* Posts by Charles 9

6646 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Full Linux-on-PS4 hits Github

Charles 9
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Re: Puzzled

"Any, the age old myth from the bedroom experts that the PS4 has an off the shelf GPU."

It IS an OTS system, with some minor adjustments. AMD has been selling their APU CPU/GPU combos for years before the PS4 came along, and GDDR5 was nothing new, either. Thing is, GDDR has a graphics-oriented performance optimization which is why it isn't used with standard DDR memory channels. Both the PS4 and Xbox One are customized to some extent, but neither really use cutting-edge hardware (that still belongs to the realm of gaming PCs) that could be considered novel or revolutionary. Even the PS3's Cell architecture got leapfrogged early into its working life with the GPGPU push culminating with the release of OpenCL.

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AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots

Charles 9
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Re: @Nifty always something else next

"Such an AI would leave human based law professionals in the dust."

I don't think so. The legal profession has one thing going against AI's: that being the ultimate arbiters are humans who don't always think rationally (humans are emotional first, rational second; it shows during impulse-sensitive events like a crisis or disaster). Being a trial attorney/prosecutor/barrister/anyone who has to argue in an actual courtroom is at least partially an oratory art because of this. Whether it's a single judge, a jury, or a group of higher justices, you pretty much have to push emotional buttons to win your case, much as anyone in the courtroom will deny it.

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Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet

Charles 9
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Re: Software updates

There is no solution. You're up against a "dual-use" problem: something that can inseparably be used for good and ill. It a lot like owning a gun. Sure, it can be used as a last resort to defend your life, but as long as you own it, it can be turned against you as well (stolen, used by an angry spouse, etc.). Same with cars. And since the computer has no way to separate the audacious from the stupid, just like the gun can't tell between a defensive use and a malicious use (and the car), we're kinda stuck with it. To get things done, we HAVE to run the risk of being pwned. Problem being, some people are too stupid to be able to make this kind of judgment BUT must be able to use the computer to run their daily lives.

In the end, it can boil down to one of those "Book of Questions" problems where there's no real answer.

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Charles 9
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Re: OpenBSD Pledge?

"Yes, let's blame the user. That's been so effective in improving IT security over the past several decades."

As the comedian once said, "You can't fix stupid," and stupid can break a lot of stuff no matter what you try to mitigate it (because the ways they can break it are often equal to the stuff they need to get their job done with no way to separate the two).

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Charles 9
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Re: Hang on a minute

"be very aware, even suspicious, of why you're being asked for that information"

Trouble is, many computer users can't even understand THAT yet depend on turnkey and foolproof simplicity, full stop. They want unicorns and complain to high heaven if you don't deliver. Oh, and they have friends, so telling them to get lost will have knock-on effects. How do you deal with people like that, especially when they seek you out directly so go to great pains to get around your attempts to get around them?

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Call the Cable Guy: Wireless just won't cut it

Charles 9
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Re: Wired vs wireless

I have both. I wired myself back during the early days of cable modem, so it's a touch old with normal CAT5, but you'd be surprised how well it still carries things even now. And before that I had linked a few computer to a Linux-powered dialup box over 10-Base2 (yup,BNC cables run along the floor, at the time it was easier plus one of the devices could ONLY use coax, as it was a parallel-port adapter).

I have a wireless setup for those devices that must use it (laptops, phones, tablets, etc.), but to be on the safe side, my password's at the length limit and uses as broad a character base as I could use. I usually have to use WPS-PBC to add a device (WPS-PIN is turned off) because I can't remember it, it's so long.

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Charles 9
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Re: the answer

No good. Token ring only works if the connections are highly directional (thus the "ring" in Token Ring). The big thing with wireless (and this is a physical thing) is that radio is naturally omnidirectional; it tends to braodcast in all directions. It's like a common lightbulb in that sense. Or even a candle. You get the same problem when you happen to stand in a zone of radio crosstalk where two stations from two different areas both use the same frequency and happen to (usually unintentionally) get as far as you.

