* Posts by bombastic bob

5563 posts • joined 1 May 2015

Amazon: Intel Meltdown patch will slow down your AWS EC2 server

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

maybe it's time to re-consider server-side inefficiency

maybe it's time to re-consider server-side inefficiency. that is, instead of bloating your server side with massive libraries consisting of scripted and interpreted lingos (say 'Python' and 'Javascript'), to INSTEAD go with C language utilities and CGI-based things for otherwise CPU-intensive processes.

Yeah, that's a major infrastructure change, if you've invested a LOT of time in NodeJS or DJango.

Additionally, if you're using an SQL database, you might want to consider an "efficiency re-architecture" to limit CPU utilization and I/O calls. As an example, check your 'outer join' logic to see if you're linking tables together in the primary filter query, specifically things that don't need to be linked until later. Even a 'select for update' could start with a filter that doesn't require linking any additional tables, if you design your database intelligently (and with efficiency in mind).

[this would prevent a boatload of unnecesary I/O or networking system calls, where the "fixes" for Meltdown would impact performance the most]

I've seen enough gross examples of lazy server-side code [and been tasked to fix it] for one lifetime, probably. But I'm sure it won't be the last. "Blame where blame belongs" for inefficient server-side code, because someone 'felt' that efficiency wasn't an issue. until now.

And we return to Munich's migration back to Windows - it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

bombastic bob Silver badge
FAIL

Re: 10 years to migrate 16000 PCs and they're going to go back to Windows ?

"How come the solution is to move to Windows 10 and Ms Office?"

Because it works, the required applications exist for it and has a lower TCO. And the users prefer it.

it's getting "shilly" in here. BRRrrrr...

Sorry. Your argument fails right away.

a) I've NEVER had a problem importing a Micro-shaft "Weird" document in Libre or Open office.

b) if the formatting changes, it's because of the use of non-standard fonts, etc.

c) Why not DUMP MICRO-SHAFT ORIFICE and adopt LIBRE as "the standard" instead? [last I checked, Libre has binaries that run on winders for those who *must* use a Micro-shaft OS

And your attempt to use the same-old-FUD from the early noughties about "total cost of ownership" being LESS with per-seat licensing? *BORING*

I think a REAL USE CASE from that period of time might shed some REAL light on TCO...

https://www.cnet.com/news/rockin-on-without-microsoft/

it was FUD then, and it's still FUD now, that TCO is allegedly LOWER with Micro-shaft "pay to play" licensing. The Ernie Ball story says exactly the opposite: he saved enough money IN THE FIRST YEAR to cover the cost of the 'fines' that resulted from the "surprise!" audit.

In any case, I would MUCH rather see governments consider open source FIRST, for the explicit purpose of saving money for the taxpayers. Germany could ALSO make the case that open source allows them to NOT rely on some other country for their I.T. support, thereby promoting local (or at least German) businesses...

And think of this: if governments DEMAND open source, for the purpose of security audits, transparency, and the promotion of PUBLIC projects, that would do FOSS a LOT of good.

icon, because, FUD that I respond to.

Linux Mint 18.3: A breath of fresh air? Well, it's a step into the unGNOME

bombastic bob Silver badge
WTF?

Re: What's all the fuss about?

" had to scrap Mint and switch to Win 10"

you COULD have set up dual-boot or run Win-10-nic in a VM...

windows-only conferencing software. *ugh*. What idiot decided THAT was a 'requirement'?

It's not just a religious argument, either. It has everything to do with privacy, licensing, and what you're now kept from doing by the Win-10-nic OS [like customizing your computer so it's not "all 2D FLATSO" like Micro-shaft seems to be shoving up our collective rectums]. This is the kind of FREEDOM you get with Mint.

So if you actually LIKE the 2D FLATSO, you can have it. But I happen to *HATE* it. So I pick a theme with Mate that doesn't do that [on Mint, Ubu, FreeBSD, Debian, or whatever].

