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* Posts by The BigYin

3014 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

UK.gov pledges licence fee 'rethink' over heavy catch-up use

The BigYin
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Petrol is cheap

Very cheap. It costs about the same as water which, when you consider what has to be done to actually create petrol, is simply phenomenal; so be thankful for small mercies.

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The BigYin
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No, no and thrice no!

One of the best things about the Beeb is the lack of adverts. I am more than happy to pay £12 to not have to watch adverts. In fact, one reason I don't have Sky is because I don't see why I should pay for a channel AND still have to watch adverts*.

The Beeb has problems, no doubt about that (juniors having to work as producers for no extra pay whilst big-wigs cream off vast salaries for no apparent benefit; for example), the Beeb also suffers from Leftie-bias and has failed to produce a meaningful (hard) documentary on any subjest for about ten years; but compared to the likes of ABC, NBC, CBS etc... ...it just leaves them in the dust.

One must be very careful when reading "anti"-BBC stories too. Sky would like nothing more than to see the Beeb neutered, then there would be no competition for the dross it outputs.

*If I ever get around to installing MythTV, that won't be an issue.

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The BigYin
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If they do bring in...

...some kind of 'net license, I expect the BBC to lift all restrictions on what players can play back their content. I will have paid for it, so I expect to play it on any device of my choice (PC, Mac, iPod, hacked xBox, whatever; on any OS of my choice [not just Windows]).

I am also interested in the pricing. At the moment I pay £12 for "all you can eat" and rarely need to use iPlayer as the PC records more than enough stuff for me (only when it has a glitch do I use iPlayer). So if there is a 'net license, will I end up paying more? I strongly suspect the answer is "yes".

And how does the costing work? Who pays? The owner of the 'net connection or the viewer? If three people share the same net connection, is the fee levied once or three times? What if one person watches three shows at once? Is that now 3 charges?

With some kind of 'net fee, will they (and by "they" I primarily mean the parasitic distributors) finally get out of the dark ages and agree a global license. If I pay the fee to the BBC (or whomever) why the hell can't I play their content from anywhere in the world?

Perhaps such a model is the beginning of the end for traditional broadcasters. Perhaps we'll move to a system where you pick a "agency" that has agree license terms and just get what content you want, when you want (e.g. Jamendo, Magnatune) without restriciton. Paying the appropriate fee, of course.

This will, undoubtedly, lead to the demise of some major player which IMHO would be a good thing. The majors have ruined many promising series in the chase for the current bottom line and jerked content creators around more than enough. I have no doubt the some content creators could "go direct" (e.g. Seth McFarlane, Trey Parker & Matt Stone) and allow their fans access to their content, to major label required.

Can you smell the fear from the MAFIAA yet? Perhaps this is what ACTA is intended to stop - free trade and an open market.

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Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads

The BigYin
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Arrows

"I'd like to see them spend some money on actually painting useful arrows on roads approaching roundabouts"

Indeed! Nothing is more annoying that approaching in what one thinks is the correct lane, only to spot the arrow just before the dotted line and note that one is now in the wrong lane for this particular roundabout (e.g. two lanes in, left is mandatory first exit or something).

One arrow about 200m further down the road (or even some singage!) would be a big help.

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The BigYin
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Safety Cameras

I don't like the GATSO style safety cameras, they only check the speed at one specific point and if the limit has been set wrong (yes, it is quite possible to set a limit that is too low) then you get a concertina effect when the traffic gets to the camera zone. Average speed cameras are much better.

Cameras I support 100% are red-light cameras. Although they are far too lenient (amber means stop, idiots) and I have yet to see any attached to automated Gattling guns to remove the red-light jumping, pond scum from existence.

The thing that puzzles me is that the cameras are revenue generators. At a time of cost cuts, one would expect their use to increase. Although, with the money first going to the Treasury, the local council who has to bear the cost probably doesn't get to see much of it.

Anyway; even if you believe that speeding (as in, being over the limit) is a causal factor in around 33% of accident (the true figure is probably nearer 7%, according to unmassaged governmental figures), those light-up smiley faces are actually more effective. As is better road design, surface repair, signage etc. So if Brake really, *REALLY* support road safety; then throwing it all behind the safety camera is counter-productive.

