* Posts by h4rm0ny

4112 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Elon Musk: I'm gonna turn Mars into a $10bn death-dealing interplanetary gas station

h4rm0ny
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Re: Why not the Moon?

What about He3? The lunar surface has a tonne of that, no?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Orbital tourism.

If they pay 200K to be sent into orbit, I bet they'd pay double that to be brought back!

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h4rm0ny
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Re: 42?

>>That's the answer to the Ultimate question. Six by nine. Forty two That's it. That's all there is

Maybe, but it's meaningless unless you show your working.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Nobody Doesnt Die

>>"By what metric would it be "the most meaningful goal possible" without resorting to circular logic"

That's a pretty easy one. By the metric of safe-guarding the survival of the species. If humanity is wiped out, our ability to attribute meaning to things goes with it. A self-sustaining colony on another planet is one the most powerful things we could do to safe-guard our species. And you can't get to a self-sustaining colony without going through a dependent colony (at least not any time soon).

That's how it can be defined as "the most meaningful goal possible". As Carl Sagan said: The dinosaurs are no longer with us because they didn't have a space program.

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h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Re: Musk seems to be losing it

Yes. Another potential loon here. But there are unanswered questions about property rights. If I go to Mars as a colonist, can I stake out an area of it and have it be legally mine? Like colonists have in olden days (only with the difference being that this time the land really is vacant rather than displacing people already living there).

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High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

h4rm0ny
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Re: Offshore wind farms

We could stick rockets on the bases of them and launch them into the air when the planes approach?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Opposite of what you would expect?

If it were blowing from the side or from the front, maybe. But when it's blowing UP your tailpipe, it probably doesn't help you eject hot air.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: This famous science fiction short story seems to sum it up nicely...

I think an even more insightful old sci-fi novel would be Tik-Tok. In it there is a US military project that so much money has been sunk into (it's an aircraft carrier) that nobody dares to cancel it. So each successive head of defence ploughs even more money into it in an attempt to make it viable. Despite the fact that it's a colossal failure from a strategic point of view.

It's a good novel, albeit old. About a domestic cleaning robot that kills someone and from there follows the natural progression through crime, to business to politics. The details of the technology in the story have aged and become out of date, but the politics seems to have not changed a bit.

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US Labor Dept accuses CIA-backed Palantir of discriminating against Asian engineers

h4rm0ny
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True in many ways, but counterpoint - the heroes who save the day are a group of four small farmers who nobody takes seriously and whose 'noble ancestry' consists of one of them having a great grandfather who allegedly cut the head off a goblin and two others belonging to a family notorious for causing trouble.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

h4rm0ny
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Re: Troll gets tossed under bridge

I suspect he rather over-estimates his importance to the day to day running of the company. I wouldn't be surprised if efficiency went up during his absence. Fewer demands for arbitrary statistics and updates. ;)

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R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco

h4rm0ny
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Re: fixed hazards will be the real challenge

Presumably once it finds it can't progress it will ping low-paid controllers at HQ who log in remotely and navigate it manually using its cameras until its able to resume.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Passing resemblance to R2D2

They look far more like the small boxes that whizzed around beeping on the Death Star. Some person (journalist or at the company) has just called it "R2-D2" to get more clicks / attention.

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

h4rm0ny
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Re: At least make sure your contract include TOIL

>>"have you ever asked for these clauses to be removed?"

I have. Specifically, I wanted explicit agreement that something I was willing to do which was out of spec for my role I would have IP rights to. Went back and forth for nearly a month with my direct manager giving me lots of verbal assurances but refusing to put anything in written form ever. Until I went over her head to the board and told them flat out I would leave if they didn't agree to this and they told her to sign an agreement. She was extremely unhappy. I got what I wanted.

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Florida Man's prized jeep cremated by exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7

h4rm0ny
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Re: "the fire retardants in the modern car ABS do not fire retard"

Because of course you're retarded if you don't spend your life online reading news sites that report on mobile phone recalls.

Sheesh! Love the smell of elitism in the morning. :/

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

h4rm0ny
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Groucho

I was going to say something very similar. Namely that I will trust El. Reg to report on Apple for as long as they're not allowed to.

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Speaking in Tech: Windows is coming to smart refrigerators

h4rm0ny
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I wonder what the past would think of the future.

