* Posts by Oliver Jones

832 posts • joined 14 May 2007

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IBM broke its cloud by letting three domain names expire

Oliver Jones
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Pay peanuts, get monkeys!

Domains do not have to be renewed every year.

Contrary to what a lot of people believe, domains may be registered up to 10 years into the future, as long as you pay your registrar in advance. But you can always top this up every year, two years or even five years.

If you do this, it's easy to hedge against forgetfulness for at least 9 years - and it's actually a bit cheaper to register domains for more than 1 year.

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HPE quits cloud servers, two weeks after telling El Reg it wouldn't do that

Oliver Jones
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This is why we're vendor-agnostic!

Vendors cannot be trusted to keep selling the products your business relies on, and if you have made those products part of your long-term business strategy, it will prove very expensive to recover from that.

In the old days, everybody asked for a second source, no matter how good or how exciting your product was, for this very reason!

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Facebook, Google and pals may be hit with TV political ads rules

Oliver Jones
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Eyeballs.

Wherever eyeballs are found, measures need to be taken to control what those eyeballs see.

The media does not matter as much as the eyeballs watching it.

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Microsoft concedes to Mozilla: Redmond will point web API docs at Moz Dev Network

Oliver Jones
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Documentation simply isn't cool.

That's the problem - especially with the advent of Agile, everyone expects the product to change at a moment's notice, so why document anything?

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NYC cops say they can't reveal figures on cash seized from people – the database is too shoddy

Oliver Jones
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Re: Your 'justice' system in the US is corrupt

The US isn't the only place that has a corrupt justice system - by a long shot - it's just that they've gotten a lot worse at hiding the fact.

As perceptions get more normalised, the system will get more brazen - until, eventually, you have a situation that looks distinctly Zimbabwean.

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What the fdisk? Storage Spaces Direct just vanished from Windows Server in version 1709

Oliver Jones
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It will probably be back...

...as an optional, paid, feature.

Chances are, if it's that useful, you wouldn't mind paying extra for it, would you? You would? Well, that's too bad - you'll still have to pay.

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Assange thanks USA for forcing him to invest in booming Bitcoin

Oliver Jones
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Re: Does the Ecuadorian commissary accept Bitcoin?

I'm sure they will, eventually. But the transaction fees are expensive (although avoidable, with microtransactions through the lightning network, alternative cryptocurrencies - such as IOTA, et cetera.)

All of this will be seriously disruptive to the traditional banking system: The days of fractional reserve banking (and sanctions) are numbered. Currency is far too important to trust to any one entity.

To paraphrase Princess Leia, the more the US/UK tighten their grip of monetary sanctions, the more people will slip through their grasp with cryptocurrencies. The harder they try, the faster that shift will happen.

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'Cyber kangaroo' ratings for IoT security? Jump to it, says Australia's cyber security minister

Oliver Jones
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These people miss the point:

Security is about good practice and mindset, not certification of a product. New security flaws are discovered all the time, and the seriousness of those flaws regarding your product depends on how paranoid your product designer (and software engineers) have been.

As they say, the difference between knowing a product works is very different from knowing that product is secure, when it may take 5 years for your customer data to make it onto the black market. Of course, you'll know then that it wasn't secure, but that's of little consolation to your customers, many of whom will be hopping mad by that point...

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GarageBanned: Apple's music app silenced in iOS 11 iCloud blunder

Oliver Jones
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Happy

Re: In summary

"Then, some users found that the new iOS made their phones emit a strange crackling sound during voice calls"

That's just the NSA attaching their virtual tape recorder...

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FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

Oliver Jones
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Re: "The more you tighten your grasp, the more systems will slip through your fingers."

I can get through 2TB in about 7 hours and 15 minutes. No charges, caps or funny stuff like that. I pay an annual fee of 1,012 CHF for my internet access (Fiber7: 1Gb symmetric with a static IPv4 address.)

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Oliver Jones
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Re: "The more you tighten your grasp, the more systems will slip through your fingers."

"The only people streaming will help is those who don't really care what they watch, they can subscribe to Netflix and just watch something and be happy, and won't care about all the stuff they can't get on it."

That's me. All the stuff I really want to watch, I already own (or will buy) on blu-ray. If Disney remove their stuff from Netflix, I won't miss them.

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Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp

Oliver Jones
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Re: Too Late....

I have a US Robotics 56k modem (which I realised I actually can't use anymore, since Swisscom tore out their copper earlier this year), and it had an impressively loud speaker (built-in fax / answering machine!)

Would have been just the thing for trolling "Microsoft" employees.