And for a mobile device like a tablet or phone, you NEED this omnidirectionality since you cannot rely on the device to have a specific orientation all the time. That's why we use radio instead of infrared. Yes, you can use light and lasers to transmit data, but they can only work in fixed settings where the endpoints are known and aimed carefully.

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It's nuts but 'shared' is still shorthand for 'worthless'

Charles 9
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Re: All well and good

"we shouldn't wrap kids in cotton wool all the time."

Tell that to the parents, especially those for whom it's their last or only child. Meaning his/her death means their complete failure as parents, with potentially tragic results which I've seen. Any reaction other than coddling is going to look cold and Spartan to them.

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Legion of demons found in ancient auto medical supply dispensing cabinets

Charles 9
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I guess it depends on the device, but my Symbol barcode scanner is USB, and you can choose whether it appears as a HID Keyboard or a Serial Port, both of which have pretty standard support.

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Charles 9
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Re: That's not the reason

Which then butts up against another hard reality. That pre-release lifecycle is longer than the product lifecycle. IOW, the software is obsolete and broken beyond repair by the time it even gets deployed. It's a constant wild goose chase. You also see it in other industries where computer-controlled equipment is expected to run for decades yet the software within cannot be relied upon to last that long, mainly because technology marches on and eventually a game breaker emerges.

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Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Charles 9
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Re: Just deal with it?

You know the computer code in modern CARS is copyrighted, NOT yours, and can have serious consequences if you try to mess with it? At best, you can have a voided warranty; at worst, you can end up with a junk heap.

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Charles 9
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Cheapskate? That's all the laptop I was using could take!

"More RAM regardless of OS."

Exactly my point. As someone noted, Firefox actually isn't that bad when you compare them side by side against Chrome (all threads combined) and especially against IE. The high multimedia factor of modern websites and the need to have so many pages open is what drives up memory usage, not the browsers themselves. Meaning they'll hog memory even in an LXDE environment. It's basically the cost of web browsing these days. And don't get started with lower-standard browsers and especially Lynx. Good chunk of the web probably won't function with them these days.

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Charles 9
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Including serious web browsing? Because I tried with Mint and found it chugging regardless of the OS until I got things up to 4GB at least. Web browsing these days can be a real memory hog, regardless of the graphical browser you use.

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Charles 9
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Re: Feed this into MS' Agile development methodology...

A lot? The Linux catalog is barely 20% that of the Windows catalog, and plenty of headliners like Fallout 4 are still missing.

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Internet users don't understand security or privacy, says survey

Charles 9
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Re: @ Charles 9

No, because THEY have the right of self-determination, too, and if your actions impede with their self-determination, then that's a matter of one right interfering with another right. And they outnumber you.

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Charles 9
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But if people are dependent upon you, then harming yourself has a knock-on effect, harming them, too. No one I know lives in complete isolation.

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Ransomware now using disk-level encryption

Charles 9
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Re: Personally I prefer this

"We now ban connection of anything "unapproved" on to the network on pain of instant dismissal."

That still doesn't solve the problem of the unapproved stuff being brought in by the ones who write the rules. Try to dismiss them and they'll turn around and dismiss YOU first, AND they outrank you.

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Charles 9
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Re: Always a fool

And then there are those who will learn from no ONE...at all. The guy who if you taught to fish would be found dead a week later with the rod still in his hand.

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Charles 9
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Re: Legitimate uses for Bitcoin ?

Bitcoin's no panacea. Bit by bit, various criticisms are emerging: from the ungainly size of the blockchain to elements of corruption to allegations of blockchain manipulation. The whole thing's getting closer to house of cards status where one big snafu (the Mt. Gox scandal came close and still put a serious dent in Bitcoin for a while) will break the trust of the system (and any financial or monetary system needs this to survive).

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Charles 9
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Re: Personally I prefer this

Problem is, what if that's your boss?

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Charles 9
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And as the article notes, that doesn't help. In fact, this may be a boobytrap since attempting to restore the original record blows out the traces and methods needed to actually decrypt the rest of the drive.

