* Posts by ShelLuser

1986 posts • joined 19 Dec 2010

Patch ASAP: Tons of Linux apps can be hijacked by evil DNS servers, man-in-the-middle miscreants

ShelLuser
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@doug

"You'd have to jump through a lot of hoops to build one these days if for some odd reason you wanted to."

What's so odd about it?

For example, FreeBSD has known the /rescue folder for quite some time now; it's basically a folder which is packed with statically linked binaries (from bzip2 to mount, sed and tar and a whole lot more) and the reasoning behind it is quite simple: if for some reason your libraries become unavailable (for example because of the /usr filesystem crashing, some installation going wrong or even a human error in removing the wrong file(s)) then you can always fall back to these tools.

I've never needed it myself so far, but I still think that there's nothing odd about the underlying philosophy.

If interested then the rescue(8) manualpage has more information on this.

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IP freely? Your VoIP phone can become a covert spy tool...

ShelLuser
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@Paul

"Clearly, telling people to use long, strong & unique passwords (alone) isn't enough. It's not beyond the realms of possibility to limit functionality *until* solid security practices have been followed; it's not much to ask."

It is. Whatever happened to someones own responsibility? I can counter this argument easily: Its also not beyond the realms of fairness to hold people accountable for their own actions. If they didn't do a proper job on setting up their environments and people abuse that because of negligence then the responsible people should be held accountable.

Sure; add a more secure system. Then what happens next if people simply opt to disable or change it and then add the easy passwords themselves? Then we're a few years ahead, a few years with plenty of abuse, and then we may finally come to a conclusion that those people who are negligent should have been held accountable.

This isn't simply spouting off, its based on facts. Small sidestep: take a look at SELinux, pretty much a standard in security on several Linux distributions. And which question has made it into their official FAQ? "How do I disable SELinux?".

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De-anonymising data should be a criminal offence, says MPs report

ShelLuser
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Act on abuse, but not pre-emptively

Rules, rules, rules... The problem with a lot of those rules is that they also harm innocent people who don't abuse whatever they're doing. Take a look at the definition: de-anonymising data; if I host a webserver and then check my visitor amounts and also check from which country each visitor originates then I'm more or less doing the same thing. After all: instead of working with a boring IP number I can now establish than the IP address represents someone from a specific country.

So it has become less anonymous. What was once an IP address is now a Brit, Dutchman or German.

I know I'm playing the devils advocate here, but when it comes to law enforcement then the law is taken to the letter of the word, not its intent. If de-anonymising becomes an offense then the same can be said about using log analyzers.

Or what about allowing someone to log on, and provide a way to place a cookie so that the next time they visit they can simply continue their session? That would also fall under this category.

What I'm saying here is: instead of trying to come up with dozens of new rules why don't we enforce the rules we already have instead? If someone abuses data which they obtained from the Net and intrude on peoples privacy then act on it. Surely the current laws allow for that already? You can't just invade someones personal life you know.

I think the real culprit here is effort. Its much easier to deny the whole thing, then simply don't act on those who aren't abusing it (even though they technically violate the rules) and act on those who do. But all that does is create a double standard. It might be easier on the government, but its also much less fair on the people who are affected by it.

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Women devs – want your pull requests accepted? Just don't tell anyone you're a girl

ShelLuser
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@Pascal

"I can't believe how stupid we still are."

That is of course assuming that the study results were on the mark, and I have some doubts. Because the part which I'm missing in this study is the quality of code sent in. It doesn't talk about code differences, only about profiles.

So couldn't it be possible that the ladies who shared more info on their profile also send in more crappy code?

Because that park irks me with studies like these: they draw conclusions (gender really matters in this case) without giving us the full picture. Unless they actually asked the project leader(s) for the reason of the code pull then they're in no position to draw conclusions like these.

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Offers? Opera's board likes Qihoo, says shareholders should too

ShelLuser
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Opera is definitely different ;)

I've been a happy SeaMonkey user for years now, I especially like the non-changing interface and the overall no-nonsense approach (as I tend to call it). I'm of course referring to the fact that SeaMonkey is not a browser which gets all sorts of stuff crammed into it which no one would really use.

However, last year I gave Opera (28) a try and I was pleasantly surprised with its speed and features. I especially liked the fact that it could import all my bookmarks from both Internet Explorer (which I used very sporadically) as well as SeaMonkey. Next I was happy to find out that most of the plugins which I liked having around on SeaMonkey were also available for Opera (here's looking at Adblock Plus for example) and slowly but steadily I've been using Opera quite often.

The features which I like best is the speed dial screen; this is an overview page which can contain bookmarks to often used sites, the easy to activate private mode, the extensive developers extensions / modes, the Opera services (news section) and the instant access to multiple search engines (with the ability to add more yourself); this is actually a Chrome feature. So say I want to search something on Wikipedia (English) I simply enter: "we <stuff to search>" and it'll fire up the search and show me the result page on Wikipedia. 'we' stands for 'wikipedia english' and its a search engine which I manually added.

I still keep SeaMonkey around because I also like that browser a lot, but the main browser so far has definitely shifted towards Opera.

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Ballmer schools SatNad on Microsoft's mobile strategy: You need one

ShelLuser
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Windows

Too little, too late!

If Ballmer thinks that Microsoft needs a mobile strategy then why didn't he set on up when he had the chance? I think this is a poor display on his part: it's always easy to comment on something with a little hindsight.

Yet when he was in charge he didn't exactly do that well either. Or was the enforcement of a mobile platform onto the desktop market (Metro, ugh, yuck, blech!) his idea of a mobile strategy perhaps?

With strategies like that, who needs competitors? ;-)

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Microsoft explanation for Visual Studio online outage leaves open questions

ShelLuser
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@al_langevin

"Has less to do with the cloud and more to do with developers writing crap Stored Procedures."

I disagree, it has everything to do with the cloud. Because all it does is create a single point of failure and the moment it goes awry many people get to suffer from it. And you see this issue all over the place...

"No, I don't need to backup my downloaded (bought!) products because I can always download them again".

Sure, until the moment when the companies website goes offline or whenever you need to do a re-installation without an Internet connection. Then it becomes a different issue.

"Who cares if this game needs to authenticate itself online?"

