* Posts by Franco

422 posts • joined 11 Apr 2008

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British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

Franco
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Re: Pointless emojis

I think it was Jeff in Rules of Engagement who said "That's not food. That's what food eats."

On a more on-topic note, enough with the emojis. We don't need one for every single thing. I almost feel nostalgic for the days we had to type them ourselves. ;-)

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In defence of online ads: The 'net ain't free and you ain't paying

Franco
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As I've said many times, I don't mind unobtrusive ads. E.g. I never think when I'm reading the Metro on the train that there are too many of them, but then the Metro doesn't follow me to work and show me what I was looking at on Amazon the previous night.

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Whois? Whowas. So what's next for ICANN and its vast database of domain-name owners?

Franco
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@David McCarthy. If you can't get anything at all from whois (my domain name, although my details are redacted by nominet, does still provide the tag of the registrant and the authoritative name servers) then you can try using nslookup or equivalent to find the SOA records and get the authoritative DNS servers from that which should point you to the registrant. Whether they will be any help or not is another matter....

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/38021/how-do-i-find-the-authoritative-name-server-for-a-domain-name

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Franco
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No doubt in the post, he's been busy this week though with the Roseanne Barr nonsense and then getting upset because Samantha Bee called Ivanka a rude name.

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Kill the blockchain! It'll make you fitter in the long run, honest

Franco
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Re: A large consultancy at a tech conference this week

Pah, that'll never work without an agile cloud leveraging DevOps behind it.

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Foolish foodies duped into thinking Greggs salads are posh nosh

Franco
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Re: Wait a minute

When I was a student at the University of Strathclyde I walked through the Italian Centre in Glasgow's Merchant City every morning from the train station.

On a board outside the chip shop "Today's special, Fromage Frites"

I have to disagree with the chap slagging Gregg's coffee too, it's not great but price to taste ratio it's pretty good compared to most of the high street chains and when you're paying £2.25 or so for the coffee and a pastry or a doughnut it's pretty hard to complain.

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The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

Franco
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Re: The main reason for wearing a watch

I'd disagree to an extent, based on my own experience.

When I first started running I used my phone, as I had it, and didn't want to splash out on expensive kit for a hobby I might not keep up. However, to carry it you need either an armband (I sweat a lot when running, so uncomfortable for me) or a suitable pocket. That lead me to start buying Ronhill shorts, which although great, aren't cheap, purely for the large pockets at the rear waistband. Even at that, the phone is still heavy and moves around a bit.

I have 2 watches, a normal one for everyday use, and a TomTom runner 2 cardio + music that was a gift for exercise use. I like to listen to music when I run, and it's lighter and more convenient than my phone, and you can disable all the trackers so as not to turn in to one of those irritating toolbags who feel the need to tell everyone how many steps they've done that day.

Shame TomTom have exited the wearables market though.

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High-end router flinger DrayTek admits to zero day in bunch of Vigor kit

Franco
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Expensive but IME they're generally worth it. When I was on BT they admitted their kit was garbage but also wouldn't send me a new Home Hub for free, so I was stuck on the HH3 and the Huawei modem.

Seeing as I live in a flat I also wanted 5GHz WiFi so bought the 2860 and have carried that over to Origin fibre. Funnily enough all the issues I had with BT that they claimed were "my kit" have mysteriously disappeared....

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Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Franco
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Exactly what I was going to say Lee.

We had a mass shooting in the UK at Hungerford in 1987 and gun laws were adjusted accordingly, and then again after the Dunblane massacre in 1996. We've only had one mass shooting in the UK since, in Cumbria in 2010.

Who in the hell can self-justify that it is legitimate to need to own automatic weapons simply because it's in a law that was written in 1791?

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Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

Franco
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Anyone asking why instructions are required in the toilets has never worked on either a building site or a building still being fitted out/refitted.

A few years ago now when I was starting out in IT, I took a contract to do some cabling work at a certain broadcast company moving offices. It was required to carry your own toilet paper and hand wipes, as each day what was in the toilets was either stolen or thrown whole down the loos whole along with copies of The Sun, Star or Sport. If you were really lucky you'd get a toilet that looked like 2 caged gorillas had a poo fight in it. I never saw any soap, don't know if it was stolen or the apes ate it.

Other helpful signs I have seen in loos.

At a large IT outsourcing company "Please do not put chewing gum in the urinals" which of course meant that the sign was the disposal location for chewing gum.

At a public sector organisation was a sign with what looked like a thermometer only the contents were urine in various shades and the sign asked you to check in case you were dehydrated judging from the colour of your urine. Sadly, especially as it was in the loo, the sign was printed unlaminated A4 so had gradually faded to the colour of urine itself.

