* Posts by Cliff

1763 posts • joined 14 Apr 2007

Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

Cliff
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Re: In the UK ...

'pay your taxes' - 1) so you're a net contributor to the economy, not a parasite and 2) failing to pay taxes was what nailed Al Capone (they couldn't get him on the murder, extortion, drugs, booze, prostitution, protection, corruption and other rackets)

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Cliff
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You need ¡Bong!

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Cliff
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Re: And what about chance

Luck. The honest successful entrepreneurs will tell you they had (amidst the early mornings, poverty, etc) a dose of luck. They may tell you they made that luck (indeed they may have broadened the gene pool so a chance meeting was more likely), but at least be frank about the luck element.

If nothing else, you get lucky that your sector takes off, or that you were gifted with an idea, or that you were born into a family where you had contacts in government, or went to school with a rich kid wanting to take a punt. Or lucky that you are smart, don't have cancer, live in an enabling age, etc. Luck is still inevitably a real factor one way or another.

Advice is of varying value, it's always worth listening, but it's always worth remembering who's dispensing it and why. I listen to a lot of advice, some of it 'feels right', some is just bollocks, but it's always worth listening. That guy spouting mostly crap might also have a turn of phrase for something that hits it on the head, or inspires another idea.

My advice to everyone is to listen to anyone offering advice, but act upon it selectively (including this advice).

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Fandroids, take your phone's antivirus and burn it – Android bod

Cliff
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Re: weekly scanning

Is a smartphone really what you need? I bite the battery bullet (and carry an external top up pack for emergencies) in order to have all the toys I want, I consume an average of 8GB/month excluding tethering, I have the screen bright enough to see, etc. My wife has a 'dumb' Nokia with forever battery life, but zero frills. You might find something like that (or in between) more attractive if battery life is more important to you than (turned off) added features :)

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Cliff
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Re: And therein lies the problem ...

>> Personally I'd actually rather pay Apple more for their device to NOT have them analyse my usage / data / location / connections / social network to sell ads and indirectly make money. <<

Compelling case for sure. Are we certain Apple don't do those things? Pretty sure I've read up about them doing some pretty furtive stuff right here on the reg. And they don't always work to their customer's highest interest viz Apple Maps debacle.

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Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Cliff
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Re: RFIDs are interesting things.

You can read all the passport RFID stuff on a smartphone (indeed there's a free NFC Passport app on Google Play). It's mildly rewarding to play with, it contains much the same data as is printed, plus a full colour photo of the bearer. But being a single wire protocol (I understand), and drawing power from the reader, it's somewhat slow (tens of seconds).

You need to unlock it with the passport number, so that's why you OCR and wait at the magic passport control eGates.

You can also play freely with 'mifare' NFC chips, I got 100 for $25 from China, you can read/write/play all you like. Worth it for the fun factor.

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Cliff
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It's a security feature! Look on your keyring, all of those have to be oriented correctly before use, so someone spent a lot of effort installing lead mesh cores to make your RFID card similarly responsive, like proper keys.

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Cliff
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Amalgamated Durables

+1 for the obscure Spitting Image reference.

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Apple Watch: Exactly how many vids does it take to teach a fanboi to tell the time?

Cliff
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Re: There are probably loads of good reasons for owning one these.

I take it all back, it's worth it just to see the moonwalking at Paddington on a Friday evening ;)

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Cliff
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Re: There are probably loads of good reasons for owning one these.

Oyster by Bonk! OK, I know it's not enabled/possible in this iteration, but it's clearly a utopian vision of the future...

Except people generally wear watches on their left wrists, and Oyster touch pads are on the right - I foresee carnage ;-)

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Why Box and not SharePoint? 'Everybody doesn't hate us' says Box engineering veep

Cliff
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Re: I hate box.

Similar experience, 50GB was good, but then being basically unable to use it with anything like the ease of any of the other systems has made it useless. As I recall, they wanted to charge for sync as an add-on, otherwise the storage was just an upload through a webpage kind of affair (or something like that). Maybe that's all changed, bit it was the point they lost me as an interested party. Copy.com from Barracuda works well if anyone wants an alterative, and has free extra storage for referrals.

TIDAL of the storage world, I suspect.

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Singapore's PM personally programmed C++ Suduko-solver

Cliff
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Does the comrade look good topless on a horse? Intelligence is overrated.

