* Posts by Number6

1471 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft man: Internet Explorer had to go because it's garbage

Number6
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Re: Um, what?

I had to stop and read that bit again. Microsoft is concerned with a monoculture coming into existence? are they really reformed or did the speaker just miss the "that we don't control" off the end?

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ACLU: Here's a secret – cops are using the FBI's fake cell-tower tech to track crims' phones

Number6
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US Constitution

The US Constitution was written with the understanding that the state had immensely more power than the individual and that's why criminals can get off scot free if the agents of the state don't stick to the rules - it provides an incentive for the agents to do so, and so attempts to prevent abuse of power.

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Stop viewing Facebook at work says Facebook at work on Facebook at Work

Number6
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Re: beep, beep-beep, ring-ring, cough, poke, slap, OY! YOU! TALK TO ME! NOW! RAAAAAAAAAAaaAAAAAaaaaa

I'm lucky - my phone rings and I can afford to look at it before getting up to go get a cup of tea in the hope that it's stopped ringing before I get back. At some point I'll have IT disable my voicemail box after I record a greeting that tells people to email me instead. The same for my mobile, if I don't recognise the number then I don't answer the call (family calls come in with a different ring tune).

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Number6
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Re: Wow! I'm just so....

How long does it take you to type three characters and click "Submit"?

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FCC Republicans slam brakes on net neutrality, but this wagon ain't slowing

Number6
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Who's in charge?

Isn't the debate here about whether it's controlled by the government or by large corporations? The American people have very little say in practice.

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BOFH: The Great HellDesk geek leave seek

Number6
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Re: The fun of a corporate card

Some people may recognise this story - company gave out Visa cards to people who needed them, all was well. Company was acquired, cardholders told to trade in their Visa for an Amex as this was the preferred card of our new US owners. At least one of the staff read the Ts and Cs for Amex, realised that the cardholder was personally liable, unlike the corporate Visa, and pretty much everyone refused to agree to the new Ts and Cs and I believe a compromise was reached where they were allowed to continue with the Visa cards (I was a bystander, not travelling enough to need a company card). To add spice to the tale, I had arranged to meet someone from another company site at Amsterdam airport on the way to a client meeting, and he had a corporate Amex which, as it turned out, was not accepted at the airport train station back then (and still may not be) so ended up using his personal Visa to buy our tickets. Needless to say, this tale got reported back to our site too.

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Number6
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I remember being invited into the project manager's office along with a few others to witness him calling the accounts department to tell them that if they didn't get their act together and stop delaying our purchase orders (usually a problem around the end of a month) then he'd be telling his team to book to the waiting time overhead number if the stuff we'd ordered didn't arrive.

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'We have NO IDEA who put those ads on our TVs', Sammy simpers

Number6
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Playmobil

I think the conference+mayo scene needs a Playmobil tribute. Just imagine how it could have gone...

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Reg hacks (and rest of 'Frisco) in LinkedIn measles contagion scare

Number6
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I once spent a day in a car with someone who came out in a rash (he was a teacher, too) during the day that was diagnosed as measles. I didn't catch it from him, so I assume that my childhood illness set up my immune system properly and that experience was the equivalent of a booster vaccine.

As for Frisco, I thought that was something one used in cooking, until I realised that C and F are close on the keyboard and my brain had suffered a typo.

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Number6
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Re: Mountains and Molehills

While I assume that like me, you didn't know the family personally, Roald Dahl lost a daughter to measles. In a few cases it causes encephalitis, which is what leads to brain damage or death, and his daughter was one of the unlucky ones.

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WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

Number6
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Re: coming soon?

Only in the US. Host it on a non-US server with mirrors around the world. A good game of whack-a-mole could then take place.

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Number6
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Smart TVs

A timely article. I've already rejected LG based on their privacy policy for smart TVs, now I'm going to dump Samsung smart TVs too. I think I'll end up with a dumb one and add my own PC to do all the fancy tricks.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Number6
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Slowing the signal

Yes, the dielectric does slow down the propagation of the signal. If you look at coax cables they usually quote a velocity factor that depends on the dielectric in use. 0.66 is typical for cheap coax. PCB material has similar effects on the tracks, fibreglass has a dielectric constant of about 4.2-4.3, which slows the propagation down to about half that of free space (square root of the dielectric constant).

