* Posts by tapanit

43 posts • joined 20 Jul 2009

Lizards for lunch? Crazy tech? Aliens?! Dana Dash: First Girl on the Moon is perfect for the little boffin-to-be in your life



Curiously, while I'd use "maths" with -s in other contexts, I would never use the -s version in the expression "Do the math!".

20 years deep into a '2-year' mission: How ESA keeps Cluster flying


Activate Omega-13.

"Never give up. Never surrender." I must watch Galaxy Guest again one of these days.

Seriously though, this is really cool. Sarris would have no chance against these guys.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Re: Ahhhh shoot!

'A falling bullet from a "miss" will only reach its terminal velocity on the way down. It's weight is small. So it would be comparable to a hailstone.'

Umm, no. Unless shot straight up, the bullet also has *horizontal* velocity, and that's what'll do the damage. There are well-documented cases of bullets shot randomly in the air causing damage, even killing people.

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America


Re: The intersting question is...

Crime should primarily be prosecuted in whatever country the perpetrator was at the time. If you can't get adequate prosecution there, it should be fixed there rather than using extradition.

Many countries, though apparently not Britain, allow extradition only to countries where the punishment can't be significantly more severe (notably so Finland, though it doesn't extradite its citizens to the USA in any case, not even voluntarily).

Black Helicopters

You may well be right that there will be no UK court case and the case will remain open in the USA. I don't think they'd consider him important enough to hijack forcibly though, or even try extradition very hard (maybe from some countries) - I can't see Finland extraditing him for example. But travel to the USA would be out of bounds for him.

Oi! Linux users! Want some really insecure closed-source software?


Re: Bigger jumps in Version numbers @druck

While ancient Romans didn't use P as a numeral, some medieval texts do - but its value is 400, not a million. So XP would be 390.


Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...


Re: No 3G and lack of quad band support

Get rid of the display altogether. It's not needed - as older readers may recall, landline phones didn't have displays (with very few exceptions).

Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system


Re: checklist

Case insensitivity is a major pain if you have to deal with several languages. The lower-upper -conversion is language-dependent - e.g., in several languages accents disappear in capitalization, in Turkish upper case 'i' isn't 'I' but 'İ', in German ß becomes 'SS' (or 'SZ' in some cases) in upper case...

Censor-happy China, battling Brazilians ... just what's left in the wake of ICANN's now ex-CEO?


Next CEO has been announced a couple of weeks ago: Göran Marby, now at Swedish Telecom.



Re: Cheaper to just leave 'em

They might have left some airplanes in there on purpose in order to see how the bomb affects them.

ICANN urges US, Canada: Help us stop the 'predatory' monster we created ... dot-sucks!


Re: Or, in other words.

Actually I seem to recall ICANN routinely reserves icann.anything in all registrar agreements for new domains, so icann.sucks is presumably reserved to them already. Guess they know they suck. :-)

Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct


"If however, anyone feels personally abused, threatened, or otherwise uncomfortable due to this process, that is not acceptable."

Given how little it takes for some people to feel uncomfortable, I assume that is not intended to be taken literally (it really couldn't be). Actually, given history of kernel lists and Linus' past behaviour, I suspect it's not intended to be taken seriously at all.

Renewable energy 'simply won't work': Top Google engineers


Re: reducing energy consumption

Vladimir Plouzhnikov: "reduction of population is impossible in anything approaching long term."

I rather think it's trivial in the long term: human population will naturally reduce to zero. Possibly it doesn't even take all that long a term.

Even in short term, say a couple of centuries, chances of a catastrophe that'll wipe out 99%+ of the species are not impossibly small.

Planning to fly? Pour out your shampoo, toss your scissors, rename terrorist Wi-fi!

Big Brother

"the stated point of (some of the) middle-east-based terror groups is to cause more and more disruption in the west to normal functions such as air travel, not by actually disrupting them themselves, but by vaguely implying they PLAN to disrupt them and have the response (from TSA et. al) disrupt them much more."

Indeed. If TSA were judged by the actual impact of their activities, they should be prosecuted for aiding and abetting terrorists.

ICANN destroys Google's dotless domain dream


Actually .africa wasn't rejected as such, but there were two applicants for it and one of them was now rejected (presumably the other will get it, although that's not formally decided yet).

