* Posts by Down not across

433 posts • joined 21 Mar 2013

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Virgin Media goes TITSUP, RUINS Tuesday evening

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Re: Service went down, then it was brought back up again. @peshman

And for another thing, were Virgin to hire enough staff to handle calls in the event of a system wide outage occurring at any given time, they would be charging you a heck of a lot more.

Well, if they actually were honest, and updated (frequently) their own outage page (rather than lie that Broadband is all fine) that would most likely have had fair reduction in number of calls.

Yes problems do happen. But for f-sake be honest to your customers and keep them updated especially via outages page since there is one. If the outage page said there are issues with broadband, ideally brief description of the cause and ETA many people would be lot less upset and would probably wait lot more calmly for the service to be restored.

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Everything on Virgin Media was working perfectly for me all last night, and for my son who was doing XBOX and that PC game where you build stuff, and for my daughter who watched Netflix on a hudl.

So I don't know what this is all about.

Oh good for you. It works for you so why the fuss. Selfish git. Well, others were not so lucky.

It bombed out almost bang on 8pm and didn't come back until 11pm.

The most frustrating thing about it is sitting in the queue for 30 mins before being booted off. That is if you even got into the queue, as some attempts were greeted with "We're busy. F**** off. HAND"

Their trouble checker gave up on finding a fault. Their web page did mention TV outage.

However "Broadband: Good" with green light was rather insulting. You would think they'd manage to keep the web page updated.

If their outage page was actually updated I suspect the number of calls would also be reduced. It is the total lack of communication (no, twatter is not communication in my book) that is the most frustrating.

All in all typical VM. When it works it is rather good. When there is a problem they just make it even worse.

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Premera Blue Cross is sick after hackers plunder their servers

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The privacy and security of our members' personal information is a top priority for us

"The privacy and security of our members' personal information is a top priority for us. As much as possible, we want to make this event our burden, not yours, by making services available to protect you and your information moving forward."

Roe said that the firm was offering two year credit and identity protection for those affected by the breach via Experian.

If it is such a top priority why don't you provide the credit and identity protection for life rather than measly two years?

As for the breach of clinical information, that could cause irrepairable damage to the client well beyond any credit or identity issues.

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MOVE IT! 10 top tips for shifting your data centre

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Re: Don't trust 'labelmaker' labels long term [Dymo and similar]

Many of the self laminating ones seem to fare pretty well.

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Boffins brew up FIRST CUPPA in SPAAACE using wireless energy (well, sort of)

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Brownian motion

Excellent. That will sort out the brownian motion producer for the atomic vector plotter.

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

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Pint

Mort

So many to choose from. Each has their own appeal.

I did find Mort exceptional.

Then again so were many of the others.

Thank you pterry, for enriching my life with your writing talent.

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

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Re: Good Password(s) inadequate?

or even make it 'invisible' (switch off the broadcast radio) and restrict by MAC code..

Better than nothing I suppose. However if someone if going to break via the wireless side, they will sniff your traffic and spoof their MAC.

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Re: I'll add my £0.02 worth

I'd say there is a market for routers that are supported with security and bug fixes as my next router won't be a Netgear after that experience.

Well you do have DD-WRT and OpenWRT as options for WNDR3700 iirc v3 was the odd one out with Broadcom instead of Atheros chipset (along with v1 the one with less (8MB) flash so might not fit full-feature firmware.

Some routers (from Buffalo for example) come from factory with DD-WRT.

Asus is rather well supported by Merlin which gets updated and patched very frequently. Merlin is based on latest GPL'd Asuswrt firmware.

Also point to make with the recommendation to buy old Cisco kit from eBay, yeah its great but if you want one with throughput to match your VM cable (assuming XL) it won't be cheap, whereas for example the recent Asus seem to push through 800-900+Mbits, obviously dropping fair bit if you use features that turn hw acceleration off. Even if it dropped to say half, you're still not likely (at least in UK) to find many residential connections where it isn't enough.

If you look at cisco router performance you'll see that you have to go for fairly recent or higher end kit to get 100Mbit/s. The figures are for routing. Once you add services (firewall,QoS,PAT,NAT,etc) the throughput drops sharp. You're also very likely to end up losing CEF and starting to process switch.

