* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

1025 posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Jason Bloomberg
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Facepalm

Cry me a river

The rich and powerful have always held trump cards over the small fry; threatening court action will shut most people up.

And, the end of all that hand-wringing, we find the case was thrown out, justice was done, no one was actually silenced.

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Kiwi hacker 'menace' pops home detention tracker cuffs

Jason Bloomberg
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WTF?

" Aluminium foil Faraday-cage attack"

That seems to suggest the "hack" involves some physical intervention; blocking signals from the ankle bracelet or whatever receives those.

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Uber surge pricing kicks in during Sydney siege

Jason Bloomberg
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Devil

"Mercenary"

That's putting it kindly. Anyone who seeks to selfishly profit from adversity is the lowest of the low in my book.

It is simply exploiting others' misfortune, and I bet they wouldn't be happy if they were themselves victims of that.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: For anyone who cares....

the bloody huge image at the top is class="article_img". A little futzing with greasemonkey makes it go byebye

I'm a bit rusty with Greasemonkey but just killing the picture and the navigation bar made articles acceptable again. The front page is a bit trickier, still working on that.

It shouldn't be necessary on a well designed site.

Indeed, and, once forced to start killing things off, the temptation is to go the extra mile; remove the banner, the social media buttons, the sidebars, the 'read more' and 'whitepapers' for a completely uncluttered feel which suits the size of screen I have.

That may be good for how a reader wants things, but I am not sure how good it is for El Reg. But, at least I am still here, still a reader, and whilst inconvenienced and a little aggrieved with the change being at odds with what I like, I can now live with it.

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Jason Bloomberg
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FAIL

Those mouse-over pop-up menus are driving me nuts and the super-large photos are entirely pointless, add nothing to the stories. El Reg is unfortunately becoming just another dumbed-down user experience.

I don't have any belief things will change so it's time to tweak my Greasemonkey scripts to shape things into how I want them.

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Not convinced

Me neither; I much prefer a darker balance than 'full in-your-face brightness'. I suspect I am somewhat photophobic, as it appears 20% of the population may be, though not to the degree of inducing epilepsy or seizures.

Still, it should certainly make "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" dresses shine.

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Solar sandwich cooks at 40 per cent efficiency

Jason Bloomberg
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Childcatcher

Re: Photovoltaics is a one time, one way molecular erosion PARLOR TRICK !

And before the commentards wail 'safety' - Coal has killed more people then nuclear power.

I am not disagreeing with you but the nuclear naysayers will point to the potential for harm being far, far greater than coal or anything else.

No scientist worth their salt would ever say nuclear power is completely safe which always leaves open the possibility that it could all go catastrophically wrong. That fear of "could" ingrained in the paranoid is a near impossible hurdle to overcome; they simply always see the risk as too high.

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Kaspersky: That 2 years we took to warn you about Regin ? We had GOOD REASON

Jason Bloomberg
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How long is too long to have kept quiet?

We don't want AV and security companies crying wolf but somewhere between suspicion and absolute proof there would surely be some point at which it becomes reasonable to warn that something is afoot.

It is entirely reasonable to ask why we are only learning of this threat now and not sooner.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

Jason Bloomberg
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A terrorist's wet dream

Just imagine having a means to re-flash the nation's smart meters, turning them off and leaving them that way. Just how long would it take to sort that mess out, and just what state would the country be in after just a few hours, let alone a week or more?

Yesterday it was reported Lenova had borked their own products with a forced firmware upgrade. Let's hope the leccy companies never do the same.

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Give nerds their own PRIVATE TRAIN CARRIAGES, say boffins

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

Re: Yes, Give Them Their Own Carriage

+ Like

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Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

The Smart Watch paradox

The problem of the Smart Watch is that for everything good it brings to the table there is some detracting feature which makes it worse than what we already have. For many there are too few gains for the inconvenience caused.

The ideal - always on, full and responsive colour display, easy interaction, months or years without charging, with replaceable batteries, allowing a user's choice of strap, and doing everything we want in a way we want it done - seems a long way off at the moment. And currently any improvement in one area seems to lead to something suffering elsewhere; better display but shorter battery life for example.

Battery capacity and having to recharge seems to be the main limiting factor at present and it's not clear how that will be resolved. Perhaps nuclear batteries?

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UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Old Style?

