* Posts by DrXym

4043 posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

Playpen child sex abuse archive admin gets 20 years in the Big House

DrXym
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I hope he enjoys his time

He'll probably have to be secluded due to the high risk of being assaulted the second any other prisoner finds out what he's in for. Time will pass very slowly indeed.

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FM now stands for 'fleeting mortality' in Norway

DrXym
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Re: DAB+

The issue of channel switching is a multitude of things - the poor bitrate of audio codec and buffering (fixed by DAB+), the sparcity and power output of transmitters (a commercial decision), and how the groups of channels that are muxed to the same frequency (a commercial decision).

None of these are a problem of the tech per se but the implementation. Some people seem to things are A-OK with crappy DAB and crappy FM. Both could be fixed with some direction.

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DrXym
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Re: DAB+ DrXym

" No its more like going from 4K back to SD, most of the DAB channels are mono rather than stereo and at bit rates that give audio quality up there with telephone hold music."

No it's more a case of DAB+ is demonstrably better than FM in every way and that's where the UK should be going. DAB is crap however which is why UK needs to demonstrate some backbone.

DAB+ should be promoted and FM should be end of lifed in the short term. DAB can transition and end of life. Some people don't appear to comprehend this. Probably the same people flicking over 50+ channels of terrestrial TV without recognizing the irony.

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DrXym
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Re: DAB+ DrXym

"Its more a question of replacing 4K full colour TV with 4K full colour TV with seriously reduced reception and usability cos 'new is better even if it really isn't'

I don't even know what you're talking about here.

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DrXym
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Re: DAB+ @DrXym

"I totally agree that DAB was rolled out in the UK too early, but it's always difficult difficult to change things once they're generally (if you can say this about DAB) adopted."

No it isn't, not really. All that needs to happen is the appropriate regulatory authority mandates that new kit adopts the new tech and announce that the old tech is going to be switched off on such a date. There is a reasonable period of notice, an overlapping period during which the old and new tech operate side by side to encourage adoption. And then you stick to this timetable.

Attrition will mean that by the time the date rolls around the majority of people probably have kit that plays the new tech anyway. This has happened enough times for enough tech in enough countries to know it works just fine. It will work fine in Norway.

The only result of dithering is you now have two technologies to support and all the expense and waste of spectrum that goes with it.

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DrXym
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Re: DAB+

Yes it is a great idea. It means you get to watch TV in high definition, with more channels, while using less of the radio spectrum.

Though perhaps you prefer 4:3 405 line monochrome analogue because nothing should change ever.

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DrXym
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DAB+

Every country should start dumping FM and free the space for DAB+ with a plan to sunset DAB a few years on from that.

The problem with digital radio was it came too soon, at least in the UK. DAB uses a crappy MP2 audio codec. DAB+ flipped to AAC allowing better quality for a lower bitrate.

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Splunk: Why we dumped Perforce for Atlassian's Bitbucket of Gits

DrXym
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Doesn't surprise me

These days decentralized VCS is *normally* the way to go and Git is the defacto choice here. If I were setting up any software project I'd choose git first unless there were a reason not to. I ported a very large project from CVS to Git a few years ago - trivial merges and updates went from taking 20 minutes down to seconds. Even compared to Subversion it's fast and stuff like merging / rebasing is just so much easier. One interesting thing about git is that the entire cloned repository with all its history often takes up less space on disk than a single Subversion snapshot because svn preserves a pristine copy of every file you checkout to save itself a roundtrip when looking for changes.

The main reason I might choose a centralized system would be a repo with millions of files, lots of changes, lots of binary data, Word docs, CAD files etc. Most centralized repos allow people to snapshot just a bit of it in an ad hoc fashion. Git can do a shallow clone but generally treats the repo as an atomic entity which is cloned in its entirety or not. Git can only workaround this with submodules or subtrees and certainly not in an ad hoc fashion.

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My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder

DrXym
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Re: Hipsters discover SlimFast...

"Almost. This isn't just designed to give calories, it's made to give a balance of the stuff you need to live, long term. Not much joy in that path, I'm sure, but it should work."

Except that in the absence of long term studies showing the life expectancy or health outcomes of people eating Huel shakes every day for their entire lives versus other diets, there is no basis in fact for making that claim.

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DrXym
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Re: I really don't see the point

"If you enjoy preparing food, great! Just don't assume that everyone else enjoys it too."

I think you'll find virtually everyone enjoys it to some degree. Even if the "preparation" is merely putting some bread in a toaster, boiling a kettle for a cup of tea, or dipping a biscuit in the tea. Even Huel aficionados presumably derive some pleasure from shaking their mixer to derive their food.

