* Posts by h4rm0ny

4545 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Microsoft to begin alerting users about suspected government snooping

h4rm0ny
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Re: Is this exciting new PR move to include warnings of spying perpetrated by the US government?

I don't care (much) about the Chinese government spying on me. The Chinese government doesn't give a shit what I think about David Cameron or Islamic State or if I write criticisms of UK policy. They'll never send a Beijing police officer round to my door and I'll never be thrown in a Chinese prison for having been at a protest in Trafalgar Square or leaking evidence of government corruption or British war crimes.

It's the UK and USA intelligence apparatus that, logically speaking, are a threat to me, no?

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NSA spying on US and Israeli politicians stirs Congress from Christmas slumbers

h4rm0ny
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Re: Surveillance Pyramid

You're both wrong. There is nobody in control. It's a self-perpetuating system built out of people, not run by people. Nobody spies on anybody else, the system spies on all. People are interchangeable components, that is all.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Try substituting Putin for Bibi

>>"This is allegedly because some powerful members of the Jewish community feel that their first loyalty is to Israel not the USA"

Let's properly deal with the anti-semiticism accusations whenever you criticize the Zionist lobby in the USA. There is a Zionist lobby, it does exert a disproportionate influence (as seen by US policy). However, it's not the "Jewish lobby". There are many Christian Zionists in the USA. In fact, there's a very common alignment and fairly popular Christian sects in the USA that teach that Jerusalem must Jewish for God's plan for the world to come to pass. Members of such churches included people like John Ashcroft, Attorney General for the USA. Zionism certainly is distinct from being Jewish even in the USA. Outside of the USA it's even less of an overlap. A recent survey showed that 70% of British Jewish people were significantly at odds with Israeli foreign policy. I think a pretty large number even believed it shouldn't be a Jewish state, but I don't have the survey to hand so can't cite numbers.

Why dwell on this? Because one of the mainstays of Israeli PR and lobbying is to pretend that Israel speaks for "the Jewish people". It's a deliberate aim to conflate criticism of Israel with criticism of Jewish people. Despite it being demonstrably distinct. I'll certainly condemn quite violently actual anti-semitism, along with any other form of racism. But using false accusations of that to shoot down your detractors I despise because that actually increases racism. When someone says "don't criticise Israel because Israel == Jews", the effect is also to say "criticise Jews for Israeli foreign policy". Given people have zero desire to be held responsible for the actions of a foreign government they have no power over just because of their religion or ancestry, I find that pretty appalling. There is no shortage of Jewish people who are not Zionist and plenty of Zionists who are not Jewish (usually Right-wing Christians).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Re; YAAC Colour me cynical

>>"So funny that all the Obambi supporters are trying to turn this thread into a rant against the Republicans when it is their Holy Leader that has been caught out! "

I'm not an Obama supporter in any way at all. His economic policies I regard as misguided and the rest of his politics (including the fake socialized healthcare plan), I consider to be mostly downright dishonest. He's a politician and not a good one, imo. The groundless adulation he got before his election and continues to do so, is testament only to his Internet-savvy PR team and nothing to his worth.

Why do I post this mini opinion-rant about Obama? To make clear that your little ad hominem accusation of bias is NOT the grounds for the rather unusual support for the NSA's actions here; or for the condemnation of the Republican members involved (which I would imagine are few in number - hardly a party action). I mean it's not often that you see big numbers of people on El Reg. being tolerant of NSA spying, is it? That alone tells you something. The fact of the matter is that this is what the NSA are supposed to be doing for once - not spying on their own citizens but investigating foreign threats. In this case, Netanyahu's cheerful lust for starting wars with neighbouring countries (i.e. by initiating first-strike bombing runs on Iran).

As another post says, spying on your citizens is not normally a good thing. But spying on a foreign power and some of your own citizens getting caught up in that because they were colluding with that foreign power? That's a bit more justifiable. So if you're going round accusing people of bias, you might want to check yourself as first in the list.

