* Posts by The BigYin

3055 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

Hacker warning over internet-connected HDTVs

The BigYin
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I do

Every night almost all gadgets get powered off and unplugged. Even the router. The only thing that gets left n stand-by is one PC, and it's job is to record TV, so it often wakes up, does it's thing and then goes back to sleep.

If I am ever daft enough to connect a TV to a network (and why would I? The DRM-crippled usage wouldn't be worth it), then I'll have to make sure I am running a router and a firewall that can pick-up crap like this on the network. One simply cannot rely on the OEM to do it correctly.

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The BigYin
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Simple answer...

...do not connect the TV to the local network. Why are people obsessed with doing this anyway? The experience is usually marred by DRM and proprietary interfaces with are a total pain in the balls. Use the TV as a dumb-monitor, nothing else. Drive it from some kind of media centre front-end (i.e. a PC). That can be easily upgraded/reconfigured/firewalled/etc and you neatly insulate yourself from the TV manufacturer deciding that your 2 year-old TV is now "obsolete".

It's just a shame that when you get a big TV, you end up paying from USB, Ethernet, DLNA and other crap that you simply do not need.

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Google targets Internet Explorer shops with Chrome admin controls

The BigYin
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Oi! Mozilla!

"it beefed up the increasingly-popular browser with support for managed group policies and authentication protocols"

***WAKE UP!***

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Want to bring your own PC?

The BigYin
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Err...

....so all your systems run encryption and will only connect to authenticated devices? Laptops are chained to desks? USB is disabled? There is no VPN (except to a few locked down units)? Any employee taking *any* business device home for *any* reason is subject to summary dismissal?

Because unless all the answer to all the above is "Yes", then you have no hope in hell of keeping "business data" within the company should an employee choose to lift it. And even then I don't fancy your chances.

I'd be more worried about personal data on corporate systems. My personal devices are leagues more secure than anything my company provides me.

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'The New Kingmakers': Tech giants pay for the love of coders

The BigYin
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@ThuvvaMeister

I think I just found the same CV. Two epic fails on it; "never used the toolset that [I am] recruiting for"? Not been a programmer for ten years? Next please! (Unless I happen to be in that very small niche).

He's got some serious skills though and I can think of quite a few F/OSS projects that would have his hand-off for some help and that experience could be used to re-skill in current tech. For example, take Myth. I am sure there are a few tuners driving that lot to complete distraction, this chap could probably figure out how to poke/prod them and at the same time pick up some C++/python/whatever.

Bim-boom-bash, three months time what we have is a hardware engineer with some decent skills, self-starter, team player, mentor, leader blah-de-blah in what is probably going to be the biggest boom for domestic computing - home entertainment (just ask Sony, MS et al). Hell, configuring and selling UK-ready Myth boxes could be a nice little earner.

Not trying to do you down Mr. Harston, but you need to take a step back and re-assess your approach. When was the last time you went to a Tech Meet Up? LUG? Anything like that? Be like the reed in the storm, it bends; the oak stands firm and resolute, then gets blown over.

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The BigYin
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You're not going to like this...

...if after 260 applications and no offer, you're doing it wrong. No one owes you a living, it's up to you to beat a path to *their* door. If you are not getting offers you have to change how you present yourself, network and job hunt. Maybe your CV is crap, maybe your skills are too niche, maybe you're aiming too high (or low!), maybe you need to relocate...maybe...maybe...

"Great Answers to Touch Interview Questions" by Martin John Yate is an excellent book. Buy it, read it, follow the advice.

Have your tried getting involved with a F/OSS project? It will keep your skills sharp and mean you can add experience to your CV, the fact you are active will look good to any employer.

Perhaps you have done all of the above, but moaning about it on a board won't help!

Best of luck.

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Google gets physical on Hotpot

The BigYin
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That is...

...quite frankly, terrifying.

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ICO makes mincemeat of nativity data protection piffle

The BigYin
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WHAT?!?!!!11?!eleventyone

"parents taking pics of their offspring kitted out as angels or shepherds is not a Data Protection matter."