The one big thing that really helps road safety is traffic police, but I doubt we'll be seeing any of those on or roads any time soon. Coppers cost money and despite traffic cops making roads safer (also catching miscreants of various types) they simply cost too much.

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TalkTalk turns StalkStalk to build malware blocker

The BigYin
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I agree

There is simply no need for this invasion of privacy (and I am a TalkTalk customer). Had I known, I would have opted out as I do not require this level of nannying from my ISP. I want my ISP to be an efficient, yet dumb, data pipe. That is all.

And how do they determine what is a threat. Many "threats" only target some systems, so an attack on XP may not work on Win7 and almost certainly will not work against a real OS.

It also leads to end-user complacency. "I do not need any firewall or AV as my ISP protects me." Cue TalkTalk customers getting data-raped by a zero-day that basic measures could have prevented.

Up to know I have been happy with TalkTalk and was pleased at their stance on Phorm. This action gives me serious misgivings and I will watch it with interest.

I wonder if this is serious enough to complain to the ICO about....not that they'll do anything of course.

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Cameron asks Obama for McKinnon compromise

The BigYin
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I agree he did it

And I agree with why the USA want him. Thing is; that's not justice, that's revenge.

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The BigYin
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@JohnA Blackley

Invalid comparison. As far as we know, nothing was stolen (no burglary), not thing was broken (no criminal damage) and so no crime may have been committed (clue: not all countries have laws on tresspass in meatspace let alone cyberspace).

Until the USA presents evidence and satisfies a UK court that a crime has actually been committed, they should be told to haud their wheest. Although I realise the treaty pretty much allows the USA to demand any UK citizen be handed over at any time for any reason and they are not required to provide evidence.

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The BigYin
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How's this for a compromise?

"Barack old bean, in the interests of fairness and equal rights for all (something I am sure you are passionate about); the UK will henceforth apply the same criteria as the USA for extradition. So kindly send your boys over and prove your extradition case in a UK court of law. Pip-pip."

[And before someone says it, the USA *has* ratified the treaty but it is still one-sided.]

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Movie, tech giants prep universal online media store

The BigYin
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I don't worry about my collection being stolen just now

I have this thing called "insurance".

If they held is, I would seriously worry about their records getting screwed and losing me my "collection". "Computer says 'No'" attitude.

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The BigYin
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NoO thanks

It'll be DRM'd to death and, as it is backed by Sony-BMG, can you really trust it? Can you be 100% sure they will not root your PC (again) just to "protect" their "rights"?

I'll stick to buying the physical media and ripping to the format of my choice (perfectly legal fair use, normally blocked by DRM).

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What's the difference between an iPod and an iPood?

The BigYin
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Backpacks

Equipment maker "Krug" is now called "Kriega" after fizzy-pop maker "Krug" had a moan. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do know that fizzy-pop and backpacks are not the same thing.

Perhaps "iPood" should have been renamed "iJobbied"?

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Microsoft issues stopgap fix for critical Windows flaw

The BigYin
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Joke

Semi-Obligatory response

You said "beta testing", the presumes 2 things

1) There was alpha testing;

2) MS actually do any testing.

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Apple iPad – the 'Tickle Me Elmo' of 2010

The BigYin
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@Anon Coward

You have 7 seconds to tell me why Apple advertising is mind-numbing.

Da-da-dah-da-dummmmm!

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The BigYin
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It's not the form factor

Let's face it, any tablet suffers from similar problems. Can't prop it up, can't place it easily on a lap, input can be tricky, no real keyboard etc etc. So why is the iPad (to my surprise) flying off the shelves? One word.

Design.

Apple do not own the whole hardware stack, they buy in components anyone else could from Intel, LG etc. What they do own is the software stack and they seem to operate under the ethos of "If <thing> cannot be integrated seamlessly and elegantly, then <thing> will not be offered".

So, sure, you get a device that has no USB, no video out, no SD slots etc. But what it does have just works. The Apps Store works flawlessly (although the Law of Jobs and the Walled Garden approach do rankle me), but a user can be pretty sure than anything they install will just work.

