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* Posts by Tom 38

2385 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

John Lennon's lesson for public-domain innovation

Tom 38
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Flame

Re: No!

I'm completely fed up by people not remotely connected to BSD telling the world what the lesson of BSD is. You've entirely missed the point.

The purpose of BSD is to be re-used, by anyone, however they want to use it. This includes companies that want to take it away and don't share anything back - although, companies like this don't exist. Even the most evil of all evils, Apple, contribute back a huge amount of work they do on FreeBSD and FreeBSD related technologies.

FreeBSD is the base for many closed source OS, typically shipped on appliances like IronPort. Guess what? These guys collaborate amongst each other, contribute fixes upstream, and even suggest architectural improvements based upon their experiences.

Yes, BSD allows rampant copying of source code and relicensing, and anyone can use it for whatever purpose they want. This does indeed conflict with RMS' worldview, but its what we were aiming for in the first place.

If you don't like it, don't use it, but please, for the love of fuck, please stop telling us that we haven't learnt our 'lesson'.

PS: Agree with the article 100%. A technology is never truly free to use if there is not a free to use - for everybody - version of it. All the best, universal, technologies have liberal free licenses, eg libpng, libjpeg, openssl, openssh all have liberal licenses to encourage use of them in all scenarios, and to enhance interoperability between applications. The internet took off easily because most OS started out with a copy of BSD's TCP/IP stack.

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Own a drone: Fine. But fly a drone with a cam: Year in the clink

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: RC hobbyists

Perhaps I bolded the wrong section: I don't disagree that the law is an abomination

I railed against the assertion that huge numbers of people were attaching cameras to RC planes, which is patently ridiculous.

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Tom 38
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Huge is it? Define huge.

I don't disagree that the law is an abomination, but huge numbers of people are attaching cameras to planes? BS.

Maybe a high proportion of the absolutely fucking tiny number of people who have planes are attaching cameras to planes…

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Acer's Wang: Size of PC shipments to shrink month after month

Tom 38
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FAIL

Wang: size will shrink

Missed opportunity

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Any storm in a port

Tom 38
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Re: Flamebait

Which way around does the knobbly bit on an rj45 connector go in a vertical NIC?

Seriously? It goes facing up, which is away from the CPU for an expansion card.

You guys actually get this stuff wrong?

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Tom 38
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Facepalm

Re: Flamebait

On the 'top' of almost every connector that goes into a computer is a raised logo or marking.

On a USB cable, it is usually the USB logo.

On a PS/2 cable, it is usually a raised line.

On a SPDIF cable, it is usually a raised line.

On a RJ-45, it is the cable release lever.

On a eSATA, it is the cable release lever.

This goes in facing UP.

Pay attention now, this is where it gets crazy. Plug in the cable so that the bit that is supposed to face UP does in fact face UP.

Mental. I can see how you get it so wrong so frequently.

It does get trickier if you are plugging into an extension card or onto a motherboard attached port in a tower case (or any case where the motherboard is not orientated flat and the right way up). For the motherboard, re-orientate the case (in your mind, put the computer down) so that it is pointing UP and plug the cable in so that it is pointing UP. This is advanced stuff now, so take a break if you haven't got it yet.

For expansion cards, UP is a different direction. Expansion cards have a front and a back. The front is the side that faces away from the CPU. This is UP. Plug the cable in so that UP is UP.

It's almost like someone thought about this…

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Tom 38
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Facepalm

Flamebait

I can't believe you lot call yourself IT professionals, and haven't yet mastered the tricky art of plugging cables into computers. Nobbly bit goes up. Nobbly bit always goes up. Work out which way is up on your computer. Insert plug into socket.

I normally like Dabbs' articles, but this one is utter pish. He admits to being flummoxed by VGA D-sub 15 plugs, yet can cope just fine with the identical shape of a mini HDMI.

On the list of things to get annoyed about, "OMG, I had to rotate the plug 180°" does not merit 846 words.

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Tom 38
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Re: Also, Ethernet sockets & USB ports...

