* Posts by Slx

332 posts • joined 5 Jun 2010

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Skyscape rebrands to UKCloud following legal challenge by Sky

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Skynet will have to send a team of T1000s back to the 1980s to sort it all out.

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Russian spy aircraft are flying over Britain – and the MoD's cool with it

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The secret of Borris Johnson's fabulous hair do?

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O2 sales dip 9% as tight-fisted Brits cling to their old handsets

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Don't worry!

Now that you're leaving the EU you can allow a nice expensive and exploitive duopoly to reemerge.

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Ofcom: Legal separation will force Openreach to eat more fibre

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How many telco infrastructure monopolists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

None! They set the standard to candle power and you can be thankful that they bother to even give you any light at all!

If you live in an unprofitable area without competitors, you can use a white-label, wholesale provided OpenCandle as nobody else is providing these new-fangled 100W light bulbs and no matter which ISP you pick (unless you're in a cable area) you're getting our candle powered service!

You can have any brand of light, as long as it's one of our candles! Incidentally, candle rental applies so pay up!

Please note, candles get significantly dimmer the further your home is from our candle facilities.

Regardless of who owns OpenCandle, the rational and forces driving the business will be the same as you're stuck in a paradigm of having a single, private monopoly.

So long suckers!

Muhahaha!

Lots of love from the crew at OpenCandle.

X

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The problem isn't who owns the wires, it's that there's no competition or incentive to upgrade them.

Why would separating Openreach make any difference?

You need to be frightening them with alternative access networks.

At least over here in Ireland the publicly owned owned power company ESB Networks has begun to take on OpenEir (yes eircom wholesale really did rebrand themselves that...) by rolling out FTTH across their duct and wire networks. It's not all that widespread yet but it is in several towns already offering gigabit internet access and it's an wholesale product so other ISPs can get on board too.

That's frightened Eir (Ireland's main telco and BT counterpart) to get moving as ESB reaches every home in the state, unlike Liberty Global / Virgin media which only does 360Mbit/s and only in larger urban areas.

ESB's product called Siro has really shaken them even if it's only a beginning, they've had no choice but to speed up their own FTTH rollout. They already offer up to 100Mbit/s VDSL from ever street cabinet.

Also we're moving forwards on opening the duct networks to competition too, albeit slowly.

We're also seeing serious progress on using fixed point to point LTE in rural areas initially offering 70Mbit/s from at least one provider. This doesn't use mobile spectrum but is vastly better than rural DSL solutions and could become a lot faster with LTE Advanced upgrades.

If you don't have a major competing infrastructure player, what incentive will BT or anyone else who owns the wholesale access network ever have to invest? You can't just whip them into doing things. They won't budge if it's not going to result in lost revenue not to move.

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Don't worry! Now that those pesky meddling Eurocrats are out of the way you can all have the new Torycom Broadband. It comes in Upper Class (for chums, chaps, bankers and old Etonians only), middle class Torycom (a bit slow but everything is safely filtered unless you register as a perv.), Working class (good enough for you! Back up they chimney! Aren't you lucky to have dial up?) and OoopNorth class (probably runs on steam engines or something!)

All broadband is subject to 100% data retention and passwords and keys will be assigned by the head mistress eh, I mean prime minister's office.

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What's losing steam at Apple? Pretty much everything

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Em, yes ... Indeed.

It's a wonderful piece of utterly flawless technology - All hail Alphabet.

It doesn't help that I'm a bit dyslexic and the keyboard makes changes retrospectively based on the context of what it thinks you are trying to put into sentences. So after you've seen the correct word appear, suddenly several words behind where you're focused, it changes things.

The iOS keyboard does something similar but not usually as bad a that.

Anywa, thanks for your most helpful comment. I'll just get my proof reader to go through my posts in future or just nor bother posting here again..

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Re: Wrong turns

Removing Save As drives me nuts. I keep accidentally editing documents and realising that I've just modified the original and can't Save As.

Whoever decided to change that really needs to realise that's like deciding to put a car's brake pedals on the ceiling! You can't just change an interface element that's that fundamental without any warning and for no logical reason.

Save As works very well and it's still in use across the majority of applications other than the infuriating Apple ones!

Also Final Cut seems to go out of its way to make saving and loading projects as confusing as possible.

Who in Apple is doing this and why?!? It's basically scoring massive own goals.

