* Posts by Chronos

1021 posts • joined 21 Oct 2007


Apple reseller Solutions Inc pulls down shutters, calls in administrators

Chronos Silver badge

Re: One wonders...

In defence of grumpy old gits, we are accustomed to the worst possible outcome after so much direct empirical evidence. Still, at least we have the residual decency to apologise when it happens :)

Chronos Silver badge

Re: One wonders...

Damn, that was a bit knee-jerk on my part, wasn't it? Well spotted, Mr/Ms X. Have a beer.

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Big Brother

One wonders...

...if employees' personal effects left on site are really company property or could said employees have a case for theft of said personal effects? Perhaps employees returning isn't the only reason the police may be called...

Icon. Well there isn't a fat bastard with a cigar sitting on a pile of money and employee corpses icon so I had to go with the authoritarian angle.

Secret mic in Nest gear wasn't supposed to be a secret, says Google, we just forgot to tell anyone

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Re: Oh, crap they caught us again!

telnet bofh.jeffballard.us 666


Pokemon No! Good news: You can now ban the virtual pests, er, pets to stop nerds wandering around your property

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Re: "Zombie players"?

"Shot to the head. Nothing more, nothing less. Right, that's it, piss off..."

-- Gregg, the grim reaper, CBFD

ACLU: Here's how FBI tried to force Facebook to wiretap its chat app. Judge: Oh no you don't

Chronos Silver badge

Re: N/M

No, they most likely want the redacted version to show their "dissent" with the snoopage for some public brownie points but cover up just how easy it is for their systems to be internally compromised, which would probably make up the bulk of the federal complaint of contempt, i.e. "They routinely trawl through this stuff for product interest keywords, networking indicators and so on but refused to assist law enforcement by sharing that data."

This is Farcebook we're talking about. The "right thing" is serendipitous.

Uncle Sam to its friends around the world: You can buy technology the easy way, or the Huawei

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Re: "out of security concerns"

The UK has a choice: [...] seeking to create a national specialty

We have one. I don't think bloody-mindedness sells very well, though.

In a way, China's ascendency is again a monster of our own creation. Oh, those manufacturing jobs were just too dull and low paid to be economically viable for us so we just did the interesting design bits and sent them over there to be made for tuppence ha'penny. Then the design got dull so we just took Shenzhen generics and rebadged them. All of a sudden we're wondering why China is top dog for making stuff. Well, quelle surprise.

It didn't need an economic war. All China had to do was, um, Keep Calm and Carry On™.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: "out of security concerns"

You mean like handing Poland over to the Soviets in 1945 despite our treaty obligations to them being the reason we entered into the war in the first place and their underrated help in surviving the Battle of Britain, a decision in which both so-called civilised nations were complicit? It's one thing to exercise the will of the people, it's quite another to ignore that will and sell them down the river. Sovereignty? Only when it suits us.

We're barely down from the sodding trees...

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Re: Be curious, if the UK has to toe the line ...

succumbed to aspirational crap such as "You can be whatever you want to be".

My answer to that particular platitude is usually along the lines of "I can also surely be many things I don't particularly want to be such as dead, skint or stuck in a room with some bellend who actually believes that, scenarios which are much more likely than being snu-snu'd senseless by Keira Knightley and Margot Robbie on my own tropical island."

Sometimes this realism is harsh...

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Re: Does that mean...

You'll go broke from the lack of U.S. business

Pray tell, what will the lack of exports to those "rogue states" do to your trade deficit?

They're obviously issuing those funny 20th Century atlases again which show the North American continent covering 70% of the planet's land-mass and Uncle Sam standing on a mountain (if you can find one that hasn't been strip-mined) being pleasured by Lady Liberty while screaming "Murica, fuckin' A!" You do realise that Canada is bigger than the contiguous 48 combined?

Not really sure how valuable US business is right now, given Arsenoise's love for tariffs, trade barriers and MAGA. It's probably on a par with our own, given Brexit and the uncertainty of becoming a trivial little island with politicians who could start an argument alone in a country 'phone box at 4AM and very little manufacturing industry to speak of.

Still, we have Silicon Roundabout and Jacob Rees-Mogg, the first visible proof that cadavers can be reanimated. What more could we possibly want? [sarcasm]

Posturing and willy-waving, all of it.

