* Posts by Sirius Lee

365 posts • joined 14 Dec 2009

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Microsoft admits critical .NET Framework 4.6 bug, issues workaround

Sirius Lee

It's a real shame you didn't credit or link to Nick Craver's blog. Nick the person who identified the issue as a result of problems on the Stack Overflow web site. In the post he describes the problem in detail so developers, not a Microsoft program manager, are able to determine if there is a problem to be concerned about.

http://nickcraver.com/blog/2015/07/27/why-you-should-wait-on-dotnet-46/

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Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style

Sirius Lee

I don't see £200 as 'aggressively priced'. With a phone, I get a small tablet that has a small screen, limited operating system, slow CPU, no keyboard and some cheap cell phone electronics. For less money I can get a faster CPU, more memory, a fully functional OS, a big screen,... Only in the land of unsustainable margins is £200 an aggressive price. It may be bad new for Samsung but it's great news for everyone else if market saturation saturation means the consumer is going to get better value for money.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

Sirius Lee

Re: optomistic

It's misleading, Tony72, because the article (go read it) is titled "2014 JRC wind status report". It is the choice of the report authors to focus the comparison on electricity use - presumably because the comparison is more favourable. Wind power (along with other renewables), as Page says, is about replacing ALL our energy needs that are based on consuming fossil fuels not just one segment of our energy use. If you are jumping to complain about Page's less favourable comparison why not also attack the authors choice to fail to provide their own less favourable comparison. This is the kind reporting shenanigans that give the renewables lobby the terrible name.

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Thanks for open sourcing .NET say Point of Sale villains

Sirius Lee

Bullshit article

The source for the whole of .NET has been available for years - just not on GitHub. If 'hackers' wanted to use the framework to perpetrate hacks, there has been no need to wait until now.

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Netflix profits plunge, but streamer still plans global domination

Sirius Lee

Pointless article

Profits are taxable so unless a company pays a dividend (Netflix does not) getting as close to zero is every CFO's goal. The fact that profits 'plunged' to $23m is irrelevant and a good thing from a shareholder's point of view (my guess is that you don't hold Netflix stock).

Much, much more relevant is the increase in shareholder funds from $7 to $9.2 *billion* in one quarter. That's an increase of $2.2 *billion* in one quarter. Where is your commentary on this development? $1.5 *billion* is from borrowings and $700 million is from content purchases - you know, the stuff they've bought and will sell to make more money next quarter.

But don't worry, you focus on the irrelevant 1% of revenues and completely ignore the 100% of quarterly revenue Netflix has borrowed.

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Arrgh! It's Device-a-pocalypse, Gartner yowls: 11 per cent drop foretold

Sirius Lee

Zero innovation

IMHO the article correctly identifies a lack of innovation as the root cause of dwindling purchases. The idiot tax corporation of California has been bleeding IT dry for a decade now. It's a company that does not innovate. It's tech is a generation or two behind and it's latest 'innovation' has been... a watch. Good lord. Hundreds of billions of dollars and the best Cupertino can do is produce a watch.

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Ditch crappy landlines and start reading Twitter, 999 call centres told

Sirius Lee

"House, stop falling down I have to get out my laptop to start my browser, (oh come on Chrome), get to Twitter and then type in a message, Please, just wait a moment."

*^&!ing stupid advice. Is there any information about the source of this muppets funding? There is a legal obligation on telephonic device manufacturers to make the emergency number available even when the phone is locked. The government spends money making citizens aware of the one, three digit number to call in an emergency. Maybe there are scenarios in which a person in distress has access to a WiFi signal but not a mobile phone signal but surely not many.

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Crap crypto crackdown coming as FBI boss testifies to US Congress

Sirius Lee

Posturing

This is all just posturing. Comey and the senators are bright people who employ lots of bright people. They will know they cannot do anything but, nonetheless, have to be seen to be doing something - even if it is just complaining and pointing the finger of blame elsewhere.

