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* Posts by Robert Long 1

1181 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

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In dot we trust: If you keep to this 124-page security rulebook, you can own yourname.trust

Robert Long 1
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Yeah, right

Until they decide they can get bigger bucks by just selling them to anyone with $1000 or $100...

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

Robert Long 1
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Re: Bad Wolf

"Bad Wolf was introduced in a very subtle way."

Yes, but it didn't make any sense whatsoever once it was revealed. Subtlety ain't the issue.

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Robert Long 1
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"Having said all that the monsters were developed way too fast."

That's a format issue - 1hr is too short while 2x1hrs is too slow-paced for the export market.

I don't agree that the story-arcs have worked at all well from the return onwards. The method of having stand-alone scripts which the script editor then patches just doesn't work for me, quite apart from the fact that none of the story-arcs have been interesting or even made much sense, starting with the gibberish that was "Bad Wolf".

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Robert Long 1
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Finally, a Good Episode

Fun idea, nasty monsters, interesting character development for Clara (as opposed to random mood swings), some amusing visuals, and almost no bloody I-went-to-drama-school-and-all-I-got-was-this-one-Droopy-reject-face soldier boy. What's not to like?

The complaint about the monsters simply doesn't stand; these are classic "from another universe" Dr Who monsters and that's just fine with me. We've all seen the Moon Egg episode, and we all wish we hadn't, so perhaps the first reviewer could try to move on before anyone mentions the Zarbi.

If the series never gets any worse than this from here on in to the inevitable "Tell me, Clara, would you say that the Doctor was a Good Man?" line in whatever trial Missy is planning to call her as a witness for the prosecution in, we'll be doing okay.

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WAITER! There's a Flappy Bird in my Lollipop!

Robert Long 1
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Derivative? Derivative!?

Is the author seriously suggesting that Angry Birds had a single original idea in it?

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Take CTRL! Shallow minds ponder the DEEP spectre of DARK CACHE

Robert Long 1
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Re: [ed: shurely shome mishtake, Dabbs?]

"The fracture of Great Britain requires Westminster to solve the West Lothian question"

The West Lothian Question is trivial: do away with Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and have a single united country where there is no possibility of anyone voting on things that only effect one part of it. It would make it impossible to ever again introduce a poll tax just in the areas where you don't have votes, just as a random example.

And while we're at it, move the capital to Carlisle, York, or Newcastle on Tyne instead of being stuck in the bottom-right corner bloody miles from anywhere.

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Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express

Robert Long 1
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Re: ...

"As for Clara. Oh my God. She was so great as The Impossible Girl. But now, she's just so....<searches for adjective; can't find one: Abort, Retry, Ignore?>"

How about "incoherent"? Her character simply doesn't make any sense any more. The series needs a script editor who has a grasp of characterisation and can ensure that it's reasonably consistent from writer to writer. Moffet clearly isn't it.

In fact, I suspect that he is actually the problem here, bending Clara's character in preparation for a final "Trial of the Doctor" episode/special where, OMG! Clara has to testify whether he is a "good man" or not. Damn whether it makes sense or not in the context of the character's history.

The new series has suffered repeatedly under "story arcs" that no nothing but interfere with the smooth development of the characters, but this is probably the worst case of it (although I might argue that the execrable "Angels Take Manhattan" and the nonsensical end of Rory and Amy's parts was actually worse, but at least it was over in one truly terrible episode).

I liked this episode but perhaps that's just in comparison with last week's terrible space egg crap.

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Right, suits off: Windows 10 preview Internet Explorer is here

Robert Long 1
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Don't care, won't care

Code to the standards, if IE show it wrong then direct customers to MS Support.

Just kidding - MS never do product support, because they know all the spineless coders and designers out there will do it for them for free. "Oh, no, we better put in an IE work around because our clients are too dumb to use a decent browser". Bah.

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

Robert Long 1
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Re: According to the patent lobby...

"Why do we have a patent system at all?"

To protect big companies from competition and to keep patent lawyers in new BMWs.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

Robert Long 1
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"Well they could provide you with a numbered listing, but how useful would that be? Any index needs to refer to the content it's talking about. The index in the back of a book has topic names with the page numbers, not just a listing of page numbers."

I was suggesting the possibility of presenting just the URL/link. So you type "Flyfishing", say, and Google presents a list of URLS with some text along the lines of "here's a list of pages where people are discussing this topic. At the moment it actually prints excerpts from the pages, which is one part of the problem. Of course, even the URL idea is a bit legally dodgy as you're still helping to spread the libel, so there's an abetting angle.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Whither "les immortels"

@AC "Not so easy with an interweb."

Actually, it's easier with the Internet. Just block Google's IPs. You'd cut down their readership by a much larger percentage than you could ever hope to prevent reading an already published newspaper.

