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* Posts by heyrick

2310 posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

heyrick
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Re: Great headline! re: prices

@ Sarah:

We have a small supermarket in a local town. It is about the size of a Spar in the UK and is part of a national chain. The prices are about 20% higher for, well, everything that doesn't have a price printed on the box.

I think they are working on the "captive audience" concept, public transport in rural France is limited and expensive, and towns around here are not close to each other so it will cost in petrol to go any distance for a better deal. So they mark up the prices because a sufficient number of people (still) put up with it.

PS: You still get milk in pints? Over here it is about €1,10 a litre and the farmers are saying that's too little, so god knows how viable it is for your farmers. Problem is if the model is unsustainable, the low prices will cause suppliers to jack it in, which means less supply which means prices will rise. Everything needs to be reasonable and in balance. Messing up one part of the chain for a short term gain will cause problems in the long term. As you noted - a big supermarket moves in with lower prices, and the older shops in town die off...

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heyrick
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The catalogue was awesome

I remember the Maplin catalogues of the mid '80s with their hardcore sci-fi covers and a wealth of information inside covering things as diverse as TV tuning from all known transmitters to pin outs of all the logic chips you're likely to want to use, resistor colour codes... There were no repeats, everything was listed only once, and the information inside made it worth it's weight in gold. I spent weekends in dormitory flipping through to pages absorbing as much as I could.

I really miss the old Maplin catalogues...

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Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

heyrick
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Re: TWO shots?!

Double tap, to make certain it is dead...

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That NSA denial in full: As of right now, we're not pretending to be Facebook or Twitter

heyrick
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WTF?

"Everyone knows the NSA can legally eavesdrop on foreigners outside US soil"

Really? Legally? I was under the impression that it is "okay" under American law....which pretty much doesn't count if you are conducting your activities in a country that isn't America. [their choosing to ignore local jurisdictions doesn't make it legal]

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Brawling neighbours challenge 'quiet' cul-de-sac myth

heyrick
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FAIL

Re: Clearly there is one such low life living among us

"with a crime rate >1%, unemployment >3%"

< != >

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Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

heyrick
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it's not readily apparent what it's capable of doing

How about an "erase your phone if stolen" feature? When does a useful feature become a weakness? If it can be exploited? If so, isn't this true of pretty much anything?

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Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

heyrick
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FAIL

Re: Dancing keyboard

"I'm afraid I took all my UI design classes long before the current generation of touchscreen soft keyboards so none of my textbooks would address this case specifically."

I see. So you are taking a UI design principle that you know is outdated and are trying to apply it to a modern UI because it supports what may be the only on-screen keyboard UI element that behaves in this manner?

Next you'll be telling me that underlining incorrectly spelled words is a known terrible UI decision (...because somebody will have to come along later with an eraser and rub out all the underlines).

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heyrick
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Not quite right...

"By default iOS only keeps the most recent 50 (?) emails in any given folder so there's absolutely no need to delete anything."

Personal, private, POP3 mailbox. Sent folder held on iPad.

Currently 0 unread messages.

Open private mail, "Sent" folder. Tap "Edit", then "Mark all", then "Mark as unread".

152 unread messages.

You were saying?

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heyrick
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"The reason for this is that there is no way to delete all your emails en masse which in this day and age is ridiculous."

It would be nice if there was an obvious way to archive (onto a PC) all of your sent mail and delete it from the iPad. Is this hiding somewhere in iTunes?

As to the message selection, it seems strange that "Mark all" doesn't have a "Select all" option...

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heyrick
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Sensible keyboard

You might call it a dancing keyboard. I call it a logical keyboard. Android has no trouble in reflecting the state of Caps in the keys themselves. I find it rather disconcerting that the iOS keyboard just stays stuck looking the same.

If this might come as a shock to some, why not - gasp - make it a configurable option?

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heyrick
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Re: Better than Android then?

I have both. Android on the phones, iOS on the tablet. It is hard to make a direct comparison because a tablet's use is not going to be the same as a phone's use. However, with experience in both I would suggest that the above response "different" is the correct one. There are numerous things I like about iOS and numerous things that bug the hell out of me. It's the same for Android, only the things are different.

