* Posts by mark l 2

910 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

mark l 2
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Re: tamper-proof screws aren't

"There are such things as tamper-proof screws. They are countersunk (of course) and made of some hardened steel, use-once and done up with a standard crosshead screwdriver. However the head profile is sort of sloped so there is no 'undo' edge. The really sneaky bit is the underside of the countersink has lots of reverse sawteeth. They slightly deform the underlying metal as you screw them in, and even without the odd head profile, would dig in hard if you tried to undo them."

With enough torque you can get even these out, I know I have done it using a electric screw driver with a flat head bit, if you put enough downward pressure on the screw head it will still bite despite the sloping edges.

The question should probably be why use screws at all, if the back was not supposed to come off as they claim they could weld it in place.

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UN's freedom of expression top dog slams European copyright plans

mark l 2
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Youtube already have such filters in place and they are a pain in the arse. If you get a false positive where it detects something as being copyright even when it isn't your account gets a strike even if you were entitled to use the works in fair use.

This seems like a law that has been pushed through with lobbying from the media companies who are still trying to hold on to their monopoly.

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Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

mark l 2
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What I foresee occurring is that the EU will force Google to allow the OEMs to sell phones with Android OS without Gapps installed, but then the OEMs will replace Gapps with a load of their own unremovable apps that take you to their wall garden, give you trial versions you have to pay extra to unlock and app stores with hardly any apps worth downloading but there won't be any reduction in price of handsets. Just look how PCs come with loads of bloatware because the manufactures get paid to pre-install it on the PC

A large percentage of Android users are probably happy with Gapps on their Android phone, even if the EU thinks otherwise. They had the option to buy other phones then didn't send their data to Google: Windows, Blackberrry, Ubuntu, Meego, FirefoxOS, Amazon etc but these options have all died as people preferred either iOS or Android.

So good luck with your Google free Android, I hope they do succeed but I fear they will go the same way as many others have.

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Xen Project patches Intel’s Lazy FPU flaw

mark l 2
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"Users have been advised that up to four hours of downtime may be required, but that the pain will come out of business hours and only after advance warning"

Surely they realise that the days of 'Business hours' being 9 to 5 are long gone for many businesses and they now operate 24/7 .

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Apple will throw forensics cops off the iPhone Lightning port every hour

mark l 2
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Re: Easy good passwords, here I go again...

A long password with an uncommon symbols such as µ or » make it super secure as most brute forcers only tries common symbols available on the keyboard plus numbers and letter so would never crack it even if it were left running for 100s of years.

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Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

mark l 2
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Intel's effort in anything other than x86 processors have not been particularly successful and often result in them selling it off or just abandoning it. So i don't hold out much hope that them taking at least 18 months to release a GPU will amount to much.

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Trademark holders must pay for UK web blocking orders – Supreme Court

mark l 2
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[Adrian Speck QC, claiming that ISPs were "profiting" from rights-infringing content and therefore ought to divert those "profits" into the costs of court order compliance.]

How are ISPs profiting from people access a website through their network? The only way they would be profiting is if the ISP is hosting the website or when they block the infringing websites they are sending the traffic to a site owned by the ISP.

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Korean cryptocoin exchange $30m lighter after hacking attack

mark l 2
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Another exchange that left millions sitting around in online wallets rather than storing the majority of them offline and then moving them online as needed. Sure the hack may have still occurred but they might be talking of losses of tens of thousands rather than millions if they had not been lazy and kept everything online.

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GnuPG patched to thwart 'fake filename'

mark l 2
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Don't know when this vulnerability was fixed but my Linux Mint box had an update for this file for download today. Although I don't use any software AFAIK that uses the software I am impressed with the speed that the update was made available.

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UK digital secretary throws cold water over bid for laws on kids' use of social media

mark l 2
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"I object to this. My oldest son at 12 years old, has reluctantly been allowed to have a mobile phone because he gets himself to and from school an d he needs a way to get in touch with us if get has any problems.

