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* Posts by Tim Bates

866 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

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Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM

Tim Bates
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Re: I want to know

"My network printers in use now have 500MHz processors. I do occasionally wonder why they need this level of power"

Print job processing. Especially as people expect more and more to be able to print out a full A4 high res photo in a matter of seconds from their shiny wireless gadgets.

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Microsoft splurges 2½ INSTAGRAMS buying Minecraft maker Mojang

Tim Bates
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Re: This will be interesting!

"If there is a move away from Java and into another language we may see an improvement in memory resources and a smoother experience on older slower machines."

Side effect is the likely dropping of non-Windows support. I can't see MS rewriting it in another language and keeping OpenGL involved, let alone popping out non-Windows binaries.

Maybe an OSX version would survive, but would be written by a totally different team, released in years the Windows one is not, and have a completely different feature set.

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What the BLOCK? Microsoft to gobble Minecraft-maker 'for $2bn'

Tim Bates
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Most public servers run on Linux too. Goodbye to those if MS decide to mess with the balance.

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Mac security packages range from peachy to rancid – antivirus tests

Tim Bates
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Re: Macs only need a HIPS..

"The only difference with Windows is so many of the applications put holes in the system, you really need to keep up with the applications patches. My brother tells me this isn't a problem with Macs"

Why wouldn't it be a problem with Macs when it is with Windows? It's still software.

Besides, most malware comes from an idiot specifically asking the computer to run the dodgy code, which then sticks itself into a startup folder/script/schedule. For Mac users, you can probably even skip the startup bit - they rarely log off anyway (shutting the lid is not shutting down).

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Tim Bates
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Re: Chowder

"missed by colleagues computers which rely on the work standard install of McAfee."

McAfee doesn't really detect anything. It just looks pretty in the system tray, and sometimes tells you the internet uses cookies.

Some might even argue the names of their products are in fact misleading.

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NUDE SELFIE CLOUD PERV menace: Apple 2FA? Sweet FA, more like

Tim Bates
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Re: Security questions?

"Caution: Apple do ask these questions is circumstances other than password recovery."

Australia's my.gov.au website, now compulsory for individuals wanting to deal with tax online, does this too. I created my account with random gibberish for the "security" questions, then got locked out when I next went to use it.

So next I switched to idiot mode to ensure I would be able to actually log in next time. Whoops. As it turns out, to reset the password, all one has to do is guess 2 of the 3 insecurity questions, then enter a new password. No confirmation email. No SMS.

I expect the Australian government believe this is called Two Factor Authentication too.

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

Tim Bates
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"Procedurals that pretend to be about forensic science are the worst - Fox's Bones is a particular offender."

I don't even question the stuff on Bones - it's so fantastical that it just registers as sci-fi on my scale.

A recent episode of Major Crimes on the other hand... They physically took some servers and their tech geek says this: "The data will still be intact, but you're gonna need some help getting through their firewalls."

But as if that wasn't enough, they went on with the train wreck:

"Well, mom, these are most likely load-balanced servers running Apache. Or, uh, maybe Fedora under Linux. Nothing advanced I could probably get these booted up and reset the root passwords."

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Google's 'Captain Moonshot': I will BOMB you with DELIVERIES

Tim Bates
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Re: not sure about the load

The diesel is normally delivered by a tanker truck, not in drums.

and

No one buys Fosters in Australia.

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Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball

Tim Bates
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Re: Not fit for purpose...

"under the conditions that game ending achievment has not yet been achieved"

While that is OK circumstantial evidence, it's not really compelling. Achievements can be reset in most cases by a simple tool. Why rewrite that system when you can just say "no" to refunds?

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Tim Bates
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Re: Refunds are only sought for games that are not fit for purpose (i.e. don't run)

"What if I start up a game that's designed to take 200 hours to play through, and precisely 1 hour in, it crashes? I try again, with the same result. And again."

Simple - they check your session lengths aswell. I went through the refund process with Steam a few years back over a game that was basically a bad console port (and infected with GFWL for added fun). Among other issues, GFWL kept wanting to install updates for the game and it kept just loading then quitting to run a GFWL updater. Steam support said they confirmed my story of many short sessions, and issued the refund.

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Tim Bates
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"As far as I am aware, they are charging Australian customers in Australian Dollers;"

Nope. US dollars. We get special regional pricing though - some things are up top 5 times the USA price.

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Oz metadata retention won't include URLs: report

Tim Bates
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Re: Scope and use

There's a PDF copy of the actual consultation document on one of SMH's articles... If you're keen on being really concerned about the plan, it's linked here: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/secret-data-retention-discussion-paper-leaked-20140827-108yyh.html

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Tim Bates
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Just tell us the bloody plan!

