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* Posts by David Austin

188 posts • joined 11 May 2007

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You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes

David Austin

Re: Downvote bait

Better than nothing, and the fact it's turned on by default in Windows 8/8.1/10 has to have some level of positive impact on novice users that would otherwise just fire up the PC and not worry about security.

Still, you can and should do much better.

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David Austin

Re: "new memory related functions which are not fully compatible with Avast."

Microsoft (For the most part) do test patches against all the API's - Application programming interfaces - that a version of Windows supports. For the most part they do a reasonably good job, The idea being if your program follows all the guidelines for whatever OS it's on, Microsoft won't break your program - Think how many legacy programs designed for Windows 95 you can still run on Windows 10 without too many issues.

The problem being there's a lot of clever developers that find undocumented and unsupported ways to make their program work, which Microsoft have no way to know about, and can't test against. It's the same problem Apple fight on iOS: One of their arguments against Flash was that it would stop them making low level optimisations as Flash Abstraction would hide them, and they kerb stomp any developers that find "Working but Undocumented" calls, as they may change/disappear in future versions.

Without any insider info, I'd say it's an even split on weather Avast was using undocumented calls that the update changed, or if this was a genuine compatibility error between a low level program and the OS Software.

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Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec

David Austin

Impressivly non sexist

The quote as he (reportedly) said it:

“When you look at the appeal of Google Glass... would you wear it on a date?" he asked. "Probably not. And, if you did, you probably wouldn’t get a second date.”

Doesn't make any claims over which gender is which, or indeed, if they're the same gender - that part's totally out of the question, boiling it down to a logical yet complex argument of weather you should be using augmentation when trying to make someone your significant other.

Could have been very easy to turn this from a bit of business sniping, with a hint of deep thinking into the same old men/woman stereotypes. I'm fine with him saying that, as is.

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Adobe CSO offers Oracle security lesson: Go click-to-play

David Austin

I make flash run as Click to play

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/flashblock/

Less for security, but it saves so much memory and processor resources in Firefox's Plugin container - a much nicer web experience all around.

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Windows 10 feedback: 'Microsoft, please do a deal with Google to use its browser'

David Austin

Re: @AC - this is a TECHNICAL PREVIEW FFS

He may or may not know how to; The point is, he shouldn't need to

I understand why Firefox doesn't do GPO, but I don't agree with their decision, and think it does hurt their deployment number in the enterprise space.

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David Austin

Re: Stop. Just Stop.

Not an easy request Harry, but if you can be bothered to set it up fully, AppLocker in WhiteList mode may do the job: Only used it on Domain/Enterprise networks, but looks like it's there in Workgroup machines (Pro/Business editions only), if you want to try it:

http://esihere.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/step-by-step-guide-on-configuring-applocker-in-the-domain

It's a pain to use (Especially in Whitelist mode), but it's great for tightly controlled networks, and it gave great emergency protection against CryptoLocker & co. earlier this year.

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David Austin

Stop. Just Stop.

If you like Chrome - Great! Good for you - Happy you found something that works.

Me? I'm F'ing sick of everyone and everything cramming Chrome down my throat. I've tried it, It was all right, but I'm a fan of Firefox and my select group of Extensions and tweaks that match my workflow.

So many things try to stealth install Chrome: Google Earth? The default option is to install Chrome and make it the default browser (That last bit is the really obnoxious part). Same when you install Avast or Adobe Reader, both of which set it as default if you use the default options.

On the Enterprise side, Google will install and run without administrator rights, which is a clever trick, but it means the security and admin teams have to take special steps to control it's use, and if it gets installed in per user mode and made default (Again: Default behaviour), it can break other web functionality for all users (http://www.slipstick.com/problems/this-operation-has-been-cancelled-due-to-restrictions/)

The Google Homepage nudges you into using Chrome every so often, and that's besides the Web Developers who evangelise it - Understandable from their point of view, as most like new, shiney (and possibly unfinished) web standards, rather than the sysadmin's view of not breaking existing functionality, the end users view of UI stability, and the security team's view of validating and testing updates - for all but the web devs and the more technical end users, Firefox ESR or Internet Explorer are viable alternatives.

Here's a fun experiment: Go and talk to your non tecchie friends, see how many of them have Chrome (or the "Shiny multicoloured ball") installed on their PC, and how many of them say "It just turned up one day - I don't know where it came from" - I bet that group make up a non-trivial amount of Chrome's meteoric rise up the browser usage percentage - If Microsoft pushed and bundled that hard, they'd probably be talk of anti-trust by now.

