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* Posts by tfewster

177 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech

tfewster
Joke

...the proliferators...

I agree, spammers rank with plotters and paedophiles, and GCHQ must fight this scourge that affects me every single day

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FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers

tfewster
Facepalm

Re: BCC?

Does this count as a Data Breach rather than just an annoyance, as email addresses were disclosed? email addresses may not seem important, but could be used for phishing or invoice-fraud attacks.

A sternly worded letter from the ICO might prevent further sloppiness.

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NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)

tfewster

Re: Spacewalk !

Thanks you, but actually patching servers is not the worst part of the problem - Testing and arranging service outages for Production systems is the killer :-( Fortunately the bash patching didn't need any outages, but testing and signoff for the change still took time and effort

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Wide-ranging UK DATA SHARING moves one step closer

tfewster
Flame

ODFO...

...<Insert name of political party currently in power*>

* i.e. currently the focus of Civil "Service" propagandists about the paedorristcalypse that will follow if public servants aren't given everything they want.

When every public servant and politician [not necessarily the same thing] is on this database - Then I'll reconsider my opt-out

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Britain’s snooping powers are 'too weak', says NCA chief

tfewster
Facepalm

Afghanistan

"Bristow expressed concerns that US and UK pullout from Afghanistan might lead to an increase in the volume of heroin reaching Britain’s streets."

We invaded a country and trashed the place, overthrew a government that had stamped out the opium trade, and then buggered off. No matter how good our motives and justification, we shouldn't be surprised at the anarchy that follows and that opium farming is a) possible and b) the only way some Afghans have of recouping their losses.

Not that I agreed with the Taliban, disagreed with the invasion, or approve of drugs. I'm just sayin', you stir up shit, don't be surprised what floats to the top.

Did Bristow have ANYTHING sensible to say? Or was it just "terrists bad, drugs bad, police good"?

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NAKED CELEBRITY PICS LAW BOMB dropped on ad giant Google

tfewster

No, apparently they've been "stolen" so the sleb doesn't have them any more. Or maybe Singer doesn't understand the law.

"Google knows that the images are hacked stolen property, private and confidential photos and videos unlawfully obtained and posted by pervert predators who are violating the victims' privacy rights and basic human decency by stealing and displaying confidential private photos and videos,"

Google should be charging the slebs for the advertising they're getting. I'd forgotten who Jennifer Lawrence was until this.

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Apple, Google mobe encryption good news... for TERRORISTS – EU top cop

tfewster
WTF?

Really?

“Full encryption of communication and storage online will make life very easy for the criminals and terrorists and very difficult for law enforcement and law abiding citizens."

Really? How is my innocent, honest life made more difficult just because I use encryption? (Apart from having to remember yet another passphrase).

On the other hand, if I want to knock over a bank or make a bomb, will encryption really help me get a gun or chemicals?

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Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights

tfewster
Facepalm

Re: Don't get too upset

One of the arguments for switching devices off during takeoff and landing was that passengers should pay attention to aircrew announcements (and not be holding potential projectiles in case of a bump).

Does paying €1-3 change the laws of physics?

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Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished

tfewster

Re: what else lurks

bash is like a gun - powerful and dangerous, but fairly safe if kept in a locked cabinet ("Authentication"). If you leave it lying around or your kids get the keys to the cabinet, bypassing the safety mechanisms - Then you have a problem!

John Leyden, thank you for describing it as "vulnerability" or "flaw" rather than a bug in bash

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Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole

tfewster
Facepalm

Re: Wanted : amputation patch

As I see it, that's pretty much what "dotting in" or "sourcing" does. You're right that it's a feature.

The attack vectors like Apache/CGI that enable a shell without authentication? They're the bad guys. But if it's easier to block multiple attack vectors at the center by nerfing bash, the core OS guys can do that for you.

(i have no affiliation to any group, and am prepared to be "corrected" by both sides)

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Range Rover to fit trendy new SUV with FRIKKIN' LASER HUDs

tfewster
WTF?

Call me sceptical

But there isn't a UK speed sign that says "70" or "60"; There's just "unrestricted", i.e. the national speed limit for that type of road, i.e. 60 on a single-lane, 70 on dual carriageway or motorway. Presumably there's a "Euro" setting for KM/H?

And it probably doesn't recognise temporary or variable speed overhead signs

And who needs a reminder of what gear they are in?

