* Posts by Richard 12

2707 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Outlook.com looking more like an outage outbreak for Europe

Richard 12
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Re: Important Emails?

Outlook.com isn't only Hotmail.

It's also hosted business email. Not cheap either.

So yes, a lot of people will be missing important stuff and will now be reading their contracts and probably realising that they have no comeback at all.

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EU's tech giant tax plan moves forward

Richard 12
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Re: And in DC the US Treasury is not happy

It isn't a zero sum game.

The taxes pay for the infrastructure and environment - legal and physical - that makes it possible for my employer to do business.

Without that infrastructure and environment, the entire IT industry couldn't exist at all, let alone pay my wages.

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The architecture for sharing tokens across blockchains promises traction

Richard 12
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Re: I have got a lot of monopoly money

It isn't.

A lot of people have made a huge amount of money from Bitcoin, Etherium etc.

Unfortunately even more people have lost a huge amount of money, because their value is defined entirely by how many USD someone is willing to pay for these tokens.

The emperor's clothes isn't a valid analogy. This is tulip mania.

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Cassini probe's death dive to send data at just 27 kilobits per second

Richard 12
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Re: Just guessing but

The main "camera" is just a line of pixels. It's rather interesting how it "exposes" by rotating/orbiting the target.

The post-processing required to turn this into an image is perhaps worthy of an article by itself.

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Richard 12
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Re: Actually the problem is there is no data relay that could hoover it up and play it back slowly

An infrastructure package would have the same problem Cassini does, yet with far fewer instruments. Most of the mass is the bus.

There are so many moons that it has to spend a lot of fuel on station keeping. So it runs out in a scant few years, and then has to be crashed to avoid contaminating results from future missions.

Cassini itself was the infrastructure package for Huygens.

If there was a budget, we could have sent another probe before Cassini's demise to act as it's repeater - and then do More Science.

But there isn't. There's barely budget to keep listening.

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Richard 12
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Re: Obscene vanity

Indeed.

I quite like the "ultra battery saver" mode of some Androids.

It turns the normal "2 and a bit" days of smartphone into a theoretical week and a half of dumbphone.

Never needed the whole thing but it's a lifesaver when there's nowhere to charge.

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Richard 12
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Re: OS Downloads

Yet my Android does havw a "You have used X GB this month", along with configurable start date, "Warn me" and "Stop me" levels.

It's not brain science.

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Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

Richard 12
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Re: equal taxation

Flat rate taxation is highly regressive - it costs the poor far more.

Thought experiment:

Tax is a flat 20%

A earns £10 a week and pays £2 tax. £8 to live on.

B earns £20 a week and pays £4 tax. £16 to live on.

£6 revenue. Cost of living is 9/week so A dies, now £4 revenue.

Change the boundaries and rates such that A pays 20p while B pays £5.80.

Now both can afford to live and to save for the future, so the state now has a stable £6 revenue.

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Richard 12
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Except those clients reclaim the VAT

VAT is a chain of businesses that pay it then reclaim it, until it finally hits a business or charity too small to reclaim it, or a consumer who isn't able to reclaim it.

With my business hat on, I only ever really pay the ex-VAT price to a VAT-registered supplier. The only cost to my business is the time the finance people take to deal with the paperwork - which is far lower than the VAT I'd othwrwise pay.

A consultant who is VAT registered is actually cheaper than one who isn't, assuming they both pocket the same total profit from the job.

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HSBC biz banking crypto: The case of the vanishing green padlock and... what domain are we on again?

Richard 12
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Banking services are the act of collecting money then disbursing it.

Consumers do the latter a lot more than the former, businesses tend to be more even.

If the latter is hard to do, people leave the bank and go somewhere else, taking all the money with them.

If more than maybe 20% do so, the bank goes bust.

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Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Richard 12
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Re: Equifax credit score

If the miscreants could read it, could they write it?

Can Equifax prove that no records were added or altered?

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Microsoft extends free Windows 10 S to Win 10 Pro upgrade offer

Richard 12
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Re: What am I missing?

Why does this hardware even have the "S" version at all?

