* Posts by Mage

6433 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Telcos hit out against plans to hike their broadband rates

Mage
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Madness

See title.

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Crypto guru Matt Green asks courts for DMCA force field so he can safely write a textbook

Mage
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Or he could move

The USA "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" is actually contravening the Berne Convention on Copyright, suppressing security research and human rights.

I suppose it's not practical as plan "B", to give up US citizenship and live in a country prepared to ignore illegal US extraterritorial attempts at US law enforcement.

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How to steal the mind of an AI: Machine-learning models vulnerable to reverse engineering

Mage
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AI reverse enginering

Could it be it's not really AI, but a fancy database?

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Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Mage
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For a start

charge LESS on approval.

Charge x10 as much if rejected.

At present the financial incentive is on USPTO to approve (they get paid much more) and on big Corporations to spend more on frivolous applications than actual R&D.

Also Design Patents (Registered Design in UK) and Registered Trade names ought to be distinctive and made up.

(Fluted Coke bottle good, Apple phone bad. Kleenex good, Specsavers OK. Travelodge OK, Travel Lodge not, using ordinary words bad. Using regular names such as Ford or Dyson etc should end.)

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BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

Mage
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Facepalm

It's all nonsense and subjective junk

Personality tests.

Psychometric tests.

Polygraph lie detector.

Even a lot of MRI based tests turn out to be made up stuff, faulty statistics package.

It's not either evidence based, repeatable, statistically significant or scientific.

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Amazon: Students, we'll give you $2.5m for a chat-up, AI?

Mage
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XKCD

XKCD on AI Chatbots

Hover mouse.

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Mage
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Amazon desperation?

I suppose we can hardly expect a Marketing company do be able to develop a decent chat bot.

A decent one is likely worth Billions, if WhatsApp is worth $19B.

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One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

Mage
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Needed tick boxes not radio buttons.

Send all of those on the list?

Note: Antarctic + surgery on all of them first, including all reproductive parts (for safety).

Remove every part not essential.

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Invasion of the Brandsnatchers: How Nokia and BlackBerry inhabit the afterlife

Mage
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Burning Platform?

Maybe the idea was to burn MS and get out of phones. Which they did, MS paid maybe $1 Billion before Nokia sold phone division, then Billions to buy the phone division, BUT NOT *ANY* IP nor the Brand! Then MS has cost of closing the factories and making all the developers etc redundant!

Brilliantly played, Nokia. The phone division probably couldn't be saved as the rot was terminal and dated at least to about 2002 or so (killing Crystal, S80 and internal competition)

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Mage
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How many phones has MS killed?

The original CE ones.

The Danger / Kin

The hybrid Zune GUI on CE

The Nokia ones

The NTified ones

The ARM surface

I'm not sure how to count them, and I expect MS to either completely rebrand phone or buy another phone to kill or get out of phones in the next year or so?

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Salesforce asks Europe to stop Microsoft buying LinkedIn after itself trying to buy LinkedIn

Mage
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Re: But, but ....

Sadly many do, and also give <insert parasite> other people's email and personal details too.

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Mage
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Mushroom

LinkedIn

They should be prosecuted for encouraging (new signings especially) to share their address books to LinkedIn. They then spam people.

Most of these so called "social media" companies certainly break the intention of EU data protection.

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User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Mage
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Re: Plugs....

Or printers with a near hidden USB B and an obvious USB A (to print images from a USB stick). User bought an adaptor!

He rang when that didn't work. I got him to search at the back for another USB socket.

Yes, you CAN force a USB plug into an ethernet socket, but not vice versa.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Invisible switches

"black buttons on a black box labelled with black writing"

Or dark grey alien symbols on a black bezel that seems to be touch sensitive. BUT! Variable latency in response, so you learn to wait before trying a second time, as otherwise it turns on and goes to standby.

