* Posts by Marcus Fil

73 posts • joined 4 Jul 2007

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US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

Marcus Fil

Seriously...2

YTF do you think those of nominal import have SMEPEDs ("Barrackberries")? This is news how? I am saying nothing ...literally.

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Apple assumes you'll toss the Watch after three years

Marcus Fil
Joke

The Ghost of Tommy Cooper

El Reg:

"But why measure only the environmental impact of one user?"

Answer:

" I've just bought a watch, its guaranteed for life. When the mainspring fails battery explodes, it slashes your wrist!!"

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Kepler space emergency

Marcus Fil
Alien

Shutter Control?

Obviously not ours ;-)

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Former US anti-terror chief tears into FBI over iPhone unlocking case

Marcus Fil
Black Helicopters

@Ken Mitchell

Whilst your first paragraph is probably correct, unless the FBI has a sudden attack of reason (has not happened yet!) sadly the second is not. For the same reason the UK has "not in the public interest" to cover up the admission that governement sanctioned agencies are indeed frequently home to Mr. F*ck Up.

The state can and does overreach itself - normally not through dint of sinister Machiavellian plotting, but more often that somebody had a 'good idea' about how to make their job easier without checking with the grown ups first. Once a senior minister, or agency chief, has voiced this arrant nonsence in public then it becomes very difficult to back down without the need to polish up their CV in the process.

For some reason best known to God or evolution (delete as appropriate) the mind set of these people sees no irony whatsoever in demanding exactly the reverse behaviour in captains of industry (with the notable exception of banking?). 'They' will tell you it is all to do with preserving faith in the institutions that form the very fabric of society - you might like to think you had a choice in whether you believe them or not; 'they' obviously know better.

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DARPA to geeks: Weaponize your toasters … for America!

Marcus Fil

And over at MI6

Now pay attention 007 there have been some changes since your enforced stay at the STD clinic. Double oh agents are no longer being sent into the field since this costs the British taxpayer too much in air tickets, casino chips and written off Aston Martins. We are now using the IOT for assassinations. Since you retain your licence to kill it will be your job to click on 'okay' the moment Agent Vrokoff steps into her power shower. There is a spare terminal in the filing cupboard.

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Amazon kills fondleslab file encryption with latest Fire OS update

Marcus Fil
Go

Silent Salute

Amazon tips its hat at Apple's hard stance at FBI intrusion acknowledging its own testes are not quite so impressive - Apple's reward is an increase in tablet sales. Is Amazon's fire going out?

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UK to stop children looking at online porn. How?

Marcus Fil

Re: This will be widely ignored ....

In the days before "Europe" stepped in and ensured the great unwashed of Britain (or v.v.) could gawp at pr0n like our mainland brethren UK producers frequently worked under aliases. So if the fwits "in charge" make this law we are merely heralding a return to the "bad" old days. However, given my first sentence maybe this is really a cunning (sic) plan by Davvie Darko to get us all to vote to stay in the E.U. If we do, then any future law requiring ownership of a credit card to access on-line porn could surely be shot down by the European Court of Human Rights. With the usual additional cost to the UK tax payer and the total failure to recoup those costs from the personal fortunes of said fwits, and their "advisers" to being such efin fwits in the first place.

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Reminder: iPhones commit suicide if you repair them on the cheap

Marcus Fil

Halfway

What Apple is doing is rooted in a sensible position of wanting to maintain device, and hence the user's, security. It is part of what you are paying for after all. If you can bypass the finger print reader you might gain unauthorised access. Trouble is that a) random, but not catastrophic, damage can have the same symptoms as an unauthorised repair b) some parts of the world are a long way from an Apple authorised repair. Apple stores (apparently) say the error is irreparable - so buy a new phone and restore from back-up. For the hard of thinking, or a resource starved remote traveller, it is that last word that may be the true crux of the problem. If you have not backed up since leaving for your three month back-packing tour of the far east and then you drop your phone - oops! So Apple, meet the legit user halfway - on discovering an error lock the phone with a one-time key generated from what only you can know. For a fee, and presentation of appropriate purchase history, Apple account details etc. - let the real users get their data back. For those who were genuiely trying to bypass the sensor, or bought their idevice in the back of back-alley pub - cough and die.

