* Posts by The BigYin

3055 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

XP? Thanks for the memories

The BigYin
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@C 2

I hear yah, my P4 Ubuntu box can boot from cold and be ready to go in less time than it takes for my much bigger Win7 box to simply log-in (never mind boot).

As for those who seem to be getting the wrong end of the stick - I am *not* saying that Linux is the perfect answer for everyone in every situation. All I am saying is that it could be for some. The shift to 64-bit Win7 is huge, especially if moving from XP (software compatibility, complete UI changes etc); so not would seem to be a good time to look at see if Linux can ease some pain. Unlike Win7, Linux can at least be "skinned" to look like XP. It's not Windows, I grant you, but to the non-IT literate the UI is a big, BIG deal. To not even look is IMHO, sheer idiocy.

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The BigYin
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Linux

If...

...the whole estate is going to 64-bit Win7 from 32-bit XP, you will need to do a pretty major re-training program.and a massive purchase of new licenses, hardware etc.* That's a big shake-up!

This would be the perfect time to take a small test group and try them out on a Linux distro (perhaps use one that can be skinned to look like XP). You'll still have training to do, but hopefully less than Win7.

The savings? Potentially: licenses, hardware, downtime etc

I am not saying it's an answer that will fix all problems, but where is the harm in trying?

*I have moved from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Win7. Win7 gives me pain (mostly poor performance) every single day. For want of a few minor features, I'd go 100% Linux in a heartbeat. The missing features are: RDP - Linux does not have a decent remote desktop server, VNC sucks; and OCS - there is no client that can fully connect (audio, video etc). Everything else is equivalent to or better than Win7.

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Google: Street View cars grabbed emails, urls, passwords

The BigYin
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I'm not trying to defend Google...

...but I do wonder one thing. If people are blasting their passwords etc over the air and in the clear, why are they now upset that such data has been picked up? Surely the fault lies with those making their "private" information "public"?

This doesn't excuse Google of anything, but I think the ignorance of the end-users (and the uncaring ineptitude of their equipment providers) is being overlooked.

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Microsoft cuts loose Iron languages

The BigYin
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Translation

Does "dynamic languages in general on .NET" mean "making .Net as incompatible with non-MS technologies as possible"?

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The BigYin
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@Anon

You're new, aren't you?

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TVonics DTR-HD500 Freeview HD DVR

The BigYin
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Almost

If it had the ability to stream content from a standard back-end (e.g. Myth) then this would have been a winner. As it is, one is still better off building a box.

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MS to unveil fresh Flash challenge next week?

The BigYin
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@Sam

Huh? OWA works fine in FF on Ubuntu. OK, it's the "reduced features" version because there is none of the proprietary muck that IE has; but it does work.

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The BigYin
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Flash may be pants...

...but at least it is fully cross-platform pants, unlike Silverlight.

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Phone 7: Another Vista or another XP?

The BigYin
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Is this a fair summary?

"Has some nice shiny things, looks like it could be as restricted as an iPhone, and is behind the curve. In two years Win7 will have caught up with 2010, and thus still be behind the curve."

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Red Hat exec proposes end to IT suckage

The BigYin
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Buit-in obsolescence

The answer is simple, people drop old (perfectly serviceable) hardware. Win7 (one example) dropped support for lots of things. OEMs like this as they can sell more kit, so they rush to bundle Win7. MS likes this as they can ship more to the great unwashed, so they deliberately drop support to force people to upgrade. A virtuous cycle for consumption.

This is true for end-users and for corporates as well. In fact it's true of many things in life, but it shows up most in IT.

It has to stop. Not just for economic reasons, but for environmental too. We need to find ways of supporting, re-purposing and recycling older kit.

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The BigYin
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Err...

...you do know that designs are modelled and tested in a computer before use, don't you? Scale models (or prototypes) made and tested (often to destruction). These cycles repeat umpteen times. THEN the final item gets made.

