* Posts by Kernel

292 posts • joined 13 Nov 2011

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NATO secures adoption of submerged drone data comms standard

Kernel
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Re: JANUS

"Getting 28 nations to agree to a name / acronym couldn't have been that easy either."

I don't know - by the time you get to that stage you've already sorted the really important stuff, like the shape of the conference room table* and what's for lunch, so agreeing on an acronym should be a piece of the proverbial by comparison.

* thinking about it, maybe the US State Department should make an early start and open discussions about this with the Norks someday soon - it'll save time later.

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Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

Kernel
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Re: good idea

It gets my support also - my grandson was born 5 weeks early - not a lot compared to some of the others mentioned here - but even that required several weeks in a specialized care unit until his lungs completed development.

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Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors

Kernel
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Re: Who actually thought this was a good idea?

"And, as you learned in Chemistry in the first year of Big School, one molecule of a substance is absolutely identical to and indistinguible from every other molecule of the same substance."

Hmmm - maybe you should try explaining that to all those who have a lifetime of suffering due to the fact there are two different forms of the Thalidomide molecule, one of which is a mutagen and one of which isn't.

There are, in fact, a number of substances which have distinguishable 'left' and 'right' molecules.

In addition, no water molecules from fruit are not "indistinguishable' from water molecules from a tap - it has long been possible to identify how much of the water content of wine is from the grapes and how much was added during manufacture.

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eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

Kernel
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Re: Netflix tax

" the West Main Island."

You've still not got it right - NZ consists of three main islands - North Island, South Island and, somewhere to the west, the Mouth Island.

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Australia scraps temporary visas for skilled workers

Kernel
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The real reason??

"imported workers undercut are much more productive than locals' wages."

FTFY.

I don't know if it's still an issue, but at one stage there was much angst within the Aussie shearing community over NZ shearers working in Australia and using wide combs rather than narrow ones on the shears - of course an NZ shearer could cut more wool each day so were preferred by the Aussie farmers.

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Radio hackers set off Dallas emergency sirens at midnight as a prank

Kernel
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Re: Perhaps they also changed the password

Depending on the age of the system (and they're obviously not overly keen on spending money to keep the technology up to date) it is possibly something as simple as a combination or sequence of tones on a specific frequency. The chances are that the frequency used is a matter of public record from the FCC, thus simplifying the problem considerably.

A $50 programmable dual band VHF/UHF Chinese handheld and a RaspberryPi to generate the tones may well be more than adequate for the task of triggering the sirens - it might even be possible to trigger them just by sending the right sequence of DTMF tones from a handheld's keypad.

Just like controlling a repeater, but more fun.......

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Kernel
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"So 800 people thought the emergency services needed to be told that the sirens had gone off!"

From what I've been able to find with a quick duckduckgo the population of Dallas is in the region of 2.5 million, so 0.032% of them calling in seems to be a very low number of callers.

The kit required to carry out this little prank is probably very portable and will run quite happily off 12 volts, so, provided the perpetrator has half a brain they should be able to get away with this for years - it could even work out that they are never identified or caught and that the only solution will be a more secure activation system.

Catching this person is going to be about as easy as tracking down some random idiot on the CB bands - in fact, it could well be some random CB nutter who's got bored with spouting drunken on air rants.

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We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

Kernel
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They're looking in the wrong place!

I seem to remember watching some US based physicist on TV not that long ago who stated that bananas are a (comparatively) rich source of anti-matter - something to do with the potassium 40 they contain. Apparently a banana will emit a positron approximately once every 75 minutes.

Instead of spending money on flash kit they need to get down to the local supermarket with a halfway decent knife and start slicing.

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Kernel
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Re: Entirely predictable

' I'm guessing the spooks will definitely have access to the cloud."

Yours maybe - but my 'cloud' storage is sitting here on my desk at home, right where I can see and touch it - and yes thank you, I can access it securely from some random connection to the interwebs.

I'm not entirely sure why I would want to store my personal data files on someone else's computer, especially in another country - at least here PC-plod will need a warrant or reason to believe that I'm about to destroy evidence to even get inside the door.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

Kernel
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Re: Zombie! Help! It speaks!

" In theory, 110V is more dangerous than 230V since for a given resistance, at a lower voltage, a higher current will flow."

Let me guess - in real life your name is Mho.

Based on your theory we should all be able to play around with high voltage stuff to our heart's content - the higher the better in fact, while 1.5V torch batteries should be restricted to qualified professionals only.

V=IR, hence I=V/R - for a fixed resistance, lower voltage means lower current.

