* Posts by Dave 126

6978 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Dave 126
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Re: And so it begins........

@ Yet Another Anonymous coward

Next time, just get everyone to join in a matchmaking multiplayer session on XBOX Live or PlayStation. You could even illustrate some graphs by leaving virtual bullet holes in a virtual wall.

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Dave 126
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Re: Bad people winning the world.

Well, if we're playing with the Moonraker idea, there's also the Ben Elton novel (and TV series) S.T.A.R.K.

A proprietor of an international satellite broadcasting network uses the supposed launches of broadcast satellites as cover for the construction of a luxury orbital habitat. He then sells tickets to the habitat to billionaires wishing to escape the impending ecological disaster on Earth. STar ARK.

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Robots are killing jobs after all, apparently: One droid equals 5.6 workers

Dave 126
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Re: Let's be serious about this ...

When the world was sparsely population, technologies such as fire, metals, agriculture grew the pie. For this reason, I can't consider those technological advances as comparable to labour-saving technologies today. I think you may have been tongue in cheek, hence your reference to the colonisation of space.

With a more densely populated word, technologies such as fertiliser saved people from starvation.

Agriculture didn't make things better for everyone - generally someone would appoint themselves chieftain and get first access to women.

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Dave 126
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> Production line functions relating to repetitive jobs are probably quite easy to automate today. However, design functions are less so.

I've known old boys who once worked as draughtsmen, but no more. With CAD, each designer is doing more - and working in real time with more designers - but the effect is that more things are designed, or that more design is put into each product.

CAD of course isn't just draughting, it is virtual simulation, it is a knowledge base of the results of real physical testing, it is a portal to parts suppliers, it incorporates tools to assist in environmental impact assessment... just about anything pertinent to the Product Lifecycle, basically.

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Dave 126
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Re: Statistics

Ditto personal testimony. However, I suspect that Disraeli's comment was aimed at the use and comprehension of statistics by politicians, not the use of statistics by statisticians.

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Dave 126
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Re: 1-9 years?

Again DougS, comments such as yours are more useful, more illuminating if you take time to unpack your terms. There are several definitions of intelligence, and by a few of those we already do have limited Artificial Intelligence.

With respect to AC's comment about neural lace and uploading personalities, I suspect you are right - we currently have no idea what consciousness is, much less replicate it. Also, AC's idea about compressing data from from our brains rings untrue - I suspect our brains already do a lot of data compression and throwing away of non-essential information.

Regardless of the label, the point remains the same - greater problem-solving abilities in machines will allow them to assume roles currently held by some humans. Last decade it was automated fork-lift trucks (because a warehouse is a controlled environment), next decade it could easily be automated road vehicles (a less controlled environment).

Our human problem solving abilities are limited, too. For example, there are timescales on which we can't apply ourselves because our reflexes are too slow - keeping the flight of a small twitchy drone stable, for example.

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Dave 126
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Re: my robot

> Would I rather be a wage slave, working for 'the man' or a tech/artisan making really cool wooden surfboards ?

That is a trend, and is probably behind the whole ' craft/ artisan' fashion - young people creating jobs for themselves by creating stuff in a labour intensive way. It does require that there be customers happy to pay a premium for what you have made.

I'm actually writing this from a town in the Westcountry which was a hub of the Arts and Crafts movement a hundred years ago, but now is know is known for artists and alternative types living amongst engineers and manufacturing types, with a good sprinkling of countryside millionaires on the side.

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Dave 126
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Re: jobs aren't entitlements

> no, I just want gummint out of the way, a total "free market" system,

Go live in Somalia then.

Or are you unaware of the history of trade and taxes? The first taxes were raised to support courts, which were necessary to settle settle disputes amongst traders - otherwise such disputes would be settled by fights and stabbings. The presence of these courts meant that the traders became wealthier - they had the confidence to make longer term investments. The city-state became wealthy, and as such became a tempting to the barbarian hordes outside the wall. So, a defence force was required, paid for by more taxes.

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What a time to be alive: drone pooper-scoopers are a thing now

Dave 126
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In the 19th Century, the world's first congress of town planners got together to address a major issue: If the trading in cities continued at the current rate, horse manure would reach a height of 10' in city streets by 1930.

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Dave 126
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Re: The Culture

Iain M

:)

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Dave 126
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Re: Heh

> Can't be that hard plus the leftovers are basically harmless if sufficient heat is applied.

Or use a microbiological process to render the poo harmless. The poo itself would supply the energy to do this. Of course, the timescale required would mean that the drone can only process so much poo per week. The bioreactor could be hidden in a roadside tree planter.

