* Posts by Thoguht

369 posts • joined 10 May 2011

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Finally. The palm-sized Palm phone is back. And it will, er, save you from your real smartphone

Thoguht
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Yo dawg I herd you like phones

So we put a little phone next to yo phone so you can phone your phone when you phone.

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300,000 BT pensioners await Court of Appeal pension scheme ruling

Thoguht
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Re: I blame the cursed one

I can still remember the days when some company final salary pension schemes had so much money in them that they stopped taking pension contributions from employees.

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Thoguht
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CPI vs RPI

CPI was never intended as a means of measuring personal inflation, it was developed for comparing underlying inflation rates between different countries. One of the issues with it is that it doesn't include housing costs, which is why the CPIH measure (CPI plus housing) is a little better.

But the real problem is that personal inflation rates for older people are typically higher than for younger ones, mainly because they don't spend as much money on things that tend to get cheaper as time goes on, such as technology. RPI is therefore a better reflection of reality for pensioners, although it's still less than half of the estimated personal inflation rate that pensioners in some parts of the country are facing.

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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

Thoguht
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Re: Space Shuttle

Another part of the problem, as astronaut John Glenn is once alleged to have pointed out, is that every component of every NASA vehicle is made by the lowest bidder.

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Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid

Thoguht
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Security?

Security's not my forte, but isn't it generally reckoned to be a big security no-no for each device to have its own unique ID? I remember all the fuss when Intel tried to do the same thing with their Pentium III processors.

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Re: Calls and Email

Back when I was working, some marketing bonehead sent round a mail with the latest corporate communication standards, one of which was not to embed images in emails. The mail of course had all sorts of marketing images embedded in it.

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On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

Thoguht
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Re: Sprouts

Bacon lardons? Cut out the middleman and stir fry the sprouts in bacon fat to start with. Works best with the smallest, most tender sprouts of course, but if you're stuck with large ones you can microwave them for a couple of minutes first.

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On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Thoguht
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Perhaps we should christen the phrase "sarcasm doesn't work on the Internet" as "Jobs' Law" in his honour.

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Wi-Fi Alliance ditches 802.11 spec codes for consumer-friendly naming scheme

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Good move (perhaps)

At long last, broadband suppliers with own-brand routers won't be able to bamboozle potential customers with meaningless (to most people) strings of numbers and letters. If company A offers Wi-Fi 6 but company B only offers Wi-Fi 5, you know at a glance which one is faster.

Except that if A's router's implementation of Wi-Fi 6 is crap you might still get better throughput with B's Wi-Fi 5. And then there's the question of do you really need that bandwidth when the speed of your copper/fibre is often the limiting factor? Plus, on top of all that, you might not actually have any kit that supports Wi-Fi 6 (or even 5). Still, this is probably a good move by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

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Holy macaroni! After months of number-crunching, behold the strongest material in the universe: Nuclear pasta

Thoguht
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Scrith?

Well, probably not seeing that nuclear pasta can presumably only exist under very exotic conditions.

And talking about exotic, why the ergs and cm? Whatever happened to good ol' SI?

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First Boeing 777 (aged 24) makes its last flight – to a museum

Thoguht
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Re: 777?

707? I remember the Comet, or "Plummet" as I think it used be called.

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Microsoft accidentally let encrypted Windows 10 out into the world

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This Fluent Design blurry stuff is all very well, but after the last OS update I got a notification telling me one or more apps are looking blurry and I should change my screen settings.

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Do not adjust your set, er, browser: This is our new page-one design

Thoguht
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One reason is to consolidate the desktop and mobile versions of the website into one design

That concept sure worked well for Microsoft, didn't it.

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Thoguht
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Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

In the interests of gender balance, if you have seme/uke then you need to include tachi/neko as well.

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Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

Thoguht
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Re: Who needs a test department?

Let go? No, they were hired out to the TSB.

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5G can help us spy on West Midlands with AI CCTV, giggles UK.gov

Thoguht
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It's at times like this that I'm thankful I'm getting old.

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Toshiba crams 14TB into another helium drive, this time with SAS boost

Thoguht
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Re: what?

You can get a 100TB 3.5" SSD from Nimbus. The 14TB Tosh rustdrive is designed for incredibly light usage compared to the Nimbus, but then of course it's bound to cost far, far less.

