* Posts by Ian 55

613 posts • joined 19 Feb 2010

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AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

Ian 55
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Re: Hey Eyeo

I thought I was anti-ads :)

1-6 cover 99% of my moans. I can live with ads for stuff I don't want or already have.

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Labels to artists: You'll get a penny, so go away

Ian 55
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At least one of them seems to have done all right

In any case, the music industry lost the most money by going 'A single service that has an almost monopoly on digital music? Let's sue it out of existence rather than throwing the owners a few million then making billions ourselves...'

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Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

Ian 55
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Very nice, but I wonder if the authors are getting paid or if they had crap contracts.

My copy of ZX Machine Code dates back to when the author was Tony, complete with a 'nothing stays the same' teaser comment.

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FTC: Duo bought rights to Android game – then turned it into ad-slinging junkware in an update

Ian 55
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Re: If you're not going to jail them

Quite a clever scheme though.

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Brit spies want rights to wiretap and snoop on US companies' servers

Ian 55
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Re: "Home Secretary (the elected official in charge of the police)"

The Home Secretary needn't even be an MP - you could have a member of the House of Lords do the job.

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Ian 55
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Re: one hell of a metric

NOT LET YOUR AD PEOPLE RUN ANYTHING THAT'S NOT TEXT (NO JS) OR A STATIC IMAGE?

Fixed it for you.

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Sir Michael Lyons tells .uk registry Nominet: Time to grow up

Ian 55
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Get rid of the lot of them, now

They cannot even organise a domain launch. Does anyone think that .uk has been a success? Any domain that has to resort to free taster years in order to get anyone to register it was not wanted.

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WordPress under attack by whack-a-mole ad-scam malware

Ian 55
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I have been seeing a lot of scans for specific plugins, typically by looking for their readme.txt or similar.

Several of these went into a fail2ban filter, and now I see a lot fewer...

I suspect those plugins allow uploads.

The other active searches are looking for php files in /wp-content/uploads/ somewhere you should never, ever have files executable on the server.

(Usual reminder: no-one should install whatever 'Better WP Security' is calling itself now without a) a complete backup of files + database and b) either knowing exactly what they're doing or pockets deep enough to pay someone to fix the complete mess it can leave you in.)

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Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'

Ian 55
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Re: I think they cashed out at the right time

Yes, I would have taken the money and run. Licensing deals - otherwise known as 'hoping the stock Google keyboard doesn't get a bit better - and selling skins to people prepared to pay to have their keyboard look a bit different do not a sustainable business make.

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Ian 55
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Ah, the ZX Spectrum

When the thing's own ROM contains the 'NON-MASKABLE INTERRUPT' routine that should have let an NMI cause a jump to any non-zero address did, in fact, do nothing or a cold-boot thanks to having

JR NZ, 0070 - do a short ('relative') jump to 0x070 if non-zero

rather than

JR Z, 0070

So much hardware could have used the correct version.

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

Ian 55
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Re: Office Space

I quite miss the HP Laserjet II and III printers that used to say that if you'd accidentally not sent the right set of codes saying 'use A4'.

There have to be some still going: they were almost indestructible. Amongst other things, this meant that when businesses got rid of them to get an LJ 4 (ok) or later (not), you could buy them for about £20, or about 1/20th the price of new crappy model from someone else and even less of their original cost.

The printer I have now prints more pages per minute, and at rather less than 60lbs is much easier to move, but really doesn't have any other advantages.

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Fretful Amazon wishes it could get more Android action

Ian 55
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Re: it WOULD be nice

One simple and easy to use switch is hardly difficult. Anyone who can't follow the instructions from Amazon / Humble Bundle / whoever is too stupid to be allowed to use it.

It's the companies who make it as hard as possible - Apple and Amazon - to put other stuff on your kit who need an enormous kick in the bum.

Oh, and Amazon ended their 'free app of the day' some months ago.

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2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Ian 55
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Re: Nearly makes me want to look at Linux again.

