* Posts by Oliver Jones

909 posts • joined 14 May 2007

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Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

Oliver Jones
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Re: Excellent.

I can't help wondering how much more good all that computing power could be put towards, folding@home or something similar.

Cryptocurrency would not have been needed if we just had an honest monetary / banking system. But we don't, and that's why it appeared.

In the Genesis block of Bitcoin, the creator placed this message: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks". It's a commentary on how broken the traditional banking system has become. Accountability hasn't improved since 2009, either.

Consider that power demand a tax on dishonesty and apathy. Until people start caring about the stuff in this world that really matters, activism in the form of cryptocurrencies is going to be leading the way.

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Oliver Jones
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Excellent.

It wasn't long ago that this sort of thing was just talk. This just goes to show how rapidly cryptocurrency innovation can move the market.

Now, the likes of Google had better sit up and start paying attention to what they're paying publishers for advertising, because the market has just upped the price.

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Rock-a-byte, baby: IoT tot-monitoring camera lets miscreants watch 10,000s of kids online

Oliver Jones
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Re: Internet of shit

Well, I can just imagine their next marketing tagline:

"Tired of watching your kids? Watch someone else's."

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This job Win-blows! Microsoft made me pull '75-hour weeks' in a shopping mall kiosk

Oliver Jones
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Re: To be honest...

Not all of us. Some of us opted out of the Redmond clusterfuck a long time ago.

You see? That just proves my point.

You wouldn't have had to make all that effort of moving to Linux if Windows wasn't so crap, would you?

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Oliver Jones
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To be honest...

Microsoft has us all working extra hours, without overtime / compensation, to deal with the crap they keep putting in their software.

Welcome to the club, Sullivan. Misery loves company, and all that. :)

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Bad news: 43% of login attempts 'malicious' Good news: Er, umm...

Oliver Jones
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Re: What's wrong with Anthrax Candy?

I'm sure it is more than 90% on my kit, judging by the copious logs.

That's one of the reasons why I don't allow passwords for login on any of my boxen, and only allow valid SSH key-based credentials.

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Boffins: If AI eggheads could go ahead and try to stop their code being evil, that'd be great

Oliver Jones
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AI eggheads are stupid, in this respect.

It only takes government seizure of their IP for them to start feeling about AI the same way that Robert Oppenheimer felt about the nuclear bomb.

As a species, we're smart - but we're definitely not wise.

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Oliver Jones
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Without the COA and product key the disc is essentially a coaster.

Generic OEM Windows installation media, yes. Dell-specific media, no.

The Dell media automatically reads the product key from the BIOS and activates Windows without an internet connection. Quite useful...

If you use standard OEM Windows media, rather than the vendor-supplied media, you will need to extract the product key from either the BIOS or previous install, so the software can be activated. This can be done with, say, KeyFinder, and similar software. You will also need to apply the various hotfixes for what's needed (e.g. NVMe support, if you're installing Windows 7 on a Skylake laptop with SSD, for example.) Then there's the thorny issue of slipstreaming the correct drivers...

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Oh, come on

The licence already comes on the PC. Dell PCs, especially, come with the Windows licence key already in the BIOS - the Dell install media detects this and activates the software automatically without internet connectivity. So, by distributing the hardware, the required software licences were already being distributed, and activation is automatic.

I do wonder if this guy would be in so much trouble if he was actually putting Windows 10 images on these machines instead of Windows 7.

I wish him success in keeping out of jail: I don't think what he was doing was dodgy or illegal - as an end user, you can download the Dell Windows install image from Dell's web site using the service tag on your machine. He was simply doing reinstalls as a service to his customers, likely because doing a clean install is mostly a hassle for non-IT people.

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Australia joins the 'decrypt it or we'll legislate' club

Oliver Jones
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Ah, more magical thinking.

It clearly hasn't occurred to these mandarins that if decryption should be so easy for them, it should also be so easy for everyone else.

Even if such a magical branch of mathematics did exist, it would only be a matter of time before one careless mandarin left a USB stick containing all the information one needed to decode such messages in the car park of the local country club and golf course, rendering it all obsolete.

Because we all know they're really careful with this sort of thing, eh?

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Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Oliver Jones
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I used a USB-C dock, once.

Never again: The experience was so torrid (1/20 reboots it actually found my monitors), that I decided not to buy any laptop that didn't support a docking station. Docking stations just work, and when my laptop is in its docking station, lid down, I don't have to worry about covering the webcam, either. :)

If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

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Sorry, I can't hear you, the line's VoLTE

Oliver Jones
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It's only a challenge...

