* Posts by M7S

779 posts • joined 4 Jul 2007

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Mastercard facial recog-ware will unlock your money using SELFIES

M7S

If this starts to hold up payment queues as people struggle to get it to work

then I anticipate a whole new meaning to the word "photobomb"

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Facebook prepares to STRAFE the developing world with FRICKIN' internet LASERS

M7S

Are these the kind of lasers that cause problems for pilots when they hit the cockpit window?

as if so, several possibilities for "difficulties" come to mind

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

M7S

If the Greeks leave the Euro/EU/whatever

Will we be spared any more showing of that Muller Rice advert with the incredibly bad rhymes?

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EUROPEAN PURGE on hated mobile roaming charges

M7S

How may I count the ways....

that by the time this comes into force, as a UK resident holidaying in Greece, I shall be excluded from any benefit

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US police to throw big balls in criminals' faces

M7S
Coat

Rover's* little cousin

"Come in No. 6, your time is up".

The blazer with the contrasting trim, thank you

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rover_(The_Prisoner) for those not realising that they have been pushed, filed, stamped etc etc

Be seeing you.

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Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

M7S

"reportedly equipped with lasers"

Clearly, from the lack of reports of fiery death of the googlemobile and its occupant, they're not powerful enough.

31
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Apple pulls Civil War games in Confederate flag takedown

M7S

Meanwhile here in the UK, not so very long ago.....

..allegations of a similar nature are made over the various national flags

http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Taxi-driver-told-remove-St-George-s-flag-sticker/story-19955377-detail/story.html

http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Shirley-dad-branded-racist-Union-Jack-flag-shed/story-11369823-detail/story.html

strangely however those complaining about this seem rarely to complain about the Saltire or St. Piran's flag.

Even in the US some complain about the "Stars and Stripes" http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/americans-now-racist-for-waving-u-s-flag/

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Will a datacentre be driving your car in 12 years' time?

M7S
Coat

"real images of your environment up to 30 meters, then Streetview"

So, at least in the former instance, no use of Windows then?

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Beyond the Grave: US Navy pays peanuts for Windows XP support

M7S

Probably a token fee...

...based on the fact that the NSA (and I assume they're friendly with the USN) can give lots of free advice on how to secure WinXP, given that the NSA probably know all the vulnerabilities, although as I type this I realise that if true (regarding computer systems generally) this didn't work out so well for the OPM. Perhaps they don't get the same level of membership in the US Govt "club".

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Bank of England CIO: ‘Beware of the cloud, beware of vendors’

M7S

Re: welcome to the old way of thinking

Have a look on El Reg for "2e2" and then think if you'd really want your central bank (or any bank for that matter) hostage to such fortune.

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WikiLeaks offers $100k for copies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – big biz's secret govt pact

M7S

Re: It's not just the Pacific!

Alas the rot is already spreading:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/british-american-tobacco-to-sue-u-k-government-if-plain-packaging-law-approved-1424941060

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Forget black helicopters, FBI flying surveillance Cessnas over US cities. Warrant? What's that?

M7S
Coat

Re: Northolt Station Flight and more, the UK is doing this too...

G-UMMI ??

As I believe the Americans say; "There's a bear in the air"

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Do svidaniya Roscosmos. By the way, any idea where that 92 BEEELLION rubles went?

M7S

"Vladimir Putin has already announced he will personally oversee the facility's development."

Moff Jerjerrod: Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your presence...

Darth Vader: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I'm here to put you back on schedule.

Moff Jerjerrod: I assure you, Lord Vader. My men are working as fast as they can.

Darth Vader: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.

Moff Jerjerrod: The Emperor's coming here?

Darth Vader: That is correct, Commander. And, he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.

Moff Jerjerrod: We shall double our efforts.

Darth Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.

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US Air Force reveals what's inside its top-secret space plane, this time

M7S
Coat

Only one Ion Engine?

I understood they worked much better in multiples, usually in a twin arrangement.

Mine's the cloak, thank you.