But I _AM_ disappointed at the use of Firefox 57. I refuse to use it because I can't put the "non-FLATSO eye candy UI" extensions on it.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: ZFS

"If you have a pool spread across two physical disks, and ZFS detects one of the disks is having problems, what is the recommended way of replacing that disk?"

here's what I'd do:

a) do a scrub to try and clean-up and recover as much as you can.

b) Install the new drive, with the old one still in place, and do a 'zpool replace' command (to replace old drive with new). I think this will work in your case.

NOTE: if you remove the old drive, I don't know what affect this will have on device naming, so you'd probably have to watch out for that. I think ZFS is smart enough to deal with device name changes from swapping SATA ports/cables and primary/secondary arrangements.

ZFS does something called 'resilver' to copy from old drives to new drives (as part of a RAID or replication or spanning multiple drives). 'man zpool' for more, maybe read up on some of the Solaris resources which go into a bit more depth than the FreeBSD (and probably Linux) docs [but the commands should be all the same for everyone, from what I can tell].

if this doesn't work, you can build a new pool with a new hard drive, and just copy the files. that works, too. Then after copying, remove old drive(s), rename pool/mount-points as necessary, and you're done.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Meh

Re: Timeshift

@Tom 38

regardless of the GPL licensing "dogma" you refer to, ZFS is supported well enough that you're able to use it. That much should be obvious, at least.

/me has been using FreeBSD with ZFS for a while now, both on a workstation [boot from ZFS] and on a server [UFS+J for OS, ZFS for data and archives]. ZFS warned me about my hard drive going bad, so I was able to pretty much recover everything [built latest OS onto hard drive in a VM while server remained running, copied data files via network, swapped in hard drive, a few tweeks later, up and running!]

bombastic bob Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Eh?

what's wrong with 1991-style web sites? "modern" (and the scripting/tracking/bloatware associated with it) is HIGHLY overrated... especially that 2D flatso light-blue-on-white crap (like Australis uses).

maybe slackware just doesn't want to break their 'working' web site. [or they're too busy slacking off, heh]

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Bah!

typical house locks only have tumblers on one side and 5 or 6 of them. anyone with lockpick skills should be able to manage it in a reasonably short period of time... or else just kick the door if you don't mind making a loud noise.

a vicious guard dog costs less than the locks.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: The perfect IoT device!

"that's $1400; $2100 if you have a garage with a door into your house"

and all could potentially be defeated with cellophane tape to lift a print, and some superglue and graphite to re-construct it (so it can be 'scanned')

bombastic bob Silver badge
Coat

Re: The perfect IoT device!

"Can you use electronic keys at wife-swapping parties?"

or electronic wives at key-swapping parties...

Soz, guys. No 'alien megastructure' around Tabby's Star, only cosmic dustbunnies

bombastic bob Silver badge
Coat

Re: Occam's Razor

/me imagines applying Occam's Razor to a Tabby... (ouch those claws)

bombastic bob Silver badge
Coat

"What will happen when it sneezes?"

or coughs up a hairball... *ack* *gag* *fssst*

bombastic bob Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Dyson Spheres would have sucked all the dust away.

"Shouldn't take long to get there with ludicrous speed"

'Buckle This', let's take it all the way to PLAID!

Captain Morgan told off for Snapchat lens: That grog be aimed at kiddies

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Good grief...

"perfectly happy with adverts all over the tube from the vegan society"

that's right, liquored-up average people who like to drink spiced rum aren't important enough because they don't whine loud enough for the news media to care [liquored-up rum drinkers are busy enjoying their lives and not being a pain in the ass to everyone around them nor driving an agenda to force everybody else to do (or not do) things].

And don't forget - a cartoon Captain Morgan means it targets children, like Joe Camel. Because "cartoons are for widdle kiddies" [even pornographic anime and the old Heavy Metal movie, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh].

yeah, the hypocrisy of it all. *sigh*

Borg, borg, borg: Another one bites the dust as Microsoft assimilates Avere

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

will the NFS tech survive the assimilation?

I have to wonder whether Microshaft will do the 'Extinguish' part of 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' on the NFS tech developed by Avere, as part of their "World Wide Windows" assimilation strategy...

