* Posts by batfastad

589 posts • joined 1 Aug 2009

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The Breakfast (Table) of Champions: Micro Machines

batfastad
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SNES

SNES + this + 4 player adaptor + 3 other mates = great times!

See also super off road on the SNES. The game that is impossible to complete because it seemingly never ends.

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Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

batfastad
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Overpaid

Well I've massively overpaid on stamp duty since that law changed recently. And the personal allowance has increased over the last 15 years of my working life so presume my old tax returns are being automatically re-assessed according to current legislation and my refund is in the post?

Nope. There's only ever one winner.

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batfastad
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Fair share?

So in law, what is a fair share? It seems like most people here seem to think that fair share should actually be more than the amount that someone is legally liable to pay. I'd like to know how many people make additional voluntary donations to HMRC.gov.uk over and above their legal minimum requirement to fulfil their fair share.

Loopholes exist. The people who are responsible for the loopholes should do their job and close them, not whinge about people using them.

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Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

batfastad
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Meh

Apps

Meh.

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Five data centres you can't live without

batfastad
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Joke

Re: El-Reg ?

The internet circa 2002.

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Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

batfastad
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Re: Look ma, we've reduced head count!

Yup exactly. What an insane way to run a business. But hey, it's a gov dept, its not my money. Oh wait, it blinking well is!

As a contractor I suppose I'll just make sure I find a gov contract with an insane day rate somewhere. Oh there's one over there, great, that was easy!

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batfastad
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Look ma, we've reduced head count!

Attn senior management... I don't think it counts as downsizing if you kill off permanents and immediately replace them with contractors at 4x the price.

But hey, I ain't complaining with that logic ;)

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SourceForge staggers to feet after lengthy STORAGE FAIL outage

batfastad
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Marketing

It tells you something about a site's irrelevance when a marketing dept request a 4 day outage to try and drum up some publicity. Oh... you mean... 4 days? For real? Fail.

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Home Office kept schtum on more than 30 data breaches last year

batfastad
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Data breach...

Or as it's also known... GCHQ. Saves all those legal fees for all those secret lawyers and secret judges to sit in secret inquiries/trials anyway. Just leave a USB on the tube.

Also El Reg, you owe me a new laptop. Every time I see a picture of that witch I have an uncontrollable urge to punch the screen.*

* Not advocating violence towards females btw. Just horrible witches that stand for everything I hate about GB.Plc.Uk.Gov.London and all of the aftermath of Tone Blair's New Labour Marketing Company "Hate+Fear", now based in the hip hate/fear startup hub of his massive estate in Tuscany. **

** Not sure where I was going with that but sounds good enough for a Reg comment after a few pints.

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Firefox to speed up dev cycle, go multi-process, rip and replace UI – soon

batfastad
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There is no data...

... Only XUL!*

I started mucking about with firefox extension development several years ago and built some simple forms UIs. I always thought XUL was actually not that far away from being a bit of a revelation for remote application interfaces. When I look at corporate intranets and internal web applications, typically they are aweful. Let's face it, HTML sucks for application UI. Even HTML 5 and the associated DOM/JS APIs that keep getting squirted about still doesn't quite match a native-feel forms UI.

I thought the idea of serving up XUL over HTTP with all the usual POST/GET/PUT/DELETE etc could have been a pretty powerful combination. I remember someone had created a XUL interface to Amazon.com (albeit limited to just browsing/searching) using Amazon public APIs and it was interesting to see actually how a traditional "forms" based UI kicks the pants off HTML+images+endless gubbins. Unfortunately the Moz devs I quizzed in #xul seemed intent on destroying that madness and remote XUL support was killed off. So my dreams of XUL+Firefox Prism (kiosk) applications was crushed.

* https://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul

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North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

batfastad
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Pint

Re: Another scare tactic to charge more money

This is so insane that it can't be serious. Or maybe someone's just had too many ----------->

It must be one hell of a trip in your mind sir! Have an upvote.

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batfastad
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Re: IP6 - we still don't need it.

made me lol

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batfastad
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Re: 2 things wrong with IPV6

"As for it being too big, the idea is to avoid having to go through the same exercise again down the road. 128 bits should if pressed suffice to connect every last thing in the known universe"

Not up on these things for a while (naughty me) but didn't I see that subscribers are dished out /48s or /32s of IPv6? Might not be as unlimited* as people think?

* fair usage applies

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PowerShell for Office 365 powers on

batfastad
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News?

