* Posts by Ken Hagan

4540 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Windows 10 won't help. The PC biz is doomed, DOOMED, I TELL YOU

Ken Hagan
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Re: Lack of trust

I doubt they'll stop selling them. It's only firmware, after all. What they will probably do is start charging extra for the Win7-compatible model and also not test it so thoroughly. (After all, it won't be going into a server, so it probably doesn't matter if there are a few bugs.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Correct

...apart from the possibility that you won't be able to get Win7 drivers for new hardware in the next few years and MS might just terminate support for Win7 altogether on the grounds that Win10 is a service pack.

But yes, Win10's most appealing feature is that it is less like Win8 and more like Win7. If only MS would go the whole hog and bring back Aero then Win10 would be almost perfectly pointless for Win7 fans who don't like unnecessary change.

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Apple announces 'Home' iOS 9 app to run the Internet of Stuff

Ken Hagan
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Re: oh £100 light bulbs with that special glow

@SuccessCase: *Particularly* since Apple appear to be considering keeping this (including the security aspects) closed source, I can see the EULA now ...

If you get burgled, burnt down, flooded or infested because of a malfunctioning HomeKit product, the phrase you need to remember is "Tough tit, you bought it." (*).

(*) Credit to (if memory serves) Jeremy Hardy on Just a Minute. He proposed it as the title of a new consumer affairs program, to replace all the ones featuring losers whining about the bleedin' obvious (*).

(*) Credit to Basil Fawlty, if that isn't bleedin' obvious.

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Backpage child sex trafficking lawsuit nixed thanks to 'internet freedoms'

Ken Hagan
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Can't win.

In context, the terms that weren't filter (particularly "underage") look damning but there are presumably plenty of legitimate uses of words like "girl" or "roses" and so legitimate advertisers might reasonably be offended if site operators sent back a snotty email saying "We've decided you are probably a paedo so we're rejecting this ad.". In fact, they might be offended enough to tell their lawyer about it.

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South Korea mandates spyware installation on teenagers' smartphones

Ken Hagan
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Even if it did, that would only be useful if the parents also understood it. Since teenage slang is more or less defined by "whatever my parents don't understand", I think we can assume that this whole proposal will achieve nothing except make some local politician look like they are tackling the problem.

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Feds: Bloke 'HACKED PLANE controls' - from his PASSENGER seat

Ken Hagan
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Re: Not total madness, just 90%.

I doubt they even have a common power supply. If you were designing a plane and had a battery backup in case the generators went out, would you let the in-flight entertainment system drain the battery whilst the pilots tried to make an emergency landing?

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Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED

Ken Hagan
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Re: Where's my checksum?

Relax, Paul. MS already do provide digital signatures for Windows files (all driver packages and kernel files have an associated catalogue which is signed, so this even covers plain text files or graphical resources) and the AV software just ignores them.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Desperation

"They sound very desperate to have people on Win 10.."

Perhaps they know something we don't. In the last month, I've installed Win7 onto a couple of clean boxes and asked Windows Update to apply the last however-many years worth of patches. In one case it took well over 24 hours to do that and in the other case it blue-screened part way through (recovering sufficiently to complete the process). MS might be wondering just how many problems of this type they may face between now and 2020.

The Win7 kernel does not support SHA-256 for driver signing and no patch for that is promised, despite a very clear plan to phase out SHA-1 starting next year. MS might be wondering about that too.

If, on the other hand, they offer Win10 as a "service pack" then they can do what they've already done for Win8. (Win8.0 drops out of support, completely, next year simply because 8.1 exists.) In other words, the cost of giving away 10 for free can be offset against the cost of not having to support 7, 8 or 8.1 from January 2016 onwards.

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IN YOUR FACE, Linux and Apple fans! Oculus is Windows-only for now

Ken Hagan
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Re: What is rationale for article?

If you take the view that VR headsets might be a big thing in the next decade, then being the brand leader is probably going to be important (and lucrative -- think "SoundBlaster compatible"). One strategy is to hitch your VR wagon to a single software platform and try to own all the developers by keeping everything under wraps.

Another strategy might be to open up the specs for your hardware (since the headset is effectively a gigantic dongle, so you don't really care about software piracy) and let the most imaginative software developers create the killer apps that make VR go mainstream.

Oculus appear to have jumped one way, which is noteworthy. Others may choose to jump the other way, and that will be noteworthy when it happens, too.

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Cheers Ireland! That sorts our Safe Harbour issues out – Dropbox

Ken Hagan
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Re: this sounds oddly familiar

"Also, so much for America's much vaunted freedoms. How do they not see the damage they're doing to they're reputation?"

