* Posts by Credas

433 posts • joined 23 Jan 2013

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Amazon fires rocket up FAA for dithering on drone approval

Credas
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Re: Welcome to the real world...

Agreed. One the one hand we have professionals who preside over a highly successful regulatory regime in terms of aviation safety. On the other we have a retailer throwing its toys out of the pram and pressuring politicians to override their assessment process. I know which side I'd want to come out on top here.

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Another GDS cockup: Rural Payments Agency cans £154m IT system

Credas
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Re: yes minister

Damned prescient as well, since the RPA was only established in 2001.

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Blighty's 12-sided quid to feature schoolboy's posterior

Credas
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Still don't know why it's 12-sided

Other than that nostalgic retro "because the thruppeny bit was 12-sided" argument, anyway. Particularly when it's a bimetallic design, I'd have thought the last thing the vending machine manufacturers would want is a coin bouncing up and down, rather than a constant-diameter one rolling smoothly past their sensors.

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Credas
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Re: And how long will the "old" coins be valid?

Six months. Same as when they've introduced new coins recently like the revised 10p.

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Is the DNS' security protocol a waste of everyone's time and money?

Credas
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Re: Corrections

You click on the "Tips and corrections" mailto link, type your text in the message body, and hit send. Is that so difficult?

PS: browsers have spellcheck add-ons nowadays to help if you find words like "rigmarole" challenging.

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Fujitsu SPARCs up liquid cooling for smartphones

Credas
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Please, no...

The last thing we need is to make it even easier for smartphones to consume battery power. In fact it might be better if they could fabricate a very thin and efficient insulator that would force the designers to reduce power consumption.

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Princeton boffins sniff Tor users' IDs from TCP ACKs and server sweat

Credas
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Re: Mitigation Methods

"Stutter" doesn't help much, simple techniques like analysing moving averages of packet flows could still be used to correlate the traffic flowing in and out of the network. The kind of latency that would need to be introduced to counter this would render Tor pretty well unusable for browsing.

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Credas
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"Boffins confirm what Tor has said all along"

Not as exciting a headline maybe, but really this is just a specific set of examples of a traffic analysis attack that Tor doesn't claim to defend against - that where the attacker has access to traffic at both ends of the connection. Tor is quite upfront about this on their website, blog etc.

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Siri, you're fired: Microsoft Cortana's elbows into iOS, Android

Credas
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Windows fans need a reality check

Siri and Google Now are both good enough, nobody's going to jump ship to Windows Phone just to get Cortana even if it is arguably better. This is a sensible move by MS.

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Bulgaria nixes 'metadata' law, Paraguay delays

Credas
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Re: Quite amusing

From a UK perspective, I hardly regard "Parliament is sovereign" as bullshit, and abrogating a treaty if Parliament no longer wishes to be bound by it seems to be be the right (and democratic) thing to do. I can certainly understand why you're upset about the current mischief in Congress, but your analysis doesn't map well onto the UK constitutional system.

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Android SDK nonce flaw lets hackers fiddle with your Dropbox privates

Credas
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Re: Dont use third parties

Perhaps he's one of those who don't have a clue who he was disparaging. About the English language, in his case.

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Hurry up and just SLAP GOOGLE, MEPs fume at EU commish

Credas
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Re: What?

@dogged: You're missing the point. If you go the Norway/Iceland route, inside the EEA but outside the EU, then you get lumbered with all the tedious EU trade harmonisation regulations, but with zero say in them. It's not the independent panacea you seem to think it is!

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Ouch! Google crocks capacitors and deviates DRAM to root Linux

Credas
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Re: “On the software from” ?

Click on some ads and we'll hire more proofreaders :-P

Ooh, very brave! IME saying (our even hinting at) that is just about the only thing that upsets Google enough for them to send you nasty emails threatening to cut off your ads. :-)

Of course given El Reg's principled antipathetic editorial attitude to Google they may well use alternative ad networks that are less sensitive about click fraud...

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UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Credas
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Re: Europe's first spaceport,

The fact they're considering Newquay makes it clear enough that this "spaceport" is no such thing, but rather just a convenient base for rich boys to take their suborbital joyrides from. The only conceivable launch direction is to the west to avoid populated areas, which, combined with being more than 50° north, would from energy considerations alone make it one the worst locations anywhere for launching anything into space.

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Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

Credas
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Enjoy. Or be appalled at the crass insensitivity and objectification. Whatever. You have to sit through almost the entire ad before you see the gorgeously slim phone, but it's worth it.

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Cert-slurping security firms chop super-fishy features

Credas
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Re: As the late, great Bill Hicks said...

Yeah, because the worst thing here was seeing a few ads, wasn't it? So let's not worry about the developers building shitty borked silent HTTPS proxies into their software and compromising your privacy and security, have a good rant at the marketing and advertising people instead.

