* Posts by AlbertH

334 posts • joined 18 Jul 2012

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Targeted, custom ransomware menace rears its ugly head

AlbertH

Re: Custom ransomware menace rears its ugly head

This is what happens when you use that amateur open source socialist Linux instead of the industry standard legally compliant Microsoft® Windows™.

Joking aside, it's interesting to look at the exclusions that Microsoft have in their corporate contracts.

My lawyer recently had cause to examine these carefully and said that there's no way that any truly "diligent" company could sign up to one of these "legal" abominations. MS wash their hands of all Malware of all sorts. If you have any issue with their software or operating systems, it's pretty much your problem - you're on your own!

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Openreach asks UK what it thinks about 10 million 'full fibre' connections

AlbertH

Re: 27 years too late, after Thatcher killed it

If someone could have worked out a way of feeding 10km of fibre down a duct

They did - a long time ago. It's called "blown fibre" and the ducts have lots of smaller plastic sub-ducts within them. Fibre is added to the duct by blowing a puck attached to a drawstring down the duct with compressed air.

I built a network of fibre like that over some tens of kilometres (for traffic monitoring CCTV). The plastic ductwork is cheap, can be "moled" in (no surface digging required) and provides capacity for literally thousands of fibres through a 10cm diameter duct.

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AlbertH

Re: 27 years too late, after Thatcher killed it

Small point of order:

Thatcher had nothing to do with stopping the FTTP roll-out. That happened in the first years of the Blair Reign Of Terror, because Blair's pet companies (like NTL and Telewest) couldn't compete with BT - not because of cost, but because of fundamental ineptitude.

Amalgamating all cable TV services in the UK into one company was just one step away from Nationalising it, which Gordon Brown proposed a few years later.

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Pastor la vista, baby! FCC enforcers shut down church pirate radio

AlbertH

Re: I think someone may have reported them

Getting a clean carrier is relatively easy. Controlling your deviation with all sorts of programme material is much harder. The cheap any easy way is to use clipping, but who wants fuzz box effects on everything? A truly effective airchain processor can cost more than the rest of the station put together. It's difficult to get consistently high deviation inside the permitted bandwidth without sounding "over-processed", but it's possible.

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AlbertH

Re: "The cost is about £5-6k/month"

25W at 25m sets you about a kilometre in reasonably noise-quietening stereo in most British cities. If they're going to be serious about RSL broadcasts, they should be in the low hundreds of Watts for fair coverage in most areas. OFCOM fail to recognise the problems of the raised noise floor (from the proliferation of broadcasters and nasty SMPSUs everywhere).

25W in mono could cover a good chunk of London in the 70s, but these days it goes nowhere.

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AlbertH

Re: "The cost is about £5-6k/month"

The sad reality of the small licences under OFCOM is that the power levels permitted are barely enough to get over the noise floor - giving a usable range of a kilometre or two in most cities - and their small local long-term licences are so financially restricted that they are impossible to operate without sizeable donations from operators or (if you're lucky) the listeners.

Many of the "community" broadcasters manage to attain audiences that can be counted on your fingers and toes - none will ever be attractive to advertisers - the derisory power levels and antenna restrictions ensure that they can never reach a wide audience.

These licences (RSL and "community") were just a sop to try to close down the pirates. OFCOM don't actually want broadcast radio to be the mass medium it once was. They're doing all they can to kill off innovation and are allowing ever more of the automated, voice-tracked rubbish to fill the bands. They are allowing the three big radio corporations to get away with all sorts of contraventions of the broadcast licence terms, but cracking down on the little, self-financed guys for too little "locally generated" content.

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AlbertH

Re: I wouldn't say it was ALL downhill.

Sadly, under BBC control, Peel was allocated a "producer" to keep him under control. He was never as innovative or interesting as during the few months he was broadcasting from offshore. Similarly, Kenny Everett was under the thumb of "Auntie", and was only allowed to really let rip when he was on the very early Capital Radio. Everett was an innovative broadcaster and very misunderstood.

