* Posts by mark l 2

680 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018

mark l 2
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The problem with this type security hole - that isn't part of the OS- is that a huge amount of computers will never get patched because their users are blissfully unaware that a problem even exists and it is doubtful that firmware patches will be delivered by their OS automatic updates.

Unfortunately outside of the technology media it doesn't really get a mention, so the first a lot of people will know about it is when the virus writers get a working exploit and millions of users will find there computers taken over by malware or ransomware.

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Apple: Sure, we banned VPN iOS apps in China, but, um, er, art!

mark l 2
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I am just wondering if the Chinese government don't allow Apple to offer VPN apps in the App Store why you can buy Chinese made Android phones that have the VPN settings in the OS still active?

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SagePay's monster wobble... On the third day of sale week, UK retailers start to weep

mark l 2
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I was the admin for a ecommerce website for a number of years and we always had a back up payment processor available for such events (Paypal) Their fees were slightly higher but better to be able to take orders and pay a bit more per transaction than customer going elsewhere because they can't pay for their orders.

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Intel finds critical holes in secret Management Engine hidden in tons of desktop, server chipsets

mark l 2
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I knew there was a reason why I kept my 10 year old Dell laptop, perhaps I can now sell it on ebay for more than it is worth as a backdoor free machine.

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

mark l 2
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The paper disks were duplicated by fraudsters or stolen from a cars by thieves who use solvents to remove the ink and write a new registration number and I doubt the figures the government is quoting was taking the losses they use to get from the old system into account.

Not being able to transfer the tax when you sell the car is a pain though, especially when the DVLA mess up the paperwork. My sister got married and updated her details to register the change of name to her married name but the DVLA registered her as a new keeper - at the same address - and so she had to re-tax it for another 12 months and wait for her refund to come though for the tax she had already paid. For people who are on low wages mistakes like this from the DVLA could put the car owner into debt having to pay twice for road tax and wait for them to refund you for the first lot.

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

mark l 2
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Some organisations like dot matrix printers because they will continue to print even when the ribbon has no ink on it what so ever unlike inkjet and laser printers which once their ink/toner has gone will stop printing until you replace the consumables. If your using carbon paper with a dot matrix it doesn't matter if the ink on the ribbon is dry as you will still get the print on the second layer

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Your attention has value, personal cryptocurrency will advertise it

mark l 2
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Until the publishers can get a cut of the BAT ads revenue it is never going to become mainstream. People look for content (videos, photos, news etc) it just happens that the ads are on those pages because that is how the publishers make money from giving away content for free. If the publishers don't get a cut of the ad revenue from BAT they aren't going to have the BAT ads on their websites and therefore hardly anyone will see the BAT ads.

There are already platforms where you can get paid for just viewing ads and completing surveys etc and only a very small percent of people use these services as they are annoying when all your doing is viewing adverts.

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Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

mark l 2
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Surely someone should have done an audit of what software they used across the council and tried to get these 800 programs running BEFORE migrating to Linux?

I also fail to see how they HAD to go with MS Exchange for email, if there was one area that they could have made to switch away from Windows it is with their email servers.

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Brit cops slammed for failing to give answers on digital device data slurpage

mark l 2
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"Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies had a joint budget of £20,000 for the 2013-16 period"

Imagine that they find a terrorist cell and seize all their computers and devices. That could be loads of memory cards & DVDs, plus a laptops, phones, tablest, NAS boxes etc to check and that would soon burn through a 20k budget in no time.

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Parity's $280m Ethereum wallet freeze was no accident: It was a HACK, claims angry upstart

mark l 2
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Why if you have made $1 million in crypto currencies would you leave it in the trust of a 3rd party like Parity?

I would be reluctant to leave $1000 in with a third party such as this. Heck I am annoyed if I loose a tenner never mind a million.

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Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

mark l 2
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"who's clicking the ads? are they buying something? which companies are paying for ads where no customer clicks through? who would bother producing shit content when no advertiser is willing to advertise because no customers click through? "

There are 2 types of ads pay per click and pay per thousand views. So Youtube channel owners can make money on a video even if no one ever clicks on the ad as long as they get enough viewers to the video. Rates are around $2- $4 for every 1000 views of the ad. So if you upload a video and get say 100000 views that could net you $200 - $400. Now multiply this by 100s of videos that get uploaded to these channel and your into the tens of thousand dollars earning without ever having an ad clicked on.

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Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America

mark l 2
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This will surely only work if the person in the photos has a copy of the photos to upload to create the hashes and that the posting the 'revenge porn' does not alter images in any way.

Even sophisticated filtering software can be by passed by rotating the image through a few degrees, altering the contrast/brightness or cropping then adding a patterned border etc.

This sounds more like a PR campaign than something that is really going to stop a person determined to cause someone distress by upload images.