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Robert Long 1
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"Google is not the importer. It is an index. Once you click to the link, the content is delivered from the source website. So the source website is the importer."

That would be more true if Google only presented a link, which is not the case.

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Robert Long 1
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"There is going to come a point, sooner or later, where judges in different jurisdictions make conflicting demands about Google's global search results."

So what?

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Robert Long 1
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Re: @DaLo

@Oninoshiko

"Google isn't repeating the slander, they are just saying "that guy over there it talking about it.""

If I say to you "Who's that guy that raped the hotel maid in New York and got away with it?" and you supply an answer as well as a link to a story, then you're repeating the accusation. Google doesn't just provide links, it answers questions with a little snippet and the link. In other words, it's a publisher. And in the example I've just given Google's very first result has the name in the heading of the first two results, and the body text of several other results on the first page, all readable without going to the sites Google are quoting. That, legally, is obviously republishing a slander (well, a libel, to be technical).

"Furthermore, Google is following french law on their french site. That court is over-extending it's purview, unless you think all regional laws should be applied globally."

It's not asking for the law to be applied globally, just in France. The Google website is showing information to people in France; the court is not asking nor caring what it does for people not in France. If you publish a magazine and distribute it worldwide you have to worry about this. Google and others want to live in a magic world where they are above the laws that govern everyone else.

For decades big multinational Internet companies have cruised along on the myth that the Internet is somehow not a publishing vehicle. But not only is it such a thing, that's ALL it is. The Internet is a device for taking information from somewhere and providing it elsewhere. There's no need for special Internet laws, really, as we've had laws about publishing for centuries. The fact that they vary in different countries is just something companies have to cope with. Google can cry me a river if that means they make 1% less profit next year.

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Robert Long 1
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@DaLo

"Surely they should just demand the removal of the defamatory information. "

I'm sure they would if they could. But repeating a slander is still slander so Google is culpable under that law and the court is well within its rights to tell Google not to repeat the slander in its jurisdiction. The URL or indeed the origin of the page and the data is not relevant, only the destination and place of publication - i.e., France.

This is a classic case of "But...but... our business model is to ignore the law" which is behind so many Internet fortunes. Wouldn't work for you or me, so why should it work for Google?

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

Robert Long 1
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Awful Science, Good Characterisation, Bad Taste

I really liked the Doctor's stance on making the decision - he's not a god and he doesn't want to be. That's good and the dialogue between the women was well done and well acted. Clara's reaction didn't seem to work particularly well, though.

But who cares when the over-arching McGuffin was so bloody awful? The magic creation of not only the new mass for the space-baby, but then the magic creation of the mass for the new moon. To say nothing of what REALLY would happen to the "egg shell" or how we could have missed all this before now. Utter tripe. Garbage. If you didn't feel your intelligence was being insulted by this, you may have to ask yourself why.

And for no reason. The exact same moral dilemma could have been set up without using the Moon at all. Something new could have entered the Solar System on a collision course or whatever. There was no need to make this farcical mess that will forever overshadow the meat of the character development. No one will ever refer to this as "the training wheels episode" or the "Clara gets a taste of the Time Lords' perspective episode". It will always be "The stupid moon story" or "the one with the magic egg", or maybe "the one that jumped the space-shark".

Pathetic.

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Weekend reads: Consumed, The Graphic Art of the Underground and The Skeleton Road

Robert Long 1
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Same price for the eBook?

I don't bloody think so.

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Robert Long 1
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"The Caretaker was so Whedonesque it could have been an episode of Buffy."

You seem to be saying that as if it were a good thing.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Jenna-Louise

"It is foolish to imagine that beauty is a universal absolute."

Not in this case.

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It's official: EU chiefs WILL probe Apple's Irish tax deal

Robert Long 1
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Not so fast

"like most multinationals, it moves its profits about so as to pay as little tax as possible. This is not illegal in itself"

Actually, moving profits about for no reason other than to pay less tax is illegal. That's why they always pretend that there was a charge from one subsidiary to another and have to maintain an office in Luxembourg or wherever that is supposedly the European headquarters but employs one person part time to check the answerphone and forward the mail to the real headquarters.

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Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods

Robert Long 1
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Re: Attacks don't matter much

"At the current time its *only* about 70,000 machines...yeah, you're right, who cares!"

Correct. I don't give a toss. Probably 100 times that number of apache sites have been attacked in the same period. Do you care? It's meaningless.

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Robert Long 1
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Attacks don't matter much

How many live servers have actually been captured? That's the important number.

My home SMTP server was attacked over a million times in one year in the 00's, but none of them got through.

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WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?

Robert Long 1
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Re: Sorry I'm late...

That's a bit limp.

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Robert Long 1
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Just doing his job

He was just trying to be civil and sociable.

