* Posts by steelpillow

386 posts • joined 16 Jun 2016

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Distro inferno: Debian's still rocking at 25

steelpillow
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Pint

Re: And another one

1 Devuan, 1 still Debian but quaking in its boots.

Adopted Debian many years ago. Tried on occasion to elope with RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu, Mint or whatever, but always came back when Debian mended its ways and the others lost the plot again. Will I ever return from Devuan? Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets please....

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If you drop a tablet in a forest of smartphones, will anyone hear it fall?

steelpillow
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big screen landfill

If you actually need a screen as big as a tablet then you need a decent keyboard. Maybe they should include Chromebooks in the stats count. Or rename the current stat "big screen landfill"

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Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November

steelpillow
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Lost the plot

Already we have to enable Google XSS just to log in on the web.

Already official support for the Debian client has been dropped and the version frozen.

Now we see a pruning of *encrypted* filesystems of all things. Unencrypted I could understand, but ENCRYPTED (he shouts) is just two fingers up to us.

Dropbox, you are driving away your foundational user base, the geeks who seek out and support independent and privacy-strong providers. This is no way to grow your reputation or bottom line. You are undermining your USP in just about the most efficient way imaginable.

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Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

steelpillow
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Trollface

Whose side is it not worth being on

I'll bet Google see this as a way to stave off Surface sales - "We run your familiar Office apps too", meanwhile M$ see it as a way to do the exact opposite and penetrate the Chromebook market, and are busy putting together a suite of crippleware for it - "Our apps work so much better on our own hardware".

The licensing deals would make interesting reading.

I am reminded of George Orwell's Animal Farm, in which the rest of the animals could no longer tell the pigs apart from the men they were doing deals with.

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Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

steelpillow
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On the stroke of midnight

would you rather your car turned into an Apple or a pumpkin?

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Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

steelpillow
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Facepalm

"Because speaking a trivial command out loud is still too intrusive"

Researchers accustomed to working in libraries will never, ever use a voice assistant as their primary UI.

I am sure I am not the only one. For us, the keyboard will remain paramount, as it is faster than any other silent data entry (except maybe for Chinese, where hunt-and-peck character pickers can hold their own).

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UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

steelpillow
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So much for growth

"We are overrun with orders, turning customers away"

"Then take on more staff"

"There isn't enough experienced talent out there that can hit the ground running"

"Then take on more contractors"

"It'll cost - have to raise our prices"

"[Expletive deleted]"

"And we'll have to take on someone to do the IR35 shit"

"A contractor to administer their own payroll?"

"Yes"

"[EXPLETIVE DELETED] that!"

"Time to sell out and move on, my dears."

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Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

steelpillow
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Re: Wikipedia, yawn

"This file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested."

Wikipedia, the encyclopedia any monkey can edit!

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steelpillow
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Boffin

Wikipedia, yawn

This is all old news for us Wikipedians. We have created a special website for images, called the Wikimedia Commons. Only free-licensed and out-of-copyright images are permitted. "Don't know" is likely to be taken down for the well-worn legal reasons just discovered by the school.

There is also a "fair use" rationale for some copyright images in certain circumstances, and those can - with care - be uploaded to Wikipedia itself.

I suppose the big news is that even though the EU legal advocate missed the plot, the judgement didn't.

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UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

steelpillow
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Linux

>Cough< Open Source >Cough<

Proprietary lock-in? What could possibly go wrong?

Seriously - connect the codies to the teachers and then just get out of the effing way!

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IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

steelpillow
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Childcatcher

Big deal, huh

At a technical level, IP 4 and 6 are incompatible. Yet on a functional level they are: both do the same job in allowing my web client to visit sites with both v4 and v6 addresses, and for those sites to serve to both kinds of client.

It does not seem rocket science for a v6 configured NIC to run a parallel v4 emulator and direct traffic internally to the appropriate process. You know, ARM and x86 processors are incompatible but you can still emulate the one with the other and run its code, just do the same with IP. If such a need ever develops, I am sure someone will start meeting it. But at the moment, with NAT being so mature and useful, there is not yet a need. What v6 advocates really want is a killer upgrade that irretrievably borks NAT for all time. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, we have multiple processor architectures, we speak multiple languages ourselves, we fuel our vehicles with petrol, diesel or electric, we will just run two protocols on our networks. Big deal, huh.

