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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1223 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Tor node admin raided by cops appeals for help with legal bills

Dr. Mouse
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"A point worth noting is that he is being investigated, he is not being punished. At least, not yet."

This depends on your definition of punishment.

If the cops came to your house, took away all your computers, mobile phones etc, some of which may be part of your business, this could easily be thought of as a punishment.

For example, for myself, it would have a big impact on my life. I only use my mobile phone, so I would loose contact with a lot of people. My computers contain a large amount of my personal data, projects, photos, and many other things. There would be a huge inconvenience, and at this point I would already consider it a punishment.

Then there's my work's laptop. Although all my data is backed up at work, there would be a lot of work to set me up a new workstation. There is also the damage to reputation: In this case, I would likely have to explain to my bosses why the laptop had been seized. if it is on suspicion of child porn, imagine what my bosses would think! Do you really think there would be no impact? I could easily see being suspended from work, and irreparable damage being done to my reputation, even if cleared later.

If you run a computer based business, it would be even worse. Even a few months of investigation could bankrupt a small business. The destruction of a business that someone has worked hard to build, ploughed large amounts of money and time into, is definitely a punishment.

I'm sorry, but I do think that even this "investigation" step is punishment. It may be necessary, but it's still punishment.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Reminds me of a few years back..

"A subscription warez service? I doubt it. One of the points of warez is that it is software that you are not prepared to pay money for, and so I doubt how successful such an enterprise would be."

Actually, I remember lots of subscription warez services from that era. You tended to get faster connections, larger collections of software, quicker access to newer releases and a single place to look. The subscriptions were small, and if you were after high value software (e.g. professional stuff costing thousands) it was well worth it. Plus, you got less malware in the subscription services.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: No good deed...

QdK:

Not knowing exactly what you do for a living, I can't be sure of an example which fits. A reasonable guess, as you are on this site, would be an IT admin.

Say a colleague, or a friend, brought you a laptop in and asked you to fix it for him. You do so as a favour. A couple of months later you find that he has been arrested for making and distributing kiddie porn, and a big chunk has been done using the laptop you fixed, since you fixed it.

So, you did a good deed by fixing his laptop, but you helped a child abuser. It was still a good deed.

The same applies to this guy. He set up a Tor exit node, donating his bandwidth and system resources to the general public. This is a good deed. The fact that the service is used by child abusers doesn't make it any less of a good deed.

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Dr. Mouse
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Unhappy

No good deed...

... goes unpunished.

Although it would be easy to say that it's his own fault for running something which can be abused, I find it difficult to do so.

He was providing his own resources for the benefit of others. Of course there is the potential for abuse, but it is a sad state of affairs when he is punished for doing a good deed. I have heard of other cases which have had similar effects, e.g. people hosting public Wi-Fi APs etc. being collared when it was someone abusing their generosity. Hell, our office has locked down our "visitors" Wi-Fi network because someone was bringing their laptop in and downloading torrents, which almost caused the entire companies internet access to be cut off.

It reminds me of a school friend's hippie mother. She tried to help people out wherever she could. At one point, she started allowing (through a charity) homeless people to stay at her house. She had a spare room, and they would stay for a few days, get hot meals, showers and a nice warm place to sleep for a few days. She got nothing back except the knowledge that she had helped someone in need.

This all stopped after one person abused the system. Someone who she had been so kind to robbed the house (and the insurance wouldn't cover it).

It is abuses like this which stop people from helping. It makes the whole world worse off. If I was this guy, I'd be very reluctant to run a Tor exit node again, and the story will likely put others off from doing the same. It makes me sad (although the cynic in me knows that this is just how the world works, I always try to listen to the ever-diminishing voice of my inner optimist)

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Boffin: Android's on-board malware scanner utterly FAILS

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Using a tablet to get away from AV software?

"We have several tablets around the house, but we all have the common sense to realise that they're the least-secure bits of computing kit we own."

To a point I agree.

I treat phones and tablets on my home network as potentially dangerous. However, I do the same with all machines. Even a Linux box could be infected with malware, or machines could be hacked, or any number of possibilities. As an old colleague used to say, "The only real security is a 6-inch air gap". Although this is a little outdated due to the prevalence of wireless networks, the principal holds: The only way to ensure a computer is not vulnerable is to have no network attached (and no physical access either, really). Beyond that, you are taking a chance, no matter what security methods you employ.

