* Posts by defiler

990 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

Is the electromagnetic constant a constant?

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I'm not a God-bothering pixie-chaser by any stretch, but I have to say that Graham's argument appeals more to me than your's.

It's not often I'll say this, but +1 for the religious argument. Good point, well scored.

Lovely electric car breaks out of Oz

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British Electric Lighting?

Not bad.... But the English Electric Lighting is much nicer...


There you go - sorted that for you!

Broadcast television is 75 years old today

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"just two hours of programming a day"

Not much has changed. Now they just stick the 2 hourse on a loop, and if they're not the BBC they stick in adverts that are too loud.


Calxeda hurls EnergyCore ARM at server chip Goliaths

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Hell yeah!

I'm looking for a new home server. This looks like it's fitting the bill perfectly. ATX board, please!

Wooden Mars ark voyagers set to step out on Earth

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A funny thing happened on the way to Mars

What happens if they burn up on re-entry?

Adventures in Tech: Taking the plunge into IPv6

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It's simple

Put all the porn on IPv6 and take it all off IPv4. Changeover in about a month.

Seagate flings twirling terabyte platters at world

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Makes sense

Push out the big, cheap drives when prices are high, and your competitors are waterlogged. Interested to see what the power requirements are. I have a dud drive in my home array and I've been looking at the WD Caviar Green to replace it. Save a few Watts here and there...

As iPhone 4S battery suckage spreads, fixes appear

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Android battery life

I've got a SE Experia Play. Today is day 3 on the battery since I last plugged it in. I'm in a basement here, so the signal's pretty weak - poor wee phone has to work to keep it up. Yesterday I had to use it as a torch whilst fixing a phone system in a room with blown lights. I regularly use it as a web browser and email client (have my gmail synced).

Right now the battery is sitting on 26%. This is Tuesday, and it was unplugged from the mains on Sunday morning.

Sucks to have such a shitty battery. If only it could last until Christmas...

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Expect a message...

Cool - like The Lawnmower Man? Let's get these old Virtuality headsets dusted off!

CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

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That seems to be the point

By modulating the neutrinos on a distinct pattern, they should be able to show that it's the same stream. And also they'll be able to see if the modulation smears or any such. That's the way I see it anyway. Tea anyone?

Nokia's Brave New World is (almost) Finn-free

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Nokia Brown

I believe it's called "wenge". Because "brown" isn't good enough...

Could a snapshot plug your backup window?

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You're right to an extent

With ESX/ESXi you can tell it to flush the VMs' disc buffers at the moment of the snapshot, so at that point you should have all your transaction logs etc written to the snapshot. It's not perfect, no. But for the size of operation here it's pretty good.

I do file-level backups too, for what it's worth, but I also have clear off-peak times.

Best bet, as far as I'm concerned, is a weekly snapshot, plus a weekly file-level backup, plus daily diffs.

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This is news?

I've been using snapshots for my backups for years. This is not a big shop, and I've been doing it with VMWare GSX, Server (v1) and ESXi since 2003, with only a 1-year break to do it with XenServer last year.

Some funky scripting, and the whole thing just runs - take a snapshot, export it to a spool drive, stuff it on a tape (or onto the backup discs). Tapes come offsite. Easy.

Now, granted, I wouldn't want to do it with a large virtualised server farm. But big backups are where you need a backup specialist.

Father of Lisp and AI John McCarthy has died

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At least Alan Turing will get some company now...

Apparently a post is required.

Google dumps + from Boolean search tool

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Yep - me too.

Netflix announces UK debut

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Lovefilm Streaming

XBMC support please? Any time you're ready? It's not like they even have to do anything - just let the XMBC community come up with a finished plug-in...

Netflix? Dunno - I'm happy enough handling plastinc discs for now, so long as they turn up pretty quickly.

Massive study concludes: 'Global warming is real'

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@Chris Miller

Maybe not in your home, and maybe not for homes outside the UK, to be fair. But for "most homes"...

