* Posts by Roo

826 posts • joined 21 Sep 2010

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Sly peers attempt to thrust hated Snoopers' Charter into counter-terror and security bill

Roo
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" Can't say I'm surprised to see Council Tax listed as one of the things they'll stop you leaving the country for, given they already charge you council tax for the period that you're in prison for failing to pay said council tax...."

I suspect an awful lot of old money would get clobbered by that process if it were to be applied universally, and I have no doubt that there will be a number of people who get have their travel restricted due to an administrative error or good old fashioned fraud... I suggest you hunt for an old school tie in your local charity shop before setting out for the airport. ;)

If this policy is administered badly enough the only people left in this country will be the poor & fraudsters...

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Panicked teen hanged himself after receiving ransomware scam email

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Re: @Roo - Wait a minute

"I think your Irony Detector isn't working..."

It's working fine, I was embellishing your post. :)

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Re: Wait a minute

"Well obviously the Security Services just need *MORE* snooping powers..."

Tell that to McKinnon et al.

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Re: Sad, and not good enough

"Well maybe his senior colleagues need to bloody well try harder, instead of wringing their hands and saying "oh what a pity"."

The fact that a detective can trot out this bullshit, yet we see plods track down folks who crack US Navy boxes with default passwords without breaking a sweat tells exactly how much his senior colleagues care about ordinary citizens.

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NSA: We're in YOUR BOTNET

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@ MB (Re: amanfrimmars1 No one should be surprised.)

" So you missed the bit where Communist Vietnam signed a trade deal with The Man waaaay back in 2001"

It appears that you are overlooking the 50+ years lost to weapons of mass destruction. Fair play to Vietnam though, they are making rapid progress.

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Re: TrustNo1

"But where do Alice, Bob and Carol fit in to all this?"

In this case you should be on the look out for Larry, Curly & Moe.

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Go Canada: Now ILLEGAL to auto-update software without 'consent'

Roo
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Who do I bribe ?

To have this law applied retrospectively after being forced into installing Windows Genuine Advantage in the UK ? :)

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CIA exonerates CIA of all wrongdoing in Senate hacking probe

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Re: Sir

"Shame we can't recreate Westminster on a small island and have him come back, to it, at night. Just leave a sign on the door saying we all emigrated."

That is an excellent plan, and probably a lot cheaper than Cameron's 24x7 surveillance society, and even better it respects human rights and doesn't willfully kill people. Cameron could learn a thing or two from swampdog - assuming of course that Cameron could take his head out of his rear echo chamber for 10 minutes or so and pay attention.

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Re: Bless

"You've really got to admire their cojones."

You don't have to be brave to take the piss when you know there will be zero consequences.

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MAINFRAMES are SO NOT DEAD: IBM's launched a new one

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Re: Burroughs beat IBM by over a year with the B5000.

"Computer scientists may wet themselves over clever architectures, but at the end of the day the IBM 360 was successful because it was affordable and there were programmers available"

"Affordable" as opposed to offering better price/performance ? :)

I suspect IBM's *existing* dominance in the market place, Lawyers, FUD and marketing muscle had a fair amount to do with 360's success. For folks to succeed in the face of that kind of opposition they need to offer a performance/price ratio that far exceeds other offerings (at least 5x better).

The B5000 was a cracking piece of work - it does make the opposition of the time look terminally retarded. I can't help but wonder if the industry as a whole would have been more productive over the past decades if something like B5000 had become ubiquitous. Even without IBM et al dominating it would have been tricky though - I think they would have had to have cannibalised their high margin business to do so - few companies are capable of biting that bullet. DEC actually started out by punting small low-cost machines, and they shipped the LSI11 (a 4 chip processor) in 1975 and followed up with the F11 (1979). Then they went backwards with the VAX-11/780 - they built it out of 74 series TTL and 'shipped' it in 1977. :(

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Re: After the election comment

"I have sent an email to the Office of the Prime Minister - I'm retired and they can't make trouble for my company - spelling out why their universal backdoor policy will not work and would in fact backfire on UK business"

You appear to be under the impression that the Office of the Prime Minister gives a toss.

In my experience when an outfit is going ahead with a blatantly stupid idea despite being given a metric shitload of reasons why it's stupid, the chances are you don't understand their goal. In this case the goal may well be totally insane from a rational proletariat point of view, but from the point of view of keeping Dave, his school chums and their sprogs in safe and in power forever it may make perfect sense.

Besides if they do destroy the UK, it's pretty easy to emigrate these days, even Idi Amin managed to retire somewhere sunny...

