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Comment: Re:In their defence. (Score 5, Insightful) 417

by johnw (#46438931) Attached to: School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

They have low-tech means of circumventing the filter, mostly involving spending an hour going through page after page on google until they find a site not blocked.

Hardly low tech!

I too work in a school, which also implements all sorts of paranoid filtering on the school LAN. (Don't know about root CA certificates, I've never looked.)

Increasingly however, what the school does is utterly irrelevant. Almost all the students have their own completely independent access to the big bad 'net. They have phones with full Internet access, dongles for their laptops, and even laptops with SIMs built in.

It'll be a while before school authorities recognise that they're standing with their fingers in the tiny remains of a dyke, the rest of which has long since been washed away by the incoming tide. Until then, we'll still find ourselves unable to access all sorts of random and silly things in the classroom. I was refused access to the text of Rudyard Kipling's "If" the other day.

Comment: Re:More like 34 years (Score 2) 111

by johnw (#46327397) Attached to: The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World

It was still an odd decision to design their own CPU for the successor to the BBC Micro. A more obvious and less risky move would have been to use a 68000 series CPU as a successor to the 6502.

IIRC, they experimented with a chip called the 32016 (or 16032) as a possible successor to the 6502, before deciding to start again from scratch and design their own.

All the 2nd processors for the Beeb - Z80, 6502, 32016 or ARM looked exactly the same from the outside, although when you opened them up the Z80 and 6502 were mostly air, whilst the ARM prototype was stuffed to the gunwales. It didn't even have go-faster stripes or a front air dam.

The odd thing was, early ARMs seemed to manage to produce much more bang for your MHz than x86 chips. An 8 MHz ARM2 ran rings around a 25 MHz 80386. What let them down then was the lack of a floating point co-processor. Later on the relationship seemed to reverse.

Comment: Very, very nearly silent (Score 1) 371

by johnw (#46107975) Attached to: How loud is your primary computer?

Just recently I've been using a NUC as my primary desktop computer. It's plenty powerful enough, and is fixed to the back of the flat screen monitor.

At first assessment you'd say it was silent, but when you switch it off you can just detect a change as the fan stops. It's not a sound you hear, but you do notice it when it goes away.

Comment: Re:What RMS has in mind ? (Score 1) 287

by johnw (#45576147) Attached to: RMS Calls For "Truly Anonymous" Payment Alternative To Bitcoin

I have seen people carrying serious cash like that in the UK and the usual way seems to be as a roll of notes.

I was in Jolliffe's in Marlow (the place where all the hired dress suits come from, but they can kit you out as anything) when a chap came in and asked for a grey chauffeur's uniform. They produced one from stock, and he paid for it in cash, peeled off a large roll of notes.

Comment: Re:Evolution is faith AS WELL (Score 1) 1293

by johnw (#44901303) Attached to: Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?

You may believe in both based on the evidence or feelings you experience. People believe in religion based on their experiences or feelings.

And do you spot the incredibly significant word which is present in your first sentence and missing from the second one? You've summed it up neatly - science is based on looking at the evidence, whilst religion is based on believing what you want to believe.

Comment: Re:"an helicopter"!? (Score 1) 239

by johnw (#44807721) Attached to: German Federal Police Helicopter Circles US Consulate

It's a helicopter if the writer pronounces the haitch

ITYM, "It's a helicopter if the writer pronounces the aitch"

Yes, no problem with that. If you pronounce horse as 'orse then it makes perfect sense to say "an 'orse". Likewise if you use the old-fashioned pronunciation of hotel then it makes perfect sense to say "an hotel". What gets me is the modern fashion for putting "an" before any word which begins with "h". (And indeed, the trick of adding a spurious "h" on the beginning of "aitch".)

Comment: Re:Rupert Murdoch can die in a hole already. (Score 1) 327

by johnw (#44470957) Attached to: Rupert Murdoch Wants To Destroy Australia's National Broadband Network

During this period technology that the US long forget (such as ISDN) was as premium as you could get here

To be fair to ISDN, it's not technology that the US forgot - US telecoms never got quite that advanced. ISDN had some distinct advantages, but apart from in Germany, it was pretty much killed by telecom marketing wings who never really understood what they were selling.

Comment: Re:Exactly mimics the real thing? (Score 1) 128

I didn't see any hydraulics for mimicking the pitch, yaw, and roll.

That was my first thought too, but then I thought about naval simulators. I've been in a few of those, which are very much just large rooms with a lot of screens, and usually some raked seating at the back. They don't move at all, but it's funny to watch those standing on the "bridge" as they sway from side to side to keep their feet in rough seas. Yes, real simulators move around, but a lot can be achieved without.

Life's the same, except for the shoes. - The Cars