* Posts by skelband

2303 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

No, HMG, bulk data surveillance is NOT inevitable

skelband
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Re: The IP Bill will pass

I have to agree.

The utter cluelessness she has displayed to select committees on this issue indicates that she is merely a sock puppet. She is not the one driving this debate.

When asked to give concrete examples as to how this legislation would help the security services, she couldn't give the basic answer and had to defer to her masters. It's really quite unbelievable.

She's supposed to be one of the most powerful figures of the British government next to the Prime Minister and she's acting like a junior civil servant.

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Women devs – want your pull requests accepted? Just don't tell anyone you're a girl

skelband
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> The non-peer-reviewed study

I guess some aspects of the conclusions don't surprise me but the above is always cause for concern to me.

Lots of the problems of these kinds of studies are revealed to be issues of bias or statistical issues and good peer review would have a good chance of discovering them.

As others have commented above, the data doesn't always necessarily show what you think it shows and it is easy to become blinded to the limit of reasonable interpretation when you're personally looking for a particular result.

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US Congress locks and loads three anti-encryption bullets

skelband
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Re: "I still don't think that Congress understands what is end-to-end encryption"

I think the reality is likely to be much worse.

I would say that the congressmen currently engaged in this media feeding trough likely care not a whit for the issues. There's an election in the offing. It matters not what the spectacle is, just that you're involved and seen to be involved.

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skelband
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I still don't think that Congress understands what is end-to-end encryption.

When I connect to my online bank via a web browser, the encryption is end-to-end.

There is no intermediary, at least in theory.

What would they propose to replace that then? That all encrypted communications have to go via an encryption middleman at the NSA and they broker all encrypted comms between two parties?

Despite the obvious big brother ramifications which are horrific in themselves, do they really have the sheer computing power to do this?

Congress critters seem to have a very narrow view as to what Internet encrypted comms cover, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google brokered services.

The fact is that peer to peer encrypted comms are becoming pretty mainstream and are easily accessible by the criminals. Just install a Tox client, run it up and you're good to go once you have exchanged ToxIds.

Far easier to do that than sign up for Google or Twitter.

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We're going to use your toothbrush to snoop on you, says US spy boss

skelband
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Trollface

Re: Tough call

The fact that you still have it speaks volumes.

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UC Berkeley profs blast secret IT monitoring kit on campus

skelband
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> In fact, the people installing the system were under strict instructions not to reveal it was taking place.

If, in fact, this was just for network defence, what's with the gag order then?

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So. Are Europeans just a whining bunch of data protection hypocrites?

skelband
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There are two parts to the issue of privacy and data protection in the US that have been mixed together in my view here.

Firstly, there is the US legal framework which is quite messy in this area. On the one hand, for large aspects of this, the US constitution is quite clear but there have been Federal efforts after 9/11 to try to subvert much of what the constitution laid down for reasons only the Federal administration know. This impinges a little on free speech and the right to a private life and meddling thereof by their government.

Secondly, there is what the NSA and CIA get upto outside of the law. Snowdon's revelations blew all of that into the open. Large scale, indiscriminate collection of Internet and phone data. Secret gagging orders. No oversight in any democratic sense. No redress for mistakes and massive potential for the ruination of innocent people's lives. This kind of think was exactly what the European data protection legislation was supposed to tackle: to bring collection of personal data into the open and apply a reasonable, across-the-board framework to it and ensure that data collection is proportionate, justifiable and allow errors and mistakes to be redressed.

In my view, the second issue above is the real issue here. Now the article talks much of the legalities and how the new deal relates to recent legislation passed through the Federal administration, but Europe has lost much of any trust that might have existed in the past in this area. It matters not what their laws are if large sections of their government routinely completely ignore it.

As one of the previous commentators pointed to a related article, we don't see any of the thousands of NSA workers being laid off or any of their equipment being mothballed. So clearly, little has actually changed behind the scenes. It all looks like so much window dressing. I also personally doubt that the Federal administration as a control body has the will or the ability to change anything regarding that situation.

So in order words, this new deal will change very little.

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Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

skelband
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Coffee/keyboard

> Why is it I'm getting images of Neville Chamberlain stepping off a plane waving a piece of paper ?

Nice one.

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skelband
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> the US has assured that it does not conduct mass or indiscriminate surveillance of Europeans.

Don't fecking believe them, sorry. Edward Snowdon has already revealed that they do.

It's not worth the paper on which it is written.

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Berkeley boffins build cut-price robo-crutches, er, sci-fi exoskeleton

skelband
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Happy

> HULC

Love it.

Another "let's think of a cool word first, then see how we can turn it into an acronym".