Also, there's a few thousand years of empirical evidence to draw from.

And with all that....it can still go wrong. Sometimes badly.

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Mozilla man accuses Jobs of 'bypass the web' scheme

The BigYin
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Some opinions

1) Apple is not a monopoly

2) Apple make the hardware, OS and run the app store

3) It's Apple's playground, it's their rules

Summary: Don't like it, don't join in

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Item 1 would come under regulatory scrutiny if Apple ever gets big enough

Item 2 could all if item is torn down, or Apple finds scaling difficult

Item 3 is wholly dependent on 1 and 2.

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For end-users the Apple restrictions are (generally) a "Good Thing"(tm) as "things just work". Compare that to the dog's dinner that is the Linux distros where it can be "pot luck" or the continual fight with drivers etc on Windows.

Don't get me wrong, I quite like Linux. In fact, I want to go 100% Linux at home. But some problems drive me completely scatty and I'd like to think I have at least some clue on where to find answers.

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Dixons risks future of humanity with Star Wars-themed ads

The BigYin
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If Dixons were...

...an OS, they'd be Windows. Overpriced, under-performing and just a bit pants to be honest.

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Keep your PC clean - or we'll shut you down

The BigYin
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Cut offs get my vote

People should not connect system to the intertubes without reasonable protections, just like they are not allowed dangerous vehicles on the road (I know how we all love our car analogies).

Obviously the ISP should provide advice (more secure OSs, antivirus, firewalls etc) and the ISP needs to take care on how they inform users (i.e. use snail mail or something) otherwise the phishers et al will spoof the mechanism to sucker more people in.

And if too much junk is detected coming from an ISP (and they aren't obviously taking action), cut that ISP off.

As for some carrot, perhaps ISPs could (with user consent) do PEN tests or something? If the user passes, then that user gets a discount or some other benefit. Although that adds to the burden on ISPs, so any saving is probably going to get swallowed by cost increases.

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I agree totally about MasterCrap etc, their SecureCode system drives me feckin' insane. Never integrates into the site properly, so I am never 100% if it's genuine (I have actually cancelled purchases because SecureCode is so bad).

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Microsoft's fear of an OpenOffice

The BigYin
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Every time you write...

...an Excel macro, you make baby Jesus cry.

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Dead baby taunting troll feels wrath of law

The BigYin
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There's a talk I'd like to see

"Method for jodan-tsuki over TCP"

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The BigYin
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Go

I still read b3ta...

...and I will agree to being offended at times. The question is, does the poster mean to cause offence or am I simply taking offence? Hell, I get offended by the cover of 'Private Eye' at times. Some of the most offensive posts are also the most thought provoking and the posts are not usually targeted *AT* the person or event, but at the media's reaction to said person or event.

Also, as Ian Ferguson says, none of this is being punted directly TO the McCanns (although I am bemused by the fact that you can't even be bothered to get their name right).

B3ta is also a very mixed community with its own rules and these rules are (surprisingly) rigidly enforced by the community. Just post a link to the main board, I dares yah. The most caustic exchanges are usually between the people who know each other best and are not to actually offend the recipient. If a third party chooses to take offence, that is entirely the problem of the third party,

Now, if you will excuse me, it's squirrels this week and I'd like to get my yiff on.

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The BigYin
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Trolling is bad?

Ooo, that nearly made it past me irony filter.

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Great white sharks menace Blighty

The BigYin
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I thought...

1) Great whites had been seen basking in the Med

2) They don't like human flesh as we are not fatty enough and attacks are down to mistaken identity (and lacking hands, they use their mouths to feel; a bit like a toddler, coochie-coochie-coo)

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Robot goes berserk in Balkan lab: 6 boffins given dead arms

The BigYin
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Terminator

Hmm...I see a new frontier in martial arts

Many arts use joint manipulation to cause posture instability, throw, inflict pain, subdue or out-right break the joint. These methods evolved over centuries of study, practice and visits to the bone-saw to have limbs re-set.

