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* Posts by defiler

811 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

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Curiosity's computer silent on science, baffling boffins

defiler
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Re: Break date.

Because if it's working, leave it the hell alone. The number of servers (looking at NetWare) that ran literally for years until somebody noticed a keyboard attached...

It's not something I'd think they would do regularly, but it would appear to be the obvious action in this case.

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Scottish brewery recovers from ransomware attack

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Re: Well worth a visit

Not for me. When I went to visit we all paid, got inside and the place was shut down. They'd gone out of business and the new owners weren't up and running yet. I'm guessing that's around 10 years ago. They showed us some nice bottles as we came out in the style of "look at what you could have won"...

Their beer is very pleasant, and it is indeed a lovely island, but the brewery tour was certainly disappointing that day.

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Microsoft's Jet crash: Zero-day flaw drops after deadline passes

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Re: MS Office Suite

For consumer desktop applications, you don't want to be installing SQL server.

Really? It's only SQL Express, the freebie one. I've seen it on all sorts of desktop applications, for well over ten years. Worked with a mortgage adviser once who had 3 different instances of SQL Express on his desktop because different applications were hard-coded to these instance names. Would have helped him a lot to have one instance and three databases...

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MS Office Suite

Yeah, but that's just in Access, isn't it? In which case it's only Office Pro.

Let's be honest, most applications that have been updated in the past 10 years will be hitting SQL Express for the back-end database. Or at least all the ones I've seen.

Edit - I lied. One of our clients has an Access DB for something horrible. But just one. And we don't talk about it.

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Big Cable tells US government: Now's not the time to talk about internet speeds – just give us the money

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Re: 100Mb/s?

Why not put fibre in instead

Yep - from a technical perspective I agree completely. But that's expensive compared to sweating the copper. Perfect being the enemy of done, I have no problem with the deployment of VDSL / G.fast / whatever, so long as there's an ongoing rollout of fibre alongside. And I think it's unconscionable that new builds aren't built with fibre as a matter of course. The cost is negligible as an addition to the copper phone line that's going out already, as most of it is planning and labour. And it doesn't need to be lit up immediately, so long as the damn stuff is in place.

Anyway, as I say I don't know what the widely deployed technologies are in the USA, but it seems silly to me to peg your threshold higher than what virtually every available option can offer. And no, I can't believe I'm advocating slower broadband as "adequate" either.

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100Mb/s?

That's high. I mean really high. The overwhelming majority of the UK is unable to get that yet, so if that were set as the base level I imagine the results would look pretty paltry.

Surely it would make sense to pick a technology that should be widely available and plant your flat somewhere near the top of that speed? Say VDSL and 72Mb/s.

(That being said, I could be spouting crap here because I don't know if it's common for US broadband to be delivered by phone or if it's overwhelmingly cable.)

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Trump pulls trigger in US-China tit-for-tat tariff tiff: 10% slapped on $200bn of imported kit

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Re: China supply the world

in Trump's mind if you hurt somebody more then they hurt you then you have won, even if there was no reason for anyone to get hurt to begin with.

Yes, he appears to think that everything is a zero-sum game. Has nobody ever told him that a rising tide lifts all ships?

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China supply the world

I don't imagine taking a hit in their US markets is going to hit all that hard. Sure, the US consumes more per head than anyone else, but they're still less than 5% of the world.

I'm pretty confident the US needs Chinese goods enough to overcome some silly tariffs.

Maybe this is how Trump reduces government debt. By taxing people more through trade tariffs...

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Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

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Deja Vu

Didn't this happen before, just a handful of years ago?

"Oh no! We know all the voting machines are shit, but we were too busy fucking about to check until now, and now we've got no choice!"

(I may be paraphrasing slightly, but the essence is there.)

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First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

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Re: 777?

I still have a 706

I still have a 6502. Does that count?

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Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

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125W for ARM?

Ouch! Ee when I were a lad and all that...

Not saying it's not doing something useful with that energy, but still. Ouch.

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Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

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Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

I could never quite lower my standards enough to read it.

I worked in a paper shop at the time. There were loads of cracking headlines in that rag.

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Vodafone cops ads rap over Martin Freeman's vanishing spaceship

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But then advertisers should not such use a non-metric

You mean like The World's Favourite Airline or something? It sounds great, but it's mealy-mouthed enough to shrug off scrutiny.

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A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

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Re: Penny pinching boss

a Computer Concepts LaserDirect card for my Acorn A310

And then the podule backplane because the A300 range didn't come with them (from memory - I had a 420/1, and could have used more than 20MB HDD...)

