* Posts by Zola

207 posts • joined 13 Nov 2012

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

Zola

BT ADSL, South London has been fine all day

See title.

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Qualcomm tries to figure out if Apple, Samsung made it anti-trusted

Zola
WTF?

Surely it doesn't matter who dobbed them in

if Qualcomm are guilty, which apparently they are, and have been found to be, on numerous occasions.

If Qualcomm don't want their competitors dobbing them in to the competition authorities because of anti-competitive licensing, then don't make your partners sign anti-competitive licences for Qualcomm products.

It's not fcking rocket science.

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SpaceX launch is a go for Sunday after successful static fire completed

Zola

Re: Routine Disasters

Never mind, delayed 24 hours - current launch time: Tue, Dec 22 2015 1:34 AM GMT

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Why Microsoft's .NET Core is the future of its development platform

Zola
FAIL

AMD recently dropped .NET

AMD used to use .NET for their Catalyst drivers (ie. full desktop app). They've now switched to Qt, gone from 8 second application start-up to 0.6 seconds, with the added bonus of now being fully cross-platform, even on the desktop. It's not hard to see why they made the switch, and .NET Core won't be of any help.

There are better alternatives to .NET, even if your only platform is Windows.

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Yesterday: Openreach boss quits. Today: BT network goes TITSUP

Zola

More like 3 hours than 3 days, solved already by BT Service page

The problem actually started around 9pm Monday night, so took over 15 hours to fix, which is hardly impressive. Though better than 3 days, perhaps they're under promising and then over delivering.

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AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Zola

APUs and "Compute Cores" muddy the water even more

AMD have recently taken to counting the combined number of CPU and GPU cores as "Compute Cores" when describing their APUs, so for example the A10 PRO-7850B has 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores, or 12 "Compute Cores" in total.

Although I'm a little uncomfortable with this marketing-motivated move I do understand the distinction but I'm not entirely sure it's necessary or helpful (which is not to suggest that AMD try to hide the number of actual CPU cores, as they don't). However our clueless, dickhead plaintiff would no doubt sue on the basis that he thought he was buying 12 *CPU* cores - after all, he did overhear someone speaking about CPU cores once upon a time.

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Zola

Re: Frivolous legal case, should be tossed out

> But what about memory bandwidth?

At the time of purchase (about 3 years ago) I considered over 14GB/s of DRAM bandwidth to be perfectly adequate, and considering it consistently outperforms Intel i7 quad-core systems of a similar vintage the AMD memory bandwidth (or shared FPU) hasn't proved to be a handicap.

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Zola

Re: So like Intel's Hyper-Threading bullshit

Unlikely because Bulldozer does actually have the physical cores (although as many as half of them may not always be fed with data/instructions, depending on the workload, and depending on who you believe, plaintiff or AMD) whereas hyperthreaded cores are entirely virtual, all of the time.

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Zola

Indeed, AMD do need to significantly improve their IPC. This is what Zen promises, so let's hope they deliver (and you eat your shorts) as a completely dominant Intel in the x86 space doesn't bear thinking about.

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Zola
FAIL

Frivolous legal case, should be tossed out

Can't see this case succeeding, nor should it. There is no doubt that Bulldozer has the AMD stated number of cores, the fact that some aspects of the design is shared between paired cores is well known, add to that if your workload is heavily FPU based you'd have to be an idiot (or a cheapskate) to choose AMD. I selected an 8-core/4-module FX-8350 specifically for kernel and OS builds, mainly because there is so little FPU action (and there is no doubt it has 8 cores).

Unfortunately the guy bringing this case failed to do his homework and is now able to bring a frivolous legal action - I hope he loses and I'd like to think it will cost him a fortune (but it probably won't, which might be part of the problem).

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No 4King way: Dolby snuggles its high-def TV tech into MStar SoCs

Zola

Re: Yeah...

> Does anyone really care that much about high-dynamic range?

Apparently HDR really is the mutts nuts, offering far more noticeable picture quality improvements than even the jump from 1080p to 4K. From all that I've read about HDR, written by people that have seen HDR content with their own eyes, it really is going to be a major step-change, and far more so than regular 4K.

