* Posts by mark l 2

761 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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The YouTube crackdown on fake news: Promoting bonkers Florida school shooting conspiracies

mark l 2
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With automated systems there will always be ways to defeat them and this video shows it. Maybe the uploader bought a load of views and likes for the video to bump it up in the rankings or perhaps he just shared the video to it on some other high traffic website which got it a lot of views. It is not really Googles fault though, as soon as it was flagged it was removed.

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Australia joins the 'decrypt it or we'll legislate' club

mark l 2
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No matter whether you believe end to end encryption to be a good thing or a bad thing its too late to put the cat back in the bag now and say that the government can have a backdoor.

All this will do is allow the government to spy on innocent people or stupid criminals. Terrorist, criminals who really want there messages to stay encrypted will just switch to using software that has no backdoor.

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Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you

mark l 2
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If buying from a local shop or small business I always try to pay in cash, as it maybe more convenient to the customer to use contactless but the business owner has to pay merchant fees to Mastercard, Visa and Amex for the privilege of taking card payments. Which if you have just popped in and bought a can of pop and some crisps can be a big chunk of any profit the shop would make on the sale. Especially now they are legally no longer allowed to charge extra for card payments.

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Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

mark l 2
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Re: Ads

"How are sites getting revenue from ads these days? Is it what's shown or is it still what is clicked on?"

Its usually both, publishers can earn a few dollars per 1000 impressions of an ad without any clicks but will earn more revenue if the ads get click upon.

So by blocking the ads completely, even if you would have never clicked on them you are stopping the site from earning anything from your visit to their site. I can see more sites blocking you from access and requiring you to turn off adblockers to enter if revenues from ads continue to drop.

I know people will say "any site that won't let be view with my adblocker switched on i will not visit", but will they really be bothered by you not using their site and not gaining them any revenue?

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

mark l 2
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"Arguing that a copy of Windows is essentially useless without a product key, and that all of the recycled machines had their own valid keys.."

Some might argue a copy of windows is essentially useless even with a product key.

But on a serious note, i have burned copies of Windows 7 OEM DVDs for people before when i have fixed their PCs that only came with a 'recovery partition' to reinstall the OS. Which is useless if the hard drive is knackard. Without the COA and product key the disc is essentially a coaster.

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Crunch time: Maplin in talks to sell the business

mark l 2
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Re: Staff not enthusiastic

"Went into my local branch for an SD card for my dashcam and the guy I spoke to quietly suggested that if I'm not desperate, go to Amazon and even pulled up the relevant item on his own phone on Amazon's site!"

Could be that the Maplins employee was running his own side business selling items on Amazon and that i why he was directing you to go there and buy. I wouldn't buy any SD cards from Amazon or Ebay again, there are loads of Chinese fakes for sale on these platforms that will report they are the correct size to the OS but after you have written about 8GB you files will start to disappear or corrupt. I got my fingers burnt with that one and will only buy from a reputable retailer now

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Flight Simulator's DRM fighter nosedives into Chrome's cache

mark l 2
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Trollface

According to Flight Sims Labs pirates only use Chrome for a browser. I am sure freetards everywhere are no switching to Firefox and Edge.

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Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

mark l 2
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I don't think within my lifetime the US will change their attitude on gun ownership, but there are areas where it could be improved. For a start the US requires people to be trained and pass a test before they can drive a car, yet as long as you have no criminal record and no history of mental illness you can buy a gun without any training, and kill a lot more people than with a car.

Perhaps all gun owners should be required to be given a set number of hours of training on the safe use of guns and pass a test to get an 'gun operators license'. No license and you can't own a gun. This should at least reduce the number of accidental shootings even it might not stop someone like the Florida shooter. But then again if the shooter had been monitored for a few hours in an environment around guns it might have shown up some signs of instability or recklessness and the shooting might have been prevented

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Facebook's big solution to combating election ad fraud: Snail mail

mark l 2
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'It isn't clear exactly how the system will work, but presumably it will be more complex than sending potential purchasers a postcard to an address they supply'

You reckon? I think this is exactly what it will be. I think your giving them way to much credit. It will be a simple send out a letter with a confirmation code to a US registered address, the recipient has to enter the code on the website to become verified.

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*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

mark l 2
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So pop ups are not allowed with the new Chrome ad block, but what about pop unders, where a new window or tab opens up in the background? Wouldn't suprise me if they are exempt as these are the type that usually have autoplaying videos in them

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Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

mark l 2
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I am sure all 13 of the Russians are going to be extradited to the US to face these charges as well.

