* Posts by Kevin Johnston

1147 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Roll Out...

If I recall correctly, there are more countries drive on the correct side, just that they are all very very small ones in comparison.

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Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3

Kevin Johnston
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Good point, the correct reporting should be along the lines of 'We asked for a response and they used the same rubbish as last time'.

You get one chance to use that excuse and when the second breach hits you go into the 'Can't be trusted with personal data (or looking after the tea kitty)' category until you can prove you have really fixed it with independent testers.

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FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Man on the sun

"Contrary to popular belief and what most mathematicians will tell you, all of the digits in the decimal expansion of π are known! They are: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. It is the order that they appear that is not known."

Aha.....

The Eric Morcambe reposte

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Shock Land Rover Discovery: Sellers could meddle with connected cars if not unbound

Kevin Johnston
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Contact Previous Owner

A lovely sentiment but if this is the 3rd/4th owner then how do you backtrack to find the one that the car is bound to? As mentioned, you cannot rely on the V5 to hold all the previous keeper details so how is Joe Public supposed to go about this?

The proper, and in fact only, solution is for there to be the disconnect button #Graham Cobb suggests.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Kevin Johnston
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Re: One move and we shoot

Back in my apprentice days I worked on the Isle of Wight and a local sailmaker loft was going through hard times. They needed to lose one headcount to keep going and after a lot of investigation the Manager confirmed he was the only person who fit the bill as every other person was critical to the business. He was retained on a very part time/acting unpaid basis for a number of months until enough orders had come in to take him back full time.

Amazingly, he got absolute loyalty from the rest of the company

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Kevin Johnston
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Timing is everything

In a former permie role I was one a 'team-building', touchie-feelie, make the employees feel wanted, type away day and after a lot of primary school type activities where we were busy working in small groups we were all gathered back together so we could speak about the day. One chap was asked how he would do things differently when he got back to his desk and his reply?

'Once back at my desk I will finish training a guy in Asia who is taking my job away from me so I can be let go'....A very long silence fell until one of the presenters announced the day was over and we could all go.

No more sessions were held.

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Enterprise Windows 10 users, Microsoft has some 'quality' patches coming your way

Kevin Johnston
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The 'Nearly' platform

As someone who has used Microsoft for OS and other applications pretty much since day 1, I have to wonder what is going on.

It is as though they have split every function out to separate teams and they have each gone their own way with no communication between teams. So many changes and 'improvements' that nearly do what was intended. Updates that nearly fix faults and bug fixes which also kill minor functions or introduce new bugs and an overall plan that...OK so no overall plan then.

It is made worse because even though the alternatives are quite good, they have their own problems either through price (Apple) or else from a lack of the slightly niche applications (Linux) used by the people who would then sing Hosannahs for their liberation from Windows

I had mostly moved away from Windows but only by keeping a VM running for those oddities and using a console for gaming but I have been drifting back because while I can keep Windows 7 going it is just so much more convenient even though it means I have weird things happen every once in a while.

Is this a failing of OS developers or is it just that we demand more from a simple PC than it is able to supply in one box?

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Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Ok, put it another way...

My wife thought I was mad when I suggested 12 double sockets when our Kitchen/Breakfast room was rebuilt. It was just under a year before she was looking for extra sockets

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Notes/Domino is alive! Second beta of version 10 is imminent

Kevin Johnston
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Most of that hideousness came from Enterprises which set their 'look and feel' in version 4 and never updated it (same happened with Admin processes). I have shown people two systems sat side by side, one with Outlook 2013 out of the box and one with Notes V9 also out of the box. They basically both look and perform the same way for email and as mentioned above it is way simpler to make changes on the Notes side than the Outlook side.

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I see you're trying to leak a file! US military seeks Clippy-like AI to stop future Snowdens

Kevin Johnston
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Re: So then people rely even more on the system, what if it fails?

Actually I have to disagree...Automation assumes that you have put in place rules/filters to cover all potential situations and this is where it always fails. The net effect of automation in cases like this is that 60% of your staff see no difference but the people working on the edges in research, security, customer support etc have to be excluded or else they spend half their day explaining why the have triggered an alert.

My wife is a nurse and for a while was working on Sexual Health, on a daily basis her account was locked because 'the system' had identified her as accessing inappropriate materials/websites.

Net effect, automation reduced her effectiveness by a big margin plus it required significant investment from support to keep clearing the alerts. This tends to be the case on all 'Edge' workers

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Vodafone drank Facebook's network Kool-Aid … and LIVED!

Kevin Johnston
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If you dig around I am sure you will find the answer

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Kevin Johnston
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The amazing thing about El Reg's comments is the level of education in the comment fields. Sometimes people clearly explain less common areas of science and nature...

and sometimes they are ripped to shreds for minor errors by people who are in turn shredded for their own errors.

Entertainment at every level

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Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

Kevin Johnston
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Re: It's a sound salvation.

Pah...Amateur

I casually mentioned to my young daughter (aged 5?6?) that the inventor of the flip-flop was a Frenchman called Phillippe Philloppe. It was only last year she discovered from her University classmates that this was not the case.

