* Posts by Credas

799 posts • joined 23 Jan 2013

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Sirin Labs' Solarin isn't for pro-privacy bankers. It's for rich execs who want bling

Credas
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"High net worth" individuals

For when "rich" is just too vulgar, darling.

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Ransomware scum build weapon from JavaScript

Credas
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Re: How exactly does this execute?

Nothing to do with a JVM. Windows helpfully comes with Windows Scripting Host, which provides an environment for JavaScript to execute in. Quite handy for creating batch files or other automation tasks, but why this is enabled by default in consumer versions of Windows is beyond me.

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Filet-O-Phish: Insecure NFC tag relics hidden under Maccas tables

Credas
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Re: So you "secure" these tags but.... um....

Quite; this would just be an unremarkable and unnecessarily complicated way of implementing a phishing attack. Could be a NFC tag, but equally could just be a sticker with a QR code, or simply a printed URL with a plausible domain name. This is making a very big deal out of not very much.

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Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest

Credas
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Re: UK Energy Market

Like all EU governments the UK had a massive let-out if it wanted it, though - it wasn't compulsory if it was found not to be cost-effective. Given the eye-watering cost of the UK programme, and the negligible projected benefits, that should have taken about 5 minutes if our government wasn't so obsessed with green vanity projects - as long as someone else is picking up the tab, naturally.

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Voter registration site collapse proves genius of GDS, says minister

Credas
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Confusing waste of money

All this site does is cause confusion. It obfuscates the fact that electoral registration is a local government responsibility by expensively providing a central government shim, which won't help the prospective voter understand how the system works in the future, and it bypasses any front end the local ERO might already have and gives them more work to do. At most all that was needed was a curated set of links to the local ERO sites - hell, throw in a postcode lookup if you really want to look like you're adding value. Completely pointless, and now it's caused chaos with the need for emergency legislation, and possible legal challenge to that. Idiots.

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Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

Credas
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Then there's the bit about "cat café". Is this were cat's eat or are they eaten?

Cat café.

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US military tests massive GPS jamming weapon over California

Credas
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Re: Airborne jammer - GPS/Flight Control wrecker

Airbus' aircraft are no more (or less) dependant on GPS than are Boeing's, say. If you're going to have a pop then at least first make the effort to understand the difference between a navigation and a flight control system.

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That didn't take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in 'fake cloud sales' row

Credas
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Never quite understand these lawsuits

Like the Blackburn case, the Klarfeld complaint would look to collect money from Oracle, in this case to be distributed to shareholders

What's the point of shareholders extracting money from their own company? I could understand it if they were suing Larry et al personally for compensation, but targeting the company only seems to benefit the legal vultures.

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Norway might insist on zero-emission vehicles by 2025

Credas
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Re: What about oil production?

That's probably what explains their enthusiasm for hydrogen-powered vehicles, including the national rollout of hydrogen fuel stations - guess where the hydrogen comes from.

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Who's to blame for the NHS drug prices ripoff?

Credas
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Thank goodness for El Reg

Without Andrew having apparently free rein to write here about any of his pet hates I might have to read a general (non-paywalled - gasp!) news site to find out about NHS drug procurement practices. This permissive editorial policy will be particularly useful over the next few weeks, since with Euro 2016 imminent I feel certain that some in-depth comment on England's team selection and the wisdom of playing a 4-4-2 formation will be essential, particularly when linked to paywalled and geoblocked Sky Sports coverage.

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'UnaPhone' promises Android privacy by binning Google Play

Credas
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Re: UnaPhone?

With all the connotations that prefix carries?

Outside the US, pretty much none. More likely thought of as a Spanish word, an obscure bit of urban slang, or a bit of cod Latin.

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Flytenow's other wing clipped: second appeal fails

Credas
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Re: Good. Serve's 'em right.

Sod the insurance. The problem for me is that you don't tend to get out of general aviation crashes with a bit of whiplash, the pain of which can be soothed by a bag-full of cash. No amount of "compensation" is going to do you personally any good if you're dead, and the equipment, training and likely flying experience of the average GA pilot makes that outcome considerably more likely than on a commercial flight - as demonstrated by the poor GA accident rate.

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Lenovo cries 'dump our support app' after 'critical' hole found

Credas
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Re: Possibilities...

