* Posts by Grease Monkey

1628 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Grease Monkey

In europe car manufacturers have tried several times to outlaw the sale of pattern and other non-oem parts. On every occasion they were defeated. Their arguments that such parts were unreliable and even dangerous were rejected. Obviously legislators realized that what the manufacturers really meant was that such parts were dangerous to their income. Not only do the manufacturers fail to make a penny from the sale of these parts, but their availability prevents the manufacturers from charging whatever they wanted for OEM parts.

Apple seem to have implemented this through technology rather than legislation, but surely the rulings against motor manufacturers mean that what Apple is doing is illegal in Europe. Will Apple be prosecuted or will european legislators simply ignore this as they have done with previous Apple transgressions? Don't think we really need to answer that question do we...

9
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Amazon 'adware' laden Ubuntu passes ICO's data smell test

Grease Monkey

Sufficient information to turn off the feature? Whatever happened to opt in?

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EE, O2, Giffgaff, BT Mobile customers cut off as mobile networks fail

Grease Monkey

It doesn't matter which network you're on, you're not fine. If you're on one of the affected networks you won't be b able to make or receive off netwotk calls, but if you're not on the affected networks then you still won't to be able to make or receive calls to or from those networks.

This sort of outrage affects everyone.

4
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Brazil gets a WTF WhatsApp moment

Grease Monkey

"Used by over 90 percent of Brazilians"?

So Brazil must be the only country in the world where over 90 percent of the population have smartphones. Interesting.

1
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How to build a real lightsabre

Grease Monkey

And how are you going to support the filament? You have the same problem with that as supporting the mirror for you laser sabre.

4
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Work on world's largest star-gazing 'scope stopped after religious protests

Grease Monkey

Permission was granted then withdrawn? Somebody is going to end up paying out some serious compensation here. The problem is that it will be the public purse that pays rather than the idiot who decided to grant permission without following due process.

1
1

Google to end updates, security bug fixes for Chrome on 32-bit Linux

Grease Monkey

Re: I always kept hearing...

I have an old, old 32 bit box running Linux. The reason for using Linux is that Windows 7 had no support for the graphics card, not Microsoft's fault but the card manufacturers. I could have bought a new card, but why pay out when an old version of Mint would work? And no later Linux versions don't support that graphics card either.

This is why I suspect some users of 32 bit hardware are running the likes of precise; they couldn't upgrade without forking out for new hardware. And why should they if their hardware continues to work? If these people are Chrome users they have two choices; continue to use Chrome unpatched or change browsers. No biggy.

This is a problem a lot of people have with IT. The hardware far outlives the software. I continue to drive a 16 year old car and until it breaks expensively I will continue to do so. There is no reason to replace it while it still works. My laptop is almost ten years old and still does what want it to. The PC is older and still does what it needs to (it's mostly just media, file and print server these days) but sooner or later the lack of availability of software updates will force me to replace them.

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Roamers rejoice! Google Maps gets offline regional navigation

Grease Monkey

A long way to go

Would be useful if the maps were accurate away from roads and contained rights of way information. Google maps is missing a lot of footpaths, bridleways and byways, and doesn't have accurate right of way information on those that are included. Round here some tracks with no public right of way are indistinguishable from roads or other public rights of way, equally some rights of way are missing or innacurately mapped. It falls behind OSM in a lot of respects even though Google maps had a head start and an awful lot more funding.

Google may do some clever stuff, but maps is frankly crap when compared with other products, even when you're online. The offline capability is so far behind a lot of the competition it's pitiful.

0
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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Grease Monkey

So stumpy what you seem to be saying is that all processors should be judged by the standars of the 80286.

9
23

Anti-adblocker firm PageFair's users hit by fake Flash update

Grease Monkey

Re: BTW, thought here

I'm with you on that (although seven years younger) however I think one of the reasons so much is spent on advertising is the way market research works. How often have you be en resented with a questionaire like this:

Where did you see our advert:

a) internet

b) television

c) magazine

d) other

There's seldom a box for - I've never seen your adverts and certainly wouldn't pay attenstion if I did. In other words so many retailers start from the assumption that we are incapable of making a purchase without advertising, so they continue to spend fortunes on advertising because their research via questionaires shows them it works.

Of course those questionaires are probably written for them by market research firms who are part of the advertising industry.