My name is still Mud

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The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

Kevin Johnston
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Re: But...

Fully agree here. Many many moons ago I worked on Flight simulators and we had a perfect example of this when the Lockheed Chief Test pilot came to evaluate the work on our first C130 Sim. He sat in the cockpit and went through some basic procedures and reached up to the overhead panel and immediately failed the build.

Apparently the drawings for the overhead panels were wrong and everyone on the shopfloor at Lockheed knew that and they fitted the panels where they should be and not where the drawing said.

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UK taxman has amassed voice profiles of 5.1 million taxpayers

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Or...

As they are likely to have a good catalogue for phrase matching you could try offering mp3 files for the phrase in Klingon or Esperanto just to really test the system

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HMRC: Aria PC's £2m MSN Messenger deals bonanza was VAT fraud

Kevin Johnston
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What you mean possibly how they came to sell off their own offices to a Bermuda-based investment copmany and then lease them back to save tax? That sort of standard?

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Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Doctor, doctor

Quoted by many (but the one I remember is Billy Connolly)...

There is no pleasure so guilty that it is worth giving up for an extra 6 years in a Nursing Home

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Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

Kevin Johnston
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and there was me thinking that this was the Bank of England following El Reg's lead and defining grades of crap such as a TSB being a loss of online banking, a Barclays being a total outage requiring rollbacks and so on

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Cardiff chap chucks challenge at chops*-checking cops

Kevin Johnston
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The Greater Good

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PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

Kevin Johnston
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Re: PETA... yeah... right...

Should that not be People for the Expedited Termination of Animals?

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Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull

Kevin Johnston
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Why not save time

We all know where this is going for America... If it is not written in law you may do something (with the appropriate license) it is forbidden (except for the government, their employees and family and friends) (Oh and those nice people who gave us money to become Senators/Congressmen)

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Juno finds some lightning on Jupiter is the polar opposite to bolts here on Earth

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Now draw me a nice picture of Jupiter....

Quite, what that should have been was a comment about the angle of the sunlight and how that affects the heat build-up.

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Schadenfreude for UK mobile networks over the tumult at Carphone

Kevin Johnston
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I valued it at almost £80. I compared buying unlocked plus a SIM-only contract against the same phone/bundle from the various networks the unlocked route was cheaper by £80 through Carphone Warehouse.

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'Autopilot' Tesla crashed into our parked patrol car, say SoCal cops

Kevin Johnston
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Fully agree and people are sick of me banging on about this. In schools now they are so bubble-wrapping everything that children do not learn to evaluate risks which means they become adults and enter an environment where simple everyday events are trying to kill you (or have you kill yourself)

The same thing is happening in healthcare. People are so germ'o'phobic that children are no longer building a proper immune system and instead we are weeding out all the weak bugs and just leaving the superbugs by overusing anti-bacterials

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Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

Kevin Johnston
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Meh, too much of a bind doing it that way

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'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

Kevin Johnston
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Maybe not a popular choice but...

I bought a BB Keyone SIM-free as I have real problems typing on the virtual keyboard of most phones and having read the article and comments I decided to do a check. With the phone connected to a PC to reduce the places to hide I was unable to find any reference to Facebook so there is at least one option out there.

The shame is you cannot check things like this before you buy the phone and it is becoming ever more needful.

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RAF Air Command to take on UK military space ops

Kevin Johnston
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Been reading the Looking Glass series from Travis Taylor by any chance?

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Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11

Kevin Johnston
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Glorious memories (pun intended)

I was an apprentice learning all abut Radar and the processing was handled by a PDP 11/34. I watched in fascination as an engineer loaded up a program on one system before shutting it down and unplugging the memory card (magnetic core store). He then plugged it into a different system, powered it up and ran the program...

Mind...blown

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Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Poor users

Or more to the point, they were not poor until they spent all their money on Nest hardware

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Android devs prepare to hit pause on ads amid Google GDPR chaos

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Consent

As mentioned in the previous comments, personalised Ads tend to be for products/services already purchased so they would be late to the party and getting no money anyway. Again as mentioned above, non-personalised is far more likely to include things you may be looking to buy in the near future

So on balance, the less personalised they are the more likely they are to be successful. Hang on, that can't be right as it is the opposite of how Google are selling their services....I'm so confused

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Kevin Johnston
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To be fair, the track names they entered were exactly what was on the CD cover but that is because they ripped it from a CD they got from a friend of a mate of a cousin who worked in Taiwan for a few months and had 'contacts'.

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Zookeepers charged after Kodiak bear rides shotgun to Dairy Queen

Kevin Johnston
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Walks on the beach

When I was growing up on the Isle of Wight it was not unusual to see white tiger cubs being taken for a walk on the beach at Yaverland by the staff of Sandown Zoo.

All these killjoys should be transported to Beigeland by rocket via the centre of the sun (or as close as they can get)

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Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Surely there's a joke about

Was just coming in with a similar observation. This is a story just pulsating with opportunities for schoolboy humour (or an entire show for an alt.comedian)

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Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Killing cortana . .