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Cash register maker used same password – 166816 – non-stop since 1990

Cliff
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Hang your heads in shame!

That's just terrible, especially for a system whose job it is (whose ONLY job, in fact) is to keep safe and accurate financial information.

That's like finding all voting machines have a cheat code for hitting UKIP 3 times to enable 1950's mode ;)

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Got a big day planned in 15 BEELLLION years? You need this clock

Cliff
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Ironically, 'real' time is a bodge

Lots of bodge leap-seconds, etc.

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That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

Cliff
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Re: Data vs Physical?

@MyBackDoor, I think from the context that the criminals referred to were those performing an illegal search and bring opaque with the courts, not the alleged gambling ring members themselves.

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Your city's not smart if it's vulnerable, says hacker

Cliff
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Re: It's only taxpayers money, who cares?

Can't help you there - you voted for 'em! ;)

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Cliff
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It's only taxpayers money, who cares?

Spend high on shiny new kit chasing the promised few dollars savings it generates - then spend infinitely more trying to restore your city and more again to upgrade and fix the string vest code.

There's always an option when it comes to spending on fancy new systems - 'do nothing or go manual'. Most project teams overlook it because it's not seedy, no toys, doesn't generate headlines, doesn't shiny the CV, but it's essential. I worked for one of the really big software companies who delivered payslips electronically. The system was a mess and poked holes in the corporate security, and had to be replaced. Because of the increased security risk, running on extended warranty hardware on obsolete OS, using dedicated data centre capacity, etc., this was very expensive to keep alive. I costed out printing the payslips centrally (first thing anyone ever did with their electronic ones was print them anyway, on higher cost per impression printers) and delivering them via internal mail, savings were five figures per year. There's a lot to be said for not using technology 'just because', and I'm speaking as an avid technologist!

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BuzzFeed: We don't pull 'articles' due to advertiser pressure VERY OFTEN

Cliff
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Re: Ten bullshit excuses for editorial interventions you won't believe!

Cretinous though they may be, they're not the cretinousest. Some of their competitors make them look positively journalistic.

I saw a heavily pumped article on one of the other sites which was a strong of somebody's URBEX photos, one per page, credited to 'imgur' (as if the host somehow controls the ownership), each page having 6-8 ads, with a lot of things on the page that look a lot like 'next' buttons but are clickthroughs, and some piss-poor commentary on the pictures in a vain effort at some kind of journalistic integrity. Basically, wholesale ripoff of someone's photos, not even hosted, wrapped in as many adverts as imaginable. Genuinely depressing that there's someone with even less journalistic instincts than the company this article is about (who don't need another mention for spiders to bump up listings)

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Mega fatcat Kim Dotcom in deportation drama over SPEEDING ticket

Cliff
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Re: Trying, but unable...

It's the following day, I see I've been upvoted (bless you all). Analysis shows-

Upvotes for silly, if slightly obvious joke - 30%

Upvotes for saying Wellington instead of Auckland - 70%

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Cliff
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Re: Trying, but unable...

The Wellington Ecuadorian ambassador has just tiptoed downstairs to make sure the chain is on the door.

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Philip Glass tells all and Lovelace and Babbage get the comic novel treatment

Cliff
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Re: Stick with Four Lions

Not your traditional blockbuster, but genuinely moving and even provocative in places.

And is the Honey Monster a bear?

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Let’s PULL Augmented Reality and CLIMAX with JISM

Cliff
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Did you at least get some promotional tat?

I've had a few actually quite good pens from this kind of event, but they're usually the only tat worth accepting.

Anyway, leave showbiz to showbiz people. Getting it right costs money, sure, but IT is an industry that has money. Trying to use consumer-grade kit and live demonstrations is asking for trouble!

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Give Jay-Z's Tidal tune stream thing a chance, says indie label boss

Cliff
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Rent an LP

(Or whatever they call collections of songs in the downloads age)

One reason I won't get involved (aside from the snake oil 'quality' thing) is that I just don't believe the business model is solid for the length of the rest of my life. If I buy a collection of songs from them digitally which will always be available to me as long as I keep my monthly account going - that's great if THEY keep going. But I'm not convinced they will. If they close the doors after 2 years, I've had some pretty crappy value compared with some MP3's

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ICANN banked $60m from dot-word auctions. Just what exactly is it going to spend it all on?

