* Posts by JetSetJim

1193 posts • joined 4 Jul 2009

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Equifax UK admits: 400,000 Brits caught up in mega-breach

JetSetJim
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Re: Say what?

>but I doubt we'd find out unless we search some of the more insalubrious areas of the Internet and buy it ourselves

Oh no, you'll find out soon enough. You'll receive an email from equifax@hotmail.com informing you of your data loss, and it will include a handly link which, when clicked on, will allow you to verify your information once you've typed in your credit card details. Totally legit, I've just done mine.

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

JetSetJim
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Re: A word can be patented ?

> So the question in the FIRST SENTENCE of this article was - and remains - nonsense ? :

> "Did you know that the word “hovercraft” was once patented? "

Perhaps it was merely an extension of Betteridge's Law

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Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

JetSetJim
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> The laser reportedly drew 10kW during its 2010 trials, with MBDA claiming 50kW would be possible with extra funding.

By charging another £10M and just changing the fuse to a higher rating?

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Apple's adoption of Qi signals the end of the wireless charging wars

JetSetJim
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Re: Race over? I doubt it

I doubt it, it's probably "just slightly different". Intel have longed to get into the handset (and base station) market which QC dominates - to the point of attempting a partnership with Apple to supply chips to at least one model of their iPhone (sadly not as well performing as the QC variant, perhaps because of missing IPR that helps QC with their performance in LTE).

Cars are all starting to be configurable with a wireless charging pocket/hole, which is infinitely preferable to fiddling with cables on entry & exit. If only their was better adoption of the screencasting-type connection to get (suitable) phone apps on the car display - e.g. your satnav of choice rather than the shite that is usually bundled with the car.

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London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

JetSetJim
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Re: One thing I always failed to understand....

> The system looks at which SSID's your device is trying to connect to

No, no, no - RTFReport:

"When a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet has WiFi enabled, it will search for a WiFi network to connect to. This involves the device sending out a probing request that contains an identifier specific to that device, known as a Media Access Control (MAC) address. If a WiFi network is

found that is known to the device, it will automatically connect. If the device finds unknown networks, it lists these in the device settings so the user can decide which, if any, to connect to.

During the pilot, if a device was near one of the 1,070 WiFi access points in the designated area, and it had WiFi enabled, we would have collected the request(s) to connect, even if the device did not subsequently do so."

Every mobile with WiFi enabled transiting through TfL's system will be probing their APs, even if they don't register. This leaves a MAC address record in the AP, which is harvested with a timestamp. This happens in shopping malls and airports (at least) for footfall analysis and is a fairly standard feature in the boxes. TfL have merely put the information together from their many APs in a useful way.

Last year TfL held a hackathon and exposed a wide variety of data feeds to the entrants (traffic light timings, road status information, traffic queues, ...). For all their flaws, they're being quite good at attempting to find ways to embetter their service offering.

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JetSetJim
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Happy

Re: Sounds promising

I can recommend the 3rd party "Tube Assistant" app - although not sure if it can take advantage of live arrival information (if that's in any feed from TfL).

It's very good at telling you the different route options and how long each route *should* take, plus where to sit/stand to minimise your travel to the exits from he station.

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Give a boffin a Xeon and a big GPU, get a new big prime number

JetSetJim
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Facepalm

arse, hadn't appreciated that if could be a composite of primes greater than your biggest prime in your set - case in point is {2,3,5,7,11,13}, which would result in 30031 when you use the multiply and +1 method, and 30031 = 59 * 509.

Perhaps I will graciously let them off and concur that what they are doing is really hard :)

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JetSetJim
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I quite agree, but I don't think you need to go that far to get to a set that, when multiplied together, has more than 22 billion digits - if fag packet calcs are moderately accurate, the first few billion primes should do the trick and there's at least one website with over 37 billion in a list (that I think claims to be complete)

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JetSetJim
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Well, you can make massive jumps quite easily, but slowly incrementing is possibly harder, particularly as this seems to be looking for Generalised Fermat primes, rather than just a regular prime.

I'd have thought it would be relatively easy to beat this number as the "largest prime" given a sufficiently large and complete set of primes. If the current largest prime has 22+ billion digits to it, then you just collect a sufficiently large set of primes, multiply them all together and subtract 1 - bingo.

