* Posts by Voland's right hand

2528 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print

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Time to move to La Palma

The are 20 odd telescopes there now, including two brand new 15m segmented mirror ones. The locals are supportive to the point where the island has some of the most merciless light pollution planning regs in the world. It also gives more or less the same viewpoint as Hawaii covering the northern hemisphere - something the Chile site does not.

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Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'

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More likely a loitering munition, not an ICBM "as we know it"

If it was a conventional ballistic missile test I would have expected it to splash down somewhere in the south pacific as a "launch malfunction". It did not.

My suspicion would be a loitering munitions. The biggest problem Norks have is that they have no submarines and their missiles are sticking out as a sore thumb on well known launch pads with no anti-missile defense. Their retaliation capability can be taken out in a matter of minutes by any major player without them being able to do anything about it. Single cruise missile launch off-shore and bye-bye threatening the entire world. A loitering nuke in space goes a very long way to reduce and remove this advantage. It does not need to communicate with ground too. All it needs is to accept its deorbit command and target coordinates.

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Brit spies want rights to wiretap and snoop on US companies' servers

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: US Constitutional protections and British law

Where 's ma bucket, I need to wipe all the sarcasm which leaked out of the monitor while displaying your post. And clean the coffee out of the keyboard.

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What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

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Re: “Surgical titanium is quite distinctive,” Alien8 wrote.

he kept the titanium as a souvenir.

1. These things are not titanium (usually). They are various alloys.

2. They are _PROPERTY_ of the NHS (ditto for other health services in Europe). They in fact are entitled to come to visit your earthly remains in the morgue, open you up and _REMOVE_ all prosthetics because they cost a fortune and are recyclable. You do not own them. Period.

3. While the rest was believable, him keeping surgical implants as a souvenir is even a bigger porkie than everything else.

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Official UN panel findings on embassy-squatter released. Assange: I'm 'vindicated'

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Re: Arbitrary?

It is arbitrarily self-imposed by himself onto himself as the means of not going to chokey for skipping bail.

I would not be surprised if some of the people who donated for his bail fund sue him if he shows he nose outside the door too.

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Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

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Re: No legal force

That is definitely the case, but you are missing the point. You are trying to make a reasonable argument against propaganda (the UN agency is just the mouthpiece for one).

That does not work.

Propaganda always wins - like in Syria - all those 2M refugees are running from Asad and nobody is running from the wonderful vision of society envisioned by Erdogan marionettes or Al Nusra front. Nobody is running from ISIS either. It is just Assad, Hezbollah and the Russians everyone is runnning from and if they just stop doing what they are doing the country will return to its rosy normal state and wake up in a rosy propaganda glow.

In any case, on the visual part of propaganda - El Reg, shame on you for the unfinished photoshop. AssAnge (TM) has 6 fingers, not 5. The pic got the cat right, the face right, the suit right, but failed to edit the number of fingers to the correct value.

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

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Re: That's Bundeskanzlerin Frau Doktor Angela Merkel to you

Yesss... you know the world has gone mad when you have German, sane and politician in one sentence.

Dunno, but the first thing that came to my mind was: "Now Witness the Firepower of this fully Armed and Operational Battle Station"

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How many Surface power cords are a fire risk? 2.25 million in the US alone

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That means more than 2M Surface tablets in circulation just in USA

Woah... That is actually a very respectable number. Doubly so when you consider that a lot of these are likely to be in a business setting.

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BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

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Re: 'Faulty Router'

One faulty router brings the network down?

If it starts announcing gibberish instead of what it is supposed to announce as routing updates - why not.

There is bugger all protection at the routing protocol level for most internal gateway protocols. OSPF has none by design (no, do not talk to me about the admin weight hack in Cisco IOS the person who invented that should be shot), ISIS is not much better, iBGP is usually unfiltered as well and let's not even talk about various protos that used to be popular with with BT CTO like PBB and PBB-TE.

The solution in this case is to have good "view"/"analysis" of the routing protocol state and KILL the router from the wall switch right away to localize the failure. I am not going to comment on BT and either one of these.

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Europe wants end to anonymous Bitcoin transactions

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Re: Numpties

while the latter protects us from our own government.

