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* Posts by Vic

3341 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

ICO to fine UNBIDDEN MARKETEERS who cause 'ANXIETY'

Vic
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Re: Not electronic but

sending one of their lily-livered henchmen to my property last year.

They sent one to my house a few years back. I countered with dumb insolence, telling the guy that I had all the licencing I needed, thankyouverymuch.

He got more and more angry. I thought he was going to have a fit. Eventually, he bothered to ring his office, who confirmed that I did already have a licence...

Vic.

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Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

Vic
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Re: LED TV's are NOT DEAD!

I want an LED TV with a digital tuner

I just want a TV that does black levels properly. I don't care which technology it uses...

Vic.

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BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army

Vic
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Re: Blasters > Rails

blasters are much better for this

Nah. Blasters are clumsy and random. What we need is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age

</TheseAreNotTheQuotesYou'reLookingFor>

Vic.

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'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

Vic
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Re: And sharp, pointy implements, too!

your comment obviously dodges the fact that kitchen knives don't require a license to own

It's only a matter of time... :-(

Vic.

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Re: This whole terry wrist thing is backwards

Same way any neighborhood looks out for drugs etc, know your neighbors, who is a regular, who is a visitor

So only strangers make explosives?

One of my neighbours actually did blow himself up with a "device" a few years back. Your advice would not have discovered him...

Vic.

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Re: This whole terry wrist thing is backwards

That means lots of people will be watching out for it

A big part of the problem, IMO, is that the Public largely wouldn't know *how* to watch out for it.

In recent years, knowledge of explosives and firearms has ebbed out of General Knowledge - to many, even *looking* for information about guns or bombs means you're definitely a wrong'un. Thus we get a car full of petrol cans being deemed an an explosive[1], because hyping up an event helps sell more tabloids and makes the next power-grab that much easier...

Sarkosy once famously said that he doesn't want everyone getting plans for explosives off the Internet. I actually take exactly the opposite view - I want everyone to know (roughly) how to construct a bomb. That way, the vast majority of us who don't want bombs to go off will have the capability to be vigilant, and so prevent problems. But the modern policing method is always "Nanny knows best" - so, unfortunately,, they're on their own...

Vic.

[1] Making an explosive out of petrol is actually very difficult - you can get a conflagration with ease, leading to the big orange fire cloud so beloved by Hollywood movies. But that's just a fire; achieving detonation - which is what you want from a bomb - is really difficult.

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Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster

Vic
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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

HP and Dell tried selling machines with Linux on them several years ago. They gave up

Of course they did.

I don't knbow about HP's offerings, but Dell were shipping lower-spec kit on the Linux machines - you could have a cheaper and/or better bit of kit by buying it with Windows on and installing Linux yourself.

And we did.

Vic.

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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

and the non-techies don't move to Linux because the drivers are buggy or unavailable

This is the bit that always frustrates me: drivers are available to all manufacturers at no cost to themselves. There is an open promise from the kernel team to write a professional driver for any piece of hardware where the manufacturer will supply enough information for that to be possible.

We can only wonder at why a hardware manufacturer prefers to have a smaller market available than to hand over a datasheet...

Vic.

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Re: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...

And yet there's always someone saying they were working with tarballs and/or compilation, like this is typical of modern Linux distributions.

I've seen quite a bit of this.

There's a meme that, to use Linux, you have to compile everything. Just look at the number of times people will claim to have had to recompile their kernels, and that is why they gave up using Linux.

And so new users, when wanting to install a package, ignore the advice they were given and go hunting for tarballs.

I still cannot fathom why people give more credence to anonymous posts found on Internet fora than they do to their own support staff...

Vic.

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Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110

Vic
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Re: Car reviews

If you're going to keep this up, at least review unusual non-mainstream things like electric motorcycles

Yeah, this.

And if you need a test rider - give me a call...

Vic.

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Re: Bah Humbug

Plus it is French, they will probably not have any spares for it after next year

It's a Peugeot - they will have spares available for as long as there are vehicles in existence.

They'll cost you a King's ransom[1], though...

Vic.

[1] Four litle plastic knobs for the heater controls in my old van was £40. Thieving bastards.

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DOUBLE BONK: Fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets

Vic
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Re: because apple

Well that may be your view

ITYF it was parody...

Vic.