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Europe wants end to anonymous Bitcoin transactions

skelband
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Re: Why is it always terrorism?

It's not sexy enough.

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T-Mobile USA’s BingeOn is a smash hit. So what now?

skelband
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Re: a limited resource, especially wireless

> For precisely the reason that there are physical limitations and bandwidth is limited, certain data DOES need to be prioritized over other. Voice being the most obvious type of data that needs to be prioritized, and events like blizzards and 9/11 being the most obvious examples of times that prioritization is even more critical

That's called QoS and is established good practice.

What is not QoS and is most certainly bad practice is making that distinction between the same types of traffic but different companies supplying it. I really don't understand why people don't understand the difference. It's exasperating.

Yes, VOIP requires timely delivery but will tolerate loss. File transfers do not require timely delivery but will definitely *not* tolerate loss (yes, TCP will retransmit but it bugger's your throughput).

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skelband
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Stop

> - it just refuses to take part, therefore it is "discriminating" against itself.

Well, connecting to the Internet and sending packets to a customer *is* taking part.

Didn't you get the memo? The Internet is a data pipe.

YouTube are being told, sign up or your packets get it.

It that's not blatent interference with TCP streams based on the source I don't know what is.

The naivety is really quite staggering.

We do have some interesting analogues in the UK actually.

For just the same reasons, you can't offer rebates for cash while advertising zero-rate credit, because everyone knows what it really means.

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skelband
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Re: There must be a victim somewhere...anywhere..anybody?

> Not sure what your point is regarding "everyone else"

All other suppliers of video of course.

We tend to think entirely in terms of the consumer.

But video suppliers are "people" too.

Net neutrality is primarily about the business end and affects the consumer as a consequence if it affects their experience.

Everyone knows what is going on. Cable and wireless are seeing huge upheavals of business model.

All the current incumbent players are scrambling to see who will emerge as the next monopoly incumbents.

It's good for the monopolies to be shaken up once in a while, but let's not make the same mistakes from the past that lead us to this situation in the first place.

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skelband
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Not quite sure what your point is here.

Microsoft was immensely successful and is a convicted monopoly abuser. A blatant convicted monopoly abuser.

So, the fact that Microsoft's products were really popular means that they can do whatever they like?

Abuse of market position is not just about satisfying the consumer, it's about controlling what a natural monopoly can do with respect to other suppliers.

Congratulating T-Mobile for having a lot of happy customers is great for them. Not so much for everyone else.

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'International tax' needs reform. Google's chicken bill makes me chuckle – comms guy

skelband
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Facepalm

A lot of this problem would just go away if governments stopped leeching all of our money away in taxation.

Very little is actually being said about the obscene level of taxation in the UK and the US, and both governments frenziedly desperate attempts to acquire more.

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Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

skelband
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It's hard to see how compulsory registration and insurance would make any difference to the actual problem of collision.

Like a lot of regulations, they just create a load of new criminals.

That a person was properly registered and had insurance will be small consolation to the relatives of the dead if such a thing occurred in reality.

As far as I can see, causing the crash of a plane is probably already a serious crime.

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UK Home Sec's defence of bulk spying: We 'found' a paedo (we already knew about)

skelband
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> 53 per cent were deemed to be frivolous or vexatious

I wonder if those determinations would hold water when viewed by an impartial observer.

What do they view as "frivolous" or "vexatious".

This is the problem with closed-door justice.

It's not enough that justice is served. It has to be seen to be served.

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Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

skelband
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> When a person drives a car on a highway, he or she agrees to display a license plate.

Hey, wait a cotton-picking minute?

Agrees?

When was I even asked?

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Death to clunky, creaky rip-off cable boxes – here's how it will happen

skelband
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> an effort to regulate "video navigation devices."

Oh, the irony is breathtaking.

So a cable company telling their customers that they have no choice other than their box is not regulation?

It far surpasses mere regulation. It's downright monopolistic bullying.

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If you can't buy bootleg gear online in New York, this may be why

skelband
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WTF?

> China’s strict banking secrecy laws

Wow.

So it seems that we have to look to China for integrity these days.

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Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

skelband
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The reality is that there will be no deal.

The US government wants to slurp data secretly and across the board. The EU (in theory at least) is fundamentally against that.

Unless one relents (which will happen when hell freezes over), there can be no deal.

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Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?

skelband
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Re: Oh Register, how far hast thou fallen

> Tax avoidance is legal and is to be encouraged because governments are parasites. Readers who express outrage at tax avoidance are by inference stupid. Yes, where have the bright ones gone...

Your point?

Tax is indeed obscenely high, corruption is rife. Everybody knows it which is why they feel no morale problem with paying as little tax as possible.

