* Posts by rcxb

367 posts • joined 22 Aug 2018


Bratty Uber throws tantrum, threatens to cut off California unless judge does what it says in driver labor rights row

rcxb Silver badge

100% market share for Lyft

So Uber will just suddenly cede it's thriving business in the world's 5th largest economy to Lyft?

Even the quoted threat is so mealy mouthed that it's plainly obvious they have no intention of following through.

Nokia licensor HMD Global scores $230m from Google, Qualcomm, and, er... Nokia

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That's a huge chunk of change considering we're in one of the worst periods for the smartphone industry ever.

Where else are you going to invest your money just now? Might as well take a bit of a chance on an industry that won't be shut-down, and a company that might be able to turn a profit on the investment.

Pen Test Partners: Boeing 747s receive critical software updates over 3.5" floppy disks

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Re: Cloud

Sounds perfectly covfefe to me.

Search for 'things of value' in a bank: Iowa cops allege this bloke broke into one and decided on ... hand sanitiser

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Re: Hand sanitizer chasers

Think about it:

You're seriously ill, and not improving for a an extended time.

Hospitals are overflowing with contagious people.

You are running out of cold medications.

Your condition also happens to clouds your judgment.

Desperate people do desperate things. You don't have to be too challenged to make the next, poorly considered leap.

Intel, VMware collaborate on virtualized RAN platform

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This is arguably as a consequence of the turmoil faced by European carriers now forced to strip existing Huawei-made hardware from their networks.

Linked article does not mention Europe once. Only the UK. And we all know the UK isn't part of Europe.

/puts on asbestos suit

Wrap it before you tap it? No, say Linux developers: 'GPL condom' for Nvidia driver is laughed out of the kernel

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Re: "It will ensure proprietary stuff will slowly become more and more behind"

people, I'm sorry that you think that a manufacturer has the fundamental requirement to open their proprietary hardware, and any associated software drivers, to the FOSS system.

No they don't... UNLESS they want it to be usable and integrated with FOSS systems, such as Linux. What was this article about again?

Nvidia is desperate to exploit and monetize FOSS (code written by other people) while at the same time keeping their own code proprietary, so they are assured the ability to maximize the money they can squeeze out of their customers. Which is a thing that they do.

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All the (slightly seedy) monetisation is done via hardware or firmware.

No, it is not. The driver has a click-thru license that the firmware does not, and it's the perfect place to put other restrictions in-place.

That's how NVidia specifically:

A) Cripples the card if it detects it running under a hypervisor, and

B) Makes it ILLEGAL to use their low-end/consumer cards for GPU compute.

China requires gamers to reveal real names and map them to frag-tastic IDs

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It'll work

Prepare for 10 billion John Lee gamer accounts...

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

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Re: I Just Don't Get It

Umm... how can Microsoft buy TikTok if ByteDance does not want to sell?

Everyone is willing to sell anything for the right price. The threats from Trump to ban the service have no doubt pushed that price down. Microsoft was already in talks, so it's obvious ByteDance was seriously considering selling.

Pompeo claims TikTok is feeding all user data to the Chinese Communist Party. So fucking what? Which US tech companies give the US government user data?

China is happy to restrict US companies from selling to their domestic market, it doesn't seem unreasonable for the US to turn this tactic back around on them.

How Bude: Google's sole-financed private undersea pipe to make a landing in Cornwall

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Re: Hmmm

Hardly. How is the existence of their fast pipe going to stop you from using other services? This is more like an airline buying a refinery...

This just allows more/faster connectivity between Google's various data centers. It will be a real advantage for them only when Europeans want to download something from Google's US servers, or vise versa.

The only ones who should be alarmed are cloud service providers with an international reach. Transferring files to/from US based Amazon S3, Dropbox, etc, users may be slower to Europe than Google Drive/Google Cloud. As Google isn't the biggest player in those markets, and this doesn't provide a drastic advantage, I don't see any cause for panic.

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Taking a look at the map it seems Greenland's population of 56,000 is entirely reliant on one link in and out, while Guam's population of 168,000 will still be browsing the web for funny cat pictures through World War III. Perhaps not an accident, as 29% of Guam is a US military base.

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

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Other liquids

Everyone's having a laugh about the drink spills, but cockpit equipment SHOULD be water-resistant. It's life-or-death equipment and a pilot's drink isn't the only possible source of intrusion. There have been a few passenger jets that had their windscreens destroyed/removed in flight for various reason. If it happened to be raining at the time, you'd have quite a bit more than a coffee-cup worth coming in. The cost of improvements is much less than the cost of one accident.

