* Posts by James O'Shea

995 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

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Ins0mnia bug means malicious iOS apps WILL NEVER DIE

James O'Shea
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Re: Does it matter?

Hmm. I've had old flip-phones last more than five years. Also, my ancient Samsung Omnia would be able to work today (it turns on...) except that it was a Verizon device and there is no way that I am ever going to go anywhere near Verizon ever again. For one thing, it's still locked to Verizon as Veriscum refuses to unlock phones, even out of contract. (Or at least they refused back when I was a Veriscum victim, they may have changed lately. Doubt it, though. I hate Sprint, but they're not a bad as Verizon.)

Anyone want an old WinPhone 6 Omnia, still in working order, still tied to Veriscum? Going cheap...

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Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

James O'Shea
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Re: false positive

If something I want is blocked, I'll know it, and unblock it, or I won't know it, and I'll live without it.

I don't need anything associated with 'sponsored sites'.

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James O'Shea
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I advocate the nuclear option

I'm typing this on Firefox running in Win 10. I have a 3rd-party firewall installed (Kaspersky) just to annoy Microsoft. Before I installed it, I turned off all the spy features I could, also to annoy them. I have AdBlockPlus installed. I have Ghostery installed. (Currently blocking DataPoint Media, DoubleClick, and Google Analytics. Naughty, naught, el Reg.) I have Privacy Badger installed, (Not showing anything. Better, el Reg.) I also have modded the HOSTS file heavily to blackhole certain notorious sites. Between them, I no longer see ads, 'sponsored sites', or any of that nonsense.

Certain sites have complained about my blocking ads on them. I have ignored them. Some sites have gone so far as to block access until I whitelist ads on their site. I have declined to go back.

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Android in user-chosen lockscreen patterns are grimly predictable SHOCKER

James O'Shea
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Errm...

I don't know why anyone would use the pattern feature, it's so obviously easily broken. Same with why anyone would use the fingerprint reader on iPhones and some Androids, the complete and total lack of security for that 'feature' is blindingly obvious. Personally, I have configured my devices (two iPhones and an iPad) to use the 'advanced' security feature, which allows me to avoid the easily broken four-digit, all-numerical, PIN code (only slightly more secure than the pattern or the fingerprint reader) and to use instead an alphanumeric combination of my choice. I currently have a ten-character code, nine letters, two of them uppercase, seven lowercase, plus one number. The number and the uppercase characters are not the first or the last characters. Two letters are duplicated; one is both an uppercase and a lowercase character, one is just lowercase in both instances. The overall passphrase is based on a phrase from <name of language redacted>; one of the guys on my floor while I was at uni was a native speaker of that language, and I made note of certain phrases, transliterated into the Latin alphabet. I deliberately misspelled this particular phrase. To guess it, someone would have to know which language I started out with, how and why I changed the transliteration, the strange capitalisation I used, and where I put the number. I use other phrases from that language, again deliberately misspelled, as 14 to 18 character passphrases for things I'd like to be fairly secure. There are less than a 100,000 native speakers of that language and it does NOT use the Latin alphabet, so in this case even the starting point is rather obscure. Yes, it can be hacked, if someone goes to enough trouble. But they're really going to have to want to get onto MY stuff in particular to do that. Easier to go after someone else's stuff. Such as stuff 'protected' by a pattern or a fingerprint.

I assume that Android has a feature similar to this. (If not, why the hell not?) I used to have an Android phone, but it was so annoying to use (it froze. All the time. This was actually great security, in that it was unusable... except that I couldn't use it either) that I dumped it and replaced it with an iPhone. I never did get around to setting up security beyond the 4-digit PIN, not that it mattered as I never put anything important on that useless hunk of plastic.

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Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

James O'Shea
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Re: Say it is true

"Still confused -- it says "32Gb RAM" which would be 8GB RAM... So which is it, 3GB or 8GB?

(Guessing 3GB since the cheaper model has 2GB RAM.)"

Errm... 32Gb is 4GB, not 8 GB. The possibility exists that it is really 32Gb, a.k.a 4GB, with up to 1 GB of it not being available to the user, and therefore leaving 3GB for use.

The possibility also exists that whoever wrote the advertising/press release/whatever made a typo. Or that s/he was clueless about phones. Or both. My money's on both.

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Tens of thousands of Popcorn Time movie streamers menaced by anti-piracy fleet

James O'Shea
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Surely suing them is excessive

"In the US, a film studio filed suit earlier this month against 11 people who were accused of illegally using the service to access the Adam Sandler film The Cobbler. "

I mean... isn't watching an Adam Sandler film, especially if you're not being paid to do it, sufficient punishment all by itself?

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High-heeled hacker builds pen-test kit into her skyscraper shoes

James O'Shea
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Re: Very James Bond

<cough> Mr. Bond is notoriously a blunt instrument. </cough>

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Brit hydro fuel cell maker: our tech charges iPhone 6 for a week

James O'Shea
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Bah, humbug

What on _Earth_ are people doing with their devices to run the batteries down so fast that this looks like a good idea? I just plug mine in when I get home; in a short time they're at full charge again, and I unplug 'em. If, for some reason, I need to charge one during the day, there's the car charger or I can plug it into a laptop or desktop for a short time. Not usually needed unless I forgot to charge the thing last night. In most cases I can get by for two days without charging, but that's pushing it. If I'm on the road a lot, then Waze tends to eat battery, but that's why I have the car charger.

