* Posts by Dropper

362 posts • joined 8 Jan 2011

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Tea tipplers are more likely to live longer, healthier lives than you triple venti pumpkin-syrup soy-milk latte-swilling fiends

Dropper

Tea and Beer

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/23/bmj_uk_alcohol_study/

So a cuppa in the morning and a beer before bed.. heart attack risk reduced by nearly half!

So can I cancel death completely by eating bacon sarnies with my tea and a vindaloo with my beer? If so, it would be the final proof that God is British.

Behold Schrödinger's Y2K, when software went all quantum

Dropper

Huh?

After emigrating to the US in 1999 I was besieged by weirdos asking me why I wasn't snapped up by companies panicked about the approaching apocalypse.

I remember being incredibly confused.. because while everyone in the UK had long since worked out that the worst that could happen was some obsolete kit (mostly VCRs) might get the time wrong and fail to record (or actually record) a few TV shows. Oh I think someone mentioned shop/bank doors on timers might need to be manually opened.

I tried to explain to everyone who asked that a few vcrs telling the time wrong would not cause buildings to explode, economies to collapse or planes to fall out of the sky, but they remained unconvinced. Eventually I did find employment and spent New Years Eve on-call, silently laughing inside at the huge amount of nothing I was doing while earning massive amounts of cash.

Gas-guzzling Americans continue to shun electric vehicles as sales fail to bother US car market

Dropper

Cost prohibitive

I can get the car I need - a 1-2 yr old AWD vehicle - for about $20-22K. To get an equivalent hybrid would add a minimum of $10K or 30,000 miles. If you're lucky.

And even if I was able to spend the extra money, buying a used hybrid is too risky. The cost of replacing hybrid batteries is extortionate.

If I didn't live somewhere where it snows for 7 months of the year, with temperatures that regularly fall well below 0F, maybe I'd consider a used hybrid FWD car.

I'll do my part to try to be as carbon neutral as I can in other ways. Transportation just isn't something I can gamble with.

The immovable object versus the unstoppable force: How the tech boys club remains exclusive

Dropper

Fairness

My problem with articles like this is the assumption that only one sub group of people are affected by preferential treatment. There's no doubt that certain groups have been discriminated against, but that discrimination isn't against a single target. The greatest con game played against the poor is to pit each group against each other, leaving the wealthy to laugh at us all.

No we should not start reverse discrimination based on gender, orientation, ethnicity, financial status, nationality, age or whatever other arbitrary factor pits one set of people against another.

Why should person be at a disadvantage for the rest of their working lives, just because people who look like them have committed injustices? That kind of reasoning promotes discrimination and anger, while those with the power and money just sit back and laugh as the people below them fight amongst each other.

Why can't we just have fairness? Make it a civil crime to not be fair. Fine companies that have been found to deliberately exclude individuals from promotion or other rewards when it can be clearly shown they favor one set of people over others.

All I hear when I see articles like this is another attempt to let the good old boys club continue as before. Because this article isn't a call to bring them to account for their actions. It's a call to let them continue as before, but instead of targeting women they get to choose another group to ignore.

You only need to click once, fool: Gaming rig sales up as Trump presses continue on trade tariff tussle

Dropper

Re: Panic buying ?

He couldn't care less what the effect is on his own economy. He's used the common right wing tactic of stating the opposite of what is true, and as usual it's being lapped up by everyone who votes that way.

He's using tariffs in the same way he's using a fence on the southern border. To get votes for his re-election from xenophobes.

The fact that all tariffs on goods are paid for by American consumers isn't a concern for him. He has his supporters thinking that he's got one over on "Johnny Foreigner". They certainly won't let something as inconvenient as facts or the truth get in the way of the believe that he knows what he's doing. Even when it affects the cans used to make the beer they ask other people to hold.

How long is a lifetime? If you’re Comcast, it’s until a rival quits a city: ISP 'broke' price promise

Dropper

It definitely doesn't mean what you think it does

Even if you can get a corporation to admit they used the word "lifetime" on a cable/internet contract, they'll quickly refer you to the small print definition.

