* Posts by DrXym

3717 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

Creationist: The Flintstones was an accurate portrayal of Dino-human coexistence

DrXym
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Re: Got any more from this loon?

Ah but you see, all powerful god who has the power to affect reality itself whispered it right into his mind. He has a cast iron, irrefutable cast. Don't doubt him or wonder why god can't think of a more direct and obvious way to lay out the facts for his existence - such as by writing them in 2000 foot gold lettering floating in the sky.

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DrXym
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And in other news

Ken Ham is an incurable dolt.

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Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

DrXym
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Re: Facts

"Which is why all our desktop apps are written in Java… Oh wait, they're not. The LibreOffice lot are even busy ripping Java out – not that I'm personally convinced that this is such a good move."

Eclipse & IdeaJ are two non trivial applications running on Java. And they're not just used for Java development either. Eclipse RCP is used in a raft of enterprise desktop apps. There are games too, of which Minecraft is the most well known.

"On the server-side Java got established in the corporate space and will remain for the duration But it wasn't because it was multi-platform, it's because it was what IBM, Sun, et al. were able to convince the suits to buy."

It was established server side because it is incredibly reliable and cross platform. Businesses value these things over raw throughput, Developers can write and package a .war / .ear application on a PC, transfer it to a suitable app server running on virtually anything and it will just work. It's extremely powerful and as testament to that, countless backends are powered by Java.

"As I said, the work done on the JVM has made it a lot easier for other languages to be reliably cross-platform. Also: thank god for QT!"

A QT application has to be recompiled, packaged, deployed and tested for every platform it runs on. It's no panacea.

I don't personally care what tech I use providing it's fit for purpose. I program Ruby, C++ (including QT), Java, Python, Javascript with no trouble. But I do take issue with claiming Java is not portable. It is BY FAR the most portable way to develop code. Nothing comes close.

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DrXym
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Re: Facts

Cross platform in Java works really well.

Most web apps are developed on a PC running Windows or Linux and end up being deployed on all kinds of servers and architectures. Not only are the target operating systems often different but often the JVM and even the app server are different.

So cross platform is a reality of Java.

Even client side programming generally works extremely well. I've had no trouble writing fairly complex apps which run on Windows and Linux using Swing and SWT. The biggest issue with client side is that integration with the user interface often exceeds what the APIs might offer (e.g. system trays etc.) and so some JNI might be necessary. There are some incredibly complex client applications implemented in Java, e.g. Eclipse.

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DrXym
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Re: Java's only impact.

What the hell?

Patterns like factories, singletons etc. exist to solve problems not tied to any one language. e.g. I might use a singleton because I only want one of something such as Logger to exist in my program and therefore I control access to it to prevent more than one from being created. It wouldn't matter if I was writing JS, Java, Ruby, Python, Perl, C, C++ or anything else - the manner I create a singleton might change but the pattern is the same.

If you think you "don't need them" then it says more about lack of programming knowledge than anything else.

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ZX Spectrum 'Hobbit' revival sparks developer dispute

DrXym
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Re: Extra graphical capabilities of the spectrum 128 ?

The original only had a few locations with images and each was drawn using graphics primitives such as line and fill (a really slow flood fill). Presumably someone replaced them with handdrawn bitmaps.

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KFC's new secret ingredient is a bluetooth keyboard on your tray

DrXym
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Re: Elven herbs and spices?

I don't eat in KFC much but when I do the predominant "spice" I taste is salt. So much salt that it reminds me why I don't eat there much.

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Microsoft celebrates 25 years' SOLITARY SELF-PLEASURE with GROUP SESSION

DrXym
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I think it's on the store but not installed by default. Most of the Microsoft games have advertising which can be unlocked for a low-low price.

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Windows 10 to MELT YOUR BRAIN and TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE

DrXym
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And you wondow why Windows 10 will be free

Because they can lead users wherever they like - micropayments, "premium" features, subscriptions for access to services etc.

