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UK Prime Minister Says Gov't Should Be Capable of Reading Any Communications

clickclickdrone Happening already? (329 comments)

I thought they were already recording and keeping pretty much every byte of the Internet and other comms in the UK anyway. Even thought I missed a major IRA bomb back in the 90s by about 20mins, I can still safely say I'd much rather have my privacy and take my chances on the tiny risk of injury/death by terrorists. Crossing the road or getting in my car is way more riskier. Heck, doing the decorating at home is more risky. Privacy please. Get out my business.

about two weeks ago
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PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

clickclickdrone In the real world (245 comments)

I'd have thought most people are just getting on with whatever the preferred toolset is at their company and never give this mythical war a second thought.

about two weeks ago
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MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack

clickclickdrone Re:Vague article (319 comments)

This is the UK Government, they want everyone to be monitored 24/7 and everything they do recorded and kept safe 'just in case'.

about three weeks ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

clickclickdrone Re:Depends what you're used to (420 comments)

we can only multitask via task-switching

That's my day. Jumping from crisis to even more urgent crisis and back again over and over. It's expected. If anyone was only able to do one thing at a time, they'd not last long here. Priorities shift, often by the minute. You could be halfway through analysing half a million rows of data diagnosing an issue then dropping that, diving into source code for something else, drop that to have a quick meeting to agree a design point, back to the source code then back to the data, and that's within a 30min window. I'd say I have a lousy memory but I'm still expected to jump about and pick up where I left off.

about a month ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

clickclickdrone Re:White Boards (420 comments)

I'm in my fifties, I've been programming for ~35 years and I've never used a whiteboard. I've sat there whilst others do but it's rarely programming related, usually tuning requirements. If I need to plan something out I use paper. If it's big, I grab a bit of A3 off the printer.

about a month ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

clickclickdrone Depends what you're used to (420 comments)

I'm in the UK and I've only ever workd in open plan offices. Never seen a cubicle in my life. We have entire open floors with maybe 500 people per floor. Everyone is on banks of desks, 4 each side facing each other, row after row. Quite often it's all hot desking anyway so very few people customise their space in any way. I did once, briefly but my stuff got pinched (prob cleaners or 'security'). We have breakout rooms for instant meetings but personally I find myself far more productive when I can just wander over and ask someone a question rather than wait for an IM or email to be responded to. Almost no one uses headphones and absolutely no one has audible music. Even having a ringtone is frowned upon, vibrate only. As I've never been in any other environment (and I'm now in my fifties) I really can't see the issue with concentration, you either tune out the chatter or find a breakout room for the rare times you really need to focus.

about a month ago
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Sony Pictures Leak Reveals Quashed Plan To Upload Phony Torrents

clickclickdrone Go for it Sony (130 comments)

Chances are the fake films are better than the one you thought you were getting.

about a month and a half ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

clickclickdrone Re:Hearing evolution in action (433 comments)

Certainly true that compressed (as in dynamic range) audio is far more tiring to listen to. Puts me off buying new music to a large extent. I tend to buy stuff from indies which outside EDM is rarely buggered like this.

about a month and a half ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

clickclickdrone Re:Interesting comparison by a pro mastering engin (433 comments)

Have a virtual mod point. That is very interesting and quite surprising. Still working through the comments.

about a month and a half ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

clickclickdrone When did you get into music? (433 comments)

A lot of this argument IMO hinges on when you grew up/got into music. I'm quite happy to accept (as an old git) that high resolution digital audio beats an album on vinyl hands down in terms of true fidelity. However, to *my* ears, because I grew up with vinyl, I find that sound more appealing and enjoyable. I have albums on everything from cassette, vinyl, CDs, MP3s to FLAC. Even some 24bit high res files. Yes, there's some incredible detail in there with modern formats. However, for whatever reason, I just don't enjoy listening to it as much. In many cases it's because they're mastered too hot and have stupid waveforms with almost no dynamic range, although the high res formats are better in that respect. I find vinyl just more enjoyable and relaxing to listen to. Plus of course there's the well worn stuff about the cover, reading the lyric sheet without a magnifying glass etc. As far as crackles/pops/wear and tear goes, I've got records that are nearly 40 years old but still more enjoyable to my ears/brain. It beats me how people's records get so beaten up, are they tracking too heavy? Pouring grit down the sleeve? Maybe 5% of mine from 30+ years ago have anything more than a little surface noise when the stylus hits the lead in groove. After that, no pops or crackles.

about a month and a half ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

clickclickdrone Re:Sounds Better? (433 comments)

Not sure where all this revisionism is coming from. The Loudness Wars and the move to very hot mixes was driven purely by the demands of the record companies wanting their tracks to stand out on commercial radio stations, who were already doing the same thing themselves anyway. Anything that can make your song stand out (and loudness works) was deemed a Good Thing.

about a month and a half ago
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Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

clickclickdrone Re:Mesmerizing (433 comments)

My old Technics SL-B2 (http://www.vinylengine.com/library/technics/sl-b2.shtml) was belt drive and has the strobe and adjustment. Quite a few manufacturers had the same on belt drive. Not seen it on an idler driver deck though.

about a month and a half ago
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End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

clickclickdrone Re:Oh rly? (156 comments)

That's a good point. There's a few 80 column word processing solutions but I don't recall seeing anything for spreadsheets.

about 4 months ago
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End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

clickclickdrone Re:Oh rly? (156 comments)

You could also get Visicalc on the Atari 400/800.

about 4 months ago
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End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

clickclickdrone Re:Oh rly? (156 comments)

You could also get 123 for various Unix flavours. I used it on DEC Ultrix.

about 4 months ago
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End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

clickclickdrone Re:Common Man Programmer (156 comments)

Accountants and clerks did amazing programming using Lotus 1-2-3.

