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* Posts by Tom 38

2091 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Tom 38
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Joke

Be careful Chris

This is close to material that is useful to a terrorist.

Actually not much of a joke is it :(

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Apple's iTunes Radio to launch next month with abundant ads

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: iTunes Radio To Launch With Abundant Ads

Did you even read the article? A precis:

Cupertino plans to serve up an audio ad about once every 15 minutes and no more than one video ad per hour.

By comparison, Pandora now serves [...] eight to 12 ads per hour [...]"

Traditional commercial radio stations [...] around 13 minutes per hour

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Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

Tom 38
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Re: No....

You can't say that leaking classified documents is always wrong. There have to be times when leaking classified documents is right.....for instance when containing evidence of grievous crimes. After all, many of these documents were only classified in the first place to hide the wholesale breaking of laws, the Geneva convention etc. going on, so making it impossible to reveal classified documents for any reason just gives them a simple and easy way of hiding crimes.

I expect the judge may have agreed with you, if that is what he leaked. He didn't do this, he leaked as much of everything that he could, and trusted Assange to filter out what is sensitive, like names of translators working for the military, from what is 'newsworthy', like video of civilians being massacred.

Manning's job for his country was to protect that sensitive information from being disclosed, which he really failed at.

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'BLING BLING, BLING BLING' 'Hello, yes, my iPhone is made of GOLD'

Tom 38
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A good number of iPhone users see themselves as classy, educated and simply better because they have chosen a material object that they perceive as better - Apple products.

It's funny, because a lot of Android users see themselves as classy, educated and simply better because they haven't bought an iPhone. What's the difference?

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Japan's unwanted IT workers dumped in 'forcing-out rooms'

Tom 38
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Re: They do this everywhere

I recall back from the dawn of the internet a Netscape engineer post AOL takeover who had a script at login that would tell him how much his shares were worth, and how long he had to keep working for AOL before he could cash them in.

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

Tom 38
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So where's your proof that prior to the NSA related leaks that you, or anyone you know, was having their email intercepted?

Well, my proof is that the security services in Britain have routinely been listening in to the worlds communications ever since world communications were invented (and largely routed through the UK). It is no coincidence that GCHQ have an outpost in Bude where a lot of the transatlantic internet (and before that, telegraph) cables come ashore. Here's a quote from a book on this topic:

Additionally, it read all cable traffic entering and leaving Britain. At first, this was arranged on a private basis. At the time, there were only three cable companies operating in Britain: C&W, which was owned by the British government so presented no problem, and the two American cable companies, the Commercial Cable Postal Telegraph Company and Western Union, who did not acquiesce so easily. The tacit threat of having their operating licenses removed was required before they agreed to cooperate with GCCS and and let it see their messages each day.

In December 1920, during a US Senate Sub-Committee hearing … one of the cable companies publicly revealed the duress under which it had been placed by the British Government. Acutely embarrassed by this unexpected disclosure, the British government hastily added a clause to the 1911 Official Secrets Act giving it the right to see copies of all cables if an emergency existed. (excerpt from The Intelligence Game by James Rusbridger)

This stuff has always gone on. With optical cables being trivial to tap and email being trivial to intercept from a tapped feed, what kind of naïf must you be to consider that the security services aren't looking at them?

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Tom 38
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Re: "working quantum computers"

Horizon stopped being made in the 90s. Now it's just a bunch of twats who talk down to us, and repeat the same thing over and over again for indoctrination effects - tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them it, tell them what you just told them.

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Tom 38
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The way I've always understood and explained it to people is that sending an email is like sending a postcard, everyone along the way knows who it is sent from, who it is sent to, and can look at the contents if they so choose, and a government can as easily insert themselves into an internet exchange as they can a sorting office.

This is not new, this should not be a surprise to internet users, and yet the kerfuffle when it was confirmed that the intelligence services do do this…

I still don't see how the realization that email is insecure implies the shut down of groklaw.

