* Posts by Jonathan Richards 1

559 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Ah the nostalgia!

I read every issue up to 1986 (because I had access to a library, and I could!) and it was even then a unique item. There were other titles in the market: Byte, Creative Computing et al. but Dr Dobb's was always the most thought-provoking and, by me, eagerly awaited.

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Sony to media: stop publishing our stolen stuff or we'll get nasty

Jonathan Richards 1
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FAIL

Re: "arms length" defense?

Boies may or may not be a good lawyer, but he doesn't always accept winning propositions. For reasons I shall never be able to fathom, he took on SCO v. IBM... acting for SCO!

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Coming Fall 2016

Probably not. Not in that timeframe, and maybe not in any timeframe shorter than the copyright period for The Silmarillion. As I understand it, the Tolkien estate is not willing to sell the film rights for any of the other works; only The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were covered by the 1960s sale of rights, by Prof. Tolkien himself.

Further reading

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

Jonathan Richards 1
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Joke

Come on, El Reg!

A story like that, and not one picture of an iconic Danish design to illustrate?

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'I'm begging you to join' – ICANN's NetMundial Initiative gets desperate

Jonathan Richards 1
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You'd run a mile...

...from getting hooked up with someone so dim as to think that two organizations "funding each other" could possibly be, well, possible. Funding in accounting terms is as heat is in thermodynamics. At the bottom line, it only flows one way. Seems to me that NMI is just hastening the heat death of the universe.

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Linus Torvalds releases Linux 3.18 as 3.17 wobbles

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How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Jonathan Richards 1
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Ten words...

...that should never appear in this order. Ever.

>reveal my arse crack to all and sundry. Youtube Video

Thank you. I shall now read the rest of TFA.

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Stupid humans and their EXPENSIVE DATA BREACHES

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Often, it's not mistakes, but laziness

Yes to that, and also sometimes sheer bloody-mindedness. When training people to be responsible personal data users, I've sometimes been told "We don't have time for all that nonsense; if X asks for the data, I'm going to send it", or "Yes, but I just have to email that spreadsheet home to work on it at the weekend". These aren't errors of the 'Ooops, didn't mean to do that' sort, they're errors knowingly committed by people who are, as TrishaD says above, insufficiently terrified of consequences.

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Boffins unearth the ultimate antique art - 500,000 years old

Jonathan Richards 1
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Happy

Not so much art as a diagram...

...Feynman, possibly. Now, if Homo erectus irradiated stuff, that would *really* screw up the carbon dating!

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Google kills CAPTCHAs: Are we human or are we spammer?

Jonathan Richards 1
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...the new trend in fake Android ads

To be fair, the ads aren't (IME) ads either devised by Google or for Google products. If they catch the user's attention, well, that's what good advertisements do. If the product/service that they promote is harmful, I think you will find that Google will take action against the advertiser if you complain. If you're the sucker that clicks on something that says "New message: read NOW!!" just because you can't help yourself, then you're the sort of person that the ad-supported platforms love.

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Fort Lauderdale websites DDoSed after Anonymous threats over feeding ban

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Abbott wasn't arrested for feeding the homeless

> he needs a license to prepare food for that many people. It's just standard operating procedure for any public food facility

Get that translated into first century Latin, and email it to pharisees.org.

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: A pie does not need to have pastry!

Facepalm, indeed. Those items are specifically mentioned in TFA as being exempt.

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Ah, New Zealand...

... home of the best meat pies that I've found on this planet. I particularly remember a venison pie from Te Anau that was sublime.

Hmm. Belle's Pies doesn't seem to have a web presence, but the store is here on Town Centre[1], Te Anau.

[1] Typical kiwi no-nonsense street naming, right there.

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RIP Microsoft Clip Art – now you can fill your slides with web cat pics

Jonathan Richards 1
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No JavaScript == No Bing

... which is just fine by me!

Try ixquick which won't try to run code in your browser, and won't track your searches, either.

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CONTAINER WARS: CoreOS blasts Rocket rival at Docker

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: CoreOS Blog graphics styling?

