* Posts by My-Handle

110 posts • joined 20 May 2011

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London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

My-Handle

"I am banning the 'news' site theregister.co.uk from my company's allowed sites policy."

Really? I added it as the default home page for my company :)

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Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on

My-Handle

I have only once had my desktop hijacked in my career (they did the old "rotate the monitor" trick). I have successfully avoided any further hijackings by 1) being very diligent about locking my machine when I step away from it and 2) Making it very clear to everyone that the day anyone messes with my machine is the day that they will leave work to go home and find their car with four flat tyres and a bicycle pump on the bonnet.

There is of course a line between a quick laugh and a genuine inconvenience, but my sense of humour tends to evaporate fairly quickly when that line is crossed.

26
5

Open-source this, open-source that, and the end of the Windows 10 Creators Update

My-Handle

Re: Too True.....

While I don't doubt for a second that 750ml of vodka would have me matching W10's speed, I don't think any tolerance building would be happening from that point on. You kind of have to be alive for that.

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Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

My-Handle

Re: Shrapnel...

After attending to computers located in the aluminium-cutting section of a factory, I can second that.

21
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Russian rocket goes BOOM again – this time with a crew on it

My-Handle

To quote Mr Manley...

Check Yo Stagin'!

4
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Feel the shame: Email-scammed staffers aren't telling bosses about it

My-Handle

Cause and effect...

One question is: are IT staff more susceptible, or are IT staff more targeted? I imagine it wouldn't be all that effective to call or email a factory line worker or a shop assistant to try and get them to change some details in a portal system that they probably don't even have access to. I can very well imagine a help desk person getting a call from someone saying that they're a supplier complaining of 'an issue on their end', but I can't think of many other places in a company that would be the destination of that kind of call.

Just food for thought.

11
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Bug bounty alert: Musk lets pro hackers torpedo Tesla firmware risk free

My-Handle

Re: Another lawsuit filed against Tesla for autopilot crash

@Big Al 23

The latest incident I heard of that matches what you say is this:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/09/tesla-hit-with-lawsuit-after-woman-crashed-her-model-s-while-in-autopilot/

I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that this is the incident you are referring to. The woman broke her ankle, and caused the accident because she was using her phone and back-ended a fire engine. She took no action to prevent this in the apparently mistaken belief that the car would do the braking for her. I believe the police reprimanded her for the US equivalent of driving without due care and attention.

If I've got the wrong incident, can you provide a link to the Reuters article?

4
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Russian volcanoes fingered for Earth's largest mass extinction

My-Handle

Re: The Ends of the World

@jake

Wow. How do you even get up in the morning?

Still, at least we can take something from your post. Another possible hypothesis to explain the Fermi Paradox.

17
3

Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

My-Handle

Re: Confusopoly

Sounds like an extension of the "If you can't dazzle with brilliance, baffle with bullshit" approach. Also used to great effect by large companies to limit bonuses, raises, promotions of their own employees, justify bonuses, raises of management, justify the appointment of manager's mate to high-level role, by governments when enacting new 'security' laws...

That list was supposed to be small, but I can think of so many examples on the spur of the moment that it's depressing.

54
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UK comms revenues reach all-time low of £54.7bn, as internet kills the TV star

My-Handle

Re: superfast as a download speed exceeding 24 mbps

@CaptainHogwash

I'm a VB developer :)

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My-Handle

superfast

In this case, superfast is faster than fast (which is standard), as opposed to the internet connection that I have which is standard (i.e. fecking slow). Hope that clears things up :)

Treating things seriously for a minute, the gov (in the first result I found on Google, so take that with a pinch of salt) defines superfast as a download speed exceeding 24 mbps. Other Google hits centre around the 25 to 30 mbps region. What you and I would call "normal" speed.

8
1

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

My-Handle

Re: Timing is everything

Yeah, I remember a similar "used by Google" test question. It went along the lines of:

"You have been shrunk to 3 inches tall and are in a blender. How do you escape?"

I thought for a minute and then answered "pray", which didn't impress. Apparently the correct answer was "jump", on the basis that muscle power scales according to mass, so regardless of how tall you are you should be able to jump the same height if all other factors are the same. When this was explained to me, I pointed out that A: Most people use a blender with the lid -on- and B: If someone has the power to shrink me to 1/24th my size, catch me and then stick me in a blender then I don't think a quick jump is going to solve that particular problem (lid or not).

