* Posts by Stuart 22

752 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

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Stuart 22

Blow 'em a Raspberry!

As it hasn't been mentioned and almost everybody here will have an old redundant 1st generation RaspberryPi gathering dust in their drawer - You can give it a great second life using https://pi-hole.net/ on it to replace your network DNS. Works a treat for all connected devices. No need for browser add-ons and works within your smartphone apps (when using wi-fi).

I've found it the most effective way of blocking all ads - and if any ad does show up it will be the most obvious product/service to avoid purely on being so subversive.

The only issue so far was the TfL website would omit tube/trains from its journey planner. But by checking the easily view-able blocking log, whitelisting solved that problem immediately.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Stuart 22

Re: EFF Lawyers are EFF'n Stupid

Let's look at just one of the 39 claims for this GUI:

27. A graphic user interface as in claim 18, further comprising a timer window for graphically illustrating a countdown from a modifiable pre-specified number to “0”

Ignoring the obvious and prior art should alone destroy it - most countdowns don't actually end with "0" but at "1" or "1%" or whatever - the zero event instead initiating the closure of the box or whatever so easily avoidable (do I have a future careerr as a IT Patent Laywer? ;-)

The most obvious counter example to counting down and including zero, is of course, is rocket launch displays. Hence are our Australian cousins suggesting the Apollo programme was a myth created less than 20 years ago and we really didn't get to the moon?

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Homes raided in North West over data thefts from car body repair shops

Stuart 22

Re: oh great.

But this article doesn't explain how the scammers got the details of the accident that never happened >:-(

9
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Boeing 737 turns 50

Stuart 22

Is aviation progress grinding to a halt?

Yes over 50 years Boeing has refined the design - as they have for the still in production(?) 747. But 50 years before its first flight - this was cutting edge design with what appears to be winglets, asymetrically profiled engines and unpaved runway capability ... plus non-stop transatlantic range capability. Yes I admit the 737 and its predecessors were amazing progress but even its proposed replacements today use a very similar configuration.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_Vimy#/media/File:Vickers_Vimy.jpg

Oh and I'm not going to draw parallels with how music moved on to peak in the late 60's too ;-)

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Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

Stuart 22

Re: I wonder

"How quickly he will be thrown out of court, and if there will be associated laughter."

Or is he just a bit desperate to get his $88 back?

2
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Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time

Stuart 22

Re: So a 5 meter increase in lengths delivers 38 more passenger slots?

"Good thing is that airlines are not allowed to issue standing room tickets (yet)"

Oh yes they do: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/pakistan-pia-probes-standing-passengers-incident-170225201715193.html

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Ubuntu 17.04 beta FACT: It's what's on the inside that matters, not looks

Stuart 22

*ubuntu

Spare a word for the other variants. I found Ubuntu interface awful but Kubuntu much more tailorable and with the benefit of some great KDE apps. Not as pretty looking as Linux Mint but more useful.

Paging Lubuntu & Xubuntu users ...

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BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

Stuart 22

Good code is good code

We all have a problem with Hitler. But if hey, had he come up with a good algorithm it would have been bonkers not to adopt it,

Good is good, Bad is bad. No one, even him, is exclusive to either. Use what is good, destroy what is evil was the obviois path to me. But for Drupal management?

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As a shock to absolutely no one, Uber is mostly pasty, male at the top

Stuart 22

Re: This R-type Evolutionary (Left) Psychology is poisonous in a competitive environment!

Sorry Infernoz about the downvote for forgetting the Joke icon.

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The evolution of ransomware: How a nuisance turned into a business menace

Stuart 22

Or use Linux?

I'm presuming I haven't been targetted ... yet! Yesterday's attempt was using an encrypted MS Office template (.dot) file - doh

How do I know when to start panicking?

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Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

Stuart 22

Re: @FlamingDeath

Indeed - the ironic point being that Zen, A&A and any other decent ISP appears to be able to consistently extract and deliver a far superior service from the BT network than BT themselves has ever achieved.

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AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

Stuart 22

"Why do we need internet connected light bulbs?

Most commonly to be 'in when you're out'"

Yea, well, I use time controllers. Do the job perfectly barring power failure when you won't have a light anyway. Their only issue is re-setting the time (and finding the unintuitive instructions), I find more intellectually challenging then setting up a new cloud instance ... but then I'm a born masochist.

6
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Fitbit hit on Pebble kit cost just 20 million quid? Oh s**t!

Stuart 22
Pint

"I'll be holding onto my pebble steel for a long, long time."

Same here (for el cheapo plastic variant). Surprised this morning to find a firmware update (v3.12.3) waiting. I thought plugs had been pulled on updates or did I just miss it when it came out?

