* Posts by Voyna i Mor

3090 posts • joined 3 Nov 2015

Enigma message crack honours pioneering Polish codebreakers

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Saving Private Lion

My biggest shock as a kid was discovering that the British war with Germany was, basically, a sideshow (though an important one) and the real war was Soviet Union versus Germany and US versus Japan. Enigma and radar saved the UK, but American production (and the T-34 in all its variants) were what won the war in the West.

This isn't to belittle what Turing, Welchmann et al achieved, but to point out that the achievement was mainly in a UK context. Tragically, when the time came, Britain was unable to rescue Poland either from the Nazis or the Soviet Union. I'm still surprised they've forgiven us.

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iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Patented battery design

"My MSI laptop has a similar shape batery and its 4 years old"

Is it a pouch cell design or is it made of individual cells? The Apple design is patented over the wider seal at the corners and applies to pouch cells.

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Voyna i Mor
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Patented battery design

Apparently the battery shape is patented - so there goes third party replacement batteries.

I'm sure it could have been designed with a rectangular battery, but where's the fun future profit in that?

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UK cops run machine learning trials on live police operations. Unregulated. What could go wrong? – report

Voyna i Mor
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Re: ML²

"But if you do that where will all the MPs and civil servants get their stuffed brown envelopes from?"

No problem, envelope addressing and stuffing machinery has been around for many years. You just need a suitable driver for the AI - a source code free blob, of course.

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Voyna i Mor
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Machine undercover policing

Perhaps the goal is an AI undercover policeman that will have affairs with environmental activists without having a wife to find out about it. But there could be downsides. Like machine learning empathy and ethics.

Yes, I have been reading Questionable Content. So?

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Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

Voyna i Mor
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

"Just stop right there.... the vast majority of people that have mental health issues do NOT and are not violent."

Actually, it's well known that people who are mentally ill tend to follow the preoccupations of their society. For instance, in the Victorian era religious obsession was a big thing; in the Freudian era mentally ill people tended to become sex obsessed, thus providing circular justification.

So if a society has a significant number of mentally ill people shooting people and blowing things up, what does that tell us?

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

"and occupying territory, particularly urban territory is a resource and tactical nightmare for any military, particularly when the opponents can blend with the civilian population."

Which is why the preferred US military technique since 1941 has just been to blow everything to bits and rely on "God taking care of his own".

The amount of ammunition used in the invasion of France in 1944 was so huge it caused major logistical problems.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

"According to the CDC 500,000 to 3 million people per year are protected in the US by the defensive use of firearms."

Citation? I am really curious. And I look up stuff on the CDC website fairly regularly.

Or is this not the Centre for Disease Control but some other organisation entirely?

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Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

Voyna i Mor
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How does this work?

I mean, is this his spur of the moment explanation for a weird fetish? Because I just don't understand how you would test fruit in that way. For one thing, the bum is not that sensitive to pressure, for obvious reasons.

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SAP claims to be first Euro biz to get seriously ethical about AI code

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Are you Mad? It just aint gonna happen.

amanfromMars1 - that post was perfectly intelligible. and I agree with the general drift.

Are you sure you're OK?

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Voyna i Mor
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Black Helicopters

Intelligent robots bribing for contracts

I don't see why not, as the only reasonable explanation of some government contracts is that they were allotted due to the bribery of and by unintelligent robots.

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Dead trees never failed anyone

"Sounds like every engineer responsible for the industrial revolution , thinks Stephenson (pere et fils) , Trethevick, Newcomen, Bazalgette, Edison, Otto"

I eventually made a career out of stuff that did not exist when I was at university. But without the "learning how to learn" I wouldn't have done it. I believe you can become a programmer by teaching yourself, but not a software engineer. You might become one through working alongside better qualified and more experienced people who are willing to instruct you, but that's de facto apprenticeship, just another form of learning from other people.

As counter examples I offer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (French university and apprenticeship), Dr. Rudolf Diesel (German universities and apprenticeship), Benjamin Baker (grammar school and apprenticeship), Charles Parsons (Trinity Dublin and St. Johns Cambridge.

Watt notoriously had the idea for a separate condenser (his actual contribution) but then had to find people who could actually make it for him.

The tl;dr is that the actual problem with the Industrial Revolution in England, and why they were overtaken by Germany, is that the self taught engineers were too slow to adopt scientific method. By the time engineering was professionalised in the UK, Germany and France had caught up.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: "I had a meeting in Norwich (someone has to)."

"Bloody kids today, eh? Tablets have been around at least since Moses!!!"

You must be the one who makes sure Google Translate isn't context-sensitive.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Dead trees never failed anyone

"It is very telling of the state of the industry that people who works on IT are the first to doubt the technological capabilities of... well, anything."

