* Posts by Mage

6238 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

Mage
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Re: The pi-zero w is less than £10 and I bet it would do all they need and more.

The Pi has no 864 to 868 SRD* band (it's not specifically Zigbee, but also short range walkie-talkies, home weather stations, wireless headphones, etc). It's "licence" free if you have approvals. It's probable a high part of cost might be approvals. The 433MHz SRD band is much smaller and also used for door bells, wireless security sensors, remote control extenders on 2.4GHz or 5.8Ghz video extenders, etc.

I bet they eventually ask for another £7M to add 433MHz too!

Yes the bare modules are only a few $ to buy off the shelf, but only finished products with SRD modules have approvals.

Ofcom have a list of the "licence free" bands (really pre-licenced due to approvals of products). There is no such thing as an NFC, WiFi or Zigbee band, just ISM/SRD bands that those things can use.

[* SRD = Short Range Device. ISM = Industrial, Scientific, Medical. Often North America has different Allocations to the rest of the world, they use 385MHz approx instead of 433MHz and part of 900MHz GSM band instead of 864 and their FRS (462 & 467) isn't the same spec or band as the European PMR446, at 446MHz. I think the 49MHz SRD might be similar. Legal CB (26 to 27MHz) historically wasn't the same spec in mainland Europe, UK (FM only higher channnels) and North America. Buyer beware on the Internet and in Maplin. ]

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AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

Mage
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Unhappy

Re: The Cloud...

Obviously people should occasionally disconnect their internet and check everything electrical.

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Mage
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Coat

But Cloud is better than In House!

Yes, loads of companies do in house stuff badly or don't bother with resilience or disaster planing etc. So the argument is that the Cloud is better.

Maybe from the point of view of the users in one company cloud is better than In house, perhaps you can't then order from one supplier when their in house IT falls over if they don't use cloud.

But the "cloud" could mean that no-one can order from anyone. Instead of just RBS or HSBC being down all banks, Mobile billing (so no mobile calls due to no credit, PAYG or Bill Pay), no ATMS, no POS, no card payments ...

Maybe fantasy today, but not as more companies outsource to cloud EVEN if it's done better than in house. Not as we head toward various mono cultures. It won't be a cyber war, but a Friday afternoon patch to Edge Routers, or load balancing, or DNS servers, or database etc.

The famines in the 19th Century (not just in Ireland) were due to mono culture.

The very concept and "savings involved" of Cloud Computing is heading all of the first World to a cyber potato event horizon.

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Skype-on-Linux graduates from Alpha to Beta status

Mage
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Web based?

I don't want to run a web browser for text chat. Currently using 4.3.0.37 on Linux. I can send files, don't get them from windows. The voice and video seem to work, but I don't use them often. The file thing isn't important: Email.

Also for desktop sharing etc there is Teamviewer?

A lot of people changed to QQ when Skype on Windows started using 100% on some net books. Unfortunately that only seems to be Chinese on Linux.

Typical stupidity of MS to rename their own completely different business package "Skype".

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Move over, Bernie Ecclestone. Scientists unearth Earth's oldest fossil yet: 4bn years old

Mage
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Re: why we dont we see life everywhere.

We've hardly started "looking" elsewhere at anything likely. The James Webb telescope and spectroscopic analysis should help.

Space is really big. The Oort Cloud is about 1000 times further away than the inner part of the Kuiper belt. The Milky way has billions of suns.

The galaxy could be teaming with life, but we don't know yet.

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Mage
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Re: 'seeded' from the same extrasolar source

That's dangerously close to a "turtles all the way down argument" and solves nothing ultimately about the origin of life. The much more logical argument is that life originates separately at each suitable location.

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Tuesday's AWS S3-izure exposes Amazon-sized internet bottleneck

Mage
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Big Brother

Amazon’s S3 outage is a gift to Azure and Google?

"Amazon’s S3 outage is a gift to Azure and Google, on-premises IT, hybrid cloud supporters and multi-cloud gateways. But it has also exposed inadequate business continuance and disaster recovery provisions by Amazon's business customers."

No, it's no gift to Azure and Google or any other Cloud seller. Anyone with any logic will realise that inherently the issue is the same for all.

This: ->

exposed inadequate business continuance and disaster recovery provisions

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Planned 'cookie law' update will exacerbate problems of old law – expert

Mage
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Devil

Cookies

They should only be on sites you explicitly log on to. Anything else is probably evil and abusive.

I block 3rd party cookies entirely and that doesn't break anything. Why isn't that the default in Firefox?

