* Posts by Mage

6321 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Trump's America looks like a lousy launchpad, so can you dig Darwin?

Mage
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Kenya?

* Near Equator

* On an Eastern coast

* One of the more sane African countries

* Has a disused "space port"

I tried counting sites that had ever been used for launches to space, orbital activities, ICBMs and ICBM/rocket tests. The number is very high.

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UK.gov confirms it won't be buying V-22 Ospreys for new aircraft carriers

Mage
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Fairey Rotodyne

Typical UK Gov short-termism, like later Inmos.

Even the Americans would have bought them.

Gah!

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Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: Seriously?

The problem is NOT the advertising of Drones on Extremist Channels. It's not freedom of speech to allow propaganda, lies, promotion of hate crimes and terrorism and to make money from it.

Google's "guidelines" are pretty opaque and useless. What about the laws of media providers in the countries that YouTube is available. Google / YouTube should face same regulation as NBC in USA, France1 in France, BBC/ITV in UK, ARD in Germany, etc.

Being on the "Internet" and crowd sourced should not mean lower or no standards, or special exemption. If anything it should be to a higher ethical standard. Google has heard of ethics but is uninterested in changing anything that affects profit. They are mostly an ADVERTISING / Media company, not a magical tech company advancing the human race. Facebook is far worse, because at least Google has useful services.

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Mage
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Devil

no significant shift in the content it hosts

I said this, Google only does PR.

The Street view WiFi Slurp should have seen BILLONS in fines, instead now they do it via Android and US uses Google as justification to permit ISPs to sell your privacy.

The so called "tools" are PR.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Mage
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Re: BBC stupid Breaking news.

There are instructions how to kill that. Have a search. They work in Firefox, though I can't remember if it was domain blocking or Noscript.

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Mage
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Re: Microsoft time

Of course there is an XKCD

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Mage
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You hit it Dabbsy

ALL developers should be forced to:

1) Use a 5 year old regular retail netbook with 1024 x 800 screen for testing, and general application use at least 1/5th of time.

2) Should have to read all the articles by Norman Nielsen group and be on their mailing list.

Also inconsistent interfaces where default button changes or layout changes or the GUI is based on Star Trek, DS9, their favourite game or web site instead of your OWN CHOSEN OS GUI theme. (Excluding Windows 1.0 like Win 10 where you can't really easily customise).

If I'm running a Windows Classic plain theme on MS OS, or Linux with Mate with Redmond Theme, Mint Icons and Win9x window decoration it's because I don't want a bloody flat GUI (where I can't tell where to click or drag and it might be only 1 pixel wide on a 200 dpi screen!) or an Aero Experience that takes 75% CPU of my 6 month old 4 core 8G RAM to render.

I was reading about architects and how real people like Georgian and Victorian architecture. How the longer someone is an Architect the less ordinary people like the the designs.

Forget damm stupid attempts at GUI innovation. Read what Xerox figured out in 1970s, which took till mid 1980s for Apple to get right and mid 1990s for Microsoft to get right. It's been downhill the last 20 years, especially the last 15.

We want simplicity (but not flat), consistency of appearance and performance and layout, good cues as to buttons, links, tabs etc. One line or two is enough of highlight and shadow to indicate 3D/separate elements. Draggable items such as window frames need to be about as wide as a "t" Scroll bars should not be a simple flat rectangle and need to be as wide as a "W".

Who decides theses stupid new GUIs that are either extreme of like newspaper or SciFi?

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Mage
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Re: Microsoft time

About 56 hrs

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Mage
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Re: Rats!

Rats have chewed through steel butcher's chill room doors.

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Mage
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Yes! Mice

Four Exterior grade heavy duty satellite system distribution cables. The satellite receivers failed.

Eventually I found that mice had chewed the cables at the wall entry. We caught the mice and repaired cable.

The cables are regularly treated with tabasco sauce and hot chilli powder as only humans among mammals will eat it. Rodents won't touch it. Birds don't damage chilli seeds, so cunningly the burning taste (capsicum) doesn't affect birds at all.

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Amazon dodges $1.5bn US tax bill: It's OK to run sales through Europe out of IRS reach – court

Mage
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Re: Bermuda

A UK approved scam. It's their overseas territory.

