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* Posts by Tom 38

2444 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Tom 38
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Peter Dinklage is an awesome actor, check out these flicks:

The Station Agent

Death at a Funeral (2007 UK version, not US remake, although he is in both)

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Tom 38
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Re: Word bad, raw text editor good

Eight Megs And Constantly Swapping

(another vim fan :)

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Tom 38
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Re: @Badvok

The 'age' of the characters is irrelevant, the book is set in a fantasy world where there are dragons and magic and shit, there is no reason why their years == our years.

Timing is weird in Westeros - a good definition of a year is the time passing between seasons until you return again to the same season, and it has been "summer" for (at least) the past "15 years", so how a Westeros Year is defined is unknown.

Arya is 9 at the start of the books, Jon Snow 15. Do either Maisie Williams (17) or Kit Harrington (27) look 9 or 15? By the end of book 5 (maybe equates to season 5/6), they should be 11 and 17.

My conclusion is that Westeros years are longer than Earth years.

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Tom 38
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Re: "Windows is coming"

Well, one of the few complaints about GRRM is that it takes him an inordinate amount of time to write any one of his books. He apparently finds it hard to keep track of all the different stories going on, and is constantly editing and rewriting and moving bits around - I think I read somewhere that a typical writing day for him is 30 minutes new stuff and 8 hours editing.

Normally I'm quite happy to let artists do their artistic thing, but two things worry me about GRRM:

1) He's getting on a bit, and he's not exactly svelte. He takes, on average, 6 years for a book and he's got at least 2 left to write.

2) He's signed away the story of ASOIAF to the GoT crew, including the basics of the next two books. If GoT get to the end of book 5 (as a source; they've stopped following the books except in spirit) before book 6 is released, then spoilers will be in GoT and not ASOIAF.

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Comcast exec says wired broadband customers should pay-as-they-go

Tom 38
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Re: I hate the incorrect piracy warnings on DVD/BlueRay

Criminal copyright infringement is already criminal. There is such a thing as non-criminal copyright infringement, which, unsurprisingly, is not criminal.

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Tom 38
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Joke

It would be more efficient if they used a larger block size.

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Tom 38
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Re: Gouging

Actually, I've found the opposite. With my gigabit connection, my downloads go at 80+MB/s - thats megabytes, not bits - and as such, its very difficult to be constantly using my connection. 99% of the time these days, my connection is completely idle.

I would say that yes, possibly I download a little bit more than before - not much though, the majority of my downloads are automated, and haven't changed in quality nor quantity.

The main difference is that before my connection would have been utilised 20% of the time downloading things, now it is less than 1% of the time.

Really bad analogy with lots of holes: if you upgrade from a car that can drive to the shops and back in an hour to a car that can drive around the world in an hour then you might drive a little bit more than before, but you're not going to spend your time doing laps of the equator for the lulz.

You might however start going for coffee in Rome and the beach in Maui (think I've jumped the shark in this analogy now).

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Tom 38
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Re: Gouging

BT's best FTTP offering is 300Mbit down, 20 Mbit up for £60/month. 20Mbit is better than 1Mbit, but its a farce - there is no technological reason to not offer higher upload speed, BT just don't want you using more upload.

My ISP, Hyperoptic, only does FTTP (you have to be in a building they cover, usually new build), and they only offer synchronous connections - 20Mbit (£12), 100Mbit (£25) and gigabit (£50), all synchronous. It's even framed as ethernet where it comes in to my property, BT's FTTP still does PPPoE.

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Surprise! Google chairman blasts EU's privacy ruling

Tom 38
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Re: Forget-me-not

There is no right to be forgotten, there is the right to privacy (of the individual) and the contrasting right of free speech (of google). This judgement solely means that in circumstances where the two rights are in conflict, the court has the power to decide which right must be upheld, in that specific circumstance.

Google will not need an army of anything, since before anything will be forced to be removed by them, a court has first agreed.

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Get cracking on STARTTLS says Facebook

Tom 38
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Re: Hmm

However, for those using exclusively the likes of Hotmail, gMail, etc, encrypting in transit makes life that bit harder for spooks - they can't just dragnet them on the wire

If the email was encrypted in the users client, they still can't read it off the wire, so I'm not sure what your point is.

