* Posts by Paul Crawford

3395 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh

Paul Crawford
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Re: Windows ME was worse

Tricky, we have:

1) ME was a steaming pile of unreliable crap without any form of security or application isolation that mattered.

2) Win10 whores you to advertisers and any three-letter agency who asks.

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Paul Crawford
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why not just run Ubuntu and put Windows in the virtual machine?

Is exactly what I do and it works very well.

But then I don't have a corporate sysadmin insisting that my desktop has to be a standard Windows image for their ease of management organisation wide, so for those in that situation I can see it kind of makes sense. But then you have to have Win10, so maybe you would ask for an Ubuntu VM on your Windows 7 corporate machine?

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Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Paul Crawford
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Same here, have visited the USA a few times and almost without exception the people I met and dealt with were nice and civilised.

However, that was some years ago and the public image and view being projected by the nation of America is such that I would not choose to go there. Of course, not everyone has a choice as business might take you there, but if you want an English-speaking holiday then you can got to Canada (or UK or event Holland!) and be free of Trumph and the gun-totting idiots that tend to support him.

OK, the UK also has right-wing xenophobic idiots as well, but at least they are not able to get the guns so easily...

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Euro bloc blocks streaming vid geoblocks

Paul Crawford
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Re: cheap bent bananas?

I thought that was our glorious leaders already?

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Japanese team unveils terahertz band 100 Gbps wireless tech

Paul Crawford
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Re: Naive question

It is not naive, in fact it is a very fundamental aspect the most radio courses gloss over!

Basically you have two antenna aspects: (1) "directivity gain" which is a measure of how much a beam is focused (there is no amplification), and (2) "effective aperture" which is a measure of the antenna's ability to intercept the EM flux.

As frequencies go up (generally speaking here, YMMV, etc) you get more easy focusing from a given reflector, etc, so directivity gain increases, but your effective aperture remains the same. To make calculations easier a radio link's "path loss" has a wavelength term, it is more than just inverse-square law spreading with distance, so that at constant flux and constant aperture you get the same signal even though the directivity gain increases with frequency.

So for two antenna pointing at each other, increasing the frequency would lead to a stronger signal due to the higher directivity gain, but at the expense of needing more accurate pointing. Conversely, if you keep the RF flux constant (so you get the same coverage area, same pointing error accuracy demands, etc) then increasing frequency has the opposite effect in that smaller reflectors, etc, are used to keep the directivity down, and so less aperture able to intercept the flux.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Naive question

Rain attenuation is very high at those frequencies, but also it is not something that is well characterised (yet) as no one really has measured it for long enough to validate the model's upper range.

http://www.itu.int/dms_pubrec/itu-r/rec/p/R-REC-P.838-3-200503-I!!PDF-E.pdf

You will notice the ITU-R models have no accuracy/error bounds on them...

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Juno how to adjust a broken Jupiter probe's orbit?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Gravity well.

It's astounding, Time is fleeting, Madness takes its toll...

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Polish banks hit by malware sent through hacked financial regulator

Paul Crawford
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I believe that dried frog pills are also available, and very efficacious in such cases.

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Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?

Paul Crawford
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Gimp

Re: @ earl grey

No it was Miss Scarlet in the basement with a strap-on.

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: Choose your enemies

"But they don't have an assault rifle"

Not in the UK or Europe at least. As for the USA...

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Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Never name a project "Unity"

More so if it is "cold"

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Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: Hmmm.

"how much of it is being used for location-based pestering"

All of it. All of the time. Like a jackboot stamping on your face forever.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: aaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnndddddddddddddd that's why....

Also turn off Bluetooth as well, unless you really REALLY need it for something (e.g. switch on for car's hand-free support, but probably you are safer just ignoring your phone while driving).

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Microsoft's DRM can expose Windows-on-Tor users' IP address

Paul Crawford
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Re: @RAMChYLD

"Well, there are still several drawbacks on Linux"

There are several (at least) drawbacks on Windows. The point is you pay your money (or not) and take your choice. If playing games in more important than privacy and security that is your choice to make. You are not me, your goals and priorities are not mine, so it is up to you to evaluate what matters most to you and to act accordingly.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: What? you mean

Just try going to this site:

https://ipleak.net/

It will tell you a lot about what is publicly seen from your computer, and you might want to follow up on the WebRTC aspect... If you are running Linux (or I guess have 'dig' for Windows somehow) then this will do it simply from the command line:

dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com

No doubt the El Reg commentards will have many, many more methods to do the same.

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Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Is it just me

Come now! This started with XP's "product activation" feature and has been growing ever since. If you are still happy to use Windows then you are a hard-boiled frog by now.