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British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

Tom 38
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Re: So held for about 28:50 longer than needed to copy his personal data I guess

Yeah, but he's not just a "friend" of the journo (I think you're teeheeing around the fact that - omg - he's a gay man with a bf), his boyfriend is the journo behind releasing of Five-Eyes classified material, and he is in transit from a meeting with Snowden's assistant, on his way to meet with his boyfriend, the whole trip being paid for by the newspaper that is publishing this material. He could very well have been travelling with material that is classified in the UK.

When you put it like that, they would be remiss in not taking the opportunity to examine anything he can store digital data on.

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Tom 38
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Joke

Re: Cue the terror alert

…Reuters is reporting imminent al Qaeda attacks on European high-speed trains…

Phew, at least we'll be safe in the UK then, no chance of high speed trains here.

Oh look, it's home-o-clock.

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Fanbois taught to use Apple's new killer app: Microsoft Windows

Tom 38
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Re: Wow

I run FreeBSD on a box with uEFI, I didn't even know it had uEFI until I came to flash a device's firmware to the latest version, at which point it failed, because the machine has no fucking BIOS.

3 days of swearing later, I had the firmware updated, via a loaner mobo that had the required slots and still had a BIOS. I'm so glad they took away that nasty slow simple BIOS and replaced it with that nasty slow complicated uEFI.

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Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP

Tom 38
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Re: They don't want to give away extended support

Do you know how many times you've posted on this single thread? We get it, you <3 Microsoft, you want us to read your blog (I'm sorry, Microsoft's blog).

El Reg has this wonderful feature where by I can click on your name and see a history of your posts. You only talk on MS topics and you are only (overwhelmingly) pro MS. You're determined and professional in your comment carpet bombing campaign. I think it is about time those nice guys at Redmond sent you a Surface Pro to "review".

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Tom 38
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Re: Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?

You've not understood how bugs arise on a closed codebase. These aren't new bugs MS are scaring us about, they are bugs in 12 year old piece of software (as they keep shouting) that they haven't yet discovered.

In effect, MS is saying "Watch out, this software is so full of holes, we haven't even come close to finding all the major bugs in 12 years and billions of installations. Bugs in our new versions will probably apply to the old software too, since our "new versions" are really just the old software tarted up a bit."

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Tom 38
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Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

How much of a computer must be upgraded with new parts before it can be declared a new computer? And so on...

Pretty much anything - new mobo, new CPU, new GFX. You can stick more RAM or hard drives in without re-triggering activation.

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Tom 38
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Re: Wait, hear that?

Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows XP share such a large code base that I'd imagine that if you have a bug that applies to a feature in Windows 7, and that same feature exists in XP, there is a strong chance the same bug exists as well in XP. In a way, you can see MS' position, but you can easily see the counter point as well - these are bugs which you have then fixed, but can no longer be arsed to merge the fix back.

In an open source project, removing support from a release with this number of active users would be shouted about on the mailing lists, with two inevitable conclusions - firstly, support would be re-enabled, probably with some new members of the security team who are interested in that release and will do release management for it, and secondly, that the project would have some navel gazing as to why so many people are still using the version from 2 releases ago.

Apple get around this issue by having a strong commercial relationship with their customers, and by regularly updating the OS for nominal fees. An OS X upgrade is less likely to leave your OS half working, as I have seen numerable times from XP->Vista and XP->7 migrations (so much so that now, if I'm asked if I can "quickly help out" and upgrade from XP to anything, I'll refuse and insist on a re-install),

Apple can do this because they don't make money from the OS, they make it from the hardware and ecosystem - someone buying a Mac is in the market for an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, special mice, ridiculously expensive monitors and so on. MS only make their money from people upgrading or buying new machines.

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Google Glass is HIGH FASHION in September Vogue magazine

Tom 38
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Re: Distracted driving

And I took a taxi about 8 years ago, and the driver READ A PAPERBACK pretty much the entire time she was driving. No tip for her.