It's the Rampancy, I predicted this a looooong time ago when they first used the name in Windows10

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Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

Kevin Johnston
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Re: the disgusting smell of jet fuel

Used to go to Bembridge Airshow on the Isle of Wight (the airfield is the home of the Pilatus Britten-Norman Islander) and we had a Vulcan a few times...

Gear down, flaps down, full chat at what appeared to be 100 feet up....FEEL the sound. Sadly after shattering windows in nearby towns the display got sanitised.

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Kevin Johnston
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many memories

My Father was involved in some of the early testing in the wind tunnels and ditching tanks before it was certified to fly and he has some real horror stories including some unrealistic requirements for flight parameters on the ditching tests.

It was clear that a lot of effort went into the political side as this was an aircraft which 'was meant to fly'

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Bungling cops try to use dead chap's fingers to unlock his smartmobe

Kevin Johnston
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Never seen Weekend at Bernie's?

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Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

Kevin Johnston
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I got a MiFi (?) unit from 3 and that has a 100GB per month allowance and has both wifi and an ethernet port....That what you were looking for?

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Nominet drains mug of tea, leans back, calmly explains how to make Whois GDPR-compliant

Kevin Johnston
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Oooh, here's an idea

Let the IP Lawyers have their access but as part of that, every time they search a domain the owner of the domain gets an alert with the lawyer's FULL details

Sauce for the goose...

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How 'parasitic' Google's 'We're journalists!' court defence was stamped into oblivion

Kevin Johnston
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Re: The judge is an idiot!

Was coming here to make much the same comment. They cannot claim both the Journalist protection and also the 'Common Carrier' protection so one way or other they will get hammered out of this.

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Chrome 66: Get into the bin, auto-playing vids and Symantec certs!

Kevin Johnston
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Joke

Paranoid or secure?

I have often wondered with all the conflicting information about Opensource vs MS/Apple and the browser wars etc etc etc

What if I go online and do lots of things and nobody monitors me or scrapes my data. Could I be that insignificant? It keeps me awake at night

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Cryptocoin investors sue Chase Bank for sky-high credit card charges

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Coinbase doesn't allow credit card purchases.

Perhaps this is the cause of the muddied water and why Chase are blaming Coinbase. If the initial purchases were not being correctly identified by Coinbase, when they corrected their systems it flagged transactions as a currency purchase. It does seem odd though that if they have blocked all those other credit cards they should allow the cards from Chase to be used.

Or it could be this is yet another popcorn moment from the US Legal system

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Using Outlook? You should probably do some patching

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Password managers and SSO...

and people look at me oddly when they realise I don't use our SSO product. Since I have Admin rights on some systems I figured it better if I struggle to remember my password once in a while rather that have someone get hold of my AD login credentials and be me on all those systems with no extra effort.

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They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Disinformation

You have missed the more probable reason

The backlog of phones is because the case each phone relates to is not significant enough to put any effort into (or to get them onto the 'must crack this phone' list) but collectively they help the cause for needing more powers. The repeated reference to this HUUUGE list is intended to bat away rational arguments from the people who see no need for those extra powers 'because terrrism/think of the children/pro-Trump/anti-Trump/furriners'*

*delete to select flavour of the day

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Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

Kevin Johnston
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Re: No, it's not AI

My hatred of DRLs comes from the almost standard practise of having lights on the front and an illuminated dashboard but absolutely nothing showing at the back. I have come far too close to far too many who haven't realised that daylight has faded and that they should now be using real lights.

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UK data watchdog raids companies suspected of 11 million nuisance texts

Kevin Johnston
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There are worse out there

A family member was offered short term call centre work which turned out ot be a company selling a package to prevent nuisance telephone calls, you know, just like Telephone Preference Service. Didn't last long but the fact they got away with it at all and made money was a sad indicator

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UK watchdog Ofcom tells broadband firms: '30 days to sort your speeds'

Kevin Johnston
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If I remember my maths lessons correctly, if they have not selected the correct definition of average then well over half the UK consumers could be getting less than that awesome 34.6Mbit/s

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Rock-a-byte, baby: IoT tot-monitoring camera lets miscreants watch 10,000s of kids online

Kevin Johnston
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A question...

Is there any basic security concept that they have implemented correctly or are they likely to become the model answer for 'How not to secure a networked device'?

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Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Kevin Johnston
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"As for brand specific laptop docking stations... just don't go there."

Actually, and yes I do have the soapy flannel ready to wash my mouth out, Dell are very good here with the docking stations (port replicators for the picky) working on whole families of laptops and sometimes into new families too.

Pteh...a bubble went up my nose

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HomePod, you say? Sex sex sex, that's all you think about

Kevin Johnston
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As a teen in the 70's I took great delight in very carefully copying some Japanese characters to make a poster for above my bed. The characters were on an 8" floppy disc sleeve and (according to BASF) translated to 'Insert Carefully'

It's not the words, it's the mind reading them

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