* Posts by JimmyPage

2388 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

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

JimmyPage
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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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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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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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JimmyPage
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Windows

so a subset of a subset of Windows phone users ?

Both of them ?

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Google to give 6 months' warning for 2018 Chrome adblockalypse – report

JimmyPage
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Re:They could embed content server side,

They could.

But the first hint of malware, guess who will be held responsible in law ? (Hint: not the advertisers).

Would you allow your website to serve ads that you would be held responsible for ?

Private Eyes regular feature "Malgorithms" might be worth a read ....

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Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Is it keyword based ?

If so, it's shit before it's started.

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Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices

JimmyPage
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FAIL

You need a 21st century sales strategy

I was walking through Birminghams Grand Central a couple of months ago, and was collared by someone plugging the "VirtualX" store, which was reminiscent of 1980s video arcade.

First off there were no flying "apps" - it was all cars and shoot-em-up.

Fair enough, I said. So if I start on a headset I can see a *virtual* layout of Grand Central, populated with zombies and baddies*, and I can have a scream zapping them ? (I asked this as I had just watched the BBC series where they recreated a virtual Naples, Florence and Venice which looked breathtaking).

No.

There are quite a few current innovations which will need to be rediscovered by our grandchildren, as they completely sail over the heads of today.

*You fill in the joke.

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UK biz: Oh (yawn) GDPR? Was that *next* May? – survey

JimmyPage
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Re: Brexit?

And because the UK isn't member of the EU at that point, they'll have to suck it up. No way to make any changes if we don't like it.

Like every other EU regulation that will need to be complied with if the UK wants their business.

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Defend yourself against ISP tracking in an Trump-era free-for-all

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Ensure your *router* is doing your VPNing ...

that way there's less danger of forgetting when each device connects.

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BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

EFFECTED ?????

I think he meant "affected".

What the fuck is going on with the UK that the CEO of an alleged serious global company is allowed to make such a schoolboy error ????

Also, really, El Reg should have noted it as "(sic)"

It really is a bad day for the image of UK education when a French and Indian colleague can point out a Brits bad grammar .....

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WannaLaugh? Funsters port WannaCrypt to Commodore, Cisco, Nintendo and Tesla

JimmyPage
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Does anyone seriously use the in-car stuff ?

Having acquired a Citroen with "Sat Nav" and various electronic fripperies, I have realised they are utterly shit. I wouldn't bother updating them if the dealer paid me to, let alone at £249/year.

I hope all car manufacturers give up on any attempt to design car electronics, and just mould a tablet shape into the dash with appropriate power connectors, and a state of the art bluetooth connection, so the driver can choose the sat nav, entertainment system, and whatever goodies they like.

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Microsoft court victory prompts call for data-grabbing regime

JimmyPage
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RE: But what harm came from releasing pictures of bomb fragments?

We can't be sure.

But given what the experts on our side can glean from apparently nothing, it's a fair bet that a bad acting expert could ALSO glean something ??? Like a subtle change in the bomb configuration based on what was left behind after this one ???

Generally I'm anti-censorship for it's own sake. But - especially in the midst of ongoing research - the question should have been "What good came of releasing the pictures of bomb fragments ?". And if the answer is (as it is) "none", then don't do it. Err on the side of caution, not sales.

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EU pegs quota for 'homegrown' content on Netflix at 30 per cent

JimmyPage
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Re: Brazil ? Or 1960s Britain ?

Well, Telly Savalas bigging up Birmingham is certainly a little gem.

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JimmyPage
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Brazil ? Or 1960s Britain ?

Wasn't the Childrens Film Foundation part of a similar idea in Blighty: to try and generate UK content ?

Wasn't that also the reason that - up until the 1970s - almost all films had a British "travelogue" trailer (that looked like it had been shot out of the cab between the airport and the hotel) ?

