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* Posts by John Brown (no body)

10974 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

John Brown (no body)
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"So it's an inertial tracker that will work on the Discworld, provided you don't need to know your elevation."

That explains why it's so big. You need somewhere for the ants to live in the CPU.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Impressive kit

"It'll have to be squeezed down to half a brick if they want to use it in vehicles, "

Once the manufacturing has been outsourced to a Chinese factory, expect a surge of cheaper, smaller models to suddenly appear on the market.

The one with Mandarin for Dummies in the pocket ----------->

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Yikes. UK military looking into building 'fully autonomous' killer drone tech – report

John Brown (no body)
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"Therefore what are we talking about here? Has gun then kill? That doesn't work for friendly fire reasons or are we really looking at dark skin has gun then kill or are they just going to go with has dark skin then kill?

I'm quite concerned about this and the implications."

I'm a little concerned that your assumption is that white v non-white is the default scenario.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Missiles, Torpedoes, Mines etc.

"True, but only up to a point, as we are getting into a grey area. Systems like Brimstone (or is it Stormshadow?) perform an assessment of the situation and decide whether to press home the attack or just fly of and blow up in a safe zone. That decision is made on-the-fly by the missile, based on pre-programmed data and data gathered at the scene"

That actually sounds like the opposite of what the article is about. Your example is a of a weapon sent/aimed at a specific target, which then, for whatever reason, can choose not to hit the set target. The article is about sending drones to a general area where the "enemy" is and then letting it choose what might be targets and then choose which, if any, to destroy.

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Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "The goal is to make the users the beta testers"

"I wish. Their financial results suggest there's no negative consequences from their shoddy software and exploitative business model. Microsoft are the modern day IBM, and second raters rightly conclude that nobody ever got fired for buying crapware."

Yes, it's called vendor lock-in. Few businesses know of alternatives, never mind being prepared to spend the dosh to move to an alternative. And of course, so much software is Windows only, you really don't get the choice of OS anyway. Why would MS care in that situation?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Shame to see it end like this.

"Nothing could be worse that the chaos that is ****ing Android. Not only do various system settings jump around in between updates (or worse, just vanish)"

That's one of the things I most hate about Windows. The Control Panel is ALWAYS changed with each new version of Windows. Now they have two different control panels!!

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Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Why would database software be written ...

"It is the way of things."

Thanks for the TL;DR version :-)

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Thank $deity that week's over. Look, here's some trippy music generated from pixels of a Martian sunrise to play us out

John Brown (no body)
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A Suitable Oppotunity For a Funeral Dirge.

The post is required, and must contain letters.

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Two fool for school: Headmaster, vice principal busted for mining crypto-coins in dorms, classrooms

John Brown (no body)
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Re: 2K in bills

I was wondering that too. The whole point of any mining or manufacturing process is to make a profit, whether that be cash or strategic advantage. So why was he so worried about the cost of the 'leccy? Is it maybe that the hype over cryptocurrency has outstripped the actual value of the currency. If the currency costs more to produce that it's worth, then it's just a bubble waiting to burst.

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ZX Spectrum reboot scandal firm's original directors rejoin

John Brown (no body)
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<i>"advised them that it would be illegal"</i>

Is Levy a lawyer now? It might be risky giving out that sort of advice without the advice of an actual lawyer.

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My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Guilty!

"LapLink, bloody hell. Memories. Not good ones."

Rooting around for something else the other day, I came across my home-made "hydra" laplink cable which has 25 pin serial at each end, with an extra lead out from each 25 pin to a 9 pin serialand also 25 pin D printer port plugs. It saved on carrying adaptors. Tangled up with it was with an actual Dymo labelled cable on it saying "ParNet" from my old Amiga days :-)

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Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy

John Brown (no body)
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Re: recompense?

"IME that counts as an unusually lavish reward."

