* Posts by Tom 38

3182 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Smyte might brighten fraud plight: How machine-learning can be used to thwart crooks

Tom 38
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A Smyte customer, for example, might want to check to see if new accounts being created use the same profile picture. To do so, the customer could write a query in SQRL, the Smyte Query and Rule Language, which is based on SQL:

[...]

AI in this scenario isn't a destroyer of humanity or jobs; it's a tool that handles the drudgery while people focus on more interesting problems.

If you're telling the computer what situation to look out for and what action to take, that's not AI.

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President Trump to his council of industry CEO buddies: You're fired!

Tom 38
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Re: Political Correctness "key words" and "tricky phrases"

You don't turn up to a peaceful rally wearing combat gear and carrying assault rifles. I'm just saying, that's an unpeaceful rally.

Trump isn't a racist because he burns crosses, or uses pejorative racist language; he is a racist because he gives his tacit approval to those who do by refusing to condemn them. This isn't speculation, it is what these fascists themselves reported after he first spoke on the matter on Saturday - encouraged and relieved.

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Rowhammer RAM attack adapted to hit flash storage

Tom 38
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Ext3

So a modern checksummed file system with end to end data integrity like ZFS and (I guess) btrfs almost certainly would not be affected.

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Disgraced US Secret Service agent coughs to second Bitcoin heist

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: One way to pay off the National Debt...

You read it right, but the article was wrong. Earlier in the article it specifies the correct amount, 1606.6488 BTC. I have sent a correction.

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Vaping ads flout EU rules, even if to promote healthier lifestyles

Tom 38
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Re: Today has been the 53rd day since my last Camel

404, you can make it even cheaper and mix your own ejuice. You can get "bottle shots" these days, 500ml bottles filled with 100ml of flavourings, you squirt in the %age nicotine you want from "nicotine shots", add VG and/or PG, shake well and then leave in the cupboard for a week, shaking it occasionally. This comes out to about £30/L, compared to £500/L for "premium" juices sold in 10ml bottles. Even if you are just using 6ml a day, its the difference between a £3/day habit to a £0.20/day habit.

Google for "bottle shots" or "hack shots" or "one shots"; each manufacturer uses a slightly different name.

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Tom 38
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Re: So presumably Niquitin and that ilk...

No, they are pharmaceuticals that happen to be derived from tobacco, the lobbyists made quite sure of that. The whole TPD is ridiculous, it was written by Big Pharma and Big Tobacco to try and make vaping as unappealing and legislated as possible.

Pharma can continue making a fortune charging users, governments and insurers for "nicotine therapies", and Tobacco can continue to exist, all helped along by fundamentalist anti-nicotine "health professional" crusaders who believe that any use of nicotine is wrong, especially if you enjoy it.

This unholy trinity have given us laws that will cause more harm and suffering, lead to more addiction. Coincidentally, it means more funding for healthcare, more pharmaceutical tobacco prescriptions, and more people still smoking. There could barely be a law that is so heavily tilted towards rewarding commercial parties and fucking over the citizens.

Even if you are not a vaper or a smoker, you should be furious - collectively we are all on the hook for the resulting costs.

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Web-enabled vibrator class action put to bed

Tom 38
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Cynicism

The cynic in me wonders if any crime would have been committed if the server had been in California rather than in Canada.

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Azure Stack will need special sysadmins, says Microsoft

Tom 38
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Cloud is a state of mind? If we define a cloudy app:

* Stateless

* Cattle not pet

* Auto deployed and provisioned using some sort of assembly tool producing disk images

* Auto failover/recovery

* Geographically resilient

* Add your own qualities here

then our cloud is anything that runs our cloudy app. If we configure a rack with have in house to be chock full of openstack instances, that could be considered an on-prem cloud.

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Strip club selfie bloke's accidental discharge gets him 6 years in clink

Tom 38
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WTF?

Used his phone in a strip club?

And he still has fingers?!

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Tom 38
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he then fails to get rid of it when he must of known of his inability to carry one

aaaargh, cannot resist :(

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Outage outed: Bing dinged, Microsoft portal mortal, DuckDuckGo becomes DuckDuckNo

Tom 38
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Re: YaCy

Lucene++ is an "up to date" port of Lucene 3 to C++.

Which is all well and good, but we're using Lucene 7 now..

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Oh, boy! Uber investors behind CEO sueball say Travis Kalanick won't let the company grow up

Tom 38
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Go

Re: So, let me count the ways . .

I'm wildly reviled by Uber. I'm still going to use their cabs, it's cheaper and each ride costs them money. Win win

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Lauri Love and Gary McKinnon's lawyer, UK supporters rally around Marcus Hutchins

Tom 38
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Re: Police shooting black folks? Really?

