* Posts by Phil W

919 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

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Debian bins keys assigned to arrested Russian contributor

Phil W
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Re: 'twas a bit more than organizing protests

@Pierre "if he can prove that he was not at home at the time"

"Apparently, he's clearly visible on video at a food store at the time the posting was made"

Sorry but from a technical perspective those points don't prove it wasn't him.

He could have been away from home, but connected via VPN to home (or even by TOR and exiting through his own node) and posting from a laptop or mobile device.

Video of him doing something else at the time it was posted certainly rules out him doing it at that time, but with almost any blog/social media platform there are ways to schedule posts to be made automatically at a certain time whether it be built in functionality or third party.

We're not talking a physical crime that required him to be present here, we're talking about an electronic one that could have been done from anywhere at any time.

Not that these possibilities prove he did it either of course! But if you're going to be a social/political activist aiming to piss off a government with a reputation for dirty tricks, then hosting a service such as TOR which allows illegal acts to be potentially traced back to you is probably not the brightest idea, it leaves you open to blame for the acts of idiots or even government agents out to pin things on you.

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Phil W
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"It's the same argument with stating that EU nationals can stay after we leave before we have secured the rights of people in the EU."

It is however this is politics and there's all kinds of ways and means of giving away what you're after in subtext without officially stating or agreeing to anything before you have to. The whole thing with the House of Lords recommending we guarantee EU citizens rights was quite likely just a pre-planned piece of political theater in my opinion. It was a subtle of way unofficially saying to the EU that we are very keen to do a straight trade of the continued rights of UK citizens in the EU for that of EU citizens in the UK, without having to officially state it before the negotiations.

I suspect the current Gibraltar noise is much the same, the Spanish don't even remotely expect us to change position on Gibraltar but they're making a public fuss over it now before the actual negotiations start to set the stage for something they actually want and think they can get.

The early stages of political negotiations happen as much in the media as they do in actual meetings of politicians.

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It's happening! It's happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard

Phil W
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Far out man

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Microsoft cloud TITSUP: Skype, Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Hotmail down

Phil W
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Re: Ouchie

"if you just persuaded your org to migrate"

If you did the persuading in a company large enough to have multiple people who could be titled "exec" then you deserve to be taken outside and shot anyway. Either you're in IT and have no idea what you're talking about, or you're not in IT and shouldn't be trying to persuade the execs to make major IT changes anyway.

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Airplane bomb fears spark America's laptop, tablet carry-on ban

Phil W
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Re: This could really hit Macbook Pro w/touchbar sales...

"Sounds like it's to gain access to devices to tamper/modify/image-backup laptops/computers while they aren't in your possession"

Nah, you might have a point if it weren't for the fact that US Customs have been allowed to inspect the data contents of devices for a while now, so I'm not sure this is really related to that.

To be honest I can kind of see the point in this measure, not saying I agree with it necessarily but I understand it.

Sure an iPad Air (and phones hence why they're allowed) may not have a lot of space inside to be rigged as an explosive or whatever, but digital cameras especially DSLRs with a substantial lens? Or a beefy external HDD?

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BOFH: Don't back up in anger

Phil W
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Re: New technical terms.

It works better if you do the recovery while the drive is rested on top of the user's head, due to quantum entanglement between the electrons used to store the data and the electrons in their brain that originally created the work.

Although this does inconvenience the user a little by requiring them to sit perfectly still with a hard drive vibrating away on their head, it's worth while if it means they get their data back surely?

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Phil W
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Almost as good as the users who want you to recover a document from backup, but don't actually know whether they saved it locally, to a network drive or to some other external media in the first place.

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Fire brigade called to free man's bits from titanium ring's grip

Phil W
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Re: I keep seeing these

"They tend to have on hand this marvellous bit of wire, about 22 to 25 inches long that will slice through most metal bands"

If by "most" you mean gold or silver, which are relatively soft metals then yes a jeweler could help. But the majority of ordinary jewelers tools like a ring saw won't cut titanium, cobalt, carbon or stainless steel rings as they're simply too hard. In this case I believe the ring was titanium.

