* Posts by Mage

4588 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

Mage
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Re: I applied the big update to my Mk2 Paperwhite a couple of weeks ago.

Why had you no backup?

Changing account on a Kobo or a Kindle, for instance, wipes the content.

Amazon's "Cloud" mostly only has a backup of books bought from Amazon*. It's nothing to do with DRM!

[*If you are daft enough to send your OWN stuff via Amazon cloud instead of USB, then Amazon keeps a copy that's reloaded, of random DRM free content. I tested it.]

After a firmware update, you may need to reload any backup, this is common on many gadgets.

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Mage
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Re: And folks wonder why I won't use one.

Import the Amazon books into Calibre via a suitable extra plug-in*

Make backups

It's a PUBLISHER decision, not Amazon's if a book has DRM. Anyone can publish on Amazon without DRM.

[*Best if you live outside the USA]

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Mage
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Re: 62 PAGEs of books

The books not in collections are listed after collections, in collections view. At least on Kindle DXG ver 2.5.8 firmware.

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Mage
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Re: OTA vs USB

They are not too likely to have WiFi & Broadband and no PC of any kind?

If you have no PC at all*, then a 3G Kindle is worth while. Curiously I know of one person that managed to get PC World to connect his Kindle.

[ANY OS supporting USB storage and Web Downloads will work to put content on/off a Kindle, unlike Apple's iThings, possibly even some tablets]

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Mage
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Re: Expired certificate

DRM is optional

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Mage
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Re: 62 PAGEs of books

There are "Collections" on Kindle and Kobo.

Sadly not hierarchical. But a book can be in more than one (say Westerns and Romance).

It took me a while to figure out how to have a book in a collection on Calibre (best way to organise) automatically be in that on Kindle/Kobo. You need to make an extra column and change settings on Calibre.

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Mage
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Re: Non-cloudy thinking

Kobo uses also DRM based ePub (evil Adobe)

Kindle also uses DRM free prc, mobi

Amazon AZW doesn't always have DRM, it's a publisher choice.

Smashwords sells DRM free for Kobo and Kindle.

I have a Kobo and Kindle, the Kobo is over priced, but I wanted the 6.8" with hi def for PDF manuals, marginally better than large 9.7" DXG for PDF. For books the paperwhite is best value at 1/2 the price.

Calibre (with a file import filter plugin) is your friend to buy DRM from Amazon or Kobo and read on you Kobo or Kindle and backup.

Never rely on a Cloud except for temporary collaboration.

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Mage
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Coat

OTA vs USB

USB based updating is safer and more reliable. It's not difficult.

Download update

Copy via USB

Disconnect and run menu option to update.

I almost never use OTA anyway, but download books I buy, import to Calibre, connect Reader to Calibre.

I back up my Calibre Library. This way my reading habits on Kobo or Kindle can't leak and I don't depend on anyone's Cloud. I do buy some books from Amazon, but most of my paper ones are from charity shops and eBooks from gutenberg.org and archive.org I buy as much books as I can afford.

The only update my Kindle DXG has had was in 2013 when it was bought, I doubt it's getting an update. The free 3G might be useful if I travelled (only Wikipedia & Amazon, all else is 60M limit a month), but I don't.

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Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1's throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

Mage
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Re: "One solution is to boot a Linux USB stick ..."

Years ago I slip-streamed a CD with added SATA drivers for XP.

But still, MS attitude to Win 10 smacks of desaturation. They developed USB for NT4.0 and then decided not to release the SP. I tested the beta USB stack on NT4.0 and it worked with Win2K drivers (if you made the OS report as if it was Win2K, stupid Driver designers looking for an OS version instead of a capability, at the time MS dev advice was to look for the capability you needed, not specific OS strings. I guess few people listened or they not have to skip Win 9 ...)

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Mage
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Re: Another reason

Surprising

a) What is actually native now on Linux

b) Old stuff that works on WINE on Linux but not, oddly on Win 7 / Win 8 / Win 10 depending on program.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Leinster

Link to Gutenberg for Murray Leinster (unlike Archive.org they are usually proof read).

A good reason to get an eInk Kindle or Kobo (you only need to connect once to register, then use USB only. Calibre + plug ins is friend to allow DRM ePub on Kindle, or DRM mobi/AZW on Kobo)

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Mage
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Re: *Remarkably* sharp prediction?

Misses the point. It's not about how amazing it is.

There are good and bad predictions. This one is about how people might use <random technology>

Rocket motors to power only ICBMs or space exploration?

See also "Shock Wave Rider". Far better than Toffler's book that inspired it.

