* Posts by Pen-y-gors

1001 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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Chat app WhatsApp gift-wraps free yaps for Apple iPhone saps

Pen-y-gors
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Why would it upset the telcos?

Okay, they won't make money on voice calls, but remind me - doesn't VOIP need an IP connection to send VO? And who are we paying money to for a data connection? Fine if you're in WiFi range, but someone is still being paid to transmit that data...

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Android mobe biz OnePlus goes to the dogs - or maybe cats

Pen-y-gors
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Re: 4G coverage

actually all networks, all phones...

Try looking at a 4G coverage map of the UK for any network - vast swathes without any 4G - places which are the best part of 100 miles from the nearest 4G reception. It would be oh so nice if the networks got their act together and tried extending coverage beyond the huddled masses of the cities. It's really not fair - how are the urban yuppies going to cope when they leave their safe, warm, cosy urban pad and head off to their country cottage for the weekend?

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Huawei P8: Chinese mobes have arrived and the West should tremble

Pen-y-gors
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Can't disagree

Got a OnePlus One a couple of months ago: 3GB RAM, 64GB Storage, excellent screen and camera, £279! Seriously ace bit of kit. Never mind trembling, the 'competitors' might as well go and open a vein (with a gold-plated razor blade in Apple's case)

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You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Looking forward to...

And a large poster by the entrance giving directions to the nearest branches of three other supermarkets.

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WORLD+DOG line up to SLAM Google after anti-trust case unveiled

Pen-y-gors
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I must be missing something

If I search Google for "left-handed underpants" I get a list of results which shows websites mentioning that term. There are also adverts at various places on the page, clearly marked. At the top is a box clearly marked 'Sponsored' and 'Buy left-handed underpants at Google'.

What's the problem? Giving lists of websites for search terms is what Google does. There are adverts in a prominent position which pay for my search. How else does the Commish expect Google to earn any income?

If I search the Marks and Spencer website for "left-handed underpants" I would be quite happy if the M&S own-brand ones come at the top of the results list. If I open a copy of the free Co-op magazine and see adverts on the front page for co-op products, what is wrong with that? Why is Google to be treated any differently to other businesses? It's their website.

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Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

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That time arrived many years ago. I registered an extra domain and now have a different e-mail address for every activity (e.g. tesco@fec-off.org.uk, stalkerbook97@fec-off.org.uk) - well worth the few quid a year that a domain costs.

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Google’s plan for WORLD DOMINATION takes shape. And it begins with a patent

Pen-y-gors
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Patents? Pah!

Why do you think that the great Robotic Overlords will take a blind bit of notice of your weak and feeble human patents? If they want to do something, they WILL!!!!

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Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

Pen-y-gors
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Algol you fools!

Without Algol, where would we be now?

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National Grid's new designer pylon is 'too white and boring' – Pylon Appreciation Society

Pen-y-gors
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Re: I think we have to ask ourselves two questions

@fartinghippo

<pedant mode on>

I think you'll find that a decent pie-chart has absolutely NO intersections.

A Venn diagram, on the othe rhand...

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: White pylon

@Ledswinger

And don't forget, nuclear is the power that keeps on giving. Our great-great-great-grandchildren will be able to shovel a couple of kilos of nuclear waste into their hot water bottle and keep the bed warm without wasting any hot water.

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Google: Give us cash or we'll poke YouTube ads into your eyeballs

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relevant ads...

Relevance is very important. I get somewhat miffed with the ads on Spotify. I don't object to ads per se, after all they do have to get the money to pay a pittance to the artists from somewhere, but why can't they find some relevant ads? If I'm listening to a load of odd classical and celticy folk music, why would they ever think I might be interested in some total crap aimed at the tone-deaf yoof market? Surely if they offered appropriate ads I might be more inclined to click on them, and they could then charge more for the ad spot.

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Toyota Yaris Hybrid: Half-pint composite for the urban jungle

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I'm not convinced...

I think I sort of understand the idea of a hybrid - charge up the electric for pottering to and around town, but have the petrol hybriddy bit so that you don't run out of oomph after 50 miles and can actually drive to Scotland and back. It makes a certain sense, and that could justify the cost of having an 'engine' that's a lot more complicated than leccy only or petrol only.

As I said, that sort of makes sense. But an electric range of ONE MILE???? WTF are they thinking of?

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RAGING Google SLAPS naughty Chinese root cert kingpins CNNIC

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Not entirely unreasonable

And, given the apparant way that the Chines govt is using the great Firewall to add malware (the Github DDoS js code) to various files coming from chinese servers, there's a strong case for Google to flag all websites served from behind the Firewall as likely to contain malware. Visit anything.cn at your own risk!

