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* Posts by The BigYin

3014 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

Advice on offshoring issued to UK.gov IT bodies

The BigYin
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For that...

...you'd need an education system that works. Unfortunately we are now ramping up to exclude people on cost grounds and allow private companies to provide education. For all the ills of the previous system, at least the main focus was in getting the little buggers to learn and not profits.

Those companies will be "tax efficient" so not only will be be churning out sub-par graduates, but we'll be losing tax revenue to boot.

PS I wish my data were a stollen, I could keep it safely secure in my belly and a data-dump would take on a whole new meaning. :)

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

Offshoring?

Government IT functions? Are they nuckin' futs? At best this will be profits for cronies, done on PFI (thus more expensive, but off-book and a future cost).

We'll see headlines like "We saved £40 million in off-shoring this-and-that!" Which, of course, is total bullshit when one considers the actual total cost.

but we have form for this, we outsourced our Customs buildings to a company that runs from a tax haven. Only in Britain. MPs here are more concerned about their next expenses claim or corporate event than they are about doing their job.

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Brussels acts to ensure arrival of new, unknown legal highs

The BigYin
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@Stiles

I agree. Most of the problems are caused by the restricted/tainted supply.

The drugs should just be graded on risk/cost and if found to be lower then or equal to booze/baccy, legalised. Some forms should, however, still remain illegal/controlled. Just like when one needs some meths, one can't just pop into the local corner shop and buy it.

Hell, if the Afghanis could sell their opium openly, they might be able to yank themselves out of the state they are in.

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The BigYin
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@AC

And that's what needs changed. Legalising it means legalising the supply chain as well. You won't get rid of every single problem (heck, we still have child-labour sweatshops) but I put it to you that the situation will be "less bad".

It's not as if prohibition is working, is it?

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The BigYin
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Give it up

Legalise it, grade/certify it, tax it.

Base any restrictions/advice on medical evidence (e.g. booze, baccy) and not on reactionary propaganda.

Benefits? Vast amounts of tax revenue, reductions in crime, reductions in police workload, reductions medical admissions due to tainted drugs etc.

Will the number of users go up? Almost certainly.

Will the price go down? Almost certainly.

Will problems go up? Maybe, but still won't be as bad as alcohol IMHO.

Legalise everything? Don't be daft. Cannabis I don't see any issue with (I can't smoke, so this isn't a personal desire) but something like crack is just too damaging to ever be legal I think.

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'Being cyber-stalked is as bad as being raped, or in a war'

The BigYin
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I am sure it's not pleasant at all...

...but I am equally sure that being cyber-stalked does not compare to being raped or caught in a war zone. As I have not been in any of the three situations, however, I guess I am not qualified to comment.

A bit like these researchers probably.

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Game gears up for Mac OS X Lion release with... Panther

The BigYin
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@Doozerboy

I think you'll find that the upgrade costs £20, the full version costs circa £800 (comes with a free computer tho').

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Doom guy: tablets, phones to be gaming platforms of the future

The BigYin
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Why does....

...the phone/tablet need the juice? That would kill the battery. Have a grunt GPU set-up do the rendering and an efficient way to squirt the rendered images down (plus responses up). A bit like modern networks FPS games, but with a server doing the rendering too.

Otherwise you'll need a forklift to follow you around to hold the batteries!

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NHS told: freeze all Microsoft spend

The BigYin
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In all honesty...

...I take the pragmatic view. F/OSS scratches that itch? Use it. Proprietary is the answer? Use it.

Just one caveat; you will interoperate and you will not block/change your APIs to ensure lock-in. Data will be stored/moved in a format that is fully and publicly documented and can be implemented without worrying about patents or license fees.

Why?

So in 15 years time when I need open an old file, even if the code does not exist I can yank the spec and pay someone to build me a module to read it; that's why.

Summary: F/OSS code? As needed. Open Standards? Without question.

And Test Man...so you are in charge of the NHS then and know for a fact that MS is better? Wow.

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The BigYin
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Nice pipedream

As good as LibreOffice is (I use it an like it) the front-end is just the beginning. All the macros, plugins, full text indexers and whatever else will need updated to cope with the new software/formats. That cost will far outweigh any savings on the license fees. MS could just drop their license fee to zero too and load-up on the services. As that's probably a different budget (and a rolling future cost) this would still allow the government to crow about how much they are saving when, in fact, there is no overall change.

Aslo, MS -deals can probably get done on a PFI so are off-book anyway. I wish it were otherwise.

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The BigYin
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Oh well...