> Does anyone know if a Chrome or Firefox extension exists to force text to be rendered full black?

It's just as easy to tell Firefox to ignore all that stylistic stuff, if you just want the text content. Hold down the Alt key and press V, Y, N successively (View, Style, No Style). Works for me on the CoreOS blog, and is a trick I use often when I come across an offering from someone who thinks red 6pt Comic Sans on a patterned blackish background is a brilliant design...

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Go

One ring to rule them all...

"Docker ... all compiled into one monolithic binary running primarily as root on your server."

"CoreOS's tools for working with App Container will be integrated, yet independent from one another."

That sounds familiar, somehow. Globbers vs integrators - this week's theme, as systemd provokes a Debian fork, and Docker provokes a ground-up competitor with a different philosophy.

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Technology quiz reveals that nobody including quiz drafters knows anything about IT

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: 10/12

> I wonder if its varying the questions for some reason

Yes, I imagine it is, and it's probably setting a cookie to fix the set that you see. I didn't get a question about where hashtags were used, f'rinstance.

Quizzes like this are like the glossy magazine equivalent: a bit of fun for the participants. If anyone is basing any sort of decisions on the results, they're insane, especially since one could lie in the demographics section. I'd like to see the results for centennarians.

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UK cops: Give us ONE journo's phone records. Vodafone: Take the WHOLE damn database!

Jonathan Richards 1
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FAIL

Re: Interesting...

> How does/did Vodafone know the occupations of their customers

Because, as the article seems to indicate, these were phones on a corporate account, not individual personal customers. You can probably query the call records database with the criterion "Corp_Customer_ID=...", or similar.

What's more interesting is that Vodafone appears to operate a defective process for responding to MPS requests. It should be received by a responsible person, probably with the role of Senior Information Officer, who then delegates the data extraction, in terms which make sense in the company's context, and the extracted data should be reviewed by that SIO before they are despatched. That Vodafone's process didn't prevent this breach from occurring indicates that it's not fit for purpose, and some individual at or close to Board level should be held responsible.

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Google turns on shiny new .google top-level domain – but WHY?

Jonathan Richards 1
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Meh

Re: Seems useless to me

+1.

And .zip? What's that all about? Closures for trousers, or a well-used file extension for compressed data?

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Woman who stung Tinder with sex-pest sueball stings again – with rival Bumble app

Jonathan Richards 1
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What the Dickens?

Mr Bumble, beadle in Oliver Twist is not a good association, but maybe they're not aiming at the Charles Dickens readership end of the demographic.

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NASA revisits Europa with modern image-processing software

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Motorways?

> I assume those big brown lines are MASSIVE motorways

With the emphasis on MASSIVE. 1.6 km is a mile, so by definition the finest line that you can resolve is already a mile across. That bright white line at highish latitude on the left is four or five miles wide, and some of the larger brownish ones are well over twenty miles wide. Fascinating. Europa has to be the next place we go... Or Titan. Hard to choose!

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'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described

Jonathan Richards 1
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@dajames Re: Strange PDF ...

Hmm. That doesn't happen when I render regin-analysis.pdf to screen using Okular. There is no line in the pdf which contains all the letters {u...z}. Page 15 has a body text line with nine instances of {u...y}:

'computers that may or may not be associated with 64-bit Regin, including several variants of svcsstat.exe, a file that'

I'd be interested to see what that line looks like for you. Are you using an Adobe viewer?

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Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Ethics vary from one culture to another

Ditto: I'm sure you knew someone would disagree with this, so, allow me also....

> An 80 year old can't be considered worth the same in human terms as a child or 20 something.

Agreed. A perfectly valid metric for our Robot Car Programming Overlord to employ would be the immediate economic value of the vehicle contents. On this scale a child and an 80 year old would weigh less than an employed adult. And then he's got to factor in the likely survival rates: front seat passengers more likely to die than back seat? Of course, badly injured survivors are more economically draining than fatalities (Bouncing Betty refers), so a particularly calculating RCPO might put in a branch where the car chooses to drive overcliff: maximising the greater good, don'ch'a know.

