* Posts by Mage

4645 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

Mage
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Ofcom

Ofcom and Comreg both have stated the aim of ENTIRELY abolishing Terrestrial TV. They are "captured" by Mobile interests.

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Mage
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Nothing to do with IOT or Traffic.

Mobile is CELLULAR. Due to weak licence conditions to drive up licence auctions there are not enough base stations on existing bands.

This ONLY about raising revenue from Mobile Licences.

700MHz is too low a frequency for smaller cells. For more traffic and speed you need smaller cells, more base stations at the under used 1800 and 2100 bands. Even the 900MHz can have far more bases.

They are not even utilising the 800MHz they got from TV properly due to useless greedy regulators.

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Mage
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Madness

1) Such devices ran XP badly, they originally had Linux.

2) Win 10 costs money to replace XP and offers just spyware

3) Linux Mint with Mate works fine.

Why would you bother?

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That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Mage
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Compost

Though a star lasts rather longer than a Compost heap.

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Mage
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Re: Soon...

We hid it so the Aliens wouldn't know what we are like until after we sign the treaties.

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Mage
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Angel

Re: Uranium Blanket

Build Fission based power stations on same site. The Fusion waste neutrons then turn blanket made from Fission waste into safer radioactive waste, a process which can make additional electricity via steam heated in the "blanket".

Win - Win: Fusion efficiency increased and regular Nuclear power station waste made safer. This has been tested and boosts power generation even of current test fusion plant to net positive.

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Mage
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Re: I Wonder....

Anti-matter power generators are really inefficient but massively powerful batteries. You'll use more energy making the anti-matter, perhaps using fusion power. Probably in a automated facility in space well away from human habitation. Then a space-ship has to carry a tiny fraction of the mass for power, compared to a Fusion powered ship.

Storing anti-matter safely is an interesting problem.

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FTC: Duo bought rights to Android game – then turned it into ad-slinging junkware in an update

Mage
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Win 10 upgrade nags on Win7 & Win8

Surely a misuse?

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Mage
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Re: Favorite OS, removing RC4

AC?

You talking Linux is your favourite OS? Because while OS X Server edition still exists (Only for Apple stuff), Apple stopped selling real Server Hardware and dropped "Computer" from their name. Also Apple's intention is that OS X should only run on Apple HW. Unlike BSD, Linux, Windows etc.

Apple is purely a Consumer Gadget company that still happens to make some laptops and workstations, a tiny part of their profits.

Maybe Apple stuff "just works" because it's a closed ecosystem? If I buy a TV, DVD player or MP3 player, compared to evil horrible Windows 10, they just work.

I last installed a Windows Server for WSUS to manage updates to XP workstations and Laptops. Since that requirement is now gone, we just use Linux for our servers, it just works.

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Mage
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Flame

Apple says that the policy is designed to keep users safe.

No, it is NOT about safety or security. It's for exactly the same reason chips added to Inkjet cartridges and coffee pods.

It's about ensuring people buy a new iPhone or pay for overpriced Apple services and parts.

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Dragons and butterflies: The chaos of other people's clouds

Mage
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Re: Netflex (@ Mage)

It's very depressing.

That's before anyone mentioned any motive of plastic vs negative Interest. I think the motivation though is partly all that cash (notes and coins) in our pockets is "doing nothing", but if it's in the system instead, then it can be lent out.

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Mage
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Re: Netflex

Unlike Mobile, payments at supermarkets etc, no-one dies if Netflix goes down. Unfortunately the way "bean counters" do stuff and how things work, Netflix is vulnerable to losing customers to boxed discs, Pay TV, YouTube etc, or people making their own amusements. Customers of banks, payment providers etc can't change so easily, thus bean counters don't care to spend extra to avoid a day or two downtime. They don't appreciate what will happen if no-one can make phone calls and no-one can pay for food to two days ...

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Mage
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Devil

Elephants ...

1) Increasing software mono-culture. A patch on ANYTHING, even an AV update, might bork several different providers completely.

2) The local connection to the cloud.

What if we go cashless, all plastic cards and/or phones and banks, retailer's back offices and payment providers all outsource?

There would be food riots in maybe 24 hrs (c.f. Hurricane Katrina).

Most people will die.

What if infrastructure providers outsource to cloud? If the billing system is inaccessible, you'll not be able to use your mobile even if the Mobile Network is operational.

