* Posts by John Robson

1167 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Raspberry Pi guys want you to go topless in the heat

John Robson
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What I want...

@45RPM:

What you want isn't a raspberry pi then...

The ports are where they are, there is no SATA.

I'm sure you could pop it in an ITX case (getting you the various drive slots), add a USB HUB, and push the power in from the ITX PSU.

You could even add a small HDMI extenstion cable and Cat5 extension cable...

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

John Robson
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Re: Over engineered?

Lower launch costs are still *way* more expensive than building the probe - and the groundstation and the people required to run the probe...

Launch times are normally decided by solar system geometry, rather than anything so prosaic as a "when it's ready" judgment.

Travel times aren't measured in hours, they're measured in years... So when is your "backup" going to arrive? A few hundred years for the geometry to work again, then add on a few more for travel...

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Wikipedia to go all HTTPS, all the time

John Robson
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Re: Hmm...

@Charles 9 - With ANY in-the-clear transmission, your stuff can be altered in-flight by any relay.

I don't need to modify Wikipedia on the fly - I can just edit the page directly, that's kind of the point of a wiki.

And if I'm doing on the fly modification - I can probably make a nice certificate as well anyway - when did you last check the CAs on your browser?

Additionally HTTPS isn't the best solution for ensuring that data isn't modified in flight - that only requires (signed) hashes (which could be included in the page).

Just because you have a hammer in your hand doesn't make everything a nail.

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John Robson
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Hmm...

"Accounts may also be hijacked, pages may be censored, other security flaws could expose sensitive user information and communications"

Accounts may be hijacked - well clearly logins should always have been be over HTTPS

Pages may be censored - well, they still can - just go and edit it!

Security flaws - might still exist, so there is no net gain there...

Not quite sure about the justification here...

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Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

John Robson
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At least replace caps lock...

Then I can rip out and throw away cortana rather than caps lock...

People get very confused by a keyboard with a hole in it - I'd map it to control, but I'm not allowed to at work :(

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Use snooped data in court? Nah, says UK.gov - folk might be cleared

John Robson
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Re: Is it just me...

@ MrXavia - Not really, all that would show is the CPS is trying to prosecute without sufficient evidence...

OK - Aquittals or dropped prosecutions...

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John Robson
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Is it just me...

or would an increase in aquitalls not also be a measure of success?

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The Martian: Matt Damon sciences the sh*t out of the red planet

John Robson
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Re: I'd watch it.

After Randall Munroe's recommendation (see XKCD) I did - the PDF is available with a "may be distributed freely" copyright notice at the rear.

Slightly disappointed with the rapidity of the ending, but otherwise a decent book...

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Israeli firm gets legal on Indian techie over ISP ad injection spat

John Robson
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Re: Bharti Airtel and Flash Networks

@AC: Injection of various assets to provide improved service (or pay for a free one), is common practice and people accept its benefits. Only those with tin-foil hats on or a very poor understanding of the real world get the panties in a bundle over it.

Absolutely - with the exception of when that injected content has a destructive effect on the content requested. In that case Flash Networks, and possibly Bharti Airtel could be accused of gaining illicit access to the product^Hcustomer's computer, in violation of various laws.

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TERROR in ORBIT: Dodgy rocket burp biffs International Space Station off track

John Robson
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Re: 1,922 seconds?

ISS isn't all that rigid - so a nice gentle thrust (liquid fuels, so easily throttled) means that you get the same deltaV with lower stresses on the structure. Oh, and IIRC better rocket efficiency to boot.

It's also quite heavy - gravity is about 98% of surface normal, it masses about 370,000 kg.

To raise it by 2,800m would take....

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=mass+of+iss&meta=&safe=active&gws_rd=ssl#safe=active&hl=en&q=370000kg+*+2800m+*+9.81m%2Fs%5E2+*.98

10 GJ

over 2000 seconds is 5MW

Not too shabby...

(Yes I've ingored the required deltaV for the different orbital requirement)

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LOOK OUT, Brits – is that a Facebook LASER-GUN drone above us?