You forgot to add that our own government inhabits the other wing of the same lunatic asylum as most of the commish.

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Re: What about good old Cash

Any transaction above 50Eu can be logged anyway - the high value notes have an NFC chip.

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For sale: One 236-bed nuclear bunker

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Ughh... I would stay away

My first thought was "Datacenter conversion". Second thought was: "just how much asbestous is there in that thing". At that point, the first thought went away to never come back.

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Intel's SGX security extensions: Secure until you look at the detail

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Margrethe Vestager will have a field day

I think Intel is has missed the elephant in the corner of the room. It also happens to be a hand-knitted elephant with a personal note attached to it. One signed by Margethe Vestager.

Someone, pass the popcorn please.

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Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

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Looking at the amount of rust on that bucket they have a very long way to go until it can qualify for production equipment.

-EAGAIN

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Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

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Re: This is not killing people (yet)

That's because Turkey is a backward, corrupt shithole.

You are dangerously underestimating them. Nothing to do with that. It is the same as allowing or prohibition of any counterfeit goods. It is a question of political expedience.

The more dead kids wearing counterfeit life jackets end up being washing up on beaches, the more Turkey can pressure Eu and USA to drive its agenda. Last time a dead toddler washed up on the beach we were ready to hand them 3Bn to drive their agenda to reincarnate the Osman empire.

It is the same as with any other counterfeit goods. Selling "specially vetted components" to the military is an extremely high value racket which only a couple of usual suspects have access to. As a result any attempt to counterfeit (in most cases just relabel) that will get you 20 odd years in a place nobody knows about. Mislabeling the same components for health or residential use - who cares, it is not politically expedient to persecute the culprits, it will damage our relations with the tat producing countries _INCLUDING_ Turkey.

Turkey is one of the biggest manufacturers after China and the Far East and is also a major producer of goods that are "not to spec" (that is polite description).

It manufactures anything and everything starting with textiles, going through Bosch hand tools, Renault and Ford vehicles and finishing with military hardware including _OUTSOURCED_ F-16s.

Based on first hand experience with quite a lot of their consumer goods, the "CE" label on them is quite often outright fake and quite often so is the country of origin label (labeled as produced in one of the Balkan countries while in fact done in a slaveshop using Syrian refugee labor somewhere in DyarBekir).

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This is not killing people (yet)

This is killing people

No it is not. Yet.

Now, counterfeit life jackets on which Turks are making a killing (literally and figuratively) are. However, we are doing nothing and shall do nothing about it as it is not politically convenient.

Same as in this case actually - it is not politically convenient to apply proper penalties for counterfeit goods which potentially matter in human lives such components (and again - life jackets). Now, Luis Voiton handbags - we are going to f*** nuke the counterfeiter because the civilization will end if counterfeiting handbags for rich tw*ts will be allowed to occur.

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Brit airline pilots warn of drone menace

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Registration will not help

Frankly, the only way of policing them is to patrol with other drones and jam from point blank range (so you can overwhelm any form of remote control including mobile). Failing that follow the violator until you are over an area where you can safely shoot them and shoot them.

Nothing else like registration, etc will help. That horse has already bolted.

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Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

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Exactly. The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons.

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Re: If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

It is tax deductible

Weird. The rules when I was buying my pickup were load based for things that are not an obvious van. Based on the explanation from Isuzu, you had to be able to carry 1 ton to be classified as a commercial. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts. I still ended up paying all of it and VAT as I bought it private at the end of the day, but I did the checks.

So by that rule most sane Defender models do not qualify: http://www.landrover.co.uk/Images/DEFENDER_tcm295-140413.pdf

All 90-es do not qualify unless they are in an obvious "2 seats and no windows" van incarnation. The 110 station wagon does not qualify either, you need to have the "obvious" pickup version of the 110 for that or 130-es which are as rare as a white swallow. I cannot think of when I saw one recently.

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Re: Just

Actually, it is not just the Eurocrats. In fact they should be second in line for the spoilsport title.

The death knell of the Defender sounded the moment Blair and Co made into a "car" out of a commercial vehicle while keeping crew cab trucks as commercials. It has been selling less and less from that point onwards.

