* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2716 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

Microsoft loves Linux so much its R Open install script rm'd /bin/sh

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Typical installer written in a large company

About installer gurus: someone who can do one thing well may be called "idiot savant". Some proudly self-apply the term (which is in French). It means your job is secure until it's automated or superseded (containers?)

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New York State is trying to ban 'deepfakes' and Hollywood isn't happy

Robert Carnegie
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"Deepfake"

If I'm following this, "deepfake" is what's not obviously fake - and may be passed off as genuine.

Internationally, several elections have had voters asked to decide whether some alleged leaked phone calls of candidates doing illicit things were genuine or falsified or creatively edited. Presumably some are real and most are not.

If Disney wants to dramatise public figures misbehaving from hearsay, they can make cartoons. This would tell the story would not be mistaken for real video. They made a cartoon where Donald Duck was a Nazi German (but he was just having a nightmare). More recently, the controversial Taiwanese "Next Animation Studio" has been providing cartoon dramatisations of news stories for years.

As for performing with animals, Snow White and Mowgli sang alongside animals on screen. Gene Kelly danced with Jerry Mouse from "Tom & Jerry". Andy Serkis by now can probably play as any creature on earth or under it. I'm not sure if I have a point in this paragraph.

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This HTC U12+ review page is left intentionally blank

Robert Carnegie
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You've reviewed it.

"It's fatally buggy. Don't buy it." If the product gets fixed, then you can review it again.

Having said that, is there an option to not touch the phone at all and do everything by voice control? Sorted! That should work for temperamental iPhones as well!

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Sysadmin's PC-scrub script gave machines a virus, not a wash

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Should I be admitting to this?

One of my old favourite newspaper quotes from BBC radio's "News Quiz" (listen tonight for extended programme):

"Asked if she had anything to say before sentence was passed, Mrs Buckingham told the court: 'I have worked for British Rail for fifteen years. I am very sorry and ashamed.'" - Yorkshire Post

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: I can't forget some AV package...

Microsoft surely has sent out a virus on discs sometime. Maybe in the "TechNet" support package. And that's if you don't consider Windows itself or the Office talking paperclip to be viruses.

Not to mention hoaxes like: (safe, probably.... you trust me don't you??)

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/jdbgmgrexe/ "(Teddy) Bear Virus"

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Valentine's day virus

My boss got the ILOVEYOU e-mail - or something similar - and it did cross his mind that it could be a virus. So he didn't open the attachment. Instead, he forwarded it to me, to ask my opinion. Which was that he was out of his league. Also, out of his mind.

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Uber 'does not exist any more' says Turkish president

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Good. Lyft, Uber & their ilk suck arse.

If Uber's business model is to destroy competition then overcharge, independent drivers will compete by putting themselves on Tinder or something. Picture of a car will be a clue to what type of ride is on offer. Could still lead to misunderstanding though if it catches on, so do clearly state how far you want to go.

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IETF wants packets to prove where they've been, to improve trust

Robert Carnegie
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BGP misuse

I think it's called that... it's possible for a national Internet provider in Russia or China to announce itself as the quickest route to Google or Apple or TSB or whatever, so that all of the Internet is sent to that provider. When this has happened, as I understand it has, it usually appears to be by accident. but you never know.

I assume that this secure traffic mechanism does allow more than one secure route to be declared permissible, so that if one of your data centres suffers a power cut or a tactical nuclear missile strike then your network keeps running, bout I don't know about it.

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Zimmerman and friends: 'Are you listening? PGP is not broken'

Robert Carnegie
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Not worst bug, worst brand.

They don't like the name EFAIL.

I'm waiting for some issue of timing accuracy to be codenamed NOTAPROBLEM. Try getting a budget to fix that.

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Trio indicted after police SWAT prank call leads to cops killing bloke

Robert Carnegie
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Blackstone's Police Operational Handbook

ABC for police (British):

A, Assume nothing.

B, Believe nothing.

C, Challenge - and check - everything.

D, don't go in shooting, you stupid idiots. (Apparently not in the British handbook, the last I heard, but, should be)

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Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04: Make yourself at GNOME. Cup of data-slurping dispute, anyone?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Linux Unplugged

I would expect if I opt out, the company I am opting out from doesn't get told that I am opting out. I want the default state to be that they don't know I exist. Though I may want to convey that fact later.