Icon for the children who will live with the reality.

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Reckon you deserve a Wikipedia entry? Try getting this bot's notice

steelpillow
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Thumb Down

Quality of cites is more important than quantity.

Every academic knows that a high publication count will help your career, and many form rings who regularly cite each other's stuff so as to bump each other up the ladder.

Bots counting Google hits is a sure way to include the biggest scammers with the thinnest papers in the list.

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Greybeard greebos do runner from care home to attend world's largest heavy metal fest Wacken

steelpillow
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Re: Care Homes had better get used to it

BOFH, then?

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steelpillow
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Devil

Re: Care Homes had better get used to it

Now I have this vision of an album cover featuring an ageing rocker on his Harley, getting airborne as he bursts through the wall of his care home, wings of Death looming in the red sky behind.

Album title anybody?

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steelpillow
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Megaphone

"disoriented and dazed"

Wasn't everybody? It can't have been much of a gig if that marked them out as different from the rest of the pack.

icon for the softer passages.

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steelpillow
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Re: "Dazed and confused", surely?

Upvote for Led Zep ref.

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Rights groups challenge UK cops over refusal to hand over info on IMSI catchers

steelpillow
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Re: "ISMI is or ISMI ain't fake access?" (with apologies to an ancient TV advert)

How sad, the typo has now disappeared.

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steelpillow
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Headmaster

"ISMI is or ISMI ain't fake access?" (with apologies to an ancient TV advert)

Edit > Find > [clicketty:] ISMI > replace > [clicketty:] IMSI [Return]

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Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

steelpillow
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Re: Linux

Upvote for stealing my post. I had even copied the same quote to my clipboard, ready to paste in.

What killed the first generation was $trong-arM tactics from the likes of Guess Who, making it clear to manufacturers and dealers that they had only one future.

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Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

steelpillow
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Joke

Toast

"Has Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf not taught these people anything?"

Yes, I cannot imagine why it did not offer the subjects toast.

Maybe the researchers were sensitive about what might become of their careers?

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Well, this makes scents: Kotlin code quality smells better than Java

steelpillow
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Coat

The smell of outdated coding practices

Elderberries?

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Drink this potion, Linux kernel, and tomorrow you'll wake up with a WireGuard VPN driver

steelpillow
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Mushroom

Re: There is no proper installable device driver system

That is total bollocks. All those options are picked up or dropped according to choices made at various stages by the distro, kernel build and install options. For example I use Devuan Ascii's AMD64 build with MATE desktop and customised to my PC via a net install. Linux has even been run on smartwatches. Try that with your iOS or Windows 10!

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steelpillow
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Boffin

Re: Because it's still a module?

"I see that it will remain a module, but the intention I get from this is that they are trying to make it compiled directly into the kernel. Maybe the article is misleading"

A Linux kernel module is a flexible beast which can be treated in several ways:

Once it is in the kernel tree you can choose to:

1. Compile into the kernel, for speed and compactness.

2. Keep alongside for convenience in tinkering.

3. Ignore in favour of something else.

If it is not yet in the main kernel tree then the options are broadly the same, but 1. and 2. are harder and only 3. is the default.

The submission is about moving it into the main kernel tree.

The article is misleading because it appears not to understand this.

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steelpillow
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WTF?

Because it's still a module?

From the actual submission:

"This commit aims to be as self-contained as possible, implementing WireGuard as a standalone module not needing much special handling or coordination from the network subsystem."

So it appears to remains a module. Or is this just a module in the kernel and not actually a kernel module?

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Amazon, ditch us? But they can't do without us – Oracle

steelpillow
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Headmaster

Wrong question

"Just 2 per cent of 154 execs surveyed said Oracle was their most integral vendor for cloud computing"

Which matters diddly squat, because migration to cloud is still a revolution in progress. What matters is the stuff you are migrating to the cloud. If Oracle have their suckers hooked on that, whose cloud are you going to migrate it to when the day finally comes?