British land-based pirates were good in the 70s and 80s, but lost their way when they all became "dance music" clones, financed by raves and drug dealing in the 90s. There are virtually no worthwhile pirates in the UK any more, with the exception of Radio Brittania broadcasting from the top of the pennines, and one or two others around the cities. London has nothing of any note these days, and persistent enforcement actions by OFCOM make most of the ones in the provinces sporadic at best.

Mainland Europe has a lot of pirate activity. France is getting lots on medium wave since their national broadcasters decided to close down there. The Netherlands has a healthy pirate scene, with some of the stations running many kilowatts. Germany suffers under Mutti Merkel and the kids are beginning to make their displeasure known, with many anti-immigrant stations popping up all over the country. Italy is the same chaotic mess that it always was, and Spain has lots of pirates. Greece is pretty active too.

The technology to build and operate clandestine broadcast stations has never been cheaper, and the power semiconductor devices available today are amazing - rugged, lots of gain, and pennies per Watt! Clandestine broadcasters use ever more complex means to conceal their studios and dissociate them from their unattended transmission sites. With some finance and Intelligence, a pirate station can evade the law for years. Their transmitter equipment will periodically be seized by the authorities, but there are seldom arrests and convictions for illicit broadcasting.

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Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

AlbertH

Re: Et merde!

All the data plans on UK mobile networks are wildly over-priced. The UK is one of the most expensive places in the world for any kind of connectivity. My domestic interweb connection costs ~£40/month for 70 Mb/s. I get 1 Gb/s in Singapore for ~£5/month!

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AlbertH
Coat

Re: Local bowling club does signs right

Our Local:

"We aim to please - we'd be pleased if you'd aim!"

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Comodo database glitch causes billing problems

AlbertH
FAIL

Re: Well at least they have working backups

We can chalk it up to a learning experience and go from there.

Probably not. It smells like incompetence.... Very difficult to root out!

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Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

AlbertH

Papworth NHS Trust has had something like 16 of these ransomware attacks in the last 12 months, and hasn't done anything. It is going to take a lot more than this to change management attitudes.

That's particularly scary - for me - since I'm one of their patients!

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Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

AlbertH
Linux

Be careful what you wish for little penguins. Windows is only as dirty as it is because of it's popularity!

Nope. The fundamental structure of Unix and Unix-alike systems (including Linux) is based on rigorous permissions. I haven't come across any piece of malware that can actually guess my Administrative Password....

Unfortunately, a Truly Stupid Decision™ was taken by Bill gates himself in the late 80s - "security doesn't matter - it's all about "Ease Of Use"". This has haunted them ever since - shipping OSs and software with any tiny vestige of security just tacked on as an afterthought.

Windows is rather analogous to cassette tape - it's a home use medium, but not suitable for serious, high quality work!

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AlbertH

Windows XP had fundamentally poor security. I mean conceptually in its design.

Sadly, the vast majority of the XP vulnerabilities still exist in their latest versions. MS never have understood the need for real security, and it was always an afterthought. Bill took the decision - way back in 1987 - to sacrifice "security" for "ease of use". This situation still pertains, which is why MS products are simply not suitable for serious use. They're "home grade" products and shouldn't be used for anything that requires security.

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AlbertH

Re: XP

Blame that Jeremy.....

Nope - blame T. Blair esq. He took Bill's shilling way back in the early part of the noughties and was bought a nice house in Eaton Square, Belgravia in return. Blair tied the UK into an "agreement" with Microsoft, ensuring that we would be saddled with insecure, unreliable, expensive crapware for ever more.

Any attempts by smarter parts of government to migrate to more modern, more secure operating systems and software were (and are) stamped on by the mandarins in Whitehall (many of whom are also the recipients of nice presents from MS).