I did work for a company in Shannon, Ireland 20 years ago and discovered you had to phone Bermuda for their IT Dept.

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Mage
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Devil

parts of its technology and the trademark

This sort of corporate Intellectual property scam needs to stop.

Obviously too, tax should be due where the company makes the sales. I object to the fact that I am in living in Europe, I have never lived in USA nor been a USA citizen (I have two Citizenships in Europe), yet I have have to fill in USA tax forms, not just for my sales in USA, but sales ANYWHERE, because three USA Companies are doing the selling, even though one has Luxembourg HQ! USA government arrogance!

One contra-intuitive solution is to abolish Corporation tax. Also abolish fines and lawsuits against corporations.

There is Company healthcare (National Insurance contributions in some countries). The employees are taxed. The consumers pay sales tax. So tax the shareholders, especially speculators and asset strippers.

Make executives and the board liable for the actions and profits of the company. This becomes obvious considering fines against councils, state owned companies etc. Ultimately taxpayers and/or customers pay the tax and fines etc.

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'Clearance sale' shows Apple's iPad is over. It's done

Mage
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Re: iPhone was so easy and obvious and non-innovative

While the bought in Fingerworks GUI was nice, it was the operator contracts / data pricing that made iPhone launch succeed. Not the HW.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: As for the Amazon Kindle

Which Kindle?

1) The real eInk ones killing off all competition for people that want to read books.

2) The "fake kindle" Fire tablet, not a kindle at all, but a crippled Android LCD tablet with a Kindle reader app. Overpriced and locked into Amazon store, compared to generic Android. Yes, an Apple iPad is better than the Fire.

No way can an eInk Kindle and ANY tablet, Apple or other be compared. They have totally different applications.

Though it's true that people reading eBooks:

1) Phones

2) Tablets

3) Dedicated eInk readers

4) Laptops.

But it's to do with cost (a decent eInk Reader is only good for text and costs x2 to x5 a Tablet), flexibility and the fact everyone has a phone, and handier in bus etc.

Not many people except those that read a lot AND have seen modern eInk are going to spend the extra on an eInk reader (the lovely waterproof Kobo Aura HD H2O is x4 price of cheapest eInk Kindle) after a phone and tablet.

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Mage
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Re: As I have said a million times

The rot set in about 2003 in Nokia. They killed Crystal, S80 etc and various touch screen GUI developments back then. By 2004 the Nokia phone division was doomed (internally by infighting and bureaucracy). Despite how the market was going.

Then was it 2008 that too late decided on Trolltech QT GUI and stupidly bought them instead of hiring them two years earlier. It killed off Trolltech.

So Nokia did right thing concentrating on Networks and plan to scrap phones. They got billions from MS and MS got to pay the redundancy for phone division and not a scrap of IP or the name!

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Mage
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Re: As I have said a million times

Sadly 4:3 is even BETTER for a content creation device such as a laptop, where it's now nearly non-existent.

I hate 16:9, though 18:9 or 27:9 (2:1 3:1) may make sense for a phone screen, so you can hold it in one hand. However, for most people's content browsing (and few use a tablet for real content creation), the 16:9 is fine, esp. video.

Only a tiny minority of people that maybe also have an iPhone and add a keyboard are going to buy an iPad because it's 4:3

I'd have loved my new Lenovo E460 laptop to be 1920 x 1200 (16:10) or 1920 x 1440 (4:3) but sadly I could only afford 1920 x 1200

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Mage
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Re: As I have said a million times

Apple were lucky once: MS bailout before iPod.

They made TWO good non-tech decisions:

1:) Record label deals for iTunes made late comer to market iPod a success.

2:) Big or all you can eat Data for iPhones on Contract, when every other smart phone for EIGHT years previously had be crippled by per second and/or per M byte charging. Yes the bought in fingerworks GUI helped.

Apple (apart from failed Lisa, really Mac 1.0) has always entered ESTABLISHED markets and rarely innovated. An exception was the Newton, ironically one of the first portable ARM gadgets and killed off on Job's return to Apple.