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Number6
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Changing the Norm

To some extent it's the wrong solution to the problem. One day, probably 20 or 30 years from now, pretty much anyone of working age is going to have something embarrassing on-line somewhere and it'll become the norm. Employers will learn to distinguish between evidence of current bad behaviour and what you did as a student but have outgrown. The world will end up with a "so what?" attitude when dodgy photos from the past get dredged up and they'll largely cease to matter.

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IBM chasing ex-staffers for $20 payments

Number6
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I think if I received a bill for $20 from an employer who'd just fired me like that, I'd write back and ask for a full cost breakdown to justify why I owed them the money. That would easily cost them more than $20 even if it turned out that I had to pay it.

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Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

Number6
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I'm in California, I'm sure we have more lawyers than Florida and we're not at the front of the queue.

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Number6
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I was lucky, in that I never quite got around to getting the first recall done. I've got paperwork for the second, but interestingly they say that there aren't enough replacement devices to go around so they're prioritising areas such as Florida where there's heat and high humidity as evidence suggests they're more likely to have a problem than other areas. In the meantime, it is recommended not to carry front-seat passengers.

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Microsoft Outlook comes to Android, iOS: MS email now a bit less painful on mobile

Number6
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Phone Wiping

Last time I tried setting up my phone to talk to the Outlook cloud server, it wanted me to agree that the app could wipe my phone back to a factory reset if it felt like it. So I don't have it on my phone. If my employer wants me to have access, they can provide their own device for it.

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FCC sexes up, er, sextuples 'broadband' speed to 25Mbps in US

Number6
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Cost

At least they included the word "affordable" in the target definition.

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GoDaddy in doghouse over puppy-flogging Super Bowl ad

Number6
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Re: This is going to annoy Americans

You can be to the right of the Tory party and still be considered a socialist or a liberal in parts of US. They don't really know what one is, apart from the fact that the First Amendment doesn't apply to them and they shouldn't be allowed to say their piece.

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BOO! Grave remote-code exec flaw in GNU C Library TERRIFIES Linux

Number6
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Re: re Using zero terminated strings in C didn't turn out to be the best design decision ever

Back in the day, a lot of stuff didn't have the degree of communication with the outside world that it does now so security wasn't such an issue.

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Number6
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Re: Yay!

Patiently awaiting the CentOS rebuild of the fix...

I just did a yum update on my Centos VM and it pulled in a new glibc so I guess they've done something.

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PwC: Forget margin, tech biz, HUSTLE for that SALE

Number6
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Short Term, Get Rich Quick.

I was thinking along exactly the same lines. Very short term, screw everyone to get the share price up as high as possible and sell out quick.

I believe the US treats stock dividends unfavourably when it comes to tax, which is a shame. Pension funds and others looking for a long-term stable investment are generally happy to sit on the shares and use the dividends as a revenue stream that is likely to be fairly stable into the long term - that's certainly how it worked in the UK for many years.

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ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

Number6
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Not for Profit

Well, if ICANN is not for profit then clearly they have to spend all the money that comes in, hence the execs getting paid lots and having big travel budgets.

Mine's the one with the fee-reduction plan in the pocket.

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Landlines: The tech that just won't die

Number6
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I have an Asterisk PBX controlling my landline (and a bit of VoIP too). The general principle is that it looks up incoming CLI in a database and anything marked as a scammer gets answered with a recorded message (the 'weasels' one, for those who know Asterisk) and it hangs up, all without ringing the house phone. Very efficient. I also wrote a little app for the PC that logs all calls and pops up a little message from the system tray with the number and the results of the database lookup, so if it's a known wanted number, it'll be clear that I probably ought to answer the phone, otherwise I plug the number into Google to see who it is while the answerphone deals with the call itself.

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Then there were 3: Another UK mobile network borged ...

Number6
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Range v Capacity

Lower frequencies may well help reduce the number of cells required by having longer range, but the other issue is capacity. For that, you need lots of small cells so the number of users per cell remains low. At this point it's easier to use the higher frequencies because they don't propagate as far and the antenna arrays are smaller and more manageable.