Given that the purpose of this crapware was apparently to notify users of application updates, perhaps Lenovo could have just produced an updated version of their own app that would simply cause it to vanish up it's own arsehole when downloaded! Maybe after displaying a sincere apology to the user for having installed this junk on their machine in the first place.

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Kraftwerk versus a cheesy copycat: How did the copycat win?

Credas
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Silly judges

A wiser court will have sided with Hutter and Kraftwerk,

Isn't it a somewhat fine example of hubris (to be polite) to assert that one's personal opinion demonstrates greater wisdom than the considered judgement of the German Constitutional Court?

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Scrum.org hacked, may have lost crypto keys and some user data

Credas
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Re: Storing passwords that can be decrypted...

Why use two-way encryption at all for passwords, rather than salted hashing? Why would you ever need to recover the password; what are you going to do, email it to a forgetful user or something?

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Infosec newbie looking for entry level training? So is SWIFT

Credas
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SWIFT's security advice may well have been outdated, but it was just that - advice. Quite honestly any bank that's so clueless about IT security that it has to rely on advice from the organisation it's connecting to, rather than make its own decisions on how to protect itself from fraud, shouldn't be in the business of handling other people's money anyway.

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Credas
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Any evidence SWIFT was hacked?

According to SWIFT the compromises were in the customer-bank networks connecting to SWIFT, not in their network itself, and I've read nothing to suggest that this is wrong. What evidence does El Reg have to suggest that SWIFT themselves were hacked - or do they just make an easy target for sloppy reporting?

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Easy remote exploit drops for unpatchable power plant controller

Credas
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Re: Sigh, When Will They Learn

It's probably easier to learn how to make a car, rocket, heating system, etc. than to learn how to be effective an effective software company.

So speaks the true software engineer. :)

The fact is that hardly any software companies try to be effective in the sense of producing robust and secure products, let alone achieving that at launch - the ability to patch defects cheaply has led to a culture of testing features, chucking it out of the door, and fixing defects later, options not really available if you make cars or rockets.

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KNOX knocked three times by Israeli infosec boffins

Credas
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Well done! I assume you also disable the lock screen and remove any device FS encryption, thus protecting yourself from any defects in those security features, too?

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HR botches redundancy so chap scores year-long paid holiday

Credas
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I can think of several words I'd substitute for "coolest". And "stories" doesn't do it justice, either.

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HPE staff letter revealed!

Credas
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Re: Management Focus, ??

Exactly what I was about to say. Any email to all employees that begins "Today we announced plans for a tax-free spin-off and merger" tells you precisely where the interests of employees figure in the plans.

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90 days of Android sales almost beat 9 months' worth for all flavours of Win 10

Credas
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Re: They are not comparable.

Since throughout the article, including the tables, it's made clear that the numbers are for smartphone sales, I'd say you're completely missing the point.

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Pointless features add to browser bloat and insecurity

Credas
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Re: What we need

No scripting is a pretty horrible experience, unless you like that authentic 1990s static web page experience. The problem isn't scripting per se but the proliferation of "cool" but useless and vulnerable features, and (as has ever been, from blinking text and iframes onwards) their misuse.

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Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

Credas
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Re: No they don't have the right to DRM

And when they introduce the DRM after you bought it?

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Credas
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Re: The single biggest problem with turbulence

Entirely agree. There are still unavoidable hazards even when you are strapped in, though - I did get to wear a large G&T on a flight from London to Copenhagen when the aircraft encountered unexpected turbulence, which was not a good look or smell shortly afterwards when standing in front of the passport checking booth. But pity the poor cabin attendant who spent 30 minutes clutching the bouncing drinks trolley while wedging it between the aisle seats.

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Credas
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Re: Explainer?

When the article includes gems like "the level of turbulence required to bend a wing spar is something even most pilots will not experience in a lifetime of travelling", and then even goes on to explain that wings are meant to flex, then you know that you're down at the level of an Open Day tour guide or a Sky News reporter, not a technical summary.

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Unicorn adopts rainbow as logo

Credas
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Re: Well to be honest, it was dealing with photographs

Must logos avoid colour gradients because they're a bastard to reproduce consistently across different media (particularly screen and print) and at a wide range of sizes.

