* Posts by Richard 12

2651 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

ALIS in Blunderland: Lockheed says F-35 Block 3F software to be done by year's end

Richard 12
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Re: "Block 4 is said to be already in development"

Of course the next version is already being developed.

Adding Feature P is not reliant on Feature H already being present.

It is very common for large software projects to be simultaneously working on (parts of) the next two or three "important" releases.

Even when it's just one person, there is continual planning for the next version - "I can't fix that now, note it for later" - and partial implementations (eg the most useful 20% of the feature) to be expanded on in a later version.

I think the only exception is games, where there's no intention that there will ever be a next version.

Ignoring the future is stupid.

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Intel loves the maker community so much it just axed its Arduino, Curie hardware. Ouch

Richard 12
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Re: cheap arse DIYs

The Raspberry Pi is now the compute module inside a lot of industrial kit.

Because it's cheap, can be manufactured in-house if desired and has excellent software support.

It's the best advert Broadcom ever had - for a mediocre ARM and a mid-range custom GPU. Low margin silicon, huge volume.

Intel clearly saw what happened and wanted in, but they did not understand why it worked.

ARM now owns the low-power computing space, and has no competitors left.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Richard 12
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Initially surprised to see TCP Offload going

Until discovering that (almost) nobody ever actually implemented it.

Rather like OpenGL "Select" mode I guess. Nobody did it properly and it was completely broken in recent implementations.

Though I do seem to recall some talk about ASICs and FPGAs to do network stack DMA, which implies it may not be as dead as it looks.

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Why you'll never make really big money as an AI dev

Richard 12
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Nonsense

The brain is not infinitely complex, and must be possible to replicate because unskilled labour is able to do so, and there are over 7 billion examples of this within a few thousand km.

A better argument is whether it is possible for a human brain to understand a human brain. That may well be impossible.

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Richard 12
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Re: AI does not exist

Watts per hour is (joules/second)/hours. This is a rate-of-change of energy used per time period.

Watt-hours is (joules/second) * hours. It's a measure of total energy used.

Neither of those make any sense in the context of your post.

Units matter, the basic difference between energy and power will save your thesis some day.

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UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Richard 12
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Re: No vaping in the workplace please

It's more or less the same stuff as used for some types of theatrical fog effects.

There have been several studies showing that you can fill a dark room with quite dense theatrical fog and nobody reacts, then turn on the lights and suddenly a small number start coughing.

Even though the actual content of the air hasn't changed, being able to see it triggers a coughing response. Brains are weird.

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Three Microsoft Outlook patches unpatched, users left to DIY

Richard 12
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Outlook still turns invisible for me

Weirdest bug I've ever seen.

None of it draws - not even the window borders - but it is running and on top (text can be selected and copied).

The indexing might explain why search has got even more crap than usual recently.

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Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Richard 12
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Re: The perfect critter

Only when given natural oil

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Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

Richard 12
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Re: @Lee D

Windows explicitly tries to make it impossible for any program to bring itself to the top, because the OS developers know it's pretty much the worst possible thing to do.

Several software developers then use undocumented calls to force their application to the top.

Microsoft are one of the worst offenders.

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Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

Richard 12
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Re: An imperfect solution for an imperfect world

Invading and annexing part of the Ukraine might have somerhing to do with it.

That's only the part Putin admits to.

It seems very likely that Putin's Russia also funded and supplied the rebels/terrorists who (among other things) shot down a passenger jet with a Russian-built anti-aircraft battery.

The Ukraine has a lot to be worried about.

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G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

Richard 12
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Except they won't, because they can't

Encryption is maths.

If WhatsApp introduce backdoors, then people will simply move to Signal, or Bimble or Maytalk or F-U-G20 or or or or or....

The cat was out of the bag in the 1970s. It's had over forty years to deposit mouse heads behind the furniture, and it's not going back.