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"when this bleeder suddenly tries to take over the world you just open the window and shove her out, problem solved BOFH style!"

"Never trust a computer that's too heavy to lift" - can't recall where I first saw that one, but it has served me well. ;)

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Oracle data centre offers its back end to banking upstart

Roo
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Mortgaging your bollocks.

I struggle to see how handing your gonads over to Larry Ellison is a sound business decision. Were the non-exec directors sleeping off a huge lunch at the time that decision was taken - or had they already had their gonads removed ?

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Microsoft patch batch pre-alerts now for paying customers ONLY

Roo
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Re: foot shooting

"WIndows Phone 8.1 and Denim firmware update were promised for last quarter 2014 - so far it's only been put on new phones"

Microsoft do have some form in that particular area ...

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They haven't really thought this through have they ?

The third-party vulnerability reports will still be there for the public to peruse, but they won't be able to see if Microsoft has bothered to fix them now... I can't see how making Windows look like an abandoned legacy OS is going to help market share.

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US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

Roo
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Re: The "Real" Reason is......

That could well be true, but I don't see much of a reason for the plods to actually help cover that up, unless they are corrupt themselves of course... Nothing to hide, nothing to fear and all that. ;)

In essence it seems far more likely that the plods are simply refusing to play ball because they know they've been breaking the law/rules.

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Cryptowall's ransomware's tough layers peeled

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Re: Anti VM my foot

"An honest question - does it matter whether the share on the other machine is writable or not?"

If you're unlucky enough to be running NT3.51/4.x on your file server you could see compressed files on read-only shares get corrupted by clients attempting to write to them (same happened even if the files were also marked read-only on the read-only shares). They *should* have fixed that one by now, but I wouldn't bet my data on it. ;)

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Morgan Stanley fires rookie for stealing thousands of fat cats' financial files

Roo
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Confused.

That is so dumb I can't decide whether the crooks and/or financial institutions are getting dumber.

Curious to find out why this person chose to dox 350K clients.

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Snowden leaks lack context says security studies professor

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Re: Disagree

"Tapping fibre at the bottom of the sea? With robots or in scuba gear, through an armoured cable, and all without being noticed? And they didn't fuck up once and get caught? "

Err, the not getting caught thing would be quite easy, there's a lot of water to hide in out there. Also you seem to have overlooked the fact that submarine cables seem to break as a matter of routine and they are repaired by private companies. I can't see those companies saying no to getting paid for some lawful work.

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Re: worse @ streaky

"When all this comes to pass what do NSA/GCHQ do? Nothing - they effectively cease to exist because they have no real-world capability and all the money has to go where it should be going anyway, into humint."

The vast majority of that encrypted traffic will still be vulnerable - they can lean on certificate authorities, service providers (not just ISPs, folks like Google et al), and carry on with their man in the middle attacks. It's not rocket science.

The fact is mass surveillance has been their goal from the outset, they've spent a lot of money on it, they have the law on their side and they'll find a way and a lot more money to carry on doing it. As to why they are doing it, the hunting down criminals reasons don't make much economic sense to me unless they view the majority of the population as being criminals.

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GCHQ: We can't track crims any more thanks to Snowden

Roo
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Sure they're whinging about it...

But at the end of day there is absolutely zero evidence to support the idea that joe public's vote can stop them doing whatever they want however they want whenever they want.

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Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'

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"Criminals will always try to increase their power/wealth, and if they end up changing laws that affect millions, they do significant damage to society. The possibility of dropping on the end of a rope may make them consider something else."

- Like framing someone else for example.

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Heads up! If Tor VANISHES over the weekend, this is why

Roo
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Re: Roo Mephistro (@ Matt Bryant)

"Good point. Unfortunately, there seems to be a whole raft of reasons (Sony hack, Anonyputzs, Lizard Squad, Silk Road x.0, etc, etc.) for the authorities to seek to regulate the Web"

You shouldn't lay all the blame at the door of the lamers on this one.

The internet has always had a bunch of crackpots hell-bent on causing mayhem by accident or design, the difference now is that the internet is now critical to business. Therefore the government's tax revenues are now increasingly dependent on the internet working - so they have a strong incentive to crack the whip.

I think it's fair to say that rising of importance of the internet would have happened even without a single loon rampaging around the internet. I suspect that the Internet would be a lot less popular if it didn't have any loons rampaging around it.

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Re: Mephistro (@ Matt Bryant)

Nice to see you strutting your good stuff again Matt, nice choice of icons too.

I can't help but feel there may be a link to the DNS Root attacks and this TOR shakedown.

