* Posts by big_D

2309 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

big_D
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No Sex please, we are Uber

Wasn't there a play about this in the 70s?

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Standards body warned SMS 2FA is insecure and nobody listened

big_D
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Re: SMS messages ... may be ... redirected,

You can have more than one SIM with the same number - my current contract includes 2 free additional SIMs with the same number (for use in tablets or laptops for data, for example) and I can pay for more.

All use the same number and, if you put all 3 SIMs in phones, they would all ring at the same time.

But issuing a # command on a handset, you can tell the provider that this is the "primary" device and SMS should be sent to it - SMS only gets sent to the "primary" device.

So a hacker just needs to get the carrier to issue a secondary card and, once they have received it, they can issue the # command and intercept your SMS..

Given how easily providers give out new SIMs, this isn't hard. Some will even send it to an alternate address, otherwise the hacker just needs to hang around outside your residence and then sign for the mail, when the postie delivers the new card.

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MP Kees Verhoeven wants EU to regulate the Internet of S**t

big_D
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Finally someone in politics talking sense?

But putting in such controls will only improve the lot of consumers in the EU. It probably won't stop cheap devices with vulnerabilities being sold in other countries, outside the EU.

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Amazon's Netflix-gnasher to hit top gear In December

big_D
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Re: Yarrgh

It was released here last week (Germany). Got around to watching at the weekend.

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Google's neural network learns to translate languages it hasn't been trained on

big_D
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Re: Not bad

I can only speak for DE - EN, but it has problems with the actual subject most of the time, let alone the subtext. Something else you have to think about, is that translating from a language to a foreign language and back does not really mean that the foreign translation is of good quality or even accurate, just that the translation engine can understand itself good enough to get there and back again.

A friend of mine's daughter had to hand in her Doctoral thesis in English and he ran it through Google Translate and thought it would be OK. After I stopped laughing, I re-wrote it.

In general, before the introduction of this new AI technology, I would say that Google Translate has about a 30% hit rate for an average piece of text - by that I mean that at most 30% is good enough that it has the right subject matter and that the sentence makes any sense.

It seems to work better, from English to German, when you use abbreviated text, for example "do not" often misses the "not" from the translation, whereas "don't" is generally translated correctly.

I went through a phase of sending corrections to Google, but I usually don't have the time.

Generally, I just keep Leo.org or Linguee open and just translate certain words that stump me - and sometimes it is the easy, everyday words that escape you. You know the word in English and you know the word in German, but somehow your brain doesn't make the connection.

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big_D
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Headmaster

Re: Not bad

That is a move in the right direction. Until now the DE-EN EN-DE translations have been hilarious at best, dangerous at worst.

Google did one safety translation that told me to "open the case, high voltage inside". Not sure if it had something to do with me using a Windows Phone at the time.

I am currently working at a translation office and I can tell you that Google Translate cannot, generally, translate very well. Certainly not enough that it would make me worried about working as a translator.

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Low-end notebook, rocking horse shit or hen's teeth

big_D
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Re: RE: Chromebooks

But if they can sell it for $199 in the USA, why does it cost over 2.5 times as much in Germany, when Windows devices have at worst a $1 = 1€ conversion and are sometimes cheaper (when you remove tax).

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big_D
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Either will work...

My mum came over to visit and said that my Windows was better than her Windows... She ended up taking my 6 year old notebook with SUSE on it back with her!

On the other hand, I cleaned away the Lenovo crud on another machine and use Windows on it. Without the crud it is actually pretty good.

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big_D
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RE: Chromebooks

The problem is, most of the Chromebooks over here (Germany) cost more than a cheap Windows notebook! The $199 Acer ARM based Chromebook was going for around 450€ on Amazon last year! With prices like that, it is little wonder than at its peak (2014), there were no Chromebooks in the top 50 most sold notebooks on Amazon and only 2 in the top 100.

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Bungling ATM thieves blow up bank statement machine

big_D
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Re: Might be Dutch

Gas, not petrol. As in propane.

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big_D
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Re: Alte Wilhelm

Although the correct term is "die Bullen".

