* Posts by VinceH

1621 posts • joined 26 Nov 2009

Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)

VinceH
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However (as I've only now realised) the triple click doesn't just select the URL if it's part of a paragraph - in that case, select it with a click and drag.

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VinceH
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Handy tip if you are using Firefox - which may work on other browsers as well:

Triple click on the URL. It recognises it as a URL, so you can then right click -> open link in new tab. Quicker quicker than messing around copying it, then opening a new tab and pasting into the URL field - but, yeah, El Reg automatically recognising links in comments would be handy.

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Ford recalls 433,000 cars: Software bug breaks engine off-switch

VinceH
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Re: And again ..

"there is an argument for a cut-out switch."

Or: pop the bonnet, disconnect the battery, get back in the car and stall it. (I had to do that on an old Suzuki SJ for a few days many years ago, and I assume it'll still work on modern cars!)

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Facebook unveils SECRET logo furtle – in a TWEET

VinceH
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Re: ??

"It has to be badly photoshopped on to a towel"

Indeed. The curvature and distortion of the lettering isn't right, and doesn't match the towel (or whatever it is) - but there is curvature and distortion to the lettering in that picture (look at the 'k' - it's most prominent on that one).

This suggests to me that the rolled up towel is part of the logo.

(Yet none of this is mentioned in the article?)

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Windows 7 and 8.1 market share surge, XP falls behind OS X

VinceH
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"Next month's numbers should be rather more interesting, because Windows 10 lands on July 29th and will presumably be adopted by a great many users not long afterwards. What share will Redmond's saviour have by August 1st?"

Well, unless they only base their numbers on usage in the last two days of the month, I doubt it'll have much of a share at all by 1st August. It's the August figures, published in September, that are really likely to show it.

And that's not taking into account other flaws mentioned upthread.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

VinceH
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Re: F**king Madness

"Android stores the passwords in plaintext. There are apps which will display them, or you can hoke through the file system."

Time to insult my family:

When it comes to technology, they are utterly clueless - they wouldn't have the first idea how to look for them through the file system (let alone know what a file system is), and I'd be amazed if they had the wherewithal to go downloading apps to reveal the passwords.

And the ones using iThings are even worse.

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VinceH
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Re: F**king Madness

"Our solution, family only, is I enter the nightmare from Hell password and lock it in."

I adopt the same approach - if a visitor (usually only family) needs wifi access, I enter the password for the guest network for them. They continue to have access with that device whenever they visit until, once in a blue moon, I change the password.

Most of them use Apple iThings, and some Android - so no real problem there - but the first time I see a Windows device, I'll increase the frequency of those password changes to monthly. (Or I could add the _optout to the SSID - which is a stupid idea*. Or both.)

* Because of the sheer number of people who simply won't know about this. Microsoft, you are idiots - the optout extension to the SSID is a token gesture, and nothing more.

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Giant FLYING SPACE ROCKS could KILL US ALL, warns Brian May

VinceH
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Re: Exit plan?

Just breed a race of giants, and put them on guard, equipped with massive tennis racquets.

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BBC veterans require skilled hands to massage their innards

VinceH
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"There are people doing some stunning stuff with BBC Micros. I bought a reconditioned unit which has a kit installed that can read CF cards (internal interface that treats the card like the Winchester disk) and also FAT formatted USB sticks ... among other tricks!"

USB port... on a BBC :)

That's a RetroClinic DataCentre - quite probably the same kit you are talking about

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US police to throw big balls in criminals' faces

VinceH
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FAIL

"Bounce Imaging CEO Francisco Aguilar says he got the idea for the device after hearing about the problems rescuers in the 2010 Haitian earthquake were having finding survivors in the rubble of ruined buildings"

Of course he did.

And slightly more recent, there's also this - that's the one I remembered, which is why I searched and found the one above.

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Windows 10 is due in one month: Will it be ready?

VinceH
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Facepalm

Previous commentards have discussed such things as how buggy the betas are, what is meant by the "supported lifetime" of the device, and so on. So I'll pick on something else from the article...

"Unfortunately there are yet sites that do not work correctly with Edge, where changing to IE (or an alternative browser) fixes the issue."

