

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Dave 126
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Re: Power efficiency difference

One would expect an OLED panel to more efficient than LED if it was displaying a mostly black image - indeed, this is one of the reasons Samsung is pushing a dark themed UI. LCD screens are backlit as a whole and dark pixels are blocked, whereas OLED screens only light up pixels when required.

The surprise here is that Apple's OLED solution uses more power than its LCDs even when displaying dark images. This is apparently due to the controlling circuitry Apple use, not the actual panel.

As for who needs that level of colour accuracy, there are a few trades and professions that benefit from it. Whilst a screen is no substitute for a colour swatch, it can only aid some workflows if the screen gives a better approximation. Historically, Apple may owe their survival in the 90s to Macs use in the DTP trade - at a time that DOS and Windows PCs couldn't be colour calibrated as reliably. It might also be argued that the original Macintosh didn't *need* a GUI, but since it had the required hardware it was then easier to develop DTP software.

This said, DisplayMate say the Apple specced (Samsung made) OLED is only a smidge better than the Samsung phones that previously wore the crown.

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Dave 126
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Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

@Voyna i Mor

Thank you for correcting me. Oops, I meant the XZ2 *Compact* only had a Snapdragon 650. Some previous Compact phones had the same SoCs as their bigger brothers, but not the XZ2 Compact.

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Dave 126
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Re: the improved camera is one of the best in class

Vlad at the Verge was actually a bit more nuanced in his comparison, but fair play to you for providing a link.

At the moment Vlad is busy gushing - with some justification - over Google's new 'Night Sight' algorithms for the Pixel 3. Good folks over at XDA Forums are currently porting and testing Night Sight on some non-Pixel phones. It's worth keeping an eye on if you own a recent Android flagship.

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Dave 126
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Re: Not me

Put your phone in a case and apply a toughened glass screen protector. Sure, it'll add some bulk, but physics dictates that protection requires bulk, regards of whether it's built into the phone or added after purchase in the form of a case. It's works on well on my all-glass Samsung.

Wireless charging (which adds to the potential lifespan of your phone since damage to your sole port no longer renders the phone useless) rules out a metal back. The back must be stiff to protect internal components. Glass back plus case is a reasonable solution.

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Dave 126
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Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

> , whereas nothing fits in women's pockets so that's not an issue.

Female police officers in the USA choose wear the male versions of the uniforms. Why? The female versions of the uniforms have the same small, unfit-for-purpose pockets that is the norm for women's trousers.

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Dave 126
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Re: 2018 is the year of stupidly sized phones

It's weird, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact was not an uncommon phone - in my local pub I had one, and so did a large builder bloke and a petite young woman. However, Sony aren't making an XZ3 Compact, and the XZ2 only had a Snapdragon 650 (though there might be a sound reason for that, such as not needing to push as many pixels, or doubling down on a Compact's already excellent battery life).

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Dave 126
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Power efficiency difference

Anandtech reported that the XS's OLED display is less power efficient than Apple's LCDs even when displaying mostly black images (contrary to expectation). They put this down to the 10 bit colour display silicon that Apple use on the XS consuming power. Other phones that use Samsung's OLED panels (ie, Galaxy, Note) use a more frugal display controller than can only output 8bit colour.

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Mi 8 Pro: Xiaomi early buyers wait for modern firmware

Dave 126
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Eh? Do you need to adjust the gamma on your monitor? The pants appear to be lit from below, and the highlights and shadows do suggest a bulge.

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Dave 126
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The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 had design input from Phillipe Starck. His other IT related commissions include a mouse for Microsoft and bits of a yacht interior for sone bloke called Steve Jobs.

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Japanese cyber security minister 'doesn't know what a USB stick is'

Dave 126
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I've tried putting a speech on a USB stick. The trick is to use a very fine nibbed permanent marker, and to note down only the key points.

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Dave 126
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Some exploration of the cultural differences? I've heard that the fax machine was popularised over email in the eighties by Japan, because of the difficulties of creating a Japanese keyboard. I've also heard of the Japanese learning English in order to use a computer. There are also stories of large companies being dependant on one experienced secretary for filing, because files couldn't be ordered alphabetically.

How much of this is myth?

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Another 3D printer? Oh, stop it, you're killing us. Perhaps literally: Fears over ultrafine dust

Dave 126
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Re: no mention of the different types of filaments that can be used

PLA allows greater detail than ABS. ABS objects can be used at slightly higher temperatures, won't biodegrade if left outside, and are easier to finish.

In fact you can bring an ABS object to a mirror smooth finish if you expose it to acetone vapour - which is just as hazardous a process as it sounds.

Still, in a conventional workshop there are plenty of other nasty things around, such as MDF dust.

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Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

Dave 126
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Re: Fun IT facts about HAL's song

https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jos/pasp/Singing_Kelly_Lochbaum_Vocal_Tract.html

More on Daisy Daisy on an IBM in 1961. If there's any Wikipedia editors here, it could be added to the history of Speech Synthesis

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Dave 126
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Re: One of the iconic voices...