A small PC with some intel gige cards and pfsense/ipfire would make more sense for home/smb.

Or again consumer router as mentioned above (Asus probably easiest as Merlin is just as easy to load than stock asus update, although DD-WRT has gotten lot better over time) that has decent support outside vendor.

Dsiclaimer: I run way too much old cisco kit in my home and I really should replace it with something more sensible...

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Re: "having a modem and a router as separate devices" @LDS

My VDSL sync speed to the exchange is around 80Mb/s, and I have managed to get speed tests of ~50Mb/s when directly connected via GigE to the router, so I am a little uncertain that USB2 connected Ethernet adapters (theoretically capable of connection at the required speeds, but I' always sceptical) can hack it.

You might be pleasantly surprised about the throughput that a router with bit of grunt can make. Personally I wouldn't touch USB ethernet adapters with a bargepole. In fact I'd rather suffer even Realtek card.

I've just scavanged a newer old laptop back from one of the kids (they weren't using it as it would not game), and am going to try a firewall distro that supports Cardbus with a 1GB Cardbus Ethernet card that I have lying about. IPFire looks like a suitable distro.

I'm partial to pfsense (just (or because) like I am partial to *BSD). Pfsense has been around a while and is pretty solid. Having said that ipfire seems rather good as well, but I haven't used that so I can't speak for it. In your particular case ipfire might indeed be a better solution even if only for the vast hardware support linux has. I suspect pcmcia support in FreeBSD won't cover quite as many cards/chipsets as linux is likely to.

I also vaguely recall some people saying (apologies can't find reference as it was some random forum posts iirc) that under heavier traffic ipfire has lower cpu consumption than pfsense. I do know that pfsense really likes intel NICs so using "lesser" NICs could well contribute to CPU load differences under heavy network traffic.

tldr; go for it, but try to steer way from USB NIC (imho)

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D-Link removes fingers from ears, preps mass router patch

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Re: Avoid

I've not touched D-Links for quite some years. I used to have some due to nice feature set for the money. However they had serious difficulty with power supplies. I had several external PSUs cook themselves. I also had some rackmount switches with internal PSUs. You guessed it, they had to be RMA'd because PSUs died. Never had any similar issues with any other kit whether internal or external PSU.

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Make room, Wi-Fi, Qualcomm wants to run LTE on your 5GHz band

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Get off my lawn, err, wifi.

Of course Qualcomm would say it didn't cause issues for wifi. I'm not convinced.

2.4GH is already a struggle in many places (just streets, not even apartment blocks). 5GHz is fairly good at the moment, helped by not being as widely used and having shorter range.

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BOFH in mugnificent return to Cash'n'Carrion

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I got 2 of them. They came free with some online orders from sports direct.

You sure they were free? They tend to quite deceptively put one in the order form and unless you pay attention and remove it, you end up buying one. Only a quid or something, but doesn't make it any better.

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Errant update borks Samsung 850 Pro SSDs

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There is no room for additional HDs in a Laptop to run a RAID setup.

I have had number of HP laptops over the years and all of them have had 2 2.5" disk bays.

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A billion things are already on the IoT: Verizon

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Trojan

Ah yes, the framegrabber and xcoffee to see if these was any coffee in the pot in the corridor outside the computer lab in Cambridge (the real one). IIRC that was in early 90s as well.

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Anyone remember that joke from the '90s about "Lets put SNMP reporting on the coffee maker just to see what happens"? Yeah that is pretty funny especially considering that people are now doing this with everything totally non-ironically, but actually I am sad inside because I just realized how old I am.

I remember the CMU coke machine in the mid-80s. Admittedly IIRC it wasn't connected to the internet until early 90s. And it wasn't SNMP (unless that was added later) but finger.

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How good a techie are you? Objective about yourself and your skills?

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Re: Montreal?

Based on hockey alone I'd have to say Montreal. However there are linguistic issues with Montreal. :-)

Back on the main subject. Sign it.

