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* Posts by Henry Wertz

439 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008

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WD drops 4TB whopper

Henry Wertz
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2TB limits...

"If you switch to a GPT-based system, the limit is lifted."

No it's not. Per Microsoft's own information, XP has GPT support (which surprised me) but is still limited to 2TB, as was Windows 2003 server.. Windows server 2003 SP1 and Windows XP x64 are the earliest to support >2TB disks with GPT (the only Windows version that supports *booting* from GPT was the Windows for Itanium though, which is discontinued... so have fun booting from a >2TB disk.)

Anyway... *shrug*. No worries for me. A) I don't have the cash for one of these. B) Ubuntu supports HFS+ out-of-the-box, so I don't even have to reformat it if I don't feel like it. Pwned.

With the mess of XP not having >2TB support added, GPT, and so on, I think it makes sense to just ship this out as a Mac drive, and make getting it work on your PC the buyer's problem.

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Windows 7 boss predicts 'modest' initial shipments

Henry Wertz
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Slow sales?...

I'm not a Windows fan, but I expect rather swift sales -- even people that know NOTHING about computers tell me they know to avoid Vista, and both some of them AND people in the know (that are not already using Macs or Ubuntu) are ITCHING for Windows 7 to come out.

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AMD to take on Intel's Atom... but not netbooks

Henry Wertz
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Reading between the lines...

I am an AMD fan, but... AMD says their "Atom smasher" (I like this term by the way El Reg...) will be "more functional" (I take this to mean faster) and that they aren't interested in the netbook market. Reading between the lines, I take this to mean the AMD chip will likely use more power than the Atom (i.e. faster, but not low-power enough to be good for a netbook.) I hope I am wrong, this would not be great for sales of AMD's new chip if it's competing with low powered chips while not actually being low-powered.

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Met 'studies Chinese bugging tactics' for 2012 games

Henry Wertz
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Ahh the true words of a totalitarian...

The true words of a totalitarian... these guys ALWAYS bring up:

1) "A fine line", or "balance" or in this case "fine balance" between surveillance and privacy. This of course is false, there's no intention for a "line" or "balance", this is a euphemism for "full-on surveillance", period.

2) Claim an "open debate". False again, people have already decided they want privacy every time there's any "open debate". This is a euphemism for pushing through any laws, rules, and procedures needed to get massive surveillance in place, hopefully while nobody is looking to object to it.

I of course agree with everyone's comments, if this is put in "for" the olympics, I'm sure it won't be taken back out.

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Best Buy leaked memo spills Windows 7 upgrade details

Henry Wertz
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7 *is* a "Vista that works" program

"Microsoft is launching Windows 7 in mid-October 2009. This new operating system isn't just a 'Vista that works' program"

Well, actually, that's exactly what it is. It appears to have a *few* new features, but nothing earth shattering... mainly just they slimmed Vista down enough so it's not ridiculous.

"Vista isn't that bad. It's not great, by any means, but it's not that bad. It's a long way from being the worse OS that Microsoft has ever perpetuated (Windows ME has that title locked up) _if you have good enough hardware_. If you try to run it on low-end crap"..

Vista IS that bad. You should not have to have 3GB+ of RAM and a dual-core just to run your OS. That is flat-out absurd. Saying you just don't run Vista on "low-end crap" is like excusing someone building a 10MPG sedan by saying "Well, you just buy lots of gasoline for it and it's not a problem." However, I give Microsoft credit for successfully de-bloating Windows 7, I haven't used it but reportedly it's acceptable in 512MB of RAM on a single-core processor.

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Microsoft's software vision chief embraces future horror

Henry Wertz
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ARM has plenty of software

Well, outside the Windows world, ARM has plenty of software. It's a full-class port under Debian, and Ubuntu's got support for it now that netbooks are being released with this chip. From what I've read, flash has even been ported to it. The ONLY softwares I know of under Ubuntu that'd need x86 emulation would be 1) Skype, and 2) Googleearth (but I don't think an ARM netbook would have the 3D acceleration to run this anyway.) (Also, wine and qemu would be emulating x86.)

Microsoft's in a tough spot -- I don't think they've been porting Windows to anything for years, so it's likely code has been written without regards to portability.. it'd be VERY time-consuming and difficult to port 7 to ARM even if they wanted to. (As a few people commented, WinCE really doesn't count.) Windows NT was originally intended for i960 (cancelled..), and ported to MIPS, Alpha, PA-RISC (unreleased), PowerPC, and x86, along with Intergraph Clipper. Alpha was the best-supported port, but by Windows 2000 Windows was x86-only. 64-bit windows was originally to be for Alpha and Itanium but is also x86-64 only.

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HDD data density to hit 2.4Tb/in² 'by 2014'

Henry Wertz
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3 comments...