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Open Source MANO Release FOUR lands

Robert Carnegie
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I dunno either. I thought it was going to be about artificial hands.

On the other hand, if you don't understand something, just wait quietly and it will probably go away. See here.

http://dilbert.com/strip/1997-11-06

The previous day explains what problem the characters were putting off dealing with, and to some extent why one of them is a dinosaur, but this isn't essential information.

You know they asked for comments on how good the journalism is here - I think they have a buzzword generator that makes up entire stories about fictitious technologies like "Tizen", which actually is a fizzy drink.

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London's Met Police: We won't use facial recognition at Notting Hill Carnival

Robert Carnegie
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Re: An geneticists in tonight?

There's more genetic diversity in Africa than in the whole rest of the world. Humans originated in Africa and everyone else is just overspill.

Computer recognition, however, is not good at recognising black people... as people.

Ironically this is a "black box" problem.

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The harbingers of Doomwatch: Quist is quite the quasi-Quatermass

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Ouch!

I'm trying to work out if "Nigerian firing squad" is a sex thing. But I think it must be a violence thing. It could be both.

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Did I say Chinese jobs? I meant American jobs says new Trump Tweet

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Art of the Deal

He is drinking the swamp. Not alcoholically; apparently although unbelievably, this has been him sober, all along.

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Prez Donald Trump to save manufacturing jobs … in China, at ZTE

Robert Carnegie
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What's true?

I'm not on top of this subject, but I think the "sanctions" bit is about selling phones to Muslims, which the U.S. didn't want to be done. The other accusation, that ZTE phones are smelly, is disputed.

The other other accusation seems to be that ZTE pays bribes for favourable decisions in import-export matters. I suspect that President Trump pricked up when he heard that.

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My PC is on fire! Can you back it up really, really fast?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: You ever wonder?

I think the story about a certain bank will come in under "Who, Me?"

Not, not me. Or I'd be anonymous. Just speculating.

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Blame everything on 'computer error' – no one will contradict you

Robert Carnegie
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Re: I'm not sure I believe you

This column is mainly fictional or highly exaggerated i.e. "hyperbolics". HTH HAND

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LLVM contributor hits breakpoint, quits citing inclusivity intolerance

Robert Carnegie
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Misunderstanding

I think the whole resignation thing is a mistake, surely white heterosexual men are always entitled?

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It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

Robert Carnegie
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Alternative mnemonic method

Alternative mnemonic method: generate random letters, then make up the mnemonic to suit the letters, You'll have to write the password down in the first place - and maybe the mnemonic - but after a few repetitions it will stick.

I have to use systems that impose rules, and while I could maybe break those, instead I use this method:

Every password in the same format.

The format is 2x letters and 2 numbers, and the letters and numbers are random - not repeated - and the letters are consonants. The first letter is capitalled. This meet various system requirements of:

Contains letters and numbers

Contains upper and lower

Does not contain any English word

Repeated letters are quite a stupid rule although I suppose you want to block "passssssword" as a password (but, why, Register wants long passwords, that is long)

The password is constructed by taking random source and skipping any input that doesn't fit. If the source is letters, then A to J represents 1 to 0 (after 9) and K to T likewise.

The middle letters of words from a book yield: Hvnk5ypsb4

But pure random text is more consonanty.

Then convert the letters to a sentence like "Havink your pure sweet Bovril". Never mind the numbers - if the mnemonic brings back the password letters from memory, then, for me at least, the numbers come too.

Add ! at the end for a system that rejects a password without a non-alphanumeric symbol. B!@#$£rds.

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Paperback writer? Microsoft slaps patents on book-style gadgetry with flexible display

Robert Carnegie
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Re: re. more than 2 usb ports?!

They haven't started the porn verification yet. Apparently they couldn't get it up, or some other such suggestive expression that they read out on BBC Radio's "News Quiz".

Which brings me to the "laptop with fold-out screen" question.... where are the staples?

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Avengers: Infinity War: More Marvel-ous moolah for comic film-erverse, probably

Robert Carnegie
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Re: @ Alister Must be my age

Then there was Dara O Briain :-)

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Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient

Robert Carnegie
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Re: High security?

