* Posts by veti

875 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

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Europe yawns at EU robo-commish Ansip's digital plans

veti
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They don't. But the cost of distributing it, and collecting the payments (at a reasonable level, at least), might be higher than the available revenue.

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Spaniard claims WWII WAR HERO pigeon code crack. Explain please

veti
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Re: IP over Avian Carriers RFC 1149

Reliability is probably about as good as UDP...

The real killer is latency.

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veti
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With "book" codes, a lot depends on the discipline of the person writing the coded message. If they do as they're supposed to, and refrain from repeating the same reference too often, then they're pretty good. But if they get lazy and start using the same reference for a particular word - maybe an uncommon word that they can't avoid repeating - then the code becomes much easier to crack.

(That's one reason why they've fallen out of favour - they're inherently labour-intensive, and only really robust when used by experts.)

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veti
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Re: Useful

You mean WWOnline, or WW365?

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So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?

veti
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Re: Scarcity of resource

You totally can have 75% of the populace being poor. History shows us that's the norm - the golden age of the middle class in the late 19th-20th centuries is an outlier - and make no mistake, if the invisible hand is allowed to govern everything in its own way, we'll be back there in no time.

The question is whether that's what we want. Because we have the tools, now - democracy, economic models, government infrastructure (or "bureaucracy", as Tim would probably call it) - to do things differently.

If we want to.

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Vote now: Who can solve a problem like Ashley Madison?

veti
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Clear winner

Taylor Swift is clearly the only person in the universe with the charisma and credibility to persuade husbands and wives alike that it doesn't matter what's in the archives of some stupid website.

Because Love. Or whatever.

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Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

veti
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Re: No to 'smart TVs'...

Quite. A TV only lasts 7 years? I'm not sure, but right now I don't think I've ever owned a TV that was less than 7 years old.

That's what decoder boxes are for, after all.

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veti
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Re: Now you need a TV license, a SKY sub, Amazon Prime, Netflix, BT, etc ad-bleedin-nauseum

Well, to be fair to "competition" - that's not the real problem here. These issues are caused by people having "exclusive rights" to broadcast things, which is pretty much the opposite of competition.

And then the same broadcasters who buy those "exclusive rights", also sell you the exclusive right to view their content by buying their subscriptions.

Remember when you could just twiddle the knob on your TV until you found a frequency level that looked like something more than random static? You didn't have to pay anyone, you didn't even have to know what the channel was or who was broadcasting it - it was out there, you could receive it. That's what "broadcasting" meant, in those happy-go-lucky days.

Doesn't work any more. That's what digitisation has done to us. Now the broadcaster can, at their own whim, arbitrarily lock you out of any content it thinks you might be persuaded to pay more for.

Technology is not good or bad, it's neutral. The people who benefit from it are the ones who position themselves to do so. And guess who plays that game better - some couch potato who spends 3 hours a day watching TV, or a sharp-suited executive who spends 12 hours a day analysing, conferencing and planning about it?

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Why Nobody Should Ever Search The Ashley Madison Data

veti
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Re: Oh dear

If it's "laughable", then why aren't you laughing?

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veti
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Re: The Important Fact

Oi! Whoring is an honest trade, and I resent it being bracketed with crooks.

Pimps are a borderline case, it's a sometimes necessary job but one that's generally conducted by nasty people. Much like debt collection, or cold calling.

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veti
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Re: Whoosh?

"A bit too subtle to succeed" - depends on your criteria for "success", obviously. I thought it succeeded pretty well.

"Open to misinterpretation because people can't be bothered to read it properly (but can still take time out to log in and post half-arsed judgmental comments about it)" really says more about those readers than the writer.

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veti
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Re: Wait, what?

Heyrick: it's the word "seriously" in your first post that makes you part of the act, rather than part of the audience.

Do you seriously think this article was meant "seriously"?

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Could our fear of fracking be appeased with CO2 sequestration?

veti
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Re: Talking about how the fractures never get near the aquifer

@Francis Vaughan: The US EPA identifies several mechanisms whereby fracking may affect drinking water, of which groundwater contamination is only one. They further say that they have identified real-world examples of several of these hypothetical mechanisms.

And to say that "Compromised well bores ... ha[ve] nothing to do with fracking" seems to me on a par with saying that "water has nothing to do with drinking". I just can't parse that claim in any way that makes sense.

