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* Posts by Number6

1320 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Number6
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Re: Have lots of ideas, try them out

Valid tactic to try once - what happens if we take something less than popular and try to force people to use it? Now they know, and one would hope they will learn and not do it again.

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Bloat-free, unlocked Moto X to be dubbed 'Pure Edition', says report

Number6
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One plus point

Regardless of its performance as a phone, removing the bloat is a major step forward. At least if you get a PC from one of the big manufacturers, it's possible to remove the unwanted bloat, on my current phone I'm stuck with a bunch of useless apps taking up space I can't easily recover. We've managed to get carriers to offer phones independent of the airtime contract, now perhaps we can get them to offer phones without the extra crap. Admittedly we're still stuck with some Google presence (request to Google - do what Microsoft did and add an option to disable the bits we don't want to run) unless we're willing to add another layer of complexity, but to some extent that's true for Apple and Microsoft too.

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Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC

Number6
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Re: If

I bought a car and then decided I didn't like the engine, I wouldn't expect to be able to just pull the engine out and ask for some of my money back.

Back when I last bought a new car, I had the option of choosing which variant of engine was fitted, along with the colour, accessories, etc. However, as someone else pointed out, Windows on the PC is more like the chauffeur driving the car than the engine.

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

Number6
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Re: Fairhead also defended criminal penalties for non-payers - and over 70 sent to jail.

The tale goes that in certain cities with a line of houses down a street, back gardens/yards that backed onto an alley, more back gardens, houses, street etc, the trick was to position someone at the end of the alley where he could observe all the yards, then drive a van clearly marked as a TV detector van slowly down the road. Then the guy at the back would observe all the men running out of their houses to hide the TV in the shed and note which houses they were. Then the team could go knock on the door, go out to the shed and find the still-warm TV (remember they had valves in back then), demonstrating that the TV detector van was so good it could detect the location of a TV even when switched off and hidden.

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Number6
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Harassment

It's a great shame that prosecuting the BBC for the behaviour of their licence department isn't really possible. Those who don't have a TV get harassed regularly and are sent bits of paper that accuse them of being criminals (with a get-out in the really small print at the bottom). Somewhere I still have the red "final demand" letter they sent me a few years ago with the "pay up in seven days or else" threat in big, unfriendly letters. I'm still waiting for the "or else". Even telling them you don't have a TV doesn't work, they still keep coming back.

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FTC: We didn't robocall you and thousands of others asking for bank details. IT'S A TRAP!

Number6
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Pay-only numbers

Banks need to set up a system of inbound account numbers. That way, I can quote an account number to someone so they can pay me money, but it's not one that allows withdrawals, that would be using a different number attached to the same account. It would mean that the response to a scam like this would be to give the scammer a number he can use to give money away, but not use to extract it. Provided there was no way to connect an inbound and outbound number, it's got a lot going for it.

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Comcast using JavaScript to inject advertising from Wi-Fi hotspots

Number6
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Re: That should be illegal

Working on the principle that those with lots of money seem to get away with all sorts of things, you just have to add enough zeros that you qualify for the exemption.

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Number6
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Which data stream?

Is this the initial sign-on webpage or are they piggybacking on normal browsing? If the latter then that's an even bigger incentive to log in and then fire up the VPN so they can't interfere with my traffic.

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Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT

Number6
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Re: Apple Pay? Not if they use the current iTunes approach..

They're not the only company that has problems coping with people who move across international borders. That doesn't make it right, though.

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Number6
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Watch Plugins

Is it true that they're going to offer a BBC timesignal plug-in that gives you six pips every 15 minutes?

Mine's the one with the core technology...

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Number6
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So how many of these have secure boot locked down so they're useless? I finally managed to get Linux to boot on a bigger Asus laptop, but that wasn't locked down. I know the Surface tablets were locked, it will be interesting to know if the netbooks are too.

How do they compare performance-wise with the original Eee PC and Aspire One machines?

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

Number6
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Re: No Legs, No Stairs, No use.

You just buy one for each level. This is where cheaper ones are more attractive.

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Number6
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Re: A true Roomba competitior..

Or the Neato,with its laser scanner for navigation and brush positioned where it stands a chance of cleaning in the corners.

Wonder what the battery life of the Dyson tank is - there's a reason the rest of the market has less suction.