I have three comments on this...

a) Awesome, I want one too.

b) They'd better get the bugs worked out on the 1.5TB disks before they start trying 3TB, 15TB, etc... a friend's been working for someone with large storage requirements, the 1.5s from every vendor they've gotten so far have been basically unusably buggy, with firmware updates not helping.

c) Guys (especially Microsoft) better hurry up with large disk support. Regular partition tables have a 2TB limit (EFI doesn't though I think.) ext2 & ext3 have kludges to get to maybe 16TB, but normally are limited to 2TB. NTFS is in a similar boat. JFS, XFS, and I think ext4, support large file systems (Sun and IBM AIX have large file systems supported for a while now too.)

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Developers take Mac, Linux-friendly Chrome for a spin

Henry Wertz
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Not version 1

"What's wrong with calling something version 1 anymore? Everyone who knows about software waits until version 3 before it is regarded as stable anyway ...."

Because it's not right. The windows world this is what people do, but in the rest of the world, version 1 means the software is stable and ready for use; betas are feature-complete but may have bugs, and an alpha is essentially a chance to see how things are shaping up but features are missing (AND it's buggy).

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Bada Bing tickles UK fancies

Henry Wertz
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Two problems I saw with Bing

I saw two problems with Bing.

1) VERY cluttered. I don't expect it to be as clean as Google, but I also don't want to have to full-screen a browser window just to have a usable search engine (oh wait, decision engine...)

2) The name. Even if it was great, I just would feel too silly recommending "Bing" to anyone.

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Acer: Android netbook to come with... Windows

Henry Wertz
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Wasn't this going to be an ARM?

Wasn't this one going to be an ARM? So, what, it's going to dual-boot Windows CE and Android? Strange.

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Judge backs Halifax in Chip and PIN clone case

Henry Wertz
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paying for fraud

"The sooner the rest of the world (America, I'm looking at you!) falls into line the better as we'll be able to do away with the magstrip altogether."

I for one am not interested. Our banks take responsibility for bank fraud (we don't end up out of pocket), if C&P meant they would not take responsibility (as UK banks are doing), believe me you'll have NOONE want to get one here. The one thing you don't want in the US is a debit card... ATM cards, the bank's responsible for fraud by law; credit cards, the credit card company (or vendor that allowed fraudulent transactions, ultimately), because they know people would quit using credit cards otherwise; debit card? US banks tend to be nice enough to refund fraudulent transactions (they aren't trying to maintain the illusion of 0 fraud), but are under no obligations to do so, and a few banks try to make it difficult.

"Does seem a bit odd that Hallifax would destroy the card, particularly when such a small ammount of money is involved, I would have thought they'd just pony up the cash to shut the guy up. I wonder if there is something else going on here?"

Sure there's something else going on -- the banks want to maintain the illusion that C&P is infallible, if they paid him back they'd be admitting a fault in the system.

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Microsoft takes hard line on Win 7 hardware

Henry Wertz
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Standardized web cams...

@Mark Legosz, no thanks... Problems I see:

1) There are a few broadband cards that do this, and it ends up being rather gross... They either show up as the device *and* a superfluos USB drive, or they show up as a USB drive until some "magic bit" is flipped on it, then show as the actual device only. Either is rather inelegant in practice...

2) "All supported OSes" means Windows and *possibly* OSX, I don't want the added complexity and costs for something that'll do me no good.

3) There's USB standards, the devices should just follow them. Then, no drivers are necessary (beyond basic USB drivers), simple as that. Printers "should" use Postscript (preferably..), PCL5, or standardize on a raster format. But they don't to cut costs.

4) You won't cut the footprint much by excising the drivers out of *most* OSes. Ubuntu, all the drivers included are probably about 200MB or less total, and that's including devices from the mists of time that Windows dropped support for years ago. OSX's drivers aren't too big either.

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Microsoft -- please, what a silly way to push your hardware.... one thing I do have to grant them, they took a hard line with Vista and told webcam makes to quit making non-standard USB webcams, follow USB video standard or else. And they do now (keyboard, mouse, and gaming device makers already were following standards.). With that said, this means gaming devices, keyboards, mice, and web cams will work no matter who makes them, no Microsoft-branding needed (and, on the flip side, Linux has tons of webcam drivers to handle older webcams, but you can buy a new one without worrying about it since they follow standards.)

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Data-sniffing trojans burrow into Eastern European ATMs

Henry Wertz
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Here's why ATMs shouldn't run Windows

Title says it all.

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Firefox users flip out over sneak MS add-on

Henry Wertz
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Not new...