Or are you about to tell me that Matt Bryant is apolitical when it comes to the subject of Israel? ;)

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Debian Linux founder Ian Murdock dead at 42

h4rm0ny
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Re: The last tweets of Ian

From the context I'm fairly certain what he was saying was that black people in the USA get treated like this all the time and maybe people will start to take action against police brutality when the see it happening to a rich, white male.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Some human decency needed here...

Whilst I respect his right to privacy, I don't think it's disrespectful to him to consider that the police were a factor in his death given that his last communications were a very public shout-out to his followers that the police had abused him and that he wanted the rest of his life to be about ending police brutality. If anything, from what he wrote, condemnation of the police is what he would have wanted.

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h4rm0ny
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Linux

Re: Gah.

Debian has always been my distro of choice. I have stated using Mint lately just because the interface is so nice and everything is set up so well by default, but that's built on Debian and would be nothing without it.

I am deeply sorry that Ian has passed away and in such difficult circumstances. I never knew him but I feel I can almost recognize the experience of someone with a real engineer mind - one that not only wants but needs things to be right and to for things to be worked out rationally. For such a person, coming head on into police brutality and those that, if his words are genuine, "are only interested in power for power's sake", must have been deeply traumatic.

I'm sorry for his passing and thank him for what he contributed to the software world which was exceptional.

I hope justice will be served.

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Researcher criticises 'weak' crypto in Internet of Things alarm system

h4rm0ny
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Re: sim card in alarm system

>>"Which raises the question "if the home owner gets an automated alarm call what are they going to do about it?"

Log into my IoT home security cameras and see if it's a false alarm or not. If I can see a stranger in my home or a forced open door, then I can call the police and tell them that it's not a false alarm myself. That's what we're going to do about it.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Bah!

>>"It serves to prove that you really can fool most of the people most of the time."

Things I can do with an Internet connected security system that I can't do with an old-fashioned one:

* Check that I set it after I've left home.

* Enable it if I find I need to later on (e.g. if I did forget).

* Disable it if I need to (e.g. my partner returns when I'm not around / I want my neighbour to check on something for me / I have a delivery or service person I want to enter my home whilst I'm at work)

* Be notified immediately on my phone that it has been triggered and take appropriate actions such as calling the police / turning the alarm off if it's a false alarm or it's done it's job and I want to stop driving the neighbours crazy / logging into cameras in the home to see what's happened)

* Have more than a rudimentary All or Nothing approach to my home security. (E.g. different access levels for different people / ability to amend these on the fly as needed).

Of course, feel free to mock it as an example of how you can fool most of the people most of the time (you've mangled the quote, btw).

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BBC News website takes New Year's Eve break

h4rm0ny
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>>>Have they upset Theresa May recently?

>>>Just I post that, the site comes back up.

She heard you.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Erratic

>>"hold on, sysadmins are needed to make New Year happen. Is there anything they cannot do?"

Not if they have root access. ;)

(beer icon for our friends working on New Year's Eve to fix this).

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Patch now! Flash-exploitin' PC-hijackin' attack spotted in the wild by Huawei bods

h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Re: Firefox is just as bad

>>"Note that Edge was written by the SAME NUMPTIES who designed/developed flash ... ;-)"

Say what????

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2015: The year storage was rocked to its foundations

h4rm0ny
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"XPoint should be less costly than DRAM"

Maybe to manufacture, but the sale cost will be whatever the market will bear. With no rivals ready with equivalent technology, I look forward to seeing what Intel/Micron will charge for XPoint.

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Who would win a fight between Cortana and Android?

h4rm0ny
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>>"Turnabout is fair play"

Well, if you think there are only two parties - Google and Microsoft - involved. But there's a third: us the customers.

It was wrong when MS used to do it. It's wrong when Google do it. Speaking as a customer I want to make my purchasing decisions based on carrot, not stick.

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Microsoft Trusted Root Certificate program getting a lot less trusting

h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - thanks for that...

Paranoia is a mental disorder where you experience spurious feelings of persecution or hostility from others. Not wanting Wells Fargo to be able to declare any website they choose as trustworthy is not paranoia.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: What, if anything, does this mean for those of us outside the loving arms of Microsoft?

For those who aren't using Windows, then it's a case of "if you have to ask, you don't need to worry". MS aren't changing sites or services owned by these CAs in any way, they're altering Windows machines so that they no longer give these CAs the same level of trust.

