* Posts by Don Dumb

400 posts • joined 20 May 2013

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US spymasters trash Kaspersky: AV tools can't be trusted, we've stuck a probe in them

Don Dumb
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Re: Confused?

@HAL-9000

Of course all our recommends are going to be subjective anecdotes (imagine few people here ever get a virus to detect). But for what it's worth, I found Kaspersky 2015 to be quite annoying (it messed around with certificates among other things) and got in the way a bit too much. Bitdefender has been much more streamlined, I barely notice it's there and it does Windows security updates better than Microsoft Update.

I only considered the few anti-virus options that were consistently at the top of the anti-virus comparison tables.

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Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

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Pint

Re: Totally Overrated / Fake Sense Of Security

@Tom 64 - "Until someone figures out how to hack my brain."

See icon.

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BBC admits iPlayer downloads are broken

Don Dumb
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Re: Remove! Flash! Everywhere! on! your! site! Now!

Calm down Hans 1 - Just uninstall Flash.

I haven't had it on my computer for a couple of years. iPlayer has worked for a long time and the vast majority of the rest of the BBC content (not old news stories) is not flash based. They seem to have shifted news stories off flash around the time of the 2016 Olympics. I rarely (if ever) come up against a video on the beeb asking for flash.

Beer icon, because I think you need one.

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God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons

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Stop

Re: Where were all these virtue signallers...

@boltar - "Where were all these virtue signallers... when the president of china with its horrendous human rights record visited the UK?"

On the News, outside Buckingham Palace, protesting. Don't you remember?

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Re: Sigh

@Missing Semicolon - "World politics is a game for adults, not entitled teenagers of any age."

The child playing at being US President is contradictory evidence.

You honestly think the UK people shouldn't be able to express their displeasure that someone they believe to be undeserving shouldn't get a State visit?

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Re: People

@boltar - "When 30 million sign the petition (not including all the thousands of dups + bots) get back to us."

30 milllion!

Only 17 million people voted to leave the EU but that doesn't stop (Interim Prime Minister) Teresa May repeatedly insisting that they spoke for all the people.

So, again, what IS the threshold before "the people have spoken"?

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European Patent Office supremo rapped on knuckles by nation reps

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This raises further questions

"the decision to move the BoA to Haar passed by 21 votes to seven, with another seven countries abstaining. Commentators have noted that the nations that voted in favor are the same ones that repeatedly block efforts to admonish or fire Battistelli. Most represent Europe's smaller economies."

I feel there is some comment missing in this story -

Is there any reason for smaller economies to protect Battistelli?

This seems a bit like Sepp Blatter remaining President of Fifa for so long because the smaller Fifa nations didn't want to oust him. In that case it was because Blatter kept the gravy flowing to them.

What I can't work out is what motivation small European economies have to keep Battistelli, this is just a Patent Office - does he provide smaller nations with something that they are worried will be stopped if he is removed?

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Climate change bust up: We'll launch our own damn satellites if Trump pulls plug – Gov Brown

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Mushroom

Re: "Lukewarm Lemmings and the Lysenko Larceny" at FauxScienceSlayer

@Faux Science Slayer - Why are you still here?

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Microsoft's Edge to flush Adobe Flash in Windows 10 Creator’s Update

Don Dumb
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Re: BBC take note

@Dave Harvey - iPlayer hasn't needed Flash for over a year. The desktop news site hasn't seem to have needed it either for several months. I don't have flash installed and I seem to have been able to watch anything I've clicked on for a while now.

What are you trying to watch on the BBC site that needs Flash? Is it older videos?

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Remember that amazing video of the whale leaping out the gym floor and splashing down? Yeah, it was BS

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Stop

"Investment"

@Lee D - "If you were investing millions into something, would you not request a personal demo where you actually see the demo for yourself, in your own time, and see how it works?"

You're making a *massive* assumption - that the contracts to invest money don't have many, many stipulations about at what point money gets exchanged. I wonder if Dragons Den/Sharktank gives everyone the idea that investment always means getting all the money upfront.

