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* Posts by defiler

771 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

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Bullfrog Syndicate

defiler
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One agent, every mission

My preferred tactic was just to leave the agents in the freezer. Take one, and tool him/her up as far as I could afford. Then take on the mission. 5 shields could give you a constantly-recharging defence, and by the time you needed that there were miniguns strewn around the streets.

Atlantic Accelerator with only one agent was surprisingly easy. I even completed the AA without firing a single shot once. And no Persuadatron.

Welcome to the dawning of a new empire!

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Ten... in-ear headphones

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Used to have the older 530s

They broke :(

I got a pair of 420s half-price, and they're so close to as-good it's wonderful - especially when they "only" cost me about £120. Don't have that elitist factor though...

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Atlantis crew pay awkward tribute to 'iconic' shuttle

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1.4 MIPS

Pretty impressively slow! Even in 1991, that was far, far below state-of-the-art. Hell, my Archimedes would pop 3 or 4 MIPS at the time (can't remember).

I know, by the way - the right tool for the job. It doesn't have to be fast, it just has to be reliable. I just get some amusement in that people think the stuff on the space shuttle is all whizz-bang-amazing gear, and then you find out that it's not. I suppose it's just whizz-bang-amazing in a different direction.

Better get on with work. I'm clearly rambling, and trying to distract myself from getting a job done. Besides, the switch I need to rewire is up 4 flights of stairs. Bah.

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Samsung readies 'world's first' solar netbook

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Nice idea, but...

Where's my ARM netbook? Solar panel could run that even in the dark!

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Peugeot iOn e-car

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Two observations

1) Yep, EDF's electricity is almost 50% nuclear. That means they can't really throttle it overnight, so there's a big incentive for them to set up an infrastructure to allow people to use the surplus overnight generation and store it up in their car for the next day's commute.

2) There seems to be a lot of this "you don't buy an electric car, you lease it" stuff going about. Is this the way the car market is going? I hope not. I want to be able to buy a car and keep it for 15+ years so long as it's safe and useful. Hell, my everyday motorbike is 14 years old, and still has loads of life left in it. If we end up leasing cars for only 3 years, surely the waste created by disposing of these vehicles and recycling them will be worse than just running a petrol/diesel car around in the first place!

I'm certainly not against the idea of electric cars. I just don't want to be in the pocket of someone else for my transport. And I'm too fat for a bicycle!

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Rare video: Moon flashing in front of giant's face

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Terminator

We're all computers

You're the last one left...

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LucasArts Day of the Tentacle

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Squeaky mattress

That stupid mattress stalled me for a full 6 hours. Ah - the good old days before walkthroughs available on web browsers. Kids today... Blah blah.

Oh, and don't forget Maniac Mansion (fully playable) inside Ed's computer.

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Boffins brew up formula for consummate cuppa

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Brewing time

One thing that everyone appears to have missed is that brewing time is heavily dependent on the water you use. I'm well-versed in the water we have here in Edinburgh. In London, though (apart from having a kettle full of scum), you only need to let the teabag *see* the water before it's ready. And in Glasgow it seems that you have to beat the shite out of the bag to get anything approaching colour or flavour.

Shoddy research.

Assam. Black, no sugar, ta!

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X-51A hydrocarb scramjet flames out in second test

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Weapons like socks?

You end up with lots of odd ones?

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DARPA issues call for notions on Starship-for-2111 plan

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"Squash the USA like a bug"

You mean China then?

(Probably not even worth the "joke" icon - especially in 2111...)

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Iranian pimp plates arse up Afghan car sales

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Unhappy

Also refused the plate of my choice

I reckoned P155 OFF would be nice for ducking through traffic on my bike. DVLA said no.

And I think you meant "£250 for a bad Scrabble hand."

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Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

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DVD release?

There's going to be more shots of dogs in the "deleted scenes" than in all of Crufts...

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ARM server hero Calxeda lines up software super friends

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480 cores in 2U?!

Well fuck me with a haddock!

That is all...

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Anonymous vows to attack Federal Reserve

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Wasn't it Sun Tsu?

Don't go to war, and then seek to beat your enemy. First beat your enemy, and then seek to go to war.

