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* Posts by John Tserkezis

1322 posts • joined 16 Jun 2007

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Reg hands portable Sinclair ZX Spectrum to lucky compo winner

John Tserkezis
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I don't think the questions were worthy of a real Sinclair-Head (I could verify my suspisicions on the 'net), and in fact, my memory is so bad I can't even remember if I entered the comp.

I do however working intimately with the Sinclair QL early in my career. Spare parts were a bastard to come across (especially drives), but fortunately (for me) I could make enough good good ones out of lots of bad ones.

I did get to play with them before sending them out, great fun!

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Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9

John Tserkezis
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Re: Time to rethink

"Apple is partnering with IBM for the enterprise."

This was outlined in the Speaking In Tech podcast.

It appears they've commissioned IBM to write ~100 iOS apps to link with their equipment. They're by far most of the them are going to be simple one-purpose apps, but this is a bad thing regardless.

Instead of BYOD, you're forcing kit that isn't quite suiteable for enterprise onto users who will most likely keep their own/other phones anyway becase the IBM/Apple kit most likely will only ever fit a narrower range of uses.

Having more than one phone is stupid, it's a smartphone for feck's sake, it should be able to do everything, then why do so many corporations make it so much harder for their employees? Im guessing because liability is easier and cheaper to handle when it isn't your problem anymore.

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CURSE YOU, 'streaming' music services! I want a bloody CD

John Tserkezis
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Re: CDs for me

"Sign up to a streaming service and those albums will be available to you again"

No they won't. I call it the "Top 40 Syndrome", that is, as long as you only ever look for anything in the Top 40, you'll find it anywhere. Anywhere at all.

However, if you have a more discerning taste, then you're at the whim of your streaming provider, where you get to listen to a wide range of very specifically licensed product, that might not be what you want.

Good luck with that.

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Bendgate backlash: Apple claims warped iPhone 6 Plus damage is 'extremely rare'

John Tserkezis
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"through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus"

They forget the Note 3 has had zero complaints about bending.

In fact, looking for Note 3's that bend, all I can find are bend tests between the Note 3 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

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Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week

John Tserkezis
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Re: RG

"http://windowsreallygoodedition.com/"

A badly written site that needs scripting for anything to happen, flash to make it look pretty, and if you don't, it does very little, and not very well.

Hey! Much like the real widows!

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John Tserkezis
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Re: How about...

"Windows NEIN !"

This has already been suggested earlier in another article.

And it's still funny!

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John Tserkezis
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Re: Next Windows name is.........

"Office does support ODT.since 2007 SP2"

Holy crap. How did I miss that? Maybe because I was too busy actually getting work done with Star/Open/Libre Office rather than fudge around with Microsoft's fucked up ribbon menu? Really? That's their claim to fame? A menu that takes up so much screen real estate that not only can't you find what you want (because they've moved it) that you don't have any space to do your work.

"MS software is high quality"

You're confusing "dressed up" with "quality". I wouldn't go so far as "lipstick on a pig", but you get the idea.

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Sun of a beach! Java biz founder loses battle to keep his shore private

John Tserkezis
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Pussy.

A locked gate and a court appearance with an upcoming appeal. Is that the best this pussy could muster up?

It must have something to do with living on land, but in close proximity to the water, also here in Australia, it muddles their brain to get a "I own everying and all of yous can get fucked" attitude. Here they go beyond padlocking gates however, they drill holes into the base of trees, fill it with poison, then the fuckers wait for the *coucil* to get rid of the dead trees - purely coincedently the trees that were once blocking their view of the water. On council here installed nets where the trees used to be, to assist the micro ecosystem to recover faster from the changed windage conditions. It has the added bonus of holding up a massive "up yours" to the owner(s) who had their hand in taking the trees down in the first place.

Don't expect any sympathy from me Khosla.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

John Tserkezis
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Oh boy. There are that many technical inaccuracies in the article I have no idea where to start. Just easier that I don't.

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

John Tserkezis
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I was going to chime in with my own comments, but it appears all the exising comments are pretty much bang on, and to save an upvote for everyone:

"What everyone else said +1".

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IT crisis looming: 'What if AWS goes pop, runs out of cash?'

John Tserkezis
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They're not losing anything. At least not what the doomsdayers claim.

If AWS really did lose $2bn, they would have folded by now.

On paper, Amazon's profits as a whole make the local street lemonade stand look like a cut-throat money making venture. Whether or not you like it, the books are cooked to put any and all profit back into the business so it looks like they're making nothing. If this doesn't give you a nice number that you can ooh and ahh about, then tough, deal with it.