Firewire is/was more expensive, since the protocol is dumber, the device has to do a little more work.

Having firewire enabled is also a security flaw, since it can easily be exploited in a DMA attack.

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

Tom 38
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Devil

If you just want a replacement for Windows

If you just want a replacement for Windows then all of these are fine choices.

However, if you really want to get to grips with the why and how of things, I'd recommend something with a little less hand-holding. Gentoo is both less and more hand holding simultaneously, which is a little clever, Slackware has less hand holding, but both offer the sort of minimal structure that requires you to work out what it is that you want and then go and do it.

You could do worse than using my favourite OS, FreeBSD. FreeBSD has some nifty features you just can't find on Linux, like ZFS, but it's not designed for someone who just wants to sit back and have everything done for them.

It's also a real OS, which means that that there is a core of software (the 'world') that *is* FreeBSD, it's not a collection of glorified packages that you install that hopefully makes the kernel 'go' - plus you get an awesome Beasty logo!

The benefit of all of these options is that there will be things that go wrong over time, and you (yes you!) can go and fix them. This will (hopefully) teach you why they went wrong and stop you doing the same thing in future, or at least going "aha, I know what this one is...".

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HYPERSONIC METEOR smashes into Russia, injuring hundreds

Tom 38
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Re: Conspiracy Theory

David Caeron and Boris Johnson farting thru their mouths, again.

Sir, you are the epitome of wit and comedy. Do you have a nationwide comedy tour where I can hear more of your gems?

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Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa

Tom 38
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Coffee/keyboard

Brewing time

I can't believe no-one has brought up the issue of mashing into brew time. In an ideal world, we would all patiently wait the appropriate amount of time to get the right flavour and colour of tea.

However, this is a corporate world. We have no time to do it properly, only enough time to do it until it is acceptable. Enter The Mash. My work tea is brewed in under a minute by furiously beating the teabag against the side of the mug.

It's a bit bitter, but so am I, so it's a good match.

mashmashmash

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Fashionably slate

Tom 38
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Re: I want dumb TVs

I want dumb TVs and smart controllers.

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$195 BEEELLION asteroid approaching Earth

Tom 38
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Re: estimates are a tad pessimistic

What, like Space2O Water?

Sadly, no longer made. eNOT_ENOUGH_SUCKERS.

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Microsoft Surface Pro launch: It's easy to sell out of sod all stock

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Re: MS did not even cover pre-orders in some cases, so they could say "SOLD OUT"

Hey at least you're on topic Eadon.

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Paper computers: Not mere pulp fiction

Tom 38
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On the other hand

If I could turn all my ebooks into paper books, then I would need two additional London sized flats¹ to keep them in. Keeping all my data in one device, plus backups, is a hell of a lot easier to maintain than a giant library.

When we dealt with my grandfather's library after he died, no-one had room to keep it all, so a lot of it went into storage. Poorly thought out storage. The rats ate a good chunk, the mould got another chunk, and some of the pages just went completely black.

¹ That's 'a typically sized flat in London', not 'a flat the size of the greater metropolitan area of London'.

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Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

Tom 38
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Holmes

Re: FFS

FFS it's a NUMBER

In most American skyscrapers, there is no floor 13.

In most Chinese skyscrapers, there is no floor 4, 13, 14, 24, 34, 40, 41, 42…

Different strokes for different folks.

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When open-source eats itself, we win

Tom 38
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Facepalm

Apache is not a synchronous web server. Apache has a mode of operation that is synchronous. It also has an asynchronous mode. In it's asynchronous mode, it is just as fast as nginx, yet supports many more 3rd party modules.

Apache 2.2 ships, by default, in synchronous mode. Why? Because Apache is commonly used to make a LAMP stack. PHP in the form of mod_php historically does not play well in a threaded environment, usually due to it's extensions.

The solution is to run php-fcgi instead of mod_php when running asynchronously. This is actually better since it separates the PHP interpreter from the request handler, which increases performance. This model, php-fcgi and asynchronous workers, is exactly how nginx works, and the two are comparable in speed in this configuration.