It must be borne in mind that No UK Government IT projects have EVER worked properly

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

AlbertH

Re: Gotta move to Linux

Don't tell them that. If they all start using Linux, the virus devs will move on to that.

That's pretty unlikely. The underlying permissions structure of Linux, BSD and Unix make most of the types of attacks impossible. A user could (theoretically) screw up their own files, but the damage would be very confined.

The Linux problems at the moment are:

It's perceived as "geeky" and difficult to use:

My whole family have used Linux only for he last ten years, and most of them haven't a clue about anything other than basic use of a computer.

There's too much choice and no definitive "version":

One of the bigger distributions could be chosen - probably something like Debian / Mate - as the "definitive" version.

There's no support:

There is if you go with a bigger vendor....

All the objections can be easily overcome.

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AlbertH

Re: NHS staff

No - PICNIC

Problem In Chair Not In Computer

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AlbertH

Re: Using Windows?

Remind me again, how did such an odd and inefficient system come to pass?

A clue for you..... The NHS began in 1948. Who was in government in 1948?

Most NHS computer systems were installed in the early 2000s..... Who was in government in 2000...?

Who got a nice house bought for him in Eaton Square SW1 by Bill Gates? Clue: He was Prime Minister in 2001......

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AlbertH

Re: Ransomware

Hopefully a major incident like this will spur some action from someone.

This is Windows you're talking about. "Security" just doesn't exist.

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'Crazy bad' bug in Microsoft's Windows malware scanner can be used to install malware

AlbertH
Linux

Re: It's been patched and rolled out.

It might fix that one, but there will be plenty more where that came from!

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FYI: You can blow Intel-powered broadband modems off the 'net with a 'trivial' packet stream

AlbertH

Virgin on the ridiculous

Unfortunately, Virgin cap your usage and deliberately cripple your connection if you exceed their paltry allowance. They also sell all your browsing information to "Phorm". Their DNS is poisoned, and their "service" is a joke, with week-long outages and no recompense for the abused subscriber.

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BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

AlbertH

Re: Being on a placement myself...

Transport for London is going through an ill-managed Number 2 (how appropriate) in Vanguard G's post. The collapse of morale and the ill-will towards the clueless management who - ultimately - are just trying to justify their unearned wealth is astonishing to see. Any staff with any real engineering ability are resigning or taking "Voluntary Severance", leaving behind the mindless pen-pushers and useless management morons - it won't be very safe to travel around London soon.

The infrastructure of our city is crumbling, the contractors charged with doing the repairs and upgrades are always the cheapest of a bad bunch, and we're now saddled with a Muslim Mayor who's more interested in carefully placing his cronies and "Fellow Travellers" than he is in improving London. No wonder people are leaving in droves!

BTW - you don't get a placement at TfL unless you're from a "minority".....

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Please come back! TalkTalk woos customers with broadband offers

AlbertH
Flame

Liars, Damn' Liars and ISPs

Virgin's "traffic shaping" and their little caveats throughout their small print means that you'll NEVER get anything approaching their quoted speeds. You might get (very) short bursts of high speed - if you're lucky. Virgin also sell all your browsing data to advertising companies.

BT (if you pay for their most expensive VDSL service and are in a covered area) don't cap or restrict their service too much (I get an absolutely consistent 78 Mb/s down, 17.8 Mb/s up), but their DNS lookups are restricted (supposedly due to some Act of Parliament).

Talk Talk are exactly what they claim to be - all Talk! They cannot deliver any kind of useful service at my Central London address, and my neighbours - on a different telephone exchange - get data rates that I used to get from a dial-up modem! They are incompetent and dissembling.

Most ISPs are just reselling BT services, so they're all as bad as each other, and Virgin are a clueless, useless, sad joke. You'd think that Virgin - as a monopoly on cable services in the UK - would make sufficient effort that their service would be several times better than anything down twisted copper wires, so that they could take over the whole market - after all, the theoretical bandwidth down a coaxial cable is spectacular. Virgin just use their position to fleece their customers for an abysmal, intermittent "service".