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JimmyPage
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Meh

2 minds ..

on the one hand this is exactly the sort of free-market interference we expect from the French (lets not kid ourselves about this), which generally is doomed to fail.

One the other hand, it's thanks to such measures in the film world back in the 80s which led to some classic films (in French).

Of course the difference here is that initiative applied to the European side of things. Even France never tried to tell Hollywood how many films they should make.

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Windows is now built on Git, but Microsoft has found some bottlenecks

JimmyPage
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Unhappy

Re: SourceSafe

Possibly the *worst* source control package ever.

One thing which strikes me - as someone whose job has descended into asking awkward questions of the marketing brigade ...

Where is the "AI" fairy dust for source control ?

Even going back 15 years, I was looking for source control systems that understood the semantics of the source they were shepherding, and were able to think not in file terms, but module, procedure and function terms.

We need a new icon ... "the future has failed us"

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Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

JimmyPage
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re:they did a whole night about nuclear

The program about the UKs fusion (H-bomb) story was good too

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JimmyPage
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They can have my back garden

and I'll charge the neighbours for keeping their lights on ...

AtomKraft ? Ja bitte !!

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Google now mingles everything you've bought with everywhere you've been

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

Paying by cash ...

until the government (under the guise of "anti terror") starts recording note serial numbers at the POS terminal ...

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IT firms guilty of blasting customers with soul-numbing canned music

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Re: LiveChat with support staff

my arse.

What you actually get, is a connection to a keyword-bot with the intelligence of a flea.

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JimmyPage
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er - call holding in *2017*

given the technology to implement a call-back-on-busy system must be ... oooo 20 years old what kind of neolithic outfits are requiring their customers to hold ?

Antler pick manufacturers.

The older I get, the less time I have for this shit. What the fuck was the point of getting excited about the future in the 1970s if this is what it is now ?

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Chinese e-tailer beats Amazon to the skies with one-ton delivery drones

JimmyPage
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Coat

I think Noel Coward had the answer ...

"very big, China"

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LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

JimmyPage
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Stop

A lot of overthinking here ...

I would bet it's a given that no one here will be affected by any sort of "hack" - almost by definition El Reggers are the 5%.

It will be the 95% who haven't a clue that will fall victim, because not only are criminals stupid, but they are lazy and stupid.

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JimmyPage
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Once again: WE NEED A STANDARD !!!!

Before arsing about with AMP or HTML6 or whatever nonsense the marketing guys want, for the love of God can we not have an RFC or W3C devised standard on password generation, usage and storage ? It might address some of the problems highlighted above this comment ?

1) Password length

2) Allowed characters

3) Encrypted storage

4) Lost password reset (i.e. no emailing password in plaintext !!!!!)

etc etc

all of which should have been address BEFORE we started worrying about rounded edges in CSS.

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'Tabby's Star' intrigues astro-boffins with brief 'dimming event'

JimmyPage
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Wow ! BBC "Horizon" managed to inform ...

in the rather OTT "Strange Signals" shown recently (did we *really* need to know the backstory about two researchers ????) Tabbys Star was mentioned, and the intriguing suggestion it's surrounded by an incomplete dyson sphere.

Incomplete ? I wonder if their funding rant out too ....

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Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'

JimmyPage
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If MS are "required" to hold the data

then will the expense come from:

a) their profits ?

b) raising prices for other customers who *haven't* gone under ?

(a) is uncapitalist, and (b) socialist (may as well be communist to some USAians).

decisions, decisions.

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Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

JimmyPage
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Facepalm

You'd think after Boaty McBoatface

people would have learned ....

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Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

JimmyPage
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Re: "But was this a story about a driving licence or visa application type copy cat site?

No ... and read the responses. These people vote - and will vote to keep their Precious First Born pure ...

My daughter wanted to get her best friend some Kylie Jenner makeup for her birthday. She googled and clicked on the first link which came up and ordered £30 worth of cosmetics (money she'd saved up from pocket money and holiday jobs). She got a confirmation number with an order number and thought all was well. Except that her order never arrived.