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Charles 9
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Re: Always a fool

"Education is amazingly effective in combating malware, yet the vast majority of companies I have performed consulting at completely ignore it in favour of tin that they haven't got the in-house skills to use/maintain."

Because education isn't as effective as you think. Guaranteed there's that someone in your group who isn't capable of learning. To quote the comedian, "You can't fix stupid." And before you can suggest firing him, more often than not the idiot's up top.

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William Hague: Brussels attacks mean we must destroy crypto ASAP

Charles 9
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But now they'll stick out like sore thumbs, and there are ways to put limits on steganography such that they're likely to be either detected or mangled.

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Charles 9
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Re: Coded, not encrypted

But even coded messages can stand out if people actually take the time to peruse every ad and message since it's about the only way you can get your agents to actually see the message. Odd team bets, strange messages like that of the geese, peculiar want ads and so on.

If I were an evil autocrat, I'd tell every newspaper that if they're found to have passed a message that caused a massacre, their assets would be seized, forcing them to vet all their ads for fear of that.

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Charles 9
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Re: But they often don't act on what they already know about terrorists

"...wouldn't it be more sensible to look carefully at the legal framework and the logistics of finding better ways to bring known terrorists to book earlier and faster?"

No, because it's probably the best you can come up with short of a Big Brother regime. And even then you're going to have to deal with the lone wolf with legal access to stuff. Take the farmer behind the Bath Township Massacre. One man, a disgruntled farmer who snapped after losing an election, so it was pretty much spontaneous, plus he had no prior history. True lone wolf, he did this completely on his own. As a farmer in a rural township, he had legal and justifiable access to his long gun and the excavation explosives he used to bomb the school. Some tragedies you just can't prevent no matter how much you try. Thing is, the level of damage these people can inflict is increasing by the year. What happens when a lone wolf can cause a serious catastrophe such as unleashing a mutant flu he raised through his pet weasels and then unleashed in say London Heathrow or JFK?

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Six charged for 'hacking' lottery terminals to spew only winning tickets

Charles 9
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Re: Picking winners and losers

"The bug is the terminal displays the hands in the queue when there is a printer fault (out of paper/lid open)"

I agree that is a bug. In Virginia, when there's a printer fault, the entire display blanks except for the notice to change the printer paper. All printing is on hold with no knowledge of what's in queue until the problem is solved, and the unit will refuse to do anything else until you fix the problem (sure you can cold boot the unit, but that defeats the purpose as the ticket queue gets erased).

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Charles 9
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Re: Rigged

They CAN'T be rigged, unless you're saying the ENTIRE STAFF, including the independent accounting firm required by federal gaming law is on the take. Look, allegations of lottery rigging have been around since the modern age of lotteries. I recall a big new story of the sort blowing up around 1987. That's why the machines are set up the way they are: they make ball tampering exceedingly difficult.

PS. You math's rather off. Given 1 billion tickets, the odds are actually quite good for at least one of them to hit since there are now about four times more tickets than combinations, meaning the Law of Averages will favor a hit. That's why the likelihood of a hit goes up with the jackpot as more tickets are put into play. The $1.5B Powerball one was a pretty wild case of the odds beating everyone.

PPS. Going back to the fraud bit, the system shouldn't even be telling the retailers if a ticket's a winner or not. That's how it works in Virginia. You see a ticket number on the display, that's all, with no knowledge of whether or not it's a winner.

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Charles 9
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Re: Idiots...

Then you lose the predictability.

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Cunning scam: Mobe app stalks victims then emails booby-trapped bogus speeding tickets

Charles 9
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Re: Reasonable doubt

In-car camera will fix that.

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Net neut naught: Netflix throttles its own video

Charles 9
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Re: They need a download option

You forget that Netflix is the female dog of the content creators. Credits to milos the restrictions are at their insistence or they wouldn't offer the content at all. No downloads or no deal, get it?

That's why I don't even bother. If I want a program and it's on TV, I just record it with my Hauppauge. That way it's out of their control once it's at my end.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not a violation of net neutrality

"It looks like they're now going to offer the ability to make the choice yourself, so that's that part sorted. If you want to boycott them for being dishonest by omission, go for it, but I don't see this as hypocrisy myself."

