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* Posts by Peter 39

279 posts • joined 25 Jun 2009

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This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices

Peter 39

yawn

I must admit that, being now retired, I am not likely to use the components of Office very much. But the three-year cycle was sort-of OK for the $80 or $90 it cost.

But that price EACH YEAR. Sorry, Redmond. You're not worth *that* much more than iOffice which is now free.

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Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Peter 39

benchmarks

Are these real numbers or has Samsung played the benchmark-genie again, as it has done before?

Did anyone check yet?

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Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

Peter 39

hash

The article doesn't say whether or not the problem was caused by a hash-collision. Or if it was improper sharing.

So both Dropbox and El Reg have made a hash of this one.

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Australia doubts ICANN is ready to run the internet

Peter 39

How

>But the minister is not sure that ICANN is ready for the job

How the heck would HE know ??

And this is what his Attorney General is up to ...

Attorney General's new war on encrypted web services

http://www.itnews.com.au/News/375286,attorney-generals-new-war-on-encrypted-web-services.aspx

Basically, you have to give up your SSL keys to the "authorities"

>Under the department's plan, "law enforcement, anti-corruption and national

>security agencies … [would be able] to apply to an independent issuing authority

>for a warrant authorising the agency to issue 'intelligibility assistance notices' to

>service providers and other persons".

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

Peter 39

Re: But do all Macs run OSX?

No - sucks for you.

There are reasons why Windows does it the way that it does. They have to do with windows (small "w") and not with usability. It is the way that it is.

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ITU given keys to autonomous car standards process

Peter 39

will not end well

ITU has no cred here. This will not end well.

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The long war on 'DRAM price fixing' is over: Claim YOUR spoils now (It's worth a few beers)

Peter 39

lawyer get-rich fund

I see that the players get 25%

PLUS their costs and expenses. Sweet for them. For us, closer to "sour".

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Ballmer: 'Microsoft would have a stronger position if I could redo the last TEN YEARS'

Peter 39

" ... almost magical " ??? NOT

"It was almost magical the way the PC came about with an operating system from us and hardware from IBM.

What does he mean - "almost magical" ? It WAS magical because, although IBM developed the hardware, Microsoft did not develop the OS. Bill just paid money and bought it.

Almost magical -- NOT

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Microsoft to push out penultimate XP patch on March Patch Tuesday

Peter 39

"... one more thing"

I can imagine the following scenario developing:-

1. MS releases its last XP update next month and soon thereafter the pile of exploits that malware miscreants have been hoarding starts to roll into new hacks.

2. After two months, MS releases a "one more thing" patch that squashes lots of them.

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Steve Ballmer: Thanks to me, Microsoft screwed up a decade in phones

Peter 39

Re: sounds like.. still waiting for BMW to release a cradle

I don't know what BMW is up to with this. It's not as though it didn't have to license the details for the iPhone 4 cradle, is it ?

But the "BMW Apps" software and "iPod Integration" stuff is very poor. My iPod and the car audio fight at least once a week. It takes all sorts of voodoo to get it going again. And BMW refuses to acknowledge that there is any issue.

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Peter 39

former CEO

I'm not sure he's a "former CEO".

He may have had the title but he didn't do the job.

And the Board is just as bad for having left him there so long.

And since he's still on the Board - how can one hope for improvement ?

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Yes: You CAN use your phone as a satnav while driving – appeals court

Peter 39

Re: Stopped in heavy traffic is still driving

Of course, being stopped in a traffic jam makes it impossible to pull off.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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Peter 39

Re: Not in the UK.....

A similar case came up in Australia a few years ago. Except that he person was sleeping it off in the BACK seat (alone, in case any one wonders).

The law was subsequently changed so that this is no longer an offense. But it still is if you're in the front seat.

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Peter 39

negotiation

"After the US Army cancellation, HAV negotiated successfully to buy the vessel."

Typical deal for a cancellation by the Government is that you can buy it for 10%.

No - not 10% discount. You pay only 10%. Sweeeeet.

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Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

Peter 39

right on

There was quite a bit of interest around that time of Y2K but that quickly died out.