I really don't see how any of this could be ethically beta tested. The very idea that the RCPO would be held negligent at law in the event of injuries or fatalities that offend the human sense of fairness will stop any such thing being deployed in the near future.

I would like to point out that we already have a transport system in which excursions off the route—and collisions—are very rare: railways.

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Our system handles £130bn and it's BUST. Want the job of fixing it? Apply to UK.gov

Jonathan Richards 1
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Black Helicopters

Re: Ok enlighten me.

It might be to do with the security enforcement regime in the DWP; it will help if the contractor knows how accreditation works in the public sector. There is also the fact that you won't be working for a single director who's empowered to make decisions (which is probably why the enhanced re-enhanced unsupportable system needs attention like this), but you'll have to answer to any number of committees and stakeholders. It'll take a month or two to get your head around the project management structure, I reckon, and it'll be easier to do if you've been close to such, umm, exotic arrangements in the past.

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Unhappy

Re: Tied up in knots

"The contractor will initially be focussed on the project to remediate the Enhanced Transition Service Enhancements (ETSE) solution which has been out of support/security accreditation since 2013."

Yeah, you can deconstruct a lot of previous grief from that sentence. "We had a Transition Service, and we tried to enhance it, but it was still badly dehanced so we got a solution to enhance it all over again, but we built it on technology which is now not supported and therefore the accreditors won't give us the Authority to Operate, and it's not legal to run it, like since 2013, ... " [sobs and groans removed in editing]

Sounds like a cesspit, and I'd want a lot more than £650 per diem to be thinking of cleaning it up.

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Bang! You're dead. Who gets your email, iTunes and Facebook?

Jonathan Richards 1
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Yubikey

There'd better be a copy of that Yubikey; there are lots of ways of dying that don't preserve your pocket contents. :-(

Just sayin'

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The Big Data wrangling CIO you've probably never heard of: But his kit probably knows YOU

Jonathan Richards 1
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" “We fundamentally believe technology, and use of tech that better engages the customer, will yield huge investments for us.” "

Errr... wouldn't that be investment in technology yielding huge returns? Or is huge investment a business goal for online businesses? Doesn't sound like a Barclay Bros. strategy.

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: It surely has a nuclear battery.. despite their lies.

@Anon John

Oh, yes, it's a joke... but Joerg appears to be serious. A serious case...

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Facebook's plain English data policy: WE'LL SELL YOU LIKE A PIG at a fair

Jonathan Richards 1
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Legalese kinda like program code

Yup. So I diff'd the old terms and the proposed update.

The proposed update includes a new condition for users to follow the Promotions Guidelines and applicable laws; a few examples of the trademarks you are not permitted to use outside Guidelines [1]; a big chunk of new terms which apply if you are a developer or operator of a Platform application or website on Facebook; an expanded set of "Special Provisions Applicable to Advertisers"; a derogation in some circumstances from the commitment to give 7 days notice of changes to T&C; and the bland statement giving FB permission to use content and information is replaced by a reference to a Data Use Policy.

Apart from that it's largely tidying up spelling and grammar.

[1] "Facebook, the Facebook and F Logos, FB, Face, Poke, Book and Wall"

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Philae healthier... beams CHEESE: Proud ESA shows off FIRST COMET SURFACE PIC

Jonathan Richards 1
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Go

Re: More photos kept back >-(

> ... NOW!

You could always point your own receiving dish at the appropriate point in the sky, and listen in. You'd be sure to get some wiggly data to plot...

:-)

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DRAMA in SPACE: But Philae KEEPS TRYING to HARPOON COMET

Jonathan Richards 1
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Separation achieved

I see that Philae and Rosetta are now (2014-11-12T09:09+0000) separated, but it's a bit worrying that a featherweight probe is going to try to drill its way into the surface without those cold gas thrusters. It'll be like trying to unscrew a screw without being able to push on the screwdriver. Fingers crossed.

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Juniper boss exits after board probes his 'leadership and conduct'

Jonathan Richards 1
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Anagrammatic nominative determinism

Ha! Pay grade shrink!

