* Posts by batfastad

521 posts • joined 1 Aug 2009

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Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

batfastad
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Bumblebee

Reminds me of this epic thread on a commit... https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee-Old-and-abbandoned/commit/a047be85247755cdbe0acce6f1dafc8beb84f2ac

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GDS builds UNICORN HERDER, plays with Puppets

batfastad
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rvm use build gem bundle install... ARRRGH!!!

There is some good stuff in there, just a shame so much of it is wow, so hip, much Ruby, amaze! Nothing against the language. But from an operations point of view all my experiences of Ruby have been a complete pain in the backend. Probably different if you run Ubuntu Server Tepid Teabag etc in your enterprise though.

Some more stuff here too https://github.com/alphagov but don't expect it to actually, well, work at all ever.

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ONE in A HUNDRED reported bugs exploited, says Cisco

batfastad
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My Annual Report on Cisco

Well my annual report on Cisco goes something like this... Sell kit that's always full of bugs, so you keep paying for support to get software updates to fix the things that supposedly should have worked in the first place. It's the same report as last year, and the last 10 years before that.

Not that I'm bitter at having wasted most of this week dealing with an interoperability issue between minor release versions of iOS.

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Firefox 35 stamps out critical bugs

batfastad
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Re: Firefox stability problems?

The half and half trick, fondly remembered from days spent fixing peoples' Quark XPress.

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batfastad
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Unrelated

Unrelated but I just wish they'd stop tinkering with the UI, then trumpeting as if it's a great revolution in web browser UI, when usually it just looks like Chrome from 3 versions ago.

There's no shame in just saying, "you know what, we absolutely nailed it with Firefox 4, so we're just gonna keep that if it's ok with you?". Don't like it? Change the theme or install some addons to add/remove bits.

Also it seems loads of work goes into the integrated developer tools. I ditched Firebug after Australis arrived because it started to take about 10s to load each time. The FF developer tools are pretty good to be fair. But are they actually needed by 90% of users, probably not. In which case they should still be an addon.

And talking of bloat, a built-in PDF viewer? Written in JS? Give me a break. It's bad enough when Adobe Reader tries to pump itself into your browser. Let alone having JavaScript trying to decode a 50MB 1000+ page PDF without even asking. The answer... pdfjs.disabled;true

The next thing they're going to break in the name of becoming Chrome, is the separate search box. You might need this pref... browser.search.showOneOffButtons

I noticed that a default changed around v32/33 that stopped the DNS suffix being appended to URLs that don't have a domain extension. So if your users find that typing support or intranet into the URL bar ("awesome bar" apparently) thinking that they are going to a web address when it actually ends up googling for it, then you'll need this pref... keyword.enabled;false

I've built up quite a library of these preferences and addons since it started becoming Chrome. Still miles better than Chrome though for power users IMO.

</ramble>

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Samsung's 850 EVO 1TB SSD appears live ... in 3D

batfastad
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SSD

An SSD has got to be the single best upgrade spend I have ever made. Look out for deals though. I doubt most people need higher performance SSDs like the Samsung Pros. The biggest benefit to me is just eliminating the thrashing you invariably get under Windows and even the cheapest SSD improves that massively.

I had a OCZ refurb 100GB which I picked up for £40 a year or so ago. It was SATA II but made such a huge difference, I doubt I was ever near the max of the SATA II interface. Bought a new machine which came with a newer Kingston so the OCZ went into my lab.

Just buy one, any one.

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US and UK declare red-team CYBER WAR – on EACH OTHER

batfastad
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Isn't this sort of thing going to be made illegal? http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/04/life-sentence-cybercrime-queens-speech

Oh yeah, law enforcement and surveillance agencies are above the law.

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PlayStation-processor-powered plutonium probe prepares Pluto pics

batfastad
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Coat

Line profile?

700bps at a distance from the exchange of 3bn miles is impressive compared to our 4Mbps at only 3 miles. Mind you, our latency is better than 4hrs.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

batfastad
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Re: We do not negotiate with terrorists

Also I presume our employees, the chubby blazer-wearing eunuchs in parliament, will still be protected by the Wilson Doctrine? Lucky lucky them who make the rules.