The situation has not improved since then - quite the opposite. This will be an expensive "upgrade".

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FCC will have to drop a bombshell to solve net-neutrality conundrum

Peter 39

Phil said it would be a long winter

The groundhog said that winter would be with us for a while, and it will. Verizon will continue to "throttle" various types of use without actually discriminating directly against any one. "So sorry, capacity constraints" and the like.

FCC will have a go at new regulations but will soon find that carriers have made an end-run. So it will finally be forced to tell the industry that you can't be both a carrier and a value-added supplier and have the same rules apply to both. The rules are going to be different and, as usual, the devil's in the details.

But the current trajectory is unsustainable, with most people in the U.S. having only a single broadband service (and many with DSL, which usually isn't "broadband"). Since there is no choice, market forces cannot possibly work. So there must be regulation. With value-added services carried on top of broadband there is choice and there the market can pick winners and losers.

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Language-mangling Germans fling open Handygate to selfie-snapping whistleblowers

Peter 39

"Handy" - WTF

How on earth did the Germans choose "Handy" as their term for a cell phone? It's puzzled me for a long time but no-one there seems to know. Or maybe they're too embarrassed to tell?

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Peter 39

Threshold

"Threshold of a Dream"

Yeah. I remember that.

More seriously, on the threshold, you can go either up or down. It's unusual of Microsoft marketing to leave the question so open, regardless of whether or not the engineering effort lives up to it.

Maybe reality has started to impinge upon Redmond ?

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Could Joe Tucci's parting shot at EMC be to SELL OFF VMware?

Peter 39

RSA

I'd expect EMC to sell RSA first.

Before its value drops to zero.

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AT&T's sponsored data plan: Who, us, violating net neutrality?

Peter 39

data caps

If AT&T gets traction with this, expect them to roll out data caps on wired connections too. I think they already exist in a few places but not many and the cap is quite high. But that would soon change if they see there's money to be made.

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IBM's Watson-as-a-cloud: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's another mainframe

Peter 39

no problem

All this commercial/Jeopardy stuff is just a front for the NSA-oriented systems. Who knows how many they've bought (tell us in the notes if you know :)

But if you need deep pockets, these are your friends.

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Apple's iPhone did not rip off Googorola's wireless patent – US appeal judges

Peter 39

it all depends ...

It all depends upon the evidence, m' friend.

And it seems that Apple has been mostly clean about patent infringement. Not completely by any means, but mostly. And some so many patents are (most unfortunately) vaguely written and cast a wide net, that isn't a bad track record.

For the most part, Apple doesn't do SEP patents so it seldom encounters the FRAND licensing issues that have bedeviled Samsung.

Apple has lot a few. But not any lately.

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Top Microsoft bod: ARM servers right now smell like Intel's (doomed) Itanic

Peter 39

making a bet

"When you're a company the size of Microsoft, you don't want to make a chip architecture bet and get it wrong."

That's true but it would be a much less grievous error than several they've made in the last few years. What's one more going to do? Kick out Steve ?? Oh, wait...

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FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Peter 39

ILECs

ILECs have for many years received special treatment, along the lines that Ma Bell received when she was the only one (with minor local exceptions).

Having enjoyed those for many years, ILECs seek to retain the bennies and ditch the responsibilities. They don't want to provide access to CLECs with their new systems, especially the fiber-based ones.

I don't care how ILECs provide their service - fiber, copper, IP, whatever - as long as they live up to their responsibilities.

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T-Mobile US: AT&T's mobe buyout deal is so 'desperate', we'll do it too

Peter 39

not really first

It has been widely reported that this was T-Mobile's plan first, and was planned for announcement at CES.

Somehow AT&T heard about it and made their speedy announcement last week. Right from the start their move was labelled as "preemptive" which gives you the clue that it wasn't their original idea. And AT&T is doing it only against T-Mobile, while T-M accepts switchers from all three major carriers.

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F-Secure won't speak at imperialist lackey RSA's 2014 conference

Peter 39

new conference

RSA has now passed its best-before date.

I suggest that a new conference be created by another group that still has trust. Serious folks will go to that and RSA will be left to wither.