I mean there's the usual "you call that music" nonsense that is just a matter of tastes changing and older people not changing with it, but then you get something like this. We have smart thermostats that learn when you'll be home, when you get up, etc. We have Google learning what you buy to filter what things you're offered, we have Facebook learning what your political bias is so that you can only be fed stories that confirm your world view rather than anything that might upset it and cause cognitive dissonance... And now smart fridges that will learn what you like to eat and order it in for you, almost certainly there will be programs that "suggest" meals and send them over...

I imagine people of fifty years ago would look at us over the next decade and consider us the most helpless generation in the history of humanity.

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Spinning that Brexit wheel: Regulation lotto for tech startups

h4rm0ny
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Re: Your Spanish mate

And to add to the above posts, I'd like to see some specific examples of these "German standards" that are so problematic. I've seen several cases where people complain about "bureaucracy" or "standards" encumbering their business only to find that the specific requirements are there for a very good reason (worker's safety, environmental standards, et al.). Whilst it could just be the hassle of certification and I'm not accusing this person specifically, complaints about "regulations" by employers have often turned out to be complaints about "not being able to treat people / environment / safety however the Hell I want" on examination.

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These are not just job cuts, these are M&S job cuts

h4rm0ny
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Re: Horrible company

Someone once described M&S as the modern version of the potlach in that it's just a visible way of throwing away your money. Their quality is not very good for food, imo. Waitrose are the ones that actually do good quality food and ingredients in fancy boxes. M&S just do mediocre quality food and ingredients in fancy boxes.

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Brave idea: Ex Mozilla man punts Bitcoin adblocking browser

h4rm0ny
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Re: Why Bitcoin ?

It's only one extra party having access to your credit card details. The idea is that you make a single macro payment to the plugin maker (or browser maker in this instance), and then they make a payment to the website owners representing a bundle of micropayments from many visitors.

I've wanted something like this for ages, though I want it to be a general protocol / plugin across browsers rather than a dedicated browser - that is a mistake.

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Want a Windows 10 update? Don't go to Microsoft ... please

h4rm0ny
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Re: @kraggy

I take it you have never downloaded a GNU/Linux distribution via BitTorrent, then?

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How much does your kid hate exams? This lad hacked his government to skip them

h4rm0ny
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I kind of feel that like in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, any student of the Assassin's Guild who managed to kill their examiner got an automatic pass, that this student has demonstrated their aptitude already.

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Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

h4rm0ny
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Re: So, to sum up...

>>No - just above them should be "Project Managers". They are overpaid worthless parasites. They are the wasps of the engineering world - they have no reason to exist."

Yes, because you do developers really want to spend all your time in meetings with upper management discussing timescales and explaining features, organizing project plans and coordinating releases with Operations and a dozen other things rather than focus on your coding. What's that - you don't? Then who do you think will do all that?

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Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core

h4rm0ny
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Re: Really?

I don't know, lets test it.

Q. What do people go on about most in Windows articles?

A. Linux.

Hmmm, seems it is.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Indeed both pointless.

Windows RT ran on ARM, and ran very well too. I have a Surface 2 and it's an excellent device.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: We should use neither

>>"I completely disagree with this assessment..."

you begin. And then backup everything they said. VRH didn't say the Pi was rubbish, they said you wouldn't want to use it for Serious Business. You then with respond with an example of using it as a mostly idle backup gateway for a "small office". How small exactly?

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FBI: Look out – hackers are breaking into US election board systems

h4rm0ny
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Re: "It was a real eye opener ..."

They're probably the only people in the world that it IS a surprise to seeing as everyone in the IT world had been shouting that this is a bad idea since its inception.

Put the voting results in a database and rigging an election immediately becomes staggeringly more viable by its very nature. Whether by outside independent hackers as this sheriff seems concerned with, or by corrupt officials which all the rest of us are actually more scared of. If there's a paper trail then theoretically you can at least verify. But you have to establish a pretty high level of suspicion to get the state to undertake that level of effort - especially given the partisan nature of US politics where one winning party will be fighting tooth and nail to block it (there were actually Republican supporters physically breaking into places to stop the recount in the W. Bush election) and the possibility the incumbent may be complicit.

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Physicists believe they may have found fifth force of nature

h4rm0ny
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Re: The protophobic X boson

No, but it's a pretty negative trait.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Oh come on, we know that other force..

>>"There are different sizes of infinity I'm afraid - for instance there are more real numbers than positive whole numbers, but both sets are infinite."

