* Posts by Oliver Jones

857 posts • joined 14 May 2007

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Japanese quadcopter makes overworked employees clock out

Oliver Jones
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Re: I can save them $4,500 per month

Another method: Just have a timed announcement at closing to the effect that: "The office is closing in half an hour. Anyone still on premises after that will be escorted out by security."

Sounds too manual to me. A timed firewall rule for the office network will do the job just as effectively, unless your employees actually don't have a home to go to, which is another discussion for another time. (Yes, Silicon Valley, I'm looking at you.)

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Dell makes a loss, but the trend lines look promising for profits

Oliver Jones
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Dell did very well out of me, this year.

I bought several Latitude E7470s (with Iris graphics), the last reasonable ultrabooks they made, that support docking stations (none of this driver-only enabled Thunderbolt connectivity for me, please) and Windows 7.

Nice notebooks, especially when you upgrade them with 32GB, Samsung 960 Pro 1TB SSDs and WWAN cards: More productive than a fondleslab, and the I/O performance from the USB3 ports and built-in PCIe SDXC card reader is blisteringly fast.

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Dawn of The Planet of the Phablets in 2019 will see off smartphones

Oliver Jones
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Re: Pocketalypse

In other news, people discover that ergonomics do matter, after all.

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Why does no one want to invest in full fibre broadband, wails UK.gov

Oliver Jones
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I would have thought the answer was obvious.

Infrastructure in the UK is crap because Ofcom has been treating BT as if it were a customer, not a responsibility.

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Dark fibre arts: Ofcom is determined to open up BT's network

Oliver Jones
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Re: Does any one actually know where all this dark fibre is?

"They'll probably cut the fibres 6 inches shorter so it can only reach the nearby BT equipment in the exchange and not their competitors, that sounds like a BT plan to me. It's no longer available then, in the bigger scheme of things, of documenting its presence."

Not an argument: Ever heard of fusion splicing?

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Oliver Jones
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Re: The consumer would like some of Ofcom's attention too

"And you really think your ISP isn't being billed for it and including it in your ISP bill?"

No, because I know for a fact that my local ISP, anyway, owns it. Here in Switzerland, they make that sort of thing very easy, because:

a) Streets are equipped with shared cable ducts, meaning that digging up the whole street to pass new fibre down the street isn't necessary. One monopoly does not get to say what gets installed where.

b) The Swiss standard for FTTH is a 4-strand section of single-mode fibre, terminating in a 4-socket OTO box, and the BEP is where the ISP's infrastructure stops. That makes it really easy for alternative ISPs to connect to new customers (or for a customer to request more connections from the same ISP.)

Welcome to the present day: Mostly available outside Britain. ;)

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Oliver Jones
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Re: The consumer would like some of Ofcom's attention too

"No problem. Just get your land line discontinued. I'm sure your ISP will find some other way of connecting you."

Mine did: They installed FTTH* - which I do not get billed a monthly fee for - and then removed (and scrapped) the copper, not long afterward.

*Actually, they did it twice, since my local ISP and Swisscom both offer FTTH to my apartment. (No, I don't pay line rental for either.)

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Seek 'passion' and tech skills will follow, say recruiting security chiefs

Oliver Jones
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Re: "Good grief", said Charlie Brown.

Find an HR specialist who knows how to read a technical CV (by that, I mean being able to read between the lines and assess related skills from what's written), and you'll have no trouble finding good people.

The current lot in HR just assess suitability with Ctrl-F, and as much as it pains the little darlings to hear, that process is very easily automated. When you behave like a machine, you'll eventually be replaced by one.

Perhaps they should consider cross-training people from IT to HR.

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Military test centre for frikkin' laser cannon opens in Hampshire

Oliver Jones
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Re: Dragonstrike

"In close combat it doesn't make a big difference, but over huge distances without dust or haze like you might find in space that advantage means that you can destroy any missile crawling towards you."

None of us live (or fight) in space, yet - and with the way we're going, it's far more likely that Kessler syndrome will take care of our access to space before we get to start acting out The Expanse as a species.

For the rest of us who are limited to fighting planet-borne battles, the Earth's curvature will take care of any distance advantage, especially for sea-skimming missiles. (That's always assuming the enemy doesn't simply send a Shkval your way.)

Sounds more and more like Arthur C. Clarke's Superiority.

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Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Oliver Jones
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Re: "something I approve of"

"It's not like I oppose taxation -- I'm a lifelong socialist and Labour Party member, after all -- but taxes are supposed to be for essential public utilities, not something that subjectively qualifies as "entertainment"."

The BBC is a government mouthpiece, not entertainment. Bad luck; as a government service, you're obliged to pay for it nevertheless.

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DNS resolver 9.9.9.9 will check requests against IBM threat database

Oliver Jones
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I do wonder if they realise how transparent they are?

Google makes the same promise for its 8.8.8.8 DNS service, saying: “We don't correlate or combine information from our temporary or permanent logs with any personal information that you have provided Google for other services.”