The 2020 emission regs are just the final nail in the coffin. The remainder of the coffin has been put together by Brown and Osbourne for many years.

If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset the same way you can do with an L200, Denver, Navarra, etc it would have sold enough for Tata to try to find a way around the regs. After all, everyone who is building pickups have managed to get something lined up for that date somehow.

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SpaceX breaks capsule 'chute world record

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Re: The correct number of parachutes to own is n+1

It is - different redundancy models.

Soyuz has a full parachute backup for its one and only. Apollo could land (albeit quite bumpy) after losing a chute. 4 chutes look like adding an extra redundancy +1 to the existing 3 on the unmanned one to get the required reliability for man-rated landing.

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'Printer Ready'. Er… you actually want to print? What, right now?

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I can point you to some code

I can point you to some code and buy you a beer if you are able to trace it through without a color printer (to get syntax highlighting), pen, highlighter and a bucket of vodka.

In fact, I bet most of the El Reg readership can.

Like it or not paper is better than a monitor if you are trying to comprehend something mindboggling with a pen/highlighter in hand.

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Oracle kicks Amazon after Glacier download bill shock

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Re: Archive != backup

In fact there are 3 levels, not two.

1. Backup for PEBKAC - stuff from which you can recover files lost today. Or yesterday. Or anythime this week. More - sorry, read the manpage of luser, pay attention to -g2 option and go to step 2. Similarly, if you need to use point 3 as backup, read the description of -g3 option in the same manpage.

2. Backup for disaster recovery - something that guards against major incidents. You read it regularly in mock recovery exercises to ensure it is viable.

3. Archive (if you have reached reading from it for anything but "go to court", you are doing something wrong).

Glacier is 3. You still need to sort out 2 and 1.

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Hell, high water, and ice: Facebook's Dublin data center choices

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Re: Yes tax

Your point is?

Is the population speaking English is f*** irrelevant. The question for a multinational company is "is the workforce speaking English?".

That in computing and telecoms equates to No in France, Meah, maybe in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal (*) and a resounding YES everywhere else in Europe.

This _INCLUDES_ Ireland - while English has an official status, it is officially the second language. First one is Irish.

While tax is a major factor tax is not the only one and the locations of data centers and research facilities in Europe are indicative of that. If it was just tax nobody would have put anything in Scandinavia or Switherland. That as we know is not the case.

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

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Apple's cut'n'paste blunder

Gotos are a way of life in C.

The error there is not the goto, not the double goto, but the lack of brackets around the if-ed operand. That is what is asking for a clusterf*** and what I have seen clusterf*** so often it is not even funny.

I usually prohibit it as "unacceptable coding style" internally and bounce any code which uses it at review. Bracket it, so it is clear what you are doing. End of story.

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31 nations sign data-sharing pact to tax multinationals

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Too late

Horse has already bolted. Last week I bought a shed (actually something closer to a log cabin). When Iooked at my card statement the sale was booked across the globe in Signapore despite it being produced less than 100 miles of where I live.

Multinational As A Service and Tax Avoidance As A Service are now a reality. Sharing data will do little to stop them. You need to actually change the rulebook.

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Can't upgrade, won't upgrade: Windows Mobile's user problem

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History repeating itself?

Why do I feel the smell of Windows of yesteryear in the air all over again?

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Back to the Future's DeLorean is coming back to the future

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Re: A couple points ...

Well, it was made for the American market. If you try a lot of the USA sports cars from those days they do not handle any better (though most have significantly more power on tap).

What did you expect? A Renault 5 GT Turbo? A Peugeout 205 GTI? Both date from about the same time.

Oh, I forgot, something like that would have never made it into the USA market by the pure nature of it being too small. And driveable too.

The original DeLorean best likeness are those fake Ferraris which people make out of a Fiat Coupe. Put a fake Ferrari body on top + horse badge and a HUGE fart pipe. Under-powered, handles like a coffin and has the safety level of a coffin (I would really not like to try to get out of those gull-wing doors after a roll over).