OK. Better. Defaulting to conserving mobile bandwidth is all right as long as there's an opt out. The quote you give is pretty accurate as Sprint and T-Mobile are the underdogs of the mobile market and tend to have more aggressive offers (such as what I have now, with two completely unmetered LTE lines). Try getting that at a reasonable price with Verizon or AT&T.

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Charles 9
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Re: Whither Internet?

And how pray shall the twain meet without some medium in between them? Mobile data is not being hampered by the Internet but the other way around, and as you've noted aerial bandwidth is physically limited AND pretty much already taken up, so how can content providers get their stuff to their unwired customers without using precious spectrum?

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Charles 9
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Important Question

Not being a Netflix user myself, I have to ask.

Is this a fixed, non-adjustable setting being made on the part of Netflix, or is Netflix just setting a default option for mobile customers which customers can choose to override? If there is an option for the user to opt out, then I don't see this being against Net Neutrality. As Netflix has said, this helps prevent sticker shock for mobile customers, particularly prepaid ones, who have low data caps. As long as the user can choose to turn the cap off, I don't see an issue.

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Wait! Where did you get that USB? Super-stealthy trojan only drives stick

Charles 9
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Re: This is what I would do

"Just look out for temptation if you work in a sensitive area, and do your best to resist it."

Not going to do much good if the spy locates an official stick used for transport and SWAPS it out with an identical-looking tainted one (complete with any signatures it may need to carry).

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Charles 9
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Re: Guvmint Work

Anything you can do, a determined adversary can copy unless you go straight to the chip level, and even then there may be bad actors in the manufacturing stage which nothing can prevent or mitigate given the sophistication of sleepers.

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Charles 9
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Re: Examples

If USB is broken,then hardware in general is broken because there is absolutely nothing being done that cannot be done another way by another bad actor posing as a good one. It's full on DTA mode with no alternative. You either get nothing done or run the risk of a backstab. No third option.

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Charles 9
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"I occasionally check Task Manager to see what's running & any 'Trojan' app is going to grab my attention pretty quickly."

NOT if it's a trojan running ON TOP of an existing legitimate app. That's how this thing works. It hitches a ride on a genuine portable app making them part and parcel.

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Net neutrality crusaders take aim at Comcast's Stream TV service

Charles 9
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Re: Much as I hate Comcast

Which IGNORES the COAXIAL connection in between, which DOES NOT go straight to the Internet or Comcast would be unable to intervene. There's also the fact Comcast DOES serve OTHER stuff ON THE SAME cable.

Look, why Comcast and not Google, who are known to use a private fiber network AND use it to get past Internet restrictions? Why not Netflix, who tend to insist on having their boxes installed at local exchanges?

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Microsoft adds 'non-security updates' to security patches

Charles 9
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Re: As many PC users think IE is the Internet...

"Surely - in an admittedly over simplistic view - a monopoly is sometimes going to be the end of a free market if a free market is many people starting with similar products? All partakers in a capitalist free market desire to be monopolies don't they, if they want to make more money than others and have more customers?"

Monopoly is ultimately the end game of capitalism (thus I sometimes call it "Winner Economics"). I compare it often to a poker tournament. Everyone buys in, but eventually the competition whittles down as people bust out, and if you keep at this long enough, you eventually have the last one standing: a de facto monopoly.

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Charles 9
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Re: Stating the Obvious

"Until I have time to sort out a spare machine, install a suitable Linux variant on it, and either find suitable equivalents of all the software I need, or ensure I can get existing stuff running."

You'll be in for a long wait, I reckon. Too much software is WINE-unfriendly and has no Linux counterpart, which is why I had to come back to Windows.

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Police create mega crime database to rule them all. Is your numberplate in it? Could be

Charles 9
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Re: 3 points @Charles 9

"Simply having knock-on effects in public doesn't make the initial action a crime."

