* Posts by Number6

1986 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

eBay threatens to block Australians from using offshore sellers

Number6
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Re: Inevitable, in Oz and elsewhere

The downside of sales tax is that the people it hits hardest are the ones with the least money compared to an income tax that gets bigger on larger incomes. Of course, that's a whole other debate.

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Profit with just one infection! Crook sells ransomware for $175

Number6
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So what we need is a file system that doesn't delete files, it just creates a new version. Just like DEC used to do with VMS. That way you'd find all your files have been encrypted but the malware wouldn't be able to remove the pre-encryption files which could then be restored once the malware was purged.

Anyone know if there's a mature Linux file system that does this?

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Number6
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I think there should be full disclosure of tax returns and lobby meetings for members of congress. After all, one doesn't have to stand for election.

Full transcripts of all their phone calls too, it's not necessary to use a phone either.

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Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

Number6
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Interestingly it didn't find me logged into any social media sites, despite Twitter and Facebook being present. From another comment, it ought to have found Forbes too, so I guess whatever I've done to Chrome has stopped that bit leaking. It only found one extension too, so I guess the rest are well behaved or obscure enough not to be tested (I don't believe that). My browser fingerprint is unique though.

I had the initial defence up though, NoScript stopped the site doing anything until I gave it permission.

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Verizon's bogus bills tanked my credit score, claims sueball slinger

Number6
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Re: South Park - Cable Company

This is why they need to be regulated. If there is true competition (and no cartel) then it tends to make them try to give an appearance of reasonable behaviour. If they're the only game in town then you're screwed if there isn't a good regulatory code you can use to beat them over the head.

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Number6
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The US credit scoring system is seriously broken. It backfired on one company when they decided my score wasn't good enough and they wanted to charge me more for something because I walked out and they never got anything. My score fluctuates depending on what my current credit card balance is, so the day before I pay (in full) for the month it's bad, the day after it's good. A system that can't average that out or at least account for the way the balance is expected to go up and down on a monthly basis is stupid, but I guess that fits with the direction the place is going.

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

Number6
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Re: Old News

Based on where I was working at the time, our version of that pre-dated its appearance on Dilbert.

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Number6
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Old News

I remember back in the days of DOS when speech recognition came up. We had a laugh about the future prankster who'd stick his head in the computer room, shout "FORMAT C COLON YES" and run away.

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Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Number6
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There's only one thing worse than people talking about you...

(Although United Airlines might disagree at the moment.)

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Number6
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I had a WTF? moment reading the headline, which only got worse when I read the article. Why would anyone want to remotely control an Aga? Or isn't it a 'proper' oven, just a designer look-alike?

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BT's spam blocker IDs accident claims as top nuisance call

Number6
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My landline is the spam trap. It's the number I give out when I'm not sure why and I can't be bothered arguing about why they need a phone number. Then the blocklist comes into play, such that probably 10% of incoming calls actually make it to the point where the internal phones ring.

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Number6
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Re: Database access?

It may still be true, but back in early stages of ISDN, they did this on digital lines. The incoming caller ID as part of call set-up would say 01234567X890, which was BT's way of telling you they only vouched for the digits to the left of the X. Usually this was where a company had a DDI range and supplied that last three digits so you could call back the originating phone (or a particular department if they didn't want to identify individual phone extensions), so BT couldn't determine the accuracy. I've seen the X further to the left, too, which implies that BT were unsure about more of the digits.

On an analogue line I was always irritated by the useless 'INTERNATIONAL' calls, given that some countries I didn't want to talk to but others I did. Surely they could have given at least the international prefix so I could tell whether to pick up or leave it to the answerphone.

Asterisk with a few AGI scripts and a suitable dialplan is great for call blocking, I've used it for several years. It has the advantage too that you can substitute your own text when you've got a system that supports it, so your friend John is clearly identified as such. I have a system that will speak the caller party name field. I also have an AGI script that broadcasts the CLI data on the local network and a small app that pops up an info box on my PC so I can see who's about to call. It also makes it easy to add the last number to the blocking database too.

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Number6
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Re: it could divert 1.6 billion nuisance calls a year.

