* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

1865 posts • joined 23 May 2011

Serverless: Should we be scared? Maybe. Is it a silly name? Possibly

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Like dude, thats totally "insane!"

Okay, so you can write an office security system. Now write Angry Birds.

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'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature

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"Let 'em have it Linus"

Generally I'm not a fan of Linus's swear attitude. But in this case, Intel deserved everything they got.

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China flaunts quantum key distribution in-SPAAACE by securing videoconference

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The abstract confirms that:

The satellite thus establishes a secure key between itself and [the first ground station] and another key between itself and [the second ground station]. Then, upon request from the ground command....It performs bitwise exclusive or operations between the two keys and relays the result to one of the ground stations. That way, a secret key is created....these keys are then used for...communication.

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Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

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"Could this induce web designers to turn their backs on JavaScript?"

No. Because the OP's "problem" is "download[ing] crap over the internet without conventional installation procedures"; not the language used once the stuff is downloaded. You could be web scripiting in C++ (via WASM) and he'd still have the same problem.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Joke

Re: Intel "shouldn't be selling CPUs?"

>>Even if AMD's CPUs were 100% bug free, for many workloads they are slower than Intel CPUs with the fixes applied

>I'm not an expert on chip performance is this confirmed anywhere? Anyone?

Yup, it's been confirmed. By Intel's marketing department.

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HMRC dev support team cc blurtfest: Over 1,400 email addresses blabbed

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Who do the fines go to? If they're transferred between departments, then there's some effect. Doubly-so if they're transferred from someone's salary -- the salary in question being the person responsible for the system which allowed the cock up, not the trainee with the fat fingers.

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.UK overseer Nominet abandons its own charitable foundation – and why this matters

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Re: I smell a "Carillion" in progress.

Nominet can always raise UK prices to cover the losses. So it won't go TITSUP. That's the point: they have a licence to print money which they're abusing.

Imagine if Carillion could have unilaterally raised the prices charged for PFI contracts.

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Another day, another Spectre fix slowdown: What to expect if you heart ZFS

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Re: True risk profile

"NFS, SMB and web management systems are based on remote code execution. A well written RPC call with a code injection..."

But they don't, AFAIK, allow you to execute arbitrary code; you can only call pre-compiled routines. So if code can break out of an RPC then you've got a patchable bug.

And that's the point. For spectre and meltdown to come into play the hacker has to have already broken in. Even if spectre and meltdown are patched they will probably have other avenues -- after all they're not supposed to be in there in the first place. Now on any normal day, you wouldn't want to leave that door open. But the performance hit is so serious that it might be worth it, given that the primary reason spectre and meltdown are devastating is they allow legitimately running user processes to circumvent restrictions put upon them.

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UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

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Re: So...

"I am sure we all know someone (or even many someones) who aren't that confident around the opposite sex face-to-face but find it much easier to communicate via other media."

For me the "other media" is smoke signals. At a push I'll stretch to carrier pigeons. This explains why, the other day, a five year old had me handcuffed to a radiator and was refusing to let me go* until I explained why I didn't have children of my own.

* They were Fisher-Price handcuffs, and I could have broken out at any time, but they were her birthday present and I didn't want to spoil her new toy. I have know idea why someone would give a five year old handcuffs; normally you give them to the parents so they can keep their kids locked up in a cesspit until they're about 30.

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Android snoopware Skygofree can pilfer WhatsApp messages

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Joke

Your mother's bedroom.

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Next; tech; meltdown..? Mandatory; semicolons; in; JavaScript; mulled;

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Re: Memory time...

El Reg slightly mangles this. (Imagine the + term was indented and there was a single line break)

return someObject.someMethodCall()

+ someOtherObject.otherResultRequired();

You know when you've been fucked by ASI.

Yes, there are myriad ways to fix this. The point is those of us who are adults still have to worry about ASI.

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What do we want? Consensual fun times. How do we get it? Via an app with blockchain...

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Re: Black Mirror has once again foretold the future

I just hate C4 kicking Brooker to Netflix and leaving us with Electric Dreams.

