* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1134 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

China passes new Cybersecurity Law – you have seven months to comply if you wanna do biz in Middle Kingdom

Kevin McMurtrie
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CNC Group

Does this mean government owned Chinese networks will now have valid APNIC contacts and it will be easy to report hackers? Right, I didn't think so.

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CERN also has a particle decelerator – and it’s trying to break physics

Kevin McMurtrie
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Boffin

Somebody with experience wired it. You need standardized parts and lots of slack or you'll never be able to move anything during development.

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Google makes it to third base with Home digital assistant

Kevin McMurtrie
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Music?

How bad is your music if it sounds good on a pint-sized monaural coaxial speaker? To say it's also a music device rather than something for streaming talk radio makes me think it's a marketing gimmick disguised as a marketing gimmick.

They could all save a lot of space by leaving the speaker off. That should shrink it down to something the size of a... cellphone. Yeah, I'll just use my cellphone (with a headphone jack).

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No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Re: First thing I would do

Every company balances the cost of fixing a defect in the factory versus in the field. Fixing in the field is very expensive but it impacts (ahem) a tiny percentage of products sold AND again a small percentage of products that have failed. Anyone who has had anything fail knows that a manufacturer has many walls of bullshit shielding them from warranty claims. You used it too much, looks like this scratch caused it, your home is in an area with power surges, hard water did it, improper care, you let a friend use it, not a factory authorized shipper, etc.

Samsung's mistake is people getting hurt. Had fewer people been injured, they likely would have escaped without paying out a single warranty claim.

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Hm, is that a minefield? Let me just throw my magic bomb-sniffing spinach over there

Kevin McMurtrie
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I wouldn't want to be an intern or wearing a red shirt when this goes into field testing.

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Three-commas Thiel expresses love for himself, Trump and downtrodden millionaires

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Catch 22

Why an Engineer can not vote for Trump: He loudly announces that he can do everything better than you without having the slightest idea what he's talking about.

Why an Engineer must vote for Trump: Nonsense and chaos is often the fastest technique for finding flaws in a broken system.

I'm pretty sure the US is screwed with any running candidate. All that changes is who gets hit first.

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Cloudflare ordered by judge to help unmask two website owners

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is the only US-based company I've seen so proudly host criminals and victims at the same time. I'm surprised that the IRS, a bank, or one of their shady customers hasn't made a messy situation yet.

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Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Only 96 batteries

Overcharging lithium ion batteries produces lithium metal. That's the fire you can't put out after the electrolyte mushroom cloud is done.

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Florida man ran $1.35m hack-and-spam racket with 50m-plus addresses

Kevin McMurtrie
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Timothy Livingston you've bee n Pardoned!

C LICK HERE ! !!

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Kevin McMurtrie
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Gimp

"8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage"

The year 2010 called and said that's a nice laptop. The year 2017 called and said it's a very bulky cellphone.

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iPhone fatigue and fading Samsung. This planet is bored with big brand phones

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh factor

The improvements that people really want, like a more reliable cell signal and longer battery life, have hit a wall. It's difficult to justify spending 2x on a premium phone when they have the same daily annoyances as every other phone. Premium operating systems, especially iOS, are starting to feel clumsy and dated compared to simpler systems that take on modern features more gracefully.

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And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Kevin McMurtrie
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Let me "Google" that diagram

I suppose Google is making this because they get to watch the screen while you're using it. Google's business is personalized and interactive advertisements - nothing more. Everything Google does ties back to supporting that in some way. Even the self-driving car is physical manifestation of their search engine with paid ranking.

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Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second summary

Kevin McMurtrie
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The blacklist of things

Too many ISPs and networks can't be bothered to handle abuse complaints, especially if they think they're too important to suffer any consequences. If we're going to put billions of Idiot of Things into the IPv6 address space soon, this all needs to be automated. That means a standardized and automated means of reporting problems, automated means for an ISP to detect that the problem is happening, and the ability to automatically block customers until the problem is resolved. Networks who can't be bothered to participate or who create false-positives should be entered into public voluntary routing blacklists, much like those used to track spam-friendly ISPs. It's the only way to handle tens of millions of attacks quickly. (Google may go offline for a week when this is implemented, but I'm sure they'll get around to joining the party.)