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Google flubs patch for Stagefright security bug in 950 million Androids

Zola

Re: Monthly security updates will soon become a major PITA

Correction: Nexus 7 (2013), not Nexus 5...

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Zola
Mushroom

Monthly security updates will soon become a major PITA

It's all very well Google promising to push out monthly security updates, but the design of the current Android platform ensures that frequent updates will become a major PITA and something I'm sure users will grow weary of pretty quickly.

The problem is that the Android platform takes over 20 minutes - tested on a quad-core Nexus 5 (2013) - to apply even the smallest update. Every application on the device (and I haven't installed many myself, maybe only a dozen, but the number of apps on the device still runs to about 120) has to be (re-)"optimised" - thanks to ART - every time the system is updated. And optimisation is a very, very slow process (I actually wonder if it's only running on a single core, it's _that_ frickin' slow).

1MB update? Boom, 20+ fudging minutes to apply the update.

10MB update? Another 20+ fudging minutes to apply.

200MB update? You get the picture. The size of the update doesn't matter, it's always going to be dwarfed by the colossal time it takes for ART to get it's shit together.

It's a horribly flawed process that is going to become a major burden for users if small security updates are pushed out frequently. I can see myself skipping updates just to avoid the inconvenience of the slow update process (although at least they're unlikely to be as bad as Twitter, who seem able/willing to publish new builds of their app on an almost daily basis with no hint of a changelog - it does make you wonder how crap their developers are).

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Apple tries to patent facial recognition

Zola

Umm... pretty sure my Nokia N9/N950

did this in 2011 - it would analyse pictures in the gallery and recognise the faces of your contacts.

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BT broadband in broad-based brownout and TITSUP incidents

Zola

Now seems to be fixed

Sometime between midnight and 1am.

There never was a public acknowledgment of the service issue in the 48 hours it lasted, resulting in BT customers up and down the country continuing to contact India for "help" only to be told there isn't a problem and it must be their router/landline etc., wasting an hour or more of each customers valuable time.

I genuinely wonder if the lack of public acknowledgment is because of the new regulation that allows in-contract customers to walk away without paying a penny if they fail to receive an adequate service. I guess we'll know the next time there's a prolonged outage - will BT once again lie to and dick their paying customers around by treating them with contempt, or will they behave like a reputable business? I do hope Ofcom are watching...

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Zola

Re: 18 months and still not fixed

Only one question - why are you still with them?

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Zola

> 50p says that a firmware update has caused this. It's been getting gradually worse as the update is pushed out to more routers.

I use my own router/modem (Netgear DGND4000) and have never connected the supplied HomeHub to my line, so I highly doubt this is a HomeHub-specific issue - the problems are all upstream.

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Zola

Re: Bt have finally admitted there is a problem

> Hmm. So your deicsion to not download Windows 10 must have reduced the amount of W10 downloads going on in the UK today by, what, 30%, 40%?

Obviously not, but Windows 10 background downloading is being claimed as a potential cause and I'm just saying that's not the case with me. Other users downloading Windows 10 could be a factor, as in contention issues, but not at 3-4am and besides bandwidth isn't even a issue, you could have 30Mb+ bandwidth but still can't connect to a website. It's entirely down to packet loss/routing issues within the BT network.

Oh, and BT have now removed the status announcement from their status page even though the problem is ongoing.

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Zola

BT forum thread - currently 19 pages and growing rapidly.

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Zola

Bt have finally admitted there is a problem

"Wed 29/07/2015 at 10:26

BT customers are having trouble loading webpages"

All other service incidents prior to this are unrelated.

And it's not Windows 10 - I turned that shit off, have not seen any unexpected downloads on my SNMP graphs, and bandwidth is not the issue. It's packet loss or a routing issue (secure/encrypted connections seem to fair the worst - https, rsync over ssh etc. both failing).

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So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?

Zola
Trollface

15% of Americans not online?

Who'd have guessed BT would have cornered 15% of the US ISP market.

