* Posts by Paul Crawford

2084 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Windows 10 marks the end of 'pay once, use forever' software

Paul Crawford
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Try the approach I went for - run Linux as your host and have a couple of VMs of XP, 7, etc for the software that is only windows. OK, you need a decent amount of RAM, but it works well enough and those VMs generally never need to see t'Internet so a few less security points to worry about.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Linux @DropBear

When you install Linux go to the advanced options for disk partitioning and set up something like this:

/ ext4 (~30GB if you have enough space)

/home ext4 (most of the rest of the disk)

And leave about 30GB if you can (say on a 1TB HDD or similar so its no big deal). That way you can nuke your OS installation without losing your own data, and if you prefer install a later version in the unused space and also have it mounting your home partition later. Then the grub boot menu will give you the chance to boot in to old or new versions.

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Open source Copyright Hub unveiled with '90+ projects' in the pipeline

Paul Crawford
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Sounds like a good idea

Firstly I must thank you for cheering my day up with the description " the rancid free-for-all of today’s clickbait-infested swamp", it is spot-on!

It remains to be seen how well the system works, but for a lot of commercial sites I can see it would be a great advantage if photos and other materiel could be licensed for a small fee more-or-less instantly. Even for some of us who choose to put things up for free, it would be nice to track its popularity (particularly if your funding is based on "public impact" factors).

However, the issue of meta-data stripping is more complex as it can reveal information about the person they really don't want public. For example, the lat/lon of their home, or a personal identifier if its a crime they reported. Having an agree copyright metadata field that is not stripped by web sites on pain of legal action is much better, so long as phones, etc, always confirm you want it sent in sensitive cases.

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UK's first 'DIY DAB' multiplex goes live in Brighton

Paul Crawford
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Ofcom report

It is worth a read of the report, in particular section 6.7 is damning of the quality and consistency of the DAB radios out there.

I am not surprised really, and having read parts of the DVB-S2 standard you can see why it is a high risk to implement and of these sort of systems in silicon for space projects etc - the standard is so damn long (from memory about 1000 pages in the various pdf documents) and complex that the chances of someone implementing all of it correctly is quite small.

Really, when you compare DAB in practice to FM and factor in receiver availability, battery life, coverage, etc, there is not a good case for DAB. The suggestion of killing it off and leaving FM and IP radio is a worth considering.

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Small number of computer-aided rifles could be hacked in contrived scenario

Paul Crawford
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Amusing concidence

Funny when I read the article the last part was:

Have also fired 12-bore shotguns on a few occasions and was once even present at a grouse shoot.

Sponsored: How to deal with Windows Server 2003 end of support

Related I wonder?

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Torrent-U-Like updates GULP DOWN your precious bandwidth

Paul Crawford
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Re: I did think that

Very much so if you have a few PCs on a LAN and are not using WSUS (like most homes and small businesses). In that case the overall benefit to you is probably much more than the penalty of it sending a copy out again.

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Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

Paul Crawford
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Re: 4k

The bandwidth problem for worthwhile 4k is also an issue for IP TV, at least, unless some serious headway is made in terms of fibre to, ideally, the home.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: 4k

The Japanese have looked at Ka-band satellite for UHDTV as there is really not much spare at Ku band. However, the investment in both space-side and the upgrade costs for everyone wanting it are not pretty

OK, if we dropped a lot of the 100+ shit channels we might have it on Ku, but that is not looking likely.

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Paul Crawford
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On a technical level IP TV is a horrendous wast of resources, all of those duplicated data streams...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: happy to pay the license fee

While I happen to think EastEnders is rubbish as well, I don't mind the BBC paying for it to be made as a lot of folk do link it.

What I do/would object to is the BBC bidding stupid sums of money for sports coverage. Not that I am against them doing sports, but I think the amount of money pissed up the wall by premier league footballers or the organisers of F1, etc, is not a good way to spend money. Other up-side is that Sky can pay a bit less for said sports, so those who do end up paying don't need to spend as much either.

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SPUD – The IETF protocol Snowden loves but will never be used

Paul Crawford
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Re: Added value?

That is a good example, but I fear that ISP's would abuse the ability to rank and manipulate streams and app developers, for that matter, to lie about what they are to appear better to a customer.

