* Posts by Daniel B.

2844 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds

Daniel B.
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Re: "on the darknet"

The premise is false. I have no idea what "darknet" is supposed to mean, beyond "ooh, scary people have network connections".

It usually refers to hidden networks that allow connected users to remain anonymous, like Tor or Darknet (yes, there's an actual "darknet" called Darknet).

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Elon Musk SNOWED UNDER with Googley DOLLARS for Space Internet

Daniel B.
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Re: People who live outside the US just don't understand @DougS

In rural areas, there is no cable or telco internet AT ALL. That's true in probably 50% of the continental US landmass, if not more.

I really, really have to agree with that. I've been surprised by some people I know from the US who have commented on these woes. They barely get phone service on their landlines; cellphone coverage is "maybe Verizon", the luckier ones might get a femtocell for their home ... which only works if they also have some kind of broadband connection.

Thus why I thought "rural USA" as a potential satellite internet customer.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Sat Comms.

Probably a good idea to have competition in the US rural areas where cableco monopolies like Comcast own the internet. And it could be a good option for airlines that offer inflight WiFi access.

Alternatively, it's a good way to get uncensored internet in some countries like China ;)

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Daniel B.
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Re: could be worse...

Microsoft on SpaceX would be more like "bluescreen on launch", wouldn't it?

BOOM!

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2015: The year of MAD TV science, but who can keep up?

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: That sound you can hear ...

You forgot the word 'console' :-) The main reason I'm cheering 4k is I can see the horrible drawn out "1080p is good enough" era coming to an end.

Point taken. I've been annoyed by that as well, but for other reasons: PCs not only have better resolution capabilities, the freaking monitors were perfectly OK with a 4:3 format! 16:9 is horrible for daily work; fortunately some laptop vendors do 16:10 which is at least bearable.

I will usually crank up resolution on whatever monitor I'm using, up to the maximum limit. I remember my jump from Windows XP to Windows 7 being very annoying because the whole UI would no longer scale along with the resolution, instead keeping its big, fat arse the same as if I were using 800x600, all icons would also look gigantic compared to Windows XP. Yeech!

Still, I can't really find a use for a 4k TV. A 4k monitor, however, would be awesome. :)

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Daniel B.
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Re: That sound you can hear ...

Not only that; TVs are increasingly being used as "output display for gaming console" and thus all that fancy-schmancy tech is useless. Hell, even 4k is ignored, as the new gen can't do 4K at all!

So for people like me, who mostly use their TVs for gaming, all these Smart TV thingies are only uberexpensive monitors. It's bad for TV vendors, as the gaming community is usually the one that pushes for higher-res stuff, but we're already OK with 1080p. Hell, we don't even need 120Hz! So no mad gaming push like there was for 1080p when the PS3 came out.

And casual TV users care even less about their TV sets. I've seen far too many people watching shows in Stretch-O-Vision (when you forcibly show 4:3 content as 16:9), I doubt they even care about 1080p. 4k? Not a chance. 4k is the new "3D".

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Daniel B.
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Re: Here's an article suggestion for you

Yes. Now is the time to get a 1080p set. I got my own waaay back in 2010, substituting my dying CRT mostly because the 3DTV fad meant that non-3D 1080p were now being heavily discounted. By now, I guess 1080p is now a standard feature. :)

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Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Daniel B.
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Maemo

Nokia's Maemo looked promising. Maybe if they had kept on pushing that (sans the MeeGo fusion thingy) they could've had a viable replacement for Symbian instead of the Elopocalypse.

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Daniel B.
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Re: More Windows Phone Landfill

Windows Phone will continue it's slide into obscurity hand in hand with Blackberry.

Actually Windows Phone is in a dire situation even compared with BlackBerry. At least the latter still has a good standing with security bods (it's the one with FIPS 140-2 and the DoD's authority to operate certs) while WP is a joke.

If anything, the only market-changing move WP has caused is Nokia falling from the #1 smartphone spot to "I barely made it above Other in piecharts".

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2014 in infosec: Spammers sneak small botnets under the wire, Java is dull

Daniel B.
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Java

The main difference being that Java is actually still used in a lot of stuff. Some tax revenue services in several countries require client-side Java, thus you will see a lot of Java everywhere. That's good, as there's also an incentive to plug Java holes. Meanwhile, Silverlight is dying and not even MS can be arsed on fixing that. Reminds me of that other dying tech, ActiveX.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

So Java no longer the main attack vector?