Any one of the random adults in attendance could be a SICK and DEPRAVED PAEDOPHILE trying to get an UP-SKIRT shot of Mary to fuel their DISGUSTING and TWISTED fantasies! Heads WILL ROLL and the ICO if even ONE child is harmed by them NOT PROTECTING the children.

Will NO ONE think of the children?

Where is the Daily Mail when you need it?

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Mastercard downed by Anon-Assange-fans

The BigYin
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3D Secure is off-line?

Good. That service really sucks balls. I have actually abandoned purchases because sites force me to use that pile of vomit.

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Tehran conscripts Ninja masters to crush democracy

The BigYin
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How do you know someone is not a Ninja?

They walk about about saying "Hi! I'm a Ninja!" Kind of misses the whole point of "concealment".

Oh, and they didn't wear black; that came from the No theatre hands who used to wear black so as to not disrupt the play too much. No point in being a master of silent death and camouflage, then sticking out like a sore thumb when you try to get near the target! They tended to dress in whatever fitted in.

As for the training? You can go as hard as you like when there is every chance you'll be dead before you're 40; equation changes slightly when that is no longer the case and it is not your source of employment.

"knowing the 'apparent theory' of how to do something isn't the same as having done the equivalent things"

Abso-fraggin-lutely. The question is "If I had to defend myself from myself, could I do so?" if the answer is "No", then one's training is inadequate. If the answer is "Yes", then one does understand how to apply shock and violence in the manner of a person who is intent on causing one harm; so one's training is inadequate.

I can't take "Ninjas" seriously anyway, not after watching "Taxi 2". *Ninja!*

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ASSANGE ARRESTED in London - in court later today

The BigYin
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Not sure what to think

Is Assange some fighter for freedom and protector of democracy?

Is he some pawn in a government mis-information operation?

Is he a sex-mad, anarchist, nutbar of the highest order?

All of the above?

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Apache loses Java showdown vote to Oracle

The BigYin
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Probably

It really depends on who people see as more vital? Oracle with their databases, or Apache with their various servers and projects.

Unfortunately Apache is tech-level and the decision makers have probably never heard of it, Oracle can get access to the boards; so Oracle will probably win.

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Microsoft 'Xbox TV' rumours: Over the Cable Guy's dead body

The BigYin
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'course I can

If I want to watch NBC, ABC, PBS etc shows is easy enough. Watching HBO live is simple too. These services are even starting to push HD out. Oh, and I can do all this on an old xBox (no HD, obviosuly).

So I ask again - why would I pay MS for what I can do right now? And if I want HD, I can just use a different front-end (I'd need new kit anyway) and STILL have no need to pay MS anything. The content is already there to be consumed.

The only way MS would get a penny from me, is if they wrapped up all the broadcasters in some kind of exclusivity deal (can you say "monopoly abuse"?) and even if that did happen, the USA is not the only broadcaster in the world and there are many other services available.

I will even choke down the ads, these can just be injected into the stream at the relevant breaks (they could even be region specific).

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The BigYin
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Umm...

...why would I pay MS for what I can do right now for free?

And why would I pay them when most of the services are region-locked in one way or another? I'd just chuck a few notes at a VPN service and be done with it.

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Minister 'C*nt' promises £50m to get fabtastic fibre for all

The BigYin
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10mb?

Oh, I dream of 10mb. And I live in a major urban area, but not London.

Guess I'm sutffed then.

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Gov decides not to have scientific advice on drugs any more

The BigYin
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FFS

Policy by gut feel and popularism, rather than hard facts and evidence. Have these morons learned *nothing*? If the facts show that drug X does less harm that (say) alcohol, then that's the hard truth, deal with it.

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This year's comedy Xmas No. 1 contender: Silent song 4'33"

The BigYin
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@Code Monkey

"Bollocks to the lot of em, I'll save my record buying money for something I actually like"

Congratulations, you are the first person here to get the point.