One thing that is undeniably nice is the stream of updates. The Android system is badly messed up in this respect, which is why my current phone is running 2.3.7. If Sony have made a newer version available, Orange haven't bothered to pick up on it. So I'm stuck with an oldie. Sure, it is easier for Apple given it's their OS on their hardware, but this is an end-user comparison. My iPad Mini is up to date, my phone isn't.

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20 Freescale staff on vanished Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

heyrick
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Re: The Freescale connection: was this an attack on Freescale's knowedge base?

Speculation - the problem I have with the speculation is in "removing" an entire aircraft (anybody found it yet?) and potentially killing/murdering (delete as application) over two hundred other people to stall a project or keep a secret a secret.

Really, wouldn't it be better for the spooks of the world to snipe the person that is wanted silenced while they're in a hotel room. Clean, efficient, minor collateral, and it sends a pretty strong message to other people on the same team.

So, no. I think hitting Freescale by removing an airplane from reality is bordering on the ludicrous.

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heyrick
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Re: Very sad indeed...

It probably "sounds" safer. One or two typically die in a car crash, maybe up to eight if two families head-on each other. It takes something spectacular (motorway pile up) to get higher numbers.

One plane, run by god knows who on god knows what budget, counts for hundreds at a time. And if one of the biggies should ever go down...

So, yeah, driving a car sounds better.

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Five unbelievable headlines that claim Tim Berners-Lee 'INVENTED the INTERNET'

heyrick
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Stop

"naively switches between the web and the internet"

Isn't this the same thing for most users?

I bet, if I went in to work, and posted a note on the noticeboard saying I'd give a crisp fiver to the first person that can tell me what IMAP, SFTP, and https are in a sentence each, the only way I'd get an answer is if somebody bothers to Google each one.

For oldies, the "internet" is the spinny 'e'. For the more astute, it's the phoenix-rodent thing. For everybody, it's Google and Facebook[*]...

* - we're talking about people that Google the name of the company to find the company website, even though the company domain IS the name of the company! (with a .com at the end, but Firefox can work that out for itself)

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Cellular desperation in France drives not one, but two SFR offers

heyrick
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Facepalm

Bad joke

"Price competition in France is illegal....."

You might remember another story going on, the screaming and gnashing of teeth by booksellers over Amazon and how they're raping destroying claiming a lot of their business.

Thing is, using Amazon makes sense. Not just because of the free postage, that's not it. When you look on Amazon you know that a book is either there or it isn't. You don't have to fight nutjob drivers, bad weather, poorly thought out parking...only to find not only does your bookstore not have the book you want, but the staff barely know how to look up stuff and are really indifferent when it comes to questions like "can you order this?". I actually once had somebody reply "peut-être" (maybe) and walk away before I asked anything else. Oh, and one pro-tip. Amazon gives you a 5% discount. Just like everybody else. The booksellers wailed and gnashed their teeth when the supermarkets looked like undercutting them. So the law says 5% and that's it. As a result of this, there is little reason to be "fidèle" to any particular bookstore. Nobody can offer me a better price. Not even Amazon, unless you buy third-party. Way to shoot themselves in the foot, huh?

I'm sure France's commerce laws have some logical basis in the Napoleonic code, but sometimes, you really gotta wonder...

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PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

heyrick
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Competence

While there is a lot in this article that makes sense - collecting data for the sake of collecting data - a more pragmatic approach is to remind everybody of the government's normal degree of competence when it comes to websites and IT contracts in general. Short answer? You'd be mad to touch this, even if it looks like easy money...

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Chillax, cranky commentards: Anger can KILL YOU

heyrick
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Coat

Re: Breaking news...

@ Chris: "PS: I get pissed off when" would seem to be a textbook example of what is being discussed. After all, should you really be getting that agitated because somebody is using the smart-ass word for "bear"? Just relax. Simples! In the long run, it really doesn't matter. End of. Oh, oops.

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heyrick
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Facepalm

Breaking news...

Stressy people stress themselves, stuff may break.

Duh.

