* Posts by Nifty

480 posts • joined 13 Sep 2012

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Quiet cryptologist Bill Duane's war with Beijing's best

Nifty
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Hope a book gets written on the story.

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Swedish old timer pulls airsoft gun on broadband salesman

Nifty
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While in the UK, the gun would be used to hold the salesman hostage until the fibre connection got delivered.

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One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

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Does this mean that Three will stop spamming my SMS inbox with ads?

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Boffins achieve 'breakthrough' in random number generation

Nifty
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How new is this idea?

When I was learning to program on a BBC micro and needed random numbers for a manufacturing simulation, I used the gap between certain user keystrokes as the seed for the BASIC random number generator function. This was to prevent the simulation running predictably as it would've done with a baked in seed value.

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Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

Nifty
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Could be that once all the equivalent bells & whistles are added to HTML5 to make it usable for e.g. VMware and in-browser apps, it'll then have a similar surface area = zero day vuln possibilities as Flash?

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Microsoft phone support contractors told to hang up after 15 minutes

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When I were a lad working in a firmware shop, if the power went off (as it regularly did in that part of the North of England) us coders were sent to the stores to configure PCB boards per printed setup instructions by setting the DIP switches - in near darkness.

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US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

Nifty
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And I was just imagining that after Brexit the UK could form a migration mobility club with Canada, US, OZ, NZ, where we could all work/migrate with barely any restrictions so long as there's a proper job offer.

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'Apple ate my music!' Streaming jukebox wipes 122GB – including muso's original tracks

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Re: Really?

This is why I print my El Reg out and read it in the woods

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What's wrong with the Daily Mail buying Yahoo?

Nifty
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Re: I am a bit worried

Know the feeling. I own the postal address I live at and it's letterbox. By contrast free email services come and go and have varying privacy issues. Buy a domain for your email and you have to obfuscate you postal address by paying a quite high annual fee - and still decide on a secure backend email solution anyway.

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UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

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Re: Kudos to the idiot responsible

Isn't registration of all drones compulsory in the US already? So basically they are all meant to be 'chipped' to identify the operator, otherwise it's illegal to fly. Or am I thinking of another country?

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Bay Area man forced out of his $400 box home

Nifty
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Luxury!

</yorkshire accent>

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UK competition watchdog gripes to Brussels about Three-O2 merger

Nifty
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And calls cost 50p (80p in today's money) per minute, rounded up to the nearest minute.

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China's Great Firewall inventor forced to use VPN live on stage to dodge his own creation

Nifty
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Big Brother

Re: just because..

So true, and you really could not make this up:

Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html?_r=0

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Adobe preps emergency Flash patch for bug hackers are exploiting

Nifty
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All the internal training videos in the little 'security concious' outfit I work for need Flash...

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Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

Nifty
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Mobile and WiFi firms *don't* flog my location and demographics.

Now *that* would be news.

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India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Nifty
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As LED tech improves, how long before a plausible battery powered replacement for lightbulbs appears - look ma no wiring!

Ans also, how long before LED lightbulbs that look normal, but contain a PIR movement detector to turn on & off will appear?

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Adblock wins in court again – this time against German newspaper

Nifty
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Re: Bah!

That may still work for a short while, but the internet isn't going to be delivered that way much longer

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:FAfb3W4B97sJ:http://www.newsbiscuit.com/2016/02/13/internet-to-go-online-only/%2BInternet+to+go+online+only+newsbiscuit&hl=en&&ct=clnk

Meanwhile the cursor and focus on this old iPad keep being stolen by the resource hungry MS Cloud ad on the right. Think I'll go for the paid version of this browser app now, has Adblock, extend machine life!

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US govt says it has cracked killer's iPhone, legs it from Apple fight

Nifty
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Fingerprints

I'm assuming the feds may have obtained the miscreants fingerprints at some point, perhaps during immigration? It is possible to recreate an inverse finger print to fool an iPhone with - it was done, albeit expensively, with one lifted from a glass once. This theory would apply to the 5s. And lower models were crackable by brute force password submissions I believe.

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Cunning scam: Mobe app stalks victims then emails booby-trapped bogus speeding tickets

Nifty
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Re: They'll probabaly start doing it for real

Correct, and in all my US driving I didn't encounter any self-righteous "you're not driving-quite-fast-enough-for-my-lane" cutter-inners. But people were still sensible on clearer stretches, using the outer lane for faster travel. Marvelous relaxed driving.

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Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

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Re: Differentiation is skin deep.

