* Posts by Paul Crawford

2999 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

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

Paul Crawford
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Re: do we REALLY need to be able to run 16-bit applications in this day and age?

In a number of cases - yes. Companies have programs written for the DOS era that do the job perfectly, and have been for donkey's years. Replacing them would bring a whole lot of cost, risk and business interruptions so if there is not a good reason to change them, they don't.

A good reason is something better for the company. Having your OS provider pull things for little reason is not seen as a good reason.

Ironically for many DOS programs (as opposed to Windows 3.1 16-bit stuff) you get better behaviour from dosemu on Linux, and the options (if you need/dare) to allow direct hardware access to certain things.

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Did last night's US presidential debate Wi-Fi rip-off break the law?

Paul Crawford
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Lets hope they get soundly spanked for this - as it is exactly the same principle as the hotel's gouging.

If would be more sympathetic if they had offered all attendees free use of a professional capacity Wi-Fi service they had and politely asked not to interfere thank-you very much, but they did neither.

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Unlucky Luckey: Oculus developers invoke anti-douchebag clause, halt games for VR goggles

Paul Crawford
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Re: That said, I must admit I'm uncomfortable talking politics in a tech forum.

We should engage in politics, all of us with all view points. But sadly it seems many are swayed by the sound bites and general picture+lies shit that gets shared on Facebook these days.

However, Luckey is simple a douchbag for his methods of spreading his political views.

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Hubble spies on Europa shooting alien juice from its southern pole

Paul Crawford
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Re: "Becoming A TOTAL Earth Science Skeptic" at FauxScienceSlayer

Keep taking your dried frog pills, son. Keep taking them...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: The interstellar war would be very short

Maybe that has already started. You know the alien abduction stories...

No, that is just sex tourism, you know the "pluck'em, fuck'em and chuck'em" brochure from the more dubious shops in Alpha Centauri region. That is why they go for red-necks mostly, no one believes what they say afterwards.

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Scale-out sister? Unreliable disks are better for your storage

Paul Crawford
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Not so new

The "enterprise" HDD normally had a short re-try time because they were typically used in RAID where it matters a lot less if a sector is bad as it can be fixed from the parity. Of course, they usually also promised better integrity like ECC RAM and so on, more reliable mechanics, etc. Whether it really was delivered in all cases is another matter...

Of course we see different options being sold (such as WD 'red' etc) for this, so I doubt very much if the HDD makers are willing to lose profit margins by making an HDD that allows you to configure key settings like retry time-out, etc, to help its RAID-using customers.

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Unimpressed with Ubuntu 16.10? Yakkety Yak... don't talk back

Paul Crawford
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Indeed, and you can disable such advertising feedback spying in Ubuntu without having to pay for the most expensive enterprise version of the software (unlike Windows 10).

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Paul Crawford
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For example, Software will now track and install non-GUI apps, libraries and fonts alongside your "regular" applications

What, you mean like Synaptic has done for all these years?

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R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco

Paul Crawford
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Re: commas are the worst

Like the poor guy who got a packet of Viagra and misread "take 30 minutes before sex" as "take 30, minutes before sex".

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Days are numbered for the Czech Republic

Paul Crawford
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UK & Great Britain explained

Worth a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

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Jeremy Clarkson and Co. rise to top for Great British Bake Off replacements

Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: I loved Top Gear

*cough* bit torrent *cough*

More so for stuff that is hardly worth paying for in the first place...

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Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

Paul Crawford
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Re: A bit elitist aren't you El Reg?

I also use Yahool with POP access, it is OK for spammy stuff but it suffers a lot more spam than gmail seems to with a significant upsurge in the last month or so. Maybe this explains a bit?

No phone number with mine, but every (rare) time I use the web login it pesters for one. However if signing up now they demand on.

Gmail didn’t demand one at sign-up but the fskers blocked POP access when I went abroad for a trip and pestered for a phone number to unlock it, which it was simply not worth giving. Returned to operating again when back home.

