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* Posts by R 11

149 posts • joined 14 Jul 2009

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T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

R 11

Re: Unbelievable..

I've had Wifi calling on my Android Moto-X with Republic Wireless for months. They've been offering it on other phones for a couple of years.

It's a nice feature, but at least Republic Wireless recognize this is cost shifting to the customer and so have cheaper plans ($25/month for unlimited talk/text and 5GB of 3g). The big networks offering this with the iPhone don't seem to be doing the same, so your broadband gets used, reducing congestion on their towers and you continue to pay exactly the same.

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

R 11

Re: Registered office.

Funny, the link contains no mention of Headquarters or the word HQ.

RBS have said they expect the move to have no impact on functions or jobs.

The RBS letter to staff sent this morning states:

"'This is a technical procedure regarding the location of our registered head office, based on our current strategy and business plan. It is not an intention to move operations or jobs'."

So, where do you get this statement about relocating the head office? Because it certainly didn't come from anything RBS has made public.

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Payment security bods: Nice pay-by-bonk (hint: NO ONE uses it) on iPhone 6, Apple

R 11

Re: Help me out here...

Well, here it was the banks and mobile networks that didn't want to work with Google in a way that would allow Wallet transactions to go directly from merchant to bank. That, as I understand it, is why Google had to accept the payment and then effectively pay the merchant with their own card.

The reason was all the banks and mobile networks wanted a piece of the action, so we had various competing proposals that worked on some networks with some card issuers on some phones. And unsurprisingly there was no consumer take up.

After the banks and networks realized they couldn't do this, the ground was open for Apple to take advantage.

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R 11

Re: NFC useful or not debate Depends where you live

Though in the US, I'm required by law to carry my driver's license and therefore my wallet goes with me every time I drive. If I was in the UK, I don't need my driver's license (since I'm old enough that no one IDs me anymore). I could just grab my phone before going out and have one less thing to carry.

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Why Apple had to craft a pocket-busting 5.5in Plus-sized iPhone 6 (thank LG, Samsung etc)

R 11

Re: It's all about the screen size

Actually, I welcome the Apple move into payments, by keeping the transaction between you and your card issuer. With Google's wallet, if I make a purchase it goes through Google. Therefore I don't get the 5% cashback my card issuer will give me for shopping in a grocery store/petrol station/chemist etc.

If I was still receiving my cashback, I'd use my phone for any transaction I could, since it's easier to pull out my pocket then getting my wallet, opening it and pulling out the correct card.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

R 11

Re: siri et al

The Burnistoun sketch is hilarious and was the first thing I thought of when Google launched the speech recognition. Thankfully it has few of these problems, unlike most the commercial speech recognition implementations I encounter when phoning companies in the US. That's all the more remarkable given the much broader range of speech Google is required to detect.

What is really nice is the contextual correction, so if you speak a street name that sounds like, say Grand St. but then say in Nashville TN which only has a Grant St., Google will spot that and correct it to Grant St. automagically. (The example is made up, but I've seen it do this many times).

Obviously it's up to you whether or not you speak to Google, though if you ever call me and I don't answer, don't bother leaving a message. Google Voice will be recording and transcribing it for me.

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R 11

Re: siri et al

I use it all the time too. My kid asks a question that you'd normally look up with a search - how much does a blue whale eat in a day, how many rooms are in Buckingham Palace, etc.? Or I'm in the car and need to send a text message, or make a call or navigate somewhere new. All of these I can do quickly and reliably without touching my phone. And all that with a Scottish accent, it's pretty remarkable.

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Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

R 11

Re: Comparing apples and....

Spend per device is a useful measure, but only to a degree. Popularity can change quickly - just ask anyone over at RIM/Blackberry.

If iPhone popularity were to fall significantly, and it would have to be a huge drop, then they'll start to lose app makers who will inevitably go where the money is.

Another problem Apple face is that, as phones become more feature filled as standard, the need for apps that are only available in the iOS ecosystem begins to fall. As that happens, so too does the extent of Apple's vendor lock-in that comes from customers not wanting to lose all their purchases.

I'm not predicting the demise of Apple, only pointing out that they will need to keep finding ways that allow customers to justify the price premium

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HTTP-Yes! Google boosts SSL-encrypted sites in search results

R 11

Re: $10/yr is the tip of the iceberg

Browser's hoot when they see a new self signed certificate because there's no trust involved. Anyone could have made that certificate. If you rely solely upon such a certificate, anyone could perform a MITM attack, and your encryption is now worthless.

