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* Posts by nematoad

392 posts • joined 17 Sep 2009

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IBM was wrong to force UK workers off final salary pensions – judge

nematoad
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Re: Read between the lines

"I think their prime duty is to act within the law, which a lot of them seem to forget."

No, the real problem is which country's law applies.

In this case it would appear that those responsible forgot that they were dealing with a work-force based in the UK and treated them as if they were in the US.

A common mistake made by many Americans, they seem unable to realise that laws differ and that laws of the USA are not universal.

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Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

nematoad
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Re: Windows 8 was built for one reason only

I think that Canonical have more or less beaten you to it on that idea.

Just take a look at the Distrowatch hit page rankings to see how well that has worked out.

http://distrowatch.com/

Remember, Ubuntu was *the* most popular distro until that Unity nonsense was rolled out.

Lead balloons, both MS and Canonical have managed to launch one of these.

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Microsoft in OPEN-SOURCE .Net love-in with new foundation

nematoad
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Hmm

"...an independent group [that] will include representatives from Microsoft Open Technologies and Redmond's .Net development team, along with Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaza".

Doesn't look very independent to me.

Let's see:

A company representative, a company representative and a MS shill.

Nope, just a blind to fool the naive and unwary.

At least de Icaza had the courtesy to use a Mac and not a Linux box to demonstrate his latest Trojan Horse.

As the old saying goes: "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."

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Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

nematoad
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Nice to see that our money is being spent wisely. Not

If anyone had shown this level of inertia, sloth and general incompetence in the private sector they would rightly be out on their ear.

What is it that insulates the civil servants of this country from the consequences of their (in)action?

Of course, the government is ultimately responsible, but these clowns are supposed to be there to give "expert" advice.

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MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

nematoad
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Headmaster

Re: Incumbent get more cash from incumbent fund

"As BT inherited it's infrastructure, it also inherited large swaves of the country that will never get BB no matter what the Gov say."

Spelling!

Should be swathes.

Not even sure it's the right word.

From wordnic:

swathe (swŏþ, swôþ, swāþ)

v. To wrap or bind with or as if with bandages.

v. To enfold or constrict.

n. A wrapping, binding, or bandage.

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Dropbox nukes bloke's file share in DMCA brouhaha – then admits it made a 'HASH OF IT'

nematoad
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Windows

Re: well personally

"I am certain you use Linux as you are clearly out of touch with the reality of the real world"

Well all I can say is that if Windows 8 represents the real world, then you are welcome to it.

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US to strengthen privacy rights for Euro bods' personal data transfers

nematoad
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Too little too late.

1) "... to ensure data protection and enable trade through increased transparency, effective enforcement and legal certainty when data is transferred for commercial purposes,"

This should have been done in the first place, and it is a bit too late to start thinking about such things now.

2) Given that the UK is part of the EU and thus comes under the regulations, the fact that Tempora and other programmes have been run surely points out the fact that the security organisations don't give a damn about what is legal and what is not. The only thing that matters to them is whether they can do it without being caught.

3) With all of the revelations from Snowden would you really trust any of these characters do abide by any agreement made? If it didn't work the first time why should it work now?

No, this is just another attempt to pull the wool over our eyes with meaningless and worthless promises.

"There, there, it's all better now."

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Spooks vs boffins: MIT bods say they've created PRISM-proof encryption

nematoad
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Return of the Jedi.

Yes!

This is what we need to fight back against all those who consider your data fair game for their own purposes. A pity this won't affect the likes of Facebook though.

I was praying that the smart people outside the security organisations would be as angry as a lot of people here on El Reg and started to push back. And now it has started.

I do have a worry though. Will the likes of NSA and GCHQ etc. be content to let this happen? Possibly not, and any researchers in this field would be wise to watch their back closely. We are of course up against organisation whose raison d'etre is to secretly manipulate and interfere with what they perceive as threats, often not to the country which they are supposed to be protecting, but themselves.

Still it's a start.

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NSA 'hunted sysadmins' to find CAT PHOTOS, high-level passwords

nematoad
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Re: The way these people think.

"And is any top-flight IT bod any different?"

