* Posts by Dave 126

7152 posts • joined 21 Jul 2010

Hold the miniature presses: Playmobil movie is go

Dave 126
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Check this out:

Next time the Reg needs to recreate a scene featuring a yuppie:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playmobil-3911-Porsche-Carrera-Showroom/dp/B00O4E399M

It's a Playmobil exact scale replica of a Porsche 911 Carrera S, with functioning rear and front lights, customisable body and wheels, removable roof and illuminated dashboard.

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Firemen free chap's todger from four-ring chokehold

Dave 126
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>Low flow priapism by any cause for more than four hours is a medical emergency. Deprived of oxygen the cells start to die

Again, just don't do it. Also, before any of you ask, a 'kiss of life' will not help oxygenate the cells.

(Although there is a joke in which a male patient, who has been instructed to relive pressure in those parts through manual manipulation, looks over to the next cubicle and sees the silhouette of a nurses head bobbing up and down over its occupant: "What about him?!" he asks.

"Oh, he's on BUPA" replies the Doc. )

[Edit: For the benefit of non-UK readers, BUPA is a brand of private healthcare available in the UK, as opposed to our free-at-the-point-of-treatment National Health Service]

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Dave 126
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There a few comments here along the lines of "Why not just make it shrink?"

In normal operation, turning off the pump is sufficient to reduce the pressure, since the blood will escape back into the rest of the body. Unfortunately in this case, the rings block the return path*. The patient would have been de-stimulated by the time he called for assistance - the pump had long been turned off - so another approach was required.

*That is the whole point of cock-ring, I've been led to believe - though I'm no expert on sticking my extremities into unsuitable apertures. I'm not an expert on sticking my face into a pan of boiling oil either, but my take on it remains the same: Just don't do it.

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Why does the VR industry think 2016 is its year? It's the hardware, stupid

Dave 126
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Re: 1994?

Well if all you are training is Cockpit Procedures, then yeah, 64k RAM (and a a whole fake cockpit of switches and instruments) will do it.

However, if the now-more accessible techniques of simulating complex fluid dynamics and finite element analysis (to reduce, not replace physical testing) didn't save money and time in the design of aircraft, they wouldn't be used as widely as they are.

In engineering, product design and architecture, CAD isn't isn't just about visualisation (though that itself is often invaluable); it is also a whole suite of tools to help groups of engineers - often from different disciplines - work together.

At a more modest level, a man down the road from me makes wooden propellers for light aircraft. His CAD needs aren't as sophisticated (single user, standard file system), but to model new propellers and generate cutting paths for his CNC router he still benefits from a modern, consumer-class desktop.

For sure, one of the influences that has made 3D CAD cheaper is that GPUs were made in huge numbers (thus sharing the R&D and tooling costs amongst more people) for the price-concious gaming market, so on that point I will concede your point that a lot of computing power is 'wasted' on mere entertainment.

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Canonical reckons Android phone-makers will switch to Ubuntu

Dave 126
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Re: On what merit will they be trying to convice the users ?

>The bloatware that my Samsung came with annoys me - duplication of Google ware mostly

> A Google Nexus is a nice phone, but I'd rather not have to trust Google so much.

So, you'd like to have the option of not using Google, but the preliminary work that Samsung has done to to offer you a non-Google Android annoys you?

Here's the thing: If a phone vendor ships a phone without Google Play Services version of Android, it is not allowed to ship *any* phone with Google Play Services ( APIs for location and other stuff, plus the Play Store, native GMail client, Google Maps etc). So, the only way for an Android phone vendor to break away from Google is to do it wholesale, and that would mean providing alternatives to all of Google's services.

Samsung have been hedging their bets for a while (I don't know what their own strategists currently think of their chances), hence the duplication of apps and services (an app store etc). It also explains their Tizen OS efforts.

Amazon tried an Android phone without Google. I haven't seen many of them.

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Dave 126
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Re: The real reason?

>Pehaps the Canonical coffers are starting to run dry and they need to make some money and lots of it?

I'm not sure that there is lots of money to be made by offering an OS to ODMs in competition to Android, which is 'free'.

What the ODMs might want is a Google-free flavour of Android, as Amazon have attempted and Samsung keep flirting with. (That is why Samsung phones come with Samsung alternatives to 'Translate', 'Mail', 'Calendar' etc).

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Dave 126
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Re: On what merit will they be trying to convice the users ?

Exactly.

Just because you could get a desktop GUI Linux application running on a phone, doesn't mean that it would be pleasant to use.