I would generally agree though I recently ran into a situation where the map did not reflect the actual layout and road signs did not help. It took everyone in the car a good number of aborted retries to figure out which route we should be taking . Luckily I knew how to do turning manoeuvres so it wasn't really a problem but a SatNav would have been helpful as a 'here's where you are' and a 'that way' aid. Though pedestrians are often equally good for that there were none around.

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Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Jason Bloomberg
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Flame

Re: I'm living in a future world

As we already have the means - simply design the kit so it can be placed on the hob to recharge.

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Post-Microsoft, post-PC programming: The portable REVOLUTION

Jason Bloomberg
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Real programmers don't...

Given the desires of developers to migrate to the fastest hardware and largest sized monitors they can get their hands on to enhance the development process I imagine there will be some resistance to developing on a 10 inch or smaller screen backed by rather sluggish hardware.

Developers I know wouldn't be happy developing on a laptop let alone a tablet tricked-out to be a laptop. In a push, where's there's no access to the desktop or for target platform debugging, then sure, people will struggle through but I doubt it's likely to be the first and preferred choice for most.

Just because you can doesn't mean you should, that one would want to, or it's the most appropriate way to do things.

The decline in PC sales, and rise of tablet sales, seems to be taken in some quarters as a decline in PC usage, a move away from those - I don't believe that's as true as some imagine it is.

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UK cops: Give us ONE journo's phone records. Vodafone: Take the WHOLE damn database!

Jason Bloomberg
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Stop

Re: We need the tainted evidence laws of civilized countries

At the moment evidence which is obtained via a criminal act is still admissible in a UK court.

And long may that continue. Letting criminals off because of police wrongdoing is not the best way to do things nor best for us - only the criminal benefits from that. Would we really prefer to see criminals allowed to get away with what they have done because of the way evidence was obtained?

Juries don't need to know how evidence was obtained, just that it is evidence. They are judging the defendant on crimes alleged, not judging on how the police do their job.

That is not to say obtaining evidence illegally should not be punished but they are two separate issues.

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Culture CLASH: Wuzhen Declaration spurned at World Internet Conference in China

Jason Bloomberg
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Different Same

At the highest level there's no difference; China and the west each do their best to keep their countries the best they can. The difference is in their approach to it. The west has long recognised that laughing at leaders, mocking religions, allowing porn, permitting dissent, and having all that we generally call 'freedom' doesn't necessarily damage as much as some may believe it will.

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Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Dear Mattel

"I'm reminded of that ambitious but otherwise useless bimbo who was running some govt scheme to teach kids to code but admitted she couldn't code herself."

Which would suggest Mattel got it right. Not how we might like it to be but how it actually is. But it does beg the question how it should be and how that should be reflected in fiction.

I am all for standing on one's own feet acquiring skills to do things but that shouldn't preclude recognising people do have better aptitudes and talents for some things than others. To create false expectations in the opposite direction is as equally harmful as promoting bimboism. Not everyone can do everything or do everything well, but that doesn't make you a failure.

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Yet more NSA officials whisper of an internal revolt over US spying. And yet it still goes on

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: In defense of data slurping

It appears my view that logging isn't spying isn't accepted by the majority, or I just wasn't expressing myself very well. It seems it's the slurping of meta data as much as use of of the data logged which is resented.

In which case I wonder what people's views are on server and system logs? Are all sysadmins and web masters spying on us?

If the NSA logging meta data is spying then a sysadmin logging meta data is equally spying. Is there something I am missing that makes one okay but not another? Or is it, as I believe it is, logging in itself is benign and its the subsequent use of those logs which makes it spying or not.

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Jason Bloomberg
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In defense of data slurping

If X is a mobile phone use, and all calls to and from X and all base stations connected to are logged, when X turns up dead those logs can be examined and may help reveal clues as to the murderer or the reason. I don't think many would have a great problem with that per se.

Likewise when X turns out to be a terrorist, who they are involved with might be determined through those logs. Again, I don't think many have a great problem with that.

But how are authorities meant to provide such benefits other than by logging everyone?

And it is, thus far, simply logging or 'slurping' but not spying as such. The problem comes in how and when logged data is used which may then amount to spying on some level.

It is false though to say data slurping is of itself spying. Asserting logging is spying and arguing the slurp should not happen is usually a brute force approach to attempting to prevent perceived misuse of the data later. It is a doomed approach because there are legitimate grounds and beneficial reasons to log and slurp (as above). Those who want to stop actual spying need to move on from saying the part which isn't spying is spying. They're fighting the wrong battle.