The massive uptake on ad blockers should show that people find online advertising intrusive. Instead it seems to make the industry push even more online advertising at those who don't use an ad blocker, which in turn makes even more people install one. Targeted advertising is so much worse as it seems to work on advertising stuff that you already own. Of course this means that the ideal product to advertise would be an ad blocker since it would never be advertised to somebody who already has one.

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Grease Monkey

Re: Telegraph

You visited the Telegraph website? Wow!

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You own the software, Feds tell Apple: you can unlock it

Grease Monkey

Re: Feds, NSA seriously hurting the US tech industry

Moving their HQ out of the US would change nothing in this case. They would still be selling in the US and they would still have a presence in the US, as such they would all be in the same boat. It would however damage th eir reputation much more than staying. Abandoning the US would definitely put off a lot of US consumers. At the moment they can still pretend they are buying an American product, while conveniently ignoring the fact that it is manufactured in a Chinese sweatshop. If Apple were not headquartered in the US then their products would be no different to Samsung or HTC.

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Defeated HP will put Helion cloud out of its misery in January 2016

Grease Monkey

“We will sunset our HP Helion Public Cloud offering on January 31, 2016.”

Still not being clear then. WTF does "sunset" mean in that context?

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Grease Monkey

Running a critical backup server and av server on a desktop os, and therefore probably desktop hardware? Upgrading to Windows 10 is probably the least of your problems.

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How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

Grease Monkey

The thing about this type of story is that they make a nice little anecdote for colleagues or even a forum on the interwebs, but as a story on an IT news site? No.

I've got loads of them after very nearly 30 years in IT; there was the woman who sent me a photocopy of a 5.25" floppy when I asked for a copy of her data disk; or the man who answered "yes" to the question "is there a green light on the front?" only for me to find much later the monitor was switched off - "you didn't ask if the light was lit!". You know what most of them taught me? That I was expecting to much of the user. That's not being patronising. What you need consider is what the user actually NEEDS to know to do their job day to day. Don't take anything for granted beyond that.

I'll often hear colleagues mocking an end user's lack of knowledge - "he didn't even know what an Ethernet cable looked like!" - and then have to explain to that same colleague that the router isn't issuing any more DHCP adresses because 8 out of the pool of 10 addresses are in use and there are 2 conflicts. I don't then mock that same colleague because the didn't know what show ip dhcp conflict looked like.

Don't mock an end user for their lack of IT knowledge until you have the same knowledge of every appliance you use. Are you sure mechanics and plumbers don't make jokes about you?

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VW offices, employees' homes raided by German prosecutors

Grease Monkey

There is no reason why a couple of engineers would do this without instructions from management simply because the engineers would not stand to gain anything by doing so without the knowledge of management.

The more serious issue here is not that of the credibility of governments. Many governments set much spite by their actions to reduce the harm done to the environment by motor vehicles, and yet here we have millions of vehicles which are doing much more harm to the environment than that are allowed to about which the governments involved appear to be doing nothing. What they seem to be concentrating on deciding who at VAG knew this was happening rather than doing something about it.

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Talk revealing p0wnable surveillance cams pulled after legal threat

Grease Monkey

" Any company with a few £100k to spend can hush any criticism of their products by white hat hackers without even having to risk the money, simply because an average individual can't hope match them financially (and emotionally) in the game of poker that is played in the courts."

Here's the thing though. In most countries when you file suit the whole thing becomes public. So as soon as a company sues it becomes public knowledge that not only is their kit dodgy, but that they have no intention of doing anything about it and sales go through the floor.

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Grease Monkey

There are a couple of reason not to be scared of legal action like this.

Firstly accepted practice is to inform the vendor, give them reasonable time to fix the vulnerability and then disclose, just so long as you give the vendor sufficient notice I doubt that a court would side with the vendor. Secondly the publicity of the case would alert customers to their having bought dodgy kit, triggering legal action from customers against the vendor, even possibly a class action.

In this case I think the researcher should have responded, "sure and be damned".

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1

Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'

Grease Monkey

I'd be interested to see if he really does have the power to ban smartphones in the embassy. Is he really claiming that visitors to the embassy are searched at their phones confiscated?

If so the next logical question would seem to be, how much is he paying top have such control over the embassy? To which a sensible follow up would be, it's it even legal for the embassy to accept such payments, should they exist?