It's like buying a Ferrari and putting pressed steel wheels on it.

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Richard 12
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For all people took the mickey, the dancing monkey was right.

Windows only exists because it's easy to develop for. Anyone can write anything and it's trivially easy to then sell or give it away to anyone they want.

Linux is also easy to develop for, but it's a bit harder to sell or give away the result as the distros vary. Not too nuch though.

Web "apps" are the elephant in the room of course.

On the fourth hand, Apple are slowly killing macOS anyway. Unless there is a big change it'll be gone in 5-10 years and Apple won't care - they don't make much money directly from it. The final nail will be when they officially let you develop for iOS on something else.

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Richard 12
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Re: Personally

Remember that the billions lost aren't a "total" as such.

Eg I go to site X to buy a £10 widget, give up, try site Y, give up and finally buy it from site Z which has a UI I understood/could find said widget.

Site X lost a £10 sale and Site Y lost a £10 sale, so a £20 "loss" but I still spent my tenner and got my widget.

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Richard 12
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Re: based on 71 users

The studies were done in the 80s.

Faux-3D where clickable things look like they stick out of the screen and repond to a click by appearing to become depressed was the consensus opinion for "best UX" throughiut the 90s and 00s.

Several different studies have shown "flat" to be less discoverable and slower to navigate.

It's just that the design people have forgotten history. No doubt this will be "rediscovered" soon.

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

Richard 12
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You probably have an "idiot" meter.

One of the smart meters that was tied to a specific supplier, making it considerably worse than useless.

Of course, they were probably wanting to replace it with a different brand of idiot meter.

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Richard 12
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Re: I want a smart water meter

In the UK we don't use flap valve toilets because they're rubbish and often leak.

We use siphon flushes, these are inherently leak proof as there is no valve at all between the cistern and the bowl.

My loos are at least twenty years old and have never leaked. One of them might be older than me, it's hard to be sure.

I've replaced one filler valve, and one flush lever arm after it rusted through. That's it.

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Richard 12
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Except that none of those use smart meters.

The smart meter dewign spec has the following features.

100A contactor for remote disconnection.

Radio system for remote reading and configuration.

Radio system for remote real-time display.

To me, that looks like a way to shed load, or to draw a cock'n'balls visible from the ISS.

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Richard 12
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Hinkley C needed building years ago

Successive Government hand-wringing, dilly-dallying and time wasting increased the price, but it's still the cheapest way to get that amount of non-fossil-fuel energy.

If we want electric cars to be something other than rich people's playthings, then we need a D, E, F, G and possibly H as well.

Transport uses more energy than you think.

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Richard 12
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For $deity's sake don't use the Big Six

I've never seen any of them on the first page of comparison results.

Get your annual totals and plug them into a meerkat, Welsh opera singer, dancing skeleton etc.

Use your real annuals, the standing charge/unit cost variation is very important.

I change supplier every year, and every time I get around 10-15% refunded due to overcharging.

Seems that all the energy companies do the "oh, turns out you do use less than average energy, sorry we charged you too much for six months" - despite providing the annual total use for the previous year and regular meter readings.

I don't think I'm that relatively efficient, everyone uses LED lighting these days.

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Mega VR roundup: Lots happening in the virtual and real worlds

Richard 12
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Re: Try some of the latest games and you may change your mind

It's not resolution, it's latency.

People were fine with NTSC resolution for decades.

People are not fine with visuals being 1/10th second behind their head movements, and barf.

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Richard 12
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Re: Well yes...

Or that they realised that it isn't something that Kickstarter projects can do - who would thriw money at Kickstarter when they can just go and buy a Rift, a Vive or a thing to put their phone in from their local online retailer.

Or even Dixons in the airport.

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Couple fires sueball at Amazon over faulty solar eclipse-viewing goggles

Richard 12
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Re: Get out the popcorn

I can and have asked my credit card company to refund me after the shop I bought a thing from refused to make good.

In accordance with the Consumer Credit Act, the credit card company refunded me with very little hassle.

They may or may not have gone after the original seller, but I was quite happy to leave them to decide on that.

