* Posts by Eponymous Cowherd

1484 posts • joined 28 Nov 2007

Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Eponymous Cowherd
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Facepalm

Re: We have RIPA

They can only demand a password if they know who to demand it from.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Of Geese and Ganders

Alex Stamos' point is particularly relevant. If the US can demand that all encryption used within it's borders contains a "back door", so can any other nation.

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$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

Eponymous Cowherd
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Live by the sword,....

die by the sword.

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Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy: Hands-on gizmo-packed motoring

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Oh dear

I have had 3 Renaults in my time.

A 1972 Renault 5 (9 years old at the time). Total brake failure (Master cylinder failed), just managed to stop in time with handbrake and furious pumping of the pedal. Steering rack jammed going around a corner, the wall I hit put it out of its misery.

A 1986 Renault 11 TXE Electronic (3 years old). Lovely car until the voice synth developed Tourette's syndrome. The light failure warning then kept claiming non-existent failures, the fuel flow meter failed, the sun roof started leaking and the oil level meter kept claiming low oil when it was fine. Then the cam belt snapped (after only being on the car about 18 months). 4 new pistons, 8 new valves and a big bill later, it got sold.

The last one was a 1989 Renault 25 TXE. Supposedly one of the worst vehicles Renault ever made, but mine was bomb-proof. Got it at 5 years old and kept it for 11 years. Never needed anything but servicing, tyres and brake pads in that time.

My worst car, by far, was a Ford Granada (1995, 6 years old when I got it). After 18 months it simultaneously blew a head gasket and autobox at the same time while on holiday. and needed a shedload of remedial work at the two MOTs I put it through.

My least favourite care was my 2003 Peugeot 406 estate. Nothing wrong with it, per-se, I just hated driving the thing.

My favourite car is my current one. A Kia Cee'd CRDi Estate (currently 5 years old). Had it two years, faultless in that time and I find it really nice to drive.It, obviously, won't win any races, but I can get out of it after a 500 mile trip feeling as comfortable as when I got in. With any other car I've had, my back would be aching after 100 miles, and agony after 200, irrespective of how I adjust the seat. On paper its a pretty basic vehicle, but is certainly the most comfortable car I have had. The 60+ mpg is a bonus, too.

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Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

Eponymous Cowherd
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Terminator

Re: Emergency control

OK? Would the downvoting twatspanner care to explain how this post is inaccurate, as you can only be disputing its accuracy as my post is non-partisan with regard to whether delivery (or any other kind of drone) is a good/bad idea?

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Issues

Not to mention the "Buy a book and get a free drone" factor.

Drone? I ain't seen no drone.......

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Alternative

Automated Delivery System

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Emergency control

"As long as the fully automated drone has the capability for the user to override and take emergency control then it still fine - I very much doubt there are any drones which don't full into this category."

The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 doesn't fall into that category. If you control it via MAVLink / QGroundControl instead of using Parrot's proprietary Wi-Fi protocol then it will happily continue flying along its waypoints after it has lost its control link.

As fas as I know this is true of all UAV's which utilise MAVLink (e.g. Arducopter, etc).

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ATTENTION SETI scientists! It's TOO LATE: ALIENS will ATTACK in 2049

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Interesting

Well, the theory is that any race that has survived long enough to develop interstellar travel will have outgrown petty vices like war, genocide, galactic domination, that sort of thing.

Either that, or they have exterminated all opposition and are looking for their next "challenge"....

Not that we'd be much of a challenge to a race of highly advanced, power hungry, genocidal super-strong beings bent on galactic domination.

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FOCUS! 7680 x 4320 notebook and fondleslab screens are coming

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: An 8K fondleslab?

Well, I assume that it will use the dpi of the screen to render sensibly, but at 960dpi (or around 38 pixels per mm) for an iPad fitted wit an 8K screen,I cant see (or,literally, won't be able to see) the benefit over the existing 264dpi "retina" display.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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WTF?

An 8K fondleslab?

As an everyday user, this gets me what, exactly?

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EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?

Eponymous Cowherd
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Value for money

Three are a very close second in most tests, but are far better value for money in that they offer 4G at no extra cost and all-you-can-eat data at very reasonable rates.

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Smartphones don’t dumb you down, they DUMB you UP

Eponymous Cowherd
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Joke

Re: Alistair (was:Whatever.)

""OH, It's SONOMA! Heart of California's wine country!" isn't an answer. Because it's not."

