* Posts by Mage

6245 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Doctor Who-inspired proxy transmogrifies politically sensitive web to avoid gov censorship

Mage
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Alert

Re: Double edged?

Worse, it can be used by State controlled infrastructure or malware installed on a router, to redirect your traffic. It makes Man In The Middle Attacks easier.

Also on the client it aids browser hijacking.

Unless I've totally misunderstood this, it's a totally naive and stupid idea.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Mage
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Several sorts of fail

1: Inherently stupid products

2: Failure due to hype / bad marketing etc (Newton)

3: Failure due to no marketing (some touch phones before iPhone)

4: Technology not quite perfected (Philips N1500 Video cartridge etc)

5: Great idea very badly done (nGage)

6: Inherently too expensive (Fax from 1850s to 1970s)

7: Infrastructure too slow or expensive (Smart Phones from 1998 to 1996)

8: Bad management causing company fail (Osborne Computer, Nokia Phone division)

9: Bad luck?

10: Too late to market (Philips Video 2000)

I'm sure people can think of other reasons.

The reason why some products and services that are mediocre or even nasty actually madly succeed seems to be a combination of luck and marketing. Actually may apply to almost all products and services. It's a fallacy that a "good idea" is route to wealth. Most successes are not due to the "good idea".

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Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: NRA

A bit off topic...

In Ireland the NRA is the National Roads Authority.

They don't call themselves the Irish Rifle Association either. Though those initials might involve rifles.

http://www.nrai.ie/news.html

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Mage
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Smartwater?

a) The sharing of the info is just WRONG. However it happened.

b) "Smartwater" just selling UV ink marking kit? Typically available under £5 in the high street, maybe even Poundland.

c) Weapons all have serial numbers which are MUCH harder to remove than UV ink, and even if removed can probably still be identified.

d) UV marking is pretty useless for anything as it does not stop or deter theft. Most stolen stuff isn't recovered. If it's not a weapon, then an engraved email address or maybe mobile number is more useful, you know, if you leave it on the train, not if it's stolen.

Perimeter security and prevention is HUGELY more valuable. So locked locks is MUCH better than a burglar alarm etc.

So how did Smartwater get the addresses and is their product any earthly use for a weapon?

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Microsoft promises twice-yearly Windows 10, O365 updates – with just 18 months' support

Mage
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Re: CAD

Eagle is on Linux and Windows.

Though the Windows version runs on Wine too.

My older windows CAE programs have no replacements and some don't work on Win7 64 bit. They all work on Wine on Linux.

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LinkedIn U-turns on Bluetooth-enabled 'Tinder for marketers'

Mage
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Linkedin Spam

They con new members into "sharing" all their email address books and then spam all the people on that.

So I left it a few years ago. It was originally recommended about 10 years ago by co-workers. It's a mess and I wonder did MS only buy it for the database?

If I installed an App and it did that, I'd remove it. But I can't see the point of Apps for websites. If websites are designed properly they work even on a pre-iPhone phone with browser. Isn't the real purpose of app alternatives to websites to maximise adverts to users and maximise user info gathered inc. location.

I wonder are a lot of apps (never mind websites) breaking EU laws?

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Not the droids you're looking for – worst handsets to resell

Mage
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Devil

Re: iPhones "use until dead"

Unfortunately for iPhones "use until dead", or in practice "use until battery dies" is about 2 years. I have very few of the work ones go much longer than that, and some are dead after 18 months.

Which makes the resale price nuts. If I'm buying a gadget I want it new, or at least 50% cheaper than cheapest new option. Such a high risk buying ANY second hand gadget.

Obviously buyers of S/H iPhones are keen to have Apple specifically, but can't actually afford a new one?

Subsidised or part of Contract phone selling by mobile operators, or their resellers such as Carphone/Currys should be stopped. It's anti-competitive to other HW makers and unfairly raises cost of contract or PAYG for SIM only customers and locks in Customers. It's nasty.

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Mage
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Linux

Re: it will be pistols at dawn!

Surely "Distros at dawn"?

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Mage
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Re: My thoughts on this ...

