* Posts by Len

252 posts • joined 26 Jan 2009

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Small carriers aren't showing up to IPv6 standards chats, consultant warns

Len

Re: @V'sRH: +lots, and furthermore...

If you do the maths on the unused IPv4 address space you'll find out it is a pointless exercise. It would require a bunch of large organisations and multinationals to overhaul their existing network infrastructure. An operation that would not be quick or cheap.

If you compare the amount that could potentially be freed against the IPv4 depletion rate you'll find that you have spent many millions and a couple of years to free up between two and three month's worth of IPv4 addresses.

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Len

Re: There are fundamental technical reasons for it

Your problem no.2 has been solved quite some time ago with the invention of firewalls.

Whether IPv4 or IPv6, nobody is suggesting to disable the firewall in the CPE. As such, end to end networking over IPv6 is only possible if the firewall is configured to allow it. I have yet to find an IPv6 compatible CPE that by default allows incoming traffic without the connection being initiated from inside.

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EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers

Len

Re: Axed Geoblocking

"Also most UK providers already provide better roaming deals than the directive requires over a wider area than the EU, just by market forces (funny that)."

Most UK providers have now implemented the EU rules and tried to sell it off as if they were being generous themselves.

Can you, however, point me to one UK provider that charged ZERO roaming costs within the EU a year ago? It has never been in their interest as roaming charges are an "in-transparent market" and thus not subject to typical competitive market forces. That is why an authority had to step in, the market wasn't working in this particular case.

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Media players wide open to malware fired from booby-trapped subtitles

Len
Meh

I don't know where you live but where I live Hollywood films are foreign films. (And yes, I do get upset that Netflix calls all films not made in the US foreign films).

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EU security think tank ENISA looks for IoT security, can't find any

Len

Re: Pheeeh. The UK has really dodged a bullet on this one with Brexit, eh?

Brexit or not, in effect any EU requirements will apply to most or all of the products in British shops. The British market is too small to create a separate version for so suppliers will probably just sell the EU product to UK consumers.

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Len

A step in the right direction

I feel this would be a small but welcome step in the right direction. We require all sorts of basic safety measures before products can be sold in the EU. From preventing people being electrocuted if they insert a plug into a socket to preventing kids from losing fingers if they don't pay attention to how a product is supposed to be used. It can't and won't prevent each and every incident but having a secure base will probably reduce it by 90% or so.

The same could be done for IoT devices. A couple of basic guidelines (some good ones already mentioned above) to prevent the worst disasters from happening. Perhaps revisited the guidelines every five years to update it with new insights and technologies. It won't prevent each and every breach or botnet but it can surely bring it down considerably.

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Taiwan government to block Google's public DNS in favor of HiNet's

Len
Thumb Up

Re: Good News

Exactly, despite the stated reason to get people off Google DNS is perhaps a bit dubious, I wouldn't touch Google DNS with a bargepole. Why would I voluntarily provide Google information on every single site I visit, every email server I contact, or every messaging service I use?

I have set OpenNIC servers as the DNS servers in my home router and all my devices (and those of my visitors) therefore use OpenNIC DNS data. The only thing it doesn't work for is Android phones (should a visitor have one) as they have Google DNS hardcoded.

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Len

Re: Libre

There have been serious discussions in The Document Foundation to take Thunderbird on board as the LibreOffice suite lacks a mail/calendar/contacts solution.

Why that is not happening, I don't know.

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Len

Re: "The long term plan is to migrate our code to web technologies"

Web technologies in this case doesn't mean things are moving onto the web. It means more use of technologies that are also found on the web.

Specifically, Firefox has always used a lot of XUL (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XUL) but is gradually phasing it out because they are running into its limitations. Thunderbird is also a heavy user of XUL and because they use a lot of Firefox code will need to find an alternative too. In this case we'll probably see XUL replaced with "web technologies" such as HTML5, CSS3 and JS. That doesn't mean they will run in the cloud, they can just as easily be used locally.

