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* Posts by Cpt Blue Bear

184 posts • joined 2 Aug 2010

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Hackers' delight: Hotel cyber-cafe, er, business centers, apparently – US Secret Service

Cpt Blue Bear

Hotel Business Centre Run By Muppets Shock

That's all, over and out.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Cpt Blue Bear

Its not that bad. I once spent an afternoon removing spyware from a series of PC that were all in Korean. The first problem was getting enough control back to change the language to something I could read. Cue lots pointing at button labels and asking "what does this say?" type questions.

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Telephone calls

"At which point he accused me of wasting his time!"

To which the correct response is, "why yes, yes I have been wasting your time, and if you ring back I'll be quite happy to waste as much more of it as I can. Please have a nice day."

I once got back to my office to find the bloke I share with on the phone:

"Nah, I'm just tugging your chain." Pause. "Stringing you along, pulling your leg, wasting your time". Pause. "Why? Because ever second you waste talking to me you aren't making a sale. Now I've got actual work to do so piss off and don't call back." Hangs up. "I love cold calls"

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Cpt Blue Bear

I can deal with the goldfish - you know what you are getting with them.

Its the woman who's done a process one way for eight years, a way that is more convoluted and error prone than it needs to be, a way that has been obsolete for years, and who suddenly decides one morning to do it a different way.

A way that doesn't now, and never has, worked.

And who insists that "this is how she's always done it".

No, Carol, that's not how you used to do it. How do I know? Because that way doesn't work and you've done this successfully every morning since about the mid Pleistocene.

The only upside was that I got her to use the new, quick, foolproof (and none of the fools there had managed to screw it up) process. Which of coarse led to: "That's a much simpler way of doing it! Why didn't you show me that before?"

I'm so glad I've got beyond that level of the industry.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The summer heat brings them out...

"Turns out it was just a blown PSU. The manager's problems will be harder to fix..."

Oh no, his problems are very easy to fix! Its the legal ramifications that get harder...

"Whomever envisioned dragging icons to the bin/trash/whatever you want to call it needs a good shooting..."

Many years ago I was involved in converting an advertising agency (look, it was much needed work during a recession and I charged them twice what I'd normally, OK?) from Macs to PCs. All the office staff thought that having a mechanical eject button for the floppy drive was just the cleverest thing they'd ever seen.

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We got behind the wheel of a Tesla S electric car. We didn't hate it

Cpt Blue Bear

"Minor servicing? You'll be due for a new turbo soon (mine lasted 6 years) a cam belt every 5 years give or take with water pump is not a minor job either. Then your crank shaft oil seal will start to leak. Injectors, fuel pump, very expensive especially if your injectors wont budge. Your expensive MAF and MAP sensors don't last for ever."

Yes minor servicing.

I have a Toyota Hilux 3 litre turbo diesel coming up on 270,000km. I consider timing belts (at around $30 each every 100,000km) and a water pump ($48 from Toyota no less and took 20 minutes to fit) minor servicing for such a vehicle, but then I've run 2 stroke motorbikes as daily commuters. No oil leaks and still turns in 6.5l/100km (that's about 35mpg for those mired in the 1960s) despite stupid tyres and a bullbar ruining what aerodynamics it ever had. Compression is a little down and it uses about half a litre of oil every 5000km so maybe we'll lift the head at half a million and have a look-see.

The trick is to actually do that minor servicing not just keep driving until something has to be done.

What on earth did you have that did a turbo in six years? I'd like to know so I can avoid them. Was it French by any chance?

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Blame WWI, not Bin Laden, for NSA's post-9/11 intel suck

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Not only the US mate

"Good Queen Bess (Elizabeth 1) had walsingham reading people's letters and torturing them a bit when more data were required."

She inherited the machinery from her Grandfather.

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The cute things they say

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Some of my anecdotes

"Managing Director: I tried connecting to the WIFI network. It didn't work.

Me: Did you try following the guide?

MD: No, I deleted that email."