I think they do, for some values of "they". In fact, the whole affair is shaping up as the irresistable force of money meeting the immovable object of the security hawks. (Given the difficulties of amending the US constitution to turn it into a police state, my money's on the, er, money.)

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Windows 10 bombshell: Microsoft to KILL OFF Patch Tuesday

Ken Hagan
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Re: Peer-to-peer trusted system updates?

"Why is a klaxon going off in my head?"

Because you've forgotten about the possibility of digital signing?

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Remember when...

"the article specifically says that corporates will get their updates monthly, as now, [...] nothing here will change."

Except that the patches for the same underlying vulnerabilities are being published to home users a few days earlier, so the black hats can reverse engineer those (as they already do) and they get a stream of zero-days given to them by Microsoft.

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Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

Ken Hagan
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Re: I moved my box this weekend

And to the yay-sayers, let me cite my own anecdotal evidence attempting to upgrade Wheezy to Jessie...

One machine upgraded OK, but printing is now tempermental. A second machine has yet to actually upgrade. Each time I try, the upgrade completes and the machine boots to a blank screen. I think it is the greeter screen without a greeter, but I don't actually care one way or the other. Any "upgrade" that fails to that extent just isn't safe.

The third machine, which is rather more important, is therefore sticking with Wheezy until both of the other machines are working properly or Wheezy goes out of support, whichever comes first.

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

Ken Hagan
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Windows

UI design

"they will adapt their user interface for the systems they are running on – such as making buttons bigger for tablets"

Gaah!! If you are on a tablet where space is at a premium, the correct UI decision is to get rid of all the stupid buttons and replace them with (text) popup menus. This was common knowledge a few decades ago when *everything* was short of screen space. Apparently it is now rocket science and has to be relearned by the kids.

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Who thinks Microsoft Edge SUCKS? Erm, Microsoft

Ken Hagan
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Re: too much to buy

or even edge-sucks.com, which has the additional advantage that it doesn't need to be capitalised in a particular way to be easily readable.

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'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

Ken Hagan
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Black Helicopters

Embrace, extent and extinguish

Is it possible for MS to build a developer following here? If supporting android apps on Windows means it is easier to develop those apps on Windows, it might create a population of devs who develop on Wandroid first and then test on chocolate-flavour as an afterthought. The stage is then set for MS to create an "extended subset" of the Android API.

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C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

Ken Hagan
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Re: New Keywords

Some of those sound like Prolog, others like aspect-oriented programming. None of them actually sound too ridiculous for the committee to consider.

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Ken Hagan
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First glances differ

"At first glance, Stroustrup's suggestions appear to be concerned with ensuring C++ remains relevant to the “cloud-native” application crowd, without losing its soul along the way."

I didn't see *anything* in the presentation that looked remotely cloudy. In fact, the absence of some throwaway sop to appease those with their heads in a cloud was quite refreshing. It was straight down to business with stuff that will make it easier to write large and strongly typed software running on the bare metal.

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WHY can't Silicon Valley create breakable non-breakable encryption, cry US politicians

Ken Hagan
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Re: Rubbish

"The best cryptographers, unfortunately, are in NSA and GCHQ, and nobody would trust what they would produce so this idea is dead in the water."

The most depressing thing about this story is that the politicians don't seem to have noticed the immense stupidity of their request.

Point 1: as Mr Schneier points out, maths works the same way for everyone.

Point 2: as ZSn points out here, the best cryptographers *probably* work for the NSA and GCHQ and if *they* are the ones complaining then that probably means it can't be done by someone in Silicon Valley.

Point 3: If it *can* be done in Silicon Valley, why in seven names of fsck is that person able to do something that the government agencies cannot?

Even if their bizarre maths-of-the-day version of the universe were true, Silicon Valley *still* wouldn't be the place to look for a solution. How stupid do you have to be to be unable to see that?

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Sweden releases human genome under Creative Commons licence

Ken Hagan
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Well done, but...

...this really shouldn't be necessary. It's been published in a nice leather jacket many billions of times already and is millennia out of copyright. Format shifting changes nothing.

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'Use 1 capital' password prompts make them too predictable – study

Ken Hagan
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Case sensitivity

Don't forget that there are some sites out there that are case insensitive on passwords and others that are case sensitive on email addresses.

Fortunately, the worst offenders often perform all the validation in Javascript so if you View Source on the offending web page it is possible to reverse engineer the rules. (Dunno what "normal" people do, though.)

