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* Posts by Steve Knox

1459 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Even easier IT angle

Bet those questions are a thinly disguised attempt to get your password...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/17/chocolate_password_survey/

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Bad news, fandroids: He who controls the IPC tool, controls the DROID

Steve Knox
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

From the whitepaper, they've simply identified an ideal target, in that pretty much all information in an Android system passes through Binder at some point.

While they've been able to simulate an exploit by hacking their own system compiled from Android code, they haven't actually produced a working attack against a production Android device.

So this is more to the point of where should smart criminals or defenders focus their efforts in Android, rather than "ZOMG WERE ALL PWND!"

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'Theoretical' Nobel economics explain WHY the tech industry's such a damned mess

Steve Knox
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And yes, the answer is always informed by our interest in consumers: to go back to the Google example, whatever we do about that search dominance is going to depend on how well consumers do out of it. What the people at Foundem think about it all is irrelevant.

It's amazing how few of your fellow Reg journalists appear to get that last point.

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10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register

Steve Knox
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Happy

“Hello, can I speak to [x] please?”

My favorite phone interaction with a marketing droid:

MD: “Hello, can I speak to Mr. Knox please?”

ME: "Sure."

...5 seconds of dead air later...

MD: “Hello, can I speak to Mr. Knox please?”

ME: "Okay."

...another 5 seconds later...

MD: "...are YOU Mr. Knox...?"

ME: "VERY good! Goodbye!"

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

Steve Knox
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Happy

Re: three modes: "normal, sport and insane".

Hey, the more progress we make towards reaching ludicrous speed, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

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Microsoft confirms Surface NOT DEAD YET, next-gen version coming

Steve Knox
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Re: What's weird is...

...the Surface Pro 3, something closer to a MacBook Air than an iPad...

This is true only in the sense that a gerbil is closer to a porpoise than to a hen.

Since iPads start only a tad lower and go considerably higher you are suggesting they should be cheap because they are no good.

No, we're all suggesting they should be cheap because there's not enough demand for them.

You can justify all you want with your opinion of quality, but at the end of the day, Microsoft is simply not pricing the Surface line where they actually fall on the supply/demand curve. Until they do, they won't ship them in any kind of appreciable quantity. They've already spent billions on marketing trying to shift that line, with no practical effect. They'd be better off cutting the price by 25% and their marketing budget by 50%.

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Google wants to KILL apps with the 'Physical Web'

Steve Knox
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There's an app for that.

"Walk up and use anything".

Yeah, there's an app for that. It's called "hands".

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Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER

Steve Knox
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Re: Prediction

The output can [should] not be determinable by any means other than actually running the hash function against the data, at which point you haven't predicted it; you've calculated it.

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Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s

Steve Knox
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Domestically Manufactured?

There are also rumours suggesting the government has ordered staff to use domestically manufactured phones in the wake of the Snowden leaks.

Why should that be a problem for the iPhone (or almost any other electronic device)?

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Hollywood's made an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film?!

Steve Knox
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Re: "an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film"!?

@dan1980

I believe you did misunderstand me. I understand the difference between empiricism and empirical knowledge, and I respect science specifically because it does acknowledge that it is limited to empirical knowledge. A true scientist, when presented with a question or idea which is not empirically testable, will take the position you have: it is outside the realm of science, and any position taken on it would not be scientifically valid.

My problem is with those who don't recognize or respect that limit; those who truly are dogmatically empiricists, adamantly asserting that empirical knowledge is the only knowledge, in spite of the contradiction that said assertion is not empirically determinable. They are taking that assertion as truth because they say it is, and for no other reason. That is dogmatic empiricism.

Structured religion is, as you say, dogmatic. That still does not change the fact that clinging to such dogma will eventually kill it.

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Steve Knox
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Re: "an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film"!?

Or, to put entirely too fine a point on it:

Dogma's a bitch.

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Steve Knox
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"an INTELLIGENT science vs religion film"!?

There's no such thing. The intelligent recognize that "science vs religion" is a false dichotomy.

There is a very real conflict between dogmatic empiricism and dogmatic supernaturalism, but that's because those are diametrically opposed dogmas.

Dogmatism is death, for both science and religion, if not in the short term then certainly in the long term.

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BENDY iPhone 6, you say? Pah, warp claims are bent out of shape: Consumer Reports

Steve Knox
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At what point?

Consumer Reports explained that it stress tested the mobes by supporting them at two points on either end. Force was then applied at a third point on the top of the device.

That is false. You can clearly see from the Consumer Reports video that the force is applied at a line on the top of the device.

The other videos and pictures I've seen demonstrate applying force at a particular point.

