* Posts by h4rm0ny

4539 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

Do androids dream of herding electric sheep?

h4rm0ny
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Re: No shit Sherlock!

>>"Really? Any technologically illiterate sheep farmer can "go into a shop and buy one", and suddenly be able to dispense with the dawgs? What colo(u)r is the sky in your world?"

Yes, eventually. As I wrote, that is not the case now. That IS where things lead. And I'm English so the colour of the sky is generally "grey" since you ask.

Also, I don't know why you suppose a sheep farmer should be technologically illiterate. This isn't the Eighties anymore. People who can't use a drone are a minority now, I would say.

>>"It's not "a year or so of training", it's a lifetime of running the farm. Puppies learn from the adults. Farmers aren't exactly "I want it NOW" kind of folks"

I'm pretty sure that it IS a "year or so of training" for a sheepdog to go from puppy to useful animal. If you're arguing for it actually being longer than this or multi-generational (puppies learn from the adults), then you're making an even stronger case for people to adopt drone approaches than I am!

>>"Why yes. Yes I can. And that's "dawgs" not "dawg". They know the routine, and follow it. Including opening and closing gates when necessary."

I don't believe you. You can't decide that on Monday to Friday you want sheep in field A at 7:30, but on Saturday to move them over to field B at 15:00pm and have a sheepdog take care of all that unattended. With a drone, that is foreseeable technology.

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h4rm0ny
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Terminator

Re: No shit Sherlock!

Early versions of a technological solution often are inferior to a trained specialist. But what they provide is ease of access. The early crossbows were inferior longbows in pretty much every way, but you could give them to a mass of peasants and teach them to use it in an hour - a longbow took a lot of practice. This iteration of a sheep-herding drone might not be as good as an experienced sheep farmer and a grown, trained sheepdog. But you can go into a shop, buy one, and suddenly the year or so of raising and training of a sheepdog is unnecessary.

And after a technological solution has made something mass-available, the next step is often parity in performance, finally followed by replacement.

Can you tell your sheepdog to go out at particular hours of the day and move your sheep around without you? I would imagine a sheep-herding algorithm is fairly simple in the grand scheme of things.

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Saudis go ape, detain Swedish monkeys at border

h4rm0ny
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Re: Thank gawdess the poor little critters didn't get shipped!

>>"If they did, they probably would have been ordered beheaded or stoned to death as spies"

Hartlepool and Saudi Arabia. They're in good company with each other, it seems.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Pulling a Wikipedia?

>>"No, that's the picture the guy initially claimed was taken without him knowing, after he had put his camera down and left it. After it was pointed out that therefore the monkey owned the picture, his story changed to one where he encouraged the monkey to use his camera, which thereby assigned the copyright to him"

Really? Can you back that up? Or is it a factoid made up later by a Wikimedia supporter? He had specifically travelled around the world to photograph the macaques, he had purchased the equipment he spent a week slowly getting the monkeys familiar with himself so that they would be comfortable around him and his equipment, he set up cameras ready, he did the expert work of photo selection, post-production work (I can tell you for a fact that photos don't just come off the SD card looking like that). And at the end of all that, Wikimedia Foundation take his most lucrative and valuable return on all that expense and effort, and start posting it without recompense because they say a monkey activating the camera makes it uncopyrightable. Better throw out all those BBC wildlife documentaries as well because the camera they set up was auto-triggered by a wandering animal in the night (despite that in both cases, that was the intent of the photographers).

Honestly, Wikipedia's attitude to other people's work is sickening.

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h4rm0ny
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Alert

Pulling a Wikipedia?

I hope El Reg. is using that picture with permission. That's the one that the Wikipedia zealots declared was free to use because the camera was activated by a monkey, not the photographer.

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Microsoft goes cloud KERR-AZY, chops Windows Server to bits

h4rm0ny
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Re: 92 per cent smaller...

You see a smaller memory footprint as a negative you should be compensated for? Interesting. You must be greatly disappointed that the latest iPad isn't 5% the cost of those inch-thick old Windows tablets. After all, it's a lot thinner.

