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* Posts by Flocke Kroes

1312 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Steelie Neelie calls for TOTAL BAN on EU mobe roaming charges

Flocke Kroes
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Back an fourth

OK, so you network will not get revenue from roaming fees any more. They won't have to pay for them either, or the infrastructure that counts the fees bills customers and sends money back and forth between different networks.

The one the has me concerned is the contract breaker for less than advertised data rates looks open to abuse. We could end up with mass contract breaking parties the the middle of Dartmoor or the Isle of Skye. More likely we will get promises like 'up to 20 millibits per second' like we have now.

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Storage rage: Like getting a nice steak and being told to only eat 80% of it

Flocke Kroes
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Fragmentation

When you are only using 75% of the available space, there is a fair chance that the OS can put new data somewhere it can reach quickly after accessing related data. When you are using 95% of the available space, there is a fair chance that the OS will have to scatter data into places that will require head moves and disc rotations to get it all back.

Modern filing systems have at least one separate free space list per core. That way, any core can allocate (or release) some space without having to lock the other cores out of the only free space list. When a file system is mostly full, some of the free space lists will be full, and cores will have to queue to allocate space.

If your data is static, you can use something like cramfs and use 100% of the disk efficiently. If your use case involves modifications, you have to choose between performance and utilisation. If this is costing you thousands per month then experiment to find which solution gives you the best trade off. You really cannot have a whole cake while rapidly adding and removing slices.

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Modular smartphones floated by Dutch designer chap

Flocke Kroes
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Different parts have different life times

When a PC gets tangled in malware, most of the public go to PC World and buy a new monitor, keyboard, mouse, box, power supply, DVD player, hard disk, motherboard, super-duper CPU, RAM and graphics card. Anyone with basic computer literacy and a screwdriver updates only the parts that will make a difference when required.

I have wanted standard laptop components for decades, and they are now approximately practical (tape a monitor into the lid of an attaché case and a raspberry Pi with some USB components). Much of the cost of a laptop is the display - the second biggest cost is the bundled crap that is inflicted on me because of segmentation. Modular laptops would save customers lots of money, which is why the OEMs do not make them.

Modular phones do not exist for the same reasons as modular laptops. (Does Dell still swap some pins on the power connector to annoy customers who want to upgrade their PSU or mother board?). If love the idea of a modular phone. The only way they will exist is as a bunch of DIY components. Some people would like to pay for a quality camera. Others would like to save money there. I would like a physical off-switch for the microphone. I would like a good display, but not have to replace it when I upgrade to a more efficient CPU. I do not want to replace the entire phone when the battery no longer charges.

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US plaintiffs can seek damages over Street View data slurp - court

Flocke Kroes
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Blame the NSA

For all we know, the NSA required them to slurp this data, but Google cannot say so because of a secret national security letter.

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Dyson takes Samsung to court in UK over vacuum cleaner

Flocke Kroes
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Dyson does not have to sue

He could spend his money on R&D and make a better product. Even if someone copies the previous product, Dyson can stay one step ahead. All this legal action says is that Dyson knows his products suck badly and the business he is any good at is nuisance litigation.

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Google scrambles to block backdoors

Flocke Kroes
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Whose data is it?

Encypt your data. Pay in cash. Put a random MAC address in your wifi device, upload your data from a busy shop with free wifi then restore the MAC. Anyone got a method for transferring large amounts of data without letting an IP address connect you to your account?

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US military: 'Help us build the ROBO-WARFIGHTER OF THE FUTURE'

Flocke Kroes
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Imagine a microphone in every street lamp ...

The microphones listen for gun shots and speeding bullets, and transmit a warning by radio when a bullet goes passed. The suits listen for the warnings and lock solid if the bullet is going to hit. With an obese military budget, such a system could be demonstrated to work with current technology under ideal conditions. The really expensive research would be in methods to arrange ideal conditions in the front line of a war.

I can see this project lining the pockets of a few contractors. I am not convinced that it will lead to tanks with masts and sails or soldiers asking for a ceasefire so their solar panels can charge their batteries.

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Australia's anti-smut internet filter blueprint lasts LESS THAN A DAY

Flocke Kroes
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nationally agreed default safety standards

How are they going to get everyone in the nation to agree on anything?

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Jury reckons Motorola wasn't 'fair and reasonable' to Microsoft

Flocke Kroes
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Velvin Hogan

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Flocke Kroes
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Yes you missed something

The US judge insisted that Motorola not enforce the injunction. Microsoft did not need to relocate manufacturing at all.

