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Comment No but I'm optimistic (Score 1) 385

I still get round to ripping old DVDs, and very very occasionally old CDs, that I pick up in second hand shops. I've not loaded a data CD for years.

I'd be loath to get rid of my optical drive from my hulking great tower PC though. Partly because I have some old backup media that I want to be able to read again one day. (Yes I know I could move it to disk / cloud / whatever and that the CDs are probably degraded already).

But mainly, a bit like getting hand written letters, I'm sort of hoping for the day I get to open a nice jewel case, pop the unscratched new disk in, and wait in anticipation while it spins up. Nostalgia.

Comment Re:38,000 cubic meters of helium? (Score 4, Interesting) 173

The helium market is more complicated than people think. MRIs and superconductors need very pure helium, often in liquid form. Party balloons and (I assume) airships don't. So when helium becomes contaminated with air (which it does very easily) what do you do? Answer, you mainly vent it to the atmosphere, because your average research institute or hosptial can't possibly afford to install the equipment to recover pure (and possibly liquid) helium (what they need) from a helium-air gas mix. It makes more sense to sell the helium-air mix to balloon and airship manufacturers.

Comment Re:Very Basic Income (Score 3, Interesting) 618

I've known homeless people, and they were indeed refused support by their family. Family in this case was dad, who was a ornery SOB and disowned his son for going to university instead of working on the farm. Nice.

The son was a slightly geeky maths student. He screwed up some paperwork and didn't get any housing allocated by the university one term. He slept on a mate's floor while trying to sort it out. Then he felt the mate might be getting fed up with him, so he lied and pretended he had somewhere.

Then he started sleeping during the day in the computer lab (how I met him) and just wandering around at night. This didn't do his grades much good, and he dropped off the course.

Once you've been sleeping rough for a very short space of time your mental health nosedives. Asking anyone for help becomes very hard - it's a challenge just keeping basically clean and fed. Note that he had some money (unemployment benefit), just nowhere to live. He could afford to eat, but without access to a kitchen he either ate only cold food, or had to buy (relatively expensive) take-away food. As a single young male you are not on the top of the queue to be housed by the state.

In the end he escaped, and last I met him he had a job, house and girlfriend. But I've seen how someone can become homeless, it doesn't take much, and once it begins it's very hard to stop.

Comment Re:Good thing you have a choice (Score 1) 537

Maybe in the US. In the UK pubs sometimes had a single pay phone but bars in London didn't have anything as uncool as payphones. You either asked to borrow the landline behind the bar, or you went out to the street and used a kiosk. Mostly you managed to just have a night out without going near a telephone.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 147

Interesting. I would like to know more about how modern prostitution works, since you obviously are quite familiar with the process, unlike the author of the article who clearly just made it all up from thin air.

Why do people think their intuition, based on almost nothing more than movies and maybe a documentary from 10 years ago, are absolutely 100% right?

Comment Re: Bullshit (Score 4, Insightful) 147

Why wouldn't you? I give personal information to all sorts of people for business reasons. I see no evidence that sex workers are more or less untrustworthy than any other trade. Maybe some are controlled by criminal gangs that would then exploit the details, but that's true of some garages, used car dealerships, nightclubs and restaurants, too.

Comment Re:10x Productivity (Score 1) 215

Good management is a myth, unless your management stack is comprised of individuals smarter than you on the specific field. It can help a lot (and I've worked with wonderful management), but that's it. Its not a silver-bullet.

Awww. I'm glad you found time during all your rockstar full stack development to work out that good management is a myth.

I recommend your next step should be to start a company where you don't bother hiring those non-existent good managers - I'm sure you'll be a millionaire in no time.

Comment Re:There can be no defense of this. (Score 2) 184

The words "deception", "job description", and "gullibile" come to mind.

Not at all. I too know people who work in the intelligence services, and I've known them since long before they took on those jobs! They are intelligent (duh...) and thoughtful. They care about private and privileged communications about as much as someone doing an aerial survey for geological research cares about peeping tom laws and people sunbathing naked in their gardens. They consider the (legal or moral) rules they break as so removed from their purpose and intent as to be quite beside the point.

Whether that attitude needs changing I wouldn't like to say, but it's not an attitude of malice.

Comment Counterfeiters not competitors (Score 0, Troll) 572

"competitors' chips" is a little unfair. It also doesn't brick anything, although a non-technical user won't know the difference. It reversibly disables counterfeit chips.

I'd say it was a grey area, simply because it's so hard to tell if a chip embedded in 3rd party hardware is genuine or not.

For those who knew they were using rip-off chips, screw 'em. It reminds me of the days when I'd get emails from people using pirated copies of my software bitching about bugs. If I could have been bothered, I'd have released a free update that deliberately screwed up those installations.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 2) 448

The idea is to have a timer that would automatically disable the equipment unless it received an enable signal, either from a satellite or removable medium.

Right, but now all the enemy has to do to entirely disable your tank in the field is to disable (or block) the receiver. An enemy with good signals jamming can disable all your armour. Not ideal.

Comment Re:"complained about the service" (Score 1) 336

Then dont use it. Pretty simple. There is no law that says you have to use any cloud service, so if you dont trust/like them, dont use them. And dont bitch about it when you choose to do so.

There's no law that says you have to drive a Ford. If you don't trust them, don't drive one. But don't bitch about it when it bursts into flames and kills you, when you choose to drive it.

Comment Re: As much as I hate Apple (Score 1) 187

So who "won" in the PC industry?

Dell -- revenues and profits declined so badly they went private?
HP - PC division is doing so bad they almost got rid of it.
IBM -- completely left the business
Compaq - Dead
Gateway - Dead

All those companies won. They made great profits from an important product. So what if many are no longer in business. Many steam engine companies are out of business. That doesn't mean that steam engines were bad and we should have invested more in horses or blimps. Life moves on.

'Losers' would be the likes of Commodore, Olivetti, Tandy, Atari, Amstrad

The Apple iPhone may yet end up as the Commodore Amiga of it's era.

Comment Re:Sky.NET (Score 2) 56

Google, Apple, Oracle, IBM, etc. etc.

Actually, Azure is great, and the addition of high level services like this is the right direction. Just spinning up VMs isn't nearly as useful as a service layer.

The algorithms aren't an especially hard part of machine learning, dealing with the data is. Anything that would save me the hassle of trying to fit things in RAM would be great...

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