So, you could plug your phone into a TV (and mouse, and keyboard) and use desktop GUI applications, but it would be much easier to just use a separate 'computer on a HDMI stick', which is a form factor that is already available in ARM and Intel flavours. I mean, it just seems a kerfuffle to plug your phone into a TV, and then unplug it all again when you need to pop out for half an hour.

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Amazon UK boss is 'most powerful' man in food and drink

Dave 126
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Re: Amazon for Groceries?

>so what happens to the frozen goods that I might buy from them if they do the same?

That's a question of implementation, not concept. In theory a refrigerated delivery van *could* bring frozen goods to your door in a better state than you could (if your car doesn't have air-con). Other options include a reuseable thermal box, and maybe a phase-change thermal store 'brick'.

The rest of your points are valid. People's shopping habits vary a lot, but some might have a supermarket deliver the bulk boring stuff and get meats from a local butchers. I use Lidl for many items, but use Sainsburys/Waitrose for other stuff, a farmer's market if I'm passing... My habits are partly informed by my drive home from work.

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Dave 126
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Re: the geeks shall inherit the earth

>When machines replace workers in site automation and self-learning AI automation robots, the geeks will be kings.

No, the people who hold the power over the geeks will be kings, as has always been the case. For 'geeks', we can substitute 'stone masons' - they were people that the rulers needed, and couldn't treat too badly (else they would take their skills elsewhere), but kings they were not.

Of course, some geeks have become very powerful today, but they are a few individuals and that power isn't distributed amongst everyone who can code

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Microsoft researchers smash homomorphic encryption speed barrier

Dave 126
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Re: So let me get this right..

>doing stuff that makes my head hurt just trying to substandard,

Makes my brain hurt so much I commit bizarre typos, evidently. This was typed on a proper keyboard, I can't even blame an auto-correct system.

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Dave 126
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Re: So let me get this right..

The Windows teams are expected to take input from MS's strategic business team, which itself would be trying to work out how to use Windows to maximise profits or footholds for other products and services, in a rapidly changing, competitive environment. Or something like that.

The research teams, whilst doing stuff that makes my head hurt just trying to substandard, have in some ways more simply defined tasks.

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Fleet of 4.77MHz LCD laptops with 8088 CPUs still alive after 30 years

Dave 126
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Re: Wait, but laptop still have LCDs

>640x200 pixels in monochrome is pretty archaic by today's display standards.

For a general purpose computer, yes. But similar displays are still common in kit made today - music players, for example.

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Dave 126
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Re: the unchanged fact that most solid-state electronics...

Even parts - or the connections - that are not designed to move may still suffer some mechanical strain from thermal expansion cycles.

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Dave 126
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Re: Wait, but laptop still have LCDs

From the article: "it also offered a rather archaic LCD display as illustrated above"

I believe Christian read the article text as meaning that LCD technology in general was archaic, whereas the same sentance could be also read as meaning that this specific LCD display was archaic. I read it as the latter.

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Dave 126
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Re: Netbooks had one good use

I found them handy for plugging temperature probes into, logging and displaying temperature against time (when developing a cooking product).

- All the essential ports, inc. serial

- small size

- WinXP - ran the software that came with the temperature probe.

For reading websites, it was horrible though - like peering through a letter box.

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That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Dave 126
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Re: Already corrected

>But donut store coffee cups very rarely have a handle... which I assume makes them spheres or something.

Topologically the coffee cups are like spheres, whereas donuts are similar to tea-cups with handles. Teapots with one handle and no lid are similar to figure-of-eight pretzels.

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Dave 126
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Re: British efforts

"LENR-CANR.ORG A library of papers about cold fusion"

If it were legitimate, the website would by subtitled "A library of papers about some experiments that produce some as-of-yet unexplained data"

A clue is that they have jumped to a conclusion. The other clue is the name 'Rossi' on the page.

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Dave 126
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Re: Soon...

>Well, have you seen the west's records on Human rights?

If you could move in time, you'd observe more distance travelling a few decades than you would a few thousand miles.

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Dave 126
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Re: Soon...

>We will be copying Chinese designs... gulp

For much of the last five thousand years, Chinese technological and organisational superiority has been the norm... the Twentieth Century was just a blip.

Well, kind of... Glass technology (what we Occidentals used for drinking wine) opened the doors of chemistry, microscopy, astronomy, perspective in art...

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Dave 126
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Re: @ Walter Bishop -- When iPhone is serviced by an authorised Apple service provider

>If I have a puncture I don't expect to have to buy a new car.