Whilst there are indeed idiot investors, I would imagine that for something like this, the investors have seen many similar claims and aren't *that* stupid to put all their money in up front with no strings attached. I'm guessing that most only give the big financial transfers of the investment when concrete milestones are achieved. Often investments seem to come with representatives being inserted into the venture (perhaps at board level), it would be difficult to pull the wool over people's eyes when they have their own people on the inside.

If I was an investor (I'm definitely not) I might commit a large amount of money but only pay a small amount up front, most of the funding would be payable when tangible (non-fabricatable) things (like a product getting to market) were demonstrably achieved AND with contracted breakpoints so I could pull out of the commitment if nothing was achieved within a given timeframe.

When the author, talks about "investors pulling out" I assume that they are withdrawing from commitments having not already paid out everything.

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FAIL

@petestrohm - "Looks like this article written someone from MS Hololens team"

Looks like you need to learn about the phrase 'damning with faint praise'.

They way I read it, they weren't so much saying Hololens is great, as much as citing Hololens as an average example of that particular tech.

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Don Dumb
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Re: Quick guide to spotting non-existent tech

@AC - "I don't remember similar articles on (say) Autonomy or even Steorn, though Steorn took a lot of stick from commenters (and rightly so)."

I guess maybe they didn't get an article like this because Autonomy didn't do a massive viral marketing campaign using bollocks videos. The point isn't so much massive business cons but noticing the hallmarks of a modern invest-in-us campaign that is more a bluff than a genuinely well meaning startup.

I must admit, I hadn't heard of Autonomy before the HP purchase, I hadn't heard of Steorn until your post. I hadn't heard of this company by name but I had seen people posting this video on social media several times and I have noticed lots of similar 'this technology will change the future' video marketing.

There does seem to be a formula of, whip up excitement by getting noticed and then using coverage of that notoriety as vindication that your company is successful, then getting investment based on that 'success', then surfing that bow wave of investment to get more investment. Only then do you (eventually) either release the amazing product or the bluff gets called and the investment gets pulled. But by then, the CEO/ringleader has made their money and moves on, getting to blame everyone else for not having their vision.

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Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal

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Re: That's your problem right there

@Lost all faith - "Ever thought he may of heard the text in his backback and didn't want the hassle of getting it out?"

YES. That is the point.

If you are in control of a vehicle, and a bicycle is one, then you shouldn't be reading texts, it is rare people are riding on an empty cycle path with no other people or animals and a surface so dependable that you don't need to keep your eyes on what's ahead.

I recognise that he may 'intend' to stop, read the text without getting his phone out and then carry on - but somehow I doubt that is what he or anybody else really would do. Far too many car drivers don't bother to stop whilst they read their phone, I'm guessing cyclists wouldn't either.

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Don Dumb
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That's your problem right there

"The company launched its first smartwatch under the Pebble name on Kickstarter in 2012 after Vancouver engineering student Eric Migovsky found it was difficult to read Blackberry alerts while cycling."

You're in control of a vehicle Eric, how about paying attention?

And that to me seems to be the problem with all these wearables - as you really should *not* be reading while cycling.

I'm guessing that if the police cracks-down on people using their phones whilst driving, we will see many more people having a good look at their smartphones while crashing, definitely not reading text messages.

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Comcast is the honey badger of ISPs – injects pop-ups into browsers, doesn't give a fsck

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It isn't 2016 here.

@AC - "My god its 2016, who's on a capped connection in this stone age?"

The vast majority of UK internet users

Although whether most people *understand* their usage is limited is a different matter of course.

I'm currently shopping around to see if I can get a better deal on broadband, I have FTTC and no Virgin availability. The competition seems to be fierce *IF* you don't mind a double digit GB limit. Once you look at 'unlimited' usage, there is little to differ between providers. And of course, unlimited, rarely means that*.

I can't work out is why so many people want really fast Fibre but accept limits so low that that they could conceivably burn through their monthly limit in barely more than an hour.

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Mac administrators brace for big changes to Apple-powered fleets

Don Dumb
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Re: Headphone jack!?

Seconded. I understand *some* people are happy to *only* use BT Headsets (I do when at the gym). But the vast majority of people I see have their headphones plugged in and I never heard anyone ever say "I really like my phone but I wish it didn't have this normal headphone jack."

