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* Posts by Phil W

420 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

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Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast

Phil W
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Re: If in doubt...

Or check on gsmarena they are good at listing all phone specs, including USB OTG support.

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Phil W
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Re: USB 3 Option

Nice idea but surely if you're going to make a USB3 version you should make one with Micro USB 3.0 OTG support. Would be nice for my Note 3.

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

Phil W
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Why would it?

The requirement is to send the statement within 365 days. As far as I'm aware it can be less than this (360 days for instance to ensure it is received in plenty of time). Leap years don't factor in to it.

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Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders

Phil W
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Re: Good Grief!!!

"A vynil record only make a noise when you drop it. It needs electronic circuitry of fabulous sophistication to get it to produce music."

Technically not. 33/45 RPM vinyl records are, from a physical point of view, much the same technology as a gramophone which could be operated by a hand crank and contains no electronics at all.

I don't believe such a thing exists, but there's no reason you couldn't build an entirely mechanical gramophone type device for playing 33/45 RPM LPs and Singles.

With sufficient engineering, a clockwork type mechanism could be constructed allowing it to be wound up and play at the correct RPM.

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Cheat Win XP DEATH: Little-known tool to save you from the XPocalypse

Phil W
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Re: Dear author

"Am I actually breaking the law by accessing an xp VD from VBox, even though it is on the same machine/physical drive and is a legitimately licensed copy? Serious question. I'm not using the win7 xp virtual mode, it is an old boxed copy that I bought from Tottenham Court Rd"

You're fine, both morally and legally, because you have a proper boxed copy with licence which can be installed on whicher (single) machine you wish be that physical or virtual.

XP OEM licences (the ones that comes with prebuilt PCs) are a grey area, as the licence specifies they can only be used on the machine it was supplied with. Whether that is legally enforceable is questionable and morally even more so.

The Windows 7 XP Mode VM on the other hand, is provided free of charge for Windows 7 licence holders (effectively it is included in the cost of the Windows 7 licence). So if you are using it and don't have a Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise licence then you are quite definitely in the legal wrong. If you have a Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise licence but are using the XP Mode VHD within Linux then I would suggest that that is another of those questionable legal/moral issues.

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Phil W
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Re: Dear author

"The author gave the caveat that the virtual XP machine should only be used to run the existing old software that won't play nice with Win7 etc"

He certainly did, but you've got to get that old software onto the VM somehow. We're talking about a new XP install in the VM here, not a virtualisation of the one you already have the software installed on.

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Phil W
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Re: Dear author

"Wow! Must be an amazing view from that high-horse!"

My horse is amazing....

http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/Amazing+Horse/

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Phil W
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Dear author

Dear author,

Please hand in your IT professional/journalist credentials at the front desk and proceed to leave the industry immediately.

You have written an article that strongly implies, thought admittedly doesn't explicitly state, that keeping an archaic operating system running inside a VM is a good way to keep it secure, in lieu of future security patches.

This is clearly utter horse manure. In order to install software in your VM of XP you still need to download software or copy data into it via network shares/usb pass through mass storage or whatever other means. This data you've then exposed the VM to could easily be infected with some malware that could affect your out of date OS.

You also advise and demonstrate download the "XP Mode" VM provided as a free download for Windows 7 and running under it Linux. While you do indeed suggest that people doing this should own a Windows XP Pro licence, I think you will find this insufficient and legally speaking puts you and those following this advice in the wrong.

The XP Mode download requires a Windows 7 licence, because it is provided as a feature of Windows 7 and is not intended for use in any other way.

I'm not getting into the OEM licences and transfer between computers argument, because that's one for the lawyers. But the "XP Mode" licence is quite clear cut, it's provided free of charge for Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate/Enterprise licence holders for install within Windows 7 and that's all.

If you are going to write an an article suggesting people run Windows XP in a VM under Linux, then you should advise them to purchase both a licence and install media for Windows XP and build a new VM from scratch. But really, unless you actually intend to migrate to Linux, why would you bother?

If you must have XP then buy a Windows 7 Professional and run XP Mode legally in that.

Then as new versions of your old software become available you can install them in your Windows 7 installation and phase out your XP Mode VM.

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Phil W
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Re: Dodgy website admins

IANAL but.....