There doesn't appear to be ANY ISP in the UK that can provide a proper, fast, stable, uncapped, unrestricted service at any price. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

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UK's largest hospital trust battles Friday 13th malware outbreak

AlbertH
Thumb Down

Re: Gosh.......

D.A.M. You're going to have to stop being a snowflake and grow up. If you don't like a comment, don't call it "racist" - that's just a (now) meaningless epithet spat out by clueless lefties who desperately need to justify their childish beliefs.

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Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

AlbertH

Re: I remember when ...

We all did!

I made grid bias batteries by breaking open hand-lamp batteries and taking a couple of cells out, then wrapping them in paper and insulting tape. They would last for months. I also made HT (B+) battery stacks out of hand-lamp batteries hacked together for 120V. The heater batteries were "U2" torch cells, and would be the ones that were replaced weekly - I used to buy four U2 cells with my pocket money! A little later, I started to use a 6V motorcycle battery for the heaters, and my dad built a charger to replenish the charge over night.

My receiver began as a 2-valve TRF with regeneration, and grew into a dual-conversion 12-valve monster which included three 7360 switched beam tetrodes - one for the front end mixer, one for the second mixer and a third for the product detector for resolving SSB. It's still the best receiver I've ever used!

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Poor software design led to second £1m Army spy drone crash

AlbertH

You have to wonder how much military aviation experience the designers of this thing have.

None whatsoever. I know two ex-members of the Thales team who left because of the fundamental ineptitude of the management. Many obvious, simple and inexpensive fixes were proposed for these vehicles, but management didn't want to know.

After all, the more of these drones that the military destroy, the more Thales will sell - especially since they can always blame "pilot error" when the wetware decides that intervention is necessary!

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

AlbertH

Re: About time

AV is a scam. I have never seen any AV product actually do anything useful. When it's trivially easy to build and disseminate a Windows virus in minutes, the AV vendors are - at best - playing "catch up" and at worst are just shipping bogus products that just use up machine resources for no return whatsoever.

Since MS don't understand the basic principles of security - they used to, but abandoned it in favour of "ease of use" - if you want any real kind of "cybersecurity", you cannot use MS products. When the business world catches on to this basic truth, MS will be (finally) done for, unless they abandon their entire product range and start again, much as Apple did with OSX.

Even Chrome and Android have better fundamental, underlying security than any version of Windows!

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British politicians sign off on surveillance law, now it's over to the Queen

AlbertH
Childcatcher

As Usual - it's unworkable

As with everything the UK government tries to do with computers, it will be an unmitigated disaster.

They have no idea of the sheer volume of data they'll be trying to harvest. The clueless overpaid software shysters will sell them all sorts of worthless "analysis" software to comb through the vast amounts of data they'll collect, and after they raid a few schools for children connecting to inappropriate websites, they'll quietly drop the nonsense after squandering squillions of quid of our money.....

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It's nearly 2017 and JPEGs, PDFs, font files can hijack your Apple Mac, iPhone, iPad

AlbertH

That's really funny. These Apple clowns build their shiny stuff on top of BSD, which SHOULD be seriously secure, but they go the Microsoft route, and assume that all their users are too stupid to use an OS with real security, so they cripple its innate security "for ease of use". Morons!

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But is it safe? Uncork a bottle of vintage open-source FUD

AlbertH

Re: User Importance

We have "important" managers at work MUST have an iPad (must be the latest, most expensive variant), the most expensive Macbook, and an iPhone 7 (the most expensive version). What do they do with this expensive rubbish? Connect to an OpenChange Server for their email, browse the interweb, and play games.

Each of them has several thousand pounds-worth of Apple hardware that could trivially be replaced with a cheap tablet, cheap Android phone, and a third-hand ten-year-old desktop machine from the office pool running Ubuntu.

That's where your tax money is going - supporting idiots like that. I work at a Government department!