I have very little patience for trying to find "correct" answers to blatantly contrived scenarios.

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Brit tech forges alliance to improve cyber security as MPs moan over 'acute scarcity' of experts

My-Handle

Re: Wild Wacky West or Exotic Erotic East is Best for Private Pirate Cybersecurity Enterprise

Hmm... One example of "ai" not being capitalised, fifteen of "it" not being capitalised, a distinct lack of a baffling number of abstract proper-noun phrases and a concise, cogent argument...

Are you feeling OK? It's like seeing a post from Bob without any random capitalisation. One comes to expect some things around here.

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Four US govt agencies poke probe in Facebook following more 'oops, we spilled your data' shocks

My-Handle

Re: 'It is much easier to find a whistleblower in such a company'

I'm of the opinion that GDPR was designed specifically for Facebook. Once it landed, Facebook had two choices. 1: Clean up their act, or 2. Risk a massive fine. I'm betting a number of EU politicians were banking on FB not being able to kick the addiction. Myself, I'm not wondering whether Facebook will be caught by GDPR, I'm wondering how many times it will be caught.

Popcorn at the ready.

3
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BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

My-Handle

Re: On documentation...

I have a masochistic streak in me. I always interpret that look as "say the absolute worst possible thing to say, because I have a very childish urge to provoke." Yes, it got me into a flaming row the first few times, but by now she's mostly learned to ignore me.

2
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Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

My-Handle

Re: Nice embedded device there...

@AC

On the other hand, if I want to manage the patching regime for my own connected devices rather than rely on a third party's patching process, should I have to pay the third party -not- to interfere with my devices?

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My-Handle

Nice embedded device there...

...shame if something were to 'update' it.

Quote: "for a fee users can join the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and avoid feature updates"

43
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Bloodhound Super-Sonic Car aims to wake up Newquay: Rocket work restart in August

My-Handle

Re: Should it happen?

My personal belief is that it should happen.

The reasoning is similar to why big motor companies invest so heavily in Formula 1. The prizes and prestige of winning a race or season cannot outweigh the millions they spend developing and building cars that are only good for a small handful of races at best. The real prize is when they can apply the advancements they make to their everyday cars, making them lighter, more efficient, and crucially better than their competitors' offers.

In these cases, it isn't the destination that matters so much. It's the journey, and what is learned along the way. The destination is just something to focus on :)

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My-Handle

Re: mono-propellant...

Ah, fair enough. I was mis-remembering the Falcon Project rocket that they switched away from. Digging a little deeper, it apparently used solid Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB) as fuel, with HTP decomposed in the manner you describe to provide a hot oxidiser.

*Opens Pedant's guide to Pedantry at 1st page*

*Reads "Rule one of Pedantry: Be right"*

Um... oops :)

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My-Handle

mono-propellant...

Getting out my Pedant's guide to Pedantry, but does a hybrid rocket count as a mono-propellant rocket? One propellant is solid (the fuel?) and the other, liquid propellant (oxidiser) is pumped through it to allow throttling. Only one liquid propellant, but still two propellants?

Not certain here, so please correct me if I'm wrong.

6
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Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'

My-Handle

Do you know why?

Quote: "Over the past 20 years,...the lead time for delivering software has come down significantly. It used to take years. Now it's more like weeks."

Do you know why?

Because many more people are developing software!!

Also, I get the feeling that twenty years ago people put a lot more effort into developing bullet-proof software. These days they seem to be aiming for software that'll hold together just long enough to make it to the next patch release.

25
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Engineer crashed mega-corp's electricity billing portal, was promoted

My-Handle

Promoted for failure...

One previous company I worked for had a rather bad habit of promoting people into positions where they couldn't do much damage. One such person, promoted to the position of project manager, was renowned for having -never- brought a single project to a successful conclusion.

They would never have dreamed of promoting someone who was -good- at their job. After all, who else would do that job?

57
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Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork

My-Handle

I have to say, my basic Zen package is pretty much the same price as what BT were charging me (after several poorly-communicated price hikes). Speed is limited to about 2mbps where I am, so anything above a basic package is pointless for me. However, where BT regularly throttled the connection to 500kbps and point-blank dropped it about every half an hour, Zen only lost connection twice since I switched. And both of those were power cuts.