"if all its customers signed up to BT Call Protect"

Surely it could do this without its customers having to sign up?

Probably not, I suspect for automatic call divert on selected numbers you have to actively opt in otherwise they open themselves to lawsuits from junk callers who find their calls are not being delivered as required by law, even though that non-delivery is what everyone else would want.

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FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

Number6
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Re: +1

@Swarthy:

It almost makes me want to pay for the airline's WiFi, and use WiFi Calling - Just to annoy short-sighted people.

I seem to remember that this is against the terms and conditions in Wifi access, at least the ones I've read.

I have a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. They're good at removing general noise and the turbine whine from the engines but conversations tend to get through quite well unless you're listening to something. I do wonder actually how good a phone is at picking up a wanted voice from the background noise in an aircraft - imagine the fun and games when you've got two people in adjacent seats making phone calls at the same time and shouting to try and be heard over the general noise and each other.

Don't forget that you're sitting in an aluminium tube travelling very fast and well above the antenna coverage of most phone masts. I know GSM has speed limits, relating to the rate of change of phase advance of packets, LTE may have something similar. Attempting to access the outside network directly is not going to be without its problems - you'll be audible to many cell towers, albeit at low signal level because they're not looking up, further exacerbated by the screening effect of the metal around you (even a 787 has a conductive skin) attenuating the signals so using the aircraft-supplied gateway is going to give a much better performance. If you're over the ocean then there is, as far as I'm aware, a distinct lack of cell towers below, making use of the aircraft gateway even more important.

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Number6
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+1

I agree, phone calls on planes are a bad idea. I have a lot of issues with FCC but I think they (or 'he', given the statement wording) got it right. Either that or make it $100/minute.

Email and text are fine, they're nice and quiet and don't disturb others.

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BOFH: Defenestration, a solution to Solutions To Problems We Don't Have

Number6
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I'd say James is at a major decision point. Either he forgets about the code or he'll be checking out the window exit route. Or for added survival bonus he could just ask Simon what he'd like to see in the report on the code.

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Number6
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Re: Catapult takeoff?

No reason you couldn't put a long steam catapult down the middle of a runway and have it take a long time. I'm sure with modern computer power they could find a way to control steam input at various points to give an acceleration profile similar to what gets used now.

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Number6
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Re: Reality check time?

Batteries? Why not a really long power cord...

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Number6
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Re: The problem is lack of will to change.

Also it's never been that _most programs don't work on Linux_ it's the _key_ programs which you need that don't work on Linux. For instance I am on Linux right now and although most MS Office functions are catered for by Libre Office and most of MS Office runs on WINE MS Access has no Linux alternatives.

Yes, this. I'm at the point where if one of a couple of vendors would port their stuff to Linux I'd have Windows off my laptop as soon as I'd exported the critical application settings. Given that it's techie software, I doubt if I'd be the only one.

Obviously that's unlikely to happen with Access, but then the only interaction I've ever had with that was to port something off of it onto MySQL.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

Number6
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Re: Bah!

No, I don't use the P word with the T word.

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Number6
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Re: so much wrong here...

Is it a rule that folks in Britain and Europe MUST find fault in everything American?

US electrics are scary. It helps a bit that they're only 110V so less likely to be lethal, but having grown up with UK stuff, the US is way behind the curve on safety. On the other hand, I do like the US scheme of numbering road junctions on freeways as miles from the start.

Yes they are technically upside down according to code, but do you really think they are less secure with the ground pin on the bottom rather than the top?

In this case it's not about how secure, but would probably have specifically saved this guy. If the earth pin is on top then chances are anything falling down a gap between plug and socket is going to contact the earth pin first and then stands a good chance of shorting live to earth and taking out the breaker, thus rendering the socket safe.

Granted, my experience is limited to European to U.S. adapter plugs, so maybe that makes it worse.

A lot of adapter plugs are inherently unsafe, especially when one side of it is intended to interface to a proper UK plug (not the same as a European one).