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Streak life: Oz woman flashes boobs at Google Street View car

h4rm0ny
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Re: Naked he-boobies legal. Naked she-boobies not. Explain.

>>"At the end of the spectrum, wasn't there some suggestion 4 - 5 years ago that Australian censors were to ban A-cup size or smaller, 'cos they might be mistaken for underage girls?"

There were rulings by the Australian government / courts that banned pornography (video or stills) that featured women who "looked underage" regardless of their actual age. It was suggested / implied by this that women with small breasts would get included in this, essentially being banned from pornography in Australia. Though obviously a woman in her fifties with small breasts would not be caught by the law, in practice it means that many women in their twenties (potentially even thirties in some cases) might be ruled "underage porn" because they had small breasts. The law passed in 2005. I don't know if it's ever been modified or how much it was applied so cannot comment on that.

An Australian senator is on record as saying that pornography of women with small breasts "encouraged paedophilia".

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US Senate to probe the Obama-Google love-in

h4rm0ny
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Actually, Google outspend Microsoft on lobbying. Given the current situation described in the article, it looks like Microsoft have been outbid.

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Project Spartan: We get our claws on Microsoft's browser for Windows 10

h4rm0ny
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Re: Cortana, Spartan...

>>"Anything related to the Internet and online services, I'll stay far away from Microsoft."

I'm fine with many of their services, but you're right about Cortana. It (and it is an "it" not a "she"), wont run without access to your emails and possibly your txt messages as well. Which is a deal-breaker for me as I wont allow that. And it's an unpleasant decision on MS's part as well as this isn't necessary for Cortana to work. If I am happy to use basic aspects of Cortana - such as making appointments in my calendar) without the invasive profiling aspects, then that should be my choice. But MS are clearly wanting to tie you into allowing full access to all your data. Which I wont allow.

So for me, Cortana is a major step back for this reason.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Annotation?

>>"So I can draw on a page and then send it somewhere as a picture. How exactly is this different from just hitting print screen, pasting into Paint/Powerpoint/Whatever and doing exactly the same?"

Presumably it's quicker and already integrated into quickly sharing with groups.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Fork of IE?

Whoosh.

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h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

One question:

Can I turn Cortana off and just enjoy it as a streamlined web-browser?

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Torvalds' temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

h4rm0ny
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Re: just works

Actually, I'd put it the other way around Gnome (simple) or KDE (looks most like Windows) are probably best for the non-IT specialist. Look for a guide on how to configure something in Ubuntu and there are lots of convenient Gnome-tools to do it. On Xfce, this is less the case. I use Xfce myself because I do like the minimalist approach that just keeps out of my way and don't need cosseting with warm-friendly shortcuts. So I consider Xfce the DE of choice for the GNU/Linux advanced user.

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h4rm0ny
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Slightly creepy article heading

..is slightly creepy. Reminds me of the Sun's countdown to when Emma Watson was "legal".

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Nuclear waste spill: How a pro-organic push sparked $240m blunder

h4rm0ny
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Re: billions of tons of lard

>>"just because some marketing w*nker put's organic on the packet, does not mean it's better either at the job it's supposed to do, or for the enviroment!"

Organic cat litter is organic material such as pine chips and decomposes. Inorganic cat litter is typically clay and does not. Worstall basically went on wild goose chase because he apparently doesn't own a cat and can't use Wikipedia. Or even ask a friend who does own a cat!

And you have taken up his ignorance and run with it.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Inorganic

But it's a journalist's job to hypothesize wildly to support their world view, not check or wait for facts.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: billions of tons of lard

So basically I just read a two-page rant by Worstall about "hippies" (which appears to mean anyone who buys organic to Worstall) and how they are in some vague but implied way responsible for someone in the US not knowing how to do their job -- all because Worstall doesn't know that organic cat litter actually has a convenient purpose to it and wants to blame a nuclear accident on a "pro-organic push".

I really should learn to check the author before reading in future.

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Microsoft dumps ARM for Atom with cut-price Surface 3 fondleslab

h4rm0ny
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FAIL

Re: @h4rm0ny - @h4rm0ny - Great news!

