* Posts by Stuart 22

708 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

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UK military buys third £4m Zephyr drone for 'persistent surveillance' trials

Stuart 22
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Re: You have to ask

Very different flying over Arizona in summer and Scotland in winter. Storing enough power during a long day to get through a short night may not be difficult but when the numbers reverse impossible.

So it could end up flying continuously through June but not lasting a single day/night in December.

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London's Met Police has missed the Windows XP escape deadline

Stuart 22
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Re: Government investment in the Police

"CCTV on video tapes of such poor quality you can't even see anything, tiny 4:3 computer monitors you can't even buy on eBay any more and a building literally untouched since it was built in the sixties and falling apart."

Well if there is a terrrorist connection then money is no object. The biggest BMW X5 you can get - oh and really snazzy machine guns and lovely camouflage clothing (bit obvious in the average London street). As for what we spend on security services - it is astronomical - go check out the earth station they built just north of Bude which would have cost more than putting a Beagle on Mars.

But security of all the information they gather - well XP is just the magnet any self-respecting hacker would be ashamed not to penetrate. They have created the most delicious honey pot in the computing universe.

Its unbelievable that they must have been buying perfectly good Win7 kit for years and downgrading it to XP knowing this would happen.

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Dear Imation. It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black

Stuart 22
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"Tenth straight loss-making quarter for Nexsan owner as sales plunge 37 per cent"

Wow, who knew they still had 37% to lose..."

Given that 37 is a prime number does that mean they sold at least 100 units last year or $100 or $1 ;-)

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update crashing under Avast antivirus update

Stuart 22
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Re: Ahh yess

I'm really shocked you still are expected to buy and install AV software on an OS that MS has been working hard to secure for over 20 years ... is there an ETA for basic in-built security coming RSN ;-)

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Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

Stuart 22
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Fire Sale, Fire Sale?

Given the almost impossibility of buying a laptop without paying the Windows Tax only to replace it with Linux - I'm hoping some miscalculations on inventory means there are dealers with unsold 8.1 systems that have now been further devalued by the cessation of the (dubious) Win10 escape route.

Will they be willing to forgive the WinTax with more exciting firesale prices?

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Domain name bods NetNames netted by CSC Global

Stuart 22
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What's the point?

"NetNames recorded flat revenue of £53m. However, loss before tax climbed to £20.89m"

A net margin of -40% in a non-growth, non-innovative market is no way to do business. Or, surely, to stay in business?

Sell the clients to a competitor who can amortise the costs over a bigger base would be the only sensible strategy. Or shutter it tonight. Anything else is madness.

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Skyscape rebrands to UKCloud following legal challenge by Sky

Stuart 22
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Re: So can I use these names Dad?

EasySky. That is all (tm)

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Zero-day hole can pwn millions of LastPass users, all that's needed is a malicious site

Stuart 22
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Re: It's Risk Management

"The sight's password reset function. Remember the frequent ones. Use reset for the rest."

Your sight is better than mine. I can't see the reset button for root ;-)

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By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Stuart 22
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Re: Modern Malthusians

Yea - well Richard and Maurice McDonald were still at school and hadn't yet cracked on how to bloat mankind for just 99c.

That's what we call progress ;-)

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

Stuart 22
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Re: "Final push"

"Yeah right. I don't see Android taking over the desktop anytime soon. Too much momentum for x86 in that sphere."

Not so much taking over as eliminating it. Why boot up a PC when you can do it on your mobile instantly or just flick up the lid on a Chromebook? Or if you are seeking to impress that may be an iPad or Mac.

I see more 'gaming' on a 5.5" screen in a railway carriage than on turbo-charged i7s. Yep a few dedicated gamers will stick with desktops and PS/2 mice but people who need to do real work (a diminishing category these days) could be increasingly better done with Linux for Geeks or Clouds for Non-Geeks. Its just a case of letting the legacy apps expire or get virtualised.

