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* Posts by The BigYin

3014 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

UK.gov threatens to 'pull plug' on smart meter rollout

The BigYin
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@Nick

Err...this account is in no way as critical as my gas meter, so a reasonable password is good enough. For a gas meter I would expect it to be using signed keys protected by passwords and physical access being required to update the keys (which will be amusing as most gas meters are external to the property).

And even if that were done, I rather doubt the majority of the pubic are educated enough to use such a system properly.

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The BigYin
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@Nick

"Also it would be possible to allow the consumer to configure their smart meter"

DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! Do you really want your meters web accessible? Really? No way in hell, buster. There is no way I would trust them to have enough security to make things safe.

"to switch between alternative generating sources (i.e. renewable, nuclear, coal, gas) according to the relative spot price of each source rather "

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

It's an ironic post! Oh, that's a good one Nick!

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The BigYin
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Flame

They want me to have a smart meter...

...OK. Show me the source code.

I want unlimited indemnity from the meter being hacked and reporting false reading.

I also want unlimited insurance from utility should the smart meter cause any problems with my own equipment (depends on how it is networked).

The utility also must pay 100% of the costs of installing any cabling needed to the house.

Until such times, go and meter a darkened orifice.

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The Register Guide on how to stay anonymous (part 1)

The BigYin
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I the ads...

...did not flash, pop over/under or otherwise distract from the content, I wouldn't block them so hard. Advertisers and ignorant content providers have made this problem. If they play nice, it will go away.

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Why can't civil servants keep a grip on their BlackBerrys?

The BigYin
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Umm...

...surely they have tracking software installed? PreyProject seems good (I've mucked about with it a bit). Unfortunately they don't offer support for RIM, they probably could if the government punted them a few notes.

Or maybe RIM offer this service already. Dunno.

Either way, unless they were mugged the civil servants should be made to pay for a replacement.

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Solar power boom 'unsustainable', says Gov

The BigYin
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@Rolf

This - in spades.

The calculators are generally trivial. And like any good maths teacher will tell you "If you do not show your working, you may have arrived that the answer by fluke."

I do not expect to get a 100% accurate answer, but I want to see the working. I want to know that it's in the ball-park. I do not what to have 10 sales-drones at my door (I can bet they will not be qualified engineers) as I have been bothered by too many target-focused, pushy, arse-wipes in the past.

The data is out there, but it is a PITA to find and the government does not make it clear.

For those stating that the return is circa 8 years, I think you are being woefully optimistic. It's a shame that the data is so hard to come by and the information hard to trust; because roofs are wasted area and turning them into generators is a good idea.

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The BigYin
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I did not install panels

I have a perfect southerly facing roof and the funds available. There's a few reasons that need to be addressed before I would consider installing:

1) What information that is available is crap. More understandable data is needed on panel cost, performance, installation fees, maintenance, mean-time-to-failure etc.

2) The ROI is over 15-25 years. So unless you are staying put for that time, you'd be an idiot to install. Unless...

3) Do panels add to a home's value? Who gets the feed-in tariff after sale? Again, this information is not available.

4) Current panels are not efficient enough and there is no information on the dust-to-dust impact of the panels (i.e. do they make-up for the eco cost of their own manufacture?)

5) It is basically impossible from the easily-digested information how much power one can generate, and calculate the ROI. It can be done, but it's a PITA

6) Getting prices is nigh-on impossible

7) Have I mentioned how hard it is to get clear information?

8) Like "peter 45" I do not trust the government to keep-up the FIT, so the panels must be able to pay for themselves within a reasonable period. From what I can tell, if you do some basic energy saving (i.e. unplug stuff, good insulation) they simply won't. I define a "reasonable period" as 5 years or less.

9) The tech is not new (almost every house in Germany has solar collectors/cells) so why are they so expensive over here?

10) Getting clear information is hard. I think I've mentioned this.

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'Ghost hunter' set to become Tory Euro-MP

The BigYin
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Oh great

Another MEP with zero understanding of science or basing decisions on hard evidence.

They'll fit right in.

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Canonical: Mobile OEMs are going to love our Linux

The BigYin
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So...

...will Canonical have to pay a feu to MS, or will MS go after the OEMs?

Canonical does not have the funds that Google has, so there is a good chance that MS could hit them with patent lawsuits.

