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* Posts by Steve Knox

1411 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

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Cult of T-Mob US wants you to INDOCTRINATE your friends and family

Steve Knox
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So have they...

fixed the massive holes in their coverage yet?

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Get ready: The top-bracket young coders of the 2020s will be mostly GIRLS

Steve Knox
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FAIL

"You can look at the results for ICT as well as computing below."

If you want to strain your eyes looking at an incredibly small, blurred screenshot.

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Hi-ho EVO: VMware eyes TWO new hardware-flavored trademarks

Steve Knox
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Funny

I thought EVO was an SSD line from Samsung...

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Steve Knox
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WTF?

Re: Standard Windows timings

Wait, you've done one Windows install (two if you count the repeat), so you feel qualified to generalize how it installs on any hardware?

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EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: Sauce For The Goose...

"Try working in local government before you rattle on about how corrupt/wasteful/secretive it is."

Straw man argument - I didn't single out local government for criticism, but don't let that interfere with your right to feel offended.

So you pick out one sentence of a longer, more complicated post, and use a technical discrepancy between that sentence and your post to try to invalidate the poster's entire argument...and you call their argument a straw man?

Please learn about logic before posting again.

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UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones

Steve Knox
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Re: we need the public to become educated in the tools they are using and what can be installed

"Unlike El Reg and its commentards, not everybody devotes their whole life to being a tech expert. IMO, pins set by default would help those normal people."

And not everyone becomes a car mechanic, but we still expect them to be able to change a tyre, replace a fuse/bulb, check pressure/oil/water etc. This is no different.

Oh goody, the automobile analogy. Let's run with that one:

Does your auto dealer sell you a car with no door locks and an arcane document telling you how to install your own? 'cos that's essentially what you get with phones today.

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Steve Knox
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Re: Condition

"and omit the ActiveX support."

That's rarely an issue these days. Over 90% of desktop / laptop exploits in the last year involved Java....

...which in IE is implemented as an ActiveX control...

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Time to ditch HTTP – govt malware injection kit thrust into spotlight

Steve Knox
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Re: Well, but in this case HTTPS wouldn't help

Most governments already run their own CAs which means they can easily issue fake certificates which will be accepted by the browser.

Only if your browser is configured to trust the government-run CA. If you don't know how to change the CAs your browser will trust, google <your browser> manage certificates.

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Visual Studio Online goes titsup as Microsoft wrestles with database

Steve Knox
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Coat

So how long until...

Cortana goes titsup...?

(The dirty mac, please.)

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It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

Steve Knox
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Headmaster

"...which it difficult to print them a business card..."

That's not a typo on my part (or El Reg's for that matter); that's a direct copy from his blog post.

Sigh.

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Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

What!?

... the extrapolated trend would show TLC NAND costing the same as SATA disks after 2070.

Did you just try to extend a technology-specific trend line out for 50 years!?

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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Apple, Intel, Google told to stop being tightwads and pay out MORE in wage-fix settlement

Steve Knox
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Happy

Re: A US Judge has smited an attempt

Yes, but an even better phrasing would be:

Apple, Google, et al. smitten by Judge Lucy Koh.

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IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Steve Knox
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Re: Reinventing the flat tyre

That's what it's designed for. See the PRNGs in the diagram? They're there to provide the unreliability*, essentially.

* Specifically, they're there to add noise to the spike thresholds for the neurons. The desired effect is neurons may fire before their threshold is reached (?intuition?) or may not fire when they "should" (?anyone got a good term for this -- ironically, I can't think of one!?).

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Citrix reveals product design methodology, asks YOU to use it

Steve Knox
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Given the quality I've seen from Citrix of late...

$100 sounds about right.

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CryptoLocker victims offered free key to unlock ransomed files

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: The real question is "who is really behind Cryptolocker" ?

No, these are well-known security companies who participated in the recent takedown of some C&C servers. The tool didn't appear like magic; it's pretty well explained in the article.

The truth is known, you just don't want to accept it.

