* Posts by MacroRodent

1221 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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'Gimme Gimme Gimme' Easter egg in man breaks automated tests at 00:30

MacroRodent
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Happy

Re: Unprofessional bollocks

> Like this?

..

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_egg_(media)#Software

Doesn't seem to mention the Easter egg in Windows 3.1, where a certain key sequence ( I have sadly forgotten which) popped up a window with rolling credits of the developers on a movie screen, with a figure standing next to it that most of the time looked like a cartoon Bill Gates, but occasionally the head was swapped to look like a bear. There must be some inside joke there...

I think a "credits" Eater egg like this quite justifiable, given the anonymity under which most developers labour. Might even pay for itself by boosting morale.

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Google aims disrupto-tronic ray at intercoms. Yes, intercoms

MacroRodent
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Re: How quaint

Or simply use WhatsApp or similar on a normal smartphone, which everyone nowadays has anyway, in the pocket or otherwise nearby. Around my house, they all are joined to my local WLAN, so there is no charge for the messages. (Whether or not WhatsApp admins can read the utterly boring messages ("come up for dinner") and VOIP calls is irrelevant, but supposedly they are nowadays end-to-end encrypted).

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Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

MacroRodent
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Turin Turambar Dagnir Glaurunga

> Less obviously exciting is the “previously unexplored storylines”, because Tolkien's deep history of Middle Earth was not his most engaging work.

How about Narn i Hîn Húrin (Tale of the Children of Hurin), which appears as the most memorable of the sub-stories in Silmarillion, and other post-humously published writings? A few years ago Christopher Tolkien finally glued the pieces into a separate book. It could actually make a pretty good film.

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Thousand-dollar iPhone X's Face ID wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'

MacroRodent
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Re: When will they learn (@ AC)

> Unless the thief has a "Faraday Envelope" to take the phone to the Specialist's "Faraday Room".

Thief - or police. I recently browsed a book about mobile phone forensics, which pretty much started by presenting the requirement of ensuring the phone cannot be wiped remotely.

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Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

MacroRodent
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Deja Vu

I seem to recall some older iPhones also had a problem with cold, years ago. At that time one could smugly point out that Nokia works in winter just fine. I wonder what is the case with the "new" Nokias (really made by HMD), hopefully they don' t tarnish the reputation.

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Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

MacroRodent
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Windows

Re: Horsecrap

A better comparison would be Windows Phone, which was kept well updated, and as far as I know did not suffer from malware. WP 8.1 was possibly the best OS Microsoft ever made. Too bad Microsoft broke everything that was good about it in the phone version of Windows 10: after having now used it for a couple of months, I can say they lost the phone wars deservedly...

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

MacroRodent
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Re: "when Sauron was mortal "

> Sauron did actually "die" physically at least three times though...

Also, he did not die in the end of LOTR, either. At one point Gandalf notes that destroying the Ring causes him to diminish so that cannot be foreseen when he will rise again. But he said nothing about Sauron dying off completely (and he should know, being one of the Maiar himself).

In fact, this gives an opening for the new TV series: Sauron starting to build a new dark empire in the present...

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Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

MacroRodent
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Boffin

Re: Very good points!

> Shared libraries were very important when your machine had just a few KB or MB of memory, and disk space was small too, but far less important today

There also is another issue here: memory speed has not kept up with CPU speed, even if the amount of memory has grown. This makes fast CPU caches important for getting any kind of performance, but they have not grown as much. With shared libraries, it is more likely the library code is in the cache, than if you have N copies of the library. This also applied to other reasons of code bloat. So code size still matters, but for slightly different reasons than before.

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MacroRodent
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Unhappy

Very good points!

I would just like to add another: Nowadays it is rare that your program is the only one running on your computer, especially on interactive systems. This means all those gigabytes of memory and gigaherz of CPU are not all for your code. If you code as if they were, the user will be very annoyed when switching to another task, finding the machine grinds to a halt for a while. Sadly, most of the stuff on a typical Windows (or Linux!) desktop behaves like this. Frankly, the performance experience of using a 2017 Windows desktop is very much like using a 1997 Windows desktop, except for some added chrome and glitz...

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Can you get from 'dog' to 'car' with one pixel? Japanese AI boffins can

MacroRodent
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Another demo...

Another demo that machine vision still has a long way to go. Just recently a different group demonstrated an attack where a tiny change to a physical object, like adding a suitable sticker to a traffic sign, caused an image classifier to mistake it for something else entirely, even though to a human it still was obviously the traffic sign. Nice to know we are still better than machines at something...

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AI bot rips off human eyes, easily cracks web CAPTCHA codes. Ouch

MacroRodent
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Re: What about...

Some Finnish sites have used tests where a simple math problem is given in Finnish ("yhdeksän plus kaksi?), and you must type the result as a number (11). Was pretty effective since most spammers are foreigners, but now Google translate makes short work of these.