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes

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Re: Delta Chat

Impressive. However, I remain confused. Why are we buggering about with Google, Facebook, Slack and so on, with the attendant snoopage, when we have XMPP that can do all of those things? Even goOgle used it for a while, until it became clear that OTR enf-to-end was too easy and made snooping on people's chats nigh impossible.

Offline messages: check.

End to end encryption: check.

Voice and video: check.

SIP integration: check.

Conference rooms: check.

Virtual whiteboards: check.

Easily done in-house with sod-all server overhead? Yup, check. Anything it doesn't do can be added with plug-ins that probably already exist Rule 34 style, hence eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. Until SMTP is guaranteed to be encrypted for every hop, e-mail should be left well out of the loop for anything more important than Aunty Mabel's cat photos. Banks, I'm looking at you lot.

Ouch, Apple! Plenty of iPhones stuck in tech channel. How many? That's a 'wild card'

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Apple boredom

Indeed. They had a pair of them chained to a table in Tesco on Friday. Mrs Chronos, not being a techie, wandered over to have a prod.

"Look at these!"

"Yes, look at the price."

"What do they do that mine [Moto G] doesn't?"

"Lock you into Apple's ecosystem and make you part of the Apple clique."

Unsurprisingly, we completed our shopping without further reference to Cupertino's finest. You will note I said Tesco. Not Waitrose or John Lewis, which would seem to be more their target demographic. It smacked a little of desperation. They'll be in the bargain bins at Lidl next...

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Biblical solution to bathroom issue

Dost thou not pisseth ere the full light of the morn? Dumpeth thou also but a short while hence from imbibing thy caffeine, for t'would be most unseemly should thou shittest thyself ere reaching thy place of perpetual toil.

Obviously you weren't subjected to "The Bard" and his ramblings which seemed to infect the translation of the heatstroke-addled rants of various ancient conmen. Thankfully, both Pastafarianism and Discordia dodged that particular conceit; the FSM would say "I'd really rather you didn't turn up to work smelling like an open cesspool." Eris wouldn't care either way.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Polite notices

1. Any notice that has to have "Polite Notice" written on it probably isn't!

You miss the point of those. It's so the illiterate will read it as "Police notice" as if the rozzers don't have better things to do than concern themselves with some petty little arsecrack's passive-aggressiveness and nothing whatsoever to do with minding one's Ps and Qs.

Polite Notice We noticed you noticing this notice. It has been noted.

The one on my garage door simply reads "Daihatsu." I think that's fair warning that I have low range, difflock, a sturdy chain, an early start, no inclination to waste public funds dealing with anti-social halfwits and zero tolerance.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

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20MB pic...

...or it didn't happen!

I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Is it spying or is it problems with competition

Now, Martin, we're not supposed to figure this out. This is why cryptocurrency is being much maligned by various people with vested interests in state backed currency. If you decentralise the trust in a currency you remove control of it and, more importantly, the people using it which is what a certain Mr Guppy keeps saying. While he's not my favourite person in the whole world, he certainly has some insightful things to say on the subjects of monetary policy, cashless society and banks.

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Er… hang on, isn't that what Google, Facebook et al have been doing for years already? Ah, but these companies are American! They would never misuse the personal information of citizens. They would steadfastly refuse to bow to the political demands and censorial whims of despotic governments and vested financial interests.

You cynical bastard! I love it.

I'm not convinced, though. This rhetoric about embedded spyware only tells me one thing: That, despite clamouring for de-encryption, despite bulk surveillance, despite billions down the crapper on decryption kit and exploits with uppercase names these people still have exactly zero idea what's travelling over the networks. I find that strangely comforting, especially as I personally fire up iftop every time my router seems to be working harder than I think it should be, only to find I've accidentally left a tab in a minimised browser window running some bloody marketer's idea of non-intrusive advertising.

As for hwa-way, who-are-we or wha-hey, I only learnt how to pronounce it when they started putting silly ads in the middle of Corrie and I lingered longer than is customary when t' missus was watching the damned thing. It was always hue-away before that.

What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

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Re: Lucy is here!

A truly unique aural experience.

...for which we're all grateful.