Now perhaps you aren't one of those people, but if it makes you happy, you may add "in general" to the front.

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DrXym
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Re: I really don't see the point

"Aha - the difference is that this has all that is actually needed to fuel a human (thus the name). Even consuming all a n energy bar, cup-a-soup, pot noodle and sandwich *combined* won't give you the nutrients that Huel (or similar - other products are available) will."

Bollocks. People conspicuously manage to not drop like flies from eating normal food. One can only assume from that fact that they're getting more than adequate nutrients and calories from the food they eat.

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DrXym
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Re: Hipsters discover SlimFast...

Slimfast, whey protein, powdered egg, soy, powdered soup etc.

In WW2, the lifeboats had this crap called pemmican which was a paste made from fat, meat, flour, fruit, sugar etc. Basically emergency food that packed the biggest calorific punch in the smallest space.

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DrXym
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Re: I really don't see the point

The point is that a bland, more expensive, harder to prepare, powder that must be shaken into a gloop isn't a replacement for those things. Even if you're time poor there are better choices.

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DrXym
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I really don't see the point

I could see potential uses for people on extremely restricted diets, under the supervision of a dietician and providing the ingredients were rigorously controlled and medically efficacious. I suppose it might also prove useful in survival kits and suchlike, providing there were fresh water to mix it with. But those are edge cases for situations where there few other options.

Otherwise, these powders are bland, expensive and actually require as much or more preparation and inconvenience than just eating an energy bar, cup-a-soup, pot noodle, sandwich or whatever else constitutes actual food albeit of the convenience variety.

And preparing, cooking and eating food is a pleasure - the taste, texture, smell, variety, the feeling of a full belly. Anyone who is so time poor they can't eat real food, even fast food, is not addressing the fundamental problem by eating / drinking glop.

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Programmer finds way to liberate ransomware'd Google Smart TVs

DrXym
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Bitrot

I'm in an apartment at the moment with a Samsung "smart" TV. Half of the apps don't work on it any more and the rest are so janky I don't see why I'd want to use them or have them baked into the TV.

I think I'd prefer a plain old dumb TV, and if they want to be "smart" they can stick a DLNA client and Chromecast into it. That's more or less all anyone wants or needs any way.

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DrXym
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Re: Best reason yet -LG has been webos for 4 or more years now.

"Also, are not both UIs based on a Linux which might well be identical under the hood? webOs might not be subject to this particular malware but it will probably have its own vulnerabilities."

WebOS and Android use a Linux kernel of some kind but are largely different in every other respect. Android doesn't even share its userland with any other Linux dist. It's very unlikely they would share any vulnerability.

In this case it looks like an older "smart" TV running the Google TV platform which has been pretty much abandoned by everyone, including Google. The newer Android TV is still going, but not on LG devices.

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Meet Hyper.is – the terminal written in HTML, JS and CSS

DrXym
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It's a application framework that happens to be built on NodeJS and other web technologies. It's not a browser per se although it uses an embedded browser engine to drive its UI. The benefit is somebody writing a plugin or function for the app only has to do it once and providing it has no platform dependencies it will install and run anywhere.

It's not a radical new concept. Mozilla was doing this a decade ago. Firefox, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, all of the plugins plus a bunch of external projects such as xpcshell used JS, CSS, XML to develop apps in.

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DrXym
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Already done

Atom and Visual Studio Code already have terminal plugins. They do what they say on the tin.

A standalone terminal app might require some menus of its own to manage tabs and provide the functionality someone might get from ConEmu, gnome-term or whatever but the main work is already done.

That said, a GOOD terminal can be a godsend. I use ConEmu all the time because it offers ANSI highlighting, cut / copy / paste, tabs, search and a bunch of other stuff that I wouldn't get from cmd.exe. I could see how a developer's terminal application which also happened to be cross platform could become popular.

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Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

DrXym
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I wonder how anyone can be that stupid

Gambling stolen money is bad enough, but stealing just to play a crappy mobile "game"?

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Neo-Nazi man jailed for anti-Semitic Twitter campaign against MP

DrXym
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Re: sigh..

Jemma it would have saved a lot of typing if you just wrote "I'm an antisemite". Much simpler.

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DrXym
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Re: Schadenfreude

"Prison is supposed to be a correctional facility. It is quite clearly not capable of correcting this individual."

In which case he can repeatedly enjoy the delights found there within.

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Sony kills off secret backdoor in 80 internet-connected CCTV models

DrXym
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Re: Hardcoded passwords...

"I don't think this is stupidity, I think this is deliberate."

