* Posts by Mage

6168 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Facebook hit two billion users today and SugarCRM reminded us you are Zuck's product

Mage
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I call it misleading.

Two Billion real users isn't believable.

The World's population is 7 billion. A proportion are too young or sick to use the Internet or Facebook.

The approximate Internet users is 3.7M. But this almost certainly includes people appearing multiple times (phone, tablet, laptop. In the west many better off have more than one smart phone, penetration over 120% in many countries).

China (731 million users) doesn't have Facebook, so 3Million, not 3.7M.

How many Facebook accounts are sockpuppets (I have three accounts so as to validly, honestly and morally separate completely different activities)? How many Facebook accounts are bots selling stuff. The coffee bean weight loss scam with millions of automated accounts is no isolated incident.

Facebook isn't independently audited and has more than once inflated figures.

Their business is NOT providing a social media platform or news or information. It's selling adverts, so they have no incentive to remove fake accounts, bots, fake likes etc. Those increase revenue.

Their use of cookies, trackers, javascript on suggested F button for websites etc is probably illegal under EU law and certainly abusive. Their privacy settings are obtuse and can't be trusted.

So 75% of possible Internet "users"? I doubt it. No doubt too they count all accounts, irrespective of activity, even if their claim is remotely real.

Much of the criticism of abusive corporate behaviour also applies to Google. They are both the biggest parasites on the Internet (there are others) as between them they appear to have 98% of Internet advertising revenue.

People are conned into using Facebook when email would be better. Or their own blog, especially companies. Shame on large companies that promote Twitter & Facebook, yet often have a decent web infrastructure, or other bushiness that use Facebook instead of $100 a year hosting.

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

Mage
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Re: Let's not ask who really benefits from the Union

OTH, The UK is determined to keep some islands that ought to belong to Mauritius, they have deported the natives and leased part to the USA.

Then there is Bermuda. UK controlled but one of the biggest tax havens / money laundering centres in the world.

Ireland (the Nation) now only wants N.I, if the UK & EU pay the running costs for at least 20 years.

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Mage
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Re: Ulster Scots

Ah, the Kingdom of Dalriada.

Long before Rome, Angles, Saxons, Norsemen etc, the Ulster folk fought everyone else, then Ulster was split, like today along the River Bann, with the East in the Kingdom of Dalriada which also ruled western bits of Scotland.

I think Welsh is simply Anglo-Saxon for Foreigner.

Great Britain, because Little Britain is roughly Brittany (a somewhat Celtic part of France with some affinity to Cornwall).

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Mage
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Re: didn't stick in your craw.

You misread my post.

I'm pointing out that the majority of the Assembly and ALL the Westminster MPs elected in NI DO NOT believe in peace, tolerance, honesty, integrity and democracy, WHATSOEVER. Yet, bizarrely the majority of voters claim that's what they want. Obviously they don't understand how to fill in a ballot paper, or lie to pollsters.

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Mage
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Re: invaded by the Normans

Who later became almost Irish, but that's another story.

It was Henry II that cemented British rule, because there was no Celtic Primogenitor, he offered the clan Chiefs membership of the English Feudal system, so not only would a son inherit but a chief could no longer be deposed by a local council. Women also lost historic rights under Celtic laws.

I've never understood why "Unionists" celebrate William of Orange (a Dutchman supported with Catholic armies, congratulated by the Pope for suppressing the Heretic James, the actual English King) rather than Henry II. Or Elizabeth I. There is no doubt that Londoners didn't like James either and welcomed William, whose tenuous claim was that he married James's daughter Mary. William threatened to go home (rather than sack London) if they didn't figure how to make him King, which was an amazing reversal of the usual. They must have really disliked James. I think that he was Catholic was only part of the problem.

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Mage
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Re: SF are nominally the party linked to the Catholics

Except it's only an accident of history that many Catholics are Nationalist (Non-violent) or Republican (Any means). The SF is not a Catholic party at all, they exploit Catholics. They are an old style socialist party that regards any means acceptable to achieve their ends. The DUP in contrast hardly has a political agenda other than opposing Republicans, Nationalists, Catholics, Irish Culture, Tolerance and Liberal secular viewpoints. No doubt they think UK has gone downhill since Cromwell's death.

