* Posts by Mage

6451 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

Mage
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Re: 'We want people to be running Windows 10 from a security perspective'

More Secure?

So why STILL by default almost every service on?

I can see no genuine real world improvement.

Making sure Autorun is off, that a VM client (the default in Win7's XPmode is atrocious) has no WAN and only one data only or no host directories, that a browser has Noscript or alternative, external firewall (use a 3G/4G dongle via WiFi with firewall or via router with firewall), firewall/router has no uPNP, all are more important than any MS security feature.

MS seem to be clueless.

Oh and WINE (a security flaw, I know) on Linux Mint + Mate (redmond theme) works with more of my old programs than Win7 or Win10 does and XP in VM with no network for test gear (/dev/ttyUSB0 mapped to COM1:) is a better user experience than Win10 or even Win7.

Office gone downhill since 2003.

MS has lost the plot on UX and GUI and privacy.

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Mage
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Re: Microsoft has been getting it wrong with user interfaces

Win7 is a fix of Vista.

MS themselves now admit Aero was a mistake.

For years they tried to put Windows GUI on small Gadgets. Then after Zune / Phone 6.5 tried to to put the Zune inspired GUI on everything.

So in 35 years they got the GUI shell almost right (Explorer File manager should have had a two window mode and Win7 adaptive non-customisable panel is nasty).

Win10 is like Win2.0 on Hercules or CGA, but with less GUI customisation. I can't believe how unusable it is compared to Win3.x, Win9x, NT3.x, NT4.0, Win2K, XP, Win7 (with classic theme).

First workable Windows 3.1, first stable decent WFWG 3.11 with all the 32bit parts. First real GUI 32bit Windows, decently supported, NT3.5

Low points / junk= Win1.x Win2.x Win3.0, WinME, Vista, Win8.x Win10

Win2K was an unfinished rushed out version of XP, but not too bad.

USB deliberately withheld from NT4.0 (I had and tested MS USB for NT4.0 and it was fine).

NT4.0 less stable than NT3.51, which did have the win95 style explorer as tech preview, which was better than NT4.0 release.

MS experts at making money.

Idiotic at everything else.

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Mage
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Re: M$ Long History

The GUI of '95 was good. The rest of it was garbage compared to their own NT3.5 and less stable than a properly installed WFWG3.11

For over 20 years I've heard that the HW spec was too high for NT vs 95, maybe in 1993 it was, but not in 1995. In reality win95 needed as much RAM as NT to have Excel, Word, TCP/IP and Browser at the same time without paging massively.

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Mage
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Mushroom

for a lot of the year I think we got it right,

Well, that's a delusion.

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Spotty battery life costs Apple's MacBook Pro its gold-star rating

Mage
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Price

It's about x2 overpriced. So how can it be "recommended"? Nice screens.

Also a product sector that Apple has no commitment to.

ANY test of anything with Lithium tech rechargables needs to be cycled about 20 times to get an idea of both running time and eventual battery life. You'd need a decent number of samples too. One isn't enough.

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How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit

Mage
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Headmaster

Chromebooks

Laptops and Tablets are secondary to good Educators.

Chromebooks are about the least useful sort of computer, as they are more limited than any other kind.

Exactly how does a Chromebook help education compared to smaller class sizes and better teachers? While computers can be a useful resource, in most cases primary and secondary pupils learn less if there is an emphasis on tablets/laptops. Apple iPads are daft too. Study after study with no connection to Apple, MS, Amazon, Google etc proves it.

What a waste.

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Mage
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Re: Just a google bash?

Google deserve a bash, but in fairness here I'd be very suspicious of "DonorsChoose".

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Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

Mage
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Flame

Win95

Still mostly 16bit, just all the 32bit extensions in WFWG3.11 rolled up. Real 32bit NT was two years old. Properly configured Win For Workgroups had poor "Program Manager", but had 32bit disk driver, same 32bit TCP/IP, Video For Windows/ Multimedia, Win32s to run NT programs.Win95 was less stable than properly installed WFWG 3.11 with all extras. Rubbish compared to NT3.5

Plus: The new desktop instead of Program Manager.