No, probably not. I certainly wasn't when I was doing desktop support. The difference being when I was doing a visit I was all too aware that my problem solving had a human element to it, usually an irate manager or process working glaring at me asking when they could get back to work.

These analysts on the other hand seem to see their "targets" as abstract entities with no human association. Thus my description of them as "sociopaths", this being one of the defining characteristics of such a personality.

Puzzle solving is one thing. Focus on that alone with no appreciation of any consequences to the other party, quite another. But as they are probably not "US persons" it might not matter even if they did think about the human being on the receiving end of their efforts. Let's face it, anyone not such a "US person" is, as far as the US Government is concerned, not blessed with the human rights they alone are entitled to.

The biggest problem you highlight is oversight. I agree with you there, the authorities are failing miserably. It could be that they are unaware of just what is going on or they don't care so long as they get what they want from such organisations.

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nematoad
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The way these people think.

Reading through the original document:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/03/20/hunt-sys-admins/

A thought strikes me.

The way that the writer describes how he managed to break into the Kenyan sysadmin's account reads like a "walkthrough" in a computer game. With no apparent concept of the ethical consequences for this, all the writer seems to be interested in is solving the puzzle. They seem to have no appreciation that this is *NOT* a game but real life.

This got me thinking about the mind-set of the people involved in this. They seem to be divorced from the real world in as much as they do not regard the people they are targeting as actual human beings, no, all these targets are is "a means to an end". They are focused on puzzle solving to the exclusion of everything else, in other words, the end justifies the means. And where have we heard that before? They seem to enjoy working with "sooper sekrit stuff" and regard having this access as a sign that they are better than outsiders. They are arrogant and have a high self-regard.

Finally, thinking about all this, I wondered how the people working at NSA, GCHQ etc. could be described.

All I could come up with was "sociopath".

This post is already too long so I will include a couple of the sites I checked to see if what I thought sociopath meant was the proper one.

See: http://www.naturalnews.com/036112_sociopaths_cults_influence.html

http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

Personally I think the second sums up my impression of these characters pretty well.

One final quote from the leaked document.

"We can't collect everything all the time."

Oh, but I bet that they wish that they could.

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nematoad
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Happy

The truth at last?

“My end target is the extremist/terrorist or government official..."

So perhaps now we know who the security apparat really regard as their enemies.

Either group could potentially threaten their cosy little world. One by blowing things up, the other by finding what is really going on at the likes of NSA or GCHQ.

Priceless.

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US govt: You, ICANN. YOU can run the internet. We quit

nematoad
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Yeah, cron, the saviour of the universe!

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Facebook's Zuckerberg buttonholes Obama, rages against NSA dragnet spying

nematoad
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A translation

""I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future"

Or in other words "How dare you spy on these people, this is my job."

Zucks angry not because of the spying, it's because he might lose a bit of cash.

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Reporters without Borders confirms, yes, lots of nations are spying on their citizens

nematoad
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Enough talking, already.

It's time to stop talking and start doing something about this nonsense.

We need to mobilise the resources of the FLOSS community and develop means by which we can shield ourselves from the malignant forces at work. i.e NSA and GCHQ. Yes, they may say it is for our own good and is done within the law, but proof of the first is sorely lacking and as they are the ones framing the laws, naturally what they do is legal. Not nice, ethical or right, just legal.

The politicians will not help, certainly the organisations involved will use every means to stymie efforts to give us back our privacy. No, we have got to do this for ourselves.

If we can devise ways of making encryption less of a hassle to use, get it so that everything is encrypted by default and let people know that it is available, then we will be going some way towards reining in those that threaten us.

Personally I use all tools available to me, TOR, TAILS, HTTPS Everywhere, GPG and so on, but I, like many of you, are in a privileged position. We know whats what and how to do this, others do not and for their sake we need to make encryption painless and invisible.

We have no-one to turn to for help so we will have to do this for ourselves, and everyone else.

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NSA's TURBINE robot can pump 'malware into MILLIONS of PCs'

nematoad
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Re: So now they are impersonating Facebook...

It doesn't matter. Which ever one you use will spy on you.

It's a matter of who gets the benefit.