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THE DEATH OF ECONOMICS: Aircraft design vs flat-lining financial models

tfewster
Thumb Up

Re: If you give a politician 1£ ...

@ baseh and followups

You are not alone! Look up Deliberative Democracy: It addresses the question of professional "elite"* politicians v. "naive" masses, and I agree that education and good, balanced briefings on the topic to be debated are essential. We already use the technology, but petitions and Facebook groups tend to be very one sided at present.

We don't need a referendum on everything (See "The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer"), but I'd be willing to give up a few Bank Holidays to do "citizens" duty as needed.

My wife has just written her MA dissertation on Deliberative Democracy, and as chief proofreader, I've absorbed a little knowledge** ;-)

* See also the Dunning-Kruger effect

** Just enough to be dangerous. Disclaimer: My wife wouldn't necessarily agree with this post

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Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things

tfewster
FAIL

Adobe

> .. reputation for holding good stuff back if it’s not entirely happy with it

So they're happy about the bloated security nightmare that is Adobe Reader? A product worth less than its price tag.

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General Motors issues STOP DELIVERY for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

tfewster
Terminator

Re: You'd never get that kind of problem with a Toyota @ AC you a are wrong

El Reg diligently reports all ROTM sightings.

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The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?

tfewster
Megaphone

Re: U2?

I see the synergy there - U2 are like the iPhone: Never all that good, and hyped way beyond their true current significance. Though I actually liked the iPhone 3 & 4 until Apple buggered up the maps and IOS went all Fisher-Price.

BTW: Miley Cyrarse? Kim Kardarshian?

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Ex-Autonomy execs: HP's latest wad blows apart fraud allegations

tfewster
WTF?

Sounds like a match made in heaven

"... that Autonomy's pre-acquisition hardware sales were done with the sole purpose of artificially inflating Autonomy's revenues."

" ...that HP's printer hardware sales were done with the sole purpose of artificially inflating HP's revenues." (As any fule know, HP is in the business of selling ink at a premium)

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It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

tfewster
Linux

Re: Windows.

I can live with Windows for the desktop, as so much useful software only runs under Windows. An automatic reboot at 4am wouldn't be too much of an issue, as I only have to remember the half-dozen tasks I've been working on and left open. Probably even less of an issue for normal people.

But servers, whatever the OS, don't get patched & rebooted automatically if you value your job.

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Ninja Pirate Zombie Vampires versus Chuck Norris and the Space Marines

tfewster

Culture GSVs

No contest. (Unless Chuck Norris is involved).

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BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

tfewster

Ahh, stocktaking. I remember a few conversations from the days we had to do monthly inventory checks. And no cheating by using a checklist of existing assets! They all had to be done from scratch.

---

Me - "Can't we get rid of this box of obsolete PC cards with individual serial numbers on each card?"

Manager - "No, they're in the database, so we have to check them each month"

---

(Admins enter the hardwritten sheets into the computer and run a comparison with the DB)

Admin - "You're missing item ABC123O and have an item ABC1230 that doesn't exist"

Me - "They're the same item. You entered an O rather than a 0 when you originally created the DB record, so there should always be a discrepency. Unless one of us enters the serial number incorrectly at a monthly check.

---

Me - "As the company sells inventory management systems, including scanners and software, could we use our own products to help with stocktaking?"

Manager - "No, you make too many mistakes already and need to improve the accuracy of the stocktaking"

(This was the same manager who would lend stuff to customers and not bother to check it out of stock)

---

Eventually I wrote an MS Access DB and used a hand scanner and laptop borrowed from stock to create my own Stock DB, complete with label printing, scanning in and out, shipping lists and stocktaking comparisons. Monthly stocktake effort went from 10 man-days to 2 (One day to stocktake, 1 day to have the O vs 0 arguments. Though I reduced that by printing an "incorrect" label to stick on the item so I could give the Admins the serial number they wanted to see. [Unless they then mistyped it at the monthly data entry...])

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

tfewster

Re: Bing Orgasm

Bing Engine ?

(BingE)

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Totes AMAZEBALLS! Side boob, binge-watch and clickbait added to Oxford Dictionary

tfewster

New?

"side boob" is at least 35 years old, as I remember it from school.

I've also seen YOLO in the context "be careful, YOLO (No reload if you die etc.). "Live fast, die young, stay beautiful" is a little more compelling than merely being reckless "I just ordered £40 worth of Chinese food. But YOLO, right?"

