* Posts by Richard 12

2728 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

100k+ petition: MPs must consider debating Snoopers' Charter again

Richard 12
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Re: It's the Government after all

It doesn't need to work, or be within budget.

It's carte blanche to monitor anybody at all.

So PC "Dodgy" can decide to monitor that bloke down the road who looks a bit foreign, until they find something to hang them.

As can anyone who hacks into the system.

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Richard 12
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Re: People. The person you need to write to is your MP. @John Smith 19

I hope you filled them out and psoted them back, authorising yourself to look at all your MP's stuff?

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Grand App Auto: Tesla smartphone hack can track, locate, unlock, and start cars

Richard 12
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Re: That's a lot of code

The car stereo system will run a general OS, usually either an embedded/compact edition of Windows, Linux or Android. That alone is tens of millions of lines of code.

Then there is the GUI toolkit (probably Qt these days), which is again quite large - most of that toolkit will not be actually used, but is there in the build machine.

None of the above was written by the car or stereo system manufacturer. The part they wrote will be much smaller, and far less well tested.

The ECU is a lot smaller, but was also built up over decades and probably is millions of lines - many of which will be cut out when building for a particular engine.

Then there are the multitude of sensors, each of which has some code, maybe a thousand lines or so.

So while it's not an unreasonable estimate, it is an utterly meaningless number.

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International Space Station celebrates 18th birthday in true style – by setting trash on fire

Richard 12
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Re: Fibreglass and cotton ...

It's usually smoke that kills, so smouldering is still incredibly dangerous if you don't know how to reliably put it out.

Especially in a sealed environment like a space capsule or submarine.

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Irish eyes are crying: Tens of thousands of broadband modems wide open to hijacking

Richard 12
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Re: Why does an ISP need access to your hardware

Remote access for update and support are definitely very useful for an ISP in a domestic context.

It's very valuable for the ISP support to be able to say "Your modem is working, it seems that your laptop isn't connected to it right now. Do you use Windows or Mac?"

Then talk them through the setup including the SSID to pick and the password to type, and finally see the WiFi login (attempt).

I suspect somebody in the dev team had been asking "Which IP range gets remote access?" for some time, had been ignored for months and eventually ordered "Just turn off the filter, the customer won't say"

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

Richard 12
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Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

Most Android lock screens have that kind of thing as well, though the Apple implementation is definitely better than most.

However, I can't put data on the Lock screen because it's a clear security risk. I expect many people have the same consideration - OTP codes are a particular risk.

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Richard 12
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Re: The MacBook Pro has moved on from what it was.

If you expect to use the laptop on battery more than say 20% of the time, and hope to use it for more than two years, you will need to replace the battery.

It does not take long for the capacity to drop below 70%, turning your "all day" into a "half day".

A bit later it'll be 50% and getting quite annoying, and within a few months it'll only be a UPS long enough to find a wall socket.

On my laptop, I phone Dell and a new battery appears on my desk the next day.

On a modern Apple, you back it up, take it in, they take it away. A week later you go in to pick it up - and hope that it's actually the same machine with your data on it.

If you're a business then you also needed to secure-erase everything as you had sensitive data on there, and take a week holiday because you couldn't do any work.

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Richard 12
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Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

Widgets on the Home screen.

The iPhone Home screen has barely changed from the original array of static icons - the only new things are that the calendar icon now has the actual date and the email has a thing saying how many unread emails in the inbox.

My phone has both of those, yet also shows me the time at the international offices, the weather forecast, the alarms I have set, the subjects of recent emails, my next flight and next appointment.

When any of it becomes unimportant I can remove it, and when new info becomes important to me I can get an app that puts it right on my Home screen.

Usually in several different ways so I can pick the one I like.

- Eg when on holiday I pull work emails completely off the home screen.

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Three CEO confirms hack, 133,827 customers were exposed

Richard 12
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Re: So...

They're learning!

Perhaps they may even become sentient, given enough time.

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Microsoft's cmd.exe deposed by PowerShell in Windows 10 preview

Richard 12
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"Joe Public" doesn't care

He doesn't use cmd or powershell and never will.

Sheila Sysadmin is already using Powershell for the things it's good at, and cmd.exe for the rest.

Debbie developer relies on a large number of cmd.exe batch files and will be sorely vexed if any of them stop working!