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Apple spared from paying a day's revenue in patent damages bout

Sirius Lee

Exchange rate

$58bn (£378.26bn)

I know USD has strengthed in recent weeks but in this case I think you have the decimal point in the wrong place.

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How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

Sirius Lee

This will be appealed and it will be overturned. Imagine you walk into your local watch provider in the high street and ask for a particular brand of watch. If the vendor does not stock that specific watch we reasonably expect the vendor will offer suggestions for alternatives. We certainly do not expect them to stand there looking stupid waiting for us to request they offer some suggestions. Intelligent beings that we are, we can choose not to listen to any suggestions made and walk out. The same goes on-line. This ruling is anti-choice. Based on this ruling, if someone has suggested expensive product X search engines will be legally unable to suggest less expensive product Y. It's un-American.

As I understand it this is a decision based on trade marks. There is nothing specific to search engines about the operation of trade marks so any rulings apply in the real world as well. As a result, this ruling applies to vendors in the high street selling, as the Saturday Night sketch has it, selling Pepsi.

Now some will argue that trade marks are about a visual representation, the 'mark'. But no trade mark legislation exclude the oral version. So until this overturned expect many cases trying to prevent vendor suggesting alternatives.

Customer: "Coke, please"

Wait person: <Bemused silence>

I look forward to an updated sketch.

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'I am so TIRED of your bullsh*t...' Sprint boss flips lid at T-Mobile US CEO

Sirius Lee

@Mark 85 - these were my thoughts reading the article. It must be a dismal experience having to use a product from companies lead by jokers like these. The idea of a good day at the office of the most senior person in the organisation is bad mouthing the competition on Twitter. Imagine being an employee of such a company. Or maybe it's the way all companies will be lead in the future.

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Wikipedia jumps aboard the bogus 'freedom of panorama' bandwagon

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Microsoft rushes out latest Windows 10 build. 300 fixes? Pff, whatever

Sirius Lee

Your bleat yesterday was that you found Paint by typing W but this was contradicted by another commentard who claims it works just fine on three different builds. Now you are bleating about other inconsequentials. Operating systems are complex and will not be bug free (if you know how to solve that problem, create an OS we'd all welcome it). You've decided to bleat about your interpretation of some words by Microsoft. Please, get a life.

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Hey, Sand Hill Exchange. Shouting 'blockchain!' won't stop the Feds

Sirius Lee

It is true that the lack of a mechanism to correct all prices can lead to unicorns. But the overall effect of those missing corrections is to stoke inflation. A lot of inflation is bad but a little inflation is good. It allows us to make large (by personal standards) capital purchases today the debt of which is eroded over time. Deflation, on the other hand has few upsides. Sure, things might get cheaper but since they will be even cheaper in the future a buyer may as well wait. And wait. Until in the worst case scenario there is no economic activity. In other words the lack of a correction mechanism for some products leads to inflation which gives buyers the confidence they need to invest which makes the world go around.

So I'm not sure that an ability to short all products, such as houses, is a good idea. Yes, it may prevent some bubbles, but it will also limit any capital gain and will reduce inflation. Both means the average Joe is stuck with the debt for much longer reducing the likelihood that capital purchases will occur. The overall effect will be to dampen and impoverish the economy, not enrich it.

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

Sirius Lee

Re: Over engineered?

I've given you a vote. I agree with your point that may be several less completely engineered projects may have more value than one. Take the case of Philae: if there had been a couple of stand-ins making their way to the comet at the same time, there would be redundancy in case the first mission was not successful. So instead of waiting breathlessly for the lander to power up from a few hours of sunlight, there might have been subsequent landing that learned from the first. Sure, the next landing may also learn from the Philae experience but that will be many years in the future.

But it's interesting that you are comprehensively down voted. This probably reveals how hard it is for people to be even open minded about different ways of doing things.

