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* Posts by WatAWorld

722 posts • joined 24 Feb 2012

How Britain could have invented the iPhone: And how the Quangocracy cocked it up

WatAWorld
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Don't blame the Quango for your inability to find industry funding

The economy must not depend on Quangos providing venture capitol.

And no entrepreneur should seek funds from only one source.

You need to be prepared to have delays, run arounds, and denials of funding from any given source of funds.

Private venture capitolists. Other inventors. Other technology people. Do not depend on quangos.

Do not blame quangos.

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Twitter's shock block unlock deemed cockup, gets a lockup

WatAWorld
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Re: Safe?

Sad to say that 9 out of 10 times I see someone called a troll the 'troll' is a reasonable person with a different opinion from their assailant.

Calling someone a troll these days is mostly used by extremists engaging in ad hominem attacks because the have no reasoned logic to counter an opinion they dislike. (I say 'extremists'. I consider those who blindly reject contrary viewpoints on a topic as extremists in that topic.)

That does leave the other 1 in 10 who are genuine trolls, or more commonly, people engaging in harassment.

Twitter should allow original posters and account holder to block those who harass them from posting in topics they create. Letting them think their posts are going through (but nobody else seeing them) is probably okay, so long as people are very aware that their post might be blocked with out them knowing it.

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Re: Granular

"Blocked users cannot mention me."

Yes that is a problem since so many people have the same names. Even people with unusual names, if they check google will find someone else with the same name.

Plus how do you block intentional misspellings?

I think these are existing options:

D. Only my followers can send me tweets.

E. Only my followers can read my tweets.

F. I must actively accept new followers.

Your other ideas are good ideas.

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WatAWorld
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But it should that only the sender ever sees them.

I could see letting a blocked person make 'social comments' that disappear into a blackhole for nobody else to ever see.

But it should that only the sender ever sees them. They should be blocked from everyone else ever seeing them, not just the intended recipient.

Was that the problem, that everyone could see the troll's post but the intended recipient? That would be a blunder.

Of course it is necessary to be certain that people know their messages might not get through. For serious messaging people cannot rely on a messaging service that sometimes blocks them without telling them. Imagine blocked apologies and blocked party invitations. But Twitter is not intended for serious messaging.

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Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support

WatAWorld
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Re: Opening gambit

I think you could make a good case that if MS has abandoned the operating system people who have bought the OS can turn to others to maintain it.

Certainly Chinese courts would never tell the Chinese government it can't maintain it.

China has lots of options, it is garbage for China to be begging MS to maintain XP installations running bootleg copies of XP.

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Re: I know I'm going to get slammed for this, but....

Yes, down votes from people who've never done the experiment you did.

There is too much blind prejudice against MS and in favour of Turtle Neck guy.

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Re: Chinese government really has only itself to blame?

Why should MS support people who are happy running XP?

There is no legal principle requiring MS to change XP in perpetuity as long as someone wants it to.

XP was published, maintained, and its done, over.

It is like an old Apple operating system -- extinct.

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WatAWorld
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China begs MS to maintain pirated copies of Windows XP

The article says 70% of the software is stolen.

Why should MS support stolen software for free?

If China wants it supported, let China pay MS to provide the support.

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I thought I was being DDOSed. Turns out I'm not that important...

WatAWorld
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Re: Why run an email server ?

I think he's running the mail server as an education exercise, a way to keep up-to-date when you don't have a client or company test system to experiment with. It is better than testing in production where other people will be affected.

Otherwise there are all kinds of places that will host your @domain mail server (plus web site, etc.) for you. Problem is you don't learn server configuration and protection that way. But then not needing to learn mail server configuration can be a good thing if your real business or job is application programming.

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UK.gov's web filtering mission creep: Now it plans to block 'extremist' websites

WatAWorld
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Explict IP addresses and VPN a good way to go to jail if this becomes law

The problem with government approved censorship is you cannot get around it with explicit IP addresses or simple VPN because government can see who you are connected to.

If accessing a type of political web content becomes a criminal offense, like it is in many parts of the world, you're reduced to using TOR, with the slowness, lack of functionality,lack of history, and limited tools that go along with that.

It also becomes hard to find websites. You get these sites on the black web, which you have to already know about to find.

And if Britain falls, if the English speaking world falls, what nation is going to host this stuff? How will those nations access an internet that is controlled by the USA?