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skelband
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FAIL

> The strategy is a technically legal one

Is there a different kind of legal which is non-technical?

Enquiring minds would like to know.

Or are you just showing your biases?

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How El Reg predicted Google's sweetheart tax deal ... in 2013

skelband
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Strange times indeed.

An Orlowski piece that I actually agree with. :O

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

skelband
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Re: What's the point of living?

> And, drawing Mohammed is now terrorism because it invites terrorism.

Even worse, and a more credible excuse to the idiotic and credulous: "drawing Mohammed is terrorism because it knowingly 'incites' violence".

I kid you not.

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

skelband
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Headmaster

> How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

The above is not a question. Therefore a question mark is not required.

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

skelband
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Headmaster

> were not dissimilar to preindustrial levels

I had to parse that a few times before the meaning sunk in.

"was similar to preindustrial levels" would have been infinitely clearer.

I get that authors like to write floridly sometimes, but it should never be at the expense of clarity.

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UK can finally 'legalise home taping' without bringing in daft new tax

skelband
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Indeed.

If a levy is placed on blank media to compensate musicians, perhaps I can get my music kicks directly from BitTorrent as long as I burn to one of the said media levied formats, since I've already paid for it.

The problem with these kinds of taxation schemes is that morally they work both ways.

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Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing

skelband
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Happy

Re: Ooooh, Mrs Slocombe...

> Article 15, paragraph 15 of their regulations states that only guide dogs and assistance dogs are allowed in the Musée.

So no humans allowed then?

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Put your private parts on display if you want to keep earning a living

skelband
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Re: Not all you need

Still have my Zenith.

Not much use for it these days, but I can't bear to get rid of it.

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What do we do about a problem like Uber? Tom Slee speaks his brains

skelband
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It seems to me that the main motivation for a lot of these new services is the natural consequence of the existing services being squeezed by bureaucracy.

Uber - taxi license systems rife with corruption, never able to find a taxi when you want them, expensive and filthy when you do.

Bitcoin - cash strangled by regulation and tax, provides a well oiled alternative to the usual fiat currencies.

AirBnb - traditional hotels and B&Bs require fulltime commitment because of regulation. Anyone wanting to offer smaller concerns just cannot afford it. AirBnb supplies the means for smaller players to enter the market in a casual way.

Bureaucracy and high taxation is crushing the life out of traditional businesses. It is inevitable that others will flood in to take their place. And let's be honest here: the main parties opposed to them are the incumbents and the regulators.

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Hot Swedish nurses in charity calendar rumpus

skelband
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>It is clearly inappropriate...

I hate it when people use this kind of expression.

Nothing is ever necessarily "clearly" inappropriate.

What they really mean is that "I think it is inappropriate and I expect everyone else to agree."

Personally, apart from the eye bleach that I now require, I'm not sure what they think is inappropriate about it. It seems to me that it's all a bit of fun. Some people just don't have a sense of humour.

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Council of Europe gets tough on net neutrality

skelband
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Re: "different types of traffic have different delivery requirements"

> . I have yet to see a formulation of "neutrality" in any political screed that recognises this fundamental technical reality. Fortunately, this latest version is unenforceable.

The neutrality debate is not about managing QoS of different types of traffic. It is about preference for the same types of traffic but from different vendors. E.g. jittering up video from YouTube but giving priority to an ISPs own OTT video service.

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skelband
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> Some may have paid more to be "preferred" - that's quality of service!

Well different people have a different slant on what QoS actually means.

On the one hand, different types of traffic have different delivery requirements, some require timely, yet not necessarily reliable delivery. Others require reliable delivery but are not time critical. I think that's what most people understand by the term.

Secondly, all clients should get the service that they paid for regardless of what else is going on. Of course, that doesn't mean that if everyone tries to download Gbytes at the same time, there won't be an effect on performance, but demand is pretty predictable by and large.

Most problems that people have with delivery has nothing to do with the availability of backhaul bandwidth, just with the amount of money that you ISP is prepared to pay for it. The big ISPs have much incentive to imply that increased demand just cannot be met, so they have to do culling of one sort or another. The reality is that they are performing an economic balancing act to maximise their profit while providing the minimum service that they think they can get away with.

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skelband
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> Which means the users will have to expect to pay more for their service.

Perhaps, but the issue has been brought to the fore as the major suppliers of Internet connectivity (cable companies) have been finding their revenue from their traditional cash-cow cable TV dwindling.

Without increasing charges, they really only have a few options:

- promoting their own replacement OTT services by penalising their customer's use of competitors.

- reducing their costs by buying less bandwidth from backbone suppliers, thus causing slowdowns during peak hours.

The problems for the large cable companies is that they are used to being so awash with cash that they don't know how to deal with a different economic situation.