Lisa was a clone of Xerox and other innnovations

OS X from NextStep itself based on BSD

iMac, MacBooks, iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch all followed proven established market entrants.

iPhone was commodity parts and phone subsystem merged with an ipod. Samsung SC6400 ARM made it possible. Capacitive screens 20 years old but not used as other OS needed stylus resolution and the "holy grail" since early 1980s had been handwriting recognition and annotation with a stylus, you need high resolution resistive screen. Apple with iPhone was aiming at content browsing, not content creation (hence no copy & paste) and high end consumer market. Previous smart phones (e.g. Nokia communicator) were corporate orientated / content creation/annotation and thus keyboards or resistive because of the very high data usage costs.

It's hard to see Apple replicating their only two really successful mass market entries, the iPod and iPhone, because those exploited non-techincal weaknesses in competitors (Content and Carrier data pricing).

So Apple will become more a niche product.

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Mage
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Flame

Even Amazon Fire is overpriced.

The Fire is a crippled Android tablet. It sells because of Amazon home page adverts.

I got a perfectly good Android tablet on Amazon (with SD card slot) for £50. Cheaply added 32G SD card and a £8 USB keyboard (better action and instant use on Tablet wake).

The Apple tablet is a locked eco-system (need iTunes to transfer) and twice the price of "good enough" tablets.

Fire sale icon.

* * *

There was a silly article on a UK paper website this morning about Apple being "for everyone" and "egalitarian" and now they are going "Champagne" with next iPhone. This is nonsense as the whole point of Apple has been premium pricing and people showing off that they can afford it. It's the only reason why they sold as many "Apple Watch" as they have, though that has fallen off a cliff? Is it 50% down?

Shops that used to have a whole counter for Apple now have one niche spot or none at all. Instead they have Samsung, Lenovo and even Huiwei.

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As ad boycott picks up pace, Google knows it doesn't have to worry

Mage
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Indeed

Google will do PR and nothing will change. Content that generates clicks is all they care about.

Probably they don't care about click bots either.

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That 'Trump lawyers threaten teen over kitten website' yarn is Fakey Fakey McFake Fakeface

Mage
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Re: Really ..

The USA didn't want to be out done by "Brexit"!

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TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

Mage
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Alien

Tidal locked

Means little chance of advanced life anyway.

The climate modelling is interesting though the results are not surprising.

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eBay dumps users into insecure authentication mechanism

Mage
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Maybe not about 2FA?

Perhaps they just want to know your number? Though normally they have that anyway.

Certainly Facebook and Google just want your number.

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Hutch's Three UK users ripping through over 6GB a month

Mage
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Re: Daft

So has Imagine (in Ireland), 10 years ago, previous owner using proprietary tech, then Wimax, now LTE. It's rubbish for real mobile. You need a roof aerial or set device / aerial on a window sill with near LOS to mast.

Basic physics.

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Mage
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The fixed line ISP is going the way of the fixed line telephone

Maybe DSL, but Mobile is about 1000 to 10,000 lower performance and over 200x more infrastructure capacity than fibre.

Realistically one mast's sector can on average serve only about 5Mbps per user if it's economic and has a 200Mbps peak perfect signal for one user. Most mobile users will get about 1/4 to 1/8th by typical location of use of peak, then divide by number of users.

Even Cable (with cabinet fibre fed) is easily 200Mbps to every user at peak time.

Replacing fixed broadband by Mobile would need about 100x more masts and STILL be poorer than cable and especially fibre.

Peak Mobile or lab mobile or Non-LOS above 3.5Ghz mobile is not the real world.

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Mage
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Devil

Daft

It's not about spectrum (really).

1) It's about poor or over priced broadband, forcing users to use mobile at home.

2) Three predatory pricing (they make a loss on data, don't have enough voice)

3) Lack of single wholesale RAN means performance is 1/2 to 1/3 of possible in SAME spectrum

4) Lack of masts, because more masts means more running costs and CAPEX with hardly any extra revenue. It's CELLULAR. Capacity is increased by having smaller cells and cellular is all about frequency reuse.

5) New spectrum? The 3.5GHz and higher is useless other than for in office femto cells. The 700MHz is rubbish for cell size (too big) meaning poor capacity.

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Decapitating Rockall: How a 1970s Navy expedition blasted the top off the Atlantic islet

Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

EEZ

Interesting how much UK loses if Scotland leaves, EVEN if NI stays. If both leave it's a disaster.

