* Posts by Oh Homer

849 posts • joined 18 Oct 2013

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Digital minister: We're still talking to BT about sorting crap broadband

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

"recoup by further hiking"

Sorry, maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why would BT or any company making over £3 billion in profits every year need to further gouge customers to pay a £600 million bill?

If our neoliberal government really wants to regulate something (isn't that an oxymoron?) then maybe it should start by looking at BT's blatant profiteering first, before worrying about exactly how it spends those profits (or not, apparently).

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Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Re: YABCSP

I'm more interested in (or rather, depressed by) witnessing yet another example of America's obsession with controlling the planet, then whitewashing the true motive with the usual "terrorism" rhetoric (where the definition of "terrorism" seems to be "anything that doesn't support the notion of American supremacism").

Leaks like these only confirm, over and over again, what we've already known for decades.

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Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment

Oh Homer
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Windows

"leveraging the waste water network"

Sewer worker: (hands Mike Magee a water pump) Right mate, get "leveraging"!

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Uber loses appeal against employment rights for workers

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Not an employer?

Oh really?

“When allocating bookings, Uber deliberately does not tell the driver the destination and strongly discourages drivers from asking passengers the destination before pick up – so that drivers are not able to decline a booking because they do not wish to travel to that destination.”

Nothing like being your own "boss", eh?

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Card shark Intel bets with discrete graphics chips, shuffles AMD's GPU boss into the deck

Oh Homer
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Windows

Well then...

Suddenly Monday's news makes a lot more sense. Looks like Intel really was planning to move into discrete graphics after all.

However, I still think this is pointless. They won't get the gaming segment, and apparently they're not even going to try. They "desperately covet" AI, allegedly.

[Sniff] Is that the smell of Gnome underpants?

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UK Land Registry opens books on corporate owners

Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

Re: Private Eye

From the PI article:

"A recent Freedom of Information request by Christian Aid for the Serious Fraud Office's risk assessment for the BVI was refused on the less than reassuring grounds that releasing it would harm relations with the territory"

Looks like the British Virgin Islands is now fscked.

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AMD, Intel hate Nvidia so much they're building a laptop chip to spite it

Oh Homer
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Holmes

Re: 'in terms of "most shipped"'

I'm looking at this from Intel's perspective, not the end user's. Who has the "most shipped" is really all Intel cares about. Intel already owns 70% of the GPU market, so I really don't understand why it's bothering to chase the thin end of the wedge. It's either predatory or stupid, or possibly both.

You could argue that if the end result is better graphics for 70% of the market, then who cares what Intel's ulterior motive is, but remember we're talking about the 70% who obviously don't give a damn about graphics, otherwise they wouldn't be using Intel in the first place.

The 70% wouldn't benefit anyway, as their use case could probably still work on graphics hardware from the 1990s. Meanwhile games developers will continue to target Nvidia, as ever, so it's not like Intel users would get a better gaming experience even with improved Intel hardware, since that hardware is and will continue to be completely ignored by developers.

So who exactly does Intel think it's targeting with this nonsense, and why?

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Oh Homer
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Paris Hilton

"Nvidia's dominance"?

Eh? Last time I checked, Intel had ~70% of the total graphics market.

If Intel also wants to get into discreet graphics, like its fair-weather friend AMD, then maybe it should think about, erm, you know, actually bothering to develop some. For instance.

Or is the mighty Intel saying that it's too incompetent to compete, on a technical if not financial level, with a comparatively tiny rival, so it has to jump into bed with another comparatively tiny rival for support?

And anyway, what is Intel even aiming for here? It already owns both the CPU and GPU market, or at least the high end of one and the low end of the other. Is it going full throttle Gordon Gekko and trying to suck up the last few percentile too?

Hmm, or maybe Intel cast its gaze over the ho-ryzen®, saw the sun setting on its market dominance, and hit the Panic Button.

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Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

Oh Homer
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Re: It is what you get with bolt on development

That's one cause. There are many.

The most common affliction is commercial projects that aim for maximum profit at minimal effort, typically by utilising high level abstraction (minimising programming skill requirements and time) in vast, highly generic, shared third-party resources, with a huge redundancy overhead because the project only actually uses a tiny proportion of those shared resources.

Sometimes those resources only occupy disk space (but hey, "disks are cheap"), but often the entire resource(s) need(s) to be loaded at runtime too, eating memory (but hey, "RAM is ... oh") and sometimes even CPU cycles ("who cares, today's processors are fast").