Feh.

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US military says it will discipline Ashley Madison users

James O'Shea
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Re: but... why so harsh?!

Why would anyone register on AM from a No Sex Allowed account?

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Collective noun search for security vulns moves into beta testing

James O'Shea
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Re: Premature posting

"Withdraw Sir! Withdraw!! You are not a gentleman."

You might, however, be St. Julian the Ass(tm).

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Second Ashley Madison dump prompts more inside-job speculation

James O'Shea
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Re: What theft?

"If someone copied the "mafias" logbooks, published them, and subsequently the mafia lost income, would that also be theft ?"

That would be:

1 theft

2 very stupid.

They _would_ find you. And they would not involve the cops. And you would not like it.

Yes, Ashley Madison is run by scammers and low-lifes.. It's still possible to steal from them, though.

It is, however, really funny to watch the results of someone hacking them. Just as it would be really funny to watch, from a safe distance, the results of someone hacking the mafia.

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The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?

James O'Shea
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Re: What is this HTTPS I keep reading about

I use a throwaway email address (from gmail, easy to get another if I want) and a throwaway password. I couldn't care less if some gormless twit hacked El Reg, I don't use this email address for anything even remotely important. Furthermore, anyone who knows me also knows that I don't use this address for anything important, and, more important, knows the email addresses I use for important stuff.

I am seriously considering getting a domain and setting up my own email servers and simply generating as many throwaway addresses as I want to, as often as I want to, and in any way that I want to.

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James O'Shea
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Re: yay for victim blaming :D

""Your infidel analogy was also flawed, I very much doubt that the infidels in question ever agreed beforehand not to be infidels. ie: got married and took an oath about remaining faithfull."

- but if they had, you'd be the first in line to chop their little infidel heads off, right?"

I'd be first in line to chop _your_ little head off, laddie.

Of course, first I'd have to find it. That would probably require an electron microscope.

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Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

James O'Shea
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Re: Bah!

Old, old, old stuff. See further _The Day of the Dolphin_, by Robert Merle, 1969. Not a great book, but far better than the movie, staring George C. Scott, 1973. I still have the book somewhere. I saw the movie, once. That was twice too often.

Other, much better, and much more weaonized dolphin tales include _Startide Rising_, David Brin. 1983. I've got that one somewhere around here, too.

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Google reveals OnHub WiFi router, complete with GLOWING RING

James O'Shea
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errmm...

A few questions:

1 this 'app-driven' UI... I take it that you can't access the device except via the app. Interesting. How is this different from Apple's AirPort routers, which also can't be access except via an app, and have been around for quite some time?

2 is this app available for platforms other than Android? Apple has AirPort Utility available for iOS, OS X, and Windows. Not, so far as I know, for Linux or Android. I do hope that Google doesn't mirror-image this.

re the firmware updates:

1 again, Apple has made a habit of issuing firmware updates, usually via the Apple Store, for a long time now for the AirPort routers. It's a relatively painless system. Will Google be doing something similar?

2 several firmware updates for Apple's AirPort have had... problems. They were fixed promptly. (Well, promptly for Apple, anyway.) Google _will_ have problems. I do wonder just how fast they will fix them.

re the Ethernet ports:

1 it's got _how many_ ports? Really? You're kidding, right? Even Apple manages three ports plus the WAN port....

re the design...

<looks at AirPort Extreme in the corner. Looks at pic of Google thingie.> No comment. I suspect that there will be lawyers at dawn, though.

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Kaspersky: Freemasons coded fake malware in the Bermuda Triangle

James O'Shea
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I have recently installed Kaspersky A/V precisely because I don't believe the alleged evidence allegedly delivered by an alleged entity allegedly calling itself 'Reuters'.

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

James O'Shea
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Re: I am happy with it

" I wonder why the Register is so negative about Windows 10, I loaded it onto a 4 year old Windows 7 Lenovo Laptop. I hardly ever used it because it was so slow, like treacle more like and it has been transformed into fast really usable machine - fast in starting and very fast in use. No problems, it is solid and reliable. much better than Windows 7(I never bothered with Windows 8). All I can say is very well done Microsoft!

Comeback in about ~Two Months, after you have installed Office, Acrobat, and or Photoshop, or a vary healthy internet tmp cache and say that again!"

Errm... I installed WIn 10 on top of a Win 8.1 install. That install already had Office 2013 and Adobe Creative Suite (NOT Cloud) installed. The same machine had a Win 7 install on another partition of that same hardware. I can say with absolute certainty that Win 8.1 was faster, on the same hardware, than Win 7, and that Win 10 is faster, on the same hardware, than Win 8.1, which makes it _much_ faster than Win 7. And it's not just faster at boot time, it's faster generally. It opens applications faster. It opens files faster. It's just faster. It's better behaved, it's easier to handle, it's just better. And, yes, I turned off the spyware while installing, and, yes, I have installed my own firewall so that I _know_ if stuff was still being exported, and, no, the firewall hasn't detected any naughty stuff.

