* Posts by h4rm0ny

4573 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

English Defence League website 'defaced, pwned' by hacktivists

h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

""One example from nearly a decade ago of a person who was never actually labelled a racist? " Apologies if you found that sentence too long to read all the way to the end."

But as they state themselves, they received many accusations of being a racst. This is a matter of public record. As to being able to read to the end, why do you repeatedly avoid the question I ask about why you think it is impossible that what I and others have said happens, happens when we've both given you examples (note there is more than one publically verifiable example been given to you despite you saying otherwise) and shown how naturally it can occur?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

Also, after skipping over my points, and then when this is pointed out, asking for me to repeat them for you, and my doing so, I would think you would have the courtesy to respond to them the second time around. After all, you asked for them to be re-stated (to save you scrolling up a page, presumably).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

"... who, as I already pointed out, was never labelled a racist."

No you didn't. You arbitrarily decided that the example was too old for you to accept. Go and read further. She says that she received lots of communications calling her a racist and likening her to Nick Griffen.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

"Oh I see. You can't provide a single verifiable example of somebody being labelled a racist for making a reasonable criticism of Islam and yet I'm the one whose experience is atypical? That makes absolutely perfect sense."

Please see my earlier post about the Guardian columnists experience for a "single verifiable example". FIrst you said that it was a strawman to say that critics of Islam get dismissed as racists and demanded an example. I gave one. Then you said the example was too old and you insisted it had to be an example from my experience. I pointed out that you didn't know me so I thought you'd have preferred a verifiable public example, but I gave you one from my own experience anyway. Now you say there's no "single verifiable example" and I refer you to my first one. This is absurd. You asked me to repeat points that you hadn't addressed. Well okay, here's one from earlier:

People routinely try to disparage and dismiss their opponents in a debate with ad hominems. (See pretty much any discussion on these forums for supporting evidence. ;) . It's a pretty easy ad hominem leap from someone being critical of a religion or culture found nearly exclusively amongst other races to themself, to painting that person as a racist. A perfectly imaginable scenario. I say I've had it happen to me and seen it happen to others, another poster agreed and posted a verifiable example from a public figure. I have done likewise. Yet you are insisting it hasn't happened to you and arguing that to say it happens is (your words) "nothing more than a straw man". So that was the point I feel you skipped over - why does the above sound scenario sound so preposterous to you that you will out of hand reject it when others state that it happens?

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h4rm0ny
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Re: So what are the lefties among you going to do when the diversity takes over Britain?

"Off you go then: Put together a reasonable counter-argument to mine, which is that everything typically viewed as English and 'great' and a rallying call for out cultural identity is essentially a localised import, instead of name-calling. I'd be interested to know how far back in time you want to go in order to tell me that potatoes and tea are English!"

I have one - talking about the weather. No other nationality does it like the British are obsessed with doing. It seems to be a cultural perculiarity arising from our geographic circumstances. It seems to arise spontaneously in whatever people inhabit these isles.

There you go - a definably English trait that cannot be traced to any foreign culture. Talking about the weather shall be our new culturally defining trait. Instead of that nonsense about answering questions on the Queen, immigrants will be expected to hold a conversation about the weather for ten to fifteen minutes without hesitation or repetition. If they can do that, they get the stamp and they're in. ;)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: So what are the lefties among you going to do when the diversity takes over Britain?

"But what's your point anyway: That we 'imported' a dish and gave it a English name, so it's not a foreign dish, but a national one? What kind of straw man argument is that?!"

When someone says: "let's all go for an Indian," we all understand they mean eat a curry. Even if somehow a curry was a Scottish invention (which is unlikely as you don't fry a curry), everyone thinks it is Indian which is good enough for the point that British culture is willing to embrace foreign cultures to its benefit. And good that it does!

Lager, to go with the curry.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

"And I'm still waiting for an example of "people leaping to label you racist". Whenever you're ready. Take your time."

Well as you don't (so far as I am aware), actually know me, I thought it would be more useful to provide you with an example of it happening to a public figure. If you now really rather I give you personal examples, well I had an argument with some people at a party last year about Islam and when I started saying what I didn't like about it, several of the people started ganging up on me and calling me a racist and wouldn't listen further. It offended their sensibilities to have someone criticizing and racist was a label that seemed close enough to them to use for someone who didn't like Islam. There you go, there's an example of it happening to me. But I stand by my first example of it happening to a public figure that you can verify as being a more useful counter-argument.