Electricity, gas, pumping water and sewerage.

This Cloud business has no silver lining.

It's only safe as backup systems to your own systems or for anything you can life without for a week, or collaboration on documents. If your business depends on it, some day you'll lose everything.

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Cisco's purple princesses gush workplace joy

Mage
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Re: my little girls "Lego Friends" magazine.

Maybe the girl might like to program a Minestorms bot?

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

Mage
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Re: The USA has won ...

This is all about Assange's Ego, not the USA.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Nothing new

The UN is regularly bonkers. Yes, it better having it than not. But anyone that thinks UN is unbiased, accurate, logical and rational is deluded. It's purely international politics.

Saudi Arabia on the UN Human Rights?

The Security Council a hangover from winners of WWII. Read about how the UN Security council approved the Korean War, The folks in Taiwan had the Chinese chair and the Russians were boycotting it. THEN McArthur refused to stop advancing and allow a DMZ at Chinese border, even though virtually ALL of Korean united. UN did nothing! Result, Chinese got more involved and Korean War ended up with original stupid border, which was actually a secret Russian / American agreement before the Japanese defeated in WWII.

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Mozilla officially kills Firefox OS for smartphones in favour of 'Connected Devices'

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: Desktop Vs Phone

MS Mistake 1

Putting Win95 style GUI on a PDA/Phone

MS Mistake 2

Inflicting Zune derived Phone GUI (pretty good for a phone vs Win CE!) on Desktop at 8.x

At the VERY LEAST THREE RADICALLY DIFFERENT GUIs:

1) Phone / small tablet

2) Large (10") Tablet, Laptop, Desk top. (if it can't 100% work without touch and 100% only with touch then two separate GUIs)

3) TV type interface, screen at least 1.2m / 4' away and only Sky style remote.

Servers and Embedded need a flexible array of interfaces with GUI option, low bandwidth text remote and ability to script/automate everything, depending on deployment. Embedded might be LCD text panel on a CNC tool, screen + keypad on ATM, cash register keyboard & multiple format screens, or whatever.

Touch screen cash registers and ATM are niche applications.

N0-ONE EVER is going to be able to make a GUI or an app framework suitable for desktop and phone. Phone suitable apps are like widgets on a laptop etc. A full feature productive application taking advantage of a desktop is IMPOSSIBLE to use on a sub 6" phone screen. MS and Ubuntu are moronic even to promote it. For YEARS we have been able to write a Java App for phone and desktop. You can make the SAME code work on both. But it's pointless. Proper desktop Java applications simply don't have enough screen on a phone and phone /PDA/Tablet centric applications on a desktop are either like tray widgets or poor cut down versions of real desktop applications.

Unity is madness. MS's thing formerly Metro Apps is POINTLESS on a desktop. They are both deluded.

I'm no Apple fan, but they did the right thing chopping up OS X to make iOS and sticking Fingerworks derived GUI on phone and mostly leaving desktop OS X GUI as it was (they have degraded OS X desktop usuability, but not for same reasons as bonkers Ubuntu Unity and MS Win 8.x).

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Mage
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Re: Wut? Ubuntu?

Ubuntu was once the great hope for a desktop alternative to Mac OS X and Windows. But they lost the plot. TOTALLY!. Copied all the WORST GUI ideas of Vista and OS X. Why do you think so many people now recommending Mint + Mate Desktop (or even GTK or Cinammon)?

I've wondered are the same folks contributing to Firefox and Ubuntu / Gnome 3? They should read every Nielsen Group UX article of the last 15 years, use Apple OS 9, Risc OS, Win 98 and NT 4.0. Then repent!

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Bunch of Browsers?

Err ... hardly any now! Three only in actual development getting new releases:

MS has two today, one is going to be phased out. Edge is to replace IE

Opera is gone, they are now using WebKit engine, as does Chrome and Safari. Chrome is simply Google's spyware version of Webkit, I think made open source by Apple?

Firefox, Iceweasel, Seamonkey, AFAIK are all based on Mozilla's development of Netscape.

They are all inspired by Mosaic (I have a version, maybe 2 .x, here somewhere on floppy).

It's news to me if there is any other usefully functional graphical browser actually out of alpha, that does CSS, never mind HTML5?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_web_browsers#Vulnerabilities

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Mage
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Coat

Re: This is a distraction!