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Paul Crawford
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The most obvious beneficial case is caching common and/or large volume stuff, something that was largely pissed on by DRM anyway and becomes impossible for always-encrypted traffic.

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Paul Crawford
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Added value?

"we want to provide mechanisms to let operators try to add value"

Can anyone explain what "added value" is in this context? Why would I want it? (And I don't mean being whored to advertisers by my ISP)

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Microsoft Edge web browser: A well-presented mea culpa

Paul Crawford
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Google docs, what about Office 365?

Is the bad behaviour on Google's cloudy editor, etc, shown also on MS' offering?

Do MS still push Active-X stuff if they can for Windows browsing of Office365?

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

Paul Crawford
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Re: Let the arms race begin...

I don't know much about guns, but I imagine that a typical shotgun charge has a lot of small round shot in it, so the risk of that coming down far away elsewhere under gravity and remaining momentum is a whole lot smaller than a bullet.

Any commentards with more knowledge willing to add to this?

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Tired tablets don't tickle the imagination, so sales fall again

Paul Crawford
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Re: jerkyflexoff

Maybe for you, and your use.

But for various non-tech folk I know they are a breath of fresh air without all of the AV and other crap that a Windows laptop has/accumulates in short notice. Also they are often much cheaper than a laptop for a decent screen resolution, for reasons I never could fathom...

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Bloke who tried to get journo killed by SWAT cops coughs to conspiracy charge

Paul Crawford
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Re: A complete and utter failure of the 911 Caller ID technology

Of course, they could check first if the phone can be reliably located to the immediate vicinity of the alleged incident and, if not, treat the call as a touch suspicious and perhaps survey the scene a little more before bursting in with guns blazing.

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Ford's parallel PARCing: Motor giant tries to craft new tech just like Xerox

Paul Crawford
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Lets just hope all of this new software-controlled driving is more reliable than their stop/start switch that needed a patch recently.

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Secretive trade pact the TTIP: Death of the web – or a brave new horizon?

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Fundamental

No, the fundamental reason why these "trade pacts" should be kicked out is simply the undemocratic process by which they were generated. Secret negotiations with only a few officials (and certain lobby groups) being given access, and not us, the people to which they will apply.

So no matter what they are offering, they should be destroyed on the simple principle that they are attempting to re-write our laws by the back door - by secret agreement that is then presented as fait accompli for the EU nations, Australia, etc, to swallow without any sort of scrutiny.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Paul Crawford
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Carriers monkey with the OS/apps, then the carriers should fix them. It is high time that the law treats this sort of thing as a fault to be fixed for, say, 5 years after last sale. For everyone, so no supplier can wriggle out and not have to pony up to fix the damn software.

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Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

First Android worm?

Of course it could send itself to everyone in your contacts list, and to everyone they know...

Nice. Maybe Google and the phone makers should face a class-action suite if they don't fix it? MS must be laughing at the same sort of mistakes being made a decade later.

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Paul Crawford
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"Microsoft HAS to find another way to remain relevant"

They, and a lot of other software houses, are seeing the same problem. So when faced with two choices what would you, as a customer and developer, want to follow:

1) Build on what you know to make a product that does what the customer wants, reliably, and securely.

2) Dick around with the GUI and look for ways of whoring your customer's data to advertisers?

Now ask yourself what most MBA type running those companies go for...

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Don't suit up: Microsoft drops dress code for Android visitors

Paul Crawford
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embrace, extinguish...

"Android developers are being lured ever closer to GMS, with Lollipop adding 5,000 new API calls"

Bummer that. Sadly I don't feel much sympathy for MS getting burnt in that area considering how they pushed Windows devs in to using calls that are only on Windows, etc, instead of POSIX and anything portable.

I wish I could, as Google doing the same does not make it OK or in the customer's interests. And I mean the phone's owner, not those to whom they are being whored for advertising reasons.

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EU graciously lets Dutch splurge €33m on 'leccy car charger network

Paul Crawford
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Home chargers?

How many people have their own drive ways so they can use a home charger? Most cars I see are parked in the street, so that is not going to happen.