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EE TV: Network snubs 'Auntie's antique' for mobe-happy set-top box

David Austin

Has potential

Nothing special for the version 1 product.

Now, add Slingbox-esque functionality that can punt it out to four family member's phones and tablets while they're out and about, and suddennly, they may be on to something...

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PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 SHUNNED by refusenik fanbois

David Austin

Still not bad

Most companies would kill for those adoption rates on their upgrade march.

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Report: HP to SPLIT OFF PC, printer biz from enterprise wing

David Austin

Oh Dear...

Hope it goes better than the last time they threatened to spin out the PC Business: 30%+ off the share price, and CEO gone within a month.

Still have a shrewd suspicion that HP and Nokia got drunk one night in 2012, and dared each other which one could commit corporate suicide the quickest...

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

David Austin

Non US Cloud partners

OK, then, Hive Mind:

If you wanna chose the option of not dealing with a cloud company with a US office or HQ... what are the options?

A quick bit of Google-fu didn't bring much up, so let's throw some names around - I'd expect them to be screaming "No US Presence whatsoever!" at the rafters, but there didn't seem to be much.

A possible future review/comparison article, El Reg?

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I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

David Austin

Re: Please, Please, Please

I'm on a Samsung S4 mini, but even in that range, the S3, S4, and S5 mini are all progressively bigger, to the point where the S5 mini is about the same size as a normal iPhone 4/4S.

All the phones seem to keep getting bigger, and I'm just worried we're going to all end up looking like Dom Joly by 2017.

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David Austin

Please, Please, Please

Will someone make a nice mid to high range phone that isn't stupidly big?

The high end phones are getting bigger and bigger, and while I accept that's what "The Market" seems to want, I can't be the only one that wants a half decent smaller, more pocket-friendly phone?

I miss my 3.5" HTC WildFire. Yes, it capped out at Android 2.3, and it was always memory constrained, but I could drop it in my top pocket and forget I was carrying it.

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Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group

David Austin

Careful Microsoft

After the Blaster/Sassar and all the 2002-ish mass virus breakouts, Trustworthy Computing was a bold move headed up by Bill Gates (Remember reading the letter he wrote to announce it with a sigh or relief, after clearing up a bunch of mess those worms caused)

Yes, it may have partly been PR, but the perception is that it led to Windows XP SP2, which was a leap forward in security, with a built in firewall on by default, Pop up blockers, and extra security in IE6. Other products followed, and while they weren't perfect, the code quality seemed to improve dramatically, along with things like patch Tuesday, and a central area to keep up to date on security.

So, OK, Microsoft - close the department, but don't you dare stop doing the work and ethos they promoted, or they'll be hell to pay.

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Dodgy Norton update borks UNDEAD XP systems

David Austin

Probably just the start

It's probably going to happen more and more, I'm afraid: As the XP Population (Very slowly) dwindles, the focus on testing and QA will switch to newer operating systems. Coupled with that, the vendors can't get ISV support from Microsoft to get the bottom of trickier issues.

It may not be fair, but a mix of financial return spending on XP, and less wild systems to verify updates means this will crop up again.

About the only small saving grace is that the people left on XP are going to get more and more technical, either due to being technical enough to do it already, or out of necessity to keep a critical legacy app running, so they'll get more adapt at sorting this kinda mess out.

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Jimbo tells Wikipedians: You CAN'T vote to disable 'key software features'

David Austin

TheRegister Vs. Wikipedia

The base points in the article are fine, but I always find El Reg coverage of Wikipedia problematic: There's a lot of hyperbole and heat in the article - moreso than most topics. What's the hidden story I'm missing here?

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Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search

David Austin

Has it?

Not really gone looking for it, but I didn't stumble across a nice way to search old posts from a desktop: Would one of the commentards care to enlighten me how it's done?

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HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers

David Austin

Has anyone got experience off HP's equivalent of Dell ProSupport in terms of SMB? IE: What's it called, and is it as good?

I find the standard HP support not as good as Dell's: end up spending too long on the phone to reception logging the call, then 1st line who can't help with the more complex issues. Had dispatch send out incorrect or broken parts more than a few times, too.

Loved HP Gen8 series, so happy to give Gen9 a stab, especially if there's better support available. It'll be fun to this and Dell's PowerEdge x30 series go head to head over the next few months.

