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* Posts by M Gale

3496 posts • joined 22 Apr 2007

RIP Full Disclosure: Security world reacts to key mailing list's death

M Gale
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Re: USENET?

I know exactly what a cancel message is, and a newgroup message, and various other control messages that most USENET servers are set up to either vet with a human or utterly ignore due to them being abused by trolls, malicious hackers, shills and other Internet low-life.

Next question.

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M Gale
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USENET?

Good luck asking every USENET admin in the world to delete that embarrassing post that you don't want seen.

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Hidden 'Windigo' UNIX ZOMBIES are EVERYWHERE

M Gale
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http://www.kaspersky.com/about/news/virus/2014/Number-of-the-week-list-of-malicious-Android-apps-hits-10-million

So how many of these malicious apps affect people who haven't rooted their handsets?

If the user has checked the little box to allow installation from unknown sources, how many of these apps have broken out of the per-app sandbox?

I'm reckoning that number will be zero, just like I said. Even if you do get something dodgy, you uninstall it. Just like I said.

Head-in-sand? Hardly. Broken handsets more likely to be infected. Well, I think that falls under "no shit, Sherlock".

Now, as I said (again): I've yet to see anything that affects a handset that hasn't had its own security measures broken to "root" it.

When you can find an example of malware that will infect a non-rooted device, and break out of the sandbox, and be unable to be simply uninstalled like any other app, then maybe I'll listen. I just haven't found any.

And Dalvik still isn't Linux.

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M Gale
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Re: The devil's in the detail

but nothing like the things that Windows users have to put up with on a daily basis.

Which Windows users would they be? Or do you mean the endless streams of malware and hack attempts that Windows users have to put up with?

I've certainly seen offline, in-the-flesh examples of console fanbois telling each other their machines are shit, but then most of these people were somewhere in the order of 13 to 15 years old.

In my own experience, the only time someone's accused me of having a "crappy Wintel box" was a mac-fanboi uncle in pre-Intel, PPC-mac days, while I was running a Linux distribution on an AMD-powered laptop.

I just smirked.

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M Gale
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It doesn't matter if it's manually installed and due to poor config. It's still a breach!!!

It doesn't matter if you took your bullet proof vest off, got out of the armoured vehicle, stuck a high visibility jacket on and walked toward the insurgents waving your hands in the air and shouting "come and get me, you pig-eating motherfuckers." Bullet proof vests aren't worth the kevlar they're made out of!

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M Gale
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Just look at the Android malware scene for a hint of the carnage that would result if a significant percentage of people actually used Linux on the desktop.

What Android malware? I've yet to see anything that affects a handset that hasn't had its own security measures broken to "root" it.

Personally I'd rather like to see the CM guys come up with a way of re-locking the device under your own personal key. However, as far as a device you buy from a shop and use goes, you're basically wrong. Even if you do install some rogue app, it's all contained. Uninstall it. Job done.

Oh, and Dalvik isn't Linux.

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Google slams Play Store password window shut after sueball hits

M Gale
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Re: Race to the bottom...

Of course, this could never happen without doing something to tackle the Android piracy problem...

The only Android piracy problem is the one in your head.

No, really. I've seen some bloody ridiculous reports that claim 90-odd percent of Android and iOS software out there is an unauthorised copy.

And then I actually go out and look at the real world, and come to the inevitable conclusion that these reports are complete and total shit.

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M Gale
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Re: The App Store Con

I have to wonder whether it would be worth one of the Reg guys writing up an article on the Worst Of The Worst?

The mobile incarnation of Dungeon Keeper could be first on the list.

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M Gale
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Re: It won't work.

No, they'll just stop developing, period.

[Citation Needed]

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PAF! MPs go postal over postal location data sell-off by Coalition.gov

M Gale
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A fair price

Well since everyone has already paid for it, that would be zero, yes?

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What kid uses wires? FCC supremo angry that US classrooms are filled with unused RJ45 ports

M Gale
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I have to wonder how a whole classroom (in fact, a whole school) of people on wifi connections is going to enhance anything "high speed"? Well, asides the rotation of water molecules in the immediate vicinity.

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Europe approves common charger standard for mobe-makers

M Gale
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Re: Remember SCART?

If legislating connector types in this manner did any good then why did SCART never take off in North America?