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Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

Richard 12
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Re: The unexpected perils fo data centre migrations

an explosive event the UPS manufacturers described as "unprecedented"

Alternate translations:

"A UPS hasn't exploded in this room before"

Or maybe:

"This UPS serial number has never exploded before"

The explosive nature of hydrogen gas is one reason why I really don't like centralised battery systems for emergency lighting. The other being that they tend not to be maintained very well.

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Richard 12
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Re: The unexpected perils fo data centre migrations

Power is power!

People regularly ask how much heat a 575W spotlight produces.

575W, of course!

(Unless you point it out of the window.)

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

Richard 12
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Re: USB A, Male to Male? I don't think you really want one of them

USB-on-the-go often uses them, though USB-OTG is more common on phones and tablets with Micro-B than things using A.

I have an adapted A to A adapter cable for this purpose.

With a cut +5V line because it's for blowing in a bootloader and the product itself isn't intended to do OTG.

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Whoa, bad trip, man: Google workers' info exposed during travel-booking software hack

Richard 12
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Re: Was it a good idea?

I believe it is mandatory in the state of California.

And frankly, that kind of law is strictly necessary as otherwise masssive data leaks just get covered up for years.

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Richard 12
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Facepalm

@AC - So you'd keep paying them?

They refused to provide functions they were contracted to provide.

We fell back on our contingency plans.

Then got rid of the useless supplier and in the process, realised they performed a pointless function and broughtvit in house.

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Richard 12
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Why do Google of all organisations use a travel agency?

Surely this is something they do in house?

Corporate travel agencies are almost entirely useless.

We had one for a while until something went wrong leaving a lot of us trapped in various foreign climes. When we each asked them for help, they refused.

So we did not renew the contract.

We didn't mind paying a little extra for the flights and hotels if it meant having someone else sort out getting us home, but that episode proved that we were not getting anything of value.

So now we use Google.

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

Richard 12
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Re: If smartcard support was the long pole in the NHS tent

I guess there were other tall nails that were handled over the last five years, the smartcard will just have been the most recent.

I rarely bother mentioning stuff I fixed a few months ago, let alone a few years ago. It's only what I did in the last few weeks that's news.

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Richard 12
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Should the NHS make toilet paper?

Or manufacture medical instruments?

This "NHS must not buy anything from the private sector" attitude appears to ignore reality completely.

There are many private hospitals that specialise in particular types of treatment. They don't do anything else at all so they're really quite good at it.

One of the reasons those places can specialise is because the NHS does the general care, so they don't have to.

Would you really want the NHS to refuse to send you to the best place for your replacement knee because it happened to be a private hospital?

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Richard 12
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Re: Cost is the smaller concern

Wrong way around AC.

Within most organisations, it's only a very small number of niche users who need Windows.

The majority of "line of business" applications (email, ERP, CRM, etc) are genuine web apps these days, and work on any HTML5 browser.

MS Office 365, Google Apps, Libre Office and MS Office are all interchangeable for almost all users.

So most functions are in fact OS agnostic.

There will be a few specialists where the software they need is only available on one specific OS - usually Windows or Mac.

Then there is specialist hardware like MRI scanners etc, which runs whatever it runs (often Windows, Linux, or VXWorks) and the manufacturer is responsible for it.

And finally, if you are a big enough customer, the specialist software will be ported to the platform you demand. The NHS is definitely big enough...

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Talk about cutting-edge technology! Boffins fire world's sharpest laser

Richard 12
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Both at the same time

It's all gone a bit quantum.

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Pwned UK SME fined £60K for leaving itself vulnerable to hack attack

Richard 12
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Re: Zero day...

They're being fined because they didn't take even basic measures to protect their systems.

As is usual for risk-based law, this is all about what is "reasonably practicable".

So if you store CVV numbers for more than a second, you're guilty as ****.

If you follow industry best practice but still get hacked, then you're not guilty.

If you fail to keep up with best practice, you're guilty.

