* Posts by TechnicalBen

1295 posts • joined 23 Mar 2012

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'Second Earth' exoplanet found right under our noses – just four light years away

TechnicalBen
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Re: Stephen Baxter

This really gets me with most sci-fi. It's when they mix sciences. Oh, by all means mix science with fantasy, like in Star Wars. Just leave it unexplained!

If you want a time machine say "we invented one" or "we went in a black hole/worm hole" and stop there. Put down the pen, and go away. Never ever ever write "we invented one by using magnets and anti-venom" or "we used a tacyon cascade neural net" because it will just sound stupid to those who know the tech/science and is the same as "magic" to those who do not. So why loose both, when you can just write "the hyperdrive core" as they do in the sci-fi that concentrates on the good stuff... the story!

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TechnicalBen
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This. Correlation does not imply causation.

For example, cars are correlated to garages. So I build hundreds of garages, but no cars appeared.

Or trees are correlated to soil, so I plant a ton of it on the moon... oh, no trees.

We have to be honest and until we know a process or have a sample size that can be studied, we are guessing at empty space.

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'Neural network' spotted deep inside Samsung's Galaxy S7 silicon brain

TechnicalBen
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Re: Is it just me...

Actually this is the way to go. I assume theoretically it is simpler...

Just the inbetween is more complex. The bit where we integrate existing designs to neural network like branch prediction and/or code execution.

When we get good at it, or the price comes down, or just the use of the design scales up, we will see lots of systems that adjust automatically for the task. I suppose GPUs already do this with their pixel pipelines and programmable shader cores etc (I am no expert so may have misunderstood?).

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Beauty site lets anyone read customers' personal information

TechnicalBen
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Re: Mind-bogglingly stupid

Seems they tried to apply Amazons "gift to friend via email address" and whoosh, the point went over their heads like Chicxulub! (Google is your friend ;) )

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Ancient radioactive tree rings could rip up the history books

TechnicalBen
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Re: Them is...

Some of the trees are aged via rings alone, but have damage to the bark. Thus they could have been putting out two or more rings per year during certain changes in weather. So they could be as much as half the age estimated.

The sad thing is, most of these techniques are estimations, and when used to overrule historic records (written history), it's rather saddening.

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

TechnicalBen
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Re: @TechnicalBen

Thanks DougS, I did not know the name for it. I was under the impression Samsung accused LG of that. I did not know if it was the other way around (I've not seen any marketed OLEDs from Samung except for phones, and yes, sadly my one is pentile. :( ). But for TVs I think it's mainly LG that are doing it with OLED.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Dave 126.

Sorry Dave, I guess as said, it is the marketing. Dynamic range has little to do with contrast ratio. The "brightness" as such. Dynamic range defines the colourspace in between. Why? We can talk about bit depth forever, but the panels have physical limits. :)

CRT/LCD/OLED all have physical maximums or manufactures tolerances. The bit depth makes no difference. What is the proof? You just asked me to look at a HDR image on my non-10bit PC panel (I would guess it's 8bit). I can still see the HDR image perfectly. :D

What I don't see is a perfect gradient between the colours. I may get more banding than another person. I think you know this, but described the colour range and brightness and contrast in the same sentence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_depth

The marketers make out that 10bit depth will make images "brighter" and "crisper", which is a lie. They just remove banding and add colour. As in the past, as now, they always have the ability to map the max brightness and darkness to anything the panel can output. For example they say "does not effect total brightness" then show example images varying only in total brightness. :/

4k as a tech does not change the max brightness (contrast ratio) in the panel. That is down to LCD backlight and OLED tech, which is separate to any resolution restrictions (currently AFAIK).

Sorry if I thought your first post mentioned the brightness being effected by the UHD spec. As said, the HD sets previously could even support the 10bit depth, so not a 4k tech in the slightest. It does make more colours a standard though, but a rather pointless one when content can just be adjusted as you mentioned in photoshop. :P

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TechnicalBen
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It is an animation and your HD tv (or blue ray player) can upscale it nicely without loosing definition. It will smooth the edges a little and you loose some information in the process.

Now do that with a DVD of a nature program, compare it to a Bluray and a 4k version. Did some in store with Sony mastered safari clips, there is a nice difference. HD is a sweet spot, and 4k is nicer, but not a requirement just yet. SD is a blurry mess in comparison.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Are we sinking into a kB/Kib-like mess?

