* Posts by Richard 12

2727 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

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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Richard 12
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I'm sure El Reg are interested, but if they split them up they get double or even triple the eyeballs!

Huzzah, beers all round.

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Ofcom lifts sword, eyes up BT's duct and pole rental costs

Richard 12
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Re: Ducts are all

I think the OP means the ducts.

If BT don't want to maintain their ducts, then the ducts go back to the taxpayer and BT can rent access at market rate for the fibre etc they have pulled.

BT have historically set that market rate, so clearly they think the pre-cap rate is reasonable, and their competitors can pay the capped one.

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Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people

Richard 12
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Freeview is approx. 70 channels

Freesat is something like 127 channels, excluding regionals (which you can of course get all of)

There is a lot of overlap, but there are several Freeview-only (eg Dave, lots of soft porn) and several Freesat-only.

At least five of each are "+1" channels, which shouldn't count.

So by the numbers, the no-subscription services are "better" than Virgin.

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Universal Service Oh... forget the Obligation. BT offers to stump up £600m for 10Mbps

Richard 12
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Better - pro-rated "up to"

The contract says "up to 10Mb" and your max. peak is 5Mb, you pay "up to" half.

And if half of the time you only get 2.5Mb, knock an additional quarter off.

That'd sort out the "up to" crap within a few months.

The telcos know how much capacity they really have, and by now they also know the quality of almost all the copper and aluminium wiring in the country. They should have no difficulty in advertising what customers in each street can really get.

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Richard 12
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EU standard is 230VAC +10% -6%

216V to 253V, approx.

Anything below about 210V at the socket implies an electrical fault that could cause a fire and/or property damage and needs immediate investigation.

At 170V, if your wiring appears ok, call National Grid because either somebody lost a neutral, or your supply cabling is already on fire.

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Pre-order your early-bird pre-sale product today! (Oh did we mention the shipping date has slipped AGAIN?)

Richard 12
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Kickstarter's about 99.995% bad

I've backed exactly one project, it delivered on time and was great.

However, since then I've noticed that every single electronic device is either impossible or clearly outright dangerous.

The most recent I noticed was an international socket adapter with a tiny "self-resetting fuse".

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any such devices rated for use with mains supplies - the "fuse" contacts will simply arc over and either weld shut or literally explode the first time the fuse tries to trip.

Perhaps they have invented one that somehow gets the minimum 6kA rated arc suppression into a space smaller than a sand filled BS1362, but I doubt it.

However, Kickstarter don't care, and as I am not a backer I can't ask very simple questions like "What's the breaking capacity of the fuse?"

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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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