Tip of the week: make the MD feel and look competent - it will do your career a world good. If junior, being on a first name basis with the C-suite is good for frightening the shit out of other people's line managers, and if you are more senior when Mr MD moves on to be CEO at Much Nicer Place Pty Ltd, he might even take you with him.

Many a career has been fast tracked by being the guy from IT that the CEO / MD / CFO calls when he needs help.

"Same workplace, this happened recently to one of my colleages. We support a number of SCADA systems operated by various mining companies. They all like using these RSA SecurID tokens for their VPNs. These are a time-based token with a 3-year battery life."

Australia? Mining industry? I'm guessing this was about four years ago. We had the same circus. From memory, we got that software you needed from the manufacturer.

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Scammers plead guilty to $AU500k Telstra scam

Cpt Blue Bear
Joke

Nah, we have to import criminals these days because no one here wants to be bothered pulling this level of scam. We have hundreds of jobs in low level fraud and no one applies for them. Clearly we are suffering from a skill-gap and need more cheap, sorry, skilled work visas.

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NBN Co is a big turn-off … for copper

Cpt Blue Bear
Happy

Re: But what...

There is always one, isn't there? Did you complain about the end of analogue mobile phone and TV coverage?

That ADSL of yours won't do what it currently does for long because, as Mr Tserkezis says below, Telstra haven't done any serious maintenance on copper and don't plan to resume doing so because the NBN is coming. The inconvenient fact that the anti-NBN crowd forget or just don't understand and desperately try avoid addressing, is that copper lines need a lot of maintenance, pretty much constant if my suburb is anything to go by, and it isn't cheap to do.

Unless you are on a cheap-skate, ISP-jumper budget special*, there's no real difference between the pricing of NBN and ADSL.

And finally, come 2017 and any sell-off, you'll be in precisely the same boat you are now.

So suck it up sunshine, the rest of the country wish they had your problem.

* Which are unsustainable. Take it from me, the days of ISPs bidding away each other's customers is over NBN or not.

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Qld government in social media policy linkrot FAIL

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: And this is the same government

Don't worry - these guys won't be writing any code, they are just the PR or HR bods.

Writing the software will be contracted out to a company part owned by a nephew of the minister who will outsource it to three guys in India they found on one of those coder-for-hire sites.

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Beached whale Symantec watches revenues recede 7%

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Kitchen Budgets

That's exactly what the CEO of a major ag company said to me years ago. You have two choices in this situation: come out swinging and potentially go out with a bang or suffer a long, sad slide until no one even notices that you closed up shop.

The former means you can hold your head up in the knowledge that you tried to turn it around.

The latter is favoured by professional managers because it allows them to keep drawing their fat salaries for a few months longer.

I've forwarded your bilge pump analogy to my boss: he's ex-navy and will appreciate the imagery.

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Cpt Blue Bear

I think you mean...

" I remember ....

... the days when they BOUGHT good and useful software tools."

What is Peter Norton doing these days?

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Please work for nothing, Mr Dabbs. What can you lose?

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Networking

I picked up at the only networking event I ever went to*. It turned out we were the only ones with actual jobs. The other thirty of so people were all "small business owners" or creatives (read got made redundant last year and thought they were going to get in IT servicing and consulting or did a Pagemaker course and thought they were going to get rich doing web pages). She ran a recruiting agency and I assume gravitated to me 'cause I was the only one not clearly desperate for paid work and owned a suit that fit. Scary stuff.

* Actually it took a further two weeks of coffee and dinners and generally behaving like a grown up with a life and prospects, but why let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: >> the poor speaker may unable to afford lunch

I've met people who speak at conferences to promote their books to. The fact that they ignore the set topic and talk about their book is a dead give away. Knowing they aren't being paid anyway makes me feel very slightly better about the waste of everyone's time.

The strangest one I've seen was actually at a writers week event running number two in a panel of three on recent feminist literature*. It must happen all the time 'cause the other two panelists didn't even bat an eyelid at what was to us an obvious sales pitch.

