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* Posts by Mage

6751 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Unlocked: The hidden love note on the grave of America's first crypto power-couple

Mage
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Awwww...

Lovely.

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Talk about a positive mental pl-attitude: WD Ultrastars shed disks without hit to capacity

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Speeds?

Higher density per track means higher speed per bit at same RPM. Just as outer edge is "faster" than inner edge (though same RPM).

The SATA speed is only relevant (maybe) when doing Cache hit RAM I/O.

Number of tracks has no effect.

So a 6T drive at same RPM and same number of platters/ tracks as 3T drive could in theoryl be twice as fast at same position on drive. Outer edge maybe about twice speed of inner edge, not sure. It's a very long time since HDD had real fixed physical sectors, where no advantage was taken of higher linear speed as you move head outwards.

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Mage
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Happy

6TB in air

I'd worry too how long Helium STAYS in drive. Air sounds good.

I wonder what the shelf life of the data is when powered down?

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.UK overseer Nominet abandons its own charitable foundation – and why this matters

Mage
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Re: Who owns .uk?

Probably ICANN, he mutters darkly. By ISO it ought to have been GBR, or GB. Like GB Pounds, GB car number plates etc. ISO Codes: "UK Reserved on request of the United Kingdom lest UK be used for any other country," Though the EU uses UK, the UK uses GB for most things (maybe they want rid of N.I.?)

Ukraine is UA

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Mage
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Pirate

Re: Not unusual, unfortunately

Yes, there is ICANN.

Enabling spam by making WhoIs public (a warrant should be needed)

Effectively deleting paid up valid domains without telling Registrants (or allegedly Registrars/Resellers).

Also:

When is a Registrar just a commercial reseller of domains managed by other Registrars.

Exactly why do ICANN exist? Should be replaced by ITU.

Exactly why do Registrars exist? Should be done by National Comms regulator.

Exactly why is there more than a setup charge. What is the annual fee for? (Compare Ham Radio Licences in some countries where there is only an initial charge, because it's a database and costs nearly nothing per person annually after record creation).

ICANN and Registrars are a money making unregulated *Scam*!

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Mage
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Re: Misty-eyed: RAM

I've got every sort, including 1K DIL chips and ones for a Pentium Pro.

They don't take much space. Hence grow,

Baffled by variety of ones for laptops.

Discovered the CMOS / RTCC modules all dead when fixing up an old P4. However easy to hack open battery connections and add a CR2032 socket. The Compaq lunch box wouldn't even start video without replacing it.

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Mage
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Re: Bags full of the stuff

If you don't unpack something within a year of moving, it needs to leave your house. To kids (ours don't want the toys for their kids), charity shop, coffee shop library, recycling or bin.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Attic

I must clear out the upgraded PCW256 (512K RAM, 720K DS SD floppy added). Loads of ISA cards, old motherboards, cables, genuine IBM AT stuffed with VGA card and maybe three AST RAM cards and IDE HDD. Also must chuck the MFM drives, various SCSI drives, ZIP and Bernoulli drives and boxes of cables.

A half dozen boxes of old PCBs from test gear, radios etc in workshop.

Dabbsey has been secretly visiting my home office and kitchen. We now have the never used multi-chopper in a box ready to junk.

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Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user

Mage
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Display

Yes it's got a bezel.

It's also stupid with the notch and curved corners. Pure style ignoring function. It took TV and monitor screen makers nearly 60 years to be able to have the rectangular image go close to the edge of the actual display (Plasma and Mono LCD first).

Now Apple purely for style (watching too much Holywood SF) spoils the display. We are not Cardassians (I never understood why they had those weird displays on DS9).

The price is mental. BT ear is lower quality tech than universal compatible analogue 3.5mm jack. It adds an extra pair of codecs and then lower quality analogue from digital than is possible inside the phone. It's saving 30c and allowing sale of expensive buds that have to be charged.

The increasing trend to remove SD card slots and smaller SIMs is stupid. My watch takes a micro SD and a larger SIM.

It's a phone designed purely on appearance rather than function.

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Mage
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Mushroom

it’s for 18 months, maybe two years,

STOP right there. Almost every company, especially ONLINE (even when European based sales) are trying to claim you have ONE year. They offer to sell extended warranties.

