* Posts by tony72

251 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Want to avoid a hangover? DRINK MORE, say boffins

tony72
Coat

"inhibition of alcohol absorption"

Talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If it reduces your ability to get drunk as well, then as a hangover solution, it leaves something to be desired.

I guess you could say that it doesn't pear thinking about.

7
0

Sony Xperia Z4 4G Android tablet – gift of sound and vision

tony72

I've got the Z3 Tablet Compact, it's a great tablet; bought it on the basis of a good review here on El Reg as it goes. But as for the Z4, yeah, if I was going to spend that much money on a tablet with a removable keyboard so I could run Office apps, I'd by a Surface 3. Except I'd never trade my Yoga 11s for a Surface, I don't buy into the whole removable keyboard lark. I much prefer having a dedicated small tablet plus a dedicated ultrabook (that can masquerade as a big tablet on occasion), rather than one device that does neither job anywhere near as well.

1
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Re/code apologizes for Holocaust 'joke' tweet

tony72

Re: There's plenty of good holocaust jokes

I have to admit, that re/code one gave me the best laugh I've had in ages. It's like gallows humour though, isn't it? Bad s**t happens in the world, if you can't laugh at it, it's going to drag you down.

6
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UK's first 'DIY DAB' multiplex goes live in Brighton

tony72
Happy

Re: Was the picture necessary?

And the wet blanket award for today goes to you, Mr Roq D. Kasba.

Seeing a smiling happy face, especially if it is an attractive female, makes (most) people feel happy; this is scientifically proven, and deeply ingrained in our psyche. There's nothing sexist about that, it probably comes from the childhood mummy-recognition part of our brains. It takes a particular type of person to see a picture of a group of happy people enjoying a sunny day at the beach, and find a reason to be all negative about it. It's Friday, the weekend is imminent, so lighten up.

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This is TRUE science: Harvard boffins fire up sizzling BACON LASER

tony72

I couldn't help wondering if this technique could be contrived so as to convince the bacon to cook itself. Fantasy, I know, but a man can dream.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

tony72

Re: optomistic

Hardly "creative accounting". The claim was 8% of electricity, not 8% of total energy use; perfectly accurate, and not at misleading. Unless you really try, of course.

28
5

Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

tony72

Re: Oddly enough

I wish I hadn't given my A1200 away now (along with my Spectrums and BBC Micros). By the time I got rid of it, it had a 2.5" HDD, 50MHz 68030 with 64MB, and a 10baseT PCMCIA ethernet. I remember waiting three days for it to ray trace a scene with a gold ashtray and tumbler in Imagine, with the trapdoor open and the bottom propped up to try and keep that '030 cool so it wouldn't crash. Those were the days. I still can't hear the name "Amiga" without getting a strong urge to play Speedball 2 or Alien Breed.

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NSPCC: Two nonces nailed by cops every day

tony72

Re: Smut filter and nonce-catching

There's the optional ISP porn filtering (what most of us would think was being referred to as the "smut filter", and which fits the two-year time frame). There's also the non-optional IWF-maintained blacklist, originated years earlier, that blocks kiddie porn, also used by most ISPs. Perhaps someone is confusing the two. However even the latter, as far as I know, only blocks content, so I'm not sure how it would lead to any convictions.

3
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SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

tony72

I see where they're going...

...with that naming convention. After the Falcon X and the Falcon XX, can we assume that there will eventually be an even more ridiculously phallic Falcon XXX?

And I know what you're thinking, yes, wouldn't that be a great candidate for a mission to Uranus?

15
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Oi, Europe: join in the sharing economy fun, yells Gov.uk

tony72

Re: I'm a little troubled by the government's attitude to the sharing economy

Ditto. One person taking cash in exchange for a ride-share is fine, great idea. But commercial-scale exploitation of the same certainly looks like just a good way to cut costs by avoiding regulations and denying "employees" the rights they would otherwise have. Show me how this benefits the economy as a whole, rather than just the company running the show, and I'd be all for it, but I don't see it at the moment.