Minuses:

* Explorer File Mangler, single window and buggy.

* Autrorun added, even though already proven bad on Amiga

* Fake Win APIs added so mostly 16 bit Office 95 wouldn't run on Win3.x, even with Win32s, which meant that that NT 3.5 couldn't run Office 95, they had to release NT3.51

* No named pipe creation (just like Win3.x)

* Barely more than WFWG 3.11 with new shell.

* No process isolation

* No Security. The Log-in only affected what LOCAL Network resources you could connect to!

* Poisoned development of NT4.0, Win2K, XP and led to Vista.

* Led to Win ME, the Win98SE was best version.

* Only later OEM Version b had USB

* Encouraged bad practices on Program Application development.

* Direct X, nothing more than a Kludge to port DOS games with direct access to Graphics HW, leading to stupidity of Graphics and Printer Drivers in Kernel in NT4.0.

* Held back deployment of NT in business for about 7 years.

* As damaging to progress of Security & decent OS adoption as DOS was in 1980/1981.

Win95 should ONLY have been on a games console. Instead something intended only for home users was mis-sold to most small bushiness and many larger ones.

In reality to run Excel, Web Browser, Word and TCP/IP, without paging, you needed as much RAM as NT 3.5x anyway.

Oh, and a Shell only version of Explorer desktop / Explorer File manager as "Tech preview" worked fine on NT3.51. Instead they broke NT4.0 by kernel changes and Direct X (and it still couldn't run most Win9x games anyway, so they broke it without achieving anything for business users).

It's been downhill since 1995 for MS, accelerating in 2002/2004 with Vista development. Too late, Aero is officially a mistake. Vista = NT 6.0, Win9x on Ecstasy.

Win7 is really Win 6.x

Win 2000, XP and Win 2003 are NT 5.x

Win 8 and Win 10 are pointless.

MS already had a decent 32bit OS for over two years when they released Win95.

Heck, they even had their own versions of UNIX(Xenix in 1987?) and MS OS/2+LanManager (1989 after ending IBM deal).

All they needed was to put the new shell on NT3.5 and have a game console with Win95. Idiots.

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Peace comes to troubled embedded-Linux-for-routers community

Mage
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Well

I think it's good news.

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Chinese boffins: We're testing an 'impossible' EM Drive IN SPAAAACE

Mage
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Re: Many Bothans died to bring us this plot device

Newton was an Alchemist.

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Mage
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Historically,

The USA is the biggest commercial exploiter of others IP (copies of Copyright items, patenting items that are patented or prior art, using others registered designs or prior art etc), since 18th C.

They STILL don't pay royalty on performance rights on USA Radio.

Ripped off Dickens and Tolkien.

USA spies also provide designs to USA industry.

China has stolen IP. However they also innovate more than USA.

Most USA "innovation" isn't even innovation.

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Amateur radio fans drop the ham-mer on HRD's license key 'blacklist'

Mage
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Re: Shackbox

However Linux Mint will run all the stuff in Shackbox and has likely better support.

Works well with Mate Desktop and Redmond Theme. WINE for some old Ham applications with no Linux equivalents. Also I have XP with no WAN /Internet in a Virtual machine on Linux, which is the recommended method by MS (it's what XP Mode on Win7 / 8 /10 is!).

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Mage
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Re: Tell that to Microsoft.

I did, ages ago.

"Genuine Advantage" is as meaningful a phrase as various dictators having "Democratic" in the country name.

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Mage
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Also

Rig / logging software of ANY kind that requires an internet connection is a failure. Not fit for purpose.

Most of the time Amateur Radio is just a bit of fun. But when there is a major disaster, traditionally it works maybe within hours or minutes, even if Government takes a week (see USA Katrina disaster and consider how much more important it is in less developed world).

The ONLY software I want connecting to the Internet is stuff that actually USES the internet, such as VOIP, IRC, IM, eMail, file transfer, web browsing etc.

Microsoft, Adobe etc are now evil with their so called Cloud Subscriptions for things that ought to work without Internet. It's (a) a rip-off, (b) an extra failure mode.