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Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh

M7S
Coat

registering domains: "because you're worth it"

facelikea.horse

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Milking cow shot dead by police 'while trying to escape'

M7S
Joke

"....but there was not enough room for them to do so"

Just how big a gun did they have?

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Welsh police force fined £160,000 after losing sensitive video interview

M7S

Re: Silly

To be fair to the police, the second interview was probably as they had two options, rather than the police decidng to be punitive torwards the victim which I infer from "how utterly disgusting that they made the victim go through a second interview":

1. Abandon the case and go "meh". Probably not likely to inspire confidence in the victim, obtain justice or inspire future victims to come forward.

2. Try again to get the best possible evidence, serving the victim and justice. The officer(s) making the decisions about repeating the interview may or may not be directly responsible for the loss of the first copy, but in any event are probably equally aghast at the loss and trying to salvage the best outcome possible from the situation.

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Starbucks denies mobile app hack, blames careless customers

M7S

It is interesting to see lots of IT people mocking users for ticking the linking boxes etc

when it is IT people (OK, perhaps led by marketing bods, but then "following orders" doesn't absolve us of all blame) who create these options, often making them the default. After all it is our industry selling this digital nirvana where everying can be done with an app/swipe/touch and no need for too much conscious thought.

I don't expect to be expert in everything, that's why I have to pay people to do things I cannot. Most people will be the same about IT. Perhaps, as an industry, IT should clean up its act and establish good standards, hopefully resulting in more secure/happy users and the rapid identification of "bad eggs" which if fewer in number would be easier for most users to learn about and avoid in the same way as they might avoid au unregulated financial advisor.

That said, I'm still unclear how sites selling material (CP/pirate movies etc) that is apparently unlawful just about everywhere are still reportedly able to take credit card payments. I expect that's one for the banks to deal with.

Now, I've just got to see these chaps who've turned up with a wheelbarrow of ashpalt "left over from another job" and are offering to do my driveway for a very small fee.....

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Backwaters in rural England getting non-BT gigabit broadband

M7S

@ Sysconfig: Is the reason for the Gigabit....

....that higher speeds will lead to less conflicts, and therefore they can have a higher contention ratio (and ROI) without upsetting the customers?

I don't pretend to know the economics of being an ISP but it might be for practical reasons rather than to assauge the vanity of potential customers. I'd be interested to learn the informed views of others.

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Verizon in SUDDEN $4.4bn AOL GOBBLE, aims to make fourplay more exciting

M7S
Coat

A time to reverse an injustice?

Bring back Connie now!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/06/30/aols_connie_given_the_push/

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Scot Nationalists' march on Westminster may be GOOD for UK IT

M7S

@ Hadvar

In the interests of some balance: with three successive parliaments and some pretty large majorities during that time, I failed to notice Labour implementing any significant changes to the electoral system if they felt that the future of our democratic system should be enhanced and ensured. Perhaps banning hunting (just as an example) or the three thousand or so other new criminal offences codified were more important.

Also now they've only got around 8% of the vote, calls from the Lib Dems for PR are few of late. If we had PR, or something approaching it, the likelihood would be a Conservative/UKIP coallition, with UKIP being about one in four of the ruling coalition. Would those criticising the Conservative party and its electors consider this a more palatable alternative?

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Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador

M7S
Coat

re: Assange's Layers

That's why it's called The Onion Router

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SHOCK! Robot cars do CRASH. Because other cars have human drivers

M7S
Joke

Re: Luddites @ Thorne

"They don't get sleepy, don't drink, don't speed, can see in the dark, can see 360 degrees and have perfect reflexes"

and from elsewhere..."It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear."

Need we go on to the bit about stopping, and death?