I'm not sure what exactly the fire brigade used but I imagine it was something pretty powerful, since time as a factor. Although there are Dremel cutting discs that will cut titanium and other hard metals, on anything a couple of millimeters thick or more it's going to use up a few cuttings discs and take quite a bit of time, which this chap didn't have.

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UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts

Phil W
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Re: Clarification required

Perhaps go for the ambiguous "Home Office Worker"

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Phil W
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Re: Absolutely uncalled for...

I dunno, Justin Trudeau seems to be doing pretty well on his own.

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Phil W
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Headmaster

Re: @AC ... Yes, good idea

@Ian Michael Grumby

"In fact her profile was filled with a couple red flags."

From that statement either you're doing a very poor job at exaggerating or her profile was very small.

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Do you use .home and .mail on your network? ICANN mulls .corp, .mail, .home dot-word domains

Phil W
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Re: wrong way to go

"These TLDs add very little."

That's the key isn't it really. From a technical and operational stand point the decision should be simple, if introducing a particular TLD has a higher than normal potential to cause problems because a variety of people have been using it internally for years then it shouldn't be introduced, end of story. There is no technical benefit to any of these particular TLDs.

The only argument for ignoring this risk is profit, be that from domain registrars who want to sell domains on that TLD or corporations who want fancy looking URLs. This is not a sufficient argument when there is an almost infinite number of other options available for new TLDs that wouldn't pose this risk.

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Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

Phil W
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Re: Privatise It

"As for the BBC I would have to pay for it if I want to have a tv to watch videos... or would have to take steps to remove the antenna."

Nope. You can own as many TVs, or other live broadcast reception capable devices, as you like without paying for a TV licence or having to remove their tuners. The licence is only required if you use the licensed functionality. If Capita knock on the door you simply say "I do not watch live TV or use iPlayer" or even write to them in advance saying the same.

In the same way that you don't need a driving licence to own a car, only to drive it on public roads, and if you own a car you don't use on public roads you don't have to take the engine out of it to ensure you don't need a driving licence.

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Phil W
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Re: Cool - - - but

"Amazon, Netflix, Sky/Fox, so called Virgin (really UPS/Global Liberty) all of whom produce little content and content of a low common denominator"

I have to take issue with that. Amazon and Netflix (especially Netflix) produce quite a bit of quality content.

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UK Home Office spy powers unit pretended it was a private citizen in Ofcom consultation

Phil W
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Re: You may not have a SIP exit route to the country in question

Not sure what any of your points 1-3 have to do with this?

The GSM gateway will generally be based in the country you're calling from not the country you're trying to call, if it weren't then there wouldn't really be a great deal of cost benefit to the caller in using one in the first place.

"You may not have a SIP exit route to the country in question" is a valid point, but then what you really need is a multimodal gateway which has SIP/GSM outgoing connections and uses whichever is cheapset/most appropriate for the destination country.

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Phil W
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Re: Get what you wish for

"So, he was only obeying orders? Just how much misbehaviour should that excuse?"

Pretty much anything that isn't illegal really, which I don't think this was? If it was he should be prosecuted, along with whoever told him to do it, but as far as I know it's not a criminal offence for a government employee to do this.

There probably should be some sort of internal HOIPU/government policy against it if there isn't already. But even if there is, was this guy aware of it? If he was and he was specifically told to do it anyway surely he didn't have a great deal of choice?

We're not talking war criminals who murdered civilians because they were ordered to here, it's not even a HOIPU employee being asked to take morally questionable investigative action against a citizen without a warrant. It's a guy being asked to send a letter by his boss which is frankly not the sort of thing to quit your job and endanger your future employment prospects for.

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RAF pilot sacked for sending Airbus Voyager into sudden dive

Phil W
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Re: Interesting

"after the autopilot was disconnected (by the camera pushing the left hand stick fully forward.)"