That said, the ruler format looks as though it will be the way to go for very high SSD capacities in the enterprise.

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.NET Core 2.1 – huh, yeah – what is it good for? Bing, apparently

Thoguht
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Re: What is JIT good for?

I know how old JIT is, I used to program in LISP decades ago. But as for JIT vs. traditional compilers, a test I often used to set my junior programmers was to try beating Microsoft Visual C++ at optimising a piece of code. Even back in the days of V1.52c that was a difficult thing to do.

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What is JIT good for?

So why did we even use JIT compilation in the first place? I blame Java.

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Brit Railcard buyers face lengthy, unexplained delays. Sound familiar?

Thoguht
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Re: Britain's ticketing is antiquated

You can also buy an integrated bus/tram/train ticket.

As you can also do for many cities in the UK, it's called a "PlusBus" ticket, and the nice thing about it is that the bus part of it is also discounted if you have a Railcard. In London, the public transport systems (except for taxis) are all completely integrated, but you actually don't need to do anything as primitive as buy a ticket if you have a contactless debit or credit card.

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Arm debuts CPU roadmap for the first time, sort of

Thoguht
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Re: ARM not Arm

From the Arm website:

... Arm delivers a complete Internet of Things (IoT) solution for our partners and customers.

You're fighting a losing battle trying to keep acronyms capitalised.

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Linux 4.18 arrives fashionably late while Zorin OS shines up its Windows

Thoguht
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The default desktop bears a striking resemblance to Windows 10, replete with a familiar-looking start menu

All the more reason not to touch it, then.

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Three more data-leaking security holes found in Intel chips as designers swap security for speed

Thoguht
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Re: Looking at the wrong holes

It's horse for courses. Embedded systems are vulnerable to various forms of attack, so they are secured by means appropriate to the environment. But for general purpose computing, security as I defined in my first post MUST, and indeed can, be absolute. Otherwise the cloud as we know it is dead. Not that this would necessarily be a bad thing, but that's another discussion entirely.

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Re: Looking at the wrong holes

No, no and no. The CPU design must absolutely guarantee full isolation of virtual machines from each other and from the host OS, and must also absolutely guarantee that within a VM or the host OS, no unauthorised escalation of privilege, either direct or indirect, is possible. Otherwise what exactly is the point?

Embedded systems? I know a thing or two about those having worked on them for 40 years, but the things you do in embedded systems often don't apply outside that limited domain.

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When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't

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Re: Question:

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice was rated "X", so that's over-16, not over-18. It's rated 15 now.

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Revealed: El Reg blew lid off Meltdown CPU bug before Intel told US govt – and how bitter tech rivals teamed up

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Neex? Perhaps writing isn't always the best option!

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For all the excitement, Pie may be Android's most minimal makeover yet – thankfully

Thoguht
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Re: Only option to stay sane...

With Android people don't pay for the OS, for the handset maker's customisation and installation and generally don't pay for apps

There's no such thing as a free anything. Handset manufacturers using Android pay licensing fees to Microsoft so you paid up front for this and for future customisation and installation when you bought or leased the handset, and of course you pay for "free" apps through advertising revenue or other means (like providing personal data).

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The age of hard drives is over as Samsung cranks out consumer QLC SSDs

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Re: QLC? It's not the one for me

The endurance of some high-capacity enterprise HDDs is actually less now than SSDs.

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QLC? It's not the one for me

Each time you add another level, you add complexity to the drive circuitry plus you reduce endurance and so you need more and more complex error correction algorithms to safeguard the data. And all for less and less gain in capacity. From 3 levels to 4 only gives you a one third increase, and (heaven forbid) from 4 to 5 will only give you one quarter. Is it really worth it?

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Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

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Re: Just say No to Amazon

Well, actually this follows from the duty placed on board directors in company law:

"The board of directors' key purpose is to ensure the company's prosperity by collectively directing the company's affairs, whilst meeting the appropriate interests of its shareholders and stakeholders."

So that means basically maximising the company's profits.

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UK cyber security boffins dispense Ubuntu 18.04 wisdom

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VPNs?

So we've got one part of GCHQ trying to get people to use VPNs and another part of GCHQ that would dearly love VPNs to be banned. Reminds me of that old saying about a house divided against itself...

