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* Posts by The BigYin

2976 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

'Linux kernel for the cloud' gets new government

The BigYin
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Indeed

I would be deeply nervous about any MS involvement, especially if the patents haven't been filed yet. I predict trouble.

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Government flies kite for VAT changes

The BigYin
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No, no, NO!

Increasing the tax on big multi-nationals like Tesco will cause them to FLEE! Can you imagine the deserted wasteland the UK will be when Tesco et al leave due to the high taxes.

Why are you laughing?

This is the same reasoning they use for letting banks, telcos etc get away with only paying 1% tax (if that) so it must be true!

Without all those companies paying 1% (or less) and employing cleaners who pay 25%-or so, how will we afford schools?

Will no one think of the children?

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New charge against alleged WikiLeaker carries death penalty

The BigYin
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Aiding the enemy?

Ok then. Freedom is obviously the USA's enemy.

I wonder how much charge Franklin is generating as he rotates?

At least Assange knows what to expect when USA forces do the snatch-and-grab in Sweden.

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Sheila's Fails? The statistics of biological risk

The BigYin
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@AC

I thought that was the case (women, more but less severe incidents; men, wipe out!), but couldn't be 100% sure.

Reads like an argument for stepped car-licenses if you ask me (mandatory basic control test then low, mid and high capacity).

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The BigYin
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An individual...

...experience != population norms.

I am a male and I have had a few mishaps (from stupid stuff in a car park at sub-5mph to a head-on*). So am I proof that males are more dangerous? Nup. I am only proof that *I* am possibly more dangerous (or I driver in riskier conditions, or...)

One must be careful about abstracting generalities from a statistically insignificant set (especially one with selection bias such as yours).

---

*I do not recommend it one bit. Although getting run over by the cop afterwards hurt even more**.

**I really wish I was making this up.

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Virgin offers unlimited action for a fiver

The BigYin
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Despite the...

..."factual inaccuracies" £5 is quite a sweet deal. Very, very tempting; although I was thinking of getting an HTC...

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Apple to Microsoft: 'App Store name is not generic'

The BigYin
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Hear, hear

All the shouts of "First app store for a desktop PC, ever!" make me snigger and wonder what I have been doing for the past year or so. And I can't wait to flatten the last of these Windows hosts.

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Government should extend agile development for IT

The BigYin
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Joke

Government?

Agile?

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Microsoft plans June Windows 8 tablet tease?

The BigYin
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8?

Is this going to be the one with the floaty-circles?

Really people, it's time to get a clue.

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The BigYin
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@Michael

I hear yah! Classic xBoxes are dirt cheap and still usable these days. They make a decent (non-HD) media extender plus a fun game is still, well, fun!

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ECJ gender ruling 'could throw insurance into turmoil'

The BigYin
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Put it on fuel

The more you drive, the more fuel you use, the more insurance premium you pay.

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The BigYin
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Scrap insurance?

Well, not scrap but turn on its head. What if insurance was a "club" and you stumped up £50 to join for a year. After a while, there would be pay outs for various incidents/costs and everyone's £50 wouldn't be enough, so the club debits money from you. So rather than paying for what /might/ happen, you pay for what /has/ happened.

At the end of the year, you see how much "club" membership cost you. Too high? Change "clubs". Everyone within a "club" pays the same.

Obviously the "clubs" need to compete on costs; lower costs, more demand. The "clubs" would need to risk assess each prospective member (a bit like insurance companies do now) and decide whether or not to allow them in. Rejected? Try a different "club", do more training etc. Want lower premiums? Don't drive like a tw@.

Heck the "clubs" could even be owned by the members and run not-for-profit. Simple.

Or am I simply being far to simple?

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Patent row gets Playstation 3s banned from Europe

The BigYin
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@Drunk

A company sells a "thing" that does A, B, C and D you pay £100 for that "thing".

At some juncture in the future, the company says "From now on you can do A, B and C; or A, B, and D. You have to choose between C and D".

That is not right.

Whether you care or not is not the issue. All that matters is that the company (Sony in this case) has unilaterally decided to knobble your device in one way or another. I will agree that people /could potentially/ use the Linux install to do some naughtiness, and if they do I won't complain when they are done for it.

But removing a feature just because it /could/ be used in that way is no excuse.

Imagine if companies did that for everything.

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Cabinet Office pushes suppliers on open source

The BigYin
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Well now...

...this will be interesting.

