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* Posts by cap'n

482 posts • joined 13 Jan 2008

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Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales

cap'n
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does anyone really care for vendor tinkering?

I mean, has anyone ever bought a phone because they actually liked Samsung, HTC or Huawei's 'improvements'?

Having just moved to a lumia 930 after only using Android, the last thing it needs is far-east vendors putting their own warped idea of what looks nice all over it.

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Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer

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not really a surprise considering how piss poorly run they were

Just last week I was looking for a new phone and found one, SIM-free, unlocked dialaphone.co.uk, a p4u subsiduary.

After we tried several times to buy it using a company credit card, we gave up and called them. On eventually getting through, we were rather rudely informed that they only sell to individuals, and only sell phones with contracts... not sim-free or unlocked.

A simple mistake, I suppose it was a combination of the words 'sim-free' and 'unlocked', coupled with their Ts and Cs and web site which did not state anywhere that they only sell to individuals which confused me.

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Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign

cap'n
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Of course they haven't conducted mass surveillance of their people...

...they've subcontracted the job to the USA.

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Would Apple godhead Steve Jobs have HATED the Watch?

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Not another ipad

So Apple has come out with a watch that looks as crap as the Samsung effort, and technically seems to have all the same problems but is a year later to market.

They've also produced two new phones that have finally caught up with the fact people like bigger screens several years after everyone else went there, and Jobs went to his grave insisting were too big.

Pretty clear that Apple's era of defining the market is behind it and it's basically just following the leaders now.

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Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

cap'n
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Re: Would the US risk a diplomatic incident?

<quote>For the latter, the US would have to provide probably cause in a manner that is 100% compliant with Swiss law</quote>

I wonder if Swiss law is any more robust against political abuse than Swedish law?

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

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Re: re: There are also many who aren't happy with the limitations of Windows

"We're talking about buying cheap hardware to re-use for different purposes, here."

So, you're saying that if the vendor tripled the price into Apple territory, it would be fine to lock it down for a particular OS as Apple does? But because it's cheap, it's morally wrong to impose such a restriction on it!?

That is a rather bizarre point of view.

It seems to me the real reason people object is that they still regard Microsoft as a monopoly, which with the variety of computing devices available these days, it isn't. I'd argue Apple and Google are equally as bad now, but old heads have not quite caught up to this way of thinking yet.

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Crack team weighs LOHAN's substantial box

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Re: Not happy with the picture on the mug....

I am sure the residents of Tuvalu are equally concerned about the lack of visibility of their island home on the Lohan mug. What to do?

Can you not move?

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cap'n
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Re: "Seven" and "one"

In mine too. The wife (despite what she claimed during the WC) has no interest in football, but suddenly is the world's biggest fan when the WC arrives. Hopefully that result will haunt them, and they won't be quite as unbearably jingoistic next time around.

Might I also suggest that the Brazil players like David Luiz, if they really have to believe in god, save their prayers for important things like people getting shot in the face in street robberies, and nothing as self-indulgent as a bit of assistance in getting dives adjudged as penalties in a football match.

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The BNP can rip off your works for ‘parodies’ – but only if it's not racist

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Re: Vote UKIP!

Rejoice, in an EU-free Britain, the right to parody will be restored!

Unless of course, it's a UKIP leaflet you're parodying... then the freedom-loving libertarians at UKIP will set their masonic chums in the local rozzas onto you to force you to delete your heretical utterings

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukip-complaint-prompts-police-to-question-blogger-9358634.html

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Our Vulture 2 rocket spaceplane crammed with MORE POWER

cap'n
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Re: Battery clip springs...

put 'em perpendicular to direction of motion?

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Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather

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Re: Tony Blair was half right (*cough*)

If Tony Blair has nothing to hide, he has nothing to fear.

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cap'n
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It's up to us

You cannot rely on legal protection or rules to protect privacy. We all know that rules are what people like us are forced to adhere to, they don't apply to the governments and rulers. Even if they say we have rights and protections, in secret they'll be doing whatever they can to watch all of us regardless.

It is up to the people to do whatever they can through technical means and behaviour to protect themselves. SSL wherever possible to frustrate pervasive surveillance, extensive use of Tor and obfuscation, encryption of emails between yourself and your regular contacts and so on, even if for trivial matters. None of this will really hold back determined security forces if they really want to access what you've been up to, but it will raise the cost/difficulty of doing so that will force them to focus efforts only on those people they have real reason to suspect, instead of just on everyone. Which is what they should have been doing all along, if only they had not got drunk on power.

