* Posts by Peter Gathercole

2413 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Peter Gathercole
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So now we know where Mike Oldfield put the Easter Egg of himself in MusicVR

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Peter Gathercole
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Being a hermit was just so much more difficult since Twitter and Facebook were invented

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VW: Just the tip of the pollution iceberg. Who's to blame? Hippies

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Well DUH!

From what I've read, the modern lean-burn petrol engines (especially those being created for Euro 6 emission levels) also burn hot, and produce more oxides of nitrogen, so it's not just diesels, it's pretty much all modern cars that are at fault.

Diesels are just in the firing line at the moment, because they promised less emissions.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Thanks a lot, hippies.

Lewis is not saying that hippies drive diesels. What he's saying is that Greenpeace (who have jokingly described themselves as hippies) policy and lobbying have created situation where C02 is seen as a serious problem that needs to be solved, without taking the relevant care to make sure that suppressing the CO2 does not create worse problems.

Mind you, we have to be a bit careful in case the hair-shirt brigade, who want us to have personal energy footprints not seen since the middle-ages, come to the fore.

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Happy birthday to you, the ruling was true, no charge for this headline, 'coz the copyright's screwed

Peter Gathercole
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@James

I must admit that I don't understand the legalities, but from what I think I understand, under US law, copyright for published works commences when a work is first published. This would make the melody for both versions start in 1893, when it was included in "Song Stories for the Kindergarten".

This is where I'm a bit confused, because according to Cornell University, this is a work first published before 1923, so should have been in the public domain long since.

The pdf of the judgement suggests that the copyright was actually extended until 1949, which is where this date comes from. So one way or another the melody should have been out of copyright before Warner/Chappell asserted ownership.

Unless I completely misunderstand US copyright law, you cannot extend copyright by registering a new copyright claim on an already copyrighted work. As far as I can tell, what was registered in 1935 was a copyright to a song with the happy birthday lyrics and the good morning melody. But this would not have extended the copyright of the melody in isolation, so once it's copyright expired in 1949, the melody was out of copyright, and Summy Co. or it's successors would not have been able to assert any claim on the melody except in conjunction with the Happy Birthday lyrics.

This is what I was trying to say.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Copyright theft @Dr Syntax

In this case, as it may still be a copyrightable work, the judge could order the money to be held in escrow pending someone else stating a claim.

Roll on the search by literary historians and lawyers.

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Peter Gathercole
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@James

I think that your point is covered by "The copyright of Good Morning expired in 1949".

From what I read, Warner/Chappell can still claim copyright for some specific imprint, meaning that it is a copyright violation to photocopy or perform from the copies that they published, in the same way that you can have copyright over an imprint of the sheet music for, say, Beethoven's Ode to Joy without claiming any ownership of the music itself. What the legislation states in these cases is that it is the format and annotations of the printed work that is copyright, not the tune itself.

So it would be perfectly legal to take a copy of the out-of-copyright original song "Good Morning", and re-typeset and publish it, and prevent someone from photocopying your imprint, but you would not be able to prevent them working from the same copy you used to produce your publication.

In this case, as far as I can see, Warner/Chappell were claiming literary copyright of the words to "Happy Birthday" as a literary text, and trying to assert ownership. The words may still be copyrightable, but the judge decided that Warner/Chappell did not own that copyright. As such, it will become an "Orphan Work" unless someone else states a claim.

There are various sites (like The Choral Public Domain Library) that exist as repositories for works in the public domain being re-typeset from old copies, and published under an open license for the benefit of the community as a whole. It works a bit like Project Gutenberg for choral music, although it relies on it's users for content.

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Revealed: Why Amazon, Netflix, Tinder, Airbnb and co plunged offline

Peter Gathercole
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@Lost all faith

Like AT&T in 1990, when a cascade failure took out long-distance telephony in the US, maybe?

But those types of failure in telephony occurred maybe once a decade, and generally triggered reviews and remedial work to make sure that the same problem never happened again. Cloud failures seem to be much more frequent than that, and don't appear to have the rigorous response.

Maybe all cloud providers should learn to walk before they attempt to run!