Ultimately that is my main reason for choosing Linux - it is MY computer and if I do something fsckingly stupid with 'sudo' then its my choice, my responsibility, but ultimately also my freedom to change/copy/modify/bugger-up whatever I like.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Who in their right mind

Who in their right mind would use Windows if privacy really mattered?

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2016: Snapchat loses $515m... 2017: Snapchat rips veil off $3bn IPO

Paul Crawford
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Re: Value for money

The country or the frozen-food chain?

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GCHQ cyber-chief slams security outfits peddling 'medieval witchcraft'

Paul Crawford
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Re: Diversion ahead

That is indeed possible.

However, looking at the numerous "advertorial" reports of APT and other malware, often with no real information about the infection vectors, etc, we see from companies selling AV carp, he does have a point that many reported "APT" come down to simple incompetence and a lack of top-level action to deal with it (you know, like budgeting for security and backing up the CSO's policies at a board leve to have them implemented and testedl).

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Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple

Paul Crawford
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Screen quality

Really MS, if you want folk to have a good reason for buying a new PC then hammer home on the OEMs that anything less than "full HD" is simply shit.

And forget about copying Apple: there are plenty of folk who would rather have a 5mm thicker machine with good battery life and decent connectivity (e.g. few USB3, Ethernet, HDMI), not to mention those occasions where an internal DVD drive is useful (like any time you want to carry the laptop somewhere and not a bag of accessories with it).

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Paul Crawford
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Re: The future for MS is grim

Outside of gaming where graphics performance is king, running a VM for whatever version of Windows you like is a good solution. You never have to worry about "hardware" changes and can simply migrate it from host machine to host in the future. You never have to re-install your software and find all those damn license keys, configure stuff after installing, etc.

You choice of host can vary, but if you are not using a supported version of Windows then it comes down to Linux or a Mac. Pay your money, take your choice...

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GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

Paul Crawford
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Re: Backup is hard. Doesn't mean it should be ignored.

When the time came to ship the backup tape to the disaster-recovery location, no tape drive there could read tapes written by the original drive.

I have also seen this with optical media - readable (probably just) on the original drive, not on another. Probably not after several years either.

As you mention, snapshots are a brilliant idea - instant copy of a whole file system for backing up so (mostly) no inconsistencies, and with copy-on-write like ZFS you only need space for the changes so having many per day is not a high cost. However, as you mention in some cases the on-disk file is not always in a consistent state when a process is using it so having time to do a snapshot with no modifications is also good.

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Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: Is that Google or MS?

They are both whoring your privacy now, its just that Google has a head start on MS.

That aside, I have given a "technically challenged" friend a Chromebook and they love it as it is simple and has none of the pissing around with AV and Windows popping up warnings, etc. They know they are being whored by Google but are willing to trade it for the simplicity of something they have (almost) not broken yet.

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Human memory, or the lack of it, is the biggest security bug on the 'net

Paul Crawford
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Re: Trusted computer

A trusted computer/device for a password manager is the key problem. While my home PC/laptop might be fairly trustworthy, I would not put them up there as unhackable. As for my Android phone - please, just don't go there!

A possible solution is something like the old RSA key-fob that could be used to salt+hash some account detail to provide a complex password. As it is off-line it is practically impossible to hack without an agent physically compromising it, and it is small enough to be carried with your house/car keys, etc, where ever you go. Many UK banks use card reader things to the same ends, but a more general purpose one would be good.

USB style devices are all very well, but need the PC to be cooperative (so no play on corporate locked-down machine) and your fscked if you bought a new Macbook and forgot your fist full of dongles.

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Free smart fridges! App stores in fountains! Plus more from Canonical man

Paul Crawford
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Stop

Can we have a strait jacket for this guy?

Seriously, WTF should you be doing with a lift that is not already done by going from floor to floor on demand. Adding all that complexity, risk and need for constant patching so you find it takes several seconds less to reach the door when you arrive?

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NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails

Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Re: Not Accenture

The problem was caused by people hitting "Reply All"

And would that happen to be the default choice by any chance?

As an aside, I have seen email groups where reply address is set to be the list, so even if you hit "replay" and not "replay list"/"reply all" you still end up spamming everyone and you have to manually copy/paste the sender's email address if you simply want to reply to them.

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We don't want to alarm you, but PostScript makes your printer an attack vector

Paul Crawford
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Re: Maybe I'm thick...

Because you used Google' cloud print service instead of any sane choice like printing directly from the device?

It is most of the whole IoT shit-storm really. Printers and any other not-secure and not-updated devices ought to be on a separate sub-net that has firewall rules that (a) have no ability to go out the the internet, and (b) can't initiate connections to your main PCs. OK it makes discovery at little harder, etc, but one machines are known it greatly reduces the impact of something stupid like this happening.

