* Posts by Bronek Kozicki

1821 posts • joined 6 Sep 2007

French, German ministers demand new encryption backdoor law

Bronek Kozicki
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Why bother?

To me all such legislators are similar to calls to "establish" the value of pi to be 3.0 . Cryptography is math, you cannot ban math, hence you cannot ban cryptography. The best they can do is to make it difficult for people to use strong cryptography, but "make difficult" is obviously not the same as "prevent".

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Microsoft's HoloLens secret sauce: A 28nm customized 24-core DSP engine built by TSMC

Bronek Kozicki
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Microsoft as a hardware company

You may laugh, but they used to make good mices (mouses?), keyboards and webcams. Perhaps time for specialized CPUs ?

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Ten-trillionths of your suntan comes from intergalactic photons

Bronek Kozicki
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Ten galaxies worth of sunscreen, please

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Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Microsoft start listening to people outside your bubble

It is not just convention. Microsoft has both gamers and business users (like Trevor Pott) by the balls. Yes there is Libre Office, Steam, and I'm very happy for this and wish them well, but it is early days. For Linux to be good alternative for these two markets (not just viable), much more client focused software is needed, for users to choose from. As a gamer (well, not much and only sometimes) I really hope for Vulkan. As a business user ..... well, someone please find me good alternative to Outlook, which works with Exchange just as well.

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$200,000 for a serious iOS bug? Pfft, we'll give you $500,000, says exploit broker Exodus

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Good.

If there is plenty supply of exploits on a given platform that means two things 1) the exploits are cheap and 2) platform is inherently insecure. While the law of supply and demand would necessarily focus on the first point (otherwise whoever is willing to pay for exploits would go bankrupt, and yes I'm also puzzled why Flash exploits rate is far more than $100 a pop), the second point indicates that the vendor does not care (enough), which also means that either they are short step to bankrupcy or, more likely, their business model factored that security exploits are not going to ruin them over night.

Yes, the exploits might ruing their customers, but did you read any of the EULAs of the software you are using? Yes I am being cynical, but that's the reality we live in.

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Intel overhyping flash-killer XPoint? Shocked, we're totally shocked

Bronek Kozicki
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Not really. First, I think QuantX is shared business with Intel (i.e. not in competition), secondly we are talking about generation 1 of the device. As long as HP and others delay delivery of alternative memory technologies, XPoint has a fighting chance. Still, at this moment it is far from impressive.

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Bronek Kozicki
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NVME latency ?

Specs on DC P3700, table 7 on page 11, state sequential read/write latency 20us and random read/write latency 115us/25us (yes, writes are faster - ideal for ZFS SLOG device). This is far from 200us used for comparison in the article. Yes, DC P3700 is expensive, but I suspect that comparable capacity QuantX would be more expensive anyway.

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Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: So long and thanks for all the fish

You do not seem to be aware of the relation between German economy and car manufacturers. Also, 20% of VW is effectively state-owned

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Boffins' blur-busting face recognition can ID you with one bad photo

Bronek Kozicki
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One nation under one CCTV

I knew it would come, but it is still scary.

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Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: While this is going on...

Snowden demonstrated why you can't be too paranoid.

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Google Chrome will beat Flash to death with a shovel: Why... won't... you... just... die!

Bronek Kozicki
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Oh I am so sorry for all those Flash developers ...

... not.

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Linux 4.8 rc1 lands, with Surface 3 support promised!

Bronek Kozicki
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Presumably those who pay their salary also are the ones who decided to go it alone.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Only last week I had to fiddle with some userland code, in fact the Python 3.5 socket module that broke because of a change in a minor kernel revision.

Please elaborate, best with a link to Linux Kernel Mailing List archive. Linux have very strong rules for not breaking user code with kernel changes. Linus is know to personally jump into these kinds of issues, and has some very strong language reserved especially for the guilty developers.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Depending on what you call "proper modular device driver system". Almost all device drivers are built as separate binaries, so it has one if that's what you are asking for. The ones which are under GPL usually sit in the single source tree of the upstream kernel, because that makes maintenance easier.

