* Posts by Steve Evans

2533 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Steve Evans
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Re: Has it been six months already?

The idea of grinding up the drive chassis for the aluminium (aluminum), mixing it up with some rust and then sparking it off on top of the platters is strangely satisfying...

I might have to try that... Although it does sound a little intensive on the man-hours.

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Cali bloke accused of illegally trousering $68k using mom's Apple AuthenTec gobble tip-off

Steve Evans
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Re: His mistake ...

Hardly surprising given the way he went about it...

Someone who suddenly starts throwing everything he has, and a load extra he had to borrow in order to throw, in one particular direction obviously knows something he shouldn't...

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This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

Steve Evans
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Re: What are the El Reg units for SD card costs then?

What? I don't know that...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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Our CompSci exam was full of 'typos', admits Scottish exam board

Steve Evans
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Re: By design?

Yup, sounds like a perfectly normal system requirements document to me...

Welcome to the real world of end users, and sales driven documentation.

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Cops deploy StingRay anti-terror tech against $50 chicken-wing thief

Steve Evans
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Re: there is no try, there is only do or do not...

If they can't find a 2 bit thief who stole come fast food, how much success do you think they'll have trying to catch a tech savvy terrorist who uses disposable phones?

So who exactly are they going to be able to track and trace?

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Subjects! Speek your branes to Parliament on the Snoopers' Charter

Steve Evans
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Re: OK I admit it - I was wrong...

You were probably hoping that those that didn't approve would vote against it, not just all take an early day and not bother voting at all.

That's possibly the most disgusting part of this whole disgusting episode... Those that are paid to represent us, doing sod all.

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Flying Scotsman attacked by drone

Steve Evans
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Unfair fight...

Mr. Prosser: Do you know how much damage this bulldozer would sustain if I just let it roll over you?

Arthur: How much?

Mr. Prosser: None at all.

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'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

Steve Evans
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Re: Medieval dates

Ah, but which Easter? Even various branches of the Christian religion don't always agree on that!

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Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

Steve Evans
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@Cynical Observer

Can I recommend the Odroid C1+ for that role. The Lan is Gigabit, and it really flies for a such a cheap board.

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Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

Steve Evans
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FAIL

Re: Many happy hours on long journeys

I still remember the day my brother forgot to shut those as he ploughed into a river...

To say I laughed my head off would be an understatement, I was on the safari roof at the time and perfectly dry - unlike the occupants in the cab!

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Steve Evans
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Re: Just

"it can't compete with a Range Rover or Land Cruiser on the gruelling school run"

And that in a nut-shell is the problem.

4x4s have no place on the school run! Your little darlings will be just as safe in a "normal" car... In fact everyone else's kids would be safer if the view wasn't obscured by massively proportioned 4x4s parked up round the schools.

The Defender was a utilitarian work horse. It's not supposed to be cruising Chelsea! I've had the pleasure of driving many Landies, and on the roads they can be cumbersome (especially with a bit of slack in the steering box!), but point them at a field, down a dirt track, through a flood and they're superb!

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Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

Steve Evans
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Re: Building their own coffin

Bit unfair blaming Google... This is an issue fixed in Lollipop (5.0)... We're now on 6.0.1... So the fixed source has been available for 2 major revisions, almost a year. It's down to the manufacturer to pick up the source and apply their customization.

Google can't do anything about pushing updates to anything except its Nexus devices. Everyone else is at the mercy of their manufacturer HTC/Samsung/LG. If your manufacturer is more interested in selling you a new device than supporting you once you have got it, I would suggest going somewhere else.

I learnt my lesson with my first Android phone, manufactured (but barely supported) by HTC... Since then it's been Nexus all the way... Even my old Nexus 4 from the end of 2012 is safe from this exploit.

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

Steve Evans
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He's showing all the signs of a successful presidential candidate...

A late running for the nomination?

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Data centers dig in as monster storm strikes America's East Coast

Steve Evans
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Re: ...advising customers to keep their phone batteries charged...

"Well yes, but a couple of meters of water on the roads is getting much more common, and is much harder to deal with."

You're just not shovelling fast enough!

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Steve Evans
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Re: ...advising customers to keep their phone batteries charged...

"Most phones can work for over a week when turned off."