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Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination

Peter 39

interesting

> ... you might not have met “OS-level virtualisation” before

Err, sounds suspiciously like "time-sharing subsystem", which dates from the 60's IIRC.

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ULTIMATE ELECTRIC driving machine? Yes, it’s the BMW i3 e-car

Peter 39

propeller logo - NOT

According to BMW, the white-and-blue logo isn't representative of an airplane propeller. Although I do admit that it does have a certain resemblance, and aero engine is what the company started with.

Apparently it's really a piece of the Bavarian state flag. By the way - any good Bavarian will quickly correctly you if you you happen to refer to it as "blue and white". For reasons I don't pretend to understand, it's "white and blue".

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OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

Peter 39

rating ?

The ads on TV in the U.S. include the comment "Rated 'M' for 'Mature'"

That's giving far too much credit where little is due.

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Windows Azure Compute cloud goes TITSUP PLANET-WIDE

Peter 39

deserving

Couldn't happen to a more deserving target

What? Ctrl-Alt-Del doesn't work ??

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Apple accused over 'secure' iMessage encryption

Peter 39

transport

>Apple's iMessage is a text-messaging service which allows fanbois to send free messages over Wi-Fi.

True, but not the whole truth. It can send the messages using cell network connections as well as WiFi.

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Peter 39

too harsh

>The NSA can force a company to categorically state they are NOT supplying data to the government, even when they absolutely are.

Not true.

>Point is: you can't trust any statements about the security of data made by any company doing business in the US.

Again, not true. Companies might not be able to tell you the whole truth. But they cannot be compelled to tell lies.

>Instead, you just have to assume that whatever you send is being monitored and stored for future reference.

Goes for GCHQ too, I might add. And, it's just good security practice.

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Apple appoints top Obama legal eagle as antitrust watchdog

Peter 39

incorrect headline

Err - it says "Apple appoints..." but it's clear to me that's incorrect.

Apple did not appoint him - the Court did, to watch over Apple.

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Apple slams brakes on orders of (not so cheap) plasticky iPhone 5C

Peter 39

Re: Want an apple but not the 5c or the 5s

No. The iPhone 5 is done. But you can still get 4s as the low-price entry (typically free on contract).

The iPhone 5c is virtually identical, spec-wise, to iPhone 5. What Apple did was take the same innards and use a plastic case that's less expensive to make. .

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In defence of defenestration: Microsoft MUST hurl Gates from the Windows

Peter 39

laugh ?? Err, no

>Ballmer was allowed to laugh off the iPhone

No. Steve and his friends had a full-blown funeral for it. With pipers and all.

I am sure that Apple will not demean itself by returning that favor.

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Redmond expands fanboi trade-in program to include iPhones

Peter 39

wider? NOT

Most conspicuous by its absence is any mention of trade-in of Surface and Surface Pro for new kit.

You think MS would want to get shinies in fans' hands a.s.a.p., wouldn't you.

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PEAK Apple: Cupertino's hopes died with Steve Jobs, says Larry Ellison

Peter 39

main difference

A crucial difference is that Steve Jobs knew he was mortal. He planned for it, and set up Apple for when he would be gone.

Larry, on the other hand, seems to believe he's immortal. That does not bode well for Oracle.

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Peter 39

and by implication ...

And by implication, Oracle is toast once Larry snuffs it. Right?

Just so we all understand.

Miracles performed. Film at 11.

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Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

Peter 39

why ?

Why is el Reg still giving top billing for Larry ??

He's well past his use-by date.

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Patent tank VirnetX fires 'secure domain name' design claim at Apple

Peter 39

Re: Have I missed something?

Maybe. It depends upon when it was filed. If the products came after the filing but before the grant (often a long time) then they wouldn't be prior art.

But - sheesh. There certainly is prior art. I was doing this "intercept" thingie for a VPN back in the late 90's.

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So, you gonna foot this '$200bn' hacking bill, insurance giants asked

Peter 39

Re: Shutting the Stable Door

"Insurance is the classic example of what's known as 'risk transfer' - rather than mitigating the risk via controls, you simply move it so that it's someone else's responsibility. The big problem with this is that it doesnt actually work in terms of risk prevention - a classic case of bolting the door long after the horse has fled"

It works this way sometimes. But more often in business environments the extreme cost of the no-mitigation strategy forces the Board to spend money to lower the premium. Boards never like spending money on things that don't make a profit, such as security, but will spend to reduce cost, such as premiums.

