* Posts by Richard 12

3160 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

Richard 12
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Re: What else can a move to ARM bring ?

x86/amd64 already have them in the form of AVX et al, and ARM has NEON. While vaguely similar they're not the same though.

The reason for offloading to the GPU is because a GPU is a massively-parallel array of floating-point processors, and most of this "AI" stuff is simply massively-parallel low-precision computation...

It often makes it slower to bring it into the CPU, because shared address space means you have to keep the cache coherent. The "copy input data to coprocessor memory, run, copy result data back" approach is much faster as there generally isn't very much input or output data compared with the number of intermediate values.

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Richard 12
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Re: Rosetta-a-like is absolutely necessary

Sorry, but you genuinely have no idea what you're on about, diodesign.

How does that help run any of the thousands of existing applications on this new architecture?

Unless the software developers spend the time to port the x86 application to ARM, there will never, ever be an ARM version.

Rosetta made it possible for existing PowerPC binaries to run on x86, which meant you could buy an x86 Mac and still have all your existing software, even if the developers didn't update.

Fat binaries merely made it easier for developers to ship a single "installer" for both architectures. They don't magically cause x86 or ARM versions of applications to come into existence.

Porting a commercial x86 application to ARM is not just a case of recompiling it, unless it's really quite trivial. It often costs thousands of pounds to port - who's going to pay for that?

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Richard 12
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Rosetta-a-like is absolutely necessary

Remind me, just how successful was WindowsRT?

The operating system isn't the major hurdle when changing CPU/GPU architecture, it's the applications.

If none of your existing applications will work, why would you buy the new Mac?

Why would a software house spend the resources making it work at all on the new platform, unless their customers are going to buy it again?

Software like Adobe Creative Cloud is fine of course, because their customers are already paying monthly, but anything you already bought will probably have to be bought again.

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Alphabet in the soup for keeping quiet about Google+ data leak bug

Richard 12
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Nope

The stock market is intended to be about raising capital for the company by allowing anyone to buy part of it. This guy owns (a bit of) Alphabet.

If you float your company on the stock market, you are taking on a lot of legal duties and requirements to publish what's going on in your company.

Anything that is likely to materially affect the price is required to be made public at the earliest opportunity*, in order to allow the market to set a "fair price" for your company.

If you're privately owned, you don't need to do this - but it's harder to raise capital.

* There are limitations to this, but "we got hacked and we knew about it six months ago" seems unlikely to fall under them.

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Party like it's 1989... SVGA code bug haunts VMware's house, lets guests flee to host OS

Richard 12
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So that's every vmware VM vulnerable.

Given that the virtual SVGA adapter is one of the few virtual devices that practically every virtual machine will have.

I'm not sure if it's even supported to create an ESXi instance that doesn't have the SVGA display adapter.

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The mysterious life of Luc Esape, bug fixer extraordinaire. His big secret? He's not human

Richard 12
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Re: How narrow an area?

Was that it?

My IDE offers to fix that class of bug before I even save the file.

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It is 2018 and the NHS is still counting the cost of WannaCry. Carry the 2, + aftermath... um... £92m

Richard 12
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Re: So the solution is to redesign all the software for Linux

Why would it affect the MRI machines etc?

They aren't being "upgraded" to Win10 either, because they are industrial machines that come with a magical mystery box to control them that runs whatever it runs.

In some cases that's WinXP Embedded, in others it's Linux, in others it might even be DOS.

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Happy with your Surface Pro 3's battery? Well, here's a setting that will cut the charge by half

Richard 12
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Re: Just no

Ni-Cads are only used in specialist applications these days, as cadmium is very nasty stuff and they're much harder to charge to full without damage.

They can however produce ludicrous current from very small cells, and don't catch fire when they burst (unlike lithium-based cells) so are very useful in some situations.

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Richard 12
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Re: I thought this was a solved problem

Depends on the charging algorithm and power system design.

If the system can only be powered from the battery, with the charger continually keeping the battery fully topped off then it'll kill it.

If it charges to full and then supplies the machine from the PSU while leaving the battery "floating" until the cell self-discharge takes it below some reasonable level, then it'll be fine.

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Richard 12
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Re: "scuttle it and start again"

Heavy isn't big enough.

Plus it isn't planned to be man-rated, and the trouble with on-orbit construction is that you need on-orbit workers to assemble it.

Automated assembly currently isn't viable, for a variety of reasons.

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Microsoft deletes deleterious file deletion bug from Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Richard 12
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An untested fix to an untested feature

Both of which lose data.

Impressive.

Remind me why this continuous release was a good idea?

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Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

Richard 12
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Re: Strong denials

Bloomberg have been in the journalism game for a long time.