Even on a Windows PC, the best security method is user vigilance. This applies even more so to Android. When you install an app, ensure it is coming from a trusted source, and study the permissions it requests. Keep an eye on what your phone is doing, periodically clear out unused apps, and never grant root access to any app you are not sure about.

I don't use a "virus scanner" on my Android devices, but I keep them under a great amount of control. I take the risk of my device being compromised, but I don't keep any sensitive info on it, and I accept the risk. Just as I used to do with my Windows PC when I had complete control over it and resources were stretched by virus scanners.

Of course, not everyone thinks about security when they get an email containing "The most realistic fart app yet!"

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RIM is really in trouble when even Windows Phone 8 looks great

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I believe RIM is toast

I have to agree here. BB's main selling point has always been messaging. If they developed apps for other devices, they would open up their market and bring in a lot of new customers.

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Apple, Samsung patent judge: 'I feel like I'm in Groundhog Day here'

Dr. Mouse
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Paris Hilton

That's very, very sexist!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Anyone else

I agree that Judge Koh seems to be complaining about having to do her job, but then I doubt she ever expected her job to involve what amounts to being a kindergarten teacher.

In her place, I would refer them both to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram.

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Einstein almost tagged dark energy in the early 1920s

Dr. Mouse
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Was there a cat on the keyboard?

Maybe, and it may be dead. We'll have to have a look...

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NASA planning Curiosity v2.0 for Mars touchdown in 2020

Dr. Mouse
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Re: About bloody time!

"They could have build a dozen of these... and had them wandering all over Mars by now"

I have been wondering why, now they have a "proven" platform like Curiosity, they don't build a few of them and send them all at once. It would work out much cheaper on a per-rover basis, and they could land them individually at different points around Mars.

There are probably good reasons why they don't (probably involving money) but it would seem to be the most efficient way to get a load of them out there, and a more efficient use of time as well.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: we need to find water

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, he said.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: "...and not have to worry about an unproven design as a side benefit."

"Try imagining it as a BOFH episode..."

So, when the project managers try to "tweak the proven design just a little bit here and just a little bit there" they will be trapped in the server room while the halon system goes off, bundled up in an old roll of carpet and never seen again?

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Who's using 'password' as a password? TOO MANY OF YOU

Dr. Mouse
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Re: This is victim blaming!

"Er . . . we DO tell people not to enter other people's houses and take their stuff, don't we?"

That's my point. Even though people are told not to do something, doesn't mean nobody will. So we lock our doors.

Just as we tell people not to hack into another person's accounts, but we should still use strong passwords.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: This is victim blaming!

Yeah, and instead of telling people to lock their doors, you should tell people not to enter other people's houses and take their stuff!

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Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Who watches...

"as she might have been using the government network for private activities"

Surely, our elected officials would never be allowed to abuse government systems with personal use?

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Raspberry Pi daddy: Stroke your hardware at night, land a job easy

Dr. Mouse
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: If all else fails, there's always computing

"Some of those arts graduates made a success of their computing careers and the rest became IT managers."

New keyboard time!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Ability to learn new stuff

I have to agree.

In my current job (involving admin and some development using fairly proprietary systems) I would not have got the job based purely on the interview and my CV (one of the guys who interviewed me told me this later). What made the difference was the "tour" afterwards. As we wandered around the offices, I discussed the systems and architectures involved. I asked questions, offered possible solutions to problems they were experiencing, and was generally enthusiastic about the role. My enthusiasm and obvious willingness to learn elevated me above the other candidates.

My problem now is that, in many cases, I *don't* know the "textbook" solutions. I have had very little formal training in computers, and have learned most of what I know by doing it. I know that what I do isn't the "right" way much of the time, even though I don't actually know the "right" way, but it works, but at least my methods make me very adaptable to new situations.

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A tweet too far: UK contempt law reform push begins

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Oh FFS

"the problem we're seeing now is exemplified by the tweeting twit, Sally Bercow: things that are mentioned as one might down the pub with your mates - possibly after a drink or two - with no thought about exactly what you're saying and to whom."

This is what I think, too.

Yes, current rules should apply to the internet. But the problem is that there are a large number of people who do not think correctly about their actions.

I often quote a simple analogy. When using Facebook*, you are with a group of friends. Your posts and comments are like a chat with them over a beer in the local pub, or in your living room over a cup of tea. However, using Twitter is like standing on the table in the local pub, or hanging out of your window, or walking down a busy street, and shouting out what you say for all the world to hear.

So, while you may have discussions in the pub about controversial subjects, you would not run down the street shouting about how a random person was a paedo (at least not when your mental age passes 12). Think in that manner and you will be fine.

