* Posts by Steven Roper

1394 posts • joined 10 May 2011

Microsoft Research man: It all starts with touch

Steven Roper
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Re: What I found interesting

Even if it does, simply have it that the patent period begins from the time of grant rather than the time of application. So that wouldn't be a problem then, would it?

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Steven Roper
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Linux

What I found interesting

is the assertion that it takes 20 years for a new product to become commercialised. Isn't the usual term of a patent about that long? Whilst keeping in mind that correlation != causation, I wonder to what degree the monopolistic control by one company of a technology by patent, holds back the good ideas of other companies or inventors for that period - because the inventors or other companies can't afford or don't want to be encumbered by restrictive license agreements.

If ever an argument could be made for open source vs patent control of everything this could very well be it. If the reason that technology waits 20 years is even partly a result of waiting for patents to expire, then surely that is an argument for the patent system being a suppressor of innovation, rather than a promoter of it?

I'm not saying do away with patents altogether, but maybe reducing the maximum term to something more reasonable (say 5 - 8 years at max) would help things along a bit.

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Hitachi claims glass data storage will last millions of years

Steven Roper
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Re: I remember when...

There's just one problem with DNA: Evolution - which means the "error correction" you refer to has a way of completely altering the data over multiple generations.

See, if I consider my DNA as information handed down to me by my father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, and so on back to the Cretaceous, for example, then we find that the DNA is describing something along the lines of a cynodont, which is a rather different creature to a human being. It certainly isn't the same information by any stretch, despite said cynodont being my own direct-line male ancestor. (Although I find the idea of calling a tiny ratlike creature "great-great-something granddad" rather amusing myself!)

Life isn't a good preserver of information. It seems to me the ancients got it right the first time around - carving things in stone seems to be the way to go!

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Half of Milky Way's mass found in million-Kelvin gas cloud

Steven Roper
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So

what effect does this discovery have upon omega? Are we still heading for the Big Rip in 50-odd billion years' time or are we now facing down the Big Crunch?

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fanbois and fandroids - counterproductive

Steven Roper
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Devil

Well, speaking as a hater

I'll give my side of the story.

As anyone who has seen my comments in the article threads can attest, I express an almost pathological hatred for all things Apple. I've been more than slightly acerbic in my opinions of "fanbois" and positively rabid about the doings of the company itself. I've copped my share of downvotes for some of my more irrational rants, but I have my reasons for doing so.

Firstly, I am very passionate about computers. They've been my life since I was 16 years old and got my first Sinclair ZX81 back in 1982. I was part of the Commodore 64 and Amiga demo scene and I've built my career as well as my hobbies on computers. I have no S.O., no kids, because the lifestyle choices I have made centred around computer technology more than people. That's my nature, that the passion most men give to their wives and children, I give to what I do and what I create with computers.

In all this time, I've grown up and lived with a culture of relative openness in computers. I've become used to the concept that a computer I've bought and paid for is mine, to do with as I please. And part of that is writing programs and sharing them with people. The feeling I get when I see someone using my software and knowing how it impacts their lives is awesome. Even more awesome is when I see someone expand on my idea or program, and they show me their improvements. That's been the way I've worked since the old demo swap-meets and copy-parties of the Commodore 64 days.

As you can see, these things matter to me. A lot. I've lived my life around them, and I have strong feelings about them.

So when a company like Apple starts locking down everything in sight, and by showing other companies that users are willing and even eager to have control of their own computers snatched away from them , those companies follow suit. You mention people going on about walled gardens and I can understand your frustration with the repetition, but for those like myself whose mentality was founded on building a greater whole on shared ideas this mentality is utterly repellent.

It's not only the app-store lock-in, it's things like the ability to reach in and delete software from your computer - a trend started by Apple, and quickly followed by the likes of Amazon, Google, and now Microsoft as well. It's all this corporate control-freak mentality that I didn't really see before Apple brought out the iPad. Yes, Microsoft was the tyrant du jour of the pre-Apple era, but even they didn't impose restrictions on the distribution of software - until Apple did it. And add to that the endless ridiculous lawsuits, where it's getting to the point where I'm almost afraid to continue programming in case I tread on someone's IP toes. I feel that I'm being told I'm not allowed to use my brain for what I do best because some corporation owns some vague general concept behind what I've come up with myself. And Apple, with their sue-everyone-for-making rectangles mentality, have come to exemplify this kind of control.