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Flocke Kroes
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It is called 'Fair search'

A bunch of failed companies and Microsoft have already complained to the EU about Google search not putting their broken services at the top of the page.

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New online banking Trojan empties users' wallets, videos privates

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Move Along Linux Users

I did not see any mention of an app for Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 8. Perhaps the tiny installed base is too fragmented.

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Microsoft, Nokia and the sound of colliding garbage trucks

Flocke Kroes
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The way that Microsoft lost

Monopoly: Microsoft claim 95% of the Windows market (I assume this means most pirates have deserted the sinking ship). The figure they hide under the bilge is that Microsoft have 30% of the installed base when you include non-Windows devices.

Legacy software: The value of Microsoft's operating systems was that they (mostly) ran (well enough) software that companies had invested time and money on. Microsoft are winning their battle against legacy software. If things go according to plan, all software will be bought from Microsoft who might send some scraps back to the third-party developers.

Lock-in: As legacy software becomes harder to install, lock-in becomes lock-out. Microsoft are pushing their users along the gang-plank expecting them to fall into a walled garden. Instead users are using their mobiles to call in an air-lift.

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Flocke Kroes
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Where Microsoft need Elop

Elop delivered a massive coup for Microsoft. The day he Trojanned, Nokia were selling more phones than Apple and Samsung combined - at a hefty profit - with their market share increasing. Nokia had a Linux phone in development that later beat Apple for ease of use and features. Elop destroyed all that. If it were not for Elop's outstanding efforts, Nokia would be in first place, and all their phones would be Linux. The place Microsoft really need to put Elop is CEO of Samsung. Elop has demonstrated the abilities required to turn Samsung around and regain the bulk of the Windows Phone market from Nokia.

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Sysadmins hail Windows Server 2012 R2's killer ... clipboard?

Flocke Kroes
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Even more confused

I know I am a bit out of touch with Windows. Last time I used it, I complained that the middle mouse button did not work. It turned out, left-button-select and middle-button-paste was something Microsoft did not support. You had to use ^C and ^V or whatever key each application had assigned.

Any cut and paste between servers will be done via remote log in as they do not have mice or monitors. X has been doing that for two and a half decades. Even Linux consoles (graphics cards switched to text mode to conserve resources) support cut and paste between remote machines.

I would like to congratulate Windows users for reaching the twentieth century, but I am not sure if they all have three button mice yet.

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Intel chases network gear and cold storage with Avoton Atoms

Flocke Kroes
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Prices

Why do I expect this to be just like Intel's response to the raspberry pi.

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Second-gen Surface and Surface Pro rumored to be minor upgrades

Flocke Kroes
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Long game

I think you mean Stereotypy.

Surface for washing machines makes no sense. Plenty of people do not read word documents on their toaster. I cannot find a good reason for 8GB of RAM in my freezer. Writing a message to stick on the fridge is now called texting. If you need to read something while the bread is toasting, Facebook (or the Register) is on your phone.

Microsoft cars make about as much sense as Windows Phone. The carriers did not want to become Microsoft's slaves like PC manufacturers. The car manufacturers also know where Microsoft lock-in leads. If cars are going to have in-flight entertainment and navigation then they will use Linux, like the airlines.

My personal bet for the reason behind Surface 2 is purchasing commitments. I think Microsoft got good component prices by making commitments to order huge quantities. Even the excessive quantity of Surfaces manufactured might not have done more than put a dent in those commitments. Microsoft can either buy their way out, or release a product. A bit of negotiation could get them a CPU upgrade. Doubling the RAM per device burns through that commitment more quickly. Underclocking the new CPU (or racing to idle) gives them more battery life without upgrading the battery order. Surface 2 is about delaying have to admit to another billion dollar write off.

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MPs blocked from ogling 'web smut' 300,000 times – WHILE IN PARLIAMENT

Flocke Kroes
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MP's should watch more porn

Anything to distract them from creating even more laws.

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Microsoft - do you really think you can take on Google with Nokia?

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Ballmer's oracular statements

I can fill in one of the blanks for your. Ballmer was talking about accelerating Windows Phone's momentum. As the WP's market share is falling, Ballmer expects the purchase of Nokia to accelerate that decline. I have every confidence in Elop's ability to release a new phone that is less successful than Lumia. If he and Ballmer work at it together, they might even do worse than Kin.