...because their IP network is crap.

Both Deutsche Telekom and Swisscom transitioned to VoIP, and the sound quality is a massive step up from traditional telephony. Reliability hasn't been obviously affected, which I'll take as a good sign.

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Global security crackdown, a host of code nasties, Brit cops mocked, and more

Oliver Jones
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Re: Bitcoin can be converted to Monero later though

Bitcoin won't last forever. Its expiry is baked into the code - once the miners aren't making enough profit, the capacity for transactions will drop, and that will be that. Then again, our Sun will die out, one day, too: All things come to an end. But Bitcoin's end will come sooner.

Bitcoin was the first of its kind, and it deserves huge props for that. It has been an absolutely fantastic proof of concept - but, other (better) coins now exist. Transaction fees are going to be a thing of the past, and that doesn't give Bitcoin a whole lot of room to manoeuvre.

Give it time: It wasn't so long ago when PCs were referred to as IBM compatibles, but the concept is, of course, amusing in today's world. The same will happen with crypto - altcoins will be the new Bitcoin.

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Oliver Jones
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Luddites...

Bitcoin was a perfect example, with Kaeser calling it "the biggest money laundering scheme ever invented."

Actually, that would be Monero. Bitcoin is terrible for money laundering, because the ledger is open, public and cannot be manipulated or erased.

A suitcase full of dollars, or wire payment made to an anonymous shell company in Delaware is actually far less traceable than a transaction made in Bitcoin. If money laundering is your target, Delaware is an extremely easy target that represents some of the lowest of the low-hanging fruit, but Bitcoin is politically easier to blame...

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Reinforcement learning woes, robot doggos, Amazon's homegrown AI chips, and more

Oliver Jones
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Sorry, but Frank Herbert was right.

As a species, we're very clever - but we're not being very wise.

For those not familiar with Dune, it's well worth a read - as one of the few science fiction books that makes even Skynet and Terminators look tame by comparison.

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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

Oliver Jones
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Re: They are connecting it wrong

"You're saving it wrong."

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Facebook told to stop stalking Belgians or face fines of €250k – a day

Oliver Jones
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Happy

"Boy, do I hate being right all the time!"

-Dr. Ian Malcolm

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Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'

Oliver Jones
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Will publishers start to refuse chrome with a message that your browser is not compatible and here's a link to firefox or something else?

You would kiss your Android market goodbye. Good luck with that.

In any case, Chrome commands >50% of market share, so it's only worth considering if you're willing to risk losing more than half of your page impressions. I can't see most publishers risking that.

Besides, it won't be long before Mozilla, et al, are forced to follow suit, in order to remain relevant.

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Oliver Jones
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Can't say I'm sorry for the publishers.

They've been taking the Michael for far too long. Google has just ensured that Chrome is going to be a lot more popular with Web users.

Perhaps now is a good time for publishers to examine alternative methods of funding (e.g. Steem, BAT, PoW in the browser, etc.)

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Oh sh-itcoin! Crypto-dosh swap-shop Coinbase empties punters' bank accounts

Oliver Jones
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Re: Cryptocurrency

Teaching libertarians and ancaps why financial regulations exist since 2009.

Because they worked so well for the banks in 2008? If you were paying attention, you would notice that banks (and the politicians they, ahem, "sponsor") have been busy deregulating the financial industry since the 1970s, while insisting on regulation for everything else.

Exactly what is regulated about bail-outs (or, new bail-in legislation)? If regulation worked for the financial sector, why would we ever need it?

Perhaps a little more critical thought (and less snark) is called for.

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Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back

Oliver Jones
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Re: Don't forget to sue them for time lost...

Customers of a restaurant are much better off not looking inside the kitchen!

That depends - the difference between the kitchen of a German or Swiss establishment, compared with one in, say, Hong Kong, can be like the difference between night and day.

(If you've ever been to Hong Kong, you will know what I mean.)

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Oliver Jones
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Don't forget to sue them for time lost...

Wrecking peoples' PCs really should be considered an offence under the 1990 Computer Misuse Act, and its analogues in other countries.

Hackers, after all, have to cough up for costs incurred for recovery.

If Microsoft doesn't like this kind of judgement, then perhaps they should be spending a lot more in quality assurance, and perhaps even give users a choice as to whether they want their PCs meddled with.

Imagine that.