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'Mental act' computerisations no longer automatically unpatentable

The BigYin
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@AC

Who's talking open source? I never mentioned it.

The fact is that, even without looking at other source and "copying it", programmers come up with the same answers time and time again. These got given the trendy name of "Patterns" a while back and various people coined it in providing consultancy, frameworks, libraries, tutorials etc and nary a patent in sight. This is how it should be.

Can you imagine the Internet or the World Wide Web if ARPA, Sir Berners-Lee etc had patented all their ideas, rather than throwing them out there to be improved upon? You can't, and that's because it probably wouldn't exist.

"You linked two networks? PAY YOUR LICENSE FEE!"

"You used a hyperlink? That will be $0.01 per link as a fee, please. PAY UP OR BE SUED!"

There are dating sights graphical suites and a whole host of other software that is patented when they are nothing more than a jumped-up mathematical operations (usually a matrix transform of some kind). This is a patent on pure maths - can you see how monumentally DUMB that is?

Then we have patents infecting other things such as standards. If OO/LO wish to compete with MS, they need to support the "Office Open XML" standard; which they cannot do without breaching MS's patents. This means no one bar MS can fully implement an ISO standard without breaching patents or MSs covenant [not] to sue. Can you see how STUPID that is?

Patents are the wrong tool for protecting software. Just as a hammer is the wrong tool for stirring tea.

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

Translation

"The UKIPO will now be as useless and counter-productive as the USPTO".

Seriously people - NO SOFTWARE PATENTS!

Copyright and trademark laws are pretty much all one needs.

Software patents are just far too dangerous as all they do is stifle innovation by allowing the majors to bully (or sue into bankruptcy) smaller developers. They do NOTHING to help the IT industry. All they do is help lawyers and one only has to look at the recent headline about Samsung/Apple to guess at the millions being wasted in patent suits and technology stagnates as a result.

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Facebook flashplodders lose appeal against 4-yr jail stint

The BigYin
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So...

...the get 4 years. OK. Rioting and public disorder are bad.

So are ABH, GBH and abuse of a public office.

I would go as far to say that, depending on the public office, the abuse of it is as bad as rioting or public disorder.

When then are we not seeing MPs serving 4 year terms for expenses fraud? All they get is a quick slap on the wrist and made to promise not to get caught again...err...not to repeat.

One rule for them, another rule for us.

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Blow for McKinnon as extradition treaty ruled 'not biased'

The BigYin
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@laird

To add to Richard 81's question, have you considered that the UK simply makes sure it has evidence of an actual crime before extraditing?

I am sure out military security is equally as bad, but the kind of holes that McKinnon found have been there since the 80s! If 25+ years is not long enough to secure your system, then you deserved to be hacked!

Read "The Cuckoo's Egg" by Clifford Stoll and see just how little has changed.

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FSF takes Win 8 Secure Boot fight to OEMs

The BigYin
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FAIL

To the spelling/grammer fascists

Have you considered the possibility that that OP's first language is *not* English?

Their English is a damned sight better than my Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Urdu or anything else for that matter.

Or ever considered that they suffer from Dyslexia? Not all browsers have spell-checkers to help (not that they may be much help to someone with severe dyslexia).

Or any one of umpteen other possibilities that could be impairing them.

No, guess you didn't. If you feel you must correct someone, then at least be polite about it.

In short: grow up.

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The BigYin
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The problem is...

...people who don't know any better will swallow the marketing that "Secure Boot" is great and not realise there is a problem. These are the very same people who buy a whole new PC just to get a new OS, rather then trying a different OS or a few key upgrades.

These people are the vast majority and for that reason, it's up to use who (in this one case) happen to know better to defend their freedoms for them.

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The BigYin
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Think...

A vendor can sell the same hardware twice. Kerr-ching!

A "consumer" board with the ability to update/disable UEFI missing and a "pro" version with them present.

Beyond that the two boards are identical (bar one jumper or something) and they can charge a massive premium for the "pro".

Also, if not providing the feature saves 0.01p, then that feature will no be provided as the monopoly player doesn't need it and will be rather happy to know that the feature is missing.

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

Time to alert the EU?