* It was followed by Neal Stephenson and I was early. I wish I'd had a low speed camera running on the audience to capture the way the white-shirt-and-short-hair feminists were replaced by leather jacket, heavy metal t-shirt and beard geeks.

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Come to Oz for sun, surf, ratting on co-workers and surveillance

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Translation

Regulatory capture, we call it.

But the second sentence to me crosses a line from state sanctioned violence and oppression in the name of liberty to being an end in itself with liberty a constraint on its effectiveness. Anybody else in Oz find that a little scary?

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: I hate that quote

"Safety means not getting beaten up.

Liberty means not getting beaten up by the police.

You can't choose between these two things."

You can indeed choose between those and that is the choice our are government(s) are currently offering. That there may be other choices does not suit their agenda so it fails to get mentioned. At least not in the mass media.

I think your last line would be better phrased as "That's no choice at all"

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France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Draconian

"'Trying' is excusing failure in advance. Do you know what 'agile' is? Agile is desperate. Agile is running blind. Agile is whoring yourself out because you can't find enough customers or clients who will pay a decent price for your offerings so you'll sell whatever you can to whoever you can for whatever you can get"

I'm having flashbacks to my boss out of his skull on single malt scotch and Malaysian pain killers in the bar of Traders in KL on day five of a SE Asia meeting marathon.

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

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Anyone heard from a server admin anywhere yet?

Yes, several. Colour me pleasantly surprised.

The first I actually heard of this was from a charity book store run by the Brotherhood of St Lawrence*. Over 24 hours I got a warning that the server was going down for patching, an explanation of what was patched and finally a suggestion that I change my password ASAP.

My bank had a notice at log in with 24 hours of the announcement explaining why it wasn't an issue for them - and in surprisingly technical terms, clearly not written by the PR department (no crayon or drool in sight).

A couple of "community" type forums. I suspect they all run the same version of vBulletin.

But notably missing in action are any of the household names.

* I was going to make a joke about molesting little boys but removed it as I think they are to be commended on this one.

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Say WHAT? ATVOD claims 44k Brit primary school kids look at smut online each month

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: someone was spying on these kids ?!?!?!

Its probably done through Nielsen Netratings. It sends usage data based on clicks and links (or at least it did a few years back when I first encountered it and ran some basic traffic analysis - it may be more sophisticated now but I seriously doubt it). I have it running on a couple of test boxes at work and every year around November they send me a store card for a few hundred dollars which goes toward the end of year piss-up (market research funds alcohol consumption). Christ alone knows what sort of data they get from those machines.

The point is, I don't see any way they can tie this to user age except for the sign-up questionnaire. Having seen it from the test subject side of the fence I would take any results with a whole bucket load of salt.

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Qantas' biggest problems are … Apple, Samsung and Google?

Cpt Blue Bear

Qantas can just about be trusted do cheese and biscuits and their coffee was decent on domestic routes.

I learnt years ago to avoid eating on flights international or otherwise. Even if its good, the environment means you won't enjoy it. Besides, skipping a meal helps to screw up your body clock and makes it easier to get it reset for local time.

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Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Spirts in the sky nut jobs and such

"There is some rumor that, once upon a time, a trio of poor SF writers, Hubbard, Phillip K Dick and another, were debating how to make lots of $. Hubbard's supposed idea? Found a religion."

The third was Roger Zelazny and I read it in an interview with him years ago. Long enough ago that it was in print. I've been trying to remember who the other writer was (Dick) since the first post above bringing it up. Zelazny's story was that the three of them went on a binge in San Diego and after many hours of drinking and talking the topic of religion came up.

"Anyone can start a religion", says Hubbard, "based on anything at all, the more nonsensical the better"

"Bullshit" , say they other two

"Bet you $20", says Hubbard and next week had the first draft of Scientology.

I wish I could find that interview again, outside of this it was very funny.

