* Posts by skelband

2028 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

skelband
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> And Polish film goers will lose interest in Polish films if they're available elsewhere in Europe? Really?How does that one work?

There seemed to be a logical gap in the argument somewhere.

It wasn't very specific about how to make a connection between a larger audience and fewer sales which was the implication of the view expressed.

Perhaps Andrew has some further comment on this.

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skelband
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> Modern European copyright arguably owes more to the French, who introduced the inalienable moral right of the author (”droit d’auteur”) to decide how their work is used; EU copyright is based on the French, rather than the utilitarian US and UK approach. The UK incorporated moral rights when it grafted EU law into the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act in 1988.

Well if that's true, then let's see copyright terminate on the death of the author then.

At least that would be an improvement over the insane period of the author's death plus 70 years that we currently have now.

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

skelband
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Re: About friggin' time.

> Referring to women as "meat" is I think quite offensive and disgusting. Just because they are there purely to give sex appeal to a product, doesn't mean you should demean the women who do that by suggesting that they are nothing but meat.

Both you and I know that the women are there to give the nerds a stiffy and to get the technology buyers aroused enough to make rash buying decisions. There's nothing distinctly stylish about booth babes.

And I make a distinction here. I'm not talking about attractive sales personnel. I'm talking about *very* short skirts, swimsuits and the like. It's objectification plain and simple.

I'm in to all that like the next man, but conferences and technology shows are not the right place for this sort of thing.

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skelband
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About friggin' time.

Booth babes are frankly embarrassing.

I can't think of a bigger turn off at conferences than scantily clad meat draped around technology.

Call me a prude if you like, but technology should be able to sell itself.

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'Why don't you buy from foreign sites?' asks Commish, snapping on the gloves

skelband
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Re: Amazon

> The problem is not usually Amazon, it's the suppliers who geo-restrict things, and often Amazon say this item can be shipped to you, you can even filter on ship internationally, but when you finally get your basket to the check you will be stopped.

Strange, my experience is the reverse.

On a number of occasions, I have tried to buy from sellers on Amazon who state that they ship globally, only to be told by Amazon's website at the very last moment that it can't be shipped to me. Usually it is CDs or DVDs. It's becoming a bigger and bigger problem.

Also, this new legislation that they were talking about regarding VAT being charged at the buyer's country rather than the sellers is a big problem for small businesses. I can't see that helping much.

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Hawk like an Egyptian: Google is HOPPING MAD over fake SSL certs

skelband
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Gah, came here to say the same thing.

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NYPD cop in court for allegedly hacking into the FBI

skelband
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> and “the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

Nice to see law enforcement officers realising the difference.

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$30 Landfill Android mobes are proof that capitalism ROCKS

skelband
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Re: history repeats

> Android does have a decent base level of smartphone features but they are a trying experience at the cheap and cheerless level. So either you find other candidates apart from Android or you ship hardware which is overpowered so that Android just (about) runs.

I'm not sure why you're getting so many downvotes here. Symbian as a mobile platform had a huge amount going for it. With it's event driven infrastructure and well engineered internal design it was awesome on a low power machine. Given sufficient work since then, it could have been as beautiful to look at as modern interfaces are. Displays and processing technology have moved on so much since that last decent Symbian phone. There's every reason to believe that if the same kind of effort was put into the Symbian GUI experience as has been for Android or iOS it would look just as good and would require a fraction of the power.

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NORK internet outage was payback for Sony hack – US politician

skelband
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> He declined to comment on whether or not the US was behind the action, Bloomberg reports.

So does he know who did it or not? Sounds to me like he's talking out of his ar*e.

Let me guess: he's a redneck fundamentalist christian. Whatever next? Earthquakes caused by homosexuality? Aids revenge for sin?

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We need copyright reform so Belgians can watch cricket, says MEP

skelband
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> Sabine Verheyen, a Christian Democrat MEP from Germany, ridiculed Reda's analogy: “After all, I can’t buy Finnish bread in any German supermarket or bakery. Far too few people here would buy it, so the market doesn’t offer it to me. And you don’t see me demanding that the European Commission bloody-well make that product available to me!”

