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* Posts by Tom 38

2091 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Nasty holes found in Belkin's home automation kit

Tom 38
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Don't buy security from box shifters

Belkin (+many others) only care about selling little boxes, so the software will be poor quality and just good enough to ship.

Something like this deserves an open source solution, where a bunch of nut jobs¹ who obsesses about home automation and security has spent thousands of hours perfecting the stack.

¹ I use it affectionately, I'm also a nut job, just not about home automation..

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Top Brit docs wade into GP data grab row, demand 'urgent' NHS England talks

Tom 38
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the pamphlets that were sent out to 26.5 million households in England in January were tucked in with junkmail such as pizza menus and gym membership flyers.

I think it says something about the area I'm living in that I only get fast food menus and no gym membership flyers.

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BBC: Hey, Atos, old buddy. Here's a cheque for £285m, fill your boots

Tom 38
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Re: The crazy thing...

It is sort of outsourcing:

It was signed in 2004 with Siemens, valued at £2bn, but transferred to Atos when it acquired the Solutions and Services unit in 2010.

Siemens Solutions and Services is/was BBC Technology, the unit that Tony Blair forced to be privatised in his attempt to gain control of the BBC. In effect, they keep just giving the contracts to "BBC Technology", whoever owns it at the time.

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Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests

Tom 38
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Really? I wouldn't trust most of the people I went to university with to code their way out of a paper bag. The cheap US workers that Tata will hoover up will be of similar competence to the cheap Indian workers that Tata hoover up.

Their respective cheapness is not a coincidence, they lack either the skills, intelligence, experience or opportunity to command a higher wage.

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Tom 38
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Flame

Except you are just being nasty about the foreigners - junior developers who have little experience tend to write bad code, whether they are Indian or from Sacramento. Hiring Merkin does not necessarily improve code quality, only hiring experience improves code quality.

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Silk Road reboot claims: Hacker STOLE all our Bitcoin funds

Tom 38
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Re: All I can say is......

So, if an employee of that bank were to abscond with your money, to a country without an extradition treaty with us, you would expect the government to step in and nuke them for you? Didn't think so.

No, I expect the government to give me my money back.

The point is, bitcoins aren't backed by anything. GBP is backed by the british government. Deposits of GBP are covered by GB banking regulations, which provide security.

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Tom 38
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Irony

Giving your money to a drug dealer to hold in escrow.

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Tom 38
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Re: All I can say is......

You know those numbers in your bank account aren't actually backed by anything physical either, don't you?

The first £85,000 in my bank* are backed by a country of 70 million people with nukes and a standing army.

* I wish

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iPhone maker Foxconn to pump $1bn into new Indonesian factory

Tom 38
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Re: And of course Foxconn ONLY make kit for Apple don't they?

See, they just won. You viewed the article, possibly because of the title - 4 ad views. You posted a comment (and presumably also read the comments before and after) - 12 ad views. Jackpot!

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Tom 38
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Re: Cheap labour?

Quite.

Foxconn is pivoting away from China, where it currently employs more than a million people, after concerns were raised about working conditions for its factories' staff wages grew at 7% for 10 years in a row in China.

FTFY

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

Tom 38
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Re: Yes, we are failing the kids

Their idea of ICT is teaching them to write a (poorly designed) webpage in Dreamweaver and make a web-movie, or (and I still can't believe this), how to write a game in Python.

There should be more concentration on object orientated programming (.NET, Java, C++ etc.)

Hate to tell you this, Python is a real language, perfectly suitable for teaching people how to write a games engine, has proper OOP features and commands good salaries in the industry.

I couldn't think of a better language in which to start programming. Teach kids C++? Fuck off, teach them python and if they need C++, they can learn C++.

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Tom 38
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Re: "a skill as vital as reading writing and maths - and could be learned in a day"

She changes her mind a lot, she says you can learn from scratch to "code a website" (whatever THAT means) in 1 hour, and that you can train someone to teach "coding" in one day.

One day!

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Tom 38
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Re: The director of 'year of code'

I liked the segue in her brain from "Coding is really easy. You can make a website in an hour even if you've never done it before" to "I'm the director of a 'teach kids to code' charity, and I plan to at some point in the next year learn how to code". Haven't had a free hour yet I suppose.

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Microsoft, Oracle name the date to consummate Azure deal

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: "Please use us!"

Seeing as Microsoft currently have a 75% share of the Server market

LOL

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NYPD dons Google tech specs: Part man. Part machine. All Glasshole

Tom 38
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Quite. If cops have cameras attached to their faces all the time when on duty, then that should be recorded, stored and made accessible to all pertinent parties.