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WHOA: Get a load of Asteroid DX110 JUST MISSING planet EARTH

heyrick
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Meh

Meh.

Clouds held off. Nice view of the moon. Dumb lump of rock was either a no-show or it got shy and hid. Was out there for ten minutes either side of the target time. Now I'm putting the kettle on!

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German freemail firms defend AdBlock-nobbling campaign

heyrick
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"The act of viewing something on a computer screen is publishing (i.e. making a copy)." - Are you sure about that? Making a copy is not logically "publishing" any more than it should be if I photocopy an article in the newspaper. A copyright infringement? Yes. Publishing? Don't be silly.

"Technical issues/limitations to one side, you should see the content as the creator intended." - I think you completely misunderstand that HTML is a MARKUP language. You provide directives as to how you want the text to appear (simple HTML says "this is a bigger heading", style sheets allow you to specify a type face and size etc) BUT THE BROWSER IS ENTIRELY FREE TO IGNORE IT UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE USER. Ever looked in the configuration? Seen the bits about enable/disable scripting? Use preferred styling? Use my colour set?

Oh, and you can't just disclaim technical limitations aside - if creating a "copy" of your web page in any form other than that which you see in front of your eyeballs on your computer is a super-serious crime, then this means lighter browsers (Lynx, NetSurf, Opera in mobile mode, numerous older mobile browsers) are actively breaking the law by their very attempts to display your content. Please refer to my and others comments pointing out the nature of HTML vs, say, PDF.

"DELIBERATELY altering that content is creating a derivative work without license and against the law." - really? In this case I trust the original content publisher (you) will be willing to indemnify me and provide full and complete technical support for any and all issues that may arise from whitelisting the entire internet so they all these lovely adverts can be seen. Please also provide appropriate legal support to permit me to request faceless third parties with whom I have no business or contract from volunteering unwanted information and/or tracking my online behaviour.

No. I didn't think so. Therefore, my policy is everything is blacklisted until it provides a good reason why it should not be so.

That said, maybe you are stretching the concept of "derivative work" a little far. To block domains and IPs known to be used for advertising is not so much a derivative work as a simply incomplete copy, much as if I tore a page from a magazine and then tore it in half and gave you have a page. I have not altered or changed what was published, I just have not given you all of it.

"Actually I'm quite right. Various states use such a defintion to enforce a variety of laws" - irrelevant. Not only is American law batshit crazy, but I don't live there. Having said that, one thing Americans are trying to get right is accessibility for disabled people. I wonder how many of your lovely adverts would work sensibly with a screen reader?

Oh, and under the laws in which I am used to, one is supposed to request permission prior to setting a cookie. In practice this is often unworkable so instead a notification is given. I note that the last time I checked (January), of the four advert networks I see most frequently, exactly ALL of them set a cookie and exactly NONE of them provided any notification of this. Accordingly, places which ignore MY laws get blacklisted. Simple.

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heyrick
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Re: "Merely...make money"

I'll accept this just as soon as I get a refund for ad providers that notice I am using an Android phone and push a ~400K .apk with each page I looked at. When I noticed, I'd burned through a meg and a half. So I'm paying for your crappy adverts... Thanks, but given a choice I'd block this rubbish.

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Europe: Apple. Google. Yes, you. Get in here. It's about these in-app bills

heyrick
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Coat

Re: Is El Reg running out of e-ink?

Use less e-ink, it's better for the environment...

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Battle of Bletchley Park: TNMOC chief calls for review of museums' Mexican standoff

heyrick
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change could be difficult?

It’s taken less than two years to degrade to the current situation. Seems to me like change is relatively easy. Compromise is what is going to be difficult.

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

heyrick
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"may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death"

Umm... Stating the same thing twice in slightly different ways?

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How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

heyrick
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Happy

" and a high 3.8 per cent or so for the 4GB version.

GB?

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Rotten to the core: Apple’s 10 greatest FAILS

heyrick
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In the interests of fairness...

...now let's have a list of the top ten good ideas that Google has jacked in because they got bored...

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CCTV warning notices NOT compliant with data protection laws – ICO

heyrick
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ICO?

What? They're still around?