Time's up: Grace period for Germany's internet hate speech law ends

bombastic bob Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Are you kidding me?!?

re: anti-fox-news-rant

I wasn't even trying to troll you but you bit the fox news link anyway, hook line and sinker! Nice job!

Not surprisingly, it distracted you from the point, that 2 years ago there WERE gangs of barbaric Islamic men raping women in Germany. But it was fun to watch you respond anyway.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Trollface

Re: @ bombastic bob -- Bah!

" How do we know you're not some 14 year-old girl up in her room?"

because this isn't a 4-chan inspired fantasy?

bombastic bob Silver badge
Meh

"Wikipedia will tell you more than you want to know about the Islamic calendar"

*zing* (/me makes motion over the top of my head, in reference to "this guy didn't get it" or else he posted that as a way of acting a bit clueless for humor, not sure which)

I think the "another 1000 years" reference was a snide reference to the backwards thinking related to 'establishing a caliphate' and the way much of Islam treats their women (and children), and christians, and homosexuals, and basically anyone who isn't a Moslem, etc.

At least, that's how _I_ saw it (and it was funny, because it was based on the truth)

bombastic bob Silver badge
Flame

Re: Bah!

"but the language used can be polite and factual or it can be inflammatory"

I prefer _INFLAMMATORY_. It's more fun.

And that would be MISTER "ignorant fucking bastard".

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Bah!

"like the War it is not to be mentioned!"

I think I'll mention it.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/07/11/more-than-2000-men-reportedly-sexually-assaulted-1200-german-women-on-new-years-eve.html

Apparently new year's eve in 2016 (just 2 years ago) involved a large number of rapes, apparently as alleged by "Beatrix von Storch" in the "at issue" tweet, in which ACTUAL! BARBARIC! GANG-RAPING! HORDES! actually HAPPENED.

but yeah, relevant commentary on REAL events, when the politically-correct-of-the-day classes are involved, is "hate speech" (according to the SJWs).

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Bah!

"I have no idea what to do about hate speech on (anti)social media."

how about 'go elsewhere'? or 'do not read it' ?

But, 'control freaks' will always be compelled to control others... and SJWs (in particular, those behind anti-free-speech laws) are nothing _BUT_ 'control freaks'.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Well this could get messy...

there's a *HUGE* difference between Mohammed marrying Aisha at 6 and "consummating" at age 9, and Roy Moore's alleged 'chasing after' a 14 year old girl. The definition of pedophila as a psychological disorder, for example, refers to "below the age of puberty", whereas 'chasing after' a teenager is NOT considered a psychological disorder - in fact, in SOME cultures, it's considered "normal". [of course in western nations it's considered "cradle robbing" but that particular distinction is a social issue that's been decided by courts and legislatures, and is NOT considered a psychological disorder - just creepy].

And don't forget Roy Moore lost the election, kicking and screaming all the way down. When faced with two obvious bad choices, between 'bad' and 'worse', voters held their noses and did what they had to. But I admit I woul have preferred to see Senator Roy Moore rather than "that other guy" simply because "that other guy" is going to be a pain in the ass obstructionist for the next 2 years...

[so consider any vote "for" Roy Moore was more likely a vote "against the Demo-Rat"]

bombastic bob Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Bah!

"barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men"

Surely that's covered under fair comment on factual local events?

And I bet if you take out the word 'Muslim' it would be acceptable. *sigh*.

A few years ago there was a case where a couple of soldiers STOPPED an Afghani soldier from RAPING A BOY on a U.S. military base.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/world/asia/us-soldiers-told-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html

"American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene" "not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases"

"The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it."

(yes it's a New York Times link, so you can assume THIS REALLY HAPPENED)

So when someone in Germany comments on "barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men", I have a proclivity towards BELIEVING IT IS TRUE based on actual EVIDENCE of similar *kinds* of abusive action by a significant number Moslems. IGNORING the facts on this, in the name of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS (and some new FASCIST law that apparently restricts free speech on that basis - and I deliberately use the word FASCIST because I *KNOW* it will *STING*) simply because some poor SJW might feel bad and decide call it 'racist'. When it's NOT. Islam is a RELIGION, not a RACE. And certain practitioners of that religion do things that the rest of the world _SHOULD_ consider HEINOUS.