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skelband
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> Then, during peak hours, when the network is congested, the operator cannot prioritise (schedule) the business customer. Internet traffic over residential customer. Is that correct?

Quite bloody right as well.

Why would they when both business and "home" user have paid for their service.

I'd be pretty miffed if my water tap pressure went to a weedy trickle at lunchtime because some soft drinks business was bottling water at full pelt.

The proper answer is that the Internet company buys more bandwidth from the backbone during peak times and if they find that during peak usage, they don't have enough available, then they have to build out their connectivity with backbone providers.

Just to be clear, there is no real shortage of backbone bandwidth during peak times at the moment. The issue is primarily an economic one.

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World Bank: What do the poor need – clean water, or email ... take a guess

skelband
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Facepalm

> What do the poor need – clean water, or email ... take a guess

Do they *have* to choose?

Why the fictional dichotomy?

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After-dinner Mint? Stylish desktop finale released as last of the 17 line

skelband
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Re: Another highly satisfied Mint user here...

> What do you recommend for syncing music to an iPhone?

Erm, plug phone in, wait for it to mount, drag and drop files, eject, enjoy.

Not that hard really.

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UK Home Sec stumbles while trying to justify blanket cyber-snooping

skelband
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Facepalm

It is pretty weird that the Home Secretary, who is constantly pushing for this kind of thing (and some would say it was one of her pet projects) cannot think of a single justification for it such that she needs to go away and think about it a bit?

WTF?

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Whatever Android-ChromeOS mashup looks like, it's gotta be better looking than this

skelband
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Ars Technica have an article about this and their experience (and screenshots) seem to come to rather a different conclusion.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/01/remix-os-a-multi-tasking-windowed-android-os-can-now-run-on-your-pc/

Judge for yourself.

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Sigh ... c'est la vie: France mulls mandatory encryption backdoors

skelband
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Unhappy

Re: Regional

Is anyone else *still* royally annoyed at the enormous pop down bar which I keep accidentally activating by mousing over it?

This century's weird masturbatory obsession with complex "flashy" web pages just drives me nuts.

Thank goodness that most web designers have realised (like the rest of us) how awful parallax scrolling front pages are for the user.

Here's "looking forward" to the next annoying fad to be inflicted upon us in the coming months.

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skelband
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I'm puzzled.

I'm using Tox at the moment for my messaging.

There is no "company".

Sending edicts to companies is going to make sod all difference to my secure comms.

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Fortinet tries to explain weird SSH 'backdoor' discovered in firewalls

skelband
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> malicious activity by any party, internal or external

Nah. Just sheer incompetence and stupidity.

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Rejoice, Penguinistas, Linux 4.4 is upon us

skelband
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Re: "Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds"

So did I :D

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VW floats catalytic converter as fix for fibbing diesels

skelband
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Unhappy

Re: Ludicrous lawsuit. No tangible injury.

> I have no doubt that, once you have experienced what many of us (readers living in London) experience every day, your stance would have changed.

Indeed, having lived in London for a few years past, I am familiar with the phenomenon of having black snot when blowing my nose. It aint great.

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Nvidia's patent war on Samsung is a wreck – what you need to know

skelband
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I wish these companies would stop fannying around in the courts.

Winning formula for business:

1) Make products that people want to buy and sell them at a price that they can afford.

2) Profit.

It's not that friggin' difficult.

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Activist investors want tepid Yahoo! to reboot crashed Marissa Mayer

skelband
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Coffee/keyboard

> to put ginger up a horse’s fundament, and formerly, as it is said, a live eel,

Sweet ${SON_OF_A_MYTHICAL_CREATOR}!

People really did this?

Stuffing a live eel up a horse's arse to make the tail lift up a bit?

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

skelband
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> But I also think Blender's UX is the best out there so don't mind me.

Blender certainly has a steep learning curve but then it is a complex system as are all decent 3D systems.

As someone else said above, its real strength is its consistency. They had a bit of a redesign some time ago and I was amazed at how they had managed to maintain the ideas between the different tools.

For example, the command for moving stuff around in the 3D space is exactly the same as moving clips around in the video editor. It also has keyboard shortcuts (which you inevitably end up using all the time) consistently appear in all the tooltips.

I love it.

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Outfit throws fit, hits FitBit's hit kit with writ (Apple also involved)

skelband
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Re: Well done....

> so not a US patent, hence fair game for the bellends at Patent Factory Outfit

This is prior art and it doesn't matter where it was found. It's not a question of competing patents.

Patents need to demonstrate something completely new to the art (or at least that's the theory) and the existence of a prior incarnation of what the patent describes some number of years previously is grounds for destruction of the patent.

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