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1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

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Form is temporary but class is permanent.

"...the confusion only arises from considering the males that are running the system as having the same interests as the new applicant mails."

There is some truth to this. In the UK, white, working class males are one of the more disadvantaged groups. Whereas the white male elite is one of the most privileged. And white males span the levels inbetween. White males are not a homogeneous group.

This is also an empirical hint that stuffing the elite with women and non-whites won't help the minorities at the bottom. Identity politics is a second-order effect and applies intra-class; class is the first-order term that dominates.

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Two-day Bitbucket borkage has devs tearing their hair out

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Pint

Pub o'clock

Maybe the plan is to let the devs twiddle their fingers: the cost of them playing doom for a few hours being cheaper than the cost of employing people to manage an in-house system 24/7 (with the attendant risk that an outage might still leave devs playing doom).

I'd want it all in house myself. But I know a old-time controlfreakosaurus.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

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Jupiter: blink and you miss it.

Figure 1 in the preprint is brilliant: it's shows exactly how much of an outlier sol is. It also shows the problem with using that as a basis for saying we're unusual: there's maybe a dozen systems with planets as far out as Mercury.

And it's not hard to understand why: Kepler would need to observe us 11.9 years to guarantee it'd see Jupiter transit once. With three detections required for certainty, you're looking at thirty years continuous observing to spot Jupiter. Smart maths might cut that down a bit and let you get away with two detections, but systems like ours are not going to be represented in the Kepler cohort.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Behold! Pluto hath returned from Hades!

This is from the preprint:

It is difficult to calculate the significance of the similarity because the solar system has only 9 planets.

From which I deduce planet-number is strongly conserved amongst astrophysicists.

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Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

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Facepalm

"It's unpleasant for the same reason that apartheid South Africa was unpleasant."

Apartheid South Africa: famous for mandating every company be 50% black and 50% white. A model of equality that has inspired us all, ever since.

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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

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Re: Redmond office hours only

"Check the Feedback & Diagnostic settings on those home PCs that receive early updates. My guess is that you'll find them set at either Enhanced or Full feedback."

Feedback and Diagnostics comes in "Basic" and "Full". I'm on basic and got it over the weekend.

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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

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Expert trolling!

@Lorribot Your comment made me laugh, anyway. And the more I read it, the funnier it gets.

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Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

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Re: The same bug.

"All these chip makers converged on a bug!"

The original Project Zero blog provided details of three separate issues---two labelled spectre and one called meltdown---each of which affected manufacturers in different ways.

Intel is vulnerable to meltdown; AMD isn't. The (unreleased) ARM Cortex-A75 is vulnerable to meltdown in the same ways as Intel, but none of its other chips are. However the Cortex-A15, Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A72 are vulnerable to meltdown but in in a way that is different to Intel and the A75.

The Spectre bugs are even more varied. There is just no convergence on a single bug. This is a class of bugs that security researchers haven't examined prior to now.

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GIMPS crack whip on plucky processor to find largest prime number

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Do we really need it printed out? After all it's just 0b111..111.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

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This is not going to be exploitable in pure javascript. (With sufficient understanding of the VM you could control the machine code that's executed. But you can't get the VM to execute arbitrary instructions. So its very unlikely this will be exploitable without help from a bug in the VM.)

WASM, on the other hand, might afford you enough flexibility. It will depend on the nature of the bug.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

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Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

Yeah, it was the best article she's written for El Reg. Not just because it was funny but because I think she got the science right.That or I was too distracted by aliens to notice she'd screwed it up.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Yes, astrophysicists are a bunch of erg-heads who prefer cgs.

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Space.. the fi, er, New Frontiers: NASA to hurl space robot at duck comet – or Saturn moon

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Oh, FFS, fund them both. And several more.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: "cost cap of about $850 million (~£635,570,500)"

The problem there wasn't the significant figures. It was the insignificant ones.

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Facebook flashes ramped-up face-recog tech. Try not to freak out

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: One more data confirmation point for Facebook

Psst. People are talking about you behind your back. Why don't you see what they're saying?