I propose that in the immediate future we need to study the articulations our robot nemeses (or nemesi, if you prefer) and apply the same thinking. We need to ensure that our puny meat-power passes through the robo-killers' areas of greatest weakness and bring them down, should an EMP weapon not be readily to hand.

Suggestions of names of this future-art greatly appreciated.

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OOo's put the willies up Microsoft

The BigYin
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Please excuse the swearies

What a load of fucking FUD. When documents are sent in an ISO standard (that'd be ODF) there is no issue.

This only good thing about this is that MS are obviously shitting bricks at the moment. If all you can do it attack your opponent, you clearly have no credible attributes of your own.

OOo/LibreOffice is not perfect by any means, but for the price it is hard to beat.

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FCC bids to curb 'bill shock and mystery fees'

The BigYin
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Enron is old hat

Just ask Lehman Brothers.

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Apple to lead fanbois 'Back to the Mac'

The BigYin
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Price

Expensive - yes.

Value for money - yes.

Personally I wouldn't buy one (I like to tinker and hack), but for the average person (who can afford the initial cost) Apple products are a better choice than just about any Windows based equivalent* and probably work out at the same price (if not cheaper) in the long run.

You may not agree with me and that's fine. We all have different needs, values and pockets. A company shifting that many units cannot be "crap" and it's certainly not "overpriced" as the market evidently accepts that price. If you don't like the price/ethos/whatever - simple don't buy one.

*There is no Linux equivalent as yet it's almost impossible to buy Linux boxes from a major OEM without sacrificing a goat to the great IT gods.

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Foxconn warns phones prices will rise

The BigYin
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Unhappy

It's not how much...

...El Reg do or do not care, it's how much we as consumers care. We want low prices, and someone has to pay for that. Why do you think our t-shirts, trainers etc are so cheap? We're not paying the true price, some of the cost is absorbed by human misery.

If the price of a phone from company X rises dues to this and the equivalent from company Y stays the same because they go to a different manufacturer, then consumers will switch to Y and company X goes down the toilet. Consumer demand will force companies to move to the cheapest manufacturer, regardless of working conditions.

Even for consumers who do care, there is no way for them to be sure if it's company X or Y actually who have decent working conditions. For all they know, company X could be taking the piss or company Y may simply Actiobe more efficient. One can't exactly buy "FairTrade" mobile phones.

One could say that company X should take a small hit on profits to ensure decent conditions, but then dividends and share price drop, investors leave and one bitches about one's pension.

The only thing that can really be done is to keep exposing the exploitation until it becomes too risky for companies to even consider dealing with such manufacturers.

Did you, or anyone else reading this, avoid purchasing anything made by Foxconn because of worker conditions (e.g. Apple products, Nokia phones)? Did anyone write to the relevant CEOs and say why they were boycotting their products? Nope, me neither.

It's a sick, sad world; but it is so easy to ignore what goes on when it is "over there".

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Foxconn faces leaked report of worker abuse, violence

The BigYin
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You want cheap goods?

This is the price others have to pay.

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CEOP chief accuses UK.gov of putting kids at risk

The BigYin
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What does he expect?

The ConDems are happy to see children live in poverty and to deny those who are have the ability, but not the liquidity, a university education.

Maybe if we dropped the ridiculous target of 50% getting degrees, dropped some of the absurd degrees and removed the stigma of "only" being a tradesman (plus gave "engineer" protected status like "doctor") we'd get somewhere.

Oh yeah, and maybe if we (when I say "we", I mean the various political pirates, er, parties) stopped letting multi-billion pound multi-national corporations avoid paying their fair share of tax, we would not be in the state we are in.

Coupled to that, actually regulating the financial sharks that destroyed the economy in the first place. Quite why bankers are getting bonuses again beats me.

