* Posts by S4qFBxkFFg

498 posts • joined 6 Feb 2012

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Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

S4qFBxkFFg

I was doing something with java and php where I needed to apply a remove operation to all items where their "expired" date was earlier than "now". Apparently the default date/time formats in java and php were not identical - I was comparing a value in seconds with one in milliseconds, and as soon as someone used the "remove expired items" command, the database was promptly emptied of all its items.

(University group project, I wasn't popular.)

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The eyes have it: 'DeepFakes' bogus AI-meddled videos outed by unblinking gaze

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Repudiating democratic norms

"Imagine a fuzzy video of naked Donald Trump pissing all over a Russian prostitute. "

If they bring piss to a deepfakes fight, you bring shit.

If they bring shit, you bring animals.

If they bring animals, you bring... (completion is left as an exercise for the reader)

Welcome to the latest race to the bottom (fnarr fnarr), accelerated by the efforts of Nvidia/AMD.

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You should find out what's going on in that neural network. Y'know they're cheating now?

S4qFBxkFFg

"Seltzer cites an example of a model that noticed asthma patients were less likely to die of pneumonia. The model incorrectly assumed that asthma protected pneumonia patients based on that data.

"The problem is that if you show up at an ER and have asthma and pneumonia, they take it way more seriously than if you don't have asthma, so you're more likely to be admitted," she says. These patients did better than average because doctors had treated them more aggressively, but the algorithm didn't know that."

Er - in this case asthma does protect pneumonia patients - through the mechanism of aggressive hospital treatment from doctors when asthma is present.

The model is correct.

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Cold call bosses could be forced to cough up under new rules

S4qFBxkFFg

There could be the unintended consequence that companies start using local gentlemen of the road as directors. "Excuse me sir, would you like this free crate of cider? Just sign here... excellent!"

Do Companies House get perturbed if home addresses on the forms refer to particular cardboard boxes in the business's loading bay?

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Shining lasers at planes in the UK could now get you up to 5 years in jail

S4qFBxkFFg
Joke

Re: Overly bright vehicle lights

Agreed - I say we just ban all vehicle/street lights and make all road users (drivers/cyclists/pedestrians/horses/dogs...) wear night vision goggles.

(I know I marked this as a joke - but would it actually be any more expensive, long-term?)

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SpaceX Bangabandhu-1 launch held up while Dragon splashes down on time

S4qFBxkFFg

"small"

Huh?

7
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UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics

S4qFBxkFFg

For the "...and questioning how the BBFC will identify which sites are most visited by children" part, I seriously wonder how they're going to do it.

Asking schools for records of how often their users tried to visit blocked domains?

Standing outside schools at 16:45 with clipboards? "Excuse me young man, would you mind taking part in a survey? I'll read you a list of websites and you can tell me if you've visited any of them..."

7
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Cash-sprinkler Softbank and Alphabet hand over $1.9bn to Manbang

S4qFBxkFFg
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Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

S4qFBxkFFg

My theory is there are too many people leaving, and they're trying to get more out of the ones that remain - I got out about a week ago, after several years (mainly due to lack of signal where needed). The customer service was never great, but trying to get a PAC was frustrating: "...I assure you that you will have similar problems with other networks..." with a generalised bad attitude about me having the effrontery to shun the excellence that is Three.

7
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Imagine you're having a CT scan and malware alters the radiation levels – it's doable

S4qFBxkFFg

"I'd be highly surprised if the machine itself wasn't capable of keeping track of the radiation delivered at a firmware level"

I'd want there to be a safety feature at a lower level than that:

My idea (based on 5 minutes thought and near-zero levels of medical technology knowledge) is to have some sort of dosimeter in the path of the beam physically connected to the machine's power source - the goal would be that once the dose goes above a certain level, the machine totally loses power - in such a way that some serious thought is required before restoring it (e.g. severing the cable, or blowing a big fuse). This could either be a hard limit, or something the technician has to physically dial in before the procedure starts. Could this be made only using mechanical (and simple electronic - no computation) components?

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Danish Navy expert finds no trace of exhaust gas in private submarine

S4qFBxkFFg

"Realistically, who would want to buy a murder scene?"