But yes, a great translation of the English into German.

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big_D
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They don't use explosives. ;-)

They use propane gas tanks and some tubing.

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big_D
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Re: Might be Dutch

Although Berlin is a way aways.

They usually do it around here (Lower Saxony). They pump gas into the machine and then ignite it, blowing the machine apart, so they can get at the cash.

The banks are now retro fitting the ATMs so that in the event of such an explosion, the money will be sprayed with dye.

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big_D
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Re: It's "Kontoauszugsdrucker"

Yep, the ATMs usually show the balance, but you use the printer to get your bank statement - or you wait a couple of months and they send it to you...

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IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

big_D
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@Lee D

It depends on what you mean by almost every ISP... Here, in Germany, many ISPs have been offering IPv6 for a few years and, for many customers, any new connection is automatically and exclusively IPv6. If you need IPv4 you need to explicitly state that and often will have to pay for a business connection.

DT has been pushing IPv6 only connections on its new customers since 2012 or 2013. All others are at least dual stack, if they aren't giving customers IPv6 only.

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The big day is here and it's time to decide: Patch Flash, Windows, Office or Android first?

big_D
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Re: Time to decide?

Update not showing up on my Nexus 5X yet.

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Why Apple's adaptive Touch Bar will flop

big_D
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Re: Apples and Lemons?

I need physical keys. I do a lot of translation work, Office, Adobe CS and support an ERP system. They rely heavily on function keys.

Even on PCs, it is annoying that on many newer devices and keyboards, I need to use a "function shift" key + function key to get the key to react "normally".

If I need Shift + Ctrl + F5, on my laptop I need to press Fn + Shift + Ctrl + F5... As they are used so extensively, any keyboard that does away with the function keys is a non-starter for me.

It is possible to hunt through ribbons or menus to find the relevant option, but it is a lot slower and breaks the workflow as you need to take your hands away from the keyboard.

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Apple fans using Chrome on alert for Mac malware

big_D
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Re: Ah, the wonders of Internet advertising

Make the advertising broker responsible for any infection and the costs of cleaning up, then maybe they would actually look at vetting their service instead of blithely letting their ads infect their users.

Here, in Germany, if a website gets infected by malware and that is used to attack other websites, you are liable and must pay damages.

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Google drops a zero-day on Microsoft: Web giant goes public with bug exploited by hackers

big_D
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Re: Google is as much nice with Microsoft...

There is a difference between informing the world that there is a problem being actively exploited by malware and giving full details on how to exploit it... Especially given that they have only given Microsoft a little over a week to study the problem and fix it.

Yes, warn the public that there is new malware out there that can exploit the problem, but don't tell other hackers, who haven't discovered the issue, where to look and what to do.

By the sound of it, the problem is pretty deep in Win32 and it might not be a five minute fix, as the windows handling functions are used by pretty much all software, so any changes will need to be thoroughly tested to ensure that they don't kill other, valid applications.

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No nudes, bloated apps, Android sucks and 497 other complaints about Apple to the FTC

big_D
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Re: @ big_D, et al.

@Shooter, but, even if they sell more phone than the next man (1/3) more, iOS still accounts, according to your wording, less than 50% of the market and cannot therefore be considered a monopoly. They would have to have over 90% to be considered a monopoly.

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big_D
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Apple aren't a dominant player, they are number 2 and depending on the market often has less than 10℅ market share. Globally it has less than 16℅ market share in the mobile devices sector (smartphone and tablet).

That means that they don't fall under monopoly conditions and are subject to more lenient rules. Android on the other hand has over 80℅ market share and Google has, for example, over 95℅ share of the search market in Europe, where they are being investigated for abuse.

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Existing security standards are fine for IoT gizmos in electrical grids

big_D
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The security, per se, isn't the problem. There are enough best practices out there.

The problem is, is that small, cheap devices don't get enough funding to implement the security properly and, if problems are found, they don't get fixed, because there is no money in fixing the problems.

If the devices cost enough, that the security was done properly, and security issues would be addressed and patches sent out in a timely manner, nobody would buy them, because they would be too expensive.

