* Posts by Roo

1164 posts • joined 21 Sep 2010

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Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

Roo
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Windows

Re: I hope you drone pilots have decent insurance

"Read the report. Its all in there. Along with the fact that the helicopter company had found the reporting advisory scheme unworkable so had abandoned it - so the military had no knowledge of the helicopters presence. So whose blame was it?"

The report stated that the (widely) "abandoned" scheme was unfit for purpose and one specific to pipeline inspection was created (PINS) as a result of the accident.

Try turning the problem around and looking at it from the Helicopter crew's point of view. There was nothing more they could do to tell the Tornado crew what they were doing (they kept ATC informed), and there was nothing that the Tornado crew did (or could) do to warn the Helicopter crew they were in the area (in real-time).

I am not saying the Tornado crew did anything wrong, but the accident does illustrate that an aircrew that is not engaged with ATC and not paying enough attention to what's going on outside the cockpit is just as much a problem as a numpty drone operator. I did witness a number of near misses between Fast Jets on low-level exercises - it was a known problem long before Farleton.

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Roo
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Re: I hope you drone pilots have decent insurance

"So, if something the size of a JetRanger is damned invisible until its too late to take action, what chance has a pilot of seeing and reacting to a small drone in front of him?"

I don't think you can make that argument given that the JetRanger wasn't invisible to the eyeball or the radar carried by the Tornados. It wasn't seen because the Tornado was flying low and very fast, neither aircrew had any chance of reacting in time.

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Roo
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Re: I hope you drone pilots have decent insurance

"The real cause was the fact that a civilian aircraft was at low level in a military low flying zone, on a flying day. The only thing that could have stopped the crash was a warning to the military by the helicopter inspection team that they intended to be there that day, so enabling the Tornado to reroute."

The Tornado was reported to be *off-course*, so there's a good chance they wouldn't have followed the new route in any case.

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Roo
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Re: I hope you drone pilots have decent insurance

"So, your argument is that a pilot who is on a controlled, carefully planned, mandated and predictable trajectory with quite a few tonnes of machinery and passengers should seek to evade your toy because he'd be otherwise be bullying you?"

I read his argument as being the Pilots should be paying attention to the skies as well as the instruments in class G airspace, which seems reasonable given that other planes (which may be off course due to stupidity, incompetence or plain old error) and birds might be occupying the same bit of sky too.

Here's an example of why pilots of fast moving jet aircraft should be paying attention to what is going on outside the windows (from 1993):

"A HELICOPTER pilot and his passenger were killed yesterday in a mid-air collision with an RAF Tornado that was on a long-range, low-flying exercise in Cumbria.

The crash happened a few hundred yards from junction 36 of the M6 at Farleton near Kirkby Londsdale. The helicopter is thought to have had its rear rotary blade ripped off before bursting into flames on farmland.

The crew of the Tornado were apparently unaware they had hit the helicopter. They lost all power in one engine and reported they had been hit by a flock of birds."

I picked that one because it reminded me of the pair of Tornados flying line astern with a couple of hundred yards between them missing our roof by ~20ft having clipped 3ft off a 60ft high tree just 100 yards away. We didn't panic because we didn't have time, I suspect the pilots didn't have time to panic either.

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Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after sacking 68 people

Roo
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"Maybe he was forced by senior mgmt to see through the firings against his will and then afterwards he resigned because of what he'd been forced to do? Just a thought"

"Forced" how exactly ? Surely he could have refused and quit *before* firing people if he felt strongly enough about it... Free country - nothing to hide etc etc etc.

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Most of the world still dependent on cash

Roo
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Re: Cash less society will never happen

"The politicians won't allow it. How would they get their 'little brown bags' of incentive?"

Brown bags of incentive are rather crass and quite frankly not necessary. Outrageous day rates work just as well, and it appears that if you are rich enough the Tax man will be quite happy to settle up to the tune of 10p in the Pound.

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Roo
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Re: Transport

"They could rationalise the current fare structure but somehow I doubt it."

That's part of the inevitable price of privatisation... Most of the folks I know who wanted the railways privatised at the time are regretting their enthusiasm, the folks who don't regret it don't use the railways at all.

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Cloud growth? Take a number, Microsoft. Two engines have stalled

Roo
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Windows

Re: This'll be downvoted but...

"Audio quality of flac files is terrible compared to Windows (odd harmonic distortion"

Some motherboards appear to have over-driven audio outputs (they really do clip at max volume), I've got a couple like that. In those cases all I do is back off the master volume a smidgeon (Linux desktops volume controls often show a slider with 100% in the middle - I set it to about 90%).