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Fridge vendor pegged as likely source of Target breach

heyrick
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FAIL

Huh?

"The company, which normally specializes in installing and servicing refrigeration systems for supermarket locations"

And this has WHAT to do with customer transactions?

Raises questions like - how many other third-party companies had potential access to the same data, and did any of them access it for reasons beyond their mandate, and how well (if at all) was such access vetted and controlled? (In reality, not the PR friendly version)

Icon for Target, the reason ought to be painfully obvious.

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Jean Michel Jarre: Je voudrais un MUSIC TAX sur VOTRE MOBE

heyrick
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What am I paying for?

I'll be happy to pay this, so long as I get value for money. I'll pay this, right, so then I can download anything I like for free, right?

Funny, I think the music industry might not like that idea. They would rather sell us content then extract a levy for being able to use said content. Where's the attraction of that to the consumer?

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Elite Systems pulls ZX Spectrum games after deluge of 'unpaid royalties' complaints

heyrick
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Happy

Re: Just been reminded of an old story from the 80s

"I think my favorite "what were they thinking" moment in low-rent '80s computing were the guys who were trying to sell software on vinyl LPs (rather than tapes)."

I'm right there with you. One of the BBC Micro magazines that I picked up randomly came with this square of plastic inside that had grooves baked into it, so it could play on a record player. I remember I laughed and thought "yeah, right". Several years later I found it and it was a rainy weekend so...plug this into that and...

...damn thing worked. Don't remember what the software was, a MODE 7 demo I *think*, but I was more blown away by successfully loading a program from a record player. It just seemed to unbelievably retro, even back then when "retro" was only just last year's tech!

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Pr0n-optimised Icepol Trojan's servers seized by Romanian cops

heyrick
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There's a reason I have disabled Java.

(see subject)

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Eurocops want to build remote car-stopper, shared sensor network

heyrick
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Re: Power assisted ??

"they wouldn't cut the engine off instantly, rather they would gradually reduce the maximum speed over several minutes." - "they"? Who is "they"?

The only possible way this might be viable is to have a broadcast "please identify" to which all cars within range send an ID signal back. After a mile or so of police chase, there ought to be but one consistent reply. At which point the broadcast can be "car &DEADBEEF please power down" and leave it to be implementation defined how this is achieved (but most likely the engine management easing off the fuel until the engine stops).

Because the only thing worse than an external source attempting to directly slow you down would be a nefarious external source instructing your car to floor it. (of course, given the usual level of security of these sorts of embedded systems....)

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Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it's serious

heyrick
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Re: Whether S. Fry is a technical genius or not...

...wrong is wrong.

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Lloyds Group probes server crash behind ATM, cash card outage

heyrick
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WTF?

Re: Knock on effects

"Just discovered that that had triggered fraud detection causing my credit card to be blocked."

Using your credit card triggers "fraud detection" which blocks the card? The hell...?

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Apple punts patches for holes in Pages and OS X, Windows iTunes

heyrick
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Re: iTunes

"Can you name one feature that iTunes gives a mobile device that the device doesn't inherently have in and of itself?" - loads. Try getting an iPad Mini to talk to a Windows machine (no, I don't have a Mac) without iTunes.

"You're obviously not thinking of iOS devices since they don't require iTunes for anything." - huh? iPad Mini iOS7. Please explain how to plug it into my PC to copy across my music (not ripped with iTunes, but need to be put into iTunes to put 'em on the iPad). Then please explain how to plug the same into the PC and give video files to VLC without going through iTunes.

And no, sending them via the network is no good. It'll run at around 300K/sec, a fraction of the speed USB can run at. Been there, tried that (VLC has a built in server).

About the only thing the iPad can talk to is WIA. I can get photos off the device without going through iTunes.

Now, all I need is a light, tight, nippy sync utility that can discard with all the iTunes bloat and just let me drop files into the expected places... [sort of like you can do with practically any Android device with no special software required]

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Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

heyrick
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The NSA paid Google how much?

See title.

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Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob

heyrick
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FAIL

Prior art

There is already a brand called "Candy". Perhaps the only reason Candy Crush hasn't already had it's ass handed to it on a sueball plate is because the company concerned is European? But, you know, poking this with a stick might wake the monster.