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Microsoft is Putin a stop to Russian-sanctions-busting IT resellers

Oliver Jones
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Re: Most amusing.

Of course, but the means by which one places sanctions an individual and/or select industries (as you put it) is also the means by which you place sanctions on everything.

The Russians are not idiots - and if I know this, they most certainly do, too. The only effective means of countering sanctions is to make them ineffective, and that is precisely what the Russians have been doing.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Most amusing.

Not really: After all, in the words of Harold Wilson, Rhodesia was sure to succumb to sanctions in a matter of weeks, rather than months.

Well, that's British planning for you: In 1967, the Rhodesian economy took off like a bird, while Britain's had plummeted - and Labour was trying to assure Brits that the pound in their pocket was unaffected.

In the end, it was Communist-sponsored terrorism that eventually convinced Smith to throw the towel in, and that took 15 years. Had it not been for that, Britain would likely have waited a lot longer.

One thing we had in common with the Russians, as mentioned here: We didn't accept "no" for an answer. That's what independence means.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Most amusing.

Well, the effect of sanctions threats on Russia has been the priority development of an alternative to SWIFT, which is now in operation. This is now being expanded to include other countries.

Iran also neatly sidestepped SWIFT sanctions by selling oil for gold.

Indeed, one might say that cryptocurrency is, in itself, an answer to sanctions: Its decentralised nature makes it extremely difficult to kill (and the rocketing value of cryptocurrency only underscores this.)

I personally disagree with sanctions, because they're indiscriminate: They affect (and punish) everyone in society, not just a government. Fortunately, thanks to numerous financial innovations already being adopted around the world, sanctions will be obsolete quite soon, and this world will be a better place for it.

Come and pay a visit to Zug, Switzerland, and see the future of world finance now being developed here.

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Oliver Jones
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Most amusing.

The whole idea of sanctions is a broken concept.

In Rhodesia, we took sanctions-busting to a new level - and we got hold of many things we were not allowed access to. That required creativity.

The Russians are simply proving that this old art is far from dead, and with the advent of cryptocurrency, it's going to get a whole lot easier.

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Facebook, Twitter slammed for deleting evidence of Russia's US election mischief

Oliver Jones
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Re: AAAHHH MOTHERLAND!!!!!

"No, because in the US, acting as an agent of a foreign government without being registered as a foreign agent, and without disclosing that one is acting on behalf of a foreign government, is a felony."

Wouldn't that also include countless politicians with dual citizenship?

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Oliver Jones
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It's amateurish, at the very least:

I would have expected them to at least keep backups.

After all, we know how much Uncle Sam just loves to keep backups of everyone's online social activities.

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Uber begins appeals process to claw back taxi licence in London

Oliver Jones
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The biggest bribes the traditional cab companies have to make are UK income tax, social security / pension contributions and corporation tax.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Oliver Jones
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Reminds of of The Relic:

Whitney: "Margo, did I ever tell you about my experiences with the Khoe tribe in Botswana land?"

Margo: "Yes, more than once."

Whitney: "Haven't told him. The Khoe tribe, Lieutenant, believed that headaches were caused by sorcery and the kinfolk of the headache victim would identify the sorcerer, and then go off and murder him. Of course, the kinfolk of the sorcerer would feel they had to avenge his death, so they'd go and in turn kill the headache victim. And I'm sure you can imagine how it eventually all turned out."

D'Agosta: "What's that?"

Whitney: "Well, it's a medical miracle. Everybody stopped having headaches."

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Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

Oliver Jones
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Happy

"The Co-op was offline for a six-hour stint on a Thursday morning earlier this year due to "planned essential maintenance" overrunning."

That's what the rest of us call unplanned downtime.

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More and more websites are mining crypto-coins in your browser to pay their bills, line pockets

Oliver Jones
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Advertisers won't be happy.

Cryptocurrency mining by clients means they are surplus to requirements.

If I had a choice between my computer's CPU being wasted on adverts or being used to mine cryptocurrency, I'd choose the latter in a heartbeat.

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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

Oliver Jones
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They thought they could outsource responsibility.

Many firms do, thinking that management simply means calling the shots. Some, unfortunately, learn too late that it also includes planning.

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Judge says US govt has 'no right to rummage' through anti-Trump protest website logs

Oliver Jones
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"If the judiciary ever fully submits to the government then everyone is in the shit and you would be living in a country called Trumpton."

Trump is not the government. He's a carefully-chosen figurehead of the government (and an annoying one at that!), but he's not in charge. If he was, he would not have had to back down on his anti-war manifesto.

Then there's this, and this. I'm quite sure we will see which case merits what the FBI terms "public interest" in due course, won't we?