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Virgin Media costs balloon by MEEELLIONS in wake of Brexit

AlbertH

Re: They are a media company

4k STB which has probably just become 10% more expensive.

No it hasn't. The price from Taiwan has dropped by nearly 14%. The things cost almost nothing, and they're charging their customers £££ for them - they could go up by 200% and they'd still see a profit! All ISP services here in the UK are profiteering scams.

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UK Labour man Owen Smith: If you wanna be a leader, you gotta stop with that lens

AlbertH

Re: Demonstrating yet again...

... the PICNIC fault - Problem In Chair, Not In Computer

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Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

AlbertH

Re: So, to sum up...

Marketing people are of course #1 on the list.

No - just above them should be "Project Managers". They are overpaid worthless parasites. They are the wasps of the engineering world - they have no reason to exist.

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UK's mass-surveillance draft law grants spies incredible powers for no real reason – review

AlbertH

Hiding messages is easy....

Steganographic techniques, one-time encryptions (often based on "book codes"), and huge quantities of legitimately transmitted data will allow the unimpeded and undetectable transmission of secret messages.

The decryption software tools and the hardware available to the "authorities" guarantees that they won't ever find any useful data - except through ineptitude or sheer fluke. They will, however, spend inordinate amounts of our money on this worthless effort.

They'll also create lots of jobs for the otherwise useless "graduates" being turned out by British universities.

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Brit network O2 hands out free Windows virus with USB pens

AlbertH

Re: How much do Geeks Earn...?

No - The old Morecambe and Wise gag was "What's a Greek Urn?"

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Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

AlbertH

Re: Although the burden of proof lies with Love

Obviously proving that you've forgotten passwords is difficult...

My run-in with Plod was made all the funnier because they'd never seen Linux before and made the assumption that I "must be hiding something" because I wasn't using Windoze or Apple. I steadfastly refused to provide passwords and pointed out that if their "computer specialists" were any good, they'd be in the machines in minutes.

When it got to Court, I demonstrated that the reason I used "something else" was to prevent any unauthorised access to my copyrighted work on my machines. I also demonstrated that breaking into a Windoze machine was trivially easy - which is why I won't use it.....

They were unable to gain access to my machines (except to a "Guest" account) and I refused to let them in. The Judge asked if there was anything that I didn't want revealed on my machines. I explained that there were details of my Bank Accounts, a lot of my work, and various private emails. The Judge asked if he could be allowed to have a private look at the contents - I acceded, on the understanding that it was restricted to him, in private. He had a quick look, concluded that there was nothing actionable on the machines and dismissed the case.

I received a settlement for unlawful detention and for the unlawful seizure of my gear - I don't need to work for a couple of years!

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

AlbertH

Re: Windows8.2=10 is a fraud and a scam!

Under UK Consumer Law, no version of Windows has ever been "fit for purpose". This is just one of the ways you can get your money back from the Windoze Tax you're forced to pay if you want a modern machine.

I've just received refunds for 124 copies of Windoze 8 that were pre-installed on to my new office machines. I told HP that I didn't want Windoze, but they insisted that I couldn't have the computers unless I took their pre-loaded crapware. I have a favourable pricing deal with them, and the computer specification was just what we needed (as long as it has our corporate spin on Ubuntu on it), so buying from them was sensible....

We tested two of the batch of machines with the provided OS and software. Both failed in one way or another within the first 20 minutes, so the OS and software was obviously not "fit for purpose". HP didn't quibble - in fact, they agree with us, and refunded us over 40% of the purchase price of the machines on the understanding that we'd delete the contents of the hard drives and not register any of the pre-installed rubbish!

Strangely, HP are beginning to offer Ubuntu pre-installs again......

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Play Store malware roots phones, installs an app every two minutes

AlbertH
Linux

Re: Play services

Bob Rocket

You're almost certainly running some poorly written third-party crudware. You need to examine all you've loaded, find what's running all the time and delete or alter the permissions of that application so that it doesn't automatically put itself in the background at boot.