I do whenever I want to play it on my laptop without having an Internet connection. In fact; this goes for any kind of serious software. The moment an Internet connection is demanded then I'm really not that enthusiast anymore about its usage.

In the end it boils down to the simple strategy of not putting all your money on a single horse.

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Dutch govt says no to backdoors, slides $540k into OpenSSL without breaking eye contact

ShelLuser
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And yet another useless effort

Now, the funding of the OpenSSL project is a good one, though I can't help wonder if that money would have been better spend on trying to fix our own economy (when at least 5 large Dutch public shops and businesses which have been around for at least 30 years all go bankrupt under the reign of a certain prime minister then something is not going right here).

But in the end this whole encryption thing is kind of useless. Because we also have European laws to content with. And with that in mind I think the whole thing is a bit hypocritical. Because during the last European vote on encryption and backdoors our government voted in favor. So its kinda easy to try and make it sound as if they're now against the whole thing; especially since nothing they (can) do would change anything.

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Upset Microsoft stashes hard drive encryption keys in OneDrive cloud?

ShelLuser
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Facepalm

My gf is going to love this!

"While you're logged into your machine, your data is decrypted and accessible. If someone steals your PC or tablet, and they don't know your password, they shouldn't be able to get at your files because they can't decrypt them."

At this moment my Windows 7 PC has 3 main accounts: my own; passwordless and all, the 'root' account; renamed and password protected, and finally my girlfriends; she likes some kind of dynamic theme and different icons on the desktop. She doesn't use it often (when she's over she usually has her laptop with her and uses that) but even so...

Am I right to assume that in a regular situation this would result in my gf getting stuck whenever she tries to log on? I'd say that's one more compelling reason to stick with Windows 7 for now.

At the risk of bordering fanboyism but... If I want security then there's only one organization I'd put my trust in: The FreeBSD organization. It includes the best from Solaris (my all-time personally favored Unix environment), is run by a friendly, -mature- and reasonable organization and yah... It even supports using encrypted storage media.Of course without the quiet opt-out approach. And they don't want your keys either! :-)

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Chat messages in Skype for Windows are bang out of order – so here's how to 'fix' it for now

ShelLuser
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Re: In the long tradition of Microsoft, each release of Skype is worse

Same. I used to heavily enjoy MSN Messenger, and looking back part of that enjoyment came from the non-intrusive approach. Yes,there were advertisements and sometimes they were a wee bit annoying but nothing too intrusive as with Skype.

But the main problem for me was Skype itself. The moment I went to my Skype profile I saw half the page filled with advertisements. No, not 'spam' but Skype spam: "How to go premium" and "Why you should go Premium" (or something alike; I don't quite try to remember). I can understand that a free service wants me to pay, but I do not appreciate this kind of advertisement in something as serious as my settings page.

Because what's next? "Go Premium and then you can use these settings! ===>"? I went 'Premium' alright: purged Skype from my computer and in the rare event I do need it I'll simply use the web client on Outlook.com.

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Password-less database 'open-sources' 191m US voter records on the web

ShelLuser
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Has anyone besides the guy himself seen the proof?

So far I've heard a lot of noise coming from this guy but nothing substantial, other than "he said so", to back up his words. I'm reaching a point where I don't trust it anymore.

Thing is: have you, as an individual, ever tried to take down a confiscated server? When it's located in China or other "vague areas" then good luck to you because you won't succeed. Even if you try to contact the data center directly and provide them with all the proof they need then more than often the server will remain as-is. Heck; this also often applies to US and EU located servers.

Yet here is this guy who finds huge privacy sensitive databases, no one other than him seems to have had access to it, and when he's done the information is also gone. My other point: if the people behind it would want to spread this info then they'd have utilized torrent and other means which make it pretty much impossible to take it down. If they didn't want it to be found... Well, any idiot can set up a firewall these days.

My last point: with the recent "high end" hacks, I'm talking about the Sony PSN breach for example, anyone who dug a little deeper could find traces themselves. But the stuff this guy manages to dig up... Nothing. And what a coincidence that his own personal info was in this last find as well.

Yes, I am a little cynical, I know. But I've seen too many fake companies, and individuals, trying to make a name for themselves by simply fabricating stories. I've also seen television shows do this to demonstrate just how easy it is to become a "reliable source" of information (referring, for example, to "Neveneffecten", a Belgian TV show).

Note: I'm not claiming that none of it is true. But I do have some serious doubts here.

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Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

ShelLuser
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Problematic market...

I hold no grudge against any brand and I'm also not a fanboy of one, not even mine. I use a Windows Phone and although I enjoy using it I'm realistic enough to realize that it's hardly the best. However, I do worry a little about the market and the dominance on the market. Not from Apple, but from Google. Maybe unfounded, each to his own, but Google's intrusion into our everyday live worries me a little. Especially because they're doing everything they can to expand on that field as best as possible.

Sure; they're being open about it mostly, but the parts which they like to hide are also those which worry me. Especially because all the courtesy which Google seems to show us stops the very moment when someone has the nerve to pry on, discovers something weird and then asks them about it. Put differently: when you disagree with Google and speak your mind then will you discover just how cooperative Google is. Like those Android developers who didn't got paid and didn't got any responses from Google by e-mail. Resulting in their forum thread to get locked "Please send us an e-mail instead" and eventually it got purged from history alltogether.

As said I don't hold a grudge. Because in general Google does play a fair game. Control needs 2 sides afterall: controllers and people allowing themselves to be controlled. Which is exactly what is happening, and it's understandable too: I mean you'd be a fool if you didn't recognize Google's huge potential and the tremendous ease of use which they provide. I most certainly am not questioning that.

What I do question is the price we pay for all those goodies. Because if there's one thing which us geeks should know: digital freedom doesn't really exist. Most often there's some kind of price attached. A free download? Cool, but they "only" want your e-mail address. That's not free. A free to build and hosted website? Cool! Of course you will get banners and the domain name you get to use isn't yours either. That's not free.

To me the phone market is no different. Cool: when my phone gets stolen then Microsoft provides me with the option to remote-fry it (I prefer the term ghost-burn, from GiTS). But that comes with a price; they're into contact with my device the whole time and can get all sorts of info from it. Most of that is opt-in (so I'm led to believe) but how sure can you be?