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Going up hills past blokes with coke-bottle legs: The Smart E-bike

M7S

Re: Pointless limitations @ Pisartis

If you're in a prang, then plod can seize, examine and test the vehicle. If it is found to be over the permitted limit then you're facing various charges, driving a motor vehicle* on a road without insurance (and you're also on the hook for any injuries caused, which could cost you quite a bit if you knock down Granny Smith and bust her hip), riding without a licence (unless you have one, in which case it will gain some additional points), possibly without a helmet (needs to be a motorcycle one), violation of lighting regulations, no MOT etc etc

It might seem trivial, but if you have one that does 20, the next person will think "well, I could have one that does 25, after all it's not that much more" and so on and so forth until we're all zipping around on unlicensed and uninsured vehicles at incredible speeds and people start getting really hurt in large numbers.

*as at by exceeding the permitted exemptions afforded to e-bikes it has become an electric motorcycle

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HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

M7S

Surely it is not beyond the wit of HMG

with all the IT talent at their disposal (and we understand that there's quite a few specialising in the security of OS and applications) could HMG not write, or adapt from FOSS, an OS and the relevant "office" type applications that suit the needs of the public sector (after all like everyone else they probably dont need 99% of the features of Word etc) that is lightweight, secure and can run on older hardware to extend its value to the taxpayer?

If they did something that was relatively uniform across the public sector (with perhaps department specific bolt-ons or applications) then this could reduce the re-training costs as people move around in public service. With most of the unnecessary features removed it might also be secure for the processing of all that data on us and the services they provide us.

If it was sufficiently robust, there might even be a take-up for either home users with old kit who only do the odd bit of browsing, email and the odd bit of basic documents (tax return, renewing car VEL etc) and even, perhaps if certified by CESG or whoever, businesses, for a small fee?

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Online pizza order saves woman and children from knife-wielding kidnapper

M7S
Big Brother

@ Skelband

I think you'll find soon that it will also cover "walking in a public place without your phone turned on (and tracking, remote mic access etc enabled)"

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Accused Aussie game hacker flees to Europe ahead of trial

M7S
Joke

Person of Interest

Did his number come up then?

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Acer: 'We will be the last man standing in the PC industry'

M7S

Little Willie

That Predator PC looks unnervingly like it has a caterpillar track around the outside, in the style either of a throwback to a century or so ago, or something out of the Imperium.

Now that could be an interesting case mod, especially if your opponents can activate it mid-game. It would bring a new meaning to "keep your enemies close".

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The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

M7S

Timing is everything

In the days when he played with such chemicals it may have been illegal, with some consequences but if he were to do this in the UK today (I do not know about the US where I assume he was) as a youth that would be his entire future probably blighted, in the legal sense, beyond any hope of redemption.

Similarly the modern equivalent, cracking systems, seems to lead (from other comments I have read here in the past) to a very significant proportion of the IT security community vowing never to employ such a person regardless of any real talent* they might have.

Yet among many readers of this article there's probably a combination of admiration and yearning for the things he did in his youth. Certainly I would wish to be able to let my nipper do such things (within certain safety boundaries) but probably even raising the issue with his teachers to try to do so in a responsible way would get me reported for, well, something. Probably terrorism. And child abuse.

I feel it doesn't bode well for the ability of the human race to discover and incubate talent**. It's a shame really.

*Not script kiddies

** I concede that doing a "Sheldon" and building a fusion reactor in the garage might be going a bit far.

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Russian space geckos caught on film playing with jeweled collar

M7S
Mushroom

Blofeld's cat

Is there a white Persian missing its collar?

Or just a white Persian missing?

Icon from a different film in the series, but you probably get the point

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Coms: Yes, we DID appoint advisors to flog off our voice biz

M7S

I'm a Coms customer, and quite worried

We've seen some worring issues regarding how we are treated as a customer over the past few months and are actively investigating an exit strategy which will be excercised immediately we have one we are happy with. Its not that we are treated badly but there are things we should be told that we are not being told and our confidence in the account management and other aspects of their internal processes is at an all time low. Its a shame as the techies we've dealt with have generally been excellent and the kit works without issues.

I'd happily provide more detail to enlighten and warn other readers but at the moment we don't want to rock the boat with them just in case things turn nasty before we have found a satisfactory alternative provider.