If PCs start shipping with no way to update the keys or disable Secure Boot (I'm thinking physical jumper or something would be the way to go, harder to attack) then it is time to call in the EU and have MS hammered once again for abusing its market position.

That MS are using OEMs as puppets to further entrench their OS as the only player in the market is pretty disgusting. But then they have form for sock-puppeting to get what they want: ISO - I am looking at you.

It already pisses me off that I have to pay £30 over the odds for a PC because of the way MS force manufacturers to include Windows and allows OEMs to no longer honour refund requests.

Oh and before someone brings up Apple (and no, I don't own one) let me just point out one thing - Apple are not a monopoly in the PC market.

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The BigYin
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I don't think they are opposed...

...to Secure Boot (or similar) per se, I think they are opposed to the danger of the ability to update UEFI or disable Secure Boot being missing and the fact that OEMs will ship with only the Windows 8 key pre-loaded.

Not only does this add to the problems caused by the MS Tax, but it also means MS/vendors can force users to have to upgrade their machines by simply changing the keys needed.

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Dell signals Windows 8 fondleslab range

The BigYin
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Holmes

Curious

I always thought the Streak was a bit under-powered.

When Dell released Ubuntu systems, they too where knobbled.

It's almost as if they want to make non-Windows OS appear bad.

That can't be right, surely?

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Microsoft whips Apple with global Xbox TV deals

The BigYin
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Mushroom

Walled Gardens...

...can piss right off.

This this kind of shit that pushes people towards the "pirate" sites because it becomes so hard to get at the content, even content one has paid to view.

It is cretinous in the extreme that various "pirate" sites provide a better service than the official ones. Hey, distributors/content-producers! There is ONE world, ONE Internet, ONE world-wide web so there should be ONE license. By all means do deals with different providers but let them, without restriction, distribute to who the hell they like for a fee (if any) they like. Different "stations" will still exist based on quality, price, language etc. and you will kill "piracy" almost overnight by giving the people what they want and are often quite willing to pay for.

I pay my TV license, my cable is all paid for, I pay for my movies. Friggin' let me watch them you bastards! Let me stream the content I have bought and paid for over my network, I only have one set of eyes but am often not in the same room as the goggle-box; you utter, utter cock-heads!

(Sorry for swears, but it is so frustrating I think it is justified)

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The BigYin
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And that is the problem

You want to watch US ESPN (for me, sometimes I'd like Hulu).

You are willing to pay.

Can you get it? No.

But, oh look, there's this other place that seems to meet your demand.

Curious. Isn't that simply another example for the Free Market in effect?

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The BigYin
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Why can't the providers...

...simply host the content themselves and let any connected device consume?

Sure, they may need a deal with a CDN or two and they may charge you, but I have no issue with that.

I know it's all about licensing, and that is kinda my point. The old world model is dead.

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Busting net neutrality may amount to spying, says EU

The BigYin
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@theodore

1) Power: I doubt they can tell which device or purpose the leccy is being used for. They might be able to get Amps vs Volts, but that's just UPD vs TCP vs whatever.

2) Water is bundled in with council tax normally (although I realise this is not universal). But again they cant really tell what I'm using the water for. They know the amount, but that is all.

3) Gas: The is just supply/demand. I have no issue with that. If they charged me more for heating than eating, I'd get annoyed (unless I had multiple supplies for some reason).

But whether or not my examples are the best is really beside the point. Neither of these companies are *spying* in order to artificially inflate prices. I'm sure they'd love to, but that is no reason to let ISPs get away with it.

(FWIW: I don't count reading the header to routing to be "spying". I'm thinking DPI etc.)

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The BigYin
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Why inspect at all?

The power company does not charge me more for the juice to my lights as opposed to my fridge.

The water company does not charge me more for watering the garden as opposed to having a shower.

The gas company does not...you get the idea.

Data is data, charge me for what I use. If (say) UDP costs more than TCP, then charge me more for data on that protocol. Infrastructure can't take the load? Up your prices, the market will correct the load for you.

There is no need to routinely spy on my traffic.

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One in 10 Brits leaves web passwords in their will

The BigYin
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Two things

1) My passwords are all in an encrypted file and I have oft wondered about how to do the release of the key upon my demise

2) If it is on someone else's box, it's no longer yours. By all mean use Flickr etc to publicise, but keep the masters at home.

