* Posts by Novex

200 posts • joined 20 Jun 2011

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Earth's core is younger than its crust surface

Novex
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Pitching for down votes... ;-)

So, the age of the earth is dependent on where you measure it from, because it's all relative. Measured from the surface, the centre is the same age as the surface. Measured from the centre, the surface is the same age as the centre. The difference between the two, which would have a single start point about 4.5 billion years ago, is down to the way atoms and particles and everything else in the centre are slowed down by gravitational dilation while at the surface they move just a little faster because there's less gravitational effect.

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Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

Novex
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We'd expect commenters to have an opinion on this …

Me? I haven't got an opinion on this at all...

.

.

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...not! ;-)

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Google Chrome deletes Backspace

Novex
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Re: Long overdue

You can easily fix that in Firefox. Type about:config into the url bar, and copy-paste browser.backspace_action into the search field. Set the value to 2 and you're good!

Thanks for that. It appears that in the version of Firefox I'm using on Linux Mint it's already set to 2. I haven't experienced the backspace causing back paging in Linux, and maybe that'll be why.

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Novex
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Re: Long overdue

I've had this problem in Firefox and a while ago now also in IE. I always hated it. Maybe the other browser suppliers can get rid of it too?

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Microsoft shifts Windows 7 and 8.1 fixes to 'rollup' bundles

Novex
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Microsoft could solve these problems 'easily' by just taking out the telemetry and forced updates from Windows 10, then I think most people would be reasonably happy to upgrade to Win 10 and leave Win 7 and 8 behind.

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The Windows 10 future: Imagine a boot stamping on an upgrade treadmill forever

Novex
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But with Firefox at least, you can install an older version and keep it that way. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get hold of older extensions though, but once installed they can also be kept stuck at older versions, if necessary. There would be potential security risks of course if older versions don't get security patches.

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Novex
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If there's one thing...

...I've noted it's that people running businesses (especially smaller ones, the SMEs) don't like to have to keep adapting to change. They want their systems to remain consistent, reliable, and predictable. Windows 10 is basically saying 'f**k you, we don't care, we just want to keep shoving stuff down your pipe that you didn't ask for, and to grab all your data so we can advertise sh*t at you' (I'm paraphrasing, btw ;-).

If the business users of this type can find a different way of doing things which keeps stable desktops and servers that doesn't require mollycoddling to keep them running, then they'll take it. If that's Remix OS, or Linux Mint, or some other flavour of OS, then that's where they'll go.

Really, MS, do you think that you can turn all PCs into Xboxes, and particularly business critical systems? You need to wake up and smell the coffee.

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Ooh missus, get a grip on my notifications

Novex
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Re: Yay

I have to employ different writing styles for different recipients of texts. One likes it good and proper, another likes it a bit middling, and another likes it quick and messy.

Hang on, that sounds like I've just written something with innuendo in it...

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Debian farewells Pentium

Novex
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Time moves on...

...and I don't think it's reasonable to keep supporting what are now very old processors in current releases of operating systems. However, the older versions of the OSes will still work on those CPUs, so all is not lost. It's just that any patches might not be automatically available. But if someone is really determined to keep old PCs running and patched, with Linux at least they can (for the moment at least) add the patches manually.

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'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

Novex
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Re: Slow checking for updates...

Windows 7 has always been slow checking for updates.

Not on my PCs. It was always quite fast ('checking for updates' completed within five minutes) until the beginning of the Windows 10 bandwagon, and since then that initial check just got slower and slower. The rest of the update process is as per, sometimes slow, sometimes fast, depending on what was updated. But that initial check is where the problem seems to lie.

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Novex
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Slow checking for updates...

...seems to have become MS's way of trying to kick us into Win10 land. Well, not for me. I now use Mint for my general stuff, and keep a partition for remaining Windows stuff that won't run on Linux. Since most of that legacy use doesn't need internet, I've switched off updates completely. When I have several hours to spare in a month I might go for a manual update attempt, but I'm even contemplating stopping that. You've lost me MS, all because you loaded Win 10 with telemetry and forced updates, and have been trying desperately to retrocompromise Win 7. Bad behaviour means loss of custom. And no, I don't believe your 300 million install shit.

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Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

Novex
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I'll believe it when I see it...

... so scuse me for being a doubting tommy, and as others have alluded to I bet the telemetry crap will still be hanging around, and I bet there will still be a paucity of details on what each update actually is.

And will they fix the crappy slow 'checking for updates' problem on Win 7? Probably not...

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Microsoft: Why we tore handy Store block out of Windows 10 Pro PCs

Novex
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FAIL

Size isn't everything...

