* Posts by BillG

1226 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

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Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined

BillG
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Megaphone

@Eddy Ilto wrote: Given the Super Bowl is this Sunday, what do you think will dominate the coming news cycle

You don't think politics is a sport? Aren't there people that root for their political party the same way others root for their team?

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Eggheads: Cities, don't woo rich Amazon with sweetheart HQ deals

BillG
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Headmaster

Re: It's the jobs

Well, if the new headquarters are in Dallas or Austin Texas, they won't have to give any tax cuts because taxes are already so damn low here (property taxes and bond issues pay for almost everything).

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Acronis: Ransomware protection! Get yer free ransomware protection!

BillG
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WTF?

Privacy?

Privacy Skeptic Alert: If I read this right, all my data is sent to Acronis's Cloud AI for analysis? And I need to trust Acronis to analyze my data, but not read it?

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Ex-staffer sues UK's DWP, claims superior blabbed confidential medical info

BillG
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Joke

Re: rigorous process

"rigorous process" = "two men named Vito."

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SHL just got real-mode: US lawmakers demand answers on Meltdown, Spectre handling from Intel, Microsoft and pals

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Cloud Sales Up

In addition to our recent meetings with legislative staff members, we have been discussing with the Committee an in-person briefing, and we look forward to that meeting... and we will bring our checkbooks to support their re-election campaigns."

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Google can't innovate anymore, exiting programmer laments

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: Well...

He explains this by arguing that Google, having become successful, has become focused on protecting its business rather than pushing boundaries. He contends the company is mired in politics and is arrogant.

The first sentence leads to the second, which leads to burning money. See Xerox, Kodak, Motorola Semiconductor, Compaq, etc.

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Hospital injects $60,000 into crims' coffers to cure malware infection

BillG
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Facepalm

Remote Desktop Protocol

This doesn’t appear to be a data heist. The hospital claimed no digital patient records were taken from its computers, just made inaccessible.

Oh, so these were honest criminals?

I'm sorry but a company that is so careless as to allow themselves to be hacked via Remote Desktop Protocol should not be taken at their word.

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Emergency Systems Going Off in Hawaii & Japan - Hacks?

BillG
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Megaphone

Emergency Systems Going Off in Hawaii & Japan - Hacks?

This happened just last year:

Radio hackers set off Dallas emergency sirens at midnight as a prank

So Hawaii's EMS goes off, setting off the horns and sending EMS text alerts scaring people about a "ballistic missile":

"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL."

Days later, a similar incident in Japan. “North Korea appears to have launched a missile...The government urges people to take shelter inside buildings or underground.”

Here's what bothers me: I've worked with local governments before and language is kept to 6th grade level. I'm skeptical that the word "ballistic" would be used as not everyone knows the definition of that word. Sure, us techies know what it is.

It took a long time - 38 minutes - for Hawaii officials to retract the alert. You'd think if someone hit the wrong switch they'd correct it immediately.

This looks like two hacks to me.

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UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

BillG
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Devil

Re: I'm failing to see how this is Just Eat's fault

@Loyal Commenter wrote:

Surely, JE are the 'data controller' in this instance. It is therefore their legal duty to ensure the data they have received from you (your phone number in this case) is used only for the purpose you have consented to, and deleted afterwards.

You are forgetting:

"Once you have their data, never give it back".

- Google's First Law of Acquisition

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'Mummy, what's felching?' Tot gets smut served by Android app

BillG
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Thumb Up

Re: And still...

That's why my Android is rooted and has a firewall. For the past three years I rarely, if ever, install a new app. My only approved game is chess.

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Uncle Sam's treatment of Huawei is world-class hypocrisy – consumers will pay the price

BillG
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Holmes

Re: Facesaving indeed

And secondly, defining what is a "Chinese" chip and what is an "American" chip is increasingly difficult.

No, it's not. The owner of the chip is the one responsible for designing the chip's IP and test vectors. Designing a simple digital chip takes months. Designing or even modifying a processor core takes years, developing and running the test vectors alone can take almost a year.

If you designed the chip, then your test vectors will run and pass on those that survive the yield. If they all fail, it's not your chip.

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Leaky credit report biz face massive fines if US senators get their way

BillG
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Mushroom

Re: No chance

Remember this from July 2017?

Democrats (still a thing, apparently) are super unhappy about AT&T's Time-Warner merger ("the party says it stands in opposition to this and other mergers that will reduce competition among cable providers")

Oh, No! A very strongly worded position from the Dems! But a few months and a few $$$ thrown at Dem lobbyists later and there is silence and inaction on the part of the Dems. The Dems investigations into Twitter and Facebook fared the same.