And NOT being able to talk about it honestly in a public forum because of anti-free-speech laws is JUST AS HEINOUS.

SuperFish cram scandal: Lenovo must now ask nicely before stuffing new PCs with crapware

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

before stuffing new PCs with crapware

does that include Win-10-nic (as 'crapware')?

They should've mandated a 'flush' button to flush all of the demo/crapware off of the system in one fell swoop, maybe a ginormous toilet icon on the desktop or something...

/me once wrote a trashcan for windows 3.x called 'toilet' - and now you know who I am! heh. windows '95 broke it by having its own trashcan, but I convinced M$ (during the beta) to let me change the icon to something of my own making, like er, a toilet. The application I wrote turned the water green if there was something in it, otherwise it was blue. So I could use green-water toilet for "full trash" and blue-water toilet for "empty trash" in Win '9x (and later). I haven't checked Win-10-nic, probably broken there.

UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Extra tax on pubs...

just to point out, this is all about using a TAX to stifle an activity.

I have to wonder if ANY kind of tax would "stifle activity". Logically concludes into an argument in favor of supply side economics (which I'll spare you from). If 'a' equals 'b', then 'b' should equal 'a', right?

Just sayin'.

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

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

Hmmm...

I hope the kernel patches are intelligent enough to ONLY apply the 'slowness feature' when absolutely necessary, and not simply slow EVERYONE down to be "fair" (or, on the part of devs, LAZY).

Judge rm -rf Grsecurity's defamation sue-ball against Bruce Perens

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: I want cake

"Who would be the other party? Anyone who has a copyright in Linux..."

yeah, it's kinda like suing your neighbor because your dog is NOT crapping in his yard (to prove your dog doesn't crap in his yard), particularly when your neighbor isn't complaining about it, even though the guy 3 houses down wrote about "curbing your dog" in his blog.

I think you have to have an actual FILED COMPLAINT before a court case is heard. Otherwise, what's the point?

IANAL and this is *entirely* my bombastic opinion.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Someone'll need to explain what rm -rf means...

tell them to try it out in their "ubuntu on windows" bash shell

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

"I can see why some companies prefer to base things on FreeBSD"

as well as 'clang'

bombastic bob Silver badge
Linux

"If no actual GPL2 enforcement cases arise from this then it's going to make Perens (and the EFF?) look pretty toothless"

so, all it consists of is a set of patches?

theoretically this is fine if the end-user then builds the patched kernel from source and does not distribute it to 3rd parties. However, if it's shipped AS a binary, it may be 'questionable' since, as I understand it, shipping source + patches makes the patches part of the source, which then implies it's GPLv2 being "a derived work".

I don't know the details of what they're actually doing, though. Does the end-user have to build the modified source? If you modify source yourself and do NOT distribute binaries, you don't have to publish the modified source. Does GR restrict (in any way) the publishing of their patches? If they do not, then they should just publish the derived kernel source and be done with it...

(I wonder if the reasoning behind some of this issue involves the money being exchanged)

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

"If no actual GPL2 enforcement cases arise from this then it's going to make Perens (and the EFF?) look pretty toothless"

I'm actually more concerned with the 'SLAPP' effect of the GR Security lawsuits. It makes them look/sound a bit like SCO, throwing sueballs like that.

Apparently the judge didn't see any proof of wrongdoing possible in what was seen as "opinions" in a blog, regardless to its similarity to published works and related libel statutes.

If EFF believes GR violated the GPLv2, they should sue on that basis. That is, if they have sufficient proof... [but I bet they don't]

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

"RedHat want money for their binaries compiled from GPL2 source code using GPL licensed tools"

As I understand it, RH and other companies that ship linux binaries [either as a BLOB with a wrapper, or as a userland-only application] do so with code that they have the rights to do so with.