We migrated from on-premise Exchange to Office365 about 18 months ago (turning off our old Exchange server was a magical moment). We've got all manner of PowerShell commands for setting up new mailboxes, importing, exporting, allocating licenses etc. Are you sure this is new?

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Smart meters set to cost Blighty as much as replacing Trident

batfastad
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Noses in troughs

Yet there are still people sleeping in cardboard boxes. What a country.

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Drupal flicks fix to nix OpenID admin account hijack hole

batfastad
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Re: Drupal is

In our testing stock Drupal (with APC and Drupal caching) couldn't match an old fully-loaded Joomla (without APC). When we added APC to Joomla it was game over.

Please note that I don't like Joomla either, I think all CMSs are a pile of rubbish. But at one site I ended up with APC, Drupal caching, memcached and even then they could only get about 30 req/s.

In the end, I found the best way to get performance out of Drupal was to not use Drupal. And run Varnish on top. Wooooosh! :)

Don't even get me started on PHP code being stored in the database and eval()'ed out. That is insanity.

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batfastad
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Drupal is

... a pile of cr4p. Unfortunately it's the most flexible pile of cr4p there is in the open source CMS world, so I end up seeing it all over the place.

I've seen 2,000 DB queries per request on some pages with bloat loads of modules/views/whatevers. Scalable.

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Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

batfastad
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Nice

I have an HTPC under my TV but all media stuff has been switched over to a RaspberryPi+OpenElec, which does most of the job perfectly.

The old Atom in the HTPC is starting to struggle with modern sites though and there is one thing that keeps it in service... Microsoft Effing Silverlight. No actually 2 things, Microsoft Effing Skype.

I considered buying a new TV, one of those Samsung spyware ones which apparently have Skype, if you're willing to pay £60 for the official USB web cam accessory. Has all the Netflix, iPlayer apps built-in as well... until Samsung get bored of providing updates for whatever TV model I bought anyway.

This does look good but the NUCs are expensive. Perfect for our meeting rooms at work perhaps.

For my use something like the Zotac Zbox Pico is about 1/3rd of the price and will be more than adequate for an always-on Skype kiosk.

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'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

batfastad
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Risks lives

Risked lives?

So does bombing the fsck out of people and nuclear submarines. GovTards seem to be very much pro those.

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Nosy Brit cops demand access to comms data EVERY TWO MINUTES

batfastad
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D'you want a warrant with that?

Everyone knows that only islamo-peado-terrierists use @btinternet.com e-mail addresses.

And the rozzers/secret rozzers want more power?

Are we there yet? I want to get out.

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SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware

batfastad
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I sort of agree. It's the Overwrite rather than Save that got me at first. Even though you have overwritten the file, you still get prompted that changes are going to be discarded when you close.

Am I that bothered? Nah, I got on with my life.

GIMP is a superb bit of software, along with Inkscape and Scribus. They have been in my workflow for such a long time now and they enabled me to switch to Linux on my desktop a few years ago.

The only thing I end up firing up my old copy of CS2 for is CMYK in Potatoshop and Acrobat Pro/Distiller. There's no open source equivalent for heavy duty PDF manipulation. I'd chip in to a kickstarter big-style to get CMYK into GIMP and it will happen eventually, something about integrating the GEGL library or something last time I looked into it. They get a bit tetchy if you ask about CMYK in IRC :)

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Stripped to the core and full of Xfce: Xubuntu Linux loses it

batfastad
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XFCE

Xubuntu is good. Been the primary OS on my laptop for a couple of years now. Was a Mint+XFCE before that but switched to Xubuntu for a reason I can't now remember.

XFCE does exactly what I want from a desktop environment: Stays out of the way, fast without unnecessary bouncy icons and other Fisher Price effects, allows for loads of customisation, and lets me use the actual desktop instead of having a glorious empty unusable space as seems to be the fashion

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What the BLEEP? BitTorrent's secure messaging app arrives

batfastad
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Black Helicopters

Hey

Hey everyone, here's a new secure messaging app. Can everyone switch to it for us please? No you can't read the code.

And while you're at it, do us a favour and store all your passwords on lastpass for us will you?

Cheers

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Spotify springs bloody leak as losses grow to $197m – report

batfastad
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Paid subscribers?

I wonder how many of paid subscribers only signed up because of the 99p for 3 month deal just before Christmas. I did and guess what, I let it rot. It's a good service but I just didn't use it enough to justify a tenner a month. A fiver? Perhaps. But as it goes the free version is more than adequate for the limited amount of time I listen to any of the music that is offered by Spotify.