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UK.gov wants quick Brexit deal with EU over private data protections

Richard 12
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Re: Don't worry, it will all work out in the end.

Farage can't think that far ahead.

I think he wanted fame. Don't think it was power as he ignored what he had.

Farage was the UK fisheries rep to the EU - and couldn't even be arsed to turn up. If you think the UK fishermen got a poor deal, it was primarily because of Farage.

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Hash of the Titan: How Google bakes security all the way into silicon

Richard 12
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It's useless without revocation

If you cannot securely revoke and replace the certificate, then it has a very short life.

As with "pinning", one should assume that the certificate will be stolen before it becomes obsolete.

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Germans force Microsoft to scrap future pushy Windows 10 upgrades

Richard 12
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Horse, door, oh...

Microsoft are on record saying that Windows 10 is the last "major" version, it's a rolling program of "minor" updates from then on.

I suppose it worked for OSX. When's macOS 11 coming?

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The sky is blue, water is wet and UK PC shipments are down

Richard 12
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Re: Crapner at it again again

There's down (3%) and very down (11%)

But in the other hand, stagnant wages and high inflation caused by a 15-20% drop in the value of a currency will obviously cause a large reduction in elective spending.

I'm surprised that the UK market isn't worse.

Although there might be a buying spree before Brexit itself actually happens, especially given our current abject failure to actually do any negotiations or even to set out what our Government wants. Still shocked that Mrs May threw away the first six months and yet still has no position.

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Atari shoots sueball at KitKat maker over use of 'Breakout' in ad

Richard 12
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Re: Arkanoid was legally made

Arkanoid is a much better game.

Felt more balanced.

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Richard 12
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@AC

Nestlé were claiming that their baby milk was better and safer than breast milk, despite knowing that almost nobody in that market had access to water clean enough to use it safely.

They even dressed up their salespeople in fake nurse uniforms for a while.

This wasn't ignorance. They knew it would result in thousands of deaths and they just didn't care - their bottom line was more important. Their response to the initial outcry was - and even in 2013 remained - "Someone else should improve the water supply".

Over in the USA and EU, they'd lost a lot of sales to "breast is best", and were desperate to increase sales at any cost.

It's similar to what Martin Shkreli did more recently, except on a grander scale.

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Richard 12
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Re: Next to Microsoft and Oracle, Nestle are now practically emissaries of Jesus

Breast milk is not made from undrinkable water filled with parasites and cholera.

Consider how someone without access to drinkable tap water makes up baby milk powder.

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Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call

Richard 12
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Re: Time to disable updates

If nothing gives you the style of UI or the features you want, you choose the cheapest or the fastest and live with the limitations until something cones along that does.

Firefox is neither of those - Edge/Safari are preinstalled on Windows/Mac (cheapest), and I believe Chrome is currently the fastest.

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Richard 12
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Re: Time to disable updates

Mozilla asked the extension/addon developers to comment on the WebExtension API.

They did, each describing the features fundamentally required to port their extension over to the new technology.

Mozilla closed them all as WONTFIX.

When 57 releases, there are going to be a lot of very surprised and very angry users, who will rapidly become ex-users.

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Richard 12
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Who are your users?

If you simply copy your competitor, then you lose.

Why should I use Firefox when I can get Chrome for the same price - since Australis, they now look almost identical and Chrome is faster.

Firefox' USP was the customisation. I could install many extensions/addons that customised the way it looked and worked.

Not just colours and textures, but layout and some UI behaviour.

Yes, that all came at a cost but the cost was shared between Mozilla and the extension authors.

Take that away, and what is left to recommend Firefox over Chrome, Edge, Opera or Safari?

If they all look and behave the same, then I should pick the cheapest or the fastest. Firefox isn't either of those.

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Richard 12
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The plugin API change isn't the problem

The problem is that the new WebExtensions API intentionally lacks most of the features required for tha majority of popular Firefox plugins to work.

Mozilla were asked to add these missing APIs before they made the switch, but instead of doing that they said "No, we have no intention of ever implementing these things".

It is a shame, but it seems very likely that this hubris is about to kill Mozilla.

