* Posts by Paul Crawford

1696 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Breaking with your back-up supplier is a sticky business

Paul Crawford
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Underlying problem?

It seems the fundamental flaw that you are talking about is using software that stores your data in a propitiatory format. Are there not tools that stick with open formats where you can recover data without problems using another vendor's software?

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Stock dips as fanbois complain of dodgy Wi-Fi on MacBook Air

Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: Apple seems to have had a history on this.

No problem, just plug in the Ethernet cable!

Oh wait...

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Microsoft: Someone gave us shot in the ARM by swallowing Surface tabs

Paul Crawford
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Re: .Net was the answe. Too late now...

The problem for Office is it was already developed and in use, along with the VB interpreter, long before .net came along. It has been rumoured that the stuff they did not port for Office, specifically the legacy VB stuff, was due to a lot of it being unintelligible code written in x86 assembly and thus going to be a major PITA to port and debug for other non-x86 platforms.

For Visual Srudio the problem would not be the GUI but things like the JIT debugger that has to hook in to the OS at a really low level to trace through code, etc. That is the sort of thing you really have to write for the native CPU in C and/or assembler, thus it becomes a major project for each target CPU to implement.

For most other software, had they supported win32 API and old-style GUI then compiling it for ARM should have been a fairly painless experience. But they did not, so unless vendors used .Net and are willing to re-do the GUI in TIFKAM they can't be ported.

Given the small market share of WinRT compared to x86 laptops, etc, where you can get a traditional desktop (even if the damn thing keeps jumping to metro for no obvious reason) you can see why the MS store is a touch bare still. Oh yes, and MS wanting a cut for the pleasure of allowing your customer to install it on WinRT (MS store-only) compared to x86 Win8 (any way you please).

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Paul Crawford
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Re: So much negativity and none sense

"a full version of Office" - but can't run any legacy VB code, so not full after all, and initially no Outlook which is often a business must-have (fixed yet?).

"a full version of IE" - you say that likes its some advantage, why? Can't you get other web browsers for WinRT that are not hobbled by TIFKAM that MS has not applied to IE? Oh, sorry, forgot about that down side as well...

"the iPad need a lot more Apps to go around it's shortcomings" - really, most iPad user I know (not got one myself) found most things they wanted were free and they had plenty of choice. Hardly a downside, except maybe for Office, but alas - not even a full version on WinRT.

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Paul Crawford
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@Narg

You seem to have misunderstood what I said.

You also seem to have confused 'serious business' as I defined it (those business-critical stuff cobbled together over the years with Office macros and VB scripting - yuch! - and unusual x86-only CAD software, etc) where you need full x86 compatibility and really a decent keyboard as well, with managers who just want a shiny presentation device.

If you want shiny, ease of use and lots of programs, the iPad has a big advantage over WinRT. Even price until recently (perhaps, depends on how MS discount)!

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Paul Crawford
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The problem is that such an instruction set emulation would make the machine both slow and power hungry when running x86 stuff, and that removes the advantage that ARM currently has over x86 devices (might be OS issue then just CPU of course).

If you must have a Windows tablet, just get the x86 one and forget WinRT.

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Paul Crawford
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"WinRT not bad for it's purpose"

But that is not for 'serious business', as in those with years of Office VB lock-in that has requires code not been ported to the gimped version of Office that ships with the WinRT slabs, which is a reason why they have to stick with Office in the first place.

For other users, yes if it was significantly cheaper than the equivalent iPad/Android set-up it may be quite attractive. But it is not, and unless they are in to loss-leading hardware in a BIG way, unlikely to become so.

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Windows 8 hype has hurt PC makers and distributors - Gartner

Paul Crawford
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Re: Seriously?

"Of course Windows 2000 and Windows ME didn't affect XP market share.... they both predate XP."

However, w2k was rather good and lasted me until 2008, and olny reald advantage I saw from XP was better USB support (which was missing completely from NT4).

On the other hand, ME was an abomination by any accounts, so XP would be a huge improvement on it!

But really, and already said, most folk don't have much spare cash and older PCs work just fine. De-crap an older XP machine, or better still stick Linux on it (as then you can usually do without the burden of AV bloatware), and it will do 99% of what the average user wants for little cost.

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Premier League seeks court order to ban footie-streaming Swedish site

Paul Crawford
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@Jamie Kitson

"Almost, but not quite?"

Who guards the guards?

How do we know the block list is KP and not used to add other unrelated but politically undesirable sites (as the leaked Australian "great firewall" attempt showed)?

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Paul Crawford
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This is exactly why ISPs should not be allowed to have close arrangements with other services, the whole "net neutrality" principle, as they won't act in favour of their customers but for their partner's profit margins.

As this is an European site, if they are breaking copyright law in Sweden, why not prosecute them there?

