* Posts by Arctic fox

2624 posts • joined 6 Nov 2009

UCam247 tells El Reg most of its cams aren't vulnerable to GET vuln

Arctic fox
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@John Robson Re "I like that expansion of IoT"

I wish that I could claim that it was intentional. I simply wrote my comment without noticing that felicitous acronym. Must have been a stream of (un)consciousness thing. :) Nice comment BTW - see icon.

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Arctic fox
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@Mephistro Re: Good...

Indeed. I was open mouthed when I read this letter. Polite, informative and as far as one can see, showing a proactive and constructive approach to such challenges. Clearly he has not read Ignore, Obfuscate, Threaten and Litigate 101!

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ExoMars probe snaps photos of your next dystopian home world when Earth goes to crap

Arctic fox
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"Volcanoes to the left of me, chasms to the right, here I am –

- sniffing the atmosphere for you"

Very nice Stealers Wheel reference in the title of the photo at the top. As a service to those who were not young adults in 1972 here is the obligatory youtube link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StG4fFWHqg

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Hackers crack Liechtenstein banks, demand ransoms

Arctic fox
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Mushroom

Why is it that I am having difficulty working up any indignation on this occasion?

Must have something to do with the nature of the target. I have some difficulty sympathising with banks whose collective name should be TaxEvasions R'Us.

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NASA trying to rein in next-generation super-heavy lifter costs

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Re:"Cleaner air, a diversified energy production portfolio more efficient electronics etc..."

I entirely agree. Although I have my reservations about the scale of the human contribution to global warming claimed by some of the most ardent warmers I accept entirely that the measures that we need to take if it is true are a good thing in themselves for several other reasons. I.e. Let's do it anyway without bothering about the theology of either side of the arguement.

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Qualcomm taps Samsung to make next-gen 10nm Snapdragon

Arctic fox
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"will give it a 27 per cent performance increase or cut power consumption by 40 per cent"

Anyone betting against the phone manufacturers expending very little of that on improved battery life?

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Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

Arctic fox
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Re: Just say No.

I agree and I do. Which is why I routinely refer to "FuckBook", "Shitter" and "SlapTwat" whenever I post on the issue of social media.

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Russian banks floored by withering DDoS attacks

Arctic fox
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Doctor Syntax Re: "In fact regulation as evils is no argument at all."

Indeed Doctor Syntax, I entirely agree. Adam Smith the Grandfather of modern capitalism (born 1723) and a keen supporter of free markets understood that ensuring they function as intended required regulation. Possibly his most famous quote is the following:

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices”.

The fact of the matter is, as you point out, we regulate markets for a number of reasons to ensure that they are efficient and constructive rather than inefficient and destructive. This is a classic example of where the lack of regulation is having very unfortunate and destructive effects which impact everyone on our little rock. Whatever the barking wing of the neo-liberal school of economics may believe regulation is the saviour of a constructive and efficient market economy. Without it the system would eat itself.

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Arctic fox
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@Palpy "Until regulation requires it. Which makes the manufacturers bark with dismay, "

I take your point and I have to say that given the threat level that insecure IoT devices represent then it is precisely that we are going to have to do. Make such devices illegal unless they comply with basic security procedures. If this is what is necessary then as far as "evil socialist totalitarianism" is concerned in this context, I say "bring it on"! I do not give a shit what the short term self interest of these companies is, what I do care about is that we may end up in a situation where one of the most important technical achievements that humanity has ever created might be destroyed by cowboy companies who do not care about anything other than the bottom line.

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Arctic fox
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Re: Leaving security to the end user = no security

I must first make it clear that I am an organic chemist not an IT pro and my suggestion may have enoooormous holes in it. What about the first part of the setup routine being a mandatory change of pass word? The setup process could also require that the password be of a reasonable level of strength. I.e. Nobody gets to use "password" or "1234". Would this contribute? I would be very interested to hear the opinions of IT pros.

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Siri, clone yourself and dive into this Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone

Arctic fox
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@Disk0 Re: Up next

"your IoT washer gets hacked and now is now instructing you to send bitcoins to Ukraine, or it will explode."

Unfortunately that scenario is far from unlikely. See icon.

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Unstoppable Huawei draws level with Apple

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@Six Re "....... they're almost two parallel markets ........."