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True, UKIP likely to be censored, anything to do with so-called English nationalism.

True, UKIP likely to be censored, anything to do with so-called English nationalism is a big threat to the Tories.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Well

"I hope you're watching, Daily Mail/Guardian/Mumsnet readers. This is what happens when you say "If only the government would DO something". That's exactly what happens."

No it isn't.

Government has a range of options in how it reacts to things. Censorship is merely one of the most extreme options.

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Is any political act more extremist than advocating political censorship?

Is any political act more extremist than advocating political censorship?

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What's wrong with Britain's computer scientists?

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Re: They're all "looking for a well paid job" immediately

"Whatever happened to the concept of starting as a junior and putting in the hard first few years of really learning your trade through week in week out, learning the difference between completing tasks and producing really first rate maintainable code?"

That concept went out the window when employers trashed it.

They want people who at least claim to be fully qualified now. They aren't prepared to pay even minimum wage for someone to learn on the job.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Computer Science is to Developers...

It is a lot easier to offshore the firmware, OS and language development than the application development (although even the application development is outsourced) because those things don't require user contact or knowledge of local languages.

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Re: CompSci graduates...

"No, it's a troll. Or he really is that dumb, difficult to tell."

Please address his arguments rather than just calling him silly names.

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WatAWorld
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future leaders of the IT industry will come from sales

It is true that a CS degree turns out a much more adaptable employee than a technical degree does. A degree teaches how to learn and how to figure stuff out, not how to take a course or do a particular one or two languages.

Going from BAL to COBOL to PL/I to Focus to Java is doable for a typical CS graduate from the 1970s or 80s, I did it and so did many others. But for most technical college graduates it was too much.

But that is the rub, companies hire people to do the language the current project is in and to support the legacy applications. They don't hire programmers for future adaptability to new languages.

When companies think about adaptability they think about the ability to get along in changing organizational structures, ability to get along with bosses, users and co-workers and tolerance for constantly changing specs.

But the future leaders of the IT industry will be, as they are now, former sales people, former venture capitalists, and former lawyers.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Not just the young graduates

There is prejudice against taking PhDs for regular jobs, true.

But even without a PhD, people over 40 with degrees or diplomas in CS or IT face age prejudice to a much greater extent than people in medicine, law, engineering, sales, teaching, etc.

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WatAWorld
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Right at the top of the article it says:

"In the UK, there are more unemployed graduates in computer science than in any other discipline."

So either CS graduates are choosing unemployment over becoming teachers -- or --

schools are assuming CS graduates won't be interested in teaching because teaching doesn't pay enough.

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It is like studing to become a draftsman

"In the UK, there are more unemployed graduates in computer science than in any other discipline."

So attendees at the conference just ignored that little fact and repeated the ideas and concerns they had 10 and 20 years ago.

Conference topics:

1. How to get more women into this oversupplied field so women can share in the same high levels of unemployment as men.

2. How to add programming to the general school curriculum to further reduce job prospects for all CS graduates.

Studying CS is rapidly becoming akin to to studying become a draftsman or scrivener. It is rapidly becoming an obsolete field.

These days, I consider it immoral and unethical to encourage a young person to enter our field. If they want to get in, fine, there will always be a few good jobs.

But convincing someone who is undecided this is a good career that will provide a career of 35+ years that pays well and is interesting is absurd.

Much better to study engineering, business or art and do CS as a minor. Or pick up programming later on.

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Leaked MS ad video parodies Chrome as surveillance tech

WatAWorld
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Attack ads worked really well for Apple

Attack ads worked really well for Apple, and Apple's attack ads were based on squareness and snobbishness.

This is quite a good ad based on facts, Google does spy on us in an outrageous manner.

Of course Google does have permission in the TOS, but people don't read that.

And, unlike the US government, Google doesn't kill people or destroy their careers based on what it finds by spying. Google is merely serving us advertising we are likely to be interested in.

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We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

WatAWorld
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I got an email from Kaspersky today that they've got two free decryption tools for ransomware

I got an email from Kaspersky today announcing they've created two free decryption tools for ransomware.

They're XoristDecryptor and RectorDecryptor and they're here:

http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/disinfection/2911

http://support.kaspersky.com/viruses/disinfection/4264

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WatAWorld
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Just when governments start closing tax havens down, along comes Bitlocker

The supply of new Bitcoins is rationed to prevent inflation by excessive growth of money supply.