In fact, I remember the times when people demanded that phone makers moved away from their proprietary headphone jacks to the 'proper' one.

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Toblerone's Brexit trim should be applied to bloatware

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Re: Just bring me back setups where I can choose what to install...

@AC - "You can choose what you install in the latest MS Office, as I discovered when I had to install it on my work laptop."

Please tell me how, had to do a similar thing on my home machine. I've got Skype for Business (which I keep confusing with Skype) and a whole load of stuff I don't need/want.

Would be very grateful for a pointer in the right direction.

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FBI's Clinton email comedown confirms it could have killed the story in a canter

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Re: @Don Dumn... I see you use those three letters.....

@AC - "The Clintons do have a relationship to the KKK."

Is that relationship in the form of public denouncements.

The KKK aren't supporting them in the election, are they? Not, when they are fully behind old Drump

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Don Dumb
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Re: The only letter left to write for Comey..

@AC - "I'm well familiar with the concept of "purdah".....But the point is, it is taken seriously, and everyone knows it......

I'd be genuinely surprised if there isn't something similar in America, or at least an awareness of the principle. If there is, Comey looks borderline negligent or incompetent."

He clearly knew. He was told by the Justice Department the letter would be against department policies and procedures and he ignored them. That is going to put him in a difficult position when the election is over.

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Don Dumb
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I see you use those three letters.....

@AC - "Trump never did anything to the extent of the KKKLintoons did."

Wow. Despite that being patently untrue (though I 'm clear you are very much post-truth). You oddly use the letters 'KKK', seemingly in an effort to smear the Clintons as having an association with the Klan, when the KKK are clearly rooting for Trump, so much so that he wouldn't even criticise them.

This is what amazes me about Trump supporters - everything they criticise Hillary for, Trump is worse. They call her a crook, when *he* is the one on trial, this month. They say she is 'the elite' when he inherited 10s/100s of $millions. They attack her foundation, yet he used his to pay his bills and buy paintings of himself. They strike at her hiding things from the public, when he *still* hasn't produced his tax returns.

She may not be perfect but the rest of the world wonders why this was ever even close.

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Don Dumb
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Meh

Re: inb4

@MrDamage - "during his next "everyone is conspiring against trump" rant"

Well, no matter how true or false, no one conspired against Trump more than Trump himself!

Always seemed a little pathetic of his supporters (and himself no less) to be upset at everyone else (potentially) working against him when even he wasn't working in his favour.

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Build your own IMSI slurping, phone-stalking Stingray-lite box – using bog-standard Wi-Fi

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Terminator

Re: Don't want to be tracked?

@Terry Cloth - "Isn't it sufficient to turn off the Wi-Fi? Who needs it if she's not actually surfing?"

The article does mention WiFi calling in passing and the clue is The Underground. WiFi calling is becoming handy for many to receive phone calls when one's mobile network is weak/non-existent, especially true in places like The Tube. So it's becoming more useful to keep WiFi on and allow the phone to join apparently known networks as one walks around, simply in order to use the phone as a phone, not just an internet browsing device.

Of course 'useful' in this context is a synonym for 'very dangerous'.

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Adblock overlord to Zuckerberg: Lay down your weapons and surrender

Don Dumb
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Meh

Re: Eyeo says it [..] wants "user empowerment"

@ Pascal Monett - "Now I install Adblock and I still get ads"

I've got adblock and have used it for years just fine in conjunction with NoScript. Don't see any ads when I'm surfing, or it is actually letting unscripted, imageless ads through and as I'm not noticing them I'm fine with that.

What were you doing to get it to give you ads?

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Survey finds 75% of security execs believe they are INVINCIBLE

Don Dumb
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Go

Re: Reasons

@AC - "Or, more likely, they've done the maths, and realised that the cost of getting hacked is far less than the cost of spending money on security counter-measures.

Patching, secure code, IDS, firewalls, monitoring, multi-tiered defence... it all costs cash.

Compare to the minor wobble and bounce back on share prices, and ambivalence by most of their customers, and the tiny cost of fines,"

So let's call their bluff, this is this opportunity we have been waiting for to get stronger enforcement - the government should now say -

"Well, if you're soooooo confident everything is bulletproof then you won't have a problem with us making the maximum fine for a breach 10% of a company's turnover? I mean, it wouldn't affect you. Would it?"

