* Posts by Steve Evans

2597 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Steve Evans

Re: Hounded

And that is basically how their entire systems works at the moment... A simple database query...

Licence expired, and not renewed = Nasty letter

New TV purchased and no letter (because the BBC are told the address of all new TV purchases) = Nasty letter.

With the introduction of this iplayer enforcement, I can only assume they're just going to do a comparison of the licence database with the royal mail database, and send a nasty letter to everyone not in both.

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Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

Steve Evans

Re: Location...

____/\/\/\/\/\/\____

LIE!

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Steve Evans

Re: Ethics in Essex

So this relied on the "perp" having little or no knowledge of the law, or legal representation...?

All he had to do was deny everything, stick to his story, and no matter what the squiggle said, he would have been in the clear.

Well I guess it's true what they say, prisons are full of stupid criminals. The smart ones are still living in the outside world.

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Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

Steve Evans

"A human would have realised that... What are you?!?"

A slightly dented human from standing too close to a car assembly robot I would assume...

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BT internet outage was our fault, says Equinix

Steve Evans

Re: That explains it

From my experience this morning, things that worked, worked. Things that failed, failed. Constantly.

So it certainly appeared to be restricted to certain routes... Google DNS, google itself, G+ and Hangouts were all working perfectly.

Facebook partially worked, it obviously has some bit squirrelled away on servers which take a different IP route.

Speedtest wouldn't even appear, and linx.net failed to connect.

I wonder whatever happened to the original raison d'etre of the intartubes, namely that the message will always get through?

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Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Steve Evans

10 per cent of its tablets

Are you sure about that? 10% seems like an incredibly small number... Especially given iPads are driven by ARM based processors, and almost all Android tablets are too.

99% would seem like a far more likely number TBH!

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Google's Nexii stand tall among Android's insecure swill

Steve Evans

Ah yes, updates blocked for network compatibility... Yet in the last 6 months, my unlocked, and constantly updated Nexus has been on O2 in the UK, T-Mobile in Italy, Vodafone in the Netherlands and I have no idea what it was in Poland (£3, 4G and 4gig of data IIRC - Don't ask me, Polish friends just said "What size sim do you need", and nipped across the road to the supermarket!).

Networks need to learn to be dumb pipes. They add no value, just hurdles.

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Steve Evans

"When listening to Google Play or Spotify on Android, adjusting the volume from the handset results in some unpleasant 'plop' noises"

Really? I live on spotify, earbuds on the train/plane or bluetoothed to my car. Never heard a pop from from changing the volume on either my phone (Nexus 6) or tablet (Nexus 7 2013).

Both work perfectly with my original Chromecast too.

Sounds like a driver/hardware issue with whatever device you have... Name and shame?

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UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Steve Evans

Re: A suggestion

They should show a more than basic understanding of a subject before being paid to be the minister of it, not just commenting on it!

The amazing thing is that all these speeches and sound bites are written by a team of civil servants in the particular parliamentary offices... None of whom seem to have the slightest clue!

Let me summarise it for them...

Dear idiots,

Banning end to end encryption would disable ecommerce. Yes, that little padlock on your browser, that's encryption... It means your credit card information to amazon/ebay etc is safe from prying eyes.

End to end encryption is how VPNs work... So no working from home any more... You'll all have to come into the office... Or take the information home on a USB stick, which can be left in a taxi.

The bad guys will still use it. There are a million ways to transmit hidden information, some of it obvious, some of it less so like image steganography. Ebay could be (and might be) full of listing with secret messages in the item pictures, and you'd never know.

But I'm sure you'll still waste a huge amount of our tax money employing "experts" to research this, and maybe even try to implement it, before it all collapses like almost any government IT related project.... Just make sure you give the contract to one of your "mates" ok...

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Windows Phone users beg Pokémon Go creators for attention

Steve Evans

Probably cheaper...

It'll probably be cheaper to just send a budget Android phone to all those that signed the petition than employ the development staff, and support the windows version.

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Cycling paramedics in epic rush to save patient who ate stale sandwich

Steve Evans

Re: Range of use

Just for clarity, I do actually ride a motorcycle (a proper big one), my comment about curbs was really that the ease of mounting a curb with a heavy equipment laden motorcycle is very dependant on your angle of attack. If you can approach it at 90 degrees, no problem (just not too fast or you'll wreck the wheel rim!). However, if you've just been squeezed out of space whilst running parallel to the curb, you're not going to get a heavy motorcycle to go up it (a nice light trail bike could be bounced on the front shock, but not a fully loaded paramedic motorcycle!), it'll just glance off. A pedal bike can be manually lifted with a single foot down and a quick *heave*.

And no, I'm got going to go and experiment with my motorcycle to find at which angle the "easy" becomes "Oh bugger, whoops, oh no oh no oh no" *crunch*

"Excuse me, can someone help lift this thing off me, it's heavy!!!"

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Steve Evans
Thumb Up

Re: Range of use

Not only cheaper, but quicker... I regularly see 4 wheel ambulances stuck in queues of traffic attempting to negotiate a path past drivers who are either deaf, blind or stupid (probably all three, I'm usually in East London). A two wheeler (bike or motorbike) is a lot more flexible, and in the case of a pedal bike, can always use the pavement when confronted by incredibly stupid car drivers.

(I'm sure a motorcycle could use the pavement at a push too, but they're not so easy to get up the curbs).

Sure they can't carry as much equipment as a "Big" ambulance, but first on scene doesn't need all that. They can carry enough to stem bleeding, restart hearts, clear airways and get the patient stabilised with plenty of pain relief drugs whilst the "Big" ambulance is still fighting its way through the mini-cabs.

So to the gallant two wheelers, motorised or pedalled, I salute you.

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Pokemon Go oh no no no, we're not reading your email, says gamemaker

Steve Evans

Can iOS users not avoid all the prying just by creating a new gmail account purely to use with the game?

It's certainly what I do on Android for apps that insist on accessing my google account. A very boring, quiet, and empty google account.

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UK.gov wants to fine websites £250,000 if teens watch porn vids

Steve Evans

I can't wait...

...for the first hack of a .gov.uk website to host a bit of jiggy jiggy... 5% of UK turnover would be a fair lump of a fine...

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

Steve Evans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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