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* Posts by Mark .

1846 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

iPhone 6: Advanced features? Pah! Nexus 4 had most of them in 2012

Mark .
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Re: unlike Android’s comparatively fractured ecosystem

The great thing about ios is there's only one device to develop for: iphone. And ipad.

The great thing about ios is there's only two devices to develop for: iphone and ipad. And ipad mini. Three devices! iphone, ipad, ipad mini, iphone plus, and the installed user base of older smaller iphones that still need supporting, all with a variety of different screen resolutions and aspect ratios, and a fanatical devotion to the pope.

(I'll come in again.)

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Mark .
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The difference is, we don't have hoards of Google fans trying to claim Chromecast is a new invention, or "popularised" anything, or brought it to the mainstream, or revolutionised anything, yet with Apple fans we have to hear them endlessly claiming this, even when the sales figures don't actually support the statement.

The excitement is that Chromecast is really cheap, I don't see ridiculous claims being made about it (though it would be reasonable to say the hype is a bit unfair, given there are other cheaper alternatives like NowTV).

It's not about specs with Apple, until it is - remember the "PPI" obsession? For user experience, how well does Airplay support playing to my LG TV? My user experience with itunes was terrible, as well as trying to get video on an ipod play through someone else's computer.

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"Apple have seldom been the pioneers of new technology, but they have a very successful history of picking up new technology just when they are ready to move with it and making a big success out of it. Both the iPad and the iPhone are examples of this"

Please check Apple's actual sales in 2007-2008, compared to other platforms/companies.

Symbian dominated until 2011, and the huge growth of smartphone sales came almost all from Android.

Just like everyone now talks to their phones and makes video calls all the time thanks to Apple... Of course, it may well be that some places only introduce NFC now that the minority of Apple users can use it - but I'm not sure that's something to be thankful for, on the contrary, we should be asking why they aren't already supporting the majority of Android users, and why we have to wait years if things are only supported when Apple get round to it.

"They don't always invent the steam engines, but they're great at knowing when it's Steam Engine time."

Steam Engine time simply gets defined as whenever Apple do it, whether it's early, late, or sometime in between. It's the bullseye Apple fallacy - draw a ring round whenever Apple released something, and say "Look, that was the defining point!", never mind what actually happened at the time.

"At least I sincerely hope they don't have some trick up their sleeve to close the market!"

I can see it now - "Pay with NFC!" Let me just pay with my iphone - oh wait, I can't, because like the rest of the world I use Android.

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HP: We're still running the ARM race with Moonshot servers

Mark .
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Re: Why binary compatibility?

Typing "make" requires the source, so the real issue is closed source software. Make won't help you with a closed source binary package.

Windows does support ARM now - as indeed, Windows NT supported other architectures back in the days you talk about. But MS themselves are hobbled by the same desire for x86 compatibility from users, lack of desire to support multiple architectures if they can get away with it from companies, and a lack of Open Source.

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Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'

Mark .
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Re: Currency fluctuations

$50K of Bitcoin is $50K of Bitcoin - it makes no difference whether it a year's time, a Bitcoin is worth $1million or 1p.

It would only matter if you made the choice to spend $50K rather than keeping it invested in Bitcoin, but then that would still be true whether you paid in Dollars or Bitcoin - if I buy a new Dell in Dollars, that's still money I could have invested in Bitcoin. If someone pays in Bitcoin, they can still buy more Bitcoin to replace it.

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Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg

Mark .
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Re: Not so bad news.

I agree - Facebook is a perfect example something that's bound to be popular on mobile phones: something that people check all day, most easily be done with a phone that they have on them all the time, and more likely to be something to check when you're not at home with plenty of other things to do. Even for people who work in offices, checking on a phone has privacy advantages over using the work computer, even if it's less ideal. And people never seem to type more than two sentences at a time (if they type at all - so much of the status updates are just automated rubbish), so you can get away with no proper keyboard.