I'll stick with Zen, as others here have attested. Mere mention of the letters BT sends me into an incoherent ranting frenzy these days...

6
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It's April 2018 – and Patch Tuesday shows Windows security is still foiled by fiendish fonts

My-Handle

Re: Time to really say goodbye to flash? Too right!

I actually went over this during my dealings with BT a year or so ago. Phoned up to complain about the erratic connection and the shite speed (0.5mbps) and they directed me to their flash-based speed checker. Wouldn't accept any other result to start with, until I said that Google and Mozilla had removed flash from their respective browsers and their speed checker would no longer work on any modern machine. Technically bollocks, as you can get flash to work if you really want, but it was enough to make the support droid cave.

5
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10Mbps for world+dog, hoots UK.gov, and here is how we're doing it

My-Handle

Re: Posturing

Because 10 Mbps is five or six times faster than my current connection? And I'm not the only one who lives in a rural area.

Additionally, as another commenter remarked, laying the fibre is the tricky bit. If the fibre's there, it's not so much of a jump from 10 Mbps to 50 Mbps.

10
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Space, the final blunt-tier: Binary system ejected huge 'spliff' asteroid, boffins reckon

My-Handle

Ah, thanks for the correction.

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My-Handle
Coat

Quote: "Jackson said its orbit has the highest eccentricity ever observed for a foreign object passing through our Solar System."

Now I might be wrong about this, but a foreign object passing through our Solar System would not be in orbit around the sun, it would merely be passing it by. It's "orbit" would be hyperbolic, which would thus make it's orbital eccentricity infinite?

Either the object is the first interstellar object we've seen (which is was was largely reported, and would make this extra piece of information redundant), or it's straight-up wrong.

Ok, ok, I'm leaving. Mine's the one with a copy of "Pedant's guide to pedantry" in the pocket.

7
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Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

My-Handle

Re: How stupid is this?

I would be sorely tempted to give them a different password every time they call, and I can get quite inventive with random passwords.

0
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My-Handle

Re: "They looked for the password on the CD . . ."

While I agree with the principle outlined here and would endeavour to follow it myself, real life has taught me otherwise.

Need to log in to a user's workstation? The password is 1: Under the keyboard, 2: On a post-it stuck to the monitor or, if you're very lucky, written on a notepad in the top drawer under the desk. Number 4, the desired situation of "the user remembering the password" very rarely happens unless somehow enforced.

I have only once received a password-protected file, a pdf via email, and the password was written in the same email. That's probably a little better than the password for a CD being written on said disc (in that the pdf and the email are separable), but only just.

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UK.gov: Name a more iconic duo than 'culture' and 'digital'. We'll wait

My-Handle

Re: I know I'm getting old . . .

If I remember my biology correctly, a bacterial culture (I assume that's what is being referred to here) grows exponentially over time. So culture = c ^ t, where c is the initial culture (a constant) and t is time.

Likewise, according to Moore's law, technology gets more powerful over time, doubling every 18 months. So this should produce a similar equation, albeit with a different constant. Call these cC and tC, for cultural constant and technological constant

This gives: 'digital' = (cC ^ t) ^ 2 + 4 * (tC ^ t).

I.e. a constant and very large waste of time.

5
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Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory

My-Handle

At this moment, at home, my office floor is covered in Lego Technic (and assorted other blocks) in the process of being sorted. My collection consists mostly of long beams, plates, axles, gears and a few other more fiddly pieces. In my youth, with these very bricks, I have built room-high marble runs, working and reasonably accurate clocks, a three foot long, seven feet high automatic rolling crane, elastic band powered guns that quite frankly got far beyond being safe...

My brother got Lego City style sets during those same years. He built... the Lego city sets.

Don't get me wrong, I will likely still buy Lego Technic sets. But I treat the model I buy as something nice to build once, for the interest, then disassemble to fuel my next project. I regard the themed sets as largely a waste of time.