And that's where I'm getting worried. Less players on the field means less competitiveness which means that the options for market dominance are much easier. Players simply agree to apply $unpopular_feature together and all the consumers can do is to accept it. Its not fully related but still comparable: XBox vs. Playstation. Playing multiplayer games on the Playstation was always free or charge, on XBox you always had to pay a fee. And so we've reached a point where none of them are free anymore. Microsoft and Sony dominate the market and thus they dictate the rules. All the more reason for me to postpone the idea of getting a PS4: instead I'm considering to get a gaming PC and then hooking that up to my TV.

Phone of the year? I'd say brand of the year and it can only be Android. I'm still using my Windows Phone and if the time comes then I'll definitely try to find something else which isn't Android. Not because I think Android is bad, quite the opposite, but because I think Google is way too intrusive.

Heck... My browser of choice right now is Opera, I know it's build upon Chromium which is basically the "Google Chrome do it yourself kit". And already some Opera users have noticed a few times that "weird connections" were made with Google's network. It never got confirmation but of course it does. I mean: you get to use the browser for free, but freedom in the digital world? Yeah right!

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Microsoft in 2015: Mobile disasters, Windows 10 and heads in the clouds

ShelLuser
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Windows

@Doctor

The urge for 'indefinite grow' is most certainly part of the problem, but it's not something exclusive to Microsoft. Microsoft's real problem is their outdated and plain out dangerous business model. They still operate as if they can dominate the market, just look at the way they're trying to push Windows 10 down our throats. But instead of dominating they're fracturing. And they do this on all levels. With fracturing I'm referring to actually pushing people away.

XBox One? The pre-launch was a disaster, maybe spared a bit by some smart advertising and propaganda about reversed decisions, but damage has been done. Not just that: it also showed us just how desperate Microsoft seems to be with securing revenue (now referring to their initial attempts at blocking any way for players to sell used games).

Visual Studio? 2012 just showed us how much Microsoft cares about its developers: not that much. Basically they introduced dozens of problems (stripping color away and creating an awkward interface) which the community partly solved themselves. Of course Microsoft's official solution was presenting us with an offer to buy into VS2013. And right now it's plain out obvious what the real idea is: a service model. You don't pay for your license anymore: you rent a license.

Windows Phone? Just how exactly are you going to appeal to the geeks and fans (those are the players you need; those will advocate your product!) if you require them to cough up E 100,- / $ 100,- for merely getting the right to hack their own phone (just so we're clear: hacking as in coding: controlling your phone straight from within Visual Studio or even cooler: PowerShell).

And that is happening all over the place. Visual Studio (though there is an opt-out, and you can also pick up the free Community version), XBox (you need a subscription before you can play online games), Office (the main focus sits on 365; the subscription model) and we even see this slowly surfacing in Windows. Windows Phone? Yeah, eventually Microsoft realized the obvious and allowed anyone to apply for a phone unlock free of charge. Just too bad that it happened 3 - 4 years later, when most geeks (your's truly included) had already moved on.

The real problem? Given Microsoft's history and it's inability to listen to its customers, how feasible do you think it is for people to buy into this? Because although it may sound appealing: only pay for what you use, there is a dark downside. The risk with most online contents and services: the moment they pull the plug (even if unintended) then it's hasta la vista, baby. Now you're paying for something which doesn't work anymore.

We've seen this happening several times in 2015 with Office 365 and Azure. Small outages, maybe, but an outage still. And although we may think it's small because some "only" lasted a few hours: those hours can be crucial for someone who needs to get some work done ASAP. It's always easy to relativate things if they don't directly affect you.

Instead of trying to squeeze money out of everything they can think of Microsoft should try to get their act together. In my opinion Microsoft has a huge potential when it comes to software, they have some state of the art technology which can be plain out impressive. But if they don't make sure that it actually appeals to their customers then all of that potential is useless.

Use the best tool for the job, instead of trying to group it all together in some weird hybrid form. A subscription model can work; but not with everything they sell. A touch based environment can work, but not if you force it down the desktops, etc, etc.

Microsoft needs to get their act together in 2016, otherwise I fear that we may see some very strange developments happen.

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Microsoft halts downloads of new PowerShell power-up

ShelLuser
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Windows

Leave it up to MS...

To ruin something which has a tremendous potential. I consider myself a PowerShell fan, I'm really in favor of the environment because it's the best of both worlds... It mimics and feels like a Unix shell but has everything good about Windows on board. Referring to the entire .NET library. You can actually use .NET commands and routines straight from within PS.

If you're familiar with the Unix commandline you'll have everything you need to become familiar with PS. 'man man' works like a charm, the use of \ isn't mandatory ('cd /users/peter' works just as fine as 'cd \users\peter') and I love the command chaining. Because everything in PS is an object you can do some crazy things with the info you receive. And best yet: connecting to other servers isn't a problem either.

I used to have a PS script which would check the event logs on 4 different Windows servers and warn me when something odd was found. That is innovation for you.

Of course it started going downhill when they introduced mandatory translations. All of a sudden "man man" stopped working because I happened to be using a Dutch Windows version. My Windows 'culture' was nl-NL, so the help system looked for Dutch contents. Which unfortunately weren't made, and I couldn't force PS to use the English locale. Effectively rending the dynamic help system useless. It was made with help updates in mind, I think I never ever got one. So why did they need to break the help system in the first place?

Sure, I could use a hack (copy the English help into the Dutch help location), which I ended up doing, but ye gods... It's a really good way to make me lose interest in an environment: adding plain out sloppy and crappy updates. Even though I'm a big PS fan... Heck: you can even use PS to perform administration tasks for SharePoint, they're really taking it quite far.

And instead of learning from their mistakes they just keep blundering onwards while continuing to wonder why their user amounts keeps dropping and dropping.

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You ain't nothing but a porn dog, prying all the time: Cyber-hound sniffs out hard drives for cops

ShelLuser
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WTF?

Uhm...

So if I bring my harddisk along (or have one in my possession) I'm automatically labeled as a pedophile and need to prove my innocence by showing them what kind of digital contents I have? Yeah right, no way you're getting access to my stuff without a search warrant.

Cynical? You bet, because I can't help wonder if that'll be the next step here.

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The Police Chief's photo library mixed business, pleasure and flesh

ShelLuser
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So who was to blame?