Interesting. It seems that Oracle's focus on fixing Java's security is finally working. Meanwhile, it's now "secure" .NET the one growing holes. Okay, maybe they're targeting Silverlight because that one's suffering a slow, silent death these days...

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Facebook is MORE IMPORTANT to humanity than PORTUGAL

Daniel B.
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Not surprised

After all, we already had people thinking "the web" == Internet back in 1998.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Self Importance?

Can't remember what Vasco de Gama did, but there are quite some main avenues named after him, so I guess he is important.

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Microsoft Outlook PENETRATED by Chinese 'man-in-the-middle'

Daniel B.
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So...

I guess anyone not wanting their email intercepted is using PGP anyway and won't be affected by this?

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'80s hacker turned journo, IT crime ace Steve Gold logs off

Daniel B.
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Pint

Oh dear, another legend kicks the bucket.

+++

OK

ATH0

NO CARRIER

You will be missed.

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Google v Oracle: US Supreme Court turns to Obama in Java copyright war

Daniel B.
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Re: Oracle has a loaded gun, pointed right at their own foot.

I'll bet you never heard of Xamarin. Or Mono. It's the only explanation for being so stupendously wrong.

Mono requires a commercial license for Android or iOS development. And even the full Mono stack still lacks a full .NET implementation. It just doesn't make sense to use Mono for mobile applications, straight Java or C++ do a better job on Android, and ObjC or the other new bling-bling language Apple made do a better job on iOS.

Generated code will usually fare worse than native code, and it seems that Android-targeted stuff will be compiled JIT instead of natively.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Oracle has a loaded gun, pointed right at their own foot.

And how important is Java in the mobile units over all? How much Cross-Platform uses C(++) instead or variants of .NET

C/C++ is credible. .NET? I'd bet there are more apps made for BlackBerry than mobile .NET stuff, given that .NET is only used in the least used mobile OS ever: Windows Phone. At least BlackBerry gets more support due to its former place in the top 3 OSes.

And Java itself is still useful as Java ME MIDlets still cover a wide range of smartphones.

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Windows 7 MARKED for DEATH by Microsoft as of NOW

Daniel B.
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Re: WTF?

Banks lol - was at a cashpoint the other week -- the one next to me then crashed and rebooted something called OS2 Warp?

Consider yourself lucky. The upgrade path for those ATMs over here has been Windows NT. Yes, I didn't say XP or Vista or 7. I said "Windows NT". I fear those ATMs...

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Hawking and friends: Artificial Intelligence 'must do what we want it to do'

Daniel B.
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Terminator

Oh, interesting

Morgan Freeman having been cast with Skeptical Scientist roles, with at least one movie specifically dealing with A.I. (Trascendence). Maybe he knows something we don't?

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Microsoft has made excellent software, you pack of fibbers

Daniel B.
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Re: T-SQL

T-SQL, and SQL Server as a whole is basically a fork from Sybase.

Most of the "awesome" MS stuff is actually the product of some other company's work, or a "collaborative" project where MS broke the collaboration and poached the code (i.e. OS/2, which morphed into WinNT).

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Daniel B.
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Re: The LAST PIECE of MS software here at work is (wait for it)...

Ah yes, FoxPro. But even that was not made by MS but by Fox Technologies, which was acquired by MS. Fox had already finished 2.5 so the FoxPro 2.5 for DOS, Windows, UNIX and Mac was basically Fox Tech code with MS branding.

It's noticeable because the next FoxPro release basically hobbled a lot of things, turned it into "Visual" FoxPro, the Distribution Kit was gone as well as the non-Windows versions. A sad end for the DB that obsoleted dBase.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Microsoft's good software

Word 5 for DOS was pretty decent, too.

Pretty much all the applications that later were integrated into a big Office package were very decent in their original conception as Macintosh apps. Of course, once MS turned evil they proceeded to ruin the Mac versions by force-feeding it the Windows-style UI when the Mac-centric one was pretty good by itself.

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French Google fund to pay for 1 million print run of Charlie Hebdo next week

Daniel B.
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Alert

I worry a bit that this will provoke a backlash against innocent people. There is the Pegida movement in Germany and it's hard to forget Anders Breivik and his motives. This won't help.

Indeed, but if anything this should work against such groups. Religious zealots from any side are a threat to any nation's security and should be dealt with.

Fortunately, it seems that the worst groups aren't grabbing the JeSuisCharlie flag and are instead saying "they deserved it for mocking religion". Probably because Charlie Hebdo didn't just mock Muslims; if you check their Twitter account you'll see that their avatar is a mockery of Christmas (Le Petit Jesus).