SF non-involvement in Westminster isn't really to do with the Monarchy, it's a bankrupt 19th policy they are too arrogant to rescind.

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Mage
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Dane Geld

Ironically they don't need paid anything, the DUP certainly doesn't want Corbyn.

Remind me why the SF MPs get paid?

Remind me why the peace loving majority of people in NI vote for the two parties that least believe in peace, tolerance, honesty, integrity and democracy. Not much to chose between SF or DUP. Both toxic, though the SF have better PR.

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Researchers blind autonomous cars by tricking LIDAR

Mage
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Lidar is a dead end.

We need to solve self driving trains, ships, aircraft and trams (in about that order) FIRST.

We might need real AI and better positioning / maps.

We might need better passive vision analysis systems.

We need fully autonomous vehicles that work without remote data or GPS etc as tall buildings, tunnels, trees and interference are issues. Privacy too.

It's evident that existing self drive tech has too much hype and needs to be better tested in secure mock up road systems away from pedestrians, cyclists and others.

Lidar isn't reliable or scaleable.

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FCC: LEO ISPs A-OK

Mage
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FCC?

Sorry, FCC, you can only approve TERRESTRIAL usage.

Satellite / Space usage requires international agreement. The UN became the umbrella for the ancient ITU which allocates frequencies.

Even with LEO (lower latency) it's going to be rubbish capacity compared to terrestrial services. Like all the existing struggling to make a profit (DTH TV makes a profit) retail satellite data services expect it to be only any use in not-spot areas and to cost lots, or else they'll go bust.

There is competition in LEO, MEO and Geo.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_communication_satellite_companies

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AES-256 keys sniffed in seconds using €200 of kit a few inches away

Mage
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Re: AES was not cracked, cut the click bait

But most of the worlds encryption users are now running ARM based phones or tablets. The majority of x86 are either work related laptops or in server rooms and now seriously outnumbered by ARM based gadgets etc.

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Mage
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Re: How well was the PC prepared?

Fine mesh over the holes works. The SDRs only work up to 1.7GHz away even that would allow larger holes than on a perforated Sky dish. (Small enough so it looks solid at 12.6GHz, but poor reflector at 20GHz). C band "Mesh"/Perforated dishes have bigger holes as maximum is less than 4.5GHz.

A lot of gear is badly screened, shielded or filtered. The FCC and CE RFI tests are both too lax and also often not realistic test scenarios (RFI from electronic ballasts or SMPSU radiated by lighting wiring that tends to be a loop, "power line ethernet" that are really transmitters and pass by only testing one or having no data). Sometimes after the FCC / CE approvals are obtained they leave out the filter parts to save money as there is little to zero in market retail sales testing.

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Not Apr 1: Google stops scanning your Gmail to sling targeted ads at you

Mage
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Re: 1.. Never

History shows that they may continue and then if found out, claim it's a mistake.

WiFi scanning during Streetview survey (replaced by Android anyway).

The only company I trust less *AND* have more destain for is Facebook.

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Google to remove private medical data from search results

Mage
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Mushroom

Abusive Megacorp

The person that agreed to share 3rd party info with Google ought to be tried for something.

They are one of least fit companies on the planet to have any such stuff.

Google also should be in the dock for abuse of privacy and market dominance.

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Apple, LG, Huawei, ZTE, HTC accused of pilfering 'find my phone' tech

Mage
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I'm baffled

How are these ideas valid patents at all?

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Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

Mage
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or is it just cheaper ?

It's cheaper.

An "atomic" clock is maybe $2,000. I've not checked lately. Could be less. You can even get one that fits in your pocket (battery life may be an issue). This is why DTT, DAB, Mobile phone masts all use GPS. Obviously only for timing as they are not mobile.

One GHz terrestrial system I know has an oven based "clock reference" only in the main mast and then the clients lock to a pilot carrier for stability, to save £100 per unit.

The BBC used to distribute an atomic clock signal nationally.

A GPS receiver is so cheap! Just a few quid. Much smaller and lower power, so very many systems just take the easy way out and don't worry about the US turning it off or a big Solar Flare (which might fry all the satellites, will Sky refund customers?)

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Mage
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Re: Galileo

Not really a backup.