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Names, ages, addresses, SSNs of US postal staff slurped in 'mega-hack'

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Who the hell are they hiring?

+1 on that. I can't see any good reason for the US Postal Service to attach its Human Resources database to the public Internet. I'm sure that some users would like to be able to log into it from home, or whatever, but their use case does not trump the necessary security. Hacking an air gap is quite hard.

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MoD releases code to GitHub: Our Ideaworks... sort of

Jonathan Richards 1
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What's your problem? Re: Fecking GPL

They've used the Affero GPL, because, I suspect (and expect) that they want to achieve the purpose which that licence ensures, viz. that anyone deploying a modified Ideaworks instance contributes their server-side code changes back into the community. If they'd wanted to use BSD or whatever, they could, but it's possible that m'learned friends in the MOD would have thought that code from a public body [1] ought to be published with good protections. You will note that the application is Crown Copyright.

[1] DSTL is what remains within MOD of the former Defence Research Establishments [2], the vast bulk of which was privatised and is now Qinetiq.

[2] Homeland of the original boffins, of course.

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If you're suing the UK govt, Brit spies will snoop on your briefs

Jonathan Richards 1
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Megaphone

Proportionality, indeed

> when "the life of the nation is at stake".

Please read those words quoted above. And again, if you will.

Now, ask yourself in what way any terrorist action of the last fifty years has threatened "the life of" the United Kingdom. Specifically, in what way could the UK have been extinguished? The words you re-read don't say "the comfort of the nation", or "the collective anxiety of the nation", or "safety of parts of the nation", they say "the life of the nation". In no way can HMG make out that losing a case in court will threaten the life of the nation. Please plead guilty: we can all see that you are.

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Lunacy

... and there's another thing. Will people kindly stop equating "content of the Internet" with "entire breadth of human knowledge"? The Internet does not contain, in no particular order, the contents of the Bodleian Library, most photographs ever executed, or my Mum's handwritten recipe book.

Don't get me wrong, I'm old enough to remember Before The Internet, and being professionally engaged in finding information before one could do it digitally, so I vastly appreciate being able to, for instance, grab a history volume from Gutenberg, and sit with it and with GoogleTM Earth to appreciate a battle two hundred years old.

However, we really mustn't lose sight of the fact that the Internet gives us access only to a sub-set of Human Knowledge.

PS: there's a hierarchy, too. Data <- Information <- Knowledge <- Wisdom. I submit that Knowledge can only exist within a human mind (until ET or AI arrives), and that the Internet serves us up Information.

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HP's pet lizard is FERAL PERIL says wildlife group

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re Iguanas don't eat meat

Since when did wildlife have to consist of meat? Eating native plants or fungi could equally well upset the ecology, I guess.

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The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand

Jonathan Richards 1
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Holmes

Re: ... it could “overwrite your entire filesystem”

> you could get up to lots of mischief by overwriting the user's own files

Indeed. Just think for a moment where the valuable and irreplaceable data in your system is; the photographs, the document archive, the password vault... All in /home/yourname, probably owned by your user and group. If /boot is overwritten, that's recoverable. Even /, if you have /home on a separate filesystem [1]. But if someone symlinks all over /home, then it's going to be time to restore from backup.

[1] Such a setup was one of the things recommended in the first Linux I ever installed, I've done it ever since, and thoroughly recommend it.

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Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Could be worse

Yeah, that's what I thought: a bastard hybrid of Fight Club and The Spanish Inquisition sketch:

"The first rule is: there are two things you must not write about: spying, and net neutrality. And SugarString's editorial policy! Three things..."

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Why weasel words might not work for Whisper

Jonathan Richards 1
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IP location from military locations

> if [the] message is sent over the phone connected to the network on base or campus

I see exactly what is being got at here, but I'd just like to point out that it would be a very strange military base that ran a WiFi network (a) connected to the Internet and (b) to which one could connect with a BYOD phone. If you try to geolocate a posting from a UK MOD site on the basis of IP address, you'll find that there's but one connection from the Defence Information Infrastructure to the outside world. This was an issue back when MOD folk would edit Wikipedia, because Wikipedia would log that IP address, which wasn't specific to the editor, at all. Wikipedia editing was rapidly forbidden, btw.

