* Posts by Paul Crawford

2591 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Exam board in 'send all' fail: Hands up who knows what the BCC button is for?

Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Idiots

Also did no one explain that you cant "recall" an email. At most you can ask your own exchange server to remove it, but that counts for SFA once its left your internal system.

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OmniRAT malware scurrying into Android, PC, Mac, Linux systems

Paul Crawford
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Re: Where's the Linux angle ?

Exactly, not even the ubiquitous Windows angle either. From the description in the article its a Trojan that needs a dumb-ish user to install it and then they are p0wnd, not exactly a high bar for malware?

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Top FBI lawyer: You win, we've given up on encryption backdoors

Paul Crawford
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Re: Condescending git

In most countries we live with typically a 10 to 100 times greater risk of being killed on the roads than by a murder. Even in that case its something like 90% are not unknown psycos doing the deed, but "friends", partners, business associates, etc.

Add to the in the USA something like 90k gun deaths per year (OK, only about 30% of those are crimes, as opposed to stupidity in gun handling, or suicide) versus a few k in the twin towers terrorist event and just how big is this risk? Yes, I know people are dumb and can't evaluate risks, etc, but it hardly seems that bad guys having encrypted phones is your biggest risk.

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MacBooks are so hot right now. And so is Mac OS X malware

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Didn't you read the instructions?

tar -xf shaftmybackside.tgz

cd shaftmybackside

./configure

make

sudo make install

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Warning : Sample NOT representative

Windows people tend to have far fewer of those than OS-X or Linux users these days

Really? Any figures/citations to back that up?

Even if they are getting more patches, they seem to spend a hell of a lot less time applying them and having to reboot.

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Paul Crawford
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And yet Windows users are still being screwed over so much more often by the black-hats, far more than the 10:1 or whatever ratio of users run Windows vs MacOS/Linux. Funny that?

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DDoS, botnet, and fiber cut fail to stop Twitchers crowd-installing Linux

Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Unfortunately the majority in real life are as well

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Stuxnet-style code signing of malware becomes darknet cottage industry

Paul Crawford
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@AC

It is not just the problem of how Alice and Bob know they are not talking through Eve, but the fact that any one of hundreds of buggers can issue a certificate to Eve matching Alice and/or Bob. It only takes one of those to fail and the trust link is useless.

Just think of a RAID-0 strip with 600 flaky disks...

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Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Just goes to show how fundamentally broken the certificate system of trust is though.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux lands on Microsoft Azure cloud – no, we're not pulling your leg

Paul Crawford
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Joke

Last option?

I thought the last option on the list was to continue pushing systemd on to an already suffering world so Linux users get the same sort of "WTF is this up to?" joy as svchost provides Windows users with?

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Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Paul Crawford
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Re: Ultimate test

Most of the broken phones I know of were folk who didn't put them in a cover. Perhaps images is more important than risk looking like and old fart, but this old fart has not broken a phone glass in the last 15 years in spite of several drops due to having them in a gimp mask leather-effect cover.

Oh yes, and the recent rend of having the glass right to the edge is not helping either, as less of the phone body to absorb the impact on a corner impact.

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Spanish town trumpets 'Clitoris Festival' thanks to Google snafu

Paul Crawford
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Re: Ah, Google Translate

Their AI-based attempts are a taste of things to come

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Food, water, batteries, medical supplies, ammo … and Windows 7 PCs

Paul Crawford
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Go for VM use. Unless you have specific hardware needs, or are dedicated to gaming on a bare-metal installation of Windows, running in a VM has so many advantages: Never-changing hardware, ease of creating a copy/snapshot if you want to monkey with it, can be moved across hardware and host OS, and often malware won't run under virtualisation to protect its secrets so another bonus!

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Paul Crawford
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Step 1 create pristine Win7 VM and patch it while keeping beady eye out for W10 shit

Step 2 disable internet access to VMs

Step 3 run these VM(s) on you OS of choice

Step 4 tell MS to go fsck itself...

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Windows 10 is an antique (and you might be too) says Google man

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Davie Dee

"with proper convergence in to NT in w7 we almost got there"

What are you talking about? The 16-bit DOS era kernels ended (badly) with Windows ME. With the relese of XP MS dropped 16-bit kernels and moved the "consumer" market to the 32-bit path started with NT.