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Richard 12
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Re: It's a start

This is a lengthy post mortem, so...

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

Richard 12
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They already have a legal route

The DoJ refuses to use it.

This implies that what they want is illegal in Ireland, and thus it's irrelevant what the US Supremes say - Microsoft Ireland cannot comply.

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Richard 12
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They dont want to use the MLAT.

Now do you see the problem?

The DoJ are arguing that they don't need to ask Ireland, they can just grab whatever they want.

This further implies that whatever it is that the DoJ wants is likely to be illegal under Irish and/or EU law - otherwise they'd just ask the Gardai for help.

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Despite high-profile hires, Apple's TV plans are doomed

Richard 12
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In the world of entertainment, content is King, Queen and dodgy-looking Grand Vizier.

It doesn't matter if their hardware turns out to be gold-pressed latinum hand-rolled on the thighs of gorgeous men and women.

If they don't have the content, it is dead before it's even made it out of the factory.

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Richard 12
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Re: Apple

Except that as a content creator, the current Macbook Pro range is completely and utterly useless.

The keyboard is awful to type on, and I can't plug in anything at all without a stack of adapter dongles and there are no docks - just adapters.

An octopus doesn't make a decent laptop.

In the Windows and Linux world, I can pick and choose from a great many laptops, many of which have all the connectivity I need and most of which have better keyboards.

Some of them also have nicer trackpads - though in general I just use a travel mouse which is both 10% of the cost and far better ergonomically than the Apple mouse.

The actual macOS is quite good - albeit often painfully inconsistent - but the hardware is just terrible.

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Blighty's first aircraft carrier in six years is set to take to the seas

Richard 12
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Loads of room.

Shipyards and drydocking staff are used to that.

For some really tight manoeuvres, find some video of ships entering the Gatun locks of the Panama canal.

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Men charged with theft of free newspapers

Richard 12
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My wild guess is they were distributors

If they were being paid to distribute them and decided to dump them in the recycling instead, that's fairly clearly theft.

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ICO fines 'Wolf of Wall Street' electrical survey biz for nuisance calls

Richard 12
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Re: @CAPS LOCK

Aside from that, just because you have a landline number doesn't mean you have anything connected to it.

Some contracts work out cheaper to have the "bare bones" phone line as an enabler for Internet.

On the other hand, I'm on cable and do not have a landline at all.

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Florida Man to be fined $1.25 per robocall... all 96 million of them

Richard 12
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Re: I don't get it

I read it as they were complainig about robocalls that they thought were TripAdvisor et al.

So were contacting TripAdvisor et al and telling then to kindly go stick their calls where the sun does not shine... except it wasn't them making the calls

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Richard 12
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Re: Lack Of Security

All of which are trivially fixed by only allowing a caller to present as a phone number they themselves own.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Richard 12
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Saudi Arabia is in the middle of switching from 120VAC/60Hz to 230VAC/50Hz. This has been going for about a decade and will probably take another decade to complete.

It causes no end of fun when people and businesses move, or "consultants" forget to check the supply at the actual site.

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

Richard 12
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Re: ummmm

You are aware that GPS is simply a lot of clocks in the sky, all broadcasting the time?

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Richard 12
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No backup?

Sounds risky.

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2 kool 4 komputing: Teens' interest in GCSE course totally bombs

Richard 12
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Meaningless statistic unfortunately.

I expect better from El Reg.

What is the change relative to the total number of pupils taking any GCSEs?

If the total number of pupils taking any GCSEs has fallen or is flat this year, then that would actually mean Computing GCSE is in a major boom.

Rather like the reason class sizes fell under Mr Bliar was because of fewer kiddywinks, not better funding.

Demographics my dear commentards, demographics.

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Worried about election hacking? There's a technology fix – Helios

Richard 12
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Re: No, elections don't work this way

Yes, but such fraud is more easily detected by a lay observer than the equivalent switcheroo of electronic ballots.