IMHO if Amazon, RedHat and Google joined forces they could hammer out a usable OSS competitor. Pooling their patents and opening them to GPL copyleft style licensing would eventually push Oracle into a corner it couldn't escape from. In my dreams.

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Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

steelpillow
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Facepalm

"These jars DO produce current - that is easily proven. Therefore, by definition, they are batteries."

A potato produces current if you stick the right wires in it and connect up a digital clock. You can buy the kit all over the place.

OMG! God made batteries and disguised them as potatoes so only the worthy would realise the truth!

At this point, all puns about chips should be exorcised with bell, book, candle and of course, spirit vinegar.

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steelpillow
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FAIL

Re: I have no idea if it works, because I've got a beard

The razor-blade claim has been around for many decades. When it first came out, several scientists tried it independently and all found it to be "irreproducible in the laboratory", i.e. bollocks. I cannot believe that the laws of physics have changed in the last thirty years.

Oh, yes, except for a friend of mine who kept his blades in an old envelope because they stayed sharper than the ones kicking around on the bathroom shelf. He reckoned that a cardboard pyramid would do the job just as well, and I am confident that he would be proved right.

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steelpillow
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Facepalm

IgNobel nomination, anybody?

It is indeed a shatteringly world-changing discovery that an asymmetrically shaped lump of dielectric material will interact with wavelengths comparable with its physical features and, moreover, that interaction will be asymmetric. My legs have gone all wobbly at the implications for my (ex-)profession.

Next time I crap an asymmetric turd, remind me to point a millimetre-wave 5G communications signal at it and see what Mr. Hanky has to say for himself.

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Nokia scores a $3.5bn deal to inflict 5G on T-Mobile customers

steelpillow
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Devil

Re: Stop 5G

The mm-wave GHz bit does look barking mad, I don't know why they didn't just go for IrDA again, that was the last steerable tight-beam game to flop.

Low-power narrow beams steered by algorithm, everything within sight absorbing or scattering it into the noise floor, gazillions of little repeater stations round every corner and behind every wall - all presumably funded by selling you a repeater station for every room in your house, plus one for the car whenever it draws up alongside a truck.

Reminds me of the periodic proposals to pump the Interweb over power lines, having to learn each time round that street lights are also half-wave antennae.

Still, what do I know? The voice of experience or an outdated grumpy old git? Not sure I care, just got myself a new 4G toy. :-)

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The internet's very own Muslim ban continues: DNS overlord insists it can freeze dot-words

steelpillow
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Re: Too late

"They already gave out .bible, .catholic and .church - despite objections."

OTOH they have not given out .christ, .christian or .christianity.

If somebody applied for .koran, .shia or .mosque would they approve those?

This "prejudice" cry seems a tad lacking in supporting evidence.

Keep that banhammer swingin' ICANN, and keep poking those tickbox merchants 'til they change the rules.

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Hurrah! Boffins finally discover liquid water sloshing around on Mars

steelpillow
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Boffin

Not so much a lake

"matching water or water-rich sediments", said the man in charge.

OK, so - if it were salt water like say the Dead Sea then the sand and stuff would sink down through it to the bottom, either lifting the water layer higher until it reached the surface, or simply becoming a layer of "water-rich sediments" in its own right. Underground lakes can exist under solid rock, as in Derbyshire's Speedwell Caverns, or under ice as in Antarctica, but not under soft sandy sediments.

Yes, the radar returns are compatible with a lake, but the rest of the geophysics certainly is not. It's like water-bearing sand/rock strata anywhere, and we don't call those "lakes".

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I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

steelpillow
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Trollface

Rivers of blood

Wot no "Rivers of blood"? This noob is a babe in arms when it comes to fascist rhetoric.

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UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

steelpillow
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Trollface

I bet...