Firefox (and Thunderbird to a lesser extent) need add-in/ons now to be actually usable, Classic Theme restorer allows most nonsense to be fixed. You STILL have to edit About:config to fix the stupid "Awesome bar" to be a sensible URL entry and the search box to be usable. An application should use the styles, themes etc of GUI the OS I've chosen and configured, not some half baked Kool-aid version.

Embedded:

Sorry, but what the HELL to Mozilla know about designing an OS? Or is it like Android, a variation of Linux (Android adds a Google Binary blob (if you want Playstore Access), Davik instead of Java VM and Android GUI to what is mostly Linux).

We have Linux (with a variation for TVs, OpenWRT or DDwrt for Routers etc), Android, iOS, the child of Fingerworks + OS X (derived from BSD). QNX (used in loads of non-phone embedded stuff before RIM bought it), VX Works

Moribund: Palm, Blackberry, Symbian

Various flavours of non-desktop Windows, based on DOS/Win3.1, Win CE and Win NT.

Even variations of CP/M, Forth, DR MultiDos etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_operating_systems#Embedded

What exact market need or problem other than Mozilla ego is a "Firefox" branded Embedded OS supposed to solve?

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Mage
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This is a distraction!

What about making Firefox, Thunderbird better and a Calendar/Scheduling etc stuff?

P.S. BUGS and FUNCTIONALITY. Stop messing up the GUI!

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NASA seeks rocketeers for annual RockOn! shindig

Mage
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Headmaster

Re: I want that

Six months?

I presume the class is learning more than soldering. I teach that in one session.

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Mall owner lays blame at Apple's door for dragging down sales

Mage
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Angel

Irish Malls

The Irish malls are driving local businesses and anything without a high margin back to inner city. Greed. They are massively expensive. Also restrictive. Only one "pharmacy"/Chemist can actually do prescription and only one supermarket.

I don't know of any with an Apple Store, though Carphone Warehouse is nearly as pointless. Tesco sells iThings as well as Samsung etc. Both seems a mad place to buy tech though.

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Mage
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Re: Oh, for a sensible cable...

Shaver 2 pin plugs are not USA blades. They are for a power limited transformer isolated sockets. They are based either on Europlug or old UK 5A plug (not the same).

The Blade spacing and shape of Kindle charger with CE mark is USA only. Quite different and narrower spacing than any European plug. There ARE travel adaptor chargers with interchangeable pins. The offending charger isn't a travel type, it's USA flat blade only. It's true that all most shaver outlets have a 110V outlet that will take USA plug. Shaver outlets are NOT the same as as Euro or UK to 2 pin adaptor (of any kind), they are isolated and power limited with a transformer.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Who the hell...

I even use "disposable" €5 DMM if I'm suspicious of a PSU. Or an old mechanical AVO if it might have more than 250V (I've seen the €5 DMM die with blue flash on the 750V range with 450V DC).

Certainly I'd make a custom jig with a host and slave socket and switchable load as well as switchable signal source and "eye" test data error meter. You can't test cable performance for data with out an expensive test meter as it will either work or not on "real" gear without knowing margin. The power aspect needs measure of voltage drop vs load (a DMM might not reveal the real story) while wiggle cable and plug.

Doesn't sound like proper lab testing.

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Mage
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Cheap stuff

But I have bought < €5 HDMI cables, USB, regular, micro and mini USB that are perfectly fine. Expensive ones that were rubbish (One expensive USB cable didn't use twisted pair for data, seemed to be made out of four core Alarm wire cable with no screen.)

Price of cables seems to have no connection to quality. See Monster and Maplin own brand cables pricing.

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Mage
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Re: Oh, for a sensible cable...

The Amazon that has a 110-240V charger (for Kindle) with a CE mark but USA pair of blade connectors?

How on earth does ANYTHING with a USA mains plug (only, not interchangeable like some clever travel PSUs) get a CE mark, even if it internally can work on UK electricity?

Oh, it fails massively on EMI (RF interference) when actually charging anything. Perhaps the FCC / CE tests for RFI/EMI were done with no load?

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Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

Mage
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Black Helicopters

"A more effective backup for GPS is desperately needed."

No, GPS (or ANY satellite system for any purpose) ought to be the backup for a terrestrial system. What about Solar Flares (well maybe the GPS is too low an orbit?), jamming or someone shooting them down?

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Mage
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Re: Hmm...