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3

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

Grease Monkey

You can't accuse somebody of copying something from a HIGH IMPACT MOVIE when the movie came later. Next you'll be arguing allof Apple's parents are valid even though they failed to acknowledge prior art and smaller companies did it first because Apple are a HIGH IMPACT COMPANY.

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Grease Monkey

"It’s difficult to escape the powerful gravitational force of science-fiction totems like Alien, Aliens, Predator, The Thing and Event Horizon."

Except of course that Who was doing this type of plots long before those films were made.

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Grease Monkey

"This is a first for a regular, non-series opener or final or special since Doctor Who rebooted in 2005 with the ninth Time Lord."

No. There have been previous two parters that weren't season openers or finales. The three that spring immediately to mind were from the RTD era, but written by Moffat. There's a thing.

1
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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

Grease Monkey

"Slovakian media managed to photograph the seemingly limited damage."

I'm sure that the company can rebuild the vehicle given that it is a prototype, but if that was a customer's production vehicle in ordinary use it would be a write off. Since when did a total write off classify as "seemingly limited damage"?

One of the biggest problems with the whole idea of flying cars is what will happen to them after impacts on the road, even at parking speed. Anybody who flies light aircraft will tell you that you're not going to take off in a craft with any visible external damage. How do you fancy your flying car being grounded for very expensive investigative and repair work every time some idiot bumps it? You can't just pop the panel out and hope for the best after somebody biffs it at the pertrol pump.

But the attraction of flying cars is limited in reality anyway. You're still going to need an airstrip to take off and land. The authorities aren't going to let you do that on the road you know. As a friend of mine says. The nearest airstrip to his house is about half an hour's drive away. OTOH he can land his R44 behind his house and right across the road from his office. When he can't land near his destination he gets a taxi. That, he reckons, is much faster and more convenient than driving to somewhere he's allowed to take off and then converting the car into a plane.

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So long, Cyanogen! OnePlus says its future belongs to OxygenOS

Grease Monkey

How long after the first phone is released will their be a cyanogenmod build available for it?

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Grease Monkey

"Only carry the features important to our users"

PR weasel words if ever I heard them. What this means is "we are unable to develop some of the apps that ship with most phones today so we're just going to leave them off and call them bloatware whether our customers think they're important or not".

Or to put it another way. If customers think those features are important they'll have to buy their phones elsewhere.

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Windows is TAKING the TABLET market... what's left of it, anyway

Grease Monkey

Re: I'd consider Surface more of a super ultrabook than a tablet

Remember the original tablet PCs way back before iPads and Android. They were a fad that was predicted to be the next big thing. After the shine wore off, the market for those pen enabled, touch screen laptops with removable or fold away keyboards died on it's arse.

So is this an idea whose time has finally come or just a resurgence of a fad that will fade away again?

Wake me up when this constitutes a significant market share of either the tablet or laptop market.

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Grease Monkey

2.3% is not a significant market share no matter what size the market. 2.3% share of a market that has shrunk by 12% is even less significant. Slow news week is it?

An increase in share would only be significant if it brought Microsoft within reach of the big players. The reason the tablet market is shrinking is probably the rise of the big screen phone, and where are MS in that market?

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Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling

Grease Monkey

But why would you use a personal wifi hotspot anyway? To run that you would need 3G or 4G in the first place so why carry two devices. Why not use a device with 3G/4G in the first place?

Whenever I see those things for sale I just don't get it. Why would you buy a tablet or laptop without 3G/4G then buy that as an extra device? That's got to be more expensive than buying it built in.

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Google unveils Windows 8.1 zero-day vuln – complete with exploit code

Grease Monkey

Doesn't often happen, but I agree with Google on this one. They gave 90 days notice, WTF is the point in giving 90 days notice and then having idiots saying "give them a second chance"? How many second chances do they need exactly?

If they can't fix a bug in 90 days what right do they have claiming to be the best software company in the world? I'll bet it wouldn't take that long to fix a bug in Linux.

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Universal Pictures told off for scaring kids with nasty vid

Grease Monkey

What measures did they take then? Mincemeat is kids game and Stampy in particular has done a lot to tailor his videos to a younger audience. I don't know whether this was careless or cynical, but it's clear that no reasonable measures were taken to stop this being seen by kids. They should have been punished for making such stupid claims.