You could try to load Windoze mobile on to your phone - it's unlikely to work (factory-installed phones don't work properly with Windoze mobile) and the "speed" would be laughable compared to Android.

Some of the alternative Android builds (like Cyanogen, for example) are truly fabulous. They make the phone behave as it should - fast and with great stability - and they make IOS and Windoze look like they're from 1995!

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Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

AlbertH

Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

I don't know where you get your numbers (remember - 87% of statistics are made up on the spot). You have to remember that the entire Internet runs on Linux - making Windows a poor proprietary client for a Unix world.

Windows will become ever more irrelevant and as Microsoft fail to meet the universal standards set by the web - or, worse yet, try to set their own - and governments and businesses are starting to see this.

The UK actually has rules in place to ensure that all government departments will use fully open standards and open sourced software in the next two years. This will be the beginning of the end for MS as other countries will also do the same.

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AlbertH

Re: Perhaps ....

My slipstick is a nice "British Thornton" wooden one from the late 50s. I still use it most days.

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AlbertH

Re: Pulling dick moves has historically worked really well for Apple.

name 6 dick moves from apple

Suing their main component supplier for "copyright infringement" thereby putting up the prices of their components to levels that made their products entirely uncompetitive. That silly lawsuit nearly killed them off. Samsung are still laughing about the massive price increases they've managed to impose on Apple - that they're forced to pay!

Another five would be trivial to list. Their ineptitude will ensure that they're unlikely to survive the next five years....

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Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

AlbertH

Re: don't run windows update until august 1

Don't forget, the Windows 7 EULA *NEVER* gave Microsoft permission to FORCE! UPGRADES! (or updates for that matter).

Actually, their EULA allows them to do anything they choose to your Windoze install. Read carefully - they retain ownership of the software. You're just leasing it!

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Tech support locker scam poses as failed Microsoft Update

AlbertH
Linux

Back-up...... and delete

The entire fix for this mess:

Remove the HDD from the afflicted machine, connect it to another machine with one of the numerous recovery Linux distros installed. Recover all the (l)user's files. Back them up to a couple of different media. Delete Windows and install from a Linux Mint DVD. Copy all the (l)user's files to the Home directory of their new system. Spend 10 minutes showing them how to log in, locate their files and configure their Email. Job done. No further "service calls" from "Microsoft" and a computer that runs as it should.

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

AlbertH
Happy

An Amazing Childhood Experience

I remember being taken to see that station during its construction. My Father's friend was one of the Project Engineers, so he was able to show us around. I still remember being awestruck at the sheer size of the artificial cavern that they had created!

Truly amazing!

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IE and Graphics head Microsoft's Patch Tuesday critical list

AlbertH
Linux

Re: Not worth the risk

You're between a rock and a hard place: if you DO update Windoze as MS want you to, you're forced into the lunacy that is Win 10. If you DON'T update it, you're certain to fall victim to one of the growing multitude of exploits that cause so much trouble....

You really should upgrade to an operating system and software that Just Works™. It doesn't suffer from malware because of its permissions structure (something that MS just can't get right), and it makes full and proper use of your hardware, without all the wasted resources that Windoze demands for its "security" software. In the first instance, move to Linux Mint - it installs in 10 minutes, asks you for your name and chosen password and then you're away.

Make the move - you won't regret it!

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Linux Mint to go DIY for multimedia

AlbertH
Linux

Re: UI changes

Exactly. Everything "Just Works"™ with Linux. I have NEVER installed Windoze and had all the hardware work. Even worse, many of the drivers supplied by major manufacturers are unsigned, so Windoze whinges about them. Canon are particularly bad in this respect (and don't provide Linux drivers for their hardware........).

Windoze is now just an irrelevant, slow, buggy, unstable proprietary client for a Linux / Unix world.