However, this has given him access to the internet - which can can only limit via our in-house network, but not via the mobile provider. I have no way of blocking youtube and facebook entirely."

Many people seem to forget that it is only fairly recently that mobile phones have been around and for generations children managed to and from school without any problems without having a phone. If you must buy a child a phone then there are a few dumb phones usually on PAG that just do basic texts and calls and that is it, no internet or apps.

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British egg producers saddened by Google salad emoji update

mark l 2
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Perhaps this idea was thought up by the brain boxes at Heinz that think that Salad Cream needs to be renamed 'Sandwich cream' because people use it on sandwiches more than they do on salads.

Well if the young generation have to have instructions on how to use it in the name of the product they are going to struggle to know what to do with Brown Sauce and perhaps put it down the toilet?

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Microsoft sinks another data centre with Natick 2

mark l 2
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Surely sinking these pods out at sea is more costly than situating them on the coast with the heat exchangers using sea water to cool it. Far less costly to set up and much easier to maintain and upgrade when required.

There are already industrial areas built up around the coast such as ports and power stations which are not suitable for residential properties but usually have good power and comms already available so ideal for such ventures.

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In World Cup Russia, our Wi-Fi networks will log on to you!

mark l 2
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It is trivial to set up a WIFI hotspot using a phone or laptop yourself in a busy public area and wait for people to connect and then start to capture their data no matter what country your in.

How a wireless hotpot is secured whether that be with WPA-2, WEP or is left open with no password has no bearing on how 'secure' you data is going across it.

Don't connect to an unknown wireless networks anywhere and expect that your data is secure unless your taking extra steps such as using a VPN.

This story smells of trying to shoehorn a world cup story onto something that has no bearing on that at all.

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Amazon scam trio primed for prison stretch after million-dollar fraud

mark l 2
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From selling on ebay myself i understand that returning small items costing < £10 that customers claim are faulty it is often easier to refund than ask for a customer to return them. The costs in paying for the return often being more than the item is worth.

Although if i suspect someone is trying to pull a scam I will pay for the return costs, had someone claim an item was broken - worth about £40 - he claimed he had no facilities to send me any photos or videos of the item and was demanding an immediate refund.

I smelled a rat on this occasion and said I would arrange for the item to be collected by a courier "He wasn't going to wait around for a courier to collect". Offered that he could take it to the Post office and I would reimburse him for the postage costs "He had no way of getting to the post office as it was too far away" (I checked and it was about 5 minute walk from the address where the item was delivered to and the item wasn't big or heavy)

In the end after a lot of messages backwards and forwards he said he had managed to 'fix' the item and closed the return. But perhaps similar tactics work with Amazon, say you have no way of returning the item and kick up enough fuss and they just let you keep the items even if they are more expensive ones.

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Intel claims it’s halved laptop display power slurpage

mark l 2
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Although it is good to have a longer battery life on your laptop i think more people would want longer battery life on their phones. I remember reading that the majority of laptops spend most of their time at homes and offices sat on desks and are rarely used on the move, so most of the time they will be plugged into the mains or at least have power close by if required.

I know personally that it is almost 12 months since my laptop was used while out and about as it was when i took my car in for its MOT which is due again soon. On that occasion I was a able to plug it into the mains while i used it anyway.

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nbn™ ponders a gamers' gate to throttle heavy wireless users

mark l 2
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Good to see an infrastructure network that has only recently launched that is already not able to cope with demand from end users.

Most video streaming services offer HD streams with 4K only going to get more popular as people get TVs capable of displaying it which will put even more demand on bandwidth, especially in households with multiple devices online simultaneously.

Did they believe video streaming was just a passing fad and we would all just go back to using the internet for sending emails and browsing text only websites like it were 1999?

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Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

mark l 2
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A series of similar mistakes at my old place of work where multiple people were working on the same machines and they were getting shipped out to client with missing software/drivers/wrong config etc, because everyone assumed someone else has done that part.