With Star Wars ADR by James Earl Jones (who worked for Kubrick on Dr Strangelove) cinema lost the prospect of a badass space bastard with a Bristolian accent, though this was eventually put right by Luc Besson's casting of Tricky in the Fifth Element.

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Dave 126
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Re: The reveal

Yeah, it's a weird one... co-creator Arthur C Clarke had HAL's behaviour as that of a machine just acting on conflicting orders ( clarified in '2010'), but HAL was recognised by the Monolith as a sentient entity by the Monoliths - or at least as a useful personality for face Bowman to relate to (2031). It's possible the Monolith was deliberately broad in its definition of sentience, though I like the idea of one machine have professional courtesy towards another!

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro: If you can stomach the nagware and price, it may be Droid of the Year

Dave 126
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Re: Can anyone tell me the advantage of face/print unlock?

Passcode can mean a string of characters, surely? I didn't say Pass number or PIN.

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Dave 126
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Re: £899 - Ouch

> The OEMs are still not forced to release updates

No, but it makes it much easier for them to roll out updates, and and removes their dependency on chipset vendors releasing binary blobs.

In short, vendor's past performance in this area is no guide to their future performance. (And even before Treble, we've seen some vendors go from poor to good in this regard)

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Dave 126
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Re: £899 - Ouch

> Hopefully this slowing in phone sales / upgrades recently is the tip of the iceberg and people will wake up to the fact that they are being fleeced.

There are lots of competent phones available for far less, so who is being forced to buy the pricier handsets?

Given no vendor is wildly undercutting the others, when comparing oranges with oranges, it's hard to make the argument that they're overpriced.

The relationship between people's upgrade cycles and the price of a new phone isn't one way. For example, someone might deliberately choose a pricier phone with the intention of using it for three years, instead of a slightly cheaper / mildly compromised phone for two years.

People also expect their phones to do more. Easy example is that many people haven't bought a discrete digital camera for a few years, so there's a £100 - £200 saving right there.

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Dave 126
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Re: Can anyone tell me the advantage of face/print unlock?

> Nobody has yet managed to pluck a thought from someone's head (though Derren Brown can show you quite a few tricks), so that's the ONLY way to be secure at the moment.

Actually Lee, researchers have had success with determining someone's unlock code from videoing their hand movements from across a room. Passcodes don't only live in people's heads, at some point they have to enter them into their phone.

Now, where passcode are more secure is in their legal status. Passcode don't have to be surrendered in many jurisdictions , jurisdictions where a cop is allowed to hold your phone against your finger.

For this reason, tapping the power button of an iPhone five times disables biometric entry and enforces a passcode. A passcode is also required if the phone has not been unlocked for a few hours.

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Dave 126
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Re: Simplification

Project Treble is the main difference between the Galaxy and Note 8s and the version 9s, other than price. But yeah, it seems to be only Samsung who tick all the boxes these days, SD card, headphone socket, wireless charging, waterproofing, HDR certification, AR Core support, no notch, etc

Sorry to hear your Galaxy 8 is misbehaving, mine (Exonys version) has been solid. Maybe you have an intermittent hardware fault, or some app is upsetting it?

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Dave 126
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Re: The notch

Crazy thing is, if you put a tempered glass screen protector on a notch-less Samsung phone it makes it look notched. The screen protector has a notch cut out for the Samsung's earpiece and camera.

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Dave 126
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Re: Cost of Face ID sensors

The iPhone XS panel is made by Samsung to Apple's spec, driven by a driver of Apple's own design. DisplayMate rate it a smidge higher than Samsung's panels on its own Note 9, but they're all in the 'so close to perfect colour accuracy you can't tell the difference' territory.

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Dave 126
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Samsung's TouchWiz isn't bad as it used to be, and the launcher can be changed if you must. It's hard to get another launcher to stick to Huawei phones.

Additionally, Samsung flagships are well supported by the modding crowd.

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Dave 126
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Re: £899 - Ouch

> And for a phone that'll only receive updates for a couple of years too

They all have Android 9, so they all have Project Treble.

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Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

Dave 126
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Re: GPS accuracy

BAE also have systems to compile maps in real-time of stationary FM transmitters and other sources of RF, so a drone can tell if the GPS signals are being spoofed.

There was a Reg article about it.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's not a compass.

The concept (and practice) is called Dead Reckoning and is used on submarines. However there is no way to avoid Cumulative Errors which limit its accuracy over time. A submarine is moving relatively smoothly compared to a phone in someone's pocket, which is why dead reckoning can't practically be used to augment a phone's GPS (for navigating with a building, for example)

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One UI to end gropes: Samsung facelift crowns your thumb the king

Dave 126
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Re: How about we acknowledge that big phones aren't as usable

I could reach about 85% of the screen of my Xperia Z3 Compact phone with my thumb without adjusting my grip... That's reduced to about 65% on my Galaxy S8, and to 50% with its case on.