All Windows software devs rely on a few BAT files built up over many years to automate the boring bits of a build and release. In most cases they probably have no idea how they work as they were eithwr written by a predecessor, or so long ago that the author doesn't remember anyway.

Plus there are the batch files that come with Visual Studio of course.

If any of those break in any way, there will be hell to pay - as that's rather likely to end up breaking Production.

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

Richard 12
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Re: Another one that's been to the Trump school of quotes.

Great devices. The best ones.

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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

Richard 12
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Re: Revelation 22:13

Put away your keyboard, you'll be using a very special quill of mine.

And no, you won't need any ink...

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Is that your television? Or a zero client running a virtual desktop?

Richard 12
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Remote desktop over wifi?

Double You Tee Eff.

Onve there's more than a couple of these within half a mile the latency of simply moving the mouse is going to suck donkey testicles, let alone trying to do actual work.

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Adobe fined a whole million dollars for 2013 mega-breach

Richard 12
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Re: Less than $2 per user?

A stamp is about 50cents, the envelope 2c, the cheque check about 10c?

That is a truly insanely low penalty. Even the usual "1 year credit monitoring service" insult costs more than that.

The legal fees will have been higher so the direct cost will be double to triple, but still... $6 per customer is miniscule.

I would not be surprised if somebody did decide to "dox" the board, although that would be immoral and obviously I would never condone such action.

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Swedish prosecutor finally treks to London to question Julian Assange

Richard 12
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Re: Bah!

Sweden has prior claim, the EU Arrest Warrant has to be completed first.

His future is roughly thus:

1) He will be ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy at some point.

2) He is then arrested by UK plod and instantly taken to Sweden, as per the EU Arrest Warrant.

3) Swedish pre-charge interview takes place, he is charged, the court case happens

4) He is found guilty or not guilty and either serves time or does not.

5) He is then instantly deported to the UK.

6) UK judgement on his contempt of court.

7) He then serves time - likely a long sentence due to the blatant contempt.

8) He is then deported from the UK, either back to Australia or to anywhere else that has a valid claim on him.

If he really does have any reason to fear deportation to the US, then jumping bail has made it absolutely certain that they can have him at their leisure.

The guy is an idiot.

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Richard 12
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Re: Rape isn't serious?

No you haven't. You know nothing of what he did to and/or with those women as you were not there and there is no court case that you could read.

On the other hand, Sweden's acts have been tested in court. They are absolutely within the law to require that Assange go to Sweden and face his pre-charge interview.

Assange took that all the way to the top. It is the most contested EU arrest warrant there has ever been, and it has proven to be completely legal and legally binding.

His behaviour after that is both illegal and highly suspicious. I am having a very hard time avoiding saying that Julian Assange is a rapist. Very hard.

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Richard 12
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Rape isn't serious?

Take a step back and look at yourself.

He's accused of having sex with someone who said No. That is rape and is indeed deadly serious.

The guy is not scared of being deported to the US. It's much easier to get deported to the US from the UK than from Sweden, yet he chose to travel here of his own free will.

I don't kniw what actually happened, but his behaviour after the accusations were made is highly suspicious and implies that he believes there is a significant chance of him being convicted of said rape charge.

After all, he decided to explicitly break the law purely to avoid the pre-charge interview.

Contempt of UK court carries a higher sentence - and certain deportation. The only question is where we send him after his stay at Her Majesty's pleasure.

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Amazon's cloudy 'WorkSpace' desktops-as-a-service gain a GPU

Richard 12
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Re: running costs

Don't forget the running costs of the local client machine.

You still need a box on the desk with screen(s) and power.

Yes it can be a much cheaper and lower-power machine, but the running and local support costs are not going to be much lower than for a beast of a machine.

That sort of remote-desktop really doesn't make sense to me.

Render farm, compile farm, yes, absolutely - far cheaper to rent by the hour than to fill a cupboard full of hardware.

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Zuckerberg says just one per cent of news on Facebook is fake

Richard 12
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So where us the "This is fake" report category?

As I can't find it.

There is a "scam" and a "spam", but no "fake". Thus his proposition cannot have any research behind it.

Facebook seems to class all posts as "stories", and most photos of food are real. The "news" posts could be 99% false.

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Russia shoves antitrust probe into Microsoft after Kaspersky gripes about Windows 10

Richard 12
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Facepalm

As an electronics designer

How will you get your design tools if the browser won't download the installers?