Also the endless doing away with ports and that bloody MacPro that has hardly any ports, no expansion and looks like a bin?!!

Did you actually ever ask what pro users want ?

The old Mac Pro cheese grater was an amazingly practical design that did what you'd want to do in a studio or similar space. The new one is like a piece of modern art (and not a very good one)

Why would a studio user need a tiny, pretty machine that's a totally impractical shape?

Basically it's a machine that's unattractive to studios and creative media users and way too expensive for home users.

So who exactly was it for? Or did you even think about that before rolling it out and killing what was one of the most successful studio machines ever built !!

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The problem is also that we've arrived at a point where all phone innovations are just incremental.

Realistically all top end phones have phenomenally good displays, cameras that have excellent resolution, all the new ones supper LTE Advanced (but hardly any mobile operators have it rolled out out in any meaningful way yet). They all have a vast array of sensors etc etc

The only major change is more powerful processors and packing in more memory. That would really only benefit people who are maybe hardcore mobile gamers but that's not your average punter.

Apples only major innovation recently has been 3D Touch which is genuinely very useful. I wools find it very hard to move back to a phone that didn't have it on be I became used to it. Things like editing text using a cursor controlled with a full trackpad by just pushing the keyboard harder is really handy and clever.

Also I genuinely do find they think their hardware out more carefully. I have an iPhone 6S+ and a Nexus 6P and I prefer using the iPhone because it has little things right. The ability to silence the phone with a rocker switch, the 3D Touch etc etc is all great and the phone just feels better put together. The Nexus has major issues with being accidentally powered off by over sensitive buttons and so on. The iPhone doesn't.

I think Apple has really top notch camera software too which is something severely lacking in stock android.

The problem though is they aren't going to drive huge sales without producing something that doesn't look exactly like what they produced last year.

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Btw I typed that on Google GBoard!

Wow! Riddled with predictive errors...

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They haven't exactly been releasing new iPhone updates that would make it worthwhile upgrading.

The iPhone 6S+ is basically exactly the same as the iPhone 6+

The iPhone 6SE rather shockingly is there iPhone 5S with new innards.

You have excite the market by rolling out the exact same product over and over with a new go faster stripes and expecting people to Riyadh out and buy it.

They dropped popular professional applications like Aperture and they've really dymbed down Final Cut, Compressor looks like they're not even bothering ; awful UI etc and Motion is being outranked by other products.

Professional design and video was a big chunk of their market and also a huge generator of their brands image as many of the trend setters were using Apple products. They idiotically have been abandoning and annoying those people with these decisions.

Also because Apple keeps behaving so high handedly around apps like Final Cut it's actually putting people off relying on it. There's a sense that abandoned Aperture so, will they just differently drop FCP and expect us to do everything with iMovie? so many of us hedged our bets and moved to other software.

I think Apple has begun to hit that dangerous phase where companies become too "cool" for their own good and start to forget they actually have to sell products not just manage lines of adoring fans at their stores.

I still like many of Apple's products but, I think the complexity needs to wake up and smell the coffee before it's back to the days of being "beleaguered Apple",

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Did the Russians really hack the DNC or is this another Sony Pictures moment? You decide

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Maybe it's Skynet's first move ...

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Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

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Don't ever confuse flossing and having sex or attempt both at the same time!

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UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

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Re: Brexit means Brexit

The little known (by most of the commentators anyway) fact that the Republic of Ireland doesn't operate passport free travel with the rest of the EU as it's not in Shengen. So it can quite easily refuse entry to people who have been deported and so on (and does). I personally witnessed an EU national being turned around at the Irish border around an airport because they had been deported from Ireland and their passport triggered an alarm somewhere.

The Irish also fairly regularly compare aircraft manifests with welfare claimants and arrest Irish and UK nationals who have been border hopping and claiming dole here. There are plenty of cases of this out the last few years in the media where someone kinda at a Dublin or Cork etc to be met by a friendly Garda and welfare inspector with a list of flights they've been on. For example there were high profile cases of Irish citizens doing university courses in the UK while claiming dole here.

If you enter the Republic from any other countries in the EU, other than the UK you've got to show a passport and actually pass a camera.