I'm not a pilot but it seems to me that if you've engaged the autopilot, it should require a specific action to turn it off again, not simply operating the manual controls

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RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive

Phil W
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Re: Interesting that he was cleared of perjury.

Perhaps at the time of the interview where he said that he genuinely didn't recall the camera being stuck there?

I imagine things become a little fuzzy when you're panicking because the plane you're piloting has suddenly gone into a 15000ft per minute dive and you've just had your head smacked into the ceiling.

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HMRC emits IR35 tax calculator onto the web for UK contractors

Phil W
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Re: Fuzzy logic

"I wonder how long it will take until someone pokes the tool to find out what the deciding factors are and large swathes of contracts are updated accordingly.."

I'm pretty sure you can find that out without poking the tool. I'm sure we don't yet live in a world where an online anonymous multiple choice quiz is the only way of finding out which tax rules apply to you.

If that ever happens I'm moving to a world where my tax calculator says I owe "a suffusion of yellow".

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Uber loses court fight over London drivers' English language tests

Phil W
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Honestly I don't see the call center thing as huge problem, given that their call center is currently in Ireland rather than somewhere in India.

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The most l33t phone of MWC: DarkMatter's Katim

Phil W
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Regulations

The bit about disabling the audio at a hardware level is interesting, and while certainly a good way to prevent eavesdropping via the phone, could be problematic for this phone passing regulatory hurdles in various countries, since in "Shield Mode" this phone would no longer be able to make emergency calls.

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I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Phil W
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When it was found isn't particularly relevant, unless his letter said something bizarre like "I tender my resignation effective as soon as you tell me you've read this" he should really consider it effective from when he left it on the desk and left the building.

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Phil W
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Resigned to his guilt

I think the crucial part is not the actions he took during his time in work, even on his last visit to the office, you could perhaps accept the argument depending on the exact terms of employment that he did nothing "criminal" there, just a load of stuff that would be grounds for dismissal or perhaps a civil lawsuit.

The important part really is what he did remotely after he resigned. If you leave your keys and a resignation letter on the desk and walk about, you are effectively stating that you are no longer accepting employment and absenting yourself of any authorisation to perform activities withing the company you may previously have been given. Therefore from the moment you do that you can no longer try and use such authorisation as a defence for malicious actions like this. Accessing the systems remotely arguably becomes illegal, and any destructive action you take is criminal damage.

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UnBrex-pected move: Amazon raises UK workforce to 24,000

Phil W
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Majority

Subtitle "Company didn't confirm whether majority to go to AWS or work, er, warehouse"

Second paragraph of article "with the majority expected to be staffing its warehouse “fulfilment centres”

Eh?

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

Phil W
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Re: HTFU? - people have taken saws to PCI-e cards

I don't think I've ever seen a board with an open ended x1 slot except possibly once. I'm sure they exist but I don't know if they're that common even now. I've seen a number of open ended x4 and x8 slots on desktops and servers though.

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Phil W
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Re: HTFU?

Perhaps this song from some of the most special game devs in the world will help the term stick in your mind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgvM7av1o1Q

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HD and SSD Prices not declining - why ?

Phil W
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Re: SAS storage is cheaper and better than SATA

"SAS storage is cheaper and better than SATA"

To actually buy quality drives and controllers? No, no it isn't.

But then "better" is a subjective term.

Do you want a huge array with lots of redundant disks, but not too bothered about performance?

SATA is the way to go, the drives are cheaper and in some cases the motherboard you're using for it may have enough ports and onboard RAID capability to save you even buying a controller.

Do you need a smaller array with higher performance and have some money to throw at the job?

SAS is the way to go, hot spares in your array are good, but you can save money by just having cold spares on hand if you're willing to monitor for failures.

"...hosted on SAS drives which is much faster than SATA"

This statement is extremely conditional.

What version of SAS vs what version SATA?

What RPM of SAS disk vs what RPM of SATA disk?

A 10K RPM SATA 3 (6Gbps) disk will be substantially faster SAS1 (3Gbps) 7.2K RPM drive.