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TrueCrypt + Norton AV = BSOD, wail disgruntled users

Credas
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Looks like Norton will slow your PC down even more than usual

“The BSOD is for the disk driver for the encrypted disc as soon as it tries to access it,” Sam explained.

If you're using full-disk encryption then before you can even contemplate downgrading to Norton 2014 (or more sensibly, uninstalling it all-together) it seems you're going to have to spend many hours decrypting the entire disk. Solves the problem of what to do this weekend, I suppose.

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Android malware hijacks power button, empties wallet while you sleep

Credas
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Surprise?

So an app that's granted root permissions can cause havoc. Is this news?

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Samsung buys LoopPay ... to be better at bonking than Apple

Credas
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Another mag stripe dead-end?

From the description, this is just a means of enabling a smartphone case to emulate the magnetic stripe on a credit card, not a direct equivalent of NFC/PayWave/etc. If so, WTF use is it going to be outside of the backwater POS infrastructure used in the USA? And even there they're gradually being dragged towards Chip & PIN.

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Google MENACED by Russian probe over 'abuse of dominance' gripe

Credas
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Android != Open Source

Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is open source. If you want to additionally include the proprietary Google extensions like Play Store then yes, Google insists you take a bundle of them. It's the manufacturer's choice; they tend to go that route because they get an OS for free and it's easier than providing their own store and apps.

Griping because your market share's down to only 60% seems a bit rich.

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STINKY nerds: Sick of horrifying chums with your terrible BO? Nosey Google wants to help

Credas
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A joke, surely?

A couple of possibilities come to mind:

1. Google engineers have an unofficial competition to see who can get the daftest idea through the IP department as far as a patent;

2. It's an ironic statement by Google on how much the US patent system stinks.

If it's not a joke then somebody really has lost their marbles!

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Proposed US law could deal knockout blow to FBI in overseas cloud privacy ding-dongs

Credas
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Re: OK, what am I missing here???

There is this slightly odd quote to reassure you that they may still not have fully grasped the point:

"Law enforcement agencies wishing to access Americans' data in the cloud ought to get a warrant and just like warrants for physical evidence, warrants for content under ECPA shouldn’t authorize seizure of communications that are located in a foreign country," said Coons."

I think they'll find that the concern beyond the shores of the US of A is more about American courts ordering American companies to grab non-Americans' data. And while they probably don't care too much what foreigners think, their tech company campaign donors do, when it threatens their bottom line.

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BBC bins pricey Windows Media, Audio Factory goes live

Credas
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Re: Would be nice if they told you where to find the alternatives

Have a look at:

http://www.listenlive.eu/uk.html

That's all very well, but like the ones on radiofeeds.co.uk they just have the "legacy device" 128kbps MP3 URIs.

According to their blog the BBC is only providing the AAC stream URIs to device manufacturers, and is deliberately withholding them from the public as a matter of policy, so that they can tell which devices people are using! What a ridiculous decision.

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Credas
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Would be nice if they told you where to find the alternatives

They have plenty of iPlayer Help pages "helpfully" telling you that the Windows Media streams are being discontinued, but nowhere can I see anything as helpful as a link to where the new AAC streams are. Presumably I'm not meant to want to use VLC or similar, just their lovely browser pop-up player?

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'If someone in Australia says lick my toad, it's not a euphemism'

Credas
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Re: Marmite?

Marmite is nothing to do with either nuts or chocolate.

Someone always had to go and spoil it. There was I looking forward to seeing the reaction of our American cousins when sampling a nice big teaspoon of "chocolatey" Marmite, and somebody had to go and tip them off. Mind you, it resembles chocolate about as much as Hershey's does, so perhaps they'd have been happy with it.

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Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES

Credas
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Re: So wait

The article says this sentence is part of the concluding statement, not a probable cause.

If you've read the NTSB's report and this is a misrepresentation, it might be worth contacting the author of the article to sort things out.

Or I could just read what the NTSB has published, rather than an article summarising it.

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Credas
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Re: So wait

I understand "pretty likely" but the report said in no uncertain terms that he WAS distracted by his cell phone. Nothing "pretty likely" about it.

The report doesn't say he was distracted. It cites "Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction due to his cell phone use while maneuvering at low-altitude." as a probable cause.

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Credas
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Re: So wait

So there's no evidence that the pilot or any of the passengers were using cell phones but this is their conclusion? Bold.

No, but if you read the report they did have recordings from the GoPro camera of several flights immediately preceding this one, and in each of them the pilot was recorded taking selfies and/or pissing about with his phone's keyboard, during taxi and when manoeuvring at low altitude. It isn't that big a stretch to conclude that if he did it on four occasions when there was a recording, then it's pretty likely that he was doing it on the next (and final) flight - particularly as the cause of the accident was put down to loss of spatial awareness.