You can continue to trust or not trust them as you were all along.

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Rupert Murdoch wants Google and chums to be g-men's backdoor men

h4rm0ny
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Nope.

Sorry - still more afraid of the government than I am of terrorists.

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IT salary not enough? Want to make £10,000 a DAY?

h4rm0ny
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Re: Names?

Would you prefer companies like TalkTalk that don't appear to spend anything on IT security? Sure - throwing money at something in a panic doesn't fix everything, but it can sure help. There are highly skilled security consultants out there - I have worked with them. And at least if a company is paying that level of money the upper management are at least likely to be listening to the results. The problem I most often see is not a lack of security knowledge in the lower and mid-levels (though I have seen that too), but that senior management don't listen to those below them on the subject. I've seen more than once an engineering team having to sneak in security fixes and upgrades as part of a non-security focused project in the sense that management approve some new service or feature and the engineers all use it as an opportunity to try and clean up out of date libraries, fix flaws, etc., knowing that rolling it into something else on the quiet is the only way it will get done.

Of course that's not the way things should be done, but the engineers know they'll take the blame if there's a problem. At least with the highly-paid consultant (and like I say - some of them really are very good), it shows upper management are theoretically listening to them.

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NHS IT projects worth £5bn at 'high risk' of failure, warns HSCIC

h4rm0ny
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Re: Legacy, legacy

True, but having worked in the NHS during the Blair reign, I can confirm that this really is when a huge massacre of basic NHS principles occurred and the scam of giant NHS IT projects ramped up to unprecedented levels. Corruption is endemic in the DoH. But nothing compares to what Blair and his team did.

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h4rm0ny
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And again...

Everybody involved in this below the level of upper management said that this would happen. It's not as if this is some shocking surprise to anyone at all.

What gets me is that vast waste like this occurs at the same time the actual day to day running of the NHS is starving for cash.

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Alleged Silk Road architect arrested in Thailand

h4rm0ny
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54 years old.

I hope that when I'm 54 years old I still have what it takes to be a famous international criminal. I'm old enough now to worry about what'll happen to me when I start approaching middle age - whether my IT skills will become out of date, whether I'll still have the energy to begin new ventures, etc. It's kind of heartening to see that people in their fifties can still be relevant and innovative.

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

h4rm0ny
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Re: James is a dick...

>>"No matter how badly you are treated, you are a professional person and should do what an honourable and decent professional person would do, which is to take responsibility"

I mostly agree and have worked to the best of my abilities for employers even whilst being unhappy with their attitude to me and until I find replacement work. However, I have also been in this situation - terminated without warning and escorted from the building immediately without even a chance to say goodbye to people. It is a deeply unpleasant experience to be treated like that and their reason was that they decided to cut costs by hiring new cheaper people to replace myself and two colleagues. They didn't understand that programmers are not like fuses which can just be swapped in and out as needed.

James was probably more concerned with how the Hell they were going to pay their rent and it does sound very much like they simply kept secret from him that he was going to be kicked out the moment they got what they wanted (along with his manager).

I try to avoid revenge for reasons of professionalism but when someone stabs you in the back like that, and especially cuts you off from your chance to reply by summarily throwing you out and closing off preventing you from having a chance to talk with the people you've worked with, I think it's pretty understandable to let them drive off a cliff when they've actively stopped you trying to save them.

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Per-core licences coming to Windows Server and System Center 2016

h4rm0ny
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>>"Personally, I think per-CPU licensing is an unjustifiable rip-off as it stands because your license is to run a piece of software - if you want to run it faster by putting more grunt into the hardware then what business is it of Microsoft's? (Or anyone who does per-proc/per-core.)"

Suppose you ran a restaurant with an All-You-Can-Eat deal. And then one day two people came in wearing a single giant jumper and a pair of clown trousers with two legs in each half - that's the situation with multi-socket systems. Motherboards are the clothes, people are the CPUs. In the single most relevant factor (processing), it's two computers stuck together. Of course licencing models changed when multi-socket computer started to come about. If not, we'd be seeing 1,024-socket "motherboards" these days just so that people only had to pay for one Windows Server / Red Hat / Oracle licence for all their needs.