Only the one person will probably ever do any prison time over this, the American. And he was more than likely duped into accepting payments by the Russians, just as lots of people end up laundering money for criminal gangs get caught but the masterminds get away with it.

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Hands up who HASN'T sued Intel over Spectre, Meltdown chip flaws

mark l 2
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I guess it comes down to the fact that if for around 6 months Intel knowingly shipped defective products just to line their pockets, knowing that a patch to fix the flaw would cause the CPUs to become less effective.

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Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'

mark l 2
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There was a time when online adverts used to be static images or text and i have no problem with these type of ads. But then the admen got involved with internet ads and everything had to be animated with videos and sounds distracting you from the main content you were actually their to view, and using up precious bandwidth and CPU cycles. That is when i started to use adblockers.

Now i do visit El Reg often and was blocking ads by default but to help them out since i am usually using visiting from my laptop connected to WiFi i have unblocked the ads. I doubt i will ever click on any of the ads but they should still earn a few pennies from CPM just for having the ads displayed.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

mark l 2
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For my mind all these games should have only been preinstalled on the Windows home editions anyway. Sure you got a few small games like minesweeper and solitaire games pre-installed on Windows 7 pro but if you then upgrade to Windows 10 Pro it adds a load more like Disney Magic Kingdoms and Candy Crush which takes up hundreds of MB of games on a supposedly 'Professional' edition of Windows.

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Despite the headlines, Rudd's online terror takedown tool is only part of the solution

mark l 2
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I am guessing the creators of this AI have not checked out some of the more nefarious black hat forums on the internet where there are entire threads on how to bypass the copyright filters used by Youtube and the like to upload copyrighted content without it getting flagged.

All that will happen now is that ISIS will start to use those black hat techniques to fool the AI and by pass the checks, resulting in ISIS videos making in through while lots of false positives will be held for moderation.

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Roses are red, revenge is so sweet. Microsoft extracts a few quid from Corel Office Suite

mark l 2
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It is a pity Microsoft won out on this one, I don't think it should be possible to copyright the laying out of a few icons in a certain order, it is hardly an original idea. It's just another way of MS protecting it's monopoly by not allowing competitors to make an office suite which allow users to easily switch without needing to learn a new UI.

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Not cool, dude: Brit web host Hotchilli Internet freezes itself for good

mark l 2
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I don't know how many existing customers Hotchilli has but i am sure if they had approached a competitor and asking if they would be willing to take over the hosting of Hotchilli customers websites, this would be better than just telling them to backup and move to another host.

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Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

mark l 2
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Do MPs really expect social media sites to fact check every single piece of information that is posted on their platform?

If they legislate to make them publishers and are responsible for the content their users post they will probably just shut their UK offices and retreat back to the US, as there aren't enough moderators in the world to check the massive amount of posts, videos and photos uploaded to these sites everyday.

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Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

mark l 2
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Myself and my mates were all keen bedroom DJs back in the 90s and the only way of recording our mixes was on cassette tapes. I also use to tape a lot of DJ mixes from the likes of Pete Tong, Stu Allan and Andy Roberts from the radio which I still have on cassette and I doubt these recording exist anywhere else these days. I dug all my tapes out a few months ago to digitise them and they are still waiting for me to hook up my Technics tape deck to record them onto my computer.

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BT backs down from charging millions in phone book listing fees

mark l 2
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They still have paper phone books?

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Wish you could log into someone's Netgear box without a password? Summon a &genie=1

mark l 2
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I still don't know why Netgear, Dlink etc don't use OpenWRT or similar on their devices rather than their own badly written crud.

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As GDPR draws close, ICANN suggests 12 conflicting ways to cure domain privacy pains

mark l 2
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The whois data was never really checked for accuracy anyway, they would send you an email every year to say 'is this info correct' but you could pretty much put in whatever you want and as long as your bill was paid when it was time for renewal most registrar's never gave a toss.

I always use the whois privacy option on .com and .net domains so i don't get spammed. Freenom don't charge any extra for this and their prices are reasonable rather than offering 1st year really cheap then ramping up the price for the 2nd year.

Unfortunately Nominet didn't allow privacy registrations for .co.uk domains when I registered my domain back in 200 (this may have changed now) and because of that the .co.uk domain gets loads spam about my domain expiring and even got some postal mail domain name scams because I had my home postal address linked to that site is published in the whois.

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It took us less than 30 seconds to find banned 'deepfake' AI smut on the internet

mark l 2
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Well not to worry as the UK is coming to the rescue and we won't be able to see any pr0n without the BBFC approving it first. So Mumsnet users let your kids run free on the internet and if they do see pr0n it's the government's fault not yours.