Internet based licence dongles should be illegal. Supply a USB dongle if you are not content to use normal licence key software, but licence validation via internet is evil.

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Mage
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HRD told us some

HRD told us some of those users could have written their assessments after requesting a refund and deactivating their software, thus their licenses will appear revoked.

Appear revoked?

Ha!

And how would anyone other than the purchaser or HRD know if a licence is revoked?

I'll believe the purchasers as to when the key was revoked.

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Sayonara North America: Insurance guy got your back when Office 365 doesn't?

Mage
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Windows

Insurance

PC World and Argos try to sell you insurance with every sale (it's not actually insurance and overpriced and may be issues covered by SOGA). It ought to be illegal.

Be very worried when the so called Cloud vendors (Computer time rental) try to sell you insurance too.

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Evolved DNSChanger malware slings evil ads at PCs, hijacks routers

Mage
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Windows?

Without properly setup NoScript, and properly configured Router, your OS and browser might be irrelevant.

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Mage
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Re: DNS or DHCP?

if router has default settings, then a script on webpage can change the DNS setting of the Router (usually your ISP) to a malicious DNS.

The LAN DHCP clients use the Router for DNS, by default, which is sensible.

Secure the router: Disable uPNP, change User name and password to decent ones you write down.

Note that the WiFi ID and passphrase are different, and ALSO should be changed from default. Don't use TKIP but WPA2.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Best protection ?

Do not use Google's DNS.

Privacy issues.

Your PCs should be using the Router/Gateway/firewall as DNS and it should either use your ISP or something trustworthy. Trustworthy includes not having your IP and all your requests logged.

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Mage
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FAIL

Noscript and whitelisting

Noscript can be more useful than AV software.

Also routers, when plugged in should serve ONLY the web admin login, with instructions and warnings about drive by DNS poison and have to have login user & pass changed.

Also uPNP should be illegal on a router.

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Why don't people secure their IoT gadgets? 'It's not my problem'

Mage
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Why,need an internet-connected toothbrush?

So that when phone / skype / door bell rings, the bot can announce "based on past performance, the person you seek will be available in $time_left minutes", allegedly true story.

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Mage
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IoT

Ability to have it automatically updated is actually another vulnerability vector.

Irrelevant to the article, but the SMPSU dramatically reduces the life & reliability of gadgets that once had no electronics or only a linear PSU, or decent capacitors. Traditional electricity meters last for ever, the Irish Electricity people (ESB) are having to replace 17,000 Electronics based meters. They over charge before failing. The maker knew there was a failing capacitor, but said nothing till asked.

Your 50,000 hrs IoT LED lamps may die at 1,000 to 5,000 hours due to PSU failure, delivering people from its IoT DDos or whatever.

Tube based fluorescent lamps used to occasionally need tube or starter replaced. Now they use a Radio Interference producing SMPSU as electronic ballast instead of a last forever iron cored choke that gave no RFI.

We are going backwards. Function and Reliability sacrificed to "pretty" and "cost reduction".

Most gadgets and new software now will not make life easier, but frustrate you.

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Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

Mage
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Re: Replace it with open source NOW

Also boycott "D-star"? Nasty codec that's expensive and proprietary.

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Mage
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Re: A canary by any other name?

And integrated logging. That's the useful bit if you do competitions and awards etc.

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Mage
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Re: @Mage Block Skype ads

Search block skype advert settings

it's basically:

1) Splt windows, then close stupid "home" screen or it doesn't go away

2) Using MS Internet settings in Control Panel (or via IE) block two sites. Add two websites to the list of restricted addresses: apps.skype.com and g.msn.com

3) Edit the Skype Users appdata roaming: C:\users\[your user name]\App Data\Roaming\Skype\[your Skype username]. You should see a config.xml file in this directory. Right-click it and choose Edit, then find the line that says <AdvertPlaceholder> Change value to 0.

Enjoy :)

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Mage
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Re: Crapware

Win 10 deleted the Lenovo Win7 recovery.

