* Posts by Richard 12

2346 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

Richard 12
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Re: '20 of which must be made on mobile'

Pokemon Go appears to have killed the last few.

At least, that's the reason given. Not that they actually play it.

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Adblock Plus chalk talk takes stock: Facebook's gonna block our block of their block of our block? Let's rock

Richard 12
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Re: Williams makes an interesting point,

FB themselves claim to be an outlet for journalism.

So it doesn't really matter whether anyone else agrees, if they say they're a journalism outlet then they self-evidently must comply with those rules.

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£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

Richard 12
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Re: communicate with the grid... mmmmm

And if thousands of white goods around the country attempted to participate in autonomous demand management, the grid would disintegrate the first time there was a minor frequency excursion.

Suddenly dropped load is ****ing terrifying.

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London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

Richard 12
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Re: How is this a "thought crime unit"?

And "obviously" nobody would ever get prosecuted for blowing off steam in a tweet about wanting an airport to get their act together.

Yet it did actually happen.

Laws like this are dangerous.

Putting together a group who's entire purpose is to prosecute people for posting things online is worse, because they will find something to justify their existence.

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Swedish Pokemon teens terrorised by laser-wielding 'sex pigs'

Richard 12
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Unlikely to permanently damage

Even assuming it's really a 1mW, temporary blindness is still no joke.

It's not that different to pepper spray in your face.

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Microsoft: Why we had to tie Azure Stack to boxen we picked for you

Richard 12
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Re: The other Microsoft

Indeed.

I'm rather confused about this alternate history proposed by the article author.

Because if Microsoft had done that, they would have vanished like Acorn, Commodore and all the other non-IBM-compatible PCs.

Microsoft exist because of their support for the myriad of IBM-compatibles, and their dedication to backwards compatibility, making sure that almost everything from the last decade still runs fine on next year's hotness.

This is blatant abuse of monopoly if it works, and killing the product if it doesn't.

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Researchers crack homomorphic encryption

Richard 12
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Re: can't resist

Put down your phone and tablet, and step away from your computer.

Those are all direct results of long-running "nerd wars".

And while you're at it, hand in your satnav, disconnect your electricity, gas and oil, and don't eat any food that came further than a day's walk.

I tip my hat to the nerds that came before, for they built our world.

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More gums than Jaws: Greenland super-sharks live past 400 years old

Richard 12
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Re: "...carbon-14 dating of Greenland shark eye lenses."

Also 272 isn't an average, it's an error bar.

Carbon dating is quite accurate but not very precise.

The largest of the sharks tested was aged between 272 and 512 years old, so most probably ~400.

Those are some pretty wide error bars.

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'I found the intern curled up on the data centre floor moaning'

Richard 12
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Re: Not so much on call

Which is why nobody should ever be lone working.

Things can go oh so very badly wrong even when you're sat at a desk.

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Richard 12
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I presume it's geographical numbers

Payphones will have originally had phone numbers assigned from the same block of numbers as the homes nearby.

So a 1-digit change gets a phone near the home, and if that happens to be a payphone then it's probable that it's a payphone near their home.

So the probability is higher than pure random that the right person is near enough to the payphone.

On top of that, nobody ever remembers the millions of times somebody phones a wrong number and gets the wrong person, only the occasion where the right person was on the wrong number.

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SAP kills staff reviews

Richard 12
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Wow. Smart move!

It seems there is now somebody in SAP HR who has a vague understanding of human nature.

Can they be moved into product design?

SAP's software is one of the most actively user-hostile things I've ever encountered.

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£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

Richard 12
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Re: Pitot tube for altitude?

Not to mention that they're nowhere near accurate enough for an instrument landing anyway.

Still, it's not like you could follow a radar beam down into the tarmac...

That's wierd. The airfield has one of those already.

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Richard 12
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Re: It's almost as if the purpose of the design wasn't to make the best possible drone

In which case, why did they not just use the firmware and hardware from Ardupilot?

It works better and costs bugger all, so all the more margin.

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

Richard 12
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Re: Conspiracy theory

The difference is in the props.

A helicopter has variable-pitch blades on the rotors, while a multicopter has fixed-pitch blades.

This means that tri/quad/hexa/etc/copters are much simpler to build and repair as there are far fewer moving parts.

- A quadcopter has exactly four moving parts and eight bearings/bushings.

That said, this almost certainly was not a drone anyway. It will have been a balloon or a plastic bag. Model aircraft do not fly fast, and are relatively rare. Balloons and plastic bags do not fly fast, and are very common.

In both cases you'd get to see it for a second or less, only enough time for a "flash of colour".

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Brit network O2 hands out free Windows virus with USB pens

Richard 12
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Re: Would this count as a "malicious communication" for the purposes of UK legislation

Hacked USB flash firmware is a very common trick.

