* Posts by Def

803 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

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WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

Def
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Re: Facebook is a cesspool

I guess the point is that freely giving Facebook personal information is both optional and legal.

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Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?

Def
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Windows 10 on the Lumia 640

https://www.microsoft.com/en/mobile/windows10/#

Microsoft says it's available, with the following caveat: Windows 10 Mobile features may vary by device. The availability of Windows 10 Mobile as an upgrade for existing Windows Phone 8.1 devices will vary by device model, country or region, mobile operator or service provider, hardware limitations, and other factors. 1.4 GB or greater download required. Wi-Fi internet connection required to install the upgrade; internet access fees may apply.

(Edit: There's an upgrade app in the store you can try out. Link on the above page.)

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DVLA misses out on £400m in tax after scrapping paper discs

Def
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Re: Naff Police

Are you implying that in some far off fantasy land there exists some non-naff police?

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Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords

Def
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Re: primetime21 ?

Was beastmode24 on the list, too?

It is now. ;)

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Def
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My company's website doesn't have any sort of password meter. I always thought them to be a bit suspect at the best of times.

Nor does it limit choice of password characters.

What it does do though, is force a password length of 10 characters or more, and confirms that the entered password is not one of the 110,000 common/known passwords stored in the database (which does include the aforementioned 'primetime21').

Edit: And it has 'Password1!' too. ;)

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$100m settlement snub: Super Cali goes ballistic, says Uber deal atrocious

Def
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Facepalm

Though the cars will be driving themselves, Uber says a human driver will be behind the wheel to "supervise" the operation of the vehicle and help train their artificial brains.

To be honest, I would rather we train artificial brains to be better drivers than the average taxi owning meat sack.

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Microsoft to overhaul Windows 10 UI – with a 3D Holographic Shell

Def
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Re: I can think of a decent list of useful applications for VR/AR

Then you're not thinking hard enough.

Regardless of how you think software development works, outside of dedicated applications such as games, you need OS support first.

Last year I was saying that self driving cars would be here within 10 years - to most people claiming that I was being ridiculous. And yet Ford announced a few days ago they're bringing one to market by 2021. I'm sure Apple, Google, and other manufacturers are looking at similar time scales. It will happen by 2025.

So, let's have another prediction:

Within 20 years (to be honest, I think it'll happen a lot sooner, but let's say 20 years to be on the safe side), either digital contact lenses, or optical implants will replace the clunky VR/AR headsets of today. Your perception of the world will be permanently enhanced. Applications you are running will be projected onto available surfaces in the world around you, or directly in front of your vision when 'at work'. On the bus, the back of the seat in front of you will become your web browser, while the window next to you will have floating conversations with your friends available - or maybe a local news station or music video. A virtual keyboard will appear under your hands for you to type on. As you turn your head, these 'windows' will remain rooted to the surface they're 'on', or if you're not sat down, they will pop from surface to surface or float in your peripheral vision.

People like you will probably hate this. You won't see the attraction of always having information in your face. Or being able to watch a movie without a screen. (In fact, stop considering movies as two dimensional projections - fully immersive 3D movies are coming - part of my new job starting next month will be working with that sort of tech. ;)

The next generation, however, will consider this normal, and won't even be able to comprehend how old fuddy-duddy-30-somethings managed to live without it. Forget trying to convince your grandparents about it.

As for me? Bring it on, I say. The future can't come fast enough. :)

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Good news: Teen hacker gets 1-million-air-miles bug bounty reward. Bad news: It's United

Def
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Re: 60Km - (new unit kilomiles)

I believe you *earn* one air mile per mile of flight that you take (and even that's debatable at times). They're not redeemable on a equal basis because if they were, you'd only ever need to buy a single flight for your whole life. ;)

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Power cut crashes Delta's worldwide flight update systems

Def
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Windows 10 Anniversary Update crashing under Avast antivirus update

Def
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Avast...

Used to be good. Has recently become the crash-happy, bloated bitch of virus scanners. Anyone got any recommendations for good alternatives?

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15 million tech-fried Brits have tried giving themselves a 'digital detox'

Def
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Re: Non Smart Phone

I wouldn't want to get rid of my smart phone completely. There's a time and a place, and sometimes needs must (maps, bus tickets, etc). That said though, I have recently deleted all (pre-installed - I didn't add any extra to begin with) social networking / communication apps from it, so the only real way of getting hold of me when I'm not at the computer is via SMS or actually calling me - and even then you'll be bloody lucky if I a) have the phone switched on in the first place, and b) actually hear it.