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Dropbox cuts cloud storage prices $10 per terabyte, matching Google and Microsoft

cap'n
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Re: "1 TB (1,000 GB)"

I recall Stephen Fry explaining the very same on QI a while back.

But despite this celebrity unendorsement, it is in fact correct.

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cap'n
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Re: Don't shoot the messenger!

I have used dropbox for several years. I tried OneDrive after I upgraded to Windows 8.1 and it was baked in. OneDrive was syncing my files at about 10KB/s. Dropbox gives me at least 100x that speed.

Not a Microsoft hater by any stretch, but OneDrive is just too slow to be of any use as a cloud storage system in the 2 weeks or so I struggled with it.

I think we also need to consider too that all these price cuts is just the big boys like Google and Microsoft hoping to put the smaller guys out of business. Remember when Google Apps and email was free for businesses on your own domain. Then it stopped being free for new signups, and soon after Outlook.com was no longer free for businesses either. I fully expect once they've extinguished the competition, you won't get free cloud storage from Google or Microsoft, and everything will be paid-for only.

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Rejoice, Windows fans: Stable 64-bit Chromium drops for Win 7 and 8

cap'n
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I just installed chrome 64 bit and to be honest, I cannot tell the difference.

I'd settle, after 4 or 5 years, for being able to move my toolbar buttons around, something chrome still struggles to give me, and it's fairly useless plugin/addon implementation seems to be unable to address too.

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cap'n
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The libraries affected were implemented in accordance with the spec, and then had workarounds for quirks in browsers not implementing it, which included Chrome. This is precisely the problem - if you fix a bug that has been there for 4 years, basically every library will have a workaround for chrome that is suddenly a 'bug' because chrome decided to change its implementation without warning.

Chromium's release system allows plenty of scope for testing if changes to js implementation are not marked as 'trivial' when they are not, and hence sneaked in without warning in the next release.

Browsers should be careful to implement fixes in a way that is conscious of the fact that the vast majority of users out there will have built their code to work as the browser is, not as it should be.

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cap'n
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The chromium team does seem to be pretty sloppy these days... or worse. They've changed various subtle javascript behaviour which has broken a ton of web sites because they've wrongly categorized these changes as 'trivial' and so failed to post notice in advance of deprecating them.

They've then topped it off by responding to any complaints about the issues by saying that they (now!) follow the spec, and all those libraries written and tested against how chrome worked for years don't, so people must bitch at those other developers to 'fix' their bugs and not the chromium team.

It seems this kind of arrogance and expectation that the rest of the web should jump to accommodate the whims of your corporate suits and devs comes with the territory when a browser obtains the largest market share. So much for 'don't do evil'.

Say what you like about Mozilla, but I am not aware they've ever thrown their weight around, especially for corporate reasons (i.e. breaking other people's libraries that are used in competing products), like this.

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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

cap'n
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Re: um

Why remove an app with 50 plus reviews and less than 3 stars? If someone is stupid enough to buy an app without looking at the rating or reading the reviews, that's surely up to them?

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

cap'n
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release the paedos!?

Are we saying it's not illegal to watch those kinds of videos?

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Football legend Gary Lineker in TWITTER POO TROLL SCANDAL

cap'n
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I was thinking the same

I guess mrs Lineker is hoping it does get better than a huge semi.

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Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai

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never going back

I lived there for 8 years. I don't know how, looking back.

It's an awful place.

You cannot gold-plate a turd, although they're desperately trying.

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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

cap'n
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Do you think the Warsaw ghetto uprising was a provokation and a breach of the peace that demanded German forces go in to restore order? Because it really isn't any different. One man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.

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cap'n
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the figures

There are around 1500 palestinians dead. How many of these are civilians you can take the Israeli view (50%) or the UN and others (80%).

On the Israeli side, there are 60 dead, 58 of which are soldiers. Which is about 3% civilian casualties.

So one side is killing 50-80% civilians, the other around 3%.

Remind me which side is doing the 'precision' attacks and doing everything to avoid killing civilians?

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cap'n
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According to Henry Siegman, former executive of the American Jewish Congress, David Ben Gurion instructed his generals to target civilians - specifically to line up Palestinian men against the wall and shoot them, so as to encourage an exodus:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/prominent-jewish-leader-israel-intentionally-killed-civillians-1948-engaged-ethnic-cleansing-ever-since.html

As he points out, Israel was founded by terrorists who were essentially doing what Hamas is now, only much more effectively. The people involved in these crimes went on to become leaders of Israel - Ben Gurion, Rabin, etc.

