* Posts by Charlie Clark

4616 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Charlie Clark
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Re: As I understand it

Since Juncker has forbidden his vassals from having independent discussions

What are you talking about? Article 50 quite clearly sets out who does the negotiating and when and nothing can be negotiated before a country applies to leave. But it is the member states that have the lead in any negotiations.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: There's one bit of good news though

German law does not permit dual citizenship with nations that are not EU members

It does, because it often has no other chance. When I applied for German citizenship I was told that pretty much the only countries who don't get dual nationality are the former countries of the Yugoslavia (that are not yet in the EU), the Soviet Union and Turkey.

Farage is an EU citizen (otherwise he couldn't be an MEP) and so eligible for German citizenship, assuming he chose to live here. There's quite a crowd of idiots who'd welcome him with open arms.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Very Interesting . .

I voted Remain but I really fear how damaging rejecting the result of the referendum could be

This all depends on the courage and conviction of the politicians to take the difficult decisions needed to run the country and explain them to the population. Difficult to see that with the current crowd but not totally impossible.

Europe has never really been an issue for the public (remember Hague's "Save the Pound" campaign that flopped so miserably?) People want jobs and their "fair" share: giving more money to areas with large migrant inflows is easy and reasonably cheap. The rest of the EU is now desperate to reform immigration and asylum rules. Should be easy to find countries to work with on something to replace the ridiculous Dublin II accord.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Re:

I voted to remain, but the vox populi have spoken and it's time to get on with it, whether we personally wanted it or not.

Obviously not as the court has just ruled. The whole thing was, legally speaking, a very expensive opinion poll as Parliament, and only Parliament, makes the laws.

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Charlie Clark
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I mean, even Nigel Farage found himself having to distance himself from Trump at one point.

Not as long as he's being paid by Breitbart to do so. What a committed servant of the public he is: paid by the taxpayer to represent his constituents in the European Parliament and by an American media company to appear at Trump rallies. An inspiration to us all!

Or, a despicable bastard.

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Charlie Clark
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But it was a close vote - many MPs will feel that they were elected to make the difficult decisions.

Absolutely.

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Charlie Clark
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There's been no huge reversal in the GBP rate, so the markets seem convinced that article 50 will happen

As has been noted elsewhere: Sterling's exchange rate does not yet seem to fully price in leaving the EU, the costs of which are still unknown. The dollar has been rising against many currencies since the Federal Reserve stopped printing money and lowering interest rates. The pound's move against other currencies is far less pronounced.

The judgement is likely to increase political uncertainty as May may now feel obliged to hold a general election to get a majority in parliament in order to pass a bill on Article 50. At the moment, even if she tabled a motion of confidence, there is a high chance of losing the vote, hence reversing the referendum and then bringing down the government: Gideon Oliver Osborne's hour could yet come, albeit as head of a Tory-Liberal-SNP coalition.

Of course, there is also the possibility of further constitutional shenanigans to try and get round this but I suspect more MPs would vote against the referendum than against the courts.

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Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

Charlie Clark
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Re: Is it not possible?

If theres a million missing particles we haven't identified yet all of different mass

Well, while initially restating the WIMP theory, you then go ahead and spoil it by driving a coach and horses through it: quantum theory doesn't allow for "millions" of particles and the heavier ones are generally extremely unstable.

WIMPs provide a solution by having few heavy particles (of a known eV mass); Axions do it by having lots and lots of light particles (the mass of which has now been calculated). Checking for Axions should be easier because they're lighter and it will require less energy in the particle punisher of choice to create them. In theory.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Dark, as in invisible

Most of the "visible" matter emits some kind of EM radiation.

Not really: those bloody neutrinos don't for a start and elsewhere radiation is tied to changes in energy sates. What most matter tends to do is interact with EM radiation or other particles. Hence, the "WI" in WIMPS – weakly interacting. This is why "dark" is so confusing. If we had a way of visualising gravity then these things could be very bright indeed.

But until we come across something that more or less validates the theories it could be anything including a bunch of photons doing something odd, which as any fule nose, also have mass.

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Charlie Clark
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Dark, as in invisible

"dark" used in the terms "dark energy" and "dark matter" merely refers to our inability to detect something posited to account for observations that are counter to theory: these are values plopped into equations to make them balance. "Missing" might be a better term but names are hard™.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: DAMA and her mysterious WIMPs

The arguments for axions as the dark matter gets stronger the longer no WIMPs are discovered.

