* Posts by Paul Crawford

2804 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

You lucky devs: It's Microsoft Office 2016 ... and VBA lives on

Paul Crawford
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Security?

Will this open another can of worms in the "documents can do stuff" theme that resulted in the various pop-up warnings from Office about risks from allowing macros to run, etc?

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FATTIES have most SUCCESS with opposite SEX! Have some pies and SCORE

Paul Crawford
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Re: BMI

I know excess drinking is bad for you, but a pint of Hg? Strewth!

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Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store

Paul Crawford
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Re: Information wants to be free!

Ironic really, given the Apple logo was based on the symbolic apple from Genesis story of God kicking out Adam & Eve for tasting the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Now they do the same...

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Arabic-speaking cyberspies targeting BOFHs with crude but effective attacks

Paul Crawford
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Re: Thank you Captain Obvious

Yes, but normally they target the wonks in accounts because they often have lots of access but lack the nous one normally assumes a BOFH has by the bucket full.

Not, it would seem, here...

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Diskicide – the death of disk

Paul Crawford
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Re: "post-dedupe"

As soon as folk start talking about compression or de-dupe, they are up to something, and that something is usually a lie.

Compare RAID-protected capacity & cost. Note the IOPS difference, then decide.

Not all work loads benefit from compression or de-dupe to make the extra CPU load and/or RAM usage worthwhile, so leave that to the customer to see if there is some advantage.

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Will IT support please come to the ward immediately. Weeeee have a tricky problem

Paul Crawford
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Re: in ye olde days

Did the same, but promptly unplugged and ran the keyboard under the hot-ish tap for a bit to clean it out, then left is end-up on the to dry overnight. Much to my surprise it worked fine for several years more, and was cleaner then any other in the building!

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Get on with it! Uncle Sam's right-hand man schools ICANN powwow

Paul Crawford
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Re: Unprofessional. Irresponsible.

Yes - probably best option is to nuke it from orbit.

Start again, new board, rules that stop them plying silly buggers, and if they are OK in a years time then job done. After all, most of the Internet would function perfectly well without ICANN, certainly for the time it takes to wipe and re-install.

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Controversial: The future is data integrity, not confidentiality

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Pete H

Firstly a passport is optional, you only need that to travel abroad. Same as a driving license, you only need that to drive. Now most folk will want both, but you can live well enough without them.

Secondly it is not so much malice I fear but incompetence, and that said incompetence could seriously screw you up when everything depends on the ID/database being correct. If its wrong, how do you go about correcting it? Who will pay for losses resulting from such errors?

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Paul Crawford
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Not from folk who use email clients that insist on HTML + plain test every time!

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Paul Crawford
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UK problems with ID cars

The most fundamental issues with the ID cards in the UK come down to two issues:

1) Becoming a non-citizen without one. So if anything happens (you lost it, or the gov screws up) then instantly you might lose the ability to do anything or get health care, etc, because now you now have to prove you are a citizen.

2) The asymmetry of the power. Basically the gov can fine to £1000 for failing to update your detail, can use or abuse the data (e.g. sell it to insurers, etc) as they want. But if they fuck up you have basically no rights to sue them in return (even if you did have that right, the asymmetry in legal resources makes that difficult).

If you look at Estonia they have a very different approach, not the database-state that our gov was wanting to create where the ID was simply to help them. In Estonia the ID card and systems have been created to provide you, the citizen and voter, with advantages.

Just note the law where you can't be pestered to provide data the gov already has, and that you have a right to see who has accessed your data.

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Blighty's Bloodhound 1,000mph rocket car unveiled ahead of record attempt

Paul Crawford
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"it's unlikely we'll see much return from all this"

Who knows? If a few young Brits get inspired in to engineering and later form businesses with £M turnovers it will have been worth it.

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So how do Google's super-smart security folk protect their data?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Yes, password manager

A password manager is a great idea - except when its web based, as you don't control that. Oh and of course if it is software on your machine, and your machine is pw0ned and you have not realised it. Or you have to you another's machine, which may be pw0ned.

Convenience trumps security each time. Probably what we should be going for is a more universal 2FA system so you have one physically isolated dongle-like random number generator that you can register with your password, so gaining access to one or the other is not enough.