*I do mean using Facebook as an individual and as it was intended, not through a group page or, of course, if you randomly add random strangers as "friends" without appropriate privacy controls in place.

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Elon Musk envisions small town of VEGETARIANS ON MARS

Dr. Mouse
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Re: To Mars !!!

"They could at least import chickens..."

Nah, you don't want to do that.

They're fowl!

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Bash Street bytes: Do UK schools really need the Raspberry Pi?

Dr. Mouse
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"Secondly, the "£25" computer is a myth. You have to buy cases, SD cards, highly-regulated power supplies, plus something for it to plug into (like a monitor for a start). PER DEVICE."

I call bollocks!

I have to agree with many of the comments made in the article and in these comments that the Pi can't really be a "mainstream" computing teaching tool. It can't replace the PCs used for teaching IT or using computers for other subjects. It is a fairly specialised item. But it does not need additional monitor/keyboard/mouse to plug in to. For the specialised use it is put to, set of extra cables could be used to plug in to from a PC (maybe a KVM switch) which would be useful for other purposes anyway. It can also plug up to old TVs. It doesn't need "highly-regulated power supplies", a cheap phone charger will do. For some purposes, you can even (just) run it off the USB port of a PC (I know, I have done it myself). One of those dual USB leads also works well. For it's intended purpose, it doesn't even need a case. All you really need is an SD card, adding maybe £5 to the cost of the device.

I can only see it being practical for teaching small groups of the most enthusiastic and/or able students. Most won't be interested or capable of learning programming, but (from my own experience) maybe 5 out of a class of 30 would. This would leave a great opportunity for that top tier to learn. They can each bring in their own SD card, containing their own work. They can learn to program, build hardware, or hack at the kernel. All is done on their own SD card, so a mistake doesn't break the whole machine.

The only reason that the Pi's costs skyrocket in school environments is that they want to use them as computers. That's not a practical use for them (in schools). Leave them as bare boards, allow the (selected) kids access to electronic components and prototyping boards, and guide them in developing their skills.

Of course, this would need real IT teachers, not those who just know how to adjust the font size in MS Word and struggle to even print the document when they are done.

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Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

Dr. Mouse
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Reminds me of several other industries out there which are currently being dragged kicking and screaming out of the 20th century.

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Mighty 4 Terabyte whopper crashes down on the desktop

Dr. Mouse
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"The WD Black 4TB GB hard drives, with capacities ranging from 500G to 4TB"

I'd be a bit miffed if I ordered a WD Black 4TB and it had a capacity of 500GB! Are they saying it's "up to" 4TB?

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NASA SECRET DISCOVERY ON MARS: Meteor offers possible clue

Dr. Mouse
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Re: It's life, we're not that special...

"stop fighting over the blue and the red hats"

Yeah, they were supposed to be green!

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Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface

Dr. Mouse
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Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

TWENTY-NINE GIG!!!!!!!!

Seriously, that's ridiculous! I thought Win7x64 was bad, but this must be at least a 50% increase! This when my Linux 64-bit install with 3 desktop environments and all the applications I need take up the sum total of... 6GB!

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: reading ability

"My 16gb iPad 2 has 13.8gb available"

That's the sort of figure I would expect. I believe my Atrix, advertised as 16GB, has about 12GB available. Similarly my cheap Android tab advertised as 8GB had 6GB available. A few GB is expected. 16GB is not.

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Dr. Mouse
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I have to agree with you here. Normal smartphones and tablets use a few gig, at most, for OS, bundled apps and any segregated application storage. This is the market we should be comparing with for the Surface, not the space taken by a full windows install on a PC. Even so, you can (just about) accept 20GB taken by the OS on a PC with 500GB+ storage.

I'd say they have gone over the line of what's reasonably expected for a tablet, and it should be made clearer.

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LOHAN to join mile-high club with BRITNEY or NAOMI?

Dr. Mouse
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Sulking

I'm still sulking coz you thought "Binary Response at Altitude" was unsuitable, so no vote from me.

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Google to devs: Fragmenting Android is AGAINST THE RULES

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Just an excuse for more Google lock-in

"there aren't Samsung fanboys, just as there aren't Dell fanboys. There are Android fanboys, but they are fickle, and have no reason to choose Samsung for their next phone just because they did with their last one."

I agree to a point, but I believe this is a good thing in the mobile phone market.