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Daniel B.
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Re: I don't for a second believe the 'Charlie' murderers were acting as Muslims.

Partly because it's the past and not in the present.

There are some in the present, but they don't seem to stick that much.

Anders Behring Breivik.

That one is too recent to be overlooked.

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Daniel B.
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Indeed. I was actually saying that yesterday; this could be the darkest instance of the Streisand effect ever. It's also a special case, as most people who were originally slamming Charlie Hebdo for those cartoons now stand besides them because freedom of speech and not getting killed for it is more important now.

Je suis Charlie

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Daniel B.
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Megaphone

Re: I don't for a second believe the 'Charlie' murderers were acting as Muslims.

Every religious and political group has a lunatic fringe.

Indeed. While Islam gets its bad rap these days, most media (especially the rightwinger ones) conveniently sidestep the nasty incidents commited by Christian or Catholic terrorists.

The late 1920s Cristero uprising, with many despicable things commited in the name of the Catholic Church. If you swapped "Catholics" for "Muslims", you'd think you were reading about the Taliban.

The 1977 Atocha massacre in Spain, made by a fringe far-right group called the Apostolic Anticommunist Alliance, linked to the religious fascist Franco regime that had collapsed just two years earlier.

The Olympic Park bomber, who for some weird reason isn't labeled as a terrorist.

Yet no one judges all Catholics, or Christians based on these nasty people. And they shouldn't. Now, why is that so hard to follow up with Muslims?

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

Daniel B.
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Re: The best urban transport

Actually, the best urban transport would be a motorbike. You have the advantage of taking less space on the road and less parking space, the ability to filter through stopped traffic and using far less petrol on your trip (cars usually do 12 km/L, my 150cc does 32 km/L). It can also do higher speeds, which means you are actually matching everyone else's speed and thus having a less frightening commute than the bicycle experience.

It's also far better for longer distances: if your daily commute involves 10 km or more each way, you're bound to end up sweating on a bicycle. A bicycle is better suited for short distances.

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White hats do an NSA, figure out LIVE PHONE TRACKING via protocol vuln

Daniel B.
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Re: What about VoLTE?

Crypto will set you free.

Landline stuff can be made secure with end-to-end crypto, if you have that it doesn't matter if you have SS7 vulns leaking your voicestream somewhere else. Of course, the SS7 metadata itself is still vulnerable and will still "talk" about you.

I'm guessing that for telephone convos to be truly safe, you would need VoIP over IPSec.

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NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

Daniel B.
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Re: Actually...

Here's hoping that this doesn't (further) neuter creativity within the mainstream movie industry for fear of reprisal from someone somewhere who might get offended.

Too late. Mainstream Hollywood has already lost its balls, just see what happened to the Red Dawn remake. They changed the bad guys to the NORKS even though it makes far more sense to have the Chinese as the bad guys.

Then there's World War Z which also omits the virus' origin which is China.

And now most blockbuster movies will be either gratuitously set in China ("Karate Kid" remake) or needlessly have some part of the movie take place there (the last Transformers movie, Skyfall, Iron Man 3). It's getting really stupid.

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Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

Daniel B.
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Boffin

O RLY?

Someone commented on the people that just don't do mobile FB at all.

I would add those of us who have been forsaken by FB as well: there's no "Facebook Messenger" for BlackBerry, which is probably a good thing.

Not that I would use it anyway; FB is already the app that seems to drain away my battery as it is.

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Apple's view

It's amazing - the right to exploit a copyrighted work can be passed down through generations when someone is making money off a fucking cartoon mouse but - surprise - the 'right' we purchased to watch a video of that mouse can't be passed on to our next of kin.

Even more amazing that copyright is, by definition of the U.S. Constitution at least, a limited term thing that for some reason is now "lifetime + X years". Lifetime is for all intents and purposes "unlimited" as far as the original author goes, and should be declared unconstitutional in the US at the very least.

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Nokia: Buh-bye LUMIA and cash-sucking handset pals... LET'S MAKE SOME MONEY!

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Nice

I would've preferred them still being in the smartphone (and dumbphone) business, but the writing was in the wall for that as soon as Elop got on board and fired the "burning platforms" memo. I'm actually glad that Nokia itself not only survived but managed to offload the MS-infested part of the business on to MS itself, and include the CEO that sank that ship along with it!

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Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much

Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Oh Jony Ive...