The objection to .gcc was due to potential of confusion with Gulf Cooperation Council (the applicant was Goldman Sachs, or technically their fund GCCIX WLL).

NSA: NOBODY could stop Snowden – he was A SYSADMIN


Sysadmins are hard to stop...

Mandatory xkcd reference: https://xkcd.com/705/

Ten ancestors of the netbook


How about HP110 from 1984? Cf. http://oldcomputers.net/hp110.html

Of course it's a arguable whether it is "rather smaller than a laptop" - it was certainly heavier than many modern laptops (mainly due to huge battery), but it was tiny by the standards of 1980s.

YES! It's the TARDIS PC!


Looking at the specs, it almost certainly will run Linux (and they sell it without OS, too).

I'm not going to splunk 1k£ to test it, however.

Linux kernel dumps 386 chip support


Re: 486?

486 is still supported, judging by comments in the changelog. There are some sort-of-486-like processors that are no longer supported, however:

"Note that the 386 is no longer supported, this includes AMD/Cyrix/Intel 386DX/DXL/SL/SLC/SX, Cyrix/TI 486DLC/DLC2, UMC 486SX-S and the NexGen Nx586."

Global warming still stalled since 1998, WMO Doha figures show


Re: Forever is a long time

Actually dinosaurs lasted over 160 million years and dominated the Earth for some 135 million.

Anyway, yes, Earth will survive any climate change until Sun gobbles it up, but whether the human species will is another matter.

Human Rights Watch proposes new laws of robotics


Sounds to me like regular landmines fit in the 3rd category already...

KDE 'annoys the hell of' Linus Torvalds


Re: If Linus doesn't like KDE4's "configurability" that much ...

The article is somewhat misleading: Linus explicitly said he likes KDEs configurability:

"But ah, the ability to configure things". All in all, given Linus' style it's all but high praise to KDE.

How Nokia managed to drive its in-house Linux train off the rails


Re: Well, kinda

Interesting. My N900 has been rock solid - the only thing I've had problems with is MMS messages (which have never been officially supported), but I've never needed to remove battery or anything like that. And I grieve for its never-materialized successor (N9 does not count, I want a real keyboard).

Intel 330 120GB SSD review


You missed one missing key feature: the 320 series is database-safe, with capacitor that has enough power to flush pending writes in the event of power failure, unlike 330 (or 520 for that matter). Which explains why the 320 series is selling for a much higher price.

Finland beefs up HPC oomph with Cray 'Cascade' super


A misspelling in system name: It's Vuori, not "Vouri". (Louhi, however, is correct.)

So, that vast IT disaster you may have caused? Come in, sit down


Re: Tape?

In some countries it's perfectly legal to record a conversation you're part of, even without other parties knowing about it. In Finland, for example, where it was actually confirmed by the (Finnish) Supreme Court some years back. And yes, obviously such a recording would be usable as evidence.

Ten... Sata 3 SSDs



Indeed. Apparently the only database-safe SSDs in the consumer market are the old and slow Intel 320 series ones (the new "enterprise" series 710 isn't much faster, but much more expensive - it is supposed to last much longer, though).

You might still find some (out of production) OCZ Vertex 2 Pro models on sale somewhere, but are getting scarce (and often very expensive - I just picked a 50GB one - the last available at that store - at €80, but mostly they go for five times that).

iPad app that lets mute kids speak menaced by patent lawsuit


Re: every patent invalidated is a victory for us all

Algorithms are indeed often really hard to create. The hard part is usually mathematics. Which isn't patentable either, as you probably know, and for a good reason.

That something is hard to do and should be rewarded doesn't mean patents are a good way of doing so. (Quite a lot of seriously hard mathematics has been created without patents.)

30-year-old global temperature predictions close to spot-on


Re: Curious to think...

"the human animal seems to be the only species hell bent on screwing itself into the ground over this contentious & self imposed issue, whilst all other existing flora & fauna on this planet will [...] simply adapt"

Well, yes, but "simply adapting" will often mean going extinct. :-)

Of course, that is the way of evolution: as the environment changes, some species will survive while others won't, and there's little doubt that nature as a whole will cope. But from a narrow human viewpoint, it is of some interest if the human species is among the survivors.

Lawyers of Mordor menace Hobbit boozer


Re: Are they also suing scientific journals?