I am happy to hear arguments why there should be no logging at all despite any benefits that may have; just don't call meta data logging spying. I am against the misuse of logged data and what does amount to spying. We do need to be sure we have nothing to fear from our logged data unless we do turn up dead, are involved in terrorism or other criminal activity.

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London police chief: City bankers, prepare for a terrorist cyber attack. Again

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Really

And meanwhile we continue to be doing the terrorists' job for them. I can't think of an easier time for terrorists; sit back with a cool milkshake and simply let the infidels fearmonger themselves into a panic. They've won haven't they?

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Call the Commish! Ireland dragged into Microsoft dispute over alleged drug traffic data

Jason Bloomberg
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This is pretty much a test case for whether America is the world government which has primacy and jurisdiction over all others.

I am sure many in the west are coming to understand why others elsewhere in the world hate the US so much.

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Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it

Jason Bloomberg
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Headmaster

Re: Not the story it first appears to be...

I don't see the problem either; it's no different to subpoenaing phone records, recordings of conversation or obtaining any other evidence as relates to the case.

There is a necessity to prove or have agreed that whatever is subpoenaed is actually admissible and evidence but that's no different to any electronic, hearsay or circumstantial evidence.

"Evidence is evidence" as far as the courts in the UK see things though it is different in other jurisdictions. We don't have such American nonsense that a gun used in a crime found in the defendant's dustbin cannot be presented as evidence because there was no warrant to look in the bin.

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

Jason Bloomberg
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I do sympathise and appreciate it's not always easy to not let oneself get wound up in times of grief but the best solution is to cancel payments and then simply ignore their requests and threats. Ideally get a less emotionally impacted friend or acquaintance to deal with those issues.

There's the other side of the coin as well; where a company does terminate contract immediately upon death, leaving the family without services or access to accounts which can be even more inconvenient and distressing.

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Walmart's $99 crap-let will make people hate Windows 8.1 even more

Jason Bloomberg
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Not sure why you got down-voted. I guess suggesting it may have some utility isn't negative enough.

At £60 I'd be more than tempted, whether it can be down-graded to a speedier Windows version or booted to some other OS. My Asus EEE PC running XP was also under-powered but works well enough for what I ask of it. Likewise my O2 Jogglers.

Most of the £60 tablets I have seen offer pretty poor performance. It was this not being able to master HD DVDs in real time and otehr nonsense which sunk NetBooks.

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GT sapphire glaziers: You signed WHAT deal with Apple?

Jason Bloomberg
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Was it a bad move?

It might have been a bad contract agreement but that doesn't make it a bad decision to have accepted it.

For one it may well have been "take it or leave it"; as noted they make the machines that others use to make the glass so they were not the only ones Apple could have approached, and very arguably weren't the ones best suited to the job.

There was undoubtedly a "you keep making it and we'll keep buying it" understanding, even if not in writing, and no reason to believe Apple would have reneged on that or evidence they have. It was indeed all going fine until GTAT failed to deliver to expectations. If GTAT hadn't screwed up then it did not not matter that the written contract wasn't very good.

Unless Apple had agreed to a "we pay even if you don't deliver as per expectations" I can't see how any contract would have saved GTAT, and surely no one is expecting Apple to have agreed to such a thing. We would instead be here laughing at Apple if they had.

If Apple had simply shafted GTAT after crafting a contract which favoured themselves that would be one thing, but GTAT seem to have shafted themselves. It's not Apple's responsibility to provide a guaranteed safety net for GTAT screw-ups.

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Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

Jason Bloomberg
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Vintage?

I've still got a Nokia 2140 in the glovebox for emergency use.

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Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Award?

Though 'ridiculous and dangerous', it could be their line of thought was "the plastic cover doesn't hit you in the face when the air bag deploys so why would anything attached to it".

Though, having seen people attach things to the passenger air bag cover in a similar way, it could simply be they hadn't even thought about the scenario, nor considered that attaching something may disrupt deployment.

Besides; everyone knows accidents only happen to other people.

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

Jason Bloomberg
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Headmaster

Re: Important

It appears the poll was for "most influential" book, but El Reg along with other media have conflated that with "most important" and "most valuable to humanity".