Both are out to whore you.

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‘Penultimate’ BlackBerry seen on 'do not publish' page as fire sale begins

Paul Crawford
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"1440x2560 Quad HD display"

Ah yes, now when can we have a reasonably priced laptop with similar resolution? You know in the £400-500 range.

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Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

Paul Crawford
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Re: Too little, too late

"just for the fun of watching the Cryptolocker payload fall flat on its face trying to run on a Linux box"

I would not laugh too hard in case they go cross platform. In any case if you really treat security as a priority then all of you obvious user-writeable areas (such as /tmp, /var/tmp and /home) should be mounted with at least the 'noexec' option to help defeat users accidentally double-clicking on something malicious. For that and other tips you could do worse than checking this out:

https://www.cesg.gov.uk/guidance/end-user-devices-security-guidance-ubuntu-1404-lts

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Zombie Moore's Law shows hardware is eating software

Paul Crawford
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Re: You can already write code to design a chip

True, but then VHDL sucks donkey balls when it comes to ease of use, cost and helpfulness of tool chains, and generally getting stuff working quickly. Its a dense and very pedantic language originally build by US DoD committee to standardise the building of ASICs.

It might be great for those who spend a lot of time using it, and obviously it (along with others like Verilog and simpler ones like ABLE, etc) are based on parallelism which is natural to hardware but not to procedural languages, but it is so far from something that you could easily get casual interest students using.

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Will US border officials demand social network handles from visitors?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Another tick box,....

Exactly. The Americans I have met on every trip in the past were nice, smart and friendly people.

Sadly the new look being projected by the US government is one of paranoia, distrust and antagonism and it really makes me avoid going there (or passing through for flight connections, because they have no concept of "international transfer" and you have to go through the customs & immigration experience twice).

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Bad news: MySQL can dish out root access to cunning miscreants

Paul Crawford
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Anyone here using an apparmor profile to stop this general class of nonsense from taking place? (e.g. blocking writes to places like /etc, blocking execute from anywhere but correct system lockations, etc, etc).

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UK oversight body tipped to examine phone snooping tech in prisons

Paul Crawford
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A well-designed system would triangulate the phone's position and if its outside the prison area ignore it.

But that would add cost, of course...

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

Paul Crawford
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Re: Mansfield bars

They won't stop an impact at 70mph, they might help trigger airbags (again, not much help if your upper torso is getting chopped off), but more importantly they would make the truck + trailer more visible under difficult conditions.

Personally I have serious doubts about the ability of car companies to make this work well enough, given they are still doing recalls for dumb stuff like engine management cheating (VW), air bag sensors not always working (Ford), engines running out of control (Toyota), etc, etc. Sure they can out-break a meatbag under good conditions, and are probably better then a drunken idiot whose reactions and attention are shot to shit, but we see here just one of many odd conditions that are just not noticed.

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When you've paid the ransom but you don't get your data back

Paul Crawford
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"A further 60 per cent claimed they were able to recover the data from back up files"

That is a depressingly low proportion of businesses. Oh well, I guess in future years it will improve as the once-burnt lot learn, the encryption threat will no longer be profitable, and ultimately less companies will suffer when hardware faults take out machines.

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QANTAS' air safety spiel warns not to try finding lost phones

Paul Crawford
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Re: aren't as bad as Chlorine Trifluride

Few things are as bad as ClF3 it must be said. Oh, maybe Dioxygen Diflouride

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Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Paul Crawford
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Re: Correlation does not imply causation

Indeed, and how does it compare with say jogging or playing 5-a-side football or similar?

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Microsoft thought of the children and decided to ban some browsers

Paul Crawford
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Re: Think of the market share

You seem to forget that MS had > 95% of all desktop/home computing at that point in time. That is why they were thumped down and not Apple (or Sun, SGI, etc, who were minor players at the time).