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Alcatel Idol 3: Holding its own with a pretty decent 5.5 inches

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Stick your 5.5"..

I must admit I tend to agree. Why they have to make the smaller variant less powerful (and it is not just Alcatel that do this, look across the board at other big names like LG, Samsung and Sony). | suspect it's probably because of less space for the battery.

I don't want a 5.5" phone, but I do want the performance. And that appears to be a combination I can't have.

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You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

Peter Gathercole
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Re: The child sized elephant in the room @Richard 12

No, we really don't need an average family size below 2. One-for-one replacement in the global population as a whole, yes, but...

Because of lifestyle choices and mortality, if you're talking about the average 'family' - defining a family as a social unit that includes kids, which would exclude people living on their own or couples not having children, the average family size needs to be between 2.3 and 2.4 children in the UK to achieve a stable population. In other countries with higher mortality rates, it could be higher.

The current plan to eliminate child benefit in the UK beyond 2 children will actually detrimentally affect the demographics of the country, IMHO.

<contentious><generalised>The financially responsible families, who are most likely to have children who grow up to be like them will be choose to keep their family to two children (or if they're real do-gooders, to just one child). The families who have a have children now and worry about how they're going to raise them later mindset will not really care, and will still expect state support. Kids tend to grow up like their parents</generalised></contentious>.

The effect on the population could result in the rise of a new 'chav' generation, skewing the population towards under achievers, hangers on and people with an expectation that the state will take care of them. Exactly what is not required.

I know that I'm generalising, but in general most developed countries have a population stability problem, with some countries like Japan actually having a declining population some time back.

What the world really needs is sensible population control policies, together with education to back up these policies, targeted at all countries, especially those with the highest population increase. It won't happen, as the UN charter actively prevents one country from interfering in another countries internal affairs, and the countries that most need the control are the ones least likely to implement or accept it.

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Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Tools for the Job @BeachBoy

As I can't now edit my last post, I'll post a correction. AT&T did, of course, exist earlier than UNIX as the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and Bell Labs. were their research arm. I was just confused by what happened to the various bits of AT&T, and the 'Baby Bells' after the divestiture of AT&T Corp. I thought something did not look right when I was writing it.

What was set up later was AT&T Inc, formed when Southwestern Bell started to re-integrate the bits that were forced to be split earlier, eventually buying AT&T Corp. itself. It was all very incestuous.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Tools for the Job @BeachBoy

No. It was originally designed at Bell Laboratories (before AT&T existed as an entity) as an OS demonstration (developed almost as a side-of-the-desk project) that a usable OS could be built with some of the Multics ideas by some people disenfranchised by the Multics project itself, and became successful in Bell Labs as a text formatting system, IIRC used to prepare patent applications (they used this as the justification to buy the first PDP 11).

It spread rapidly inside Bell Labs and AT&T, and was used very extensively to provide general purpose time sharing systems for use within AT&T. At the same time, it was made available to Universities (including UCB) for the cost of the media and shipping.

It later was used, in a quite highly modified form (UNIX-RTR), as the OS for the File Store and Administrative modules in AT&T 1AESS, 2STP, 4ESS and 5ESS exchanges, as well as other products.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Peter Gathercole
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The quality inspector pointed out to the management that he machinists really had to stop leaving lose threads on the finished garment

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Peter Gathercole
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Although her roots matched the trim, a last minute change of the colour spoilt the effect by no longer matching the rest of her hair!

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Peter Gathercole
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"Call that bra smart? It's the ugliest piece of lingerie that I've ever seen!"

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Peter Gathercole
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Ashlee had not worked out that the web-punters were paying to see her take it off!

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Peter Gathercole
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@Andy Non

I think that should be "debounce" technology!

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Peter Gathercole
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Although she admired the technology, Madonna did not think the styling was sufficiently outrageous for her stage show.

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Peter Gathercole
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It's part of our tele-dildoncis range

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Peter Gathercole
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Miss Brahms on the telephone: "Ladies' intimate apparel...I said, Ladies' intimate apparel...oh, all right then, the knickers and knocker counter!"