Yes, I sometimes install that (XFCE) too as a fall back solution. Easier to fix a desktop from a desktop than a console, though I *HAVE* re-installed Mate desktop via console. Entirely my fault it got broken.

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Mage
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what about the users who love Unity?

They could buy a phone able to use a mouse, keyboard and HDMI HD screen. My ancient Sony Ericsson Z1 connects to those and gives an experience like Unity.

I used to use Gnome, but when it went "koolaid"/Mozilla/"Worst OS X/Vista features" I switched to Mate. I also have KDE installed, so if I break the desktop it's easily fixed.

That's what's great about Linux for a laptop, no arrogant GUI lock-in to stupid corporate / web designer fashion.

Unity was always a doomed idea, like Windows 8.

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China successfully launches its first robot space truck

Mage
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Re: "fast-dock tech that will reduce coupling time to just six hours."

1) A big issue is matching vectors exactly.

2) Exact orientation

3) Then with no friction, actually joining vessel to the small station without changing the orbit is a difficult operation.

It's not like DS9 or Babylon 5.

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'We should have done better' – the feeble words of a CEO caught using real hospital IT in infosec product demos

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What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist

Mage
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Actually, Outlook

I thought the ONLY reason to have the insecure Outlook application was MS Server integration with Scheduling/Calendar. Otherwise if you only want email, there are better, safer solutions for over 15 years.

Otherwise why would people buy Exchange Server and an MS OS to run it? I'm baffled that they don't have a fully Exchange/Sharepoint/Outlook client compatible with and syncing to desktop on iOS, Android, etc for years to support Exchange sales and maintain lock in to MS eco-system. Why on earth did they buy Wunderlist at all, unless to do a Fitbit - Pebble and kill it at once. Like Amazon did with Mobibooks.

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Mage
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Facepalm

This is rooted in 15 years+ ago

When I heard that the team leader meetings for XP development used an auditorium I knew the end was near.

Then docx and the Ribbon and "adaptive menus"* showed the plot was lost. Then Vista ditched all the good ideas in favour of direct 3D and Aero.

Windows 8.x? (Stupidity of Phone / Zune GUI for Desktop).

Windows 10. (So many levels of stupid).

It's no surprise. Look how they messed up Skype and confused people by renaming the unrelated pre-existing voice application "Skype for Business".

Or the debacle over ARM vs x86 surface / Windows.

Or wasting all the billions on buying nothing at all from Nokia.

Obviously Management is clueless.

[* What use are menus where the least used things vanish? Menus need to be unchanging and show every option, always, though grey out ones that can't currently be used in the app. This why on XP and later I disabled "hide task icons" and "personlised menus".]

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Online ad scam launders legions of pirates and pervs into 'legit' surfing

Mage
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Pirate

What we suspected

Google doesn't care.

Web advertising is broken because of how it's done with 3rd party sites and scripts instead of a simple banner image and link hosted on the viewed website. By trying to be cleverer than printed or TV ads and track users, they have destroyed both Advertiser's trust and user acceptance of web advertising.

Google, Facebook etc benefit from these frauds as well as the malodorous websites and scammers.

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SPY-tunes scandal: Bloke sues Bose after headphones app squeals on his playlist

Mage
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Facepalm

Re: feel the need to sling multi-million dollar lawsuits

Any less and they don't care and don't stop.

Even criminal fines are often regarded as "cost of business" if not severe and also because the top managers don't suffer unless the consequences seriously upset shareholders.

Senior managers / CEO etc need to be also personally liable for their management.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: The advantages of poverty

Also the advantage of 3.5mm jack dumb phones, which inherently are better quality as any wireless earphones need an DAC anyway and have the additional overhead of Bluetooth. Space and power constraints also mean that five year old phone with 3.5mm analogue jack may have a better DAC and audio amp than the device(s) in the wireless headphones / earbuds.

Also the Analogue 3.5mm headphones work on anything without pairing, don't need an dataslurping app etc.

A BT earpiece is handy for handsfree conversation. I've got good BT stereo earphones and I've gone back to analogue, because no pairing and work on more stuff.