Per core is the same sort of thing. Maybe not two people in one set of clothes, more like they've started producing people with 16, 32 or 64 stomachs. They might share an oesophagus but it's just not the same customer base anymore. So you change. Especially given most other restaurants have already done so.

>>That will result in me buying fewer licenses from MS but so what? That's one of the reasons I buy updated hardware - to consolidate my workloads and reduce license costs.

Then if nothing else changed, costs per licence would rise up in proportion to the reduction in need. If Average Company needs sixteen licences of Windows Server and is willing to pay £100 per licence, then next year they only need eight, then cost of a licence becomes £200 because total value is still the same to that company. But if you DON'T shift to a per-core model, then its competitor Small Company gets messed over. They only need one licence but because average cost of licence has gone up due to the fact there's no granularity in it, they have to pay more than they need. Breaking the saleable unit into smaller, cheaper units, is a good thing because it prevents people being tied to an average that may not be appropriate for their needs.

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PHP 7.0 arrives, so go forth and upgrade if you dare

h4rm0ny
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Re: Not backwards compatible can cause a lot of problems

>>"it emphasises readability as a desirable characteristic of source code. But, hey, who needs code review?"

This is an argument that has been re-hashed many times, but what the Hell:

1. You don't need this to be part of the syntax to incorporate it into coding standards. All other languages are capable of having automatic coding standards checks without this.

2. Programmers are capable of indenting code without the language trying to force the issue or mandate how code should be readable. They don't need to be told it is "a desirable characteristic of source code"

3. It introduces weird scope for errors and restriction for no good reason.

Other than the whitespace issue, Python is a lovely language.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not backwards compatible can cause a lot of problems

Yes, but apart from the whitespace insanity, Python is otherwise pretty great.

PHP is getting better, however, and will eventually become C++. :D

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Pentagon gets green light for WAR ... of web propaganda against IS

h4rm0ny
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Re: Money Wasted

>>I predict mucho televised bomb-porn in which $5,000 pick ups are destroyed by a $70,000 Hellfire missile, I further predict mucho collateral damage that's always blamed on the Russians, the continued disintegration of the Levant, further terrorist attacks against the West (that turd Cameron's doing his bit to put British necks on the line as I type), all followed by an eventual recognition that there are no "moderate Syrian rebels", requiring either an accommodation with armed thugs, or a repeat of the failed occupation of Iraq that gave birth to IS.

>>Anyone looking to bet against me?"

Not even on the part I bolded. William Hague in his speech yesterday said: "we may find it necessary to break up Iraq and Syria". That's... quite a presumption on our part!

Speech of the day had to be Gerald Kaufman who had the whole House in silence and said: "What it will undoubtedly do, despite the assurances of the Prime Minister, is it will kill innocent civilians. I am not going to be a party to killing innocent civilians for what will simply be a gesture. I’m not interested in gesture politics."

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Fighting fire with fire

>>"you really have to ask whether fighting propaganda with actual facts can really work"

Well, if it doesn't, I'm not convinced that therefore lies and fake profiles will.

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h4rm0ny
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Fighting fire with fire

Means more fire, in my experience. The counters to propaganda are facts and education, not more propaganda.

The concerns with this are not limited to but include the following:

  • It is an open licence to lie to the public about both the situation and your own actions. A topical example would be Cameron's vote today on whether to start bombing Syria in earnest. A big part of it hinges on it having been said that there are 70,000 friendly ground troops available for follow-up. In fact, from the leaks we've had and other less partisan sources, that figure is both inflated and - more scarily - comprised in large part by Al Quaeda members! Suppose the government were legally entitled to put out misinformation about things to "win the image war" against Islamic State. What would that do to our ability to make informed decisions? There are no limits in this on who they can lie to or what they can make up to support their lies. By its very nature, propaganda needs to be public and not contradicted by the propagandist (government in this case).
  • It forever devalues trust in the government. Yes... I know - "trust in the government - ha! ha!" But being serious, explicit legal approval to lie to the public? This would drive it further down still. And with good reason. When a government cannot be trusted, you get all sorts of social problems. Ever worked in a company where the upper management do nothing useful and lie to the employees? See the knock on effect on how people work in that company? Britain has that on a national scale. So let's make it worse! :/
  • It violates basic democratic principles. This doesn't need explaining. Democracy not only requires freedom to choose representatives, but freedom of information and sources so that choices can be informed
  • It's not only limited to making statements. A large part of this will be building up fake accounts, voting up and disparaging opponents.What do you think the distorting effect of full time, paid and professional trolls would be, co-ordinated, working from the same mission statements and target lists would be? When the government gets to choose which views are popular and which get buried in ad hominems, minutiae, dismissal and argument by repetition? How long would YOU keep making your arguments in the face of a hostile audience of seeming hundreds (which could be three or four government employees). There is software out there to support mass sock-puppeting, to help co-ordinate identities across multiple sites and forums so that they appear as real people. It's moderately sophisticated and designed to allow small numbers of people to determine what views seem popular and which seem hated.
  • There are no limits to the remit. As with any other "war" on a nebulous concept, Terrorism is what the government says it is. Where is the hard line between supporting terrorism and "not fighting it enough" or between supporting terrorism and criticising the governments efforts against it? Alan Simpson was a Labour MP who stood up to Blair over Iraq, called out the lies that led to that war. Today, Cameron would call him a "Terrorist sympathizer" (which is down right offensive even if you don't agree with the MPs who question bombing Syria). Now imagine that accompanied by a social media campaign of whispers and sock-puppets to undermine him. THAT is what we're talking about with a propaganda licence like this. It's not just posting pro-government information from seemingly non-government sources, it's also burying rival view points. That, after all, is what propaganda is really about.

It's like watching two farmers fighting over the chickens. Herding the chickens one way or another makes sense from the farmers' perspectives, but we're the chickens and propaganda (either direction) is about stopping people making their own choices by distorting what they see. If the government wants to post facts and argument in places where people also find Islamic State propaganda, fine by me - I'm no fan of Islamic State. But fighting fire with fire just leads to more fire. Truth is what I want. And who reading this doesn't think being able to make their own informed choice isn't the best thing for them?

But in the Pentagon scenario, this post or my character would be buried in downvotes, ground-shifting criticisms, ad hominems or outwardly sympathetic but ultimately discrediting engagement. Whatever it took, really. In a situation where our Prime Minister calls those who don't want to bomb Syria "terrorist sympathizers" of the atrocities in Paris, criticism of the government is indistinguishable from support for its opponents.

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Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

h4rm0ny
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Re: Hybrid is mentioned a lot in the last episodes

>>"@h4rm0ny Fair point about not regenerating. Still, The Doctor is dead and is survived by his umpteenth clone.

The Doctor is the same Doctor that stepped out of the teleporter the first time they arrived. Either all of the Doctors are clones or none of them are. And if teleporting does make the original dead and the new arrival a "clone", then the Doctor has probably been dead since sometime in the early black and white episodes or whenever he first teleported. Same goes for every other character that has ever teleported. Your view of what constitutes being dead and replaced by a clone is at odds with the series and character's own views on the issue.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: An old man, doing the same thing, over and over again,

>>"for 2 billion years, whilst talking to himself. If the BBC intended this as an allegory for senility, it was spot on. Sadly, I fear it was intended as an exciting TV show for kids, and so it was really fucking boring."

I'm pretty sure it was an allegory for grieving, not senility. The scenes with Clara in his mind where she tells him he's not the only person who has ever lost someone and that he needs to get up, keep going, move forward - that ties in exactly to the way he keeps being re-born, grieving, over and over and has to slowly punch his way forward through that being told "keep going, move on" each time.

>>"Come to think of it, how did the disk make its way to Galifrey, given that Gallifrey was locked away where no one could reach it?"

Unsure, but it makes sense that after filling out your last will and testament it heads back to the archives which would obviously be on Gallifrey.

>>" And why didn't The Doctor regenerate when he burned his body to power the machine?"

This was stated in the episode - he said "too badly damaged to regenerate". There have been several occasions when regeneration was a touch-and-go affair. It's never been a Indestructible button for Time Lords. It's always been a process that restores them after age or body trauma would kill them.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: 400 times harder than diamond???