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Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

Dave 126
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Re: prefer Halt and Catch Fire

HaCF is very good, with the second two seasons arguably even better than the first. Looking forward to the final season. I'm relieved to hear that there will be another season, because the show's viewing figures have never been as high as they should.

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Dave 126
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> My only concern is that like a lot of other tv shows I don't think it will have a conclusion worthy of the series as a whole,

The creator of Mr Robot says he always envisioned the show as a three-act play, so hopefully the conclusion won't come across as having been made up on the fly.

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Dave 126
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Re: It's good but not great

The Expanse and Westworld are very good. More modestly, I find Dark Matter and Killjoys to be cheap and cheerful galaxy-hopping fun - they both start to find their stride after the first few episodes, and really get into the swing of things in their second seasons.

Whilst lots of episodes in the first season of Person of Interest are redundant ('investigation of the week'), season two and beyond is superb.

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Dave 126
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Re: I'd heard of this

Well, we don't know for sure that it *isn't* about an actual robot, a la Westworld.

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Dave 126
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Re: Seen some of the first season.

And no mocked-up-for-cinema GUIs, of the type often seen in films to build tension by racing a progress bar against the bad guys breaking into the computer room.

There's also a fun bit where a rich executive is driven out of her automated home by people taking control of all the IoT gadgets within.

I enjoyed the first season, second season was a bit slow to get started, will watch the third season when it appears.

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As of today, iThings are even harder for police to probe

Dave 126
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Re: Is bit-rot a real phenomena? - SHOULD

> If Apple (and others) wanted to add a useful new feature to phones (and PCs) - make them do an automatic backup whenever they are connected to the internet by a fast WiFi connection.

Indeed. I've written about an (in reality probably unworkable) idea that all laptops must be sold with an external harddisk or NAS by default (unless the buyer signs a 'I really know what I'm doing!' form).

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Dave 126
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> Ask them if they know it's an in-place upgrade of the thing that holds all their photos

If they keep all their photos solely on one portable, easy to lose, breakable device then they evidently don't care about their photos.

> Ask them if they've read the release notes (which the article says don't mention it)

What would they do with that information?

> Ask them if they are on the public beta (the existence of which doesn't mean anything).

Ditto.

I have a Nexus phone, so I just tend to go with the updates - so yeah, I'm trusting Google not to bork it (though my photos and contacts are backed up whenever I have WiFi, which is in most pubs these days). When I was on Sony, I'd wait a few weeks and see how other users online had fared with an update (just to make sure that the update didn't dent the excellent battery life or have some other undesirable effect)

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Dave 126
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Re: You trust a closed ecosystem ?

Trust a single company I've paid money to do a job and who have a financial interest in maintaining a good reputation for not abusing that trust? Or trust a whole bunch of hardware and software vendors who occasionally pull in vaguely the same direction, with a result that is far too big for me personally to audit even if I had the skills to do so?

The point is, you have to trust someone. If for you that's the open-source community, then good on you.

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Dave 126
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Re: Is bit-rot a real phenomena?

It's rare, but as more people store more data (especially compressed files) it's good that it is being addressed by newer file systems. On a mobile device I wouldn't be too worried (the entire device can be lost or broken, so data should be backed-up).

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If you can't beat AI, join it: Boffinry biz baron Elon Musk backs brain-machine interface biz

Dave 126
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Re: Been reading Sci-Fi?

We're nowhere near a Neural Lace as Banks wrote it (backing up your entire consciousness on the fly) but nerve>electronics interfaces are on the cusp of becoming useful for paraplegics. But hey, Musk's Of I Still Love You is just a sea-bound barge and not a star-hopping General Systems Vehicle.

On that note, voice-activated assistants are already useful for some people, though obviously not as capable as Jarvis or HAL.

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Samsung plans Galaxy Note 7 fire sale

Dave 126
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Re: ET Atari games

> where Sherlock and Holmes

Hehe, he's a recovering drug addict, not Jekyll and Hyde! But yeah, it's a watchable show and it does more than many other shows borrow from contemporary cultural phenomena, such as a plot about professional video game players (when did that happen?!) being bribed with strippers.

However, there was an actual bona fide documentary about the E.T. cartridge landfill recently. Even more geekily, there's a website about a man's efforts to fix the game:

http://www.neocomputer.org/projects/et/

Worth a read in my opinion. But then I'm a weirdo :)

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Dave 126
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Re: why oh why?

>Yes, this device has caused a massive dent in the bottom line but have Samsung given any thought to the total shitstorm that will hit them if even on refurbed device goes badly wrong? That could signal the end of the company, well certainly in the mobile space.

Eh? Hey Steve, don't mistake the many column inches about the Note's battery for actual financial statistics. Samsung, unlike Apple, make dozens of different models, of which the Note was just one. The Galaxy line is probably more popular, and (now my turn to take anecdotal evidence of chasing down statistics!) supermarkets stock a lot of something called a J5 and I can only assume they are selling them.