John Robson
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Re: What every regime needs

Too slow for serious tests, but a good starting position I'll grant you

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Obama issues HTTPS-only order to US Federal sysadmins

John Robson
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Re: Why?

If it takes user data then it goes HTTPS - but for the most part we could do with HTTPA (A for authenticated) rather than S. Note that a selection of links "salary between" is considered user data.

As for someone finding out I'm on holiday - I don't put it in my out of office system, but it's still pretty obvious to anyone who walks down the road... I'd rather they robbed me while I wasn't there anyway.

Checking what benefits I'm looking for - are they for me or a friend/colleague? I recently looked up data on the married persons allowance - that potentially means I'm married, or that I might intend to get married, or that I know someone in one of those two camps...

Given that my marriage is a matter of public record anyway I hardly find that earth shattering.

I'm happy for various information to come as postcards, particularly as, by doing so, I improve the rate of delivery I get, and reduce the cost to the public purse.

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John Robson
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Why?

Not everything I use (UK) government websites for needs encryption (in fact the majority of it doesn't)

Certainly tax returns etc need to be secured, but checking the requirements for various items (passport application, driving license application, various benefits and tax breaks) would benefit more from a simple page, and a local cache than they would from encryption...

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Paper driving licence death day: DVLA website is still TITSUP

John Robson
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Re: There is no such thing as "Road Tax"!

@IsJustabloke - yawn

If people tried getting the terminology right people wouldn't have to correct them.

It's not hard - use the shorter word "car" where you used to use the word "road".

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Screw you, Apple! We're still making phones no one wants – Samsung

John Robson
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Re: Battery & Micro-SD?

My Desire S is still on 2 something.

Still, I get a week of battery life out of it...

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Everything Apple touted at WWDC – step inside our no-hype-zone™

John Robson
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Re: Shift Key

That would be lovely...

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Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

John Robson
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Very low chance of discovery...

Interpretation - possible, but also fairly unlikely IMHO.

OTOH it still has FAR more chance than any of the "gold records" I've sent out into space...

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Dodgy colon bug is a total pain in the butt for Skype users today

John Robson
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Re: Keep history bug

Of course they keep it on the server - you think delete means anything more than "remember this message in a filter file for this user"?

At most it would be "add the 'deleted' flag to this message"

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Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

John Robson
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Faraday cage...

As soon as they enter the classroom?

Why not the school - you can claim them back for break times if you like...

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Compromised SSH keys used to access Spotify, UK Govt GitHub repos

John Robson
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Re: Why ?

I took all of my existing keys out of use, and reissued the lot, because I couldn't remmeber exactly when each had been generated (or necessarily on which machine).

But to expect that level of action from everyone with a github account?

In the same way I expect browsers to flag up bad certs I'd expect SSH banners to warn about these compromised keys - or simply ignore them (with error in the server log at least, preferably in the banner)

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Strap-on fiddle factor: We poke ten Apple Watch apps

John Robson
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Strava remote control...

Well, at that cost I'll get something else, but a simple 2 button BTLE device on the bars might be nice, then the tablet in the pannier can do the work for me, makes uploading fractionally easier - I'll pay up to £4, maybe £5...

Else I'll just keep using my GPS Logger.

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Google launches native Android Smart Lock password manager

John Robson
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Re: "A security boon for the masses"

No reason the built in version can't do the same (timeout)...

but that's just a second password - WIWTF with the passcode/pattern/word that you log in with.

Or is it actual two factor with the biometric - oh, no that's be an option along with the passcode, so fractionally weaker than WIWTF...

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John Robson
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Re: "A security boon for the masses"

Because it's only one step away from automatically filling in the password field for you on each site.

That means that an individual site failure doesn't compromise all your passwords. There is still a possible weakness in the chocolate factory to worry about, but this is a good first step towards better passwords, and lower reuse.

If someone is targetting my device then yes, they get my passwords - but that's no different from the situation now. What this does mean is that another moonpig doesn't compromise 3 million people's gmail, facebook and banking passwords...

