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* Posts by lglethal

2132 posts • joined 11 Jun 2007

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

lglethal
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Re: This seems like a good argument for ion drives

Ion drives unfortunately are pretty useless for the quick thrust you need for orientation and positioning purposes. Ion drives are fantastic for slow but steady acceleration - movement between planets (or Protoplanets in this case) is a perfect case and that's what was used on Dawn. But for orientation it's too little thrust to achieve in any sort of useful time frame the desired results.

To offer an example, your currently doing science pointing instruments at ceres. But you need to change orientation to point the antennas at earth to deliver that science data. With hydrazine thrusters that's work of maybe 15 minutes. Say the transmission takes another 15,and another 15 to get back into science orientation. You've lost at most 45 mins of science time. With ion thrusters you would need at least 2 hour to change orientation in one direction (probably more) and so for the same action you've lost 4 hours 15 mins science days. If you have to do this every day that's 3,5 hours of science time per day lost. The mission will need to be massively longer to account for all of that missing science data. And that means you need more fuel for the ion thrusters, etc, etc. And in the end it just works out way more difficult to do it with ion thrusters. Not to mention the orbital calculations to work out how long you need to apply the ion thrusters for to get into the correct orientation position when you're talking reaction time frames measured in hours. If you under or overshoot with hydrazine, it's a quick fix, just squirt some more with ion you've got another couple of hours to wait.

Hope that explains a bit why we still use chemical thrusters for orientation instead of ion thrusters. :)

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Roscosmos: An assembly error doomed our Soyuz, but we promise it won't happen again

lglethal
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Re: I can't get the sensor to fit

It's all well and good to say that but if you do any job a hundred times it stops being a special job, it just becomes step 7b of job 256. And you've got 4 more jobs to do before the end of the day or the boss is going to get pissy with you. And this bloody bracket, which you've complained about half a dozen times but no one listens, is not going in easily. So you just take your hammer and get it to fit easy as pie. And move on to step 7c.

This is how cock ups like this happen. Because people are more worried about the pressure they'll get from managers for missing a deadline. Their manager is a more immediate problem then some future potential problem for some astronauts they'll never meet.

To avoid this, you really need a culture in the workplace where problems and delays are dealt with properly and no blame is put on the worker when they occur. It sounds very much like Roscosmos does not currently have that culture...

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Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

lglethal
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Joke

Hey it worked for Saint Teresa!

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Pain in the brain! Kaspersky warns of hackable brain implants

lglethal
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I don't know why, but my first thought was along the lines of "ahhh, so that's what happened to John McAffee"... ;)

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Uncool: Google won't be setting up shop in disused Berlin electrical substation

lglethal
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Meh

@ big_D

A stat i read on BBC (of all places) said that Kreuzberg is suffering from around 70% rent inflation (Berlin is more generally around 40%).

Berlin's not the only place, its happening all over Germany - Bremen's gone ridiuclous, Augsburg impossible to buy (but still suprisingly affordable on rent), and München has always been insane. Crazy times...

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London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

lglethal
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Trollface

Re: So he DOES respect the law!

It should be funny. The court says that he has to be in there person, or give testimony over video link. Oh look, his internet access is blocked and he's holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Well sorry, thats cased dismissed right there...

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Yale Security Fail: 'Unexpected load' caused systems to crash, whacked our Smart Living Home app

lglethal
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Joke

Re: Let this be a lesson

...IoT is an answer waiting for a sensible question.

How about "how to transfer money from someone's pocket into the pocket of a slimy snake oil salesman's in the modern world?"

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Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

lglethal
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Re: Terrance

My best mate (and best man at my wedding) goes by an abbreviation of his surname. It's what he introduces himself as and everyone knows him by. I'd known him for almost an entire year before i even found out his real name...

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lglethal
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Happy

Re: Irish names in Irish or English.

My grandfather had shares in a race horse called Richard Cranium. It never one a cent but my grandfather didnt care one whit...

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lglethal
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Re: A different name for every site?