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Apple prevails in Siri marketing lawsuit

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: A question

I was just thinking the same thing. Apple spent a lot of money on advertising that one feature, clearly they thought it would differentiate their product in the market and motivate people to buy the product. I don't know if it the same in the US, but here in Oz those ads had a text notice at the bottom of the screen advising that these were edited sequences - if that warning was absent in another market it would seem to indicate that they were aware that the ads were potentially misleading under local laws.

Unrelated to this, our soon-to-be-formerly local car maker, Holden, are currently advertising their products on the basis that they have "Siri integration". I wonder how well that works then...

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Usefulness?

That was my experience - people used it to show off, rapidly discovered that it wasn't very good, often while showing it off, and then forgot about it. I've never seen anyone use it for real.

I don't think that is because Siri is bad at what it does so much as the whole idea is a gimmick.

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Forget ski-jumping – Russians setting records in Sochi visitor hacking

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: TV Magic

Let's call a spade a spade:

"it's not a lie, it's just TV magic"

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Why? Why?

Personally, I agree. But there are people out there - I know a few - who will put up with the horrendous picture and diabolical sound quality in order to watch a film that has not been released here yet. And there lies your clue: staggered release fuels this.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Did he mount his Glass on a tripod?

I have it on good authority that most cams are shot from tripod in the projection booth...

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Andrew Fentem: Why I went to an arts quango to fund pre-iPhone multitouch

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: First to file vs first to invent patents

"So someone explain to me why "first to file" is such a great idea that the US had to switch to it, instead of the rest of the world switching to "first to invent"?"

It reduces the investigative burden and legal exposure of the patent office.

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ABC finally brings iView to Android

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Despite running Jelly Bean on both tablet and phone

"Seriously glad I I'm not using Android, it's a mindf*ck just to work out if your device is compatible with anything."

Its not, which you'd know if you ran android. Don't be a dick.

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Turnbull's NBN is startup-land's litmus test

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Erm...

" But then a USB Drive and a fireproof - well secured - safe doesn't cost $40-billion."

It also doesn't service the whole country, provide any other services or, in reality, work as a fireproof backup . In any sort of decent building fire its highly unlikely the interior of the safe will remain cool enough to save your paper records or cash (remember we have plastic notes here in Oz), so the likely result is your flash drive with it's precious back up will be a smouldering lump or plastic when you get the safe out of the wreckage.

"Well, if it is going to be that useful/profitable; why aren't more people paying for their own better link"

The short answer is because its not profitable if everyone has to build their own. That's the point of public infrastructure.

Further the claim of at least 25Mb is highly dubious given the state of the last mile copper in this country. A position largely due to Telstra having failed to do maintenance over the last decade. I know from tests done by Internode that the cause of the drop from 18Mb to 8Mb were I am is completely due to the last mile. I assume most of the country is in the same boat.

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OMG, Andrex KILLED the PUPPY! Not quilty, exclaim bog roll boys

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Federal Toilet Paper Regulations

There is a reason* for those ridiculous specification documents. Its a bureaucracy's attempt to stop the contractor, having agreed to supply the best available, shipping whatever rubbish he has lying around or can source the cheapest. As with most bureaucratic solutions, it doesn't work well because it attempts to address the result rather than the cause of the problem (that the suppliers are fundamentally crooked). In a bureaucracy decisions and thus blame are collectivised to protect the otherwise unemployable. They cannot simply inspect what is offered and refuse it as not up to standard because someone would have to take responsibility.

The fact that they still get a rubbish product at an inflated price shows how well it works.

In this particular case, the specification document, assuming it is on letter sized paper, if torn into squares, and hung on a name could provide around 2 and a half man years worth of what it describes.

* Please note that I didn't say it was good reason.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Mere tissue of a story

"most take dumps? er, what do the others do then?"

They are in management.

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Mandela memorial. Yup, let's SNAP A SELFIE, say grinning Obama, Cameron

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: What story?

The story is that these muppets are so self obsessed they even take selfies at a memorial service. Its about Mandela, not you publicity seeking whores.

