* Posts by big_D

1455 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Webcam-snooping spawn of ZeuS hits 150 banks worldwide

big_D
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Re: making spears

Aha, okay, then the use of external devices with the chip in the debit card and the value of the transaction adn the destination account to generate a unique TAN is not universal... Then the story makes a little more sense.

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big_D
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How do they perform transactions? I need a separate device, which I stick my card into and give the initial code from the bank, along with the value of the transaction and receiving bank account, I then need to punch in the resulting number.

Even if they hijack the initial code, they can't do anything with it, because it would still produce an invalid code for their transaction, because the other amount and other receiving account number would generate a different checksum... Even the automated version, which shows and "animated barcode", it still gets me to double check amount and account number before giving me the resulting code.

Unless they can somehow get my devices seed (which is not possible without physical access to the device and completely dismantling it, removing the encrypter chip and sticking the chip in some sort of reader (and even then, I don't know if they could easily read the seed) and a) the device would no longer work and b) it would be obvious to me that I'd been "hacked"), I don't see how JavaScrtipt injection is going to do anything useful.

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Google Tax part 94: EU's H-dot wavers over copyright levy

big_D
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Re: Makes your head spin

Not Google Search, they are talking about news.google.whatever.

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Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

big_D
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Facepalm

Re: High school adjectives for business solutions

"As it is Friday, have a beer."

Bleh! Wishing my week away!

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big_D
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Re: I'd just be happy with not user hostile

Having used Windows 8 since release, I wouldn't want to go back to a tile-less world now. On the move, with my tablet, they are great. On the desktop I rarely see them - just like the Start Menu in Windows 7, it is only accessed when I use an application that isn't pinned to my task bar - which covers about 99% of my daily routine.

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big_D
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Re: High school adjectives for business solutions

"> will not only be WAY PAST awesome

Way past having some awe is being full awe."

Ooh, I see what you did there!

As it is Friday, have a beer.

As to cheap, Windows 8 is currently free on sub 10" tablets and free in the Windows 8 with Bing version.

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big_D
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Re: High school adjectives for business solutions @revdjenk

Possibly part of Office 365 for Business?

Rumours vary, but seem to indicate that Windows 10 Core will be free, but you'll have to pay a subscription for additional features - think XBox video / music, Office 365 etc. on top and businesses will probably still have to licence Pro / Enterprise features, like domain membership, Bitlocker etc.

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Judge bars dead Steve Jobs from appearing on TV news FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

big_D
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Holmes

Hooray for common sense

The press has already got the transcript. They don't care about what is in the video, they just want to create a click frenzy / jump in viewers, because they have a "never before seen" video of a dead personality.

RIP Steve.

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Amazon workers in Germany stage CHRISTMAS STRIKE

big_D
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Re: logistics?

And news just in: The Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court) has just strengthened the Sunday and Bank Holiday Trading laws, shops which are open until midnight cannot force their workers to perform clearing up work after the shop has closed at midnight, if the next day is a Sunday or a bank holiday. (Source: Lebensmittel Praxis)

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big_D
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Re: logistics? @ratfox

Hi Charlie,

yeah, we have one market (K+K) who opens to midnight during the week, although no shops are open on Sundays (except bakeries early in the morning for fresh bread and rolls), unless the whole town has a Verkaufsoffener Sonntag, which is a couple of times a year, one being in the run up to Christmas. K+K seems to be the exception to the rule here (Lower Saxony, around Osnabruck).

And I wasn't including pertrol stations as they have generally always been 24/7 (although you can't wash your car on a Sunday, as that is State Law). I don't think we have any kiosks around here.

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big_D
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Re: logistics? @ratfox

Retail workers in Germany work in a shop and are expected to work between 08:00 and 20:00, generally and not on Sundays.

A logistics worker works shifts around the clock (usually a 3 shift system) and can work on Sundays and they receive a shift allowance and Sunday working bonus commensurate to the fact that they are expected to work shifts.

Shop workers on the other hand are generally not expected to work lots of overtime (i.e. after 20:00 or before 08:00) on a regular basis and they therefore get a bigger "out of core hours" bonus than workers that are expected to work outside core business hours.

That is why Verdi are trying to get the shift workers in the warehous classed as shop workers, because they would get huge shift bonuses, because working after 20:00 in retail isn't normal.

(Don't forget, late opening - later than 20:00 - is very unusual in Germany and opening on Sundays is still illegal for most shops; again some take the fines as part of business and open 2 or 3 times a year on a Sunday. In fact, until about a decade ago, most shops shut at around 14:00 on a Saturday!)

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big_D
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Re: logistics?

Where is their bricks and mortar retail shop? Their workers work in warehouses, that is logistics...

The problem is, the rest of the argument from the unions has a lot of merit. If they would accept that if you work in a warehouse fulfilling orders, then that is logistics, then unions would achieve far more.