We're seeing a change to the over engineered mindset in satellites. Sure, there are cases when a big, powerful satellite is the best option, but some times 'good enough' is what it needed. This mind set appears to be leading to the emergence of cube sats (as reported here www.theregister.co.uk/cubesats_to_go_interplanetary_with_tiny_ion_drives).

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Wikileaks publishes TiSA: A secret trade pact between US, Europe and others for big biz pals

Sirius Lee

Thanks for publishing this summary

When agreements are negotiated behind closed doors it creates a cause for concern. But based on your review, this agreement seems to acknowledge and codify reality. Presumably as a bulwark against those countries that are trying to use international bodies to constraint the internet.

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Apple storms to top spot in stagnant Chinese phones market

Sirius Lee

Apple cash going into marketing

To laud a miserable 14.7 market share as some kind of outstanding triumph is marketing crap at it's worst and, I think, gives an indication of where Apple's cash is focused. How many of the phones sold in China run Android or a variant of it. Most. So the story for Apple is not a bright as their marketing team would like us to believe. If this were a first-past-the-post voting systems crowing like this might have some merit. Instead this is proportional representation. The reality is that 85% of chinese buyers have said not Apple.

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Microsoft HoloLens or Hollow Lens? El Reg stares down cyber-specs' code

Sirius Lee

What is the point of this article?

Why did you bother writing this article? Microsoft told you not to expect a finished product, that there would be glitches. Then you write an article that is a gripe about how its not a finished product. Is there some perverse sanctification you attained writing this? What is cathartic?

I am perfectly capable of imagining what might go wrong, how seem-less it might *not* be. I am much less able to imagine what it *could* be, what the potential for such a device *might* be. I have not had the fantastic opportunity to try it, I have not had the opportunity to talk with the designers and product managers about how it could potentially be used. If I had that opportunity, I really hope I would not have been a tw*t and asked moronic engineering questions.

It must be incredibly frustrating at events like Build when showing off something new because the audience is, for the most part, a collection of conservative Luddites without any imagination and an insistence on asking the same inane questions.

It reminds of the time back the late 90's when Bill Gates showed off a handheld touch screen. Was the potential of this crude early device seized upon by those lucky enough to have a go? No. It was derided for being too heavy, too low res, having a short battery life. In other words all the same thoughtless engineering crap. Disappointed by the underwhelming response Microsoft did not push the project any further. But another organization, one with a more creative constituency did, and the rest, as they say, it history.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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If hypervisor is commodity, why is VMware still on top?

Sirius Lee

VMWare is the only one to charge

If your criterion is which company make more from selling a commodity product then, yes, VMWare may win. But if your criteron is, say, workloads run I'll bet it doesn't come close. AWS uses a variant of Xen so in terms of workload this one use of Xen is enormous but no one is counting the revenue attributable to its use. I'm typing this response on a Windows machine hosted by Xen-powered hardware. Likewise with Hyper-V. I have used Hyper-V extensively and I've found it to be great. I am sure there are many scenarios where those with different use-cases will find Hyper-V lacking but they are not ones affecting me and, I suspect, do not affect many others.

It seems to me that the same mindset that buys into VMWare is similar to that which buys into the iPhone. To some people it is a no-brainer to pay a premium for an iPhone. To others it's insane.

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'All browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive' says US CIO

Sirius Lee

It might make them take notice or it might give them a false sense of security. Sure, other governments will not be able to see what it is that US Joe is looking at on his government's web site but the NSA sure will because it's not encrypted on the servers.

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

Sirius Lee

Why is this even an issue? Let them have at your phone. This is the digital age after all. If you have stuff you want to keep away from prying eyes, whether it salacious or intellectual property, keep it on-line at home and access it remotely using https when you get wherever you are going. If the problem is that you can't help adding salacious material to your phone or laptop for the length of a flight or train journey you have more problems than facing a border agent.

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The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

Sirius Lee

The existence of a tax payer funded media behemoth is *reason* why there are no other UK sites in the top 5. What investor would think it a good idea to put risk capital up against a mandatory tax?

