* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

1285 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

You'll get a kick out of this: Qualcomm patents the 'Internet of Shoes'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

You'd think Qualcomm would restrain over-the-top patent trolling until that lawsuit is settled. (Trolling because it's obvious and not a new idea)

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Sick of Java and C++? Google pours a cup o' Kotlin for Android devs

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: What happened to golang?

Golang makes awesome demos but it feels very crude once your development gets going. It's the simplicity of the old languages with the restrictions of modern languages. Imagine trying to build a house using only a hammer, a shovel, and a saw while somebody watches over your back to make sure that you never misuse either. You manage to make slow progress until it's time for the interior, plumbing, and electrical.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Noob question

A Java method signature both its name and its arguments. Remove the argument list and it's not the same method anymore.

Java app launching used to look for multiple permutations of the main method so you could leave off the arguments. It was more confusing than useful so that feature was removed.

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HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa

Kevin McMurtrie
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Does it work?

Taiwan and China have long ago perfected the manufacturing of top-specification phones, but they don't work. Bad radio firmware, CPU & GPU governor stutter, stuttering calls, missing texts, file corruption, DnD broken, crashes, security vulnerabilities, and junk custom OSes that can never be upgraded. They essentially contract a few Android hackers to throw together an OS then call it done. How about holding off on the review until you've used the phone, OK? This crap is expensive.

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Kevin McMurtrie
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Amazing you can leave the SMB port open

I'd like to run SMB/CIFS file sharing but that port is such a bot magnet that everything slows to a crawl servicing or blocking hacking attempts. It's like asking for a DDoS. Didn't anyone notice that their system was running really slowly and had multi-gigabyte log files?

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: It's the 21st Century: Outside of Work, Email is dead

A good chunk of Silicon Valley will have nothing to do with Microsoft. The licensing, audits, and management software isn't something you want to touch if you're a startup. These companies mature and find that they're not really missing anything. They don't have MS Outlook.

E-mail clients suck because they've reached the point where people expect them to be free or bundled with the hardware. Lack of sales does not mean lack of use.

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IBM wheels out bleedin' big 15TB tape drive

Kevin McMurtrie
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First, let me say that I'm very impressed with being able to manage 360 Mbps on a ribbon of tape flying by despite mechanical imperfections on large components, thermal distortion, dust, and even air itself getting in the way. I have destroyed many tapes just trying to recalibrate an old analog VCR.

On the other hand, 15 TB is not impressing me. These cartridges may be cheaper than a hard drive but they're not much smaller and they need incredibly specialized mechanical support. Customer and IBM would have to agree to support each other for a long time to make this worth while.

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DSL inventor's latest science project: terabit speeds over copper

Kevin McMurtrie
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"Energy still leaks off wire if bent"

Typical telco wires go through several junctions that are one big rat's nest of crushed and untwisted wires. Even with a neighborhood distribution box, there's at least one more junction mess on the poles and a few more in the house. Each tiny disruption to the wire pair is an impedance mismatch, an antenna, and a low pass filter. This is why DSL is slow and this is why telcos can't just send plain old Ethernet down the wires.

Just replace it already.

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FCC blames DDoS for weekend web lockout

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Obvious loophole

...will be the invention of the DTP/IP protocol - a special high priority network layer that can carry DIRECTV over heavily throttled AT&T wires. No neutrality conflict here. Anyone can create high priority DTP/IP streams if they're willing to pay the protocol licensing and trademark fees.

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Michael Dell? More like Michael in-Dell-nial: No public cloud, no future

Kevin McMurtrie
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But, why?

Why would a computer maker want to compete with huge cloud companies like Amazon and Google that are willing to sometimes operate at a loss? That sounds like suicide. A better strategy would be helping them build their clouds while helping customers build private data centers. No matter which way the tech goes, you're selling computers.

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Months after it ordered a review into allegations of mismanagement, how's that ICANN accountability drive?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Kiss your domain name value goodbye

One of the responsibilities of ICANN is protecting the integrity of registrars and certain top level domains. They seem to be dumbing down their enforcement staff recently. An increasing number of the fraud complaints that I send in are rejected because they are investigated by somebody who doesn't seem to have any Internet knowledge, except for maybe a one page glossary taped to their computer monitor.