Different structural designs react differently to stress at a point and stress across a line, so while Consumer Reports' numbers may be correct for what they tested, they are likely not relevant to the actual issue being discussed.

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Rackspace to hit GLOBAL CLOUD REBOOT button to flush out Xen security nasty

Steve Knox
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Re: It is not (of course) that simple

I understand there is additional complexity, but

"requires a 2X infrastructure"

is completely wrong.

Either you're making this up or you do not understand how to manage a virtual infrastructure. You could do this with a single additional host with enough resources to support your largest single-unit guest environment. That would be quite slow of course, but you could do this in a reasonable amount of time with 1.25 to 1.5x the current utilized infrastructure.

And if you don't already have at least 1.25x utilized infrastructure available to begin with, I definitely don't want to be playing in your cloud.

And if your infrastructure isn't capable of live-migration of guests from host to host, you need to invest in technology less than five years old.

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Steve Knox
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Paris Hilton

Do they not have the capacity or capability...

To spin up a patched host cluster, migrate existing guests to the patched cluster, elastically growing the cluster as necessary?

Wasn't that the promise of the cloud? No downtime because if there was an issue your guest could be dynamically moved to a fixed environment, which could grow as the buggy environment shrunk?

Where I work, our network admin has done that many times with our little VMWare cluster, migrating live clients to new hosts, patching the orginal hosts, and migrating back, allowing maintenance to have exactly 0 impact on operations.

I know, I know, Rackspace and Amazon are massively more complex environments. But if the increased complexity doesn't give you even equivalent stability, WTF is the point!?

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Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'

Steve Knox
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Read the original

This is not a bad article, but it is a small percentage of the information and perspective available in the original paper, which anyone can read here: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/IW3P/IB/2012/11/06/000158349_20121106085546/Rendered/PDF/wps6259.pdf

(Oh, and Tim, if you really wanted a representative chart of the state of global inequality, you should have used the chart on page 9 of the original paper. The chart you chose actually does not show changes in inequality, but changes in distribution. There's a subtle but important difference.)

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Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

Steve Knox
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They should play to their real strengths...

and call it Microsoft GOSH [Gaming, Office, and SQL (Server) Host]

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Yahoo! dumps! thing! that! made! it! Yahoo! and! told! to! bed! AOL!

Steve Knox
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Re: Um...

Makes sense to me. As of next year, whatever's left of this company certainly won't be Yahoo!

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Steve Knox
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Meh

Re: "Everything between sample points is lost"

There is no error there: it stands to reason that if you are ignoring the input at any given point what happens during that time cannot be passed through to the output.

This is true if and only if there is no deterministic relationship between the samples and the unsampled data (i.e, there exists no function f where f(s) = u.)

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Cut-off North Sea island: Oh crap, ferry's been and gone. Need milk. SUMMON THE DRONE

Steve Knox
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Re: Relief from above

Juist in time?

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Yahoo!... Our Alibaba stake's worth BILLIONS. Oh – our shares are in the toilet

Steve Knox
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Re: That's what makes horse-racing

There are those who think the market is always right. They just may, in the long run*, be correct but many of us will not live that long. One only needs to look at the day-to-day fluctuations to know that on a shorter time frame, valuations may be wrong. Sometimes, the net asset value of an issue is greater than the price. We call that a bargain, and those with patience and perspicacity often benefit.

I think you've got that exactly backwards. The market is always right, but only in the immediate term. The current market price cannot be more or less than the aggregation of current valuation by potential stakeholders at the given point in time.

Calling any of those individual valuations right or wrong presumes a fully objective valuation method, which doesn't exist. Some individuals base their valuations on short-term goals and others on long-term goals. Some base them on careful analyses, whilst others are completely irrational. The market doesn't care. There is no objective method for calculating an intrinsic value of an organization; the value always comes back to the subjective desires of the individual stakeholders.

What you call a bargain is simply a difference in strategic opinion.

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Good grief! Have you SEEN BlackBerry's SQUARE smartphone?

Steve Knox
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"Oh and it comes in black and white."

Really? Rather retro, don't you think?

Are there people out there who don't want a colour screen?

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Huawei prez: A one-speed internet is bad for everyone

Steve Knox
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Re: The difference is not traffic priority....

Exactly.

The camp that is most guilty of ignoring this fact is the con-net neutrality camp.

Because they know that if they let on that the ISPs already can and do prioritize traffic based on technical requirements, they lose the argument that the ISPs "have to" do their prioritizing based on source and/or destination.

As Andrew showed with the RFCs, the internet is already built to allow traffic to be prioritized based on need. What the ISPs want to do is to change it to allow traffic to be prioritized based on greed.