"The Carter parents were a quiet and respectable Lancre family who got into a bit of a mix-up when it came to naming their children. First, they had four daughters, who were christened Hope, Chastity, Prudence, and Charity, because naming girls after virtues is an ancient and unremarkable tradition. Then their first son was born and out of some misplaced idea about how this naming business was done he was called Anger Carter, followed later by Jealousy Carter, Bestiality Carter and Covetousness Carter. Life being what it is, Hope turned out to be a depressive, Chastity was enjoying life as a lady of negotiable affection in Ankh-Morpork, Prudence had thirteen children, and Charity expected to get a dollar’s change out of seventy-five pence–whereas the boys had grown into amiable, well-tempered men, and Bestiality Carter was, for example, very kind to animals. "

A wonderful quote on names from Sir Terry...

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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

lglethal
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Re: Hahaha...

I was visiting Pheonix for work about 10 years back, and my colleagues and i were told by the hotel not to walk in the neighbourhood after dark or in the early morning. The reason - there were apparently 2 serial killers active in the area (competing for a high score apparently). This was confirmed as not a joke by our host company.

Needless to say, we stuck to the bar for the evenings!

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Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

lglethal
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Happy

Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

Oh Spartacus... Dont let me tell you some of the stories i know from the aerospace world - you might never fly again! Lets put it this way, mistakes happen. When they happen, the technician writes up a concession, an engineer designs a fix, and the technician applies the fix and everyone moves forward.

If there's an aircraft out there without at least a 1000 concessions on it (for all sorts of things, holes drilled in the wrong spot is just the easiest one), then I'll eat my hat... The Space biz, is no different...

But dont worry, your still safe to fly... probably... ;)

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lglethal
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Considering the stupidity of the Russian media allegation, I think an equally stupid stock pic is highly appropriate!

Keep it up El Reg! Some of us love the pics!

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A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

lglethal
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Trollface

Re: Loose change to pay the beer bill...??

"or the cost of a three bedroom house in newcastle"

Yeah but you'd still be living in Newcastle. Thats not a bargain at any price!

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Post-silly season blues leave me bereft of autonomous robot limbs

lglethal
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Terminator

Re: Time machine?

Damn, the cats out of the bag!

Onefang get back in your time machine and delete that post asap!

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Footie fans calling for a red card over West Ham United CC email blunder

lglethal
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Trollface

Embarrassing? Definitely...

" but these related to cases highlighting possible victims of sexual abuse or membership of a HIV support group.

I dont know, being outed as a West Ham supporter could be pretty distressing. :P

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US Democrats call in Feds: There's something phishy going on with our voter database

lglethal
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Paris Hilton

Officials of what?

Are we talking Democratic Party Officials from Michigan that did this test? That would seem to be countered by the last comment that it wasnt someone from the DNC (or at least not authorised by them). Was it Michigan Electoral Office officials (or whatever its called over there)? Can someone clarify exactly who these officials were?

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

lglethal
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Re: Even their "good" practice is bad.(@ Jake)

People, people relax please. This is America. Expect the forthcoming flurry of lawsuits from Santa Clarans suing Verizon for the fact that throttling the emergency services data allowance prevented the fire departments from doing their job, and that therefore Verizon were directly responsible for the loss of the Santa Clarans homes and properties.

After Verizon loses and has to pay out millions, they will change their policies to never again throttle an emergency service.

See who needs effective oversight of corporations and laws to protect the people. Bah... FCC? Who needs an independent, working one of those... /Sarcasm

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Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

lglethal
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Re: Corporate Security

Umm, if you were trying to track them down, why didnt you just call their phones? An app means they need a network connection and thats the first thing to drop out, before the ability to make calls, in an "overactive" (for want of a better term) area.

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A £1.3m prize for a plunging share price at BT? Not so fast...

lglethal
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I'm wondering....

I'm beginning to wonder what you would have to do now as a CEO of a big corporation to not get your bonus?

Here's a few ideas:

- Wipe out a species of African Rhino?