(Hint: it's not you.)

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nematoad
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Unhappy

"Art Coviello calling for an international moratorium on attack code before the situation gets out of control"

Sorry to break it to you Mr. Coviello but it's already out of control.

What we need are not calls for the stable door to be bolted, but for you and others in a similar position to get off your backsides and start working out ways to beat these bastards or at the least make it so expensive that they become a little more discriminating on who they are digitally assaulting.

From your comment it would appear that you have not been keeping up with the news lately.

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Hacking Team snoopware found on US servers

nematoad
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Happy

Hah!

The biter bit.

Should not of happened of course but if it did I can't think of a better country to have it happen to.

Better get the UK data centres disinfected whilst you're at it.

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CIA snoops snooped on Senate to spy spy torture report – report

nematoad
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WTF?

Tail wagging the dog.

"The CIA allegedly insisted that Senate committee staff and members could only review classified cables at a secure facility in Northern Virginia"

This raises the question of who runs the USA. Congress or the CIA and other security units.

These people need to be whipped back into line and told in no uncertain terms that they are the servants and not the masters.

The most troubling thing to me is that we know some of what goes on in the US but have no idea who is running the UK. The elected government, however ineffective, or the likes of MI5 and GCHQ.

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Open source 3D sensing libraries kiboshed, maybe by Apple

nematoad
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Unhappy

Apple following MS's lead

Looks to me as if Apple have taken a leaf out of Microsoft's book.

You know, the one that reads "Embrace,extend, extinguish."

If you can't compete on level terms than just tilt the field in your direction.

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RSA rebel conference TrustyCon sells out despite 'dirty tricks'

nematoad
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Thumb Up

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes"

Looks like TrustyCon just stepped up to the plate.

Well done.

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Microsoft asks pals to help KILL UK gov's Open Document Format dream

nematoad
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Terminator

An offer...

... you can't refuse.

"First, we want to make clear that you are not obliged, either by Microsoft or by the government, to do anything or comment in any way,"

Tell that to the likes of Novell & Netscape.

Who are they?

No, sorry they don't exist anymore

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The UNTOLD SUCCESS of Microsoft: Yes, it's Windows 7

nematoad
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Re: Keep polishing, Microsoft......

"and you prefer powerful, integrated, professional tools to a bunch of free tools you have to make work together."

That depends if you actually have people that know what they are doing. If you employ low skilled code-monkeys than yes, you probably would save money on buying in to MS's proprietary system.

Otherwise let the devs use what they find best for them.

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nematoad
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Facepalm

Re: What the hell did they expect?

"most users ... like to switch on a PC and find a familiar environment"

That's probably why tablets are taking the marketplace by storm.

Most users don't need or want a full featured PC to connect to Facebook or browse the internet. It's an appliance like a washing machine or vacuum cleaner.

Trying to force a dumbed down tiled UI on people who know what they are doing and can sort things out for themselves was always a stupid idea.

See also Unity on Ubuntu and Gnome 3.

Wildly popular?

I think not.

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Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

nematoad
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Re: Pffffttt

With the combination of arrogance, price gouging and a general "stuff you" attitude I'm surprised that Apple seem to have done so well for themselves, if not for the general computing public.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

nematoad
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Windows

No

“The easiest path to Windows 8.1 is with new devices,”

Anyone who tells you this is no friend, but a shill for Microsoft.

BTW anyone advocating using Ubuntu, should think about Linux Mint instead, it's how Ubuntu should be.

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

nematoad
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"And I thought it was all about terrorists",

Silly man, it's about control, of everyone.

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Microsoft to build 'transparency centres' for source code checks

nematoad
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Windows

“'G20 + 20' group – 20 governments and 20 global information and communications technology firms – to draft a set of principles for acceptable behavior in cyberspace.”

Or in other words:

"This internet thing is not for the likes of you. We'll take all the work done and twist it into something that suits us, oh, and by the way you'll probably have to pay so that we can do this."

Much like they twisted the ISO process to ram OOXML through.

And then they have the gall to say. "Trust us, we are being transparent."

Yep, transparent cynicism and deception.