MS cannot do this as they need to be all-things-to-all-people, they end up going for the lowest-common-denominator in every area and then cludging together the integration. Apple simply drop the feature.

Open Source may make very good tools (arguably the best in many cases) but with no overriding vision the tools fail miserably to integrate, leaving the user to hack around with config files. Fine if you are a techie, not acceptable if you are a consumer. When someone does enter the Open Source arena and attempts to provide a single vision (e.g. Shuttleowrth, Google[sort-of]), they get torn to shreds for "dumbing it down" by the elite geeks who simply do not understand the real world.

Like 'em or loathe 'em, Apple are giving people the experience they want. They may not be satisfying the geeks, but then geeks are not their market - well-heeled consumers are. Computers are often an appliance (just like a washing machine) - deal with it.

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eBay Earl beats rap for punting Parliament tours

The BigYin
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Let's see

"Earl had clearly breached the rules on use of Westminster facilities but he had apologised and promised not to do it again."

for comparison

"[Huntley] had clearly breached the [law of the land] but he had apologised and promised not to do it again."

Either the rules (law) are enforced for all, or they are enforced for none. You cannot have a two tier system.

Our leads must not only obey the rules, they must been seen to obey the rules and lead by example; or pay the consequence. If I had a say (and I don't under our current 'democracy') I would strip the Earl of his title and eject him from the house.

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Google switches on Buzz firehose

The BigYin
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Buzz?

Do people use that? I thought it had died a death like Wave. Unless people use that too and I am getting left behind the new HTML5CC3Web2.0 tsunami of innovation.

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Linux to eclipse Microsoft's 'all-in' tablet enthusiasm

The BigYin
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Flame

@Martin - Dell does not sell Linux units!

I know there is a lot of PR crap doing the rounds about Dell selling Ubuntu (and it's 9.10 FFS!) but it simply isn't true. Dell do not sell any Ubuntu based systems. Well, they sell one shitty netbook that could be used as a coaster, but that's it.

No laptops, no desktops, no servers. How do I know? I have looked. You will see "Ubuntu" listed as an option, if you search (and you have to run a search, it is not mentioned anywhere on the main landing pages) you will get a but on units listed, select any one of them and *POW* it's Windows 7 or nothing.

MS will not permit an OEM to sell Linux, so once MS moves into the tablet market OEMs will be told "You have two choice: either do not sell Linux units, or make your Linux units so shit and under-powered than we can run PR pieces about the high return rates."

Until the EU step in an *force* OEMs to offer "no OS" as a mandatory option, MS will continue to dominate and abuse its position.

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'External experts' replace Oracle on £13.2m Uni IT project

The BigYin
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Joke

Perhaps...

...they had to recruit help from Strathclyde Uni and are too embarrassed to say so?

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Firefox joins Microsoft in uncool kids class

The BigYin
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Indeed

This is why I do not use Chrome and am seriously considering getting rid of my googlemail account. Google knows too much and cannot be trusted.

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Double whammy: The music tax based on deep packet inspection

The BigYin
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@are you saying that that should cost me extra?

I think they are, and that makes sense. It's extra use. Just like if you decide to wash the car in a metered water area, that costs you more.

What we'd need, of course, is clear pricing (e.g. £1 per GB of part there-of). Not some confusing tiered bollocks with add-ons etc like they do for mobile phones.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Even if it were legal...

...the creators wouldn't get paid "Hollywood Accounting"/"RIAA Accounting" and all that. Just ask the likes of Michael J Straczynski who gets nothing from the continuing "Babylon 5" revenues. Or Peter Jackson who had to sue New Line Cinema in order to get his share of the profits.

This does not excuse piracy of course (just in case anyone thinks I am advocating that) but it goes to show that the *entire movie/music industry* is screwed from the very start and the argument of tax/Deep Packet Inspection/DRM/whatever as a measure to protect the income of the creators is utterly fallacious.

The *only* reason the RIAA/MPAA/BPI etc are fighting this is because the free flow of content from the creators (pretty much) directly to the consumer screws the revenue stream of the big corporates. Despite the fact that this method of distribution is actually better for those with the talent!

The pirates are providing the service the people want. If you want to get rid of the pirates, then you need to provide a better service (without screwing with people right to fair use).