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Probe of Hollywood-Euro Pay TV contracts: What happens next?

heyrick
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Crunchyroll...

I patiently await the day Crunchyroll is actually willing to sell me content rather than giving a lame apology due to licencing because I happen to live in another part of Europe...

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Those NSA 'reforms' in full: El Reg translates US Prez Obama's pledges

heyrick
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Happy

Re: Wow...

Except now, about half the comments (including yours) have a single lonely downvote.

I wonder if it was the same spook operative agent person?

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Top Microsoft bod: ARM servers right now smell like Intel's (doomed) Itanic

heyrick
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Re: it is the bugs in Windows

I beg to differ. Windows is lacking in some forms of security which makes it an easy target in stories like this, however a few years back my previous web host was compromised an a little zero size iframe added to the bottom of every html file. The server? NetBSD and I guess it wasn't kept up to date. Anything can be pwned if there is incentive, to think otherwise is just dumb.

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heyrick
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Re: MS don't know their arse from their elbow

"A top MS guy once said he couldn't see why anyone would need more that 1Mb (one megaf*ck*ngbyte!) of RAM."

Times change.

ARM itself - the original ARM had the PC and PSR combined, which gave a maximum addressing range of 64MB and the MEMCs were each able to address a maximum of 4MB (more would require multiple MEMCs - quite a rare setup). Why? Because 4MB was a luxury back then, and a price to match.

Shame - I thought LDMFD R13!, {Rx-Ry, PC}^ was a beautiful instruction.

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Google stabs Wikipedia in the front

heyrick
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Re: if Google can show me what I need without me having to ...

"I may perhaps think their motivation to provide a "best extract" is ok, but I really don't see why I'd trust their (or their algorithms) knowledge/ability on many subjects.

Could say the same for a lot of Wikipedia...

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Pesky protesters FORCE GOOGLE STAFF INTO THE SEA

heyrick
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Hmmm...

If that is what they do to an official Google bus, imagine what they could do to a lone Google employee driving to work? This is almost making the case for more buses, perhaps with armour plating...

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Data scrapers used Amazon cloud to reap biz bods' CVs, wails LinkedIn

heyrick
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LinkedIn ?

This the same linkedin that wanted me to sign up to block spam from some bloke (I don't know) called Kushnoor? Who's unsubscribe link doesn't do anything?

DIE.

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Google tickled with TINY fine from French privacy watchdog

heyrick
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FAIL

Jesus, France...

Rather than trying to squeeze huge amounts of cash from your country's wealthy, why not levy a fine of substance from a (rich) (foreign) company that is openly flouting your laws?

That Spain demanded close to a million and you... how much? HOW MUCH? I think some worried Google bean counter pissed him/herself when that "fine" was handed out, especially if it was done in complete sincerity with the France-burning-torch letterhead and rubber stamps in triplicate and everything.

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Time travellers outsmart the NSA

heyrick
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Jeez...

All the way to page two and nobody has mentioned John Titor yet.

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Ho, ho, HOLY CR*P, ebuyer! Etailer rates staff on returns REJECTED

heyrick
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Happy

Re: RMA Wha?

My favourite is the one with glasses and the big penguin jumper. Cute (both). It's off the facebook link, different picture.

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Google BLASTS BACK at Apple, Microsoft, Sony in Android patent WAR

heyrick
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Re: Rockstar claims to be independent from Apple and Microsoft

"but have since mitigated the risk by amending their policy and partnering with content owners" - or alternatively they are managing, at least in part, to talk some sense to content distributors that the relative ease of pushing video files around is going to make home taping look comically prehistoric, and there is a potential market here, if only the distributors wake up to this fact. I mean, how often has it been lamented here that there are many of us that would pay to download an XviD to watch on the device of our choosing? More and more this is possible with music. But with video? It is still tied in all sorts of awkward ways.