Since it was only a small company everybody was expected to do all roles so there was no one officially in charge of QC. This lead us to implement checklist procedure where the PCs wouldn't be shipped until all the check boxes had been ticked and the initials of the person doing the task recorded. It was such as simple change but has a massive improvement as we never has another machine get shipped with missing software or wrong config after bringing in the change.

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'Moore's Revenge' is upon us and will make the world weird

mark l 2
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Re: A chip in everything...

I have no problem with smart TVs, Fridges etc as long as either it the manufacturer offer security updates for say 5 years after purchase or that any online connectivity can be disabled and the item still be usable.

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Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

mark l 2
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I for one always try to have about 50 quid in cash on me at any one time, just in there is a problem with paying by card or getting money out of the ATMs.

Something must have fscked up big time to take down Visa payment all over Europe, wonder how much in lost revenue it will cost? I bet AMEX and Mastercard are rubbing their hands with glee.

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HostingUK drops offline after losing Farmer vs Fibre competition

mark l 2
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Surely it makes sense that the fibre be run along the edges of fields and not across them to reduce the chance of a farmer cutting through them? Sure it might mean extra costs than going the most direct routes but it buy cheap and pay twice.

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Whois? Whowas. So what's next for ICANN and its vast database of domain-name owners?

mark l 2
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I fail to see how much useful info the IP lawyers are getting from the WHOIS data. If you were setting up a dodgy website offering pirated material for download you would be pretty stupid to use your own details in the WHOIS.

At very least you would use a privacy registrations or just give a fake name and address and use a throw away email (which is still easy to do with many registrars)

Even if they made the registrar send out a letter to the snail mail address with an activation code before the domain went live, it is not too much extra cost and effort to buy a mailbox or forwarding address to have it sent to keeping your real mailing address private.

If there is a genuine reason that a law enforcement agency needs to get the details of the owners they can get a warrant from a court to get the registrar to provide the details, just like they would have to do if they wanted the details of who owned a mobile phone number.

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Lessons learned from Microsoft's ghosts of antitrust past: Step up, Facebook

mark l 2
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IE was a steaming pile of turd from the first to the last versions, people has already started to move away from IE to Firefox and Opera which were much better browsers than IE, but then the cash of Google enabled them to deliver their own privacy slurping browser and take the market share away from all 3.

I still use Firefox as my main browser, although I do have Chrome installed as well as both browsers can sync passwords and history across multiple devices and OS. I never bothered to test out Edge as i primarily use Linux Mint as my main OS and no version of Edge is available for Linux.

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Amazon can't or won't collect sales tax in Australia

mark l 2
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A few months ago I tried to buy an Amazon fire case from both Amazon.co.uk and .com to be shipped to my family in Sydney and couldn't find anyone on either site that would ship to an Australian address. So in the end I had to buy it, shipped to my home and then pay to post it to them myself. So i don't think that there could have been that many people in Australia buying from Amazon anyway, they are closer to China than the UK/US so I expect its quicker to get stuff delivered from Aliexpress or similar websites.

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Samsung escapes obligation to keep old phones patched

mark l 2
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Re: Two things

"is Yale obligated to upgrade it so it is hardened against the latest developments in lockpicking techniques?"

In the EU technically you could return your Yale lock to the retailer for up to 2 years after it was purchased if there was found to be a flaw in the lock that meant it could be opened without the key, as goods have to be sold fit for purpose.

If more people took the issue for no security updates with the retailer they bought it from then they in turn would put pressure on the phone manufactures to do something about it, especially if the retailers threatened to pull none compliant devices from their stores.

I don't necessarily agree with everything in EU regulations though, having the same 2 year warranty period for new and used goods seems a little unfair on retailers selling used goods. Surely if your buying used your getting it cheaper than new because there is a higher risk that something could go wrong with it.