Anyone with common sense values experience and real knowledge above degrees and certifications which often aren't that useful in many real life scenarios. If it helps consider the cert like a passport or visa. Signing a piece of paper doesn't have to affect your integrity. Judging by the articles (and forum posts) your quite critical and IMHO display more integrity than the form expects.

tldr; Sign it. Send it off.

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Samb-AAAHH! Scary remote execution vuln spotted in Windows-Linux interop code

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Trollface

Re: Some inane thoughts on the smaller points grammar...

Phew. I'm still ok to use boxen then. Yes, they run mostly unixes, except the vaxen that run VMS.

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OLPC spin-off teases modular 'Infinity' computer

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Re: This sort of thing reminds me of...

This sort of thing reminds me of...

... the old ICL DRS-300 computers that were modular and could multi-window.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICL_DRS#DRS_300

ICL were often way ahead of their competition, but never quite set a global standard...

I was thinking more Burroughs B25. In the mid-80s, as I think was the DRS-300. Can't recall which actually was first.

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Nvidia U-turns on GTX 900M overclocking after gamer outrage

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People have such short memories.........its not many years since Nvidia (and to a lesser extent ATi) had all those problems with graphics chips becoming unstuck due to low-lead / low-temperature solders. Some laptop models had close to 100% return rates. They're obviously worried about a repeat of that expensive problem.

Yes. And HP in particular admitted to it in some models, but not in others although the issue was the same. So depending on which model you had either HP sorted it out or it flicked you the finger. Yes I got the finger. Some time later they issued firmware patch to underclock the CPU...

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What's the hot domain dot-news? Er, it's .news

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New gTLDs

I tend to treat anything other than .com, .org, .net and ccTLD as phising or scam.

Call me a luddite, but there was really no need for these new gTLDs.

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

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Policies and broken promises

Someone worked out that if people voted for policies rather than parties, the Greens would be the biggest party in parliament.

Perhaps. Voting based on policy is very ideological and makes no difference unless parties were actually required to fulfill their policies and pre-election promises. As we all know the policies are not worth the paper they're written on as they only exist to try to gather the most votes without any intention to actually do any/some of it.

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We don't need no steenkin' cabinet: Ericsson hangs base stations off masts

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Re: WTF?

I guess they mean the airflow improvements help keep the base station hardware cool in the small modules its now housed in behind the antennas.

That might work in the nordics. I wonder how well that has been tested in bit warmer climates. Will the kit cook itself if exposed to extensive baking in the sunlight?

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The Order: 1886 – Round Table gaming's all right on the knight

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Re: Looks good, shame I can't play

Platform exclusives - how to stop people buying your product.

Indeed.

However, in this case it doesn't appear to be a great loss.

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Hoping for spy reforms? Jeb Bush, dangerously close to being the next US prez, backs the NSA

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Family business

And for the record, the US government is not the family business to be passed on from father to son.

Quite. Perhaps the 2 term limit should be per family (say within same 2 or 3 generations), as Bush Sr is clearly gunning for terms 5 & 6, instead of per ind-duh-vidual.

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BlackBerry's money-making QNX unit touts virty dual-OS devices

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Re: We still have some very old QNX systems, in the field

I'm not surprised. I haven't touched QNX for probably decace or two.. but it was very impressive. This was back in the times of Quantum/QNX Software Systems prolly 80s/90s. Can't really recall but think the last version I dabbled in was 4.

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Alca-Lu cooks up 400 Gbps router interconnect

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@Ruairi

Where's the datasheet?

What's optic will it take?

Oversubscription? Density/module?

What spec does it conform to?

Guess they've not released those yet.