There can be drivers under GPL which are nevertheless not submitted (or accepted) into upstream, and there can be also drivers which are not under GPL, in both cases we are obviously talking about separate projects, meaning their development would not be reflected in kernel.

It seems you are referring to number of changes in drivers in the upstream kernel to imply on the availability of the drivers outside of it. Which makes no sense to me.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: I tried edge after the update and it went direct to malware.

Have one upvote from me, but I think you would have more if you remembered to put in "Joke Alert" icon

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My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Thunderbird with Lightening

OK so I do have reasonably powerful hardware (what one would call "workstation range" rather than regular desktop PC, with two expensive Quadro GPUs and two Xeon CPUs) and it is running two "gaming class" Windows VMs at the same time, and a number of Linux VMs, and also relatively large ZFS filesystem for VMs to use (which is not relevant here). As for the software side, I am running libvirt 1.3.5 , qemu 2.6 , kernel 4.4.15 (vanilla flavour, i.e. no patches), all setup as instructed by Alex Williamson with OVMF. It is possible to use regular GeForce cards and some AMD models for GPU passthrough as well, however there are gotchas. I guess that might be stopping you, if you are unwilling to shell out for Quadro (or "hack" an old GeForce card) or find the right AMD model, most of them suffer from reset issues.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Thunderbird with Lightening

@Trevor I am able to play Witcher 3 at max settings and butterry smooth, no issues at all. Are you sure you tried proper GPU passthrough?

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Thunderbird with Lightening

@Trevor maybe it's time to experiment again. I can share my experience if you want.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Thunderbird with Lightening

if I do that, I can't play games.

Of course you can. Give Windows exclusive access to a GPU then all games will work, just like they do on bare metal. That's how I do it a home, look for "GPU passthrough". You will need modern Linux kernel and relatively recent version of qemu or Xen. Also not all GPUs work well and specifix CPU and motherboard features are required to support it (VT-d and IOMMU). Which is a bit of a bother, I agree.

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Beer merger dwarfs EMC/Dell

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Awww...

Try Czech beer, they know how to make nice lagers.

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Bronek Kozicki
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I don't care

All are inferior lagers anyway, it does not matter whether under one roof or not.

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Windows 10 still free, even the Anniversary Update, if you're crass

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Twisting in the wind

"Probably one that runs Linux or *BSD but that defeats the object a bit does it not?"

Not really. There are many use cases when it makes sense to use Windows on top of Linux. E.g. running some work-specific software that only works on Windows (e.g. a VPN to one's workplace ...) or gaming (with help of GPU passthrough). On the other hand, it not always makes sense to use GUI software on Linux, sometimes all one needs is bash (or zsh), in which case headless host and ssh from guest Windows to Linux host is all that's needed. Also for GUI software, there is always X-forwarding under ssh. This way Windows is "degenerated" to resource intensive shim, but so what? I would argue that some of windows managers on Linux are also resource intensive shims, the only difference being that they are open source (e.g. KDE) and do not require hypervisor to run.

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ChakraCore gets Linux, OS X

Bronek Kozicki
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Trollface

I'm alarmed

If they continue along these lines, I may eventually feel obliged to switch to Edge from both IE (closed source) and Chrome (ratting out)

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Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Bronek Kozicki
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Brilliant

A simple question about a method of making tea gathered some 180 comments in the space of 23 hours. That's what I like about El Reg! BTW milk in the teapot is very bad idea, especially for those few who like their tea black.

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Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Microsoft apologists?

Well, I do use Windows, a lot. In a virtual machine. Running on Linux. I try to set it so that all the important software (e.g. filesystem with all the important files, file server, dlna, email server etc) runs on Linux, and "lipstick on pig" kind of software is on Windows, which is pretty but cannot be trusted.

But to try to explain what Microsoft is doing? That's beyond me. I guess they just do not like their users anymore, and I find that honesty refreshing. Well there I said it, my best attempt at explaining how wonderful it is :)

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: I'm looking for a new laptop

You can buy this Lenovo model 20DK002EUK at scan.co.uk , at what I recon is less than ~60% of the original recommended price. It is last year top model with Core i7 5600, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and 12" touch screen with HD resolution and wacom pen; bought it recently for wife and it is very very nice, small text on screen aside (but that's Windows problem). It comes with Windows 7, of course nothing stops you from making it dual boot or replacing it entirely with Linux. Or upgrading to Windows 10, but I guess that's not your preference :D

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Bronek Kozicki
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I know this is beside the point ...