It's really distressing that these people obviously doesn't understand the analogy and they're the ones discussing the future of a far reaching legal framework in the EU.

The problem being talked about is the active and explicit attempts to prevent the movement of goods between territories with the weight of legal sanctions behind it, not a demand that companies deliver internationally.

And if someone wanted Finnish bread in Germany and someone was willing to ship it, why wouldn't they be allowed? The fact that some people think that this should be reasonable and the norm for creative works in the age of the Internet and instant delivery is bizarre.

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'What don't we want? Robots. When don't we want them? Ever.' Anti-droid hipsters hit SXSW

skelband
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> The hell it is! Not that I'm particularly challenging that description, but if you can imagine a futuristic society so flippin' perfect that _NOBODY_ ever does anything that would harm others, you're smoking something mighty fierce.

Erm, I guess my point was that there is no reason to believe that a piece of clever, benign hardware would necessarily turn rogue on us. That is clearly us projecting our instincts onto it.

Take the Terminator for instance. Why on earth would any relatively intelligent computer system designed for and tasked with our defence decide that the best way to defend us would be to kill us all? In the mind of a lunatic maybe but a rational intelligence wouldn't likely come up with conclusion.

However, the technology in the wrong hands would be every bit as efficient as its benevolent counterpart at carry out its insane programming. But at the heart, we are therefore the problem.

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skelband
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The problem isn't technology, it's people.

Imagine an android 5 times more intelligent than a human, 10 times as strong and quick.

Such a thing could be great for search and rescue, space exploration, whatever.

But some prick will tell one to do something bad, you just know it. And being as quick, intelligent and strong it will do it with ruthless efficiency.

I see the problem but it is not an issue for technology, it is an issue for the primitive apes that we are.

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My self-driving cars may lead to human driver ban, says Tesla's Musk

skelband
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Re: @Crisp

> Also I think it is moronic to have the assumption of "phone home" operation. What if you loose connectivity or the central servers go down for whatever reason? Does your car just stop?

My reading was the "phone home" part was for the processing of experience data for bulk improvement of the training of these things, not for the actual running of the machine.

Anyone seriously suggesting implementing that I think would be laughed out of the room.

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skelband
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Re: Real world testing

> I want to see how these things behave in blinding rain. I want to see how these things behave when they hydroplane in blinding rain. I want to see how these things behave hitting a pothole at freeway speeds in blinding rain, and blowing a tire out. Those are things I have to face every summer.

Humans are spectacularly bad at driving in these kinds of conditions, as evidenced by the sharp increase in accidents when bad weather comes our way.

Most accidents in bad weather are caused by poor driving, such as driving too fast, not paying attention or driving too close to the car in front.

Once you've sorted out the basic logic and image processing, there's every reason to believe that computer driven cars would *far* exceed the capabilities of even the best drivers.

Given that humans can't see in all directions at the same time (like a computer car could) and even in infra-red or ultra-violet I really don't see the practical justification that automated cars wouldn't be *much* safer than their meaty alternatives.

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Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

skelband
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> £1.9bn

Really? Jesus. I had no idea.

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What’s new in Office 2016 for Mac (and why it doesn't totally suck)

skelband
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Re: Boot camp still required then

> If you need 64-bit Excel I'd suggest you're definitely using the wrong tool for the job.

You don't need 64-bit Excel for larger spreadsheets handling bigger numbers. That's naive rubbish.

Applications compiled for 64-bit instruction set can take advantage of faster/"larger" instructions and as a consequence often give much better performance for the same task.

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skelband
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Trollface

I suppose the real question is "Have they added any new functionality that people are likely to need since Office 97?"

Or Office 2.0 for that matter....

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Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

skelband
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> An abbreviated YY year has led to all sorts of complications

This is a pet peeve of mine.

Database programmers (and UI designers) are forever being caught out with ambiguous date formats.

What I can't fathom is why we still insist on stupid date formats on web pages and on forms like 01/02/03 when an unambiguous form is just as straighforward and less likely to lead to mistakes, especially after the Y2K fiasco.

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skelband
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Or if we want to be standards compliant (ISO 8601): YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ for UTC at least.