Both countries already operate totally independent visa regimes for non-EU nationals. Someone from Country X can have a visa for the UK, yet be unable to travel to Ireland or an Irish visa and be unable to travel to the UK. This is the situation for many Chinese nationals, even those with long term visits. A friend of mine who is long term resident in the UK has to apply to the Irish embassy for multiple trip visas because she is from a country without visa waiver to enter the Republic of Ireland. You could be from the USA and hold an Irish green card but have no right to live in the UK or visa versa. Those situations already exist and are not causing massive waves of illegal immigration into either country.

Yes, you can walk across the border but you would be unable to get a job (legally) without applying for a National Insurance number in the UK or PPS in Ireland. You'd have no welfare rights and so on.

There's so much misinformation and lack of knowledge in these debates that it's frightening!

The external Irish border is far from "soft". I think there's genuinely a lot of concern about a problem that's already been solved and that both countries deal with all the time anyway.

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Europe gives Privacy Shield one year to work

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And will the EU be able to trust the UK with data?

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise: Brexit, weak pound. A price hike is coming

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Sadly, I jest. I don't know how the UK lost all of its IT companies

The UK has been pretty good at producing innovative ideas in technology but they have been really poor at marketing them and capitalising on them. I think it's because of an obsessive focus in these islands (and I include where I'm based in Ireland in this problem) on investing in banks and property instead of IT, technology and developing the industrial base.

Huge amounts of academic-led research came out of the UK and just made no money for the UK economy. I would include ARM in that btw. The company is hugely valuable in terms of IP but its revenues are fairly insignificant because its licences are obviously quite cheap and it never developed its own fabrication capabilities or products and the golden goose has been sold off to the Japanese.

There's an endless list of these companies for example, take a look at what was a very thriving British telecommunication equipment business in the 1970s that no longer exists at all. You had a pretty big telecoms equipment making business and it came up with fairly innovative products that they never seemed to be able to commercialise in a way that was exportable and just got wiped out by companies that could - Ericsson, Alcatel, Siemens, Ma Bell/Western Electric, Nokia, Fujitsu, NEC etc etc.

If you look at Germany, most of these kinds of companies aggressively protect their IP, stay off the stock market specifically to avoid being run by focus on quarterly earnings and they think long term. In France, there has historically been a lot of protection and help for 'national champions' like Alcatel etc (sadly no longer the case due to a change there too.)

In the UK, it's all been build a small company, sell it off as soon as it's worth anything and never get to the stage where the products are actually developed.

I also think that it has to be remembered that while the US has been a world leader in technology, it's by no means entirely down to free market capitalism. A huge % of R&D money came in through defence spending, space programmes and so on. The trickle down into the rest of the IT sector over there was and is vast both in terms of money and knowledge build up.

But, yeah I do think it's a pity that the UK hasn't really commercialised very much IT. It's a massive lost opportunity and really says a lot about the focus of the business environment since the 1980s.

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Your currency is worth significantly less than it was. That's not really PC makers' problem - take it up with the people who you elected to manage these things.

They're probably hoping you'll all buy Amstrad and English Electric computers instead of these awful foreign ones.

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Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

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I bought a Huawei watch and it's a really nice piece of kit and very classy looking. However, after playing with it for a few days I pretty much only use it for telling the time.

I don't really think I will be replacing or upgrading it as I just can't see any purpose for it.

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Oh dear, Vodafone: Sales dip in UK

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Vodafone Ireland is just too bloody expensive.

I'm not sure about Vodafone UK, but since their EU sales are taking a dip too, I just thought I would have a moan about their Irish operation.

Vodafone mobile here seems to have a rake of good services but they're prices are like they're just blissfully unaware of having any competitors. Their data caps are tiny compared to other networks and their call plans are ridiculously more expensive. The service isn't any better either so it's not like you're getting some kind of super premium services.

Meanwhile their landline, fibre and iptv stuff seems to be fairly competitive.

I just don't know what their strategy is though. You can only rely on inertia to keep customers for so long. The other networks' offers are just soooooo much more attractive .

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Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

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There's a massive difference between the iPhone and the contents of a hosted email account.

Any email provider ultimately has access to the contents of their servers unless they're selling some kind of specifically anonymous service.

Typically, they're not providing email services that are end-to-end encrypted in a way that they have no access to data and their systems administrators would technically be able to access all sorts of content and metadata. Legally speaking, in the US and probably in Europe and definitely elsewhere, they can be compelled to hand that content over in an investigation.