And GPL licensed tools don't require that the application you build ALSO be GPL [that would be silly], even though FreeBSD [and probably others] switched from gcc to clang to avoid that possibility. And I'm starting to like clang more than gcc.

Anyway, as long as they're not violating the GPL outright, I have no problems with BLOB and closed-source binaries statically linked with an application that may be 'mostly GPL' [such that you can modify the GPL-covered code and re-build it yourself]. These don't violate GPLv2, to the best of my knowledge, though they may be explicitly "verboten" in v3. But I don't want to argue v2 vs v3 so I'll stop now.

[worthy of note, I am _VERY_ glad that Linux has stayed with v2 for the kernel]

Facebook folds fake news flag: We're not disputing that

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Detecting Fake News is hard

"Fake News has been around at least since the early 1900s"

It's like, how long have supermarket tabloids been around? "UFO's ate my puppy" etc.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Sorry I must be living in a cave

"publications such as the Sun and Daily Mail also contain news."

occasionally they do. A broken clock is right twice a day.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: For all the times I ever saw such items on Facebook (obviously quite often)...

maybe people who are on Faece-b[itch,ook] need to (learn how to) do their OWN fact checking?

OK the intellectual laziness that appears to be inherent with a majority of FB users (the ones that trust FB for news, anyway) probably precludes that possibility. But I can always hope [in spite of the apparent facts] that news readers would be at least a *little* skeptical of *any* news story, and want to dig into it a bit more, do some fact checking, etc..

/me laments that "feelies" feel instead of think, or even CAN'T think, and so do not fact check anything.

It's my opinion that half the fun of a good news story is doing a little online research after reading it, and not simply believing everything it says, simply because it preaches to the choir or fulfills "wishful thinking" or, worse, "panders to the perception". 'El Reg' style comments also fun, but the larger news outlets couldn't handle the volume...

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

bombastic bob Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Every day

"You and Bob are typical of the current right wing 'snowflakes'"

'snowflake'? seriously?

Let me tell you what the term 'snowflake' REALLY refers to: those who walk around with chips on their shoulders, offended at EVERYTHING that's not politically correct, who THEN whine like babies until the offending stops, desperately seeking for "safe spaces" (paid for by others, no doubt), wearing "vagina hats" in protest, marching to the latest Saul Alinsky style drum beats of protesting and venting their spleens at every possible offense that could be excreted from the bowels of stupidity, in order to BULLY others, CONTROl people, and generally be a PAIN IN OUR COLLECTIVE ASSES.

I think that word does not mean what you think it means...

So when you see a group of early 20-somethings gathering in a college quadrilateral and having a 1 hour long primal scream because Trump was elected, THEY are 'snowflakes'.

People like me are *FIGHTERS* - and I'm figuratively waving my hand in a taunt, like Neo against 'Smith' in 'The Matrix'. We are NOT "snowflakes". We take on the barrage of howler monkeys (and ACTUAL snowflakes) relentlessly slinging their poo, and offer TRUTH in the face of obvious lies, fabrications, and "fake news".

And most of us fighters just want to live our lives WITHOUT a bunch of ACTUAL snowflakes trying to guilt us into political correctness nor in ANY way giving up our FREEDOM.

Hint: those who seek control over others do so out of FEAR and/or EVIL. And mis-using pejorative labels is ONE way to BULLY people. Should *I* do that to YOU (mis-use pejorative labels) ?

And FYI I'm not "right wing" - I'm a libertarian.

First Allied submarine lost in World War One, found near New Guinea

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Lest we forget.

well it's apparently at ~300m and that depth requires some very special+expensive gear, trained people, etc..

And the crew is "On Eternal Patrol"

(as for history it might be interesting if the people who found it can also determine how it sank, whether enemy attack or equipment malfunction)

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

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: "So if the aliens want to have a go at running things, let 'em. "

no thanks at letting "the aliens" run things. They'd be worse than the elitist control freaks that typically rise to positions of power in our current gummints, advocating policies that literally "keep us in our place" so that we don't become a threat to "them" any time soon...