I wrote a custom billing system for a bank. It had a master shell spreadsheet which then read in 300 odd data files from a mainframe listing transactions, one by one. Each customer file was parsed, the data processed into billing records which were written to another area of the sheet. Once all that was done, the bill templates were read in, again one by one, the addresses looked up, billing records turned into a charge schedule and the statements printed out. Took 30 hours to run the master macro on an IBM AT. We were the only people allowed to buy an AT, XTs were too slow. 286 - raw power.

about 4 months ago
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Unpopular Programming Languages That Are Still Lucrative

clickclickdrone Old coder here (387 comments)

Been programming since the late 70's in one form or another. Probably 98% of the stuff I have worked on is C, C#, VB or Java. The only reason it's not 100% is because to begin with it was all stuff like Dbase III, FoxPro, Access, DataEase and some assembler. I've not been asked to tackle anything other than the C/Java/VB variants since about 1990. Where exactly are all these other (non web related) languages used?

about 5 months ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

clickclickdrone Re:foolproof (244 comments)

In other news, sales of Minox spy cameras rise ten fold.

about 6 months ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

clickclickdrone Re:So what? they can be tapped to. (244 comments)

In the 80's a UK bank experimented with signature recognition by listening to the pen on the paper. The dynamics and pressure etc were much harder to fake than the actual signature so it made sense but ultimately didn't go anywhere.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Game Dev says 10.1m illegal downloads = 176k actual lost sales

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  about a year ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "Football Manager boss Miles Jacobson has revealed the true extent of video game piracy on PC.

10.1m people have illegally downloaded Football Manager 2013, he said on stage at London Games Conference 2013.

Jacobson said that he does not believe that one pirated game equals one lost sale "That would be ridiculous to think," he said. But based on the drop in activations, he estimated piracy cost them 176,000 lost sales. He added that 1.74 per cent of illegal downloaders would potentially purchase the game had no crack been available"

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'Master key' to Android phones uncovered

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  about a year and a half ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "A "master key" that could give cyber-thieves unfettered access to almost any Android phone has been discovered by security research firm BlueBox. The bug could be exploited to let an attacker do what they want to a phone including stealing data, eavesdropping or using it to send junk messages. The loophole has been present in every version of the Android operating system released since 2009.

Google said it currently had no comment to make on BlueBox's discovery."

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Ebay say Google ads not worth it

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  about 2 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "A report by auction website eBay has found that paying for advertising in the form of keywords on search engines has little effect on sales.

Platforms such as Google and Bing offer companies the option to "buy" words. This means their websites appear more prominently if a person searches for a particular term.

The eBay study found that most people who clicked through as a result of this service were loyal customers who would have come to the site anyway.

As the article goes on to suggest though, these results will be heavily skewed by the fact Ebay is such a well known brand to begin with, it would already show high in the listings. Smaller advertisers would probably see more benefit."

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Facebook sued over use of Like button

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  about 2 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "Facebook is facing legal action over its use of the "like" button and other features of the social network.

It is being sued by a patent-holding company acting on behalf of a dead Dutch programmer called Joannes Jozef Everardus van Der Meer.

Rembrandt Social Media said Facebook's success was based, in part, on using two of Mr Van Der Meer's patents without permission."

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No Charges in UK for Gary McKinnon

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, who is wanted in the US, will not face charges in the UK, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said the chances of a successful conviction were "not high".

He announced the decision some three months after Home Secretary Theresa May stopped the extradition.

Mr McKinnon, 46, admits accessing US government computers but says he was looking for evidence of UFOs.

The US authorities tried to extradite him to face charges of causing $800,000 (£487,000) to military computer systems and he would have faced up to 60 years in prison if convicted."

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Kickstarted video game project Haunts gets mothballed

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "Development on a video game funded by the crowdsourced funding site Kickstarter has stopped as all its programmers have quit.

More than 1,200 people backed Haunts: The Manse Macabre when it ran a funding campaign via Kickstarter in June 2012.

It pledged to produce a horror game but that has been mothballed after running out of cash and staff."

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UK Hacker McKinnon Extradition has been blocked

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "The UK Home Secretary has just announced that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US for hacking charges. She has cited grave concerns in recent years about the handling of UK->US extraditions. This was the last chance to extradite him so now it will be down to UK justice system."
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Rasberry Pi competitors appearing.