"Lifetime contract" generally means the lifetime of the contract - which can be any length of time they want it to be.

Guarantee that even if they did use the word on a written contract, there will be small print definition that explains that as soon as the company decides to cancel or change the contract, it's "lifetime" is over.

The tech world is always using this word and it always means the lifetime of the product, not the lifetime of the person buying it. The usual time frame for "lifetime" warranties is 2-5 years.

Other industries do the same thing. Your "lifetime" warranty on a mattress is usually about 10 years, but can be 20. Your lifetime warranty on a vacuum cleaner is normally 5. Hard disks 3. I've yet to hear of a product whose warranty ends when you die.

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper

Dropper

Trust in thermal ink?

It makes zero sense to trust something that won't last as long as the shortest warranty. Fortunately any shop worthy of your business wouldn't need an actual receipt for returns, there are numerous other ways to pull that data should your gear turn wonky.

Geo-boffins drill into dino-killing asteroid crater, discover extinction involves bad smells, chilly weather, no broadband internet...

Dropper

Re: Fahrenheit?

Never really understood why anyone cared about what set of units a person uses. They're just numbers. As long as the person using them is consistent, it doesn't matter which are used.

As a child of the 80s I was brought up using both imperial and metric numbers and like most of my generation I just automatically convert one to the other.

I suppose the other part of that is base 10 is a poor fit for a world dominated by technology, which prefers base 2 or 16.

There's a fair argument to be had that base 10 is the mathematic language of simpletons who can't count beyond the number of fingers and toes they usually have. Of course imperial is even worse.. because it uses random quantities as it leaps from one measurement to the next.

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

Dropper

Yup

Exactly this every time someone suggests something as stupid as giving up your DNA voluntarily.

I know people will swap their AD usernames and passwords for a pen.. but surely they would want to keep something that can put you in jail, identify pre-existng conditions to medical insurers or proof you're related to the Welsh safely contained in their keyboards (skin, hair, etc).

Sorry, Samsung. Seems nobody is immune to peak smartphone

Dropper

5G?

Networks failed to deliver anything close to the true potential of 3G and 4G. Right now most users say that 5G download / upload speeds are no better than their old 4G LTE networks. Obviously the key attraction of 5G is capacity rather than speed.. because the capacity will be greater phone companies will be more able to meet their bandwidth demands, which they patently can't with 4G. But anyone who believes that throttling and metering won't return are naïve.

It's been a cycle of yo-yoing from metered to unlimited to metered over the last 15 years or so.. the promise of giving something I used to get for a fraction of the price if I buy a $1000 phone? Yeah.. right.

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock

Dropper

It's not just the cost of iPhones

As much as I enjoy randomly bashing large corporates like Apple, the truth is they aren't the only phone company that's going to feel pain.

1/ It's taken a while, but people have finally woken up to the fact that new phones aren't that much better than old phones. Apple kind of blew it for everyone when they decided to cut the price of battery replacement to $30 for a year. Anyone who replaced their battery found out the phone started performing like new for a multitude of reasons, not least the fact the a cell phone OS is not exactly demanding on a modern day processor and most cell phone processors have been overkill for tasks they perform for about 10 years now.

2/ The cost of phones has sky rocketed for sure, but the real factor in slowing down new purchases is the fact that phones are no longer discounted and tied to 2 year contracts. Instead they are leased for 2 years on a monthly payment plan. Once those payment plans go, phone bills go down $20-$40 per line. Anyone here eager to suddenly increase your monthly phone bill for the sake of a slightly larger screen with a slightly better (but still crap) camera? I have an iPhone 10. The photos I take are still shit because a/I'm shit at photography and b/it has a sensor the size of a pin head. The only reason I have the phone I have is because it was heavily discounted and my old one broke. If either of those was not true, I would not have saddled myself with a monthly payment plan. You see the whole "contract free" thing is a scam. You still have a contract, only now if you don't pay the bill instead of only slamming your credit and cutting off your service.. they can also repo your phone.