And I'm sorry, but that really, really, pisses me off. When I feel afraid to develop new ideas because "sorry, Apple/Google/whoever have the patent on that already", that makes me want to throw things and scream. But polite society understandably does not allow me to do these things, because the expectation is that we stop throwing tantrums somewhere around the second or third year of life.

So I vent. I let off steam. I rant and rave on a forum, to a bunch of people I don't really know and have never met. I do so knowing that some of them share in my anger, and knowing that others are angry about the same things I am is strangely comforting and soothing. I do so knowing that still others will be angered, offended or even amused by my rantings, and we'll let off at each other until you'd be terrified to leave us all alone in a room together. Yet if we all met down the pub, I really believe nary a harsh word would pass.

You see, at the end of the day, it's Internet rantings. And I believe that's why a lot of us do it. It's what psychologists call a coping mechanism - a means of anger management, a way of letting out pent-up frustration with the way the world is, in a manner that is essentially harmless, because only a fool takes everything you read in these forums (or indeed on the entire internet) seriously.

To my way of thinking, it's far better to explode all over a Reg comments thread with pathetic curses against "retarded fanboi sheeple", than to act like a complete ass in real life. That is why I sometimes carry on the way that I do, and I think it is a sentiment shared, if not always fully understood, amongst other commenters.

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Events in stratosphere can affect Earth's entire climate

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: I hate to piss on anyones parade but...

You can't argue with them bill.

It's like a religion. You can posit all the science under the sun, but the followers of Mother Earth have their faith and don't set much store in mere evidence.

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Toyota kills city 'e-car for everyone'

Steven Roper
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Coat

Erm...

Steam sounds great at first go, but isn't water vapour supposed to be a worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide? And don't you have enough fog in the UK already without adding to it?

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'Your app will work on Windows 8 - but please rewrite it anyway'

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

You got that right mate

There I was all nice and smug thinking we'd finally won the war to get Microsoft in line with the W3C with Internet Explorer, and the stupid bastards take us right back to square fucking one!

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W3C reveals plan to finish HTML5 and HTML 5.1

Steven Roper
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Re: Can you put an web bookmark on your home screen?

Not sure if I'm reading you correctly there, so correct me if I'm on the wrong track - but you've been able to put internet shortcuts on the desktop since at least Windows 95...

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Steven Roper
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I wonder what the DOCTYPE will be

for HTML 5.1?

Since the absurdly generic and uninformative !DOCTYPE HTML has been assigned to indicate HTML 5 (with the convoluted DTD DOCTYPEs relegated to earlier versions), will we finally see the version number and ONLY the version number set as the doctype parameter, i.e. !DOCTYPE HTML 5.1?

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Reg readers serve up bacon sarnie amuse-bouche

Steven Roper
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Well

I suppose they do appreciate a little bacon with their keratin!

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Microsoft drives German patent tank into Google's front room

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Ah yes, Germany

Where the patent judges all come from Texas.

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Made for each other: liquid nitrogen and 1,500 ping-pong balls

Steven Roper
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FAIL

Re: Shocking safety precautions

If you were really a chemist, you'd know about the Ledenfrost effect and that being the reason why you NEVER wear gloves or other clothing that can trap the liquid next to your skin when handling cryogenic liquids.

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Ig Nobels 2012: Physics of ponytails, chimp arse-cognition and more

Steven Roper
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The ponytail research

is actually quite useful from a 3d modelling perspective.

As one of my hobbies is the use of 3D modelling software (notably DAZ Studio and Cinema 4D) to model and create *ahem* erotic imagery, making my virtual temptresses look and move as realistically as possible is paramount. A couple of my "girls" have ponytails, which will no doubt benefit from these Ig Nobel winners' good work!

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Pirate Bay’s neo-Nazi sugar daddy files for bankruptcy

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Re: So TPB ends...

@AC 17:27

Wow.

Just... wow.

That is the most spectacular combination of strawman and reductio ad absurdum that I have ever seen.

I'm not even going to dignify that with a rebuttal.

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Hapless Kate topless, toothless law useless

Steven Roper
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Stop

No, you can't

The flip side of your draconian judgement is that people end up terrified to take photographs at all just in case somebody happens to be in the shot and sues under your preferred legal system, which stops just shy of having them executed for it.