Problem with some stories is that they're one sided. Take PJ's; it may seem funny that the customer typed out s-p-a-c-e instead of using space (as in the spacebar) but who is to blame? How was the password sent to the user? By phone? Sounds to me as if that could also have been a clear case of not being explicit enough and doing a poor job at sending in the password. If PJ would have billed me for that he'd have gotten a nasty surprise.

How hard can it be? For example; I always send in passwords within quotes to make sure that the other side understands that this includes the whole password.But I also always mention: (without "") or (""'s not included) or (without the quotes). Small effort, maximum effect.

Which is my main issue with some of the "customer stories". Most people assume the customer is at fault but in many cases I can't help wonder if the support guy didn't do a lousy job instead by not being explicit enough or with making sure that the customer actually understood what he was saying.

Just my 2 cents obviously.

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Hello Kitty hack exposes 3.3 million users' details, says infosec bod

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Sorry for being blunt, but...

I think it is appalling and plain out disgusting that some people would target children and people who are bound not to be very adversed with IT skills in general. There are some lines you shouldn't cross, and this is one of them.

But on the other hand I also can't help wonder how real this whole thing actually is. From what I can tell so far it's basically the word of one guy. Normally such databases are made online and get spread around quite heavily, but in this case that doesn't seem to be the case.

What also bothers me a little is when you mention thoughts like these the first you hear is: "but several big news outlets have reported this", as if that has any meaning when it comes to the legitimacy of a story... I know I can be quite the skeptic, but when it comes to commercial issues then the competition can also do very weird things, it's easy to try and ruin a companies reputation like this, especially without even having to provide any proof.

I mean... This guy ran to the media first and informed the company second. That strikes me as a little bit odd.

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Windows 10 won't come to old WinPhones until some time in early 2016

ShelLuser
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@Phil

"Quite why people stick with Windows phones and MS's constant crapness for handling everything around it, I don't know."

Because it works for me. Got one of the 2nd gen WP7 phones, eventually upgraded to WP7.5 (didn't like the 8 interface, so never bothered with WP7.8) and well.. It simply works and does what I need from it. Maybe my environment also has something to do with that because I never bothered to upgrade to Win8 and also have no plans for Win10 any time soon. It's Win7, Office 2010 and VS2012 here, so I suppose my environment is also dated a bit.

Main reasons for me to use Windows Phone: simple but useful interface, Office connectivity (from word to Onenote), and I can even use it to log onto my BSD servers (SSH) as well as Windows servers.

Why would I upgrade (or change) if what I have works for me?

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Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Privacy huh?

I wonder... How many people who speak up about privacy concerns have a Google account? How many of them are logged on with the system reminding your session so that you can easily log back on again?

And then the real question: how many take action against websites which use Google analytics?

Obviously this is just one player. You can easily swap 'm out for the more popular social networks as well (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

On one hand people are very concerned about privacy while on the other they also easily allow themselves to get tracked and monitored. It's not just the big bad government at work here.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

ShelLuser
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Why not give the viewer a choice?

My main gripe with the DVD releases of the "enhanced" movies is that they could have given us a choice and chose not to. How hard can it be to simply add a toggle so we can chose to include or exclude all the new additions and changes?

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Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging

ShelLuser
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Pint

This calls for a Star Wars quote...

The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems => users will slip through your fingers.

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Windows XP spotted on Royal Navy's spanking new aircraft carrier

ShelLuser
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Windows

XP or wallpaper? And.. uhm, so?

First of, as mentioned in the article itself, this screenshot proves nothing. For all we know it could simply be a background and nothing more. Not an uncommon thing to do. When I picked up Vista I really liked one of the standard backgrounds, when I moved to Win7 the default (blue/white) gave me headaches so I got the previous yellow/green Vista background back. So if you guys spotted that you'd conclude that I'd still run Vista? ;)

But even if this is so... Although XP support has been EOL'ed for consumers this doesn't include commercial licenses. Several companies can still rely on XP updates, after paying a certain fee of course. So yeah; even if he was using XP then this doesn't automatically mean that he's using an outdated and thus totally insecure environment. .... for now.

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I can turn Yahoo! around claims hedge fund manager

ShelLuser
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Re: Jackson might have a different agenda...

Ayups, that's why those hedgefund companies are best to be left untrusted. Still, he would hold true to his word: he'd turn the company around from a semi-healthy company to a run-out company. Quite the turn around indeed ;)

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ASCII @dventure game NetHack gets first upgrade in ten years

ShelLuser
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Joke

Great excuse if you need it...

No, I'm not playing Nethack; I'm making myself familiar with the vi movement keys ;)

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Windows Phone won't ever succeed, says IDC

ShelLuser
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Windows

Well, duh!

For the record: I am a Windows Phone user (using WP 7.5, I have no intention to upgrade) and I actually enjoy the environment. Yes, I am a little bit biased but trust me when I say that I can easily set that aside. I'm a fan, not a fanboy.

I think that Windows Phone ("WP") has plenty of potential to gain a good share on the mobile market. There are plenty of advantages to think of. The simple, blocky, interface may seem a little off at first but once you start using it you'll soon come to appreciate it as well. Especially if you care more about functionality than looks.

But the problem is that Microsoft made a horrendous start, like they always seem to do. WP started out rock solid: hardware manufacturers had to comply to a very specific ruleset in order to call their product "Windows Phone". This gave us users the strong impression that you bought into something for the future, something with a longer time period. Just like Windows itself: I got Windows 7 around 2012 and I tend to use it around its EOL in 2018. That is 6 years worth of Windows 7.

SO we could easily live with the shortcomings of the first devices. It didn't have todo lists? Not to worry: future updates were bound to fix that.

Yeah, and around that time we also learned that Microsoft was ditching their WP7 line entirely and got ready to move onto WP8. Thanks for all the support dear users, now get ready to buy into Windows Phone again if you want to continue to enjoy the full experience.

That may work if you're Android or iPhone (interesting is to note that both environments don't do this: you can run modern version of the OS on older devices if you want to) but not if you're still desperately trying to gain extra market share. You need to attract customers, not piss them off.

Speaking of these other environments... User accessibility is also a big thing. I actually enjoy programming within Microsoft environments like .NET. I enjoy both C# as well as VB (mostly within VBA, but still...). So obviously I was thrilled at the opportunity to "hack" my phone. How can it get more geekier than hooking up your phone to your computer, firing up a free version of Visual Studio and try to get your phone to 'do' something?