Apparently you've got a computer so I presume it's a rubbish one. A burglar wouldn't know that it is rubbish though. Until I pointed it out. Obviously lbhef vf gur ubhfr jvgu ryrpgevpvgl

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Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: First of all, I don't accept bribes. Ever. Personal policy.

If the daughter has Microsoft SQL Server database administrator training...

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Oracle demands dev tear down iOS app that has 'JavaScript' in its name

Robert Carnegie
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Will everyone know what a "HTML5, CSS, 'Coffee' Script, HTML, Snippet Editor" is? And what does it do that Microsoft Windows Notepad doesn't, or vice versa?

I'm under the impression that long, vague, buzzwordy company and product names are or were a Chinese thing, and that their own government was cracking down on it - there was a news story a while back. So you're lucky if it's Oracle shutting you down instead.

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CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Deleting emails

Database programmer, and I don't remember what I was doing last week. And the time given for jobs doesn't allow for independent documentation. But if it's in my e-mail and searchable, that works - if I know what to search for...

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Torvalds schedules Linux kernel 5.0, then maybe delays 'meaningless' release

Robert Carnegie
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"I'm pretty sure that one of Linus' pet hates is anything that breaks user land. I'm not aware of any significant change in the system call interface in quite a long time."

The article says however that certain hardware support is deleted in this edition of the kernel - that sounds break-ish to me.

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'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Similar but different at Yahoo

Seems unfair that a reasonably unexpected failure of a routine update means that you're disqualified from maintaining that system in future. On the other hand, you probably would want someone else to do it in future, because you've used up your "get out of cockup free" card there.

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Anon biz bloke wins milestone Google Right To Be Forgotten lawsuit

Robert Carnegie
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Re: "go after the newspaper with the incorrect/outdated information."

Newspapers do make mistakes in stories, may be not careful with details, and sometimes (the British Sunday contingent) utter barefaced lies. News of a cure for AIDS was basically when I gave up on trying to read those; it was to extract the patient's blood and heat it to 42 Celsius to kill the virus, not all their blood at once presumably.

Sometimes newspapers are told to correct misstatements and they do, including online. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes the story is forgotten. Upon a conviction there's a rush to print juicy details of the sordid scandal, and inaccuracy may seem unimportant at the time - when you're sent to actual jail, an allegation in print that (to make up something) you tried to sell your story to Harvey Weinstein - but it becomes significantly embarrassing later.

A "right" for the truth to be forgotten is one thing, but should untruth be defended? Or be defended against?

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Robert Carnegie
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I wonder what this means for party supporters in Scunthorpe. Not to mention Twatt, Swankerfield, and Little Bastard.

https://www.royalmail.com/find-a-postcode if you don't believe me... well you're right!!

YO25 9JL and it's B U R N B U T T S L A N E and not what it looks like. Well... it looks like Butts... honestly, could be someone else having a laugh.

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Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

Robert Carnegie
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Re: itomg

The image file name says "shutterstock" which is an online image service. Possible that images are obtained from actors hoping to get a part in BBC TV's self-examining comedy show "W1A". ;-)

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The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

Robert Carnegie
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Gilbert reckoned that "The Gondoliers" would last throughout the twentieth century, and in "The Pirates of Penzance", the plot device expires in 1940. (And Japan copped it in 1945.) But a modern young audience has any amount of new silly songs to choose from.

CBeebies (BBC for toddlers) is putting on "The Tempest" today. From looking in, they cut away frequently to William Shakespeare explaining the action to one of his Kickstarters, they get through it in about an hour, and I'm nearly sure that Sir John Gielgud in the buff won't be involved. If you'd prefer to see the Clangers, I don't disagree. :-)

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Slap visibility beacons on bikes so they can chat to auto autos, says trade body

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Cycling is a Victorian mode of transport...

Horses are unlikely to be banned. The Queen and Police ride horses.

(So do U2 and The Osmonds.)

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Bricked

Incorporate this "beacon" in the lighting circuit, so that it all runs on the same battery. For a bonus, have it work with your smartphone to tell that it's there.

The casualty list for self-driving cars raises the issue of visibility of trucks as well as cycles, but I think that a computer will understand a bike better than a typical human motorist does, without extra visibility equipment.