At least, that's the way HUMANS would do things. Our best and brightest held down, while the biggest takers and leeches are held up as if they're "special" or somehow MORE entitled to the fruits of the labors made by people who are FAR more worthwhile to society than THEY are, while achievement and desire for personal gain are berated and treated as if they're "evil". Nature itself competes for everything, and the STRONG survive, and then breed to make even STRONGER offspring. Whereas an oppressive controlling force would elevate ITSELF at the expense of the rest, twisting the concept of 'fairness' and DISCOURAGING competition...

And THAT is what I'd expect from any kind of "Alien overlord". Because our OWN gummints ALREADY do that to us, ALL OF THE TIME.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Alien

Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

"And once in a very great while, one of those claims will turn out to actually be true"

I suspect it's at least somewhat more often than 'once in a very great while'. But as you pointed out, the burden of proof for ANY kind of paranormal activity is VERY high. Otherwise, claiming Randi's million would be easy.

And yet, sometimes just being able to consistently observe or do things outside of the bell curve of probability may be enough to call it "success", like an unusually lucky gambler that seems to win more often than not... or an unusually UNlucky gambler on the opposite end of the spectrum. Events falling outside of the normal range of expected probabilities, and having THAT sort of thing happen consistently, MIGHT indicate "something else is going on".

And you'd have a hard time proving it with science, using experiments.

So 'paranormal' may be happening around all of us, all of the time, but we hardly notice, because it doesn't deviate that much from the expected normal. Or, perhaps we do not notice because it DOES deviate TOO MUCH from the expected normal, and so our minds filter it out. "It didn't happen" "I did not see that" "That couldn't possibly be what I saw".

bombastic bob Silver badge
Alien

Re: Alien UFO's are Real - True / False...

"The only proposition more absurd than the big bang is creationism."

We were NOT created by UFO aliens then? What about the Anunaki? "Ancient Astronaut Theorists" believe yotta yotta yotta and I saw it all on the History Channel! (that makes it true)

heh.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Alien

Re: Nice article, Ms. Quatch!

BBC America has been playing a constant marathon of Dr. Who and it is my pleasure to recognize that in many parts of this article, the author did a pretty good impersonation of The Doctor's thought patterns, at least once or twice, or maybe 3 times... it doesn't matter.

And how many of those UFO pics were of a small blue box that said "Police" on it...

/me queues up theme song

Where did all that water go? Mars was holding it wrong, say boffins

bombastic bob Silver badge
Boffin

'"There was never water on Mars."

Citation please.'

ack - there's a LOT of evidence that there HAS been liquid water on Mars, not the least of which is the formation of sedimentary rock...

https://geology.com/stories/13/rocks-on-mars/

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: The good news from this is that the water has not left the planet. It's still there.

"Of course how much energy you'll need to apply to what minerals you find to get that water is another question"

A well-designed regenerative process could probably do the job. The question is whether or not forming complex hydrates is endothermic or exothermic, and how much energy is needed to release the water.

From what I just read, CuSO4 5(H2O) is exothermic when forming the hydrate, having a negative hydration enthalpy [and apparantly they're ALL negative, so it's exothermic to form the hydrate]. So it requires energy in to release the water. I didn't research very long, so maybe that chemical formula is wrong. I haven't done that kind of chemistry stuff since 1979...

Still, if you have a large enough power plant (nuclear, let's say), producing sufficient heat to have a continuous process of extracting water from [and grinding up aqueous] rocks, and you use an efficient process that includes regenerative heat exchangers, it would probably be VERY practical.

I'd also be interested in seeing what it would take to melt the Martian planet core sufficiently to get a magnetic field back. OK probably WAY beyond our technology level, but still an interesting idea.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Alien

"The odd thing about Hindu mythology is that it describes so many concepts about the universe"

yes, if you cherry pick it. Vimanas and all of that. I like watching "History" channel too, quotes because it's sometimes less about history and more about 'whatever the hell they want to put on the network'. "Ancient astronaut theorists" and all of that. Sometimes it's palatable, and sometimes I can't stomach the nonsense. And sometimes they 'get it right' in between the "ancient astronaut theorists" parts SO well that I'm intrigued. So it's worth watching, if you can 'cherry pick' the good stuff from the weird/bad.