Could be a bug too - but the volume is worth looking at as it's very easy to "fix". :)

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Israeli drones and jet signals slurped by UK and US SIGINT teams

Roo
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"don't forget the USA and UK are large purchasers of Israeli built drones - including the sensor suites"

Where are those sensor suites and all their support equipment fabbed exactly ? Colorado, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, or China perhaps ?

Should keep everyone busy for a few years yet.

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Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

Roo
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Re: Long lasting DEC kit

Awesome bag, I am horribly jealous, I bet a four pack of Strongbow would look smashing in it. :)

I have fond memories of DEC gear, but the build quality did vary quite dramatically across their range (eg: those flakey hard drives they turned out). DEC offloaded their hard drive business shortly after turning out a particularly flakey model. I remember my surprise at opening the door of a -11/780 vintage cabinet and it feeling very solid, the newer -11/785 doors I was used to felt like wobbly cardboard. It looked like the bean counters were running the show when that '785 rolled (thudded ?) off the line. :)

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Cops hate encryption but the NSA loves it when you use PGP

Roo
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"I'm OK with law enforcement having access to it, my problem is the lack of accountability that is supposed to accompany such powers, because that makes abuse certain. *That* is the real issue someone like Teresa May needs to address. Until then, fingers off."

I'm hoping some folks in Cheltenham are watching our voting patterns and using them to adjust their future policy making to be more palatable... Err hang on. No. Err.. Damn.

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Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

Roo
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"How many of us if we had enough money to be worried about such things as higher rates of tax, would try to do anything they could by any legal means there were available to keep as much of that money being taken away from them as possible?"

Life isn't perfect in the UK by any means, but I do feel somewhat privileged to have grown up and now raise a family in the UK having seen some of the alternatives on my travels. I want more people to have the same chance at a prosperous peaceful life that I had, which requires a lot of money, which requires a lot of tax to be paid. So I don't resent paying a full portion of tax, after all it *should* go towards making the lives of our kids & the folks around us better - which *should* make us all better off.

Tax avoidance is simply a way of gaining an unfair advantage over your team mates.

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Snowden bag-carrier Miranda's detention was lawful – UK appeal court

Roo
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Re: Lawful and lawless

"Bliar would be in serious trouble otherwise."

What you mean taking responsibility for his actions and facing the consequences if things don't go very well ?

Don't worry Tony believes St.Peter will do the accounting so you can leave it to God + Tony to ensure that justice will be done. Yeah right.

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Roo
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"if the publication endangers life and the person publishing the material intends it to (or is reckless as to whether it does) have that effect."

The world would be a nicer safer place if that law would deter HMG from publishing "sexed up" "dodgy dossiers" that were written with the intent of endangering life on a grand scale (eg: Iraq).

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Dear Santa: Can gov.UK please stop outsourcing?

Roo
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Re: On the Christmas Present Issue

"we can spend that time on more important things like buying the noisiest most annoying toys we can find for the the grandkids. Annual parental revenge is a sweet thing!"

We've learnt our lesson... Nothing goes into the Xmas stockings unless we can positively id what it is. We also share Xmas with a set of grandparents, and the kids just love to share their stocking unwrapping with their grandparents as soon as they wake up...

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Roo
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"Come to think of it, a floating point number is a pretty abstract object compared with mere binary digits.

They used to be defined in software, you know."

They still *are* 'defined' in software, and even 'implemented' in software too. ;)

I did wonder whether it would be worth binning hardware FP support - and supplying a bunch of super-quick bit-vector ops to replace it. The fact is that transistors are so cheap and the memory is so far away from the ALU/FPU now FP hardware costs virtually nothing and is a lot quicker.

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Roo
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"I'm sorry, but no CPU on the planet works internally with abstract objects, methods, or any other cobblers you want to invent."

Intel had a stab at it with the iAPX432, pretty sure there have been others too, I mentioned the oft-derided 432 because I vividly remember my incredulity turning to horror as I read the data book. :)

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Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

Roo
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Re: Let me get this straight...?

"uneditable software IS hardware, wether you IT blokes like it or not."

Wrong.

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Roo
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Re: Bassackwards

"You are confused. It is quite different from Windows or Linux. OS/X only runs on Apple hardware."

There are definitely non-Apple boxes out there running OS/X - whether you & Apple like it or not, supported or otherwise.

"You cannot buy a new OS/X licence without buying an Apple computer."