Privacy is a vital component of freedom (I value mine immensely), but unfortunately of late it's being used as a weapon to erode the very freedom it's supposed to preserve.

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iPhone queue ‘superficial and pretentious’ says queuing fangirl

Steven Roper
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Yep

We all work together, we're one big happy family here, we're a TEAM!

Until your job gets outsourced to some third world shithole for a tenth of your wage, then it's "there's the fucking door sunshine, security will escort you off the premises to make sure you don't fuck with the computers."

Absolutely, Johnny. That shit makes me sick too.

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Swiss railways ticked off at iOS clock knock-off

Steven Roper
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Headmaster

Re: Pedantry Corner

I was told as a kid that "hoist your own petard" meant something along the lines of "you can carry your own bloody bomb to the castle walls sunshine. You made it, you plant it!" - similar to "you made your own bed, you lie in it." It seems to be a similar but slightly different interpretation.

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China plots 2017 mission to plan MOON COLONY

Steven Roper
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Unhappy

@frank ly

"Or is it just nationalist dick waving along with military capability development?"

When was it NOT about nationalistic dick waving? Even in the time of Apollo it was only ever about beating the Russians to the Moon. If the Russians hadn't had their space program going and beaten the US into space in the first place, the moon program would never have happened, no matter how many scientists might have wanted it.

Otherwise, if the astronauts really did "come in peace for all mankind", why did they only plant the Stars and Stripes and not the collected flags of humanity, or the laurels-and-globe of the UN? To stick it up the arses of the Russians, that's why. Came in peace, indeed!

Notice how nobody else bothered to go to the moon after America did? That's because there ain't no penis prize for second place, folks. Even though there was still plenty of science to be done...

Now we have the rivalry between China, Japan and India driving the new space race. Fuck the science, it's all about planting that glorious flag on global TV for your rivals and their citizens to see what a big dick your country has. And if China gets there first, you can bet they'll be rubbing Japan's and India's (and the USA's if they're still around) noses in it just as the USA did with the Russians 43 years ago. And as was the case back then, once they get there and achieve the Awesome Golden Dildo award the cost will become too high to continue, and their plans for a moonbase will evaporate just like America's did. Peen flashed, we don't need to go there any more.

If anyone thinks the primary motive in going to the moon was, or is, scientific research, they're living in some idealistic la-la land. The science is a great side benefit, in fact it makes for great PR (which is worth more to politicians than any amount of actual science), but it's not the reason any government funds it.

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OpenWave fires ten-gun patent broadsides at Apple AND Google

Steven Roper
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I don't care.

They're attacking Apple. That is all that matters. Anything else is collateral damage.

Go Unwired Planet, go!

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Mars rover Curiosity gets ready to blast its first rock

Steven Roper
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Coat

Re: Language, language!

Yes, but the rover might have driven across the Ukraine during the Soviet era...

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Roxon clarifies data retention proposals with ASIO support

Steven Roper
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Flame

Yeah, right

'... the government does not intend to allow warrantless access to “the content of communications”.'

For now.

This highlights the real problem with the rule-by-fear mentality prevalent in the West and the unnecessary laws it brings with it. We promise we won't misuse it - but of course a future goverment - or more likely a local council wishing to make sure you're recycling your goods correctly or enrolling your kids at the correct school - can and will.

Which in this case is that once the data retention law is in place, the government will inevitably enable warrantless access at a later date - if not on Roxon's watch, then on someone else's. And she knows this just as well as we do, which makes her pathetic attempts at manipulating public opinion even more sickening.

So yet another little piece of freedom dies. I wonder how long I'll be allowed to keep using my VPN once this goes through? Rest assured, I won't stop merely because the fucking law says I must.

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Astronomers tell story set a LONG time ago in a galaxy far, FAR away

Steven Roper
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@ HolyFreakinGhost

"That's actually extremely straightforward. The expansion is a feature of the metric..."

That is an excellent post, and explains the limitations of universal expansion very well. What makes your post exemplary, however, is the simple layman's explanation that follows the more technical one. I've found that experts on a topic rarely have the ability to explain their topic of expertise in terms non-experts can understand. It is this ability, to explain a complex topic in an easily-understood manner, that is the rare and precious skill of the true teacher. Be proud that you have this skill.