SOGA, all of EU, inc UK and many other countries by law, you have TWO years MINIMUM.

Batteries need to be user or cheaply locally replaceable as they are essentially a consumable and if heavily cycled may not last two years. There needs to be a MINIMUM duration specified for 50% capacity. That's a lack in current consumer law.

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NHS: Thanks for the free work, Linux nerds, now face our trademark cops

Mage
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Coat

Re: "Roll on the next general election, and get these shower of bastards away from the NHS."

And Yes, Minister DELIBERATELY didn't have any scenes in either House.

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Mage
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Crapita

They only take notice of IT they can get commission on?

How many managers in Crapita know ANYTHING about ANY alternatives to leading proprietary and expensive lock in annual licensing?

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VTech fondleslabs for kids 'still vulnerable' despite sanctions

Mage
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Fine?

A modest cost of doing business, peanuts.

10% of turnover or $20,000 per affected person would be a fine.

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National Audit Office report blasts UK.gov's 'muddled' STEM strategy

Mage
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Pirate

Re: a team with "engineering skills"

But not connected with any Silicon Valley or similar operation. We don't want mostly white male privileged sociopaths only interested in exploiting people influencing any decisions.

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Mage
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Also

Making Polytechnics into copies of Universities and dumbing down degrees hasn't helped. We do need pure academic training, but also professionally properly done other STEM training.

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Mage
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Headmaster

STEM

Problem is lack of suitably trained teachers and suitable curriculum. I remember when Apple II, Research Machine 380 and BBC Micro went into schools. The teachers should have got one and training first. There should have been a clear plan.

There is too much emphasis on MS Office and not enough on lab based wider science, simply using Pi or tablet or whatever as a tool for STEM, not an end in itself.

Teachers, labs, and last of all throwing gadgets and IT at it!

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Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

Mage
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Re: HTML mode doesn't have a tree view (for folders)

Should be IRRELEVANT. Total madness to do other than the opened email content using a browser engine, sandboxed, so HTML can be rendered. Such a thing can also manage the sadly rare text email. The rest of the application (or ANY application) should NEVER EVER use browser technology.

Only Web pages and HTML documents should use browser code which should be sandboxed from the rest of the application. Because you know remote content, HTML and javascript ...

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: XUL, HTML etc

The ONLY part of the application that should be remotely related to browser tech, is actually the email contents window. NOTHING ELSE AT ALL. Everything else should use standard DESKTOP cross platform GUI components.

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Mage
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Facepalm

GUI Design?

The application should interrogate the OS and use its current theme. GUI design should be the most routine and basic part, a standard framework nearly.

What's important is that it actually works and the GUI isn't subverted. Stuff is where it is in any application. Menus, check boxes, selection, buttons etc work as expected.

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Facebook, Schrems case cost Irish data watchdog €2m – reports

Mage
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Re: “In essence, if you don’t have a couple of million, you’re out of luck.”

Apple moved from Ireland to Jersey.

Eircom is branded Eir, but has moved "HQ" to Jersey.

There are good laws in Ireland, but rubbish to non-existent enforcement. The problem is ultimately not in Ireland but in USA (lets Corporations do what they like to public) and UK (City of London one of biggest Money Launderers and UK territories outside GB & NI are among the most popular Tax or Gambling company havens. IOM, Channel Is. Gibraltar, Bahamas and others that part of the world.)

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Wave Tata, Capita: You've lost mega-contract to rival outsourcer

Mage
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Flame

Idiots

If your business is about managing information (which Pensions, Insurance, Banking, Morgages etc is), then you have nothing to outsource. Except maybe the high street branches. You COULD outsource those to petrol stations, post-offices, convenience stores. Except the beancounters have no vision, the business perishes because the managing the information IS the core business and expertise.

Anyone doing it cheaper is lying about the quality and/or exploiting / underpaying their workers.

Same about Cloud. Put your online retail on it (elastic, good internet speed etc) but do the databases and backoffice on your OWN iron with own experts and own backup. See book "No Silver Lining" by Ray McCarthy.