My heating, hot water, and kitchen hob run on gas, so to answer your question, I don't use that much electricity for heating things. My kettle boils enough water to make two cups of tea in one minute. My oven draws 2.5kW when it's heating, but once it's hot it spends most of its time off, just topping off the temperature when necessary. You're right in that heating is the big-ticket item for single appliances, but when you've got 400W of lights on for 6 hours a day in your living room, that's enough to roast a pretty big bird in the oven. And many people draw more than 400W in a room for lighting.

Don't just think about the peak load (850W for my microwave). Think about how long it stays on (5 minutes and your Tesco Jalfrezi is done).

I think my telly is my biggest drain now, for example, but I've been a right nazi on the lights already!

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Why show it again?

Because a great number of people didn't believe it the first time around. Or the second. Or the third. ClimateGate (cheesy name) wrecked the reputation of the Climate Change science, even if the individuals who've used it as a cash cow for years hasn't.

I for one welcome a study that appears to be open and impartial. It may not be good news, but it's clear news, and it can be assessed and verified by anyone who's prepared to spend the time on it, rather than the traditional stance of climatologists poking an unspecified and unreviewed climate model that might as well be a magic 8-ball for all anybody gets to peek inside.

Now that this study is out there, now that the data is out there for others to satisfy themselves, and now that hopefully the stupid arguments on either side can diminish to actual fruitful science, we can actually get on with figuring out how to save the world.

CFLs? Yep - they make a hell of a difference. The biggest single electrical drain in most homes is lighting. Almost all the lights in my house are CFL and LED, and my electricity monitor has dropped like a stone. Industry is a different matter, but if the science is proven then legislation will follow. Pay the extra or clean up. And a sensible government (if anyone can find one) will accept that industrial power reduction will have to be global, and gradual.

My coat's the one with the handover pack for my solar panels in the pocket.

China punts free condoms at iPhone owners

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"a similarly-aged woman was adamant that nothing unbranded was going near her"

Does that make her a brand-whore?

Yeah - I'd best get back to work...

Saddam 'double' kidnapped by smut flick gang

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Why porn?

Because it would be an instant debasement of Saddam Hussein in the eyes of the Muslim world. There's power to be had in destroying Saddam's memory, and that would do the job nicely. Nobody really cares much in the West if someone's videotaped shagging, but in Arab and Persian countries it's very, very different.

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I know - he shouldn't have to change his appearance, and it may be that his facial structure is just too similar to make much of a difference anyway. I fully applaud him standing by his beliefs and principles - that shows a substantial level of integrity.

Doesn't quite make the same soundbite quip though, does it? :)

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Maybe have a shave?

I dunno - just saying...

Nipples and teen lesbians sexy even when ironic, ASA rules

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German Carmageddon

Droids? Seriously? I didn't realise that. The UK version had all the people changed out for zombies. And some guy working for the local newspaper in Birmingham called Alan Pope I think (too lazy to look it up right now) went on a crusade regardless with the glorious soundbite "ban this sick filth!"

Needless to say, the box I picked up had a sticker on it saying:


Classic marketing. :)

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Yeah - carmag got censored all over (not just in Germany) with green blood and "zombies". Didn't exactly take long for someone to grab the artwork out of the demo (with people and blood) and stuff that into the main game. Worked with the 3DFX Glide patch too.

Them were the days!

Vodafone customers fume over iPhone 4S delays

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Can't normally speak to his friends and family

Dodgy aerial on his phone. That's why he wants the 4S, see? Poor soul!

FSF takes Win 8 Secure Boot fight to OEMs

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The average Joe...

The average Joe does what the advert tells them to. If the Microsoft ad, the Dell ad, the Packard Bell ad, the HP ad, the Acer ad all say to look for the "Certified for Windows 8" logo on their new PC, they'll look for the "Certified for Windows 8" logo.

