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Comment Is this why I don't get the Windows 10 update icon (Score 1) 312 312

My Dell XPS 15 laptop running Windows 7 has an Nvidia graphics processor as well as Intel graphics. A choice can be made as to which processor to use for any application. I wonder if this is why I haven't seen the Widows 10 update Icon that invites me to reserve my update to Win 10. Maybe it's something else. A desktop computer I built running Win 7 does show the update icon.

Like many who have posted above, I have disabled auto updates on both these Win 7 computers and wait for a week to find out if there have been problems with any second Tuesday updates before installing them. I'm waiting to see if some auto update to Windows 10 bricks 10% of Win 10 computers and nothing can be done to use a restore point installation because there's no way to boot without a bootable disk or image. That is even if a restore point created. Even then restoring to a previous set up would just auto update to the faulty configuration because there's no way to turn off auto updates. This is going to be a mess.

Comment Is The Current C-14/C-12 ratio used? (Score 1) 108 108

My understanding is that the current atmospheric carbon isotope ratio is not used for carbon dating but that from tree rings. Knowing the ratio from tree rings and the decay rate of C-14 should give the atmospheric ratio when the tree ring grew. One problem is that the oldest trees are something like 4,000 to 5,000 years old but then 5,000 years ago was well before the industrial revolution when the huge quantities of fossil fuels began to be used. Assuming the isotope ratio wasn't much different before ~2,000 BCE doesn't seem much of a stretch. I guess some have a problem with that, though. There are other dating methods for radioactive dating for much earlier times particularly for geology. See:

Comment Been there. Done that. (Score 0, Redundant) 246 246

Let's put the $10 billion to better use like finding a cure for one of the many illness that affect many so as to extend their life. The return on investment could be enormous not only because of the likely improvement in the quality of life of sufferers but also the elimination of the care that might be required for such a disease and the general population as well. Look what virologists and medicinal chemists have accomplished in the treatment of HIV AIDS or hepatitis C and how that research may improve treatments for other chronic ailments. There are so many conditions that need work that setting a priority for what to study will always be difficult.

Comment Great the /. could notify users (Score 2) 75 75

It looks like /. had a Plan B ready in the case of a catastrophic failure. For some sites one just gets a blank page with some strange message when that happens. /. did the right thing letting users know they had a problem and were working on it and then let us know a bit about what happened. Thanks, /. techs.

Comment According to the article... (Score 2) 65 65


"Interactions with websites running HTTPS encryption, which includes financial transactions, were not leaked."

Whew... Although there are some privacy implications, HTTPS seems to work for your most important web use. And, with the transition to almost all sites running HTTPS encryption - hopefully with no bugs in that - the problem cited in the article may go away. There have been some concerns about HTTPS reliability, such as forged certificates, but hopefully the problems will be solved. I'm not completely up to date an the problems w/ HTTPS, though.

Comment Re:Does it matter? (Score 2) 668 668

I presume you are in the UK. In the USA persons educated and licensed to distribute prescription drugs are called pharmacists, not chemists. In the USA persons educated and who work in the area of the chemical sciences are called chemists. I'm not sure what the latter are called in the UK - chemical scientists? If both professionals are called chemists then I can imagine some confusion.

Comment Re:The next inventions in North Korea (Score 1) 162 162

Canoes aren't cars. Canoes don't have wheels which means they can't go "off the water". Canoes also use the energy of its occupants to provide energy unless they're going down stream then generally they'll end up in a lake, reservoir or the ocean. Of course, if the occupants of the canoe are living on the nutritious air the North Koreans invent, they could use canoes for water trips and put bicycle like wheel drives in the cars to make them move on hard ground.

Comment The next inventions in North Korea (Score 1) 162 162

Soon we'll hear how North Koreans can drive the cars they don't have on water without any external energy supply. Also, they'll produce, without any energy use, a form of air that's so nutritious that there will be no need for food thus traditional agriculture will be unnecessary.

I hate to give them any new ideas about productive research possibilities that might come from the curious US workers with garages and an advertising budget, but you never know.

Comment Why is this data on the public Internet? (Score 1) 142 142

Maybe I'm wrong, but why is this kind of data on publicly accessible Internet? Is it not possible to put the encrypted data on totally secure servers requiring the best kind of login services that are not attached in any way to the public Internet but accessible through a separate wide area network? Folks who have access to this kind of data might need a separate terminal to access the data perhaps in a physically different location from their Internet connected computer. Users would need to be prevented from switching cables between the two kinds of terminals or otherwise allowing the servers to connect to the public Internet.

Comment I like Yahoo! for a couple of things (Score 1) 176 176

I haven't found anything that matches Yahoo! for its financial pages. I've used their Portfolios feature to keep track of a variety of investments for quite some time. Portfolios can be set up with a variety of views that gives me what I want to know about my investments.If you want historical information on particular stocks, mutual funds or indices, you can usually find it there. If others here have a better free recommendation I'd like to hear about it. The home age aggregates information that's of interest to me, but maybe not everyone in this thread. I have a Yahoo! mail account, though I don't have any correspondents there, but I can't remember whether that's required to access other features. Gmail works well for me either in the web view or via my imap desktop app.

It's too bad Yahoo! may fail. Maybe they've tried to be everything to everyone. A smaller number of best of class features might let them survive.

Comment I'd put in: (Score 1) 557 557

For fixed-in-place lighting, such as sconces, pot lights in the kitchen, under counter lighting, out of doors lighting, etc. I'd figure out how to set up LED lights connected to a central electric supply. Each fixture would not generate much heat because the conversion from 110 V AC to low voltage DC would take place either outside the home or in the garage away from the living space.

Secondly, I'd put conduits in the walls, ceilings and floors, as needed, from a central location/utility closet so that cabling could easily be fished to every room. Right now the kinds of cables likely would be coax, ethernet and maybe telephone. Any changes in tech might require replacing current stuff with new tech (fiber optic) or higher quality than anything currently available. I wouldn't pay to put in cables that aren't currently needed because there might be something better in the future obsoleting what you put in. At a multi building campus where I once worked IT installed connections between buildings to a central location using fiber optics which wasn't needed. They thought they were future proofing themselves. It turned out all the fiber had to be replaced (not the conduits, thankfully) because when they finally got around to installing the switches some years later, they found the originally installed fiber was the wrong stuff. Newer fiber was somehow different.

Likewise, you might consider wiring windows, doors and motion detector locations for an alarm system, even if you don't plan on installing one. The sensors for wired alarms are quite small compared to those used for RF sensors and you will save on the cost of replacing batteries in the sensors. If later you find you need to install an alarm system it'll be an easy job.

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.