They'll hold charge much longer than that if kept within their recommended temperature range... i.e. don't leave it on a cold window ledge (or snow drift), the battery won't like it.

Just turning off data will increase the life significantly, although I suspect most won't know how to switch their phone to "phone only" mode, but as you say, the ultimate solution is to have the phone charged, and off, or at least airline mode... Turn the cell radios back on when you need to use it for an emergency.

If you're worried about relatives and friends, you could always arrange set times to check in, and leave the phone in low power mode for a majority of the time.

Also, charge the laptop... They're a useful source of USB power to recharge your phone. As are most modern cars, or even old ones with lighter socket adapters.

Although having said all that, personally I'd want to prioritise that I have a way of preparing hot food/drink if the electrics went out more than the phone!

- Yup, I own a couple of paraffin (kerosene) primus stoves :-D

Stay safe people.

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999 What's your emergency: Mega millions Met call handling IT muckup?

Steve Evans
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Re: after Lockheed and Northrop Grumman won the 17-year "partnership"

I really don't know, but I'd love to get a government contract...

You get the contract due to the best spec/quote/delivery time scale (okay, so that's normal)

Then you fail to deliver on time, fail to meet the spec, over run the budget, and they not only don't chuck you out for breach of contract and black list you from future bids, they throw more money at you!

Kerching!

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EE, O2, Giffgaff, BT Mobile customers cut off as mobile networks fail

Steve Evans
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Re: Hmmm...

Well thanks anonymous coward... All I can say in my defense is that in the field of communications I work in, and have worked in, system redundancy really does mean the ability to handle 200% load.

In fact one previous existence had almost 300% so any one of three geographically distant sites could handle the entire requirement.

I will end with the definition of redundancy to those who may have been hoodwinked by salesmen...

"In engineering, redundancy is the duplication of critical components or functions of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the form of a backup or fail-safe."

Duplication being the key word... Aka exact copy... System redundancy would therefore be system duplication... Which would invariably lead to 200% capacity if it's done right.

How are those for some fact?

(Automatic troll face was very apt in your case).

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Steve Evans
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Hmmm...

I wonder if a carrier ever says anything other than "some of our customers"...

Given this sounds like a major network interconnect, I would suspect it's an all or nothing.

If they have redundancy (and they certainly should have!), and that is actually still working, it looks like everyone is now being stuffed down one very narrow pipe which is incapable of handling the demand. I'd let them use a "most" for that situation.

(And a serious slap for whoever underspecified the redundant route - It's supposed to be invisible, i.e. be able to handle all the load of the primary system. If not you need to go reread what redundancy is all about!).

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Beware the terrorist drones! For they are coming! Pass new laws!

Steve Evans
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Re: yeah, that'll work.. Re: RC Helicopters

Probably because any idiot can fly a drone... RC Helicopters on the other hand are whirling blades of death intent on removing limbs from you at the earliest opportunity, or ploughing into the ground at the earliest opportunity...

That's my experience of attempting to fly them at least!

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Steve Evans
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yeah, that'll work..

"The FAA in the US recently announced the mandatory registration of all drones over 250 grams"

Terrorist1 - Okay, let's fly this baby to the target and drop the ricin...

Terrorist2 - Have you registered this drone?

Terrorist1 - No..

Terrorist2 - You idiot, it's got to be registered else it's breaking the law. Cancel the attack!

Along with all the other thoughts/plans, it'll only impact honest, law abiding citizens. Those bent on action will always find a way, the cat is well and truly out of the bag regarding how to build a drone. The hardware and software required are widely available and/or easy to build if you know what you're doing.

Lifting limit - Fit bigger motors

GPS walling - replace guidance system with one that doesn't.

Radio jamming - use a preprogrammed route

About the only thing that *could* stop a drone strike would be radio jamming combined with gps jamming, but then the target would get hit by half a dozen very confused self driving cars.

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Day 2: Millions of HSBC customers still locked out of online banking

Steve Evans
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Hmmm....

How much does this smell of a Chrimbo/New Year break upgrades?

BOFH probably didn't appreciate being told he had to remain sober on NYE and work through the weekend...

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Anyone seen my DVD? Ohio loses disc holding 50,000 citizens' records

Steve Evans
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Of course...