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Apple's new 'spaceship' HQ brings the pane for unobservant workers

My-Handle

Re: Well it's obvious

I almost think that this whole article was a set-up just for that joke

41
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Sony Xperia XZ2: High-res audio but no headphone jack

My-Handle

Re: I have experience repairing

I have to agree, the quality of the Xperias is rather lacking. My other half was a staunch fan of Sony phones from the Ericsson days, but since Sony Ericsson split the quality has gone down. The only Xperia I owned had a nasty habit of not noticing when I took the headphones out and continued to pump sound out to the jack until I reset the thing (extremely annoying when you answer a call, don't hear anything and haven't figured out the bug yet). A factory reset cured the issue for a few months, but it then reappeared. Every Xperia phone that has been in the house has had it's screen cracked. My other half's phones began eating through battery life extremely quickly...

I could go on, but the gist is that there were so many little bugs with the Xperias that we decided not to bother. I now have an HTC, and my other half went to Samsung.

3
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Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

My-Handle

Re: How it should have been handled

The recent actions of Microsoft, Google et al have made me (and undoubtedly a great many other people) understandably suspicious of anyone who utters the term "data collection". However, I agree with the approach outlined above (@Eugene Crosser). If the data collection is one-off, opt-in and I can see exactly what data is being sent, then I have no problem. Bonus points if I can tailor exactly what data is sent. The fact that Ubuntu's source code is apparently available to examine means that any extra data sent in an underhanded fashion will be quickly picked up.

The main problem I had with other companies is that the data collection was often either opt-out, repeatedly and continuously opt-out when they sneakily change your settings back, or even just mandatory. There was no transparency at all on what was collected, and an awful lot of apparent deceit.

I will be keeping an eye on Ubuntu, but as long as things stay pretty transparent I don't think this is an automatic black mark against them.

9
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Data scientist wanted: Must have Python, spontaneity not required

My-Handle

Salary isn't just a number

Something to consider that might skew the results a bit...

Three years ago I was working for a large company based in Reading, effectively as a junior software developer. My salary was around the £21k mark. A year ago I got a different job in rural Northern Ireland. A .Net / ASP web developer, earning a similar amount.

On the face of it, my standard of living should not have changed. However, in Reading, I could barely afford the rent on the 1 bed flat I shared with my other half. Here in NI, I own a 3 bed house with outbuildings, 2 cars and can afford to kit out my own workshop. But still on the same salary.

Salary, taken as a number, really isn't representative of your standard of living. It changes it's value far too much across the UK.

14
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TalkTalk starts offering punters choice to shift-shift to O2

My-Handle

Re: The beginning of the end .....

Zen

Cheaper or as cheap as BT. Reliable connection, even out in a rural part of Northern Ireland on a line that seemed to give BT constant issues. Good customer service too, according to reviews, though a year into the contract I've not yet had cause to ring them.

6
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User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work

My-Handle

Re: Your Network is broken!

I've had two emails from one user this week, both informing me that the network was broken. Both emails also told me that email was still working though.

89
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Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

My-Handle

Putting the reins of ad-blocking in the hands of the biggest ad-slinger. Now that's a great idea.

</sarcasm>

"Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads – a group launched last year to represent digital advertising businesses including Facebook and big brands."

To me, this reads as "...the Coalition for Better Ads - a cabal of the ad-slinging big boys who will use their new ad-blocking toy to unfairly discriminate against smaller advertisers. Now I'm no fan of the smaller ad networks (in my experience they tend to be worse for malware, popups etc) but at least most of them don't track your soul across this world, the next and the one after that as well. For that, you need the likes of Google and Facebook. Should a smaller, new ad network with a much greater ethic and better user experience pop up (stop laughing, it could happen!), I'm fairly sure they'll somehow run afoul of this new feature.

I'm with most other commentards thus far. I'll stick with adblock etc.

3
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No 2017 bonus for you, HPE tells employees

My-Handle

Re: Meg not too phased?

I thought that was a BOFH joke. If she's not phased at the moment, crank up the voltage a notch or two

1
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GCSE compsci kids' work may not count after solutions leaked online

My-Handle

I was largely a VBA / SQL developer at the time, so it wasn't something I'd encountered before. Even now, as a VB .Net developer, I know what the point of StringBuilder is but could only name the .Append() and .AppendLine() functions off the top of my head.

The point of my post, as I believe you may have missed, wasn't just to "copy and paste" but to understand as well. You're a lucky man if you can find a piece of code online that does exactly what you want. whatever code you find will need changing in some way, or implementing as part of a greater bit of code. Understanding the code is essential to that.