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Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight

Jonathan Richards 1
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Down at about 17:30Z

I thought it had lost telemetry, cos altitude was still showing 1700 m, and then I realized that that's ground level in those parts!

Handily within 50 metres of the roadside: recovery should be a breeze, and I'll be interested to know how the servos fared.

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SKYPE has the HOTS for my NAKED WIFE

Jonathan Richards 1
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Go

Re: Eyes drawn to movement

> that iPlayer thing somewhere

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04l3clb for the next four weeks. 1:30 to 2:50, but the whole thing is good!

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Webcams are vitaly important

re social engineering: yeah, and the name Виталий right there in the title!

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Breaking records: Google exec in terrifying SKY PLUNGE DRAMA

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: bailing out

Yabbut, bailing out of what? It tells you about bailing out of a high altitude balloon, but we're way above where aircraft fly, and if you bail out of an incoming (or outgoing) space transport, your problem is more about your speed than about your altitude, I should think.

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Silicon Valley scrooges paid staff $1.21 an hour in a 122-hour week

Jonathan Richards 1
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By the numbers...

...that's not just exploitative, it's physical abuse. 122 hours in 7 days is 17.4 hours a day, leaving a bare six hours for washing, eating, sleeping and other bodily functions. There must be other laws beyond the demonstrably toothless labor [sic] regulations which forbid that sort of thing?

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Not a loyal follower of @BritishMonarchy? You missed The QUEEN*'s first Tweet

Jonathan Richards 1
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Not as backward as you think. Re: 21st century

The late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had a Lockheed Dialog account way back in 1986-7. I bet she hardly ever logged in, though.

If Dialog means nothing to you, or maybe especially if it does, this youtube video created from a 1968 film is a gem.

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Adobe spies on readers: EVERY DRM page turn leaked to base over SSL

Jonathan Richards 1
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Stop

Re: There is no way to opt out of this short of deleting the application.

What happens if one reads while disconnected from the network? After all, when reading a book, one doesn't *need* to be online [1]. Does the Adobe Squealer software store the page flips in a log and then transmit them when it can?

[1] I blame broadband. When I did my Internetting with a 14.4k modem, I sure as hell didn't leave it running longer than I needed to!

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: systemd

> Riddle me this -- why would software need any changes whatsoever for systemd, when systemd is just supposed to affect the bootup process?

I think this is part of the confusion. Systemd *can* be used to replace SysV init, and Debian has decided to do so. There are also *parts* of systemd on which applications may depend: this is what has happened with the GIMP.

I'm running KDE 14.04 on my desktop PC, and it's working with Upstart, though I have 65 scripts in /etc/init.d.

PID 1 is still called init, but I nevertheless have systemd packages installed (systemd-services and systemd-shim, plus libraries) and systemd processes running:

jonathan@Odin:~$ ps -ef | grep systemd

root 349 1 0 Oct09 ? 00:00:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-udevd --daemon

root 1335 1 0 Oct09 ? 00:00:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-logind

root 2630 1 0 Oct09 ? 00:00:00 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/systemd-shim

So, it's not the case that "systemd is just supposed to affect the bootup process". Systemd has tentacles, and some people don't like 'em. I'm one, from what I read at the moment. Doubter, that is, not tentacle!

There's a good diagram here [wikimedia commons], which shows the full horror, et aussi en français.

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'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Oh goodie. A whole new set of Illegal Numbers...

This whole 'illegal numbers' business is reductionist bullshit. "Oh, no, illegal configurations of metallic discs" (coin counterfeiting). "Oh, no, illegal arrangements of printers' ink" (libellous publications). "Oh, no, illegal vibration patterns of air pressure variations" (every proscribed act involving sound, ever).

The fact that something that happens using digital communications does not make it either (a) immune to the attentions of legislators or (b) especially eligible for that attention.

Also, please note that you shouldn't think that I necessarily approve of heavy prison sentences for abusive tweeting, just because I'm tired of "illegal numbers".

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