* Posts by Mage

5301 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

It's time for Microsoft to revisit dated defaults

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Proper Windows installs

Twenty to forty minutes to 1st boot.

All day to change all the settings, most of which are stupid defaults for the majority and have been for 20 years.

Unless you have preconfigured images etc.

No wonder most consumers home PCs are badly set up. This is not just an AD problem, but historic to almost every configuration issue of Windows.

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After baffling Falcon 9 rocket explosion, SpaceX screams: Hands off our probe!

Mage
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Re:the wings could not provide enough lift

Hybrid aircraft, blimps, balloons, rigid airships, helicopters etc don't have wings providing enough lift.

What is needed is competent independent investigation of all accidents, especially explosions.

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Mage
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Black Helicopters

Giant explosions & Rocket Launches.

Seems daft that FAA or some other independent of Politics and Manufacturer organisation doesn't do the investigating.

It should be treated more carefully and openly than an exploding aircraft, or by crazy logic are those only manufacturer investigated too?

The potential for cover ups or plain un-audited mistakes for self investigation is too high.

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A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat

Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Re Battery Life: Where am I: GPS

I always know where I am. I am here.

I don't always know where other people are, because I am not God, Google, NSA etc...

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Google's hardware extravaganza: Ad giant takes on Sonos, Roku, Linksys, Amazon, Oculus... you name it

Mage
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Pirate

Google Wifi: a mesh system of routers aimed at stealing an emerging market.

Probably more aimed at "stealing" personal information.

Beware Geeks bearing gifts!

Though the Pixels are obviously not gifts at those aimed at rich prices.

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‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

Mage
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Google’s NT You mean BSODs? Actually, no

As an aside, the original NT was solid from 1993 to 1996, NT3.1, NT3.5 & NT3.51

MS broke it by starting to "migrate" Win9x features such as "video / print drivers in Kernel" and Autorun :)

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I want to launch thousands of drones, says Facebook's flying Wi-Fi router chief

Mage
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Bonkers

Why are these people allowed to to peddle this?

With 60,000ft altitude the range is massive, forget cellular style frequency reuse. With massive range the capacity per user drops.

Unless they going to use 400GHz to fixed LOS small dishes? Even so, one street of fibre is more capacity.

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Brit telcos plead with Ofcom: No one should own more than 30% of available spectrum

Mage
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Re: Simple solution

They could still charge licences for the retail / resellers, though really it's a tax on consumers, the cost gets passed on.

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Mage
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700MHz

TV needs it, or else you give a win to Sky & cable forever.

Mobile doesn't need 700MHz and the part of 800MHz isn't as much use as 1800 in reality.

The way to better mobile is more smaller cells.

The 0.92 GHz to 2.1GHz bands are already badly utilised.

2.3GHz is fine for smaller cells.

The 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz good for femto cells, LTE should have ZERO access to WiFi band.

3.4GHz though is better for roof top LOS or open plan office femto than conventional mobile.

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Mage
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Pirate

Simple solution

No-one should "own" any of it, it's a fixed size national resource. Have a highly regulated single infrastructure with no licence fee.

Have all the operators as resellers / retailers.

The Spectrum licence windfalls result in poor licence condition for performance and coverage and Regulatory capture.

It would be more efficient use too. Up to twice the capacity or more. Because if you chop it up between operators, statistically one in an area might have almost no users online and another operator at same location can be oversubscribed.

The current system is purely to benefit treasury and is a misuse of the idea of competition serving the consumer.

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Source code unleashed for junk-blasting Internet of Things botnet

Mage
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Pirate

Lack of regulation, blah, blah

Regulators and Government are "captured" by Telcos and Big Corporations. Thusly they avoid pro-actively enforcing existing privacy, SOGA and other consumer rights. They figure it's only worth bothering if the medja and a large number of activist voters protest,

Radio call in shows are a panacea, they only count OFFICIAL complaints, the actual department to complain to and the procedure are usually opaque.

This could be easily dealt with, products could lose CE / CSA / UL / FCC etc, companies and directors could be fined, as could importers and retailers. But Governments are not interested in enforcing EXISTING regulations.