A slow but steady decline. I would hazard a guess that most non-office based PCs are being switched on less every year. There comes a time maybe real soon when its easier just to take it to the dump than pulling your hair out whether and when you might upgrade from Windows n to Windows n+x

Thankfully I've already switched my company to Linux. It wasn't easy but I'm now smugly seeing payback not only in money but not having to worry about Microsoft's monetising and its inappropriate (for us) GUI strategies. No decisions other than to roll gently from one LTS to the next in our own time and pace - not somebody else's who has no interest in our use of technology.

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NHS advertises for digital director at £131k

Stuart 22
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Re: Maybe

Oh come on Dido wouldn't get out of bed for a 95% cut in income. She is doing something far more important. And totally transparently, be it your personal data, engineer appointments and other sensitive data.

Frankly you would have to pay me rather more than £131k to take all the sh1t that job will entail.

Values,, values.

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Password reset: 45 million creds leak from popular .com forums

Stuart 22
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Re: Automated Registrations - Bots

"This strongly points towards the forums being swamped with bazillions of bot-users."

This is really good news. Stopping these spammers by IP/Email/Username is getting really hard when we could just ban these passwords if it is the one credential they are not morphing!

Well until they cotton on.

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Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Stuart 22
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"Yet you want a 2016 operating system to work the same as a 2009 one? Get with the times grandpa."

Well I am a grandpa and I've seen more progress and welcome change in the last 50 years then you have probably had hot dinners. And I've seen a whole load of once innovative companies hit the wall and die.

If you can't spot that MS have hit the wall then you must be one of them because outside you meet very few people who hunger for the next MS release. They countered the problem of a stagnating sector ... by stagnating. At least Apple (for whom I have less affection) has succeeded from being a hobby company to a PC innovator to steal the Sony Walkman market and destroying Nokia. OK the Rolex thing hasn't quite worked out yet. Apple's next step is going to be difficult but at least they have a track record of moving on.

All Microsoft seemed to have done is to translate their early monopoly of the PC market with adding lucrative margin through Office. But even that is getting mighty tired now and whether the cloudy version will keep its market share will be kinda interesting.

No mate, its not me that hasn't moved on. I have - elsewhere which is precisely MS's problem. its your heroes thrashing around to almost complete indifference or derision you need to worry about.

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ExoMars probe narrowly avoids death, still in peril after rocket snafu

Stuart 22
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Re: It's not "Rocket Science"

Sorry to be a bit thick about this. But are we expecting the probe's velocity and direction were so spot on and all gravitational, solar, magnetic and other influences were forecast absolutely and correctly were taken into account and cannot change?

Or is the probe carrying a little fuel for flight corrections along the way. So it gets to Mars but all the following crap continues on the original path and will miss Mars by a width of a cigarette paper amplified a few million times. You know - a thousand or million miles.

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Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

Stuart 22
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Re: Anybody have...

I use a list in my hosts files that I have traced back to here: http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

Except I use 0.0.0.0 instead of 127.0.0.1. Dunno if this makes a difference. I use a Debian based distribution. Works brilliantly - much better than the ad blocker plugins. Only wish I could find an easy way of importing into ChromeOS and Android. Or has their distributor made it hard for a reason?

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A typo stopped hackers siphoning nearly $1bn out of Bangladesh

Stuart 22
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Re: I just checked my account

"They havent stolen my £13.76p yet."

Its when they steal your unauthorised overdraft that is really going to hurt. "No, I've never been near a Phillipino Casino" isn't going to cut much ice with your bank's Bangladeshi based call centre.

Mind you simple people like me can get confused between 'banks' and 'casinos'.

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Dell's Ubuntu-powered Precision Sputnik now available worldwide

Stuart 22
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Reassuringly expensive ...

For yanks - from $899.99: http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/xps-13-linux/pd

For brits - apparently 'sold out': http://www.dell.com/learn/uk/en/ukdhs1/campaigns/dell-linux-ubuntu-en-dhs?ref=DHSHP_C1R06_ubuntu_laptops

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Ofcom should be the BBC's ultimate overlord, UK.gov told

Stuart 22
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Re: Fuck that!

