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* Posts by The BigYin

3050 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

FAVI smacks your dumb TV with £30 Android SmartStick

The BigYin
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Re: HDMI HiFi

To add to AC, I have a TV that works (but is not smart). I can afford £30 if I want smartness, I can't afford £500+ and I do not want to be locked into the restricted services provided by the OEM.

Also, my guess is that devices like this will be hacked to provide even more functionality than a TV OEM would ever want to give you.

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Sir James Dyson slams gov's 'obsession' with Silicon Roundabout

The BigYin
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FAIL

Hypocrite

"British knowledge is simply taken abroad."

Dyson products are made where, exactly? Clue: it's not in the UK.

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Israel plots gigabit fibre-to-home rollout

The BigYin
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Re: Two thirds of the country ?

Just because the Sudan is bad, does not mean Israel is also not bad. There isn't some finite amount of badness that can exist in the world, us humans have an infinite supply.

The Palestinians have committed acts that are repugnant. This is without question. And so has Israel, this is also without question. Recognising that Israel has committed such acts does not make one an anti-Semite, it makes one a realist.

I am sorry if people who do not view Israel with your pious view offend you.

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UK.gov: You didn't trust us with your ID, so we gave it to private biz

The BigYin
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Re: Round II promises to be very busy

"Copies of the electoral rolls compiled constituency-by-constituency would all be stored unedited with the credit referencing agencies."

This is my data, that I have provided under threat of legal sanction. Do I now have to pay these private companies £10+ a month to be able to check the veracity of my data? Screw that.

"GDS have appointed seven "identity providers", one of them being Mydex."

So we need to ensure compatibility, security and reliability by demanding that the data and protocols used be 100% open (and I mean, free & open; not the MS patent-infested idea of "open") up-to and including a private individual being able to host their own, personal identify service (this is perfectly feasible by going down to, say, a post office and submitting the various keys along with primary ID). A failure to provide this is to disempower the public and have them held hostage to private concerns.

Want to check you data? Pay up or shut up, bitch.

Oh and one last thing; should any of these private companies be compromised, I want to see the executives held personally and infinitely liable for all losses suffered by persons breached and all fines levied. In the exact same way banking professionals are not. Why so stringent? Simple. These people only understand money, so the only way to make them behave and not profiteer is to put their wallets on the firing line.

But wait! No business will agree to those terms and the service won't be provided! Well, I have no problem with that either. We truck along right now quite happily.

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The BigYin
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Re: Bite my...

I forgot one thing; all hail the DarkNet. Let me see you put that genie back in the bottle; bitch.

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The BigYin
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Re: ... eradicate terrorism and pedophilia.

Define "terrorism". Setting a bomb on the public street? Sure, we can all agree that that is terrorism. But our state goes much further than that and the laws pass (potentially) from protection into oppression. Sometimes that person saying the thing you don't like and don't want to hear is saying the thing you need to hear.

The Tories and Labour are cut from the same cloth; they want all the power for their rich Etonian friends, but none of the responsibility; is it any wonder the minor (and some rather repugnant) parties are gaining traction? The country is screwed because of Labour and Tory policies over the past 20 years (i.e. PFI), we know this; just be honest, swallow your party pride and fix the problem.

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The BigYin
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Children are most at risk from relatives. Children should not have families. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

May is a fool.

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The BigYin
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Re: The national ID debacle - round II coming up.

The system should be federated and public so that if I want to, I can host/provide my own ID verification system. I probably won't (I do have something that vaguely passes for a life), but the only way to keep the bastards honest is to ensure that at any time you can yank the rug from below them.

I agree with the main thrust; if the state wants me to be open with it, then it must be open with me. That means that I can authenticate (via OpenID or whatever) and view all the information the government holds on me, and all MP/civili servant interests and expenses etc.

I'm happy to accept some restrictions for national security (e.g. active police investigations) but not one heck of a lot. I said it below - I want to see my MPs and MEPS leads by example; not engage in hypocrisy,

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The BigYin
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Re: ID

Godwin. You ruin an otherwise good point.

A public action can still be private (I go to the toilet, that is public knowledge, the action remains private) and it is often by acting in public that we are at our most free and anonymous. The state wishes to remove this - why?

