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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Dynamoo Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (489 comments)

On the EU membership.. I would expect the concept of Scotland being a successor state would apply despite the posturing of certain EU members. Countries that break away from each other in this way (think Czech and Slovak Republics, the CIS) tend to retain the obligations and memberships of their predecessor states, which would mean that both the UK and the UK-sans-Scotland would both be EU members. It might end up as a legal fight in the courts to establish EU membership for Scotland though.

However, if they are not EU members and find themselves even temporarily outside the EEA (the European Economic Area that consists of the EU and EFTA countries) then that could effectively stop the free movement of people, goods and capital. It's possible that people from Scotland would need a visa to enter the UK unless a bilateral agreement could be make (such as the UK/Ireland agreement that exists outside the EU). This has the potential for being absolutely catastrophic.

The currency is also difficult, it has been argued that the Scots could have a once-side currency union with the pound sterling even if the UK did not agree. This sort of system already exists in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, but those are not independent states as such (but nore are they part of the UK). However, there are only a quarter of a million people on those islands and Scotland has more than 20 times the population and 25 times the GDP, so it's a different league altogether.

But the clincher for me would be the sheer amount of paperwork involved if I were Scots. Am I Scottish or English or what? What about my family members? Where will my bank account be? My pension? My job? How do I get across the border? Even if everything goes smoothly, there is an immense amount of effort needed from citizens of the UK to straighten out all these details.

3 days ago

Oracle Hasn't Killed Java -- But There's Still Time

Dynamoo Oracle Forms (371 comments)

Oracle Forms is dependent on Java.. but it seems very version-sensitive. Updating Java can often break forms, despite both being Oracle products.

Other than that, the only use I can see for Java on the desktop is to enable machines to get infected with malware.

about a month and a half ago

HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

Dynamoo Re:All the happy (136 comments)

I used to run an 11/750 back in the early 90s. Rock solid, but ancient even then. Our students used it for Pascal programming using a bunch of VT131s which were also relics from another era. When we ditched those and got some (VT320-like) Televideo 9320s instead, everybody thought that the system had speeded up too..

about a month and a half ago

Radical Dual Tilting Blade Helicopter Design Targets Speeds of Over 270mph

Dynamoo One hundred *billion* dollars? (103 comments)

One hundred *billion* dollars? Enough to buy about 5000 Apache attack helicopters (I would not like to be on the wrong end of those). Why do I think this program will end up with a tiny, tiny fraction of that?

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: System Administrator Vs Change Advisory Board

Dynamoo One change (294 comments)

A whole bunch of OS patches = One change
Replacing a server = One change
Reconfiguring some shared folders = One change
Replacing a whole bunch of printers = One change

There are a couple of advantages with a change process like this.. the first one is collective responsibility, so the poor sysadmin can pass at least some of the blame back to the CAB if it goes wrong. And then also there's the point that other people might have a legitimate input into the process, especially if there are things happening in the business on the same day as the proposed change that IT doesn't know about.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

Dynamoo Re:The Economist (285 comments)

Similarly, if you dig out an old copy of BYTE or something similar, it is the *ads* which can be more interesting than the articles. You want *how* *much* for *that*??

about 5 months ago

Interviews: J. Michael Straczynski Answers Your Questions

Dynamoo Space Opera (67 comments)

I hate to call B5 "Space Opera" because it was fragging awesome and one of the best shows ever.. but there seems to be no Space Opera at all on TV anymore since Stargate and Galactica ended. Except perhaps for the odd episode of Dr Who I guess, but otherwise.. nothing. Unless I've missed something.

I was brought up on Star Trek. Surely someone out there in TV land must have the means of brining a decently plotted and good looking Space Opera back to our screens?

about 6 months ago

Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Dynamoo Back up your data! (860 comments)

I did the Windows XP to Windows 8.1 upgrade on my four-year-old Dell workstation. It works pretty well, and supports a range of really ancient applications either natively or through compatibility mode. I've only found one thing that would not run at all, and that dated from the late 1980s!

But there's a gotcha.. I upgrade to 8.1 via Windows 8. The first step from Windows XP to 8 ran pretty smoothly, all of my data from the XP installation was moved to a folder called windows.old where it could be recovered from by someone with a basic understanding of PCs. All well and good, but the obvious next step was to upgrade to Windows 8.1.. a bit trickier as you can't do that without installing KB2871389 first (either through Windows Update or manually). The Windows 8.1 download is enormous, 3GB+ but it installs smoothly enough.

The catch? Well, upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 8 creates the windows.old folder with the old data in. Upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 DELETES that folder and creates a new one with the old Windows 8 settings.. obliterating your original data from the Windows XP installation.