Of course they'll figure out that they can carry through a threat before making it. They'd look a bit silly otherwise.

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Blu-ray sales to overtake DVD... next year

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@Luddite

Blu-Ray gives a better picture even on SD screens. You might not believe it, in which case fair enough, but with the higher bitrate of the encoding things just look super-clear. And a decent Blu-Ray on an HD screen is really spectacular. So long as you're not sitting too far away, of course.

Yes, they're still a bit expensive. I'll buy Blu-Ray if I feel the movie justifies it or if I get it dirt-cheap. I'll buy DVD otherwise.

I am concerned that "HD" downloads will just be 1080p with crappy encoding at the lowest bitrate they can manage. The nice thing with DVD/BluRay is that the medium is a set capacity so there's no penalty in filling it - so high-quality encoding is encouraged.

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3D-printed bikini goes on sale

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NSFW? Seriously?

What are you? Amish? Should you be allowed on the internet at all then?

Seriously, you must have a *very* prudish office...

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New Sony hack exposes more consumer passwords

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Fines don't really work

Corporation (n): An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.

Until you can *personally* fine the board of directors (and ensure that they don't just claim it back as expenses or a bonus), or you can *personally* jail the board of directors, they're basically immune to the law.

Sure you can fine the company, but that comes from the shareholders. The shareholders can *demand* a change of the board, but that means golden parachutes for all! The directors walk with a fat wallet, and head into another post just as soon as possible. After all, do you think people would be so pissed off if Fred Goodwin was actually jailed, rather than sent scuttling on his merry way with a warm handshake and enough cash to choke a donkey?

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Chinese teen flogs kidney to buy iPad

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That's pretty-much what I thought

I'm sure if the lad has one fully-healthy kidney it won't be so severe, but he'll still have to watch his intake very carefully, and even then has likely lopped a few years off his lifespan.

A few years of all the joys (and otherwise) that the world has to offer, or a portable telly you can tickle? Not really a hard choice. Makes me feel a bit sad for him.

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Xperia Play gets new games boost

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Happy

Not really caring about the PS games

GBA emulator, on the other hand, gives me Advance Wars!! Monkey Ball! Maybe there'll be a Megadrive emulator as well. Nice simple games that kick ass on a small screen, but just need a controller.

Think I'll swing into the O2 shop today and see what they've got...

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What is UltraViolet™ and why should you care?

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Thoughts on this...

How open will they be to developers of playback equipment. LoveFilm told XMBC to piss off quite succinctly, but would UV allow them to add this functionality?

Would I be able to not only stream a movie, but download a copy to play locally? That way I could get full quality if I were prepared to wait for the download. Hell, I could be sitting at work, and request a movie to download to my machine at home.

How about those of us with home servers? Yup, I've ripped my DVDs; nope, I don't see a problem with that because I'm keeping the discs in the attic. Could I take these UV downloads and keep them in the same pool to playback on any device on my network?

I'd want a guarantee that whatever I bought could be downloaded in full, and could still be played on standard equipment even if/when the UV service was closed down.

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Part flash, all flash or dedicated flash?

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Wear-levelling across an array?

Is it just me that thinks this is a clever idea gone horribly wrong? If your wear is levelled across the array, you'll surely have a surge of drive failures at the same time. This is not only a pain in the arse for your budget, but also means that once the first drive dies you only have a very narrow window to replace *all* the drives. I smell some bad arrays on the horizon...

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Total Recall rehash – exit Martians, enter Jessica Biel

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John Woo / Payback

I think you're talking about Paycheck. Payback was (shock!) an excellent movie with Mel Gibson, directed by Brian Helgeland.

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ARM-based MacBook Air test sample spied

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Why not?

For one, they're keeping their options open. For two, how fast is "fast enough"? Most of the time your computer sits there looking stupid whilst waiting for the meaty thing in front of it to respond...

If it can be made "fast enough" for mobile executives to crank out documents and emails (and of course get onto YouTube to play videos of that 911 with the sports exhaust that they're fancying buying once their bonus comes through), then it'll probably be able to last 14+ hours without a recharge. That's worth a lot to some people. And if they can sell it for more money (on the basis of being able to fly to Bankok without plugging it in), even with cheaper parts inside, then it's goer.