Some newspapers block all images if you block their cookies, so I set cookies on newspapers to be deleted on session exit.

Google Analytics and third party icons with javascript is also an abuse of privacy. Problem is amount of money and effort some companies spend on lobbying and propaganda.

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Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung

Mage
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Re: Amazon Music borked?

I just have multiple copies of all my music on our own multiple systems. Why would I store my media on the cloud to play it when:

1) I have only one internet connection.

2) I have a cap

3) The "cloud" isn't available walking, cycling or in the car.

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Mage
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Mushroom

Cloud selling and Pricing

Yes, the "Cloud" is the problem. The way it's hyped, priced and marketed encourages beancounters to outsource to it.

Almost Zero regulation.

No 3rd party audit or oversight

No transparency on backup, resilience, security or privacy. Just vendor hype.

There are things that are appropriate for the "Cloud". However increasingly due to marketing of the Cloud vendors, the applications are inappropriate.

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Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Mage
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Re: Little blue book

Especially if you die unexpectedly.

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Mozilla makes first-ever acquisition: Web-clipping app 'Pocket'

Mage
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Devil

Re: loss of privacy and was annoyed as hell to find it baked in to Firefox

First thing I do on anyone's PC I install FF, is for their user account, I go to the menu and remove pocket. I also add Classic Theme Restorer and Noscript.

Having 3rd party cookies disabled by default and something like Noscript makes more sense than privacy stealing & pointless pocket. There are loads of "safe" ways to do what pocket does.

Pocket is also on my Kobo. Facebook is on my Kindle & Kobo. Are they all mad? Yet I can't email highlighted text from Kindle or Kobo.

I have no difficulty at all using Calibre to make ePubs for the Kobo from saved webpages.

I can read them on phone too.

The Kindle & Kobo & phone do sort of work on web pages anyway.

I don't use Firefox bookmark sync etc either. Privacy & Trust. If I need a link on another gadget / machine I use methods I trust to copy it. I rarely do.

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Mage
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Black Helicopters

Gurr!

Why can't they focus on Firefox security & bugs?

Stop messing with other projects and stop messing with GUI.

I've not used Pocket as I don't like the idea of a 3rd part server. I simply save webpages or paste into LibreOffice Writer. Sometimes I convert them to ePub/Mobi via Calibre.

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Imation to fork out $11m in patent suit

Mage
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USPTO

The patent has judged to have been contravened, but really it sounds like yet another woolly non-innovative thing that should only have copyright protection, not patent protection.

The problem dates back to the 19th Century. An example was the patents the founder of US Eveready bought, one for a drycell battery patented by an English Chemist living in New York that was a copy of Wilhelm Hellesen's battery. The "dry" cell anyway was a natural development of the Lelanche and Volta cells. The other was for a miniature carbon filament bulb. That's why they were called "Flashlights" as the battery quickly polarised with the high drain carbon filament, but would quickly recover when disconnected.

Edison persuing film makers, even though his patent was a copy of a French system. In 1920 Armstrong's copy of French Superhet, Farnsworth and his too wide TV camera patent, 1930s Armstrong and FM patent. Philips and too broad "Pentode" (which is why the US called them Beam Tetrodes, most later Philps/Mullard output valves called Pentodes are same construction as a Beam Tetrode.

The Patent system is a nice idea gone nuts.

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Two million recordings of families imperiled by cloud-connected toys' crappy MongoDB

Mage
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Flame

Mongo DB is irrelevent

Toys that connect to the internet at all should be illegal. Possibly they are

Vtech gadgets

Mattel: Been fined for website privacy of children users, never mind talking barbie

others

This is now common.

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Google Chrome 56's crypto tweak 'borked thousands of computers' using Blue Coat security

Mage
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Re: "That these products broke is an indication of defects in their TLS implementations,"

Astounding arrogance

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US Air Force terminates Predator drones. Now you will fear the Reaper

Mage
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Flame

Re: AI and blockchain and social media will replace these tired pilots!

AFAIK the V1 & V2 were drones with some sort of analogue computer inertial guidance and the original US Cruise missile is operating as a drone plane after the launch phase, with both GPS and image recognition for map reading.

It's just incremental developments.

Now there is live encrypted video and ability to remote control rather than be autonomous, so it begs the question, why so many civilian casualties? These things have had remote control and GPS for years.

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Mage
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Black Helicopters

Well

When are they appearing in the International Criminal Court for Extra-Judicial Executions? Deployment of drones in countries they are not at war with and also against non-military targets?

Yes I know terrorists put missile launchers in schools and hospitals.