You mean "whine" country, surely.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The Red Dwarf chilli chutney egg sarnie

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Student fayre

Ah, lime pickle. Truly the food of the gods, though I prefer the Patak's stuff myself.

Our local Pizza 'n' Kebab joint does a kebab meat and chilli sauce pizza. Delicious and something, I'm sure, Dave Lister would approve of.

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'If someone in Australia says lick my toad, it's not a euphemism'

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Marmite?

There was an article on the PM programme the other day about the burgeoning black market for "real" Cadbury chocolate from the UK or Ireland since Hershey have been granted an embargo on retailers selling the real thing.

I recently was offered some "cadbury" chocolate while in the US. I have eaten Hershey chocolate before and found it fairly unpleasant, but when you take a mouthful expecting the creamy smooth taste of a chunk of Cadbury's and instead get the sickly sweet taste and plasticky texture of Hershey it honestly tastes like you have popped a lump of solidified puke into your mouth.

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Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

Eponymous Cowherd
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Coat

The Apple iCar

this will, obviously be the most beautiful vehicle ever seen on the road. It will have the lines of a Ferrari coupled to the passenger capacity of an MPV, will have a top speed in excess of 200mph and hit 60 faster than a Nissan GT-R, It will, of course, be a ZEV, but the battery will be non-replaceable and will need recharging every 20 miles at propitiatory Apple charging stations. You will not be able to charge it at home without buying an approved charging adaptor for £/$Stupid.

The windscreen(shield) will, obviously, crack at the impact of large bees.

Like all other Apple products, it will not be waterproof, or even mildly shower resistant, and will conk out if you drive it in the rain (voiding the warranty in the process)

You will, obviously, only be permitted to travel along Apple approved routes.

Once Apple get the iCar to market, they will, rightfully, sue Ford, GM, Nissan, etc for the temerity of stealing their idea of "A road vehicle with a wheel at each corner"

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Windows tablet price war FINALLY has 'em prying open wallets

Eponymous Cowherd
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Holmes

Microsoft in "Stuff is worth whatever people are willing to pay for it" shocker

Title, pretty much, says it all.

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Horrifying iPhone sales bring Apple $18bn profit A QUARTER

Eponymous Cowherd
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Facepalm

Whoosh

That was the sound of irony shooting over your head.....

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Eponymous Cowherd
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Mushroom

Bullshit

"Before Paris and Belgium, the government raised the threat level to severe. Intelligence showed what might be coming. We could easily have been Paris or Belgium. Thankfully, so far we have not been exposed in the same way, except for the tragedy of Fusilier Rigby, but it is a very brave man indeed who says that at the present time we would not be."

This sort of bullshit really annoys me. Not sure if the people who spout this nonsense are really that inordinately stupid, or are just hoping that if they spout this bollocks often enough the Great Unwashed will swallow it.

The filth that carried out the Paris atrocities and the murder of Lee Rigby were known to the security services. The fact that they managed to carry out their attacks is down to mistakes by and/or under-resourcing of the aforementioned security services. Having data on every man, woman, child, cat, dog and, for all I know hamster's Internet activity wouldn't have made a jot of difference.

Why is it so buggering difficult for these twatspanners to grasp that there is no point in slurping zettabytes of additional data when the data they already have on people who are known threats are already overloading the people whose job it is to protect us from those threats.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Big Brother

Re: Organising the Techies

While avoiding the snoopers charter infrastructure wouldn't be that difficult, what is really needed is to make that avoidance plug and play.

Gargoyle supports TOR via a plugin, and you can configure it to route data from your LAN over TOR by default, so that nothing from your home network can be "snooped".

So what we need are broadband routers that offer TOR connectivity out of the box (without having to flash a 3rd party replacement OS) and which can be bought from your local PC World.

TOR, of course, has demonstrable weaknesses, so research into a more secure anonymising network (TOR2?) which could be implemented in hardware / firmware on off-the-shelf routers would be a laudable goal.

Kickstarter, perhaps? A secure broadband router that protects you against Government snooping? Reckon that'd sell.

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Will fondleslab's fickle finger of fate help Windows 10?

Eponymous Cowherd
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Holmes

Will the fickle finger of fondleslab fate help Windows 10?

No.

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Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Is May really that thick? (the electorate are thick)

Gullible and fearful are more apt descriptions of the mainstream voter, I'd say, which is why May spinning scare stories and fantasy solutions to them works, I guess.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Pint

One Bright Light

The one bright light is the fact that so many of us that actually work with the technology the Government seeks to control are so set against that control.

