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* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1475 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business

Kevin McMurtrie
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Invented by the Marketing Department?

"RCS upgrades SMS with branding..." and then I stopped reading Google's description due to a sudden lack of interest.

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IBM Java CTO: Devs shouldn't have to learn Docker, K8s, 30 other things to deploy an app

Kevin McMurtrie
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What, some common sense?

Somebody shouts "Cloud computing!" so you have a Java virtual machine in a virtual container on a virtual host in a virtual datacenter. On top of that, somebody shouts "Microservices!" so now you have that whole stack multiplied 10 to 30 times, with each piece using 5 database connections, each running the client library for every API of every other piece, each generating 1 TB a day of junk monitoring statistics, and each using 4GB of RAM each to do pretty much nothing. Next comes the complaints about how it's too expensive, it hurts the DB, it's too hard to debug, somebody always messes up deployment, the firewall is letting in hackers, and API changes are impossible. The proposed solution is then more layers of process!

Java in the "cloud" went down a very dark path. Kill it and try again.

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Ayyy-EYE! Google code 'predicts heart disease' by eyeballing retinas

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

The web will be like TV on a weekday afternoon

I suspect that Google will soon deprecate fingerprint scanners in favor of retina scanners. There's big money in pharmaceuticals.

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Linux Mint is free

It makes no difference unless you build your own computer or purchase it from a handful of places that sell bootable computers without the Microsoft tax. Replacing Windows with Linux is still paying for Windows.

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Oi! Verizon leaked my fiancée's nude pix to her ex-coworker, says bloke

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Up

It's catchy

The "mobile gisnt" typo actually sounds pretty good. I say keep it.

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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

Kevin McMurtrie
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Error handling is hard - let's not do it!

Unless something has changed recently, MacOS doesn't handle media write failures. The kernel logs an error but it doesn't bubble up far enough to properly abort an operation. The first symptom is corrupted files or volumes once the unwritten data flushes from cache. Drobo NAS don't handle media write failures either.

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Magic Leap's staggering VR goggle technology just got even better!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Silicon Valley is getting too crowded anyways

Another year will pass and then they'll announce that their R&D produced solid results but the price point doesn't yet match the market. <poof> Gone. The tech (evidence) will be sold off to a brand new LLC that guards it as if it contained secrets that will change the world.

I don't have to know anything about Magic Leap to be extremely suspicious. AR and VR tech is awful. If a magical AR/VR device appeared now it would take at least two years before worthwhile content arrived for it. Consumers won't wait that long and neither can a cash burning startup. If Magic Leap had a real product they'd be giving crude prototypes to developers as fast as they could to accelerate the content development process.

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You're decorating it wrong: Apple HomePod gives wood ring of death

Kevin McMurtrie
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HomeDesk

It's only approved for use with Apple home furnishings. Losers with non-Apple shelfware shouldn't even be looking at this.

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Winter Olympics website downed by cyber attack

Kevin McMurtrie
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It's also quite probable that South Korea is a victim of their own botnets. 20 years of not giving a crap can take its toll when you actually need something working.

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Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Didn't hack it?

I used to wire up RCA jacks to the clockwise pin of the volume control pots of my equipment so I'd have line-out jacks. The best spot for line-in was usually trial and error by touching another device's line-out to anything that looked like a DC blocking capacitor near the microphone amp. The same soldering iron used for that wiring would be used to burn RCA jack mounting holes in the device too. I didn't have a lot of tools.

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Wow, MIND-BLOWING: Florida Man gets an earful from 'exploding Apple AirPod' bud

Kevin McMurtrie
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That would be a lithium iron phosphate battery in a golf cart. They're tougher, good for 10x the charge cycles, less flammable, and less prone to thermal runaway compared to LiPo. It's definitely the preferred chemistry when energy density isn't critical.