OOXML is an ISO standard (after the committee was massaged to vote the correct way). However Word et al do not implement OOXML as defined in the ISO standard and (according to RMS) one cannot implement the format use within MS Office without infringing MS patents. So it is impossible for anyone other than MS to correctly implement the format used within MS Office.

That little lot would seem to preclude the use of MS Office within any government department.

Of course, there is a massive get out in the documentation that states (I paraphrase) "Use OSS unless OSS can't do the job".

Then there will be weasel words "This is only guidance....", "We outsourced that function...", "We are a private contractor selling services, we are not bound by that document..." etc.

"h-online" has an article on it and a link to the Cabinet Office document.

I expect exactly nothing to change. Big money speaks too well to MPs and civil servants.

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Apple under siege: Antitrust probes and product delays ...

The BigYin
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@guybles

No hate, just simple economics. Things cost money. For free (at point of consumption) things, someone needs to swallow the cost. In the AppStore that means Apple /or/ the publisher. You have to pick one.

As for the "in addition to", that was part of my point. Apple is insisting on this so they can cover their costs. They assumed repeat revenue (a bit like Sony with the PS3 and games) and are now reliant on that. If they had charged a sustaining price up-front, then they wouldn't have had to do this.

I quite agree about the service Apple provides, but what if the dev doesn't want their service? Their only choice just now is not to list in the AppStore, but if they are not listed there how can they sell their wares to the iDevice crowd?

I am not saying that Apple is a monopoly (their sales are still far too small for that) but I can see why the regulators might want to keep an eye one things. What if Samsung et al go down similar routes - that would not be good for consumers IMHO.

And I repeat - no Apple hate. They are very, very good at what they do (design, integration) but there are certain things they do that I don't like. Simple.

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The BigYin
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@Giles

"Put yourself in their shoes, they are employing lots of staff to handle app submissions and they have built a huge expensive data centre recently. Hosting apps, music and films is a costly business."

If the AppStore model cannot support the infrastructure, then the AppStore model must change. I see four solutions

1) Make the user pay a minimum one-off fee for buying the app.

2) Make the publisher pay a minimum one-off fee for listing the app.

3) Make the user pay a minimum subscription fee per app purchase.

4) Make the publisher pay a minimum subscription fee per app listing.

If the fee is not paid (or lapses) the app is yanked from the store/iDevices.

That covers the cost of infrastructure, certifying apps etc. Content could come from the Apple store (for whatever fee Apple want) or some other place/store. This would allow competition and that is always good for consumers.

Of course there is a fifth option - if you don't like Apple's fees, don't list in their store.

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MS tacks Mozilla 'Do Not Track' header onto W3C submission

The BigYin
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Penalties?

We are supposed to trust the snoopers and spammer to not track us?

What penalties will the execs face (note: not the company, the execs themselves) of companies that do not respect the "Do Not Track" setting? Here's my guess: none whatsoever. "Lessons will be learned" blah-de-blah, but nothing will happen.

Until the execs of the ad companies are held personally liable (say, £10,000 for each breach) they won't give a shit. They are paid to take "business risks" so it's time they actually had to bear those risks.

Not that I trust any ad/marketing company to respect my wishes - I will still block them into oblivion.

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Microsoft bricking lesson bodes badly for Elop's Brave New Nokia

The BigYin
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@AC...

...but then you could try hacks, break the phone, recover, repeat and eventually get access. Then you could pirate stuff (SHOCK!)

Make it do things MS didn't think of (HORRORS!)

Not have to upgrade so often (CALAMITIES!)

The world would end I tells yah!

The mere fact you could use such a system to reverse out a cock-up such as this is of no consequence to MS and they hold all the cards. They ruined PCs and they seem poised to do the do the same again on phones. It is a real shame. After netbooks, smartphones was the last chance for F/OSS. Unless they pull something out of the hat quick, they'll fail there too.

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Electric cars not as 'green' as advertised

The BigYin
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Want economy?

Get a full license, get a low capacity motorcycle/scoot. Don't get stuck in jams any more, use the bus lanes (some areas), park for free (some areas), reduce over all congestion, get up to 120mpg easy. I await production diesel and affordable EV PTWVs with eager anticipation.

Or use a push-cycle.

Or walk.

(The above all assume you are able bodied, if not you may wish to speak to the like of NABD).

I would suggest public transport, but it is an expensive, dirty, overcrowded joke in most places in the UK.

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Court OK's Assange Sweden extradition, given 7 days to appeal

The BigYin
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A title

It wasn't "rape" as in "hold them down and penetrate by force" it was more a case of (allegedly) not using a condom during consensual sex (or not using a good enough one or something). The women only complained when they found out about one another and the case was already dismissed once, only to be resurrected in odd circumstances by a Swedish MP (AIUI anyway).