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

skelband
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Joke

Re: In the UK Medical Doctors aren't Real Doctors!

> Herr doktor doktor.

"That's Mister Doctor Professor Schmidt to you!"

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Netflix: Look folks, it's net neutrality... HA, fooled you

skelband
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Re: Hypocrisy! Favoritism!

> Level playing fields are antithetical to capitalism. If that's what we want we have to change the West's economic system.

Agreed. If realistic competition exists, then I'm all in favour of a free-for-all. Cable networks don't tend to be rife with competition though, it's the nature of the beast. That's the rub.

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skelband
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I'm a big fan of Netflix, but I have to say that I largely agree with Andrew on this one.

Traffic discrimination based on source (rather than protocol needs) is always bad where there is little effective competition between the last mile ISPs.

In this case, Netflix are paying for priority. That's great for them, but equally bad for everyone else which is what the Net Neutrality debate is all about. Putting servers into ISPs' data centres is fine as long as it is helping both the ISP and Netflix with their delivery infrastructures, but prioritising outgoing traffic is a different story.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of legislation in this area, but it is undeniably necessary for the US where various oligopolies control large swathes of the Internet infrastructure.

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Forget 1,000 lashes for Facebook posts, Saudis now want to behead blogger Raif Badawi

skelband
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Re: Give some thought about all this...

> This is not the Saudi government practicing some extreme form of radical Islam. It is the Saudi government killing its opponents and keeping the population oppressed, just like dictators everywhere.

I beg to differ.

This chap merely stated that he has a different opinion about the nature of the cosmos. For this, the Saudis want to kill him.

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skelband
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Re: Saudi Arabia

Or even better: us ridding ourselves of our dependency on it.

ITER: hurry the f*ck up.

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skelband
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> The sentence brought condemnation, but little else, from governments around the world.

Well, unless it endangers our oil supply, governments aren't going to officially give a rat's arse.

F*ck me. It's like the 20th Century just didn't happen in these countries.

For this kind of thing we need worldwide governmental sanctions. This is just one case among thousands or millions of quiet atheistic realisations. If that's not a vicious, brutal oppression of people worthy of international sanctions, I don't know what is.

The apostacy of the religious to atheism is the quiet revolution that hardly anyone talks about but it is the final waking up of people from our bronze age mysticism, the realisation of our proper birthright: the real world, full of wonder and astonishment.

Carl Sagan: "This is better than we thought. The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant." F*ck yeah.

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You're outta here! Baseball star strikes out sleazy trolls who targeted teen daughter

skelband
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> Isn't perceived anonymity better than actual anonymity?

Depends on your perspective.

My point is that their expectation of any comeback was minimal. They just didn't think that any consequences of their actions would be forthcoming.

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skelband
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The reason why these f*ckwits do this kind of thing on the Internet is because of some kind of perceived anonymity. There is a disconnection between their computer and the real world in their minds.

Most of these people would never, ever utter these kinds of comments to their victims' faces.

What stops them in the real world is shame.

In our modern life, we have far too little shame, that emotional response that comes from society psychically telling us that we are being a dick.

All that this baseball player has done is restore the natural balance. You say something that makes you a dick, then everyone should know about it. He also seems to be advocating that he and his family don't resort to violence even though he comments on his blog about the reasonable outrage that his daughter's boyfriend feels about the whole thing.

I'm the father of a 19 year old daughter. I have to say that I don't think that I could be quite so restrained.

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‪Obama criticises China's mandatory backdoor tech import rules

skelband
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Re: The difference is...

> Yes, because overthrowing dictators is all thats needed to bring about peace and harmony and goodwill to all men. Look at Syria, Libya, Egypt.... oh, wait....

You do realise that the US government supported (at least in part) and instigated the creation of most of those regimes don't you?

Gadafi, Hussain, all puppets of the US government at one time or another.

The US administration is the worst kind of backstabbing hypocrite.

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skelband
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Re: That's rich...

> Their job is to protect US interests...

That used to mean protecting the US from foreign powers.

As we know now, that (more often than not) is about working *for* American corporate and political interests and working against the American preople, particularly if they have the termerity to bring the US administration to book about what appalling things they're getting up to in secret in their name.