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Meltdown's Linux patches alone add big load to CPUs, and that's just one of four fixes

Oliver Jones
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Re: For procurement...

English comprehension FAIL.

Please read my post you replied to again, paying particular attention to the first nine words on the second line of the second paragraph.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: For procurement...

As I said, AMD is not vulnerable to Meltdown. Mine was a genuine question of interest, which you failed to answer, by the way: What performance premium do Intel chips provide, when they have to be patched for Meltdown, and AMD chips do not?

The only ARM chip I know of that's vulnerable to Meltdown (and, again, I'm being specific here in saying Meltdown, not Spectre - or anything else that's off-topic, as far as the original article is concerned) is the Cortex A75, a core that's so new that it hasn't even found its way into any real products, yet.

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Oliver Jones
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For procurement...

...the big question is this: How much of a performance premium is there in buying Intel kit - which needs to be patched against Meltdown - compared to buying AMD kit, which is immune?

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Tech giants' payouts go to everyone but affected citizens. US Supremes now urged to sort it out

Oliver Jones
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Re: Wrong penalty

Or take a leaf out of China's book: Financial criminals are executed. Raise the stakes, and the risk / reward equation looks a lot worse.

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No sh*t, Sherlock! Bloke suspected of swallowing drug stash keeps colon schtum for 22 DAYS

Oliver Jones
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Happy

No, they're waiting for him to offer them a stool.

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Amazon Key door-entry flaw: No easy fix to stop rogue couriers burgling your place unseen

Oliver Jones
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Re: a locked "Amazon box"

I still have my DHL Packstation card. It's awfully useful for having stuff delivered to Germany (when some sellers obstinately refuse to ship to Switzerland), which means I can just nip over the border and pick it up.

But yes, Packstations have been around since 2005: Not a new thing.

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India signals ban on cryptocurrencies, embraces blockchain

Oliver Jones
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Re: Not exactly correct

“The Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Jaitley said at paragraph 112 of the speech.

Quoted from the article, emphasis mine. Seemed clear enough to me.

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Oliver Jones
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Indian government is just cutting off all escape routes.

Once they ensure that people cannot get their assets out of banks, they can implement negative interest rates on deposits, to stimulate spending.

When Indians face -80% interest on their deposits, what are they going to do, when all options of pulling it out in hard cash (or gold) are eliminated? Why, spend it all - quickly, of course...

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Deep sigh... Servers get teaser trailers now

Oliver Jones
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Dell is just being polite

Said boxen are apparently powered by a “kinetic architecture built for the modern data center”

That's just a more polite way of saying "shot to hell".

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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Oliver Jones
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Re: C64 Joysticks

"Was the phase of joystick failure related in any way to the release of Daley Thompson's Decathlon?"

Summer Games. The javelin event was probably the most profitable event ever coded by Epyx, especially if you sold joysticks...

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Crypto-cash exchange BitConnect pulls plug amid Bitcoin bloodbath

Oliver Jones
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"Why do we need blockchain?"

Because blockchain (or DAG, the modern, scalable alternative to blockchain) does not support or allow:

1) One actor printing money for themselves out of thin air, stealing everyone elses' purchasing power in the process. Most people do not recognise this as theft, or even recognise that it's happening to them, but it's a serious problem. Most fiat currencies have collapsed in value since the 1970s.

2) Debt-based currency, which by definition and the cold, hard rules of mathematics, can never, ever be fully repaid. Only the principal is ever created (and borrowed) - the interest due does not exist, so this demands never-ending growth, simply to satisfy an ever-growing debt mountain. Interest is also exponential by its very nature, and anyone who truly understands how the exponential function works with currency supply will know that the ending of the story isn't pretty.

3) Frozen accounts, money grabs, sanctions, abusive politically-influenced blocks on payment processing (Wikileaks), or any of that nonsense. The amount of criminal activity condicted in USD dwarfs the entire cryptocurrency market, but if politicians ever took that as seriously as they purport to take crime committed with (or using) cryptocurrencies, they'd ban the USD overnight.

4) Payment reversal, clawbacks, et cetera. You know when you're paid, that's it: No ifs, buts or maybes.

5) Socialism. When governments are not allowed to simply borrow money printed out of thin air (and are forced, like in the old days, to balance their books), you will see massive cutbacks on unnecessary, inefficient and harmful schemes that only serve to discourage meaningful employment.

6) Cronyism. When those that can print money out of nothing are no longer allowed to do so, they may no longer abuse that power to buy governmental influence (lobbying is just a nicer word for corruption), putting them on equal footing with the rest of us. That's healthier for all of us in the long term.