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'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

Vic
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Re: the war on rudeness

I think those whose interest in this kind of issue begins and ends with the freedom of expression of the troller aren’t paying enough attention to the effect on the trollee’s freedoms

No-one gives a flying fuck about trolls.

What we're worried about is how the government will seek to pervert this particular power-grab. History teaches us that such concern is not paranoia...

Vic.

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Re: Nothing to do with "free speech"

which inevitably end up being used for unforeseen reasons having little to do with the original stated intent

There, FTFY.

Vic.

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Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL

Vic
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Re: How does Adobe stay in business?

Dreamweaver doesn't cause bloat

Maybe it's got better recently, then, because it used to nest tables a bazillion deep...

Vic.

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Re: I hate DRM....

Th silly thing with DRM is that it simply does not stop copies being made available

That's because ultimately, all DRM is inherently broken.

DRM requires the end-user to have in his posession the encrypted/obfuscated source material, the algorithm to decode it, and the keys to do so. It can only function by the fiction that one or more of these is somehow secret, when in fact they are all handed over.

And so DRM will always be circumvented by those that can be bothered to do so, leaving it to be simply an impediment to legitimate users who don't.

Vic.

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Vic
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Re: The Personal Factor

I'd wonder just what the ratio was optimised for

Sales, of course...

Vic.

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Re: Cruise control

And HGVs overtaking other HGVs while being prevented from going over 56mph, that's what *really* slows down the traffic on M-ways.

Nope. What *really* slows down a motorway is people failing to use the acceleration/deceleration lanes.

Joining the motorway at low speed causes vast amounts of braking behind you - as does slowing down in the carriageway before you exit...

Vic.

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Re: Cruise control

It has been said by people who know about these things that a really good driver can out-perfomr ABS

That's been said by people who "believe" they know about such thnigs - but it's wrong - exept in the loose-surface conditions where locking the wheels is preferable.

An ABS unit has individual control over the calipers - a driver does not. The ABS unit is more effective, even if the driver can react as rapidly as the electronics[1].

Vic.

[1] He can't...

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Re: DWB

I'm a home mechanic, and have been for the past 20 years.

I attempted to stop being a home mechanic some 20 years ago - but I keep discovering that the "professionals" have enormous competency issues.

The last one hit us last year - the VW garage charged my missus some £800 for work to fix a fault - and didn't fix it. They then quoted a further £2500 for the nexst components they intended to change. The problem was clearly an interconnect problem[1] - so I fixed it in about half an hour with no components needed...

Vic.

[1] This seems to be an issue with modern VWs - I've seen quite a few reports of the same thing happening. They're cheapskating on the strain relief to save a few pennies, and causing the car to be seriously unreliable as a result.

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Re: Mr ChriZ Advanced Motoring

The numbers of drivers with poor vision are, in my experience, dwarfed by the numbers of drivers who are just plain stupid.

Your point about the nuber of crap drivers is well made - but I think you underestimate the number of drivers with poor eyesight...

Vic.

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My instructor (30 years ago) told me "Brakes are for stopping and correcting your mistakes".

They're also for increasing performance - but that, of course, will cost you in increased fuel consumption :-(

Vic.

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Re: you can barely turn the undriven wheels by hand

There are a couple of designs for electrical generation using turbocharger housings

I was playing with a FireStreak missile the other day - that uses a turbo alternator to generate its electrical power, driven from an onboard pressure vessel.

Of course, a missile doesn't tend to last as long as a car from first ignition to end-of-life...

Vic.

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Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Vic
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Re: Can I just ask here

There are a few: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Aircraft_manufacturers_of_the_United_Kingdom

Strictly speaking, AeroElvira should be added to that list, as they're still sort of going - but they only have one Optica, and don't seem to be building any more.

Vic.

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Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...

Vic
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Re: Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew?

g+ is conversation.

Do you have a link to any organisations you should be telling us about? You posting history is spomewhat ... single-threaded...

Vic.

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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

Vic
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Re: Needed

Companies shouldn't have to spend millions of quid on making their systems operate like Fort Knox.

They don't. They just need to ensure that the lock on the front door is made out of something more substantial than camembert. And that there is a front door.