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veti
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Re: It's not about AIR, it's about WATER

@Ivan 4: This would be the same EPA that says:

Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells.

It may be rare, but by denying the very possibility that it can and does happen, and by citing authorities that don't support your case, you undermine yourself.

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OFFICIAL SCIENCE: Men are freezing women out of the workplace

veti
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"Regulations on building temperatures are responsible for 30 per cent of global carbon-dioxide emissions worldwide"

Err... no. Just no. This claim not only fails the smell test, it reeks.

In the first place, only about one-third of CO2 emissions are related to power generation at all. So you're basically claiming that more than 90% of all electricity generated is used for air conditioning. That's - wrong.

In the second place, while some 30% of electricity in the US is used for indoor temperature control - the US is an outlier in this respect. Other countries have milder climates, better building codes, more efficient technologies, hardier people, or some combination of these.

A more realistic figure would be "well under 10%".

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Biz that OK'd Edward Snowden for security clearance is fined $30m for obvious reasons

veti
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Re: Seems like a symbolic fine

Regardless of his background, there's a procedure they should have followed - talking to certain people, making certain efforts to track and find certain people, making certain efforts to conduct face-to-face interviews rather than phone or email... And if they can be shown to have skipped some of those steps or faked the numbers, then they're squarely in the frame for screwing up.

Really, the blame belongs to whoever in government decided to contract out this job on a commercial basis. They're the ones who created the incentive to cut costs, and converted "an obligation to national security" into "a quantifiable, rationally assessable business risk for a limited-liability company".

And then they cry foul when it turns out that the lowest qualifying bidder - probably shouldn't have qualified.

Fucktards.

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And it begins: Ashley Madison bonk-seekers urged to lawyer up

veti
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"for research purposes in legal cases" has got to be the oldest story in the book...

I'm curious about the guy who had two accounts, though. Why?

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Ex-Prez Bush, Cheney sued for email, phone spying during Olympics

veti
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Re: partisan hack

In the first place, the suit is about something that happened in 2002. Blaming Obama for that seems far-fetched, even for a partisan hack.

In the second place, "all those who got angrily outraged about 'warrantless wiretapping'" haven't been silent over the last six years. Let's start with your own example of Snowden, who's been anything but silent - then go on to count all the journalists, bloggers and miscellaneous other hacks who've written about his revelations - and what you get is not a picture of "suspicious silence", unless your definition of "all those" is really very selective indeed.

In the third place, "Berkeley overpass signs"? You sound like you're still sore about the Vietnam War. Or are you talking about 2008/9? In which case you might want to check your facts.

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Choke on it! Brit police squeeze pirate site advertising money trail

veti
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Angel

"I've never seen Coca Cola or Apple advertisements on a hardcore pornography or pirate site."

Me either. Isn't Adblock wonderful?

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Microsoft replaces Windows 10 patch update, isn't saying why

veti
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Those of us who haven't "upgraded"

Meanwhile, the Windows 10 Update Badgerer has upgraded itself from "lying dormant in the system tray" to "popping up at me several times a day".

I never understood why I was supposed to "reserve my copy of Windows 10". Are they in short supply? Need another printing? And why is there no option, on this system tray doohickey, to "remind me to think about it in six months"? Because that would, just possibly, be a useful function.

In the meantime, they can pry Windows 8.1 from my cold dead hands. Yes, that's right: I actually like 8.1, and until 10 starts getting unanimously rave reviews, I'm not moving.

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Skills crisis? Not for long: More and more UK kids gain STEM quals

veti
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Re: A-Level results

Engineers ... are the life blood of society, without them our civilisation would grind to a halt

I've been hearing that whinge (from engineers) for 30 years.

But what none of the people who say it seem to realise is, you can substitute any profession for "engineers" in that sentence and it will still be true. Farmers, miners, factory workers, salespeople, barristas, beauticians, journalists, administrators - heck, even politicians - without all of these, our civilisation would grind to a halt. Everything depends on engineering, yes - but engineers, in turn, depend on all of the above. That's what living in an advanced economy means.

And that may be why pleading for special recognition on that basis hasn't worked.

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Australian court slaps down Hollywood's speculative invoices

veti
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I don't know what Australian law says about this specifically, but in most places - owning the movie on DVD or Blu-Ray does not automatically give you the right to download it from an unauthorised source.