Fuck yeah! One customer we had, annual 6 figure contract for over 10 years, consistently cited my and a colleague in satisfaction surveys as one of the reasons for staying with us. I never got as much as a "well done" from my company. But when a salesdroid fucked up and we lost the contract, said saelsdroid didn't get punished in any way because, well "customers go and customers come, that's the nature of the business". I know damn well if I'd fucked up enough to lose the contract, I'd have been pushed out the door with no parachute.

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Third Soyuz does not explode while auditors resume poking around NASA's big rocket SLS

John Brown (no body)
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Re: three or four launches enough to assemble the ISS

"Not just about weight though. Stuff has to fit in the fairings. So while on pure tonnage BFR could do it in 3-4 launches, if stuff don't fit the fairings the launch count goes up."

Bigelow :-)

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As if connected toys weren't creepy enough, kids' data could be used against them in future

John Brown (no body)
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"Um, are we expecting six year olds to be fully woke privacy activists?"

Stranger Danger!!!!

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Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way

John Brown (no body)
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Re: "could we visit it?"

That's for a timewarp, not a spacewarp :-)

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British fixed broadband is cheap … and, er, fairly nasty – global survey

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Downloads

"If the greedy telcos removed those, fixed lines really would become a thing of the past - at least in my house."

They will. Until the fixed line competition is gone. The the caps will come back and the prices will rise. It's all down to who blinks first, then the rest will follow.

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Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

John Brown (no body)
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Re: 60W light bulb

"Anyway my A size lamps are 7W LED not 60W incandescent. So there!"

That crossed my mind too. 60W light bulbs have been off the shelves for quite a while now. Are there still enough them out there to call them "average"? I'm not even sure what an "average" light bulb is these days, the range of sizes, ratings and technologies is pretty wide nowadays.

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UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Sledgehammer for the wrong nut

"Why would that be, I go to a post office, and I identify my self, vote, pen and paper, and the rest is the same."

What country are you in? In the UK, you apply for a postal vote, the postal ballot form is posted to your home address, you (or someone, that's the point!) fills it in and posts it back. At no time do you visit a Post Office or are verified in any way.

<EDIT> Ah, oh bollocks. I just noticed your icon. You got me, you git!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: So...

"You can’t get a job without proving the right to work."

Having a right to work doesn't mean you have a right to vote. Especially after Brexit.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: So...

"Not everyone has a form of acceptable photo ID, I have family who don't drive and have never travelled abroad."

Just like my wife. Likewise, none of the bills are in her name either. Only her bank account is her name. So that's one bit of non-photo ID where two are usually required.

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John Brown (no body)
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while you are not supposed to be carrying an ID, the police is entitled to request that you attend within a week (if memory serves me right) your local police station and identify yourself. Not doing so is a criminal offence. So much for not having "Papieren, bitte". Itn reality, it is just "Papers by end of the week prole".

While true, the above is not complete. The Police need a reasonable level of suspicion to demand such. They can't just stop you and ask for ID for wearing a loud shirt, or having a beard.

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John Brown (no body)
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"I stayed in an hotel in Scotland earlier this year and also last year with no such demand."

Same here. I've stayed in half a dozen or so in Scotland in the last year. Some were unmanned receptions (self-service computer check-in), some were chains like Premier Inn, manned and a couple of country side pub/hotels, none asked for ID.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Netherlands

"Besides that, we receive that poll card automatically by mail about six weeks prior to the election. Without a poll card, you just don't vote. And that system with poll cards has been in place since way before I was born in 1965, one of the advantages of a functioning (legal) inhabitants registration system."

Same here in the UK, except you don't actually need to take your poll card with you. It's easier if you do, of course. I can;t see any reason why the poll card can't just be the voter ID anyway. Voter fraud is pretty low and in general the only people able to take anthers poll card and vote on their behalf are people who live in the same house. I can't see why more expensive poll cards with unique barcodes and a tablet with an app at the polling station are needed. The poll cards already have unique IDs on them anyway, ie registration number and the voters name and address.

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John Brown (no body)
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"I have a perfectly valid paper driving license

that is currently valid for at least another 10 years"

Me too! An on using it both as ID and on one occasion getting a courtesy car from a main dealer during a service, I've had to disabuse people of the notion that it's no longer valid. A main car dealer really should have no excuse for not knowing (she had to go get a manager to check).