Not for the children; that is the systematic failure of outdated, superstitious organisations that (for whatever reason) still get special treatment. Also, if our own MPs and MEPs divulged their information publicly (you know, to their employers) then I would have more sympathy. Until then, in the words of that great philosopher, "eat my shorts".

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

Bite my...

...asymmetric crypto, VPS, VPN and multiple accounts; bitch.

The government can handle my data in via the private sector the same day they engage in full disclosure of all expenses, all gratuities, all benefits, all share-holdings/directorships etc. In other words, the day they lead by example is the day I follow.

Until then the government will be treated like the clear and present danger they are and get the minimum information they require to function.

What is worse for children? The (small) risk of being interfered with physically or the very real risk of their state regime systematically mining their personal information. And every regime that follows. The state is elected to obey and to serve the people, not the other way around. We forget this at our peril.

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Ten… top tech cock-ups of 2012

The BigYin
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Petraeus now makes sense

He gave out his CIA login? He didn't just use a public system like mail.com etc?

Surely giving out such sensitive details is not just worthy or firing, but of jail time, dishonourable discharge, and goodness knows what else? He gave unfettered access to his CIA email, and not happens, yet Manning rots in a military prison.

Seems in the USA (like in the UK) justice is no longer blind and actively favours the rich.

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Trust the cloud with my PRECIOUS? You gotta be joking

The BigYin
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Re: I Call Bullshit

I think you miss the point. A lot. See that spec on the horizon? That's the sign post telling you where the point is.

"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents?"

Of course not. Not HDD is. That's why we have RAID and multiple back-ups (with at least one off-site).

"Techies will steal your music?

No. But they may mine the information and report yo to the authorities. Heck, the authorties could even compel them to do so. Also, your data comes under the jurisdiction of the hosting country which could land you in some very hot water if you are unlucky.

"Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files."

Unless compelled to by law or other threats (see above). Imagine the MPAA issuing takedowns for movies/music you have uploaded for personal use. Heck, just doing that could be a criminal offence.

"So be circumspect with what you store and where you store it."

Oh, you did get the point after all.

Me - I will store my data locally, keep back-ups and use the cloud only for information I need to share with other and, for whatever reason, don't wish to host it locally. When in the cloud, most of that data will be encrypted/locked by me to ensure that only the people I want have accees

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Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

The BigYin
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"the default Gnome desktop UI was primitive and -awful-. Reminded me of Win95. Which, you know, was 17 years ago."

What utter cobblers. In fact this is clearly a lie or a very, very old distro. Maybe 17 years old?

The default Gnome UI (called Gnome Shell) looks nothing like Win95 and behave nothing like Win95. It might not be your cup of tea (it isn't mine), but it is way ahead of anything Win95 could offer and not quite as crippled as the Win8 Tiles.

The other thing one could do is, y'know, try a different distro or desktop. That is the thing with GNU/Linux, choice. Not all distros are equal. Some are highly focused/optimised for a particular job.

"I'm not interested in spending the next 3 months tinkering with GTK scripts to enhance it."

I feel the same way about Windows. It takes me far to long to hack it around until it works.

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What Compsci textbooks don't tell you: Real world code sucks

The BigYin
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@AndrueC - Which brings me back to code review. Before hitting trunk it should be reviewed (and this includes comments). I know that is an ideal case and not always reality.

Code and comments go hand-in-hand. IMHO you need both.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Re: I try to write clear code

Oh FFS. "foo" (and "bar") are standard names used by just about everyone for basic examples of syntax etc. Of course I don't call things in real code "foo" or "bar".

Unless of course that do actually happen to be a "foo" or a "bar".

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The BigYin
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Re: I try to write clear code

This. Which is why I doc the living hell out of my code so that people reading it (or the API) know what I mean by "foo" and how I expect it to behave. If they contact me to ask a question, either they haven't read the docs (in which case I give them short shrift for wasting my time*) or the docs were inadequate (in which case I update them).

And if coders don't understand a ternary operator, you need better coders.