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Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem

tony72

Re: QE

Can anyone explain why printing truckloads of money was the correct thing to do for UK and USA while restricting the money supply and austerity was the necessary for every other advanced country in europe?

Quantitative Easing and austerity are not mutually exclusive; quite the opposite is true, in fact. The purpose of QE is to ensure that there is money available in the banking system to keep businesses functioning and growing. The purpose of austerity is to reduce the government's spending to the point where it can begin to reduce its deficit, and thus the percentage of GDP that is spent on servicing debt rather than providing services to the taxpayer. Both can be a good thing, separately or together, depending on what economic circumstances you're looking at. We're doing both in the UK for example.

But of course, engaging in QE is a bit of a different proposition for a central bank when you have one currency used in many different countries with economies in very different conditions, so it's not really surprising that it hasn't been a preferred tool of the ECB. Things are much simpler for the Bank of England or their American counterparts, with only one country to deal with.

8
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Horrifying MOCK BACON ABOMINATION grown in BUBBLING VATS as ALGAE

tony72

"Most important of all, does it fry without exuding white slime, unlike 90% of supermarket bacon?"

Good question. That white crap is caused by the added water in the bacon to bulk it up cooking out, and it seems like all of the substantial number of different kinds of bacon in Tesco has added water, whether cheap or expensive. Seems like you have to go to a butcher to get bacon that hasn't had water added.

It sounds from the article like the bacon flavour is natural, but I wonder about the smell; the best thing about bacon is the aroma, that's what gets the taste buds tingling in anticipation. So if this stuff tastes like bacon, but doesn't smell like it, it will be a hard sell for me.

8
0

Android Wear 5.1: A more enduring wristjob for your pleasure

tony72

Sometimes it's the small things

I put myself in the "not any time soon" category as far as buying a smartwatch is concerned. However, I do keep my shopping list on Google Keep, and it is a minor PITA having to walk around Tesco with phone in hand, and keep having to wake it up and unlock it to check the list. So the idea of using Keep on a smartwatch in always-on mode instead, small thing though it is, is a feature that I would probably use and appreciate regularly. Same thing goes for navigation; I always feel a little bit vulnerable walking around busy streets phone in hand, when using maps, the phone could easily be knocked out of your hand; it might be a better option using something securely strapped to your wrist.

It's not a "killer app, not enough to make me go and pay full price for a latest-generation expensive Android watch anyway, but I'm definitely edging towards getting one if I saw a really good deal on a not-quite-cutting-edge model.

6
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Black and Latina boffins regularly mistaken for janitors, study finds

tony72
Coat

Simple solution

"Latinas encountered persistent assumptions that they were janitorial staff, even if they had on white lab coats"

No woman wearing six-inch heels and sporting a nice bit of cleavage ever got mistaken for janitorial staff.

Just sayin'.

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Smart Meter biz case still there, insists tragically optimistic UK govt

tony72

Re: I had a smart meter fitted last week

Research shows that the effect you noticed with your wife is short-lived; for the first two or three months, while there is some novelty value, people have increased awareness of their energy usage, and make an extra effort to save energy, but beyond that, they tend to revert to their previous behaviour.

7
0

Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

tony72

Re: I do not see why it should succeed

I'd be happy to vote to bail out the Greeks...on condition that they cede the right to choose their own government until their economy is back on track. They have shown conclusively that their are unable to elect a competent administration, so what can you do?

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Microsoft sez soz over Windows 10 'freebie' balls-up

tony72

Hmm, somebody doesn't like concise, factual answers, from your two downvotes. Strange. Well, have an upvote from me, I like simple answers to simple questions.

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tony72
Facepalm

Impressive!

The Windows 10 giveaway should have been unmitigated good publicity for Microsoft. And yet, somehow, they manage to make a massive PR cock-up out of it. Impressive!