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Brits STUNG for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

cap'n
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Re: Please

This has nothing to do with the EU, your fault was that even if there were laws to protect you, you were not prepared to go to the small claims court and argue the toss. This is exactly what companies rely on. Case in point, the EU compensation scheme for delayed flights - every airline will claim the delay is not their fault, it was not reasonably foreseeable. Unless you're prepared to go to the small claims court, you'll not get any joy.

And take a look at the British parliament. Let me ask you - do you see a public-spirited bunch of capable, trustworthy and selfless individuals dedicated to make the world a fairer and better place of only the evil shackles of Brussels were removed from their delicate, hard-working hands?

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EE rolls out London bus pay-by-bonk app – only fandoids need apply

cap'n
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Re: Pointless

The funny thing is these imbeciles will now have to take the phone away their ear and mouth and stick it on the bonk plate. But of course they won't, they'll just stand at the plate holding up the entire queue while they finish their conversation, like they do at the supermarket checkout.

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Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

cap'n
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To be fair to Microsoft...

...they're trying to fight this in court.

Where are Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, etc.?

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cap'n
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Re: And Google's and Apple's

The point is of course that it isn't really about drugs or terrorism or other things they can easily ask European authorities for and it never was. It's about blanket surveillance of everyone and everything all the time specifically for all the things they cannot get warrants or cooperation for because they aren't legal or moral.

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

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resistance is futile

The public outcry and indignation of allies and domestic US companies co-opted into spying on their users for Uncle Sam has resulted in precisely nothing being done.

The US and UK are still busy at it, they're even rubber-stamping new laws with opposition support. They're talking about improving oversight and so on, but it's just fluff. They're going to keep spying on everyone just as before regardless.

But now thanks to Snowden, we know this. If we want to be protected, we're going to have to do it ourselves. There is probably no hope to make everyone NSA/GCHQ proof, but widespread use of encryption and other technologies could realistically make blanket surveillance impractical and uneconomic.

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

cap'n
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tiles

I recall the first time I saw XP, with the bright blue windows and taskbar, the default tellytubbyland desktop wallpaper and the first thing I did was go back to classic mode.

But now people make out it's some kind of design classic. It was a very good operating system, especially compared to what went before. But it looked awful.

Win 8 actually works quite well, despite the toytown interface.

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Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330

cap'n
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Re: It's all very wonderful

It's impressive yes, but I do wonder about their priorities.

Does anyone really care these days about the entertainment systems on aircraft? Everyone has a phone or a tablet. A USB port for power would be far more useful and a lot cheaper to install and maintain - everyone wins.

I'd much rather they spent the money on making the leg room a little better. I am 6ft, but I frequently find my knees crammed up against the seat in front. Even half an inch would make a difference, and forget the fancy 3d movies.

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Dubai to get HUGE climate-controlled DOMED CITY and giga-mall

cap'n
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Re: Conspicuous consumption at it's worst

Sorry, I lived in Dubai for 8 years, and if you think this kind of thing is spending money wisely, rather than in the rulers' own self interest, you're deluded.

There is nothing but worthless desert there, there is nothing sustainable beyond when the oil runs out. The locals have had oil money for 40 years, and they still cannot educate and instil a work ethic in their kids so they can fly their own airliners or engineer their own oil production. Why bother, when you can just pay foreigners to do these things? This is not Singapore or HK or China, countries that value education, hard work and doing things themselves, despite the great wealth they've come by. It's a lottery win, that they're busy frittering away and having a good time with while pretending their business people.

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Would it be BAD if the Amazon rainforest was all FARMS? Well it WAS, once

cap'n
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there is a difference

If the climate in the Amazon region was different a few thousand years ago so it didn't support jungle, then most likely other areas of the world which now do not support jungle were wetter and previously did. North Africa springs to mind, quite possibly other parts of South America which are presently drier plains and possibly even desert.

This is quite different to human beings tearing down jungle from the areas that do presently support it.

I think the Reg doesn't help its credibility as a source of technical and scientific coverage by letting Lewis constantly write these twisted articles. Scouring technical journals for any nugget of information that sticks out from the overwhelming evidence, disregarding any qualifications scientists put in and then presenting it as some kind of growing body of evidence against climate change makes the Reg look a bit bonkers,

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F1? No, it's Formula E as electric racing cars hit the track

cap'n
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open wheels?

