* Posts by JimmyPage

2332 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

$30 million below Parity: Ethereum wallet bug fingered in mass heist

JimmyPage
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Re: Tim Worstall, late of this parish

Some of the best articles in El Reg !

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Feature snatcher Microsoft tweaks OneDrive

JimmyPage
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Alternatively

just fill up OneDrive with crap ...

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Reborn Nokia phones biz loses its head

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Re: Oh for those days when you didn't have to continuously charge your cell phone

As a tech watcher, I'm flagging battery life as the Next Big Thing.

Smartphone tech is pretty much stalled (I've had mine for 18 months with no pressure to change).

Smartphone *application* is increasing daily.

The more we find we can do with our smartphones, the less we can afford to have them run out of charge.

I am still tipping the idea of someone offering a matched set of phones (think about a matched set of pistols) where you simply take the "hot" one out of the charger while the other charges, but they're mirrored, so no downtime.

The other push I am calling is accessibility. Those ageing techheads are still going to want to use their iShiny well into their 60s, 70s and beyond.

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Hard to believe

that as little as 10 years ago, Nokia were *the* mobile phone company of the world.

Everything else was an also-ran ... Moto(rola), Sony, Samsung. HTC weren't even in the top 10.

There has to be a documentary somewhere about what happened.

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Yeah, WannaCry hit Windows, but what about the WannaCry of apps?

JimmyPage
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Megaphone

Reaping what you (don't) sow.

The problems associated with downtime due to rebooting (and in this day and age only kernel updates should need a reboot) could be offset by a decent business continuity framework with dual servers.

Upgrade one while the other carries the load, and then switch and upgrade the other.

Of course that requires a finance department that accepts the "cost" of such redundancy is the "price" of permanent uptime. Which IME, they rarely do. Although they CAN tell you - to the penny - how much it's costing the firm when 1,000 employees can't do their job because downtime is needed to patch a server.

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CoinDash crowdfunding hack further dents trust in crypto-trading world

JimmyPage
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Facepalm

victims ... will be compensated in CoinDash tokens

er ?

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John McAfee plans to destroy Google. Details? Ummm...

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

Re: Was Google imagined by A.C.C.?

er, "Foundation" was Isaac Asimov (I.A.)

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

JimmyPage
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Stop

Oh and female Timelords ...

Romana, anyone ?

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JimmyPage
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WTF?

Er ... Dr. Who canon ?????

I know it's been pissed over from a great height since the "reboot", but surely every 70s schoolkid knew the Dr. only had a maximum of 12 possible incarnations ?

Or did Russell T. Shitforbrains "just decide" it was too inconvenient one day ? Like he suddenly decided the TARDIS was like any other spaceship you can see flying past, rather than dematerialising and materialising ?

When my (then) 15 year old son gave up watching Dr. Who because "it's a load of pants, Dad", I got the hint.

Shame, as there were some genuinely great stories pre-Capaldi.

Of course the most complete Dr. Who story ever was "Logopolis" ....

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UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

Conjours up the image ...

of "Approved by HMG" on jazz mags and sites. A picture of Theresa May smiling beautifically.

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Man facing $17.5m HPE fraud case has contempt sentence cut by Court of Appeal

JimmyPage
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Alert

Thanks to a "procedural defect" in the wording of the search order

Hmmmm

generally UK courts (or judges are pretty relaxed about faults in the prosecution evidence. Certainly illegally obtained evidence is quite often used in prosecutions with nary a mention.

Which makes me wonder who knows who in this particular case ?

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Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

JimmyPage
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Re: In short, Bitcoin is structurally incapable of operating as a mainstream currency.

^The maximum possible number of Bitcoins is (iirc) 21 million - of which about half have been mined^

Which mirrors real world currencies based on *something*. There's only so much Gold/Silver/Diamonds/Oil/Whatever on planet Earth.

Yes, you can disconnect a currency from such shibboleths. But then everybody has to have faith in it's worth, which is a bit too close to religion for my liking.

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Ofcom creates watchdog specifically to make sure Openreach is behaving

JimmyPage
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FAIL

If the government were serious ...

then all new build houses since (say) 2000 would have been FTTD as part of planning regulations.

