* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

1242 posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

Jason Bloomberg
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It's also not a unanimous decision, the representative of Ukraine wrote his dissenting opinion and pointed out it was pretty ludicrous to categorise jumping bail and evading arrest as "arbitrary detainment"

But jumping bail to avoid potential illegal rendition is what it's really about. I would probably jump bail and run to the nearest embassy which would have me if I thought I was going to end up in Guantanamo or a SuperMax because I'd pissed America off and they wanted their revenge. I imagine most people would.

And let's not forget Ukraine are amongst America's bestest pals at the moment.

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Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

the US has assured that it does not conduct mass or indiscriminate surveillance of Europeans.

Probably true, but only because they define what they do as something else. Mass and indiscriminate collection of data isn't surveillance in their book.

It's all sophistry. And it's quite depressing that the EU seems to be quite happy with that.

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'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Who the hell...

I can only guess he wasn't testing the manufacturing quality of cables, simply the performance of cables with an expectation of there being no fatal manufacturing defects.

With hindsight I imagine he realises it was a rather misguided idea to simply try another analyser which blew up, caught fire, sank into the swamp, just like the first one.

But he's not the first person to have had a failure and a naive belief it was a one off rather than a systemic fault. As anyone who ever had a second VHS tape chewed up can probably testify.

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

Jason Bloomberg
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To Infinity and beyond. Or not.

If only BT would choose today to give me their regular monthly cold call to try and entice me into leaving my current ISP and joining BT; I could waste more of their time telling them why I won't and would enjoy it even more than usual.

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Safe Harbor crunch time: Today's the day to hammer out privacy deal

Jason Bloomberg
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Easy Peasy

A clear explanation over what access US security services have to data sent from Europe.

They have access to everything.

How European citizens can sue if they believe their data has been mishandled.

They cannot.

[ The opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of the author ]

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Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

Jason Bloomberg
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It seems FTDI may have altered their drivers to send out a "not genuine!" message back in July 2015 -

https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=270175.msg2310682#msg2310682

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Jason Bloomberg
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My company develops products which use serial interfaces so we have suffered the support costs and unwarranted criticism of our products where customers have purchased cables using fake FTDI chips.

We and our products get blamed when their fake cables don't work as expected. We have been told that we must make our products work with fake chips and it's seemingly our fault when a customer has bought fake cables, not the fault of those companies using fake chips, or customer's efforts to save money.

Most of the problems, and criticism of FTDI, centres around the end-user having no idea why things are not working, and I can sympathise with that.

Whatever FTDI does, it would help if FTDI could generate a pop-up message which simply told the user their driver had detected a fake chip. If that is proving difficult then they need to work with Microsoft to figure out a way to do it.

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Old IT joke

I have had the lights go out while the ring main remained on and that was pretty weird and confusing for a few seconds. Having desktop phones keep working during a power cut only adds to the confusion for some.

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Jason Bloomberg
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IoT

I think a lot of the predictions about IoT rest upon how we define IoT.

Christmas Day I was at a friend's house preparing to enjoy the festive dinner when I realised I had forgotten to program my DVR for later that day. That's a Virgin Media TiVo with a network connection so I whipped out my mobile and programmed it up via that.

Was that IoT or something else?

Would it have suddenly become IoT if I had turned my heating up or down instead? Turned lights on or off, or had remotely unlocked the front door and disabled the burglar alarm because a friend had arrived there and wanted to drop a present off, had used the door camera to check they hadn't brought some pals round to ransack the house?

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Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: People Joined?!

I can't believe people actually joined though, what were they thinking?!

Most likely that, at the proverbial end of the day, they are all as bad as each other. I would expect the, generally true, positive outlook that "misfortune mostly happens to other people", plays its part.

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Jason Bloomberg
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Amstrad ALT-286 - Still going strong after 25 years

That laptop has a slot for a single ISA card which has a 3Com 3c509b NIC fitted and it runs my home-grown MS-DOS TCP/IP stack come packet sniffer software. It cannot boast of long up-times but has served well when it does get dragged out and dusted off.

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Fears of fiber cable cuts, rogue drones menacing crowds at Super Bowl 50

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: More groundless fear-mongering from an Agency that stages 'terrorism'

Yes, let's take the 3000+ dead in 2001 and spread that number amongst many other years so it doesn't look significant, and let's also talk about a past without 2001 altogether.

While 3,000 were killed by terrorists in 2001 Americans killed 10,0000 of their own in gun homicides and 100,000 were shot. And, while the terrorist toll has not been repeated, that from gun violence has repeated year in year out.

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: March is far too early.

Basically they're not allowing anything new, just spinners, flippers and Razer.