What else would they do? Trust the spotty youth in PC World when he says "nah - this one will also work just fine", or put their faith in multi-billion-dollar companies?

Boffins whip up SELF-WIRING chip

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So they're using electricity to reconfigure a homogenous slab of material, and then routing electricity through it without disturbing the "paths" created by the first electricity.

Nope - that's beyond me. Pretty clever though. But can it be milked?

MIT boffin: Salted disks hold SIX TIMES more data

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Keep the fries salted!

Looks like System Shock had it right all along.

Could somebody grab my coat for me? Left it in Beta Grove...

C and Unix pioneer Dennis Ritchie reported dead

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Borderline unnecessary

But completely true. Given the mainstream coverage of Jobs you'd think he could walk on water...

One man created tools, and the other man created trinkets. Neither was evil, both will be missed. Dennis Ritchie will be missed by far fewer people though, despite having a greater effect. Hardly anyone you see in the street will know his name, let alone his accomplishments. Nobody will make a movie of his life.

RIP, Dennis. My sympathies to his family and friends.

Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

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Nah - Counterstrike

Though admittedly porn was up there...

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Well, as one of the other 6M households

I agree completely.

Of course my kids are still getting their jollies from Iggle Piggle, and drawing on daddy's monitor, but you're bang-on. We're back to the same old argument that we can show slaughter and mayhem, crime, injury, war and death to our kids, but as an adult I can't see some good old-fashioned shagging...

And then what counts as "inappropriate content" after the mechanisms are in place? What genre guts the trigger pulled next?

Virus infects killer US air drone fleet

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Didn't you hear?

Major Fail retired. His duties are now carried out by General Protection Fault.


Zombie browser with evil past returns from the grave

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Comet Cursor!!

Wouldn't that just be great?!

Steve Jobs: The Movie in the works

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Can we not just let him go a bit cold yet?

I mean really... I blame 24-hour news channels.

Oh, and I watched Pirates of Silicon Valley the other night as a kind of tribute on my AppleTV (that's been hacked to hell).

TDK fires up LASERS to double hard drive capacity

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That's what I thought

What's the power consumption, and how hot will drives get when you're tring to integrate a new drive into an existing RAID?

Flame - says it all...

Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is dead at 56

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But it'll be interesting to see how Apple gets on with out Steve Jobs as a crutch.

From what I've heard I wouldn't have wanted to work directly with him, but the world needs people like him to drive things, even if they're driving in an odd direction. He'll leave a big hole in the industry that won't be easily filled.

Lumison swallows DediPower Managed Hosting

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Then howcome their admin is in Edinburgh, and all the support staff I talk to on the phone are in Edinburgh.

We're a customer of Lumison, and on the whole I really like them. They generally get things right, and if you have a problem you can very quickly get hold of someone who not only understands your problem, but can also fix it very fast. On the downside, twice in the last year they've managed to have a serious core routing outage, including one just last Wednesday (caused by some absent-minded soul forgetting to commit switch config changes to NVRAM).

Hopefully this expansion will give us more of the good service and less of the careless failures...

Apple TV owners lost legal movie playback this weekend

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*Smug glow*

Yep - my server stayed up throughout, with all my DVDs and BluRays on it. On, and my XBMC AppleTV sailed on through as well...

Enough of that, though. It's an impossible situation. If you give free access to media, far fewer people would actually buy it, so less would be made (and then only in "safe" genres where they reckoned they could sell it easily). If you restrict access to media, you end up in a position like this where your DRM cluster drops out and your customers are angry. (Or the company supplying the media sinks and takes their DRM and all access to the media with them.)

I don't honestly see how this can be fairly resolved. So in the meantime I'm happy buying plastic discs.

AMD Llano vs Intel Sandy Bridge

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Been there on the desktop chips

I had a Phenom 9950BE which poured out 140W. Switched it out for a low-power PhenomII X4, which does the same job at least as fast in the same socket for 60W. Hell, the old 9950 *idled* at 100W+. AMD are getting much better at the low-power game, and low-power = low-heat.