- Drive your Ferrari into a busload of school children whilst getting a handjob from a prostitute?

- Murder a popular member of the Royal Family (Charles doesnt count)?

- Be pictured hugging Donald Trump?

Ahhh, who am I kidding, none of those would have even the slightest effect on CEO Bonuses... Well maybe the Trump one...

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Marriage of AI, Google chips will save diabetics from a lot of pricks

lglethal
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Trollface

sigh...

I read the headline and thought Google was offering a service where Diabetics would not get subjected to any more advertising.

Oh well I guess this is good too...

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The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

lglethal
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Stop

Re: But...

Sorry Steve but you're just plain wrong.

Manufacturers build to a spec, and assemble to assembly instructions. If your drawing/3D model has an error in it, the manufacturers are not going to know that. They will manufacture exactly what is on the drawing. Now if this was down to a manufacturer cocking up (which does happen) then you'd be right, but then a failure like that SHOULD be picked up by QA and would then be repaired or replaced. But this is quite clearly a design error - the design just cannot tolerate general dirt, dust and grit getting into the keyboard, nothing manufacturing does could generate that level of poor design.

Apple design their parts and send the designs to various manufacturers for production who then send their parts to Foxconn for assembly. Neither the manufacturers or Foxconn are responsible for this cock-up - this turd of a failure falls squarely in Apples lap...

(from a designer - but thankfully not an Apple one!)

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

lglethal
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Depends on the CEO of course. But do you really need to ask when it comes to Ginni "We need to cut costs but i fly in a helicopter" Rommety?

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

lglethal
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Boffin

Re: Comets

Your both right. Heat is transferred away from the sun in the forms of direct energy and high energy particles.

The impact from the particles causes localised heating (think of it as little explosions or perhaps better, think of it as a missile hitting a target - the missile might be small and the target big, but it does transfer a lot of energy!). This heating is dependent on the local strength of the solar wind.

The direct energy from the Sun is gentler but constant. Light radiation interacting with the particles causes heating exactly like what ahppens every day on Earth.

Which of these two is dominant depends on how far from the sun you are (as direct energy tapers off via the inverse square law), and how strong the local solar wind is.

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UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

lglethal
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Joke

Re: I see the problem!

Lead on MacAssange, I will follow thee... (out of the Broom closet)...

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lglethal
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Trollface

Re: Remember the Great Vowel Shift

I experienced the Great Bowel Shift this morning. Damn curry last night...

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Google kills AdWords!

lglethal
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FAIL

Someone let their toddler near the crayons again...

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On Kaspersky’s 'transparency tour' the truth was clear as mud

lglethal
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Re: "Please do not let me detain you"

"Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote."

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lglethal
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Re: Can we see the original evidence first?

"That would be commercial suicide."

And refusing to co-operate with the government is likely to see you either in prison (various embezzelment, corruption or conspiracy charges) or worse.

I'm not just talking Russia here, any regime where the government has complete control of the courts and the media - China, Vietnam, etc. - all make it incredibly dangerous to say No when the government comes knocking. I'm sure in places like the UK, US, etc it is also difficult to say No to the men in black suits. But there's a difference between something being difficult and something being dangerous...

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'No questions asked' Windows code cert slingers 'fuel trade' in digitally signed malware

lglethal
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No naming and shaming? Thats a pity. If these buggers are happying abusing the system, all of their codes should be blacklisted and revoked, and they should no longer be able to obtain more.

This might hurt some legitimate programs, but in the long run it will protect a lot more...

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Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

lglethal
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WTF?

WTF

"Uber seeks restoration of its licence for 18 months so its corporate changes can become "fully embedded and [be] put to the test". "

Honestly gov, yes, yes I did rob all those banks, but that was back then! I'm operating under new rules now. I've got a new code of conduct. So you should definitely let me be the head of the Royal Mint, so I can prove to you just how much I've turned over a new leaf...

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Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

lglethal
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Joke

hole companies? That must be a boring job...