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Slashdot, SourceForge looking for new owners after parent dumps them on the web's doorstep

Zola

SourceForge is so dated

I'm surprised any active projects continue to use it in preference to a superior and adware-free alternative such as Github. I can understand projects that are no longer maintained parking their code there, but for active projects to continue using SourceForge just seems bizarre given how crusty it is, and now all the adware nonsense.

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Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

Zola

Rebooting used to be TiVo SOP

If the latest TiVo boxes are anything like the original Series 1 TiVos (mine still going strong after 15 years) it's standard procedure to reboot in the event of an upstream failure - in the case of the S1 it will reboot if it's not receiving a TV signal (the assumption being the encoder, decoder or some other part of the chain has crashed/locked up). It's an extreme, but pragmatic, solution for a problem that happens very rarely.

If some part of the Virgin network or cable system is down this could easily explain the behaviour of the box which will keep rebooting until normal service is restored.

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Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style

Zola

MU-MIMO - phones will still be as shit as they are now

Can someone explain to me how MU-MIMO "will solve the poor phone performance problem" as it seems to me the phone is still stuck using only one antenna, although the AP will now better utilise it's multiple antennas allowing the AP to communicate concurrently with devices other than the phone.

However the phone itself will still perform as poorly as it would have done without the AP having MU-MIMO, so how exactly does MU-MIMO "solve the poor phone performance problem"? It doesn't do anything of the sort, at least not based on the description in this article... unless the article meant to say the phone is a performance lead weight for AP throughput?

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Hordes spaff cash on Chip titchyputer to rival Pi (maybe)

Zola
Linux

software and hardware are "totally open source."

This claim seems somewhat unlikely considering it's based on AllWinner hardware - just Google for "AllWinner GPL Violations" to see what kind of attitude AllWinner have towards "open source".

Anyone that ships AllWinner hardware and releases software is, by definition, going to be in breach of the GPL too as AllWinner deliver binary blobs to their hardware customers, so it's impossible to release "all software" and be GPL compliant.

I'm aware of hardware companies that have had to move their projects away from AllWinner (to Amlogic, Freescale, HiSilicon etc.) just to avoid the GPL stench that pervades AllWinner.

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Hackable media box based on the Raspberry Pi compute module: Five Ninjas Slice

Zola

Although not yet available, a Pi2 Compute Module should be a (relatively cheap, sub-£30) drop in replacement although you'll need to reconfigure Kodi and rescan your library, etc. - a minor inconvenience considering the significant performance boost from the quad-core ARMv7 SoC and extra memory.

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Apple Watch: HOT WRIST ACTION plus slim $1299 MacBooks - and HBO TV

Zola

Re: hahahaha

Death knell for the Lightning Port and cables, good riddance to that money gouging non-standard piece of crap.

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Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely

Zola

Re: Low-power sleep on v. 2?

Same as the B+.

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Zola
Mushroom

Re: Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

No, but you posted at 1 minute past midnight, before the product had been officially announced, and with an article riddled with errors and misinformation causing mass confusion - you couldn't even get the basic CPU architecture correct.

I hope the clicks were worth it.

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Zola

The BCM2836 is using four Cortex-A7 (ARMv7) cores. Default maximum clock speed is 900MHz, but they seem to overclock very nicely (1100MHz is easy to reach, and will probably go higher).

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Zola

Re: Competitors dead in the water?

From a software perspective, the Pi2 is 100% backward compatible with the Pi1. All existing Pi1 software runs just fine on the Pi2.

You can take a single Raspbian image (updates will be made available later today) and run it on both the Pi1 and Pi2 - the Pi2 will boot using the kernel7.img while the Pi1 will use the existing kernel.img.

However recompilation is recommended for optimal performance (ARMv6 to ARMv7 with NEON), but definitely not essential.

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Zola
Thumb Down

Couldn't you have waited until the official announcement?

Way to go on breaking the embargo, not cool or classy.

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Is Windows RT not invited to the Windows 10 upgrade party?

Zola

Windows RT didn't fail because of ARM

It failed because Microsoft hobbled the OS, cutting away useful features in order to justify the markup on full-fat Windows. We now see how that worked out, with Microsoft having to give away full fat Windows to attract hardware manufacturers, RT dead in the water and Microsoft only able to compete in the tablet space at all thanks to Intel giving away their x86 chips at zero cost (or worse).