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Kernel
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Re: and things like chargers tend to have plastic prongs with metal tops.

" Although the standard US mains plug is pretty shitty with fairly thin prongs, I'm sure it's not beyond the wit of man to come up with a safer design that's partially insulated to avoid this problem without having to invent a new wall socket."

True - but for the federal government to mandate the use of such an improved plug would be unconstitutional interference in the people's right to freely express their stupidity by taking an extension lead to bed with them. Once started down this slippery slope some of them will then be wanting affordable health care for all and a limit to how many arms a bear can have.

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Stop us if you've heard this one before: IBM sheds more workers – this time, tech sales

Kernel
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Re: A definite recipe for success

"Cutting R&D would save money today; but at the expense of future sales when the new products that would have been developed were not."

I never thought of that.

Yes, I'm well aware that cutting R&D is not the way to ensure a prosperous future for a company like IBM - cutting the technical sales staff is not likely to help either. My intent was to underline the short-sightedness of IBM's approach to cutting costs by cutting the groups that generate new revenue opportunities.

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Kernel
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Re: A definite recipe for success

Ok, I see I sadly over-estimated the ability of some of us to detect joke/irony/goldy/sarcasim (which ever it is) - next time I'll try to be clearer.

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Kernel
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A definite recipe for success

If revenue is flagging then it's definitely time to slash the sales teams.

Here's a hint for your next RA exercise IBM - those characters in R&D consume way more money than they could possibly be worth - get rid of most of them for the best bang for your buck in cost savings.

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Apple Store in Pennsylvania hit with discrimination complaint

Kernel
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Re: Quite frankly

'I don't see any complaints about the local newsagent having a "only two school children at a time"" sign.'

Just a guess on my part, but that might be because the sign doesn't discriminate against any particular flavour of school children - if it said only two blue school children at a time while allowing non-blue school children without restriction then you might well find there would be complaints, and quite rightly so.

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Kiwi cable goes live, and it's nowhere near a volcano

Kernel
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Re: Starnge you should mention earthquakes

We are more than familiar with large trucks going past the office, there's almost constantly one or more B-trains messing around in our part of Te Rapa - we're also three floors up, so it takes something pretty serious to shake our office.

We checked on Geonet at the time - this is the one we felt:

Intensity strong

Region intensity moderate

NZDT Thu, Mar 30 2017, 12:58:49 pm

Depth 6 km

Magnitude 4.5

Location 15 km north-west of Turangi

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Kernel
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Starnge you should mention earthquakes

"New Zealand is also earthquake-prone, which also argues in favour of geographic diversity."

Sitting here in the office, about 25~30km from Raglan, we just felt a decent earthquake a few minutes ago - I suspect Southern Cross is much safer in the Auckland volcanic zone than the TGA cable is at Raglan.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to go for my lunch time walk before the building collapses around our ears.

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Hey FCC, when you're not busy screwing our privacy, how about those SS7 cell network security flaws, huh?

Kernel
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Alternatively

"No one else seems to care, sniff politicians

Maybe the problem is that, unlike politicians, the telcos know enough about the subject to be aware that changing SS7 would need to be done through the ITU, be agreed upon and accepted by member states, be implemented by vendors and that the end result would still need to be backward compatible with what's deployed now.

There's a whole stack of players involved that really don't give a shit about what the DHS and FCC think, much less US politicians - in fact, there's probably a number of involved parties who would be likely to oppose any proposed changes for no better reason than the US wants them. Being a Muslim or Russian does not disbar a country from ITU membership.

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One in five mobile phones shipped abroad are phoney – report

Kernel
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Re: Try searching on youtube for fake phone reviews.

Yes, I've seen a number of YouTube clips on counterfeit eggs (and rice, for Dog's sake!), but I'm still struggling to see why.

Can anyone explain to me the business case for counterfeiting eggs or rice - especially in China where they don't appear to be particularly short of either?

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Kernel
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Re: Whoa - bullshit detect

"The £13 "Rolex" was surprisingly good; it worked, kept accurate time, the case was nice and it was only under my x10 loupe that you could tell the difference."

Doesn't surprise me - I'm not sure about Rolex, but from what I've read on specialist watch collecting forums most watches, even the top quality ones, use Chinese manufactured movements with just enough local content to be able to meet the rules for labeling as 'Made in Switzerland', or wherever.

I get the impression that Casio are one of the few companies that roll their own now days.

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Nokia blasts 250 Gbps across Atlantic in optical test for Facebook

Kernel
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Re: BT would probably stick a piece of Copper on it either end, give results as "up to" 250Gbps

"Have you got some non copper based router or computer that you can stick on either end?"