I suspect it may be more complicated than this, though... :(

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

JetSetJim
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Re: I want a smart water meter

A modern washing machine uses 40-50 litres of water per wash, apparently. A flush is 5 or 7.

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JetSetJim
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Re: Benefits

...Both for rules and for reduced costs

Those would be the rules that are going to be instantly ported across from EU law into UK law by the Brexit act?

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JetSetJim
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Re: Really, that Much?

...Apparently they did not think through the issue of people switching suppliers!

Apparently they began the roll out of smart meters before the standards for that aspect were finalised, later smart meters should support this (although I don't know from when this would be)

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Ice-cold Kaspersky shows the industry how to handle patent trolls

JetSetJim
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In two minds...

Yes, it's good to stick it to the troll, but I'd rather have the patent invalidated - this still leaves others open to nuisance suits.

Not that it's Kasperky's problem - it's a problem with the system of "patent first, litigate later".

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EE!? The sound customers make when the interwebz don't work

JetSetJim
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Windows

This can bork a Mac attempting to connect to a subsequent wifi network later on unless that DNS is explicitly linked to the domestic wifi AP. After my ISP's DNS fell over, I updated my home machines.

Later on, we had to take eldest rug-rat to hospital. The local hospital wifi does a redirect to an internal address to insist you accept the T&Cs before letting you loose on the internet - if you have a DNS specified on a Mac, the redirect fails/is blocked, and you cannot get on to the system. First you need to delete the custom DNS (or I think you can associate one with a specific "location", but I'm a Windows user, not a Macophile).

Took much cursing to figure that one out on a recent trip there

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VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

JetSetJim
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Re: "Only an engineer"?

...some commentards got no further than the sub-heading before posting

Isn't that the usual MO round here?

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JetSetJim
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Re: Dangerous precedent

Rtfa, he's the most junior of 8 on trial, but he was in charge of the engineers, which means the others are manglement. The code monkeys aren't on trial, although I'd imagine they're being creative about what they did at VW on their CV now

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JetSetJim
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...I wonder what actual evidence exists to make the case.

Possibly quite a lot. If imagine there's a system architecture document pointing to high level requirements, suitably decomposed into lower level requirements for use by individual teams. As they code, there will be code reviews and modifications, plus development of tests (unit and system) to ensure it works as planned. Reviews of tests, gating documentation to ensure it has reached a commercially deployable state. All documented by project management and reported.

This is a German organisation, expect paperwork trails.

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UK industry mouthpiece wants 'near-universal' broadband speeds of 30Mbps by 2020

JetSetJim
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Re: Use cases please?

> That's my point, the vast majority of the country don't live in shared student digs, or have 4 teenagers at home. For them, a reliable 30Mbps will be more than adequate. Landlords of HMO student digs can pay extra for FTTP and flog it as an extra benefit.

640K was more than enough RAM for anyone (Bill Gates [1]) and there is a global market for, at most, 5 computers (Thomas Watson, IBM [2]), and there is certainly no reason for anyone to want a computer in the home (Ken Olsen, [3])

Currently, perhaps it is only the "premium" users who feel the need for more than wet-string between themselves and their local green box, but isn't that how the world works? People will find uses for it, and service offerings that use more bandwidth will become more affordable - even if it's just to watch ultra-HD cat videos. Kids are being brought up using devices that have more compute power in than was available to the whole planet 50-60 years ago (or some such number).

FTTP should be made to be the norm for *anything* new, and funds should somehow be made available (taxes / subsidy via subscription / ...?) so that non-fibre folks can upgrade.

I've seen a document showing that Openreach's new copper cables are in fact copper around a fibre core, so they've got that box ticked, and I'd guess that the copper could even provide a little bit of power to guarantee the ability to make a call in the event of a domestic power outage. All they need is to swap out DSL cabs with FTTP cabs (yes, they have lots of cabs, so it won't happen overnight, but then nor is their "superfast" FTTC upgrade rollout).

If BT don't do it, other folks like B4RN and Gigaclear will, and BT will lose customers, as will Openreach as they migrate onto competing fibre networks. Bye-bye BT, it was good to talk.

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[1] - meh, probably fake, but excellent urban legend

[2] - probably over-interpreted, allegedly only speaking about a single model of a single computer on sale at the time, but the spin applied since then makes it a juicy quote

[3] - over-interpreted remark, although current IoT moves are bringing it more into context, IMHO, if the discussion on http://www.snopes.com/quotes/kenolsen.asp is anything to go by

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Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

JetSetJim
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Exceptions proving the rule

You expect there to be no exemptions along the lines of "except where authorised and enacted by legitimate law enforcement/security agencies".