Took 2 secs to find a post on Alcatel Lucent website that states:

About the Alcatel-Lucent 1-port 400G IP line card

o Quadruples the speed of interconnecting today’s IP networks.

o Alcatel-Lucent is the first in the industry to offer clear channel IP transport at 400G bit rates. This avoids the need to aggregate IP traffic over multiple 100G links. This offers a more efficient way to transmit big data between operators’ data centers and between their metro aggregation and core networks.

o Powered by Alcatel-Lucent’s 400G FP3 routing silicon – already proven in hundreds of network deployments worldwide - allowing operators to use it with existing 7750 Service Router (SR) and 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) gear.

o Integrated tuneable DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) optics allow direct interconnection between routers at 400G line rates on a single fibre over distances of hundreds of kilometers, or alternatively as alien wavelengths over a DWDM transport network.

o The 1-port 400G IP line card will be available for use in Alcatel-Lucent’s XRS IP Core Routers and on its 7750 SRs in the second-half of 2015.

o Also introducing GMPLS UNI on the Alcatel-Lucent router portfolio to coordinate the IP and optical network layers for simplified operations and cost savings

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Big Brother in SPAACE: Mars One picks first 100 morons to suffocate, er, settle on Red Planet

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If they actually go anywhere

The ship isn't going to be named Ascension by any chance?

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£100 MILLION poured down drain on failed UK.gov IT projects - in just ONE YEAR

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Re: Better than expected

Any private company that wasted less than 1% of their IT budget would call that an unqualified success

True.

They would also probably have something that actually works, to show for the not-wasted expenditure.

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Thecus N4310 4-bay: A NAS-ty beast for the budget-conscious

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This or HP MicroServer

This Vs a HP MicroServer?

HP MicroServer without a doubt. About same price (especially if MicroServer has one of the frequent cashback offers available). However with the MicroServer you can have more memory, your choice of "firmware". 4 drive bays plus optical. Has PCI-e slots so you could add cheap raid card and populate the 5.25" bay with 4 x 2.5" drives (or optical + 2 x 2.5"). It has USB socket on motherboard which is nice for booting FreeNAS. CPU is only Turion but does fairly decent job.

If you don't want to tinker then I'd say Synology or QNAP are probably better choices than Thecus.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with xcase other than satisfied customer for getting most out of storage bays on some systems with limited bays

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Lightbulb moment for visible light networking: 200 Gbps without a fibre

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Stop or you'll go blind

While such efforts often focus on visible wavelengths for data transmission – the “Li-Fi” development effort – O'Brien's team worked at the 1550 nm band familiar to the telco industry.

Among other things, that provides access to off-the-shelf silicon for key components like the lasers. ®

Hmm...so they're using lasers? Isn't that a potential safety issue if considered as Wifi replacement?

You know someone will look into the transmitter or catch a reflected beam.

Would work nicely for inter building link tho assuming buildings aren't more than 3 meters apart :-)

Although heavy rain/snow/fog could cause some issues.

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Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

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Re: Looks a lovely car, but...

Well,even though count and angle of cylinders do have some inherent characteristics, a lot is down the the actual engine design.

Having said that it only appears to have half of an engine.

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Kyocera: Torque among yourselves on our unbreakable ruggedmobe

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Re: Kyocera

And printers. Rather good ones.

In fact, I can't think of anything made by Kyocera (that I've come across) that wouldn't have been very very good.

I quite like the look of this and the specs are certainly good enough. I like the idea of overcoming hearing the phone call in noisy environments. I wouldn't say 8MP camera is sub-par unless it has particularly bad sensor or optics. Given that Kyocera has had its hand in imaging products I would be rather disappointed if it didn't do fairly adequate job.

Its not all about the number of pixels.

The only negative really is the non-removable battery, somewhat offset by QI charging tho as it would be easier to keep it topped up as there is no need to plug it in.

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W3C turns BROWSERS into VIBRATORS

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Re: Keeping it clean, please.

You mean bit like this ?

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Linux kernel set to get live patching in release 3.20

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Re: Useless...

Don't know if the Windows kernel architecture will allow for something like that - one of the reason Windows requires reboots is to avoid memory corruptiion due to different versions of the same piece of code trying to access something which is no longer equal among them - say a memory structure that changed in size of something alike - it could happen for internal structures.

"Windows cannot update files because they're in use..." seems to be the standard excuse for needing reboot after patching (on a desktop/laptop anyway, can't speak for servers since all mine are various unix variants).

Still, at least Windows did get past (long time ago) the most annoying oddity of requiring a reboot when changing network settings. :-) That used to be so very annoying.