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Marcus Fil

Re: Stupid does as stupid does

Yep, a friend accepted MS's kind invitation to migrate from Windows 8 to Windows 10. No, she did not back-up - she had no idea why that might be necessary; she is not a computer person. Welcome to the "Windows 10 password wrong after update" problem and a month without a PC with no idea how to fix it or who to turn to. If you are lucky you can trigger a roll-back - she wasn't - that needed the non-existent password too (why??). Took me about 8 hours, and several blind alleys, to get in, get Windows 10 to complete upgrade ..and then make a backup. Required decrypting the ESD on my Mac's Win 10 (virtual) installation so I could then build an ISO and create an install/repair disk (glad I still have at superdrive MBP). Then working out how to fiddle the BIOS so I could boot her machine from said disk (ever heard of a 'novo' key?). Then a bit a low-level hacking of the system to creat a new Admin account. Oh, and accessing her barely used Microsoft on-line account to set a password under my control and then associating that with her locked local admin account. Easy - any bloody fool could do it. Dear Microsoft if my friend was not a friend that would be a £700 bill; although next time it will only be £200 because I have been up the learning curve and I have the install disk. FFS force a back-up on people before starting the upgrade process - because your programmers are not half as effin clever as they think they are.

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Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'

Marcus Fil

Re: the only error is that I bought one of these

Oh, but think of the bonfire it will make on your local VW dealership's lot. And all that lovely acrid black smoke it will give up - how many cars worth of emission cheating? How many bonfires before Washington tells VW to pay appropriate compensation or forget doing business in the US? Really guys - you should take a leaf out the French farmers' book - they know how to mount a good protest.

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Cyber-terror: How real is the threat? Squirrels are more of a danger

Marcus Fil

Re: It's all about the blinky lights

Wrong. I used to live in the W Midlands - local mice poo-ed curry pellets; I guess they adapt to what is easily available.

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Coffee fixes the damage booze did to your liver, study finds

Marcus Fil

Re: Don't just blame the alcohol

'The resultant block to be deep fried to form a solid ingot of saturated fat batter, sold under the brand of "Ledswinger's Drinker's Friend".'

Though I hesitate to mention it anyone familiar with some of the more obscure items on the menu in Eastern Germany/Polish border might suggest they have beaten you to it. At least we now know why - because obviously I was not drinking enough at the time of sampling to appreciate the beneficial effects.

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IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

Marcus Fil

According to my accountants

in my company's annual return "98% of business was with foreign clients". So this year lets go for 100%. I don't really know how this proposed change of rules helps the UK - most of my business is in R&D - obviously not happening around here. And the reported downloads of my past papers - well 5 out of 6 are in China. Dear UK government if you want to pick on an industry that has seriously fucked the country over try banking and not kill off one the last industries that UK is halfway good at.

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CPS fined £200k over theft of laptops holding 'sensitive interviews'

Marcus Fil

A government organisation

being trusted with important, sensitive data - what was the Home Secretary thinking of? FFS how many more examples do we need of why the civil service, including the intelligence agencies, cannot be trusted to keep private data private?

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Ransomware scammers: Won’t pay? We'll put your data on the internet

Marcus Fil
Joke

Dear Scammers

In your tenacity you have just uploaded a trojan from my machine - please empty your Bitcoin account into mine before I expose your dirty washing, and location, on the web.

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Licence to snoop: Ipso facto, crypto embargo? Draft Investigatory Powers bill lands

Marcus Fil

Humm is right

..who wants to do business in a country that routinely reads your post? If this is the slippery slope best the Torys have a think before the world's trade goes elsewhere. A previous comment pointed out what is currently proposed has been done already - at government expense. But the 'experts' at GCHQ do not have their septic cousins budgets to keep pace with an ever expanding problem set. So pass legislation to put the burden onto the commercial sector and call them terrorist sympathisers or closet paedos if they do not comply; is it '1984' or Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' where we are billed our own interrogation? From the spooks' (narrow) perspective it might make their job a little easier in catching the 'Four Lions'-type "bullets" who use the lit net. However, it also opens up a system to woeful abuse down the line - if the government added a clause of £10M per persion automatic compensation for misuse of data I would start to think they understood the gravity of the situation - they don't. Any future abuse will be burried under the Official Secrets Act - revelations deemed 'not in the public interest' - the official term for damning incompetance. Anybody halfway serious (for good or bad) will get round this until the next round of legislation ups the ante. Meanwhile money is wasted and the UK made to look more like North Korea by the day. Write to your MP, get hold of strong crypto while you still can and stock up on lemon juice and stamps.