Raytheon techie who took home radar secrets gets 18 months in the clink in surprise time fraud probe twist

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Re: Massachusetts

Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything wrong.

I would, but I don't need a second, full-time job... Would be easier to make a list of the El Reg article that DON'T have any errors.

In this article alone:

"Some of even ended"

After banning Chinese comms bogeyman, UK asks: Huawei in this mess? It was a failure of capitalism, MPs told

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Re: It is capitalism

The Model-T wasn't better than any other cars, it was just cheaper.

The same is true of Hawuai... Lots of bugs, but at least it's cheap.

rcxb Silver badge

What about demand?

The failure of capitalism is on the other end.

Why isn't it profitable to make? Because everyone buys the cheapest equipment available, which is always Hawuei, and nobody spends a few extra pounds on home-made kit (with hundreds fewer bugs/exploits).

Why would you expect companies to make kit they know they will have to give away at a loss?

SEC drags Silicon Valley AI upstart to court over claims of made-up revenues, investors swindled out of $11m

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He also concocted two financial models; one said YouPlus had made $3.55m from January to April 2019, and another reported $3.97m for the same time period, we're told.

Ah, yes... It's a multi-dimensional quantum-entangled startup. They're simultaneously doing both depending on which timeline you end up in. The uncertainty principle in effect. Nobody lives or dies until they open the box.

We've heard of littering but this is ridiculous: Asteroid dumps up to 50 quadrillion kg of space dirt on Earth, Moon

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SI units

50 quadrillion kg

What's that in picograms?

Ah, metric... You're doing it wrong.

After kilograms comes megagram (Mg) then gigagram (Gg), teragram (Tg), petagram (Pg), exagram (Eg), zettagram (Zg), yottagram (Yg).

If you're going to have a multiple of a common prefix you think people are more familiar with, you might as well stick with Imperial units. Doesn't 7873652220888600000000000 stone just sound better?

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law

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False and misleading

But claiming cookie cleaning was carried out due to privacy or security concerns doesn't guarantee immunity under the DMCA. As Troupson's article notes, the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision lacks any intent requirement.

This is false, or at best playing word games... The term in US law is "substantial noninfringing use". If you write an extension that refuses cookies, or accepts and deletes them after a short amount of time (I use "Cookie AutoDelete"), then the fact it works-around restrictions on some sites is only incidental, there are lots of other users of your extension that never use it for that purpose, and you are quite safe. You can even HINT that is makes certain sites more usable/private/etc, as long as you're not dumb enough to come out and admit you're trying to break digital access controls.

The same intent issue is true for many other areas of criminal law... You can carry a sword around legally, as long as you have an excuse that has not the faintest whiff of even potentially using it against someone. Meanwhile, any mundane object, like a pencil, can be illegal if you're dumb enough to admit you're carrying it because you think you might possibly have a need to stab someone... (self defense or not does not matter).

Computer misuse crimes down 9% on last year in England and Wales, says Office of National Statistics

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Drug possession is a crime for the same reason gay sex used to be a crime

Because it destroys brain-cells and make you vastly more likely to commit myriad other crimes?

You sound homophobic.

And how is that a computer misuse crime? Is it your laptop that is in "possession" of the drugs?

Teardown nerds delve into Dell's new XPS 15 laptop to find – fancy that – screws and user-serviceable parts

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Re: Cans of Compressed Air, how quaint!

Shop-air. An endless, 200psi supply of shop air.

After removing all the dust and debris, it kindly also spins your fans fast than their failure speed making interesting noises you've never hear before, and quite effectively eliminates any other pesky protrusions, such as capacitors...

rcxb Silver badge

Why so few size options?

If it's any bigger than a Sony Vaio C1 Picturebook, I'm not interested...

Who really LIKES resting their palms on the touchpad and causing all kinds of spurious changes of focus in the middle of typing?

Has anyone EVER built a desk with a recess for the keyboard so it would be flush with the area they're resting their hands on? Why do ALL notebooks force you to type like that?

Wish I could find good notebooks these days, instead of the lowest-common denominator generic junk they all peddle.

Bad news: Your Cisco switch is a fake and an update borked it. Good news: It wasn't designed to spy on you

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Re: Too expensive

Cisco can amortize the cost of their software across a huge number of devices, and several generations of their products. Counterfeiters have a much smaller pool of sales to work with. And it's not all that difficult to write software for networking gear. Many networking devices are just computers running Linux these days... Cisco's ASAs for instance.