If they really wanted to push electric cars, I think it would have been better to do a closed wheel formula and make the cars much less draggy. Open wheel racing is a bit of an anachronism really, it only persists in F1 because the rules require it. F1 cars have a horrendous drag coefficient, wheels, struts, etc. and complex wings to give downforce because of the regulations on diffusers and shaped floors.

Open-wheel racing is a throwback to the days before aerodynamics really took over, where open wheel cars were lighter as a result of having less bodywork.

It seems the aim has been to make the cars look like F1 cars, whereas they really could have made this a far more relevant series by focusing on design aspects that will make cars more efficient in every respect.

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cap'n
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the noise

James Allen's F1 blog had some more info on Formula E.

Apparently, they're going to have fake noise to make the cars go 'vroom vroom' as well as music. And there will be a social media element where you tweet for your favourite driver and the guy with most votes gets an extra power-up.

You might think I am joking, but sadly I am not.

Electric car racing is a nice idea, unfortunately they seem to have hired some silicon roundabouters to brainstorm making it appeal to 'da kidz'. And as a result, it will end up as cringeworthy shite.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

cap'n
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Re: they're a spy agency

Do you lock the door of your house? Pull your curtains at night? What do you do in there that you feel the need to hide?

Does this mark you as a legitimate target for security services?

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Unexpected Termination Error at Year of Code: Chief dumps venture for other UK.gov riches

cap'n
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I have a better idea

As an experienced coder I have no experience of high-paid, tax-payer funded non-jobs which involve loitering with intent around minor politicians and attending all manner of pointless but well-catered junkets.

So I wonder if the government would care to put me in charge of a well-funded new initiative called the 'Year of Talentless Hangers On", in which we seek to ensure that all youngsters are given the opportunity to learn how to bullshit their way through interviews about political issues without ever giving a straight answer, while quoting meaningless statistics which are invariably wrong.

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Microsoft ups OneDrive storage, slashes prices to match Google Drive

cap'n
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Re: OneDrive is close to useless due to their 2gb file limit

That doesn't affect me, but the upload/download rate of 10KB/s is a deal breaker. And that, despite it being baked into Windows 8.1.

And so after a couple of weeks, I gave up and just freed up a bit more space in my Dropbox on the basis that actually works at transfer rates better than a mid 90s dial up modem.

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Chromebook Pixel owners' promised free data plans being prematurely axed

cap'n
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front loaded deals

Never trust a front-loaded deal, where you pay in advance for something that will be available at no extra cost for years into he future. They're invariably bait and switch. Once they've got your cash, there is no incentive for them to continue to provide whatever ongoing service it is. Or they'll just run out of funds and stop the service. Either way, you lose.

The Tesla free for life charging another case in point. If you spend 10s of 1000s on a car with the promise of free charging 'for life' you're asking for trouble.

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

cap'n
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Re: M'kaaay...

No, it's not because they're looking for an easy life, though they'd love you to think that.

It's because this was never about terrorists, it's about surveilling the general public, as they're the people who pose the biggest threat to the rich and the powerful who're running things.

Terrorists don't create FB groups to discuss their plans, but plenty of anti-government political groups, environmentalists, occupy wall street, etc. - they do. That is the target. People who are not breaking the law, and so don't think they have any reason not to post their views and actions on social media.

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

cap'n
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well...

'All these generate new IP numbers which so far show no sign of giving out, despite the billions in use.'

Aside from the very obvious fact that various new TLDs do not 'generate new IP numbers', the suggestion that they 'show no sign of giving out, despite the billions in use' does rather appear to be a reference to the exhaustion of IPv4 numbers which I am sure a man of Fry's limited technical understanding has undoubtedly picked up on yet completely misunderstood. His obvious ignorance in the first statement certainly lends weight to the interpretation the Reg gave to the second.

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Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom

cap'n
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"free forever"

Those words invariably ring alarm bells for me.

He is front loading the cost of the product on the basis that usage (i.e. fuelling it) will be free to the user 'forever'. But we all know that 'forever' really means 'for as long as we offer the service' which in the case of a fairly radical model like this may be considerably earlier than the heat death of the universe, or even considerably earlier than when the wheels finally drop off the car. In fact, it might quite likely be well before the new car smell has worn off.

Even if they end up being hugely successful, the charging points start to regularly get full up and they start charging newer customers for each charge, they'll easily get shot of the early adopter freeloaders by subtly changing the charging specs to make v2 incompatible, or having 'premium' points for those who pay while the ones who're 'free forever' fight over a single broken and unmaintained charger at the other end of the country or whatever. Personally, I'd sooner pay per charge and know that there is a continued incentive for Tesla to continue to serve me, than pay upfront and know that it's all dead cost to them from that point onwards.

