* Posts by Mage

6455 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Mage
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Facepalm

Remote Garage Door opener

Don't buy one that needs a 3rd party server.

P.S. They have actually existed since 1950s, also if you are IN the car, needing to use a phone app is a retrograde step from models fitted on a car.

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BezosBux: Amazon gets into scrip game with Cash scheme

Mage
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Re: sending the grandkids their birthday postal order.

You've been able to txt, email or post an Amazon "gift card" for ages to anyone. It's just text. It works for ANYONE. So if some third party gets a copy and uses it first, it's gone.

Gift cards are a problem, especially ones that expire or businesses that go bust. The money should be in escrow and interest applied to the card code.

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Mage
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Coat

Barcodes?

Barcodes are just numbers, or even text.

They are easily replicated.

They don't work with lots of phones.

Can the digits of the code just be typed in?

It seems just like a variation of their existing schemes, I can't see how it helps money laundering or anonymisation. The first would be illegal to help and Amazon isn't interested in the second.

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Google's video recognition AI is trivially trollable

Mage
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Is it a bug?

No, it's a fundamental flaw in how all so called AI is hyped, presented, marketed. And how it actually works.

If it was a tiny bug it could be fixed.

I see this on AI junk mail filters.

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Android beats Windows as most popular OS for interwebz – by 0.02%

Mage
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Re: Welcome to the new burning platform

Nokia got MS to pay billions for a division it didn't want, and kept all the IP and name.

They re-invented themselves as Networks and Infrastructure before the phones tanked.

In the past they did paper, welly boots, TV sets, satellite boxes etc before surprising people with phones.

Nokia might be making starships or stepping discs when Microsoft and Apple are memories. But who knows, Who'd have thought DEC, Digital Research, Wang, Westinghouse (Electronics), Zenith, RCA, Bell Labs[*], Motorola, Telefunken, EMI/HMV would be gone and Hollerith (IBM) still with us?

[*]AT&T / Bell Labs / UNIX is owned by .... Nokia!

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Mage
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Linux

Oddly

A decent phone costs more than an a supermarket laptop. Though a decent laptop (unavailable in any retail bricks & mortar?) costs more than a decent phone.

Also I, family and friends all use Linux Mint on Laptops. At the peak I was installing over 400 Windows workstations in a month. Now thankfully I write novels instead of IT support.

Since Android runs a modified Linux kernel and technical people with a choice now often chose Linux laptops (Macs are a small percentage of iPods and some are running Linux, and both iOS and MacOS derived from BSD), the Year of UNIX I was promised in 1987 has arrived, but as Android, iOS, Mac OS, Linux, BSD, OpenWRT, etc.

A lot of set boxes, NAS, Servers, TVs, Routers etc are based on Linux or Android too.

Sage, SAP, Adobe and Retail sales etc are keeping Windows alive?

Not the year of the cat but the Penguin? Actually just as the death of Symbian was inevitable due to Nokia internal politics, killing of Nokia Touch R&D long before there was even start of Apple phone R&D as well as S80, Crystal, messing up Maemo/Mego, Trolltech etc, the decline in Windows was inevitable with the train wreck of Vista & Office Ribbon and MS management from 2004 onwards

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D'oh! Amber Rudd meant 'understand hashing', not 'hashtags'

Mage
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Re: "Banning end-to-end encryption"

Encrypt and then steganographicly embed in cat videos etc.

Yes, banning secret communications is impossible. Even forum posts don't have to be like Amanfrommars to have hidden encrypted payloads.

It's amazing that some numbers stations are still running, or were last year when I checked. Presumably for spies with no mobile / internet access.

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Mage
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Big Brother

None of the Above

I think unlikely to be coming to a ballot paper anywhere anytime as obviously the incumbents don't want evidence of how massively unpopular they are.

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Mediaeval Yorkshirefolk mutilated, burned t'dead to prevent reanimation

Mage
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Re: Help a foreigner, please

Try Shakespeare, and if that's too easy try Chaucer, unreadable for many English people*. Though in Ireland we have some good stories up to 500 years older than Chaucer. As few Irish speakers can cope with pre 1948 spelling, naturally even the pre-10th C stuff is unreadable.

Demons - Daemons

I just discovered Fay comes from Fae, which is the old singular for the plural Faerie, though why Morgan is Le Fay rather than La Fay maybe needs a Frenchman to explain, unless she was a he. Oddly Morgan (Morien) is more often a male name, in Wales, where the name and story comes from.

I love the Mediaeval stories.

[*Actually reading it out loud with a rustic English or Welsh accent helps a lot, as a lot of the time it's eccentric spelling]

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Mage
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re: Sheep

@ Yet Another Anonymous coward

I'm not sure if it was sheep, but yes, "the Clearances" in Scotland, though that was much later and may have been inspired by Cromwell's economic successes east of the Shannon and Elisabeth I's successes east of the river Bann.