True. And if your clutch went wrong, you would choose to take your car to a 3rd party garage with a good reputation. Some cowboys might cause more problems. Similarly, a good phone shop can replace a phone screen without disturbing the fingerprint sensor.

Unlike a tyre, if an ECU dies, the replacement would need to programmed with variables specific to that car's engine values, physical variations in the manufacture of engine components that the original ECU was programmed with and then made allowances for physical wear over time and use. It wouldn't be a straight swap out, swap in job.

So yeah, Apple have messed up with the implementation*, but the principle of protecting the user's data from bad guys is sound enough. Otherwise, the bad guy could just swap out the fingerprint module to gain access. Law enforcement officers could of course just take your fingerprints.

*Especially for the journalist who originally promoted this story - he was on assignment in Macedonia, very far away from an official Apple store.

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Dave 126
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Re: Hardly a surprise

>every second one is broken. This is because Apple use sub-par materials for the application.

The 'application' varies by user.

And that is true of most Android phones, too. My Sony has a cracked screen because I bought the wrong case (also, the screen bezel was thin and made from ABS, not aluminium). If you work on a building site, buy a beefier case - or a 'toughened' model from Motorola or Samsung. If you work in a carpeted office, a slimmer case might be fine. If you buy a Galaxy Edge, you'll struggle to find a case with protective bezels that allows you to use the curved edges of the screen.

All engineering is compromise. A plastic screen will not shatter, but it will scratch and dent. A mineral glass screen won't scratch as easily, but it will shatter. You can pay more money and engineering another compromise: a laminate of mineral glass atop a plastic substrate. Or you could take a hit on the pixel-to-surface distance and make the screen thicker. You can supply the phone with a replaceable plastic screen guard, to nudge the user into replacing it periodically. Sony chose to attach a thin layer atop their screen to reduce shattering, in addition to the normal replaceable plastic. And so on...

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Dave 126
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Re: Hardly a surprise

>Rubbish. Apple don't manufacture anything of any significance, they just get other companies to make stuff for them from the same Chinese made components that everyone else uses.

That's true of many companies these days. What you haven't acknowledged though is that 'he who pays the piper calls the tune'. By that I mean the customer (Apple, Samsung, whoever), negotiates with the OEMs as to which manufacturing processes are used, the tolerances, yields, materials. Now, just because several companies use the same factory, doesn't mean all parts are made to the same tolerance or QA process - everything is negotiable.

That said, high tolerance parts are cheaper to make (and check) today than they ever have been.

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Dave 126
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Re: Halfway

>Put it another way: where is there ANY evidence that third party repairs to Apple kit result in security breached?

No, because of this very safeguard:

The fingerprint module is a self-contained enclave that tells the phone that the a thumbprint belongs to the owner. Clearly, a safeguard is needed to stop a bad guy from swapping the fingerprint module in the target phone for a fingerprint module already trained to the bad guy's own thumb. This is done by by iOS comparing the hardware ID of the fingerprint module to the value it is has stored. If it finds an anomaly, it shuts down the Apple

Now, a competent 3rd party repair shop can replace a broken screen without disturbing the fingerprint module. However, a shady repair shop who haven't practised on their own phones before messing around with their customers' phones might mess it up. Hence the Apple support notes that say the error *can* occur from an 3rd party screen repair.

Apple have dropped the ball in communication, policy, and implementation, though.

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Mozilla officially kills Firefox OS for smartphones in favour of 'Connected Devices'

Dave 126
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Re: This is a distraction!

I only read The Reg because there is no browser in existence that correctly renders the website that I really want to visit.

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Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles

Dave 126
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We're going to need a bigger eagle:

Government drones often big, high altitude, jet powered.

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Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

Dave 126
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Re: Compare and contrast

>an expectation that a series of precocious spelling bee competitions will imbue an appreciation of Shakespeare, Auden and Tennyson in the participants.

I used to read Spot the Dog, and take spelling tests... doing so has not dented my later appreciation of literate. In fact, learning to read was a positive aid to my enjoyment of books. Did your analogy come across as you intended?

[Strange choice of examples from Mr Pollard: they are all playwrights and poets, whose works can be performed aloud and so be appreciated even by people who can't read. ]

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Dave 126
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Re: Cruel and viscious.

>[Before you ask, giving me video of any sort is pretty much a waste of time. I prefer the written word.]

Stephen Fry was a columnist, novelist and screenwriter. His acting and television presenting followed from that.