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Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Two way street

This is a good move but it needs to happen in both directions. I'd like to see businesses block Chrome because it sends sensitive URLs, page thumbnails, and hardware usage metrics to Google. Maybe they can block Android WiFi for leaking passwords. I'd like to see GMail and Google Groups blocked more because Google makes them easy to use by scammers. Google might be helping consumers every now and then but they're still quite evil and they'll never stop abusing their market dominance without pushback.

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Tech bad-boy Uber crafts tool to make staff follow the rules in future (er, coding rules, that is)

Kevin McMurtrie
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Of all the things to worry about

Most IDEs can automatically flag suspicious code and obvious inefficiencies. More advanced linters are REALLY HARD to design. I have a deep hatred of the garbage that Checkstyle forces people to write because it doesn't understand scope, visibility, and project expectations. Making a new linter doesn't seem like it should be high on the list of really hard work that needs to be done at Uber.

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To hack Australia and learn its secrets, buy second-hand furniture

Kevin McMurtrie
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Holding it wrong

Most of the office file cabinets I've seen arrive locked with they key inside. You unlock them by turning them upside down. I wonder if the original office facilities staff is laughing their asses off reading about this?

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1,900 rotten apps bounced out of Google Play every day in 2017

Kevin McMurtrie
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Ah, Google

Fixing the symptom of bad apps in the store but not the problem of malware developers being able to automate abuse. This another reason why people hate Google so f'ing much. Google's apps support enormous amounts of spam and phishing on the Internet but Google filters it when using the same apps to view content. People say, "I get so much less spam on GMail than my ISP's mail" or "Google Groups is much cleaner than my ISP's Usenet feed" when all of that trash is actually Google's fault.

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California Senate OKs net neutrality law, gives FCC cold hard long stare

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: If It's So Flipping Bad?

Cooperating to produce a better outcome? <snooze> Nobody makes headlines today with compromise and progress.

Dumpster fires Fox and CNN are looking yawntastic today. Somebody needs to send some Boring weed torches to our legislators with a request that they begin discussing taxes, immigration, guns, and abortion ASAP. I hope our Internet works well enough to display the results.

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Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

GFail

Google doesn't have the focus and attention span to build hardware. They try and fail over, and over, and over again without learning anything. There's also a growing population that knows Google is only building hardware to spy on you more. Removing the headphone jack gets people to turn on Bluetooth so tracking beacons work, removing the microSD card forces people to use more of Google cloud services, and the AI chip is there to help Google anticipate, observe, and manipulate your every move in the name of marketing revenue.

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Timeout everyone. Y'all know that Musk's $500 'flamethrower' is literally a Boring blowtorch?

Kevin McMurtrie
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IT Angle

Boring is funding infrastructure building hardware using the excess money of wealthy adults who want a collector's item. Why would you call time-out on that, El Reg?

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Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

1995 again

The same deal happened when offices started using personal computers. A complete desktop computer system used 400 to 1500 watts around 1995. Office circuit breakers kept tripping, electrical closets overheated, and there was not nearly enough air conditioning to pump all that heat out. Local grids overloaded and there were regular blackouts. Power companies panicked at the idea of every home consuming another 1KW for a computer. (And this gave Enron a really bad idea for profit)

People bought backup power supplies and the wires got upgraded. Desktop were made more power efficient. Happy ending.

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Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: anti-collision

That looks like a 20 MPH impact. The entire front of the car needs to crush to survive a 65 MPH impact into a solid barrier like a fire truck. Even so, you'd be in no condition to refuse treatment.

More likely for LA : Going 95 MPH and the anti-collision system could only see far enough ahead to shed 75 MPH before impact.

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President Trump turns out the lights on solar panel imports into US

Kevin McMurtrie
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Maybe I don't understand how this works

If China is subsidizing solar cells, wouldn't the proper response be for the US government be to purchase as many as possible? We'd have a nice surplus of cheap solar cells ready for when China ends the subsidy. (Then quietly steal all the trade secrets from China and build them locally.)

