* Posts by tony72

351 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

tony72

Re: Grasping at water straws

I'm afraid it's you that can't read. Going to Mars involves a trip through space, and that is what the links refer to. Let me give a few quotes from your NASA link;

Strange things can happen to the human body when people venture into space -- and the familiar pull of gravity vanishes.

That's the sub-heading. Note "venture into space", "gravity vanishes".

In zero-G, muscles atrophy quickly, because the body perceives it does not need them.

Paragraph 2. Note "zero-G", not martian G.

Within two to three days of weightlessness, astronauts can lose as much as 22 percent of their blood volume as a result of that errant message.

Paragraph 4. Note "weightlessness".

The question is, do such losses matter? Perhaps not if you plan to stay in space forever.

Oh look, we're still talking about space, not Mars.

"You want the crew members to function normally when they come back to Earth ... and not have to lie around for long periods of rehabilitation," he says.

And Earth isn't the only planet that astronauts might visit. One day humans will journey to Mars -- a six-month trip in zero-G before they disembark on a planet with 38% of Earth's gravity. "[We'll have to maintain] those astronauts at a fairly high level of fitness,"

Paragraph 10 or so. Now here we do mention Mars, but notice the context; we're talking about Mars as another gravitied destination for the astronauts, like Earth. The article is talking about maintaining the health of the astronauts while they are in space, so that when they land on a planet, be it Earth or Mars, they are able to function.

The article is absolutely clear that it's talking about health issues resulting from weightlessness while the astronaughts are in space, not effects experienced under Martian gravity, and it's a complete mystery to me how anyone could read it otherwise.

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tony72

Re: Grasping at water straws

@ST - your links are both talking about what happens to people in zero gravity, not in Martian gravity; in other words, effects suffered during the journey to Mars, rather than after they arrive. They both talk about potential methods to counter those issues, so they're hardly insurmountable. That's not to say that Martian gravity won't cause some issues, but 38% of Earth's gravity is a very different case from zero gravity.

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Two-speed Android update risk: Mobes face months-long wait

tony72
Flame

Nexus 5

Nexus devices were excluded from the study since they always receive the latest Android updates on the day they are released.

Not that that's necessarily fast enough, as any of my fellow Nexus 5 users that were affected by the recent volume fiasco will testify. Still, I suppose that bug only made the phone practically useless, it wasn't a security issue, so who cares, a month is fast enough to fix it, right?

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

tony72

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

People like who? This "no smoke without fire" nonsense makes a mockery of our legal system.

Sorry, but I disagree. A judge looked at details of the case, and based on what he saw, elected to grant the order against this guy, and he did that for a reason. Do you also think that people who've been linked with terrorist or extremist organisations and radicalised, but haven't yet been convicted of any crime, shouldn't be subject to extra monitoring?

People can show clear signs that they are on the path towards committing certain crimes prior to actually committing them, and it is entirely right of our legal system to identify such people and take steps to prevent them from committing said crimes in the first place. Denying that is what I would say makes a mockery of justice.

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tony72

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

@ Bloodbeastterror

I 100% agree with you*, and I would support some sort of extra monitoring order for people like this. But that doesn't change the fact that the terms of this particular order seem to be unworkable and draconian. I'm surprised he hasn't made a Human Rights Act challenge to it, but I suspect that'll be on the cards if he doesn't get it overturned by other means.

*except for the Daily Mail reader bit, The Sun FTW though ;).

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Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

tony72

Ah, the memories. Demon was my first ISP, before there were any local POPs in Aberdeen, so I was paying long distance to dial down south to connect with my 14.4k Supra modem and my Amiga 1200. Next time you're complaining about your data charges, figure out what I was paying per MB back then!

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

tony72

Re: Risk?

If anything "has been established", it's that the article/research you link to is pretty useless!

It is limited, but there seems to be a distinct lack of any research or data contradicting the conclusions.

No account is made of the fact that the drones are almost certainly being deliberately flown close to the aircraft, as opposed to a bird just randomly being in the vicinity.