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Ambient light sensors can steal data, says security researcher

Mage
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What?

WHY oh WHY does a browser share this info to a web site.

A browser should:

1) Be totally sandboxed, so nothing on a web page can infect Phone/Tablet/PC. Web page code unable to read any data other than browser supplied.

2) Only share enough to allow basic rendering, the X by Y pixels of window, physical resolution (i.e. 90 dpi, 133 dpi, retina 300 dpi etc)

3) Only supply browser make and version. Not OS or CPU etc.

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Apple's zippy silicon leaves Android rivals choking on dust

Mage
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Independent tests?

I'm sceptical till I see genuine independent third party testing, including power consumption for similar size and resolution screen.

Who does Apple use as a foundry? They bought in an ARM licence chip design company, but I think don't have fab.

If this really is so much better, yet again it shows that large companies mostly "innovate" by buying in an already successful company with the R&D team.

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Please don't call them Facebook chatbots, says Facebook's bot boss

Mage
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Windows

Re: Well, even if it works

More like having a root canal drilled, or toenail extracted

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Microsoft touts SQL Server 2017 as 'first RDBMS with built-in AI'

Mage
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Ha Ha

Only for a MS definition of AI.

The company that brought you:

The racist Chatbot

The Ribbon.

Autorun

OLE / COM /DCOM

Active X in a browser

All the rubbish versions of Windows before 3.1

Putting GDI into Kernel for slight speed up of games/video on NT4.0 (less speed up than a new PC), so graphics drivers for printers / screens could BSOD what had been a stable OS

Windows ME, Vista, Win8.x, Win 10

Clippy

and much more stupidity

Maybe it's AI for cows or mares. Do MS know what AI actually is?

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Mage
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Ads or 3rd party content

I block third party content, because that's very effective against malware and saves bandwidth and speeds page load time.

Many adverts use 3rd party domains and images. Most obnoxiously they use scripts instead of simply being an image with a link.

When are websites going to stop their stupidity, esp, BBC*, CNN, all the main newspapers etc?

(*BBC is truly obnoxious if you do not have a UK IP address.)

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Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Mage
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Re: Trump congratulated Erdoğan

Erdoğan is now Sultan.

May wants to be a Sultana?

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Mage
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Re: This goes to show one thing

She's calling one now because she has a 25% lead over Labour and UKIP are dead.

However, Labour and UKIP are not the only other parties.

Who will be returned in NI, Wales and Scotland?

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Mage
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Poor alternatives

Vote for destruction & loss of privacy, or vote for total chaos.

Hmm.

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No, Microsoft is not 'killing Windows 10 Mobile'

Mage
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Alert

Re: They will next year...

Agreed.

Not killing it yet. But soon.

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Mozilla abandons experimental Aurora Firefox channel

Mage
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Big Brother

You ever listen Mozilla?

IGNORE the Chrome Koolaid / spyware.

Stop frigging with the GUI. Put it back to matching the native GUI style chosen by user. Kill the Awesome bar. Why should I have to change About:config to stop it doing stupid guessing and searching?

Fix the bugs: Print Selection is still brain dead

Fix Privacy: Make 3rd party cookie disabled by default. Expose all the privacy settings in Preferences, not just page info. Forget about "Pocket" but have javascript whitelists and domain blacklists. Share less browser info.

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NetAdmin challenge: Go to Mars, connect a rover, orbiter and three bases

Mage
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Alien

Interesting

I'm tempted to download and play with it. I used to do network stuff, but I've decided to write fiction instead. No, not a move to Marketing, but actual novels. Both kinds of fiction, SF and F.

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IDF now stands for Intel Ditches Frisco: Chipzilla axes annual tech conf

Mage
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Even so

Has there actually been anything genuinely exciting from Intel in 15 years?

Itanium was excitingly wrong.

Incremental developments CPU since Pentium 4, and adoption of AMD's x64.

Failed WiMax.

Buying McAfee and Altera, now the Israeli car vision outfit that Tesla fell out with.