Does the law also take in to consideration the age of the the used item when purchased? A used item that was only 6 months old you could reasonably expect to last for a while, yet one that was 10 years old maybe nearing the end of its life. Especially with electronic items or goods with moving parts.

If businesses have to give you the same warranty on all used items as new ones his will probably just result in more used items going into the bin, As companies will see them as a liability that they have to support for 2 years.

As a consumer would be happy with anywhere between 1 - 6 months warranty on used items, depending on the cost i paid for the item and their age.

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BCC is hard, OK? Quite a lot of orgs blurted your email addresses in GDPR mailouts

mark l 2
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It would be better if mail clients showed BCC as the default and you had to enable CC when you needed it, better to be safe and send mail as BCC and find out later you wanted to send it CC than vis versa.

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Smut site offers VPN so you don't bare all online

mark l 2
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The free version is supposedly sponsored by ads but i installed it to test if it would allow me to access geo-locked US websites and not been shown any ads yet. It did work with some sites that are blocked from outside the US but some still came up saying 'this content is not available outside the US' which suggests they use other techniques to identify your location other than your IP.

It seems reasonably quick as well, no noticeable speed difference in general surfing over my standard ADSL2 connection. I did try to see if you could get around having to buy premium for the desktop version by trying to create a wireless hotspot on my phone while the VPN app was connected and then connecting to that from my PC, but that didn't work as although the phones browser went through the VPN the desktop session via the hotspot bypassed it and connected directly. Maybe spoofing the browser or using a proxy server app on the phone could allow you to do it but haven't tried that.

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US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

mark l 2
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FAIL

Sounds like the people who are running these US based sites have no idea on how to run a business (well we know that Yahoo are loosing money faster than the mint cant print it)

Blocking one of the worlds largest economic areas from access your website because you failed to get your house in order before the deadline is an epic fail.

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Welcome to your sci-fi dystopia: Sonic firewalls to crumble inaudible ad-tracking phone cookies

mark l 2
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So some apps can listen to what adverts are showing on my TV/Radio, what use is this to the app developer? TV/radio ads are linear and therefore everyone watching that channel or listening to that station gets the same ads.

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FBI's flawed phone tally blamed on programming error. 7,800 unbreakable mobes? Er, um...

mark l 2
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Seem to have just single out phones in this, but no mention of how many PCs and laptops that use encryption they couldn't get access to the data on. Perhaps because it turns out to be just as many or even more than the number of phones.

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Kids and the web latest: 'Won't somebody please think of the children!' US Congresscritters plead

mark l 2
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So are all the websites that currently allow 13+ children to register going to delete the accounts of anyone who is under 15 when this new law comes in?

The horse has already left the stable regarding children well under 13 signing up and using sites such as Facebook. Some schools even actively set up Facebook pages for the kids to help with homework etc.

Heck people have Facebook accounts for pets which are clearly under 13.

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Ongoing game of Galileo chicken goes up a notch as the UK talks refunds

mark l 2
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So good to see this was another thing the Brexiters had foreseen and planned for well in advance when they decided to campaign for leaving the EU. Well done chaps.

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10 social networks ignored UK government consultations

mark l 2
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The government invited 14 'social networks' but that term in just a buzz word for a site that lets users upload and share their own content.

Now if we consider that there are 1000s of forums and chat rooms that allow people to do the same as 'social networks' and upload and share content then the problem is no longer the fact that only 4 bother to show up, but that the government are only considering whatever laws they decide to bring in will only effect 14 platforms. Where as in reality it could kill off a lot of smaller sites run by communities for none profit because they can't employ moderators or have the expertise to set up AI.

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Huawei Honor 10: At £399, plenty of bang for buck – it's a pity about the snaps

mark l 2
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Maybe because i don't use my phones camera a lot i think the photos from this Honor 10 are perfectly acceptable. If i were a professional photographer then probably the photos wouldn't be good enough to use in a project but for a large percentage of people who will just take 'selfies' to post on social media they look fine.

