* Posts by Tom 38

2627 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Living in the middle of a big city? Your broadband may still be crap

Tom 38
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Re: 5.3Mb

Canary Wharf is also really bad because it is the docklands. The cables wind around the docks, so you can have extreme cable length for a relatively short "crows distance" to the exchange.

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IT Pro confession: How I helped in the BIGGEST DDoS OF ALL TIME

Tom 38
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Re: You're lucky...

Yep, top fail. You should never run an authoritative DNS server as a cache, you should run separate instances of them on different interfaces if you require both DNS caching/recursive lookup services internally and authoritative DNS externally.

If DNS isn't your main job, you might look at easier to use alternatives to BIND. BIND is really powerful, but some of that power is the ability to shoot yourself in the foot. Something like djbdns is much more thought out and less error prone for the novice than BIND.

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Orange is the new TalkTalk of the broadband complaints league

Tom 38
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Re: Is there a GOOD broadband provider?

LLU ISPs often prefer you to use the supplied modem, as it should match up perfectly with the equipment they install in the DSLAM. With my soon-to-be-Sky ISP BeThere, they are perfectly happy for you to use a different modem, but if you have line problems, they will want you to plug in the box they supplied to diagnose faults.

It's also possible for most supplied modems to be put in to bridge mode, so you can use whatever device you want as your gateway, bridged to the ISPs modem.

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US bill prohibits state use of tech linked to Chinese government

Tom 38
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Re: All of it?

the network drivers for a certain OEM was shadowing all traffic to an IP address in China several years ago. And that's just the one I heard about. I'm sure that it's been found with other OEMs

Citation or GTFO. Yellow peril is so 19th century.

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MI5 undercover spies: People are falsely claiming to be us

Tom 38
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MI5 have a logo?

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Torygraph and Currant Bun stand by to repel freeloaders

Tom 38
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Tried papers on tablets

They are universally rubbish. The Times app is OK - ish - but the Sunday Times app is atrocious, it's a series of stitched together images mainly, meaning each section is massive to download.

The whole point of sunday papers is to completely cover every flat surface in your house with newsprint, so cramming it all into a small tablet doesn't actually work that well.

The only time it is really useful is when you cannot get the real thing - probably abroad. In that case, the huge downloads really make it suffer. Who wants to wait 3 hours to download the Style supplement?

Finally, the price of most newspapers is outrageous. In London, we get served with free newspapers - not the Metro, but the Evening Standard is actually decent quality. The BBC has impartial (well, BBC impartial) reporting of all main events.

The only paper I actually regularly pay for is Private Eye, which is a magazine anyway. Private Eye, Evening Standard, BBC, The Register. Sunday Times on a sunday if I have 4 hours to kill.

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GCHQ attempts to downplay amazing plaintext password blunder

Tom 38
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Farrall only got round to blogging about the issue this week, two months after the offending email.

Presumably after not getting the gig.

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West Virginia seeks Google Glass driving ban

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Walking down a public street

When walking down a public street one has privacy rights in most countries and the recorder can show his street filming without individual permissions only in very limited scenario e.g. nobody is singled out and crowd is the subject, it has high news value for the public.

Completely incorrect. If you are in public, you can take a photo of whatever you want for whatever reason you desire.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: OMG

How is this sensible? There are two ways of producing legislation, you can proscribe actions - "You can't drive whilst juggling", or you can proscribe behaviour "You can't drive without due care and attention".

Driving whilst watching cat videos is already proscribed - it's driving without due care and attention. So why would you want to amend it to specifically proscribe it - apart from the obvious "I'm a politician from West Virginia and want to be heard".

What if next week the craze is for juggling alligators whilst driving - do we need a specific amendment for that, or do you think we are already covered?

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Inside Adastral: BT's Belgium-sized broadband boffinry base

Tom 38
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Re: research my arse

This, plus the fact that the research stopped in the late 90s when BT made redundant/retired almost all the research staff (and almost all the Greybeards).

The whole reason it is 'Adastral Park' and not 'BT Research Laboratories' is that after this mass culling they found they had masses of empty office space, along with the only decent internet connection in Suffolk, so they became landlords instead.

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Low tech badging

Kevin Warwick, and no, it wasn't.

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Lies...damn lies...and statistics.

And the inability to power your vehicle from ANY system other than fossilised plants.