Things are going to get worse. I spoke to an IT manager in Capita. "Oh we just do management, we don't have to know anything about actual IT. Never heard of Linux or MySQL or Wordpress or LibreOffice."

It's all going to crash and burn!

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Upset Equation Editor was killed off? Now you can tell Microsoft to go forth and multiply: App back from the dead

Mage
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Re: LibreOffice Writer or Math

But absolutely not privacy free, Cloudy slow Google Docs.

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Mage
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Baffled

a) How can they be so stupid as to lose source?

b) Only seems to affect older versions?

c) MS word gone downhill since 2003 (so has Windows). Excel and Word used to be best and most widely used windows. From 1st versions it was very good.

e) LibreOffice opens, edits and saves both old and new Office docs and has an equation editor. Works on more platforms and much cheaper.

The story and analogies are a little confusing.

ALSO, I don't open Office documents from untrusted sources. Stopped using MS Office in early 2016 and stopped using Windows (except for some games) since Dec 2016. I have two newish machines (desktop & 10" Linx tablet/netbook) with win10, just to boot and laugh at the update cycle. Idiotic GUI and update system even compared to win 7 with Aero off, though even win7 is too flat. I have Win7 ultimate on a Compaq and it's sad compared to a properly installed XP ... or Linux Mint with Mate desktop, that has REAL themes. MS idea of a theme seems to be a couple of desktop colours and a different desktop slide show!

Really MS have lost the plot, but I was confused by the article too.

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Now Meltdown patches are making industrial control systems lurch

Mage
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Re: (D)COM issues?

DCOM is the evil network child of COM, itself evil offspring of OLE. It's always had security problems.

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ITU aims to to keep the radio on with new satellite regulation fees

Mage
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Re: 1,000 Satellites?!?

Mass market mobile or internet. It's still not as much capacity as a fibre bunch cable serving one street.

The limit is launch costs. If they were low enough then you might see a 10,000 sat constellation. Geo satellites are 4 x 22K mile round trip. Closer satellites (low latency) whizz past quickly so you need 1000s just for the traffic of one multi-beam Ka band geo-sat.

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Boffins split on whether Spectre fix needs tweaked hardware

Mage
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Perimeter Defence

Block scripts: Use NoScript or uMatrix.

Turn off stupid things on firewall, such as uPnP

No remote content by default on email

Not clicking on stupid attachments or links

No autorun.

Disable services you don't use.

The dratted malware has to get ON the machine first. Side effect of above is that you likely won't get other zero days and might not even need AV, which is like a trigger happy SWAT team INSIDE the home/office/hotel. Check the guys at the doors, windows, ventilators, sewers and chimneys, stop shooting innocent stuff MEANT to be inside. User training.

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Uncle Sam's treatment of Huawei is world-class hypocrisy – consumers will pay the price

Mage
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Re: Spies, damn spies and corporations?

Certainly more like pre 1912 Empire China than Communist or 1912-1948 China.

Also ZTE is government and Huawei is commercial. Huawei often complain that they are not even considered for Chinese Government contracts.

Unlike the west, Mediaeval Chinese wasn't actually feudal and peasants could rise even to Emperor. Without proving themselves competent, the Aristocracies children would fall a rank. So not Monarchy in Western sense. The Emperor was divine, but unlike English "Divine Right", if a new guy killed the Emperor, he was obviously now the divine one. So less need to re-write history like the Tudors did.

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Mage
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Also

What about all the personal information (some may be government and business info) that Google & Microsoft are stealing from individuals?

Windows Telemetry, Cortana, Edge, OK Google, Android, Chrome and Chrome OS.

What about when these people are working for business, law enforcement, under age students, government?

I've no idea what Apple are up to too.

Amazon are suspect too. The Echo, Fire Tablet and Kindle (Apps worse than actual eReaders which are easier to "airgap".

Really I worry more about American Corporations spying on me than the Chinese Government, as I'm not in China, nor Chinese, nor have and commercial/government secrets they want. The Corporations want to know everything about everyone. It's like some sort of dystopian Harry Harrison story, even more than Orwell (as 1984 was REALLY about 1948 politics)

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Brit transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

Mage
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Re: 'clickbait-chasing journalists recycling press releases'

I've stopped reading the BBC news site, mostly.