Face it, they've been running 20 years, and people are still throwing money at them - and getting their returns too.

Smells a bit like the competition wants to make them look "flakey" so they can drum up a bit of work for themselves.... Funny thing is, a lot of the cloud competition offer services that don't directly compete with AWS, so they're not even treading on each other's toes anyway. Someone's really insecure here, and it ain't AWS.

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4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

John Tserkezis
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"We have been hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention," "Rantic" wrote.

Right. Because public relations firms have never done anything disgusting before...

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Supercapacitors have the power to save you from data loss

John Tserkezis
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"Doing it with a soldering iron means that the component is subject only to the heat transferred from the leads (or tabs, or whatever) while the joint is being made - a few seconds rather than a few minutes, and with much less energy transfer."

While you're right, that may not be the reason at all.

If you're using a supercap that's going contain enough charge to not only run the on-board CPU, read and manage the DRAM, and write out the flash, it'll have to be a bigger one.

Larger components, surface mount or not, usually cannnot be used while wave soldering the board, simply because it's too high, meaning the wave flow won't reach the solderable bits. The solder "fountain" is simply not deep enough.

One way to cheat, is to use a supercap compatible with through-hole tech, and place it AFTER you do the supercap component side (and wave solder the other side, doing the cap along with everything else).

In some cases, that's not possible, if the designers have decided to go for a single-sided approach, in which case, manual soldering is left.

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Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack

John Tserkezis
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Re: Biometrics are broken

"Biometrics are great for phones. Many people don't even use a passcode for the sake of convenience. Those who do mostly use 4 digit pins (or an android gesture that is equivalent to a 4 digit pin). There have been plenty of reports showing that such a pin can be brute forced if you have access to a standard PC with the proper software. If I use a fingerprint and a long passphrase as back-up authentication I truly believe I am much more secure than the next guy."

Really? You're saying that Biometrics + long passphrase is better than a swipe. Duh. If you're trying to sell biometrics, and bundling it with long passphrase, you're not doing very good sales job.

I'd drop biometrics altogether and just go with the passphrase. Every android handset I've ever seen has this capability, and it's by far superior to biometrics.

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Tripadvisor site coughs to card data breach for a potential 800k users

John Tserkezis
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I've been hitting TripAdvisor (and others) heavily in last few days for some up coming trips, and noticed two things: The two major popups that kept fucking popping up are booking.com and tripadvisor.com, so I'll be doing business with neither.

Not only that, I'm starting to suspect of the 1.4million customers, half of them were aliases of companies trying to talk themselves up, and the other 50% were the competition trying to talk the first half down.

So I make my bookings by that thing they call a telephone. It's a novel idea, and it gives the NSA something to listen to inbetween the drug dealers and terrorists they keep telling us they're protecting us from.

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Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?

John Tserkezis
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Re: Really ?

"Mine does, and so did the one before it. If you hear a high pitched squealing noise..."

Ahh, if only everything worked as originally intended...

The steel plate backing of the brake pad has lips that curl and touch the disk along the edge just before the pads run out. The grinding noise is supposed to be an indicator - at the cost of your disks. This isn't a problem in Europe, as the vehicular trend is to replace the pads AND the disk at the same time. However, that's not how things work 'round my side of town where disks last (with care) at least several pad changes.

I've had mechanics speak of people drive in their (grinding) cars, hand over an entirely spent brake backing, and say "This fell off my car. What does it mean?".

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Jesus phone RAISED from DEAD. Watch iPhone 6 get BURNED, DROWNED, SMASHED

John Tserkezis
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"Anecdotes are not data"

True, but there is only one true one-off test that hasn't been done yet.

Will it blend?

As it turns out, less than what they make it out to:

http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-iPhone-6-Plus-almost-doesnt-blend_id60895

Watch for the frying battery.

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I sold 10 MILLION iPhone 6es at the weekend, says Tim Cook. What did you do?

John Tserkezis
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"Basically it's the reason many people were buying the larger Galaxy handsets"

Speak for yourself, I bought mine because I was going blind. Well, slightly less eagle-eyed than I was before anyway.

And no, I'm not an Android die-hard just that my last phone was an Android, I'm happy with it, and the data migration would have been easy. Previous before that was Treo (PalmOS), then a Sony/Erricson dumb phone with interface with a Palm Organiser, then a truly dumb Nokia before that.

If you observed closely, you'll note that Apple wasn't in any of that lot. Simply because it wasn't anywhere near compelling enough for me. Deal with it.

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John Tserkezis
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Re: I am 1 in 10,000,000!