The blocking of web sites is a very dubious act, almost acceptable in the case of kiddie porn, but really not when it is being used to enforce artificial copyright boundaries that free trade should permit. What is bad about it is there is little chance (or inclination) for a foreign site to fight in a UK court even if it is in the interests of the UK public, so such court orders tend to get rubber-stamped and not subject to any proper test.

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Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong

Paul Crawford
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Re: UN966 Hong Kong to Moscow

More likely FSB operatives waiting with a bottle of decadent western champaign and a request for an autographed copy of his files...

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How NSA spooks spaffed my DAD'S DATA ALL OVER THE WEB

Paul Crawford
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Great coincidence...

An article about an NSA project. The advert runs "Office 2013: A Breakthrough In Productivity".

Productivity for whom?

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ROBOT COW teaches Saudi kids where milk comes from

Paul Crawford
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Bacon sarnie

You forgot to mention this is also the site of the UK's best bacon sarnie, as voted by El Reg readers.

I guess probing bacon sarnies is what you do when not following the UK's leading on-line lesbian magazine?

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Mozilla, ACLU, others join fight against NSA domestic spying

Paul Crawford
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Re: Yeah, right

I hear them, and I am paddling as fast as I can to escape!

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Paul Crawford
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How times change

1765, colonial America: "no taxation without representation"

2013, rest of world: "no snooping without representation"

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Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered

Paul Crawford
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Re: What Security?

That is a valid point, and not just about Android.

It is high time that all devices with embedded software had a legal requirement to provide timely fixes for all notified security exploits for at least 5 years after purchase, along with proper financial penalties for the companies selling such devices that fail to do so.

Think of all of those phones, printers, routers and numerous other semi-smart devices that have a network connection and no one looking after them.

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So, who ought to be the next Doctor Who? It's up to YOU...

Paul Crawford
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Coat

I agree that changing the doctors sex and/or colour makes no sense. But would be happy to see Freema Agyeman again (ideally with less clothes).

<= mine is the dirty mac.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: My vote goes to

Yes, I am sure we could all find some way to slip Nigella in...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Bill Clinton

That would suck!

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El Reg drills into Office 365: Unified communications

Paul Crawford
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Will this info on "unified communications" cover how best to talk to your NSA handler?

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Whitehall grants freetards safe haven until 2015

Paul Crawford
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Maybe the looked at the success (or otherwise) of the French before acting?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/08/french_minister_says_3_strikes_copyright_infringement_rule_is_a_waste_of_money/

Really, there is a need for providers to grasp the inevitable which is no geographic limitations and DRM-free formats that users want. The 'stick' of DRM and legal threats has not worked and is unlikely ever to work, where are the tasty carrots?

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All major UK ISPs prepping network-level porn 'n' violence filters

Paul Crawford
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Re: The Swivel Eyed Loons carry the day

Claire Perry who is both dumb and anti-pr0n has a failed marriage?

Sadly it iis cruel to laugh at another human's misfortune.

Oh wait, its a politician? HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAH...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: CaNsA

Difficult to tell if you are just trolling or not.

Who makes up these lists and/or equipment? Last time I looked it was USA or Chinese suppliers. Do you really think they give a rat's cock about what the public should be seeing by the UK's laws?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Babbit55

Really, but on who's definition of illegal? And why can't we see this block list?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Baby steps

There needs to be a way of seeing the block list, and penalising them if they make mistakes. Shame I don't have the resources to force a law decision on the matter.

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Paul Crawford
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Hard to say, but OpenDNS works for me and they offer *you* the choice of categories if you want to block stuff home-wide.

Having said that, their system is stupid in needing a client on your home machine so it knows your IP address to match any preferences to, without that it cant be controlled. Should be a router setting like dynamic DNS support.

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Paul Crawford
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So who will get to see the block list to verify it is only for pr0n?

Who will compensate any business incorrectly blocked?

How much do you want to bet it will just be for pr0n, as clearly sex is bad, but not for violence?

You are stupidly naive if you don't believe this will be abused for Gov policy, and business reasons by the ISPs.

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Spooks nicking your tech? What you need is THE CLOUD - NSA boss

Paul Crawford
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"Theft of intellectual property has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth in history"

Outsourcing everything to the cheapest country, irrespective of morals, has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth in history

Fixed it for you...

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Doctor Who? 12th incarnation sought after Matt Smith quits

Paul Crawford
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Re: @The Man in Black

Some say they are the one and the same, the only difference being the recent dosage of dried frog pills.

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Unemployed? Ugly? Ugh, no thanks, says fitties-only job website

Paul Crawford
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"The truth is, my toddler, Kit, responds better to good-looking people"

Funny, for a moment I read that as "my todger, Kit", I wonder why?

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How Microsoft shattered Gnome's unity with Windows 95

Paul Crawford
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Really, it was MS' fault?