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New iPad revealed. Big price cut is main feature

Mage
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Coat

Re: PCs were too ugly to use in polite company

Yes, people were just holding it wrong.

Apple fans may hate this, but Apple concentrates too much on appearance and not the functionality of the design.

A decent design doesn't need "protected" (except by copyright). Design is absolutely not just about radius of corner or colour. Those are mere details of the surface appearance.

Cosmetic details != Design.

Apple stuff is simply Braun / Rams minimalist philosophy carried to an extreme with physical robustness, internal functionality, repairability etc sacrificed. Considering the MASSIVE profit margin, average performance etc, Apple products are a triumph of marketing and cosmetic design over functionality and value.

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Mage
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Coat

PCs were too ugly to use in polite company

Um, maybe the IBM and Wang.

But there were models styled better than any Mac, even before the Mac existed.

Most people put ugly (or not) bumpers / covers on their iPhone or iPad. To me that indicates a design failure.

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Microsoft delivers secure China-only cut of Windows 10

Mage
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Re: Perhaps...

Chinese worry me less than Microsoft, GCHQ and NSA.

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Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: non-public?

The carry-on is x-rayed, I've seen video screen, and I can easily tell what would not be authentic (as I've repaired all kinds of laptops / tablets / gadgets). If there is any doubt at all on video screen, they examine it, question you and do extra search.

This is "security theatre".

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Mage
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Security Theatre

They claim so it's not "manually" operated.

However a suitable timer is about £1 (maybe $1.50 or €1.50 a a quartz AA cell operated alarm clock has a mechanical pair of contacts closed once every 12 hours) or a barometric sensor about £15. Even someone clueless can buy two clocks and after breaking one apart in about a minute realise how simple this is.

This is complete nonsense as is the rather arbitrary size.

It's a gift to airport thieves and your gadget isn't usually covered by insurance if in the "check-in" baggage.

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$1m Popslate e-ink screen venture tanks, Indiegogo backers flame out

Mage
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Boffin

Major mistake

Any Apple accessory not pre-blessed by the fruity folk.

Even a BT eInk screen to work as notifications for any phone, tablet, PC ... oh was that the Pebble?

This was never practical except as part of an entire phone. A major issue too is that proper eink panels are far more expensive than LCD panels (excluding electronics).

This was doomed because too expensive and complex an accessory for too fussy a company.

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Fix crap Internet of Things security, booms Internet daddy Cerf

Mage
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Balked at ridiculing?

No, the IoT can't be ridiculed enough.

It's inherent with low margin etc that security isn't addressed and inherent with desire to make the real money monetising private information that servers with your private info will be hacked, or at least deliberately sold on.

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Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Mage
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Mushroom

Re: By programming for Google Assistant

Well, I think it's immoral to support ANY of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Bixby, Google Now/Go etc. They are poor voice recognition to facilitate data mining.

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Airplane bomb fears spark America's laptop, tablet carry-on ban

Mage
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Unhappy

a notice to passengers that specifically mentions Kindles

Crippled Android "Kindle Fire" tablets, or real eInk Kindles?

What possible offensive value is ANY eInk based ereader than a phone?

Another reason to avoid USA. Books on a real eReader make travel nearly bearable. Phones don't have the battery life and too small and inferior screen for reading.

How many phones can manage two films? Some can just about manage one if battery newish.

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Mage
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Facepalm

or stowed in the hold

I read this earlier on BBC.

I'm baffled. Why does a bomb disguised as a laptop be safer in the baggage hold than cabin?

I thought this was why, ages ago, that after x-ray, all electronic stuff has to be powered up and demonstrated.

This sounds irrational. What's to stop some other source airport being used. Real "intel" or the same "security theater" we have had for years, not just a Trump Tweet?

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This AI stuff is all talk! Bots invent their own language to natter away behind humans' backs

Mage
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Nonsense

It's programmed by humans.

"Artificial intelligence agents can invent their own language and talk among themselves to work out the best way to get a job done, a study has shown"

Buzzword bingo to get next grant.

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DNS lookups can reveal every web page you visit, says German boffin

Mage
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Re: Now we know..