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Re: Impressed?

It's amazing that doing this at all is worth the investment of both time and funds

You apparently haven't seen the mark-up on Cisco gear.

Fancy some fishy-chips? Just order one of these sensors: Research shines light on suspect component sources

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Re: Not counterfeit, not stolen

No Amazon or eBay seller will miss the opportunity to flip a clone or used chip as "new and from original manufacturer" if it bumps the price by a dozen quid or so. There is no real punishment from doing so.

When a buyer flags you for it, you end up refunding the full amount, and losing the merchandise. And after a few rounds of that, you'll be delisted from the site. Not a massive penalty, but long-term it's more profitable to be honest and only mention that it's similar to or compatible with Name Brand X.

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old

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Likely explanation: H1-B via fraud

In order to get an H1-B visa and bring in a foreign worker, you first have to prove there are no qualified applicants in the USA. This is done by job-listing fraud. "Accidentally" post the job in the wrong geographic area, inflate the years of experience to ridiculous levels, require unnecessary levels of education (entry-level code monkey with a Ph.D) include typos that make it impossible for anyone to get through the HR keyword matching filtering, etc.

So, it's very likely IBM has an India devops engineer they want to bring over. No surprise, as IBM has a huge presence in India.

South Korea joins the ‘we’re going to be self-sufficient in more tech and then export bucketloads’ club

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Re: Every country cannot be self-sufficient in everything

Here in the U.S., I heard that something like 70% of our aluminum production is now imported. You can certainly argue that a key basic ingredient like aluminum should have a larger domestic capacity.

No, you can't. You don't WANT to make basic ingredients domestically. They are extremely low-profit. What you want is a reliable supply of it, and while it's "imported" to the US, it's not coming from one or two nations, but all over the world. Why would the US be concerned that aluminum is being imported from Canada, Iceland, etc? There's no reason to care.

What's more, one of the big three suppliers of al is Alcoa... The last A stands for "America". The US might have a little bit of influence on them.

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

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A modest proposal

Instead of using non-inclusive binary words like he/she, all kernel developers shall be referred to as "that rat bastard".

Instead of offensive terms like Master/Slave, such devices will now be named Grand Wizard and Clansman.

And more importantly:

A 2014 article in the Journal of Consumer Research titled "The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action" found that such acts tend to satisfy a person's desire to help, and that those people are then far less likely to take more effective action than are people who avoided taking token actions.


MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

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Re: Copyright?

Can they use your medical data

It's not copyright that protects your medical data. In fact you have no copyright rights to your own medical data.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Copyright?

they downloaded 80 million images without any check on copyright and have been redistributing that data-set.

They're an educational institution, distributing the data for free, it's only for training purposes, and in a form where any other usage would be impossible, and it wouldn't possibly reduce their commercial value. This is a no-brainer justifiable fail-use case.

Living on a prayer? Netgear not quite halfway there with patches for 28 out of 79 vulnerable router models

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Re: Don't forget Layer 2...

Try eBay. Cisco gear that's slightly out-of-date (not many 10G ports) goes very cheap.

Beijing's tightening grip on Hong Kong could put region's future as an up-and-coming tech hub in jeopardy

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Such a move makes it more difficult for Hong Kong companies to important American hardware and software

Might make it difficult to import, too.

Oracle opens second Indian cloud region in bid to keep pace in make-or-break market

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Re: Is Big Red on its way out?

Mainframes went from a massive business with multiple vendors down to being just a small fraction of one company's business.

And IBM only kept them going despite the immense cost because they like the propritary lock-in, to ensure companies have to keep buying their overpriced software and service contracts. IBM could easily pull an Apple and port their software, include a binary translator, and change their entire mainframe business to x86 commodity servers.

It's now safe to turn off your computer shop: Microsoft to shutter its bricks-and-mortar retail locations worldwide

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Back in the day Microsoft were fairly good at Embrace Extend and Extinguish. Now they seem to even fsck(8) that up.

Back in the day they had an entrenched monopoly they could use to good effect. Today, they have to give Win10 away for free, and many people still won't take it...

Linux ate away the server business. iDevices and Android chipped away the user-facing side.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... but not your H-1B geeks, L-1 staffers nor J-1 students

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Re: H-1B visas [ ... ] Silicon Valley to fill engineering departments with top international talent

Silicon Valley has been abusing the H-1B visa program for far too long, with enthusiastic Democratic [ neo-liberal economics ] support.