Black text on black flush buttons on Tesco DAB / FM Alarm radio, including volume, alarm cancel etc

Incomprehensible sequences of buttons with almost no GUI on a one line LCD. Impossible without manual or bright spot light and even then really hard.

Ergonomics is GARBAGE on consumer Electronics as they cost costs by having no knobs or numeric pads. Non-mobile Websites and desktop applications that all functions are hidden in a "hamburger" menu and GUI designed for a 320 x 240 display.

Much vaunted Apple Design takes worst aspect of Dieter Ram's minimise, which was too stark, designed to sell in showrooms.

We need to never sacrifice function or ergonomics for style or cost saving.

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Mage
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The user with a very slow PC

It seemed perfect to me.

So I got the secretary to show me her work flow. The document seemed to take a very very long time to open.

For years she had been typing every letter in the one file. She selected the appropriate block and then Print Selection to print a letter. She printed two copies. One to post and one to file. I asked to see how she filed them.

She had a wonderful paper filing system. So I showed her how to to duplicate it with folders for filing cabinets, drawers, sections and separate files. She did use her spare time to gradually convert the mega file to separate ones.

One wonders at the quality of IT training at Business Colleges.

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Mage
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Re: her fault for being impatient?

No, it's rubbish PSU design. All too common.

Live somewhere rural with a loose connection somewhere in the overhead transmission and after a while "natural selection" ensures you only have PSUs that cope. Also bean counters realise a UPS isn't a luxury on a server.

IMO the best aspect of a laptop is the built in UPS, when you live somewhere with dodgy electricity. You KNOW you need to save often, but sometimes get so engrossed you forget. Or forget how you did the clever function or paragraph of text written just after the last autosave.

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Qualcomm eyes NXP lunch

Mage
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Re: On this bit:

The more you dig and more you know the more depressing it is.

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Mage
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Unhappy

Qualcom maybe the worst new owner for NXP?

Formerly part of Philips, once the flagship Electronics giant of Europe, the TV and AV are badges for Asians and they have retreated to 1926 and making only light bulbs and health care.

Qualcom will be interested mainly in any IP. It will be a slow death for NXP.

You missed Intel took over Altera, Analog Devices taking over Linear Technology, Microchip ate AVR.

HP spat out its chips into two or three companies and more interested in selling ink than Innovation. HP Killed off the best Compaq lines and all remaining parts of DEC that Compaq had taken over,

It's not about Silicon Valley, but about the visionaries and founders dying and being replaced by bean counters. (In the past in UK, Pye/Newmarket Semi, Ferranti, Plessey, GEC, etc. Mullard was Philips since 1928). Inmos was sold to totally unsuitable owners (was it Thorn?) and eventually to Thomson.

Very many others gone too. Intermetall, MOS, Sylvania, Westinghouse, all important Electronics Innovators once.

East European, Baltic and Russian outfits you never heard of from the USSR days.

Mighty RCA gone in 1986, their brand and Telefunken eaten by French Thomson TSF and like Grundig and Akai a meaningless badge.

Consolidation.

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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Mage
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Devil

Horrific!

I'm glad I wasn't there.

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Fingerprint tech makes ATMs super secure, say banks. Crims: Bring it on, suckers

Mage
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Rats!

My new biometric system uses a pet rat. If the information is stolen then you replace the rat and register the new one with the bank.

Makes more sense than human biometrics. Rats can also be trained to be loyal and bite a thief or even fitted with an NFC collar that kills it if it's stolen from you.

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Microsoft chatbots: Sweet XiaoIce vs foul-mouthed Tay

Mage
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FAIL

Microsoft did not expect ...

I can't believe they were so stupid. Also it's insulting to intelligence to call these chat bots, "AI", as they are hardly more "intelligent" than Eliza, which was little more than a parlour game fooling the gullible.

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FCC death vote looms for the Golden Age of American TV

Mage
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We’re living in a “Golden Age of TV”

Really?

Maybe a great time to be a USA media company producing garbage that's eagerly devoured because UK channels have outsourced and racing to the bottom with reality TV.