How will the design tools come into existence if the developers' computer won't run the compiler or the resulting application?

iOS and Android "apps" only exist because macOS, Windows and Linux still allow the user to run arbitrary code of their choosing.

If that should cease, then there will be no new software for anyone at all.

If macOS locked down, iOS and macOS would be dead within a year - no new apps, no fixes to existing ones.

If Windows locked down, it would be dead in six months or less.

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Spain's Prime Minister wants to ban internet memes. No, really

Richard 12
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Re: Note to all political leaders:

When you ban peaceful protest, all protest must become violent because the arms of the state will make it so.

The storm clouds are gathering, they have been for some time.

Populist jingoism and the cult of personality will lead us to the place they always have - disaster, war and death.

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The big day is here and it's time to decide: Patch Flash, Windows, Office or Android first?

Richard 12
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They haven't!

Unfortunately an older, non-"Creative Cloud" version of Photoshop is still the only viable option for many professionals.

Which is terrible because you can't buy that anymore.

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Add it to the tab: ICO fines another spammer as unpaid bills mount

Richard 12
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It still works when there's no originating telco

The charges get passed up the chain until one of the following happens:

A) They reach the originating telco, who is charged and can charge their customer.

B) They reach a telco who can't prove that they got the call from another telco. That telco is then charged. Loser-pays civil court action can be taken if a telco denies they carried the call.

C) The chain becomes a circular loop with no telco at the end. This obviously makes the total charge infinite, and so to avoid this bankrupting all telcos involved, they instead pay a fine to OfCom of the total charge accumulated at the point where the loop occurred.

This then puts a direct commercial risk on all telcos to keep good and accurate records and to avoid doing business with spammers.

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Richard 12
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Re: Parliament must vote

Many != All, or even most.

The polls before and since indicated that at least a couple of million or so 'protest' voted to kick the Tories - well over the margin by which Leave won. A fair few of them were horrified at actually winning.

Many more who blame the EU for actions taken purely by Blair, Brown and Cameron, when the EU was actually holding the UK Government to account and preventing worse.

Yet they voted to cut the lifeline, damaging their own interest.

I find it intriguing that you didn't post your reasons. Would you care to share?

Have they proven false like practically everything on the official Leave campaign flyers?

Has Teresa May laughed in your face by refusing to accept the Parliamentary sovereignty you desired, even going to the Supreme court to insist that she is all-powerful and can do whatever she pleases?

Or something else?

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Richard 12
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Re: Parliament must vote

Although the actual reasons many people gave for voting Leave were:

I hate Cameron

Give the Tories a kicking

The Conservatives ruined my town

I don't have a job

While it's probable that Hammond and May's current approach to leaving the EU will utterly destroy the Conservative Party for all time, that wasn't really the method the voters expected and it's not going to help the jobless or underemployed.

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'F*cking crap' aside, Linus Torvalds says Linux 4.9 is coming along nicely

Richard 12
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Re: Re. Linus Torvalds

Linus has never called anyone stupid.

He frequently calls ideas stupid.

There is a big difference.

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Tesco Bank limits online transactions after fraud hits thousands

Richard 12
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Re: Fail

Ultimately the money mostly comes from the shareholders - our pensions - via reduced dividend.

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Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

Richard 12
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Re: So Comey must be arrested.

He broke the law.

Here's a thought experiment:

Someone sexually harrasses your daughter.

She reports it to the local police, who say they will investigate it.

The local police chief then publishes her name, the name of the alleged perpetrator and the name of a local mayoral candidate who happened to have employed a partner of the alleged perpetrator on the local news - without your permission or knowledge.

You would not accept this, and it would be illegal.

That's what Comey did, except on an international rather than local scale. He must be prosecuted, and given the opportunity to defend his actions in court.

He's either deliberately broken the law (prison time) or he's an idiot, so he is clearly not fit to serve in his current role.

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Richard 12
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So Comey must be arrested.

He has revealed the identity of a minor who was a victim of a sexual attack, causing them considerable further distress due to an extremely large amount of media attention that was instantly predictable.

On that fact alone, he must be fired for gross misconduct, arrested and held criminally liable.

On top of that he has directly interfered with the election process. If done intentionally, this is illegal and so he must be prosecuted to determine the facts.