The BBC is a market distortion that in any other field would be outlawed. Lloyds Bank was faced with selling branches if it did the governments bidding an bought the Co-op Bank based on EU rules about government funding. The Aerospace industry cannot be funded directly by governments (its arms length - pun intended - through purchases).

Yet the BBC gets away with a hypothecated tax (anyone else remember Prescott denoucing hypothecated taxes using road tax as an example while he was DPM?) so we can watch Come Dancing and East Enders.

The BBC is a shambles. The BBC 'news' is rehashed Yahoo! News, there is almost no science on the BBC (the 'Science and Nature' category on iPlayer is a litany of ancient nature programmes or rehashed Horizons).

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EU: Competition Commissioner met Google chief Schmidt

Sirius Lee

Of course the commissioner does not want to talk about what was said because in all likelihood nothing of substance was said regardless of what iCOMP light like to think was going to happen. It will have been the new commissioner being introduced to her nemesis.

Schmidt only has to threaten to pull out of Europe and the politicos will be quaking. And he has a handy demo available in Spain where they switched off a loss making service they don't care about. Even before Google switched off, Spanish newspapers went crying to the Spanish politicians - the same ones that cause Google to switch the service off in the first place.

The EU commission may like to delude itself that it is able to fine or meaningfully punish Google. It may even believe it should do as a representative of the people. The truth is that if Google were fined any substantial amount and it suspended operations in Europe, EU businesses would be in a mess instantly. That reality will prevent any action Google regards as punitive not just symbolic.

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SCREW YOU, BRITS: We're going through with UK independence ANYWAY – Scotland

Sirius Lee

Being a "winner" in this sucks too - I still have to listen to them bleat on. Call me selfish but as someone not born there I don't care - except to the extent that my tax is propping up that failed banking behemoth, another financial success story for Scotland. As a group that constitute just 8-9% of the population, I just don't care. As someone else commented, if they'd let the rest of the UK vote they would have had their way.

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Freedom of Info at 10: Tony Blair's WORST NIGHTMARE

Sirius Lee

Re: Burden

Dear Sir Sham Cad

Your comment illustrates an attitude that exemplifies exactly why FoI requests need to be respected. It is, after all, the law. Perhaps your colleague's employer would like to skip around other inconvenient, burdensome and time consuming legislation like employment and PAYE.

While it "Takes many people away from their day jobs for a long time and is disruptive to the service" it may have been extremely helpful to people in Rotherham and other rotten boroughs if FoI requests could have been issued to learn about the parlous state of protection for young people. Who is to judge whether "it's a straightforward public interest case". Perhaps the very people who do not want their dealings to be exposed?

Yes, freedom can be a costly business and in other parts of the world, a lethal one. But in my view it is a cost worth bearing. And would become less expensive if those responsible for administering it did so more efficiently by getting on with the job an co-operating with other agencies.

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Patch now: Design flaw in Windows security allows hackers to own corporate laptops, PCs

Sirius Lee

Re: "unfixable on Server 2003."

So upgrade you tight tw**. Linux systems have to be updated every few months. 12 years seems to have been enough time to offer great value. How old is your car, your phone, tablet, gaming console?

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You must have at least 8 inches for Windows 10 to go all the way

Sirius Lee

How does Windows 10 know?

So far as I know, there is no system setting that describes the size of the machine in inches or any other measurement unit. The resolution of Linx 7 is 1280x800 which is the same resolution as the Linx 8 and Linx 10. So how does Windows 10 know the Linx 7 is a 7 inch display not a 10 inch display? Why is 1280x800 OK on a 10" but not on a 7" device?

I have no problem using Outlook on my Linx 7 even with my fat fingers. Windows 10 and Office 2016 promises even better touch capabilities. Writing on the Linx 7 is not fun but that's because of the need to use an on-screen keyboard. The experience is no better on my 10" Android tablet so the device size does not affect this aspect of device usability.

