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* Posts by Tom 38

2356 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Beijing IT biz taunts Microsoft: Show us your licence for Office 365

Tom 38
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Re: Foreign multinationals would be affected?

You need a license for everything - license to have internet, license to have VPN, license to have servers connected to the internet... that last one is so hard to get, we use a local partner (which I suspect is entirely the point).

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Tom 38
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Foreign multinationals would be affected?

Are you sure? In our office in Shanghai, the internet gets tunnelled through a VPN out of the country, completely bypassing the Great Firewall. I'd assume everyone else operates in the same way.

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Microsoft issues manual on Brits to Cambridge exports

Tom 38
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I hope you said "Yes", and went on to send them a detailed 4 page PDF instructing them how the cucumber sandwiches should be made, how much of the crust should be cut off, how to arrange the sandwiches on the doily, and so forth.

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Tom 38
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Re: Agree totally on the Take-Aways

Actually, most "chinese" takeaways in the UK tend to offer mainly Cantonese food, with a distinct Hong Kong twist, regardless of where they actually come from in China. This is because this is what most British people expect from a "chinese" takeaway, since initially most Chinese immigrants to the UK were from NT/Guangdong.

You usually have to go to a Chinatown to get decent specialist food, eg real Sichuan or Fujian dishes. Just compare and contrast a "Kung Pow Chicken" from your average takeaway with a real "Gong Bao Chicken".

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Samsung's new Galaxy S 4: iPhone assassin or Android also-ran?

Tom 38
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Re: Sure it has a lot of sensors

I'm still waiting for a phone with a cigarette lighter in.

Wait no longer

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Drunk driving: No more dangerous than talking on handsfree mobe

Tom 38
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Re: Tested a drivers skill...

I am surprised no one has mentioned children.

I'm not just talking about the ones who let them roam around the backseat instead of strapped in (seen a few in my time).

Think what happens when an child starts kicking the back of your headrest. A dropped mobile can be ignored if you have to give full attention to the road, but not a small child playing whack-a-mole with your noggin.

[In case it's not clear, I'm saying there are a plethora of daily things that we do in cars that can be distracting. We do not need a separate law covering each and every one of them, there is 'Driving without due care and attention' for issues that do not cause major injuries or fatalities, 'Dangerous driving' for those that do, and 'An accident, no action necessary', for Plod/CPS to use his discretion on]

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Don't buy a Google car: They might stop it while you're driving

Tom 38
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Re: Google are tightening the screws

Google have always cleaned house. They regularly take stock of their projects and websites and when they find one they can say "Wait, virtually no-one uses this shit, it makes us nothing in adverts and we have 100 developers working on it", they shutter it.

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Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

You can't make someone redundant and then hire someone to do their job - otherwise the job is evidently not redundant.

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Every SECOND there are EIGHT more Seagate drives in the world

Tom 38
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Devil

So much bitchiness

If you read enough 'feedback' from the internet, you'll know by now that Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung¹, Fujitsu², HGST³ and WD (er, is that all of them?) are all rubbish and produce utter rubbish that falls to pieces and they'll never buy another one again.

It's all bollocks. Sometimes, certain skus have below average reliability - it doesn't mean that all skus from that manufacturer also do. It may be time-related - drives from one batch may fail significantly sooner than from another. Disks with consecutive serial numbers often fail in close time periods to each other.

I've had every hard drive manufacturer under the sun, and yes, sometimes disks fail (OMG!). They fail from all manufacturers, they fail at the start of their service run, they fail halfway through, and sometimes they don't fail at all.

However, I have yet to meet a disk that fails silently, or doesn't record the fact that things are getting a bit ropey. Using smartctl to watch and monitor SMART statistics normally tells you very quickly when a drive should be pre-emptively replaced. I buy my disks based solely upon capacity, price and warranty period - brand doesn't enter into it.

tl;dr - disks from all manufacturers fail, if you store important data on disk, you need recovery and contingency plans to preserve your data and keep you working. No-one gives a fuck about a disk failing if everything has been planned out in advance.

¹ Yes, I know it's now owned by Seagate

² Ditto, but Toshiba

³ Ditto, but WD

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eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Loyal Customer

If you're a loyal customer, clicking the ad links is probably costing them money - they probably get charged per click, and you were going to go to the website anyway.

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Devs tease early screenshots of Ubuntu Touch Core Apps

Tom 38
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Devil

Re: This sounds like quite good progress.

It's Ubuntu, so it would always be a new SDK. Why improve someone else's work when you can write it from scratch and own it outright?

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Saw 'Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel' last night. Really quite funny, Chris O'Dowd on form, lots of time travel fun for all, watch till the end of the credits :)

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Tom 38
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Re: Good choice..