Yes, however bad the BBC Trust was, handing it over to Ofcomm is even worse. Quite a bit that is going wrong with the BBC now (channel & budget reductions, licence money stealing) is down to government bullying. A wee bit more independence would have helped.

Instead we are going in the wrong direction. Overview to a government set agenda which sets commercial broadcasting above public service broadcasting.

Yes the Beeb would exploit any independence with a few more decisions in their interests rather than the viewers and listeners. But not as any as commercial broadcasters do every day encouraged or at least condoned by Ofcomm.

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Google risks everything if it doesn’t grab Android round the throat

Stuart 22
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So why did it sell Motorola?

As above ...

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Investigatory Powers Bill lands in Parliament amid howls over breadth of spying powers

Stuart 22
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Re: Double taxation

"It super pisses me off that I have to pay for spying that won't affect me, while I have to pay for a VPN on top of my ISP bill."

You can rent an offshore VPS to host your VPN, mailservers, blog and other useful stuff for around a fiver a month. Being doing this for a while. Amazing watching this business friendly government drive business abroad.

I (but not Theresa?) expect the serious crims and terrorists to be well ahead of me ... so why, why, why?

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Telemarketers hit with £70,000 fine for cold-calling pensioners

Stuart 22
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Re: From publicly available information

"Mr Antonio Daniel Pardo & Claire Pardo, 17 Croft Road, Leek Wootton, Warwickshire, United Kingdom CV35 7QE"

An interesting distance from Dudley. The best, though not foolproof but nonetheless a nuisance, would be to get him disbarred as a company director of any company. I guess they can't apply till this company is liquidated. Let's hope its on somebody's to-do list.

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Stuart 22
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I'm not selling PPI, honest ...

I demand that ICO write to each and every victim with a copy of Antonio Daniel Pardo's home telephone number. He might be in the market for a call blocker ... especially during the early hours.

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Samsung now pushing Marshmallows into the Galaxy S6, Edge

Stuart 22
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Re: Get your act together

Well if they did get their act together I guess that would kill the Nexus USP. The only reason I pay the premium of standardising on them.

OK the Nexus 4 & 7 are now eventually out of upgrades from Google. But Nexus kit is almost guaranteed to get the best runnable CM version so I guess when I get time they will soon be Marshmellowed. Or should I wait for CM14 ;-)

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Ordnance Survey unfolds handy Mars map

Stuart 22
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I'm really looking forward to craterview.

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UK to stop children looking at online porn. How?

Stuart 22
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Re: Gubmint knows this will fail, it's just a way to move further along to their ultimate goal...

You would almost think our legislators have shares in the VPN business. Worse is that it is an incentive for our kids to learn and spread the black arts of hiding their behaviours.

Perhaps politicians should pay more attention to 'unintended consequences' than 'looking out for the kids'.

I mean all that guff to stop (supervised) under-age drinking in pubs of our generation to be replaced by (unsupervised) drinking and worse in the parks for our kids was a really great move - yeah?

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Philae comet lander officially dead

Stuart 22
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Trollface

Oh come on - you don't really believe humanity really could and would land a washing machine on a far distant comet? Nay, the props man at Paramount wiped out the transmitter trying to clean up Matt Taylor's shirt with three rinses and a high speed spin.

http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/54639ec3eab8ea0e3fa12575/rosetta-scientist-pisses-off-twitter-with-a-shirt-covered-in-half-naked-women.jpg

(Look behind for proof Philly's fake studio set really exists)

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Heart Internet in 22-hour TITSUP after data centre power stuffup

Stuart 22
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Re: You get what you pay for...

Well not always. I've told the story before about when the power substation at bottom dollar Rackshack blew up and put them off grid for a week without one of their 25,000 servers ever noticing. And where a pretty good DR plan wasn't quite good enough and they had to physically rebuild it in real time as it came under increasing strain.