The Uber fatality video as released is fuzzy and, presumably, not what the car relied on to see where it's going. To me it looks like a bicycle being walked invisibly from the unlit side road right in front of a car that can't possibly stop, but we gather that the car has other sensors and doesn't depend on seeing by the headlights, or they wouldn't be dipped. So, yes, the car should have seen the bike in the dark; the car also is entitled to expect that the bike will stop and "give way" because it's on a minor road, but you can't make the assumption that the vehicle which doesn't have priority will stop.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Yeah... Right

Some contra-flow cycle lanes exist. On part of the A724, one pavement (sidewalk) is cycle lane for both directions. It also terminates and crosses to the opposite side of the road in three places.

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Apple turns hat around, sits backwards on chair, pitches iPad to schools

Robert Carnegie
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I am about due for an eye test.

Reading more carefully, I see that Classroom is not "the cheat App for student iPads".

I bet customers would like that, though. ;-)

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Robert Carnegie
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The twins paradox

The Inquirer says there is a "Shared iPad support" feature, is that any good or is it education only?

But, if they are twins then why does more than one of them need to do the home work? No one will be able to tell.

The Inquirer also says the price is $329 or £320, which doesn't look right. I'll ask.

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Yes, Emergency Service Network will be late and cost more - UK perm sec

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Bodes well for NI border

This sign in Welsh? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7702913.stm

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Fatal driverless crash: Radar-maker says Uber disabled safety systems

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Beware the Video

With eyesight as fuzzy as Uber's video I think you may be not allowed to drive. But I take from that that the driving computer isn't relying on this video. Possibly not on video at all.

Also, if it was as dark as it looks, then I would drive with full beam headlights, which this apparently isn't - but since the location has street lights, it shouldn't be as dark as it looks. Except that some municipal authorities turn their street lights down or off when it's late, to save their electricity bill.

And I don't drive; I cycle. But not like in this video. Although I have crossed the Blantyre A725 on foot, with my bike. Central barrier and all.

The walking cyclist would have been seen sooner in full headlights. But I assume that the car doesn't need those, and they are liable to dazzle other drivers.

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Hackers pwn Baltimore's 911 system?! Quick, someone call 91– doh!

Robert Carnegie
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The story suggests that the hack was to disrupt 911 calls during the anti-gun protests, which implies to me that there was also going to be an attack on protesters - such aps a mass shooting (and we say Americans don't do irony?) Although that didn't happen.

But on the other hand, the hack may have been pro-protester - I'm reaching here, but imagine a plot to phone 911 and falsely report that the protesters had pulled out guns and were shooting bystanders. Cue police rushing up in cars to shoot dead any black people on the scene.

Or someone may have hacked the wrong computer - say they were led to believe that it's the server that Vladimir Putin uses to order his assassinations.

Then again, who knows, maybe it is.

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How a QR code can fool iOS 11's Camera app into opening evil.com rather than nice.co.uk

Robert Carnegie
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Re: goto fail;

I believe a legitimate URI format is:

protocol://user:password@host:port/url-path

although who puts user name and password into a URI now??

(I cribbed this from the Wikipedia page on FTP, so maybe: people who still use FTP.)

So that seems to be another part of the problem here, but I don't fully follow it.

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Robert Carnegie
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Re: Can backspaces (^h) be embedded into such codes?

I'd like to say no. I don't see a reason to recognise backspace in parsing a URL.

But I won't fall off my chair if in fact some system is vulnerable to this.

Very basically, if a simple parser app operates by typing the URL into Safari character by character - your bug may work.

I think more than one bug has used the international text handling that legitimately makes writing go right to left instead of left to right because some written languages work like that.

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UK Court of Appeal settles reseller's question: Is software a good?

Robert Carnegie
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Re: So....

I once dutifully contacted UK Customs because I was buying software for personal use from overseas, would it attract duty equivalent-ish to VAT? i.e. between 15 to 25 percent.

At the tire I think I was told that since they were actually just supplying a licence key code by e-mail in return for the payment, to use with software that I had downloaded already, there was not tax. Since it was quite a long time ago, it's probably changed, so don't take my word for it.

The purchase price was less than £100 but I thought I still could get into trouble and I didn't want to.