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IBM can't give away its chip business: report

Steve Knox
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Headmaster

Re: "Big Blue is believed to leak a billion or two dollars each year"

<pendant>

....

</pendant>

Well? Don't leave us hanging!

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SCORE: Rosetta probe hits orbit of duck-shaped comet

Steve Knox
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Coat

Title

Europe space team scores WORLD FIRST

Comet first, shurely...

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Google on Gmail child abuse trawl: We're NOT looking for other crimes

Steve Knox
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Re: slippery slope or lawsuit magnet?

At no point did I suggest that Google was breaking the terms of its contract.

I didn't say that you did. I was pointing out that what you said was "not Google's job" was also not prohibited, and so your using that to rebut AndyS's argument that law enforcement properly obtained their warrant was specious.

I was suggesting that this kind of data mining is not in the long term interests of society (although I am very persuaded by the postcard argument).

I think you need to be more specific about "this kind of data mining". Do you mean specifically what Google did to find out about these images? Does "this kind of data mining" extend to what the NSA's doing? What about to what Assange, Manning, and Snowden did? That was data mining, too.

As to the slippery slope, what is fallacious about it?

The presumption that one instance will necessarily lead to another, which is necessarily worse. That's the definition, and the flaw, of a slippery-slope argument.

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Steve Knox
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Re: slippery slope or lawsuit magnet?

It is the job of the law enforcement agencies to approach Google with a warrant, not for Google to approach law enforcement agencies and suggest that they might want to take a warrant out on one of their clients.

But it is not illegal for Google to do so if they tell the client they might do so and the client agrees. When you sign up for gmail, you are agreeing to let them do all sorts of stuff with your data.

If you're a witness to a crime, you are not necessarily required by law to report it, but that doesn't mean it's wrong for you to report it.

I concede that, in this case, the right outcome was achieved - but I worry that this will make it harder for the right outcome to be achieved in the future, and that it could result ...blah blah blah.

Do you have an argument that isn't based on the slippery slope fallacy?

Something along the lines of, maybe, "Google's terms and conditions don't adequately spell out that they'll be scanning your images for child abuse images" or "<insert locality privacy law here> prohibits Google from performing this scanning" would be appropriate, if borne out by the evidence.

I don't have a gmail account, so I can't be arsed to research this, but I think you'll find that Google has. They've been wrong before, though.

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UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

Steve Knox
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Re: That's just plain wrong...

Solicitors don't agree cases in front of judge.....

Well, that's certainly true. The last five words are practically superfluous.

Whether solicitors argue cases in front of judges depends on the specific country's justice system and specific court (and even time period.)

Even if you meant to contrast solicitors with barristers in England, now solicitors can argue cases in court, and in the past the hiring of a solicitor was a prerequisite to the engagement of a barrister. In any case, whilst a barrister might be a benefit, a good solicitor would be as well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solicitor

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Lawyer for alleged Silk Road kingpin wants all evidence thrown out

Steve Knox
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Re: but I thought

Nope.

The assertion that the evidence was not obtained properly is not tied to his assertion of innocence. Before the second can be tested, the first must be resolved, because the evidence is what must be used to test the assertion of innocence.

Or to put it more simply, the fact that evidence was obtained from a person, legally or not, does not mean that that person is guilty of something.

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We sent a probe SIX BILLION km to measure temperature of a COMET doing 135,000 km/h

Steve Knox
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Re: Celsius?

I thought it was 0.01 degree.

You are correct. I'm not sure if I misread or mistyped it. But the point is that Celsius and Centigrade differ by a known, constant quantity which is less than the precision used in the article. So for the purposes of this discussion, they are interchangeable.

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Steve Knox
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Re: Celsius?

Celsius and Centigrade agree to within 0.1 degree. So if you know one, you know the other to within 0.1 degree.

Since the level of precision used in the article is either 1 or 10 degrees, either label is accurate.

NO international standard of measure requires the use of specific equipment or methodology to use, as you wrongly claim. There are specific standards against which any equipment or methodology must be calibrated and proven, but once properly calibrated any equipment and methodology which has been proven can be used.