If they use a web-based client, their "client" is the web server servicing their requests, and all communication with that is SSL already (or should be). The "client" receives data over SSL, immediately encrypts it with the target users public keys, and stores a version encrypted with the senders public key (for sent mail).

Handling the decryption on the client side would require a piffly JS cryptography standard.

STARTTLS is popular with service providers because it gives point-to-point security whilst still allowing the service provider to do whatever they like with your cleartext - the poacher is telling the gamekeeper how to fix his fences.

We spend billions on making sure Joe Sixer can watch DRM'd HQ cat videos in his browser without the chance of Joe being so evil as recording it, but we cant spend 1% of that to properly fix email security...

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Convergence as a new new thing

Tom 38
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Good article, however:

If you have a pair of virtual servers on a particular host and they need to communicate with each other, they do so via the hypervisor's on-board virtual switch: the traffic doesn't ever even hit the LAN switch underneath. By cutting out a number of layers

that's a bad example, as it isn't cutting out the layers, they hypervisor's virtual switch operates at level 4 (transport), and since the nodes are actually on the same machine, there is never a need to drop to level 3 (network). This is just ISO-OSI as it was originally envisioned - can you do what you need to do at this layer? "Yes - go do it" or "No - call a lower layer".

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Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm £3.7bn MEGA-BORG

Tom 38
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Re: Boring Name

House of Dix, surely.

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GCHQ's 'NOSEY SMURF' spyware snoops dragged into secretive tribunal

Tom 38
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Re: It'll be found to be legal if...

Please, the UK is hardly a repressed populace held together at gun point and forced to toe the line - mainly things don't change because mainly people don't give a fuck.

Conversely, it doesn't really matter how much you or I care, since that is irrelevant to the overall proportions. I can be miffed a little about it, or I can be raging about it, but the attitudes of society in general wouldn't change.

no-one who ever fought for their freedom (and won) were apathetic.

Definitely true, but it doesn't cover when 1% of the country really really really want to stop the 1% running the show, manage to do so, and become the new 1%. People don't just fight for freedom, they fight for control when they have none. The first control they want is "freedom", but "power" comes soon after.

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Linux distros fix kernel terminal root-hole bug

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Definition of "local"

It would appear that "local" doesn't just include someone sitting in front of the screen, but rather anyone who can gain shell access remotely, if this C code is anything to go by.

A local user is someone who has unprivileged access to run code on a computer. A remote user is someone who has access to provide inputs to a program running on that computer.

This isn't new.

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Archos ArcBook: An Android netbook for a measly hundred-and-seventy clams

Tom 38
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Does it run rockbox though, that's the big question?

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Microsoft's Azure cloud goes a bit wobbly in West Europe

Tom 38
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Re: Huh?

I thought these wonderful cloud systems were supposed to be highly reliable?

No, they are supposed to be cheaper in capex.

Everyone's comments here are proof that it is possible to build a reliable service on top of an unreliable service, TCP being a reliable service that is implemented over IP, an unreliable service. The idea of clouds is that lower capex costs allow you to dynamically scale your loads, allowing you to provide a reliable service to your users that is built on commodity cloud servers that may be unreliable.

Not seen one done right so far though, and if you are in business long enough, the benefit of lower capex is quickly extinguished by the massive increase in opex.

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Tom 38
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Stop

It's good to know that The Register is following the highest standards of journalism possible, as practised by the BBC, viz that it is not news unless you can find two arbitrary people complaining about it on Twitter.

Fuck yeah! Digital engagement!

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Silicon Valley bod in no-hire pact lawsuit urges court to REJECT his OWN lawyers' settlement

Tom 38
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Joke

The tentative settlement, if it stands, amounts to big profits for plaintiffs’ counsel, insulation from real liability for the defendants and locks in a significant net loss for the class

Aha, so he does understand how American law is supposed to work.

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Hey, does your Smart TV have a mic? Enjoy your surveillance, bro

Tom 38
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just don't plug it into the internet?

Increasingly, smart TVs are equipped with built-in wifi, so inaction is not a solution.

Are they also magically hacking said wifi to determine PSK and auto connecting to it? No?

Not a problem then, and inaction would be a perfect solution.