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NASA rover coders at Intel's Wind River biz axed – sources

Paul Crawford
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Re: "the axe appeared to fall heavily on those who worked from home."

Other wise known as "keeping the arse licker"

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Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Sad to hear

At one time the main argument for paying for software was you got knowledgeable and experienced support from folk who had made those mistakes years ago and would not do it again on your watch.

Now that is simple an expense to be gotten rid of to shore up some CEO's stupid purchase losses elsewhere.

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We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

Paul Crawford
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Re: Very common

No if the cable is too long you can do any of the following:

1) Place the appliance further away if it is useful.

2) Coil up the cable, possible with some form of cable tie to hold it neatly in place.

3) Cut the cable a little too long[*] and put a new plug on it.

Easy really...

* We all know a cable cut to length will be too short.

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Penny wise and pound foolish: Server hoarders are energy wasters

Paul Crawford
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Yes, Windows as such is more expensive. But the overall cost comes down to what you need to run and how much effort you are willing or able to put in to it.

Most readers of El Reg who don't have much legacy Windows stuff will be happy to run various servers of all sorts to do the job, and much cheaper than cloud solutions. Other do need Windows and maybe that is the cheapest solution for either local hardware or cloud provisioning.

On the other hand, a lot of SMB have no real tech support and the cloud suits them in both style and cost. Think web email, document collaboration with Google Docs or Office 365.

And then we get on to data sovereignty and what happens if you decide not to pay suppler #1 any more...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: The reason why some businesses are still running P4s

Our experience of P2V converters is mixed, my old home machine (W2k) worked perfectly after I did a bit of file system re-arranging and had enough external HDD to direct the output to. Another machine failed, but that might have been due to the odd/legacy drivers that were not uninstalled first.

I suspect old systems are find with VM emulation, so long as you go for a low enough starting point. Also you can try/wipe/try again with greater ease. Overall I have been really impressed by the VMplayer as a tool to preserve old flaky Windows software and set-ups.

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Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses

Paul Crawford
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Go on sucker, try attacking me! I bet you can't touch my 127.0.0.1 address :)

Where is the MC Hammer icon when you need it?

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Russian Tor network-wrecking effort takes bizarre turn

Paul Crawford
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Re: Makes sense

Maybe they found the only practical way to do what the Russian gov wanted is to run a few thousand Tor exit nodes that actually "work" in the sense of being seen to provide proper connectivity.

And that would result in jail-time in Russia.

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India to cripple its tech sector with proposed encryption crackdown

Paul Crawford
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Re: "NSA takes a few liberties in the US"

They don't have to, just a secret order and the US companies have to comply.

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CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge

Paul Crawford
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Code audit time?

Considering this case of VW (and no doubt others) lying in such test.

Toyota with unintended acceleration (and a few deaths) due to poorly design software

Ford with cars that would not shut off.

Others like Jeep with crappy security where in-care entertainment could fiddle with braking, etc.

it seems it is high time that on-board software was treated as something to be subject to an independent audit to establish that it is not cheating in test (that any "saving features" really work for normal driving) and that safety and security is taken seriously.

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Crash Google Chrome with one tiny URL: We cram a probe in this bug

Paul Crawford
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Re: "Opera 32.0 which is based on Chromium 45"

Tried this with Chromium 37.0.2062.120 Ubuntu 12.04 (281580) (64-bit) (version, out of date, supplied with Ubuntu 12.04) and no problems. Guess this bug was introduced since then?

Same test for Firefox on this machine (40.0.3), no problems.

Same test for older Opera (12.16), also no problems. Tried new Opera, it lacked most of the good features of old one (the "turbo" proxy server is its only benefit) so went back. If I need more up-to-date support I have Firefox or can fire up VMs with other choices.

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SCREW YOU, FEDS! Dozen or more US libraries line up to run Tor exit nodes

Paul Crawford
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Re: More things criminals could use

Hey, you know they might use guns as well to conduct crime, so lets ban the sale of those! What, is that is too political in the USA?

Well how about doing a bit of freedom-bothering at the local library, no one will mind that...

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SAP CEO McDermott loses AN EYE, almost his life in horror plunge

Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Re: Wow. Minor accident, massive consequences.