The theory is one thing, the practice is something else entirely.

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WHY are GoDaddy and Verisign stockpiling patents? Do I smell war?

skelband
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> What is striking about the applications, and awarded patents, is that most of them cover what are already fairly common practices in the industry.

Wait, what?

Only in the US.

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

skelband
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Re: Yes

Matt, your comments are showing....

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Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

skelband
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Trollface

Pictures please or it didn't....oh. Forget that.

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Here comes Vulkan: The next generation of the OpenGL graphics API

skelband
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Re: Great...

Everyone in the Graphics realm would love a portable, low-level API.

It's great for game developers, hardware manufacturers and users alike.

If Microsoft don't embrace it, they're going to find that more and more Windows is the "alternative" platform that developers might consider if they have enough budget, because with one single API, they can tackle the majority of every other platform.

The real question is why we haven't had this until now.

I wish it success.

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Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (BUT Google has a good idea)

skelband
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Re: "more openness will make it easier for lobbyists"

> Hello? McFly? That's the current situation, not some hypothetical future scenario.

There's hardly any *specific* politicing at the moment and there are no court cases pending on this at this point in time. Since the details are secret, what would you build a case on?

When the details come out, the guns will start firing certainly, but there's hardly anything going on legally at the moment.

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skelband
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That's exactly what's going on here.

If only the idealists above were right that what this process really needs is openness and an intelligent and meaningful discussion by all affected parties.

What would actually happen is that the cable companies would throw lobbyist money at it like there was no tomorrow, and the whole process would drown in partisan politics and legal challenges.

I still prefer the process to be open, but Wheeler is shit scared that an open process would scupper any chance of getting *anything* through.

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In Barcelona, no one can hear you scream ... HTC, Valve unleash Giger-inspired VR headgear

skelband
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Re: Giger - Really !!

> Anyone that knows Gigers works would have a hard time finding anything Giger related... A couple of cables sticking out the top, cmon... I really don't see too much of the BioMechaniks here, or is it all virtual.....

I came here to say pretty much the same.

Most of Giger's work involved the diabolical fusion of the technological with the biological.

I honestly really don't see any of that here.

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Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

skelband
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Re: Tesla Showroom

Over here in Vancouver, they seem to be everywhere.

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skelband
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Re: Let's see how testing goes before coming to any conclusions

> Great yeah, an electric car, but everyone knows that they're flawed as a mode of transportation and hardly anyone asks where the electricity comes from in the first place.

Of course people ask.

That's actually a different problem to solve. Solving the problem of cars that don't burn fossil fuels though is inevitably a part of that. I agree that electric cars might not be the answer, but to be honest, it is likely to be.

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

skelband
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Unhappy

Jeez, I really don't know what to say.

You think giants like this man will live forever, but they don't.

What's sure is that he has made an enduring mark on humanity like few others do.

RIP

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Net neutrality victory: FCC approves 'open internet' rules in 3-2 vote

skelband
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Re: Good (@ doctariAFC2)

Crikey, you really are an angry little gnome, aren't you?

Believe it or not, shouting at the other commentators doesn't make your opinions more valid.

Take a chill pill for fuck sake.

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

skelband
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Re: Being in the US, I'm no expert on the BBC...

I came here to say the exact same thing.

Thing is, that is exactly what is happening now but the government are putting a different procedural slant on it.

As someone said above, the license is effectively a tax that go to the general government coffers and the BBC gets a separate grant purportedly matched to the license revenue. There is very little difference between this and funding the BBC out of general taxation.

Over and above the emotional reactions and issues related to "fairness", scrapping the license would kill a whole wadge of stupid criminal law in the UK and remove any necessity for pay per view style access requirements which would be expensive to operate, divisive and probably unsustainable in the long run.

The BBC was started as a public service for the common good, evidenced by the Open University, science programmes and the like, many of which have been canned since they don't cater to a wide and witless audience. The fact that a lot of it seems to have devolved into tat is a problem in itself.

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

skelband
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Unhappy

Re: Take a look on the Amazon reviews for IT Hardware/Software...