...so much for using more Open Source to reduce costs. As MS does not support standards*, it will be impossible (or very expensive) to get other systems to integrate that are not from MS (or from MS gold-partners).

This is a real shame as there was some interesting grassroots FOSS stuff going on in the NHS (e.g. OpenMolar).

Your tax being spunked on over-priced, sub-par shit. Sounds like a typical government spend to me. Still, so long as a few MPs and civil servants get invited to nice dinners it's all OK.

*Do NOT start me on the who docx/ISO BS.

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The BigYin
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Yup

I have regularly found acceptable flights for far cheaper than the corporate services can, not allowed to book them as it is against policy. Idiots.

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Deep inside AMD's master plan to topple Intel

The BigYin
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@enigmatix

You'll find the Linux kernel in many, many OSs. Certainly way more than Darwin or NT.

What was your point?

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Coulson arrested

The BigYin
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He'll get a few years...

...and released early. Then probably re-appear in a new role after a short time.

Assuming a case can even be built (I don't mean legally, I mean politically). We have a very poor record of pursuing the well-connected.

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Press body looks at its naughty bits as hacking scandal grinds on

The BigYin
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I thought...

...that hacking and other tactics* were par for the course on Fleet Street. The NotW was just unlucky to be caught.

*Which include tax evasion.

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Virgin and Spotify: A step forward for digital music

The BigYin
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BUt you ISP does not one this

Most live in fear of being a dumb-pipe, they need to up-sell the add-on services as that is where the margins are. If you have a decent line (e.g. 20mb+) then you have no need of TV or phone subscriptions - do it all over IP.

And that is exactly what the gutter ISPs fear.

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The BigYin
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Yawn

So five years ago. Just finish the Linux client, kthxgby!

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Virgin Media to integrate Spotify across multiple platforms

The BigYin
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@Ian

Aye, the V+ drives me nuts at times as well. Why it won't play nice on my network (i.e. stream content I have shared out) is a mystery. Shame it can't be hacked (unlike my xBox which is simply awesome with XBMC).

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The BigYin
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It will run on a TiVo?

Does that mean it's subscriber only, or are they actually going to finish the Linux version?

(For those that don't know, TiVo runs on a Linux OS.)

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Ofcom slaps Channel 5 for loud PlayStation ads

The BigYin
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I thought...

...MythTV could already do this? Or does it only work in the USA?

Must say that ads are one reason that I rearely watch live TV any more. Record and then 32x FF when the dross shows up.

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The BigYin
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All channels do this

Whether it's because the tone of the ads is different or something, but they always sound louder.

"...let her go now, she has passed on to the other side. Her spirit shall drift in eternal bliss with the cosmos. She is finally at peace.

[break]

MOVIES BROUGHT TO YOU BY WONDER BANG! WONDER BANG! FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS! BUY WONDER BANG! NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

If you pre-record and only watch time-shifted you can simply skip the ads. Or use something like MythTV.

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The BigYin
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Dear Ofcom,

In that case I recommend you change your parameters.

Yours sincerely,

Your employer.

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UK will obey barmy Euro unisex-insurance rules from 2013

The BigYin
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And therein lies the problem...

...the stats are not public. And where they are public (bloody hard to find) they are not often comparable.

I like the measure "per billion passenger kilometres" for events like this, but we don't pay by distance, we pay by time. Men drive more, so may still pose a higher risk (even if the X per billion passenger km is lower). Dunno, the stats are not public (well, they're bloody hard to find if they are).

We could get into a discussion over what constitutes "safer" and to whom (occupants, other road users or society).

One thing I will guarantee you though, the ins.cos have not been charging women less out of the goodness of their hearts!

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The BigYin
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Well said

But put the "base" insurance onto fuel, not road fund. Drive more? Drive faster? Pay more. Let your own actions determine your own premium (if you follow me).

Want more than just third-party/liability? Go buy a top-up from someone.

No uninsured drivers (how we deal with drivers who fuelled abroad is a good question).

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The BigYin
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And this is why...

...we have no claims discounts and discounts extra security, extra training (e.g. RoSPA) etc.

I think (I may be wrong) that the stats say women have more accidents, but men have BIG ones; so end up costing more.

Either way, if the impartial facts show women are less risk, then I see no problem with them paying less (I am male, BTW). I pay less than a 21 year old as the stats say I am safer/more experienced. I don't see why gender is any different.

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Telcos: up your prices, lose customers

The BigYin
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Simple answer

Stop giving the good deals only to new customers and we'll stop leaving.

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Facebook's 'awesome' plan to hook up with Skype?