Paperweight', a collection of his columns, makes a good book to dip into whilst on the porcelain throne. 'Making History' is an alternative history jaunt, playing on the old 'kill Hitler with time machine' trope, but with its own message. Worth a read, certainly more fun than a Philip Roth alternate history novel!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Fry_bibliography_and_filmography#Books

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Dave 126
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Re: More words

All that AC said.

His books are good, too. And fascinating to read in the context of his own story of self acceptance.

> He loves shiny Apple stuff that's true, but then a lot of people do.

As did his late friend, Douglas Noel Adams (of Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy fame). Between them, the pair bought the first two Apple Macs in Europe in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams#Technology_and_innovation

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Dave 126
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Re: "... a fair resource ...?

>To me it looks to be another ghastly collection of "interesting facts"

Would you care to suggest alternate sites, so that we may compare and contrast?

I scrolled through quickly, but the format of tests interspersing the videos is in keeping with retaining information. The diagrams about latent heat (just the section I clicked on) would impart knowledge and understanding, not 'facts'.

Maybe you have a different learning style?

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Dave 126
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Re: Cruel and viscious.

And yet the comments and votes on the forum for the Reg article that Stephen Fry mentioned were mostly on Fry's side.

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Dave 126
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Re: Stephen Fry picking bad investments? Shirley not!

He was a millionaire by his early twenties. I don't think he needs the money.

Just had a look at Pindex... I can't see any adverts, or other revenue stream. It does appear to be a fair resource for learning about science.

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Dave 126
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Re: 1(3) Thumb(s) Down!!?

>I've been railing against the present direction of nuclear fusion for the past 30 years

You've railed against other things as well, whereas if you were to concentrate your railing (possibly in a toroidal containment chamber, or perhaps in a spherical chamber if your railing was delivered femto-second pulses) you might exceed a threshold level where your railing becomes self-sustaining and thus requiring no further energy input from you.

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Dave 126
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Re: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Rhodan

Thank you guys for bringing this to my attention.

According to Wikipedia, the later editions that weren't translated to English were more sophisticated and less pulpy than the earlier stories.

,

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Dave 126
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Re: Who ever designed..

>And what is it about your 5 year old Mac that is so magical?

>(sent from my 2010 Sony Vaio Z11- with a removable battery)

VAIOs and Macs have a lot in common. The whole VAIO brand was created by a Japanese fan of the Esslinger design of the Mac, after he created the Playstaion. After Steve Jobs ended the official Mac-clone program, he wanted to make an exception for Sony VAIO kit, since they had been testing OSX on Intel. FireWire. AV editing. Premium price. Proprietary on occasion. Early adoption of Thunderbolt. Former proponents of the PC as 'digital hub'. Etc

- Digital Dreams: The Work of the Sony Design Center ISBN-13: 978-0789302625

- http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/5/5380832/sony-vaio-apple-os-x-steve-jobs-meeting-report

-http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/sony-vaio-z-series-laptop-boasts-external-graphics-and-thunderbolt-tech/

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Dave 126
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Re: Who ever designed..

Re: http://cds.linear.com/docs/en/application-note/an19fc.pdf

What a beatiful document! Other excerpts:

1. Transformer Wired Backwards

Those dots indicate polarity, not smashed flies.

5. Fred’s Inductor (Or Transformer)

Inductors are not like lawn mowers. If you want to

borrow the one out of Fred’s drawer, make sure it’s the

right value for your application

7. Rat’s Nest Wiring

The LT1070 is not a jelly bean op amp that can be wired

up with 2-foot clip leads.

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Dave 126
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Re: Who ever designed..

Hehe!

It doesn't help that PSUs don't come branded "Seagate" or "WD", which would make reuniting the right PSU to the right gadget easier, but instead all seem to be labelled "Asian Power Supplies"

I think the troublesome 19v PSU came with an Alba LCD TV that someone bought - it was just as useless as it sounds. I either snipped the cable off the PSU, or wrapped it up in red insulation tape, I can't remember!

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Dave 126
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Re: Not just sensible cables please - sensible hardware too!

And yet I have a selection of more than a dozen sleeve-and-tip connectors in a draw (they came with a universal laptop PSU), of every internal and external diameter, some with pins. Engineers had this selection to choose from, yet they still arrived at using the same connector for 12v and 19v.

And yeah, sleeve-type connectors make tracing the polarity tricky, too.