As this isn't the 90s any more, and nobody without a clue is left in charge of sensitive data, the data was encrypted... wasn't it?

(Need an icon for not holding breath).

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Intel, Warner lock horns with hardware biz over HDCP crypto-busters

Steve Evans
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Re: "The list of allegedly-infringing devices from the complaint"

ebay are reasonably hot at complying given they are a company registered in the west... You need to visit "other" bazaars that specialise in Chinese produced gear...

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Got a Nexus? Google has five critical Android security fixes for you

Steve Evans
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Re: @Nunyabiznes, re Patches.

I'm so glad we don't seem to have carrier crippling here in the UK... Did about 10 years back with Nokia Symbian phones. Most of those *never* received an update unless you knew how to change their model number to generic Euro.

I jumped to an Android HTC, quickly leant how bad OEMs are at support and updates and have been Nexus ever since.

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Steve Evans
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Re: My Nexus 7 tablet is safe...

Actually JeffyPoooh, the flash issue on the 2012 Nexus 7 is a hardware problem...

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Brit cuffed for Kyrgyz 'horse penis' sausage quip

Steve Evans
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God grief...

I wonder when the CIA world factbook (and FO equivalent - if it exists) is going to start including a row to warn when countries have absolutely no sense of humour?

Sounds like Kyrgyzstan needs to go just under North Korean.

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YouTube puts T-Mobile US on naughty list for throttling all vids to 480p

Steve Evans
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Re: I think you're a little behind on your mobile screen resolutions!

"I wonder if there is any actual perceptible difference in all these super high resolutions on a 6" screen? The consumer ought to have the choice, and the provider should not be forcible limiting them, but I wonder how many people can tell the difference between 480p, 720p and 1080p on a tiny little screen."

You can certainly see the difference on my Nexus 6, 1080p does have an extra air of "oooh" to it... But it looks even better at 1080p on the Nexus 7 (allowing for the contrast drop from OLED to IPS), purely because of the extra inch!

Size certainly does matter.

Having said all that, I happily watch reruns of 4:3 TV programs on my big TV which were recorded in analogue originally and barely qualify for 480p... Although I can't say you don't notice, but after the first few seconds you settle into the program and don't care... Content quality over broadcast quality!

Unless it's an NTSC recording from the USA where the colours are just screwed up! That I notice all the way through, and have to turn the colour level down on the TV to stop my eyes bleeding!

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Steve Evans
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I think you're a little behind on your mobile screen resolutions!

"and many of the latest smartphones can handle 1080p resolution"...

Many many mobiles (mid range and even budget) have been able to handle 1080p for ages. Nexus 5, a cheap £300 handset from the end of 2013 had a 1080p screen, and it certainly wasn't the first, the LG G2 launched earlier in 2013 had 1080p too.

We've moved on since then... Nexus 6 from 2014 had a QHD screen (2560x1440), as did the LG G4. this years 6P and many many many other handsets from Samsung, HTC, etc etc...

Even a windows phone, April 2014 - Lumia 930

Apple were slow adopters, but even they managed to finally get 1080 on the 6 plus model in September 2014.

IIRC Sony have even launched a 4K mobile.

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Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone

Steve Evans
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Re: They got it the wrong way round

Portability and easy backup are the *big* pluses TB has for me.

I use it daily, and have done for years.

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Estonian vendor sparks Li-Fi hypegasm with gigabit demo

Steve Evans
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Re: Lemme see if I have this....

If all the bulbs are on the same data network, they could hand over as you move from room to room... Basically your device replies via whichever back-haul method they pick (WiFi, IR LED pointing up towards the lamp etc) with the ID of the bulb it can see (ID being constantly broadcast from all enabled light sources), and tada, your data stream is switched across to that source bulb instead.

So you can walk about consuming your stream of data, and as a secondary effect (which I'm sure will be quickly exploited in frightening ways) the location of your device can be tracked. Could be useful in a shopping centre to direct lost and bemused males to the nearest sanctuary (bar).

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Amazon's new drones powered by Jeremy Clarkson's sarcasm

Steve Evans
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Re: That's a big drone

Listening to the wind howling outside in London ATM, I can't help imagining all these drones going backwards across the channel as a fair lick...