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Brains behind Kazaa and Morpheus unleash patent storm

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

It certainly seems a bit rich

for the makers of Kazaa and Morpheus to be complaining about violations of their intellectual property, considering the reasons those programs became widely used in the first place.

Not only greedy, but hypocritical to boot. Fucking oxygen thieves, the lot of them.

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Apple's first batch of iPhone 5 preorders sold out in an hour

Steven Roper
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Trollface

Re: Every time

Actually my theory is that all the chemicals and shit the food corps have been putting in our food for the last few decades, has caused large numbers of mutated humans to be born with only one brain cell apiece, which causes them to go out and buy Apple products.

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Apple wins second round of Samsung patent slugfest

Steven Roper
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Mushroom

Re: Apple cultists

You're damn right we're angry.

We're angry because we're sick of corrupt, greedy, biased, Apple-share-owning-bought-and-paid-for judges, politicians and lawyers perverting and destroying justice systems the world over to further Apple's holy grail of being the only fucking electronics corp on the planet.

We're sick of the endless perversion and abuse of the patent system by a corporation that makes Niccolo Machiavelli and Gille de Rais look like fucking Mother Theresa and Mohandas Ghandi.

We're sick of their corporate-terrorism-supporting fanboi retards buying their shit and making them this powerful. There used to be such a thing as choice, where you could decide what brand you wanted to buy. But noooo, fanboi idiots would rather one company to rule them all and no choice at all because making such decisions taxes the single neuron possessed by appletards too much.

One day, that anger will spill over. The huge number of people who actually possess more than one brain cell who like the right to choose, will turn on Apple and tear them and their fanboi supporters to pieces. I live in hope and anticipation of that day.

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Humanity facing GLOBAL BACON SHORTAGE

Steven Roper
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Two more words...

Soylent Green

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Anonymous doxes Cambodia after Pirate Bay arrest

Steven Roper
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Thumb Down

Yes there is

What's unusal or improper here is the egregious abuse of the concept of copyright to destroy the public domain and our culture in the name of profit and control, by Big Business and their pet puppet governments, of which Sweden's is a prime example. I was going to say archetypal example, but that dubious honour goes to the governments of the UK and Australia before Sweden - just.

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Congress report warns: drones will track faces from the sky

Steven Roper
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The last paragraph is the scariest

Because I can smell privacy law being used to prevent anyone EXCEPT the police and military being allowed to use drones - or inevitably, ANY kind of model aircraft - because, as we all know, if we have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear, right?

Once again, I'm glad I never had kids. The future is a horror.

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Google whips away card, leaves just clouds in your Wallet

Steven Roper
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Pint

Yet another reason why

I stopped using Google for search and went to DuckDuckGo (thanks for pushing that one guys, I owe the Reg community a round of beers for pointing me to DDG!)

I'm sick of Google setting up these services, letting people like myself get used to them and actually finding them useful - only to yank them a couple of years later. Buzz, Wave, iGoogle - all were good ideas that have been taken away. (I know iGoogle is still around until next year, but I've already weaned myself off it because it is being taken away.)

Never again will I rely on a Google service (I may use them if there's no alternative, but I won't be relying on them), beyond Android on my mobile - and even then I don't use Google's services on that. My mobile browser is Firefox for Android, and all my info on it is managed by similar third-party apps - I simply don't use the default services Google offers on it. It's too easy to get used to them only to have them ripped away at Google's whim, which is something they've done once too often.

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Australian tabloid decides to fight trolls ... with trolls

Steven Roper
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Pint

I would hazard a guess...

...that you are not an Australian.

The jury's out on whether you've ever actually been here, but I'm pretty damn sure you've never lived here!

Here's a clue if you want to come across as an Aussie: Nobody here drinks Fosters. Nobody.

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Dreaded redback spider's NEMESIS: Forgotten Captain Cook wasps

Steven Roper
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Alert

@ Yet Another Anonymous coward

I was with you until you got to "vampire koalas".

That's going too far even for us.

Don't mess with the drop-bears, mate. No way would we want those bastards breeding out of control. A fully-grown drop-bear will kill a Rottweiler in under 5 seconds, and they put more Aussies in hospital each year than all the redbacks, funnelwebs, blue-ringies, box jellies, taipans and king browns combined. BTW, don't forget to stick forks upright in your hat if you go walking in the outback - that'll discourage the koalas from attacking.