They seem to recycle old stories, print stuff from Twitter and Press Releases. Journalism? Spending too much on secret salaries of "Contract" "top" people. Hence worthlessness of their pay review.

Too obsessed with "Balanced views" and promoting their own agendas than honest reporting.

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Think tank: Never mind WannaCry, update NHS IT systems for RoboDoc

Mage
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Garbage In Garbage Out

Apart from the quality (and morality) of the data to "train" the AI, isn't it just more privatisation by stealth?

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Mage
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Advances in AI?

Oh you mean monetisation of patient data by Google and sale of Fake Snake Oil by a super "Intelligent" shade of Blue Marketing?

I've not noticed anything except advances in advertising AI.

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If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Mage
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Re: I did wonder about cause and effect

A Canadian crow stole a knife from a crime scene.

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Mage
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Re: Do they do it accidentally or deliberately?

There is a seagull (of some kind) that steals bags of crisps from the shops instead of waiting for kids to drop them.

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Mage
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Re: Picking up burning/smoldering twigs

Even a common UK rook or magpie could spread fires, except they are busy eating road kill.

Awesome seeing a magpie dive bomb an adult bluetit on the feeder and fly off with it.

Raptors have a spread finger effect on end of wings. Look at a Raven, Magpie, Rook, Hoodie/carrion crow flying. They are mini-raptors.

The small birds are more freaked out by magpies than Rooks. They all vanish from garden if a magpie alights on the shed. Mostly they ignore rooks, though ours have learned how to use the peanut feeder and then others leave. I think they only bother with grain in summer or peanuts in feeder in winter when they run out of insects and roadkill.

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Mage
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Re: But how do they spread fires?

But rooks are now using traffic & traffic lights to crack nuts and snails.

Corvids even in UK turn out to be lazy and thus only demonstrate recognising guns, people, counting, using tools etc when otherwise they'd starve or be dead. Researchers were surprised the common UK rook was able to solve same puzzles (and use tools) just as well as the famously smart Caledonian crow. UK rooks can open a lock with a key and also "fish".

Curiously Magpies or Corvids in general aren't particularly into stealing shiny things, though some juvenile rooks might (recent research). Some rooks will "befriend" a human feeding them and then bring objects, there is no explanation yet.

However guinea fowl and some other avians I've kept seem extremely stupid.

There may be a good reason why the crow family feature so much in Norse, Celtic and other myths.

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You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

Mage
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Text wrangling on windows

Notepad++

(I even have it on WINE on Linux, sacrilege maybe, but I'm pragmatic not dogmatically religious about SW).

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Mage
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Re: live in 2003

Last sane versions of Windows, (server 2003), MS Office. Nokia Communicator not quite dead, they might have gone with S80 / Crystal / Touch instead of S60 abomination.

1600 x 1200 4:3 LCDs on Laptops and better.

What is so great about 2007 to 2017 in the world and IT?

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Mage
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Re: what else would normal people actually need?

Sage Accounts

Payroll apps

CRM

(The leaders on all those sort of applications are Windows only).

Perhaps SAP

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Adobe Creative Suite on Linux...

And being able to BUY Adobe SW instead of rent via Cloud would be even better.

If Adobe continue on current route there may be viable alternatives.

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Mage
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Flame

a throwback to the 90s

No, WIn 3.x, NT3.5x, Win9x and NT4.0 were all FAR more usable than Win 10.

Win10 is like Win1.0 except able to use more RAM and storage. Certainly I've used Windows 2.x, the Windows 286 and Windows 386 and Win10 is less private, more aggravating and less customisable GUI and TOO BLOODY FLAT. What the hell am I supposed click on to change a setting? At least a DOS 2D 256 colour click and point adventure could be fun. And Coloured! I've not used monochrome since 1980s. A simple pair of highlight lines and drop shadow lines doesn't tax any HW made in last 20 years and even fits on a 320 x 200 screen. Is anything less less than 800 x 600, and I don't think Windows 10 works on less than 800 or 1024 lines high? Needs more screen than XP anyway. So what is the point of the Win10 styling?

Maybe Linux can't "win" the OS "wars", but MS are certainly able to commit suicide.