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Revealed: How Libratus bot felted poker pros – and now it has cyber-security in its sights

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@DougS Betting that Moore's law will end is a bit like betting that the Bitcoin bubble will burst.

That said, the argument we will all have peta-FLOPS systems only depends upon the price/peta FLOPS decreasing; it doesn't require on improvement in chip performance. And if we do hit the hard limits, we might still be able better optimise the hardware for the specific application or find software improvements.

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Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

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Re: Radiation shielding does the opposite

A 2.4GHz signal has a wavelength of 12.5cm so a few mm of foil ain't going to block it. The ~5GHz signals are 5-6mm so they might be more attenuated.

Also, how did you take the readings? Did the device record them while completely sealed in or did you have a hole for a cable of a screen? Because cavities can be fun (think parabolic reflector).

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: If

"EMF or MF (still not clear on that) "

It depends what you mean by EMF. If you're using it to mean Electromotive Force (i.e. the "voltage"), you're confused.

And if you're using it to mean "electromagnetic field", then there's no such thing. There are electric (force) fields and there are magnetic (force) fields, but there is no combined single electromagnetic force; all behaviours are either electrically or magnetically motivated. Yes, there is a deep relationship between the two which means that changes in one field cause changes in the other, and energy can flow freely between the two. Indeed how we see that energy apportioned depends on our speed of travel. But there are always two distinct fields, never one combined field; just as we only ever experience spacetime in space-like and time-like ways.

TL;DR electromagnetic field is shorthand for "the electric and magnetic fields".

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UKIP appeals against ICO request for info on Brexit data dealings

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: That's exactly the point

"The only thing I can find is the electoral commission breakdown by company for both campaigns which is clearly wrong"

If it's "clearly wrong", it would be a criminal offence. That's said, I can't find the information you say is on the Electoral Commission's web site.

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Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: A fool and his money are soon parted...

"Neither does anybody else."

I think I could have better understood the psychology of the fools investors and geeks. The continual hype should have given me a clue. Instead of smirking knowingly at the swelling, pus-filled zit, I could have taken some of their cash.

However if it carries on at 10x per annum then in three years people who'd've cashed out with millions today will be cashing out with billions. In six, they'll be trillionaires. Does that sound sustainable? Based on what Steam were saying, it's no longer usable as currency either. So on practical grounds, it would seem to be close to apex. But it could easily have another year of high-rate growth.

Although the questions I'm really interested in, are, "If Bitcoin crashes, will investors run away from all cryptocurrencies and everybody suffer or will they move to the one that 'fixes' the problems?" And of course, "How much can I afford to lose?"

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: A fool and his money are soon parted...

Who wouldn't invest if they knew for certain it would rise 15x in 2018 and not burst till 2019? I just don't understand these things well enough to know when the crash will come. But I've said that for several years. If I understood people's appetites better, I could have made a killing.

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Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

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Re: $20 per transaction fee

For a laugh, go to any Guardian story on Bitcoin and read all the zealots raving about its revolutionary superiority.

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UK.gov failing to prevent £10bn of annual online fraud, say MPs

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Sauce for the goose...

"The Department should press the banking industry to make relative online fraud vulnerability performance data publicly available,"

The banks should respond, "Sorry, that information is confidential. Revealing it would undermine our ability to negotiate deals."

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Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

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And x86 chips analyse the instructions and attempt to organise them for the most efficient execution. And garbage collectors automate memory management. And the javascript VMs dynamically analyse your code to understand what its doing in practice and optimise it.

So the stack continues to get taller and smarter, and the code more generic. (Bonus side effect: tiny changes can flip performance from exceptional to atrocious, depending on whether or not the stack understood what you intended.) But there are still programmers sitting on the top, making it work.

Good programming could get even harder as you have to mediate between a semi-intelligent agent working in natural language and a computer that's trying to ape its foibles.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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We already have computer programs that write programs for us. They're called compilers.