What's that ? They weren't ?

I guess government isn't serious then. Certainly not worth listening to them when you can see the truth for yourself.

(And this is one area where you *need* state intervention).

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Bupa: Rogue staffer stole health insurance holders' personal deets

JimmyPage
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Coat

Seems like BUPA wanted to outdo the NHS

at everything.

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Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Is it my age ?

First off, the example shown is *not* "comparing a variable with itself", it's returning the result of comparing a variable with itself.

Second off, that's not as crazy as it seems ... I have memories of such tricks being used to stand in for "return 1;" or "return true;" - particularly if you want to obfuscate assembler.

Thirdly (although it is BAAAAAD) practice, bear in mind that in some situations/languages, referencing a variable can actually run code (which could change the value of something somewhere).

All of that said, part of writing good code is it should make intuitive sense, which doesn't really apply in those 3 situations

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

JimmyPage
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WTF?

“legitimate interest”

Am I alone in finding this a tad worrying ?

“namely correcting what it deemed to be misleading news reports that were potentially damaging to its reputation and commercial interests”.

So it's OK to piss all over data protection to rebut a bad review ?

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Better mobe coverage needed for connected cars, says firm flogging networking gear

JimmyPage
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Stop

STOP this nonsense forthwith ...

I don't want a connected car in the same way I don't want a "Smart" TV.

TV: I want something that does a fantastic job of displaying the input *I* choose to send *how I wish*. No need for any "apps" or "features" to become outdated, no longer supported, or just ignored. (See also "Mobile phone updates").

Car: I want something which does a fantastic job of letting me drive somewhere. Anything else I WILL PROVIDE, by way of a tablet, mobile, or dedicated sat nav.

My first car with such gubbins (a Citroen) is going to be my last. FFS the sat nav alone is pants enough to send the whole thing back.

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Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

JimmyPage
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Stop

Elephant in the room ...

if one judge has be *caught* doing it, there stands a good chance there are a greater number who haven't been caught yet. (The iceberg view)

This leads on to the much more worrying suggestion that some judges might be communicating behind the court (or more precisely one party in the court)s back.

Or don't we care about justice being seen to be done anymore ?

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The AA's copped to credit data blurt, but what about car-crash incident response?

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Pages rule of life ...

*Anybody* can fuck up.

So it's not the "fucking up" which defines an organisation, it's how they handle it subsequently.

Which is why I have been happy to return to companies that have handled their fuck ups properly.

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Meanwhile ...

how do you deal with terrorists who hang a blanket out of a window within view of a webcam ?

The "encryption" being: "When you see a red towel from that balcony, it's game on".

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Twitter will no longer snaffle data allowances on Virgin Mobile

JimmyPage
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Stop

But how many people *really* benefit ?????

Sorry to be cynical, but I'd guess >90% of peoples twittering is done when they are on WiFi.

So this (very newshumgry, if not newsworthy) story is of marginal benefit.

In other news, Vehicle Excise Duty on TR6s to be zero-rated.

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Talk about a hit and run: AA finally comes clean on security breakdown

JimmyPage
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FAIL

GDPR (as of May 2018)

would see these clowns having to recompense each affected customer.

Maybe *then* we'll see some serious data protection.

Incidentally, I had to sign up to HMRC online yesterday. I was impressed. True 2FA, via 2 channels - text or phone call. The only criticism I have is the "3rd way" to get 2FA was "to install the HMRC app".

I can't begin to describe how fucking sick and fucking tired I am of "just install our app" - especially when I have 3 2FA code generating apps on my phone already.

Surely HMRC could have used Google Authenticator ?

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PCs will get pricier and you're gonna like it, say Gartner market shamans

JimmyPage
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Re: I call bollocks ...

Bad form to reply to oneself, however ...

Just a quick census of chez Page, and no machine is more recent than 5 years old. My media "server" is 10 years old, and the desktop MrsPage used to use (until she got an iPad - there's a clue there) is 8 years old.

Both running Linux, as is this 6-year old laptop.