As others have said, if people feel like they have already paid for it - they will just reach out and take it.

Check out the likes of Jamendo and Magnatune for some idea of how it could work...

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Thieves steal 3,000 laptops from US Special Ops contractor

The BigYin
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FAIL

Err...

...I've got a crappy webcam. It cost about £15. It came with some crappy software. Guess what?

I can plug that sucker in and set it to "alarm" when it detects motion. For £15. Sweet.

I am no expert but I would guess that there are much better commercial system available (possible even open source ones) what could "alarm" as well can get a human to look and see if there is something really kooky going on and even call the cops if the human doesn't respond in time.

Actually, I know there are as I have seen the demo of just such a home safety system (Linux based, I forget the exact details, it was some kind of home entertainment/automation system too).

Of course if you want to supply kit to ne'erdowells in a manner with plausible deniability, a "robbery" is probably the best way.

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Samsung HT-C6930 3D Blu-ray home cinema set

The BigYin
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Networking?

Let's say I have MythTV (or something) installed on a back-end, can I stream media from there (CDs, DVDs, recorded TV) on this box? If I put a Blu-Ray in this, can I stream the media from there (assuming my home network is up to the job) to another system?

Unless the answer to both is "yes", then this really isn't worth £600. The fact it can't even support NTFS is a bit of a surprise, what about EXT4 etc?

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Microsoft drops Win7 deadline for XP and Vista holdouts

The BigYin
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Only one reason to upgrade...

...is (as I understand it) XP's inability to support AES wireless security. And then if you do "upgrade" from XPsp3 to Win7, be ready for your system performance to drop to about 1/3 of what it was (personally experience, I am watching build scripts now take 3 times as long).

Or use the fact that Win7 is a totally alien environment to try a Linux distro and see if anyone actually notices!

There is one benefit with Win7, Flash is woefully unstable so there is less annoying web-crap. Although it does mean that Quake Live won't work. :o(

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BT and TalkTalk threaten court to kill Mandybill

The BigYin
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FAIL

@AC

Straw man.

I never said that it was OK to pirate anything. What I said was that the actions of the RIAA et al means that the service offered by the pirates can be more convenient. That is a matter of fact, not morality. Whether or not you choose to use those pirate channels is your choice; personally I do not.

I am glad that you and Ms. Hilton are together in you inability to follow an argument without inventing things the other party did not say.

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The BigYin
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Nintendo DS

Get a USB wireless dongle and allow the PC to share its connection over WEP. Once the DS is updated, remove the dongle. Job done.

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The BigYin
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How to detect?

It's simple. "Any download is copyright theft unless the downloader proves otherwise." A bit like speeding tickets etc. You have to prove your innocence and even if you win, you can't reclaim the costs.

I am sure the ConDems will be applying these Labour tactics soon enough.

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The BigYin
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Urf

I couldn't give two craps about pirates and related freeloaders. Their persistent theft does affect the content creators (I don not mean the studios/record labels) and they are, to an extent, destroying what they enjoy. Thing is, I don't necessarily blame them.

The RIAA/BPI/et al have put so many barriers in place (region encoding, DRM, rootkits etc) that if you want to consume media on-line, often the easiest and most convenient way is to go pirate. There is still this crazy attempt to carve the world into regions which makes no sense when the medium in use is global.

I can't watch Hulu, why? You can't watch the BBC, why? Restriction of free trade and profiteering is why. It's only the pirates who provide the service many people want, the current situation is entirely the fault to the RIAA et al. If they had wised up and understood that their current method of business is dead then they would not be wasting so much time chasing freeloaders and we would have numerous services we could go to and *legally* download/stream movies, tv, music etc easily and without fair-use-preventing DRM bullcrap.

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Android slurps market share from Apple, RIM, Microsoft

The BigYin
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Fort Knox

"If Stevie-Boy wasn't such a douch-bag, locking the platform down like Fort Knox, the iPhone could have been really magical."

On that point I would disagree. The one thing Apple does fairly well is design and integration (just look at the power adaptors!) and having a "free for all" without strict controls would have lead to a shattering of the iPhone's seamless ease-of-use. Compare that to the shit people have to go through with the Droid; phone with different resolutions, screen sizes and features. The devs must go mental.

