* Posts by Baldrickk

585 posts • joined 26 May 2016

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Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

Baldrickk
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Re: Yeah... Right

We have some bike lanes that are only on one side of the road, and are bi-directional.

We have some cases where that is also the case on both sides of the road.

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Baldrickk
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Re: Yeah... Right

My cycle route to my old part time job back when I was in college involved a cycle lane, and also involved a significant portion of the journey spent on the pavement instead.

This was due to the lane hopping on and off the road at different points, whilst having no dropped kerb to allow for it. Going up and down curbs while travelling in the general direction of the road is more dangerous as it requires you to pull out into traffic to get a decent angle to mount the curb, or worse cycle out into the road coming off it.

Obviously you look at the traffic and do it when safe, or you try to, but staying on the pavement (there wasn't heavy foot traffic) was safer.

Contrary to that, when I was cycling to or from College itself, the bike lane was on the pavement.

Pedestrians (mostly other college students) would often just walk along both the path and the cycle lane, right in the way of cyclists.

One afternoon, someone deep in conversation gesticulated wildly, and flung out his arms to full stretch, just as I was passing by.

He wasn't on the cycle path, but he was right next to it, and there was nothing I could do about it in the fraction of a second before we made contact.

Thankfully I knocked his arm out of the way instead of being knocked off (though it did hurt). The open bottle of drink in his hand went right over him.

I was quite happy to tell him that it was his own stupid fault, just like it would be if he stuck his arm out into moving traffic on the road.

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Your mouse can't reach that Excel cell? Buy a 'desk extender' said help desk bluffer

Baldrickk
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Re: mouse balls

This one?

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mouse-balls/

So it's real but not official.

Sorry to spoil the fun

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ESA builds air-breathing engine that works in space

Baldrickk
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Re: Look on the bright side ...

I know the story about the experiments, but what is this about an egg? link pls

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US Army warns of the potential dangers of swarming toy drones on US soldiers

Baldrickk
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Re: Coo . . .

Project X-Ray seems to be even more apt.

It would have worked too.

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Half the world warned 'Chinese space station will fall on you'

Baldrickk
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Re: Hit the US?

Easy solution - hit it over the ocean (ship-borne missile or as it is entering the ocean. For each resulting piece, surface area:mass ratio massively increases, the deceleration due to air resistance becomes a major factor and it falls out of the sky in the safest area possible.

If used as a missile test, then it wouldn't even cost as much as you might think (means you don't need to do separate test launches - assuming that one would be needed at some point)

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'Repeatable sanitization' is a feature of PCs now

Baldrickk
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not intended

"not intended for use in diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of disease or other medical conditions."

I prescribe two hp laptops a day, to be taken before food. Ingest orally.

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IPv6 and 5G will make life hell for spooks and cops say Australia's spooks and cops

Baldrickk
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Re: Backdoors don't matter.....

I don't know about Instagram, but on Facebook at least, they re-compress the images (and jpg is lossy). Good luck hiding your message and not having it destroyed.

But yes, you could use a service that serves up the png you upload to do the job just fine.

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Huawei guns for Apple with Mac-alike Matebook X

Baldrickk
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The new intel + amd graphics chip also looks quite nice

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Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Baldrickk
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Re: An actual usefull scenario...

You can buy apps that enable an "emergency button" on smartphones. You can buy a bluetooth alert button that does the same, and you just wear it like a necklace.

In both cases, they just call the emergency services or another number (e.g. a carer.) Emergency calls do allow the operator to get your location these days I believe.

And I can always just say "ok google, phone 999 on speakerphone" if I have, say fallen through my glass coffee table and my hands are busy trying to staunch any wounds.

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Samsung left off Google's new official Androids-for-biz list

Baldrickk
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Re: China seems fine to me

I'd say that any company with important IP would want to stop China snooping on their data as much as the US.

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The YouTube crackdown on fake news: Promoting bonkers Florida school shooting conspiracies

Baldrickk
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Re: This entire problem only exists...

Why the big secret? People are smart. They can handle it.

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

Probably one of the best lines to come out of a cheesy comedic sci-fi movie ever.

