* Posts by Mage

6254 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

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

Mage
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or is it just cheaper ?

It's cheaper.

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

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

The BBC used to distribute an atomic clock signal nationally.

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

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Mage
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Re: Galileo

Not really a backup.

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

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

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Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

Mage
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Re: Apple timecapsule

Or a generic USB HDD.

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Mage
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Re: Does Microsoft offer an exchange program too?

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

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

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Mage
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Flame

Apple

MS copying Apple.

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

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

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

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

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

Mage
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Alien

So many flaws

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

However the very idea is arrogant, elitist, unpractical.

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

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Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

Mage
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Re: cut-price Apple-style effort

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

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

First 64bit NT was for the 64 bit Alpha.

Shame that DEC are gone.

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Mage
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Kodi

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

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

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Mage
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cut-price Apple-style effort

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

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

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

Mage
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Education specialist Pearson

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

I'm curious.

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

Mage
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Fines?

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

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

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

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

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

Mage
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Field of view.

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

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

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

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Mage
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Vertical resolution 1080

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

It's obviously only any use for games.

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

Mage
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While we are at it

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

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

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

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

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

Ha, ha!

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

PHYSICS.

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Mage
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Facepalm

Falling behind on 5G?

Really?

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

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

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

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

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

Mage
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This achievement seems a bit late.

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

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

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

Mage
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The Oath portfolio includes

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

Presumably also Yahoo Groups and Flickr?

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Waymo waves off original Google Firefly driverless car

Mage
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Re: Don't hold your breath..

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

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

How does delivery work without a person?

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French firm notches up 50km unmanned drone inspection flight

Mage
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Coat

Flight Corridor

Power lines?

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

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

1) It's not.

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

Too late to change my mind now.

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Damian Green now heads up UK Cabinet Office

Mage
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Cabinet Office

Did it used to be Dept of Administrative Affairs?

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

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

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

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Mage
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Re: Oh bugger!

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

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

Mage
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Boffin

Re: Google Docs more expensive than Office 365

Yes, MS may indeed be cheaper.

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

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

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

Mage
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Simple

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

Ban all polls once an election is called.

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

Mage
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How did they come up with

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

Most of that should be illegal to store.

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Mage
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Devil

Disruptive

Easy if you lie, cheat and under pay.

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

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

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

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

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

ports open?

Wut no firewall.

I take no prisoners. We have no DMZ.

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

Mage
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Linux bits?

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

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

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Mage
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FAIL

Fail for content creators

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

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

Bah!

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

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

1) Privacy

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

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

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

MS has lost the plot. Probably around 2004 actually.

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

Mage
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Re: Quad

Or piezo

Or plasma

Or a horn

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

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

Mage
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Coat

Re: DUP?

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

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

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Mage
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Tories sold themselves as the only way to avoid Indyref2

Yet lost.

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

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Mage
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Big Brother

Scotland & Tories

Before last big election win the SNP had maybe 6?

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

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

SF should take seats or get no money.

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

Mage
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Coverage

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

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

This seems to ignore basic physics and economics.

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

Mage
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Intel?

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

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EU, China may demand concessions for Qualcomm's $39bn Dutch chip plant slurp

Mage
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buys them political clout in Europe

How?

NXP is the spun off Philips Semiconductor.

Qualcomm only regards product as a vehicle to get royalties. They only want the ex Philips RF IP.

Any European staff will be laid off.

Only chips with ability to charge a % on final product for royalty will be kept, and only far east production. Likely ANY remaining NXP chips in production will be licensed to highest Asian bidder.

So there will be zero NXP European jobs and production. Possibly no NXP chips at all after a couple of years. It's about eating the real RF IP. I've seen it before with Qualcomm acquisitions!

Qualcomm has no interest in $1.50 ARM cortex or car radio ICs.

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Mage
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Re: Rory must be on holiday

Sounds like Stephen Fry,

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Mage
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Qualcomm buying NXP.

Should Not Be Allowed.

OTH look at all the companies Amazon has eaten.

These corporate acquisitions go beyond synergy, scaling up etc, to simply extort customers.

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Infosec guru Schneier: Govts WILL intervene to regulate Internet of Sh!t

Mage
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Regulation

We need FCC, CSA, CE marks that actually mean something more than an licence to import and retail, with proactive regulator sampling of the market. There is not just security, but also every kind of safety (not just electrical), RFI and RF susceptibility, ability to repair, and ability to sensibly recycle, rather than built in 18month to 28 month life due to sealed in batteries or poor component quality.

We need to look at the big picture.