If GCHQ want to listen to you through your TV (and they don't, it's usually MI5 or the police, but no matter), they have MI5 watch your house until you leave, they break in and install a listening device in your TV - just like they did with Ahmed Ali's flat in 2006.

They don't wait until you buy a new Sony, ring up Sony and say "hey, its Bill from MI5 here, gissus a code to connect to the wifi on yous teles".

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$3.2bn Apple deal would make hip-hop mogul Dr Dre a BEEELLLIONAIRE

Tom 38
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Nothing sold as a "gaming headset" is ever going to sound as good as high-quality studio/monitor headphones from Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic, AKG etc., even if it is better than the Beats rubbish.

And nothing sold as a studio/monitor headset is going to have a microphone.

Sennheiser gaming cans sound great, have closed backs, chunky indestructible mic booms. They aren't as crisp or clean as Sennheiser studio cans, deliberately.

Frankly I've used "super audiophile" monitor headsets that just sound crap and tinny to me Different people like different things.

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IBM chip boffins mix phase-change-flash cocktail: Voila! SUPER fast memory card

Tom 38
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10^6 times

Or as everyone else says, a million times, which doesn't sound that great.

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A first-world problem solved: Panoramic selfies, thanks to Huawei's Ascend P7

Tom 38
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Re: Truisms Spoken Aloud

IIRC Hyundai had what amounted to a "name pronunciation awareness advertising" campaign in Australia at one point to address this issue

Hyundai actually use different pronunciation in different countries - in the US it is "hoon day", in the UK it is "hi-yun-die' - the former is how Koreans pronounce it, the latter is how everyone in the UK says it.

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'Bladdered' Utah couple cuffed in church lawn sex outrage

Tom 38
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Re: Mormons?

Pfft, it's easy to sneer TheVogon, but how else would you go about reading reformed Egyptian for goodness sake!

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Virgin Media sales are a bit flat under the Cable Cowboy's reign

Tom 38
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Re: Nothing to do with the quality of their customer service?

they are all separate companies, Virgin Media is as far from Virgin Money as Sainsbury's is from Harrods

About 50 metres?

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BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

Tom 38
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Re: Same here

Meanwhile I go to visit Romania often, where in Bucharest you can get 100/100 for €7 or so per month and 1Gbit/1Gbit for only slightly more!

I have Gbit/Gbit in London, it's a lot more than €7/month :)

BT's suite of fibre products are distinctly uninspiring - even on FTTH installations, there is 1Gbit/s coming in to the openreach modem (actually, 1.2+Gbit), at which point it splits it off in to 4 virtual 300Mbit connections, so that you can have a separate BT subscription for each room in your house....

Worse than that, it's fibre, but for some reason that still means an asymmetric connection - 300Mbit down, 20Mbit up. DSL and coax cable by necessity require asymmetric connections - bandwidth is fixed, the asymmetry determines how much is allocated to uploads and how much to downloads - but with fibre there is absolutely no need as there is equal bandwidth in both directions.

BT would prefer that people who buy it's broadband continue to only use it to consume mass media.

I'm sure many people reading this would say "20Mbit up? Where do I sign", but it really is a disservice and stops you doing things like more easily using remote services like dropbox - 20Mbit upload means a maximum remote disk write speed of about 2MB/s, 300Mbit would be more like 25MB/s, and my 1Gbit varies between around 50MB/s and 70MB/s, which is good enough to treat cloud storage like a local disk.

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Atom, GitHub's code editor based on web tech, goes open source

Tom 38
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How long before the fork that removes the google analytics from your text editor?

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Tom 38
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So it's a desktop/cmd-line application using HTML5/JS?

Yes - not sure on the HTML, but it uses CSS, so probably.

Presumably they are also planning an actual web version... because that would actually be more useful to me?

Does everyone usually plan to do what is useful to you? Wish I could be you.

And no. This is a standalone application, not a web application. It's written in JS instead of C - that is as webby as it gets (actually it has a .io domain, webby+=1, and when you use the program it constantly sends analytics to google, webby+=100000).

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RBS Group hopes £750m IT shakeup splurge will prevent next bank mainframe meltdown

Tom 38
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Remind me again

How much money they saved off-shoring permies and slashing contractor rates (and hence contractor headcount)?