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Linux on Windows 10: Will penguin treats in Creators Update be enough to lure you?

Mage
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Re: What's the open source Visual Studio beater?

MS crippled Visual Studio years ago with three incompatible forms/Windows API/Toolsets and death of VB6. Yes, C# is nice if you want a C styled VB, or Microsoft's concept of Java (that's what it was developed from).

The "Universal App" is a broken idea. What suits a TV screen, phone, tablet and desktop/Laptop is all different, or far more would have been in Java more than 10 years ago (I've written apps in Java then that worked, looking native on Linux or Windows or a tablet etc 10 years ago).

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Mage
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Re: Well, it's final then

The turning points were Vista, Win 8, Win 10?

Or Tablets and phones more used by home users than PCs. Windows share there is?

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Mage
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Re: ls / \ dir

Remember DOS "switchchar"?

You could make options be - and dir slash be / on DOS.

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Mage
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Happy

prefer what they're used to

Which might be why Office 2003 users, XP / Vista / Win 7 users prefer Linux Mint + Mate + Redmond theme, rather than "Ribbon" or Win8 or Win 10.

I was just handed another laptop that "automagically" went from Win7 to Win 10 and now hated by user. They've seen Linux Mint + Mate + Redmond theme and want it instead.

I wish I'd never admitted I knew about Linux.

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Mage
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Re: Like automobiles ? Diesel ? Petrol ?

I hate Outlook, esp, its ability to import malware. The only reason for it is Exchange + Scheduling/Meetings/Calendar.

The last decent MS Office was 2003.

Anyway, this is hardly a new approach from MS, is the Microsoft Services For Unix reached 15 years old or is it older?

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Telco Orange to open bank next month

Mage
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Bank?

Can't be worse than HSBC, RBS etc?

Better than trying to bring back WAP.

Banking is about computers, security and communications. Which is why it makes no sense for banks to outsource IT.

With closures of rural banks and post Offices, doesn't seem stupid?

It depends how well they do it.

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The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

Mage
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Re: As BlackBerry dies ...

Don't even think about the pyra/pandora GP2X replacement. It's for a particular kind of gamer and has been in gestation for YEARS. It's also tiny keypad.

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Mage
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Re: That display...

No subpixel addressing colour fringed fonts needed.

It's like 1200dpi laser vs 360dpi ink jet. You can't really see the dots on 300dpi if its not dithering, yet 600dpi or 1200dpi text is much easier to read.

No anti-aliasing needed, Your eyes will do it.

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Google trumpets cloudy Skylake silicon nobody else is running

Mage
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Devil

Google Exclusive

Well, that's not a problem, "Do no evil"?

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Machines taught how to 'smell' by new algorithm. How will they cope with shower-dodging nerds?

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Milk

The dairy issue is ethnic. Only a minority of the world's population (mostly Ethnic European so maybe Neanderthal genes?) can tolerate non-human milk, or milk at all when adult, though goat and sheep dairy may be less a problem.

Milk (particularly) is designed for babies. Cheese and yoghurt production not only "preserve" milk (most of all hard cheese), but actually make it more digestible for Ethnically non-Europeans.

It's nothing to do with if a society is pastoral or not.

Most raw beans have varying levels of toxin depending on species, maybe peas too (peanuts are a legume not a nut). Raw Kidney beans are a bad idea!

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Mage
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Re: Dreams

Smell is rare to non-existant in dreams

Colour seems pretty rare or a bit like a colour film on a B&W TV you know well and you are tired. It's not clear how much colour perception there is.

Real sound /dialogue, like real life or a recording isn't common.

On the whole dreams may be more immediate and vivid than remembering, to the point that it seems real at the time. They are much less realistic when you wake.

Memory or Dreams are not much like a video recording, far more disjointed and erratic in detail per scene. I'd imagine the 3rd party viewing if you had a device to show / record dreams or memories would be disjointed and almost incoherent. In that respect most SF or "psychic" stories on the subject seem unrealistic.

Smell also depends often on the appearance (correct colour too) and temperature of an object, also if obviously real or fake. Taste / flavour depends on smell, texture, colour and temperature of food.

Both are affected by previous exposure to something and to an extent by emotion and health.

Taste and smell are the least reliable and consistent of senses.

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Autonomous cars are about to do to transport what the internet did to information

Mage
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3D printing

It's good for prototypes or very low volume poor quality. I can't see it replacing factory production.

c.f. FPGAs and ASICs, though an FPGA is a far better quality item than anything from a 3D printer.