Contrary to the article, there WAS a big stink on slashdot some time ago about an update installing a hard-to-remove firefox plugin, I guess it was just long enough ago already that slashdot collectively forgot about it 8-)

Anyway, I don't like this at all, but I'm with Ged.... Microsoft released a buggy update, and fixed this bug. I don't like updates that install extra software either, but this is par for the course for Windows (which is one reason why I don't use it.)

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Microsoft, Asus launch anti-Linuxbook campaign

Henry Wertz
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Not 96% preferring Windows.

"I admit it I like Windows There I've said it. And apparently so do 96% of new Netbook owners. Or at least 96% of them prefer Windows to Linux."

I wouldn't conclude that. See the posts were people have tried to by a Linux model, and find vendors either just don't sell it, or it's permanently out of stock. *I* refuse to buy anything with Windows on it any more, but many will pay the Microsoft tax even though they are just immediately replacing the OS. (Luckily, the state of Iowa here in USA rejected the federal gov'ts weak antitrust settlement against Microsoft, so via a state antitrust settlement I got a $90 refund check from Microsoft to help cover the costs of junk I was forced to buy that I never used.)

I'm also wondering how realistic that number is -- I heard about Linux having like 50% of the market last year, then Microsoft claiming <5% more recently. From what I read, the <5% figure they came up with was in *brick-and-mortar* stores, which never seem to give much variety; apparently this underestimates the actual percentage of netbook sold with Linux since most are sold online. (I don't know what the real figure is though, I'm sure it's not still 50% since that figure was from before Microsoft started pushing XP for them.)

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Ingram sore over Belgian warehouse burglary

Henry Wertz
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Not well handled.

@ Frank Van riet, that's not strange at all -- receiving stolen goods is illegal in lots of places.

They could have phrased this MUCH nicer though, and not used the all caps. I'm surprised they don't say something like "If you come across any information regarding these machines, please call Ingram Micro Legal Department" -- if someone doesn't receive the machines but hears about them, as it is they are not instructed to do anything -- and given the adversarial tone of the note otherwise, maybe they won't.

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Fraud guardian uses 'unfair business practices', Judge rules

Henry Wertz
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Exactly so...

Exactly so, I don't see this as a big inhibitor -- LifeLock can just tell you "this person will personally represent you in this matter" and they do it. If they quit you get a call (or e-mail, or whatever) letting you know who has taken over as your personal representative.

This is NOT an added cost to Experian -- it's the cost of doing business. They operate under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and MUST honor these types of requests, period; it's real greasy of them to try (and succeed) weasling out of a legal requirement. They made almost $4 billion, and over $400 million in profit, the last year so it's not like these requests were going to "push them over the edge" into unprofitability.

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AT&T, not ready for 3G, lobbies for 3G Palm Pre

Henry Wertz
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Bull!

Bull both to Iam Me, and to AT&T. AT&T's network in the US **SUCKS**, they kept adding more and more customers to it (making more and more money in the process) while not spending the money necessary to handle the load. Verizon just bought Alltel, which changes the game for coverage and customer count.. before that, Verizon and AT&T were close in customer count, but Verizon was spending typically $5 billion a year in network upgrades to AT&T's ~$1 billion. It's not a lack of spectrum either, there's markets where AT&T's got like 100+mhz of licenses, they just don't have it lit up.

It's a LAAAAME excuse of AT&T to just claim "Well, we're having problems therefore everyone else will soon." No, they've been spending cash to expand capcity *ahead* of problems instead of just pocketing that cash and watching the network go down the tubes.

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Getting real about Linux on the desktop

Henry Wertz
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.NET and Ubuntu upgrades

Good article! I enjoyed reading it...

"Ironically .NET was touted as being cross platform, etc etc etc by Microsoft."

Not ironic at all. This was I think intentional -- they wanted to provide LIP SERVICE to portability while ensuring everything but Windows is a second-class citizen. I think Microsoft was (is?) quite terrified of a popular truly cross-platform environment, after all if significant software ran under an environment like this, people could feel free to shift away from windows and know their apps will work. So, 1) They really aimed .NET to harm Java, since it was well down this path,and did take the wind out of it's sails a bit. 1.5) With Silverlight, same for flash 2) Make sure .NET and Silverlight works best on Windows.. I've run a few things under Mono, but Silverlight for Mac & Moonlight are junk, they're just enough so they can claim cross-platform support while really being a wedge trying to push people onto Windows "Oh hey this Silverlight-based video site works on Windows!!"

"The killer for me is the apparent requirement to reinstall the OS for a new major version of a distribution (e.g. UBUNTU, this is stupid. With Window, I just upgrade the current OS in-place, with windows updates, a windows service pack, or a new Windows version."