For instance, if you are arrested or searched by an officer, you or your attorney should be supplied with the footage from all officers who arrested/searched you.

If misconduct complaints are raised against an officer, this system should be made available to review their actions in the period in question.

If they roll out this without doing any of these things, it would be a sham. I have no problems with honest upstanding cops, but they are public servants whom we give a great deal of power, their actions should be accountable to us. Too frequently when one cop does something wrong, the rest clam up and cover ranks, they should be gagging for a system that records precisely what events occurred.

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CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

Tom 38
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Re: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual

Nothing says "this town is a shithole" like ten boarded-up shops in a row...

Shop vacancy rate lowest for four years, research suggests

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Snowden documents show British digital spies use viruses and 'honey traps'

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: When booking a hotel...

There is another downside to that I've found, the response is invariably "Mate, this is a Holiday Inn, you want the bloody room or what?"

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Baby's got the bends: LG's D958 G Flex Android smartie

Tom 38
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Alert

Does it come in a range of bendiness?

And will there be multiple versions in store that we can hold to our arse until we find one that matches ones natural curvitude?

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JavaScript is everywhere. So are we all OK with that?

Tom 38
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JS is like C++

In that, yes it is awesomely great and powerful, and you can make gloriously beautiful code with it.

The most important word in that sentence is "can". Most users of JS don't, however.

The style of JS is largely driven by the framework you are using. JS written for Prototype will look wildly different to JS written for jQuery, which again will look wildly different to "stock" ECMAscript.

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Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

Tom 38
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Re: what a silly chap

Part of the tube is actually funded out of general taxation.

Personally, in London I think that the regular TFL services (bus, tube) should be free for residents, paid for out of increases in council tax.

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How many keys can one keyboard have? Do I hear 200? 300? More?

Tom 38
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Decent hardware costs decent money, because most people are happy with cheap hardware. My keyboard, a modern version of the model-m from unicomp, costs $99.

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Forget ski-jumping – Russians setting records in Sochi visitor hacking

Tom 38
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Re: Advise (sic) for traveling (sic) in the US.

If the "cyber warfare capabilities of China and Russia rival those of the US" as you say, then that implies that one must be even more careful when in the US.

Well done, you got the joke!

There was me, thinking "gosh, that's a bit subtle, wonder if anyone will get it"...

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Democrats introduce net neutrality legislation in Senate and House

Tom 38
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Re: passage

The internet is basically three components: Consumers, ISPs, and Data. The purpose of the ISP is to connect the other two, indiscriminately.

Bit of a simplification, don't you think? Sure, the ISP exists to connect the consumer to the data, but the data is not local to the ISP. The ISP has to have outbound connections to the data providers, and different data providers will need different connections, which may have differing costs.

The ISP has to determine which of those connections are necessary, and what speed to run it at. Your ISP may prefer to spend a lot of money on a fat pipe to the BBC if that is where the demand is, that does not mean they have to provide an equivalently fast connection to BobsBargainAmmo.com - they have to discriminate based upon destination.

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ZX Spectrum game devs allege Elite Systems Ltd didn't pay their royalties

Tom 38
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Re: ZX Spectrum?

The spectrum was cheap, the C64 was not.

C64 launch price was $595

Spectrum was £130 (~ $200-215)

Guess which one most kids had?

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Tom 38
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Headmaster

Kickstarter campaigns don't sell anything, they allow you to invest in the company in return for potential rewards. The difference is that investors are contributing money in the hope that the companies business plans will succeed and they will be rewarded - there is no contractual obligation to provide whatever is listed at any pledge level.

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MP 'shocked' at failures 'at the top' of the BBC over epic DMI tech fail

Tom 38
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Re: An MP was shocked

"Hodge's stock position" is tiny, tiny, tiny (and if you mention it, she'll threaten to sue).

Awesome

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Tom 38
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Re: So how did the BBC pull off the iPlayer?

BBC (Technology) used to be staffed by underpaid hard working techies who invented bloody brilliant things as and when they could. In ~ 2001-2002, BBC (Technology) was outsourced to Siemens, in house tech was then done by consultants who say they will be cheaper but inevitably are not.

iplayer has some impressive technological underpinnings, but it is essentially a well understood problem with a bunch of well understood solutions, that was implemented by a small team that knew precisely what they were doing.

So, hiring consultants to define the project, check, poorly understood requirements leading to constantly redefining the requirements, check, poorly defined deliverables and success criteria, check.

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Tom 38
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Re: An MP was shocked

Hodge's stock position on everything these days is to be shocked or appalled. If you're looking for a good sound bite about something that is shocking, Margaret Hodge is your go-to girl.