Failure of Atom (a revised Pentium III?) to oust ARM from Tablets and Phones.

Though there is the new X-point memory tech?

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Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

Mage
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Unhappy

Re: Rage! Fonts

Whitelisting feature in Firefox 52 and later is no use to limit Browser Fingerprinting:

1) It's whitelisting the fonts the browser uses, which only incidentally affects reporting of fonts to a website.

2) Whitelisting ALSO blocks fonts loaded from websites (I think this is the reason for the feature, if so it's a broken idea, whitelisting/blocking the domain providing makes more sense?)

3) Makes too many websites look rubbish that use "wingding"/"symbol" fonts as Icons

4) I already downloaded and installed lots of commonly used 3rd party on the fly fonts on websites to reduce tracking via font providers. There is website for them. This also speeds up page loading.

My conclusion is that currently this is a lost cause. Browsers should only report current browser window size and perhaps resolution, though physical DPI is more useful than X by Y screen pixels, it's the window X by Y needed for "responsive" sites / served image sizes etc.). Browsers are simply reporting too much. It was good that Mozilla backtracked and removed the battery state.

For now the best solution against tracking is:

1: Block all 3rd party cookies always (Default sadly is allow on Firefox).

2: Install Noscript and only whitelist enough to make a site work. Some sites best only temporarily whitelist, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google applications.

3: Always log out of social media and Google. Sometimes restart the browser so as to lose the temporary whitelistings that Social Media icons use on other sites.

4: If maintaining a website, DO NOT copy/past "code" offered for icons and widgets. Download image of icon/widget, upload to your site and put a simple HTML link (maybe set to open in new window/tab). These 3rd party icons/widgets (with javascript) may even be illegal for you to put on your site if you are in EU.

5: If building / maintaining a website, put copies of all fonts, images, javascript etc in your own domain (or ideally same site) to make whitelisting easier for users, make your site self contained and avoid leaking the user's history / browser to 3rd parties.

6: Install your own analytics on your own site. Google's Analytics are a privacy slurp. They can't be trusted.

7: Only implement cookies for users that login. Do not use 3rd party log in APIs such as Facebook or Google.

8: If the site captures unique user data or has a login, then use HTTPS.

9: Use a Mozilla based browser, such as Firefox, Seamonkey etc. Not Edge, Safari, IE, Chrome or Opera. I don't know what the story is on Chromium. Not ideal, but better than some of the spyware.

10: Change firefox setting so URL bar fails if you mistype, no search or autocorrect. Don't use a browser without a separate search box and url bar.

11: Do not install toolbars.

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Mage
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Re: Rage! Fonts

What I need is to add the default list of Linux or Windows fonts, depending on if pretending I'm on Linux or Windows.

However since I never enable 3rd party javascript, not needed to work a site, I doubt many ad agencies can track me.

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Mage
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Re: Rage! Fonts

Rats!

Courier, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Verdana, MONO

Unique out of 7501 browsers that were tested so far!

Maybe install User Agent and pretend I'm on Windows and not Linux. I needed that on last PC to download Kindle Reader for Wine, but I decided it's spyware, so I convert Kindle to ePub with Calibre now. (a plug in uses my real Kindle's serial number).

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Mage
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Re: Rage!

"Kind of an ugly solution, but it works."

I'll try that.

I have a HUGE number of fonts, to duplicate fonts to replicate vintage packaging / labels.

Also for other graphic design tasks.

I also use NoScript, not an ad blocker, as I'm more concerned about security & privacy, so 3rd party cookies are blocked, I log out of evil tracking orgs, and I only white list enough to make a site work. Some sites, even though used regularly, are only getting scripts Temporarily allowed.

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Mage
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Rage!

WHY does my Browser tell the website what fonts I have?

How can I block that on Firefox?

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Good job, everyone. We're making AI just as tediously racist and sexist as ourselves

Mage
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Devil

No surprise

None of it is true general AI. It's all programmed by humans and will reflect the ethos of the company, management and programmer. And Marketing.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Mage
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Re: and 7 is in extended support,

Yet Lenovo (thankfully) was still selling Win7 pro last November, though you had to pay extra compared to Windows 10.