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Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

big_D
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Re: Coincidence ?

On the other hand, the videos can be classed as satire and Samsung could only get them down for copyright infringement. As they don't own the copyright on the game or the video and it can be shown that the video falls under satire / fair use, then Samsung can't really get it taken down, without going to court and getting a defamation judgement against the poster. (IANAL, but that would be my first guess)

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

big_D
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Re: Errrm

The biggest problem with, current, capitalism is that everybody is looking to make money NOW! Very few are looking at investing for long term growth, decent quality products that last and make products that are environmentally balanced.

By this I mean things like electronics designed to break just after the warranty runs out, built in failure points, so that after a set number of uses the device will break, so that people will buy a new one. What happened to pride in the work and quality? My parents bought products, they were expensive, but they lasted decades. Today, the products are either cheap and fall apart after a couple of uses or they are expensive and last a few years.

A lot of "improvements" in products aren't there to improve the product, but are changes in design to make it look newer and cooler, so that people will throw out existing, working products to buy new ones.

We are in a consumer death spiral. The amount of waste we produce, because things break or go out of fashion so quickly is not sustainable. Investors are looking for a return on investment for the next quarter or, if they are investing "long term", then the next year or two at most. Nobody is looking to make sure a company is sustainable and will grow steadily, providing good income, for the next 10 or 50 years, let alone looking at the long term. It is all, "I have made my profit from the company and exited, now it can go to hell, for all I care."

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big_D
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@noboard Re: Errrm

Exactly. The example is bad. And having worked in the food industry, where industrialisation of some area eliminates almost all jobs, the example makes even less sense.

One slaughter house I know of automated the targeting of carcases in the coolhouse. Here the system identified each carcass coming in (RFID tag married to the classfication data) and automatically sends it to the most appropriate lane. When the carcasses are needed for processing or for loading onto trucks, the system automatically pulls out the correct carcasses from the relevant lanes.

All of that is controlled by a single person. In the past, the slaughterhouse had to employ 12 people just to push the carcasses to the lanes and to find the relevant ones for shipping. With the automation, not only did they reduce the chance of infection (nobody actually has to touch the carcasses), speed up production (they now slaughter over 600 pigs an hour, instead of 300), but it also reduced headcount by a factor of 12 in that area.

Other slaughterhouses manage even faster speeds (one customer was is producing over 1200 carcasses an hour on an automated production line) through the use of robots, the robots automatically scan the carcasses and cut them open, on these high speed lines, that replaces at least 2 workers on the saws.

With manual cutting and manual sorting, you need a lot of workers, but with the automated lines, you can more than halve the number of workers needed (more if you go for robots) and at the same time you can double or quadruple your production capacity.

Obviously there are areas where such increases in efficiency are not currently possible, but it shows what can be done. So, although they have saved 12 workers in one area, reducing the headcount to one, they have also dramatically increased capacity, meaning in the past they would have needed another dozen workers to achieve the same speed (there are limits to how fast a single person can push a carcass along a conveyor system and switch points to push them into certain lanes. They have also increased accuracy and identify individual carcasses, without ever having to go near the coolhouse itself.

Those 12 workers? Were they used elsewhere in the production? No. There was just no need for them any more.

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Blighty's Home Office database blunders will deprive hundreds of GB driving licences

big_D
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Re: Home office can revoke as much as it likes

The German licensing department told me that I needed to hand over my EU/UK driving license and I was automatically issued a German license to replace it.

The rules might have changed last year, now that different countries can issue fines and points to license holders in different countries (and collect on them). When I came over in 2002, there was no way for German authorities to force foreign drivers to pay fines and there was no way of applying points issued in Germany to foreign licenses.

Therefore, as I was resident in Germany, I had to hand over my UK license and get a German one. If I travel back to the UK for a short period (less than 6 months), then I can use my German license. If I move back to the UK permanently, then I can apply for my UK license to be given back to me, in exchange for my German license.

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big_D
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Re: Home office can revoke as much as it likes

In Germany, if you have an EU or international license, you can use it for up to six months, after that you have to hand it in and get a German license. If you fail to do so and are caught, you can get up to a 1 year driving ban.