Yup. Which is going to make it just as boring as the original show became.

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Facebook is no charity, and the ‘free’ in Free Basics comes at a price

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Appeal

Giving some people the vote while excluding others from being able to vote could be said to be better than no one having a vote.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: The wrong question

Is Free Basics better than no internet?

It would be easy to say, yes, but I don't think it is actually that simple. We should not view it as what's better for some but must view it as what's best for all.

If Free Basics were just a proxy service, allowing access to any and all sites, stripping javascript and compressing images to make it lightweight enough for service providers to carry for free, than I would have few problems with it. I wouldn't begrudge the proxy provider discreetly advertising that they were providing the service. I would probably use it myself; it would likely give a refreshingly speedy experience using bandwidth constrained comms.

That's not however what Facebook is proposing.

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IBM introduces fleecing-you-as-a-service for retailers

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Sale! Now on!

And "up to 50% off" applies only to items no one wants or the store does not actually have.

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Watchdog says yes to BT's EE takeover deal. Shrugs. No 'significant' harm in it

Jason Bloomberg
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Virgin Mobile

So what now for Virgin Media whose mobile service is as an MVNO using EE?

Virgin customers can probably look forward to more calls urging them to switch to slower broadband, a Freeview box with BT sports, all at a higher cost.

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Jason Bloomberg
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Terminator

Paging the ALF

I wonder if the ALF could reform as the Android Liberation Front, freeing Robot War contestant machines from their warehouses and workshops before being put in the arena and being smashed to death?

I guess that would be considered some kind of terrorism these days; one man's robot's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

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Discworld fans stake claim to element 117

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

Tedium

Though for me it would be more couldnotgiveashitium.

Tribalisium would seem most appropriate seeing various factions pushing to get what they want. Perhaps we'll see a competing surge for jayellessium, downtonabbium or thegreatbritishbakeoffium.

We might even have deadprincessium if the Daily Express seize upon a notable 20th anniversary coming up. Perhaps ukipium to be more topical, though I think corbynium has a better ring to it

I am hoping those who get to do the actual naming don't bow to pressure and choose whatever they want. Even if everyone else does hate it.

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Riddle of cash-for-malware offer in new Raspberry Pi computers

Jason Bloomberg
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Facepalm

OMG!

While some malware is relatively benign and easy to remove, others severely compromise computers – allowing them to hold files to ransom, snoop on passwords, hide within operating systems, and so on.

Thanks for letting me know that. I was wondering what malware was.

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OK Google? Firefox to nibble Chrome extensions from 2016

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: chrome clone

Mind you; if Firefox manages to support Developer Mode and local extensions without continually nagging the users that they are enabled, they could actually steal some share from Chrome.

Or - because I do understand why the warning should not be removable - just demonstrate a less intrusive, less mouse focus stealing, way to show that and it might encourage Google to follow suit.

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CES tech show adds new security checks after fears of violence

Jason Bloomberg
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Facepalm

Guns

While they are fretting over what nasty things someone might sneak in a bag I couldn't see anything which said if the event will be a Gun Free Zone or not.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

Jason Bloomberg
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It's a tough one

I can understand an artist wanting to improve their work, make it more like the vision they had but couldn't deliver at the time, but that's not the same work of art the audience fell in love with.

I suppose we should just love both, but they are not the same, will always have an inequality about them. It begs us to judge one as better than the other, which we should not have to do, can put us at odds with the artist, damages our relationship with either the original work or the artist.

I think the problem with Lucas is that he went beyond subtly improving the work and actually changed things.

And don't get me started on bonus tracks added to the end of concept albums.

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EE recalls all 'Power Bar' USB batteries due to 'fire safety risk'

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: EE managing the situation

Original T&Cs; "the small print" ...

https://ee.co.uk/content/dam/ee-help/Help-PDFs/EE Power_terms and conditions_300315.pdf

Section 2.3 for the 18 months period.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

Re: I think EE are behaving well.

I'll keep mine and take my chances...

Did you read the T&Cs when you got your power bar? I believe you will find it is not yours to keep; it was a "free hire" service and it remains their property. I believe it has to be returned upon request, has to be returned after 18 months anyway, and you agreed that penalties can be applied if the T&Cs are breached.

You can take your chances, but is it worth it, and do you trust them not to make your life difficult, cancel your contract, start court proceedings, or engage in other nonsense, when you have breached the T&Cs?

I decided the offer simply wasn't worth it given the very low cost of similar high street products which I could own outright and do whatever I wanted with, lose, break or damage without fear of retribution.

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After Death Star II blew: Dissecting the tech of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: 30 years is nothing

The AK47 has been around and in use for about 60 years.