I think "freak" is more accurate than "unfortunate".

Still, a sobering thought as to how an apparently minor incident could be so bad. Guess its up there with folk who die having tripped and fallen on dishwashers with the knives packed pointy-end upwards.

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Uber is killing off iconic black cabs, warns Zac Goldsmith

Paul Crawford
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"So by that very argument, Uber should be allowed then."

So long as the drivers & cars meet the same standards of training, insurance/liability, and working wage limits etc, that other cab companies are bound to operate by, yes.

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Wi-Gig signals are bouncing off the walls, can't settle on the sofa

Paul Crawford
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So much time, effort and money spent on such new technology to solve the problems of connectivity inside a small area. Something also possible with IR light.

And yet a cable can do 1-10Gbps with current technology, and transfer lots of power as well.

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Should take down mean stay down? EU’s Big Internet quiz leaks

Paul Crawford
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Take-down distinction

There is a major difference in the nature of Google searching (as it covers everyone's web sites) and YouTube (where Google run the site).

As you rightly point out, it is quite practical for YouTube to perform at least some basic fingerprinting of files to see if they match known copyright works and then apply some sane action (e.g. if its a fraction of a work, its probably 'fair use' for commentary or discussion but if most of the work then its not).

However, it is another matter altogether to apply the same reasoning to web search results as the BPI, MPAA, etc, would like. For example, if a copyright work has a very generic name like "Pixels" then we see how stupid the automated take-down notices are:

https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-hits-indie-creators-for-using-the-word-pixels-150808/

Even though such notices are supposed to carry financial penalties if incorrectly used, somehow they are not being applied.

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Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Paul Crawford
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Re: Goodbye Labour Party

What will replace it? The Labour Party.

Meet the new boss, same as the old[n-3] boss

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ALIENS on CERES? Nope – it's just dwarf's tucked away MOIST BITS

Paul Crawford
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Re: It's Cheese! Cheese I tell you!1!

"correlate the size of spunkage"

Please tell me its not actual spunk?

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Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

Paul Crawford
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Re: Ambilux

Dot Cotton does Dagenham

<shudder>

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Paul Crawford
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Re: UHD Blu-ray is already sunk

The real question is why 4k BD has been delayed so much.

Is it a case of continued arguments about intrusive DRM schemes? Ones that demand an internet link to spy on you reporting every disk you play, etc?

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Paul Crawford
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Gimp

Ambilux

I shudder to think of what the results of playing some "speciality" video will be with the Ambilux image-related back lighting.

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Yahoo! won't! fix! emoticon! exploit! in! death! row! Messenger!

Paul Crawford
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Re: pidgin

I used to use pidgin and it worked well. But my (few) mates all deserted MSN and Yahoo to FB, so I just ignore it now.

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North Korea exploits 0-day in Seoul's favourite word processor

Paul Crawford
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Re: Stand to your reft.

Then a jump to your right,

Its the pelvic frust

That really drive you insa-a-a--nne!

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Ofcom issues stern warning over fake caller number ID scam

Paul Crawford
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Re: It should be illegal ...

Where as allowing it to remain legal makes it stop quicker?

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SPACE WHISKY: Astro malt pongs of 'rubber and smoked fish'

Paul Crawford
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Who tastes the tasters?

Will professor Quatermass be keeping an eye on the whisky specialists who tried this just to see if they mutate in to hideous blobs of alien material?

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So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?

Paul Crawford
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I also like Tim's articles, even though I often disagree with some of his positions on free markets, etc.

Same with several other who write for El Reg, mostly they write sense, sometimes they fit my socio-economic views, other times they don't. But I'm not here to have my views confirmed, I want to see other arguments as I might be wrong or ill-informed and only by listening and thinking will anyone advance.

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Paul Crawford
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@h4rm0ny Re: kB

The only place where 1024 makes sense for defining 'kilo' is when the attribute is addressed by a binary array. So really only RAM/EPROM/etc with an integer number of address lines are used and no sane designer would leave part of a decoder to unassigned storage.

For everything else k = 1000 is the sane choice for us creatures with 10 digits that originally assisted our counting and became the basis of our number representation. It is used for kilometres, kilograms, kilobits, kilowrists, etc.