The mere name "Hobbit" probably isn't covered by copyright, but it is trademarked.

I doubt they have (or indeed could have) trademark on hominid species... unlike copyright, trademarks are domain-specific (so that, e.g., Apple could be two separate trademarks, Apple Computers and Apple Records), but they may well have registered the trademark for drinks and such. Copyright enters the picture in where images from the film have been used (which Nature &c presumably didn't use).


Re: Fuck Saul Zentz

"You cannot copyright folklaw." Maybe not, but you can certainly trademark ancient words - witness Apple, for example.

Child abuse suspect won't be forced to decrypt hard drive


Re: Re: Re: I don't get it...

"I am of the understanding that in UK courts people can be compelled to answer questions by a judge."

I'm quite certain you're wrong, when it come to the accused. The principle against self-incrimination is rather strongly entrenched in various international legal treaties, notably in the European Convention on Human Rights, which I believe is binding in the UK.

Now *witnesses*, i.e., people who are not being accused themselves, can be compelled to speak, but that's not at issue here.

Five ways Microsoft can rescue Windows Phone


Doctorow and PS

Hey - I read Cory Doctorow's novels and occasionally even Postscript source, but Windows phones I won't touch with a ten-foot pole if I can help it!

Groupon banned from selling SNAKE OIL


I recall somebody *did* succeed in selling fridges to inuits long ago - to keep food from freezing... don't even need electricity! Nowadays they're of course likely to have electricity and use fridges to keep beer cold in summer, like everybody else.

Genetics and technology make Columbus Day a fraud


You missed at least one story: Portuguese may have landed in Brazil well before Columbus, but kept it secret for political reasons. There's no direct evidence of that but several indirect clues, so I'd say it's one more theory in "plausible but unlikely" category.

The freakonomics of smut: Does it actually cause rape?


Death penalty

One somewhat counter-intuitive effect of death penalty (and to a lesser degree, harsher punishments in general) is that it reduces the likelyhood of getting caught and convicted, and (even more surprisingly) increases false convictions. So while DP obviously reduces recidivism in those convicted and executed, it might have the opposite effect in total.

Google opens tiny window onto Baltic Sea-cooled data center


In Finland you can sell your excess heat...

Remember, this is in Finland, where heating is needed more often than cooling, and a big problem with air conditioning is preventing heat loss in winter! So they can probably feed any extra heat to the communal central heating system (and get money from it!). Only in summer it'd be a problem at all.

Shuttleworth sees fewer clouds in Ubuntu's future


O, P, Q ...

"As to what animal is picked that starts with a "P" for 12.04...who knows?"

Lots of those to choose from (I doubt they have the chuzpah to go for Perky Penguin though), but the next one will be harder... Querulous Quail? Quotidian Quetzal? Queamish Queenfish? Queer Quillback? Quirky Quillfish? Can't think of any more... except Qagga, but an extinct animal would be a bit, err, ominous.

Maybe they'll jump Q and go straight to R (Racy Rat?).

Linux life savers for paranoid penguins


rsync & versions

While rsync by itself doesn't keep multiple versions of files, it makes it easy enough, and a number of tools built on it do it automatically. A few have already been mentioned, others include rsnapshot (which needs very little besides rsync itself and perl, but requires editing configuration files manually) and backuppc (which provides web interface).

NASA drops Ubuntu's Koala food for (real) open source

This post has been deleted by a moderator

PARIS hacked Canon: 108 minutes, 1,298 stills


CHKD works with cards bigger than 4G

CHKD *does* work with 16GB cards (at least) just fine - you just have to partition the card in two, a (very small) partition for the CHDK boot stuff and the rest for images, see


Panasonic Lumix LX3


hot shoe

Small nit: the LX3 is not the only one with hotshoe, G11 has one as well.

Otherwise, nice review, although I think Ricoh GX200 would've been more at home in this group than the CX3, and Canon S90 would probably have scored fairly high, too.

Clever attack exploits fully-patched Linux kernel


Fixed in

Looks like this has been fixed in, according to


"[...] Fix NULL pointer dereference in tun_chr_pool() [...]"

After the patch the code in question looks like this:

struct sock *sk;

if (!tun)

return POLLERR;

sk = tun->sk;

I suspect 2.6.30 and won't appear in many distributions.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020