To answer this in terms of your analogy. If your brakes fail because you have mistreated them or not maintained them then that is your fault. However if your brakes fail due to a design flaw from manufacture then really it is the manufacturers fault.

Server operators were using OpenSSL in good faith, they had no reason to expect this vulnerability.

Of course now they are aware of it, it becomes their responsibility.

Also, liability prior to the fault being known will likely vary by jurisdiction and by whether the claim is criminal or civil. In some cases particularly civil ones the owner of the faulty equipment would be liable, and then in turn have to sue to the provider of the faulty component, in other cases the owner may be able to pass liability directly off to the supplier.

Also in another quirk of law, if for instance you killed someone in your car due for example the brakes failing and the throttle locking full open due to an unannounced manufacturing fault, you would in most jurisdictions I believe be open to a criminal prosecution for murder/manslaughter/causing death by dangerous driving (depending on particular local statutes). However if it was known to be caused by a manufacturing fault the authorities would likely not pursue a prosecution or if it went to trial you might find a judge would give a directed verdict of not guilty.

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Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

Phil W
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Re: Only 200 people?

You either lack experience of working in a real front line support environment or are just stupid. The practicality of having technical staff who can actually fix whatever somone calls up about constantly available to answer the phone, and have time to get all their work done, is basically non-existant in most real world environments.

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White House blasts Samsung for tweeting Obama-Ortiz selfie

Phil W
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Joke

Admition

Ortiz as, from a logical grammatical point of view anyway, admitted to this being something he was paid for.

“It had nothing to do with no deals,”

The use of the double negative "nothing" and "no" logically cancel other out, meaning he is really saying there was a deal.

Is this down to poor education and/or a weak grasp of the proper use of the English language?

Or is it really a super clever way of letting everyone know he used the President to get paid while hiding it behind this grammatical camouflage?

Who can say?......

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Judge strikes down Apple attempt to bar Samsung's 'untrue' patent comments

Phil W
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I read this as...

Samsung : "Mummy Appy's not sharing toys with me, and he's not even playing with them!"

Apple : "Am to! Make him stop telling lies!"

Unfortunately Koh has to respond as a judge rather than a frustrated parent so is making them proove their claimed use/none use. I would far prefer the frustrated parent approach of forcing them to share, or taking the toys (patents) off both them. I don't imagine their is any legal methodology for that of course but it would be much more satisfying.

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Phil W
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Similarities

Just wondering if I'm the only one (in the UK at least) who is seeing the similarity between this and the recent news regarding certain politicians and their vague historical affiliation to PIE (Paedophile Information Exchange)?

Notably in those cases no-one was fired/forced to step down as a result. They simply said, "I regret my vague historical association with this awful organisation" and that was the end of it.

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Phil W
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Re: No, it's not.

Nope, not at all accurate there I'm afraid.

Certainly to be the head of a Protestant community you must be of that faith, but that is because that community will have a rule that stipulates it is so

It is entirely possible however to be the owner/manager/president of a football club and not particular like football since the FA and other football authorities don't require you to like football to be associated with it. You do of course have to be good at being the owner/manager/president or you'll get sacked.

The fans may well mock you for saying you don't like football, should you make it public, but if you do a good job and lead the club to victory they're unlikely to try and force you out.

Mozilla has no explicit rules dictating what the personal beliefs of it's employees and particularly the CEO must be, in fact for it to do so would be ridiculous and as a business possibly illegal (hence why Eich wasn't fired but stepped down).

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Phil W
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Re: It's a shame

Though I'm not really that bothered what he's done or what his job I do think his being forced out like this is unfair and unreasonable. I personally am fully supportive of same-sex marriage, and most other reasonable forms of social tolerance towards anything that doesn't cause someone harm but....

"If he'd donated money to White Supremacists to help outlaw interracial marriage, there'd be little outcry over his ouster."

If he'd donated money towards a peaceful PR campaign in support of the above then I would in fact oppose his ousting just as I do in this case. There is a clear and obvious divide between making a donation to a PR campaign and holding a deep conviction on a subject and openly espousing it in your personal and professional life, and forcing it on others through your management and leadership of a business.

There is no evidence that he has done anything apart from possibly hold a personal belief that many, including myself disagree with. He hasn't as far as I can see, spoken openly in support of that belief or involved it in his professional life in any way. We only know about his donation through an oddity of a State law.