*That may seem a bit harsh, and I don't actually mind answering sensible questions. But it's not a case of just one person asking, it's the next and the next and the next and the...so I make them read the docs and come back with a sensible answer. I know some folks always do check the docs, so I know from the get-go they are asking something sensible. Other folks? Not so much.

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The BigYin
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"Even if they start out accurate they get out of date because there's nothing to enforce change in them as the code changes."

Yes there is, it's called a "Code Review". All code should be reviewed by the team, and preferably by some not involved in the actual project. Of course, time needs to be allowed for this and it seldom is.

"Every time you think of writing a comment, don't! Call a function or method or instantiate an object and put the comment in the name of the identifier."

That's good up to a point, and well named object/methods/params/members are a big help; but nothing, nothing beats proper docs and comments. It also means the APIs can be spat out and handed over to other teams fully doc'd, with behaviours, expected responses etc all done. No need to keep secondary documentation in sync. One line of code docs/comments per line of code (ish, depends on the language).

If you change the code, change the comments. Simple.

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The BigYin
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It starts out well...

...but then decays.

"I'll just shim this minor edge case in here...it's easier than re-architecting a bunch of classes" [repeat a few hundred times]

"Oh crap, this condition was never envisaged...I'll hard code in an if-else block to cope." [repeat a few hundred times]

"I really should update the docs, but there's no documentation time in the schedule, and I have 100 tasks to do before the end of the week."

"Unity test? Yeah, I should, but there's no time in the schedule."

"This code is obvious, I don't need comments."

"Code review? No time, no time...everyone is too busy."

"Hmm...fixing this minor UI glitch properly is going to mean re-writing loads of code to provide proper abstraction...the manager won't believe me that such a small change on the UI will take two weeks...better hack it than get into an argument." [repeat a few hundred times]

[Two years pass]

"HOLY JAYSUZ! What is this shit? What does that mean? WTF is that branch meant to be doing? Oh dear gawd! Who wrote this piece of shit? Oh, wait....oops"

You need to allow 3 to 5 times the coding duration if you expect to get quality.

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TSA agrees to review of perv scanner radiation risks

The BigYin
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Re: Typical knee-jerk reaction to technology

So there should be no problem with running the tests and publishing the results.

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Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

The BigYin
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So...

....out of the frying pan and into the fire, eh?

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So, you want to get closer to the workers with social media?

The BigYin
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No

I do not express personal opinions at work, only professional ones (if you see what I mean). I will do my utmost to make sure projects work and are delivered on time, even if I personally think the focus is totally wrong e.g. Surface is going to outsell all other tablets - so only worry about that, forget Android, OS X, iOS etc.

My professional opinion is: we should stick to standards where possible and maintain portability to ease client migrations; we have to deploy on their current equipment after all.

My personal opinion is: Surface? WTF? Are you high? Have you actually used that vomit? You do know RT is a crippled POS, don't you? Are you paying attention to the real world at all?

One of these I will express at work, the other not so much. And as the professional opinion does not appear to be dissent, it actually gets listened to without giving them any clue as to what I really think.

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Microsoft to Moto: We'll give you $1m a year for your patents

The BigYin
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Patent me this,

Patent me that,

Who's afraid of the Redmond....<insert nawty word here>.

MS grabs $5 per handset.

Google gargles $100 mill or whatever for H264.

Apple slurps X for Y

Samsung...

The money goes around and around, time is lost, courts choked up and in the end it is zero sum (except for the lawyers). It's almost as if the world would be better off without this patent garbage on software; then folks would just get on with stuff.

But wait! Where would the investment go if it couldn't be protected? Well, they are already wasting sky-fairy knows much on lawyers and lost suits; perhaps than money would cover these mythical loses that would be incurred.

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Secrets of an ad broker: NoSQL, millisecond auctions and FLASH ARRAYS

The BigYin
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Re: How much did this article cost Tapad?

Surely if this was a pad-for puff (i.e. an ad) then would El Reg be required to declare it as such? Just like puff articles in papers are require to state "Marketing bullcrap" or something at the top?

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Facebook to debut auto-play video ads in 2013

The BigYin
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It would be nice to whitelist non-annoying ads on some sites; but I went for the nuclear option:

dnsmasq and an ad blocking config; kill the wee fuckers network wide.