3) Do not rely on crap like iTunes, Kindle etc. Buy the media (or get a DRM free version). It never occurred to me that these on-line services had yet another angle by which they can screw you over.

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Pick the right tools for your Office 2010 migration

The BigYin
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@Danny 14

Outlook is a bloated sack of shit.

Unfortunately you are right - there is no real alternative. I'm using Thunderbird just now and whilst it's OK (and does some things Outlook could only dream of) it's just not as good.

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The BigYin
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If...

...migrating to Office 2010 is going to be a PITA; why not try a pilot with LibreOffice (or A.N.Other)?

YMMV depending on what custom add-ons you have, and you really should consider a support contract.

But pain is pain and not at least looking at the alternatives is just burying your head in the sand.

At the very least you may make you MS sales rep panic and get a discount.

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Win 8 haters are just scared of change, say MS bosses

The BigYin
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Please explain

Win8 is a touch interface.

Good ergonomics (as in, eye-sight saving!) mean that a screen should be beyond arms-length away.

How the FUCK do I touch a screen without having to lean forward constantly?

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Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

The BigYin
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FAIL

@AC

Oh, so because a parent is too lazy to go an learn something responsibility should be abdicated to the state? Get real.

I had no issue with the state providing advice, but imposing censorship just because a few Bible-bashing, lazy parents can "save the children" is not an answer.

They went to the other to copulate and procreate, they can go to the bother of a few classes/books.

Hell, I don't demand that the state heat all water to a temperature I want just because my taps don't work; I either fix them myself or hire someone who can. The Internet is no different.

YOUR child - YOUR responsibility.

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The BigYin
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We should censor art galleris too

Time to take black markers to all those old masters. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

Oh FFS!

If you are a parent:

1) Install your own firewall/filter and configure it yourself; and

2) Monitor/be-with your child when they use the Internet

If, as a parent, you are not capable of the above, I have one question: Why the bloody hell are you letting your child use a system you do not understand? It's not hard, go to a night class, speak to friends, hire someone to teach you.

Do you want the state to filter the "News at Ten" in case wee Johnny gets upset at the dead bodies? Here's a clue:

1) It's the news; and

2) Wee Johnny should be in his bloody bed!

Seriously. These filters are blunt tools. They will end up blocking sexual health, family planning and "controversial" pages. We need state-sponsored censorship like we need a hold in the head.

YOUR child - YOUR responsibility and if you can't deal with that, don't procreate. It is that simple.

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Would you let your car insurer snoop on you for a better deal?

The BigYin
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With no up-link...

...a device could be useful for accident investigation. e.g. it stores the last 5 minutes of various vehicle states and maybe from a few cameras. Again, as the owner of the vehicle, I would demand the ability to see the data.

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The BigYin
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Under a few conditions...

...I might.

1) I have full access to all the data.

2) The data is in an open standard that anyone can implement.

3) I can, at my discretion, disable the device.

4) The company will not, unless via my express consent of legal process, pass the information on to any third party for any reason whatsoever. And that may include other departments within the same company.

5) When calculating the premium, then company explains IN FULL how it works it out.

There are probably more that should be added but as the negatives far out-weigh any positives there's little point in continuing. For example, I can see the police demanding access and trawling the data looking for speeding offences etc.

For professional drivers (truckers, taxi etc) it might be worthwhile. But for the private citizen the risks are simply too great.

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Biker gang plunders Covent Garden Apple Store

The BigYin
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I am not a biker

I am nowhere near righteous enough.

I'm a motorcyclist.

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The BigYin
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If they are on scoots...

...then they're Mods, not Rockers. :)

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Indeed

I was expecting to here tell of a raid by the H.A., Satan's Slaves, Banditos, Outlaws or some other back-patch crew. Y'know, 1950/60's anarchist, mayhem style-ee.

A moped and two scrotes does not a "biker gang" make.

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iPlayer founder launches next big TV thing-Zeebox

The BigYin
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Buying what you see?

I am sure I heard about someone trying that 5 years or so ago?

It's a nice idea in some regards, but worry in others. Just imagine the poduct-driven scripts.

"Oh, Superific Bloke! You saved the day again!"

[Cut to Superific Bloke, staring into the distance, chin thrust forward.