The Golden Age for the UK and viewers ended in the 1980s.

We've seen the rise in Europe of the US style cable that I saw in early 1980s (and later Satellite) which has diluted content across too many similar channels, now often subscription, and sport move from FTA to people sometimes needing THREE subscriptions!

Though I agree, the FCC has lost the plot. They also seem determined to cripple Free To Air TV as well as give too much power to Amazon, Murdoch, Google's YouTube, Netflix and Apple etc, all of whom are parasites producing hardly any content and destroying FTA channels.

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Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society... Doesn't sound sinister at all

Mage
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Re: Phase 1: fact-checker AI

But behind the curtain are sociopathic profit motivated CEOs. They then will fight it out (like one of those dystopian SF were Commercial Houses rule the galaxy) as a throne only seats one.

AI is a trojan horse to let commercial humans rule.

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Mage
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Gimp

Amazon?

"We’re in a golden age of machine learning and AI. This partnership will ensure we’re including the best and the brightest in this space in the conversation to improve customer trust and benefit society.”

Ha ha ha. What nonsense.

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Sad reality: Look, no one's going to patch their insecure IoT gear

Mage
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akin to the CE mark on electrical and/or wireless devices

I hope much better and that CE is reformed as:

1) Most national governments / regulators don't police what is sold

2) Makers often dishonestly choose wrong category

3) Makers leave out parts after approval (see 1)

4) Too much self certification.

The idea of CE is good, implementation bad and made worse by antics of individual Governments and Regulators who then dishonestly blame EU.

Fines are also too low.

I can see no hope at all for regulation of security on IoT as many already are not designed well enough to meet SOGA "fit for purpose" and/or last 2+ years. Many with CE marks don't in reality meet RFI standards in normal operation, they use special test settings and scenarios to pass.

Technically EU Data protection laws, CE and SOGA *ALREADY* cover IoT security issues. But no-one with the money is interested in a court case against the makers. Governments and Regulators won't as they favour Big Corporates over Consumer (c.f. Ofcom's actions on Ethernet Power adaptors, Mobile roaming, BT, Sky's EPG costs etc.)

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Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Mage
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Competition

Whirlpool?

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Sage advice: Avoid the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – it knackers our accounting app

Mage
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Re:BSOD

Back in the days of XP: "ugh windows bluescreens all the time, why do microsoft allow drivers full access to the kernel?"

That happened since NT4.0. Fixable by using decent graphics cards / Printer and drivers. But it should NEVER have been done.

Win7 / Win8 / Win10 are no more stable or secure than properly set-up up NT3.5, NT3.51, NT4.0, Win2K or XP when they were supported.

Win3.0, Win95a, Win ME were garbage. Win3.1x, Win95b, Win98, Win98SE were all far inferior to any NT version, Vista included, but at least could be set up reasonably properly, though practically zero security and no ability to create named pipes.

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Mage
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Re:It was called Windows 7.

Garbage, that was a bug fix of Vista and should have been free to Vista Users. It was not an updated XP as it still depreciated GDI based apps (almost everything not a game or multimedia) in favour of the "new" Gamer and Eye candy orientated APIs.

Printer & Graphics GDI support should never have been moved into the Kernel (at NT4.0).

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Mage
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Re: I don't necessarily think that MS does a bad job of maintaining backwards compatibility,

Till Vista.

From Vista onwards they don't seem to care.

They broke NT3.5 with applications for Win95 specially crafted so they would fail on Win3.x + Win32s. So I think (but may be wrong) that many got NT3.51 free, which fixed that.

Applications I wrote for NT 3.5 still worked on XP, but some few Win3.x and Win9x programs and games needed patches (GST Designworks, DTP, Alpha Centauri), it was less backward compatible compare to NT4 / Win2K. Vista / Win7 were dreadful, even breaking Paint Shop Pro.