They still have the majority of PCs sold, but obviously not total computing devices now with Android taking the lion's shore of the smart phone market.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Hmmmm....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager

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4G hits 1.9Gbps

Paul Crawford
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HSDPA promises up to 337.5 Mbit/sec but I rarely see more then about 1-2Mbit/sec on my phone.

So in reality is 4G going to give me something like 10Mbit?

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'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder

Paul Crawford
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Re: Space travel is always risky

Not always - sometimes the premiums are so high (due to the risk - oddly enough) that companies decide to go without and make that gamble themselves. But usually though just for the first flight or two of a new design of rocket, etc, where the risk is high/unknown.

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Intel's makeshift Kaby Lake Cores hope to lure punters from tired PCs

Paul Crawford
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Re: DRM is evil

There is always the RedFox software tools to rip/bypass BD disk DRM and let you play what you bought as you want to.

Or simply wait for the 4k files to appear on some torrent, as they always do. Such a shame the movie studios seem not to realise that playing paid-for content should be the easiest and most pleasing experience of all.

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FBI: Look out – hackers are breaking into US election board systems

Paul Crawford
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XKCD from the past

Before any other commentard slips this one in:

https://www.xkcd.com/463/

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Chinese CA hands guy base certificates for GitHub, Florida uni

Paul Crawford
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Re: You can't trust anybody

You will never stop a SUFFICIENTLY determined and well funded advisory. But the current system is routinely screwed up by incompetence (here), or by a local CA being leaned upon or hacked by a government (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/09/gmail_diginotar_security_alert/ for example).

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Paul Crawford
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Re: You can't trust anybody

It is a fundamental problem with the whole system. Basically it takes only 1 out of hundreds of CAs to issue a mistaken or malicious certificate and the chain of trust is broken. As such, it is not really anything you can trust at all. CA pinning is an attempt to reduce the scope of such failures, but it is a band-aid to the situation.

But then many folk just ignore browser warnings anyway :(

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Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Paul Crawford
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Re: has to be able to work ANYWHERE

"a life-critical device be doing depending on wireless"

All jolly good for collecting data for reports, etc, assuming its properly encrypted before it even reaches the wifi interface, but not something you should depend upon working for many reasons.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Greed and rubbish regulation.

Exactly. The "a single smart hospital might use up to three terabytes of data per day" claim points to the fact they should have wired the place properly for most devices, and for those needing wireless has numerous low power access points.

Actually, lets revisit that last point - WTF should a life-critical device be doing depending on wireless that could be jammed easily for ill intent, or accidentally by someone’s broken phone they forgot to turn off?

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French, German ministers demand new encryption backdoor law

Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Re: Let's be consistent then.

"Kinda scary to realise we're by default governed by idiots"

Maybe "we", as in the the tabloid-reading generalisation of the public, are getting the government we deserve?

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Paul Crawford
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"The fundamental problem is one of lack of trust combined with arguably excessive government authority, or at least power"

That is one of the big issues, the 2nd being simple incompetence or corruption. If you have the secret keys to everyone's private communications escrowed with every gov agency world wide who demands them, just how long until the well funded criminal gangs also find a copy?

So would we then see a special dispensation for the keys to gov ministers or leaders of big business? And would any of those politicians calling for this be willing to bet their own pension schemes on it not going wrong in practice?

Thought not...

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Boffins design security chip to spot hidden hardware trojans in processors

Paul Crawford
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Re: But..

The fact you have to have this ASIC built by a totally trusted organisation kind of makes a flaw - why didn't you use them to build your CPU in the first place?

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Kaspersky launches its own OS on Russian routers

Paul Crawford
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Stop

Hammer time!

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Paul Crawford
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True microkernel approach?

