* Posts by Francis Boyle

2477 posts • joined 29 Jul 2007

Debian's Cinnamon desktop maintainer quits because he thinks KDE is better now

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Speaking purely a user I now longer care

about desktop environments. Not because I have any problem with them. On the contrary they just work. Even the lightweight ones tend to be sufficiently customizable that I can set them up to preference and not really think about it from then on.

Honda links arms with JAXA to prepare humans for life in outer space with 'circulative renewable energy system'

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How about?

Honda, creator of the worlds most useless robot.

Inventor of the graphite anode – key Li-ion battery tech – says he can now charge an electric car in 10 minutes

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You also shouldn't lick their terminals.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? Detroit waits for my order, you'd better make amends

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Makes a change from

aircraft carriers.

Virgin Galactic declares May day for next test space flight

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Have you

even heard of Richard Branson?

Yahoo! Japan! offers! free! comment!-moderation!-as!-a!-service! API!

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constructive comment ranking model vs amanfromMars

Showdown of the century.

Google and Samsung merge their wearable OSes, tease Fitbit baked into the combo

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"exciting new wrist-based experiences"

And here's me thinking those sort of apps were banned.

Space is hard: Rocket Lab's 20th Electron launch fails

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Re: "Space is Hard"

yes, but at the altitude the 'anomaly' happened I think it's more of a fluffy vacuum.

Open-source developers under corporate pressure to adopt less-permissive licenses, Percona CEO says

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Re: Stupid question

Except that they're not "reselling" the software, they're making money providing their customers with convenient access to that software just like the people who used to make money selling distros on DVDs. Legally and practically it's just another commercial use of the software. Certainly we want outfits which make big money using OSS to support the developers, but that applies across the board not just to SaaS companies.

Man paralyzed from neck down uses AI brain implants to write out text messages

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Re: A new torture device?

I've managed to get through five decades with no backspace in my audio output system. Yes, there are times when I would have dearly loved one, but sometimes communication is more important.

Compsci boffin publishes proof-of-concept code for 54-year-old zero-day in Universal Turing Machine

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By jingo , I think you've got it

If you can't understand it you can't exploit it!

WTH are NFTs? Here is the token, there is the Beeple....

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Re: Prior Art

The story I heard was that after he became an international celebrity he would doodle on his cheques because a signed Picasso was almost always worth more than the value of the cheque.

Spent Chinese rocket stage set to make an uncontrolled return to Earth

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There are indeed good reasons to make your boosters solid-fuelled mostly related to avoiding unnecessary complexity but they're hardly definitive. Boosters are essentially extra first stages* so there's no special concerns here. Of course, when you've got as many engines burning as you have on a first stage Soyuz you might appreciate the simplicity of a solid-fuel engine. The Russian obviously didn't as the Soyuz is all liquid fuelled.)

*Interestingly Wikipedia is still insisting that all first stages are boosters. I don't think that's correct but I don't like my chances of getting a change to stick.

Bitcoin is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’ says famed investor Charlie Munger

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Re: A big battery in Texas

The Hornsdale battery is nothing to do with wind and solar being intermittent. It's was built solely to prevent a repeat of the blackouts that happened in 2016. That and to make a nice bit (a lot) of money doing grid stabilization but that was just happy side effect.

NYPD puts down $94k robot canine contract after outcry

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Re: Damn. Just After Tests as How to Foil Piggie's Dog, They Lock it up!

Thirded. I much rather have one of these in my home than a jittery cop with a gun. Of course you could reduce the jitter by reducing the chance that the cop is going to be confronted by an equally jittery person with a gun, but we all know that that's not going to happen in the US any time soon.

China has a satellite with an arm – and America worries it could be used to snatch other spacecraft

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Re: Low earth orbits will be unusable ...

As if the X37 doesn't have an arm.

Yeah, for all I know, it might carry a giant inflatable penis in its equipment bay but I think an arm is more likely.

Pentagon confirms footage of three strange craft taken by the Navy are UFOs (no, that doesn't mean they're aliens)

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I'll wait

Those videos from last year have been thoroughly debunked. Turns out, when you're looking at the output of a long-focal-length stabilised tracking camera what you see quite unlike what you would with a naked eye. The correct question in this case is not "what am I seeing" but "how am seeing it". When someone works that out I'll be interested in what they have to say.

On a dusty red planet almost 290 million km away... NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flies

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That was merciful

If they'd wanted to kill them they'd have sent them Vista.

Quality control, Soviet style: Here's another fine message you've gotten me into

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Exactly. It's not simply profits but investors' demand for maximum return on their investment that drives investment.

A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?

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Re: UK to Netherlands

They were definitely looking for pr0n. And were no doubt very disappointed.

What happens when back-flipping futuristic robot technology meets capitalism? Yeah, it’s warehouse work

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Re: exactly the sort of thing we want machines to do.

Except you do need some sort of plan for when those who move fast and break things start to break people's lives.

Distorted light from ancient explosion when the Universe was 3 billion years old helps point astroboffins to intermediate black hole

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Re: "electro-magnetic photons"

In my day all the best photons were steam powered. I mean, these new fangled electro-magnetic photons may be clean and fast but where's the atmosphere.

Being asked to rate fake news may help stop social media users sharing it, study finds

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Re: Pointless.

There seems to be a stray word in the first sentence of your post.

Web prank horror: Man shot dead while pretending to rob someone at knife-point for a YouTube video

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On the contrary

Stupid and grossly irresponsible everywhere, only in America, suicidal.

How do we combat mass global misinformation? How about making the internet a little harder to use

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Sounds like a search bubble effect

If you regularly search for rubbish Google will give you rubbish.

