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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

stoatwblr Re:Surprise? (578 comments)

"and especially so for power users of Excel"

I know what happens to organisations which rely on "power users of excel" - like the hospital which ran its financial systems on it and ended up several million dollars out of kilter.

Spreadsheets are for simple things. If you need a power user to achieve something with them, then you're using that hammer to bang in screws.

2 days ago
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Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

stoatwblr Re: Surprise? (578 comments)

Have you ever tried to work with business-class documents using Word?

Just for shits and giggles: Save your file as a doc (or docx if you insist, but you'll need to gunzip it before proceeding to the next step)

rename the saved file from .DOC to .TXT

Reopen the file and be amazed at the crapola in there.

Just because word is ubiquitous doesn't mean it's _good_.

Speaking as a long-time GUI hater, I find Libre a lot easier to work with than MS Office

2 days ago
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BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

stoatwblr Re:Something's not right here... (182 comments)

It appears the content in question ranged from 50 to 26 years old - the oldest is out of copyright in any case.

2 days ago
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New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

stoatwblr Re:Do the math (336 comments)

3.7kW might seem insane, but if you look closely many of these are only 350-500 "air watts" - the rest is expended pushing air through HEPA filters.

There are better ways of handling things - external machines (house vac systems) which vent outside don't need to be nearly as high powered, nor do systems which vent the exhaust back down to the suction head - and as a nice side effect they don't spray nanoparticles into the air which invariably end up being inhaled.

Recirculating air in vacuum cleaners might seem logical, but EU and US patents for it (concept and implementation) was only issued in the last 15 years - and the early USA patents are not aimed at improving efficiency of cleaning or reducing power consumption.

http://www.g0cwt.co.uk/arc/ is worth a look

2 days ago
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New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W

stoatwblr Re:Do the math (336 comments)

Partly it's down to amps - the heating effect of current is the same no matter what the supply voltage might be, but if you're pushing 120V, you need ~twice the current for the same power as you do with 230V (and at 120V the wiring losses are more cirtical than at 230V as a percentage of total available power.)

The choices are to keep the current rating the same, or fit fatter wiring - which costs more.

The other part is that american wiring standards - to be blunt - are dangerously lax, with attendant higher risk of wiring fires (electrocution risk doesn't come into it - it only takes 150mA to kill someone. Fuses are to protect against fires). As such, insurance companies are more paranoid and mandate separate circuits for high power devices.

2 days ago
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Facebook Experimenting With Blu-ray As a Storage Medium

stoatwblr Re:Why not just use hard drives and then store... (193 comments)

"A quick on-line search show a spindle of fifty 50GB Blu-Ray discs (2.5 TB) retails for about $100."

You're overpaying. I can buy them for less than 50c each.

DVDs are down under 10c apiece if you look around.

Both are good quality items, not nasty unreliable crap.

2 days ago
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BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

stoatwblr Re:Anyone know what, exactly, was the issue? (182 comments)

It was possible back in the early days of valve sets to pick up the IF of a TV set.

Transistorisation (and tighter emission standards) pretty much nobbled that.

In any case the emitted levels and frequencies were so low that it was possible to show that tvs were in use in a neighbourhood, but impossible to pinpoint any particular dwelling unless it was set well away from anything else - which made ose fo them utterly impractical.

TV detector vans never existed - a good hint is that they were _never_ used as evidence in any prosecution - _ever_. (And this is despite detection systems and triangulation being used regularly in cases of illegal radio transmissions, cordless phones and interference cases.)

The BBC (and most other countries with tv licensing) work on the simple basis that everyone has a TV set, so those addresses without a license are liars. The method of detection consists of unlicensed civilians (employed by a debt collection agency) knocking on doors and trying to illegally force entry, as well as tresspassing to peer in windows. - several so called "inspectors" have been sucessfully prosecuted for such activities.

2 days ago
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BBC and FACT Shut Down Doctor Who Fansite

stoatwblr Re:So much for fair use (182 comments)

The website in question did not offer episodes - and banned links to downloads of such files.

This was _strictly_ a fan discussion site.

Repeating to emphasise the point: The fansite did _not_ carry episodes or links to downloads of them.