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Hey biz – cut fraud with digital ID verification. Yes, like Verify – Maude

Credas
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Do I WANT my ID verified?

Obviously sometimes I do: tax return, passport application, bank account.

However, mostly I don't: retailers, Twitter, forums, etc.

The last thing I want is for verified ID to become the norm for all those transactions where it's basically none of their f***ing business who I am.

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

Credas
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Re: More neutral language please

Where does Aldi and Lidl's ability to discount further than the big guys come from? Some of it is obviously store location, store fittings, and minimal headcount, but where does the rest come from?

Limited range: to take an example, they sell two types of tinned tomatoes, in one size of each. As opposed to big/small/multipack, with/without basil/oregano, in basic/standard/premium ranges, alongside a dozen branded equivalents. And they sell the same tomatoes at all their stores across Europe. So the volume they buy of either of their two options is massively greater than Tesco achieve with any one of their several dozen options.

Small stores: if you only stock 2,000 items, you need a fraction of the floor size of a supermarket that stocks 20,000.

No frills: simple store layouts and fittings, shelf-ready product packaging, small number of hard-working staff rather than hordes of kids chatting with their mates.

Limited time specialities: they don't stock lobster all year, just maybe twice for a week or so. Then they move onto pheasant (say). So they make large buys of speciality products infrequently, rather than clog up their shelves with slow-moving ranges all year.

These guys aren't stupid - they've got a very carefully thought-through business model, and any conventional supermarket trying to compete with them just on price is going to suffer.

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Google gets my data, I get search and email and that. Help help, I'm being REPRESSED!

Credas
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Re: An alternative approach.

There is a market for such services, use the brains God gave you and look for alternatives. In my case those that do not syphon off your data, do not treat you as a commodity and tie you in in any way.

Unlike the author I do value my personal data and put a value on it higher than that offered by the likes of Google or Facebook.

You seem to be making his argument for him. In your case the benefit on offer isn't worth the cost, so you don't do the deal; in his case it is, so he does. You're willing instead to trade hard cash for those services, which is fine for you, but many other people obviously* value things differently.

*Assuming they understand the scope of what they're trading, which admittedly they may well not.

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Three to pleasure bumpkins with 800MHz

Credas
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Re: The FT this week called the O2/Three merger a solution looking for a problem"

Seems like a very fair analysis to me.

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Google forced to – wah! – OBEY the LAW with privacy policy tweaks

Credas
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Re: I still think...

I agree. People who think Google is an evil data-slurping devil won't change their minds just because they know in more detail what Google are doing with their data. And people who couldn't be arsed to read all those disparate privacy policies in the past (and let's face it, how many of us do?) might, just might, have been inclined to read a single summarised version.

However in all probability those who like Google's services will continue to just click right through the "I agree" page without reading it, however much the ICO might think it's been improved. As has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past, real people don't read this stuff

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Wham, bam... premium rate scam: Grindr users hit with fun-killing charges

Credas
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Re: Are we talking about a parallel universe I'd like to live in?

Not all the world's like your little universe, Dan.

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A docket, tweet and selfie can reveal your identity, boffins find

Credas
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Re: Stop the "big data scare" sensationalism.

It's also a bit of a stretch to describe some of this data as "metadata"; location and time attached to a photo may be, but credit card and purchase details on a receipt, or taxi ride details? That's real data describing the transaction. The problem here seems to be that some data controllers think that anonymisation just means removing names, and as a result are releasing datasets that are too easy to correlate.

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FCC will vote to cut off 41 million broadband users this Thursday*

Credas
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BT et al not so bad after all?

Every time I read one of these articles detailing how the US telcos are shafting their customers, I get this really weird feeling that the ISPs aren't so bad in Blighty after all. I think I'll have to give Sky's customer call centre a ring to reassure myself that our ISPs can be pretty crap as well...

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Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling

Credas
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It's pretty obvious - your smartphone has 3/4G built in, your laptop doesn't. You want to work on the laptop rather than tap out emails etc on a small smartphone screen, so you set the smartphone up as a WiFi hotspot and connect the laptop to that. Simples.

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GoDaddy in doghouse over puppy-flogging Super Bowl ad

Credas
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"We hope it makes you laugh"

No chance of that. The humourless right-on petitioning hordes will be there to take offence at whatever you do.

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

Credas
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Re: Does it turn

I guess that, like me, he didn't get the memo about "coloured" now being a grossly offensive term outside the US, and made a slip using that word while within it. Apparently it isn't the meaning of the language you use that matters any more, just how compliant you are with the Universal PC English Dictionary.

Somebody should also tell the NAACP about this, lest they inadvertently offend themselves.