The BigYin
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I can see it now

Chav 1: That Chav 2 is a pure minger

Chav 2: Yeah, mingin'

[And over on Facebook profiles]

*Auto* Chav 1 unfriends Chav 3

*Auto* Chav 2 unfriends Chav 3

Thank you for using Facebook voice recognition! (On be default)

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Plucky Czechs force Street View changes

The BigYin
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How about...

...educating Czechs in securing their WiFi?

Google do deserve slapped for that one. How much to they pay their lawyers and that can't get a simple thing like registering as a Data Controller right? Sheesh.

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Fox News tweets hacked to show Obama death stories

The BigYin
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How do these hacks work?

Surely after n-failed logins, the account gets locked and needs re-activating? (where n < 5)

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EU cloud data can be secretly accessed by US authorities

The BigYin
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Sorry...

...is this story about the USA or China? It's hard to tell sometimes.

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US judge greenlights case against Google Wi-Fi slurp

The BigYin
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@Turtle

I didn't bring them up, the OP introduced MS.

And I will repeat once again, in the futile hope that you finally get it: the information was blasted into the air. These folks may as well have gone into the street and yelled their orders to Amazon at the top of their voices.

Do I trust Google? No.

Do I think Google is a pure as the driven snow? No. I think they way they caved into China was repugnant.

Will I let MS off the hook for their past misdeeds? No.

And will you stop with the straw men? I have never said I liked (or even adored) Google. In fact I have repeatedly stated that I do not trust them. Stop reading what you think my opinion is and start reading what it actually is.

There was no theft - you CANNOT steal what is FREELY GIVEN AWAY.

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The BigYin
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@Turtle

"And you think that hashes of hardware strings are more "personal" than emails, passwords, and whatever communications and data packets Google intercepts?"

Where did I ever say that? Where? Kindly keep your straw men to yourself.

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" "That's theft. However a stranger walking through said door is would hardly a surprise would it?"

An irrelevant point."

Nup, that's exactly the point - as far as you analogy goes anyway.

" "The stranger having to kick the door down is a different matter."

Another irrelevancy. You are on a hot streak!"

It is also relevant. Theft is theft, we can agree on that I hope. Kicking down the door is akin hacking the WiFi crypto. Walking through the open door is simply listening to what gets blasted into the air. No more. Although I repeat, IRL analogies rarely work.

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"there are judges in various jurisdiction and government and law enforcement officials in various countries who think that Google's data theft *is* a serious matter."

I never said it wasn't, but I don't think it's theft and I would not class it as intercept because*the data was not encrypted and was sent into a public space*. I said below that does raise very interesting issues that society and the law need to address.

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The whole *POINT* I was trying to make was that MS are using this as an excuse for a PR stunt to try and paint themselves in glory "we place a priority on privacy". But they have a past history of invading privacy and cannot be trusted. And to make the point clear, one cannot trust Google either!

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The BigYin
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@Battsman

Oh know! Car analogy! But yes I agree, that is theft. What would not be a crime would be someone opening the door, having a wee seat, and then leaving the car unharmed. Heck, they could even rummage through your glove box. As I said to Turtle, IRL example rarely translate.

No data was taken, that's where it IRL analogies break down. The "in the clear" transmission was merely listened to. I, to this day, do not conduct certain transaction via web/email because of that exact risk. I do them IRL to ensure security.

And I'll reiterate in case people think I'm some fanboi, I wouldn't trust Google to boil an egg!

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The BigYin
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@Turtle

From around 2006 it was a daily spurt of data back to Redmond on a per-boot/daily basis (later changed to bi-weekly). What data was sent? IP address, machine manufacturer, locale etc. Enought to be uniquely identifiable. The WGA was sometimes installed without consent, could download extra software and morph its own behaviour; this led many to label WGA as "spyware at the time.

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"It is no different from saying that anyone who fails to lock their door is giving permission to any passer-by to come in and remove all their possessions.."

That's theft. However a stranger walking through said door is would hardly a surprise would it? And depending on where you live it wouldn't even constitute trespass. The stranger having to kick the door down is a different matter. IRL analogies rarely work, but congrats for not picking a car analogy!

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Reid Kuhn's (any relation to Bradley?) is interesting, but that does not stop it being a PR stunt, not does it exonerate MS from past or future actions and people should not trust them. Nor Google, nor...

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The BigYin
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MS bashing?

Nope, just showing up their PR stunt for what it is. MS, Google, Facebook ect are not advocates for consumer privacy, no matter what the PR wonks may claim. Their business model (wholly or partially) depends on "invading your privacy" and targeting you.

And how can Google "steal" what people are giving away for free?

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The BigYin
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Oh...