What this means to businesses is that those premium .com, .net, and .org TLDs aren't as premium any more. The oversight that keeps them from being another .cn, .ru, or .ro trash heap isn't there. It also means that defense against domain name hijacking is likely to become a lot more difficult too.

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Dark-web pedo jailed after FBI and co use vid trick to beat privacy tech

Kevin McMurtrie
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Unmasking

This was probably a movie container feature. MPEG4/MooV, Flash, and some other containers have a mind-boggling number of arcane features. They can run scripts, hyperlink, and embed almost any type of remote content.

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You only need 60 bytes to hose Linux's rpcbind

Kevin McMurtrie
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Mac

Verified that it's running on all interfaces of MacOS 10.11.6. My ancient 10.6.8 server at home doesn't have it (or it already died).

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Gamers red hot with fury over Intel Core i7-7700 temperature spikes

Kevin McMurtrie
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Stress

Running at 90C doesn't seem like a big deal. On the other hand, constantly cycling between 30C and 90C will eventually crack something important.

Ah, memories of old G4 and G5 Macs only working if you pushed on the motherboard.

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Don't panic, Florida Man, but a judge just said you have to give phone passcodes to the cops

Kevin McMurtrie
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Misleading

When I read the articles that made this article, it seems that it's actually the prosecuting state attorney demanding specific evidence required for a trial. It's not a matter of arresting officers trying to unlock your phone to see what bad stuff you've been up to. There's a big difference in how the information on the phone can be used.

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Republicans go all Braveheart again with anti-net neutrality bill

Kevin McMurtrie
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Along those lines

I'd like to introduce the "Restoring Congressional Wealth Act." It fixes some regulation for conflicts of interest that might appear to be bribes. I mean, just check out that awesome title and sign it.

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Post Unity 8 Ubuntu shock? Relax, Linux has been here before

Kevin McMurtrie
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Linux users kill Linux

I figured I'd finally try Ubuntu as a daily driver rather than just for work or side projects. Every time I search for specialized software, there's a list of only free software. Commercial software, even if it exists, seems to be shunned by much of the Linux community. This alone is why Linux always does poorly. There's no money in it except for rare enterprise support deals. How many teams of coders dream of spending 60 hours a week for two years creating the next killer app that generates exactly zero income?

While OSS takes care of some routine duties, I'd like to buy a few really high quality apps. Don't hate the commercial software.

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Netgear confirms: Intel's wobbly Puma 6 in fast broadband modems is super-easy to choke out

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Why is this a thing now?

Make a list of all URLs that a modem/router supports. Hit them all repeatedly with fuzzing and time the response. Scan for open ports and send them HTTP requests too. Hit the slowest results repeatedly and you'll usually cause a failure of some kind - OOM, buffer overflow, deadlock threads, or a good old fashioned brown-out.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Paris Hilton

Why is this a thing now?

Is there any consumer or "small business" device that isn't trivial to crash? Many of them don't even need to be provoked.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Kevin McMurtrie
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Oregon revenue

Anyone who has driven through Oregon a few times knows that a good number of cities have nothing but traffic fines supporting them. The speed limits are exceptionally low, there's a kid holding a radar gun in a Dodge Charger police car every two miles, and good luck finding a fair traffic judge.

Were the installers of the traffic cameras proper "Engineers" as required by Oregon? Doubt it. Better lock them up per local redneck law.

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It's a question worth asking: Why is the FCC boss being such a jerk?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Flame

Burning down the Whitehouse to keep warm

Pai could have blamed spying and expensive Internet prices on Obama's collusion with Google while accepting telco bribes to do nothing new about it. He would get his money, he would become the hero of idiots, he'd have lots of spare time, and nobody would get hurt.

It takes a special kind of asshole to set out destroying a pillar of technology for the entire country just because you got promoted in the job you hate doing.

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Cloudflare's incredible solution for IoT security: Use our services

Kevin McMurtrie
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The global arms dealer

Is there another press release proclaiming that criminals using Cloudflare will soon be able interact with compromised IoT devices more efficiently than before?

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A switch with just 49 ns latency? What strange magic is this?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Boffin

Product page says it has 49ns uplink latency as a 1Gbps to 10Gbps mux.