"Bad design" is what you inflicted upon iOS7/8, and now on OSX with Yosemite. What passes for the OSX GUI in Yosemite looks like someone passed a steamroller over Aqua. Bad Jony!

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Mastercard and Visa to ERADICATE password authentication

Daniel B.
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Boffin

2FA works, but it depends on what your bank thinks about "2FA"

2FA as implemented by most banks is actually secure, which involves a physical token (RSA's SecureID, but there are others) which you will know if it is stolen or not. You really have to have the token in your hand at the moment you're doing a transaction, so physically having them will assure you nobody can do stuff with your account. It also assures you that you can do stuff anywhere you are, as the only thing needed is that token and nothing more.

But I've seen that 2FA is increasingly being used to refer to something lazy. It is being referred to "we send your OTP via SMS", which adds stupidity to the formula. Instead of an actual token, it requires you to have 1) a cellphone number, 2) with coverage, 3) switched on during said transaction. Number 2 is an issue if you're travelling outside your country, but it can also be an issue in areas where you might have internet connectivity of some sorts, but no cell coverage. Why complicate stuff? There are even Virtual Token solutions (VASCO has one) where you can set up tokens on a smartphone if you don't want to spend that much on physical tokens. Hell, Blizzard has something like that for their Battle.net service!!!!

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: So how secure are 'biometrics'?

I'm not sure where you are banking. I have multiple US and UK bank accounts and precisely NONE of them have the security of my paypal, apple, or Microsoft accounts (i.e. dual factor).

See, sometimes forcible regulation brings good things. All Mexican banks offer 2FA, because they are mandated by law to do so. Pretty much every bank implemented some form of 2FA since 2007, and the last one that still used the corny "card number matrix" switched to physical real tokens sometime around 2011.

Meanwhile in the US, 2FA is nowhere to be found.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Biometrics

No way am I ever going to carry a financial instrument that uses part of my body as a key.

OH SO VERY AGREED. Anyone who has watched either The 6th Day or Demolition Man already knows exactly why biometrics for security are a very bad idea. Sure, high-end biometric scanners will usually check if the body part is still attached to its rightful owner, but the common criminals won't necessarily know this before hacking off your finger or plucking out your eye. And they might still do it out of spite anyway.

Stop this biometric madness. If you want better security, go down either 2FA, PKI, or some combination of these. Biometrics are going to be painful.

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Obama HURLS FCC under train, GUTPUNCHES ISPs in net neut battle

Daniel B.
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Re: Nice

New York? That's an old city. Across the water, the same can be said of London.

Except London seems to be doing a better job in getting their bandwidth upgraded compared to NYC.

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Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

Daniel B.
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Re: This guy is an idiot

Indeed. Most migrations away from BB were basically "the CEO has an iToy and now wants everyone to use iToys!". Sad, as BB is the only one that is actually secure by default.

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Windows 8 or nowt: Consumer Win 7 fans are OUT OF LUCK

Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: No Windows 7? Not Really A Problem . . .

OR ... hold out for Windows 10.

OR ... install a pirated version of Windows 7 and go down the "get legal" routes that MS offers to actually buy a Win7 license. It is probably still open, especially if you install a "pirated" Win7 Pro license, as Win7 Pro is still on sale.

Buying a Windows 8.x license is agreeing that TIFKAM is "awesome". Don't do it.

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Daniel B.
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Too late for me

I happened to be founding my new company right around the time that MS decided to screw us all with Windows 8. I couldn't find a Windows 7 laptop at all. That was just the final push needed to switch back to Mac (I switched to Windows sometime around MacOS 8 due to High School increasingly turning to Windows).

I've already bought into the OSX ecosystem and some of the apps aren't available on Windows, so there's no way Windows 10 will pull me back. I might eventually buy a license for my virtual machines, but it's going to be increasingly hard for me to justify upgrading a Windows VM that works OK, and MS's insistence in having a local OS account tied to "the cloud" is going to be even less appealing to me.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Windows 8 will not go corporate mainstream

Enterprise actually wants Windows 8 quite a lot. But as usually costs of transition slow things down.

None of our clients are touching Windows 8 at all. They don't want it, they don't like it, and now that Windows 10 has been announced that fixes up the UI, there's no way they're moving upwards from 7 until that comes out.

Oh, another of our clients also decided to stop adding up Windows Server instances when MS released Server 2012, the one that inherited the stupid blocky UI as well.