Since doing this, I have to say I do feel slightly more relaxed and less tempted to either check up on things, or respond to notifications immediately.

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Shock: Apple patents the phone book

Def
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Prior art much?

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Revolutionary Brit-made SABRE hybrid rocket engine to burn in 2020

Def
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My first thought was:

"2020! That's ages. :("

Then I realised how close we are to 2020 already.

Fuck I'm old. :(

But still... keep up it, RE. The future's looking shiny. :)

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Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

Def
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Re: Upped the ante.

When will we see suspects armed with drones bombing the shit of civilians from a remote location?

Drones? All you need is a willing suicide bomber, a dirty nuke, and a Cessna. And you could probably rig up the Cessna to be piloted remotely. Set it off in the direction of the nearest city, and high-tail it the other way.

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Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Def
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Re: Internet of Ships

But if you can build fully enclosed ships without any access points, you might as well build automated submarine transports. Get them into the open ocean, and submerge to a depth of 200m or so, and away you go. Fewer pirating opportunities, and no pesky weather to deal with either.

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Obi Worldphone MV1: It's striking, it's solid. Aaaand... we've run out of nice things to say

Def
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"I had written the following..."

Good God, man, this is the Internet. You can't go around proofreading things before you post them. What the hell were you thinking?

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

Def
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Yeah, really.

I don't want to live on this plant any more. ;)

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What Brexit means for you as a motorist

Def
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Re: Passport, driving licence validity

You're all forgetting one minor point... Will UK licences and passports be valid after the UK no longer exists? I.e., when N.I. & Scotland go their separate ways...

Somehow, I doubt it.

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Body of evidence: Biometrics and YOU

Def
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Re: Biometrics all sounds great

And that's why Biometrics should NEVER be used as a password, Which can easily be changed once it's been compromised.

Yeah, it's really scary and very worrying that so many companies and so called experts still don't get this simple point.

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Def
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Re: Anti-democratic?

Best two out of three? Or if the result is still not what you want, three out of five?

To be honest, this is a prime example of one of the things wrong with the democratic process. You can appeal all court decisions. Football matches aren't decided from a single penalty kick. Races are rarely one lap long (and professional competitions usually involve different qualifying heats). So why the fuck would you agree to change the entire course of multiple countries from a single vote by an uninformed population mislead by a bunch of liars?

That said, if golf matches were limited to one shot per player, you could a) fit them in during a commercial break, and b) more people might watch them. ;)

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Beautiful model to explain the universe to physicists

Def
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Re: Lumps?

Getting one's head around the fact that we're omitting a dimension and the undulations and densities should be represented in a full 3D volume, now that's a bit harder to visualise.

I find it helps to consider the universe as a bowl of lumpy, shark infested custard. The general consistency is pretty much uniform throughout the entire bowl, only more so where there are sharks or lumps.

Or something.

Mine's the one with the medication in the right pocket.

More tea, vicar?

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Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

Def
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Re: "five have been lost"

Sometimes, Wikipedia is good.

Clearly not good enough for you to include a link... ;)

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DARPA's 'flying wing' drone inches closer to lift-off

Def
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Joke

Re: Reinventing are we?

Three.

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'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared

Def
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Re: google search....

The referendum isn't legally binding at all.

And you don't even need an election to get out of it. You just have a couple of years of haggling with the EU trying to find a suitable exit strategy. You could even stall a bit and ask for extra time to finalise the whole thing. Ultimately though, you can just turn around and say 'yeah, we couldn't figure this out, they're acting like dicks, we'll just stay in for now'. And even if you do agree on an exit strategy, the whole shebang still has to be approved by the European Parliament.

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Musk's Tesla to buy Musk's SolarCity for US$2.8 billion

Def
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Re: Now hang on a second ...

If you'd actually read the article, you'd know it's a share based deal. I.e., all Musk's current Solar City shares are exchanged for Tesla shares. He won't make anything on it until he sells those shares.

And no, there's no word for that - at least the word you're thinking of doesn't apply here (all of SolarCity's shareholders receive the same deal) - it happens all the time.