You can buy as many as you like at £14.99 a pop from Apple, the license may only be *valid* if running on Apple hardware, but folks running hackintoshes clearly don't give a stuff about that.

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Roo
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Re: Bassackwards

"It wasn't my assertion,"

Maybe you should have put quotes around it then.

"but do you honestly think that OS X "costs" £14.99?"

Yes I do, that's the price on the website, it's under the "products" section, the updates are free according to the same website. You could take a look at Apple's website and see for yourself if you don't believe me.

"OS X is bundled with their hardware, you can't buy it separately the way you can Windows or a professionally-supported Linux distro."

You can buy it separately, it's no different to Windows or Linux.

OTOH your arguments hold water if you substitute "Windows RT" for "OS X". :)

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Roo
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Re: Bassackwards

"Retailers do offer Mac OS, but people don't choose it, usually due to the very high purchase price."

I doubt many retailers offer "Mac OS", they will offer OS/X though which is actually just 15% the price of Windows - based on the list prices given by the vendors websites (OS/X = £14.99 vs Windows 10 Home = £99).

Your assertion doesn't fit the facts. Try finding another reason.

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Roo
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Coat

Re: Let me get this straight...?

"Are you absolutely certain of that?"

Well, now that you mention it, no. :)

I'll get my coat, it's the one with Security For Dummies in the pocket.

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Roo
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Re: Innovation?

I'd love Panasonic to remake the CF-Y7 with all the warts removed. Stuff like a bigger better trackpad that's a sensible aspect ratio & size, fan-less and screws that don't fall out would be nice. Doesn't need a blazing quick CPU, just something that runs cool, has usable 3D, can be dropped / rinsed out, oh and a *bright* display panel, same resolution and triple the battery life will be fine. :)

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Roo
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Re: Let me get this straight...?

"This just extends it to hardware, always more secure than software."

But it's not hardware.

It's just more unauditable software (written by Intel) running at a privilege level that your OS has no control of or access to, oh and that same software talks to network hardware. You may as well run a webserver in the kernel while you're at it. Not Intel's finest hour IMO, YMMV.

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Eighteen year old server trumped by functional 486 fleet!

Roo
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@ Martin an gof

Sounds a lot more fun than installing "RebootMan", have an upvote for finding a fun way to mitigate the work of numpty coders. :)

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Windows not running for longer than 49.7 days.

"Well thankfully the days of making silly counter-overflow mistakes like that are long behind us.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/01/19/linux_kernel_keyrings_get_privilege_escalation_patch/

Erm..."

Hehe, have an upvote. :)

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Windows not running for longer than 49.7 days.

"As far as I recall, that was Windows 95. And the actual figure was 49.7 days - or, suspiciously, around 2 billion seconds. Yes, the bug was caused by the fact that the system timer didn't wrap around - when it finally hit the maximum value of the DWORD, the machine just hung."

That sounds like the bug - but I am certain we were dealing with WfWG & Win 3.1 - I remember hunting around the box with the 3.1 style File Manager. :)

"But I don't think that should make anyone feel bad about sniggering at the bug. It was, and remains, a dumb mistake."

I wasn't laughing, nor were our customers.

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Roo
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"“Prez” told us “I just retired our music server (a digital automation system) that has been running non-stop since 12/31/95 on Windows for Workgroups 3.11.”"

There was a bug in Win 3.1 & 3.11 where the entire UI would hang after a few days (weeks?) even if the machine was idle, so "non-stop" must mean they aren't counting reboots... Or was that bug fixed in the end (in 1996/7 the company I worked for even wrote an app to reboot the machine nicely before the lock-up happened).

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European human rights court rules mass surveillance illegal

Roo
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Re: Cameron

"[Have I managed to avoid Godwin?]"

Up until you mentioned the name, yes. :)

Godwin's law isn't really a law, it's a rhetorical hack that is intended to prevent people from learning from history.

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Cisco: Businesses are losing the ground war against hackers

Roo
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Re: Your software is garbage

"There is no excuse for the quality of software today. Proper methods are understood."

The problem isn't just the abysmal software, folks need to pay attention to using it correctly as well. :)

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Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Roo
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Windows

Re: Enough of this.

> rather than copy a good one.

""Copying a good one" is called 'copyright infringement' and is liable to penalties."

I had that in mind alongside the NIH when I wrote the original sentence. :)

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Roo
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Re: Enough of this.

"I don't think that matters.

ReactOS is GPL-compatible - so if either camp gets something good going that the other one doesn't have, it is encouraged for that to be copied over..."