But IF the supply of Bitcoins is not that high yet, and a scam like ransomware comes along and boosts demand for Bitcoins greatly, that leads to out-of-control Bitcoin inflation from excessive demand.

Oh well, that is life. A more serious problem is the tax haven and black market problem.

Just when governments start closing tax havens down, along comes Bitlocker.

I imagine the mega rich and powerful, those with inherited wealth plus despotic dictators and corrupt government officials around the world, will lobby to keep Bitlocker outside of taxation rules and regulations -- we can't have the mega rich paying their fair share for the national services and assets they consume.

I like privacy on the web. I like the idea of legalized marijuana. But even more I dislike the mega rich, idle rich, and mega corrupt not paying their way in society.

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Indonesia raises volcanic Defcon level as Mount Sinabung rumbles

WatAWorld
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Video and a slide show of the eruptions effect here:

Video and a slide show here:

http://www.weather.com/news/indonesia-volcano-mount-sinabung-photos-20131124

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WatAWorld
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Breaking news, overnight the alert level went up to the highest level.

Breaking news, overnight the alert level went up to the highest level.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/mt-sinabung-on-highest-alert-as-volcano-erupts-9-times-overnight/

Exerting a quote:

"Indonesia raised the alert status for Mount Sinabung in the North Sumatra district of Karo to the most dangerous level — awas — as thousands of residents in 23 villages surrounding the volcano continued to be evacuated on Sunday.

“Based on the results of analysis of visual, quake, deformation and gas observations, the activity status of Mount Sinabung, starting at 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2013, is raised from ‘Siaga’ (Alert Level III) to ‘Awas’ (Level IV),” the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation (PVMBG) announced on Sunday.

Indonesia has introduced four alert levels for volcanic activity in the country: Normal, Waspada, Siaga and Awas, with the latter — literally translated as “beware” — representing the most urgent situation.

The PVMBG has recorded Sinabung’s increasing volatility since Nov. 1 — raising the volcano’s alert level from Waspada to Siaga on Nov. 3.

From Saturday evening through Sunday morning, the volcano became significantly more unstable, with at least nine eruptions in the short period prompting the raise to the highest alert level. ..."

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NSW privacy exemption shares personal data with private sector

WatAWorld
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Re: Sigh.

Agreed, a good idea.

Some people live their lives religiously, following beliefs, even when those beliefs make no rational sense.

Like a blind belief in privacy for adult criminals.

Or a blind belief that charities and aid agencies should not be told which youth are at risk of lives of crime and need help.

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Privacy officers interpret the rules for other civil servants and make determinations of what can be released.

For example, how big a group needs to be before statistics on the group are no longer 'personally identifiable information', or who has a valid reason for knowing private information.

What is anonymous in a particular situation, and who has a valid need to know information -- that is what their jobs are about.

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WatAWorld
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Canada was first

Here in Manitoba we have a system called DPIN, Drug Programs Information Network.

It allows hospitals, pharmacies and medical doctors to see what drugs people have been prescribed.

So private information being shared with private organizations.

Big deal, it saves lives. You go to a doctor, you go to an ER, you go to a pharmacy, and they can see what drugs you are on so they can avoid dangerous drug interactions. Also it prevents double prescribing of narcotics.

How is what New South Wales doing any different? It also saves lives, lives that might have been wasted in lives of crime, and the lives of innocent victims of criminals.

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Intel on the alert: Thick, acrid smog in China, India is EATING servers

WatAWorld
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Maybe now that the pollution is affecting machines the communist government will take action

They didn't care enough about the people to act to stem pollution.

Maybe now that the pollution is affecting machines the Chinese 'communist' and Indian 'capitalist' governments will take action.

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Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

WatAWorld
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Negative marketing is really attractive to Apple fanbois

Remember, negative marketing has a track record of working amongst a large segment of the buying public: Apple Fanbois.

In fact, I'd say that IBM and MS are the only companies to not engage in negative marketing of any kind up to now -- and look where their restraint has gotten them.

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Re: Negative marketing worked really well for Apple

"When all you can do is negatively attack"

Seriously?? You think this is the only thing they do? This isn't even their only marketing campaign.

I do agree negative ad campaigns are normally dangerous.

But the internet and computer buyers aren't normal. Look at how many people loved Apple's negative marketing.

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WatAWorld
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How about NSAed UP? NSAty? Or GCHwho?