>>"I was aware of that and, since MS is no longer interested in ARM platform, I asked politely if manufacturers can now be allowed to let us disable SecureBoot on ARM devices so we can install other OS on them.

>>You failed your second attempt too!

MS only this week announced a Windows version for Rasberry Pi (an ARM platform if you're not aware) and are most certainly building OSs on ARM so you're clearly wrong that "MS is no longer interested". Secondly, MS is not preventing manufacturers from selling ARM devices with undisablable Secure Boot anywhere I'm aware of so you should really be directing your question to the OEMs. What device is it you think MS have caused it to be locked on - specific names, please. Because if you're talking about MS forcing the hand of OEMs you plainly can't mean the Surface RT / Surface 2.

"Failed my second attempt?" Seriously? You're the one who launched in here with one-line off-topic posts wrapped up in snark about how many fingers you were holding up, not me.

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h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

>>People have asked me: "Mr Coward - just what is the difference between Microsoft Surface 2 and Microsoft Surface 3?" And I answer: "1".

Funny, I got 86.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - Great news!

>>"On ARM ? Are you sure ? Look at my hand, how many distinct fingers can you count ?"

You realize that the entire point of the article you are commenting on is that MS have shifted the latest Surface off ARM and onto x86? How many fingers can I count on your hand? Six, probably, based on your evidenced intelligence.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: tesco pico surface

Similar, but I got a Linx tablet. Very good value. However, the Pen on this device could be a really big plus. Great for both taking notes and for meetings where you want to whiteboard things and just hit save at the end.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Great news!

Yes. Enter the UEFI BIOS and slide "Secure Boot" to the "Disabled" or "Off" position.

If you can't do that, you probably shouldn't be turning it off.

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Power, internet access knackered in London after exploding kit burps fire into capital's streets

h4rm0ny
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Re: No Problem

Not sure if deliberate or accidental, but I gave you a thumbsup for "effluent South".

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Google whacks CREEPY predictive search up to 11 in cheap Chrome OS beta

h4rm0ny
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If that hotel concierge was mentally linked to all other staff at all other hotels and had perfect recall of everything you did in any hotel for the past ten years, yes - I might find that creepy.

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Hotel Wi-Fi not only hideously expensive – it's horribly insecure

h4rm0ny
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Re: There are precisely three WiFi networks ...

>>"3. Both 1 and you may want, $DEITY forbid, to look up the location of a pub on your PAYG mobile without having to take a passport, driving licence or credit card to the mobile store to prove that you are over 18."

This has happened? What idiotic network provider did something this stupid and intrusive?

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

h4rm0ny
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Re: think of the models!

>>"if they had other talents/passions/better ways of making money, wouldn't they be doing that instead?"

Not necessarily. The lead in to many careers becoming profitable can be quite long. Quite a few women under the age of 25 do modelling work to help get through university, internships, etc. Also, you're a lot more likely to end up looking after a young child if you're a woman which can put paid to a lot of careers until the child reaches school age. Part-time modelling work can be lucrative and fit in with this. Do not presume that someone is unintelligent or even uneducated because they are doing modelling work.

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h4rm0ny
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FAIL

@Voland's Right Hand

I've read through most of the comments here and some I agree with and some I disagree with but whether they're pro or anti- the presence of "booth babes" I don't think any of them are as offensive or stupid as you calling someone in the picture "a fat beef". For one, whether people are in favour of their presence or not, pretty much everyone here regards the booth babes as people. Except you, apparently. They're hired to engage attention, be friendly and project some energy about their employer. That doesn't mean they're there for you to dehumanize or insult them.

I think any further responses from you on this topic should be accompanied by a recent photo of you in a skin-tight outfit of your own so we can all see your perfection.

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Google promises Pointer Events support, with or without Apple

h4rm0ny
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Why is Apple not using it?

It's a free standard and actually a good one. What is their reason not to use this?

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Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

h4rm0ny
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Re: Apples values.

>>"Think MS ended mainstream support for Windows 7 in January this year?"

Worth clarifying what is meant by "mainstream support". That ends this year, but MS will continue to supply security fixes and bug fixes until 2020. End of "mainstream support" just means the standard support to end users. You can still purchase extended support packages for quite a while as well. It came out six years ago, but it's not like its suddenly abandoned.