She showed me the website she used and it's identical to the official site apart from xl at the end of the address - it even has https at the start.

If she'd paid by credit card she would be protected but as she's too young for a credit card she used her debit card so will never see the money again.

Aibu in thinking that google should do more to protect young consumers from fraudulent sites? (my emphasis)

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/2932576-to-think-that-google-should-take-responsibility-for-scam-sites?

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Nukes tests caused space weather, say NASA boffins

JimmyPage
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Re: musicians who swear by their tube amplifiers

The Vox AC-30 is a thing of beauty ...

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The real battle of Android's future – who controls the updates

JimmyPage
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FAIL

and it's not going to get any better ...

"Android" (like Google search) is fundamentally flawed, as things stand.

Google search - whichever way you dress it up, and whatever pixie dust you sprinkle over it - is a keyword based search. Fine when looking in the first few thousand sites we had in 1998. Completely useless in 2017 - and that's before you factor in the advertising/sponsored cruft that gets returned.

"Android" is already fragmented. I have lost count of the different permutations and combinations of "settings" I have had to juggle with, as each vendor customises each iteration of their version of Android.

It might have seemed a great wheeze in 2008, but as Microsoft and Apple have shown, you really need to nail down the core of the system. I stand to be corrected, but no matter *who* you got your PC from - manufacturer or retailer, "Control Panel" was the same (obviously corporations could then apply Group Policy, but that was still onto a vanilla install).

On an aside, WTF does MrsPages Android require an internet connection to answer the voice command: "What time is it ?"

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Dell BIOS update borks PCs

JimmyPage
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WTF?

So who pays if you don't have the smarts yourself ?

I would assume most people reading this would be capable of using another source to Google to read up on how to fix it, and apply it (although I have to say I have idea how to recover a borked BIOS).

What about your man on the Clapham Omnibus who has to take a Clapham Omnibus to his local PC repairshop, and be charged by them to implement the fix ? Which could easily rack up to £100 before blinking.

This is on top of the fact that any time anyone loses on this isn't recoverable in UK law.

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Britain shouldn't turn its back on EU drone regs, warns aerospace boffin

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

2 years ?????

Er, 22 months and counting down.

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JimmyPage
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Stop

Re: ECJ/ECHR

I fear, like a lot of the public (and possibly politicians), you are confusing the European Court of Justice, with the European Court of Human Rights.

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JimmyPage
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Facepalm

Re: You know we have this thing...

Quite aside from the amusing image of a kite mark being used to market drones, there's nt much else of amusement in that statement, just a load of facepalm fuel.

A kitemark is only as good as the market that recognises it. I see no compelling commercial reasons why an organisation with 33 members that defines standards would want to waste time assessing the standards of a 34th nation just so that 34th nation can sell it's stuff into the other 33.

Much more likely is the 34th nation will be told "Here's the regs that you need to comply with to sell to us. Let us know when you've done that."

The EU won't give a flying fuck how loose or ineffective or just plain shit the regs we are happy to put up with for ourselves. But there isn't a snowballs hell in chance they would ever water down their own requirements just for "li'l old UK over there".

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16 terabytes of RAM should be enough for anyone. Wait. What?

JimmyPage
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So, still adhering to von Neuman architecture ?

It's worth noting that biology has pointedly avoided scaling everything up to be bigger, faster, and more expensive ...

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WannaCrypt outbreak contained as hunt for masterminds kicks in

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

GCHQ/NSA and decryption keys ...

Unless the people behind this hack were better than the average criminal (and I can't see any evidence of that so far) then it's more than likely they botched generating the encryption keys. Certainly enough that the massive computing power (plus special algorithms) packed by the boffins at GCHQ/NSA should be able to provide a good stab at delivering the decryption keys.