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From July, Chrome will name and shame insecure HTTP websites

mark l 2
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Where as any site where you enter personal information or login needs to be SSL secured, It is not needed for all websites. I visit some retro computing sites that remain on http to be compatible with old browsers on original hardware that don't support SSL/TLS and it will be annoying if Chrome makes me jump through hoops every time i want to visit them from my laptop. If i can't switch this off in Chrome I will be moving to another browser.

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Intel adopts Orwellian irony with call for fast Meltdown-Spectre action after slow patch delivery

mark l 2
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If the HP, Dell etc refused to provide the patch because your 'outside of warranty' you could return it under the sale of goods act to the place you originally purchased it as not fit for purpose, for up to 6 years in the EU i believe. I am sure if enough PCs got returned this way the PC sellers would put pressure on the manufactures to resolve the issue or they will stop selling their gear with Intel inside in favour of AMD or Arm systems.

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Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!

mark l 2
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I wouldn't trust any Symantec software not just their certs. I have never known such a terrible company, they consistently manage to take a good product and make it into a steaming pile of crap.

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Why is Bitcoin fscked? Here are three reasons: South Korea, India... and now China clamps down on cryptocurrencies

mark l 2
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Even fiat currencies can get undermined by rogue states or criminals. If enough fake cash is created and distributed then people loose confidence in the currency and the value of the real money get's devalued.

It has happened before, Germany had virtually flawless counterfeit US dollars and British pound notes at the end of WW2 but never got around to circulating them in large numbers. It's also believe that North Korea is behind better than the original copies of US $100 notes called the 'supernote'.

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Skype for Biz users: Go watch nature vids. Microsoft wants you to get good at migration

mark l 2
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Just what businesses want, to have to keep migrating to new products when MS get bored and decide that they will release something new to replace the thing that was new only a couple of years ago.

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2017 tablet market trended towards torpor

mark l 2
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"Microsoft certainly has high hopes for its efforts, not least because they’ll be sold through telcos with a data plan and offer battery life said to be an order of magnitude beyond that of current tablets"

Other than them having bigger batteries that iPads or Android tablets i fail to see how Windows ARM tablets will offer that much better battery life, even with a custom designed SOC just for Windows on Arm i doubt it is going to be that much of an improvement

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Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases by credit card customers

mark l 2
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What next from your bank?

No using your card to purchase booze, cigarettes, fast food as these could all kill you and we need your interest payments to keep paying out big fat bonuses?

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Peers approve Brit film board as pr0n overlords despite concerns

mark l 2
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FAIL

Who uses a credit card to view pr0n these days anyway?

Even the new stuff from p0rn site is available on forums within hours of it being published on the pay websites to download for free. Or just type whatever fetish your in to on Google images and let it come back with 1000s of hits

All this is going to do is create load of phishing sites that look like naughtyspankglrls.com but with a fake age verification page to harvest credit card details.

And unless the BBFC are suddenly taking on 1000s of new staff to monitor the millions of sites that peddle smut online there is no way they will be able to keep any sort of list up to date.

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CableLabs signs off MAC spec for DOCSIS full duplex

mark l 2
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Re: What difference does it make what wifi router you put on it?

"I can run a school with 500 pupils off a 100Mbit leased line. But every member of staff probably has 75-100Mbps connections to their home"

I remember back about 15 years ago i was called out to a problem at a school site which had about 500 pupils and their internet was a 128 kilobit ISDN connection for the whole site, including the staff. To fix their issue I needed to download a service pack which came in at a few hundred megabyes in size. I worked out it was quicker to go home (a 40 minute round trip) and download it on my home cable internet connection put it on a USB drive and then go back than continue to wait for it to download on the schools internet connection.

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No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft

mark l 2
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This is clearly a way of MS trying to sell more Window 10 upgrades as I doubt there is any technical reason why Office 2019 couldn't run on Windows 7. And i bet someone will work how out to do it when it eventually arrives.

As others have pointed out, other than the fact there are no support for the older Office versions there is usually little worth upgrading to a new version of Office for most users.

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Should ISPs pay to block pirate websites? Supreme Court to decide

mark l 2
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Does blocking even make any difference to people buying from these counterfeit goods websites? I doubt it. As soon as the ISP block one domain name the scammers can have another one online in hours. Look at how effective blocking The Pirate Bay has been, I just typed 'The Pirate bay' into Google and the first link i clicked on took me straight there, even though it is supposed to be blocked.