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EU turns screws on Android – report

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Apple

Android has the vast bulk of market.

Google licences the playstore accessible version of Android with "Blob" to 3rd party makers.

Apple doesn't licence iOS to anyone. They make their own massively overpriced phones and tablets that no-one else makes. They are a niche product. It's not a crime to be a luxury priced product.

Alphabet / Google are quite different in their approach and make money downstream from their advertising dominance, the Android privacy slurp (on Google licensed versions with the not open "blob") search, analytics, location services, Youtube, API hosting etc, and playstore usage is quite different from anything Apple does. Apple are merely a greedy niche supplier, sucking up 4 of every 5 dollars smart phone sales profit and then sitting on it. It's only tax / accounting that Apple needs to be investigated for.

Alphabet/Google and most other Multinationals need closer scrutiny on tax etc too. But there is a serious issue how the version of Android allowing Google services is supplied and the information on users Google is gathering.

One solution is to only tax dividends, share speculation profits, etc. Workers and purchasers are taxed already. The current high USA corporate tax rates are damaging.

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Mage
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Google / Alphabet need examined closely

Not just competition, but privacy, political manipulation/ lobbying, dishonest marketing, fake or Alphabet funded "activists" etc.

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Arduino vs Arduino

Mage
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Happy

Good

A rare bit of good news.

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Regulatory compliance problems? Promontory, my dear Watson

Mage
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Coat

real challenges still facing human civilisation – regulatory compliance.

No it's not a huge challenge for human civilisation, but for corrupt boards, CEOs, management etc..

It's a matter of actually reading the regulations and a commitment to meet them. Many companies put huge resource in loopholes and even outright lying and cheating.

The biggest issues with a computer system are:

1) Putting the regulations into it correctly.

2) Correctly inputting your own system to be tested into it.

3) Having managers etc that don't ignore it.

Asimov or someone wrote a story highlighting the psychology of it. It's not a technical problem, but a human one. Certainly a searchable computer database and consultancy will help, but I'd predict that Watson AI will make little or no difference to company cultures.

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Building your own storage startup: Whatever you do, don't let lead dev be CEO

Mage
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Happy

Whatever you do, don't let lead dev be CEO

OTH the CEO needs to follow the strategy of the visionary founder, who may or may not be the lead developer. Same applies to R&D Manager, a person that on any size of team needs people skills more than development.

But the managers / CEO etc must not be "mere" Accountants, MBAs, Lawyers. They need to truly understand the technology even if they don't have the talent and skills to develop it. They can even be moderately poor programmers, engineers, scientists as long as they understand what the good ones are talking about and only manage people, marketing, supplies, resources, money etc and not the technology itself.

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Firefox to doctor Pepper so it can run Chrome's PDF, Flash plugins

Mage
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Re: So Mozilla, why should I use Firefox?

Certainly they have concentrated on maiming the GUI, making it like bad version of a mobile app and ignoring important issues. Print Selection? Has it ever worked properly. If selection is on 7th page it might print 6 empty pages with headers and footers.

"Shrink to fit" seems dodgy.

Security defaults are wrong and awkward.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

PDF viewer?

Viewing PDFs IN a browser is mad.

There are many reasons why it's a seriously bad idea. Why was it so hard to disable Firefox PDF viewing when they added it?

Well, killing Flash may be the only thing that Apple and I agree on.

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Telcos hit out against plans to hike their broadband rates

Mage
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Madness

See title.

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Crypto guru Matt Green asks courts for DMCA force field so he can safely write a textbook

Mage
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Or he could move

The USA "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" is actually contravening the Berne Convention on Copyright, suppressing security research and human rights.

I suppose it's not practical as plan "B", to give up US citizenship and live in a country prepared to ignore illegal US extraterritorial attempts at US law enforcement.

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How to steal the mind of an AI: Machine-learning models vulnerable to reverse engineering

Mage
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AI reverse enginering

Could it be it's not really AI, but a fancy database?

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Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Mage
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For a start

charge LESS on approval.

