* Posts by mark l 2

598 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Alphabay shutdown: Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do? Not use your Hotmail...

mark l 2

I think that people are going to be wary of using whatever takes over from Alphabay after this news has broke. It is one thing that the site owner got caught because he was stupid enough to use a hotmail address that he also used elsewhere. But to leave all your data exposed on an unencrypted laptop means that the police will be able to start tracing the details of all the transactions that took place on the site and start to arrest the dealers and the buyers.

I am still unsure what to make of this suicide in prison story though, all seems a bit too convenient. I know someone who spent several months in a Thai prison over immigration issues. He tells me that if you have money you can pay off the prison guards and live quite comfortably with your own cell with DVD player, fridge and food brought in for you from the outside and lot of other comforts. If your poor (like most of the Thai prisoners rather than westerners) then your sharing a cell with 30 others lying on a concrete floor with one toilet between you all.

With the amount of money he had i am sure that would have bought him a lot of KFC meals from outside.

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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

mark l 2

I can't see what is so different about the creators update that MS won't be able to offer Atom support yet they can provide it on the Anniversary update for another 5 years?

It is sad that a piece of IT equipment that was new in 2013 is now considered obsolete.

I am typing this on a 8 year old Dell laptop which runs Windows 7 and Linux Mint absolutely fine and will probably continue to use it for the next couple of years unless something fails on it.

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Dark web souk AlphaBay shuts for good after police raids

mark l 2

Re: re: Could be another scam

I was thinking along the same lines, the Thai police can be pretty corrupt and if you have millions of dollars in the bank I am sure you could bribe enough people to have 'died' in jail and get yourself a new identity.

He would need to get out of Thailand as soon as possible though as once you have paid the cops off once they will be back again for more

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UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

mark l 2

Re: So what's the use?

Assuming that GCHQ can break E2E now I guess they want it putting in law so that if some future app comes out that the spooks cannot break the legislation requires the app maker to add a backdoor to operate in Australia.

What worried me more is they keep mentioning handset manufacturers and not just app creators, which sounds like they want a backdoors putting into all phones even those that don't use these E2E messaging apps.

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Ransomware-slinging support scammers hire local cash mule in Oz

mark l 2

Perhaps this Ozzie chap was genuine and thought he was just the local rep for a tech support company in Asia or wherever they are based so he set all the companies up using his real name and address. The scammers are obviously quite clever and probably had flashy looking websites genuine phone numbers for him to call etc and could fake official looking documents to make it all look genuine.

I mentioned a similar thing on another post a few days ago where people are duped into selling goods using their own ebay account from drop shipping companies and the ebay sellers get to keep 50 quid per item for everything they sell. Obviously when the goods don't arrive with the customer the police come tracking it back to the ebay seller. These scammers rely on people being a bit naive and also out to make a fast buck.

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Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

mark l 2

I doubt the Ethereum miners are going to create enough demand for PCs with GPUs to suddenly rescue the failing PC market. All it takes it someone hackets to set up a bot net mining Ethereum with 1000s of machines and then in another years time the price of Ethereum will then fall to a level that makes it uneconomical to mine them that way

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Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

mark l 2

Re: I feel retarded

My guess is that the scumbags get they money by getting innocent people to unwittingly accept money to their bank accounts. China has a lot of people who live on a few dollars per day so if you offer them to open bank accounts with the promise that they can keep even just 1% of the money deposited in there you will probably get a lot of people willing to sign up.

Heck this even happens over in the west. If you look on some of the classified ads websites that are not moderated you will see people advertising 'jobs' to "sell items on ebay and get paid £50 per item" Anyone who takes these offers up is likely to get a knock on the door from the police in a month or two down the line when all the customers who bought stuff complain they didn't receive their items and ebay have frozen the accounts.