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Mage
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Pirate

Re: Crapware

Yes, the last version I tried was rubbish. The Simon Brown era versions (free) were fine. Also SW like this needs to support ancient versions of windows (perhaps for old laptop ONLY used as a screen for the radio and not connected to the internet.

You see this with lots of Software that is bought out, gets poorer quality and more expensive.

Paint Shop Pro: JASC to Corel. I went back to V7, the Version 10 is a mess and incompatible with Win7. I'm gradually changing to The Gimp.

Sun stuff to Oracle. The Java download debacle etc.

Skype: To eBay then Microsoft. (P.S. you CAN block the adverts and get rid of home screen)

Probably loads of other examples.

Paying for upgrades? Win7 should have been free for Vista users. Why does Win10 delete Win7 after 10 days?

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Brussels cunning plan to save the EU: No more Cookie Popups

Mage
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Linux

Re: uh, whuh? (Forking?)

Well, I don't know what Google are actually doing, and certainly Chrome or Edge are worse privacy alternatives.

I don't have a Mac, I hate iTunes (it's gone off windows) and I mostly now use Linux Mint + Mate rather than Windows, though have WINE on Linux and XP in a VM (no WAN) and Win7 as alternate boot for Windows stuff with no alt Penguin.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Good and Evil Cookies

You need cookies on any site you log in on (or fill in a form etc), as stupidly HTML is stateless. This is good use.

A site blocking their images because you blocked their tracking cookie is malicious, bad. (Guardian and others).

A third party using cookies and/or scripts (default Facebook button) and/or fonts and/or javascript libraries and/or images (including single clear pixels with unique URL) is an evil abuse of privacy to track your total behaviour all day. Google Analytics and Google DNS is evil, because Google don't just provide the analytics to site, nor your DNS lookups, but add that to the profile.

Webmasters: Install adverts locally*. Install all scripts locally (ads do get used to serve malware as well as track), install web fonts locally*, only serve your own session tracking cookie, and only if a user is logging in. Anything else is dishonest, privacy busting, less robust and insecure.

[Locally means your own domain / server farm]

Dystopian novelists never imagined the lengths that corporations would go to, except maybe John Brunner (Shock Wave Rider) and Harry Harrison ("to the stars trilogy" and the Teddy short story)

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Mage
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FAIL

Cookie law

The implementation totally broke the intent. You can't click NO. So it was useless.

They put even 1st party cookies on your PC ANYWAY even if you don't click "OK".

Also they never warn about 3rd party (the evil ones regarding privacy). Why is blocking that OFF by default in Firefox?

Simply BAN 3rd party cookies.

Also Google is popping up a giant contract you have to agree to unless you block their cookies.

Google are also somehow changing Firefox so when Google is blocked they are unblocked and you get their cookies back and then a day or so later their malicious multipage contract terms.

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It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

Mage
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Re: Poor instructions

1930s USA autochangers could flip a stack of 78s. So a symphony on 6 x 78s was as you describe, parts 1 to 6, then 7 to 12 just by flipping the stack.

They had sapphire stylus too, as the steel needles are only single play!

1949 was the first year of microgroove 33 & 45 with 78 and a flip over stylus. The current retro style record players have a 78 speed, but can't play a 78 disc properly as they only have a single stylus of microgroove type.

There were 12" 33 in early 1930s but 78rpm, for cinema, playing from inside to the outer edge like CDs / DVDs do. Easier to cue.

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Mage
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CDs and DVDs

The commercial ones are pressed. They don't fade.

Ordinary retail writeable kind only have the tracking groove pressed, the "pits" and "lands" are changed dye. They fade. DVDs faster than CDs. Only MO discs are suitable as a backup, regular writeable CDs and DVDs are only temporary, not archival. They can erase in a few days if left on a window-sill.

It's not the top, but bottom that is the problem.

I have 30 year old floppies and 50 year old audio tape that still work.

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Grab an ARMful: OpenIO's Scale-out storage with disk drive feel

Mage
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Flame

Hmm

Back the Internet?

I'd need fibre first.