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Amazon coughs up record amount of info to subpoena-happy US government

BillG
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I used to see lots of SQL injection attacks and Wordpress directory attacks coming from AWS.

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Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

BillG
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Mushroom

Was Intel Aware?

Intel is in denial. It insisted the vulnerabilities identified do not reflect flaws in its chips.

Having worked with Intel two years ago on one of their new processors, I can tell you that the company is no longer run by engineers, it's run entirely by lawyers. Engineering, public relations, and marketing are all frustrated by the handcuffs Intel's legal department has placed on them.

Thinking back on my experiences, I'm going to guess - and it's a GUESS - that a select few at Intel knew about Meltdown and SPECTRE as far back as 2015, and has been bracing for this inevitable exposure.

I'm a fan - a HUGE fan - of Intel. Despite that, I'm doubtful Intel is going to survive this. My guess is it's going to weaken them so badly that someone is going to buy them out.

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The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

BillG
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Boffin

Re: I call it Mechanic Effect

The Mechanic Effect. Ah, yes. As in "that car stops making that noise when I bring it to the shop".

Another is that eerie moment we all like when the car somehow senses the warranty just expired.. and you all know what happens next.

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Meet R2-DILDO: 'Star Wars' sex toys? This is where the fun begins

BillG
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Devil

Re: Calls in to question all sorts of quotes from the films, doesn't it?

"Get in there you big furry oaf. I don't care what you smell"

"You're got something jammed in here real good"

"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid"

"Control! Control! You must learn control!"

And obviously: "Look at the size of that thing!"

"...don't get cocky!"

"Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!"

"Aren't you a little short for a Storm Trooper?"

"Put that thing away before you get us all killed."

"Luke, at that speed do you think you'll be able to pull out in time?"

" I can see the tower, but I can't see the exhaust port"

"You're all clear, kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home!"

"Possible he came in through the south entrance."

"Hurry up, golden-rod..."

"I must've hit it pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh, kid?"

"I thought that hairy beast would be the end of me."

"Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?"

"Rise, my friend."

"Open the back door!"

"Hey, point that thing somewhere else!"

"I want you to take her. I mean it, take her!"

"Get clear Wedge, you can't do any more good back there!"

I didn't realize there were so many double-entendres in Star Wars. Disney does the same thing.

Quoted them so I can easily find them for reference.

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When neural nets do carols: 'Santa baby bore sweet Jesus Christ. Fa la la la la la, la la la la'

BillG
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Happy

Re: 12 Days of Regmas

Should read "The 12 Days of Rebma".

(All roads lead to Amber).

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ALPHABET TOTALLY LOSES ITS SCHMIDT: Exec chairman Eric quits

BillG
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Coat

Re: ALPHABET TOTALLY LOSES ITS SCHMIDT

"The Schmidt has hit the fan?"

I'll get my coat...

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BillG
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Mushroom

Usually, when someone steps down like this, there is a major scandal on the horizon.

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Mozilla's creepy Mr Robot stunt in Firefox flops in touching tribute to TV show's 2nd season

BillG
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WTF?

WTF?

What a complete and total lack of common sense.

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Republican tax bill ready to rescue hard-up tech giants, struggling rich

BillG
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Angel

Math

I did the math, using the just the straight tax tables, for the average techie making $100K filing single, taxes drop from the present $21,036.75 to $13,979 annually.

Personally I don't give a damn what the "rich" do with their money. Call me selfish, but I care about MY money and I taking care of MY family.

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Hacks, bribes and bugs: Uber accused of illegal snooping on rivals

BillG
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Angel

And Now For Something Completely Different

I wonder what would have happened if Uber had put all this time, effort, and money into providing a quality service that everyone liked?

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Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Hah

Some of these fake news websites are one-man operations, making boatloads of money in advertising. I always wondered if that is strictly legal.

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Italy leans on Amazon to retrieve €100m in unpaid tax

BillG
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Joke

Made Them An Offer

"Nice website you've got there. Shame if something were to happen to it."

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Murdoch's Fox empire is set to become a literal Mickey Mouse outfit

BillG
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Mushroom

The New Star Trek

All I care about is, Disney better not screw with The Orville.

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Hey, we've toned down the 'destroying society' shtick, Facebook insists

BillG
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Mushroom

Re: Sorry, this is just PR Speak.

"The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation...