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Microsoft: IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 is TOO GOOD. So we'll cripple it like Safari

Steve Knox
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Flame

Re: Mobile-specific web pages are usually a UI travesty

Unfortunately pinch to zoom does more than just enlarge things - it starts mangling coordinate systems and triggering events and overflows. So people sometimes disable it to prevent a site from breaking in other ways.

Rather than redesigning their sites to take into account the fact that HTML was designed from the beginning to flow.

Even El Reg is guilty of this. See those giant empty bands on either side of your widescreen display? Those are there because web designers are too stupid to make the content pane dynamically resize to fit the screen. So readers have to scroll more and read less at a time, because most sites are still based on a horribly ill-fitting fixed-width model of the antiquated print industry.

The only reason so many web designers still have work is because they keep having to come up with more shite hacks to make their original shite hacks compatible with new standards.

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Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

Steve Knox
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" I was always taught when looking at a paper then I needed to consider the perspective of the writer and the context of the paper."

A true observation is a true observation, it shouldn't matter who says it.

A statement needs to be shown to be true before being accepted as true.

But if you are adopting this approach then you'll have to take into account the fact that those working in climate 'science' have a massively vested interest in not de-railing the funding bandwagon. What are they all going to do when the sham is exposed?

Well, with that modelling expertise, they could work in financial systems. In fact, if the money is their motivation, they should do that now. <a href="http://arstechnica.com/science/2011/02/if-climate-scientists-push-the-consensus-its-not-for-the-money/>http://arstechnica.com/science/2011/02/if-climate-scientists-push-the-consensus-its-not-for-the-money/</a>

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Steve Knox
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Re: Maths is not science?

"Science is an acceptance of a working hypothesis, a model, ready to be struck down and replaced at any moment, when a better one is found,"

A better one doesn't have to be found.

If an experiment shows a hypothesis to be wrong, then it's wrong.

End of.

Not quite, especially in physics.

Observation in the nineteenth century showed that Newton's hypotheses were wrong, but they were accepted because the variances were a) generally found in edge cases, b) not significant for most purposes, and c) sometimes discarded as observational error.

Now we know that Newton was indeed wrong, but his equations are still used, because a) and b) above are still true, and his equations are easier to wrangle than Einstein's.

Hypotheses and models aren't disposed of immediately upon discovery (or even verification) of counterevidence; they are still valuable provided they are the closest or even an acceptable approximation.

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Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: Medical Doctor

Because this is a Lewis Page article on climate change. Anything which doesn't fit his narrative is quietly ignored.

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Steve Knox
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Re: Serious (maths) question ...

In this context, "chaotic" means "complex and highly sensitive to initial conditions", and not "non-deterministic" as commonly interpreted. The short answer is that regular sampling can give insight into trends and correlations.

Wikipedia is a surprisingly good starting point for questions like these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaotic_systems#Distinguishing_random_from_chaotic_data. As usual, don't take it as gospel, but you can get the basic idea, and follow the references for more detail.

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Steve Knox
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Boffin

Selectivity

"About one third of all the CO2 emitted by mankind since the industrial revolution has been put into the atmosphere since 1997; yet there has been no statistically significant increase in the mean global temperature since then," the two MPs state.

Why did they pick 1997? Because 1997 and 1998 were high-anomaly years,so they skew short-term analysis. Had they started from 1999, or 1996, they would have seen a clear trend. The overall trend is clearly warming, even from 1997 onward. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.txt

"By definition, a period with record emissions but no warming cannot provide evidence that emissions are the dominant cause of warming!"

This statement ignores so many factors (e.g, selective dataset, overall chaotic nature of the system being studied, delaying factors) that I'm ashamed it was released by human beings, let alone ones with "scientific training."

Even someone trained as a scientist can fall prey to poor (or even intentionally biased) data selection. This is why we have the scientific method.