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

DrXym
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"Isn't that the job of the police?"

Police are few and far between and I didn't say illegally. I said recklessly. The driver might take more risks and not even be conscious of it. They might tailgate more, they might speed more, they might engage in actions that their car will bail them out of in an emergency.

But if the car has the ability to react in an emergency it could also do other things - measure road conditions, traffic conditions, measure the gap between the car and those in front and behind, the lane markings, the speed limit and other things that impact on safety. It doesn't necessarily have to do anything more than give out an annoying bong if the driver is doing something unsafe and the chances are the driver would adapt their driving.

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DrXym
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This is the sort of thing vehicles should strive for. Humans are vastly more capable of solving real world problems than a computer, but a computer has the reaction and response times to halt a vehicle safely to avoid a collision. Therefore, the ideal would be to let the human drive the car, but add sensors to ensure the vehicle can be brought safely to a halt.

A danger of this of course is that if the car saves the driver's bacon they might be inclined to drive more recklessly in the first place (the whole airbag / seatbelt thing all over). So it probably needs to come with other measures to ensure the vehicle is being driven in a safe manner to prevent that - automatic distance keeping, lane tracking etc.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

DrXym
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Good stuff

Netflix and similar services need a way to protect their content. So far they've streamed through a plugin which provides that protection. The downside is that Flash / Silverlight are significant attack surfaces in their own right and a burden to install. So offering EME in the video playback is a useful development.

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Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

DrXym
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Re: *facepalm*

"Why does everyone lose their mind when something new happens in Linux."

Because some people have this idealized view of Linux that it cannot possibly be improved upon and when someone does improve upon Linux (usually in obvious and necessary ways) it provokes an irrational response. Note how the majority of criticisms of systemd are ad hominem attacks - it's shite, they don't like the author, they don't like pulseaudio, they don't like change, it does too much etc. Look at all the negative voting in this thread for anyone who DARES suggest it might be okay, or an improvement.

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DrXym
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

"But it should be an independent system. "

No, no it shouldn't. It's about the most fundamental thing in the dist aside from the kernel. Why do you expect it to be independent? Everything else needs to start somehow and this is the thing that does it.

Many things will depend on systemd especially if the packages for the dist are done correctly. But packaging is the dist's problem. If your dist breaks because of the packaging, it's not the fault of systemd any more than the kernel failing because some module it wants to load isn't there because of bad packaging.

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DrXym
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

"That's not a good way for supposedly independent systems to behave."

It isn't an independent system. systemd is the thing that starts everything else in userland. And if you start trashing your distribution (or if it has broken deps) then it is hardly surprising if it starts failing in weird ways.

Really, most criticisms of system are ad hominems, outright wrong or such weird edge cases that they don't apply to most people. If it were so awful, "so shite", it wouldn't be used by dists. But it is because they recognise it is a massive improvement over SysV.

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DrXym
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

Your argument falls on its face with the fact that systemd isn't "shite".

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DrXym
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Re: systemd? Do not want.

Luxury and extravagance. I'm sticking with a VT220 terminal attached to a PDP-11 running V7 Unix.

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

DrXym
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Re: 4,192 KWh

"You're dividing (power x time) by time, so at this point you might as well just give your answer in kW. Oh, and the 'kilo-' prefix is marked with a lower case k."

No, I'm just taking the figure 4192 which I assume to be annual consumption and dividing by 365 for the daily consumption. Both are still measured in kWh.

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DrXym
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4,192 KWh

That works out to be 11.48KWh per day. I reckon people would be motivated to cut that down to 8KWh if they were paying for the difference from the mains - turning off lights, not leaving appliances in standby etc.

Bigger issue is how much charge do you get from installing solar panels, particularly during winter time. It's not much use to have a battery bolted to the wall if the panels only manage to partially charge it.