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Sky: We're no longer calling ourselves British. Yep. And Broadcasting can do one, too

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: So does this mean

The way I see it is they offer what they do at the price they want to ask and you can take it or leave it, which seems to be what everyone else offers as well. I don't particularly like Murdoch but Sky doesn't seems any worse than other companies and their TV offering is better than many.

A subscription-free Sky box without a viewing card is very good value for money so you don't have to pay if you don't want to. I find that just as good as what anyone else offers for the price and Murdoch doesn't get a penny.

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Raspberry Pi mini-puter TOO BIG and EXPENSIVE for you? Think AGAIN

Jason Bloomberg
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What would have been nice is an easy means to use it as a USB device as well as a USB host.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Does it still accept power via its USB ports?

According to reports from the Pi people on their official forum the A+ does support back-powering via USB. The B+ doesn't but A+ does. Presumably a consequence of not having the Ethernet/USB chip and associated circuitry.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=91267

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Does Father Christmas expect a happy ending with Clara in Doctor Who?

Jason Bloomberg
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Ready, steady, ho-ho-ho

I doubt there's any need to run a Crimbo sweepstake on how scathing Brid-Aine's review will be.

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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

Jason Bloomberg
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Imaginary illnesses are real

The mere thought of eating oysters turns my stomach. Walking past an oyster bar triggers deep revulsion and the same. The oysters aren't per se responsible for that reaction but it is very real.

I wouldn't be happy if someone proposed opened an oyster bar next door to me and I imagine those who are psyched-out by the thought of wind turbines feel the same way.

Simply telling people it's all in their head isn't good enough but I will admit that I am at a loss as to how we do deal with such issues.

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If you're suing the UK govt, Brit spies will snoop on your briefs

Jason Bloomberg
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FAIL

Policy and law

Are these agencies not bound by the normal laws of the land?

It would seem not and therein lies the problem.

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It's the WORST game ever, just pulled from a desert DUMP ... now ET can be yours for $500

Jason Bloomberg
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That link was an enjoyable read, and it does seem to explain why people found the game so unplayable.

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Improving JavaScript: Google throws AtScript into the mix

Jason Bloomberg
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I am not convinced the intent is to deliberately proprietise the web, more wanting to deliver a useful and usable solution quickly without becoming bogged-down in delays while trying to agree a new standard and arguing how it should be.

"If you don't like it; fork it", has both advantages and disadvantages.

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Google Glassholes haven't achieved 'social acceptance' - report

Jason Bloomberg
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10m users by 2018

Still, that's not bad for a piece of kit which costs $1K. It's a funny old world if that's considered a failure, but I guess it depends on what one compares that against and what the expectations were.

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NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA

Jason Bloomberg
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I actually have a "bootlegged in a cinema" DVD

And the quality is, as entirely predictable, truly atrocious.

Given bootleggers can just as easily sell blank BluRays, DVDs and CDs pretending to be the real thing I am not sure why they even bother. And consequently I don't believe the industry has anything to really fear.

Good quality master tape copied fakes are a different issue, but you won't get that from covertly recording a film in a cinema.

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I'll cap internet tax, says Hungarian PM as mob attacks his party HQ

Jason Bloomberg
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Facepalm

Doing the maths

150 forints (£0.38, €0.50) per gigabyte of traffic, the tax would be charged to internet service providers... As a result of the protest Orban promised to cap the new tax at 700 forints (£1.78, €2.26) per month.

So, once capped, that will be 2400 forints (£21.36, €27.12) per year, per ISP.

There seem to be about 35 ISPs (www.iszt.hu/iszt) so a grand total of 84000 forints (£748, €949) per year revenue.

Hardly seems worth pursuing it unless the government are planning on removing the cap later, and pursuing it suggests they do.

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Microsoft has Windows Server running on ARM: report

Jason Bloomberg
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Future-proofing

I suspect a lot of these Windows-on-ARM projects are to counter claims that Windows is a lost cause and will fade away with ARM processor usage on the rise.

There are plenty of Linux and ARM fans who would argue that case and there's a whole arsenal of anti-Windows and anti-Microsoft rhetoric which Microsoft has to address. I hear plenty of anti-Microsoft fanbois claim Microsoft can't or won't do this or that and their doing it rather proves them to be utterly wrong. It won't stop the anti-Microsoft invective but it keeps Microsoft in the picture.

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Warning to those who covet the data of Internet of Precious Things

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: How can IoT stuff help me?