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EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?

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Mobile experience

“Consumers deserve reliable mobile experience wherever they are, whether they’re making a call, downloading a video, or texting friends. That’s why, in this third time we tested the UK, we went even further into cities, rural communities and on the road to provide the most comprehensive, scientifically sound, and fiercely independent view of mobile coverage available anywhere.” ®

Reliable mobile experience you say? Yet call quality was not tested at all.

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Hacker hijack 'threat': Your car's security is Adobe Flash-grade BAD

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Data collection

On the privacy side, all of the 2014 models put out by car makers that responded to the survey collect some form of information from their customers, with 25 per cent storing it on the car and half transmitting it back to corporate servers, where it is kept for up to ten years in one case.

Doesn't that potentially violate data retention laws in EU. Or don't non-US versions report back to mothership?

All of these data collection systems are mandatory, and one manufacturer said it felt consumers shouldn’t even be told records was being kept, Markey's report states. The permission to slurp up this potentially sensitive data is usually mentioned in the purchase contract or owner's manual, and two manufacturers claim to have systems in place to allow customers to delete some of the information if they choose.

Mandatory? If that is mandatory as set by legislation in the US, then surely customers can't be kept in the dark about it (unless the laws requiring the collection are secret too).

If its in purchase contract then at least purchaser has option to decline to purchase, but including it just in owner's manual is kinda bit too late.

And good on the unnamed manufacturers that at least allow culling some of the information (if you believe that it is really deleted).

Just as well I prefer older cars that most definitely can't phone home. On that note, shouldn't be too difficult to cripple the phoning home even if you can't (no idea how embedded it is) stop local collection. And surely there will be nice gadgets (just like now to read OBDII and reset MIL etc) to deal with the collected data.

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WATCH IT: It's watching you as you WATCH IT (Your Samsung telly is)

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Re: What's the Solution?

* People, please stop buying Smart TV's.

Unfortunately if you want more than 1 or 2 HDMI ports you pretty much have to buy a higher end model which these days tends to mean "smart" tv.

Reasonable solution currently is either to leave ethernet unplugged or should you wish to use DLNA in-house, block it at your router (both suggestions have already been made by several posters).

Now, if they actually sold just a decent panel with plenty of ports without any annoying smarts for reasonable price that would be great.

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RIP Windows RT: Microsoft murders ARM Surface, Nokia tablets

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Re: If I could have loaded my must-have x86 progys...

And they're a clumsy solution anyway. Long before Apple said "fuck it, just shove two versions in there", we had compile-at-installation approaches like AND-F and OS/400's "visibility" build mode, and JIT compilation of VM instruction streams. And source distribution, of course, and interpreted languages.

Perhaps not the most elegant, but does make it easier on the end user not having to worry about the platform. Also it meant the application did run full speed on either platform (unlike some ohter approaches*). There were utilities to strip the unneeded version as well.

* For example when HP started using PA-RISC on HP3000s, MPE XL (the PA-RISC version of MPE) included an emulator so that the old CISC binaries could be run. Of course on that platform you could use OCTCOMP to translate them into native PA-RISC code to get native speed (but with the limitation of the classic platform (memory, stack, etc).

But you could replace the default stub with pretty much any DOS-based character-mode code, and at least a few applications had entire DOS-character-mode versions as their stubs. So if you ran the program without starting Windows first, you'd get the character-mode version; if Windows was running, you'd get the GUI. A nice trick for the era.

Yeah that was a neat trick. Reminds me of another neat trick back in the CP/M and MS-DOS days

where first few instructions of a .COM had to execute correctly on 8086 and Z80 and then branch correctly both use +100h offset if my memory serves. Kind of fat binary I guess but designed to run on quite different OSes.

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Re: If I could have loaded my must-have x86 progys...

Bit like the fat binaries that Mac OS X apps used to have to run on both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

Fat binaries go back lot longer than OS X... Apple used them back in 90s when they transitioned from 68K to PowerPC. The OS-X implementation (IIRC) evolved from NeXTStep 3.1 Mach-O multi architecture binaries.