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OpenWRT and LEDE agree on Linux-for-routers peace plan

Len

Re: Forks and Choice

I was active in the OpenWRT community but sort of zoned out about a year before the split so am not completely on top of it. From what I gather from the dev mailinglist, however, is that is not necessarily an issue in the code itself that was a reason for the fork. I get the sense that it was more of a context / project management thing. A chunk of developers wanted to use more modern dev tools (I believe moving to GitHub for instance), faster dev cycles etc. but the lead maintainer of OpenWRT wasn't too keen on it.

Considering the unhappy coders were a fairly large chunk of all active coders, a fork was easily done and it looks as if LEDE very quickly overtook OpenWRT as the more active one. An OpenOffice/LibreOffice analogy comes to mind.

I just hope they take the best bits of both projects (I wouldn't have minded if they kept the LEDE name but I get the resistance to dropping the well-recognised OpenWRT name). The LEDE website is a lot better than OpenWRT's one if you ask me and I hope they use this opportunity to sort out all their documentation and hardware compatibility tables as they were always all over the place, lots of redundancies etc.

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European Investment Bank tosses €25m to MariaDB

Len

Re: "just last year they invested half a billion euros in a Scottish wind farm"

The UK is a big EIB shareholder because share percentages are based on economic weight. Hence France, Germany, Italy and the UK all own 16.1% of the shares. The UK is not just one of the biggest share holders, it is also one of the biggest receivers of investment.

"EIB investments in the UK economy came to EUR 6.9 billion in 2016, making the country the 5th largest recipient of EIB loans last year. Infrastructure projects accounted for 47% of total investments, while environment claimed 36%. Innovation and support to smaller businesses in the UK claimed 14% and 3% respectively. Over the past five years (2012-2016) the EU bank has invested over EUR 31.3 billion in the British economy.

The total investment of the EIB Group (the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund) in the UK in 2016 was EUR 8.1 billion."

Source: http://www.eib.org/projects/regions/european-union/united-kingdom/index.htm

As for Brexit implications, the UK can't officially remain an EIB shareholder as only EU member states are allowed. That said, I would expect the relationship to be very gradually wound down as the UK would not be able to afford it if the EIB would withdraw all its open loans to the UK in one go. I could imagine a scenario where no new investments were made in the UK but the existing loans would be paid back to the EIB over decades.

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Len

There is nothing stopping you creating a EuroSQL or something as a fork of Postgresql. The question is why.

MySQL was originally European and the acrimony that led to the fork to MariaDB didn't start until it was bought by Oracle. Until Postgresql is bought (if that is even possible) by a company with questionable practices I don't necessarily see a reason for it. And without enough reason (or enthusiasm) forks don't tend to live very long.

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Len
Headmaster

Quite a neat concept, the EIB.

For those who don’t know what the European Investment Bank is, a very brief introduction.

It is a very neat concept of essentially an investment bank like every other but with a twist. One of its objectives is to make a profit, like all investment banks. The difference is that its primary objective is supporting things that are of strategic importance to the EU.

They won’t invest in loss making projects that happen to be in the European interest, but they do select their profitable investments based on what is good for the EU and its direct partners.

That is why you see them invest in infrastructure (from asphalt to digital), energy independence (just last year they invested half a billion euros in a Scottish wind farm) and industries that are considered of strategic importance to the EU economy. That is probably how the investment in MariaDB is seen, why should practically all companies creating database technology be American? We must surely be able to do that ourselves…

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Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

Len
Meh

Make it a proper EU institution already!

I can't wait for the EPO to become a proper EU institution like so many others. Answerable to normal procedures (and ultimately to Parliament), normal laws, normal operating frameworks that can be amended if needed and people that can be fired if they don't perform. These fiefdoms don't benefit innovation.

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In case you had forgotten, broadband body warns of risks Brexit poses to sector

Len
Holmes

Re: Here's What!

The UK has been able to reduce the size of the state over the last few decades by outsourcing many things to EU level where they can be sorted for all 28 member states in one go. The Brexit process is now throwing a spanner in the works. So far 35 different agencies, bodies and institutions have been identified that the UK will need to set up in order to set its own standards from food safety and aviation oversight to drugs approval and environmental protection.