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Don't worry about those 40 Linux USB security holes. That's not a typo

mark l 2
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"conduct dropped-drive attacks – leaving a booby-trapped gizmos in a parking lot"

I believe this is how the Stuxnet worm was spread. Get a USB stick with the corporate name and logo for where you want to target and either post it in to a random employee, or just leave it dropped in the reception area, car park etc.

Unless the company have a really cautious and security minded sysadmin who it gets handed to it will probably be plugged in to their systems without anyone considering the consequence.

But in the scenario that the original article talks about it is much more likely to be plugged into a Windows box unless you target a specific person/company that you know have a large number of Linux machines.

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Give us a bloody PIN: MPs grill BBC bosses over subscriber access

mark l 2
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If they do change the BBC to a subscription model I would want the Android iPlayer app recoded to actually work when connected to a large screen. It insists on rotating between portrait and landscape mode when you want to view a series rather than an individual episode which is obvious very annoying when surely a simple setting in preferences to only run in landscape could be implemented for those who aren't using it on a fondle slab.

It also is often very pixelated because of its adaptive streaming when it starts off with what it thinks is the best quality stream for you connection. Yet watching other video streaming services on the same device I can easily stream 720HD without buffering or pixelation.

There are some shows that are made by the BBC that would never get made by other broadcasters Shows such as Spring/Autumn/Winter Watch would probably not exist because of the low viewing number to cost ratio if it were for the license fee.

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Splitting off Google Shopping wouldn't fix the pay-to-play problem

mark l 2
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Price comparison sites for things like insurance are useful, I remember the days of getting out the yellow pages and putting aside an afternoon to ring around for quotes. Now you can get similar results in minutes using a price comparison site.

When Google shopping used to be Froogle it was a useful service as it cost nothing for retailers to list their products in there, but now they have basically made it another version of adwords you will only find the cheapest products that the retailer has chosen to pay to have it listed.

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AMD, Intel hate Nvidia so much they're building a laptop chip to spite it

mark l 2
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I am still not sure how the world's largest chip maker can be so bad at making graphics chips that they have to go to their rivals who manage to out perform them with a much small R&D budget.

I have always been a fan of AMD, my first self build PC had a AMD K6 CPU and a ATI Rage 2 graphics card.

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US judge orders Sci-Hub be excised from the internet

mark l 2
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appears to be living here https://sci-hub.cc/

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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

mark l 2
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If your a small business, having to accept card payments - especially for smaller transactions - cuts into your profit. If your customers pay in cash then you get the full amount of the transaction, if they want to pay with card you either have to add on a processing fee which could put some customers off purchasing or you have to take the hit and make less money per sale.

I always pay in cash when buying from a small local businesses, unless its an expensive transaction and I want the extra cover that my credit card gives me just in case the business goes under before I get my goods or service.

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Firefox bookmark saving add-on gives users that sync-ing feeling

mark l 2
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Happy

"wiped 15 years of bookmarks I had trusted XMarks with."

The article says the service wasn't started until 2006 so he was using it 4 years before it was even created? That is impressive.

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Take off, ya hosers! Silicon Valley court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban

mark l 2
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I assumed that since Canada has its own Google.ca domain, Canadian users would be redirected to that if they tried to go to Google.com just like I am redirect to the .co.uk domain if i try to access the .com.

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Over a million Android users fooled by fake WhatsApp app in official Google Play Store

mark l 2
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Re: 'two bytes at the end forming an invisible space'

I expect the scammer in this case made a pretty penny from the fake version. Even some of the less reputable ad networks pay around $2 - $3 CPM, so with a million downloads even if just one ad is show per user that is $2000 - $3000 profit, and if some of them had clicked on the ads it could be into the tens of thousands profit range for very little work.

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

mark l 2
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I personally don't see the point of such high resolutions on screens that are only 4 - 5" in size. Unless your looking at your screen through a magnifying glass your not going to be able to notice the difference over a normal HD screen.

I would prefer a lower resolution screen with a bigger capacity battery and therefore you get a more use from your phone in between charging up.

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Fine, OK, no backdoors, says Deputy AG. Just keep PLAINTEXT copies of everyone's messages

mark l 2
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Perhaps the post office should be required to open every envelope and parcel and take a photograph of the contents before delivering them to the recipient as well just in case criminals use snail mail for criminal activity.

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You're designing an internet fridge. Should you go for fat HTML or a Qt-pie for your UI?

mark l 2
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Who needs 60FPS on a fridge though? I suspect like a lot of the IOT devices the internet connected fridge is just going to be a gimmick bought buy people with more money than sense.