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Mage
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turn to an OS which has a market share of around 1.5%

If Apple continues to iOS-afy OSX and MS continues to crapatise Win10, Linux only needs to stand still on development!

MS is still designing for an OS with now maybe 1/5th of Linux support. As well as forcing a ChromeOS style cloud dependency.

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Mage
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Re: So, 2018 will be the year of the Linux desktop because of Gnome?

Android?

It looks nice and is OK for a phone. Poor on a large tablet. Erratic application support for printing and external storage. They are gradually getting actual GUI features (not appearance) to about the level of Win 3.1 / Win95.

A USB ethernet dongle works on DHCP, but no interface to settings on any Android version I have.

Android is a work in progress, permanently in Beta. The Android TV seems designed for people at a desk using a 24" HD screen and only apps and streaming. The program guide too small font, sorting stations (esp on built in sat tuners) a disaster and GUI generally puts broadcast use & input selection far less important than streaming/apps. It's no use on a 50" 4K TV at 2m viewing distance (average bed or lounge settee viewing).

Also the Google T&C you MUST agree to on Android TV before tuning are probably illegal in EU.

Android is increasingly Google Spyware (as is Chrome Browser, Google Analytics, Chrome OS). They don't need streetview WiFi slurp now.

Android is a GUI for Mobile gadgets & essentially Google controlled Apps (Their version of Java on their version of JVM, Davik). The underlying OS is based on Linux based on Linux Kernel.

Android and Chrome OS are inferior to Linux and ANY decent GUI/Desktop. Both assume the Cloud. I'd prefer Linux on any 7" HD or larger tablet, especially if using to create content, rather than purely consume.

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Mage
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Linux

Re: Cinnamon or Mate, not just Gnome

Linux Mint (18.3) now has flatpacks on Mate. I think Cinnamon too.

It's #1 on Distrowatch and Ubuntu is #4.

Gnome is probably possible on Mint, but it's not a default option.

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How to hack Wi-Fi for fun and imprisonment with crypto-mining inject

Mage
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Re: might cost of the order of 50kWhr

Coin meters on the power sockets. Or people run on batteries.

Actually surprised people not doing this.

"Free" USB charge outlets can use HID to install fun stuff. I only use my own charger. A custom USB charger cable with switch to set resistors on D+ and D- lines to set current and only + & - to host end plug seems a gap in the market. Also solve the issue of gadgets only charging at 0.1A on a 2A 3rd party charger that doesn't provide the expected resistors on data lines.

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Mage
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Re: VPN use

The local uni blocked VPN, so we set up our router to map port 80 to our VPN server. Then VPN worked as the Uni was only blocking ports and not doing inspection.

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Mage
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Re: public WiFi services

I don't use those now.

Even apart from javascript they are a problem unless you only use a VPN. The library wifi service here is unusable by eReaders at all and unusable for laptops / tablets / phones due to security / privacy issues. You have to log in with a library password AND your unique library ID. Sorry but I don't want anyone tracking my research or casual browsing.

I certainly have not used cafe / hotel wifi for about 14 years without using a VPN. Esp. for email.

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Mage
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Re: Mmmm, JavaScript.

uMatrix seems nicer than Noscript?

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Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

Mage
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x8, x 4, x2

It's hard to see where the x8 comes from. The x4 seems unlikely. The x2 is theoretical. Have they modelled impurities etc? Even NiMH vary hugely on quality of materials and the best can equal LiPoly for volume (not weight) after 100 deep cycles. What effect on weight?

So 5 to 10 years or never sounds likely as does 1.5 to x2 capacity (weight or volume?).

How stable and flammable are these with Lithium and Oxygen in them? Note even iron filings burn rather hot in oxygen.

Search: burning iron filings oxygen

Hence icon.

Lithium burns nicely. Even the non-chargeable CR2032 will burn/explode if heated via self discharge in a confined space due to short circuit of a stack.

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Mage
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Re: Oh look, another one.

Maybe patents (and it depends), but not research.

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Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

Mage
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Re: using 52.5.3 now, with NoScript working

Yes, it should be working, No idea why the update to it disabled everything. I uninstalled and re-installed which got back everything except NoScript. However uMatrix seems less bother.

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