I was honestly excited to learn about function calls within Windows which allowed me to control my phone. I really was. But I became horribly disappointed when I learned that the only way to dive into this new hobby of mine was to buy a developers license for E 100,- with Microsoft. That is a lot of money for something you're not even sure you want to dive into. Sure: I knew about the emulator. Did you miss my geek comment above? Anyone can play with an emulator. Where's the fun in that? Messing with my phone which I paid for, that is fun.

And as usual it wasn't until later when Microsoft realized their mistake and ended up providing free access to it. But as always: too little, too late. A lot of real fanatics, some really enthusiastic players, had already moved on. After my previously mentioned disappointment I uninstalled the WP SDK and never looked back. Sure, I know I can pick up the pase again if I wanted to. But the disappointment also made it loose its appeal. And another thing: Microsoft disappointed me once, what guarantees do I have that they won't do so again? Back then that was an issue: I could buy into WP8 and try again. But what guarantees were there that they wouldn't just drop the whole thing again as they have done before?

WP has plenty of potential. But the problem is that Microsoft doesn't know anything about appealing to its customers. They still think that they can dominate the market and that people will follow them no matter what. But times have changed... dramatically.

And until Microsoft changes that mindset then yeah... Then this will probably never come to pass.

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Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

ShelLuser
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dont overdo it

It wasn't shite, not at all, but I have to admit that I also didn't think it was all that great either.

The problem with these story twists is that they don't add up. They are highly entertaining, awesomely well executed (the bar scene was chilling, the unarmed take over of Gallifrey was very statisfying, and the old Tardis was also a nice touch). But if you dig deeper, like most geeks do, then you'll end up disappointed over so many loose ends.

So the Sisterhood of Karn was on Gallifrey. So they knew where it was. Why didn't they tell the doctor?

And even though I personally like seeing Clara again I also was hoping that the story would focus more on Gallifrey and the time lords instead of only centering fully around Clara Oswald again.

Shite? Go wash your mouth sir. Acting was very well executed, the emotions then layed into it was awesome. But true; it didn't leave me with the amount of satisfaction that I hoped for.

10
0

PHP 7.0 arrives, so go forth and upgrade if you dare

ShelLuser
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Pint

just my 2 cents...

"With so much changed, PHP 7 is almost certainly not backwards compatible with your existing code, especially if you’re running anything remotely legacy (yes, even you there with the ‘updated PHP 4 project)."

And this is why I hate PHP from a sysadmin / hosting perspective. Because when the time comes when you will need to upgrade then good luck explaining to your customers that their hacked together website has stopped working and that it's most definitely not your fault but that of the PHP team. Then get ready for: "So why can't you keep using this version?" and in the end you'll end up with some customers probably leaving, others muttering about bad service and some who see what this is and will then start antagonizing the others for not keeping up.

Fortunately this is a major upgrade (5 to 6) which is a lot different and easier to explain than the 5.2 - 5.4 (iirc) update which also broke a lot of stuff.

I know I'm quite the critic here but meh; I think the non-backwards compatibility only shows evidence of a sloppy design. Quite frankly this is also exactly why I'm so in favor of the "Unix mindset": let everything perform small tasks and then bring those tasks together to do bigger things. Sure: from a management perspective not always the easiest but it is most certainly the most flexible.

On the positive side though all these changes may also create more work for the administrators and programmers. I suppose that could also be a positive thing, especially in these times. But quite frankly.. I'd rather stick to using stuff which keeps working while also keeping its history in mind.

8
4

Microsoft whips out PowerApps – now your Pointy Haired Boss can write software, too!

ShelLuser
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Windows

Why don't they finally stick with something?!

I realize that this is a matter of opinion but I think that Microsoft has some pretty impressive and useful technologies in their portfolio. For example; a full VBA engine underneath their Office environment; it combines the easily accessible BASIC language and combines it with a pretty slick OO based model allowing you pretty much to glue your Office needs together.

Microsoft also has a problem: usually when they start out with something then it's not always state of the art. I don't think I have to come up with examples; we all know our own Microsoft horror stories. However, it's also fair to say that Microsoft has shown the drive and the skills to turn things around. Drastically. Turning something utter shite into something very useful. I know, I know: matter of opinion.

But here's the thing I fail to get: once they managed to reach that point then they usually abandon their stuff all together. Example? Well, how about Expression Web and Expression Design. An environment made for website development combined with vector graphics support. People familiar with the Dreamweaver / Fireworks combination would feel right at home. I've used Expression Web 4 professional myself, even paid for it, and it was very useful. It allowed me solid HTML design but also provided a bit of programming features.

And there came Visual Studio 2012, which had pretty horrendous start itself. Yet it was still determined that it should replace Expression Web effectively replacing a tool fully aimed at web development with a tool aimed at general development. It was horrid at first, but they did come around. My point: why throw away a working environment in exchange for something not even complete?

You see this all over the place. .NET anyone? For years they pushed .NET forward as the de-facto standard for programming on Windows. Then we got the mobility fever and wham: it had to be replaced / enhanced with a Javascript engine out of all things. Something else? Windows 7: an extremely popular operating system, for many a true replacement for XP. Instead of pushing it to its limits: no, we're going to re-invent the wheel with Windows 8 (disaster) and then Windows 10 (which still has to proof itself).

The problem is that they're fracturing their own market up to such extremes that it's hard to keep up, let alone making sure that you really want to invest in whatever is hip right now because chances are always high that it can get dumped and replaced with something else anytime.

And here is yet another example... There was Frontpage, which I agree wasn't exactly very good. Then we got Sharepoint which showed some pretty serious potential, still had its quirks of course but it mixed pretty good into their Office suite. And so here we are: lets dump it and move on. Even though Sharepoint has come such a long way and is a pretty solid environment right now.

Why can't they stick with their own program for a change and back it up with everything they have?

3
0

Visual Studio Code: The top five features

ShelLuser
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Windows

Underimpressed...

I've been using VS2012 for quite some time now, never bothered to upgrade (not even to the Express versions) simply because I could get my work done withing VS2012 easily. However, that doesn't mean that I'm not interested to keep up with current developments and well...