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JimmyPage
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WTF?

I call bollocks ...

When are these "PC sales will recover" stories going to end. They're starting to sound like the end-of-the-world stories we hear every so often.

PCs are a mature market. Everyone who needs one has one. And younger generations don't need at all.

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Boffins' five eyes surprise: Bees correct colour for ambient light

JimmyPage
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Re: Spidey-senses

Also don't some spiders have a neat trick where they wobble their low-res eyes around, and use the light/dark/light transitions thus caused to build up a much higher resolution image than a crude 9x9 grid would normally give you ?

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

JimmyPage
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Facepalm

And these are the guys negotiating Brexit ?

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Re: Isn't there a risk ...

Actually the bigger risk to to someday discover/realise that there is no set value for any "constant", and they can vary depending where you are in the Universe ... (or even "which" Universe) ....

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Happy 4th of July: Norks tests another missile

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

@ LedSwinger

Evidence around the world indicates that you can't keep a lid on the democratic aspirations of an increasingly wealthy population in the longer term.

You can.

It's called "war". --->

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GitHub flub spaffs 8Tracks database, 18 million accounts leaked

JimmyPage
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FAIL

My theory is the developer(s) in question didn't really grasp how GitHub works, and managed to include the database in the files uploaded.

Which suggests they were developing against an unscrambled copy of a live database.

FFS, 15 years ago, it was compulsory to scramble data when taking a cut of live for dev or test. Of course all that (highly paid) experience has been let go, so we have kids in charge.

I really fear for the *next* 15 years.

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Virgin Media to close flagship Oxford St store in August

JimmyPage
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Re: still sold records and CDs.

and much more. Sheet music, music bios and books, and imported magazines like (cough) "High Times" and the US version of Rolling Stone.

In fact, for a brief moment, I had better access to US mags than my Orange County penfriend :)

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Big question: Who gets the blame if a cyborg drops a kid on its head?

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Re: easily achievable by computers

Bollocks. We haven't even achieved the level of language skills needed, let alone the fine grasp on semantics that everyday speech throws up.

That's "a few years off".

Still.

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JimmyPage
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Stop

We're overthinking it folks ....

There is a reason Turing is considered a genius. He gave us *all* the tools we need to deal with AI. From self driving cars to robotic nannies.

The Turning test.

If the robot (or car or whatever) can pass whatever exams, and tests are required for a *human* to achieve licensing/certification - then it's passed.

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Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance

JimmyPage
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Re: vindictive, corrupt, spiteful people in positions of authority

There are multiple stories of "lowly" police officers misusing the Police database to harass, and in cases intimidate and falsely prosecute personal vendettas.

Wait till their bosses get hold of that data.

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UK.gov leaves data dashboard users' details on publicly accessible site

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Once again, we need a standard ...

for an industry which prides itself on a selection of standards to fit the bill (literally) the continuing lack of a simple RFC on password construction baffles me.

We have one for valid email addresses (which I had to read twice to discover that "'" [apostrophe] *is* a valid character. Despite a lot of home-brewed code thinking it isn't).

So why not one for password ? Ideally permitted characters, minimum/maximum length, plus basic entropy rules.

That said, having done my share of working on RFCs in the 80s, I can understand the lack of enthusiasm.

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Five-eyes nations want comms providers to bust crypto for them

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

I can start to see what's going to happen ...

Imagine the T&Cs of your ISP contract have a clause along the lines of:

...1) You shall not permit any communication using the service provided which is encrypted beyond the ability of the Service Provider to decrypt

...2) In order to ensure compliance with (...1) the Service Provider shall be permitted to undertake detailed inspection of all and any network traffic that enters or leaves the network at the instigation or behest of the customer

...3) Failure to adhere to these conditions may result in termination of the services provided. Additionally customers may be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Time to plug some pink noise into the internet I guess.

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

JimmyPage
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Re: English Electric Lightning

Now *there* was a plane.

one overflew a U2 at 66,000 ft

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_Lightning#Climb

would love to have seen the USAF pilots face.