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The BigYin
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The rebel...

...become the establishment. Just as "Rolling Stone".

If it works this year, a big corporate will simply hijack the idea next year and coin it in.

The revolution will not be televised, but it sure as hell will be monetised!

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Frenchies, Germans wave fat pipes at embarrassed Brits

The BigYin
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@AC

"we get left with a small number for the most widely used wheel sizes. If you have a particularly unpopular size of rim, good luck with finding any at all"

Not an issue. Buy cheapo rims that fit the car, fit a standard sized snow tyre (some care is needed on size matching, check with the manufacturer, tyre company or decent mechanic). You won't want to use your alloys in winter anyhoo, have you seen what salt does? Come winter, 20 mins with a jack and yer done. Simples.

One more thing...learn how to drive in snow/ice as in, go take friggin' lessons. The theory on how to control a car in slippy condisiton and how skids work "Oh, you just turn into the skid. La de dah." is all well and good, but being able to actually do it is much more important. So, what's yer Chrimbo present? A day on the skid pan. It's wicked fun!

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The BigYin
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Not surprised

This is the nation that basically shuts down when some white stuff falls from the sky.

Snow tyres...I should set up a business importing snow tyres and then lobby government to make them mandatory (as in Germany et al). Saving the nation and my wallet!

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Silverlighters committed despite Microsoft's HTML5 love

The BigYin
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@nematoad

"the sooner an open standard is reached the better."

This. With bells on.

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The BigYin
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That's a "No" then...

...Silverlight is not cross-platform and cannot be run on Linux.

With all respect to Mono and Moonlight, they are either a few versions behind or can only offer a reduced subset of the functionality, so one cannot develop on .Net or Silverlight and guarantee with 100% certainty that it will execute on these frameworks - not with taking a lot of care over features and versions (or developing directly on those platforms).

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The BigYin
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Not so sure I agree

I thought it was more the compiler that did the type checking, the language (certainly at runtime) would just go "WTF is this?" before vomiting a stack out to the console and going off in a huff.

JS may be far from perfect, but you can at least guarantee that the client can execute it. Not that I fancy doing much heavy-logic in JS (been there, got that t-shirt, it didn't fit)

This is not so for Silverlight, and until that is fully cross-platform it cannot succeed.

As for Java (and I am a Java dev) it never got anywhere on the client (due to it, basically, sucking donkey balls) and people need their heads examined if they use it on the web. It's found a niche in server apps and it does pretty good there; that's where it should stay. Use a known standard for comms to a client built in a more client-side friendly language and all is right with the world.

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The BigYin
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Is Silverlight cross-platform?

Because if it does not run on Linux, it is a dead duck. Yes, I said "Linux". And no, I do not mean the desktop. The mobile market is stuffed with Linux (or Linux-like) devices, as well as set-up boxes. if you don't work on those (esp. set-tops moving forward) then you are boned.

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Gov to resellers: Glory bonanza secrecy days are over. For real

The BigYin
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Wait, what?

"open source where possible"

All the big-vendors need to do is say "Open source is not viable here". The Civil Servants don't have the knowledge to know whether or not that's true. If they did have that knowledge, then they wouldn't have signed such crappy deals over the last few years.

Not that Open Source is the answer in all cases (nor is it always free, as some people seem to think), but if Drupal is good enough for the Whitehouse...

One thing it would be nice to see is the government to stop forcing MS Office on schools. For teaching word processing, spreadsheets, basic databases etc; LibreOffice (and others) are more than up to the job.

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Free software repository brought down in hack attack

The BigYin
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Ta much

I had read of the EC2 crack, very interesting. I'm not a security expert (as you can tell) but all of this is very interesting.

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The BigYin
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MD5?

Isn't that now out of date? Should SHA1 or something be used instead? (Genuine question, it was an off-hand comment in a audiocast I listened to on Monday).

Hmm...seems it might be, considering one of the closing statements in the first post.