This shutdown is going to bounce horribly in the face of the BBC - and it's studiously avoiding any mention of the issue on its news site. Surprise surprise.

2 days ago
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When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

stoatwblr Re:Free market (257 comments)

What you're missing with the BT/PlusNet setup is that PlusNet _IS_ BT (BT Yorkshire)

"Mostly interchangable" is an understatement. they use exactly the same underlaying systems - the only difference is the name at the tope of the bill and the number for the call centre.

FWIW: Plusnet was bought up by BT several years ago in order to gain the billing system. A couple of years later BT relaunched plusnet as an "Independent" ISP and go out of the way to avoid any mention that it's part of the BT conglomerate - unlike the effort they go to to to put BT branding on their lineside company (which is supposed to be entirely separated form the rest of the company, but demonstrably is not)

2 days ago
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It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights

stoatwblr Re:Welcome to the Information Age! (144 comments)

"Next, script kiddies causing couple fender-benders "

Bumping up congestion would be more constructive in a lot of cases. Taking back the streets for pedestrians, etc, etc.

3 days ago
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Dramatic Shifts In Manufacturing Costs Are Driving Companies To US, Mexico

stoatwblr Re:Growing pains. (232 comments)

The historic response to gender imbalances has been polygamy.

It was considered normal in several cultures for a woman to have several husbands and it still occurs in several communities today.

We are so indoctrinated by western religion that monogamy is the One True Way that we lose sight of other ways of doing things.

5 days ago
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Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

stoatwblr Re:Uninsured? (170 comments)

"Yes, and what better time to propose it. Just out of WWII"

Uh..... it was formally proposed as far back as 1911 - for exactly those reasons - it was realised that if the army ever needed to be mobilised, it would be bogged down.

Eisenhower might have signed the act in the 1950s but he'd been wanting the system since he was on the army expedition of 1919 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

5 days ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

stoatwblr Re:Safety vs Law (475 comments)

"What if you are in the left lane because you know you will be turning left up ahead?"

If you're approaching the turn point, ok.

If you're 3 miles from the turn (which I routinely encounter), then you need to go back to drivers' ed.

about a week ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

stoatwblr Re:Safety vs Law (475 comments)

"People will for the most part drive what seems like a safe speed for them"

This applies everywhere in the world. Posted speed limits are supposed to be based on the 85th or 95th percentile or have sound safety reasons.

Roadside furniture like pedestrian barriers, armco barriers, no stopping restrictions, etc etc all bolster driver confidence and cause traffic speedups - this can result in misguided attempts to cope with peak traffic congestion in urban areas by putting in changes which "ease traffic flow" turning the area into a dangerous speedway outside of those hours.

about a week ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

stoatwblr Re:Safety vs Law (475 comments)

"For example, on multilane suburban roads at night, pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks are almost invisible (until it is too late) to many drivers at more than 20 mph, yet these roads are often marked 35 mph and higher (and people often drive at 50 mph or more) for traffic flow purposes."

Urban road design should dictate that such crosswalks be adequately lit.

In any case, where pedestrians and cars mix the absolute maximum speed should be 30mph - above that the chances of pedestrian death increase rapidly from under 5% to 95%+ at 40mph.

about a week ago
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Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

stoatwblr Re:Safety vs Law (475 comments)

Most countries have a simple law of "keep right(left) unless passing."

It's common sense and codified in most USA state driving rulebooks I've read.

In some countries, lane hogging will get you a fine and in others you'll face a dangerous driving charge.

Holding up traffic (slowpoking) can also result in a dangerous driving charge in some countries.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Spamhaus subjected to BGP routing attack on 21st March

stoatwblr stoatwblr writes  |  about a year ago

stoatwblr (2650359) writes "At the same time Spamhaus website was being DDoS attacked, AS34109 (C3rob/Cyberbunker) were propagating BGP routes for Spamhaus' namservers, according to the blog at https://greenhost.nl/2013/03/21/spam-not-spam-tracking-hijacked-spamhaus-ip/

It's surprising this hasn't been more widely reported, to say the least.

C3rob have posted a number of ranting followups to the blog."

Link to Original Source

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