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UK.gov joins Microsoft in fingering North Korea for WannaCry

mark l 2
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Or it could have been the US to blame by letting the NSA keep the OS vulnerabilities secret so they could use it as a weapon for its own gains. But of course it then got leaked and used against the general public.

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Whois? No, Whowas: Incoming Euro privacy rules torpedo domain registration system

mark l 2
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I used Freenom to register my domains and they offer free whois privacy service which puts their own address as the mailing address and a random email address that redirects any enquires to the email I used when registering the domain. Law enforcement could still get my real details but scammer and spammers have no real address to bother me on.

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WhatsApp? You still don't get EU privacy laws, that's WhatsApp

mark l 2
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I do use Whatsapp regularly to communicate with friends and family and atm its ad free but when enough people are relying on it they will probably push out new updates which starts showing targeted ads. Remember that Facebook had no ads at first and only switched them on once they had enough users. They don't offer these services for free unless they can see a what of monetising it at some point.

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New phishing campaign uses 30-year-old Microsoft mess as bait

mark l 2
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It's just a social engineering problem, people get used to just clicking yes and ok on dialog boxes because software keeps popping them up for the slightest thing to hold the users hand all the time.

If this vector wasn't so easy to just get the end user to click ok and they had to follow some instructions such as 'Go into this menu, open this setting, untick this box, then click ok they would be much more vary about doing it and probably 99% wouldn't do it.

If the 'feature' is not useful to the majority of the users of the software it should be disabled by default and have to be specifically enabled to use it.

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Phone crypto shut FBI out of 7,000 devices, complains chief g-man

mark l 2
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I think it is up to 5 years in prison for refusing to give a password for an encrypted device in the UK. Which if your up on terrorism offence charges is a lot less than you could be receiving.

How are the criminals managing to wipe devices after they have been seized unless the plod are not handling the evidence correctly and allowing the device to connect to the internet after it is in their possession. I was always under the impression they cloned the devices as part of their chain of evidence so that they did their investigation on the image of the software rather than on the original device?

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Wanna exorcise Intel's secretive hidden CPU from your hardware? Meet Purism's laptops

mark l 2
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Looks like keeping hold of my 2007 Dell Latitude without these 'features' was a good idea. it is still going strong dual booting between Linux Mint and Window 7.

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EU: No encryption backdoors but, eh, let's help each other crack that crypto, oui? Ja?

mark l 2
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They are not in favour of backdoors but are in favour of having undocumented ways of circumventing the encryption that they would have Europol to be sharing with all member states.

This sounds like they will be looking for vulnerabilities in the software that they can use but won't disclose them to the application provider when they find them, so how is that any safer than asking for a backdoor in the first place?

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Europol cops lean on phone networks, ISPs to dump CGNAT walls that 'hide' cyber-crooks

mark l 2
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Interpol must hate the thought that in the UK you can buy a contract fee pay as you go SIM with no need to provide any credit card details or ID and top up the phone up with cash at 1000s of corner shops, so if your a criminal looking to remain anonymous its much easier here evening without CGNAT. Unless of course they are morons and use the phone to call their mum or access their personal bank accounts etc.

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Twitter: Why we silenced Rose McGowan after she slammed alleged sex pest Harvey Weinstein

mark l 2
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I tried to sign up to Twitter earlier on this week, I was using my home internet but skipped the phone verification when signing up. I had not even posted a single message when I received the message that their was suspicious activity on my account and I would have to provide phone verification to continue. It annoys me that these companies require you give them your phone number and don't offer any other way of proving your account is genuine. I am sure its nothing to do with verification and all about harvesting even more data they can use to target ads.

Long story short is that I am not going to sign up to Twitter after all, unless I buy a burner PAG SIM card for signing up for such services so I can keep my real number private.

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Android ransomware DoubleLocker encrypts data and changes PINs

mark l 2
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If your Android phone is a cheapy Chinese one then you might find that your phone had malware built into the ROM from the vendor so you don't need to install any apps to get popup and random app installs. Doogee have a big problem with this but it doesn't show until you have been using the phone for about a month so they can claim it must be an app you have installed.

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Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

mark l 2
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What is needed it a chat app that allows you to communicate on various messenger platforms all from one app. I bit like Pidgin on the desktop but one that supports these proprietary protocols.

At the moment you can't even communicate between Whatsapp and Facebook messenger and these are owned by the same company. Unfortunately I can only see this getting worse and these social media platforms want to lock users into their network so they can e harvest their data to sling ads at them.

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Smut-watchers suckered by evil advertising

mark l 2
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Yes you can add l33t writing to your filter lists but there are easy ways around them by using none English alphabet characters. These wouldn't trigger filters but you can still read it as English.

ᑭ0ЯИнᑌᑲ

This is a mixture of characters from a few different alphabets where the letter have similar shapes as the English letters but sound different

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Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

mark l 2
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Re: Lack of "cool"...

