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* Posts by AlanS

38 posts • joined 28 Oct 2010

'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

AlanS

“Incidents and intelligence go unreported every day": do they have a crystal ball?

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The Schmidt hits the clan: Google chief mauls publishers' 'abuse of dominance' claims

AlanS

Re: Gateway to the Internet

I used to use Altavista and Yahoo in preference to Google, as they seemed to have better indexes for Britain. Then Google caught up and they are nowhere. I'm not bothered by targeted ads as 99% of my searches are for information, and for my (few) usual purchases I go direct to the company.

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Net tech bods at IETF mull anti-NSA crypto-key swaps in future SSL

AlanS
Facepalm

The only surprise is ,,,

why this isn't done already. When I first learnt about DH negotiation, years ago (some TV programme on how GCHQ had invented RSA before RSA), I assumed all connections used DH for the initial (quick) link and then negotiated something better.

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BBC hacks – tweet the crap out of the news, cries tech-dazzled Trust

AlanS
Holmes

W1A is a documentary

I listen to the World Service by preference as I find Radio 4 too London-focused; it used to be news bulletins with selections from BBC Radio features, but the features have been cut and the extra 'news' is full of opinions/feelings.

4
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OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts

AlanS
Boffin

The problem isn't C

It's the spec. At this point we have a binary blob of known length B. The spec says the blob has a header byte, a two-byte payload length P, and some unspecified data which must be echoed. The intent is that the transfer mechanism can add padding so that B >= P+2+1 but there's nothing in the wire protocol to ensure this. The fault is not checking that P is appropriate to B and could occur in any language; other languages with bounds checking have been suggested in other threads but you still need a constructor - if the implementer uses "byte data[P]" rather than "byte data[B-2-1]" you have the same bug. Further, with hindsight you should use [min(P, B-2-1)] but would you think of that first?

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USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

AlanS

don't forget Amazon

I locate the two small springy things: on my phones and tablet, they are inserted upwards, on the Kindles the other way.

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AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'

AlanS

I'll stick with Sudoku on my phone.

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Wookiee! CHEWIE'S BACK in Star Wars Ep VII – blab Hollywood 'sources'

AlanS

Leia and Luke are siblings...

offspring of original stars Han Solo AND Princess Leia, OR Luke Skywalker.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

AlanS

Re: Things change: Ireland

I played Dromoland Castle golf course some years ago (you may remember it for the Pro/Celebrity TV programme over Christmas/New Year - which is why I wanted to play it). The original 9 holes were built in the days of yards, the second 9 in metres; the distance markers were accordingly in a mixture of metres (new holes) and yards (old). Problem: the tees and greens have since been moved and 1. not all the markers have been updated and 2. some of the 'old' markers are now on 'new' holes and vice versa; you really must use your eyes or be 30 yards wrong into the green!

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AT&T and Netflix get into very public spat over net neutrality

AlanS

Re: Cable/Fixed line telcos are all trying it on

Nationalise all telcos? Look up Britain's General Post Office/Post Office Telecommunications/British Telecom for an example. When I was at uni in the early '80s, we weren't allowed to run a network link between two adjacent buildings: it had to be run to a junction box half a mile away and then back again, by BT engineers, and took months. Good of the nation?

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Hey 4G bods: We need to make 'phonecalls' with our 'voices', too

AlanS

Re: Personally...

On the other hand, I moved off 3 because of its 3G: my phone insisted on trying to keep a 3G connection, just in case I wanted to switch to video, and voice calls were often dropping out during the conversation. This is Cambridge, the supposed heart of "Silicon Fen".

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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

AlanS
Holmes

Personal anecdote of no evidential worth

I have just been away for two weeks with my phone (HTC1X), my tablet (Nexus7) and my Kindle. My problem wasn't chargers, but wall sockets! I survived by plugging in my laptop (Lenovo 3000 N100: old but v.good screen), then using three USB-to-mUSB cables at once, remembering to insert into the Kindle other-way-up.