Sadly Head Surfer has sailed away. But my replacements who are competitive with Heart et al just ooze professionalism. If there is an issue it is explained in technical terms, no fobbing off. Not only do they fix issues quickly but go on to sort root causes in a transparent manner.

And while I have found excellent (as well as awful) low cost DC operators in the US and in continental europe - all my attempts to find a budget UK DC have ended in tears.

Something about how we value engineers?

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Stuart 22
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Re: DR plan?

"If you are moaning about losing business where is your redundancy? Where is your DR plan? If you are reliant on your website & email for your business you should have thought about happens when it goes TITSUP as it will."

Well some of us do have sophisticated DR plans. But, as I have posted above, they are always inadequately tested and there is always an unknown risk in activating them. I have been caught on that. Which is why, on failure, you want to know if the cause is known, being acted on and you know their best estimated time to fix with frequent updates.

Then you can take a calculated risk on whether to ride through the failure or bring up the back-ups. With normal DNS TTL's of 60 minutes this may not bring immediate relief, then you have to switch back and re-synch everything. That of course is if the DNS isn't in the same DC!

That's one reason I don't host with Heart. I don't have confidence that I am going to hear the whole truth straightaway. I host with suppliers who still manage to have resilient status servers and will reply to tickets when they have issues. The repliers are trustworthy engineers not computer illiterate customer services who can't tell the difference between a DDoS attack and a power failure!

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Stuart 22
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Re: Air France Flight 447

"Is this in any way related to the article?! Almost thought this comment had been transferred from somewhere else!"

The parallel that a faulty sensor caused them to initiate a faulty procedure that likely caused an unnecessary catastrophic failure of a data centre when the power was OK anyway. But apart from that and not double-checking the cause - you are right, nothing whatsoever.

Sorry I come from an age when computers ran on valves and failure was omnipresent and you had a lot of practice coping and sorting. These days the very reliability means disaster recovery is rarely tested in reality. And simulated failures are never quite the same. That's why you don't implicitly trust procedure. Its a help, not a master.

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Stuart 22
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Air France Flight 447

The pilots flew a fully functioning plane into the ocean because of a faulty sensor, believing it and and ignoring everything that indicated otherwise.

At least nobody got killed here but my experience of failures is you keep one spectacled eye on the manual and the other scepticalled eye on whether you really are where you are told you are. The report does suggest the procedure rather than the fault was the problem.

The first law of Disaster Recovery is to treat any Disaster Recovery Plan as having a flaw and you need to spot it before it pearly gates you.

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Norks stabilise non-threatening space speck ... for about five minutes

Stuart 22
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Re: Missing the point?

"They so much as threaten such a thing the regime will be over within a week"

Absolutely. MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doesn't apply here. They could seriously damage the US (or South Korea) with a kludge nuclear device. But only damage. They wouldn't be able to knock out anybody. And retribution would be complete and justifiable in the interests of self defence. Indeed if NORK attacked the US I bet the Chinese would be in Pyongyang before the POTHUS could press the button. They certainly could not entertain a neighbour prepared to use weapons. Only to play with them.

Willy waving in extremis.

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Amazon's Lumberyard invaded by zombies

Stuart 22
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Re: Beers all round

Readers? - NNo way. Only a real genuine CDC certified Zombie would ever get down to point 57.10 of any service terms. And a Zombie lawyer at that. And they all tied up working for SCO ...

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Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

Stuart 22
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Re: Rose Glasses

"If people really need one there's plenty of really good (and even classic) 2nd hand ones out there ready to rock-n-roll."

That's part of the problem. The longevity of the beast depletes the replacement market making the niche unprofitable for manufacturers. So its being dumped for not being green to make way for an extra production line of landfill motors.