That's a good point, but the ReactOS team would have to get over the hatred of all things POSIX & UNIX that was evident in previous visits to their website first. I guess ReactOS could get forked if that remains a problem.

Unfortunately that wouldn't address the concern that Redmond's IP lawyers would have a field day in court should ReactOS get to the point where people are migrating over to it en masse, I can't see MS taking that kind of competition lying down.

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Roo
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Re: Enough of this.

"It's time to put my money where my mouth it. I need a Win32 compatible environment. Microsoft isn't going to provide one. It's time to back ReactOS as strongly as I can."

I am not convinced that's the best option if all you want is a Win32 compatible env in the near future, the ReactOS folks have been at it for at least 8 years that I know of - and it's still alpha. The risk with ReactOS is they are copying a big player's product with a strong case of Not Invented Here Syndrome, so there is a high risk that they'll deliver a poor solution rather than copy a good one.

WINE looks like the "safer" option given the current state of play - but I'll bet you've considered throwing your weight behind WINE and thought better of it. I am curious to know why you chose ReactOS instead.

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Roo
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"To be honest, buying brand new hardware and expecting it to downgrade and run clunky old OS versions is something you shouldn't expect anyway."

Binary compatibility is a major selling point for PCs, destroy that and you destroy the reason most people buy Wintel boxes.

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Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

Roo
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Re: Increasingly convinced that Scott Adams is right

"The UK refusing access to the potential POTUS seems like foot-shooting in the extreme."

Don't worry, that won't happen because Demented Donald Trump isn't subject to hate speech legislation, mainly because he'll be running HMG when he becomes POTUS...

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GCHQ summer schools to pay teenage hackers £250 a week

Roo
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"GCHQ can compete on the value of our Mission"

Sadly GCHQ can't compete on the value of their mission because the public is not allowed to find out what GCHQ actually achieve, so that's a non-starter.

So we have a bunch of folks who are beyond the law grooming a bunch of minors at a summer camp with the promise of better pay and a never-to-be-repeated-in-public mission statement... What could possibly go wrong ?

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VirusTotal invites Apple fans to play in updated Mac malware sandpit

Roo
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Windows

Re: What do you mean, the internet told you something else??

"You should try it, using good, logical arguments instead of group think statements and ad hominem. You may even learn some analytical skills, may come in handy when you eventually grow up."

Oh the bitter irony… I humbly submit that you should try your own medicine first. :)

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Test burn on recycled SpaceX rocket shows almost all systems are go

Roo
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Windows

Re: Heavy Falcons

"With long distance 20:20 vision, North American Aviation came along in 1940 and designed and produced in less than 12 months what it took SuperMarine 12 years to never accomplish."

I think that's because Supermarine were trying to accomplish something different. The Spitfire was designed as a fighter, the Mustang was intended to replace the P40 which was primarily used for ground attack. In trials the Mustang I was quicker at 15,000ft, but the Spitfire V was quicker at 20,000ft, furthermore the Mustang took 11 minutes to climb to 20,000ft, while the Spitfire V took 7 minutes, which is a very big deal for a fighter.

Nonetheless NAA did pull off an engineering marvel in 120 days, and the Mustang was a superb aeroplane with or without a Merlin in it. :)

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After-dinner Mint? Stylish desktop finale released as last of the 17 line

Roo
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Windows

Re: Sad to say...

"Then there's the lack of professional software support."

That hasn't been true for a very long time in the general case at least, Oracle, IBM, RedHat et al all provide "professional software support".

"I have a few very specific programs like Sibelius, Sonar, and associated music stuff, that simply have no Linux versions and because they also talk to some older hardware that doesn't have Linux drivers"

Not wishing to be funny, but the problem there is that your vendors are failing to provide professional support so you need to tell them that you want it and you'll pay for it. You'll find some vendors won't even entertain the idea, and in those cases I've found that the problem turned out to be that the vendors lost the source code or simply not employing developers who can understand the code any more (this is a very common problem - developers tend to move on after 2-3 years simply because they rarely get promotions or pay rises by doing the same thing well day in day out)...

I hope you ask for support and wish you good luck with getting it !

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Roo
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Re: Another highly satisfied Mint user here...

"Can you find an open source alternative to Excel that really - really - runs VBA macros? And an open source alternative to Bloomberg would be nice too."

I really don't understand why people keep bringing this argument up in response to people saying they're happy with something that isn't Excel. You were happy with Excel, so stick with your legacy spreadsheet running legacy macros on a legacy platform. Meanwhile there are billions of people who can live quite happily without Excel + VBA macros in their daily life who really don't give a toss if there's an Open Source clone of "Bloomberg" or not.