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Google prepares 47 Android bug fixes, ten of them rated Critical

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old version !== vulnerable

I'm running 6.0.1 but still get periodic security patches; I've had several this year.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Or you could just, you know, do it yourself

"...a former mainframe assembler systems programmer and now making her living as a web-monkey..."

WTF?! I think I might be your wife.

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Quentin Tarantino in talks to make Star Trek movie

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Re: Well Discovery has the occasional swearing

"Because until then it had an optimistic vision of the future."

I admit, I was calling it Star Trek: Doom for a while. (That, I would have watched. But they didn't stick with it.) But if you think Discovery is pessimistic you need to meet a real pessimist. And I think it might settle into something more closely resembling the original series when it resumes -- Lorca is about as close as we've come to Kirk; his ambition is more naked and he lacks self depreciating wit, but take him out the war and who knows.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Trollface

Re: The recents Treks are crap. So he can't make the franchise worse.

By "recent" I assume you mean everything from TNG onwards (inclusive).

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Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password

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I think you'll find they're the devs writing the relevant code.

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ML fails: Loyalty prediction? Not really. And bonus prediction? Oh dear

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On reflection, and slightly less cold, I concede that the boss's target can be reused as a probability distribution. If the salesman's making that target exactly each month, and you pick a sale at random, then it will have those probabilities of being P, N or D. In effect the saleman acts as a convolution on the underlying probabilities.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"Your employer explains that you can get your bonus if you achieve 70 per cent Promoters, 20 per cent Neutrals and 10 per cent Detractors (70P,20N,10D)."

That's asserting you can achieve a bonus if the number of promoters are 0.7 * number_of_sales and the number of neutrals are 0.2 * number_of_sales. It has nothing to do with 0.7*0.7 or 0.7*0.2 which are the chance of two 70% events happening or the chance of a 70% and a 20% event happening.

If you're right, and that's the reason they've used 0.7, then the stats is very wrong.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"Since the probability of any one of your customers being a promoter is 0.7..."

I probably haven't had enough coffee to fight through my cold, but I don't get that at all. If you model the customer as equivalent to rolling 1d10 then the chance of them being a promoter is 20% (a roll of 9 or 10); with a 10% chance of them being neutral and a 70% chance of them being a detractor.

Alternatively, if the P/N/D distinction accurately captures human behaviour, you could argue there's a 33% chance of each outcome.

Where the hell does 70% chance of being a promoter come from?

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The six simple questions Facebook refused to answer about its creepy suicide-detection AI

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Pre-GPDR, the Samaritan's Radar app, which attempted similar things on Twitter and was eventually pulled, got a lot of push back, some of it on data protection grounds. I can't remember the specifics, and I didn't see any argument I thought held up, but there was a non-trivial case against it.

So maybe their lawyers genuinely take a similar view. Maybe they think it's not worth the fight and the negative PR. And I'm sure Facebook would like loser data protection laws, so maybe, in part, they're using it as a wedge to weaken our laws: see the nice shiny things you can't have if you want privacy.

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Sorry 'strange physics' fans, IceCube finds the Standard Model stands

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There are other cosmic rays more likely to affect electronics than neutrinos. If cosmic ray strikes really are an issue then high altitude data centres will see more events than those at sea level.

But it's more likely to be background radiation or spontaneous decay of an unstable isotopes incorporated into the circuitry, like a carbon-14 atom that decides to go whoosh.

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Linus Torvalds 'sorry' for swearing, blames popularity of Linux itself

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Re: Good!

"Personal goodliness is not correlative with software development ability."

That's swings both ways. Being an unstoppable wanker doesn't make you a good dev.

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Open-source defenders turn on each other in 'bizarre' trademark fight sparked by GPL fall out

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Trollface

Linus Torvalds...[said]: "Lawsuits...would destroy all the goodwill we've built up over the years by being nice."

Irony is for fucking morons.

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The Social Network™ releases its data networking code

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Terminator

@Adam

A post from amanFromMars uses fewer buzzwords, does less random capitalisation and makes more sense than your first comment.

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