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Comment: Re:Canals? (Score 1) 99

by plj (#43680201) Attached to: Weird Geological Features Spied On Mars

Not palsas. Palsas are formed on bogs, as peat is necessary for summertime insulation. Because all vegetation (if there ever was any)—and with that all the peat—has long since left Mars, any former palsas shouldn't really leave that visible marks.

Palsa formation usually requires not just a peat bog, but also snow cover. Ice lenses are formed underneath the peat layer on spots where winter freezing occurs unusually rapidly e.g. due to a thin spot in snow cover. (Palsas have been deliberately created by plowing snow off from certain spots on a bog in wintertime.) Palsas are also relatively short-term formations; they will eventually melt when they grow so much that their sheer size will cause the isolating peat layer to crack, thus withdrawing the insulation that prevents ice lenses from melting during summertime.

Solifluctations are a more plausible explanation, and perhaps also collapsed pingos. AFAIK pingos have a much longer lifetime than palsas, and when they collapse they also leave around much more visible evidence of their former existence.

Comment: Re:Apple's been playing about with other fuckery t (Score 1) 195

by plj (#43193873) Attached to: Apple Faces Lawsuit For Retina MacBook Pro 'Ghosting' Issue

- However, their plants in Shanghai are still assembling retinas with the LG screen (see thread for confirmation of this) - why, I don't know; maybe they have supplies to use up.

Not true. At least not anymore, unless CTO configurations are an exception. My new work box was manufactured in Shanghai in February (in week 8 according to this page), and it seems to have Samsung's panel.

Comment: Re:Agreed (Score 2) 241

by plj (#39331187) Attached to: Pi Day Is Coming — But Tau Day Is Better

“European punctuation” is an unfortunately generic term, if one includes the digit group separator in that definition, as you just did. While all of continental Europe (as well as the entire South America!) indeed uses comma as decimal separator, digit group separator varies. For example, Germans, Greeks, Italians and Swedes would group digits with dots, while Czechs, we Finns, as well as French and Poles would use spaces. (Thin) space is also used in some applications elsewhere in the world, due to ISO 31-0. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_mark (and specifically the section “Examples of use”).

Comment: Re:Tory party is a collection of special interests (Score 1) 165

by plj (#38547428) Attached to: Running Great Britain? There's an App For That!

Here in Scotland we have Holyrood, who defer to Westminster for certain issues, who defer to the EU on top of that.

I'm not from Scotland or even UK, but if I were a Scot I'd vote for independence on the grounds of getting that intermediate Westminster layer out of the game; the presence of that only makes the UK government (the Tories for now...) present the de facto English opinion in Council of Ministers and in European Council as the opinion of the whole UK. If you'd become independence you'd get your own government to represent you in those institutions. Also, smaller countries get proportionally more MEP seats, so you'd also gain something in that.

And since this would all happen inside the EU, your access to UK markets next door wouldn't really be hindered at all. And you could still stay in the Common Travel Area as the Irish do, so the border wouldn't disturb you in practice. Heck, you could probably even make a deal to have a monetary union with the stub UK, if you'd prefer to stick with the Pound over the Euro. (I understand that right now the prospect of Eurozone membership doesn't sound all that great, although I personally think that the rumours of the future breakup of the Eurozone are greatly exaggerated.)

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 1) 196

by plj (#38296662) Attached to: Two-Thirds of Lost USB Drives Carry Malware

I'll encrypt my sticks as soon as somebody makes an encryption software that works seamlessly in Windows AND Mac OS X AND Linux, and is easy to install and use. Currently, the only one that comes even close is Truecrypt, but due to its stupid vanity licence it isn't a real option on Linux, as it is not included in repos and as such isn't easy to install.

LUKS can work on Windows (with FreeOTFE) but not on OS X, so that isn't an option, either.

Comment: WTF? (Score 3, Insightful) 1219

by plj (#34727766) Attached to: 'No Refusal' DUI Checkpoints Coming To Florida?

WTF? Driving is a privilege, not a right, not even in the US. You'll need a licence for it, and in addition you'll choose to accept certain rules and regulations by choosing to drive.

In any sensible jurisdiction, if you choose to drive, you'll accept you could be stopped and breathtested at any time and if you refuse, you'll be, and you should be, automatically subject to a blood test.

If you don't like the breathalysing, then don't drive. As simply as that. This has nothing to do with being a police state.

Comment: Re:In 5 years of living in Paris (Score 1) 509

by plj (#34696410) Attached to: Paris To Test Banning SUVs In the City

While it's true there's a creep of luxury 'smaller' 4WD (Porche Cayenne etc) - being new, they're generally more efficent than the 2-stroke mopeds buzzing around, for example.

Efficient my arse: http://www.porsche.com/international/models/cayenne/cayenne/featuresandspecs/

An efficient petrol-run 4WD car can run with less than 8 l/100 km. If it's diesel, it can run with 5 l/100 km.

If it's just 2WD, then cut off additional 1.5-2 liters per 100 km.

Comment: And F-Secure installs trojans now (Score 1) 293

by plj (#34376962) Attached to: Apple, Microsoft, Google Attacked For Evil Plugins

Funny thing here is that F-Secure's Client Security does the same; it automatically installs an extension to Firefox that adds a toolbar reporting whether a particular site is safe.

OK, you can avoid that by choosing custom install and not installing the “browsing protection”, and even if installed you can turn it off from their GUI, but the installer does not explicitly tell you that it will install a Firefox extension.

(And yeah, others too. At least Skype and Nokia PC both do this.)

Comment: Another score for my N900... (Score 2, Informative) 140

by plj (#34117872) Attached to: Agloves Allow For Touchscreen Use On Cold Days

...in addition to APT, general hackability and real qwerty for fast typing.

It has resistive touchscreen and thus works well in -10 C, or so, when the gloves are not particularly thick.

Not that well in -25 C though, as using thick mittens tends to make touch somewhat imprecise. ;) But at least I can use thinner gloves underneath them so that I won't have to take them completely off.

After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.

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