I agree with much of what you have said however I would point out the following. Apple has been very keen to really make progress in the Chinese market. That is now going to be a lot harder with the progress that Huawei has been making. Given Apple's dependence on the iPhone as its biggest earner in a market which is displaying signs of slowing down in the West (in common with the table and pc markets which started doing this earlier) it is very bad news for them that the last big one (market that is), China, has companies that can really give them a run for their money (literally and figuratively). Apple's increasing dependence on one product as far as its hardware sales are concerned leaves that side of their business looking vulnerable for the future.

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Any questions? No, not you again at the back, please God no

Arctic fox
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Happy

@Alistair Dabbs Re"I hear that some men will pay for that sort of thing."

Am I allowed to describe that as a sick joke?

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

@Jack of Shadows It would appear to go back quite a long way.

"To summarise, the saying as we have it is a 19th century translation of an index entry, written by Joshua Barnes in 1694 in his edition of Euripedes. The entry summarised rather than translated the content of a couple of lines of Greek. The lines were originally by a scholiast on Sophocles, quoted in the 2nd century AD by Athenagoras, and supposed to be by Euripedes by early editors of that author. Barnes in turn was almost quoting James Duport in his 1660 work on the ideas to be found in Homer."

http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2015/10/31/is-those-whom-the-gods-wish-to-destroy-they-first-make-mad-a-classical-quotation/

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Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

Arctic fox
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Windows

Re: "you didn't buy the new PC unless you wanted the new OS. "

I fear I may not have made my point with Win 7 clearly enough. If you look at the timing of the PC market beginning to flatten out and then start on a downward curve something rather ironic regarding which Windows iteration actually contributed to the current state becomes clear. One of the two most popular and well regarded versions of Windows (XP being the other one of course) may very well have been one of the triggers for the processes that we have seen at work in that market.*

*I would wish to point out that in saying this I am not remotely being snide about Win 7 - I installed it on 4 different rigs and was always very pleased. An excellent OS. However, I do feel it is legitimate to point out that if one is going to assign some of the "blame" for the current weak state of the PC market to a particular version of Windows then one has to look at the timing of the beginnings of that weakness - they predate in fact both Win 8 and Win 10. This is of course entirely seperate from what you, I, or anyone else here on the threads at El Reg may think about 8 or 10 as operating systems.

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Arctic fox
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Re: "a new version of OS used to trigger purchases of new PCs."

Up to and including Windows Vista each successive iteration of Redmond's OS virtually mandated a new pc (or a significant hardware upgrade) in order for it to run with anything like decent performance. Microsoft's minimum recommended specs were always a bad joke given that a on a machine that had those specs the iteration concerned could just about get out of bed. It was always the case that you needed substantially higher specs in order to get reasonably acceptable performance. This changed with Win 7. For the first time if you had a box which had ok specs for Vista then Win 7 would run with an acceptable level of performance. If you then add to that the transformation of the private retail market in terms of the rise of mobile devices meaning that you have phones, tablets and PCs all competing for the punter's hard earned one has then a situation which IMO cannot be fully explained in terms of disatisfaction with this or that iteration of Windows. I would agree that Win 8 was very clearly not any kind of hit with private retail customers but that is not remotely an adequate explanation for where the pc market has been going in recent years. Indeed if we look at the tablet market we can see that it also began to stall about three or more years ago and the mobile phone market began to show the same signs a year or so ago. The Windows OS can scarcely have anything to do with those phenomena! I think that the processes at work hear are market saturation, maturation and three different device classes trying to attract the punter's spons in a context where people do far more on their phones than they ever did before thus making the PC a lower priority than it once was. If we add to that the fact that modern tablets and smart phones continue to have perfectly adequate performance for several years it becomes clear that the whole personal tech retail market is becoming a very difficult place in which to do business.

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Arctic fox
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Windows

"It looks like users won't adopt it if they have to pay for it"

That is nothing new at all. The percentage of Windows OS sales to private retail customers intending to install it on an existing pc running the previous iteration has always been a vanishingly small percentage of Windows' turnover. The overwhelming proportion of sales of Windows licenses to the private sector has always been driven by the purchase of new PCs.

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Let's praise Surface, not bury it

Arctic fox
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It is in fact interesting that the last three years or so have seen something that.....