I'm not sure anyone predicts some sudden resurgences among laptop/desktop computers anyway (why would there suddenly be), rather that some (myself included) are skeptical that everyone's going to throw them all away to only use mobile phones/tablets. It's rather telling that PC usage is still ahead, despite mobile devices having been mainstream and low cost for years.

(Does my best-selling Asus Transformer Book count as a "PC" or a "mobile device, anyway? It's both.)

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'iPhone 6' survives FRENZIED STABBING. Truly, it is the JESUS Phone

Mark .
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Re: It is an exclusive for a while at least

"If Samsung or whoever wanted to do this, it would take them at least a couple years to do so"

The problem here is the assumption that they're all starting from scratch, when there have been continual developments of increasing the strength of screens. I don't care about marketing buzzwords like "billion dollars", "exclusive deal", "special factory", "years of planning, research and building to make this happen" - that's what _all_ technology companies are doing.

As always, we only get a press-release masquerading as news when it's Apple, even when they're just playing catch-up.

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Euro banks warned off Bitcoin as Canada regulates it

Mark .
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Re: A matter of scale

And this is why price increases for Bitcoin are a good thing. Note the number of Bitcoin is not what measures the size of the currency, rather it's market cap (number times value of 1 Bitcoin). Though for Bill Gates to buy all of them, that would itself cause the price to rocket (especially if people knew that Bill Gates was on a mission to buy all of them). But yes, a bigger market cap means it's harder for anyone to influence the price.

"You can't base your long-term wealth on an asset who's value can drop like a rock from one year to the next."

Oh, good thing that no one's suggesting that today.

Your last paragraph is a straw man, who says you should bet your house, salary and pension on it? I wouldn't trust those things with Paypal, or bet them all on high risk investments. That doesn't mean that those things are of no use at all.

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Mark .
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Re: I'm not surprised

What "much greater" risks are there for someone using it to transfer money, e.g., between countries, or in countries where banks don't offer easy transfer like in the UK? (The US's idea of 21st century banking is that you can use your phone to scan a cheque...)

Essentially this is where Paypal got popular - the extra risk of an unregulated company was evidently outweighed by the reduced transfer fees or hassle. It's not clear to me why say a company that uses Bitpay to receive payments is a much greater risk?

Maybe the European Banking Authority should warn people off Paypal...

"It's a bubble speculation which has proved of some ongoing value to some cyber-criminals, drug dealers, botnet operators and digital blackmailers."

We've been hearing "it's a bubble" since the value was $10 - still waiting for the crash. Any form of money has black market uses.

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I/O: New Google design language will RULE OVER 'DROIDS

Mark .
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"Yet Microsoft was wrong to lump PC users in with device users, as it turned out neither customers nor developers wanted Metro on their PC – they hated it. Apple was smarter: consistency only across the phone and tablet with iOS while keeping the Mac operating system out of the smart design stable."

I'm so glad that one journalist can speak for every single person. Probably typing that from behind a light-up Apple logo.

Some people like it, some people don't. Just like every time there's a new version of Windows. Most people who were bothered were more annoyed by loss/change of the start menu than anything to do with design consistency. But it's annoying to hear this history revisionism where people speak for all Windows users, or for Apple fans to take that criticism as somehow a win for Apple - it doesn't mean that people like Apple OS X better (which doesn't have a start menu, and last time I looked launched things by clicking on icons too).

Why is it always right to make tablets like phones, and not laptops? For a 7" tablet, sure, but my 10" Asus Transformer Book is far closer to being a laptop (because in fact, it _is_ a laptop, but converts to a tablet), and it's nice running a full OS on it rather than being a giant phone.

The area where Google have chosen to be more like MS than Apple is not "design", but the possible introduction of touchscreens, which we've already seen with the Pixel Chromebook, and would seem more natural when they start enabling some Android applications on Chromebooks. (Though Asus were way ahead, with their Android Transformers.) I'm sure that we'll continue to hear though that touchscreens are evil, except on a device on the same sized that begins with an "i", then it becomes revolutionary and we should all throw away our keyboards to use one.