The vastly more likely reason is that devs need a way to debug the device and in their infinite wisdom chose badly. I've written code all kinds of embedded devices and this sort of thing is all too common. It's not malicious, just poor practice.

If the government or individuals wanted to screw with devices they could do it in a far more surreptitious way than this. The simplest would be a port knock which makes the device look secure until certain ports are tapped in the right order and then it launches an ssh server. This is often used in remote devices that need remote service access so it's not something exotic or hard to do for someone with more malicious intentions.

Security isn't one thing either. It probably wouldn't have been bad to open telnet providing someone could only log in with limited permissions but providing root access makes it clear the devs were clueless. See my previous post - root access should never be necessary in the field and it's easy to set the root password to something random and unknown and disable root logins altogether. If devs needed debug access they could have gotten it with a login that only let them clear logs, edit app config files and suchlike.

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DrXym
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Re: Hardcoded passwords...

It's almost unavoidable to have a hardcoded password for the root / system / superuser but it's easy to render it unusable. Best practice is to set the root password to a very long, randomly generated string, store the salt / has passwd file into a read-only firmware partition and completely forget what the password ever was. Also disable root login or change the login shell to some null operation.

Then nobody can obtain access to root. Not the devs, not the service engineers, not the user, not the application software, not hackers.

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Take that, creationists: Boffins witness birth of new species in the lab

DrXym
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Re: Another nail in the coffin?

"When you come up with some real science (observable/provable/testable) rather than circular reasoning and "just so" stories that change day-by-day I might be enticed to believe."

Er what?

Evolution refers to genetic change through generations of species. Evolution is a fact since we can see it happening and test it. We can even cause such as by selectively breeding plants or animals for some trait. Try looking at the ancient form of a cabbage some time.

It can be observed in the wild in populations divided over islands, and in response to changes in habitat. It can be observed in the fossil record. It can be observed in the lab such as Lenski's long term evolution experiment on bacteria where isolated strains have evolved novel traits. It can be observed in fruit flies and other fast breeding species.

Evolution is tested every time a a fossil comes out of the ground and conspicuously isn't a chimera or animal that should not exist in its geological strata. It is tested and validated by fossils that have observable gradations of form including intermediates. It is tested by DNA analysis - Darwin didn't even know there was such a thing - yet it's exactly in agreement with the theory.

So no, there is no circular reasoning. Evolution is a fact and a theory. Anyone in disagreement is ignorant and/or a fool.

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DrXym
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Another nail in the coffin?

At this point there are more nails than wood. The problem is that creationists (and denialists of other kinds) are extremely adept at ignoring overwhelming evidence that contradicts their deeply held beliefs.

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Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

DrXym
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A standard app drawer!

I wonder what it says of Huawei that it took them the better part of 3 years to realise that combining the app drawer and home screens was a terrible idea.

I still remember the pain of dragging a app icons 5 screens over to the left because the dumb G510 I'd bought just plonked the icons onto screens in the order they were installed. In the end I had to waste a not insubstantial amount of flash use Nova as a launcher instead of this brain damage.

The best thing Huawei could do is just leave the stock android on there or sparingly modify it. It shouldn't require a designer to figure this out.

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Loyalty card? Really? Why data-slurping store cards need a reboot

DrXym
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Amazon Prime is a loyalty program?

I thought it was a something people paid for. In return they get free P&P on a bunch of stuff and a bag of other random benefits.

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Shhhhh! If you're quiet, Linus Torvalds might release new a Linux

DrXym
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Re: This is a genuine question to all software devlopers...

"One thing I've never understood is why software is released with known bugs."

Because known bugs vary by their severity and their ability to happen. If a bug causes a kernel panic once in a blue moon on some esoteric setup, do you delay the entire release for the sake of that?

More severe bugs will be regarded as blockers and the release will be held up until they are fixed. Other bugs might be prioritized to be fixed in a subequent release.

The adage "never buy version 1 of anything" also applies. This doesn't just affect software either - a brand new model car is riddled with flaws and quality issues. Many of these are known about and others will be found as cars come in for repair or get crashed. Only the most serious issues will justify a recall. Other issues will be fixed during the production life of the vehicle.

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Make Christmas Great Again: $149 24-karat gold* Trump tree ornament

DrXym
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Only a Liberace themed one.

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SQL Server on Linux: Runs well in spite of internal quirks. Why?

DrXym
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Re: I have to wonder WHY

"Possibly because there's still a shit tonne of applications out there that run on top of Sql Server perhaps?"

Yes and they can use MS SQL Server for Windows. It's a tier-1 supported product. What is the incentive to move to SQL Server running on Linux? Microsoft has been down the port road a lot of times, producing a version of one of their products on another platform and killing it. Why would anyone want the risk of it happening again?