On the other hand the removal of the SD card slot is a major fail, On a recent London trip my girlfriend spent ages deleting stuff from her iPhone so she could take some more photos and videos. Where as if my phone was full I could walk into 100s of local shops and pick up a Micro SD card for a few quid and give me another 8/16/32/64GB of storage in my phone. I wouldn't purchase another phone unless it had an SD card slot, it can't be more than a few pennies to have one included and they don't take up a huge amount of space.

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Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones

mark l 2
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I believe that Three used to roam onto O2 2G network when the 3G signal was not available but they switched off a while ago and now if you don't get a 4G/3G signal on Three you get nothing.

I doubt Three will switch on their 3G network any time soon since they are only just announcing the end of selling 3G only phones. It will probably be another 10+ years before the 3G is switched off.

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US Congress mulls expanding copyright yet again – to 144 years

mark l 2
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Copyright law is just broken and the only ones who are benefiting a the music and movie studios. I never understood why copyright should even extend beyond a persons death. Everyone else in 'normal' jobs gets paid for their work until they leave, retire or die. If a plumber, accountant, IT support worker etc died tomorrow would you expect to carry on paying for work they had already done for another 80 years?

If you want your family to be financially secure after your death get life insurance or leave them money in your will why should creative artists have special laws that only apply to them?

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Facebook Android app caught seeking 'superuser' clearance

mark l 2
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Re: Sorry, but it's a very poor sensationalist article

I rooted my phone so i could uninstall system apps that I could not remove by any other way, also rooting allowed me to install AFWall firewall app which allows me to control which apps can get access to the internet.

A firewall apps should really come installed by default so i don't need to root to install one. I tried norootfirewall which worked well but would not work with tethering enabled

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Great Scott! Bitcoin to consume half a per cent of the world's electricity by end of year

mark l 2
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Puts things into prospective when only yesterday, I was complaining that my girlfriend was wasting electricity because she had left the computer and monitor switch on all day waiting for an email reply to come through.

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Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

mark l 2
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FAIL

I am assuming apart from the move to 10nm it still has the same Meltdown/Spectre vulnerabilities present that are only fixed with performance reducing software patches.

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Shining lasers at planes in the UK could now get you up to 5 years in jail

mark l 2
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I agree with other posters comments, they could announce a life sentence for shining a laser at an aircraft. But unless they have some Hollywood CSI way of tracing the beam back to the exact point of origin, how are they going to arrest and prosecute for it unless plod happen to catch the criminal in the act?

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Cisco cancels all YouTube ads, then conceals cancellation

mark l 2
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I don't ever recall deliberately clicking on ad advert on a Youtube, the only time i have done it when i was trying to click 'skip ad' and hit the wrong part. But even though after doing that I immediately clicked back/close Google will still count that and charge the advertiser for the click.

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Wanted that Windows 10 update but have an Intel SSD? Computer says no

mark l 2
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FAIL

It is not like SSD are a new technology that MS have had to re-write the OS to support. They worked under the previous version of Windows 10 yet somehow this 'feature update' breaks a previously functional system.

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IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

mark l 2
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"not allowed to browse the internet from your work machine (not allowed to use private browsing, not allowed to clear browser cache) and so on. I've been selected for 'random' audits 3 times in 3 years and been clean each time because for researching problems, downloading patches I use my own personal laptop."

I know that business don't want their employees to spend all day on Facebook or looking at cat videos on Youtube but I can't believe that they have a complete blanket ban on internet use in 2018, especially for staff who work in a support role.

Every IT job i have had going back to the 90s had at least some internet access even if it was a filtered internet connection so some websites were blocked.

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Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed

mark l 2
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I do suspect that Dr Drai has chosen to use this name rather than Dr Draion M Burch for his books purely because it phonetically sounds the same as Dr Dre and it would be a bit of extra publicity.