I wish they'd just come out and publish what they've got so far. All this hearsay and speculation is getting silly and rather worrying.

One major flaw I see is this - if only retail phone and internet providers are to comply, what's the point? Find a connection used by decent numbers of people with relaxed WiFi security, and sit in your car. Then it's their problem when George Brandis comes busting their door down.

On the other hand, if they want data retained by the customers aswell, then I see a BIG market for sales of equipment - compliant routers, new PBX systems, etc - and audit services to check your business complies. Might work out pretty damn awesome for some people.

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Big content seeks specialist court for copyright cases

Tim Bates
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Re: Does “occur on a commercial scale” require money to be exchanged?

Scale would mean simply doing it enough that you could make a living off it if you did sell. There wouldn't need to be any proof of actually making money.

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Tim Bates
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Re: Perhaps The Australian Federal Circuit Court has...

Copright "theft"? Would that be the act of stealing the ownership of the IP? How do you even do that?

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The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

Tim Bates
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Re: No thanks

"When games are easily available directly from the source, I don't see the added benefit of steam."

Well when the publishers decide Steam is the better method of selling, and make their DLC Steam only, it does start to matter... Euro Truck Sim 2 fans who bought non-Steam are a little disappointed right now.

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

Tim Bates
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Re: Lighter apps

Pfft... The real geeky kids were waving animated flames on Windows Mobile and Symbian devices before Apple and Google even thought about making smartphones cool.

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Data retention means telcos risk Privacy Act breach, Pilgrim warns

Tim Bates
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Also copyright?

In some variations on the theme, email headers were mentioned. Subject lines are a work composed by an author, and my understanding is that technically is covered by copyright laws.

If the government mandated retention of these emails, where does my right to control copies of my works fit into the proposal? It's somewhat ironic that the George Brandis was not that long ago banging on about illegal copying of content on the internet, and now wants to copy my content just in case I do something naughty in the next 730.5 days.

"I'm not pirating TV shows... I'm simply retaining copies in case they turn out to contain terrorism material and the police need them for evidence. I promise I'll delete it in 2 years."

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Yosemite Siri? Apple might plonk chatty assistant on your desktop - report

Tim Bates
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Re: Or like original Star Trek?

"But windows gestures are a decade old."

But none of them invoked a digital assistant. There was a gesture usually given during the closing of the Office Assistant, but that's as close as it's been in the Windows world.

Although I do wonder if double clicking on the system tray icon for something like Virtuagirl would count as prior art... That's a gesture. And it technically is an assistant... A single purpose assistant, but the patent didn't mention how many purposes it needed.

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Tim Bates
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Joke

"Anyone with a real operating system won't see it so it's all right."

Anyone with a real OS didn't see the Office assistant back when it was around either, because WINE didn't run MS Office back then....

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Officeworks recalls dangerous USB charger

Tim Bates
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Re: Tested?

"or a dodgy brother's import?"

Well following the links I finally got to a proper recall report... The importer is Ingram Micro. Ingram usually keeps the dodgy brothers employees in their customer accounts department, not the product selection department.

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Help Australia's PM and attorney-general to define metadata

Tim Bates
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Re: The biggest lie is accessibilty

Not to mention that the same week they're talking about this, someone else announces a database of 1.2 billion user accounts has been collected by hackers... Where exactly are they planning on hiding this data so that it's more secure than anything else in the world? And what is their plan for when MY metadata gets leaked to Russia, China or the NSA?

Oh, and isn't Brandis also obsessing over internet piracy? Would pirating my email headers give me grounds to sue him?

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Whoops, my cloud's just gone titsup. Now what?

Tim Bates
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Cloudy places have their uses.

"Cloud" services are good when they're things you don't need live 100% of the time. Like overnight backups. As long as it works 99% of the time, it's not a big deal.

But for anything you need instant access to at random times, the cloud is not it. Think about how many things can break between your keyboard and the cloud provider's hard disks. Add in the number of people who can cock up a config or damage equipment between you and the cloud provider, and the whole deal looks really stupid.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Tim Bates
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Re: It's not Open Source it's an open standard

"My email that goes back 15 years that started life on a 50Myte hard drive in windows 95"

Somehow I doubt that size. Even my poor family had a 486 with a 120MB HDD years before Windows 95 came out.

But I agree on the point - you just copy everything over. I don't know of many businesses or government departments that just abandon their data as technology changes.

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HP settles suit with popstar Chubby Checker over todger tester app

Tim Bates
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Was Chubby Checker (the musical bloke) in the business of estimating the sizes of sausages aswell as the musical bit? Or did the app use the guy's image aswell, thus causing the confusion required?

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Tim Bates
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Re: Really?

> Intesting, because in Australia, 80-90% of shops do it.