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Dave 126
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TouchWiz isn't what it used to be. I was wary of Samsung but my S8's version of Android is good, and I say that coming from Sony phones (close to stock) and Nexus (stock).

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Xiaomi anarchy in the UK: Chinese tat-flinger wants to slip its cheapo flagships in Brit pockets

Dave 126
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Re: So....?

If data privacy is your chief concern, maybe don't look at Android at all?

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Dave 126
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Why the mattress hang up?

I've seen foam mattresses for sale in the UK that state that they need to be aired for a few days after unpacking. It doesn't seem that odd for Xiaomi to advertise that their mattresses doesn't vent nasty gasses, especially if some of their competitors do.

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Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

Dave 126
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Re: "An external drive [...] with the bottleneck that brings."

>Using Thunderbolt, eSATA or USB 3.x is not really a bottleneck - especially when you maybe work on a stylish PC which can't really be expanded despite its price...

Exactly, the entire rationale of the Trashcan Mac Pro was that it doesn't store much data internally but instead supplies a load of Thunderbolt 3 ports so that your work is accessed from external redundant storage. It's 1TB PCIe SSD is just for your current session. With an hourly Time Machine back up you will never lose more than an hour's work even if you were to accidently throw it out the window.

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Dave 126
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Re: Man...

I was reading about a film crew's work flow (sports videos) and it involved the raw footage going straight to two drives from the RED camera, and then being copied to more Thunderbolt drives on site. The team would always make sure that they took at least two hotel rooms, with at least one copy of the footage in each.

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Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark

Dave 126
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Re: Alternative

There have been phones with projectors in the past but really the projector is better as a discrete gadget. Of those who would find a projector occasionally useful, only a small fraction would need it so often that they'd want it integrated into their phone. It'd be far more useful to connect to it by cable or WiFi when required - if only so that you can use the phone to line up content without knocking the projector out if alignment with whatever you've pointed it at.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why?

> Given that the current vibe is firmly in the 2:1 aka "letterbox" arena, why should anyone want to fold it out square?

The 2:1 vibe is just a function of phone width being a limiting factor. This is why tablets aren't 2:1 and neither are most monitors (unless they've been specifically chosen for gaming or watching cinema aspect ratios.)

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Dave 126
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What exactly would be the advantage of a foldable or roll-up desktop monitor be?

I can just about envisage a laptop based on this model - a flexible display would mean a 13" 16:10 laptop could fit in a jacket pocket (albeit an easy target for a pickpocket).

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Dave 126
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Re: This

Actually mobile phones have moved towards a 2:1 aspect ratio because it makes reading websites easier (less scrolling required) given that the chief limiting factor is the *width* of a phone. Video playback isn't the only concern for most phone users. However, video playback is likely the main use for cheap n cheerful Android 16:9 tablets.

When the limitation of fitting in a trouser pocket is removed, we have the 4:3 iPad mini (jacket pocket or handbag) or iPad (coffee table).

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Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

Dave 126
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Re: Why Linux on Apple Hardware?

> There's a laptop with 16:10??? Where!!

Shit, I feel terrible now for misremembering and getting your hopes up.

Huawei Matebook Pro is 3:2, like MS's offerings. Sorry again, I thought it was 16:10. Still, discrete Nvidia GPU etc .

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Dave 126
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Re: Great plan Timmy.

> Still, if a user can configure it so, then presumably malware could (in principal) do so also as a prelude for some kind of boot-time attack.

I guess a hardware switch or jumper could allow a user to do things that malware can't. Still, as you say, it's not worth the effort.

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Dave 126
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Re: Why Linux on Apple Hardware?

There was once a time when the MacBook Air didn't have any non Apple equivilents for several years And it suited Linus Torvalds - light and quiet being his priorities. At the time he lamented Apple's competitors for not being able to release a similar machine.

These days he uses a Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, but likes the look of offerings from Lenovo too.

Non Apple Laptop vendors have really upped their game in recent years, with high Res screens (sometimes s 16:10 or 4:3, at last) and track pads which aren't terrible.

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Russian computer failure on ISS is nothing to worry about – they're just going to turn it off and on again

Dave 126
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Re: Could be worse

HAL's behaviour wasn't a malfunction as such, it was the result of secretive humans adding orders at a late stage; the result would have been the same had there been three HALs on board.

Arthur C Clarke stressed the importance of triple systems in Rendezvous with Rama.

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Dave 126
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Re: Which computers is this?

The computer which failed is a part of the ISS, and not a laptop.

The laptops interfacing with the ISS systems are Linux based, both the American and Russian ones. Then there are some European and Japanese laptops. The rest are running Windows:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/12/05/how-are-laptops-used-on-the-international-space-station/#41ef24317e5d

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