Interesting enough, yes, I do.

Nokia's 1830PSS product line has a range of optical router cards as an off the shelf item that are able to extract and switch one or more wavelengths to/from a specific path. There's no technical requirement to convert the optical signal to electrical until you hit a router inside some cable customer telco's network.

This means that wavelengths coming in off the cable can be switched to the different cable customers at the landing station without any requirement to be dropped back to electrical .

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Kernel
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I work with Nokia DWDM equipment, using what are referred to as 10Gbps, 100Gbps and 200Gbps wavelengths - but that has nothing to do with the wavelength (or 'colour', if you prefer) of the infra-red lasers. The terms come about because they refer to the transmission capacity of the transponder card that converts from B&W to a specific colour.

Changing from 10Gbps to 100Gbps is just a matter of changing out the transponder at each end of the lambda - in fact, with some transponders, changing from 100Gbps to 200Gbps is simply a matter of clicking an option in the transponder setup page and connecting a second 100Gbps B&W input to the second client port, at which time the single coloured output will move from being a 100Gbps wavelength to a 200Gbps wavelength - but still the same actual wavelength and occupying the same bandwidth, just carrying twice as much data.

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Bloke, 48, accused of whaling two US tech leviathans out of $100m

Kernel
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There's something wrong here ....

It seems to me that there should also be some jail time for the responsible financial staff in each of the two affected companies - after all, on average they've failed in their duty to their employers and shareholders to the tune of $50M each.

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San Francisco reveals latest #Resist effort – resisting sub-gigabit internet access

Kernel
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Dark fibre

You do all realize that dark fibre is just glass in the ground?

You can bury as much glass as you like, but it's no good to anyone until you persuade someone, such as a cable company or telco, to install the kit to light up the fibre. Yes, having the fibre available (at someone else's expense) will make them a little keener on the idea, but the proposal as it stands doesn't do anything to force an improvement in the current level of service as there's still no incentive for them to provide a better service, just a different service over infrastructure they didn't have to pay for and for which they have no ongoing liability - what most service providers would see as a win win situation.

Now, if the good taxpayers of SF were willing to buy the kit to light the fibres as well and do their own backhaul to a peering exchange, which could result in a vastly improved service level, then I'm sure I can point an appropriate sales team in their direction.

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Why are creepy SS7 cellphone spying flaws still unfixed after years, ask Congresscritters

Kernel
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Re: Why do we still have the traditional cell infrastructure anyway?

Yes, and the internet is just a great big cloud that magically transports data from A to B.

Spend a few years working in the engineering side of the telco industry and then come back at tell those of us who do have that experience how simple it should all be.

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Raspberry Pi gives us all new 'Pi Zero W' for its fifth birthday

Kernel
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Re: I'm not actually sure what to do with one,

I thought that when I first got mine - but with Pi 3B in one hand and DuckDuckGo in the other, said Pi is now running a VPN server at home and hosting 128GB of NAS in the form of one 64GB USB stick , with another 64GB consisting of two USB sticks in Raid 1 configuration - just because I could.

It's still not very busy, so the next addition might be to play with some hardware attached to the IO header (and update the NAS to hardrives).

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Big data should be 'part of UK's core national infrastructure' – Civil Service chief exec

Kernel
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Yeah, right!

"Data is a public asset, Manzoni argued, and with the publication of the Government Transformation Strategy earlier this month as well as the Digital Economy Bill continuing its passage into law, that asset can be used to make government more efficient and appropriate sold to whomever we like without consulting the peasantry."

There, fixed that for him.

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USMC: We want more F-35s per year than you Limeys will get in half a decade

Kernel
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Re: Am I missing something?

" It wasn't a Spitfire they did it with, but a Mustang, which was pretty much te same thing only a 10-year newer design: same engine, marginally better manouverability, marginally lower rate of climb, much longer range, genrally regarded as one of the best three land-based fighters of the era (alongside the Spitfire and the FW-190)."

I can't help thinking that the Mitsubishi Zero Sen deserves one of those three top places, given the dismal performance of the Spitfires sent against it in the early days of the war in the Pacific and that the Chance-Voight Corsair was the first fighter that could really handle the Zero with any degree of confidence.

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Prepare your popcorn: Wikipedia deems the Daily Mail unreliable

Kernel
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Re: Hmm

" The Daily Mail (along with The Express) still posts fraudulent articles doubting anthropogenic global warming, even though it's been in zero scientific doubt for well over a decade now."

You disagreeing with something does not, nor ever will, make it fraudulent - nor will it make the opposite irrefutably true.