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HMRC opens consultation to crack down on off-payroll working in private sector

Franco
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I may be unique in this, but I have found that the IR35 changes in the Public Sector have actually helped a little bit. Not when they were first introduced, as they were applied with a heavy hand due to poor communication from HMRC, but once the clarifications came out regarding no blanket classifications etc it meant (again, for me) a much more clearly defined contract scope which meant I wasn't getting whatever they felt like thrown at me.

Every contractor knows other contractors who take the piss (E.g. the Xmas party scam mentioned above, I know a few who claim subsistence to the max every single day regardless of location and so on) but the majority do it (again in my experience) because they like the freedom, the flexibility and the diversity of projects. However another consultation will only actually help anything if HMRC do what they didn't last time, which is actually listen to what people are saying.

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Whois privacy shambles becomes last-minute mad data scramble

Franco
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I'm glad ICANN are getting slapped in to place for their stupidity, just wish Ajit Pai was getting what's due to him. (Yes, I know that the vote to slap him down has passed the senate, but it's very unlikely to get past the house

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You've got pr0n: Yes, smut by email is latest workaround for UK's looming cock block

Franco
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Re: What's next?

If the state begins to control what the public is or isn't allowed to see, then how far away are we from a police state? (No doubt there are those that would argue we're not far away already). Where do you draw the line with pornography, as it is not something that every single person would agree on the definition of.

There is no easy answer to dealing with such issues as delinquency, but the continual heavy handed approach of punish all for the mistakes of the few is most certainly not the answer IMO.

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Franco
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Re: What's next?

Let us hope so, because the current generation will never know the sheer delight of a game of football abandoned for the reason "jazz mag stopped play".

I have no problem with attempts to stop children looking at porn, but this is the responsibility of the parents, not the government. Responsible parents (who may well like to look at a bit of porn themselves) will have web filters to stop their children looking at inappropriate content.

Responsible parents will also tell their children no, you can't live off sweets/crisps/pizza/burgers and feed them properly, rather than blaming the government for allowing the charlatans making this stuff to not only sell it but have the audacity to advertise it too.

It's not like our government don't have better things to spend their time on, there are one or two issues around after all.

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Franco
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Re: I just found my old MP3 player in a drawer

Oh yes, follow-me printing. Sales droids love it, the purchasing managers lap it up, but no one tells you that the only thing harder than setting it up and testing it is keeping the bastard working for more than 5 minutes at a time.

I worked at a Bank for four months doing support for their XP to 7 migration. Every bloody call was about follow-me printing.

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Franco
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Re: There's an island somewhere...

Sounds like mine. Admittedly it does remember last track played and carry on from there, but there are 2 play options. Play All or Play Random. You can't change the criteria for ordering the tracks in any way that I have found, so it's alphabetical by artist. It will not, despite what the manual says, recognise any playlist format that VLC, Windows Media Player (that's what the manual says to use, not my choice) or any other media player I have tried can create, so listening to an album in the order that the artist intended is "tricky". The same device is supposed to allow voice commands to make calls and quite simply can't, at least not for anyone with Mc or Mac in their name and as I am Scottish, there's 1 or 2 of them.

Sometimes I miss the days when every media player had a pencil or a BIC Biro next to it, as an emergency tape winding tool.

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Let's kick the tyres on Google's Android P... It's not an overheating wreck, but UX is tappy

Franco
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Suffering this myself, 2 different versions on my (admittedly ancient) Nexus 7 and a new Nokia 6 so keep going to the wrong place on each device.

It's one of the more under the radar devices but I can definitely recommend the Nokia 6 (2018 version, also called the 6.1). Reasonably priced SIM free and well specced and part on the Android One program so should be supported for as long as any Android device possibly could be (think it's 2 years guaranteed but might be wrong....)

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Microsoft reckons devs would like an AI Clippy to help them write code

Franco
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Re: Ah the good old days of Microsoft

Skynet is a reality, it's a hidden easter egg in the soon to be released new version of Bob.

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Google Pay heads for the desktop... and, we fear, an inevitable flop

Franco
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I pretty much only use my phone to pay for things when it's a reward program (E.g. Greggs) and even then I use the QR code rather than tap-to-pay as you can call me paranoid if you like but I simply don't trust NFC. When my bank insisted that I had to have a card that supported contactless pay I immediately bought an RFID blocking wallet.

I only just switched to Android and when my phone got Google Pay installed as part of an OS upgrade it demanded some quite outrageous permissions just to run. So I uninstalled it.