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Baldrickk
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Re: "Operation Northwoods was a proposed"

And Project Pigeon worked but electronic guidance systems came along.

Same with the bat-bomb. That was very effective, gave the world napalm, and only didn't get used because the nuclear bomb came along and the funding was funnelled into that instead.

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The Gemini pocket PC is shipping and we've got one. This is what it's like

Baldrickk
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Re: it's too big

It's too small for me.

As you said, it's better to have e.g. a surface and the keyboard on there.

Even that's not really good. I have large hands and typing (properly) on anything smaller than a standard size keyboard is an absolute pain - I can't fit my hands on it and reach all the right keys with the right fingers.

I'd love one of these but I can't help but feel that I would be reduced to pecking at the keyboard with index fingers

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Baldrickk
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Re: Linux Mint is free

As an experiment, while I was recovering his disk after Windows borked the MBR, I stuck a live disk of Mint on a USB drive in my Father's PC

He's not a techie, but was perfectly capable of finding Firefox, browsing the sites he wanted to go to, found the office suite labeled as such in the applications menu and wrote up a document there and then.

He then got his drive back again and hasn't touched Linux since, but I'm pretty sure he would be fine.

Most PC users, on any OS these days need the browser, email, an office suite, and maybe one or two applications suited to whatever their job is. As long as they know how to do those, day to day issues will be minimal.

I've found that most people are capable enough to look for the settings menu when they want to change a setting. It might be called something different, and in a different place, but most people know what they are looking for, and will recognise it when they do.

There are some users who would not be ok dealing with the change, but in my experience, these are the people who also struggle with Windows too, it's not like things have stayed exactly the same on the UI front from XP to Vista, 7, 8, 10...

Many people might say that Windows isn't exactly consumer ready yet either, I mean why is there still a control panel and a settings screen in Windows 10? Why are some things in one, and not the other, and vice versa?

Mint for example does have all its settings in one place. One could say from this that mint > Win 10 on being consumer ready o_O

It's not complicated, confusing and difficult. It's just different and has less exposure to the average person off the street.

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Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

Baldrickk
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But what if we want to do both?

I could see a VM running via a hypervisor able to switch from low powered chips for browsing on the go to a fully fledged processor & graphics card as and when the power and demand are there being able to satisfy both sets of workloads.

Some "gaming" laptops are getting thin now, and the addition of a low power processor would not really have a very big impact.

At a high level, it could be no different than when a laptop switches from using the on-die graphics (for low power consumption) to using the discrete graphics card (for performance), only it's shifting the CPU workload over, instead of the GPU workload.

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Baldrickk
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Re: Going from 32 to 64 bit was so simple nobody really noticed it happened

Somebody never tried Windows XP-x64...

Horrible driver support, terrible application support. It was a terrible mis-step.

MS did improve on this with Vista - though that for many was still a 32-bit OS, and it's only with Windows 7 that 64-bit became mainstream for Windows users at home. By that time MS had had many years to get device manufacturers on-board with driver support. Even now, how many apps are 32-bit only?

It's a bit like the Millennium Bug. Basically, nothing happened, but only because a lot of work was done to prevent it from happening.

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Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

Baldrickk
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I actually don't mind this - much... but...

This would be terrible on mobile though, the last thing I want is a site hammering my battery - this applies to laptops etc too.

On the desktop? Well, I do have some computing power to spare if I am just browsing the web.

If a site isn't charging for access to content, they do need to pay the bills somehow. Trying out these sort of strategies can only be a good thing - we find out if they are accepted and work, or are not and don't.

My preferred strategy would be to have an ad system that only has certified clean ads on sites like these.

If a site can promise that they will only have some banner ads, no autoplaying videos, no third party scripts (potentially malicious) from the ad slinger etc, then I would be happy to white-list their site - there are sites that I do indeed to that with already.

If a site has offensive, or badly behaved ads then that adblocker is staying enabled.

The ad industry only has themselves to blame for adblockers existing. People don't go around tearing ads off of bus-stop billboards etc because they are there, and you can ignore them. They are not a significant detriment to the people they are being shown to. Popups, autoplaying videos etc are.