No doubt there will be the usual clause where MPs are completely inviolable, also.

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Got that syncing feeling? Cloud's client-side email problem

JetSetJim
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WTF?

Frickin' synch

It would also be nice if s/w would notice that a file hadn't actually been changed before determining that it needs to synch it. Outlook has the irritating habit of flagging PST files as modified (in OneDrive's view, anyway), even if all it's done is open them, triggering a 1.5GB synch for each of the (currently) 6 annual files I keep for SWMBO. But I can't just take a static backup as SWMBO might muck around with it.

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Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law

JetSetJim
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Re: Why doesn't she talk to Trump?

Please don't give her ideas (in the unlikely event that she, or one of her minions, read this rag).

It's a shit idea, nuff said.

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Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

JetSetJim
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Re: Facts are... hard

Any repeating decimal can be expressed as a/b, i.e. is rational. The others are irrational. Lambert proved that pi was irrational 250ish years ago.

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

JetSetJim
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Paint.net

Paint is good for cropping, but so is paint.net and it does other stuff reasonably well (for someone as untalented as I)

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Games rights-holders tell ZX Spectrum reboot firm: Pay or we pull titles

JetSetJim
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Re JetSetWilly

That was a great title! Hours of fun

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Disney mulls Mickey Mouse magic material to thwart pirates' 3D scans

JetSetJim
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Re: Workaround

Although I wonder if the 3-D scanners are also scanning paint colours, in which case painting over it before scanning may not be the best solution - might make it a 2-step process, though...

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BT's Ryan Reynolds helicopter Wi-Fi ads 'misleading', thunders ad watchdog

JetSetJim
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Re: Max power

My understanding is that they're using MIMO technology to boost the gain, not transmit power. Unfortunately this adds cost to the routers, which (I'd guess) Sky, Virgin et al. haven't been doing in the past, but may well be doing now.

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JetSetJim
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FAIL

They're still running radio ads that have Ryan running around a putative large house extolling the bigly-bars on his wifi signal.

>The ASA ruled that this was OK despite admitting: "The device had been connected to a testing tool that generated network speeds faster than those that BT's own broadband network was capable of."

that would no doubt be around 1.3mbps, then

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Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

JetSetJim
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Paris Hilton

Re: Had something similar...

Isn't there some urban legend of some frigid outpost having a microwave dish and a site maintenance man, who was later found dead sitting in the dish as he'd thought it was a nice place to keep warm and it cooked him?

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Pop-up Android adware uses social engineering to resist deletion

JetSetJim
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Mushroom

Re: No other options but to press "OK"

> Perhaps the task switching button, then swipe the task left or right to kill it?

Press and hold the power button, restart device.

Swipe down and toggle airplane mode on - connection timeout...

Or take the icon option, from orbit, preferably

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T-Mobile goes Apple/Google route by separating phone numbers and devices

JetSetJim
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Re: So innovative

It's not cloning, it's registering one or more devices to be notified of incoming calls and to be able to handle those calls. Those devices may well be on another service providers network, and have their own contracts.

1G was an awfully insecure system, as everything was readily interceptable by any device in the network - which is why that worked. The same technique would not work from 2G onwards. However SIP was invented to support VoIP calls, where a central server keeps a record of subscribers to a service, and attempts to notify all registered subscribers of events related to that service. In that way, multiple different devices, on multiple networks, can register to receive calls to an IP phone number, and the IP phone service provider will attempt to notify all subscribed devices and establish IP bearers (not voice circuits) to those devices that respond.

Google and Apple like it cos it moves the operators one step closer to being a dumb pipe, this is another attempt to put the brakes on that on T-Mo's part.

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JetSetJim
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The app will need permission for the following:

a) access contacts - so that you can dial from your contacts, or add someone to them from the app

b) network access (wifi & mobile) - so that the call can progress over a data bearer on an available technology. They may abuse this by also bundling enhanced purchasing suggestions in informative sub-windows of the app

c) at a stretch, location, but this should really be looked after by the mobile network infrastructure

To offer a more complete solution, it may ask to be able to receive and send SMS/MMS, use the camera (particularly if video calls are supported), and store media files. Potentially, to guarantee access to 911 facilities, it may require the ability to make a phone call (via cellular).