If done by accident, he is incompetent and must be fired for gross negligence.

Why is he still in post? He should be preparing his legal defence against these two charges while in jail or on bail.

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

Richard 12
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As I understand it, the problem is that the spin-balance/g-sensor subsystem doesn't always work properly and an erroneous reading is not detected.

So the machine thinks everything is fine and keeps spinning until it rapidly dismantles itself, instead of slowing or shutting down the way it is designed to do.

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Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

Richard 12
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Re: "Topological quantum fluctuations in quantum chromodynamics"

Space is bent and changes colour.

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Hm, is that a minefield? Let me just throw my magic bomb-sniffing spinach over there

Richard 12
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So how does one inject the nanotubes?

Or plant a pre-treated plant?

Without entering the minefield?

This technique probably has some great applications, but minefield detection is definitely not one of them!

Pollutant detection sounds feasible - plant them around a bunded tanked to spot leaks.

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Hypersonic cruise missile scores US$175m DARPA cash

Richard 12
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Re: SCRamjets have only really ever looked good for weapons systems

And for re-usable spacecraft.

It saves a lot of fuel if you can get to a reasonable percentage of orbital velocity while breathing high-altitude air.

However, I'm pretty sure that it's only worth doing if you can go ahead and do it several times with little more than a refuelling stop, as a rocket system is much cheaper!

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MPs want Blighty to enforce domestic roaming to fix 'not spots'

Richard 12
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They did

The National Transmission System was started in 1962, and the National Grid in 1926.

Before then, it was all local monopolies - and not even the same voltage and frequency!

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Richard 12
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Re: OFCOM Powers

I guess usual Government stupidity was applied to the grant.

Seems the contract was "Have a few billion to build out the network. If you dont meet the coverage goal then we'll give you another billion."

How about this:

"If you do not meet the target then the following penalty charges apply: The CEO's car collection, the CEO's thighbones and 50% of the grant shall be forfeited to OFCOM who shall sacrifice them to the Gods of Radio in the hope that this will have a greater effect on coverage than your sorry efforts."

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KCL out(r)age continues: Two weeks TITSUP, two weeks to go

Richard 12
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RAID doesn't really protect against failed drives. It gives you breathing room to get the backup recovery process in order.

RAID-5 theoretically protects against a single failed drive.

However, in the real world this isn't true, as a second drive will probably fail during the rebuild - they are a similar age and have had a similar amount of usage, and the RAID rebuild is likely to be the most intensive work they've ever done.

Assume it rebuilds ok - you've dodged a bullet, but what happens when the next drive fails? All except one are now very old...

So when the drives are large, the rebuild takes so long that probability of a second failure during rebuild quickly gets above 50%, and a third is rather probable.

So backup. Backup means you can port to a new RAID, and you have a way of recovering when the rebuild fails.

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Windows Server 2016 persistent memory support supercharges storage IO

Richard 12
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Re: Cherry Picked Opponent?

They're trying to compare the speed of "physically on the nonvolatile storage media", rather than the efficacy of the various caching schemes for the particular dummy workload in the test.

After all, writing to disk normally returns much faster than the disk can actually write as it gets cached by the OS in RAM, then spooled out to the actual disk hardware, which caches again and finally writes to the physical media.

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Richard 12
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Boffin

Re: "memory clear and boot"

Yes. It is conceptually very easy to do in fact.

Right now the UEFI (or das uboot etc) bootloader loads GRUB or the Windows loader from persistent storage into RAM, which then copy (and maybe decompress) the next loader or kernel image from persistent storage into RAM.

That first bootloader could just as easily jump straight to a kernel image say in NVRAM.

This is how the majority of microcontroller bootloaders have always worked.

The scary bit is that a power cycle won't clear the NVRAM back to a known state, it requires running software to do that. Viruses are therefore far more dangerous as you cannot "clean boot" the system anymore.

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Researchers expose Mirai vuln that could be used to hack back against botnet

Richard 12
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As you don't really know where the endpoint that is attacking you is physically located, the legalities are very sticky as you have no way of knowing which jurisdictions might apply and so which lws you would need to follow.

That said, you are highly unlikely to get caught knocking infected consumer kit offline unless you announce that you did it.

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Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules

Richard 12
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Who does the substitution?