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US cable giant tries to wriggle out of 'crap ISP' legal battle now that net neutrality is dead

Baldrickk
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Oh no FCC...

Of course cable companies can be trusted to be play nice if you give them free reign...

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Hot NAND: Samsung wheels out 30TB SSD monster

Baldrickk
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Re: nate1981

What? Are you wanting 30TB in a laptop?

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Baldrickk
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Not a single 5.25" slot.

There is a 3.5" 'bay' and a 2.5" 'bay' (actually, both drives are attached to the back of the same plate the Motherboard is attached to) which house my 2TB spinning metal data drive and my hybrid drive respectively.

If I get an upgrade, it'll be to replace the hybrid with a full SSD. I'm fine for slow spinning metal for my movies etc.

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Baldrickk
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So now we can have 30TB SSDs, can we reduce the price of the smaller ones, as they are obviously much easier to make, right? right?

I was hoping that the price of SSDs would have begun to normalise by now, but to take https://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-Sata-Solid-State-Drive/dp/B078WR35K7 for example, vs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-P300-7200RPM-SATA-HDWD110UZSVA/dp/B0151KM3I0

Now obviously there is a very big performance difference here, but is it really worth over 10x as much? YMMV on that.

I have a compact case, and limited room for disks unless I duck-tape them to the inside of the case. If I replace my spinning platter (I actually have a 750GB hybrid drive right now, which is great, but a bit small) I don't want to have an even smaller drive, and for >£400? I'd prefer a VR headset - I'll personally get more out of it.

One does wonder if the high prices are in some part due to artificial scarcity...

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Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

Baldrickk
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I shopped at Maplin this Christmas. They were the only actual shop that stocked the correct bulbs for my Father's extractor in the kitchen. None of the three DIY shops nearby had the right rating to match the specced bulbs (and to match the other installed bulb/s)

I also bought myself a maplin own-brand wireless keyboard with trackpad which has been brilliant. It's better (for me at least) for typing on than a couple of other brands including the equivalent Logitech model which I had been considering, plus it was slightly cheaper.

It's a shame that they are in trouble, as I like being able to poke around and see things in person, even if I am just picking up the boxes - it's a much more fulfilling experience than shopping online.

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A print button? Mmkay. Let's explore WHY you need me to add that

Baldrickk
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1/3

Way back in 2009, taking advantage of this methodology a famous Microsoft study (PDF) found that only a third of the features in their software were used as intended, or used at all. Think about all that fat in the other two-thirds that could be trimmed!

I remember reading about that study (I couldn't be bothered to read it at the time, but various summaries have found their ways in front of my eyes since)

It seems that the report was saying that any one user only used roughly 1/3 of the features, but that that 1/3 set of features was not the same across the userbase.

Therefore you cannot just wipe out 2/3 of your application and call it streamlining / removing bloat / technical debt reduction etc.

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Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

Baldrickk
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Re: Robot manufacturing

What am I missing?

For starters, the moon is a pretty terrible place to put stuff, or refuel for inter-planetary travel. The ∆v to get there, and the ∆v losses from losing the Oberth effect (accelerations closer to the bottom of a gravity well are more effective) make it pretty much a wasted trip. Sure, if you were visiting from elsewhere, and the choice was between visiting the Moon for fuel, or going down to Earth's surface, the Moon is the better choice, as long as you can process the fuel when you get there.

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Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Baldrickk
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USB-C docks are not great...

I have one at work, it's fine, except from when it crashes and my external monitors, the network, keyboard and mouse all stop working.

It's also not supported by bcrypt, so I need to have the laptop open anyway to use the built in screen and keyboard every time I want to turn it on, which means it requires desk-space and can't be tucked away under a shelf and just left there.

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Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

Baldrickk
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Re: What PII? Static IP

Everyone on Virgin has a static IP.

Lots of other ISPs offer a static IP, some don't charge more.

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Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study

Baldrickk
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Re: *Shrug*

>I doubt you've had FTTC for 16 years as it has not even been around for that long.

In a sense he is right as that's what Virgin more or less run.

Well, he probably had cable for 16 years (I live in the inital roll-out zone for cable, and have had it for about 18 years now). At some point the connection to the cabinet was upgraded to fibre.