It's only discoverable by trying to write and read back the full reported size.

Perhaps my favourite marketing USB stick muppetry was the metal half-shelled USB memory stick handed out by several companies a few years back.

Those would quite easily go in upside-down, so you can guess what happened...

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Richard 12
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Re: Would this count as a "malicious communication" for the purposes of UK legislation

Incompetence rather than malice.

Buying a few million USB sticks with pre-installed marketing tat always results in something going titsup.

Usually the marketing guff is never pre-installed, but sometimes you get a little extra...

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US Politicians tell DEF CON it'll take Congress ages to sort out how to regulate crypto

Richard 12
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Re: But.

It's a decent argument to make though.

"If you do this, your backers go bankrupt and you lose all your campaign funding."

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Richard 12
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Inaccurate

Consider North Korea, Russia, Turkey, several sub-Sahara countries and many others.

The population demonstrably cannot trust these governments to act in their best interest, because they are either corrupt or dictatorships - perhaps both.

Once a thing is done it cannot be easily undone. Perhaps you trust the entirety of the current US Government. Perhaps you believe, despite all the incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, 100% of them are absolutely perfect and would never, ever under any circumstances do anything whatsoever to make any innocent person's life difficult in any way.

How long can that situation last? What if a lunatic with a bad toupee became President? What if a power-mad guy became director of an intelligence agency?

Unless you can be certain that there will never, ever, under any circumstances, for the entire future history of the USA be anyone who would ever be tempted to abuse such powers, you cannot ever allow these powers to exist.

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AdBlock Plus blocked in China: 159m forbidden from stripping adverts

Richard 12
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But adblocking clients don't exist

My browser never bothers to ask for the adverts. They aren't blocked

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

Richard 12
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Re: I really don't understand

And make Teresa May Director-General?

It's arms-length for a reason.

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Richard 12
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Said box is then the live receiving equipment

So if you own it, you need a TV licence.

And if someone else owns the box and streams onwards to you, they're breaching copyright.

If you want to watch TV, just get a licence.

If you don't, don't. It's very simple.

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Richard 12
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"Exactly the same way"

Meaning they don't exist either.

The simplest explanation is normally correct.

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Richard 12
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Re: Spy on the screen and loudspeakers

Ignoring the letters is just stupid.

Tick the box, post it back and they will not bother you again.

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Richard 12
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Re: Sir Amyas

And Carrier-Grade NAT.

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Richard 12
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I got exactly one letter.

In the years that I did not own a TV, I got one letter.

I ticked the box saying that I did not own a TV and sent it back.

I did not receive any more letters at all, and nobody came to knock on my door.

In other words, it worked exactly as it should.

Five or six years later I bought a TV and set up a TV licence Direct Debit. A bit of paper turned up with a licence number on it. TBH I've no idea where it is now.

So did you tick the box?

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Richard 12
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Once upon a time detector vans existed

They could listen for emissions from the CRT, and/or the intermediate frequencies used by TVs.

Then they realised they could just ask for your address when buying a TV.

Then they realised that almost everyone has a TV and they could just send a nastygram to every address that doesn't have a licence.

So detector vans do not exist and haven't for decades. Instead there is a team of people sending out letters and knocking on doors.

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How the HTTPS-snooping, email addy and SSN-raiding HEIST JavaScript code works

Richard 12
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Re: Question

No, as it's based on reusing the session cookie from the user's active login to $SENSITIVE_SITE.

The attack can be made while cookie survives, as the user does not need to reenter their password.

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

Richard 12
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Half the per-unit price

Need to buy four times as many

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Giant Musk-stick test-firing proves a rocket can rise twice

Richard 12
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Only the first if you ignore the Shuttle

The Space Shuttle main engines are first stage and each orbiter was refurbished and returned to actual orbit several times.

The refurbishment was rather more extensive than originally hoped of course.

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No need to panic, says SwiftKey, as email addresses, phone numbers appear on strangers' screens

Richard 12
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Re: I don't understand this service

Cloud is better because cloud.

Cloud!

The only possible reason I can think of is for MS to keyboard scrape everyone. There is no other possible purpose for doing this.

They could argue the mass keyboard scrap is to "improve" the predictions in some way, but it's still mass keyboard scraping.

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WhatsApp chats not deleted

Richard 12
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Why wouldn't you?

It needs a local store of the chats - who said what when - and contacts.

Something that databases are designed to do.

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My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Richard 12
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Re: Interesting quote on Google's mail client

Or the loudest, because nobody will stop MS from **ing messing about with the interface.

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Richard 12
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Re: @Doctor Syntax What's Wrong with Slurp?

In my experience MS Office can't open an Office document and keep the formatting.

Sometimes it even fails to do so within the same version.