Microsoft has been spending a billion a year to get into the mobile market. I think the budget just got increased to ten billion per year. The next flop is going to be spectacular.

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Bionym bracelet promises to replace passwords with ECG biometrics

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Exercise

If you are tall and old, mild exercise causes the wave form shape to change to something more efficient before/instead of an increase in heart rate. Heart rate can be measured remotely by Doppler radar. Give it a year, and there will be an app for that.

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WD outs 'Mini Me' Red label NAS drives

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Bring back 5¼"

If the sustained transfer rate remains unchanged, a 10TB restore from a mirror is under 20 hours. That is comfortably acceptable for my use case. If your MTBF is under a day you should move your disks to a less harsh environment.

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Flocke Kroes
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Bring back 5¼"

A 5¼" made with the same tech as a modern 3½" would hold about 10 to 20TB. A pair of mirrored 10TB drives would be handy compared to a stack of 3TB as I do not need many IOPS from NAS. Also if they want to call it a NAS drive, it needs ethernet or even USB3.

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Microsoft buys Nokia's mobile business

Flocke Kroes
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Hand is up

I thought the Greeks had sailed home without bothering to loot the smoking ruins of Troy.

I expected this news six months ago, but thought its time had passed. Elop has done such a thorough job of burning Nokia and Ballmer poisoned carrier relations so badly that I expected Microsoft to leave Elop on his burning platform.

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Scots council cops £100K fine for spaffing vulnerable kids' data ONLINE

Flocke Kroes
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What does fining Aberdeen City Council achieve?

I assume it means moving some tax payers' money from one government department to another. The audit is a start, but that can only identify problems. There needs to be an incentive and a budget to fix them.

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Look out ARM, Intel, here comes MIPS – again

Flocke Kroes
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No publicly available PowerVR documentation

Without documentation, only the manufacturer can fix the drivers. Even if the drivers are not broken now, they will break on a kernel or Xorg upgrade. When the manufacturer releases new hardware, they stop maintaining the old drivers. Most 3D acceleration hardware suffers from this fault.

For open source, changing CPU architecture just means changing the name of the cross compiler. Qemu detects the new target architecture of your application and the self run as usual. The way to get open source developers is to release proper hardware documentation.

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Obama prepares to crawl up NSA's ass with microscope

Flocke Kroes
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"... reducing the risk of unauthorised disclosure"

Means "not getting caught red-handed again".

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Microsoft Xbox One to be powered by ginormous system-on-chip

Flocke Kroes
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All hardware tweaked until open source drivers cannot use it

This is of vital importance. Just think of the number of users who would instantly drop dead from viral infection if they had the option to install software not selected by Microsoft.

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What Surface RT flop? Nokia said to be readying WinRT slab for September

Flocke Kroes
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Elop to be left to drown when Ballmer kicked out of Microsoft

Plan A: (Phone selling price) - (Phone manufacturing cost) = (Windows license fee)

For some reason, the phone manufacturers did not want to fall into the same trap as PC manufacturers and did not dive in head first. Selling phones requires the blessing of the carriers. Ballmer bought Skype and said all phones would use Skype to provide revenue to Microsoft instead of call revenue going to the carriers. The carriers rebelled. Ballmer could threaten manufacturers with a cut in marketing donations all he wanted, but that would not generate purchase orders from then carriers.

Plan B: Buy Nokia at bargain basement prices

His Billness looked at the deal around February and said 'No'. Nokia was so badly damaged that the deal made no sense. Ballmer took Microsoft's phone market share form 12% down to 4%. Bill said Windows Phone was 'irretrievably broken'. Ballmer will be running Microsoft with his hands tied behind his back, and Bill will not let him waste more money on Windows Phone.

Plan C: erm ...

Ballmer no longer has to power to bail out Elop any more. Elop has to come up with some plan on his own. The billion a year marketing subsidy depends on Nokia being a Microsoft shop, so Elop has a choice of Winphone, Windows 8.1 and RT. Nokia is not set up to do anything with 8.1 - and the margins are thin there anyway. Winphone support was poor (according to Elop) and will shortly be abysmal. The only advantage I can see to RT is it might make the board offer him money to leave quickly. That plan might not work - Elop fired anyone who disagreed with him. Nokia do not have anyone to replace him.

Microsoft's shares gained 10% when Ballmer announced he was leaving. Ballmer has done a good job of firing any likely successor. The idea of Elop running Microsoft was a joke. Microsoft's shares would drop 50% if they put Elop in charge.