Companies paying all tax they owe, but not more than they have to? HMRC are "appalling"

Not getting enough restitution from convicted organized crime bosses? "Pathetic and appalling"

Queen's roof falling down? "Shocked by complacency of palace staff"

MoJ fines capita for poor quality of interpreters? "Appalling"

Public sector gagging clauses? "Shocking"

Frankly I'm amazed that there is anything left on this good earth that can even mildly surprise the woman.

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BSkyB sees first half pre-tax profit tumble as sales climb

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

I am surprised you know the dates, also no way was I going to sign up for a year for one programme.

I had never even heard of the programme, wikipedia listed all the dates, when it aired in US, when it aired on Sky, when it aired on UK FTA..

C5 as well has that moronic 5 in the corner.

Well, they did pay for it..

And I saw it before Murdoch vision showed it.

So before Murdoch bought it, you had already seen it, and this is Murdoch's fault that you couldn't watch it on FTA?

And I had the DVD before C5 showed it.

Impressive - UK DVD release was after 5 aired it.

Basically, you love the show, but there is no way you'd pay anything to watch it, including just waiting for a FTA broadcaster showing it and then watching it (which increases viewers for the channel, increases the value of their ad slots, increases revenue and allows new shows to be commissioned or bought.)

Fucking Murdoch ruining your shows though, amirite?

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Tom 38
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Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

My first ever torrent was Farscape Peace Keeper Wars, after watching 4 series on BBC2. This introduced me to torrents.

Farscape (the TV series) was cancelled because not enough people watched it, and they couldn't make enough money selling it to foreign networks to make a 5th series.

When they realised there was some latent interest in it, a subscription TV channel, Syfy, commissioned a mini-series. They could afford to produce this by selling it to interested networks around the world.

So, you complain about Sky "screwing up the FTA broadcaster", but your example is shitty - the show was cancelled before it went on to Sky, and the follow up mini series that you "had" to torrent could only come into being because of the existence of commercial channels like Sky which could buy it.

PS: You didn't "have to" torrent it. You could have subscribed to Sky if you absolutely had to watch it the very day it was broadcast. You could have not watched it all. You could have waited the 51 days between Sky broadcasting it, and 5 broadcasting it on FTA.

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Tom 38
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Current Sky Sports subscriber

But probably for not much longer - I get it for cricket, rugby and F1. Rugby is all going to BT - the clubs are refusing to play in the tournament Sky have rights to, and will set up a new competition televised by BT, F1 has been going steadily down hill since they banned refueling thus eliminating most of the tactics and strategy, and the less that is said about the cricket at the minute the better.

I'm really not keen on continuing to spaff £60+ a month, particularly when the vast majority of that cash is ending up subsidizing the Sky-BT football rights fight.

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Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states

Tom 38
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Re: "I don't see the problem..."

If your eyes are not looking at the road, you will crash.

Utter, utter bollocks. You should be constantly checking various bits of information when driving, your eyes should go from road to mirrors to dash to road regularly.

In short, you should be always aware of all information that is pertinent to you being aware of what is coming up ahead and behind you, where you are and what speed you are going.

If some of that information was moved from a physical dash to a heads-up dash, looking at the heads-up dash would not be negligent, it would be good driving.

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Alcatel-Lucent and BT unveil super fat pipe, splurt out 1.4Tb per second across London

Tom 38
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Re: 410KM

There can't possibly be enough traffic between London and Ipswich to warrant building a direct and exclusive cable route.

Funnily enough, there are actually several direct trunks to BT's main research facility. Almost like they would push all their daily traffic up there to test stuff. Crazy.

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Tom 38
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Re: Great

This has nothing to do with "making your broadband faster". This is about increasing the speed of pre-existing links by upgrading the bits at the end, so they get network upgrades without having to actually upgrade (much of) the physical network.

The point is to ease congestion on POPs/exchanges that have reached capacity and yet have no commercial incentive to upgrade. Its not to make your ADSL go fast in a little village somewhere.

Plus, if you ever did want your little village to have fast internet, then the backbone within the UK would have to be much much faster. Hence working on things like this, rather than trying to lay 50x as much fibre on trunk links.

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Mobe industry quails as Ofcom floats idea of QUADRUPLING 2G spectrum prices

Tom 38
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Ultimately this just leads to less and less money in your own pockets, you would be better off asking the government not to promise anything and in return keep more of your money.

This argument plays very well to people who have some money in their pocket and are aggrieved they don't get to keep more of it. It doesn't play well to people who have no money in their pocket and need some help.