There is a serious design flaw in how SFN terrestrial (DAB or DTT, though DTT SFNs tend to be smaller or non-existent) network and Mobile is designed or implemented that it needs satellite at all, except as a backup!

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Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

Mage
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Re: Owl or Sky?

I've a nice bridge. It's connected to the Internet. Maybe SF would like to invest in it?

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They're alive! Galileo sats 9 and 10 sending valid signals

Mage
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Re: Clock Sovereignity

But do we care about DAB? A system that increases Listener power consumption by x5 to x20 compared to FM, less than FM quality and can even be worse distortion than a good AM signal. Needs 700 fill in transmitters in UK to give FM coverage too.

DAB also for local / community radio is more expensive and gives too much coverage. Local stations can't use a SFN mux either.

Some DTT SFN and Mobile bases may also stupidly use GPS to save a bit of money (£8000) at install time years ago (yes it's about £1100 now but was more then).

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Mage
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Re: but GPS is much, much more accurate

It can be jammed or spoofed, so perhaps now more use as a civilian tool?

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Mage
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Mushroom

Some folks might criticize cost, but ...

This is good. Do we want Sat nav that depends on good will of Russian and American presidents/military? (Putin & Trump or Clinton? Or maybe even Palin in 5 years! Well, probably not Palin or Trump).

I think cruise missiles (Russian or USA) can use inertial navigation and maps, as can ICBMs. I think a cruise missile can carry a nuke?

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NOTHING trumps extra pizza on IT projects. Not even more people

Mage
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Big teams

It's true that as a team gets bigger the quality drops. Also adding people to speed delivery after project started, slows it.

It depends on project size as to when any coding should start. A larger project needs a small design team, which might spend weeks or months not writing code, but designing APIs / module communication etc before detail implementation with full team starts. Then you can't change anything unless it's wrong spec, in which case you have to scrape schedule and reset to design phase.

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Smart toys spring dumb vulns. Again. This time: Cuddly bears, watches

Mage
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Toys

German style wooden railways

Blocks

Micromachines

Meccanno

Lego

Playdoh

Plasticine

Windup toys

pull back toys.

Dumb cuddlies

Articulated play figures / dolls

Nothing that uses charger, batteries, solar panels or electronics, except Electronics breadboard kits.

No so called "educational learning electronics" / "toy laptops etc" / vtech.

Toys with electronics or batteries have mostly been unsafe or badly made. Many are a fire risk if you put NiMH batteries in!

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Intel, Qualcomm set up their WiGig 802.11ad devices on blind dates

Mage
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Range?

Pretty nearly Line Of Sight. At least with a light based network connection, if the LED room lamp / "air point" is shining on your shiny thing you know it might work. Your hand or a cubical wall can shield 60GHz.

I'm certainly not wanting to pay extra. How much extra are we all going to pay in chip costs and Qualcomm royalties if idiots make this nearly pointless tech standard in phones, tablets and laptops?

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Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

Mage
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Paris Hilton

There may still be some individual sticking points

Hmm, the Americans promise to give Europeans more rights than they give Americans in USA?

Either they are lying, or Americans will want this sort of privacy too.

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Sure, encrypt your email – while your shiny IoT toothbrush spies on you

Mage
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Re: The problem is that cloud services ... IPv6

With IPv6?

IP4 vs IP6 makes no difference! Actually unless you are expert, the IPv6 is worse!

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Little warning: Deleting the wrong files may brick your Linux PC

Mage
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Re: Shadow emergency recovery BIOS in eprom was such a good idea.

I had a bricked 486 once, I had a same model working MOBO and its 28 pin Flash BIOS IC worked in bricked mobo, so I booted the Flash R/W utility floppy, saved the contents, and WHILE the PC running, carefully levered out the 28 pin DIL IC and pushed in the one that made the mobo dead.

Then wrote the file I saved. The process worked.

I think the original game boy can use the same ICs so I considered making an adaptor with two sockets, one ZIF and a CE change-over switch. I suppose this was 1998 or 1999? I never did. I suppose the only socketed chip now is the CPU, and I'd guess maybe even that is soldered in on some laptops (and all in one PCs) that are made super thin with glued in batteries, like a tablet. There was a scope conversion for gameboy I nearly bought, but I have a real scope and "audio" ones via laptop and decent sound cards / USB boxes.