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Wanted: New cloudy head for UK.gov. 37 hour week, £90k salary

Def
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However, last week G-Cloud pioneer Kate Craig-Wood slammed the framework as "dying" after her company Memset had failed to win any business since 2013.

Well, even a cursory comparison of prices shows that Memset (and seriously, who "thought up" that name) prices are almost 50% higher than my current hosting company (at least for dedicated servers).

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Supercomputers in 2030: Lots of exaflops and LOTS of DRAM

Def
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I'd say he thinks it's about performance. Which it isn't.

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Microsoft joins battery-saving browser bandwagon with Edge claims

Def
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Re: And we trust MS testing?

I'm fairly certain (I don't have my laptop to hand to confirm this) you can specify at what level of battery Windows will automatically shut down. If I remember correctly, by default it's set to 10%.

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Man dies after UK police Taser shooting

Def
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"a man has died following contact with police"

If you should inadvertently come into contact with the police, wash the affected areas well with soap and water. If you subsequently develop police-related symptoms such as muscle aches, superficial bruising, broken bones, or internal bleeding, seek medical advice as soon as possible.

If you suspect someone you know, or a family member has had contact with the police, avoid all unnecessary contact and treat with extreme caution. Police related ailments should be considered extremely contagious, especially among ethnic/minority members of the community.

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FFS, Twitter. It's not that hard

Def
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Re: It's SO simple

I did so not choose that icon. wtf iOS? And wtf with the 10 minute limit?

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Def
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Terminator

Re: It's SO simple

What's a tortoise?

A turtle with toes.

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Norway might insist on zero-emission vehicles by 2025

Def
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Re: What about oil production?

Presumably Norway has a lot of hydro

Norway regularly produces more electricity than it uses. Just over 2000 KWh per year per person on average.

Approximately 3% of the total generated electricity is generated from fossil fuels (gas), while the rest is mostly hydro, geothermal, and wind. What they try not to tell you, however, is that a lot of the nice clean energy is exported and sold at a higher price (mostly to Sweden, I believe) and cheaper electricity from fossil fuels is imported to make up the difference.

As far as electric vehicles are concerned, 29% of new cars (Feb 2016) are electric. We currently have 27 Tesla Supercharger stations (which are free to use), and most towns (including the village of 3800 people I live in) have free charging points in car parks.

My next car will be electric. Either when the price of Diesel reaches 15kr/l (it was around 11kr/l this morning) or when the wheels fall off my current car.

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Windows 7, Server 2008 'Convenience' update is anything but – it breaks VMware networking

Def
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Re: I am not surprised at anything MS do anymore

I don't think you can really blame Microsoft here. At least not where VMWare are concerned.

I bought one of VMWare's products (might have been Fusion, I can't remember) for Mac OSX a few years ago. Everything was working fine until I upgraded OSX. That update killed my virtual machines. VMWare's response? Buy the latest version. So fuck them. I'll never buy anything from them ever again.

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Leak: Euro Patent Office 'court of appeals' rails against King Battistelli

Def
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Re: How does one spell...

If I had a vote, I'd vote El Presidente out immediately and call for form. Oh, but wait: the EU isn't a democracy ;-)

I guess you could always write to your local MEP. You know, the one you voted for in the last European elections, remember? ;)

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More than half of people on UK counter-terror biometrics databases are innocent

Def
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Pint

...more than half of people on British counter-terrorism databases are innocent.

Innocent of what?

(Bonus points if you can name the rather excellent film that particular quote comes from. And even if you can't, happy beerday anyway.) :)

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Twitter expands beyond 140 characters

Def
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Re: Please, don't break it.

...and encourages smart... writing.

When its users start feeling encouraged then, I might be persuaded to check it out. Until then, however, I think I'll just carry on ignoring it.

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Google to kill passwords on Android, replace 'em with 'trust scores'

Def
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Re: Once again...

Biometrics used as passwords are, in general, a bad idea. They're not secret, they're not revocable and they're not precise.

Exactly. Biometric data should be the login ID and confirmed with a password.

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Queen's Speech: Ministers, release the spaceplanes!*

Def
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Re: In the light of recent revelations...

...talking to plants (although Mythbusters showed that there may be an effect here...

I don't usually put too much stock in anything Mythbusters says.