XP was the direct successor to W2000 in terms of code/release, and that was the direct successor to NT4. You might argue about the goals of NT being better reached by Win7, but that has absolutely nothing to do with code convergence.

"Stable, AD, direct x, good driver support, backwards compatibility, etc etc"

In my case the only difference I saw was USB support. I had less stability issues under w2k, never used AD anyway, and never had driver problems or PnP issues on any of the machines I installed w2k upon. Maybe XP was more stable for some users/program combinations, but for me the only advantage was USB (plus longer support for patches, of course)

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Revisionist

It depended to some degree on which branch you reached XP by:

1) From Windows 95->98->ME as a consumer

2) From NT3.5->NT4->W2000 as a professional

In the former case you lost quite a lot of DOS games and win16 support, but gained much better stability and security (yes, I know pre SP3 XP was hardly great, but compared to 16-bit?!)

In the latter case you got...few more devices supported and a Fisher-Price interface? Oh yes, and "product activation". But at least you could go for classic look and be back like w2k (as I did). Having said that, all that w2k effectively gave me over NT4 was USB support really.

Due to product activation, and some other reasons, w2k was last Windows I bought, XP came as work system. Now I am using Linux almost exclusively and my old w2k & XP machines run as VMs on top. Critically the license for them allows that, something the consumer versions of Fista & Win7, etc, do not.

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At Microsoft 'unlimited cloud storage' really means one terabyte

Paul Crawford
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Paris Hilton

Shock horror!

What, you mean that people actually used the space we said was "unlimited" like there was no limit?

We all know that unlimited is a stupidly impractical thing to offer, but MS deserve a good PR kicking over this for the sheer stupidity of offering this and not expecting many to use it.

It also is a timely reminder of how putting your key data in the 'cloud' is basically giving someone else the power to change T&C and boot you out if they don't like you. This time MS appear to be giving folk a year to mend their ways, but in the future?

Paris - as she is smarter than MS marketing bods it seems.

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Windows 10 growth stalls during October

Paul Crawford
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Re: "What has changed since the days when XP was supported?"

A few un-patched nasties such as the kernel font-rendering and similar. They don't need any real interaction to do your machine in.

There are lots of good reasons to keep XP machines going, but internet access ain't one of them!

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Sir

Similar to my experiences in recent years, Linux installs with less pain than a typical machine without the correct pre-configured Windows OME image to install from (which users almost never saved when they had the chance). Less dicking around with updates as well.

And yes, I have suffered the exasperation of re-installing Vista to help a friend and it was crushingly slow to get and apply updates. After 3 hours I went home and told him to reboot it in the morning.

To be fair, installing an enterprise copy of Win 7 on recent hardware was no major trouble, but still slower than typical Linux install and try as I might, I could not get it to go from a USB stick. So it had to be a DVD written and temporary DVD reader to get it to boot and then install 7.

Maybe Win 10 has solved the USB boot and install process? Perhaps I shall never know care...

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Boffins solve bacon crisis with newly-patented plant

Paul Crawford
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Re: It's people!!

Soylent pink

With apology to the original commentary who thought that one up!

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Paul Crawford
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I guess in a lot of cases they don't have much choice, they have a good enough job and that company often wants them to keep doing what they need done. No offers of new projects or training on things as they come along.

I'm as guilty as any. I have not pushed myself to change job as life has been OK-enough here, and the steps in my relevant knowledge have come not by planned progression but by projects coming along and I end up doing them. Hence learning a new skill, like how to write "C code" in python...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: High level languages?

Have an up-vote :) I wish I could give to 100 votes for the "universal macro assembler aka 'the 'C' programming language'" though!

Also share some of your views on FORTRAN, great for scientific work due to its built-in support for maths and complex numbers, extensive libraries (NAG & IMSL, etc) but had some horrible attributes as well (implicit typing, joys of GOTO being used far too often, being able to enter a function at multiple places, etc)

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Paul Crawford
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Re: For which chipset?

Alas, how many competent C programmers are there? You know the ones who actually understand how to manage memory & pointers...

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The only GOOD DRONE is a DEAD DRONE. Y'hear me, scumbags?!

Paul Crawford
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Re: Attention All Drone owners

All the better if the drones have self-defence weapons that return fire to the origin of the incoming projectiles. A glorious day of carnage for both drones and Maltese hunters as they exchange fire and we see how the Terminator would play out!