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'Weird' OBJECT, PROPELLED by its OWN JETS, spotted beyond Mars orbit by Hubble

AlanS
Holmes

Hot ice

It's in a vacuum, weightless, and it sublimes quickly.

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Cash-blackhole Twitter will shower itself in gold by 2015, investors told

AlanS
Thumb Down

I had hoped that EBITDA had been exposed by the last dotcom crash as a useless method of valuing a company!

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Firefox OS update adds performance, polish to Mozilla's webby mobes

AlanS
Pint

Re: No MMS?

I rarely use MMS ... because of the cost! I've had phones with O2, 3 and Vodafone and they all charge approx US$1 per photo. Better to wait for a WiFi signal and email.

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HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE

AlanS

Vodafone

Last time I flew from Goa I forgot to switch my phone off, and arrived at Heathrow to a text saying "Welcome to Vodafone Turkey"!

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World's richest hobo (Apple) has worked 'tax-free' in Ireland since '80s

AlanS
Happy

Re: Research is needed

I prefer Antigua. The wind can be cold on Jamaica's north shore...

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Retailers: You could get the chance to TEAR UP Penguin ebook contracts

AlanS
Angel

Re: Price Fixing?

"chosen by Amazon to gain the most money for Amazon whilst crushing publishers and authors"

No: Amazon are prepared to take a small slice, wishing the pie to grow. Apple wanted a large slice for its iBooks so the publishers had to sell to Apple at a higher price than to Amazon, just to maintain their income. The MFN clause meant that the publishers would automatically stop selling cheaper books to Amazon => the pie doesn't grow &/or the customer loses.

Declaration of interest: I do have a Kindle but buy many of my books as EPUBs (not from Amazon) so I can emend the worst typos and then convert to MOBI.

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If Google got a haircut, a tie and a suit, would it be Microsoft?

AlanS
Linux

Re: AC @ 12:49 - Google vs Microsoft

The key was that IBM published the technical specifications of the IBM PC, just as they did for their larger, more expensive, products. That openness allowed other companies to supply add-in boards and peripherals that IBM did not supply, and when the BIOS was cloned, complete compatible systems could be produced.

As a *nix-based Brit, I do not know the exact details of MS's behaviour from personal experience, but the gist seemed to be 1. they promised system producers to undercut the prices of their OS competiors and 2. they would supply MSDOS even cheaper, if the manufacturers didn't offer a competing OS at all. This uncompetitive behaviour was eventually stopped, but too late for the competition.

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Rivals to Brussels: Google labelling its own stuff won't help us

AlanS
Big Brother

Re: Build it and they will come

Upvoted: I was the same ... I started with Altavista (work related), moved to Yahoo! as its UK index was better for my searches (holiday related), and then Google appeared, better all round. As to its use of my data to produce targeted ads, it's not very good at it! Big Brother: asleep on the job.

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UN telecoms talks FOUNDER as US, UK, Canada and Aussies quit

AlanS
Alert

Re: Dont dis Round the Twist

Hands off PrisonerCBH!

(I also Have fond memories of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.)

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How talent-spotting boffins help Team GB bag Olympic gold

AlanS
Thumb Up

RE: UN Security Council

I vote for that: the French wouldn't!

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Party like it's 1999: CDE Unix desktop REBORN

AlanS
Paris Hilton

Fond memories!

10 years ago I used mainly Sun and HP machines under CDE. When I had to install software on Apple Mac or MS Windows machines, they were so clumsy by comparison.

Paris, 'cos she's an icon.

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Million-plus IOPS: Kaminario smashes IBM in DRAM decimation

AlanS
Holmes

You get what you pay for, and you DO pay!

A minute with my phone's calculator shows that a DRAM array of the same size as the disks costs over $110 million, almost exactly thirty two times as much.