Well, that wasn't a problem for me as I'd backed up everything onto another drive which I unplugged to be on the safe side. But it wasn't what I was expecting to happen *at all*.. and you can see that a less paranoid customer (or one without a suitable backup disk) could well lose everything if going from XP to 8 to 8.1. And I do notice that there doesn't seem to be a Windows 8.1 Upgrade version available anywhere, so this is the path that a lot of people would take..

about 6 months ago

FBI Has Tor Mail's Entire Email Database

Dynamoo Presumed guilty (195 comments)

So, are the users of TorMail being presumed guilty because they dared to use a system that the NSA couldn't intercept?

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

Dynamoo Stop infecting me.. (731 comments)

Dear advertising networks,

Stop trying to infect me with malware and perhaps I'll stop blocking you from my browser.

about 8 months ago

Google Announces Smart Contact Lens Project For Diabetics

Dynamoo Re:missing the point (90 comments)

Too right. A box of testing strips for my glucose monitor is £25 for 50 (about $40). Lancets are a lot cheaper, but combined it costs 60p ($1) every time I give myself a blood test.. and that's assuming I can do it first time. OK, I don't have to pay for those (I'm in the UK and the NHS pays) but *somebody* has to pay and GPs are increasingly reluctant to renew prescriptions for patients such as myself who are not on insulin.

about 8 months ago

Taiwan Protests Apple Maps That Show Island As Province of China

Dynamoo It's complicated.. (262 comments)

It's complicated.. basically it is de facto a nation, but it is not necessarily a nation de jure. But if you want one of the most likely kick-off points for World War III it is the issue of Taiwanese independence..

about a year ago

Some Bing Ads Redirecting To Malware

Dynamoo The actual article is here.. (146 comments)

The actual article is here. TheNextWeb is a stupid site that doesn't work at all if you are not running Javascript. I choose to block most scripts, partly because.. a lot of ads are infected with malware. Yuk.

about a year ago

How BlackBerry Blew It

Dynamoo Delays killed BlackBerry (278 comments)

The critical thing that killed BlackBerry was the huge delays in getting anything done. As the article points out, they spent a whole year arguing about their BB10 devices while competitors were eating there lunch, and when they finally got to market it was TWO YEARS too late. They'd been in a dead end for years with no strategy to get out of it.. and when they finally did the smart thing and bought QNX it took *forever* to get a decent working product out.

And if it wasn't late.. it wasn't finished properly. Like the Storm. And then the PlayBook was both late *and* not finished properly.

Nokia found itself in the same dead end, but at least it had some sort of strategy when it jumped off the infamous "burning platform". I think that Apple is at risk of the same pitfalls.. they are a much more defensive, conservative company than they were six years ago. The only people who really seem to have a clue are Samsung, and they've got all the appeal of the Borg collective as far as I'm concerned..

about a year ago

FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack

Dynamoo Re:The NSA controlled the servers (292 comments)

So it's not clear if those addresses belong to the FBI, the CIA, NSA, or anyone else.

Is this even "legal" on the Internet? Perhaps those IP addresses should be reclaimed and reassigned by ARIN since "nobody" is using them and IPV4 addresses are now in short (nonexistent) supply.

Correct, the IP address block ( was allocated to a Verizon Business customer probably located in the Washington DC or Virginia area. Some neighboring blocks in the same /24 included the US government, some government contractors and some private commercial businesses. Given the geographical location and nature of the customers then it is almost definitely a government agency or contractor, but there's nothing else to be gleaned. I did an analysis analysis at the time when people were screaming that it was the NSA via a private firm called SAIC.

As for "legality".. the block is allocated to Verizon who break it down into smaller chunks for customers who may or may not wish to identify themselves in the WHOIS records. It is just 8 IP addresses in any case.

1 year,6 days

EU Proposes To Fit Cars With Speed Limiters

Dynamoo I have a speed limiter.. (732 comments)

I have a speed limiter. In fact, a lot of people have speed limiters.. but a surprising number of people don't know it. What am I talking about? Well, if you own a Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Mercedes, late model Ford or very recent Opel or Vauxhall (plus some others) with cruise control, then you have a user-adjustable speed limiter built in already.

Going into a 30 mph zone? Set the speed limiter for 30.. then you can watch the road, not your speedometer. 50 mph average speed cameras? No problem.. set the speed limiter to 50 and you won't go any faster. Going down a motorway in France? Set it to 80 mph. Taking it on a track? Leave it switched off. Bloody marvellous.. all cars with cruise control should have it fitted. But a surprising number of people who DO have it fitted don't know how to use it.

1 year,19 days

Ad Networks Lay Path To Million-Strong Browser Botnet

Dynamoo Re:The author is lying (105 comments)

The assertion that ad networks do not check code is certainly untrue overall. But some networks check code more closely than others, and the bad guys use all sorts of techniques to evade detection (geotargetting, for example, or changing the behaviour of the ad when it is being examined on the ad network's own IP range). The lengths some bad actors go to are impressive, and be in no doubt that there is a state of war between most ad networks and the bad guys.