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HGST polishes Ultrastar SSD whoppers, stuffs with denser Intel flash

Steve Knox
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Happy

Comparison Pic

Based on the comparison picture, it appears that the 800MH.B has a daughterboard (and hence more flash total than the 1600s -- makes sense for the write-intensive application.)

But what's more interesting is that the MM and MR appear to use the same board, indicating perhaps just a firmware change to differentiate between balanced and read-intensive operations.

However, I thought that it had been medically proven that regular reading does not harm your eyesight -- so what accounts for the read-intensive MR being so much blurrier...?

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Colbert report reveals VMware's AirWatch integration plan

Steve Knox
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Mushroom

Why does EVERY IT corp try to do EVERYTHING!?

VMWare does virtualization. Quite well.

But they can't stop there, can they? They have to buy and extend and grow until they do a ton of stuff really crappily, including their once core business of virtualization.

And they're not the only ones. Microsoft's OS has suffered by their (mostly failed) attempts to extend into everything. Google's search engine, once proud of their lightweight, simple interface, is now cluttered with more ads for Google services than actual search results. Symantec began life as a seller of simple but functional utilities, and now most of their products are little more than bloatware. And Citrix -- well, they've always been a bit crap ; )

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

Steve Knox
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Re: power grid

Riley went through the last 50 years of solar data and calculated that the chances of a Carrington-class storm hitting Earth over a decade were 12 per cent.

12% seems unlikely, but not quite impossible. Before this story, the more common estimate was that Carringtons happened once every century, which seems more believable.

Well, If the chances are 12% per decade, then the chances of at least one per century are roughly 1-(1-0.12)^10 = 1-(0.88)^12 = 1-0.2785 +~72%. The chances of exactly one per century are roughly 38%. The chances of more than two per century are only ~10.9%

With these chances, over time, you'd average ~1.2 per century.

So there's really not much difference between a 12% chance per decade and an average of one per century. (The difference would be one extra event every 500 years, on average.)

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Experts gathered round corpse of PC market: It's ALIVE! Alive, we tell you

Steve Knox
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Joke

No, they mean THE average organisation.

The Average Organisation -- Mediocrity since 1834.

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Simple Solution

Devalue the pound.

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: Storage cost

Moore's law says that will fall back to about $50,000 by 2034.

No, it doesn't. Moore's law is about transistor density on silicon chips. It says nothing about storage prices.

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EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: Never mind that

@Tom 35

Re:"You want Google or Microsoft deciding what is in the public interest?"

No. They are the perps. We are the victims.

Well, the current ruling requires Google and Microsoft to decide what is in the public interest. So if the data protection authorities don't meet with them and hammer our a coherent standard, then G & M will have to continue to decide it.

That's why they have to meet -- not for "blessing" or impact statements or because of some made-up criminal court-corporate conspiracy.

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Elon Musk GIVES UP ON SEX: He'll make do with a 'cheap' Tesla III instead

Steve Knox
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Happy

Re: SF (San Jose) to LA (Pasadena) nonstop??

Or you could use a Prius C, still one tank or less, but its tank is just 9.5 gallons, saving you roughly $44. (11.5 gallons @ $3.83/gallon [Costco Gilroy's current price])

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Steve Knox
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F for Ford, E for Edsel?

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ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial

Steve Knox
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Headmaster

Point of Order

Every rock found on Mars is extraterrestrial.

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Microsoft's new 'Adam' AI trounces Google ... and beats HUMANS

Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Wait...

If humans only get the categorization right about 20% of the time, how do we know what the right category for the other 80% is...?

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Another 'NSA-proof' webmail biz popped by JavaScript injection bug

Steve Knox
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Re: Sigh...

PGP, or, for that matter, GPG's interface sucks more than even Microsoft could dream up, it is a usability nightmare. In the hands of someone who is technically literate it's fine, but it is miles from end user compatible.

In general, writing a new UI for an existing relatively-well-proven encryption system is simpler than writing a new encryption system. The question is, why has this not happened w/r/t PGP/GPG?