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Google cripples Chromecast third party replay

Flocke Kroes
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Just like any other device

If you cannot download source code, modify it, distribute it, compile it, install and boot the result then the manufacturer has you locked in for the cost of porting your data to an open device.

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BALLMER TO RETIRE FROM MICROSOFT

Flocke Kroes
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Thanks, I was trying to think of a suitable replacement

Elop's work at Nokia is almost complete. Time to ship him back to Microsoft.

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Flocke Kroes
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Wait until you find out who is next

I know it would be hard to find anybody worse but I am sure Microsoft will search diligently until they succeed.

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Nasty BOFHses. It burns us! It burns...

Flocke Kroes
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The other (com)mode of failure

The pipe in the basement gets blocked and anything put in it comes out at the ground floor flat.

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Total cost of that axed NHS IT FIASCO to taxpayers: £10.1bn

Flocke Kroes
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There are lots of systems working well?

Examples of cost effective successful billion+ pound national IT programmes please.

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Oracle launches paid support for 'free' NoSQL database

Flocke Kroes
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What have you got against the de-tivoization?

AGPLv1 deals with patents in section 7: http://directory.fsf.org/wiki/License:AGPLv1 (It is based on GPLv2 and gets its patent language from there, without picking up the Tivo provisions of GPLv3.)

Tivo decided to use GPLv2 software in their devices, but to restrict those devices to software cryptographically signed by Tivo. This prevented Tivo owners from using software of their choice on devices they had bought. GPLv3 was created to deal with this (and other problems). Tivo could have obeyed the V3 license by allowing owners to install their own keys. Owners could then sign their own choice of software and delete any other keys to prevent NSA updates.

Jack Clark: The A in AGPL adds a requirement not to remove or work around code that distributes the source code of AGPL software to anyone using AGPL software - and 'using' includes visitors to a website generated by AGPL code. The purpose of AGPL was the prevent companies like Google taking GPL software and using improved versions of it internally without contributing those improvements back to the community. It is hardly surprising that Google is peeved when programmers choose to distribute their own work with the AGPL license. Keeping the source code distributed by AGPL software up to date with the software itself is hardly beyond the ability of programmers able to make improvements to a distributed database. I heartily recommend reading https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html instead of relying on the standard FUD written about free software licenses. The V2 licenses are quite short and clear. The V3 licenses are bigger and more detailed to deal with Tivo-like, Google-like and patent troll attempts to tax free software, or use it without contributing improvemnets back to the community.

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Nokia's PHAB-ULOUS comeback attempt: Huge WinPho 8 mobe rumoured

Flocke Kroes
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Four other choices, here or close

Tizen, Sailfish, Firefox, Ubuntu, CyanogenMod and Blackberry (delete any two).

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Samsung's amazeballs 3D V-NAND SSD not THAT much better than predecessor

Flocke Kroes
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Up to 20mb broad band

Please do not get fobbed off with 'up to' figures. 'At least' is useful, as is 'average sustained'.

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UK mulls ban on tiny mobiles to block prison smugglers

Flocke Kroes
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Second hand from a prison yard sale?

BTW: What is the name of the counterpart to SOCA who investigate humorous crimes?

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New use for old iPhones: Watch your house get robbed in REAL-TIME

Flocke Kroes
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nsa/wiretapping/interception joke

When are the NSA going to offer unlimited free storage on their cloud?

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Flash! Ah-ahh! Saviour of the universe? It'll save every one of us?

Flocke Kroes
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Why do 'portable PCs' still have spinning disks?

A small SSD can store everything but your video collection. If you are going on a long flight, you can copy ten films from your big NAS disks to an SDHC card. Hybrid and dual made some sense a few years ago and there may be a few niche applications now but those are going to get eaten by cheap rugged flash.

If Seagate are looking for market for their spinning disks, the obvious device is a full height 5¼" with ethernet and USB ports. If you do not want your own NAS, such disks will be needed for the NSA cloud storage facility.

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100 MEEELION self-driving cars will be sold globally in 2035 – report

Flocke Kroes
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@Captain DaFt

Good plan - it will probably start on the popular routes that are easiest for autonomous aerial cyclic vehicles.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

Flocke Kroes
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Politics is only broken if you believe it is

This is not (yet) a two party state. Vote for one of the others. Stand for election yourself. Write to your MP and tell him why you are taking your vote elsewhere.