I guess an unhealthy dose of "Not Invented Here". That and the EU is not the USA. SCART worked incredibly well for what it was meant for, which was basically connecting your different tellyboxes to/from the telly. A lot better than expecting everyone to plug red/white/yellow leads in the right way, and heaps better than RF modulators into the antenna socket.

It was basically HDMI before HDMI, and without the nasty HDCP crud.

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M Gale
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Not quite sure, but I think there's something in the standard about two modes of operation. The normal mode for USB 1.1/2 is 500mA. Or, the charger can pull both data pins to ground, and that's interpreted in the device as "this charger will give you as much juice as it can without dropping the voltage."

Of course, people throwing 15V across the USB cable in response to some oddball data handshake are another matter.

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M Gale
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Micro USB is flimsy. I buy about one per month as the plugs are a easily damaged such that getting only intermittent contact with normal wear and tear ( for me ) after 3 or 4 weeks on the road.

Crikey, what are you doing, using the USB cable to hang the thing off a necklace?

After checking the statistics on the Ingress client, a game I usually play on foot, it seems I have managed to walk for the vast majority of some 350km (217 miles or 2531 Brontosaurus lengths) with a micro USB cable strung between the 36WH battery in one pocket and the Xperia Arc S in the other. Both still work and it's the same lead.

Try not buying your USB cables from Poundland. No really, those cables are a bit shit.

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Wackadoo DIYers scissor-kick beatboxer

M Gale
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I propose a new word.

Cunnilinguine.

For when you're making a real, erm, meal out of it.

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They ACCUSED him of inventing Bitcoin. Now, Nakamoto hires lawyer to CLEAR his name

M Gale
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Re: Moderation

Oooh, subtle threats of violence. Classy.

I would say it's more like an assertion that the OP has some restraint. As in "I won't go insulting you regardless of how big and hard I may or may not be."

I certainly don't see where the threat is, subtle or otherwise.

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iOS 7's weak random number generator stuns kernel security – claim

M Gale
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SIlly question but...

...what would be wrong with the output of a reverse-biased transistor being used to seed ye olde Merseinne Twister?

I couldn't think of many things more random, myself.

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Bill Gates-backed SOLAR POO RAYGUN COMMODE unveiled

M Gale
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Re: 700 watts

Fortunately it's only there to turn the chocolate tube-steak into charcoal, same way that you can turn wood into charcoal I guess. Heat the stuff up in an environment that's as oxygen-free as you can get it.

700 watts, in an insulated box the size of a bucket, should be enough to thoroughly roast whatever you put in there.

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

M Gale
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Re: But do all Macs run OSX?

With the menus at the top of the screen you always know where the menu bar is going to be.

With the relevant menu for the application in question being attached to the window of the application in question, you'll never know where the menu for the relevant application will be?

Personally I have more of a problem with crappy "unified menu bar" interfaces like OS X and some Linuxy things. Sometimes the menu you want is not for a window that is in focus. Yay, more alt tabbing, yay more mouse clicking.

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M Gale
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Re: stating the bleedin obvious

But, no, why bother, it's not even proper UNIX.

That's not a bug, it's a feature.

OS X is not "proper Unix" either. A Bash shell and BSD userland utilities does not a Unix make. Apple did however, grease the right palms in order to be able to say it is.

And why the obsession with whether an OS is certified to be like an OS from the middle of the 1960s?

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

M Gale
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Re: Sigh

This bitching is more like that that followed Vista: A lot of people complaining about a new interface that seemed to be change for change's sake, and grumbling that the new version provided little if any benefit over the previous.

There was quite a lot of bitching about WGA and how it would only inconvenience paying customers. Enough that Microsoft didn't distribute WGA with their volume license customers. Oh, and that fucking awful fisher price colour scheme, which was at least trivially changeable back to something.. well.. else.

Win9x was bitched at because it took up 80 to 100MB at a time when a 210MB HDD was not unusual. Oh, that and the horrific compatibility issues with DOS software which was still bloody common at the time.

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Battery vendors push ultracapacitor wrappers to give Li-ions more bite

M Gale
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Re: Ultra?

Oh I know about those, and that's still a pretty big lump to stick in a phone. If you can get three times that, in a paper-thin wrapper around the phone battery?