I'm pleased to say I've never heard "adorbs". Long may I manage to avoid the yoof types who use such mutant monstrosities.

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Brits STUNG for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

tfewster

Re: Married or Sharing? Just tell them you are moving overseas.

I guess you only use gas for heating, but the pipes still need to be maintained and staff kept on in Summer, so a standing charge is a reasonable principle - As long as they're not taking the piss. When UK suppliers listed the standing charge as a separate item it was easier to understand than "First X units charged at £££, then after that units are charged at ££" [Where (£££-££) *X = the hidden standing charge]

You're lucky you don't get hit with a "connection charge" and have to pay a deposit as a "new" customer!

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tfewster
Happy

Re: BT

Agreed, when I transferred away from TalkTalk (be nice - I signed up with Pipex Business!), I cancelled my DD the moment they sent me an incorrect invoice for the last few days - so they added on a "failed Direct Debit" charge.

After a few months of threats, I sent them an invoice for my time. They closed the case shortly after that.

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Thwarted dev sets Instasheep to graze on Facebook accounts

tfewster
Joke

"...reap thousands of accounts in one day, and then use them to post spam."

Would anyone notice?

Seriously though, Stevie Graham had better have built some legitimate "network security analysis" functionality into his code. If it's just a hacking tool, I suspect The Law will be wanting a word.

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Blighty will be BIGGER and BETTER than Germany, confirm beancounters

tfewster

A little late

...the financial services sector is upping its spend on risk and compliance...

Shouldn't they have been doing this for the past 6 years, ever since the sub-prime crash and more recent events have shown they were rubbish at it?

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ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION

tfewster

Re: Ball Ox

Whatever you think of his actions, he didn't get off lightly. He was convicted of the charge they found to throw at him and was sentenced to prison (suspended) and fined. The judges comments were on the sentence, not the conviction.

P.S. I didn't downvote you, so here's an upvote to balance it

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BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu

tfewster
Devil

..sound the horn...

Isn't that illegal? It's certainly against the Highway Code and bloody annoying if you're next to a driver who hits his horn to attract the attention of a mate half a mile away and behind a windshield.

I try to dissuade people from doing that again. I know you drive a BMW, but whereabouts do you live again?

<car icon, of course--->

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ICO: It's up to Google the 'POLLUTER' to tidy up 'right to be forgotten' search links

tfewster
FAIL

So you'd be OK with ihatevelv.com posting "velv smells" in some jurisdiction with bullet-proof hosting?

And Google making it the top link for searches on "velv" because the host pays for advertising?

And the papers printing "Official: velv smells", <very small print>according to ihatevelv.com</very small print> ?

because, hey, it's not their fault. And even if it's not true now, any prospective partner should know that velv is really a stinky person underneath who just cleans up a bit better now, right?

Google should grow a pair. They got away with not being classed as publishers so they couldn't be sued for republishing libel, but if they're digging in bins and displaying their findings in front of the town hall, eventually enough people will get pissed off to take them down.

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Will the next US-EU trade pact prevent Brussels acting against US tech giants?

tfewster

No, no, no - the EU didn't "force" MS to provide browser choice, They gave them options - do it, or be hit with fines for abuse of a monopoly position under the existing laws.

On the other hand, tax reform to make companies pay local taxes on local profits* - Ain't gonna happen under this new trade pact

*Yes, the real profit, not the one they report after "transfer pricing"

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VMware wants IM clients to hookup with calendars and databases

tfewster
Facepalm

I almost switched off at "monitored content", but...

server: Disk error!

server: Disk error!

server: Disk error!

admin: It's a mirrored disk and I'm working on it

server: retrieving info on: Mirrors

server: Home furnishings, furniture sales.....................................

server: Disk error!

admin: stop spamming me with error messages and irrelevant content

server: retrieving info on: Spam

server: Spam recipes, spam catchers........................................

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I've got 99 problems, but a Facebook boycott ain't one

tfewster

Re: Emails and Announcements

..content free ad network...

FTFY

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

tfewster
Facepalm

Re: Regarding the terminology problems...

You may be too young to remember 5.25" and 8" removable discs, which were flexible if not truly "floppy". We tried calling the 3.5" ones "stiffies", but it didn't go down too well and the users themselves called all removable disks "floppies".