I assumed that this would be the same all over Europe...

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Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

big_D
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I owned a 1987 E28 M535i, lovely car, although the tyres were like Bakelite! I also had a 1998 528i.

Both cars were great to drive (and reliable), although I find the newer models uninteresting. They have lost their flare and everything is electronic these days.

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big_D
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Mercedes can't even control their vehicle.

The ADAC (German equivalent of AA) did a test in August of the top cars with automated braking systems. The Mercedes came bottom of the list, it failed to stop completely for pedestrians in daylight, failed to notice a cyclist and failed completely at night.

The winners were Kia, Subaru and VW Passat (the Kia stopping completely for a pedestrian in daylight, nearly stopping for the cyclist and attempting to stop at night, the Subaru nearly stopped in daylight, nearly stopped for the cyclist and stopped completely at night, the BMW failed to stop in all situations, but had managed to drastically reduce speed).

The tests were done on a test track with dummies moving in front of the vehicle at 30mph.

They also have an inflated cushion, which looks like the back end of a VW Touran and is towed behind a car, to test the automated braking at highway speeds. Again, the results were disappointing, with many of the cars running into the back of the obstacle.

Unfortunately only the 2012 test is online and I have thrown out the magazine with the 2016 test report.

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VMS will be ready to run on x86 in 2019!

big_D
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Re: A dinosaur speaks.

Using PHONE to talk to ops in Houston, whilst sitting in rainy East Grinstead in 1981 was one of the reasons I got into computing, I found it fascinating.

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EU turns screws on Android – report

big_D
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Re: It's not quite the MS case.

It is about the operating system, or rather the lack of choice, if you want to sell an official Android phone, you can't also sell your own phones, with your own software.

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big_D
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Re: It's not quite the MS case.

If they ship licensed Android phones, they can't currently ship the open source version (AOSP) with their own services on top, instead of the Google services, it is either or.

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Pokemon NO! Hospital demands ban on virtual creatures after addicts invade private wards

big_D
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There have been a lot of complaints in Germany, with Pokemon being placed on private property and people breaking into gardens to get their kicks.

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Germany calls halt to Facebook’s WhatsApp info slurp

big_D
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EU rules say that what Facebook is doing is illegal, but it is up to the respective member states DP organizations, working within the locally implemented laws, to take Facebook to task.

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Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

big_D
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Re: Only 1 year?

Now that would be a heavy sentence indeed!

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Microsoft cuts ribbon on Euro cloud bit barn for Office 365, Azure

big_D
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Which is why they opened this data center. It is run and managed by T-Systems, a German based company. Microsoft don't get any physical or administration access to the server farm, so if they get a US warrant, they just tell the US Justice Department to go get a German search warrant and talk to T-Systems, Microsoft have nothing to do with the process.

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big_D
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Re: Segregation

The data centers are in Frankfurt and Magdeburg, as stated in the article.

Additionally, whilst the servers front-facing services are on the Internet, there is no remote administration access to the server farm, it must all be done locally and only vetted T-Systems employees have access. If Microsoft want access, they have to turn up with authorization and will be escorted to the machines.

Allegedly, they will not be able to touch the machines directly, so no admin access and no copying data off. That also means, that if MS are given a US court order for access to the data, they will have to refuse, because they will not get access to the servers without a valid German search warrant, as T-Systems falls under German jurisdiction and is solely responsible for the running of the services.

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Is Tesla telling us the truth over autopilot spat?

big_D
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At the weekend, I noticed that my Qashqai was beeping at me at junctions, as though something was approaching the front end at low speed (front parking sensor). There was nothing, I assume it was residual water running over the sensors when braking. Luckily it didn't try and slam on the brakes, but it was a little annoying.

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big_D
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I can remember watching Tomorrow's World in the 70s and 80s and seeing self-driving experiments from the likes of Volvo, Mercedes and VW Group being shown on a regular basis. The major manufacturers have been experimenting for over 40 years on building in automation to vehicles.