>>"my only real issue with this episode is, after being told / shown that all the rooms re-set, why didn't the 'diamond' wall..?"

Well it wasn't really a room, it was the edge of the mechanism itself. It can reset the things within it, but can it alter its external shell which the Doctor was slowly working his way into?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Finally it starts to come together.

>>"The episode was entertaining for sure but definitely not great. The major problem with this one is that it has giant problems sitting in plain sight. If the creature stops whenever the doctor speaks a truth which has never been spoken before then saying that he's scared during the second run wouldn't have worked anymore. So eventually the doctor would have run out of truths to tell."

That rather depends on whether the creature is comparing it to things that it already knows or if it works of a simple principle of whether the subject still has things to confess.

IF true == subject.confession() {

environment.reset();

self.begin_pursuit();

} ELSE {

subject.kill();

}

The latter is actually more logical as it's not going to know if what the subject tells is some profound confession or the price of tea. It must have some method of determining such from the subject itself. So the IF...ELSE is the more likely scenario. You simply haven't thought this through.

>>"And there's also the problem about resetting rooms which apparently clean up dropped flowers, fill up dirt holes yet still leaves writing in the sand completely alone"

It's made clear that the rooms only reset after a period of time. So iterations of the Doctor can and would see elements left behind by his predecessor, e.g. the writing, the wet clothes... Remember, it is NOT a time loop, it's one sequential process with the Doctor being recreated over and over in normal time.

>>"It was entertaining, yes, but there were too many illogical twists kept in plain sight for me."

The episode itself actually suggests the answers you think are illogical.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Wonderful

>>" I mean, who else would have come up with the idea of politely asking a door to unlock itself, with it then doing so."

I would ordinarily hate something like that but it was no more arbitrary than pulling out a sonic screwdriver to unlock something and the rapid dialogue as the Doctor tries to emphasize with the door "shut up at night... people always knocking but never for you..." was pretty good.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Finally it starts to come together.

>>"Why would Time Lords carry their own personal hell around with them not knowing what it was"

Well firstly, it's a device designed to get and record all of someone's truths - for other time lords it may not manifest as a "Hell", or at least not quite as horrific a one. The Doctor is extremely secretive and has far more serious secrets than most people. I imagine you need pretty extreme measures to get him to start telling you them, even if it's for posterity. Secondly, I don't know that I would ever describe the Time Lords as nice. They designed the Confession Dial to do one thing - record all your final confessions for posterity before it finally kills you. Probably no other Time Lord would keep restarting themself by messing with teleport equipment in some clever way. Probably no other Time Lord would even try, once they worked out it wasn't a loop and they were just going to go round and round for an eternity of suffering. So for most people, it would be a case of appearing in a suitable scenario, telling all their secrets and breathing their last. One Time Lord might find themselves with a long lost close friend they'd want to confide in, another (co-operative) Time Lord might just find themselves in a big study with lots of blank books to write their memoirs in. Who knows, but the Doctor did say it was personalized for himself.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Damn, that was another corker...

>>"PS I also loved the line "I'm nothing without an audience" with a quick break of the fourth wall as Capaldi glances towards the camera and us :-)"

Actually, that is the one moment in the episode that I really hated. I loathe arch little asides to the audience. The writer thinks they're being clever exactly when they're not.

Other than that, a great episode for me. I guessed early on that he was inside the Confession Dial in some manner. "I am in 12" and the way the rooms jumble around was a fairly straight-forward reference to his different incarnations which leant support to the Confession Dial theory. But I couldn't work out what "bird" meant until I heard the whole "bird / eternity" fable and I didn't see the wearing away of the diamond until you were pretty much meant to be working it out. Episodes where I can't work out what is happening but it all makes sense with hindsight (as opposed to some episodes where you can't work out what's happening just because the writer throws in random changes to the scenario to get out of the corner they've put themselves in), our my favourite types of episodes.

I'm sorry to see Clara go as she's one of my favourite characters. But I like the way they gave her. Great episode.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: A great episode

>>"Not a clue what Dr. Who is about."