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Oliver Jones
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Bitcoin collapsed from > 1000 USD to just 50 USD, following the collapse of Mt. Gox, which was the major Bitcoin exchange at the time.

If cryptocurrencies are a bubble (and there's plenty of evidence showing that they're simply Banking 2.0, with adoption accelerating every day), it will take a hell of a lot more than the closure of a shady, two-bit British outfit to collapse something like Bitcoin.

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Another day, another Spectre fix slowdown: What to expect if you heart ZFS

Oliver Jones
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Re: SPARC immune to Meltdown

Intel Xeon cpus are susceptible to Meltdown. Other cpus are not.

Actually, the Arm Cortex A75 is also susceptible, and although it's not present in any real gizmos yet, it was ARM's latest CPU model.

Although SPARC being invulnerable to Meltdown gives me a nice warm feeling (I still have three Sun Blade 2000s sitting in my hobby room), SPARC has the not-so-insignificant issue that it has no future, because Oracle fired the staff who worked on developing and supporting it.

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Microsoft finally injects end-to-end chat crypto into Skype – ish...

Oliver Jones
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Re: Is Skype still the best way to call POTs overseas?

I use Sipgate in the UK and Germany for calling my UK- and German-resident relatives/in-laws (delete as applicable.) Costs nothing for a Sipgate-to-Sipgate call, and the best part is that I can configure an IP phone and stick it in the parents' lounge. Foolproof: It looks, sounds and smells exactly like a phone should - and, thus, that's exactly what it is, in their eyes. The VoIP stuff runs invisibly in the background, and there's no need to sit in front of a computer each time we want to talk.

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Cryptocurrencies to end in tears, says investor wizard Warren Buffett

Oliver Jones
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Re: Alternative Hypothesis

"In NZ even a stall at a weekend morning farmer's market is risking a significant loss of sales if they don't offer card payment."

That is because the EFTPOS system in NZ is very low-cost, compared to VISA/MasterCard, or even Maestro/Electron. Yes, the wife and I paid for odds and sods at the Kerikeri farmers' market with EFTPOS, and most vendors either had a terminal or a phone with a terminal add-on.

But the Kiwis have one distinct advantage: They don't have the legacy mindset that holds the Brits back. I found New Zealand to be very much like America, yet very chilled out. Even Air New Zealand makes British Airways seem like an Ethiopian airline by comparison.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Easy to understand

"Banking (and any other company) shares are not worthless, they are backed by the assets and revenue-generating capabilities of that bank/company."

That's the theory, anyway: When the next financial crisis comes along, your account has been bailed-in, and you're the proud owner of shares in a defunct bank, please let us know how it works out in practice.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: third generation

I don't see any non-Web wallets for Raiblocks, which makes me question its use case, despite its meteoric rise from ~20c to more than $30 in about a month.

Some of the flakiness in IOTA (e.g. can't re-use addresses you send from) is there for protection against quantum compute attacks. This will be more of a problem in the future, and any cryptocurrency that hasn't already tackled these problems at the design phase will have a limited shelf life. Meltdown and Spectre should have taught many that making assumptions about future security with any given technology is foolish.

Yes, the IOTA team have an exceptionally poor wallet, but their focus is on making the protocol right, not creating award-winning wallets. The Coordinator will also be removed in future, once the network has enough hashing power to effectively prevent fraud. IOTA is quite young, and many forget that Bitcoin had similar hashing issues in its infancy.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Oh, the irony

"But the current situation of hyperdeflation (in BitCoin terms at least) is totally fine and dandy? Just so you know, that way lies economic depression and recession. But hey, we all have pretend money to spend, so who cares, right?"

I don't have any debt, and deflation only negatively affects those with debt, so I would welcome a crash, with all the attendant benefits it brings (such as lower cost of everything, far more opportunities for startups, more innovation, plus wiping out a hell of a lot of debt that was taken on by extremely unwise people.) The culmination of the Great Depression was one of the most fertile periods in history, and more innovative startups were formed at that time than almost any other in history.

The powers that be thought they could ban deflation by printing every currency (and using naked shorting to keep the price of gold and silver down), but cryptocurrencies have shown the emperor to be well and truly naked - and as long as the market demands deflation, it shall have it, no matter what the central banking policy du jour says. The Soviet Union learned the hard way that command economies don't work: Cryptocurrencies will force everyone else to learn that lesson, too.