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Mark .
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Re: This is not a validation of Microsoft's Metro strategy

"(a proper Start menu is finally coming back in the next update, I hear)"

That's great for people who prefer the Windows 7 start menu (not "proper" - people just have different preferences, and options are nice). But what does that have to do with touch? I can click icons with a mouse, or use with touch. MS changed the start menu significantly, but it's a myth that it's forcing people to use touch (otherwise how would people click the icons on the OS X dock without a touchscreen).

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Mark .
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Re: For all the metro haters

The start menu is significantly different, and plenty of people prefer the old one to the new version. But although a side-benefit was them making a consistent interface, imo it still works as a UI in its own right. I like the new Windows start menu ("screen") on a non-touch laptop - now I have the fullscreen being made use of, rather than a postage stamp sized window in the corner. Remember, way back in Windows 95, the point of the start menu was to cascade, so that submenus opened, and took up the full screen. Without XP or Vista (I forget which), they made it remain small, stuck in the corner, with the submenus opening in the same space.

In fact, I'd probably like this less on a Windows Phone, because you don't have the screen size to make use of it, so can only fit a few tiles. There it's better to have something that allows hierarchical menus, like you can with the Android homescreen (well, one level of hierarchy anyway) (and was the case with Symbian and feature phones years before that). But then again, I haven't tried it, and it's probably what I'm used to :)

"It also might seriously piss off long term Android users who, if they wanted WinPho would have bought WinPho."

Indeed, I think this is the key - people get annoyed with change. If Windows 8 had thrust the OS X UI onto people, it wouldn't be (as much as many journalists seem to think) "Oh yes, this is much better", but even more of an uproar - either because they don't like change, or if they wanted OS X they would have bought it. Indeed OS X launches things by clicking on icons, that doesn't mean it was made for touchscreens, but would still annoy those who wondered where their start menu had gone.

I think MS should have done more to keep in options to keep things somewhat the way they were (similar to how XP could switch back to 2000s menu), but whether a particular UI is good or bad, or works better on a phone or laptop or not, comes down to preference. Anyhow, any half-decent OS lets you change things, and it's a 5 minute job to put the start menu back anyway for those who prefer.

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Bitcoin is MONEY, says Canada

Mark .
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Re: The only thing worse than not getting what you want.

I don't think anyone has a contradictory viewpoint, other than the straw man you made up. Different people have different views - among those using Bitcoin, some may want it to be some underground tax-evading thing, but plenty of others want it to be legitimate, including being happy to pay taxes on it.

And there's nothing special about being "money" - for example in the UK, taxes like capital gains cover profits made from any investment whether or not it's classed as "money", so why would we think Bitcoin be exempt from that?

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Got a botnet? Thinking of using it to mine Bitcoin? Don't bother

Mark .
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Re: So coin mining is a losing game, then ?

But if you're willing to speculate, then you could have just spent the money you would have on the electricity on Bitcoin directly. So if you instead spent that $800 on Bitcoin, you'd have 1.4 bitcoin, and would make even more money if it goes up in future. Though I take the point that some people find dealing with exchanges a hassle, and yes someone who mines at a loss today may still be better off in future than someone who doesn't mine or buy at all.

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Student promises Java key to unlock Simplocker ransomware

Mark .
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Re: Next step?

No crapware on my Nexus.

One of the downsides of fine control over permissions is that you get clueless users who think an app doesn't need a permission, but then are first in line to vote it 1 star because "it doesn't work right". There are loads of apps out there, so one should always vote by dropping apps with stupid permissions. (Not that I'm saying it can't be improved.)

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Mark .
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Re: Next step?

Or, you could just stop installing rubbish - never had any trouble with the free MS Security Essentials, or Windows Defender which is now installed as standard.

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Deploy a fake Bitcoin wallet to save your own

Mark .
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Re: Bitcoin...

The value of something is not a feature that can be set or controlled by the developers - that goes for anything, money or otherwise. I don't see how a $POWER could help.

Higher value is actually what's required here - larger market cap, then large transactions have a smaller effect of the market.