Charge x10 as much if rejected.

At present the financial incentive is on USPTO to approve (they get paid much more) and on big Corporations to spend more on frivolous applications than actual R&D.

Also Design Patents (Registered Design in UK) and Registered Trade names ought to be distinctive and made up.

(Fluted Coke bottle good, Apple phone bad. Kleenex good, Specsavers OK. Travelodge OK, Travel Lodge not, using ordinary words bad. Using regular names such as Ford or Dyson etc should end.)

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BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

Mage
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Facepalm

It's all nonsense and subjective junk

Personality tests.

Psychometric tests.

Polygraph lie detector.

Even a lot of MRI based tests turn out to be made up stuff, faulty statistics package.

It's not either evidence based, repeatable, statistically significant or scientific.

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Amazon: Students, we'll give you $2.5m for a chat-up, AI?

Mage
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XKCD

XKCD on AI Chatbots

Hover mouse.

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Mage
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Amazon desperation?

I suppose we can hardly expect a Marketing company do be able to develop a decent chat bot.

A decent one is likely worth Billions, if WhatsApp is worth $19B.

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One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Mage
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Needed tick boxes not radio buttons.

Send all of those on the list?

Note: Antarctic + surgery on all of them first, including all reproductive parts (for safety).

Remove every part not essential.

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Invasion of the Brandsnatchers: How Nokia and BlackBerry inhabit the afterlife

Mage
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Flame

Burning Platform?

Maybe the idea was to burn MS and get out of phones. Which they did, MS paid maybe $1 Billion before Nokia sold phone division, then Billions to buy the phone division, BUT NOT *ANY* IP nor the Brand! Then MS has cost of closing the factories and making all the developers etc redundant!

Brilliantly played, Nokia. The phone division probably couldn't be saved as the rot was terminal and dated at least to about 2002 or so (killing Crystal, S80 and internal competition)

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Mage
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How many phones has MS killed?

The original CE ones.

The Danger / Kin

The hybrid Zune GUI on CE

The Nokia ones

The NTified ones

The ARM surface

I'm not sure how to count them, and I expect MS to either completely rebrand phone or buy another phone to kill or get out of phones in the next year or so?

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Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Mage
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Re: But, but ....

Sadly many do, and also give <insert parasite> other people's email and personal details too.

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Mage
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Mushroom

LinkedIn

They should be prosecuted for encouraging (new signings especially) to share their address books to LinkedIn. They then spam people.

Most of these so called "social media" companies certainly break the intention of EU data protection.

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User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Mage
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Re: Plugs....

Or printers with a near hidden USB B and an obvious USB A (to print images from a USB stick). User bought an adaptor!

He rang when that didn't work. I got him to search at the back for another USB socket.

Yes, you CAN force a USB plug into an ethernet socket, but not vice versa.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Invisible switches

"black buttons on a black box labelled with black writing"

Or dark grey alien symbols on a black bezel that seems to be touch sensitive. BUT! Variable latency in response, so you learn to wait before trying a second time, as otherwise it turns on and goes to standby.

Black text on black flush buttons on Tesco DAB / FM Alarm radio, including volume, alarm cancel etc

Incomprehensible sequences of buttons with almost no GUI on a one line LCD. Impossible without manual or bright spot light and even then really hard.

Ergonomics is GARBAGE on consumer Electronics as they cost costs by having no knobs or numeric pads. Non-mobile Websites and desktop applications that all functions are hidden in a "hamburger" menu and GUI designed for a 320 x 240 display.

Much vaunted Apple Design takes worst aspect of Dieter Ram's minimise, which was too stark, designed to sell in showrooms.

We need to never sacrifice function or ergonomics for style or cost saving.

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Mage
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The user with a very slow PC

It seemed perfect to me.

So I got the secretary to show me her work flow. The document seemed to take a very very long time to open.

For years she had been typing every letter in the one file. She selected the appropriate block and then Print Selection to print a letter. She printed two copies. One to post and one to file. I asked to see how she filed them.