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Don Dumb
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Alert

Re: Oh FFS..

@AC - "I think he was also an accountant. It's hard to engineer or disaster plan when you're given a shoestring budget."

This. 100%.

The amount of times redundancy and risk mitigation has been eroded or eliminated by someone declaring the things providing that redundancy and mitigation as "massive waste". Usually these people are accountants or management consultants too motivated to 'find efficiencies'.

Public services and infrastructure is particularly susceptible for this as every politician wants to "cut down on waste" and every journalist is happy to find examples of "shocking government waste". Something that isn't being used is waste by default right?

Spares or under used assets are too often seen as surplus rather than providing crucial cover, this counts for even powerstations and medical staff. I fear we'll stretch all our national infrastructure and services thinner and thinner for a few decades then realise (when something bad happens) that we no longer have an infrastructure and the services are unable to cope.

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Don Dumb
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Re: completely embedded cybersecurity into their cultures

@MrDamage - have been in offices which take a very serious line on security. The best way to keep people sharp was to send out an email on their machine to the office telling them they would be bringing in cakes tomorrow.

When the lax individual returned to their desk to see replies gleefully thanking them for their offer, cakes did usually follow the next day.

Hot Fuzz made a joke of 'patisserie punishment' but it's actually an effective way to enforce policies which on their own seem too minor for proper big punishments. Sweet food gives a good natured incentive for colleagues to keep people on their toes rather than cover for people.

An example of a small cost being an effective deterrent, whereas too big a price and it would just become unenforced - "I can't sack them for just that".

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Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules

Don Dumb
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Re: I think contracts can override the law

@BillG - a much more succinct explanation.

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Don Dumb
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@wommit - "A whole section of the employed community, the armed forces, poorly paid for a normal working week, find that their real hourly rate is minuscule when on active service."

Your main point is true but not correct in some aspects.

The UK Public Service is pretty good at recognising 'duty time'. Most Departments pay 'travelling time', overtime or give time in lieu (i.e. all active duty is given to the employee one way or another). The armed forces are technically employed 24/7/365 (they can be called up at any time) so it isn't quite the same. Bear in mind they do have quite strict boundaries on things like how much driving they can do within their duty period each day and if they are on proper operations get paid extra allowances to reflect the absence of real off duty time and the danger, distance from home, etc. At least for the Armed forces they are clearly signing up to some non-standard working and they get some recognition (perhaps not enough) that they do duty outside of normal hours.

The private sector is poor sibling in this regard. Your example of the IT industry is very much one where the employee gets the bum deal and gets no recognition of how much duty time is truely taken up by work. It's even worse for sales people so far as I can see.

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Don Dumb
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Go

Re: I think contracts can override the law

@AC - Yeah, I wish basic contract law was taught in schools. It's the equivalent of "Know your rights". There's so much that people should really have a chance of understanding (contract law, banking, bias, the 'real' value of things) that I wish it became a lesson in schools for 16 year olds.

Far more useful than some things taught at that age.

Contracts cannot absolve companies from their statutory obligations and cannot oblige an illegal act. It's amazing how many people thing otherwise.

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Google, Facebook toss cash into LA-to-Hong Kong sub cable corp

Don Dumb
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Genuine Question

How does an undersea cable deal with the fact that the ocean floor in question has a tendency to shrink in quite violent steps? (Especially around the Bay Area)

Similarly how does an Atlantic Cable cope with the seafloor getting wider in the middle?

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Boost Ofcom's powers and fix mobile market woes, Three and TalkTalk tell MPs

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Mushroom

Stronger Regulation?

Yes, a stronger ICO would be just what is needed, a £500k max fine simply isn't enough.

Oh, sorry Dido, you say "not stronger in *that* area of regulation" - Shurely Shome mistake.

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TalkTalk gets record £400k slap-slap from Brit watchdog

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@Charlie Clark - I don't disagree. I just wouldn't want this to be blamed on the ICO itself so much as the people who gave it its mandate.