True, but by the same token, the drones pilots probably want to actively avoid the aircraft, whereas those birds probably have no clue what's coming at them.

Moreover, as the article confesses, no account was taken of the difference in composition between a bird and a drone which is, let's face it, pretty significant.

True again, they are making an assumption. There is however some discussion on that subject in this article, where Ian Horsfall, head of Cranfield University’s Impact and Armour Group states that "The controlling factor is how big a drone it is,” he said. “If it’s a small drone then it’s unlikely to be any worse than the equivalent size bird." So the assumption doesn't seem to be entirely unreasonable.

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tony72

Risk?

A drone was involved in a near-miss with a Flybe passenger flight on approach to Newquay Airport on Tuesday, putting the aircraft's 62 passengers and crew at risk.

I believe it's been established that drones do not really pose much of a threat to aircraft. Given that, do we really need to give the idiots a headline every time? It probably just encourages people to pull stunts like this.

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Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

tony72

Re: Criminal offence to impose a diet lacking in essential elements ?

It is difficult, though not impossible, to have a healthy vegan diet without taking some supplements, slightly less so for vegetarian. You can look at any reputable source, such as the NHS advice on vegetarian and vegan diets for children for a rundown on the supplements that will probably be needed.

You could certainly argue that a diet that requires supplements in order to provide the necessary nutrition is, by definition, "inadequate". However with the appropriate supplements is probably as healthy as a proper balanced diet. So I guess it depends which of those two cases you're referring to as to whether the diet is inadequate or not.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

tony72

Re: or perhaps

Snap.

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tony72

Starkiller Base

Haven't these people seen The Force Awakens? Obviously the star is dimming because it is being sucked dry to power a fearsome, planet destroying superweapon. Unfortunately we probably don't have a telescope powerful enough to see the disappearing planets the weapon is being used against, so I guess we'll just have to figure out how to detect disturbances in the Force to confirm the theory.

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

tony72

Considering the milk (full fat) binds the tannin (toxin) so you don't slowly poison yourself (tannin prevents the absorption of iron which can lead to or aggravate anaemia), I'd rather have the milk, thanks!

But milk blocks antioxidant absorption, so you miss out on the most important nutrients in the tea if you take it with milk. I would suggest that that far outweighs the tannin effect, unless you are drinking the stuff 24/7 and don't have much iron in your diet. I take it with milk myself anyway, but better to go in with your eyes open.

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Tesla autopilot driver 'was speeding' moments before death – prelim report

tony72

Re: Full Autopilot?

"Autopilot" appears to be the collective name for a suite of features, rather than a single system. You wouldn't use all of those features at any given time, for example you're not going to use Autopark when driving down the highway. But if you're using Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer, then the car is controlling the speed and steering; that is the full monty in terms of the car driving itself.

Ref. Tesla Autopilot press kit

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

tony72

Re: Really... you think we should??? Honest???

And since when has ANY new version of windows been faster, more bug free or used friendly than the previous.

I'm mostly with you Dave, but I have to point out that Windows 7 was indubitably faster, more bug free and more user-friendly than Vista.

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Nukeware: New malware deletes files and zaps system settings

tony72

Unfortunately the kind of errors required to get infected with ransomware in the first place are likely to be made by the kind of people who also don't know enough to have backups.

(He says, remembering the PC at home that still doesn't have a backup three months after installation.)

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Theresa or Teresa May? Twitter confuses nude model and new PM

tony72

Re: Just twitter?

You have an excellent memory, sir A/C. I believe this is the article of which you speak, from way back in 2001;

"One of the more bizarre events to occur in months since she became an MP was when it emerged that Mrs May had namesake in the porn industry.

Teresa May (notice the absent 'h') is a soft porn star but given the similarities in their names there have been various occasions when people have tried to book the politician."

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The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

tony72

Re: I would suspect...