Having seen the attitude of most GUI developers, not just Linux but MS and others, where they jump from one way to another announcing that their way is the best, I have to wonder about the underlying idea behind this article:

1) Did MS' vauge patent threats actually matter or get taken seriously, or

2) Did the various Linux GUI designers simply spend too much time with their heads down their Y-fronts?

I liked Gnome 2 and it was such an obvious option for XP-escapees due to its similarities, and yet Gnome 3 was a re-write with the attitude of "users are dumb, lets make all our options dumber" (even if there were technical reasons for wanting to fix some G2 stuff) and the apparent desire to move things around for no obvious reason. See Linus' comments on Gnome 3 for further information.

AFIK Unirty was Ubuntu's attempt at a touch-friendly desktop for small devices with the modern p[iss-poor HD style screens, hence the side icons and default-to-full size operation.

So as afar as the fall of Gnome 2 and something sensible on the Linux desktop it is more a case of incompetence and managements problems of the Gnome teams that being forced off. The same irritating design decisions are also part of MS' TIFKAM cluster-fsck so it seems to be one of industry-wide phone/tablet fixation taking precedence over what a power-user's desktop should be doing.

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Kinky? You're mentally healthier than 'vanilla' bonkers

Paul Crawford
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Re: Less neurotic BDSM practioners?

Most fucked up, really?

Like boxers who spend 12 rounds punching the shit out of each other and sometimes ending with brain damage, detached retinas, or even death? As a sport?

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Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Microsoft no longer dominates PC biz

Paul Crawford
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Re: Surprised...

I thought Unity sucked until I experienced a work mate's Windows 8 laptop and realised its not that bad after all. I also think Gnome 3 sucks due to the things removed from Gnome 2 (basically user choice as Gnome seem to be suffering from the same "users are idiots, dumb it down" fascism that both MS and Apple have) but so far have not had the time and inclination to properly try out XFCE or KDE, etc, to see which I think is better.

But...at least I have a choice!

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EFF files objections with W3C decrying addition of DRM to HTML5

Paul Crawford
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Re: @karlp

Sorry, but a better analogue is DRM is like someone else installing locks on your doors and promising to let you in and keep others out.

If you behave.

And they can be bothered keeping your support up.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: A standard for a plugin by another name

Having a lot of hassle for DRM is good - it stops everyone else getting in to it unless they are really paranoid and have something sufficiently worth while for the end user to jump through hoops.

DRM in HTML5 is going to lead to web sites where you can't block adverts or skip crap or copy prices for comparison, etc, becoming the norm.

DRM has no place in the free world, as it demands a locked-down computer and that is something that anyone with an interest in technology should oppose.

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Ruby on Fails: Zombie SERVER army built thanks to Rails bug

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: Bah!

Not Tron's fault for anthropomorphism, how about the iPad:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/26/ipad_fleshlight_design/

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Microsoft tops list of software piracy nailed in UK by FAST

Paul Crawford
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Re: Software Theft?

Even if they got the source code, it is not "theft" unless they also deleted it from your servers.

Of course, for the MS Office assistant that could be considered an act of mercy...

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China announces giant military hackathon at SECRET Mongolian base

Paul Crawford
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The USA can't care really...

...otherwise they would be jailing the CEOs of the companies & contractors responsible for putting secret & top-secret data on networks connected to the outside world that could be hacked remotely.

Wouldn't they?

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First bricks of Great Firewall of TAIWAN are being laid, netizens fear

Paul Crawford
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Re: "...But will it stop there?"

Of course not, and such censorship filters are always opaque - they won't tell you what is being filtered and why, other than the usual fake rant about "terrorists and paedophiles".

Remember the Australian government's attempt at "protecting the children" via a filter that turned out to have gambling sites, general pr0n and a dentist's office on its list?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Australia#Leaking_of_the_ACMA_blacklist

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Forget tax bills, here's how Google is really taking us all for a ride

Paul Crawford
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Re: Flat-rate access

My concern here is who decides what "valuable bit" are?

For ISPs that are bundling other services, such as IP TV or similar, there is a major incentive to prevent you from getting such as good service from other competing suppliers. Extend that to a general case where ISPs cut secret deals with some of the big players on the web and you have a recipe for anti-competitive practice.

It may not be framed in the style of targeting certain competitors, but if they have crap back-haul capacity and rely on caching of their own/partners offers then they are, in effect, selling you a discriminated service.

What should be happening is the ISP deal you get provides some guarantees of 'service' (say bandwidth and/or latency) for those services that matter, such as on-line game play or VoIP, that are detached from who they connect to.

That is how I support net neutrality: not a free for all but an honest arrangement where you buy connectivity of differing grades according to needs, convenience and price (e.g. cheaper and faster general purpose data transfer at night, for example).