Aka, this delivery method really isn't suited to real world with real weather... Just those few (very few) days where the air is calm and still, and it's not raining.

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What the Investigatory Powers Bill will mean for your internet use

Steve Evans
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Re: VPNs

The search engines and other sites aren't just building a profile of you based on IP. They leave ID cookies on your machine which are passed as part of the HTTP(S) request.

It doesn't matter how the data gets to Google/facebook etc, if the ID cookie is there, it knows who you are, and anything you then do over that connection will be added to the profile.

If you want to be completely unrecognisable you'd need to block or delete the cookie so the target website won't recognise you from the last time you visited, and use a VPN, and home HM Gov haven't got a warrant for the VPN company's logs.

If you only ever access the 'net via VPN, the only info the search engines etc will be missing will be your location... Although your search history, maps use and site visit history will probably give a good indication...

Scare yet?

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Coding with dad on the Dragon 32

Steve Evans
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Re: Ah... fond memories...

I love how we've all picked up a single (at time of posting) down vote for our little trips down memory lane...

Guess that's the guy who played with the 3 phase, and can't remember anything...

... Or stop twitching.

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Steve Evans
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Ah... fond memories...

Similar self taught programmer here, except I had a BBC Micro, which gave me the option of fiddling about with hardware too...

Fused the house lights with triacs a few times, and became immune to 240v electric shocks before I was out of my teens!

Playing on machines with such restricted power and storage has come in useful. I don't faint when confronted with a microcontroller project that has to run in a K.

Although with the more modern ARM MCUs I'm tempted to start talk in a Northern accent to my colleagues and mentioning how spoilt we are now, and something about residing in a cardboard box in middle of t' street.

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Voting machine memory stick drama in Georgia sparks scandal, probe

Steve Evans
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Diebold? Still?

How does Diebold manage to stay in this market given all the stories of insecurity?

Being a Brit I have only been confronted by their equipment once... A cash machine in a Slovakian Tescos.... I decided to not risk it, and used a different one down the road!

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Steve Evans
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Re: So like Intel's Hyper-Threading bullshit

But it does have 8 cores in the 8 core model...

Each core is capable of symmetric integer mathematics.

Sure, there are some shared bits like cache and FPU, but most of those weren't even internal to the processor, if fitted at all only a few years back.

Yes, the shared bits could cause bottlenecks, but now you're arguing about the performance of the chip, not the definition of what is inside (the claim).

Just because "8 core" was read as meaning "will be 200% the speed of this 4 core intel chip we have" does not make AMD wrong... It makes the plaintiff naive.

For an encore they could try going after GM, and claiming the V8 model isn't a V8 because it doesn't reach twice the speed of the 4 pot.

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Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth

Steve Evans
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Re: Glad he's back

Indeed... It's a nice change to actually having a musician playing instruments and performing, instead of a full line up of clothes/markup singing someone else's track played by unnamed session musicians.

(Or even worse, covering/destroying a classic track I liked from my youth whilst contributing nothing new to it musically!)

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Think Fortran, assembly language programming is boring and useless? Tell that to the NASA Voyager team

Steve Evans
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Re: Where do I sign?

YAY! I no longer have a partially redundant skill-set!

6502/Z80 assembly... More recent experience with low power micro controllers with only a few K of eeprom and 1K of RAM.

And they said I wouldn't go far!

:-D

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'Govt will not pass laws to ban encryption' – Baroness Shields

Steve Evans
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Re: Fantastic

"Phew, so the buggers can't make me disclose Pa$$W0rd1 as my key"

Actually they can, and have been able to since 2000...

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 part III (RIPA 3) gives the UK power to authorities to compel the disclosure of encryption keys or decryption of encrypted data by way of a Section 49 Notice. A suspect instructed to disclose keys can be prevented from telling anyone else about it, outside of their legal representative. Refusal to comply can result in a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment, or five years in cases involving national security[1] or child indecency[2].

[1] Amended by Terrorism Act 2006 enacted 2006-03-30

[2] Amended by Policing and Crime Act 2009 enacted 2010-01-25

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Online daters swindled out of £33m last year – police

Steve Evans
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Are they including the site operators in this calculation?