If I'm doing math right, a sensibly sized packet takes 12176 ns to arrive and 1217.6 ns to exit. That means the head of the packet must be delayed by at least 10958.4 ns to prevent a buffer under-run. It seems that the timing is for either a very small packet or it's measuring latency of the last bit in the packet. Each packet queuing to prevent a collision would also add another 1218 ns of latency.

Either way, it's after midnight and I shouldn't be attempting math.

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FCC's Pai: I am going to kill net neutrality in US

Kevin McMurtrie
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"government control is the key to the ability to speak your mind"

That pretty much sums up why the US Government was originally created, but hey, let's all try some medieval law for a while. Who's up for feudalism?

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Uber sued by ex-Lyft driver tormented by app maker's 'Hell' spyware

Kevin McMurtrie
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The Californian part of this world wouldn't mind Uber's cash bonfire burning out either. Between Uber's "Assholes win" mission statement and Lyft's horrible software security, the old cabs are a refreshing bit of simplicity.

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Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

Kevin McMurtrie
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The first step is to see what you have done

JavaScript integrates with the most familiar UI of all - the web browser. It gives starting students a way to visualize what they're doing. I think it's a great starting point even if the language details are a bit of a mess.

Java's native UI sucks. It started out as a bunch of randomly arriving callbacks and semi-documented magical containers then evolved into heavyweight event-driven layers of code-generated-code that you were wrongly assured would look right on each system. From there it only gets worse if you want to touch pixels and sound samples. This is why (non Android) Java became mostly a server language.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Kevin McMurtrie
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All the desktop operating systems

Desktop computers are going to hell no matter which operating system you're using. Cellphones are massively successful so OS makers think desktop computers should be simplified to match them. At the same time new features must be added to drive upgrades. This contradiction is converging into a mess that is complex yet offering fewer useful features. There's a big fail coming and I hope it clears a path for new things.

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FCC greenlights small cell free-for-all in the US

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Close the a tag...

A bird flew through the 5G signal where the close tag was. Those millimeter bands are rather fragile.

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Flaws found in Linksys routers that could be used to create a botnet

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Your router and firewall is no place for 'consumer-oriented' firmware

"Small Business" firmware makes consumer firmware look like fine art. You're lucky if it boots and stays running for an hour. It likely has executable file paths embedded in the admin console URLs and little bits of binary garbage leaking out here and there. You suspect that each software update cycle was outsourced to a different lowest bidder, but that still can't explain half the problems.

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Trump's self-imposed cybersecurity deadline is up: What we got?

Kevin McMurtrie
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Doesn't matter

Most politicians are elected by masses of people who can't hold a thought long enough see the outcome of promises made. You can check the web site... Gotta go - Somebody just yelled, "Cake!"

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Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

Kevin McMurtrie
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Big Brother

Googley eyes

Let us also not forget that Chrome was created by a marketing company that specializes in intimate data collection. The fine print of the TOS must surely bother some people or conflict with security requirements at work environments. I'm actually amazed that most people don't care.

Next stop: Google extending their untrusted certificates and harmful sites blacklists to include things Google just doesn't like.

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Kevin McMurtrie
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WTF?

"Nobody's got to use the internet."

Nobody's got to accept bribes either, right?

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Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Please Sir?

I think "doubling down" is what happens after you eat a Whopper burger.

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Verizon's bogus bills tanked my credit score, claims sueball slinger

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Wow, deja vu

The debt collectors are looking for easy money. Tell them you have documented proof of the billing error and they must either quit calling or take it to court. That's the end of their easy money and they go away. They can be reported as abusive if they call back.

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How's that for a remote login? NASA puts New Horizons probe to sleep 3.5 billion miles away

Kevin McMurtrie
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Trollface

Re: "was sent at less than 2Kbps."

And it's only as fast as 2Kbps if they keep powering it off and on again.

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72-layer flash die from SK Hynix towers over all, capacity a bit meh

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: this can't go on for long

Stacking the dies comes next. Need to make that little 'b' a big 'B'.

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Kevin McMurtrie
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Childcatcher

The cloud! Won't somebody think of the cloud!

Google, Apple, Amazon, and media rights managers have been telling everybody to stream from the cloud and pay monthly fees for everything. Now storage is fighting back.