"Well I can vouch for at least one of those 10 million sales as my pre-ordered iPhone 6 arrived safely last Friday lunchtime."

Whoa, whoa, hang on, slow down there, are you saying you did NOT line up like a gimp on the street for two days to buy your iPhone, but instead ordered it online, and had it delivered like, like, a "normal" person?

I mean, I guessed it could happen in theory, but to have an Appleite who's also a regular normal person at the same time, is a rare treat. Congratulations and welcome!

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Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed

John Tserkezis
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"an audiovisual interactive format for music that can't be pirated..."

Oh no, does this mean I can't play bono tunes on my ordinary MP3 player?

Horray!

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Reg bloke zips through an iPHONE 6 queue from ZERO to 60 SECONDS

John Tserkezis
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It's all so pointless.

I bought my Samsung, sitting on my fat arse, all from the comfort of my spongy chair in front of my computer. It later arrives on my doorstep, where I briefly get off my fat arse to get it.

Similar to the way I'm making this post in fact.

My point being, the actual act of purchasing a mere phone shouldn't be much more than just that. Life's too short for sitting outdoors in a queue. I have more important things to do. Like writing this post frinstance...

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Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

John Tserkezis
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I think everyone's reading too much into this. This is wholly about covering Apple's arse, and little else. Since you can't tell anyone your data is being peeked at, you remove any hint that it might be the case. So Apple is covering it's arse.

As far as Apple "refusing demands for data", that's bullshit, or at least marketing-influenced stretching of the truth. In the event GovCo fronts up with a valid court order, Apple has two choices, either pony up the data requested, or, suffer the steep consequences of not doing so. Without a court order on the other hand, you may very well say no without consequence. I see the reports "prune down" the legal requirements to make it look like Apple will never pony up any data under any conditions. This is not true, however, it IS better than the likes of Yahoo, who are reputed to hand over data first, and ask questions later. So kudos to them on that note.

On the subject of protecting the users (as some other non-el reg reports imply), this again is not the case, but rather, Apple making life easier for themselves. If Apple is presented with a phone for hacking, now, Apple CAN'T do it, rather than WON'T do it. There is clear legal distinction between the two, one means it's beyond your capability even if you wanted to, the other means you COULD do it, just don't want to. And there are penalties against that to "discourage" the activity. So rather than Apple manhandle phones manually where requested, now they don't have to touch them at all.

So this has nothing to do with the user, rather Apple covering it's own arse, with the reporters making it look like they're doing it out of the goodness of their own fruity hearts. Read it for what it is people.

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Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

John Tserkezis
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"Can you think of any more? - Ed"

Yes, if you're going to piss your money up against the wall on fake cards, my last check has a 128Gb MicroSD card at a nice AU$0.99 each.

Your bargaining powers must be waining if you're willing to part with a tenner for what is probably 2G.

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Pop open this iPhone 6 and see where the magic oozes from ... oh hello again, Qualcomm

John Tserkezis
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"The chaps at iFixit have given both the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and 4.7-inch the iPhone 6 seven out of ten in terms of repairability"

Shocking. It's just shocking I tell you. What next from this topsy turvy world we live in? Samsung reduces phone bloat? Nah, never going to happen.

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Samsung unlocks Knox at zero bucks

John Tserkezis
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Oh goodie. Now a vendor need pay nothing to get a protection suite that pretends to nag the user about found "intrusions". Or "found" intrusions as the case may be.

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Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE

John Tserkezis
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I've dropped phones to demonstrate how well the polycarbonate and silicon rubber case works, heck, I drop the bloody things by accident often enough...

But a naked phone straight out of the box? Er, no. That's why the toughened glass screen protector and case are already ordered and delived before I get the phone.

But that's just me, I don't have a thousand bucks to test dropped a phone. Even if it did have a sapphire screen.

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BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha

John Tserkezis
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They also don't get the irony that the only way to get the android version is via Google Play, that is, with a google account. Anonymous and private my arse.

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iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!

John Tserkezis
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"Doesn't say much for your driving."

No matter, he won't stop to render assistance if he finds you injured on the side of the road. Especially not when he finds you have an iPhone. You know, because it's buggy and all.

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First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads

John Tserkezis
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Re: Fill up yer memory

"Fill up yer memory"

That's hardly a practical idea now is it?

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John Tserkezis
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I thought Samsung invented phone bloat. Now Apple wants in on the game, and probably call it their own.

Some things never change...

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eBay DROPS DEAD AGAIN - tat bazaar says sorry, scrambles to resurrect site

John Tserkezis
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I'm sorry, it was me who brought ebay down.