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Ransomware avalanche at Alpine hotel puts room keycards on ice

Paul Crawford
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I guess they were trying to figure out how much they could extort before the hotel would simply bite the bullet and get the machines cleaned, etc. At €1,500 its probably worth a throw of that dice, at €15,000 probably not.

But they should be commended for going public - hopefully others will learn the lesson (repeated often enough here) to keep your critical systems off the network that has web/email access.

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'Maker' couple asphyxiated, probably by laser cutter fumes

Paul Crawford
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Re: CO-opt

Many are sold with ~7 year life and built-in lithium battery that lasts that long so no maintenance really (beyond occasional test and replacement when due).

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Paul Crawford
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Re: CO-opt

Really? Usually it is smoke detectors that use a radioisotope source. CO detectors are typically a chemical process at heart:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide_detector#Sensors

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VPN on Android means 'Voyeuristic Peeper Network' in many cases

Paul Crawford
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Re: Free?

I wonder how many of these Free apps are funded by security agencies

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Really the TLA have little to worry about if this paper's review of VPN apps it anything to go by: the vast majority fail on the most fundamental security issues (e.g. encryption, DNS & IPv6 leaks) so provide little problem for them, but possibly do enough to get past content-blocking which is probably a main motive for most folk.

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Re: How do you think those "free" VPN services pay for it?

Better still, fill your dummy address book, etc, with entries to the NSA, FSB, etc, and see how they get on trying to sell/use that information for advertisment :)

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Ooops! One in three tech IPOs now trading below their starting price

Paul Crawford
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Why?

some the biggest jumps were seen by Facebook (up 249 per cent), VMware (up 95 per cent), and LinkedIn (up 199 per cent)

VMware at least makes something useful, but WTF is the real value of Facebook or Linkedin? Is whoring your users from advertiser to advertiser really that profitable?

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Windows 10 networking bug derails Microsoft's own IPv6 rollout

Paul Crawford
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Re: "but Android doesn't support that"

Where does Android come into play?

Where? Well, lets have a short talk about who in the phone and app business supports Windows on phones these days...

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Credential-stuffers enjoy up to 2% attack success rate – report

Paul Crawford
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Re: Aha - for once somebody correctly stating that it's the user-name/password combination reuse...

Email as user-name may be a bad idea in terms of re-use, but it has two great advantages:

1) Users remember it

2) It is, by definition, unique. So they only have to go though the hassle of "johndoe123", nope that names is taken, OK then "johndoe124", process the once.

The practice of checking against known easy or spilled passwords is a good idea, as is allowing long passwords that are phrases (and checking for horses & staples as well).

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Kill it with fire: US-CERT urges admins to firewall off Windows SMB

Paul Crawford
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Re: Samba can disable SMB1 as well

the loyalty lock-in that XP still seems to have

Fixed it for you...

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UK's lords want more details on adult website check plans

Paul Crawford
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Re: ....risks breaking international human rights law

As Adam 52 said. In fact, the 3 guide lines for choosing a VPN are:

1) Always go for another country. It forces your own country's petty bureaucrats to get a proper court order in another land - raising the bad against fishing for things on you.

2) Do your homework, read reviews and comments but remember one pissed off customer may not be representative.

3) If possible use the OpenVPN protocol, but if not at least avoid PPTP as its security is crap.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: ....risks breaking international human rights law

Or do you pay Johnny Foreigner to deal with all of that and just trust that they aren't going to do anything devious with your data after it pops out the other end of the VPN tunnel?

I trust Johnny Foreigner more than my own MPs these days, which is a very sad state of affairs. But looking at their own corruption, attempts to impose moral censorship, and the clustefuck of Brexit, its hard not to.

You can of course look to reviews of such VPN providers as well, before deciding, and review payment options, etc:. For example:

https://www.bestvpn.com/

https://vpn-services.bestreviews.net/

Etc, though they are a bit advertisement-like in some case.

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Apple sings another iTune following Brexit as prices rise by up to a third

Paul Crawford
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Re: For Once

Ah yes, democracy - taking power from the corrupt few and handing it to the incompetent many.

The funny thing to consider is how would the same vote go now that people are seeing the consequences? Yes, I know this is what the experts predicted, but the public was apparently tired of them.

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Facebook pimping for politicos despite fake news 'purge'

Paul Crawford
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Re: Oooh, I see a BIIIIG problem here....

Two bigger problems for the UK are

1) Voters have proved to be morons, in the sense of voting with little or know knowledge and seeming not even to care. The "tired of experts" comment should have seen Gove ridiculed and forced to stand down, but no it was proven "right".