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Walmart sues Visa for being too lax with protecting chip cards

Credas
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Re: A holdout explains

What am I missing?

That, as has been demonstrated many times in the past in many countries around the world including the US, you could probably sign as M.Mouse with a crayon gripped between your toes and a picture of your arse on your ID, and the average cashier would accept it without a second glance.

What I seem to be missing is why something like C&P that works so well elsewhere in the world, and has done for years now, causes such controversy solely within the USA.

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Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

Credas
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Nah

Meanwhile, to El Reg's, reckoning, the best smart thermostat on the market comes from neither company.

To my reckoning, the best smart thermostat on the market is the one on my wall right now: it has a single, non-revolutionary, simple dial that just allows you to set the temperature. It's cheap, does the job as well as Nest or any other, doesn't require a smartphone, and is vulnerability free. Unless someone breaks in and rotates the dial by hand. YMMV.

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Ransomware grifters offer to donate proceeds of crime to charity

Credas
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Why prevaricate?

No need for the careful "highly unlikely..", "improbable" and other lawyer-friendly phrases - the scamming, thieving, low-life, bastards are hardly likely to identify themselves for the sake of a defamation action, are they?

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Windows 10 free upgrade offer ends on July 29th

Credas
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Re: I don't mind Windows 10, but what's next?

I'll admit I haven't bothered to read up on the things people are getting worked up about here but there is nothing I've seen than interferes with my daily use of my PC.

Congratulations, you're just the kind of product customer Microsoft has in mind for the brave new world of Windows.

The real question for me is what's next?

Well, assuming that Microsoft still intends making money from Windows, it'll be by subscription, or by monetising all that data slurping that you couldn't be bothered to read up about. Or both.

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Credas
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No more nagware?

Does that mean that after July 29 Windows 7/8 users will be left in peace?

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Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

Credas
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No surprise

If any citizen had read the waffly bullshit on their website they'd still be none the wiser as to what the point is or what real benefit it will be to them, so it's not exactly surprising that they're completely uninterested in it. It just sounds like yet more Shoreditch Shite to me.

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ZX Printer's American cousin still in use, 34 years after purchase

Credas
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Good tip

But is there anywhere in the world outside the USA where faxes are still so common that you can actually find the paper?

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We will end misleading broadband adverts, thunders ASA...

Credas
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Or... educate people as to what 'up to' means.

So if you applied for a job at BP (for example) you'd be happy for your employment contract to say "salary package up to £14m", and wouldn't think you'd been royally shafted when your first payslip was only for £1,500? "Ah, but we only said "up to", and we do really have one employee who's paid that. The CEO, since you ask." Broadband providers should have to state a minimum guaranteed speed, and a headline speed no greater than the maximum that 90%, say, of their customers receive.

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Old, complex code could cause another UK banking TITSUP – study

Credas
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Deja vu

I could have sworn I read about some remarkably similar "research" by the Institute for Studies several weeks ago - oh look, I did.

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US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing

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Re: did Microsoft kill it's cash cow?

@Carling: Go on then, educate me - how do you persistently set a mount point for a NAS share, such that it'll be visible not just in the File Manager but also in file selection dialogues, in Ubuntu and using only the GUI? I'm genuinely interested, because I've never found a way of doing it, although admittedly I've resorted to the text editor before spending a massive amount of time looking.

In a way the "you should try xxx distro" comments reinforce my point - some distros have made that particular task easy, but they tend to do it in their own way and they'll have newbie usability shortcomings in other areas. I honestly don't believe there's any one distro that delivers the ease of use for the average consumer that Windows does, unfortunately.

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Credas
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Re: did Microsoft kill it's cash cow?

This could be the beginning of the rise of Linux on a bigger scale...if it can be consumer friendly to deploy and mamage.

I use Ubuntu almost full time now, but I have to say there's still a fair bit of work to do on that and other distros before they could really be described as consumer friendly. The consumer expects to do everything through a GUI, and their are still plenty of examples in the mainstream distros where you have to resort to terminal and text editor to achieve something quite simple - e.g. the equivalent of persistently assigning a drive letter to a NAS share, which in Windows takes about 30s, in Ubuntu would involve plenty of Googling, firing up the good old terminal, editing fstab, ...).