Nice try.

Having experimented with assorted versions of Windows on some kit last year, if the hardware is supported - and it supports more than any single version of Windows - then Linux was easier than any of them.

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Ian 55
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Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

Oooh, three thumbs down.

What, dear downvoters, does Linux Mint MATE give me that Ubuntu MATE doesn't? Apart from the need to back up [b]everything[/b] when doing a version upgrade because LM has never done them reliably?

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Ian 55
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Re: With all these brilliant coders out there :

When Microsoft can't do perfect compatibility between Windows versions, expecting anyone else to be compatible with every version of Windows is optimistic beyond the bounds of reality.

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Ian 55
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Re: Paying for Windows 10 after July

"And he has strict instructions to not do anything other than initial login that requires his password. Fingers crossed..."

What, including allowing updates? That's brave.

It was the way that Linux Mint started insisting on having my password every single time, rather than just the first time after booting, that pushed me back to Ubuntu, particularly now that Ubuntu MATE is an official version.

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Rejoice, Penguinistas, Linux 4.4 is upon us

Ian 55
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Re: So will 2016 be the year of Linux on the desktop?

I do care what other people use, because I get affected by every zombie Windows PC trying to hack my servers or spam me.

I really, really do not understand why the majority of people who never leave the browser run Windows.

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Going on a date, and it's just the two of you? How ... quaint. OkCupid's setting up threesomes

Ian 55
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"all the sexualities outside the norm"

This says so much more about the author than the site in question.

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It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

Ian 55
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Re: The real future

Yep. Replicant vaginas will be here long before replicant brains.

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Ian 55
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Re: Your arsehole sthn. hemisphere 'moderators'

"You actually type your posts directly into the comment box"

I write mine in crayon.

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Carbonite goes on exec hiring spree despite deepening losses

Ian 55
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(Looks)

No, it still won't let you backup files unless they're on a file system it won't use itself.

Next.

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T-Mobile US boss John Legere calls bulls*** on video throttling claims

Ian 55
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Re: When Unlimited != Unlimited

Sadly, in the UK the Advertising Standards Authority has decided that it's ok because everyone lies about 'unlimited'.

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Happy 2016, and here's the year's first ransomware story

Ian 55
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Re: "distributed via email"

"the tried-and-trusted clueless idiot who clicks on everything without even wondering why he was sent an executable in the first place"

The person at a previous workplace who opened an executable attachment 'from' himself that he knew he hadn't sent, but "wanted to see what it was" ended up as the boss.

Clearly it's a 'are you fit for management' test.

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

Ian 55
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Re: @All Names Taken -- Don't be daft?

Late comment, but I know someone who was studying at one of the better Oxbridge colleges when Labour got into power in 1964 after thirteen years of Tory rule.

Various new ministers came to talk to them, and he particularly remembers Anthony Wedgwood Benn saying he'd been told some /very/ important things by civil servants and that he was /frightfully/ sorry that they were just too secret to share.

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WordPress.com ditches PHP for Calypso's JavaScript admin UI

Ian 55
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Re: Wordpress.com !== Wordpress

To be fair, since 3.7 minor updates have been automatic... assuming your system setup allows them.

You're still left to do major updates yourself unless you set a variable, and if you ever visit your site's dashboard, you're told about those.

But yes, there are an awful lot of old sites that need updating / deleting.

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Ian 55
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Re: In my experience...

The problem with the WordPress software is that the authors prioritise convenience over security.

So, you install it and... you have a default spam magnet post that anyone can comment on, and those comments will be instantly published. Why not have comments off by default? 'People like comments'. Even having moderation on by default would be better.

You're also left with a login form that allows attackers infinite attempts to bruteforce their way in as fast as your server will allow, with no blocking repeated failures, no delays on failure, no warning emails. I can't remember what they said about that one.