I was expecting some such reply and don't truly disagree. But I'll observe that any attempt to measure them will find them functionally indistinguishable. Can a real quality (in this case stupidity) be classed as one of the larger infinities? Surely by definition it is of the smallest class of infinity there is.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Oh come on, we know that other force..

You can't have one form of stupidity (human) be more infinite than others. Something is infinite or it ain't.

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Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze

h4rm0ny
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Re: Where are all the MS apologists?

Serious answer to a humorous question, many of us who got labelled "MS apologists" such as myself - I had endless arguments with people on these forums - simply aren't as inclined to defend Windows 10 because it has alienated us for one reason or another. For example, I despise the way it has become so hard to prevent your system reporting your behaviour back to Microsoft (I had to edit the registry to turn off the sending of how I was using my computer to them). So whilst there's still a lot I greatly like about Windows - such as the ACLs and Powershell, I'm just not really inclined to leap to MS's defence against all those who attack it. I used to - because I was a systems programmer and I know how much work and talent goes into an OS like Linux or Windows. But really, after basically receiving a big Up Yours from MS over the past year with privacy and control of my own computer, I just don't find it in me to argue in its defence anymore.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Never this bad before

My Windows 10 machine has been crashing (followed by forcing me to wait several minutes whilst it "collects information"). It went through the entire lifespan of Windows 8/8.1 without crashing once that I recall.

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Researchers crack homomorphic encryption

h4rm0ny
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Re: If One-Time Pads could self-regenerate...

And if I had a pound for every time someone sent me the PRIVATE key for their entire organizations authentication servers instead of the public key, I'd have £1.00.

But it was a good one pound.

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Christians Against Poverty pleads for forgiveness over data breach

h4rm0ny
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Scum

You have to be a special kind of scum to attack a charity for the poverty-stricken.

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Post-Silk Road, Feds bust chaps for 'dealing heroin, coke' on world's largest dark web souk

h4rm0ny
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Re: meh.

It's worse than Prohibition. Firstly, Prohibition did actually have SOME positive effects, e.g. incidents of domestic violence fell sharply when alcohol was banned. Secondly, it was introduced in an era of severe depression when people turned to alcohol out of desperation and alcoholism was rampant. Like with drugs such as heroin, the problem isn't just the physical effect, but that the addicts / alcoholics life sucks so badly that there seems little gain from coming off it. I.e. it's an escape as much as it's an addiction.

So like I say, flawed though it was, Prohibition did have some supportable rationale behind it. This? I think closing them down is actively harmful. On Silk Road you had Amazon-style ratings, buyer-feedback and you also didn't have to go and seek out contact with some people you might rather avoid in some cases. In short, safety was markedly increased.

Plus it allows better market-feedback. Sick of roller-coaster skunk and want something mellower and more traditional? On Silk Road you can not only find it, but it can be demonstrated that it's actually preferred by many and the market adapts to meet that need.

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Flipping heck! Virtual machines hijacked via bit-meddling Feng Shui

h4rm0ny
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I'm safe on Windows 10

Every time it updates itself it re-enables Hyper-V against my wishes and breaks my Virtualbox installation. They can't hack my VMs if they can't run them. Thanks Nadella!

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Speaking in Tech: Nope, sorry waiter. I won't pay with that card reader

h4rm0ny
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A podcast is just too slow for me. Voice is for friends and socializing. Written form is something I can blast through far more quickly than someone can verbalize.

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The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code

h4rm0ny
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There's a logic to what you say, but I would take someone to small claims even if the money they were fined was given to a charity for lonely nazis. If someone tries to get away with cheating you, there's a pleasure to be had in watching them pay that goes beyond money.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: er....

Whether saving up to get a mortgage or trying to pay one off, mortgages are the chains that keep modern Western society working. If ever a sizable proportion of the population begins to consider a paid off mortgage beyond their reach (and we're getting close to that), or even worse - a general attitude of fuck it, owning my own house isn't that important catches on, then British and American society will collapse faster than a soufflé in an ice-bucket.

Medieval peasants used to believe if they worked hard and were well-behaved, they'd go to Heaven where they could finally rest. We're more modern these days. We believe that if we work hard and are well-behaved, then by the time we're sixty we can own our own home and finally rest.

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Quip away, but Microsoft Excel 365's REST APIs win the day

h4rm0ny
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Re: Huh?

It's an article on a Microsoft technology. And you're damning it for using the word Microsoft?