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Crashed RadioShack flogs off its IPv4 stash

mark l 2

Things aren't helped by the fact that the entire 127.0.0.0/8 range is reserved for loopback. And we have to different ranges for internal none routing networks. I guess when the standards were being devised they couldn't for see it ever running out

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

mark l 2

It has been a while since I worked for a local council, but I am guessing that whoever put this out to tender did it to cover their own back to show that when they ordered the 3 quid Amazon cable they were getting 'best value' as they are told they have to do. It's doubtful that the usual IT suppliers would better that price. It's ridiculous bureaucracy to have to do this for such a low value item. I don't remember our department having to do this for such small items but it was 10 years ago. We would often buy small items such as the odd replacement, keyboard, mice, DVD-ROM drive etc from the local PC World down the road.

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Android 'forensic' app pulled from Google Play after vulnerability report

mark l 2

Don't worry we will have government sanctioned vulnerabilities in our phone apps soon if the 5 eyes get their way

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

mark l 2

Sounds good but I would have thought that something like scientificlinux.org or CentOS would be a better distro to base it on than Ubuntu since the recent announcement by Shuttleworth about Ubuntu concentrating on the server side from now on.

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How to pwn phones with shady replacement parts

mark l 2

If someone has physical access to my device then I assume that someone with sufficient technical knowledge can gain access to the contents. The only thing I have on there that would be of concern to someone tampering is my banking app.

I am more concerned with manufacturers fixing remote exploits that affect millions of handsets than something that will only affect a small number of devices.

But then again I usually buy low end phones that cost about 100 quid so if the screen breaks its probably cheaper to just go and buy a new phone.

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Photobucket says photo-f**k-it, starts off-site image shakedown

mark l 2

Hopefully they won't just 404 the externally hosted pics but instead replace them with one that says 'click here to view the image' and it then takes the user through to view it on the Photobucket website then there won't be any loss of potentially useful images.

But where did they pick $400 per year from? Even if there weren't free alternatives and you were willing to pay. You can still save money by getting storage with a hosting provider and then paying someone of Fiver to go through all the photos on your blog and upload them to your new hosting. You also won't have to worry about breaching the Photobucket T&Cs on things such as nudity going down that route either.

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Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

mark l 2

I guess one worry is all the debris that floating about in near earth orbit. A flake of paint traveling at 10000 mph can put a hole through a fragile satellite. Image if a you get an out of control satellite that impacts another satellite that could create enough debris to cause a chain reaction which could wipe out every satellite in orbit, not just GPS.

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Huge ransomware outbreak spreads in Ukraine and beyond

mark l 2

If it is just file tables / MBR then it maybe possible to recover with something that can rewrite them. I think testdisk can do this under linux and I seem to remember some utility on the UBCD Windows PE boot disk could do it also.

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We'll drag Microsoft in front of Supremes over Irish email spat – DoJ

mark l 2

The US already thinks that their law should be applied worldwide so this is hardly a suprise. They went after Kim Dotcom for the Megaupload site even though neither the servers, data or Kim Dotcom were in the US.

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Men charged with theft of free newspapers

mark l 2

How is prosecuting this a useful use of our criminal justice system. Which bozo at the CPS told the police to go ahead and charge? Unless they were well know to the police before but alway got off for lack of evidence and this time they were caught red handed. But as others have pointed out, if they are taking something that is given away free, have they broken the law by taking them all?

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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

mark l 2

Do politicians not have technical advisers to tell them why this is such a bad idea? Or do the politicians just choose to ignore the facts anyway and push on with their own agenda which is all about staying in power.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

mark l 2

The original article was spot on about the plastic used to make the jewel case. I have dropped them onto a carpet from just a couple of feet and they have cracked or the hinges have broken. Yet plastic containers which was designed for one use such as food containers can be dropped from 6 feet onto concrete without damage.

I very much doubt MP3s are going to suddenly go away. Even if the codec is removed from phones, tablets and computers sometime in the future then why would it not just be a matter of downloading an application or codec to play them back? Heck my Linux Mint install was able to play Amiga SoundTracker files out of the box without me having to download anything extra.