That's not logical. They are competing but generally unrelated hypotheses (one will not necessarily disprove the other) both of which have merits but also problems which is why more empirical research is required. I'm pretty sceptical about the axion theory but then again much quantum theory is odd, especially the bits dealing with mass.

We may well need another Newtonian/Einsteinian/Paulian moment to come up with a new theoretical approach.

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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Charlie Clark
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WileyFox was aiming for sub-£150 but got hit by the fall in sterling. That should help exports, though, and WileyFox has strong plans for Europe.

If the price was hit by the fall in the value of the pound then it is obviously dominated by the price of imports. The export price will also be dominated by the price of the inputs and is likely to be unchanged. What will change is the value of exports in GBP.

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Sweden axes 700MHz spectrum sale over 'national security' fears

Charlie Clark
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Could it have anything to do with money?

Even in its cities Sweden has a relatively low population density and has already "solved" most of the problems related to coverage, not least with the many council run WiFi-services around. And service in the sticks has long depended upon tie ups between the networks, the equipment providers and local councils. with the government only too happy to throw additional cash in.

Traditionally Sweden hasn't auctioned frequencies just held beauty contests. Given the lack of interest in other countries for new spectrum it may simply have become apparent that they wouldn't get a lot of money for the frequencies. Well, at least not enough to be worth making the spooks use something else.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: "This is particularly true of a total defense perspective."

FWIW The Economist while generally anti Putinist Russia, is weakly pro-Iran and anti-House of Saud. Has to tread a bit carefully because of US politics which are so pro-Saudi and anti-Iran.

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Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

Charlie Clark
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Re: Obvious bull

So one scenario is file is created on a x86 box and then updated on an Alpha box, So the Alpha system has to be able to compress in the same way, while still meeting to meet the performance criteria.

Why would that matter? If the OS is doing the compression then it will present the compressed file to any external programs as uncompressed. Another box accessing the file over the network would see it as uncompressed (network compression technology is different). And this still doesn't really back up the fairly flimsy assertion that Alpha's weren't up to the job. I certainly don't remember this being an issue when the architectures were being compared back in the day. It's certainly not a RISC/CISC issue. At least not if the algorithm is being correctly implemented. But I seem to remember that many of the performance "improvements" (display, networking, printing) in NT 4 were done especially for x86 chips which suck at context-switching. Coincidentally NT 4 was seen as MS abandoning any pretence of writing a single OS for many different architectures.

I'm not a whizz at compression but I think the common approach now is to use a container approach as opposed to trying to manage compression on individual files in place.

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Microsoft ends OEM sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1

Charlie Clark
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Re: I don't hate Win10

As for the sudden death of Win7 licenses, I suspect the majority of those looking for Win7…

… will continue to buy them from the perfectly legitimate resale market for some time yet.

Larger companies already have their own installation procedures and couldn't care less. All that's happening is that the pool for OEM discs will slowly start to get smaller.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: And it still makes you wonder...

For any large vendor the answer will be: "the same as whether it comes with Windows". They have all signed volume licensing deals with Microsoft which, even if it no longer requires them to install Windows on every machine they sell, is practically the case because of the way the production lines are configured because still well over 90% of their sales are to people wanting Windows. The Linux crowd is a really tiny minority and margins at manufacturers are really thin.

Essentially the only way around this would be to buy a machine without a disk. Even then there are warranty issues related to any drivers required for the hardware.

The issue, however, is becoming increasingly moot as the PC business continues to shrink. In a couple of years, at this rate, it won't make much difference for the few vendors that remain. Indeed they may well move to installing only an installer à la Mac Book, which would make assembling even easier.

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Could Heather from EastEnders turn on Kettering if Lohan is no-show?

Charlie Clark
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Re: enough already

What about learning Kim's curves?

Mine's the slightly grubby mac.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Who? What?

The answer, going by that latest photo, is most definitely not. I'd rather have a nice warm cup of tea.

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Charlie Clark
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First to third base at the World Series? But for Chicago or Cleveland? I don't know.

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Groupon buys Living Social

Charlie Clark
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Re: Are they still around?

Ah, but group buying is a good way to get services.

But that's never what they offered.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Are they still around?

Maybe we can bury them together in the same plot as Twitter and get a discount for a job lot?

Mine's the donkey jacket, ta.

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Charlie Clark
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Re: Think I'm done.

Spot on. I think Apple may well miss sales targets this year with this uninspiring and undifferentiated release.

There is a lot of pent-up demand for new Macs but most developers I know would be looking to have at least 16 GB of RAM. We don't mind paying a premium for Apple kit but only if we get what we need. These machines seem to come with little else than swingeing price increases, and it seems they have not learned the lessons from recent I-Phone launches: people won't splash out on new gear if it doesn't seem significantly better than what they already have.