Pandemonium as Microsoft AV nukes Chrome browser

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@AC 08:37

My office = my employer's office. I didn't think I'd need to be quite so verbose on that one. Similarly, my employer's users/staff who should be doing work on my employer's computers. They need no freedoms over and above what is required to do their jobs. On the other hand, it's the real world and they're given plenty of leeway to do stuff (particularly web browsing) on their downtime.

My beef is when someone calls me and says "X doesn't work on my computer", and I find out that they're using Chrome. And that "X" works just great in Internet Explorer, because I know that a number of the companies that we deal with have ActiveX controls on their "extranets" (or whatever the word is these days), and these only work in Internet Explorer. And I'm wasting my time, at my employer's expense, chasing people for installing Chrome on "their" machines.

They seem to think it's their god-given right to install what they want on "their" computers, and don't for one moment stop to consider the security and administrative nightmare that would cause; Google Chrome not only panders to their delusion, but reinforces it, especially with the attitude that "it's from Google, so it's fine". The office computers are tools to do jobs, not toys. They're the company's, not the user's. Personal internet access at work is a privilege, not a right. Many people seem to forget that.

Presumably you would like all of "your" users in "your" office to run whatever they damn well please? Where does that end then? When someone calls because they're having trouble with Outlook under WINE running on UbuntuCE? Good luck with that, by the way...

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Smoking? Not so much...

Howcome users in my office on XP SP3 can install Chrome on their desktops? They don't have admin rights. They can't write back to the "Program Files" folder or to the HKEY_LOCALMACHINE registry key. But Chrome goes on regardless.

That's the sort of behaviour a virus shows. And it pisses me off.

Ordinarily Id be pretty ambivalent towards Chrome, but the simple fact that unauthorised users can install it makes me hate it.

And I'm sure that enough people on here will recognise that for what it is; not IT-department control-freakery, and a fascist attitude to user freedom, but a sensible way of trying to keep unknowns to a minimum to reduce user-issues.

007's car outdrives iPhone in battle of the brands

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Harley Davidson?

Number 3? What were they thinking?!

Harley Davidson holds about as much cachet as Massey Fergusson... It's a bloody tractor on two wheels! Ducati, MV Agusta, Moto Guzzi, Triumph - all cooler bikes than Harleys. To be honest, I think the Big 4 Japanese manufacturers would be in there as well if they weren't so damned reliable.

I suppose HD are cool because of all the people lounging outside fashionable cafes and bars with them (whilst waiting for the recovery truck).

Aussie fans of old BBC fodder get paid iPlayer offering

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@Ian Ferguson

Not seeing the irony; more the blatant theft. (Just paid for my TV license, and smarting a little from dropping nearly 150 notes on it - why should I subsidise some selfish dick with a Slingbox?)

Tosh puts 1TB in the palm of your hand

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Am I the only one who still marvels at the amount of data I can lose down the cushions on the sofa?

Red Hat engineer renews attack on Windows 8-certified secure boot

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Console Development

That's what this reminds me of. It makes me think back to the old Blue Playstations, or perhaps more accurately the black Yaroze boxes. They were just PS1 Playstations, but came with a simple dev kit (and a little extra hardware inside) that allowed hobbyists to program them. You could upload your finished programs and other people with Yaroze could grab them and run them.

You see the parallel? In order to do Linux dev (or any unsigned OS dev for that matter) you'd need to buy into the 'Yaroze'-equivalent PC. The hobbyist's PC. Everyday bods buying a computer would just end up with the basic grey box.

Maybe somebody can flesh out where that would drive the market, but it strikes me that anyone wanting to deviate from the mainstream at all would leave themselves at the mercy of the hardware manufacturers, and their altruism regarding releasing boards for unsigned code. As I understand it, Yaroze actually cost Sony money. But what they did get is a whole new generation of bedroom coders already experienced with the Playstation dev tools - that's a good investment. It scares me to think that Microsoft could create a world where a programmer's first experience of writing an operating system is when they start to work for Microsoft and finally get to recompile Windows and sign it with the MS key...