The beer is for the best recommendation for replacement when it finally bites the dust.

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BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken

Stuart 22
Pint

Re: Thank god get_iplayer still works fine, and is not limited to the "approved" platforms

The BBC know all about get_iplayer - if only because I'm guessing some of their IT people prefer it. Hence rather a Nelsonian eye is aimed at its 'tender' enforcement of certain things.

The biggest danger to get_iplayer is we tell too many people about it. Its the paradox - if it becomes too popular and a real threat to the BBC third party licensing deals - it will simple be defeated by a cunning change of download specs. The BBC have done that many times already by accident which the author had to reverse engineer.

The beer is for the get_iplayer developer. Wish I could award another for the iPlayer devs. Its still the best from the mainstream broadcasters though C4 & ITV are beginning to catch up on picture quality.

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Booming Android ad revenue shows it’s no longer the poor cousin

Stuart 22

Blockheads

Perhaps this just suggests Android's ad-blockers ain't working so well these days as ad slingers switch from the browsed content to the actual app.

But then I've never clicked on one except by accident which gets easier by the day. So that was dosh (sorry valued ad revenue) down the drain for someone.

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Beeps, roots and leaves: Car-controlling Android apps create theft risk

Stuart 22

Re: People wonder why I don't get a new car

I agree with you. Except that from Oct 2019 I won't be able to use it in London without having to pay another £2000pa.

I agree with the reason for that (the T charge) but finding a new or nearly new car that isn't an infotainment, body & mind replacement gizmo with four wheels attached is getting near impossible.

Guess I'll be taking the bus.

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Munich may dump Linux for Windows

Stuart 22

Re: @ Korev

"It's pretty straightforward : is Linux as functional at mail, calendaring, forms, rules, and tasks as a Windows/outlook/Exchange combination? If not, it doesn't matter if the calendars are delivered by e-mail or flying monkeys."

Gosh - I wouldn't know.

All I remember from the days when Munich was Redmond East is that my PSD/T? file contained my whole life that I carried around on a bunch of devices 'just in case'. Moving to Linux and Linux apps just made things a bit simpler and much more robust. Never a problem in my company and a smile when friends in other companies were having 'issues' with Outlook/Exchange.

So happy to hear Microsoft have at last caught up and overtaken Linux with open and integrated sets of software that belong to me and not held behind a proprietary paywall.

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Co-op Bank up for sale while customers still feel effects of its creaking IT

Stuart 22

Yes, I've now been with them over 50 years (when Westminster Bank cleared their cheques). My company also banks with them (no surprise there).

I've had accounts elsewhere but for nearly all that time the Co-op has consistently given me the best service. Even when it comes to speed trading I remember when I could buy shares with a simple phone call to the lovely lady in the socialist Birmingham back office while my work colleagues were trying to authenticate themselves through fax machines with the capatalistic big five.

It all started to go pear shaped when Thatcher made Building Societies game for asset snatchers. Half disappeared, the other half tried to compete by becoming snatchers themselves. And so the Co-op foolishly swallowed Brittannia only to find it was a big blackhole that ultimately consumed them.

Except that should have been apparent during 'Due Diligence'. Done by one of the big accountancy practices no doubt. So who conned who? And why as both a Co-op member and customer not been informed by them or, more importantly, the FSA or other quango supposed to be protecting us - what happened, who is responsible and why they shouldn't go to jail.

I feel so let down. Not by the lady in the Birmingham back office. Not for the Co-op Bank I knew. But those who by ommission or commission have almost destroyed community based banking in this country. Worse that it should be swallowed up by bank CEOs who have done rather worse for this country and the world than having a sniff of a couple things they shouldn't.

Yet that's the image the news media like to play this morning.

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NORKS fires missile that India reckons it could shoot down in flight

Stuart 22

Re: Good work India...

There is a view (which I don't hold) that one way of not having starving or any other children is not to have any defence against a belligerant nuclear power next door (Pakistan). I presume the mirror view might not be unknown in Pakistan.

Not defending it nor the people in this country spent our precious little post war reserves on making the UK a nuclear power while food for everyone was still rationed. Of course we now have nuclear powers telling countries feeling threatened by them to not have such weapons. Meanwhile shelving plans to scale down in favour of scaling up.

As someone might now have said "let him who has no nuclear missiles cast ..."

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Stuart 22

Its not rocket science

A subject I know little about. But I can spot a load of dorsal fins where I've seen none before (2nd stage?).