WOW & NTVDM used to be quite good, but basically killed with Vista. (The DosBox VM /Emulator though was already better for DOS applications than NTVDM and works on later Windows as well as ARM).

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Mage
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Facepalm

Ironic

Programs like Sage Line 50 are the main reason small Business have stuck with Windows since the Vista débâcle. MS needs to simply produce an updated version of XP rather than all these GUI and Marketing experiments driven by people with no interest in legacy software and clueless about GUI design. Forget Phone / tablet / Worstation / Console universal apps and copying Adobe and Google.

Don't call the OSes for Tablets, console or Phone or embedded "Windows". Differentiate and support the core business, desktop, properly!

This is Microsoft's fault. All XP and Vista drivers and programs should work on Win 10 otherwise it's pointless and people are better migrating to Linux.

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‘Inflexion point’ BlackBerry washes hands of hardware biz

Mage
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Re: Cracked screens.

Every city & shopping centre has people that will fit a new screen from stock for common things. Unlike a TV set it's an economically viable repair for common models.

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Mage
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my son had a new iPhone 7 delivered today

Why?

Is he independently wealthy? A phone that costs more than many laptops (nearly £700 excluding accessories) and twice comparable phones made by others, though more awkward (no 3.5mm jack for car/hifi/earphonse, non-standard I/O connection compared to most phones, nearly impossible to transfer content without iTunes, glued in battery).

It's a shame the only choices now are really Android, or else Apple if you want to spend x2 more and have less functionality. Like 1995 to 2005 for PCs.

I was looking at a MS phone. The Win8 is poorer than Android, the Win 10 upgrade doesn't support some features and is as creepy privacy wise as Android. Shame as it's nice HW, though no USB host mode and probably doomed as a platform.

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BT tops Ofcom's broadband whinge list

Mage
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Headmaster

Meaningless stats?

The complaints per operator need scaled with the number of customers per operator.

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Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Mage
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Simple solution.

Scrap continuum and MS phone support altogether. It's a dying / dead market for MS. The desktop Windows has been crippled since win 8.x by this silly idea of one Windows for all devices. Just as stupid as making Win CE on 320 x 240 screens be a minuscule stylus pecked Win 9x GUI.

If a phone has enough "grunt" to dock to a desktop LCD panel, then the dock needs to solve the problem, or just leave it as it is. Anything else is going to be too much overhead for the phone or to crippling for a desktop. Perhaps you just want the phone storage to be on the dock/workstations file system and have a resizeable extra window on the desktop that is the phone screen, with keyboard / touch / mouse routed to phone when that's the active window.

Anyway, the MS concept is doomed to alienate Desktop users or cripple performance of the phone.

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The wait is over: MoD releases latest issue of Ship Paint Monthly

Mage
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Coat

Cars?

Might be useful for those preparing for MOT, or salty water on roads from winter gritting?

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Ofcom punts network-sniffing Android app

Mage
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Unhappy

Off load to public

To avoid having any responsibility to actually see if Mobile operators meet the already too weak licence conditions.

If this was complementary, it would be good, but I fear it will be the only verification if enough users use it.

Self selected respondents result in misleading surveys. Will the demographic of those installing it be suitably geographically spread?

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Text input from thin air: boffins give Wi-Fi the finger with AI

Mage
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Daft

It's not going to get much better.

It's in the realms of a toy.

A camera is far better.

-- Assuming you want gesture control at all.

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Google launches peer-to-peer YouTube vid sharing, only in India

Mage
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Peer to peer?

Really, or person to person via server?

Does Google track this?

Does Google ad Adverts?

Does the preview and download come from your "friend" directly or Google's servers?

Why only video it it's really peer to peer (Skype USED to do this)?

Me, sceptical about Google? If it's server based then it's no different to many other services.

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Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if Impossible.com were a success

Mage
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Alert

Not that bad...

It's not like it's Google, Facebook etc

Half a million and "Mostly harmless".