If you don't want the browser to spit fire when it sees such a cert, install the certificate on the client. If you can't install the certificate, the only way to obtain a benefit from a self-signed certificate is to have the end-user actually view the certificate details and confirm the fingerprint matches one which has been securely transmitted to them. And that's a whole lot of hassle to save a few dollars.

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R 11

Re: $10/yr is the tip of the iceberg

Just how many wildcard domains would you need? They're less than $100 a piece.

If you're running a business setup that requires multiple domains and a content delivery network for your customer facing side of things, I'd be pretty surprised to learn that you don't already have certificate management in place. Crikey, when I managed the business side of such things, I had every site SSL accessible a decade ago.

If your contractors cannot manage SSL configuration, you need new and competent contractors. This stuff isn't rocket science.

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R 11

Re: When I can self sign, and provide my CA by side channel (e.g. DNSSEC)

Presumably you don't need a high google ranking. Otherwise, when an SSL cert is available for around $10/year it's a bit of a no brainer.

Encouraging the use of self-signed certificates is never going to happen. On a public facing website, their use only encourages users to blindly click through security warnings. Their only appropriate place would be where you have control over all the client devices so you can install your own certificate authority.

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Nanu nanu! Mork calling Orson on VoIP over 2G

R 11

Re: Proprietary compression technology

The licensing cost is likely trivial compared to the cost of developing a quality alternate codec that will have hardware decode/encode support that's necessary for decent scaling. But, if you really want to avoid the costs of licensing something that's been tried and tested, use speex which can work at similar bitrates.

I remain skeptical of any need or benefit from developing a proprietary codec.

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R 11

Proprietary compression technology

Why would you spend money developing a proprietary compression technology that carries voice in 11 kbps when g.729 runs at 8kbps and with extensions can get to 6.4kbps?

Either way, on 2G data this isn't happening. With consistent bandwidth g.729 is good enough, but on 2G mobile data latency and jitter will be big issues. Combine that with the ever decreasing cost of just making a call from your phone and there's no incentive.

In most the world, the cost of mobile calls are declining or being bundled as unlimited packages, whereas data is becoming more restricted. That reflects usage. If, in areas where calls are still pricy, there is any sudden shift to VOIP, carriers will just change their pricing structure.

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Operators get the FEAR as Ofcom proposes 275% hike in mobile spectrum fees

R 11

The paid for 900 and 1800, but not in cash

At least for the 900MHz block, and I think also for the 1800 block, operators had population coverage requirements to meet. So they paid for the allocation in terms of rolling out masts.

If only the government had adopted that stance with 3G and 4G and these small islands would have close to 100% geographic coverage with high speed mobile connections. That would have a potential to drive real economic growth. Instead the government just went for a quick pay day that has only hindered deployment. Now they seek to repeat the mistake.

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Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?

R 11

Re: Maths

Seems hugely unlikely. I check permissions before installing any app, and don't recall any unusual ones asking for read/send SMS permission. So I dig around and find the actual source for the article: http://research.zscaler.com/2014/07/and-mice-will-play-app-stores-and.html

And sure enough, of the 75k apps, 7% ask for SMS permissions, or 5,250 of the 75,000 tested.

68% of apps with SMS permissions have the ability to send, so 68% of 7% is 4.76% of apps, from the 75,000 tested, can send text messages.

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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

R 11

Oh crap.

Whenever my discount ends I go through the 20 minute call saying match what you gave me or just cancel the service.

You mean now they're going to answer with 'okay, we've turned of your interwebs' rather than offering me a discount on my bill?

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Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

R 11

Re: Accessing data , and Chromebooks

Open docs.google.com

Create new document, add some random text

File -> Email as attachment

Set filetype to plain text

There, you just created a plain text version using the Google Docs web interface.

As for the backup being with Google, rather than on my computer, I'm pretty confident that Google have better backup processes in place than I'll ever manage at home. They've previously shown that even gmail gets backed up to tape.

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

R 11

Re: Fantastic!

On most modern phones, a clear rear cover is really only going to show you the battery, since it takes up the vast bulk of space behind the rear cover. That's probably a big part of why, when Google/LG and Apple made phones with glass backs, they chose not to show the phone's innards.

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Amazon offers Blighty's publishing industry 'assisted suicide'

R 11

Re: With NYT-editorial levels of truthiness, we boldly go....