Yep. And most banks are steadily replacing the aging fleet of non-NFC terminals with modern contactless enabled ones as they fail. Some are still keeping their old dialup terminals going, but others are rolling out replacements there too. And with the Telstra 2G network being shut down soon, almost all mobile terminals will be contactless by this time next year.

> How many commentards have even *seen* a cheque in, say, the last 10-15 years?

I see cheques nearly every day. They're still quite popular out this way, particularly with older business people. At a guess, approximately 1/3 of payments made to my workplace would be cheques.

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Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

Tim Bates
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Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

"and it's clear why people prefer Apple once they have used it."

Maybe in the Apple user camp... The more I use them, the more I wonder how the heck anyone puts up with them. Some of the ways they do things is not only the opposite of the norm, but the opposite of common sense (for example the upper case keys representing lower case is plain retarded).

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Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

Tim Bates
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Re: Did he really say this ?

"Have a group of OS's rather than one, and 2 for tablets FFS......"

A couple of us at work were talking about that last week, and figure it's time for someone at MS to have the balls to do with Apple did with OSX - complete restart based on a *nix system.

We figured a nice Windows (7) style GUI on top of a popular distro, a few tweaks to various things that aren't quite there in Linux and it's basically done. As a bonus, they could then offer the same MS Office on Linux as they sell for Windows, the same IIS for Linux as Windows, etc. Imagine being able to whack Exchange onto a perfectly good Linux server!

We weren't 100% serious of course... But given how Windows 8 went, it could actually work out better.

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Voteware source code review 'could lead to hacking'

Tim Bates
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Re: Once a trouble maker always...

"I think there should be a law against electronic voting because it will never be reliable."

Human counting is also potentially unreliable, as seen in many corrupted nations. Even in Australia we've had paper votes go missing... It can be accidental or intentional, just like with electronic systems.

I personally think the electoral system in Australia is broken anyway. With what seems to be 99% of people thinking the Prime Minister is who they voted for, thanks to the media, there's almost no reason to care if the counting is flawed.

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Tim Bates
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"We know that Boris Johnson got the job, but we don't know that he was actually elected."

I don't follow London's Mayoral politics, but I gather Boris didn't care. I think he said it was verrry niiice.

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Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad

Tim Bates
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"Anyone whos blood pressure goes up using a device most grandparents can easily use MUST be overweight or at least have a bad cholesterol problem, so my point still stands."

Or perhaps they do different things on them. Does your grandma get asked to configure the perfectly reasonable things Apple or MS decided weren't needed?

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

Tim Bates
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Re: The start screen is a pile of crap on a big screen.

"It slows you down because you have to move the mouse too far."

Especially if you right click something on the start screen... You're going to take a road trip with your mouse for that.

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Insecure AVG search tool shoved down users' throats, says US CERT

Tim Bates
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Re: Humourous

"itself is now quite a nuisance"

In what way exactly? I run the free version on a few computers, which does understandably try to sell the paid one twice a year, but it rarely bothers me unless I've given it a reason (like downloading a dodgy file).

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Tim Bates
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Re: Are you listening Adobe, Oracle?

At least with Java there's a registry key to prevent it installing the malware when updates come out. Pity it's not set by default since Oracle think distributing malware is OK.

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

Tim Bates
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Re: Learner drivers

You mean people use their indicators where you are? Luxury!

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Sneak peek: Microsoft's next browser (thanks, IE Developer Channel)

Tim Bates
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"nippy compared to Chome, which is now a dog on slower machines"

What? I just installed it on an old EeePC 901 and it runs quite well. Are you using a 486 or something?

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Student promises Java key to unlock Simplocker ransomware

Tim Bates
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Re: Really?

"Google could modify the OS to create a randomly named file in a random location, then any program that attempts to modify it gets blocked."

So when I go browsing MY phone to find where I copied that file I need, I can then lock out my file browsing app when I start to wonder what the "do not touch this file.dat" is for and end up deleting it because it looks dodgy/useless?

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Microsoft poised to take Web server crown from Apache

Tim Bates
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Re: how many...

"How many of these so called active websites are in fact OWA portals / SBS remote access gateways / ActiveSync gateways?"

Quite a lot if they just did a crawl of the internet.

To be fair though, similar things could be said about how many Apache servers are just a webmail interface or some other locked out staff only business convenience. Probably less common, but still some out there.

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Please be seated at your FOUR-LEGGED PC

Tim Bates
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Re: Bah!

I wondered the same thing, although in my version, I was more worried about someone accidentally opening the drawer and quickly returning a half-open box of paperclips or staples they borrowed yesterday.

Personally I prefer the woodgrain look many DIYers have done in the past. Looks more like a desk and less like a portable BBQ.

