* Posts by YARR

448 posts • joined 24 Nov 2008

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

YARR
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This is just down the road from the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport which is worth a visit to make a day of it.

So were these hovercraft operated by Network Rail at one time, given the logo they once had on he tail?

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Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

YARR
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Stop

Re: So Google told them to fuck off

Isn't telling anyone to "fuck off" hate speech? Then the act of banning an app for permitting free speech (and no other valid reason) is an act of hatred. So Google are haters of free speech.

The principle of freedom of speech is core to American + western values - i.e. defending the right of others to say what they think, even if you don't agree with them. Without freedom of speech you cannot challenge creeping oppression.

Maybe the persons of Russian origin who founded Google are attempting to subvert western freedom in the guise of promoting their own superior (in their opinion) ideals? Freedom must be continually defended every generation, since there is always a new wave of incomers who seek to take it from us.

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Another month, another malware outbreak in Google's Play Store

YARR
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Boffin

5. Have a button to report / record suspicious behaviour for an app which someone at Google will investigate pronto.

6. Support permission sandboxing / raised security, which when enabled the user is asked whether to allow the app to access (specific device / resource / URL etc.) right now. This way the user can see if an app is doing something unwarranted. (Allow such metrics to be logged and voluntarily submitted to Google for analysis. Google can scan these logs for unexpected changes in app behaviour. ).

7. Have an author reputation system built into the app store so users can choose to ignore apps from authors with lower ratings, i.e. to easily identify indie apps from full apps.

8. Don't allow apps to download an executable payload (as some on this forum have suggested they can).

9. Don't allow device makers to made default apps uninstallable. My phone's YouTube app is identified as a "harmful app" by the Play store but can't be uninstalled. Deactivating it causes an infinite loop at startup!

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Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

YARR
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Black Helicopters

Re: Parachute

The idea is that you jump first and fall faster than the 'copter, then deploy the parachute when you're a safe distance. OTOH if you want an ejector seat with parachute, they can make the rotors eject before you do (they fly off at a tangent and slice into the ground or whoever is standing in the way).

I were flying at 10,000ft and the LiPos started smoking, I'd choose a parachute and jump, then be a he-hang.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

YARR
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Paris Hilton

Re: £1,149

I suppose someone has to garner the Vertu end of the market.

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Everybody without Android Oreo vulnerable to overlay attack

YARR
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Megaphone

Just how many people actually get hit by these 'killer' vulnerabilities? It's enough to make you buy an iPhone next time...

In a recent interview ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVVjlYz-YeM ) John McAfee says (wrt phones)

"there is no security whatsoever", "the OS is designed to watch you", they are the "ultimate spy device", "the anti-virus paradigm is no longer functional", "by the time malware is found it's too late", "hackers spend weeks, months, some times even years sniffing around your device".

(31:45) "BTW, what is the least secure phone?"

"The Samsung S7 is the most secure ... All iPhones can be remotely rooted ... The most hackable phone in the world is the iPhone"

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Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

YARR
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I would have thought an inactive warship required a lot less maintenance than an active one. Mechanical systems will need to be periodically activated to stop them ceasing up. Aren't most electrical systems inert? Offload explosive weapons to an armoury. Cover vulnerable exposed areas in taurpaulins. It sounds so simple in theory.

What if there was a friendly country near to the Falklands with lower labour costs, who might agree to take on maintenance work in exchange for being gifted some surplus warships and receiving training? Even if they are only a deterrent, it's more fruitful than scrapping them.

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YARR
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Stop

If our old warships are good enough for other navies when they reach the end of their expected life, why aren't they good enough for us to keep in reserve? Compared to the cost of constructing new ones, we get peanuts for them. A reserve fleet of last generation attack subs, frigates and destroyers could be stationed in a defended harbour on the Falklands, or even St. Helena (which now has a runway). Within 24h of any invasion threat, a crew could be flown in and have them operational.

As for the Eurofighters, don't land based anti-ship missiles have sufficient range to protect the islands from sea-borne invasion?

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UK engineering software firm swallowed in £3bn merger with France's Schneider Electric

YARR
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Joke

In tomorrow's news...

British company buys foreign one.

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Remember when Lenovo sold PCs with Superfish adware? It just got a mild scolding from FTC

YARR
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Windows

Not just Lenovo's fault

I bought one of the affected PCs. Fortunately they issued a BIOS update to remove the "feature", but I doubt the majority of users are savvy enough to update their BIOS.