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When the lights went out: My 'leccy-induced, bog floor crawling HORROR

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dark bog

It may be the product of growing up in places where the power was flakey* but I don't get the panic.

Its not rocket surgery: finish task at hand, find paper dispenser by feel, wipe nether regions, raise strides and secure. You really should have done these tasks enough times by to be able to do them without visual clues. The next bit can be tricky but there are only so many ways a cubicle door catch can operate. Think of if as a test: if I can't escape a toilet cubicle in the dark should I really be playing with other people's expensive equipment?

Number ones are actually more of a challenge as you must remain calm and steady when the lights go out if you are to avoid splashback and/or ruined shoes. The upside is you don't cut the back of your hand open groping for the paper dispenser leaving an unseen trail of blood that causes a panic when the lights come back on.

Once free and with everything stowed for transit, my experience is there are plenty of clues as to the way out. If all else fails, listen for distant swearing. The biggest danger are those double door systems with you trying to open the inside one at the same time some over eager twat with a torch comes barging in the outside...

* Darwin at the end of 1970s was particularly memorable: local folklore had it that Dr Who was a major cause of blackouts. When the season started a large portion of the populace would turn on the goggle box at 6PM, the resulting extra load would cause the little mouse running in a wheel at the power plant just out of town to go on strike.

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BOFH: It's DANGEROUS to go alone. Take THIS

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: many moons ago

In the late 80s I worked in a place with a phone system that used the same caps...

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Don't PANIC, but these SMARTWATCH-stuffed boxes are going NOWHERE

Cpt Blue Bear

I've noticed a trend among the young bucks as they climb the corporate greasy pole: at about thirty and hitting a management level they suddenly decide a watch is something they should be wearing. I think it's seen as the grown up thing rather than fishing for a mobile phone whenever you want to know the time. It's become like getting a good rather than just decent suit.

The problem for smart watches is that they don't fit this market.

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Turnbull to NBN contractors: Dance, baby, dance!

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: I hope there are penalty clauses

You've not had anything to do with running big long term projects, have you?

In Real Life(tm), costs can change over the life of the project. If costs go up such that the contractor makes a loss they, being in business after all, will make the call based on whether its cheaper to finish the job or cut their losses and bail out. This happens frequently. If you play hardball with the contractor, they walk away and you have to contract someone else to finish the job, baring in mind that you are now over a metaphorical barrel with your pants around your metaphorical ankles and a metaphorical sign inviting buggery. You can threaten to sue all you like but that takes time and costs more money.

In this case, Turnbull is playing to the peanut gallery.

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Construction industry outlook is bad news for Turnbull's alt.NBN plan

Cpt Blue Bear

There's no pleasig some people

And if he'd accepted the Telstra quote unopposed you'd be crying foul at that.

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Norway BANS Apple from Oslo's skies: No aerial Maps app snaps allowed

Cpt Blue Bear
FAIL

That word you keep using...

I don't think you understand what security through obscurity means. Having a lock on a door relies on a shared secret (the key). Security through obscurity would be relying on only authorised people knowing to push the buttons.

Secondly, the Death Star was a fictional and it's flaw was a required plot device.

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'Do the right thing and tell on a pirate' - software bods

Cpt Blue Bear

That gives me an idea

Can't we bury these muppets under reports of not-for-commercial-use freeware?

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Soylent days and soylent nights

Cpt Blue Bear
Thumb Up

Re: Bah!

I grew up in New Guinea, back when it was spelt that way and the only thing standing between you and a (short) lifetime of sweating and farting was a little yellow quinine pill. I can still taste the bastards thirty five years later. For a decade or so after we moved to less malarial climes I didn't get bitten by mosquitoes - my theory is that quinine has sod all effect on a the actual malaria beasties but it makes your blood taste so foul that the mozzies won't touch you.

Another G&T? Don't mind if I do - Fever Tree and Cadenhead Old Raj for preference.