Given the outlook for the UK's finances for the next decade or so I very doubt the Government will want to spend the money on setting all those organisations up from scratch. That means the most efficient way will be to just keep on following the regs and policies set up by the existing EU bodies and implement them in the UK. And I suspect that that is exactly what will happen.

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Len

Re: WTO rules which seem to work well enough

The point is that you don't need a separate trade agreement to trade with the whole world. Some of the world's largest exporters and manufacturers are EU members and not wishing to leave the EU any time soon. If they could do it inside the EU (no, make that 'thanks to the EU) why couldn't Britain? Hint: Britain's dismal exporting figures has nothing to do with the EU as we are soon going to find out.

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Len
Happy

Yes, they are grabbing the opportunity with both hands: https://twitter.com/WeWereConned/status/847154220998561792

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Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern

Len

Re: Surprised that speed is still an issue

Don't confuse multithreadedness with multiprocess.

Firefox has been seriously multithreaded since version 4.0 with many process offloaded off the main thread. My Firefox is currently running 57 threads divided over my two cores.

What Mozilla is currently working on is spawning more than the standard two processes (one for the browser and one for plugins such as Flash) that it currently uses. That has some stability benefits although it comes at a price of more overhead. Chrome's multiple processes are one of the main causes for it being one of the biggest resource hogs.

Mozilla has probably now decided that, with multiple cores and multiple gigs of RAM as standard, it doesn't hurt to become a bit heavier if aids stability.

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How UK’s GDPR law might not be judged 'adequate'

Len

Agreed. Safe Harbour was found not compatible with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights by the courts. I fully expect Privacy Shield to be found incompatible as well. I think most people here on the European side know that as well (I don't know about people across the pond) but they also pragmatically realised that it was better than having Safe Harbour lapse without an alternative in place. Privacy Shield has effectively bought foreign companies time to get compliant with EU law before the courts strike it down.

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Len

Re: Optional

It is not about one person's job. It is about a complete breakdown in diplomatic relations. Britain is rapidly becoming Billy No Mates while the next decade is all about negotiating with the countries around us. The last thing we need is another major hurdle, having Boris Johnson run our reputation into the ground is bad enough.

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Vodafone to bring 2,100 customer service jobs in-house

Len

Agreed, I think it is far too early to know what they will ultimately decide. They will wait and see how the negotiations go and which parts of the EU we will keep and which parts we will leave. As a business a telco is far more nimble than an airline or bank who need years to prepare regulatory approval etc.

Vodafone has already switched its P&L from Sterling to euro to better reflect the bulk of their business. That won't change after Brexit, their continental operation will probably become an even part of their revenue.

Anyway, wherever Vodafone's HQ will be in a few years time, they will still need customer service roles in the UK

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US-Europe Privacy Shield not worth the paper it's printed on – civil liberties groups

Len
Happy

All temporary anyway

Privacy Shield is all temporary anyway. It looks like Privacy Shield is still in violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union so we can expect the ECJ to tear Privacy Shield apart soon.

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Len
Black Helicopters

Re: Uhm

I wouldn't count on it. The UK Government is not on your side on this matter.

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Post-Brexit five-year UK work visas planned – report

Len

Re: If only..

Hhm... there are quite a few EU countries with better economies than the UK. On growth alone the UK finished 2016 as the 14th fastest growing economy meaning there are thirteen EU member states with higher economic growth. Overall the growth outlook for every EU country (yes, including Greece) is positive. As for other metrics, you can find EU countries that outperform us on competitiveness, unemployment, tax pressure, ease of doing business etc. etc.

The main challenge for anyone seeking better work in other parts of the EU will be the language. There are probably perhaps ten EU countries where you could easily find work while only speaking English.

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London Internet Exchange members vote no to constitution tweak

Len
Black Helicopters

If Brexit doesn't render LINX irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, the Investigatory Powers Act will.

I suspect that in a few year's time LINX will only be relevant for companies with a significant amount of users in the UK that they can't or don't want to serve from Paris or Amsterdam. If you are an international player you'd best start thinking of avoiding LINX if you can.