They will have approached all the companies for official or unofficial comment a long time before publishing.

Chances are that Apple et al told them "This is tosh, don't publish" - but of course, they would, so Bloomberg won't have believed that.

The real question is why Bloomberg thought they had enough evidence to publish the story. They only seem to have 3rd-hand accounts of something weird, which means they should know that the details are almost certainly very wrong.

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Richard 12
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Re: "It is bonkers to think it would have screwed up a story this huge"

The technology described is perfectly feasible.

It's SPI flash speeds. Something that an Arduino-scale device can read and write.

The main stupidity of the story is that it's a ridiculously expensive and totally unnecessary way to do it.

It's cheaper and easier to fake a chip than a PCB.

The inserted chip was described as attacking the BCM in some way. So why not simply replace the flash chips for the BCM with one containing the alternative code to do whatever you wanted?

Either as simple data, or if you're really keen, as a fake chip containing write-once partition for your attack.

The pointless complexity of the described attack means that the story is almost certainly false.

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On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

Richard 12
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Re: No thank you

These days there is no red X.

Hateful piece of GUI redesign.

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Richard 12
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Re: Not a good look here.

"Roaming" will get copied to other machines that the user logs into when on a domain that supports roaming profiles.

"Local" and "LocalLow" aren't copied to other machines and in many cases aren't backed up either. Eg these are where Temp really lives.

Thus Roaming is user-specific settings and data, and Local is settings and data specific to a particular machine and user - eg cache.

Plus there's appdata for machine-specific but not user specific settings & data.

I don't really know the difference between "Local" and "LocalLow". The latter is apparently the "low integrity" version, however I've yet to find a Microsoft doc saying what that actually means.

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Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

Richard 12
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Re: Chinese agents slip spy chips into Super Micro servers

Why embed into the motherboard substrate? That's really expensive and subject to failure.

If I were doing this and had that piece of silicon, I'd embed it into the packaging of a chip that's supposed to be there.

Cheaper and more reliable as the chip packaging is designed to do this. At least as hard to detect, possibly more so as multi-die packaging is very common.

Of course, the simplest way to do this kind of thing is to swap out the content of a flash chip.

If this attack is real, I am pretty sure that there was no custom silicon involved whatsoever, it will be a firmware image attack as that's cheaper and harder to detect as there are no visible indicators at all.

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Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

Richard 12
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Re: Information on "shunt trips".

The electrician who removed the Big Red Button is the one who really has explaining to do.

You don't leave any wires dangling but connected. You always disconnect them from their source of power.

If you're taking off the button, you also remove the other end!

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Richard 12
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Re: Heaters are the bane of our lives

And this is another reason why the British 13A plug and ring main is superior.

Design by committee can work brilliantly when the committee members are haggard engineers with a very dim view of humanity's intelligence.

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Day two – and Windows 10 October 2018 Update trips over Intel audio

Richard 12
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Surely they wouldn't do that again

Yes they would. Of course they would.

Microsoft have repeatedly proven themselves incapable of learning from mistakes. They always double-down then look shocked when it doesn't work and blows up in user's faces.

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Richard 12
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Intellisense is a great idea though

Shame it doesn't actually work most of the time.

An autocomplete that saves me having to type the whole text out, a thing that shows the documentation in-line and can quickly show where a thing is declared, defined and used would be extremely useful. If it worked.

My personal bugbear with Visual Studio is that plugins/extensions regularly freeze the whole thing up. The Perforce plugin is particularly heinous.

Yet all the other IDEs I use somehow managed to prevent plugins from being able to do that.

Although Arduino's constant utilisation of an entire CPU core is odd. UWP version is worse...

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Richard 12
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Re: Dirty tactics with the settings reminders

Yes it almost certainly does.

However, the EU have a very long list and Microsoft will just have to wait their turn to be prosecuted.

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Richard 12
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Re: mapped network drives

Navigating via UNC paths has been broken in Windows 10 for at least a year.

If the share needs a username or password, Windows 10 Explorer will never ask. It just dies.

Luckily you can fix it temporarily via the command line.

It's good that Windows users are all totally happy on the command line, right?

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The secret history of Apple's Stacks

Richard 12
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Re: Desktop clutter

Map/symlink to a project-specific folder further in?

While some Windows APIs have a path limit of 260 chars, NTFS itself doesn't. So you can map a drive letter to partway into the structure and cut out the crap you don't need.

The downside is that you won't be able to navigate in using the "raw" path anymore of course.

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New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Richard 12
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Re: Gonna risk the haters here ...

These days you can charge a phone faster than you can copy everything to another phone.

Fast charging and really large flash chips...