Would you have preferred a hardback?

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Apple big-screen TV rumor zombie RISES FROM THE DEAD

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Well, they are predictable

Essentially it'll be yet another walled garden, perverting the idea of television as a borderless medium.

Assuming it has at least one HDMI socket on this, how would an Apple TV be walling you off from any services? If you want to suck content from Apple, I'd imagine an Apple TV would be quite useful, and if you don't want to - well don't buy one?

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: I assume the plod are looking into this...

So, if someone threatens to rape you, then its a real threat, but if they threaten to rape your deceased mother, its just japes?

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Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Tom 38
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People like to diss Volvo because the cars look a little boxy and easily go for 200k+ miles (family record, 344k miles, after which it was sold as a taxi, still running). Much better to look cool and be scrapyard material before 100k miles.

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'Database failure ate my data' – Salesforce customer

Tom 38
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Phew!

Thankfully we're on eu1 here, that could have been a real clusterfuck. We pull the most important data out of salesforce every 15 minutes anyway (don't ask), but that would just mean that someone would expect us to restore it to salesforce.

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Virgin Media signs 3-year telly deal with BT Sport

Tom 38
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Re: Not just football

CPL is also on BT Sports too, meaning I cant watch The Mighty¹ (St Lucia) Zouks on "We <3 Cricket" Sky.

¹ They totally missed a trick there - I'm sure Disney wouldn't have sued them much.

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OWN GOAL! 100s of websites blocked after UK Premier League drops ball

Tom 38
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Re: Grounds for prosecution of the Premier League

Ah yes, but this would be "Not in the Public Interest", so no suey-suey.

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Osama Bin Pwned: Al Qaeda mocked in Twitter counter-jihad

Tom 38
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 (was: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.)

I also asked on the next obvious problem of knives. At what age do we teach kids about these things? Or do we take the children for their own protection again? At what point do we teach them the right way to use any tools?

The right way to use a gun is to ask a policeman or soldier to do it for you. Welcome to civilization.

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Tom 38
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 (was: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.)

Instead they should be on the playstation with the latest shoot em up or playing cowboys and indians with plastic imitation guns. And watching TV with fire, explosions and guns.

As long as they don't see any boobs tho, right? This is still America after all.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: @Richard Jones 1 (was: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.)

When you have guns at home, even safely locked away, you teach your kids on how to safely use them

Yes, and kids that spend their childhood killing small animals live such fulfilled lives. Giving a 6 yr old license to shoot small animals as they see fit would probably have your child taken in to protective care in any civilized country.

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Starwing: Nintendo, Argonaut's Brit boffinry and the Super FX chip

Tom 38
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Re: Sir

I think, but am not 100% certain, that feature came in Star Fox 64, the version for the N64, which incidentally introduced the (hated) rumble pack to the world.

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Torvalds frustrated at missing simultaneous release

Tom 38
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Re: Microkernels

I thought microkernel architecture was largely discredited, due to poor performance.

Yes, microkernels are essentially daft, and result in too much inefficiency. However, almost every Linux distribution now uses pulseaudio, a user space audio daemon, which is essentially performing the function of an audio subsystem in a hybrid or microkernel.

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Tom 38
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Re: Er, look...

As for a micro kernel, that needs other things around it to work. Not much different from today's modular kernel where the modules are only loaded when they are needed, perhaps because a new piece of hardware has been plugged in.

Well this is patently not true. A monolithic modular kernel with loadable modules would still load more drivers in to kernel space than a micro or hybrid kernel doing only the most necessary operations in kernel space and offloading to user space less critical operations.

As a concrete example, look at the USB device drivers in v4l-dvb. Under linux, the entire driver runs in the kernel space. Any driver bug, and you have an oops. FreeBSD re-uses the same linux drivers, using a user space daemon talking to a special kernel component, cuse4bsd, which allows user space daemons to communicate with character devices. The only kernel component is cuse4bsd, which is simple, small and easily tested.