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Mage
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Coffee/keyboard

Trains

Sort driverless trains and I might start to take the hype about autonomous cars more seriously.

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Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...

Mage
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Coat

Re: Makes you wonder

Because they got MS to pay them billions for a phone division, managers, staff and factories that were going to be worthless. MS didn't get the name or a scrap of IP and now has nothing to show for it.

Their main business is Infrastructure. This consumer stuff is a sideline.

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Bring it BACK... with MODs! Psion 5 storms great tech revival poll

Mage
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Colour eInk?

Colour eInk doesn't work as the screen is about x6 dimmer or worse than mono, the absolute best possible is about 1/3th brightness as you are filtering reflected light, (twice) to get R G B.

Colour eInk is ghastly. Mono (black balls in a milky white liquid) eInk is fantastic.

Mirasol might be an option. Except Qualcom own it and want too much money.

If it is for notes, programming, looking up Wiki, text search on internet, ebooks, calendar, email etc, then regular eInk will work (based on using annotation, wikipedia, google, ebooks on a Kindle eInk and on a Kobo HD eInk).

Video processing eats battery faster than OLED or LCD+backlight anyway.

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Mage
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Re: Bit pricey and it'll be a few more months until it's out but...

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gpd-pocket-7-0-umpc-laptop-ubuntu-or-win-10-os-laptop--2#/

Better than the pyra/open-pandora/gp2x replacement, but still no cigar.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Bit pricey and it'll be a few more months until it's out but...

Vapour probably, like the Open Pandora before it. Inspired by GP2X

It's a Gameboy based on ARM with keyboard on steroids. It's been a few more months for a very long time.

It's pointless as the keyboard is too small.

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I want it hot and wet – preferably with Wi-Fi

Mage
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Happy

Re: Where was this, pray tell?

I don't think I've been in a café like that since about 1968. Though it had heavy "pottery"/"china" cups, plates, metal cutlery and no coffee. Serious tea.

I don't think they actually served spam, but sausages, bacon, fried egg, un-toasted white pan were all options.

I wonder did Dabsy's café serve fried bacon with the back crunchy bits?

Rule of thumb:

1) US Franchise fast food places: Avoid the so called tea in cardboard cups as they refuse to use boiling water on H&S grounds. Avoid the chips, as the milk shake might have seen more potato.

2) Ancient places with catering tin of instant visible: Order a pot of tea. Only purchase fried goods, the buns might be ex- British Rail (see Heath Robinson illustration as to how those are made).

Thanks for entertainment just before lunch, Dabsy.

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We want Waymo money from you! Uber sued for 'stealing self-driving car' blueprints from Alphabet

Mage
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Re: Baffling

It's really copyright violation, though, if the internals are a copy.

There is no limit on that, as it's based on damages.

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Mage
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Baffling

1) Doesn't Google own part of Uber / Otto anyway?

2) The patents have prior art and/or too general, they should not have been issued.

I've no sympathy at all for Uber, I think they are exploitive. But this is weird.

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Motorola's modular Moto Z: A fine phone for a weekend away

Mage
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Stupid

Should be fatter

Should have 2x or 3x battery life

Should have 3.5mm jack

I could go on.

It's not Motorola either.

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The final 5G technical performance specs have been set

Mage
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Headmaster

Peak vs average

Peak is a meaningless metric.

As is "up to".

4G or 3G can easily be "up to" 20Mbps, or even 100Mbps for 4G. It's meaningless.

You'd need ten times mast density to achieve these specs, non-LOS, at which point 3G or 4G would deliver it.

Where do you find 100MHz per channel (minimum 300MHz cellular) below 3GHz (above 2.6GHz is no use for mobile outside an office), especially with regulators wanting to sell to multiple operators instead of a RAN?

This will make almost no difference in the real world, because in the real world the mast density and having a single wholesale operator for mobile is more important than which "G" it is.

The 5G is more usefully about infrastructure and backend. Obviously, though the driving factor is desire of infrastructure companies to sell upgrades and regulators to sell more spectrum. No more spectrum is needed. Mobile has a disproportional amount already scheduled. The 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2500 are already misused and could deliver 20x more speed and capacity on average by a combination of more masts and a single wholesale operator per land mass.

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Ex-employees sued for £15m over data slurpage ordered to pay up just £2

Mage
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Coat

Re: "metadata [...] had been erased after he installed Windows 10"

Maybe he just clicked on the X and Win 10 installed anyway?

Maybe even while forensics had it!