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Microsoft's equality and diversity: Skimpy schoolgirls dancing for nerds at an Xbox party

Mage
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Re: Not great but ...

Peppa Pig is completely demeaning to Pigs and Humans. Bring back Ivor the Engine and all the other Postgate stuff.

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Google tries to run from flailing robotics arm

Mage
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Re:Deep Mind

Except if might NEVER deliver general AI. It certainly doesn't now.

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Mage
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Re: Idea for profit

You mean YouTube ISN'T Google's Social Network?

Surely all of Google's bits have used same sign-on for ages...

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Swede builds steam-powered Raspberry Pi. Nowhere to plug in micro-USB, then?

Mage
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Re: Nope

I'd use an AC motor not DC. No brushes to wear out.

SMPSU is what is needed.

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Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

Mage
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Re: I wonder...

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/david-quinn/easter-rising-was-not-a-just-war-and-it-gave-a-false-legitimacy-to-ira-34551045.html

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Mage
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Mushroom

Re: I wonder...

"The individuals who carried out the attack might have been wrong,"

No level of injustice makes Terrorists into Good Guys when they attack civilians.

You are Gerry Adams and I claim my baseball bat beating.

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Mage
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Re: I wonder...

Does anyone know any longer ...

The guys trying to blow up your car, shoot you on the beach, or destroy the theatre are deffo bad guys.

The Governments spying on their own citizens with out specific warrant, killing people in countries they are not at war with, detaining people without trail... They are probably bad guys even if they claim it's for our own good.

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Apple iPhone GPU designers Imagination axes 20 per cent of staff

Mage
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Very sad.

Perhaps they ARE inefficient, or Apple pays too little out of greed (their margins are fat) and others pay too little because of very slim margins.

On many products there is a retailer driven rush to the bottom on prices.

I don't know what's wrong. Sure their ought to be still a good market for MIPS in Routers, TVs, Setboxes even if ARM dominates Phones and Tablets?

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How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

Mage
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Linux

If they release a Windows Classic

Based on updating XP, I'd buy 5 copies.

Maybe the same of Office 2003. I HATE THE LATER OFFICES, ESPECIALLY "FLAT" and RIBBON!!!

Meanwhile two machines are staying XP (but not online) and the rest are now migrated to Linux Mint, Mate Desktop, WINE. Copied all my Windows True Type Fonts to server, then downloaded to all the Linux computers.

Everything has Libre Office, which once you figure the quirks and disable some silly defaults isn't bad.

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Irish shun beer, whiskey in favour of … wine

Mage
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Cheese?

Probably An Teagasc and the NDC promote Cheese in Ireland.

There is a MASSIVE variety of Irish cheeses, today, a far cry from 30 years ago when there was Galtee processed cheese, Calvita milder processed cheese and rather suspiciously rubbery "Chedder" style cheese.

There is Cow, Goat and Sheep cheeses, in Danish, English, Swiss, French and Greek styles as well as local styles.

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Woz: World-changers to Apple Watches, why pay for an overpriced band?

Mage
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Apple Watch.

Since it needs an iphone anyway, I suspect such a gadget can be under $30 retail inc postage including decent case and strap.

I wonder what all those < $20 Chinese watches do, often more functions with an Android phone than iOS. (Via Bluetooth). Some have camera and SIM, appear to be complete "Dick Tracy" and more gadgets. They are being used to cheat in exams.

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Silicon photonics boosted with UK fabrication research

Mage
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Re: 1300 nanometre?

14nm or 10nm silicon claims are a bit misleading. They used to refer to size of a transistor, now the 14nm refers to smallest feature.

Isn't optical a good way to interconnect chips on a common substrate (PCB, Alumina / Sapphire, Quartz etc).

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Mage
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10 Years only?

That's acceptable for a domestic product, but seems poor for industrial or aerospace.

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Steve Jobs, MS Office, Israel, and a basic feature Microsoft took 13 years to install

Mage
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Re: Too expensive? Yeah, sure!

Indeed, try doing 576 line, interlaced video 25fps (PAL sources) in the original XP free video Editor.

No European video support.

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Mage
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Re: Mac OS X didn’t support Right to Left (RTL) languages?

No, because you don't need OS support.

I've used MIXED RTL / LTR editing on VANILLA DOS.

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Why should you care about Google's AI winning a board game?

Mage
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Re: Bollocks: 100,000 times quicker

I think you are wrong. It's 100,000,000 faster now. A 1979 8bit cpu is in the 100,000 times quicker class.