She had a wonderful paper filing system. So I showed her how to to duplicate it with folders for filing cabinets, drawers, sections and separate files. She did use her spare time to gradually convert the mega file to separate ones.

One wonders at the quality of IT training at Business Colleges.

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Mage
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Flame

Re: her fault for being impatient?

No, it's rubbish PSU design. All too common.

Live somewhere rural with a loose connection somewhere in the overhead transmission and after a while "natural selection" ensures you only have PSUs that cope. Also bean counters realise a UPS isn't a luxury on a server.

IMO the best aspect of a laptop is the built in UPS, when you live somewhere with dodgy electricity. You KNOW you need to save often, but sometimes get so engrossed you forget. Or forget how you did the clever function or paragraph of text written just after the last autosave.

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Qualcomm eyes NXP lunch

Mage
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Re: On this bit:

The more you dig and more you know the more depressing it is.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Qualcom maybe the worst new owner for NXP?

Formerly part of Philips, once the flagship Electronics giant of Europe, the TV and AV are badges for Asians and they have retreated to 1926 and making only light bulbs and health care.

Qualcom will be interested mainly in any IP. It will be a slow death for NXP.

You missed Intel took over Altera, Analog Devices taking over Linear Technology, Microchip ate AVR.

HP spat out its chips into two or three companies and more interested in selling ink than Innovation. HP Killed off the best Compaq lines and all remaining parts of DEC that Compaq had taken over,

It's not about Silicon Valley, but about the visionaries and founders dying and being replaced by bean counters. (In the past in UK, Pye/Newmarket Semi, Ferranti, Plessey, GEC, etc. Mullard was Philips since 1928). Inmos was sold to totally unsuitable owners (was it Thorn?) and eventually to Thomson.

Very many others gone too. Intermetall, MOS, Sylvania, Westinghouse, all important Electronics Innovators once.

East European, Baltic and Russian outfits you never heard of from the USSR days.

Mighty RCA gone in 1986, their brand and Telefunken eaten by French Thomson TSF and like Grundig and Akai a meaningless badge.

Consolidation.

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Mage
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Devil

Horrific!

I'm glad I wasn't there.

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Fingerprint tech makes ATMs super secure, say banks. Crims: Bring it on, suckers

Mage
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Rats!

My new biometric system uses a pet rat. If the information is stolen then you replace the rat and register the new one with the bank.

Makes more sense than human biometrics. Rats can also be trained to be loyal and bite a thief or even fitted with an NFC collar that kills it if it's stolen from you.

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Microsoft chatbots: Sweet XiaoIce vs foul-mouthed Tay

Mage
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FAIL

Microsoft did not expect ...

I can't believe they were so stupid. Also it's insulting to intelligence to call these chat bots, "AI", as they are hardly more "intelligent" than Eliza, which was little more than a parlour game fooling the gullible.

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FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

Mage
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We’re living in a “Golden Age of TV”

Really?

Maybe a great time to be a USA media company producing garbage that's eagerly devoured because UK channels have outsourced and racing to the bottom with reality TV.

The Golden Age for the UK and viewers ended in the 1980s.

We've seen the rise in Europe of the US style cable that I saw in early 1980s (and later Satellite) which has diluted content across too many similar channels, now often subscription, and sport move from FTA to people sometimes needing THREE subscriptions!

Though I agree, the FCC has lost the plot. They also seem determined to cripple Free To Air TV as well as give too much power to Amazon, Murdoch, Google's YouTube, Netflix and Apple etc, all of whom are parasites producing hardly any content and destroying FTA channels.

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Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society... Doesn't sound sinister at all

Mage
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Re: Phase 1: fact-checker AI

But behind the curtain are sociopathic profit motivated CEOs. They then will fight it out (like one of those dystopian SF were Commercial Houses rule the galaxy) as a throne only seats one.

AI is a trojan horse to let commercial humans rule.

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Mage
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Gimp

Amazon?

"We’re in a golden age of machine learning and AI. This partnership will ensure we’re including the best and the brightest in this space in the conversation to improve customer trust and benefit society.”

Ha ha ha. What nonsense.