This man has been involved in Mozilla since the beginning, and invented Javascript, yet I don't recall hearing of any calls for Mozilla to be boycotted before his appointment as CEO. Despite the fact as a co-founder he would of wielded a large amount influence.

In a fair and reasonable society you should, and indeed do, have the right to privately believe in and support whatever peaceful opinion and cause you wish. No matter how misguided, ignorant or just plain stupid that belief may be.

If this were not the case Tom Cruise wouldn't still be famous, and there wouldn't be churches of Scientology springing up all over the place.

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PRIVATE: Expansys prez quits as Dragons' Den-izen Jones takes gizmotailer off market

Phil W
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nasty boy?

I wouldn't have said he was any nastier than the rest of the rich bastards successful business moguls on Dragons Den.

Like the rest of them he's charming when he likes them/their idea or thinks he'll make money and rather less pleasant when he doesn't like them/their idea or if their investment request is ludicrous.

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Dutch doctors replace woman's skull with 3D-printed plastic copy

Phil W
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Re: this is very impressive

Well according to the article she's back at work, so it would appear she's doing just fine.

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Microsoft DirectX 12 pushes gaming code closer to GPU bare metal

Phil W
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Re: Taking on the Mantle

"Except Mantle is already here, working"

As long as you have an AMD card yes. Vendor specific systems* are not ideal and that's what will limit the uptake of Mantle.

Game devs aren't going to want to market a game as requiring AMD graphics and not being compatible with Nvidia. They also don't want to have to code their game for both DirectX and Mantle.

Some may add both as a gimick or due to vendor influence such as BF4's Mantle support, but making it a requirement limits sales and no-one wants that.

If you doubt the above just look at PhysX.

*Yes I realise that DirectX is Microsoft specific, but until OpenGL takes off again in a bigger way it's a two horse race.

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Phil W
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Taking on the Mantle

I suspect this has been strongly driven by Nvidia as a means to allow them to compete against AMD's Mantle system without developing their own.

In reality it may negate Mantle altogether since AMD will be able to use this to, meaning developers wont have to code for seperate engines.

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Intel details four new 'enthusiast' processors for Haswell, Broadwell

Phil W
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Next year...

...we will be introducing our new line of processors code named:

Chasm of Infinite Peril

and

Valley of Certain Doom

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'Amazon has destroyed the unicorn factory' ... How clouds are making sysadmins extinct

Phil W
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Re: Clouds and Unicorns, parallels in recent history

"As for hybrid clouds: I am so convinced that's going to be the "right thing" I predict it doesn't catch on. I hope I'm wrong about that."

Alas you're probably right about that, despite my earlier comment. At 28 my cynicism doesn't kick in as soon as it should.

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Phil W
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Hybrid

Hybrid services are the future. Cloud services make sense for certain things, for instance the storage of non-sensitive data. Storage can be expensive, especially when you factor in replacement of failed disks or support contracts to cover them.

There are certain things where Cloud services don't work though, in direct contrast to the above sensitive data. Anything you have to keep control of for confidentiality, data protection or other legal reasons should never be stored in a Cloud service because you can't guarantee the data won't be seen by employees of the Cloud service provider and more importantly you can't guarantee the data will remain within its country or origin as is probably required by law.

Some of it also comes down to the attitude of your company with regards to accountability. Are the bosses/staff/users/customers happy to accept finger pointing at a Cloud provider when something is broken with a particular service. Because in some cases that may be all you can do when there's a problem.

Where the answer is yes, then it may be viable to host those services with a Cloud provider.

Where the answer is no, and they expect explanations of the problem and/or timescales to fix, then an in house solution is likely the way to go.

The future skillwise I think, is knowing where the appropriate boundaries for in house and Cloud services are in relation to your businesses functions, and the ability to provision hybridisation and as seemless a user experience as possible of those in house and Cloud services.

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Actually, there is an Arapaho word for 'pliers'

Phil W
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Re: Is there an Arapaho word for this?

"I don't believe in magic. There's an identifiable process at work here, even it has extradimensional properties beyond current scientific understanding."