It seems the prescriptive instinct that was a prominent feature at Microsoft in the Ballmer years is still alive and kicking. Especially in the form of Joe Belfiore who had a prominent role in Windows 8 and in the success that is Internet Explorer.

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Privacy alert: Outlook for iOS does security STUPIDLY, says dev

Sirius Lee

Bullshit article

"Here's the critical policy extract"

Which describes how every mail server in the world works. Or maybe mail servers in Apple world work differently and Apple aficionados are not familiar with SMTP, POP and IMAP servers.

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Amazon, flush with cash, says it will let you peek inside AWS' pants

Sirius Lee

No, investors don't care about the other 'P' word unless the company is paying a dividend which Amazon does not. Profits are taxable and tax does not end up in stockholder pockets or in investments that increase the competitiveness of the business. What investors care about is a well managed company that is able to give the market confidence so there is stock price appreciation. Evidence of a well managed company is given by the reality that it is able to hit almost zero profit year on year on a single day in the year plus or minus $200m on revenues of nearly $30bn. $200m is a big number but it less than a tenth of a percent of revenues. That's pretty good financial management especially given the revenue numbers are growing strongly providing a moving target.

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Facebook kills pic of Mohammed weeks after Zuck's Je suis Charlie!

Sirius Lee

There's also respect for the rule of law

I infer from your comments that free speech beats everything else. If correct then I can impune your integrity, cast aspersions about your heritage without any fear that you would ever use the courts to protect your public persona. Yeah, right. More like it's free speech when it suit you and rule of law when that suits you. Heads I win, Tails you lose.

It may be reprehensible that countries have laws like the one in Turkey, and it is certainly one example of why Turkey cannot be admitted as an EU member state, but is the law in Turkey. Unless you can say that you will never use the law to protect yourself you have no choice but to respect the law of a country and instead find ways to encourage the elected politicians in that country to change the law.

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Hola HoloLens: Reg man gets face time with Microsoft's holographic headset

Sirius Lee

Dear OP, I will be grateful if you will ditch the idea that every computing device has to come in a tiny, light almost invisible package. It is really limiting. It is surprising to me that the we do not already use modularized computing component that we can, optionally, wear around us if we choose. A larger, longer lasting battery that fits in a pocket, a CPU unit that is not right next to the the display unit, think of a personal version of Remote Desktop which a allows a chunky CPU to be separate from a small, lower power displat CPU. And other developments.

Expecting that great technology able to last for hours will fit in a small mobile phone sized package is really limiting especially for new stuff. If you, as one of the few people able to get a look a new stuff, are constantly whining about size designers are going to be constantly concerned about size which seems to put the cart before the horse for no other good reason than that's mobile phones do. But not everything is a mobile phone or needs to be that size.

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Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

Sirius Lee

@jim - do it. I bought the 7" model (£65+VAT) and I use it every day and I'm blown away given the price. It's running full Windows 8.1 and fits in a jacket pocket. I do use it for business but then I have a full Office 365 licence which allows me to use it on up to 5 devices - this is one of them. I run Outlook hooked up to Exchange.

I've been pleasantly surprised by the performance - especially given. It's not going to do well playing CoD but opening Word or Outlook or Excel there's no discernible difference between it any my laptop on these activities. I hope this is the way of the future. Inexpensive and functional devices in a range of sizes all running Windows.

Streams well and watching Netflix either using the Windows 8 app or in a browser is smooth.

I don't use it but did checkout that I'm able to display at 1920x1200 using the HDMI connector even though the internal display is 1280x800. Compare this with my Iconia Android device which is only able to project at the same resolution.

The one thing I had to add is a mouse app. Being a touch screen device, there is no mouse unless you plugin in a keyboard. The touch screen is very good but sometimes is is necessary to be a little more precise and a mouse cursor is needed or if the display is projected onto another monitor (not using the 'copy screen' mode). I found an app that makes the whole touch screen a mouse pad and it works very well when required.