(Are You Being Served, The Apartment)

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Peter Gathercole
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Never mind the quality, feel the width!

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All in all, it's just another hit in the stalls: Roger Waters The Wall

Peter Gathercole
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Re: I still remember the

isn't this where....

...we came in?

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BAN the ROBOT WHORES, says robot whore expert: 'These AREN'T BARBIES'

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Would..

The question about the Major was largely rhetorical, bearing in mind that the whole series is exploring the boundaries of what is human and what is not.

The way that in the original film, Project 2501 was trying to define itself as a artificial being, and the treatment of Proto and the Tachikomas, as well as the conclusion of GITS SAC: Solid State Society are all about the anomalous state of various entities in the franchise.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Demarcation?

Thumbs up for the reference to the Asimov story "Satisfaction Guaranteed".

And I believe that Lieutenant Commander Data was supposed to be 'fully functional', but unfortunately we can't ask Tasha Yar about it.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Would..

"Gynoids" as a term has already been used in Japanese Anime. I'm sure the subject's appeared before these examples, but it's in one of the GITS SAC gigs, and also part of the theme of the "Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence" film. They're definitely regarded as property in these works, although the concept of 'ghost dubbing' (duplicating a real person's mind, or ghost) into gynoids confuses the issue - especially when they start killing their owners or clients, but that's the point of the story, blurring the boundaries between AI and humans.

Is the Major still human?

Robot 'maids' have been a common plot in Japanese fiction for many years, some quite innocently, some definitely not, not that I watch or read the latter.

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The ONE WEIRD TRICK which could END OBESITY

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Yes but, no, but...

When I lived in the North East, where they appeared to love an inch or more of froth on their beer, it was normal to have a tall glass to accommodate the head, eventually being marked with a line indicating a pint.

There were lots of discussions (well, often arguments really) about this, especially before the line was introduced, and also about 'measured' pints from metered taps which delivered half-a-pint on a single press of the button, but unless it's changed, there was legislation about how much head was allowed in a brim-fill glass before it was considered a short measure.

I personally could not stand chemical pints, delivered by gas, with a large head (I shudder at the memory of beers from the Federation Brewery), and I even learned how to pour Newcastle Brown without much of a head. And wondered in bafflement when the breweries came up with the "widget", to get a big head on canned beer.

BTW. Unlike a lot of real-ale drinkers, I did not like Guinness as a fall-back if a pub did not have a decent beer, precisely because of the head. It's all a bit moot now. I rarely drink anything at all, mainly because I don't get the chance to go out, and don't drink at home. Sad, really.

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EE: Yes, our broadband service is a total clusterf**k – but we promise to improve

Peter Gathercole
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Re: I know I'm swimming against the tide but....

I must be lucky.

I've been on EE Fibre Unlimited since just before last Christmas (it was a nice unexpected Christmas present for the kids), and I've never had a reason to call their broadband support.

I've occasional had routing issues for an hour or two, and I decided to put an alternative DNS server in the DHCP config, but so far that's all.

I suspect that they're using the BT OpenReach infrastructure. I do have times when I get some slowdown, but that's probably a result of back-haul contention.

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World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Networking

OK, without knowing who you are, I am in the dark (is this a new incarnation of Eadon?) But neither my original post, nor (AFICT) any previous post mentioned AIX.

It is a very tenuous link saying that because OS/2 probably had a CLI for configuring networks, that AIX was a suitable comparison, merely because IBM wrote both of them. Whereas, I do comment about AIX, which makes it much less tenuous. Maybe I should have said someone who knows of me - possibly in these forums.

As far as I am aware, ifconfig does not, on any UNIX, make persistent changes to the system. What you may actually have fallen over is the fact that AIX does not even enable the interfaces by default until they are configured (they default to a down state, but can be brought up by a suitable command - cfgmgr in this case). I assure you that it is possible to bring the interfaces up to a state where you can use the standard ifconfig type tools quite easily. In fact, IBM provide a sample RC script to do it, not that anybody really uses it.