Without our support they shall not prevail.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Big Brother

Is May really that thick?

If she was really concerned about protecting the public from Terrorist attack, she'd be concentrating on how the perpetrators manage to carry out these attacks despite being known to the authorities instead of using them as an excuse to push through universal snooping laws.

But knowledge is power, and data on what the entire population is saying and thinking is a huge amount of knowledge, and a huge amount of power. Along comes Mr Terrorist, delivering the ideal excuse to grab that power.

May knows that it will do absolutely bugger all to stop the terrorists. She is hoping that the rest of us don't realise this. We need to ensure that the rest of us do!!

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

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Question for people here smarter than me...

All AI really means is the ability to make decisions that are not explicitly encoded.

A car that can drive itself because it has been programmed to do so is not really AI. A car that can be taught to drive by demonstration certainly is.

Of course it isn't black and white, there are degrees between the two. Most driverless vehicles have AI elements (reading signs and the road, etc) but are ultimately under program control.

It is also useful not to confuse AI with artificial sentience (ST's Data). You can have an exceedingly sophisticated AI which, despite being able to make uncanny and seemingly "human like" decisions is still unaware of its own existence. The two are not explicitly connected.

Its not even certain where self awareness occurs in animals. Certainly we (humans), chimps, dolphins, elephants and a few others can be shown to be via displays of empathy and recognising their own reflections, but at what point does the behaviour of an animal start to stem from its own self awareness rather than pure instinct and reaction to stimuli? Is a slug self aware? A lizard. A mouse? A cat? A monkey?

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Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Not getting my vote...

Well, I'm certainly against it, but more through the inconvenience it will cause me than through its effectiveness to either track me, or any wrong-doers.

Anyone who is really concerned about catching criminals and preventing terrorism will see this as a waste of money that will actually make it harder to catch Johnny Jihaddy by burying his online activity in a mountain of data slurped from everyone else.

Its merely an attempt to be seen to be doing something.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Big Brother

Illusion

"What exactly does he think this will achieve other than giving the daily fail & mumsnet lot the illusion of something being done?

I think you have hit the nail on the head. They need to be seen to be doing something, even if it is completely ineffectual. The correct response is an internal review on how the security services go about their business to ensure it is less likely that those that are "on the radar" don't drop off it and go on to commit an atrocity.

The trouble is, announcing "MI5 are doing a review on operating procedures" won't keep the frothy-mouth brigade happy, and they are the core Tory vote.

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Boybanders ONE DIRECTION launch DoS attack on open-source bods

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: I am fed up of their evil schemes

My daughters are also 1D haters (good).

Trouble is they like Babymetal. It's like a cross between a cat being strangled and nails being scraped down a blackboard.

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Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

Eponymous Cowherd
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Jaffa cakes

They can start by sorting out the current system. Biscuits and cakes are "essentials" and attract no VAT, except chocolate covered biscuits which are deemed a luxury an DO have VAT added. Jaffa cakes, however, are cakes, not biscuits, and despite being covered in chocolate do not have VAT charged on them.

A gingerbread man with two chocolate spots eyes has no VAT, add gumdrop buttons and it does.

And how come a pack of digestives is a VAT free essential, but adult clothes are not. Try explaining that to PC Plod when you walk down the street naked.

Paper books are VAT free, but eBooks are not.

Incontinance products have no VAT, but "sanitary" prooducts do.

A child's car seat has VAT but a motorcycle helmet does not. Both are required to be used by law.

All in all, the VAT system is a randomised mess. They can start by making annything that the use of is, or is implied to be, a legal requirement (e.g. clothes) exempt or zero rated.

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Our EXCLUSIVE VID of MIRACLE TECH: Charge your phone in 16 SECONDS – WIRELESSLY

Eponymous Cowherd
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Comments

The really odd thing about that article is the comments section. who'd have thought phone batteries could be so contraversial.

I suspect it was the Beeb comnentards attempting to comment on more newsworthy items. The BBC does tend to restrict commenting to only the more banal articles.

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UKIP website TAKES A KIP, but for why?

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: They arent a serious party..

The things that the 'kippers conveniently forget to mention when spouting their anti- EU rhetoric are the EU rulings and regulations that actually protect us from the worse depredations of our own government.

Looking in particular at a certain Home Secretaries, here.....

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Major update cockup? @Eponymous Cowherd

Would you care to name these people I have "shouted down". I have derided the 'kippers because I genuinely think they are dangerous and those who follow them are fools, but as nobody here has said they support them your accusation holds no credibility. You will also note that I am extremely critical of the two major parties for creating the environment in which a party like UKIP can thrive.