With 16gb non expandable memory? It a con on the unwary and against trades deceptions to call it a smartphone. 32GB should have been the bare minimum starting point.

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Nifty
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Re: maybe next year ...

Which made me wonder, was Henry Ford the most disruptive product developer ever?

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Apple engineers rebel, refuse to work on iOS amid FBI iPhone battle

Nifty
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Re: @gollux How unAmerican ...

The downvoters couldn't appreciate the truth so let's rephrase:

China is more Capitalist than the USA

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Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

Nifty
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Facepalm

ABI button?

I remember before in these forums suggesting that ads have an 'Already Bought It' button but nobody listens to me.

Now, I just happen to be looking for a 'wallet in tiny compact format' but previous searches failed to turn up a decent product.

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Microsoft has crafted a switch OS on Debian Linux. Repeat, a switch OS on Debian Linux

Nifty
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Re: Right, here's the catch

...@Welcoming our new Switching Overlords...

That was ironic, right? The downvoters I assume had an irony amputation.

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Eight in ten IBM Global Tech Services roles will be offshore by 2017

Nifty
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Re: "it is hard to be agile when most of the coders are based in another time zone"

The UK is still a prime location for central IT and financial services due to the ability to deal with most places in the globe during our waking hours - even if slow overnight reactions mean mediocre productivity. Think I'll be finding work somewhere in the UK for a while yet.

(I was reading that the UK's low productivity might not be a bad thing if it means high employment levels. So we are an ideal low productivity hub sitting amid all those time zones.)

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First working Apple Mac ransomware infects Transmission BitTorrent app downloads

Nifty
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Checksums anyone?

First Mint now Transmission. Is there no SIMPLE way to compare hash checksums against a less-likely to be hacked reference source? Will we be needing a blockchain system to verify what we download in future?

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We survived a five-hour butt-numbing Congress hearing on FBI-Apple ... so you don't have to

Nifty
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I'm expecting a change in U.S. law. After all, an un-decypherable iPhone in a terrorists hands is akin to a powerful weapon. And you're not allowed to manufacture/keep such things at home in America are you? Oh wait...

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NSA boss reveals top 3 security nightmares that keep him awake at night

Nifty
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Data tampering. Add Blockchain. Fixed.

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Terrified robots will take middle class jobs? Look in a mirror

Nifty
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France, due to high tax-on-labour and good social benefits, has a famously highly automated economy. Unmanned motels are the norm. For them it seems to have created a highly professional class of healthcare pros that outperform the NHS. France outsources manufacture of French-designed cars to Eastern Europe - some high paid pro jobs stay in France. The French model seems to get rid of low skilled jobs pretty fast.

Welcome to the future, arriving in the UK soon.

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Ofcom must tackle 'monopolistic' provider BT, says shadow digital minister Chi Onwurah

Nifty
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Says it in one, have a 1000 upvotes

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Virgin Atlantic co-pilot dazzled by laser

Nifty
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Deterrents and protection are possible

Since there can be a strong terrorist angle on this, I'm expecting the following development:

- A laser detection kit, attaches to underside of plane, has GPS. Instantly sends ground coords of incoming laser to the local police. Probably exists already in some military form, just the airlines don't want to afford it. So I don't agree with commswonk above "Catching anyone misusing a laser must be hard enough (to the point of near impossibility)"

- LCD technology built into planes windscreen, to black out when laser is detected by the item above. It can receive a signal and black out all frequencies like a welding helmet does until the laser disappears.

This protects the pilots so they can resume full control for the rest of the flight. A clear windscreen with a laser shining into it is no more use than a blacked out one.

You can even buy the technology on Amazon - "Filter will turn from clear to dark state, response time is less than 1/30000S".

Passengers will be much happier when they know their airline has adopted these things, remember, some airlines had an early policy of not flying over Ukraine, others didn't.

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The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

Nifty
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Anyone remember the Neil Stephenson book where the character has an ad running permanently in the corner if his eyeball, he can't afford to get it removed?

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Nifty
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Next... a contest for the most innocent looking snippet of code/script/VB that can be posted on a forum as a 'solution' to someone's question, that in fact plants a virus.

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Apple yanks international travel plugs over shock worries

Nifty
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lingering high voltage energy?

I recently pulled the UK 3 pin plug out for a 90W Lenovo laptop power adapter.

A finger touched a plug prong AFTER the plug was well out of the socket - say 3" away but within a fraction of a second in time. And I got a fair little shock. Was there some sort of electrical momentum still left in the transformer?