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Delving into Office 2016: Microsoft goes public with new preview

h4rm0ny
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Re: Widescreen support?

I have one of my monitors in portrait mode. Not sure if that will help but it works really well for word processing.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: They could have saved themselves the bother...

That's a lot of words none of which address the fact that you claimed

Insert tab -> Equation button

was less intuitive than

Insert Menu -> Object -> New -> Equation Editor 3.0

You demonstrated that you don't know what you're talking about. You further demonstrate it with your reply. "Inflexible waste of space". By default it will hide itself and just reappear when you go to it. It also actually takes up around the same amount of height as the original icon and menu bars, it just looks bigger because it's one row rather than several. Don't believe me? Here is a screenshot comparison:

Comparison

As to your comments about being able to add a button short-cut if you wanted - you can customize the Ribbon just as easily, even putting anything and everything into a single ribbon tab if you want. It's easy, even creating an entirely new tab if you want and spend the rest of your life with only that if you find multiple ones so confusing. It's no less customizable, you just have a bias and are making statements that don't stand up.

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h4rm0ny
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Mushroom

Re: They could have saved themselves the bother...

>>"they'd just retained the semi-logical menu structure and hadn't ditched it for the utterly useless ribbon. That way, if I wanted to insert an equation I'd have gone to the insert menu, not had to rummage through pages of dull flat meaningless icons or make my request in writing to Microsoft"

Click on the Insert tab and right in front of you is a big Pi symbol with "Equation" written underneath it. You can't seriously find that difficult or unintuitive.

In pre-Ribbon Office, you go to the Insert menu option. Within the fold-down menu, find "Object". Select the "Create New" tab and select "Microsoft Equation 3.0." Click "OK."

Read both those scenarios back to yourself twice. Consider. Admit that you are at best arguing from a basis that you are personally familiar with an old way of doing things so have a skewed view on what is easy; and more realistically just haven't bothered to ever actually give the Ribbon a fair assessment.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Speed

>>"Does it load faster than the Office XP that I'm still rocking?"

Well my 2013 version of Office does, so probably.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Still with the ribbon?

>>"It's been years and I still can't find a damn thing with the ribbon"

Rubbish. You're either lying or an idiot.

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Woman caught on CCTV performing drunken BJ blew right to privacy

h4rm0ny
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Re: Dazed and confused ...

People should also put aside specifics that colour their judgement and realize that the category that Ofcom has just allowed this usage for is not "women giving blowjobs" but "things that the reality TV audiences find entertaining". Anything you do that is embarrassing or which others will laugh at or be titillated by is now fair game if caught on camera. They just have to make a token effort to obscure your identity.

The cameras should not be there to catch people's errors so that your typical Big Brother viewer can find it funny. It's a quick bit of cash for a CCTV company and years of misery for those pilloried on television.

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Kaspersky Lab hits back at Bloomberg's Russian spy link hit piece

h4rm0ny
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Re: Were the accusations true...

>>It's a sad state of affairs that the default assumption is that of law enforcement "causing you problems"

Sad perhaps, but true nonetheless. Few if any have the power to ruin your life with impunity that the government and law enforcement of your company do. Any random person could kill you, but they could not do so without grievous consequences.to themself. The government can lock you up, prevent you getting jobs, all manner of things without anyone making those decisions risking any reprisal to themself. No body has so much power over you with so little risk from using it, than your own country's rulers. The rulers or people of other countries are no threat by comparison.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Be careful with that ax, Eugene

If the OP wonders why they're being downvoted, it's probably because many readers regard the whole "no smoke without fire" style of rumour-mongering a dirty trick and see the OP as perpetuating it (rightly or wrongly). Is it possible that Kapersky has been suborned by the Russian government? Of course it's possible. Do we have any particular evidence? No, not that I am aware. What we DO know for a fact, is that Kapersky do actual serious-level security research and recently exposed a major and highly sophisticated US malware-based spying system. And that means that they will have majorly pissed off various high-ups in the US power-structures. Would we expect some retaliation in the media for that? Very probably.