There's a lot of things that shouldn't work but do. The idea of 100% defect free is comparatively new, in fact*. Approved products have AQLs, being kitemarked doesn't make them all perfect.

The fact that my mobile phone often goes months without restarting and yet behaves itself is something I wonder at, because I have some idea of just how many things can go wrong, from obscure software bugs down to inadequate CPU tracks eventually failing through metal migration.

But, and this is my point, it's all kept going by those of us who do doubt the reliability and capability of things.

*In the days of Lucas ignition, it was not at all unusual for an engine to misfire 5% of the time, which was why electronic ignition would produce a sudden power and economy boost. It was just accepted as part of the natural order of things. One of the things that sunk the Velocette company was that when the magneto supply for their big singles dried up, the coil ignition just didn't work well enough.

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Voyna i Mor
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Devil

"I had a meeting in Norwich (someone has to)."

I once had a meeting in Norwich with some staff from an insurance company which shall be nameless.

Frankly it would have been more interesting and less painful to have spent the time smacking my balls with a tablet, had they been around in the early 2000s.

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Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Congratulations

" it's that focussed leaders who will not compromise on quality or security and who have headed revolutionary products for decades create bad products compared to teams of management graduates who understand team-building because they went on a course about it once."

If you look at really big projects like CERN, or mainstream car builders, Boeing or Airbus, that's pretty much correct (except that European managers tend to be much,much better trained than Anglophone ones.) Then there's the armed forces, also highly trained in management and co-operation. Part of Eisenhower's genius was applying management techniques to invading Europe.

Every project tends to need a Type A person or three to kick it off and establish the outlines. But when it becomes an essential part of a lot of people's work, it needs the skilled administrators to keep the edifice functioning. The difficulty is usually for the founder to let go, while experiencing growing frustration because there are things outside his (or her, in some cases) control. One startup I worked for, the wife of the founder demanded he take a month off in the West Indies away from the phone. It probably saved his sanity.

Unfortunately there are always people like you about, willing to worship the Type As and validate their view of the world when you should be whispering in their ear "Remember, O Caesar, that thou art mortal".

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Voyna i Mor
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Re: HMSO - How does one automate a PHB anyway?

"I met Harold Wilson (OK he said good morning as I was walking* to the Isles Of Scilly Airport, to look after a Syledis beacon for a cable laying operation)."

Another boy at school spent his summer holidays on the Scillies near the Wilsons. He found the islands so boring that he enquired whether they needed a part time gardener. He got a very nice letter back explaining they already had one, thank you, but the upshot was that we started going to the Strangers Gallery after Royal Institution lectures. A high point was in a very boring debate when Wilson walked in, looked around with an expression of utter disgust, and marched right out again.

I don't think you can do this nowadays, which is an example of how the terrorists have, actually, won.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: HMSO - How does one automate a PHB anyway?

Harold Wilson (that Harold Wilson, the PM) had an answer to that. He wrote a paper suggesting that bosses be replaced with a set of traffic lights connected to a random number generator. Red - no; green - yes: amber - resubmit project next month.

The decision process was likely to be at least as reliable as the typical manager and had the advantage that, being so fast, if something didn't work it could be rectified before it became a problem.

He also wrote a statistics paper showing that the result of First Division football matches (in a day before all the computers and money) were indistinguishable from randomness.

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You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

Voyna i Mor
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Paris Hilton

Re: Physical Access - This is the well-known Evil Maid attack.

You missed the correct icon ---->

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: OMG we're all skrude!!!

I tend to agree. The message from work like this should simply be "These are good security practices, follow them because you don't know what might happen if you don't."

Some of them are a bit like "If you go into the red light district of an unfamiliar city unaccompanied and a dodgy looking character asks if you want to go down a long dark alley to meet his sister, you might not be going to meet an attractive, 18 year old, disease free nymphomaniac." It may be interesting in a Schadenfreudian way to read about people who did, but at some point someone is going to say "couldn't this just be generalised into "don't go down dark alleys in red light districts".

This is quite different from things like Spectre, of course, which doesn't have a simple, obvious mitigation like "turn off when not using and keep secure when off site".

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Again.. How many people turn their machine off?

"The British Shakesphere Association are real bastards."

Let me guess - you shouted "Francis Bacon" under their windows?

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The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Eff off Apple - Extra glue and price have worked really well for Apple.

@Updraft102,

nice rant but you may not have noticed that I was constructing a joke about recycling, based on what someone actually said to me. I really didn't need all the instruction.

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Voyna i Mor
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It's the Oxfam effect in action.

Oxfam discovered it was cheaper to try and get more money out of existing donors than to find new ones, so they annoyed me into not giving them any money at all. But clearly it worked well for some people.