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Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated

Marcus Fil

Re: Re: Remap FTW

You don't care about the adults then?

But seriously the OP has a point. Third party remapping is already a problem - or consumer choice depending on your level of self-interest.

IF the offending VW engines are recalled in the UK then those interested in performance over societal needs will be best advised to ignore the recall. However, both the government and, possibly, the insurance companies will take a dim view on that. If you have an affected car under six years old and you allow VW to 'fix' it then you have prima facie claim under 'Sale of Goods' act for compensation. As the OP points out you could even invest your VW 'compo' cheque in re-mapping technology (which with an appropriate 'kill switch' is very hard to pick up at an MOT test station).

I can see 'emergency legislation' being enacted on this one - sadly not to protect the consumer, but to shore up the car industry whilst paying a sop to the health benefits. If this happens then I would suggest VW/Audi usw. (sic) dealers polish up their CVs - you will left be trying to sell a poisoned product. How many other companies will join you in the list remains to be seen.

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Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Marcus Fil

Sure that his innovation could save the British home appliance industry Arthur was finally ready to try out his freshly patented, all electric "Tie straight check-omatic".

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El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

Marcus Fil

"Doc must be going a bit deaf - I said I wanted to view the forest in three years time"

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Marcus Fil

"And when you have finished all of 'Breaking Bad' there is 'Orange is the New Black' - you're going to need more coffee!"

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Marcus Fil

"Try it - its called Paradox Tea - its made with Polonium"

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Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Marcus Fil

Deutsche Industrie

Vorsprung durch Betrug?

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Marcus Fil

The things a girl has to do just to win a hard drive.

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Marcus Fil

Kate was sceptical about the site's advice, but, amazingly, the suggested position instantly cured her trapped wind.

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Marcus Fil

New to her job in 'live cam' porn Alice totally misunderstood her client's request.

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Apple quietly swaps out MacBook Retina displays to fix skin-peeling stains

Marcus Fil

Could do better

..but could do worse. I for one find it frustrating that Apple does not reach out to known customers when there is a problem identifed in specific equipment. I also dislike its habit of time limiting replacement programmes to typically three years. However, I will point out that in the UK Apple is all too aware of the 'Sale of Goods' act; this means if a) your Apple product fails within 6 years of purchase b) ..and is in a batch of products known and, crucially, acknowledged by Apple to have your specific problem Apple will very likely fix the problem for free. I speak from personal experience, and obvioulsy this is only going to benefit you if the problem is genuinely of Apple's making and not old age, abuse etc. It does not mean they are obliged to fix any other problems found at the same time as the repair either - at least not without charging you for those. Note that an Apple 'genius' told me that serial number batches are not gospel in identifying a necessary repair - there may be affected devices just outside either end of the published batch list and Apple normally take a pragmatic view on this.

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Nippy, palaver and cockwomble: Greatest words in English?

Marcus Fil

From Aunty Beeb

..or at least I first heard it on BBC premises:

Omniquench

describing the unidentifiable warm liquid dispensed from the hot drinks machines where selecting tea or coffee made little difference to what was served.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Marcus Fil

The virtual environment was perfect, but meanwhile reality had suffered auditory glitch in object inheritance.

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Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back

Marcus Fil

The Simpler Solution

Instead of berating a test mode mandate one - a mode the turns all the dials up to 11 to turn the set into a black body radiator on scale close to a Red dwarf. The equivalent of driving your car, windows down, heating up and every electrical accessorty, A/C etc. on full blast. stuck and left it in 2nd gear. Introduce huge fines, manadatory life sentences, genocide etc. for the manufacturer if anyone ever discovers a mode/feature combination worse than test mode. The challenge becomes who can actually make the best set that performs well in the worst case - because by definition it will always perform better in the real world.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Marcus Fil

He thanked his father for another accomplished feat of creation, but JC had not reckoned on having to wait another 2000 years for Windows 10.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Marcus Fil

The Skype complaints investigation team were relieved to discover that the "Hot Bra Action" was not what they feared.

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The ONE WEIRD TRICK which could END OBESITY

Marcus Fil

Re: I blame Hitler

Well bang goes that theory then - although I still blame Hitler.