I was trying to buy some porn, accidently put in "999999" in the quantity, and made a Paypal transfer request that my butt had insufficient funds to honour. (shamefully ripping off Futurama because it fits)

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Apple gives fanbois The Sweetest Thing: A delete button for that U2 album

John Tserkezis
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"Once the album has been removed from your account, it will no longer be available for you to redownload as a previous purchase," Apple warns on its website.

Promises promises...

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Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff

John Tserkezis
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Re: Detectors?

"In German an accumulator (recharbable battery) is not a battery"

I know it can have a number of meanings, the customs declarations are multi-lingual to guard against the "you didn't tell me" crowd.

"because they didn't believe candy and fruit are food..."

It appears that raw, undried and unrefrigerated meats are in that category as well. As long as you store it in your suitcase, it's not food.

Just for the record, for anyone who's planning on coming to Australia, YES, WE HAVE FOOD HERE - YOU DON'T HAVE TO BRING YOUR OWN. Sheeze.

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

John Tserkezis
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Re: Idiots

"so it will lose twice as much energy to the surrounding air. It follows that a low-powered kettle uses more energy than a high-powered one. No doubt the more scientifically literate will be able to tell me if I'm right or wrong."

You're right, but total consumption is not their concern. It's that you're using bucketloads of it at the same time every morning, same as everyone else, at the same time. THAT'S their concern.

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John Tserkezis
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Re: not smart

"In the event of power shortages, whose electricity will be switched-off first via one of these "smart" meters? Corporations and government offices? Or yours and mine? Precisely."

Smart meters don't have the facility to switch mains on and off. That's +60amps on and off at possibly regular intervals. That's asking a lot of a switch, and significantly increases the per-unit cost.

However, substations do, they have huge switches that can do this, and are designed for the purpose.

But your statement still stands, who (or more correctly, which area) gets to go dark first? Your guess is very probably the right one.

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John Tserkezis
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"They have to be replaced after 30 years - the leccy board came round my house earlier this year to replace ours telling us it was a mandatory legal requirement."

Or, at some houses here in Australia where they were forced^H^H^H^H^H convinced it's a great idea to "upgrade" to a smart meter, they get replaced every few months due to fire "faults".

Whether the fires were caused by actual faults, or the end user lighting them up because he was that pissed off, was still up for debate last I heard...

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John Tserkezis
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"Except those savings are based on the ridiculous assumption that people will use so much less electricity if only they knew how much they were using."

But as per my Long Rant, this isn't about using LESS, it's about smoothing your usage over the 24 hour day, so you don't have huge consumption over some of the day, and minimal over others.

Trust me on this, in the (albeit unlikely) event that we all started using using the same power, evenly over a 24 hour period, then started consuming much more, trust me, they will only be more than thrilled to bits to install extra power stations to take up the load.

What they DON'T like, is to install a power station that only gets used 4 hours a day because you feel hot and want to turn your aircon on. Mainly because you're not the only one who's doing this.

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John Tserkezis
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"it's about regular communications with the utility helping the utility better manage the delivery."

That sounds like utility PR bullshit. You know, code for "we're going to force you to bend to our needs, while making it sound like we're helping you, because we're good guys in all this".

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John Tserkezis
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Re: Smart meters?

"Or "kill switches" in the event of a power shortage?"

You don't need smart meters to do that. This is part of normal operation of the grid, and happens on a not-so-regular-basis to ensure service to critical areas (like corporates in the city centre) when there is high usage for whatever reason (usually aircons on hot part of the day).

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John Tserkezis
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Long rant warning:

"There seems to be the bizarre idea that we all leave the electric oven on each day and that smart meters will mean we're suddenly aware of it."

But we do, and that's what they don't like. Higher energy appliances like washers/dryers, ovens, aircons etc are only ever used during the day, because, well, we're awake. Problem is, everyone else has the same idea, meaning a chunk of the power generation plants that would LIKE to run at full capacity 24/7, can't, and are forced to run full in the middle of the day only, thus taking much longer to make their money. They charge on the energy they put into the grid, so it's in their best interest if you were to "spread" your energy useage evenly over the 24 hour day period.

Smart meters are not designed to save the consumer money - so let's cut that bullshit right now. Their job is to force consurmers to shape (or re-shape) their energy usage to more evenly spread over the 24 hour day. They do that by (at least here in Oz) charging 3-4 times the usual tariff rate for onpeak, compared to regular old skool meters, and a tiny fraction for overnight offpeak use.