Apple, in fact, is betting on a static pool of increasingly well off people. Given their ability to afford the very best economic and social advice, I think we should all think about that and be afraid. 1789 and all that.

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Voyna i Mor
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Headmaster

Re: Eff off Apple - Extra glue and price have worked really well for Apple.

I was told off recently by a cabinet maker for calling "glue". He says glue is what you make from inedible bits of horses. What Apple use is adhesive.

Don't give them ideas. "This year's iPhone is more environmentally friendly than ever...and can be recycled by cockroaches."

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2-bit punks' weak 40-bit crypto didn't help Tesla keyless fobs one bit

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Would have been nice to target the right manufacturers El Reg

"In retrospect, perhaps Tesla should have checked what they were buying more carefully."

Yes.

An interesting fact based on my own experience is that companies buying your product who do thorough security evaluation are far less likely to give you grief further on, so it works both ways.

Perhaps car makers have to learn this lesson because Tesla is far from the worst (remember the Rover, I think it was, with a handy socket in the wheel arch that allowed you to bypass the remote entry system?).

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Problem-solution dichotomy

"Oh! The humanity! I have to put this stuff down! I really don't have 15 seconds spare in my day to do this!"

The upper classes have never had to do this because they had slaves workers to do it for them.

The amount of energy and material used to give us convenience functions is far less than was required in the past to maintain that army of workers. And that army itself was frequently a bit criminal, so we aren't really losing that much security. For every Jeeves, doubtless an Unjust Steward.

So... why shouldn't we have stuff? So long as society as a whole is treating people decently, and things are sustainable, I really don't care.

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Law firm seeking leak victims to launch £500m suit at British Airways

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Fees?

"The state, perhaps? Of course, that only applies to countries where the state is not a fully-owned subsidiary of industry."

But without laws and lawyers, that would be an arbitrary State with no control over its power. A dictatorship, in fact.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Fees?

Let's try the other one, from A Man for All Seasons:

"Where will you hide when all the laws are beaten flat"?

Lawyers, whatever their faults, are part of the reason things like cars and aeroplanes are so much safer nowadays. Insurance companies had a part to play, but without lawyers who would have got the manufacturers to do anything?

The Spanish airline known as BA does need to learn the hard way that it cannot cut corners, just as does the Spanish bank known as TSB. Even if the damages are limited to the bank costs of replacing all those credit cards, the harm caused in real.

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It's here! Qualcomm's new watch chip is finally here! Oh, uh, never mind

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Battery life depends upon battery capacity - Really?

You realise this stuff is aimed at marketing people in luxury goods brands?

But actually it isn't wrong, it's just saying that the improvement in run time (4 to 12 hours) will depend on the capacity of the battery to start with as well as any changes to display etc.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Nobody cares

It seems to me that every attempt to shoehorn a full UI into a watch is the Windows Phone of watches. Apple may sell a lot but it still seems to be a product with very little functionality per dollar, and unlike those mechanical watches, nobody is going to be handing it down to their children.

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Volkswagen faces fresh Dieselgate lawsuit in Germany – report

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Meanwhile BMW

"I don't know about you, but spontaneous combustion seems a more immediate issue than emissions cheating."

It may be. It depends on the frequency and severity. The BMW problem has caused 27 fires, no deaths reported.

Ford have had to recall two and a half million of their F-150 urban runabouts due to, I think, under 20 cases of the pretensioners causing a fire in the C-pillar when deployed. Also no fatalities.

Although it is difficult to provide precise numbers, NOx emissions do have an effect on healthy life expectancy.

So although it's a literally invisible problem, lying about NOx emissions could be a far more serious problem

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Voyna i Mor
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"Germany's molly-coddling of the car industry has to be seen to be believed."

See also US treatment of its arms industry and UK's treatment of its tax avoidance industry. In other news, countries tend to be nice to their cash-cow industries.

I don't approve of the fact that everybody does it but...everybody does it.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Fraud or fraud and hypocrisy.

This is Germany, where insider trading used to be quite legal (I don't know if it still is as I haven't been reading Handelsblatt for years).

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Nokia reinstates 'hide the Notch' a day after 'Google required' feature kill

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Here's an idea!

""Was removal of the 3.5mm ear/mic jack purely to sell expensive buds?""

Some of the most expensive earphones have 3.5mm jacks.

I am sure the reason was to sell earphones with tiny, short lived batteries and thus keep the replacement cycle going endlessly. When I read about BT earphones with batteries as easily replaceable as those on a hearing aid I will review that statement.

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Voyna i Mor
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.....Who actually wants a U-shaped screen?

Do not give them ideas.