I think most Penguinistas will be quite happy for you to carry on running Excel + VBA Macros until MS pulls the plug, good luck with your Windows & Office 365 subscriptions...

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Roo
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Re: Another highly satisfied Mint user here...

Looks like a "Microsoft Online Reputation Manager" feels qualified to downvote your post on the basis they have no --ing idea what you are doing with your machine because Win 10 isn't running on it...

I know MS has earnt a shedload of money ignoring customers, spreading FUD, denigrating complaints and down-voting posts, but in the light of declining PC revenues perhaps they should consider listening to why customers are unhappy and address those complaints.

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Probe launched after mischiefmaker invades US spyboss's Verizon broadband account

Roo
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Windows

Re: Storm in a teacup

"There already IS a law that is supposed to prevent this type of behavior by ANY government employee."

Strictly speaking laws don't prevent anything, the enforcement process is there to provide the punishment and deterrent, and that enforcement process is rarely employed to punish high-level functionaries like Clapper.

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Trend Micro AV gave any website command-line access to Windows PCs

Roo
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Windows

"Theirs may be the least effective security product since the tinfoil hat."

Can't argue with that, but I'd like to point out that a tinfoil hat doesn't really do any harm on it's own, where as AV software adds a ton of new code to critical paths, and adds a whole new set of attack surfaces in addition to mitigating published (ie: known) attack vectors.

Typically one of the new attack vectors that AVs bring with them is the ability for an arbitrary bunch of folks to upload & run arbitrary code as Admin/root on your machine any time they can...

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We know this isn't about PRISM, Matt Warman MP. But do you?

Roo
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Windows

Re: Perfect Product for Breaking Bads

Hi Skippy, what's that you say ?

"The people must set up a marketing outfit that harvests internet traffic information and stores it in a distributed database that can be accessed by anyone" ?

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Windows 10 shattered Remote Desktop's security defaults – so get patching

Roo
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Windows

Re: Perfect example of why CVE counting is stupid

"Note how some patches list some CVE reported flaws and others have flaws just as serious if not worse that are not CVE reported, meaning their count of security problems is understated if you count CVEs."

You will be very disappointed if you expect the resident MS shills to pay any attention to that fact and adjust their unsubstantiated, irrelevant and incorrect claims around CVE counts... :)

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Roo
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Windows

Re: "Any system can be a pain"

"But really, I imagine that they don't have the accumulated cruft that Windows has -- the cupolas of Silverlight, the dead-end staircases of Active X, the gables and turrets of VBScript and Visual J++. I may be mistaken, often am -- make that usually."

MS aren't unique in that - the UNIX folks still have to deal with libc, X-Windows & NIS/YP and plenty of other 20+ year old cruft too, and there have been thousands of organisations involved in writing that aggregation of cruft down the years.

"But it seems to me that MS has a truly awe-ful edifice of code and dependencies to maintain."

It is strange that a vendor with many $bn's to spend on devs every year for the past 20 years has failed to address the legacy stuff on a platform that people buy primarily to run legacy software.

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Intel admits Skylakes can ... ... ... freeze in the middle of work

Roo
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Windows

Re: BIOS?

From "PALcode for Alpha microprocessors", published May 1996:

"In some architectures, microcode handles these hardware functions, but

the Alpha architecture is careful not to mandate the use of microcode for

reasonable chip implementations."

Sigh... I quite liked PALcode...

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Roo
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Windows

Re: BIOS?

"It seems that the CPU makers are jumping on the same ship the OS makers have been on for years: "We push out the crap, and the customers find the bugs for free.""

Loading microcode at boot up isn't a new thing, one of the steps of booting a VAX-11/78x was loading the microcode... The microcode was even documented so you could cook up your own - and some people did. Note: VAXen weren't the only big iron boxes that loaded ucode at boot time. :)

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Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

Roo
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Windows

"Boozing definitely isn't safe if your pints are the colour shown in that photo"

Agreed, that's a terribly vulgar way to consume vast quantities of Absinthe.

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ISPs: UK.gov should pay full costs of Snooper's Charter hardware

Roo
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Windows

Re: Open Government... Ha!

"Final thought: even if The Committee were to rebut my allegation convincingly, it looks as if they're engaged in news management. To what democratic purpose?""

I doubt the rules are specific to that Committee, and I can think of a few cases where submissions may hold sensitive information that should be kept private (eg; if a committee were discussing ongoing criminal investigations).

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