...........some of our fellow members of our little congregation here at El Reg are unwilling to admit.

"So Surface is an attempt to revive interest in the very idea of personal computing. It's had a hugely positive impact on the quality of the established PC players. Lenovo, Dell and HP have all gone back to the drawing board and returned with their best products for years."

Microsoft has in fact as far as hardware is concerned given the entire paradigm a genuine kick in the arse. The effect on the OEMs has been considerable. Just consider HPs Spectre x360 for the private retail market. The latest iteration has excellent battery life, terrific design and one of the best keyboards and touchpads available out there as well as a gorgeous screen. Andrew's point is well taken. Regardless of our concerns regarding the privacy issues with Win10 it is not possible to argue that MS under "SatNav" does not innovate. Better late than never we might say but "there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth" etc. etc.

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Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit

Arctic fox
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@TRT Re:"Do you mind a little advice? Starfleet captains are like children. "

Thank you TRT, lovely to hear Scotty's voice again. Highly entertaining. See icon.

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Two new dinosaurs walked from South America to Australia, via Antarctica

Arctic fox
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@Elmer Phud Re: "Is that the old Routemaster or the new one?"

It will of course be the old imperial Routemaster. You were surely not expecting that El Reg would go metric?

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‘Alan Turing law’ to give posthumous pardons to 59,000 men for 'gross indecency'

Arctic fox
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@Aladdin Sane Re: "If?!"

I agree entirely and I say burn the heretic!

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Think virtual reality is just about games? Think again, friend

Arctic fox
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Hmm.....

""It was shocking, so shocking to me. And I pulled off the headset and I was in the middle of this party with people drinking beer and partying, and I've never felt so alone," she confessed. The intensity of the experience is such that the filmmakers considered whether there was an ethical consideration to ensure viewers didn't feel the disparity between the virtual world and the real world too strongly or too quickly."

Whilst I do not for one moment suggest that these film makers should not be experimenting with the possiblities that this new creative form of cinema may offer I am obliged to wonder how some emotionally/psychologically fragile people may or may not be able to cope with it. Something to be aware/beware of perhaps.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Arctic fox
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@Dan 55 "Force Quit Safari. Then remove it from the dock and/or desktop."

Then bury it at a crossroads with a head of garlic in its mouth and a stake through its heart - you cannot be too sure.

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Arctic fox
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Windows

"VLC seems to be getting better these days"

Indeed. Available on Linux, Windows and MacOS (or however one is supposed to italicise Cupertino's offering these days). Unless you are so deep into i-Tunes that you cannot get out there is no excuse for installing that shit regardless of your choice of OS.

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The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture

Arctic fox
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Joke

@Ashley_Pomeroy "Don't hold back - tell us. I get the impression you're not keen."

I imagine that Donkey Molestor X is currently closeted with his paramour and is unable to reply.

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British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Arctic fox
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@Jamie Jones Re: This article is a load of leftie rubbish

Were you by any chance being a touch satirical old chap? See icon.

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Europe loves to pay by bonk* - survey

Arctic fox
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I do not care it this makes me a boring old fart or some kind of luddite......

............there is no chance in hell that I am giving my phone access to my bank. Regardless of the protestations of the usual suspects that secure systems are in place. It is just yet another attack vector for the various toss-bags out there who want to part us from out hard-earned. I am not suggesting that our banking should revolve around storing banknotes under our mattresses but there are limits. At least for this example of the Canidae.

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Samsung to Galaxy Note 7 users: Turn it off. Now

Arctic fox
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Re "You make it sound like no phone has ever successfully....."

Your Galaxy S6 has a conventional micro USB 2 port the techonology of which reputable producers thoroughly understand and have considerable experience with in the area of rapid charging. I wrote "I also wonder (my added emphasis ed.) whether a lack of/limited experience with correct implementation of the USB type C standard..." I was scarcely being didactic old chap and my comment was specific to the context of USB type C.

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Arctic fox
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Re: "Sincerely hope so!"

I entirely agree with the points you have made. I also wonder whether a lack of/limited experience with correct implementation of the USB type C standard (currently true of all producers) may also have exacerbated the situation. The behaviour of that port has to be very precisely regulated or the device will end up in trouble - particularly when when we are of course by definitition talking about rapid charging which can under certain circumstances lead to battery damage (if incorrectly regulated) with, potentially, the kind of problems we have seen with the Note 7.