You get used to a particular system, but in my experience, moving on to a new platform has always required you to actually learn about the foibles of that platform. If you expected AIX, Tru64/Digital UNIX or HP/UX to work exactly like SunOS (showing my age), then you would be disappointed. And before I became mainly focused on AIX, I used a significant proportion of the UNIX systems out there, so I am pretty certain of this.

It was always the case that moving onto a new platform, the first thing you found was the management tool, whether it was SAM for HP/UX, sysadm for DG/UX, admintool on Solaris (before they removed it) or SMIT for AIX. Relying on ifconfig as the primary configuration tool is not wise, as different UNIXs use the arguments differently (and have significantly different syntax).

My Solaris knowledge is very rusty (havn't logged on to a Solaris box for over 10 years), but from googling a bit, to persistently configure a network interface, you need to use the oh so standard dladm command! Or edit a bunch of files.

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Peter Gathercole
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@corcoran

Who is to say that an OS is "hipster rubbish". Whilst it is true in hindsight that OS/2 was only really a niche OS run only where IBM has significant sway over their customers, Microsoft did not have the same dominant position of either the OS or office application market that they do now.

I saw OS/2 deployed in anger as a desktop OS in IBM (of course), and in banks, utility and insurance companies, so it was used. And of course, it lingered in POS and ATM systems for many years after it left the desktop.

There were other OSs that were available at the time (both larger and smaller), and you have to admit that OS/2 was a capable OS. It just did not gain the market penetration that would have been required to merit it's onward development.

I would have been much happier if there had been more than one creditable and accepted OS in the years after OS/2 fell from favour, and before Linux was developed to a sufficient extent that it could be deployed on the desktop. It would have prevented Microsoft from dominating in the way that they have over the last 20 years. But history and the markets are fickle, as the developers of Betamax, HD-DVD, and many other technologies have found out.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Networking

I was a bit strong in my "cowardly" comment, but sometimes I like to know at least the handle of the commenter. It's obviously someone who knows me, because I made no reference to AIX in my original post.

I'm not suggesting that everybody is as naked as me on these forums, and I do post anonymously when talking about anything I feel is sensitive/employer-related (and only the Register knows whether I have another handle!), but unless you make it known, a handle that can identify your posts without revealing your name is what most people do.

IMHO, AC should really be reserved for people making contentious statements for whatever reason.

I could see nothing in the AC reply to my original post that looked even remotely contentious, unless it was their criticism of AIX, and everybody who has used AIX knows about what was said (and I've criticised the ODM myself in the past, it being neither a flat editable set of files like UNIX purists want, nor a proper database).

I doubt that there is even anybody in IBM who gives a damn about such comments. All the people who made the decision about the ODM will have now left IBM (AIX 3.1 was released a staggering quarter of a century ago), and I know for certain that Robert A. Fabbio, credited as the "lead architect for the System Management Architecture" of AIX 3.1 on the RISC System/6000, and lead author of the article "System Management: An Architecture" from the IBM journal of Technology no longer works for IBM.

I'm sure that if I went through all of the authors of the articles in the original IBM RISC System/6000 Technology (SA23-2619) that was published in 1990, I would find less than a handful still employed by IBM.

Everybody gets old!

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Networking

Oh ho! someone who knows me (even though they're too cowardly to post in their own name).

But when it comes to configuring anything on proprietary UNIXs, there is/was no commonality. Sun users used to think that their way was the only way, ignoring the fact that all the other vendors, such as HP, Digital, Data General and IBM (and Sequent, Pyramid, Altos, Siemens, Nixdorf, NCR, Silicon Graphics, Intergraph...) all did it differently! People tend to forget this.

Unfortunately, the split between the major proprietary UNIX variants occurred before the general adoption of TCP/IP (and yes, I know about the relationship between TCP/IP, DARPA and BSD), but all vendors had their own source trees, and implemented support particularly for networking in different ways. As such, there were no real 'standard' ways of doing things. Especially when some TCP/IP support was 'bolted on' to another vendor's UNIX system.

The main difference with AIX was the fact that the ODM was decoupled from the so-called standard commands, so running ifconfig, route et. al. would (within the bounds of different implementations) configure the interfaces, but it would not persist across a reboot.