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Windows 8 'bad' for desktop users - Gartner's one-word review

AlanS
Paris Hilton

Re: ok

I use Unix for work, Linux for pleasure, but I can usually help people when they want advice on their MS or Apple machines, even though that may be my first exposure for weeks. If a knowledgeable user can't find something, he's probably not going to roll out an office-full.

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Dutch payment-by-bonkers bonk payments on the head

AlanS
Happy

Re: I have a bad feeling about this.

Google have had my number for three years (in case I need a password reset or similar) and they have never spammed me.

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British Gas bets you'll pay £150 for heating remote control

AlanS
WTF?

Would this be the BG who want me to buy a new boiler, thereby saving at least £100 pa on gas, but then they would charge me £135 for its annual service?

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Post-pub nosh deathmatch: Haggis pakora v huevos rancheros

AlanS
Mushroom

Huevas Ranchero: fond memories

Some 20 years ago, I was sent to California to debug someone else's code for a Data General machine (Eclipse IIRC - different numbers for byte or word addressing was the problem). I used to have Huevos Ranchero at my hotel for breakfast, but it also came with chilli beef and refried beans! It set me up for the day of fighting this stuff which was lucky to run on any machine...

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Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

AlanS
Thumb Up

Re: Horror of horrors

I not only agree so that I upvoted your comment, I compliment you on the correct use of apostrophes!

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US culture to spread worldwide by means of Kindle, not iPad

AlanS
FAIL

Re: How much greasing was required here.

It's locked in that the MOBI files you buy from Amazon are locked, but there's millions of free ones out there, and Calibre will convert EPUBs as required. The battery life is the killer: upwards of a week for me and I read a lot! Tablets can't touch that.

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People-powered Olympic shopping mall: A sign of utter tech illiteracy

AlanS
Pint

Re: Crichton

I enjoyed the chivalry-and-swords one so much that I bought the DVD.

Beer because it's a sunny Sunday afternoon ... guess where I'm going next!

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Fastest-ever hydrocarb scramjet hits Mach 8, doesn't explode

AlanS
Pint

Re: Backward step

The point of hydrocarbon fuel is its energy density: more per tankful. It is easily synthesised from water and atmospheric carbon dioxide - plants do it all the time.

Beer ... because it contains a hydrocarbon!

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Apple, publishers and ebook pricing – what does it all mean?

AlanS
Devil

Digital Research

If I recall correctly, the nub of the MSDOS v DRDOS case was that MS i. promised to undercut whatever DRDOS quoted and ii. would charge even less if the OEM didn't offer DRDOS at all. Unsurprising that Digital Research lost and that prices then rose.

As ebooks go, Apple can still compete if Amazon price aggressively; what they cannot do is cream their normal 30% off the top.

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Googorola's desire for iPhone royalties will upset Apple cart

AlanS
Thumb Down

Italy?

It's Apple being fined there ... charging extra for legally mandated stiff, IIRC.

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ICANN responds to smut portal antitrust lawsuit

AlanS
Facepalm

Surely ".isapaedo"

Or do people do peas?

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P2P veterans sue the Cloud ... for copying their stuff

AlanS
Paris Hilton

Virtualisation patents?

I was working with VMs on IBM kit 30 years ago. Any patents they have must be of fine details, easily worked round, or fail because of prior art. Though Texas courts seem lenient with patent holders...

Paris? Just because I can!

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Chinese state research unit pays $1,000 for USB stick

AlanS
Linux

About nine times??? Shirley not!

I have a 4GB stick (TDK) to backup my photos etc which cost less than $100, bought in Cambridge, England.

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Boffins mount campaign against France's official kilogramme

AlanS
Pint

MKS vs. CGS

An important difference between MKS and CGS is the unit of work. To raise perhaps 80kg by 1 metre in a 1g (10 m/s2) gravity field uses 800 Joules; in CGS, that is 80 million ergs, and that's only enough for me to get out of bed in the morning!

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