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Amazon reveals KiddieKindle and pocket money scheme

John Robson
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Re: Oh, yum, more tracking.

Don't track my reading very much...

The WiFi is generally off (for battery life) and I load books from Calibre as much as anything else.

Every so often it will get the WiFi on for osmething, and at that point the "percent completed" for Amazon bought stuff will get uploaded no doubt.

Surprise Amazon - that book I bought 3 month ago - I've read it...

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LightSail mission stalled by .CSV log file embiggenment SNAFU

John Robson
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Re: And so...

Both...

They'll be diverting the csv to /dev/null, but the cause of this reboot was probably a cosmic ray flipping a bit on the electronics and therefore triggering a reboot.

That will happen again, but the csv file shouldn't be an issue in the future...

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.sucks-gate: How about listening to us the first two times, exasperated FTC tells ICANN

John Robson
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Re: How do they know who is registering?

Because this is in the "sunrise" phase - you can only pay top dollar now - when they open it to the public then you can pay $10..

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It's the Internet of Feet: Lenovo shows smart shoes, projector keyboard phone

John Robson
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Smart shoes are a bad idea as pointed out...

Smart insoles could have an application - although beyond being a pedometer I can't imagine what.

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Why voice and apps sometimes don't beat an old-fashioned knob

John Robson
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I'd love to have smart heating...

But it needs to be internally controlled.

Then the nigerian gent needs to crack my VPN - he can't go online, crack someone elses security and gain control of ten thousand (high value) houses.

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Nest rival: Smartmobes will decide who survives the Internet of Stuff war

John Robson
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When someone does an internal server version...

...I'll buy in. Even if it's a propietary RasPi image (other cheap hardware is available).

But I'm not having a thermostat that relies on an internet connection - If I want to control it remotely I'll either sort out my own VPN, or connect to your service explicitly. I don't want it connecting to/reliant upon a server I don't control/cannot spoof.

Heck - if it connects by DNS name and I can configure my own (and therefore divert it using my own DNS server) then that's fine too...

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Oz dad-and-son team rattle tin for homemade reusable spaceplane

John Robson
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Re: Father and Son

Yes, that's why F1 teams all use a free CFD package on laptop and never get surprised on track...

Or maybe them use CFD, then wind tunnels and *still* get surprised on track.

Modelling supersonic flow is non trivial, trying it is often the easiest way.

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Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

John Robson
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You mean, like a scooter? Like my kids play with?

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RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

John Robson
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Re: eh?

*both* pilots looking at the camera as well...

That's an impressive photograph...

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Bluetooth privacy is mostly ignored, so you're beaming yourself to the world

John Robson
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Re: It beggards belief

Wrap it in tinfoil...

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Hacker uses Starbucks INFINITE MONEY for free CHICKEN SANDWICH

John Robson
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Re: the moral of the story

Dine? At StarF^HBucks?

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Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

John Robson
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Failing to respond from complaints about this sort of ad on your network because the complainant isn't (by your own twisted GeoIP) in the same small geographic region is "failing to take reasonable measures"

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Verizon: fibre is MUCH cheaper than copper, we're going all-FTTP

John Robson
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Re: Get the politics out of our NBN

The issue being that it is already an asset - it's only the maintenance costs which need to be considered - unless the scrap value of the copper is comparable with the fibre rollout cost (which is unlikely).

Sweating assets - it's what monopolies are good at...

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South Korea mandates spyware installation on teenagers' smartphones

John Robson
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No loss of trust required...

It's not like I do it secretly - It's important that they realise that there are plenty of people who can sniff their traffic.

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John Robson
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Configure it to run through a proxy you control...

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Stripped to the core and full of Xfce: Xubuntu Linux loses it

John Robson
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Re: The world is not *BUNTU

Or TinyCore - sub 10MB if you take the CLI option, about 15MB last time I checked for the GUI.

I tend to run debian minimal + XFCE and build up from there, but then I actively like aptitude as a package manger...