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Brits: We can STOP TROLLS if we know where they LIVE - poll

Flocke Kroes
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Turn the plan upside down

Require social media site users to give a false name. If I decide I need to make a death threat against Prince Aristotle Descartes I am going to have a tough time convincing him I know where he lives. Also, if Flocke Kroes makes repeated threats of violence against him, I hope The Register would give the IP address to the police.

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Microsoft: That $900m Surface write-down is smarting

Flocke Kroes
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Restricted choice

I use my Linux laptop for business software, games, CAD and a load of other things. A quick web search still does not reveal a way to install Linux on a Surface RT, so my choices are restricted to all sorts of things except Surface RT.

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UK.gov intros shiny CREST badge for cyber crime-scene cleanup squad

Flocke Kroes
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GCHQ?

If someone selected by GCHQ had just checked my computers for malware, I would be confident that malware was installed, working properly and well hidden. It would be time to throw out the lot and replace it all.

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Waiting for a Windows Phone update? Let's talk again next year

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Platform switch

12 to 20% market share for Windows Mobile (depending on where you look). 3 to 5% market share for Windows Phone. Certainly remarkable, but not something most people boast about.

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Admins warned: Drill SSL knowledge into your Chrome users

Flocke Kroes
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A fairly common example

User gets an 'untrusted certificate' warning, and as Techy happens to be within sight, asks 'What does this mean?'

Techy: It either means that your employer is not properly maintaining their website or that this is not your employer's payroll website at all. Instead it is a copy controlled by criminals. If you log in, you will give you user name and password to the criminals, which makes you in breach of contract with your employer. The criminals will be able to divert your pay cheques to accounts they control. They will also be able to enter false time sheets, and when these are discovered, you can be charged with fraud. You should close this browser and contact your employer's payroll and IT departments as soon as possible. Tell them you saw an untrusted certificate warning when you tried to access their payroll web site.

Which is worse:

1) The user clicked through the warning and logged in.

2) No-one at the company who understood what 'untrusted certificate' means had the authority to fix it.

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Apple wins Samsung import ban, loses 'Battle of Rounded Corners II'

Flocke Kroes
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Get the facts right

Motorola has standards essential patents. Microsoft wanted to implement the standard, so they are required to enter good faith negotiations with Motorola. Instead, they wilfully infringed. Motorola complained, and tried to negotiate with Microsoft - as is required for patents essential for this standard. Microsoft did not negotiate, and continued to infringe. Motorola won an injunction in Germany against Microsoft. Microsoft complained in the US about breach of contract. There is no relevant contract between Microsoft and Motorola, so the complaint is not valid under US law. The US judge is not an expert on standards, patents, or German law, so he ruled that Motorola could not enforce the injunction ordered by the German court. Microsoft then actually did what they were required to do: they made an offer to license Motorola's patents.

Motorola accepted Microsoft's offer. Microsoft cannot tolerate such mean and spiteful behaviour. Microsoft still have not paid license fees and they insist the Motorola pays Microsoft's costs for moving manufacturing from Germany to the Netherlands after the German injunction had been blocked.

Now please explain how Microsoft refusing to accept an offer that they made themselves when there wasn't even the possibility of the threat of an injunction is Motorola's fault.

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Android approaches 80% smartphone share as Apple's iPhone grows old

Flocke Kroes
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Saling ships

The reason Nokia got harsh comments before was articles put Nokia's 'shipped' figures next to competitors' 'sold' figures. This time, all the numbers are 'shipped', so they are equally suspect. Androids and iPhones sell, so the sold figures will catch up with the shipped. Nokia's previous unsold stock, return rates and attempts at comparing pears and grapefruit make me wonder 'shipped there, back and somewhere else' counts three times.

I am sure Nokia sales really are up, but at prices even further below cost. I wouldn't bet on Microsoft's billions bailing Nokia again. This time Nokia will mortgage Nokia Siemens Networks up to the neck and call it phone revenue just like the sale of the head office in Espoo.

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Nokia Siemens Networks to 'axe 8,500 jobs' amid biz gobble

Flocke Kroes
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Windows Phone sales

Windows phones have a negative margin. An increase in sales means Nokia is losing money more quickly. The €900m transfer from NSN to Nokia is to hide the damage caused by increased sales just like when the sale of their head quarters was credited entirely to the phone division.

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Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

Flocke Kroes
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There is always this polite and logically reasoned style:

https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/CodingStyle

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