System: Asus A53S laptop, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB drive (shipped with 4 GB and 750 GB, respectively)

Two partitions on the drive, one Win 7 Ultimate, one Win 10 Pro. The Win 10 partition used to be Win 8.1 Pro.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 for A/V and firewall

Office 2013 and Creative Suite 6 on the Win 10 partition.

Office 2013 and 2010 (yes, I know, Microsoft doesn't want you to have both. Screw them.) and Creative Suite 5.5 on the Win 7 partition. (Note: I haven't actually paid full price for either Office or anything Adobe since Office 98 for Mac. Since then I've had either free installs due to being a 'student' or reduced price installs, typically $10 for Microsoft stuff and $200-500 instead of umpty-ump thousand for Adobe stuff due to being 'faculty' at certain Institutions of Higher (it is to laugh) Education. Getting cheap software is one of the few perks to being an adjunct instructor.) I used to have the Office 2015 beta on both partitions, it's gone 'cause experience on Mac and iOS platforms indicates that Microsoft is going to start bleating about wanting Office 365 installs, which ain't gonna happen. (Yes, buyz'n'grrlz, I have actual Windows and Office install DVDs actually from Microsoft, going back to Office 2000 and Win XP, which were either free or cost $10. I have ISOs downloaded from Microsoft sources which were free, and which cost me only download time and the cost of blank media. I didn't even use my own bandwidth to download 'em, why bother when the school had a 100 Mb/s (now a 1000 Mb/s) Internet connection.)

I also have LibreOffice and Open Office installed, but rarely use them, they're just too clunky compared to MS Office. (Memo to Microsoft: if you continue to yammer about Office 365, my attitude towards LibreOffice/Open Office can change.)

I have Hyper-V installed and park Win XP and Ubuntu on it. I don't usually use either one very much, it's just that certain software that the office uses requires XP and every now and again I test out Ubuntu to see if I could actually spend a day using it. So far, the answer is no. XP in Hyper-V under Win 10 behaves more-or-less like XP in Hyper-V under Win 8.1. Ubuntu might be a little faster. If so, it's not by much.

The whole reason I still have a Win 7 partition was that I made sure to have it when I installed Win 8... and Win 8 was so annoying that I went back to Win 7 almost immediately. When Win 8.1 came around, I updated my Win 8 partition, and found myself spending more and more and more time there instead of Win 7 because once I got rid of the damn tiles Win 8.1 behaved better than Win 7. Win 10 behaves better than Win 8.1. It's that simple.

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Assange™ is 'upset' that he WON'T be prosecuted for rape, giggles lawyer

James O'Shea
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Re: "Assange is still wanted in the UK for breach of bail conditions"

Getting his hands on (the contents of) a dress was the problem in the first place.

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

James O'Shea
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Re: Linux v Windows

"most printers currently available for the home market are winprinters"

Errm.... you sure about that? [looks at assorted Brother, Epson, and HP printers, inkjets, lasers, even a dot-matrix, and not a one of them is a 'winprinter', if only 'cause every one works with Macs.]

"finding a linux driver that works is very difficult"

That depends on the driver and the distro. In many (not all) cases, if the printer has a properly done Mac driver which is compatible with CUPS you can get it to work with some (not all) Linux distros. http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/database/cupsdocumentation The boys at Gutenprint http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/ cover a lot of printers, and their drivers are sometimes better than the official drivers. HP also has fairly good Linux support. http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/index.html

In times past I used to use Gutenprint (then Gimp-print) drivers for several of my personal printers in preference to the official drivers. I could get PostScript-like output from cheap inkjets, which was a good thing.

Properly done Linux distros should ship with CUPS already installed and set up, all that's necessary is to get hold of the CUPS (that is, Mac) drivers from the vendor and install. As the vendor's installer will be aimed at Macs, that can be interesting, but there are sites which have Linux installers available.

Now, if the printer you want to use doesn't have Mac drivers, you might have a problem. But that printer really will be a winprinter.

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Texas senator Ted Cruz serves up sizzling 'machine gun bacon'

James O'Shea
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Re: He's Canadian. Born in Calgary

"So like Obama, one parent was US citizen and thus he would qualify.

Unlike Obama... he's never tried to hid his childhood..."

Errr... Obama was born in Hawaii, and was born there after Hawaii became a state. He didn't 'hide his childhood'. He didn't need to, having been BORN IN THE UNITED STATES. Hellfire, I knew that he'd been born in Hawaii back when he was still a Senator from Illinois... Cruz was not only born in Calgary, he still had Canadian citizenship until 2014. McCain, who I voted for back in 2008 (despite Palin...) was born in the Panama Canal Zone. Goldwater, who I'd have voted for if I'd had a vote at that time (I was both rather young and not yet an American citizen) was born in Arizona before it became a state, and there's some yammering about whether or not that counts. The main diff between Obama and Cruz is that one of 'em is black and the other one's Canadian and should be deported back to Canada and used for bear bait.

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James O'Shea
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He's Canadian. Born in Calgary

Deport his ass back to Calgary. And make him take the Biebs with him. Hell, let him use the Biebs for target practice, if that's what it takes to get him back to the land of his birth.

If we can't get him back to Calgary (preferably in time for the next Stampede, http://www.calgarystampede.com/ so that he can finally take up his true calling, rodeo clown) send him to Churchill and have him pet some of the nice white bears.

