* Posts by Graham Dawson

2193 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Elite name on Brit scene sponsors retro video games preservation project at the Centre for Computing History

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Re: Tribbles/Trubbles

Aye, and then Enterprise had to go and try to explain it. Such is life.

EU orders Airbus A350 operators to install anti-coffee spillage covers in airliner cockpits

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Re: Wouldn't a child's sippy cup be cheaper?

I'd need to be drunk to consume that stuff.

If you think you've got problems, pal, spare a thought for these boffins baffled by 'oddball' meteorites

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He can count from aleph-alpha to aleph-omega.

Mexican cave relics suggest humans were populating the Americas up to 17,000 years earlier than thought

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One fun little details is that you can draw a line of longitude around the earth, up the coast of chile and the eastern united states, over the arctic and down across china to australia, and find devastation and megafuna extinctions everywhere you look in a broad swathe either side of it. Australia is scarred by impact sits similar to the elongated cratering and soot layer that marks the boundary of the clovis artefacts, but it doesn't really appear elsewhere in the world. Megafauna in the Americas - particular South America - was driven to extinction, as was megafuna in east asia and australasia, whilst megafauna in central and southern asia, africa and - to a lesser extent - europe were left intact.

There's no generally accepted hypothesis for why this would be so, but it's an interesting detail.

Australian aboriginal myths tell of a day of great devastation, of fire from the sky and great floods, that could possibly be associated with known tsunami and unusual crater-like formations on Australia's south coast.

It might be possible that some impactor sung around the earth at close to 90 degrees to the equator, broke up as it did so, and dropped a bunch of meteorites along that path.


Lovely new dongles and lusciously lengthy cables are Intel's new offerings

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Re: TB4 is kindof Fake.

Round the back.

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

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Re: What utter rubbish!

Not just a different race; they're from an entirely different planet!

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

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Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

All they wanted was police reform.

Brit MPs vote down bid to delay IR35 reforms, press ahead with new tax rules for private-sector contractors

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Re: If you keep poking the pig with a stick

They aren't being targeted by this legislation.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: And...

It's a minefield because you're falling into the trap of conflating avoidance and evasion. Avoidance is not paying what you don't owe. Evasion is not paying what you do owe.

Avoidance is when you change lanes to not be caught up in a queue. Evasion is when you change lanes to escape the police.

Apple's new WidgetKit: Windows Phone Live Tiles done right?

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Re: I thought Windows tiles were a brilliant UI

I agree.

It was shite on desktop, but the few times I had to interact with a windows phone, it was surprisingly intuitive.

IR35 tax reforms for UK freelancers glide through committee stage: D-Day set for 6 April 2021

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We do.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

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Typo, like I said upthread.

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so can I, but my fingers get stiff.

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Typo. I blame technology!

On the other topic, you can count to 12 on one hand. Use your thumb to count on your finger bones. The other hand can record multiples.

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I never said it was. It was a separate statement.

Think about it a moment: I talk about base 12 after mentioning a whole bunch of stuff that isn't base 12. How likely is it that I've moved on to a related, but separate topic?

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Revive the furlong! Cast on the chains of liberation!

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16 ounces in a pound, 14 pounds in a stone, 160 stone in a long ton.

360 inches in a yard, showing its very remote derivation from the base 60 counting system used by the ancient Sumerians. Don't talk to me about miles. They made more sense before Elizabeth fiddled with the definition.

It was a mistake to settle on base 10, just because we have ten fingers. Base 12 is much more flexible.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

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You can. It's functionally identical to the introduction of concepts by the introduction of words. Orange is a good example: the colour "orange" didn't exist as a separate thing until relatively recently. It was "red-yellow", or "red", or "yellow", not orange. The idea of a separate sheaf of colours called "orange" only turned up with that word being adopted into English.

Orwell's argument was that the removal of a word from the language would require circumlocution to express the same concept that was previously expressed with that single word. Circumlocution reduces the impact of an argument and makes its expression more difficult.

Orwell's further argument was that words would be removed progressively, or redefined in negative relationship to other words. By reducing the language sufficiently, with the removal or redefinition of enough words, even circumlocution would become impossible, as thoughts could only be expressed within a restrictive framework.

Animal Farm is a much better examination of the problem anyway. 1984 explored the state-imposed redefinition of language in a setting that was born largely from Orwell's experiences in the Spanish civil war and solidified by his experiences at the BBC, in which such manipulation of language and history by those in authority was the norm. Animal Farm explored the progressive redefinition of language by vested interests who sought power over society, enforced by social shaming and propaganda.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: "There's no slave in git though"

Nothing in the definition of master implies finalisation, especially in any form of electronic media. It's the authoritative source from which duplicates are made.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

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Re: For those who learn only one side of the history

He said similar after the war and was planning to send freed slaves back to Africa.

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

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context is racist now

Hooray, space boffins have finally got InSight lander's heat probe back into Martian ground again

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And why not? It's already lived up to the general stereotype by digging a hole and then doing nothing for months.

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft

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Jet fuel doesn't spontaneously recombust hours after being extinguished, in an otherwise safe environment. Lithium cells have been known to do that.

It's not every day the NSA publicly warns of attacks by Kremlin hackers – so take this critical Exim flaw seriously

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Oh, this is what got my mail server last year. They used it to install crypto miners.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

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Re: Fingers crossed for Saturday

These aren't space suits, they're flight suits. They provide emergency protection in the case of decompression.

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Given how long it takes to autodock in real space flight, I hope so too. I don't think anyone could survive four-plus hours of Blue Danube on repeat with their sanity intact.