They're saying this with fingers crossed behind their back. After all, why would they even need to say this? But the next part is truly precious:

"However, most home users accept the default configuration for their ISP, each of which will have its own attitude to monetising user data."

As opposed to Google's attitude to monetising user data?

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Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets

Oliver Jones
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Re: YABCSP

Not really a cloud problem - just the inevitable result of trying to hire the cheapest sysadmin money can buy.

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Parity calamity! Wallet code bug destroys $280 MEEELLION in Ethereum

Oliver Jones
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Re: Any grownups?

I've also said as much: Ethereum's biggest problem is that it has been designed and written by people with very little experience on this rock.

Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability. :)

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We're not saying Uncle Sam has lost control on Twitter, but US Embassy in Riyadh just did a shout out for oatmeal

Oliver Jones
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Re: "Official Government Twitter Accounts"? WTF?

Not unless you object to the phrase "Get your propaganda here."

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Frowns all round as Smile and Co-op online banking goes down

Oliver Jones
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Re: Customer focussed or Bonus focussed?

"Then they got stuffed with Britannia's bad debts - we never found out why the auditor's due diligence failed and why the customers and the co-op had to pick up the bill and not them."

The auditor was probably working for (or had sizeable interests in) one of those big commercial banks. Who knows? Would it surprise me? No.

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For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X

Oliver Jones
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Re: Wrong.

"Except that you have to look at the phone ("attention detection") to unlock it. If you close or avert your eyes it won't unlock."

A high dose of (forcibly administered) morphine will solve that problem.

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Estonia government locks down ID smartcards: Refresh or else

Oliver Jones
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Re: Is there any chance

Most governments on this planet have a very good clue, actually.

One of the first things you discover when you live (and I do mean live, as in staying long enough for submitting a tax return) in another country is what it actually means to live in the present day.

Every time I visit Britain, it feels like stepping into the past - not just from a physical point of view - but, especially, looking at the mindset. The country that gave the world rail, radar, jet engines, ARM CPUs and cricket, but somehow always found a way to minimise their advantage.

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Guess who's now automating small-biz IT jobs? Yes, it's Microsoft

Oliver Jones
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Oh, this is going to be good...

I'm quite sure that every black hat out there is licking their lips, right now. The carnage will be awesome.

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Kubernetes bug ate my banking app! How code flaw crashed Brit upstart

Oliver Jones
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Re: Rolling update causes outage

"EDIT: in actual agile environment "lessons will be learned" actually means what it says on the tin. Especially in a new institution, which almost by definition is in "learning mode" all the time."

The problem is that Agile isn't led by engineers: It's led by managers, whose first strategy has always been to make it up as they go along.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Rolling update causes outage

"I see you attracted a down-vote ... must have been from a DevOps devotee!"

Actually, I'm also a DevOps devotee - but I'm selective: The automation part? Hell yes - anything that makes my systems more consistent - and less error-prone, the better: I need all the help I can get - so I'll take the advantages I get with Ansible/Terraform/software-defined infrastructure et cetera, and happily use them. I also save a lot of time.

As for the culture part, where any and all discipline is summarily tossed out the window, and integration testing is so last century? Not so much.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Rolling update causes outage

"Back in the day of steam driven computers, we were taught to never ever update a live system."

That was before Agile, where changes to requirements for anything are welcomed anytime - including the requirement for the system to work.

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F-35s grounded by spares shortage

Oliver Jones
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Re: Let's make planes that can't fly......

"Millions died in an avoidable war because european powers ignored the military complex hitler was building in the 30s and were woefully unprepared not only politically but also from a military equipment POV when it kicked off."

Millions died in an avoidable war, because the Treaty of Versailles so successfully backed Germany into an intolerable financial corner that warfare was the only feasible way out[1].

Were it not for the Treaty of Versailles and the Allied goal of squeezing Germany until the pips squeaked, Hitler would never have been taken seriously in Germany, much less elected. The Allies have themselves to thank for bringing about the conditions Hitler needed to take power.

FTFY.

[1]: When Money Dies, Adam Fergusson, 1975 (revised 2010)

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Coin Hive hacked via old password to move manic miners' Monero into miscreants' pockets

Oliver Jones
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Far-right twits?

I demand to know exactly how far-right and how twittish. Anything less is just sloppy journalism.

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What's HPE Next? Now it's unemployment for 'thousands' of staff

Oliver Jones
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Happy

"If you fire 5000 people and save $1.5 Bn then you just need to keep doing that every year and after 11 years you will be profitable (*)"

No, you need to do it properly - and fire one million.

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Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

Oliver Jones
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Re: Gun, meet foot.

"It allows me to run a GUI that's hosted on one machine, and displayed on a different one. Works with X11, but _NOT_ with Wayland."

I know how this works: Some spiv developer will just say "Use a VDI." Even if it's horrendously inefficient, it's the new way...

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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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Happy

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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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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