However, it takes two to tango. For this feature to work requires the OS to co-operate with the BIOS, to auto download and install the software that the BIOS points at. Needless to say only Windows supports this "feature" and it couldn't have happened without Microsoft's endorsement.

Are there any PC hardware companies on the user's side?

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China bans crypto-currency fundraising schemes

YARR
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Boffin

Cryptocurrencies defy the purpose of money + devalue other currencies

If the purpose of a currency is to track who owes what to whom (i.e. to serve as a store of value) then a currency that rapidly appreciates like a ponzi scheme defies that purpose. Given alternatives, why would I want to gamble my earnings for a cryptocurrency that rewards a select few who got in early, and could equally collapse to zero since it has no intrinsic value?

The ideal currency would be one specifically designed to PRESERVE VALUE regardless of how much it is traded. A day's labour today is still worth a day's labour tomorrow. Unstable currencies should be avoided in the interests of economic stability. I'd be surprised if many of these new cryptocurrencies are long lived.

Given there are only a finite amount of physical goods that can be traded, does the introduction of new currencies not threaten the value of established currencies? Every time a purchase is made using a new currency, the set of goods available for purchase reduces, but the total amount of old currencies in circulation remains unchanged. Hence the purchasing power of the old currencies is reduced.

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China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

YARR
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If it loses power, anything carrying people should land in a controlled glide like an autogyro rather than dropping out of the sky. Ideally any quadcopter heavy enough to cause injury should do the same.

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New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

YARR
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WTF?

Why scrap them?

I agree it's poor of Microsoft to drop support so early, but most Android phones in a similar price bracket only get updates for a year or two after release if you're lucky. Unsupported Android versions are more vulnerable to exploits than a phone running Windows Mobile 8.1 due to security by obscurity. If the phone works and runs the apps you need then just continue using them!

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Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year

YARR
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Megaphone

e-learning / Computer Based Training

There's a simple solution to a shortage of qualified teachers: convert the entire course to an e-learning syllabus, with video material prepared by a few experts. Employ a few of these experts to answer student's questions in an on-line forum, then all you need are some classroom supervisors. Every student can learn at their own pace. Simples.

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So what's in the new Windows Insider build? Bug fixes, an AR goof-around, and a font

YARR
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Mobiles are more about consuming rather than creating content.

That said, many full-fat Windows users wont want these creator tools filling up their main drive (esp. 32Gb eMMCs on cheapo convertibles), so MS would cause less hassle if they offered them as optional Windows Store apps.

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

YARR
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Doesn't the landing gear impact the ski jump at 150mph+ on every takeoff?

No, on takeoff the landing gear stays in contact with the flight deck and the ski jump until it has left the carrier. However when a trap/arrested landing fails (because the hook doesn't catch the wire), the pilot applies full thrust to take off again. Since the plane is going faster to start with it doesn't need a ski jump, and may begin rotation or have taken off the deck before reaching the ski jump. However at this speed the rate of ascent is slow and it may not clear the height of the ski jump in time. Landing gears are designed to land on flat surfaces and absorb vertical forces, not to endure a forward impact. If this happened either the plane would be violently jolted up injuring the pilot, or the landing gear would be ripped off and possibly the nose could impact the ski jump. Hence an angled flight deck is necessary to operate an unassisted STOBAR take off like the MiG-29k.

CATOBAR carriers (like the US and French) don't need ski jumps because they reach full take off speed (nearer 150mph) where the wings produce enough lift to take off in level flight. In contrast. when the MiG-29k performs an unassisted STOBAR take off it has barely reached stall speed (around 75mph) before it leaves the deck, hence the ski jump is required to angle the plane so a component of the engine's thrust is providing lift.

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YARR
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Mig-29K do not require cats - "just" the arrestors. Presumably these would be easier to retrofit than a cat if it came to that.

True, but they'd also have to convert her to an angled flight deck, otherwise if a plane misses the traps, it's landing gear could impact the ski-jump at 150+ mph which wouldn't do it a lot of good.

Fortunately after Brexit, India will have a cheap 3rd world country to offshore the maintenance to

I'd say we're already cheaper than India, given that the construction cost of the INS Vikrant has almost exceeded the QE carriers despite being 2/3 the size.

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China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

YARR
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IT Angle

IT Angle :

Remember your access to non-Chinese internet will be highly restricted.

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HMS Queen Liz will arrive in Portsmouth soon, says MoD

YARR
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Deck lifts

Go on. Have a look at a carrier, any carrier, in any navy, built since the 1950s. See if you can spot a lift in the middle of the deck.