I've also used my company ID badge as proof of identity, and that's a pretty poor badge. Anyone could produce better at home :-)

I've even had difficulty getting into some schools (very rarely), where I'm there by appointment, they called us to come repair the computer, I have the call details including make/model/serial number and the name of the person who logged the call.

What generally happens is people are given examples of what are acceptable types of ID and that rapidly becomes, inside their own heads, the ONLY acceptable type of ID.

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Google logins make JavaScript mandatory, Huawei China spy shock, Mac malware, Iran gets new Stuxnet, and more

John Brown (no body)
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"but the sheeple don't seem to care, or even know about it."

Well, yeah, Australia. Aren't there more Sheeple than people there anyway? Especially on the big outback stations where men are men and sheeple are scared.

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Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Honestly can't decide

"David Bellamy" isn't dead yet! (but is the epitome of "local boy made good" so was very, very popular around these parts.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Edward Jenner, the inventor of vaccination.

"Everyone has heard of vaccines. Many have been vaccinated. But how many know the name of the person who invented vaccination? Truly an unsung hero."

I don't know the state of science teaching in secondary schools today, but when I did my GCEs in the late 70's, pretty much every "forgotten" scientists mentioned in these pages was part of what we learned about at school in Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Maybe we had exceptional teachers at my school?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: A tricky balance between worthy and recognition

"Putting Rosalind Franklin on as a kind of consolation prize smacks of white male guilt and would have probably just annoyed her."

Not saying this applies you specifically, but more often than not when I hear or see comments like the above, I find it says more about the the speaker/writer than anything else.

Having said that, although the work she did was very impressive and important, I don't feel it stands well with those who invented new and original work. Hers was very much a case of standing on the shoulders of giants in that she improved on existing techniques. Science needs people like her, but she's a premier league player, not a superstar. And she didn't have a beard :-)

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Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Spooning toner into the copier

"He managed to pry the magnetic disk out of its casing and wondered why it didn't work as intended..."

I used a craft knife. The glue sealing those floppy disk envelopes was bloody strong!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: At Anonymous South African Coward, re: fingerprint powder.

For some odd reason I just thought: "What's it made of? That's easy! Ground up fingers! They take 'em when they fingerprint you during booking!"

Aaaaaaand, I'm sure you know how baby oil is made too!

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Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Ada Lovelace

"Basically, she is the first person to have stated the idea that the mechanical and mathematical processes, as used by the Babbage machine, might have application to things that were at the time considered to be the domain of Art, not of mathematics."

Was she the first to print an ASCII art Snoopie?

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We (may) now know the real reason for that IBM takeover. A distraction for Red Hat to axe KDE

John Brown (no body)
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"Actually I was thinking of stuff like the primary selection and X forwarding."

Has anything changed WRT to Wayland and some sort of equivalent to X forwarding? It's something I use constantly and I'd really rather not have to have a full GUI running on a remote system just so I can run a remote GUI application remotely inside a full remote desktop GUI a la Windows RDS.

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This revolution will not be televised – but it will be sanctioned: Googlers walk out over 'sex pest' executive scandals

John Brown (no body)
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So you get harassed at work in a way that breaks one or more laws. Yet your employment contract says you have to take your complaint to internal arbitration, which is binding, can't be appealed and can't be taken outside to the legal authorities. What the hell kind of employer does that make Google? Which jurisdictions is that legal in? (note to self, never apply fora job in those jurisdictions!) and how the hell does an employment contract T&Cs trump the law?

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'He must be stopped': Missouri candidate's children tell voters he's basically an asshat

John Brown (no body)
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words or actions.

"Steve West's shocking and vile comments do not reflect the position of the Missouri Republican Party or indeed of any decent individual. West's abhorrent rhetoric has absolutely no place in the Missouri Republican Party or anywhere. We wholeheartedly condemn his comments."