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

Robert Long 1
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Strange

I think it's odd how, as time goes by, the options for listening to music are gradually deteriorating. There's really nothing in the streaming/downloading arena that is as good value as simply buying a CD and ripping it to a portable device, and it seems to be getting worse. It's all a bit weird but as a result I find myself listening to less and less music every year; certainly almost nothing new goes on the player anymore, even when I like it as it's getting hard to find CDs and even then some are copy protected (without saying so) so it's a gamble. It's like the record companies don't actually want to sell music any more. Maybe it's a huge drive to make people buy concert tickets or something.

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Robert Long 1
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Apple Provides a Cheap Solution

I don't need to stream or download anything, thanks to Apple's policy of only providing the shittiest, cheapest earphones the world has ever seen, I can clearly hear the music iPhone users are listening to from 6 seats away on the tube, even while the train is moving.

Sorted.

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

Robert Long 1
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CGI Only?

So is this a problem just for CGI? I'm struggling to see why anyone outside my system would be able to call a shell command unless I've specifically allowed it. Which I wouldn't.

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Le whoops! Microsoft France boss blows lid off 'Windows 9' event

Robert Long 1
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Time flies

I've not actually seen a copy of Windows 8 yet.

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

Robert Long 1
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Re: @ Robert Long 1

"Nope. Company law.... A company is a *distinct* natural entity, just like a real person, that happens to be able to be "owned" by other natural persons or entities."

A company is not a natural entity, it's just a bunch of people trying to avoid things - risk, responsibility, and so on. Microsoft Ireland is part of Microsoft created only and solely for the avoidance of tax. What the law says about it is of no bearing on reality and those that swallow the line that law makes truth deserve the shafting they get every day from the corporations that pay big bucks to have that law written for them (very specifically, in this case, since it was US rail-baron money that got us the original "corporations are entities" crap).

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Robert Long 1
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"Data is held by Microsoft Ireland. It's a separate company "

Yeah, right. I take it you're a tax lawyer?

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

Robert Long 1
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Re: But with 8k on the way...

@Rampant Spaniel: "That's probably closer to a decade away"

That's fine; if my current TV doesn't last a decade and more I would be fairly pissed off. It's not that long.

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'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux

Robert Long 1
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@JDK

"It's not really that useful a feature for most people."

Until they use it. Going back to not having it is like going back to black and white TV but, yes, many people watched B&W for years happily.

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Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

Robert Long 1
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@lurker

"The thing is, much as you may dislike the guy, much as he may be an @rsehole (I have no idea, personally), he probably HAS done more for advancing access to information and self education than anyone else in history since Gutenberg. "

Oh? Can you point out an example of that? As far as I can see he started a pumping scheme (wikipedia) for his for-profit company (wikia) and has been rolling in cash as media morons slobbered over him for allowing the unemployed to cut and paste copyrighted or just weird material into an imitation encyclopaedia.

You're saying that he does something useful in his spare time?

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Hot Celebrity? Stash of SELFIES where you're wearing sweet FA? Get 2FA. Now

Robert Long 1
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"Says celebs should have used strong passwords, two-factor authentication"

Or, you know, not store private material on a stranger's computer system.

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Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search

Robert Long 1
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Re: What pleb uses Opera 12 still?

"...it's hard to pinpoint any major feature that's not there now.

Yeah, 'cos Opera 23 (the current stable version that's linked from their front page) makes it so easy to put the tab bar down the left side of the screen."

He said "major features". That's a nice-to-have.

"And I love the way it lets me group tabs together."

Actually, I like not having to wrestle with the bloody thing trying to stack tabs. I've never wanted to stack a tab in my life.

"And I don't miss the Right-Click > Edit Site Preferences menu option at all."

Well, I'm with you on that but it is still possible to edit site preferences.

"Face it, Opera as it stands is a beta product compared to version 12. And until that changes, I won't be bothering with it."

I've been using it at work for a while and it's okay, really. I miss email but work uses MS Shitelook anyway.

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Love XKCD? Love science? You'll love a book about science from Randall Munroe

Robert Long 1
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"That comic is not "clearly against dissent," it's clearly about the need to take responsibility for how people react to what you say. Isn't it also free speech for people to treat you like an asshole if you are, in their opinion, an asshole?"

I think you're being generous. The strip seems to be to be advocating a very common thing on the Internet where every site becomes an echo chamber for "acceptable" opinions. The problem with the strip is that it doesn't distinguish between unpopular opinions and, for example, just constantly posting insults.

Munroe has posted several strips which made me think that he doesn't like hearing certain opinions that don't fit into his nice middle-class worldview of how things should be and this one basically confirmed my impression of someone who wants the world to be a perfect mirror of his view point, with everthing else blocked or banned.