You can see a similar thing in the Linux world where Canonical have gone to great lengths to integrate the various factions into Ubuntu. Like it or love it, control gives you...well...control!

Perhaps Apple should have made it possible to install other things (with warnings etc) but then Apple do not have a monopoly, other smartphones are available. Don't like it? Don't buy it. Yes, it is that simple.

Lots of lintards don't like Ubuntu as it is "dumbed down", "configured to shit" etc. Well, it's not the only game in town. Don't like it, don't install. Go use Arch, Slack or BSD you frickin' prima donnas.

Thing is, iPhone and Ubuntu get traction because to a great degree "they just work" and that is IMHO a good thing. Once people get some savvy, they'll move on (or hack the hell out of what they currently use).

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NSA setting up secret 'Perfect Citizen' spy system

The BigYin
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FFS

About 20 years ago Clifford Stoll warned the USA that KGB back hackers from Germany were attacking. The USA did nothing (although they did arrest a bunch of kids in the "Hacker Crackdown" a few years later).

Then we had McKinnon, who waltzed into pretty much the same system using pretty much the same techniques (the systems till weren't secured). The USA's answer this time? To cry like a baby and demand McKinnon's head on a platter.

They only threat to the USA is the feckin' USA! Apply some basic security, retards!

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Dell cuddles Canonical for big Ubuntu fluffer love

The BigYin
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No, Dell do not sell Linux PCs

They never have really. A year or so ago there was some PR crap about a "Linux Netbook" they'd sell, but it was such a turd it wouldn't even suffice as a doorstop.

If you go to their site and run a search, it will bring back quite a few systems that list Ubuntu as an option, but when you select them you are forced to take Windows. Perhaps their "support" only extends as far as fitting Linux friendly hardware?

So Dell seem happy enough to sell Ubuntu systems, so long as you pay the Microsoft Tax first. This story isn't about PCs anyway, it's about servers. Microsoft wouldn't allow Dell to sell any Linux system to the great unwashed in any meaningful way, otherwise people would be able to discover what an overpriced pile of shit Windows is.

High time the EU regulators stepped in and forced all PC OEMs to give "no OS" as an option on their products.

(Running Lucid on an ancient OptiPlex GX270 - it's faster than my other Win7 64bit system)

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Google preps tablet-friendly Chrome that knows 'what's up'

The BigYin
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Orientation aware?

I wonder if Apple or someone will sue?

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All gov jobs to go online

The BigYin
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FAIL

I know I an feeding the troll...

...but this is where OpenSource could help. People with old computers could flatten them, install a Linux distro (Puppy, Debian, Slack based; whatever) and give away these machines at near-to-zero cost (actually this happens, check out freelinuxbox).

Obviously this would take them time and there's electrical safety to consider, so perhaps old kit should go to "re-purposing" centres from where they can be distributed to the PC-less in this country. After all, most recycled (and probably still usable) PCs wind up as toxic landfill in Africa being stripped down by child labour.

Then I bet you'll be coming on here to complain about why you should have to put up with other people' hand-me-downs. And to that I say "Take a flying leap, monkey-boy". I am gainfully employed and I will still accept a hand-me-down if it fills a need I have. There's no shame it it, makes total social, environmental and economic sense.

Oh, and who said anything about "on-line only"? No one. The point is that anyone could take those ads and re-publish them. So a paper could still publish them if it so desired, supporting any costs with a cover charge/advertising/whatever.

Really, we used to have proper trolls around here. Why are the standards slipping?

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Hack forces Flash onto iPad

The BigYin
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iPod

If Frash lands on the iPhone, does that mean it will land on the iPod too? That'd be nice.

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Revealed: Government blows thousands on iPhone apps

The BigYin
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No

Because it hasn't been aired in the UK yet. It will probably get here in about 2 years, once everyone has already watched it "illegally".

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Beware of cold call scammers pushing rogue antivirus

The BigYin
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It's another take on...

...the door-to-door scammers who say they're from the leccy/gas people. They prey on the weak.

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The BigYin
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Remember that wind-up...