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

David Austin

Re: 23 Years

At the moment, I think SteamOS Is the best chance of *nix breaking through to mainstream desktops, which is a mixed bag: Yay because it will have done it and SteamBoxes will get units out there, Aww, because it'll be used to just run Steam by most people who will never drop into the desktop, and SteamOS Does not matchup on an idealogical level to what most Unix coders and users want.

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RealVNC distances itself from factories, power plants, PCs hooked up to password-less VNC

David Austin

Meh

The exact wording on the install options is:

Set no password (DANGEROUS!)

With Set a password the default option.

This is an active choice. If you're smart enough to pick it, it's your responsibility not to be dumb enough to punt it onto the open net.

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Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

David Austin

Re: Unlimited

* It really, really isn't.

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David Austin

Unlimited

This is not hard.

Oxford English dictionary has this to say on Unlimited:

unˈlimited, adj.

Etymology: un- prefix1 8.

1. Not limited or restricted in amount, extent, or degree:

So: Either stop making a rod for your own back by selling "Unlimited Internet", then getting all pissy when people actually use it, or put your money where your mouth is and actually provide the service you're advertising

I'd like to think most reasonable people - especially tecchies - understand about the contention issues at play here, and don't take massive issue with "entry level" broadband having a sensible limit (No BT, 20GB cap on a fibre line does not count as sensible), with people wanting to go over that paying for the next tier up.

Where I think we are right to call bullshit is is when ISP's start putting on fair usage policies, bandwidth throttling, traffic shaping, "Top x% of users" and artificial slowdowns, all so their marketing men can go "Hey Unlimited* Broadband's here!"

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65 patches later and Java STILL breaks stuff

David Austin

I always get resentful when I find a machine that needs Java. Just know it's going to be one long string of updates, errors, and regressions.

Of all the runtimes you come across in the field, JVM Seems to be the one that gets the most updates, and causes the most headaches, to the point where most of our shops prefer to avoid software that uses it - Heck even Adobe Flash has a streamlined updater that seems to do it's job in 2014.

I don't know enough about Java programming to understand why it's such an aggravation to update, keep older apps working with it, or generally just work without whining, but I wish they'd fix it - I mean, they finally got a version that works with User Account Control out of the door, so who knows what's possible?

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Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

David Austin

Win 8.x

Until last week, I would have written a comment that it was disingenuous to represent Windows 8.0 and 8.1 as separate OS in the stats, unless you're splitting Windows 7 RTM/SP1 and the other service packs as well.

However, Microsoft seem to have purposefully made it hard to upgrade from 8.0 to 8.1. I've seen quite a few systems where people were checking Windows Updates to see if they were up to date, but the 8.1 update only appears in the App Store for some unfathomable reason. At some point (If not already), Microsoft will stop offering security patches for 8.0, so Windows update will say they're A-OK, when they're really not

The final straw came last week when I had a Win8 PC where Aero worked fine, but Metro wouldn't open any modern apps, including the store. some Google-fu found lots of people with similar symptoms, but an abundance of different causes and fixes, none of which seemed to work with this PC. In the end, I rebuilt it from an 8.1 iso, but this seems a semi regular problem.

I'm hoping at some point, Microsoft will offer 8.1 through Windows Update or - gasp - as a downloadable .exe (Had to App Store upgrade to 8.1 over a 1.2meg broadband connection the other day, which was approaching 9th circle levels of torment) as part of their pull back from their Windows 8 insanity.

Until that day, It's totally justified to split them 8.0 and 8.1 in the stats.

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Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

David Austin

Re: Perfect use

Seen how many 14 year old XP installs there are out in the field, even after the April cut off date of security patches? Throw in the still supported Vista and 7 installs, 2 years after Windows 8 hit the ground, and I think you'd have to agree that's not quite in the same league as Apple (Much to Microsoft's annoyance, I'd imagine...)

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David Austin

Perfect use

Use as an exclusive Sonos controller - demoting it to a flashy remote controller - sounds the perfect use for an old iOS device: It doesn't need massive overhead in power or space to run lots of apps.

Apply have a lot of good things going for them, but keeping their kit doing their jobs over the three year mark can be a massive headache: Even though this isn't Apple's decision, it's their culture that helps to promote it - There aren't very many other companies that can keep their users marching to such an aggressive upgrade pace.

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

David Austin

Red or Black.

