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Comment umpf... (Score 2) 139

I googled for "highest cpu clock speed" and got e.g. http://valid.x86.fr/records.html

It seems this is a far cry from what's been done elsewhere, with numbers there showing over 8.5GHz.

Anyway, my criteria are rather low-energy, low-noise computers than extreme clock frequencies, even if I can make use of them.

Comment Astro Stuff (Score 1) 204

How about a nice little Dobson telescope plus sky chart? You might add in a sun filter. You're good for many hours of admiring celestial objects with your kids.

For kids of a certain age, a light equatorial mount plus 'scope may enable them to start taking their own pictures.

There's also lots of opportunities to make your own accessories, way cheaper than what you can buy.

Comment Re:As a European... (Score 1, Informative) 373

Do you think the crazy people who deny the Holocaust will stop believing it just because you have a law against it? That is the problem with Europe in general: they pretend everything is fine but don't solve the root problems. It is better to identify the problem and come up with solutions.

You misunderstand. We're not banning the hate speech and pretend everything is fine, we actively educate our young so they know what happened and why, we show them, we make them understand that such a thing must never happen again. Everyone knows there's some nutcases that will still deny the Holocaust, but they are quite uniformly seen as misguided or sick, when not outright criminal. Unfortunately, young people also tend to be susceptible to "brainwashing" (e.g. political or religious), so education about these matters is not a totally failsafe proposition.

Populists (Le Pen in France, Wilders in the Netherlands, Trump in the US) often skirt the issues and are identified as dangerous by the educated, but fail to be understood by the less educated - as seen this weekend in Austria, where it is mostly the simple workers that voted for the (thankfully losing) far-right candidate. Note, I'm not bashing workers, simply pointing out insufficient knowledge about some things.
Here, we also try to make people understand that anyone selling simple solutions is probably full of BS, and things are probably more complex.

Comment As a European... (Score 0, Flamebait) 373

... I have a hard time with the typical US notion of free speech and no censorship.

To those of us whose parents or grandparents had to live and suffer through WW2, I is pretty much unthinkable to allow someone to deny the horrors of the concentration camps and all things associated. That is very much what the rules on hate speech are about, preventing those very things to happen again. If you propagate that kind of world view, you're going to find yourself in front of a judge, and will be punished for spreading, or trying to spread, such a mindset. [btw, from what I read from your president-elect's tweets, chances are high he'd have found himself in front of a judge too]

On the other hand, many of you USians can't stand the view of naked nipples, which for us is very simply something utterly natural. Nipplegate just couldn't happen over here, we're by far not that puritanical. Isn't refusing a picture of a naked nipple (say, a breastfeeding picture) also "censorship"? Talk about hypocrisy.

Comment Re:screw crApple (Score 1) 71

FTA:

> ...and those appeals will follow the ones already pending in Luxembourg, where the EU is headquartered.

No it's not. Try Brussels in Belgium.

Umm... the EU Commission is in Brussels, Belgium, yes. The EU Parliament is in Strasbourg, France. And the EU Court, which this is about, is indeed in Luxembourg City, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg.

Comment Re:Does anyone have comparitive stats (Score 1) 92

The J5 was released back in April, if it was having the same issue as the Note 7 (August), I'm pretty sure there would have been a lot more news on this.

Yeah, this really isn't big news. The Note 7 was notable because it had 30 within 2 weeks of release, this is more of a random event and bad luck to the owner. While I would never buy this phone myself (it sounds like a cheap crap Android Samsung cranks out),,I wouldn't worry about more blowing up. Hell, even if a different model Samsung blew up tomorrow, I wouldn't deem Samsung dangerous. Samsung's shipped so many phones now so it's inevitable.

The J5 may be cheap, but it saves money and offers features in the right places, definitely is not crap. The battery is removable, there's a microSD slot to extend the low built-in memory. The CPU is quite fast, and the screen is absolutely sufficient for me, even if its resolution is much lower than on high-end models. I got mine (a dual-sim model at that) as a bargain for 150EUR (no contract), where a top-of-the-line model would have cost at least 3x that. The only thing I'm missing so far is better sensors (i.e. better precision of the GPS when I go jogging, or acceleration sensors for use with e.g. planetarium apps). I certainly don't feel much of a difference compared to my wife's previous S5Active or my previous Nexus5.