Compare to what happens when an obvious employee calls in sick.

If the agent says "do the job", you can't/don't want to and so you send in someone else to do the job, then you may be self-employed.

If the agent says "do the job", you can't/don't want to and so the agent sends in someone else to do the job, then you are likely to be an employee of the agent.

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Everything you need to know about HP's three-in-one x3 deals

Richard 12
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It's for travelling salescritters

Powerpoint, email, a few small spreadsheets, PDF and light browsing.

As long you can run a hosted edition of the relevant ERP applications - which are rapidly becoming browser-based anyway - then it's actually near-perfect for that type of user.

The hard part is convincing these salescritters that they do not need an iPad or a Macbook Air

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Richard 12
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Re: Priorities

I'm also really concerned by their risk management.

It seems that they didnt realise that charging a li-ion battery pack is a significant fire risk and did not have any of the appropriate measures in place.

The first one being "do not rely on a human to correctly configure the battery charger for each charge cycle", and the second being to have appropriate automatic fire containment and extinguishants in place during all charging.

Even model aircraft flyers get this right.

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Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob

Richard 12
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Re: Only 4GB RAM?

It's for WORK.

Photoshop, Vectorworks, Avid and more.

This is not a device aimed at people who are merely playing with spreadsheets, it's supposed to be a creative workhorse and that neans GPU intensive applications.

Most CAD is far more GPU intensive than any games. In fact "gaming" graphics cards are rather poor at CAD.

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Richard 12
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Re: Only 4GB RAM?

GPU RAM. 2GB, or 4GB on the very top end unit.

That's ludicrously low, especially given the screen resolution.

2GB of GPU RAM is entry level these days.

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Not call, Intel – not call: Chipzilla modems in iPhone 7s fall short

Richard 12
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Re: There's only two reasons Apple is doing this

Act as a bug?

How, pray tell, does the modem get an audio signal from the microphone array without the cooperation of the CPU?

Remember that the modem is just a peripheral. It's not connected to the microphone array, it merely streams the data that the CPU makes available.

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Chinese electronics biz recalls webcams at heart of botnet DDoS woes

Richard 12
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$2 is way too expensive

The CPU on many IoT devices costs that much.

Even 10 US cents is probably too much, the margins on really are that tight.

They only exist because the hardware is dirt cheap and the software can be built with stickle-brick components from various open source projects.

It doesn't even need to be stable, let alone secure or supportable.

The map download software for my last (probably ever) satnav was the most unstable piece of **** I'd ever seen, yet three/four years later there has never been a single patch for it, despite the satnav itself still being a current product. I don't think it will run at all on Windows 10.

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UK fintech firm reaches for Ireland Brexit escape hatch

Richard 12
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Re: Java and low latency do not mix

Concurrency libs in Java?

Hah. The C++ ones are far better. Boost, Qt... Heck, even the raw stuff in C++11 and 14.

The exact details of threads and/or forking is OS-specific of course, but the libraries handle that quite nicely.

It's not really concurrency if everything has to stop for the garbage collector.

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Meet the slimeballs who are openly sabotaging Virgin Media

Richard 12
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Re: Open Invitation

I'm relatively ok with the service.

I only get two speeds - the 70Mbps they advertise, and zero when it breaks down.

They have finally decided to swap out the kit in the cabinet after a multitude of breakdowns, so hopefully the periods of nada will cease.

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The answer to Internet of Things madness? Open source, of course!

Richard 12
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Re: Open? Or is Money?

If OpenSSL had been closed source, it is quite probable that the serious security flaws in it would still be unfixed - and probably unknown.

However it's also certain that it wouldn't have been anywhere near as popular, so the impact of those bugs would be several orders of magnitude less.

On the gripping hand, those products would have used something else, with another set of security flaws. Almost everyone uses the "SDK pack", so there would be the NXP flaws, the Freescale flaws, the Intel ones, the MIPs etc.

So the fact that those OpenSSL flaws were found and fixed means that a lot of products got simultaneously better, instead of just one SDK.

On the fourth hand, a heterogeneous set of flaws across different products is much safer than a homogeneous set...

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Outlook-on-Android alternative 'Nine' leaked Exchange Server creds

Richard 12
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Nice of Microsoft to mention that.

Oh. Seems they don't.

Although nobody should be using the Outlook app anyway, because it's terrible.

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