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JetSetJim
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Re: App versus battery

It's basically a SIP call - your number isn't really deactivated, as your IMSI will be used to track you as you move around the network - sounds like they just have a lookup table that routes voice calls to you via the SIP service that notifies all registered appliances that you have an incoming call. All that happens here is that a SIP paging message is transmitted to those end-points, and the mechanisms needed to instantiate bearers to a particular device are invoked as needed - e.g. same as for when you get a notification that you have an email on your phone - typically a push notification for services such as Google.

T-Mo may be the first mobile provider to offer it, but it's been around for a while - I can receive calls on several mobiles for all calls to my home number, and have done for 2 years - and I'm pretty confident that the feature was baked into SIP at least 15 years ago.

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

JetSetJim
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They've wanted to do this for ages, and now they have a combined whammy of "think of the children" *and* "terrorists" in one event, so it's another way to get the wedge a little bit further in.

Spend the money on fixing the social (both local and global) problems that cause such nutjobs to think they are serving a higher purpose in killing random innocent people going about their business - it'll probably be cheaper in the long run, both in terms of cash and casualties.

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Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

JetSetJim
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Mushroom

Turning it off

..annoyingly the only way to disable it seems to be to restrict yourself to the desktop version of google, so it thinks you've got a computer rather than a phone. Do Not Like AMP

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Qualcomm to demand US iPhone import ban

JetSetJim
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Re: The Gods are at war again...

Damn contracts are cheap here - struggling to find anything more than £65/mo for unlimited everything.

AT&T do a $145/mo, but it's for 2 lines, so a bit of a cheat:

https://www.att.com/plans/unlimited-data-plans.html

Otherwise it's a measly $90/mo for 1 line.

Obviously you don't have to have that plan, too.

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JetSetJim
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Re: Motorola tried the same thing with Apple

> It all gets a bit murky but IMHO, QC have a bit of a nerve trying to base their royalties on the price of the end product.

IANAL, but the phone industry boils down to:

Manufacturer A uses a chip in a phone that t can only convince punters to fork out a 10% margin for (i.e. costs £100 to make, including all costs of business operations, sale price of £110)

Manufacturer B can use the same chip to get a 40% margin for arguably the exact same product

Should the royalty rate for manufacturers A and B be the same absolute value (e.g. 2cents/phone) for a SEP, or should it be based on the value of the product being sold that contains the IPR? I'm sure there are very good arguments on both sides of this conundrum.

OTOH, Apple do have a bit of a history of ignoring IPR of others (or bullying their way through it), and abusing their own IPR (rounded corners et al.)

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JetSetJim
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Re: The Gods are at war again...

> From the Apple website in the United States (http://www.apple.com):

> iPhone 7 Plus 256GB Gold: $969.00

Or buy it in the UK, where it is £919, aka $1,189.20 at today's exchange rate :), which is near enough to $1200 for my maths, and that's before accessories and Apple (Doesn't) Care

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JetSetJim
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Re: Wow. Abusing patents.

"But [Apple's] main argument at the ITC will likely revolve around how the Qualcomm patents at issue are now effectively an industry standard and so should be treated differently."

Assuming these are Standards Essential Patents (SEP) then they need to be licensed in a FRAND way. This is the only way they have to be treated differently, but the key point is that to be able to sell a phone in today's markets, you have to implement those patents in that phone, and so a royalty is due. The fact that they are essential means that the royalty rate must be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory, so Apple will no doubt need to demonstrate that the agreement that they signed several years ago isn't in line with FRAND principles.

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JetSetJim
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Re: Motorola tried the same thing with Apple

Don't know as it's that cut and dried - from the article, QC and Apple have had an agreement for a quite a while and now Apple are saying that they don't like it so they're not going to pay it any more. Try doing that with other things (e.g. rent payments on a flat, which I appreciate is a completely different kettle of fish) and you get handed your arse.

QC may well be arguing "well, 5 years ago you thought the agreement was FRAND, so go suck lemons".

On the other hand, these are statements from mouthpieces, so who knows what is the Truth (TM) and what is FRAND (if indeed the patent in question is a SEP one, although that's quite likely)

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How do ransomware scum decide what to charge you? The Big Mac index

JetSetJim
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Re: North Korea is pretty safe then...

>You can't buy a Big Mac there.