Plenty of murders take place in homes; most of them aren't demolished.

If you're satisified with the cleaners' performance, it could be a good deal.

edit: It's irrelevant anyway - in line with the victim's family's wishes the submarine is going to be destroyed once they're finished with it as evidence. (This seemed odd, legally, to me, but there we are.)

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S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Has he ever come up with a story ...

"To "qualify" for detention he has do be declared insane by shrinks - and apparently it is not as easy as most of us lay persons would expect."

Plus, if I'm understanding things correctly, the "insanity" route can result in a longer detention - so they will be checking whether he's faking, but it'll be the other way round.

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NASA stalls $8bn James Webb Space Telescope again – this time to 2020

S4qFBxkFFg

"As it's going to be positioned a million miles from Earth, repairs in space will be impossible so it needs to work right first time and stay working. "

Talk like that is just going to provoke a "Hold my beer!" from Elon.

What's the downmass capability of the BFR going to be anyway?

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Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, off you go: Snout of UK space forcibly removed from EU satellite trough

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: From the department of bleeding obvious

...you now have no cake.

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UK Court of Appeal settles reseller's question: Is software a good?

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: So....

Is it just me, or do the judge's words: "novel legislative solution" seem like a euphemism for "A barely half-baked excrescence of law that should never have darkened my desk."?

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US govt's final bid to extradite Lauri Love kicked into touch

S4qFBxkFFg

How is jurisdiction actually determined where a crime is committed in one country, and has effects in another?

This isn't a new concept (e.g. an archer several thousand years ago could fire an arrow across a border in peacetime, killing a victim on the other side) so presumably there is precedent?

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Horn star Sudan, last male northern white rhino, dies aged 45

S4qFBxkFFg

The obvious answer is to find some way of poisoning the horn in a way that doesn't harm the rhino, but makes the end product fatal to consume (an alternative acceptable outcome is that it makes the receipient's genitals shrivel up, drop off, or do something else similarly amusing).

Maybe it would be worth seeing if Mr. Putin could be persuaded to take an interest in megafauna conservation?

(After all, he seems to consider being viewed as an animal lover to be good propaganda.)

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Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

S4qFBxkFFg
Coffee/keyboard

Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

"I'm supporting those struggling against oppressive regimes."

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AI racks up insane high scores after finding bug in ancient video game

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Interesting..

"Now if the game is to 'maximise food stores', the AI might discover the optimum cheat is to kill everything that eats food."

You're overthinking it; anything that eats food is food. A carelessly developed foraging robot would immediately kill its creators, and diligently gut/bone/joint/render/refrigerate them.

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Paul Allen's six-engined monster plane prepares for space deliveries

S4qFBxkFFg

"Air-launched rockets might have a 12 km head-start in terms of altitude but they still have to burn a lot of fuel to reach orbital velocity."

Have a read of a mad (doesn't imply bad) idea to mount a space shuttle main engine on the back of a 747, allowing it to fly (for a short time) at very high speed/altitude before launching a rocket carried on its back:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1608/1

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23,000 HTTPS certs will be axed in next 24 hours after private keys leak

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Trustico Statement

I chortled at the extract from Symantec's agreement - who else read it in Ali G's voice?

"IF YOU IS A CUSTOMER OF A RESELLER (AS DEFINED HEREIN), SUBSCRIBER REPRESENTS AND WARRANTS THAT IT AUTHORIZES SUCH RESELLER TO APPLY FOR, ACCEPT, INSTALL, MAINTAIN, RENEW, AND, IF NECESSARY, REVOKE THE CERTIFICATE ON SUBSCRIBER’S BEHALF."

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Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: "By measuring the escape velocity, scientists have recalculated the galaxy’s mass and size."

Assuming the object doing the escaping is much less massive than the object from which it's escaping, escape velocity is independent of the mass of the escaping object.

So, you can observe the speeds of stars that actually have escaped the galaxy, and those that haven't.

e.g. if star A is going at 1000km/s and has escaped, and star B is going at 500km/s and hasn't, you can say the escape velocity is between 500 and 1000km/s and therefore the galaxy's mass (strictly speaking it'll be a combination of mass and size/density) is between some two values.