Whether the office has one PC or one thousand PCs, that doesn't change the need to retain corporate control. Upgrading to Enterprise edition isn't going to happen (is it even possible with a single license?)

Oh, and how long will it be before the PowerShell hack to remove the store gets blocked?

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Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips

Novex
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I wonder what this might mean for ultra low power x86 PCs for use as micro servers?

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There's more to life than Windows

Novex
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Externally Facing Devices

I'm fairly sure things like externally facing routers and the like shouldn't be AD aware. If they get pwned, then there's the potential for your whole AD infrastructure to get pwned...?

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Ex-Apple gurus' elusive Android phone coming to UK next month

Novex
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Re: I hate ...

According to the UK site, there's a micro sd card capability up to 64GB. If it's actually an XD spec then it should take 128GB and larger cards as well, but that's not something I've read in their specs.

Obi MV1 UK Page

It also doesn't mention whether the SD card slot is shared with either of the sim slots, as happens in some other phones.

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Thunderbird is GO: Mozilla prepares to jettison mail client

Novex
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My biggest concern is that whoever takes this on doesn't change the basic layout and usability of the application. I don't want to see a completely made over interface, changed for the sake of change. Keep it looking and working as per its current appearance, and only add features that are useful into the existing design, and fix any bugs.

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Storage with the speed of memory? XPoint, XPoint, that's our plan

Novex
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SCM for Consumers?

In my understanding, XPoint seems pretty much redundant in SSD form when connected via SATA, and is under utilized when on PCIe. With the best use case being on a DIMM slot on the memory bus, I wonder if consumer-intended enthusiast-class motherboards might get XPoint DIMM slots on them... (all I've heard re SCM is that it'll be on server boards, not consumer boards).

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Intel's XPoint emperor has no clothes, only soiled diapers

Novex
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Oh, and...

...I seem to remember that when Intel/Micron first announced X-Point, they said 'up to 1000x' faster? Which would likely mean 1000x faster than the slowest flash they could find, not 1000x faster than the fastest.

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Novex
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SSD?

I started to get worried when I read the Tom's Hardware article about the presentation - which mentioned that the Optane memory was in an SSD being tested over Thunderbolt 3. I thought, "Why do a presentation in such a constrained setup. Surely a proper motherboard-based test would show off its capabilities better?" Then the penny dropped that they might be trying to hide something.

We'll have to wait for real product to know for sure, but my hopes for this new memory has been significantly lowered.

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US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Novex
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IT Angle

IT?

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Dropping 1,000 cats from 32km: How practical is that?

Novex
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What I want to know...

...is what would happen if they were Schrodinger's Cats? Would they fall down or up? Would they even be there at all? And if they were dead when they started, would they be alive when they landed?

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Field technicians want to grab my tool and probe my things

Novex
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The Trouble is...

...that there won't be IoT repair men, there will be IoT replacement people who will come and simply take away the broken thing and replace it with a newer model at a price. Repairs seem to have gone out of fashion.

But, maybe your repair woman could have a go with my 'thing'. It could do with an MoT*. But if it fails the MoT I'll need a new one...

*MoT = Manipulator of Things

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Microsoft cracks open Visual Studio to Linux C++ coders

Novex
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Remote build - does this mean the plugin takes my code, puts it onto a Microsoft server somewhere, and compiles it there? If so, what MS are asking is for me to give them my source code to whatever application I'm writing, sniff whether it's of any value to them, if so then 'nick' it. If I am working for a client, this arrangement is an absolute no-no.

I'll stick to writing C++ with Code::Blocks on an actual Linux system, thanks.

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Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Novex
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Re: meh

It's called VirtualBox.

How does that get me away from having to run Windows?

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Novex
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Re: meh

Agreed. However, the only things that make me annoyed in Linux is the lack of a fully working WINE that can run any Windows app without issues, and a way to install devices that only have Windows drivers onto Linux. I have some specialist stuff that simply isn't supported on Linux that means I have to keep a Windows option available - and of course, MS would use that as a way to keep me tied to them, rather than being able to jettison Windows once and for all. It's one of the reasons I have to keep one eye on any retreat to Windows 10 update and telemetry policies as it would mean I could use Windows without having to keep looking over my shoulder all the time with Windows 7.

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Confused by crypto? Here's what that password hashing stuff means in English

Novex
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Re: Salts?