I'm not going to go on record saying Kapersky don't do anything wrong - how would I know for sure? But you can't start throwing mud without evidence. I recently had to assess anti-malware solutions and Kapersky and TrendMicro were the two with consistently the most comprehensive cover. Several others weren't bad, but those two were the leaders in my research. So until someone who is both less biased and has actual evidence (at least one of these would be nice), I'm going to carry on recommending it.

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h4rm0ny
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Were the accusations true...

...which I am entertaining just for hypothetical argument, you would need to consider who you were most threatened by as an ordinary citizen. Assuming a Western reader living in a Western country, the chances of Russian Intelligence or law enforcement causing you problems is pretty much zero - you're simply not their concern. In comparison, the chances of your own country's law enforcement or government causing you (or your loved ones) hassle, is considerably higher.

Assuming that Western firms are compromised by Western governments (which we know happens) and Russian companies by theirs, which company would you logically wish to be informing on you?

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Improved Apple Watches won't get more expensive? Hmmm

h4rm0ny
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Re: Hmmm... smoke and mirrors?

>>"The Luddites were on to something"

They were, but it wasn't anti-technology per se, despite how they are portrayed. It was that the profits from the technology came only to a select group. The looms meant actual starvation or the poorhouse for many of those workers. (If you want to know what the "poorhouse" was like, read Dickens).

If someone invented a looming machine or a tractor or whatever and said, "everybody work a little less hard for the same money", few would mind. But what actually happens is "you and you, work even harder, you other dozen you have no jobs".

So far, humanity has been able to just about keep racing ahead of the technology curve managing to upskill fast enough be useful - though every decade you need more skills and education to preserve the same level of success (outside of niche cases). There's no guarantee that we will be able to keep running forever. It may reach the point where the looms are so advanced that we are all luddites (except a small portion of owning classes).

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h4rm0ny
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I increasingly get the feeling with Worstall's articles that they're a reply to someone who's said something he's objected to and I'm hearing one half of a conversation.

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Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

h4rm0ny
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Re: Arranged marriages

>>"Was this an arranged marriage? My colleagues in India tell me that these days "love marriages" have grown quite common and arranged marriages are less and less common."

Given that she probably would have worked out he was an idiot long before this if they were dating, I'm thinking "Arranged Marriage" is a pretty safe bet in this case.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Could be a good way to get out of a wedding...

>>"prefer to look stupid for 15 minutes"

15 minutes? This is person is going to be the one that got dumped because they were too stupid for their bride for the rest of their life.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Could be a good way to get out of a wedding...

I think I'd rather get married than appear that stupid in front of a crowd.

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Siri, you're fired: Microsoft Cortana's elbows into iOS, Android

h4rm0ny
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Re: On PGP [@h4rm0ny - When do we see an Windows phone with Android?]

>>"Errm... you don't. You can have as many as you want and should have as many as you need. For example, I have two for one of my email addresses--see below."

Your use case is where you have different keys for different recipients / contexts. It makes no sense to have multiple keys for a single recipient / context. And in the case of a platform key there is only one "recipient" - the public. You asked why there is only one platform key on a device - because you can do everything needed with only one and a second would be redundant.

You're really talking about two different scenarios. The correct comparison is where you have two private keys for signing and both are known to the same audience. You must understand that this would make little sense and if you understand that, then you should realize that platform keys are the same scenario. The attempt to prove Secure Boot is an anti-Linux measure is getting ridiculous. It plainly has real security uses. It also equally plainly is not harming Linux.

You are also following the familiar pattern of discarding all counter-evidence and honing in on one part of an argument and hoping to try and find some weakness in that and presenting that as the whole case. Just admit that you are wrong. Or don't - but if you take a look at what you're saying and realize that you are now down to arguing on the basis that there aren't multiple platform keys (despite there being no benefit to such), then you really should acknowledge that you are.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - When do we see an Windows phone with Android?

>>"...pretty much all phones with very rare exceptions - are locked with a single OS in mind... There, I fixed it for you! Who was Microsoft afraid of when the decided to lock ARM tablets, prey tell us ?"