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OTHER EARTHS may be orbiting our Sun beyond Neptune

Number6
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Re: Can't comment on trans-Pluto objects

Sorry, no naked eyes (or any other body part) are allowed around the Sun any more. They stopped all that.

One has to be careful where one puts heavenly bodies now.

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Want an Internet of Stuff? Not so 4K-ing fast ... yet – Akamai

Number6
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Re: Caching stats

If it's just store stuff then it might be genuine, I don't see the need to fill my Android phone with loads of apps, just the few I actually use. Perhaps those who use iPhones are more likely to download loads of apps. It may also be that the Apple ecosystem is perceived as safer, or that the users are less concerned about apps that want all sorts of privacy-invading permissions (or are not told about them in the same way as for Android). I have on a few occasions gone to install an app, seen what access it demands and then not installed it because I don't see why it needs those privileges.

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‘Whatever happened to Vladimir Putin?’ and other crap New Year prophesies

Number6
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Re: re. "... the Moon entering Uranus ..."

Wheezing is the wrong response, a good, forceful fart will prevent blockage.

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Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

Number6
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At least you were testing it.

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Demon Internet goes TITSUP: Outage borks ancient ISP

Number6
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Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

Having been told by its four predecessors about the network, it probably wanted to retrieve the Cat-5 cable.

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UNDER A VEST: Man cuffed for smuggling 94 iPhones strapped to his body

Number6
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Underwear

I always thought the iPhone was pants.

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This $10 phone charger will wirelessly keylog your boss

Number6
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Wires FTW

I knew there was a good reason why I much prefer wired keyboards and mice. And wired rather than wifi network links. I have to admit I haven't checked for a wired keylogger this week yet though.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Number6
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Already Broken?

So if TLS is allowed, presumably they can already read it so we'll be allowed to continue.

All it needs is for all mail servers outside the UK to be reconfigured to insist on secure comms or fail and suddenly a lot of the UK's important business will dry up or revert back to fax machines.

And what about my Android phone, on which I've enabled encryption so even if PC Plod confiscates it, he still won't be able to read it without my knowledge?

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

Number6
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Re: Push-to-talk latency

What's wrong with putting an audible tone in the software when the thing is ready to transmit on the network?

You've got it backwards according to how most people would react - the tone should be there until communication is established so that when it goes quiet, they're free to speak, just as happens in normal conversation.

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Tesco preps for Big Data Engine dump: Laters, Clubcard dev

Number6
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Re: Customer Service

I still don't get why we don't have the system that every continental place I have been has which is to have a splitter at the checkout and the checkout operator is happily shifting the next person's items through while you are packing yours.

Not common, but I have seen such checkouts in the UK in the past.

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Number6
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Re: Customer Service

Yep, its almost like a challenge for their staff to throw your shopping down the checkout as fast as possible so it all piles up and then sit there tutting at you, while you try to find the room to pack it.

I always thought that was part of the fun, proving you were good enough to pack faster than they could scan. This includes having several bags and doing some basic sorting so you know where all the frozen stuff is for ease of handling when you get the shopping home. Confuses hell out of the checkout staff in the US when I automatically start packing my own bag now. It is a lot faster than having it all checked through and then packed (usually pretty carefully) by the same person while the queue builds up.

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4K off, Google Fiber: Comcast, Broadcom tout 2Gbps cable

Number6
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Using "Comcast" and "High Speed" in the same sentence is a bit of an oxymoron. They don't have a very good reputation around here for bandwidth. You may have a 50Mbit/s link from your cable modem into their system, but then you're contending for the same bit of wet string as everyone else to actually connect to anything else, even a YouTube video is unwatchable at peak times so 4K is a pipe dream.

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

Number6
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Re: First rule

The same "Braclay's" that in 2015 still insist you fill in a paying in slip for any amount or type of deposit!

That must be branch-related. Last time I deposited a cheque (might even have been late 2013), I just handed over the cheque and they got the account details from my ATM card.

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Number6
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Re: First rule

Most of what I need from a bank I can do on-line, the only times I've been in a UK bank branch over the past five years were to pay in a cheque (which I could probably have put in the post) and to close an account ("Leaving the country" is a real good reason to give and stops most customer-retention pitches in their tracks).