On the other hand, I can see why Calgary was so happy to see the back of him, and sending him back might mean war with Canada. I can live with that. Hey! Canadians! Y'all shouldn't have unleashed him on the US! That's not the act of a good neighbor! If you don't take him back we'll send you some Mexicans, Donny Trump says they're all very bad people, you don't want them up there in the Great White North!

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Are users undermining your mobile security efforts?

James O'Shea
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Re: Mobile management is easy to achieve

"And if senior exec X installs a non approved bit of software and tells all his reports to do the same, which turns out to be malware, what then?"

If you don't give him an admin password, he _can't_ install a damn thing, not on a Mac. (Apple takes security semi-seriously. Well, more seriously than Microsoft, anyway...) He _has_ to come to IT to do it. You can then tell him, "No, you can't install that, it's malware." If he demands to do it anyway, make him put it in writing. I have done this. One particular senior VP swore he'd see me fired before the end of the day. Strangely enough, he was outtathere by the end of the week and I am still there.

I have also done this with Windows systems. Just don't give them an admin password and remove any privs that they don't need. Make it _impossible_ for them to do this... or, if they're willing to commit themselves to taking responsibility for the machine, in writing, give 'em admin privs and let 'em screw themselves. Make sure that the written document states that they're responsible for any problems on the network caused by their idiocy, so that all overtime required to fix the problem gets billed to _their_ cost center number. 'Round here we get time and half for regular OT, double time on weekends, and triple time on holidays. (It's good to be able to force concessions out of HR.) After we drop the OT bill on their desk, they suddenly don't need admin access anymore. Funny, that.

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Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

James O'Shea
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Re: Here's one possiblity...

I upgraded on Friday. Just in case there was a problem, I'd downloaded the 'install Tool' from Microsoft and used it to build bootable install media (an old 4 GB USB2 thumb drive) but I never needed it. I clicked on the 'Get Windows 10' icon on the taskbar and shortly thereafter was downloading the update installer. In short order the install was over, I made sure to NOT use the 'Express Install' and so had a chance to turn off the more objectionable items. The only irritant was that Win 10 didn't recognise my printers, but even that went away after I installed the first one by hand. Suddenly all of them, including my (now redundant, as Microsoft shipped one...) PDF printer, showed up..Win 10 appears to be slightly faster than Win 8.1, which makes it _considerably_ faster than Win 7. Furthermore, Microsoft seems to have (finally!) figured out how to do an upgrade install. Took 'em long enough. I installed right over my old Win 8.1 install, and so far all apps tested are working as expected. (Yes, Edge was the default web browser. That lasted perhaps 10 seconds, or the time it took to click on the 'set defaults' notice and change back to Firefox.)

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Slashdot, SourceForge looking for new owners after parent dumps them on the web's doorstep

James O'Shea
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Re: Lost credibility

"So who are El Reg's BBC-hating pro-copyright right-wing climate-sceptic sponsors?"

Donald Trump and the dead muskrat on his head?

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TITSUP: Apple Music, App Stores, iCloud, iTunes, Radio, iBooks

James O'Shea
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Re: I hadn't noticed

"Copying CDs to music players is illegal in the UK. You have to buy the same content again or face 10 years in jail in the UK."

I've been copying my music onto formats I like for well over 40 years now. If someone actually wanted to try to prosecute because I moved to a different format, despite my having a truly large collection of CDs and vinyl LPs plus the equipment necessary to turn them into digitalised formats, I'd say for 'em to come get me.

It is true that I haven't bought much music lately. Current music tends to annoy me, so I listen to my older stuff.

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James O'Shea
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Re: I hadn't noticed

"I buy content in the form of CD's It can't then be deleted from the media/devices I then choose to transfer it too."

Sigh. With (some) books and with movies you might have a point. Not with music. From the very first versions of iTunes (back when iTunes was actually usable...) it was entirely possible to ensure that your purchased content couldn't be remotely deleted. (Step 1: download content. Step 2: set up a playlist. Step 3: burn a CD or otherwise copy the playlist. Step 4: put the copied content back into iTunes. Or, indeed, into anything which would play said content. Apple would be completely unable to delete that content. Until iTunes Match arrived, Apple wouldn't even know that content existed. And, yes, if the music was DRMed at the start, it's not DRMed anymore. From the beginning iTunes could burn up to seven copies of any playlist, and the copies would NOT be DRMed. You'd think that Apple was deliberately trying to sabotage the music companies, and you'd be correct.)

I don't usually get books from Apple; virtually all of my ebooks are acquired from other sources, converted to epubs (if necessary) and had their metadata massaged in calibre, and then moved to iBooks and iTunes strictly so that said ebooks may be viewed on my iPad. calibre doesn't touch DRMed content, so I don't, either, unless I absolutely have no choice. Those few ebooks I have from Apple (and Amazon, via Kindle) are copied over to calibre, too. (I prefer the iBooks reader on my iPad to the Kindle reader for iOS. I suspect that Amazon has deliberately crippled it, and their readers for OS X and Window, to try to get users to get a Kindle. That, or the Kindle interface is just truly crappy.) This means that I usually have at least two copies of any book, one in calibre and one in iBooks. And Apple can't do a damn thing to the calibre copy. (Neither can Amazon.)