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Como–D'oh! Infosec duo exploits OCR flaw to nab a website's HTTPS cert

Kevin McMurtrie
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Blame the registrar too

So some registrars are displaying e-mail addresses at images to prevent automated harvesting, and those images are harvested with less than perfect reliability. It sounds 100% blame should be put on those registrars for implementing a solution that breaks things to fix nothing.

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Whinge on: T-Mobile US docked $48m for limiting 'unlimited' data plans

Kevin McMurtrie
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The old carrier ways are back

The US T-Mo "ONE" plan is "unlimited" but multimedia is strangled down to 1.5 Mbps unless you pay $20/month to turn that feature off. Tethering is also throttled unless you pay extra or don't use T-Mo's app.

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Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates

Kevin McMurtrie
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More than IoT

This should cover a lot more than little IoT devices. I've had two cellphones that were abandoned while under warranty. Lenovo is selling Moto phones right now that lost support months ago.

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Yahoo! hides! from! financial! analysts! amid! email! hacking!, privacy! storm!

Kevin McMurtrie
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Burning down the house to keep warm?

Something isn't right here. Nobody except for a few old DSL customers (AT&T, Kimo, KDDI) has anything to do with Yahoo yet they claim a profit? Even Yahoo's spammers are all on GMail now.

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Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Need to pair up on pair research

There's a reason why pair programming studies are rare - it generally doesn't work. It has to be a specific type of task with the right people doing it. Good programmers will grab somebody for opinions as needed. Mandate full-time pairing and most of your staff will leave. The remaining two people will be the data for yet another report about how awesome pairing is.

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FCC slams Comcast with largest-ever fine for a cable company

Kevin McMurtrie
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Idiot sales

By my calculations, Comcast lost several years of my business totaling about $10000 because they refused to give me the contract I wanted. They wanted me to pay all installation fees, all equipment fees, accept speeds as low as zero, and still be held to a massive early termination fee for 3 years. There must be one hell of a commission on that 3 year ETF.

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Cisco president: We've lost to AWS et al on the public cloud

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

Big data says you're dumb

Lets put this FAIL sticker on any project claiming that Big Data will solve problems that are aren't related to data. Big Data won't fix lazy inventory presentation, it won't fix high prices, it won't fix the broken Flash animations on your web page, it won't sweep the floor, and it won't make barely paid employees helpful experts.

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AT&T pilots dedicated IoT mobile network

Kevin McMurtrie
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Your world delivered... to us

What the hell is "carrier-grade security" on AT&T's network? This is the network charging extra fees to opt-out of AT&T marketing spying. This is the network delivering all data to the NSA for government spying.

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You're fired (into space)! Trump tops Martian ejaculation poll

Kevin McMurtrie
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Yes, if

When you said "Mars" you really meant "Sun."

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Mobile data is getting slower, faster

Kevin McMurtrie
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The Band 4 wagon

Low and midrange phones usually support just the one most popular LTE band in each sales region. That causes severe congestion on that one channel in urban areas. 3G towers are being converted to LTE in the US so the phone's decision to drop down to a slower rate makes it worse.

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Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Gimp

Same bugs, but the computer is no longer yours to fix

Apple has always been just as buggy as anyone else. From the Apple ][ with the backwards sector interleaving, all the way to today. Serious bugs were left unfixed for years. It didn't matter as long as it made a good demo.

The difference is the walled garden. There was a time when you could buy 3rd party products to patch or replace Apple's. Some even posted free patches and productivity apps. That's gone and it took a lot of solutions with it. Your OS is digitally signed, the UI enforces one workflow, your apps have been screened for strict compliance, and your data might not belong to you as much as you think it does. Even root access on desktop computers is being phased out. A lack of workarounds makes even the simplest problem a big deal. Knowing that Apple is actively blocking solutions, as if you don't own what you bought, is frustrating as hell.