Better explanations welcome.

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It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

S4qFBxkFFg

"So... when will the first case be heard should an innocent person be deepfaked onto a rumpypumpy video which causes said person to lose his/her job?"

Now that this technology is accessible to anyone with a PC + respectable GPU, the question of "guilty" or innocent is going to become irrelevant - people can just say "deepfaked - it wasn't me" when confronted with video evidence of them carrying out any activity they would rather keep secret.

"Reasonable doubt" just got a whole lot bigger.

(Yes, I know the videos produced still have identifiable artifacts - how long will that last?)

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Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators

S4qFBxkFFg
Unhappy

Pity - they must have done a few things right - my Swift is still going strong after 2+ years. (Although I changed CyanogenOS to CyanogenMod, then to LineageOS so it's getting weekly updates.)

15
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Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

S4qFBxkFFg

Of course I'll eat that.

If it's a normal-ish Yorkshire pudding with stuff added, it's going to be far too dry imo - that means gravy, but to dunk, not poured - so put it in a ramikin.

As for toppings, add pineapple (for polarising opinions), ham (yorkshire pud needs meat, but beef on pizza is vile), and basil leaves.

To balance out the stodge, serve with Caesar salad, I'd also be drinking some inexpensive red wine it.

For afters, a few chocolate digestive biscuits sandwiching some dairylea (or equivalent) cheese.

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Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Wow

"but man.. I hope it gets banned."

...after being installed in every cinema/theatre in the land.

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I'll torpedo Tor weirdos, US AG storms: Feds have 'already infiltrated' darknet drug souks

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Distraction

Indeed. Better a thousand addicts get cheap fixes than one person suffers from treatable pain.

0
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All aboard the Vomit Comet: Not the last train to Essex, but a modded 727 for weightless flight

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Nostalgia dreams

"I swear that sometimes the RAF pilots firewalled the throttles and yanked the nose up just so they could punish poor pongos as their livers were garrotted by seatbelts ..."

The occasional (unsure exactly how often it was needed) vigorous leap into the sky was very much a requirement for the VC-10 in the RAF procedures - probably to give the engines a workout. My dad was a navigator on them and described a time when they were stationed at another airfield, where the residents were described as "a bunch of fucking arseholes", or words to that effect. The morning of departure was after a particularly heavy night (for those not about to fly) and one of the pilots mentioned that the aircraft hadn't had a full-power take-off in a while. Fortunately, the airfield's layout allowed a fairly close flypast of the mess, giving them the benefit of four Rolls-Royce Conways at full throttle to start their day.

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Elon Musk lowers his mighty erection for test firing: Falcon Heavy preps for maiden voyage

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: putting a fueling station into orbit

"Q: how many additional boosters can you strap onto a Falcon Heavy before it can't handle the load?"

It's not a question of whether the vehicle can take it; the ground infrastructure (pads, towers, etc.) is not set up for anything more than two strap-ons. *

Unless something seriously bad happens to the BFR plans, Falcon Super Heavy probably won't ever exist.

* apparently - I asked Elon on twitter, unsurprisingly he didn't reply, but a random someone else did - so treat the information accordingly

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UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: No, no and no

Surely there's more to it than that?

What is to stop BT replying "lol no FU" in response to the demand?

(Or more realistically, a quote for £100 x the distance from the property to the exchange in metres.)

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Intel to slap hardware lock on Management Engine code to thwart downgrade attacks

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: ME free computing

I want one, but the motherboard they're offering makes the high-end stuff from Asus, MSI, etc. look like a budget choice. (>$2000!)

Does anyone else even make Power9 MBs?

10
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To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018

S4qFBxkFFg

Seriously considering moving to a power9 system in the new year - it's not cheap, would require new CPU/motherboard/memory, and I'm under no illusions about IBM being any less evil than Intel/AMD/ARM, but it's looking like a better option every time another one of these articles comes out.

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From Vega with love: Pegasus interstellar asteroid's next stop

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: One wonders ...