So yeah, phone sales are going down.. and I can't wait to see what other companies also feel the pain when everyone realises that cell phones can easily last 4 years.

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

Dropper

"The flight team investigating the breakdown have deduced that Dawn’s hydrazine fuel reserves are empty".. or...A space alien invasion fleet turned it off to prevent detection.

It'll be one of those two things.

Bitcoin backer sues AT&T for $240m over stolen cryptocurrency

Dropper

Maginot Line

Ironic he should mention the "Maginot Line" line.. because as with the original, what cost him was his unshakeable faith in what he believed couldn't possibly happen.. did happen.

The Maginot Line if anyone is interested, is not where the Germans crushed French troops. It was an impervious system of bunkers and fortifications that forced the Germans to re-evaluate and invade France via Holland and Belgium. The British and French had expected this and therefore set up a defensive front in Belgium, part of which included the Ardennes forest, which the French left undermanned. They believed it would be impossible for the Germans to move quickly enough through that region and could therefore reinforce at leisure. Unfortunately they were "wrong". The Germans successfully pushed through, encircled Allied forces and forced the British to retreat to Dunkirk.

Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

Dropper

Huh

I would have thought the easy way to fix this situation would be to insist that if anyone who wants compensation for digital content, they must insist that a notice of copyright and a link to obtain permission (or payment) on any work that is published. It would then be the responsibility of the website that is publishing the content to comply with the request, and would be liable for misuse if they did not.

The rights holder could easily have told the travel site: "Sure you can publish my photo for X number of shiny coins, but only if you include the above information."

Whether a rights holder allows free educational use of their material would of course be up to them.

Alaskan borough dusts off the typewriters after ransomware crims pwn entire network

Dropper

Honesty

"The attack is notable not only for the way it dismantled an entire organisation's computer infrastructure, but the remarkable honesty of the victims."

While I was living and working in Alaska, it was always refreshing that the IT staff I worked with didn't bother to waste anyone's time trying to hide mistakes. There wasn't really any need to. We just didn't have the money to hire the expertise that would have prevented this kind of attack, let alone the software and hardware. Besides, it helps with post mortem troubleshooting when you can step through mistakes without having to worry about whether a job is on the line. People are a lot more honest when they see that owning a mistake results in trying to figure out how not to make it again rather than finger pointing and disciplinary actions.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

Dropper

Windows tablet

It's a browsing tablet that allows you to edit the occasional Office document. It can probably handle the needs of students in lower age groups and can probably be used for coding or as a reasonable diagnostic tool (hook it up to electronic devices to analyse them via a USB / serial connection). No one who buys one of these things is going to try gaming or edit complex images in Photoshop.

At $400-$600 it's a bit over-priced, but not by much as it's obviously meant for someone that doesn't want to heft a laptop around. Only someone that wants a tablet-sized device would ever buy this - and as a tablet you expect limitations at that price point. No one buys a regular iPad and expects it to replace a MacBook Pro, so why would this be any different in the Windows world?

Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

Dropper

Tip of the hat

For the deliberate attempts to antagonize the few on this site that past there English language exam's.

You want to know which is the best smartphone this season? Tbh, it's tricky to tell 'em apart

Dropper

Phone Calls

Strangely nothing has been said about the ability to make a reliable phone call here.. because if it did the $1000 iPhone X would be slammed, followed closely by the iPhone 8. Can't tell you how often over the last month (since the last major iOS update) both mine and my wife's iPhone X have resulted in calls where the other person couldn't hear us - as though the front-side microphone just turns itself off, then back on, then off, randomly throughout calls. A quick search reveals the problem has been around since launch and has not been fixed. Oddly, I had no issues for the first couple months then after the last micro update, using the phone to make a call has been awful.

Official: AMD now stands for All the Money, Dudes!