Don't know if you're serious or not, but Ubuntu specifically has facilities for going from one version to the next in-place.. 1) Open Update Manager. 2) If you are running an LTS (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu like 8.04, it'll only offer to upgrade to another LTS release by default (which won't be out until April 2010). So go in preferences and set it to show all Ubuntu releases if you want 9.04. . 3) Text shows up near the top of the update manager similar to "Upgrade -- click to upgrade to Ubuntu 9.04". Click that, click "OK " to tell it you're sure, it downloads the updates and installs them. If you have to interrupt the downloads they do continue where they let off. 4) Reboot. Done! .........OR...... plug in an install CD, ubuntu seems to offer to upgrade to the version on the cd. I expect it's similar except it saves some downloading by getting most files off the CD.

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Scientists: Tasers work, but we don't know how

Henry Wertz
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I think ACs...

I think ACs continuing this 2000 years of research right now heh

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Microsoft loses $200m in Texas Hold 'em up patent suit

Henry Wertz
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Courts

@greg, these are held in this district in Texas because goods are sold there. So I LOVE the ACs solution, refuse to sell product there until the patent-troll-supporting judges cut it out. Turn Texas into at least twice the technological backwater it already is.

@mindbrane, sounds like typical texas to me. I went there on vacation about 10 years ago, and was kicked out by the texas rangers, and advised (at gunpoint) "Turn around and leave, don't stop in the state park.. people get accidentally shot there.. *heh heh heh*". They just assumed since I had long hair and was driving a 1972 Caddy that I was a drug runner and were pissed when (after illegally searching my car) they found I wasn't. What a friendly bunch. They did restrain themselves from stealing my cash though.

"How can anyone appeal straight after a verdict unless there is new evidence?"

They go up one level.. there's several layers of courts.. in general it's like a local/county level, then maybe a district level court, then a state appeals court, then maybe state supreme court and federal supreme court. At least as supreme court level, the courts can simply decline to hear a case though.

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6.5m vehicles to be tracked by 2012

Henry Wertz
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Not many types of tracked vehicles

[QUOTE]Well the lines between company vehicle and private vehicle can be blurred.[/QUOTE]

Not really. If the company owns the vehicle, it's a company vehicle. If not, it's not. If some company expects me to use my own vehicle for company business, I won't be having them track me to make sure I don't go through the drive-through for lunch on the way.

Anyway, though, Paul's hit it on the head. The vehicles tracked in the US are:

1) Semis (those are lorries for you). Somewhat just for the "here's where your deliver is" aspect, and somewhat to prevent drivers going off-route to visit girlfriends, relatives, etc.

2) Some other delivery vehicles (UPS for sure.. UPS is a package delivery company.)

3) Taxis, it's easier for dispatch to dispatch a taxi if they know where it is.

In all three cases they are tracked by 1) Delivery company that the semi-drivers work for. 2) UPS 3) The Taxi dispatchers. They aren't fed into some centralized thing, the gov't, etc.

So, whatever you do, don't take this as some for of "well, it's ok to track vehicles then, they do it a lot in the US". We really don't much overall. And these were in fact fought tooth-and-nail... especially the semis, there's still delivery companies that specifically DON'T use GPS because the drivers won't stand for it. (Basically, on the theory that if they get the delivery on time, who cares if they go a few miles off course to spend the night?)

I'm very surprised they do not use some cellular data based system for this -- coverage is getting very good, and location updates shouldn't use much data. "Normal" data plans are $60/month for 5GB, but for business use a business can buy 5GB/month (for instance) and split it up between as many data devices as they want; I expect 5GB would be enough for tracking rather a lot of vehicles. I'd be tempted to use SMS personally, then the phone chip can take care of "store and forwarding" a few messages rather than the device queueing up data for when a data connection opens back up.. plus they may be able to use "unlimited text" plans then.

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Stumbling Lenovo turns in record loss

Henry Wertz
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3 reasons for me

First off, I should say I haven't bought a Thinkpad, so.... but anyway here's the reasons I think people aren't buying.

1) Brand recognition. Some probably quit buying just because "they aren't IBMs any more". I wouldn't, so long as there weren't other changes. But...

2) Quality. I've seen lots of IBM Thinkpads and some Lenovo Thinkpads. The early Lenovos were just IBMs with a Lenovo badge, they were exactly the same. The later ones, as the AC says a few posts above, are not the same. I don't OWN one so I can't say they're bad, but they are not quite as solid.

3) Price. Despite #2 --^, they're charging "old" Thinkpad prices. The economy's down, people don't want to pay that much even if the machine is fantastic.

4) Linux. For me this will knock Lenovo out of the running.... I will not pay the Windows tax.. partially because I don't want to send them money, and even more so because I don't want to be counted as a Windows user when Microsoft etc. claim some huge % of people use Windows.