2) The UK's first-past-the post system is seriously sensitive to small changes, and indeed has been getting worse over the years. Covered here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9rGX91rq5I

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Nielsen, eat your heart out: TiVo woos admen with prediction engine

Paul Crawford
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Re: Is that why TiVo boxes are so slow?

I was going to as the same - why is the TiVo user interface so shit in so many ways?

First it is dog-slow, and I mean a dog that can't be bothered to even lick its own bits, let along anyone else’s.

Secondly so many of the user interface aspects are really badly thought out - like lists not wrapping round so going from A-Z is even more tedious because you can just go backwards from A to find Z in one step.

Thirdly the skip feature is hardly great, in particular why is skipping back 30 sec do broken? Why can it go back to the point you just skipped forward from when you realise in 1s that you overshot?

And to wrap it all up, WTF is it doing while booting? I can boot about 4 other Linux boxes in sequence before my VM-supplied TiVo has got the the point of showing TV.

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Pirates, pirates, whatchu gonna do? Advertisers cop a visit from PIPCU

Paul Crawford
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"but simply visiting the sites can put the public at risk of malware, viruses and click-through scams"

Oh, what you mean like visiting The New York Times, Reuters, Yahoo!, Bloomberg and YouTube?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/27/malvertising_feature/?page=3

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Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Paul Crawford
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Re: RAM usage and Opera 12

Seriously - you should not be using XP for anything Internet-related now.

By all means keep it for stuff that still works off-line, or maybe even convert it into a VM so you can move it to other machines down the line (host OS either a supported version Windows, or if you value your privacy Linux and not Win10), but just don't risk something like a poisoned image hosing your machine because its not been patched for years.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Any attempt to get people to use a VPN is welcome...

One issue with Opera's "Turbo" mode is that to compress pages, etc, for less bandwidth they have to MITM your https connection. Of course, they can use their own certificate when doing so so no complaints seen in the browser. But that means whoever controls the Opera servers can see all your "secure" traffic passing by in plain-text. No idea if they avoid doing this for banks, etc, to avoid any liability, but it is a concern.

A plain VPN is a great idea, but again, they have to pay for it somehow. What is being sold?

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Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

Paul Crawford
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Re: Linux Noob question

Companies failing to document or support their chips on non-Windows platforms is sadly quite common, and you often don't find out until actually trying it. If you have one of the Broadcom chips (e.g. some HP laptops like one I bought recently) then it is sometimes mis-detected as acer so this is a solution to consider:

http://askubuntu.com/questions/798312/ubuntu-16-04-wifi-bcm43142-doesnt-see-nearby-networks/

For a whole list of potential issues and work-arounds:

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/internet

It is rarely as simple as one distro having poorer hardware support than another, but that can also be a factor.

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Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Paul Crawford
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Re: Automatic firmware updates?

All are or have been solved. Signed updates? Yup, already done in all serious OS and no need for remote admin capabilities. Even Windows can do that.

Avoid crashing mid-update? Can be done so long as you have enough disk/flash to store the system image twice - create new system in the 'spare' half and finally swap the entry point as an atomic operation, that way you either boot to new or to old, but never to something half-arsed.

Or with less space have a simple boot loader that at least allows recovery from local file and is not updated so low risk of corruption.

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Paul Crawford
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Why the surprise?

If you said 53% of El Reg readers had done nothing, I would be shocked.

To find out that the majority of Joe Public have little knowledge or interest in *how* they access the internet is really no big surprise. This is where the law should be hitting the suppliers of piss-poor security devices, but somehow they all get out on EULA style arguments.

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New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Orv

For most people, what's fantastic about Outlook is it works with the systems provided by the people who pay them a salary.

So use MS Windows & Office at work only, and your employer pays to have their privacy violated. What is the big deal?

If you are doing your own PC then its up to you what you are willing to trade in terms of privacy versus compatibility with office work. Very few home users will be accessing Exchange, and as for calendering then you can get it free (with similar privacy violations) from Google - shared calendars and an email every morning outlining the day ahead, etc.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: "Just don't use Windows 10 on-line."

No problem AC just you go and ask MS to respect your privacy. Or maybe take them to court? Really you and anyone for whom you provide help have only a few workable choices:

1) Use windows and bend over for whatever MS decide to do.

2) Use an alternative arrangement and accept its more trouble for certain things.

3) ? Underpants & profit ?

If you actually have a better, more workable, suggestion than mine (Linux host, windows in restricted VM) please let all us commentards know.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: @ Triggerfish

You seem to have missed this bit:

"or you can run Windows in a VM that has no Internet connections if you meed Windows software in parallel with internet access."

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