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Oliver Jones
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I'll bet that if those very same people happened to be protesting against the opposition, suddenly their personal data would be fair game.

We're supposed to believe that this ruling is politically impartial.

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Alibaba's Jack Ma says: Relax, we're too wise for robots to take our jobs

Oliver Jones
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Famous last words.

The Mayan civilization was also pretty clever (and very scientific, too), but that didn't stop them from wiping themselves out.

Humanity's biggest problem isn't intelligence: It is a lack of enlightenment.

Frank Herbert also warned us about this particular threat a long time ago. If we were more concerned about our future than with the shiny-shiny, we might have paid more attention.

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Workday says it's got a PaaS in its pocket and is ready to party

Oliver Jones
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All this sounds very grand...

...but how can we be sure that it will stay that way?

One of our administrators at the outfit I work for has the unenviable task of keeping up with all the changes that SaaS vendors impose on us.

Features disappear, because developers do not want to spend money maintaining them; other features start becoming billable options, and it all starts getting rather complicated if you just want to focus on running your business. This was what SaaS was supposed to be all about.

Then we come to Workday, who want you to not only use their software, but enjoy huge vendor lock-in by encouraging you to write software that hooks into, and uses, their APIs for your core business functions.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

Oliver Jones
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Re: WONTFIX

No, it's the "breakable" encryption the US government has long been fighting for.

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'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Oliver Jones
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Re: By the same token...

It's been going on longer than anyone who knows for sure will admit, and the rest of us don't know for sure.

Did Wikileaks have, or leak, comprehensive information? I doubt it. I don't doubt what was leaked - I'm just not convinced it's everything.

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Oliver Jones
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By the same token...

...there has never been a right to unfettered eavesdropping, either. Yet, warrant-less mass tapping of communications has been going on since the NSA admitted itWikileaks reported what was going on.

Only technology has made that possible - but that same technology has also made encryption possible. So, we've gone round in a circle.

In the end, totalitarian governments will always say that privacy is never justified, because terrorism (but, oddly enough, will vociferously protect the privacy of their politicians and staff as if their li(v)es depended on it!)

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Qualcomm offers concessions to secure NXP Semi takeover

Oliver Jones
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Re: Not good enough

"The biggest sufferers by the way are open source projects - from having 60%+ of high end devices on the market supportable by OpenWRT we are down to 0."

Not quite 0: The guys who designed the Turris Omnia did a reasonable job creating a high-end OpenWRT device with some decent expansion and security features.

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Oliver Jones
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Utterly meaningless:

"Qualcomm has offered not to sue third parties over the NFC patents except for “defensive” purposes."

Defensive could mean "anything that impacts our revenues/profits/stock." In other words, hunting season's open.

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Russia to block access to cryptocurrency exchanges' websites – report

Oliver Jones
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Re: Banning it so it must be popular

For a historical perspective: In the Weimar years, both the Austrian and German governments made the purchase and/or holding of any foreign currencies illegal. History doesn't repeat, but it does rhyme.

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If the worst should happen?

Oliver Jones
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Re: If the worst should happen?

I have a label printer, and I printed the user names and passwords of a few key accounts (like e-mail, et cetera), and my wife has a copy of the key needed to get access to them.

Why print on labels? Well, if your handwriting is anything like mine... :)

USB sticks die, often unexpectedly - and it's not wise to have important information on them that isn't also backed up, especially if it is intended for next of kin. If you must have this stored digitally, consider M-DISC.

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How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

Oliver Jones
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Re: Microsoft is trying very hard to kill itself.

"Doesn't matter how much they screw up, they can't kill Windows on the desktop or server, or Office, or Exchange/Outlook. Some of us might wish they could a way, but I really don't see how."

That's not how it works: Losers don't decide how / when they're beaten.

I would keep an eye on Google: They will own the desktop in a decade, while the open source crowd gapes in astonishment, because the key's in having a business productivity ecosystem - and not just a pretty GUI.

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Oliver Jones
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Microsoft is trying very hard to kill itself.

After what we've seen on the desktop, mobile and even server, in the last few years, there aren't too many more areas left for them to screw up in.

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Fending off cyber attacks as important as combatting terrorism, says new GCHQ chief

Oliver Jones
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"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." - INGSOC propaganda (1984, by George Orwell.)

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Microsoft silently fixes security holes in Windows 10 – dumps Win 7, 8 out in the cold

Oliver Jones
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Re: re: I paid a visit to a client using Windows 10. Couldn't find a bloody thing

"Click start and type the name of the thing you want to run. This has worked since 8."