To my cynical frebile mind this might possibly point to having large steerable surfaces to compensate from uncontrollable, undirectional rocket nozzles. Fair enough but there must be a huge aerodynamic drag in the early stages. Either that or his scientists have cracked the Thunderbird code.

Anything else a real rocket scientist might deduce?

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GCHQ cyber-chief slams security outfits peddling 'medieval witchcraft'

Stuart 22

Stupid Telco

"He pointed out that a UK telco had recently been taken offline using a SQL injection flaw that was older than the hacker alleged to have used it."

Not the one who lost their CEO this week?

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Cerber tops Windows 10 ransomware charts

Stuart 22

Re: Thank Dog Microsoft has...

Well, I am sure that there are more than a few people here who think that MS is a Dog and should be put down to save humanity.

No way. We wouldn't want the scum looking elsewhere for easy pickings :-)

0
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Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Stuart 22

Re: All is Strange in MS Land

If you are looking at running old applications then we found the best way is in a Virtualbox Win2k VM. It doesn't have to load (if you save in state) is lean on RAM and the old apps run faster than they ever did. Compatibility on business applications is excellent. Stuff that cheated to address real hardware (games?) may be a different story.

Its all free and no activation issues to circumnavigate. It even networks nicely with your Linux filesystems.

More modern stuff that won't run under even real Win2k we have used Wine. The reason is they may be pushing even the Win API envelope and hence there is a good reason why some will crash under Wine which won't handle all the ambiguities that exist in native Windows. That's what we found. An application like Evernote would work but later updates would not. Wine 2.0 may fix some of those issues but we treat an application with Wine as an opportunistic and potentially unstable platform. Not really for mission critical work.

I see Wine as a transition aid to smooth the migration to Linux. To give people time to acclimatise to Linux and adopt Linux/Cross OS solutions as replacements over time.

Worked for us and thanks to the Wine team though we no longer need it. That's success.

8
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Google reveals its servers all contain custom security silicon

Stuart 22

Cheating VW

"These requirements limit the ability of an insider or adversary to make malicious modifications to source code and also provide a forensic trail from a service back to its source."

Methinks the Wolfsburg answer would be more than 2.

Which is why I would trust Google code more than the average car maker's code under my bonnet.

But then my motor is comes from the pre-code era.

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Lloyds Bank customers still flogging the online dead horse

Stuart 22

Re: No. Nope. Nada.

"Lloydsbank,com not working at 12:20 today, Thursday."

Replacing the comma might help ... it did for me ;-)

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Kaspersky fixing serious certificate slip

Stuart 22

Re: Browsers vs Antivirus

"I personally trust the dedicated makers of browsers over the products supplied by AV vendors"

Yes but they still screw up. I had an issue with Vivaldi which was bouncing a perfectly good certificate which was fine by every other browser I could lay my hands on. The suddenly within a day it started accepting it again.

What really annoys me is when browsers block rather than warn about certificates, If I wish to take a risk of browsing my own website with my own certificate - that is my business. Especially if it is a place Let's Encrypt can't go.

0
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Those online ads driving you bonkers are virtually 'worthless for brands'

Stuart 22

Get Rich Quick

Well not rich but making a decent income as both a Adwords & Adsense. That was years ago when Google served ads based on the content of the page not on the profile of the punter.

Which meant they could be crafted discreetly into the page with a symbiotic effect. Once they broke that it became an aberration and to have any effect it was flashy banners. Unsuprisingly our revenues dropped - but then Google had an ever growing number of websites to fling more ads so while the revenue per page was dropping, the number inflation kept their revenues growing.

On placing ads we found we were being to be outbid by the majors who just buying the market. So now we are a post-ad company. But I did get a t-shirt!

15
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WordPress auto-update server had flaw allowing anyone to add anything to websites worldwide

Stuart 22

Re: And in related news...

27.1% of the WWW are Wordpress sites... ???

I assume it is the percentage of websites that didn't update to 4.6.1 or equivalents on 7th September and presumably vulnerable to this attack. I would have thought that percentage would have been higher with the number of folks who resist auto-update for good or bad reasons.

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Tesco Bank limits online transactions after fraud hits thousands

Stuart 22

Re: Oops...

If its an inside job - then the Tesco Bank software was developed (and supported?) here: http://www.tescobengaluru.com/

1
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Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Stuart 22

Re: As I understand it

Yes the Remain campaign lied. Though I think you would be stretched to match their lies against Leave's NHS claim, Turks invading the UK etc.

Thinking voters would on voting for their and their children's future would, you would have thought, taken rather more account of analysis coming from independent and disinterested people. Their forecasts had a degree of homogeneity. But then they were not seeking power.