For example, Radio 4 just did a show on photographs and development from the 1830s. Turns out Henry Talbot was refused when he offered to give the technology to botanists. Why? Because they feared the photos would not show the *right* information.

That's not really comparable, and you're misrepresenting the situation in any case. If you want an engineer to build something for you, you don't give him a photo of the thing - he'll tell you that that's quite useless - you give him engineering drawings. Those engineering drawings don't look, to the untrained eye, much like the finished article, but they convey the essential information about the thing that the engineer needs to build it in a way that a photo can't.

Likewise in the tradition of botanical illustrations, the drawings would emphasize the important information about a subject, with detail drawings of notable features and so forth. Botanists felt about early photographs the way the aforementioned engineer would feel about getting a photograph instead of engineering drawings; they're just not very useful. It wasn't about the photographs not showing the "right" information, it's about them not showing the important information.

I'll leave you a couple of quotes from this page on the subject, which put things in the proper context;

"As I began to meet more and more botanists during my quest, the reasons why photography failed to take hold in their field began to emerge. Talbot’s original term for photography – skiagraphy – carried some of the explanation. By necessity, the early photographs of plants were photograms, printed by contact and thus giving the view by transmitted light, not our normal way of seeing plants."

...

"Another major drawback of photography for botanical illustration was the flip side of its very strength. Photography excelled at depicting a real-world object very precisely. However, botanists consulting an illustration wanted to observe what was typical for a type of plant, not what was specific to an individual specimen. In the end, this lack of ability to generalise the image was perhaps the single largest drawback of botanical photography."

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Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

tony72

Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

Could be irrelevant anyway. Just because a majority of MPs backed remain up to the referendum does not mean that they would want to block the expressed will of the people. Any MP in a constituency that backed Leave could pretty much kiss goodbye to his job if he voted against triggering Article 50, so I'd say it's quite likely that Parliament would pass it, if it came down to it..

P.S. your link didn't work for me, I found this link - Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King: Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role - instead.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

tony72

Re: A final throw of the dice before

It's highly unlikely that they will go to any sort of direct subscription-only model with Windows 10, at least not for people that already have it. Changing the terms of a sale after the deal has been done almost certainly falls afoul of a law or two. If you sell something to someone, even for free, you can't just turn up a few months or years later and start asking them to pay more money for it. So I say when we come back in a year as you suggest, we will find that nobody will be forced to pay a subscription to use Windows 10 as we know it.

Now that's not to say they won't introduce a paid tier. They might bundle some of the existing subscription services; subscribe to Windows 10 Plus, get Office 365 lite, some OneDrive storage, Groove Music maybe. They could start introducing new features that you only get if you subscribe. Who knows.

And it's also not to say that they couldn't go subscription-only for new sales; as many have suggested, maybe you'll buy a PC with one year free Windows, after which you'll have to start paying or lose access to x, y, z features. However I find it unlikely that Windows would simply stop working if you didn't subscribe after the free period, that would just be too unpalatable; I'd certainly never buy a PC on those terms. Likely you would lose access to your cloud features that the subscription included, and be left with the basic OS, much like the Windows 10 of today.

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Pollster who called the EU referendum right: No late Leave swing after all

tony72

Re: Luck, not skill?

True, but I thought the explanations given for why they got this one right while others didn't sounded reasonable. There is method to what pollsters do, they're not just guessing, and it stands to reason that some methods will work better than others.

The fact that most polls got the result wrong, rather than a roughly even split between right and wrong, suggests that there were common errors or biasing factors affecting most of those results, so it's certainly possible that the few who did get it right did so because they avoided those errors, rather than simply getting lucky. And I think the luck aspect was alluded to by Mr Taylor in the last paragraph anyway;

"It therefore needs to be caveated that there is no guarantee that this will also be the case in the next General Election!".

He's basically saying that no matter how good a job pollsters do, voter opinion could change after they sample their data; in this case it didn't, but next time it might well do. You pays your money...

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Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

tony72

Re: Confused?

Excuse the missing " in that link. I had to post and run, and didn't preview. Maybe for the best in this case.