I think this will blow over, and there should still be plenty of positive vibes from giving away 10 to all licensed 7 an 8.1 users. Assuming the final version of 10 isn't crap of course.

7
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THEY WANTED OUR WOMEN: Neanderthals lusted after modern humans

tony72
Boffin

TIL about centimorgans

Never stop learning things on this site. For anyone else unfamiliar with the unit;

Centimorgans

In genetics, a centimorgan (abbreviated cM) or map unit (m.u.) is a unit for measuring genetic linkage. It is defined as the distance between chromosome positions (also termed, loci or markers) for which the expected average number of intervening chromosomal crossovers in a single generation is 0.01. It is often used to infer distance along a chromosome. It is not a true physical distance however.

8
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Facebook SSD failure study pinpoints mid-life burnout rate trough

tony72

Anything for end users?

Is data write throttling, or the avoidance of sparsely allocated data, something that end-users have any control over, or is this stuff under the control of SSD firmware/drivers/OS?

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Brace yourself, planet Earth, says Nokia CEO – our phones ARE coming back from mid-2016

tony72

Re: Philips

I don't see the point for Nokia in letting some manufacturer use the brand without any significant say in the design; their design prowess is what gives the brand any value. In any case a translation of the linked German article indicates they would be designing the phones;

"After running out of the clause will point, however, challenge his former partner in the business: 'Microsoft produces mobile phones, we would merely design them and make available the trade name by license. But of course we would be able to attack, otherwise we could let it be the same [...]'".

Of course, treat automated translations with caution, but the word "design" seems unambiguous. My reading of that paragraph is that Suri is saying that while Nokia will not be competing with Microsoft as a manufacturer, as they will only be designing the phones and providing the brand name, they are going to compete, otherwise there would be no point.

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But... I... like... the... PAIN! Our secret addiction to 'free' APIs

tony72

Re: Asked and answered

"And the point of this article was? It highlighted a problem, explained why it happens, pointed out the alternatives have flaws, and then stopped."

Sounds like it was complete. What, you want a cliffhanger or something?

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Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

tony72

Re: I'm confused

We called applications "apps" back in the day, so obviously you are either a) not old enough, or b) so old you've forgotten. Don't take my word for it, have a look for example at this article from PC Mag in 1997; "This separation of storage into apps and data [...] If you intermingle apps and data in your directories[...]" etc etc. Yes, the term has been appropriated in current popular usage to refer primarily to mobile applications, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who still uses "app" as simply an abbreviation for "application".

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Mozilla: We don't give a damn about cheap smartphones

tony72

Re: I wouldn't mind...

Wait. So you want something non-iOS and non-Android and non-Sailfish. You didn't mention Windows Phone, Blackberry or Tizen, but presumably you're aware of them, so I'm guessing you've rejected those as well. Have you considered that maybe you just don't like smartphones full stop?

5
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Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

tony72

Re: Why Why I always asked myself for Surface

You have to move the mouse up to the top and wait before the bar with the close gadget appears. If you don't know it's there, you aren't going to do that. This is exactly the problem with all the swipe-in-from-here, hover-the-mouse-here stuff. I guess you're also in the camp that doesn't have any contact with non-techical users.

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tony72

Re: Why Why I always asked myself for Surface

"The furore over the Win7 interface vs Windows 8 does bemuse me; The difference between the interface has never bothered me; I find the start menu navigate to "programs" the slowest way to start a program; I've used launchy since ~2011 so I just use that, I haven't touched a start button since then."

No it doesn't bemuse you, unless possibly you have absolutely no contact whatsoever with non-technical Windows users. Maybe you say things like that just to sound superior, or maybe you really are happily isolated from the non-technical reality, you tell me. I'm happily using 8.1, you're happily using 8.1, but we are technical. My mother had to phone me up the other day because she'd double-clicked a PDF on her new 8.1 ultrabook, which opened in the default Metro reader, and she couldn't figure out how to close it. No visible close gadget in the top-right, and no file menu, the two methods by which regular Windows users have learned to close applications since forever. The furore is because ordinary users are having to re-learn how to do basic things like that, to no great benefit to anyone.