It would be preferable if my communications were public to all nations, not restricted to a particular host state that has legal jurisdiction over me.

Our only hope is that the concepts of nation states, national governments and border restrictions continue to become increasingly irrelevant over the next century. Unrestricted movement of people, money and information throughout the world. Sound good?

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batfastad
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We do not negotiate with terrorists

No, we just bend over. And over time, we become them.

I'll leave my front door open, take all my money in a bag to the treasury and collect my new national workslave number and uniform.

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

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2015 will be the Year of Linux on the, no wait, of the dot-word domain EXPLOSION

batfastad
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Irrelevant

Most people just search for stuff on dogpile, lycos etc now anyway.

The new domains that describe the vague function/activity of the site is not a bad idea though. I've always thought that having the top-level of domains categorised by country, on an internationally connected network that spans borders and governments, was a little strange. ISO language codes may have made a bit more sense.

One thing I do think though is that anyone applying to become a registrar of a new .tld would have to make domains publicly available. Want .google, then you must offer registrations under it. That would ensure that new domains were mainly function/activity/category based rather than corporate brand holding.

I appreciate a good money-making scheme as much as anyone, so I'm not going to blame ICANN for wanting moar. But I would like to know where all the dosh from the non-refundable application fees will go/is going/has gone. I'm guessing that's a substantial windfall over their previous funding.

I presume ICANN were hoping that any mega-globo-corp would panic and buy their .brand. Typically though these things work the other way, since tehre's a high barrier to entry for a .brand it's unlikely squatters will ever buy it. And if they did the mega-globo-corp could just sue the squatters into oblivion. So actually no real point in registering. You see the same with ltd.uk .plc.uk etc, noone bothers to register them because noone else can register them.

</ramble>

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Lollipop licked: KitKat still king in Android land

batfastad
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Re: Anonymous fandroid coward

I bet 90+% of laptops purchased with Windows run the original version they shipped with. There'll certainly be some re-formatting and re-installing the original version. But I don't know many who would bother to buy and install an upgrade to a newer version. Most would just buy a new laptop running the newer version.

With phones it's even more likely people will just buy a new one, typical contract length is what 1.5-2 years. When you've got operator's foot on the upgrade hosepipe that already has the manufacturer's foot on it further up, then it's usually easier to just wait and buy it new. Also, new version of Android with some different eye-candy, would anyone non-technical actually care enough to bother upgrading?

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Pastebin: The remote backdoor server for the cheap and lazy

batfastad
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Re: wp_nonce_once

Part of Wordpress, it's full of dodgy code.

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Google casts about for wireless audio

batfastad
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Lol. The NEET adaptor I bought supports APTX but my phone (Moto G original (which is excellent btw)) doesn't. Still sounds really good without IMO.

When buying new laptops I always format and re-install everything manually. The bluetooth driver package was always the biggest of the lot, often in the 150MB+ range.

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batfastad
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Bluetooth

Bought a bluetooth to optical dongle about a year ago to plug in to my receiver. Works great and sounds great. I'd always totally written bluetooth off as having the sound quality of an underwater potato but things have moved on.

Streaming local media, spotify, google play music etc from phones, tablets and laptop is really good. So much so, the missus actually uses it, consistently and deliberately!

Have never had to re-pair the bluetooth connections to phones/tablets either which means it's really quick to connect and go.

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The weirdly-synched life of the Google Nest household

batfastad
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Solutions

Looking for problems. With some "cloud" marketing guff spaffed on top.

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Revealed: This year's STUDENT RACK WARS winner

batfastad
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Pics or it didn't happen.

Pics or it didn't happen.

And splitting the article over 3 pages with about 4 paragraphs per page is annoying. Bumps up yer ad impressions though I spose.

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GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

batfastad
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Megaphone

Suspected

So what they mean is they can't track *suspected* criminals anymore. Suspected should mean nothing. Anyone could suspect anyone of anything, and say it loudly enough it can become true. I want evidence not presumption and if there's enough evidence of a crime having been committed then it should be trivial to obtain a warrant and poke that under the noses of communications providers.