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BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

Number6
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A good introduction to the desirability of decent documentation and comments in the code is to give a new graduate a reasonable task. When complete, move the graddy to something else, then after six months ask for some not-insignificant mods to the original code. That's the point at which the penny usually drops that what was obvious at time of writing is no longer obvious and that better comments are required in case it's necessary to revisit the code after it's been forgotten.

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Silicon Valley staffing agency boss charged with H‑1B visa fraud

Number6
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Re: What? No comments from the H-1B supporters?

H-1B when used properly is a valuable and important resource. It is devalued by the abuse, and means that those who have genuine need to bring in someone from overseas cannot do it in a timely manner because of the way the cap is reached so quickly.

Is that considered support for H-1B?

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Number6
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Re: Don't be naive

You can argue for the harsher sentence by saying that lighter sentences clearly have not been a deterrent so the stakes need to be raised.

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How to leak data from an air-gapped PC – using, er, a humble scanner

Number6
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My cat is trained to sit on the scanner if it's left open when unattended. Normally it's closed to keep the glass clear of dust and cat fur.

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Number6
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The Brexit stuff will hopefully be over in a couple of years, then you can ditch all of them.

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Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data

Number6
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Not to be used in the following countries.

If I was an app writer and I lived outside the EU, my solution would be to put up a disclaimer notice pointing out that the app did not comply with the legal requirements to weaken encryption in EU countries and so people in those countries shouldn't install the app and that I took no responsibility for anyone caught doing so. No idea whether it would hold up in law, but given that a good part of what we do is illegal somewhere in the world, the concept is not unreasonable.

Isn't Telegram open-source? If so, you'll just get a 'Eurocrypt' module written that gets compiled in or not as needed, and if you accidentally use the strong version by mistake then 'oops'.

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I need an ISP that offers IPv6. Virgin Media: Whatevs, nerd

Number6
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Re: need? really?

My Comcast cable supports IPv6, and my T-Mobile phone also seems to manage it.

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Number6
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Obligatory note that El Reg still only seems to be IPv4.

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Number6
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Re: If in the UK, I recommend

+1 for this. I switched to them when I wanted a decent IPv6 set-up some years ago, although then I left the country and had to cancel the service.

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We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

Number6
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Re: Too late for the FCC fix already

That fails here, I don't know anyone with a phone number in the same 10,000 block so I automatically assume they're spam.

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Number6
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Re: My solution...

Yes, my usual reaction to a phone call is to look at the number and ignore it if I don't recognise it. If it's important they'll leave a message. If not, they'll get added to the block list.

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Number6
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Re: Spoofing ?

Making spoofing impossible is the one and only real cure. It won't ever happen - telcos would lose all those telemarketing customers.

Not necessarily - if you're a legitimate company you can (or could once), at least in the UK, arrange for a presentation number to appear as your CLI. There were proper checks by the telco that the number you're presenting is one you're allowed to use. I know that if you've got a DDI block you can spoof any number within that range - the network will just verify that it is one you're allowed to use and will pass it on. Back in the day, it would even present a number to a digital line as 0345636X150 which is its way of telling you that BT would vouch for the digits preceding the X. It was up to your software to remove the X if you wanted it to.

(All of this may still be true, but it's 20 years since I was writing software to deal with it and did all sorts of tests to see what I could present as an outgoing number.)

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

Number6
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Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

Provided I can disassemble it and use wirecutters on the interface before it can send out a distress call then I win. Always assuming there isn't some sort of deaddishwasher's switch.

I only have one IoT thing on the property and that's squirrelled away on its own subnet so in theory it can talk to the rest of the world but not my local network. Given how crap the associated cloud-based website is (slower than a glacier), I'm sorely tempted to see if I can reverse-engineer the protocol and hack it to talk only to something under my control.

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Cisco denies restraint of trade in Arista-spat, asks court to dismiss case

Number6
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That's a great piece of legalese. Because we managed to get you thrown out, you have no legal standing to argue that you should be let back in and we win forever, even though what you're complaining about is directly connected to all of that.

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Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo

Number6
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Re: It's too bad

You could train a hawk to do it for you (although I believe this was a wild one): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhDG_WBIQgc

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Number6
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Re: Airspace

Like the signs on roads that warn that a specific violation is subject to a minimum $381 fine.