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

h4rm0ny
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Re: Lewis Page

I couldn't have put any of that better myself. Great points. Airships and nuclear power are too of the technologies I would ardently love to see more of.

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h4rm0ny
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Pint

Re: Lewis Page

Less left for greener pastures and more given his marching orders. He's legally forbidden from telling anyone why he left (not sure how they managed to swing that) so we don't know the specifics but a fair guess would be that either (a) his not towing the line on climate change offended the powers that be, (b) new ownership / directors wanted to put their own person in the top-slot or (c) major disagreement on direction with the owners. Whatever the reason, it was less pasture and more stun-gun to the head from what I gather.

Shame. His long tenure at El Reg were a good period for the site and we lost their best writer on all things military and one of the few remaining editors that would run a piece that contested parts of AGW. I've noticed a subtle shift in tone since he left. You get a few more Kieran-style click-baity polemnics for example.

Beer icon for Lewis wherever he is now.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Wait until you see the next generation fighter...

>>"The next gen fighter jet wont have a meat sack inside, so it will be significantly cheaper, faster, and better."

I agree it's now time to replace pilots in military aircraft, but I don't think it will be cheaper. I mean pilots are certainly expensive but as a part of the TCO (R&D, manufacture, maintenance, profit margin), they're a small part. Where automation will make a difference is the willingness of our politicians to engage in war against non-equal parties given the reduced political fallout from lesser risk of bodybags returning home to be photographed by the media. But reduced cost...? Not unless a war with an equivalent power forces the government to lower profits for the manufacturing companies.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Ditch the American Crap Planes...

Indeed. It's articles like this that make me miss Lewis Page. We'd have had a nice angry article frothing with such details in his day.

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Classic Shell, Audacity downloads infected with retro MBR nuke nasty

h4rm0ny
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Re: Download Only From Sources You Can Trust

Software doesn't need to be from the MS Store to be signed. As this story shows, Classic Shell normally is signed and a different and quite clear warning was displayed for the pirated version.

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Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

h4rm0ny
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I am sick and tired of this shit!

The determined greed to have the cake and eat it is losing me as a customer. I avoided Google services for years because they market me as a product and get from me every drop of data they can in exchange for free stuff. I am happy to pay for what I use and so I went with Microsoft.

Now MS want to have Google's business model on top of their own. Well no, you can't. You can ask me to pay for your product or you can ask me for my usage data in exchange for it. But you can't ask me for money and then take my data as well. I wont tolerate such double-dipping.

And don't ever contact my friends or colleagues on my behalf using my image or name.

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Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

h4rm0ny
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Re: Well done for trying to find the good points of Win10 @h4rm0ny

Thanks for the response. I didn't know that. But can I use Edge without being signed into Bing with any account? Because the issue is that I don't want Bing/MS building a running profile of me in my online activity and whether I am signed in with one account or another, that profile is still being built and is easily attachable to me as a real person at any point they feel the desire to do so, given the wealth of personal details, account settings, IP addresses, locations and times included in such a profile. The browser is only acceptable to me if I'm not signed into Bing / MS at all.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: You missed a lot

You're getting the thumbs down because there are a lot of partisan posters here and your post is extolling the good things about Edge.

I personally like Edge a lot bar two things - firstly, no full screen like I had with Metro IE (which was absolutely great and is sorely missed) and no way to stop it from signing me into Microsoft when I start it, which is a pretty major deal to me and the reason I had switched from it to IE11.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: 'Nix is good when it works but damn hard work when it doesn't.

>>"When I ventured onto the 'Linux scene, I actually had to spend £200 on a pcmcia card to get an internet connection, as the winmodem on my laptop was not likely to ever work in the near future."

Good grief - I had forgotten about WinModems. I remember I was lucky in that I managed to get some GNU/Linux driver working with mine. I expect there are still a few angry diatribes from Younger Me out there on the subject somewhere.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"They're trying to hit the 'shiny shiny' consumer tablet market, while maintaining support for corporates with legacy applications (or, as it is otherwise known, 'technical debt')."

That's not what "Technical Debt" means. Technical Debt is a software development term referring to the accumulation of future troubles by shortcuts taken today. I.e. you could properly re-code the API to account for the changed requirements but instead you put a nasty little re-write rule into the Apache config so that it works again, knowing full well that at some unspecified future date, this is going to come back and bite you. That is what Technical Debt refers to. It's not referring to legacy support.

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