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Richard 12
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Switch to ESR about a month ago

If you switch to ESR 52 after 54, then your profile is incompatible and won't work.

It should theoretically be possible to export your profile then import it, but...

Essentially it seems that Mozilla have decided that it's too much hassle to continue existence and would like to quietly die.

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Are Asimov's laws enough to stop AI stomping humanity?

Richard 12
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The flaws were the point

Asimov wanted some basic rules to write stories around, so they were intentionally simplistic and therefore flawed.

Most of his robotics stories exposed and discussed various flaws that appear once you start applying these simple rules to complex (imagined) reality.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

Richard 12
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Re: Arsehole

Not true.

The Crown owns all the land below the high-water mark, so it's only possible for anyone else to own the land above that.

There are quite a lot of private "upper beaches" in the UK.

The main difference is really the "public rights of way". There are very few UK beaches that don't have long-established public rights of way down to the high water mark.

The vast majority of those are older than the USA, and the Ramblers Assoc. fought a long legal battle a few decades aho to keep them.

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World's largest private submarine in mystery sink accident

Richard 12
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Re: But, but, but ..

Hence the traditional submarine Captain's cry:

"Sink! Sink! Sink!"

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US border cops must get warrants to search phones, devices – EFF

Richard 12
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FedEx routing "errors" are common

Same with other couriers, it's not exclusive to them.

There are countless anecdotes of parcels taking unreasonable and in some cases completely insane routes according to the courier tracker and calendar days taken to arrive.

Of course, there's no way to know where a package actually went - only what the courier admits to.

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Bixby, why is Samsung's heir apparent facing 12 years in the slammer?

Richard 12
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Re: Off Topic

Piranas don't eat chairs.

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Richard 12
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Re: No, you didn't tell us

It is a live court case, thus publications must be very careful not to be prejudicial.

The legal consequences for affecting an ongoing trial are significant.

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Richard 12
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Re: Off Topic

Everyone has to sleep eventually.

See the Evil Overlord List.

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Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

Richard 12
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VED

Depends on your definition.

"A tax levied only to maintain the public roads" then yes, it was abolished along with National Insurance, income tax and all the other taxes initially created for some specific purpose.

"A tax on vehicles using the public road network" then no, it still exists along with National Insurance, income tax, etc.

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Cisco loses customer data in Meraki cloud muckup

Richard 12
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Re: Well, I don't like to say...

For you, This time, Perhaps.

For others, and next time for you, maybe more.

To err is human, but to accidentally destroy multiple businesses, you need a Cloud.

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

Richard 12
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Re: Laboratory waterbath

In the EU those regulations pre-date Cat 3, so it is not possible to be "grandfathered" in.

Mid 1950s or so, incorporated into EU regs in the 80s.

Any install not following them is simply dangerous - whether it actually works is irrelevant.

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Richard 12
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Re: Laboratory waterbath

It's a breach of the electrical regulations* to run ELV like Cat3/4/5/6 in the same conduit as LV on account of the risk of death.

So it's not a problem one should ever encounter anyway.

* In most places.

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Programmer's < fumble jeopardizes thousands of medical reports

Richard 12
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Re: We had this problem

People free-typing stuff will eventually use every glyph in the font.

And will find and complain about missing glyphs fairly quickly. After all, Irish names can contain any characters in Unicode. It's the Law.

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Chrome web dev plugin with 1m+ users hijacked, crams ads into browsers

Richard 12
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"I stupidly fell for a phishing attack"

That sounds like a mea culpa to me.

What else would you have him say?

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Go fork yourself: Bitcoin has split in two – and yes, it's all forked up

Richard 12
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Re: In related NEWS....

At least you can eat a tulip bulb.

Bitcoin are far too crunchy for my taste.

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How can you kill that which will not die? Windows XP is back (sorta... OK, not really)

Richard 12
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Win98 for games

There are a lot of really great games that fall into the black hole of Win95/98.

They won't run in dosbox, or under WinXP (or newer).

It means most people have no legal way to run them at all as you can't get a Win98 licence anymore. Though MS may not care...

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