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Google must free us from 'invisible web of our personal data' – DPA

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Re: You can't fix stupidity.

And given that many countries in Europe are highly religous, AC doesn't really know what he is talking about...

Heck, in Germany they even have Church Tax deducted straight from your wages!

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big_D
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Re: So?

I don't have numbers, but there was a big uproar in Germany at the time, for instance.

But thereagain, Germany is one of the main countries where thousands of people had their properties blurred in Street View, because they did not give their permission to have the photos published.

http://it-material.de/IT-online5/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/2010-14-kl.jpg

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big_D
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Re: Why just Google?

It isn't just Google, Facebook have also had their knuckles rapped over this.

As to credit card companies, banks etc. they generally work within tight regulatory frameworks and any changes they make are cleary communicated up front and the user has a chance to lodge a complaint, before they are put into action.

Google presented the changes as a fait accompli.

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big_D
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Re: How about some more?

No, the Europeans only have to read the original terms of service to understand what their rights to privacy are. Google cannot expect just changing them willy nilly is enough. They have to inform the users explicitly of the changes and they should offer the users an opt-out - the rules cannot be changed on one side and enforced without the agreement of both parties, Google didn't allow the users an opt-out or to express their discontent with the changes, it was presented as a fait accompli.

Microsoft are a little better, I have received a couple of emails this year about changes to their terms. The email mentioned which claused had been changed and put it in plain English what those changes meant. Although I didn't see an opt-out clause.

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big_D
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Re: So?

People signed up for individual services and then suddenly they were forced to "share" their data between all services, whether that is what they wanted or not. That is the problem.

A lot of people chose the individual services, because they were individual and they didn't want Google tracking their every move. Google illegally changed the rules without giving the existing users an opt-out.

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

big_D
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It is currently a pain, when we buy over Amazon at work. There are many UK vendors in the Amazon store (Germany) and there is no VAT excemption here, so every purchase needs a valid VAT number... Which means many purchases get sent back or we spend ages going back and forth trying to get a valid VAT number.

The upshot is that we tend to avoid any reseller that doesn't have a valid DE VAT number in their company details section. It might be more hassle in the short term, but it could open up more sales in the long term for companies in the UK that don't have a UK VAT number, if they have to ensure that they have a local number in the countries they sell in.

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Screwball ruble closes Apple's Russia store, whole kit and caboodle

big_D
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One-to-One?

I remember a time when a $2,000 Mac would cost £4,000 in the UK!

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European Commish asks for rivals' moans about Booking.com

big_D
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Re: except, of course: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?one?!

Because they thought price fixing was okay?

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big_D
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Re: except, of course: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?one?!

And don't forget, Apple just got an a**e whipping for doing exactly the same thin to the eBook market.

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'Turn to nuclear power to save planetary ecology from renewable BLIGHT'

big_D
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Re: How convenient...

The biggest problem is the disposal of nuclear waste - just look at the mess that is Gorleben.

I've always thought nuclear could be a good solution - if we can find a way of disposing of it, without poluting the planet in the process.

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Uber surge pricing kicks in during Sydney siege

big_D
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Re: Over here...

The problem in Germany at the moment seems to be that none of the drivers are registered taxi drivers and therefore they cannot get insurance. If they just use their private insurance and have an accident with a passenger on board, then their insurance is null and void - they will also probably lose their licence if they are stopped by the police, for driving commercially without insurance.

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big_D
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Re: Over here...

Over here they can only be a taxi service.

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big_D
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Over here...

taxis are regulated and they cannot arbitrarily set prices for certain destinations - they get paid a set price pro kilometer.

As Uber is just a taxi that can be booked via an app, they would have to stick to the agreed prices.

That said, you can only drive a taxi here if you have a licence and you can only get commercial insurance to carry passengers if you have a taxi licence, so all Uber vehicles are operating illegally anyway.

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EU Google-bashing is making us look really bad, say Google bashers

big_D
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Re: Of course...

I agree totally, and I think the ICOs would probably agree. If you sign up now, you get what is in the T&Cs.

The existing users were told, "those T&Cs you agreed to, yeah, well here's the thing... Na na ne na na, it is now all null and void and we ownz U." And that is the problem. They weren't given the option to opt in, they were moved lock stock and barrel, whether they wanted to or not, which under EU DP law is not allowed.

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big_D
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Re: Of course...

If you have built up a community around your profile on one service, then it is very difficult to up stumps and move to another, without losing that community and having to start over.

Or if you are a GMail user, for example and hundreds of people have your address, it is a pain to have to go through your contact list and inform them that you are moving to a new address, and all because Google change the T&Cs to mean that they can scrape your email for other services not related to GMail.