I think that if you wanted commonality, you would have to have settled on sysadm from the AT&T base code to really have something 'standard'. And I don't think that would have suited anybody.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Networking

I have to admit that it's nearly 15 years since I needed to do this, but I don't remember it being any more difficult than on current operating systems. Mostly point, click and type, just like any other OS, and you can bet that there was a CLI accessible to do it from a command prompt.

Of course, in those days it was all static IP addresses. Maybe the DHCP support is a bit lame.

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Don't bother buying computers for schools, says OECD report

Peter Gathercole
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Re: You don't need new computers

I dispute that it is not possible to use single-core computers for real work. But I accept that Pentium 4's and earlier systems should be retired, mainly because this processor only delivered it's promised performance on code written specially for it.

I recently stopped using a Pentium-M single core laptop as my main personal machine. It still performed fine for web browsing, media playing, word processing, spreadsheet etc under Ubuntu 14.04 with Gnome Failback. Still perfectly acceptable performance, and would run XP in VirtualBox at an acceptable speed as well.

I stopped using it because it only supported IDE disks, and the disk was failing. Tried buying a largish (100GB+) 2.5" IDE drive recently? Even second hand, one would have cost me more than the machine I replaced it with!

But there's lots of ex-corporate Core-2 Duo and i3 systems knocking around in the second-user market at very reasonable cost. The biggest problem is the supposed non-transferable Windows license, even though most of them were delivered with a license, but were immediately imaged with a corporate volume license by the purchasing company. Often, the license on the bottom of the machine was never activated!

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Vanished global warming may not return – UK Met Office

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Optimistic thread, all-in-all

Welcome back, Rik.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: Burning down the house @Elmer

I read that as "snog", and I was just about to express some pity, but...

Smog, on the other hand, was largely caused by the pollution from ordinary solid-fuel electricity generation (in cities, no less) and heating and the dreadfully dirty cars and lorries, getting caught in temperature inversions, and not blowing away.

The inversions are still there, but fortunately, much of the rest is not. Gas heating and electricity generation, smokeless fuel for those that insist on solid fuel, and much tighter emissions controls on vehicles have pretty much made smogs of the type experienced in the 19th and 20th century a thing of the past. At least in most of Europe.

I think residents of Beijing may beg to differ.

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What should we do with this chunk of dead air? Ofcom wants to know

Peter Gathercole
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Re: re. Three Cows

Bullocks to you!

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Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Behind the Curve....

If you're using a router from your ISP and have not set up a DMZ, default host or explicit port-forwarding, the chances are that the reason why Shields Up! reports your system is closed is because of the operation of NAT on the router.

Shields Up!, although a useful indicator has not really been a good test of how secure your PC is for quite some time, probably since USB broadband routers became passée.

For Windows security, you really ought to have a decent firewall installed on the PC itself, with both inbound and outbound filtering turned on. AV tools are not particularly good at so-called zero day vulnerabilities, and the fact that there are no more XP fixes means that a whole slew of already discovered problems still count in that day zero, as for XP there will be no more day zero+one regarding fixes from MS.

The sandbox is a good move for browsers, provided that it does not leak!

You will also notice over time that the AV, adblocker and anti-malware tools will become less useful for XP, as the providers get less and less interested in XP.

Really, it is not safe to use XP on the Internet, even with all of the protections you've detailed. Don't just think of your safety, try to prevent becoming part of a bot-net, because that can hurt us all. Do us a favour, work out what Windows programs you absolutely need, find out whether they run in Wine, and then complete the move to a Linux.

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Peter Gathercole
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Re: "Personal" computer no more

It does not need to be made illegal.

All it takes is for some of the more prominent on-line service providers to prevent non-approved OSs from using their service "because of IP violations and security issues". I'm thinking things like the Amazon MP3 store, which for a long time allowed you to download whole albums using whatever OS platform you wanted, but withdrew that from Linux users, and now force Linux users to 'bulk' download tracks no more than six at a time through their Cloud player, while other platforms have no restriction. Why?