Maybe the lid or base has about 16 big fans? Big fans are quieter than small ones for same airflow. Even five drives in a server tower with 3 fans gets very warm.

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USPTO: Hi, Ask Me Anything. Reddit: Can we trademark 'AMA'? USPTO: No.

Mage
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So ...

Why have they allowed all the other stupid, frivolous and identical phrases and initials?

Winter is coming.

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Will Wikipedia honour Jimbo's promise to STOP chugging?

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: a little excess cash?

Is about 98% extra only a little excess?

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Mage
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Simple

Stop giving money to Wikipedia. They don't need the $75m they raised. Actually they could probably run the place on a 1/4 of the 3M a year if they fired all the staff. None are needed. They certainly aren't helping the core activities.

There are more worthy causes.

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Apple's Airpod wireless earbuds finally go on sale after six-week delay

Mage
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Re: Exchange rate? Apple don' need no stinking exchange rate.

They are stupid:-

* They will easily get lost

* Battery life poor compared to other BT approaches

* poorer audio, INHERENTLY, than decent but cheap wired phones. This applies to ALL wireless earphones.

* Possibly poorer maximum volume.

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Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care

Mage
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Re: You know what isn't affected by this update?

I installed one the other day in a VM on Linux, my 1st XP since years ago. Baffled at broken update, install "user agent 3" fixed it.

It normally won't connect to network or rest of disk. In contrast MS's Win7 XP mode is totally promiscuous default settings making the VM useless to provide any security!

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Mage
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FAIL

Options

I always create at least one extra unused account on Windows or Linux.

On Linux I also add another Desktop, as logging in with a different one to fix a broken one is easier than CLI, but you only have one Desktop or CLI on Windows. Also remove or re-install (sudo apt-get etc) of a broken thing is simple on Linux CLI compared to Windows CLI, if you have even a phone to look up t'interwebs for the commands.

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Samsung SmartCam: Yes, those eyes really are following you around the room

Mage
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how does it compare to everything else out there right now?

"Pan and Tilt"

Except Logitech had a camera maybe 10 years ago?

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UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie

Mage
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Re: power-line Ethernet

The faster power-line Ethernet units interfere with FM radio and VHF Airband as well as MW and SW blocked by all power-line Ethernet adaptors.

There is no possible compromise other than using licensed spectrum or pre-licensed such as ISM (which includes the two wifi bands).

Similarly the proposal to let commercial Mobile (LTE) use ISM (WiFi bands) is an money grab.

The so called "White Space" interferes with TV. It should never be legalised. I can't see it being allowed on Mobile Bands. Unless EVERY TV receiver connected to the Internet in real time, the so called cognitive radio White space with or without a database won't work. Even if it did, WiFi on ISM shows that people will add 20dB gain aerials, power amps and even disable database access.

Ofcom, Comreg and FCC have all shown themselves to be partisan and technically lacking. Comreg can take a year to remove an RF interference source. Priority is given to Mobile, Local Councils and big business.

Both Ofcom and Comreg (with no consultation) aim to close Terrestrial TV. The 700MHz band sell off means no hope of more transmitters for mobile reception, 3D TV, 4K TV or other developments. Terrestrial Broadcast is complementary to Cable and Satellite and Internet. Internet is poor to scale for mass market HD viewing and more expensive than Broadcast for 20M HD viewers of same live content.

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Mage
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Re: power-line Ethernet

It's simply a transmitter, it's tested by using only one or having no data.

It will work across 3m of airgap easily, i.e. test on a genny, car inverter or unplugged UPS. The lighting wiring is often a loop, not a pair, thus is an aerial. The meter / Consumer unit has little effect.

Amusingly it can interfere with DSL, and be blocked by phone chargers lacking RF filters. Unfiltered (or poor) LED SMPSU, PC PSU, CFL or tube Electronic Ballast can "wipe" out MW & SW radio up to 20m away as well as block so called power-line Ethernet. The faster power-line Ethernet units interfere with FM radio and VHF Airband.

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Mage
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Will go badly

Ofcom is pretty much only interested in raising revenue, they are in thrall to Mobile Operators and support mobile over all other applications of spectrum.