We don't even need to consider the subtler aspects of assembler optimisation, optimal array sorting, and other speed tricks, etc., or rather the lack thereof, because right there you're already looking at 99% of the problem.

In summary, modern software development is more like self-assembly furniture than carpentry. All the actual engineering was done once, as a template, then mass produced, and the end result is a vast warehouse full of junk that is barely fit for purpose.

But that's OK though, because it's "cheap". Oh, and the vendor makes lots of money. Mission accomplished. The fact that you and I have to endure longer and longer loading times, cripplingly slow execution, and an endless upgrade treadmill to compensate, is simply irrelevant to the one and only objective of today's software development ... money.

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Google Drive ate our homework! Doc block blamed on code blunder

Oh Homer
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Big Brother

Modern day serfdom

This "Cloud" thing is just part of the rapidly growing trend of denying real property rights to the masses, as it gets hoovered up by corporate monopolists, then "rented" back to us.

Terms and conditions apply. The specific terms and conditions are that you have no rights whatsoever. They get everything and, in the end, you are left with nothing.

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Hewlett-Packard history lost to Santa Rosa fires

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "Visit the US - you've got to be joking!"

You're only seeing the flaws amplified by the media. While all true, it's nonetheless a sweeping generalisation that completely ignores the less sensationalist facets of reality. Like anywhere else, there are plenty of nice people and places in America.

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Oh Homer
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Unhappy

How ironic

I'm genuinely saddened by this, as it's a devastating blow to an important historical archive, but at the same time I can't help but marvel at the sheer irony of one of the founding computer corporations failing to digitise its most important documents.

On the other hand, it strikes me that if they really cared about those documents, they probably shouldn't have sold them in the first place. Frankly it seems like a very strange thing to sell. It'd be a bit like me selling my only copy of my only photograph of my best friend who died in a car crash.

It's bizarre, but somehow unsurprising, given the soulless mentality of Corporate America.

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If you say it loud enough, Uber will sound atrocious: Super Cali juristic discrimination process

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "they're a defined group"

That's exactly my point. The mere act of describing them as a group is discriminatory, indeed the root cause of the discrimination.

The way to address this is not to legitimise it by parroting the discriminatory rhetoric, but by simply stating that discriminatory treatment based on trivia such as aesthetics is unacceptable (and hopefully illegal).

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Oh Homer
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"people of color"

Eugh! Yet another in a long line of discriminatory euphemisms.

Why can't they just be "people"?

Seriously, name anyone in the entire history of humanity that did not have a "colour", other than possibly the Invisible Man! Mine is a sort of pinky-beige, for example. Doesn't that also qualify me as a "person of colour"?

Frankly I find this misguided euphemism more offensive than the "n" word. At least when people say that, they're not even pretending to be civil, but this endless shuffling around, desperately trying to come up with a phrase that inoffensively describes "them", ironically misses the point that the most offensive part about it is the mistaken belief that "they" need any description at all, other than "human".

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Biz quadruples value overnight by adding 'Blockchain' to name

Oh Homer
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Windows

Let's superameliorate our memeableness!

How about...

  • The Co-Op Deathmatch (Co-Op Funeral Care)
  • Das Capita
  • BitTorrent Communications (let's be honest!)
  • Überworked
  • Gobble (Google)
  • Haz Printa (HP)
  • id IoT Software (Microwave Doom!)
  • [insert here]

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Rob Scoble's lawyer told him to STFU about sex pest claims. He didn't

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Never liked Scoble

Even in the realm of Microsoft evangelists, which is already a cesspool, Scoble is exceptionally slimy. Now we're seeing his true colours quite unambiguously.

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Knock, knock? Oh, no one there? No problem, Amazon will let itself in via your IoT smart lock

Oh Homer
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I must be in the "Beta" programme

I live in a muddy field surrounded by sheep and several hundred square miles of bugger all else, so I tend not to bother locking my door. The sheep are fully aware of this and capitalise on it at every opportunity. However, one of them must have told Amazon, because an item I purchased recently was delivered directly into my hallway, while I was still in the house (but sleeping).

Frankly I find this even more unnerving than that other awful idea where my next-door neighbour is arbitrarily designated as the custodian of all my undeliverables, potentially including some of an extremely personal nature.

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UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

How very British

Next up ... Victory Gardens.