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VISC-y business: Can Soft Machines keep the free lunch counter open?

Roo
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Re: Writing parallel code doesn't have to be any harder than writing sequential code.

"But when you start talking about true parallelisation, with multiple threads working on the same data set, these approaches don't work. HPC code writers have struggled with this problem for many years."

I suspect that we're in violent agreement. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with respect to threads hammering away at some shared data.

The point I'm trying to make is that writing a bit of code to do something in parallel isn't hard in itself. In fact languages & tools that have a concept of parallelism make a lot of problems a lot easier to solve. :)

On the other hand breaking up the problem into nice discrete computational units that run nicely in parallel at run-time is hard. In essence I'm saying the mechanics of writing parallel code are actually straightforward, the most intractable bits lie in the logical domain.

With respect to VISC it is a step in the right direction, but AFAICT it seems to be rooted in the tightly coupled thread world. As you know component failure in a distributed system is almost guaranteed - and in the real world you usually have to share your system with other workloads at runtime, so what I would like to see this kind of tooling scale from threads on the same die right up to balancing multiple workloads on a few hundred racks. In my minds eye that magic toolset would stitches all the pieces together so a developer/ops/sa can take a kernel / dataset, move it around and refactor it to fit the hardware it's running on at run-time.

I know that does sound like a bit of wishful thinking, but many pieces of the puzzle have been done already over the past 30 years or so,

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Writing parallel code doesn't have to be any harder than writing sequential code.

VISC sounds neat, but at the end of the day it seems to be more concerned with scheduling instructions across a bunch of cores, and as such it's not going to make much more headway against Amdahl's Law. That said I do like the fact they're tackling the problem of fitting parallel code to the hardware at run-time, that is a problem that hasn't really been taken seriously enough in my view - but I think we really need to go a lot further than VISC to fix that one.

I take issue with this oft-repeated assumption that writing Parallel code is harder than writing Sequential code. If you're solving the same problem, the constraints are the same, so why should it be any more difficult ?

Case in point hardware engineers have been writing parallel code for years without making a fuss about it, their code tends to be a bunch of communicating state machines instead of a pile of if-then-else spaghetti. Sometimes it's actually easier to do a bit of parallel programming than shoe-horn the solution into a sequential straitjacket, the key is using the right tool for the job.

No doubt some people who have been burnt by threads are going to take issue with my stance on this topic. I have a clue for you guys: using a sequential language with threads is the problem - it's global variables all over again - but this time with multiple threads of execution hammering away at them.

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Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

Roo
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Re: Unixware

"I often wonder whether it would be possible to resurrect Unixware."

That is one of those things that may well be possible but is also dangerous, painful and ultimately unrewarding - I'd put it in the same category as going quail hunting with Dick Cheney. It looks as though you can still buy it, although I really struggle to find any upside to purchasing a neglected zombie cash cow.

"I would love to see a real genetic UNIX available again"

Depends on your idea of real I guess... I count the *BSDs as being more real UNIX than the various commercial hacks of SVR4 - but that is because I cut my teeth on SunOS and was then savaged by rabid Solaris boxes. Those boxes running early cuts of Solaris were so unreliable, and so badly set up that I concluded that they weren't running a UNIX.

Those scars linger on - as a result I still avoid SVR4 when given an option. :)

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We are never getting back to... Samsung's baking Apple's 14nm 'A9' chips?

Roo
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Re: @Roo

I wrote:

"You are making the (incorrect) assumption that Apple are the only people who want to make use of Samsung's fabs."

You replied:

"I'm making that correct assumption on the basis that Apple was reported in 2012 to account for 89% of Samsung's foundry business"

I think you missed the point... I'm saying the demand is there for that process regardless of whether Apple are using it or not..

FWIW iSuppli has Samsung ranked #2 by revenue from 2002-2013 (IDM & foundry), I guess we'll have to wait for the 2014 figures to see if A8X put a measurable dent in those figures.

You should keep in mind that Apple are still shipping a lot of Samsung chips in their gear that aren't A8X's - simply because they can't get enough volume from anyone else - which is not surprising given that Samsung has been #2 (second only to Intel) by revenue for over a decade.

Samsung would have more cause to worry if Intel+Micron managed to muscle in on the Apple business.

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Re: @Roo

"It is pretty obvious given the massive amount of capacity Apple was using. With an average die size of 100 mm^2, given the volumes of chips they'd be buying it is essentially the entire output of one modern fab. I saw figures suggesting that Samsung would drop to 30% utilization on their leading edge processes as a result of Apple ditching them for TSMC."