If we knew how to do real AI, then any computer could do it, but slowly. It's nonsense to suggest that AI is "held up" by lack of computing power. A Raspberry pi and big NAS ought to be able to be intelligent, if we knew how to write an AI program.

AI today, as is "Expert Systems" and so called "Neural Networks" are all just specialist "fragile"* database applications.

[* In sense that it's useless if it encounters anything not pertaining to the programmed domain]

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Mage
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Facepalm

Yes very significant.

Go is really really hard for a computer.

Is winning Chess, Jeopardy! and Go significant? YES

Is any of it a milestone for real AI? NO.

We don't even know what AI might be. This is specialist programming. If we had real AI, the SAME program could start learning and eventually be the best at every game, as well as many other problems.

A rook (crow) or a baby that can't play chess, go or answer Jeopardy! at all is smarter. This is searching a database for solutions using a program written by very smart humans.

ALL so called AI is marketing of specialist interfaces to databases, often for a single domain per AI program (Driving, chess, go, bridge etc)

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LG builds a DAB+ digital radio radio into a smartmobe

Mage
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Flame

DAB, DAB+ and Digital Radio Mondial

FM is better.

Even AM can be better.

DAB is too power hungry, bit rate is too low (to save money), coverage is too poor.

A DTT tuner would be more use!

Some phones have had great easy to use FM radio for ages. Ergonomics for Digital Radio is inherently poor too. DAB is a failed format. DRM on Shortwave, MW and LW has failed to get traction.

DAB and Digital Broadcast, esp. using SFN and because of pressure to save money on Mux costs, inherently benefits national stations over local and reduction of bit rate to less than FM quality. DAB+ isn't used for more quality either, just to halve the bit rate at similar quality (too poor) to reduce costs.

The BBC, Ofcom, RTE and Comreg will drool over this. It's bad for the consumer.

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Reprogrammble routers axed by TP-Link as FCC bans custom firmware

Mage
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Even with HW Radios

Europe allows 2.4GHz Channel 1 ... 13

USA Channel 1 ...11

I've had problems even years ago with idiot kit / gadgets that was ONLY programmed for USA and wouldn't talk to a WiFi point on ch 12.

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Dell's Ubuntu-powered Precision Sputnik now available worldwide

Mage
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Linux

1999

I think they first got into this, via Red hat in 1999. Certain it was about then that I was giving Linux courses to people in Dell.

There is a market, so they do it. Dell is much more pragmatic than Intel, or Intel would be designing nice SoC with ARM cores.

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Mage
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Pirate

Passwords and disaster recovery.

If it's anything important a relative or workmate etc needs to access, write down the passwords, user, email, machine, website etc. EVERYTHING.

Put it with your will or something else that will not be accessible to neer-do-wells, thieves, small children and will 100% turn up if you are knocked down / heart attack / stroke / randomly shot etc.

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US chap sharpens paradigm-busting scissors

Mage
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Prior art?

They are useful and very hard to find. But it's not new. There have been sheet metal shears like this for a very long while.

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Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

Mage
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Re: Can we stop this nonsense

However 1970s and 1980s probably was the high point of equality for Women in Computing (via Maths) and development of Computer Science.

It's all been downhill since 1990s.

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Java evangelist leaves Oracle to save Java

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: But But,,,

Purely a side effect.

Like complaining a satellite launcher lets bad guys have an ICBM (it does, but we need to be able to launch satellites!)

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Big-screen Skype gets small farewell note

Mage
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Facepalm

Smart TVs are Dumb

When they came out you could buy a Dumb TV and a phone/tablet/laptop and still have change. Some even you can buy Dumb TV + PS4 and have change!

TV as Monitor + Tuner is all you need. But many newer sets have far less I/O. Even lacking analogue audio out for better than laptop speakers that are built in!

I was lucky I think to get a "dumb" TV with 2 x USB (more handy to power gadgets than for intended HDD / USB photo/video playback), 4 x HDMI, SCART I/O, composite, Y/C, Component (SD or HD) and VGA.

Security, privacy (microphone, gesture camera etc), updates and compatibility is a horror on them.

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Boffins bust biometrics with inkjet printer

Mage
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Re: Not Surprised

Chip in finger is no solution. It's very vulnerable to being copied or remote reading.

veins, pulse and blood flow can be copied.

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Mage
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Biometrics

Biometrics is stupid for a security as you can't change a fingerprint or retina.

It needs to be removed from passports.

Fingerprint readers and retinal scanners etc should be illegal. They serve no purpose other than exposing privacy. Trivial to copy a fingerprint from a door or glass. You can even add a pulse.