At least LibreOffice still works when I have no Internet for a few days - as I currently suffer due to the incompetence of Virgin.

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IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

Richard 12
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Re: Why is IPv6 faster?

BACNet/IP is becoming more common than the older variety, most modern BMS-enabled kit I've encountered only does the IP version.

(Which is a horrible protocol in fact)

RS232 is still the number one multi-manufacturer industrial interconnect - because it's dirt cheap and trivial to secure. It can easily be unidirectional (cut one wire), and nobody is getting in unless they have physical access.

Of course, managers then put an IP/RS232 bridge in and expose it to the Internet anyway.

RS485 is the final stage physical layer for millions networks around the world. It's better than IP due to topology - multidrop is often far more useful than star.

Often there is an IP to RS485 bridge, but the last mile (sometimes literally) is RS485.

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Richard 12
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Re: Richard 12 Richard 12 TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

And no negotiators, because the EEC/EU did all that collectively since the 1970s - it's in the treaty.

As these departments have already said, several times.

Clearly you are very happy in your dream world and do not care how small its intersection with reality is.

I wish you good day, and hope you do not go bankrupt because that would hurt your suppliers.

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Richard 12
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Re: Richard 12 TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

Theno please point to the negotiators we have.

Name five.

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Richard 12
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Re: TVU Scientists - just too "ethical"?

Matt, in your own comments you have spent the entire UK contribution to the EU at least five times before I lost count.

There is no magical money tree.

Also, your own future probably does not exist any more as EU data protection rules currently require that all EU data is stored in the EU, so watch all those data centres you apparently build vanish.

The US "Safe Harbor" agreement took a long time to negotiate and turned out to be tosh, do you really think that a UK Safe Harbour could be done in under two years?

Along with the other negotiations with the EU and rest of the world, when we don't even have a professional negotiation team any more?

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Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

Richard 12
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"Find"

So he wants them to go looking for them.

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Richard 12
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Re: Clinton got caught rigging the primary...

No they didn't.

A majority of people in the party don't want Bernie.

Bernie was still nominated and still came second by a relatively close margin.

Several of his policies have been adopted by Hillary, and will be enacted if she becomes President.

Not all, but 1,000,000% more than if Donald Trump gets to sit in the Oval Office, because he's going to reverse everything Bernie stands for.

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Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Richard 12
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Re: Wow

But that wouldn't be as amusing as thinking about the ramifications of GWh battery packs!

Not a very portable tablet - a 40GWh LiPo battery would weigh around 240kT...

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Gullible Essex Police are now using junk science lie detectors

Richard 12
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Re: What they need

They'll be rehabilitating using retro-phrenology next.

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Richard 12
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Goes back much further

At least to a sooty cock in a darkened room used to catch a thief.

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Richard 12
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Re: I don't believe it

You don't want to know.

That which has been seen, cannot be unseen.

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Tinder porn scam: Swipe right for NOOOOOO I paid for what?

Richard 12
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Re: That's the long play scam

In order to cancel your have to visit the porn site's complaints office in person and fill out the requisite forms in triplicate.

You'll find them on display in the lavatory, behind the door marked "Beware of the leopard"

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No, the VCR is not about to die. It died years ago. Now it's VHS/DVD combo boxes' turn

Richard 12
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Re: Actually VCRs still exist

I presume the actual limitation is decoder or HDD bandwidth.

The Humax ones I've used will happily record two channels while watching any third that's in the same mux as either of the others.

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Richard 12
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Re: Actually VCRs still exist

The VCRs in profrssional use were Beta though, never VHS.

And disappearing fast, as HDD based video archives are now so cheap that it's just not worth dealing with large numbers of tapes.

I don't think any UK broadcaster now uses Beta for new programming, though they probably still have a large library of tapes sat in storage.

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Richard 12
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Re: Stop making me feel old

Ah DAT. I used it for its intended purpose - 8-track audio (plus timecode).

Or rather 7-track audio because track 8 was the click track for the band.

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World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Richard 12
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Re: Curious

The places one can "lure" are public attractions/landmarks like churches, shops and similar.

So there's no additional risk over existing "Come meet me by the church at midnight" comments.

The special locations with activity are all visible on the map from quite some distance, so to some extent it's a lesser risk as everyone playing the game can see that something is afoot.

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BOFH: Free as in free beer or... Oh. 'Free Upgrade'

Richard 12
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Re: in a HALaxy far far away

Old printers are probably best - as the drivers are so old that they're probably built into Windows and Linux distributions.

I'm very happy that my printer uses the built-in driver set.

The official driver installer from the manufacturer was both huge and included several completely pointless and annoying programs.

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OneDrive go for Pokemon Go

Richard 12
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Hmm...

There must be a charging model somewhere.

They've already done "Pay us or we delete things". Is the next one "Pay us or we won't delete things"?

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