Yes. Did you know there are subpixels?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subpixel_rendering

A full pixel reproduction of a digital image would give you 3 colours per pixel. Reg, green and blue. Sub pixel rendering allow you to adjust them to provide an image that almost gives you more pixels than you have.

Which is fine for increasing the image quality on say, a 4000 pixel width TV. But they may do the opposite, and give you a sub 4000 pixel (or sub 3480*2160) and use sub pixels into tricking you as a consumer into thinking it is a 4k tv. :(

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Dave 126.

No. Just NO!

The OLED provides better dynamic range. (Black has always been black, white has always been white, everything else is false advertising)

The OLED has better colour reproduction. (Green is green, red is red etc, everything else is false advertising)

The UHD/4K provides better resolution.

The resolution alone is a nice touch, it is an improvement as with all things. It is down to personal taste and specific content on if this is needed or wanted (for example I like it, but others wear glasses and see no benefit).

But how does it offer "greater dynamic range"? It is a TV with pre-recorded content, OLED and black is black, white is white. How can they "increase" that via the source data or by changing from 8bit to 10bit colour? They can't. ;)

BUT, the 4K does offer finer colour range. So sunsets and subtle colour gradients have no banding. But to be honest, I've only ever seen banding on PC games/webpages, never on TV content as this naturally provides dithering that even at SD is perceivable.

TL:DR, the advertisers and marketers are very good at using the wrong words to describe real changes, and you seem to have fallen for it. AFAIK they even back ported some firmware to add High Dynamic Range to HD TVs (you saw a real change, colour improvement and contrast from the OLED/backlights in LED, the marketers lied and said it was a 4k improvement only).

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TechnicalBen
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Worse...

A few (mainly OLED ones) are using 1.5 pixels when you would normally have 2. So they display 2880 real pixels and extrapolate the 4k down to that. I think they get away with it because they do have a "half" pixel. They alternate the colours green and blue every 2 pixels, but each pixel does not do the full colour range. Similar to the iPhone retina display.

A bit like how digital video has a lower colour resolution to save on bandwidth, these tvs may have a lower sub pixel resolution to save on costs.

It basically tries to use sub pixel rendering to make it look like it is a higher res panel. :/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-pixel_resolution

I know it's pedantic, but I prefer them to advertise the true details of the panel. Far too many just go "it's a HD TV" and later you find out they redefined "HD" to mean "Heavily Dented". ;)

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Bees bring down US stealth fighter

TechnicalBen
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I wonder if...

This has anything to do with using radar to track bees?

http://beetime.eu/inside-of-tracking-honey-bee/

Who is so stealthy now?

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SpaceX lands another rocket

TechnicalBen
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They seemed to have hit the target dead centre there. Wow.

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Boffins' blur-busting face recognition can ID you with one bad photo

TechnicalBen
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Re: The meanings of "identify"

That is literally how the law works at times.

I recently read the Steam (online PC games store) is about to ban people if they gift a game, and the person they gave to uses hacks. This is to prevent hackers from making fake accounts and gifting out stolen/cheap games to easily hack on a second account (thus avoiding a ban on the first).

The solution is like a shotgun to remove a flea. :/

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The curious case of a wearables cynic and his enduring fat bastardry

TechnicalBen
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Re: Can you change the strap?

12 months too late for me. I saw their marketing drive and I assume their target consumer group.

They could have had that as standard from day one, but did not. That choice does not bode well with me and the possibility of them providing a product or service I want, as supposed to one they know can gouge out my eyes (wallet).

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TechnicalBen
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Can you change the strap?

I almost got one of these, there are some really nice ones. All the ones I saw had permanent one time only straps and no supplies for replacements...

I kill straps. :(

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Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

TechnicalBen
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Black Helicopters

Just one icon.

And no comment. Deduce the meaning yourselves.

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Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

Milk makes me violently ill...

And after a few decades, it may be wheat does too, and I was just never tested/checked because the Drs said "oh, you just have a cold/are lazy/what you moaning about?"

So I have zero confidence in such a law to be use balanced or helpfully, but instead to cause loads more harm then getting a little less milk would do to a person. :/

But no doubt the intention is to make abuse and neglect illegal... which tends to already be the case, but people need it spelt out I guess?

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

TechnicalBen
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Trollface

Facebook can...

Break into my house and force me to use their site?

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

TechnicalBen
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We had the Photoshop one over a decade ago...

It was linked to the networks Admin software. If they activated it while Adobe software was open, it crashed the entire Mac (hard locked).