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Brexit could further harm woeful rural payments system

Len

Re: Food imports which may see a 20% import duty after Brexit

If the UK wants to trade under WTO rules it will not be the UK that decides the level of import duties, it will be the WTO that decides. Or are you suggesting the UK should leave the WTO as well?

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Len

Re: Why do you think reducing the amount of trade agreements

But if Dutch, German, Belgian, French, Italian and Spanish farmers can run globally successful production within the current trade agreements why wouldn't the British farmers be able to do it?

This whole "we can finally trade with the whole world" mantra is a con. Many of the world's top trading nations are all in the EU and are already trading with the whole world. They don't seemed to be harmed by EU regulations. What is it that UK exporters can suddenly do once outside the EU that they can't do today?

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Len

UK farmers are already not very good at trading with the rest of the world compared to many other European farmers. Why do you think reducing the amount of trade agreements will suddenly make them better at it?

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Len
Headmaster

Re: Scrap it

There are typically a few arguments for subsidising farming:

1) A strategic decision to protect the food supply. The UK is already not self-sufficient in food production and decimating local food production would make the country even more dependent on imports. Food imports which may see a 20% import duty after Brexit if we screw up the negotiations.

2) These subsidies are often also used to steer behaviour. They can, for instance, force farmers to employ crop rotation techniques so the land isn't exhausted too quickly. Or they can pay for leaving certain plots of land uncultivated for conservation reasons. Through these mechanisms many countries have made farmers an integral part of environmental protection, flood prevention etc.

3) They can be a good money making scheme for people in the right places. Paul Dacre, the editor of the UK's biggest Neo-Nazi broadsheet, receives over €400.000 a year in EU subsidies for his estates.

In the current environment, arguments 1 and 3 will probably be enough to continue subsidising farming.

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Motivational speaker in the slammer after HPE applies for court order

Len

Better put this on hold then...

http://www.mrandmrssage.com

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King Battistelli tries again to break Euro Patent Office union

Len
WTF?

This is bound to end in a serious shake up

The longer this saga drags on the more I feel this can only end in a complete overhaul of the structure. Once its constituent members have had enough and start to apply real pressure that will be inevitable.

Making it an EU institution with associated membership for non-EU members such as Turkey and Albania and with parliamentary oversight by the European Parliament sounds like a logical conclusion.

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Government to sling extra £4.7bn at R&D in bid to Brexit-proof Britain

Len

Re: There is now new money…

It was definitely not as clear cut as May suggests. Prominent people on the Remain side said that leaving the EU would mean leaving the Single Market. Prominent people on the Leave side said that leaving the EU would not mean leaving the Single Market.

The Leave campaigners were right, those two are not necessarily linked. They used the examples of Norway and Switzerland as examples of countries that are not in the EU but are in the Single Market, they campaigned for the UK to follow their example. That was a smart move as there is a considerable chunk of the electorate that wants to leave the EU but not the SM.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xGt3QmRSZY

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Len
Facepalm

If done right, an industrial strategy can definitely work

Many other European countries have industrial strategies. And they demonstrate that it can work too. They key is to not go about it the 1980's way by pouring cash into failing industries and thereby only postponing their inevitable collapse.

If the Government was smart they would identify five or so growth sectors where the UK has the skill set, environment, trajectory etc. to grow and that could become a serious export sector. Then, instead of pouring money into businesses, you put money and effort into sorting out what the challenges for businesses in those sectors are.

Complex regulatory hoops because the law hasn't kept up with developments? Put a task force on it to sort it out.

Issues with a skills gap in a particular sector? Co-finance the development of training for those skills. From apprentice schemes to supporting local universities setting up specialised courses.

Customers are increasingly abroad but the factories are poorly connected to a port? Invest in relocation or build freight tracks to better connect to ports.

etc. etc.

One of the industries with which I think the UK has really dropped the ball is renewable energy. This is a fairly windy Island surrounded by waves, tides and currents. The UK should be *the* renewable energy powerhouse whose companies export installations to all across the world. Instead we have Dutch companies installing Danish offshore wind turbines and connecting them to German installed grid connections to the British mainland.