All-day computing? In the Intel world that comes with a power adapter...

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Fourth Euro star truck christened Albert Einstein

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That's what I'd have expected

Sort of like a scuba rebreather - just automagically remix the gases to keep the proportions correct.

Yes, you'll lose some to space, but it's only really the oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen we're worried about, and they'll make their own CO2.

Still, if I can come up with that idea it 10 seconds, I'm sure other clever people have already considered it and ruled it out. Anyway, I have my own job to be getting on with!

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NASA 'deep space' ship: Humans beyond orbit by 2020?

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Only problem is...

Companies are there to make money - normally for shareholders - not to take huge, expensive flights of fancy. After all, spaceflight isn't cheap - it's absurdly expensive just to put a satellite into geostationary orbit.

Musk is merely (ha!) building the tools so that others can stump up the big bucks to actually go out there and fly the missions. I'm sure he intends to get his money back. Maybe if it's deemed financially viable to go out and pick up raw materials from asteroids, then private industry will pick up the baton. Until then, though, the government penny is the only one that will pay.

Sure, NASA could probably do with a bit of thinning out, and private industry could reasonably build the tools required, but governments have a greater incentive to fund deep-space missions than private companies.

That's the way I see it, at least.

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Dear Dell and Microsoft: You're not Apple

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Although to be fair

Internet Explorer didn't exist when early Mosaic was kicking about. And yes, I remember it (when it wouldn't display pictures in the browser), and gopher too.

I do agree with you in principle though - Internet Explorer first appeared at version 2, and was rubbish. v3 was actually not bad compared to its peers (namely Netscape 2 and 3), and even though IE5.5 was an abomination for developing to, it was rather nice to use (again, compared to the bloated struggling mess that was Netscape 4).

Just because Microsoft declared the internet finished with IE6, and let everyone else actually do the job of making browsers conform to the standards, their browsers have *generally* been quite nice to use. That said, I can't remember when I last loaded IE on this machine - I'm using Firefox 4, and rather liking it.

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Engineering student cracks major riddle of the universe

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Damn.

Well you've got until October. Get to it, man!

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Can we finally close the book on this one, please?

We've got a Rapture to be getting on with, and we've already had to postpone it twice while they sorted this missing mass out...

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Steve Ballmer window-dresses Windows 8

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You'll have a wait then

Looks like you're picking up every third one

95, skip 98 and NT4.0

98SE, skip 2000 and ME

XP, skip XP/x64 and Vista

7, skip 8 and ??

We'll have looped back to Windows 1 by the time you come back, but on the bright side it'll all work much faster!

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defiler
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It's okay - we have a training course for that

At a price, of course!

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Endeavour 'nauts in epic ISS spacewalk

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Tell you what...

You try 8 hours, 7 mins in one of those suits, fighting against the air pressure of the suit every time you try to move (and yes, that includes grabbing things), without a second of a break. It's not like an 8-hour drive, where you'll likely make a couple of stops for fuel, have a coffee, sandwich, pee, whatever. Sure, these guys have drinks handy, and nappies (yum!), but it's still hard work and a constant effort.

An epic undertaking - doesn't matter if it's the longest or not.

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Cybercrooks turn Eve Online into botnet battlefield

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Banning for buying ISK

What I don't understand is why people buy their in-game cash from these outfits. I gave up on Eve a while ago because I didn't have the time to play it (oh, and I realised that it was basically a dice-rolling game, and I could spend hours with a D12 and a bottle of Laphroaig and have at least as much fun). Prior to that, though, I had the skills, but not enough cash to buy the toys. So I did what lots of people do - bought a Game Time Card (with cash, from an approved web site), and sold it in-game for a pile of ISK.

It's safe, it's approved by CCP, and the exchange rate isn't horrible. It'll cost you a little more than going to the Russians (or whomever), but it won't get you banned if you're nicked.

Oh, and a word to anyone thinking of starting Eve: Sell bullets. You buy a gun once - you buy bullets every time you fire it. And I had (still have, I guess) some pretty big guns :D

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Apple to support reps: Don't confirm Mac infections

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Joke

So does this count as a big Mac-attack?