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Robert Long 1
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Yeah, that strip was one of a few that have popped up now and then that suggests that Randall Munroe is actually a bit of an arsehole. I don't agree that it is against the holy Free Speech™ that Americans get their knickers in a twist about, but it is clearly against dissent, which is subtly different. So I've taken his advice and stopped reading his comic.

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Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Robert Long 1
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Re: "my suspension of disbelief finally broke"

"However, I always suspect a lesbian kiss or sex scene, as it always seems there to titillate the male part of the audience than for any plot-driven reason"

Not really going to work when the two women in question are only there to try to generate a spin-off series that Moffat can run in imitation of RTD's Torchwood. I'd sooner see them drown than kiss.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Did the BBC just troll people?

"Have a listen to the Verity! podcast, there is an intelligent discussion about Clara's reactions and motivations, including the needs of the episode as a whole with relation to the audience. "

I'll give it a go but the audience's needs includes some level of characterisation which rises above the needs of this week's plotline. Otherwise there's no point in having continuing characters. Or watching.

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Robert Long 1
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Re: Did the BBC just troll people?

"Apart from the fact that the clockwork zombies home in on breath, and the human girl's lung capacity was less than the lizard girl's. So they shared."

Thus negating the purpose of holding their breath.

Badly written episode all round - Clara's motivation made no sense at all given that she is the one human to have seen all the Doctor's incarnations.

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Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE

Robert Long 1
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Re: Human Nature

"The web is simply a reflection of contemporary society."

Maybe, but it's not a true reflection. It contains more than a fair share of the views of people who are extreme in one form or another, because they're motivated enough to spend the time putting their views out there.

Easy communication favours the nutter, whether of the cold fusion type or the Nazi type. The danger is that communication is the carrier for culture and if we continue to leave these views unopposed - and I mean strongly unopposed, not just a bit of tutting and saying "well, it's the modern world" - then they will get to shape the future. Mostly in the form of the mediaeval past.

So, the question is: should tolerant society tolerate intolerance? The answer is, I think, not if it wishes to continue.

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

Robert Long 1
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Different stream

You can't get much more mainstream than Android, it's just not the mainstream everyone expected.

Having said that, if MS were restrained from abusing the market I'm pretty sure that Linux would be as common on the desktop as it is on phones. I work on a Linux desktop all day every day and there's nothing that I miss from Windows, and if there was (Adobe CS springs to mind) I would use a Mac. There's just no reason to bother with Windows any more.

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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

Robert Long 1
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Re: Forgotten?

"But given the hissy-fit Google seem to have been throwing about this, the only logical conclusion I can draw is that Google want to provide erroneous and irrelevant search results."

The point is that the data IS NOT ERRONEOUS. That's what we're talking about, that's the whole core of the controversy - the data is not wrong or inaccurate in any way.

PAY ATTENTION.

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Robert Long 1
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Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue

Just because it is.

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Robert Long 1
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Nothing but repeats

Murdoch as always banged on about "the establishment" by which he always means "people who do things I want to have a monopoly on".

Like father like son, like grandson.

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What's in your toolbox? Why the browser wars are so last decade

Robert Long 1
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Same as ever

Just like in 1999, there are no good web browsers. They all stink in one way or another; mostly the UI.

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Simian selfie stupidity: Macaque snap sparks Wikipedia copyright row

Robert Long 1
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Re: Petard

"Can you point to one such claim, please?"

I can't point to one in print off the top of my head, but I have seen David Bailey, Leibovitz, Hill, and others make the statement either in real life or in interviews on TV. I'm pretty sure it was mentioned in the BBC series "Genius of Photography" in connection with a photographer who used a lot of props and extras.

Which is not to say that they're right under the letter of the law, but it is a common belief among professional photographers that it is dangerous to allow assistants to actually take the photograph.

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Robert Long 1
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Petard

Photographers have been arguing for decades that the person that presses the button own the photograph. This allows lazy bastards like Annie Leibovitz to sit on their arses issuing commands like "light that scene; put the props in an interesting arrangement; sort out the filters; calculate the exposure" and then step in at the last moment so that none of their army of actual creative people can claim to own the result.

Well, which is it? Is the owner the person that did all the work in preparing for the photograph, or the person that literally only lifted a finger?

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Robert Long 1
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Re: .."have matched middle-aged folks' tech ability by the age of six"

"I would have been subject to a great deal of psychoanalysis and considered a freak!"

That's redundant - the whole point of psychoanalysis is to identify what type of freak you are (mainly for the invoicing).

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Robert Long 1
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Using ≠ understanding

I suspect that similar numbers were being bandied about in the 1920s about how youngsters all knew how to drive and couldn't be bothered with horses and buggies.

But that doesn't mean everyone today can design a new car engine or even service one properly.

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