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tony72

Confused?

Perhaps they thought <a href="www.pornhound.com>pornhound</a>* features videos discovered by an actual pooch?

*do I need to say NSFW?

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A month to save digital currency Ethereum?

tony72
WTF?

Is it just me?

I never heard of Ethereum until I read this story. And a quick search of El Reg reveals only two minor passing mentions of it ever prior to this story, so I guess it's not just me. So I'm having trouble assessing the significance of this story. Is Ethereum singnificant and we all somehow missed it? Or should I just go back to not caring?

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Google doesn’t care who makes Android phones. Or who it pisses off

tony72

Re: No. Just no.

Glad to see someone else was thinking it. Milking one analysts blog post a bit much, eh?

It's not even that exciting anyway. In the unlikely event that Google did take Android proprietary, OEMs would deal with the new reality soon enough. They might whinge about restrictions on their ability to differentiate their products, but it wouldn't stop them making Android handsets. Windows Phone 8 was proprietary, OEMs had very tight restrictions on hardware design and UI customisation, and they had to pay for it, and they still signed up. Proprietary Android would probably be better for customers, with more regular updates and a more consistent experience, and it would be a brave manufacturer that would pull out and leave the field to others.

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Who's to blame for the NHS drug prices ripoff?

tony72

Re: I've read the original article

Nope, I think you have it exactly right. I don't read The Times, but the non-paywalled article in The Independent gives the same impression, that the NHS buyers have no other options with these drugs, and the companies selling them are exploiting that fact.

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Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

tony72

Re: Too early to tell.

I think it's time to admit we don't have such a good idea about what's going on, and re-evaluate ALL our assumptions on the matter (no pun intended).

It's not about assumptions, it's about theories. And it's always time to re-evaluate theories in the light of new information; we call this process "science".

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Uber, AirBNB: Lay off 'em, EC tells member states

tony72

Re: Same Regulation

@ Falmari

They need the same regulatory touch as the existing players offering those services.

That's what struck me about this article; why the special case for "collaborative economy platforms"? If the EC was calling for light-touch regulation on all businesses, I'd (after ducking to avoid possible flying pigs) be absolutely delighted. But instead the EC beavers away increasing the regulatory burden on most businesses, then turns around and asks for special treatment for businesses whose net contribution to the economy is highly questionable. Something's not right here.

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Google to kill passwords on Android, replace 'em with 'trust scores'

tony72

Re: The end of passwords?

@ Peter 26

Before you all go mad, [...]

Too late, the predictable knee-jerk ranting has begun.

Personally, if my phone can reliably determine that I'm me without me having to faff about entering passwords, I'm all for it. Whether the technology ends up being up to snuff is another matter, but I'll hold fire until I know more about how and how well it actually works (crazy, huh).

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SHOCK: GM crops are good for you and the planet, reckon boffins

tony72

Re: Gene escape

We have now idea what their effect will be and that is dangerous for our planet.

How is this anything other than irrational fear of the unknown?

You could say the same about pretty much every technological advancement ever. Penicillin seemed to treat bacterial infections when it was discovered, but how did we know for sure that it wasn't going to make everyone infertile and destroy the species? You can always postulate some unforeseen catastrophic effect to anything new, and say "we don't know ...".

The rational response is to do some science, look for positive and negative effects, and make a judgement that is as informed as possible. There's always going to be the possibility that you'll later discover some negative effects (e.g. antibiotic-resistance and "superbugs", to continue the Penicillin theme), but to do otherwise is to give up all progress and be stuck in the stone age.

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'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

tony72
Flame

Re: Driving for dummies.

Fourth gear can easily take you from a standstill to well over the speed limit, no gear changes needed. It might cost you a bit of clutch wear, but if you're the kind of person who texts and drives, you'll probably be oblivious to the smell of toasted clutch, same as pretty much everything else going on around you on the road.