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Microsoft takes InfoPath behind the shed, says successor will be better

nematoad
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Headmaster

Re: Fruitcake of bozons

PS And one more thing. Expect more product deaths. Google started it. This can lead to innovation-through-extortion. I mean - it's cool that new ideas get implemented... but in the end it all boils down to # of licenses and cash streeeaaaaaaaaaam.

PPS This comment has been written under an influence of a müsli bar.

(post post script)

There, fixed that for you.

Note:

PS2 was a console.

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Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

nematoad
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Re: Phoneless Phreedom

I second this.

I have a nameless LG 'phone I bought brand new for £5. It stays in the house and is used solely for texting. It does its job and that's all I need from it.

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

nematoad
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Happy

Re: Un-salvageable?

Well it looks like the battle has affected the asteroid belts. I went to my usual one on Friday and the 20+ belts had been stripped clean of all the minerals. And I have never seen that before on over seven years playing EVE.

So us industrialists can look forward to some inflated prices and general shortages.

CCP have said that although they are going to make the wrecks unsalvagable they will take a percentage of the wreckage and spread it about all areas of EVE so that people will be able to get something back.

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nematoad
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"Do chicks play this game, or can I dismiss it as a case of 'whatever floats your scrote'?"

From postings I have seen on EVE Online 97% of the players are male, though about 40% of the characters are female.

Work that one out!

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nematoad
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Joke

"Dull, dull dull game populated by the most obnoxious player base assembled in any one game"

I resemble that remark!

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nematoad
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Re: Looks really impressive

"Does anything like this exist for contemporary terrestrial naval warfare (outside of military war colleges and think tanks)?"

Hopefully not. What has not been mentioned is a thing called "time dilation" which is a means whereby CCP tries to prevent the server crashing, remember all those ships, missile, drone etc. were on a single node.

Time dilation slows everything down and from comments made from people watching, the fight was running at about 2 fps. I was otherwise engaged making ISK so can't say whether it was as bad as that, though if it was it must have been like watching paint dry.

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nematoad
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Happy

Re: False sense of achievement maxed out...

"No more so than playing chess for hours on end, or watching any TV show that is kind of cool now, but will be yesterday's news in a few years."

Well. it's lasted for over ten years now and it's still going, so don't hold your breath waiting for it to fold just yet.

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

nematoad
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Re: Important change

"With what? Seven different distros of Linux each with its windows manager and that may not support some hardware because "proprietary drivers" are bad"

Who said anything about using Gnu/Linux? Although I do myself.

Are you aware that Libreoffice is available for MS Windows and Apple?

Just because you seem to have an aversion to Gnu/Linux doesn't mean that users of other OS's are forced to use MS Office.

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nematoad
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Re: Important change

" are you stating that you wouldn't prefer to see Microsoft Windows replaced in Government?"

Personally I don't give a damn about what government use to write their stuff. What I do care about is that I can read it without pfaffing about trying to decode it.

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Amazon's 'schizophrenic' open source selfishness scares off potential talent, say insiders

nematoad
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FAIL

Not a good citizen

There's a name for organisations like this: Parasite.

If the "secret sauce" is so vital to Amazon's success then there is a case that it should be protected. That's why copyright, patents and trademarks exist. If however, the Amazon empire is built using the efforts of thousands of other people then there is a moral duty on Amazon to give back to the community that enables it to do business.

It would seem as if Bezos just doesn't get FOSS, oh he may be technically up to date but the underlying ethos of free software seems to have escaped his notice.

This situation is a lose lose one. Amazon is cutting itself off from probably the best method of software development and at the same time, by hoarding all its developments, is denying the reciprocity which is the thing that drives the free software world in the first place.

In short, short sighted, selfish and eventually self-defeating.

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EU pulls out antitrust probe, prods Euro pay-TV contracts

nematoad
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A pattern?

"...and telly firms like BSkyB in the UK, Sky Italia, Canal+ in France and Sky Deutschland"

Do I detect a pattern here?

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Rap for KitKat in crap app wrap trap flap: Android 4.4 is 'meant to work like that'

nematoad
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Re: Title is right up there with the all time Reg classics

Nah, it's horrible.