I suspect the problem is websites relying on browser sniffing to make certain things work, and either they don't recognise Edge (and/or they don't degrade gracefully when faced with something they don't recognise), or Edge is being recognised as something else (for example, a version of IE - perhaps in some cases, the site is just picking up on "Microsoft" in the browser string?) and being served [un]suitable HTML/CSS/Javascript as a result.

If so, the problem lies with the websites rather than the browser - although it's a problem that is (at least partly) of Microsoft's own making - and it is the sites that need fixing. If Microsoft 'fix' Edge, then it's just going to turn it into a new version of IE.

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That man told me to stuff a ROLE up my USER ENTRY!

VinceH
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Re: Login names

Anyone who's last name is fewer than six letters might have problems, too - unless it was up to six letters of the last name, rather than a strict six.

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Space station cabbage: To boldly grow where no veg has grown before

VinceH
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Re: Hell =

Gardens in space are no use at all until we have Huey, Dewey, and Louie to curate them when the humans kill each other and themselves in order to preserve them.

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ICANN's leaving the nest, so when will it grow up?

VinceH
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Thumb Down

"The fact you have probably never heard of them."

That seems a very odd - and quite patronising - thing to say in an article on a site like this.

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We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

VinceH
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Re: Smart TV

"My so called Smart TV complains everytime I switch it on that it can't connect to the MotherShip 'for vital security updates'. If it ain't connected to the network then why does it need those oh so important updates."

If there isn't an option to disable checking, I'd be inclined to take it back and complain that it is a [design] fault.

"However, this is the tip of the iceberg."

Quite. While Joe Public keeps lapping up all this crap, it's just going to get worse for those of us who can see the potential problems and therefore don't want it.

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Facebook frees Messenger from its gilded cage

VinceH
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"The move is designed to turn Messenger into its own social network, rather than leave it tied to the existing Facebook platform."

Not quite. The move is an attempt at mopping up people who have friends who are on Facebook but who aren't on Facebook themselves. Once they are on the Messenger platform, that means they've given more identifying information about themselves to Facebook than they were able to obtain previously.

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Man in India claims his new iPhone 6 combusted in his car

VinceH
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Mushroom

Re: Samsung exploding washing machines

"We have a Hotpoint WMD"

I had no idea Hotpoint made weapons of mass destruction. Do the TLAs know?

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Amazon enrages authors as it switches to 'pay-per-page' model

VinceH
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Re: Paranoia is its own reward

As I said in reply to someone else above, the Kindle platform keeps a track of where you've read up to in a book so that it can keep multiple devices/copies of the app in sync in terms of where you are in any given book.

It's done this for at least as long as I've been using it, and probably since the start.

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VinceH
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Re: Strange

" It's nasty enough that they know which books I own, now they also track what and which part of it I read how often."

You know how if you have a Kindle and the Kindle app on a phone or tablet, when you read up to a certain point on one the other is updated so you can carry on from the same point? That's what this is, and it's been part of the system for at least as long as I've had the app - which is a good few years now. Probably since the beginning, or as near as damn it.

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Larry Ellison: Oracle's going to WAR against Amazon cloud prices

VinceH
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DaaPR - Data as a Protection Racket.

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Facebook and Twitter queen Taylor Swift: Facebook and Twitter are RUBBISH

VinceH
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Re: self undermining?

"(I'm not fat.... just cuddly :D)"

You know you're fat when a young nephew points at your stomach and says "Have you got a baby in there?" :(

"TBH I couldn't pick her out in an ID parade,"

And not only that, but I also wouldn't recognise any of her music.

"but she has done 2 things this week that make me think she's probably a very decent human being."

Agreed. A big thumbs up for Ms Swift.

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Police robot duo storm Colorado house, end four-day siege

VinceH
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Unhappy

Yeah, but they only did it for his own protection. They were saving him from himself.

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Oz goes mad with the ban-hammer

VinceH
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"According to Twitterer @RefusedC, only 77 games received the ban between 1995 and January 2015. Following the adoption of the IARC guidelines, that number has blown out to 241 games to March 18, 2015. That works out to be an average of 40 games banned per month."

Is that some creative maths, or is there some information I'm missing? As I see it, the 'per month' figure since January 2015 appears to be notably higher than 40 games per month - how much higher depends what point in January the 1995 to January 2015 figure actually ends.