Dropper

Good

Always been a fan of ATI and AMD products, however the only game I've been playing for the last 5 or so years is WoW.

While pairing a decent Ryzen processor and Radeon card is viable for WoW, it's been more cost effective for me to stick with Intel / NVidia. WoW relies almost exclusively on single thread CPU processing power and Intel still leads AMD in this regard. With the video card, the cost of equivalent Radeons still seem heavily affected by the cypto currency "tax".

The good news on that particular idiocy is that both AMD and NVidia are going to release GFX cards with no video ports at slightly lower prices, which they hope will mitigate the price of regular cards.

If I played other games, I'd probably return to AMD for at least the processor. But I'm not paying a $100-$200 tax on a video card just because I like the manufacturer. Being brand loyal for the sake of it is idiocy - no corporate gives a crap about you, so you should always go for what gives you the best value for money.

Half of all Windows 10 users thought: BSOD it, let's get the latest build

Dropper

Time to roll the dice

I live on the theory that computing is the ultimate gamble.

Since I bought my first BBC Micro thru Commodore Amiga thru various PCs I have always thrown the dice to see what will happen.

HDD meltdowns without adequate backups is just my way of performing a disk purge.. cleaning up all that wasted space cluttered by tax returns, family photos and contact information.

So sure.. new Windows update.. ahead full speed mate.

Microsoft returns to Valley of Death? Cheap Surface threatens the hardware show

Dropper

Not a terrible idea

On the Surface (unforgivable.. I'll get my coat) it's not a terrible idea.

The problem is there's no way it will have sufficient performance to run even a scaled down version of Windows at that price. iPads have a huge advantage in performance because the OS is so simplistic and therefore has little overhead in comparison with a full blown OS.

The downside of course is that iOS doesn't offer enough to be viable in all business environments.

My wife is a teacher, the school she works at gives all students an iPad for the school year, which they get to take home but have to return in the summer. These iPads come with professionally created apps that are used to supplement (not replace) traditional education. The age of the kids is 8-12 and as such the restrictions and limited scope of the apps is fine for their purposes.

Once you get to a point where your users start needing professional applications with the features that you expect to find in a business environment, the limitations of iOS are very quickly found out.

Android, iOS and Windows RT are far too limited. So while I can see a cheap Windows tablet being useful, it wouldn't offer much more than a Chromebook. Simply.. would you buy a Chromebook for 500 quid just because it's flat?

Get over yourselves: Life in the multiverse could be commonplace

Dropper

To assume

"the idea that the universe is the way it is today and can obviously support life because we exist"

That's a pretty big assumption.. we might equally all be the figment of each other's imaginations.

Airbus windscreen fell out at 32,000 feet

Dropper

Scam

Next time they get a chipped windscreen they'll know now it's probably best not to go with the cheapest guy. Check the yelp reviews next time.

Apple to devs: Give us notch support or … you don't wanna know

Dropper

Notch Support

If the rumour sites are to be believed.. and they usually get things at least 1/2 right.. then pretty much all new iOS models are going to follow the same design as the iPhone X.. which is probably why they are insisting on everyone support the thing.

I have an iPhone X.. the notch is a necessary part of the phone. Doesn't look good, but I know why it's there. Could they have designed the thing differently? Probably, in the same way they could have waited a year and nailed down the behind-glass fingerprint sensor they were going to use.

I don't have an issue with being pushed to support the latest SDK, that's best practice anyway. I do have issues with their rushed design philosophy. This is new for Apple. In years past, for all the flaws in their over-priced products, they at least made good-looking stuff.

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down

Dropper

Sales reflect reality

First of all I have an iPhone X, because I wanted one.

But I fully understand why most people don't want one.

In terms of flaws, I don't really count the "notch" as one of them. It doesn't affect the way I use the phone. I don't watch videos or movies on a 5" screen.