As HipposRule pointed out, Samsung's electronics division enjoyed healthy profits last year, though this wasn't reported as heavily (though that is the nature of news: Fire!!! = exciting, Numbers = boring)

We will take your point that of Samsung were daft enough to re-re-release (I've lost track) the Note 7 with batteries that get overly warm it would be a PR misstep, but not a critical one. And hey, unlike the original recall which appears to have been a bit panicked, Samsung have since taken their time and there is every likelyhood that it will be a safe as the millions of other phones they sell.

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Boffins crowdsource hunt for 'Planet 9'

Dave 126
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Ah yes, because the solar system is trying to keep a straight face to better hide its tell.

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Dave 126
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Re: Lets keep everyone happy

Carrot> Rabbit Well, we're nearly back to the weird rabbit thing that Plan B From Bell Labs has for a logo.

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Dave 126
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Re: why the search isn't using artificial intelligence.

Why would you require General AI for this application, Mage? Limited AI is suitable for pattern recognition within many huge data sets.

If you think AI hadn't progressed since the 80s, then it is your own learning capabilities you need to re-examine and not the machine kind. Surely you didn't miss the news last year about DeepMind beating the world's best Go player?

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Dave 126
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Re: Lets keep everyone happy

Can you expand upon your reasoning? Planet 9 - as inferred from its effects upon other bodies - is hypothesised to have a mass around ten times that of Earth and a highly elliptical orbit. There are quite a few orbits it might have that would satisfy the observations (hence the difficulty in locating it) so how can we yet say it hasn't cleared its neighbourhood?

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Dave 126
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The actual website suggests that noise and artifacts are the reason that they aren't using AI. I've looked at sample images, and they are very noisy. I don't know enough about machine vision to know how much trickier that makes the task. Perhaps if Mr Wilkinson could look at the images at get back to us? His past posts are such that I defer to his experience in these matters, but his post today seems to be about tracking objects, and less so about determining what is an object in the first place.

Perhaps the crowd-sourced efforts can form the basis of a machine trading data set down the road.

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Dave 126
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Whatever it is, it's from Outer Spaaaaace!

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Dave 126
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Re: Hurry

Sounds like a good excuse for daddy to buy a load of Lego and make an orrery!

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Dave 126
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Re: Easy. My dog found it.

You're not Micky Mouse posting as AC are you?

Now, I know Micky M has a pet dog, but the pooch's name escapes me right now...

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How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Dave 126
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Re: Security ???

So some CANbus modules are sensors or switches (transmit only), some are connected to actuators (receive only) and some are both (Engine Management Unit).

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Dave 126
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Re: Security ???

> If a link to the CAN bus is provided - will it be a secure read-only link ?

Yes. In fact the drivetrain-related modules run on a different frequency to the HVAC and ICE related frequencies, so a car's drivetrain modules won't even listen to its own ICE modules. Meaning: a car stereo might increase in volume when the car is travelling faster, but the engine doesn't know or care what the stereo is doing. The system has been in use in millions of vehicles for quite a few years now.

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Dave 126
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Re: Options

Tough. You likely already have a 'smart' car, albeit one that isn't 'connected'. CANbus has been around for a while. What makes it secure on my vehicle is that it is air-gapped - there is no wireless transmitter or receiver fitted to its network. The only time it talks to external computers by a physical cable during servicing.

The system works on two frequencies on a twisted pair loop, one for important stuff like the drivetrain, the other for stuff like windows, HVAC and ICE. Should one cable break, the drivetrain stuff won't work for safety's sake, but you can still wind down an electric window whilst awaiting rescue (though of course you won't stay in your vehicle if on a motorway hardshoulder or blind corner now, will you?)

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Dave 126
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Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

It wouldn't be clever to run your engine in a garage.

Darwin Awards and all that.

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Dave 126
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Car controls (knobs, sticks, paddles etc) can be operated by touch alone - there is no reason to take your eyes off the road. Whilst you can't select a Spotify track from a list using this method, you easily skip to the next track in a playlist - just as people have for decades skipped between FM radio stations or CD tracks.

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Trump's America looks like a lousy launchpad, so can you dig Darwin?

Dave 126
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Re: i hope this goes ahead and that there is a big explosion on launch

Nursing Times? Well, I guess a big explosion might impact upon medical staff.

Oh, Northern Territories, I guess?

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DNA-bothering eggheads brew beer you were literally born to like

Dave 126
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Re: What if it decides you don't like beer?

Really? I thought beer was living proof that God exists and wants us to be happy!