Trying this out made one thing very obvious to me: the only reason they slapped the name Visual Studio onto this is because of the brand and nothing more. This has absolutely nothing in common with working in VS and I think readers really should be careful and not let themselves be fooled by this.

The editor is lightweight and responds pretty good. But there's a catch: because of the lightweight approach it also has a massive learning curve. The icons in the toolbar aren't very easily picked up and worse yet: if you start working with this thing you'll quickly notice that it's basically a mere editor which tries to disguise itself as some kind of "lightweight IDE", yet it lacks all the features you'd expect to find in one. This critter didn't even close my quotes nor brackets, not even after I saved the file I was working on so that it could clearly determine what kind of codefile I was working with.

So yah, definitely not worth my time. Also because I suspect what's going on here: I bet that if you want some extra enhanced functionality then you'll simply have to get extra plugins, some will be free but most will most likely end up payware.

Seriously? If you want a free "Visual Studio experience" then you're better of picking up the Express versions. And if you don't want anything to do with Microsoft then there are still other worthy alternatives, also free of charge. For example Xamarin Studio comes to mind...

For everything else you're most likely better off using the editor which you currently use. I'm pretty sure it provides just as much features, if not more, than this critter.

13
2

Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

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Re: Finally it starts to come together.

The episode was entertaining for sure but definitely not great. The major problem with this one is that it has giant problems sitting in plain sight. If the creature stops whenever the doctor speaks a truth which has never been spoken before then saying that he's scared during the second run wouldn't have worked anymore. So eventually the doctor would have run out of truths to tell.

And there's also the problem about resetting rooms which apparently clean up dropped flowers, fill up dirt holes yet still leaves writing in the sand completely alone.

It was entertaining, yes, but there were too many illogical twists kept in plain sight for me.

0
1

So why exactly are IT investors so utterly clueless?

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Lack of drive and an excess of greed...

With drive I'm obviously referring to actually having that spark within you which fuels curiosity. Which makes you go the extra mile to learn what makes something tick. And of course the drive to learn about technology and how to use it.

Greed? We all know that one...

I still remember the perfect example of all this: when a Dutch Internet provider (World Online) decided to take their firm to the stock market. Context: it was a rather small company and the initial price for one stock sat very high. A simple calculation would show you that something wasn't right here. Simply checking their revenue (public information at that time) and dividing that with the amount of employee's and then matching it up to their estimated company value learned you that they had to earn a lot extra if they ever wanted to match up to it.

You didn't even have to be a stock market expert. A few minor calculations combined with common sense and a small interest in the IT market was enough.

Greed prevailed, the launch happened and the stock plummeted. Some people lost thousands that day.

When I played the stock market (very small player) I only invested in companies I took a liking to and which looked trustworthy. Of course I had making money in mind, but I also liked to think that I was actually supporting those companies as well. Which means that when I noticed that things went bad with a certain company and their explanations made perfect sense to me I didn't bail out "just like that". Instead I expanded my portfolio because I trusted them; the dividend I got that year went straight back into the company. In the end that paid off quite well. Maybe not as much as the "jumpers" got who bailed and immediately invested into the next hip thing, but I ended up with both a nice bit of extra cash as well as a good feel of satisfaction.

1
0

Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

It's not about spam, it's about /security/

You read that right, welcome to the modern Internet.

Say you have a piece of malware which you want spread out, then why waste your efforts on one website while you could be targeting dozens at the same time with a little preparation? The secret? Target the source which all those websites have in common: advertisements. The best part is that most advertisement uses different sources which usually get displayed in series. So while one client might not see anything wrong with it the other will get the full package, also making detection a little harder.

Think I'm fantasizing? Sorry to disappoint: I've seen just way too many well respected websites fall prey to this. Ending up getting mentioned in several virus scanners as well as through Google and Bing itself.

Now: I realize that you should be able to expect good or better security from a bigger player such as Yahoo, but what guarantees are there? And make no mistake here: above I was only referring to malicious contents which was obviously harming your computer. Since we're talking e-mail: why not try to set up listeners which more or less mask themselves as advertising? A very lucrative business I'd say, especially since you're specifically targeting an e-mail platform.

I know, I know... I may be too cynical; I'll add the black helicopter. But that doesn't make it unreasonable to be careful here, and to simply stop using such a provider. Besides: there's plenty more besides Yahoo: Google, Microsoft, and just about every domain registrant out there.

13
1

Struggling to understand Docker? Let's start with a Minecraft demo

ShelLuser
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FAIL

How about a /working/ demo?

The page which the article refers to really shows the narrow mindset of a modern company. I mean, here are the (10) steps to run the demo:

1. Install the Minecraft client, you'll need a Minecraft account.

Done, I'm actually a Minecraft player myself so no problems here.

2. Run the following commands: "docker pull gaetan/dockercraft"

So I open up a command window (cmd.exe) and....

C:\Users\Peter>docker pull gaetan/dockercraft

docker wordt niet herkend als een interne

of externe opdracht, programma of batchbestand.

C:\Users\Peter>

In other words: bad command or filename.

Great demo indeed! Isn't a demo supposed to allow people unfamiliar with the software to learn how it works? So why rely on the software you're trying to demo in the first place?

0
1

Why Microsoft's .NET Core is the future of its development platform

ShelLuser
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Re: .NET .. the lame clone of Java

"A poor clone of Java"

It's not, and seeing is believing. Java has always been (and for me it always will be) the "Internet language". Just take a look at the package names and you quickly see where I'm going with this. Of course another side to this was its platform independence.

.NET has always been a Windows platform so in that regard its not even trying to mimic Java. Another mistake you're making here is that .NET consists of both C# as well as Visual Basic (VB.NET). You mean to target C#, not .NET as a whole. It helps to get your facts straightened out before criticizing you know...

But yeah, the only thing which C# and .NET have in common is that there is a runtime required to use anything which was build upon it and that's it. If you know Java then you don't automatically know C#. You'll spot some vague similarities, sure, but that's where it ends. C# (.NET basically) supports standards which Java can only dream about at this time. Take for example something so simple yet so effective as partial classes. One class can be spread out in multiple files.

Maybe not useful for regular programming logic, but it's a godsend for webcoding (ASP.NET). I can split up a webpage in multiple files; thus leaving me with markup (HTML/CSS) and logic (the code file). Not having to wade through stuff which the webdesigners manage to muck up? Or not having them play webcoder while all they do is design? It's awesome.