I agree with RuokuMas comment, They shouldn't have dropped the Nokia name to brand them as Microsoft phones. The Microsoft name doesn't have the cool factor to attract the consumer buyers.

They would struggle to ever come back now, what app makers are going to give them another shot by porting their apps over to the platform after the train wreck that was Microsoft last attempt.

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Microsoft Edge shock: Browser opts for Apple WebKit, Google Blink

mark l 2
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So basically Microsoft have come up syncing browser history across multiple devices which is a feature that Chrome and Firefox have offered for years. My guess is that anyone who wanted this featured dropped Edge on Windows a while ago in favour of FF or Chrome and is unlikely to switching back to Edge anytime soon.

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Another W3C API exposing users to browser snitching

mark l 2
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I think its about time that iframes were blocked by default in browsers as although a few websites might use them genuinely for showing date from other website they are often used as ways of exploiting or tracking users.

I remember demonstrating to a member of the police force a few years ago how you could get someone's internet cache to be full of illegal porn or terrorism content using iframes by getting them to visit a seemingly innocent website and loading the nastys in a hidden iframe. He was shocked how easy it was to achieve as he was under the impression that there was no way illegal content it could get into someones internet history and cache without them deliberately visiting those website. With the UK now giving upto 15 years in jail for just viewing jihad websites it could prove to be very costly for the innocent party.

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Mozilla extends, and ends, Firefox support for Windows XP and Vista

mark l 2
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Re: For the second time in 24 hours...

mid 2019 is only about 18 months away and I bet most a lot of these devices using XP embedded will end up being used well after they have stopped getting updates.

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Microsoft shows off Windows 10 Second Li, er, Mixed Reality

mark l 2
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I just get the feeling that VR is going to become the next 3D TVs, loads of hype now about how great it is but in a few years time the hype will have gone and the industry will drop it in favour of pushing something else

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Patch your Android, peeps, it has up to 14 nasty flaws to flog

mark l 2
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My guess is that around 50% of Android devices that are still in use will never see these or any other updates.

I have a old unbranded tablet from 2013 that is still running Jellybean which i have rooted but can't find any newer ROM version for, but it works fine for BBC iplayer connected to a bedroom tv

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

mark l 2
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"We will take advice from other people but I do feel that there is a sea of criticism for any of us who try and legislate in new areas, who will automatically be sneered at and laughed at for not getting it right,"

If you don't want to be laughed at. Why not take the advise first before you put forward your ideas for new legislation?

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Internet-wide security update put on hold over fears 60 million people would be kicked offline

mark l 2
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Some ISP won't let you use DNS servers other than their own, I connected to the BT WIFI at an Airbnb property i was renting. My laptop is set to use Google DNS and got a message that I had to use their DNS when i tried to get online.

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There's a way to dodge Fasthosts' up-to-160% domain renewal hike but you're not gonna like it

mark l 2
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Moved my .com domains to Freenom as they only charge cost for them, unfortunately they don't appear to take .co.uk domains so will have to move these elsewhere or renew them now at Fasthosts before they hike up the price.

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Guntree v Gumtree: Nominet orders gun ads site must lose domain

mark l 2
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Re: anybody remember

Where I used to live used to be a car wash called 'Easyjet' even had an orange logo just to rub it in.

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BlackBerry reveals slim profits as Dolby-isation of brand marches on

mark l 2
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Blackberry used to be the go to choice of phone provider for governments, police, etc where security was a big selling point.

I am wondering whether now the phones with Blackberry tech are now made by Chinese manufacturers whether that might put the security of the OS in some doubt for these government dept.

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Mozilla whips out Rusty new Firefox Quantum (and that's a good thing)

mark l 2
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Yes I was a little worried when the screen grabber icon suddenly appeared on the menu with no notification when my FF upgraded to version 55. Bumping off my Majestic SEO tool.

I don't have any need for this since I can just press Print Screen on the rare occasions where I want a screen grab of a webpage

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Bing fling sting: Apple dumps Microsoft search engine for Google

mark l 2
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"now powering over a third of all the PC search volume in the U.S"

I get a lot of US traffic to my website and the amount of people coming in from Bing is less than 1%, so they have a long way to go to get to a third of search volume in my eyes.

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UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

mark l 2
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Since Youtube, Facebook and Twitter can't keep the spammers, pirates and scammers of their platform, I fail to see how they are going to identify terrorist content within 2 hours. Unlike content ID systems which uses hashes to identify for copyrighted material these terrorism photos and videos are unique so even they flag one of them its trivial for ISIS to create new ones that will pass the filters.

If you check some more nefarious corners of the internet you can get information on how to alter a copyrighted video enough to upload it to YT and bypass the copyright checks.

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