Can't imagine why you're singling-out Democrats. Republicans love the program, too. GWBush was in there between Clinton and Obama, and did nothing to fix/eliminate the program.

Trump is doing something NOT because he's Republican (he isn't, really) but because it just happens to appeal to his extremely right-wing xenophobic base. Hard to cheer for that. And his one-off executive orders will only temporarily change things, and get rolled-back completely as soon as he's replaced. An actual fix would be to have congress vote to end the program, but that won't happen. because it's popular with the corporate donors behind congressional representitives in both parties.

We were already secure enough for mass remote working before COVID-19, boast IT pros

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Three-quarters claim pandemic didn't trigger big changes to corporate security settings

While the other 99% are too busy struggling to keep their systems secure to be arsed to complete a survey...

Hey is trying a new take on email – but maker complains of 'outrageous' demands after Apple rejects iOS app

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Not very smart

Apple will not allow the iOS client into its app store unless the maker pays Cupertino "15-30 per cent of our revenue."

So spin-off a subsidiary which earns very little money and publishes a cheap/free app. The app only happens to be compatible with the more expensive paid service from another company by a similar name, if you change a setting in the app. It works well enough to sheild Apple from paying taxes, so...

Or maybe offer in-app purchases with a 100% mark-up. People who know better will go to the website and buy the service at a discount. People who have no sense will pay both you and Apple for their cluelessness.

Hey requires a dedicated app, rather than working with any email client, and users pay a subscription of $99 per year. "That makes our business work without having to sell your data, advertise to you, or otherwise engage in unscrupulous marketing tactics," its makers claim.

You can find a plain vanilla email service with no advertising and a strong privacy policy for far less than $99. ProtonMail comes to mind, and is less than half the price.

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

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Re: When STONITH falls

Any "word" will, at some stage, have multiple meanings in which some may be offended

Perhaps a less offensive choice for Master/Slave would be Grand Wizard and Clansmen.

I prefer Parent and Children, because it nicely implies that Master / Slave relationship, along with a nice little illegal forced child labor angle. Child processes can be launched with a goForkYourself() call.

Terms like Director and Employee are useful to indicate which processes sit around just passing messages, and which ones actually do productive work.

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it

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Re: Reserve power?

So that's about ten times the "fuel" weight, for two-thirds of the range; you'd need roughly 15 times the fuel weight to get the same range [*].

"Fuel weight" is another ridiculous, unfair measurement. That fuel needs an engine, transmission, fuel tanks, pumps, hoses, firewall, radiator, fans, and more supporting equipment. An electric motor is a featherweight in comparison. That's why curb weight is a vastly better number to go by.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Reserve power?

Batteries have nowhere near the energy density of gasoline much less fuel oils.

Lithium-Air batteries have a theoretical specific power of 11.4 kW/kg, compared to the theoretical maximum of 11.99 kWh/kg for Jet A-1, so very close.

We don't have theoretical batteries, you may say, but that's fine, because we don't have theoretical engines with 100% conversion efficiency for jet fuel, either. And if we did, they wouldn't be zero mass and zero volume, so would negatively affect those numbers. And that's without mentioning that jet fuel needs things like storage tanks, pumps, which also add mass and volume.

Your argument sounded less foolish years ago, before electric vehicles like the Teslas came along and proved it's possible to get the same range with batteries as with gasoline for only modestly more weight. Battery technology is not static, manufacturers continue to increase energy densities. In time, they absolutely will become competitive, it's just a gradual process.

Mortal wombat: 4 generations of women fight for their lives against murderous marsupial

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Wearing pyjamas?

She rushed out to meet the monster still wearing pyjamas.

I can't say I've ever seen a wombat wearing pajamas before. El Reg really buried the lead on this one.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Never understood this

There actually would seem to be a use case for an internet connected refrigerator with a temperature gauge and internet alerts if the temperature goes out of range.

I don't see why anyone would want that as PART of their refrigerator, as opposed to a £20 stand-alone universal temperature monitor component that only just happens to be commonly used with refrigerators, but was perhaps designed for a humidor, e.g. ASIN: B07L4QNZVF.

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Re: Never understood this

I've replaced the fans, thermostats and the relays on several refrigerators, keeping them running for decades longer. Go with solid state (except for the fan of course) and it'll just keep running forever.

I'm with California on this one... Don't trust consumers to dissect refrigerantion systems, particularly now that highly flammable coolants like propane are popular (due to their higher efficiency and low greenhouse/ozone impact potential).