That is all.

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Microsoft calls Intel's Windows 8 comments 'inaccurate'

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Funny how everyone forgets MCA

Bless the poor forgotten MicroChannel Architecture. Wee shame.

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Otellini: ARM servers 'ain't gonna work'

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Maybe to you

But a lot of people (myself included) couldn't give a damn about Java and Oracle at the server end. Oracle just seem to be very good at bumping their gums at everybody.

The big strength that ARM has for a prospective buyer is power consumption (really, nobody buying servers cares if their CPU can be made by one company or a dozen so long as they work and they can replace them when they don't). If I put my gear into a datacentre, I'd probably only get a rack half-full before being levied with extra power charges. That's on (mostly 2U) Xeons. If ARM can get the work done on half the power, that's a rack filled all of a sudden. And that's money saved every month on power. Once that saving starts to approach the cost of moving your legacy app from Windows / Oracle / Java / whatever, migrations become feasible.

Full disclosure - I was one of the guys with an Archimedes at home. I had hours of fun hand-coding ARM assembly, and learning to tweak individual clock cycles out of my inner-loops. I would *love* to see ARM succeeding in the datacentre. But realistically it's not going to happen overnight. My next server hardware cycle will be x64 - no question. The one after that? That's a tough one to call right now. And I'm in the Wintel camp - a migration isn't just a recompile for me, but a whole knot of licensing.

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Intel: Windows on ARM won't run 'legacy apps'

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"Our competitors will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever."

So not AMD or VIA then? Or IDT? Or Transmeta? Poor choice of words.

Hell, my old Archimedes had a !PCEm - it was a bit rubbish though...

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Panasonic DMP-BDT310 Blu-ray player

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My thoughts exactly

Hacked AppleTV with XBMC on it. Boots in about a minute. After that, if I want a movie it starts in moments whether it's a DVD or a BluRay rip. All my discs are in the attic as well, keeping them away from little-people fingers. I don't understand why people are forced to wait so long on a bloody movie starting. It's like going back to the days of getting a video tape from the rental place and realising the previous lazy sod hadn't rewound it.

Except, with the VHS/Betamax you could at least wind past the crap at the start...

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Oz boffins in quantum computing breakthrough

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Pint

So let me get this right...

With your quantum computer you can throw in your fiendishly complex problem, and it will calculate it in a flash. But then it takes forever to actually read the answer... Wouldn't it have been just as good to skip the quantum computer in the first place?

Okay, so these guys have managed to speed the whole thing up, by taking a guess effectively. Just guess the answer in the first place and save yourself the hassle. That leaves you with a load of time on your hands, and a grant for a q-computer to spend. Pub o'clock?

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Teenage duo sentenced over credit card Ghostmarket

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Joke

A real professional

And despite the drawn-out rant in the middle, he even remembered to close his brackets. Now that's a programmer!

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Mozilla to shift 12m surfers off 2-year-old Firefox 3.5

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VMWare Server 2?

I used VMWare GSX -> Server 1.0 for years. It was fantastic. Never got to grips with v2 though. Big bits of it just seemed awfully clunky. Perhaps you should look at "free" ESXi? Of course, I don't know your circumstances, but I'm pretty sure ESXi will do everything Server2 will without having to pay for a license.

The only real sticking point is hardware support, but so long as you're using mainstream server hardware you're unlikely to hit any real issues there. The biggest thing I had to do was upgrade the firmware on my iSCSI storage. Yes - it exercised my sphincter nicely, thanks for asking...

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X-Prize offers $10m for working Trek tricorder

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That's what I thought

Can't see the medical community being too happy about the implied messages of "we're going to replace every doctor in the world for a piddling 10mill". Dollars, even - not pounds!

Expect many entries from pharmaceutical companies that end up flashing "we've got a pill for that" on the screen...

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Slovakian cannibal's dinner calls in cops

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WTF?

Seriously?

What the hell is wrong with people?