"Re-read my original post. I'm a hard atheist and secularist and have been involved in public face-to-face discussions about the dangers of conservative religion - including Islam - for about thirty years. I've never been labelled a racist. Because I'm not a racist. Which part of this is confusing you?"

None of it is confusing to me. I would just then say that your experience is atypical or you have been arguing in different situations (perhaps different demographics) than I have. And your logic that you've never been labelled a racist because you're not a racist, implies you think that someone cannot be falsely labelled as a racist. Do you really think that is so? You haven't answered my points in return, by the way.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

"One example from nearly a decade ago of a person who was never actually labelled a racist? That's convincing"

Hey, you said it was "nothing more than a straw man" and demanded examples. I could have given you examples from my own life but I decided to give you a notable one that I recalled and which is of public record. Another poster gave you another and I could spend the time finding other examples for you if you wish. But the examples given are sufficient to show that it does happen and that it is not "nothing more than a straw man". You have made your mind up on this anyway. If you genuinely can't see how easy it is to make an ad hominem attack on someone criticising Islam by blurring the boundary into calling them a racist and imagine that this doesn't happen whenever someone wants to disparage a critic (which is a frequent human tendency), then you wont be convinced by any number of examples. If you're genuinely interested in more examples, do a little reading online or try arguing against Islam in different social situations yourself. It will happen unless you happen to be of a non-White race yourself.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Shame it's just the website

"I assumed nothing. Whereas you assumed I was just assuming."

Well you wrote that EDL supporters had beaten up someone in the street followed by a colon and a link to a BBC news article. So I think I was right to infer that and you are wrong to say you weren't implying that the BBC article in some way substantiated your statement. If it was a rumour, then you should not have attempted to lend it more authority via BBC news stories.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

"If this is "certainly the case" then perhaps you can give some examples? It appears to be nothing more than a straw man."

Well, outside of my own life which is personal experience and therefore you wouldn't accept it... Polly Toynbee springs to mind. She's a columnist for the Guardian. She wrote a critical piece about Islam and was then awarded "Islamophobe of the Year Award" and bombarded with accusations of racism.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Shame it's just the website

"Also vastly, vastly out-numbered by both counter-protesters (10-to-1!) and old Bill. And yet several of them still decided to try beating someone up in the street: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-20279687

I've just read your link and nowhere does it say that several (or any) EDL members beat someone up on the street (or anywhere else). All it says is that two people were arrested on "suspected public disorder offences" which is par for the course - the police often arrest some people at protests and then later let them go without charge. Another person it says, was arrested on "suspicion of assault". Nowhere does it say whether the alleged perpetrators were members of the EDL or members of the counter-protest that outnumbered them ten to one and assembled with the stated objective of stopping them getting to the City Hall. It could easily be the other way around to how you have assumed. There have been several instances where anti-EDL protestors have attacked EDL members. In one instance, attacking their bus.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: EDL != Far Right

"The only people who claim that people beleive that "criticism of Islam is rascist" are those trying to defend a rascist postion themselves"

If I parsed the above correctly, then I disagree. It is quite possible to be critical of Islam without being racist. I don't think that really needs supporting here, but for example, I greatly dislike Islam's position on homosexuals, I dislike its practice of animals having to be concious and feeling when killed and that they must die through bleeding to death. Unless you're going to be incredibly strict on your interpretation and exclude vast bodies of Islamic tradition, then I also greatly dislike its prescriptions on the role of women. Yet I have actually dated people of races that are traditionally muslim though they themselves are non-practicing to the point of heresy, and got a long mostly fine. And I've spent time in muslim countries without feeling antipathy or contempt for the locals. Criticism of Islam is not by itself racist.