Anyway, this has the potential to be a massive disrupter in places where solar *is* viable. Lots of US states get plenty of sunshine. Some states like Florida get so much it beggars belief that solar isn't the primary source of power.

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Apple Watch WRISTJOB SHORTAGE: It's down to BAD VIBES

DrXym
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So to summarise

You're wearing the wrong kind of skin.

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'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair

DrXym
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Re: Alternatively...

"Intel has the same problem. Sure, there's Android for x86, but it's nigh on useless because all the Android apps that come with native libraries attached are supplying ARM native libraries, not x86 native libraries."

I think that's less of an issue these days. Most of the well known backend libs have Intel support and I expect most of the major titles would be motivated to support Intel.

Of course Google could have made this a non issue if the native SDK only targeted to LLVM bitcode. So you compile a .so and it's bitcode. Then you upload your APK to Play and it could have produced ARM, mips, Intel versions automatically and served them out according to the device requesting the app. Or it could have been converted to native on the phone when the person downloaded and installed it.

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DrXym
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Easier said than done

I think it would be relatively straightforward to produce a Dalvik / ART runtime for Windows which could cope with pure APKs - i.e. those which were just compiled byte code.

But most games will probably have at least some binary backend code for arm / intel which in turn are compiled against a modified C runtime called BIONIC and a Linux kernel. So any runtime for Windows would have to somehow host those calls in a sane way.

On top of that games will be hitting OpenGL ES 2/3 so that has to be supported too. And lots of software apps rely on services from Google which would also have to work. And other background services and activities might have to be supported too for apps which have things running in the background.

So even Microsoft provided some support, it is likely to be half assed. Of course they might just throw money at Amazon and let Amazon figure out the problem. Amazon and Microsoft might both see it as a way of disrupting Google to support Android and Amazon's store on Windows.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

DrXym
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There is nothing wrong with e-voting machines

Providing the machine issues a printed receipt that you drop in a box so the votes can be tallied. Make it a rule that marginal votes and a random selection of polling stations have their votes counted by hand to ensure compliance. And open the hardware and software to a full audit.

Of course Britain uses a first past the post system where e-voting wouldn't make a huge difference. Vote counting usually happens fast enough. It would be countries with transferrable votes or other systems of proportional representation that would benefit the most. Counting in Ireland can take days sometimes.

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Apple Watch RIPPED APART, its GUTS EXPOSED to hungry Vultures

DrXym
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"I have been wondering just where the appeal is in this watch"

"Shiny" and "poor impulse control" is the appeal.

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Ubuntu 15.04 to bring 'Vivid' updates for cloud, devices this week

DrXym
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Menus

I really don't know why they ever went with a global menu. It might have been a useful space saver for people on low res screens but for everyone else it sucked. It was always possible to revert the behaviour from the command line but I guess it's good they're deprecating it entirely.

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Google pulls plug on YouTube for older iPads, iPhones, smart TVs

DrXym
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Bitrot

This a simple example why smart TVs are a bad idea.

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Gwyneth Paltrow flubs $29 food stamp dare, swallows pride instead

DrXym
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How can you fail with that?

It's not a huge amount of money but I bet you could survive fairly well on it assuming you cooked in bulk and took advantage of discounted items (e.g. those close to sell-by).

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RADIOACTIVE WWII aircraft carrier FOUND OFF CALIFORNIA

DrXym
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Re: No shit. We've known this for over half a century.

Chernobyl was perhaps the worst nuclear accident in the world with chronic levels of radioactive material. The wildlife is still thriving there. Probably because exposure to humans was more fatal to an animal's wellbeing than the background radiation levels.

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Microsoft set to penetrate Cyanogen, promises app-y ending

DrXym
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Re: Google got themselves into this mess

Google haven't been that hostile to Cyanogenmod. They told Cyanogenmod to stop distributing their apps in the image but that's about it. So now the CM kernel is Google apps free and you have to install gapps via a bootloader after flashing a phone. Slightly inconvenient but not hugely so.