The economy will be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century, whether it likes it or not. Debt-based currencies are no longer welcome.

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Oliver Jones
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Re: Oh, the irony

Feeless cryptocurrencies (such as IOTA) are the future. Bitcoin has been an absolutely fantastic proof of concept, but Bitcoin will be killed by the new 3rd-generation cryptocurrencies, not by regulation.

Buffet would do well to examine the US Dollar, a currency printed ex nihilo (and completely at the will of the Federal Reserve and the fractional reserve banking system), and consider the value of something that can be printed to oblivion (for practical examples, see the Zimbabwean Dollar, the Venezuelan Bolivar, et cetera) and compare it to cryptocurrencies, which have public ledgers, and have closed the "hyperinflation" cheat mode by design.

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Heart of darkness: Inside the Osówka underground city

Oliver Jones
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Switzerland has been a construction zone since oil prices crashed a couple of years ago, and the Swiss have been going hell for leather on any filed contruction plan they can lay their hands on, it would seem. In particular, railway tunnels, new roads and bridges, new fibre for internet connectivity - it's been all go. These investments will last for decades, if not centuries.

When oil prices head up back above $100, that will be the time for Britain to finally get around to making a decision about renewing your infrastructure. Those of us over here thank you for your sterling efforts in trying to keep oil prices as low as possible by not doing anything. :)

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Solaris 11.next becomes Solaris 11.4, but new features aren’t set

Oliver Jones
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Re: Where's Oracle's Meltdown/Spectre press release?

As a former Sun employee, it pains me to say that all Solaris-based kit has joined the Archimedes and Amiga in Silicon Heaven*. It may not have been formally announced as such, but that is the reality.

"Silicon Heaven doesn't exist? But where would all the calculators go?"

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You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

Oliver Jones
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Re: Discuss

"If I wanted to live in 2003 I'd definitely be settling on Mint or Cinnamon."

If I wanted a productivity-focused user interface, I'd consider Mint or Cinnamon over Gnome.

FTFY.

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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

Oliver Jones
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"Why is it that I could predict these things happening back when Win 10 with forced updates was introduced, but MS couldn't?"

Don't confuse ignorance with apathy.

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Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

Oliver Jones
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Re: Online fraud.

I stopped using online banking since I closed my old bank accounts and opened a new one in 2012, because of the security risks I didn't know about, rather than just the ones I did.

The paranoia, it seems, has paid off.

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Microsoft offloads networking to FPGA-powered NICs

Oliver Jones
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Hmmm... programmable?

I'm sure there are more than a few black hats out there - now rubbing their hands (and cackling with glee) at the idea of reprogramming FPGA-based NIC controllers to do their evil bidding.

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Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Oliver Jones
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Re: Accidental Aardvark

"Better still, one that can self-boot and doesn't need any installed OS.

Better still, one that doesn't require booting from anything that involves USB (because it's borked on affected machines - read the article!) - or CD or DVD (because that's no longer available on most new laptops.)

FTFY.

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Oliver Jones
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Trollface

Re: Accidental Aardvark

"If it turns out X number of laptops ARE permanently borked, what happens then? Can anyone be sued, or is it teeth gnashing time?"

I doubt it. In any case, the first rebuke of FOSS developers is usually "Please feel free to ask for a refund."

I shall, in the meantime, continue to run Windows, and grin. :)

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UK reaches peak Bitcoin as bin firm accepts cryptocurrency

Oliver Jones
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Re: Just another bubble

Bitcoin is not a bubble - it's the pin.

Unrestricted money creation by every central bank on this planet is the bubble, and as one of the few debt-free deflationary currencies in a world of debt-based inflationary ones, it's no surprise that Bitcoin is hoovering up dollars from the old, corrupt - and irretrievably broken - financial system. It's just a textbook example of Gresham's Law.

You don't have to take my word for it: Just look at the amount of fiat currency created since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, and - especially - since the US under Nixon was forced to abandon the gold peg because the French under Charles de Gaulle called their bluff by repeatedly trading their US dollars for gold, until the US was forced to "temporarily" close the gold window on 15.08.1971.

Bitcoin will not last forever - it will be replaced by a more scalable cryptocurrency in the future, but it shows, unambiguously, where this world is going: Away from a system where certain players can simply hit the "print" button and create more currency for themselves, at the expense of everyone elses' purchasing power. Bitcoin and its ilk were created with the express purpose of closing this abusive loophole.

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