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This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz

M7S
FAIL

I'm still as confused....

...as I was when the US credit card companies elected to stop processing payments for Wikileaks a (long) while ago.

They can do this as the result of a court order as in this case, but dont seem to bother stopping sites such as those hosting illegal content (for example: child pornography, which many authorities seem to use as a reason to "restrict" the internet) from taking payments.

Something appears to be just a little bit wrong with this picture.

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PIRATES and THIEVES to get Windows 10 as BOOTY

M7S

Re: What kind of free is this? @ Bobchip

Ah, this misunderstanding still gets perpeptuated......

Windows 10 is free if you upgrade from one of the listed systems in the first year of its release.

If you want a copy after that, then you have to pay for it.

Its nothing to do with subscriptions, but should encourage reasonably prompt adoption by many.

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My self-driving cars may lead to human driver ban, says Tesla's Musk

M7S

Maintenance of the software, and some practical issues for fully autonomous vehicles.

We're probably all aware of corporates still running Windows XP. Not recommended but it happens.

I recall when ABS and all wheel steering (on consumer cars, it was a fad for a while) were "new" Tiff Needell* expressing on TV concerns about the likelihood (or not) of maintenance being properly arranged by the third or fourth owner of a vehicle.

Software is improved all the time (until manufacturers "bin" it, as they have done with my otherwise perfectly fine PBX) but considering the number of times when I update a copy of firefox and learn that the various plug-ins I have previously installed are not compatible and need to be removed, reinstalled or tweaked, do we really have confidence that these self driving systems will work and be maintained as intended? Given the lack of adherence to current mechanical standards by drivers, which are easier for traffic police to spot (where they have time) than electronic issues, probably not. I know my local Volvo main dealer has to connect a car to the head office servers for any updates, he doesn't hold a copy himself. That's great for ensuring that cars where the owners can pay the high costs are up to date, but not for those using independent garages.

Also for those of you hoping for a totally autonomous driving world: I get to my field in my Landrover (or similar) and need to drive to the other side of it to pick up the carcass of the sheep that needs to be removed and taken to an authorised disposal point. It's unlikely to be waiting for me on some convenient track. Do I need to swap vehicles, perhaps having to leave a "manual off roader" in each contiguous area that I farm? No. Its not practical or economic or particularly environmentally friendly (from an equipment efficiency/lifecycle point of view) for a small farmer. Manual/Dual control vehicles would remain a necessity. Likewise for the ambulance driver/fireman/vehicle recovery operator who may need to carefully negotiate past a queue of traffic by using a non-authorised driving surface on a temporary basis.

All this stuff is a lovely idea and I'd be pleased to see it happen with all the benefits it might bring, but I think its probably going to be a lot more complex and expensive than many of the proponents would have us believe. Still, their interest is sales/profit and hoping that the costs of the problems (infrastructure, inconvenience) will fall on someone else. Thats only human. Ironic in the circumstances....

*for the younger reader, he presented Top Gear before our lord JC** ascended to head up the current trinity.

** "He's not the Messiah"

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Curiosity rover's broken arm heals, exploration-as-normal resumes

M7S
Terminator

Self healing machines

Oh goody.

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US air traffic control 'vulnerable to hackers' says watchdog

M7S

If I was an American Citizen....

I'd regard this as a matter of potential "national" security, certainly if there is a real vulnerability then the safety of citizens (also tourists, visitors etc, all human beings but sadly not necessarily benefitting from the protection of some US laws as they seem to be interpreted at the moment) seems to be in potential peril. Given the amount of people who hate the USA and want to create genuine terror (not the sort that in the UK treats dressing up as Batman and standing on a window ledge as being on a par with the PIRA of the '70's) then this vector of attack must be up on the baddie's "to do" list.

It might be nice to think that if there was a government body with the sort of technical/management skills to perhaps help advise the ATC operators how to reduce or eliminate this risk (also the risk of things like power stations and other essential utilities being disrupted electronically), in the interests of general orderly management of the country, that it might do so. Some sort of "Agency" dedicated to "National Security", or somesuch.