It should be noted that there are ways to deDRM almost all ebooks, should I absolutely have to do that... and I have done exactly that. This means that I have several hand-built epubs sitting in calibre and usually in iBooks. Neither Apple nor Amazon have any idea that I have them, and so they cannot delete them.

Movies I don't know about. I usually use my Amazon Prime membership to access free (well, free after I pay for a year of Amazon Prime, which I would be doing anyway just for the free 2nd-day-air shipping) content and I simply don't care one way or another, as it's streaming content and doesn't live on my drives anyway. Movies and videos that I want to keep, such as my complete collection of every single episode of Farscape, are MKVs parked far, far, FAR way from iTunes. I don't even know if iTunes can handle MKVs, I've never tried.

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'Ugly Reddit commentards made me doubt humanity'

James O'Shea
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Re: @2+2=5, re: Eadon.

He left off Eadon's fav bit: the NONSENSICAL SENTENCE IN ALL CAPS. Gotta have at least one if it's to be an Eadon post.

I still say that it was really someone at Google yanking El Reg's chain. hard. No-one could have been serious when they spewed all that... could they? Please tell me that it was all an epic troll.

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James O'Shea
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Re: That's why you never read the comments, Ellen. Take it from us. ®

Has he really been gone for two years? Seems like only yesterday that he was roaming & foaming....

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

James O'Shea
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Re: Weekend trolling is best trolling!

El Reg has Simon, the PFY, a carpet, and some quicklime. The lawyers don't have a hope.

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Samsung stuffs 2 TERABYTES into flash drive for ordinary folk

James O'Shea
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Re: GIMMIE!

"Why not buy a smaller SSD for your OS and programs, and keep your data on the cheaper spinning rust?"

Because...

1 my laptop doesn't have enough space for two internal drives and I'd really rather not haul around an external drive

2 my Windows desktop already has all the internal drive bays filled up. I'd have to pull _two_ drives, replace one with a drive large enough to hold the data from the two drives, migrate the data, and then put in the SSD. Easier to leave well enough alone until the next time I build a new system.

3 my Mac desktop (a Mac mini) has space for two internal drives but both are in use. Again, I'd have to migrate the data to another internal drive or to an external. Messing with the innards of a Mac mini is non-trivial, though better than it used to be. And a new Mac mini is not on, Apple has deleted the ability to have two internal drives for reasons which no doubt made sense to them.

That said... I'm not buying one of these because of the price. It's more than I paid for for any of the computers I'd use it in. (Yes, it costs more than Apple kit, which pretty much says it all.)

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Assange™'s emotional plea for asylum in France rejected

James O'Shea
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Errm...

if the girls says stop, and you don't stop, that's rape. Even if she had said 'yes' earlier. If after the girl said 'stop' he not only didn't stop but used superior force to continue, that's forcible rape. And if he had some STD (anything at all...) and the girl caught it, that's forcible rape and aggravated assault. If the STD is incurable, that's assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

I had not thought that my opinion of St. Julie the Ass™ (and of those who support him) could go any lower. I was wrong.

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Trump carded: Wannabe prez's hotels 'ground zero' in banking breach

James O'Shea
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Re: After his remarks on Mexicans...

The Donald hates Mexicans 'cause he was once chased up a tree by a Chihuahua. It was really after the dead muskrat on his head, but The Donald didn't know that.

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Cisco gobbles OpenDNS, sorts out cloud security portfolio

James O'Shea
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Re: "of nearly 50 billion devices by 2020"

Hmm... I'm at home at the moment, and just in this room I, personally, have...

2 cell phones

2 desktop computers

1 laptop

1 printer

1 tablet.

I'm not counting the server ('cause it ain't in this room and it's only barely connected, in that it's on a network which has a connection) nor am I counting the tv (the set top box for it, that is) or the blu-ray player as they're not in this room, either. Nor am I counting the other tvs/set-top boxes, blu-rays, computers, cell phones, or tablets elsewhere in the house. And not the VOIP phones. And I'm pretty sure that there's something I'm forgetting.

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Half of Windows Server 2003 fans will miss July's security cut-off

James O'Shea
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Re: Last one I'm reading

"'I've already put the steak in the heart"

did it moo?

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Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM

James O'Shea
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I expected

a story about an elderly Tory MP. Let's see...

1 spineless... check

2 scarfs everything that comes into range... check

3 excellent defences and so resistant to most ordinary methods of persuasion... check

My apologies, it's not a mere MP, it's a full-on Minister of Government.

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Apple pulls Civil War games in Confederate flag takedown

James O'Shea
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I find it interesting

that some people hate Apple so much that they scream when Apple dumps a symbol of traitors, slavers, murderers, thieves, and rapists. Not to mention just plain bigots. A certain cracker who will not be named shot nine people dead in an effort to (by his own admission) start a race war, inspired in large part by that flag. And yet some on this site object to it being removed.