However, Blighty 2017 is a very different beast to days of yore, and by "different" I mean more PC, cynical and bureaucratic than ever. For a start, I assume that the bean counters who dreamed up this farce are aware that anything even remotely characterisable as "care work" requires PVG certification and a disclosure check.

In practice this should mean very few people will actually qualify as suitable to care for anyone "vulnerable", even if the full extent of their involvement is a cup of tea and a chat. They'll have a "vulnerable" person trapped inside their house. They might be a communists, terrorists, paedophiles, Pokemon Go players or worse. Think of the children, etc.

Sadly the days of Mrs. Thomson looking after wee Johnny while his mum is off killing Nazis, without being subjected to a full background check, body cavity search and GPS-tracking ankle bracelet, are long over.

So how many people will happily submit to a good rectal probing and complete exposure of every minor indiscretion they've committed since birth, just for the promise of putting up a complete stranger with a hysterectomy in the spare bedroom?

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AMD sales soar, actually makes a profit, beats expectations, share price... decimated

Oh Homer
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Pint

Spooky

My RSS reader popped up this article at the exact moment I was shopping for my next Ryzen-based PC on Amazon.

Good to see AMD back on form, even if investors are paranoid.

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You're doing open source wrong, Microsoft tsk-tsk-tsks at Google: Chrome security fixes made public too early

Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

They're right but it's a moot point

How many people upgrade apps on the same day the updates are released? Damned few, I'd bet. So the fact that an exploit is made public before the fix is published makes little practical difference, as it could be days, weeks or even months before users upgrade anyway, assuming they bother at all.

The PC (and tech. in general) is the new Idiot Box. The primary demographic doesn't work in tech., and doesn't even have much interest in tech., they're mere consumers pushing the "on" button and expecting it to "just work".

This is why so many apps, and browsers in particular, try to automatically update themselves in the background but, like any automatic update process, that's a double-edged sword. On the one hand it theoretically keeps the masses safe, but on the other hand a borked update can brick vast hoards of the Great Unwashed and leave them screaming about the evils of automatic updates, prompting them to turn it off.

I've personally been forced to do this in the past with Firefox, due to Mozilla's tendency to persistently break my extensions, which frankly I value more highly than the browser itself. Mozilla doesn't exactly go out of its way to promote ESR, which the average Joe has probably never even heard of.

Things are somewhat better under Linux. At least it has a consolidated update process for both the OS and apps (in fact it doesn't make any distinction between them), but under Windows the best you have is stuff like Chocolatey, which only supports a limited subset of apps, and Steam which only supports games purchased from Valve. The rest comprises apps that spam your startup process with their own individual automatic update services (prompting users to simply disable them), and the majority for which the only update method involves periodically checking the vendors' respective websites, something that most users are disinclined to do.

It's little wonder there are so many vulnerable systems out there.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Re: "lives are at risk"

Have you met America? That's the country that needs "lives matter" movements because of its prevailing culture of utter indifference to human welfare, but which trips over itself in its eagerness to wage war in defence of the petrodollar.

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Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Pointless

Sorry, but it is.

Consolidating social networking is not about establishing new communication protocols, it's about convincing everyone else not to sign up to proprietary services. And the problem is that the reason they signed up to those proprietary services in the first place is because everyone else they communicate with did likewise.

Thinking that making it easy to switch, by tacking-on yet another new communications protocol to a well-established one, ignores the fact that it's already easy to switch between social networks, indeed signing up to any given social network couldn't be easier, and yet those disparate social networks have not magically consolidated into one, except perhaps in the sense that one stands out as the clear market leader (but invariably there will always be lots of people on your contact list who don't use it).

There's really only one of two ways to consolidate social networking: legislation that forces all service providers to use openly accessible APIs, or innovation in social networking that's so compelling that everyone flocks to it. The former would be an unjustifiable tortuous interference in free market economics, and the latter has already happened - it's called Facebook.

Beating that will require more than just cool and easily accessible technology, it means breaking the inertia of a well-entrenched cultural phenomenon.

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Dumb bug of the week: Outlook staples your encrypted emails to, er, plaintext copies when sending messages

Oh Homer
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Re: No offence...

None taken. In fact I'm one of the most vocal opponents of the (albeit quite rare) "feature not a bug" mentality in the open source world.

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Oh Homer
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Linux

WONTFIX

This is Microsoft. Insecurity is a feature not a bug.

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Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

Oh Homer
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Big Brother

UK not a high priority, apparently

This is just one of the problems of UK citizens relying on American companies, especially when the shit hits the fan. We're always going to be second class citizens, assuming we get any consideration at all.