Trust me, mate. Don't be fooled by all the "cute cuddly koala" bullshit spouted by the tourist ads - that's just the tame domesticated ones in the zoos that have been bred from cubs to be around humans. The wild ones are dangerous fuckers in the best of tempers!

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Microsoft preparing for diskless Windows 8 PCs

Steven Roper
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Mushroom

Re Copy copy copy copy Apple!

That post makes me wish that downvotes were functionally equivalent to bullets.

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Facebook wunderkind admits share price Zuck-up on stage

Steven Roper
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@ Lord Voldemortgage

Try comparing the Bing and Google searches for "2>&1"

Interestingly, DuckDuckGo fell over almost as badly as Bing on that search term, which is surprising because it's normally quite geeky and generally returns good results for mathematical statements...

Google's top result was a Stackoverflow link explaining the significance of 2>&1 in piping stderr into stdout, which was about what I was expecting. Bing and DuckDuckGo both returned some Jewish-sounding marriage ministry as their top result. WTF?

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There is life after the death of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Start button

Steven Roper
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The Start Menu isn't the problem

with Windows 8 as far as I'm concerned, and I'm amazed that so many are focused on this non-issue than the REAL problem with Windows 8.

That is, this forced full-screen app bullshit (no multiple onscreen windows anymore) and the concomitant loss of multitasking. This is the BIGGEST STEP BACKWARD I HAVE EVER SEEN THE IT INDUSTRY MAKE. Now I don't know why this doesn't stick out with you people, but in my case the last full-screen-app-only, non-multitasking computer I used was called a COMMODORE 64.

I've moved on since then, chaps, and I have no intention of going back to the Commodore 64 way of doing things, now or ever. Quite why MS think this is a better way of doing things is beyond belief. It has convinced me that the entire computing world has gone completely and utterly insane.

I very often have multiple windows open on my desktop while working - a chat program, a notepad window, a calculator, a couple of explorer windows, etc. etc. According to what I'm reading, with Windows 8 I'll no longer be able to do that. From the sounds of it I'll have to be constantly flicking back and forth between fullscreen apps, with only one visible at a time. I mean, wasting a full screen on a calculator, for example? That's going to fuck me up so badly that I'll be avoiding Windows 8 on the strength of that alone.

Fuck the start menu, fuck the taskbars, why you lot aren't screaming about the loss of multiple on-screen windows and multitasking has got me stumped!

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Intel contextual awareness: 'We know what your wife is up to'

Steven Roper
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Re: Should I call ?

Before you contact user, the following context information is available:

User Relationship: Spouse

Location : Western Star Motel, 1175 Interstate Highway 2

Room Allocated : 3 hours

'Phone Location: On Dresser

'Phone Microphone Data: "Oh god oh yes oh god oh god [spouse's name] do it me do it harder YES!..."

Options:

1) Call Spouse.

2) Call Divorce Lawyer.

3) Explode Spouse's Phone Battery.

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Hacker uses Kindle as Raspberry Pi screen

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Re: Looks like an iPad

What is the point of polluting comments on a Raspberry Pi article with complaints about Fanboi trolling? Must be a fanboi.

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Want to avoid another cookie law mess? Talk to EU bods next time

Steven Roper
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Re: Yeah, good luck with that one

"if you want to use our site accept whatever cookies we want, otherwise our website won't work for you"

Their webmasters have already learned this tactic long ago because of NoScript. The number of sites I've seen that display nothing but an advisory that Javascript is disabled and must be enabled to see the site at all, was increasing long before this cookie issue came up.

It's all very well to take one's business to a competitor, but when all the competitors do the same thing as well simply because the benefits outweigh the costs, and there's no other way to replicate the required functionality, what are you going to do? Stop going online completely?

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Australia won't back away from data retention plan

Steven Roper
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Re: VPN everywhere

It's done with the client - it sets an icon in the systray (bottom right of the taskbar where the clock is). Right-click the icon and it pops up a menu from which you can switch VPNs, disconnect, or reconnect, with a couple of clicks.

There's no reason why your wife wouldn't be able to do it.

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Steven Roper
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Re: VPN everywhere

Free VPNs and proxies are a waste of time, and all too often they're provided free by foreign governments or criminal agencies who use them to intercept your credentials, track your site visits and other nefarious purposes.