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Webmail password reset scam lays groundwork for serious aggro

VinceH
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Re: So why

"The more important question is how did the crooks know the phone number associated with the account."

One example scenario where this happens is because people running small businesses are (necessarily) publishing their phone number and contact email addresses - but using an address@ gmail or whoever instead of an address at their own domain (if they even have a domain name to start with).

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At last, switching between rubbish broadband providers now easier

VinceH
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Re: When did it become a thing for illegal behaviour

"to get a fluffy name ?"

Whenever people want to refer to that specific illegal behaviour and have other people know what they mean.

"Surely all the elements of "slamming" add up to conspiracy to defraud, or gain pecuniary advantage by deception."

Indeed. But if I said to you that I'd been a victim of a conspiracy to defraud, or gain pecuniary advantage by deception, you wouldn't know the specific nature of the offence - whereas if I told you I'd been a victim of slamming on my internet connection, you would.

Names are handy.

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DuckDuckGrow: Privacy search soars 600% after Snowden dumps

VinceH
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Joke

I was wondering if that was a deliberate joke in the article, but then it should probably have been DuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuckDuck-DuckDuckDuckDuckGo (if I've counted correctly*)

* The hyphen shouldn't be counted - I've added it to allow formatting to El Reg's width.

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

VinceH
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Re: Optional

Ta. That's more or less what I'd guessed would probably be the case. :/

On the whole, I think I'd much rather they asked me for the full password, so they can compare the hashes - but I run a very clean computer (food in the keyboard aside), and I have to accept that this may not be the case for Joe Public, meaning a risk of key-logging malware. I suppose as long as they use 2FA, though, the flaws with both methods are mitigated.

"Either that, or HSBC has decided to hash each letter of your password individually for extra security. ;) :D"

Heh.

Actually, thinking about those systems that limit your password to n characters, perhaps that's why... ;)

Joking aside, I'm not talking about HSBC at that point. I haven't yet logged in and created a new password - so I don't know yet if they require the whole password when logging in after, or specific characters from it.

OTTOMH, a couple that do are Natwest (for Bankline) and Barclaycard. Bankline also uses a pin (for which three digits are required to log in - same as the password), and they do use 2FA via a dedicated security device, but not for the initial log in.

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VinceH
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Re: Optional

"Actually, I respect not wanting to disclose personal banking information, but it's pretty vague and useless"

I don't mind disclosing the bank. Not naming them was probably just instinctive - I wouldn't name a client's bank (at least not when specifically mentioning the client), so I expect that's rubbing off on me personally, IYSWIM. (Plus, if HSBC are doing it, I suspect others will follow)

"so I'm just going to go ahead and say that this is HSBC we're talking about. Their security has just taken a notable step backwards with this. Phone app and passeprd might be more convenient if you don't have the key fob on you, but it is NOT as secure."

Quite so.

What annoys me, though, is that they did away with the use of a password in the first place, adding in the silly security question in its place.

I tend to suggest to people that if a system doesn't offer a password as an option, and a question like that instead, treat that as a password prompt. I then have to stress the need to make sure it's unique because - not being a password from the site's point of view - I wouldn't like to bet on it being salted and hashed.

Speaking of which... I'm by no means a security expert, but I know more than most people I know, but one thing which has been bugging me of late:

'Please enter the 3rd, 5th and 8th letters of your password [ _ ] [ _ ] [ _ ]'

I see this on some banking websites. Surely, if you can enter a selection of characters and have them validated against your password, that means the password can't be salted and hashed?

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VinceH
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Re: Somebody please stop the planet...

"Why not just allow 8 digit pins?

Or has the general public became so dumb they can't remember 8 digits in sequence any more?"

I don't think the general public is too dumb to remember eight digits - but I do think some members of the general public are probably too dumb to be sensible about those eight digits in the first place, and you'll probably get people using the last 8 digits of their phone number backwards*, and stuff like that.

* This is already common in four digit pins for house alarms, based several I know. (Which, arguably, I shouldn't know, but that's a whole other problem!

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VinceH
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Optional

Meanwhile, what's actually happening with at least one bank...

Up until a few years ago, I logged into my personal accounts with an ID and a password. Then they decided to add 2FA using a dedicated security device - which is sensible enough, obviously.