They promote DAB.

They ignore gadgets, PSUs and Lamps creating RFI, as they support Corporates, not consumer.

If they are technically expert, management does their best to muzzle them.

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The Dread Server BlackBerry Enterprise is no more

Mage
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So what could go wrong?

“Simply unlocking the phone grants transparent access to services without requiring a password,” BlackBerry explains.

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All aboard the warship that'll make you Sicker

Mage
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Re: All sounds German to me

"As I understand it there are two main "branches" of the Celtic languages."

P & Q,

Possibly the origin of mind your ps and qs.

Irish/Scottish: son of = mac (maq)

Welsh: son of = ap (shortened from map)

It's thought to be due to Roman influence? Not sure.

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Has Samsung, er, rounded the corner with Apple court win?

Mage
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Even so it's nuts

Because most (all?) of the Apple "Design Patents" are not sufficiently distinctive and have prior use. Also many "inventive" Patents they have are trivial, obvious to those versed in the art, too broad or have prior art, so should not have been allowed.

Change USPTO that they get paid x2 for rejections. They are motivated only to accept due to resource constraints, lack of experts and they get more money from approvals than rejections.

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Who killed Pebble? Easy: The vulture capitalists

Mage
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Re: The way of the world

Ever Ready UK. Crippled by UK gov blocking take over of Mallory (now known as Duracell).

Asset stripped by Hanson in 1980s.

Shell brand bought by the corporate vulture dogfood company that had bought the USA Ever Ready (which founded the UK one some time before 1906) in 1990s. Gradually rebranded Energiser & Eveready.

Assault & Battery: Ever Ready / BEREC

Ironically the USA founder bought the Dry Battery US patent from a UK Chemist in New York. It was a rip-off of a Scandinavian invention and should not have been approved.

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Mage
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Re: The perils of the cloud

Yes, MS had a watch long ago and turned off the data stream, making it useless.

Also "Plays for Sure"?

The Cloud is best for websites :D

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BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland

Mage
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Hmm

I'd trust this more than an autonomous car.

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Apple again late to another market others pioneered. Or is it?

Mage
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Revisionism

specialised in making gadgets that have enormous appeal but are for some reason not obvious to other companies. In retrospect, the jukebox-in-your-pocket that was the iPod and networked-computer-that-happens-to-make-phone-calls that was the iPhone were blindingly obvious. Yet no other company executed them well enough to achieve mass uptake.

Nonsense really. Apple came late to every product sector after other companies proved there was a market.

The iPod outstripped other MP3 players (Creative, Digital River) because of the Record label deals with iTunes and ability to buy tracks rather than buy entire CD and rip it.

The iPhone was about 9 years after other smart phones (some were good), it was an iPod, + bought in GUI, cut down MacOS as iOS and Samsung reference phone design using Samsung SC6400 family chips.

Yes the GUI was far better than S60 or WinCE (Nokia earlier had better GUIs they scrapped!), but no better than some other Linux based tiled interfaces on niche phones. It was the Operator promotion and cheap data plans that made it succeed. Previously cost arm & leg to use data on your "portable networked computer".

I had Nokia N9100 and then Nokia N9200i. The Nokia N9200 had browser, email, fax, office apps etc.

In neither case was it Apple tech innovation (SW or HW) but the deals with Record labels and Mobile operators. Frankly the iPod and iTunes was horrible. The lauded Apple GUI (which was a big improvement) was bought in and wasn't the reason for success. Phone contracts made it a success. My E65 was a better phone, had copy/paste, email, web browser but cost a fortune in data charges. Widgets were good (Nokia stupidly scrapped them and had the stupid Ovi store instead, loads of websites offered S60 apps, the Ovi store misunderstood by iTunes worked).

Let's stop re-writing history. Apple came late to every party, then overcharged for inferior HW spec and created walled gardens. They never have been a technical innovator, except maybe the Newton, though better PDAs existed earlier, Newton didn't deliver what it promised. Not Apple II, Lisa, Mac, iPod, iPhone or iPad or Watch.

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