I use VyprVPN, which costs $19.95 AU per month, and gives me fast, reliable VPN service in a choice of 6 countries - USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France and Hong Kong. Their system uses OpenVPN, a FOSS VPN client that is easy to set up and use, and Goldenfrog (the providers of VyprVPN) also provide automated set up for the client, so all you do is download and install it, put in the username and password you signed up with, select a country you want to appear to be in, and off you go. Once it's running, all your net applications - browser, email, bittorrent, whatever - are automatically routed through the VPN.

It's not only useful for preventing data retention, my major use for it is circumventing geolocation lockouts. Can't watch Hulu TV because I'm in Australia? No problem - just set the VPN to America and I can watch all I want. BBC iPlayer? Set it to UK. Throw off the MAFIAA? Hong Kong.

I used to only use it for the above, but because of this law, I now leave the VPN on all the time - my computers boot with it on. The only records my ISP will have of me is a constant running encrypted connection to other countries.

A few caveats with using VPNs with secure sites, however - be careful if you log into your bank, or games like World of Warcraft (or systems like Steam), or any porn sites you may be a member of. If you try to log in to your bank, and you've normally done this from Australia, suddenly appearing to be from Hong Kong or America could cause them to raise questions. Likewise WoW gets very shitty if you appear to be outside your native country when you log in.

And porn sites use IP location to prevent account sharing - I've had accounts cancelled and my credit card blocked by a couple of such sites because I accidentally logged in with the VPN set to a different country than the one I signed up from - they thought I'd shared the account. So if you're going to sign up to such sites, do so with the VPN on and make sure it's always set to the same country whenever you log into that site. (I tend to sign up to porn sites from the France VPN given their laissez-faire attitude to sex!)

That's about all you need to be aware of, really. It's not rocket science. VyprVPN is very easy to set up and once it's going, it's completely transparent. And that lovely "fuck your geolocation" feeling you get when you download content from a region-locked site that normally blocks your country is worth every cent by itself!

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'Picture of Dorian Gray' borrowed in 1934 is finally returned

Steven Roper
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@ Fibbles

Absolutely agree on that point, but I suppose there is reason for it...

You see, the "local" library is in town, and my parents' house is in (what was then) the outer suburbs, and I was in grade 6 at the time, so as you can imagine I required Mum and Dad's Taxi Service to get me in and out of town. By the time I was old enough to go into town by myself I was more interested in discos and girls than libraries and books. After that I got into computers (which wasn't good for my interest in girls or books!), and the rest, as they say, is history.

But you're right, of course, and I'll try to make a bit more of an effort to visit the library in future. If only because it's something different to do!

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Steven Roper
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Wow, and I thought I was a record holder

for late library books.

While clearing out an old storage shed a couple of years ago, I discovered a copy of Wind In The Willows that I'd borrowed from the local library as a primary school kid in 1977 and forgotten to return. I also was trepidatious about the late fees, but I reckoned if the library tried to hit me up for that many times the book's value I could make enough of a song and dance about it in the local media that I'd most likely get away with it.

So I took it back, explaining to the librarian how I'd borrowed it as a primary school kid back in 1977 and forgotten to return it. She was so gobsmacked that she simply waived the late fees - which we computed just out of interest; adjusted for inflation it came to $955.50 AUD (for our UK readers, about £620.) The librarian said it had to be the latest book she'd ever seen returned - 33 years, although she was quite young and had only worked there for 4 years. The fact that I'd checked the book out 10 years before she was even born was a point of amusement for both of us!

In fact, the book wasn't even in the system any more, and hadn't been for years. Obviously it had been written off as lost decades ago, and since then the system had changed so many times any record of it was long since gone. The librarian had to enter it into the system as a new acquisition.

But yeah, I reckon 1934 beats my 1977 by a fair old chalk. Kudos to that woman!

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Now Apple wants Samsung S III, Galaxy Notes off the shelves too

Steven Roper
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Facepalm

Re: banning Samsung in us

And that post, ladies and gentlemen, is why we can thank whatever deities we do or do not believe in, that we are not telepaths.

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Steven Roper
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Mushroom

Hey terrorists!

Want to win worldwide support for your holy cause?