Then you may be on the wrong article.

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Sysadmin's former boss claims five years FREE support or off to court

h4rm0ny
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>>"I left my last job when the "beancounters" got bought in to wave an axe around. It was a bad time for me, officially diagnosed and signed off with stress and depression because I'd let the b'stards grind me down too far before I'd realised what the problem was."

I wont say you're lucky because you're not - depression and stress are horrible. But it is fortunate you weren't just contracting / self-employed. I am, and there's no way I can be "signed off". No work, no money. :/

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Kids charity hit by server theft

h4rm0ny
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Re: Encrypt file systems ?

I had similar results using Bitlocker: a hit of around 3-5%. But it should be noted that this is with a CPU with AES extensions. Some older CPUs wont have hardware support for encryption and in that case the hit is much higher. Worth knowing so people can check in advance.

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Green rectangles are the new rounded rectangles

h4rm0ny
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When we get to the end of 2015, is El Reg. going to have a best headlines poll?

Because if they're not, they should.

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Researchers say they've cracked the secret of the Sony Pictures hack

h4rm0ny
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Re: Let me get this straight

Well, not saying you're wrong but as a counter-argument, I have noticed that the fewer people involved in wielding power, the more erratic and unpredictable the wielding of that power is. Which is fairly obvious the more you think about it.

And North Korea is ruled by just one unchallenged dictator.

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Blocking out the Sun won't fix climate change – but it could buy us time

h4rm0ny
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Re: Refreeze the poles?

Well, all I can say is that I'm glad that we didn't have this technological capability back when we thought we were heading towards another ice age instead of today, when all the science is settled.

Imagine the harm we could have done.

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Doctor Who: Nigel Farage-alike bogey beast terrorises in darkly comic Sleep No More

h4rm0ny
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>>"I didn't read what you pasted. Thanks for re-iterating it for us!"

I thought of that when I wrote it but figured as this forum has no Ignore feature (in which case many people would not have seen x7's post), anyone reading my response to them would almost certainly have or be imminently about to read their post.

To the point that I think there's a good chance your post and giant FAIL logo are just snark. If you are indeed just selectively skipping posts and got to mine alone somehow, I apologise. I'm just tired of x7's selfish rants which are mainly trolling across the forums.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"BBC have already leaked that Clara gets killed off in episode 10, so next week should be better"

Something that many of us were not aware of so thanks for your selfishness.

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BBC encourages rebellious Welsh town to move offshore

h4rm0ny
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Re: So?

>>"What I am more bothered about is the belief that the gov should be demanding more tax from people instead of reducing it"

I'd be more okay with the taxes if the government spent them in better ways. But the Department of Health is corrupt and funnelled billions to friends of friends in the form of outsourced and flawed projects; the UK war in Afghanistan cost us over thirty billion and with Iraq I don't know how much that will be. We spent a fortune bombing Libya to try and install a West-friendly regime there. We'll be paying those off all these for a long time to come.

Meanwhile our roads fall apart and our public transport network gets worse every year whilst costing more. Not to mention how much we must be paying Atos to be sending the odd disabled person to their death.

Whilst nobody likes paying taxes, I think the real disconnect is with what the government spends it all on.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Fearless prediction.... number 3

>>"HMRC will come down on these small business's like a tonne of bricks - while continuing to allow Amazon, Talk Talk, Google, Vodaphone et al, to carry on as usual."

But that's the point of the exercise the town is carrying out. They are attempting to position themselves under the same protections these big players use as a means of highlighting the problem. It's a practical version of "if you argue this, then you have to include that".

Having read an article on this some of the local shopkeepers highlight how the tax avoidance affects competition. An independent café may not be able to afford to compete with Starbucks when the latter doesn't have to pay the same tax rate. That's what is motivating the town which has a very high proportion of independent shops to do this.

The government tries to create some special circumstances for these big players. But they can't outright legislate "Vodafone doesn't have to pay tax", they have to set up some criteria that Vodafone can fulfil but others can't. This town are manoeuvring to tick the same boxes. The town are happy for the government to "come down on them like a tonne of bricks". The aim is to catch the bigger players in the same shower of bricks.