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'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Kevin McMurtrie
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The silencer amp

In the early 1990s I was playing with MOSFETs in an attempt to build an extremely loud audio amplifier on the cheap. I built 4 Class AB amps on a +/- 45V power supply that could manage 8A momentarily. The circuit design was crude and involved twisted hookup wires between the MOSFETs and the main breadboard. The final build suffered from a bit of distortion and my old oscilloscope showed bits of the waveform missing, which was a typical symptom of intermittent oscillation. I soldered some picofarad caps on the MOSFETs as an easy fix. Now it was weird. Every time I turned on the amp, the MOSFETs hissed, my radio went dead, my CD player spun BACKWARDS, and my oscilloscope went totally blank. I disconnected the oscilloscope probes and it still wouldn't work just being there near the amp. The amplifier felt oddly hot where it shouldn't.

Moved the oscilloscope and powered on the amp. The scope a drew what looked like spring viewed from an angle, which means that the trace was partially going backwards too. I measured the loops and got 170 MHz on a 'scope rated for 20MHz while its probe was not connected. It turns out that the pins on a TO-220 MOSFET make a fine RF transformer. You're supposed to put series resistors on the pins to stop oscillations; never capacitors. I was energizing all the speaker wires in my room with 170 MHz of high voltage AC. The amp felt strangely warm because it was RF heating my fingers when I touched it.

I eventually got it working and it was worth every bit of effort.

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In Soviet California, pedestrian hits you! Bloke throws himself in front of self-driving car

Kevin McMurtrie
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Terminator

Here to help

This horrific accident is prof that humans need autonomous limbs to protect themselves from dangerous lapses of attention. Now here's the hMotion product - a little back-pack like device that serves as your personal assistant via broadband nerve interface. Don't be afraid. It has gigabit 5G, AR, and all your favorite selfie filters. There, that's it. Scroll to the end of the disclaimer and hit "OK."

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FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds

Kevin McMurtrie
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Broadband subsidies, broadband advertising, telling the FCC there's no need for competition because the sky-high prices are for broadband. You can see this all doesn't work when a telco's definition of broadband is 120Kbps of IDSL. Telcos are still free to offer crap service at crap rates but they can't call it "broadband."

I have no idea why you're trying to get dedicated fiber for just 10Mbps. What a waste. Comcast and AT&T, as bad as they are, have business plans that will guarantee that speed. You could have point-to-point wireless with repeaters renting space on somebody else's buildings and still do better than burying a 10Mbps cable. If it was multiple 1Gbps or 10Gbps links, I could see that you might need a trench opened up.

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Wait, what? The Linux Kernel Mailing List archives lived on ONE PC? One BROKEN PC?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Up

Old school

This is refreshing in a world where I see people burning insane amounts of money on their cloud hosted Kubernetes + Node.js + React + Redis + CPython + PyBrain + Memcached + CloudSQL + Debezium + BigQuery + Cassandra + Kafka + Lucene + Elasticsearch + Splunk + nginx cluster, which they boast can serve one million pages a day and be maintained by just 10 full time developers.

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OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Roku F-u

This isn't new. Some Roku devices have a bug where its WiFi Direct channel is negotiated on the most active channel rather than the least, essentially killing your home WiFi. The difference is that Roku can't be bothered to fix it.

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US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need

Kevin McMurtrie
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Why upgrade?

I think desktop computers are vastly overpowered for their current surroundings. There's just no use for the extra power except for certain games. If desktop computer makers want to ramp up sales, they need to make some changes in the market.

1) Put an end to the idea that somebody else is the "cloud." Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon are holding back technology for their own benefit, trying to convince us to view the world through a web browser. Build consumer-friendly cloud software into every single computer - mail server, file sharing, web sharing, video conferencing, social interaction, etc.

2) Make IPv6 setup easier. Come on, it's time to standardize terminology so configuration is no longer a nightmare.

2) Fight telcos that block peer-to-peer communications. Install awesome cloud software and give it consumer-friendly diagnostics that can point a finger exactly at the place where communications is being blocked.

3) Move away from x86, MacOS, Windows, and Linux. They are archaic and too complex to maintain any longer. Let them die. Collaborate on creating open source virtual machines that can evolve independently of hardware and the low-level drivers. (Apple is doing this already but I don't think they have it right yet.)