Do you know that the police shoot more white people than they do black people? In fact, nearly twice as many so far this year.

Twice as many! Why are they still complaining about #blacklivesmatter eh? Perhaps it has something to do with there being almost 6 times as many white people as black people in America?

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Tom 38
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Re: But...

Lastly I don;t know why people in here seem to be caught up with this idea that every one will get these supper long prison sentence

Because that is how US justice works; tariffs have very flexible ranges, and they charge you with something ridiculous and over the top that, if convicted, will keep you in prison for ages. They then follow up with a plea bargain offer for something much more reasonable, because that then counts as a "win" for both police and DA without any of that pesky evidence crap or convincing 12 other people.

PS: Supper long prison sentences would massively reduce the overcrowding in prison cells.

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Good Lord: Former UK spy boss backs crypto

Tom 38
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Typical ex-"anything"

If he was still in the job he wouldn't be saying it, he would be saying whatever ridiculous thing the current incumbent is saying.

It's just like ex Home Secretaries saying "Hey, this cannabis lark should just be legalized, really".

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UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

Tom 38
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"External" == "Managed by a third party"

"In house" == "Managed by us"

An in house AWS cloud is one you are managing yourself, rather than paying someone to do it for you.

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London 'not-spots' look out! Mayor wants team to tackle crap signal

Tom 38
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Aircon isn't possible on the deep lines (Red, black, blue), without drilling many many vents throughout central London. The Lizzie Line will have aircon.

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NASA short-lists six candidates for future missions

Tom 38
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Re: You forgot CRAPTO

Cool project names are a colour and a noun, both entirely unrelated to the project. I think this might have been a military thing?

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So you're thinking about becoming an illegal hacker – what's your business plan?

Tom 38
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Re: Wow

a hacking group was willing to invest 6 months and at least half a million Dollars

Allegedly; for all we know they spent half an afternoon and £5 and are just trying to justify what they are asking for

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US trade watchdog puts down the phone to Qualcomm, reaches for probe, sticks it in Apple

Tom 38
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Re: Why do iGet the feeling...

Intel licensed the tech from Qualcomm, and made chips that Intel sold to Apple to put in devices. Qualcomm feel that Apple should also pay a license fee, I think they are high.

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

Tom 38
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Re: Calls whilst running

And if that run is a jog, what you are trying to achieve is a pace that you can still talk at, it's the fucking definition.

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Tom 38
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Re: Calls whilst running

Jogging should be at a speed where it is comfortable to carry on with a conversation, it's actually how you know you are going at the right speed.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 2017, unhinged: Luxury fondleslab that's good...

Tom 38
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Rather have a £500 Dell and an extra £1k/year to be honest.

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Core-blimey! Intel's Core i9 18-core monster – the numbers

Tom 38
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But therefore, for the same given encoding time, a hardware encoder will give a higher quality output / and / or at a lower bitrate.

No, not really. The hardware encoder cannot

Encoders have "presets", ways of controlling how the encode works, and "levels", what features are available to use in the targeted decoder. Eg, streaming to a STB you might have level 5.1 content, but streaming to a mobile you might have level 3 content.

Software encoders tend to have many presets to determine how much prediction/lookahead to use in encoding a frame. The more lookahead you use, the more efficient the encoding can be, and the smaller each frame can be whilst still encoding the same visual quality. Therefore, in software encoders you can optimise your encode to give the lowest bitrate for the chosen quality. Most videos that are made for distribution are encoded using the preset "ultraslow", because this reduces the file sizes significantly at the expense of a lot of speed.

Consumer hardware encoders don't do this. They have short lookaheads, which keeps the speed high. They use fixed length GOPs, (i-P-B-B-P...), where as x264 will use irregular ones (better quality, better compression). You can't really make it go slower with higher quality per bit (although you can make it go faster with lower quality per bit).

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Tom 38
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What broadcasters use is not relevant to how consumer video encoding offload chips function.

You think broadcasters use one of nvenc (Nvidia), Quick Sync Video (Intel) or Video Coding Engine (AMD)? Evidently not, as you know they use high end hardware encoders like DVEO that bake the algorithm in to silicon.

I clearly stated that I was talking about consumer hardware video encoders, and I'll repeat it again: for a given bitrate, software encoders produce higher quality output than consumer hardware encoders. The only thing that consumer hardware encoders do better than software encoders is speed.

If you are arguing otherwise, and don't want to appear foolish, an hour spent reading doom9 might help.