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'Maker' couple asphyxiated, probably by laser cutter fumes

Kernel
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Re: Not speculating, just blaming ?!

No where does the article mention that the couple may not have read the manual - the only reference to the subject is a quote from the manual provided by one manufacturer of such devices on the subject of ventilation.

Take a down vote.

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To Hull with the crap town naysayers: UK Culture City's got some amazing... telecoms

Kernel
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Over enginneered? Yeah, right!

"He says Hull is served by about 15 exchanges, as opposed to around four found in places of comparable size."

Based on 43 years of experience in the telco industry during which time I have built and maintained manual, step x step, crossbar and digital exchanges (along with a whole heap of interesting and clever optical kit), this statement suggests to me that Hull is most likely equipped with comparatively ancient and primitive exchanges.

A city of around 260K people should be more than adequately served by 3 exchanges built any time in the last 30 years or so - most of their exchanges should have been replaced by remote line units parented off a much smaller number of exchanges long ago.

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Chinese bloke cycles 500km to get home... in the wrong direction

Kernel
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Re: How Many Trolls ???

There's a couple of things I can see contributing to this situation, without needing any malicious intent on anyone's part:

i) There is likely to be a significant language barrier in China for someone who's 2000km away from where they came from.

ii) My understanding is that the Chinese (and Japanese) consider it rude to refuse to help, so will often say 'yes' even if they don't know the answer, rather than give offense.

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2014: El Reg booze lab proves Bluetooth breathalyzers are crap. 2017: US govt agrees

Kernel
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Re: Life is easier up north

"The lower alcohol limit seems to have cut the number of folk who are measured over the limit."

But has it actually reduced the number of deaths on the road which can be attributed to drink-driving?

I ask this because when they reduced the limit in NZ a couple of years ago it was justified on the basis of a reduced road toll - so far it seems to have had the opposite effect, especially over the xmas holiday periods, and the only real benefit has been to government coffers.

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Make America, wait, what again? US Army may need foreign weapons to keep up

Kernel
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Re: Military-industrial 101

We landed on the moon because the same technology that can launch ICBMs can launch people too at the end of WW2 we grabbed a stack of really clever Germans who showed us how to do it.

There, fixed that for you.

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Kernel
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Re: Not Just the Fuchs

Not to mention a lot of M1A1 Abrams toting the German designed, built in the US under license, Rheinmetall 120 mm gun as main armament.

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China's Great Firewall to crack down on unofficial VPNs – state-approved net connections only

Kernel
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Hardly unusual

Well, the Chinese government wouldn't be the only government that doesn't (or alternatively, does) want any 'alternate facts' getting circulated to the citizenry, would they?

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BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

Kernel
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RE:

"The vast majority of my cold calls are landline "international", "withheld", or an apparently random set of digits."

Don't confuse the calling number information you get to see and the calling number information that the terminating exchange has - your local exchange can (and probably will) request the entire calling number, even from overseas - calling line identification is blocked by the terminating exchange if it is told to for a specific call, not the one the call is originated from, which is why emergency services (and maybe your local pizza place) still get your phone number. Even though you think you have it blocked, and may even be paying for that feature, any terminating line can have a bit set to ignore the calling line number blocking request.

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Kernel
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Re: And BT wonder why WhatsApp became so popular.

"Odd, how its taken them so long, something to do with call revenue from UK based spammers?"

Actually, this feature of dialing a four digit code to block a specific number from calling your landline was available in NEC's NEAX61 series digital exchanges when I started working on them over 30 years ago - we even tested it to make sure it worked as described - but for some reason it was never sold where I live. I really doubt that NEC were the only vendor to include this feature.

There's little that's new or innovative about this type of service.

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Nadella calls for AI sector to move beyond 'worshipping' a handful of companies

Kernel
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Ok .........................

".................. creates more trust in technology from a security and privacy point of view,"

That'll be a mass uninstall of Windows 10, then.

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Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

Kernel
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Re: He'd be shit out of luck in the UK

"Cheques are problematic for banks, since they could be cashed at any time in future. It's an unexpected debt."

Cheques are a debt for the issuer, not the banks - the bank just won't pay out on a cheque if you don't have the funds available, plus they will charge you generously in the process - it doesn't affect the banks either way.

The other point is that there's no difference in randomness of money flow between a cheque or a bank card - either is likely to be used at random times to suit the convenience of the depositor - or at least that's how I use mine.

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Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

Kernel
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Re: Will it.....

"If all electric cars are produced with a 'standard' battery of equal size/shape, and internally mounted in a quick release mechanism then it will be possible to refit petrol (gas) stations with underground charging racks packed with pre-charged batteries that will take a matter of seconds to swap out."