Event Horizon scared me shitless.

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Tom 38
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Re: SF is not just about "big ideas", it only looks that way...

Yep, I went skitzo when the ending of BSG (The Remake) revealed everything that I thought would be Sci Fi with Sky Fairy. Fucking numpties, I'm still raging about it - 50k humans spend 4 years hurtling through space, hunted by killer robots, they get somewhere nice - extremely low tech, one guy says "We'll destroy all our technology", and the rest of them just nod and go "mmm, yes". There's not one guy going "Wait, you want to do WHAT with my mining ship?"

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Tom 38
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Alien

For your consideration:

Dark City

Twelve Monkeys

They Live

Almost everything by David Cronenberg

In particular from DC, Scanners, Videodrome, The Dead Zone, The Fly, eXistenZ

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How UK gov's 'growth' measures are ALREADY killing the web

Tom 38
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Re: Just one problem

Whoever took the photo. I guess you are saying all photos of a bus crossing Westminster Bridge in front of Parliament are equivalent - which they are not.

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Tom 38
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Stop

Re: Bloody tired of freetards

I agree with 90% of what you say, but then you ruin it by saying that

Cropping a picture, removing the metadata is theft, simple as that

No. No it isn't. It's not even remotely theft. It's copyright infringement, which (really really) is not theft.

Theft deprives the owner of the use of their property; cropping an image may deprive you of potential income, but you still have use of your property. Demonstrably, this is not theft.

I think the solution is to have a registrar of works. If you create a work, you can submit it to a registrar, who stores that you are the creator. A search function should be provided to allow a user to determine the owner of a picture, or fragment of a picture. If a newspaper/anyone subsequently re-uses an image that is in the registrar, and they did not submit it, they should be liable for punitive fines, based upon the number of views/impressions.

The search function would be tricky, but not impossible. Google is pretty good at matching similar images..

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Six things a text editor must do - or it's a one-way trip to the trash

Tom 38
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Sublime's multiple cursor feature is completely top. … This is powerful, simple, clever and I have never seen it done quite like this before.

This is simply vim's replace in block. Select a block of text, hit c (for change, duh), make your changes on one line, the changes are reflected on all lines in the selected block.

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Cheeky Boston fires up x86-to-ARM porting cloud for server apps

Tom 38
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Re: Uhm... if you have problems with porting from x86 to ARM...

Shit, I have problems porting from x86 to amd64... mainly due to management not being keen on changes that result in no visible change.

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Holy crap! EMC gives Vatican Library 2.8PB to store manuscripts

Tom 38
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Re: The Gnostic Gospels

I think all stuff like that is kept in the Vatican Secret Archive, which I don't think they will digitize. Everything in the Library is available for anyone to read, but stuff in the Secret Archive is only available to accredited researches, and even then only after 75 years after the death of the Pope under whom the material entered the Archive.

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Tom 38
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Re: Stooring something digitally

If you want something to last a thousand years, probably best to carve it in huge letters on a chunk of hard rock and stick it somewhere it's unlikely to degrade. Best to make the rock absolutely massive, 500-1500 tonnes or so, and also some sort of religious icon so people don't nick it to build stuff.

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Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

Tom 38
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WTF?

Valve have shown that DRM on games doesn't need to be intrusive like that. Valve's DRM is easily defeated, and yet they don't have issues with mass piracy, they sell games for reasonable amounts in an easy to use store.

EA just continually try to fuck with you. There is no need for a game like Sim City to offload game logic to a client/server architecture, it's sole purpose is to control people using the game.

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Chaos Theory causes password entry pandemonium

Tom 38
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Trollface

Poor Bieber

Haters be haters.

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SimCity 3000

Tom 38
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Re: Dons cynical hat

This is the 3rd or 4th Sim City story I've read on here in the last month. The Reg is plastered with Sim City adverts. You can see how people could put 2+2 together..

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Europe tickles Microsoft with €561m fine for browser choice gaffe

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Re: @Tom 38

Microsoft do not prevent you from installing other browsers. This is about them "abusing" their position by only having IE installed. A bit like what Apple and Google currently do.

It's not about "installing", its about "bundling". MS abused their monopoly to bundle additional software, destroying the market place for that additional software. Besides which, you continually miss the crucial point that this applies to monopolies. Where is Apple's monopoly? Where is Google's?

My example, as you say, isn't ideal, since MS did not need to wait until someone bought a new 'car' to get the 'MS Satellite Radio', it was simply delivered as an automatic update to all computers. It would be more like MS retro-fitting all cars with the new radio for free, overnight.

This is the point I was trying to make clear to you, but you are being intentionally obtuse/AC shill/who knows.

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Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: The next step..