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Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

Richard 12
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Re: More RAM

What's the point of making the "unused RAM" number bigger?

A good browser should keep practically everything cached in RAM, and let the OS know that it's fine to wipe it instead of paging it out to hard disk.

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Richard 12
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Do you personally audit the binaries as well?

And the silicon upon which it runs?

At some point you have to trust somebody, as no one individual can possibly check everything in a PC, let alone the things it connects to and via.

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Richard 12
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Re: Lazy keychain

Well, that's just bloody stupid and means 60% of their potential user base can't ever try it, and will run away screaming if they do.

Rule Number One of entering a market - make it easy for users to switch to you!

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Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

Richard 12
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Re: Prove it

It only affects customers who have attempted to use their services during the past X hours.

So unless the bank services die totally for a week and then never fully recover, that's only a small proportion of customers.

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Richard 12
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It takes several years to close some types of account.

Current accounts and instant access savings are the only ones you can switch in less than a month.

And in the case of current accounts, who do you even go to?

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Richard 12
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Re: The last friday of the month

You mean which year.

TSB online banking still hasn't started working properly even for one minute.

Perhaps it will once the load becomes manageable - as there's only two customers left...

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Richard 12
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Re: Not following the logic

A lot of people do.

For example, if you live payday to payday, you can't go shopping to buy this month's food until you've been paid.

If you're in the "gig economy", you won't even know how much you'll be getting paid until it arrives.

And if you're trying desperately to escape this poverty trap, you'll be wanting to know how much was left from last payday to move it into your saving account.

Or to work out how much you're going to have to take out of your savings to survive this month.

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Microsoft 'kills' passwords, throws up threat manager, APIs Graph Security

Richard 12
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Seems very similar to current practice

People just save the password in (the cloud of) their phone, and so whenever it's unlocked, the entire farm is unlocked.

Given that most company phones have reasonably sensible forced auto-lock policies, the benefit I see is that Google and Apple no longer get to see the passwords.

In the other hand, if you don't trust Google and Apple not to look at stuff they shouldn't, there's no way to have a smartphone at all.

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iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

Richard 12
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Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

That's a podger, used for podging holes into alignment.

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You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Richard 12
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Fix all the bugs

Support more formats

Nothing else. Nothing else at all.

Eg Calc should remember the number when changing mode, and do all arithmetic correctly to high decimal precision (not high binary precision).

Notepad should read and write every text-only format known to humankind. (Every codepage of ASCII, UTF-8, UTF-16 etc, EOL, CRLF, CR, LF, LFCR etc)

Paint should load and save every image format known to humankind.

Between those two, you'll keep busy and won't break anything.

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Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

Richard 12
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Bollocks

A month and a half is plenty of time.

UK by-elections are required to take place within 21-27 working days of "moving the Writ", which means the entire election process - including candidate registration - takes place in that time.

Printing doesn't take very long, neitger does organising automated optical and manual counts. There are certainly both in and out-of-state entities willing and able to do both.

Heck, schools do the optical scan part for multiple-guess exams.

This judge has effectively said "Yeah, you've proven that this election is going to be fraudulent but I don't care."

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Richard 12
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Re: I think some people might have missed something...

Why would you spend your budget on "safety equipment" and "fire extinguishers"? Most of them will just sit around for years and never get used!

You do it because a) hopefully you don't want your employees to die and b) even if you don't care, the law requires it anyway.

Equality is primarily about opportunity.

If you never get the opportunity to even see a job advert, how are you going to apply for it?

So yes, it is flat out illegal to filter who sees your job adverts by any of the "protected statuses" - gender, skin colour, age etc.

The only legal question is whether Facebook are also liable for allowing it. Their only plausible defence would be if they have no way of knowing it's a job advert. That seems unlikely, given that "job" is a specific advert category.

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GG n00b lol! Amazon frags support for its own games controllers

Richard 12
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Re: They did it to me a few years back

BTW- the SoGA is updated/superseded by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which added a lot of rights regarding digital content and services - and does explicitly cover this type of loss of functionality.

(The CRA implements EU regulations, so is one of those pesky things that Brexiteers are so upset about...)

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Richard 12
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They did it to me a few years back

I ended up getting a full refund on the 18 month old bluray player and a half price Fire TV.

However I had to kick up quite a fuss and mention the Sale of Goods Act a couple of times.

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TV Licensing admits: We directed 25,000 people to send their bank details in the clear

Richard 12
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Re: Which bank details exactly?

Account holder's name, sort code and account number.

As Jeremy Clarkson found to his cost, that's sufficient information to make payments.

It sounds like the street address was also there, which is enough to do damn near anything...