Do not confuse what he has been accused with in Sweden with the UK understanding of "rape". It bigs-up what be has been accused of and belittles actual rape.

But as this is an EAW, he has little hope of fighting it. It was a crime in Sweden, he can be extradited, the fact it is not an offence in the UK is irrelevant. Hell, Poland uses EAWs for traffic offences! The rule of thumb is - once an EAW is issued and you are caught in the UK, the EAW trumps all UK law and it is game over. The UK authorities will just hand you over, regardless of offence and regardless of the requesting regime (e.g. Greece, not really known for the quality of its judicial system). There is a long list of precedents with this being the case.

It really is quite disgusting.

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The BigYin
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High ferrous content

It's high time this freedom-monger was brought to book.

The World Police *MUST* ensure that free speech and open government are squashed at all costs.

Look what free speech is doing to the Middle East - tearing it apart!

Only an ordered and controlled society can ensure liberty, anything else is anarchy.

Will no one think of the children?

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Council loses USB of patient records

The BigYin
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You can defeat...

...those scanners with a photocopier and some spit. Even the "good" ones.

I kid you not.

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The BigYin
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Had problems?

Really? Really, really?

1) Insert encrypted stick

2) Fire up TrueCrypt (or whatever)

3) Select encrypted disc/file and mount/open it

4) Bash in the passphrase/challenge-response

5) Get some work done.

If that really is beyond the employee, then they are not fit to fulfil their role and should either be given remedial training or be demoted. If they had some genuine problem (e.g. dodgy hardware) then they should been reported it and got a replacement.

For breaching the rules like this, they should face summary dismissal. If they were unaware of the rules, dismiss their direct line manager. Repeat until you reach the first person who (suddenly) gives a shit.

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Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3

The BigYin
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@Doug Glass

I have the right to do what I like *TO* my personal property. I don't have the right to do what I like *WITH* my personal property. I can use a hammer to bash in nails or pull them out (legal, so long as I am not causing criminal damage). I can't legally use that same hammer to kill someone. There is a subtle difference - one of these acts harms another/causes public outrage; one does not.

So with a PS3, I should be able to run Linux (or set it on fire, or whatever) but I shouldn't be allowed to use it to cheat (say, by running some kind of homebrew hack). The former is nails, the latter public outrage.

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The BigYin
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@Bug R Us

If the small print contains terms that are unenforceable (or should be), then those terms can safely be ignored. A term that states "We [Sony] have the right to remove any feature or impose new restriction we so choose, for any reason we so choose at any point in the future" (I paraphrase) would be one such term IMH[non-lawyer]O.

Perhaps "OtherOS" can be used for naughty things like cheating/pirating. But then Sony should NOT have included in the first place just to get a tax break.

As for "rights", I have the right to do whatever I like to my personal property. I can go out, buy a PS3 and set it on fire if I want. It's mine. If, however, I only have a license/rental agreement I do not have such "rights" except those granted to me by the actual owner. Perhaps Sony should consider leasing PS3s instead? Then they can contain whatever rights they want. Once they *SELL* it, however, they rescind all such rights. IMHO.

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Applied desktop virtualisation: Reg readers speak

The BigYin
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@DrXym

Ah...cool. One of the few things I had heard about Wayland was it dropping network transparency. "No one uses it, why support it?" I thought that sounded odd.

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The BigYin
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Amusing

Just as the world seems to be going back to thin-clients (or VDI or whatever you want to call it), the Linux world seems poised to drop network transparency and force people to use fat-clients (I'm looking at you Ubuntu, possibly Fedora too, and the whole Wayland thing).

*head-desk*

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German Foreign Office kills desktop Linux, hugs Windows XP

The BigYin
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Free software...

...works where it works. If it doesn't use something else.

When the free software is working for you, why rip it out and buy something else instead?

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Alstair 7

MS Office drives me scatty at times too.

There are things I can do on a Linux desktop (Gnome, since you ask) that make my life much easier (multiple desktops, always on top, roll up...). The pain of going from XP->Win7 has been much greater for me than learning how to use Linux (Win7 still does my box in).

Well, perhaps if people insisted that school turn out IT literate students rather than drones who can click MS buttons there would be less of an issue. And you also ignore the cost of retraiing from XP and then re-training for Win7. XP skills are not (IME) directly applicable to Win7.