If you tried to get the cops to investigate a "burglary", when you'd actually left the premises with all the windows wide open and the keys on a hook on the outside wall, they'd just laugh at you, and your insurance company would as well. But when such idiocy is committed in the digital domain, it is considered appropriate, and we end up with crazy estimates for how "damaging" a given intrusion is. There ought to be parity...

Vic.

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Re: Needed

And not include the cost to the victim of securing their systems like they should have done in the first place.

And there's the rub: so many of these incidents use the entire clean-up cost to over-state the "damage" that has occurred, when the bulk of that clean-up is in implementing the security they should have had all along. Actual damages are so trivial you wouldn't even bother filing charges, but then some high-level manager or similar would end up looking stupid - so the costs are inflated to save face. It helps that that facilitates extradition, to boot...

If the courts were to get wise to this, I guarantee substantially all "hacking" cases would become frivolous.

Vic.

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

Vic
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Re: Such hatred

The nice thing is with init.d/* is that you could swap the shell scripts for something else if you really hate them, binaries, makefiles, or even roll your own special init.d shell if that is too easy.

And when you're really screwed - you can instrument them to see what's going on...

Vic.

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Re: the "fun" part about systemd

I have come to the conclusion that suspending works reliably only in systems where the computer and OS have been designed together with power management in mind, as is the case with smartphones and pads.

The laptop I'm typing this on is a Packard-Bell TJ45[1]. It is the current in a long line of laptops I've had that suspend & hibernate just fine...

Vic.

[1] My next-door neighbours threw it out when it had become too broken for their use. I've been using it happily[2] for a couple of years now.

[2] Well, as happily as you can use such a pile of crap...

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Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores

Vic
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Re: Bose noise-cancelling headphones.

Bose produced respected, if high-end, audio equipment

Bose produced expensive kit. Respected it was not...

I looked on in horror when I first pulled the front off an 802. Their "full-range" claims were audibly bollocks, but I really could not bring myself to believe that any company could make "fidelity" claims from that heap of crap...

Vic.

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Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody

Vic
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Re: Picard?

Picard? I must have missed those episodes.

I cna only think of one such episode[1], and that was the whole crew losing it, not Picard being off-colour...

Vic.

[1] Yes, I did have to look it up :-)

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MasterCard adds fingerprint scanner to credit cards for spending sans the PIN

Vic
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Re: relative difficulty

EMV cards are quite good at preventing the leak of data stored in the chip (otherwise it would be easy to clone, and we don't hear much about that).

Maybe we don't hear much, but we do hear something

Vic.

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America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft

Vic
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It could take out enemy satellites without blowing them up, by painting their solar panels

That kinda presupposes the existence of a paint you could use at that temperatire and pressure...

Vic.

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SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

Vic
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Re: Brilliant!

Google's indexing robot comes steaming into your website without so much as a please or thank you

Google makes requests to your published interface, and it's up to you whether or not to respond.

Additionally, it has already requested the robots.txt file, which is the more usual way to tel spiders to bog off if you don't want them indexing your site...

Vic.

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Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

Vic
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Re: What Apple doesn't say

You're certainly stuck with it for between 12 and 24 months

No you're not. You can change the SIM at pretty much any time, as long as the phone accepts the new one.

What you're stuck with is the *contract* - and moving to a soft-SIM doesn't change that one bit.

Vic.

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Vic
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Re: Eric Raymond's (in)famous quote

But you didn't, you called his idea stupid, which isn't the same thing.

You'd be amazed at how many people can't see that distinction...

Vic.

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Solaris fix-it firm offers free BASH patch for legacy Oracle kit

Vic
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you can't access the site for the purpose of giving your customers something they aren't entitled to themselves:

However, in the case of GPL code, those customers *are* entitled[1] to the updates, and it would void Oracle's right to distribute the software if they try to prevent anyone from getting them...

Vic.

[1] I'm ignoring the possibility of a Section 3(a) distribution, because I'm pretty sure Oracle doesn't do that. Not every single time, at least...

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Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar

Vic
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Re: Cut'n'paste

Nope. Heart rate detection works on delta detection of the red channel, no need for *infra* red

It's also notoriously sensitive to things like skin temperature (i.e. blood perfusion). So you won't get into the phone at all if you're out in the cold. And $deity only knows what it will do with someone who's a bit flushed after running for the bus...

newer iPhones have IR filtered out as it apparently can mess up pictures.