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If you're serious about securing IoT gadgets, may as well start here

Thoguht
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Why not just embed an NFC tag in every IoT device and then have a smartphone app to read the tag and authenticate the device by some means to the home WiFi system? The router itself would need a secure element too, but these things are fairly cheap these days.

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Who watches Sony's watcher? Boffins poke holes in surveillance kit

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Pot meet kettle?

I bet they found the flaws a long time ago but have been hanging on to them so they could be publicised, oh, let's say a few days after Cisco has had to release a bunch of security updates themselves.

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UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

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Be you ever so high, the Law is above you.

Rev. Preb. Thomas Fuller, 1608 - 1661

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Adobe on internal systems security hole: Panic not. It isn't critical

Thoguht
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Re: Is it just me...

You viewing it in Acrobat, maybe?

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Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

Thoguht
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Built-in car satnav systems only use GPS as a sanity check, they mainly use the inputs from the road wheels and electronic compass.

My old car had persistent problems with water getting into the antenna assembly and rusting things up, so I was completely without GPS signal on several occasions. Did it make any difference? None at all if you were in a city because every time you turn the system is able to recalibrate your position.

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AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

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Re: Should have been pretty obvious

Actually you'd be surprised at how many uses have been thought up (and patented) for AR.

But back to the Magic Leap, how come it's using a processor that's almost 2 years old? And won't that be totally underpowered for the light-field optics that ML was supposed to have at one point?

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An $18m supercomputer to simulate brains of mice in the land of Swiss cheese. How apt, HPE

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Re: "This is what Deep Thought should look like".

Liquid nitrogen cooling, well that figures, I suppose.

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Sueball claims Apple broke hacking laws with iOS batt throttling code

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Trespass to chattels?

Like when a certain company downloads OS updates to my computer without my express permission?

But like AC above says, probably allowed by the EULA.

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Spidey sense is literally tingling! Arachnids detect Earth's electric field, use it to fly away

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researchers at the University of Bristol, in England

Is El Reg so international now that we need to be reminded where Bristol is? Or was that just in case somebody confused a real university with the apparently dubious (and definitely defunct) Bristol University in California?

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UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on

Thoguht
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This is why I have a cupboard stacked with canned food and bottled water.

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What a flap: SIM swiped from slain stork's GPS tracker used to rack up $2,700 phone bill

Thoguht
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eSIM, private APN, data only. Sorted.

Except they probably just went down to the shops to buy their SIM.

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New Android P beta is 'very close', 'near-final' but also just 'early'

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Re: Wonder what it'll break ?

Android is supplied by Google free of charge, but you'll need to license the proprietary drivers for the phone and other chipsets and of course you deploy it at your own risk unless you pay Microsoft their protection money licensing fee.

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A £1.3m prize for a plunging share price at BT? Not so fast...

Thoguht
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The last time I worked for a company whose share price had plunged I got laid off. How times have changed - maybe I'd get a pay rise now instead!

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

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The Swanee whistle parts were fully scripted in English and sent to the BBC for approval before filming. It was only Major Clanger who swore, and the worst thing he ever uttered was "Sod it, the bloody thing's stuck again", which Oliver Postgate managed to get the Beeb to agree to on the grounds that people wouldn't actually think he was saying that.

Strange really, because I had a Tiny Clanger plush that played that exact phrase when you squeezed it.

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

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Alien

"Unexpectedly, we found that Oumuamua was not slowing down as much as it should have due to just gravitational forces"

Well duh, that's because its EmDrive was still working, of course.

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

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Re: Fgs

This is WAY out there

You can quote all the random websites you want, but this is settled US policy and has been for decades. In practice of course they would try jamming first if the EU doesn't comply as it's a lot cheaper than a missile, but nevertheless it is a fact that the US reserves the right to destroy any navigational aids, satellite based or not, if they are being used by an enemy.

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Re: Fgs

There is not much point in having a nuclear arsenal if we can only aim it when the yanks say its ok.

Actually Galileo only operates by the consent of the US military. If they say turn it off, it has to be turned off otherwise they reserve the right to take out the constellation.

Strictly speaking, it also only operates by the consent of the Chinese military due to international RF spectrum allocation rules.

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Reality Winner, liberty loser: NSA leaker faces 63 months in the cooler

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It's trivially easy to change your name in the US. Except in Louisiana, which still follows Napoleonic law.

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Being called Reality Winner should itself be an indictable offence.

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