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Please activate the anti-ransomware protection in your Windows 10 Fall Creators Update PC. Ta

MacroRodent
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What apps are trusted?

So to work, it has to know which applications are allowed write to the trusted folders. I guess initially only the Microsoft ones, like MS Office. So a macro virus (or succesful phishing) targeting Word or Excel can bypass this easily.

By the way, this sounds like a limited version of Linux AppArmor.

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Wanna exorcise Intel's secretive hidden CPU from your hardware? Meet Purism's laptops

MacroRodent
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Re: Disabled? Yeah, right...

Purism seems to be doing here all they can do to disable the engine. If it gets killed very shortly after boot, it cannot get commands from evil masters. Any better ideas? Maybe using another CPU architecture would do it, but is making a high-end laptop around ARM (for example) feasible? In principle software compatibility should not be an issue (as long as you run Linux as the OS), but in practice x86 is still better supported for desktop applications, and it allows customers to boot Windows if they want.

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Japan finds long, deep tunnel on the Moon

MacroRodent
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Re: The hole truth

No, they are on the other side, See the Iron Sky (film),

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OnePlus privacy shock: So, the cool Chinese smartphones slurp an alarming amount of data

MacroRodent
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Re: And I'm still here...

... waiting for El Reg to review the new Android "Nokias" before I give up and plunge into the Android ecosystem. Is stock Android more or less slurpy than a vendor-backed version?

Seems to me if you want privacy, it is better to buy one of the old pre-Lumia Nokias...

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

MacroRodent
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Boffin

Re: Backdoors for all

Just make sure your one-time pads never fall into the wrong hands, and you never, ever re-use them... See Project Venona for one case where this went wrong. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venona_project

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MacroRodent
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Backdoors for all

if encryption is backdoored, then not just those "authorized" can open it

It is even worse, because the number of governements with access to "authorized" backdoors would be large: If U.S. succesfully demands backdooring, most other governements will follow suit. Information about the backdoors will inevitably leak. At that point we might just as well not bother with any encryption products, they would not really protect anything. People with secrets would use homebrew or "underground" code, and hide its usage with steganography.

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It's 2017... And Windows PCs can be pwned via DNS, webpages, Office docs, fonts – and some TPM keys are fscked too

MacroRodent
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Re: The NeverEnding Story Continues...

but wonder if we’ll still be patching Windows security issues in the year 802,701 A.D.?

That is one job the morlocks do. But you know the price...

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Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

MacroRodent
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Re: "no self respecting spook would be caught using Microsoft Windows to do their spying"

> For timesheets and expenses I still use the Excel spreadsheet

OK. If you prefer that, LibreOffice can do it just as well (and even save the results in an Excel-compatible file). I suppose there may be things that Excel can do and LibreOffice cannot, but adding columns of numbers is not one of them.

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MacroRodent
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Re: "no self respecting spook would be caught using Microsoft Windows to do their spying"

> management wants their time sheets, planning, expense reports etc done on time. I haven't heard of a lot of Linux versions of the products that handle that, so you'll be most likely using Windows for all that stuff.

Stuff of that nature nowadays just presents a web user interface for the users. Unless their designers are total dolts, such interfaces normally also run in the browsers available on Linux and BSD. (OK; in old organizations, such software may be old and windows-only or needing ActiveX controls (yuck!)- but if so, stepping to more modern technology has also other benefits beside making the tools Linux-friendly).

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Blade Runner 2049 review: Scott's vision versus Villeneuve's skill

MacroRodent
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Alien

Re: Arrival? good?

"Arrival" is one of the very few science fiction films that takes seriously the problems we really might face with communicating with extra-terrestrials. One could compare it to "Solaris" (the Tarkovsky version), although it is mercifully not as slow. In most other films, the aliens come speaking perfect English, or there is a magical translation computer (or babelfish).

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

MacroRodent
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Big Brother

Curiosity killed the cat

> Later today the Home Secretary is expected to announced that people who repeatedly view terrorist content online could face up to 15 years in jail.

So a journalist or researcher who follows t*ist web pages in order to understand how those movements are evolving goes to jail?

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HPE coughed up source code for Pentagon's IT defenses to ... Russia

MacroRodent
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Linux

Re: Did I understand this right?

> But then, when it comes to security, open source isn't much better.

At least open source software does not have the problem that revealing the source code can cause security compromises. Because it is revealed all the time!

This in my opinion makes it intrinsically a more secure option.

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Angst in her pants: Alleged US govt leaker Reality Winner stashed docs in her pantyhose

MacroRodent
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Re: Constant Fox news?

> All the Russians/Norks/ISIS/$other_groups_are_available have to do is influence Fox News and they're influencing the whole of the NSA.