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iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

Tim Bates
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Re: Ahem El Reg: Please Properly Educate Yourself About Apple

OK, so after reading a few posts saying this, I'll pick this one to reply to...

Apple states they lock accounts. That is not rate limiting. If you don't see any difference, read on...

Say you've got a list of a million account names, and Apple will lock an account after 5 failed logins. That's 4 million login attempts without getting caught. Because it's not rate limited*, you can do that in however long it takes Apple's servers to process things, and no accounts get locked still.

Now add in a list of known common passwords and you've got a fairly good chance of getting into a significant number of accounts.

*Apple may rate limit - the point is the account locking isn't rate limiting.

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Tim Bates
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Re: Please enter a Unique Username ...

"demanded that the username is an email address."

A major website I was looking at the other day had a list of security tips. Among them was to ensure you don't use the same username and password on multiple sites. Guess what they required your username to be....

(For the simple folk, they required your email address - something most users won't have the option to just make up another one).

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Office website HACKED: Passwords, addresses, phone numbers slurped

Tim Bates
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Re: Ubiquitous passwords

"There is no guarantee of quality of security when using sites like these, and some kind of security audit kitemark type scheme, possibly linked to the site's SSL certificate so that browsers could be configured to avoid all the amateurish sites is sorely needed."

And where exactly do you think the average online store owner will get the money required for such audits? Or are we considering a half-arsed script run remotely by Verisign to be enough to call it "audited", thus invoking a lovely sense of false security?

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It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Tim Bates
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Re: Bar Transport

"As you point out, there's quite a complex set of advanced skills required to operate a current generation vehicle safely."

Driving well is not really a skill so much as an attitude. MANY people I know who have the attitude of "get from a to b" are crap drivers. It's not that they don't have the time or ability, but simply don't care. Not caring about driving is a major cause of danger on roads (not caring about sensible speed, not caring about indicating, not caring about other road users, etc).

There should be an attitude test before being given a license. If you're not that keen on driving, don't!

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How about printing your electricity?

Tim Bates
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Re: umm, no

"Yep, there is this obscure patent filing from crApple covering the tech."

No, no... They're printing onto paper with square, pointy corners. Apple only patented the rounded corner rectangle.

Of course there is still the whole printing angle they could come back on. They did use an HP Deskjet, and we all know the last of the Stylewriters were HP Deskjets. Given the US patent system, that's a valid patent right there. Just some paperwork to fill in and Apple will be the proud owner of a patent on inkjet printing.

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Apple wheels out sueball cannon, again

Tim Bates
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Re: This isn't about phones looking like each other

"It's about phones containing features that are patented (like data detectors)."

Yeah... Exactly. Some of those are completely insane patents of course, like touching a touch screen, but a US government department approved it so it must be valid, right?

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Telstra asks users to be its next backhaul network

Tim Bates
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"The reason that the average mobile user out side the capatal cities uses less data is its so fu%king slow."

The reason it's so slow is the retards in Telstra shops sell 3/4G mobile modems to customers that would be better served by ADSL. In some cases they even switch people from working but old ADSL plans to poor value 4G plans. And they usually sell them a USB modem, ignoring the fact people use wired Ethernet for desktops, multiple computers and even printers.

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FINGERS CROSSED: Apple and Samsung said to be hammering out settlement

Tim Bates
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Apple coming to a sensible agreement over patents? I doubt it. Their past history suggests the have a messed up view on the value of patents - ie, the ones they own are worth 10x what anyone else's are, regardless of the contents.

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Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here's a fix

Tim Bates
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At least it was still booting

We don't see many Macs in our shop, but the last 3 months or so, we've had a series of Macs, all with the same problem - did updates, now it won't boot. In each case, the filesystem was too messed up for Mac OSX to read or repair it.

We booted a Linux live CD, mounted the disk, copied their data off, and factory restored the silly things.

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Australia targets software maintenance costs with Drupal plan

Tim Bates
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Re: Makes a lot of sense

"Most of the PHP-based CMS have a very long list of CVEs"

That's hardly surprising since most of those are also free, which makes them extremely popular.

Increased popularity means increased attention, which means more eyes looking for bugs.

My home brew CRM has zero reported security flaws. Doesn't actually improve it's security.

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Linux distros fix kernel terminal root-hole bug

Tim Bates
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Re: Don't forget the design

"Since Windows 2008 you can run a server without the GUI. It looks your Windows knowledge dates back to 1995."

I'm not a Windows Server person, but doesn't that option simply provide you with a graphically windowed command prompt instead of using Explorer? It's not running Windows without a GUI. It's running a terminal as the shell for the GUI. Totally different thing.

Happy to be corrected, but the screenshots of Server Core I saw look like a GUI (albeit a lame one) to me.

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