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Tom 38
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Uhm, no. Hardware encoding is usually better quality as it does the exact same thing but is much faster and therefore can use more iterations...

Uhm, double no. Video encoding is almost always a three way trade-off between speed of encoding, visual quality of the outcome and bitrate of the outcome.

Hardware encoding is more limited in terms of codec features and options, because putting the algorithm in hardware reduces the amount of options compared to the flexibility of software. Especially so in consumer hardware encoders, which are small independent dedicated pieces of silicon in the CPU/GPU.

Now, this is dead easy to see because of CRF (Constant Rate Factor) in x264. You can tell an encoder that you want the visual quality of the outcome to the level indicated. It is trivial to produce one encoding using x264 and one encoding using a hardware encoder, both with the same CRF setting. The outputs will be visually comparable in quality terms, but the hardware encoded video will be larger in size.

So hardware encoders; faster output, same visual quality, higher bitrate. These are lower "quality" videos than a software encoder would produce, for a given meaning of "quality". For "scene" releases, no-one is using hardware encoders, because they produce lower quality videos.

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Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Tom 38
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"Your shopping is outside, come collect it in the next 10 minutes or your order will be cancelled and we'll charge you a 10% restock charge"

Doesn't seem that tricky.

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

Tom 38
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Re: "So he edited its autoexec.bat file"

So why not just edit it back and reboot the machine remotely

From TFA, this is Windows For Workgroups, so one of Windows 3.1{,1}. These versions of windows run over DOS, providing a UI and SMB over NetBIOS for sharing. He had edited the autoexec.bat to display a message on the screen, and a "Press any key to continue". autoexec.bat is run by DOS, and so the (probably keyboard-less) machine was stuck in DOS displaying a message, therefore no SMB.

I think more interesting is that there was a 36" screen combined with a Windows 3.1 machine, so presumably a CRT as a display screen?! Display screens only really took off when we had large flat screens, and then we didn't have Windows 3.11.

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Astroboffins discover that half of the Milky Way's matter comes from other galaxies

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Was April 1st involved somewhere?

Looks like someone is making a ridiculous argument to stay "right" on the internet. "Many" meaning less than 1000, get a grip.

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Tom 38
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Re: But

Our galaxy is young, we picked up many small galaxies by running in to them. We'll get picked up by another, larger, older galaxy at some point, probably long after this sun burns out

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Tom 38
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Gimp

Re: I make it lots, rather than many

Ah, the joys of being young and energetic and sucking matter off hot passing dwarfs...

Wait, what? More dried frog pills please!

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Microsoft previews Azure Container Instances – with per-second billing

Tom 38
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What about control of resources?

Containers only work well if you can manage their resources, especially disk IO. chroot is essentially all a container is without those controls.

It's funny for me, we started with bare metal, then we moved to containers (FreeBSD jails), which we eventually abandoned for VMs because of the lack of IO resource control in jails, and now we're moving everything to Docker (which does have these controls).

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Greek police arrest chap accused of laundering $4bn of Bitcoin

Tom 38
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Re: $4 BEEEELLION ?

I'm not humourless, but Greek GDP is $194 billion and they have debts of ~$350 billion, you'll need a lot more to buy your way out

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OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew

Tom 38
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Re: No microSD port?

Yeah, I don't fully understand it either. Most other dual SIM phones allow the second SIM slot to be used for an SD card.

The SIM slots are hard to get to though, you probably wouldn't want to take the back off everyday to swap SD card, so maybe its a functionality vs form factor debate - you can have it sleek, or you can have the SIM/SD slots easily accessible.

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Tom 38
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Upgrade problems

I've got a OP2, the only thing it doesn't do that I might want it to do, is have NFC. Not sure spending £500 to make it easier for me to spend money is actually worth it.

I'm far more likely to buy a newer battery and a replacement screen, spend £30 to keep this one going another 2 years.

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Twitter's twits turned troll's tech taunt into thought-provoking tonic

Tom 38
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Re: Actually amazing

Change the skillset? Too many people think that programming in a new language is like learning a new spoken language, but its much more like learning new grammar rules for an existing language. How long does it take to get "fluent" in pig latin?

Switching to JS, the biggest change is for procedural programmers to act a little more functionally. For existing Twitter devs, coming from a Scala background, this wouldn't be a problem. Besides which, one of their issues with Scala was finding enough devs to work on it, so presumably they hired some and retrained others. Not that big of a deal.

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GitHub wants more new contributors, because that's what GitHub is for

Tom 38
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Re: Best feature of them all...

It's not comprehensive unless it is tested.

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House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

Tom 38
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"Home taping is killing music!" - If only...