Certainly a waste of taxpayers money, but down the back of sofa stuff compared to most government waste, sadly!

WhatsApp, bought for $19B and going to steal privacy (for FB) from people that never signed up, because it has the contact data on the users phones.

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Mage
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Win 10 on MS Phone

The FM radio vanishes.

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Mage
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Re:Having used Windows 10

My points in brackets:

Having used Windows 10, here are the advantages of it of Win7:

* It is faster (But XP is MUCH faster, with proper install /config)

* DirectX 12 (Marketing decision, not inherent)

* Multiple desktops (Available free as add on since at least 2002)

Sadly Win7 is only a bug fix of Vista, that's why Win10 is faster.

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Mage
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Big Brother

Re: Ads

Only in Skype I think?

The issues are: privacy, forced updates, rubbish GUI, poor compatibility with older windows programs (for some people the only reason the are not using MacOS or Linux).

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Mage
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On the rise?

"But there are signs that businesses and professional users at least are keen on Windows 10, with European IT market research outfit Context reporting that Windows 10 Pro adoption is on the rise."

Well, what alternative have you to run Sage, Outlook based Scheduling and other corporate Windows only stuff etc?

Bears in the woods, Pope Catholic etc.

Forced rather than keen.

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Germany calls halt to Facebook’s WhatsApp info slurp

Mage
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Devil

Re: Stop using Facebook and WhatsApp...

Impossible! Because naive friends, colleagues, family and acquaintances are giving WhatsApp / Facebook the info. Their Android apps are taking ALL the contact details on phones!

LinkedIn too steals 3rd party email data by tricking users that sign up.

Don't get me started on Google!

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Mage
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Devil

willing to work with the regulator to resolve their concerns.

Then hold Whatsapp at arms length or sell it.

Stop making it easy for people to give you other peoples info

Stop asking for extra info to be added

Stop asking for phone numbers to turn on "features".

Stop stealing private info and monetising it.

Stop with the cheating on visibility unless paid.

Stop being a walled garden.

Make privacy simple and on by default.

Warn people they may be breaking the law if they post PRIVATE 3rd party text, email, numbers or photos on Facebook.

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Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Mage
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FAIL

No, nothing to do with DIY Innovation

It's abrogation of regulation and pushing a failed format that only suits National Broadcasters.

Also the ergonomics of DAB for users is a disaster. AM/FM radios are superior.

Ofcom is pro DAB and anti AM/FM for political reasons.

Comreg has already done the same "promotion" of such a system here in Ireland.

This is typical Ofcom (and earlier Comreg) propaganda.

It's only a moderately clever achievement as 10 years ago I was doing this with MPEG4 HD DDT using an off the shelf card in a PC.

I don't mean at all to denigrate the techies that did this, just Ofcom's exploitation of it.

http://www.dektec.com/

It's easier with DAB.

Why are there no DAB pirates? The Technology is off the shelf.

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Hubble spies on Europa shooting alien juice from its southern pole

Mage
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Alien

re: I wonder what it tastes like?

That's what Darwin did with many of the creatures he caught to examine, after he killed and dissected them. Some were so nice that the sailors were sent to fetch more.

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STUN hack could help admins choose between 'net links

Mage
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I'm stunned

Sounds like a clever idea.

DDoS?

A lot of routers and many email servers ignore "ping" to avoid Ping of Death DDoS, and many routers de-prioritise Trace Route.

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Narcissist Heidi Powell wants her dot-com and she wants it now, now, NOW!

Mage
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Paris Hilton

Wikipedia

At time of writing only her husband has a page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Powell_(personal_trainer)#Personal_life

The latecomer to the name deserves to lose and have to pay costs and damages.

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Windows Server 2016 will cost more on big servers, but discounts can be found

Mage
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What I said earlier

Though some people don't like being told the Emperor has no clothes

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2016/09/26/microsoft_releases_server_2016_complete_with_commercial_docker_engine/

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