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You've got two weeks to beat off Cryptolocker, GameoverZeus nasties

Mark .
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Re: cheap at twice the price

Great for you and the other three users. Amigas aren't affected either.

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Mark .
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Re: Yawn

With 90+% market share, it's the same thing.

I don't see people mention specifically Windows when they release other kinds of software - it's just "PC"; same with mobile software, should they list the operating systems if it turns out they don't support Windows Phone?

But no, don't let that stop with your tin-foil-hat conspiracy theory.

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Mark .
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Re: Clicking links ...

I can see a QR code before I use it. I don't see how reading the phone number in digits rather than seeing it as an image has anything to do with whether it will blow up my phone.

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HP reveals Apple-powered Android 'SlateBook'

Mark .
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Re: Ha! Busted!

I agree that it's old programs that are the biggest faults - the problem is that on a PC/laptop OS, there's far more legacy to deal with, as well as a far greater range of APIs that developers can use.

There are Windows 10-11" high-resolution laptops appearing, and the reports suggest that Windows and any half-decent program generally does okay, and this should be even less of an issue at 14".

Another issue I think though is expectations of GPU performance. On a tablet OS, people are impressed when you run Angry Birds or port a 10 year old 3D game. As soon as you have an x86 Windows machine, people are trying to run the latest AAA games on it. So if you don't have a great GPU, there is some argument for having a lower resolution.

The main annoyance of low resolution on laptops is if it limits how much stuff you can fit on. If it gets to the point where users are having to increase the DPI, the extra resolution is mostly pointless anyway - theoretically it's better quality, but not if you don't have the GPU power to drive games, and I wonder how many people are watching Blu-Ray quality movies on their high resolution tablets (given how limited they are in storage space, and even a low quality movie will blow through most people's monthly mobile data allowance).

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TrueCrypt turmoil latest: Bruce Schneier reveals what he'll use instead

Mark .
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I agree - and the level of trust that people require depends on the situation. If you want something to prevent a thief getting at your data, I'd say Bitlocker is good enough - sure, maybe the possibility of NSA backdoors is greater in Bitlocker than Truecrypt, and maybe you're willing to trust the shared source of Truecrypt even though that isn't a guarantee and the audit hasn't completed yet, but does that stop it doing the job? Similarly if you just want to keep information private from friends/family/anyone who might find a USB key you dropped.

If you absolutely need something to be secure, then I wouldn't trust Bitlocker _or_ Truecrypt on its own. Since there's no guarantee of being free of malware or backdoors on or in the OS, relying on Truecrypt isn't sufficient - a keylogger can trivially grab your passkey, and once a volume is decrypted, it's fair game for anything on the system to grab it. The answer here is to use totally secure methods - for example, for Bitcoin I use cold storage, such that my password has only ever been entered on a freshly installed OS where the machine was never connected to the Internet.

Admittedly, Linux and Truecrypt have an advantage, but more that it's easier to stick them on a Live CD to boot them as a fresh install - with Windows you'd presumably have licensing issues, and I'm not sure it's possible to run without installing to disk. But it's not because "Oh noes MS is evil and insecure and have backdoors". (And I do use Truecrypt as it happens, but I don't think that that alone is sufficient for total security.)

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Mark .
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Re: Please continue truecrypt

Interesting article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jameslyne/2014/05/29/open-source-crypto-truecrypt-disappears-with-suspicious-cloud-of-mystery/ argues some advantages of it being part of the OS: "I worked close to the development team that maintained their pre-boot environment, shims and other mechanisms for hooking in to the OS. I can say first hand that this is an expensive, difficult and cumbersome thing to do whereas for Microsoft which owns the OS and the relationship it is a much easier task. Trying to “out Microsoft Microsoft” at hardware support, performance and compatibility is a tough gig and there are a wealth of new features in modern hardware and software that offer major trust enhancements that just ‘work’ with Bitlocker (TPM, UEFI, SecureBoot, Windows 8.1 etc). This is precisely why Sophos made the move to start managing BitLocker and other inbuilt encryption technologies like FileVault on Mac OS X rather than focusing on maintaining our own environment."