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'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

AlbertH

SAM Broadcaster? Forget it.

We used SAM Broadcaster - briefly. We found that it was rather unstable on Windoze 7 (though it wasn't bad on XP), and would spontaneously crash, often requiring a complete reboot. When the Win 10 nagware started, it became completely unusable!

We made the biggest change possible - we moved to Ubuntu and "Rivendell" for our 24/7 streaming service. It took a little time to learn our way around the new OS and software, and to integrate it with our record library (which has always used Ubuntu).

We stream using Icecast, and the results are superb. Quality is high, stability is perfect and the "live" option works flawlessly for programmes with live presenters.

There was a fairly steep learning curve, and there were a few configuration niggles that were sorted out with the help of the very active Users' Group. We now use entirely FOSS software and operating systems throughout our studio centre - saving us a fortune in licensing and support costs!

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Australia's Dick finally drops off

AlbertH

Re: Next on the list

Certainly not. Maplin seldom have actual stock of anything you might need in a hurry! I can get overnight delivery of components from (for example) Rapid Electronics in Colchester or even Tayda in Singapore far more cheaply than I can get anything from Maplin.

A couple of years ago, I needed to build - in a hurry - a couple of quite precise audio filters for a project. I decided to build the board on a Saturday, so hurried down to the Hammersmith branch of Maplin with a list of the parts I wanted, (mostly 2% polystyrene capacitors) complete with their part codes from their catalogue. I handed the list to to PFY behind the counter, and a few minutes later he handed me a paper bag and an invoice. I went to the till, settled the invoice and hurried home to build my circuit.

When I opened the paper bag, I found that instead of 2% polystyrene capacitors of 1n5, 1n8, 2n2 and so on, I'd received the same number of cheap polyester 4n7 capacitors - all the same value! I'd been charged the inflated prices for the 2% parts as well!

I phoned the branch up to complain, and was told that they no longer stocked the parts I'd ordered, so they'd substituted parts "that'll do the job"! That was the last time I bothered with Craplin!

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AlbertH
FAIL

Re: dropped off a *long* time ago

Right now in the UK, the same thing is happening (has happened) with Maplin. They started off as a small component retailer / mail order shop in Essex, selling components and kits to electronics enthusiasts. Years ago, I designed a couple of kits for them, and they paid quite generous royalties per unit sold.

Electronics construction is not as popular as it once was, and so Maplin "diversified" into all sorts of cheap electronic tat - sold at premium prices - in the mistaken belief that this would get customers into their shops again. They still can't see where they've got it wrong, trying to be Tandy. They've lost their core customers.

Their component prices are incredible: They charge the same for four cheap ¼W resistors as I pay for 200 of the same value from the Far East! Their range of parts has been radically reduced, and they seldom have actual physical stock of parts in their shops despite their computer system always insisting that they have lots in stock.....

Dick Smith - sadly - went exactly the same way as Maplin. I don't expect the English company to last much longer - they've already shut about a third of their branches - they're selling the wrong things at the wrong prices. Maplin are certain to suffer the same fate as Dick Smith!

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Your pointy-haired boss 'bought a cloud' with his credit card. Now what?

AlbertH
Coat

Re: Missing the real point

You have PHB's that stick around for more than 4 years at a time!

You're like me - suffering from "Seagull Management"!

They fly in, squawk a lot, cr@p over everything, and fly out again!

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Microsoft lures top Linux exec from Oracle to Redmond

AlbertH
Devil

Re: Microsoft Linux Container OS with NT kernel

Expect to see NT open-sourced

No chance. They really don't want to reveal the abysmal tangled spaghetti mess that is the NT kernel.

MS are just shifting their means of monetising their (abysmal) products: They make clear in their EULA that all you've bought is a "licence to use" their products - NOT the products themselves. They're clearly moving towards some "pay-per-use" model with remotely housed application servers. You can be sure that W10.5 will be (effectively) a thin client for their "App Store".....

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