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend

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His posts actually make sense if you read them all the way through and imagine it has been through online translate a few times. I'd imagine Go Ogle's Martian to English translator is a bit crap.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish

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That could have been me saying that. On top of what you wrote for autonomous cars you can add "shelling out several grand when the battery dies" or, in Renault's case, never owning the bloody thing in the first place.

As for number five, many of those who said they wouldn't probably already do.

"That? Oh, it's a dog toy, Vicar. Yes, the vibration knocks all the tartar off his teeth."

I suspect by "robot" they mean "android". This is why this industry is leaking talent like a sieve: Even the experts don't know how to categorise their shit.

Sadly, your IoTosh going mainstream prediction fell flat judging by the number of those Ring video doorbells I see in my new, much sexier job as a parcel bloke (at least I'm getting exercise and decent money), usually on houses with pretentious names that begin with "High" which is probably what the sign-writer was when he painted the bloody thing if its legibility is anything to go by...

"No, sir, unless your fancy Internet of Vulnerabilities doorbell can actually sign for this and take it indoors, it's going back to the depot and you can collect it from there."

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Chronos Silver badge

Re: The real solution

@Cynic_999, I recall "fondly" doing just that with a shitload of Psion II mempaks.

What is needed is control of the physical WE pin on the flash. Just bring it out to a header and leave the link off and pull the bugger low with a 4k7 if the 0.005p of fitting a pin-link is prohibitive. Those two pins in between the speaker header which are always there but never used would do nicely with the advantage that on most mobos, there's already a logic 1 source available at that location for the positive side of the speaker. Pull speaker connector, bung pin-link on, boot to FreeDOS, Bob's your shouty uncle.

Dixons Carphone smarting from £440m loss as it writes down goodwill on mobile biz

Chronos Silver badge

The novelty has worn off.

We've reached "peak shiny." Most of the people who would upgrade their kit every six months have been run over due to wandering about in the road transfixed by the damned things.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

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Liberty and justice for all - except when the Mighty Dollar is at stake. That high ground is starting to look and smell like a dung-heap.

Arresting a Canadian was just stupid. Up to that point there was a reasonable groundswell of public opinion against Ms Meng's arrest¹ as political capital. Now it seems like six of one and half a dozen of the other. The PRC would do well to have a word with a decent PR agency...

¹ Let's not forget, though, that Ms Meng and Mr Kovrig are sentient persons, regardless of nationality, being used as stakes in a game where only the most extremely privileged can ante up.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

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Re: Dumbing down the general population

They succeeded above all expectations but in a completely unexpected way they didn't like: a majority voted for Brexit

Do you honestly believe that this was the undesired outcome? Look at it from their side: No oversight, no ECoHR, no ECJ...

The disMay is purely a front and explains yer wan's determination to push on in the face of, well, pretty much everyone else saying she's talking nonsense with The Best Deal For Britain™. The EU was a convenient place to hang blame but they always have the opposition as a backstop - or they would if it wasn't a rump government sitting to the right of the speaker now that the DUP have abandoned the sinking ship and she could trust the members of her own party not to emulate Marcus Brutus.

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

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Re: Alternative solution?

Still irrelevant. Canada has no jurisdiction over a Chinese company. In fact, unless any US or Canadian resources were diverted through Huawei's shell company they have exactly zero grounds to detain a citizen of a foreign nation, regardless of that nation's status or involvement in a trade war with a straw-headed moron. Those sanctions only apply to subject citizens and corporate entities. Germany has flat-out told Arsenoise to go piss up a rope with them this time around. Ms Meng was just low-hanging fruit and they're relying on their "China Bad" propaganda to stop the general population thinking too much about the precedent this nonsense sets.

In Moriarty's Spin series of novels' timeline, the US is listed as a rogue nation by the UN. I think I begin to see how it got that status. If we're going to take the moral high ground, that pinnacle had better be built on solid foundations rather than a gilded turd sitting atop a load of self-interest.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Alternative solution?

Meng Wanzhou is accused of breaking the sanctions a number of years ago, not the ones introduced by the current US president.

Irrelevant. She didn't commit that "offence" under the jurisdiction of the US and wasn't on US soil upon her arrest. The arrest is blatant disregard for international law and needs rectifying, otherwise there will be no state visits by some very prominent European leaders to the North American continent for quite some time.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Assange is not a "professional secrets dealer"

How does he support himself when not an embassy guest?