Also there has to be SEPARATE security and functional updates. I received a forced automatic update in a Kobo eBook reader while making annotations. It did add one "security" feature, a PIN to unlock, but dramatically reduced functionality of the home screen to almost useless.

So Microsoft is not the only bad guy. If people get "Security" updates that interrupt their work or remove or downgrade features, they will block updates.

Also MS lack of security patches on some older products is pure marketing to force people to upgrade, as they continue often to develop and release the patches to specific users or products using same code rather than in public. MS is quite entitled to charge specific customers for support, but it's sheer bloody mindedness to turn off patches to the ordinary public when in reality they are still AUTOMATICALLY distributing them.

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Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Mage
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IRA: not anxious to kill a lot of people

REALLY?

Indiscriminate bombings, mostly of civilians. The shootings and beatings were more targeted... mostly at their own community. Look at the figures.

From 1969 to about 1998:

More than 3,500 people were killed in the conflict, of whom 52% were civilians, 32% were members of the British security forces, and 16% were members of paramilitary groups.

More people were killed in the Irish Civil War than War of Independence: Previous incarnation of IRA.

Most attacks on security forces were ambushes.

Though from 1916 to the GFA, reacting with force, executions, internment, shooting at protesters etc, only created followers.

Though contrary to much media reporting, unlike current terrorism, it was purely about politics, not religion. It was just historical accident that the two sides mostly belonged to two different denominations.

What is this person thinking?

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Would you let DJ E-to-the-Musk set the playlist for your roadtrip?

Mage
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may move into music "matching algorithms"

I dunno, I'd never employ him. Except maybe to proof read SF, if he's any good at proof reading.

Why would ANYONE want "music matching algorithims"? Except folks wanting to make money out of you.

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So despite all the cash ploughed into big data, no one knows how to make it profitable

Mage
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Unhappy

Big data profits?

So what are the Facebook & Google parasites (on personal info) using to convince advertisers to spend with them and hoover up 98% of internet advertising revenue?

Though if it IS a successful "Big Data" example, we'd be all better off without it.

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Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting

Mage
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Devil

Australia to float 'not backdoors'

Meanwhile Mayhem in her ferro-cement equine storage facility wants to tear up many human rights provisions.

Like not actually being locked up or deported without a trial. Look how well Internment worked from Boer War to 1970s N.I.?

This is stuff that deserves to sink.

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No hypersonic railguns on our ships this year, says US Navy

Mage
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Re: Downsides

Yes, they currently last for about 4 shots!

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Boffins get routers spilling secrets through their LEDs

Mage
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Re: Signalling by light? Really?

It's even built in!

You can program your own morse code on a router LED. I did this 10 years ago.

The trick requires compromising the router security FIRST, so then it can "phone home" on the WAN anyway.

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Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

Mage
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Re: Linux and all its variants.

No, any Linux distro has only "versions" for CPU type. The actual OS is the same.

Since Vista, MS has been ripping people off by artificially inventing versions.

Though it sort of started with NT4.0; Workstation, Server in 1996, adding Enterprise Server in 1998.

Then Terminal server late 1998 and Embedded in early 1999.

It supported PPC, MIPS, x86 (32 bit), Alpha. There was a version for 64bit Alpha. Those are CPU versions, so don't count.

AFAIK, NT3.1: Only one version. NT3.5 and NT3.51 (Workstation and Server, the only differences was default settings and number of clients that could connect, 10 for workstation). The NT3.51 was due MS trying to force Win3.x users to upgrade to Win95 by artificially making Office 95 use some new APIs not in NT3.5

I think Win 4.x (before Win95) was Chinese version of Win3.x

Then with XP they didn't release a server version till 2003, called Windows Server 2003.

XP had Workstation, Tablet and Embedded versions at least.

Then with Vista they started the EVIL "home" vs "pro" workstations.

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Mage
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Joke

Re: MS back ported long filenames to 3.11, you had to install a patch.

It was called Windows 95, it had no USB (that was a later Win95b). :D

Seriously, if you had on WFWG 3.11: VFW, Win32s, MS 32bit TCP/IP, 32bit disk driver, etc, the only big difference was extra APIs to run Office95, Explorer Shell and the insecure really stupid ideas of Autorun and hiding file extensions.

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Does Microsoft have what it takes to topple Google Docs?

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Software as a service?

"you'd employ some software option delivered as a service. "

Only if you like paying extra (for ever! Even to access archives 10 years later when you don't use that package), having less security, less privacy and less reliability.

Upgrades? I've heard of them.

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Oil and lube firm offers to ease pains of frustrated office workers

Mage
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Not Y Chromosome

How much time purely typing vs shuffling around.

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