It's like trying to argue that it's OK for you to buy cocaine from a street dealer because you're a pharmacist. I mean, you can try, but I wouldn't give much for your chances.

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veti
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I think a pig just flew by

That's got to be the most sensible legal ruling I've ever read about digital piracy. And coming from Australia, of all places...

Maybe, just maybe, it'll successfully send the message to the copyright holders that Australia is not the US and you can't get away with those kinds of shenanigans there. But I fear it's more likely, the received message will be "we need the TPPA to straighten out these uppity Aussies and bring their law into line with good ol' American law".

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How the Arab Spring blew the lid off the commercial spyware

veti
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Timing?

The Wassenaar Arrangement was amended in December 2013 (source), and we're only noticing this now? Has every security researcher been asleep for the past 18 months?

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Samsung looks into spam ads appearing on Brits' smart TVs

veti
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Did anyone *not* see this coming?

Ads? On TV? Whatever next?

After the experience of smartphones, I can't help but wonder about anyone who's been taken by surprise by this.

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Copyright troll wants to ban 'copyright troll' from its copyright troll lawsuit

veti
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"Referring to..."

There's a difference between "referring to" and "describing". This motion wouldn't prevent the words from being introduced in the courtroom, provided they're not used as a reference for the plaintiff.

So, "Copyright troll's motion is bollocks" - not allowed.

But "Plaintiff is a copyright troll" - fair comment, allowed.

Makes me wonder what, precisely, goes on in these courtrooms...

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Global spy system ECHELON confirmed at last – by leaked Snowden files

veti
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Re: Put a stop to it...

Until we can terminate those in power with extreme prejudice, and ensure those replacing the corrupt politicians will face the same threats, we will never see the end of corruption.

Doesn't work.

The Russians did it in 1917, and within a generation they had corruption on a scale the Tsar had never dreamed of. The French did it in 1789, and found a similar result. More recently we've seen it happen in Uganda, Zimbabwe...

The more "extreme prejudice" you apply to the old regime, the more devious the new ones will be. For all its faults, voting is the only way that has any chance of working.

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veti
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Re: Where are the OBEs?

Labour and Tories each have their own quota of honours they can propose people for.

Which do you think is going to propose someone who'd been a thorn in the flesh of both of them?

The Lib Dems are about the only party who'd even think of it, and I don't know if they still even have a voice...

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Hacking Trump: Can we not label web vandalism as 'terrorism', please?

veti
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Alarm and despondency

Historically, the people who've banged on endlessly about online security have been - not by coincidence - those who were looking to make a living out of selling it.

That means that everyone - users, network owners, the media - have all been taking advice on this subject from people who have a vested interest in talking it up. There is no-one who has a business model based on constructing a fair, balanced description of online "threats". There are only "people who want us scared too silly to count the money we're about to throw at them".

That, I'm convinced, is the reason why every little incident like this gets described in the most incendiary language possible. If the T-word hasn't been used yet, I'm damn' sure it's been described as an "attack", which itself is pretty alarmist language. If someone applies spray-paint to a roadside billboard, is that called an "attack"?

So thank you for this, it's a long overdue attempt to start a reasonable discussion on the subject.

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Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

veti
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For statistical values of "no one", yes. The number of people in the Windows Insider program seems to be a closely guarded secret, but I'd be surprised if it's much more than a couple of million, worldwide. That compares with 1.25 *billion* Windows machines worldwide. So we're talking about less than 0.2%.

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Twitter will delete jokes after a DMCA takedown – but NOT my photos, fumes angry snapper

veti
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Who first posted it on Twitter?

This is Not Even Remotely The Same as the "retweeted joke DMCA takedown" the other day.

Seems to me there's a difference between "posting something you own on Twitter and having it retweeted", and "posting something that someone else owns and you don't have the authority to publish on Twitter, whether it's retweeted or not".

If you post something on Twitter, I'd say - as a purely lay commenter - that you shouldn't really have a leg to stand on when others retweet it. If it's not explicitly set out in Twitter's terms of use that that can happen, then it should be; and in the meantime, that's within the parameters of what you should expect. It's like posting something to USENET and then complaining that it's quoted in replies.

But if someone else steals your photo and tweets that, without your authority, then that's exactly what copyright law is supposed to protect against.