If we had a solar flare like in the 19th C, it might knock out ALL satellites.

Does the report even consider Mobile Basestations, DAB and DTT transmitters etc where the GPS module is used purely for timing instead of a local stable clock? Or even one distributed by fibre?

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Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

Mage
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Re: Apple timecapsule

Or a generic USB HDD.

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Mage
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Re: Does Microsoft offer an exchange program too?

It's not the fault of designers, but the Beancounters.

Beancounters should ONLY be employed to count and report. Ultimately if they are in charge of decisions they destroy the company. That's what killed most of the UK companies successful in the 1950s.

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Mage
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Apple

MS copying Apple.

This abusive manufacturing should have been made illegal years ago, with glue limited to parts that never need to be removed for repair.

Batteries barely last 2 years if charged every day and can fail earlier.

It pokes "Repair, Reuse, Recycling" in the Eye.

Fine them AND Apple and the others. This has gone on too long. Rescind the CE mark of anything other than like a greeting card with glued case / display / battery!

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Mage
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Alien

So many flaws

Sending "ships" back is stupid. Better and cheaper to make more and use them as ready-to-use materials at destination.

However the very idea is arrogant, elitist, unpractical.

We need to make fairer (the USA, less than 13% of world population, consume 75% resources) and better use of this planet rather than trying to colonise a totally unsuitable one, with an elite of less than 0.0001%, probably more likely 0.0000001% of people.

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Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

Mage
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Re: cut-price Apple-style effort

Intel then sold the StrongARM line to Marvell. Some Marvell SATA chips have ARM cores.

DEC also developed the MS NT Cluster inspired by VAX cluster.

First 64bit NT was for the 64 bit Alpha.

Shame that DEC are gone.

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Mage
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Kodi

Be better than the garbage Android TV that Sony inflicts on TV owners now instead of their own better SW. I could fill a page with what is wrong with Android TV, short version, apart from privacy the fonts assume desktop use or bigger than 72", it also assumes you don't care about organising 2500 satellite channels (Diseq 4 way) and that Android apps are more important than TV. I bought it to have a TV! I have a phone, tablet, laptop etc.

Why shouldn't it do media too? More sense on a games console than a TV set.

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Mage
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cut-price Apple-style effort

It doesn't look like a pippin to me (which curiously ran Mac OS, note version 9 and earlier are almost unrelated to Mac OS X*, later OS X then Mac OS. It made the Newton look really successful. The Newton could have be a success if they hadn't hyped the handwriting recognition so much. Maybe needed a bit of a tweek, but it and Archimedes did help launch the ARM CPU.

[Curiously Apple then stuck on 10, presumably liking the X, which came out the same year as Windows XP, really NT 5.1 Windows 2000 was NT 5.0, Server 2003 was NT 5.2 and Vista / Win7 are NT 6.x family. Perhaps that's what MS means when they claim Windows 10 will be the last Windows]

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Microsoft HoloLens apps to be piloted with 'Hogwarts for the MoD' chapesses, chaps

Mage
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Education specialist Pearson

Or specialist at making money from Education, at high end, rather than Research Machines, Easons etc?

I'm curious.

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EU regulators gearing up to slap Google with €1bn fine – reports

Mage
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Fines?

Perhaps 10% of turnover per month of non-compliance, or total share value. No point in basing it on "profit". Fines do NOT punish shareholders if they are merely a business cost and can be passed on to customers.

Perhaps fine the top executives 1% of worth per week... (Quango, Gov Agencies, Councils too?)

Fines do work, they just are useless if regarded as a cost of doing business or passed on to customer or taxpayer. They have to hurt the people in charge.

I think there is a lot of other stuff they need fined for too.

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Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio

Mage
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Field of view.

More than about 19" is too wide for reading, and especially reading glasses.

If you want to simulate a real desktop then you need about 1700 pixels high at 200 dpi, or about 2500 pixels high if 300 dpi.

About 133dpi is a minimum if you rely on sub pixel addressing at edges of fonts, but 200 dpi or higher with subpixel addressing on text off is better.

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Mage
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Vertical resolution 1080

Actually sounds like low visual resolution and less than 1200 vertical is rubbish for WYSIWG documents and PDF.