The other code, less well tested and more buggy (usually due to cheap hardware and reverse engineered drivers) all runs in user space - any crashes there, and you simply need to restart the user space daemon.

Obviously, this has a cost - it's much more efficient just to run everything in the kernel - but that doesn't change the fact that a micro/hybrid kernel can be vastly more resilient than a monolithic design.

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Tom 38
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Re: Yeah, good luck.

I rode it last year. IIRC it did 450kph (there's a digital speed display inside) and what surprised me most : it was dam noisy, it rattled like an old style tube train! It didn't seem that fast from the inside, until the other train passes at the hallway point : blink and you'll miss it.

I didn't like the sections where the maglev banked quite viciously to the right. There is something disconcerting travelling above 400 kph, at an angle, looking down at the dismantled shanty town below.

Well worth a ride though. I wouldn't go to Shanghai just to ride the maglev, but if you are in the area it is a damn good experience. Interestingly, maglev is too expensive for China, I don't think they intend to build more maglev lines.

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Bloke straps shed to Ford Zephyr and chases it on bike

Tom 38
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Re: @ Gilgamoth

Bayliss got fucked over for almost every single one of his inventions, can hardly blame the guy for wanting to get some protection.

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'Look, give us Snowden' - this Friday's top US-Russia talks revealed

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Rightly or wrongly, that is how it is :-)

Get your memes in order, this isn't TDWTF. Definitely no Vice President's daughter here pal.

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Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

Tom 38
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Allman vs Whitesmiths

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Pretty much most people these days are taught 1TBS, but I still do Allman, and I maintain a bunch of code in Whitesmiths, and I do a bit of BSD kernel hacking, which obviously has to be in BSD KNF.

The NYT scheme looks a lot like 1TBS with added extra rules.

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Leaked docs: SOD squad feeds NSA intelligence to drug enforcement plods

Tom 38
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Re: Game of Thrones....

When you could buy smack and coke at the chemist without prescription, no-one was selling it in the street, and the purity was guaranteed by Parke-Davis/Pfizer rather than being cut with glass.

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Tom 38
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Re: Gosh could someone have been hoarding a stack of nasty CP and a zero day exploit

In the mind of Claire Perry, there are no legal porn sites.

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Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'

Tom 38
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Re: Content Filters Help Me

OK. But why does protecting your family involve me divulging to either my ISP or the government what legal 'adult' topics I am interested in?

Can you, as a parent, not see the downsides in asking the general populace to classify and enumerate the things they are interested in which the government thinks are morally objectionable? For instance, can you see that having a "Gay/Bi-sexual" tickbox on the 1936 German Census, in hindsight, wasn't such a great thing for LGBT rights in Nazi Germany?

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Upgraded 3D printed rifle shoots 14 times before breaking

Tom 38
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So boring

Wake me up when they can print bullets.

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Qualcomm exec on eight-core mobile chips: They're 'dumb'

Tom 38
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Re: AC Zola I agree. 8 core phones are pretty dumb.

Why on earth would I want to concentrate all my computing power into something that can be dropped in the toilet?

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Chubby-chasing SEX TROLLS ran me offline, says fashion blogger

Tom 38
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Only because every time it happens they jump up and down and shout about how evil men and Twitter are, instead of ignoring the troll. Trolls be trollin, don't bite. Do you think the guy who registered @rapecreasy was trying to wind her up, or planning on raping her?

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Latvian foreign minister speaks out against giving up alleged Gozi writer to US

Tom 38
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Re: Sorry America

Nationalistic? Check

Extremely right wing? Check

Economy on the down? Check

Huge spending on military? Check

Wants to expand it's sphere of influence over the whole world? Check

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You're doing WHAT with friends? Zynga sues Bang With Friends maker

Tom 38
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They own ... with Friends

The reason they think they own it is because they wanted to rip off scrabble, and came up with "word with friends". Good to see the pirates being boarded.