The one-price-fits-all and weasel worded 'unlimited' deals are simply dishonest, and OFCOM should have been stamping on ISPs for not providing understandable and measured performance for the various prices they offer.

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Paul Crawford
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Flat-rate access

Why should internet access be bundled like cable? Really, you are paying for a connection for bits, and all that should matter there is an ISP model where you get an honest choice of service versus cost.

Sure, ISPs want to be "value adding" but in most cases this is likely to be achieved by throttling services that are not directly revenue-providing to themselves.

You might argue about the practicality of an "unlimited" ISP offer, and we all know that is not a sustainable model for an ISP (though they are mostly racing to the bottom here), but a more honest model is a connection fee plus a 'reasonable' data volume+speed cost (as typically used for other services).

Sadly what we are getting is dishonest advertisement and toothless regulation.

What we DO NOT need is the ISPs or similar becoming gate-keepers to the Internet, with variable charging for access to services depending on who they can screw over the most.

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PC market facing worst-ever slump in 2013

Paul Crawford
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Re: They only have themselves to blame...

Yup, when those ultrabooks and medium-high end laptops cost more than a fondle slab and yet have poorer (or equivalent) screen resolution, WFT would you expect?

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Paul Crawford
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While Windows 8 is not the reason, it certainly has not helped either.

Otherwise you are right - the majority of home users are not El Reg readers with specialist work loads and a fixation with technology, they just want something simple and easy to use for Facebook and on-line shopping etc. Tablets are good enough for that, in fact, very much better while relaxing in the settee, and only a modest proportion will need a laptop, let alone a desktop, once they have one.

There will still be a demand for desktops and laptops for business applications, power users, gamers, etc, but it looks like the majority of money has moved away from those now.

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Huawei: 'trust us, we are being transparent'

Paul Crawford
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Re: Peculiar problems with Huawei smartphones?

My HTC phone is also a bit crap at web search/browsing, but equally it is likely to be the network sucking donkey balls. Since it is pretty easy for anyone with moderate resources to check what a phone is doing when you attempt to connect, Huawei would be incredibly dumb to put something so obviously dodgy in there.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

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'Chinese hack' scoops plan to Oz spook HQ

Paul Crawford
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Re: Value

The radio's design being compromised should not be *that* much of an issue as a system for such use should be designed to be secure and jam-resistant even with general knowledge of the frequency range and modulations, etc, being used.

Unless said plans also included the various PN & encryption keys as well that ought to be kept 'top secret' and on a need-to-know basis only.

Oh dear, if its like the UK's favourite IT contractors then they are royally screwed, aren't they?

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Woolwich beheading sparks call to REVIVE UK Snoopers' Charter

Paul Crawford
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Re: Exists already?

It happened because in a population of ~60 million there will be some homicidal maniacs no matter what you do.

No, you are not reading it wrong as what is being said is largely bollocks. This, for all its tragedy, is not a terrorist act causing mass panic. It was simply some religious nutters out to make a statement and will do nothing to help whatever twisted "cause" they spout.

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'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

Paul Crawford
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Re: SuccessCase

"The same as we shouldn't trust open source software?"

More like would you trust warez downloads.

As for open source, it also depends on the particular source and your ability (and others) to review it and decide if its good/bad/malicious or not.

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Report: China IP theft now equal in value to US exports to Asia

Paul Crawford
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Really?

Some things that appear to be missing in that report are these:

(1) WTF are these multi-million dollar companies doing about computer security? If this "IP theft" really is so important why don't they have proper (ideally physical) separation of external (internet) and internal (valuable) networks? Too much cost/trouble?

(2) Most of the vulnerabilities being exploited are either people or, equally relevant, down to MS & Adobe in the majority of cases. Why is the US gov not penalising them for such a "IP rape" of the nation?

(3) Last time I looked, IP was covered by patents and trademarks which can be enforced against those who copy it (even if stupidly, e.g. Apple vs Samsung). Are we to really to believe such a huge value of IP is not protected by these established means?

(4) Considering most US corporations have out-sourced to China already (and the Chinese are smart enough to make most "joint ventures"), and they do so to save money so staff move a lot, is that not also a real risk for your IP? If so, why are they now complaining about the bloody obvious?

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AMD's three new low-power chips pose potent challenge to Intel

Paul Crawford
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Selection guides?

Has anyone gone to AMD's (or indeed Intel's) web site to choose a processor and actually found it useful? It is an appalling 'experience' and you lose the will to live trying to work out what CPUs offer what features and how they may (or may not) rank compared to others.

Please AMD, start by offering prospective customers a selection matrix of manageable proportions (say 5-10) of your current CPU/APU choices covering low to high cost+performance, and links to compatible motherboards from a few well known suppliers.

Make buying your stuff easy!

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