They overstepped the limits of the legal framework, just like the baddies. And they know it.

Normal law-abiding peons and suspected criminals/transvestites/activists/terrorists/ghosts/aliens/jobsworth civil servants have got themselves their very own technological equivalent of the Wilson Doctrine. Seems only fair to me, even if I don't like the fact that bad people do bad things. Hurrah for normal law-abiding peons and suspected criminals/transvestites/activists/terrorists/ghosts/aliens/jobsworth civil servants everywhere!

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STAY AWAY: Popular Tor exit relays look raided

batfastad
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Re: If you've nothing to hide ...

Yep, I use Tor every so often for mundanely pointless browsing.

But remember kids, please don't pull your t0rrents of "Miss Congeniality Cruise Control 2 Return Of The King" or any other generic Holywood tripe down through it.

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Staples comes clean: 1+ million bank cards at risk after hack

batfastad
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Norks

Staples CIO: "It's dem pesky North Koreuns again. There are genwine US lives at risk if we can't sell stationary to US citizens. So Obama, can u nuke them for us plz? Thx"

Seriously though, how is the US so backward when it comes to buying things in shops?

I've never been a huge fan of chip and pin because it's easier to give someone a kicking to get their pin and withdraw a bunch cash. At least forging a signature in a shop requires a vague amount of practice. The only reason I can think of is to place the burden of security (and blame for fraud) onto the account holder. Also pin codes, only 4 digits!?

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Sony sued by ex-staff over daft security, leaked privates

batfastad
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Idiots

Is it just me who thinks it's insane to make a film about killing the current living premier of another country, even if you do think that country/premier is a joke?

If there was a film produced about the assassination of Obama, you would expect things to go very bomby (well, whingey) very quickly.

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batfastad
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Re: 12 years gone from the company, and they still have all his details...

Err most companies need to keep ex-employee records for pension & tax purposes.

Fair enough. But why most and not all companies? What's the criteria that state whether a company does or does to keep these records on ex-employees?

I doubt that indefinite storage of ex-employee pension/tax records is a legal requirement, more of a "nice to have" from the company's perspective. And I'm not sure when "nice to have" trumps EU data protection.

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Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

batfastad
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Re: IPv6

"Really? And who will pay for the lines that the ADSL is carried on, then. Or will tbe bits arrive by magic through the ether?"

The same people who pay for health, education and welfare. Us, me, you. Having access to half-decent healthcare is a good thing. Having access to half-decent broadband is also a good thing IMO, a virtually unlimited source of learning and opportunities (ok so pr4wnz, t0rrentz etc come with it too, big deal).

Line rental is usually higher than the cost of ADSL broadband these days. The only reason I have a landline is to get ADSL, it hasn't had a phone plugged in for 5+ years. Am I the only one? I would be this is a significant barrier for people on low/no income that could be sorted quite easily if the regulator had the balls to put the squeeze on the incumbent national telco.

Chop a couple of nuclear subs from the offence budget or scrap the building of a 20% faster trainset to pay for it. Or flogging some unused Gov IPv4 address space, as hinted to the article.

I am assuming that you give a fsck about people who are not as fortunate as yourself. I understand that this is often a false assumption.

Nothing to do with IPv6 and for that I apologise.

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batfastad
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Re: IPv6

@Chewi Actually had that article sat in my RSS for a month or so now so finally got around to reading it. Did not know about that. Nice one, cheers!

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batfastad
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Black Helicopters

IPv6

OFCOM sells an unused IPv4 block. Re-invests profits into cheaper universal broadband access by mandating that BT offer ADSL without landline line rental charges (digital nation etc)!

No wait, I got that wrong... Re-invests profits into swanky Southbank office space.

Did I hear something about the Gov wanting ISPs (and all websites) to provide them with real-time logs so they can surveil by IP address? Pretty difficult to tie an end user or device to an IPv4 address. IPv6 however... oh I see!