Yes it does. It's called, "Thinking It Through," which I don't see very much of these days. If you're getting drunk the night before you're supposed to go to work (meaning you KNOW you're supposed to be sober the next day), then that's willful disregard, and that's at least grounds for court action if consequences result. Okay, it may not necessarily be a crime (but if could, say if someone dies or is permanently maimed as a result), but negligence has a lower bar in the civil courts, and civil judgments are themselves both a punishment and compensation for wronging someone else.

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Charles 9
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Re: If Datamining worked

Well, since sports betting adjusts to the bets being made before the event, Diminishing Returns eventually kicks in.

As for the stock market, since unpredictable humans and insider hijinks are involved, the data set will always be inadequate to make a truly accurate prediction.

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Charles 9
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"Most people are able to overcome the 'natural instincts' to go around trying to have sex with anything that moves, defecate wherever they like, and grab hold of anything that takes their fancy."

We're NOT "overcoming" them. We're merely repressing them. Thing is, it builds up like water behind a dam, and the dam doesn't have very solid foundations. Or perhaps a better analogy, a forest that keeps getting tinder built up. Sooner or later, the dam's going to break down or the forest is going to flash into a blaze. Why do you think we see so much scandal these days? We LIKE to think we're creatures who can control our emotions, but when crisis hits, what do we turn to? Not the brain, the gut, and like I said we do it practically on a reflex, without even thinking so we don't even have time to consider our actions until it's too damn late.

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Stagefright flaw still a nightmare: '850 million' Androids face hijack risk

Charles 9
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Re: What is the point of this article, other than as advertising?

"Don't trust any mobile phone companies, don't buy an Android phone that can't be unlocked and rooted, and have Cyanongenmod applied to it. Going to update my 2012 phone to Marshmallow tonight, as it now has an SELinux enabled build, with official Cyanongenmod nightlies not far off. Without that I'd be stuck on insecure ICS."

And what about the increasing number of apps that don't like running in a rooted or custom ROM environment?

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Charles 9
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Re: click-to-play won't protect against trojan smut!

Then as the comedian once said, "You can't fix Stupid." At some point, you just have to give up the hopeless idiot as a lost cause.

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Charles 9
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Re: Play installs firmware?

Overlays have been around since Lollipop, but they're only now getting carrier and manufacturer attention.

As for separating the drivers and the rest of the OS, Android N should be a start to this if Google's word is accurate. Drivers can get tricky since they're usually tied to the kernel (due to the architecture; hardware on ARM is usually static rather than dynamic like it is on x86), and if the kernel itself has a problem, this can create a cascade effect.

And then there's the matter of the manufacturers working in cartel to keep a captive market. Especially now with Android apps increasingly root- and custom-aware.

And as for choosing Nexus, the main reasons I don't like them are lack of a removable battery (probably the least graceful part of the device to age) and lack of an SD slot.

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Lost in the obits: Intel's Andy Grove's great warning to Silicon Valley

Charles 9
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Re: Bah!

So what do you do? You don't want your resourses raped and pillaged yet you don't want to be seen as slave-driving, and there's no guarantee the medium is a happy one (it could be UNhappy instead: too high to be comfortable to the business owners and at the same time not high enough to be considered breadwinning).

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Charles 9
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Re: My brain has already drained

Because if you expect to have any customers for your goods, you better make sure people get paid.

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Charles 9
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Re: Translating to:

"were you kidnapped and held at gunpoint and forced to work?"

Being told to work or starve amounts to the same thing. We may pray to be given this day our daily bread, but reality demands we sing for our supper. The problem is that jobs can be considered a resource just like everything else. And when there are twelve people on the island but only six coconuts, no matter how much you try to divide it, things can only get ugly.

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Reg reader casts call centre spell with a SECRET WORD

Charles 9
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Re: Recording illegal???

"How so, when I often hear "Your call may be recorded for your protection, or for training purposes.""

Odds are they're located in a "one party consent" area where only one party has to consent to recording the call to make it legal. Since the recording party is party to the conversation, consent is implied, making the whole recording legal.

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