But it's certainly the case that when you criticize Islam, you will find people leaping to accuse of racism, bigotry, etc. It's unfortunate, but it does happen. I cannot accept that criticism of Islam is racist, else you rule out ever criticising Islam (or religion in general if you apply the principle fairly).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Not Helpful

Actually, furthermore, there is a physical risk to both people and property involved here. Members of the EDL have been attacked for their membership or attendence at events. Circulating a list around like this (and assuming it was actually genuine - good luck proving you're not supposed to be on it), is circulating a list of targets for some.

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Survey: Win8 only HALF as popular as Win7 among IT bosses

h4rm0ny
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Re: and win7 and assoc apps are ??

<blockquote>The lack of a menu bar made the application fundamentally unusable </blockquote>

Firstly, it has a menu bar. Secondly, given many millions of people manage fine with it, arguing that you have found it unusable (which I take to mean you cannot use it), makes you sound like you are the one with problems. It took me about a morning to get used to the Ribbon.

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You know who else hates Windows 8? Hackers

h4rm0ny
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Re: Skeptical...

"That goes against what I've read in the past, that the ability to be switched off was NOT a requirement of the specification. Now to get the specification you have to give them your name, company name, and email address, and then agree to this;"

You're looking in the wrong place. Look at MS's requirements to PC makers to get the W8 certification:

MS Requirements.

These are open to all and free. Look around page 118. You'll see that MS demand that Secure Boot be able to be disabled by the user on all x86 devices. By implication, that means that the UEFI specification must say that Secure Boot can be disabled.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Secure Boot

"Yes, it will be subject to the same checks. It is probably subject to the same infection that the main OS is subject to, and thus, will be completely useless for recovery purposes."

I'm not sure whether you genuinely think that anything which doesn't provide 100% bullet-proof security is therefore not worth having at all, or if you're just trying to find reasons to dislike Secure Boot, but based on your other posts I'm afraid I'm assuming the latter. Yes, it is theoretically possible that a recovery partition will also be infected. But you obviously don't work in the anti-virus industry or have much familiarity with modern malware. The days where people wrote a virus to brick your computer more or less ended in the 1980s. The point of modern malware is to get hold of sensitive details or to subvert your computer resources for another party's use. Neither of which are achieved by infecting the recovery partition. Aside from this requiring an additional layer of penetration and in addition to the need to infect the recovery partition opening up several new ways of detecting and combatting malware, it forces malware writers to take a different approach because their aims are not achieved by infecting the Recovery Partition (assuming there is one).

Pretty much the whole of the rest of your comment hinges on you being incorrect on the value of Secure Boot, so I'm not going into it except for the following:

"What I don't know, is if there is a standard consistent way, across all manufacturers of computing equipment, to disable it … or is it going to be like herding proverbial cats towards a common interface for this?"

Have you never used UEFI? It's like BIOS but friendlier. If you can manage to swap a boot device in BIOS, I have little doubt you'll struggle toggling an option saying "Secure Boot: Enabled" to "Secure Boot: Disabled."

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Secure Boot

"Yes, and naturally, because of the superior security of Windows 8… even though the boot sector, not normally accessible to userland applications, has been compromised, the system recovery data will still be magically intact and bootable.

Now someone please help me up off the floor, I can barely stand from laughing so hard"

You obviously don't understand Secure Boot or you would have realized that anything from the recovery data will be subject to the same checks. Think about it - if the OS cannot alter the keys in UEFI, then how could code running from the recovery partition which is (to UEFI) just another OS?

Before you laugh so hard, you should familiarize yourself with how this works.

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Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface

h4rm0ny
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Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

"Got a source? This sounds ridiculous. Either it works or it doesn't :-("

I have just checked this for you on mine. I've put some MP3s on a card and plugged it in. The card shows up and I can play any of the music on there fine. I can also just grab the whole lot and play the lot. They all open in Xbox music and I can skip through them etc. However, some functionality is not available. For example, I can't add them to my Music library because they are on "a removable device". This means that I can't quite make it as a fully integrated playlist with content on my Xbox music pass. I'm not sure what the limits are or if there are ways around this as I haven't really used music on removable storage very much with it. So no, it's not quite "it works or it doesn't." You can absolutely play all your music from it. But it's not going to show up synchronized on other devices like live content music will for example.

I don't know if that's significant for anyone or a non-issue. Am happy to check things if asked.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: "Here's an example of what the new 'internet economy' really looks like, in practice."