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Re: Penny pinching boss

This was over 20 years ago - Laser Printers were new on the market and expensive.

Your time dilation is strong. You could get a Canon LBP4 for maybe £500-£600 in around 1996. And that's over 20 years ago. It's depressing when you're thinking "I dunno - 15 years maybe?" and it turns out to be 25...

Also, the LBP4 was slow as hell.

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Revealed: British Airways was in talks with IBM on outsourcing security just before hack

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Re: It used to be...

london city 190 planes

Embraer. They're Brazilian, which terrified me because I've seen how bad Brazilian manufacturing could fuck up a bomb-proof design like the Honda CG125. However, they're nice planes. I like them one EDI<->LCY route. It's about the only route I fly BA on.

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make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

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Re: It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

no it's pronounced Edd-In-burr-ah

This means that you don't remember the audio file that used to bundle with the Linux source code (don't know if it still does because it's been years since I rolled my own) of Linus Torvalds saying:

"My name is Linus Torvalds, and it's pronounced Lee-noox."

Heading off a holy war between the proponents of lee-noox and lai-nux.

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Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

Scotch whisky for the Irish version...! :-(

Yeah - sorry. I tend to do that. It's one of those things that I know I always get wrong, so I always correct it, but I've learned to get it right. But I still correct it, only the other way now... Damn.

Still, I tend to spell it "Glenlivet", "Talisker" or "Laphroaig".

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Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

Has the food been fixed?

Yep. Now we have deep fried Curly Wurlys and deep fried Maltesers!

To tell you the truth, there are loads of great places to eat in Edinburgh, but during the festival they're all crammed. So you end up with a burger out of a van, which are as shite as usual, or some pretentious fuck with a stand called Pulled Aporkalypse or something equally fantastic who'll do you something just as awful but wearing glasses and hair that make him look like he's in disguise.

And it'll be £20. Plus more for a drink.

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Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

Get into The Malt Shovel. Just round the back of Waverley Station, they can see how many shelves of whiskeys they can work their way through before passing out.

Or The Ox on Young Street. Still a favourite, well away from the gold diggers, sycophants and... well... yeah, them on George Street.

Or they could head up to Marchmont / Newington, and wander around student-land, where the mid-1990s were a feast of CS students blowing up their monitors with bad timings on X11...

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A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

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Lawyers and speech-to-text

There was a senior partner at a law firm in Edinburgh in the mid-late 90s who didn't bother with the typing pool. Used Dragon Dictate with a long cable on his microphone so he could watch the world out of his office window. It did a great job too - he was delighted.

One day we upgraded him to Dragon Naturally Speaking, which would process fluid speech, rather than having to halt briefly at each word. (He was very practiced with Dragon Dictate, so this style of speech was no problem, but newer is better and all...) It choked every time he said 'notwithstanding', which (as a solicitor) was rather a lot. Every time it would enter 'not with standing'.

Took a week before he gave up and went back to Dragon Dictate. Until he retired, to my knowledge.

I understand the minutes of their monthly partner meetings became quite hazy part-way through. And don't bother trying to get anything near the end of the agenda actioned...

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

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Re: And the worst part of it all...

I'd watch that. A post-apocalyptic nightmare with an Easyjet hub.

Went to Luton once. Saw Steve McFadden (plays Phil Mitchell on Eastenders, apparently). Didn't go back.

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Ah - 19...

When you thought you know how the world worked. How to fix everything. Bad guys were bad, and all the good guys were on our side. But best of all, you were bulletproof.

Seems like this trumpet is going to have to grow up awfully suddenly.

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Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

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Re: 3.6AU per year

then what's been slowing it down?

Throw a rock in the air. It rises slower and slower, hangs in the air, and then speeds up again as it falls. And then it stops when it hits you. More or less the same with orbital mechanics. Long story short, the lowest point on an orbit is the fastest, highest point is the slowest. Trading speed for height, effectively.

I'll refer you to a wonderful computer-based training course called Kerbal Space Program. 30 quid on Steam, and a lot of hours of fun. Runs on Linux too, if that's your bag.

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Microsoft sharpens its claws to cut Outlook UI excess, snip Ribbon

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Re: UI revamp

Who wants to bet that all the keyboard shortcuts will change again?

Nonsense - they're easy.