Democracy - as this country has it - has one great purpose. To allow the peaceful transfer of power from one group who has alienated most of the country to another group who has yet to alienate most of the country. As bad as politicians are - it is clear to me they are more likely to take into account (and be held to account) for all the consequences of their decisions. This is why what they say in advance to get votes doesn't always match what they do in order to get the next lot of votes.

That's why referendums are generally a bad idea in complex situations. And nothing is as complex as the consequences of leaving the EU. One which both Remainers & Leavers are still trying to get their heads around. A final real sensible decision would be unwise until that has been bottomed out and understood.

The referendum sent a message. Taking it as an absolute instruction to plough on whatever the consequences on such a narrow margin is just foolhardy. I don't think parliament should reverse it. But I do think parliament should, if it is not satisfied with what the three musketeers come up with, put the final decision back to the people.

15
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Leaks password, check. Leaks Wi-Fi password, check. Can be spoofed, check. Ding! We have an Internet of S**t winner

Stuart 22

Re: Let me get this straight

This also means that the device becomes slightly useless when the manufacturer decides to turn the server off. When? 10 years or 10 months?

Is it written into the guarantee? I mean people like Google would never pull a trick like that with a home device ...

8
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A British phone you're not embarrassed to carry? You heard that right

Stuart 22

It is Cyanogen 13 - equivelent to Marshmellow. I presume the OTA updates are meant to suggest that Nougat will arrive sometime. And then?

As a long term Nexus owner who ain't going the blingy Pixel/Flagship route I'm looking for another provider who will give long term support (which in this mad disposable land fill orientated world > 6 months but possibly not > 2 years)

2
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Mercedes answers autonomous car moral dilemma: Yeah, we'll just run over pedestrians

Stuart 22

I would suggest you would automatically and WITHOUT THINKING swerve to avoid. Hence one's own personal consequences are not taken into account. Whatever the moral position the Mercedes decision bends the balance of dying towards the third party (be it guilty/not guilty pedestrian, cyclist or other car driver) and away from the person holding the gun^h^h^h who is in control of an enormous amount of kinetic energy. The energy that would kill.

That is a change society should think about and decide at a more disinterested level than a car manufacturer or even the finest coder.

0
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Stuart 22

Re: Hard decision but Mercedes are probably right

"However, if a pedestrian decides to run across the road in front of me without looking, that's the pedestrian's fault, so I think the pedestrian should accept responsibility for their actions and the consequences of their actions. If, as a result of a pedestrian running into the road in front of me, someone is going to be seriously injured or die, it should be the pedestrian and not me."

And if that was a five year old kid you would make the same decision? And if it was your own kid?

Wow, you are scary.

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Stuart 22

Re: Car companies are not in this alone.

"Generally, a company's first priority is its CEO's bonus package ..."

FTFY

5
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BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

Stuart 22

Which London?

Ahem, I cycle and use buses in a different city. A city where bus drivers are not perfect but Gods compared the the average black cab driver with whom one also shares those great wide cycle lanes which are confusingly marked as bus lanes as opposed to lanes marked for cycles which are only for very slim guttersnipes, one at a time.

Indeed the larger the vehicle then generally the better the driver. The supermarket artics must be monsters to drive through my London but (apart from the build trade skips and tippers) are rather better than the average Addison-Lee.

My buses are crowded and even though I may look older than my years don't get offered a seat by those bright young things. Indeed Boris' decision not to order more new buses is going to create a real crisis within a few years.

Oh - could your London be north of the river? You know the place that has undergrounds and investment in even more. Down sarf a bus is a lifeline when you are not taking the bike. Otherwise it it is shank's pony or even "we apologise for ..." Southern.

No, its not buses that are the problem. Its the car lanes that need to go!

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There are some really crap budget phones out there. Vodafone's Smart Ultra 7 isn't

Stuart 22

Re: The Ultra 7 offers very decent display and battery life

Quite right AC. From another review site:

5.5-inch 1080p display

MediaTek MT6755M CPU

2GB RAM

16GB expandable internal storage

2,960mAh battery

13MP rear camera

5MP selfie camera

Android 6.0.1

1
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SSDs in the enterprise: It's about more than just speed

Stuart 22

Don't forget the CPU

The article does point out that the power drain of a system is rather more than than storage alone. However the speed of SSD can ironically allow the deployment of less powerful CPUs and still achieve the same overall performance. With a less powerful CPU one may need a smaller PSU with fewer losses which in return require less cooling to create a virtuous circle in overall power requirements.