And that is one small example which is impossible with Java. Even today. Even though this was already possible with C# and .NET as a whole 3 years ago. Longer even.

3
2

Hillary Clinton: Stop helping terrorists, Silicon Valley – weaken your encryption

ShelLuser
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How long before they target OSS?

No one mentions it but you know that's going to be next. After all: one of the reasons why you cannot fully regulate encryption is also because there are plenty of geeky programmers out there who value their privacy just as much as I do. Who stand with innocent until proven guilty.

I tell you it'll be a matter of time before the "law abiding tech companies" are favored above the "hippie mentality" of "open source software" because the first can be relatively easily controlled ("you know what: you add that backdoor to your security suite and you can expect a huge investment in a few weeks") whereas the latter is pretty much a free for all.

"Open source software is a movement which helps terrorists". Fun part? This can actually be true because the whole idea behind free software is providing it for anyone. So anyone can pick up and modify your code. Of course the "anyone" part will be left out when it comes to the government propaganda.

9
0

DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

ShelLuser
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My only 'problem' with cars these days...

... is that they all more or less look alike.

Oh, I'm sure that a car expert can narrow down all the specific features and specific styles which make this car stand out from the rest. Sure. Maybe it's me getting old. But last century it was easy to immediately recognize and distinguish between, say, a Citroen and a Volkswagen or a Ford. Nowadays I'm more than often not too sure anymore.

In general it's usually more of the same to me. And the best way to separate one from the other is the logo. What gives?

5
0

Kids' tech skills go backwards thanks to tablets and smartmobes

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@Petur

Users are only getting as dumb as the interface they are facing.

Well, I think there's more to it than that. For example the teachers also have a big influence in all this.

When teaching this stuff it is important to stimulate curiosity, to motivate kids to dive deeper into the matter they're working with. I think that crucial part is severely lacking with "modern" education. Let's do a Google search; why not try to make the kids wonder how Google actually manages all that? How does all that Internet data end up "in" Google?

Still, I think matters are far worse than this. I mean: a Google search isn't merely an IT related task, it's also about being able to break a subject down into smaller parts. I'd even argue that it is (or should be) a bit of common sense at work: finding the relevant keywords.

How hard can that be I wonder...

3
0

Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

ShelLuser
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How long before...

"Alert, alert: drinking 3 cups of coffee per day is dangerous and can seriously damage your <insert random organ here>?"

Call me cynical if you will but that's the trend I've been spotting with these kinds of stories. Do note that I'm not claiming that this can't be true or such, I simply don't know. But more than often will you hear one party which claims that $substance is good for your health and a few months later another party will announce the opposite.

2
0

Untamed pledge() aims to improve OpenBSD security

ShelLuser
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Black Helicopters

Only goes down, not up ;)

Interesting development, leave it up to OpenBSD to come up with specific ideas to further secure the whole lot. Oh, and in case you're thinking what I was thinking when I first read this: pledge() can be called multiple times but only to reduce further abilities, not to regain them. Just found out about this myself in the pledge() manual page.

Now.. I'm an administrator, not so much a programmer, but I can't help draw some parallels with SELinux, even if that comparison doesn't really cover it. But... There is a routine in the kernel to secure things and the userland programs will need to support those routines in order to work with it. With that in mind, whilst knowing that I might make an unfair comparison, but I have to admit that this system appeals a lot more to me and I think it also has much more potential.

Here's the thing: security isn't only about covering all your bases. It's also about accessibility: not making it too hard for people to use. Because it you make things too complicated and too hard then chances are very high that several people will bypass or ignore it. And so here we are: one simple function call is enough to start using this routine, which I think makes it very accessible. And with that quite secure.

I really hope that we'll eventually see this popping up in FreeBSD as well.

10
1

Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

ShelLuser
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Good times...

Where most of my friends ran Windows and Windows for Workgroups I simply ran OS/2 Warp (later 4; "Merlin") and kept Windows in its own sub-area. I clearly recall like yesterday: I had bought myself a Compaq Presario 486 which I really enjoyed. It came with a "Compaq personalized" version of Windows 3.1 / 3.11 which even replaced the Program Manager (progman.exe) with something else. I don't quite remember what, but it turned your desktop into some kind of notebook. Even allowing different pages with different icon groups. It was very easy and nice to work with.

Best part? I got all of that working inside WinOS/2. Not all Compaq floppies picked up as they should, but even the Compaq's graphics driver for Windows could be used within WinOS/2 (in all fairness: given my Windows inexperience at that time it is possible that the drivers simply installed without doing anything).

So my trusty Compaq fired up with OS/2 with all the native OS/2 software I had downloaded & purchased (Stardock's Object Desktop FTW!) and whenever I needed Windows I simply started it while all my OS/2 software just kept going. This became especially true when I discovered the Internet where I did most using Netscape on OS/2.

Fun fact: the OS/2 image viewer I used back then (forgot the name) was nearly identical to IrfanView which I'm using now. Way ahead of its time.

OS/2 was expensive, I remember buying a copy for approx. 400 or 500guilders or something, but it was worth every penny. Rock solid, never failed on me and it kept working. And native Java support! :)

Honestly... If they could pull something off with a Windows stack which would allow Windows (7, 8 & 10) software to run natively within OS/2 like WinOS/2 did then it could be well worth the upgrade. Unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon, but if only... One can dream, right?

4
0

Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood

ShelLuser
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Meh

Breaking the 4th wall was a bit cheap

So far I think my prediction of the way how this season will play out still holds true: its enjoyable yet the overall quality drops. What I didn't like in particular was the breaking of the 4th wall for the only reason to explain what was about to happen. And the whole paradox felt a bit cheap to me, almost the same as those weird "fixed points in time".

Thing is: instead of explaining it up front why not just roll out the story and let the story explain itself? In other words: actually create that bit of mystery which will leave people wondering which came first? The chicken or the egg?

As always it was entertaining, but in my opinion it's definitely not of the same quality as some of the previous seasons are.

3
1

Miss Brittany dethroned for posting 'nude' Facebook pics

ShelLuser
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Re: Double standards?

I'm not sure to be honest. I mean; surely those girls would have been told what they can and cannot do when entering such a competition. You may not like the rules, and I have admit that it seems a bit exaggerated, but fact of the matter is that the participants knew what they got themselves into up front.