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Apple iPhone 6: Looking good, slim. AW... your battery died

Steve Knox
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Grammar!

As Sir Jonathan Ive mused on 2012’s iPhone 5...

Shouldn't that be "As Sir Jonathan, I've mused on 2012's iPhone 5..."?

; )

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

Steve Knox
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Childcatcher

Re: The measure of Poverty

Actually, the US government doesn't base the two major poverty definitions it uses on median income at all. They're based on the cost of food for a particular agricultural program in 1963, multiplied by 3 (to account for costs other than food), and then multiplied by the Consumer Price Index.

They are neither pre- not post- tax, nor are they gross or net. They are simply raw values. What they are compared to depends on the definition of the specific program they are applied to.

In short, like many statistical measures established by popularist fiat and then filtered through bureaucratic "efficiency", US poverty figures are not really a good absolute measure. They are essentially unproven arbitrary figures perpetuated beyond their relevance and applied inconsistently.

For more detail and links to a lot more information, see US Department of Health and Human Service - Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Poverty Guidelines and Poverty

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A spin of roulette in the sporty Ford Fiesta Black

Steve Knox
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There is another reason to buy a particular car

If you look at numbers and depreciation, you buy a BMW...

It's interesting how brand value propositions differ region-to-region.

Here in the States, for example, people who buy BMWs are, as over there, not deciding with their hearts. Generally they are not, however, deciding with their heads, either.

Well, not the heads you're speaking of, anyway.

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Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source

Steve Knox
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Re: "Stray positrons"

... are there any negatives to owning one?

No, just a very small positive.

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JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!

Steve Knox
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Re: Surely the release of this apparently "reliable" prediction could influence the result?

The more the prediction is percieved to be credible...

No, this is Bing we're talking about.

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Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Steve Knox
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FAIL

Security? We've heard of it...

...have to swipe an on-screen bar to get in, something Touchi-Peters thinks will fend off automated attacks.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sure, because nobody's ever found a way to programmatically inject input into a process before.

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T-Mobile US goes gaga for Wi-Fi calling, AT&T to launch in 2015

Steve Knox
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Re: Why?

...when you have access to an 802.11 network but no cellular...

E.g, when you're a T-Mobile US customer.

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Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites

Steve Knox
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What's in a Name?

What's Battle Forth Enet supposed to mean?

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Look out, world! Space Station satellite cannon has A MIND OF ITS OWN

Steve Knox
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Re: Skynet?

More like MPU.

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Steve Knox
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Re: re: There are also many who aren't happy with the limitations of Windows

AC: " '...iPad?' We're talking about buying cheap hardware..."

The 'Apple tax' on the $280Cdn iPad Mini (non-retina) versus the $280Cdn Google Nexus 7 is approximately ZERO.

Now you're just comparing Apples to Apples, which would be fine if Apples were the subject of discussion. But we're discussing Lemons here.

To paraphrase that into the literal, Google Nexus is a prime brand in the Android ecosystem, as Samsung is, as Microsoft is in the Windows tablet ecosystem, and as Apple is in the iThing ecosystem.

But we're talking about Acers and the like here, devices which have much the same features, but usually lower-power CPUs/GPUs, maybe a little less RAM, etc. For 7" tablets, these generally retail in the $100-$175 range, far lower than the prime brands.

These entry-level Windows netbooks fall into that category as well, as they are below average spec for the Windows portable ecosystem in all respects.

The Chromebooks they compete with actually don't fall into that category, though, because they are the average spec for their ecosystem.

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Not even CRIMINALS want your tablets, Blighty - but if that's an iPhone you're waving...

Steve Knox
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Re: Lots of stats, but...

Really? Just out of curiosity, what would such a pattern tell you?

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Steve Knox
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Re: If you arew going to teach coding

Yes and no.

BlueGreen, John G Imrie said nothing about a full course in logic; he said a primer. An understanding of the basics of logic (Boolean algebra especially) is absolutely a requirement for even the simplest of programming tasks.

However, I think it would be a mistake to separate the principle and the practice in early courses, as the practice in this case is the best way to illustrate the principle. The ideal would be a series of programming projects which illustrate the different Boolean operators and principles of precedence while allowing students to create applications relevant to their interests..

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EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday

Steve Knox
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Re: Where???

Actually, the way you formatted the sentence makes it read like the updates were only posted for those customers who had repeatedly apologised to EE.

Which perversely makes sense, given their general customer support attitude.

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If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait

Steve Knox
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PROGRESS!

A cursory glance at my back catalogue of product reviews through the 1990s and 2000s reveals I was extremely critical of digital photography and inkjet printing in their early days, and look where they are today.