However, when they did that, they decided to drop the use of a password on the website (you need a pin for the 2FA device) and add a security question, where you get to choose one of a number of questions (mother's maiden name, first school, etc) and put in your answer.

Fast forward to now.

"Online Banking is evolving" they say. "The next time you log on to Online Banking you'll be asked to create a new password"

To be fair, this doesn't do away with the security key - this password is so you can "access essential Online Banking services" without the 2FA device. I still find it quite amusing, though, that having done away with passwords a couple of years ago, they're now introducing passwords.

They're also introducing a new version of the 2FA device - which, apparently, is a new 'digital' one.

What do they mean by digital? They mean it's not a separate physical device - it's a smartphone app.

So when they say you can "access essential Online Banking services" without the 2FA device, for those who opt for the app* they mean "when your battery has run out."

* Customers have the choice of continuing with the separate device or using the app - so it's not compulsory. Yet.

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VinceH
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I can't wait to apply for a new credit card, open the letter with the PIN advice inside, and have it tell me that my new pin is"

Correct horse battery staple!

All of a sudden, xkcd 936 becomes relevant in a whole new way!

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Cortana threatens to blow away ESC key

VinceH
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"Not to mention HP, who decided it would be great for users to put another row of keys down the left hand side of the keyboard for quick access to things like calculator, print and a whole host of other stuff that we don't need keys for."

Not their only dumb mistake. My HP laptop came set up so that the Fn key was needed to use the actual function keys F1-F12, rather than Fn being used to access the extra functions such as volume up/down, wireless on/off, etc - those were the default actions.

A pain if you use software in which the F1-F12 keys are actually used, as I do. If it wasn't just a BIOS change away, it would have been given a lesson in how easily glass breaks, what gravity does, and how hard concrete is*.

* Umm. Or it might have gone back for a refund. On balance, in fact, this probably more likely.

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VinceH
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"Funny - my 'Escape' key is, thanks to Microsoft, now enjoying a great revival following a long period of disuse. It's the key that gets me out of that blasted full-screen "hey - your server has a touch screen interface, right? Well here are some tiles!" start menu."

It's also jolly handy as part of the Ctrl-Shift-Esc combo to conveniently call up the task manager. Replacing it is "a bit silly"(tm).

Mind you, it's just an assumption that they're going to replace it - on a decent keyboard, there is enough space between Esc and F1 for another key (though whether that's the case on gubbins supplied by Toshiba is another matter).

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Amazon turns up spectacularly late to 'transparency' party, pours a large one

VinceH
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...anthrax spores.

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In memoriam: Christopher Lee, Hammer's Count Dracula

VinceH
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Re: Dracula is dead at last... and I'm sad.

"Although he passed away yesterday"

This article was the first I'd heard about his death, and I somehow read the reference to Sunday as yesterday (my mistake was pointed out to me elsewhere).

Still, this being a Friday night, a horror double bill still seems appropriate. My choices in the end were Dracula, Prince of Darkness and Scars of Dracula.

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VinceH
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Re: Dracula is dead at last... and I'm sad.

"Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing of course, were the first stars I saw when I started watching pitched-at-adults movies in the late 70's & early 80's and they made an indelible impression."

The Friday late night horror double bill on BBC2 (?) I'll wager - in which case, ditto. I cut my horror teeth on stuff like that, before moving on to quite a lot of the so-called video nasties that were subsequently banned. I reckon Christopher Lee is among the first actors I actually took note of, so to speak. RIP.

Although he passed away yesterday, it's Friday today, so it seems fitting to watch a horror double bill tonight with a couple of his films - the Hammer Collection box set on my shelf will finally be broken open.

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INTERNET of BOOBS: Scorching French lass reveals networked bikini

VinceH
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Re: That video ....

"and pause to examine the computer screens."

And you wouldn't have got any technical explanations from doing that - it was just GUI-related stuff AFAICS.

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Europol operation crushes phiendish global phishing ring

VinceH
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"These two statements literally do not add up."

Beat me to it. I wanted to question that very point. Darren's link doesn't offer anything to explain the oddity. In fact he (correctly) quotes the linked press release as saying (my emphasis):

"The suspects, mainly from Nigeria, Cameroon and Spain"

That release doesn't state the numbers, though - so that information is sourced from elsewhere. I wonder if the numbers reveal where they were located at the time they were nabbed?