So if you then participate, win and break the rules you agreed on then I can understand that the organization takes action, even if it might not be a popular decision.

Which is the only part I'm a bit confused about: whether she posted those pictures before or after winning. If it was before then the judges have done a horribly lousy job and are taking it out on the wrong person, but if it was the other way around...

7
1

Worker drones don't need PCs says Microsoft, give 'em phones instead

ShelLuser
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Windows

Too little, too late?

Why don't they start with some very basic functionality first? You know: I have a Windows (7) computer, which has some shares open. I have a Windows phone which uses wifi to connect to the same network. So allow me to access my PC in order to copy some stuff over to my phone (either using the PC or my phone), all without having to resort to stuff such as OneDrive.

Next: contents. When I use Office on my PC (specifically Outlook) then I want to be able to access all my info from my phone as well. Note: all of it, this includes such trivial things like todo lists.

Once you got all of these items covered then it could be a nice idea to think about "putting the Windows experience into a phone". But seriously.. Start by making the phone actually useful for a change.

I honestly enjoy my Windows (7.5) phone. It roughly does what I want it to do, I can keep track of the info I need, etc. But the first thing which really somewhat disappointed me was when I tried to find a way to access my Windows PC. How could a Windows phone not communicate with a Windows PC?

So yeah; it could be good if Microsoft would finally come to their senses and make this happen. I'd applaud it. But you know what the real problem is with all that? It could very well be too little, too late. How many people have already moved onto Android or iOS in the mean time when they discovered the shortcomings of Windows Phone?

4
3

Terror in the Chernobyl dead zone: Life - of a wild kind - burgeons

ShelLuser
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Mushroom

Never underestimate...

Natures ability to adapt to the environment.

0
0

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

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@Chris

And this is why I like reading El Reg, we all focus on the tech side of things and seemingly overlook the rest. I mean: forget about those radio waves getting out: what about the doctor?

Several 'ghosts' which can outrun humans, all banded together in the faraday cage and the doctor decides to join them. We see that they quickly gather around him and continue to repeat their message. We also learn that the 'ghosts' realize their predicament; otherwise they wouldn't try to tamper with the computers again later on.

So how did the doctor get out of there? That's the part which irked me. Maybe he told them a joke and mentioned something in the likes of "Look behind you!" while he quickly slipped out?

It's like I mentioned some weeks ago; this series will most likely become massively entertaining but the quality is bound to drop a bit. Which I think is just what happened here.

0
0

Smuggle mischievous JavaScript into WinRAR archives? Sure, why not

ShelLuser
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@Ben

If you can persuade a user to execute an executable, then that executable can execute code embedded in the executable.

Actually it goes deeper than that. Because people who don't trust these executables also have the option to right click and "open in archiver". Then WinRAR gets started and it'll display the archives contents, and will also provide options to extract it. Many people who don't trust the executable often use this method instead.

Yet that can now also result in issues.

11
1

Devious Davros, tricksy Missy and Dalek Clara delight in The Witch's Familiar

ShelLuser
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I think you're looking waay too much into this...

Did the young Davros end up in possession of the gunstick? Also, what became of the sonic screwdriver? The two things that could (maybe) help to bring about a Time Lord-Dalek hybrid mutant.

To be honest I think the author looks deeper into these plots than Moffat is doing. Because so far I have yet to see Moffat make a real change stopper and following up on it. I mean: "The impossible girl", Claras was allegedly going into the doctors timeline and she was fixing everything. Yet in later seasons you then hear nothing about this anymore. Not that I mind, but it would enhance the whole atmosphere, it would add a little more depth to the plots.

Yet instead any plots used in a season generally end once the season is done, and we won't hear much about it anymore. There are notable exceptions of course; think about the Doctors daughter, yet one could argue that the Amy Pond era basically spanned more seasons so its only natural that they re-used characters and plots.

Need more proof? Well, remember "Victory of the Daleks"? Most people disliked it because it introduced the new "salt and pepper" brightly colored daleks, yet even so it did open up a whole new plot twist where the daleks had renewed themselves and went back into the timewars. I'd say that's a massive plot twist which just screams for a follow up as it has the potential to rewrite timelord history itself. Yet nothing... On the contrary, it looks to me as if the producers try to pretend that this never happened, as can be seen in these two episode. Understandable for sure since many fans did not care for those new daleks, but still...

It was Moffat who opened the door to all the bizarre time-driven plot twists (like the re-run in the finale which re-used scenes in the season itself but from a completely different perspective). So why stop there? At the very least it could have been a nice way to hook into history and get rid of the new "dalek paradigm".

All of which surely promises more Davros as this season's story unfolds.

But about the daleks: hasn't Moffat already told us last year (or the one before) that he wanted less dalek appearances, not more? In my opinion there was only 1 reason why they were used in the opening episodes: to undo some of the decline in interest and popularity. Although I really hope for more appearances I have some serious doubts that they will reappear in this season.

The master, sorry: Missy, for sure.. but the daleks? I dunno.

0
0

NEW ERA for HUMANITY? NASA says something 'major' FOUND ON MARS

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Flowing water

My bet is on flowing water to be honest. Which seems big enough considering that there might be something in it, but that's about all I can think of. Maybe they finally discovered the blob?

If they did then here's hoping these guys have watches their classics :)

0
0
ShelLuser
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@Steven

I recall somebody once saying that if NASA was going to falsify anything, they'd have more reason to falsify discovering life in space rather than suppressing it, because such a discovery would guarantee a raft of funding

There is a difference between disclosing the information to your boss (in this case the government) or to the general population. Why assume that everything will also go public?

0
0

Microsoft Office 2016 for Windows: The spirit of Clippy lives on

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Windows

Flat interface...

My main gripe is once again the interface. Instead of trying to make the 365 online parts look more like the desktop counterpart they're still insisting to reverse this process. We didn't come all this way with high-end graphic cards and powerful GUI extenders only to be greeted with a flat 2D interface.

Granted: this is still a little better than the horrid "lets remove all the color" approach, but yah. Guess my age is showing but for me this flatness still doesn't weigh up against the feature rich (and colorful!) interface of Office 2010. Which to this day still remains my absolute favorite.

The eyes want something too!

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