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FERTILISER DOOM warning! PESKY humans set to WIPE selves out AGAIN

Sirius Lee

Re: CO2 alarmism

This really is desperation. The challenge climate and other 'gaia' scientists face is that they are not scientists. Science is not about looking for evidence to support your favourite hypothesis. It's about finding reasons why your hypothesis may be wrong. If there is an alternative explanation your hypothesis may be wrong.

So much of 'climate' science is about supporting the cause and precious little is about finding credible alternative explanations. It is notoriously difficult so obtain funding for research into why any climate change may have more benign explanations.

And this article is about atrocious 'science'. Civilization developed in the Holocene therefore humanity needs holocene conditions. What!? What evidence is that based on. Sure, the only human civilization we know developed in these conditions but correlation is not causation. For all we know, the decline in man-eating sabre-toothed tigers may have been equally to blame - which may or may not have required holocene-like conditions.

The challenge for climate scientists is to be taken seriously and to do that the science needs to be real. Not making measurements intended to confirm a bias but rigorously looking for alternative explanations and actively supporting those that do without labelling them 'deniers'. And this is a problem for climate science because you can never prove a theory, only ever disprove it. This is why, 100 years after Einstein proposed special relativity, with its immense experimental support, it is still prodded an poked by physicists.

In my view, climate science only wants to prove there is man-made problem and this is not science.

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Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

Sirius Lee

Civil servants are supposed to be quiet, civil and servile

MI6 has decided it is the exception to a policy that the heads of departments hide behind their political spokes person. This can mean that permanent secretaries do not take responsibility for their errors leaving the minister to carry the can (think of the number of Labour Home Secretaries that resigned in the wake on manifest failures by incompetent senior civil servants such as those in the border agency). But it also means the mandarins are not directly promoting policies.

However the head of MI6 seems to have decided that this is not a policy for it. Not only has the famously secretive organization come in from the cold, it's head seems to think it right that he should speak out about public policy. The surprise is that this behaviour has not been slapped down by the politicians as interference. For me, putting this organization back in it's box is long overdue for fear that if it is not, it's claimed requirements will be promoted without anyone having the opportunity to scrutinize those claims. Or it should open up and let members of the public scrutinize its claims so there can be a real, not a one-sided, debate.

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Crap broadband holds back HALF of rural small biz types

Sirius Lee

Here's a solution

Stop whining and move. Sure, it doesn't look as nice and it costs a bit more. That's life. The reality is that high(er) speed broadband costs me the cost of living in a place where it exists.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Sirius Lee

Genie, hop in the bottle please

No, in the bottle. The bottle. Yes, in you go. Oh, come on, just get in the bottle.

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ALIEN EARTH: Red sun's habitable world spotted 470 light years away

Sirius Lee

'just' 470 light years away

How can any article include the phrase 'just' when referring to many light years?

'It's a good bit further off, at 1,100 light-years.'

I know the English have a penchant for understatement and this is an example. Light from this star left the star before William the Conqueror did his thing but it's 'a good bit further off'. Makes it sound like you'd have to go all the way to the next town over to get there. No, these are vast distances and the language should, in my opinion, reflect the (literally) astronomical distances involved.

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ALIEN fossils ON MARS: Curiosity snaps evidence of life

Sirius Lee

Re: Unconvincing hype

Well have them call me. Bad science is what you do when you look for explanations that fit your hypothesis. In this case the hypothesis is that that the the structures might have organic genesis. Good science is when you look for other, simpler, more rational explanations for the same phenomena. If there is even one simple explanation, it is likely to be more relevant. Where are the comparisons of structures here on earth that have a similar morphology but are known to not have an organic genesis. That is science. That's known as Occam's razor. Maybe scientific method is no longer taught at US universities. Bumbling about spending billions justifying sending a craft to Mars by comparing pictures that confirm a bias is not science.

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Dev put AWS keys on Github. Then BAD THINGS happened

Sirius Lee

It is going to be the case that keys are going to be posted. The question is, why does AWS allow the default to be that someone who compromises an account is able to start 20 monster E3 instances in all 8 regions?