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Yay, it's power play day: Conaway prays USA says 'no way' to Huawei

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

I always feel like...somebody's watching me

I hate it when I buy a Chinese device and it has American, Chinese, manufacturer, and advertiser spyware all running at the same time. Can't we standardize on a single method of making devices totally insecure?

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Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

Kevin McMurtrie
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No time for tabs versus spaces

I think we're all in shock at how many people think Trump is a good idea. Even some techies like Trump based on the "It's easier to fix things when they're completely broken" concept, as if there weren't real humans to suffer while things are broken.

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Trump backs push for bumpkin broadband with presidential orders

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: We just got AT&T fiber!

AT&T Consumer Fiber will only show me the first month's base price if I try to sign up. I have to agree to pay all additional taxes and fees but can not be told what they are. I can not be told what the monthly bill will be, how much static IP addresses will cost, how much equipment rental will cost, which of the many blocked ports can be opened and how much unblocking costs.

An actual bill of $400 a month sounds credible given my past experience with AT&T. It's about what AT&T Small Business Fiber costs. A telco's "small business" offering is usually the same as the "consumer" offering but with a more honest contract.

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Boffins use inkjets to print explosives

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Not usually one for pedantry

Thermite isn't an explosive because it doesn't expand when it burns. It just sits there and makes a blinding-hot puddle of metal. It would need to be mixed with something else that vaporizes.

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Devs see red after not seeing Big Red on Stack Overflow database poll

Kevin McMurtrie
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Poor Oracle

Even North Korea is in the survey.

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Good lord, Kodak's stock is up 120 per cent. How? New film? Oh. It launched a crypto-coin

Kevin McMurtrie
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Um... Thanks. Now can you take a picture with my phone?

Is Kodak trying to make amusement park photography a big thing again? That's what this sounds like to me. Wow.

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Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

That patent office

I read the patent abstracts. They were filed in 2015 and cover features that publicly available network cameras already offered. The receipt for mine is dated 2014.

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

Kevin McMurtrie
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Are there two versions of Ubuntu 17.10?

Because mine has been really glitchy. The daily stuff like the video driver, keyboard shortcuts, and networking is a hot mess since I upgraded from 16. What really makes it worse is the Ubuntu Software App. You'd think Ubuntu would want to promote Linux with some really good open source and commercial software. Instead, it launches with "Sorry, something went wrong." If it does work, it dishes up a long list of 1-star reviewed apps that won't even install.

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If you won't use your brain our machine will use it for you, Nissan tells drivers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stop

Engage brain to start car

Nissan's US car commercials all prominently feature the car's ability to not slaughter pedestrians and crash into stopped cars while the driver is daydreaming. I'd prefer that those people not be able to drive in the first place.

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Apple macOS so secure some apps can't be easily deleted

Kevin McMurtrie
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Right, security

How much of this is for security and how much of it is Apple protecting their rigid branding and customer lock-in? I started using Apple products from DOS 3.2 but quit after MacOS 10.6.8. For how much money Apple is charging, I need to feel like I actually own the computer after I buy it.

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Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

It doesn't even make juice?

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ALPHABET TOTALLY LOSES ITS SCHMIDT: Exec chairman Eric quits

Kevin McMurtrie
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"If anything Google are more open and honest about things than the other big players I mentioned."

You don't know anything about Google. Google is open and honest about a just enough things to make it appear that they're not being evil. They're also collecting huge amounts of personal data that isn't disclosed, they're associating personal data in clever ways that potentially reveals much more than they disclose, and they lie to their advertising customers about how accurate their information is.

People say that personal data spying is a fair trade for a free product. That's fine until Google starts dominating markets and there are no spying-free alternatives. Did you know that Apple and Google refuses to offer microSD cards so you're connected to their cloud more often? Did you know that the headphone jack is being removed so that Bluetooth beacon detection works more often? Do you really think that self-driving car technology won't coerce you into taking sponsored routes? It goes on forever.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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I can't think of a time when Google wasn't as evil as possible.