The first deal-breaking flaw of this phone is its breakability. Dropping glass on the floor usually has one result. I've seen some awesomely expensive cases fully protected by their shatter-prone phones. The cases came through drop tests without a scratch. Unfortunately the same could not be said for their contents. Bottom line, don't drop an iPhone X. You might get away with one or two drops, I even seen it survive drops case-less, but all you're doing is weakening the phone to point where it will shatter.

The second deal-breaking flaw is that it's overpriced by about $300-$400. No phone should cost more than $600-$700. Carriers offering interest-free loans is just code for the re-introduction of contracts.

Finally that battery. A good battery will degrade to about 80% efficiency after two years - if you avoid unnecessary re-charging. Conventional wisdom says that it takes about 500 charge cycles for your average battery to reach 80% efficiency. The problem with the iPhone X and phones like it is they can make use of wireless charging, which is harmful to battery life. Unlike wired charging (modern cables place an almost negligible load on a battery at 100% charge), wireless charges continuously hit the phone's battery with charge cycles, speeding up its end of life.

So to fix problem 1, I won't drop it. Much. To fix problem 2, I got a discount then paid the rest in full. Saving up for a thing you want works. To fix problem 3.. well you can't, but avoiding wireless charging will lengthen the time I need to visit an Apple store to pay for an $80 battery.

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Dropper

Thickos

I remember shortly after emigrating to Alaska, I was completely flabbergasted to find that not a single person understood the phrase "green cross code"...

Desktop PC shipments dip below 100m/year

Dropper

They're too good.. for their own good

Trouble is, and I know the Reg has stated this themselves, PCs are just too good. Same goes for mobile computing really.

I looked at upgrading my 4 yr old PC with an equivalent model (i7, 16GB RAM, SSD, decent video card, etc) and found today's models benchmark maybe 10-15% faster than my own.

As my current machine boots up from POST to everything loaded in the system tray in under 2 minutes, it's difficult to justify the $1000+ required to purchase something better. Worse.. new games still run at decent settings at over 60 FPS. Not max settings for sure, but I don't have to move the performance "sliders" too much to the left. Photoshop and Premier still tick along at excellent speeds, 3D Studio churns out awful attempts at rendering at a brisk pace. Simply put, stuff today is too good.

Same goes for tablets and phones. Swap out the battery and if it isn't over 3 years old the chances are it will run the latest version of your mobile OS at a very respectable speed.

Moral of the story. Make sh!!tter stuff guys.

Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus. Even though a watchdog says tech is quite atrocious

Dropper

Driverless cars yes.. GPS apps no

So let me get this straight.. cars with no drivers are fine, but using your phone to give you directions is not.. well played California.

H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump

Dropper

In-Person interviews

Actually when my conditional status was converted to permanent status, it was done without an interview.

The only "interview" I had - from the initial application in England to receiving my permanent status - was at the counter at the US Embassy after the doctor examination (all applicants have chest scans for TB and an AIDs test to make sure you're not emigrating for medical reasons). I handed over my supporting documentation to prove my sponsor (wife) could afford to support me in the event I couldn't get a job and that was it. The interview consisted of a few yes/no answers regarding the financial documents and tax returns.

When it came time to remove the conditional status from my residency, the documentation I used to support the fact I was in a real marriage was sufficient to bypass the interview process. It's hard to say a person isn't in a real marriage when they have joint bank accounts, credit card accounts, loans, mortgages, utility bills, tax returns and affidavits from friends of the family. That doesn't mean people aren't in real marriages if they don't have all those things, but when you do it's better proof than guessing what colour your wife's toothbrush is and what her favourite fast food might be.

GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

Dropper

Why

Are GM products limited to veggies? Where's my 100% bacon pig? There's an ongoing bacon drought in the US and not a single scientist is working on the solution.

I can't for the life of me imagine how the US is consuming more bacon than it produces what with portion sizes being a healthy 5-6 slices per breakfast, but if this continues we'll be reduced to rasher-ning.

Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

Dropper

I'll pass

You can get a decent i7 light weight, slim laptop with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GByte SSD for less than the worst version of this "tablet". It'll even have a 360 degrees (fold behind the keyboard) HD touchscreen.

No way I'd pay for a glorified iPad ($320) + standard i5 ($150) plus cheapo GTX 1050 ($130) for $3000-$4500. Even if it does have a $150 SSD thrown in.

Save yourself at least two grand by buying a Dell or HP 13" touchscreen laptop with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD and a 128GB iPad.

Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court

Dropper

But

Best policy is to take a bag filled various colours of crystal slime (it's a toy).

Throw in something lumpy to give it texture.

Personally my preference would be the blood clot version and something that resembles skin mixed in.

'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

Dropper

What?

"Relocation packages don't always cover things like rental deposits"

What exactly is it meant for? If you're offered 12K to relocate, that means 12K to move. Renting a new place is an obvious requirement for moving, along with travel expenses and moving your household items.

Sure he should have researched everything before agreeing to the move, but I would think it was a safe assumption that relocation funds could be used to relocate.

What should not have been a surprise is being sacked for taking time off work while on a probationary period at a company like Oracle. They are a US corporate. There is no "time off" during your probationary period if you want to keep the job, regardless of whether it's your fault or theirs that you need the time off. It's not right, it's immoral and should be illegal - but it isn't. I guarantee they have a clause written into every job contract that allows them to dismiss you immediately if you miss work during the first 90 days of employment, which is enough to satisfy the law in most countries.

Working for US corporates comes with huge risk. It's only worth doing if you know exactly what you're getting into and have a backup plan for when it all goes south.

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

Dropper

Forget the kids.. turns out I'm probably a hacker.. but I'm keeping calm, I've yet to find a smoking gun. I'll just keep monitoring my internet activity for suspicious behaviour.. be a bit of a bummer to have to turn myself in though.

Witness Apple's iPhone-iPad extravapalooza here in our no-hate zone

Dropper

Can't believe they went with 16GB in the base model phone again.. Android phones can get away with this because they usually have SD card slots. If you're going to charge so much for what is basically a fast SD card imbedded in the phone, at least make it so the price difference between models is as negligible as the cost of said SD card.

If I can by a high speed 64GB SD card for under $50.. the cost of a 64GB iPhone 6whatever should be absolutely no more than $50 above the base model. I'm pretty sure that Apple can get better prices on SD RAM than I can.. but if not they should look at buying theirs from Walmart or Office Depot..

'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

Dropper

It think they'll be okay

Microsoft are going to make their phones compatible with all apps.. so I think they might be ok.

I despise the Windows phone interface, but only a complete idiot would think making a phone compatible with all apps from all operating systems is a bad thing.

Android apps will run without the user having to do a thing. Download the app, run it. That's how it will work on a Windows 10 phone.

Supposedly iOS apps with have to be recompiled in Visual Studio - you load your project into VS then compile it as a Windows phone app. That's it, no changes, no modifications. We'll wait to see if that works (I predict issues).

Most people producing iOS apps aren't doing so on PCs and therefore don't have Visual Studio. Problem? Not really, Microsoft are about to distribute Visual Studio for Mac OS and Linux at a cost of zero dollars and zero cents. Because they want iOS app developers to put their stuff on Windows phones. Don't hold your breath Microsoft, Apple users tend to have a slight bias against your software.

So potentially, if you can get past the awful UI, Microsoft phones will be the most flexible phones on the market.

Here's a fun fact. Connect a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard to a Windows 10 phone and it will ask you if you want to run Windows in desktop mode. Not sure why you'd want to run 6" Windows PC.. but you could.

NASA: We're gonna rip up an ASTEROID and make it ORBIT the MOON

Dropper

Why?

"NASA has decided that putting a lump of rock from an asteroid into orbit around the Moon is better than trying to hook a whole asteroid."

Just trying to get my head around this.. someone decided that putting part of an asteroid in orbit around the moon is better than putting a whole one in orbit around the moon. Okay I get that part. It is better because maybe it's easier.