However, it is true that certain ad networks do very minimal checking or even seem to be in league with malware pushers. But publishers soon drop ad networks like this and they end up being relegated to the scummy tier of publishers only.

Oh.. it's hardly new anyway. Here's a report from 2004.

about a year ago

Man Campaigns For Addition of 'Th' Key To Keyboard

Dynamoo Thorn (258 comments)

Thorn already exists as an obsolete form of "th". I don't think it will work it I try to enter it here, but here goes..

about a year ago

I'd most rather, of the following, search with:

Dynamoo Re:Used to be (277 comments)

Even when Google became dominant, AllTheWeb was still excellent and was real competition. It had a much bigger index than Google and highly accurate results, so naturally it had to be killed off. Although ended up with Yahoo (via Overture), the core underlying technology (called FAST) is still in use today and is owned by Microsoft.

about a year ago



Hitler assassination plotter Von Kleist dies

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Dynamoo writes "The BBC reports that Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist who was involved in the 20 July plot to kill Hitler died last week at his home in Munich. He was arrested and later released for his involvement where many other plotters were executed, and after the war he created the Munich Security Conference which brought together heads of state and senior diplomats to discuss international security issues. What would have happened if Von Kleist and his associates had succeeded in killing Hitler? Perhaps a different leader might not have made so many mistakes?"
Link to Original Source

Babylon 5's Michael O'Hare dies, aged 60

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  about 2 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Michael O'Hare, Jeffrey Sinclair from Babylon 5, died last Friday after suffering a heart attack. He is the fourth actor with a major role in the show to pass away, after Richard Biggs (2004) Andreas Katsulas (2006) and Jeff Conaway (2011). While paying respects to O'Hare, show creator J. Michael Straczynski remarked "I can only assume from all this that someone in the afterlife has begun pre-production on a Babylon 5 movie...""
Link to Original Source

Charles Carreon drops case against The Oatmeal

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Charles Carreon has reportedly dropped his lawsuit against the creator of The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman. This bizarre lawsuit (dubbed a SLAPP suit by the EFF) kicked off after a dispute between Inman and which span rapidly out of control. Perhaps Carreon has seen sense, but it turns out that there might be an even more bizarre twist in this tale"
Link to Original Source

The HTC Wallaby is ten years old.

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Remember the HTC Wallaby? Probably not, but this influential proto-smartphone is ten years old this year. It helped to shape the smartphone market before there even *was* a smartphone market, and was HTC's first quaintly-names "Wireless PDA" product."
Link to Original Source

Shady Reshipping Centers Exposed

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Ever wondered how criminals can spirit away the products they buy with stolen credit cards? The answer is that they use surprisingly sophisticated but very shady reshipping centers to launder the goods on their way to Eastern Europe. The bad guys make the money, but it's the mules doing the reshipping who will eventually get caught."
Link to Original Source

Microsoft to Offer Free Anti-Virus Software

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Dynamoo writes "The good news is that Microsoft have announced free anti-virus software for consumer from next year. The bad news is.. well, exactly the same.

Although Microsoft's anti-malware products are pretty good, this move could drive many competitors out of business and create a dangerous security monoculture.. and you can see that major rivals will be lawyering up already. On the other hand, many malware infections could be prevented even by basic software.. so is this going to be a good or bad thing overall?"

Link to Original Source

Geoffrey Perkins is dead, aged 55.

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  about 6 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Legendary comedy writer and producer Geoffrey Perkins has died in a road accident in London. Perkins was the producer of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well as a writer, director and producer of many comedy shows including Spitting Image, The Fast Show and several others. He also invented the game of Mornington Crescent. The world will be a less joyful place without him."
Link to Original Source

Telephore - advertising gone too far?

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Context-sensitive ads are all the rage, but Telephore is the first one to bring them to your mobile phone.. nope, not text messages, but spoken ads that interrupt your call!

What is even more troubling is that Telephore analyzes your conversations with a sophisticated voice recognition system and stores them for later reference. Is this too much power to give to a private company? There's some further analysis and some leaked info that indicates that this could be a real privacy nightmare.. what's worse, is that it may well be coming your way very soon."

Link to Original Source

Is This the Strangest Cellphone Ever?

Dynamoo Dynamoo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dynamoo writes "Perhaps you'd thought that cellphone design was getting a bit predictable? Well, Toshiba have certainly done something different with the Toshiba G450. It's a very lightweight device, but also very strange looking with a tiny screen and a very peculiar keypad arrangement.

Announced at this week's Mobile World Congress, the G450 is a 3.5G phone with an MP3 player, USB connectivity and that's about it. Is there really a market for this type of device? Or is the G450 destined for obscurity?"

Link to Original Source


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