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JimmyPage
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17:56 - every weekday

for years I would see the beautiful silhouette of one of the testaments to postwar European engineering, as I worked in Hounslow, under the flightpath.

Never failed to send a tingle down my spine (although that may have been the noise. You definitely heard it before you saw it).

Maybe I skim-read too quicky, but I missed the part where NASA engineers admitted that Concorde was a greater engineering challenge than the Apollo programme ?

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A minister for GDS? Don't talk digital pony

JimmyPage
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Flame

The "Yes Minister" explanation ...

fans of the ever-watchable "Yes Minister" will recall that in the first episode, the civil service were terrified that Jim Hacker - who had spent years in opposition for Agriculture - might get made minister for Agriculture where he would be able to call "bullshit" from a position of expertise.

Luckily the Cabinet Secretary advised the PM that Hackers thinking might have "got into a rut" and therefore the Agriculture appointee knew nothing about Agriculture (and as we know Hacker became SoS for Administrative Affairs).

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Met Police laggards still have 18,000 Windows XP machines in use

JimmyPage
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Stop

Back in April the London mayor set up an "online hate crime" unit at a cost of £1.7m.

or just under one thousandth of a DUP.

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Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide

JimmyPage
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Pirate

Dry run ?

The whole episode has a vague feeling of being a dry run for something much nastier.

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Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Who actually uses the router ?

I thought SOP was to disabled the POS and just use it as a modem with a real grown up router ?

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You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Re: Has no one thought of Jupiter?

Arthur C. Clarke ?

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TalkTalk customers complain of being unable to load Amazon website

JimmyPage
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Stop

Rule #1

Don't use your ISPs DNS.

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Currys PC World given a spanking for misleading laptop savings ads

JimmyPage
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Re: Morgan Computers !

...are they still going ??

I remember them from the B&W adverts in PCW circa 1987 ....

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Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?

JimmyPage
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Stop

re: it's a crime to let somebody die if you could have prevented their demise.

Not in UK law (I am aware this is a US case). You could walk past a hundred drowning people, not throw a single lifebelt - no guilt there. (It's called a "brothers keeper" law).

Several European countries do have a Good Samaritan law, making it a criminal offence not to help someone in mortal danger.

The only way it could become a criminal case in the UK is if the victim was owed a statutory duty of care by the person charged.

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Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

JimmyPage
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Stop

Did I miss a law being passed

which mandates terrorists *must* used electronic devices to communicate ?

Just wait until we discover an atrocity planned via snail mail (preferably using a foreign language in a foreign script - e.g. Farsi).

Alternatively, just set up a public streaming webcam pointing at a bit of pavement, and just walk past with the message at a set date and time ....

And there are thousands of other non-encrypted ways to communicate in secret. Starting with learning Welsh ....

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Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

JimmyPage
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WTF?

Reality Williams ??????

Is this a new trend in parents naming their offspring to be effectively "UnGoogleable" ????

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Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

JimmyPage
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Windows

New paradigm ?

Given how cloud computing can deliver a virtual desktop via RDP down an ADSL line, the only real need for local computing grunt is where latency is a problem and/or the loss of functionality due to a loss of connectivity would be problematic.

So a subset of a subset.

We *should* start to see a divergence between an OS intended for cloud-delivery, and an OS intended to manage a local machine.

Now I'm not (yet) sure what this will mean in the marketplace, but stories like this need to be read against that background.

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NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

JimmyPage
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er ... "Failsafe" ?

I have a vague memory that the concept of "Failsafe" is that a system can be put into a state which is intrinsically safe.

For example, railway signals used to be DOWN for stop. In the event of the signalling system failing, all trains would just stop at the next signal. Leaving the system in a "safe" condition.

I also believe there's no failsafe for an aircraft in motion. I.e: there is no way to set the controls to keep the aircraft permanently safe (even a car would just come to a stop when power is remove).

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Whoops! Microsoft accidentally lets out a mobile-'bricking' OS update

JimmyPage
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Stop

It's hard not to feel sorry, somewhere ...

I actually quite liked Windows Phone. But the deafening silence of apps made it pretty much a novelty in any setting.

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