.... but you could always install Start10 for your users, to replace builtin start menu. Start10 supports GP, you can download adm templates from vendor website, it is very cheap and is way better than builtin start menu anyway.

Well of course, I do know that next month Microsoft will damage something else in Pro edition, making Windows 10 even worse for those who do not want, or cannot, switch to Enterprise of Education edition. See title ...

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It's time for a discussion about malvertising

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: We can't tell them how much they should be paid..

The figure which Trevor suggested was per month. I feel it bit too generous, as I currently pay roughly ~10GBP for each of my subscriptions/month . Anyway it very much depends how many subscribers the publication will have.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Agreed

+1 (I think upvote is not explicit enough)

and I would pay premium to have it delivered to my Kindle over nigh, like other subscriptions I have. But even without this, I would pay to read El Reg on the web

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Cortana expelled from Windows 10's new school editions

Bronek Kozicki
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There are things I like to have "just in case", e.g.a set of sharp kitchen knives or assorted but modern cables and computer parts, but access to Windows store is not one of them.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Cortana disabled, Windows store disabled - perfect. That's Windows 10 version for me!

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Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

Bronek Kozicki
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Paris Hilton

Re: Just one side

"knowing what you want before you start" is also pre-requisite for agile development. It ls usually called "use cases", the difference from formal specification in waterfall is that it focuses on "what it needs to deliver" rather than "what the design should look like". I find that the focus on the former (as opposed to the latter) tends to drive projects such that they often meet users' needs, not sure know why ...

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BlackBerry snips Alcatel label off a midrange biz 'Droid, sells it for $299

Bronek Kozicki
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Joke

Re: Hmmm

I would take it, because a mobile charger worth £55 must be truly exceptional. It surely supports wireless charging in both standards, cleans the house, makes good coffee, washing and bl... never mind.

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Citrix's GoTo goes to LogMeIn in $2bn merger

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: GotoAssist

I don't know why, but this pattern feel familiar, must have seen it in books or what ... basically employ good recruitment for developers, but somehow end up with management which does not trust the developers to actually design and deliver any product. Eventually developers are fed up with not being allowed to actually deliver anything and leave, but the recruitment finds suitable replacement and the cycle continues, until the company runs out of money.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Paris Hilton

Re: LastPass and LogMeIn

I am looking to migrate away from lastpass but there is dearth of suitable candidates. Must support at least one browser plugin on Linux (firefox or chromium), must support client on Android which works without Google Play (so I can use it on my blackberry - native BB10 support would be even better) and must support self-hosted cloud storage so I no longer have to trust a third party. It appears most candidates 1) are hosted by vendor only or 2) do not support the front ends I need. Ideas?

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Diablo conjures up hell of a DIMM: 128GB NAND pretend-RAM summoned

Bronek Kozicki
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Joke

Wait ...

... is that a microSDXC card reader at the top of the radiator?

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Next month's Firefox 48 is looking Rusty – and that's a very good thing

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Just a question: C++ loved by the pros, hated by the fakers.

I chose option d) design the car to make it more difficult to forget to tighten the lungs, which is not on the list. That's what new language design is about - to enable more robust software design, i.e. one where bugs stand out more, and correct programs easier to write than incorrect ones. This could be based on statistical observations (e.g. multithreaded programs usually work better if data passed between threads are immutable), or other collective experience of language designers.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Boffin

Re: Source to source translators any good?

... and why would anyone do it? The whole point of using specific language is to match the desired design (sometimes architecture) with tools available. The language informs design of the project, because it is created to support certain design constructs. By converting between languages you are losing the benefits of this design match and gain nothing, with the only exception when using lower level language as object file format. But Rust is high level language, so the conversion to Rust will not buy you that.

Unless of course the answer is "for fun" in which case, sure why not.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Just a question: C++ loved by the pros, hated by the fakers.