It's not news and I've been telling people not to use Google's DNS. Use your ISP's DNS, they can know every page you look up anyway.

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Like a BaaS: IBM offers Blockchain as a Service

Mage
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Blockchain-as-a-Service

Makes no sense at all.

Study why Blockchain is distributed.

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Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Mage
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FAIL

Google promises

In reality

1) They like any content that gets page views, they'll only take it down if likely to be sued or prosecuted.

2) They only do PR, nothing else.

Google statements only designed to placate customers. Note that YouTube viewers are not customers.

Why was Google allowed to buy YouTube?

Or Amazon allowed to buy Goodreads, IMDB, BookDepositry and others?

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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Mage
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Happy

SBSA is the real threat to Intel.

Yes, it's been problematic swapping an EXISTING install to to a different vendor's ARM system, in comparison with basic BIOS, then ACPI, then EFI based boot commodity x86-64 motherboards or even laptops.

This also is the route not just for servers but ARM based convertible tablets (with keyboards) or ultrabook style ARM running iOS to replace MAC OS, or Linux to replace Windows. At present it's trivial to download and install Linux from a USB stick to an x86-64 based laptop, but needs rather more planning and customisation to install Linux instead of iOS / Windows / Android / Chrome on an ARM based tablet, or Linux based OpenWRT on a router.

I look forward to the day of being able to customise a Linux distro for TVs instead of the garbage inflicted on users called "Android TV".

Great article.

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McDonald's India's delivery app was a golden honeypot

Mage
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Too cute

"disclosed by payment security company Fallible.co"

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Gov.UK pulls plug on its YouTube ads amid extremism concerns

Mage
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Re: Part of my pension fund is invested in Google

Suggest they should make ethical investments.

Comparing Google with FAST is a red herring.

It's not about Google funding terrorism, but being prepared to make money for adverts, anywhere, with any partner for anything unless there are loud objections.

Taking down after the fact or dropping partners after the fact shows that Google is more interested in making money than proper governance of their operations.

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Mage
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Devil

So bigger question?

Why does Google do ANY adverts on dubious websites?

Why does Google serve ads for illegal products and scams on "ordinary" web sites?

For a start, ban them from ads on Search and rigging their search.

They are NOT primarily a Search or Tech company but an Advertising agency + billboard company that's unregulated compared to roadside billboards.

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Face down in a Shoreditch gutter: Attack of the kickstarting hipster

Mage
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Pirate

Yikes

"anti-ageing cream that is so effective"

E45 and other creams (many prescribed)) investigated by BBC and report on R4 and 5Live Extra. I was listening to the horror stories just before lunch. They are causing many deaths a year as they are too flammable. People have died from lighting a fag. Or burnt to death in bed, because the bedding is contaminated.

So there are worse things than wearables. I saw a photo and review of the Hushme on a UK paper website, I think it might be a great present for some press secretaries. Perhaps with a tube of super glue packaged as "anti-ageing" cream

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Canada's privacy watchdog probes US border phone seizures

Mage
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Joke

Buy a special phone on Amazon?

Curiously this may be relevant for visitors to the USA.

prisoner's phones and amazon's bottom line

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

agencies will claim that their storage mechanisms are very secure

Manning

Snowdon

CIA tools

POTUS Tweets etc.

There is a reason I don't believe the moon landings faked, or Area 51 had Aliens, or CIA killed Kennedy. No organisation can keep secrets that long, especially today if the files are digitally stored.

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Mage
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Coat

Re: You still get hit if your friends travel

Friends don't put any of your info on Facebook.

Really good friends don't use Facebook, or else only anonymously with fake ID for non-personal purposes.

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Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: Reset your phone

A reset does not remove state sponsored surveillance.

My solution is a disposable phone (and old laptop). Some usable Android tablets are under $60.

I'd not take any important or personal electronic equipment to USA or some other countries.

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Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash

Mage
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Chatbots could totally be a trillion-dollar industry

If true, it would prove either that Marketing are geniuses or too many consumers are dumb.

But then it might be an improvement over low budget soaps, reality TV and such.

Shouldn't all of these be illegal under EU privacy directives, especially German ones? It's not the same as switching on Commercial Radio.

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