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Mage
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Pirate

deserted mediaeval village

So the "treatment" failed, the villagers had to flee and no-one wanted to re-occupy the village.

Hmm.

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Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time

Mage
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Re: I basically gave up flying about 20 years ago

Well, TSA, etc too.

Skype at home desk is better.

Holidays? Doing nothing at home and good take outs is far less stressful and safer. DVDs, Streetview , Wikipedia and friends on Skype etc for "foreign". But then I do have good scenery. Dutch, Germans, Americans, Chinese etc pay to come here.

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Head of US military kit-testing slams F-35, says it's scarcely fit to fly

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Dare I say, Brexit?

How did they get it so wrong?

Well, Theresa May won't be using these to fight the Spanish over Gibraltar.

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Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

Mage
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Car, roads?

I'd have thought going by boat is the way to do it?

Very interesting.

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Is this a solution to Trump signing away your digital privacy? We give Invizbox Go a go

Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Ireland's not exactly known for that kind of messing.

Yes, even when they should, the Financial Regulator (Anglo Irish), Comreg (Three and NBS, or Eircom/Eir), Data Regulator (Facebook, Dept of Social Protection outsourcing), BAI (TV3) are rather soft touch.

Sadly Ireland need more intrusive proactive regulation, it's a not a lack of laws, it's unwillingness to enforce them, partly because that costs money and votes.

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Mage
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Comparison

How does it compare with customising Openwrt on a router?

Can a VPN server be set up on regular Linux hosting so only your (possibly German or other non-USA) hosting company and their peering know about your hosted VPN traffic to public internet? Like you don't need Tor, just a non-USA access point if you are in the USA?

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Microsoft taking CodePlex behind the shed and shooting it by Christmas

Mage
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Coat

Microsoft has decided that there's no point with the hassle of running a competitor that's not popular

When it generates no money. Win10 isn't popular in terms of "liked", but unlike codeplex it's unavoidable.

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Forget robot overlords, humankind will get finished off by IoT

Mage
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Re: Monty Python kitten walking on it's hind legs, tearing the rooves off houses

You mean the kitten in the Goodies that attacked the GPO / BT tower?

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Mage
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Thumb Up

Re: The real threat is not the Evil Robots

- it's the brainless, burbling marketing-droids: the Cloud-wallahs, the IoT-mongers, the SaaS-pushers with their fixed grins, zealots' eyes and empty, ringing braincases. And their sinister, pin-eyed financial backers.

Yes. Sadly I can only upvote you once, without being a sock-puppet.

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Mage
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Gimp

Robots won't kill off humankind.

Indeed, it's people that kill people.

Even so called "robot" drones (the V1, V2, original Cruise missile etc) are launched by people.

The "cloud" will fail, then the bots and IoT will stop.

Finally due to outsourcing to the cloud we will reach the Singularity. Not the one envisaged by modern SF of AI (with perhaps very cute names), but this Singularity (November 1909).

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UK gov draws driverless car test zone around M40 corridor

Mage
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Devil

Re: "that buyers of driverless cars"

Also there is concern that autopilots on ships and aircraft result in LESS ability [for the human] to deal with the unexpected.

There is talk of changing the design of aircraft autopilots so that that the human is more involved and thus able to correctly assess what to do (c.f. Air France over the Atlantic, the human intervention was the opposite of what was needed).

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Mage
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UK testbed for autonomous vehicles yesterday.

Waste of taxpayers money and risk to public.

The real car makers have realistic "testbeds".

Note that Google, Apple, Uber, Intel (who just bought Telsa's provider) etc are not real car makers. Tesla is a niche market subsidised by the taxpayer, yet only affordable by the rich. His "autopilot" is far away from being a real autonomous car.

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BMW chief: Big auto will stay in the driving seat with autonomous cars

Mage
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Unhappy

Connected?

While much he says is reasonable, "connected" has not much to do with comfort and reduces security!

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Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Mage
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Finally!

Years ago I was told tables are evil and to use CSS. Except no way did CSS simply allow replacement of simple grids.

Looks like finally I can ditch tables. I'll have to figure out how to do this in Wordpress pages.

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Robo-AI jobs doomsday may, er... not actually happen, say boffins

Mage
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Boffin

Rechristened

"neural nets helped speech recognition make big gain"

Citation?

I've not noticed much change in voice recognition QUALITY in last 15 years.

" but all it had were 20-year-old techniques."

Actually thirty year old techniques. It's still all there is, except faster (more powerful CPU / GPU adds zero AI, only speed) and with bigger databases.