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Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

Richard 12
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Re: Hopefully the hole was drilled from the outside

The hole was drilled from the inside, the bit skipped 15-20mm along the surface before biting, and the leak started while all the astronauts were asleep.

So either a crew member managed to get up and drill the hole during a sleep cycle without Mission Control or any other crew member noticing, or it happened during manufacture and somebody slapped a patch on it that started leaking a few months later.

The visible hole wasn't in the pressure hull either.

All the sane money is on a manufacturing defect in the pressure hull, and they drilled the hole to access the defect and squirt gunk over it.

Which eventually failed.

If roscosmos didn't have a totally disastrous management style, this would have been documented and known to NASA, they probably would have used the right kind of gunk so it wouldn't have leaked in the first place, and even if it had, the ISS crew would have been able to go straight to the leak and fix it immediately instead of searching for a few hours.

So yes, drilled on the ground.

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The internet – not as great as we all thought it was going to be, eh?

Richard 12
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Re: ".....how much smartphones have become essential everyday tools in our modern lives"

But they have.

For a rather large proportion of poorer people, smartphones are their only internet access, and their only phone.

In other words, the only communication method they have at all.

To be honest that really surprised me, but it shouldn't have. In the US the broadband - or rather, fixed line - market has failed due to local unregulated monopolies.

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UK networks have 'no plans' to bring roaming fees back after Brexit

Richard 12
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3 did it in desperation

They have their extensive free roaming because they are - even now - the plucky underdog desperate to upset the status quo and willing to do all kinds of deals to get customers.

None of the other networks did it. Roaming to the EU was always subject to hard limits and high prices.

If you happened to live near the Irish border, letting your phone automatically choose a network would leave you with massive bills.

While you could (and still can) buy plans from T-Mobile that had some roaming minute and data included in specific countries, they are quite expensive and limited.

This ruling was one of the most visible and effective changes the EU made to protect customers.

Once again, the average consumer is to be sacrificed upon the Brexit altar. Reese-Mogg must be so proud.

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Microsoft accidentally let encrypted Windows 10 out into the world

Richard 12
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Re: What is the point of the login screen image at all then?

Most frameworks have a sample blur filter. They probably turned it on for a laugh and then a product manager accidentally saw it.

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It's September 2018, and Windows VMs can pwn their host servers by launching an evil app

Richard 12
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Re: So adblockers are now strictly necessary

For the most part you can trust that the site itself didn't get hacked, because that gets noticed very quickly.

Pretty much all of the drive-by attacks come from adverts, because most workplaces already block "dodgy" sites based on a blacklist provided "by others".

Presumably it wouldn't be too difficult to add all the adslingers to said blacklist.

Skype was serving up dodgy adverts for a while just last week.

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Richard 12
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So adblockers are now strictly necessary

If you run Windows.

No ifs, buts or maybes. If you are running Windows, you must block all adverts.

Time to get your domain policies pushing out the adblockers.

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You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Richard 12
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Where do you put those hard drives?

The protagonist had an Apple device. They don't have hard disk slots and usually have pretty small built-in storage.

Last time I tried, I found that iTunes cannot use removable storage because it blows up if it's not there. It was also incredibly difficult to get it to use a NAS drive, and I don't remember if I ever got that working.

Apple explicitly encourage you to use their "cloud" services instead.

So it's not just a hard disk. He'd need a very large, Apple-approved hard disk.

In a machine that was carefully Designed in California to be unable to have a large hard disk.

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Richard 12
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Master/Backup, Master/Replica, Primary Server/Backup Server are usually more accurate descriptions of the roles.

Pretty much the only place where Master/Slave makes sense would be for things like an I2C comms bus where one of the communicators is in complete control of who gets to use the bandwidth and what they get to say.

Not sure what other terms make sense there.

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Richard 12
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Re: Bowing to the "Professionaly Offended"

NMR is for measuring atoms. It doesn't produce recognisable images.

NMRI was the original term for using the effect to make pretty pictures of the insides of things ypu don't want to take apart.

As an acronym it's more than a bit of a mouthful, so the 'N' got dropped.

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Guys, you need to sit down and have a chat: Skype rolls out SMS a week after Microsoft

Richard 12
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Re: Is Skype still a thing?

Microsoft haven't quite killed Skype 7 yet, so yes.

Once they pull that plug, later versions are almost unusable on the desktop as they've turned into "I'm a phone!" GUI.

What is it with cramming everything into one singular Window?

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Revealed: British Airways was in talks with IBM on outsourcing security just before hack

Richard 12
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Re: It used to be...

There's a Business class. The seats are bigger, there's a little table between them instead of another seat and you get served tea and a biscuit.

And they wonder why nobody ever buys those tickets.

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