I wonder if they'll be an equivalent of the 5c for the Mac Books?

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UK minister promises science budget won't be messed with after Brexit

Charlie Clark
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Angel

Re: Mission Impossible

But the only real benefit the EU has to offer is the single market

Yeah, a mere trifle. Strange that Norway seems to think it's worth paying to get access to this even thought it has no say on its rules.

If you think trade is all about tariffs then you're in for a rude awakening in a couple of years. But I'm sure the steel workers of Britain are relishing the prospect of even more cheap steel from China.

Anyway, I'll leave you to your rosy-tinted dreams of a return to England's glory days.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

Eh? When did I say I know what the Germans are thinking?

haha, you repeatedly assert what people are thinking such as when making your entirely bogus claims about the UK having a good hand in the negotiations, only to deny it when you get called out.

Just because the rest of the EU doesn't want the UK to leave, doesn't mean that they'll want to give the UK a good deal if it leaves. On the contrary, there will be lots of electoral pressure to play hard ball.

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Charlie Clark
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Holmes

Re: @ batfastad

We dont do president/vice president here.

So, if you accept the principle of representative democracy for the UK, how come you don't think it applies for things like the European Commission?

Come to that, how come you think it doesn't apply for international treaties such as the membership of the European Union, the World Trade Organisation, the Commonwealth or NATO?

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Charlie Clark
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Facepalm

Re: @ batfastad

Good job these are all elected by the people

What, just like the Prime Minister isn't?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

What does that have to do with the price of fish?

Oh, I don't know, maybe something like I'm might be more likely to know what Germans think about the referendum: "what the fuck were the Brits thinking?" seems to be quite common. But you obviously know better, because, well why exactly?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

they are now practically begging we change our minds

Who's they? While I think most other European citizens would rather the UK wouldn't leave the EU, the politicians are in the business of winning elections. FWIW the chairman of the German CBI has already gone on record as saying that "it's a political issue".

But again, I suspect you've got access to additional sources. I should just forget the fact that I live and work in Germany. What the hell would I know?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Ring fence

Ring fencing is one thing, which should be applauded

Ring fencing may be a crowd-pleaser but is usually bad policy. Governments have a job to do and need to ensure that they either have enough money to do everything they want to do; or make sure that they do as much as possible with the money they have. For example, the Tories under Cameron promised to "ring fence" the NHS but reduce overall expenditure. This meant more cuts to things like social security which ended up putting more pressure on the NHS. Or the "sequester" the US imposed after the last shutdown which forced the army into expensive contract cancellations and procurement deals it no longer wanted to pursue because entitlements were ring fenced.

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Charlie Clark
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I'd suggest we stay in the EU science programs, if they want us. That should be an easy agreement, if negotiations don't go wrong.

See what happened to the Swiss when they voted to limit immigration from the EU. Result: frozen out of EU research programs.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Mission Impossible

The UK is the only one holding any real cards.

Just keep telling yourself that, dear…

As for the facts: Article 50 specifies that the other 27 members get together and decide what to offer the UK. Sounds a lot like holding all the cards to me, but you're obviously privy to other information.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: @ batfastad

You do know Blair was aiming for EU president.

Sounds about right for him: aiming for a position that doesn't exist…

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Charlie Clark
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Too many experts

I thought that we'd already agreed that there are too many of the bastards! Reduce these silly research budgets is what I say! I mean, what is it these so-called "scientists" actually do? Drink coffee, smoke pipes and stroke their beards (especially the lady scientists who are all lesbians by the way) I don't doubt.

This is from my application to join the Daily Mail as Mrs Gove's dogsbody. What do you reckon my chances are?

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Surprise, surprise: AWS is making boatloads of money for Amazon

Charlie Clark
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Re: Shaun, Shaun, Shaun

You're only happy because the potential profit you would make from selling your shares would be taxed less than any dividends you might have received since you bought your shares.

According your your analysis, Amazon is making too much money from AWS. To others it just confirms what a drain on resources the warehousing and logistics business is.

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October proves to be the cruellest month for Twitter staff as 350 more laid off

Charlie Clark
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All advertisers spend money trying get attention including advertising on other services. Probably have to spend even more if journalists get bored of copy pasting and thus providing free advertising. Then there's the not inconsiderable sum they've spunked on broadcast rights for sports. Was there any news of whether this was effective or not? Love to see them taking a bath on this as well.

#sooneratherthanlater

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How Google's Project Zero made Apple refactor its kernel

Charlie Clark
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Re: Where's all the snark?