^C for Copy will become ^D for Duplicate

^V for Paste will become ^G for Glue

^X for Cut will become ^S for Slice

^P for Print will become ^H for Hard Copy

^W for Close will become ^W for We Love Clippy!

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Mikrotik routers pwned en masse, send network data to mysterious box

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Sometimes you need a mouse. Especially with Windows... Besides that, couldn't agree more. It the difference between the sloppy (who are perceived as getting things done) vs the thorough (who are perceived as slow).

Anyway. The current RouterOS doesn't seem to have a fix for this bug. So, blocking the management interface from the outside world it is then! But what's wonderful is that CHR reboots so fast. I don't even have to disconnect from my Citrix session.

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Re: Is that the one I noticed this morning?

I'll have to have a look at mine, but the MIPS/ARM binaries will be useless on my CHR.

Besides, if people are existing the management interface to the outside world, surely they'd firewall it to trusted addresses only, no?

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TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably

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Re: Loose change?

Do they even allow that anymore? Most refuse it. :(

That's why you use the self-service till. It's like commission-free Coinstar.

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

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Re: And then there's steganography ...

Until you realise that the video is actually a 4k clip of the message on a whiteboard.

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Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs

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Re: Hey, it's Southport ...

How did you know I was there once?

It surprised me, though. It's not in the South, and there's no port. What's the game?

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Just how rigged is America's broadband world? A deep dive into one US city reveals all

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Re: Choice

50 types of toothpaste...

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Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

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Re: Unlimited; that word does not mean what you think it means

Are you a troll or an idiot? The latter is a derivative of the former over time. You cannot limit one without limiting the other.

Steve, where have you ever seen a connection with literally unlimited bandwidth? There isn't one. So even from step one you have a limit on the amount of data you can transfer, since you (I'm singling you out, but there seem to be dozens more) seem to want to be arsey about it.

WHAT? WHAT??! I can't download unlimited amounts of data in my billing month because it's only a 100Mb/1Gb/10Gb/1Tb/whatever pipe??! BASTARDS! I shall write a firm letter to the editor!

Sincerely,

Outraged of Ormiston.

I don't get that it can be so difficult to understand that contracturally they can still download, and download as much as they like, only slower. It's not what the fire department need right now, but it's what they're contracted to. Sure, Verizon aren't doing themselves any favours by not opening the taps, but it sounds like the FD have been talking to the wrong people. Besides which, when did Verizon ever give a shit what people think about them?

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Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary

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Joke

TO HELL WITH YOUR BALANCED STORY!

It seems that someone has to bring vitriol to the comments this morning. Bah.

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Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

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Re: What the flying F**K

WHY DOES MY EXTENSION LEAD NEED WIFI FFS?

Read this and my immediate thought was "yes, why can't it just run on powerline Ethernet?"

On the other hand, remote power sockets can be handy in a strange. Used them before, and whilst in that case they never actually paid for themselves they did did me a lot of hassle. Around the house, though? Not feeling it.

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Re: Friends don't let friends belk

One day I was wearing a T-shirt that read "no I will not fix your computer" when a guy (clearly thinking he was clever) asked if I'd fix his wireless network instead.

"Does any of it say Belkin anywhere?"

"Yes, how did you know?"

"Funny that..."

Next time I saw him (climbing centre) he said it was working since he'd binned the Belkin...

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It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

defiler
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Re: Local Optician

But are they Econet-connected? :-/

No Clock

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It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

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Re: trolling

In Linux you can have as many as you like! As long as you keep thinking that's an advantage Linux is staying in the server room.

I'm with this argument. It's the techie's approach. We can make it customisable, therefore we must make it customisable. It gets to the point where there's too much choice, and people are paralysed in making a decision. So they stick with Windows because it's what they know and it's less confusing.

Sometimes choice is a bad thing. I hate buying toothpaste because it's all powdered rock, fluoride, mint and a binding agent but somehow there are 50 options when I'm in front of the shelf. At that point I take the simplest option. And when it comes to GUIs, for most people the simplest option is to stick with Windows / OS-X.

Pare it down to 6 options that'll work with desktops, servers and laptops. Have an "expert" mode with all the configuration buttons you like, but keep them hidden by default. That is how you'll attract users.

Honestly, for developers they don't seem very good at Keep It Simple, Stupid.

(I think it's been 3 years since I last saw a GUI on a non-Android Linux machine. It used to be my daily driver, and it was definitely viable. Now all my Linux is on the server end.)