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'First ever' SHA-1 hash collision calculated. All it took were five clever brains... and 6,610 years of processor time

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 sha1 calculations

The SHA-1 was already depreciated because it was already known it would be possible soon.

It will only get easier.

That's why SHA-256 exists already.

A special offer weekend deal on AWS just when someone wants to do this?

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Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

Mage
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Devil

Morality?

What about the morality of dishonest adverts, scams, malware serving, bandwidth use, fake use metrics, lack of third part audits, privacy theft/illegal tracking?

I don't have an adblocker, despite what telegraph.co.uk thinks. I have noscript and for my own safety I only whitelist enough to get a site working.

The Admen are like some sort of protection racket that want the ordinary public to use random drug pushers and hookers, with no protection.

GET LOST.

Maybe if you advertisers had honest adverts, as static images, no trackers, no javascript and only served by the domain of the web page, you might be seen more.

As for clicks? I can't remember clicking on a visible advert EVER, except on shopping sites, when I'm actually trying to buy something. Like eBay, or Amazon etc.

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Become a blockchain-secured space farmer with your hard drive

Mage
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Joke

AirBnB

Gig economy for your spare HDD space and Broadband capacity?

Regular readers know what I think of the "gig economy". Summary: exploitation of ordinary people to make money for privileged folk.

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Mage
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In theory vs practice

In theory a nice idea.

But can we do this reliably and securely?

The data needs to be redundantly stored. I can't see how it can scale to any sensible number of users and providers without central servers at least doing indexing of some kind.

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More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

Mage
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Re: Cats

UK domestic cats eat about 5,000 species, so they may not pay much attention to mice.

A plastic trap with peanut butter is extremely effective (the cheese thing seems to be US Tom & Jerry?).

A terrier or ferret is alleged to be better for outside rodents, I've not tried that.

Certainly an off the shelf $10 module will detect a trap being sprung. I've found that peanut butter works within a day of spotting a mouse. The rats are a little more suspicious. A large drop door cage with bird mix "glued" on the trigger plate using peanut butter works best for rats, especially in the garden. Accidentally caught birds can just be released. Though dealing with a large, scared and angry live rat in a cage may be a problem for some people.

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BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken

Mage
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Devil

Re: Just ditch the BBC.

Amazon prime

Much more evil to content producers than Sky or BBC.

Subscription services MUST be bad value, because you pay the same even if you take a break watching and the people selling them make a LOT of profit. That's why Adobe has switched to sub. Cheaper subscription services are only cheap because they are in customer acquisition/growth mode. I expect Netflix to double in price in Ireland and does Spotify actually make money?

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Different judge, different verdict? Diageo's £54m SAP legal slap could have gone another way

Mage
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Unhappy

Appeal

Can it be appealed?

I wrote a server service that provided web access to data stored on Sage Accounts. It was not using any Sage feature / api other than the data access. 2003.

Are users to be charged extra to access the data they put into a package, or do they need to create a separate database and export that data to SAP, Sage, etc.?

It seems restrictive and greedy.

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Fitbit hit on Pebble kit cost just 20 million quid? Oh s**t!

Mage
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Unhappy

Sad though

Though Orwell was writing about contemporary 1948 in "1984", many main stream SF authors saw a dystopian future were the world was ruled by a few mega-corps.

We have seen "consolidation" in food (all the companies making up Heinz-Kraft and Unilever and Nestlé), Chips (NXP and others eaten by Qualcomm, Altera and others by Intel, Softbank eating many, not juast ARM, Analog Devices & Linear Technology, Texas & Nat. Semi. Microchip & Atmel, and more), Hard Drives, OSes (we are down to 2 main and one niche desktop, 2 main and several niche servers, two mobile). Car & Truck makers, Aircraft makers. Credit card companies, Energy companies, Tobacco companies, Alcoholic Drinks Companies. Bananas etc.

Media Giants.

TV sports Rights..

Big six paperback publishers (eBooks though are healty apart from Amazon's KDP Select & Prime distortion.

Ebay, Amazon, PayPal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google almost monopolies in different areas. It seems the Internet has a positive feedback where instead of the envisaged diversity you get one operator per kind of thing.

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Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

Mage
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Orbits

They do have interesting resonant orbits.

The "goldilocks" zone might be too close to star, so planet(s) might be tidally locked or periodically hit by solar flares. Both mitigate against life.

The Talmud suggests there are 18,000 planets with life. Given number of stars in the Milky Way, that might be a serious under-estimate.

We are only at the beginning of this kind of search. The James Webb telescope will allow search for biological or industrial activity via better spectroscopic analysis.

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