...and wasn't there some hoo-hah a few years ago about "phone home" features in Windows? A spy-on-your desk is a lot worse than a time-limited data slurp IMHO.

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The BigYin
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Slightly different

BT we providing a service to their customers, so there was an actual relationship there. BT deserve a serious kicking for Phorm.

If Google had been providing such a service (or mined this data and linked it back to a users GMail/search account) *then* they'd deserve a similar kicking.

Of course, if Google have done that; kick away!

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The BigYin
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A do I

But only because MS don't have my data (or very little of it).

Google have slighty more (e.g. some emails) but not much.

Motto of the Internet is: Trust no one.

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The BigYin
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I get it

Google captured the network data. No question.

Google /could/ mine, index and cross-reference that data.

Google /could/ release that data and someone else /could/ do the mining etc.

This all /could/ lead to a massive loss of privacy.

I get that, I really do. And it raises many questions about how society and the law deal with such things.

But....

Is it really (really, really) a criminal offence to do little more than record what people are publicly blasting into the air? If I record on a dictaphone what someone in a public place is shouting, have I now broken some law? If someone put personal information on a billboard, are you guilty of a crime just for looking? These people are *giving* their information away.

Is Google the whipping-boy? I'm not so sure. Is it a PR disaster? Oh my yes. Should they have done it? I don't think so. Was it malicious or with bad intent? Probably not - I'm going with cock-up.

If YOU d not secure YOUR data on YOUR network, don't be too surprised when it goes AWOL.

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Microsoft floats 'site-ready' IE10 preview

The BigYin
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@Wortel

They don't need to produce a special browser per enterprise, they need to make it possible to manage FF in an enterprise environment in general.

If you want to stop enterprises "attaching themselves upside down and sideways onto one of it's branches with their proprietary deprecated crap", then you have to make it possible for them to use something else.

One can do this with IE, the fact one cannot do it with FF is a fail of epic proportions.

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The BigYin
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Idiots

Mozilla are a bunch of cocks for not getting why they need to support the enterprise.

As much as I malign MS for also being a bunch of cocks, they are (in some places) actually supporting [emerging] standards and not poisoning the well for others. IE9 is the best browser they have ever produced and is arguably the best browser available. Certainly for the enterprise now that Mozilla have finally admitted they don't give two shits.

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Royal Mail tells The Register how it's using private cloud

The BigYin
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FAIL

No thanks

What is the point of listening to someone flap their gums when their own websites proscribe that you use a Windows as your OS? Got OS X? Parcelforce don't care. Got Droid? Parcelforce don't care. Got a Linux? Parcelforce don't care. What non-Windows peeps will get is a big, fat warning that you must run Windows or your order may fail.

Don't believe me? Go here and try for yourself (don't use Windows, obviously): http://www.parcelforce.com/

1. Click any red "Buy" button

2. Click "Continue"

3. Wait....

4. See nice big warning message, Parcelforce do not want your business!

And why is this a fail? Well, so long as the browser support HTML/CSS standards, the web app should not care what OS you are on. Really, for a browser based application that is (or should be) standards compliant, who give a flying crap what the OS is? It runs in the browser!

Oh yeah, and they demand you have Adobe Acrobat too. Why? Search me. It's not the only PDF game in town.

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McAfee to wipe mess off .xxx pr0n sites

The BigYin
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This won't be a problem...

...in the UK (and probably no in Oz either). ISPs will just be told to block all ".xxx" sites. Why? To protect the children, dammit! </daily mail>

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Samsung NC110 matte-screen netbook

The BigYin
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Joke

Is there an edition...

...of Windows that isn't shit?

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Google battles MicroSkype with 'open' VoIP protocol

The BigYin
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@AC

<pedant>

And it will never use one Kb. Not ever. I leave it to you to figure out why.

</pedant>

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BT wary of rights holders' site-blocking proposal

The BigYin
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So...

...Big Music is represented, Big ISP is represented; where is the public voice?

Oh wait, the public can't buy the expensive junkets, so don't matter.

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Virgin Media blames Activision for Call of Duty lag problems

The BigYin
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VM seems fine to me

There again, I'm usually only playing Sauerbraten.

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Faking reviews? You should fret about more than illegality

The BigYin
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Not just web forums

There is a long history in publishing of authors for the same house giving each other glowing reviews. Will that now be stamped on?

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Bluetooth goes 3D with Apple

The BigYin
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Would the RF...

...ionising enough to damage the cells? I wouldn't have thought so (being below light), but what do I know.

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The BigYin
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WTF?

"Wellness industry"

WTF is that?

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