"SSD is too expensive to be used for storage servers at the moment"

No it isn't. It's just too expensive to be used for ALL storage servers, there are certainly high IO use cases where it's worth spending the money. SAN storage for SQL servers for example.

I suspect your post is in fact an advertisement for HostXNow, and that you are the proprietor. If that's the case I have only 3 things to say:

1. Choose your handle more subtly so it's not so simple to link you back to your company and prove your post to be an advertisement.

2. Don't post statements in your adverts that are technically incorrect or outright lies.

3. The HostXnow pricing looks fairly reasonable on the face of it, so that's interesting. But the website is lacking any information on where the servers are located, which is important not only from a regulatory point of view but also for reassurance that they aren't just in someone's garage or garden shed, which is worryingly likely given the address for hostxnow.com domain registration appears to be either a residential address or a small shop/business premises.

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Remote unauthenticated OS re-install is a feature, not a bug, says Cisco

Phil W
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Must be the end of world....

....because I actually agree with Cisco on this one, at least a little.

OK so It's not unreasonable to argue that this is a feature that should perhaps be off by default to prevent a gaping security hole existing if you weren't aware of the feature.

But equally it could be quite a useful function, and if you use it having to turn it on on every switch you deploy before you deploy it would be a not insignificant pain in the ass, and it isn't really a security problem if you properly configure your switches and secure the rest of your network as you should be doing anyway.

There is a case to be made that you shouldn't be deploying network infrastructure equipment unless you understand all the ways it can be accessed, and have secured them all sufficiently.

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All of Blighty's attack submarines are out of action – report

Phil W
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Personally I think the missiles work just fine. I heard that the "problem" was not with the missile but with the targeting data sent to it, so quite possibly human error not system failure.

Unless it wasn't error? The targeting data mysteriously resulted in the missile flying over mainland USA rather than out to sea. Could this have been a test in case Trump goes totally off his rocker?

N.B. (For MI5 and the CIA) I'm joking of course (except for the bit about it being human error rather than system failure).

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Openreach reshuffles top brass, brings in BT bods to make biz more independent of BT

Phil W
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Re: Screw BT

"Original post is totally relevant."

Nope. The original post makes 3 points.

Price rises for BT Broadband/TV/Phone packages - not relevant the article is about BT Openreach the infrastructure division and the provision of said infrastructure, not BT Broadband the retail ISP. These price rises do not affect Openreach or customers of other ISPs provisioned through Openreach.

The retentions team at BT Broadband the retail ISP not being able to override pricing - not relevant for the same reason.

Speculation that because of the price rises customers will leave BT Broadband the retail ISP for another retail ISP - not relevant for the same reason, you can leave BT Broadband for whoever you like but unless it's Virgin Media you'll still be provisioned through some part of BT Openreach's infrastructure to a greater or lesser extent.

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Thought your data was safe outside America after the Microsoft ruling? Think again

Phil W
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Re: WOW

"In Google's case, it's a US citizen and apparently the emails were in the US once....

Moral: Don't move the damn emails or data from country to country....."

Who the item belongs to and where it has previously been located are beside the point.

If it was physical evidence, located in a shipping container that was once in the US but has now been shipped to Ireland would it be ok for the US to simply issue a warrant to have it moved back?

Or would you expect them, more properly, to liaise with law enforcement in the country where the shipping container is located (especially when they have pre-existing agreements in place expressly for this purpose) and obtain the evidence through this legally established channel?

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BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me

Phil W
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Re: As satisfying as drowning.

To be fair, it's quite hard to have a landline without a cord of any kind, even if it's only to a base station.

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Phil W
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Re: "I rarely get cold calls"

@JimboSmith

Brilliant, I may have to steal that one!

One question though....

"Yup Death by Decapitation and not the good kind, not going to walk away from that"

What's the good kind of death by decapitation?

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Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

Phil W
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Re: Alternative choice

Some news outlets have suggested that to. But frankly I think he'd be a bad choice, however it did inspire me to think of a really good choice. Robert Lindsay.