The Invincible (R05) class aircraft carriers and Giuseppe Garibaldi had mid-deck lifts.

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Flash fryers have burger problems: You can't keep adding layers

YARR
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Boffin

Rather than electrically joining the layers, could each layer induce a current into the adjacent layers? This way the connection will work provided adjacent layers aren't offset by much, even if the entire stack doesn't line up perfectly.

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New iPhone details leak: Yes, Apple is still chasing Samsung

YARR
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Facial + fingerprint recognition

Maybe the facial recognition is so good that you don't need a dedicated fingerprint reader? Just hold your finger steady a few inches away from the sensor and it sees your fingerprint in 3D.

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Repairable-by-design Fairphone runs out of spare parts

YARR
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4 year life

According to https://www.fairphone.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Infographic.jpg FP1 was released in May 2013 and FP2 in July 2015. The pre-orders are for the FairPhone 2-2. This probably explains the somewhat outdated spec given in this article.

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Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

YARR
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Re: Learn all of them, but NOT Java

I use Java EE and other languages, having learnt with sequential languages, but I don't regard these criticisms as valid reasons for disliking the language. OO programming in Java isn't so different from other OO languages. If someone you know is overly applying OO concepts / design patterns then that's just their convoluted programming style rather than a fault with the language. When applied effectively, those concepts benefit large applications that are maintained over a long lifespan. Hence why OO features were added to languages like C and PHP.

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What is this – some kind of flashy, 3-bit consumer SSD? Eh, Seagate?

YARR
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Endurance v reliability

Has 3-bit per cell flash been in existence for long enough to obtain real world measurements of endurance, and reliability?

Common sense would say your data is twice as likely to be corrupted as for 2-bit per cell flash (due to the cell having 8 voltage levels instead of 4), even if the cell is still operable and has good endurance. Personally I would only use one of these as a temporary data store, as the risk of voltage levels drifting will increase with time.

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Firefox 54 delivers sandboxes Mozilla's wanted since 2009

YARR
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Firefox for iOS

Has anyone tried Firefox for iOS and got any strong opinions or experiences with it, e.g. when compared to Safari / Chrome on iOS?

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

YARR
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@ Arctic fox

"some kind of majority" ... "just to preserve their nasty political arses"

What alternative is there when the Tories have more seats than all potential opposition parties combined?

I don't see how this situation can be described as "not a majority government" yet an individual MP can win their seat by one vote and not have to power share. It looks to me like the Tories have a clear majority despite alienating their core voters, while Labour pulled out all the stops with false promises designed to lure young / inexperienced voters.

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Lockheed, USAF hold breath as F-35 pilots report hypoxia

YARR
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Black Helicopters

Conspiracy theory... the F35 is really a technology development program for the F36

Once all the technical problems have been resolved and "partner" countries have paid their bills, the F35 program with it's negative publicity will be confined to carrier-only variants and the "new" F36 will be unveiled. The F36 will be a development of the F35 designed to re-use F35 components and software, but redesigned for best performance as a cost-efficient land-based fighter.

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Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

YARR
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Facepalm

I'm not being Sarkar-stick when I say...

Less than 2 years after I bought it, it's a relief to know that my Windows phone no longer qualifies for updates.

Mission accomplished Microsoft.

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

YARR
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Boffin

Banning encryption is unenforceable

Data = information + meaning.

Even when there is a known encoding / file format / encryption algo, the data itself can still be meaningless / random. Unless they make it illegal to store or transmit meaningless / random data, how can you enforce a law banning encryption? How can they prove that your data must have a hidden meaning and is not just random?

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SSD price premium over disk faaaalling

YARR
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ReRAM?

It would be interesting to know what predicted advance in SSD manufacturing technology they are expecting will reduce costs over this time period.

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Huawei Honor 8 Pro: Makes iPhone 7 Plus look a bit crap

YARR
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Boffin

"Octocore"

Does this or any other "octocore" phone actually use 8 cores simultaneously, or are they all of the big.little kind (switching between 4 high performance + 4 low power cores)?

Also why is 6G the favoured amount of RAM, rather than a regular 4G or even 8G? I'm guessing that 99% of apps out there will run just fine on a phone with only 2 cores and 1-2G memory. Apple have managed with only 1G on their retina display devices so that can't be the reason.