If Google really wanted to be hostile they could simply stop releasing Android source code, or dump it out as a monolithic tarball with no change history on a 6 month schedule.

Anyway CM wouldn't be the first company to take a hatful of money from Microsoft and find out that they've done a very foolish thing. In this case it's likely MS bunged them cash simply to sour relations between CM and Google and fragment the android market. Google may well retaliate in ways as such as I described and everyone will be the poorer for it. And I suspect that's Microsoft's goal all along.

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DrXym
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Cyanogen better be careful

Goodwill could easily go flying out the window if they are seen to be fragmenting the platform for the sake of a hatful of money.

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The Walton kids are ABSURDLY wealthy – and you're benefitting

DrXym
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Re: So much of what they sell is a snack

"Pure prejudice from someone who has probably never actually set foot in a Walmart."

Straw man noted. I've set foot in plenty of them. And their fruit / veg / meat / "deli" sections are best described as perfunctory and small compared to the size of the food section.

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DrXym
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Re: Laziness is their secret

"Although to be fair, that applies to pretty much any chain of supermarkets."

Visit a Walmart and say that! So much of what they sell is a snack, or a ready meal, or an "EZ" style meal (e.g. Rice-a-roni, Mac-n-cheese, Chef Boyardee etc.). Aisle upon aisle of it. No UK supermarket comes anywhere close. Nor most other US supermarkets for that matter.

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DrXym
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Laziness is their secret

Dear god, so many of the clientele are FAT. Slovenly blobs who can barely dress properly shuffling around with carts full of snackfoods in giant portion sizes. I think that's what Walmart appeals to - not price (since it's not really as cheap as some may think), but pure laziness. It pushes buttons in people who want to buy a gallon of milk, a giant pizza, a super wide toilet seat and a pair of stretch pants all in one shop.

If you're the sort of person who expects a supermarket to serve lots of fresh meat, veg, fruit, bread and other produce then you'll seriously depressed here. 80% of what it serves falls strictly into the junk food category.

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Finally, Mozilla looks at moving away from 'insecure' HTTP. Maybe

DrXym
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Re: Not https as it is right now

"What about government MITM using the actual key, which they can co-opt? They can flood a web of trust and spoof any lighthouse sites, too."

With far greater difficulty. If I sign a key with one CA they just have to subvert that CA to spoof my cert. If my key is signed with multiple CAs, or with other sites then they have to subvert all those sites.

If they don't then my browser will complain the key looks different from the last time. Or it will complain that it looks different to the one on the lighthouse. Someone will notice.

It'd probably be best if the lighthouses were federated and there were many to choose from across geographic boundaries. Even an unsigned keys would benefit from fingerprint checks and it could offer a measure of protection from MITM attacks.

Nothing is perfect of course so it would be vital to go through every use case and attack angle - key creation, issuance, expiration, fingerprinting, signing, verification, revocation etc.

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DrXym
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Re: Bad idea

And that's the thing. It shouldn't cost money, or time, or production of government papers to create a site cert.

I don't need to do any of those things to create a PGP key. I just create a key. If I want people to trust my key I can have it signed by other people with whom I have some kind of relationship. I could even pay a CA to sign my key if I wanted.

I think the web needs something similar. Even an unsigned key is still better than plain text if it's presented as such.

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DrXym
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Not https as it is right now

At least not in its current form where a key is either signed by a CA which the browser trusts or it isn't. Because we all know how limited a CA's trust is to begin with. It also means security is held to ransom by CAs who impose onerous, usually financial penalties on sites that want security.

At the very least a site should be able to roll a self signed cert without scary popups. It might not stop MITM but it's still better than plain text even if the browser shows the site with an amber warning. Secondly a site cert should be able to be signed by multiple signatories which could be CAs, or other organisations or individuals that have a relationship with the site. Build a web of trust in other words. Thirdly, the browser should cache the key fingerprint and throw danger warnings if the fingerprint or the signatories change. Fourthly, the browser should compare fingerprints to lighthouse sites to see if the client's key is the same as other samples gathered from the site and throw danger warnings.