This is correct. I've just checked on mine and I've used 15.7GB of it which is more or less the base install (which includes Office) and a handful of apps.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @kain preacher - What a load of crap.

I don't know if that's quite "all the lawyer said". I mean I can certainly understand the disappointment if he wasn't familiar with standard practice or didn't read the small print (irony - a lawyer complaining about small print), but he's also trying to sue for damages. If he just wanted his money back, okay - I'd agree with him (and under UK law he could have it). But how do you suffer any significant damages from this?

And he's trying to turn it into a class action suit. With my conspiracy hat on, he isn't hoping to be the one to manage the class action suit is he and to deduct some from the final award for his fees? Is that legal / plausible in the USA? Anyone comment on that?

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Nazi Enigma encoding machine sells in London for over £80k

h4rm0ny
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Re: Let's hope it wasn't bought by someone in Hollywood...

Let's hope it wasn't bought by someone in France, otherwise they'll be arrested under that country's laws on Nazi memorabillia.

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Surface more profitable than iPad

h4rm0ny
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Re: Same as Apple

He wasn't talking about no income, he was talking about net profit. I.e. after all the "food is on the table" for the employees, etc. He's making the point that high profits for a company come from us the customers, so from the point of view of the customers, it's not something to brag about for your favourite company. You're essentially bragging about how they got even more money out of you.

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Windows 8 Euro PC sales SHOCKER: Results actually not bad

h4rm0ny
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Re: More fake statistics paid by Microsoft

<blockquote>@h4rmOny - I know perfectly well what SecureBoot is, thank. I also know the impact that MS's diktat has had, and it can be summarised as "Pay us US$99 or piss off out of the PC market"</blockquote>

You apparently don't know as much about Secure Boot as you think you do. As pointed out, you are wrong in stating it's a Microsoft technology. It's been introduced as part of UEFI which is the product a consortium of all the main hardware players from Apple to AMD to ARM. You're repeated attempts to cast it as "Microsoft's diktat" show you are not willing to accept that you are wrong even when you can easily go and check this fact for yourself. Secondly, no-one has to pay Microsoft US$99 to stay in the PC market. No-one has to pay at all. Linux survived perfectly well with people changing which device they boot off before. Turning on or off Secure Boot is no different and Secure Boot has demonstrable and obvious security benefits to have it on which is why the UEFI forum introduced it in the first place. Nor, if another OS manufacturer wants to use it (and I hope they will, otherwise we'll have even more posts here from RICHTO explaining why Linux is less secure than Windows), then they don't have to pay MS at all. Red Hat is paying MS to sign their boot loader because MS will actually provide this service cheaper than Red Hat can do it themselves. Not sure where you got the figure of $US99. Are you under the impression that Ubuntu or Red Hat must pay MS $99 for each install or something?

"Add to that the inability to change keys on Win8 badged ARM devices and you have, IMHO, more than enough for regulators to stick the boot in."

Yeah, that's a shame. But I was talking about PCs.

"Oh, and do lay off the straw men."

Not aware that I made any. You posted some misleading comments about Secure Boot and I responded. As these misconceptions have been addressed multiple times here and you're a regular, I think it likely that you've encountered them before. So if by "strawmen" you mean how I wrote that if Red Hat or Ubuntu had beaten MS to the punch on adopting Secure Boot you'd be touting it as a win for GNU/Linux, then yes. There is an implication that I suspect you're biased there. That's not a strawman though. It's just my impression.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: More fake statistics paid by Microsoft

It depends what the size of the market for laptops without an OS on is. Unless there is significant demand, it's not worth Dell's time to make small exceptions. They would lose more money than they made putting in place different sales models and processes just for your business. Even if your business wanted to order a few hundred. How many laptops did you want to buy?

I agree that they should sell them without OSs and I think MS have used their commercial clout to dissuade OEMs in the past. But really it's a bit of a chicken and egg. Unless there is a lot more demand for computers without an OS installed than there currently is, OEMs wont find it worth their time to sell them.