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

YARR
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Windows XP is still functional as an offline Operating System, but anyone continuing to use it beyond EOL support cannot expect to remain safe online. The reality is that hackers are constantly scanning for vulnerable computers, so no device without the latest updates is safe online. Even with the latest updates your device is still vulnerable to zero-day exploits.

Rather the onus should be that anyone responsible for a critical online computer system should ensure it remains updated and fully patched, just as the driver of a vehicle that is driven on public roads is responsible for getting it serviced. Frankly anyone administering a network with Win XP machines should have configured the network to block all internet packets to/from those machines, so thay can only access local network resources.

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Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

YARR
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Zero evidence presented + unfounded claims by a politician = it must be true (!)

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Loadsamoney: UK mulls fining Facebook, Twitter, Google for not washing away filth, terror vids

YARR
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Megaphone

Ever-expanding definition of "extremism" and "hate speech"

The right to express opinions with which other people disagree is a fundamental right of a free society. As many have predicted, it seems that censorship laws are to be expanded, limiting the free expression of hatred, because our politicians find it easier to submit to lobbying than upholding principles.

The linked report explicitly mentions "Antisemitic hate crime" and indeed earlier this year Theresa May adopted a new definition of anti-semitism into British law, yet any law which grants special recognition or rights to one group is discriminatory. In my opinion, if any group should be granted special recognition and protection in law, it should be the indiginous / first-nation British people who have no homeland elsewhere to flee. If Jews believe they should be entitled to special recognition, perhaps they should lead by example, by granting equivalent recognition and rights to minority groups in Israel.

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Just how screwed is IT at the Home Office?

YARR
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The UK will also have to withdraw from the UN convention on the reduction of statelessness

Why so? Doesn't every citizen of the EU have citizenship of at least one EU member state / nation?

Isn't the agreement that EU citizens have freedom of movement contingent on them having citizenship of an EU state? For instance, people working / visiting the UK from outside the EU still need a visa to travel to other EU states.

If someone chooses to renounce their national citizenship, how can they remain an EU citizen without becoming a citizen of another EU state?

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Amazon may be using disk drives with hot-swappable components

YARR
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Great idea ... except the SMART data will need to be part of the mechanical drive and not the controller board. Otherwise you could replace the controller board on a drive that's been running 24/7 for a couple of years and sell it as an "unused" drive.

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PC sales are up across Europe. You read that right. PC sales are up

YARR
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Devil

Re: "but Brexit-blown Blighty misses out"

Totally! Who cares if someone who doesn't live here makes our laws?

Let's ask for a trade deal where the Premier of China gets to veto our laws for 0.5% off all Chinese goods.

Because EU-re worth it!

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eBay denies claims it's failing to thwart 'systematic fraud'

YARR
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The majority of cheap sd cards on ebay are fake, and will result in countless millions of people losing their irreplaceable holiday photos / school work / college dissertations etc. just so that someone can make a quick buck. Not to mention the number of shoddy "made for ebay" products which fail the second time you use them.

Ebay's feedback system is the cause, as most people leave "Excellent A+++, recommended seller. Will buy again" the moment an item arrives or appears to work when they first try it. Instead they should adopt a feedback system when you can mark an item as received, but can flag an item as poor quality any time later. This would allow dodgy products and/or disreputable sellers to be identified and avoided.

Savvy buyers ought to at least have a way to warn other buyers of poor quality, even if the majority / consensus wish to continue buying cheap fake / inferior goods.

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Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

YARR
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Joke

They shouldn't have called it Mir... it was going to end in flames.

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British biz Imagination Technologies admits Apple may dump its IP

YARR
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Coat

How can Apple be innovative without using their Imagination?

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Kremlin-linked hacker crew's tactics exposed

YARR
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Black Helicopters

Truth over the lesser of two evils

Part of the role of journalists is to critically analyse the facts rather than to just parrot information they are presented with. If you would only attack this report with the same gusto as if it were an Apple product.

Acquiescence is silently condoning their claims which are encouraging a rift in international relations. Being critical makes you pro-truth not pro-Russian. The Russians (government not people) are equally guilty of deception, from evidently fake MH370 satellite photos to bloodless "assassinations" of ambassadors.

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Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

YARR
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Flame

Is it April 1st yet?

What a ridiculous law! If this had been in the headlines sooner there would have been time to co-ordinate a legal protest in the public interest. I can't see how anyone representing the public could have passed such an obtrusive law - our internet history should be considered private information except what you choose to share.

What's to stop someone buying this data and publishing it for all to see? If everyone could see their neighbour's internet history that would surely wake people up to demand their privacy. Any ISP that promises not to share your internet history without charging a premium will corner the market. But I guess not everyone has a choice of ISP.