In addition, as soon as you start talking about key management to the average Joe you've lost them before you have even started.

The average Joe doesn't have a house or flat key, or a car or bike key, or a locker key, or keys for their workplace? The principles of management for digital keys are no different from those for physical keys. If the digital system doesn't express those principles in a reasonable analogue to the physical, the solution is the same: fix the UI.

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Qualcomm fires DMCA shotgun at alleged code thieves on GitHub – including itself

Steve Knox
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Re: These are getting too much

Filing a false DMCA takedown is perjury, and false filers can be held responsible for damages. See, for example, https://www.eff.org/press/archives/2004/10/15

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You CAN'T bust into our login app's password vault, insists Roboform

Steve Knox
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FAIL

Low Standards

While it's feasibly possible, it's very unlikely that the average person finding a phone with RoboForm installed could execute the precise steps needed to do what Mr. Moore is doing with the emulator.

Well, if that's the standard, then RoboForm's app is completely uselsss.

If defeating "the average person" is all you want to do, just put a suitably complex unlock code on your phone and store your other passwords in a text file; no need to download an app.

If you want to secure your passwords from more than "the average person", I'd recommend anything but RoboForm, as their spokesman has just confirmed their standards don't extend that far.

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Oh SNAP! Old-school '80s Unix hack to smack OSX, iOS, Red Hat?

Steve Knox
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Re: Very unclear

The problem is parsing of filenames by traditional unix utilities, since "everybody" knows that if a filename starts with dash (i.e. - ) then programs will parse it as if it was an option.

No, the problem is method of expansion of wildcards by the shell, combined with the tradition of Unix of allowing essentially any printable character in a filename.

The shell expands the wildcards by interpreting them and placing the resulting filenames UNQUOTED into the argument string of the utility.

The fix is to rewrite the shell wildcard expansion routine to quote every filename. For example, in a directory with the following files:

Important File.ows

shellscript.sh

My "Expenses".ods

-rf

the shell command rm * is being passed to the utility as

rm Important\ File.ows shellscript.sh My\ \"Expenses\".ods -rf

(Note that the shell is smart enough to escape characters which are used for argument separation or quotation, but it doesn't escape the parameter character "-". This actually makes sense, because whether an argument is a parameter or not should be up to the application.)

when it should be

rm "Important File.ows" "shellscript.sh" "My \"Expenses\".ods" "-rf"

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Windows 7, XP and even Vista GAIN market share again

Steve Knox
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Re: Is this really possible?

Most of the decrease in Windows 8 as a percentage is due to uptake in Windows 8.1 (1.72% to 6.61%).

Win 8.x combined has gone from a 9.25% to 12.54% share, a gain of 3.29 percentage points. This is certainly not stellar, but Windows 7 only gained 4.13 percentage points over the same period, and despite the sensationalistic statistical selectivity employed in the article, XP and Vista both dropped over the last nine months, XP significantly.

Separating out Windows 8 and 8.1 is a little disingenuous: XP, Vista, and Windows 7 aren't separated into their respective service pack levels, and whatever Microsoft might want you to think, Windows 8.1 is really no more than a service pack for Windows 8 with a few UI tweaks.

This is not to say that Windows 8 is performing well at all; by this time it ought to be on par with Windows 7 in market share.

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New research: Flash is DEAD. Yet resistance isn't futile - it's key

Steve Knox
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Re: Top boffinry by the sound of it

Thumb drive!? I could replace my SAN with a gross of those chips...

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Steve Knox
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Re: Holy Carp!

Hmmm. Something fishy about your post...

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Steve Knox
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Holmes

I'm pretty sure....

they meant that they're fatal to Cybermen.

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Google kills its successful social network. Yes, we mean Orkut

Steve Knox
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Trollface

C'mon, it's not that bad...

But nothing else will be transferred, which will undoubtedly frustrate the hell out of folk who have painstakingly built up a social following on Orkut only to discover they have to start again. From scratch. On Google+.

They could always start again from scratch on Facebook instead...

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