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Windows Phone 7: 'Different, delightful'... and unfinished

The BigYin
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@Mike

Neutral!=Negative

There's a couple of other articles on El Reg that are gushing about it.

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The BigYin
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Joke

@Sarah Bee

You Register shill! :o)

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The BigYin
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Indeed

The Windows phones I have had to endure needed hard boots at least once a day.

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MS is nowhere in the mobiles space (and never has been). One must wonder why they are now making this sudden play, is it just to collect patents and make money of the sweat of others?

MS nearly lost the netbook market with their arrogance and only serious back-pedalling over XP (assisteed by the ineptitude/inexperience of the Linux distros) allowed them to regain their hold. The problem with the mobile market is that Linux et al are already entrenched, integrated and working very well; this is not how it was when netbooks started.

I seriously hope the various Linux groups can use the mobile space as a chink in MS's armour and then spread to other areas such as the desktop (i.e a share in double or near-double digits). Only time will tell.

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Can Windows Phone 7 help Microsoft come from behind?

The BigYin
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FAIL

This week is atcually...

...Meerkat week*. It's interesting that MS decided to push the PR drones into overdrive and launch this week; was this some attempt to over-shadow Canonical (which is a minnow in the OS market, but gets a fair bit of press) whilst at the same time launch their polished turd?

As for MS stopping a monopoly (mentioned in another Reg story), please; the mobile market is quite diverse already with some establish, rising and others fading (Blackberry, Meego, Symbian, iOs, Android). This market does not need the "help" of a known monopoly abuser to remian diverse, it's doing that very well already.

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*Other weeks are available, your mileage may vary.

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MS pledges Windows Phone 7 '1.1' update early 2011

The BigYin
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Let me translate

"MS to apply single-sided adhesive dressing to repair rupture of carotid arteries."

That about right?

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Ubuntu 10.10: date with destiny missed

The BigYin
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@Geoff

If I give you my PayPal account details, will you send me the £200+ I'd need to upgrade? No? Thought not.

I'll use XP until it either goes out of support* or I no longer rely on a single PC for everything. Then it will be Linuxed. Personally I cannot afford the cost of Windows 7 and, after having to endure it in my day job, I wouldn't want it anyway.

And, more to the point, why should I upgrade something that does, pretty much, what I need? I could do a re-install and fix the whole C:\S: thing but then, as I said above, I'd just Linux the fecker.

*sp3 is still under support before anyone says anything

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The BigYin
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FAIL

@Geoff

Oh, and one other thing, Windows 7 also suffers from the inability to easily more the "User" folder; so an upgrade wouldn't help.

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The BigYin
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Partitions serve a purpose

1) They can make upgrades, back-ups etc a bit easier

2) They can allow the use of different file systems for different tasks

3) They can allow one to move files on to a separate spindle for performance

I will agree that some of the above are not for the new user and not partitions in the strict sense but doing it is not necessarily a "Bad Thing"(tm); it all depends on one's needs and at least Linux will *let* one partition (and re-partition) easily.

I have recently almost lost the will to live trying to get XP to move "Documents and Settings" from "C:" to "S:" to make better use of the second drive. The fact that an "industry standard" OS cannot do this simple thing is, frankly, a sick joke.

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I agree totally about you "disc failure" statement. Everyone should run back-ups. I was getting the bike MOT'd and the place I went to had had a crash - 2 years of records down the toilet, no back-up. It makes your mind boggle. Back-ups easy to do (including off-site as well) and only idiots don't.

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Aggrieved boffins to march on Whitehall

The BigYin
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How about...

...not letting a certain large mobile phone company avoid paying about £6billion*? How much research would that pay for?

The ConDems are happy enough to see children in poverty and the middle classes squeezed, but heave fore-fend that their pals in Big Business should ever have to pay their fair share. Hence all the cuts in benefits and the increase in tax investigation - but not against the biggest tax dodgers.