"I bet if I mentioned a certain agency and a trigger words that go boom, I would soon be target no. 1"

Any real terrorist uses codewords. I bet the spooks long ago followed Google's ancient dumping of HTML keywords as worthless, and would not give a flying f*ck for your keywords neither. </wanders off muttering about script kiddies>

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steelpillow
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WTF?

So that's the big deal

Sloppy admin. We've all done illegal stuff without realising it. Woken up and driven to work while our blood alcohol was still a tad over the limit, cycled up a one-way street without noticing the sign, let an almost-adult kid watch a dodgy movie without their parents' express consent, whatever. Now it's the Home Secretary's turn to illegally delegate powers. What can you do, slap the spooks for doing what their political masters expected because they were too lazy to do it themselves?

Look, a horse just bolted from that stable over there, better go and lock the door quick.

Roll on ubiquitous encryption and open democracy, I say.

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If only 3D desktop printers could 3D print sales! Units crash in Q1

steelpillow
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convenience vs quality

Something reasonably reliable and adequate for a quick, low-cost, if rather lumpy set of visuals has fallen in price from the pro range to the domestic, while something that cuts the high-end mustard still comes with an industrial-scale price tag and the smaller pro will outsource rather than buy.

The "pro" sector in between is getting squeezed out.

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Bonkers Azure bookings give Microsoft a record-breaking $110bn year

steelpillow
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Rebirth of the phoenix

Sounds like they will soon be giving AWS a run for their money. Jeff Bezos, spend it while you can!

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Brit tech forges alliance to improve cyber security as MPs moan over 'acute scarcity' of experts

steelpillow
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Facepalm

Qualifications

OMG we are short on cyber specialists who meet the essential minimum qualifications:

* Have a documented track record of approved buzzwords

* Are nevertheless prepared to work for peanuts

* Are happy to do IR 35

* Are happy to work for Crapita

* Are sufficiently experienced despite:

* Not being OLD!!! >horror<

I am afraid that I retired early on failing to meet five of those qualifications after a mere ten years of roaring success, and I have absolutely no intention of going back. I am confident that I am not alone.

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People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

steelpillow
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Re: Mainframe?

This kind of horses-of-my-own client was/is known as a "smart terminal".

Make it mobile and swap "mainframe" for "cloud" and yes, that's about it.

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

steelpillow
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Facepalm

Re: Time for a bigger stick.

''Do that, and you'll probably just price everything out of range. Everything has an effect.''

OMG! Prices are already £30,000 too high. I know, let's repeal the regulation requiring water, leccy, drains, phone and emergency vehicle access. You could save even more by not putting a roof on.

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steelpillow
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Flame

Outrage

I have FTTC - fibre to the cabinet. It was delivered to my area by BT under the "Superfast Worcestershire" programme. But the cabinet is over a mile away, I am refused a superfast deal because the connection simply is not there: I get ca. 2MB over copper-to-the-premises and that is all. And they have refused to install another cabinet closer to us, they have the bloody nerve to officially advise us to go the satellite route as part of their delivered solution!

That BT/Outreach can claim they have delivered me and my neighbours FTTP/superfast broadband is a complete outrage.

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Gov.UK to make its lovely HTML exportable as parlous PDFs

steelpillow
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History repeats itself

Are you sure this is .gov.uk and not Wikipedia? The same leisurely approach to customised HTML-to-PDF conversion is under way in both, and Wikipedia have made a .gov.uk-style ballsup of their first two stabs at it (wrt stephanh's comment, round two was a fruitless attempt to make headless Chrome fit for purpose) and in desperation have outsourced Round Three to their book publisher. It's so the same story in different clothing.

HTML5 sucks in more ways than most folks, including .gov.uk, realise >cough< offline >cough< javascript >cough< information layout >cough< and pdf, done properly, has a lot going for it in its own niche. But I have to ask, if dual-media publishing from a single source is the aim, then why fuss about accessibility of the pdf when you can have to flippin' access the html edition in the first place in order to get to it?