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Sad reality: Look, no one's going to patch their insecure IoT gear

Mage
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akin to the CE mark on electrical and/or wireless devices

I hope much better and that CE is reformed as:

1) Most national governments / regulators don't police what is sold

2) Makers often dishonestly choose wrong category

3) Makers leave out parts after approval (see 1)

4) Too much self certification.

The idea of CE is good, implementation bad and made worse by antics of individual Governments and Regulators who then dishonestly blame EU.

Fines are also too low.

I can see no hope at all for regulation of security on IoT as many already are not designed well enough to meet SOGA "fit for purpose" and/or last 2+ years. Many with CE marks don't in reality meet RFI standards in normal operation, they use special test settings and scenarios to pass.

Technically EU Data protection laws, CE and SOGA *ALREADY* cover IoT security issues. But no-one with the money is interested in a court case against the makers. Governments and Regulators won't as they favour Big Corporates over Consumer (c.f. Ofcom's actions on Ethernet Power adaptors, Mobile roaming, BT, Sky's EPG costs etc.)

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Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Mage
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Competition

Whirlpool?

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Sage advice: Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – it knackers our accounting app

Mage
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Re:BSOD

Back in the days of XP: "ugh windows bluescreens all the time, why do microsoft allow drivers full access to the kernel?"

That happened since NT4.0. Fixable by using decent graphics cards / Printer and drivers. But it should NEVER have been done.

Win7 / Win8 / Win10 are no more stable or secure than properly set-up up NT3.5, NT3.51, NT4.0, Win2K or XP when they were supported.

Win3.0, Win95a, Win ME were garbage. Win3.1x, Win95b, Win98, Win98SE were all far inferior to any NT version, Vista included, but at least could be set up reasonably properly, though practically zero security and no ability to create named pipes.

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Mage
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Re:It was called Windows 7.

Garbage, that was a bug fix of Vista and should have been free to Vista Users. It was not an updated XP as it still depreciated GDI based apps (almost everything not a game or multimedia) in favour of the "new" Gamer and Eye candy orientated APIs.

Printer & Graphics GDI support should never have been moved into the Kernel (at NT4.0).

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Mage
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Re: I don't necessarily think that MS does a bad job of maintaining backwards compatibility,

Till Vista.

From Vista onwards they don't seem to care.

They broke NT3.5 with applications for Win95 specially crafted so they would fail on Win3.x + Win32s. So I think (but may be wrong) that many got NT3.51 free, which fixed that.

Applications I wrote for NT 3.5 still worked on XP, but some few Win3.x and Win9x programs and games needed patches (GST Designworks, DTP, Alpha Centauri), it was less backward compatible compare to NT4 / Win2K. Vista / Win7 were dreadful, even breaking Paint Shop Pro.

WOW & NTVDM used to be quite good, but basically killed with Vista. (The DosBox VM /Emulator though was already better for DOS applications than NTVDM and works on later Windows as well as ARM).

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‘Inflexion point’ BlackBerry washes hands of hardware biz

Mage
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Re: Cracked screens.

Every city & shopping centre has people that will fit a new screen from stock for common things. Unlike a TV set it's an economically viable repair for common models.

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BT tops Ofcom's broadband whinge list

Mage
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Headmaster

Meaningless stats?

The complaints per operator need scaled with the number of customers per operator.

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Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Mage
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Simple solution.

Scrap continuum and MS phone support altogether. It's a dying / dead market for MS. The desktop Windows has been crippled since win 8.x by this silly idea of one Windows for all devices. Just as stupid as making Win CE on 320 x 240 screens be a minuscule stylus pecked Win 9x GUI.

If a phone has enough "grunt" to dock to a desktop LCD panel, then the dock needs to solve the problem, or just leave it as it is. Anything else is going to be too much overhead for the phone or to crippling for a desktop. Perhaps you just want the phone storage to be on the dock/workstations file system and have a resizeable extra window on the desktop that is the phone screen, with keyboard / touch / mouse routed to phone when that's the active window.

Anyway, the MS concept is doomed to alienate Desktop users or cripple performance of the phone.

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