It's obviously only any use for games.

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When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!

Mage
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While we are at it

Can we stop Google scanning entire copyright works and poisoning search results with them and allowing FAR more than fair use to be viewed online.

Also PRIVACY? Single sign in to even non-Google sites using Google. Cookies, Analytics, Android. There is a TRUCKLOAD of stuff to sue Google for in most countries other than USA.

Irrelevant: The OCR versions of stuff Google thinks are public domain are not proofed. They are rubbish quality compared to Gutenberg.

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Operators and vendors agree that Europe is falling behind in 5G

Mage
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Re: 450MB/sec, 1GB/sec?

Ha, ha!

Only on in Office femto cells and only if no-one else is in. That's fantasy on any frequency that's not pure line of sight and with a pointed aerial panel.

PHYSICS.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Falling behind on 5G?

Really?

What is MOST needed is not new kit or agreement on what 5G might be or deployment of it. All of that is nearly irrelevant. This really is tired old chestnut now. The only people that will benefit from 5G will be infrastructure equipment sellers. It will have little effect on handset or modem sales.

What is needed is more masts, a single wholesale RAN (would double performance/capacity), and er, more masts.

But better coverage and especially better capacity (smaller cells = more masts) generates almost no extra revenue and probably a drop in profit due to extra operating costs.

What IS needed is more fibre to the home / kerb / premises, not a cabinet 1km to 3km away. Any improvement in mobile needs that anyway to feed all the smaller cells.

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Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot

Mage
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This achievement seems a bit late.

Though it wouldn't be late if it really was AI. The Chess and Go winning programs are not AI, not in the sense meant in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s. Any "expert system"* with a big database is now called "AI".

(*Expert System really just meant the programmer tried to codify the expertise of a human expert, they never have been actually "experts", only like parrots remembering which shape is associated with the audio/vocal "doughnut". No parrot has language, they merely associate a list of tokens and objects.

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Marissa! Mayer! out! as! Yahoo!-Verizon! closes!

Mage
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The Oath portfolio includes

"The Oath portfolio includes HuffPost, Yahoo! Sports, AOL.com, MAKERS, Tumblr, Build Studios, Yahoo! Finance, and Yahoo! Mail."

Presumably also Yahoo Groups and Flickr?

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Waymo waves off original Google Firefly driverless car

Mage
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Re: Don't hold your breath..

Yes, ships and trains are easier, and ships might be ten years away.

Anything more than five years away, it means they are guessing / wishful thinking.

How does delivery work without a person?

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French firm notches up 50km unmanned drone inspection flight

Mage
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Coat

Flight Corridor

Power lines?

Not an issue for general Aviation congestion then, no pilot wants near them anyway, so an ideal application.

There are also ingenious "robots" that can crawl the live grid cables and others that can add fibre to them. Electricity Network operators seem to be creative geniuses. At college I foolishly thought it would be too boring, not realising:

1) It's not.

2) You get to change job too often and have too much pressure on the leading bleeding edge of tech.

Too late to change my mind now.

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Damian Green now heads up UK Cabinet Office

Mage
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Cabinet Office

Did it used to be Dept of Administrative Affairs?

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Mage
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Re: "another PPE graduate from Oxbridge..Parliament formed..exclusively of know-nothing arseholes?"

"They select undergraduates who already think they such gifts to begin with."

I misread that as "they are such gits", sorry.

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Mage
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Re: Oh bugger!

Transfer that to proper Universities more interested in real Science and Education than reputation and ego.

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Specsavers embraces Azure and AWS, recoils at Oracle's 'wow' factor

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Google Docs more expensive than Office 365

Yes, MS may indeed be cheaper.

However relying on the "cloud" and MS instead of their own system might be a false saving. That and the IBM deal may break the law.

There is no evidence that IBM's hyped system delivers anything yet. Specsavers are are essentially going to give IBM data and outcomes (with INFORMED permission of customers?) that eventually IBM MIGHT make sense of.

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

Mage
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Simple

The only poll that counts, are the actual valid votes cast.

Ban all polls once an election is called.

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Uber board: We accept all recommendations. Any execs left to carry them out?

Mage
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How did they come up with

All the information on drivers, passengers, trips. In great detail. That's the the valuable stuff.