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Jellybean upgrade too hard for Choc Factory, but not for YOU

Credas
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Re: Not using Chrome as the Android default browser...

So when core stuff like Webview was AOSP , updated by Google, but manufacturers didn't bother releasing patches - that was Google's fault for not being able to push updates.

When Google remove core stuff (equivalent to Webview) from AOSP so that they can push updates whether the manufacturer likes it or not, that's Google's fault for taking control of the platform.

The quantum of rational thinking in some of these comments when it comes to Google seems to be very, very small indeed.

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Credas
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Re: So let me get this right...

So that's ok then is it? We don't think many will push out the update, so we won't bother.

It's reality. If a manufacturer hasn't released a KitKat update, why do you imagine they will release a Jellybean patch, for an old (to them) phone? They won't.

This may be a shit attitude, but until the manufacturers behave as if they're selling small computers with a complex OS that needs regular patching, and not dumb phones with locked-down firmware, then this fiasco will continue. It's also the reason why Google has been pushing more and more core functionality into Play Services, which it can update independently of the manufacturers - something it's also been criticised for, incidentally, as being evil in "taking control of Android". Hey, ho.

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Credas
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Re: So let me get this right...

How many phones running Jellybean do you suppose would be updated by their manufacturers, if Google did release a patch? These would be the same manufacturers who couldn't be bothered to release an OTA update to KitKat for those phones. Don't worry, you won't need to take your shoes off to count them.

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ICANN CEO criticizes domain 'hoggers'

Credas
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Jelousy from shakedown artists?

How do these euphemistically-named "domain investors" manage to convince themselves that they constitute "the community [ICANN] is supposed to be serving"? Buying hundreds of domain names cheaply in the hope of making a fat profit charging a fortune to the handful of poor saps who actually need and want to use a few of them is hardly a business model to make their kids proud of Mum or Dad, IMO.

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

Credas
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Still don't believe the Uber valuation

I still don't see how, for all its convenience, Uber is going to treble the amount of their hard-earned money that the inhabitants of San Francisco choose to spend on riding about in other peoples' cars. I can only assume that the idea is that if it's cheap and convenient enough then people will give up their own cars and rely on Uber instead, but I don't think that's realistic. Fortunately it won't be my money that Uber's investors lose if/when this turns out to be just a slightly more convenient boring taxi operator..

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Credas
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Re: Uber limits

Uber apparently doesn't like its drivers to tell insurance companies what they're using their cars for. That's not good.

Well if you look at their website for the UK, drivers explicitly have to have hire & reward insurance, and a Private Hire Licence too, for that matter. There's a lot of mixing up of the Uber X amateur "lift-sharing" set-up that attempts to dodge taxi/mini-cab regulations and provokes understandable fury, and the entirely legitimate fully licensed/insured private hire model they're using in the UK that just annoys hackney cab operators. And that's no bad thing, IMO.

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Credas
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Re: WTF.....

You tell me what "supported lifetime of the device" means and I'll stop ignoring the "at no cost" bit. Undefined words like that don't get added to statements by accident.

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Credas
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Re: Stop and think a bit, please...

The problem is that tricky phrase, "for the supported lifetime of the device". He could easily have said "for the lifetime of the device" if that's what he'd meant, but chose not to - and statements like that aren't made on the hoof, they're carefully prepared in advance. In the absence of any clarification there has to be a suspicion that at some point (when Windows 11 is launched, perhaps) the old hardware will be deemed inadequate to run the equivalent of a Windows 10 Service Pack, and that will be the end of upgrades for the "free" Windows 10.

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Tat bazaar eBay confirms: THOUSANDS of workers will be AXED

Credas
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Re: They have a licence to print money

Also I'm not sure how "revenues up nine per cent to $4.9bn, and net income rising ten per cent to $936m." amounts to a loss.

The $936m was for the last quarter, the loss was for the full year.

It is mystifying, though, how with an effective monopoly in their "auction" business, high charges in all their business sectors, and a business model that shoves virtually all the risk onto the punters, they still contrive to make a loss.

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Facebook worth more than Portugal? Hell, it's worth a LOT more than THAT

Credas
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How much would they pay?

I'm not sure why the question of how much Facebook users would pay to use it gets such short thrift - compared with the rest of the hand-waving measures, that seems like a pretty good one. Presumably hardly anyone in the US is going to pay $7.25 an hour, but they might pay $1 a day? $100 a year? Still makes quite a large total, however valueless Facebook might seem to me.

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Prosecutors have 'EVISCERATED' my defense, cries Silk Road lawyer

Credas
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Re: Imagine that...

They are supposed to take everything (real or unreal) that's presented as fact.

It's quite the opposite; a key role of the jury is to determine what is fact from the evidence that's presented.

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