With the iPhone case, Apple was legally in a very different position. They were being asked to effectively crack an iPhone to which they had no access at all without the keys. What they refused to do was reverse engineer software to break it open.

That's *very* different to deciding to refuse access to information on e-mail servers. If they did, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on legally speaking.

Standard email shouldn't ever be considered entirely private. It's more like a letter in the post - secured by a bit of glue and paper. All it takes is the digital equivalent of a steaming kettle to gain access to the contents.

It isn't the ISPs, telcos and email hosts who trigger these things, it's the structure of privacy laws / laws around warrants and wire taps that allow ever-increasing levels of access.

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Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

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Skype may well fade into obscurity...

I could see Skype becoming irrelevant very quickly. It's not like it doesn't have very easily available, and often far superior alternatives.

It won't be the first or the last platform to just fade away.

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Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

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That's a shame.

I'll probably give it a skip based on the reviews.

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An anniversary to remember: The world's only air-to-air nuke was fired on 19 July, 1957

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Not sure it's an anniversary I would celebrate

Great... Another 20th century day where they exploded a big load of radionuclides into the atmosphere.

Nuclear power might be a necessary calculated risk but nuclear weapons still threaten to wipe us all out of ever used in anger and nuclear testing unquestionably increased cancer risks.

The sheer number of tests carried out, especially in the 60s and 70s is just frightening and the absolute arrogance of those who did them Is even worse.

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Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app

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I think people overstate the reliability of the old POTS networks. The exchanges and switches rarely went wrong but the plant isn't all that reliable. If someone digs up a cable somewhere in the local network or cuts an overhead line, your service is gone.

How often is an enterprise grade IP connection going into fail?

If you're a serious site, surely you would have multiple redundant links to different networks so that you could at least maintain your core services in case of disaster ?

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ASUS first Asian PC maker to warn of price hikes... in 2.5 months

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what's spooking everyone is the absolute uncertainty, lack of a plan, lack of a roadmap, lack of anything!

I'm not saying this to slag anyone off but the British government looks totally incompetent and obsessed with internal party politics.

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Prices haven't increased ... The UK got poorer.

The huge problem here is that this is going to happen across a whole range of products and services. Very, very few things are fundamentally priced in £.

The Brexiteers were working on the principle that goods and services could be replaced with British equivalents and that this would boost the economy. That would all make sense I'm about 1956. The UK is a hugely import dependent market and now has a weakened currency. That's not going to be good for your living standards as basically every consumer good is either directly imported, indirectly imported or relies on imported components / ingredients/ services and most importantly energy.

You'll start to see prices increase across the board as soon as contracts come up for renewal and as soon as sterling's current value is priced in.

You realistically can't expect the rest of the world to give you a 10-15% discount on just because of a political decision in the UK that's resulted in sinking currency values.

For those of us not paying in £ the prices stated the same.

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Hackers steal millions from ATMs using 'just their smartphones'

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The banks just haven't been taking IT security nearly seriously though.

When you think about it, your bank accounts are protected by a magstripe and 4 digit pin something what would be considered ludicrous for any other scenario.

You also largely trust retailers with a 16 digit card number and expiry date (and possibly CCV) that could allow them access to your current (checking) account or tens of thousands of $/€/£ on your credit card.

I can only conclude that they don't care. The financial losses are probably not yet big enough to warrant investment at least in the eyes of their accountants.

How much of this is ultimately being charged back to us in interest, transaction fees on retailers and customers, insurance premia, state bailouts and so on.

My view of it is that given the banks can't seem to manage to not need vast state bailouts due to an inability to manage risk and have pathetic IT security that's offering customers levels of protection you wouldn't accept for a social media accounts, the only conclusion is their incompetent.

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Google's Nexii stand tall among Android's insecure swill

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Re: No-o-o-o!

The plural, oddly enough, is nexūs.

Or, outside of obscure academic texts just nexus

A nexus, two nexus, seventy-four-and-a-half nexus.

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Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

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I've used QR codes regularly enough in Ireland for loyalty cards on my mobile.

They work pretty well and I just "paid" for a coffee with one a bit earlier this morning.

One thing I'm noticing here is various attempts to use smartphone loyalty systems being hampered by laser scanner that can't read screen displayed barcodes or QR codes.