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Number6
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Re: Only

Shotguns make more noise than a jammer and so it is much easier to detect their use.

Put a decent directional antenna on the jammer and point it upwards towards the drone and you'll probably not be detectable at ground level outside your own property.

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Number6
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Re: Cricket bats

many do, at least in the SF Bay area, one place cricket is actually played.

Yes, I've seen cricket in progress on the local school playing field at weekends. I think most, if not all, of those playing are of Indian (or near neighbour) descent, which might explain it. There are quite a few people from the sub-continent in the Bay Area so they have enough interest to make teams. Probably less so in Kentucky.

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Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts

Number6
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Re: Humane?

Our cat used to bring live mice in to play with in the shower because somehow she'd discovered they couldn't escape up the slippery sides of the shower tray. When she'd finished playing she'd have lunch. Very crunchy sounds would ensue, especially as she chewed on the skull.

At least it was easy to clean up the remains.

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Number6
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Re: Best traps

Probably not suited to catching squirrels, but for rats and mice, I have three of the best extermination devices Mother Nature can provide. They do have a few downsides, such as clawing the furniture and walking across (or sitting on) my keyboard as I type, but they're cute and that more than makes up for these problems. Not forgetting they're the reason we have such a good internet now (well, them and porn).

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'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

Number6
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and 31-days to roll back to their old operating system.

Now if that would also restore the lost data then it might be a viable option.

I was properly sceptical about the process, I let it update a Win7 VM to Win10 just to see what it was like. I was ready to throw the whole thing out in under an hour. I still have the Win10 VM, but it only gets turned on occasionally to update it and see what other bad stuff MS has introduced.

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Number6
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Re: Why not include automatic updates in the class action?

I got caught by that on a machine recently. It wasn't mine, it was a 'generic lab PC' (running Win7) and obviously no one had turned off the feature (which I always did on 'my' machines) because I came in one morning and it had rebooted, proudly telling me that it had done so to install updates, totally trashing what I had it doing overnight.

I seem to have flummoxed my Win10 machine. It keeps telling me it's going to reboot to complete an update once I'm outside my safe 12-hour lockout window. Except I hibernate it while within that window and don't wake it up until the following day when I'm safely back within that window. It's managed a whole week being frustrated so far.

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Number6
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Re: @Will

Probably because of the number of people who've done it because it's the only way they know to stop it.

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Inside OpenSSL's battle to change its license: Coders' rights, tech giants, patents and more

Number6
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Book Publishing

Isn't this the same sort of argument that Google are making with books? If you don't object to them doing stuff then they can do it. They might have tried to contact you in advance to ask but as you didn't respond they presume consent.

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Number6
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It's a good response that highlights the approach nicely, but he'd fail if there was a legal challenge because he's only given them a week to respond. I suspect a court would consider that unreasonable, whereas a few months would probably be acceptable if there was also proof of adequate attempts to contact everyone. I don't know how long the OpenSSL team have given people to respond, or what attempts have been made, but I'm guessing longer than that. Rewriting stuff is a safer option, of course, if your code isn't in there then you can't complain about the licence.

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Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Number6
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My solution is not to use OneDrive. I'm stuck with a Windows 10 laptop but I never set that bit up, plus I'm typing in a browser window on a Linux VM installed on the machine.

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Number6
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Re: Serve thn right! - for trusting Mcrsoft with good UNIX/Linux interoperability

I did wonder if the poor performance of the new LinkedIn website was due to an MS/Linux issue,but I think I've seen enough people complain about how dire it is that either there's a bug in the browser recognition code that screws everyone equally or it really is just awful.

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Number6
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El'Reg, could we have a signature on these forums, please ?

Ugh No. Or if it has to happen, a single line of text truncated when it get to the RH side of the column.

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US Senate votes to let broadband ISPs sell your browser histories

Number6
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Re: Wiretapping made legal...

That would make an interesting court case trying it with wiretapping laws. It comes back to what I mentioned below - if you've consented to it then they can do it. They also have to get your explicit consent and give you the option to change your mind easily without other penalty (such as "if you don't consent you can't have service")

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