Cliff
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Re: What will they spend it on?

Coke and hookers is traditional, although it may need to be paid as bonuses first...

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The Internet of things is great until it blows up your house

Cliff
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The iron and blanket aren't 'internet of' thing's, they're things that have modest processing power added. The iron isn't talking to the blanket, or light bulb, or any of the other yet to be discovered use cases we all know are the next big thing, yet nobody's found. You'll end up making an iron with an extra component to fail at higher cost and which will not be compatible with the next generations parts.

Remember programming the VCR with barcodes? Exactly.

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'Hackers racked up $$$$s via the Android Play Store, and Google won't pay me back'

Cliff
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Re: Dumb question...

I assume she didn't think she'd need to - and if it was data obtained from Google rather than her phone, perhaps that wouldn't have made a different anyway if payments were presented multiple times backstage.

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There’s a whole mobile world out there – here’s how to manage it

Cliff
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Say what you like about Microsoft, but...

...they do seem very willing to engage with Reg readers, unlike some companies.

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In some ways, dating apps are the anti-internet

Cliff
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Re: Tinder is for lesbians

Just missing the right name.

Scissr

Slappr

Lezzr

etc...

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EU says dominant Google ILLEGALLY FIDDLES search results

Cliff
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Isn't the whole point of having a monopoly to abuse it? And of being a dominant player to try to become a monopoly? Not sure how any of this is a surprise.

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Got iOS 8.3 installed? Pssh, you are SO last week… version 8.4 is out

Cliff
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Re: @AC

The Reg has always rabble roused and snarked cynically. It's what makes it not the BBC News Technology section, nor Ars Technica nor Wired

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Bloke hits armadillo AND mother-in-law with single 9mm round

Cliff
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It's OK, 'titbits' isn't rude, you can use it without embarrassment :)

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Cliff
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Re: 9mm Pistol at 100yds?

Sure, it happened that way round. Aiming at the armadillo - all agreed?

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Four boggling websites we found hidden in the BitTorrent network using the Maelstrom browser

Cliff
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Waiting for the Bong review

Steve Bong often has useful insights into how emerging tech will change our lives, be good to see his thoughts.

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ɘƨɿɘvɘЯ algo attack cracks Belkin router WPS PINs: researcher

Cliff
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(Reverse fonts rely on fonts)

'ɘ ɿɘvɘЯ algo ...' - apparently on Samsung Androids, there's no reverse 's' character.

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What a time to be alive ... hard and floppy disk drives play Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit

Cliff
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Yes, it'd be good to see an 80 column dot matrix joining in the choruses

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Tech troll's podcasting patent blown out of the water by EFF torpedo

Cliff
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Re: A stupid question

>>>.On the face of it there appears to be a hint of fraud and extracting money with menaces involved here, maybe even blackmail.<<<

Not a hint of it, it's outright, deliberate, balls-out abuse, extortion and bigger war-chest thuggery. It's even worse than Prenda and ilk, involves zero innovation beyond retrospectively making a land-grab for the commons.

These businesses, their owners, shareholders, directors, employees, lawyers, and anyone involved in the rackets they're created to 'enforce' are cunts of the highest order and deserve to live in their own company for all eternity in the newly created 8th realm of hell, just for them.

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Light-fingered Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju jailed for seven years

Cliff
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Good.

We outsourced a load to Satyam and am almost certain we were cheated, so I'm glad to see this.

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El Reg offers you the chance to become a Master Investor – for free

Cliff
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Re: Almost worth it

Not much point, few days before the polls after which he stand a rather good chance of standing down as a politician.

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Cliff
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Thank you for the offer, but it'll be a big 'pass' from me. :)

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Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

Cliff
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Plausible

Being in a movie doesn't necessarily make something a bad idea (although it often does, in fairness, but it's correlation, not causal).

I'd day plausible - if doddery old Fingers McMetal was looking for scrap, what's the cost of sending him down Holborn on the right weekend? He fucks up comms whilst he's there, it may affect alarms, which can only be a good thing for you. If he blows himself up, even better, you don't have to pay him the few grand you promised. Put another way, you're about to do a nine-figure blag, why not stack the cards in your favour with something that can only count in your favour?

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Apple swears that NO FANBOI will queue for its new gumble

Cliff
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Sadly, yes.