Mulled Chrome API shines light on long-neglected privacy gap: Sites can snoop on your find-in-page searches

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Re: "the potential benefits outweigh the risks"

Google docs and sheets override the default search behaviour to implement their own in-app searches.

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

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Re: Quite an upgrade...

Neither does Windows 10.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

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Re: So...

>Andrew Wakefield

You know what really grinds my gears about that man? There is some anecdotal linkage between measles causing gut perforation and some types of ASD, but because of wakefield's utter bollocks, nobody in their right mind would dare to even touch the idea, so there's not going to be any meaningful research into it (either to confirm or rule out the hypothesis) for probably decades.

That's the real damage caused by quacks and "campaigns": they make whole areas of research so radioactive that few dare follow up, and anyone who does even moderately related research is pilloried as just another nutcase, no matter what they set out to test.

Virgin Orbit at last ready to live up to its name: Branson's other space adventure set for maiden flight this weekend

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Re: ....does not require the infrastructure needed by vertically launched rockets

The fish might be a bad idea.

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

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Caffeine is a diuretic, and so (mildly) are some other compounds in tea. The link itself is postulated and assumes poor hydration alongside copious tea consumption, but tea is hydrating on average, so tenuous would certainly cover it.

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

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Is that where Towser lives?

Node.js creator delivers Deno 1.0, a new runtime that fixes 'design mistakes in Node'

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Ed, no!

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

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Re: Not quite Windows

You served a drink?

The point of containers is they aren't VMs, yet Microsoft licenses SQL Server in containers as if they were VMs

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Re: Cloud is a joke

They're a fancy, self-contained chroot and that's basically it. Convenience always comes in cans.

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

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It's not streaming from his phone, it's streaming directly from Spotify. The device is using his account to access music directly and his phone is acting like a remote control for it. Unless I'm very much mistaken, there can only be one account attached to a speaker like this at a time (unless the speaker is engaged in some shenanigans), so as long as his account is the one paired with the speaker, there shouldn't be a problem. The real story here is someone not understanding how Spotify Connect works.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce hit eject on hybrid-electric airliner testbed after E-Fan X project fails to get off the ground

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Re: Electric planes?

Of course, on rereading, you were talking about flying a plane without fuel, which is a stupid argument on its face. Of course a plane can't fly without fuel. Fuel is a necessary part of the plane, but flight distances (and reserve fuel) are calculated on the back of the mass reduction from fuel expenditure. Fuel is a significant proportion of the mass of a fully laden plane, as yoir own otherwise meaningless diagram attests, but that mass is expectex to reduce over the course of the flight, extending its range significantly.

Battery mass doesn't reduce as its energy is extracted, reducing the effective range of the plane as it has to continue to haul dead weight. This isn't a theoretical exercise either; this is well understood physics. Even with your mythical super batteries with their theoretical specific energy and a mass comparable to kerosene, an electric and will not have the same range as a comparable jet turbine plane, entirely because of that battery mass - a good third of the entire mass of the plane - remaining in place.

That remaining mass of empty batteries also means the cargo capacity has to be reduced, so that the plane can land safely, so on top of the reduced range, you have reduced carrying capacity.

Electric planes aren't viable. Simple as that.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

"but it's useless (and impossible) to fly an empty aircraft."

Now I know you're talking out of your backside. Aircraft are routinely flown empty to reposition for route changes, for testing, for maintenance stops, and to maintain flight slots.

And that diagram shows loaded fuel being more than a third of the weight of a fully laden craft, not that it's much use without numbers.

I suspect you have no idea what your talking about.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

And a theoretical specific energy means little if it isn't practically achievable.

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

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Re: Stupid millennials

The latter is something up with which I shall not put.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Sounds unnecessary to me

CRT physically cannot have a wider gamut than OLED, because it has no true black. Modern displays are constrained by a colourspace that was designed when black didn't technically exist in display technologies, and when the memory available to represent a colour was far more limited than it is now.

I'll let Tom Scott explain one of the issues this causes.

OLED can physically display more colours, but obviously it only displays what it's told to display.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Stupid millennials

I write it by hand all the time. You think I'm going to rely solely on a bunch of frameworks and generators to do all the work? I've seen the results of those things. No thanks.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Stupid millennials

It's a lackadaisical writer who avoids clarifying meaning where ambiguity may remain.

The possessive's use is self-evident when discussing possessives, Grocers' grosser grotesqueries notwithstanding.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

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Re: Same property?

I heard you could make it big if you got in on the ground floor, but I just don't want to take part in the same old rat race.

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There's a fairly high chance the local plod will come around to harangue you for that.

Internet root keymasters must think they're cursed: First, a dodgy safe. Now, coronavirus upends IANA ceremony

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It wasn't fair! He finally had time!

Oh wait, different apocalypse.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Bring back win98 UI

You could at least turn off the XP ui and get it looking approximately the same as win2k.

This hurts a ton-80: British darts champ knocked out of home tourney by lousy internet connection

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Re: Not just 'rural' connections

On the other hand, I can also get service from Mr Branson's provider, rather than a US state.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Not just 'rural' connections

Virginia are the only service I could get here with remotely useful speeds. I'm just the wrong side of an exchange boundary*, so while I am within walking distance of the nearest fttc cabinet, I can't actually get fttc because my exchange hasn't been upgraded. The best I could get was very poor ADSL.

* I know this because I moved across it about two years ago. Less than half a mile made the difference.

Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule

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Re: Titanic thinking

There were plans, as a matter of fact. The UK government developed detailed plans for dealing with a pandemic. The only problem is that they planned for a flu pandemic, which would have behaved rather differently to this one, so much of the early response - once the pandemic was known - has been inadequate to the problem at hand.


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