The ones who thought you had to take the stiff cover off before using it knew why they were called "discs" :-D

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tfewster
Facepalm

Re: a lesson learned some time ago

You may need to be more precise :-)

Me: "What exactly can you see on the screen?"

Them "Nothing"

<together> Check monitor power, brightness, connections, reboot. No change.

I go on site take a look at the screen, which _isn't_ blank. It has an error message, that diagnoses the problem and tells you exactly what to do, i.e. plug the keyboard in.

Me: "I thought you said there was nothing on the screen?"

Them: "There isn't. There should be a login box"

Fair enough, I can understand how "Nothing useful to me" == "Nothing"

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Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

tfewster
Joke

Re: Message for the labels

If only there was a ready-made alternative to YouTube, somewhere where an indie could take advantage of an established infrastructure but have their own space - they could call it "My Space" or something like that...

(Disclaimer: I have no idea if myspace is a reasonable alternative economically, though I bet the owners would be delighted if myspace became cool again...)

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Microsoft compliance police to NHS: We want your money

tfewster
Linux

..service disruption..staff being unable or unwilling to adapt..

With the greatest possible respect to the Sir Humphreys making those arguments, service disruption in non-clinical areas isn't the same as disruption in medical service delivery.

I worked for an NHS trust in the early 90s, migrating medical secretaries and other non-clinical staff from typewriters to computers. Many of the secretaries were in their 50s, but they all adapted well (if not all willingly, though they all realised the benefits in the end).

And retraining from XP/Office 2003 to Linux/OpenOffice would be about as disruptive as changing to Win 7/Office 2010

I suspect your biggest challenge is getting browser-based access to work on something later than IE6 - That's going to have to happen anyway, so moving to another browser is a relatively small additional change.

If only the money saved on licensing could be redirected to training (or better office chairs - THAT would be a good motivator!)

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Average chump in 'bank' phone scam is STUNG for £10,000 - study

tfewster
Happy

Re: It would help an awful ****ing lot

Last time HSBC bank called me, they authenticated themselves by giving part of the information and asking me to confirm the rest.

e.g "Our records state you were born on the Nth day of the month; Please confirm which month it was"

and "How much was your last payment to XXX Building Society"?

Maybe they have a flag on my record that says "paranoid" :-)

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Give us a slice or we BLURT all your users' topping preferences to the WORLD

tfewster
Coat

Re: Pizzas

Or a pizza the action?

(Sorry Dom, I know it's cheesy)

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Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN

tfewster
Thumb Up

Dominic Connor = Steve Bong? I claim my £5

What a Bong-tastic sub-head: "Join me, Reg readers, and help me UPGRADE our CHILDREN " !

Has anyone ever seen Dominic and Steve in the same room together? If they aren't alter-egos, I suspect a meeting might create a critical satirical feedback loop.

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tfewster
Boffin

Re: Sorry to rain on your parade...

I guess you've had a bad day, but the tone of this article is "humer[o?]us"

Actually, the RI/Christmas Lectures are usually very non-Dr Brian "gravity is like cheese" Cox, in that they:

- Talk about something important in an interesting way [OK, BC +1; But "enthused" is not the same as "making $TOPIC interesting". That just makes you a geek]

- Use metaphors that:

- Give you an intuitive feel for $TOPIC [BC-1]

- Are actually easier to understand than $TOPIC [BC-1]

- Are reasonably consistent [BC-1]

- Motivate viewers to explore $TOPIC further rather then wait for the next Coxbite treatment [BC-1]

(Bitter, moi? OK, I might have had a bad day too...)

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Fat-fingered admin downs entire Joyent data center

tfewster

Re: Its all about blame

I'd go further than that - recognise that Corporate IT is a core function that creates competitive advantage, not a commodity service that can be blindly outsourced.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order ... BLAM-BLAM! That guard did Nazi that coming

tfewster
Mushroom

Re: Great, I can't wait

Or - if it has "only" dropped to half price after 6 months and it's still being talked about - then it might be worth a look!

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How to catch a fraudster – using 'top cop' Benford and the power of maths

tfewster
Go

Interesting responses, thank you, and they demonstrate even further how my intuition about approximate answers can be badly flawed...

@ Patrick R "Those retailers prices are not natural"

- Very good, on both levels :-) Yes, a bias has been introduced so they are "chosen numbers" rather than "random numbers" or "numbers that occur in nature"

@ Terry Barnes "It doesn't actually work that way..."