I assume it was to do with the render engine, and it not playing ball with the remote desktop software. :/

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ARM's top brass land £54m Softbank windfall

TechnicalBen
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Wow.

I wonder if the sale will change the company?

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Samsung Note 7: Probably the best phone in the world. Yeah – you heard right

TechnicalBen
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Re: Battery....?

As far as I know, the Note is the only one with an active Stylus.

This is in part due to Wacom owning the patents on some/a lot(?) of the hardware.

The only other competitor out there I know of is MS with their Slate, as they swapped from Wacom to in house tech. But I don't know how it compares.

Wacom use a EM detection with an inductive active power to the pen. So it is really really accurate, while not needing a battery in the pen. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wacom_%28company%29#Technology )

Other phones just use a plastic stylus, which does not have active buttons.

TL:DR: Basically there is probably an app called "Wacom Pen Driver" on the phone, and it seems to be the only one made by Wacom, there is nothing better and no compatition comes close as an alternative.

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TechnicalBen
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Re: Usb-c?

It is a replacement cable, not replacement charger. It seems every manufacture went to usb style bricks and usb socket cables, with the phones connector (usb micro/mini/Apple lightning etc) on the other end.

Less waste as only the cables need replacing. Is also cheaper to replace if you break a connector like I have around 3 times on my Note 3. Thankfully that thing is built like a brick! :D

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TechnicalBen
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Headmaster

Re: 4GB? Really

No. 4GB Ram is for app caching. It speed it up without having to access the internal SD. It can also be more power efficient at times (when in use all day, but is less power efficient if not used for long periods. Which is why Android now clears cache automatically if not used for around a day).

That and of cause, use and experience changes. Perhaps some apps do use it all, or we will be using it all with the next big thing.TM.

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TechnicalBen
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Charles 9

Your thinking like a customer, not a seller. If they make the battery replaceable, how will they sell you the Note 8?

It is the only thing keeping me on the fence in replacing my Note 3. New battery for that is what? £20-£40? A swap out at a repair centre for a Note 7 will be how much? :(

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TechnicalBen
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Joke

Oh dear. This is dreadful...

I was under the impression this phone had no expandable memory. And even though 64gb is more than enough for me, hot swapping memory cards with media is so useful I was considering not getting it...

... now I see it has expandable SD card slot, my wallet is going to sack me!

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Non-volatile MRAM coming to servers in early 2017

TechnicalBen
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It does sound like a good addition

To a backup or buffer for the write cache. Should a system fail, you know the data is still there in the MRAM and can be written on reboot. An additional layer between the SSD and the RAM?

It's small now but I'm certain sizes will increase.

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Seagate inflates 12TB helium drives, floats them to IT bods to test

TechnicalBen
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How big is the case it comes with?

As I was under the impression Helium always leaks?

Or should that be "How big is the guarantee it comes with?"

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Cloud backup biz IDrive hits password reset button to head off crims exploiting lazy logins

TechnicalBen
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Re: seemingly targeted at customers judged most at risk.

I would assume IDrive only have account emails to check against the leaked tables. Their passwords should already be hashed.

This is what most do IIRC. However the problem is when old services get hacked/leaked. They have less secure encryption/hashes/salting at which point computational power/cost has decreased and can now be brute forced in hours/days/weeks.

Thus with a little time and money you can brute force the hashes, get a table of most likely passwords and link them to the table of accounts/email addresses. As people reuse (we are human after all), this can be used to test on every service/account worth breaking into.

Example is here: https://youtu.be/7U-RbOKanYs

The way to improve is: https://youtu.be/3NjQ9b3pgIg

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US Air Force declares F-35 'combat-ready'

TechnicalBen
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Perhaps

This is just a deterrent. Like most other weapons. Never to be used?

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Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

TechnicalBen
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Re: Web much?

"Which you cannot turn off if you have Pro or lower".

I may have misunderstood that. But the Anniversary Update makes Cortana a life long commitment?

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Windows 10 still free, even the Anniversary Update, if you're crass

TechnicalBen
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Joke

You have a power switch?

I touch the two pins with my fingers... ;)

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TechnicalBen
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Thumb Up

Re: Thank you Sebby!

For your post. I hope MS don't mess up too many peoples systems with their forced changes. Especially those who depend on those computers and assistive technologies!

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TechnicalBen
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Re: desktop OS's will be the minority by 2020 (?)

First, the serious business. Reality dictates that a desktop and a mobile device cannot serve the same function. So there will never be convergence, except where our need do. So most will get that, as most just want to browse or watch.