So what you're saying is, I need to buy more tape recorders?

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Tom 38
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Re: "Making the pirate experience less fun is part of the strategy."

Broadcasters would love to show every single game live, the reason they don't is that they are forbidden from doing so by the clubs and the politicians, who fear that if all the games are on TV, no-one will go to the games.

In the US, every single game (of basically everything, as far as I can tell) is televised, but you won't necessarily be able to watch it, for pretty much the same reason. In Chicago, if either the Cubs or the White Sox have a home game, you can't televise either of the teams to viewers in the Chicago area.

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Southern awarded yet another 'most moaned about rail firm' gong

Tom 38
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Hull is a statistical outlier

The survey had to be filled in online

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Cassini captures pieces of Saturn’s rings

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: precise measurement of the length of the Saturnian day continues to elude us

Tea is at 3.40pm and will be taken in the pavilion.

I'm afraid you didn't take in to account the inevitable rain delayed start to play means tea was delayed.

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Tom 38
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Joke

Re: precise measurement of the length of the Saturnian day continues to elude us

What, cold and rainy with tea and scones at 4pm?

This tedious inaccurate stereotypical portrayal of England is boringly predictable and something for which I will not stand.

Tea is at 4:30pm.

(Alternate punchline: "Sometimes it's just rainy")

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In the Pearl River Delta's electronics souks, AI lets the haggling happen

Tom 38
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Re: Differences

More like Spanish and Portuguese, they are different languages not different dialects. There are *many* Sinitic languages, most are tonal and are quite unintelligible to each other whilst retaining similar characters. The article delves in to that a bit too, as characters look different in different scripts - so the Cantonese word for "dog" written in Simplified looks the same as Mandarin for dog in Simplified, but looks different in Traditional.

Actually, Spanish and Portuguese are very close, a better analogy would be Greek and Dutch; they are both Indo-European and share common words, but pronunciation has shifted/evolved.

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Kid found a way to travel for free in Budapest. He filed a bug report. And was promptly arrested

Tom 38
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Hungary suffers a lot from crony capitalism/statism. Lots of EU money comes to Hungary for things like building roads; these contracts are allocated on the basis "Who do you know, and how much are you prepared to pay in kickbacks". Cigarettes can only be sold in special single purpose shops, funnily the licenses to operate them seem to only go to relatives of local politicians.

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Feature snatcher Microsoft tweaks OneDrive

Tom 38
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Apple cloud storage

Bit rich to say that Apple's cloud storage is not well used, as almost every single iOS device is backed up to the cloud, seamlessly. It's one of the things that Apple do really well, replace or upgrade your phone and you walk out of the store with a new device that is also exactly your old phone.

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No one still thinks iOS is invulnerable to malware, right? Well, knock it off

Tom 38
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Re: iOS more popular?

Depends on your definitions.

If 5 years ago, 1 million people used phones, and 50% of them are Apple, but now 100 million people are using phones, but only 25% of them Apple, then a higher proportion of the population are using Apple devices than were 5 years ago, but Apple's share of sales has decreased.

Its not the most popular, but it is more popular than it was.

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Tapping the Bank of Mum and Dad: Why your Netflix subscription is poised to rise (again)

Tom 38
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Uber

While Uber has a clear path to monopoly profits one day – by wiping out the local taxi competition and installing itself as a municipalities delivery infrastructure

Utter bollocks. Uber do not exclusively control the only useful commodity - drivers - and the average consumer uses Uber because it is subsidizing fares, making it currently cheaper than other Lyft or Gett or any of the others.

If they did get to their glorious promised land of monopoly, and raised prices to a "gouge-worthy" level, people would switch to another provider. If Uber has forced all the others out of business, one will restart.

It's exactly like complaining that China have a monopoly on rare earths; if they raised the price, they would no longer have a monopoly as other mines would start.

Uber will only increase its share whilst it is subsidizing fares.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Tom 38
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Re: This is the BBC making a quota

I can choose not to watch it, shame I can't choose not to fund it.

You get that we sell Doctor Who for more than it is made for, right? "Who" is actually subsidising everything that you do watch, so stop frothing.

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The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

Tom 38
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Coat

Re: Dave Clark and four passengers

Yeah, but they all got out ok, so Glad All Over. They shouldn't have been playing Catch Us If You Can with the car behind, they wouldn't have gone Over And Over and ended in the marsh - perhaps he Likes It Like That

Any Way You Want It, the accident could have been avoided

Coat -->

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

Tom 38
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PC fan makes noise when people bump the desk. Just for shits and giggles I walked over and bump the desk. Her response was you have to hit the desk harder.

bow chicka wow wow?

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