A great idea in concept and one that I suspect has occurred to many of us before - but, if you've ever owned a cordless electric drill the two problems with this become immediately obvious:

i) Every manufacturer needs to use identical battery packs - yes, this can be forced by legislation, once some large and cumbersome committee has held enough international conferences in luxurious locations, but it does still depend on too many companies/countries being in total agreement.

"What did you do during the Battery Wars, Grandad?"

ii) The real biggy - next year's model has to accept the same battery as last year's model and the year before that, etc, etc., - as soon as a new, improved, battery pack comes along the charging/swapout infrastructure has to be replicated for the new design and the older infrastructure retained for the life of the vehicles that use it. Planned obsolesence is annoying enough in a cordless drill, do we really want it in a car?

"Yes dear, I know I promised that this new car with swap out battery pack would solve the problem, but the man says they've run out of the JA3527/K packs at the moment - all they've got left are JA3527/Ls - it fits in the hole but the terminals are slightly wider and 60mm to the left, so we can't use it. They're going to put our old battery on charge as soon as they get a chance, and a couple of hours after that ......"

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Kernel
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Re: Will it.....

"Technically planes are a form of vehicle, last year an electric plane circumnavigated the world, try that in your yank tank."

Not really a valid comparison is it?

Since we're talking about ground vehicles, let's consider which of an electric car or standard SUV might be best for that same trip - personally I'd be choosing the SUV (or even better, a proper 4WD) - ideally one with a turbo-charged engine for those higher parts of the trip and diesel for better availability of fuel.

Current electric vehicles seem to be a fairly practical solution for commuter trips, but once you get beyond the range of a single battery charge the time to recharge becomes an important part of the viability equation - will your customers be happy to be billed for having your staff sitting around, even for an hour, waiting for a battery to recharge, or will they prefer you to use quick-fill dead dinosaur type fuels?

A practical non-commuter EV needs to have the battery capacity to see it through a full working (or family travel) day so that recharging can take place during non-billable or resting hours.

'Yes dear, I know the kids are tired and sun-burnt and want to be in bed, and yes, I know that you're tired too and that everything's full of sand from our day at the beach, but it's ok, we should get our turn at the charging station in about 6 hours and a couple of hours after that we should just about have enough juice in the battery be able to make it home, so long as I don't exceed 40km/h.'

Sorry, but much as I like the idea of an electric vehicle that's not a conversation I want to have anytime soon - and owning two vehicles to do the work of one is not a concept that's going to fly with me either.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

Kernel
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The time has come .......

Citizens of the US, I'm sorry but the time has come where it just has to be said - if you want the rest of us to start taking you seriously again you're going to have to do something to stop this sort of idiocy, or at least prevent us from finding out about it and having a good laugh at your expense.

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Routine jobs vanishing and it's all technology's fault? Hold it there, sport

Kernel
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"Hope those robots can buy some of the stuff they make."

If we follow the trend towards more and more advanced robotics, then maybe the answer is yes, the robots will be able to afford to buy some of the stuff they make.

There are already discussions taking place about the possible rights of sex robots (in terms of being able have a say in what they do and who they do it with), so maybe in the future increasingly sentient robots will have the right to be paid for their labours - in which case, given that their housing and food requirements are likely to be much less expensive than ours, they may well have plenty of money left over for partying at the end of the week (and still under bid us for many types of work).

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Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

Kernel
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Re: Security disaster

Oh well, at least I'm not going to have a security issue with one of these at home - the bulk of my hair has long since departed for pastures greener, what's left will barely support a small comb.

There does seem to be a trend emerging here - firstly, when you're young, your parents show you up by doing cringe-worthy things in public, then your children do the same and then, just when you think it's safe to relax, your employer decides to get in on the act as well!

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China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning

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"Their biggest foe, The Philippines? "

Not necessarily their biggest fans either - the Moro Crater Massacre is still causing diplomatic grief in 2106, 110 years after it happened.

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Kernel
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Re: Already happens

"What does not already happen regularly is stealing each other's bits of kit from international waters."

It's not as if the US doesn't have form in this particular field - the recovery of part of the Soviet submarine K-129 in 1974 springs to mind.

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Kernel
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Re: New for Christmas next year

" Only at finer department stores and online via Amazon.com."

More like two for $80 on Alibaba.

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Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

Kernel
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Re: If I was a PC seller

"You might think that I'm just making this problem up, but in Southern Louisiana during Mardi Gras this is a significant issue attraction,"

FTFY.

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