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Microsoft discontinues Media Center with Windows 10

tony72

+1 for MediaPortal, although prepare to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in to configure some parts of it.

0
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Poseidon's Wake, Naked at the Albert Hall and Farewell Kabul

tony72

Re: Way too harsh on poor Alistair

Of Reynolds' work, I've only read Century Rain and Revelation Space. Century Rain was great, but Revelation Space suffered a lot of the same criticisms that Mark just levelled against Poseidon's Wake; man, was it wordy! Maybe because Century Rain was a stand-alone book, and Reynolds wasn't trying to build a universe to hold an ongoing epic series, it seemed a much tighter story, and didn't get bogged down in detail like Revelation Space. It proves that the guy can tell a good tale if he wants to, anyway.

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BATWINGED DINO-PIGEON causes FLAP in bone-boffinry circles

tony72

Petrosaurs?

"Its bat-like wings are made of membranous skin, rather than feathers, just like the wings of the extinct flying reptiles known as petrosaurs, of which it is a contemporary but not a relative."

What are petrosaurs? Gasoline-guzzling flying dinosaurs if I had to guess; sounds scary.

Pterosaurs, on the other hand...

[Yes, I could have used the corrections button, but where's the fun in that?]

9
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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

tony72

Re: Now an intelligent design

The person I replied to said specifically "[...] software written by two independent companies", so if it's bespoke software, you'd pay twice for that; bespoke software is typically more a development cost than anything else. Granted, if it's off-the-shelf, then that might not be the case.

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tony72

Re: Now an intelligent design

"Would have used pads from two different makers, different OSs, and with the software written by two independent companies. Otherwise they're a single point of failure, as demonstrated."

Hmm, that would more than double the cost of getting the software written and of maintaining the two systems, and you'd still have got half your flights grounded today. Unless you're suggesting that every pilot should have permanent acces to two tablets, rather than deploying a mix, in which case even more cost. Hard to justify for a non-safety-critical system. Maybe better to have a web-based fall-back, so in a pinch pilots could use their own smartphones or tablets to sign in and grab the data?

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Cheer up songwriters, there's shedloads of money rolling in

tony72

Cry Me a River

Cry Me a River - Justin Timberlake

If your song is very successful, you can make millions in songwriters royalties. If only a handful of people listen to it, you won't make much. Just like pretty much every artistic field, it's only the exceptional talents that make the big bucks. Deal with it, or get a proper job.

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Ding Dong, ALIENS CALLING

tony72

Don't they know anything?

"Not only that, but according to a couple of scientists working for Raytheon, it doesn't matter whether Einstein's proposition that you'll never accelerate matter beyond light-speed is right or wrong: collisions with matter will probably rip your spaceship apart anyway, and photons will slow you down."

That is what the Main Deflector is for. "The deflector commonly took the form of a dish-shaped force beam generator containing heavy-duty subspace accelerators at the extreme forward end of the vessel's secondary hull. It performed its primary function by emitting low-power deflector shields to deflect microscopic particles and higher-powered deflector beams and/or tractor beams to deflect larger objects."

What do you mean, Star Trek isn't real?

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Microsoft update mayhem delays German basketball game, costs team dear

tony72

And moreover, what if that laptop had crashed and not come back up at all? Where was the spare? Certainly seems mission-critical considering what this problem cost them, so I suspect they will be investing in a backup system now.

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Microsoft RE-BORKS Windows 7 patch after reboot loop horror

tony72
FAIL

It's still there!

So, five days later and the problem patch is still there. My gaming rig is doing the "Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes." thing if KB3033929 is selected. I've just hidden the update for now, I'll take my chances. I can't believe Microsoft haven't pulled this update yet, given the number of reports. WTF, Microsoft!