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Stuart 22
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Re: Just

"... and so the time had come to build from the ground up a new vehicle which could be exported globally and made with modern manufacturing techniques (not 3 guys with rivet guns fabricating the rear tub from a dozen separate panels when a modern design could be stamped in a second by a machine)."

Ah - so the replacement will be much cheaper then? Do you want to bet the list price difference on that?

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Stuart 22
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Re: Just

Bit confused here. They are stopping Defender production in 2016 because it doesn't meet 2020 emission regulations. But VW can continue production of diesel vehicles that do not meet the 2015 emission standards. Doesn't compute. Well not without a nifty bit of naughty software ...

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If you're one of millions using Magento – stop whatever you're doing and patch now

Stuart 22
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Re: ohshit.

Will Magento be the only CMS with this vulnerability? If not I give it 48 hours before someone knows and probes. I guess we won't till a patch is in place.

Fingers crossed.

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'No safe level' booze guidelines? Nonsense, thunder stats profs

Stuart 22
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Re: Governemt "expert committees"

"Given the railways were haemorrhaging money in the face of the developing roads the application of an established scientist engineer and manager makes sense."

Bit of a myth. Giving money to nationalised industries is bad. Giving more money to private industry is good innit?

The losses then were only around half the subsidy given now (adjusting for inflation) which is seen to be essential for a viable transport system. Oh, and foreign shareholders/governments.

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Stuart 22
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Re: What's the point of living?

I'm looking for our glorious government to rule on the 'safe level of VW diesels' on Britain's roads. I won't hold my breath. On the other hand not breathing may be a help. Or not. Its very confusing. Time for a beer.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

Stuart 22
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" You will not get Android updates on an unlocked Nexus if you have an AT&T (for example) SIM in it. That's because the carrier doesn't like costs, like OTA updates."

My Nexus 4 & 6 gets its OTAs via WiFi. The only practical way unless you have an unlimited 4G SIM. So does the Nexus 7 - which doesn't have a SIM. How does AT&T disable this?

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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

Stuart 22
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Start Button

Yep, it could be me at the other end ...

When I get the inevitable "Microsoft have reported your PC has a virus" phone call on a dull day I rather enjoy playing up to it on the basis the longer I can keep them on the line the less chance they will be fleecing some poor vulnerable person.

A standard part of the script is press the START button. They never check you are running Windows first. So starts a rather difficult discussion on exactly where this button is and what it looks like and why the windows key doesn't work. As long as you sound really dim they sense easy prey and hence are blind to spotting you are having 'em on.

"Oh but I have a funny button there with a K on it ..." KDE users will appreciate where the conversation goes from here.

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

Stuart 22
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Re: So long old friend

Taking bets on which will be last really iconic plane to end commercial passenger service:

Boeing 747 (entered service 1970, production ended ?)

Douglas DC-3 (entered service 1936, production ended 1945)

Re: Airforce 1 - under heavy gunfire I'd rather be in a DC-3. They have a track record. I rather like the story of the Chinese DC-3 who had a wing blown off by a bomb. They stitched on an old DC-2 wing and returned it to service as a DC-2 and a half (with a bit of inbuilt yaw reportedly).

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Thousands fled TalkTalk after gigantic hack, confirm researchers

Stuart 22
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Re: Expiring contracts

Let's see what happens over the next year if they lose 7% of their customer base every quarter. People couldn't leave without penalty before; I wonder how many have put marks on their calendar for an exit date....."

Sadly cynical companies rely on people who have short memories and no calendars. I doubt this report will get much exposure in the national media to remind them. The hacks have moved on. The decline will tail off until the next TalkTalk disaster - and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

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Stuart 22
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Out of the frying pan into the fire

"BT was the biggest beneficiary, picking up 40 per cent of this lost share, found the research."

Did anyone catch Dido on C4 last week attack other folks for their failures but refusing to even countenance being asked about her own? The rot starts at the top in TalkTalk.

But the again she did say all TalkTalk customers are enjoying their free upgrade in her 'let them eat cake' voice. Remind me what this generous upgrade was again?