It gives consumers choice and it forces handset manufacturers to innovate. They must find ways to differentiate their phones from the crowd. Apple, for instance, don't need to do this. There is only one phone, and those with iPhones often look at nothing else. Fandroids have a plethora of options, so the mfrs need to find a way to get their attention (and cash) rather than it going to a competitor.

Personally, I would like to see Google go further and ban mfrs from forcing their Android overlays on people. Make them have an option to remove it. This would lead to better compatibility overall, as all core functionality would need to be accessible to pure Android, and the overlays wouldn't be much more than apps.

For myself, I am actually a Motorola fandroid. I have only had Moto phones since I started down the Android route. I **HATE** Motoblur, and immediately install a new ROM when I get a new phone, but I like Moto's hardware and look at their kit first.

This doesn't mean I don't look elsewhere, but each time Moto has been my choice. But the Nexus 4 is tempting me at the moment, though. I can't really justify it (My Atrix is still prefectly fine and only a year old), but that would be my choice if I was buying today.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: RAM issue? Not exactly, nor CPU.

"All phones of XYZ minimum specs (mostly CPU & RAM defined) must have an official upgrade available for users to install that will update the device to the new OS version within three (3) months of the version's official release date OR ALL RELEVANT DEVELOPMENT MATERIALS MADE AVAILABLE FOR THE COMMUNITY TO DEVELOP THE UPGRADE." (or words to that effect).

Handset manufacturers will not accept being forced to upgrade their 3-year-old handsets, especially if it requires significant development effort. However, the developer community puts in huge amounts of effort to back fit ROMs to older devices. These are often very successful, in spite of having to work around gaps.

If the mfrs were forced to release source and specific components (where they are not allowed to release source) to the community to aid them in porting new versions, things would happen faster and the ROMs would be more stable and feature-complete. Minimal effort is required from the mfrs and they may accept this as a compomise.

Either that, or make them develop the underlying parts which are specific to the device to allow generic upgrades direct from Google. This would, however, require work on Googles part to ensure the upgrade will not break things.

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Disney plans three Lucasfilm flicks EVERY YEAR

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Watered down?

"Given how utterly rubbish the prequels were, they really can't do any worse"

I think they can. I hope they don't, but they definitely can do worse

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: Might be overkill

If they manage to do justice to the Star Wars "franchise", even "too many" films will be acceptable. Somehow I doubt it, but I have been wrong before (just look at how much better Red Dwarf X is than the last couple of series before it).

To me, the only passable Star Wars since the original trilogy has been Revenge of the Sith, and even that should have been much darker. If they continue in the style of E1-3 (which is my expectation), they will permanently ruin Star Wars. If they can dispense with the funny characters and mainstreamisation (which I doubt, as it's Disney) they will be on to a winner.

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Skyfall makers 3D printed Bond's DB5

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Glass houses

'I'm sorry, it often "not legally permitted or authorised"s the reply, does it?'

Love it! Take note: when being pedantic, insure* you have made no mistakes yourself.

* Left in place for my own amusement, as it is sure to illicit* a reaction or two.

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Google starts rolling out Android 4.2 to select devices

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Fragmentation fragmentation fragmentation

"The platform is controlled. If I see reports of devices being "rooted", that implies the same problem and the same solution as iOS to break it."

Not really. Rooting is not much different to adding stuff to your sudoers file in Linux: It allows a controlled bypass of the OS's inbuilt security mechanisms. It allows you to get at the very heart of the OS.

However even without rooting, Android still allows the user an order of magnitude greater control over their device than iOS. Want to install an app from a random (unofficial) source? No problem. Want to enable tethering on a network without an agreement with your phone manufacturer? Tick a box. In general, you just have greater control.

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Industry in 'denial' as demand for pricey PCs plunges

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I dont know about you but....

"I like my 8(ish) cores, and you know sometimes 16gig is just not enough - and just how the hell do you expect me to get anything done with just the two monitors."

That's exactly what I used to say (subject to scaling). I had a dual Xeon machine back in the day, and I remember friends asking why I needed 2 CPUs. I was the first out of my group to buy a Voodoo 2 graphics card ("the software graphics are good enough"), the first to set up a file server ("there's enough space in your machine"), the first to set up a firewall/router ("why would more than one person need to access the internet at once?" and "nobody's going to try to hack your home network") and the first to run Cat5 all over my (parents') house (that one had my parents asking why we needed 2 network sockets in ever room when we only had 2 PCs).