Sure Google uses our data, but not to launch drone attacks on us, and we do agree to it in the TOS.

But what about the NSA and GCHQ?

How about a similar campaign against them?

I strongly suspect that MS's unhappiness with Google is transference of their disgust with the NSA. But they're scared to do a campaign against the NSA. (But (outside of the true heroes at The Guardian and Der Spiegle, aren't we all?)

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Boffins ponder wireless 'hetnets' as home backhaul helpers

WatAWorld
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How do the propose to stop spy agencies and other criminals listening in?

How do the propose to stop local and foreign spy agencies and other criminals listening in?

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Brit bloke busted over backdoor blagging of US troops' data

WatAWorld
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Complaining of expense of hardening site against amateur hackers makes USA look silly

1. Sadly too many people in government, including too many politicians, act as though their primary loyalty is to the seat of Imperial Power, not the UK.

2. The US government is a government. It is not a regular householder or ordinary business. It should have expected penetration attempts by the most skilled people Russia, China and Israel have.

Complaining about the expense needed to harden their site against amateur hackers makes them look silly.

3, Ordinary householders and businesses have a far more legitimate beef complaining about the USA causing them to need additional expense to safeguard.

Without the USA and UK, without the NSA and GCHQ, an up-to-date OS and antivirus was all the security we need. But now that is inadequate and we cannot even afford what we need to secure our persona, political and business secrets.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Don't forget that the US...

It is not like it doesn't appear Tony Blair is being paid off by the USA for passing undemocratic legislation against the wishes of the British public. The 'optics' of this are terrible.

Why have we not yet revoked that man's passport? If Blair wants to travel, let him do it on a US passport.

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WatAWorld
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and what about the tens of billions the US government is costing the rest of the world?

And what about the tens of billions the US government is costing the rest of the world?

And if the USA truly thinks that all nations engage in spying, why was the network not properly secured?

Why did this hacker incur any extra expenses over top of what would have been needed to secure it against the Dutch or the Swiss?

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WatAWorld
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If the USA hates the world so much

@David we can all engage in sophistry and cry baby emotions.

'/Oh you hate us so much, you never let me do anything.' Sounds like a teenage daughter more than a serious political statement.

You really should apologize because the issue is not that other nations spy on enemies or that they wiretape criminals.

The issue is that the USA spies on friends, allies and people accused of no wrongdoing what so ever.

Only bad nations do that. The USA, UK and probably Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and China.

The other 192 nations do not spy on friends, allies and huge masses of innocent people.

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WatAWorld
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Re: Quite Ironic

Sadly, although there is currently no publicly know proof, I do not doubt you are correct, that the NSA has provided Obama with information on Merkel to keep her quiet.

And if the USA will subvert Germany's democracy this way why would it not subvert other European democracies this way?

*Maybe* this explains how Blair and Cameron got into power and how Blair got re-elected despite widespread British hatred against him. Maybe.

At least this is not as bad as the assassinations the US engaged in during the 1950s and early 60s.

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Sorry Angela, you have a backpack and that officially puts you under suspicion of being a terrorist.

David Cameron says they need to spy on us all because he needs to protect us from terrorist with explosives in backpacks.

Sorry Angela, you have a backpack and that officially puts you under suspicion of being a terrorist.

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Re: AC

"If you can't tell the difference between what these idiots were doing and why the NSA "hack" then I can probably interest you in a great family holiday camp investment in Akmolinsk...."

At best the NSA hacks for the same reason curious idiots hack -- because it can.

In the middle, the NSA hacks to kill people by targeted drone strikes that sometimes kill grandmothers in front of their grandchildren.

At worst the NSA hacks to disrupt democracy in democratic nations by giving one politician the secrets and strategies of another.

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WatAWorld
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I thought the official US lines was, "Spying is okay, everyone does it"

I thought the official US lines was, "Spying is okay, everyone does it", so how can they legitimately complain when anyone spies on them?

Information security laws have been thrown completely out the window. The US, UK, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, etc. prohibitions against theft of data and breaking into computer networks do not give exemptions for the spy agencies of other nations.

There are no special 'foreign spy agency' exemption or amnesty clauses in any of their privacy and data protection laws.

Under US, UK, German, Brazilian, Mexican, etc. law a foreign government's spy agency is has no special status different than an ordinary foreigner.