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Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

mark l 2
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Re: Amiga disk drive

"That's what I could do with an emulator for. A cable that plugs into a Raspberry Pi at one end and a standard PC floppy drive at the other and reads stuff off Amiga formatted disks. I have some old projects on floppies in the cupboard and it would nice to be able to salvage them."

I used to have a Catweasel PCI card for my PC that would read standard Amiga formatted disks under Windows, as well as let you plug in real Amiga mice and joysticks. I sold it a years ago as I no longer had any use for it but they are still available if you need one, try Amibay or Amigakit.

I agree though that a cheap device that would let you connect up a PC floppy to modern hardware and read disks would be good especially if it supports reading games disks with none standard formatting which the Catweasel card could not do.

You could perhaps pick up a cheap second hand Amiga and use a null modem cable to copy the data off that way or if the data isn't sensitive ask around on some Amiga forums I am sure someone with a networked Amiga would do it for you if you posted the disks to them.

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It's 2018, and a webpage can still pwn your Windows PC – and apps can escape Hyper-V

mark l 2
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Given that Adobe arent actively developing Flash any more and are planning to EOL in 2020 how are there still so many security holes in this turd?

There are still lots of websites that you can't use without installing it either, the catch up services from Channel 4, Channel 5 and UKTV still need Flash installed to stream videos. These site also don't work with the Linux version of Flash either even though Linux now get the same version as Windows, the sites will only work under Windows, so the sooner we can ditch flash the better.

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Microsoft vows to bridge phones to PCs, and this time it means it. Honest.

mark l 2
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The Airdroid app for Android has been around for a good many years (I have had it on my phones going back to around 2012) it and lets you do a lot of what MS are proposing from within a browser window on your PC, as because it works in the browser it is platform independent so you can connect from any OS that has a modern web browser.

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Measure for measure: Why network surveys don't count what counts

mark l 2
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I have terrible coverage on EE where i live, I can move my phone 6 inches and go from a good signal to poor, and this is in the suburbs of a large city not some out of the way rural area and their is a mast on the railway line within line of sight of my front door (although no idea if it is an EE mast)

So i mostly rely on the home Wi-Fi when using my phone indoors as I get good WI-FI signal all over my house thanks to reusing an only D-link router with DDWRT as a wireless repeater.

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Kremlin's war on Telegram sees 50 VPNs stopped at the border

mark l 2
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It is suspicious that Roskomnadzo next target is Viber which i had never heard of until today, yet Whatsapp which is surely more popular and provides a similar function to Telegram is not mentioned. Perhaps the Kremlin have therefore broken the Whatsapp encryption and so are hoping that by targeting Telegram/Viber they can drive the users to switch to Whatsapp and then they can monitor their communications.

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Industry whispers: Qualcomm mulls Arm server processor exit

mark l 2
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it will take a big player such as Google, Microsoft or Facebook with deep pockets to announce they are going to go with their own custom ARM server CPUs for others to wake up and take ARM servers seriously.

I am a little surprised after the whole meltdown fiasco that people are still buying Intel hardware at what appears to be the same rates as before, despite the fact that the meltdown bug still exists and at current is only fixed with a patch that slows down the hardware.

Although AMD have made some in roads I think it would take a hardware flaw that couldn't be patched and required physical CPU replacement to shift Intel out of the data centre.

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Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

mark l 2
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if the website were seriously trying to make people use unique strong password they would not allow the user to create their own password but generate them for the user.

I do know of a few websites that do this but your never going to get the big sites to do this because it makes logins more difficult unless you use a password manager to remember the passwords for you.

As long as you can trust the people you live with your passwords are probably safest written down and stored away somewhere safe.It is unlikely your average burglar will steal them during a break in, they looking for cash, jewellery and high value items, not books of passwords.

If your paranoid about having them written down, you could always add some extra letters/numbers on the end of the password which you know to remove when entering the password but someone who is reading your password book would not.

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