If you block that one, then there's still the way that the xmlrpc interface will allow attackers to try hundreds of username/password attempts per request, again as fas as your server will allow with no blocking repeated failures, no delays on failure, and no warning emails. Turning the whole interface off by default would block Automattic's apps and Jetpack plugin, but there is simply no legitimate software using the multicall method that amplifies bruteforce attacks agains you. Will they disable it by default? Nope.

There is more...

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Ian 55
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Re: In my experience...

How would you stop arbitrary PHP code doing that?

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EU's Paris terror response includes 'virtual currencies' crimp

Ian 55
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Re: Petty Cash

"The petty cash tin!"

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Malvertising: How the ad model makes crime pay

Ian 55
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Re: Why is there a picture of a gavel?

There's reading involved too. If you read the article, you'd know the answer...

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TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

Ian 55
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Is leaving them enough?

Having left them - for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who's used them - last year, I am wondering whether the stolen customer data includes ex-customers and, if so, how far back...

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So what's the internet community doing about the NSA cracking VPN, HTTPS encryption?

Ian 55
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"urging in the strongest terms developers and engineers to use at least 2048-bit key sizes"

Well, that'll work, because everyone reads... Oh.

What might work is some seriously popular kit to refuse to work with anything that didn't.

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Ubuntu 15.10: Wily Werewolf – not too hairy, not too scary

Ian 55
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Reading the release notes

Well, that would work if they actually mentioned it in the release notes.

It's in the Ubuntu ones. It's not in, for example, the Ubuntu-MATE ones.

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Ian 55
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AMD graphics issues

See bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/fglrx-installer/+bug/1493888 - they knew about this before releasing it. Only some versions of Ubuntu documented it in the release notes...

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Ian 55
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Re: Not an upgrade... especially if you have AMD graphics

It's been known for at least six weeks that the AMD binary drivers - widely used, because they have much better 3D performance than the open source ones - don't work and will lead to blackscreening.

Incredibly, this has not stopped the release. Or some of the Ubuntu flavours actually documenting this side-effect of "upgrading".

Even though someone discovered a fix: compile the installer with a specific version of gcc.

I don't know whether this means that the installer code is making crap assumptions about the behaviour of the compiler or if the default version of gcc has a bug, but I do know that this is appalling behaviour. Releasing such system-breaking software because 'deadline', should be what Microsoft and Apple do to please their shareholders, not one of the flagships of open source.

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If you got Netflix for Miss Marple, you're out of luck (and a bit odd)

Ian 55
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Re: Buy the physical media

Well, CDs are still widely readable thirty three years on. 200 billion of them sold.

DVDs are a mere twenty years old and are still a higher volume product than BR discs.

I suspect we'll be able to read them for many years yet. By the time it becomes an issue, solid state storage will be extremely cheap.

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Ian 55
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Re: Netflix - it's a library

Buy from the US via Amazon, and you only pay £2.80 P&P on top of - often - pennies for the book. For some books, they have to be making a hefty loss, but presumably the cost of pricing everything to take that into account must be bigger than the loss.

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Western Digital's hard drive encryption is useless. Totally useless

Ian 55
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"a pseudorandom number generator that .. only cycles through a series of 255 32-bit values."

It's almost impressively stupid.

If only they'd gone for PRN generator that gave a full 4096 bits.. that was one of two different values.

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GCHQ to pore over blueprints of Chinese built Brit nuke plants

Ian 55
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Re: Yes please!

The UK had Polaris / has Trident mostly in order to guarantee that the US will be nuked if they are ever used* and so the US has a very good reason to ensure - via its conventional troops etc - that the UK never feels threatened enough to do so.

So of course the US would like to stop the UK even having the possibility of wiping out Moscow. If that means that, as with the early years of Polaris, the submarine-based nuclear weapons don't actually work, then great.

* If Moscow disappears in a radioactive cloud, the Russians are not going to go 'Well, it was probably just the British, we'll just wipe them out and leave the US alone because no way would it be them...'