Never mind the NSA, they would be influencing President Trump, who is widely known to get his news mainly from Fox.

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Twitter reckons Trump's Nork-baiting tweet was 'newsworthy'

MacroRodent
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Facepalm

Re: Twitter

> Now, you didn't put a joke icon on that, or a trollface, so I am going to assume that you think this is a serious potential solution.

I thought that was sufficiently outrageous and impractical idea not to be taken as anything but a joke. Obviously I was mistaken.

Just to be clear, I do not actually advocate banning any website or application globally.

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MacroRodent
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Re: Twitter

For some reason Twitter seems to be especially beloved of politicians, seriously lowering the level of political discussion. Harmful for democracy. Just ban it globally.

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Researchers promise demo of 'God-mode' pwnage of Intel mobos

MacroRodent
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Actually, it is standing on a turtle

> when Intel switched Management Engine to a modified Minix operating system, it introduced a vulnerability in an unspecified subsystem.

This is where it goes seriously pear-shaped. They are treating the ME like yet another general purpose computer, running a general-purpose OS, with general-purpose bugs... Pretty soon it will have a sub-ME of its own (it's ME's all the the way down).

Whereas it should have had a minimal OS, with minimal applications, reviewed, tested and static-analyzed to hell and back, like some space probe controller software.

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Want to keep in contact with friends and family without having to sell your personal data?

MacroRodent
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Re: Who handles the video streams and pictures, and how?

What information`? Well, the way I read the policy, they potentially can get anything the Loop shows: "We automatically log information about you and your computer. For example, when visiting our Site, we log your computer operating system type, browser type, browser language, the website you visited before browsing to our Site, pages you viewed, how long you spent on a page, access times, IP address, and information about your use of and actions on our Site." - The Loop box is of course a kind of computer.

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Red Hat pledges patent protection for 99 per cent of FOSS-ware

MacroRodent
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Re: Promise

Ah, but systemd is part of that 1% not covered - not the 99% that is. [...]

FUD. systemd is under one of the covered licenses (LGPL). The licenses are listed openly, as noted in the article, so it is very easy for anyone to check if some piece of software he is interested in is covered by the promise.

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AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

MacroRodent
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/dev/random

I guess this AI spells the end of any easy to remember password rules. It is entirely random strings from now on, kept in a password manager.

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Scientists produce a map marking water hotspots on the Moon

MacroRodent
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business case

Combine the availability of water with the availability of He3 on the Moon (it is the optimal fuel for fusion reactors, but very rare on Earth), and building a Moon base starts making a lot more sense.

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Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit

MacroRodent
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Re: People compare apples to oranges, as usual

But FFS people, think for a minute before you compare a set of $50 set of *wired, over-the-head, heavy* headphones to a $200 set of *bluetooth, over-the-ear, lightweight* headphones.

Well, my neighbourhood supermarket in Helsinki sells quite usable bluetooth, over-the-ear, lightweight headphones for about 50 euros (pretty much the same in $). These things have come down in price.

Last time I looked, 200 euros or more was required only for noise-cancelling headphones with a recognized brand like Sennheiser.

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Scientists, free software bods still worried about EU copyright proposals

MacroRodent
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Unhappy

Oh not again

As crazy as the idea of forcing A/D converters to block audio that has been watermarked, in order to close the "analog hole" of copy protection... pushed in the US a few years ago by some politicians firmly in the pay of entertainment industry (never mind the crippling effect this would have on the electronics industry). Fortunately that died. Some such interests are now hard at work, lobbying our dear neighbours south of the Gulf of Finland.

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Close Encounters of the Kuiper Belt kind: New Horizons to come within just 3,500km of MU69

MacroRodent
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Re: It is a long way away from the sun

Besides, the cameras aboard the New Horizons have been designed for dim lighting. As someone who started taking photos when film ruled, I am often amazed by the sensitivity of even cheap consumer digital cameras. Back in the film days, you really had to use flash or a special bright "photoflood" lamp, if you wanted sharp pictures indoors. You could use extra sensitive films (especially towards the end of the film era), but the result with them was grainy and even with them, you could rarely use faster shutter speeds than 1/30s, which is barely short enough for a hand-held camera.

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Must go faster, must go faster! Oracle lobs Java EE into GitHub, vows rapid Java SE releases

MacroRodent
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Re: Goodbye Java

Another viewpoint:

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-death-of-ruby-developers-should-learn-these-languages-instead/

"The evidence is in the jobs: Java, JavaScript, .Net, HTML, and Python topped the list of languages found most often in tech job postings in the past year, according to Indeed, while Ruby came in far down the list, at No. 9. "

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

MacroRodent
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Re: cannot make very nice shading with low-resolution 2-colour or 8-colour

Seems I misremembered the number of colours on CGA. Maybe because I never personally owned one. I had a Hercules clone on my first PC (a Bondwell PC/XT clone), and did sometimes use Windows 2 on it. Hercules graphics was 720x350 pixels, way better than CGA and even bit more than EGA horizontally, but of course allowed only black and the slow, green phosphorus of the MDA monitor.