Apple has yet to be "Fined" for its tactics of mandating that its users MUST HAVE AN ITUNES ACCOUNT

Sorry, I missed the part of your post where you pointed out what Apple's monopoly was, and how mandating itunes accounts abuses that monopoly.

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Tom 38
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Re: @Tom 38 No choice popup on Apple, Google or Linux devices devices

Yes, continued fines. The end result of that is either bankruptcy, MS abandoning the EU as a market, settlement, or breakup of the company. All of those options lead to the end of their abuse of monopoly.

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Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: If Microsoft.....

If Microsoft made cars would you chastise them for using their own gearbox rather than a Renault?

If Microsoft made ready meals would there be anger that the smaller farms don't get to sell them their produce?

If Microsoft was cow would we complain that it's didn't produce yoghurt instead of milk?

If Microsoft flew business class would we expect it to upgrade all the customers to first class?

If you weren't a moron, would I still be replying?

Your analogy is utter shite. A better analogy would be:

Microsoft make cars.

The only cars you can buy are Microsoft cars.

Someone invents satellite radio.

Microsoft bundle their own satellite radio in all cars, destroying the satellite radio market.

To understand this case, you really need to understand what "monopolistic abuse" is.

If I was a lawyer I would be trying to level the playing field by having internet explorer installed on chromebooks and on Macs

Are you saying Apple have a monopoly on PCs, or Google on laptops? Are you brain damaged?

MS used to make a version of IE for macs, it was horrifically buggy, incompatible even with the (semi) equivalent windows version. Bringing it back would be akin to a war crime to web developers.

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Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: No choice popup on Apple, Google or Linux devices devices

I'm sure this has been explained before, but some people still (wilfully?) misconstrue this.

MS have a monopoly on operating systems for PCs.

MS abused this monopoly to ensure their browser became dominant on PCs.

MS and the EU negotiated a settlement. They were allowed to keep their monopolistic position in PC operating systems, in exchange for providing a browser choice screen.

MS accidentally or deliberately breached their agreement, and reverted to abusing their monopoly for 18 months.

Neither Apple nor Google have a monopoly on operating systems for phones.

Since there is no monopoly, you have a choice of what browser and OS combo you desire.

The original fine was for abusing a monopoly. This fine is for not following to their agreement.

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'Million-strong' zombie army devours Raspberry Pi's crunchy base

Tom 38
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RM - Research Machines... a long term supplier tofleecer of the educational sector (at least the school part)

FTFY

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Indian atomic boffins draw up plans for 50,000 TONNE magnet

Tom 38
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Re: Good to know all that aid money is not being wasted, eh?

You forget that the aid also encourages commercial and personal links between India and the UK. Being on good terms with one of this century's superpowers seems wise.

Plus, there is a lot of poverty in India. The aid does do good.

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Honk if the car in front is connected

Tom 38
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Re: I see some potential in this...

You've missed the more obvious issue, the rozzers will be talking to your car, not the other way round.

No need for flashing lights, just the the ping of "MAIN ENGINE SWITCH OFF", and your now parked on the hard shoulder.

Will make police chases slightly less interesting.

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Review: Toshiba Satellite U920T Ultrabook

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: How to judge Win 8 popularity

So many people deliberately won't learn how to use the bloody Ribbon so they can complain it's too difficult

No, like me, they have progressed beyond living their life in Office suites. As a result, if you change the interface for no reason other than to spruce it up in order to sell new licences, then you can no longer expect these people to be au fait with your new interface.

Before, even if you don't use Office, it was easy enough to support newbie office users, since the interface is so straightforward. I've not used Word since Word 97, but can still guide someone around adding a graph or a table in Word 2003, but in Word 2007, not a scooby.

From your POV, this is my fault for not wanting to rush out and buy a copy of Windows and Office 2007. Yeah...

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Tom 38
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FAIL

Costs over a grand and has shittier cameras than the original iphone.

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Canonical announces Mir display server to replace X Windows

Tom 38
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Devil

Re: Yep. Lennart Poettering put it best...

i·ro·ny:

Noun

The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. Eg. "The author of PulseAudio bitching about other people reinventing the wheel"

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Banged-up Brit hacker hacks into his OWN PRISON'S 'MAINFRAME'

Tom 38
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Re: Slow learner

Seems like he was smart enough to not get caught this time. We're only hearing about it because the guy they blamed for insists he isn't.

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Seagate takes 7.2k notebook drives out back - and shoots them

Tom 38
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Arresto Momentum

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Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

Tom 38
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Re: @John Smith 19

The problem is that this doesn't happen. If you increase the cost of alcohol so that certain sections of society do not spend 50% of their income on booze, then they will either buy illegal or bootleg alcohol (which already happens), or they will forego other things, like food, clothes for their kids, and so on. They don't start drinking less.