The sad fact is there is no secure alternative to old fashioned passwords.

I have a couple of good ones that are learnt. I let a password manager remember all the ones that are non-financial and not local machine access. I have an address book in a safe place (never in laptop bag / with phone) that has email, user, website password.

Different password and often different user and email for every website. None are real words or words with numbers or number substitutes.

Biometrics is a lazy failure of a solution to security.

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Solus: A welcome ground-up break from the Linux herd

Mage
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Re: Flat vs 3D vs skeumorphic

Skeumorphic is distracting and bling. We don't need it either.

3D only need left and top light grey line with right and bottom dark grey line to give the cue that it's something you drag or click. We don't need almost photos of real objects.

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Mage
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Flat is bad

It sounds interesting except for the word "Flat"

Flat may look pretty but usability is poor compared to Windows 3.1 3D look, it's a throw back to Win 2.x and Win 3.0, if not worse as the clues as to where to click or drag are poor.

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

Mage
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maybe ...

They looked at LinkedIn and Facebook etc and concluded most people are ... unwise. Perhaps they don't care about the misery it causes and think that unlike Twitter, it will make money. Or perhaps be bought by a foolish Megacorp. (Time, Microsoft, HP etc.)

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Mage
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Re: Golden chance

So Rupert Murdoch is a nice guy! He did that once.

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Facebook can block folks using pseudonyms in Germany – court

Mage
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Big Brother

irish Data Commissioner

So the Germans need to complain to irish Data Commissioner. Eventually, the ECJ or EU will tell the Irish Commissioner to do something. Sometimes though they do react. Sky Ireland automatically opted everyone into a Marketing for 3rd parties and the IDC protested, Sky backed down.

But Sky Ireland only sells in Ireland, certainly back then only INSTALL VAT went to Ireland, all subscription VAT went to UK.

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No more Nookie for Blighty as Barnes & Noble pulls out

Mage
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Boffin

DRM?

Save every download to PC, not direct to device.

Calibre has plug-ins to remove DRM. DRM is ultimately contrary to Berne Convention on Copyright.

Don't ever give copies to someone else after you remove DRM.

I read Kindle content with DRM on a my Kindle and my Kobo (using my Kindle's serial number).

Amazon leaves it to Publisher to decide if AZW file has DRM or not.

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Uncle Sam's boffins stumble upon battery storage holy grail

Mage
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Electric Cars: Rich People

Electric cars need massive increase in power production (Power stations) and distribution (Grid) if everyone had them.

Currently tax payers are subsidising rich people and Elon Musk.

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Ofcom should be the BBC's ultimate overlord, UK.gov told

Mage
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Mushroom

Ofcom

It needs reformed first as they care nothing for anything other than Mobile Licence Revenue.

"Regulatory Capture"

Ofcom ought to be regulating the BBC, but they have done a rubbish job of regulating Sky EPG and Encryption costs. Fix Ofcom first!

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'Boss, I've got a bug fix: Nuke the whole thing from orbit, rewrite it all'

Mage
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Re: polishing one

Macros can be much more evil than GOTO and only exist because C was partly conceived as a machine independent Macro assembler to make porting UNIX simple and easy.

Numerous ways to shoot off your legs with a Macro.

Learning C++, we were told they shouldn't be used at all, only part of the evil backward compatibility. I learnt C++ in 1988. Why after nearly 30 years are we still using C?

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Windows 10 claimed another point of desktop share in February

Mage
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Linux

Stats from Browser

I have to use a plug-in on Firefox because of MORONS coding websites.

People like Amazon ONLY put the download links for the browser stats detected.

1) You might be downloading for a different OS to what you are running, dual boot or multiple computers.

2) You might want to run a Windows application on Wine on Linux (The kindle reader works fine on Wine as does Notepad++, Orbitron, Digiguide and other windows stuff.)

So often my Linux Mint (Mate desktop) system reports Windows.

I still have two windows laptops for very occasional older apps, that are not used on the Internet, one is Win3.11/Win98/Win2K multiboot and one is Windows XP SP3.

My video media PC has 2x DVB-S2 sat PCI cards and 2 x DVB-T tuners on Windows XP with MHEG5 support. I can't get the required HW / SW support on anything else reliably. It's not used on Internet either.

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Indian DEITY tells Google to choose broadband bride

Mage
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Flame

Spectrum

The ONLY way to do Loon, if it works at all, is Google applying for and using exclusive channels of licences spectrum. Anything else causes interference and is parasitical and irresponsible.

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