Just beware. In the General Election you might get the Government you vote for. Just before you put that X in the box, imagine Farage standing outside of No 10. I don't know about you, but the thought scares the shit out of me.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: They arent a serious party..

"And I suppose you think 60% of voters in clacton are racists/homophones(sic)/whatever?"

No, actually I don't.

I think the 'kippers, themselves are those things. I hope the people who voted for them did it as a protest.

If they vote kipper in the Gneeral election I will count them as gullible fools rather than racist homophobes.

The problem is the two major parties are promising to pile shit on the electorate if they win, while the 'kippers are promising everything they desire and people are too blind to see, and too pissed off with Labour and the Tories to understand or even care about the mountain of shit the 'kippers would actually bury them under.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Major update cockup?

The web site of our local rag has become infested with the bastards. Almost any story has hoards of 'kipper commentards stating how all this (the subject of the article) will be fixed when (not if) they win the election.

According to them, under a 'kipper government crime, sickness, the rising cost of living, poor housing, decaying town centres, unemployment, high taxes, corruption, poor roads, poor public transport, etc, etc, will all be things of the past and we will all be living in Farageatopia. Anyone who questions their proclamations is shouted down with a torrent of abuse.

The really scary thing is how many people are being taken in by this rhetoric. They are thoroughly pissed off with "austerity" and will get more of the same from the Conservatives and "austerity lite" from Labour. Along come the 'kippers promising utopia (albeit impractical and undeliverable) and they are lapping it up.

Of course, what would actually happen if the 'kippers got any real power is the UK would wind up in deep shit along the lines of Zimbabwe (and for similar reasons).

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By the power of Xbox, WE HAVE THE POWER! - Leakers publish One's SDK

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: CPU power

Load times for Unity are a joke. I, too, have sat there for the best part of a minute waiting for the next "memory" to load.

Moving from a Wii to an XBox One, I have to say that there are plenty of things to be disappointed with it about. Having to install everything to the HDD is a real pain, made doubly painful by the requirement to re-insert the disk to play the game on the HDD. I know why they did it, but it's still annoying.

It's also not much of a "family" console. There's "Kinect sports heroes", and a couple of "dance" games, and that's about it. Most of the content is of the "running around killing things" genre with "driving like a chav" a fairly distant second and "kicking the ball around", third. Personally I like the first two, but justifying the expense as a family entertainment centre to the financial controller is proving difficult.

I do rather like AC Black flag. The naval warfare stuff is great fun. Reminds me of the old Microprose "Pirates" game.

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European data law: UK.gov TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

Eponymous Cowherd
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Farage

Farage is an obnoxious little maggot who will say and promise anything, irrespective of whether it can be delivered, to gain a few more votes.

This is the bloke who wanted to scrap the NHS and move to a US style insurance based system. Of course, once he realised that this was the ultimate vote loser he backtracked on that idea, but we can all be sure that he hasn't really changed his mind.

'Kippers, they'd be fucking funny if so many people weren't being taken in by their bullshit.

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HORRIFIED Amazon retailers fear GOING BUST after 1p pricing cockup

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Shurely

So your small software vendors would have to demonstrate that they had proper processes in place to obtain the insurance at a sensible price. Just like hardware manufacturers, and for that matter plumbers and jobbing electricians, have to do now.

I work for a TickIT+ certified developer so we do follow those "proper processes" and we do have to demonstrate that we follow them. We also guarantee our software up to its full value. If it breaks you get your money back.

It is, precisely, because we do follow rigorous procedures that we understand that they cannot ensure an absolute, 100%, fault free product (show me a product that has never failed). A contract with even a tiny chance of being taken to the cleaners for £millions isn't worth it.

Oh, and "hardware" manufacturers certainly do limit their liability. If your handbrake fails on your new car, they may pay for the damage to your vehicle, but not for any 3rd party damage. And one manufacturer who likes to claim a "lifetime" warranty on their vehicles specifically includes an addition to their manual that you should leave the vehicle in gear when you park it (against highway code advice) because they know a certain model is prone to handbrake failure. A friend recently had his new car roll away, smash 3 parked cars and demolish a lamp post. When he tried to claim off the warranty they pointed at the clause in the manual and, effectively, told him to fuck off.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: Shurely

If that were the case, then Microsoft would probably survive, along with the other big names. What would disappear would be all of the small ISVs and developers who wouldn't be able to afford to insure themselves against a situation like this if they were directly responsible for the loss.