XKCD did a rough calculation of what would be needed to get Voyager 1 back - the illustration summarises it well:

https://what-if.xkcd.com/imgs/a/38/voyager_comparison.png

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

S4qFBxkFFg

It's a good idea, but "Simple, fair and no way of avoiding it." matters much less than:

- the Government deciding it deserves time in Parliament

- transport minister(s) being prepared to lose part of their little empire to the Treasury

also:

"But there's no need to increase the tax on fuel, it's already expensive enough thanks"

"Wait,even more tax on fuel? Supposedly we pay 61%of fuel duty, plus VAT on top of the duty and fuel. It might not be called tax but it's practically the same."

Er, OK - so how is the shortfall to be made up? Not sure of the most recent numbers, but I'd expect somewhere above £6,000,000,000.00/year would be required if the car tax was abolished.

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NASA reconfirms 2019 will see first launch of Space Launch System

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Bit small for a Mars shot

They only need to be in there for launch/re-entry - the idea is that habitation modules (both for transit and/or on Mars) would be launched separately. The different spacecraft would rendezvous in earth orbit for crew transfer.

edit: Also, the SLS capsule (Orion) is actually bigger than the Apollo equivalent.

5
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Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

S4qFBxkFFg

"low cost" is relative. Obviously the production is a bit shonky, but many of them have ~4 professional (professional in a very technical sense) actors, apparently decent lighting/camera, and shooting locations in the USA. (Interestingly, all expense appears to have been spared on the sound.)

It's something that would be a rounding error in film/TV, but more than what one person of average wealth could arrange as a side project.

I'd be very interested in an in-depth interview with the people involved.

8
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S4qFBxkFFg

I think my "Fuck 2017" moment was sitting on the couch while my daughter watched youtube on the TV - distracted due to the repetitive canned shrieks and laughter, I glanced up to see a live-action story involving Elsa, Spiderman, the Joker, and probably others I forget. At that particular moment, one of the characters (Spiderman perhaps?) was buried up to their neck in sand, while being defecated on by Elsa (again, it may have been another character). A small mercy - it was obviously fake brown stuff of some sort. Out of morbid curiosity, I continued watching these videos, and can mostly agree with everything the writer of the linked article says.

I do not let her have the remote, and the TV itself is on the wall, out of reach - this was just from autoplay, the chain started on a toy review or something.

That was the end of her youtube viewing, netflix seems to be OK (so far).

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1

Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

S4qFBxkFFg
Headmaster

Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

"back when Sauron was mortal"

"Isn't Sauron one of the Maiar? If so he was never mortal."

"You're thinking of his former boss, Morgoth."

Neither are, or were, mortal - both were "Ainur", the next level down from Eru Ilúvatar (the only "real" god in Tolkien's universe). The more powerful ones were called Valar, the lesser were called Maiar.

Sauron did actually "die" physically at least three times though...

3
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Credit insurance tightens for geek shack Maplin Electronics

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: 'Everyone loves Maplin'

Indeed.

"Reg readers are fond of "Maplins" as one of the few remaining outlets that allows electronics hobbyists to browse legacy components, cables, semiconducters, graphics cards and motherboards while scouting out the latest drones, 3D printers and more. Compared to Dixons Carphone and other old-world retailers, Maplin still has a reputation for customer service."

(Concerning the bit I put in bold.) Well, yes, I suppose that's correct - but in that vein, one could also say "Compared to the box containing a warm dog turd on a spring, the mismatched, extra small, white nylon socks were a tasteful and much appreciated gift."

I didn't even use them that much, but my last experience was typical - needed a USB micro SD card reader that hour, shop assistant tried to sell me something about £15 saying that was "...as cheap as that sort of thing gets" but on the exact same rack there was a tiny one that cost £8.something. Yeah, they're circling the drain.

14
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Russia to block access to cryptocurrency exchanges' websites – report

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Is there a pattern here?

"If you want to use Bitcoin for tiny transactions, or see it as some sort of massively risky investment scheme, then go right ahead."

"Tiny" transactions are exactly the kind for which bitcoin should definitely not be used. I spent some of mine when it hit £1000* and the transactions just would not go through unless I paid fees of a few £ equivalent. Irrelevant when buying a house, annoying when buying a laptop, ludicrous when buying a pint.