The weasel-worded aspect is when talking about storage and some assume that k/M/G/T are all 1024 and forget that for both SI and marketing reasons they will be 1000. Oh, and not to forget the overheads in a file system...

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Reg reader shares AshMad blackmail email about which he gives 'zero f***s'

Paul Crawford
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Joke

"B. I'm a virgin"

Yes, but in which orifice?

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BOFH: Power corrupts, uninterrupted power corrupts absolutely

Paul Crawford
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Re: Strangely Appropriate

You never know if a UPS/backup generator/etc system will work until the mains goes off. But no one will take the risk of pulling the big red leaver[1] at the master distribution panel just to find out...

[1] We really did have one of those, with a telescoping handle for a 400A 3-phase switch for our lab. There were also a few big switches for long-gone stuff with simple but intriguing labels such as "magnet" that always made me want to power the circuit up just to see what would happen. Alas, common sense meant I resisted the temptation to "do an Igor".

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Europe yawns at EU robo-commish Ansip's digital plans

Paul Crawford
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How does restrictive licensing make more money?

I am perfectly serious in this question. If you can't *buy* access to Estonian films in the UK even though a number of folk in the UK (Estonian or otherwise) who want to see it, how do they earn more than if they do offer it for sale?

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US mulls unprecedented Chinese sanctions in wake of hacks – report

Paul Crawford
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"The US has publicly accused Beijing of funding hacking teams to steal intellectual property from American companies"

Of course that is a bad thing, the proper way is for US companies to give it all over to Chinese joint ventures in return for cheaper labour than keeping stuff in the USA. All about who profits...

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Linux Foundation releases PARANOID internal infosec guide

Paul Crawford
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Re: "Good security starts at the perimeter"

Always assume the enemy is already inside your network, as that sound of someone knocking at your door could be from either side...

By the way, when did you last patch or audit to code for that network printer of yours?

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Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Five year old

Chances are a fresh install of Win7 would fix things. Though I have no interest in Win10 for various reasons (e.g. I like my privacy and for the machine to do what I tell it), I know at least one person who did the "upgrade" on her Win7 laptop and is very happy with its performance.

But why not try one of the Linux distros on a USB stick? You might find you like it enough to change. Even if you do depend on Windows for some programs, making a clean Win7 VM without AV crap, etc, and only installing the stuff you really need is a way to get the best of both worlds.

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Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

Paul Crawford
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My hovercraft is full of eels.

No, I will not buy this tobacconist, it is scratched!

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'Web brothel' CEO, staff cuffed on prostitution rap – clue: the website is called Rentboy.com

Paul Crawford
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Re: Did someone finally notice......

"Why is Homeland Security investigating male prostitution? Isn't counter-terrorism enough for them?"

Probably they found there are virtually no terrorists to arrest, but plenty of folk whoring themselves shamelessly to America's serious disadvantage.

But they were told they could not arrest congress, so had to make do with stitching up a rent-boy site instead.

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Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Re: a simple solution to illegal prostitution

Wait! How can a politician or church leader possibly allow consenting adults to indulge in perfectly legal activities for money?

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Why Nobody Should Ever Search The Ashley Madison Data

Paul Crawford
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Re: 9 gig dump

Most people will not get the torrent and try to load it in to a database themselves. They will go to one of many scam sites set up to offer such a service and you can bet your bottom dollar that most of them are in it for the money (yours) by any means possible.

The article is really aimed at the unwashed masses using partially patched Windows boxes with Flash installed on auto-play, not El Reg readers who are likely to have somewhat hardened machines.

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Paul Crawford
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FAIL

Re: Wait, what?

"Pregnancy" covers the whole process through childbirth and possible complications, and a few women find they don't like/want sex afterwards.

If you read the article again you will notice the main moral point was for consenting couples who wish to stay together for any of various reasons, but are not having sex for whatever reason(s) and one of them still wants to.

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Boffins promise file system that will NEVER lose data

Paul Crawford
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Will be interesting to see what it turns out to be.

With a lot of "mathematically proven" systems you end up moving the problems/bugs from the implementation process to the initial specifications, which are often not 100% complete nor correct for anything of reasonable complexity.

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