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Cpt Blue Bear

Re: "if it's not chilled, it's utterly disgusting"

Ironic given the Wattney's [SHUDDER] Red Barrel comment above...

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Optus: Australian telcos are RUBBISH

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Flame Suit: Engaged

Why the flame suit? Of course its a marketing ploy. I'm guessing Optus have looked at the state of the market and their customer satisfaction surveys and decided its best to be the first to jump. Kind of like Essendon and performance enhancing dru... sorry, supplements. The ploy worked so well for them...

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Windows 8 'sales' barely half as good as Microsoft claims

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Competing with themselves

Neither. Pro version licenses come with "downgrade" rights. Have done since XP(?). You have to sort out media and drivers and (possibly, I've never had to myself) call MS for a working license key. Fortunately, vendors who want to sell their kit into a business environment generally ship it with a suitable disc image to load.

So, MS make the same regardless of what OS you install and you can relax.

I'd be interested to see what proportion of those licenses "sold" have downgrade rights. My experience is that a large propportion of those are exercised.

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Watchdog: Y'know what Bitcoin really needs? A REGULATOR!

Cpt Blue Bear
FAIL

For the benefit of the under 15s out there

The OP's quote is from Ghandi.

The English should remember him - skinny bloke, caused some trouble in that empire thing you used to have.

Americans should probably look him up 'cause he fits well with your political rhetoric if not the reality. Both might want to reflect on his words,

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Thousands rally behind teen girl cuffed, expelled in harmless 'explosion'

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: F*&^ knows what they'd have done with my chemistry teacher

" The timid small piece of sodium didn't turn affect the litmus paper - so a larger lump was used. Much fizzing and sparks followed by a loud bang - and the classroom echoed with boyish cheers."

My chem teacher demonstrated the sodium-water reaction in front of us on an overhead projector so we could all see. He'd have had us doing it in pairs (the usual arrangement, I presume so that there was some to help the vicitim) but the school couldn't afford it. The small piece of rather elderly sodium failed to impress so he fished it out, scraped the oxidisation and wax off with his thumb nail and tossed it back in. MUCH more impressive.

Supposedly they watch videos now. We seem to be turning into a society that watches things rather than doing them. Like porn and cooking...

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Cpt Blue Bear
Thumb Up

Re: Bloody ridiculous

My high school chem teacher* taught us how to make black powder, gun cotton and touch powder after we ran out of curriculum two months short of running out out of term. The last on the basis that some of us would probably try anyway and it was safer if it was him who showed us rather than we tried to figure it out from a dodgey recipe. I still remember his advice on the subject: never make more than a teaspoon at a time because that way you'll still have one good hand to dial the hospital (say it deadpan in a Dutch accent for best effect). The experimental application was the destruction of flies on the window sill...

We put his gunpowder recipe to good use making skyrockets but quickly discovered that Goex was both more powerful and more reliable.

The other uses we put his lessons to I won't go into to in order to protect the extremely guilty (but laughing like maniacs) but here's a hint: sulfuric acid and a cafe sugar dispenser...

In those days we used to buy our ingredients over the counter at a local chemical wholesaler. The only request that even raised an eyebrow was for half a litre of fuming nitric acid. Those were the days...

* A charming but crazy Dutchman

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Outback geothermal plant goes live

Cpt Blue Bear
FAIL

Re: Hollywood got there first

One is a fifty year old movie and the other is real life. So no, no similarities at all. Jeeze this meme is tired.

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Apple: You thought Google dodged taxes? Get a load of THIS

Cpt Blue Bear
FAIL

Re: Godwin's law invoked

Is there a corresponding law that predicts some muppet screaming "Godwin's Law"? If not I propose there should be.

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Feds want to fine companies that refuse wiretap requests

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dangerous thinking ..

"They could take their ire out on companies that operate in the US, but they cannot compel a US company to make a foreign company break the laws of another country where they are operating."

Don't be naive - they can and they have. Just ask a Canadian bank or the government of a Caribbean island..

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