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Round Two in Sky vs Skype trademark scrap goes to Murdoch's men

batfastad
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Confusing?

I don't know about anyone else but I signed up to Sky because of their marketing. It's everywhere, every time I look up, above me all the time. Fscking Murdoch can take his fscking sky and shove it.

Wait, what, you mean... the atmosphere is not owned by Sky Plc despite having the word "sky" in it? Oh I see, solicitors found prior art in this case.

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Low price, big power: Virtual Private Server picks for power nerds

batfastad
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Re: Excuse my ignorance please

Well AWS offers a whole raft of services that generic cheapo VPS providers and competing public clouds from MS and Google simply don't offer (though MS and Google keep playing catch-up). Object storage, managed NFS, Solr search, load balancers, DNS, databases etc

But in terms of simple compute+disk, i.e. a VM, I would say the reason many would use a VPS instead would be price. Even the smallest Amazon instance is usually more expensive than some of the offerings from DigitalOcean etc. On AWS a t1.micro "on demand" instance plus a 20GB EBS volume will run to $29 per month (unless you reserve for 1+ years which brings the monthly cost down).

An advantage of using AWS though is their API. We spin up additional instances when req/s through our load balancers starts rising and then spin instances down during quieter times. We have several reasonably large internal applications which are powered up on demand by users through a dashboard on the intranet etc. As yet I don't think DigitalOcean, Linode etc have such an expansive API or well-worn SDKs to rival AWS.

Even though we use AWS heavily, we make sure our compute workload can be easily spun up with any other generic provider. We can route some applications to pre-configured environments with other providers or our own racks if needed.

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batfastad
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Lowendbox

Worth having a look at lowendbox.com

I've worked with a few "companies" that have absolutely minimal budget so have bounced around quite a few of these cheap VPS providers. Experience on the whole is largely very good. Main uses... DNS, distributed mail relay clusters, reverse proxy caches, database replicas, backup boxes, and generally being able to distribute workloads across several providers.

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High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

batfastad
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Latency

The thing that really surprised me about homeplug was the latency. Granted I've got a pair of budget Trendnet devices, not sure which gen, maybe 200mbps. Ping to the router through homeplug is about 10ms, which is the same as pinging one of my servers in a DC from my router (ADSL). Compared to less than 1ms over Wifi.

It's a new-build flat, which I know doesn't guarantee good wiring. I don't think the brand of adaptor or the homeplug standard version would make too much difference to this though, I'm assuming the latency is simply down to the conversion/transmission protocol. Anyone able to elaborate?

I'm not dissing homeplug in the slightest, it just works and blows my mind really. But I was just surprised at this level of latency.

Unless I've just got duff homeplugs and other people get lower latency?

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Costa Coffee Club members wake up and smell the data breach

batfastad
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Details

Do people actually give correct details to these things?

They can have my spamalot Gmail address. But other than that I am Mr A Partridge, 10 King Road, Ipswich.

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Web advertising giant (Google) to spew ads over web – using HTTPS

batfastad
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Eh?

All our sites are forced-HTTPS and have DFP ads, served over HTTPS. Use a scheme-relative URL... //www.googletagservices.com/blah to load the initial JS and the rest of it is apparently handled. We've been running it that was for quite a few years IIRC.

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Chrome 42 breaks vSphere web client thanks to ye olde NPAPI

batfastad
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Browser plugin required?

Fail.

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30 per cent of servers, storage and switches now sold to clouds

batfastad
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Hello darkness my old friend

Ah yes, the default HTML table styling, how I have missed thee!

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It's 2015 and a RICH TEXT FILE or a HTTP request can own your Windows machine

batfastad
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Re: Flash Player - or a Prayer?

@elDog Ditch that Foxit adware... Check out SumatraPDF :)

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Google sticks anti-SQL injection vaccine into MySQL MariaDB fork

batfastad
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Pls paste into El Reg CMS

TRUNCATE TABLE `el_reg_authors`;

DELETE FROM `articles` WHERE `copy_pasted`=1 OR `proof_read` IS NULL;

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Intel shows Google how to stick it real good

batfastad
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Re: Hello darkness my old friend

Pure unadulterated HTML... table cellspacing="0" border="1"

Party like it's 1999 dudes.

Please add a simple TABLE { border-collapse:collapse; } into your CSS, I beg you.

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batfastad
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Hello darkness my old friend

Ah yes, the default HTML table styling, how I have missed thee!

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Torvalds' temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

batfastad
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Good!