That is the problem, people joined up with an expectation of a certain level of privacy for individual services, only to have Google undermine that, once they had gotten themselves nested into the service, in the hope that it would be too much hassle to change services and the people would carry on using the services regardless.

"Is it, perhaps, a desire for cake and simultaneous consumption thereof?"

More people chose which slices tasted good to them and Google decided to force feed them the rest of the cake until they puked.

As to integrated search, yes, you are correct, that is also a big problem.

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big_D
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Re: Of course...

As the DPC in Europe have been saying that changing individual agreements for individual services into a single agreement was illegal and Google has just ignored them for the last 2 or 3 years, I would say that they only have themselves to blame.

If you sign up now and are forced to agree to a single agreement for all services, that is one thing. For those that signed up for one or two individual services to have it forced on them that their data can now be used outside those services they signed up for is just wrong... Users are either forced to accept this bludgeoning of their rights or they have to quit the service.

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big_D
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Of course...

If Google acted within the law, they wouldn't have the data protection commissioners breathing down their necks...

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

big_D
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That is the problem, the "back-story" isn't the story! The Hobbit is the documentation of the adventures of one main character and his interactions. If they had called the film "Legends of Middle Earth" or something, then it would be acceptable, but calling it the Hobbit and then ignoring the story line for the most part is wrong.

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big_D
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Re: @big_D

I must admit, I didn't follow the filming of the Hobbit, so I was very surprised, when I saw the first part, that a) only about 20% of the film had anything to do with The Hobbit and b) that it was just the first part of a new trilogy.

What really annoys with filmifaction of books is the short cuts they make. Yes, I know in many instances they have to cut the story down (where was Tom Bombadil in LoTR?), but also they re-write the characters actions and motives, so that a totally different character says something that belongs to another character or does things that another character did.

Typical examples are: that Merry and Pippin had raided Maggot's fields the week before, when actually Frodo was scared of meeting Maggot, because he had stolen mushrooms when he was a child. In the end Maggot is very friendly and helps them get to the ferry without further meetings with the black riders... Oh, wait, Maggot never even appears in the film and they are chased to the ferry by the black riders...

Or the various Harry Potter films where characters are missing altogether! How did Harry get the Gillyweed? From Dobby in the book, but in the film Dobby doesn't even make an appearance! In the film Neville has to play the role of Dobby and give Harry the Gillyweed - one of the more minor changes to the script! I still haven't managed to watch the films all the way through, they are such a travesty.

Then we have the films that have nothing to do with the books, other than the name - like the Matt Damon "Jason Bourne" films, apart from the main character's name, the amnesia and the fact that they are both spies working for the CIA, the Damon films have absolutely no bearing on the books. The Richard Chamberlain version was a much better representation.

To be honest, the Damon films aren't bad, as spy thrillers, but being associated with the Jason Bourne franchise is a bad idea, as fans of Jason Bourne will be very disappointed... If they had just come up with a new name for the character, then I wouldn't be so prejudiced against them.

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big_D
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Re: one film edit

I remember the Jackanory version on BBC when I was a kid. That was great.

I also have the unabridged (German) version from Audible. The German reader, Gert Herdenreich is very good and Achim Höppner, is really excellent, reading LoTR - I think he might have been the voice of Gandalf in the German dub of the films, but I'm not 100% sure.

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big_D
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I watched the first installment and was so disappointed, I haven't watched the second yet.

Probably because I had just read the book, which could have easily been fitted into the running time of the first film, it is a relatively short story, shorter than the individual parts of Lord of the Rings... And the characters were not true to the story and why were the LoTR characters even in the film? They don't appear in the story! GAH!

The LoTR trilogy was very good cinema, even if they did take big liberties with the story, but the Hobbit was just trying to cash in on the LoTR's success and had very little to do with the original story. :-(

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Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

big_D
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Re: oops

Axel Springer tried the same in Germany earlier this year. They got a bill passed and Google would have to pay to show news scrapes of German press - many who didn't want the law signed a waiver straight away.

Google stopped scraping the Axel Springer and other sites that were involved in the lobby.

Then Axel Springer and Co. noticed that their traffic plummeted by something like 2/3 and went crawling back to Google, asking them to add them back to their news scraping service and they would waive the fees.

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

big_D
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Re: Juristiction?

No, which is why they can't knock the site off the web, but they do have jurisdiction in Denmark, so they can block it within Denmark.

How is this any different to the porn filters that ISPs in the UK are putting in, or blocks on Pirate Bay etc.?

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Euro consumers have TOO MUCH choice – telco operators

big_D
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Is this the same USA

that is always complaining about carrier lock-in, lack of handset choice on certain networks, SIM locked phones and large bills?

Think I'll stay with my choice of hundreds, buying an unlocked phone and sticking in whichever damned SIM I bloody well want! And paying less than a tenner a month for the privilege.