Virgin's network is fine (unless you apparently live in an oversubscribed area, but as that doesn't apply to me, I can't really comment on that) in terms of downlink bandwidth and latency. As can be seen by the numbers in the OP though, the upload is limited. Very limited.

What the numbers don't show is that there is a 1GB soft cap on the upload, at which point your upload speed is halved. Upload another 1GB in the next two hours, and it gets halved again.

Now try playing competitive real-time online games while other members of your family are filming full HD videos of themselves and uploading them via WhatsApp to their friends...

My biggest frustration with the Virgin Hub (we have a Hub2 so no Puma related problems, though my father hasn't run into those either, probably just lucky) is the lack of QoS built in.

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Baldrickk
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Re: It doesn't help

Virgin advertise "Fibre" which is FTTC. They offer speeds of up to 300Mbs which is perfectly attainable by the coax running the last few of tens of metres to your property. You can get 1Gbs over Cat5e/Cat6 copper cables (Cat6 will do 10Gbs)

Nowhere do Virgin claim they do FTTP, and I fail to see where the problem lies here.

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Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!

Baldrickk
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Meh

If they meet their promises...

You can be sure I'll be lining up to get one.

Far more likely I'll be sat here behind my desk feeling sorry for the suckers who believed in the product like those poor unfortunates who put money behind the Vega, because you can be sure that I'm not putting any money into this pre-release.

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Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Baldrickk
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Re: blast away

He's literally using the processor named in the linked article. The one that actually says the exact opposite of what Orlowski says it does.

Thankyou.

I didn't go searching for a comparison, I was pointing out a factual error in the article.<br>The article states that the iPad chip outperformed the listed Macbook's processor. This is not only false, it isn't representative of the source (if the source had claimed that the iPad outperformed the Macbook, then this would be more understandable)

Personally, I would have looked for a benchmark vs the latest Surface and maybe a Macbook Air, as competitors in the same market.

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Baldrickk
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Re: blast away

Too late to edit to update my original post, but here are the numbers:

the A10X achieves:

a single-core score of 3929 and a multi-core score of 9372.

the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro achieves:

a single-core score of 4255 and a multi-core score of 13,727

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Baldrickk
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If you want to do "proper" work, you need Windows (I hate to say it), proper Windows, not half-baked Metro-eqsue Windows CE equivalents

Well I'd say you need a proper desktop OS, be it your choice of Windows, *nix or MacOS in whatever is your preferred flavour.

On the rest we agree.

A good few years ago now, my father was looking at getting a tablet for when he was away from home. I pointed him at the Asus Transformer line, with the Atom processors, so they could run full x86 Windows. It's been working great for him.

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Baldrickk
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blast away

more than sufficient to blast away a desktop chip in benchmarks.

Erm...

Reading the linked page, the processor "comes close" to matching the entry level macbook's processor on the benchmarks.

While this may be great for a tablet and totally sufficient for the work you are doing, it's hardly blowing away desktop chips, is it?

1) You're comparing it to a processor in a laptop, with tighter power requirements than a desktop chip

2) It is still slower than said chip

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Who wants dynamic dancing animations and code in their emails? Everyone! says Google

Baldrickk
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I hate AMP

Having pages actually laid out nicely for mobile consumption is nice, but it didn't need AMP to happen.

Especially if you visit an AMP page in Chrome on Android, the page takes over your browser... DO NOT WANT.

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Hyperoptic's overkill 10Gbps fibre trial 'more than a clever PR stunt'

Baldrickk
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Re: Poor contention?

I've got the 1Gbps symmetric connection here in Bristol and with SpeedTest on my iPhone I get ~400Mbps over wifi

I wouldn't expect a faster speed from a phone. In fact I'm surprised to see you got that much. I've yet to see a phone max out my 125Mb/s download at home (Though my desktop hits the limit just fine over wifi)

Physical connections with quality kit are the way to go for reliable high speeds.

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Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

Baldrickk
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Re: I hope these were supposed to be humourous.

Sometimes low-tech is the best tech.

The less complicated it is, the less there is to go wrong.