In the news articles, I didn't see whether the battery used here was the original provided with the device. Given the model's quite recent, I don't suppose the battery to have been replaced yet though.

A propos exploding batteries, anyone left here who remembers Sony's laptop batteries exploding on-flight? The problem isn't exactly new...

Comment Re:We don't want this.... (Score 2) 446

Why only 24h? Back in the ol' days, our "feature phones" (think Nokia N95) easily held out several days, if not an entire week. Simpler phones remained usable for a couple of weeks, on a single charge.

Having to charge every other day, when you have multiple such devices (think phone, tablet, fitness band/watch, etc.) that you have to do it for a whole batch of stuff, every night! No thanks! I can't even stand cordless keyboard/mouse as they'll crap out at the worst possible times...

Comment Re:Just remember... (Score 1) 116

...Word and excel will 'auto-correct' anything that starts with two capital letters and de-capitalize the second character. /It's so secure even YOU won't know your passwords!

Also, leaking of metadata, version tracking etc.

It can be done, if everyone touching the file exactly know what they are doing, but Murphy's Law applies. An office suite just is not the best tool for this job.

Comment Re:Even in light of this, we're self congratulator (Score 1) 193

Modern fighter jets are not rated solely on speed and manoeuvrability. Range, ceiling, avionics, weapons and all the rest are what make it a proper piece of kit. Dogfighting is low on the list of priorities in 2016.

Just like a few decades back - think F-4 Phantom II. High-power, low maneuvrability, only missiles... and then they had to identify their targets first. Oops. Those cannons were quickly added on again, proper dog-fighting capabilities were introduced back with other models.

There's also a reason why the A-1 Skyraider was kept on so long, much later replaced by the A-10.

I still think USAF would be much better off financially if they had a few more specialized planes instead of this jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none F-35.
I guess the real reason for this boondoggle is to funnel money to black projects, and of course pure and simple corruption.

Comment Re:Still higher than a Soyuz launch (Score 1) 121

It is pretty clear that SES goes into the deal because of political reasons.
All space agencies that doesn't have their own capability to launch their satellites would benefit from having private entities that can do it for them.
The countries that do have the capability still wants the competition around to have something to compare their own costs against.
Even if creating those entities are primarily a US project there are plenty of organizations willing to throw money at it in the hope that they will be sustainable.
Soyuz might be cheaper, but there is a large value in not depending on a single distributor.

Umm... you're aware that SES is a private company? So, which political reasons? They are of course interested in getting reliable launch services at low price. With SpaceX, they are probably taking a lowish risk at very interesting price. They've had success with their first SpaceX launch, it's also going to be free publicity if this one goes right. They also tend to distribute the risk around, having had launch services also with Ariane and Proton rockets (maybe others too, I'm not following them that closely).

Let's also note that when SES sent up their very first Astra satellite, they were unable to buy insurance, and took the risk anyway - if that Ariane rocket had failed, there would be no SES today. And some other companies around their site also wouldn't be there... also probably no Luxembourg interest in getting to the asteroids, as reported here a few months ago.

Comment Re:or, maybe Google screwed up "ownership" (Score 1) 190

Due to custom compilation of hardware. The OS requires firmware for all of the interfaces and chips. While you may be able to get away with a "One size fits all" solution like Ubuntu on an AMD/Intel chip, there's a huge variety of ARM version chips out there, each with different clock speeds and (presumably) instruction sets. Not to mention all the different WiFi, Bluetooth, and GSM/Edge antennae.

On x86 platforms, we have standards for dealing with things like booting, drivers etc. That's what's needed for ARM too. It would help not only with smartphones, but also with SBCs like the Raspberry Pi, Odroid etc.

Somehow, I suspect it will be hard to get the different manufacturers to agree on such standards. Oblig. XKCD: https://xkcd.com/927/

Comment Re:Why do people still go there? (Score 1) 348

From an EU citizen:

In the 90ies, that form you had to fill was pretty ridiculous, as if ill-minded persons would write out their nefarious plans there. The humor-less stern look by the border agent was certainly just as efficient.

I seriously doubt that the current security theater is much more effective though - but it does make sure I won't willingly travel to north america anytime soon. It's a pity really, I'd love to see some of the landscapes (Yellowstone, some of the canyons, Death Valley etc.)...

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