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Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Pompous Git

"causes physical damage that may necessitate the use of emergency or protective services"

Sounds like he nagged support once too often and a 'solution' was found using the printer and a jar of Vaseline...

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: @Pompous Git

Try giving your brother-in-law the details of a local paid support company.

You will be amazed at how quickly he either decides his printer is no big deal, or uses Google & trial-and-error to fix it himself.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Only yourselves to blame

(1) "how users disable or never install updates" Maybe because they break things, e.g. removing media centre?

(2) "no idea why users never install antivirus" Maybe because AV is mostly crap and an on-going fee or incessant nagging? (OK must at least give MS a vote for providing a low overhead free choice here).

(3) "Microsoft finally listened, then made you redundant by taking all those little jobs out of your hands" Good for that! So never again will I have to support some friend/relative who has, yet again, trashed their system and/or got it infected?

(4) "Linux is not ready...sacrificial chickens and chalk pentangles" Good to see you have recent experience of both Windows and Linux in terms of ease of installing and sorting out problems. Never had to registry edit I presume? Never has to get a driver from some web site and side-step the scams, bloatware (looking at you printer manufacturers, WTF does a driver need to be > 100MB for?) and shitty toolbars that come with the territory?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Make your bloody minds up!

People want and expect bug-fixes, in particular for glaring security holes.

They do not want changes that break basic functionality (e.g. removal of media centre) or require re-training to use (have you ever had to give telephone support to an elderly relative?). Android is a basket-case in this respect, but Windows has a long history of keeping those two aspects separate, until this W10 cock-down-throat push.

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Paul Crawford
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@Ceiling Cat

A while ago I had a motherboard with stupid fan speeds and ran the pwmconfig script to set it up. Might have had to set it to run on init though. Also you may have to have installed the sensors package first, as that gives you the readout of the speeds and voltages.

Or do you mean they have broken that?

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UK watchdog offers 'safe harbor' advice on US data transfers

Paul Crawford
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Consent?

""Of course transfers can always be made on the basis of an individual’s consent"

No that should not be the case, as that is asking someone to sign away their rights because they need gas or electricity, etc. Deciding not to deal with a given company because they are going to send my data to the US is often not an option, as you may only have one or two suppliers and enough do it to make competition on that basis impractical.

If I decide to deal with a US company that is one thing, but any company claiming to operate in the EU should not be allowed to break basic rights in return for slightly cheaper IT back-end supply.

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Have a Plan A, and Plan B – just don't go down with the ship

Paul Crawford
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Don't forget UPS arrangements

How many of you have pulled the Big Red Knob on the master switch to the building/campus to see what really happens when the mains fails for more than a second?

Do the UPS hold up the machines but not the A/C systems?

Is there enough emergency lighting and torches (in working order) to get around and do stuff like check the power outage is not one of your own breakers tripping on a now-cleared fault?

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Chrome OS is not dead, insists Google veep in charge of Chrome OS

Paul Crawford
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Re: Chrome OS would be missed (at least by me)

For certain user groups Chrome OS is pretty good. Given that a lot of folk only really need web & email, plus some basic calendar, document edit & spreadsheet support its got them and locked down so you have to try spectacularly hard to screw it up.

Of course, the Google spying is not nice[1], and if you want much else its kind of barren, but for the price and security its hard to beat.

1. Given our glorious leaders want to spy on our every on-line activity anyway, having Google whore you from advertiser to advertiser is probably less of a risk if you don't conform to the norms of the day/party in charge :(

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Trio nailed in US for smuggling $30m of microchips into Russia

Paul Crawford
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Just how hi-tech?

I really wonder exactly what the parts were they claimed to have exported. I mean, if you are pretending to be a traffic light supplier you could hardly get away with ordering rad-hard parts, stuff tested to MIL-STD-883, etc. So what were they?

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Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

Paul Crawford
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Now I'm hungry

That picture looks a lot like the El Reg award-winning bacon sandwich from The Horn, and my some miraculous coincidence I will be passing that location in under an hour.

Drool....

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Paul Crawford
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Joke

Re: Forgive me, but that must be a made up name

Of course it is, I mean who would trust a "North American Meat Institute"?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: re-reporting the daily mail?

Probably slitting your own throat gives you cancer as well.

Just not enough time for it to develop...

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California enormo-quake prediction: Cracks form between US boffins

Paul Crawford
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Re: Goodbye California

Oh lick my salty wife!!!!