Joyful times, perhaps.

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M Gale
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Re: Ultra?

For something that wraps around a phone battery, 3 farads is approximately equivalent to 1 fuckload.

Have you seen the size of the one-farad caps that go into cars with obnoxiously huge speakers to stop the bass from causing the lights to dim? Try the size of a litre bottle of pop.

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Wireless charging standards war could be over 'as soon as 2015'

M Gale
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You can already use Bluetooth to stream music to your car for example, but in a couple of blocks the phone is out of power.

Now I know people like to joke about smartphone battery life but, exaggeration much?

Yes, let's toss the phone onto the dashboard so it can slide and fly all around the passenger cabin. Or, set it up in a cradle or a tray where it's securely held. By which point, erm, how much easier is this than a USB thing into the ciggy adapter?

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Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

M Gale
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You wouldn't expect an IT person to work for free if they tools which help automate their job eg building images for multiple use rather than installing everything from scratch...why should a company be any different?

And you think the person who created the "includes Firefox" build was hired specifically to make that particular build? Or is it that they probably perform all kinds of tasks within Dell, and creating the Firefox build was an hour or two of mucking about on top of their normal duties?

This is something that cost Dell close to zero to make, that they probably recouped the costs on with the sale of a single, no-Firefox PC. Dell are also breaking Mozilla's license agreement by charging money for software that Mozilla stipulate should be freely available, which is kind of why Mozilla is a bit miffed at Dell right now.

And no, no I don't expect the company to work for free. If you've not noticed, PCs are quite expensive. Asking for £16 just to select the image with Firefox on it is a piss-take. Usually when people rob old grannies and other weak or disadvantaged people, we slap them in a prison cell for a while. Or perhaps just slap them a few times. Wonder what should happen with Dell, then?

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M Gale
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Re: A completely fair charge

and at 50p there'd be no profit for them.

Quick, someone tell Google and Apple. All those 62p games are going to make them bankrupt!

Seriously, for the "service" of selecting the "includes Firefox" install image? 50p is probably a bit too high. I'm probably being generous and the price should be more like 10p (or perhaps free, you know, as per the license terms), but hey, gotta make a profit.

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M Gale
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Re: ...and?

The knuckle-draggers also don't seem to have noticed that what Mozilla imposes restrictions on is the use of their trademarks, specifically when used in ways they don't approve for distribution of their product.

Amusingly enouogh, if it were the GPL rather than their own MPL, all of this would be perfectly legal. The software may be free, but you can charge as much as you like for the service of packaging or installing it, or providing a place to download it.

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M Gale
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Re: A completely fair charge

And if it was 50p, I'd agree.

Sixteen fucking quid?

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MWC: The good, the bad ... and the Galaxy S5

M Gale
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Re: For some reason...

WhatsApp can fuck off. The first time I heard about it was when it ninja-installed itself alongside something else. It has nothing I want, I never use it, it got uninstalled as soon as I found out I'd installed it. It can go die in the same fire as browser toolbars.

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Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

M Gale
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Re: I must be getting old...

It was a problem. It got fixed. At least according to a "diodesign" comment I read on an earlier article.

(and who is DioDesign anyway?)

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M Gale
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Re: Why all the fear?

The police will only intervene if they think you're up to no good.

In my own experience, there are officers out there who can make up any excuse in the world to meet their stop and search quota.

My favourite was "seen in an area known for drug use". Really? Would that be.. uhm.. everywhere?

I even saw the pair of them next day and one of the cheeky fuckers asked me if I enjoyed "being processed".

I asked him if he'd be more worried if I said yes, sweetie. Well that one triggered a nervous laugh. I just got on the bus as it had just arrived. Never seen 'em since. Still got the chit though.

And don't get me started on the "processing" I got for the reasons of "seen filming a police officer"...

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Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

M Gale
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Re: Not sure where you work...

The other issue, is when it's custom made, if the guy that wrote it buggers off, and there is little or know documentation, it leaves a whole load of shit behind....just look at the banks for a classic example of this.

That's why you beat them about the head with the Big Book of SSADM before letting 'em near a compiler.

Okay, so you could probably pronounce it as "sadism", and probably compress the entire methodology down to "anal retentive attention to detail and documentation", but hey, if you want everything documented, you document everything. Before writing a bunch of undocumented code.