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DrXym
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I have to wonder WHY

If someone is so wedded to Microsoft technology, why would they risk that Microsoft does its usual of producing a half-baked port of one of their products to another OS and then canning it a few years on. Besides which, Microsoft could easily tilt the licensing terms so any money they lose from not running the server on their own OS is recouped some other way.

And if someone is NOT wedded to Microsoft technology, this certainly seems a very bad reason to start now.

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Microsoft promises 'equal access' to LinkedIn to get EC green light for acquisition

DrXym
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This sounds even worse

I don't want equal access. LinkedIn nags me enough about downloading their stupid location tracking app on Android and it'd be quite nice if Microsoft withdrew it.

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Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

DrXym
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Re: Cart before the horse

The idea of Continuum was you had a Windows phone in your pocket but if you docked it in some kind of port replicator or big tablet frame you could use it as a a desktop. So the expectation was not to be able to use the desktop on a small screen, but allow a desktop on a big screen.

But it kind of sucks to have your desktop and discover there are no apps for it since its running ARM...

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DrXym
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Re: Cart before the horse

I bought a Linx 8-inch tablet 2 Christmases ago with Atom Z3735G that cost me £80 and runs a Windows 10 (upgraded from 8). While I mostly use it like a tablet, I can and have used the desktop just fine. It's not going to win a prize for speed but it's enough to run desktop apps like word processors and similar apps.

While Intel was late to the mobile market, their chips are competitive with ARM chips. Performance / battery benchmarks show that time and again. And in a device which is supposed to turn into a Windows desktop it seems a no-brainer to at least start off with an x86 compatible device.

I doubt emulating x86 on ARM is going to lead to a good experience at all. I suppose Microsoft could machine translate DLLs to native ARM instructions on first load but even that is going to be suboptimal.

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DrXym
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Cart before the horse

Microsoft should have required Intel mobile chips in their Continuum phones. It is painfully obvious that a Windows device that can't run the majority of Windows software is terrible idea. This was amply demonstrated with WinRT so how could they be dumb enough to make the same mistake twice?

Perhaps in time they could have offered ARM devices with emulation, or perhaps laid the foundation for universal binaries built against Win32 that compiled to whatever native platform they were executed on. Or both options.

But sending Continuum out to die was just a bad idea.

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WDLabs goes Pi-eyed and sees triple

DrXym
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esata

Maybe WD should bung a bit of cash / support at RPi to add esata support and not one which goes through USB under the covers.

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Firefox hits version 50

DrXym
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Re: Android

I use it on Android all the time. It works great especially if you throw in an extension like uBlock to slash 3rd party scripts out of sites. Most Firefox extensions work in the mobile version.

Aside from having mature extension support it also means you get more privacy. Using a not-Google browser means it's harder for Google to see what you're up to.

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China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

DrXym
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Re: China knows something

"Pay for what all? Bribery? PAC money? The usual corruption? We all just witnessed a candidate win without becoming beholden to that rotten DC machine. If Trump can do it, then others can too."

You're joking I hope. Trump's campaign received sizable campaign donations and we already see how he is dishing out favours.

And during the campaign foreigners were solicited for donations which is illegal. Reporters from the Daily Telegraph were even advised by his fund raisers how they could hide the origins of donations that came from China. Also illegal.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/24/exclusive-investigation-donald-trump-faces-foreign-donor-fundrai/

So not only is his campaign no different from other campaigns, it's possibly far worse.

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Samsung sets fire to $9m by throwing it at Tizen devs

DrXym
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Re: Of course they need to pay devolopers to develop for Tizen

"One has to ask why they chose the awful-sounding Enlightenment to base their company's future on ?"

Once upon a time Red Hat used Enlightenment as its default window manager. It could do all kinds of kewl things (e.g add chrome handle bars to windows, transparency etc). but it hogged resources, was extremely badly documented and impossibly complex for users to configure.

So Red Hat dumped it for GNOME and a WM called Sawfish. It sounds like the E devs really haven't learned much over the years.

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DrXym
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Re: Of course they need to pay devolopers to develop for Tizen

Dear god, I wonder what made them decide to use EFL. It looks unfixably awful.

Either QT or GTK would have been a far better choice for development. Both have backends for wayland and both are far more mature and well documented / supported products.