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Welsh police force fined £160,000 after losing sensitive video interview

John Robson
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Re: Silly

Except that if the force has a policy of putting discs in drawers...

The person writing said policy sholud be the one punished for said idiocy.

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Mozilla to whack HTTP sites with feature-ban stick

John Robson
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Re: When I can self sign and provide the public key by DNSSEC...

The hash is transported over a secure connection (DNSSEC or HTTPS) - so that can't be altered. The content can still be cached however, since it isn't secret.

This is the difficulty, we have lost the difference between authentication and secrecy.

Downloading a web page (for instance a government policy document) doesn't require secrecy, although autentication is important. A hash could be pushed over DNSSEC very easily, allowing the actual document to be obtained from a cache or anywhere else - and still be authenticated.

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Don't look now: Fujitsu ships new mobe with EYEBALL-scanning security

John Robson
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Re: Here we go again...

Physical security isn't perfect, but that's why I have remote wipe options.

Random pickpocket also getting a copy of my eyes?

Or do we really think there is much we can do against a determined personal attack?

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John Robson
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Re: Here we go again...

Yes, but frankly all I want is a casual lock, to stop the kids doing stuff.

And they aren't nearly sophisticated enough (at 4 and 6 years old) to bypass TouchID - they would however easily copy a PIN, they would see me log in often enough...

The way I stop other people getting into my stuff is to keep it with me, I don't leave it on a train or a taxi, or on a bar for half an hour...

Physical security is something that most people have some grasp of - it's certainly easier to get right...

Oh - and a remote wipe is always an option as well.

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Look out, law abiding folk: UK’s Counter-Extremism Bill slithers into view

John Robson
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Innocent until proven guilty...

already assumes guilt.

"Innocent unless proven guilty" maybe?

Of course now it's "innocent is a drinks manufacturer"

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

John Robson
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Re: A step in the right direction

Not necessarily "anything", but graduated licensing and a police/court system that is will to push people back down that scale is important, as are short duration licenses... it's a very long time since anyone assessed my driving - I'm sure I have plenty of bad habits, but they are now habits...

The biggest problem with road safety is that, in the UK at least, we seem to think that roads are for cars. Is it any wonder Ford Prefect chose that name, or tried to shake hands with a mini?

Roads are for people, some of whom are using a big metal box, many are not. Which ones bring enough energy to any collision to kill - in 99.99+% of cases it's not the pedestrian, the cyclist or the horse...

Anything we can do to reduce the external toll of inattentive drivers, by actions focussed on them - primarily education that the roads are for people, but also driving aids (although I'd still be interested to know the result of drivers seat seatbelts/airbags being banned - not an experiment which can be ethically researched though) is a good thing.

Anything we try to do by restricting those put at danger is just a distraction from the real problem.

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Oz battery bossmen: Fingers will be burned in the Tesla goldrush

John Robson
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Re: AC The real elephant in the room

Then dig a big hole (let's call it a well) and put a tank over that - pump up to the tank and drain to the well, then let the residents use a hand pump to raise water for drinking....

Of course there is the mechanical version of this, where they lift a bag of rocks up, and that gradually falls, providing a few watts for LED lights... Rocks aren't as satisfying to drink.

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Google to extend rogue Chrome add-on ban to OS X

John Robson
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Re: As an OSX user..

Run a reverse proxy with some rewrite rules - and point your hosts file to that rather than the goomachine?

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Home routers co-opted into self-sustaining DDoS botnet

John Robson
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Re: BT with the stickers

Individual != Random

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AGL trumps Tesla with batteries-and-solar-cell package

John Robson
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Surely you just hook the mains to the battery, then connect that to the solar panel outputs overnight.

So you buy "normal rate" and sell "feed in rate"...

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

John Robson
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But you are a criminal - if you can format shift then how can I charge you again for the same content on tape, vinyl, cd, bluray, mp3 and aac?

What do you mean you paid me for my time when you bought it first time round?

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