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Boy, 12, gets €100k bill from Google after confusing Adwords with Adsense

Arctic fox
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RE: "Why did the kid know the family bank account details?"

A very good point, exactly what I was about to post. How on earth does a twelve year old know his mum and dad's banking details?

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Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

Arctic fox
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Windows

@RIBrsiq "I remember a time when tablets were supposed to kill the PC"

In addition we also see that the smartphone market has been showing signs that it too is flattening out prior to serious slowdown (the first indications that mobes were affected as well as tablets and pcs started to appear about a year ago). Quite what is killing what I do not know other than it is quite obvious that refresh cycles for all these three types of shiny are getting longer and longer. I note that a certain section of our little congregation here at El Reg post regularly claiming that Win 10 is destroying the pc-market. I wonder what their explanation is for condition of the tablet and smartmobe markets? Given that the Demon Lords of Redmond have a low percentage market presense in both those areas. Something is definitely going on and whilst one can speculate about market saturation, commoditization and so on and so forth it is still somewhat of a puzzle.

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EU turns screws on Android – report

Arctic fox
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Re: And Apple? "Why isn't the EU shafting them?"

It is a matter of scale. Whilst I do not disagree with your characterisation of Cupertino's store the sheer all-pervasiveness of the Android OS means that it in effect has a market dominant position as far as its percentage of the total smarphone market is concerned. That, IMO, is why the EU are prioritising going after Google.

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Oh Snap! How intelligent people make themselves stupid for Snapchat

Arctic fox
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Well done Andrew

The best description of SlapTwat that I have read to date.

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Smelly toilets, smokers and the Kardashians. Virgin Media staff grill top brass

Arctic fox
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Re: "Keeping up with the Kardashians"

I have noticed on a number of previous threads connected to articles where the Kardashians are mentioned that there appears to be a certain confusion between that family and the Cardassians from Deep Space 9. As a public service I offer the following clarification. A Cardassian would be deeply offended if you asked him to "walk with the Prophets" whilst a Kardashian would always be delighted if you asked them to "walk with the profits".

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Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

Arctic fox
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@GrumpenKraut "It came to my rescue that I brought my talk (outline) on paper, as I always do.....

..............Paper. Always. Works."

I hear you brother. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, read the book. Bringing some chalk with you in case they have something so impossibly old fashioned as a blackboard is not to be despised either.*

*Not so unlikely as you might think in the university sector where I work.

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Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

@smartypants "This Larry person does seem a bit of a nob though....."

He may very well think that he is a bit of a nob (as in a cut above the rest of us mere mortals) whilst we think that he is a bit of a knob.

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Good luck squeezing saturated market, Euro mobe firms, say Orange, Telefonica

Arctic fox
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"..............their market was based on roaming charges"

"..............their market was based on fleecing the customer."

There, FIFY.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Arctic fox
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@Fibbles "definitely something they learned from Google"

Entirely correct. I do not for one moment defend the privacy issues that curently bedevil Win 10 but when it comes to the "slurping" of personal data Google could give everyone, Redmond included, master classes.

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Seagate sued by its own staff for leaking personal info to identity thieves

Arctic fox
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Re: Corporate fines == useless

I entirely agree that fines they can simply regard as a business cost are indeed useless. Perhaps the answer is to make the board of directors personally liable and make it a criminal offence to in any way compensate them for the fines they would have to pay.

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Speaking in Tech: Windows is coming to smart refrigerators

Arctic fox
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@h4rm0ny Re: "I wonder what the past would think of the future."

I would agree that this world wide high speed echo-chamber we call the web with its proliferation of debate-fora is (ref your comment about FarceBook) having all sorts of unexpected socio-political effects (also some very antisocial effects i.e. the nastier type of trolling and flaming). However, I also think that retail goods go from being new and innovative to being commoditized in ever shorter periods of time with the result that manufacturers are in an increasingly desperate race to come up with the next new thing. The consequence is that the proportion of goods that are being designed as solutions in search of an application becomes ever greater (and ever more foolish!). I will of course not be buying a smart fridge regardless of which OS it is running on. :)

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

Arctic fox
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Headmaster

@Alien8n "They'll pay a huge amount of employee related tax"

Is that a reference to the taxes that Apple hand over to the British tax authorities as a consequence of the PAYE system? If it is then it is Apple's employees who are paying their own tax, Apple is paying bugger all. In fact it is a serious comment on what BigCorp can get away with when their employees pay vastly more tax than a company as rich as Apple does.