Swapping out a few paper ballot boxes means printing and manually marking those ballots, then arranging for them to be swapped out at the right moment and the real ones destroyed.

This involves a lot of people and affords a lot of opportunities to get caught.

Swapping out electronic ballots means connecting to the system with your BallotHackTM machine for a few seconds - whether locally or remotely.

Faking large numbers of paper ballots takes a lot more manpower than faking electronic ones, and so is more likely to be spotted.

A concerned citizen can follow paper ballots all the way from printing, right through to the count, and it doesn't require them to have any specific technical expertise.

Inspecting and monitoring electronic ballots requires a lot of technical expertise, and is effectively physically impossible anyway - how do I check that the hardware and code running in the machine is the one you said it was?

That's the point.

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You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad* from Amazon, after it swallowed Whole Foods

Richard 12
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Kin - ooh - ah.

I asked the Peruvian ambassador.

Anyone pronouncing it kin-wa or keen-wa is a hipster and can be legally put down and used as fertiliser.

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Oh the irony: Government Digital Services can't pay staff because of tech problems

Richard 12
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Re: "Last month GDS switched over to a new payroll system"

Something tells me they'd pay everyone twice if they did that...

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Richard 12
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I set up my IDE with the house style and let it do it all for me.

There seem to lot of people manually indenting. Weird.

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Richard 12
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Re: "error in line 123, colum 43"

Depends on context.

The line and column are very useful error indicators when failing to parse a file in something like xml or json format.

In languages like C or C++ that have a preprocessor, rather less so.

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Richard 12
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Re: If Only ...

And all the decent version control software has easy hooks for tools that enforce your chosen styles both in the repo and your local disc.

It's even built into some of them.

So really this is just bollocks. I can use what I like and you can use what you like and neither of us has to affect the other.

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Richard 12
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Re: If Only ...

Several IDEs strip end-of-line whitespace automatically.

(Obviously you can turn this off)

Sure, if you're not using an IDE that understands your language of choice then you don't get any of this. But you're also going to be orders of magnitude slower and make more mistakes.

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Richard 12
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Just let the IDE do it.

Costs zero time or effort.

All IDEs have a formatting ruleset and trivial "apply to whole selection/whole file" command.

Which is probably why the better paid use spaces, because the default for MSVC is spaces and it's just not worth the effort to change it.

Namespace and Switch/Case statement indentation is another holy war. Let's have that one next.

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Researcher says fixes to Windows Defender's engine incomplete

Richard 12
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Re: Almost as good as the shill who posted that WD was not inferior to Kaspersky

They will have been honest mistakes, because everybody makes mistakes.

They have however clearly failed to correct some of their mistakes because of the guys in sunglasses.

It remains unclear whether the black helicopter told them to leave these alone, or just kept quiet - wrongly thinking that no other malicious actors would ever find the faults.

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It came from space! Two-headed flatworm stuns scientists

Richard 12
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Re: Yeah that's not creepy at all /s

The Hydra is real!

Hail Hydra.

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British Airways poised to shed 1,000 jobs to Capita

Richard 12
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They'll lose them if they carry on trying to be a budget airline.

BA used to be worth the premium, because they ended up being only a little more, sometimes lower overall cost (luggage etc) while having much better service.

Now they're just more expensive with the same or worse service.

The new CEO is an idiot - in the race to the bottom, RyanAir have already won.

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Virgin Media resolves flaw in config backup for Super Hub routers

Richard 12
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It would be a vulnerability if you can do it without logging into the admin interface, or if all the routers ship with the same default password of "changeme".

That'd be rather stupid though.

I wonder whether they did both?

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Richard 12
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Re: Am I missing something?

Aside from that, does that mean it's now impossible for me to backup the config and restore it to the replacement SuperHub next time it fails?

If so, it's not a backup!

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In detail: How we are all pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered – by online biz all day

Richard 12
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Re: Lie all the time

Of course I do

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