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Re: Never understood this

My cat is large white and really doesn't like strangers.

Doubly so when they intend to drink all his milk...

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Better smart devices

It always seems strange that the devices which DON'T benefit from more monitoring are the ones most likely to get the "smart" treatment, while the devices that would greatly benefit, never do.

Why can't I find a "smart" animal trap? It would really help to know immediately when it has been tripped and whether or not something is inside. You can manually mount a battery-powered WiFi camera to it, and wire up a sensor to the door, but it's so strange nobody provides such a thing.

Trump's Make Space Great Again video pulled after former 'naut says: Nope

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Re: That's a cheap-ass looking hat he's hawking.

Not at all. What would give you that idea?


Moore's Law is deader than corduroy bell bottoms. But with a bit of smart coding it's not the end of the road

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the seven hour number crunching task can be reduced to 0.41s, or 60,000x faster than the original Python code.

Yes, but how many hours of programmer time did it take to do the optimization, and how much money does a few hours of a programmer's time cost versus a few hours of a single CPU core?

I'm all for simple and efficient programming, but processors are rather ridiculously fast now. The only thing I concern myself with performance wise is why my web browser takes so damn long to load what should be a simple Amazon product page, with it's delayed loading of tons of javascript that happens AFTER I've started typing into the search box messing things up, and not knowing when it's actually finished.

Longer-term, I'm sure chipmakers aren't going to just give up. Quantum computers are in the works, much has been said of optical, shortening pipeline or increasing L1 cache helps, and there's potential for exotic layouts like 3D multi-layer chips to give a speed boost as well. With many billions to be made, there won't be a shortage of R&D when we actually hit the wall.

California emits fine-print of its GDPR-ish digital privacy law, complete with Google and Facebook-sized holes

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The CCPA is quite useful already, though not for the intended purpose.

Magazine subscriptions are practically free because most of the money comes from advertising and selling of your contact info to 3rd parties. Now with the "do not sell" option you can sign-up for a periodical and immediately tell them not to sell you onto the "sucker lists" that result in floods of commercial mailings, and worse.

Even better, with the "delete my info" option, any unwanted company who has contacted you by whatever means can be told to knock it off, and legally must purge you from their system. Particularly useful in the event of other people mystyping their contact information as yours. Trying to correct such errors was previously a Sisyphean farce from the 7th circle.

Not very helpful while you have an account with a service like Google/Facebook/etc, but excellent the moment you decide to delete it, and wish for everything they know about you to be purged and forgotten.

Lenovo certifies all desktop and mobile workstations for Linux – and will even upstream driver updates

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Re: Hats off to Lenovo

Refurbished Thinkpads and Thinkcentres are one of the most wonderful and reliable pieces of hardware I ever had the honor to lay my hands on.

Funny, because the old Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p's we bought a truck-load of were some of the WORST we've ever had the displeasure of supporting and made us swear off Lenovo entirely.

I had to help with a funny issue on one of the few survivors just the other day... With the SFF version. you have to pivot the drive bays out of the way to access the RAM slots. And how long are the SATA cables Lenovo used? Just a bit SHORTER than the distance they need to span when you do that... So take a working Lenovo ThinkCentre SFF system, upgrade the RAM, power-up to find it takes MINUTES to get through the BIOS boot-up. After all that, it doesn't find the hard drive anymore.

I commend Lenovo for widespread Linux support, and maybe we'll buy some ThinkPads as a result, but only rarely do we need proper "Workstations"... If they would support Linux across their entire desktop PC line, now THAT would be damn convenient (not having to check hardware compatibility). As it is, we've had far better experience with Dell PCs.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

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Re: not the terminal, the punch card

But the 80-character limit also arose when home computers arrived and the TV was hijacked as a cheap monitor.

Except early computers that connected to TVs used much lower text resolutions.

VIC20 was 22-column. ZX80 was 32-column. Getting 80 column displays required a lot of expensive upgrades to those. And when you did, 80-columns would look quite bad over RF output. SCART of course looks nice, but I'd say most went to dedicated VGA monitors.

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

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if the Max is allowed to fly again its lower operating costs may be welcome.

I understand the bulk of those lower operating costs is lower fuel consumption, while fuel is quite cheap right now.

Of course that won't be the case in the long-term, but it seems like the already delivered 737MAX planes would be sufficient to handle the lower public demand for quite some time, if they were allowed to fly.

I guess Boeing is getting cheap enough loans that it will still be profitable to build jets now, and warehouse them for years until anybody wants one at anything like normal price.



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