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Intel drags feet on Itanium quad-core (again)

Henry Wertz
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correction

"But Itanium is not a hellacious money pit in terms of investment and they will have to soldier on."

I think he might have meant "Itanium IS a hellacious money pit" Zing!

Actually, the only two Itaniums systems I've seen were not a money pit at all, at least for the purchaser -- HP was pretty desperate to show Itanium sales so they discounted them about 98%. (They were to replace some PA-RISC Superdomes, but initially ran slower than the Superdomes until the Itanium compiler improved.)

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Mac update has 3D issues with VMware Fusion, ATI card

Henry Wertz
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Maybe not to blame

"If Parallel Desktop is unaffected ... means VMWare is to blame."

... Maybe, but I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet.

If VMWare is doing something that relies on "undefined" behavior or doing something similarly dicey, it's VMWare's fault. If Parallel and VMWare just exercise the drivers differently, but both are using valid OpenGL (and whatever other graphical APIs they use) then it's not a VMWare bug, but a driver (or library or OS) bug, pure and simple.

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Banned US shock-jock demands Clinton intervention

Henry Wertz
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Suing wacky Jacky

"Why is the Reg giving what appears to be a sad and somewhat deranged poseur so much publicity?"

Don't know what the IT angle is, but the fact of the matter is it's showing people can be put on this list for no good reason. He's a loud-mouthed git (IMHO) but he doesn't incite violence, racism, or any of that.

@Bassey, " Surely she was just exercising her rights to freely express her view that he's a loud-mouthed git?". I support his defamation lawsuit -- she didn't call him a loud-mouthed git, she put him on a list with klansmen and terrorists. If this was some huge list it's one thing, but with only 16 members it's "the worst of the worst", and I think putting his name on there DOES defame his character. Will he have an angle to actually make a case? No idea.

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Yorkshire boozer establishes 'smoking research centre'

Henry Wertz
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Is it just a fine?

Can they just pay a fine, or would they be shut down? Most bars in Iowa are smoke-free, but at least one got so much more business from allowing smokers they just pay the fines.

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Jail for Hong Kong techie who exposed stars' sex snaps

Henry Wertz
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Over 1000?

I must ask, who keeps over 1000 nude photos of themselves on their computer?

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Microsoft slings out Office 2010 technical preview

Henry Wertz
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Don't like icons

I don't think I'd EVER get used to a ribbon. I just can't make heads or tails of a bunch of nearly identical-looking icons, don't find icons intuitive, and REALLY wouldn't get used to ones that move around on me as they apparently do in the ribbon bar. The smartest thing Microsoft could do is at least give the OPTION of using menus, for those who prefer them.

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Craigslist shutters 'erotic services' section

Henry Wertz
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So..

"The figures were also trotted out in response to a federal lawsuit filed by the Illinois Sheriff Department earlier that month. The suit alleges Craigslist's copious quantities of prostitution ads strains the department's ability to enforce the law."

So, having all the prostitution ads concentrated in one place made it hard to enforce the prostitution laws? Traaaagic.

That said, I can see having Craigslist close the section -- there's VERY few places in the US where prostitution is legal, so having basically a prostitution area on Craigslist was always rather odd for the vast majority of areas Craigslist lists ads for.

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Microsoft to spin out more non-update Windows 7 updates

Henry Wertz
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Sensible realist?

"A sensible realist..? A person who has used a previous release of Windows..? An average customer..? Elaborate!"

Well, I would just ditch it. I mean, I quit using WIndows over 10 years ago and lost the urge to call them Microshaft, Micro$h!t, M$, and so on, within a year or so afterwards. Although when they act monopolisticly, astroturf, and fudge stats to make it sound like everyone's buying Windows when they aren't, it does bring that urge back. You should ditch them too if you hate them that much, Ubuntu's nice, OSX's a cult but the members are happy, it seems to be only Windows where their own users fear and hate upgrades.

Oh, and umm.., let's see... M!c40$h!t, only the "M" and "c" are factory original on that one haha. Not too readable though 8-).

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Apple bars 2.0 code from App Store

Henry Wertz
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not mutually exclusive

I'm no Apple fan AT ALL but must point out requiring apps to run on 3.0 doesn't mean Apple went around breaking backwards compatibility, we'll wee but I'm guessing VERY few apps are affected.

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Hulu recognizes Blighty existence

Henry Wertz
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Only overzealous ad blockers

I've used Hulu, it doesn't complain just because you have an ad blocker. I run AdBlockPlus, but ONLY set to block 8 or 10 domains that serve 1) "Noisy" ads such as the full-voulme "You won an Ipod!!!!" ads there used to be. 2) Ads that force a popup past the popup blocker. That's it!.. I realize sites have to sell ads to pay the bills.