Labour would have been no better, mind you.

Those three parties in summary:

Labour - you will obey the machine.

Tory - do as you are told, peasant.

LibDem - er, well, yeah, but no, but yeah, but no, but...

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Microsoft lovingly open sources .NET package manager

The BigYin
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Operation Embrace

Is a go!

Operation Extend is in the planning stages

Operation Extinguish has been proposed.

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Many Microsoft workers big on company not Ballmer

The BigYin
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Surely 1,000...

...from 89,000 is a large enough sample to have confidence in the result? Damn, wish I stayed awake in those stats lectures.

MS really does seem to be going down the toilet at the moment, can't say I am displeased about that.

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Youth jailed for not handing over encryption password

The BigYin
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Here's the thing...

...if there was nothing "sensitive" in the crypto file, most people would probably hand the password over just for the sake of convenience (but then why use crypto in the first place?)

My crypto files don't contain kiddy porn or anything, but they do contain account information, passwords, PINs and other sensitive information on my life. There is no bloody way I am handing my password over to plod. It would mean closing every account (current, savings, mortgage etc) and then opening new ones (activity in itself that might seem "suspicious").

So, by the simple act of trying to keep one's life in order and following good practice; one is effectively rendering oneself guilty. Thank you "Labour" and your destruction of liberty.

I can understand why plod might want to see into these files during an investigation (especially into something like kiddy porn) but damning an entire nation in order to to deal with the acts of a minority is NOT the way to do it!

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Apple wants halt to $600m patent case

The BigYin
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Simple

All the majors are suing all the other majors. The total sum of money (payments made + payments made) is zero. The only people getting rich are the lawyers (the perfect definition of a parasite).

If there were less (no?) software patents, the energy and resources wasted funding these legal fiascos could be put into making better products/cutting costs etc.

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Ballmer goes to LSE as internal doc calls for radical overhaul of MS

The BigYin
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MS to change tack?

You mean they will stop patenting the obvious?

Stop suing world+dog for writing software?

Stop trying to destroy open software?

Stop trying to destroy open standards?

Stop trying to break interoperability?

Stop producing software with proprietary extensions (IE, all versions)?

Stop producing software with gaping security holes?

Stop believing the sun shines out their collective fundament?

No?

Thought not.

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Web marketers pledge easier targeted ads opt-out

The BigYin
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Beef TACO? Ghostery?

Beef TACO and Ghostery were new to me (just installed Ghostery). I also use Flashblock, NoScript, CookieCuller and GreaseMonkey. It's a shame that we have to go to so much trouble these days.

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Google's 'instant' search springs keyboard controls

The BigYin
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Google has ads?

Since when? AdBlock, CustomizeGoogle and NoScript are your friends.

What I really need to do is write a GreaseMonkey script (or something) to remove the crap results (like "ExpertsExchange", I am not a member, I will probably never be a member, I do not want those results).

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Man vindicated for videotaping his own traffic stop

The BigYin
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Undertaking...

...is not an offence in the UK either. Dangerous driving is and an office *may* decide that undertaking is dangerous.

Anyway...

The biker was a moron and deserves to lose their license (I say this as a fellow biker; although no doubt the usual suspects [e.g MCN] will use this as more "anti-motorcyclist" fodder). We need retards like that on the road like we need DVD-truckers.

The cop was totally unprofessional and deserves serious censure for his attitude and subsequent treatment of the biker. Good to see the judge sorting things out.

If any other bikers are reading this - wheelies are cool. So are stoppies/endos, standing on the seat etc. Really cool. I like a good stunt show, me. On a closed track. With barrier. And medical crew.

Save if for the appropriate place.

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Microsoft sends in the tanks against Motorola, Android

The BigYin
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Seems to me...

...to be just one more reason to tear up most (all?) software patents. The only people who will suffer anything from this are the consumers. Either by being locked in to a single vendor, or having to pay higher prices to cover the legal bills.