Actually, I wonder if blocking ads means I'm breaching copyright? A bit like how the ad skippers in pVRs were done over.

Pretty soon sites will test for the actual presence of their ads before they show content; I've seen this already. Can't blame the sites trying to protect revenue, but rather than engage in an arms race; wy not just use nice, static ads that aren't migraine inducing?

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The BigYin
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Re: Lost Audience

Simple answer: block FB at work, except for those who need it for business purposes (i.e. marketing and PR).

Same for Twitter, Flickr and all the rest.

But not El Reg, that would be inhuman.

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The BigYin
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Re: Good luck with that

Maybe that's the plan. Make the ads annoying and just before people start to flee offer them a deal "£5 to look at content your friends have given us for free and without ads!"

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The BigYin
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Can you id the "sponsored crap"? You might be able to set up a GreaseMonkey script (or similar) to remove the crap.

I must admit, I feel a bit guilty at the level of ad blocking I employ as i know sites need money. I drop it every now and again to see if things have improved, but it has only got worse. Even on this very site, some floating puff for the latest MS sack of crap deigned to hover over the comments the other day (just like MS, still trying to catch up with last decade) and the length of time is takes to load all this junk (never mind the insidious tracking and profiling) caused me to raise shields again.

If the ads didn't flash and didn't jar with the content, I could tolerate them.

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EU launches formal Microsoft privacy policy probe

The BigYin
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And the rest

With the to-do over orphaned works and the land-grab being made by some to profit off the sweat of others without having to offer them any remunerations; is this any surprise?

By all means use social media; but always tag your pictures and only upload reduced quality. If people think your work is good, get them to come and pay you.

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Won't follow Apple Store rules? How 'bout an iTASER TREAT!

The BigYin
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Make your bloody minds up!

So this lady is apparently trying to buy up the entire USA stock of iPhone 5s to meet the staggering demand in China? But according to El Reg, 14th Dec there is Chinese indifference to the iPhone 5.

So which is it, El Reg?

As for the lady being tasered, I find it staggering that a fully trained police officer could not restrain her and decided to use potentially lethal force. Are USA officers not taught locks and holds? It is perfectly possible to hold some immobile and compliant with a joint lock (especially given the extra leverage cuffs allow for). Back-up was coming, why not just restrain her? And as there no other mall security closer?

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Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

The BigYin
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Aww, diddums. How nasty it is of the big Googly beast to make you pay for the labour of others.

Actually, it's not nasty at all.

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The BigYin
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Re: Great.

"You're right - why are simple and common standard calendar functions so difficult to provide [for free]?"

I added the bit you missed. If you want a calendar service, why not pay for one (e.g. Outlook/Exchange) or help out/donate to the Lightning devs (Kewisch et al)?

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John Lewis agrees to flog Microsoft's Surface RT tablets

The BigYin
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Thumb Down

Make your bloody mind up!

Production halved, El Reg, Nov 29th

And now you claim they are ramping production to meet demand from the slavering Winbois. Which is it?

Or is this PR twaddle: they cut production, wait a fortnight and then 'ramp' production back to normal so they can crow about this mythical insatiable demand. Which, of course, it utter twaddle.

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Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality

The BigYin
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Re: Seems overcomplicated

Does this mean they are getting close to missing the ground? That's a vital area or research that is.

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Schmidt 'very proud' of Google's tiny tax bill: 'It's called capitalism'

The BigYin
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Re: VAT

@Chet Mannly - Market economics and price elasticity of demand. Let's say corporate tax did go up 10%. Let's further say that 100% of that tax bill was passed on to the customer (which doesn't necessarily equate to a 10% price rise). The company has two problems:

They may not sell enough at the new, higher price (demand is highly elastic) and so have to lower it again; or

Their biggest competitor might know the above already and simply fire a few bodies to recoup the cost, or simply suck it up meaning that out fictional company cannot raise prices.

This, of course, does assume a near-perfect market with no monopoly player and no price fixing.

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The BigYin
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Re: result

@AC - Top two hits for me are both xerox.com, and if you know you want xerox.com why not just add "site:xerox.com"?

"That is what the end user wants - a search engine clever enough to return the correct result just by typing a few words."