It's clear to any right thinking individual that screwdrivers and other tools that go missing are not really tools at all, but are the protrusions into our dimension of hyper-intellegent pan-dimensional beings.

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Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN

Phil W
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...and the technology angle is...?

102 degress or appox 1.78 radians.

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Phil W
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Re: No Tommy...

I believe it is in fact "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" with an implied apostrophe at the end of "Morphin".

Given that it is an abbreviation it is possible, albeit unlikely, that "Morphin" is really short for Morphine.

EDIT: since originally writing this, Google has told me that in fact in Malaysia the "Mighty Morphin" was censored out of the title due to being to close to Morphine. Not sure if it's true or not.

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

Phil W
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Re: Next weeks article :

Which screws are you talking about?

For the smaller ones in the enclosure, components and blades you should find one tucked into the back of the enclosure somewhere I think. Not 100% sure, though the 1u - 4u Proliants definitely come with one.

As far the Torx heads on the screws which hold the enclosure into the rack, they're thumbscrews. Surely finger tight is good enough there?

As for using a Phillips head. No, you'll ruin it. Which is a shame even if it belongs to someone you don't like. As an alternative a suitably sized flat head screwdriver will fit across the inside of a Torx head and allow you to tighten it, albeit carefully. Some Torx heads even have extra groves outside the Torx area to allow you to use a large flat head.

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Phil W
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11.b. Alternatively within throwing distance if you just want to hit them in the head with pliers.

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Phil W
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Additional plier query

How is it that all the pliers I buy and keep in an air conditioned server room always manage to start going rusty in a matter of weeks?

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Cloud Overlords

Phil W
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Re: Cloud Overlords

Barking? I prefer to meow.

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Phil W
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Re: Cloud Overlords

This is a rather unfair assessment. As listed above there are mixed articles on cloud related matters.

It may well be that there are more positive than negative ones. Whether this is because cloudy stuff is a good thing, or simply because it's in fashion at the moment and so everyone has something good to say about it, I'm not sure.

Personally I dislike the term "Cloud" because it is poorly defined and improperly used. I'm also not a huge fan of cloud services from a business perspective, but they have their place.

Regardless when seemingly the majority of CIOs and business are using them or interested in using them, and there are an increasing number of such services available, then clearly there will be a lot of positive articles about the subject.

Also you need to take some grammar lessons, how in the world does "El Regis" seem like a proper way to indicate possession in relation to "El Reg"?

"Who are El Reg's owners?" or perhaps "Who are El Regs' owners?" if you wish to imply separate ownership of the regional offices or individual writers. Or more simply just "Who owns El Reg?"

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Massive new AIRSHIP to enter commercial service at British dirigible base

Phil W
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Re: Not interested unless....

The model name should also be named after a classic author.

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Phil W
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Not interested unless....

....these dirigibles are semi sentient and can travel between alternate realities.

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Lights out management options

Phil W
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You haven't really specified what you need in terms of number of disks/storage capacity.

However I suspect a HP ProLiant G7 N54L microserver may be a good choice as long as you don't need a lot of disks or a huge amount of cpu power. The HP iLO should meet all of your needs.

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Innocence of muslims.

Phil W
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Given that The Register is largely/partly UK based, as is a significant portion of the readership, there is a notable legal risk. Many things that could be said, while possibly not being obviously criminal, could be interpreted as being "incitement of racial hatred" under UK law causing grief for both the commenter and El Reg.

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CD... in DOS/CMD ect

Phil W
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Ah apologies, I thought your use of ... was intended as an open ended ellipsis as part of your question, rather than part of the CD command.

To be honest I've never heard of or seen "CD ..." what was the last version your remember using it in?

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Phil W
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It didn't go anywhere, it sounds like you're just doing it wrong?

Screenshot from Windows 8.1 I made just for you....

http://1drv.ms/1jFUZWs

The error you're getting is what you get if your syntax is wrong or the path doesn't exist.

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It's a BLOCKBUSTER: Minecraft heads to the silver screen

Phil W
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Building blocks

Was that pun really necessary?

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Candy Crush King stops trying to trademark CANDY in the US

Phil W
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Re: Candy in America

Lager Chug Saga, and Real Ale Quaff Saga?

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MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

Phil W
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Bitcoin may be a house of cards, but in my opinion it may be a marginally better basis for a nation's financial plans than a currency union with a country who has said they won't have a currency union with you....