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Who needs CCTV? Get a terrifying slowpoke hoverdrone cam

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Out o'curiosity ...

Has any of this CCTV/mass surveillance ever done any good?

It has, but whether enough to justify its all pervasive presence is perhaps the real question.

It does often seems, when one hopes CCTV will make itself the saver of the day, that the camera is either found to have not been working, pointing in the wrong direction, or the footage is of such poor quality as to be useless.

But CCTV did reveal police lies about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes which may have been difficult to prove otherwise.

And, without CCTV, we would never have had 'lights, camera, action' shows where we could watch a slapper getting shagged in a lift for our entertainment and enjoyment.

All-in; CCTV is a bit of a mixed blessing.

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Rupert Murdoch wants Google and chums to be g-men's backdoor men

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Tetchy teens toll trumps trained terrorists

Before we can engaging in a discussion about "balancing" safety and privacy, the people asking us to discuss it need to explain what they feel is so uniquely awful about terror-related deaths and injuries that it requires such disproportionate resource expenditure and rights restrictions.

The anti-Muslims I have talked to about this seem to have the notion that 'Islamic terrorism' is a disaster waiting to happen, if it's not addressed it will just get worse, will eventually become infinite in scale, will be the genocide of the west; "It's inevitable".

In contrast; the huge number of gun deaths is a constant, and considered manageable and acceptable.

In short; the Muslims (and it's always "Muslims" rather than "Islamist Terrorists", and often a more derogative term) may not be killing as many as gun-totting all-American nut-jobs are, but if not 'contained' they will be killing far more - "Their Koran tells them to".

And it always seem to be the case that these anti-Muslims are equally anti-Black, have the same perspective on why blacks are a danger to America, also need to be 'contained'.

And by 'contained' they really mean eradicated.

White supremacists and racists do genuinely seem to fear they are facing genocide, see everyone outside their 'tribe' as a threat; Muslims, Mexicans, Jews, foreigners, immigrants, non-whites, liberals, commies, gays.

I presume inciting anti-Muslim sentiment has a greater resonance with a wider range of people appalled by terrorism so their hate and fear mongering is currently focused on that. If they can secure a result on that it's just a small step to seeking the same for others they don't like.

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Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

1 in 100

On the basis of, "it will go wrong or it won't", I calculate there's a 50% chance of being in that 1% rather than 99%.

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EU governments reach agreement on passenger name data

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

Re: Good start

From what I can see, they have actually specified a limited scope.

Or is it merely an illusion of limited scope?

I haven't read the legislation but what counts as pursuant to the prevention of crime can have a very broad reach.

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Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: How do you tell them apart?

Presumably, like iButton and similar devices they'll all come with a unique serial number laser cut into the chip during production or set by OTP fuses which can be blown during software install and testing. The technology to do that exists today and has been around for years.

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Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Quoting Twitter does not an article make

The meedja seem to be doing a lot of that these days.

I guess, for some, it's a convenient way to present a particular point of view while hoping to dodge defamation claims; "We didn't say it. We just reported the fact that someone else said it". Invariably presented with one criticising or dissenting tweet to provide the defence that they gave a balanced perspective.

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Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

Jason Bloomberg
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Pint

I enjoyed it all.

I have enjoyed it all since the re-boot. It's not perfect, not the ultimate best, never will be; there's a too diverse audience for it ever to keep everyone entirely happy. It has its highs and lows, there were episodes I have disliked and others which I have really enjoyed. I can easily find fault, but I mostly won't; I'll just accept it for what it is. I have long accepted I have to sit back, be entertained and carried along. This last series was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. And that's good enough for me.

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VTech's Android tablet for kids 'hopelessly insecure'

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

Merry Christmas

If you are worried about giving your kids a dangerously insecure tablet for Christmas; you might want to consider giving them a handgun instead.

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Facebook to Belgian data cops: Block all the cookies across the web, then!

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Eh

As noted; that's not what anyone asked for. It is Facebook who have decided 'if we aren't allowed to track readers, we will block content until the reader registers and login'.

That's fine; I won't be reading any public content hosted by Facebook then. Facebook users who want to put content in the public domain will have to do so without Facebook hosting. I doubt it's going to hurt surfers more more than it harms Facebook.

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Google snoops on kids via Chromebooks, claims EFF in FTC filing

Jason Bloomberg
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EFF losing credibility

I remember when EFF were a rather credible and respected organisation but they increasingly seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel and engaging in sensationalist hyperbole these days.

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Google to end updates, security bug fixes for Chrome on 32-bit Linux

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Don't people ever write portable code?