Which (in this commentards humble opinion) is *exactly* the sort of thing they should be doing. Certainly before hoovering up all our web searches.

I know they are understandably cagey about their capabilities, but is it too much to hope that in between tweets and election gaffes, the US and UK have in place a mechanism to release decryption keys without it being obvious ? Bearing in mind there's still a mystery over how the Crysis keys were leaked online.

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Have a go with this WW2 German Lorenz cipher machine – in your browser

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

Is this even legal in the UK now ?

as per title

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Behold, auto-completing Android bug reports – because you're not very thorough

JimmyPage
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Re: muddyfunster ?

I thought every fule new it was "Melonfarmer" ?

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

JimmyPage
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WTF?

WTF ..., WT actual F ?????

As the patch for this vulnerability is recent (March 14th), many enterprises have not applied it and therefore they are at risk," he added.

March 14th !!!! nearly 8 weeks ago ?!?!?!

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Sweaty fitness bands fall behind as Apple Watch outpaces sales

JimmyPage
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FAIL

I was *given* a Pebble ..

(or is it "Pebl") last year.

I was quite chuffed, as I had toyed with the idea since a couple of friends bigged wearables up.

It took 4 hours to work out that wearables are (at the moment) a geek toy, and in no way ready for the great unwashed.

The subsequent demise of Pebble, and the fact my early adopter friends remain sole adopter friends bears me out.

Consumers need to be aware that the modern age* has bought an ecosystem which can get crappy ideas to market before the sensible people can evaluate them. It reminds me of the old Irish saying "may you be in heaven before the devil knows you're dead".

*Which could be argued started with the Sinclair C5 ......

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LastPass connectivity snafu locks out Brits from password manager

JimmyPage
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FAIL

(Lastpass user here) No problem for me

But then I don't trust 100% to cloud services. I have an exported copy of my vault in an encrypted file on my carry-everywhere USB key.

You mean you didn't ?

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Crooks can nick Brits' identities just by picking up the phone and lying

JimmyPage
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Stop

I always politely hang up, then call them back from the number printed on my card

And you do call from a different phone (ideally a mobile) don't you ?

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Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

JimmyPage
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FAIL

odd diehard (such as Wiley Fox) are doing their best to update phones.

And then break them.

Last Android update (to Nougat) has borked so many of my apps it would have been quicker to buy a new phone.

Some borks were really subtle too, like the Bluetooth stack - my phone stopped pairing with my car. First I knew of it was when the phone rang

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Realistic Brits want at least 3 security steps on bank accounts

JimmyPage
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I read the article twice, but couldn't see any mention

of where the bank calls *you* and asks you to provide your details "for security" ?

I'll read more carefully later ....

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IBM: Remote working is great! ... For everyone except us

JimmyPage
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Black Helicopters

Is it just me, or is this "retro" trend appearing in workplaces ?

Homeworking being phased out in quite a few companies I know of. Never officially, but mysteriously it's homeworkers that are "redundant" and new positions don't allow for it.

It's like we are slipping into the 70s.

I wonder if there's a shadowy cabal of fuel suppliers and car manufacturers behind it - possibly aided by coffee shops ?

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Greater Manchester cops fined after victim interview vids lost in post

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

One day, a cock up like this will cost lives

when some psychopath gets the details he needs to torch a house or two.

And when (note: "when", not "if") that day comes, there will be a great wailing of "if only we'd known".

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Another AI assistant... It's getting crowded in here, isn't it, Siri?

JimmyPage
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FAIL

It doesn't matter whether you talk, type, semaphore or use Morse code ...

nothing is going to hide the increasingly obvious fact that Google (for example) is horribly broken.

Keyword matching was a pretty neat trick - in the 1980s. But with the exponential growth of "content" (I use the word in the most general sense as it's mainly marketing cruft) it's fast becoming useless.

Unless Google have a strategy to start charging for ad-free searches, they will slip into irrelevance.

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