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Google SELLS OUT the INTERNET HIPPIES! AGAIN!

Tom 38
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Re: Standard Terms and Conditions

The "big deal" is that ISPs sell internet connections, not WWW connections. I use my internet connection for all kinds of things, if I'm abroad I use it as a 'home' proxy, it's a VPN server, it allows me to contact my home servers and do things like turn the heat on, watch video feeds of my front yard, all kinds of things.

None of these have any commercial bearing, so why should I pay commercial rates to use my personal internet connection?

More to the point, why should my entirely reasonable behaviour be something that is explicitly excluded by T&C? Why should my internet connection have the sword of Damocles hanging over it?

BTW, these aren't typical T&C. My ISP makes no limitations on how I use my internet connection, save that I cannot use it for commercial purposes, I cannot use it for illegal purposes, and they reserve the right to terminate my connection if I abuse the network.

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Tom 38
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You don't get it do you, if you get Google Fibre, the idea is that you have faster internet so can suck more from Google's teats, and view more ads.

The idea that you would use your unlimited bandwidth to stream content from your home to wherever you are is abhorrent - where would the ads come from?

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So, who here LURVES Windows Phone? Put your hands up, Brits

Tom 38
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Re: Windows Phone

Windows Phone doesn't crash. It's faster and more reliable than Android and iOS. It also doesn't slow down over time…

Unbiased truths here from the guy named after the OS running on his phone.

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Tom 38
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Re: @GarethPN

If MS had spent their WinPho marketing budget on giving free apps to users, they might have been on to something. I was thinking more like $50 than $5.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: My hand's not up.

TBF - Talking about windows phone 7.5 when 8 is out is like complaining about Gingerbread when Ice cream Sandwich is out.

Most active android devices are still Gingerbread, according to Google.

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Egad! Could Samsung be CHEATING in Galaxy benchmark tests?

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Analogy

That is a shitty analogy. At any point the F1 team can choose to turn up the wick and use the full power of their engines. With the phone, Samsung decide that you can only use the full power of the GPU if you are running benchmarks.

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UK economy to lose £198m if BBC and pals lose EPG slots - Ministry of Fun

Tom 38
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Re: popularity

Yep, there is an HD tab on the Sky EPG. BBC 1 HD is on the third page of results…

Mine was for the cricket, then they got the F1 and I have to keep up the subs all year round :(

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Tom 38
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Re: no-one uses the LCN anyway

One of my decoders puts them in the order it finds muxes while tuning, ignoring the LCN completely

Presumably that doesn't have a Freeview sticker on it then.

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Tom 38
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Re: popularity

It's got fuck all to do with popularity. My old man forked out for a HD TV, a Freesat HD box, but he never ever watches HD content. He mainly watches BBC 1 and 2, which are channels 101 and 102 on Freesat. He never goes beyond the first page to find BBC 1 HD (108) or BBC 2 HD (109). The popular channels are popular because they are on the first page of the EPG, even when better quality equivalents of those channels exist elsewhere in the EPG.

It's even worse for me on Sky. The first channels are 101 and 102, BBC 1 and 2. The HD versions are at 141 and 142, which is blessedly a relief - they used to be 141 and 169 IIRC.

Either way, if you're just paging through the channels, you have to go past 40-50 channels of shite to find it. OK, its not all shite, but it is all add filled till you reach 141.

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Lingering fingerprint fingering fingered in iOS 7 for NEW iPHONE

Tom 38
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Re: Nothing to see here...

It will be an innovation if the damn thing works seamlessly, and doesn't require you to 'scan' your finger along it and fail if you either go too fast, or too slow, or finger too greasy....

I too have had finger print enabled security kit for some time - it's all been shit. If this works, it would be pretty neat.

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