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Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

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Re: "ignored most of the time"

The readers automatically scan the plate number of EVERY vehicle in front of them

Not just USA. When I drive across Europe the state of affairs is:

UK - In theory, a nation under ANPR. In practice, the smaller roads and small cities are not covered

NL - well, the birthplace of GATSOMeter corp, shall we say more

DE, CZ, A - All motorways, supposedly for toll enforcement. They read all plates, unclear what they do with them

Hu - All motorways, road tax enforcement, considering the inclination of the government there ....

Ro - A camera here and there for road tax enforcement, not even close to rest of Eu (they are surprisingly law abiding down there).

Bg - All A roads and all motorways, supposedly for road tax enforcement which interestingly enough is not done. So god only knows what is done with the data.

Greece - what camera? Camera? You expect a country which did not even have a national birth register till less then 5 years ago to have working ANPR? You mean someone will pay tax? You are joking, right.

E - I have not noticed any cameras, but that does not mean there aren't any.

F - camera at every toll and by god, they have more tolls than USA.

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Google DeepMind cyber-brain cracks tough AI challenge: Beating a top Go board-game player

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Re: Very Impressive

formal education or doing formal research in the field

I have and this is exactly why I expressed that opinion: "It is not". I will stand by it because I have done _NOT_ _ONLY_ _AI_ and I have seen other real scientific fields and how they work.

I tried doing a PhD in AI and theory of cognition and dropped it after a year. I found it disgustingly fuzzy, full of blah-blahisms and massive hand waving (+/- smoking large amounts of pot by a lot of people involved which is not my fav pastime).

To put things into perspective I have done work and published quoted papers in 3 different fundamental scientific fields: Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Applied Mathematics. So based on the perspective from these as well as doing the first one third of an AI PhD, I will quote Heinlein: "If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion".

This, unfortunately, describes the present state of AI all too well. Once you remove bits which originate from Probability and Stats, the rest contains way too much of voodoo, alchemy and "tricks of the trade" to qualify for the label science. It also contains sparingly little numbers.

Engineering - sure. Science - nope. Not even close.

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Re: Very Impressive

It's AI

No it is not. Neither by Turing nor by Azimov's criteria.

It is a learning system all right, but a very specialized one. We use these to learn to build generic ones and those for the time being suck and fail both Turing test and Azimov criteria.

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'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator

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Re: Eliminate pron

All good things in a country fighting internal racialism to increase frustration and murky association.

Well, that may be the goal you know...

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Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand

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Re: coming soon...

You missed one: A petition to stop the Internet.

After all, 9 out of 10 top providers use ISIS as a routing protocol.

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Stop the music! Booby-trapped song carjacked vehicles – security prof

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Exactly

The problem is that there is ONE MORE OBD port and in most recent cars it is wired to the infotainment unit. That was fine while the infotainment unit was your typical prehistoric POS which also showed some numbers about fuel consumption, etc (hello GM). It became a problem after idiots connected it to the Internet with no security whatsoever.

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Police Scotland will have direct access to disabled parking badge database

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Re: Also Parent and Child bays

is there some kind of ratio they need to stick to with regards to total number of bays and percentage of disabled?

For disabled - yes - determined by local council planning committee.

So if you want to offer a total of X spaces you have no choice but to offer Y disabled spaces. There are councils, especially in London which have the ratio set to a very high number because of the short supply of on-street parking and hence the requirement to provision sufficient on-street disabled bays. Due to the well known fact that brains and local planning law do not mix, the idiots in the council planning dept still apply the same ratio to a shopping center or supermarket regardless of the fact that it will result in a massively under-used disabled section.

Parent & Child, loading bays, etc are "courtesy" of the retailer. AFAIK there is no planning guidance requiring those.

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Retailers urged to create 'CCTV-like' symbol to inform customers of mobile tracking

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You are not the target audience

Joe Average consumer who has the retailer "shopping list" app which doubles up as an internet shopping, shipping and store navigation is the target audience. When you dig into the app permissions you are guaranteed to find that it will connect either to WiFi or BT. So even if the Mac is switched by OS, the app will authenticate at app level, because Joe wants it to so it can keep on ticking off his shopping list.

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Re: "... retailer’s smart phone app. "

You will find quite a few people installing it if it doubles up as the "shopping list" and "internet shopping" app.

Standard strategy - if you need to shovel a dubious feature down the punter's throat, attach it to 20 ones they would not do without.