The problem is that if all the publishers act together then they'll breach competition rules. If one independently decided to boycott and others independently chose to follow that might be okay, but they'd likely be in big trouble if they acted as a group.

Still, there are other outlets for their books on both sides of the Atlantic, be it Barnes and Noble in the US or Waterstones in the UK. I'm sure either would happily take the business if one or more publishers wanted to abandon Amazon.

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Brit bank Barclays rolls out voice recog for telephone banking

R 11

Re: Use Welsh/ Irish or Scots Gaelic

God help us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU

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Google starts selling Glass to Brits – for £1,000 a pop

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Mozilla dev dangles Chromecast clone dongle

R 11

Strange description of Chromecast

I imagine streaming a Chrome tab is the least most common use for the Chromecast. A great many more users will be using it as a way to get Netflix, Plex, HBO etc onto their big TV while controlling things from their phone.

This is where Chromecast comes into its own, because it streams directly from the server, rather than through your mobile device as in Apple's AirPlay.

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Amazon's not-actually-3D Fire: Bezos' cash register in YOUR pocket

R 11

Comfortable?

An adult head weighs over ten pounds. About five kilos in new money.

Moving your head a lot is typically uncomfortable. Try tilting your head and keeping it at an angle for a minute. To me at least, this user interface sounds exhausting at best, and downright painful at worst.

I really can't think of a worse way to navigate a phone than moving my head.

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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

R 11

Re: I disagree

They could take lessons from Google. My Moto X responds to voice commands. It also recognizes if I'm giving them and ignores them if it's my wife speaking.

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Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

R 11

I have to guess you've never used it. It takes me far longer to open my wallet and get out my card than it does to pull out my phone and tap the back against the terminal. So it's faster, not slower.

Using Google Wallet I pay exactly the same. My only disadvantage is I get fewer rewards from my credit card company - I'd normally get about 5% cash back in a supermarket and that's cut to 1% as a general transaction through Google Wallet. If I was using a debit card rather than credit card with rewards, there'd be no difference whatsoever.

Certainly it's unnecessary, but so to are debit and credit cards. Indeed we could all return to paying by lumps of gold. But, truth be told, I have a wallet full of bank cards and store cards. I carry my phone with me, so it's necessary. With widespread NFC acceptance, the wallet is not.

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Ofcom's campaign against termination rates continues

R 11

Solving telemarketers

If it were to be a big problem, the solution is for Ofcom to hold the carrier responsible for the CLID. They should trust peers to send a genuine CLID and where there is no trust, refuse to set one.

Telemarketers can then be blocked by CLID, calls with no CLID can be dumped straight to voicemail and abuse can be traced.

Reputable VOIP providers will require proof of ownership of the number before it's available as a presentation number. Non-reputable ones will find no-one sees the CLID they set and they'll lose customers.

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New software nasty encrypts Android PHONE files and demands a ransom

R 11

Restoring from an actual backup would limit the inconvenience to about three or four minutes. It's a shame Google, in their drive to get us all relying on the cloud, haven't actually integrated a proper backup tool within Android.

I'd love my phone to recognize it's at home and it's the middle of the night and to then start making a backup of itself to my NAS.

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Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the WORST

R 11

Re: Platooooooon - HALT!

I have to wonder if the author has driven in the US? In the UK, you can anticipate the green light because it has a preceding red + amber light. In the US, the light switches immediately from red to green. Drivers of the mostly automatic cars then have to switch from brake to accelerator - no sitting with the clutch depressed, other foot on the accelerator and a hand on the handbrake for a quick getaway.

The highway code assumes about 0.7 seconds reaction time. I'm going to guess the computer driven car will have a much smoother departure from stationary than your typical driver too, so I doubt there would be any particularly noticeable delay from other road user's perspective.

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100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

R 11

Drivel

Sure there are plenty of wide and straight roads, but - as someone who has driven on both sides of the Atlantic - the idea that all US roads are like this is tosh. Even San Francisco which has a nice grid system, also has hills and windy roads. Head east and you hit a mountain range.

As for everyone driving at the same speed with cruise control, it's no different to the UK. Sure if you're on the interstate/motorway you can probably use cruise control for lengthy periods, but then you'll hit a lorry passing another lorry with both lanes suddenly slowing from 80mh to 45mph in the blink of an eye. Then the two lorries - non speed limited - will reach the top of the hill and accelerate to 80mph on the descent before repeating.