So for me, the question is who was the first person to put it on Twitter? If that person had authority to do that, then the photographer boned and server her right for being so careless. But if that person was acting unlawfully, then she's 100% in the right and Twitter should be taking down all instances of the photo.

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New EU security strategy: Sod cyber terrorism, BAN ENCRYPTION

veti
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Re: Oh drat!

"Electronics Letters" is a "rival" to El Reg?

I don't think you'll find much peer review going on here. And last time I looked, the comments section in EL was pretty tame compared with commentards here.

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Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

veti
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Re: So?

Not really. Pardons are one of a very, very few things in US politics that are absolutely within the gift of the president and no-one else. If Obama were to say "he's pardoned for all crimes committed in such-and-such a timeframe, or relating to such a statute", then there'd be nothing the authorities could legally do about it.

That only leaves illegal options. Which, sure, are always options, but there's a cost attached to them.

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How British spies really spy: Information that didn't come from Snowden

veti
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Black Helicopters

96 "cyber-attack campaigns" - in two weeks...

... is the sort of figure that makes me wonder, what exactly constitutes a "cyber-attack campaign"?

I mean - sure, some of them are probably really dangerous. Some of them probably involve theft of personal or financial data. But how many of them involve DOSsing a web server for a couple of days, or defacing the website of a company that's incurred the displeasure of some script kiddiez? Can we see the (anonymised) threat assessments of these "96 cyber-attack campaigns"?

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Universal Pictures finds pirated Jurassic World on own localhost, fires off a DMCA takedown

veti
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I just tried 127.0.0.1, and it clearly belongs to an evil hacker. The bastard has all my files.

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Pirates also buy content legally, Australian gov study finds

veti
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Newsflash: lots of places don't have Google data centres

And it's going to take more than copyright reform to change that.

For instance, Google is very conscious of its green credentials; Australia is about the most green-hostile country on earth currently.

Then there's its government's constant attempts to censor and filter the net at every level. This is simply not the behaviour of a government that's interested in attracting that sort of business.

For Australia to pursue that sort of business would require a complete political overhaul. No mere "election" could bring that about.

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Arctic ice EMBIGGENS, returns to 1980s levels of cap cover

veti
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Re: Arctic sea ice extent for June 2015 was the third lowest in the satellite record.

@Panicnow: "damaging your brand!!!"?

I suspect you don't understand what El Reg's brand is.

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veti
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Re: No

All this is "clear evidence" of, is that Lewis Page is an accomplished troll who can reliably get The Faithful to click through and approve his articles without checking the sources.

If you could be bothered, you'd have noticed that the authors of this paper don't dispute that Arctic sea ice is in decline. What they do say is that it " may be more resilient than has been previously considered."

This is good news, but anyone who extrapolates from that to "therefore, AGW is bunk" is someone who is not even trying to pay lip service to logic, science or facts.

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The US taxman thinks Microsoft owes billions. Prove it, says Microsoft

veti
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Re: I hope this will be useful

I hate to break it to you, but no amount of income tax is going to keep your mother from dying. Maybe not this year, maybe not next, but sometime, and statistically speaking it's likely that you'll be alive to see her do it.

As for corporations: I'm perfectly happy with corporations not paying income tax. What matters to me is the money paid out to people, such as the corporation's owners. That's what we should be taxing.

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Microsoft to spoofed Skype users: Change your account passwords NOW

veti
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Re: Those tweets...

Yep, apparently scanning Twitter is considered the gold standard in confirming a news story nowadays.

You must allow, it's quicker than waiting for a spokesdrone at Skype to return our call. And such are the incentives of web journalism that when speed and accuracy conflict, it's poor ol' accuracy to get it in the neck every. single. time.

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Cyber-security's dirty little secret: It's not as bad as you think

veti
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I've often thought that all the usual suspects we see talking about security - are people who have a vested interest in talking up the danger. I've often wanted to see some counterpoint to the general wails of buy-me-buy-me-now alarmism.

But this? This is very disappointing material. Can't we do better?

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Adobe: We REALLY are taking Flash security seriously – honest

veti
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I got a brand-new, pristine PC about four months ago now. Hard disc completely blank. Installed Windows 8.1, then as much other software as I've (so far) wanted, all manually - so I'm pretty damn' sure that no version of either Flash or Java exists anywhere on it.