ISTR a bit of a scandal a few years back, where camcorders were showing people in their underwear on account of being overly-sensitive to IR. AIUI, that has led to IR filters being fitted on most cameras these days.

Vic.

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Greedy datagrabs, crap security will KILL the Internet of Thingies

Vic
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Re: Sorry, no.

And my fridge would then interface with that app to answer the much more limited question, "How much beer, and of what type(s), is in it right now? Assuming the bottles all contain what they say they do."

So - that would be the fridge not dealing with multiple users, then?

That's where we came in...

Vic.

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Given that our governments seem to think that combating copyright violations is second only to combating 'terrorism'

Second?

I think you misjudge the situation, sir...

Vic.

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Re: Sorry, no.

Hardware markers don't get software.

Most do.

The PHBs that run the department, however, ...

Vic.

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Re: Sorry, no.

Why wouldn't the fridge be able to cope with multiple users?

I take three beers out of the fridge.

How does it know I'm not going to drink all three? All it knows is that three beers are gone; there is no understanding of the purpose[1] of them going.

Vic.

[1] I might be having a binge. I might have friends over. I might have only been storing these beers whilst my neighbour's fridge was broken. I might have decided that this beer is awful and I want to throw it away. There are many ways in which data without a realistic model is simply misleading...

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Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First

Vic
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Re: rant-like journalism

ADHD isn't something that you "might have, but we can't prove". We absolutely can prove whether or not you have it.

Yeah, maybe.

My missus was a teacher in an inner-city school until she retired. A significant proportion of her pupils were diagnoses ADHD.

From this, we can determine at least one of two things :-

- ADHD is a normal part of the human condition

- ADHD is dramatically over-diagnosed.

We should probably ignore the first of these, as it boils down to "ignore it - it doesn't matter". But the latter means either that ADHD isn't easy to diagnose, or that doctors are negligently dismissive about the condition.

I'm hoping that it's not that easy to diagnose...

Vic.

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Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes

Vic
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on a wired LAN usually a multicast is still broadcast over the LAN

That depends on your switch; many modern switches run IGMP snooping, meaning that the switch itself joins the upstream multicast, and transmits it to those downstream ports that have attempted to join.

Vic.

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Re: Follow the money

Digital broadcasting, on the other hand, requires access to proprietary technology. And while the receiving chips may be given away to encourage manufacturers to make (a\nd, therefore, consumers to buy) receivers, you can bet your arse that Fred in the Shed won't be allowed anywhere near the parts required to build a transmitter.

Opendigitalradio seems to have most of the info you'd need...

Vic.

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Re: Broadcast vs. Mobile network.

IP multicast doesn't work in the real life

It could do. But the reach of multicast is actually reducing - e.g. the shutdown of MBone.

And all we're doing about it is to snaffle bandwidth (from TV and radio services) to enable yet more unicast traffic.

Multicast won't work over the open Internet again - not for techincal reasons, but for marketing ones.

Vic.

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I pay £15 a month for unlimited data

How do you rate the chances of that tarriff staying the same if people start using it to stream radio?

Vic.

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Ada Lovelace Day: Meet the 6 women who gave you the 'computer'

Vic
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Re: Gender parity == hogwash.

An equal opportunity hire, IMO, is an Orwellian term for "incompetent, but we hired her because it looks nice"

I once worked with a girl who had been hired to increase the number of women in the team - and she had been told so.

It left her completely undermined - if ever she tried to advance a point, she was largely ignored, on account of it being common knowledge that she was only there to make up the numbers. And that was dreadful - she was actually a pretty good engineer, and her ideas were often bang on the money.

But her career was blighted by people who thought they needed to fudge the numbers[1].

vic.

[1] Strictly speaking, it is the knowledge of the reason, rather than the reason itself. But these things leak out...

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Something ate Google's 8.8.8.8 at about eight in Asia's evening

Vic
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Re: Rose tinting?

I think you may also be missing another reason Google provides them: it gives them another big juicy titty of free data on which to slurp and gorge themselves.

Not during a DNS amplification attack[1], it doesn't; the whole point of that is that the addresses are forged...

Vic.

[1] There's quite a bit of that going on at the moment - my server was attacked just the other day. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to find out that this is what took Google's DNS server down.

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