0
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Super SSD tech: Fancy a bonkers 8TB all-flash PC?

tony72

Re: Excuse me

Maybe read Why filling hard drives with helium can boost storage capacity by 50%. Less dense gas = less turbulence = more platters in a given volume. Apparently, anyway; I know nothing but what the internet tells me.

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Nokia boss smashes net neutrality activists

tony72

Press simplification

"[...] while the consumer press here sees a simple moral issue before it: Neutrality – whatever that is – is good, while Neutrality opponents are evil."

I think the consumer press is, quite rightly, aware of the need to simplify any complex technical issue down to a level where the general public will grasp the key points, and I think "neutrality good, non-neutrality bad" is a good enough approximation in that regard.

Joe Public doesn't have the faintest clue how the internet works, but he can grasp that if he's paying for his high speed internet connection, and yet he can't get a decent connection to YouTube or NetFlix, something funky is going on. He can understand the dangers of the lack of tranparency in that landscape; "How good a connection am I actually paying for, huh? How come someone else paying for the same speed of connection doesn't have these problems?" Joe doesn't want to live in this world, and if "Net Neutrality" is the thing that's going to prevent that from happening, he'll be all for it.

Now if there are good reasons why this net neutrality concept shouldn't be absolute, and exceptions should be made, it's for more technically nuanced people to advocate those exceptions in the proper context, and explain them to Joe. But that has to happen after the basic principle of net neutrality is well established, and if the consumer press is generally promoting it, then they're doing the right thing.

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Boffin: Use my bionic breakthrough for good, and not super cyborgs

tony72
Thumb Up

Re: I applaud this research

I wonder if there's enough control of that hand for the old five knuckle shuffle? My natural hand is going to wear out one day, and I could use a bionic upgrade!

2
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Facebook security chap finds 10 Superfish sub-species

tony72

"Take a look at any browser certificates and you'll see a whole lot of companies you would never personally trust, "[...]

I think you may be making some incorrect assumptions about what these certificates mean. They are purely and simply there to certify that a given web site belongs to a given organisation. They are not there in order to imply "trust" in any more general sense.

"[...] you are just taking Firefox/Chrome/IEs word for it. Unsurprisingly this is how the browser makers make some of their income."

Umm, no. The browser makers do not issue certificates or make any money from them. They can block fraudulent certificates, and they can require certain information from certificate issuers to insure that the certificates they issue are valid.

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UK.gov can't get farmers onto its Verify service – even to claim subsidies

tony72

Re: From the Whitehall Home for the Hard of Thinking

During a broadband outage last year, I had no 3G signal either, and I actually had to use dial-up via a 56k modem for a few hours (yes, there are still dial-up ISPs providing payg access). Yes you wouldn't want to access netflix or youtube on it, but to log on to my bank and make a few transactions, it was usable. Not having high-speed broadband shouldn't prevent anyone from logging on to a portal and filling in a few online forms, as long as they've got some sort of internet connection.

Now I can't claim to know any farmers or rural types, so if a significant number actually don't have any internet, then this is an issue, but I find that hard to believe. And if that is the case, then we should be talking about getting them online, not about using low-tech solutions so they don't have to go online.

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'Tech' City hasn't got proper broadband and it's like BT doesn't CARE

tony72

Re: Revenue !=Profit...

She said revenue, so I think it's fair to say she meant revenue, she will have used that instead of profit because it's a bigger number, not because she doesn't know the difference. Politics, like marketing, always goes for the biggest number that's vaguely relevant.

Can't be bothered digging further for the current figure, but the first Google result says that Openreach made 711million euros profit off of 5.2billion euros revenue in 2013, which is a pretty decent ratio.

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CHAINSAW HORROR advert earns GiffGaff a slap from regulator

tony72

Link

As we're all probably old enough here, here's a link to the horror on Vimeo. Pretty funny, props to GiffGaff.

4
0

Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

tony72

Re: Funny...