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Russia faces Ukraine and Georgia in Eurovision deathmatch

tony72

If only it was literally a deathmatch, then they'd have something.

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Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest

tony72

although how they'd do this with SSL protected pages without resorting to some sort of man-in-the-middle style attack remains a bit of a mystery

I guess they could basically do exactly that, at least for handsets they supply or configure, quite easily; make the standard network config use their proxy server, and trust a root cert on that proxy, and Bob's yer uncle.

I still think network level ad blocking is a terrible idea though, and I'm still kind of expecting some legal or regulatory move to put the kibosh on the whole idea. It doesn't solve the fundamental problem of ensuring sensible behaviour by advertisers, it just takes the ad-blocking arms race to the next level, and I fear where that will end up. Let people choose to ad-block, based on how much ads annoy them; that's pretty democratic, self-balancing system.

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Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

tony72

Might give it a try

I use a USB miscroscope plugged into my phone via an OTG adapter, which is nice because where you want to put the microscope and where it's convenient to hold the screen are often not coincident, but of course that means lugging around an extra piece of kit if I'm not at my desk. I might be willing to give these things a try, although I'm kind of sceptical that they will be good enough for my purposes, but as a casual thing to carry at all times, pretty cool.

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New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons – except one hacker favourite

tony72

Re: Not just iPlayer

There's a greasemonkey script to make BBC news use an HTML5 player instead of flash, I have it installed at home (I'm at work right now, but I think it's this one), it works great. Presumably could be easily modded for other beeb sites, I haven't looked

Of course that's not an ideal solution for a whole bunch of reasons, but it does work.

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tony72

No, it won't.

New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons

Plugins are not the same thing as add-ons. Things like Flash and Silverlight are plugins. Things like AdBlock and Bamboo are add-ons. The difference does matter. We're talking about plugins here, not add-ons. You might say that that's obvious, but considering the amount of hysterical, mostly misdirected anti-Mozilla rhetoric that gets spouted these days, it really wouldn't hurt to get it right.

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Clixta: A copyright-friendly way to share your family photos

tony72

Re: And tomorrow...

The FAQ does say that they're planning to facilitate purchasing a license to use photos you find on there, so maybe they plan on taking a cut of those sales. But yeah, it's not clear how users will be monetized.

Q. I'd like to use a photo I found on Clixta

A. This isn’t possible in V1, but from V2 we hope to have a built in system that will allow the simple purchase of a “rights” licence. This will make it incredibly easy to request permission.

It's also a strange proposition restricting it to photos older than a year (although I guess people could just lie about how old a photo is). I suspect that they're pretty desperate to avoid being used as a generic image host in order to keep bandwidth costs down until they work out the monetization thing.

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Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

tony72

DriveWiz

[...] showcased a rectangular black box roughly three inches long that he said contained GPS, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot and motion sensors.

Hmmm, It's almost like having your smartphone in the car...

The main advantage of the device, according to Zinchenko, is that it might enable you to get smaller insurance quotes – because the company would be able to see how safely you drive. That's going to be a very, very hard sell to consumers.

That is your "main advantage"? How about HELL NO! Also, again, if you really did want this, all you need is an app on your phone.

The other main advantage? As per the video, you can open your trunk and someone can drop off something you have bought online straight into it.

Well, you could get stuff delivered to work, or if that's not an option then there's "click & collect" or similar. Or you could let some numpty mess around in your car while you're not there. For me, not a difficult choice.

If you ask me, they really seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for reasons for this product to even exist.

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HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

tony72

UI design

"Google has imposed its toylike Montessori-inspired Material Design language on the market, bring uniformity to the anarchy of Android user interfaces.

It has been a success, but it has obliterated diversity; you now look odd if you don’t follow the design language."

I don't get why you harp on about this as if it's a bad thing. You don't get diversity with iOS; why should you get it with Android? Personally, I want to pick up any Android handset from any manufacturer and get the same UI and default set of apps. I'm not interested in being hooked into any particular manufacturer's "ecosystem", and I have zero brand loyalty. Android should look like Android, same as iOS looks like iOS, and IMO manufacturer overlays and so on are tantamount to bloat and crapware, and should at least be an optional add-on, if they must exist at all.