And incidentally, yes. I did take that as a cue. I spent a short half hour or so that evening reading up on Stringbuilder. Via Google.

6
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My-Handle

On one hand it is definitely bad to cheat at exams or assessments.

But.

I am a software developer and I *live* on the internet. I would say that probably the single most important skill for a software developer is being able to investigate a problem, look at documentation, previous examples or somewhat similar code and being able to learn from it and construct a working solution to the problem. Put me on the spot and ask me what the correct syntax is for a given operation in a random language and you'll be lucky to get a sensible response. Either I can bring it to mind, or I'll rely on intellisense backed up by Stack Overflow / MSDN et cetera. The key is knowing how to find the answer and use it.

I once failed an interview because I didn't know, on paper, the various methods in StringBuilder. They didn't appreciate the answer "I'd Google it".

If I were to recommend anything to the exam board, it would be to set a problem that didn't have a simple pre-built solution. Like, asking a student to build a set of objects to do certain tasks in a coursework-style timescale, then have them demonstrate how these objects can be used in a short assessment period. If the student copied the code, then it's highly likely they won't have a clue how to use it. If they did copy it and they *do* know how to use it, then congrats! That's how real software development works. Extra marks.

40
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BT hikes prices for third time in 18 months

My-Handle

@AndrueC

You're correct in that the hardware to the exchange should not have changed. Indeed, BT serve all of the infrastructure for my area.

I suspect that the reason that we experienced so many connection issues (here defined as us not being able to load websites etc) was either due to some kind of bug in BT's home hub router, or some kind of aggressive throttling at the exchange. The behaviour of BT's customer service when attempting to diagnose the problem, coupled with the fact that myself and my other half are fairly heavy internet users in an area where the typical speed is 1.5mbps (no fibre available), make me inclined to believe that we were being excessively throttled.

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My-Handle

I was with BT until a few months ago. They upped my bill from £32 a month to £41 with very little notice (a sneaky email in amongst the crapton of marketing emails they usually send). Considering my service couldn't get a connection for about 50% of the time, the 'service improvements' excuse that BT's various drones kept spouting didn't exactly go down well.

I'm with Zen now. Haven't had a single connection issue since the second the service went live. No throttling. And they're charging me £17 a month (to go up to £32 after the first six months). In all fairness, I can't say how good their customer service is. I've had no need to call them.

14
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Jeff Bezos sells one million Amazon shares, makes one billion dollars

My-Handle

Indeed. That Lotus Esprit that Elon Musk bought a while ago is now probably functional. And armed.

4
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TalkTalk glitch causing mobiles and landlines to go off at the same time

My-Handle

Impressive...

It really is impressive. You have to grab that spade and dig with some serious dedication and energy before you'll get lower than BT.

8
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BOFH: Come on, PFY, let's pick a Boss

My-Handle

Re: Why

I think to provide a clue as to what Boss V1 was doing shortly before acquiring said footprint. I, like the PFY, don't like to be endlessly reminded of all the useless stuff other people want me to do.

5
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Lloyds Bank customers still flogging the online dead horse

My-Handle

Re: Simple Solution - move your money out to another bank

But I only just moved away from RBS!

4
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Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

My-Handle

Re: More Magic Technology

So that I could watch porn but block Facebook?

0
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Wi-Fi baby heart monitor may have the worst IoT security of 2016

My-Handle

"Utmost importance"

<Rant>

"The safety, security and privacy of our customers are of the utmost importance to us"

Am I the only one getting sick to the back teeth of this phrase, or an extremely similar one, being trotted out by every bloody company that gets caught cutting corners, when the evidence points to the exact opposite? It's so blatantly disingenuous, it's almost an insult that they expect people to swallow it. There's no genuine apology, no intent to find the cause of the fault and no intent to improve on the quality of the product and the company. They might as well say "We got caught, get the lawsuits over with and bugger off. We've got another crap product we need to start not designing".

</Rant>

20
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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

My-Handle

Re Swappable Battery

While I've never had the need to carry more than one battery with me, I have still had good reason to want a swappable battery, and that is the ability to hard power-off my phone. I've run into problems several times over the last few years where my phone has just stopped responding to the soft buttons (including recently when a new phone got stuck in a boot loop) and removing power would have solved the problem neatly.

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