(Because I'm a peasant, I would want a non-U shaped screen).

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Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Tough times

Musk is also about to be sued by Vernon Unsworth in three countries. Calling a 40 year old Thai woman a "12 year old child bride" could just possibly come back to bite him. Especially in a country where aggravated libel can result in a prison sentence (Thailand). Not that he's likely to be going there.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Musk did get one thing right

I used to read The Guardian till I realised you needed an income over £150k a year for it to be worth the effort. Musk has probably heard of it because its readership is the most likely in the UK to buy one of his expensive cars.

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Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Hope it's true

"But I do remember reading aeons ago though that, according to the maths anyway, this wouldn't pose a problem to objects already travelling faster than light."

Tachyons, which were really a thought experiment.

The small problem with tachyons is that they are completely undetectable. They have zero mass, zero charge, and cannot interact with anything.

We also know that they cannot be anything to do with dark matter because they could never clump in galaxies.

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Voyna i Mor
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"It has been shown that dark matter doesn't interact with the electromagnetic spectrum."

It's tautological, it is called dark matter because it doesn't interact with EM waves (which include light).

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Brit teen pleads guilty to Minecraft-linked bomb and airline hoaxes

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Problem dissolved

"enabling and responding to these suggests that all our security theater is shooting us in the foot."

"SWAT" hoaxes have resulted in actual fatal shootings by police.

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Benchmark smartphone drama: We wouldn't call it cheating, says Huawei, but look, everyone's at it

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Isn't this easy to fix?

"and run the programs that people are likely to run directly."

It seems easy, doesn't it? But you're going to have to use the same data set and so on every time and that will be difficult. Games? You're going to have to find a way to cycle exactly the same game sequence. Email? You're going to have fun with that, sending thousands of messages to verify that as the available space fills up performance doesn't change. And if you use the same game with the same data, how long before the manufacturers get wise?

If you look at the standard range of benchmarks they do attempt to replicate real world problems like rendering, they haven't been simple Whetstone/Dhrystone (or even Linpack) in ages. The people who develop them are rather clever.But so are the manufacturers.

Hence my apparently simplistic suggestion. What limits phone performance is normally thermal throttling. As heat dissipation means get better, this becomes less of an issue so long as batteries hold up. So the best and simplest way to verify performance is to measure temperature. Better thermal design should result in higher performance, or in longer silicon life if it isn't pushed. But it will also become quite obvious if benchmark detection turns on more power because temperatures will go rather high.

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Voyna i Mor
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Isn't this easy to fix?

Mandate a temperature sensor be used while running benchmarks and placed on the hottest part of the phone. Report the temperature.

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Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Saints and fools

It's not written by an American because it's irony. Which we do, and only East Coast intellectuals do over there.

But in fact many of the saints were pretty dysfunctional, publicity mad bastards, so it could just be factual. Saint Dominic could teach Rees-Mogg a thing or two about self publicity, for instance.

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Huawei Mate 20 Lite: A business mobe aimed at millennials? Er, OK then

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Headphone jacks:

The FM radio in phones is one of those things you don't need till you need it. Jackless phones don't have FM radios. An aerial can be improvised from a bit of wire stuffed into the headphone socket with a match if required. It seems expensive phones are turning into sports car lookalikes - losing functions rather than gaining them. Laptops have a single USB-C. Is someone trying to tell us something?

Consume what we want you to consume, in the way we authorise you to do it, helot.

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Voyna i Mor
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Re: Too much choice

I wonder about the extent to which these are aimed at different markets around the world, depending on carrier and channel agreements. I'm reminded of the same situation with HP inkjet printers which had a truly bewildering model range - but looking at the different distributors and countries where they sold, there were commercial, not technical, reasons.

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Black holes can briefly bring dead white dwarf stars back to life

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Join the Q

I assume that's a joke post (the superluminal neutrinos) but I downvoted it because it isn't funny or witty.

The way particles escape black holes is easy to understand, see Hawking radiation.

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Voyna i Mor
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Is that an I or an l in your username

OT but that is surely one of the most annoying bad decisions in designing a typeface ever made.

I keep all my passwords in a secure local app on my phone. The other day I had to use one of them on a laptop. After three attempts I realised what the problem was.

The answer was to paste into an office application and change the face, thus finding where the problem was (one capital I and one lowercase l). But whoever decided to omit the crossbars on capital I should be taken out and shot. As I'm not vindictive and nasty, just shot in the backside with BBs. But still, shot.

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Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

Voyna i Mor
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Re: Right to be forgotten

"No, but the librarian *is* responsible for its presence (or, in the opposite case, its non-presence) in the library."

I don't know if this is still the case but there were certain libraries, including that of my old university, which were supposed to get a copy of everything printed and published.

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