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DDoS attack, sex warrant won't stop Assange's leaky discharge

The BigYin
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It's like wathcing kids...

...Pal A says to Pal B that think this Pal C is a butt-monkey.

Pal A gets all upset when Pal B tells Pal C that they think they are a butt-monkey.

Basic, infantile, playground politics. And the answer is very simple.

Pal A should either not be pals with C at all, or keep their friggin' trap shut!

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The BigYin
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@Titus

No need to charge him. The USA can demand his extradition from the UK if he is here (there seems to be no way to block that, ask McKinnon) and if hat does fail, the USA can just grab him from anywhere they see fit, take him to some island and torture the hell out of him (the USA has form for that too).

I don't see the latest set of leaks putting any lives at risk, nor do I see them being particularly interesting. And whilst I totally agree that some things should be kept secret, I really would appreciate it if politicians would stop spouting bull-crap all the time*; then there would be no need for a sites like WikiLeaks.

Until that happens, roll on the next leak. Just chill the PR assault a big, mm-kay?

*Although it is amusing when one catches the buggers out.

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Cryptographers crack system for verifying digital images

The BigYin
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Joke

This is not a problem

Breaking crypto is against the law.

So no one should do it.

Every employee at ElcomSoft involved should now be in the gulag.

What do you mean "That's not how the world works"?

Tell that to the MAFIAA and their DMCA fanatics

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Who said anything about green?

The BigYin
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I really hope I am not being thick here...

...but I have a feeling I am.

Virtual Desktops...thin clients...isn't this the old Unix model of having a beast of a server and then a client creating a "window" on to the user session? Isn't this exactly what the X Server was meant to do?

I'm not knocking it, I am just wondering why people are running around and getting all excited about this "new" idea when...err...it isn't that new.

A plug-computer and a monitor with a couple of USB ports (simply for ease of access) is appealing. Although if the network goes down...one is well screwed. At least with all my VMs on the desktop, I can struggle along for a bit.

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Ransomware Trojan is back and badder than ever

The BigYin
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@Lost

"Did you build your car? No? Then don't complain about anything about it, fridge, carpets,house, in fact ANYTHING you own that YOU personally didn't make, don't EVER complain about."

I don't, I pay a guy (or gal) to fix them for me. Or I buy an alternative. Same with software. I can either fund (or part fund) the fix, find an alternative or get involved with fixing it.

There is a great malaise today where people expect every little thing to be sorted for them by some mythical higher power, or for every little thing to be perfect from the get go.

Standing on the sidelines and moaning isn't going to get anyone anywhere. In any aspect of life.

It's put up or shut up.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

@AC

Ah yes...this will be a doctor who lives on thin air than and does not expect any remuneration for their time. My, my, my.

So I do "put up" for the doctor. It's called "paying the bill".

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The BigYin
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So...

...how much time have YOU devoted to fixing and testing the bugs that you complain about?

Put up or shut up.

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The BigYin
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Readers?

"A malicious PDF is reportedly used to download and install the ransomware"

So it is just Adobe Reader that is exploited, or are other readers affected too?

Still, as only the last 24 hours worth of personal data should have been affected (and it doesn't change that often). It would mean wiping, re-installing and then recovering data from the off-site back-ups (I presume the back-up drives would have been jiggered). Annoying, yes. Devastating, no.

Everyone has off-site back-ups for their home PCs, don't they?

Why are you giggling?

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US rejected Brown's McKinnon case plea

The BigYin
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Meanwhile...

...the real guilty person(s) are probably larging it up in Goa or somewhere.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

@AC

"Signed an extradition treaty that the US will *NEVER* ratify"

Err...apart from the fact the USA did. FOUR YEARS AGO! Kindly do try and keep up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003

However, all arguments about the one-sided nature of the treaty, our leader being spineless toadies etc remain justified.

Although there can be good cases for extraditing people to the USA, financial crimes seems to be one. The FSA, SFO, HMRC etc all seem to be incapable of bring financial scammers to book (or simply don't care to, far too lucrative to take the bribes and cushy consultant/director positions).