Make sure the lighting reflects off the Spangle-Wonder Sunglasses. In fact, give them a few flares in post-production]

"Sure thing little lady"

[Pan to Ms. Williams. She is hold her clutch-bag in front, ensure clutch bag is in focus. Highlight it in post-production. It's a Wibble Leathers "CityCarry", we earn 5% on every sale.]

[Ms. Williams sighs]

[Pull-back to revel Bodge Pseudo-Cock V8. Intensifying colours in post-production]

[Fade to clack, with Bodge last item to fade]

And then you have the issue of "exclusive deals" with vendors who will use the film to gouge punters. And it will be worse here and we constantly get gouged buy the US$1 = £1 conversion rates applied.

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Stallman: Jobs exerted 'malign influence' on computing

The BigYin
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Facepalm

Umm...

...In an article about Stallman you refer to "Linux desktops".

Or was it deliberate?

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Email and compliance: How not to blow the storage budget?

The BigYin
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Simple

Stop using HTML for email. That will solve quite a few storage/retrieval issues right there.

If you want proper auditing, then the documentation should come through a verified channel requiring password/certificate and date-time stamps.

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Starbucks extends gratis Wi-Fi to UK

The BigYin
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Free or...

..."free". I thought you had to be a BT customer to use OpenZone? I am not and it pisses me off to find "free" wi-fi that I cannot use or have to pay for.

I guess they could argue that they do not mean "free" in the sense of "no cost".

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BBC iPlayer, Lovefilm, 4OD aim for Xbox

The BigYin
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Late again

One has been able to get iPlayer even on the old xBox for years now. Also quite a few other streaming channels. Why do people put up with waiting for MS to bring public services into their walled garden?

It's like buying a Sony TV and thinking that it's great to only be able to get content off the Bravia services. Feck that.

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Chrome browser 'is becoming Number Two'

The BigYin
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Not too worried...

...so long as the browsers are standards compliant. So that really means anything but IE.

With a compliant browser, it should all render/behave the same and if it doesn't, that's a bug that should be reported not a "feature".

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UK punters happy to pay £3 to top up e-wallets

The BigYin
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Mushroom

Sod right off

Here is how much I will pay to top up my e-wallet: £0.00

Any more and I won't use it.

I realise I pay a fee for using Credit Cards (3%-ish, included in the price and the Card companies lobbied heavily to prevent shops from offering a discount for cash) but at least a Credit Card gives me protection from dodgy traders (which is why I only pay by CC on-line).

What benefits do I get from an e-wallet? Other than having my privacy further raped and bank balance gouged once again.

Just like non-free cash machines - fuck right off. Robbing bastards.

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Mighty trash-bag balloon cluster soars above Nevada

The BigYin
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This...

...is how we should be teaching our children.

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We7 morphs from jukebox into a radio station

The BigYin
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+f for Jamendo

Magnatune too.

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The BigYin
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Buy the CD?

Just a thought

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Journo register gaffe a boon for media overlords

The BigYin
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Gimp

Ah. I see.

So after all the good words about cracking down on short-termism and looking like they'd changed, it turns out they are the same Labour through-and-through.

Thank you for restoring my world-view on this, I was worried I was going to have to start thinking of Labour as a credible democratic party and not as a morass of fascist totalitarians.

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OnStar backs down over GPS tracking of ex-customers

The BigYin
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Thumb Down

You car comes with OnStar!

OnStar terms:

By turning the key in the ignition, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not start the car. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire vehicle in which OnStar is installed.

(To paraphrase the MS license)

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Mozilla forces Firefox 7 on memory diet

The BigYin
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Seems OK

All the add-ons worked (but then I had frigged a bunch of definitions for the move to 6).

ACID3 is no worse that it was on FF6 (100/00, but there are notices when you click on the "A").

Memory...on tab open "El Reg" (but I have had quite a few open) and it is sucking down 353mb (and I have a lot of add-ons).

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Spotify tethers future to Facebook

The BigYin
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Well...

...I guess Spotify will never see my money then.

I realise that's not big loss to them, but this could hurt them in the future if more people wake-up to the privacy disaster that is Facebook. I do not want people knowing what I listen to nor, frankly, do I think anyone cares. I can't see why Spotify have taken this bone-headed decision.

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