Because it is a possible security hole I'm posting AC.

Why would that matter? It's not as if you posting an exploit here.

I also take the time to document bugs and inform the relevant developers. I've recently informed Apple of a bug in their handling of OOXML files but I won't be holding my breath for a response. This is only too often the case with them so kudos for Google for holding back from publishing. I wonder if the naming and shaming of Microsoft earlier in the year helped focus Apple's attention on this?

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Charlie Clark
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Re: This isn't an easy bug class to fix

Yeah, but context-switching is so damn slow on x86. Any idea of the performance on ARM?

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Charlie Clark
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Where's all the snark?

Fanbois have in the past been only too happy to pour scorn over Google for this kind of research.

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Hangouts flameout bringing the Google blame out

Charlie Clark
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Another article that would be improved if Twitter wasn't around

More random and banal "tweets" added as filler.

Meanwhile: Google has been de-emphasising Hangouts as a messaging tool for the masses while it has been adding peer-to-peer support for voice calls to make them less dependent upon the server.

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Squeaky bum time for Apple: It hasn’t made enough iPhone 7 Pluses

Charlie Clark
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Thumb Up

“Can’t meet demand” is an ambiguous term. It may mean that demand is genuinely greater than expected. Or it may indicate supply issues

I think you may have nailed it. Whereas Apple has historically pursued a strategy of a limited a bouquet of products – driven by aspiration and tailored to price – the recent move into fashion accessories has encouraged the tyranny of choice. This contains the risks of lower margins due to more complicated inventory management and the attendant supply chain problems. They've historically been amazing at anticipating customer demand. Now if they ramp up production too much they risk sitting on too much inventory at the start of 2017.

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Did Apple leak a photo of its new Macbook Pro in an OS update? Our survey says: Yes

Charlie Clark
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: ..strokes beard and looks incredibly cook

Tim? Peter? Captain?

Peter, of course, as Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling. Fancy some peche à la frog.

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Charlie Clark
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Re: Oh yes

Flat Whites are so 2015… what you want is cold brew coffee.

/me strokes beard and looks incredibly cook. We really need a hipster icon!

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BlackBerry DTEK60: An elegant flagship for grown-ups

Charlie Clark
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Samsung is still a bit slow at pushing out updates but has improved a lot on the S3 days. especially when it comes to the security stuff. But you'll often be holding a network's Samsung which has even more crap installed on it and an even slower update approval process. Fortunately, nearly all of the Samsung devices are supported by CyanogenMod.

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App proves Rowhammer can be exploited to root Android phones – and there's little Google can do to fully kill it

Charlie Clark
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Re: What are the odds...

Yeah, because Google now designs its own memory chips…

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Reports: Twitter chainsaw massacre redux on the cards

Charlie Clark
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The promotion of these commercial services by public service broadcasters is, indeed, the most annoying thing. They do it because a) they're lazy and b) it makes them look "engaged" with the public. But basically it just means they provide free advertising for them.

Twitter is basically just a JSON API that turned into a money pit.

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Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

Charlie Clark
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Re: Coincidence ?

I think the implication is more that Google is not actively throwing the shit around, more like sneakily smear some more of it on Samsung when no-one is looking.

Google is too busy selling ads (including to Samsung) and abusing its market position (making certain bits of Android exclusive to its phones) to bother with that.

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Charlie Clark
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Black Helicopters

Re: Coincidence ?

Take your conspiracy theory and do one.

All Samsung's competitors have very good reason not to make fun of the problems with the Note 7: they know how easily something similar could happen to them and how such accidents are bad for the whole sector: just as you have halo effects, you also have the manure effect. They'll be picking up more than enough extra business by doing nothing. Plus, they almost certainly rely on Samsung for some components.

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Ageing GSM crypto cracked on commodity graphics rig

Charlie Clark
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Re: So

Only if it's using A5/1. Many companies have already moved off this for their 2G connections, other networks no longer do any kind of 2G.

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Charlie Clark
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So…

The flaws in the encryption have been known about since 2009 and you still need to create some pretty big rainbow tables and have some pretty good equipment to do the hack.

Well, in that case I'm impressed by what the GSMA did come up with back then. It means we're generally pretty safe. Yes, the spooks have probably had the wherewithal to do this for a couple of years for the few cases where they can't get a wiretap order or find a compliant telco, but given all the other attack vectors on modern phones such getting an app installed that can control the mike and use the network, I'm not unduly worried.

Nevertheless, it's an important research project and should expedite the deprecation of this part of the standard.

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