- Possibly, but I suspect retailers will also overprice a cheaper item up to the £10 "mental barrier" to compensate for those they have to underprice. (Ignoring competition etc.)

@ YAAC "It only apples to the incidence of the first digit."

- Yes, I wasn't counting the "insignificant" digits, just using them to demonstrate my theory about retailer pricing

@ Loyal Commenter "If you buy two items priced..."

- I notice you chose your set of numbers carefully, but yep, a "transform" breaks an even distribution. Transforms are back into the realm of pure maths, so we can get away from these damn statistics....

@ Cynic_999 "I suspect 9.99 is not more common than 1.99..."

http://www.googlefight.com/index.php?lang=en_GB&word1=9.99&word2=1.99

OK, that's hardly rigorous and the results were closer than I expected! Interestingly, a googlefight between 9 and 8 (or any other 2 digits) seem to to follow Benford's Law.

As above, I appreciate that transforms break even distributions, but a couple of counter-points: In the UK, retail prices almost always include VAT (to avoid arguments at the till, if it isn't by law). And how about big-ticket items? If you're buying a budget car, you expect that £9,999 price tag to include everything. If you want a "nice" car, £19.999 is just the base model and you are prepared to pay for extras.

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tfewster

Fascinating, but I would still have expected 9 to have a higher incidence than 8 if the numbers are about money as ,e.g., retailers price products at 9.99 rather than 10.00

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LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'

tfewster

> ..what if they did actually test a similar scenario..

True, you can load test and test all the edge cases you can think of - but did you test the combination of a U2 plus 3 other aircraft emergencies plus a hot air balloon convention while the system was under load? Probably not, you have to set a limit on the actual tests, but knowing how the system performs when it hits a difficult task can help gauge its limits. Even the old fashioned meatware controllers knew their limits and, ISTR, could refuse to allow any more aircraft into their space.

Oh, and I estimate million-to-one occurrences would probably happen about once a month at any given airport.

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tfewster
Facepalm

Re: hmm

Maybe for software developed in-house. But when an external supplier hands something mission critical over, you test it before paying up. Plus ATC and Lockheed Martin aren't exactly "smaller places". So nothing could possibly go wrong....

Oh, wait...

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Comcast dragged into muck in Oracle's Solaris fix-it lawsuit

tfewster
Pint

Consider yourself both upvoted and downvoted ;-)

Yes, Oracle should fix bugs in faulty programming until the final EOS date. But not give away new hardware drivers or feature improvements. Or phone support - but feel free to engage a 3rd party provider to work out what caused your system crash and what Sun/Oracle patches (that you are entitled to) to apply.

As to Microsoft & XP - If MS are fixing bugs for selected customers, I think there's a case to say those fixes should be available to anyone affected by an XP bug

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Cold War spy aircraft CRASHED Los Angeles' air traffic control

tfewster
Terminator

Emergencies? @ mr.K

Easy to imagine an emergency situation in a normal airliner where a rapid descent is needed from 35,000 feet through multiple layers - Decompression, fire, multiple engine failures etc. Is ERAM going to go on strike EVERY time it's really needed?

ROTM icon - because it might be more sinister than just bad programming ;-)

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Titsup UK Border IT causes CHAOS at air and seaports in Blighty

tfewster
Thumb Up

Re: What would have happened if

Your UK passport says: "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance". If any UKBA employee objects to you walking past, just point this out to them ;-)

Of course, the typical 1 hour delay at border control might just be to give the baggage handlers time to unload the aircraft...

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Sticky Tahr-fy pudding: Ubuntu 14.04 slickest Linux desktop ever

tfewster

re: command line (@ A J Stiles)

What, use the command line, like in Windows? Where most support conversations go "Click Start, type <command> and press enter?" e.g. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/i-cant-start-the-microsoft-security-essentials-service

Shame Windows doesn't have command-line editing to allow you to fix typos. Or leave a window open to check what you might have done wrong, let alone show you the error message. Simply repeat the entire process, correctly this time.

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Google kills copycat TfL congestion charge payment ads

tfewster

I appreciate Google can't police the web and struggle to avoid automated suggested phrase completions without upsetting, e.g. Max Mosley.

But ads are their core business, and they must be aware of the scam sites without needing to be told. A conspiracy to defraud charge and seizing their assets as proceeds of crime should help them focus on their responsibilities.

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