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Daniel B.
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Agreed, Windows 8.1's default isn't. But it only takes a few clicks on taskbar settings to get the UI back more-or-less to Windows 7, no third-party software required.

But it still saddles you with the awful "Start Screen", which is one of the main complaints with Windows 8.x. That requires buying Start8, which will actually fix your problem but I'd rather punish MS by not buying Windows 8.x at all unless they fix their UI mess.

But that ain't going to happen, the real fix has been pushed to Win10 and the only reason I can think for them doing that is because it'll make people run to upgrade up to Windows 10.

MS killing Win7 basically guarantees that everyone will get saddled with the ugly OS and theoretically will need to upgrade to Win10. In reality, it'll just keep punishing OEMs which will have their Win8-hobbled PCs and laptops gathering dust along with the heaps of unsold Xbox 180's...

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Sony borks fanboi funboxes with dodgy PS4 update

Daniel B.
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Shill's gotta shill...

They have announced increased profit and revenue though. Unlike Sony that have announced a predicted 2 billion loss for the year! I wouldn't risk buying a PS4 personally - it's likely to end up as an oversize doorstop when Sony go bust...

Microsoft has announced a profit. The Xbox division isn't doing so well, which is why MS has been repeatedly told that they should either spin off or kill that part of MS before it brings down the rest of the company. Given that they also took a hit with their ghastly Windows 8 fiasco, they probably should heed the investors' advice.

On Sony's side, the PS division is probably the one that has been keeping them afloat; if Sony does go down, the PS division might get spun off on its own. Hell, Sony itself might survive a bankruptcy scenario, see how Daewoo has found life as "LG".

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Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: Seriously...

Ah, it was just a matter of time before an MS shill posted a non-topical comment peddling the Xbox 180. And as usual, it's a an AC. Not sure if that's better than the usual shills...

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Heh.

I don't know how they're managing PS4 updates, but I remember that most PS3 firmware updates were mandatory, especially after 3.21 when they axed OtherOS. They seem to have stopped after 4.55, which IIRC was released around the time the PS4 was released. It's probably because Sony is now more worried about the PS4.

If the 2.00 update is mandatory, then they're going to have to release a fix really soon. Yipes!

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'

Daniel B.
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Alert

This is somewhat funny.

So the CEO for a pretty tight tech company, increasingly being known to do whatever it can to make their products non-user-serviceable (retina MBP, most of the iThingys, the iMacs) has an openly gay CEO.

On the other side, we have a mostly FLOSS company that had for a brief period an openly anti-gay CEO. Is this some kind of business-class irony joke?

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Netflix and other OTT giants use 'net neutrality' rules to clobber EU rivals

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality basically means that whatever bandwidth you pay is the bandwidth you get. Content is irrelevant, and that is how things should stay.

Content providers can and should set up links with IX facilities, and optionally they might set up some kind of content cache within some ISP's networks. Yes, if they set up the latter they should at least pay the ISP for the link on their side. But that isn't the issue with Net Neutrality.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Providers pay too

Yes you pay your ISP for a connection, but usually the T&C forbid public hosting on a domestic connection.

And this should be made illegal with six or seven-figure fines per violation for ISPs to put these T&Cs. Internet connectivity is both ways, not a "grab stuff from outside" thing only. This is also why CGNAT should be explicitly made illegal as well.

Forbidding end users from hosting stuff or having a public IP is the equivalent of having a landline phone service that can't receive calls. Sure you can call, but it's pretty much useless as nobody can call you.

Interestingly, usage of NAT is one of the main reasons we have this "asymmetrical" data flow problem in the first place! Older IM programs and apps would directly peer between end-users, with the "central server" being used only for IP discovery; see how ICQ used to work in the early days. These days, thanks to NAT everyone has to go through a central server because NAT breaks connectivity everywhere and you can't be sure about anything on the other side anymore.

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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

Daniel B.
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Re: Patience.

I also did the phased change, but I had the benefit of having all my apartment to myself. When I moved in, everything was 100w incandescent, so what I did was that I let them burn out, then I started replacing the burnt out bulbs with the remaining ones in the apartment that were in areas I rarely used. Only 'till I was down to 3 bulbs did I go and mass-purchase CFLs to substitute all of my bulbs. Then I just left the 100w ones in the rarely used areas, those were substituted as soon as they burned out which did take a while. My whole apartment went full CFL sometime around 2007.

LEDs are still too expensive for my taste, so the few CFLs that have burned out have still been replaced by CFLs. I guess it'll be about 3 years before LED bulbs drop down to the affordable range.

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