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PostgreSQL learns to walk and chew gum

h4rm0ny
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Re: MySQL versus PostgreSQL comparison

>>"In my book this is a bad thing."

And I agree. Just listing it as a factor why MySQL took a lead over Postgres.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: MySQL versus PostgreSQL comparison

>>>>"However, MySQL with MyISAM ran a lot faster."

>>"Actually, no, it very much isn't. Even on read-only loads InnoDB has been faster for well over a decade (since early MySQL 5.0 releases)."

I think you may have misunderstood my post. I said that MySQL with MyISAM ran faster than Postgres back in the early 2000's and that this is one of the reasons MySQL became the most popular free database.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: MySQL versus PostgreSQL comparison

Well... yes and no. The thing is, both MySQL and Postgres are free and open source. That creates overlap in their market spaces. In terms of using them, yes, Postgres is more reminiscent of Oracle than MySQL. But when you're setting up a service or starting a project, if you're looking at MySQL you can also look at Postgres.

In early days, Postgres was certainly the more robust and sophisticated database. By far, in fact. However, MySQL with MyISAM ran a lot faster. Which made it the DB of choice for the explosion of web forums and CMSs we got in the late '90s and early 2000's that wanted lots of cheap, fast read capability and really didn't care too much about strict data integrity or sophisticated features. Also MySQL had (and has) less of a learning curve. Neither is especially difficult, but MySQL will make smart guesses about what you mean with lots of forgiving defaults and multiple ways of doing things. You can slap on an autoincrement qualifier to a field and you don't have to understand sequences (no, serial is not quite the same); MySQL will default to making everything case-insensitive (just to be helpful) which can actually trip you up but is a great example of how MySQL takes an approach of "I know what the users will want...". Another great thing is to compare query plans between the two. MySQL will give you a basic summation that lets you look at the output and go: "hey, it's not using an index on that join, let's add one". Postgres will give you all the nuts and bolts and let you go: "hey, I wonder if this would run faster if I to set the from_collapse_limit differently here".

Now skip forward and MySQL has more sophistication than it used to (assuming you're using InnoDB and not MyISAM nowadays). Postgres in turn has improved dramatically in performance. For many cases you can use either. But MySQL still carries that legacy of its initial popularity and still has an easier learning curve.

But an easy learning curve can be a two-edged sword. Taking just that little bit longer to really understand Postgres reaps great benefits, imo. It is now performance-equivalent to MySQL InnoDB at the least and remains the more sophisticated of the two. By choice, I will work with Postgres, though often enough I'm called in to consult on MySQL systems and I'm fine with that.

But TL;DR: I think it's absolutely right to talk about comparisons between MySQL and Postgres. They service a lot of the same potential market.

I think Word vs. Notepad is over-doing the comparison. Not least because Notepad is fine for its purpose and people might take this to mean that Postgres is bloated with unnecessary features. It's not, it's a lean piece of machinery, very elegant, very solid. I would go more with something like Surface Pro vs. iPad Pro. And I'm really not attempting to kick off a fan-war with that analogy. I just think that people will know what I mean. Both great bits of hardware, overlapping somewhat in target market, both with plenty of great features. Just one is that little bit more coherent, capable and planned. The iPad Pro is maybe a little bit easier to pick and go "this is familiar" and start poking things, but after a day or two that advantage is gone but one still has a better kickstand and some extra capabilities. But either might be fine for your needs depending on what those are. "Notepad" is a little unfair, imo. MySQL is fine and very capable. It's just that I think Postgres is the more sophisticated and solid. It's what I would choose to build an important system with.

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

h4rm0ny
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Re: Wonderful :\

Mothers these days had their teenage and university years the Nineties. Given how much simpler technology has become these days (I can install and use GNU/Linux without even touching a compiler, and say what you like about Windows 7,8 or 10, compared to the Hell that was Windows 98 using and configuring it is easy), I think parents now are probably more technically adept than most kids. Or close.

The tech-illiterate parent syndrome can probably start to enter its dying decade, I hope.

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Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

h4rm0ny
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No traffic management on Andrews & Arnold, however. Also, they're actively against the Snooper's Charter which I have to say is a positive sign.

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