...and they kicked him out the party....when?

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UK and EU crawling towards post-Brexit data exchange deal – reports

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Er "draw up new contracts" ?

"How exactly will that make a company that is now part of a 3rd party country suddenly complaint with EU law ?"

It works for the USA :-)

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£220k fines for dodgy dialling duo who didn't do due dil on data

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Mass Dialers

"In the USofA, many local school districts use them to inform parents of events at their kids local school."

Hacen't they heard of the internet?

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US Republicans bash UK for tech tax plan

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Just Another Corporate Mouthpiece

"And it's not all Republicans - they own plenty of Democrats, too. It doesn't really matter which of the two parties is in power as they're both pretty much bought and paid for. There are exceptions, but they're too few to do any good."

I know transparency in government is usually seem as a good thing, but I wonder how votes in the two houses might turn out if they used a secret ballot?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: An easy solution

"You mean I could have been charging the offspring for use of my surname?"

You mean you didn't patent your DNA? <point and laughs>

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Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

John Brown (no body)
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Re: It might just be...

Likewise, it might be worth it just for the copper,

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Craven District Council

Oh, riiiight! I just spotted he said "craven", not Craven. Well done that man :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Craven District Council

From the article, it's in North Yorkshire. That should narrow it down a bit. If not, try this "dumped at the side of the B6479 between Horton In Ribblesdale and Selside.", also from the article. (B6479 is a road number, Google maps should locate it for you, especially given the two village name)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

If all the keyboards are removed, the next time the field is re-booted, will the crop grow in the form of an error message? Keyboard missing. Press F1 to continue.

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Boffins have fabricated microscopic sci-fi tractor beams for real

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Wasn't it Gene Roddenberry in Star Trek?

They were being used as plot devices in SF long before Star Trek, at least in print.

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Florida man won't be compelled to reveal iPhone passcode, yet

John Brown (no body)
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Thanks for the replies.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Point phone at face - job done.

"The magic that is Face Unlock... The least secure way to lock your phone... But something Apple make a huge big deal about."

Exactly! Biometrics are a username, not a password. If you can't change it, it's not a password!

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John Brown (no body)
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"I assume they want to find out if he was using the phone at the time of the crash."

If he's a minor, then if he was driving at the time, surely that's already a crime? What's a minor in the US and what is the legal driving age?

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The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Karma

"It all came to a head when I was planning a road trip across Italy (during my lunch break)"

Wow! What do you drive? A TARDIS?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "Ethernet is so much better"

"OK, if it's an obscurity contest .. how many of you remember Polynet ?"

ISTR some vague memory of Banyan Vines too. No idea why I remember it it what it was. Some sort of networking kit or protocol or something related.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: "Ethernet is so much better"

"One of my employers had installed, at great cost, 10Base2 networking using make-before-break plug in cables, so in theory you could connect and disconnect individual machines without killing the whole network segment."

One of our customers had that. But they were in an old Victorian building with the original heating pipes. Yes, pipes, not radiators. Cast iron pipes about 4" in diameter, running along all the office walls about 3' off the ground. Just below the trunking and wall points of this expensive make before break system. Bendy metal contacts just inches above a nice heat source that went on and off during the day. And we all know what bendy metal and varying temperatures leads to, don't we boys and girls?

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The 'roid in Spain drills mainly on the plain: Plucky Brit Mars robot laps up sun, sand and, er, simulated science

John Brown (no body)
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Re: One thing Brexit won't hurt

"The EU has rules, of course."

The dilemma I see is that the UK was often the leader in drafting new EU rules. Said new rules were then submitted to each national government to implement as they saw fit, within the bounds of credibility. The UK always seemed to be the one that implemented them in the most draconian way possibly, to the letter and beyond. Then UK.gov blamed the EU for the new draconian rules. It's almost as if there has been a decades long plan to discredit the EU on behalf of the UK ot the UK has been using the EU while it could to get more power and now the EU or it's newer members, having lived under oppressive regimes, are no longer playing ball, hence Brexit.

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