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Canadian utility makes blockchain upstarts bid for their ravenous rigs' electricity supply

lglethal
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Joke

Re: Won't somebody think of the planet...?

"One thing which irks me is the limit on vacuum cleaner power."

Yeah that all came about due to amisunderstanding. A politician was on a train and overhead some people complaining saying "The suckers waste so much energy! They go on and on all day. They've got way too much power. If we could reduce their power, it would be better for the whole country. But of course the suckers will never get regulated. They just suck!"

He walked into the office the very next day and got high power vacuum cleaners banned and considered it a job well done.

True story... *

*Disclaimer: This is most likely not a true story...

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lglethal
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Stop

Re: Opportunity

Aluminium smelters will still be there and working (barring some unforeseen major global problem in the Aluminium market) in 10 years time and well beyond.

Cryptocurrency miners? Well Bitcoin is all but past the point of being profitable to mine, whilst also now being blocked from being traded or used as a currency in a lot of major market places. So in 10 years, it will probably only be a hardcore still using/trading it. And they wont be mining it anymore. Other cryptocurrencies? Well since people finally are beginning to wake up to the scams, I expect that the bubble wont be too long in bursting. 10 years time? I have my doubts if it will still be such a power draw.

Now if you're the power company supplying electricity in this area, and you have a choice of supplying an industry that maybe uses a little less electricity, but is guaranteed to be there long term, or an industry that might use a lot of energy now but is definitely only a short term prospect. You would definitely always go for the long term option. And this IS an either/or situation - investing in more energy generation capacity is very expensive and takes years to come online. You're not going to make that investment based on the crypto mining bubble. Well not unless your either crazy, or have drunk the crypto currency kool aid...

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Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

lglethal
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Joke

Re: What measure of 'drink' did these Americans use?

"So I can safely have 3 bottles of vodka every day and still not increase the risk on my health?"

Yes, but only if your russian...

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US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

lglethal
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Re: Death and Taxes

Just curious usbac - In your experience, who carries the can if the web-API service has a false listing somewhere (i.e. a tax has changed and they havent updated their API to the new tax rate). Does the API service cover the cost? Or does the firm making the sale have to make up the difference?

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Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

lglethal
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Re: Eviscerated!

It sounds more like an Atari own goal to me. Results still the same, but they only have themselves to blame...

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NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

lglethal
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Stop

2 points here

"It called for NASA’s Administrator to “pursue capabilities, in cooperation with other departments, agencies, and commercial partners, to detect, track, catalog, and characterize near-Earth objects to reduce the risk of harm to humans from an unexpected impact on our planet.”

1) What is the additional budget for NASA to perform all of these new tasks? If no budget is forthcoming now, then dont expect NASA to be able to do anything when the big one is incoming later....

2) in cooperation with commerical partners. Right.... Because there are profits to be made spotting asteroids? Funnily enough, I havent heard of any firms doing this previously. How are you going to make it so profitable that firms start building facilities?

A good sentiment, and something that needs to be thought about and prepared for, but I'm reading a lot of hot air and wishful thinking here. I'll believe its being taken care of properly when I see significant funds being given to NASA for this task alone (and not merely being stolen from other NASA missions).

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AT&T sends in startup shill to shake up Cali's net neutrality safeguards

lglethal
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Joke

Re: Listening to AT&T and Uber?

Hey whats wrong with the National Association of Marlon Brando Look Alikes?

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lglethal
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FAIL

A small test

Here is a small test to answer the question - does this group really represent XXXXXXX start-up firms (XXXXXXX -> insert industrial sector as appropriate (tech, agriculture, energy,etc)).

1) Is the budget for talking to people about the start up groups interests more than the cost of a night at the pub?

If the answer is Yes, then the group does not represent start up firms. If No, the group MAY represent start up firms.

Start up firms by the very definition do not have cash to splash around on lobbying. Nor do they have time to work on policy documentation. They're too busy trying to get their products off the ground. Lobbying is the domain of the established players who have budgets to waste.