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Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

tony72

Re: PINs?!

I have the PIN for a couple of cards stored in my phone. They're unencrypted but somewhat obfuscated, even though I actually have KeePass and a private-cloud-synced password database on the phone, due to sheer laziness. I'm definitely not a "millennial", by the way.

I can remember the PIN for my personal debit card that I use daily, but for example it's probably more than a year since I last used my work card for anything other than an online transaction, so no, I'm not likely to remember the PIN for it.

I don't really it as a big issue anyway; AFAIK most card fraud does not involve using the PIN, since it's mostly online activity. For this to be an issue, you'd need to physically steal or clone the card, as well as stealing and gaining access to the phone to extract the pin, and then present the stolen card and use the stolen PIN in person, which leaves you much more likely to be traced and caught than if you just used the card and CSC for a little cross-border online fraud.

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Windows 10 debuts Blue QR Code of Death – and why malware will love it

tony72

Re: Come on MS. Please tell us who thought that this was a good idea?

With the QR code readers I've used, you can see the URL before choosing to visit it, so its no different than listing a URL from a security standpoint. However I've only used a couple of readers, so I don't know if that is typical.

However I agree, QR codes never seemed to get much traction. For kicks I put up a QR code for our guest wifi access at work, but in the years that's been up, pretty much nobody has managed to use it, they all still come and ask for credentials.

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British booter bandit walks free after pleading guilty to malware sales

tony72
Thumb Up

Re: Way too soft a sentence

It is deeply ironic that the most sensible post in the thread so far comes from someone called "raving angry loony".

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Nest's bricking of Revolv serves as wake-up call to industry

tony72

Re: What sort of wake-up call?

Yes, I don't see this as any different than some of those old online music services where people lost access to their "purchased" music when the service shut down. It shouldn't be news to anybody that any device that depends on a proprietary cloud service could become a piece of junk in an instant.

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

tony72

Re: ero emissions?

The fuel cell is where the hydrogen is reacted, not where it is stored, unless standard terminology has deviated radically in recent times. The hydrogen will be stored in a tank.

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French mobe repair shop chaps trash customer's phone

tony72

This is why...

Fortunately I've never broken a phone to the extent that I couldn't repair it myself. If I did, I might just write it off and get a new one. What these guys did is actually pretty tame, compared to what a couple of arseholes could do with the personal information on someone's phone, if they really wanted to be nasty.

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Oz uni in right royal 'indigenous' lingo rumpus

tony72

Re: You say tomato

Allow me to make your link an actual link. So people can actually click on it. It takes like five extra seconds, you know;

Only 22 countries have never been invaded by Britain.

Good stuff though, I would not have guessed we had invaded so many.

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Spanish launch heroic bid to seize Brit polar vessel

tony72

Props to the NERC

This exercise continues to provide great entertainment, even if nothing comes of it in the end. My personal favourite entry at the moment; "RRS I Like Big Boats&I Cannot Lie".

*no pun intended in the title

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Whatever happened to ... Nest?

tony72

No pressure

Actually feel a bit sorry for Mr Fadell. From the paywalled article;

"Since he sold Nest to Google, Mr. Fadell has been treated to glowing magazine profiles that suggest he is the next Steve Jobs."

It can't be easy being told you're the second coming.

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Flying Scotsman attacked by drone

tony72
Meh

Argh. I'm well aware of how to spell "recent" thank you very much, but as I'm never slow to point out such mistakes when others make them, I guess I'll have to take it on the chin, and try not to resent your criticism.

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tony72

Yes, given the resent study saying that drones present minimal risk to aircraft, and how comparatively fragile an aircraft in flight is to a train, I can only imagine how unbothered the Flying Scotsman must feel about a confrontation with a drone. Be unlucky if the drone managed to chip the paint.

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