I've rebooted only a few times into Win7 rather than Linux Mint, to convert some files to format a Linux program can read.

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Mage
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Re: If you are forced into Windows 10

I tried Classic shell. It's about as useful as trying to make Win 3.11 work like Win95 just using built in tools, on Win10. It's sort of useful on Win 8.x

So it's XP and Win7 in VMs on linux, if it has no Linux native or doesn't work under Wine. Though "Broken Sword: Angel of Death" seems a bit broken no matter what I run it on. I'll just have to read books and watch vidoes for a break from working on the laptop.

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Mage
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Linux

Stupid

Also when you consider originally the project was CPU and HW agnostic.

It will drive people to Linux, especially appliances, servers and users with just thin clients (Web or remote desktop).

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Astro-boffinry breakthrough: Loads of ingredients for life found on Saturn's Enceladus

Mage
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Alien

Interesting

I look forward to future science from probes to Europa and Enceladus.

I like how they delayed the news for ages to check it wasn't an artefact of their instruments.

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Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Mage
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Re: Burger King

They don't do fries, but neither does McDonalds.

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Mage
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Re: How much brand awareness does the Whopper need?

I tried it once. Didn't like.

Why add sugar? Adding sweeteners (of any kind) to non-dessert, savouries or burgers is nasty.

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ITU and IEEE fail to put technology flesh on fascinating 5G concepts

Mage
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Re: fixed wireless broadband

Fixed wireless broadband is now more expensive than fibre, unless you are talking about 3 or 4 houses 15km from anywhere, even then having more than about 12Mbps breaks even with fibre, if it's on mains electricity. If the mains power cables can get there, then fibre can be put on same route. The 4G and 5G is designed for MOBILE and handovers, neither applies to Fixed Wireless, which has been at the Shannon Limit for over 15 years.

Fibre is more economic to install unless you are going to only provide less than 20Mbps. The running cost on fibre is lower too.

I agree fixed Wireless is better than Mobile, up to 16x better in the same bandwidth, due to directional roof mounted aerials. It's only needed in very isolation cases. The 4G and especially 5G is irrelevant to fixed wireless.

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Mage
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Mesh?

Mesh is REALLY slow and higher latency. It's suited to < 0.01Mbps and < 0.001Mbps data collection and control. Like water /gas /electric meters and street lights etc where latency is irrelevant and data payloads are small and daily.

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Mage
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Re: OK, daft question

Hack the Mobile supplier.

SMS messaging computers can be / have been hacked, exposing source & destination numbers and queued messages.

Or listen to the mast near person you don't like.

Clear text SMS is madness to control ANYTHING. It's the principle of it, not how attractive a target it is.

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Mage
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Re: Security

A 50c in volume PIC or ARM cortex can be secure. There is no need for speed / high volume data etc which requires more performance.

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Mage
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Re: Security

A €1.50 micro-controller can be secure. The issue isn't production cost or development cost, but stupidity.

No need for SHA either. A big unique private only key can be shared locally, by contact or IR or audio.

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Mage
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SMS

SMS can be done securely.

This though is daft.

Also it's often big posh houses in cities that have them, only very old models in ancient rural kitchens.

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

Mage
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Re: Makes you wonder

Open plan office:

"what's the command to format a disk?"

> " Format C:"

"Are you sure?"

> " Yes!"

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Mage
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Re: Computer Misuse Act?

No, it's misuse and abuse of privacy to include and sell these so called voice assistants.

Prosecute Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon etc.

1) The Trigger phrase should be user chosen

2) Should only respond to authorised users

3) No personal information should be gathered by provider or 3rd parties.

4) By default, it should only us the internet for searches, look ups etc. Commands to play an item from own media storage, change channel etc shouldn't use the Internet (this was possible on car radios, phones, computers etc 10 years ago).

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MPs worried Brexit vote website wobble caused by foreign hackers

Mage
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Cabinet has ruled out intervention by foreign powers

They don't want to run Brexit vote again now that all the lies on both sides have been exposed.

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