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It's coming home, it's coming home, it's coming: Storage's coming home

steelpillow
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Coat

Home, home on the range

My latest invention is a router with terabyte data storage, OwnCloud and encrypted VPN built in. Just plug it in and all Ur stuff R Blong 2 U agAn. :-)

Except in power cuts. :-(

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God Exists?

steelpillow
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Define "God"

"That from which I came, that in which I dwell, and that unto which I shall return". Is that a reference to some universal deity or to the physical Universe? The answer to that depends on your religious perspective.

How does my personal inner experience relate to the information patterns carried by my brain activity? According to Integrated Information Theory, "consciousness is what information feels like once it reaches a certain kind of complexity". But how does that inner experience arise? This is the "hard problem" in the philosophical theory of mind. Neither symbolic information nor experience is a material thing and therefore neither is amenable to the physical sciences or their chemical and biological derivatives. Does that mean they are independent planes of existence or are all three inseparable in the same way that the multiple dimensions of spacetime are?

Whether you call the Ultimate Reality God, the Multiverse, the M-Brane, Allah, Jehovah, the Tao, Brahmin or the Flying Spaghetti Monster is all the same to me, I care only how It and I relate to each other. Only the thoughtless attribute any anthropomorphic features to it, and that is one thing where both Islam and Judaism have stayed a step ahead of modern Christianity (which fell into the trap of idolatry around the start of the medieval era).

IMHO the question "Does God exist?" is merely a way of hiding from the fact that you have no idea what that "God" is or what "existence" might mean in that context. Only the thoughtless deny Its existence without stopping to think seriously about whose God they are denying. Most atheists fall into the trap of denying a straw God conjured by their own prejudices, fondly imagining It to be every believer's God.

Our OP appears to have done what so many of us do, escaped from the one trap only to fall into the other.

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Microsoft bids adieu to inky fingers with whiteboard app

steelpillow
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Re: About time too

" I have thrown away several "smart" whiteboards ... If you want one, I have one in my store room."

>SHUDDER!<

The touchscreen monitor is 120% of the value here.

Have you ever tried pulling up Google Maps and comparing routes to TGI Friday vs. Wetherspoons on a smart whiteboard, then emailing the marked-up map to your team mailbox?

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steelpillow
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Thumb Up

About time too

How it pains me to say so, but Microsoft actually deserve credit for this. Ever since giant touchscreens appeared, integrating a decent whiteboard app into the MS Office environment has been an utter no-brainer. Here we are, maybe ten years down the line, and MS have finally woken up and smelled the coffee.

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A curious tale of the priest, the broker, the hacked newswires, and $100m of insider trades

steelpillow
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"What trades and what similarities? If they've known there was trade about this in particular, couldn't they just interrogate the other party"

Stock trading doesn't work like that. You trade with a registered broker or similar and they buy and sell the amount you want, there is no one-to-one between client transactions.

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Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025

steelpillow
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About time too

Should have been started twenty years ago when the first small-scale FTTP rollouts were already proving their worth.

Fibre should be a national essential service, compulsory for all new-build like water and electricity, and at a fixed price schedule so that rural users don't get stung.

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Up in arms! Arm kills off its anti-RISC-V smear site after own staff revolt

steelpillow
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Alert

Not everybody will forgive and forget

Fat Freddy's Cat says: "Remember the Wayback Machine before you publicly shit on somebody."

https://web.archive.org/web/20180101000000*/riscv-basics.com

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You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’

steelpillow
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Mushroom

Netbooks

When the netbook first arrived Linux was pretty much the only OS the hardware was capable of supporting (the original Psion "Netbook" was more a statement of intent that the genuine article). Its first flush of success was stifled by typical M$ tactics - leaning on manufacturers and outlets alike to pull their Linux toys or lose their M$ franchise, bringing out shite "prototypes" with impossibly unreasonable spec sheets, throwing sueballs at anybody who told tales, etc.

Now, 20 years down the line, M$ have finally reached a convergence of hardware performance and software streamlining that makes it sort of do-able. Meanwhile that same evolutionary curve is delivering a second wave of Linux kernels in Google's "Chromebook" netbooks that leave this shite in the dust every which way imaginable and some that aren't.

Only a poo icon can express what M$ have created, so here's the next best thing.

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