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Weed wish you a merry Christmas: Pot-toting OAPs tell cops 30kg stash is for pressies

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Alternatives to weed that would have been legal

They were busted for transporting an absurd quantity of a taxable and controlled product. Alcohol, tobacco, or ammo would have been at least as bad.

A woman was caught in the same area today with over 209 kg of pot. Don't you hate it give everyone the same gift as another family member?

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Nest's slick IoT burglar alarm catches crooks... while it eyes your wallet

Kevin McMurtrie
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But wait, there's more (fees)

The Nest is pretty much useless when the Internet is down. At least around here in the US, everything has an exposed service box where your private wires meet the utility's wires. At best it has a "Security Torx" screw head, which is so common that most tool combo-packs include drivers. Monitored security systems will call you when the wire is cut. DIY security systems have on-board storage. Nest needs you to purchase a cellular backup subscription.

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Yes, your old iPhone is slowing down: iOS hits brakes on CPUs as batteries wear out

Kevin McMurtrie
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Honda

This is similar to what Honda has done with Civic Hybrid cars. Rather than constantly replacing poorly designed "IMA" systems under warranty, they changed the software to stop using it and stop reporting failures. (I had the 2005 Hybrid Accord that was such an epic disaster that I got a lemon law refund.)

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Virgin Hyperloop pulls up the biggest chair for Branson, bags $50m, new speed record

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: So, when is he going to build Space Cannon One?

It would have to be going around 40000 km/h after the 600 km climb. It's not a survivable launch unless your payload is a bullet.

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TalkTalk banbans TeamTeamviewerviewer againagain

Kevin McMurtrie
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Facepalm

Offering easily abuse services, like...

I'm all for blocking services that are, through poor design, more abused than used. Does anything support scams on massive scales more than a telephone network? Even email's SMTP can be configured to block dirty networks. My phone's ringer is off.

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5 reasons why America's Ctrl-Z on net neutrality rules is a GOOD thing

Kevin McMurtrie
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Don't you mean $2000/month?

Right now in Silicon Valley: Comcast Business 75/15 Mbps with static IP addresses and no blocked ports costs $198 a month. Comcast Xfinity does not allow incoming connections and it blocks ports. Competitor Sonic could get me 6/2 Mpbs bonded ADSL2+ for about $120/month but IPv6 remains broken. AT&T's Uverse doesn't allow incoming connections, they block ports, and it costs extra to opt-out of spying.

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No one saw it coming: Rubin's Essential phone considered anything but

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Saw it coming, just didn't care.

I see the microSD card as being able to carry just my phone where a laptop or a USB drive was once needed. About 100GB in my phone is offline OsmAnd+ maps and an offline Kiwix copy of Wikipedia. Traveling adds music, movies, documents, DSLR backups, and video camera backups. I've filled my 200GB card before so I've been thinking about a 400GB card for next year.

256GB phones are rare and expensive. A better question is if you really need 256+ GB of expensive high performance flash, or could most of that be a bit slower and 1/5 the cost.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Saw it coming, just didn't care.

It's just like an iPhone but without iPhone support, so it's Essentially useless.

Pro-tip: Cater to people who don't want an iPhone. Give it a headphone jack, give it a microSD slot, let it run 3rd party ROMs, and maybe even make the battery user-replaceable.

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New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Re: Still haven't graduated from lithium

Atomic batteries have been around for a long time, even in very small forms. They're perfectly safe as long as you keep the core cool and entirely undamaged for a few hundred years.

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Shazam! Apple chucks £300m at Brit what's-that-song app – report

Kevin McMurtrie
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Bringing a bit of the 2010s to the 1990s

It sounds like they'd use Shazam to chain Siri and iTunes together. It's mind boggling that Apple has over 30 Million songs for sale but you can't be a customer without the iTunes app. There must be some people at Apple pulling their hair right now about iTunes getting a bit fatter.

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