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London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

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Re: "no redundancy in the internet link"

I'm just going to lob this on the end here, since everyone's screaming about having a second cable (expense of installation, potential proximity to first), and others are screaming about having a cellular backup (potential proximity to cable because Vodafone).

Nobody's saying satellite link. If all you're looking for is 3Mb/sec, it's not expensive. Oh noes - 200ms latency? Who cares? If the power stays up, the data stays up. And if the power drops, the airport is closed anyway.

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EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

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Re: EU Standard plug

Pain in the arse to put through a wall though. SCART, not Volvos - they're pretty straightforward.

Risking ire by replying to myself, but I actually had to push a SCART through a partition wall today. Had to disassemble the connectors on both ends. It was an enormous pain in the area, and I'd have been easier threading a Volvo 440 through the damn wall.

Still, Dreamcast is up, so it's not all bad!

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Re: To later

And while we're at it, we'll colour it passport blue. That will make everything right.

Bloody hell that make me so proud I could weep!

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Re: EU Standard plug

For a standard developed in 1970, it proved to be extremely far-sighted: particularly in standardising a method for direct RGB input to TVs,

Yep. It's still the go-to connector for hooking up old videogames consoles for collectors. Everything up to the Xbox/PS2/Dreamcast/N64 era. As they said about Volvos in Crazy People "They're boxy but they're good". Pain in the arse to put through a wall though. SCART, not Volvos - they're pretty straightforward.

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Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

defiler
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Re: So, why don't we still have dinosaurs?

Perhaps life did start multiple times in Earth's distant past but it cannot do so again while every habitable environment on the planet is infested with organisms selected by millions of years of evolution to be efficient at exploiting their environment.

This. All of this. And entirely this.

Even the humble garden slug is an ultimate bad-ass in its own niche. It has fought and defeated every challenger for its particular (narrow) environment. Having evolution start all over again - a fresh roll of the dice to spawn entirely fresh organisms - is not impossible, in my view. However, it'd be like putting a newborn infant up against special forces troops. In a straight fight it's just going to lose.

The only option is for this new evolution to find an unexploited niche. Perhaps this is why extremophiles are just so bizarre - maybe they have arisen as totally fresh instances of life, separate from whatever chains have spawned us, and they've just been the first into that environment. Maybe not.

Who can say? Without a way to go back and see it's impossible, and the car's in the workshop today - brakes are binding, so getting 88mph is a bit of a slog. Besides, the flux capacitor is being tricksy just now.

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Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

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Re: Would have got away with it too

That looks like an email I got from the Prince of Nigeria University.

I hear they're doing fantastic work in cold fusion. Just need a little individual funding to push it over the line.

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Re: Extraordinary claims—

Which would make all those barren stretches of Sahara desert suddenly extremely valuable.

Only during the day. The Bedouin can have them after dark.

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Oh my Tosh, it's only a 100TB small form-factor SSD, SK?

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Re: Sign me up

I'd like to announce my MagicVegaLeapDrive which will pack 300TB into a 1.8" form factor which will be fully compatible with all known interfaces and drive bays.

Pricing to be determined.

Investors please contact the usual address and leave your money in the burning skip out the back.

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Re: No-one will ever... need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

lazy developers who don't understand shit about optimisations

I've dealt with my share of lazy developers, but I'll bet that most devs understand a fair bit about optimisation, and I'll bet a lot of them even care. They do, however, have to report to management who care about getting it out of the door now. Not in three weeks when it can be 10% faster.

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ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

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Learning how to use blu-tack

From tiny acorns, and all that...

That said, when I had Acorns I never had an ounce of trouble with them.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9: A steep price to pay

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Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

If you need them

And that's the thing. I used to have a Note 3, and the stylus was great. You never really needed it, but it was handy for doing crazy things like running a Citrix session on your mobile...

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

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Re: get out quick

2 phases connected together by accident one time and it wasn't nice. The bang was huge

Yep. I was working in Charlotte Square in Edinburgh when somebody dropped a tool into a 3-phase about 1/4 of the way around the square from us. Power was off for the rest of the day. I was in reception at the time and there was a flash like a lightning strike.

I know my limits on electricity. Sockets are fine. Consumer Unit is a job for a spark. 3-phase? Not going near that!

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Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

Yarp. Still, whilst working in an old building we were proudly told by the beaming electrician who'd just finished a rewiring job that the three phases had been nicely isolated so that one carried the lights, the second all of the sockets, and the third the high-drain devices such as aircon, the kitchen appliances and the server cabinets...

Those UPSs took a beating smoothing out that load.

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