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Tech giants flash Russia their code blueprints in exchange for access

mark l 2

What I read was that Symantec know their code is so crappy and full of holes they don't want the Russians or anyone else seeing it.

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Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

mark l 2

I can see 6 Virginmedia wireless network from my laptop all starting VM with random numbers after it. perhaps I should fire up my Kali live CD ;)

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Apple ups the stakes in patent royalties battle with Qualcomm

mark l 2

Although I do hope that Apple win the court case against Qualcomm I doubt Apple will bother passing the saving they make onto the end user by lowering their handset costs. Any profit at the moment will be going into the pocket of patent lawyers.

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Cisco's 'encrypted traffic fingerprinting' turned into a product

mark l 2

Sounds ideal for the NSA and GCHQ to monitor everybodies encrypted internet data to fingerprint those who are upto naughty things.

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South Korean hosting co. pays $1m ransom to end eight-day outage

mark l 2

What happens if they ransomers fail to release the keys after they have paid up $1m? You can't put in a complaint.

People who extort money from you can hardly be trusted on their word.

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Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

mark l 2

If it's a retro console they are planning on building then there are already plug into a TV joysticks that come with loads of Atari games on them (not sure of the legality of them though) so why it would be years in the making I can't understand.

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Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

mark l 2

It was good to see FB put more importance on slinging ads at the admins by making them use their personal accounts over their privacy.

This is the reason why I don't use FB

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When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!

mark l 2

I know that this law might get misused by some large organizations to get unfavorable stories removed from search engines but in general it was meant to protect individuals who may have done something in the past that they regret which is effecting them now because it comes up on a Google search

A friend of mine was done for drug possession when he was a teenager, he is now in his 30s and has a family and never been in trouble since. The conviction has now expired - so he doesn't need to inform people when he applies for a job - but yet stories in the local newspapers online archive could still be found by a Google search and could affect his job prospects.

If Google had been told the law requires them to remove the link, to just push the link one extra click away is them clearly trying to get around the law.

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It's 2017 and someone's probably still using WINS naming. If so, stop

mark l 2

Hang on. If WINS is still available as a service in supported versions of Windows then MS should be fixing it, even if it is a big job, that what they are supposedly providing patches for.

If I were to tell my users that fixing a problem with their systems would be to much work, I would soon be out of a job. it is NOT a reasonable excuse.

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Tails OS hits version 3.0, matches Debian's pace but bins 32-bit systems

mark l 2

Re: I think the point is that..

Linux User and Developer Magazine from Imagine Publishing still comes with a cover DVD, usually with a Linux distro on it. Its a little pricey at 5.99 though

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Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms

mark l 2

What I want to know is...

How will this affect Getiplayer?

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France and UK want to make web firms liable for users' content

mark l 2

The tech companies are unlikely to employ more moderators just to appease the French and UK governments so instead they will just implement automated solutions so that as soon as something is reported, its taken down without ever being checked by a moderator, as they would rather stay on the safe side than get fines.

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Oz government says UK's backdoor will be its not-a-backdoor model

mark l 2

I am actually beginning to think that all these talks of backdoors is either just blowing smoke to make believe that they can monitor communications in realtime when they know they have been shafted. Or to cover up the fact that they have already cracked the encryption but don't want people to know.

With the Signal Protocol software -that is used by Whatsapp and other end-to-end encrypted chat software- open source any app developer can create their own chat apps and just host the servers outside the US, UK or Australia to get around it.

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

mark l 2

I don't have a Pi but am a Linux user (Mint). Why does the Pi not force people to change the default password on first login like other Linux distros do? Even if the end user change it to a weak password it's better than them continuing on the default

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Jailed fraudster admits running same cold-caller con from behind bars

mark l 2

It is extremely unlikely he would be able to do it from the prison's phone system as the prison service instruction related to communications requires all numbers be approved before they can be called, and all calls are recorded and some cons will even have all their calls monitored in real time by the staff if they think they are using the prison phone to intimidate victims or commit a crime.