0
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Windows 10 market share fell in September

Stuart 22

Spammer Stats

A significant load on our webservers comes from hacking probes and other bots. Enough to skew our stats. I guess they just don't like Win10. Couldn't be the telemetry could it?

0
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Apple chops woeful WoSign HTTPS certs from iOS, macOS

Stuart 22
Happy

Re: Watchlist

I'm guessing you come from the backward side of the pond

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Stuart 22

Watchlist

I had a Wosign certificate issued on 19/09. Its to a private site so not critical. Popcorn ordered ...

0
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Londoners react with horror to Tube Chat initiative

Stuart 22

Re: Cabbage

I agree. What a stupid idea. Why waste all those Amazonian rainforests when all they needed to do was disable the automatic door openers? Then Tubists could share in the welcoming way us Overgrounders greet each other each morning ... "push the ffff...ing button you sleepyheaded w..ker".

Nice to know you have been noticed ;-)

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Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Stuart 22

"On the privacy issue, you have no problem giving facebook all your details, photos of your children and details of where you have been, where you are now and where you are going next week. Windows 10 tracking a few bits of your online habbits is hardly a big concern."

I do. But then I do not have a Facebook account or use Windows.

I do use and host social media sites and have done pretty much since before the internet arrived in the UK without imparting any of that. Mr Zuckerberg neither invented social media nor sex. But don't tell anyone or I'll have you go viral.

1
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When you've paid the ransom but you don't get your data back

Stuart 22

Re: Is it legal to pay this?

"No different from kidnap for ransom pay-outs, and there's no law against them across most of the world"

That's no reason why we shouldn't have such a law here as every payout encourages the fraud and puts everybody else at increased threat which even if you have good defences (like avoiding the more risky OS) and solid backup it has knock on consequences.

The fact that the threat is only property and not life makes it indefensible plus the only reason they have been caught is because of BOTH inadequate defence against a well known risk and, even worse. even more inadequate backups. That's gross negligence in my book.

The organisations deserve to suffer the consequences if they don't pay up and if they do - even greater consequences. Making the directors personally culpable may be an encouragement for better and safer practices (speaking as a company director myself).

1
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UK military buys third £4m Zephyr drone for 'persistent surveillance' trials

Stuart 22

Re: You have to ask

Very different flying over Arizona in summer and Scotland in winter. Storing enough power during a long day to get through a short night may not be difficult but when the numbers reverse impossible.

So it could end up flying continuously through June but not lasting a single day/night in December.

0
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London's Met Police has missed the Windows XP escape deadline

Stuart 22

Re: Government investment in the Police

"CCTV on video tapes of such poor quality you can't even see anything, tiny 4:3 computer monitors you can't even buy on eBay any more and a building literally untouched since it was built in the sixties and falling apart."

Well if there is a terrrorist connection then money is no object. The biggest BMW X5 you can get - oh and really snazzy machine guns and lovely camouflage clothing (bit obvious in the average London street). As for what we spend on security services - it is astronomical - go check out the earth station they built just north of Bude which would have cost more than putting a Beagle on Mars.

But security of all the information they gather - well XP is just the magnet any self-respecting hacker would be ashamed not to penetrate. They have created the most delicious honey pot in the computing universe.

Its unbelievable that they must have been buying perfectly good Win7 kit for years and downgrading it to XP knowing this would happen.

14
4

Dear Imation. It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black

Stuart 22

"Tenth straight loss-making quarter for Nexsan owner as sales plunge 37 per cent"

Wow, who knew they still had 37% to lose..."

Given that 37 is a prime number does that mean they sold at least 100 units last year or $100 or $1 ;-)

1
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Windows 10 Anniversary Update crashing under Avast antivirus update

Stuart 22

Re: Ahh yess

I'm really shocked you still are expected to buy and install AV software on an OS that MS has been working hard to secure for over 20 years ... is there an ETA for basic in-built security coming RSN ;-)

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Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

Stuart 22

Fire Sale, Fire Sale?

Given the almost impossibility of buying a laptop without paying the Windows Tax only to replace it with Linux - I'm hoping some miscalculations on inventory means there are dealers with unsold 8.1 systems that have now been further devalued by the cessation of the (dubious) Win10 escape route.

Will they be willing to forgive the WinTax with more exciting firesale prices?

6
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Domain name bods NetNames netted by CSC Global

Stuart 22

What's the point?

"NetNames recorded flat revenue of £53m. However, loss before tax climbed to £20.89m"

A net margin of -40% in a non-growth, non-innovative market is no way to do business. Or, surely, to stay in business?

Sell the clients to a competitor who can amortise the costs over a bigger base would be the only sensible strategy. Or shutter it tonight. Anything else is madness.

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