* Posts by Larry F54

596 posts • joined 13 Sep 2011

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Not in the Budget: Spooks beg UK.gov for £111m brown envelope

Larry F54
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could be a good investment...

if it's all spent on cyanide capsules.

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Osbo: Choose a f*cking IoT fridge. Choose spirit-crushing driverless cars

Larry F54
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two fridges

We have a small "overflow" fridge in the cellar. It came from the "scratched/dented discount" section of a local appliance dealer. But as you say, it's "set and forget" -- as is the more expensive one upstairs.

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Larry F54
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new nickname

George "Two Kitchens" Osborne

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

Larry F54
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NOTA

"I have often said that there should be a 'none of the above' category on voting forms and if that gets the most votes then no MP is returned from that constituency."

I like the idea that if NOTA wins, all the candidates are banned from standing again for a number years. The parties have to field new ones for a by-election.

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Larry F54
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Unhappy

I usually say that in a democracy you have to let everyone vote but you should not encourage everyone to vote, because we're all better off if stupid people, ignorant people, and Sun readers don't vote (I realise there's some overlap in those categories). But I see here that they are particularly targeting universities, which might be a good thing -- except for that recent news item about UKIP support among students (educational standards have obviously dropped).

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Mattel urged to scrap Wi-Fi mic Barbie after Register investigation

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Worrying about ads is missing the real issues, we think, which are security and privacy.

Advertising to children is a real issue too. I'd like to see it banned completely.

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Ad bidding network caught slinging ransomware

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Re: @ Larry F54

I'll try that out. I've been using these to "fix" the website:

http://regmedia.co.uk/*.png?x=648&y=429&crop=1

http://regmedia.co.uk/*.jpg?x=648&y=429&crop=1

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Larry F54
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 - The problem with such as Adblock

You'd get more sympathy if the ads weren't so obnoxious that they get in the way of reading the news.

...and if the redesign in general didn't get in the way of reading the news!

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Larry F54
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 (regarding new design)

The staff here seem to think that everything is fine and dandy with the new design.

I wonder what size monitors they have in Vulture Central?

Think otherwise? Why not comment in the following thread?

I joined many others in complaining about it! As you say, the staff think it's fine and dandy.

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Larry F54
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Re: @ big_D

For instance a custom filter removes all the junk from the homepage of the Reg but leaves any subsequent pages/articles images displayed.

Could you post your filter rule(s)? I'm still tinkering with mine. Thanks.

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Larry F54
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 - The problem with such as Adblock

obligatory "El Reg is supported by ads, please whitelist us to continue reading more top-notch tech news" post

I agree in principle, but can you guarantee your ads are malware-free --- and accept liability in case they aren't? And there's the question of the new design, which is bloated even without the ads....

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Larry F54
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Re: Feeling guilty

You can add El Reg to a whitelist on Adblock to allow advertising on the site. You get to read El Reg guilt free and they still get their ad revenue.

I like that idea in principle, but there are two problems.

1. How do I know the ads here are any "cleaner" from a security viewpoint than anyone else's?

2. The recent redesign already wastes too much screen space with giant photos; I'd have to scroll through a full screen of junk to get to the actual words.

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Legalising London's bed-hopping economy is POINTLESS

Larry F54
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Meh

Re: Rules and Regulations

AIUI, this is about planning permission, not income tax.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Larry F54
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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

"The flaming film business should let you download the bugger if you purchase the DVD or throw in a USB stick for an extra quid."

OK, but don't expect to use a mouse at the same time as that stick!

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Larry F54
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Re: 1 USB port? Seriously?

"what do you use an SD card for???"

My camera.

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Larry F54
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1 USB port? Seriously?

I think a laptop needs at least 3, more if it doesn't have an SD card slot built in!

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Bad news: Robo-cars will make you work BILLIONS more hours. Good news: In 2040

Larry F54
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Re: Population Growth Rate

Cars themselves will be smaller, not much larger than the person they carry and there is no technical reason why they have to have 4 or more wheels.

Make them human-powered and people can get exercise for free while they commute! The technolog already exists (pedals).

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Larry F54
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Re: Job Creation

If I invest MY money in a company, I damn well expect them to do there utmost to make it worth my while.

"I've got mine, screw the rest of you!"