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To Hull with the crap town naysayers: UK Culture City's got some amazing... telecoms

Phil W
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Re: Fake news

You know, if you're going to a provide a link to back up your claim it might be a good idea to click around the page you're linking to a bit first?

"Cheapest deal on there is Home Xtra"

If you choose Light instead of Medium there are no less than 6 deals which are cheaper than Home Xtra, some of which are vastly better value than similar speed/usage cap offerings from BT by the way.

At the top end of the scale under Heavy, some of their deals offer equivalent speeds (or even slightly better) to Virgin Media cable for the same or less.

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Phil W
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Re: Needs more than culture

If you're citing the Grauniad and a paper which, while not being THE Daily Mail aspires to awfulness by copying it's name, you're not really supporting your argument very well and while you've backed up your very dated nearly 15 year old citation with a more recent one even that is now 3 years old.

Also rather confusingly the Hull Daily Mail article quotes figures showing reduced drug and alcohol related hospital admissions but follows up by referencing a council report which they do not date, name or link to saying that use of heroine and crack cocaine is up. Hardly an illustrative or dazzling piece of journalism to be citing there.

P.S. Not from Hull, never been to Hull.

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Phil W
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Probably, where's the problem? As per the link you yourself supplied, they operate a three strikes policy now before cutting anyone off (actually appears to be four strikes in the classic sense, since the wording implies 3 warnings then cut off on the fourth offence), and they explicitly say they don't bill people for the period they're cut off.

If you get 3 warnings that you're doing something illegal and/or against the terms of service and persist in doing it, and are also not bright enough to sort yourself out a VPN service to mask your activity (ISPs don't actually care if you're pirating, just as long as the lawyers can't get them for it) then you deserve to be cut off.

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'Celebgate' nudes thief gets just nine months of porridge

Phil W
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To your first:

I'm not sure the argument really is (or at least anyone's argument except the defendants) that they didn't share the images, it's simply that there's no evidence that they did.

I'm really sure how solid that is legally, but it appears to be the equivalent of prosecuting someone for break and entering but not being able to prosecute them for items that went missing because you can't prove they took them. Which isn't necessarily an invalid argument, someone might kick your door in for a laugh, then later someone else comes along sees it open and steals your TV, you can't then prosecute the first guy for theft of the TV.

To your second:

There is a substantial difference between a mitigating defence and a defence which is arguing lack of culpability. It is a defence to provide grounds for reduced sentencing/leniency not to try and achieve a not guilty verdict.

Depression and learning difficulties are just as much valid mental health issues as schizophrenia, albeit on a different level. Even altered mental states induced by drugs/alcohol could be considered valid mitigations, though to a much lesser degree if they were taken voluntarily.

In cyber crimes like this, autistic spectrum disorders may often be a factor and could be consider a perfectly valid defence given that the disorder makes it difficult to understand societal norms and therefore potentially right and wrong especially in things like cyber crime.

Is it fair to send a guy who intentionally, entirely soberly and with premeditation, brutally murders someone and shows no remorse to jail in the same place and for the same length of time as someone who committed a murder while experiencing a psychotic break or under the influence of drugs (especially if it was drugs that they didn't know they had taken, spiked drinks etc).

There is a difference between your mental health issues giving you the right to break the law, and taking them into consideration at a trial if you do break the law.

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Samsung set a fire under battery-makers to make the Galaxy Note 7 flaming brilliant

Phil W
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Comparison of outrage

I think the real shock with the Note 7 saga, is that the level of outrage on these battery fires seems to be substantially higher than that which surrounded the battery fires onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The potential loss of life with the Boeing problems was much higher than the Note 7 as far as I can see, yet most people seem to have largely forgotten about that one now.

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Phil W
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Re: Amazing that somehow only Samsung was affected

1. So these two suppliers never made batteries for Samsung, or anyone else before?

Well given that one of them is another division of Samsung, it seems quite likely they did make batteries for Samsung devices previously.