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Does anybody care?

Non-corporate demand will be virtually zero? Have you seen where most people buy their computers? They go into PC World, Currys, Comet, whatever. They pick up a big box off the shelf, and it has everything in it ready to roll, including Encarta for Little Johnny. (Okay, I'm kidding about the Encarta thing, but that mindset is still there.)

I have never bought a PC off-the-shelf. I'll pick and choose components that do what I want. I'm one of the crazy guys with a watercooled system because I like my peace and quiet. I've got the dual-VGA card and SSD going on. I want to be able to boot to Linux when I damn well please. I am less than 1% of the market. Dell, HP, Acer, Packard Bell etc etc will not give a shit if I'm not happy - the other 99.9999% of the market is delighted that they got a shiney, and it just works.

It's like buying a car. I went into the showroom, picked the model, the specification, and the colour. Beyond that, the thing just runs. Except that I need a tax disc for the end of the month :-/

Ordinary people don't buy kit cars. They just want their Focus to start when they turn the key.

45% of Android users to upgrade to rival phone OSes

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Using FLAC files

Yeah - I accept that FLAC is a (bit) of a pain. I tend to play my music through either Squeezeboxes or Rockbox (both take FLAC no problem). For the car I use MP3FS to transcode it as I copy. Doesn't slow down all that much.

But (and this is the critical bit to me) I can transcode my FLAC files to anything without any loss of quality (more than the destination container). Since the FLAC files are CD-perfect quality I don't lose quality from transcoding lossy->lossy.

Of course, any time I try to explain this to people I realise that I seem to be the only person who cares, and who realises that storage is cheap and my time to re-rip is not. So that's fair enough.

Cup of tea, anyone?

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Apple's walled garden

I see a couple of people have commented on this, with respect to paid-for apps, but of greater concern is their music library. That's what's killed the MP3 player market.

You buy an iPod, you stick your music into iTunes, and then you keep buying iPods because all your music is in iTunes. And if you're an ordinary Joe and don't start your iTunes experience by looking into the advanced ripping settings, all your music files are AAC and therefore won't be played by virtually anything else.

Same game, only with phones. If I've got all my music in a format that only works on an iPhone, I'll be stuck with an iPhone or a major pain-in-the-arse ripping my CDs again. I'd probably stick with the iPhone.

As for myself, I have an Android handset nowadays after WM6.5. Rather like it. Still looking for a really good music player that'll handle FLAC files though. Until that day, the RockBox goes in the other pocket.

US survey: 1 in 5 telecommuters work an hour or less a day

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Working from home right now

Last week I put in a couple of 10pm finishes (at home) because of a job that needed done. This weekend I expect to be doing some VM overhauling (from home). Next week I expect to be working late to do some physical server moves (dammit - that'll be in the office then).

Yep, I'll have a slack day sometimes at home, but generally I work hard when I'm here. I have an office where I can remain undisturbed, and I can still pop downstairs to see the kids at any time I have a spare 5 mins.

In fact, I previously spent a couple of weeks working "at home", jumped on a train, and spent a week at a mate's house. Still had my laptop and my mobile, so what's the problem? Still got the work done.

Give me 10 gig Ethernet now!

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Backup vs Restore

Yes - incs, diffs, deltas, all the way forward. The issue, however, of double the time to restore is a variable one. If you're on tapes it can take a whole lot longer. If you're on hard discs it can be a lot faster.

The thing you need to ask is how often do I backup, and how often do I need to restore. Personally I backup every day (except Sunday), and I think I restored about 15 times in the past year (mostly individual files or folders).

When you look at it like that, it's not such a big deal taking a bit longer to restore.

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