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'Privacy is DAMAGING to PROGRESS' says Irish big data whitepaper

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Re: Does a person own all of the data they generate, for example?

Damn right they own it. The corporation of course would love to own it to make money out of it hence this farce about privacy damaging their business.

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Ofcom can prise my telly spectrum from my COLD, DEAD... er, aerial

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Streaming is not equivalent to broadcast

Multicast is about the closest thing to broadcast. Still not the same however.

However as we all know there are lots of not-spots so anyone living in those areas would lose out.

Admittedly these bands could potentially increase coverage unless operators are greedy and instead try to reduce number of cells. Now let me think which way the greedy operators are likely to go...

Also free-to-air is free-to-air (I am intentionally ignoring tv license here) and anyone can receive it if they have equipment without needing a contract to pay monthly or constant top ups. Also in case of a disaster free-to-air broadcast has best chance of reaching the most people unlike cell network that *will have* capacity limits unlike free-to-air broadcast where number of receivers makes no difference.

Yes I do realise this wasn't about switching off all DTT in favour of mobile data, but it is a slippery slope.

And indeed I find the offerings mostly poor and wouldn't miss them, but there are other people who might feel differently and it is not all about what I need/use. Mobile data will get better and more efficient without needing this slice of spectrum. In other words my gain would quite likely to be marginal where as effect on general free-to-air service could be more than just marginal.

Thanks for the link Nigel, I have filled the form.

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NASA: Give us JUST 0.5% of the federal budget and we'll take you to MARS and EUROPA

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Joke

In the mean time Russia and the rest start mining the moon.

They may want to look out for Götterdämmerung

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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

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Re: The Point

As it is, things are heading in the direction of everyone having such a large body of data relating to their every detail that in the event of the government not liking them for any reason at all, they would have a greater chance of stitching little bits and pieces together in a way that could cast doubt on innocence even when there is no guilt.

But of course. You might not be guilty today, but what about tomorrow. Or with the next gov't or the next kneejerk reaction to something.

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BY JUPITER: The science behind Friday's Solar System light show

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Re: The Matrix

and four Highlanders? <ducks and runs for cover>.

There can be only one.

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Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

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Re: SPIDER SENSES TINGLING!

I did a quick check for my vehicles (I got two Daihatsus from that period) to use a different airbag supplier. I would not be surprised if this is a USA specific issue.

The Chrysler bulletin mentioned the TRW made ECU which I believe was used on UK models as well.

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Re: SPIDER SENSES TINGLING!

Why? Most of these SUV's are not sold over here.

Really? I see loads of Jeep Grand Cherokees (and Libertys) every day. They certainly are (and have been) sold here (here being UK that is).

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Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

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Shock! People on 24 month contract don't upgrade every 8 months

HTC’s One M8 was down 23 per cent on the previous M7. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was 33 per cent down on the Galaxy S4. And Sony launched two flagships eight months apart, but neither matched the popularity of their predecessor; the Z2 was 23 per cent down and the Z3 61 per cent down.

There is a hint up there especially with Sony, but equally valid point for Samsung and others. Most people (if they have gone the more or less subsidised route) are stuck with 18-24 month contracts. spewing out new models constantly doesn't fit in with the contract lengths. Combine that with the fact that mobiles have kind of plateaud a bit with no earth shattering reasons for people to upgrade and that will all hit sales.

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

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Covering their own backsides

Police and other agencies have undertaken their own risk assessment, and have identified and taken any steps necessary to ensure the protection of officers.

That's ok then. Never mind if disclosure of any of the data might be harmful to a civilian.

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Listen up, AT&T, this could be YOU NEXT: $40m sting for throttling 'unlimited' mobile data

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Re: good job

Did you read the article?

The US regulator said the cell network must pay back $40m to customers who used its prepaid unlimited data plan and found their connections deliberately strangled, stretching the definition of "unlimited."

I think you may have misunderstood who is getting what.

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Symantec sources claim exec teams in place by April Fools' Day

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Veritas

amid talk that senior management may revive the Veritas storage brand.

Oh, haven't done good enough job tarnishing and destroying it yet?

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