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

Number6
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Europe

I assume advice for Europeans is to change to "pa€€wort" or "motdepa€€e"

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Discovery BATTLED 2-foot-long WEE ICICLE on first mission - 30 years ago today

Number6
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Sublime

I would have expected it to sublime, a bit like dry ice does down on earth. I assume the side of the orbiter heated up and transferred heat via conduction to the base of the icicle and weakened it. Using the robot arm to remove it is a bit like someone scratching his back.

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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

Number6
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Re: Real coding!

Same reason we can't have decent filesystems (ext4 anyone ?) on USB sticks - Microsoft insist on FATxxxx-only to keep the monopoly rent on the patents I'm afraid.

I happily have ext[2-4] on my USB sticks, it just means I can't lend them to anyone running Windows :-)

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

Number6
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Clearly a challenge for the Special Projects Bureau when they've finished conquering outer space - apply their rocketry to inner space.

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Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years

Number6
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Snoozefest

The first I knew about it was when I read about it on the web this morning. Good job I didn't crash overnight at yesterday's party, that was only about ten miles from the epicentre. South end of the Bay obviously got a much gentler version because it didn't disturb me.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Number6
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Re: **** the European badge

I bet there are people who'd pay to have the European map with Spain deleted from it. Although Portugal would have to get used to being an island.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Number6
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Re: @J.G.Harston and spelling

'Pterodactyl' should have been replaced by 'floccinaucinihilipilification' just to show that the IT department was listening to their complaints. It's what any good BOFH would have done.

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It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

Number6
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Re: Hyperbole?

Presumably his little rant was triggered by inadvertently emailing his boss instead of a coworker (co-reseacher?) with a rant about his boss. :-)

Well, had he encrypted it with his coworker's public key then he'd have gotten away with it because hopefully his boss wouldn't have been able to decrypt it.

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Brit infosec firm lets hackers think they've stolen something

Number6
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I've seen the technology in action. Some companies clearly pass their press releases through it.

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Hey guys. We've got 1.2 BILLION stolen accounts here. Send us your passwords, 'cos safety

Number6
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Moving on to my next website...

Any site that wants me to give it the password to another of my accounts and I close the window. I guess I could give it a made-up password just to confuse things.

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Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

Number6
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Unless you can focus the field, magnetic charging is incredibly inefficient over significant distance because it's subject to a square law. It will be interesting to see how Apple have managed to come up with something novel, given the existing prior art in the field.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

Number6
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Joke

Who needs solar cells, they could use cold fusion to power it.

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UK.gov wants public sector to rip up data protection law

Number6
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Not Good

I used to think a unified government would be a good idea, but having seen how readily the government leaks data and abuses the information, I think I prefer the current inefficient model where they don't share it. My response is to do my best not to give them any information that I don't have to, although even that is probably too much.

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BOFH: The Great Backup BACKDOWN

Number6
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If all else fails, just ask the NSA, they've probably got a copy of your important data.

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Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Number6
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Ownership

Clearly MS need to outsource their Irish server farm to a locally-owned company. That way, they're renting the servers and the US has no claim on them.

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Number6
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Law of non-reciprocity

One already is. Earlier this month the British government passed a law asserting its right to require tech companies to produce emails stored anywhere in the world. This would include emails stored in the U.S. by Americans who have never been to the U.K.

I look forward to seeing this in operation. Should provide a fair bit of entertainment.

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PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

Number6
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Re: In defense of Casio...

I have a Casio watch that's now over 30 years old. It's an LCD watch in a plastic case and it still works provided I replace the battery occasionally. It's been retired in favour of a Pebble, but then the Pebble was a gift so it still goes down as the last watch I ever bought. It wasn't that expensive, either.

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

Number6
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I use the self-service checkouts for a small number of items with barcodes. If it's a fruit-and-veg shop then I always go for a human operator as they probably know the codes for the produce without needing to look them up. The self-checkouts at my local supermarket seem to have a problem with my bags though, I always seem to have to get them verified before I can start the process.

As for automated stuff, what about voice-recognition software. Activating a credit card, it asks me to enter my card number with the dial pad, which is OK, but then it asks me to speak my date of birth. After it's failed a couple of times it lets me enter that via the dialpad too. When my wife tried activating a card, it recognised her first time. She has an American accent, mine is British. I've had arguments with the PG&E system too, that also seems to struggle with British accents. What all these systems need is a quick and easy way to get through to a human, for those of us who know that the automated system is not going to cope.

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Number6
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Re: Starbucks

I think you should try some weird and wonderful names and document the spelling variations. It's possible that the baristas just have trouble spelling Alas-Dur.

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Number6
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Re: My day screwed

Isn't a nail just an anorexic screw?