I seem to recall that even Machiavelli's Prince advocated "first; look to your defence".

Now it may be that highly technical minds have determined that there is no genuine risk. I'm not sufficiently qualified to determine that, however if they're wrong, then it's a terrible indictment of their ability to correctly determine the threats from which they should be protecting people. Ultimately the only real judge will probably be history (ooh, there's a joke there, must work on that one....)

Even so, it might be nice if such an agency could issue a reassuring note to the taxpayers funding it that their interests are being looked after in such a regard. A bit of joined up thinking in government perhaps?

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Paul Allen hunts down sunken Japanese WWII super-battleship

M7S
Pirate

"Sister ship - The Yamato"

No pithy space cruiser quips yet?

For shame commentards, for shame......

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The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

M7S

If we have to pay to reflect the internet age....

...then it should include an obligation to upgrade the infrastructure to allow us to receive stuff over the internet, on a national basis.

I think the license fee is good value overall (and I pay it), and have seen some worse proposals than this for funding (a per device charge for each TV sold for example, renewable after x years) mooted recently, but my neighbours and I don't subscribe to Netflix etc due to a poor connection. If we have to pay the BBC on the basis of IPTV or similar being the future, then there needs to be a corresponding payback for consumers in the form of investment in connectivity. We don't just listen to The Archers outside of the towns and cities.

Even with a decent connection, I'd be nervous that the subscription path might also lead to the end of terrestrial broadcasting which is at least a little bit resilient.

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Apple: 100,000 lucky people can test our flaky iOS 8.3 code – report

M7S
Terminator

Appleseed?

Now if there's a Landmate, I'm interested....

2
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You MUST supply dying customers even if they're in administration, thunders UK.gov

M7S

Relying on the personal guarantee of the Insolvency Practitioner

If they're a "sole trader" sort of practitioner, that might not be very re-assuring if you are being pressed to supply (or not remove, pehaps under the "title remains with the supplier until paid for" clause) £00,000's of kit or services.

I'm sure they will have some form of indemnity cover but that's then more hassle

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Back seat drivers fear lead-footed autonomous cars, say boffins

M7S

Pressing the brake pedal

If the cruise control is activated in my car, and I subsequently press the brake pedal, cruise is de-activated. Will the same apply in respect of driverless cars (which as I understand things have to have manual controls as backup)? Will the system interpret this as "fleshie wants to play" and switch off completely whilst perhaps ensuring that the data is ready to transmit to the resurrection ship?

If so, then a passenger "phantom braking" could find themselves unexpectedly in an uncontrolled missile until they realise they should be doing more. If they braked on the approach to a tight bend with busy traffic each way, and this stopped the car taking the bend correctly, that could be unfortunate.

Side question to elicit witty and/or informed responses: Why do some people refer to "depressing" the clutch, brake, etc?

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P0wning for the fjords: Malware turns drones into DEAD PARROT

M7S

Hmm

You operate a drone, lets assume with any necessary licencing in place, and someone hijacks it, causing a crash with 3rd party injury or property damage as a consequence.

Appreciating that there might not be much of the device left, it will be interesting to see how courts will determine wether or not the original operator (and/or their insurance, if any) is liable for any civil claims or possibly even criminal charges.

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What gets the internet REALLY excited? Kittens? No. EXPLODING Kittens

M7S

Another fine cat related find from El Reg

I am reminded of the fun I had reading the comments on Bonsaikitten.com many years ago following coverage on this esteemed organ. I am delighted to see it is restored to its former glory.

More please

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

M7S
Stop

Am I the only one...

...interpreting this as "for the first twelve months after release, the upgrade to Windows 10 will be free" and assuming that after that date you'd have to pay to upgrade (in the same way as if I wanted to purchase a copy of Windows 8.x now).