Actually, it's worked since Windows Vista.

The difference, however, is that it was not necessary in Windows Vista or 7, because there was a better way. In Windows 8-10, there isn't.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Perhaps money will talk louder:

"It's like buying a car from them and them then knowing that the wheels are going to fall off and then telling the customer that they can avoid the problem by buying the newest model off of them."

Or, perhaps more relevant to this issue, that security flaws in the car's central locking system are considered legacy software and, therefore, not eligible for support: "Hard cheese, old boy; better buy a new one."

Whether VW Group takes that route or not, it will be interesting to see what happens: Is the public interest served by allowing manufacturers to use insecure software to limit the useful life (and aftermarket value) of their products? If so, what marvellous new features will be installed on next year's model - with support limited to the warranty period?

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Oliver Jones
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"Translation: please, please stop using Windows 7 and 8."

I paid a visit to a client this week, who was using Windows 10. Couldn't find a bloody thing, and I ended up using Windows-R, followed by cmd, to get a shell. I just feel sorry for anyone who doesn't know the CLI.

Microsoft used to have a usable (and reasonably-designed!) GUI - now, you have to drop into the command line to get anything done - because they're too busy playing hide-and-seek with your apps and settings.

Funny thing is, I think most people would accept the spyware if only the idiots at Microsoft gave Windows 10 a GUI suited for productivity use.

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Oliver Jones
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Perhaps money will talk louder:

Making Microsoft legally responsible for not releasing these patches in the event of a major attack against an older (but supported!) operating system might focus their minds a little.

Support should mean exactly that, and Windows 7 is supported until 2020.

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UK spy oversight body updates rules to include right of appeal

Oliver Jones
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Re: The six-week consultation closes on 10 November...

Of course, the word "consultation" could be interpreted very broadly...

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Oracle’s automated database is a minimum viable release - analyst

Oliver Jones
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Re: Given Oracle's pricing

I wouldn't be so worried about the pricing (though I admit it is an issue), as much as the fact that they like to nix products fairly regularly. Having availability of the products you've built your business around is critical.

Current users of SPARC iron are, I'm sure, giving Oracle baleful stares right now. All are, I'm sure, asking: Which product will be killed, next?

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Facebook, Google, Twitter are the shady bouncers of the web. They should be fired

Oliver Jones
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Re: Just like the Sun (News of the World) then

"Their argument is that they are not the originator but the conduit therefore they have no responsibility even though they make money from the misinformation."

They lost that argument the moment they censored the first update. Sorry, that simply doesn't fly any more.

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2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

Oliver Jones
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Re: Isn't it obvious

"Right, so HP, Dell, Lenovo & C. can be back to make and sell cheap, ugly hardware..."

Well, I like my Dell Latitude E7470s - especially as they're fairly easy to upgrade, have excellent keyboards - and don't look bad, either. Getting them with Iris graphics, though, was unreasonably difficult, something I ascribe to a poor marketing effort: Iris has a 64MB 4th level cache, and twice the performance of non-Iris CPUs, but is largely ignored because of its 2.2GHz base clock. Silly, when you look at the turbo capability...

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FreeBSD gains eMMC support so … errr … watch out, Android

Oliver Jones
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A little slow on the uptake, aren't we, Reg?

My Panasonic 2012 TV is based on FreeBSD - it says so in the licence.

FreeBSD 11.1 also runs very nicely on my Dell E7470 laptops (Skylake platform with Iris graphics, too. Network transfer speed is incredible.)

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Java security plagued by crappy docs, complex APIs, bad advice

Oliver Jones
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Re: RTFM

Didn't you get the memo?

The source code is the documentation!

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Ex-sperm-inate! Sam the sex-droid 'heavily soiled' in randy nerd rampage

Oliver Jones
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Re: Heavily soiled?

"The clue is the location. A lot of Frtizls in that part of the world."

But no Jimmy Saviles, Rolf Harrises or Max Cliffords. After all, those who live in greenhouses should not throw stones.

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Nadella says senior management pay now linked to improving gender diversity

Oliver Jones
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Meh. Much of my extended family still lives in South Africa, so I have already had a good view of what's down that particular road.

Affirmative action in SA, means pretty much what it means in the US, and it means that if you are melaninically challenged, and male, your employment status will either be self-employed or unemployed.

The US has some catching-up to do, mind, but they're getting there...

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It's a real FAQ to ex-EDS staffers: You'll do what with our pensions, DXC?

Oliver Jones
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Re: Empty Threats

Well, if you don't agree to the new pension, that's a de-facto 40% raise.

Sorry, where do I sign?

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