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Don Dumb
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@Queeg "Not enough 0's"

It had the most 0s the authority could hand out. According to the Beeb, the maximum fine is £500,000.

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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

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Coat

Re: Never had a Nexus

@Danny 14 - I sit corrected. The official specs do not say an SD card is included. Shows how much you can believe from a shop's spec list. At least there is a 128GB option I guess.

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Microsoft disbands Band band – and there'll be no version 3

Don Dumb
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Re: Great marketing

@FuzzyWuzzys - Not sure why the downvotes, I hadn't heard of 'Band' either.

Stellar marketing job there MS

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Ludicrous Patent of the Week: Rectangles on a computer screen

Don Dumb
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Re: Software patents, the gift that keeps on giving!

@Mephistro - "Patenting code, patenting numbers, patenting basic geometric shapes."

None of which has happened here as this is a Design Patent A.K.A. a 'Registered Design'. It is purely a specific design. It still may be really f***ing stupid but it is not a Patent.

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Don Dumb
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Facepalm

Re: I'm all for patents...

@AC - "Patents are supposed to allow innovation by providing a monopoly on the invention for a limited time."

This. Is. A. Design Patent.

As others have had to point out below this is a 'Design Patent', which here in the UK we call (IMHO much more helpfully) a 'Registered Design'. The US patent system is abysmal but if we are going to criticise it we really need to understand what Patents are, and are not, before we wade in. This seems to be part of the reason that things haven't been fixed, few know the difference between Copyright and Patent, before we throw in pesky things like Registered Designs or Trademarks.

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Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?

Don Dumb
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@tfewster - "I truly believe I'm colour and gender blind"

I suggest you submit yourself to academic studies on unconscious bias, you might not have any but it's much more likely that you are just not aware that you do (the clue is the 'un' in unconscious). The results of the studies may interest you.

Most truly believe they wouldn't simply follow an order to kill an innocent person, it turns out that the vast majority actually would - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

You don't know what you're capable of.

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Facepalm

@Steven Roper - "I see gender studies or sociology on your CV, it goes straight in the bin and you don't even get a phone call, much less an interview. People who study these subjects are almost universally SJWs,"

Citation Please......

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Don Dumb
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Re: You can say its ok because he apologized...

@Pascal Monett - " I am currently conducting interviews for a training position for a customer.....I try to avoid looking at the personal details until I have gone through the experience section in order to avoid bias. When I have an opinion on the CV, then I check who it is and where they live"

Could you not 'blind' the CVs? Get someone else to strip the personal information you don't want to see. You can then look through all the CVs make your decisions and then go back to the originals to take it further.

In the UK we now have anonymised applications, not sure if it's universal but it does cover public sector positions. The name (and perhaps a few other details) is not presented to the recruiter until they have sifted the applications for interview. It's a simple way to remove most unconscious bias, at least before the interview.

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Cloudy with a chance of ransomware

Don Dumb
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Stop

You've already got a problem

Most of the things this malware does can only be done if the user is running as admin and accepts the prompts to install software. How many enterprises are letting the users do that?

This would be bad but then most malware would have already defeated an organisation who is already running such an unsafe and unprotected network.

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No wonder we're being hit by Internet of Things botnets. Ever tried patching a Thing?

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Terminator

Step #1 Missing

The process to install the patch is missing the most difficult bit -

Step #1 - vendor produces and issues patch on their website.

I didn't think that the process of patching sounded that difficult. However, this is all completely academic if the vendor doesn't ever consider supporting the device, let alone issue patches for a 'reasonable' period - that reasonable period being a lot longer than the support durations of even most IT company policies.

People expect appliances to last for longer than a decade, if they are a Thing On The Internet, that means they need to be supportable for that period (either by the manufacturer or by a third party). If the government is serious about 'Cyber' being one of the big threats, then they need to back this up with policy and regulations.

Patching just isn't something that the novice is aware they actually need to do and the old fashioned principle of "if it's not broken don't fix it" conflicts with the principle of regular patching. Getting people to do the patching isn't anywhere near as difficult as getting them to even consider it in the first place.

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Yahoo! joins! Adobe! Flash! flush! mob!