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Self-driving vehicles might be autonomous but insurance pay-outs probably won't be

Ian 55
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Yep. I've long thought the problem isn't the technology, it's the insurance issues - I wouldn't want to be anywhere near the liability end of the very big, very sharp stick.

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Ubuntu 15.10: More kitten than beast – but beware the claws

Ian 55
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Re: I feel someone should say.

Tried it when it was the desktop on netbook versions of Ubuntu. It's OK for small screens (you lose width, not the smaller height), but on a sensible screen I still greatly prefer MATE.

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Ian 55
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MATE quibbles

I've been running with MATE as the desktop for years too - first with LinuxMint, now with Ubuntu MATE - but I wish I could find the tweaks to..

a) Have the window borders wider than one pixel. I know there's a keyboard shortcut to 'change size of window', but...

b) Colour the scrollbar something other than light grey on slightly darker grey. Or is that a GTK thing?

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Top VW exec blames car pollution cheatware scandal on 'a couple of software engineers'

Ian 55
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Re: I agree...

Robocop 2 had it covered perfectly:

Minion: It'll be a feeding frenzy.

Boss: It's only money. What about criminal proceedings?

Minion: Well, we're looking at major indictments, sir. Prison terms.

Boss: What about me?

Minion: You know we'll do whatever we can.

Boss: That's not good enough.

Minion2: Sir? What if this was the work of one individual? A person who had her own agenda, wasn't in sync with the goals of our company?

Boss: Well, that usually works.

Minion2: A woman who was not a team player, who violated our trust.

Boss: Well we'd need some evidence to support that.

Minion: Sir, whether it exists or not, I know I can find it.

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Google's new squeeze: Brotli compression open-sourced

Ian 55
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Who could possibly have thought..

.. that adding a very large static dictionary could reduce output size at the cost of increasing the size of the (de)compressor?

I have a new algorithm that works much better than this one. If the file is a single 'one' byte, it decompresses to the King James Bible. If it's 'two', it decompresses to a dvd rip of Deep Throat. If...

Why yes, the program is rather large, but look at the compression ratios!

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11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

Ian 55
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Re: Oz consumer law

It does meet its advertised performance. If you do the test, it will produce the results it says. If you do something other than the test, why would you expect the same results?

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Total War: Warhammer, Blood Bowl and other Games Workshop table-to-screen delights

Ian 55
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Re: The title is too long.

Perhaps the lawyers insisted on 'rumours'. To everyone else, it was obvious what was happening as soon as GW stopped being some nice general games shops and became a mechanism for only shifting overpriced figures and accessories.

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'A word processor so simple my PA could use it': Joyce turns 30

Ian 55
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Re: Yes, dBase II was the key ingrediant for me.

A friend bought an IBM XT after the nice people at IBM told her that, yes, the PC1512 might be much faster and cheaper, but at about five times the cost the XT must be better.

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Long-memoried boffins re-invent 1950s ferroelectric tech

Ian 55
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.. either magnetised or not magnetised ?!?

"in the 1950s, early computers used a matrix of magnetic cores, which stored bits by either being magnetised or not magnetised"

How did that work then?

I was taught that the direction of the magnetism was changed, one way for 'one' and the other for 'zero'. Still in use in the Shuttle, hence being able to read the contents of the Challenger's memory after it exploded and crashed into the sea.

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All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

Ian 55
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Hanged / hung

Source of one of the best jokes in Blazing Saddles:

"They said you was hung..."

"And they was right!"

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It's still 2015, and your Windows PC can still be pwned by a webpage

Ian 55
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Re: Sigh

If they're that stupid, what are they doing in sudoers anyway?

Talking of stupid, who thought it was a good idea to let webpages start downloads of opentype fonts just to increase the chance of viewers looking at the page in the 'right' Helvetica variant?

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Ubuntu Wily gaggle builds 15.10 beta beachhead

Ian 55
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Re: "No Dibble or Grub"

Trumpton fire service indeed, but if you're going to say that there's no Grub, you might as well be correct.

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