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New open-source ad-blocking web browser emerges from brain of ex-Mozilla boss Eich

Stuart 22
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Re: Adjust your /etc/hosts

Then don't block GA! Nobody is forcing you. This is surely no reason to not block ad slinging domains/subdomains?

Or get a better list. I have a beautiful ad-free life with much faster page loads and no 3 minute delays. Would you have preferred I'd kept quiet about it?

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Stuart 22
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Adjust your /etc/hosts

The way to go? No external DNS lookup, no ad naughties downloaded. Just a much faster browser of your choice, clean websites and no third party to sell you out for money. Cut'n'Paste domain lists are only a Google search away ...

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It's 2016 and idiots still use '123456' as their password

Stuart 22
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Re: Easily remembered...

Not to mention that any self respecting server operator will have anti-brute attack protection in place anyway. So you get 3 goes every 45 minutes. Doesn't matter how powerful the attacker is - as long as the password isn't in the top 100 its likely to take a day or so. Actually in most attacks they are guessing the username too so it would be much longer than that if it isn't 'admin'.

As they say - if the account isn't important use the same memorial password, just add something random into it. Worry about the ones you need to worry about. But then those should have two factor, if they don't then you really need a password generator and a secure Keepass-like system to remember them.

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Apple backs down from barring widow her dead husband's passwords

Stuart 22
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"But does she have the rights to all his data? What about his medical history? What about before they were married? ..."

If the will bequeaths everything than yes. Old stuff will likely be on paper records or in photo albums, diaries etc. If those are locked in filing cabinets then the beneficiary has the right to what's inside and can ask a locksmith to open it if the keys cannot be found. That's exactly the equivalent of what this widow was asking of Apple.

If you don't want your family finding out about your exciting past - don't bequeath it to them!

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It's Wikipedia mythbuster time: 8 of the best on your 15th birthday

Stuart 22
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Re: There was always a near monopoly on encyclopedic knowledge

"Wikipedia is far from perfect but is still a brilliant example of how the internet is better and providing timely, wide ranging and free information with no noticeable drop in quality. [citation needed]"

http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/study-wikipedia-as-accurate-as-britannica/

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Stuart 22
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There was always a near monopoly on encyclopedic knowledge

My school had a set of Britannica, my library had a set. It was the mark of becoming middle class to have a set (unread so it looked nicer) on display.

True there were cheaper versions but they didn't have the authority or the kudos. Britannica ruled the waves.

And it was bl**dy expensive, quickly out of date if you wanted any scientific information and, of course, a movie free zone. Wikipedia is far from perfect but is still a brilliant example of how the internet is better and providing timely, wide ranging and free information with no noticeable drop in quality.

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2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Stuart 22
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Re: Re Linux Desktop

"The point is that today's generation being brought up on the Raspberry Pi, needs, 'Raspbian', (ridiculous name), to do anything.

Those who grew up with a ZX81, learned how to program the Z80 directly, not how to write shell scripts that need a half-free as in alcohol-free-beer, 'OS', stuffed with binary blob drivers, running on closed hardware."

Oh, yes the ZX80/81 - a step back in computing in everything but price from the initial PET/TRS-80/Apple-II generation. By the time you were trying to figure out BASIC they had moved on to having operating systems. And when TRS-DOS for the Trash-80 was a bit disappointing users rewrote or patched it as NEWDOS (swopping of 5" floppies was always a ceremony when at least two users got together - a sort of primitive networking).

So the ZX80/81 guys & guyesses grew up and appreciated a richer universe. Its nice that kids today for less than £30 can go straight into more or less 'proper' computing with virtually the same functionality (if scaled down somewhat) of a sophisticated real server or desktop.

And without having to blob about - just knowing which plug to put in which socket - can get a perfectly functioning PC to browse the internet. But messing about with blobs and scripts is there for the geeky crowd. The 2010_coder is being born without the limitations of a world being largely limited to POKEing & PEEKing.

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