2. If they did, then why no major problems with other models, or brands?

Because this device demanded higher battery capacity in a smaller space than any previous device

3. If the two battery makers are brand new manufacturers then why wasn't rigorous Quality Assurance/Quality Control inspections performed including periodic design compliance and random test-until-failure checks performed as part of the manufacturing production process?

Firstly they aren't brand new manufacturers, secondly from the available information the known percentage failure rate is sufficiently small as to easily pass any quality control procedures without detection.

4. What exactly was so radically different with the N-ferno 7 vs the standard Galaxy S7?

A lot? They're entirely different beasts really, in terms of dimensions and power draw not to mention the fact that they, and this is key, don't use the same battery. That's about as useful a question as what was so radically different with the Note 7 vs an Xperia Z or HTC 10.

5. Speaking of S7, who made the batteries for S7 and other Samsung models?

What's that got to do with it? It's not the same battery. It's a fault with a specific battery model design not all batteries from a particular manufacturer.

5. Considering that N-ferno 7 incorporated the ubiquitous—but possibly dangerous—lithium batteries then why wasn't safety a top priority at Samsung for a brand new FLAGSHIP model... including its apparently BRAND NEW DESIGN batteries?

As I've pointed out previously, from the known data the failure rate is so small as to easily escape detection until exposure to mass market. Unless you're suggesting that internal testing prior to release should consist of at least several hundred thousand devices used for weeks?

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Phil W
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Re: Amazing that somehow only Samsung was affected

"It strains credulity that TWO suppliers (one of which is Samsung SDI, i.e. basically itself!) had the same problems and somehow didn't notice."

No, not really.

"after all this investigation couldn't figure it out"

Seems quite likely to be honest. As far as I can find there were 112 (or there abouts, Samsung wouldn't officially acknowledge all of those either) reported fires/explosions from Note 7 devices. Samsung shipped something like 2.5 million of them, so as a percentage the number that actually caught fire is vanishingly small, somewhere around 0.004%, it's just that things exploding and injuring people tends to draw a lot of attention.

It's clearly not the case that every single phone had the problem, and even if you were to say 1000 times more phones had the fault than were reported, that's only 4% of the 2.5 million phones that shipped, the probability that Samsung managed to find one of the phones that actually had the fault and then managed to reproduce it in such a way that they could definitively say what happened is quite remote.

The answer they've given is clearly an educated guess. and that's ok. They've taken the blame, they haven't tried to pass it all off to the battery manufacturers (even if that was a division of themselves) and they haven't tried to say it was the consumer's fault using it wrong in some way.

Situations like this are an unfortunate consequence of selling bleeding edge technology to consumers, but companies like Samsung are doing so because they have to in order to compete in the market, not because they want to. If they could get away with selling only older proven technologies while still competing at the highest levels I'm sure they'd love to.

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Boffins ready to demo 1.44 petabit-per-second fibre cables

Phil W
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Re: Those vulnerable cables

Honestly I don't think cable cutting is a huge threat to any nation.

I can't speak for every country, but I'm fairly confident most have more than one route in and out data wise, so cutting them off would be quite time consuming.

More importantly though, particularly when it comes to the major superpowers, they'd rather have their enemies online so they can perform cyber attacks on them.

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Phil W
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"We can either build more submarine cables or more efficient submarine cables"

What?! Either is very much the wrong word there.

First off "More efficient submarine cables" is a subset of the group "more submarine cables" the statement above is logically impossible you can't build more efficient cables unless you build at least one more cable for that more efficient one to exist.

Secondly the statement of "either" implies that if we make a more efficient cable we won't need to lay anymore of them, however history doesn't support that argument our data usage has rapidly increased over time and will certainly continue to do so, and given that this innovation will take 10 years to be ready it likely won't seem as impressive by the time it is.

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Annoyingly precocious teen who ruined Trek is now an asteroid

Phil W
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N.B. If you want to pick on implausible plot/character points, how about Picard? Who despite having his body and mind altered by advanced alien nanotechnology is allowed to take command of the flagship again only weeks (ok maybe a couple of months) after having it removed.