Whoever wrote the headline would be better off working for the Sun.

"Swedes 2 Turnips 1."

Now that's a headline to be proud of.

See this as a tutorial on headline writing:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1071875-20-hilarious-world-football-headlines

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Is your IT department too tough on users?

nematoad
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Re: You slack arsed tart

"when your organisation reaches a critical mass you need to have between 15 and 22 operational IT staff per 1000 end users..."

Bloody hell, in one of my last jobs before I retired we had 8 in desktop support plus 4 in sys admin and 3 in networks to support 4500 users.

That must have made us amazingly efficient!

I suppose we were given that the place never actually blew up. It was an oil refinery.

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Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

nematoad
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Unhappy

Don't think so.

"Netbooks were arguably killed off by tablets..."

More likely netbooks were killed off by Microsoft.

Which were seen by them as a threat to their Windows empire.

I stlll use an Asus eee701 running Linux which was as you put it " Cheap, the right size and without Windows"

Then along comes MS using its muscle and a loss leader in WinXP and all of a sudden netbooks became large, bloated and more expensive.

MS had effectively killed off netbooks before the rise of the tablet.

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Campaign to kick NSA man from crypto standards group fails

nematoad
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Ah.

Poacher turned gamekeeper, that will work out OK.

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Ghosts of Ballmer and Gates haunt Microsoft CEO job hunters

nematoad
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Re: Meh.

Just look at the antics of people like Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison to see how it works in reality.

In theory, yes, the board is in control on behalf of the owners, i.e. the shareholders; but as the CEO usually has patronage it is likely that the board will be filled with like-minded fellow travellers and yes-men.

Oh, and yes, Jobs did get pushed out by Apple's board and how well that worked out

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Snowden docs: NSA building encryption-cracking quantum computer

nematoad
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Not all darkness

A very nasty threat and one not to be taken lightly.

It does seem as if the NSA, GCHQ and all the other "security" organisations really do see the rest of humanity as a threat and enemy.

As a user of FLOSS software I am concerned but am not in despair. If we have learned anything from the rise of Gnu/Linux and all the other free software projects, it is that no organisation, no matter how large and well funded can compete with the free software world.

The threat is however that governments use all their undoubted powers to stifle the efforts of those seeking to prevent the security apparatus from spying on everyone and everything.

We will develop means to keep these characters at arms length, and it may be that ironically the NSA, GCHQ and others have back-handedly done us all a favour by spurring us to improve the security and robustness of our IT systems.

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

nematoad
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Re: Ok, not so quick and easy

"There should be no routine monitoring of (world) citizens."

No there shouldn't, but you know, there's a war on and a dragnet operation is *so* much easier.

I think Applebaum has got it about right. The war is the security services against the rest of us.

Bastards.

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What is the difference between a drone, a model and a light plane?

nematoad
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Not a Hannibal.

That aircraft is not a Hannibal. It's an HP42. This aircraft type never had a type name just a number.

Hannibal was in fact the name of one of the aircraft G-AAGX.

Others in the class were Hanno, Horsa and Hadrian.

Aircraft G-AAXF was Helena an HP45, a modification for use on the European route, the HP42 being used on the "Empire" routes to India.

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HP: This Xmas, get the SACK... and not the one filled with presents

nematoad
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Leaders, yes, you know the ones with their snouts first in the trough.

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Bizarre Tolkien-inspired GCHQ Xmas card CAN'T BE READ by us PLEBS

nematoad
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Devil

Re: Thanks for the creepy poetry, spooks...

No, that can't be. Both these places are, to my mind, evil. So neither of them could be Minas Tirith.

A better analogy would be the Teeth of Mordor, Carchost and Narghost the two towers guarding the Morannon. You know ensuring the security of the state.

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It's CLOUD WAR says Larry Ellison: parachute in the sales team

nematoad
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Oh?

"Ellison told Wall St on Wednesday he will be “price competitive” with Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Windows Azure and Rackspace".

Expect the others to put the prices up then.

Ellisons having a laugh with this. He wouldn't know how to cut prices if his life depended on it.

Good old Oracle, never knowingly oversold. (Apologies to John Lewis.)

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