On sunlight and love of his fellow man.

IIRC, it was alleged indiscriminate love of his fellow humans that got him into this fix. Edward ended up in Russia, poor Chelsea ended up in The Glass House. Exile or clink, they live with the consequences of their conscience every day and the world is at least a more honest place because of their sacrifice.

Julian's predicament, on the other hand, was wholly avoidable and came about as a result of something which had no contributive effects for humanity or Wikileaks at all: Him getting his end away. Without that, Sweden would have had no grounds to issue the arrest warrant - which not even Malfoy Major himself has suggested is outside the bounds of due process - and we wouldn't be hearing about this attention whore's antics every week.

Another 3D printer? Oh, stop it, you're killing us. Perhaps literally: Fears over ultrafine dust

Chronos Silver badge

You know what's always fatal?

Being born.

Spammer scum hack 100,000 home routers via UPnP vulns to craft email-flinging botnet

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Re: Disabling UPnP completely isn't such a bad idea

Quite. I've removed miniupnpd from my OpenWRT builds and exactly nobody has complained.

Chronos Silver badge

Don't disable UPnP, at least not on the private side of the router - you need it for streaming audio etc, wireless speakers and so on.

Oh dear. I suspect you're confusing it with DLNA, which is often called uPNP by people who really should know better. The universal probe'n'pwn we (the grown ups) are talking about is the protocol that allows any old munchkin's half-arsed application to poke holes in your firewall/NAPT.

Icon says it all.

Chronos Silver badge

Took longer than I expected

I've been saying for years that shipping routers with universal probe'n'pwn enabled by default is going to end in tears. That it's only a spambot, easily mitigated by using RBL dynamic allocation pool lookups, is really surprising given the scope for mischief.

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

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Re: Great plan Timmy.

Especially when the core of your OS is built from code they built...

No, no, no! It's a drunken skip shag between the Mach microkernel and the BSD userland and nothing to do with Linux or GNU at all. I can see why abandoned big cats for their code-names; some people obviously couldn't resist lion about it...

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Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

Yeah. Do let us all know how you get on with the TSA when they want to know what you've got on the Purism device/s.

I'll moon them from afar. I'm not subject to the laws of The Land of the "Free," nor do I have any immediate, i.e. in this lifetime, plans to visit which is a shame because there are many things about your country I would absolutely love to experience. Your barbaric penal system is not one of them, though.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL*

Not often I agree with Shouty McShoutface - and this is no exception. If you buy into the Apple ecosystem, you only have yourself to blame when you realise it really isn't your hardware. You may now own the materials it is made from but the fancy shiny it is wrapped in and the firmware remains licensed

The problem right now is that x86-64 is no more trustworthy with IME and PSP, not to mention the speculative execution flaws. If only there were someone making thin'n'light machines with Coreboot on them...

Oh, wait...

Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Quite.

I think you'll find that's "Matiz," which is a very small Daewoo sub-compact car that people whose Model 3 electro-jalopy hasn't been built yet use to get around...

Also makes a damn fine backup when a) the battery dies as li-ion cells are wont to do, b) the utility company has stolen all your charge to boil all the neighbourhood kettles or c) they've pushed a firmware upgrade that e.g. swaps the function of the brake and accelerator pedals.

Woke Linus Torvalds rolls his first 4.20, mulls Linux 5.0 effort for 2019

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Re: “I didn't want to make a pattern of it,”

All he has to do is link to this from the same site, no rant necessary.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Fed up with these nonstop security issues

And, therein lies the problem.... the "miscreants" would probably never know anything about this let alone exploit it if these issues were never made public to begin with.

Security by obscurity, compounded by the fact that the underlying issue is pretty much the same thing. Please hand in your geek card at reception.

Memo to Microsoft: Windows 10 is broken, and the fixes can't wait

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Re: I stopped right here...


Devuan, Debian+sysv-init, many others that I haven't tried because Devuan is familiar enough to me that I didn't see the point...

Don't conflate Lennart's pet project with Linux. As an aside, I'm wondering if the corpse of SCO isn't twitching again since IBM bought Red Hat. Big Purple.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Broken, yes... and not fixable.

Did MS actually ORIGINATE anything at all?

Clippy! :-)

Chronos Silver badge

Re: I stopped right here...

yep NEVER any QA issues in the world of Linux!