And when it comes to expense, over what time period are you thinking of? And what ancillary costs (e.g. anti-virus)? How can a system that was rated (I paraphrase) "Pretty good with a few niggles" in 2009 suddenly become "A steaming pile of turds, please save use Mr. Ballmer"?

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Fifa, Uefa lose free-to-view footie challenge

The BigYin
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No

I suggest you read the rules - they are available on-line.

In a nutshell; if you have a tuner (e.g. tv, vcr, pvr, tv-card...) that is capable of receiving *live* TV broadcasts, then you must pay - even if such devices are not connected.

There are, however, a few wrinkles:

---If you "knobble" said device (e.g. break aerial sockets) you do not need to pay.

---If you watch lots and lots of DVDs and can prove that, you can avoid paying even if the tuners can easily be made active (there is precedence for this).

If you have no tuners and only watch catch-up (no live TV) then there is no need to pay either.

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Sony threatens to ban PS3 jailbreakers from network

The BigYin
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It's Sony's network

They can set whatever rules they like and change them whenever they like.

This is why it is moronic to invest in a proprietary system.

If people had demanded a PS3 that could play on the open interwebs (like some PC games do, with people/companies hosting their own servers [mileage may vary etc etc]) then they would not have given Sony such total control over the hardware.

Perhaps companies that want Sony's level of control should not sell consoles, instead go for a rental model? "Get a PS3, only £50 a year! [5 years minimum contract, you must buy 2 full-price games a year]".

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The BigYin
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Whilst I don't blame Geo et al...

...they just made a hack after all. It is the arse-wipes who use the hack to cheat get my ire.

And it's Sony's network, so they can ban who they like when they like for any reason they like.

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D-Link Boxee Box DSM-380 media streamer

The BigYin
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@AC 15:38

Within the EU? No. Remember, the Euro zone is a free-trade market (or it should be). Once it is imported into one EU state, it can be sold all over the EU. The only real issues exist over "grey imports", and that is mostly caused by companies over-charging in the EU simply because they can (helped by the EU blocking said grey imports).

And what costs do exist should not be any more than having to import into the USA and deal with the vagaries of the laws/taxes in the different states.

If there are significant costs to trading in the EU, then that just shows what a sham the EU is and the fact it is not working in the interest of the people. There should not be such vast differences in prices for products like this that are mass-manufactured to a standard design.

If the device was made in the USA, I could understand the price disparity. As it is coming from China, the disparity does not make any sense.

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The BigYin
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To all

The kit is imported to the USA, having been assembled in China. So import tariffs etc exist in the USA. Also, they don't have to just import to the UK, they have the whole EU to choose from so any extra costs in getting the devices here (which would be marginal coming from China) are spread out over the whole EU.

Fair point about the sales tax - I had forgotten about that.

Whilst 100% parity is never going to happen (due to currency fluctuations etc) and I accept that, this disrepancy is way beyond the pale (especially considering that many of the services are blocked outside the USA).

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The BigYin
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Andother D-Link Rip-off

Price in the USA: $199.00

Price in the UK: £179.98

(Both Amazon)

What should the price in the UK be? Given current exchange rates, around £125. So why does D-Link think it can charge a 44% premium in the UK when a lot of the features won't even work over here?

I would try to suggest an alternative, say the Roku XDS 2100X, but there the rip-off is even more disgusting. US$99.99 vs UK$149.99 (equivalent would be UK£62). A 200% mark-up for no reason whatsoever!

Can El Reg do an article on why companies think it is OK to try and gouge the pockets of the UK consumer? At these prices it would be cheaper for me to personally import the items from the USA. Which is just bloody stupid.

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Amazon threatens Texas exit over tax bill

The BigYin
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@AC 00:12

"The sales tax is added on at the end of the purchase and directly forwarded to the customer. In the case of online, catalog or mail order purchases where the distributer is based outside of the state, then no sales tax is collected."

Precisiely. The shop-owner gets screwed over as it costs X% more to buy from than that to buy from the webtailer, beause the webtailer bleats that it is "too hard" to work out the tax (which is could well be if every state, town, count and dog kennel can raise a local tax).

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The BigYin
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So, to summarise

Because the USA tax system is so bass-ackwards, webtailers claim it is "too hard" to deal with taxes and get away without them. Thus under-cutting and screwing the people who actually live in the particular state in question.

That about right?

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Microsoft's IE9: Don't believe the hype

The BigYin
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Kill IE6?

Fat bloody chance....