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Brit iPad sellers feel the pain of VAT-free imports

Number6
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That is as it should be, given the economies of scale associated with bringing in a large number of item. Of course, had you not been unlucky and your particular shipment had gotten through without being spotted by HMRC, you'd have been up on the deal. No doubt some other buyers did slip through the net.

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Doctor Who's tangerine dream and Clara's death wish in Last Christmas

Number6
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Danny Pink

So is he really dead? I would quote Rory as a precedent here, he did die on several occasions but kept bouncing back. Pink ended up in a place where he was able to make a choice to send back the boy instead of him, which implies that wherever it is may well appear in a later episode for him to be rescued. The clue is in the meeting with his offspring. Chances are he'll reappear in Clara's last appearance with the Doctor, so she can settle down with him.

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HP breaks for Xmas week - aka 'staff hols' - source

Number6
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Extra Vacation

I remember in the good old days(tm) when my company introduced a mandatory Christmas shutdown, they also gave us an extra five days paid time off with the proviso that the company reserved the right to dictate when we could take them. The festive period normally used up three of those, occasionally four, and as most people took the time off anyway, it was a net gain.

Of course, back then, employee welfare and benefits were taken into account. Perhaps if HP and others were to do that again, they'd get more motivated employees and they'd do a bit better.

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El Reg's festive dating app guide, Pt. 2: The FEMALE perspective

Number6
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Re: Online works

I met mine on-line when I wasn't searching, we just happened to have a mutual friend. She was on another continent, so clearly nothing was ever going to happen so we were both just ourselves rather than trying to be the person we though the other one wanted. That was over sixteen years ago, we've been married for fifteen, and a lot of paperwork submitted to the immigration people (it was much easier back then).

Those were the days of dial-up internet too, before it went unmetered, so my phone bill was horrendous with all the time chatting and the international phone calls (no Skype either).

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Freedom of Info at 10: Tony Blair's WORST NIGHTMARE

Number6
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Public by Default

It should be written into all contracts for supplying services to public bodies that the full terms and conditions of the contract shall be made public, normally within a month of the start of the contract. If a supplier prefers not to have contract terms made public then they can just choose not to bid.

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Solar-powered bra maker suffers 20,000 TITSUPs all at once

Number6
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Re: Hunh?

I was thinking it was more TITSDOWN than TITSUP, too.

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Number6
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Re: Good article

Personally I think Google are doing law enforcement a favour. If it's illegal to buy prescription drugs over the internet in the US then it should be trivial for law enforcement to use Google to search for such sites. If the sites are overseas then they can go to the courts in the countries concerned and request a court order to be able to go through the books of said companies and extract the details of all the US residents who have done business with them. Of course, this means doing it through proper legal channels, which I understand is not always popular.

One could also ask why prescription drugs cost so much in the US that it is cheaper to get them from elsewhere. Who's being ripped off here?

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Beware of merging, telcos. CHEAPER SPECTRUM follows

Number6
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Re: We all paid for Brown's auction

We all ended up paying for Brown's auction.

We all ended up paying for pretty much anything he did. All those complicated little taxes to generate red tape. I didn't see any improvement in anything provided by the state to account for the hike in taxes, so where did it all go?

About the only thing he was worse at than being Chancellor was being Prime Minister.

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Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Number6
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Re: ZoneAlarm advert?

To be fair, I don't know how many embedded devices have the hardware to do deep packet inspection. My Drobo doesn't. And it would probably murder battery life on a mobile. CheckPoint can't fix that.

An embedded device doesn't need to do deep packet inspection, it just needs to only respond to what it's supposed to handle and to safely reject everything else. If you send it a packet that is too long then the network stack should discard it without overrunning a buffer, if you send a malformed packet of suitable length then the application should correctly parse it and throw out anything that doesn't make sense. Many flaws are there because the software writer was lazy, or didn't think of all the corner cases and handle them. It was many years before people even really thought about deliberate malicious attacks on software, much error-handling was intended to deal with benign mistakes.

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Number6
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Re: ZoneAlarm advert?

So how do I install ZoneAlarm PRO on all the non-PC devices on my LAN? And will it conflict with iptables where I've got that installed? Perhaps they need to produce ZoneAlarm Fridge or similar...

As far as I know the latest OpenWRT isn't going to be vulnerable and that's what I have protecting my system, having switched the cable modem to bridge mode with my own router behind it.

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