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Investors furious that Amazon only made $482m last quarter

Nifty
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Re: Looking at it another way

Recent article explaining why Apple at P/E of 10 looks much better that it really is, and why Amazon is not as bad as it looks against it's own high P/E:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/12126122/Questor-share-tip-The-most-worrying-chart-for-Apple-right-now.html

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AI no longer needs to fake it. Just don't try talking to your robots

Nifty
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always something else next

Almost no-one farms today in the developed countries. Do we starve?

Very few people in the world manufacture. Do we have a shortage of things?

In the UK/US, we have a high employment level (putting aside the quality).

So when the next level of jobs - the service industries - get encroached on seriously, there'll be something else.

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Apple growth flatlines ... Tim Cook thinks, hey, $80bn is still $80bn

Nifty
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Wish list

The original iPod & iPhone were expensive but disruptive, really did create a new market.

Some deserved success, then.

Lately, nothing seriously new as we all know.

To stay ahead how about:

- iWatch that's half as thick and heavy, uses LCD and reflected light or backlight at night, 4 days battery life?

- earpods that use aptx quality level Bluetooth and barely weight more than current ones?

- A wide open Apple TV that people actually want to buy, one that offers ALL major streaming catch-up services (after all, IOS does...)?

- A competitor to Spotify at about £6 per month in the UK?

Apples business model needs to change to "you'll be so pleased you'll come back & spend more" instead of "Spend more, we're sure you'll be pleased".

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Kentucky to build 3,400-mile state-owned broadband network – and a fight is brewing

Nifty
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Privatised: Come, and we will build it.

Public: Build it and they will come

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BT dismisses MPs' calls to snap off Openreach as 'wrong-headed'

Nifty
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Re: One time

Todays broadband new or moved subscriber experience seems spookily similar to 60s/70s phone lines when it was a nationalised industry. This proves to me that we do have a de facto state sponsored monopoly delivering the last mile/s to around half of UK households. For just once, a group of 100 MPs are RIGHT!

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Nifty
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Re: One time

Today';s broadband new or moved subscriber experience seems spookily similar to 60s/70s phone lines when it was a nationalised industry. This proves to me that we do have a de facto state sponsored monopoly delivering the last mile/s to around half of UK households. For just once, a group of 100 MPs are RIGHT!

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Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?

Nifty
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The Cayman Islands was created as a tax haven by the UK govt, which still has ultimate jurisdiction.

This recent docu (still on iPlayer) put this point very nicely during the last 10 mins of the prog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06wrt2d/britains-trillion-pound-island-inside-cayman

Conspiracy theorists might also like to imagine that keeping the Cayman population well fed and infrastructured is part of the US-UK axis defense policy.

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UK can finally 'legalise home taping' without bringing in daft new tax

Nifty
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How about reducing VAT on gig tickets? Compensation from 'general fund' done, job's a good 'un.

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Nest thermostat owners out in the cold after software update cockup

Nifty
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Mechanical solution

I have 2 thermostats and 1 mechanical timer to automatically reduce overnight temperature.

A flick of the daytime 'stat down to 15 degs when we all go out and back to 20 when back in.

Very reliable so long as you remember the twice per year clock changes.

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Council of Europe gets tough on net neutrality

Nifty
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At last!

One reason for the UK to stay in the EU

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VW floats catalytic converter as fix for fibbing diesels

Nifty
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Re: Why did I buy a diesel ?

No mention of the unreliable history of the dual flywheel clutches that are usually fitted to diesel cars and their extremely high replacement cost?

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Nifty
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Re: There was a fascinating talk about dieselgate

Nah, could never happen in real life.

Oh wait a mo, a few days ago...

http://www.thelocal.de/20160104/cold-weather-hobbles-13-of-berlin-police-cars

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Nifty
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Re: @Richard Chirgwin

The Reg comment threads on the VW Dieselgate topic are epic and many different guesses made at the eventual solution.

Is not something like the "weak anthropic principle" to retrospectively single out correct past predictions as 'spookily accurate'?

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Swiss try to wind up Apple with $25k dumb-watch

Nifty
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The Apple iFob watch will be appearing soon. It will sport chain that you attach to your waistcoat. Release date April 1st.

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The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

Nifty
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Someone needs to come out with Thinkpad Linux, a version that is guaranteed to have working drivers for graphics, WiFi and Bluetooth etc for every model, and which performs usably on legacy machines as well as current ones. This would give old Thinkpad hardware a new lease.

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