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REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

batfastad
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MP

The MP says "Disruption on this scale is simply unacceptable".

WTF? The Transport Secretary would prefer everything just carried on as normal during a major systems failure? Yeah just carry on launching passengers into the sky, it'll be fine!

Honestly, where do they get these people!

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A nation of CODERS? Yes, says UK.gov, and have some cash to do it

batfastad
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Code-As-A-Sport

Do computers rather than sportings because, well, we privatised all the sports facilities so they're too damn expensive to use. We'll call it "Code-As-A-Sport". There, you can now teach it in PE.

Skip teaching fundamental maths, algebra and science, just do some generic coding will you? We really need an army of smug hipster web developers brandishing Macs and Adobe DreamWetter.

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Shhhhh! It's a Swiss Sunday shutdown. Kill the lawnmower, punish the kids with CHEESE

batfastad
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Re: Sunday shutdown...

@ Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen

"Would buy again." Made me lol!

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Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues

batfastad
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Unlimited broadbandings

Over-selling over their over-selling thresholds are they?

Nah, unlimited innit.

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What a pity: Rollout of hated UK smart meters delayed again

batfastad
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Baronesses aren't qualified

Are Baron(s|esses) qualified to make these decisions?

"I am determined to bring the benefits of smart meters to GB consumers"

Well Baroness Vermin can pay for them herself then, if she's determined to ignore the cost-benefit analysis which claims only a 2% saving.

A 2% saving on bills that will keep increasing by >10% because of successive governments' obsession with windy energy and refusal to build any nuclear in the last 20 years.

I can never understand how we have money for this nonsense, yet there are people who sleep in cardboard boxes.

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Squashed bug opened EVERY PayPal account to hijacking

batfastad
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"A PayPal spokesperson confirmed the flaw to Vulture South adding it had no evidence accounts had been compromised."

No evidence because the way PayPal withdraws money and freezes accounts with no justification looks exactly like criminal activity, so there's no way to differentiate.

On another note, one thing that's always concerned me about PayPal is that they store your login e-mail in a cookie even when you've signed out. Fair enough have a mechanism of remembering a session to auto login. Also then pre-populating the e-mail address from the database using the session ID even when the user's logged out. But I've always worked on the basis that you should never store any part of user's credentials anywhere outside of your own database. Certainly not on a cookie on a user's machine. And certainly not for the secure login of a financial institution. But that's none of my business.

I don't know anything about security for the financial services sector so I can only assume the security requirements are more lenient than I'm used to.

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Weather Channel forecast: Bleak, with prolonged XSS

batfastad
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Re: Drupal

Drupal's a dog.

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batfastad
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Drupal

And when they say "highest trafficked Drupal site in existence" what they actually mean is it uses Drupal to generate static HTML. All user requests are served by the most excellent Varnish cache, as are most sites that use Drupal.

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Sony employees face 'weeks of pen and paper' after crippling network hack

batfastad
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Restructuring

Normally internal restructuring costs £$€ in consultants and redundencies. This hack might do the job for alot less. Which surely Sony will be happy about as aren't they basically going broke in an agonisingly slow manner?

A mid-manager pipes up, I know what will save us, a new proprietary memory card format! Also that useful functionality in product X? Lets kill it off in the next firmware.

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Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

batfastad
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Re: VLC

MPC-HC is great as well. I ran that on my HTPC, until that became OpenELEC. And ran it on my laptop, until that became Linux.

But the fact you don't have to dig out some codec pack always makes VLC a good bet for computers that come under the "family tech support" contract I seem to have signed up to.

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batfastad
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My essentials...

7zip, Notepad++, VLC, Irfanview and SumatraPDF

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Too 4K-ing expensive? Five full HD laptops for work and play

batfastad
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1366x768

1366x768 was truly horrible. Over 10 years ago I had an old Asus which had 1680x1050 and it was awesome. Ever since then trying to find something that wasn't 1366x768 at my "disposable" price point of £500-£700 has been basically impossible. I tend not to spend much more than that on a laptop since they get well-travelled and tend to die after a couple of years of airports and events.