I've used Hulu several times (will use it MUCH more once I get a better connection -- I'm using an aircard, which is fast enough, but VZW wouln't be pleased if I was pulling 10s of GBs through it..) I've never seen a complaint about a ad blocker, since I'm not indiscrimnately blocking all ads.

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Microsoft’s Silverlight 3 delivers decent alternative to Adobe

Henry Wertz
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Cross-platform?

Sounds pretty decent. The big stumbling block will be making it cross-platform; last I checked (which was not long ago), Moonlight did not cut it, and was not even running Silverlight 2.0 apps reliably. This is Flash's big strength, Adobe ports it to just about anything; Windows, Mac (including PowerPC which Silverlight is ignoring..), Linux, PDAs and phones... there's apparently even one for Linux for ARM, so they can have full flash support when ARM netbooks ship.

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Black hole swallows Barbarella rehash

Henry Wertz
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Joke

Spandex robot?

So, you want to freeze-frame a giant red robot in a spandex Flash Gordon costume?

*ducks*

Sorry, yeah I know what you mean, I just had to say it 8-)

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Too much sunshine makes you commit suicide

Henry Wertz
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Thank goodness I'm safe then!

Well, thank goodness I'm safe then! Back to my dimly lit computer dungeon....

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Electronics giants raise ruckus over Project Canvas

Henry Wertz
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How's the actual standard?

So, how's the actual standard? IMHO, I assume the standards OK and companies are just bitching a bit... but could they be objecting because the "Project Canvas" standards are gross or have practical implementation problems? I could see them objecting if, for instance, they spec'ed using BBC Dirac video format (which the box wouldn't have hardware to decode) instead of MPEG4 (which it would).

Also, how does this affect international sales? I would be as unexcited to get a TV with BBC access (that I'd be locked out of, not being in the UK) as you would be to get one with Hulu that you're locked out of (being outside the US.) I doubt it, but maybe that's the root of the objections -- they don't want to have to customize this feature for every country.

@Anonymous Coward that wrote "@amanfromMars"... you must be new here, that post's par for the course, eXXXXtreme amount of X's and all.

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Conservative US shock-jock to sue Wacky Jacqui

Henry Wertz
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Shock jocks, plus the final 6

"The guy sounds like a Grade A right-wing nutjob (after all anyone that describes our borderline-fascist Home Secretary a 'liberal' is obviously several books short of a bonfire). Everything I have read about him seems to indicate that he is a decidedly unpleasant and frankly deluded individual."

He may just SOUND like one though -- shock jocks (for those who don't know) make their money, well, trying to shock the audience, and generally sounding like a big horse's ass in the process. Some are perhaps dicks in real life but some just play it up on the air and are likely totally normal.

Here's my guess on the "final 6":

1) Buzz Killington

2) I.P. Freely

3) Amanda Huginkiss

4) I.C. Wiener

5) Busty St. Claire (and the aliases, Busty Larue & Hooty McBoob).

6) "Your mom"

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Windows 7 promises better SSD-ing performance than Vista

Henry Wertz
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Trim command and "better idea"

It's good that Win7 is getting trim command support. Well, hopefully they already have it, and are not throwing it in at the last minute between the RC and final release -- that time is for bug fixes, not potentially bug-inducing new features. (Throwing in WinXP integration at the last moment already throws that out the window though.) Linux kernels got trim support a few months ago...

Re: "I have a better idea", look up the Gigabyte I-Ram. It is (was?) PCI, but then used SATA to actually transfer the data, and is battery backed. Pricey though -- it was supposed to be released at $50 (back in 2005), came out at about $80, then when they IMMEDIATELY sold out were re-released at $150, and they're almost that much now.

The two big problems:

1) There's nothing else like it on the market (anyone who thought of making a competing product saw SSDs approaching the $1000 mark and dropping fast, and so didn't bother).

2) Since there's no successor products, it's pretty obsolete by now.. PCI, SATA-150, and it takes DDR with a max of 4GB. A PCI-e follow-on to this (using DDR-2 probably, although DDR would have plenty of speed..) would be fantastic.

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Microsoft: Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC

Henry Wertz
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I think I can handle that...

Don't rush to download Windows 7 RC? I think I can handle that, I don't intend to download it at all.

As for the comments:

1) If you get away from Windows, Thoroughbred Athlons, Pentium Ms, etc. are suddenly not some ancient piece. Even P3s are perfectly usable. Mac OS X recommends an 866mhz machine with 512MB... Ubuntu recommends a minimum 700mhz and 384MB of RAM (I've used Ubuntu on systems with those kind of specs and it's fine.) Thinking a 1.5-2.5ghz system with 1GB of RAM is somehow wimpy just shows how bad Windows has gotten.