Taking any sort of remedial or punitive action against American companies is also rather difficult. Even their own government doesn't seem to care, so what hope do we have?

And anyway, what reasonable expectation should we have of the US government respecting our privacy enough to want to do anything about this at all, given that they are by far the greatest violators of it (yes, still to this day).

It also doesn't help when our fanatically neoliberal politicians (which these days is basically all of them) "deregulate" things to the point where an American arms dealer is put in charge of the UK Census (except in Scotland, where the British arm of a US torture contractor was given the job). Not that the UK government has ever even pretended to care about our privacy anyway.

Our private data in their hands.

[shudder]

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Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Oh Homer
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Paris Hilton

Re: "Vehicle being carried off by snakes"

I'm still trying to figure out why there are so many boomerang hazards on our country roads, and who the hell is that man with the brolly?

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Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Mathematically impossible...

Actually the sign is correct. Having mathematically impossible street signs fits perfectly with our mathematically impossible economy.

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How bad can the new spying legislation be? Exhibit 1: it's called the USA Liberty Act

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Definition of "liberty"

In this case the thing they're "liberating" is your personal data.

In fact this is what American politicians really mean when they talk about "freedom" in general: the freedom to exploit other people with complete impunity. That includes various foreign, resource-rich countries, as well as their own citizens. Anyone and anything, really, to serve the (mainly economic) interests of those in power.

This is why I refer to it as Freedumb®, because you'd have to be an idiot to believe it.

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Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

Oh Homer
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Windows

Re: Shortage ?

Nailed it.

If this works, I predict the next generation of tech. workers will be roughly comparable to janitors, economically speaking. Actually, a lot of them already are.

What next? Minimum-wage brain surgeons?

Seriously, one day that will happen. We'll go from 5% earning minimum wage to 50%, then 80%, then eventually the only person earning anything at all will be the Emperor of Planet Earth, formerly the CEO of the "University" of Learn4Less.com, and the rest of us will be his minimum zero wage slaves.

Well, look on the bright side: at least we'll all have bachelor's degrees. Lot of them, probably. They'll come on rolls like toilet paper.

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Dnsmasq and the seven flaws: Patch these nasty remote-control holes

Oh Homer
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Trollface

Where's my patch?

I'm surfing on an HP48GX graphing calculator via a US Robotics 33.6K modem.

Am I vulnerable?

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Oracle VP: 'We want the next decade to be Java first, Java always'

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "a clueless comment"

Your sophistry notwithstanding, the fact that PVMs don't have the same problems as native code, doesn't somehow mean that they don't have any problems, or even that they have fewer or less severe problems. Quite the contrary.

And like security, there's a vast gulf between the theory and practical reality of portability. Much like the practical usefulness of modular PCs has essentially been rendered worthless by constantly changing standards (or more cynically, planned obsolescence), the reality of the claim that PVMs allow you to "write once, run anywhere" has, in practice, been proven false, and yet this false promise is what seemingly continues to drive adoption (while simple inertia maintains the existing base).

But actually these are all minor points, because by far the biggest problem with PVMs is the vast gargantuan bloat they've inflicted on us, transforming multi-gigahertz devices into expensive paperweights that are easily outperformed by three decade-old 16 bit computers, when they should in fact be several orders of magnitude faster and more responsive.

The hand-holding that you expound as some kind of virtue is simply a pretext for unqualified opportunists to make money from something they are not really competent to do, which is exactly why so much of today's software is such utter garbage. I'd like to hope that will change in the next decade, but it probably won't, mainly because the underlying motive (greed) isn't going to change either.

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Oh Homer
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Terminator

The next decade...

Personally I'd be overjoyed if Java and indeed all PVMs were consigned to the bin over the next decade, and programmers stopped producing bloated, insecure garbage just because it supposedly "runs anywhere" (yet in practice it strangely never does).

While we're at it, let's bin RAD in general, and change the focus of development from being "Rapid" (accumulation of cash) to the slow and steady release of high quality code.

Yes I know, it'll never happen.

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Brit broke anti-terror law by refusing to cough up passwords to cops

Oh Homer
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Re: Cloning my HDD to the Cloud in Starbucks

That'd have to be one helluva big cup o' coffee, at least round these parts, as it'd probably take about a week for a full backup.*

* Based on a typical 1TB laptop HDD, and the average UK internet speed of 16.5 Mb/s.