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Marcus Fil

I blame Hitler

Okay how many Brits have been to the good ol' USA? Seen the portion sizes? It seems all, but the most snobbiest, establishments seem to equate quantity with value for money. Of course, with waiting staff living largely on tips, and lower transportation costs, US establishments can afford competitively larger portions. However, watch the average 'joe' eating; by average, I specifically mean not the spherical, trailer trash, morbidly obese specimens visible on Google Earth. Average Americans are content to leave half a starter, pick over a main, scrape the top off of a desert and, maybe, ask for a doggy bag. Why?

Perhaps food is just cheaper with respect to higher disposable income, but also when did the USA have food rationing? A generation of Brits were brought up to finish everything on their plate because there was a war on. They passed this sentiment to their children who in turn have maintained it until it has passed into social norm. The simplistic cure is smaller plates, smaller portions and, for restaurants, smaller bills. However, the real challenge is educating people to eat according to their needs and not simply consuming whatever is served up to them. To illustrate the ludicrousness of the current catering situation one Italian restaurant chain offers a 'lower calorie' alternative to several dishes at a higher price; so ordering the normal version and simply not eating all of it, and saving some money, could never be an option then?

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North Korea exploits 0-day in Seoul's favourite word processor

Marcus Fil

Please

Use that young 'un picture for the next Reg caption competition.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Marcus Fil
Coat

Sergei found a convenient log behind which he could leave a log of his own.

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Giant sea scorpion which prowled ancient oceans revealed

Marcus Fil

Hey 'Shiny', is that you?

(One for the Michael McCloskey fans)

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UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

Marcus Fil

China

Has a great firewall that is far from airtight despite millions of dollars spent with western companies helping them build it. What hope then for Fortress UK that cannot even afford the schematics? Cameron please go and bother somebody else about something else you can actually fix. T'internet is about the flow of information and whilst GCHQ can pull the odd stunt with mis-directions they are only for the uneducated masses. People who want to route round or through will, and introducing fruitless schemes of control will be nothing more than needless expenditure and unnecessary embuggerance. Furthermore, swelling the ranks, and skills, of the dark brigade is probably the last thing you want to do; even more concerning (or edifying?) is the number of game keepers who have turned poacher - rightfully paranoid at the unfettered zeal of some of those in power. Snowden is the just the tip of the iceberg (sic). Anyone who thinks this is just about Pr0n think again - as should Cameron. Impact assesment? Law of unintended consequences? Next he will be telling us that only governments can have stong encryption ..oh, wait.

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Windows 10: A SYSADMIN speaks his brains – and says MEH

Marcus Fil

Re: This says it all really

Data are Power.

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Biometric behavioural profiling: Fighting that password you simply can't change

Marcus Fil
Pint

The solution

literally, to being profiled - alcohol - varying quantities from none to a bottle (or two).

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WIN a RockBLOCK Mk2 Iridium sat comms unit

Marcus Fil

CLARKSON

Continued

LOHAN

Altitude

Research

for

Knowledge

of

Sub-

Orbital

Navigation

(someone who should have empathy with being cast out into the cold)

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

Marcus Fil

'ere, Emperor ..

you do know you're stark bollock naked don't you?

Well done Andrew, if only more of the press would call Apple on its incessant drive to insanity. Insanely great? No, just insane.

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Beam me up, Scotty, And VAPORIZE me in the process

Marcus Fil
FAIL

I give up

I was going to come up with several reasoned objections to the raison d'etre of this mechanism. However, the more I thought about it the more I realised it is complete and utter abject nonsense. It just does not solve any real work problem in a manner that could not be negated with a few minutes of clear thinking. Could the perpetrators please be redirected into doing something useful?

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Marcus Fil

Oh not again

Brave talk Cameron, but unless you want to award the United Kingdom junk bond status in the world of commerce you should really engage brain before opening mouth. Not everyone who uses encryption is a terrorist or a paedophile - in fact, most are absolutely not. No one trusts governments anymore, and for good reason. Making everyone sensible an outlaw means you will only have the halfwits and the dimwits left on your side - really, really not a good place to be. Work out a way to quietly retract your words - start now BEFORE you face the electorate.