Maybe it can't and perhaps never will, but then again you may see some merit in something which can tell you the water is inches deep in your home and rising rapidly, or perhaps not. It might depend on whether you bought a house on a flood plain or near the coast.

Just because you haven't seen an IoT application which you perceive would or could help you doesn't mean that others haven't or won't. There is plenty of technology I don't see myself having any use for but that doesn't mean others feel the same way.

You need to ask, not what IoT can do for you, but what you would like IoT to do for you. Perhaps there is nothing you need which IoT could fulfil, in which case it's a technology you can ignore.

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That's PROFESSOR Woz to you from now on, young whippersnapper

Jason Bloomberg
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"Coolest person in the Universe"

Debatable and I am not sure, even if it were true, it would justify the award of an honorary professorship. But I have never approved of honorary awards which are self-serving or promote the cult of fame or celebrity.

Not that I am saying Woz doesn't deserve accolades; just that I don't feel this is an appropriate one.

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Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

Re: Other "Firearms" Included ?

I recall "rock splitters" may also be classed as a fire arm. They are effectively a tube with lines of holes in the side, filled with water with a shotgun cartridge stuffed in the end. Drill a hole in the rock, drop it in, kaboom, high-pressure water ejection; crack. A poor man's 'laser cutter'.

And you don't want to mistake a primed one for a dildo!

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Thanks for all the fish!

Why that show and no others?

Because it makes for the best click-bait?

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Banksy puts down spray can, goes corporate in banksy.com cybersquat brouhaha

Jason Bloomberg
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Criminal damage and vandalism that's worth a few tens of grand, perhaps more. I imagine there are plenty wishing Banksy would drop by and paint something on their façade.

It is a terrible tragedy that some great art has been destroyed simply because it has been considered mere graffiti or vandalism, but I guess that is a risk of the trade and choice of means of expression.

I would love it if Bansky 'scrawled' on my wall though I am not sure I could afford the cost of keeping it as public art and stopping thieving bastards from taking my rendering away while I wasn't looking.

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Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS

Jason Bloomberg
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A hacker's delight

If I have got this right; I can put my iThing data usage on someone else's contract if I can find the right details to enable that.

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

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: If the tone is wrong the content is lost

There is a fundamental problem in a volunteer project. If someone's contribution is crap and is not improving how to tell them to go away.

If there are not mechanisms and processes which can overcome that without having to publicly insult people and swear at them then something is seriously broken in the organisation and management of that project.

Public dressing-downs are a sign of failure. And what when that doesn't work? You send 'the boys' round to break some fingers?

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Software gurus: Only developers can defeat mass surveillance

Jason Bloomberg
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Thumb Up

Re: Well meant but still narrow minded thinking...

I have to disagree that this is something related to the developer (or designer even). It's up to the people who use the product who are ultimately responsible, and these guys should know and acknowledge that fact too.

I would agree it's not the developer's responsibility; they are simply wage slaves and out of a job if they don't bend personal principles to fit their employer's desires. It's not their job to be guardians of the rest of us. In fact; that even goes for the companies doing the things we don't like too.

I am not however convinced it's the user's responsibility when they equally have Hobson's Choice of accept it or do without. So called market forces don't work when people are not offered a full choice.

It is a societal problem which can only be solved collectively and probably only controlled by legislation.

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: About recording calls.

UK law on recording calls is a bit vague. You can record a call without telling the other party, if that recording is not going to be given to a third party. Not sure how it works if you later want to give that recording to a solicitor, or produce it in court.

The law is mainly about casual dissemination of recordings rather than use within legal proceedings. Limited disclosure solely for the purpose of legal proceedings is okay.

As an earlier AC notes; the courts in the UK hold that evidence is evidence no matter how it is obtained. If evidence was obtained illegally that is a matter to be dealt with separately. We don't have the same 'get out jail of free' approach as America if something is done wrongly.

Whether the recording and/or transcripts are admissible evidence or not is the real issue. If both parties agree it accurately represents what was said then it is admissible. If one party disputes it, it may be withdrawn as evidence, or there will be pre-trial proceedings to asses its admissibility.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Never quite got...

If you say you don't want your old job back then people who later assess any compensation for being fired may hold that against you - You don't want the job, you haven't got the job, what's the problem?

You have to make it look like they ruined your life to get maximum compensation, not that they did you a favour, or you were likely to leave anyway.

If they offer to take you back, even if you don't actually go back, it also means you can change the reason you are no longer in that job on your CV from "fired" to something else.

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