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 2 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "A couple of competitors to the Rasberry Pi have been in the news this week. The Chinese MK802 has a higher spec but an equally high price but now VIA have announced their own bare board system, the APC which should ship at $49. Both systems run Android in contrast to the Rasberry Pi's Linux."
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Domesday Project reborn online after 25 years

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 3 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "A good idea, combined with the right technology, can change the world. 25 years ago, the BBC dreamt up an inspired scheme. However, in the case of the Domesday Project, it was the tech that doomed it.

The premise was straightforward enough — create a 20th century version of William the Conqueror's 900-year-old page-turner, the Domesday Book.

Instead of land rights and livestock, it would chronicle life in 1980s Britain, based on photographs and written accounts submitted by ordinary people.

It was an incredibly ambitious undertaking and, in many ways, the Domesday Project was a success.

The BBC received more than a million contributions and the electronic version was released commercially.

However, the system was based on laserdiscs, a BBC Master computer and a trackball and over the years, the ability to access the data has been all but lost. Until now..."

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First Apple Computer sells for £130,000

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "One of the first batch of Apple personal computers has sold at auction in London for £133,250 ($210,000).

The Apple I came with its original packaging and a signed sales letter from Apple co-founder and current chief executive Steve Jobs.

The computer, one of only 200 of the model ever made, originally sold for $666.66 when it was introduced in 1976."

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Torchwood to return

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "Despite killing off the bulk of the cast in season 3, the BBC have announced season 4 of Torchwood and with a nod to overseas sales, they are going international location wise. A ten part series is promised with locations in the US and elsewhere in the world unlike the previous seasons which stayed resolutely in Wales."
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How a single theft caused numerous fires in the UK

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 4 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "Thieves in the UK stole a GBP20 limiter from an electrical substation. The result? Power fluctuations as high as 400 volts caused numerous appliance failures and a number of thankfully small fires in Bolton. A child's baby alarm even caught fire damaging blankets and putting the baby at risk. The incident has triggered a lot of discussion about the merits of switching off and unplugging everything overnight — possibly an overreaction but we do tend to assume our mains delivers what we expect."
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UK News website chain to start charging for conten

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 5 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "A chain of websites belonging to Johnston Press, the largest owner of regional newspapers in the UK is starting a trial to see if people are willing to pay £5 per quarter for access to all their content. Non paying users can still access a subset of the articles though. This follows on the heels of Murdoch's expressed wish to start making people pay for online news. Johnston Press have over 300 newspapers in their fold so this will be one to watch."
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Linux laptops for Senior Citizens launched

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 5 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "The BBC and others are reporting the launch of a new range of computers aimed at older (60+) first time computer users with no experience of the Internet. Using a build of Linux with a simplified interface called SimplicITy, the new machines provide basic email, web browsing and chat. To help users get going, it even includes 17 tutorial videos by Valerie Singleton, a well known face in the UK to people of that generation."
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'Road trains' ready to roll

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 5 years ago

clickclickdrone (964164) writes "The BBC is reporting that Road trains that link vehicles together using wireless sensors could soon be on European roads.

An EU-financed research project is looking at inexpensive ways of getting vehicles to travel in a 'platoon' on Europe's motorways. Each road train could include up to eight separate vehicles — cars, buses and trucks will be mixed in each one. The EU hopes to cut fuel consumption, journey times and congestion by linking vehicles together. Early work on the idea suggests that fuel consumption could be cut by 20% among those cars and trucks travelling behind the lead vehicle."

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Amazon to block Phorm scans

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 5 years ago

clickclickdrone writes "The BBC are reporting (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7999635.stm) that Amazon has said it will not allow online advertising system Phorm to scan its web pages to produce targeted ads. For most people this is a welcome step, especially after the European Commission said it was starting legal action against the UK earlier this week over its data protection laws in relation to Phorm's technology. Anyone who values their privacy should applaud this move by Amazon."
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British ISPs censoring Wikipedia

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 6 years ago

clickclickdrone writes "It has emerged that a group of British ISPs have been censoring Wikipedia by passing all traffic through a filter since last Friday. The information from Wikipdia themselves is that there are claims that an album cover by the German band Scorpion is being accused of being child porn so under the The Protection of Children Act 1978, they have taken appropriate actions to prevent viewing of the material. Wikipedi's version of the story can be seen here http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/British_ISPs_restrict_access_to_Wikipedia_amid_child_pornography_allegations"
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'Hacker' loses extradition appeal

clickclickdrone clickclickdrone writes  |  more than 6 years ago

clickclickdrone writes "Yet another example of laws designed to fight terrorism being used elsewhere, British hacker Gary McKinnon has lost his Law Lords appeal against being extradited to stand trial in the US. Gary McKinnon, 42, could face a life sentence if found guilty of gaining access to 97 American military and Nasa computers from his London home. Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon admits breaking into the computers but says he was trying to find information on UFOs. He lost his case at the High Court in 2006 before taking it to the Lords. He is being extradited using the asymetric agreeements put in place between the US and UK designed to help with fighting terrorism but as is so often the case, the US has yet to hold up its side of the deal when it comes to shipping its own citizens abroad for trials."
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