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Comment Re:Congratulations, UK: (Score 1) 134

next they'll try to 're-unify' the British Isles again -- by force, for the 'safety and security of the people' I'm sure.

Well, if the ~450 years up to the mid 1990's was anything to go by, it would not be smart to go down that route again.. We've worked hard to get to the current situation and we wouldn't be too inclined to be forced to give it up again,

Comment Re:KGB (Score 1) 624

^ this. Many times this..
It's absolutely no surprise to see the US based people getting stroppy when they get a taste of their own medicine - see the complaints when Brazil did a quid pro quo to treating only US citizens visiting Brazil to rigorous security theatre and allowing everyone else to enter normally, when the US started treating incoming visitors to the States differently.

I think it's a fantastic state of affairs that the US is finally seeing the reaping of the policies they've sown over the past decades, just unfortunate that so many normal and innocent people are going to be so badly affected in the future as a direct result. Then again, many normal and innocent people were affected when the US stuck its unwanted nose into other countries sovereign affairs...

Comment Re: WUT?!? (Score 1) 214

Hehe, it's not like the wind can move airmasses from one place to another.. Local policies like this are pretty meaningless. Yes, it can be useful to change e.g. a very polluting power station within a mile upwind (in the usual wind direction that is) of a school. But, because cars and their output is pretty spread out, targeting car pollution specifically near schools is nothing more than lip service.

Comment Re:Two words. (Score 1) 491

All EULAs are not worth the paper they are printed on. They are not contracts. They are not even agreements. My cat could click the agree button, and it would have the same effect overall. Just because some of you live in countries where you've sold out your rights, doesn't mean that the software company gains more rights over you.

Nowhere in the EU has an EULA been successfully defended in court.

Comment Text browsers? (Score 1) 156

At least my main email client is a text-only client, and I can follow the link with something that is definitely not going to get triggered by a drive-by. And that's to check out strange links that I may get in email, even from people I have previously been in contact with. I definitely don't follow links. Still, on the phone, I may be exposed to vulnerabilities in the non-standard email client I use.

Comment Great value, when de-Amazonned (Score 1) 66

I bought this during the Black Friday sales.
My use case for this is to run SkySafari Pro 4, with the SkyFi box, to control my Celestron AVX telescope mount with a 6" reflector, and my SCB-4000 lowlight video camera for doing video-assisted astronomy.
It does this most admirably, and works very well when out at the scope, and it makes it easy to go chasing magnitude 15 galaxies from my backyard. Locate object in the app's database, center on screen, and tell the scope to slew from the screen. Then, I can see that celestial object on my portable screen.
When I got the tablet, I was aware that the bootloader was locked, but I knew there were alternate roms available via XDA developers forums. The one that I ended up using, SlimLP, renders the tablet pretty much a bog-standard low-end Android tablet. All the installed hardware works well, the bluetooth and wifi are perfect, and when I'm not using it for stargazing I have it on the coffee table for those quick web browses about subjects that pop up when watching my tv shows. The battery life is pretty good, I charge it about every 10-15 days when not in use, and it'll easily last for a full stargazing session when I'm outside.
Yes, the standard OS install is pretty crappy, but once it's rendered as a standard Android tablet, it's proven to be perfect for my particular use case.

Comment Spamassassin and Greylisting.. (Score 3, Informative) 269

Up to date spamassassin and well configured greylisting works very well for my email solution. The most spam mail comes in on mailing lists that deliberately have differing settings on them. Plus I have spam and ham training active. Rare enough to get spam into my actual inbox these days.

I've also got very little spam on my Gmail address as well..

Comment My main rig.. (Score 1) 558

For a 3 year old build, I'm pretty proud of how this has held up performance-wise. I've updated the gpu since I built this machine, and that's pretty much the only change since building it.

Intel i7-3930 @ 4.3Ghz,
16Gb ram,
120Gb SSD,
4x1Tb spinning HDD in RAID 1+0,
Asus Nvidia 760GTX (I think..).
Asus P9x79 pro motherboard.
Using the integrated sound, but with a PCIe wireless card.
1600x1200 Dell lcd monitor (yep, still in 4:3 land).
Closed circuit watercooling on CPU.