Or at least encourage them to use Doxygen and heavy use of remarks. Owt's better than nowt.

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UK citizens to Microsoft: Oi. We WANT ODF as our doc standard

M Gale
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Re: Data Format, not Applications

it's like suggesting a professional graphics house replace Photoshop with GIMP.

Honestly while The GIMP has that truly weird multi-window interface, it's quite capable, even if not quite as advanced as Photoshop, which is only one component of the entire Adobe creative suite.

However, given Adobe's recent "cloud"-only subscription bullshit, I could see some companies tempted to make the switch to just about anything else, even if it's only Paint Shop Pro and Corel Draw.

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M Gale
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Re: Open Source Means Choice

Also: name the features that I actually care about that your proprietary software has which the open source stuff doesn't...

Table creation that works well.

...sorry.

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MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

M Gale
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Re: Got what they deserved.

Anyone stupid enough to 'invest' in something like Bitcoin has frankly got what they deserve.

A shitload of profit? Because that's what a lot of people seem to have got out of it.

How many mathematically based applications have stood the test of time? MD5? DES? Even the seemingly best (mathematical) ideas have flaws that come to light and how can you base financial transactions on something that cannot be trusted?

You do know that money is numbers, right?

if someone steals your money then how the hell do you ever prove who did it and get it back?

You have that same problem with cash, gold bars and property in general. I guess we should abandon property?

I believe the phrased "a fool and his money are soon parted" fits well here.

A phrase that a few bankers seem to be intimately familiar with.

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M Gale
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Re: I'm no Frontiersman

Low end ones (such as some fot eh USb miners) can be had for around £5, so only out by 3 orders of magnitude.

And unless you're using someone else's electricity, the hashes per watt-hour rating would probably end up costing you more than you gain?

That said, a Via APC or Raspi or similar attached to a whacking big battery and a solar panel...

...naw, that'd probably still cost you more than you'd gain in any realistic amount of time.

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Help! Apple has snaffled the WHOLE WORLD'S supply of sapphire glass

M Gale
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I am interested, I might even get one.

However there is still one rather lovely-looking concept phone that I'd love to play with a real example of.

Shame it'll probably never happen.

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You'll NEVER guess who's building the first Ubuntu phones in 2014

M Gale
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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

They should show an English flag and if anyone doesn't like that, they are free to go and make up their own language and use that instead and stick their own flag next to it.

<pedant>

I don't think I've ever seen St George's Cross as a language option. Union Flag perhaps, but that's not exactly "English".

</pedant>

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SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future

M Gale
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Re: @M Gale - Unfair Tax?

You're still talking about road tax, when I'm on about the telly tax. As is, well, everyone else.

You want it, you pay for it.

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Google warns Glass wearers: Quit being 'CREEPY GLASSHOLES'

M Gale
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Re: Take your glasses off if you want to continue this conversation...

Maybe in your head it'll go like that.

Personally I'd rather not start fights. People tend to die in fights. This isn't a ring, there are no Queensberry rules, and nothing's stopping the Glass wearer from responding by using a hard kick, firm squeeze (or perhaps an outright bite) to remove your ability to ever make children.

They'd probably get away with it under a self defense ruling, too. So, perhaps your more polite first idea should be where you draw the line, eh?

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Imprisoned Norwegian mass murderer says PlayStation 2 is 'KILLING HIM'

M Gale
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Re: Appropriate reaction

You should learn to read.

It wouldn't teach them to. Call it "lead by example."

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Wanna use Bitcoin on your site? BitPay's open-source library wants to help

M Gale
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Re: I have to wonder.

Or rather, compromise a popular website with a hidden canvas element and some websocket funkiness.

WebGL is basically GLSL. It runs on the GPU, be it AMD or NVidia. It may not be specifically suited to GPGPU operations, but then, Javascript isn't particularly suited to Bitcoin mining. It can still be used to (slowly) do such though!

In fact, after a bit of Googling around, getting data out of a WebGL shader program seems to be scarily possible, in much the same way as getting data out of a generic GLSL shader program. Pretend the array of data is a texture, pass the texture in, work on the texture, read the texture out again. Or pretend the data is an array of vertices, depending on which type of shader you're co-opting, I suppose.