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BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

Franco
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Re: I've been there

Never had an issue getting it on to USB, the issue I have is that you can enter proxy sever addresses but can't enter credentials, so it's completely useless behind an authenticated proxy.

And the sheer genius of HPE making you have a support contract before you can download it from their website, but leaving it free to download on their FTP site...

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What could Facebook possibly do next to reassure privacy fears? Yup – make a dating app

Franco
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I've never used Facebook.

Got my first 2 dating matches this morning though....

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Royal Bank of Scotland decision to axe 160+ branches linked to botched IT gig – Unite

Franco
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"How does a taxpayer funded institution spend £1.8bn on a failed IT project"

That is SOP in this country for taxpayer funded IT projects, they pretty much never end successfully or even close to budget.

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UK Parliament roars: Oi! Zuck! Get in here for a grilling – or you'll get a Tower of London tour

Franco
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it's a sad day

when Rupert Murdoch has the moral high ground over you.

It's largely for form as nothing will actually come of this, but even so if it starts people thinking about what they share with Facebook then it's a good thing.

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Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Franco
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I've been to East Fortune (Scotland's National Museum of Flight) which is home to another Concorde and it is well worth the trip. They also have a Vulcan, a Spitfire, a Harrier Jump Jet and various other commercial and military aircraft and some good interactive experiences for the kids (my 5 year old nephew absolutely loved it).

The crazy thing about Concorde is the disparity between the inside and the outside. From the outside it still looks modern, even futuristic. The cramped cabin and the insanely complicated cockpit reveal it's age

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Can't log into your TSB account? Well, it's your own fault for trying

Franco
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I wonder what all these people visiting bank branches are doing, I've had to go in about 2 times in five years. Once to my personal bank to pay in a cheque (the counter assistant was desperate to show me how I could do it at an ATM, till I pointed out that there is no chance I'll remember how to do it the next time I get a cheque in another 5 years) and once to my business bank to collect a new debit card as the first replacement was lost in the mail.

Anyway, if you want to see a truly bad film, watch Torque. As someone had the bright idea to take all the originality out of Point Break (not that there was a huge amount although it's an entertaining enough film) and remake it with cars as The Fast and The Furious, a second someone had the bright idea to remove even the vague semblance of plot in TFATF and remake it with motorcycles

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Google Pixel 2 XL: Like paying Apple-tier prices then saying, hey, please help yourself to my data

Franco
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You can use other apps rather than the google defaults, and can disable permissions to apps on a granular basis. I don't and never will use Google Pay for example. Don't use gmail or chrome either.

Haven't yet found a way to stop it nagging me that I've hamstrung it though....

Oh, and Google have limited wireless display to Chromecasts only which is annoying.

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There's just one month left 'til the big day: May 25... but don't panic!

Franco
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Re: The EU does have a sense of humour after all

They do spend the rest of the year reciting Vogon poetry, so not all good.

BEWARE OF THE LEOPARD!

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Microsoft Lean's in: Slimmed-down Windows 10 OS option spotted

Franco
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"If they're looking for things to remove, why not start with Cortana, Edge, Microsoft Store, and every other UWP "app" on the system? And with those gone, why not just get rid of the entire UWP subsystem?"

As posted above, they already have in the LTSB version.

The "trouble" with Windows is that it has to cater to as wide an audience as possible. Whilst everyone posting here is likely to be tech-savvy as a minimum and very possibly an IT professional, Joe Punter doesn't want to have to spend hours downloading web browsers and text editors and media players to the consumer laptop they bought from PC World.

Whilst many people here will be happy to use Linux Mint or whatever there favourite distro is and customise it with their choice of apps, imagine if Apple sold the iPhone without Safari or Chrome wasn't pre-installed on Android

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Even Microsoft's lost interest in Windows Phone: Skype and Yammer apps killed

Franco
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I use the Microsoft launcher, which is quite nice and clean but doesn't look like WinPho.

The ones that do aren't particularly cheap for what they do if you want full features and no ads, and even at that you don't get proper live tiles like you did in WinPho. There are free/demo versions though so worth a try, you might like them better than I did.

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Franco
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Binned my Lumia 925 a couple of weeks ago in favour of a Nokia 6.1. I'm not a big app user so it wasn't a huge issue for me, but the battery was getting bad and because Edge wasn't getting updated more and more websites were having issues rendering as well.

I already miss the W10M interface though, the simple clean menu and the live tiles for example, and the Android launchers that are supposed to mimic it really aren't very good IMO.

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There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Franco
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Re: Ah, but the upside

I feel the need now to reference Absolutely.