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Mozilla rages at MS, Apple and Google's 'trojan horse' tactics

The BigYin
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You just hilighted...

...a second issue, and this is a Windows failure. Why does a user application ("iTunes" in this case) need admin rights to install? If the install is for "all users" I can see that, but then it should be done by an actual admin who know WTF they are doing.

The "Bonjour" service? Unless that is going to offer all media that any user of that PC has loaded, then is does not need to run as admin - it's an agent of the current user, nothing more.

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The BigYin
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@Goat Jam

FF does not need to be running - it simply has to know which plugins have been explicitly authorised byt the user and which have not. On next start it could say "Plug-in 'iPrunes' has been added by an external piece of software. What do you wish to do?

[ ] Enable

[*] Keep disabled

[ ] Remove

If you did not install this, then it is recommended that you remove the plug-in"

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"In Windows World, 100% vigilance is always required."

It's the same on Linux, no OS is immune from an idiot operator with root access. That and apathetic users who think they are secure because they are on "Teh Linuks". Sorry dude, a poorly set-up Linux install can get owned as well.

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"Computing with Linux is like computing in the good old days, before the computer industry was overtaking by greed. Windows is a hostile environment with a pretty interface."

This story is nothing to do with Linux and everything to do with bad design by Mozilla (and Apple). An installer on Linux could do the exact same thing just now.

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The BigYin
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It's not hard to do

Welcome to iPrunes!

This will install iPrunes and these selected features. You can run this again to add/remove these features at a later date, or simply uninstall them from the related applciation

[*] iPrunes (required)

[ ] Windows Explorer/Nautilus/Finder integration (allows media to be opened in iPrunes)

[ ] Firefox plug-in (allows media to be opened in iPrunes)

[ ] Internet Exloder add-on (allows media to be opened in iPrunes)

...

A question for every single DLL? No. For the atomic add-ons that affect other applications, yes. And, of course, those applications should verify the addition with the user before letting them run.

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The BigYin
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Wrong question

' “... why did Apple think it was OK to add the iTunes Application Detector plug-in to my Firefox web browser without asking me?” '

He should ask...

“... why did Firefox allow Apple to add the iTunes Application Detector plug-in to my Firefox web browser without asking me?” '

If FF is not protecting the user from random plug-ins, then the fault lies with FF and Mozilla.

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WikiLeaks re-taunts feds with US Amazon mirrors

The BigYin
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@Woods

"An honest 'democracy' would have nothing to hide."

Horse-hockey. Some things are, and should be secret (as in restricted for national security), some other things are commercially confidential, and yet more things are personally private. The abuse of these by the UK government (their favourite ruse is to hide behind "commercial confidentiality") and others is a problem.

I do not think that the latest rounds of "leaks" is anything remotely surprising. It most certainly will not put lives at risk and most governments should just go "Meh". Why? because most governments should already know the content of these cables if they have been doing their fscking jobs! This all should be no surprise to them.

Whilst WikiLeaks (and others) have served democracy in the past (Iraq war revelation etc), I think fame has gone to Assange's head as the hype surrounding this latest "expose" bears little relation to its actual content.

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WP7 vs Android: a struggle for supremacy

The BigYin
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This

With bells on.

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The BigYin
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I wouldn't go that far

The failure is not with Android, the failure is with the carriers. They haven't twigged that they world has changed and that they are now just dumb-pipes to the real value (e.g. Facbook or whatever). They still they apply all this "value-add" bullcrap (what you get on every PC and uninstall immediately) and make the rod for their own backs.

If they had stuck closely to Android core, none of this would be a problem. People would use their phones more, push more data, increase their profits. The iPhone is a prime example of this, no variance in OS or hardware and it works. MS is being slightly less prescriptive, but not by much.

WinMo7 is, IMHO, inferior to 'Droid in just about every measure and a dinosaur compared to iOS. But it looks like it might succeed, which is a shame. Once more true innovation and freedom has been dashed on the rock of old business models.