All of these measures would make security far better than it is right now. At the moment, CA signing is just a tax on security.

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Nokia may tell struggling HERE Maps division to get lost – report

DrXym
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Re: I was using it yesterday

Perhaps but what does it say of the maps I downloaded a few days before arriving here?

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DrXym
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I was using it yesterday

I'm on holiday in Lanzarote at the moment and while it works pretty well, some of its directions are frankly extremely dodgy. Yesterday it told me to turn the wrong way up a one way street, flagged a restaurant I searched for as being in the ocean, kept saying "turn right and then right" instead of "turn right" and chose some very dodgy routes up mountains when straighter main roads were available. It also pronounced all the places with an English accent - Arrecife became arse-e-ife.

Another time when I was in the US it got stuck in a loop - it told me to do a U turn, which I did and then it told me to do another U-turn. I had to drive off a bit to get any sense back into it.

That said, it's free and it has offline support so it's still a very valuable app to have on a phone. The Android version also has a far better UI than the Windows Phone version though it still has some annoyances.

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+5 ROOTKIT OF VENGEANCE defeats forces of gaming good

DrXym
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Re: Streaming does have its advantages

"...streaming. If people having better broadband is a problem now, a solution in which quality of broadband is the only relevant factor really isn't going to help. "

Maybe read what I said in the first comment eh?

"Nonsense. Connection latency is a problem in keeping clients and servers properly synchronised to each other so everyone sees the same things happening at the same time. The price of your PC is utterly irrelevant to that."

I didn't say "connection latency". I said latency. Latency is lots of things.

"Fuck everyone else in the game. If I can afford a better PC that can display better graphics and higher framerates, why should I be punished just because other people can't? "

Yeah, that's the ticket - the person who spends the most should have the advantage right? Screw all those other people expecting to play a game on a fair and level playing field. With that attitude maybe EA should sell aimbots for $1000.

Frankly you're the reason multiplayer sucks right now.

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DrXym
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Re: Streaming does have its advantages

"And why when you have a ps4 do you want to stream it and add latency and use controls not designed for the game (GAIKAI)"

Latency is already a fact of life for multiplayer and that's why things can suck for someone caught on a bad connection or who didn't spend a fortune on a top end PC.

So saying "because latency" misses the point that it's already a problem. Yes, streaming introduces its own latencies but it removes them in other areas. It's also transparently obvious to anyone watching the scene that it's not just Sony who have an eye on streaming. Steam do too, first "in-home" although it's not hard to see that expanding to out of home as well.

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DrXym
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Re: Streaming does have its advantages

"Everyone can have an equally poor experience..."

Not necessarily at all.

"Game will never get moded so everything will be like them dead games - titanfall & evolve as opposed to the moddable CS:S and L4D".

That doesn't counter my points at all. And nor was I arguing that streaming was better than local play in all aspects, just in particular ones.

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DrXym
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Streaming does have its advantages

There's nothing more frustrating than to play a game and be constantly picked off by someone not because of skill on their part but simply because they've got better broadband or a PC which lets them get a higher frame rate.

A relatively thin client software could ensure that everyone in the game gets the same graphics, the same framerates and has similar latencies.

And of course it stops cheats.

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Indian cops spice up protests with pepper spray-armed DRONES

DrXym
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So if you're going to riot

Make sure to do it on a blustery or rainy day.

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Popular crypto app uses single-byte XOR and nowt else, hacker says

DrXym
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Bitwise XOR is a completely legit way to encrypt...

... assuming the key is long as the message and random. That's how a one time pad operates.

The problem of course is you still have to store the key somewhere to read the message out again (e.g. between an embassy and its country) and so otp only works in certain scenarios. In a phone it doesn't help at all.