If I were running a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu, the first thing I would do would be to strike a deal for PCs without an OS myself and re-sell them with GNU/Linux installed. That would also enable me to avoid the set-up process for non-technical users and make sure all drivers were installed and the hardware was all Linux-friendly. That's what Google have been trying with their Chromebooks, but I would do it with a proper OS (Ubuntu, CentOS, Mint), not just a browser in a box. That way I ought to be able to make some in-roads.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: More fake statistics paid by Microsoft

"But do I have a better suggestion? No, I don't. I wish I did."

I do. Making deals or discounts conditional on not selling a rival's products should be illegal. There's no need to force anyone to sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed. Just make sure that no big player can force them not to.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: More fake statistics paid by Microsoft

"Neither of which are convicted monopolists (yet). Look, MS has been found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, faces massive fines in the EU and should face sanction for their actions of SecureBoot. Period."

Secure Boot is part of UEFI and is produced by a forum of all the main hardware manufacturers (Intel, ARM, AMD, Lenovo, etc.). MS is one of around thirteen members and Secure Boot is not "theirs". Any OS manufacturer could implement this. It's just part of the UEFI spec. I get the sense that if RedHat had beaten MS to taking advantage of it, you'd be boasting of how it made GNU/Linux intrinsically more secure. I don't know how many times this has been pointed out, but if you aren't aware of this, you should be by now.

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Humans becoming steadily STUPIDER, says brainiac boffin

h4rm0ny
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"I propose a global "shag a nerd" movement for obvious reasons. Also to get humanity's collective IQ rising again, I suppose."

Speaking as "a nerd" (if by that you mean a programmer), I think I'd rather keep my choice of who I sleep with my own, rather than have people legally foisted upon me.

Thanks anyway!

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El Reg mulls commentard icon portfolio shake-up

h4rm0ny
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10 Downing Street

We need a black door with a 10 on it, for government business.

And possibly a Union Jack for British business.

And a hamburger for Americans.

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h4rm0ny
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Bring back the old ones...!

I would like to have Steve Jobs with a halo back again.

Also, can we have a different icon than the Anonymous mask for anonymous posts. They're not the same thing.

Also, can you put a block on Bob Vistakin using the Linux logo? Some of us Linux users find it embarrasing.

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Even a CHILD can make a Trojan to pillage Windows Phone 8

h4rm0ny
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Re: I suppose

"Hiding behind AC RICTHO?"

I doubt it. You made the argument that if someone is a Linux developer they are a good developer and if they are a Windows developer they are a bad developer. That is so laughably stupid that anyone might point it out.

But as a Linux developer, I thank you for the compliment. (Idiot)

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I suppose

@RICHTO. I'm not sure that what you post really makes much difference (I haven't checked your figures). There certainly are vulnerabilities for both Linux distributions and Windows Server. A competent cracker will be running through all the latest ones if they're targetting your servers. Whilst number of vulnerabilities is obviously relevant, the far more significant factor is actually how quickly they are updated and how rigorous the sysadmins are in both applying those updates and in configuring things right in the first place.

I use Linux servers for the time being (I have one Windows Server I was asked to set up for a colleague) but I would take a Linux server managed by someone who knew what they were doing and wasn't overworked, over a Windows server managed by a different person, and vice versa any day of the week.

Show me stats not on numbers of vulnerabilities, but on how quickly they are made available to the users, and you might start to convince me. But other than that, Sysadmin competency is the first weakness, ime.

(Caveat: I am a programmer and a project manager, not a sysadmin. But I've known enough).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: I suppose

"iPhone and Linux are secure, real devs program for those environments."

Now I know that you're an idiot. Having spent a merry month last September sorting out vulnerabilities in some code written and running on a Linux platform, I can tell you that there are good and bad programmers everywhere.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: > Any registered app can do that.

"It's a nice theory, but utterly unworkable in practice. Even assuming you could constrain an app in that fashion..."

It's not apps generally, but the new system of web-plugins for MS Office 2013 actually *does* do this. Sort of. There's a deployment system for them, written in XML, that defines what they may do right down to whitelists of websites or servers if you want. It's not a general app thing, but if you're running a corporate environment and you want to use a plugin for Office and know that it is only capable of communicating with server X or can only affect particular files on the system or what have you, then you can check the deployment code for the plugin and know that (vulnerabilities not withstanding), it can't do anything else.