Most diesel ICEs can run quite happily off vegetable oil, and most petrol ICEs can run quite happily off ethanol, neither of which come from fossilised plants.

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Osborne slashes growth forecast by half in bleak economy statement

Tom 38
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Re: Good budget I thought

Something is only worth what someone will pay for it. People are paying for houses currently - the market still exists - ergo houses are worth that currently.

I understand your argument, that house prices are artificially high due to constraint on supply. However, a constraint on supply is still a constraint on supply. If someone cut down 90% the lemon trees in the world, that would be an artificial constraint on supply, but the value of a lemon would still rise.

Your plan to destroy planning constraints would move people out of your supposed 'pretend negative equity' and into real negative equity, and that would not stimulate the housing market, it would destroy it. 90% of home-owners would never be able to move house.

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Tom 38
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Re: Good budget I thought

What he could have done (and should have years ago) is rip planning regulation to shreds providing lots of cheap land for large and efficient builds (instead of having to build shitty expensive hovels 2 or 3 at a time in tiny brown field sites). That would have bottomed out the property market quickly

I agree with a lot of what you said about the "too late and too wrong". Every budget has something to try and assist the first time buyer, rarely do they work. I'm hopeful this time, because I want to be a first time buyer some time soon - drives me crazy paying more in rent than I would on a mortgage, just because I can't get the mortgage in the first place.

'Solving' the housing crisis is extremely hard. If you make building new houses much cheaper, by ripping up planning as you suggest, then the value of houses would drop massively. This would push a huge section of homeowners into negative equity, and would probably worsen the recession.

The other aspect is that building houses needs to be profitable for the house builders in order for more houses to be built. If you suddenly slash the value of land, any property developer sitting on land takes a huge haircut, and now can't afford to build houses.

What I would like to see is more house building ordered by councils, in conjunction with house builders. They should be allowed to acquire land and bypass some planning regs in order to build more affordable housing that is available to rent for social tenants. They should use the housing as an incentive for the social tenants to keep in work, being good citizens etc, by offsetting rent paid against purchasing the house, eventually leading to home ownership.

This would hopefully not overly affect house prices, but then I'm neither an economist nor a politician, so wtf do I know :)

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Tom 38
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Good budget I thought

Lots and lots of job promoting tax cuts, raise in personal tax allowance to £10k is impressive - a rise of almost a third since the coalition came to power - and I very much like the mortgage assistance and new home building changes, which should encourage more buyers, and contribute to growth.

Things like how the Employers NI contributions changed are also very clever - they disproportionally favour smaller firms, so it is less likely that it just gets pocketed by big companies.

Slight cut to corp tax to promote job growth in larger companies too. Just need to spend slightly less and have the economy grow a bit and we're golden.

We have to recognise that our growth will rely a lot on the EU. Whilst they are stagnating, it is a lot trickier to grow.

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Joyent tools up for Amazon battle

Tom 38
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This is interesting, but scaling NoSQL is not exactly hard. Wake me up when someone has a DBaaS that offers an RDBMS with insta-scaling.

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Tom 38
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The point is that their DB has specific DTrace hooks to instrument various things. You can of course use DTrace to examine almost anything, but examining something that has been designed for DTrace gives you massively more useful data for much less work.

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Review: HTC One

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Of course it doesn't need charging.

It's amazing how people who are vehemently opposed to iphones know everything about them.

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Twitter patents sending messages, promises not to sue everyone

Tom 38
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WTF?

I dont speak lawyer

7. The method of claim 1, wherein translating the update message into an appropriate format comprises translating from a Latin based language to a double byte type based language.

£100 says that in the code that implements this claim, the word "iconv" is used somewhere.

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Apple fixes iOS passcode-bypass hack with 6.1.3 update

Tom 38
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Re: Jailbreaking

Each 'jailbreak' is not just a convenient hook to unlock your phone, it is a security hole allowing unmanaged code to run.

Generally speaking, when software maintainers discover such holes, they tend to want to plug them.

You don't have to jailbreak your phone to use it - even how you want. If you want to install apps from outside of the app store, perhaps you don't want an iPhone.

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Is UK web speech regulated? No.10: Er. We’ll get back to you

Tom 38
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WTF?

…an English court decides who is a publisher and what is news

Are you surprised, politicians pass laws and judges interpret them, this is the basis of English law.

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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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'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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