[not to say UFOs nor ETs don't necessarily exist, I just don't buy into the Von Donnakinism, and if they ARE manipulating us, they're HOLDING US BACK and not "helping", to 'keep us in our place' and NOT become a threat to 'them' - that would make MORE sense, to me... sort of like in "The day the earth stood still", the ~original~ one, not the re-make, which missed the point entirely]

Anyway... Mars still sounds like a great place to set up a permanent base or colony, if you can grind up and heat rocks for water and oxygen. That could work, using nuclear power. Sci Fi has suggested things like that for DECADES, and I think Sci Fi authors are pretty good at predicting what's possible.

bombastic bob Silver badge
Boffin

Re: So there is water on Mars

"All we need now is a giant advance in technology to allow us to squeeze water from a stone."

I'd just grind it to powder and heat it.

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

bombastic bob Silver badge
Coat

Re: Certainly not a narrow Venn slice

"Robots' English makes lots of mistakes with homophones"

I'm thinking of a bad joke right now, one shockingly similar to that 'chorus line musical number' from Blazing Saddles...

/me grabs coat, runs

bombastic bob Silver badge
Linux

Re: The pen isn't included

"have you every tried to upgrade Viao"

yes. I installed Debian Linux on 2 of them, about 10 years ago. They worked PERFECTLY for what we needed them for. We chose Vaio for several reasons, including the NVidia displays they used.

And I'd gladly put Devuan on a Vaio. I might just do that, soon [the current OS is Vista on this one... and I've replaced the fan and it needs a new battery, but still works just fine for day-to-day stuff, even with Vista on it].

I think Sony gave up on Vaio because of Windows "Ape" and Win-10-nic. Too bad they didn't go with LINUX pre-installed, instead...

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Apple pricing?

"has no detachable screen, no touchscreen"

overrated, in my opinion. Given a choice between this Surface II and the MacBook Pro, I'd rather have a Mac. (and it's BSD under the hood! that works well for me, for software development work)

bombastic bob Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Eh?

"Three thousand quid for a 13" laptop!?"

and with Win-10-nic on it, even!!!

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: Accidental Aardvark

I've used an Intel BIOS tool, some time in the past, that booted and updated the BIOS from a USB flash drive. So it was OS-independent.

THAT is the kind of BIOS tool that is needed - not something that REQUIRES WINDOWS to run. Have it boot it's OWN operating system or not even bother with an OS. Even DOS would work for this kind of thing.

China may stick to its own DRAM memory soon – researchers

bombastic bob Silver badge
Devil

Re: State subsidies will allow Chinese firms to eat everyone's lunch

the proverbial crap is already hitting the fan regarding the 'dumping' of solar tech. I've heard ads on the radio regarding tariffs next year on imported solar stuff, "get it done now before the price goes up", that kind of thing.

(this was apparently done before, during the Obaka administration, and Trump recently adjusted the tariff amount, but not as much as some people wanted, nor so much that the industry is harmed).

As long as China subsidizes its state-owned business [don't anyone be fooled; it's heavy socialism with a communist influence over there, so "state-owned" is as good of a description as any] and pay their employees 'slave wages' to make things, they'll always undercut EVERYONE on price. So a little bit of protectionism is acually a GOOD thing in this case. Because the NEXT step is to destroy all other competing manufacturers, like the 'Robber Barons' of the late 19th and early 20th century were doing, by making it economically IMPOSSIBLE to compete.

Still there are other problems with domestic production of solar panels, environmental regulations being one of them [these could be made more 'common sense' to alleviate THAT problem].

So there are things that can be done, things that should NOT be done, etc. but we cannot IGNORE that China is engaging in "unfair business practices" in a lot of ways.

You can't blame them entirely, but you shouldn't make it EASY for them to do it, either.

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