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Mage
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Re: This is like BIOS flashing by Unix commands

Yes, though I'm surprised it's not mounted RO by default. Why even does it need to remain mounted after boot is complete, rather than mounting it only if something needs changed?

So, some stupidity by user*, but I wonder why it's implemented like this anyway.

(*I'd wonder what else such a use of "rm" might remove on some systems. Pretty much EVERYTHING appears as a file in UNIX like systems.

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Mage
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Old Linux Steam Client ...

I'm not a linux guru, though using and installing it since 1999 and flavours of UNIX since 1985 ... Is there a way to make "rm" command safer?

I don't remember any accidents with it, though I have used it. There is always a first time -_-

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Mage
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Re: So, exactly...

Don't wipe ALL of the OS, you CAN wipe all of the disk. A new partition or format (via boot from CD/DVD/USB stick) will not erase these files, as they only appear when the OS is running: "... it is not a file on the hard drive, just a set of special files that represent efi variables."

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Mage
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Boffin

Not on the HDD

Just like TTY looks like a file on your HDD, my understanding is that these "files" are not actually files on the HDD, but in the Mobo's flash memory. Hence by default it would be safer if they were mounted on RO mode. I believe it's possible for example to have a device driver that mounts the 64 bytes RAM of a RTC chip (as used in 386, 484, old pentiums etc) on any mount point in the filesystem.

Fortunately I don't yet have one of these new fangled machines. I did once send back a bricked Mobo. There was a flaw in the "CMOS /BIOS Setup" such that if you didn't exit (save or not) from the setup pages and simply hit the power button or unnplugged it (or had a power cut) it would brick the mobo. This is a quite different sort of flaw. UEFI sounds to me like a poorly thought out boot mechanism that is more vulnerable. I liked Mobos that had a physical jumper for flash RW vs RO as even on regular older non-UEFI, I've seen re-write utilities of flash via Windows on some DELL PCs. I didn't see one with a 2nd jumper for enable write to settings too. But if I was designing a system I'd have two jumpers. All security bets are off anyway with local access. Why not make it that remote access to BIOS (of any type) to change settings or re-write contents needs changing a physical switch. If people want it can be left always closed, or a cable to a panel keyswitch / button etc to avoid need to open box.

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Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again

Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: This is not...

Payments on a Phone. Is it secure and private anyway? I agree, It may be your phone, but it's Google's payment system. c.f. Pay TV access, gas, electricity and water meters?

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Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

Mage
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Re: Goodbye FTDI

Impossible for most people to know if they are buying a counterfeit chip. This is unreasonable behaviour by FTDI.

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Most of the world still dependent on cash

Mage
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IBAN

It can work over mobile phone.

Anonymous is a separate issue, the problem is it makes it hard to pay bills via third party or get money back on faulty or undelivered goods. It's most attractive for purchase direct of illegal goods and money laundering.

Why has USA not adopted IBAN? It's better than Paypal and FAR better than Western Union or similar. Also better than credit cards or debit cards for safe payment.

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Cloud growth? Take a number, Microsoft. Two engines have stalled

Mage
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SQL Server, Systems Server, Systems Center products

So not actually "Cloud" (i.e. subscription hosting / Azure MS 365) at all!

Idiots.

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Intel and Micron's XPoint: Is it PCM? We think it is

Mage
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Duck

Sounds like a better duck?

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I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Mage
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Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

The Three laws are a Mcguffin, a plot device to explore how they can be broken.

Iain M. Banks is self indulgent fantasy.

None of the examples are real attempts to propose what AI might be or do. They are irrelevant to AI research and development, which in reality has hardly advanced since Alan Turning mused about it. Even the Turing Test wasn't a serious proposal for a real AI test, but a bit of a thought experiment.

We still aren't too sure exactly what natural intelligence is, though we think that corvids (crows) are inexplicably smarter than some primates. There seems to be little or not correlation between brain size and self awareness, ability for language, creativity, problem solving, art, and tool creation and use, all things thought to indicate intelligence.

"AI" in broadest sense has only made progress by having a very narrow definition of it, and heavily relies on a human expert, human programmers and a database to initialise the system. It shows none of the sort of characteristics seen in children, corvids or other animals.

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31 nations sign data-sharing pact to tax multinationals

Mage
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Expand it now!

Caribbean countries, Singapore etc.

I'm not so worried about USA today, as its tax laws are a different problem to this one.

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