Microsoft botched Windows RT right from the get-go. It was a poor cousin to a piss poor OS (Windows 8), and stood very little chance.

A decent version of Windows on ARM could have been a very fine thing, however the fact it wasn't had nothing to do with ARM and everything to do with the crass and arrogant design choices made by Microsoft.

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Zola
Holmes

Re: RT seems pointless now

I wonder how much an x86 Windows tablet would actually cost if both Microsoft and Intel weren't giving away their part of the deal...

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Microsoft forks .NET and WHOMP! Here comes .NET Core app dev stack

Zola

Re: Oh really?

That rare breed of Microsoft developers developing for a platform with such a small user base and little uptake amongst business and consumers? Hmm...

As per my comment, they have very little choice - good luck going out on a limb by proposing the use of a non-Microsoft language or framework on a Microsoft platform.

The widespread use of something doesn't necessarily equate with it being a "hit", just as death isn't exactly a hit with the living. Some things are just... unavoidable.

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Zola

Oh really?

The .NET Framework and C# language were a hit with developers,

Let's be honest, it was only ever a "hit" with Microsoft developers who have very few other realistic choices.

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Violet, you're turning violet! Imagination unveils graphics-tastic hobbyist board

Zola

Not unless Imagination offer decent, documented support for the GPU

Imagination should consider contacting OpenELEC directly, and also the Kodi Foundation, with the intention of donating a few boards for the open source developers to work on. A small financial donation to the Kodi Foundation wouldn't go amiss either.

This is how it works if you want to support for your niche hardware, otherwise there's absolutely no reason for anyone to consider spending their valuable time working on this board, which will most likely be a total pain in the arse due to the closed nature of the GPU.

Having one of the Imagination developers attached to work on GPU support in Kodi would also be a very good idea, as this is what has made the Raspberry Pi such a success where XBMC/Kodi is concerned. Developers from Broadcom/Pi Foundation have spent countless hours working on improving Kodi source code and also fixing bugs/adding enhancements in the Broadcom GPU.

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Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Zola

Love my Panasonic Qi charger

QE-TM101 on YouTube

It charges my Nexus 7 2013 tablet without any problem - no dimples on the device required for perfect alignment, it finds the device no matter the orientation.

Having used Qi charging for the last year, I'd never buy another mobile product - tablet or smartphone - that doesn't support Qi wireless charging. Connecting a USB cable to charge is so last century.

It's a shame the resonating charger guys are focusing all their efforts on installing chargers in public spaces rather than getting their receivers into devices - presumably they think they're playing the long game but ultimately they're just being complete dicks.

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Sailfish OS tablet is GO: Fans stuff cash into Jolla's cap in hand

Zola

Re: Any chance of Sailfish running android apps like BBOS 10.3 does?

It already does - Sailfish OS includes AlienDalvik from Myriad for the running of Android apps and it works very well.

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NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!

Zola

N1 will have an unlocked bootloader

Twitter

Maybe one day there'll be a Sailfish build for the N1...

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Farewell Nokia: First ever 'Microsoft Lumia' set for Tuesday reveal

Zola
Mushroom

Re: another reason as if we need one...

I got the same email for the MeeGo (N900, then N950) contacts I have stored.

I've already switched to a Jolla and transferred (bluetooth'ed) my contacts across from the N950, but just for a laugh I thought I'd give the export option a go that is offered by Microsoft as way of obtaining all your data. What did it give me? It gave me an empty csv file (apart from the header row) with none of my 200+ contacts.

My one and only thought: OH JUST FUCK OFF, MICROSOFT.

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Who wants to be A MILLIONAIRE? Not so fast, Visa tells wannabe pay-by-bonk thieves

Zola

Same old response

Banks and payment processors are once again in denial - they said the same about Chip & Pin even though the flaws are being actively exploited by criminals.