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Lizard Squad gang moves from PlayStation, Xbox Live attacks to Tor

Grease Monkey

Re: Well....

"They'll get caught."

A pawn will get caught and paraded round in front of the media as if he were a criminal mastermind instead of some pathetic little script kiddie who was stupid enough to get caught. That's what's normal.

The idiot who gets caught won't be able to finger the rest of the Lizards and they'll bounce back up again under another name a few weeks later. Of course the fact that the suspect can't name anybody else involved will be used by the feds to "prove" that s/he is in fact the mastermind.

The thing about these script kiddie gangs is that the media treat them as if they are criminal genii which of course encourages them. If the media reported them for what they are they'd probably run back into their bedrooms to hide. Nobody wants to be part of a gang that everybody laughs at.

Don't believe me when I say the media takes them too seriously? Look at the news reports from thursday night and friday. How many of them talk about the Lizard Squad "hacking" the xbox network rather than just running a DDOS attack?

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Judge kills Facebook's bid to dismiss private message sniffing case

Grease Monkey

When will facebook and the rest learn that putting something is in their terms and conditions doesn't make it legal?

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Google bakes W3C malware-buster into Gmail

Grease Monkey

Re: AdBlock

"IT'S GOOGLE, F'CRISSAKE."

But I'll bet you use their services don't you?

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Feds finger Norks in Sony hack, Obama asks: HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE KOREA?

Grease Monkey

Dumb question, but really why did we need that much evidence? The fact that the hackers never leaked The Interview was a bit of a hint. The fact that the (supposed) hackers demanded The Interview be canned was another. The fact that the NK government caused the hacks a righteous act was another - any sensible government trying to distance themselves would have issued a statement condemning the hack.

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Hackney council leaked thousands of locals' data in FoI blunder

Grease Monkey

Damage Limitation

What is most annoying about this is that several of the council's comments are clearly about limiting damage to their reputation rather than trying to put things right or actually apologize. In particular they seem to be trying to downplay the whole incident.

Probably worst in that respect was: "The council has assured affected residents that the document was only viewed 11 times and the data wasn’t in plain sight." But how many of those 11 saved the data and passed it on? Has it been republished anywhere else? And if so how many people have read that.

But the most annoying statement was the one about people falling victim to sophisticated scams and warning those affected by this data loss to be vigilant of those scams. Why do you need a "sophisticated" scam when you already have just about all the personal details you need to apply for credit. Many social housing tenants already have poor credit histories (often that's why they are in social housing in the first place) just one application for credit which then went unpaid could be enough to detroy their credit rating forever. And even if the council could sort out their tenants credit ratings in that respect, could they sort out the emotional trauma caused by an unwarranted and unexpected visit from bailiffs or a debt collection agency? (BTDT incidentally. Not nice.)

2
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Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Grease Monkey
Pint

So the vuln is in the web server on the router? How many home routers allow access to the web management server on the WAN interface? Most only allow access from the LAN side. So doesn't the presuppose that the attacker has access to your LAN? In which case you're already in trouble.

Or maybe I'm missing something because its lunch time at 2 hours before COB for the year.

1
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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Grease Monkey

Re: Scrap metal?

I've built a car before. Sure a lot of the parts; engine, transmission, uprights, rack, column, brakes, etc. were from the scrap yard, but the chassis and suspension components were home built from steel tube and plate.

The two problems with your title:

Scrap metal - scrap metal is unusable junk. The metal in this case was salvageable or perfectly usable second hand parts.

Built - Nope assembled from parts. To say you "built" a machine to me means you actually fabricated significant parts or at least did some serious work in making those parts fit. Assembly - sticking stuff together that was intended to go together. Building - fabrication or at least serious adaptation.

So "Brit GUN NUT assembled WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of spare parts." FIFY.

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1

Upchuck nation: Half a million CHUMPS now own Google Cardboard VR gear

Grease Monkey

You are aware aren't you that the cardboard website has instructions to make your own? So these people who've forked out twenty bucks have clearly made a choice. Twenty dollars or half an hour of their time. Fair dos, that's their choice.

I've made all sorts of things for the price of raw materials, rather than forking out several times the amount for the finished article, but I don't deride people who choose to buy rather than build. I'm sure you own a few things that somebody else has made their own for much less money, but I doubt any of those people would be quite so patronizing towards you as you are to others. Some would consider that you have made foolish and expensive choices, but hey, they're your choices. If somebody wants to chuck a few quid at this gadget then that's their choice too.