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El Reg lays claws on RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

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I am a bear of very little brain...

but what is behind the strange standard of

"send messages of 340 bytes and receive messages of 270 bytes "

I'm sure there's a very good reason why you can send messages which will get the last 70 bytes chopped off, but off-hand I can't think what it might be. No doubt someone who eats lots of fish will be able to enlighten me.

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Pre-Snowden NSA grunts wanted to nix phone spying: report

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Convenient Escape

"Nor do we know if Congress is rational or just flat out of their minds"

Actually, I think we all know the answer to that one. And if you change Congress to Parliament you get the same answer.

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Pen-y-gors
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Poor Oisin

It's all a bit of a balls-up: El Nob Grande is a total prat, but I do wonder if things could have been sorted out with an offer of grovelling apology and considerable financial compensation from JC.

The way it's going now, there will be no more Top Gear, The Beeb will be out of pocket to the tune of £50m a year, May and Hammond will also be out of a job, and, most ironic of all, so probably will be Oisin.

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LOOK OUT, Brits – is that a Facebook LASER-GUN drone above us?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Thanjkfully...

I don't think the average Chinook can fly at 60-90,000 feet, so very, very little risk of collision.

Shotguns aren't much use at that height either. You're going to have to use a laser-equipped LOHAN.

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How a hack on Prince Philip's Prestel account led to UK computer law

Pen-y-gors
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New laws?

"It is a precedent in English criminal law that new laws will not be considered unless existing law is shown to be inadequate,"

Oh yes? Could someone explain that to the current crop of ministers (Con, Lab and Lib) who seem to write new laws in response to every headline in the Daily Fail, regardless of whether there are already perfectly effective laws on the Statute Book (just ones which the Peelers can't be arsed to enforce.)

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BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

Pen-y-gors
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Free market?

"Vodafone, Sky and the other ISPs and telcos, which have to buy services from BT."

I don't think they HAVE to buy services from Openreach. No-one's stopping them laying their own cable and setting up their own network and exchanges, it's just none of them seem very keen to do it. Can't think why.

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IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

Pen-y-gors
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I have a cunning plan...

Has anyone thought that this might actually be a cunning ploy by someone in the US 'security' industry? Basically a honeypot to lure out would-be jihadi-kiddies by suggesting some nice tempting targets, who are in fact armed and ready. Excellent way to uncover the ones who aren't already on the radar, and being ignored.

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Millions of voters are missing: It’s another #GovtDigiShambles

Pen-y-gors
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NI numbers?

What the fec has an NI number got to do with voting registration? Or passport number?

NI numbers are issued to working people to allow certain benefits, pensions and tax to be processed. That's it. They have no validity for anything else, and it's wrong to ask people for them for anything else.

Ditto passport numbers. A passport is issued to allow the holder to enter the country, or to enter another country. That's it. They have no validity for anything else, and it's wrong to ask people for them for anything else.

There is some serious mission creep here. It's nearly as bad as the government requiring us to provide details to them to register a vehicle, and then selling that personal infoirmation to anyone who asks for it. It's wrong.

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Taylor Swift snaps up EVEN MORE pr0n domain names

Pen-y-gors
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Emma Chisit?

Anyone know how much .pr0n domains will cost for everyday amateur buyers?

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Everything is insecure and will be forever says Cisco CTO

Pen-y-gors
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Re: His view

True, things could be very secure, but not completely secure. Even if people could be persuaded to pay extra for very secure, and to wait for the extra time it takes to develop and test 'very secure', there would still be holes.

We still need to develop a culture that accepts that security breaches will happen, in the same way that houses will catch fire or get flooded. We need to work to minimise the chances of it happening, but we also have to develop and implement systems and procedures to minimise the damage when it does, inevitably, happen.

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Mature mainframe madness prints Mandlebrot fractal in TWELVE MINUTES

Pen-y-gors
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Dot matrix? Pah!

Modern stuff!

Real mainframes used the old line printers, with individual sets of characters on a band that went round and hit the paper like a typewriter letter. From what I remember when we used them on an IBM 370/148 they did about 600 lines per minute. The technology was handy for doing multiple copies as we had lineflo paper with carbon paper interleaved.

A colleague had worked for the Gas Board as an operator some years before, and one of their people had realised that if you printed certain combinations of characters repeatedly you got different sounds from the printer as the bands vibrated. They then worked on the details, and soon had a set of cards ready which, when run, got the printer to play the National Anthem.