I've basically given up on Stocard because it rarely works or cause delays as they end up having to type it in manually.

Ultimately, business adopts technologies where they provide a clear advantage. In a world of ubiquitous contactless credit and debit cards, it's hard to convince people mobile payments are any great advantage.

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SETI mulls reboot: Believing the strangest things, loving the alien

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Might as well keep looking ...

It would be fairly sad if we became so self-absorbed that we just stopped exploring and sniffing around of life beyond Earth.

I really enjoy SETI and astronomy's pure optimism and just wonder about what's out there.

I was just thinking the other day that while people are prattling on about xenophobia, mass shootings, terrorism, Trump, Brexit, wars raging, economies crashing, the nicer side of humanity has ignored all that nonsense and sent a probe to frigging Jupiter - just to see what's there! Between NASA, the ESA, SETI, the Russian space agency and increasingly other high tech nations and players, at least some of us are still looking beyond our own navels.

If it wasn't for some of these things, and we just had to listen to right wing politicians bickering, terrorists blowing things up and economists analysing supply and demand all day and reducing human activity to dull mathematical formula about accumulating wealth, it would be a very depressing little planet.

Who knows, we may never find any life outside earth, but it's well worth looking!

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It's more likely that we've yet to discover some method of signaling across huge distances. We're probably missing something to do with gravity or quantum entanglement.

Considering that human civilization existed for millennia without producing any radio signals and we're actually going back to cables as we need fibres to carry serious amounts of data that radio couldn't cope with.

If anything our signals are getting harder to detect, the more advanced we've become. A small number of very Powerful radio transmission systems was replaced with networks of transponders, those were replaced with more and more cable systems and very low power cellular systems.

We've also moved to a billions of low power digital transmitters (mobiles, wifi, Bluetooth etc ) that likely just create noise that could be easily mistaken for a natural phenomenon.

The only thing I think might make us detectable is satellite uplinks. We are constantly beaming fairly powerful, directional signals at satellites in orbit. A large % of that radiation goes right past the target satellite and off into space.

We've also assumed that ET isn't deliberately maintaining radio silence. If space life is anything like earth life, announcing your whereabouts mightn't be adjusted m advisable.

We're only really decades into high tech and space technology. They could be either running around in a pre technology societies that we will never detect, or centuries or millennia or even millions of years ahead of us.

You've got to make assumptions to begin any kind of seti but, we're very likely missing a hell of a lot of stuff.

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EU cybersecurity directive will reach Britain, come what May

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Down with this red tape!

[sarcasm]This is ridiculous red tape! The UK needs to be free to give all its data to hackers and ban that awful encryption that gets in the way of legitimate random browsing of hard drives.

[/sarcasm]

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Drowning Dalek commands Siri in voice-rec hack attack

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If you leave your mobile accessible by voice commands without any kind of authentication, you'll always have issues.

Even just to changing the trigger phrase to something other than OK Google or Hey Siri! Should be enough to avoid issues.

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Malaysia-based credit card fraud ring broken, 105 arrested

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The technology needs to completely change to payments being pushed to the retailer from a device. The idea that you can just trust people with a card number, expiry date and maybe a couple of extra optional security features like CCV code etc is a complete joke.

Credit card fraud can't be stopped with this very, very broken system.

There's plenty of technical solutions to this. The banks just seem to be incapable of keeping up. I mean when you consider they're STILL rolling out chip and pin in major markets like the USA. This is a solution from the mid 1980s that's taken 30 years to become widespread.

Why are they still using magstripes in ATMs?

Why are they accepting any transactions without proper verification? Plenty of places will accept payment without Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code etc

I can only assume banks just don't care and have enough money to donate a % to crime.

That or the entire sector is just incompetent.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

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Bye bye UK tech industry

Do the Tories actually want an economy???

So far they've basically put the City of London at risk and now they seem to be planning to become about as friendly to the tech sector as Iran and China.

This is really looking bleak!

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5 years, 2,300 data breaches. What'll police do with our Internet Connection Records?

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Well as they've always said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

A lot of these powers have no real checks or balances and seem to be wide open to being abused.

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Can Ireland's grid green satisfy Facebook and Apple?

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Ireland's major issue around green energy all come down to NIMBYism. It's the polar opposite to an authoritarian state and large electricity infrastructure projects are being blocked and delayed by objections to overhead infrastructure like pylons and turbines.