However I doubt my phone will ever have 4 usb ports, or parts I can swap out in 3 mins at £20 a pop.

Second, non-serious, phones do not have an "OS" they have a "SOC", "System of Control [of the user]". ;)

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Google and GlaxoSmithKline fling £540m at bioelectronic meds firm

TechnicalBen
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Re: Deus Ex

You are thinking too big. It is cheaper and easier to just put a stimulator on the endorphin regions (I made that up, it's a hormone?) that only activates when you use Google services...

Though I think Pokemon Go may have done it first. ;)

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Hello, Barclays? Why hello, John Smith. We meet again

TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

Perhaps they should use snowflakes? They are also unique. I have a few I collected last winter, in this water bottle for them to analyse... ;)

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TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

Security 101

I'm not sure if this post will be buried under all the others, but since the day dot of telephone banking, security training has been "don't go by voice recognition alone".

Even Mr Mannering may have demonstrated how Mr/Miss Smith Jr sounds an awful lot like Mr/Mrs Smith Sr!

The best part of those calls, was waiting until the end to catch them and asking "Thank you Mr Smith, can I please have your Dad's card number for security..." With the response "Yes, his number is... oh **** [sound of phone being slammed down]!"

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

TechnicalBen
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An upvote for...

Masala chai. Very nice cuppa there.

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TechnicalBen
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Happy

To the denialists...

You can grow tea in the UK quite easily...

... Yorkshire Tea though...

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SentinelOne's $1m ransomware guarantee dismissed as PR stunt

TechnicalBen
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Except this could be exploited for some easy cash...

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Argos changes 150 easily guessed drop-off system passwords

TechnicalBen
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Re: Argos data security

Anyone calling me has a return number. If they do not, they are a scam centre.

If they do, I check it is registered to the correct company.

Then I check the phone dialled out correctly, preferably using a different phone, to prevent them holding the line open silently.

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Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

TechnicalBen
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Re: Don't try anything new!

Upvote there on the electricity. We already have them. Electric hobby craft and drones/quadcopters.

However none of these are solar powered just yet...

... with the exception of biofuel, as that is grown via the sunshine! :D

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TechnicalBen
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Re: @James 51

That may be the key. Keep the entire in flight entertainment etc running of solar and a small battery system. Could it keep weight down? Or is the petroleum equivalent just so much higher density in power storage that it negates any savings in "recharging" mid flight?

The time the craft spend taxing etc is also one to consider.

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TechnicalBen
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Facepalm

Re: It's a start

It is not to replace a 747/787...

It is for autonomous and continuous craft. Say mapping or camera work. A small solar powered craft that can go up, fly for an unspecified length of time, and come back down. Not taking cargo/passengers, but just images/data.

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Zero-day hole can pwn millions of LastPass users, all that's needed is a malicious site

TechnicalBen
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And there I was...

Thinking "I'll not bother with a password vault, as it has a single point of failure".

I'll probably stick to a second device (no internet, thus air gapped) with an encrypted list of passwords, possibly stored on usb stick. Yes the encryption will be poor, but it will need physical access to get at anyhow. Yes I'll need to type them in every time, so risk there. But the low hanging fruit is now hacking databases, not individual computers.

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It's 2016 and your passwords can still be sniffed from wireless keyboards

TechnicalBen
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Re: There is a reason why I use wired KB's

That and I remember family buying some cheap ones. Both the keyboard and the mouse went to sleep, often when in use, and required additional "thumps" to wake up again. Not much of a feature in my book.

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Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

TechnicalBen
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Wait? When was this developed/is it patented?

I hope not, because my Note 3 has this. I'm not sure if the Note 1 or 2 did. I can use the hover gesture with the pen, and the hand gestures with apps. (Swipe left/right for photo gallery etc)

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

TechnicalBen
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Try a partition table manager...

Windows 8.1/10 changes the partitions on the drive. For me (upgrade from 8 to 8.1) it just messed up my tidy partition with the additional install/recovery partition (IIRC a new 500mb partition at the end of the windows install partition, which can mess up some setups). For others though, it forced their dual boot to stop working.

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We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

TechnicalBen
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Re: Given that they haven't found it...

An upvote for the joke. But technically the search space could cover the right place. It could just be far too large, or the right part is the last part they will search...

... wait, by definition the right place is the last place they search.

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Boffins unveil 500TB/in2 disk. Yeah, it's made of chlorine. -196˚C, why?

TechnicalBen
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Joke

Re: Cool, but...

The electrons/atoms have "spin".

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