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WikiLeaks leaks CIA director's private emails – including his nat sec clearance dossier

Paul Crawford
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Re: HOLY DOT SHIT

At first I thought he was some sort of complete idiot for having important stuff on an AOL mail account, but the suggestion that talking to Iran to try and sort things out is an unexpected breath of sanity in this world.

Still, we all have nothing to hide, so nothing to fear from our emails. Right?

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Oh dear, Microsoft: UK.gov signs deal with LibreOffice

Paul Crawford
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Re: jonpratt@outlook.com

OK so no dependency on O356 and your data being in USA hands. And you say that like its a bad thing?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: The economics just don't stack up

@J J Carter

The simple economics you give are only a small part of the picture. As well as reduced costs from year 4-ish onwards, you also have a number of other factors:

1) Less likely to be p0wnd by script kiddies (only slightly less for nation state, though) as no macros/VB

2) No need for Windows for the OS, so some flexibility and possible cost savings there.

3) More pressure to have open formats for data exchange.

4) A very good sick to beat MS with for pricing and licence terms as your gonads are no longer quite so tightly in their vice.

Sure there are a number of cases when MS products are the only or best option, but anything that gives them cause to sit up and listen to the user base instead of screwing them for more money and/or personal data is a good thing.

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Made you jump! Space to give Earth an asteroid Halloween scare

Paul Crawford
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Re: Suspiciously exact

Its suspiciously close to 310k miles.

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Microsoft boss Satya Nadella is paid $18m – and would trouser $20m if sacked

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Lost all faith...

Always have a separate /home partition. Ideally also a spare 20GB of unpartitoned HDD space.

Then worst case you can either re-install the OS over a badly borked one, or install a new one along side it, then boot it up, edit /etc/fstab to mount your old home partition and Robert is your little grandfather.

Now if only Windows always separated the OS partition form all user data and settings...and didn't bitch about activation keys, etc, if you do have to reinstall.

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Another go with MIPS IoT: Imagination unveils new Creator board

Paul Crawford
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Re: Another go?

A long time ago (like 1998) I was involved in a project that decided to go with Windows NT instead of VMS because it was going to support multiple hardware platforms and be flexible and secure. All of the things that MS promised.

Alas, after buying some Alpha workstation for this (not cheap, but super-computer like speeds then) MS announced the death of all non-x86 platforms. Our customer (who was quite technical) was far from pleased and although the project was completed fine (and better than some other partner's work) the change in MS' support was a major blow.

Fast forward almost 20 years and I can see MS blow this way and that, and I am might pleased not to be dependent on them for any of my work (other than the odd Windows VM to run CAD software).

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US senators lean on ICANN, tell it to quit squirming and open up

Paul Crawford
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Re: "a right flogging in the middle of Times Square"

Get the CAT-6 of nine tails!

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Accidental homicide: how VoLTE kills old style call accounting

Paul Crawford
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And now its the other way round. Such if life...

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Paul Crawford
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Actually anything that marks the death-knell of "premium numbers" and stupidly over-priced foreign calls is a good thing!

It can't be beyond the wit of the telcos to have a reasonable model for data based on some monthly minimum and some reasonable extra for large amounts of data that will keep the lights on. All we need is some honesty in advertising and a regulator willing to beat them until the comply.

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Temperature of Hell drops a few degrees – Microsoft emits SSH-for-Windows source code

Paul Crawford
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Re: Found it!

[citation required]

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Ugh!

"a better way would be to use UTF-16 everywhere in a Windows application"

No a much better way would be some thin compatibility layer for Windows that allows UTF-8 to be used in Windows in place of UTF-16.

UTF-16 is horrible and breaks all of the native C/C++ string handling and all legacy text applications. At least UTF-8 is usable, even if you have the unpleasantness of off characters in old editors and variable length strings for a fixed number of "characters" when outside of the ASCII Latin alphabet.

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GCHQ to pore over blueprints of Chinese built Brit nuke plants

Paul Crawford
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Re: Blueprint?

Unless you have one of those inkjets that refuses to print a B&W document because its low on magenta...

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Shoebox-sized satellite enters orbit packing 3Mbps radio

Paul Crawford
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A lot of polar orbiting satellite use torquing coils against the Earth's magnetic field to off-load momentum wheel speed.

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