Visa are focusing on the headline 999,999.99 figure in this case and saying their systems will spot it which spectacularly misses the point as criminals are hardly likely to be so stupid as to go for the jackpot each time when they can take hundreds or maybe thousands at a time without risking detection.

I suppose the next step is a live, public demonstration. Keep up the good work, Newcastle!

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Before I Go To Sleep turns out tense enough to keep you awake ...

Zola
Mushroom

It has Nicole Kidman in the lead role

Of course it's going to be shit!

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Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies

Zola
Go

I don't have a problem turning off tiles

I don't use them anyway, as my shortcuts are added to the bookmarks toolbar or in a menu and therefore they are precisely where I know they will be, not moving around appearing and disappearing in a randomly organised collection of "shortcut" tiles.

I won't mourn the loss of tiles when I turn them off and will welcome a blank "new tab" page in future.

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Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

Zola
Mushroom

Re: XBMC & Media Hubs

XBMC on the Pi (OpenELEC, Raspbmc, Xbian etc.) can play back full high-profile Blu-ray rips so I don't know what you're on about saying it can't handle MPEG4 HD, that's utter FUD.

I've also no idea about your DVB-T stick, maybe get one with decent Linux driver support next time - plenty of others are using their Pis with XBMC for Live TV/PVR viewing.

The Pi with XBMC does actually make a genuinely good "media box" - it can pretty much play anything you care to chuck at it, either from local HDD (USB attached), from your NAS or streamed from the web.

Sure, the ARM CPU hasn't got the same slick performance as a quad-core i7, but the GPU in the Pi is surprisingly powerful and funnily enough that's the most important thing when playing hardware accelerated videos. And despite being low powered, the ARM CPU still provides a pretty good user experience when browsing around the menus and library in XBMC (officially sanctioned overclocking to 1GHz+ helps improve the UX, of course).

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Zola
Boffin

Bus powered HDD - bump up the USB current then!

I have an old 2.5-inch laptop hard drive in a bus-powered caddy, but the B+ couldn’t provide it with sufficient power

By default the Pi B+ will provide the USB ports with 600mA of current, which may not be enough to spin up your HDD. However if you add the setting

max_usb_current=1

to config.txt (a file in the root of the FAT partition - create it if it doesn't exist), you are able to increase the current supplied to USB devices by another 600mA, to 1.2A, which should be sufficient to power your HDD - no hub required.

However, you will require a decent 2A+ PSU to supply increased current to the USB ports.

Some additional details here.

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Linux duo land $54m VC Xamarin cash bag

Zola
Mushroom

Or rewrite nothing with Qt, which is cross-platform

truly open source, and despite being available for free Qt is without the many restrictions imposed by the no-cost version of Xamarin (limited app size, no forms builder, no IDE etc.).

Plus, Qt isn't based on the abject failure that is C#, a language nobody has any time for outside of Microsoft circles.

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Boffins fill a dome with 480 cameras for 3D motion capture

Zola

Vertical Video Syndrome

For example, hundreds of camera-phones capturing live sports could become the input images to MAP, rather than the controlled environment of the Panoptic Studio.

Will MAP automatically ignore all the phones being held in portrait mode? That should cut down the processing load to barely anything at all...

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Google's Oculus-defying VR headset is made of CARDBOARD – no joke

Zola

Precisely why Oculus was never a $2Bn business

And maybe not even a $200Mn business.

VR hardware, assuming VR takes off at all, will become cheap as chips, with the cheapest solutions using the smartphone as the display - there's already several products coming to market that are basically better quality plastic versions of this Google "Cardboard".

As long as the experience is "good enough" (and reviews of these "Cardboard"-type devices suggest it can/will be) then it's going to be hard justifying the expense of custom VR hardware that does only a marginally better job.

The question, then, is what the hell Facebook decided was worth $2Bn because it simply can't be the hardware business, and yet the software side of VR doesn't look like it has that many secrets that could justify such a price tag, secrets that weren't already discovered by Evans & Sutherland et al.

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PayPal 2FA mobe flaw chills 'warm and fuzzy' security feeling

Zola
WTF?

Is he wearing a rug?

It can't be real, must be a (bad) hairpiece.

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