The best you can hope for from a real start-up is a night at the pub in the name of "networking".

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(Cryptographically) sign me up! Android to take bad app checks offline

lglethal
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Re: I don't understand why we need App Stores

OK OK, I'll go back to the decades of DOS and Windows 95 (and earlier). The App stores were called

Tandy Electronics, JB Hifi, Dick Smiths Electronics, Game World, Computer Land, etc.

They might not have been online, but you bought your "apps" in them.

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lglethal
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Facepalm

Re: I don't understand why we need App Stores

*cough*Steam, GOG, Windows Store, Itunes, etc, etc, etc*cough*

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

lglethal
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Re: Training the trainer

In the first year of my bachelor degree (Aerospace engineering in the early 2000's), we had a mandatory computing course.

In the very first lecture, the professor started explaining what was a mouse, a keyboard, etc., etc. After about 10 minutes of this, he began to show us how to open a Word document. At this point, he proudly announced that by clicking on the X in the corner you could close the document (all spoken in a tone of voice that left no doubt to anyone that this was amazing magical bleeding edge computing technology). He clicked the X, a pop up appeared "Would you like to save the changes you made to this document befoe closing". 3 options were available - Yes, No and Cancel.

The professor clicked Cancel. The document did not Close. He clicked the X again. Up came the Pop-up. He clicked Cancel. The document did not Close. He clicked the X again. Up came the Pop-up. He clicked Cancel. And so on for a full 5 minutes. At which point I got up and left.

I didnt bother going back to that class. I just turned up for the exams and still got a high distinction. To this day, I have no idea how long the professor kept clicking close before someone eventually took pity on him, or perhaps he did it until the end of the lesson. I have no idea.

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lglethal
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Re: Sun optical mice, circa 1985

"Isn't there a handwriting capture/mouse pen that uses paper printed with a very fine grid for a similar reason?"

Yep. It's called Livescribe. Or at least the one I've got is. From the little usage I've put it to, it works perfectly. Unfortunately it didnt exist when I was at uni (where I might have actually put it to good use), and I dont really have a day to day use for it anymore. But it works great.

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ICANN pays to push Whois case to European Court of Justice

lglethal
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Here's hoping the case is thrown out with extreme prejudice (or whatever the equivalent local legal term is). Having the court basically go "No, your case is ridiculous and there are no further grounds for appeal. Go away and stop bothering us." would be highly deserved (not to mention hilarious).

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Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

lglethal
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All a question of motivation...

It's a question of motivation. Scammers know they need to move quick (well they should have needed to move quick but based on TSB's response they probabaly could have taken their time) to make a profit and so are incentivised to pump out the scams fast.

TSB know very few customers are going to go through the hassle of changing banks just because of this debacle. And when you know that, then you know there's no need to pay for that expensive overtime to repair the system or invest in things like disaster recovery, roll out testing, rolling back systems, etc. TSB's motivation is to spend as little as possible on things to do with the customers and save as much as possible to go to their bonuses.

One motivation inspires quick action and the other does not...

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HP PC boss quits tech for fur baby future

lglethal
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Joke

"...we will have unwavering commitment to innovation and flawless execution"

Flawless Execution... Perhaps not the best choice of words for someone now working for a petshop...

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The only way is ethics: UK.gov emphasises moral compass amid deluge of data plans

lglethal
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Joke

Ethics? That's that place north east off sussex, right? The one with the reputation for loose women?

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US senators get digging to find out the truth about FCC DDoS attack

lglethal
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Joke

Wow an American senator with a grasp of the issues and the balls to actually start asking the hard questions?

This will not stand! Dig out the dirt this instant! Hes endangering our profits/power grab/political machinations/illegal activities (delete as appropriate)!

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Dinosaurs permitted to mate: But what does AT&T Time merger mean for antitrust – and you?

lglethal
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Re: "The US approach maximises consumer welfare"

Theory and reality are often two very different things (i.e. in theory the US approach maximises consumer welfare; in reality the US approach maximises corporate welfare)...

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