Very nice, but I'll wait for the black version, which will probably be my next internal drive to pair with my Samsung 840 pro.

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Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

David Austin

Obligatory XKCD Link

http://xkcd.com/548/

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

David Austin

I'd like to think people who fileshare (Especially the latest and greatest) would look out for this kind of thing: At least keep an On-Demand virus scanner kicking around to check stuff that comes in.

Guess this is one of the unintended consequences of lowering the barrier of entry to file sharing, as in ye olde days, you had to be reasonably technically inclined to get the firewalls et all configured.

Still, 18,000+ downloads on a game that hadn't hit retail yet? Looking at those numbers, you can understand AAA Game publishers new(ish) strategy of not completely stopping piracy, but increasing the time to crack it to at least grab the day 1 sales.

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Expulsion from Garden of Steven: Apple staffers tossed out of Fruit Loop

David Austin

"outgrown its Infinite Loop"

Language is funny.

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Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival

David Austin

So what's different?

Nowerdays, Chrome, Firefox & Safari (with Internet Explorer 11 in 2nd place and catching up fast), rendering engines and performance are all going in the same direction, so it all comes down to which UI you prefer

My preference was Firefox (With a few customisations for tabs and Status bars), but if they're going to Copy Chrome - And not bring something better to the party (Key detail) - IE's old skool menu bar and stability between version upgrades is looking pretty tempting...

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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

David Austin

I'm fine with it.

It's an optional service, they're being up front for it, and some of these more obscure pre-configure options (Such as BIOS Disable Wireless) are handy when sending stuff directly to a remote office - £5 to do that at the factory is much cheaper then;

-Sending one of our engineers out to do it

-Pay to get it shipped to head office, then ship it to site

-Talk a non tecchie end user through configuring options over the phone.

You don't have to have it, but I appreciate having the options.

Sent from a Dell latitude E6400, while configuring a Dell Venue 11, and imaging a Dell Optiplex 3020, and having a massive row with Lenovo about their warranty T'c and C's.

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Symantec scratches head over balance sheet, calls in JPMorgan

David Austin

A Working backup exec product would help

Fun fact: Want a tape drive and a working backup under 2012/2012 R2 server? Go talk to someone else, because backup Exec 2012 does not do that.

Backup Exec 2014 is currently at beta 1 stage, and won't launch until Jul/Aug this year: That's a lag of 22 months between Microsoft releasing Windows Server, and Symantec releasing a product that supports it.

That's beside the perennial BE2012 issues of no multiple job types to one tape/job, and no Job view UI issues.

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Psssst. Don't tell the Bride, but BBC Three is about to be jilted

David Austin

Not Necessarily Bad

I'm in the supposed target audience for BBC, but Radio 4 gets my leisure time. The programming on BBC3 is of little interest to me.

However, this could be a great opportunity: If they do genuinely move BBC3 to an iPlayer only channel as opposed to just not doing that kind of content anymore, they don't have to worry about filling up dead airtime with anything they can, and focus on a smaller, higher quality output.

The target audience of BBC3 has a huge overlap with the people that have the time, money, and technical ability to use an online viewing platform (And probably spend a good chunk of their leisure time on a computer/smartphone anyway), so it could be a great test platform for nailing on-demand viewing across a multitude of platforms, as I think everyone's in agreement that Over The Air live broadcasting will have a reduced roll going forward. I think we're a long way off even thinking about shutting down the Digital TV Platforms, but it never helps to look into future-proofing....

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Random car shutdowns force Toyota to recall Prius hybrids - AGAIN

David Austin

Toyota Update?

How far are we away from "Patch Tuesdays" for cars? or maybe even old skool update disks being sent out on an annual/quarterly basis to keep these little car issues under control?

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

David Austin

Re: maybe the last.

"Yes, it's striking and different, but a niche expensive product. Maybe there might be one more generation at most."

Power Mac G4 Cube ver. 2?

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Flash stash on toppa platta: WD's tasty Black² 1TB combo for LAPTOPS

David Austin

You had my curiosity. But now you have my Attention.

I like the idea of the Split drives in one platter more than the Hybrid drive: It seems a a long list of caveats, but that's to be expected for a Ver. 1 product. Nice one, WD.

Kinda sad from a nostalgia point of view if they're going to kill the (veloci)raptor drives - they were amazing, back in the day. They should re-brand the Black2 to carry on the name as it carries on it's spirit: The perfect halfway house between consumer and enterprise product.