I went to university with someone whose great-whatever granduncle was with the 1st Minnesota at Gettysburg. 262 Minnesotans mounted a spoiler attack to block a Confederate assault. 47 were still standing after the unit achieved its objective. The 24th Michigan took 77% casualties holding the Angle, the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. They held. The 20th Maine literally ran out of ammunition defending their position; they fixed bayonets and charged, despite being outnumbered four to one. They routed the rebels. And that's just Gettysburg. And leaves out Buford's cavalry saving the high ground, the fight in the Devil's Den, the rest of the Iron Brigade (24 Michigan was in 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps first to fight, a.k.a. the Iron Brigade) standing at the Angle when Longstreet's men tried to run them over. Men carrying that flag. 1st Minnesota was at the Angle, too; one of their men captured a rebel flag and it's in a museum in Minnesota. A few years ago some Virginians demanded their flag back. Minnesota told 'em to come get it and bring body bags, they'd be needing them.

Getting rid of that flag has been a long time in coming. Far too long. Museums are the only place those flags should fly.

Several regiments of the Virginia National Guard are still called the Stonewall Brigade. Time to change that name, too. And Ft. Hood. And Ft. Bragg. And Ft. Lee. And a bunch more.

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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: re: 2015-June-02 is pretty unambiguous

"- the birth of Jesus Josephson of Nazareth"

Errm... as was pointed out to me many, many, MANY years ago during Religious Knowledge class. (I went to a Church school. We took Religious Knowledge to GCE. They made us, we certainly wouldn't have done it otherwise, the unabashed heathens that we were.)

1 m'man's name was Yeshua. That would be 'Joshua'. The bleeding Greeks screwed the name up. In their defense, Hebrew lacks vowels and is written backwards. Saying 'Jesus Christ' is NOT 'using the name of God in vain, 'cause that wasn't his name...

2 he should properly be either Yesua bar Miriam or Yesua bar Abbas, 'cause the one guy who it's certain (according to the Gospels, anyway) wasn't his father was Yosef. (Yes, Mary = Miriam. Abbas = Father. There would be a reason why a certain other person named Barabbas got so much play...) And, yes, this point came up while the discussion of certain passages in the Synoptics were being discussed. Hint: there are two different genealogies (one in Luke, one in Matthew) of m'man Yeshua, both of which go past Yosef... who can't be his father. We had _lots_ of fun with that. There are several reasons why the Roman Catholic Church says that Biblical literalism is an error...

3 Yeshua was actually born three or four or perhaps even five years BC. (Those who would put that as BCE can bite me.) (Yes, the Greeks screwed up the dating, too. They seemed to be bad with numbers even then.) And we can be fairly sure that the date wasn't in December, either, not if the shepherds had their flocks out.

Church schools: turning out cynics by the score. One wonders why certain fundiots are so hot on teaching religion in American public schools. I suspect that if they achieved their object they might not like the result...

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Vodafone splashes €2 BEEELLLION to kick German TV sideways

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: Accompanying image

"I think it's a Hurricane though."

Nah. That's a Spitfire, almost certainly one with a Griffon engine instead of a Merlin. The canopy and the four- or five-blade prop say late-marque Spit or perhaps a Spiteful or a Seafang. Probably a a later Spit, though, very few Spitefuls or Seafangs were built and I don't think that any survive. It's definitely not a Hurri. No standard production Hurri had a canopy like that one, and I'm pretty sure that no Hurri had a four-blade prop, either.

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Yep, it's true: Android is the poor man's phone worldwide

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: Sound and fury

"2 years is not the HW life expectancy. No one "considers" this to be true.

The 2 year number comes from the 2 year contract period so often offered by telcos in the developed west, which effectively amount to expensive hire purchase agreements."

Errm... you're the only one who's mentioned a 2 year figure. I'd thought that I'd made clear that my old Samsung flip-phone lasted well past two years; more than five, actually, before it finally died. The Android device did't make it past six months.

"PAYG phones are used for a much longer period of time, in general, and phones do in fact last longer than 2 years."

Not Android devices in my never to be repeated experience. I've never before had to put up with such a pile of junk and I hope never to do so again. The device in question was a ZTE, and according to various people posting on assorted support sites, the performance of my device was typical.

"Gingerbread phones are still sold last time I looked. Some of us need to carry multiple phones when traveling and a cheap "phone" turns out to be an Android device sometimes, and soon it might be "always" - heaven forbid."

I will not be buying any such device. Once bitten, twice shy.

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James O'Shea
Silver badge

Sound and fury

I have two cell phones. I have had two cell phones for years. One is for the office, paid for by the office, and one is mine and paid for by me. For a very long time the office phone was a Windows phone. Then Microsoft went (even more) bonkers and the special app we used, the whole reason for having a smart phone, wouldn't work any more. The office got a work-around which would work on any properly speced smart phone; the users would pick a phone from the allowed list, the office would pay for it. Which is how I replaced my Samsung Omnia with an iPhone 4S. It did the job as specced by the office; the only problem was that I had to use (grrr) Sprint. (Could have been worse. The office used to use Verizon.) The 4S has since been replaced by a 5S, which also continues to give no trouble and to do exactly what it was purchased for.

Meanwhile, I had been using a succession of cheap flip-phones on my personal account. Because the office phones for years back had been Samsungs and hadn't given problems, I usually got a Samsung flip-phone and they gave no trouble at all until the day that one simply dropped dead. It was, of course, well past the warranty. Indeed, that particular model was no longer being produced. I decided to get an Android device. I picked a nice cheap unit, as I really didn't need much. This was A Serious Error(™).