Somebody finally gets it - this is totally correct.

As someone who is deep inside psychological marketing, it's easy to see that getting followers, and getting likes, creates dopamine (and PLEASURE) in the brain. This basic science has tons of recent research to back it up.

The way you get followers and likes? Well, the easy way is just telling people what they want to hear.

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Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: let me guess

An Engineer is someone with a 4-year degree in Engineering, a B.S. or B.E.

A Professional Engineer is someone who is certified by a state's licensing board for that.

End of Story.

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Quentin Tarantino in talks to make Star Trek movie

BillG
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Thumb Up

Respect

Tarantino has a respect for classic TV. Jokes aside, I can actually see him doing justice to Star Trek and honoring TOS.

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Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords

BillG
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Facepalm

Attempting to scare people by telling them their password choices are stupid or easily guessable is counterproductive: because it serves only to reassure them that they are just like everyone else.

According to Wikileaks, Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s password was "password".

What makes this even funnier is that his password as initially "p@ssw0rd", and he changed it to make it easier.

I think more along the lines of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

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Twitter's blue tick rule changes may lower the sueball barrier

BillG
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WTF?

Blue Tick

Wait, if I think I'm following someone that is a public figure and they post something that is racist/objectionable/whatever, I really want to know that this is that person posting the objectionable material and not someone posing as them.

Isn't that reasonable?

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Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

BillG
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Megaphone

Lashing Out

@Sil wrote: A project the size of Linux does need a persistent and strict leader.

However, lashing out at people with such virulence is not productive,...

I agree with you in principle. But in practice it can get utterly frustrating just how quietly PERSISTENT stupid can be. For the stupid persistent, they know from experience that if they just keep asking over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again sooner or later someone will give in. and they know this because it works.

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Fake news ‘as a service’ booming among cybercrooks

BillG
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Flame

Re: "beyond geopolitical to financial interests"

Mnot Paranoid wrote: "Money makes the world go 'round" is rather an old saying.

"Money makes the world go 'round, but revenge is the axis upon which it spins"

- Charles Emerson Winchester

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BillG
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Headmaster

Re: "beyond geopolitical to financial interests"

It's my understanding that the main purpose of fake news is to manipulate stocks. It started with the penny stock spam "SHT stock is going to expl;ode! By it now". Because legit brokers knew that there were fools that would believe this and buy the stock, it worked.

Now you have news websites that will promote, or tear down, energy companies, unicorn stocks, etc. This is the massive 100 million kilowatt engine that drives fake news.

In a final twist of irony, fake news begats it's own fake news. As in, we are told fake news is about politics, so we don't look at fake news' main focus of manipulating financial markets.

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US authorities swallow security-free script for pill that knows when you're off your meds

BillG
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WTF?

Insurance

I'm familiar with the development of this system. There is also another, less intrusive system that is a smart pill bottle cap that logs when the pill bottle cap is removed and replaced.

No one would be surprised to find out that the pill bottle cover is globally funded by insurance companies and I suspect the system described in this article is, too. If you don't take your medicine, guess what? That's right, they raise your health insurance rates! Brought to you by the same people that want to monitor how fast you drive so they can raise your car insurance.

Isn't this too damned intrusive?

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Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy

BillG
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Angel

Re: The biggest UK hackers of the lot then?

...financiers with deep pockets were hard at work influencing the outcomes of national elections...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I'm shocked, shocked, that gambling is going on in this establishment!!!

This kind of crap has being going on since the Romans. Investigations are always hypocritical. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, it's only illegal when spoken of in the third person, as in "their corruption". It's only when it's spoken of in the first person as in "our corruption" that these activities are legal.

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'Qualcomm, we will buy you... for... one HUNDRED... BILLION DOLLARS' – Broadcom

BillG
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FAIL

Re: NXP

NXP's purchase of Freescale resulted in hundreds of layoffs, all done very quietly. Right now, in the semiconductor industry, there are more semiconductor pros out of work than there are with work. I watched as friends were laid off, only to be replaced months later by cheap H1B visa applicants for HALF what they were being paid (yes- HALF!!!).

This massive merger would not only stifle competition, it would be an economic hazard. I see thousands losing their jobs.

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Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Fake news

If a single Twitter employee, just one, can delete the account of a public figure with 41M followers with no checks and balances...

Someone like Trump has the visibility to get his account restored. What about a Twitter employee that deletes your account because he doesn't like your position on Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

Seems like something at Twitter is clearly broken and needs to be fixed.

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Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

BillG
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WTF?