Now, lose access to your banking website, your on-line shopping, your web-mail (OK you could try to mask it with the User Agent setting), Government service sites, media streaming sites (through restricted proprietary codecs), and the list goes on. How many of Joe and Josephine Public will choose Linux. Any more than now? We'll still try, but it'll remain a niche for technically capable dissidents, or 'crackpots' as we will be called.

We're actually in a slightly better place at the moment for these things on Linux than we have been for some time, what with HTML 5, open codecs and browsers on Windows being in a state of transition, but I can see this changing again, and forced Windows 10 migration is a possible starting point.

Many of us have lived through the bad times with proprietary hardware drivers, websites coded to particular browsers, locked boot loaders and reverse engineering of services being prosecuted (iTunes and WebOS being an example). There's no guarantee that these things won't rear their ugly heads again in the future.

If Microsoft can force a near Windows monoculture by killing Windows XP, 7 and 8.X, they're that much closer to being able to try a new denial of service by OS restricted feature all over again. Apple users probably won't care, because Apple will find or buy a way to integrate (hell MS may actually help them to avoid anti-trust legislation, they have form in this area).

I once said that if things got to difficult in the technology world, I would become a gardener. Sadly, I think that this blight of control will become so pervasive that the only way to avoid these issues is to become a hermit. Anybody know a good retreat that I can live out the rest of my life?

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Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Peter Gathercole
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Re: Stance on tech?

Probably the right generation for it. Does he have an account at the Living Computer Museum?

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Curiosity Rover's OS has backdoor bug

Peter Gathercole
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"FTP server is susceptible to ring buffer overflow when accessed at a high speed"

Well, that's one vulnerability they don't have to worry about, unless it's from the Martians .

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Peter Gathercole
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Kaa was unused to being mesmerized himself, but this website was just ssssssooooo captivating!

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Peter Gathercole
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You've been looking for a snake oil salesman. Well, here I am!

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Peter Gathercole
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"Oh My", said Ayame Sohma, "I wish those Ashley Madison photos wouldn't trigger my transformation. It's supposed to require them to touch me!"

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Peter Gathercole
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Coily waited patiently for the next reboot of Q*bert.

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Peter Gathercole
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"I'll know I can take that meerkat. I'm sure there was a picture of it round here somewhere".

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Peter Gathercole
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"If I can just get the perspective right on this screen capture of the Register home page, it'll make a good picture for the photo caption competition".

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UK.gov finally unveils new parly spook-watching panel

Peter Gathercole
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Re: @Loyal Commenter

My bad wording. What I should have said is that the AG has not said anything to in public about this. I did not presume that he had not been consulted by No. 10, just that he had not commented what his advice was to the press.

It is part of his job, and the responsibility of the government to make sure that there is sufficient legal justification for any action the government takes.

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Peter Gathercole
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@AC

I'm afraid it was a spelling mistake, although not a typo. I'm not that clever. I've always struggled with spelling (just ask my teachers, if any of them are still alive!), and I often don't notice this type of thing if a spelling checker doesn't throw it up. But the other meaning is, um, interesting.

The UK Attorney General is actually an appointment of the Crown (the post is one of providing legal advise to the Crown and their Government), although they are nominated by the incumbent government. As a result, it is theoretically possible for the Queen to object to the appointment if she sees a reason. And I'm sure she would at least question an appointment (by all accounts, she really cares and makes sure she knows relevant information) , although it will probably never be known if she's ever refused to appoint a nominee.

But generally, at least so far, they are have not been poodles, because what they say may at some point actually be examined in court and subsequent governments (past legal advice from the AG is, and must be for any continuity, available to the current Government). Of course, they're just one person, and they will have their own opinion, but one of the traits of the legal system in general is that they mostly try to retain some independence.

I would certainly trust a statement from the UK AG more than the Prime Minister or any of their cabinet ministers!

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Roll up, roll up: Microsoft, those Irish emails and angry Feds

Peter Gathercole
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Upvote for the reference to Moties.

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Handing over emails in an Irish server to the FBI will spark a global free-for-all, warns Microsoft

Peter Gathercole
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One word

Backups.

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