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Shine a light on the rogue IT that hides in the company shadows

VinceH
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'a numpty “IT-savvy” user'

*shudders*

That is all.

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Dre-stic measures: Apple Beats retreat from iTunes brand – report

VinceH
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Re: Slowly moving away from the 'i' naming scheme?

There almost certainly will be a price at which they would be willing to sell it - and you are correct that Apple could very easily afford to offer that price. However, that isn't all there is to it.

Just because Apple could easily afford to pay whatever ITV wants, that doesn't mean the price ITV would be willing to accept is low enough that Apple would be willing to pay it.

Or, flipping that around, it doesn't mean the price Apple would be willing to pay is high enough that ITV would be willing to accept it.

Being able to afford it is only one part of the story.

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VinceH
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Re: Slowly moving away from the 'i' naming scheme?

"If they really wanted the name iTV, they clearly have the cash to own it."

That assumes the current owners would be willing to sell it.

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VinceH
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Trollface

Re: Slowly moving away from the 'i' naming scheme?

That's what I was thinking.

Perhaps they asked ITV to hand over the name and got told to eff off, realised they didn't own everything starting with i, and so decided to use something they do have the right to instead, and are now starting to rebrand their older stuff for consistency with the new.

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Apple preps summer bonking bonanza for Brits

VinceH
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I'm not.

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DARPA unTerminators gather for Robotics Challenge finals in Hell*

VinceH
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Terminator

"The mechanoids will have to drive a car to the test site, open a door,"

...and say "Come with me if you want to live!"

I know, I know, it was Kyle Reese - a human - who said that in The Terminator. It sounded funny in my head, mmkay?

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One USB plug to rule them all? That's sensible, but no...

VinceH
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Re: A far better Newport song...

Speaking as someone from just over the bridge, they both amuse me - but I've never actually been into Newport, only driven past it on the M4. I sometimes come off at J25a, and take the A4042 (mentioned in the lyrics) - in the opposite direction.

Always heading somewhere more appealing. :p

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What a Zuckin' drag! 'Frisco queens protest outside Facebook HQ over 'real names' policy

VinceH
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Re: Yes, good point

"Your passport is an international document, so I assume it has to comply with the requirements of multiple jurisdictions. HMRC and other UK government agencies are quite happy for you to call yourself whatever you like, as long as it actually is your name -- i.e. a single identity that you keep using all the time, rather than one of twenty aliases you keep to obscure your identity."

Indeed. I quite happily used a name that was subtly different from my given name from when I was a teenager up until about 2005 - at that point I needed a passport, so did actually change it formally by deed poll, but until then I never had any problem with any UK agency, which is exactly as it should be according to the law of our land.

However, I do occasionally have problems with broken-by-design web forms which insist on knowing my middle name, but also insist that my middle name - which is just a single letter - is not valid. (I usually just add a full stop after it, but I have had at least one case where that wasn't accepted.)

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OK Google, how much of my life do you observe and disturb?

VinceH
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Re: Google hater article?

"Unless I missed an episode, Google knows nothing about your WiFi passwords."

You missed an episode.

Android phones have an option to backup data - including such things as WiFi passwords - to a Google server, ostensibly so that it can be restored either to the same phone in the event of a reset, or to another phone if it's replaced.

I'm not for one moment suggesting Google access and use that data - because I simply don't know. What I do know is that the first thing I do with a phone or tablet is unset that option; IIRC it's set by default.

But the point is that the data is, for many people, stored on Google's servers, so the possibility is there.

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So, EE. Who IS this app on your HTC M9s sneakily texting, hmm?

VinceH
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Mushroom

BANG!

Okay, so it's not quite as powerful as the icon... ;)

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It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

VinceH
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Re: How many of you Windows user will be...

">>"Well it will be my Birthday...so probably."

And you get the best birthday present ever! A new edition of Windows! To be able to say goodbye to Windows 8. :)"

FTFY! :)

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

VinceH
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Or, for that matter (for those further up discussing the genesis stories in the Bible) a short story by Isaac Asimov called "How it Happened" ?

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