Yes, in the former, you have "professional" models which start at hundreds of pounds (or dollars) more than the "snapshot" models solely because they have interchangeable lenses (which themselves merit a second mortgage), and in the latter, you have cheap, efficient machines which work wonders provided you can put a third mortgage on your house to supply them with ink.

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Alienware injects EVEN MORE ALIEN into redesigned Area-51 gaming PC

Steve Knox
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Re: Slanted hard disk bays???

Those aren't hard disk bays -- they're video cards. There are no hard disks or recognizable bays for them in the shot of this side, and no shot of the other side. So we have no info on how they're mounted.

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Love XKCD? Love science? You'll love a book about science from Randall Munroe

Steve Knox
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Happy

I love it

When my two favorite web sites converge, if only for a brief moment.

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Ninja Pirate Zombie Vampires versus Chuck Norris and the Space Marines

Steve Knox
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Re: I fear for the future

Oh, and why are so many uninformed crazy folk suggesting that Daleks should be lumped in with robots? Don't you crazy people realise that there is a living creature inside a Dalek?

To be fair, El Reg itself is already lumping cyborgs, including Cybermen, in with robots too, even though cyborgs run the gamut from electronically-enhanced creature (e.g, Johnny Mnemonic, Captain Cyborg) through living brain in a machine body (e.g, Darth Vader, also roughly where the Daleks would fall on the scale -- technically there's more than a brain inside there, but depending on where exactly in the series you take them from, the organism's actual capabilities vary) or living body with an electronic brain, all the way to organically-enhanced machine (e.g, T-800 Model 101 [NOT T-101, BTW])

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Steve Knox
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Re: I fear for the future

More likely, as this is a "who would win in a fight"* type study, the less deadly-seeming ones were voted against in an attempt to avoid extraneous low-level rounds against lightweights.

Me, I'm an empiricist. Just because something appears to be wimpy doesn't mean anything; they need to be tested in battle.

It's too bad the comments are being voted against; I was hoping to nominate such luminaries as:

Charles Bronson (makes Chuck Norris look like the mewling pretty-boy he is)

The Vogons (not so hot with weapons, but the things they can do with a properly authorized requisition form [or more to the point, the things they can not get done for lack of the proper paperwork]...)

Betty White (seriously, do NOT cross her.)

*Although that in itselft might say something about our proclivity for violence as a race...

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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

Steve Knox
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Half of the Story

It's not just a debt owed to the open source community. It's also a responsibility to your customers. This side of the story doesn't even depend on whether the software is open- or closed-source.

OpenSSL [Heartbleed] is a good open-source example of what can happen when many parties rely on a particular bit of software, but don't invest in the maintenance of that software. The best closed-source example might be Microsoft's unending train of patch management, often fixing bugs in decades-old software, because in the past they didn't take security seriously enough.

With closed-source software, your options are pretty much limited to paying license fees for the software and hoping that the developer uses those fees wisely in development and support.

With open-source software, there are more options, including direct involvement in development, code review, testing. Even a good bug report is a boon to developers.

Long story short: Open-source software (or even prebuilt closed libraries) isn't a way to build something for free: it's a way to build it fast. You always pay, whether it's in license/support fees, community involvement, or in lost reputation and income because your customers lose data or can't secure it properly with your systems.

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We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie

Steve Knox
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One of the European Commission’s targets at the IGF is to move it on from being “a mere talking shop”.

“The time is ripe to produce outcome documents, such as policy recommendations for voluntary adoption,” said a Commission source.

So rather than making statements that nobody pays attention to, they'll be producing documents that nobody pays attention to. PROGRESS!

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Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM

Steve Knox
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Trollface

The Solution is Obvious

Look for new rules requiring every site to have a unique IP address soon.

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Galileo! Galileo. Galileo! Galileo frigged-LEO: Easy come, easy go. Little high, little low

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Schadenfreudean Slip?

... a stricken sad-nav.

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IT blokes: would you say that LEWD comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Steve Knox
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Re: This article's about the minority

No, you should be offended by those people (men and women) who are pigs. As the article says:

This isn't about gender wars: it’s not about men vs women, this is about acting like a grown up at a professional conference.

The author's examples are of being harassed by men, because she's been harassed by men. But her point is that such behavior is unprofessional regardless of source or target.

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

Steve Knox
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Re: @ Khaptain (was: Personally ...)

BSD and Linux (and Minix, Coherent, et alia) were written in vi...

Remind me again which of those is a science fiction novel?

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Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years

Steve Knox
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What about the people who filmed it originally?

They're the ones who should be jailed...

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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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