The part I don't get is why they haven't worked out that not putting an asteroid in orbit around the moon at all is an even better idea.

When you play pool you can either knock a ball down a hole, or you can get fancy and use a trick shot to knock two or three into various holes at the same time. This is like someone at NASA decided that they best way to save the planet in the advent of a planet-killing asteroid would be to get drunk and attempt a trick shot. Do they do all their recruiting from ACME, or just when they want to hire someone for the planet-saving division?

Ross Ulbricht, in the library, with the laptop: Silk Road boss found GUILTY of all charges

Dropper

I am Spartacus

His defense seems to be "There are many Dread Pirate Roberts out there.. I was one of them, you know the one good one, who didn't sell one of the most addictive and soul destroying drugs available or hire contract killers to murder my co-workers. I was just 'aving some laughs with a few blokes on the interweb yer honor."

As much as I admire boundless optimism, I feel my Dread Pirate Roberts might have come up a bit short when presenting this argument.

ATTACK of the FLYING MOUNTAIN: 2004 BL86 goes by like a BULLET

Dropper

Selfie Time

I wonder if Facebook and Twitter will fail under the weight of selfie posts should an Asteroid come a little closer to the planet.. after all who would miss the (last) opportunity to pron yourself on these websites with a post showing your gorgeous smile and an asteroid burning through the atmosphere in the background..

Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Dropper

It won't work

No one really pays for Windows any more. Well they do, but it's built in to the price of the PC they purchase. Only a tiny percentage of users actually upgrades Windows on the PC they're using because too much can go wrong. Those that do inevitably suffer performance hits and application incompatibility.

It doesn't matter if upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is flawless. Previous experience tells people it will be painful and they just won't do it.

Businesses certainly won't do it unless they're forced to. And in most cases they will also do so via purchasing new PCs.

So being "free" isn't much of a lure, especially as the offer will probably run out before the first service pack hits. Even the most PC-illiterate of users knows that Windows is junk before SP1 is released.

FATTIES: Boffins say their miracle sunshine skin cream 'prevents obesity'

Dropper

Mind Blowing

I also discovered that hitting your thumb with a hammer in the sunshine makes your thumb hurt. Also drinking water in the sunshine makes you less thirsty. So you can add those to the amazing discovery that you can lose weight by eating healthy and exercising outside when it's sunny.

YOU - NASA. Enough with the ROBOTS, get some PEOPLE to MARS

Dropper

Deep Fried Humans

I thought the real issue (cost has never really been an obstacle to stupidity) was that anyone sent on a jaunt to Mars would like end up being fried by radiation once they exit Earth's protective shield. I would guess it will be a tad embarrassing if we spent x number of billion dollars on flying a multi-person coffin to Mars.

SCIENCE explains why you LOVE the smell of BACON

Dropper

Re: Proper Bacon

http://www.ukgoods.com/british-english-irish-groceries/english-irish-british-meat-products.html#.U4qsHdJOWig

Spanish village of 'Kill the Jews' votes for rebrand

Dropper

Postal Issues

I don't know about those that voted 'no', but it seems that "my post might go missing for a few months while the post office figure out where I live" is something that most people would be willing to risk if they no longer had to be embarrassed about the name of their town.

It's like changing your last name because your parents were too stupid to do it first. Sure that can cause the odd hiccup (ask any married woman that has decided to do so), but only for a short time.

Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Dropper

Re: When Did We Go Metric?

"You did know that a pound sterling orginally referred to a pound of sterling silver? "

Yes.. which is why I asked "if we are a metric nation, why is our currency not called the 0.453592 Kilogram instead of the Pound (sterling silver)?" As silver, like gold, it's value does not go up or down. The reason it costs more today than it did yesterday is we devalue our own currency periodically in order to stay competitive. If we remained linked to the value of silver nothing we made could ever be sold overseas and our unemployment would be astronomical.