Most of that should be illegal to store.

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Mage
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Devil

Disruptive

Easy if you lie, cheat and under pay.

Amazon, Lyft, eBay, Facebook, Google, AirBnB, Uber etc need to face the same taxes, insurance and regulation as any retailer or newspaper or services in the street. Using the "internet" as an interface or being multinational should be irrelevant.

Law needs changed too so that people making immoral or illegal decisions can't be insulated by being Council, Government, Civil Service or Company Executives. That is not why "limited liability" was invented. Though the problem on unscrupulous people ripping people off via shell companies is in both Dickens and more clearly Anthony Trollop's "The way we live now."

People making bad decisions need to be found personally liable if found guilty rather than fining a company or a council (which the public will be paying for!)

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

Mage
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Re: I just hooked it to the DMZ, and it's fine...

ports open?

Wut no firewall.

I take no prisoners. We have no DMZ.

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Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

Mage
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Linux bits?

That goes back to before Windows 2000, except it was called Microsoft Services for Unix or something then.

Today a VM on Windows makes more sense, or indeed just using Linux, and maybe WINE or a VM for Windows apps. Seems to me that Win7 was last version that could be customised without 3rd party software to be "sane", though file Explorer horrible compared to XP.

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Mage
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FAIL

Fail for content creators

This has really nothing of value for people interested in working rather that fiddling with websites and games?

"Pin websites on Taskbar" That's a feature????????

Bah!

Ability to have Icon for a specific web page is about 25 years old on Windows. Basically since pre-Win95 supported TCP-IP and a web browser.

Stop trying to be cool and give back a version of windows with

1) Privacy

2) Proper customisation of desktop like we had from Win95 to Win7

3) Decent WIMP GUI for people not using tablets, phones, wacom, touch etc. Available on various GUIs from 1976 till win 7.

4) No Ribbon or flat, or menu items that hide because they are little used. The 3D effect on GUI elements added approximately Win3.11 is fine. No need for fancy effects or flat UNLESS people select them by customisation.

MS has lost the plot. Probably around 2004 actually.

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Who will save us from voice recog foolery from scumbags? Magnetometer!

Mage
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Re: Quad

Or piezo

Or plasma

Or a horn

It's pointless research because biometrics can't be a security key! ANY security mechanism has to be replaceable and in many cases transferable or user created.

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

Mage
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Re: DUP?

The black and decker catalogue is in the post to all posters besmriching the DUP.

Proven bullies and bigots. Previous party leader (Robinson) led a mob attack on an Irish Garda station, which unlike NI police stations, are usually just like a regular office or even in rural areas a house.

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Mage
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Tories sold themselves as the only way to avoid Indyref2

Yet lost.

Total of ALL opposition to SNP 40.7%. Tories only got 13 seats, 22% of seats on their Unionism platform and Sturgeon / SNP managed to hold on to 35. Yet Indy ref was 55% for unionism. So you might claim support for Scottish Independence has gone from 45% to 59. SNP only did so well at last election (and far better than expected) due to backlash against Westminster, hence Ruth Davidson choosing Unionism campaign, thinking that might give majority.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Scotland & Tories

Before last big election win the SNP had maybe 6?

Ruth Davidson fought Scottish Tory election on Unionism (55% in Indyref) and lost. All non-SNP (mostly Unionists) was 40.7% to the SNP 59.3%. I'd call that a win for SNP.

In NI, despite near parity in Stormont (and a hung assembly with no prospect of a government), the Nationalists (SF) only got 38.9%, DUP (10) + 1 Unionist Independent = 61.1% Adams & SF will go quiet on calls for a border referendum.

SF should take seats or get no money.

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Ericsson leads 5G connected car gang towards pot of EU gold

Mage
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Coverage

Better coverage than now needs about x6 more basestations. Not more spectrum, not a new protocol, not 5G.

But where is incentive for operators? They'd hardly see any increase in customer revenue.

This seems to ignore basic physics and economics.

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Uh-Koh! Apple-Samsung judge to oversee buggy Intel modem chip fight

Mage
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Intel?

Presumably Arris is unhappy with Intel. Given the number of issues with Intel products, they are looking tarnished.

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