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* Posts by John Brown (no body)

1565 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

John Brown (no body)
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Standards

"Why not allow tech companies and entrepreneurs to compete to find the best way to monitor electricity and gas usage? Better choice will help customers make the best decision for themselves. Government’s job is then to ensure that technologies and companies compete fairly to provide customers with the best service."

Competing smart metering? No. Seriously, NO!

If each supplier is left to come up with it's own "21st century" smart metering system, that will make it harder to switch suppliers.

If we MUST have smart metering of some form, then something which Goverment is supposed to good at is mandating a standard across the board so that we CAN switch suppliers easily.

I don't want to have to get new meter installed if changing suppliers. If they all choose to use some form of online or "app" monitoriing, then fine. But you just KNOW that the biggest incumbants will already be looking now at incompatible metering hardware which they will roll out to existing and "new" customers for "free". Can we all say lock-in?

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Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: A Physicist and a Chemist

"i.e. was there something offsetting any increase in temperature caused by the CO2, or when increases were observed in the 80's and 90's was there some other factor at play."

Mmmm...does it correlate with CFC emmisions?

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KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer

John Brown (no body)
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It reminds me of Windows. Flat and depressing.

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Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

"Throw in a setting of an alternate reality in the 60s and I think the public won't know what to make of it."

Spot on! Anyone under 30 thinks it's ancient history. Many of those who lived through it were in their own alternative reality at the time anyway.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: I love alternate realities...

"Mysterium", that describes an America withering under the boot of an Inquisition-like religious institution.

Is it anything like Heinleins Revolt in 2100 Specifically the first story "If this goes on..." from 1940?

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: The plot from Wolfenstein?

The Nazis thought of it first. That's one of the reasons they were working on very long range bombers, submarine launched aircraft and ICBMs along with their nooklear programme.

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John Brown (no body)
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"The US seems to be desperate to portray Germany in a bad light at the moment; "

Yeah, funny that. Make objections to US poilicy and you become the bad guy.

Next thing you know McD's will be selling Freedomburgers with their freedom fries.

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John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: alternate reality??

"Suborbital airliners?"

Well, we ain't got orbital airliners so what's left must all be suborbital ones.

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

Re: It doesn't matter how good the display is if there's nothing to display

"So the question is - of the HD channels on Sky HD, how many carry a 1080 picture?"

Yehbut, the menus looks soooo much crisper at 1080p

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: During the meanwhile ...

Wow! That took longer than expected for the obligatory "I don't watch telly, it's all crap" post.

At least you didn't snobbishly claim to not even own a TV while commenting on the quality of the content :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Facepalm

Re: " were perfectly comfortable with the televisions they currently use"

On the other hand, the people I saw marching out of ASDA a few years back with cheap 40" LCD TVs labelled as HD Ready will see an enourmous difference no matter what they buy. On closer inspection, those no-name HD Ready TVs were 640x480 panels (I kid you not!!)

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HP settles suit with popstar Chubby Checker over todger tester app

John Brown (no body)
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K'nel!

...as another Chubby might say :-)

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Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket

John Brown (no body)
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Pirate

Re: @James 51

Yeah, and we all know what those ESPs really mean by "up to 220v" or "up to 30A". And you have to PAY for QoS if you want a nice steady 50Hz. And don't use too much or you'll be restricted to 24V for up to 4 hours.

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Sony tries to make PlayStation Network hack row go away with $15m in cash and games

John Brown (no body)
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Easy. Because that $15m is retail value. To Sony, it's probably less than $5m in actual costs. And they get to retain the suckers customers on subscription for at least another year.

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Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold

John Brown (no body)
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Re: [no payment was supplied]’

And as another poster pointed out, "the abysmal state of broadband" in the USA. I have a number of frinds in both rural and metro areas of the USA who simply have no option to get fast enough BB for reliable streaming of video so you can't generalise in that way.

Does Netflix do downloads? Maybe then it would work even if "on demand" means downloading a 1 hour show in 2 hours.

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John Brown (no body)
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"If every musician in the world had to rely on Spotify for their income, no one would be making music anymore."

I strongly doubt that. Artists have a different mindset to most of the people reading/posting here. Money and hourly pay rates are not the highest of priorities for everyone and especially not the arty crafty types.

I've seen a number of posts here over the years by people deingrating activities which are "cheaper" (for the poster) to buy in rather than do themselves because they earn more per hour at work than it would cost to pay for the item/service/repair. They can't get their heads around the idea that when you are not actually at work, your time is not chargable by the hour. You are free to do whatever interests or amuses you. Many artists, of whatever bent, think like that about their "work".

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BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Steve Graham How hard can it be?

"I assume BMW have included an extra element of authorization"

Yes, but that could still be done without having to transit 3rd party servers. From what I've read about both this and many other so-called "apps", they are just front ends to data slurping and monitoring systems in "da cloud thing"

Since the "app" device and the remote device both have an internet connection, there's no good reason why the essential functions, if not the majority of functions, should not be device to device connections. Not only is it one less point of failure, but it's removing a failure point that can affect your entire customer base. If the company really must slurp the data, why not just upload it after the fact instead of monitoring everything in real time.