Mobile phones are a big problem in prison though, either they can be thrown over the wall (I have heard of dead pigeons being used as a 'jiffy bag' to hide and protect the phone when doing this) and they lag picks it up from the exercise yard. Flown over the wall with a drone, Smuggled in on a visit by a friend or family member or even unfortunately on rare occasions brought in by corrupt staff.

As for the charger, you don't need a plug just a micro USB cable these days, which are easier to smuggle up the bum. Then the prisoners can easily find somewhere to plug it in with a USB interface -some prisoners are allowed Playstations and xbox console if they have been well behaved which have USB ports- or else strip the USB plug of the end and charge it from AA batteries or from the 5v port on the SCART sockets they have on the cell TVs.

Once we get rid of all these inner city prisons and all prisons are out of town i can't see any reason why they can't block all mobiles in the area by having their own mobile base station which only allows approved IMEI numbers to connect. Staff and other visitors have to leave their phones at the gate house so its not a problem for them.

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Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

mark l 2

This is why proprietary protocols rather than using standard such as SIP are sometimes a bad idea. I think Microsoft should at least allow people who have one of these phone to port their phone number over to other VOIP services so they can carry on using that number.

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Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

mark l 2

I have no problem with none intrusive ads as running my own website I know how important it is to have ads when your giving your content away for free. But I don't force anyone who is using an ad-blocker to disable it before they can get to my website as I know how annoying this is myself. Instead I have back-up revenue option in the form of affiliate text links to Amazon products which aren't blocked by ad-blockers and users generally don't mind them.

If people running ad-blockers are going to be getting redirected to a paywall it sounds like the next big thing will be a paywall redirect blocker plugin.

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PayPal peed off about Pandora's 'P' being mistaken for its 'PP'

mark l 2

I hadn't consciously realised that was the Paypal logo, so i doubt i would confuse the two brands, although I didn't know what Pandora was - I thought they made jewelry until i read this article.

The infilled letter P and the colour are pretty similar though.

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No nudity please, we're killing ourselves: Advice to Facebook mods leaks

mark l 2

I got rid of my FB account several years ago, although you can't actually delete it only 'deactivate' which makes me wonder how many of the 2 billion accounts are actually being used since FB don't seem to ever delete accounts no matter how long they haven't been inactive.

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Phishing scum going legit to beat browser warnings

mark l 2

It is no suprise that scammers have taken advantage of getting SSL certs since you can now get them with no financial cost or checks. Letencrypt.org or cloudflare.com both allow you to get SSL connections for free with nothing more than an email address needed. While there service are good for genuine website to get themselves a SSL cert they were bound to be abused by the scammers, let just hope that a solution is found before these free SSL certs end up not being trustworthy and all the existing certs get revoked

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

mark l 2

While XP was only supported until 2014, Windows 7 is under support until 2020, but how does that work when some versions of Windows 7 came with XP mode which is essential a VM running XP, surely if they are offering functions such as XP mode as part of the OS Microsoft should continue supplying patches for the XP mode virtual machine until the support for Win 7 ends?

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DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time

mark l 2

I liked this idea when Motorola brought out the Atrix phone in about 2011, surprised the idea hadn't been resurrected sooner.

Still think the dock is a little expensive though for what is essentially just an USB OTG adapter with HDMI and ethernet interfaces. I am sure that these cost no more than about $20 to actually manufacturer. The specifications for this have been around for years with MHL - which Samsung used to support on their devices but now hardly any phones support.

There is a list of which new phones do support MHL here although its a few month ago now so before the S8 was released.

https://www.computersdealstore.com/list-of-all-2016-2017-phones-supporting-mhl-or-hdmi-output/

The only difference is that the S8 looks to give you a different desktop interface rather than the standard Android and perhaps this is easy to use with a keyboard and mouse than standard Android which is a little clunky when not using it with a touch screen.