Some of it back then was pretty basic, I think the VW system was mainly aimed at slaving the following cars to the leader on the autobahn.

But if you look at what has trickled down to today's cars, you can see that some of that technology is slowly maturing enough to be used safely on the road, as assistive technologies. The ADAC (German motoring organisation similar to the AA in the UK or AAA in the USA) did a test last month of the assisted braking systems in BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Kia, Subaru, VW/Audi and a couple of others. What was interesting was, that none of these systems were 100% effective in avoiding an accident, in fact the ones you would expect to be good (Volvo, BMW and Mercedes) faired very badly in the test. Unfortunately, they didn't test the Tesla S, so I don't know how it would have faired.

But only two cars avoided colliding with a slower car in front of them - most braked hard, but still rolled into the "car" in from (a bag full of air, shaped like the back of a VW Sharan). When it came to pedestrians, again only 2 of them completely avoided hitting the pedestrian, and only the Subaru managed to stop completely at night, many of the others didn't even try and slow down! And none of them could cope with a cyclist - some slowed down, but all of them hit the cyclist to varying degrees (from around 20% speed reduction to 85% speed reduction from 50km/h). Unfortunately, i couldn't find an online link to the test - it was in the member's magazine.

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Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today

big_D
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Re: I patch

Moaning pays off! The Nougat update turned up on my phone about 22:00 last night. My wife's Nexus 5X is still waiting.

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big_D
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Re: I patch

They also forgot to mention Google, they had a lot of patches for Chrome and Android this month as well - and I am still waiting for Nougat to be made available to my Nexus 5X.

I would patch, if I could...

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EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

big_D
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Re: The EU

Essentially yes, although you will need a two stage system. You can keep the SSID WPA2 password as is and freely available, but you will need to put in some additional gateway / proxy system that then asks for additional identification or a special "ticket" number to allow them to gain access to the Internet.

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big_D
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Re: Erm - 2+2=5

Not exactly, there are two stages or passwords that can be used.

Using a known password for the hotspot to enable encryption is a good thing. This password can even be displayed on the counter, so that customers can gain access to the internal network.

The second stage, which is more controversial, and is probably what the courts want, is to have a proxy or gateway that requires users to be registered, before they get from the internal network out onto the Internet. These systems are available and cost money. In Germany the likes of Deutsche Telekom and the other large telcos generally run them and customers of the Telco can often use the hotspots "for free", because it is included in their monthly mobile or landline contracts.

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big_D
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Re: Erm

Having a WPA2 password / passphrase makes it secure at least and cannot be eavesdropped by others in the vicinity. It doesn't matter if the password is printed for all to see, once the traffic is encrypted, it make it a lot more secure.

Having to use a logon-page on top of that, so that you can access the Internet through the router is another matter.

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big_D
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Re: Meh

In Germany, you could put in an NFC reader and read the customer's Perso (Perosnalausweis or national identity card). The governments are trying to push the use of the modern NFC enabled ID cards in Europe, so I can see them saying this is a good idea...

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big_D
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Password makes sense

It makes sense to require every hotspot to have a WPA2 password, just for security purposes. That way your traffic can't be so easily snooped upon, because it is encrypted. Even a simple password, such as the name of the SSID or the establishment's name would do.

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Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup

big_D
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Re: CE marking

We put our industrial touch PC through testing, it passed with flying colours first time through (CE) and cleared IP67 and IP69K. All without problems or the need to recertify.

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big_D
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Re: CE marking

And there is no need to assume that CE will be needed in the EU after Brexit, it will be, FULL STOP.

Even goods coming from China etc. must have CE approval, if they are to be sold in Europe. As said above, go to TÜV or an equivalent and get it tested.

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

big_D
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Re: eh?

I use Google Maps once in a blue moon - probably 2 times a year, tops - to get me somewhere, so I don't need location services most of the time.

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

big_D
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Re: Mansfield bars

What I read said that they managed to free themselves from the vehicle without the aid of the first responders, but that they had serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

There is a big difference between being able to free oneself from the vehicle after the accident (not being clamped into the vehicle and having to be cut out) and not being injured.

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