This happened to me (no, my keys have never been public and AWS staff were unable to find any) and AWS did remove the credit. However it took a lot of correspondence to have them set the number of available instances in all regions of my account except 1 to zero and in the region I use, set it to 6 instances (3 running, 3 spare).

In my correspondence I likened AWS to a credit provider who is delinquent in their responsibilities by letting creditors run up massive bills without even trying to limit the scope of their credit.

I recommend to any other AWS users that in addition to following the advice to cycle keys regularly they also contact AWS support and ask them to prevent instances from running especially in regions they are unlikely to use.

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UK retailers in TABLET PRICE SLASH BONANZA

Sirius Lee

I bought myself a 7" Linx Windows 8 tablet for £65 from EBuyer before Christmas. It's great. OK, it only has 1GB but runs Office like any other Windows device except it is 180g and fits in my coat pocket.

Though the Atom CPU only runs at 1.3GHz (burst 1.8GHz) maybe its the quad core that works because it runs really well. I have Outlook hooked up to our Exchange server and everything is good. It streams Netflix and BBC iPlayer flawlessly unlike the 1.3GHz Asus notebook my wife has. Even better, it can project at 1920x1080 using an HDMI micro port. This is a device I use everyday now. Not for serious stuff but for watching a program when everyone wants to watch something else or to check email. Let me say it again. It's great, especially for the price.

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Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

Sirius Lee

Re: This, and Google's fight against the MPAA/Hood are important.

@AO Leaping in here after the article you wrote on the Hood saga anyone would think States Attorney Hood is a friend of yours or something. I know the axe you are grinding does just have Google written on it because you take wild swings at WikiPedia as well. So what's you gripe?

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Google's first stab at control-free ROBOT car rolls off the line

Sirius Lee

Only in the US

would make this comment be made about such a vehicle:

"The ground clearance looks low enough to make speedbumps an issue and the entire vehicle looks a tad flimsy for freeway use."

The vehicle looks like a Fiat or a Smart car seen on any road in London. It does look a bit utilitarian. The Google home page of car design?

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Android gives Google a search monopoly? Not so fast, says judge

Sirius Lee

Microsoft did not 'prevent' any application running on windows. What the DoJ and the States Attorneys General claimed was that Microsoft used it position as owner of the operating system to push Internet Explorer. Many people never knew there was another alternative. Others however did know and had the choice to use an alternative. The EU commission came to the same conclusion years later.

The situation now is similar. Except that Google appear to be arguing that it is not they who are providing only one option, it is the handset manufacturers.

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EU VAT law could kill THOUSANDS of online businesses

Sirius Lee

This is a MASSIVELY irresponsible post

This is a fair but unwelcome change. However, selling knick-knacks on line is NOT AFFECTED by the rules (except if you are not a micro business because the revenue of the business already exceeds the VAT threshold).

It affects only companies selling DIGITAL SERVICES on-line. Even then, a digital service that you put on a CD and send to a buyer is not affected. In fact any service you sell that requires some human intervention to complete is not affected.

On-line digital services (selling software, streaming video, on-line training courses) are affected and there is no threshold. But most companies affected have the wit and ability to accommodate the change.

And it was announced in 2005 so its not like there has not been time to get with the programme. Even if this article had some merit, screaming about it two weeks before it is due to come into effect but 9 years late is pointless. So let's see, its pointless and inaccurate.

The group most affected by the change but, perhaps, the one least able to accommodate the change is the massive number of people selling pod casts and subscriptions to drivel blogs. Neither require any technical skill to create so this group is unlikely to be able to adapt easily. So I wonder if this gets closer to an explanation of why the OP has decided to indulge in an orgy of hyperbole now.

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Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Sirius Lee

This is the kind of nonsense comment that show HMRC has work to do

The changes that begin on Jan 1st hit sites that sell digital products with specific requirements (that are really not that difficult). But the idea that because "we mainly sell physical products and they aren't affected" is just plain wrong.