I agree there are advantages to having encryption be cross-platform, but thought that was interesting nonetheless. Also for the people claiming backdoors in bitlocker, I hope they're running Linux with Open Source drivers on an openly-designed CPU and hardware, to go along with their tin foil hats.

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For your next privacy panic, look no further than vending machines

Mark .
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Not necessarily - laws like data protection would surely cover both a database with your name/photo, and the photos taken by the machine.

Given many Governments track record on creating new laws in response to technology, the last thing I want them to do is do it hastily. Given your fears about vested interests, hastily-passed new laws may not be in our favour.

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Google TOO WHITE and MALE, says HR boss, looking in mirror

Mark .
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Re: Japan

Wait a minute - we've had a whole load of comments above, highly voted up, arguing as if it was clear as mud, that men are _biologically_ more predisposed to want to work for IT companies.

Yet here you are pointing out that Google in India has a higher proportion of women. So wait, are the rules about biology different in India then?

Presumably your point is that it's not Google at fault, but an issue with the societies - which is a fair point and one I'd agree with, but then, that's still an argument that there are social differences at fault, rather than it being purely biological differences as everyone above is insisting.

(And logically, another possible option is that it's only a problem with Google in some countries - Google is not a single entity, and the people who make up "Google" in different countries will be different. It could be that some parts of Google have issues, and not others. But yes, I suspect the issues are not primarily due to Google, but due to wider issues.)

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Mark .
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Re: Feminists: they are idiots and to blame!

"and saying that the females generally have a different *average* psychological disposition."

But can you show that a different average psychological disposition explains away the 80% male domination in an IT company, without relying on social differences?

Of course there are trivially biological differences, but it doesn't follow that any difference must be due to biological differences. Different species doesn't even make scientific sense.

And why do the comments focus on the issue of gender? Are you going to say that there are biological differences to races too?

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Mark .
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That's a straw man - no one's saying that every company must have exactly equal proportions.

There is surely a medium between "every computer company being dominated by men" and "every computer company must have exactly 50%".

Not that I necessarily blame companies, I suspect a lot of the problems start early, just look at any toy shop and see what boys are encouraged to play with versus girls - but it is still good to keep track of these statistics.

And whilst there are biological differences, I don't think there's evidence to say that men are more biological predisposed to computer jobs, certainly not to the extent to explain the differences you see. It's hard to see what the evolutionary reason for this would be, also consider how many early programmers were women. I hope you have references for this "simple psychological fact"?

"When 50% of people choosing and completing IT courses at universities are female (without imposing artificial gender quotas and turning men away simply because they are men), only then do you have the right to whine if the employment figures don't match the graduation rates."

You're accusing people of being politically correct, but _you're_ the one saying people don't even have a right to "whine"?

I think all this says is that it's not the fault of the companies - but it's still reasonable to then ask why we then have the inbalance in education.

"Your comment reminds me of one of those meme images I saw recently, which had a picture of a stereotypically feminist-looking woman and was captioned something like this:"

Your comment reminds me of a straw man argument that's completely irrelevant to the topic. Did the OP major in gender studies? If you're suggesting that most men in IT like it being male dominated - well, I don't know if it's true, but I hope not. I'd rather it not be one of those sad male-only morris dancing clubs.

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TrueCrypt considered HARMFUL – downloads, website meddled to warn: 'It's not secure'

Mark .
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Re: This is ridiculous

"(I mean... switch to Bitlocker? That's not even a good troll.)"

Okay, I'll bite - what are the problems?

Truecrypt is cross-platform, and also available on all versions of Windows. But for someone where this isn't an issue, what is it about Bitlocker that makes this laughable?

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Tens of thousands of 'Watch Dogs' pirates ENSLAVED by Bitcoin botmaster

Mark .
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On the flipside, if it's news, it means it's not common, so what you say may well be true after all.