So why isn't this the default configuration for Apache/PHP? Ease of upgrade. It is too confusing, say packagers, to ask people to change how they deploy their PHP apps on Apache, it cannot be changed. Also, the package will include almost every stock Apache module, and they will all be loaded by default.

So install LAMP on Ubuntu, and you get the slowest possible way of serving PHP, by design. Install nginx, and you get the fastest. This is where the lighty/nginx/New Cool argument comes from, people install the stock configuration and think Apache is some slow beast that takes all your RAM.

Apache, properly configured, is amazingly fast and light on memory. Plus, you get the entire ecosystem of Apache modules to use. There are many books written on Apache module development, and thousands of books on Apache configuration and howtos.

Finally, about web servers. Web servers are an amazingly popular bit of software to write. It's so simple to do, that they massively proliferate, each claiming to be the fastest most agile web server going - I'm looking at gunicorn, Tornado, et al here.

I'm not going to comment on their speed, but instead the speed of the thing you are serving. Frankly, how fast the web server does it's web server tasks is massively irrelevant in the overall scheme of things. Any request involving DB queries will swamp the amount of time the web server spends handling the request. Any request not involving DB queries is a static file, and should be served from cache or disk, which is a hard thing to do slowly.

There is nothing wrong with nginx or lighty, they are both excellent web servers. But so is Apache, and rumours of it's death are greatly exaggerated. If you already have Apache skills, changing to nginx means learning new syntax and gotchas, and losing all your experiences and custom modules, and it still won't go faster than your app.

tl;dr - use Apache 2.4, event MPM and php-fcgi.

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Introducing the Open Source Rookie of the Year... Whoa, it's Microsoft

Tom 38
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Re: Obvious troll is obvious.

Apple fund a lot of FreeBSD developers and projects, so I don't see where this assertion comes from. The security and auditing portions of OS X and iOS directly come from TrustedBSD/OpenBSM, which are projects majorly sponsored by Apple - just look at the commit logs.

clang is now the default system compiler on FreeBSD current, and produces correct code that runs as fast as gcc. It's not as fast at compiling as gcc currently is though.

It's all very well bitching about how evil Apple are, or how XYZ is better, but I don't see them contributing. The point of BSD is that we don't mind people reusing things, it is better when they contribute back. Successful users of BSD, like Apple, Citrix, IronPort and Netflix all contribute back.

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You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

Tom 38
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Re: In fact...

vulnerable … native animals of my country, Australia

I thought the only vulnerable animals in Australia were the humans - or have the sheep got less vicious?

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Tom 38
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Film at 11

The entire purpose of cats is to kill small animals - it's why we domesticated them in the first place. They should be killing anything they can get to, so that it stays out of the way of humans.

Hardly fair to suddenly turn around and say "OK, mice and rats, but not the cute ittle birdies or water voles".

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Fujitsu reveals data transfer protocol 30 times faster than TCP

Tom 38
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Mushroom

AC for obvious reasons

What, like making a post insulting all other posters without saying why or how they are wrong, and instead just being a gigantic dick? Top reasons.

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Worst broadband notspots in the UK named and shamed

Tom 38
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Re: Backend Throughput

Move somewhere that is.

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Revealing new pics of galactic princess Andromeda

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Andromeda, named after the mythical Greek princess known for her beauty

1) Andromeda is the daughter of Cephus and Cassiopeia, who are Ethiopian, not Greek.

2) Andromeda is "known for her beauty" because of her mother's hubris in declaring she was more beautiful than the Nereids, and was punished by Poseidon.

BoJo was right, a classical education does eventually come in handy.

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UK.gov told to get a brain in wake of £1bn IT deals collapse

Tom 38
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FAIL

Sour grapes?

Sounds more like certain people were miffed that they had to do work in order to tender a bid, and are upset that, because their tender was not accepted, that that work no has no reward.

Suck it up. When you ask an engineer to tender a bid, they do a lot of work in order to be able to tender. Factored in to the bid is the cost of producing tenders, so if only if they consistently do not win bids does this become a problem, in which case they should look at why they are not winning bids, rather than bitching about the cost of working to submit tenders.