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Phil W
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Re: Death threats - WTF?

Indeed. Death threats, unless you have thoroughly hidden yourself online, may even result in you ending up facing criminal charges and imprisoned yourself.

The authorities may be investigating Mt Gox but I suspect there is very little they can do about the theft of an unregulated crypto currency that no government even recognises as a real currency. Perhaps a prosecution for data theft?

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Microsoft shunts top exec Julie Larson-Green sideways to make way for Stephen Elop

Phil W
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Abbreviated Job Title

Chief Executive of My Life.

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Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

Phil W
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Fibre or Copper?

Which is it that was cut/stolen?

El Reg state at the beginning of the article that it's Fibre, but the BT posting doesn't mention the type of cable.

If it's Fibre, and they've tried to take it to a local scrap merchant, perhaps he will report the idiots that tried to trade it in as copper?

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Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse mull merger

Phil W
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CPW and Currys/PC World are rather similar really, so in that regard it's a good pairing. Staff who are strongly trained in upselling the product of the week and insurance but have crap training/knowledge on the products.

They can be useful though, if you go in knowing what you want and don't take any crap from them, you can walk out what you wanted fairly quickly. They also occasionally have decent prices on things, although often "web only" prices but that can be reserved for collection in store at that price.

However, I always strongly caution the technically inept and weak of character against shopping with either, as their staff are very good at selling people things they don't want or need or can't even use.

I am a little surprised about this potential merger though, given DSGi's current relationship with Phones4u having staff and kiosk's in their stores.

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Yes! New company smartphones! ... But I don't WANT one

Phil W
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Re: Agreed

I have a feeling that they fixed that problem later in production, so it only exists on handsets manufactured before a certain date. I think, unfortunately for me, both my original and all my warranty replacements were from the production batches before this date.

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Phil W
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Re: Agreed

Keyboard was never an issue for me (apart from when Nokia replaced mine under warranty and sent a replacement that hadn't had the keyboard fitted....).

The problem I had with all 4 N900s I had (yes 4, I had 3 warranty replacements) was that the micro usb kept detaching from the board. Not through any abuse or unexpected force, one broke in less than a week this way. The USB socket was just crap, the Meego forums were full of people complaining about the same thing.

Thing I miss most about it was the built in FM transmitter.

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Phil W
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Agreed

I am precisely the same situation from a personal point of view.

For years I have replaced my phone with a new shiney smart thing and I'm currently on a Note 2 with a contract that's almost up. But the handset is so good, and there has been so little advance since that I don't feel the need to part with it.

My phone history is:

Phillips BT Easylife (a large rubberised affair)

Nokia 5510

Nokia N95

O2 XDA IIs

O2 XDA Mini S

Nokia N95

Nokia N900

HTC Desire Z & Xperia X10 Mini

Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Some small and some large generational leaps there. But now my Note II is coming due for renewal I'm feeling rather disinclined to bother and am seriously thinking about switching to PAYG or SIM only contract for the savings I'd make on either.

The only realistic option that would be an upgrade is the Note 3 (maybe the Xpera Z1 but I'm not a huge fan). But the gap between them and the Note II in terms of performance you can actually feel, and benefit from is so negligible as to not be worthwhile. The Note 2 is in fact so good, that I haven't needed to modify/replace the OS at all, as I did with my other Androids.

I think I shall be saving myself some money monthly on my tariff for a year or more.

Maybe when the Note 4 or 5 come around it'll feel like an upgrade. The only thing that'll make me upgrade sooner is if a decent manufacturer release a phone with Galaxy S4 type specs but with a physical QWERTY keyboard that slides out, and it becomes readily available in the UK.

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BOFH: He... made... you... HE made YOU a DOMAIN ADMIN?

Phil W
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Re: "He used my access to make you a domain admin?!"

Also, for the terminally forgetful sysadmin:

Rig up a USB stick on a lanyard round your neck with software setup to automatically lock/unlock the workstation when that particular memory stick is removed/inserted. Very much in the style of a jet ski emergency cut off.

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Phil W
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Re: "He used my access to make you a domain admin?!"

On a similar note, make the wallpaper a screenshot of the locked workstation password screen just to really make the point that it should of been locked.

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