Don Dumb
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Happy

Finally the light at the end of the tunnel

I've noticed in the last week or two (oddly since the Olympics) that many fewer videos on the BBC site demand flash on a desktop. iPlayer hasn't for a year, mobiles have non-flash videos but for some reason the news site was acting all stubborn on desktop.

My quick straw poll of a couple of news sites shows that they have finally moved off Flash. I imagine there'll still be a few pages that hold out but this was the reason for most consternation.

Dare I say that I think Flash is finally dying, after years of infections and false alarms.

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

Don Dumb
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Re: Yahoo had half a billion users ???

@AC "Yahoo had half a billion users ?"

If you count all the companies they run email for (at least Sky and BT here in the UK) then they might well run 500m *accounts*.

Naturally every account is assumed to be an active user because no one would have a redundant or dormant account.

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Don Dumb
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Flame

@AC - Nope, just checked and the banner at the top says "BT Yahoo! Mail"

Nothing on the BT news site says anything about the Yahoo breach (quelle suprise) and I have had no email advising me whether I am affected. Obviously changed password anyway.

Feel very much like I am paying for my lazyness in getting off BT email.

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Don Dumb
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@Roland6 - BT does use Yahoo Mail still (I've just checked)

Oddly nothing on BT's news page mentions the breach.

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Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

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They give more than you found

I find Microsoft's refusal to publish useful update information annoying and deeply suspcious. However for the rollup update patch they do give information behind the first link in the knowledgebase article.

September's rollup update (3185278) includes these updates:

"This update includes quality improvements. No new operating system features are being introduced in this update. Key changes include:

Improved support for the Disk Cleanup tool to free up space by removing older Windows Updates after they are superseded by newer updates.

Improved compatibility of certain software applications.

Removed the Copy Protection option when ripping CDs in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format from Windows Media Player.

Addressed issue that causes mmc.exe to consume 100% of the CPU on one processor when trying to close the Exchange 2010 Exchange Management Console (EMC), after installing KB3125574.

Addressed issue that causes the Generic Commands (GC) to fail upon attempting to install KB2919469 or KB2970228 on a device that already has KB3125574 installed."

I prefer this to having 6 updates. Of course there might be 'more' updates included within the pack they aren't talking about...

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Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

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Re: Air bag

@Chris G - "Given the level of spending for both the plane and pilot, I wonder if an air bagsystem would help incorporated into the seat and the pilot's pressure suit."

I think the seat already fires airbags that squeeze the pilot firmly into the seat (including pushing the arms close to the body) before launching. Whether there's any scope to extend the system to support the helmet I don't know.

As others have pointed out the simplest solution would be to reduce the weight of the helmet.

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Don Dumb
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Re: "We believe that .... "

"Jonathan Edwards (Brit triple jumper) once said he forgot how he jumped to break records and never managed it ever again."

Remember test pilots aren't young.

Jonathan Edwards' best jumping isn't a great example, he was the best at-doing-his-thing of his generation. Athletes often have a golden period where everything is at its best. The gradual degeneration of the body (from about 18 years old) being overcome by training and increasing experience, after a point the degeneration wins (it always wins eventually). In track and field, the sweet spot is often only a few years. With Edwards, his sweet spot resulted in him jumping longer than anyone had, twice, in the same afternoon. He was still largely untouched for the best part of a decade and went over 18m quite often but didn't again ever jump as far as either of the jumps he did that afternoon. He is still the holder of the longest jump and the world record* a record that has lasted almost 2 decades. He says he forgot, in a sense the inevitable happened but it must have seemed to him like he had just lost the knack.

For fighter pilots, the flying training is intense, partly because there's exams to qualify from and they want to know how someone is in an intense environment (e.g. a war). But to my knowledge the most intense training is long before a pilot gets trained on their specific plane and flying role. So they never really know how good they are. I reckon a lot has to do with the more experienced pilots being quite a bit more efficient with their effort than the talented youngsters. So it must really seem like they aren't as good but they are probably just (unconsciously) wisely doing less.

If you will, Jimmy Anderson was a quicker bowler when young but much more effective when older.

* - the longest jump is farther than the record as it was wind assisted to a degree sufficient to not qualify for the record.

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