But I've always thought of talking to plants as basically bathing them in CO2 rich air. As long as you haven't been chowing on too many onions and garlic, I would expect there to be some benefit over time.

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Opera claims 50 per cent power savings with browser update

Def
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Joke

Re: Opera puts me to sleep too

If you blink really quickly, you'll save power and your browsing experience wouldn't lose a dimension.

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Paying a PoS*, USA? Your chip-and-PIN means your money's safer...

Def
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Norwegian banks introduced the first EFTPOS terminals (and the debit cards to use in them) to shops in 1991. While I wasn't in the country back then, from what I understand they were verified with PIN codes 25 years ago.

On a related note, most Norwegians I know laugh when they hear that cheques are still used in other countries. I've been here 11 years and cheque books were a distant memory for Norwegians even back then.

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Def
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Headmaster

Re: luxury!

In the UK, hot and cold water is still delivered to the taps in separate pipes

I think you'll find hot and cold water is delivered in separate pipes all over the world. ;)

But I know what you meant. There's actually a very good (semi-historical) reason for that.

In most UK houses (older houses certainly, I'm not sure how it's done now) the hot water heater is fed from a cold water storage tank in the roof, which in turn is fed from the mains pipe opened and closed through a ballcock similar to the average toilet. (I.e., the surface of the water when the tank is full is below the pipe feeding it.) The tank in the roof also feeds all other cold water taps in the house except for the kitchen sink which is supplied straight from the mains (and is the only cold water tap you can safely drink from).

This arrangement means that the water pressure, at least in the kitchen, is usually different between hot and cold taps, so installing a mixer tap could potentially allow cold water to push back into the water heater if the mains pressure was sufficiently high, ultimately flooding the house from the roof down - although that's probably quite rare given that the tank in the roof will have an overflow pipe leading outside the house. It's usually safe to installer mixers in all other rooms - unless they too are fed directly from the mains.

Setting up the pipes like this ensures every household has a small, clean supply of both hot and cold water in case of a burst water main, and also that if the mains pressure does drop opening a tap doesn't allow contaminated water (from whatever source of contamination) to feed back into the mains (thus spreading the contamination further).

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Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil

Def
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Black Helicopters

...the Patent Office and the FCC are now aligned with Google, and in both cases populated by former Google employees.

It's almost like the Scientology takeover of other US government agencies back in the 60 and 70s.

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The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

Def
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Re: Lazy Devs

Yeah, there's a lot more I can do.

I'm too lazy though. ;) *duck*

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Def
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Re: Lazy Devs

Think I'm the last of a dying breed...

Second to last. The front page for my company's website weighs in at 74KB. And 10KB of that is CSS that I really do need to trim down.

The laziness of web developers isn't a new thing, and it isn't a new trend in development in general either. 95% of developers have always been lazy. Most just don't understand the concepts of optimisation, the rest don't care. I've always been pushing others to think about what the consequences of their choice of algorithm or implementation might be. Minimising network traffic is no different to maximising cache usage, fully utilising all those cores, minimising memory fragmentation, or reducing pipeline stalls.

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Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs

Def
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Re: Already Uninstalled

No, you should keep Real Player. I think it could turn out to be quite handy for helping train your brain to recognise things when your eyes are burned out and you can't see any detail smaller than a barn.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Def
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Re: Can't We All Just Get A Long?

So why are you making life difficult for people who don't believe in what you believe in?

Because some of those people are in positions to enact laws that affect my life in a multitude of ways.

When it is illegal to brainwash children with religion; when it is illegal for laws to be passed that negatively affect certain members of society simply for thinking or acting differently; when organised religion is not legally protected from insult and/or closer scrutiny then we can talk.

Until then, I will continue to ridicule the ridiculous.

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Former Microsoft HoloLens man: It's NOT about gaming

Def
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Re: UWP

UWP

Oh dear.

How stupid.

Windows Phone is dead.

UWP is not the same as Windows Phone. Windows Phone just happens to be one of the hardware platforms that can run UWP apps. (Desktop PCs running Windows 10 are another, for example.)

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Dropping 1,000 cats from 32km: How practical is that?

Def
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White House flushes away court-ordered decryption like it was a stinky dead goldfish

Def
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Re: How far ?

The more cynical reader might suggest the following edit:

"If they'd just kept their mass data collection out of the media, then I'll wager no-one would even care..." ;)

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