We've a situation emerging where you've scattered development in rural areas driven by a notion that everyone should be able to live anywhere they like, regardless of infrastructural requirements to support them and that that infrastructure must be provided but totally invisibility and without the use of pylons, power lines, turbines or any kind of mobile mast.

We've people on the one hand demanding green energy and on the other objecting to power lines and wind farms while driving electric cars...

I've had huge augments with people who come out with statements like "all other countries have put their entire electricity grids underground to avoid cancer risks."

Don't me wrong, I'm all for balanced and sustainable development but we can't just pretend we don't need windfarms.

These same people see nothing wrong with agriculture which has totally modified Ireland's natural landscapes. Those pretty green fields and neat hedge rows didn't happen naturally and the emissions from agriculture are enormous. Likewise, the country is dotted with quait relics of Victorian infrastructure like railways which, despite scarring the landscape are seen as endearing and pretty.

The same people moan endlessly about lack of rural broadband but will complain about the dangers of LTE towers that can provide ultra fast rural broadband while inhaling smoke from their quaint wood or turf burning stove. LTE signals have no known health risks while partially burnt organic material is potentially carcinogenic.

The way some people go on you'd think windfarms were slightly worse than smoking a pipe while doing a tour of Chernobyl and Fukushima.

Ultimately, this is what will choke off development of these kinds of data centre investments in rural Ireland.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

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I know several people who've either switched to Linux or Macs as a direct result of this campaign.

While I know Apple is now as cool as Mom Corp, they must be falling around laughing as Microsoft basically sends a % of its user base straight into the arms of an awaiting Apple Store "genius" waiting with his or her credit card terminal.

It's fantastic news for Linux though if it's going to drive up mainstream desktop use and make it a much more viable platform.

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Bank tech boss: Where we're going, we don't need mainframes

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I'm actually confused as to why banks endlessly prattle on about their IT systems. They're just processing high volumes of relatively simple transactions. They're not even in the same planet, let alone ballpark as Google or any of the big internet companies that deal with everything from AI searches to hosting, processing and serving vast amounts of data.

I see bank networks as similar to old switching systems in a telco. They need to so a simple, high volume, repetitive job very reliable.

They so some financial modelling, some fairly unsophisticated online services and that's about it.

I have concerns about banks jumping into buzz words and technology platforms that aren't at all relevant to them.

Maybe I'm just biased having been a customer of RBS Ulster Bank during their mulitweek It collapse a few years ago...

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Tech firms reel from Leave's Brexit win

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The huge problem is instability! There's no roadmap.

Talking to businesses today, the big problem is that there is no roadmap.

Boris, Nigel and the chaps are going to go over and jolly well give Brussels a good talking to and it will all be fine apparently.

I have no idea: how long this will take, what kind of trade agreements will emerge, what the situation is with freedom of movement of EU nations in / out, if there are restrictions how will they work, what kind of work permit system will be in place.

Add to that that Sterling has gone into a period of unprecedented volatility which means that companies will avoid contracting in GBP, opting for predictable currency or waiting for stability instead.

The UK is presenting the world is something like : "Hey, we're leaving the EU but we can't really be quite sure when and we're working on some trade agreements, except oh actually we're not as nobody's started that yet.. But, tally-ho, this is Great Britain and everything will be fine!"

Unfortunately, that's not a climate I can do business in.

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Apple Renew / Trade-in Scheme Seems slow - Anyone else used it?

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Apple Renew / Trade-in Scheme Seems slow - Anyone else used it?

I just traded in a couple of iThings that I had lying around as I want to upgrade to a new iPhone. I gave Apple's official Reuse / Recycle programme a try.

It seemed very slow. The devices were signed for by their recycling company and seemed to sit in a warehouse for more than 10 days before it was assessed as being in perfect condition. They finally sent confirmation that they were paying the agreed price, but so far no sign of any Apple Store credit coming through. So, I'm guessing that's probably going to take another day or more.

The whole process has so far taken since 7 June and it's now 22 June.

I had been hoping to have ordered a new iPhone by now!

Anyone else used it ?

I'm just wondering if this is just a glitch or if 14+ days is normal enough for these kinds of services?

It just seems a bit impractical if you're actually trading in your main phone.

Given how quickly Apple tend to ship iThings, I thought I would have my new device days ago.