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Larry F54
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Re: Having cars that will park themselves will also free up space in cities

Accommodating more single-occupancy cars can't work:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B_Mc6R0W4AEPiay.jpg

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Larry F54
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Re: Job Creation

if you are running a publicly owned company (ie., anyone can buy shares in it) you have a legal duty towards the shareholders to maximize the return on their investment

Right there is one of the fundamental problems with our society --- you aren't allowed to do the right thing even if you have morals.

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Larry F54
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Re: Having cars that will park themselves will also free up space in cities

I think you underestimate the number of people who won't want to share their car. I wouldn't.

It's about time we stopped widening roads to accommodate all the lazy, selfish people who want to move around in an oversized box by themselves. Some people have a legitimate reason to commute in a single-occupancy car; most don't.

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Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

Larry F54
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Re: hmm

As an IT news site, shouldn't El Reg set a good example?

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Larry F54
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WTF?

Re: hmm

See here, here, and here. Since 2012 (at least), others and I have been asking El Reg whether they store passwords correctly (salted then hashed) and why no https. You'd think an IT news outlet would want to show off its competence in these easy things.

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Euro ministers ditch plan to ban roaming charges

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Re: what a rip-off

You _CAN_ be reassigned to a local serving GGSN, but you are not. This is done on purpose to justify high charges.

Well, that's at least as bad as what I thought was going on!

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Larry F54
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what a rip-off

I can (to some extend) understand high international phone call charges --- the company you're connected to actually has to connect a phone call to another country. But for data, the local company, which is probably another subsidiary of the same big company as your "home" company (if not the same company) is just connecting you to the local internet. So there's no justification for charging you any more abroad than at home (which may be £0 if you're still in your allowance).

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Snowden 'ready to return to US', claims lawyer

Larry F54
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Re: Jury Nullification

Likely they took the view that the public and parliament had a right not to be lied to, and that "public interest" was not necessarily and only whatever the executive said it was. And possibly that it was for them, the jury, to decide guilt, not the judge.

Such acquittals are however sadly rare.

That's because (in both the USA and the UK) prosecutors, judges, and the gov't go to a lot of trouble to prevent people from being educated about their right to jury nullification. I think it should be a required part of the school curriculum.

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Larry F54
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Re: Wouldn't a legal and fair trial find him guilty?

Regardless of whether you agree with the things he revealed, revealing them was illegal.

jury nullification

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Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Larry F54
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Samsung/Motorola

Some Android Lollipop handhelds ... are simply not automatically encrypting their files by default. That includes the second-generation Moto E and the Samsung Galaxy S6, according to Ars.

I'm not surprised about Samsung, one of the worst crapware installers. I am surprised about Motorola, though.

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Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

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"1st amendment" bunk

Freedom of speech is about the exchange of ideas. Advertising is not worthy of protection as free speech.

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Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys?

Larry F54
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sure, we can trust the FBI

After all, they would never go after peaceful protesters like Martin Luther King, opponents of the Vietnam War, trade unionists, etc., would they?

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

Larry F54
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Re: The problem starts with punters and prices

In the end, it's all about what people are prepared to pay for a PC and the battle for the cheap end of the market.

Well, it's also about deliberately keeping the masses badly informed and unequipped and dumping on the public competion on price without regard for quality.

Long-term solution: if you pay for an OS, even indirectly, the supplier should be legally required to give you the media to do a full format and reinstallation without crapware.

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

Larry F54
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Re: And yet not one mention of LyX

"That'll probably be because LyX is quite emphatic about the difference between presentation and content, so people think it's *hard*?"

I prefer to edit LaTeX in emacs, but I'm giving you a thumbs-up on principle.

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Larry F54
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Re: "Stross is a long-time Linux user...."

"Surely any long time Linux user would have used Word for Windows running under Wine?"

LaTeX, surely!

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Avast there: MEELLIONS of Androiders scuttled by 'adware' game app

Larry F54
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Re: The Android OS is utterly crippled by poor permission handling

The apps can do exactly what the permissions would allow them to. Those permissions are transparent for you to see what they can do, they are also there for you to make sure they won't do anything beyond that.

What legitimate reason does a game have for access to my SMS messages? (That's a common example on Android apps, BTW.) None. Therefore, I should be able to selectively disable permissions and see if the app still works. That's what Google "accidentally" gave users in 4.3 and stole back from us in 4.4.