And so far, I haven't missed either one. Sure, occasionally - quite rarely - there'll be a video that doesn't play, in which case it might take me all of 30 seconds to find one that does. And that's about it.

Free yourself. Flash and Java are as bad as each other, and unless you're developing in one or the other - in which case you're part of the problem - you don't need either one.

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Natural geothermal heat under Antarctic ice: 'Surprisingly HIGH'

veti
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Re: Why measure now?

You try taking reliable and systematic geothermal measurements through a mile of ice using 1970s technology, see how far you get.

But with the pesky ice sheet out of the way, the whole operation becomes much easier. It's an ill wind...

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'Save the teachers!' 184 cryptologists send Oz Govt cleartext petition

veti
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Language of mass obfuscation

It's okay to publish crypto software, "except when the software applies to weapons of mass destruction"... huh?

Seems to me that if you can even tell what the heck crypto software is being used for, it's prolly not very good software...

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What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'

veti
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Is it only me, or do "pop-ups" for anyone else quite often go down?

For me, when I right-click, the pop-up menu will go up when and only when my cursor is near the bottom of the current window. Any other time, it'll go down. This applies in Firefox, Notepad++, Adobe Reader and Word - all the applications I happen to have open right now - so I think it's not an uncommon rule.

And may I just mention, I hate the "burger" description. To me, that icon looks nothing whatever like a burger. Can't we agree to call it "stack of three horizontal lines"?

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Pirate Bay founders 'cleared of copyright crimes' in Belgium

veti
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Re: downloaded?

Yeah... believe it or not, you're not the first person to think of that. That defence was brought up the first time TPB was dragged into a courtroom.

And like it or not, it didn't work.

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Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

veti
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Re: The Truth of the Matter is this...

@tom dial: the Greeks did reach a primary surplus, quite a large one, from 2012 to 2014. It was purely their debt repayments that turned that into a deficit. And then came their current crippling depression. Any government that runs a primary surplus while it's got 25% unemployment is a government that's simply not doing its job.

But that is precisely the requirement the donor nations have laid on Greece. And while one can see their point of view - everyone wants to get their money back - I for one can't help but think, this is pretty much the same as the obligation that got laid on Germany in 1919. And I can't see the outcome being any happier.

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Boffin: Will I soon be able to CLONE a WOOLLY MAMMOTH? YES. Should I? Hell NO

veti
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Re: It's not a "should" question.

"Should" is still a valid question, and it's independent of "will".

Personally, I'd vote no. In my lifetime, we've gone from holding intelligent animals in zoos in too-small cages, whales and dolphins in captivity, to allowing them greater freedom and an environment closer to their natural one. If the mammoth is approximately as intelligent as the elephant - which seems fairly likely - then what sort of conditions would you keep them in?

What would it be like, being the only one of your species? Mary Shelley didn't think it'd be much fun.

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The END of WINDOWS EVERYWHERE! Is that really what Nadella wants?

veti
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Re: I think it's way too soon to be writing off Windows Phone

Nokia == Windows Phone to all intents and purposes.

Microsoft needs a "partner" it can trust - i.e. one that it owns, either in fact or in effect, if it's ever going to expand its footprint in the phone biz. No company that's free to make its own decisions is going to choose WinPhone over Android, not while the lists of available apps are so lopsided. To get more apps, you need more users. To get more users, you need to sell more phones.

And to sell more phones - well, somebody has to be making and marketing them.

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US police to throw big balls in criminals' faces

veti
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Re: Limited application?

Bouncing grapefruit: $2500

Mirror-onna-stick: $20

I wonder what the life expectancy of the ball is, i.e. how many times it can be used before it becomes unreliable?

Also, once police start using them as standard, what countermeasures crims will start to deploy against it? Off the top of my head: soot, oil or glue on the floor, smoke or steam in the air, or simply the suspect disguising himself as an item of furniture by putting a sheet over his head, should suffice in most circs.

But none of that really matters. The cops get a nice new toy to play with, the local politicians who pay their bills get to subsidise an American business that they've doubtless bought shares in, and everyone's happy.

If I were a cop, I'd be worried about why the ad emphasises "single-officer use". Am I to be expected to go into situations like that shown without backup, even from a single partner, now?

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