Good luck finding a VPN service that pops out there, too. There's only a thousand or so IP (v4) addresses available there (or that is the publicly known figure, at least)

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NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

JetSetJim
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Pint

Clanger..

> That was a clanger

No, these are clangers.

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Prisoners built two PCs from parts, hid them in ceiling, connected to the state's network and did cybershenanigans

JetSetJim
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Coat

> is it OCD- driven behavior?

where "OCD" is "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder", naturally...

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Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue

JetSetJim
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Headmaster

Re: GDPR

The dialogue has it covered - you can consent to complete data-slurping, or you can flick a switch and consent to limited(*) data slurping

(*) - currently limited to some degree, may not remain the same for the foreseeable future, information collected subject to change on update due to presumptive consent, at which point MS assumes consent given by the action of installing whichever patch re-enabled such slurping

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JetSetJim
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Must have hit the red cross to close a dialogue.

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Huawei faces UK sales ban if it doesn't cough up 4G patent tithes

JetSetJim
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Re: If Huawei agreed an payment plan with Ericson

> I bet the original inventors of these patents got a one-time bonus of €1000 or so

As a recipient of several of these, I can agree that the original inventors will get such sums. But at the same time they are drawing a salary and are tasked with investigating such things on behalf of a company, with the use of expensive company resources to do these investigations. In a lot of these patents, not necessarily all, it would be difficult for someone to actually come up with the idea, prove it worked, and then spend the time and effort needed to get it into a standard, as well as forking out the large sums of money required to pursue the patent in the first place.

Yes, some patentable things can be bashed together in a garden shed, but increasingly in many areas, it takes a large investment to some up with small incremental ideas that together form part of a larger whole. I'm not bitter in the slightest about my patent awards.

Sure, there are problems in the whole area of patent law, but I'm not sure being able to trade ownership rights is one of them.

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Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'

JetSetJim
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Re: The main issue

> Lets say for example you had a small child who got loose and ran into traffic - what good is the self driving car sensors if it cannot see something the size of a car? Presumably if it misses something big, it cannot sense anything smaller.

Ah - the omniscient AI, and anything less is a failure. Reminds me of the Marvin Minsky AI book where the AI was helping someone cross the road - it wouldn't let them because it was conceivable that an out-of-view/earshot formula 1 car (or some such) would be able to hit them in the time it would take to cross the road with the given road layout, therefore it was not safe.

The idea of autonomous cars should be to at least remove the "stoopid errors" made by so many drivers - whether it is aggressively hopping lanes causing a bump, driving too close and not being able to react in time, or just not getting tired/drunk/high. Perfection is in-achievable with meatbags at the wheel - anything demonstrably better is a plus. This scenario is almost the equivalent of the Minsky one - the sensors on the car couldn't see the approaching hazard, so they couldn't react. If a car is driving at 40 mph and a small child runs out, it's going to be bad news with either a meatbag or AI.

On the other hand, I can see rules along the lines of "only pass cars with a delta-v of less than X mph" being useful in at least urban scenarios, or have a different X for different scenarios, anyway.

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Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

JetSetJim
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Re: And they claim to be the land of the free

On a similar note, but unrelated to ISPs, a friend of mine outlined a prank where a group of people injected white text with strange phrases into their emails to a friend's Gmail account. The target was somewhat puzzled by the subsequent appearance of numerous adverts for goat-related products after this

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

JetSetJim
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Re: Off at a tangent - providing cover for absences

If you had to not turn up, you are expected to supply a suitably qualified replacement at your (company's) expense. IIRC, if the Company hiring your company doesn't accept your replacement and only wants you, then that looks bad for IR35.

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Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

JetSetJim
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Pint

Re: "Cloud time?"

I just spent the entire article wondering why he'd get heavily jetlagged travelling from Paris to Munich - if that happens to him, then maybe that explains the gibberish

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Dishwasher has directory traversal bug

JetSetJim
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Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

But, for a mere £2,000+, you too can have one of these marvellous devices which give you the benefit of this marvellous marketing blurb:

"With the MobileControl function you can keep an eye on your Miele appliance, even when you're not at home - via smart-phone or tablet PC. Not only can you access the programme status, you can also conveniently select and start programmes regardless of location using your mobile terminal device. Simply download the Miele@mobile app and connect the device to Miele@home. When you return home, your Miele appliance has already finished its work. "

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