You are making the (incorrect) assumption that Apple are the only people who want to make use of Samsung's fabs.

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Roo
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"Just remember these are chips designed by Apple, not Samsung , they are only producing them off apples design."

Or to put it another way:

Apple design a core, copying the core design features from ARM's IP, and then pay someone else to make it for them because they don't have the ability to fab their own designs, unlike Samsung.

Apple have more than enough money to build a 14nm fab, there must good reasons why they have not gone that route yet... The usual reasons are lack of skills & thin profit margins. In Apple's case the latter won't apply - so that leaves lack of skill / technical ability as the most likely show-stopper.

It is sad that many of (superficially) technically literate posters seem to be completely unaware of how much skill, knowledge & effort goes into building & running fabs. I'm guessing none of them have ever actually made anything in the real world.

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Re: Ha-Ha!

"Samsung was left with a LOT of very underutilized fab space when Apple chose TSMC to make the A8 and A8X"

Got any figures to back that up or are you just guessing ?

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Disk areal density: Not a constant, consistent platter

Roo
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Re: Duh...

"This is all perfectly obvious. Why would anyone assume different?"

That was my initial thought - based on reading the manual for a CDC Wren hard drive.

However it is technically possible for a drive to handle a variable aerial density either through signal processing or adjusting the motor speed (Compact Discs have been doing this for donkeys years).

Varying spindle speed would probably be pretty dumb for random-access drives - so my money would be on varying bit rate to maintain near-constant aerial density. I have a feeling Fujitsu Eagles may have done that trick - but I could be confusing them with something else - it's been a long time since I delved into hard drive schematics. :)

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TALE OF FAIL: Microsoft offers blow-by-blow Azure outage account

Roo
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Re: Hmm... Whilst there is much that one can criticise Redmond for I have to say..............

"...........that their openness about what went wrong on this occasion is to be welcomed."

I'll second that, well played MS Azure folks.

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Why is ICANN rushing its 'UN 'net security council'? So it can be announced at Davos

Roo
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Re: Can someone interprete this to me like I'm 5 years old?

You can have a cynical view for nothing. :)

I read it as some people who have decided that they will get more out of life by ingratiating themselves with a bunch of very wealthy and powerful folks at a meeting in Davos. They are hoping to accomplish this coup by offering a service that caters to the demands of the wealthy and powerful folks in preference to paying attention to the needs of the proles.

They are actually proving themselves to be useful by sticking two fingers up at the proles and doing corrupt stuff like trying to appoint themselves permanent positions of power. A little bit like the WW2 Vichy government but without any notion of civic duty.

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Sony Pictures hit by 'fightback on filesharers' DDoS claims – report

Roo
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Re: Not what I have read..

"If I had attempted to rootkit the entire planet, pretty sure that I'd still have a stripy suntan today. AFAIK nobody from Sony was jailed."

It goes a bit further than that. Sony's actions and lack of response from the authorities is making the law look stupid. It shows that there is no point in abiding by the law because it is not being enforced where there is a large amount of harm done to a large number of people, and even worse it makes the police & judiciary look like a bunch of corrupt feckless numpties*.

*= I know that they aren't all corrupt feckless numpties - but it only takes a few to screw everyone.

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Re: No fan of Sony, but...

" I am not even sure that one can accuse Sony of faking anything - nothing that does not belong to them, at least. "

By that logic it's open season on Sony's publishing operations (incl. websites) seeing as they occasionally infringe copyright. The fact is Sony don't own the servers, the storage or the pipes that stuff is traveling along, they would just be another bunch of self-righteous wanker script kiddies if they decided to do a bit damage.

Oh they've root-kitted millions of PCs already you say ?

Case closed.

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Surprised Sony refused to comment...

Usually PR hacks are only too happy to assure the general population that they're doing nothing illegal - why the reluctance to whitewash their name today ?

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Roo
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This will be lost in the tide... But here goes...

Reg, that reformatting effort was very, very brave.

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'Critical' security bugs dating back to 1987 found in X Window

Roo
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Re: No worries...

"Exactly Stuart. It's impossible to look 30 years into the future and predict anything*, let alone what part of your code may be exploited."

Let's be honest... You don't need a crystal ball to tell you that it's bad practice to try and dereference a pointer that *may* be invalid.

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Identity thieves slurp Sony Pictures staff info – as CEO sends 'don't sue me, bro' memo

Roo
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Re: Money, and only money, talks

"Take a look at Sony's stock this week. Barely a dip (http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/stock/stockprice.html)."

They just lost a ton of IP and confidential info, and it appears that the market has priced that IP at ~$0. Sony, f.off and root yourself.