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YOU - NASA. Enough with the ROBOTS, get some PEOPLE to MARS

cap'n
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Re: Humans > robots?

It's the same in orbit too. Manned space programs are extremely expensive, the only justification for sending humans into space seems to be to find what effects spaceflight and zero g has on humans.

People talk about the scientific benefits of research into vaccines and new alloys produced in zero g. But big pharma companies make billions in profit, spend much of it on research and yet they're not buying seats on Russian rockets at 20 million bucks a go. The astronauts are doing all that 'research' because they're on a space station and need to do something there that looks useful. It would be far cheaper to send robots up to mix a few vaccines and so on, we only use people for this because they're there.

Much as I confess I am fascinated by spaceflight, the technology, the moon landings, and would be thoroughly excited to see people land on Mars, it's going to cost a shitload of money and there really are better things to spend it on. We don't put switchboard operators in orbit to run communications satellites, we don't really need humans in orbit to grow kidney beans or hatch chicken eggs either.

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'Hello? Hello? Yes, I'm calling you on my WEB BROWSER'

cap'n
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follow the money

Seems pretty obvious this is more about creating a revenue stream than providing some kind of useful feature.

They're a bit over-reliant on Google fees at present and need to diversify. Sad fact of life is that people won't pay for a browser, so unless you've got deep pockets like Google and Microsoft, you've gotta raise money somehow. I wonder how many FF users bitching about this have ever donated?

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Real, hovering SPEEDER BIKE can be YOURS for cheaper than a house

cap'n
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I'd sooner have a microlight, gyrocopter or powered paraglider if I wanted to actually fly. 45 MPH isn't really very fast compared to a motorbike I am happy to basically stick to the ground.

It doesn't even look that much fun.

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Amazon granted patent for taking photos against a white background – seriously

cap'n
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Re: Prior art??

Actually their rules specifically require photos be 'taken against a plain cream or light grey background'

An outrageous and shabby ploy to avoid paying the appropriate fees to Amazon no doubt.

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Dropbox squashes boring bug, restores file sharing

cap'n
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the clue is in the name

You'd have thought people might realise the consequences and security involved when sharing files in a folder called 'public'. This 'bug' does not expose files elsewhere in your dropbox, only those you choose to share publicly.

Dropbox would be better off explaining to people what 'public' means, and to make clear that documents shared in this way are, well... public.

You cannot prevent URLs leaking. Things like the Alexa toolbar and other tools which many users might have installed will pass every URL you visit to their parent service. I think Chrome probably does this to Google too.

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You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

cap'n
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pointless

This assumes that those who're not tech savvy will see what happens to that second URL and realize they're on a fake site. I very much doubt that.

Anything short of a big popup warning 'This site may be a fake' won't be understood.

The problem with dumbing down, hiding the full URL and so on is that over time, the average web user is going to become further and further removed from the actual workings of the web - even the basics of what a URL is and how to enter it directly into a browser by typing. The URL bar will go completely next, as users just follow links from Google and don't need to type or see the raw URL. I suspect this is really where Google is going with this - even more control over how users get to their destinations.

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Titsup UK Border IT causes CHAOS at air and seaports in Blighty

cap'n
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Dubai better?

I lived there for 8 years. 50% of the time I turned up, was straight through immigration. The other 50% I had an hour's wait. And I had a residence visa.

And no, having small airport queues doesn't make it a better place, or even more efficient than any European country. Government bureaucracy is the only thing that creates jobs for locals, who don't have the skills or the work ethic required for proper jobs. It'll normally take them a couple of months to shuffle a completely unnecessary but vital piece of paperwork around an office for the required stamps of the various people who got their jobs due to 'wasta' and only turn up for a couple of hours per day, if they feel like it. And everything you do requires copies of passport and visa in triplicate, even though they have a compulsory national ID computer system for which they take eye scans and prints of every finger and even your palms.

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SpaceX: We NAILED the Falcon 9 landing! The video, on the other hand...

cap'n
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I find it hard to believe that the Reg can get decent footage of a home made playmobile space plane, and yet these space-x fly boys with hundreds of millions in porky government cash can't get a single vid of their rocket.

I wonder if the LOHAN team would consider suing the US govt for some of those lucrative subsidies to major US aerospace companies masquerading as defence contracts?

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