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Google's paid link settlement plan will lead to fresh wave of abuses, claims Euro rival

M Gale
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Re: Care-o-meter: LOW <-[]----------------> HIGH

Can you imagine launching a UK website and that happening during your first week? Goodbye business.

Honestly, relying on natural search rankings during your first week is not a good strategy. That's what Adwords are there for. They cost less than you think. I remember about £20/week and some intelligently-chosen keywords resulting in hundreds of thousands of ad views across Google affiliates within a few days. Quite a few conversions, too.

Once you're established, people are talking about you in forums and your natural ranking starts getting bumped up, then you can drop the Adwords campaigns.

Now I'm not sure what happened for you to have your Google ranking dropped. You haven't mentioned which domain you're talking about, and I guess that Reg moderators might /dev/null the post if you did. However, I think you have to accept that with any search engine, you are going to go up and down the rankings based on quite a number of criteria. So long as those criteria aren't "we just don't like you" or "we're about to launch a competing service", there really isn't anything that any monopolies commission should be getting involved with.

Also, first post eh? Hi.

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M Gale
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Re: Care-o-meter: LOW <-[]----------------> HIGH

people have become more aware of how Google are abusing their ability to gather and profile data. I for one certainly do not want my emails read through, scanned, profiled and used to force advertising onto me/sold to the highest bidder/passed over to the NSA...

Google have been putting targetted adverts into Gmail for a lot longer than the past couple of years. Whatever your opinion of it, this has precious little to do with whether they have a search engine monopoly, whether they are abusing it, and whether anything should be done about it. They also don't pass your information on to advertisers. As someone who has set up Adwords campaigns, I have to say I have not been fed anybody's email data yet.

So until suitable competition can gain traction in the search market...

Bing, Yahoo, Duckduckgo, plenty out there. You want to set up your own web spider and database? Google cannot stop you.

it can be surmised that Google effectively own the internet (or most the useful bits at least).

Really, no. You can firewall the entire Google IP range, and the rest of the Internet just carries on working.

I can't choose to block sites that use Google analytics, for example.

Yes you can. Most sites that use Analytics will continue to work when you script-block the crap out of Ganalytics. The rest are just shitty sites.

I'm amazed that anyone is still cheering them on.

Not so much cheering them on, as much as countering some of the Microsoft-sponsored bullshit being spread around. Privacy arguments may or may not be valid, but this has nothing at all to do with their dominance in search. The privacy arguments should also be aimed at Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and any other business. Your data is worth money, and businesses are after money. It really is that simple.

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M Gale
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Re: Care-o-meter: LOW <-[]----------------> HIGH

Watched, perhaps.

Done anything about, especially when the only people complaining are "vertical search" linkfarms sponsored by Microsoft of all corporations? Perhaps not. Especially considering you can change search engines probably more easily than you can change your socks, with less impact on the rest of the Internet than, oh, changing operating systems has on your software collection.

Really, when Google demoted all of these shysters a couple of years ago, people were cheering the chocolate factory on. What's changed in the last couple of years?

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First Data hoiks out custom Android point-of-sale fondleslab

M Gale
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inb4 "LOL it's Android you gonna get haxed from here to Mars and back. You should use Apple. Or Windows 8. Proper secure operating systems. Fucking Linux fanboys."

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WordPress two-factor login plugin bug, er, bypasses 2-factor login

M Gale
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"force-browse"

That a scary version of saying "type the URL into the address bar"?

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Sony's PlayStation 4 pwns Xbox in the United States

M Gale
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Re: Popcorn

I think you're confusing an argument on the Internet with actually getting worked up. Over toys. Of which there are far better available.

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Who OWNS data generated by 'connected cars' sensor slurpers?

M Gale
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Re: How is this even a debate?

No more than a lorry driver gets a say in whether to turn their tacho off?

Depends on what data is being gathered of course. Sticking cameras all over the interior might be met with a barrage of chewing gum.

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Google, Apple pop a cap in that Flappy Birds crapp app flapp

M Gale
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Considering Flappy Bird is a rip off of the "Heli2D" game I made for a first-year university project, and the project itself was a rip-off of similar games going back decades...

What da fook you on 'bout, Gapple?

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