I believe that was the same colleague who had a problem one day: the bosses were bringing important guests to see their ultra-modern machine room, but complained afterwards that it had been very dull and boring - they were all just sitting around doing nothing. Of course they were actually in the middle of a long billing run, and the numbers were being crunched. So before the next official visit they prepared a program which they ran as soon as the visitors were spotted: it suspended the real job, and then started lights flashing, printer lids going up and down, tapes rewinding and unmounting etc etc. Not exactly productive, but it impressed the hell out of the visitors!

Ah, the joys of real computers!

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Home Office splashed £35m trying to escape e-Borders contract

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Henry VI part II, Act IV Sc 2 line 77

£34.6 million is the equivalent of 1300 people on UK average salary for a year. Which is either a hell of a lot of research or some very over-paid lawyers.

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Are you clever enough, and brave enough, to give a Register lecture

Pen-y-gors
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Not sure about the IT angle but...

I can do an hour or two on the economic impact of lead-mining in 19th century Cardiganshire (the book will be out in a few months, and it would be nice to have a nationwide book-signing tour that goes further than the local bookshop)

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

Pen-y-gors
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Policies aren't the important bit

UKIP may well have some sensible policies (it would be difficult not to accidentaly let one or two sneak through in the middle of the batshit crazy ones) Problem is the party is full of stupid, pig-ignorant, racist bigots, who couldn't be trusted to implement any policies, sensible or not.

A word of advice: even if they have a policy of creating global peace, the elimination of disease and hunger, and education for all, don't vote for someone who is frothing at the mouth and wearing his or her underwear on their head.

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Yahoo! wheels! out! password! on-demand! service! for! simpletons!

Pen-y-gors
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So...

If you've got a wifi connection, but no phone signal, you can't get at your e-mail. Hmmm, sounds really helpful

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Zuck: Get your FULLY EXPOSED BUTTOCKS off my Facebook

Pen-y-gors
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Tricky

There are already a lot of photos of complete arses on Facebook - will they have to be removed?

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Google gives spit n' polish to world's most expensive Chromebook

Pen-y-gors
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Ah, but...

does it come in gold?

No? Not interested....

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Going on holiday? Mexico wants your personal data

Pen-y-gors
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Simple solution

well, two simple solutions.

1) airlines stop flying to/from Mexico

2) Airlines stop asking for all that information. Outsource the whole booking process to another company, who just tell the airline that seat C6 on flight FU999 is booked by the person with boarding pass GG5491066, who wants kosher food. Base the outsourcing company somewhere with really, really tough data protection laws, and delete all the flight info once the plane has landed safely. Passenger shows passport to emigration officer at the gate.

But I'm sure our freedom and privacy-loving goverbments would find a good way to block that.

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Google's chief finance officer quits to go backpacking

Pen-y-gors
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Glasshole?

I would think being forced to wear a pair of turquoise Google Glasses would actually be grounds for a constructive dismissal case.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Pen-y-gors
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Missing the point here

Real computers that are going to be actually used by real people need to connect to things.

But gold Macs are not meant to be used by real people: they're meant to be seen. They'd still sell with no USB ports, no RAM and no CPU.

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Pro-ISIS script kiddies deface Dublin Rape Crisis Centre site

Pen-y-gors
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Ah, wonderful, wonderful, Wordpress...

And my customers still seem surprised when I try and persuade them that they really, really don't want to use Wordpress to build a quickie website.

A few more examples like this will hopefully help to convince them.

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Bulk comms spying is not mission creep, insists UK foreign sec

Pen-y-gors
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Reasonable access?

"Hammond said there will always be a tension between giving agencies reasonable access to information and the legitimate concern of law-abiding people to protect their private communications."

No there won't. No argument with giving them 'reasonable access' with proper judicial oversight. The tension arises when they take, or the government gives them, totally UNreasonable, indiscriminate, uncontrolled, unregulated access.

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Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

Pen-y-gors
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Very interesting but...

But rather large. Smartphones fit in pocket/handbag. TREWgrip doesn't. If you've got room in your bag for one of these, you've probably got room for an 11" notebook with real keyboard anyway.

Yes, handy for people who need to type standing up, but that's about it.

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BACK OFF, spooks: UK legal hacking code should be 'resisted at all costs' says lawyer

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Will the spooks be surprised ..

and another (verified) story: soldier's letter was intercepted and appeared to be in code. Sentenced to be shot as a spy. At last minute visiting officer sorted things out - letter was in Welsh!

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Elon Musk insists Gigafactory's ALL GO as China charging fears hit Tesla shares

Pen-y-gors
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Hurry, hurry, hurry...