That said, from what I've read, Microsoft's recommendation is probably accurate. People online have put 7 onto 512MB systems and had it run acceptably. I'm not a Microsoft fan but I have to give them full credit for successfully debloating Vista. .

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IBM Warwick data centre has a lie down

Henry Wertz
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Generator tests fail too

I would hope the tested the generator. But, I've heard of at least several large instances where the generator test itself caused an outage -- generator caught fire, burned out some switch it shouldn't, etc.

I would also not judge too quickly -- they summarize it as "the generator failed", but that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't start; possibly the hardware failed that hooks the generator to the data center; maybe there was some power surge when the power went out, damaging the generator etc.; maybe the generator ran but was not working under load. Any of these would not have been found even if it was tested.

@AC, "they both led back to the same electricity sub-station. Brilliant!" That's hilarious. This does happen with data as well; I remember reading about some data center that ordered like 6 or 8 different redundant connections so a backhoe wouldn't knock them off line. Well, one did... these providers were claiming they had different physical connections but actually had something like different wavelengths on the same fiber, or different fibers in the same bundle, so indeed a backhoe knocked out the primary and all backups.

" No, one would expect a world class data processing outsourcer like this to have multiple site datacentre rendundancy configured to work seemlessly in active-active or active-passive failover configuration."

That really depends on what kind of data center they are. The case where they were hosting SAP for someone, I'd agree, IBM should have been taking care of redundancy. In some cases, hosting amounts to "put your boxes in our datacenter", it's up to the customer to then get redundant boxes, put them in multiple data centers, and arrange for failover.

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Apple drives iPhone app developers to the brink

Henry Wertz
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Florida solution?

[QUOTE]DON'T INTEND TO PAY YOUR MORTGAGE WITH MONEY THAT YOU DON'T HAVE YET[/QUOTE]

Umm, if people already had the money they wouldn't have a mortgage. I seriously doubt anyone plans for a multi-billion dollar company to get months behind in payments!

The state of Florida had a solution to this -- harsh but effective.

K-Mart kept making excuses as to why they were late on paying state taxes... so, one day, these state heavies raided a K-Mart and just emptied the cash registers. Oh, in the middle of a sales day, it apparently really freaked out the customers 8-). When they got an amount that equaled the taxes owed, they left.

If Apple has any physical presence in your country, you can get a judgement and seize their assets or get a lien on them... that'll get Apple paying you right quick!

Apple needs to get this sorted. OK, so they are having problems sending cash to some banks. Understandable, I guess. But, they REALLY need to get them paid! Someone that's owed like $20 is one thing, but $1000s? If you can't get the bank transfer working, cut the crap and mail them a check!

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Can you talk and drive?

Henry Wertz
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Distracted driving

"Using a phone from the car seems to be falling out of favour: more than 80 per cent of the public believe that talking on the phone increases the risk of an accident, even if a hands-free kit was being used."

Well, not necessarily out of favor then... people here in the US also say how dangerous talking on the phone while driving is, and then those very same people do it anyway, seemingly in increasing numbers.

@jake, you're missing the point -- some people don't want to have a full-on beginning-to-end conversation, so they text instead. In some situations, picking up the cell and talking is rude, while (if the text message "beep" isn't too loud) texting is just fine. The people texting while driving are missing the point too though -- one feature of texting is supposed to be that it tolerates delays in the conversation; that is, if someone send me a text while I'm driving, I won't even look at that phone until I'm at my destination, or at least at a looong stop light.

A big problem people apparently have when they are driving while talking (even with a hands-free unit), is apparently people are ingrained to look at who they are talking to. If they are talking to a person they'll glance over.. (and still probably see the road out their peripheral vision at least). If they are on the phone, they'll look at the phone every so often, taking eyes off the road; if they are on hands-free, they'll keep looking at the hands-free unit's speaker. Why? I don't know, I think it's social or a human reflex.

That said, I think this should all be covered under wreckless driving, distracted driving, etc. A special law doesn't need to be made for each CAUSE of distracted driving, if police want to stop this dangerous texting while driving they should just resolve to enforce the existing laws.

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Windows 7: MS plays a Jedi mind trick on netbook owners

Henry Wertz
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Are they serious?!?!?!

Seriously? They had a Windows XP crippled edition, priced at like $4 (in certain countries only) to try to stop piracy (didn't work, the "real" XP could be bought pirated for like $1.50-$3...)

Do they seriously think Windows 7 crippled edition will fly? What it will REALLY do, is make Linux netbooks fly off the shelves instead (no crippling, plus they run better), which is not what they intend I'm sure.

Oh well, I was going to get a netbook with Ubuntu anyway, this just makes me even more glad for this decision.

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Satellite to offer 10Mbit broadband to entire UK

Henry Wertz
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Satellite or dialup?