@hellwig there was no "C++95", the earliest standardization was ANSI in 1997, this was later ratified by ISO to become ISO/IEC standard 14882:1998 (hence called C++98). Bjarne's Annotated Reference Manual on the other hand is dated 1990, so you are not referring to that either. And C++ only very recently acquired functional capabilities (e.g. compile-time immutable data and functions, lambda expressions or std::function wrapper). Finally I do not know what you are referring to with "lowering to the lowest common denominator", as the new languages such as Swift or Rust are rather more refined than old ones, since they build on the experience on those who created these older languages. There is no "lowering the the common denominator" here, I think last such effort on creating a new language was PHP which is nowhere close to the topic at hand.

So, as you can see I am truly confused by your post above, care to explain?

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Just a question

How is this different to having an improved compiler for C

Short answer: very different. Yes in theory it is possible to add all kinds of checks to C compiler, but the result of this would be that any sane C programmer will call the resulting limitations unreasonable, and for good reason. It would be very difficult to write any program in C with checks as restrictive as the ones built into Rust.

In case anyone wanted to ask "so how is it possible to write any program in Rust" the answer is simple : it is a different language, so it can provide syntax for safe alternatives, without having to worry about syntax compatibility with C compilers. The need to maintain this compatibility is what really hamstrung the evolution of C++ language (in 21st century i.e. C++11 and after), but Rust has no such limitations.

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Tor veteran Lucky Green exits, torpedos critical 'Tonga' node and relays

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: hmm

another option is HORNET

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Server techies 'stiffed on overtime pay' banned from ganging up on HP

Bronek Kozicki
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A field technician in happier times

Ow how cute. But the description is entirely inaccurate, should say "a nice looking model pretending to be field technician"

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Software bug costs Citigroup $7m after legit transactions mistaken for test data for 15 years

Bronek Kozicki
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Re: Calm Down

Still, the fine $7m seems appropriate and proportionate.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Almost there. The number of non-reported transactions was close to 27,000 ; the number of requests (that is, how many reports were created) is 2,300 . Meaning on average each report missed nearly 12 transaction. That's tiny but as you correctly note, there might (or might not) be large sums involved, or other signs of "noncompliant behaviour" which were effectively hidden from SEC.

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Bronek Kozicki
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Re: And SEC did not catch it?

I'd be surprised if SEC bothered to correlate transaction data from all the banks sending the data, and it wouldn't make sense to correlate data from some banks only.

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Space station to get shiny new ringpiece for automatic penetration

Bronek Kozicki
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Was speculating that SpaceX might reuse

... some of the "flew once, will fly again" Falcon boosters. As it turns out that the mission will carry some extremely expensive hardware, and already once destroyed in the fire, this seems less likely now.

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Boffins bash better brains into OpenFlow

Bronek Kozicki
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Nice, but ...

... how does this impact packet switching time inside the switch? For the fastest switches out there this is now measured well under a microsecond, and it is hard to see how data collection could reasonably work this fast, without hitting the ceiling on price and power.

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Blocks appear in DigitalOcean's Droplets

Bronek Kozicki
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This is useful

The resizing model at DigitalOcean works like this : you can either upgrade your instance permanently which also (RAM , vCPU and transfer limit change aside) increases its storage in 10GB steps (smallest instance is 20GB then 30GB etc), or you can upgrade other parameters (listed above RAM, vCPU and transfer) leaving storage unchanged, which will allow you to downgrade later (so called flexible model). The addition of block storage means that you can upgrade in flexible manner and still extend your storage, simply by buying extra device. Which you can release later if you no longer need it, alongside with downgrading your instance. Neat.

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Webpages, Word files, print servers menacing Windows PCs – yup, it's Patch Tuesday

Bronek Kozicki
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Megaphone

There are 3 things certain in life

Death, taxes and Flash vulnerabilities

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Nasty session stealing hole filled in WordPress All in One SEO plugin

Bronek Kozicki
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Pint

Security hole in a WordPress plugin

In other news, Adobe will soon release patch for another Flash vulnerability.

The icon? It's beer for me, because I do not use either.

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