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'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

Just buy a Note 8

I had a Sprint Galaxy S2 a long time ago. This WiMAX version was notorious for EMPing itself due to badly placed antennas. The GPS sensor would gradually die and the capacitive button sensor would go crazy. After several replacements, Samsung starting sending it back with the technically correct description of "working normally." Samsung and Sprint both said I should buy a new S3 to fix it.

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

Another one

Looks like any number of "flagship" phones but costs up to 50% more. The radio is a bit better, the camera a bit worse, and the microSD slot is gone. Lenovo/Moto, Axon, Sony, etc.

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WikiLeaks claims 'significant' US election info release ... is yet to come

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Lost me a "documents"

Fell asleep just thinking about reading it. USA! USA!

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SpaceX searches for its 'grassy knoll' of possible Falcon rocket sabotage

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

I always figured the first little bang was from thermal expansion. Somebody would have to figure out what the flash of heat hit and whether or not it's the correct distance from the mic.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

Kevin McMurtrie
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microSD and battery

My experience is that, thanks to crappy software, cell phone batteries last one year. That's it. Just one year. A LiPo battery is good for about 300 to 500 full charge cycles. When the shovelware from Google and the phone maker run the battery dead by the end of each night, you're doing a full charge cycle every day. When that shovelware is buggy for a few months and running the battery dead in the afternoon, that's 1.5 to 2 charge cycles per day. I think I've just purchased my last fancy phone with a permanent battery. The next one has a removable battery or it's dirt cheap.

microSD card isn't negotiable. I need offline storage.

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Yahoo! couldn't! detect! hackers! in! its! network! but! can! spot! NSFW! smut! in! your! office?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Open sourcing my version too

private static Pattern NSFW_MATCHER = Pattern.compile(".*\\.yahoo\\..*", Pattern.CASE_INSENSITIVE);

public static boolean isNsfw (String url) {

return NSFW_MATCHER.matcher(url).matches();

}

It could probably use some more training data but it's working fairly well.

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Four US states demand restraining order to stop internet power handover to ICANN

Kevin McMurtrie
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Don't tread on dialup

To bad states aren't so good at protecting communities and startups that would like to improve regional Internet delivery without being smothered under frivolous anti-competitive lawsuits.

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R2D2 delivery robots to scurry through the streets of San Francisco

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Once these appear in the wild

No, Knightscope makes the Daleks. They still lack the powerful drivetrain and moderately lethal weapons needed to not be stolen and dismembered in SF.

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UK copyright troll weeps, starts 20-week stretch in the cooler for beating up Uber driver

Kevin McMurtrie
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Life of a troll

Sounds like he's just fleshing out his Curriculum Vitae

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Video service Binge On 'broke the internet' but 99pc of users love it

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Yeah, brilliant!!

Turning it off costs $25 per month on the "ONE" and only current plan. Seriously.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Mushroom

The re-carrier

I'm on a "grandfathered" plan where I can disable Bing-On. I'm ditching T-Mo the second it becomes mandatory. If there's a 1.5 Mbps version of the video available, it looks pixelated and turns to mud when anything moves. Anything needing more than 1.5 Mbps of streaming simply doesn't work.

Clearly expressing my feelings towards Bing-On would make me sound too much like John Legere and the moderators would probably delete my post.

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Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

Kevin McMurtrie
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"email all those thought to be affected"

I won't be getting that e-mail. I was just wondering if I should pull Yahoo from my mail server's blacklist because the spam deluge had settled down to a tiny trickle. It looks like now isn't a good time.

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IPv4 apocalypse means we just can't measure the internet any more

Kevin McMurtrie
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NAT gonna happen

Routers default to allowing incoming IPv6 connections only by whitelist. It must be that way. Many LAN devices and appliances have received Linux upgrades giving them modern IPv6 networking but the apps on them wouldn't last even one second when exposed to the world.

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Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stronger bags

For all the adapters, dongles, and hubs needed for a single port Apple product.

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T-Mobile USA leaked free access to sites with '/speedtest' in the URL

Kevin McMurtrie
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The un-car ...buffering... rier ...buffering... says GFY ...buffering... S.