Obviously, this is all easier said than done. Effectiveness is not Theresa May's style so this thing will likely turn into a big cock up with suspicions of corruption and milking tax payer's money. In five years time it will transpire that some Tory donor has donated 1 million into the Conservative Party coffers and lo and behold, his factory is now getting a dedicated rail line to the nearest port that is of surprisingly little use to any of his competitors.

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Len
FAIL

Re: Duplicitous Behaviour – Saying One Thing and Doing the Exact Opposite

Nothing new here, Theresa May's is very good at it.

We want to make Britain a champion of Free Trade (by tearing up all existing Free Trade agreements we have with over 50 countries).

We want to be a country that is open to trade (by introducing an eye watering amount of bureaucracy for any company wishing to import, export or hire talent from abroad).

We want to create a Britain that works for everyone (by turning the country into a tax haven and reducing labour, environmental and consumer protections).

We want to make Britain a global Britain (by making border passage a nightmare, ripping up existing trade agreements and make it harder to operate internationally).

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Why Theresa May’s hard Brexit might be softer than you think

Len

Re: 2 years?

To be honest, I don't hear much of this desire to punish. A more common thing I hear is that people don't understand that if the UK is so desperately to leave, why doesn't it hurry up and leave? Similarly, I get the sense that the EC is getting a bit frustrated that the UK keeps dithering on pushing Art. 50 (although this might be because after Art. 50 the balance of power shifts to the EU, that is why Farage called Art. 50 "a trap" *). If May manages to stick to her own timeline it will have been nine months since the vote.

On the whole though, I don't hear many people I speak to talk about Brexit and it rarely seems to make the papers in other EU countries. It is first and foremost a UK thing. The rest of the EU seems more worried about Putin and Trump than May.

* I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few people in Brussels had a cheer behind close doors when the referendum results came through.

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Len

Re: 2 years?

The UK's contribution is 7% of the total EU budget. Smarter minds have calculated that the EU's sanctions against Russia have caused more economic grief for EU exporters than the UK leaving would do. Meanwhile you'll find very few car makers, farmers, electronics manufacturers, food producers etc. campaigning for the Russia sanctions to end for economic reasons. They grumbled and some managed to get compensation but nobody has thought of calling for ending the sanctions.

You shouldn't expect many EU businesses to put pressure on the Council and Parliament to get a deal that is favourable for the UK but not for the EU. For nearly all businesses in the EU, the EU is a much bigger market than the UK will ever be (400+ million vs. 60+ million). It is not in a business' economic interest to risk the future of the EU just to please a member that has already signalled it wants to leave. Funnily enough, just last week a large proportion of surveyed German business owners expected Brexit to work favourably for them as business would move from the UK to Germany.

All in all, one would hope that this is all just a ploy by May to create negotiating space. If it is not, and they are truly delusional thinking they hold many cards, we are fucked.

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For Fark's sake! Fark fury follows 5-week ad ban for 5-year-old story

Len
Angel

Alternatives?

So, what if someone is not too keen on any connections with Google and its products but does want to recover some cost using ads on their site? Are there reasonable alternatives that have a better reputation and less of this nonsense than Google ad platforms?

Asking for a friend...

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Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?

Len
Holmes

Don't worry. The most likely outcome of the Brexit shambles is that the UK will give up its right to create EU laws but will still be governed by them. Whatever happens, the ECJ will have your back.

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Snapchat coding error nearly destroys all of time for the internet

Len
Thumb Up

Re: I have a suggestion...

That same "time geek", Poul-Henning Kamp, is also the driving force behind the replacement for NTPD called ntimed. If you're into time keeping and related things (securing bread and butter ancient internet protocols for instance) this is a very interesting presentation:

https://ma.ttias.be/ntimed-ntpd-replacement/ (review by an attendee)

http://phk.freebsd.dk/_downloads/FOSDEM_2015.pdf (the full presentation)

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Neo-Nazi man jailed for anti-Semitic Twitter campaign against MP

Len
Coat

Re: No issues with the sentencing, but...