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US taxman joins UK politicoes on hunt for Amazon cash

Tom 38
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Re: Buy local

This way to protectionism...

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Tom 38
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dogged: VAT is only zero sum if you receive the same or less in VAT on sales than you expend on VAT in purchasers. Companies that spend more than they sell don't tend to last that long. Therefore, successful companies do pay VAT.

VAT is a tax on consumption. Someone on £5k only pays the 'same tax' as someone on £500k if they consume the same amount. People on £500k do tend to consume more - the Jag uses more petrol than the Mini, but it is still a regressive tax, because even though the wealthy consume more, their proportion of the overall consumption is dwarfed by the (meagre) consumption of everyone else.

The main issue is the tax code, which has grown massively since the mid 90s. There are far too many loopholes and special conditions that the top few percent no longer pay their fair way, and companies (legally) avoid the majority of their taxes. Raising VAT would not help, simplifying and rewriting the tax code would.

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China visa changes could attract job-hunting IT pros

Tom 38
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Re: Try before you buy

Depends who you are working for out there. Last time I was in Shanghai, it was China Telecom in the hotel, then VPN to our Shanghai branch office, and from there, VPN to head office in London.

At that point, even iplayer worked.

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Look out, fanbois: One in two nicked mobes is an iPhone - cops

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: I'd have thought...

What a load of bollocks. A large majority of people on the tube use their phone/tablet/kindle on the tube, irrelevant of what phone they have. This morning, I saw iphones, a galaxy s, one guy with an ipad, and a whole mess of kindles and nooks.

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Tom 38
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Facepalm

Re: Cut the bullsh*te

And Obviously! has never said in the past that iphones are expensive tat.

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Fusion-io touts cheap-as-chips flash to Apple, Facebook and chums

Tom 38
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Re: Hubba! Hubba!

Things like this don't go 'out of date', since you spec the iron for the project it will handle for the lifetime of the iron.

And yes, WANT. One of these in each of our DB servers, thanks muchly. (forwards to PHB)

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DoJ to Kim Dotcom: We never asked you to retain files

Tom 38
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Re: Whom to believe

So the DoJ was behind Watergate? Are you sure it wasn't a bunch of dirty crook politicians?

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: The Battle for Hearts and Minds is Won with Smarter Intelligence Feed and Novel Cyber Seed.*

It's a bronze badge actually.

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Amazon-bashed HMV calls in administrators, seeks buyer

Tom 38
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Another place where you could actually browse effectively lost.

I vehemently disagree. My (past and recent) memories of HMV are disorganized tat warehouses, where you can browse all you like, it's just they've sold out of the thing you wanted to buy. Looking for someone in particular from a back catalogue? Good luck even finding the artist.

We put up with this in the 90s, we'd pop along the high street, wandering between Woolworths, HMV and Virgin comparing prices, since usually at least two would be massively overpriced, and you'd hope that one of them was not.

Most recently, I wanted some DVD box sets for Christmas presents - nothing rare, new releases like The Wire, The Killing, Breaking Bad etc. I popped into the HMV at Westfield Stratford - presumably their most recent store. It was tiny, so crammed with people that you couldn't effectively move around, and none of the DVDs I wanted. I spent 30 minutes trying to look for them, and 10 minutes waiting to talk to someone only to be told "If you can't find it, we probably don't have it".

After that, I went home and did what I should have done in the first place - order it from Amazon. Services like Spotify mean I can browse and discover music on my phone whenever I choose, Amazon nearly always has the best price and everything in stock. Shops like HMV are an irrelevance that will disappear along with the box shifters like Currys and Best Buy.

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Hey, open sourcers: Who's your code's daddy?

Tom 38
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@vagabondo

Hmm, interesting. The whole point of the article however is about "pre-invention agreements", which are agreements about assigning ownership of works created prior to joining the company, where as your quote infers that the works were created after joining.

I don't know which is correct. If VMware did fund the creation and development of Vert.x, then what the fuck do pre invention agreements have to do with this story?