In the first place, the device couldn't be upgraded past Gingerbread. In the second, it was extremely unreliable, freezing without warning, so that I missed calls; the only cure for the freeze was to remove the battery, wait a bit, then put the battery back in. Missing calls was unforgivable. Multiple calls to support did nothing to fix it. A check with assorted support fora on line indicated that my problem was quite widespread, and wasn't confined that model device, or even to Gingerbread. I should have known that there was a reason why the damn thing was so cheap and why it was still running Gingerbread at the late date that I bought it. I replaced it with a 5C (the 6 was out by that time, but I wasn't about to spend iPhone 6 money if I didn't have to) and that device has been as reliable as the 5S and the 4S before it.

I, personally, will never again buy an Android device, not because I love Apple, not because I love shiny, not because I want to be fashionable (both my iPhones, like the 4S and the Omnia and the assorted other company phones before them, live in plain black plastic cases which do not reveal what kind of phone they are unless you look very closely indeed) but rather because the damn things do what I want them to do, when I want them to do it, and don't do things I don't want them to do. I'd still be using a flip-phone if my old Samsung feature phone hadn't died after about five years of use. I suspect that the iPhone 5C will also get at least five years worth of use. I have no desire to 'upgrade' it and it does what I want it to, when I want it to, how I want it to. And, oh, I'm less than enamored of the large size things being pushed by both Apple and Samsung nowadays. I like the size of the 5C and 5S. In contrast, the Android device was a complete disaster. I see no reason to repeat the experiment; perhaps the problem was that I got a cheap Android device, not a full-priced one, but I really don't want to pay for a top-of-the-line Android device and have problems again. Not when I _know_, from actual experience, that the Apple devices do what I want and don't give me static.

YMMV, of course.

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Climate change alarmism is a religious belief – it's official

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: I'm sorry

Sigh. It's been Official Catholic Doctrine for a long time now that Biblical literalism is a fallacy. No, it is NOT policy that the universe was created in six (not seven...) days about 6,000 years ago. Hint: the person who first proposed the theory currently known as the Big Bang Theory (so named by the rather atheist Fred Hoyle in a failed attempt to discredit it...) was Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest working at a Catholic university. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre I went to Church schools from elementary to university. I was introduced to the theory of evolution in high school, by an actual ordained Jesuit priest who had absolutely no problems with the subject. Indeed, his fav line when a creationist cretin tried to argue with him was "Men wrote the Bible. God wrote the rocks. If what the Bible tells us disagrees with what the rocks tell us, then the Bible is wrong. The rocks tell us that the Earth is billions of years old and that life has been here for much of that time, and that man is a relatively recent development. If the Bible says different, then either we're reading it incorrectly or someone made an error when writing it. You may be quite sure that God did not make an error writing the rocks." Mumbles about problems with 'carbon dating' were met by pointing out that carbon dating is actually limited to quite recent times, and that other radioisotope dating methods work using the same theories which make items ranging from light bulbs to nuclear bombs work. Anyone who has a problem with radioisotope dating needs to provide a theory showing how those problems can be accommodated while still having light bulbs work.

Yes, there are Catholics who are creationist cretins. They haven't been paying attention to Official Church Policy for more than a century. They are the kind of people who Frankie is going after, to either drag them into at least the 20th century or to run 'em out of the Church entirely, he doesn't much care which.

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James O'Shea
Silver badge

Frankie is changing my mind about Popes

I suffered through Official Church Schools from elementary to university. I thought that the Pole was a dangerous right-wing fanatic and the German was an out-right Nazi. (Read up on what happened to Karol in Poland both during and after WWII and the exploits of der Panzerkardinal before he got enPoped to see why...) I was quite prepared to believe that Frankie would be more of the same... except he's a Jesuit. And NOT European. Jesuits, especially South American Jesuits, have historically be extremely irritating to right-wingers. (All that stuff about actually _thinking_...) Iggy Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, started out by irritating lots of the governments of the time (and the then Pope) and the Jesuits have followed his lead ever since. Except that one of them is now Pope, so he's annoying the hell out of everyone else. Der Panzerkardinal was head of the (reformed and renamed) Inquisition before being enPoped, at about the time of the Great Paedophile Priest Scandal... and he did not a damn thing. Frankie is using the full power of the (name changed to 'The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith' to protect the guilty) Inquisition to nail bishops and archbishops and even cardinals to the wall, a direct slap at Benny der Panzerkardnial. (And a rebuke to Karol the Pole for letting Benny get away with it...)

It appears that the Church of Rome is no longer run by moss-backed dinosaurs. It's been some time since this was so. I'm getting out to popcorn while I watch Frankie chew on theropods. It's much more entertaining than Jurassic World. A lot of what Frankie does is aimed at the moss-backs, including this bit about climate change.

It also appears that m'man Lewis really, really, REALLY has a thing about climate change. Lewis doesn't seem to notice that the primary target of this, and virtually everything else this or any other Pope does, is internal. This is Frankie going nuclear on the right-wingers. And, yes, as he is a Jesuit, it means that he actually had a look at the evidence and made up his own mind on it, though opposition to the position of the righties no doubt played a large part. Jesuits, especially South American Jesuits, have been doing that kind of thing for _centuries_ now.