Recently bought a unit from PCspecialist.co.uk for £550 and it's been doing the job nicely for a few months now. Didn't have to fork out for a Windows that I'm never going to use either.

I'll say thank you to Apple for giving other manufacturers a kick up the a*se with regards to building laptops with higher resolution screens.

I love being able to cram more windows, text, web pages etc onto a single screen view. I don't want higher resolution bouncy icons that end up being the same physical size on the 15" panel though, I think the marketing term for that is HIDPIDIIPIDDIIDPPI or something.

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Bittorrent wants to sink Dropbox with Sync 2.0

batfastad
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Open

I really like BT Sync. It works really well for syncing 50GB design files around a team of 10 remote workers, with a backup server also receiving all the data. I also use it for syncing personal stuff between a few different devices.

But I am also wary of the fact that it's not open source. I'd chip in to a kickstarter for a completely open source equivalent. Don't have the time to do anything about it myself though.

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Microsoft's Azure goes TITSUP PLANET-WIDE AGAIN in cloud FAIL

batfastad
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I wouldn't be surprised if they are actually using their own software to power their cloud. Would MS be that insane? A gigantic AD/Group Policy/DNS/Exchange infrastructure? What could go wrong!

They should probably think about setting up isolated availability zones.

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London police chief: City bankers, prepare for a terrorist cyber attack. Again

batfastad
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EVERYONE BE AFRAID...

EVERYONE BE AFRAID... WE WILL PROTECT YOU!

Oh actually, no we won't. We can't really. Sort yourselves out, especially you city bankers, you're very important to us. Peons and the hoi polloi, not so much. We don't need to spend all that tax dosh on offence/defence and anti-terror after all! But we'll keep the budget thx.

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Are MPs smarter than 5-year-olds? We'll soon find out at coding school – Berners-Lee

batfastad
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Doubt it

Surely being an MP is classed as "unskilled labour", given that you don't need academic or vocational qualifications, or even to know vaguely what you're talking about as a cabinet minister, in order to apply to be one. That's why the pay is so sh*t. Oh wait...

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Fasthosts goes titsup, blames DNS blunder

batfastad
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Loss of service

I've lost service with Fasthosts many times with many clients, permanently, and always with great success!

They are one of those shoddy companies that really should have gone out of business by now. Hopefully it won't be too much longer.

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Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

batfastad
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Have an upvote for name-checking Xilo.

Moved to them just after Be started pushing people to Sky, and couldn't be happier. Was using O2 Wholesale through Xilo so basically the same connection as I had on Be. Then O2 Wholesale was sold off so migrates to TalkTalk Wholesale and still happy. Central London and no FTTC when all that happened, so sticking with FTTE (fibre to the exchange (ADSL)).

Xilo are just resellers but their customer service is outstanding... Just like Be.

Plus all the net nanny stuff like Camron's national censorship filter and blocking of the obvious t*rrent trackers is disabled.

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Microsoft's Lync becomes 'Skype for Business'

batfastad
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Good news!

This is good news. I really like using desktop applications that have adverts pumped into them.

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Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu

batfastad
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Coat

Virgin?

The clue is in their name.

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We're doing great, say dot-London chiefs ... Unfortunately, few agree

batfastad
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ldn

I might have been more tempted if it was shorter like .ldn. Also I couldn't register my name or where I lived because they were premium. Some availability checkers said available (123-reg... Urrrrg) but always checking with the registry resulted in "premium". Forget it.

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Pop starlet Taylor Swift DUMPS Spotify: It’s not me, it’s you

batfastad
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Re: Eh?

Woah, I have truly incurred the wrath of Taylor Swift's fanbase here on LeReg!

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batfastad
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Eh?

"Rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free."

I agree with Taylor Swift (whatever one of those is). I would like to see her music be infinitely valuable, by being so rare that it doesn't actually exist outside of her tiny little mind.

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Canonical pushes LXD, its new mysterious drug for Linux containers

batfastad
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CoreOS

I really fancy giving CoreOS a spin if I ever get any time... https://coreos.com

That is all.

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