A better use would be hosting videos. T-Mo's single "ONE" plan is $70/month with video streaming throttled to 1.5 Mbps "DVD quality" unless you opt-out for another $25/month.

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British mobile AI 'bot perfecter stalked by Silicon Valley – report

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

Two ways to make money from AI software:

A: Sell a complete system for $200 that makes life easier.

B: Free cloud connected app that manipulates people for profit.

I hope working AI isn't invented while Plan B is still in fashion. There are so many great ideas that can never turn into great products because people expect them to be crappy and free.

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Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: jailbreak your phone and install a firewall

There are open source Android operating systems that don't require the Google Apps suite. Chinese phones all have an OEM operating system available that doesn't use Google.

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JDK 9 release delayed another four months

Kevin McMurtrie
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Meh

High & Low

Java has already attempted to blend high and low level coding designs. Java 8 added lambdas, processing streams, and more modern concurrency. It's hit and miss. It provides a clean framework for efficiently performing complex operations while at the same time making it much easier to write the lazy bloated crap that gives Java a bad reputation. Honestly, I'd let the Java world spend more time figuring out how this concept should work before throwing together another half-assed language.

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Luxe cable crimper

Kevin McMurtrie
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FAIL

RJ-45 plugs have already been solved using load bars or straight-through loading. They're much simpler than what's in this advert.

I don't know about your jacks, but the Cat6 jacks that I bought for my house don't need the wires untwisted either. They're also simpler.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Google Play Services (GPS), the Trojan app

OsmAnd+ and a microSD card FTW. The odds of me needing a GPS tagged map are inversely proportional to cellular data availability.

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Volkswagen: 800,000 of our cars may have cheated in CO2 tests

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: CNN says that these findings mean VW fibbed about their gas mileage figures too.

MPG ratings are pretty much a scam.

My lemoned 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid was rated 29/37 MPG but the actual was 9/32. Yes, that's 9 MPG city. The hybrid system would overheat after a few stop signs and become massive deadweight. To make matters worse, it didn't re-enable 1st gear to compensate for the electric motor being off. This car must have been tested somewhere REALLY cold to keep the electronics running.

Current 2016 Golf R might be capable of meeting EPA estimates, but I need to double check whether or not the computer is lying about gas consumption. There have been a couple of times where odometer/pump came out to 22 MPG when the computer said 28 MPG.

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Apple: Crisis? What innovation crisis? BTW, you like our toothbrush?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Will audio quality get better?

There's potential for headphones to improve with power and a digital signal source. Tradeoffs in driver design are more relaxed when local electronics can compensate for certain types of defects. It opens the possibility for a customized active design that outperforms a passive component design.

The shame is that Apple didn't fix any of this in a practical manner. Bluetooth doesn't have enough digital bandwidth to sound good and the Lightning port is proprietary. Their quest for a walled garden has killed this idea.

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Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

Kevin McMurtrie
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Thumb Down

"a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure"

HTTPS is really, really slow and I'm not a fan of Google's hacks to improve it. How about a long-term plan to make digital signatures work better? Most online content is public so all that matters is delivery integrity.

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Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Kevin McMurtrie
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terajoule laser?

Forget about this space sailing tech. Tell me more about your laser.

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Pains us to run an Apple article without the words 'fined', 'guilty' or 'on fire' in it, but here we are

Kevin McMurtrie
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San Dimas High School football rules!

One day iPhone will just be an elegant little featureless slab you keep in your pocket.

Screen, headphones, iWatch, camera, mic, stylus, cell radio, WiFi radio, speakers, charger brick, iPhone charger base, headphone charger base, iWatch charger, camera charger base, mic charger base, cell charger base, WiFi charger base, speaker charger base, USB hub, USB-C hub, power hub, and cables will need their own shoulder bag.

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Kevin McMurtrie
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Holmes

Smart move, Apple

I just peeked at some live feeds. If The Reg is thinking what I'm thinking, it's probably in Apple's best interest that you're not covering it. It's singing, a couple of iPhone game releases, and desperately trying to convince people that iWatches are a big thing.

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