This has the potential to make power generation more efficient, because you don't have plants running at bare minimum baseline overnight, and only full bore in the middle of the day when aircons are on. (yes I know that's exaggerated, but you get the idea) And while that's great, there might be a couple of downsides to this. Firstly, the consumer has to spread their heavy energy consumption to overnight. That means, no aircon at all (here in Oz you only run it during the day when it's friggin' hot), and you have to stay up into the offpeak period changover to do your washing, drying and cooking. And this might be a little bit of an inconvenience to general consumers, because society dictates you operate 9-5, which leaves your offpeak time to, well, sleep.

Don't even start me on lighting. It is by far at the opposite end of your majority energy use, and it's mostly used overnight (offpeak) ANYWAY. And my rant wouldn't be complete without stating I'm happy the "standby power" bullshit myth doomsdayers have gone by the wayside. Good friggin' riddance to them.

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Google recommends pronounceable passwords

John Tserkezis
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Am I the only one using something like KeePass?

The secure files are usable on a Wintel PC, WinRT tablets, Android, PocketPC, iPhone, iPad, Mac OSX, Blackberry, J2ME phones, PalmOS, Linux, and that's just what's mentioned on the site.

I can't remember, and don't have to remember secure passwords. More so, I don't have to remember which phonetically-sounding password I used at what point - I have hundreds of the buggers, I can't remember that, and I'm not about to re-use passwords either.

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Dodgy Norton update borks UNDEAD XP systems

John Tserkezis
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Re: equips tinfoil hat

"Microsoft doesn't need to pay Symantec to break Windows. Symantec can do that all by themselves."

So can Microsoft, for that matter.

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Straight to video: Facebook to add 'view counts' to autoplay newsfeed vids

John Tserkezis
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Re: No wonder ..

"No wonder mobile phone companies are so keen to have FB installed by default - burn those MBs, baby."

We have some (mobile) networks here in australia, that offer facebook, twitter and other "social" sites as unmetered data on their plans. Presumably to attract the gen Yer's.

I bet they're looking at their own T&C's desperately trying to get out of this one.

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Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none

John Tserkezis
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Kinda makes the trend of pricing the additional 32G of flash (in the 64G model) at about 5x actual value seem not so bad when you put the lock-in and other "features" (cough) in place.

Well done Amazon, you've bollocksed up something to the level that the carriers were unable to...

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Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds

John Tserkezis
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Paris Hilton

Re: ... or ....

"Sureley that's a far better benchmark"

How about however many Paris Hiltons laid end to end?

You get not only a unit of measurement, but a joke too!

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Alibaba swings a large one with STONKING IPO legal bills

John Tserkezis
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Re: I'm not sure if I can trust their numbers...

"Did I sleep through math class?"

Voodoo mathamatics. I had first seen it when a past employer asked me to look over an earlier prospective employee who was asked some basic opamp with divider maths during the interview stage (everyone was asked the same questions).

He had the right answer and showed working, but the boss had no idea what technique this guy used to get there. I couldn't work it out either, so suggested voodoo mathamatics.

You get there in the end, but no-one knows what black magic they used inbetween. You know, like gigahertz range radio theory, except applied for school grade maths.

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Sex is great in books, lousy in apps, says Apple

John Tserkezis
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"We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour"

You mean like Farting Apps? Yeah, you don't want those. Whoops, too late.

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

John Tserkezis
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"Strength meters - the small bars that tell you if your password is weak or strong - are useless, the pair argue"

I can attest to that. I had an application that had a three-stage password strength meter, and you could only get to that elusive third band if you used non-alphanumeric characters.

Great I thought - till I found out I can't use ()*&% and some others. They were even quite helpful in letting me know what characters I can't use, to save time on brute forcing. Must have been some division of Microsoft...

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Telstra tells Big Content it won't become unpaid Copyright Cop

John Tserkezis
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Only a few days ago, Telstra agreed with Optus that any pirates should be hanged, drawn and quartered, then sent to jaol after being relieved of all their bank account contents, and all their lively stuff (copyright theft is a crime now doncha know).

As long as a portion of the moula lines Telstra's pockets of course.

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Are you a HOT CELEB? Think your SEXY PICS are safe? Maybe NOT

John Tserkezis
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Re: Could many of these hacks have been prevented with 2-step authentication?

"Could many of these hacks have been prevented with 2-step authentication?"

Could many of those not had been hacked if the owners picked a password that was actually WORTHY of being called a password, AND not stored on a cloud accout where you can brute force it without the owner realising?

Nope, that's too hard, it's easier if you start a scare campaign on tracking down the "criminal" who hacked it in the first place.

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