Far better than a pile of VB code.

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h4rm0ny
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Trollface

"The point is that an application needs to go through the approval process before going to the store. So while anyone can write malware, getting it out into the wild is more difficult now."

Furthermore, when you install something from the store, you can see the permissions list for what it can access. So if you're installing a game and it says it wants to access your People hub, you can ask why it would need that and say no. And if something does make it through, when MS pull it, you will know about it.

This is a really shoddy and sensationalistic article. No details other than those which suggest it's just a regular program relying on user authorisation. They just wanted to try and force a headline about A CHILD CAN CRACK WP8!

Trollface for the Reg hack that wrote this article. No wonder I'm getting more of my news from The Verge these days (much like The Reg is ;)

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Metro's mother to replace defenestrated Windows boss Sinofsky

h4rm0ny
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"Or maybe we are looking at the begining of Carly Fiorina cycle of the sisterhood doing it for themselves to the detriment of the company that employs them?"

Oh give it a rest. Women make up less than 25% of senior management positions in the West and you see a female take-over in the appointment of one! And you make an argument that suggests more women will be to the detriment of the company. You think that people are selected because they are women. Insulting and offensive. Anyone who has made it that high in a company clearly has a lot of skills. If there were a bias in selection based on gender in place of ability, the fact that the majority of senior management are male suggests such a bias would be in favor of males, does it not?

Seriously, what idiot focuses on someone's gender rather than their career history and abilities?

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h4rm0ny
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"How about the 10% of the population who are frigging LEFT HANDED and use the mouse in that hand?"

It seems odd to me that you are trying to use a mouse and keyboard shortcuts at the same time. I normally use keyboard shortcuts in order to avoid having to take my hands away from the keyboard.

I also frequently use a mouse left-handed (not at the moment as it's hard to find a left-handed trackball, however).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny

I had forgotten that you could put the controls at the side in earlier versions.That is true.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Ribotro

"Whether or not the Ribbon and Not-Metro are technical triumphs of disruptive UI design, the reality is that a good majority of users hate them passionately."

I doubt that a "good majority" of Office users actually feel particularly strongly one way or the other. The only place I see people get truly worked up about the Windows UIs is here and I would not judge El Reg forum commentators as a good barometer for popular opinion.

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h4rm0ny
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"Yes. Frustration at the fact that things move around and that the 'find' thingies are way over on the RH side."

Functionally no different to the find thingies being on the left-hand side however. Also, who doesn't use Ctrl+F yet considers themselves technically competent?

"Yes. Frustration at the amount of vertical real estate it takes up on a corporate 1366x768 laptop"

Set the Ribbon to "hidden". In this mode, you still have the tab menu headings so it's no more clicks than it would be to click on a menu heading and then have the drop-down menu appear. Yes you don't have the three rows of short-cut icons already available but then they took up the the same amount of vertical real estate as the Ribbon anyway. What's that? You could customize how many rows there were and what was on them? Actually you can do that with the Ribbon too.

"Breathes sigh of relief and starts Office 2003 and only uses Ribbon Encumbered versions for final formatting."

Don't forget the Werther's originals. ;)

"Good enough for you?"

Actually, I was expecting more ranting. Pleasantly surprised. Perhaps people have finally started accepting it. Next step, the Win8 Start Screen. ;)

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h4rm0ny
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I predict anguish

Numerous posts from people complaining about how hard the Ribbon is to use yet somehow consider themselves more technically adept than the legions of ordinary people who manage to use it fine. Here we go...

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China's robot population to lead world by 2014

h4rm0ny
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Re: What the West should be doing...

"How will money be clawed back locally, given that there will be fewer and fewer people in employment to pay for the product, generating revenues and taxable profits for the makers?"

Re-read my post. Money will be "clawed back" relative to if the work had been off-shored. Not relative to if local humans were still doing it.

" In some utopian future we might need some means of sharing out machine generated wealth amongst a largely idle population (not that the "idle consumer" model has worked terribly well in the oil rich Gulf states), but in the transitional phase that we appear to be approaching there's going to be a lot of difficulty as some people have to work, and an increasing number do not. The UK is one of the most de-industrialised societies in the world, but even we've found that services don't make up the gap, nor do welfare payments make for a balanced society."