" to harness neural networks (now rechristened as the much sexier "deep learning") on narrow demo-friendly challenges such as image recognition and text processing,"

Perhaps because they are nothing like biological neural networks. It's a data flow design based algorithm approach (invented in early 1980s) well suited to multiple cores (first popular on Transputers) and distributed systems.

Though curiously I can't find a grammar checker or spelling checker much better that I had on CP/M and DOS 1987 to 1991.

Google translate is a LESS advanced idea than translation in 1990s as at its "heart" it uses a Rosetta stone brute force approach. They started with EU texts. Not by improved parsing and grammar models.

Industrialisation and automation dates back to the end of the 18th C. with powered programmable looms. CPUs and programs have replaced 1960s relays and ladder logic. It's been incremental over the last 50 years in electronics assembly.

Most AI is hype, marketing and Humpty Dumpty "Words mean what I want them to mean". It's brittle with the unexpected as it's ultimately human curated rules, data and complex human written programs.

We have no idea why in some respects a crow is smarter than a chimp. Why Corvids, budgies, elephants, chimps (only sign), dolphins, starlings and parrots can learn vocabulary as symbols for real things and can't do language.

We have no satisfactory definition of exactly what Intelligence is, which seriously hampers program design. We are no closer to General machine intelligence than 60 years ago. All progress in AI has been by innovating a machine solution based on brute force and bigger data sets (to reduce the run time brute force needed, e.g. previous chess matches). Redefinition of marketing terms from database, Expert System, AI, Neural Network, deep learning.

Yes machines replace human jobs, not new and arguably you should look at 1837 to 2017, not just since 1997. It's slowed a lot.

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Web-app devs note: Google wants to banish JavaScript dialogues

Mage
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Flame

Arrogant

They might be right, but Chrome is NOT in charge of the Internet standards.

ANYTHING can be misused to do malware. The greatest evils are:

1) Multiple third party domains, rather than domain of web page hosting all scripts

2) Javascript in adverts (see point 1). They should be a static image.

3) Tracking

I don't see how switching dialogues from Javascript to HTML solves anything.

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Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern

Mage
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Flame

Re: Surprised that speed is still an issue

They need to stop messing with the GUI.

Why do I have to:

1) Install Classic Theme Restorer

2) Install Noscript

3) Disable built in PDF

4) Disable various stupid URL bar options in about:config

5) Disable 3rd party cookies

Etc.

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Nuns left in limbo after phone line transfer hell

Mage
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Devil

There is WORSE

Getting Eircom fibre is a nightmare even if it passes your property.

If you have no copper phone line, they cancel fibre order and install & bill for copper.

It can take years to get them to admit a fault.

The regulator occasionally slaps their wrist.

If you think BT dealt badly with reseller faults...

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Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

Mage
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I'm amazed

Dear Stob,

You need a holiday and some good books as a an antidote to this drek.

Yours,

A Fan

P.S. Don't stay in that place in North Antrim (or was it Derry) that you were before, somewhere less gloomy like Galway.

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How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive

Mage
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Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

It doesn't need to use up the oxygen.

Unless it's burning only hydrogen, CO2 is produced.

Toxic level is "6% or 60,000 ppm" though Wikipedia says 7% (70,000ppm)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide#Toxicity

Or

Extreme and Dangerous CO2 Levels

slightly intoxicating, breathing and pulse rate increase, nausea: 30000 - 40000 ppm

above plus headaches and sight impairment: 50000 ppm

unconscious, further exposure death: 100000 ppm

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-comfort-level-d_1024.html

I don't know how long you need to run a car in a garage (or your living room), or how poor the ventilation needs to be. It's not just about CO.

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Mage
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Re: ... start your vehicle and warm it up from inside the house on a cold day...

CO2 kills too. The car uses up oxygen if it's a sealed garage.

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Mage
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Facepalm

DAB Radio

It's possible to have a pirate DAB station under $2000 (Pirates don't bother because FM works better and most DAB Radios are used more or even only on FM, but that's another story).

Cars have already been remote controlled using a faked BBC R4 on DAB. What sort of idiot design of car?

Also Fiat / Chrysler jeeps via Mobile

Also Tesla cars.

So it's ALREADY gone bad.

Also add vulnerable BMW and RAV4 door lock apps.

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Boffins crowdsource hunt for 'Planet 9'

Mage
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Headmaster

why the search isn't using artificial intelligence.

Because AI is 99% marketing and 1% 1980s "Expert Systems".

There is no "general" AI and successful specific AI is large data sets with human curated rules, and often human created data experts think they understand.

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

Mage
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Launch Direction

Launch direction is usually to the east, except for polar orbits etc.

Israel has to launch towards the west, though long ago they hoped to use South Africa. The people ruling SA then had rather different motives.

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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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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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