This article seems to be a good one for crypto and hashing with salts:

https://crackstation.net/hashing-security.htm

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Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Novex
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Re: It's the data harvesting

I was originally looking forward to Win 10. But, I said it right when MS said the updates weren't going to be user-controllable: it's a deal breaker. That's why I now use Linux Mint as my general PC OS. Add on the data harvesting and the need to be connected to cloud for quite a few of the 'features' to work and it's going to be in trouble getting support in the wider world. Joe Public might not care, but MS must realize that businesses (of which many are very small, and not able to afford Enterprise licensing) aren't going to be happy with any of those three things.

Now, if MS can retreat from these three, at least as options for those users who want and / or need control of their PCs, they might get the sales they want. I know I'd consider a return to Windows in such a situation.

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Microsoft sets date for SQL Server on Linux

Novex
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Re: This is actually largely irrelevant

I can think of at least one practical situation where SQL Server would get rolled out on Linux regularly - and that's where an organisation has a web system based on Linux, and want a member of staff who knows SQL Server from their internal Windows systems to be able to code a database for it. Saves having to pay an additional wage to employ a whiz from the Linux RDBMS pool from outside their organisation. It would also allow standardization on one RDBMS, rather than having multiple different ones.

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Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

Novex
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Surely to be able to check what you're typing there would have to be some Javascript running? If so, get something like NoScript installed and most of that shop* gets nuked...

*as against 'shit'...

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Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

Novex
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Re: Firefox and NoScript

NoScript is pretty good at stopping a fair bit of crap from coming down the pipe, but I'd always have an adblocker and Ghostery in the mix as well.

JavaScript: yes, it shouldn't be able to do anything outside the browser window it's in (including not being able to do anything with other tabs or windows). It can be useful for helping in some application-style web pages where some level of understanding of the user's selections on a page are required. Also there are a few things that in-browser HTML and CSS don't do yet that JS can, though I can't think of any right this minute...

I'm also inclined to agree that sponsor advertising is likely to be where the internet will end up, but it might take a while to get there.

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Microsoft adds 'non-security updates' to security patches

Novex
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Re: Stating the Obvious

The problem is the IE engine is also used in other applications. So if you don't patch it, you may be vulnerable even if you don't use IE to browse the web.

Sneaking something like that into a security update it's truly a sleazy move. Nadella and the Bollysoft crew are utterly unable to understand the long term costs of their behaviour.

But, I can let the IE11 patches go in. Because I don't open IE11 to use it for browsing, I don't see how I'm supposed to see the advertising for Win10...

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Novex
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Stating the Obvious

This seems to be to get around people who have taken control of Windows Update to prevent the crapware for Windows 10. But, in all likelihood, if someone is that savvy to control updates themselves then they probably aren't using IE11 (e.g. I use Firefox). So exactly how is this strategy going to work?

As an example, I've switched off all automatic updating in my W7 partition (which I use for one or two things on my laptop, the rest of my work is done via Linux Mint), and now manually kick off the update process and check through the available updates to deselect and hide anything I don't want. IE11 doesn't get a look in.

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'Microsoft Office has been the bane of my life, while simultaneously keeping me employed'

Novex
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Re: Difficult to describe this one

There's plenty of middle ground between scripting in VBA and close-to-the-metal C++, you know. If you have to produce Excel worksheets for people, there are some nice Apache Commons Java libraries.

I'm not learning C++ to do anything in Office with it, it's for server side programming. Producing Excel worksheets via automation is now a thing of the past for me (I hope!)

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Novex
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Difficult to describe this one

I have used VBA in Orifice over many years (though less so these days). My biggest problem was with automation between Access and other programs, particularly Excel.

If I had been asked to program a formatted and detailed output to Excel (with things like charts and stuff), often the 'easiest' way was to get Access to create an Excel instance in the background, create a workbook and output to that, without having to show the user anything.

Now, often such outputs to Excel would take a few minutes, and the user would go off and do something else while they were waiting, like check other Excel files.

So, cue problem: as far as I could ever figure out, Microsoft never made it possible to prevent the background Excel application from being visible to Windows Explorer. This meant that whenever a user used Explorer to find an Excel file to open and double-clicked it, instead of Windows opening a new instance of Excel, it would always seek an already running one, which would make the background Excel visible and all of the automation occurring from Access into the output file, often mucking up the process as well. Grrrrr.

These days I really try to avoid such things, and I'm trying to get into proper programming, like C++. It's safer than VBA.

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SQL Server for Linux: A sign of Microsoft's weakness. Sort of

Novex
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Perhaps this is a sign that Microsoft is realizing it has to become a software company again, rather than a closed platform system that dominates everything? Sounds obvious now I type it, but during the Gates and Ballmer eras, they just couldn't see it. However, believing that everything can be linked to cloud and controlled from there could be mis-step.

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Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

Novex
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Relying on wifi and cloud to do presentation things in a live environment? Really??