Anyway, this app sounds like snakeoil. It's amazing it's so incompetent - I'm sure that every single phone OS is capable of providing hardware assisted crypto with very little effort at all.

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Got an Android mobe with a virus? Congrats, you're The One Per Cent

DrXym
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Most people are quite safe

Assuming people get their apps from the Play store then they're likely fairly safe. Malware doesn't rise to the top of charts so the rate of infection is self limiting. Even if some people come across "sexy girl screensaver" and click through the permissions, they will be a tiny minority.

On top of that Google have monitoring which occurs client and server side. I wouldn't be surprised if they have a few canaries in their client side software which detects phones which are rooted or checksums changing and can correlate that to malware. They also have the ability to remove apps from the store and remote kill apps.

It's probably the dodgy sites where the most risk lies. Doubtless many of the free APKs on these sites are actually malware, particularly where the app is something that costs money on the Play store.

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Met Police in egg/face blunder as shop-a-crim site's SSL cert expires

DrXym
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Re: Cobblers

"You are incorrect. Invalid SSL certificates (irrespective of the reason that they are invalid, such as expiration) can and do facilitate seamless MITM attacks, and leaving them expired is suicidally stupid."

Don't be silly. The cert is still signed, it's just expired. The risk is the astronomically small chance that someone might have used the extra few days to crack the key in some manner to impersonate it and the much larger risk that someone reporting a crime might be detered by a scary dialog box in the browser..

Certificate expiration and CA signing is simply a protection racket. If the Met had created their own cert with an expiration 30 years from now and had it signed by government departments, Scotland Yard, and various other courts, police forces etc. it would have been a far more trustworthy token of the site's authenticity. But they can't do that because CA based SSL certs are broken by design for the enrichment of the companies that issue them.

And here we see a real world potential consequence of that racket.

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DrXym
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Cobblers

An expired cert means exactly that - an expired cert. While it's certainly a mistake to have allowed it to happen, it doesn't make a site any less or more secure than it was before. The cert is the same, it's just expired and that throws up a warning in a browser that says something to that effect.

The danger is not that some hackers will replace the real site without anyone noticing but that the extra warning that people have to confirm and click through might deter someone from reporting a crime.

So in that sense it's bad. Because the cops forgot to pay their "security tax" on time, real crime might go unreported. It also demonstrates why CA signing and short cert expiration is such a bad idea to begin with. Buying a new cert doesn't make the site more secure - it just makes the scary popup go away.

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You want disruption? Try this: Uber office raided again, staff cuffed

DrXym
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Re: illegal software...

The software isn't illegal (there are plenty of taxi hailing apps). It's the person who arrives to pick you up who is acting illegally.

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Apple's 13-incher will STILL cost you a bomb: MacBook Air 2015

DrXym
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Re: Low res?

High resolution in laptops is vastly overrated. The higher DPI is something that most desktop software hasn't been written to cope with so the OS upscales the windows. Upscaling usually makes the window look blurry too. Some apps that do claim to be high DPI aware still suffer from fiddly little buttons or other issues. So the OS and GPU is doing more work and consuming more memory without substantially improving the experience.

It probably explains why more laptops haven't bothered, although it'd be nice if they offered at least 1920x1080 displays for 14" and 15" models.

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

DrXym
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Re: I want bezels!

"...and because—equally utterly pointlesy every phone nowadays seemingly must have a lovely smashable glass back as well as a smashable glass front—so the case I have to put on it has something to grip onto."

All the glass / metal is just for show and has zero functional benefit. In some cases it can affect the function - glass has less grip / friction to grip a surface so it adds risk of the phone falling and external metal can interfere with radio signal and must be shielded.

It's doubly pointless because the first thing most people do with their phone is shove it into some ugly cover / bumper anyway. It's just an excuse to jack up the price of the device and command a hefty premium.

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