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Tom 38
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We shouldn't give away spectrum in the first place, we should instead offer spectrum in leases, cost varying in proportion to how much spectrum you already lease.

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Globe grabbin,’ sphere slammin’, orb-tossin’, pill poppin’... Speedball

Tom 38
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Best. Game. Ever.

This game destroyed more joysticks than any other game in existence.

Scoring goals wasn't initially too crucial to my style of play, I preferred to fight non-stop for control of the score multipliers, and then gang up on on CM, CD and the goalie - get the ball, throw it to the other team and then beat the crap out of the guy that catches it until you get the ball back.

Once each of those three positions has been subbed off (money + points), spend the rest of your time scoring as many goals as possible (more money) and grabbing every little coin that appears (even more money). Spend your money on aggression, speed and power upgrades for your team, so you can hurt them quicker next time.

One of the best things about it was that although your initial squad was full of low skilled no-hopers in division 2, you couldn't improve the players you bought as much as the initial squad, so in order to compete in division 1 you needed to completely own division 2 without buying useless division 2 "star players" that would be passengers when promoted. You also need to make enough money over division 2 in order to get your players to a good enough level - crazy hard.

Brutal Deluxe!

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Tom 38
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If Sky is £30 a month now, and the BBC would be £11, then Sky then would be £41 a month, assuming you didn't opt out of BBC channels.

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Tom 38
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What would be nice would be to get to the situation they are in in Germany _most of the EU (I think) where the CAM Common Interface is well defined, and decoder cards can be easily used in any solution.

They could even legislate to force the dirty digger to provide an interoperable CAM/CI card for his services.

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Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

Tom 38
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XL always makes people feel more significant

Except when it's on your t-shirt.

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Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Re: VPL or VLP

I like Ethernet VPLs.

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Tom 38
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Joke

the average length of a British man's most valuable possession is 14cm to 16cm (5.5 to 6.3 inches) during moments of excitement, with a girth of between 12 and 13cm (4.7 and 5.1 inches).

What are you talking about, my TV remote control is much smaller than that.

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US govt watchdog slams NSA snooping as illegal, useless against terrorism

Tom 38
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Re: Martin Gregorie Anon Cluetard Boston Marathon Bombing

That explains the collection of Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone data, doesn't it? By collecting her data they aimed at disrupting and tracking groups such as Al Qaeda?

No, that is just just straightforward old fashioned espionage - countries want to know as much as they can about other countries and usually have agencies to do espionage.

Not exactly a new thing, and even if they stopped mass surveillance the same agencies would still be interested in that data.

I'm not saying it is right, just that it has always happened. If you think the BND don't monitor people like Bronislaw Komorowski you are naive.

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The internet is 'a gift from God' says Pope Francis

Tom 38
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This is something truly good, a gift from God

No, it isn't. It was invented by human beings.

Are you talking about God or the internet?

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'Netflix bitch': CEO of vid-streaming site taunts HBO chief over results

Tom 38
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Joke

As an example fIlm #1 and #3 of the Matrix trilogy are available, but not #2 weirdly.

See? Netflix even get that right - the casual viewer will just watch the "Matrix", and since they cant watch "Reloaded" they will never have to watch "Revolutions". Kids who just have Netflix must think the Wachowskis are geniuses.

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Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

Tom 38
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I agree, that's why I use chromium.

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Our Milky Way galaxy is INSIDE OUT. Just as we suspected, mutter boffins

Tom 38
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Re: Just a simple question.

I've tried to answer this a couple of times, it's best to go to an expert:

http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html

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And the winner of the most reliable disk drive award is ...

Tom 38
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Re: Seagate

My little home ZFS server (16TB and counting) uses these drives:

1 Hitachi HDS5C3020ALA632 ML6OA580

10 SAMSUNG HD154UI 1AG01118

1 SAMSUNG HD204UI 1AQ10001

1 ST31500341AS CC1H (Seagate)

Currently, the only drive with any issue at all is the seagate...

The 2GB Samsung was to replace an identical failed Seagate ST31500341AS...

Shame you can't get Samsung anymore - no great speed, but very quiet and very reliable in my experience.

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Look out, Earth! Here comes China Operating System (aka Linux)

Tom 38
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Re: If Baidu and Renren are any indicator...

No, he is commenting on the fact that in the 18th and 19th Century, America ignored all international conventions on copyright and patents in order to advance their economy.

100 years later, you all bridle with fury at China doing it to you.

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Do cops need a warrant to search your phone? US Supreme Court will rule

Tom 38
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Re: broad implications

The constitution applies to citizens; foreigners have less rights.

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