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Dave 126
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Re: Almost Interesting

Avoid the coke if you can - sugars will make your hangover far worse. If you must have a sweeter taste (and yeah, bitter is an acquired taste) try vodka and apple juice.

Bitters take time to get used to, but it's a healthy palette to have. You'll find yourself snacking in high protein foodstuffs like nuts or cheese, instead of chocolate.

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Dave 126
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Re: I blame Apple and the iPhone

Eh?

The iPhone succeeded because people like tech that is useful or distracting (or really, were getting bored of having to teach a T9 predictive text system to swear and a virtual qwerty seemed nice), not vice versa.

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Dave 126
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Re: Who in the FUCK ...

Nobody asked for a dishwasher connects to the web. Some people have asked for a dishwasher that can be turned on remotely,for those mornings when the whole process of getting the kids ready and driven to school is a nightmare.

People are interested in the end, not the means.

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Dave 126
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Re: A software bug in a dishwasher?

You're not familiar with Miele, are you? True, they've dropped the ball on this one issue, but they are the only appliance maker that makes stuff the last and to be repaired. For example, their washing machines still allow the bearings to be replaced, and use a cast iron ballast instead of concrete.

This has been the consistent results if independent testing by the Consumer Association (which is financed by member's subscriptions, not adverts).

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Dave 126
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Re: Favourite things

I love the Windows software that comes with the pricier Logitech mice - it maps one of the many mouse buttons to perform what on OSX is called 'Exposé'. All the windows shrink and align themselves neatly, so that one can see at a glance what is open. It is invaluable for spotting errant dialogue boxes and and pesky 'pop-under' browser windows. Damned handy too for accessing another window without upsetting a full-screen video, if you want to adjust screen brightness for example.

The cheaper Logitech mouse software doesn't have this feature. Still, I have no plans to use any rodent but a Darkfield MX Hyperscroll mouse anyway.

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Dave 126
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Re: You hit it Dabbsy

> 1) Use a 5 year old regular retail netbook with 1024 x 800 screen for testing, and general application use at least 1/5th of time.

It's like the recording studios of the 1950s... They would have a listening room with consumer-grade radios in them. The music would be mixed to suit the sort of radios that Joe Public would be listening on, not the professional monitoring equipment the studio possessed.

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Dave 126
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Re: Strangely enough ...

Mr Dabbs has written in the past about some of the commercial software he supports his clients with. It's only available on OSX and Windows.

Good software can be created by enthusiasts, but in some sectors the best applications are created by teams of people paid to do so. It's just the way it is.

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Dave 126
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Re: Yep...

Until halfway down your post is innocently assumed you were looking for Asia sub-section of the World News on the BBC website.

But yeah, a few of Mr Dabb's bullet-pointed gripes I associate more with websites than I do desktop applications these days. You start reading a paragraphy then it jumps around. You scroll back and continue reading, then a sharking advert pops up... Grr!

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Dave 126
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Re: Microsoft time

I'm curious - what's the longest "X hours remaining" any of you folk have seen Windows display?

We can't post scteenshots here, but we will trust you!

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Spotted: Bizarre SpaceX rocket-snatching machine that looks like it belongs on Robot Wars

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Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

Dave 126
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Re: Secure by design...

If the CIA have a keen interest in you, I don't think your choice of OS is going help you. Spanners.

Indeed, they have said it themselves - if you use Tin Hat Linux or whatever, you're just marking yourself out for further inspection, though most likely just written off as a bit of an irrelevant saddo in due course.

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Dave 126
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Re: Airports

> Next in the dump, there's Sonic Screwdriver – a Doctor Who reference suggesting the design may have come from the UK's GCHQ spy nerds

Jesus fucking wept. No, a reference to a British TV series does not suggest a link a British agency unless you are soft in the head. Was it not in the Reg that I read that the OSX source code is peppered with reference to the British series Porridge? Does Python not take it's name from the British Monty Python's Flying Circus? Spam, ditto. For crying out loud, even the Simpsons has made jokes about US college nerds' love of British humour and sci-fi. Shit, even the Asperger's character from Dan 'Sony pay me whether I run the show or masturbate and play PlayStation' Harmon's Community has an obsession with 'Inspector Space Time' [Dr Who].

And seriously, what kind of retard thinks that an organisation like GCHQ, full of very smart, game-playing individuals, would name a software tool such that it links back to them?

What the hell has happened to the Reg? I know it's a Friday and all, but I'm pissed and yet seem to be doing a better job of critical thinking. I don't know if the author has noticed what's going on in this year of our Lord 2017, but it might just be an idea to double-down on what we used to call journalism, because there is a queue of bullshit merchants out there just champing at the bit (to mix my quadruped-based metaphors).

Live by the snark, die by the snark.

/Frumious

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