Some would have us believe downloading pirated binaries is a sure way to get viruses - reading this news story makes it seem more a case of one single incident being newsworthy, and even this has been discovered and now removed from most sites.

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Mark .
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"by making an ISO image of the disk"

...which at the time would still have been piracy.

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After the cyberpunks, prepare to fight a new wave of nasties

Mark .
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Re: Millenium Bug

Quite. What happened as that people said there were problems. Effort was then spent fixing the problems. Problems were therefore largely fixed.

What the media did in the meantime was scaremonger that it was going to be the end of the industrial world, blaming the IT industry, and then when nothing happened, blamed the IT industry again for having spent money fixing supposedly non-existent problems.

Same problem happens with vaccination: An epidemic appears. Media scaremonger that everyone's going to die. Vaccination program to tackle the actual epidemic takes place. Few people die. Media then blame the medical industry and claim it was all a waste of money...

So here with have The Reg telling us, that this time, it's real. When the problems are fixed, I look forward to The Reg saying how it was all scaremongering from the IT industry.

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Bitcoin blockchain allegedly infected by ancient 'Stoned' virus

Mark .
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Re: 2,000 thumbs down can't be wrong

Maybe, but I don't know anyone who's paying money for Microsoft Security Essentials (it's free).

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Google forges a Silver bullet for Android, aims it at Samsung's heart

Mark .
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Re: While a lot of this sounds bad from a competition perspective.....

To be fair, although vanilla Android is nice, Samsung's UI seems fine too, and it's as much a matter of opinion or what you're used to. Vanilla Android does lack a lot of things (e.g., video calling, didn't have a notepad/text editor for years) which although you can easily get an application for, I can see manufacturers wanting to add their own.

Let's not forget things like Google trying to get rid of SD cards - some customisations are definitely a good thing. (A shame - the idea of "Silver" sounds promising to me, but if they're all lacking sd cards with too small internal storage, I'm not interested.)

It does mean the releases lag core Android, but does this mean people wait longer for any given feature? A Touchwiz user has to wait longer to get a new feature added to core Android, but a Nexus user may have to wait longer for a new feature that Samsung add as standard.

Samsung have a lot more phones to test than Google when it comes to updates - but if Google switch to a model where there are lots of devices under the "Silver" brand, they've then got to test all of those devices (Nexus users may be happy being beta testers for the latest Android version, but this won't work so well on a wider set of consumers...)

It's annoying when network operators block updates of phones. Arguably they shouldn't have that control at all, though given that buggy updates can cause havoc for *other* users, as happened when an iphone update was pushed out, I can see their point. Ideally people should vote with their wallets - if my network didn't allow updates through, I'd go elsewhere.

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It's spade sellers who REALLY make a killing in a gold rush: It's OVER for graphics card mining

Mark .
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Re: re "unless you can find a better use for them"

You think there is a sound case for banning anything that uses energy, if someone (who?) deems it not worthy?

There's a long list of things on that list, long before we get to virtual currencies. ("But this ATM requires electricity to run! How environmentally unfriendly!")

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Re: re "unless you can find a better use for them"

Yes whining on the Internet is such a better use of electricity.

This is no better than the people who think you save the planet by switching off the lights for an hour. Yes, the Bitcoin network has a cost, but unless you can show this is significantly worse than a equivalent method (banks, Paypal etc), this is not a fair argument, and falls under "I don't like this, therefore no one else should".

I'd have more respect if you were a green person criticising all kinds of energy use, but you're not - you're someone who thinks that as long as you turn off the lights for an hour, or criticise the use of things that you're not interested in, that makes you green even though you happily use energy-guzzling computers the rest of the time.

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Whaddaya mean, NO REFUND? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

Mark .
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Re: Bitcoin - the new Second Life

Try explaining public key encryption to your grandmother (or grandfather). I guess that means no one will ever buy anything on the Internet?

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Mark .
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Re: Bitcoin is strongly deflationary

Well, that's an argument against using Bitcoin as one's national currency.