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Larry F54
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Re: Scrabble babble

Yeah! How dare they give you a game for free that has add in it. /s

Downloading ads on wi-fi and showing still ads are OK. Seizing up your phone to show videos is wrong. Downloading ads on cellular data is wrong.

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CAR? Check. DRIVER? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

Larry F54
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rule 163

If they are programmed to comply with Highway Code rule 163, they will be an improvement over many driverful cars.

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California Uber Alles: Google wants to become the World Privacy Court

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They would say that, wouldn't they?

"Google's advisory panel on privacy recommends rolling back 160 years of UK common law, say legal experts, with Google itself creating new interpretations of well-established legal principles. The consequence would be that Google usurps the courts' role in guarding individual privacy, which critics say would be like the fox ruling the hen house."

No surprise there.

But where's the evidence for the subtitle "And 'privacy campaign' groups actually support this madness"?

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

Larry F54
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could be good

Will this have a proper, granular permission control system, unlike Android 4.4?

Will phone owners have root without having to void the warranty?

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Larry F54
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Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

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Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

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Re: The big problem is

If you want a darker example, how about the benign practice of asking for religious affiliation on census forms in the early 20C which came in handy when the Nazi party took control of the data.

It's especially important to bear in mind that that happened in what was, at the time of the census (ca. 1930), the least anti-semitic country in Europe. Dutch Jews had nothing to worry about from their government. But even if you trust the current government or management of Google to not "be evil", you don't know who will take over and get the data. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, they found the comprehensive database of Jews and used it to carry out a more effective extermination than in any of their other territories.

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Larry F54
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Ideological note

The inherent desirability of "the efficient working of a market" assumes you agree with a particular ideology. I don't think there's anything inherently good about the free market --- it works well for many things, but not for everything. It should be applied where it gets good results, of course, but chucked out without a care where it's harmful.

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

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Re: More neutral language please

The comparison with Ryanair is just silly. In fact, Aldi does a good job of providing decent, inexpensive fresh produce (good for public health).

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LICKED: Behold my TOAD-PROOF ERECTION, boasts Aussie boffin

Larry F54
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Sorta funny they brought them in to address the Sugar Cane Beetle problem, well, they licked that allright, and continued to eat everything else and multiply.

They didn't even fix the beetle problem!

However, the toad was generally unsuccessful in reducing the targeted grey-backed beetles, in part because the cane fields provided insufficient shelter for the predators during the day,[73] in part because the beetles live at the tops of sugar cane - and cane toads are not good climbers.[69]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_toad#Australia

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

Larry F54
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bad idea

In a democracy, you have to let everyone vote; that doesn't mean you should encourage everyone to do so. We'd all be better off if uninformed people, stupid people, and tabloid readers (I realise there's a bit of overlap) didn't vote.

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Abuse of health data deserves JAIL, thunders ethics body

Larry F54
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Ethics

I'd be less opposed to care.data and similar projects if the gov't guaranteed that my data would be used for the public good only, and not for private profit.

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Larry F54
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Mushroom

Add unlimited fines to the companies involved and you might start to get somewhere.

No, it needs to be jail for the directors, not fines after the directors have been paid.

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Larry F54
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Re: I had a true WTF moment this afternoon

The scariest part of all this is any misinformation that gets into the system, stays there and then spreads. Such as some idiot mistakenly puts someone else's info in your file.

Just ask Harry Buttle & his wife (who got to keep the receipt for her husband, I guess).

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Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says UK.gov

Larry F54
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I don't get how 95% coverage would mean they could switch entirely to internet, that still leaves a pretty sizeable population who won't be able to use it

Simple: "I've got mine, screw you!"

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Google Now now SLURPS data from third party apps so YOU don't have to

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Re: Sigh!

It does seem a little disingenuous for el reg to criticize apps for sending information to Google when the page containing such criticism is running Google Analytics.

True, but at least I can run ghostery in my desktop browser.

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Microsoft 'showers gold' on anti-Google Cyanogen and its Android alternative

Larry F54
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Re: unstable platform

Some phones are as stable as most PCs.

Installation at the owner's control is the real issue. I can reformat a computer and install a typical GNU/Linux OS and copy the user data onto the hard drive --- successfully --- in a couple of hours.

But try doing that with an Androidy phone? It's hit-and-miss.

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