ALL EU businesses are affected from Jan 1st whether they sell digital products or real physical things that need to be transported. At the moment most businesses charge VAT on sales to any one in the EU at the rate set by the respective national government. For a UK business selling cars to Germany then any sale will attract 20% VAT. From Jan 1st ALL businesses will charge VAT at the rate prevailing in country where the goods will be used. In the example above, the VAT on each car sale will be 19% - the rate in Germany.

Of course if the buyer is able to show they are a business by providing a VAT number then in January, as now, VAT does not have to be charged. And this is not new. Any business that is already registered in other EU states must already charges VAT at the rate in the country in which the goods are to be used. So a way of looking at it is that from Jan 1st all businesses are really registered in all EU countries so must charge VAT at the local rate.

There are some new things specifically affecting the sale of digital products. When you sell a physical product you have a good idea of where it will be used and, so, the VAT rate to use. But with digital products the buyer may or may not be in the country identified by the billing address.

So from Jan 1st it is necessary to collect 2 pieces of non-contradictory evidence to determine the location of the buyer and so the rate of VAT to apply. The country of the billing address is on piece of evidence. The country of the IP address is another. In the event that the two do not agree then other pieces of evidence can be used, such as the country of the buyers SIM card if it is available. One piece of evidence is to ask the user to confirm the billing address. This is called self-certification.

Also, if the buyer is in the EU (determined by the IP address of the browser) but the billing address is outside the EU then VAT is to be charged at the rate prevailing in the country of the IP address. This prevents someone declaring they live outside the EU to avoid VAT but then download their digital goody within the EU.

This is not difficult stuff. I've created a solution for some vendors here http://www.lyquidity.com/wpstore/ and there's more information about the change on this site. But there is all you need to know on the HMRC web site and the web site of the EU commission.

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Looking for a tip-top high-end storage array (and who isn't?) Gartner names its favorite

Sirius Lee

Gold star to the Fujitsu marketing team

So an at-best a third place gets this sub-heading:

Fujitsu box shines at OLPT, almost as good as HDS and HP

Makes me wonder what Fujitsu has to do to persuade the sub-headline writer to pop that one in which gives prominence to Futitsu and a back-handed complement to the ones leading the pack.

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Britain's MPs ask Twitter, Facebook to keep Ts&Cs simple

Sirius Lee

Pot, meet kettle

This from the people who give the tax rules and the laws (with reams of small print) that result in lengthy and difficult-to-comprehend Ts & Cs. Parliamentarians, you can resolve this one.

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HMRC dishes out tax rewards to GOV.UK... for inking deals with MEGABUCKS SIs

Sirius Lee

Re: This is Government refunding Government - nobody saves any money

Take an up vote. This comment should have been the article.

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Microsoft snorefest: For crying out loud, Nadella – just channel Ballmer!

Sirius Lee

So what you're really saying is

That Ballmer used to do your job for you now you actually have to work to find something to write about. Tough, that. After all, who wants a CEO that stays on his message and tries to make sure the organization is delivering. Much better the CEO who shoots the company from the hip, the general who makes decisions based on the last person he spoke to. Microsoft is a company that sells products to companies. It is boring. Not so many of those cool marketing gimmicks the retailers need to think up. Seems like your life just lost a little of its emotional appeal.

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Google’s dot-com forget-me-not bomb: EU court still aiming at giant

Sirius Lee

Re: European rulingNo

Not so sure your conclusion is valid. If the EU courts decides that Google must remove links from the .com site they will have contravened the law of their HQ's country opening them up to law suits there. An alternative is that they willingly ensure that the .com address is not available to browsers that have an IP address within the EU.

Google will continue to earn money from the country sites (.uk, .de, .fr, etc.) because that's how most of us here access the Google brand. However EU citizens will be the losers as they will no longer be able to see the world as others see it. Instead, we will see as Brussels wants us to see it and to my mind that's not a much better prospect that that for Chinese citizens.

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