Gigafactory up and running and producing lots of Li-ion batteries in 2020? Better hurry up:

Interesting article on physorg last week...

Na-ion batteries get closer to replacing Li-ion batteries

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Smažený sýr

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Re: Question..q

I wondered that...cheese A seems to have disappeared in the step-by-step

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WHY are GoDaddy and Verisign stockpiling patents? Do I smell war?

Pen-y-gors
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A patent on a Method of Communicating Information in Physical Form

1) a description of the information to be communicated is converted to a syllabic format.

2) a series of 26 symbols ('letters') is used to encode the sound of each syllable.

3) syllabic series are then combined into groups ('words') which are then combined on the basis of algorithms into a series of groups ('sentences').

4) Plant material is then prepared by boiling, chemical treatment, and pressure into large flat sheets of 'paper'.

5) The sequence of symbols created in step 3 is copied ('written') on to the 'paper' using a dark coloured liquid medium ('ink') and a pointed object designed to fit the human hand ('pen')

That's it. Please send 10% of the selling price of every collection of 'papers' ('book') to be at the usual address.

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East Timor was officially removed from the internet yesterday

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UK/GB

I'm confused..

"UK" (reserved by the United Kingdom, although its real code is "GB" for "Great Britain").

How can this be? The present political entity is the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland"

GB != UK If the 'real code' is GB where do the Six Counties of Norn Ireland go?

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Pen-y-gors
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You want a bigger picture?

Sit closer to the screen.

But having said that, a 152" monitor on my desk would be pretty awesome - not sure if the graphics card could drive it though.

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Elon Musk plans to plonk urban Hyperloop subsonic tube on California

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Secure transport system?

Presumably this will be called the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Passenger System - so we will finally see people being transported by HTTPS

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TalkTalk 'fesses up to MEGA data breach

Pen-y-gors
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Let's not jump to conclusions

Okay, it's great fun slagging off TalkTalk, 'cos they are pretty rubbish, but...

So far there's no evidence that they've been hacked or anything. The data that has allegedly been used could just as easily have been acquired by a more traditional, physical route. Perhaps a printed report of customer details in the TalkTalk accounts dept, that didn't get shredded after use, but instead found its way into the pocket of a dodgy junior member of staff, who then flogged it. Technically a security breach, but strip-searching all staff on the way out is probably overkill for a phone company.

Not all data breaches are down to clever hackers and security loopholes. They may well be in this case, but we don't know.

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Moto E 2015: The builder's cheapie gets a serious upgrade

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OnePlus?

It would be interesting to see what OnePlus could produce for the same sort of price. Got my new OnePlus One last week which manages to pretty well match the spec of just about any top-of-the-range £500 beast but for about £250.

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SkyProwler VTOL transformo-drone set to darken skies

Pen-y-gors
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Not coming to airspace near you

at least not anytime soon.

Don't get me wrong, it looks and sounds amazing, but 65mph, and a range of 43 miles, with a payload of 550g of semtex - I think our definitely-not-friends the jihadis will be queueing up to bulk buy them.

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Boffin: Use my bionic breakthrough for good, and not super cyborgs

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Hands? Pah! Kiddie stuff

News reports today

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530103.700-first-human-head-transplant-could-happen-in-two-years.html

about scientists planning full body transplants! Now THAT I want to see!

How would it work if they transplant a woman's head onto a male body, or vice-versa? Could be a whole terrifying future ahead - 80 year old man kills 20 year old to take their body and live for centuries.

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Win! Classic El Reg tees, plus something special for the weekend

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Quality control

Just make sure the goods are up to the rigours of actual use.

The transfer printing on my LOHAN mag is fading fast - at this rate it will be completely gone by the time our intrepid playmonaut lifts off! Most disappointing.

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P0wned plug-in puts a million WordPress sites at risk of attack

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Fundamental problems

Basic Wordpress is quite neat, but seriously dangerous in the hands of amateurs (i.e. 99% of Wordpress users). It's the insecure plugins that are the problem, as the article notes.

I had a couple of clients who were very keen to get their own Wordpress site up and running, and wanted hosting. My solution was to buy a separate reseller hosting package from 1&1 and ONLY use it for Wordpress. If any of the sites get hammered then hopefully they can't damage anything else. (and if they can get outside the boundaries of the reseller account that's 1&1's problem) Obviously I also warned the customers about unnecessary plug-ins!

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MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

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An alternative to TV

Buy a large goldfish tank - in the long run it may be nearly as expensive as a fancy TV, but it's a lot more soothing to watch.

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