Would some kind-hearted terrorist please do the world a real favour and just let one of Russia's missing nukes off in Cupertino already?

If you have something along the lines of the Tsar Bomba that'd be fantastic, ta. Failing that, one of North Korea's spare dirty bombs should do the trick nicely. Pull that one off and I'll kneel at the feet of Kim Jong-Il's statue my bloody self!

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Cambodia set to boot out Pirate Bay co-founder

Steven Roper
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Re: Quick...

Sorry, the Ecuadorian embassy is already taken. But he might have better luck trying North Korea. I hear they don't think much of intellectual property law over there lately...

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China mutates plants ... IN SPAAAAAACE

Steven Roper
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Go

I'm still waiting

for someone like the Chinese or Russians to come out with some triffids.

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Firefox, Opera allow crooks to hide an entire phish site in a link

Steven Roper
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Childcatcher

There's another reason

to avoid URL shortening services; it's one reason why I've blocked more than 100 of them at my company's firewall, and continue to add others as I find them.

That reason is perhaps best explained by this ArsTechnica article.

In short, there are trolls who think it's funny to post shortened-URL links to law-enforcement-monitored child pornography honeypots. Click on that, and your IP address gets logged by a law enforcement agency, who then come looking for child porn at your home. Given today's witch-hunt mentality in this arena, what that amounts to, especially if you are male, is that Your. Life. Is. Fucked. Innocent or not.

So in order to protect my staff and our business from this kind of fuckery, in addition to the aforementioned possibility of attack vectors and phishing sites all too often linked to by these services, I've chosen to globally block every URL shortening service I can find at the firewall. There are occasional complaints here and there, but I think most of my team understand the reasons why I won't allow these services at work.

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Windows 7 passes XP, Mac OS X passes Vista

Steven Roper
Silver badge

Re: Windows 98

My friend also runs Windows 98 on his internet/email machine at home. He maintains it does everything he wants. What's interesting is, as somebody mentioned above about there being no security patches for it - well, according to my friend, there's none needed.

My friend hasn't had malware on that machine in years, and he's been to some damned dodgy sites on it. Most, if not all, malware these days relies on the NT kernel (i.e. Win NT, 2K, XP, Vista and 7) to do its evil business.

Which Windows 98 does not have.

Which means modern malware won't work on it. And so few people still use it that it's not worth the effort of the malware crooks to support it. My friend maintains that running Windows 98, a long-obsolete system almost no-one uses any more, has become more secure than running an NT-based machine with an antivirus. He has an old antivirus anyway, just in case there's a bit of Nimda or Melissa still floating around, but I haven't seen that machine catch anything since Geocities was big business!

Of course, there's still the many other security holes that might allow an attacker to get remote control of his machine, but they'd have to be running some pretty antiquated shit themselves to do it!

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Boffins create super-muscular 'Hulk' mice: Humans next

Steven Roper
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Re: But...

What clothing bill?

As far as I recall, David Banner usually pinched someone else's outfit off the nearest clothesline whenever he came to after a Hulk session...

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Patent flame storm: Reg hack biteback in reader-pack sack attack

Steven Roper
Silver badge

"Which the one-man band in his workshop at home can't"

Nail on the head there, Dave. I wish I could upvote your post a dozen times.

The patent system is geared towards Big Business and NOT individual inventors, in much the same way copyright is geared towards Big Media. It costs so much to register, let alone defend, a patent that only multinational corporations can derive any benefits from them.

This makes any argument about "protecting struggling inventors", much like the furphy of the "struggling artist", specious in the extreme. A genuinely struggling independent artist has no more money or hope of defending her music from being plastered all over Pirate Bay, than a garage inventor has the ability to prevent his power-saving electrical circuit from being stolen or copied by the likes of Apple. The initial consultation fees of the lawyers alone are so far out of reach of either as to make the entire intellectual property system nothing more than a source of ammo for corporate warfare - and most importantly, as a tool for locking out the bedroom artist or garage inventor from protecting any innovations of their own.

Until justice, as well as the intellectual property system, are easily accessible by everyone, not just the super-rich and their cronies, that system will continue to only serve to place our culture, and our very way of life, increasingly under the heavy-handed control of organisations whose very existence has nothing at all to do with enriching or bettering humanity and everything to do with filling their shareholders' pockets at the expense of the rest of us.

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