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Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Ken Hagan
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"to my enduring professional shame – I even TURN THE CARD OVER and try again."

Where's the shame? That works sometimes. Experiment trumps theory.

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Fukushima nuke plant owner told to upgrade from Windows XP

Ken Hagan
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Re: Legacy

I would certainly hope that there was no overlap between the XP computers that were connected to the internet and the XP computers that were running legacy process control stuff.

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What's broken in this week's Windows 10 build? Try the Start Menu, for one

Ken Hagan
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That Start menu...

...has been variously broken (depending on what sort of account you use to log on with) in every build so far. The same for search and for Spartan. For those playing along at home, try logging in as the Administrator, or as the domain's Administrator. In 10049, the breakage is slightly different in each case.

Naturally I've reported this and I'm assuming that someone is keeping count over there so it will all be fixed in the final release, but I'm intrigued to know just how they are managing such fine-grained damage.

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White House cyber-general says US must be able to cyber-nuke the worst of the cyber-worst

Ken Hagan
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He's been watching too many movies

I'd like to see how he proposes to cyber-nuke an air gap.

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Windows Phone 10: Less stuff that does more – plus IE-killer Project Spartan

Ken Hagan
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Re: Spartan is not an IE killer

"Windows 8.1 will be supported until 2023."

Don't bet on it. I would expect that Win8.1 will not be supported for those customers who are offered a free upgrade to Win10. Remember that Win8.0 originally had a 10-year life-cycle but is now going to expire in 2016 simply because 8.1 is offered free.

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What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

Ken Hagan
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That double T speaks to me...

...and what it says is "bad kerning". ( https://xkcd.com/1015/ )

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LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

Ken Hagan
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"the kids were not forced to take them home, they were ALLOWED to take them home"

These would be kids who are too young to enter into a legal contract. Sorry, the responsibility for the laptops remains with the last legally responsible entity who had them That is the school unless you can persuade each and every parent to take on the burden.

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Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Ken Hagan
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Re: isnt that a good thing?

"a handy, built-in, self copying protocol."

You mean if we don't stamp out this DNA stuff then it will infest the whole planet? Ahh ... that's proper malware, that is.

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Ken Hagan
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Sigh...

If only there was a version of Java that was designed to be provably secure. Then all someone would have to do was implement the spec and we'd have a write-once-run-anywhere platform that was also the answer to all our malware woes.

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China weaponizes its Great Firewall into the GREAT FIRE CANNON, menaces entire globe

Ken Hagan
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Childcatcher

The killer application for IPv6

The obvious solution is to align IP address blocks with national boundaries, so that it is easy for end-users to write rules that describe which blocks they trust. With IPv4, it is too late to do the renumbering. With IPv6, it isn't since the address space is large enough that you could invent a new kind of unicast address range for the purpose and allow both sets of addresses to run alongside for a few years.

Note the focus on end-users. At present, firewalling entire countries is possible but only if you have the resources of a large organisation (or government) to keep the firewall rules up to date. We need to work out a way to give end-users the same power.

If any politicians are listening, please note that the same capability would let end-users restrict their domestic internet usage to countries with laws on censorship/porn/whatever that they approve of. This would be far more effective than passing yet another law that applies only to servers in your own country, most of which already conform to your local laws and the rest of which you can already deal with through your own legal system on a case-by-case basis.

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Instead of public sector non-jobbery, Martha, how about creating REAL entrepreneurs?

Ken Hagan
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Re: But no, it's obviously all down to the suits. Obviously.

Slightly off topic, I know, but if the UK *was* a meritocratic democracy, and had been for a generation or so, it might well have an identifiable group of people who had done well at school, gone to the (well-known) leading universities, and gone on to do rather well in whatever their chosen field happened to be. They might also have been able to influence the major political parties to the extent that they all were singing largely from the same hymn sheet on economic matters and differed only in terms of social policy.

OK, we aren't quite there yet, but if we ever do get there then the country might not be quite as you expect or hope.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Red tape

"Suitable proof includes Geolocation by IP address ..."

Really? The lawyers count that as proof these days? Christ on a fucking bike...

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Ken Hagan
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In fairness, it's the suits that usually set the pay rates.

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The VMware, Nutanix mud wrestle is hilarious, but which one is crying with fear on the inside?

Ken Hagan
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16% ?

That's a just a few months improvement in the state of the art, isn't it?

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Operation Redstone: Microsoft preps double Windows update in 2016

Ken Hagan
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"might be the last Microsoft OS to receive a version number at all"

Sounds unlikely. The need to be able to distinguish between different releases is fairly fundamental, so they *will* get version numbers/names and I imagine that Microsoft might want to have some influence over what those are.