And, oh, Lewis... I had a look at the available evidence myself a while back, and it was sufficient to persuade me while humans may not be responsible for _all_ of climate change, we are responsible for _a lot_ of climate change. This is one reason why I've been a longtime supporter of nuclear power; humans need a lot of power to build a civilization, and nukes don't eat fossil fuels. I don't have the position I do because I was commanded to by the Pope; I've been ignoring Papal commands since Karol was sitting in the Throne of St. Peter. I have the position I have because I looked at the evidence. Frankie has moved the Church to my position, though for internal political reasons. I'm waiting to see what else Frankie does to really piss off the righties; tolerance for gays and/or female priests would be my guess. The explosions you'd be hearing would be rightie skulls popping around the world. Opus Dei would have collective heart failure, and it couldn't happen to a better bunch.

Deus vult, and all that, boys'n'girls. Invest in lots of popcorn.

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AssangeTM says Sweden squibbed on promised interview

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: Great quote...

"I wonder whose sock puppet he is?"

Not mine. He doesn't kick the Ass(tm) hard enough.

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DuckDuckGrow: Privacy search soars 600% after Snowden dumps

James O'Shea
Silver badge

I've been using DDG for a long time

Years, even. I use it as my primary search engine on every single device I use, including Apple devices, and have been since way before last year, whether it was officially available or not.

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Amazon turns up spectacularly late to 'transparency' party, pours a large one

James O'Shea
Silver badge

"..smallpox spores

...mustard gas

...depleted uranium"

Feh. Smallpox doesn't do spores. I can make my own mustard gas (anyone with access to even a high school chem lab can) and I don't want _depleted_ uranium. Tungsten-carbide handles all my armoured fighting vehicle killing needs nicely, what I want is the Mother of All Improvised Explosive Devices.

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NOBODY reading your Facebook post? TOUGH LUCK, sez Zuck

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: Adblock

"We'd be happier (and richer) if you'd whitelist us."

Not necessarily. On occasion I visit El Reg from a machine which doesn't have Ad Block, and therefore see the ads. It's been a _long_ time since I thought of any of those ads as being anything other than an annoying distraction. I'm thinking in particular of the ad engine which displays an ad _before_ allowing me to access El Reg at all. I really hate that system. I've been making a note of those companies which advertise using it, so as to never buy any of their products.

There's a _reason_ why I usually use an adblocker.

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Belgium trolls France with bonkers new commemorative coin

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: How about more annoying the French!

"2. Second level escort: Aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, Battleship HMS Duke of York, cruisers HMS Cumberland and HMS Nigeria, Battleship USS Washington, and nine destroyers"

I'd forgotten about WASHINGTON being available. TIRPITZ, SCHEER, and eight destroyers could have handled the close and immediate escorts before the 2nd-level escort got close. That would leave the 2nd-level escort. Get past them, and by the time that the distant escort got in range, there wouldn't have been much left of the convoy, and TIRPITZ & Co would have been hauling ass for Norway at best speed, calling up U-boats and aircraft as they went... except that I forgot about WASHINGTON. WASHINGTON and DUKE OF YORK together would have been enough to see TIRPITZ off. DUKE OF YORK on its lonesome... say 'bye-bye'. I just looked up the RN order of battle. My bad.

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James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: Stop annoying Les Frogs

"otherwise they'll send a raiding party to rescue Emperor Napolleon III who lies burried in Hampshire and still refuse to return a couple of Henry's who are entombed in France."

That's a win-win. And if we could get them (or, perhaps, the Germans) to remove the squatters currently infesting a certain large government-owned building in London SW1A 1AA, why that would be an even bigger win-win. I'm not overly fond of Ollie Cromwell or Maxie Robespierre, but they did have a way of dealing with such annoyances.

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James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: How about more annoying the French!

The HIPPER cruisers were excellent designs (which didn't so much break the relevant naval treaties as crush them...) but weren't 'pocket battleships'. Those were DEUTSCHLAND/LUTZOW, SCHEER, and GRAF SPEE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutschland-class_cruiser

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James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: How about more annoying the French!

"The Dunkirk "great military achievement" should share the same "wall of shame" with the whole home fleet chasing one pocket battleship (and losing a capital ship in the process), allowing the channel run and withdrawing a whole fleet group including multiple heavy cruisers, ship of the line and an aircraft carrier and running away as fast as their engines can deliver after deciphering an Enigma order for the other pocket battleship to attack the PQ17."

BISMARCK was most definitely not a 'pocket battleship'. It was the largest and most powerful superdreadnought battleship afloat at the time, superior to all Royal Navy dreadnoughts ever built and to every American dreadnought prior to the WASHINGTONs and to the Japanese dreadnoughts prior to the YAMATOs. However, in the words of Joe Stalin, quantity has a quality all its own, so BISMARCK was gang-banged after being crippled by air attack. TIRPITZ was a (slightly) improved BISMARCK and was sunk by air attack. The 'pocket battleships' were the DEUTSCHLAND/LUTZOW class panzerschiffs, which were really more like large armored cruisers. (DEUTSCHLAND, the lead ship in the class, was renamed LUTZOW to avoid the propaganda hit should it get sunk.)

As for PQ-17, if TIRPITZ had gotten loose it would have wiped out the entire escort. Yes, it was that much superior to anything available.

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