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Black Helicopters

Re: just a thought or two.

"Nation state or criminal group ( and unless people have been living under a rock, yes, there are a couple out there that are just as sophisticated as quite a few Intelligence Agencies...) , this has been a big one, and the current broohaha is only the first chapter in the book."

Interesting hypothesis. I hereby award you an up-vote and a Black Helicopter !

I'm going to see if I can find my copy of Burning Chrome. ;)

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"There is much we cannot say about our security protocols for obvious reasons,"

Let me guess, their "security protocols" amount to security by obscurity...

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Roo
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Re: @Chris W Haven't we been here before @tnovelli

"Excellent point. If I want a motor bike I don't start with a Cervelo racing cycle, bolt on a load of home made parts, end up making 10 different versions of it then claim they're all an Harley Davidson."

No, instead you pay for Microsoft's hacked up pseudo-Harley that's constructed out of an unholy mixture of obsolete high mileage used parts dating back to the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, all lashed together with spit, bailer twine. The ECU is sealed inside a big wodge of epoxy resin - which is a bummer because it fails frequently, and can only be fixed by the single main dealer that is on the other side of the Earth.

The manufacturer doesn't do recalls, instead they break into your garage on a Tuesday to add some new bits. This is a mixed blessing because sometimes the pseudo-hog won't be in working condition afterwards - and it will still look, smell and sound like a scrapyard has crapped on your garage floor. Lots of people like these pseudo-Harleys, and some of them feel very superior bumbling along in the slow lane, but at the first sign of rain or a pothole they end up on the hard shoulder crying for assistance. :)

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Roo
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Re: Hmm. Geany could be worth a look...

"At the moment I have to import half of KDE into Mint to get Kate up and running... looks like Geany has the same general philosophy."

FWIW I found it to be very quick and easy to download & build Geany on Mint Debian Edition (MATE desktop already installed). Geany starts up instantly and it does just enough to help but not too much to be awkward. It's simplicity & speed remind me of the old Borland ASCII IDEs, while it brings modern 'features' like auto-completion (which isn't as clever as Eclipse or Visual Studio - but works very well for me).

I think everyone should give it a go and if they don't like it they haven't wasted money or filled their hard drive with IDE or wasted 2 hours of their lives installing it. :)

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UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Roo
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Re: I'm confused...@Ledswinger

"Rover Group and Marconi?"

Good guess & 50% right. :)

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Re: I'm confused...@Ledswinger

Sadly the facts behind the demise of Exhibits A & B won't change however many times my observations are downvoted. I wish it were otherwise because there was some good engineering and good people done in those places, the result was a terrible waste of potential. :)

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Re: I'm confused...@Ledswinger

"There arent many UK multinationals left because bleeding heart liberals like you have voted in morons like Gideon, who tax them to death to support all the vote buying handouts they give to layabouts and goodfornothings."

The ones that died while I was paying attention went tits up under the allegedly "business friendly" reign of the Conservatives. In my career I worked for two British multi-nationals, in both cases the tax bill failed to kill either of them. Like many of their contemporaries they were mismanaged into the ground or simply starved of working capital by lenders - then split up and asset stripped so that the management and bankers could make a tidy wedge while the grunts were left to try and reclaim their unpaid wages at the tax payer's expense.

In the case of Exhibit A they were unable to secure a relatively small amount of cash from lenders to develop their next gen products - so they sat on the sidelines for 5 years or so while the competition streaked ahead - unable to raise the enough money from falling sales and margins... Exhibit B's demise was triggered by a major cheese deciding to redirect a ton of company money from R&D into spaffing money on investments which tanked, and then to make it all better they borrowed a ton more money and spaffed it on more investments which also tanked...

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Brits conned out of nearly £24m in phone scams IN ONE YEAR

Roo
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3xLosses in just one year ?

Is that because the banks/police are giving 3x as much of a toss about it as last year ?

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Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Roo
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Re: "necessary or appropriate"

There is an upside to systematic abuse of this law, it would render a huge amount of legislation null and void, and as a result put some lawyers out of work. :)

Joking aside though the judiciary may as well throw out the rule books now. Pointless having them exist beyond the convincing the masses that justice is done now, and even that could be handled by Judge Judy re-runs.

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

Roo
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FAIL

Re: Been in the museum where they have this object

"Er...State Control is a LEFT wing Socialist concept. Far Right Wing attitudes are libertarian, and 'social control rejecting'."

Using left and right to characterize political/social policy is pointless. You have no point, and you don't even get a down vote because it would be as pointless as your post. ;)

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