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Tom 38
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You haven't read it right at all.

He wrote the project initially, before he ever worked for VMware.

VMware then 'bought' the project, by employing him and making him sign over ownership of the project and his pre-existing contributions to it as a condition of employment.

VMware then employed him to work on the project.

He decides to leave the company, VMware assert their ownership of his works he previously assigned to them.

He should never have signed over his work to them, or have been aware that signing his work over to them meant it was no longer his.

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Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz

Tom 38
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It's better when you don't get caught, tbh.

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O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product

Tom 38
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Re: they were mavricks

Citation for the caps, throttling and shaping? I don't see any of that on Be.

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Tom 38
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Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

Presumably this sale will include Be, which makes me very sad. I've been with Be since before launch (I'm still on the introductory special offer rate!), and for me the service is beyond excellent. Whenever I rarely have technical issues, their support team has been excellent - I don't even mind the offshored Bulgarian call centre, they all seemed extremely polite, knowledgable, and better english than BT's "Steve" in Bengaluru.

I already take Sky TV, so I've had the option of cheaper broadband for some time. For me, Be is the service that I want, so it is worth paying extra for it.

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Up your wormhole: Star Trek Deep Space 9 turns 20

Tom 38
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Re: @ Tom 38

Nope, considered that one, I was listing current shows and cancelled shows. Sanctuary ended on schedule.

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'Better than Adobe' Foxit PDF plugin hit by worse-than-Adobe 0-day

Tom 38
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Re: Significance

Google for ``smashing the stack for fun and profit''.

How I learnt how to do buffer overrun exploits too :)

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Is this possibly the worst broadband in the world?

Tom 38
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I concur, need line stats to see why. Is router plugged into master socket, have you considered installing a replacement NTE5 faceplate with integrated filter, is internal wiring correct, yadda yadda.

My old man lives in the real middle of nowhere, 6km as crow flies from the exchange, initially he got 512k download synch, I replaced the faceplate and he now gets 3.5Mb, plenty enough for iplayer.

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Ruby off the Rails: Enormo security hole puts 240k sites at risk

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Confused (was: Surprise)

Is this a really bad joke, or are you not aware RoR has nothing to do with MS?

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Tom 38
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: If only . . .

It's only £7k without the warranty - which is essential - so add another £2k to each one. We broke two of the machines within a month of moving here, simply by, as the engineer put it 'making too much coffee'. We didn't pay that much anyway, I think around £6k with warranty.

Before we had the machines, in our old offices, we had tubs of Nescafe, which no-one drank, and loads of people popping out each hour to get their fix. £36k over 3 years in capex, but it keeps employees in the office and working.

There should be some sort of coffee icon..

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Tom 38
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Re: Sweet Poison

No HFCS anywhere apart from the US and Japan. Even the Mexicans don't put it in their Coke.

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Tom 38
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Re: Workplace coffee sucks. Always.

Our workplace coffee comes from beans roasted and milled the second you press the espresso button. Coffee isn't meant to be a drink drunk in gallons, just small powerful shots that you neck - drink water if you're thirsty.

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Tom 38
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Re: If only . . .

You need to find a better boss, we have 6 of these babies dotted around the office.

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Just what the world needs: Android in the rice cooker

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Takes

Depends upon the type of rice. Basmati rice takes about 12 minutes, brown rice takes about 30 minutes, long grain or wild rice is inbetween, depends how much it has been washed or polished.

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Scientists snap first film of giant squid in action

Tom 38
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Re: Once again, a reminder

More people have been to the moon than to the deepest ocean floor.

More living people, definitely.

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BT in ad slapdown after 'misleading' punters on fibre deployment dates

Tom 38
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Re: Misleading

My landlord is a useless dick who likes charging stupid fees, so that would make a lot of sense.

It would make even more sense for BT to say this themselves!

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Don't shoot the Windows Live Messenger, cry IM users

Tom 38
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Looking at this from the wrong perspective

What about all the Skype users now being asked to share a network with the plebs who use WLM. It's like a second eternal September.

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