Which is why I use DDG.

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The BigYin
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Re: Piro

@Ken Hagan - That's a result URL, not a search term.

DDG supports the "site:" operator, just like Google. It also supports other shortcuts like "!w".

Even on Google you sometimes have to nudge it in the right direction.

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The BigYin
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Re: In before

@AC - I use DDG all the time. I think it's freaking awesome. It might be what you are looking for (some engines do seem to be better at some topics than others).

As for those manuals "Phaser 7500 manual site:xerox.com" at DDG works grand.

What's yer problem, caller?

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The BigYin
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Flame

Re: Let me fix part of that for you

Better idea. Ask the MPs what they think Google should have paid. Subtract what Google did pay. Divide that by the number of MPs. Recover said sum for the assets of every MP.

Or, if they won't agree to that, ask them who passed the laws. Once you have a list of names, remove them from the house for gross incompetence and hold some elections.

You can bet than when it comes to the next round of tax law, all their minds will be more focused.

Either way, it's not Google, Starbucks' or anyone else's "fault". They are playing the game (perhaps a sharp and nasty game) but a game nonetheless and within the rules; we must blame cretins who gave us these rules.

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Microsoft licence cops kick in TWICE as many customers' doors as rivals

The BigYin
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Re: Install Linux and let 'em come

"Will this run on linux?"

No, but the fact the it runs on Windows is a triumph of pig-headedness over elegant design. Even access would have been a step-up from what you describe.

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The BigYin
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Re: Install Linux and let 'em come

If by "support" you mean "provide network shares and other services that Excel could consume" then the answer AIUI is "Yes".

More to the point, Excel barely supports Excel at times!

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The BigYin
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Re: Install Linux and let 'em come

I came here to say something similar, but you can just ditch Windows and move to a GNU/Linux. There will be a lot of custom code that would need ported, assuming it can even be ported, and there may be show-stopper applications that can only run on Windows.

It might be cheaper/easier to just cough for the fees, which should have been paid anyway!

And, of course, depending on the nature of you business use MS may not demand license fees for their OS but licenses for the use of their patents; regardless of OS you are using.

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MPs: 'Chilling' new libel law will CENSOR THE TRUTH online

The BigYin
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Re: One tiny little country

I thought the law applied if the material was published in the UK? i.e. the website could be viewed here.

Isn't that why libel tourism is so lucrative?

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Microsoft Surface to hit third-party stores on Wednesday

The BigYin
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Re: So, it's official

Oz is the 52nd, the UK is the USA's bottom bitch. Although the UK has played up of late, it's going to need a bit of slapping to brought back into line.

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Samsung's smart TVs 'wide open' to exploits

The BigYin
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I don't want a smart TV.

I want a big monitor. That way I can connect any PC/device of my choosing and it will do want I want, not be locked into the maker's walled-garden.

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Mother of All Whistlers: Virgin Media superhub. Listen to recordings

The BigYin
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Re: A better solution...

@Lee Dowling - I find the little red/blue light a thousand times more annoying

Meant to say earlier, a little bit of black leccy tape over that front button works wonders. Now I don't get lasered in the eye when I sit down to watch the goggle-box.

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The BigYin
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Re: A better solution...

@Lee Dowling - thank you very much for the detailed reply, it explains an awful lot. I may have to resort to using "modem mode" in the future in that case, which is going to be somewhat problematical.

Or drop VM and go to ADSL.

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The BigYin
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A better solution...

...let us connect our own modem/routers and get rid of the SuperFlub.

Heck, I'm even willing for it to be a list of "approved" devices; just so long as I can chuck Tomato or OpenWRT or something, I'll be happy. Yes, I know all about "Modem mode".

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Apple's iOS 6 maps STILL muddle Mildura

The BigYin
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FAIL

Big intake of breath

LEARN TO READ A BLOODY MAP!

GPS is convenient and good for driving along with, but dear god never totally rely on it. Map, compass, know how to use them. Not only will this give your next trip an elite SAS feel, but paper maps don't run out of batteries. They're also great fun for spreading out over a table and discussing where to go next.

Seriously...if you drive long distances, take a map.

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