Once these USB-C teething troubles are ironed out, I look forward to the ensuing sanity of powering bigger kit. Just as 5v 0.5A / 1.5A has become convenient for smaller gadgets.

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Dave 126
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Re: Who ever designed..

I've damaged a 3.5" external HDD by mistakenly using a 19v laptop psu, instead of a 12v PSU. My fault, though I had some ill thoughts towards the world that would use the same physical connector for both.

Luckily, snipping a certain diode off the HDD's PCB got it working again, in theory indefinitely (though I copied the data off pronto). And yeah, had I been more responsible with my back up routine, I wouldn't have needed to go that length.

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When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

Dave 126
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Re: Three glasses of whisky

> In fact it is the break of a moderate walk that is often most productive.

Of a book of error codes. "It says [error] -41 is: "Sit by a lake.""

https://xkcd.com/1024/

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Dave 126
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Akin to real life, when looking for car keys. If they are on the desk right in front of me, I don't spot them.

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Motorola-powered Mac from 1989 used to write smartphone apps

Dave 126
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Re: Pascal on a Mac

That's a fair approach!

However:

Pascal is a common masculine Francophone given name, cognate of Italian name Pasquale, Spanish name Pascual, Catalan name Pasqual. Pascal is common in French-speaking countries, Germany and the Netherlands. Derived feminine forms include Pascale, Pascalle or Pascalina.

- Pascal (given name) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Berkeley boffins build cut-price robo-crutches, er, sci-fi exoskeleton

Dave 126
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Why? Where would the Wallace-and-Grommit-inspired remote-controlled Techno-Trouser fun be in that?

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

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GCHQ’s Xmas puzzle proves uncrackable

Dave 126
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Wasn't there are certain Starfleet captain who solved an unsolvable computer-based puzzle?

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Dave 126
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uncracked =/= uncrackable

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Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

Dave 126
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Re: Rooting...isn't what it was.

>They root because it allows them to achieve whatever the goal they want to reach,

I believe Jason's point is that as Android and its hardware matures, there are *some* things that once required rooting that now don't.

It is perfectly plausible that an individual might their phone for a specific purpose. If that 'missing feature' is then added to a newer version of Android, then this user has less motive to root.

That's fine, YMMV.

My phone seemed to work pretty darned well out of the box, as a phone, as a Walkman, as a spare camera - whatever. So I don't faff around with it. But hey, I can understand if not everybody's new phone works as it should for them, either because of dodgy vendor software, or their own individual needs.

So no advice from me... Except for Known Hero: don't buy the official Sony case for your Xperia, it doesn't protect one edge of your screen, and the repair bill isn't cheap :)

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Sorry slacktivists: The Man is shredding your robo responses

Dave 126
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Re: one glaring problem

It was a strange choice to use the word 'prosumer' in that context.

I've always taken it to designate kit, not people. That is, equipment that a skilled professional could use to produce professional quality results but isn't as pricey as their normal tools, and that is usually sold to enthusiasts, would-be professionals, students, or 'all the gear and no idea' idiots.

In the context, the word seems to have been used to describe amateur film makers who are earnestly attempting to make a film based on IP owned by someone else. I.e, fans.

You're right, it's not the right word.

As for coffee, I use a £30 Aeropress for convenience (don't need a wall socket for an espresso-like brew, quick to use, easy to clean), whereas my friend uses a £1000 (bought second-hand) Jura bean-to-cup machine... again, for convenience.

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Dave 126
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>As anyone who deals in matters maritime learns quickly, things left in the sea for a long time don't do well, even when sealed into tubes.

For some values of 'sealed', maybe, but not the one I normally use.

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I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Dave 126
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Re: @Cranky_Yank - IBM loved 2001

>Come on. That' be HPA, HPAC or HPC

None of which lend themselves to single-syllable pronunciation.

Clarke and Kubrick were writing a movie. That we all know of HAL is good evidence that they did their jobs well.

"Open the pod bay doors, Aitch-pee-ai-see" would detract from the drama.

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Dave 126
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Re: Marvin

>Hawking opinion on it is worthless...

Anonymous Coward opinion on it is worthless...

FTFY

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Dave 126
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Re: you missed one

Dark.Star

co-written by, edited by and starring Dan O'Bannon

- Star Wars [computer animator]

-Jodowosky's Dune [never made, sadly]

-Alien [writer, effects supervisor]

-Total Recall

Screamers, a science-fiction film about post-apocalyptic robots programmed to kill. Adapted from the Philip K. Dick story "Second Variety".

That's some career!

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