Very droll, but somewhat misleading. The benefits of soap for cleaning over water alone have long been recognized, considerably before Proctor and Gamble et al ever came on the scene. This is as true for cleaning laundry as it is for cleaning oneself. Yes, you'll get most of the easy dirt out if you wash without detergent, but there will be significant dirt that you would clean with detergent that you won't with plain water, especially the greasy or fatty stuff.

And modern laundry detergents have other benefits in addition to basic cleaning; as someone who lives in an extremely hard water area (think visible chalk layer after one boil of the kettle after descaling), I can guarantee that that expensive washing machine wouldn't last five minutes without the water softeners contained in the detergent.

That's detergent though. Magical bio-ceramic balls, I think I can live without.

8
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Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

tony72

Re: I bought one of these for Christmas

"How much will it be when you've renewed your Office 365 subscription for a couple of years?"

I was going to make that point. If you're planning to keep using Office 365 beyond one year, which I imagine you would be if you're going to use it at all, then start factoring that into the price, and don't tell me it's an £80 tablet. And if you're not planning to do that, then the value of the included subscription is 0, unless you're unfamiliar with Office, in which case treat it as a free trial.

2
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Fake Android The Interview app actually banking Trojan

tony72

Re: Installing an app from a random torrent is definitely smart

There's almost no information in the article as to how the malware works, so we actually have no idea what permissions the app requires, or how it extracts information from the user. So before getting hysterical about "why would the app have so much power", we ought to give that some thought. It may simply present as a fake banking app for example, which simply asks the user for their credentials and sends them on; no great power or permissions are required for that, just a user gullible enough to fall for it.

3
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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

tony72

It's all Google's fault

"Google continued to profit from rogue sites. For example, Google helpfully completed the query "buy oxycodone" into "buy oxycodone online no prescription cod"."

This translates as "Google continued to do its job as a search engine." If many people enter those search terms in the land of the free, then they ought to be thrown up by autocomplete.

"Hood asked why, if Google could amend its results in response to governments around the world, it couldn't amend them to protect Mississippians?"

And the correct answer is that they shouldn't have rolled over to those governments in the first place, although they didn't have much choice. Of course, now we're in a situation where every Tom, Dick and Harry with an ounce of political power thinks they should be able to get Google to manipulate search results to serve whatever hot issue they think will get them some votes. Or sue them for some of their supposedly bottomless funds.

We really need to get past this whole idea that the solution to every problem is "make Google fix it". Piracy and copyright violations? Google's fault. Kiddie porn? Googles fault. People want to buy prescription drugs? Google's to blame. Somebody broke the law, and now their reputation is damaged. Oh look, it's Google's fault. Give it a rest already.

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11

Who wants SLEEP DEPRIVATION for Christmas?

tony72

Re: Flawed Results

Where did you find that? I read the paper and did not find information on the readers used, but in articles such as this one talking about the study it says they only used an iPad for the actual study (they measured the light from other devices for comparison).

I would be very interested to see the study repeated using some different devices, especially e-ink with reading light and OLED displays as well as LCD. Also different modes; these days I read before bed using FBReader in night mode (light text on a black background) with minimum brightness, and my sleep is actually the best it's been for years, but of course that's just a sample of one.

1
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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

tony72
Facepalm

Re: No one cares...

The money is not entirely wasted; the goverment is providing the useful service of highlighting the most active and useful torrent sites on the internet. Any pirates or would-be pirates looking for new torrent sites to check out, and willing to spend the five minutes it probably takes to circumvent the block, should make that list their first stop!

15
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Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

tony72

Re: VLC

To whoever gave that a thumbs down, I do hope you know that until about four years ago, VLC didn't even support hardware-accelerated decoding at all, and in most of the time since it did get support, it was partial, and in some cases actually ended up with little net benefit in CPU usage. The latest version still defaults to having hardware-accelerated decoding disabled, at least on windows, and there appears to be no support for it in Raspbian. This may all be due to the cross-platform nature of VLC, but the comment about VLC's support for hardware-accelerated decoding is very much factual.

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