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Ankers away! USB-C cables recalled over freakin' fried phone fears

Arctic fox
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Re: This USB-C thing...

I think that part of the problem (only a part) is public expectations. Quite apart from examples of incompetance amongst the producers these same producers know that the average punter will be very resistant to paying much more for a USB type C cable than they pay for your common-or-garden USB 2 cables. The fact that USB C cables have to be produced to a much higher standard and will in the nature of things cost more is not something the average member of the Great Techno-Ignorant Unwashed wants to hear.

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BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail

Arctic fox
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Re: Embedded XP terrifying?

"Why would that be, it is supported until 2019?"

Possibly because we have another three years of this to go?

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Uber lost $7m a DAY in the first half of this year

Arctic fox
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@Hollerithevo Indeed, I think that I have found the appropriate quote in this context.

"As Adam Smith said, capitalism leads directly to monopoly unless the government steps in to enforce a fairer playing field."

The quote is of course: “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices”

Smith's point of course was that intervention was needed to ensure that the market actually was free. The practical reality that he understood 400 or so years ago was that maintaining a free market without government intervention was in reality (regardless of what the barking wing of the neo-liberal school of economic thinking might opine) a non sequitur.

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Microsoft's kinder, gentler collaboration war: Evernote, you're first

Arctic fox
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Windows

@Shmako "but to me they're competing on level playing fields"

A cogent point that the writer appears to have missed entirely. The whole point about Microsoft's "bad old ways" was that they were bad because the were abusing a "market dominant position" - which is why the DoJ (quite rightly) went after them. In all of these new areas of competition MS is nowhere near in any kind of dominant position (and given that there are in many areas strong established players, eg Amazon, Apple and Google, they are most unlikely to end up with power that they could abuse). They are moreover often competing on other people's platforms and are not able to leverage the dominance that their own OS gave them in the past. They are having, in increasing degree, to fight their corner in an effective market over which they have no improper control - which is after all what we as punters want to happen.

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The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

Arctic fox
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Unhappy

@Michael H.F. Wilkinson "Now where is that motorcycle manual?"

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" old chap? Published in 1974 - I was nineteen at the time. God that makes me feel old!

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FireEye warns 'massive' ransomware campaign hits US, Japan hospitals

Arctic fox
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"Now, if you really wanted to send a message"

I agree that the temptation is enormous. However, the take-home message is, IMO, very straight forward. We all have our opinions about which OS is the best but there is one huge problem with all these discussions about which system is the most secure and so on and so forth. Those arguments do not take into account one simple fact. The biggest vulnerability regardless of which system one chooses (Windows, MacOS or whichever flavour of Linux you prefer) is the person using it. Everything else pales in comparison with that issue. The average computer user would fuck it up regardless of which system one chose. Hmm, maybe summary execution is the only way forward!

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Arctic fox
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It is a very frustrating situation regarding the averge PC user.

It is one thing that they cannot be told regarding their own pcs/tablets/phones but when even the possibility of the sack if they eff up at work does not seem to make any difference then we really have a huge problem. When it all comes down to it the choice of OS or the security measures taken are of little use if the life-form on the other side of the keyboard simply ignores what they are told. Frankly I am at a loss to suggest any measures short of electric shock treatment that would get the average punter/employee to show a modicum of common sense.

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Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

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Re: "Traditional insurers will be left fighting for the high risk human drivers "

A very acute post. I must admit that the potential consequences for the insurance companies had not occurred to me. With essentially only "one driver" to insure for the whole fleet, insurance costs would indeed drop dramatically and the auto-manufacturers could very well afford to supply insurance as part of the deal. See icon.

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Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Arctic fox
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Happy

Re: "India is the new China, as growth in the latter has slowed."

"Or have I missed a step, and Apple have some low-cost answer to empower the peasantry ?"

Pardon? This is Apple we are talking about! :)

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