Now the Google Car might not be prime time ready yet, but anyone who thinks UK roads are somehow special and that UK drivers somehow excel over and above all others is the type of person still buying stock in buggy whip manufacturers.

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Help. Mailing blacklists...

R 11

Re: Don't

Do you really believe this? If so, I cannot imagine why.

My gmail account has been made available to numerous companies. I see almost no spam, only a steady trickle of adverts that Google dumps into their own folder automagically.

On my own server, an email account that's about fifteen years old and which has been widely used also sees little spam, thanks to spamassassin, RBLs, and some postfix rules.

If anything, modern anti-spam techniques mean my inbox is cleaner today than it was ten years ago.

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Apple vows to squash iMessage SMS-KILLER

R 11

Re: SMS Problems?

WhatsApp? Don't Facebook know enough personal info? I really don't want to be reliant on a propriety messaging system as a replacement for SMS.

What's needed is a widely adopted internet based text messaging platform that supports public key encryption. Keys could easily be shared these days using QR codes or by NFC. Then a private message could be exactly that - private.

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You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

R 11

Re: Stop this madness now

That demands the domain name actually be shown in a different color which at present necessitates a much more expensive certificate. Or are we to have a rainbow of colors for those using EV SSL and those using plain SSL and those that are unencrypted and those with an expired certificate? Meanwhile users see the phishing domain name beside a secured padlock that they've been taught means the connection is encrypted.

Personally, I think that so long as this can be (1) turned off, and (2) when clicked on shows the full URL, it's potentially a good thing.

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Google's Nest halts sales of its fire alarm – because waving your hand switches it off

R 11

Re: Why would you make it convenient to turn off an alarm?

Presumably you are not elderly and don't know anyone who is. Presumably you're not disabled and don't know anyone who is.

I was actually quite taken by the idea of having an easy way to silence the alarm if I burn toast, since I find it difficult to reach a ceiling mounted alarm (even with a stool). Just because it's idiotic for you, does not mean it's idiotic for everyone else.

That said, something like the cell phone interface to silence the alarm would be almost as convenient and presumably less prone to accidental silencing.

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

R 11

Too pricy

Most houses either have a gaming device or don't want one. I just don't see where another entrant fits in this marketplace. I have three TVs, I imagine many households are similar. I've put Chromecast on two and will be adding a third and final one.

The disappointing thing is that this likely means no Chromecast support for Amazon Instant Video, not because they cannot but only because they don't want to.

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Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

R 11

Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

"Until the hardware dies there's just no reason to buy a new machine - unless you're obsessed with having new shiny-shiny."

This, and this again. I'm sure I'm not alone here in having been one of those who would routinely upgrade their desktop as new processors, motherboards and other bits and bobs became available in the late 90s or early 2000s. There was a big difference in going from a 500MHz part to 1GHz and as RAM prices plummeted we were able to go from computers with 4MB of ram to many hundreds of MB. Today, and since the mid-late 2000s there have still been improvements but they haven't revolutionized the ordinary desktop.

Sure we can now work more easily with video and other taxing stuff, but launching a desktop, a web browser and a word processor is juts as feasible on a 2007 computer as on one bought yesterday. Where one company supplied the hardware and OS, there's little excuse for them to end support this soon.

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R 11

A few people? I'd imagine there are quite a lot of Mac Minis from 2006-2008 still operational. They're running dual core intel processors and quite capable of running a modern operating system when they have a couple of gig of ram in them.

This isn't an XP moment, this is like Microsoft abandoning Vista which was launched in 2007 - the time as Apple were selling computers that they now imply are fit only for landfill.

And it's only recently that these upgrades were available cheaply. The upgrade from 10.4 to 10.5 was over $100.

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What's up with that WhatsApp $19bn price tag? Answer: Voice calls

R 11

Great. Expect random fluctuation in latency

It's pretty easy to make voip work really poorly on a given network. Random fluctuations in latency are almost impossible to work around. A little bit of congestion and your call becomes useless. I don't see networks who have already lost so much revenue from text messaging handing their voice revenue over too.

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Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

R 11

Re: Any specs? Release date?

From USA Today:

The Nokia X, boasts a 4-inch IPS capacitive display and 3 megapixel camera. It includes 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card.

The Nokia X+ is almost identical to the X but comes with more storage and memory by including a 4GB microSD card and 768MB of RAM.

The Nokia XL boasts a 5-inch display with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 768MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. Like the X+, it too comes with a 4GB microSD card.