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Trucker pulled with DVD and laptop on dashboard

The BigYin
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Exactly

"The best way to avoid being involved in a collision, or being caught by my officers"

Well, as "his officers" are going to do sod all when they do catch someone, why should anyone care? Grow a pair and take these morons to task! This driver should have been prevented from continuing, charged and his employer contacted to deal with the truck.

[Lack of] Enforcement of the rules in this manner is exactly why there are so many idiots on our roads.

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Penguin in the picture: top video editors for Linux fans

The BigYin
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Worst?

If by "worst" you mean "works pretty much OOTB and does not require much CLI, although the user is somewhat abstracted from the guts and there are a few proprietary bits" then you are 100% correct. Or perhaps you expect everyone to use custom Arch builds?

You may not like Ubuntu (and there are things that annoy me about it too) but, for now, it's my penguin of choice and it still (IMnsHO) years ahead of Win7. And at least you are free to choose any distro you choose and they will quite happily play together to a very large degree (unlike certain other OSs I can think of, that refuse to play ball with anyone and can only deal with two file-systems).

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EU sues UK.gov over Phorm trials

The BigYin
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I fixed it for you

"If the government loses the case, it faces fines of millions of pounds per day until it brings UK law in line with European law."

Should read:

"If the government loses the case, the UK taxpayer faces fines of millions of pounds per day until it brings UK law in line with European law."

Obviously the bribes and back-hander BT handed out to the unelected and secretive EU-wonks wasn't enough. UK MPs must be much, much cheaper to buy. Hmm....haven't there been news stories about that fairly recerntly?

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Car wrecks rise after texting bans imposed

The BigYin
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@Steve 13

Was that directed at me?

Idiot I may be, but the theory of risk compensation (or risk homeostasis is you prefer) isn't.

It's where people try to keep the perceived risk at a level they are comfortable (excitement/arousal offset against fear). If you make things too safe, people try to up the risk factor. If you make them dangerous (or at least, seem dangerous) then people do what they can to lower the risk factor.

So, spikes on steering wheels? Yup, if they were on all cars then people would take more care.

The studies have been done, the evidence is there. Two launch points for you:

http://www.damninteresting.com/the-balance-of-risk

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

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The BigYin
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One factor less...

...is one factor less. In that vein, perhaps we should have metal spikes put on steering wheels. You can get people would pay attention then!

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The BigYin
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Text-tards

Just how bloody hard is it to NOT text and drive? How the hell did these morons ever get a licence? If they think they can use a mobile and drive at the same time, they are not fit to be on the roads. It is that bloody simple. Do not use a mobile and drive, dip-wads.

The bigger problem, of course, is enforcing the laws. If cars had black boxes it might be possible to check logs: "2010-09-30T10:08:30Z, Impact, 70mph" correlated with phone records "2010-09-30T10:08:20Z, Text sent, recipient 'Snuggles'" would be cast iron proof that the driver was texting (assuming they were only occupant). Life ban, jail time and a massive fine would seem to be in order.

I would not object to such a "black-box" type thing so long as it did not have some kind of up-link/continuous monitoring. Not only would it allow text-tards to be nailed to the wall (something I propose as a new national sport), it could also greatly reduce the hassle with insurance claims.

In summary...

When you are driving, nothing is more important than driving safely. Nothing. Not that text, not your fag, not your cola. So put the phone the hell down and *IF* it 'bings' and you think it might be urgent, bloody well pull-over and deal with it safely. Whatever little thing has just happened is not worth my (or anyone else's) life.

A few of questions...

1) Does anyone know if carbon reinforced motorcycle gloves can penetrate car window glass in a single blow?

2) If so, and one does punch through said glass to remonstrate with the text-tard; can one use the defence of committing a minor crime in order to prevent a greater one?

3) Do I need to go back on the dried frog pills?

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