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Surface RT: A plan worthy of the South Park Underpants Gnomes

Peter 39

various problems

To me, the main problem facing Surface RT was the lack of apps. Apple was lucky to avoid this fate and it was due to iPhone, which had been available for several years when iPad was released. Lots of apps had been created in that time.

The vast majority of those apps would run on iPad, even though they weren't optimized for it, so iPad was a useful device right at the start. Imagine the debacle if iPad had been introduced first, with just a few apps.

Fortunately you don't have to - Surface RT shows exactly what it would have been.

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Unmasked: Euro ISPs raided in downloads strangle probe

Peter 39

all about Netflix, methinks

I suspect what's happening here is the same as the bunfight in the U.S. between Cogent and Comcast+Verizon.

It's not that Cogent wants to charge - quite the opposite. It's Comcast/Verizon/etc wanting to charge Cogent more, and not adding more capacity until it pays up. Cogent's point is that it's just trying to deliver data (Netflix movies) to Comcast/Verizon/etc subscribers, that Verizon/Comcast/etc have already been paid by their customers for delivery of said data, and that Verizon/Comcast/etc are wanting to be paid twice.

I think Cogent has a valid point. Its revenue comes from Netflix, not the ISPs. The ISPs (Verizon/Comcast/etc) have indeed charged their customers for data delivery - quite handsomely.

And it's noteworthy that both Verizon and Comcast are in the business of selling movies to their customers. I wonder if the same is true for the European ISPs mentioned (DT etc).

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STEVE BALLMER KILLS WINDOWS

Peter 39

deck chairs

The usual comment about "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic" is no longer appropriate.

Steve threw them all off already.

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NASA to flip ion engine's 'OFF' switch after brilliant 5.5 year burn

Peter 39

electrons ?

So the engine spits out lots of positively-charged ions. Quite fast.

What do they do with all the extra electrons?

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CIA-funded upstart: THE TRUTH about Prism and NSA's web snooping

Peter 39

spin

The U.S. Administration's description of PRISM as "ordinary" and "ho-hum" is just spin.

If it were "ho-hum" then it wouldn't be classified as TOP SECRET and compartmented, would it ?

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Who did Apple LIE TO: Australia or America?

Peter 39

localization

I don't see the contradiction.

Apple Operations International and Apple Sales International are Irish companies but their managers (mostly) reside in Cupertino. So saying that the decision is made in Cupertino doesn't mean that it's not made by the international companies.

That's the beauty of this whole scheme. The tax authorities shot themselves in the foot.

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Judge: Evidence will likely show Apple DID fix ebook prices

Peter 39

Dumb. Really dumb.

This is the same legal foolishness shown by Judge Jackson in the Microsoft trial.

This will certainly be grounds for appeal, and maybe even for a motion for her to recuse herself.

Dumb.

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Cook: Apple has 'no current plan' to pull profits out of Ireland

Peter 39

own-goal

Seems to me that the Senate did not fare too well on this one. Apple seems to have done its homework and kept everything in order. Maybe companies with no tax residence is a bit too far, though.

The complaint about Cost-Sharing seems to be too far on the Senate's part. Apple says that the U.S. and international divisions share R&D costs and similarly share in the rewards. This has been in effect since 1980 and is not something recent. Apple's international revenue last year was 61% of the total, and international paid more than half the R&D (and therefore the notional "ownership" of the IP). Keeping the profit (rewards) overseas seems quite fair.

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Top guns doomed as US Navy demos first carrier-launched drone

Peter 39

Re: Amurrica Strong!!

Dude - get a clue. Sure there are nukes but that's terminally stupid.

You need to think about how to wage war and yet stay back from that brink.

And hopefully you'll read some history about how "Amurrica" handled itself and dealt with shortages during World War II. Then please come back end engage in meaningful conversation about conflicts, war, and how to avoid them.

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