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Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

WatAWorld
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Does IPv6 gives each device a permanant IP address -- if so boon for spies and criminals.

Correct me if this has changed, but originally (several years ago or more) the plan with IPv6 was for each device to have a permanent IPv6 address.

*IF* this is still the case IPv6 is going to be a boon for spy agencies, criminals, and targeted advertising companies.

So, is this still the plan? Will IPv6 addresses be permanent in the same sense that MAC addresses are today?

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WatAWorld
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When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggards.

When other countries move to IPv6 it will free up IPv4 address space for the laggard nations.

So the UK lagging other nations is not an issue, provided other nations are making the switch, and they are.

If all nations were failing to take action, that would be a problem.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook v Microsoft's Ballmer: Seconds out, round two!

WatAWorld
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There is no denying the fact that most journalists take it extremely easy on Apple

There is no denying the fact that most (not all) journalists take it extremely easy on Apple and its products.

(In general The Reg is pretty good at questioning Apple's propaganda.)

What Apples says are features are promoted, even if they are meaningless (like thin desk top monitors).

Huge deficiencies in products are overlooked when Apple does not mention them (inability to replace batteries in battery operated products).

Apples claims of innovation when it produces a 'me too' product are repeated unquestioningly.

And let us face it, those Retina displays in Apple products, those are not an Apple innovation, Apple is merely buying a product from Samsung. Same with Corning and Gorrilla Glass.

But the main stream press ignores that, and does something akin to giving the byline to someone other than an article's author.

This is not Apple's fault. A PR department's job is to generate propaganda and try and get biased favourable press coverage. Apple has had great success in this.

The fault is that of those journalists who report press releases unquestioningly. To report a press release without analysis is to abdicate journalistic duty.

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Microsoft: You've got it all WRONG. It's Apple's iPad playing catch-up with our Surface

WatAWorld
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Re: literally

Try to keep up with the class FB.

The definition of 'literally' has officially been changed.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/literally?q=literally

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In general journalists unaware of how sycophantic their Apple articles are

MS should save their ammunition to take shots at Google? Obviously the point has been totally missed by journalists who lack self-awareness.

The problem is that far too many journalists cover Apple in the most sycophantic manner. Maybe it is fear of being shut out of future Apple launches.

This is not Apple's fault. It is every marketing department's job to attempt to get the most favorable coverage possible. Attempting to sucker journalists into providing articles that are little more insightful than display ads is the job of every marketing department.

This is journalists' fault for not doing their jobs.

Not all journalists, but most of the journalists who work on Apple product releases seem to be total suckers. In this case general failure to mention CPUs, ports, battery replacement options. Failure to compare important product features and specs, focusing only on the product and features and specs Apple tells them to focus on, and failure to evaluate whether the features and specs are useful in any meaningful way.

In other cases the thickness of desktop monitors, failure to provide for battery replacement, basic simple stuff that it is obvious is important, but sadly too many tech writers are liberal arts grads.

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Lone sysadmin fingered for $462 MEEELLION Wall Street CRASH

WatAWorld
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Actually reading the findings, A to F on page 4 here the SEC report only blames management.

Actually reading the findings, A to F on page 4 here

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2013/34-70694.pdf

the SEC report only blames management.

So the Reg has it wrong, the Sysadmin made the error but the SEC says the cause was management failings.

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Re: No surprise...

In the management courses I took they told us staff mistakes virtually always have management mistakes as the root cause.

If a staff member makes an error that doesn't get caught until too late it is a management error in training or quality control, just like you say.

Consider airlines, a crash 'due to pilot error' is always viewed as poor training, poor rule enforcement, or some other management failure.

I suppose maybe the SEC investigator lacked management experience. Either that or the report was misinterpreted by the press.

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Re: HIndsight

Just because someone wrote a paper claiming something was true doesn't make it true.

I worked a lot of shops in my day, which ended 4 years ago, three dozen.

Some shops were run close to failure, and the managers and workers there accepted as normal industry practice.

Other shops strictly followed proper programming, testing and change control procedures even though that raised short term costs, and the managers and workers there accepted that as normal industry practice.

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re-using an existing field is very risky too

Leaving old code in and re-purposing an existing field are both poor practices.

I can see still having old code that uses records, but they couldn't extend the record length? Storage space too expensive?

In mainframe days, my era, change control would have been simpler because you'd just have the one big server to worry about, not eight little ones.

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