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We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

David Austin

Re: So what you are saying is...

I was thinking about this: Seeing as these guys clearly know how to use encryption properly, couldn't we could kill two birds with one stone, and get Adobe to legitimately hire them?

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BT's mobe interference claim laughed off air by ad watchdog

David Austin

Hub 3

with myself and my clients, I've found the BT Home/Business Hub 3 a reasonable router: Probably the best "Pack-In" Router, apart from possibly Sky's new FTTP Box - Yes, if you buy a decent router, you can do better, but it adequately covers the basics, unlike some of the TalkTalk/PlusNet/Orange routers they've used in the past.

They seem pretty reliable - don't get many blown power supplies or box failures. On stable lines, they don't seem to drop out more than I'd expect.

About my only complaint is their WiFi connections don't support 128-bit WEP, and the Port/Services logic is a bit convoluted to set up.

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Windows 8.1: Read this BEFORE updating - especially you, IT admins

David Austin

Re: Microsoft Partner Downloads

Yep. Average transfer speed in Kilobytes on a VDSL Line, and a stack of failed partial files are littering up my disk right now.

Honestly? Don't expect to get it until next week.

Of course if they RELEASED IT TO PARTNERS early, we wouldn't be in this FlusterCluck now.

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Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

David Austin

Re: Offline Install

we can download the installs off Technet, yes, but what's the Average end user on a slow internet connection to do?

The Windows Store Download is ~3.6GB~, which could take an age for some people, and that's before you look into capped internet (2 PC's on BT option 1, and you've just used your monthly limit)

I'm assuming if they know one of us, we can use our full TechNet Iso's to upgrade them but as this is basically a glorified Service Pack, I'd like to think they'll be some sort of Network Install available at some point?

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David Austin

Offline Install

Something I've not seen anyone talk about:

If Windows Update is delivered through the Windows store, what options are there for "Offline Installs" Of the 8.1. Update?

Some 8 customers are on very slow links, or behind internet blocking firewalls: What can I do about them, apart from do an upgrade install from an 8.1 iso, assuming that even works...

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LIVE, my beauty, LIVE! Nokia revives dead phone with LIGHTNING powered Frankencharger

David Austin

Re: Why?

We do what we must, because we can.

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You thought slinging Photoshop into the cloud would fail? Look who's laughing NOW

David Austin

I'm interested to see how this plays out: Will creative types be willing to give Adobe such a position of power over them, long term? This could work out OK (With some grumbling users left behind), or blow up spectacularly in Adobe's face.

I'm not a creative type, but there's a reason I have dropped for FPP Office 2013 over the 365 cloud version (And Deeply appreciate Microsoft giving us a choice, albeit grudgingly)

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Torvalds frustrated at missing simultaneous release

David Austin

Re: Better late than broken

Normally, I'd agree with you.

But then again, normally I'm not waiting over 14 months for backup exec 2012 R2 to bring native Server 2012 support to the table.

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HP plugs password-leaking printer flaw

David Austin

Re: Make a hole in the air

Reading through this, The biggest potential problem is being able to extract the Wifi settings, letting you hook in a rogue device to the network

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Brits give thumbs-up to shale gas slurping in university-run poll

David Austin

Not Mocking here - genuine question (I have not done my homework):

What's the cause of those youtube videos of people igniting their water mains, if it isn't fracking?

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Symantec: We 'stubbed our toe' on Backup Exec, but we'll be fine

David Austin
Unhappy

Backup Exec

Windows 2012/Windows 8/Exchange 2013 has been available since September. 8 months later, there's still no Backup Exec support for it.

The BETA of the version which supports it as an Agent has been put back to June.

The version which supports it as a host is not even publicly roadmapped yet.

ignoring the usability issues with Job Monitor and multiple jobs to one tape, How can they claim to be tier 1 backup software providers when it looks like their windows server support is lagging by over a year?

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Mozilla blocks auto-loading of plug-ins by Firefox

David Austin

Re: Not evil, just a little too nose-y.

Agreed - Firefox has been much happier since using the Flashblock Add-on which only changes all SWF objects to click to load.

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Latest Symantec CEO's 'revolution' could axe 1,000 jobs

David Austin

Yeah, nice whatever: When is Backup Exec 2012 R2 Gonna ship? It may actually make the product usable for anyone outside Enterprise level IT again.

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