On all the articles relating to this that El Reg has published today, almost the entire line taken by commentards suggests that the OS will cease to function (leaving all the usual jokes aside) after this period and some kind of licence/subscription will be required. I'm no M$ schill but that just seems a tad pessimistic, even to my somewhat cynical nature regarding IT firms.

I could be wrong, and there's some suggestion (I don't know on what basis) that OEM installs mighbt be treated differently and of course there's the issue of versions (Pro, Ultimate, Enterprise etc) being upgraded appropriately (and I apologise if I've missed this information somewhere) to be sorted when the detail is made available, but on the face of it this seems a simple offer, and for those so inclined, not a bad one.

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Windows 10, day ZERO ... Will Nadella be the HERO?

M7S
Coat

A tired old joke repeated with a minor twist

A decade or so ago, MS release "One care". Commentards on El Reg make fun of this when spoken in a mock French accent.

MS now base their entire product around "One core".

Will they have a network product in a decade base around looking after a WAN?

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US and UK declare red-team CYBER WAR – on EACH OTHER

M7S

150 years ago private citizens in the UK formed local rifle clubs

to help defend the UK, which eventually became the Territorial Army*

Alas these days, I fear that any attempts, or even declared interest, in doing something similar or assisting these excercises would not go down well with the powers that be. Certainly I don't seem them appreciating efforts along the lines of Gary McKinnon exposing security weaknesses.

I only hope we don't have cause to regret such an attitude. Whilst I appreciate there are routes for some talented people to join "the club" that does deal with this, its not a route for everybody.

*Apologies if I have skipped some important steps in this history.

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

M7S

Sheer cost

It is not just the statutory services that need to be considered.

They are supposed to be used by the voluntary services, e.g. Red Cross, Mountain Rescue, St. John, Lowland search etc but the sheer cost of the units and the "fleece the taxpayer" billing system that Airwave impose (take the maximum use on a day in that month and multiply by 30 for the monthly fee) does not work well for part time services. That's to say nothing of the complexity of use where some calls are assigned by text and you have to navigate a menu to indicate your receipt and compliance, not easy for very occasional users compared to a PTT on a conventional hand held VHF/UHF.

Much of your rescuing is likely to be done by smaller organisations in the future, and if you want them all to be able to talk to each other, then a less expensive option is going to be required.

7
2

Google's plan to become your phone company

M7S

A possible outcome

So, and this is not a criticism of Google per se, once they’ve cherry-picked the high density areas with attractive bundles covering several devices and offering internet, IPTV and telephony, if this really does well it could drive out the current incumbents providing mobile telephony and data in urban and suburban areas as the profitability of GSM networks collapses.

In theory we could eventually see the provision of traditional mobiles becoming as expensively prohibitive as decent broadband currently is out in the sticks, with a probable reduction in the number of providers, competition, etc.

The one comfort I could take from that is that it might stuff the deployment of smart meters where I live as that seems to be GSM dependent under current plans.

1
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You like that E Ink book, huh? How about an E Ink HOUSE

M7S

Wasn't something like this being suggested for cars a while back?

As I really could do something fun with that

0
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El Reg tests portable breathalyzers: Getting drunk so you don't have to

M7S

In the UK

You should be asked the questions "have you had a (n alcoholic) drink in the past 20 minutes or a cigarette (to the best of my recollection) in the past two?". If the answer is yes then a period of time should be allowed to elapse before the roadside test is administered. If you've just left the pub it can be an uncomfortable period of time but it's there for a valid reason. The issue of "mouth alcohol" has long been recognised as distorting results, so this period of time is allowed as it is the concentration in your bloodstream, then exchanged into gas in the lungs, that is the factor regarding impairment. This may also be the procedure in the US (or parts thereof) but I have no knowledge of this.

I'd also echo Dominion's caution against reliance on these devices if they're not regularly re-calibrated. Virtually all medical devices should be, down to the glucometers used in home testing, even the manual sphygmomanometer (spelling that could be a good test for impairment) in a first aid kit can easily go out of kilter.

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