7
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Sony hackers PINCH early version of James Bond Spectre script

Grease Monkey

Maybe the hackers can get somebody decent to do a rewrite, then sneakilly put it back overwriting the original without the producers knowing. Then maybe, only maybe mind you, Spectre would be the first good Bond film rather than just another formulaic, predictable sequel in this interminable mediocre fest.

Now don't get me wrong if it sells and makes millions then good luck to 'em. And yes I suppose many of the films have been reasonable light entertainment, but please let's not pretend they are at all significant or anything other than pile 'em high sell 'em cheap mass market fodder.

3
2

REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Grease Monkey

Back in 1981 I was in the US during the air traffic controllers strike. We flew from Wichita to Dallas Fort Worth then out to the UK. No ATC, no 21st century technology. Also no significant delays. Mostly just pilots using their brains and eyes and talking to each other.

Apparently this is progress. A computer goes down and flights that don't even cross that computer's controlled airspace are affected.

Question #1: What's the business continuity plan?

Apparent answer: What's a business continuity plan?

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Alleged Silk Road boss's lawyers want murder-for-hire evidence blocked from trial

Grease Monkey

Hold on a no. The alleged murder plots were in order to prevent witnesses giving evidence against him? If those are prosecution witnesses in this case then that evidence would definitely be relevant to this case.

0
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Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse

Grease Monkey

Business ISPS will put in fibre anywhere if you're willing to pay. The SMEs under discussion here seem to be moaning that they can't get domestic services on business premises. They need to budget for business grade services then there won't be a problem.

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Égalité, Fraternité - Oui, peut-etre. Liberté? NON, French speedcam Facebookers told

Grease Monkey

Re: Not a new problem

Not quite. It had always been a tradition of the organization that it's patrols would salute members. When spped traps came into being patrols would flag down members to wan them that they were approaching a spped trap. The story goes that this was deemed to be illegal, so they came up with the idea that patrols would not salute members if there was a speed trap ahead. The theory being that the member could then stop to ask the patrol why he didn't salute and he could then tell them about the speed trap. I've always wondered about that story simply because the patrol was still warning the driver of the speed trap and therefore breaking the law. I think it more likely that the omission to salute was a clear signal that therefore meant the driver didn't have to stop. After all stopping to be warned of a speed trap would probably lengthen you journey time more than simply driving below the limit.

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Grease Monkey

They didn't think they were doing anything illegal? Since when has ignorance been a valid defence?

4
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Manchester festival marketers fined £70,000 over spam ‘mum’ texts

Grease Monkey

Probably impossible to "overhaul" SMS in this respect. Remember it would still have to work with the millions of sold phones still out there.

Actually the facility to send a text with the sender name is important, people want to know who the text comes from rather than just a number. However this requires honesty, which is of course why the ICO has rules which forbid using false names.

1
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Why, hello there, Foxy... BYE GOOGLE! Mozilla's browser is a video star

Grease Monkey

Re: Speed, Speed and More Speed

I'm not a fan of FF for various reasons, chief among them it's bloatiness that just gets worse and worse. However when I'm dissatisfied with something I change to a competitor, I don't continue to use it like you. That's just plain bonkers.

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Grease Monkey

Oooh look Google isn't the *default* search engine. Except that presumably would't apply to upgrades, since it would be extremely bad form to change a user's default search engine without asking them. So wouldn't that mean that thee change only applies to fresh installs which will be a very small proportion of the total number of installs.

For me it would seem better to give the user a list of search engines to choose from at install, rather than force a "choice" upon them.

BTW do Google still give Mozilla a big chunk of their funding? If so, for how long will that last?

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Grease Monkey

Drone is as far as I know a US word for what we in the UK have always called a radio controlled aircraft. I certainly recall an episode of Batman from the sixties with a "bat drone" in it so they've been using it for some time. So why suddenly are the UK media using the word drone solely to describe a r/c quad copters? Either all r/c craft are drones or none of them are.

The idiocy goes further. I heard Jeremy Vine (OK so the man's ignorant on a wide range of subjects) claim that there were all sorts of legal restrictions on drones that don't apply to "the sort of radio controlled planes that people used to fly in the seventies". Don't you just love media ignorance?

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