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Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage

John Brown (no body)
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Coat

Flaky weather in a summer heatwave? Thats' no joke!

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Reg Latin scholars scrap over LOHAN's stirring motto

John Brown (no body)
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Re: might of been?

Ah, so the irony was deficient then :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Headmaster

might of been?

"That might of been the end of it, but Irony Deficient..."

Please tell me that that is an "oh, well played sir!" moment and not a major cock-up in an article on sentence construction.

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

John Brown (no body)
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Re: My favorite pointless distracting matrix sign ...

For an amusingly random selection of Matrix sign messages, visit:

http://www.trafficengland.com and select Traffic Map and browse around after enabling the Roadside Messaging Signs radio button on the right of the map.

It tends to be daytimes when the more non-urgent messages appear. Looking at it at about 2am Wednesday most of them across the UK are telling us that there are major road closures all over the place as summer roadworks season gets into full swing.

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John Brown (no body)
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That's an interesting one. Here in the UK it may well have gone the other way, at least in terms of the severity of the charges/punishment dished out to the stopped car driiver since not only was the motorcyclist speeding, but in the UK you are supposed to drive at a suitable speed for the conditions and that means being able to stop in time before you hit an obstruction.

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John Brown (no body)
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Boffin

Re: Devil's advocate....

"why would I be looking at the radio, instead of the road ahead?"

You shouldn't be just looking at the road ahead. You should be moving your eyes constantly while driving to also see behind you via your mirrors as well as checking your speed and other dashboard displays for warning lights.

Also, peripheral vision works vertically as wel as laterally.

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There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Oh dear

"No adverts interrupting your viewing every ten minutes or so for a start!"

That may be, but most BBC productions these days, especially documentaries, are made with sales to commercial channels in mind. There ared obvious "ad breaks" with "here's a re-cap of what you've just seen followed by a "coming next" segment at least once, if not twice during a show,

And we are now getting ad breaks, especially on sat channels which are approaching US levels of intrusion, eg up to 7 minutes of ads and no station ident or other cue that an ad break is starting, just a cust from the show direct to the ads. This mainly on US owned channels, but is being copied by local UK channels too. It's most obvious at peak times. I tend to set my VM Tivo to record the repeat viewings late at night or early hours of the morning so the ad breaks are much shorter and so easier and quicker to skip over.

I do wonder what has been cut from a show to fit in those longer peak time ad breaks though, We used to get three 4 minute adbreaks in a one hour show. Now we get three breaks of 6-8 minutes each, And I STILL DON'T watch them.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

John Brown (no body)
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Re: re : James 51

"Similarly the lights at a level crossing..."

I think you'll find that the road crosses the railway line, not the other way around so you are on railway property under railway rules and laws.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: re : James 51

"So the little green and red men are advisory only for pedestrians crossing the road, but the big red amber and green traffic lights at road junctions are obligatory for cyclists just as they are for motor vehicles."

Spot on. And by definition, a zebra crossing is just a courtesy where politeness is expected to be at a maximum by all concerned, A vehicle only has to stop if someone is on the crossing. If someone is standing at a crossing waiting, a driver does not HAVE to stop. So, in effect, a zebra crossing has no real effect other than to remind a driver that a pedestrian in the road has more right of way than an oncoming vehilce sin ce the same zebra crossing "rules" apply at all times even when there is no crossing.

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

John Brown (no body)
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Devil

Re: This is a Windows API problem

But that, too, is probably too much to ask due to "commercial realities".

...and yet MS can be so autocratic when they choose to be, eg lack on Win8 start menu, ribbon etc.

Considering their market clout, they could have made API changes which pissed off developers at almost any time and the devs would have just had to suck it up. At least since Win98 MS has been the defacto desktop standard by almost any sane measurement. And before the dowvoters leap to action, I rarely use Windows myself following the one tru Daemon, FreeBSD :-)

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: This is a Windows API problem

"Interesting, what is the API and the boundaries for this tick value?"

+/- 100ms. Just in case you need the OS to go backwards.

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Sorry about this..

"why anyone, guilty or innocent would want to agree to something like that"

The guilty don't get a choice. The truly innocent will probably think it's no big deal. The criminals not yet found gulity of anything will say no.

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Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT

John Brown (no body)
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Re: I read today the UK is planning a spaceport in Scotland

...and thye recently upgraded runway for heavy lifters.

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: I read today the UK is planning a spaceport in Scotland

"Glasgow Prestwick airport,"

Putting Holyrood under the downrange abort path. Oops, sorry about your government guys. Would you like to be governed by Westminster while you rebuild?

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UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Is their a list ?

"He further pointed out that the cabinet reshuffle meant the press hardly took an interest in this issue."

Yes, it was a good day the bury bad news.