Hacking the Law

Quoting myself, Once certain people learn how autonomous vehicles operate there will be ways to game them

I was just thinking, how are autonomous vehicles programmed to handle tailgating?

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BillG
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Stop

Surely the manufacturer is at fault if its 'perfect' creation fails to spot a speed sign.

To me this isn't about a speed sign, it's about a speed trap.

Once certain people learn how autonomous vehicles operate there will be ways to game them, like dropping the speed limit so fast that the vehicle can't safely slow in time. Sure, dramatic speed drops are illegal, but if the fine for an autonomous vehicle is autonomously paid, it unfortunately opens up a whole new revenue stream for shady law enforcement.

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: Possible Solution

I'm not familiar with the Nissan Juke, so excuse me for asking but...

Is it possible to manually lock the doors, using the lock switch on the inside of the door?

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Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Start menu

Who runs your Windows 10 installation, you the user, or Microsoft?

Windows XP is an Operating System. The user commands, the OS obeys. This behavior is exactly what we all want from an OS.

But since then, with each new version of Windows, Microsoft has seized more and more control away from us users. "Windows 10 as a service" is a scary phrase used to explain the involuntary lack of control Microsoft has gleefully taken away from us. If you have Windows 10, unfortunately your computer does not belong to you anymore.

Microsoft's cold new corporate motto should be "Resistance is Futile".

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Huge power imbalance between firms and users whose info they grab

BillG
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Devil

Re: This has always been the case in America...

"Once you have their data, never give it back."

- Google's First Rule of Acquisition

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Gartner says back-to-school PC sales failed. IDC says they worked

BillG
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Alert

Re: Plus

I would quite like a small size laptop (that I could dual boot with Win (work rekated) & a Unix (non work)) that I could use commuting on public transport & easily chuck in rucksack afterwards (net book size)

14-inch laptops have screens that are too small for more than one working window, and 15.6-inches is way too damn wide for my desk and briefcase.

A 15-inch work laptop - not 15.6", not 15.4" - a 15-inch laptop is the sweet spot.

Personally, I've never been a fan of Gartner as I've found their stats differ too much from experience. IDC is usually closer than most.

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

BillG
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Holmes

Re: Wow!

We do not share any analytics data with outside parties.

Hmmm... does the Chinese government count as an outside party?

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Avast urges devs to secure toolchains after hacked build box led to CCleaner disaster

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: CC Cleaner is an enterprise tool?

What Avast can now say is that the hacker gang infiltrated Piriform’s build server in April.

Sorry, this makes no sense to me.

Any software, any document, any application that I am intimately involved in creating and/or approving, I would certainly notice a dramatic change in file size. If I am one of 30 CCleaner developers I would be alarmed if my application went from 6MB to 9.5MB, and if I didn't notice somebody else would.

Occam's Razor: Imagine you work for a company like Avast and you have samples of everyone's malware. You need to infect some machines for whatever purposes. You know it will be eventually discovered, that's inevitable. It would be simple to just take samples of Chinese malware and use it for your own purposes. Do it after it's all approved.

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

BillG
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Facepalm

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

Social media giants Twitter and Facebook remain at the end of severe criticism from US Congress until Twitter and Facebook shower Congress with millions of dollars in "donations".

Fixed it for ya

<cynic>You have to look at the financial cause/effect in articles like this. For example: how many people noticed that when Obama threatened stricter gun control laws, immediately after profits for gun companies soared as sales when through the roof? Don't you think Obama knew that would happen? Was there a financial arrangement beforehand? Same thing here.</cynic>

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Open World? More like closed world: Women sue Oracle for 'paying them less' than blokes

BillG
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Paris Hilton

Re: Note to plaintiffs

...employed by the database giant as project lead, principal application engineer, and application engineer, respectively. In those roles, the women say they were paid less than their male counterparts.

People at these levels don't have access to salary information. I'm wondering, how do they know they were paid less than their male peers?

I took a look at the PDF filing and the claims are based "on information and belief", which is legalize for "we have no proof, but we think we're right anyway".

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US yanks staff from Cuban embassy over sonic death ray fears

BillG
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Pirate

Re: I'd bet my monies on...

Very low frequencies can have uncomfortable effects on the human body.

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Twitter: We also made a shedload of cash from Russia's trolling during US White House race

BillG
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Headmaster

Re: Ads are just the tip of the iceberg

Twitter: We also made a shedload of cash from Russia's trolling during US White House race

If I understand correctly, a shedload is more than a shitload, but less than a boatload?

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