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Zucker for history: What I learnt about Facebook 600 years ago

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Good article

A "Daughter of Time" type question. History school books tell us that Henry VIII wanted a legitimate son and heir. But it's occurred to me, why? The heir would step up when Henry died, so Henry could have said "Not my problem, someone else can sort it out when it happens."

So... perhaps the male heir means that a hypothetical someone else who would consider assassinating Henry in order to be king, would not, because someone else was in the way too. Is that it?

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Tumblr troll-ban follows February indictments

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Personal freedom but..

The article states "special counsel Robert Mueller said the trolls would fabricate American identities like staceyredneck@gmail.com". At face value, Mr.Internet-Researchovitch of Moscow was specifically and deliberately identifying as "redscare", I mean "redneck". Mind you, this is from approximately the sector of U.S. government that took a little bottle of cornflour into the United Nations building and told everyone that it was anthrax from Iraq, or something. So it's not wrong to be slightly sceptical.

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April FAIL as IETF's funny-but-dodgy draft doc arrives a week early

Robert Carnegie
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Right, so this is not so much an April Fool as an Easter Egg.

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2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Space opera

"Glitches on Titan V

Wish Asimov (or Heinlein, or Pournelle) were here to write it."

How close is "Missed cache on Ganymede"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_on_Ganymede : aboriginal workers on a Jovian satellite named after a pretty boy employed as Zeus's "cup-bearer" (!) demand a visit from Santa Claus on a flying sled bringing presents. Corporate colonial Earthmen manage, with great effort, to provide this performance and avoid or conclude strike action. Earthmen then realise that an annual visit from Santa Claus means once every orbit of Ganymede around Jupiter, or once a week.

Quite a miscalculation, there.

I would say that in reality the "Ossie" strikers (look like ostriches) would (not should, but would) be taken up on the sled and dropped from considerable height, but I'm not sure that that would matter. They might even fly down.

Wikipedia reports another miscalculation of sorts: Asimov, aged about 20.9, wrote and offered the short story in December 1940, then became aware that a Christmas story needed to be sold by July to appear by Christmas. In fact he sold it the following June. Then of course in the 1990s Robert Silverberg expanded it to novel length. :-) Not true, but probably he still has time this year, it is only March......

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Symantec cert holdout sites told: Those Google Chrome warnings are not a good look

Robert Carnegie
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Re: That Chrome error message is dangerously misleading.

Can someone remind me how untrustworthy the authority is? e.g. could a criminal set up a fake bank site with a fake certificate that pretends to be legitimate? There was something about all the private keys of certificates having been released in the public domain - was that it? or anyway sent in insecure, possibly logged plain e-mail. Sorry, I have a hazy understanding at best of the techy part of this.

What I'm getting at is: should we presume that the certificates are already in the hands of evildoers? In which case, letting them be used at all now is inappropriately putting mercy over safety?

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Mozilla's opt-out Firefox DNS privacy test sparks, er, privacy outcry

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Off the top of my head

If the government, or just an IT technician who wants to blackmail porn users, wants to see which DNS calls you make - they can tap thousands of DNS servers as easily as one. Unless they only have access to their own DNS server to do it. So mainly I don't think your security is improved except by going full Tor.

Incidentally, I'm not in the using nightly builds game but I'd guess that if you are using alpha or beta software then bugs such as accidentally tweeting all the URLs you visit while getting the DNS data is just to be expected. This software isn't expected to work right. So the question is, why use it, but I expect that is covered elsewhere.

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Mulled EU copyright shakeup will turn us into robo-censors – GitHub

Robert Carnegie
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Re: Youtube situation is now almost comical...

FM radio broadcasting was invented in 1933 says Wikipedia. The Big Bang, from which the oldest radio white noise originates, took place about 13.8 billion years ago. Either way, it is surely out of copyright by now. At worst, we have to look for the origin of FM radio receiver powered by battery, whose output degenerates to white noise as it runs out.

Science fiction reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stardroppers

An obvious allegory of the subversive social menace of teenagers passively littered all over the place listening to portable transistor radio with earpiece playing unworldly alien sounds like The Beatles and Who? and Purple Hayes and Terry Wogan And The Pirates. If any of that makes sense for 1962.

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