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Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

John Brown (no body)
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Re: But what about the doodle?

"but 156th anniversary? What's special about that?"

ISTR an interview with someone from Google being asked a question along those lines. I believe it was stated that they generally try to avoid the more usual/standard anniversaries precisely because everyone else tends to use 10, 20, 50, 75, 100 as number for anniversaries.

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Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Dammit Lester!

""Del Taco"? I thnk what you mean is Taco Belle...."

It's Del Boy and Rodneys new venture you plonker!

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John Brown (no body)
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Re: Why?

"It's a complete mystery."

Hey, how come you don't get a staff gold badge? Upvoted to help you on your way to silver ;)

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Infected Chinese inventory scanners ships off logistics intel

John Brown (no body)
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WTF?

scanners and website-hosted software

Why would a bar-code scanner need internet access to "website-hosted software"?

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Elon Musk to fund Tesla museum with 'ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS'

John Brown (no body)
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How old?

"July 10, which would have been Tesla's 158th birthday."

Erm...no. The guy was a genius and invented many things, but immortality wasn't one of them.

Unless this documentary was accurate...

Thumbs up to Musk for the spondoolics though.

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Adobe Flash: The most INSECURE program on a UK user's PC

John Brown (no body)
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Re: What IS Flash?

Saviour of the universe?

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Google went behind our backs and really HURT US, squeal upset porn kingpins

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Some say...

"earning cash every time someone looks up 'turpitude'."

To save anyone else looking it up...

Turpitude; The state of mind attained when while cleaning paintbrushes.

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'BIGGEST BIRD EVER': 21-foot ripsaw-beaked flying HORROR

John Brown (no body)
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Happy

Re: take off

"Then again, they did die out "under mysterious circumstances". So maybe it was crap take-off abilities and natural selection."

On the other hand, the article states "The huge seabirds were found all over the world for tens of millions of years" which suggests that he people who know about this stuff believe these birds were around for waaaaay longer than human beings have been so far. :-)

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

John Brown (no body)
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Strangely, I am most definitely in the Great North East and I didn't notice any problems at all.

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Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

John Brown (no body)
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Boffin

"Sorry, should I have said "spoiler alert"?"

No. You should have said "Spoilers sweetie"

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Turn off the computer, then turn it on again...

" If they actually sort of know how to use the thing"

Ah, the most dangerous kind of user. Before they call support they've "tried" everything already. Everything, that is, except the right thing. And now it's going to take ages to fix all the additional problems they just caused.

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Is there too much sex and violence on TV?

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Disproportionate response

" complaints, often in SINGLE FIGURES."

IIRC there is some formula or multiplier that equates each actual complaint to some larger number of people who would have complained but for some reason didn't actually get around to making the complaint.

But I agree, grovelling apologies because of single figure complaints is just silly unless that formula or multiplier can be shown to be accurate, with evidence, and involves factors of 1000's

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London officials won't take Uber to court – because cabbies are suing the drivers anyway

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

advert popping

There's adverts on El Reg?

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NASA: Satellite which will END man-made CO2 debate in orbit at last

John Brown (no body)
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Joke

"Location: Up shit creek

Paddle status: False"

Naahhhh. Cheap and clean fusion power is only a few years away.

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Google policy wonk patronises Brits over EU search biz probe

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Google in a nutshell.

"However, a bit of searching reveals that Google gets its data from Weather Underground:

It is reasonable to assume that they do pay for it."

Both of those statements are probably true, the former certainly. The point isn't that Google pay for their weather forecast data but the attitude of someone as senior as a VP dismissing it as "just some product, not even ours".

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FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

John Brown (no body)
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Out of court setllement

T-Mobile US moved quickly to condemn the suit as "unfounded and without merit."

Funny how they always deny up front and then usually end up settling out of court at a later date. What $BigCorp never seems to realise (or care about) is that an out of court settlement might leave things legally grey and they can claim not have been convicted, but the consumer always sees that as an effective admission of guilt.

I'd like to to see more governments, public bodies, regulators and ombudsmen take these cases all the way to a judgement more often instead of taking the easy way out and letting $BigCorp buy their legally innocent positions.

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Sorry, chaps! We didn't mean to steamroller legit No-IP users – Microsoft

John Brown (no body)
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WTF?

a Nevada judge

No judges in Redmond, WA any more then? Where did they all go?

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Linux turns the crank on code for cars

John Brown (no body)
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Re: Tizen

"I can't help but feel that we're sleepwalking into another bunch of unnecessary security woes"

I couldn't agree more. WTF are they thinking building the sort of mission critical stuff required to run a car on top of bloated web browser engines? It 's not as if we are going to be wanting a huge app store full of fart apps and twitface apps knocked out by every teenage kid in their bedroom.

I'd be much more impressed if they built a new custom, pared down middle level to sit on a hardened kernel that would require actual programmers to develop for instead of wannabees who string black boxs together with a bit of java(script) code and think they are programmers.

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