No ports, no borders, no hope: Xiaomi's cool but impractical all-screen concept phone

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The wireless charging premium is around 50% – so nothing like going from a Prius to a Hummer.

Europe promises all-out assault on batteries to counter China’s lithium-ion domination

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Re: Grid applications? ROFLMAO!

The Hornsdale Battery was a direct response to 2016 South Australian blackouts. Musk, being the consummate showman, he is simply identified the PR opportunity and made the SA government an offer they couldn't refuse. (There were many other proposals but presumably the companies behind them were constrained by having to make a profit.) The installation's primary function was always the prevention of load-shedding (by holding the until backup generation capacity can come on line) not grid storaage.

What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall

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more like Tulip Mania multiplied by the power of the internet.

Smartphones are becoming like white goods, says analyst, with users only upgrading when their handsets break

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Re: Becoming like?

"how do you know the light goes off when you close the door."

There's an app for that and thus all mystery has been drained from life.

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify

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Re: Professionals built the titanic... Teignmouth Electron

On the other hand, as I understand it, the reason that Crowhurst embarked on the series of deceptions that lead to his death was his understanding that were he to venture into the Southern Ocean his boat would have been destroyed.

SpaceX powers through bad case of wind to nail Falcon 9's eighth droneship landing

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Tail landing rockets and high resolution pictures of Pluto (for example) are both extremely non-pedestrian.

Lay down your souls to the gods of rock 'n' roll: Conspiracy theorists' 5G 'vaccine' chip schematic is actually for a guitar pedal

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I notice

you don't provide actually that "* CDC source" for your false claim about California's infection rates.

Be careful where you log into GitHub: Dev visits Iran, opens laptop, gets startup's entire account shut down

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That's the easy part

The difficult part is: to what extent am I entitled to restrict your freedom in order to protect someone who might not be even be aware that they are in any danger from you. The trick the libertarians try to pull is to suggest that somehow, deep down, we all really believe that any such restriction is illegitimate. Of course, it's projection but it's been a maddeningly effective technique

We got it! Japanese space agency confirms its probe has Ryugu asteroid samples

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South Australian Police have announced that the hideous entity beyond human imagining that hitched a ride to Earth on the capsule is no longer considered a threat after having been kicked to death by a mildly pissed-off wallaby.

Back to the Fuchsia, part IV: Google's in-development OS now open to community contributions

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I think

You're Fuchsing right. Sorry, Leonhart.

SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, Elon Musk says it's the data that matters and that landed just fine

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the fireworks display was just a bonus.

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"Why so upbeat despite the unhappy ending?"

I seem to remember that the Apollo missions also ended in a big bang. (Well except the one that, you know, failed.)

Seriously, the craft proved it can do everything that SpaceX has claimed it would be able to do. How is that a failure?

Edit: Yes, I get it, this is the Register being the Register but even this frequent Musk sceptic can recognise this as an extraordinary achievement.

Boffins from China push quantum computing envelope for 'supremacy' in emerging photon field

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I'm guessing

it's something like:

run – one picosecond

setup – setup one day

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Re: Usefulness ... ?

It's a computer in sense that an analogue computer is a computer because, cubits notwithstanding, it is an analogue computer.

Arecibo Observatory brings forward 'controlled demolition' plans by collapsing all by itself

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Re: Very sad, but...

I think you mean radar. The Chinese telescope (FAST) is a passive device and not as good at detecting those sneaky asteroids that run with their lights off.

DeepMind's latest protein-solving AI AlphaFold a step closer to cracking biology's 50-year conundrum

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Re: how do the proteins fold so quickly (and so reliably)?

Well put. Sometimes you just have to accept that complexity is just complexity.

Mysterious Utah monolith mysteriously disappears without trace

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In other news

A WW2 bomber has mysteriously reappeared ON THE MOON.

Physicists wrap neutrino detector in cosy blanket to shed light on the Sun's secondary fusion cycle

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And with all those

carbon and oxygen atoms it's mostly metal. Enjoy your glass of liquid metal.

Ad banned for suggesting London black cabs have properties that prevent the spread of coronavirus

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You might say the same

about any particular location in a public place. If the area is reasonably busy you can never be sure you aren't walking through a cloud of viral particles someone has just sneezed out. But aerosols settle so if no one is actively breathing on you, (and you're taking the recommended precautions) your main concern should be to avoid surfaces that might have been recently touched.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah

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Sorry but from where I stand

Daryl Hannah might be worth risking my immortal soul for, Heather Locklear not so much.

One does not simply shove elephants on a ballet shoe point and call it an acceptable measure of pressure

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Here you go


Industrial grade diamonds are so cheap these days there's no reason not to use them in sandpaper. (Don't get me started on the De Beers Cartel, but, basically, all diamonds are ridiculously cheap to produce these days.)

Adiós Arecibo Observatory: America's largest radio telescope faces explosive end after over 50 years of service

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I like the idea

As long as they dig a hole to put it in. As a dedicated surrealist I think there should be more landmarks that are huge holes in the ground.

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Can't be that difficult

We just need a helicopter capable of lifting 900 tons. The Russians must have one of those lying around, surely. (Just checked – the Mil Mi-26 can lift 200 tonnes so we'd only need 45 of them. Failing that, maybe try contacting International Rescue. They'ed certainly have something suitable.)

Alleged Ponzi mastermind on the run from FBI hid in lake with sea-scooter, collared after he surfaced half-hour later

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I on the other hand

have a nasty feeling that this escapade will become the basis of the climatic scene of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 3.

ESA's Vega rocket crashes and burns after fourth-stage nozzle failure sinks two satellites

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So Murphy's Law

in it's purest form. It seems we've learnt little in 70 years.


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