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Married man arrives at A&E with wedding ring stuck on todger

DrXym
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♬ Wuh uh oh uh uh oh oh uh oh uh uh oh ♬

Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

If you liked it then you should've put a ring on it

Don't be mad once you see that he want it

If you liked it then you should've put a ring on it

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Trumped? Nope. Ireland to retain corporate tax advantage over the US

DrXym
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I doubt it really matters

The US companies have to have a presence in Europe for a variety of reasons (regulatory, access to the market etc.) and Ireland serves as a good base not just because tax rate is low but also because the people speak English, the workforce is well educated and there are no shortage of skilled labour.

I'm sure lowering the tax rate in the US might protect some jobs but it's simplistic to think all the jobs will come back because of it. And if they slash taxes in half there is a small question of how they fund the difference. The US already runs a deficit so I expect a red marker pen will be run right through a whole range of services and welfare programs. So much for Trump standing up for the little people.

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DrXym
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Re: From across the pond

Nope. You have to have a tangible presence in the country.

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McDonald's sues Italian city for $20m after being burger-blocked

DrXym
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Re: I haven't been to Florence

The "tourist drag" in Venice is EVERYWHERE. And when I visited it was well before TripAdvisor, or Google Maps. I had a Rough Guide book mentioning Harry's bar and like but it's not much use when every street was twisty turny passages all alike and there are hundreds of bad places to those which are supposedly good. How many of those all featuring exclusively pizza joints and glass / mask shops do you walk past before you give up and just eat already. Yeah maybe generic-pizza-joint-#29 is better than generic-pizza-joint-#5 but how can you tell from the outside and when do you give up?

That's the point. We'd been through 2 really crappy expensive places and were happy just to see a Burger King for an evening meal - beer, a burger, close to home. Although the best lunch we had in Venice was the day we took a train OUT of Venice to Treviso. About 15 minutes away and restaurants actually felt an obligation to serve reasonable food.

That said I don't really care about McDonalds and their hurt feelings. They're a conglomerate. I just wish that when some mayor of some place is fighting against them that the alternative is justifiably better. I can't speak for Florence but I know in Venice it absolutely was not.

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DrXym
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I haven't been to Florence

But I've been to Venice and there was a Burger King there. And a godsend it was too. After spending 3 days looking for a place that was NOT some crappy tourist quality pizza joint it was nice to find a place where we could order a burger, chips and beer (they serve beer) without being screwed over.

Can't say I feel any sympathy for McDonalds but I know if I were in Florence I wouldn't turn the chance down of eating / drinking for about 1/3 the price of anywhere else.

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Living with the Pixel XL – Google's attempt at a high-end phone

DrXym
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Re: Wanna buy a Pixel?

"If your phone is network registered by the IMEI number, then it'll take three hours listening to muzak and carefully reading endless numbers to somebody in Manila."1

Sim or not, if you transfer from one network to another and you intend to keep your number you have to go through that process. There is no reason that a software sim activation has to be more complex in any way.

Frankly the opposition to software sims is totally irrational. Assuming it were to be a standard then there are very few downsides.

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DrXym
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Re: Wanna buy a Pixel?

It's too bad that phones don't just do away with SIM slots altogether. It should be eminently feasible to register a phone with a network, or even move networks without one. Providing the mechanism is network / phone neutral I'd have no problem with this and I suspect neither would the networks or handset makers.

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Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

DrXym
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It's incredible how this has become a "scandal"

Virtually all of Clinton's emails that are known of were very curt short sentences and very circumspect. She might have been silly to use an internal email server but she was also security conscious. Therefore the likelihood that she somehow spilled the beans to some aide seems ridiculous.

Aside from that the Democratic party leaks showed that 99% of the emails were mostly people forwarding media links between each other. If there were really 650,000 emails then chances are that all but 650 are meaningless party political noise.

Despite the bullshit hype and "lock her up" brain damage there has been no smoking gun. Just some silly woman using her own email server, presumably for the far more mundane reasons of not wanting stuff to be on the public record and not liking the government email system.

The super stupid bit is her opponent is currently facing RICO charges, a child rape court case, hasn't disclosed his taxes, has conducted illegal business in Cuba and covered it up, has been accused of sexual assault by various women, is parroting Russian policy and nobody in his camp seems to find this even faintly worrying.

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Is password security at just $1/month too expensive for most?

DrXym
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Password Safe

Download that, use it with a strong password. Password management for free. If you want to use it on multiple devices put the strongly encrypted safe file on dropbox or something like it.

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UK prison reform report wants hard-coded no-fly zones in drones to keep them out of jail

DrXym
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Re: "hard-coded no-fly zones in drones"

"Right, because criminals will immediately cease to try and get their drones into the prison anyway because of such a strong obstacle. Sure."

No single security measure is meant to protect against all threats so its a nonsense to characterize it as such.

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