@Tom Welsh:

The additional duty should be applied at point of manufacture or import. This simply makes it more expensive for merchants to sell, the only people seeing anything from an increase should be the government. If anything, merchants would actually be taking smaller margins on alcohol.

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Japanese govt: Use operator-run app stores, not Google Play

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: "no skin off my teeth"

I am not surprised that you had to look that one up. What I am surprised at is that you found anything.

He's cutting off his nose to spite his face, but it's no skin off his nose if he gets there by the skin of his teeth?

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Keyboard, you're not my type

Tom 38
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Re: The best kind of keyboard

Beat a man to death, clean it off in a dishwasher and then write his obituary on.

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Tom 38
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Re: Best keyboard?

If you have a model-m, the problem of people complaining about the noise of your typing is not actually a problem, you can't hear them over the keys. I've been on conference calls where my boss has told me to mute myself, since my typing of notes is louder than the people on the phone.

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Official: Sky to buy O2 and BE's home broadband product in £200m deal

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Just had email from Be linking me to details about the sale:

It was in the news today that Be Un Limited is being sold to Sky.

As you’re likely to have some questions about what this means, we wanted to let you know there’s information available right now here.

There’s also a letter on its way that’ll tell you what’s happening and when.

As your letter will explain, nothing is changing straight away and you don’t need to do a thing.

https://www.bethere.co.uk/broadbandchanges

Results in 404 - lol.

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Tom 38
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Devil

Hmm. I was mostly all doom and gloom when O2 bought Be in the first place, but that worked out fine - Be was run as a technology testing bed for the mainstream O2 service.

Somehow, I don't think that will happen with Sky. I think we'll all get shuffled on to the standard Sky broadband platform and forced to suffer their service. IIRC you aren't even allowed to use your own router with Sky - and I just got my Be router working perfectly.

It's all very well saying LLU is irrelevant now we have fibre, as not everyone can get it - I can't, and I live in central London. I'm 100% sure I do not want to be on any BT provisioned service.

I'm also fairly sure that Sky do not offer fixed or multiple IP, nor line bonding. Be have quite a few prosumer/business accounts, because of their technical expertise and price, I guess we will need to go to someone like Andrews & Arnold, which means using BT. Aaargh!

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Browser makers open local storage hole in HTML5

Tom 38
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WTF?

HTML 5 local storage must be disabled, think of the children!

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Chinese Army: US hacks us so much, I'm amazed you can read this

Tom 38
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No, smoking is big in China. You couldn't smoke in our office, you had to go into the stairwell, where the ashtray was emptied 3 or 4 times an hour - literally there was often a cleaner there waiting for me to ash.

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Tom 38
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Crikey

hacked on average from overseas 144,000 times a month

Not just 144,000 hack attempts, but 144,000 successful hacks! Lummy.

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Air-to-ground rocket men flog top-secret mobe-crypto to Brad in accounts

Tom 38
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Re: Dual boot == information leakage

I don't think you've thought through what I wrote.

I'm not saying you can track the secure side. I'm saying that you can track the insecure side - this is the basis of all targeted advertising.

If you can identify an asset whose location you wish to track, and can positively track the insecure side of their phone, then when they switch to the insecure side, you can track their location. This is information leakage about the location of the phone, leaked from the insecure side. It is irrelevant there is a secure side, because the two cannot be in different locations.

If you are able, somehow, to get close enough to Sgt Bloggs to compromise his phone, what's the point in planting "tracking data", you already know where he is and can use the same techniques used to locate him in the first place.

Obviously, with targeted attacks, the first step is identifying your target and infecting them. Dumping lots of 'Free mobile XXX' flyers outside bars in Fort Bragg for instance, soldiers wouldn't do that on the secure side of their phone, they'd switch to the insecure side.

Whammo, a bunch of infected devices. Watch their locations as they pop up..... Fort Bragg, Fort Bragg.... Oh look, Sgt Bloggs wanted some down time in Abbottabad. Bosh, information leakage about the location of personnel from their "secure" phone.

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Tom 38
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Re: Dual boot == information leakage

Right. But if, for instance, you suspected that Sgt Bloggs is special forces, you can now potentially determine where they are operating by tracking the personal side of Sgt Bloggs phone, because you previously inserted tracking data there.

You couldn't do anything when they are using the secure side, but once you've tagged them as special forces, and got malware on to the insecure side, you can then track the insecure side whenever they use it. Get one, you'll probably get the whole squad.

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Micron whips out new SSD, runs to data centre, yells: I'm GOING IN

Tom 38
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SLC? MLC? SuperCaps?

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