"As a result, the core must be 100 percent verified as not permitting vulnerabilities or dual-purpose code"

That sounds very much like the old goal of a true micro-kernel where the ring-0 stuff is REALLY SIMPLE and thus possible to have near-perfect verification of it. I say near-perfect because you can't rule out buggy CPUs or tools, etc. For example:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/07/28/aussie_droneprotecting_hackerdetecting_kernel_goes_open_source/

The past objection to the micro-kernel approach was the performance penalty of switching in/out of ring-0 to do serious stuff. That is why MS abandoned the pure vision of Dave Cutler original VMS inspired NT3.5 and stuffed video drivers in there, etc, for NT4 (and thus BSOD became a much bigger issue) and Linux never even went there. For a bit more on that debate:

http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/reliable-os/

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Facebook backup, anyone?

Paul Crawford
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Even so, your FB "friends" or possible trawling (or trolling) buy others (potential spouse or employer, etc) still wont see those old embarrassing photos or stupid drunken posts.

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

How quaint, the idea that a facebook profile is actually valuable enough to pay to back it up!

Normally my advice is to delete your profile every year or so, create a fresh one with a new (disposable) email address, and then invite the few friends who were the least moronic posters from your last incarnation.

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'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

Paul Crawford
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Re: Tidal locking

However, that also means the night life never ends either. So lets PAAAARTY!

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EU ministers look to tighten up privacy – JUST KIDDING – surveillance laws

Paul Crawford
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"Outlawing encryption would only disadvantage the law abiding and ignorant"

You mean the majority of people? Makes you wonder how much is to do with any real threat and how much to do with general economic espionage and allowing councils to spy on those putting rubbish in the wrong bins or sending kids to school outside of the catchment area.

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Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Paul Crawford
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SPARC future?

What will this mean for Oracle & SPARC in the long term if Fujitsu has decided to move away from it?

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Das ist empörend: Microsoft slams umlaut for email depth charge

Paul Crawford
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Re: @AC

Maybe there is - maybe it works correctly if you somehow set they keyboard at log-in, but in the cases I have had to do it, I could not find any (obvious) way to do so. A couple of the German engineers said the same.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: @Steve Davies 3 - Please!

"Microsoft didn't test German-language options properly?"

Remember this is the company where the OS (win7 is latest I have used) would allow you to change the language of the keyboard. Per application.

FFS! Who in their right mind thought "you know what, when someone using a German PC plugs in a UK keyboard and sets the keyboard mapping to match, lets make them do it for every fsking program they try to use, mkay?"

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IPv6 tipping point

Paul Crawford
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50% of mobile fine, but how much of wired?

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FireEye probes Clinton foundation hack: Reports

Paul Crawford
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Politics?

Maybe I am just being dumb here, but what do the Russians have to gain by bringing Clinton down?

How is the prospect of Trump getting in somehow in their favour?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Blame the Russkies

"Mocking, victim blaming and traditional unrestricted capitalism have all failed to win this war."

The thing is it is unwinnable, just like we still have home burglaries and cars stolen. And it won't get any better because nobody is working to reduce complexity and improve security in any meaningful way. Most of what we get in terms of new stuff is aimed at whoring us to advertisers (thank you MS for following Google) or selling us IoT tat that rarely adds real value but almost certainly adds to the attach surface.

Will we ever see security being held above convenience or fashion?

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Is security keeping pace with continuous delivery?

Paul Crawford
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"Is security keeping pace with continuous delivery?"

Is continuous delivery ignoring/marginalising security because it gets in the way of trendy practice and management targets?

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Don't forget site that demand all of the restrictions in terms of mixed case, punctuation and numbers, along with a minimum length, then email it back to you in plaintext!

Happened to a friend who filled in for Landlord Registration central online system for Scotland. Doh!

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Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

Paul Crawford
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Re: MS made me download software...

Custom hardware is an issue, but that is a fairly small sector for most people. Of course, if its RS232 or fairly standard USB then virtualisation is fine for all but very high performance applications.

Latest games - maybe, but are they really worth whoring out your privacy for? Thus sticking to Steam for Linux, for example, would also tell the games industry that you are not happy with MS' new direction.

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