It's been long suspected, and the Ashley Mad data rather proved the point, that pay-for online dating sites are full of fake profile operated by the site owners for no other purpose than to make you part with cash so you can reply to their "Oh you looks so hot!" private messages...

The moment cash is extracted, tumbleweeds roll in...

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You can hack a PC just by looking at it, say 3M and HP

Steve Evans
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Re: Firewall

I believe the solution to this is encrypting it at source.

A few hours in the local pub should do it... Now where do I apply for the research grant?

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A thousand mile Atom merci mission: Driving from Monaco to London in an open-topped motor

Steve Evans
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Re: lack of self cancelling indicators?

Very difficult to set up on a bike... Due to the curved profiles of the tyres, you can (and do) steer a bike purely by leaning over on the tyres, with little or no rotation of the bars... Big movements of the handlebars are only for the shuffle shuffle shuffle of parking up somewhere at very low speeds.

I like the idea of a system that uses the speedo pulses to cancel them after a set distance though, that sounds like a nice modification.

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Steve Evans
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Re: lack of self cancelling indicators?

Having wrestled and argued with "self cancelling halfway through a manoeuvre" (or, you can't quite latch me on right now as the steering wheel isn't quite in the correct position) indicators for more years than I care to remember, the canceller broke in my car about 4 years ago, and you know what, I love it!

It would probably be only a few £, and less than an hour's work to fix, but I'm more than happy with an indicator which indicates when I tell it, and stops when I tell it. There's a big flashy thing on the dash to tell me it's flashing, and the tick-tock sound, so I never forget.

I know that also being a motorcycle rider might help me with this, but it seems far more relaxing.

Occasionally I drive the work van... Its self cancelling is over enthusiastic... So much so that when cancelling from a right, it flies down with so much force, it goes into left indicate... This is kinda cool for indicating roundabout exits, but usually just annoying.

I'm tempted to "convert" it to manual too.

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Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

Steve Evans
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Re: life span

I'm sure the lifespan of the wildlife is very similar to non-glowing wildlife... Which is a lot shorter than the lifespan of humans.

If humans were allowed to live in the area they would become sick after a few decades. The animals don't have a long enough natural lifespan for cancer to become a major issue in their demise.

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Boeing builds British Airways 787 Dreamliner in 4 minutes

Steve Evans
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But why????

Why are they building the body components so far from the assembly plant? That's at least 4 flights of the transport aircraft to bring all the bits in!

I know that's how Airbus do it, but Airbus is a logistical nightmare created by politicians to prove Europeans can actually get along without shooting/invading each other!

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Google literally dangles its new dongle in front of gasping TV audiences

Steve Evans
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"(Windows 7+ PC, OS X 10.7+ Mac, Android 4.1+ device, or – of course – a Chromebook, although you can't set one up with a Mac nor a Chromebook)"

So can you set it up on a Chromebook or not, you appear confused...

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Overheating iPhone 6S+ BLINDED my cam, cries flashgate fanboy

Steve Evans
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Re: Samsung

It's probably more the other way round... LED flashes used as torches (flashlights to the colonials) are driven pretty hard, and get hot... Using them for extended periods of time can kill the LED.

So it looks like the iPhone has a thermal protection for the LED to stop you burning it out, which is nice.

Unfortunately the phone appears to have got hot enough to trick the LED protection circuit into thinking the LED has been used extensively, even when it hasn't been used for hours, and should be given a chance to cool down... Which would mean either the phone is getting pretty damn hot in there, or the LED temperature detector is faulty or too sensitive.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Steve Evans
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Mobile computing isn't all about convenience... For example, right now I could use both hands, and double my productivity, but if I do the red sea is likely to come back.

We all have to make sacrifices.

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Smartphone passcodes protected by the Fifth Amendment – US court

Steve Evans
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Meanwhile...

In the UK... Failure to provide passwords/decryption keys upon demand is in itself a criminal act and punishable by 2 years iirc...

So if you're going to hide something, you might as well make it a serious something which is worth more than 2 years!

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PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

Steve Evans
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So....

If PETA are claiming the animal didn't sign a model release, and therefore owns the copyright, I take it they would have no problem is showing the piece of paper from said animal where he authorises them to act on his behalf?

You can't just go suing people left right and centre on other creature's behalf without their permission.

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