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Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

big_D
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My old Ford used to lock most functionality when the vehicle was moving - you couldn't change the destination on the navigation, for example. Only climate controls, radio and map size / orientation could be changed.

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big_D
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Re: In-Car Blackberry

Battery no. But the old system used to hang. I've had the radio suddenly switch to full volume and white noise and the controls don't work, the heater was running full blast as well. Turning off the ignition didn't do anything, neither did removing the key, it was still blasting white noise. The only thing that worked was restarting the ignition, which breaks power to the radio to stop extra drain.

Not really something you want to do when blatting down the outside lane at 220...

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Europe's top court mulls vandal's right to privacy after bloke catches thug on home CCTV

big_D
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"If I'm standing outside GCHQ headquarters (or some other 'protected place') taking photos of employees coming and going then, yeah, I'm probably going home without my camera."

Well, you probably aren't going home any time soon... ;-)

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big_D
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Re: what about cameras in cars and lorries

But, even if the police receive it anonymously, they can't act on it, as it cannot be used as evidence before the court.

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big_D
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It depends on where you are.

For example, here in Germany, you can take a photo in public and people who are in the background are okay, but people who are "part of the picture", as opposed to just passing by, need to give their permission.

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big_D
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Re: what about cameras in cars and lorries

Not in Germany you can't, no. Even blurring the registration number is not sufficient. Dashcam footage is simply illegal here - for anything other than private use. You can't hand it to the police, insurance company or post it on the Internet.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

big_D
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Re: El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

The drop-down teasers are annoying, I click on a tab, move mouse down the page to start scrolling and the menu pops up for a fraction of a second, then disappears again. Very distracting.

Otherwise I like the cleaner layout, fewer distractions. I haven't used the home page for a while, I run your RSS feed through Feedly and pick out the stories that are of interest. I looked at the home page out of interest and it looks okay, but a bit "conformist".

As to using the screen width, I sort of agree with the comment about a proportional design. I have a Full HD monitor and a 3200 pixel wide 12" display, but I only ever use 50% of the width (snap to the side of the screen) and the design is a tick too wide for that.

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Microsoft says January Windows 10 build will excite sysadmins

big_D
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Re: Surely?

I guess they mean a new generation of hardware that will offer new features that aren't currently available - like Haswell and Baytrail brought additional energy saving and sleep modes. I'm guessing improved performance and security features, for example.

Edit: And as Snow Wombat says, graphics improvements.

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Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

big_D
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Re: Why VB is better?

Aha, you are correct, I haven't used it in years, but I remember it was commonly referred to as "(B)efore (C) (P)rogramming (L)anguage" or simply Before C, but as you say, it predates B as well - by 3 years.

It was also the first language to uses braces to enclose

"BCPL was the first brace programming language, and the braces survived the syntactical changes and have become a common means of denoting program source code statements."

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big_D
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Re: Why VB is better?

Stuart, there was also BCPL between B and C. I learnt BCPL on my Amstrad CPC6128.

My first experience of VB was a sealed VB3 on my desk, alongside a 200 page request for tender and a note from my boss, saying I should learn VB and write up an offer for the project, deadline end of the week!

I really enjoyed programming in VB, it made interface design so easy, compared with C++ for Windows at the time. Delphi was also interesting.

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It's nearly 2015 – and your Windows PC can still be owned by a Visual Basic script

big_D
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Re: Automation and freedom or not?

Having full access to the PC is the general requirement for the other forms of automation as well (Office macros, VBScript etc.).

Which was the point I was responding to.

I agree, you have to get the malware onto the machine, before you can execute it in this manner - and newer versions of Office also baulk at unsigned macros - users have to tamper with the security setting and they need to accept the script.

And I agree that PowerShell is relatively strong in its protection, but it isn't invulnerable - and the Base64 encoding method doesn't require PowerShell to execute a script file, just a script string passed as a parameter, if I am reading correctly.

And I wasn't just talking about Windows, I did mention that this applies to all operating systems that allow the installation of software and automation of processes.

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big_D
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Re: Automation and freedom or not?

From the first paragraph of the article:

"Microsoft has patched 25 software vulnerabilities – including bugs that allow hackers to hijack PCs via Internet Explorer, Word and Excel files, and Visual Basic scripts."

Also PowerShell can be exploited by using Base64 coding and passed as a command line parameter. Metasploit and SET both have PowerShell exploitation tools.

https://github.com/rapid7/metasploit-framework/wiki/How-to-use-Powershell-in-an-exploit

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DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

big_D
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If Microsoft does hand over the data, the Irish DPO can fine Microsoft for breaking the data protection laws and MS Ireland could also be prosecuted and the executives could face prison.

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Australia to block piracy sites if Big Content asks nicely in court

big_D
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But generally a court will kick out a case based just on suspicions, if the plaintiff cannot back up their suspicions with evidence.

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