Or Reg Barclay, who is allowed to continue not only serving in Starfleet at the relatively senior rank of lieutenant, but also to continue to work in sensitive engineering areas or on highly advanced and secret projects despite having had his brain reprogrammed by an alien probe and taking over the ship, being de-evolved into a spider creature, and suffering from numerous psychological conditions that made him unreliable and at times unstable.

By comparison to these two (just for starters there's far more unbelievable characters in TNG,DS9 and Voyager), Wesley Crusher is just a bright young kid who happens to have come up with good ideas and got lucky that his mother was serving aboard the right ship.

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Phil W
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Agreed on both counts. Wil is a cool guy.

As for Wesley? I've never understood the hate either. Saying he saves the Enterprise more times than seems plausible is silly, not just for the use of the word plausible to describe sci-fi but because he actually rarely saves the Enterprise at all. Sure he often comes up with good ideas that save the day, but he rarely executes them alone there is usually extensive help from LaForge or Data or others sometimes to the point that Wes did little more than provide the idea. In fact in The Game he barely discovers the problem before becoming a victim, it's Data that does all the actual saving of the day.

As for his excessive nobility? He's a kid trying to live up to ideals set by his dead father, and Picard as his surrogate father, so he's going to be trying harder than your average young person to be noble and achieve. He actually often fails to do so just like any kid trying to do such a thing. There's nothing strange about a young person being too idealistic and failing.

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Brilliant phishing attack probes sent mail, sends fake attachments

Phil W
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Re: Sigh. Not again.

"If people are so clueless that they're scanning or photographing printed pages, then converting into a PDF"

Unless of course you happen to work somewhere that operates a fleet of major brand MFDs which scan to email in PDF format (with an option for TIFF but that's not really better is it).

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Amazon asks for spectrum to try out IoT networking gear

Phil W
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It appears to have the same structural meaning as "24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year", the second and third statements serve no actual purpose.

The only alternative I can think of is that they mean "5 minutes of each hour every day of the week, or an equivalent thereof" so that they could do 24 separate 5 minute broadcasts every day for seven days, or one continuous broadcast of 840 minutes in a seven day period, or any combination in between to add up to 840 minutes in seven day period.

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BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

Phil W
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Re: Free as part of Line Rental? Thought not.

"It's free now but for how long?"

To the residential consumer, free forever. However don't be surprised when we hear that BT start offering to whitelist companies for a nominal fee.

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Just give up: 123456 is still the world's most popular password

Phil W
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Re: Don't Just Blame Users

"I prefer to teach people to use strong, gibberish passwords, minimum 12 characters"

This will almost certainly mean their passwords are getting written down. It takes a very special kind of mind to remember a completely random sequence of letters, numbers and other characters and also associate that random sequence with a particular website.

"Teach them to use a password safe."

All password safe type applications I've seen have the same obvious flaw, in that you use a password to access them. Sure no-one can guess or easily brute force your online account passwords if they're massively complex, but if you store them in a password safe all that's need is to compromise the security of the password safe and ALL of your passwords have been simultaneously compromised.

The best solution is to teach people to create passwords that are complex enough that they can't be guessed or brute forced easily, but are based on some meaningful pattern that allows the user to remember them.

As long as you don't pick an obvious pattern, like your spouse's initials and date of birth this can be sufficiently secure for almost any purpose. Pick two or memorable but unrelated pieces of information, for example your work post (zip) code and a sibling's date of birth.

You can even harness old fashioned simple cipher techniques for instance take the reg (license) plate number of a car you used to own (but not your current one just to add obscurity), then to make that even more secure alternately increment and decrement each character by one so X81 EDR becomes Y72 DEQ.

These systems are by no means foolproof, and can still be forgotten, but at least they are meaningful enough that you stand a chance of remembering them but seemingly random enough that they can't easily be guessed or brute forced.

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