I think I'll just sell privately next time.

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Bees with numberplates will soon be buzzing around London. Why?

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Just wait until the Brexit campaign gets a hold of this and makes a statement that the EU is insisting that all great British bees must now have number plates! (With little EU flags on the side).

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Pressure mounts against Rule 41 – the FBI's power to hack Tor, VPN users on sight

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Definitely different!

They're professional judges the that are appointed to assist US District Court judges and would hear a lot of the first instance type cases. Its still a pretty low level of court by any standards though.

England, Wales and Scotland are actually highly unusual in having non-professional judges, at least for developed world countries. Magistrates were scrapped as a concept in what is now the Republic of Ireland in 1924 as the idea of non-professional judges was considered unacceptably risky for the administration of justice. There had been a history of the original 'Petty Sessions' lay judges being members of the aristocracy / the local big noise and some really questionable rulings were made that had inflamed the political situation in the 19th / early 20th centuries.

In Northern Ireland it was reformed in 1935 where you had to be a solicitor / barrister of at least six-years standing and then again in 2008 where it moved to professional judges in parallel with the republic.

I'm actually fairly amazed that the old magistrate system continues in the England and Wales and in Scotland as Justice of the Peace.

Being tried by some non-professional judge always struck me as very odd in the modern era.

I know this is the wrong kind of geekery for this site, but just thought I'd clear it up :P

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Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

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San Francisco didn't decide to leave the US. Comparison rapidly becomes void.

Also you'll take all those support services with you. The barriers are far smaller than you'd think and the situation is really unprecedented.

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I don't really understand the logic of some of the comments on this thread that are implying that Dublin's some kind of remote backwater.

1.) It's very well connected by air, far better than most cities its size and that can quite easily be scaled up as needed either with expansion of Dublin Airport (planned) or possibly even a second airport to the West of the City. At present it's handling more than 25 million passengers, making it the 3rd busiest airport in Britain and Ireland (placing it after LHR and Gatwick) and significantly busier than Stansted, Manchester etc.

Ireland also has huge amounts of connectivity for its size to North America and full pre-clearance arrangements with the US, meaning you effectively land as a domestic flight. Again, that's scalable up without much fuss.

2) Many of you may not realise but, software is no longer shipped in trucks on punchcards. Banking services also don't send cash in trucks or post cheques. So the shipping issues are largely irrelevant. A bunch of diverse fibre routes and excellent air connectivity, both of which Ireland has and can easily expand, is all you need.

3) Culturally, it's almost indistinguishable from England/Wales in terms of business and legal structures. The systems are incredibly similar and the business environment is very similar. On top of that, you've got the fact that the general culture is almost identical too. Moving Dublin to London isn't all that much different from moving from London to Manchester. (Yes, I know I'll have offended a few Irish nationalists with that, but it's fact).

4) It's quite a business friendly environment and the bureaucracy is easy to deal with.

5) There is no language barrier at all for English speakers.

6) It has its own visa system and can prioritise immigration for anyone it likes. This can make recruiting non-EU high end staff very straight forward if we want it to be.

7) It isn't some tiny village with a few sheep. It's a metropolitan area of 1.8 million people and growing extremely rapidly. So, in terms of scale, it's only going to get bigger over the coming years and decades. I don't really see Dublin as all that much different from Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam or any of the Nordic capitals and even the majority of the German cities are all mid sized.

8) If needs be, Ireland can fairly easily scale up ferry connectivity directly to France. It's only about 10-12hours in a faster ferry. At present they're mostly used for holiday makers going each way, but there's no particular reason if we had to improve connections avoiding British 'land bridge' routes that it would be particularly difficult to achieve.

The only huge megapolis type cities in the EU are London, Paris and arguably Madrid. The rest are all clusters of cities in the 1 to 2 million kind of scale and the vast majority of EU cities are actually <1 million.

10) Irish-US political and cultural links are absolutely enormous and deep. It exerts huge soft power in the US, but doesn't go on endlessly about unlike a certain other country in the southeastern med. US presidential candidates still feel the need to embrace their Irish great, great, great granny who happened to visit Killarney in 1747 and Irish political figures have enormous access in the USA because of the scale of Irish-American links.