Now, however, I have gone past the peak. My current kit is way more capable than I need since I stopped playing games (although it's still about good enough to play when the mood takes me). Nothing will give me a decent improvement in what I normally use the home computers for, so why pay?

If I can convince the other half, the main PC will probably be replaced with a Raspberry Pi (she's never used Linux, so may not take too kindly), and that PC moved into the office. I am even considering getting rid of my main server and firewall boxes, moving the router to a Pi and the server's roles to hosted providers (maybe AWS), keeping only my fileserver local.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: HD video? Good enough for me

"For me, if a notebook or PC can play HD video without stuttering, then that's enough for me."

You can do even better than that. A £25 Raspberry Pi will play HD video without stuttering, and is good enough for bits of web browsing, word processing etc. Total cost about £50 inc wireless keyboard and mouse, plug it up to a TV via HDMI (or to a DVI monitor), no waiting to boot (because it draws so little power you may as well leave it on all the time)... What's the point of spending more?

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Samsung turns screws on Apple, hikes A6 processor price 20%

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Revenge..

"Revenge..

"Is a dish best served with sweet and sour Labrador *

"*It's an old jasper carrot gag and no animals were harmed in the making of this (tasteless) joke."

Actually, I think it's quite tasty. I love sweet and sour.

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LOHAN slips BRA over BOOBIES in ballocket backronym buffoonery

Dr. Mouse
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"Despite appearances to the contrary, we do maintain some standards of nomenclatural decorum, so the following suggestions for LOHAN's beating electronic heart won't be making the short-list for the final public vote"

BOOOOOO(bies)!

My vote's still for BRA. Nothing offensive about that, it's a piece of clothing.

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ALIEN DETECTION was SUPPRESSED by the BBC - top boffin

Dr. Mouse
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Re: I can believe it too

"Stop slagging the BBC off. I am really confused about the attitude to the BBC by the people in the UK."

The BBC is a fantastic institution. IMHO something to be proud of, as a Brit, like the NHS.

However, like the NHS, when you are used to it, it fades into the background. You forget how special it is, and focus on the small problems with it. For example, I am still upset with them for spending shed loads on moving to a new building while dropping Formula 1. Also, with the NHS, people complain about waiting times etc. while forgetting all the good things it does for us. It is natural.

Let's take, for instance, cars. You buy a brand new car to replace your ageing rust bucket. For the first few months you love it. It's the best thing in the world, reliable and comfortable. You are proud to be seen with it.

After a few months, however, you have become used to it. You start noticing small faults: The seats don't support your back quite right, the wipers are too loud, the radio sounds a bit tinny. You then start focussing on these small things, which you complain about, forgetting how damn good the car is.

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Office for Android, Apple iOS: 'REALLY REAL this time' - report

Dr. Mouse
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WTF?

Re: @M Gale

Wow, 3 downvotes for asking a question?!

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Dr. Mouse
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"we need to know your name, postcode, phone number and two valid email addresses to give you access to your own computer you bitches"

Do you need an Office 365 account to access your own computer?

I thought you only needed it to access Office 365, which is running on their computers.

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BBC in secret trial to see if you care about thing you plainly don't

Dr. Mouse
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First off, I like DAB. Have a receiver I bought a few years back in the kitchen, and it's great for listening to while I'm cooking.

The only other place I listen to radio is in the car. Herein lies the problem: I don't have a DAB in the car. I am unwilling to go out and buy another radio when FM suits me fine for this. When I'm driving, I don't much care what I'm listening to (within reason). It's just background noise to stop me getting bored on the motorway.

As for AM, I haven't listened to it since I built my first crystal set as a kid. However, I would hate to see it turned off, purely because I want top be able to teach my kids to build a crystal set. It was a fantastic learning experience with an immediately useful result. You wired it up, and you could listen to the radio. Something you built yourself was picking up professionally produced content, and it inspired me to learn HOW it did so. It was probably the first moment I was truly excited to learn, and inspired a lifelong love of electronics.

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LOHAN's cold heart beats beneath silicon breast

Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Up

I like this one. Nice and simple, and before launch you have to make sure LOHAN's BRA is on.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: But the important question is

You also need to put in the most expensive machine in the office.

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I, for one, would like to welcome our Android overlord

Dr. Mouse
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"That statement was made in the context of professional software development"

I understand that. However, everyone starts somewhere. I may not be the norm, but I have nearly always started learning things outside the workplace. For example, when I was told I would be responsible for a system which runs on a Solaris box, I took it upon myself to set up a Solaris server at home to learn about it (we already have Solaris guys, but I thought I should know). I did the same for VMS, and that's the same way I initially learned about Linux, Windows domains and C/C++ programming.