OK, maybe for high-end cars like the Tesla folk might be in luxury homes with their own drive, but certainly not for the mass of cars in current use.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Netherlands

"more efficient and produce less pollution per unit energy that a car engine"

Really? I thought modern turbo diesels were pretty much a match for most power station, but I don't have the numbers. Do you? Also what about the extra mass of the battery to throw around, or is that largely covered by regenerative braking?

As an aside, recently I saw my first electric charging station in the UK. It had three bloody cables since the ass-hat manufacturers have not standardised on one. A 43kW AC one, and two 50kW DC ones. Why?

Mind you, a typical UK main supply fuse is 100A, so a home supply could provide at most 23kW.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Paul Crawford
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How stable would the grid be with even 50% renewable energy?

What would the black-start options be?

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Intelsat to FCC: For the love of satellites, STOP ELON MUSK!

Paul Crawford
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Re: I call Foul!

Intelsat don't want a business plan, but knowledge of the transmissions to see if they are a threat to proper operations. LEO satellites are global, so they have the potential to piss on everyone's party if done badly.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Is Musk going for geostationary?

"Obviously the LEO satellites would be licensed for a different frequency"

Very likely NOT.

There are only a few viable and allocated bands where you can get cheap COTS hardware, etc, to support this and they are all pretty full, so very likely they will be broadcasting on the same frequencies as the GEO birds but relying on (hoping?) that the directional properties of the antenna (both their own, and the GEO ground terminals) are sufficient to stop interference.

I am pretty sure that is why Intelsat wants the details, do do their own analysis of the interference mitigation strategy to see what the impact might be. Beyond that, there is also the heavy congestion of the usual S-band TTC range to consider, and what impact trying to manage a fleet of a thousand small satellites over a couple of operators will be on other satellite's TTC.

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Hark, the Hacking Team angels sing, it’s not us who’ve actually sinned

Paul Crawford
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"on the side of angels, albeit deeply misunderstood"

Wasn't Lucifer himself an angel once, and now has a bit of a PR problem?

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Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

Paul Crawford
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Re: No smoking gun?

In many cases, yes. But that is not an excuse for not properly engineering systems that are safety critical.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: A start, but...

As already pointed out: start aggressively jailing managers who fail to enforce proper safety processes in product design, testing, and support.

Industry won't go bankrupt, and after a few execs are doing jail time the behaviour will improve remarkably.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: No smoking gun?

So how do you explain the significant number of reported incidents?

What about the case when they (passenger) were making a 911 call during the process of the car being uncontrollable? (They died in the crash). No one from Toyota could point to a sticky mat, etc, to explain that away.

Sorry, but show me safety-critical system that has so many potential flaws and has single points of failure (in both code and the hardware) and that is a "smoking gun" to me.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: No smoking gun?

Have you read this about Toyota's ECU software:

http://betterembsw.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/a-case-study-of-toyota-unintended.html

Not just it could crash, but also it might corrupt the logging feature supposed to help find the cause of a serious crash.

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Paul Crawford
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A start, but...

"$5,000 fine"

No, lets start with $500k for failing such a penetration test, and go upwards from there. Only if profits are seriously threatened will those morons who decide to make everything software-controlled (by the cheapest code monkeys they can find) start to get the message.

And yes, I have designed control systems and even written code for an engine management computer project in the distant past. So I'm no Luddite, but someone with a heightened sense of how critical such systems are and how piss-poor most designs end up.

Rule #1 no external connection unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. There is no necessity for brakes, steering and throttle control to be externally accessed.

Rule #2 have hardware & software with no single point of failure.

Rule #3 software is never 100% trustworthy, so have hardware limits, watchdogs and cut-outs that can override ANY software command.

Rule #4 big red switch for power. That stops EVERYTHING if needed.

<edited to add>

Rule #5 don't trust something that has not been independently audited. Not even your own code.

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Beaten blokes HATE the women who frag them in online games

Paul Crawford
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Gimp

Meanwhile on another site...

I wonder how the "low-status, poorer-performing males" on Fetlife react?

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SourceForge goes TITSUP thanks to storage fault

Paul Crawford
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Stop

At this time (UK evening 21st), the code repository is still down.