I wouldn't really underestimate Ireland in any of those areas, it bats enormously above its weight and it has a lot of attractive features for location of businesses and particularly transferring business out of the UK. You're still looking at a huge legal, cultural and language jump to go to the Benelux. Second language English speakers, civil law legal system, significantly heavier and different approach to bureaucracy (Ireland and the UK are much more similar), different media, different culture ... list is endless.

Where Ireland will suffer badly though is more in the areas of non-tech, non-financial, SMEs who have a lot of connectivity to the UK due to physical proximity e.g. small / medium food businesses, small services companies etc. Also it will cause total chaos for Irish and UK companies in Northern Ireland who have been treating the Irish market as a single entity for the last few decades. A lot of intra-juristicaonal business in Ireland will be damaged very badly. That's going to hurt the likes of retail groups, logistics companies, food/drink companies, locally-focused service companies etc etc.

So it's kind of swings and roundabouts, but I think Ireland's at a huge advantage for taking businesses that want to exit the UK post Brexit.

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Over Ireland? Bothered by Brexit? Find that new home for your cloud

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Re: You have missed something

No, I haven't missed anything.

That case would be equally applicable had the US government gone after the data in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Finland, etc etc.

What exactly has that got to do with Ireland? Ireland's pretty annoyed with the fact that the US is not pursuing that through normal diplomatic, police cooperation and legal channels.

The court case is about the US trying to exert universal jurisdiction over US multinationals regardless of where they are. It has literally nothing whatsoever to do with the location of the data, it's about Uncle Sam trying to prove a legal point in US courts.

Also the UK isn't exactly much less prone to snooping on data than the US is and has committed itself to some highly intrusive legislation allowing all sorts of access to data and interference with data centre operations. I don't really see a hell of a lot of difference between the two countries' stances. Also with the advent of major terrorism threats, France has jointed that club with rather draconian snooping powers.

I fully understand the need to deal with terrorism and so on, but some of the powers being sought in many countries are really getting into just universal data trawls.

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Over Ireland? Any reason why?

What do you mean 'over Ireland'?

Have at suddenly done something odd?

Other than the headline the article is mostly about Brexit which hasn't anything to do with Ireland other than it might create a customs border between the Republic and the UK but Ireland is committed to remaining in the EU.

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New Android tricks for modern malware licks

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This is why I'm sticking to Nexus devices and iOS. At least you get the security patches hot of the press and not after a phone maker tweaks them.

The mobile networks even get inexplicably in the middle of it in some cases. I remember having to wait a long time for updates on 3 Ireland HTC phones. It doesn't even make sense. What exactly do 3 Ireland have customised on those phones? A boot logo and useless bloatware nobody uses?!

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Fact: Huawei now outspends Apple on R&D

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That's hardly surprising Apple essentially make four products.

1) Various renditions of the iPhone / iPad / iPod which are all essentially the same iOS device in different sizes with slightly different things omitted / added.

2) MacBooks - a small number of variations and I would argue the iMac now is part of that range too as it shares most of the same components and architecture

3) The Apple Watch.

They do some software : OS X / iOS, various apps.

...

Huawei on the other hand are actually now competing in fundamental telecommunications technology, so I would expect them to be trying to compete with Ericsson, the new Nokia (which now contains Alcatel-Lucent (which absorbed Bell Labs etc) and Siemens Networks), Genband, Cisco, Qualcomm, etc etc..

The bigger players in that sector have always been huge spenders on R&D and have been the places that have churned out a lot of the core technologies that we take for granted.

Without those boring infrastructure and fundamental tech makers, there would be no iPhone.

At the end of the day, Apple's basically an IT based consumer products company, and a very successful one. However, that's all it is and that's where all it's R&D seems to focus.

That's not at all to be critical of Apple, but they're not Huawei and they're not Ericsson any more than they're Ford or Toyota.

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

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Why do they *never* have reasonable sizes?

I go in looking for Euro 46 / UK 11.

Invariably I get looked at like as if I have two heads and they come out with some hideous pair of brogues.

The result: I shop on line.

Size 11 / 46 isn't unusual and I have been in shops where 4 guys in a row will all ask for shoes that they don't have in stock and walk off disappointed.

Do these stores operate on the basis that everyone should simply adjust their feet to a statistical survey that was last done in the 1950s or something?

They whine and moan about online retailers taking market share, but they continue to operate like Mrs Slocombe on Are You Being Served is still in charge.

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