Ah, bollocks, balderdash and tosh! There is no such thing as "Linux" as an operating system. You want stability? Run Debian stable. You want a decent desktop? Mint. A server? Debian. Paid for support? Dead rat/SUSE/Oracle or any number of vendors who would love to bite your arm off at the shoulder.

What you're talking about, my anonymous commentard, are distros. Some are good, some are mediocre, some are bad. The point here is you can CHOOSE, which is something MS don't want you to do with Windows. How many times have 7 users been plagued by GetWinX and trying to keep the spyware out? Choose to run Windows 7? We'll make your life difficult until you capitulate and learn to love Cortana.

When was the last time you saw a GNU/Linux distro telling you that update to Dead Rat 10 or GTFO are your only options?

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

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Where's Rutherford?

Admittedly he was born in Kiwiland but the father of nuclear physics? How cool a title is that?

It's been a week since engineers approved a new DNS encryption standard and everyone is still yelling

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Tough

Most users aren't going to notice when Firefox or Chrome automatically start using DoH first (if available) rather than your defined settings, and will only fall back to standard DNS if DoH fails.

Already happening in Fx; see network.trr.* in about:config.

What we really need is some opportunistic crypto that doesn't attempt to identify the endpoints. For a start, it'll make encrypting SNI so much easier. Once you have your secure channel, then do verification and close if it fails. You've only signalled your intended destination to one host rather than lit a huge neon sign for any old nosy bugger to slurp.

Making Google, Cloudflare or Quad9 your one-stop shop for DNS really isn't protecting anyone's privacy, a problem which exists in both implementations.

Disclaimer: Stubby user, so I'm probably biased against DoH, not that I can't see DoT is riddled with exactly the same issues.

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants

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Re: A tiny step in the right direction

Think about the tax on insurance policies

That one is a particularly regressive tax, especially when applied to things like motor insurance and buildings cover which are legal or contractual requirements for many of us. VAT on utilities when many people are in fuel poverty is utterly insane.

The other one that really grinds my gears, literally, is paying VAT on fuel duty at the pump. It's value added tax and I see no value in dead money going to the government for idiots like Crapita to waste which, incidentally, did not seem to be a casualty during this period of austerity when everyone was supposed to be sharing the pain.

It would make a huge difference to people's confidence in the system if it were fair and the proceeds were not being squandered.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: Brexit coin

Okay, don't groat over it...

Chronos Silver badge

Indirectly, yes. We buy something, a portion of that something's cost is advertising. Advertising costs go up, so do the prices of $THINGs.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

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Windows Search

Isn't that the bit of 7 that slowed everything to a crawl until you disabled indexing? It's that long ago I can't unforget since there's a script that runs on my PXE server after a doze infection that disables all the problematic services and I haven't had to do it manually for yonks.

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

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Re: OK. Calm down. Fake news etc.

I suppose if you squint and look at it a bit sideways you could have a point. The fact remains that a company whose core business is that of communication miscommunicated a policy change. How do you know the droid you spoke to has it right and it's not just a "FFS, tell them anything, I can't handle all this crap on a Thursday" directive from middle manglement?

Competence? They've heard of it. Lovely name for a girl.

Chronos Silver badge

Re: OK. Calm down. Fake news etc.

Not really fake news if they sent the bloody e-mail, is it? They created the news, El Reg is just reporting it.

Please remember this is not Twitter or Facebook so such euphemisms as "fake news" mean sod all here. This is more a case of "no smoke without fire" in that, if they can't get their own communications right, how the hell can anyone trust them with theirs?

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Re: Speaking of domain hosting

.. how is the experience with Mythic Beasts, anyone?

Superb. As well as them being my registrar and secondary DNS I also have email with them after I got fed up of having to renumber every time my ISP pissed me off and, for two quid a month (inc the dreaded VAT), it is rock solid.

They also host usenet.org.uk pro bono.

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Re: I want to move away

Mythic Beasts

Exactly what I was going to say. At this point I really don't know why companies like 123reg still exist given that Mythic Beasts are cheaper, have customer support light years ahead of anything this lot can offer, do pretty much everything you could possibly want or as little as you require and know what they're doing.

That last point seems to be a USP. Quite how the domain name and simple hosting sector got AOLified I really can't fathom.


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