Indeed. We are seeing that transition in the West already. Wealth has to be better distributed or we'll face ever increasing unrest as the non-owning class is less and less needed by the owning class.

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h4rm0ny
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What the West should be doing...

The increasing capability of robots may be the only thing that stops the West going into a real slump. Outsourcing production jobs to China is cheaper than local unskilled labour. But local robots are cheaper still. In both the latter cases unemployment rises, but in the latter case, money is clawed back through local taxes and less money going abroad. We're on the edge of a second wave of automation of unskilled work with things like Baxter. It really depends how quickly this sort of technology becomes mainstream.

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Man, 19, cuffed after burning Remembrance poppy pic is Facebooked

h4rm0ny
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Re: Poppycock!

<blockquote>Probably another one of those foreigners stuck in the middle ages who follow that guy who invented a religeon while shagging a 9 year old girl. Rather like Rob Hubbard inventing Scientology but a bit less believable....Muslims - that's the one</blockquote>

Plenty of Brits feel the same way. Their country of origin and religion is really immaterial to their action. Perhaps they have had relatives killed by British forces. That could apply to someone from Ireland as much as it could from Pakistan. And in either case you might do the same in such circumstances.

As to the tiresome paedophile jab - historical record suggests he married her. Some records indicate she was 9, others that she was older. Even if she were nine, at that time and place, marriage could just be a way of protecting a girl without family, it wouldn't necessarily mean consummation. He had multiple wives - that's pretty reprehensible and even if the last wife was sixteen at the time of marriage, that's also still not great. But the paedophile jab isn't very supportable with what we have at the moment.

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Windows boss Steve Sinofsky exits Microsoft

h4rm0ny
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He may just be knackered after all the work on a big new release or have just been hanging on to see it out the door. Conspiracy theories without substance from people who hate the company don't really carry any weight. Though there will be plenty here who don't like this comment and think conjecture without evidence is worth more.

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Coders grill Herb Sutter on future of C++ at Microsoft

h4rm0ny
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Re: Usage FAIL

Future History? Aasimov has prior art.

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Microsoft rolls out always-on Skype for Windows Phone 8

h4rm0ny
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Re: Unique ?

"I am guessing that the "story" is just a bit of a cack-handed retreading of a press release. The truth is probably something unremakable, like they've made an attempt to let Skype run in the background as a slightly slimmer server, popping up the whole interface as needed?"

Yeah - it's cack-handed. Nothing stops you either setting it to Invisible status or closing the app completely. All this really means is that it can run in the background and still listen for incoming messages and calls; and that it can integrate them into the People and Message hubs.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Magic!

"Now they've got that out of the way, maybe they can get round to fixing some of the more pressing issues in the Android version"

And now you see why when Skype appeared and began to kill off open VoIP networks just as they were starting to emerge, many of us raged against it. People shouldn't have adopted it, but they did. Now we're all going to have to sit around waiting for the EU to mandate that the Skype network be broken open before someone can write an Open Source client.

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h4rm0ny
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"For you to think your use case of Skype is the general case is equally ignorant."

Logically not so. Putting up their counter-example of their needs differing doesn't show that your needs are less valid, but it does undermine your assumption that it is fine for all users. Which I believe was their intent.

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h4rm0ny
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"I don't see people complaining that their phone is 'always on' for phone calls and text messages. Being always on for Skype is fine, ON A PHONE."

I do. When a client txts me at midnight to ask a question that could have waited till morning, it's very annoying. The problem is that there's no group control in Skype (unless it's been added to a later version than I'm running on my Desktop). That means I need to have different Skype accounts for work and non-work. Something that isn't really possible as I can only run one instance of Skype on my phone / computer and the times I will need them will overlap.

The reason you don't see people complaing that their phone is always on as often (though it does happen), is because when it's just a phone number, people don't normally take your availability for granted. When you have something that says: "Available", they assume that means you're just sitting there hoping they'll come and ask you questions.

MS should have focused on Lync as that is far superior to Skype for business use (and personal, I guess). I just hope they never take that away in favour of Skype.

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