Perhaps Theresa May can make him Foreign Secretary. It is a role where he'll be travelling a lot and can't do much harm.

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Fallout from Euro Patent Office meltdown reaches Dutch parliament

Len

Re: Just another example of a harmonious and efficient European organisation

The EU doesn't move its HQ to Strasbourg every month. You're confused with Parliament.

Parliament is officially based in Strasbourg but since the mid 80's spends most of its time in Brussels, that is a more obvious location for them to be in practice. That is indeed a problem that I'd like to see resolved but has very little to do with the EU as a whole, its institutions (none of the other EU institutions ever move their HQ) or a potential solution for the EPO mess.

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Len
Holmes

Re: Just another example of a harmonious and efficient European organisation

On the contrary. This situation would actually be a lot easier to resolve if the EPO had been an EU institution. It would have proper Parliamentary oversight for instance and the ability to sack key people in governance.

It might still be a potential outcome if you ask me. Replace the current EPO with one that sits under EU oversight but with associate membership for those countries that want to be part of a harmonised European patent landscape but are not members of the EU.

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Firefox hits version 50

Len
Unhappy

Re: Chrome

Simple: marketing.

Most people don't care which browser they use. Remember when that blue E logo was synonymous with "the internet"? Most people see a browser as a tool to use services and products.

If someone doesn't care which browser they use they can easily be persuaded to switch to something else. And that is exactly what Google did. They ran a malware-like campaign where people were tricked into downloading Chrome and making it the default browser. They pushed Chrome on all their assets and channels, just searching for "the best cake recipe" got you a big Chrome ad on Google.com. They made references to Chrome so ubiquitous that Chrome became synonymous with "the internet".

And no, sadly most people don't care about privacy.

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What do you give a bear that wants to fork SSL? Whatever it wants!

Len

Isn't this the space mbedTLS already operates in? As little legacy nonsense as possible, very small footprint etc. https://tls.mbed.org/

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Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

Len
Coat

Re: Can we rename Brexit please?

Pig's Brexit?

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Len

Re: Cloud costs

I am surprised they didn't do it the other way around. Persuade more companies to move to the cloud to escape a higher on-prem price hike.

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Len

Re: £

We have been hearing about the imminent collapse of the EU for about fifty years now and about the imminent collapse of the Eurozone for 17 years.

What makes you so sure this time it is for real? Why didn't it happen when the situation looked a lot more precarious than now? Why did it not happen when EU debts and unemployment were rising but economic growth falling? Why would it happen now EU debts and unemployment are falling and economic growth increasing? Why did it not happen when the EU's popularity was at an all-time low? Our referendum has boosted EU popularity elsewhere in the EU and brought the other 27 countries closer together. I would say this is a most unlikely time for the EU to split.

Currently the likelihood of Northern Ireland and/or Scotland leaving the UK is a lot higher and that will not be Sterling greatest day.

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FreeBSD 11.0 lands, with security fixes to FreeBSD 11.0

Len
Thumb Up

pfSense 2.4 was waiting on the release of FreeBSD 11

Ha, pfSense 2.4 was also waiting on the release of FreeBSD 11, looking forward to playing with both!

(2.4 pre-alpha snapshots now available: https://blog.pfsense.org/?p=2118)

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Fujitsu to axe 1,800 jobs across the UK

Len

Re: but but but

The EU unemployment average is 8.9%, including a few countries with lower unemployment than the UK. Finding a job elsewhere in the EU should not be such a problem for anyone in IT, especially not if you speak English as that is a major asset in some countries where that is less common.

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ICO boss calls for EU-style data protection rules post-Brexit

Len

Re: Pretty simple I'd have thought...

It would just mean that banks operating in Britain will keep the processing of all customer data (including their British customers) in the EU. Their UK branch will just be a basic subsidiary for legal purposes.

The only exception would be British owned banks only operating in the UK but, the way things are looking at the moment, I don't think we'll have that many British owned banks left in a few years.

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