Long time user of XFCE, love it. Used to be Mint+XFCE, now Xubuntu, for a couple of minor reasons.

MATE and Cinnamon are decent too though to be fair.

It does what it's meant to. A menu. A status bar. An actual usable desktop. And plenty of customisation within that.

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Crack security team finishes TrueCrypt audit – and the results are in

batfastad
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Audit

Can you trust it again now then? Depends who did the audit I suppose. I mean who really did the audit.

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

batfastad
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The same kbps as a potato

Every single time I have tried DAB it has ended up sounding no better than a potato. Underwater.

The only time I ever listen to radio is TMS on LW, or 5 live MW in the car, which are both equally as capable of sounding like a potato underwater at times. But I accept potato sound quality because it's old tech that's universal, and my portable radio easily fits in a pocket and can do an entire winter test match series on a single pair of AAAs.

I expect much much better from DAB radios that are typically larger, heavier, more expensive and either require mains power or a daily feed of batteries/charging.

Happy to be proven wrong though if anyone can find me a DAB radio that has a mass equal to or less than 150g, dimensions equal to or less than 7cm x 10cm x 3cm, and can run for a week non-stop on a pair of AAAs. Or that works when not driving in perfect concentric circles around the nearest transmitter.

Digital TV works because its consumption happens through a stationary receiver/aerial. Radio on the other hand, less so, alot less.

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Silent server monitoring: A neat little cure that doesn't kill the patient

batfastad
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Nagios

Zabbix, munin, icinga, zenoss... yet everyone always ends up back at Nagios.

Pretty happy with Graphite for metrics though, with Grafana for fancy dashboards.

We all know Nagios sucks. But it's the de-facto standard of sucking.

Having said that, I have been impressed by Zabbix but adding a new Nagios check for anything is so simple. Using Puppet makes it even easier to deploy custom checks en-masse.

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

batfastad
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Re: Irrelevant

I should follow up by adding that despite my attitude towards politics in this country and politicians in general, I will still toddle down to the ballot box and make the mark of the illiterate in a box on the form. I will get a warm feeling of enfranchisement in a happy utopia for all of about 30 seconds. Before stepping back out onto a street covered with vomit and chicken bones*.

*Said in jest of course. I realise that by living in the UK I have truly won the lottery of life compared to the hell that most of the world's population have to get through. If I'm really lucky maybe there'll be a pigeon eating the chicken bone, that is a sight to behold!

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Delving into Office 2016: Microsoft goes public with new preview

batfastad
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Speed

Does it load faster than the Office XP that I'm still rocking?

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Vince Cable opens hipster-friendly London tech creche

batfastad
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Phew!

Thank god. More money for London will fix the rest of the country in no time!

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Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

batfastad
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Hmmm

Itemised invoice please.

Yours faithfully

The Electorate

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Cisco posts kit to empty houses to dodge NSA chop shops

batfastad
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Support

It's largely irrelevant anyway. Many sites I visit have Cisco gear that hasn't been updated since it was originally installed and the support has lapsed meaning you can't get the newer code anyway. Open season because of the unique way Cisco stuff seems to leave the factory full of bugs.

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Hackable media box based on the Raspberry Pi compute module: Five Ninjas Slice

batfastad
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Re: Ethernet

Have a look at the Beaglebone Black

EDIT: Actually don't... that's not what I was looking for

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batfastad
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Re: An alternative

Nice tip on the plusberry!

I've been looking for a decent Pi case for ages. The way the wires sprout out of all sides is a bit annoying and having one with an integrated iR receiver would be decent. Like you I've fudged it with lego for now.

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UK says comms metadata can kill personal privacy

batfastad
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Hello old friend

Ah yes, the default HTML table styling, how I have missed thee!

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Ark scoops £700m to host ALL UK.gov's data centre needs

batfastad
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GovCloud

Sounds like "Baroness Manningham-Buller, DCB, life peer in the House of Lords and former director general of the Security Service (MI5)" has got the hang of that GovCloud procurement framework perfectly!

Remember GovCloud has the word "cloud" in it. A new-fangled word... same old sh*t.

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batfastad
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Re: Well

Was thinking the same. Until I got to "Non-executive directors on the firm's board include Baroness Manningham-Buller, DCB, life peer in the House of Lords and former director general of the Security Service (MI5)".

So it seems the best way of winning Gov business still is to have a "Baroness Manningham-Buller" on your board. Anyone aware of any channel suppliers for those and how are they deployed?

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