I don't see that you've fixed anything. I do see that you've shifted ground once again. You responded to my point about Secure Boot on x86 (where it is by far most relevant seeing as the criticism were from people saying it discriminated against GNU/Linux distros) by demanding to know abour ARM because that's what the majority of phone OSs ran on. I responded to that and now you've shifted to ARM tablets. But most Windows tablets are x86. The only ones that weren't were the now discontinued Surface RT and Surface 2. As to who "Microsoft are afraid of", I don't know but I can see you're determined to find some niche whereby you can prove that Secure Boot is an attack on Linux despite the fact it provides real and actual security benefits against attacks that are actually out there in the wild today. But of course to you this can't be the motivation, it must be an attack on Linux. Even if you have to retreat to a sub-set of a sub-set to find reasons to support this.

But to answer your question - "Apple." That's who Microsoft were "afraid" of. The Surface RT was a show-case for Windows 8 as a touch-OS and it was locked just like the iPad which was its competitor. Not GNU/Linux.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - When do we see an Windows phone with Android?

>>"Yes, very useful technology because it makes sure no other OS can't be booted unless Microsoft allows it."

That's provably false. You can turn Secure Boot off as you well know. And doing so is as easy as switching a boot device in the old BIOS. It's even, as shown, a requirement that a user be able to turn off Secure Boot. These are not debatable facts. Your statement is wrong.

>>"Can you please explain why there's only one Platform Key stored and even though end-user can add keys, only one (coincidentally Microsoft's) can be used as a master ?"

Yes, I can explain. There can only be one platform key and this can't be modified because that's how the technology works - the OEM creates a single key for their device. One might as well ask why you only have a single PGP key for a given email address. Yes, you could design it so you had more, but being able to say "my email is valid if it is signed by any of my three private keys" serves no purpose and in fact weakens security. These are at base the same technologies on the same principles. What would be the point in having three private keys for your email and signing your outgoing emails with different ones just because? Nothing. Same thing here with the Platform Key. It's not a conspiracy.

As to why Microsoft have a key in there, because they paid to create and maintain one. Any GNU/Linux distro could do the same if they wish. However, given that GNU/Linux doesn't have the capability to use Secure Boot currently (you can sign Grub or whatever other bootloader you wish, but it doesn't do any OS verification so there's no security advantage here), they don't bother. Only RedHat and Ubuntu do and that's really for trivial gain and in RedHat's case at least, they actually just outsourced key creation and maintenance to MS because MS already had the infrastructure set up for it. But as I say, RedHat and Ubuntu are only signing the boot loader which does an unverified sign-off so it's largely pointless.

>>"Sure, you can disable Secure Boot but Microsoft will guffaw and point any government or large enterprise that the machine is insecure and can't be trusted."

Relevant part is bolded - you are agreeing with everything that I have claimed: that Secure Boot doesn't stop anyone using GNU/Linux. As to the rest, you're claiming that Microsoft marketing will try to show their OS is more secure than others. Well, duh! Same as everyone else. And are you going to actually try and deny now that being able to verify that the OS you're booting hasn't been altered isn't a useful security feature now? Because you'd be wrong about that, too.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: When do we see an Windows phone with Android?

>>>>>"The Windows 8 requirements even mandate that for >>an x86 device<< to be certified the user must be able to disable Secure Boot if they wish."

>>So what. In the mobile device market, no one cares about x86

Well I didn't bring up Secure Boot. It was given by someone who believed it was some sort of attack on Linux. It isn't. That's all that I was answering. I referred to x86 because that's where all the excitement about Secure Boot took place, what with Red Hat commenting on it, Ubuntu users criticising it, etc. It's pretty much a non-discussion in the mobile area because everyone - iPhone and Android OEMs and Blackberries and pretty much all phones with very rare exceptions - are designed with a single OS in mind and that's what they run.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: When do we see an Windows phone with Android?

Also, I'd contest this article that MS "fans" are seething about this. I am probably one of this forums noted MS "fans", and I don't see a problem with it - it doesn't affect me as a WP user. MS have always tried to promote projects on their own even cross platform. Heck, they released their touch version of Office on iPad first, simply because that had larger market share.

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