Nokia X, X+ and XL – priced at €89 ($122), €99 ($136) and €109 ($149) respectively. Availability is immediate.

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Amazon fuses LoveFilm, subs service, calls it Prime Instant Video

R 11

Re: Prime one-day delivery? Ha!

That's strange. In the US, Prime has been very reliable. Whenever a delivery has been late - other than for weather related reasons - I've received a very quick apology and usually a credit of something like $5.

I can't understand why the customer service in the UK would be so different.

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Google promises 10Gps fiber network to blast 4K into living rooms

R 11

Re: Carp

It also showed Google Fiber as the fastest network. Isn't it possible that the speed you refer to represents the maximum bandwidth for a mix of HD and SD broadcasts from Netflix?

They are, after all, a streaming service, not a download service. As such, they have nothing to gain from letting users download much faster than the program they are watching's maximum bit rate. Otherwise, when a viewer stops watching half way through a program, the bandwidth used was wasted.

The results at Speedtest.net suggest Google Fiber delivers a lot more than the Netflix survey suggests:

http://www.speedtest.net/isp/google-fiber

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Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

R 11

Because upgrading will surely let them know you are a new user? Do you often find all your preferences, history and bookmarks are deleted when upgrading Firefox?

Not upgrading a browser must be one of the most idiotic things to do, given each new release - from any of the big three browsers - is awash with security updates.

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Google waves its Chromecast dongle in front of developers

R 11

Re: Optional

Plex works perfectly and fantastically. It's a shame to have to pay, but the lifetime pass seems reasonable for what you get - i.e. the ability to watch your local media on your on your telly at home, or on your phone at home or anywhere else (assuming you have decent upstream bandwidth).

Given the purpose of Plex is to let you stream your local media, and that Google gave their app early approval, I don't think their problem was with local media streaming.

Did the other apps maybe use the Android device as a conduit, rather than setting up a link between the Chromecast device and the server? If so that would maybe explain why they were banned since it goes against the way Google designed the Chromecast to work.

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Cointerra promises free, specced-up boxen for late shipments of first gen miners

R 11

You could add a small fan and a cheap telly showing that youtube video of a log in the fireplace and use the thing to keep the living room warm.

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NHS website hit by MASSIVE malware security COCKUP

R 11

What an unlucky coincidence that their typo pointed to a malicious domain that was registered yesterday.

I think one of two things could have happened. They did make a typo, but left it hanging around long enough for someone to notice. That person then registered the domain and took advantage.

The alternative is that they were simply hacked and the pages were maliciously altered.

To me, the first scenario seems the more likely screw-up. And therein lies a lesson to everyone in the dangers presented by typos, particularly when you're trusting code from other domains.

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Sprint to buy T-Mobile US? Not so fast, says antitrust official

R 11

Re: NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooo!

When you go to the AT&T website and select their options for bring your own phone it takes you here:

http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/customer-owned.html#fbid=9-lZzun4ipL

Select you want to bring a smart phone and they recommend a no-contract plan with 4GB of data at $110 a month. I've no idea what else you get for that crazy price, presumably a live-in butler or something.

Having come here from the UK, it's really hard to comprehend just how much ordinary families are paying for cell phones.

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Do you wear specs? Google Glass offers YOU amazing live HD video

R 11

I bet you were a barrel of laughs on the school playground.

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Pay-by-bonk? YEP, it's an Apple patent now...

R 11

What does this solve?

What problem does this solve.

Here in the US, I can tap my android phone momentarily against the POS terminal. That's all it takes for the transaction, as the terminal just needs to get the card number from my phone. It then processes it over a second (secure unless you're in Target) data network with the bank's merchant provider.

It's not like I need to keep my phone against the terminal for the duration of the transaction.

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Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG

R 11

Maybe it's the author, not the Americans

"not being fully responsive" to such actions is a reflection of the lack of choice, not the 'stupidity' of Americans. of course, name calling is more fun but the author had already identified the issue earlier in the article.

If, say, an ISP blocked netflix, you would expect most netflix customers to switch ISP. That would be fully responsive. Where you have no choice of ISP, you cannot switch and so the customer base would not, as the court put it, 'be fully responsive'.

That's not a reflection on how lazy or stupid they are, it's a damning indictment of the monopoly/duopoly in internet provision that most U.S. residents face.

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Connecting Gmail to Google+ is SENSELESS, says Digg founder

R 11

Re: google idiots

Not sure I'd admit to visiting YouTube for the comments.

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