"Google images is mostly a destination in itself and utilised copyrighted images without permission" - including some of mine; however the content served up is not served up from Google itself. The thumbnail and preview are fairly low resolution, the link goes directly to the main image. And some sites trap this and throw you into the site itself instead of allowing the raw image to be served up. Some sites serve up an "oi! get off my lawn!" style image instead. ;-)

"Google maps cars were slurping private data with impunity and even hacking WiFi router security to do so" - "private" data? This being information that the user thought was private but was actually being broadcast with no form of encryption whatsoever so anybody with a WiFi interface could have just as easily been reading everything. This, if nothing else, should have been a wake-up call to the users. In a world where you are responsible for the data passing in and out of your IP address, leaving it wide open is irresponsible. Sure, slurping the data is also irresponsible, let's not forget that.

For what it is worth, the same applies with public WiFi. If your tablet or what-have-you autoconnects to open networks and helpfully checks for mail using traditional POP3 - who have you just bleated your login info and password to? Everybody within reception range. That's who. Chances are, nobody will be running a data logger. Maybe it'll be okay in a bar in a provincial town, but is that a chance you are willing to take in a crowded place like a railway station or airport offering open free WiFi? It is not difficult to slurp. Remember that.

As for "hacking", I'm sorry. No. I do not define "receiving open broadcasts" to be hacking any more than I would be hacking by turning on the radio.

"Google are a fiercely competitive commercial entity that has steamrollered any business they think they can" - probably, yes. It is with some sense of irony that I recall Google first get into the search business because they were lean and didn't fill their search results with adverts and rubbish like Altavista used to do. When you went on-line with 14k4 and 28k8 modems, this made a very measurable difference.

"until they bumped into Apple" - two wildly egotistical companies that have the attitude of doing what they like. It's rather like having two male cats in the same garden...

"proposition Google are some cuddly defender of the rights of independent engineers is woefully misguided" - it would be nice if they either open sourced their unwanted ideas, or passed them over to a willing tech to run as a hobby. Google certainly has the habit of creating good ideas, getting bored with them, and then abandoning them. Which isn't so useful to people who actually liked/used those things. Certainly, I think a number of people will be weaning themselves off of Google projects because you never can tell what might get the axe next, and also their relentless push to try to integrate Google+ is going to do them harm in the long run. An example? I upload stuff on YouTube (and I have viewership in double-digits, so I'm hardly worthy of attention). Following the whole Google+/comments thing, I just turn off commenting entirely. While I don't count for much, I'm not alone in doing this. How do we make it clear to Google that... Plus? No thank you.

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heyrick
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Re: Rockstar claims to be independent from Apple and Microsoft

"they didn't mention or condemn their own" - the problem is, they exist in a situation where if they did not patent the AdWords concept, somebody else would have and probably would be dumb enough to go after them for it (prior art doesn't often seem to be a concept understood). What would be more telling is not "oh look, Google has patents" but rather "has Google been actively going after companies who infringe upon Google's patents"? There is such a thing as a defensive patent (sadly enough).

"if all the major tech companies bid together they could simply be taken out of contention" ........these would be the same major tech companies that are all slapping each other around?

"Their thinking was probably that their patent position on client devices was weak and they needed the ammunition." - "probably"? Their thinking could have just as easily been "let's drop some cash on this stuff and get it off the playing field". One might suggest their interesting bidding was an indicator of how seriously they actually took it.

"So really Google are complaining about the size of the holding company which holds patents that are effectively owned by a mother company" - it isn't just that. The idea of pushing off stuff like this to holding companies is also so that if the whole thing is decided to be a farce and the company is clobbered legally, the holding company takes the brunt and the very obvious parent company comes out unscathed. Therefore MegaCorp can just spawn off little companies to assert patents, and if they are dismissed, the amount of damages can be considerably less than going after MegaCorp directly; yet if the patent is upheld, it is a win for MegaCorp. Small company can directly sue for BILLIONS, but if it goes wrong, how many assets can be recouped from a small company? Essentially it is a form of limiting exposure to liability of the parent company.

"Motorola (owned, of course, by Google) are currently suing more companies" - how many are defensive and how many were initiated prior to Google's acquisition?

"in a superior moral position" - it is American patent law. I don't think "moral" applies anywhere.

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