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Oh TechNation. Britain's got tech talent. Just not like this

Novex
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FAIL

Bournemouth...

...and surrounding area: part of the digital economy? Don't make me laugh, it hurts too much.

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'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'

Novex
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An argument for using SPs and only SPs is if you allow query passing and your website does get owned, the database can be queried with anything.

I was going to say something similar. I always work on the principle that 'the client can never be trusted'. In the case of a database, a client is anything connecting to the database, not just a traditional client machine. So a web server would be a client to the DB, and if the web server got owned then the SQL could all be rewritten. It would be even better if there was another authorisation & authentication layer between web server and DB on a different virtual or physical machine that held the DB connection information. The chances of such a mid-tier being owned as well as the front end / web server is even less then.

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Novex
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Re the PHP, I prefer not to even construct any SQL on a client if I can possibly do so. I find it much better to have only stored procedures as the visible interface of a database server, meaning no internal structures of the database are visible to the outside world. Also, that way I can write the SPs to have well-formed SQL checking that no external system can even hope to get round.

Re the final example with the unsigned integer, and bear with me as I'm a bit of a noob in C or C++ territory, but checking for 'i > 0' or 'i >= 1' as the condition in the for loop, rather than 'i>=0', would work wouldn't it?

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Linux Mint forums hacked: All users urged to reset passwords

Novex
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Re: Er...

Novex is not my log in username, only a screen name, and only here and one other site that I use. So in fact in theory not any of the three. I suspect that it's not exactly a unique name bearing in mind that there are around 7+ billion people in the world.

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Novex
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Re: Er...

I already use different complex passwords for each of all my accounts wherever they are. So I only need to change the Linux Mint Forums one...

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Novex
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Er...

...how can I change/reset my password when the forums are offline? (as at time of writing, 14:07GMT 22/02/2016)

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Europe's ExoMars mission enjoys orchestral fanfare

Novex
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Re: Which Orchestra?

It might not be an actual orchestra. It's difficult to tell for sure due to the nature of the compression for the video, but to my ear there is a bit of the sampled sound to the music which could mean someone's used a DAW with a set of sampled orchestra and choir sounds to put this together.

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

Novex
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I always try to use the braces regardless of operator precedence, as I feel it gives anyone else looking at my code a chance to understand my intent in what I was writing, and me a chance of understanding what I was intending when I come back to the code years later...

If anyone prefers not to use the braces and rely on precedence, then at least do us the favour of providing a comment next to the unbraced code showing the intent, either in plain language, or in the form of how the code would look if it was braced.

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This Android Trojan steals banking creds and wipes your phone

Novex
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Re: Just smart enough

I had to root my Android Moto G 1st Gen in order to put in the xprivacy software to make it more secure...

Naturally, I also keep the 'don't install from untrusted sources' set to 'on'.

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IT's Holy Grail, but is DevOps a Poisoned Chalice for sysadmins?

Novex
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Re: Bring on the Future

I too was doing a DevOps style of work back in 2005-2007. I lost that work then due to the 'outsourcing' mania of the noughties, and couldn't adapt to something else before the Crash set in. So fads come and go, and I reckon DevOps will come in and out of fashion as time goes by.

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Private clouds kinda suck, you know?

Novex
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Shadow IT

I was doing that at the desktop many years ago with Excel/Access, when the users wanted to get something done without it being costed as a multi-million dollar project because their IT departments couldn't think in terms of smaller scale solutions. Shadow IT in the form of cloud doesn't therefore surprise me at all. What does surprise me is that any IT system allows users to get through to such public cloud environments.

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Little warning: Deleting the wrong files may brick your Linux PC

Novex
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Re: So, exactly...

OK, I think I get this now. Linux loads all HDD and other device file systems into one file system, including the device that is the UEFI bios. So in Linux that just looks like a folder.

Apologies for my inane initial question, but coming from a Windows background the Linux principal of having devices mounted such that they appear to be folders still catches me out.

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Novex
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Re: So, exactly...

But what about a fresh clean format of the HDD? If the Mobo's bios thought it had an old OS on it that used files on the filesystem somewhere, and you needed to clean the HDD completely and start from scratch, how would the mobo know not to look for the old config files? According to the article, if the files are missing, then the boot is borked.

Are we talking about a situation where the files are actually in the mobo bios, and Linux is making pointers to them with files in the running system, such that if the HDD is formatted the files that point to the bios settings don't matter as they haven't been updated/deleted by the OS itself to change anything in the bios? So is the issue here that if the delete is issued against those files in the Linux file system, then what actually happens is the settings in the bios are deleted...?

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