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Google Play infested with cash-stealing web apps

Credas
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Marvellous advice

He recommends users only download banking apps from official sources.

What, like the Google Play Store - the same place where these dodgy apps are apparently being downloaded from? How long did it take to come up with that useless piece of advice?

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Mozilla slings Firefox patches at flaw found by GCHQ's infosec arm

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I would just assume that they've found another flaw, so can afford to burn this one (for the protection of Firefox users from the bad guys), while retaining the ability to crack Firefox for the benefit of... uh, the good guys? It was all going so well until I got to the end.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

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How brainwashed by Microsoft do you have to become to believe that marketing-applied labels (and prices) like "Professional" and "Home" should affect whether you're bombarded by self-reinstalling nagware? Professional and Home should just be applied to reflect feature sets, not justify nagging or spyware.

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Move over Amazon Alexa – Samsung's hot assistant bot Otto's trying to build an empire

Credas
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Re: Is this article...

ISTM that the problem is that devices like this are only offering an expensive alternative to existing simple electrical switches and dials - they don't actually do anything themselves of any real value. Now if Otto could successfully deal with commands like "Otto, empty the dishwasher", "Otto, clean the bathroom", or "Otto, bring me a cold beer" then I'd be willing to consider it.

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Amazon attempts rule fudge to take exclusive control of new dot-words

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The point you're missing is that ICANN has (sensibly) decreed that generic TLDs can't be reserved for the exclusive use of the owner. So for example, you can do what you like with .walmart if you own that, but you're meant to allow essentially anyone to register a domain under .shop. Amazon's cunning plan would allow them to approve or deny any registrations under .moi, which would effectively give them the ability to reserve that generic TLD for their own use if they so chose.

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Romania suffers Eurovision premature ejection

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Re: Euraustralia??

You might ask the same about Israel, which has been taking part for some years now. Alas, the song contest organisers have stated that they have global ambitions, and Australia is just the first easy step in expansion. At some point they'll presumably establish the obligatory massive headquarters and unaccountable Executive in Switzerland to run the World Song Contest and distribute the lucrative advertising, sponsorship and rights revenues...

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Carders cash out hundreds of millions before USA adopts EMV

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Something for the C&P naysayers to contemplate

If the crims, who after all have their own money in the game, think that Chip & PIN will reduce the value of their stolen card details, then despite it's imperfections perhaps it has been worth implementing all along - as the rest of the world concluded long ago.

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Indian Capital Delhi bans Uber's surge pricing

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Re: Supply and demand

Surge pricing is a way of both allocating a scarce resource (hire cars when there's excess demand), and providing an incentive to off-duty drivers to go on-duty and increase supply to meet that demand. By all means ban it if that's what your democratically-elected government thinks is right for their people, but do so in the knowledge of the consequences - inability to get a car when you need it, and fewer cars available for hire.

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Qualcomm channels Star Trek's Scotty as it faces a mobe chip wreck

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The evils of non-GAAP figures

There's a reason they're called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and unless there's a special reason to use something else, that's what investors should be looking at. Non-GAAP figures, and the horrors of EBITDA in excluding trivial items such as interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, are for start-ups and unicorns - not established businesses like Qualcomm.

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Chrome lives in dog years: It's seven years old but just turned 50

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Application tabs still there

They've been hidden away somewhat, but what I think you're referring to is still there. Menu->More tools->Add to desktop..., check Open as window, and there you have it - a clickable shortcut that opens in a window without any chrome.

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Sneaky Google KOs 'right to be forgotten' from search results

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Perhaps it's the acronym

If you use the acronym RTBF then you don't get that many results, but use "right to be forgotten", with or without the data processing business bit, and you get thousands. Perhaps Google's search algorithms don't give much weight to fairly obscure acronyms? I think you're letting your attitude to Google lead you to paranoid conclusions.

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Catastrophic 123-reg VPS cockup deletes Ross County FC website

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Re: Once again, a clear demonstration that a belief

Come on, a bank is a bit of a different proposition than a small football club. Outsourcing their website's server makes a great deal of sense - a reliable host will probably do a damn sight better job of maintaining it than the kind of internal IT bod they could afford. For them, IT is a cost, just like the electricity for their floodlights and pie van, the water for their loos, and other vital utilities!

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