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Oh Homer
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Terminator

Re: 'Since when has "you have the right to remain silent" = "you are a terrorist"'

Since Tony Blair introduced a series of increasingly totalitarian Terrorism Acts that essentially revoked the Right to Silence.

Unfortunately, as you may be shocked to discover, the UK (and, in passing, the US) has quite literally been a Police State for at least the past two decades.

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Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "hidden volumes are detectable"

The two provided articles are non sequitur.

The first concerns forensic evidence of hidden containers within a running OS, such as VSS records, and has no bearing on booting into a secondary hidden volume, which the OS on the first outer volume knows nothing about (and thus contains zero forensic evidence).

The second is merely an assumption that, whilst booted into a hidden volume, the user might choose to write plaintext data somewhere outside of that volume, leaving a forensic trail that somehow proves the existence of the hidden volume. This is highly speculative, not particularly common (I've personally never heard of anyone doing that), and such an obvious blunder that it's very unlikely that anyone who would go to the effort of setting up an encrypted hidden OS would do it.

Nothing is ever perfectly secure, but I've seen nothing in those articles that would lead me to question the security of properly executed hidden volumes.

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Oh Homer
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Big Brother

Defeating Draconian laws

There's due process, which is the route CAGE is taking, but I'm not hopeful. A rational and humanitarian regime would not have introduced such Draconian legislation to begin with. Reversing it will require nothing short of replacing the very foundations of our extremist political system. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, Rabbani and others can save themselves a lot of hassle by using more clandestine methods to protect their privacy.

It turns out that the old cliché about "security through obscurity" is sadly wrong, given the "rubber hose decryption" era we now live in. Certainly if obscurity is the only layer of "security" then it patently isn't secure, but it is now an essential layer nonetheless.

Encryption is no longer sufficient. Now you also need to hide the encryption. In this scenario I'd recommend whole disk encryption with a hidden volume, with the outer volume containing a "dummy" OS suitably seeded with innocuous data, and the "real" (hidden) inner volume containing the real OS and data.

The upshot is that when Plod (or more likely these days some private contractor with a badge and a gun) demands your password, you happily give it to him, and he decrypts and views a whole bag of nothing (substantial), but it's a sufficiently believable bag of nothing that he doesn't even go looking for the real contents, has no way to prove that a hidden container even exists, and would have no way of decrypting it even if he suspects he might be looking at one.

No it doesn't address the underlying political issue, but in these dark times it's probably the best you can hope for.

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Cost of Africa's internet shutdowns? $1m a day – quarter of a billion total

Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

"suddenly removing people's ability to communicate"

This could also be various rural parts of Third World Britain, albeit thanks to the woeful lack of infrastructure, not censorship.

Yes, speaking from first-hand experience.

For example, the mobile signal for a seven mile radius around my house is zero bars. Landline "broadband" is like using a 33.6K US Robotics modem from the early 90s. Even that one-way communication protocol - television - is limited to just three channels, unless I waste yet more money on a Sky box.

Yup, I'd feel right at home in Africa.

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UK Home Office re-bans cheap call gateways because 'terrorism'

Oh Homer
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Holmes

Re: All you need is . . .

There's an onion (router) site (which I've forgotten), sort of a better version of Prism Break, which lists a lot of privacy tools then carefully scrutinises them to determine exactly how private they are. The consensus seems to be that Retroshare pretty much covers everything quite well.

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It's high time we extend Freedom of Information Act to outsourcers

Oh Homer
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Childcatcher

Public Accountability for everything that affects the public. Period.

Actually the public has an inalienable (if not legal) right to know everything that any publicly influential entity is up to, whether it's government funded or not. Once you cross that line from private citizen to an organisation that serves the public, you should rightfully forfeit any right to privacy, because your right to a private life does not include the right to manipulate mine.

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Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "Hazy watercolor memories... Of..."

About five minutes ago, as I have a bank of working Amigas right here on my desk :)

Admittedly one of them has a CyberstormPPC accelerator running at a whopping 233MHz.

Even so, it's unfeasible that a quad-core, 1.9GHz device could be outperformed by a 233MHz machine, much less a 7MHz one, and yet...

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Oh Homer
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Meh

Re: "you'd have almost no apps"

This modern idea that software has to be written in some bloated framework with a bloated VM or else there will be "no apps", is in blatant contradiction to the fact that the likes of Amiga OS was written in BCPL and it's games and apps were mostly written in low-level languages, and yet there was no shortage of software available, in fact there was a veritable explosion of it.