"The "satellite" side of satellite broadband is download only, the upload is still via phone line (and presumably still slow).", and @Ian Wilson with the similar comment -- yes, effectively you DO have a ground station at your house. The return path DOES go back to the satellite -- probably lower power (and lower speed) than the main uplink, but it doesn't go through some DSL, phone, etc. return path. They've had 2-way satellite available here in the US for years (although last I checked modem-return was also available, main advantage being cheaper equipment.)

As for those who say other service is better -- yes it is. But, this is for people who have no DSL or cable available. 3G here in the states (Verizon's EVDO mainly, AT&T's absolutely glacial at building out HSDPA "in the sticks") is I'm sure digging hard into the satellite market. But still, there's areas with no 3G, and areas with no cellular coverage at all, as there certainly are in Europe. In these areas it's satellite or dialup (and, usually SLOW dialup since they're on a LOOOONG phone line.)

As for the confusion over 2mbps and 10mbps -- this just isn't that confusing. They are selling 2mbps service with their existing satellite, and selling 10mbps service next year when they have a new satellite launched, simple as that. Is the one technology even related to the other? I don't know, that IS an open question. But for marketing purposes it isn't 8-)

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T-Mobile lays ground for embedded SIMs

Henry Wertz
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Like a lead balloon

This should go over like a lead balloon -- T-Mobile is like 4th in coverage, after Verizon and AT&T, and a bit behind Sprint as well I think. People choose T-Mobile here in the US specifically because of the freedom of moving the SIM from one device to another, and having flexible data plans (where they aren't like "Oh, no, that's a PDA not a phone, that needs a different plan".) IT would not be good for T-Mo to try to take that away.

I don't think the US is too far behind in general cell phone usage,etc. as much as you might think.. for instance, data uptake here is quite high, a lot of people here have 3G phones, etc. It's really not too bad.

As for MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), there's tons of 'em on both GSM and CDMA here -- it depends on where you look, though.. if you're in an area with poor GSM coverage (lots of the west for instance) the store wouldn't bother to stock GSM prepaid cards, phones, etc., because they won't work well enough (or at all).

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Army officer tossed laptops into the sea

Henry Wertz
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Sounds open-and-shut to me

Sounds open-and-shut to me. No comment on the actual case they are looking into, I don't expect soldiers to be 100% "precision" when they are ambushed.

But, certainly destruction of (government) property, and destruction of evidence are a no-brainer in this case; he didn't even panic and throw them both out at once, but threw the second machine out, which he said had "a lot of work documents" on it, later.

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Bye bye BlackBerry mail

Henry Wertz
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Not too ubiquitous?

"BlackBerrys still have some edge in corporate environments, but the functionality that made the system unique is now pretty-much ubiquitous."

I'm just not sure that's true. Getting E-Mail on the road, if you really want to, is pretty ubiquitous. I can buy an app for my plain-ol-cellphone (i.e. not any smartphone by a long shot...) to do this. But (or so I've heard) Blackberrys have extra security features, including remote wiping a device and even remote disabling it (so when someone realizes it's been stolen, it can be told to "self-destruct"). Enterprise types are big on this kind of thing.

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Greens: Telcos must share cell towers to save on CO2

Henry Wertz
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Coverage?

Big problem with that is when your house happens to be in a dead spot.. if the carriers have seperate sites, you pick the one that covers your house. If they all share the same sites, you have coverage from NO ONE. This already happens to a few people here in the states.. some big tower with like 6 or 7 providers on it. Oh, you're house is in a valley or wrong side of a hill from that tower? No coverage, from anybody.

On the other extreme, US Cellular, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint here in Iowa City can't seem to share ANYTHING. It's ridiculous to have 2 or 3 huge towers within 100s of feet of each other, with seperate racks of equipment, etc. for each one.

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Student sentenced for F-ucked up grade hack

Henry Wertz
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They tried it TWICE?

This wasn't too bright. What I can't believe is, after the grades were changed back, they tried it AGAIN. That should have made it obviously they were caught at it, at that point doing it again is just going to draw attention.

<QUOTE>But...grades affecting tuition? So grades given out *by the institution* directly affect the revenue received *by that institution*?</QUOTE>

Well, certainly if they flunked out the tuition would be 0... ohterwise, I agree, I haven't heard of a school were grades affect tuition. Out-of-state status sure woiuld.

<QUOTE>I can grant that the keyloggers would be enough to get in and change the grades. But a simple audit should have shown all the changed grades, and reversed the changes. detection + 30 minutes, the damage should have been reversed.</QUOTE>

They were audited, and the changed grades WERE caught. These doofs tried to change them a *second* time, which was also caught (and, if the school wasn't already looking for them, certainly prompted them to track them down.)

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