"Nothing will stop someone else from grabbing the source and doing a 32 bit build"

Except one can only get the source for Chromium not the source for Chrome.

Most Linux users of 32-bit Chrome are probably end-users who know nothing about compiling from source, and it goes against the grain to direct people to download pre-built browser images from unofficial providers.

They probably won't even notice the lack of security upgrades and will just keep on using Chrome as normal, exposing themselves and potentially everyone else to the consequences of that.

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IT pros are a bunch of wedding and funeral-dodging sickos

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: 600 IT professionals in the UK and US

And a rather specific sub-section of the IT community I would suggest. I really don't believe two-thirds of IT pros have missed a wedding or funeral.

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Visual Studio Code: The top five features

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Underimpressed...

I haven't tried it yet but would also imagine it's not the "Visual Studio" we love or hate, and sometimes both. Its main advantage seems to be in providing the same front-end experience regardless of platform used. To me it looks like every other dime-a-dozen web-based IDE but hosted locally.

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How to solve a Rubik's Cube in five seconds

Jason Bloomberg
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When I finally got round to buying a Rubik's Cube it came with a 'cheat sheet' which explained the sequence of twists required to move pieces around. I did eventually solve a jumbled cube but had no desire to memorise the algorithms nor perfect executing them at speed.

Despite having such little interest in Rubik's Cubes I do however enjoy wasting my time untangling topological puzzles. Each to their own I guess.

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Mobe-maker OnePlus 'fesses up to flouting USB-C spec

Jason Bloomberg
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Flame

Re: 10kΩ vs 56kΩ resistors

The 10K / 56K is only a signalling value which determines how much current the supply will allow down the power wires, the value is not a problem in itself.

If a power supply gets the wrong signalling value it may allow too much current down the power wires, causing those to heat, the cable to catch fire, and mayhem to ensue.

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Who owns space? Looking at the US asteroid-mining act

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Manifest Destiny

I guess I should have stated that I was not personally supporting such an opinion.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

Manifest Destiny

"America don't need no goddamn permission slip to do anything she goddamn pleases".

And that's it. Period.

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What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: No network?

The SoC only has a single USB connection. The Ethernet came courtesy of an added USB Hub/Ethernet combo chip, not included with this or the model A variants.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Overpriced

Plus you have to add the cost of SD card, PSU, keyboard, mouse, USB hub, cables and cable adapters and most likely a WiFi module before you have anything really useful. So that's probably nearer £40 than £4, but still an impressive achievement for what it is. At least those doubters who said there never would be a sub-$10 full-blown Linux PC any time soon have been proven wrong.

Given that cost savings seem to have come from trimming off things which the Pi B+ has, if needing to add them back to get where one wants to be, it may make sense to just buy a B+.

It could be an Arduino killer if it wasn't for the half a minute boot-up time and the risk of corrupting the SD card if the power supply is pulled without a proper shutdown.

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North Korea is capable of pwning Sony. Whether it did is another matter

Jason Bloomberg
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Motive

Even if everyone could hack anywhere one would need to have a motive, and that, or the rewards, need to be great enough to override the risks of being caught or blamed.

I don't see North Korea having the motive. I don't see what they actually gained, or could possibly have gained, from such a hack. This poorly rated film was no worse than what North Korea and her leader has slung at them every day.

It still looks more likely to me that it was script kiddies doing what script kiddies do, perhaps a western false flag to get crap thrown at North Korea.

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: I doubt the BBFC really care

It's not like just one person has to sit and watch it start to finish in one sitting. I would guess they could find some means to derail pre-booking to get a swifter rating decision.

The only reason to watch it is to ensure it is only paint drying, doesn't contain something they could be caught out by rating without having watched it. If they have technology in place to spot subliminal frames they might be able to use that to look for scene changes; making it a very easy job to handle without even watching it.

It's 'funny' on some level but I am not sure it achieves anything or makes any real point. I also don't think the BBFC will care either, even if they do have to watch it all.

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Doctor Who: Even the TARDIS key can't unpick the chronolock in Face the Raven

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

"the only yank capable of pulling off Dr Who is Robert Downey Jr"

Ooh err missus!

That won't be rated PG then.

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One-armed bandit steals four hours of engineer's busy day

Jason Bloomberg
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The issue is often not triviality but non-urgency.

The customer isn't always to blame when a reported fault is responded to as urgent when it isn't.

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£2.3m ZANO nano-drone crowdfunded project crashes and burns

Jason Bloomberg
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Facepalm

Re: Who Pays?

That some are saying they are willing to pledge money towards the fight to get their money back suggests to me that some people just don't know when to stop digging a hole.

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