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PEAK APPLE: Mystery upstart to hurl iLord from its throne 'by 2020'

Tom 38
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What is a VC

To understand Fred Wilson's viewpoint, you have to understand who he is and what he does.

He is a Venture Capitalist. His job is to have money, and give it to the people who tell him things that he thinks are true. Right now, he's been sold on the idea of "cloud" and "big data", and he's given a bunch of money to people doing "cloudy" "big data" things, who have convinced him that what Apple are doing is no good for making money.

In fact, he's really convinced - he's put a wodge of his money (well ok, mostly other people's money, probably some of his own) in to this. Once you put $10m behind something, you're definitely singing from the same choir book.

Personally, I think that he is sort of on the right track - *startups* will find it very difficult to do what Apple are doing, concentrating on hardware, but Apple itself should have no problems - apart from the very very successful and profitable hardware division, they have enough cash to re-tool as they see fit and seem quite capable of identifying and exploiting new markets.

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Tesco to tout its own smartphone – now THAT'S an unexpected item in the bagging area

Tom 38
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Re: Far too creepy Tesco

I have a MyWaitrose card, but I only use it to get the free paper and tea each day.

Oh, and I do also shop at Waitrose - not all the time, I'm not rich - I just don't present my 'please track me' card.

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Denmark dynamited by cunning American Minecraft vandals

Tom 38
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Thumb Up

"We are very happy to see that so many players around the world is creating fancy nice things and have fun," Hammeken said.

More people in government like this please.

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Snapchat updates fap-snap sharing app ... now with more Chat

Tom 38
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23-year-old CEO, Evan Spiegel, has reportedly turned down acquisition offers worth as much as $4bn

I really hope, for his sake, he doesn't feel like a chump when he's 35.

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You've heard of the internet, right? Well this here might just be the INTERCLOUD

Tom 38
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the customer can immediately slurp data out of Provider A via a dedicated connection, shuttle it through the owned servers, then spurt it up into Provider B.

Most cloud providers go out of their way to dissuade you from doing this. For instance, Amazon won't charge you to load data in to their cloud storage, but there is a fee when you pull it out.

I also take umbrage at 'immediately'. You can immediately start the process, but it can take days or weeks to transfer a large dataset from one DC to another, even if they are yards apart and have great fat wads of fibre connecting them.

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Sony on the ropes after revising losses UP to $1.3 BEEELLION

Tom 38
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Re: It's not my birthday today! @Gene Cash

a company that's in trouble, who, over the years have provided a fair few innovations, in many areas of both consumer and professional electronics. The Walkman and the first CD player, immediately spring to mind.

Followed shortly by the rootkit-on-a-cd and inept security leading to the loss of 77 million unencrypted account details?

I don't get the gloating over the misery of others, but there is some irony to say they've provided a fair few technological innovations, when the two that come to mind happened in the 70s and 80s....

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Behold! World's smallest 3D-printer pen Lix artists into shape – literally

Tom 38
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Is it me?

The final photo shows a cup and saucer set and a beaker that have been made by this "game changing" device - I might be wrong, but there seem to be lots of holes in all of them that may violate some of the functional requirements of their intended form.

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Chinese iWatchers: Apple's WRISTPUTERS ALREADY in production

Tom 38
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Re: You will need

It's called humour.

Allegedly

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Cuffing darknet-dwelling cyberscum is tricky. We'll 'disrupt' crims instead, warns top cop

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Brain surgery? Would sir care for a CHOC-ICE with that?

Tom 38
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Re: A very informative headline.

Please read the lyrics to Adam Ant's 'Prince Charming'. You may say 'DOH!' when you note the pop culture reference that you missed.

Adam Ant hasn't been "pop" culture for several decades I'm afraid.

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Tom 38
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Re: Stalemate

The best thing you can say about the BSc in CompSci is that it is not the MSc in CompSci - that's the 1 year "conversion course for people who studied physics/maths/economics", not the 4 year "I love being a student" course.

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Tom 38
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Skills gap

This doesn't actually mean a skills gap, or a lack of people to hire, but that the skills are currently desired, making the profession a good one to be in. This would be remedied by having a lot more cheaper employees available to do the same task, depressing your wages.