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What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Baldrickk
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Re: Tax write-off

I mean, who bothered to report on Dragon's maiden flight's cargo? (a soft cheese, as it happens).

Well, in that case, the fact that they didn't reveal it until after the flight had happened and 90% of the news had already been reported, leaving it as a side-note for bloggers etc to comment on after the fact did that.

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Of course a mystery website attacking city-run broadband was run by an ISP. Of course

Baldrickk
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Trollface

Pai: "Of course we can trust the ISPs and Cable companies when we repeal net-nutrality."

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Google's cell network Project Fi charged me for using Wi-Fi – lawsuit

Baldrickk
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Re: Looks like I'll soon be seeing a RED BANNER when using cell data

And that is why the first thing I did was to turn that feature off when I unboxed my new phone a year ago - and on the old one too, when it came in an update (yes, an Android update delivered by the carrier!)

I prefer to have control over which service I am using, especially when one has no limits, but is positionally restricted (home broadband) and the other can be used anywhere but has usage limits, I obviously don't want to be using the 4G connection at home, despite the mast being across the street, and delivering comparable connection bandwidth.

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South Wales cops crow about facial recognition arrests on social media

Baldrickk
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Presumably they don't get flagged up in Birmingham because the tech is being trialled in Cardiff.

And yes, it is exactly like pulling over a car based on matching model and colour from the description of a vehicle used in a crime.

Provided it is used properly, i.e. faces are captured only for checking against the wanted faces, then I have no problem with this. If not, well...

If it makes the police more effective at their jobs, so they can be more effective, then I wish the best for then. If used as a way to cut numbers of police on the streets, then it's being used in the wrong way.

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Spectre shenanigans, Nork hackers upgrade, bad WD drives and more

Baldrickk
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mydlinkBRionyg

I wonder if Briony G. will be feeling hot under the collar today?

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Disengage, disengage! Cali DMV reports show how often human drivers override robot cars

Baldrickk
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Re: The "Kitty Hawk" moment

Have you considered that these were often the first actual tests that they ran? They would have been a spectacle regardless of whether they worked or not - and if they did, they would have wanted some proof.

The only parts of that footage that appear to be at a proper show are the three shots of the same aircraft - the one flying into the mock house. It is notable that the design on that aircraft looks more like a properly viable aircraft. Indeed it's flight was stable, if on a collision course with a solid object that it appeared unable to avoid.

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Baldrickk
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Re: Paradoxically, yes

Why would they need one, if their car is fully self driving?

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Baldrickk
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Re: I'm not sure I want to be in an AV on a dark rainy night.

Darkness will not be an issue, at least not if the car is using Lidar - it doesn't rely on ambient light.

Rain will be a problem, but only so much as it is to humans too - it's a physical obstruction.

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Baldrickk
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I still think that maybe we don't have the full information.

The article mentions the difference between manual and automatic switching of control back to the driver. How much of this is because of a different testing strategy, and how much is because of failure of the control system?

Seems like Waymo is doing allright.

I half suspect that once one company has cracked it, it'll become a de-facto (if not enforced) standard. The Marketing seems to write itself.

I also quite firmly think that anything beyond what we pretty much have already with Tesla "Autopilot" but falling short of fully autonomous is doomed to fail as a product - purely because of easily distracted bags of meat not being ready to take over controls in case of emergency.

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Windows Defender will strap pushy scareware to its ass-kicker machine

Baldrickk
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Re: Hahaha

I don't disagree with the point at all. While a specific identifier is useful in identifying a particular error, it's almost completely useless as the sole output of en error message.

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Baldrickk
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Re: Hahaha

Can you elaborate on 0x6c0029?

A quick search on the G only returns your comment.

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New click-to-hack tool: One script to exploit them all and in the darkness TCP bind them

Baldrickk
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It's pretty hard to invent a "good" use for this, although perhaps I'm lacking imagination.

Automating security updates to vulnerable kit?

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PC not dead, Apple single-handedly propping up mobe market, says Gartner

Baldrickk
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Re: Hardware lasts

That 750 is a lot newer than 2009.

In 2008 my 9600GT was new. I bought a GTX 570 in 2011, so it's newer than that too.

Your point is still valid though.

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