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Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Ken Hagan
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Re: @Paul Crawford

"I just wish I had more upvotes to give you."

That's OK. By posting, you've given me a second place where I can upvote the sentiment. Ta!

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Ken Hagan
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"iRobot has reviewed comments filed by the NRAO and believe that there is an infinitesimal likelihood that the proposed RLM system will impact any radio astronomy measurements."

I wonder if these guys know what infinitesimal means to an engineer. Actually, no, I don't wonder that at all. They clearly don't and therefore should be totally ignored on any question that requires even a modicum of technical knowledge.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Ken Hagan
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Re: Just because the US still have an outstanding number of wires on poles...

"The best piece of advice EVER I was given here was to get everything behind UPS and surge protectors."

This reminded me of the Tesla home battery story we saw here a few weeks ago. Apparently some more details are leaking out. I do wonder if this-connected-to-a-nuclear-grid, rather than loads-of-renewables, might be how everyone gets their electricity in a decade or two.

http://gas2.org/2015/04/03/tesla-home-battery-details-emerge/

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Ken Hagan
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If God had intended us to think, He'd have given us brains.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Exploding somethings

"No, I don't really know, and maybe nothing actually so much exploded as vanished in a bright blue flash."

If so, then the power company now has an unknown number of customers who are currently receiving electricity without the financial inconvenience of their meter spinning around. That'll be a nice earner for the lawyers.

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Mozilla piles on China's SSL cert overlord: We don't trust you either

Ken Hagan
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The solution is for anyone who wants to prove their identity to make their own certificate and get it signed by several CAs. That way the certificate remains valid until all of the counter-signatories have mis-behaved.

It's also more expensive (ie, a money-spinner for the CAs) so I'm surprised the CAs themselves aren't pushing this approach.

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Bloke faces 25 years in the cooler for upsetting Thai king on Facebook

Ken Hagan
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Re: Warning to The Register

That'll be why the BBC aren't (*) covering the story at all, I suppose.

(* I expect someone will prove me wrong shortly, but I couldn't find it. I searched for Thai lese-majeste and found a few other examples of idiocy, though.)

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Why Feed.Me.Pizza will never exist: Inside the world of government vetoes and the internet

Ken Hagan
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Sshhhhh

Don't anyone tell Columbia (CO) about this, or else all those countries that already have a *.co.ccTLD second level domain for commercial sites will have to scrap their registries. And I suppose all those *.com.ccTLD nations will have to get Verisign's permission to exist.

More seriously, it's a hierarchial namespace so there shouldn't be any restrictions on someone else's second level domains. This is a point of technical correctness, so the various governments concerned can take a running jump or set up their own internet.

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Microsoft update mayhem delays German basketball game, costs team dear

Ken Hagan
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Re: Why did I suddenly remember

I can't imagine. I haven't seen such a thing for over 20 years.

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Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

Ken Hagan
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So if ICANN have reserved all rights over their real name, it'll have to be ICONN.sucks instead.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Ken Hagan
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Re: Its just the mating ritual

"As she told it to me, she told him that he didn't need the bright yellow mating display any more, he'd got his female."

I think that's called pulling the ladder up behind her and if he objects then she knows where she stands.

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Metro app meets Windows 10. A Microsoft win? Maybe after a little improvement

Ken Hagan
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Re: Only techies care about phone OS

"And forget about Android apps. Google won't even supply a WP version of Youtube, let alone allow MS to use their app store."

Why should that matter? Microsoft could allow third-party developers to put their Android apps on Microsoft's app store. It would then be up to Google to decide whether to risk an anti-trust suit by kicking those devs out of the Google store in revenge. Oh, and Google have spent quite a lot of time in the courts establishing that it is perfectly legal to write your own implementation of someone else's platform, so MS would be in the clear there as well.

Since apps of all flavours are several layers of abstraction/emulation above the bare metal, it is really quite surprising that MS are trying to break into the market *without* going down this route.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Ken Hagan
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Re: hold up a 30 sign

On most UK motorways there will be no need to do this because there are already maliciously posted "70" signs every so often.

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Half of Android devices open to silent hijack

Ken Hagan
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Re: Users should upgrade to at least Android 4.4 to avoid being exposed.

This, especially at the bottom end of the market.

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Fame earlier this month, new, running 4.1.x and it tells me that there is no update, which I dare say is true for a Clintonesque interpretation of "is".

One could argue that a phone, designed to be connected to the public network, isn't fit under the Sale of Goods Act if no-one patches the known bugs.

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