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Russia 'incompatible with the internet', cries web CEO 'axed by Putin'

Tom 38
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Readers may or may not know that anyone can donate the same amount to the island's sweetest industry and and gain the right to live on the sunkissed shores.

This is not uncommon, you qualify for a US green card if you invest $1,000,000 in a US business and create 10 jobs - or half that in a "targeted employment area".

So the smarmy comment should be "St Kitts & Nevis - only half the price of bribing the US government".

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Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, settle employee-fiddling class action suit

Tom 38
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Why would you settle?

?!?

They all clearly colluded, they are all guiltier than sin, ask the court to determine their liability.

Actually, I can see why the lawyers settled. $1 billion up front today with no appeals.

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RIP net neutrality? FCC mulls FAST LANES for info superhighway

Tom 38
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Re: 1 Gb/s everywhere....

Surely it makes more sense that if your ISP wishes to have an edge cache of someone else's content in order to reduce their ingress bandwidth costs, they should pay the content provider and not the other way around.

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Tom 38
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Re: re: geoblocking

But they don't have to be assholes about it by geolocking, do they? Compare and contrast examples:

Spotify only offer subscriptions in certain countries, because they only have agreements for certain countries, and you must be resident in one of those countries to subscribe. However, if you travel to a non-agreement country, spotify don't care - you can continue to use the service as long as you have internet access.

Sky only offer subscriptions in certain countries, because they only have agreements for certain countries, and you must be resident in one of those countries to subscribe. However, if you travel to a non-agreement country, Sky will refuse you access to their services because your IP does not correspond to your country of registration¹.

Both are restricting their services to the markets they have agreements for, but one is being a dick about it.

¹ Or in my case, use a UK ISP who has bought some IPs from a German company, and Sky's GeoIP db has not been updated.

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Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean?

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: No change

in the Anglican church you tend not to hear much about revelations, just the parables.

So you only looked at a small part of the middle of the book and then were surprised when you didn't understand the ending?

So you looked at my words and couldn't comprehend their meaning and then surprised you didn't understand? At no point did I discuss how much or how little of "the good book" I have read. In fact, I've read every single page, chapter and verse - all I mentioned was what the vicars-with-no-elbows tended to talk about.

Gwan, post a come back. A man that returneth to his folly is like a dog that returneth to his own vomit.

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Tom 38
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Re: No change

And then I saw, like UNICORNS man, but floating on the air, with SEVEN horns, and on each horn, a blueberry sundae.

Seriously, revelations reads like a bad trip. Most of the new testament is all like "hmm ok, good parable, don't be a dick, be nice to each other", and then there is all this batshit insane bullshit whacked on the end.

I was raised a Christian, but in the Anglican church you tend not to hear much about revelations, just the parables. I think when I read revelations, I realised that this book wasn't handed down by god, it was made up by a bunch of men in order to control other men. Fuck that.

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DeSENSORtised: Why the 'Internet of Things' will FAIL without IPv6

Tom 38
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Re: Networking's answer to Windows Vista

I don't want IPv6 at all. When I want non-routable addresses, I use one of the many available private network classes.

PS: Unique local addresses today (fc00::/7), but it was site local addresses but a few years ago (fec0::/10). Your typical IPv6 connected computer will have at least 3, probably 4, IPv6 addresses - a unique local address, a link local address, ::1 and possibly a global address - too overly complicated for me to give a fuck.

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WTF happened to Pac-Man?

Tom 38
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Re: We weren't all after high scores

You must be nuts - arcade games cost per play. High scores are achieved by playing for a long amount of time on one credit, and therefore, achieving high scores was actually akin to playing for the cheapest amount.

Take Street Fighter 2, if you just played one round and died, thats 10p for 2 minutes. On the other hand, if you complete the game on one credit, thats 10p for 30 minutes play. I don't know about you, but when I was playing arcade games, I wanted to play for as long as possible as cheaply as possible.

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Tom 38
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Re: Robotron!!!! Most insane game

I was always fond of Revenge Of The Mutant Camels, got to kill all them polo mints, red phone boxes and wave after wave of Jeff Minters.

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Boss of Russia's Facebook says Putin cronies have taken over his company

Tom 38
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Usmanov also owns a large chunk of Arsenal FC (~30%).

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