...where the recipient pretended to be a police officer investigating a homicide detective and just about made the cold-caller crap themselves?

Imagine the fun:

(Phone rings) "Uh, hello?"

"Yes Sir/Madam. This is Bob from MS Security, your PC has a virus. We need to install anti-virus."

"Really. Wow. How do you know?"

"We monitored your PC and saw virus activity."

"OK. Please don't hang up, I just need to go into the other room."

"Sure." (Now find something that makes a clicking noise. Click it)

"Can you just repeat, you monitored my PC?"

"Oh yes, it's all part of the service and for a mere £75 we can cure you of virus!"

"Thank you for confirming on record that you monitored our systems."

"Huh?"

"You have called and just confessed to hacking and monitoring a Royal Signals Networking Bunker" (or something)

"..."

"No point in hanging up, we have already traced this call and your location. Your co-operation may mitigate any action taken against you, which could include life in prison. You've got no defence, I have your confession on tape. So, tell me your real name and who you work for and I'll do my best to help you." (and just carry on making crap up for as long as they stay on the line or you can be bothered for)

You probably won't get anything from them...but it would at least provide some amusement.

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The BigYin
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Joke

They'd best be careful

I think MS has patented that business method.

Ba-dum-tish!

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The BigYin
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They installed malware?

They committed a fraud?

Your "friend" reported them to the police?

He, after all, did trace them. So, did he report them? Care to name 'n shame?

Or is it all a fabrication, hmm?

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Popular apps don't bother with Windows defences

The BigYin
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Pardon me being dense...

...but why the hell should the app devs need to care about this? Surely it is up to the OS/kernel devs to ensure that their code protects itself? Expecting the app devs to do it is just buck-passing; the app devs may be too lazy, too busy, or simply inexperienced.

I read the story as saying that Windows is simply not a secure platform and not good enough for any sensitive operations (e.g. on-line banking). Am I the only one?

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Windows 7 SP1 'beta' leaks, hits torrents

The BigYin
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Simple answer...

...have more than one Windows vendor. MS do the kernel etc; other vendors can spin their own distro. Problem solved. Might even start to see some innovation in the Windows arena!

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Budget to cost over a million jobs: Official

The BigYin
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@Santa

Public servants have it W-A-Y better than the rpivatye secotr (who actually expected to do some work into the bargai). Tray: no real pension, no perks, no discounts on mortgages etc, no pay-raises, no "job for life".

You can take your "hard-done-by-public-sector-worker" and shove it, buster. And you had better change you expectation is you are ever employed in the private sector.

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The BigYin
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Remove the quangocrats

Why do we need quango wonks on £350k pa? That's almost double the PM's salary FFS!

And while we're at it...

Bring Network Rail, Foundation Hospitals and PFI contracts on to the public books so we can get a clearer idea of the vast debt Labour has left us and our children with.

If this is done, it would not surprise me to find out that the UK is basically bankrupt.

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Fake IBM playboy pleads guilty

The BigYin
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£360 a day?

£1,800 a week? £~86,000 a year? Screw IT, I'm off to muck-out stables!

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Hulu to charge $10 for iPad and Playstation 3 TV

The BigYin
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If I pay...

...I don't want to see ads. Ever.

If the BBC can do it for around £12 a month, so can anyone else.

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Microsoft's Windows 8 goals revealed

The BigYin
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You don't need hibernate...

...when you can get to an operational desktop in under 45 seconds. I have this right now, why do I need Windows 8? In fact, I can cold boot Lucid on an old P4, log into that and have Gnome up *faster* than Win7 can handle a user login on a Core2 Duo.

MS is losing the plot big style.

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The BigYin
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In summary...

...you want MS to release in 5 years what any major Linux distro can do *right now*.

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The BigYin
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What happened?

They landed on Linux (and OS X etc) around 5-10 years ago. Do keep up, it's clear MS hasn't.

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The BigYin
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C'mon!

We're talking about an OS that still needs to reboot after almost every update and every install! Un-feckin-acceptable.

They don't even have an integrated package management and update system. Every app needs its own checker and update process. Pathetic.

When they fix these problems (and others) they'll crow about how it is all their idea. Despite the fact that Unix/Linux/etc had this for ages.

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