Maybe Google will grow a pair and bring on the Nexus Two. It only takes them to sing-up one decent carrier to break the backs of the others. Or set-up their own network.

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Payback orders for eBay squaddie

The BigYin
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Umm....

...this is the complete lack of information gathering, planning and thought we can expect from an "exemplary soldier" of 23 years service? Jesus wept, are we boned when it all kicks off.

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Blu-ray barely better than DVD

The BigYin
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@SuperTim

I am someone else who can't see HD. Well, that's a small lie, what I can't see is the difference between a random HD system and a SD system that has been set-up properly. If you spend the time (and it doesn't take long) to ensure resolutions match (If using LCD/Plasma, I am still on CRT), setting contrast etc correctly for the room and using a good connection (not RF...) then you'll be surprised at what SD can deliver.

A lot of the "wow" factor about HD is just people seeing XYZ on a decent screen. I have *never* seen a side-by-side comparison of the same content on the same screen being run SD/HD. Only if that is done can one judge the difference.

If going down the HD route (AIUI) it only takes one component to not be 100% complaint with the HD DRM wankery and you only get SD anyway. I wouldn't know, as I say I am still using an old CRT telly and I will keep using it until it dies...which I think will happen soon judging be a few glitches I am seeing.

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MS drops drive pooling from Windows Home Server

The BigYin
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Why would...

..."[any] good sysadmin" be even considering MS?

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Money for nothing – and your (gambling) kicks for free

The BigYin
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Only 80k?

I automated the arbitrage via some python scripts to scrape the sites and a EJBs to run the logic years ago (I have degrees in Mathematics, Computational Statistics and Artificial Intelligence). And yes, I said "EJB"s. Site changes can futz me up for a while, but I get it back pretty quickly. I have to be careful to not bet too fast 'n hard, only placing a few a day otherwise I'll appear like a bot (it's still me doing it, the engine just takes the donkey work out; it lists possible bet combinations and I can still dig in if I want with the engine yanking back any hedging bets from the recent scrapes).

EULAs/Contracts? Most are just permutations on a theme, so it's pretty easy to have sets of "rules" that get loaded on a per-site/account basis and factored in (all done engine).

Been running this since mid-2008. Won about £315k less costs (kit, connection, tax) so that's about £200k. Not bad for 2 and a bit years. And I still have the day job. I could reduce the tax liability, but I really can't be bothered. This is (almost) free money to me anyway.

I run a "fantasy bet" system letting it select the top 5 on a daily basis to see how it would run fully-automated. It's pretty good, but the heuristics are not yet up to matching a skilled human. When it is, I plan to run it for a few years, make enough to retire (I won't need much) and then open source everything. It's all built on F/OSS and this is my way of giving back.

---

There's only one problem with the system I'm using....I'm a dirty great liar too!

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Brits blow millions on over-priced ink

The BigYin
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After my warranty ran out...

...I bought some "pattern part" ink. It works OK and I can't tell the difference, but the printer can't tell if the ink is full or empty as the chips could not be reset due to a patent. WTF?

A patent on telling how full a bucket is? Jesus.

It's a Dell printer (rebranded-Lexmark) and needs to go when I switch over to Linux as it's not supported, so I'll be looking for a printer where I can use "pattern part" ink. if I was doing high-end stuff...maybe I'd worry. But I'm not.

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Sarah Palin calls for US to stand by North Korea

The BigYin
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@AC - Fusspots

"Obama has obviously failed because the US has not hit the peaks of prosperity of a half a decade ago."

Err...you know there is a world-wide recession, yeah?

You know that lax financial regulation (over decades, and amongst other things) caused it, yeah?

So the question isn't if the USA is as prosperous as it was a decade a go, it's "Is the USA in less shit that everyone else?" And I'd say "Yes, yes it is" Could someone else have done better? Maybe. Could someone else have done worse? Oh yes indeedy. And one such person who could lead you to disaster would be this dizzy moo.

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