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Microsoft resuscitates 'I'm a PC' ads to fight Apple

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Joke

It's a MAC if it's on your NIC

Sorry. Been too busy trying to persuade Windows to generate a Local Link Address that actually conforms to the IPv6 spec...

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Star Wars: From dream sci-fi bride to perfect Blu-ray wife

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Milked this one dry, methinks...

It's been years since I've watched Star Wars. Used to love it, but it's been ridden roughshod over so many times in an attempt to squeeze every last penny from its value. I honestly think Lucasfilm sees the movies' fans as piggy banks to get shaken up every time they need a quick cash injection.

I for one will not partake, *unless* there's an option for the original unadulterated versions to be shown. I want "A New Hope", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of The Jedi". I want them cleaned up, but unedited from their original cinema releases. I don't want spurious CGI. I don't want "deleted scenes". I don't want "extra footage", "extra action", Jar Jar Binks, Greedo shooting first or *any* of that shit. Clean it, give me a DTS soundtrack, and leave the rest of it the hell alone. That's the only way any of my money will go anywhere the shrivelled teat of Star Wars now.

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Seagate's terabyte platters make it the densest of the lot

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FAIL

Barracuda 7200.11

Annoyingly, the original 7200.11s worked great in the SCSI->SATA enclosure I bought them for. Then they "fixed" the firmware and screwed them up. I got something like 40MB/sec on RAID0. Had to finally bite the bullet, and by the Constellations as listed on the HCL, and suddenly went up to 180MB/sec.

I liked the rushed 7200.11s. Though in honesty, they've almost all failed where I still have some 7200.10s performing sterling service.

Fail - because that's what most of them have done by now...

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2011 Ford Focus

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Coat

Of course not.

The Focus will actually make you indicate before changing lanes - can't be having that!

(Mine's the one hanging next to the crash helmet.)

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HP ProLiant power supplies 'may die when dormant'

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They're not *off* off.

They're left on standby. The system is still powered up insofar as the power switch is lit up, and the iLO board is still running. I know that the PSUs in the DL380G5s that I run make a nasty buzzing noise when the systems are in standby. They settle right down when powered up (and it's not distressingly loud anyway), but it's there.

Glad all of mine stay on!

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ARM's Intel challenger set for 2012 release

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Just one component

Indeed it is, but I can point to one of my racks, which pulls 2kW. There are 4 Xeon 5450 dual-socket Proliants in there, and each of those chips has a TDP of 80W. Well, that's 640W right there, and since they're VM hosts I do try to run them hard.

So if 25% of my power budget is CPUs, and I can maybe save 50% of *that* by going ARM, that's a significant saving. Then there are X5400s that pull *twice* the power of mine, but the rest of the server is the same. Sure, there'll have to be a significant speed boost for an ARM to keep up with that, but the potential for energy saving is very real.

(Oh, that cabinet is also full of drive enclosures, tape library, switches, blah blah - it's not just those 4 servers.)

If you're going for dense servers in a rack, the benefits of saving a little power on each server can be significant. I don't know if you've dealt with colocation, but for that you're restricted on the power consumption per rack. If you can save some power you can fill the rack some more. If it's your *own* rack, you save once on the electric bill, and once again on the cooling bill.

Legacy stuff needn't be a big issue. Plenty of Linux distros run on ARM, so you're covered for those applications. Windows is coming for ARM (apparently, though I've heard that in the past), and if that means Windows Server, that means SQL and Exchange etc etc. Who cares what's happening inside the box so long as what goes in and what comes out is the same.

Migration could be a pig - I don't know if there would be endian issues with the data, and I'm too lazy to look.

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Tron: Legacy 3D Blu-ray disc set

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DRM cracked?

Yeah - took as long as normal for AnyDVD to skip over the BD protection, and MakeMKV to copy off the tracks I wanted. Can't be bothered with those silly plastic discs in the living room...

The 4 options seem to be:

DVD alone

BD (2D) + DVD

BD (3D) + BD (2D) + "digital" nonsense

BD (2D) + BD of Tron

I would have liked BD (3D) + BD (2D) + DVD, or better the 2x BDs + BD of Tron 1.

Still, big thumbs-up for the hot-chick dispenser room. Trying to get the wife to let me install one!

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