Personally i would want a laptop style dock though -like the Atrix had - so i can sit on the sofa and work rather than a desk based dock

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While Microsoft griped about NSA exploit stockpiles, it stockpiled patches: Friday's WinXP fix was built in February

mark l 2

I am far from a Windows fanboi (my day to day system run Linux) but I actually don't blame Microsoft for hoarding in this situation, It us understandable that they wrote the patches for XP when they wrote the patches for other Windows OS because some organisations pay for custom support for XP (like the NHS used to do) so would need it patching or for the embedded version of XP which is still under support. They will have written loads of XP patches since it fell out of mainstream support in 2014 which have not been released to the public. They didn't have to release the patch to fix the hole being used by Wannacrypt, they could have just put out a press release saying that you need to upgrade to a supported version of Windows to get a fix.

Even if the NHS were running Linux on their machines, if it was a out of date distro released 15 years ago it would likely to be as vulnerable as an unpatched XP machine is today.

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Sophos waters down 'NHS is totally protected' by us boast

mark l 2

I am assuming that the malware writers targetted their malformed PDF to Adobe Acrobat reader users as that is the most common version. Does the ransomware still work if the user was using an alternative PDF reader such as Foxit reader or Sumatra?

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

mark l 2

Re: From North of the Border

Jeremy Chunt saved a few million by ending the support contract for XP but how much has this ransomware cost the NHS in lost man hours because people can't do their jobs?

Lets say in a week all systems are restored and patched, their will be other vulnerabilities in XP that someone could take advantage of and it we could be reading the same story again in a few months time.

If there are systems where the software will only work on XP its time to evaluate either having them air gapped, replaced or paying for new software to be written for an updated OS. Keeping the status quo is just not an option.

On another point who knew that all it took to get some free XP patches out of MS was a massive cyber attack on one of the worlds largest employers.

On a side note now that XP is not supported by Microsoft and therefore im assuming the EULA agreement is no longer valid, can i now sell my OEM copies of XP? (assuming anyone would want to buy it)

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Naked Androids to rampage across Russia

mark l 2

Yandex could just do what Amazon have done and fork Android and make their own flavour of Android but with their own search.

But of course that would cost them money and time and they would need to encourage OEMs to offer this new OS on their phones. It would also mean that there would be no Google play store, Maps or other Google apps so they would then have to create their own app store and try to encourage app developers to upload their apps to this new store.

So instead what they want to do is get Google to do all the hard work take on all the costs and then cut Google out of the equation.

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

mark l 2

It wouldn't surprise me if some other UK gov organizations also got hit by this. But if its MOD, GCHQ or Police etc they won't got public with it.

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US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over

mark l 2

Copyright law should be there to protect the small independent content creators but in reality it is just big businesses who use it to bully the small people. I don't see any reason - other than for big business to make money- for copyright to continue after the death of the creator. I wouldn't expect my employer to continue paying me for work I did years ago after I had died.

I think that 50 years is a fair amount of time for most content such as books and films to be under copyright and others which are generally only of use for a very short amount of time (such as newspaper and magazine content) could be even less before they become public domain.

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

mark l 2

Would this new law cover UK data centres?

If your a data centre business has to be able to monitor all the traffic in and out your going to find a lot of your customers moving their servers to outside the UK jurisdiction

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Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

mark l 2

Windows 10 S reminds me of those starter editions of Windows 7 that they did to run on netbooks (remember them) it sort of has some functionality but is really just a crippled version of the full OS. So why worry about being locked into using Edge and Bing on a platform that is essential Windows RT but on x86 and will be dead in 18 months anyway.

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Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

mark l 2

How many US schools still don't have WiFi coverage over their campus?

It has been over 10 years since i worked in schools but even then most of them had WiFi networks. Perhaps some US schools made with lead lined walls to absorb all the stray gunfire.

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