* Yes, I realise what that does to the credibility of my advice.

5
1

RAM, bam, awww ... man! Boffins defeat Rowhammer protections

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Why the emphasis on software mitigations?

"it's defeat may eventually cause Javascript to become to be seen as dangerous as things like Flash, Java plugins. That would be a disastrous outcome."

Others may disagree, but I wouldn't miss JavaScript - the good/useful things that it can do are far outweighed by the bad/stupid things that it's used for.

So I won't get a "rich user experience" and might have to click refresh more often - I can live with that.

10
2

Smartphone SatNavs to get centimetre-perfect GNSS receivers in 2018

S4qFBxkFFg

It should. AFAIK, if they don't support GLONASS they are prohibited from using it in phones sold in Russia, which is a large enough market to matter. I imagine the same is effectively true in China with Beidou, even if not formalised.

0
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¡Dios mío! Spain blocks DNS to hush Catalonian independence vote sites

S4qFBxkFFg
Stop

See https://regmedia.co.uk/2017/09/22/referendum-cat.jpg

When your logo has actual fasces in it, maybe you should ask questions of yourself instead of trying to live up to the symbolism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToKcmnrE5oY

3
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Is this cough cancer, doc? No: it's a case of Playmobil on the lung

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Oh, Lester, your presence is missed.

"I managed to shove the wheel off a Matchbox car up my nostril at the tender age of 4 or thereabouts."

Same age, same sort of thing, but in my case it was a polystyrene bean bag ball.

A few decades later, and as far as I know, it's still there - the doctor didn't seem too concerned, saying it probably fell out without me noticing (possible, but I doubt it, in my idiocy I managed to get it quite deep up there).

I live in hope that one day, an epic sneeze will produce a lump of polystyrene-cored snot horror and propel me into a new life of genius, like Homer Simpson minus the crayon stuck in his brain.

18
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SpaceX releases Pythonesque video of rocket failures

S4qFBxkFFg
Flame

I wish someone who knows how to handle them would put a video on youtube showing dicyanoacetylene and chlorine trifluoride reacting.

(Firefox disagrees - it's trying to be sensible and change that to oxyacetylene and chlorine tetrafluoride.)

1
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This article has been deleted

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: I would like to be the first to point out...

"Or at the very least a Playmobil re-enactment, been a while since we've had one of those."

So that's why they're advertising for an intern.

13
0

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

S4qFBxkFFg

My "suspected scam" instruction sheet:

If they mention "accident":

"THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN, NOBODY SAW THAT" (Repeat verbatim in response to whatever they say, increasing volume/agitation each time.)

or

"But, but, how did you know? - I was wearing brown trousers."

or

"That was no accident, she deserved all that and more." *click*

If they mention "Microsoft", "Windows", "Virus"...

"Oh dear!, is this to do with the computer thing? My grandson normally helps me with all that, it's upstairs, could you hold on while I get it please?" (Leave phone off hook, if you have time, do your best impression of someone simultaneously suffering from dementia, lack of short-term memory, and near total computer illiteracy.)

For general use:

"Please take a minute to think about your parents and grandparents - would they be proud of what you are doing? You should get an honest job." *click*

13
1

Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

S4qFBxkFFg

Re: Re. storms

There have been studies that suggest large oil slicks prevent hurricanes gaining the energy/moisture they need to sustain themselves.

The very best of luck to anyone trying to get that kind of preventive measure approved.

6
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Mazda and Toyota join forces on Linux-based connected car platform

S4qFBxkFFg

Please Stop

Pointless memo to the car manufacturers:

The drivers' and passengers' devices will be newer, probably more powerful, more likely to have security updates, and have a greater chance of containing apps and data that the owners actually care about.

You are hardware manufacturers, you will fail hard at producing software people want to use.

If you wanted to do something useful, concentrate on allowing the vehicle screen/speakers/inputs to serve whichever device(s) the driver selects. Provide power, pointer movements, keystrokes, and sensor data. Accept video and audio.

For comedy value, submit your software to Google/Apple/Whoever and see how many people actually use it.

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