So 4 days for DR to come though and counting. Guys, are you serious about being a place to trust?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: It's a pile of poo

It is known as "delivering shareholder value"

In buckets.

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Big Blue bafflement: Anyone in IBM Storage know which way is up?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Maybe customers are worried...

Imagine the (potential) customer's conversation:

C: So what is special about IBM storage?

IBM: Er, well, Yes! Its from us, the big computer company you can trust!

C: How long will you be supporting it?

IBM: Er, as long as we have a hardware business, were in!

C: OK...<slowly moves towards to door>

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Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable

Paul Crawford
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Re: Who actually wears a watch anymore? And why?

Partly because I always did.

But mostly I do as it lasts for years on one battery (in fact, mine also solar charges) so I can tell the time without having to keep charging my phone every day or two. That matters if you are in the middle on nowhere as far as power points are concerned. It is also "waterproof" (they say 50m depth but reality is a strong shower) and won't fall out of pockets, etc, depending on activities.

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Your poster guide: A fascinating glimpse into North Korea's 'internet'

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: Internet Directory

I suspect that 'foreign exchange reserves' would not be the only thing completely drained after such a night of pr0n browsing

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Russian billionaire: GET me the ALIENS ON THE PHONE. Do it NOW

Paul Crawford
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Re: So... what if their not friendly?

Simple, they will find you and make you one of the "actors" in a pluck'em, fuck'em and chuck'em tourist package...

You wake up after being dropped somewhere smelling of cheap booze, with a sore arse, and no one will believe your story!

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The Ruskies are coming for you, NSA director tells City bankers

Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Re: secure?

Oh the internet is secure.

But once we started with routers/switches attached and "protecting" our interests that have more lines of code for poxy user interfaces than most 70's operating systems had, and then hooked up PCs designed so an idiot could get on-line to browse pr0n, then you have a security problem...

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Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Middle managers

Good point. Lets keep the telephone sanitisers...

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Fragmented Android development creating greater security risks

Paul Crawford
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Re: Isn't the real problem here...

Funny how Linux desktop & server have updates easily applied to any part of them, often while the thing keeps running. Why can't phone makers, who use the same OS as a starting point, achieve this known application technology as well?

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WHOA! Windows 10 to be sold on USB drives – what a time to be alive

Paul Crawford
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Probably shitty UEFI implementations, but I'm not sure when it comes to Windows.

I have only had two problems with Linux USB "live" sticks, firstly with old PCs (think 2006 era) which don't see a USB stick as a simple bootable HDD and often ask you if its a floppy or CD, etc (none of which seem to work).

The other is very new PC motherboards with secure boot that failed to boot Linux but said bugger all about the reason. Only poking about in the BIOS/UEFI settings did I find that secure boot was enabled.

UEFI BIOS writers, a pox on them all!

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Paul Crawford
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Is this a "run anywhere" live USB stick, or just a copy you have to install and separately 'activate' on any PC you wish to use it on?

And how do you make a back-up copy, is it just a 'dd' style operation or will these sticks have some anti-copy arrangement?

Of course, other OS have had this for years and no license restrictions, so lets see how the arguments stack up.

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Wicked WikiLeaks leaks considered harmful: Alert over malware lurking in dumped docs

Paul Crawford
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Or the font-rendering one I guess :(

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Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed

Paul Crawford
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Re: "and they never get tired, irritable or distracted".

Lets hope the quality of code is better than the Toyota engine management unit:

http://betterembsw.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/a-case-study-of-toyota-unintended.html

Read it an weep, or at least, not buy a Toyota.

However, who knows how well other suppliers would fair if properly audited. Eh, Ford with your engine stopping problem, or you Range Rover with your door unlocking?

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Paul Crawford
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While this one example is clearly a not-paying-attention driver, Are there any stats to say if these events in total are more or less common than a meatsack driven car?

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Space Station 'nauts dive for cover from flying Soviet junk

Paul Crawford
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Re: Oh those evil Russians...

Only if it was, in fact, part of an old Soviet craft. Which it is.

Recently the worst offender is the Chinese with their anti-satellite test that cause a huge cloud of debris, largely higher than the ISS orbit. Most Chinese scientists were appalled by it, but of course you do as the leaders tell you.

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