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David Alan Gilbert
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so far this year has seen a good crop of discount chocolate bunnies, but very little in the way of easter eggs that have been worth buying even on discount.  I guess that's bunny bunny bunny in a .......
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David Alan Gilbert

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Any Googler's know what tpc.googlesyndication.com is?
Or more specifically why I'm seeing firefox eating 100% cpu running JS from http://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-2/html/container.html/n=1#xpc=sf-gdb-exp-1&p=<enter URL here>

I've seen this on theregister, mysupermarket and a few others hours after I've closed the page.
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Great set of subjects here - not much detail but great set of subjects.
 
Craig Venter - DARPA Keynote.

Very interesting 25 minute keynote talk by Craig Venter at a recent DARPA session. Informal and engaging, Venter weaves through the recent history, current status, and future directions of DNA sequencing, genomics, and synthetic biology.

You'll be surprised at the current capabilities of a very few organisations building out the edges of what is possible. Recall Gibson: The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed yet and project volumes, cost reduction, miniaturisation, maturation, and decentralisation. 

One of a number of highlights includes a working device able to read a specification and print out on demand DNA, RNA, proteins, etc, and which they have tried to wrap in security to prevent "printing" ebola for example. But this device already exists; it's only a matter of when, not if, you'll have a device in your home able to program and synthesise novel living systems, vaccines, and biomolecules. 

#syntheticbiology   #craigventer   #genomics  
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David Alan Gilbert

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I'm trying out xfce4 on my main desktop today - most things are working fine and most stuff pretty configurable (although the patch I wrote for accelerators on the window menu 5 years ago when I last tried it, still hasn't gone in).
I'd been using KDE4 for a few years now, probably since the end of Gnome2, and was pretty happy with it, but KDE5 just isn't solid yet.  No big crashers or anything, just lots of smaller things that don't work reliably, and reporting bugs on KDE4 just hit /dev/null and it's fallen out of the latest version of distros because it's not co-installable with KDE5.
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I really like XFCE. I wish it had a little bit more love, it's a great lightweight alternative to the big hitters. I have high hopes for Cinnamon eventually too, but it doesn't seem to be quite there yet, either.

I am at least really happy that XFCE saw its first major release in three years recently, though!
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Following on from the last couple of years attempts at chocolate sorbet, I bought an ice cream maker (Cuisinart ice100bcu) and I've just got my first batch out of it.
What I got out of it was pretty good,  although after overnight in the freezer it was still a solid unscoopable chunk - I'm thinking running it a bit longer in the machine might be better since it was still a little watery.
As for the Cuisinart machine:
   Plus sides:  Feels sturdily built, 5 year guarantee, easy to clean.
   Downside: Pretty minimal manual, it's only choices are the length of the timer, and a choice of two paddles.  I don't think it likes small mixes (I had an ice ridge form and the paddle stop - not that it did anything about it, no settings for anything).
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Some great robots here - watch the videos: http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/festo-bionic-ants-and-butterflies

(Via +Mark Bruce's SciTech digest)
The German automation giant unleashes a swarm of new robotic insects
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Hmm, one of my clocks just went one hour in the wrong direction.
(KDE5 on f21 thought it was on UTC)
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Very very nice :-)
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Blade Runner is on in cinemas, not that many places seem to be showing it and there don't seem to be that many showings.
(I'm going to go the Manchester print works 6pm tomorrow)
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I think the unicorn was in all of them, though it was shorter in the original.
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Random find of the day: A giant list of food densities;
http://www.fao.org/docrep/017/ap815e/ap815e.pdf

everything from baking powder to Goat intestine (boiled).
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I'm having a hard time for finding any real information on:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32100071

The company they reference still seems to be registered at the university,  so it seems unlikely it's anywhere near commercialisation.

Someone on /. found http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v14/n3/full/nmat4205.html#close  as the most likely thing they're actually talking about.

Still, I hope I'm wrong and we'll be buying 10% more efficient LED lightbulbs by the end of the year.
A light bulb made with graphene - said by its UK developers to be the first commercially viable consumer product using the super-strong carbon - is to go on sale later this year.
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This is a review of an outage to the UKs interbank payment system that happened last year for a few hours;  unfortunately the juicier technical details (e.g. the bug they actually triggered, the language they're saying is old and crusty etc) are blocked out.
The bits they have highlighted are that:
  1) They did an operation that hadn't been performed for 6 years - removal of a bank from the system.
  2) That wasn't tested much
  3) They didn't have a test system to work with.
  4) There was a contingency system designed for major outages (e.g. loss of both data centres) but it generally wasn't realised how painful switching to it would be (because they didn't know how long it would to take to switch back and because it wasn't as resilient as the main one).

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/news/2015/rtgsdeloitte.pdf
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It wouldn't surprise me, but I also wouldn't be surprised if it was something much more obscure.
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