The only result of making software developers responsible fir consequential losses would be vastly less choice, much less functionality (the more complex, the greater chance of a cockup) and vastly higher prices.

So the only word processor would be MS Word, it would have the functionality of Wordpad and cost £3000.

Exaggerating? Yes, but not by all that much.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Eponymous Cowherd
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Flame

Arrrgh.....

It burns us, precious.

well, my eyes, at least.

Truly hideous.

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The Great Unwatched: BBC hails glorious digital future for Three

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: "a million Don't Tell the Bride, Sun Sex & Suspicious Parents and 'documantaries'"

Yes, but this kind of shite "lowest common denominator" output is done to death by the other terrestial channels. What added value does the BBC offer by doing it too?

Anyone who wants to can still get their fill of as much fly-on-the-wall reality shite as they want once BBC 3 has gone from a hundred other channels.

Compare this with if the BBC had decided to scrap BBC 4 instead.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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CBBC

You know there is something wrong with a supposedly "adult" channel like BBC 3 when a kids channel (CBBC) churns out better content than it does.

Hell, even most of Cbeebies content it highbrow compared to Don't tell the Barely Legal Suspicious Parents.

I guess the bottom line is that when Channel 4, Channel 5 and a large amount of ITV content is puerile shite, there is no real benefit in the licence funded BBC doing the same.

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Google pushes 'go' on Android Studio

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: The King is dead....

"I think Xamarin starts offering value when you're developing for two or three platforms (iOS, Android and WinPhone)."

Yes, and that is the main purpose of the platform. Anyone who wants to create a mobile app will certainly want to target as many potential users/customers as possible, that means, at least, iOS and Android.

The Xamarin platform cuts the development time down by some 35% over two platforms and more like 50% over 3 (though it does depend on the balance between business logic and UI). It also allows to to divide your programming resources more economically. You don't need separate Objective C / iOS, Java / Android and Windows Phone / C# developers.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: The King is dead....

Forms is still pretty immature, though it is moving along fast. I'm still not sure about its advantage over "traditional" UIs for the three mobile platforms. Personally I prefer the flexibility of individually designed front ends. Forms has too much of a whiff of AWT about it.

The real advantage in Xamarin is that you can share data and business logic/rules and bind them to the individual UI front ends (easy as both iOS and Android are MVC based and Windows Phone is MVVM).

Then there is the distinct advantage that all three platforms can be coded in a single language (C#) (or F# if you really want to)

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: The King is dead....

"What advantages does the former have over the latter for Android development?"

You can develop for iOS, Android and Windows phone in C# sharing 75% to 90+% of code between them and use most of the core .NET feature any C# coder will be familiar with.

It also make more economic sense. Why develop three completely separate apps in three different languages when you don't have to?

OK, if you are only targeting Android and you are already experienced in Java/Android there isn't much to be gained, but we develop for all three.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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The King is dead....

long live the king.

No, not free (by one hell of a way), but easily the best mobile dev platform out there.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: I just can't be arsed anymore!

Quite.

I plan my journey so that I have plenty of time, stick to the limits, have a much less stressful journey and get an extra 10 or so mpg out of the car.

And there is the added advantage that you know you won't be having a nasty surprise landing on your doormat in a week or so.

Win-Win.

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Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: The Jeremy Clarkson Effect...

"And likewise sometimes travelling in excess of it is perfectly safe as well.

But illegal.

If you knowingly exceed the speed limit and get caught, you only have yourself to blame. That is the way the law works. Its no good whining about sneakily placed speed traps, you know the law, you broke it, you got caught. Man up and take it on the chin rather than crying like a baby.

Oh? You already have 9 points on your licence? Well you were triply stupid speeding knowing that another ticket would result in a ban and no job then, weren't you.

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Huawei: 'Nobody made any money in Windows Phone'

Eponymous Cowherd
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Re: A money burning exercise

VS2013 is pig slow and crashes often and "Ribbon" Office just makes me want to smash my computer in frustration because of the way it makes simple things difficult.

How do you slow your server to a crawl? Yep, you install MS Exchange. That'll do it.

But SQL Server, yeah, probably the best there is.

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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

Eponymous Cowherd
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Pirate

Meh....

Just a case of needing to be seen to be doing something.

Even if the "something" is completely ineffectual.

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Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

Eponymous Cowherd
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Happy

0/12

It's much more fun trying to get them all wrong.....

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