It's a common economic fallacy that the price of silver and gold rises or falls. It doesn't. The value of your currency rises and falls in relation to the product you're buying. Gold and silver have not gone up in value, what has really happened is governments have devalued their currencies as one crisis after another has hit their economies. As far as buying things goes, this amounts to the same thing. It doesn't matter if its the currency that lost value or the product has increased in value.. as far as you're concerned it still costs more than it used to. But the point is if currencies remained linked to something that has a fixed value because its a finite resource, then you'd never be able to compete with countries that devalue their currency as necessary when their economies tank.

Dropper

When Did We Go Metric?

So if England is metric, how come our currency isn't called the British 0.453592 Kilogram now?

Beta tasting: The Elder Scrolls Online preview

Dropper

MMOs

I personally this is going to be a great MMO, because they've remembered something most of the so-called WoW beaters forgot. A story keeps people entertained requires good writers. Whether it ends up free to play is another matter, because that will depend on the other thing game developers either ignore or forget.. which is if the story of the game ends with leveling, so will your subscription income.

To date there have been two differences between WoW and pretty much all the others. The first is an MMO is supposed to be a game in which people interact with each other, make friends (insomuch as you can make friends online) and form communities that play together. Some MMO developers understand this, most do not. If they don't then what you get is an MMO consisting of randomly spawning stuff that pits itself against dozens of silent players standing together in a big group around it. Yeah keep telling yourself how great that is. The second is that with WoW the endgame continues the story. You may not like the story, think it's stupid (cartoon dragons, pandas, etc) but it is what drives the game after you've reached max level.

If the story is well written, like WoW's Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, the number of subscribers increases. If it's badly written, like Cataclysm and Panda Express.. sorry Mists of Pandaria.. the number of subscribers falls. The environments, extra features, PvP etc can be great. The number of things to do can be beyond count. None of that matters if the story sucks donkey's balls.

But the debate over whether WoW is crap, boring or dying is irrelevant to this MMO. The Elder Scrolls has enough of a following and a rich enough history to last as long as the developers want it to, as long as they put the effort into keeping the subscriber base entertained and keep downtime to a minimum.

For those that think that MMOs need uptodate 3D engines driving photo-realistic scenery and effects.. yeah.. no. Every game that tried this is free to play for all of the obvious reasons.

Boffins say dark matter found with X-ray

Dropper

Did they overlook the obvious here?

When I went to infant school, erroneously called elementary school across the pond, we were taught a thing in physics about opposites attracting. Magnets and all that right?

So sure the answer to finding dark matter is to put a bit of shiny matter in a room by itself and wait for some dark matter to appear..

Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

Dropper

Amazon or Netflix

It's the same thing they did in the US a few years back and if you're not a Netflix subscriber it's worth looking at. Downsides are instead of $8 / month you pay $80 up front and that each content provider has a slightly different set of exclusives. So you might not get one of your favourite TV shows when the latest season is released to either Netflix or Amazon, depending on who offers the most for it.

Personally I stuck with Netflix because it offered slightly more, doesn't come with in-built advertising for video-on-demand and other things. If I want a new movie I can still buy it through one of the many streaming services, such as Amazon Instant Video, and if I decide the content is crap I can simply cancel my subscription.

I no longer pay for cable TV simply because I don't watch it. I can't be bothered with waiting a week for another episode and don't want to have the inconvenience of not being able to pause or rewind at will. I know you can do that DVRs and on-demand programming that most cable/satellite TV providers offer, but it costs far too much money. I won't pay $50 - $100 a month for more or less the same thing I can get with Netflix and Hulu Plus (or even the free version if you don't mind using a PC hooked up to the TV). Network channels are provided HD over the air so I can watch normal TV if I get curious about what it was like to watch TV like my grand parents did.

Apple now spends more on chips than top three PC makers combined

Dropper

Apologies in advance

"Apple now spends more on chips than top three PC makers combined"

Yes but what about fish?

-Apologies to all for not being able to stop myself posting this.

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