Although i don't used my ISP's DNS servers so perhaps this is why i can get to it.

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Fella faked Cisco, Microsoft gear death – then sold replacement kit for millions, say Feds

mark l 2
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I never understood the US legal system and their sentence lengths, unless the US government thinks that that superheroes or aliens are actually among us who live for centuries, why bother given sentences of hundreds of years for a crime?

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Intel alerted Chinese cloud giants 'before US govt' about CPU bugs

mark l 2
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Since 2 different security teams discovered the bugs it seems very likely the NSA knew about it before the announcement, they probably had malware that took advantage of it but as with all the other flaws they discoverer they wouldn't have informed the vendors when they discovered it as they want to keep it for their own use as long as possible.

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Crypto-jackers slip Coinhive mining code into YouTube site ads

mark l 2
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I am sure Coinhive could do more to stop people misusing its service. They could put a 30 day hold on payouts so that if any abuse reports come in the account payout is put on hold. They could also block the use of the old version of the script that doesn't let the end user switch off the script.

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Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf

mark l 2
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I still fail to see how it costs 11 million to put a 24 hour watch on one building? Lets say they dedicate 6 officers to cover always having 2 staking it out at any one time on 8 hour shifts, and then need to cover the costs of another 6 officers to that they lost because of these 6 being on the embassy watch.

Now they don't exactly need experienced officers to stand outside an embassy so your standard police constable should do and they are on about £23k per year, so times that by 12 and we get £276,000 now lets double that amount to be extra generous to cover administrative costs, overtime etc and we are at over half a million quid a year. Well unless he has been in the embassy for over 20 years its no where near the 11 million they are claiming it costs. Something very suspect about those numbers.

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Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at

mark l 2
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I am caught between not liking ads but realising from running my own websites that you need ads if your offering something for free and want to be able to make some money from your content.

There are of course other options other than ads, going behind a pay wall is one, but it is not really suitable for most websites as people are used to getting stuff for free online so even charging 10p to let people access your site would probably send 99% of people away.

Asking for people to make a donation, you might get people donating if your site is a forum or other 'community' but for other types of site I doubt you would even get enough people donating to cover your hosting costs.

Using crypto coin mining scripts is another option but these are frequently getting blocked by AV software and ad blockers now. Also to make the same amount as you can get from ads with coin miners you need more visitors spending longer period on your site.

At the moment there aren't any viable alternative for smaller sites to make money from their website without ads.

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New Sky thinking: Media giant makes dish-swerving move on Netflix territory

mark l 2
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The way this is announced is though the satellite broadcasts will be switched off in the next 12 months. There are still a lot of areas of the country that don't have fast enough internet to make IPTV practical, especially if you have other people in the house using the internet for other things so satellite will be around for at least another decade yet.

What it doesn't mention in this article is the new EU rules on geo-blocking are due this year which will mean that broadcaster are no longer able to restrict the content to only show in specific countries. So you will legally be able to buy a UK Sky subscription from any EU country, so having it all available on IPTV gives Sky a vast new market to sell to. But on the reverse it also means other pay TV operators can start to sell their service to UK customers from the EU meaning you could get sporting events cheaper than Sky by using an EU pay TV provider.

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Microsoft whips out tool so you can measure Windows 10's data-slurping creepiness

mark l 2
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I recently upgraded my Windows 7 pro dual boot partition to Windows 10 pro using the "assistive technology' free upgrade so i didn't have to pay for it. Now I only had about 5 extra programs installed that onto of a clean Win 7 install before the upgrade yet once I had upgraded to the 'Professional' edition of Windows 10 installed I had load of links to games in the start menu, Hmm very professional.

As well as that it now randomly crashes telling me it has to reboot to fix the problem, which never occurred under Win 7, on rebooting the Windows Error reporting process is shown as using 99% of my disk time causing the laptops to massively slow down, to the point i have to end the task to do anything with it.

The whole experience makes me feel that Windows 10 still isn't ready for being used in a live environment yet. I am certainly glad I got the upgrade for free as I wouldn't be happy if I had to pay for it. As i now have the license activated, I will probably go back to Windows 7 until support runs out and I am forced to update to 10.

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£60m, five years late... Tag criminal tagging as a 'catastrophic waste' of taxpayers' cash

mark l 2
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Locking people up who aren't a risk to the public is a waste of time and money, especially on short sentences. They aren't in prison long enough for it to be a major deterrent or for them to get any skills to enable them to get a job on release, and will often pick up other tips from criminals on how not to get caught next time.