But usages such as Internet and international transactions still remain. Currently Paypal is largely used for this, but I don't see people criticising Paypal by considering what the economy would look like if everything (wages, taxes, etc) was done using and controlled by Paypal.

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Borked Bitcoin bunker MtGox in administration: Lawyer seizes control

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Re: Mighty quiet ....

Another way of looking at it is that almost always true with Bitcoin that the price at any given time is significantly less than its all time high - because Bitcoin tends to grow in sudden spurts where the value rockets up, then drops back down to a lower value, that's still much higher than the previous level. So being at $500 when the all time high is around $1000 isn't any sign of a decline.

Whether the price will drop down to a lower level like $100-200 or not, is anyone's guess.

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Google shuts Glass store and nixes Video Call feature

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Re: I wonder how much it costs to make one of these

They're not paying for the privilege to develop, they're paying for the hardware. And when early developer kits for new hardware like consoles or whatever else appear, I thought it's pretty standard that you have to pay.

I don't know about a failed Newton, but it's like selling console developer kits to games companies and asking them to write games. You know, like how it happens all the time.

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Samsung's thumb-achingly ENORMO Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Mark .
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Re: Phones getting bigger?

Your post is "This one person does things this way, therefore everyone will". Personally I see no point in 10" tablets, as I'd rather have a more functional laptop/netbook (although the 2-in-1s are fine too). If you're going to do it that way, why both with a phone at all? (Some large tablets are actually smartphones, just use a bluetooth headset.)

A 5" phone isn't a nasty compromise - it's a decent sized screen, whilst still being small enough to fit in my pocket and come with me everywhere. I'm not sure someone really gains much by swapping the 5" phone for a 3" one, especially when they then also carry a 10" device everywhere.

The 5" phone doesn't replace a tablet or laptop, I have a 7" tablet and 10" laptop too, but don't have them on me all the time.

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Mark .
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Re: re. use in portrait orientation

You're not comparing like with like though. I don't see how people know what to expect with Android anymore than with Windows 8 - there are plenty of devices to choose from (not that I think choice is a bad thing anyway, it's one of the things I like about those platforms).

People know what to expect with say the Galaxy Note, but you could say the same thing about specific Windows devices, e.g., Surface Pro, or Transformer Book.

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Amazon sets FIRE to your living room in bid to shake up TV streaming

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"I note Nokia are now trying to use Android as a base in the same way."

Not true, Nokia X supports 3rd party app stores, and so works with anyone. True, it doesn't ship with Google Play, but that's because Google Play is closed, and they charge for it - it's not part of AOSP. So yes, it's because of a closed ecosystem, but Google's, not Nokia's. Consider that there's nothing stopping Google putting Google Play on Nokia X (just like Amazon have put theirs on Google Play).

"I think Amazon are big enough to make a dent in Google Play and iTunes, but do consumers really want to embrace yet another ecosystem"

Of course not, it would be so terrible to have a whole three shops to buy things from. The Internet would be so much better if it was just like the old days, when there was only one shop in town that sold things.

Seriously - when someone says "ecosystem", read "vendor lock-in". Companies want "ecosystems", I just want to buy from where I want. I might buy music from Amazon, put it on Google Music, then stream it via either Windows, or perhaps via my Android tablet that pretends to be a Chromecast device, and sends it via DLNA to my LG TV (I'd rather stream direct from Google Music to my TV, but again, that's the downside of an ecosystem lock-in).

I don't want a rainforest, I want my devices to work together.

I take the point that, if closed ecosystems are bad, adding another one isn't a good idea either. But I think the more systems there are, the more chance that companies are forced to work together. People might say "I don't like this new device, that doesn't work with anything else", but I hope people won't say "I don't like this new device, because I enjoy being locked into this other ecosystem".

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Mark .
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Re: OK? How would this be crusing Apple then?

I presumed it meant, as in people might actually buy it...

Does AppleTV also work as a console? If it does, I've yet to hear of anyone making games for it. You might as well say AppleTV offers nothing that loads of generic set-top streaming boxes offer (in which case, true, there's no reason to specifically mention Apple over anyone else in the article).