> Application software that is Windows-only is perfectly acceptable to me. However, a cloud-based system intended for multi-user access should be OS agnostic.

I'm having a hard time sussing out why *any* cloud service wouldn't be OS agnostic.

Surely in the 21st Century it is as easy to make a network service OS agnostic as it is to make it OS specific. We do have standards for this kind of thing right?

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A truly SHOCKING tale of electrified PCs

skelband
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Re: Bad earth.

Sounds like a similar situation with domestic PME (Protective Mutiple Earth) main systems where the earth and neutral are basically the same. Often found where mains is delivery directly by overhead wire.

All conductive surfaces have to be earth bonded, which means that they are connected to the neutral line.

Any failure of the neutral conductor into the house effectively makes all those surfaces live through any switched on device.

Makes a good case for a local ground spike.

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A cookie with a 7,984-year lifespan. Blimey, Roy Batty only got 4!

skelband
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Facepalm

Difference

Anyone know what "An automated and manual examination" is?

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Obama turns back on spooks: 'I'm on the side of strong encryption'

skelband
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From what I saw of the conversation, Obama seems to have a more realistic and educated view of how things really are these days.

Is it just me or does he seem to have pretty much forgone the partisanship that he used to exhibit before he lost the majority in administration. He doesn't seem to care any more about what those idiots in both chambers think and speaks his mind more clearly on a whole range of issues.

Just a note on the sub headline: he doesn't actually make any moralistic comment on Snowdon himself *or* the disclosures; merely that a mistrust has emerged as a result of them, which is entirely understandable and arguably what Snowdon was trying to achieve anyway.

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REPORT: UK needs online eBay-style court for civil justice

skelband
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Re: What about evidence ?

When I saw the headline, I immediately wondered how this could possibly work.

In retrospect, and online facility could be a good way to reduce the cost and loss of work etc for the purely administrative side of the law.

On the other hand, the threat of having to go to court might sometimes pursuade the parties to come to agreement beforehand.

On the other, other hand, the threat of going to court can often be a disincentive to the legitimate complainant to bother at all.

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Lightbulb moment for visible light networking: 200 Gbps without a fibre

skelband
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In Ceiling

Contrary to the Debbie Downers above, if occurs to me that a great many wifi APs these days in offices are in the ceiling space for even coverage. 3m to the ceiling with a reasonable angle might be quite workable.

Won't work without line-of-sight but as an auxiliary option it might be useful.

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You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

skelband
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Etymology

Anyone know the history of this strange euphemism "give head"?

I would put it in the same category as "big air".

Is it really that hard to say "suck my cock" or "jump high"?

The euphemism is hardly more polite, so I'm not sure what the point is.

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FCC chair refuses to make net neutrality rules public before approval

skelband
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Re: "I kid you not, cable TV as it looks now will be gone within 3 years (or sooner)."

> I'll take that bet - at least for the US. This is very similar to the landline-to-cellphone-only switch.

We'll have to wait to see.

The thing is, the cellphone companies are the cable incumbants and they managed to make cellphones a premium service. They're popular and fashionable, so pretty expensive compared to land lines. The challengers to the cable companies are deliberately cheap and they're catching on fast. Their offerings are clearly better for consumers economically.

The question really is whether or not their low pricing is sustainable and if, when the dust clears, we are left with competition or another set of monopolistic incumbants.

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skelband
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Re: Ala carte channels are a wet dream

> Both would be quite an intrusion into how a company chooses to offer their products.

I agree, but the reality is that the cable companies are looking at a pretty bleak future with increased competition. Mandating a break up of the channel packages is not necessary. The like of Netflix, Hulu and many more independents are eating their lunch.

Cable companies are shitting themselves at the prospect of becoming dumb pipes since that is a race to the bottom. The various offerings like CraveTV from Bell are efforts to stop the hemorrhaging but it won't work.

I kid you not, cable TV as it looks now will be gone within 3 years (or sooner). It won't be gradual. Like video shops, the industry will tip just enough to cause an avalanche. Personally, I think that a lot of them will go bust since they will be unable to change their business models fast enough, especially since TV is their current cash cow. I can't wait.

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