The inevitable conclusion is that today's programmers, or at least the millennials, are lazy, uneducated and incompetent, and the centrepiece of their workflow is something that would look more at home in Toys R Us than at a software engineer's desk.

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Oh Homer
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Paris Hilton

Re: "network lag"

Not sure why you were downvoted, as that seems like one perfectly reasonable explanation.

I also suspect a lot (most?) of it has to do with the VM bloat of Java Dalvik/ART, and the fact that Android in general is a convoluted mess under the hood. That wouldn't explain why iOS has roughly the same performance issues, though, since AFAIK it's fully native. I presume Windows mobile is using some .Net/CLI garbage.

Or maybe it's that relic known as Secure Digital storage, or the pitiful speed of ARM main buses, or some other bottleneck that isn't obvious.

Whatever it is, it's truly shocking that the technology is moving so slowly that it's still outperformed by thirty year-old systems from the 16-bit era.

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Oh Homer
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Alien

Innovation? We've heard of it

Good to see Apple finally embracing the forty-year-old desktop paradigm of multitasking on mobile hardware.

Not that other mobile vendors are any better.

Seriously, it never ceases to amaze me how multi-core, multi-gigahertz, multi-gigabyte mobile systems can be so excruciatingly unresponsive compared with my 16-bit, 7MHz, 512KB Amiga from the 1980s.

How can this even be possible?

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RIP Stanislav Petrov: Russian colonel who saved world from all-out nuclear war

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: Without MAD we would have had several other World Wars

The problem with that is the assumption that there will never be anyone insane enough to ignore the "mutual" consequences of the "assured destruction", and judging by the warmonger mentality of the players, that assumption would seem to be false.

That's without even considering the possibility that such consequences might be triggered accidentally, as per this article.

There had never been a world war prior the WW1 either, but it still happened eventually. The assurance of a sustained period of relative peace is sadly a false sense of security (I say "relative" because the fact is that humanity has never actually experienced an era without war, somewhere, to some extent ... most of which these days is instigated by the US, supposedly in the name of Freedumb®).

The law of probability dictates that anything that can happen, will happen, eventually, and with lunatics like Trump at the helm, it may be sooner than we feared.

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Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware

Oh Homer
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Terminator

"CCleaner, was recently acquired by Avast"

Damn, there goes another of the very few half-decent apps for Windows.

Like the "food" manufacturing industry, eventually your choice of software vendors will be reduced to about half a dozen, and then one. In fact, the way things are going, eventually there will just be one company that owns everything, with one CEO who is, for all intents and purposes, the new emperor of planet Earth.

I read a fantasy novel once that described a world in which monopolisation is considered to be a bad thing, and a mythical beast called a "regulator" is supposed to stop it happening. It must be out of print now, because nobody seems to be reading it.

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New HMRC IT boss to 'recuse' herself over Microsoft decisions

Oh Homer
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Unhappy

Re: "Lets just privatise the Government"

You're about 40 years late to that party.

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Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit

Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Re: "They used to be good, though!"

You have to go back much further than the turn of the century, to around the time of Wozniak.

Since then, Apple's philosophy has pretty clearly been to gouge rubes with polished turds.

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Oh Homer
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Headmaster

Nothing new here

Apple gear has always been all style and no substance.

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123-Reg customers outraged at automatic .UK domain registration

Oh Homer
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Mushroom

Nominet is behind this

Given some of the comments below, it looks like this is some sort of "initiative" driven by Nominet to promote their latest fad TLD, since a large number of supposedly unrelated registrars all seem to be using uncannily similar spiels.

IMO these registrars are certainly in violation of the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act, the Data Protection Act, and probably more besides, but as the instigator of this criminal activity Nominet should also be held accountable.

Therein lies a fairly large problem, though, as Nominet seems to be a law unto itself, with basically no oversight whatsoever, much like the EPO.

Of course, referring to Nominet as though it's somehow a separate entity from the registrars it's supposed to regulate, belies the truth that it is in fact "controlled by a very small number of large internet registrars". So going after Nominet actually requires chasing the registrars that control it. And where does one go to complain about those registrars? You guessed it ... Nominet.

That's a nice little racket they have there.

Might be time to have a quick word with the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications, and see if they can put this dog back on a leash.

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

Oh Homer
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Pirate

Don't "Google it"!

This demand will likely be obeyed with the same rigour as Hormel's demand that we stop blocking "spam" and Adobe's demand that we stop "photoshopping" images.

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