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Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

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Re: simple question.. @ YAAC

and the US Justice Department want them to hand over the data, because Microsoft Ireland is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. in America and therefore falls under US Law and not Irish law...

They went one step further - they sell a "product" which can be summarized as "Azure and operating Azure it you" to a 3rd party and 3rd party like DT runs the customer facing part of the service. AFAIK< the other services, including Office 365 are in the pipeline to join Azure

Can't blame them, they have near-monopoly on government business in Eu with Office 365, making that an embargoed product will not go well with their bottom line. That reminds me, we are in a leap year. Does this mean that Office 365 will take a mandatory one day lie down at some point to comply with its naming?

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Microsoft struggles against self-inflicted Office 365 IMAP outage

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Not like it worked even before that

IMAP support in both MS Exchange and Office 365 is a complete and utter joke.

All people who actually need to have it working use davmail. That works (TM).

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Folk shun UK.gov's 'expensive' subsidised satellite broadband

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Re: Satellite Broadband?

SAT as provider up/downlink technology for really far off locations will never go away. There are places where fiber is just not worth running for now.

SAT as a consumer broadband tech has been dead in Europe for 10+ years and is now dying in the 3rd world. It beggars belief how this ended up money having thrown at it in the first place.

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Flock of sheep ends NZ high-speed car chase

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Facepalm

Improbably

Are you sure you spelled that right?

In NZ that should have been "probably" or "certainly" - based on sheep to inhabitants ratio.

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Oracle blurts Google's Android secrets in court: You made $22bn using Java, punk

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Pint

Re: Wait a minute

Bare = take. Thanks - lesson for the future - should not post before 4th espresso. Damn... there is no coffee icon. Probably so that Oracle does not ask El Register to hand all of its measly profits for violating their "hot java" copyrights.

Oh well... beer as closest equivalent (especially on a Friday afternoon).

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Wait a minute

While I bare no sympathy to what Google has become, I find it difficult not to notice that:

Neither the play store, nor ads are fundamentally bound to java, infringing on java copyrights (if that happened in the first place) or anything to which Oracle may be theoretically entitled for a chance for remedy.

While we all know that Google uses Android as a scorched earth tactic to ensure that nobody can get even close to their dominance in search and ad slinging, you have to prove that this is its exclusive function via appropriate discovery. Oracle has failed to do that (I do not think they would be allowed by most judges to go on that fishing expedition anyway). So from that perspective, even if there is infringement (which I doubt), this all smacks of racketeering. Oh, such a good 22Bn business you got there, wonder if you would like something to happen to it. Even if Oracle is entitled to any remedy (*), it should be derived from Android licensing agreement numbers, not from Playstore and ad slinging revenue numbers. Oh, by the way, it will be interesting how much do those contribute to G00G bottom line.

(*) A raft of recent cases in Eu went solidly the other way. If it is essential to implement functionality for a system, you cannot copyright the shape essential to implement said functionality. It fails the expressiveness test. Lego, London Taxy company, etc - you name it.

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Government in-sourcing: It was never going to be that easy

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Devil

Re: Yeah, right

And as for buying in talent from large consultancies...

That is a valid proposition. If you write it correctly: And as for buying in "talent" from large consultancies...

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Boeing just about gives up on the 747

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Interesting

747s writing on the wall was posted when FAA started approving 3+ hour ratings for 2 engine planes. I am surprised it is still around and has not been replaced by 777 on all routes.

In fact, I suspect Boeing did some pricing shenanigans here, because A340 was displaced by A330 the moment FAA started approving 3+ h ratings for 2 engine aircraft.

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Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

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Re: Off to the local Chinese grocery store

Curious minds want to know:

Did you pick up the organic brownies in Prague or Amsterdam? Also, were they from a shop with a big green leaf on the shop sign.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

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Re: Move along, nothing to see

Sure, you will get updates, but they will effectively cripple your device after a certain date.

Sincerely - a disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7 which became unusable after an update to 5.0

I had to hack the bootloader (the posted downloads on Google website brick the device) to downgrade it to the last 4. It now has updates disabled as there are no more 4.x updates and any update will cripple it by updating it to 5.x

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