*Grinds teeth*

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Patent attack launched on Google's open video codec

The BigYin
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Let me tanslate

"We have seen thing called a 'competitor product' and we fear it greatly. Rather than compete on merit and let the free market decide, we prefer to compete in closed more communists system. For although we may base ourselves in the land of the free, the on thing that terrifies us is a competior on an equal footing."

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Microsoft sends IE9 'do-not-track' tech to W3C

The BigYin
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Speaking as...

...a Firefox and Ubuntu user I have to say that IE9 looks like the first "proper" browser to come from loins Redmond. I just wonder if this forms part of the "Embrace" vanguard.

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The BigYin
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Broken at the start

So this header (once set) says "Please don't follow me, m'kay?" and we're supposed to think that the ad-parasites will respect it? Will they buggery. It'll just push to a higher echelon of target "Prestige, Privacy Aware" or something.

For privacy to work it has to be flipped around.

It must be under the total control of the user (not under the control of those who could profit by abusing it).

It must be on by default.

Anything else is simply broken.

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It's official: Nokia bets on Microsoft for smartphones

The BigYin
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End of the line

I have always owned Nokia phones - but I will cease to be their customer if they only ship MS. I do not want that Redmond crap on my handset thank you. Same probably goes for my partner as well.

It's been nice knowing you Nokia, but your days are now numbered.

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Skinning the DV cat

The BigYin
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Thumb Up

So...

...it was (sort of) a puff piece then?

To ignore *nix and the fact that it has been doing exactly this for decades is short-sighted IMHO. I will agree that there is not always a *nix analogue for a Windows app, but if custom apps are being written/provided (or an acceptable analogue exists), then the ability of X-Server to blast them over the network to *very* thin clients cannot be ignored.

I will agree totally that this is not the answer in every case, but then neither is a desktop running Windows to merely fake being a dumb terminal.

I look forward to your reports (in the interest of balance) of alternative to the MS paradigm and then the pros and cons of each. :)

[Props for having the balls to reply too]

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Err...

...isn't option 2 what *nix has been doing for decades?

Isn't having an OS (and related technologies) that is built from the ground-up the whole *nix paradigm?

How did you manage to write this whole article without mentioning that Windows is still trying to play catch-up in the multi-user environment and to have a hope of getting it work properly one still requires pretty beefy clients and third-arty software (e.g. Citrix).

Hell, drop the *nix back-end properly virutalised into a data centre and call it all "Cloud". Now you're computing like it's 1979 baby.

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Detroit citizens demand RoboCop statue

The BigYin
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Meh

I guess a RoboCop statues would be at least one reason to visit that industrial graveyard.

Hey, maybe they could erect statues to all sorts of movie characters and re-build their economy on film-tourism and selling replica[nts]?

Just a thought.

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Mumsnet backtracks support for net filter

The BigYin
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Keep YOUR kids safe?

Run your own net nanny.

Don't know how to run your own net nanny? Learn!

You teach them how to cross the road, so teach them to be safe online.

Do not abidicate YOUR responisibilities to YOUR kids to the state.

YOUR kids, YOUR responsibility.

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Wii Countdown conundrum brands family 'SH*THEADS'

The BigYin
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So would...

..."lexicon".

And if the kid is so bright....

1) Why does he need to increase his "word bank"

2) I would assert that long-reading would do a better job

3) What makes her think he is not already perfectly aware of the word "shit"?

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Dell unveils 10-inch Windows 7 tablet

The BigYin
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Well...

...that's the end of Dell's Android tablets then. MS will simply not allow Dell to ship non-Windows units (not without swingeing penalties at any rate).

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Linux vulnerable to Windows-style autorun exploits

The BigYin
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@Chemist

IMHO even bringing up the dialog is a step too far.

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The BigYin
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Thin end of the wedge?

Another chink in the penguin's armour? Maybe not. If someone has physcial access, all bets are off. Really. And whilst I realise that users/admin will have had to have been pretty stupid to let this exploit work but let's face it, people *ARE* stupid (and I include myself). So there is only one answer - kill any form of autorun dead. Now.

The most *ANY* OS should do is mount the device and indicate, by some means, how the user can access it. That is all. No launch, no dialog, no guessing from content what is to be done, no offering to run a program, no bullshit. Just mount the fecker and be done with it.

---

"This device contains music, do you want to open it in RhythmBox?"

No. No I do chuffin' well not. It has videos, documents, pictures, encypted files and all sorts. Why not offer me an application for every media type on the drive, you stupid desktop.

Actually, here. Open this *thump*

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