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MacroRodent
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"Historically"

> Historically, navigation controls such as buttons were shaded,

Now I feel old...

Historically, the first UI:s as in the original Machintosh and Windows versions were flat. Although this was mainly because of technical limitations - cannot make very nice shading with low-resolution 2-colour or 8-colour (all of them garish) displays.

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Linus Torvalds passed a kidney stone and then squeezed out Linux 4.13

MacroRodent
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Boffin

Not from Ubuntu

> the mainlining of Ubuntu's AppArmor security code that ties apps to a pre-defined and limited set of resources

Earlier I though it was from SUSE, but trying to confirm that from Wikipedia, I learned it was created by Immunix Linux, a security oriented distribution later acquired by Novell.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppArmor and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunix

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SanDisk's little microSD card sucks up 400GB

MacroRodent
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Re: It's how big?

> There may be FAT issues with something that size.

Havent' all very large cards been using exFAT for a while now (despite the name, a very different and more capable file system).

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DJI strips out code badness, reveals some GPL odds 'n sods

MacroRodent
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GPL

> users of GPL-licensed code should, in theory, make source code available for GPL-licensed software that is released to the public.

Not just in theory. If you do not follow the license terms, you can be sued by the author of the code. The GPL is just as much a license as a Microsoft EULA, for example. Perhaps some copyright owner had contacted DJI.

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China to identify commentards with real‑name policy

MacroRodent
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Re: We will all get there. Eventually

> Nobody outside of the US collected anything until *much* later.

Hah! Back in the 1990's, I recall finding all kinds of site log files carelessly exposed to the world, when looking with AltaVista for the naively branded browser identification string of the company where I worked at the time. Maybe the spooks did not collect data, but they did not need to... it was there for the taking.

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MacroRodent
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Re: We will all get there. Eventually

> The anonymity of the early Internet

That did not really exist even back then. Someone with enough motivation and resources could unmask you. May even have been easier in the early days, when "security" (what little there was) was sloppier than now. For example, discussion sites rarely used SSL, and fixed IP:s were more common.

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German court reveals reason for Europe-wide patent system freeze

MacroRodent
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Re: A slight reversal then

Yes, Germany looks like an extremely rare example of learning from history.

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AI quickly cooks malware that AV software can't spot

MacroRodent
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"I felt like a punk ..."

Attributing the quote would be good form. Looks like that came from William Gibson's "Hackers".

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

MacroRodent
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Wading in late

Given the Missy/Master gender discussions in "The Doctor Falls", this should really have not surprised anyone. The interplay of the two incarnations of the master was really the most delicious acting I have ever seen in Dr Who.

I got into Dr Who a few years ago, at the tender age of about 52 (my Missy found some disks for our son to watch, and we were all hooked- in Finland, the Doctor was not on TV when I was a child). Probably a heretical opinion here, but I find the "new" episodes better than the classic ones, which frankly are quite dated, and not just because of their cardboard sets and primitive special effects. The acting is usually better in the new ones, which makes the totally implausible stories fly.

Eagerly looking forward to seeing where the thirteenth Doctor takes us.

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MacroRodent
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Im just waiting for the Doctor to bump in to the wife (Riversnog)

Obviously this turn of events was already in River Song's notebook.

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G20 calls for 'lawful and non-arbitrary access to available information' to fight terror

MacroRodent
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...surely if my sister Alice writes and encrypts a letter

That is precisely how clandestine communications were conducted before the internet. Various embellishments were also widely known and used, like photographically shrinking the message onto a tiny piece of film, and putting it under the stamp. Of course, counter-intelligence agents learned to look for these tricks.

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

MacroRodent
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Re: Modified distro

Shoestring? I thought Linux was free?

It is. But enterprise distributions require a subscription for support and updates. CentOS, which is a recompiled RHEL, gives you the updates for free, like most non-enterprise distributions.

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MacroRodent
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Re: The city of Munich tried this

I'm in Munich next week - shall I ask them over a beer?

Please do, and tell us what is going on there!

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MacroRodent
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Linux

Re: Modified distro

Just use a "standard" deployment of LTS with specific packages,

Exactly! Unless your needs are very special, and you have immense technical talent at your disposal, do not even think about a making custom distro, or even basing your work on some less-known existing distro. Let Red Hat, Ubuntu or Suse deal with the base OS. (If on shoestring, just use CentOS. You essentially get the reliability and utterlly boring predictability of Red Hat Enterprise for free...).

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