Or possibly all these ~$99 boxes will lose out to cheaper devices like Chromecast and NowTV.

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Re: UK version?

Does being a smart TV really add that much? I mean, that suggests you can get two TVs that are otherwise identical quality/features/etc, apart from one being cheaper without the "smart" functionality. When I looked though, smart functionality is now coming as standard for many manufacturers, except perhaps for the very cheapest (which are often older generations still on sale).

"All Smart TVs need a smart phone or tablet to access all features easily."

Depends - the "magic remote" (Wii-style pointer) works fine with my LG, and the smartphone app simply gives me control of the same mouse pointer, so isn't any easier for many things. On the other hand, getting it to stream local content via DLNA is easier using Windows laptop or Android apps. I'd say other devices complement a smart TV, rather than being a requirement.

It doesn't matter that the Chromecast requires a hosting device, because the whole point of it is to connect hosting device to TV. As you note yourself, selecting content (whether a TV stream or local media) is easier via laptop/tablet/phone, so why not make use of that.

Another cheap option though would be NowTV - although the paid content is I believe restricted to one option, it's cheaper than Chromecast, doesn't need any additional devices, and comes with free content too.

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As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free

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Re: Are you insane?

And we can look forward to releases every six months, with major annoying changes far more frequent than the long periods of Windows, and a much shorter period of support forcing us to upgrade. If we're lucky, the new version won't black screen on boot, and we won't have to spend ages editing graphics card config files to get it working again.

(I use and like Ubuntu, but I find it odd that the criticisms to Windows here apply far more to distributions like Ubuntu.)

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Re: Are you insane?

I agree - I not only love the history revisionism that portrays Windows XP (hated by geeks at the time) as now some golden age of Microsoft operating systems, but you have people actively wanting to run an OS targetted on machines less powerful than three year old smartphones. Apparently all those years when MS was criticised for the security model was just a joke.

Yes, it's a shame that people do have to upgrade once every 10 years even if they don't care for the new "up-front" features, and yes software companies do therefore get to earn money in return for continuing to upgrade the OS for new hardware, and fixing security issues. But personally I love living in a future where even my phone runs rings around my Windows 2000 desktop PC, let alone the hardware I have in my laptop. I wouldn't trade that just to save an upgrade fee that's required to take advantage of it, and if I was that against it, there are free operating systems that people could use and stop complaining. I'd be curious to know how many people here really are running Windows XP on their home machines, or are just Windows-critics in disguise...

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Like most software companies then.

Meanwhile, how well does http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReactOS work, if that's what you want?

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Re: Are you insane?

But I thought XP was just 2000 with useless crap and a fisher price interface. And had huge security holes like everything being run as admin, and programs being able to write to each others' folders. Funny how its now praised as being great.

I never was much a fan of XP; it didn't offer much over 2000, and was only an improvement to those who were previously on 9x/Me. Windows 7 onwards meanwhile does have improvements under the hood, whether better support for newer hardware like SSDs, improved security model, and I like being able to launch programs by typing the name or clicking on the taskbar, rather than scrolling through a big list of every app. Anything was better than DOS or Windows 9x though.

If you don't want the extra crap, go get NT 3.5.

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MtGox finds 200,000 Bitcoin in old wallets

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Re: ::shakes head:: @Jake

Except Bitcoin is alive and well, so if the "too good to be true" refers to that, those people are still doing fine, with Bitcoin values still 900% up from a year ago - a time when people like you were already claiming that that was the top of a bubble.

The problem at Mt Gox was "storing large amounts of Bitcoin in an online wallet, especially on an exchange where for months they've had troubles like not allowing withdrawals of USD", and as d3rrial points out, most people - including Bitcoin users - were aware of the problems for ages.

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

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Re: The politicos said that grumble flick websites should require a credit card

It's also odd that typical anti-pr0n arguments usually refer to commercial material, and apply less to say, sites with user-generated material. But here we have MPs telling us that if you want to show other people, it must be done commercially!

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