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Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

Number6
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I think it was more likely to be trying to log in to its Spotify account.

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WTF is ... Virtual Customer Premises Equipment?

Number6
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Re: STFU bitches, In the US, you don't get a firewall/router

I wish Comcast-supplied modems had a "modem-only" option configurable by the user. I can't even switch off their DHCP server, which means it's a pain to do my own DHCP/DNS. I know there are reasons not to do double-NAT, but my irritation is getting to the point where I'll do it anyway and live with any problems. It's also very hard to get an eMTA modem that supports IPv6.

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Number6
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Re: So much wrong with this.

I use DHCP on my local network with static allocation of IP addresses to known MAC addresses.By the time you add in phones, PCs, game consoles, laptops, printers, virtual machines (doesn't everyone have one?) etc, it's very quick and easy to have twenty or thirty devices on a network.

I used a couple of Sheevaplugs as DHCP/DNS servers in a master/slave arrangement. Setting it up taught me how it works, and when one of them died for some reason, the other kept things going while I fixed the broken one.

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18,000 Apple employees could get bite of profits with class-action lawsuit

Number6
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So Apple settle for, say, $10 million. $9 million of that will be for lawyers' fees and the other $1 million will be split amongst the employees, about $55 each. That's normally how these things work, isn't it?

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Number6
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Re: @NUmbers

These 'DIFFERENT COUNTRIES' may have completely different road rules.

Observing the driving, one wonders whether they have any rules. Having said that, I haven't seen many dented cars so it clearly works for them. It's definitely one of those places where being a pedestrian is challenging - a green man at the lights does not mean there won't be a string of cars, bikes and scooters heading your way.

Oh, and you presumed wrong, at least on recent timescales.

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Number6
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I'm in Shanghai at the moment. Here, the hard shoulder is used by people who need to overtake (including coaches). Or park. I don't think I've seen it used for a real emergency yet.

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Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball

Number6
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With a subject like that, I was expecting the article to talk about how the lawyers went t'werk on the presentation.

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Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers

Number6
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Re: No PHP and dropping.

I remember one scanner that used to look for a file called "thisdoesnotexist" or similar. Except on my system it did, and provided a 30MB download of random data (this was back in the days when dial-up was still more common).

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Number6
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Re: What century are these guys in?

My Linux machines tell me when there are new updates available but I have to install them manually. Mind you, I have the work Windows laptop configured to do the same, it's one of the things I do automatically whatever the OS. The one place that made auto-update a group policy, I made a point of shouting loudly at the IT staff whenever my machine rebooted overnight and lost whatever work I'd left it doing.

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Brandon Gray aka Namejuice suspended by ICANN

Number6
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I used to get this sort of junk. I was giving serious consideration to a complaint to the Mailing Preference Service, given that I was registered with them and didn't have any business relationship with the domain scammers concerned. Then I decided it was just easier to put it in the bin, or write "not known at this address" and put it back in the post box.

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Number6
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Re: Unique Passwords

That was one of the holes in an Enigma cipher; a letter could never map to itself. Declaring that the character following a character cannot be a repeat of that character is probably also a weakness.

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Number6
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Password Entropy

This is where the xkcd comic needs an airing.

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Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry

Number6
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I am probably better known on-line by one of two handles, one of which is close to my real name, the other is not. I've been associated with it for many years though, and more on-line people probably know me by that name than my real one.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

Number6
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Re: No big deal

My phone is usually on at security anyway.

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Number6
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Re: How much explosive can you fit in a mobile?

If you do it at 30,000ft probably not much if you can get it close to the fuselage. It's only 2mm of aluminium alloy. Mythbusters did some tests - a depressurised aircraft needs a lot more explosive to cause critical damage, one that's pressurised needs very little because the pressure differential does most of the work once you start the airflow.

When they did tests on the Comet airframe it was done in a huge water container on the basis that water doesn't store up all that energy in the same was as air when under pressure, so when the fuselage ruptured, it wasn't explosive decompression.

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Number6
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The UK appears to require a fair bit of data, based on flying there from Germany a while back.

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Number6
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Re: I wonder

What happens if you've got it in flight mode? It's powered up OK.

More to the point, I normally put my phone into flight mode at my home departure airport and leave it in that condition until I get back, in order to avoid roaming charges (there's no one I need to talk to that urgently when out of the country). So if I'm at a foreign airport and they insist I register it with the local network and I incur charges as a result, I guess the snowball has more chance in Hell than I would have asking for a refund.

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