"I share a developer account with friends which costs me a princely sum of $10 a year."

How big a group? I must have incorrect info, as I thought the cost was in the hundreds per year (the figure that comes to mind is $1000).

"My wife would not appreciate me installing apps on her phone without her knowing, especially ones latching on to BOOT_COMPLETE permissions (spyware comes to mind)"

I didn't do that. I had no idea how to back then. This was a brand new phone, and a very simple app which, when run, played a tune and displayed a few pictures. Basically an animated birthday card.

Even so, there must be some element of trust in a relationship. For example, I host her email on my server. I could read through her email if I wanted. We discussed that when I set it up for her. She knows I wouldn't because I respect her privacy, just as she wouldn't go through my post when it hits the doormat.

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Dr. Mouse
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"Apple made iOS development easy."

From what I have heard (I admit that I haven't looked into it as I'm not too interested) there are significant barriers to development on iOS which don't appear on Android. If anyone can debunk these, I will be happy to hear it.

First off, I have been told you can only develop for iOS on MacOS. This is a huge barrier to me: I don't own a Mac, and would have no other use for it. For Android, on the other hand, I can develop on Windows, Linux, MacOS and others, using any hardware architecture which will run them. In fact, I could even develop directly on Android.

Second, in order to use the app you have just written, you must either pay big bucks to Apple to put them on the app store, or jailbreak your device. For Android, a simple checkbox in settings will allow me to sideload my app and test it.

Let's take a very simple, trivial example. A couple of years ago, I bought my girlfriend an Android phone for her birthday. I wanted to make it special, so I wrote a very simple birthday card app just for her. Having never written an application for Android before (or even used Java in any form other than little bits of JS), there was a learning curve, but I managed to put together this simple App and load it onto her phone ready for when she first turned it on.

If I wanted to do anything similar now that she owns an iPhone which she doesn't want to jailbreak (assuming what I have heard is true), I would need to;

a) buy a Mac (or build a hackintosh), and

b) pay ££££s to Apple to register it on the App Store.

So, to me, it is Google who have made development for Android (at least for the casual developer) easy.

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'I'd buy that for a dollar': Apple on Moto phone patents

Dr. Mouse
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Re: wipe your glasses, Mr. iFanboy

'"Apple is known to patent the obvious", thats not how patents work, you can't patent the obvious.'

Actually, looking at how the US patent system, in particular, works you can.

The patent office don't do any more than the bare minimum of checks to decide whether the patent is valid. They also don't have experts in every field working there. Their job is to make sure the paperwork is in order, do a quick search to see if the idea is already patented and then grant it.

Then, it is up to competitors to take the patent holder to court to try to have the patent quashed (or be taken to court and then try). The patent may be blindingly obvious to an expert in the field, or may be covered by prior art not noticed by the patent office.

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Dr. Mouse
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Re: wait

"Perhaps a better solution is that when standards are written costs are worked out there and then for everyone who wants to use them and you but a licence for the entire standard?"

Yes, I completely agree that this would be the best way to deal with a standard. I believe this is done for many standards: You can buy, say, an MPEG-4 license and it covers all the patents involved.

However, this will not happen in all cases. It would force everyone to decide on relative values from the start, and would make it more difficult for large companies to negotiate better prices. Cross-licensing deals would be more difficult to implement, too. Basically, the big boys wouldn't want their power taken away from them, and the smaller players would be able to enter the game more easily, something none of the larger companies wants.

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Dr. Mouse
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Re: There never has been a redirect loosers

"I've always had to add an explicit /UK on the URL if I want the UK site"

Just wondering: do you have NoScript or similar installed?

I'm only asking, because some thing it did exist and some that it didn't, so the most probable answer is different settings.

I don't know, as I don't use any Apple products and have never visited the Apple website before this court order.

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US gov advised to SUE GOOGLE by FTC over patent trade wars

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Bollocks !

"Following your suggestion, the licensees (apple + MS in this case) would go to court... and wait a few years, releasing no products in the meantime."

This may be how my post came across, but it not how it was meant.

What I was trying to say was that the potential licensee should take court action as soon as the negotiations over the license broke down. Yes, sell your product in the meantime, but start the court action immediately.

If you do, it is basically an extension to the licensing negotiations. If not, you are abandoning your attempt to obtain a license, and are wilfully infringing.

AFAIK Apple, in this case did not do so. I may be wrong.

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