Electronic tagging and curfews could work for a lot of these offenders, but why they decide to do their own bespoke version rather than buy an existing 'off the shelf' system is beyond me.

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FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds

mark l 2
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The problem is that the technical definition of broadband would allow a 1 megabit connection over coax cable to be broadband as it is not a narrowband connection. The FFC have implemented their own definition of broadband that is not the same as the technical definition and this doesn't help with the confusion that customers face over internet speed.

I remember way back in the early 2000s UK cable company NTL had a 128 kilobit service that they were able to define as broadband because it used their coax cable even though it often delivered slower speeds that narrowband ISDN.

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There are other, legal ways to nab Microsoft emails, privacy groups remind Supremes

mark l 2
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Perhaps its time that Microsoft spun of its Irish data centre operation as a separate legal entity so that they could say that the US parent company has no say over the Irish part and the DOJ needs to deal with the Irish company directly.

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Software that predicts whether crims will break the law again is no better than you or me

mark l 2
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Re: OASys

The UK OASys is based on dynamic and static risk factors. The persons, age, number of previous convictions, etc are things the crim can never change so are static risks, but it also takes into account their employment history, education, any problems with drink or drugs etc and these are things the criminal can work on by doing interventions such as drug rehab or obtaining their basic maths and English qualifications or doing a training course which will reduce their dynamic risk as supposedly it will make them more employable and less likely to reoffend.

Of course a lot of these factors really only apply to offences where the criminal was doing it for financial gain, someone who was convicted of murder, manslaughter or sexual offences may have good education, been employed and no previous convictions so these risk factors are less likely to make any difference to whether they reoffended or not.

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Ford giving 'leccy car investment a jolt to the tune of $11 BEEELLION

mark l 2
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I think the only viable electric vehicles will be hybrid for the foreseeable future in the UK unless we can charge up full electric cars as quickly as we can refuel petrol and diesel cars. A large proportion of people don't have a don't have a driveway on which to park the car so charging up overnight isn't really an option. Even if i could park directly outside my house, (which I can't always do) I couldn't run a cable from my house to the car as it would have to go across the public pavement and would therefore become a trip hazard. Also the local youths would probably have great fun going round unplugging everyone's cars from the power at night as well, meaning you would wake up to find not enough charge in the battery to get to work the next day.

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Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

mark l 2
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Re: As she is 14 years old

'Somebody posted that image. And it's not like Facebook can't find out who.

Why are they protecting a pedophile?'

The person who uploaded the photo of this teenager wouldn't be a pedophile as the definition of pedophilia is someone who is attracted to prepubescent children, despite it being the catch all phrase that the media use for anyone where the crime involves someone underage. I know people who work in criminal psychology and they tell me only a very few people who committed a sexual offenses against children would be classed as a pedophile as most times the victim is a teenager.

If this were the case then everyone who looked at a topless 16y.o Sam Fox from back is the 1980s is a pedophile now. The law was changed to make it illegal for anyone under 18 to pose topless back in 2003 and now those photos would be classed as child pron.

I am not sure how getting a out of court financial settlement helps with this young girls mental anguish, that they were claiming. I doubt the money is going to be spent on the girls mental well-being with therapy or counseling. I am all for guilty people being prosecuted for criminal offenses but suing for payouts only encourages false accusations from gold diggers. Create a fake account > upload some photos > then sue FB for it

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Cryptocurrencies to end in tears, says investor wizard Warren Buffett

mark l 2
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There are other things which exist and people are willing to invest and spend money on but when you think about it have no real value, take a bunch of flowers they grow in the ground for free yet loads of people go out and buy them, but their only purpose is to look pretty for a couple of weeks then they are just junk. Yet there is a multi million pound industry made around something that is already dead from the moment it was picked from the plant.

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Audio tweaked just 0.1% to fool speech recognition engines

mark l 2
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I wondered if this technique will work with other audio other than voice? If so it could also be used to get around Youtube annoying song recognition where you videos have to have parts of the audio replaced or muted or you have to allow moneytised by the song copyright owner because there happened to be a bit of music playing in the background when you made your video.

I can understand them not wanting people to make money off others work, but sometimes you can't always turn down music if what your filming is occurring in real time and is not a repeatable event

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CPU bug patch saga: Antivirus tools caught with their hands in the Windows cookie jar

mark l 2
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part of the problem is that you must have AV on a Windows box if you want to use it anywhere near the internet, but because it is closed source the AV vendors have no choice than to try to fudge things to get them working.

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