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Uber president quits, says company's values inconsistent with his own leadership style

YARR
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Most countries in which Uber operates have laws to regulate their markets, they are not anarchic. Whether people agree with their local law enforcement and consider their actions to always be in the right is another matter. Vice versa the actions of some companies may be lawful but not necessarily moral.

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Softbank tears off chunk of ARM, feeds it to hungry Saudis

YARR
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ARM chip designs are used in ... 10 per cent of its tablets...

So which CPU do the other 90% of tablets use?

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YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond

YARR
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Stop

Nielsen data suggests the entirety of US TV has a daily viewership of around 1.25 billion hours

1.25 beellion / 325 m USA-ians (not all of whom watch TV) = 3 hours 50 minutes daily!

Does anyone believe they have so much free time to watch TV, plus engage in the other distractions / recreational activities + work + sleep ?

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Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

YARR
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Boffin

So are you advocating the fate of a country is decided solely by outsiders who must have unrestricted freedom to move there? Those living there who built, contributed and defended their country have no right to decide what their country is to become?

Must we never question the immigrant or the coloniser? Why effort did they make to positively change their homeland before they decided they had to leave? How will they / do they intend to change the country they are moving to? Is there not a trade-off between the interests of the immigrant and the resident population? A trade takes place when both parties benefit, why not the same for immigration?

Should the resident population of a country be free to decide their future, or must the immigration criteria for all countries be restricted to economic reasons only? Is the only legitimate ideal for a nation to be greater prosperity? What happens when everyone in a nation is content with their level of prosperity? If different people have different ideals, should they not divide into nations that reflect their different ideals?

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Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

YARR
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Too many updates or not enough?

If Windows 10 gets too many updates, what about Windows 10 Mobile?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10_version_history#Mobile_version_history

If they only release major updates to non fast-ring users, does that mean Windows 10 Mobile is open to all the recent exploits which have been patched in it's bigger brother?

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Raspberry Pi gives us all new 'Pi Zero W' for its fifth birthday

YARR
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Having all that on-board is a lot more practical for developing / interacting with, but I hope they keep the original zero (1.3) going for embedded tasks. Maybe next birthday it will come with ARMv7+ and more memory if they can cram the ICs onto that tiny board?

The naming conventions could get confusing, I'd call it the zero-two or zero-three etc.

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New UK laws address driverless cars insurance and liability

YARR
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Re: Sounds rather flawed to me

The idea that someone has to maintain their car (including software) properly is just extending the MOT process to include software and patching.

Wrong analogy. Software does not degrade through use like hardware. Network connected devices need software updates to guard against network-borne attacks. Non-networked devices only need software updates to fix bugs that affect their operation (or changes to their operating environment).

If software updates are legally required for non-networked devices, that would be a legal admission that the old code was not fit for purpose - the software equivalent of a product recall. In this case, the software vendor would then become liable for past accidents involving vehicles that ran the old code. To avoid such liability, the software vendor cannot admit that the old code is unsafe, just less efficient or less functional.

If vehicles had to run the latest code by law, your car would not allow you to start a journey until it had checked for updates. Also it would have to maintain constant network access while driving to stay up to date. The moment a bug is reported in the code, to avoid liability they would have to transmit a network message to halt all vehicles until a fix has been produced, and downloaded to your vehicle.

To maximise road safety, computers must control the whole environment - i.e. human drivers, cyclists, and maybe pedestrians are prevented from using the road. To attain this they may use soft methods like artificially increased insurance premiums for human drivers, despite there being no inherent reason why human drivers should be more dangerous (write off more value + cause more injuries / fatalities) than than at present. A free market for insurers would keep premiums for human drivers comparable to what they are now.

However when accidents occur between human drivers v self-driving vehicles, drivers will be in opposition with corporate lawyers so are more likely to lose legal cases. That said, corporate lawyers may deliberately accept liability at first to win public support, then turn up the pressure when there are few human drivers left on the road.

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HPE CEO Whitman says everything's 'on the right track' as sales are literally decimated

YARR
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If most of your customer base are in developed economies but most of your cost base (employees) are in developing (offshore) economies, then your business is acting as a drain on developed economies and a boost to developing economies. Hence it should come as no surprise that your existing customers have less money to spend. If growth is desired, perhaps it's time to seek out new customers in developing economies?

On a side note, do photos of senior management generally look less flattering when accompanying poor financial results?

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