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Comment OSX performance is dismal nowadays (Score 5, Interesting) 241

It has long appeared to me that all the best talent at Cupertino is being assigned to work on iOS, and OSX is suffering as a result.

One upon a time, a new MacOSX release meant you might need to put more RAM in the box, but even some seven-year-old piece of hardware would go faster, and there would be fewer bugs or crashes. [Consider a late G3 iMac, upgraded all the way from Public Beta to Tiger.] These days, you put more RAM in (if you can if you have a machine old enough that Apple didn't solder all the memory in during manufacture) just to make it less sluggish.

Drawing performance seems especially poor, which makes me wonder: if I bought a top-end top-of-the-range Mac Pro, would it be any better at being a desktop computer than what I have now? I'm not sure it would.

Comment Yeah, but ... those folks? (Score 1) 461

AOL is indeed the ISP of other people's grandparents, and in general an email address indicates cluelessness. I got used to that idea a long time ago, and all the evidence at hand very strongly supported it.

Except for a cluster of outliers, significant folks. All of the folks, and it seems all their spouses, that I know that are highly-specialised engineers doing contract work for the government [UK or US? yes, both], and the phrase "developed vetting" comes to mind, have AOL addresses. Not Gmail Hotmail Outlook Yahoo or some pet ISP or other, but AOL. One of these guys allegedly has an RF-shielded room in his house from the CRT days because of concerns about tempesting and the like.

Why are all those folks on AOL?

Comment Yawn. Radium. (Score 1) 292

Not secret. Just forgotten and unimportant and not a priority.

Why underground? As has has been pointed out elsewhere, during the Great War Adolf was an infantryman on the Western Front, who associated safety with being in a bunker underground. So the Nazis wasted much effort constructing vast underground complexes in which to do all sorts of things.

Let's assume there are elevated radiation levels at this site, which is 75 acres. Compared to many industrial sites, that's big; compared to the Hanford estate, or Windscale, or Chelyabinsk 65, or Oak Ridge, or ... it's tiny. Probably not a bomb project, then. What else nuclear-related might Adolf's minions have been up to?

How about: processing pitchblende to recover interesting metals? Such as ...
[1] Uranium. Principal metal to be had from pitchblende. The oxide can be used to make fancy yellow glass. If you're one of Adolf's minions, it's a waste product.
[2] Polonium. Also a waste product.
[3] Radium. Which can be used to make luminous paint for instrument dials, for use in eg aeroplanes. It's not like the Nazis built any aeroplanes, is it?

Comment darker practice ... England ... duplicate plates (Score 1) 898

Er, no.

Making duplicate plates is hard work. What those people do is mostly steal your plates. It is vital to report such thefts immediately to avoid being held accountable oneself for assorted traffic offences committed by the thieves.

In principle, one ought to be able to demand in court that the prosecution's images be shown, and then contest them. In the UK, this causes the prosecution to allege that you have modified your vehicle in an attempt to avoid conviction. This sort of thing continues in spite of high profile cases where someone is charged with speeding offences in a part of the country entirely different to the remote location where one uses one's tractor.

So yes, it is entirely possible both to obey the law and fulfil your social responsibilities, and yet still get prosecuted.

Automatic numberplate recognition is wonderful -- but it should be an addition to policing, not a replacement.

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The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting. -- T.H. White