IT'S VID-AY-OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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Franco
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Re: DAIM Bar

This is likely to spark a riot. Before long we will have people reminiscing about Opal Fruits and when Salt and Vinegar crisps were in a blue bag and cheese and onion were green.

Oh, and a Star Bar was a Peanut Boost. Slightly rippled with a flat underside!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qm_DkuxtmfE

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Franco
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"Do you remember your first dime?"

No, I likes armadillos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqeGxMgVOHI

Also regarding Highland Toffee, it accounted for perhaps a quarter of my baby teeth. The rest were last to Wham Bars.

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Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

Franco
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Been with 3 a while and they're better than most for service, but the forced price increases are getting silly.

I've not had a notification of this one, so it might not affect my contract but mostly use WhatsApp anyway these days.

If I could find someone offering no contract SIM only with just a little bit more data I'd switch, sadly the only other provider with a similar deal is BT and I'm not going there ever again.

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Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Franco
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I'd forgotten that, a guy next to me asked his pal why all these posers were wandering around trying to look like footballers only to be told by his mate that it was the Juventus players going to the gym. Getting out of the hotel was a nightmare too cos of autograph seekers at the door.

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Franco
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Oh yeah, they were all wearing kilts and had that overbearing aura of enthusiasm that comes from not having been punched in the face enough.

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Franco
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I never got my Sophos socks either, I do have a Naked Security t-shirt though which is in a pile of vendor t-shirts to only be used when painting/working on the car etc.

Symantec used to be very good for swag, I've still got a travel mug and various other bits and pieces from them and have also won a few prizes in the draws at their events.

Microsoft are pretty poor conversely, other than pens and USB sticks they gave away the oddest swag for attending an event. I was at the Windows 8 roadshow in Glasgow and they said every attendee would get a free first aid kit. We all assumed over coffee that this was health check and readiness and upgrade tools and the like, but no, it was an actual first aid kit of the type available in a petrol station with £10 of fuel, just with a Microsoft logo on the case.

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Facebook's login-to-other-sites service lets scum slurp your stuff

Franco
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Re: Yes...

I agree, it's not ridiculous at all to point out the shortcomings of these companies.

Facebook are probably the least apologetic about it, particularly as they are clearly using users to track the behaviour of non-users, but Microsoft, Apple and Google are all at it to greater or lesser degrees to name just a few

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Franco
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Hey, at least Facebook aren't trying to get everyone to agree to facial scanning as well.

Oh, wait.....

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BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

Franco
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BT have finally realised the value of their copper on the scrap metal market, as predicted by El Reg!

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/22/bt_copper_cable_theft/

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How 'parasitic' Google's 'We're journalists!' court defence was stamped into oblivion

Franco
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Re: Google has not responded to The Register's questions

More likely they've invoked the Zuckerberg defence of "la la la, not listening"

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Supreme Court punts on Microsoft email seizure decision after Cloud Act passes US Congress

Franco
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Re: So have MS broken Irish or EU law?

No one seems to know on that one. Certainly it WOULD be illegal under EU law once GDPR kicks in.

The Irish Government seemed happy enough to cooperate but they wanted the warrant filed under the MLAT system as it would have been for physical evidence. MS obviously don't think it is illegal or they wouldn't have complied.

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Franco
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MS are in a no-win situation here. I'll be surprised if both the Irish government and the EU don't protest a bit though.

Were this a foreign power taking data out of the US though, Trump would have declared war by now.

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Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

Franco
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Re: How Insane

Almost no one does any more, because the coloured pencil department has won. If it doesn't have (at least) one of cloud, agile or devops in the title then no IT Manager is interested these days. Security scores an awful lot less points on buzzword bingo these days.

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Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

Franco
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Re: Eh?

Actually it's Scotch Whisky.

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Franco
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Re: Eh?

Not just football commentators. John Inverdale is probably the worst example of the sporting pundit that Scots hate, and every Irish and Welsh rugby fan I know feels the same.

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Franco
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Re: Looks like the Register's expanded the use of the Silver badge...

They should also change the icon for the AC poster to a troll living under a bridge.

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Facebook admits it does track non-users, for their own good

Franco
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It's a scary day in Britain when Wetherspoons are the ones setting the example by quitting social media.

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Franco
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Re: Why?

It's the modern day equivalent of asking people in the street.

A comedian (might have been Billy Connolly, can't be certain though) once said that opinion polls were the least relevant thing in the world as they were the thoughts of people who lack the intelligence to avoid someone walking towards them with a clipboard. Thanks to twitter they don't even bother going in to the street now as the opinions are on broadcast.

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Windows Admin Center: Vulture gets claws on browser-based server admin

Franco
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Re: You're lucky...

Surely it would be Silverlight? ;-)

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