I have to send the motherboard away for repair as a BIOS update failed - for the second time on this board - I've already had a warranty replacement for failed bios update.

Comment Re:Please explain (Score 1) 158

My GPS stable:

Samsung S4 Active (personal phone).
Iphone 5s (work phone),
Galaxy S2 mini (spare phone),
GPS usb dongle for my desktop PC,
Garmin satnav device in the car,
Garmin Edge 500 bike computer,
old Garmin handheld eTrex mono GPS ~8 years old now.

Easy enough to rack up the device count when a techie for long enough and involved in active sports.

Comment Re:Bad news for a lot of people (Score 1) 649

Air filters are a bad analogy - as the stock ones are hugely low resistance anyway and changing for a so-called "performance" filter is anything but.

You can measure the resistance of an air filter by checking the pressure difference before and after the filter element. In all of the tests that I have seen the airflow resistance due to a stock filter is miniscule, and there is more pressure loss due to a bend in the pipe than due to the filter. Putting an ineffective filter that passes lots of grit through it, may be less pressure loss, but 80% of a miniscule number is still miniscule and has *no* measureable effect on power.

Otherwise I completely agree with you.

There's a lot to be said for a car company continuing to use a known-reverse-engineered protocol for the inter-module communications and code interrogation such as the protocol used by VAG on all of their cars. That makes things a lot easier, being able to use an inexpensive cable and software to access the same items as the main dealers.

Comment I love the EU for making non-competes illegal (Score 2) 331

Here in the EU, if there are terms in an employment contract that effectively mean a non-compete for X length of time after leaving that employment, they are completely unenforceable once the employment contract is terminated. The key terms are "contract" and "terminated". The contract no longer exists legally once the employment is terminated.

If a company wants non-compete methods, then they have to request that the newly-ex-employee sign a new contract to not compete with the previous employer's competitors, and in every case that I have heard of, the monetary terms for that non-compete had to be very very generous in order for the newly available employee to not work for the next 6 to 18 months in the business. Some in this situation went on training courses to stay current, others branched out into differing areas of work, all while getting handsomely paid not to work for the competitor.

Amazon have their head up their ass regarding the treatment of their employees for a long time in the US, and it'll come back to bite them. At least in the EU the employee protection legislation prevent such entities from taking that level of advantage of their employees. I'll be glad if/when karma comes back to burn Bezos and gang over their unethical actions and general mistreatment of their staff.

Comment Re:Working as designed (Score 1) 224

Considering how the US gets laws passed, that's a definition of corruption where I live. It's corruption for a representative to take bribes in return for voting particular ways. The fact that it's done openly and has no outcry from the public always amazes me and tells me that the voting public are complicit in this. It's also considered corruption not to have the civil service draft the actual law text - where in the US the representative brings the text to the floor.

Another way that the US system is thoroughly broken, is the way that bills in most other countries are exactly for the purpose of the bill where in the US you have the riders and amendments that have absolutely nothing to so with the main bill.

When the free market extends into politics, it can only mean bad things for those that cannot afford to purchase their public representatives the same way that the corporates can..

Comment All the bikes! (Score 1) 304

I currently own 4 bicycles so I've no real excuse not to go riding...

One is a commuter bike piece of crap singlespeed (at least it's got 105 brakes that work) that I can leave locked up in the university overnight without much worry about theft. The next bike is my full-carbon Trek Madone 4.5 road bike, with nice upgraded Mavic Ksyrium wheels with the blade spokes. After that is a Giant Reign X1 "cross-country" mountain bike with 6.7" suspension in the rear, with some lightening done to the bike. Last but not least is my carbon Santa Cruz V10 full-on absolute top of the range 10" suspension downhill bike - which is actually lighter than my XC bike.

I try to ride at least once a week for a few hours on either the Trek or the Giant, reserving the V10 for uplift days at the local bike park or the annual trip to the Alps to take advantage of lift-serviced trails. The commuter bike is great for cycling in to meet my mates for lunch or for drinks in the evening as I won't drink and drive.

Biking is great. I get to see some lovely parts of the country, and the views at the top of the climbs are nearly worth it, but the descending really does make it all worthwhile!

Though I do need a secure shed instead of having the bikes in my kitchen..

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