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Don't be stiffed by spies, stand up to Uncle Sam with your proud d**k pics – says Snowden

Cliff
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Re: So, the conclusion is ..

@Fred,

I think I just felt a little let down as I hoped for better. He (and his producers and researchers and writers) is clearly very capable, evidenced by well-constructed programmes that manage to be both entertaining and cutting.

The jumping at shadows business, though, undermined the interview message. The petulant 'I flew in comfort for 10 hours to spend 2 days somewhere for my interviewee (who is a guest of the Russian government and therefore extremely likely to be briefed/driven to the hotel/whatever by them) to be 40 minutes late' just seemed, well, bizarre. Real people fly real places for interviews or jobs frequently. Len blinkin' Goodman flies from London to USA weekly for Strictly Come Dancing/With the Stars, and he's an old boy dance judge on a light entertainment show, not a comedy journalist.

People living in Moscow, London, New York, wherever are subject to the vagueries of traffic, tube, other things. I've waited longer than that for 'showbiz' interviews with someone in the same building. If Snowden hadn't been able to make it at any point within those 2 days, it would have been impolite, but not earth-shattering either. Making a fuss about it plays to anti-Russian sentiment for sure at a time when Putin is posturing and making people uncomfortable - why go for cheap redneck populist shots like that when you're trying to do a story about something far more important? It was just clumsy and, well, bizarre.

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Cliff
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Re: So, the conclusion is ..

Personally, I thought the interview was clumsily handled and John Oliver did himself no favours with his playing to 'the Russians are gonna get me' cold war gags. Normally very fond of his shows, this one not so much. Grousing about flying Business to Moscow, FSA gags, 'known associate' (Russia are hosting the guy himself, they aren't chasing known associates, makes no sense, and the US agencies who would care will already be aware of a TV comedian, and probably not give a crap)

That aside, you know the way birds and animals can count upto a few objects before they become overwhelmed and the next number is 'many'? This is pretty much the same thing, people understand people-scale problems. Reducing it to dick-pics is disingenuous in many ways, BUT may get people to at least talk about and consider the issues a little - something they're not currently doing.

Shame, this could have been a great report/episode, but was actually a poor, clumsy, awkward one. Oliver seemed lumpy and puerile without his studio support of writers and researchers, which is a shame as he's clearly talented and has an attractive show model. Brummies, though, eh?

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Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

Cliff
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Re: I just don't understand the need for the concept to be honest

The contactless bit is handy on my credit and debit cards - Waitrose have self-scan machines that don't take cash, just cards, so it speeds up what's already a fairly low-hassle transaction

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Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

Cliff
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Prison is about 45% effective

Here in the UK at least, but it's probably fairly similar worldwide (with different levels of prison harshness) seeing as everyone still needs prisons. It's also really expensive (£36k/year, but down from a peak of £45k). One of the more effective schemes seems to be getting petty criminals working and into the system, so if you can do that through supervision (much cheaper), it's worth trying. It'll also give a wage to repay the victim, money which is otherwise lost altogether if they get chokey.

Who knows, maybe one or both of these scrotes will sort themselves out, grow up, and become a net benefit to society as opposed to net cost?

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Popular crypto app uses single-byte XOR and nowt else, hacker says

Cliff
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Re: I've seen worse

26ROT-1 is only marginally worse.

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Cliff
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Re: Qnza vg!

I make the 2ROT-13 joke in just of course, but it's a great escape of how not sticking to the algorithmic methods exactly can work against you. Alternatively, take a Caesar cipher of some plaintext and then do it again, and again. The cipher is no harder to break if performed one or a dozen times, and indeed the superposition of iterations may leave one or more characters in clear text, so even weaker.

The thing that makes 3DES and friends secure isn't the secret algorithm, it's the randomness of the key and applying it perfectly. Some people dismissing XOR, but it's actually absolutely secure if the key is longer than the message, and random.

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Cliff
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Re: Qnza vg!

I'm even safer, I'm using double ROT-13

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Aw, snap! How huge HTML links can crash Chrome tabs in one click

Cliff
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Re: For what it's worth

and Chrome on Android. Seems pretty conclusive to me :)

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Aluminum bendy battery is boffins' answer to EXPLODING Li-ion menace

Cliff
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Re: For once the news on the battery front may actually lead to something.

Yes, this is actually rather exciting.

Just hoping it can also work for weight, endurance, self-discharge etc as it could be such a boon.

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