I already have a 200 GB microSD card in my phone for offline everything. IT departments don't like streaming music and the best time to have a map and a copy of Wikipedia is when you're in the middle of nowhere without a signal.

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Revealed: Blueprints to Google's AI FPU aka the Tensor Processing Unit

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Can it do anything else?

I don't think Google cares if it does anything else. When it looks like you need $15 billion of new servers for a new project, running at 1.9x the speed saves $7.1 billion. Even a tiny 5% performance gain saves $714 million.

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Staff, projects shed as Ubuntu maker Canonical tries to lure investors

Kevin McMurtrie
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A lot of people use MacOS because they don't like Windows, and Apple seems like it has no idea what to do with Macs anymore. This would be a good time to convince MacOS users to jump ship to Linux.

Yes, Linux desktops suck. I will never forgive the idiots who decided to add a billion global keyboard shortcuts to Ubuntu so there's nothing left to use in apps. With a bit more market share, people might get around to improving it. I've been using Linux here and there for a long time but I just ordered a Linux box as my primary desktop since the Mac Pro isn't going anywhere.

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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

Kevin McMurtrie
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Based on a true story

Boeing has been researching hybrid planes for a long time. It's pretty much the same idea as hybrid cars - narrowing the operating range of a fossil fuel engine to where it's most efficient and making up the difference with an electric system. A bonus is that short trips have a higher percentage of their time on battery power. Being able to put little electric engines anywhere can help performance too.

The question is why Boeing is handing over development to another company rather than doing it themselves. It seems like an attempt to avoid risk.

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Kevin McMurtrie
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Tells customer to get a refund?

Usually customer support keeps telling you that a fix is on its way until the in-store, credit card, and manufacturer warranties have expired. At that point you're still entitled to a refund but it's a difficult process. Tech that doesn't work on day one needs to be returned on day one.

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Mac Pro update: Apple promises another pricey thing it will no doubt abandon after a year

Kevin McMurtrie
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Placing an order for Linux box now

I was wondering if there'd be a good desktop Mac coming this year. Trash Can Mac is like delivering a sporty roadster with a trailer hitch to professionals asking for a truck.

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Alabama man gets electrocuted after sleeping with iPhone

Kevin McMurtrie
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A long time ago

US wall plugs have holes in the tips that mate with clips in the outlet so that plugs can not wiggle loose. They snap in and out. Properly made outlets that clip onto properly made plugs cost a few dollars extra so nobody has them anymore.

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Good Guy Comcast: We're not going to sell your data, trust us

Kevin McMurtrie
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I read this as...

Comcast has the technology to collect customer data but they've grown tired of rebooting it every day to keep it working

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Trump sets sights on net neutrality

Kevin McMurtrie
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President Swoop and Poop

I figured Trump would delegate everything to a bunch billionaires and plunge the US into years of depression, social conflict, and global economic sanctions. Somehow, he's on target to be worse than that.

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US cops, firefighters to get new emergency wireless network – AT&T to get $6.5bn

Kevin McMurtrie
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$6.5bn to build

I wonder how much of this is deploying hardware and how much of this is sending new firmware to cell towers. Private networks don't really exist anymore and AT&T isn't known for preemptively upgrading infrastructure.

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Web-app devs note: Google wants to banish JavaScript dialogues

Kevin McMurtrie
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Windows

The "Chrome Team" is saying this because

Google can't delete the 90% of their Play Store inventory that is serving up fraudulent full-screen ads masquerading as a running application to hijack user input.

Time to reassign the Special Brew guy icon to Google.

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Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right

Kevin McMurtrie
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Owner of Java buys Java consultant company

There must be a new "Enterprise Edition" of Java coming out. Sell the problem and sell the solution.

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Boffins name 12 new types of cloud in first Cloud Atlas since 1986

Kevin McMurtrie
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Coat

Re: BTFH?

"spewing out lightning at 60 a second"

That's only a problem with UK's 50Hz power. Those 60Hz lightning storms work nicely in the US, even if the transformers get a bit buzzy from saturating through half the cycle.

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We're 90 per cent sure the FCC's robocall kill plan won't have the slightest impact

Kevin McMurtrie
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Re: Spoofing ?

Making spoofing impossible is the one and only real cure. It won't ever happen - telcos would lose all those telemarketing customers.

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