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Boffins spy I in your little eye

Marcus Fil

Twin Peaks

preceded CSI by a fair few years. However, look at "Refelective Eyes" on tvtropes webpage - the whole concept is hardly new. More recently one online reviewer of the Nikon D800 was impressed to find a recongnisable reflection of himself in the eye of a bird he had photographed at a wildlife park. For the full "Blade Runner" track/enhance effect we are probably waiting on an 16 Gpixel Lytro to add the single lens 3D plus ridiculous resolution - so not long now then. Plus the workstation is more likely to be a MacBook Something rather than a box that looks like it came from Amstrad.

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Elon Musk hits the brakes on Tesla's e-SUV Model X production

Marcus Fil

e-SUV?

Whether it has an 'e-' in front, or not, SUV is a misnomer for the Model X. It is, I believe, better labelled a CUV - the 'C' standing for 'cross-over' (perhaps). Certainly the design is to the fluffy end of 'soft-roader'; the sort of vehicle that might, just, make it across a wet lawn rather than tackle anything resembling a ploughed field. Anyway, if it makes Elon and the tree huggers happy then so what - it still makes more sense than the civilian Hummers ever did.

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Apple blacklists tech journo following explicit BENDY iPhone vid

Marcus Fil

Pretty ...useless? Wake up Apple

Increased fragility is not progress. It a disease that started with the MacBook Air, spread to the MacBook Pro and has now infected the iPhone. Apple, do you know some people use their laptops and phones outside in the real world? Out in this real world things like battery life, anti-glare screens, water resistance and overall mechanical resilience matter. Steadfastly putting aesthetic appeal above practicality IS starting to cost you - no need to think the two cannot be combined, but you do need to think. Having "Genius Bar" staff recommend rigid shells might look like an up-sell, but it is also a tacit admission of failure. Have a word with yourself.

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Apple's warrant canary riddle: Cock-up, conspiracy, or anti-Google point-scoring

Marcus Fil
Black Helicopters

There, fixed it for them

"Apple has received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Apple challenged the order when it was served on it, but to no avail. When our collective balls are in a vice, what we are going to do? You never saw this message, if such a message exists Apple is indisposed to comment about it at the present time."

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Marcus Fil

Re: The article (and most of the comments here) are wrong!

So the poll, from a reptable company with mutliple data points, is wrong from the perspective of your single data point with a vested interest in not being laden with stock you cannot sell without massive discounting. Hmmm. If 'one' is buying a quality TV now and the price is not too different one might as well buy 4K as a means of future proofing. Just as not so long ago one might as well have bought 3D (still not much content outside of BluRay). However, at a screen size practical for many (most) homes one is buying pixels one cannot see (although in a chain of MTF processes one will still perceive some improvement) . As everyone is pointing out currently getting half decent 1080 broadcast content is problematic let alone 4K. By the time 4K content is abundant the 4K TV you buy now will be poor in comparison to then current models. Just as the LG "SMART" HDTV I bought 3 years ago is getting dumber by the second as its ability to support newer or reconfigured services diminishes (for Roku sells a cheap fix). Which basically sums up as right now there is no compelling reason to buy a 4K TV, but don't let me stop you; personnally I suggest saving your money and going to the pictures instead.

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Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

Marcus Fil

Re: Blame Idiots, not the Cloud

Everyone employs idiots - we all do idiotic things at inappropriate times. The problem with the Cloud model is the "force multiplying" effect it has on idiotic actions. One cock up, a million unwanted pregnancies. If I spill coffee on my laptop its me who is suffering a single local consequence - if Adobe mis-fiddle with their authentication database it is thousands around the world suddenly, instantly, being unproductive. Worse yet, Adobe are charging you, the lucky customer, on monthly basis to be put in 'that' position. Now I know Universal and Busch Gardens charge people to be placed in seeming peril and a good slug of adrenalin it is too. However, there is enough added adrenalin in running a business without the top-up of outsourcing to idiots beyond your immediate control. Me, I trust Adobe, or indeed any other Cloud based service, about as far as I can piss. When the T&Cs say we get a £1 a second for unavailability and get to watch the public execution of the hapless minion responsible I may reconsider.

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Big Yellow loses its head... again: Symantec, we need to talk

Marcus Fil
Meh

Re: PGP

Oh how true. Take a product the world used and admired and make it almost impossible to buy and expensive to own. I have this very week told Symantec's third party thugs that I will no longer be paying protection money (i.e. renewing service agreement). I have migrated to more reliable and affordable alternatives. This is what happens when companies have no plan other than to get bigger and bleed existing customers dry.Savvy people find new suppliers. JMVAO

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