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Comments

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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

hawkinspeter Re:TCO (138 comments)

I often delete the relevant /etc/udev/rules.d/ files if I'm installing a virtual image as the changing MACs and UUIDs can be more complex to manage. Sometimes, you know that the machine will only ever have one disk and one network card.

3 hours ago
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

hawkinspeter Re:TCO (138 comments)

You're right. Most of the updates I've done on a variety of Linux boxes have not caused any problems - even upgrading from different OS versions (e.g. Ubuntu 12.04 -> Ubuntu 14.04) have proceeded fine. There have been a few occasions where Grub has got confused or distribution upgrades have failed due to LD_LIBRARY_PATH being set etc. However, every OS has had issues with bugs and updates.

You shouldn't need to make a bootable USB as typically, you'd have the media that you originally installed the OS with (DVD or USB or network install). If not, then it's easy to borrow someone else's system long enough to download and burn another copy of it (unless you're in Windows OEM hell).

4 hours ago
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

hawkinspeter Re:TCO (138 comments)

It's a shame you didn't persist as most boot/grub errors are generally quite easy to fix. Most of the time, you can boot from CD/usb stick and repair the grub install within about 5 minutes.

Still, if you don't want to use it, use something else. Choice and competition are good.

8 hours ago
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

hawkinspeter Re:Will they invest any of the savings in Linux de (138 comments)

Huh? I've heard of commercial companies getting criticised for not giving back code changes even though they're making money from OSS, but I think you're very mistaken.

10 hours ago
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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

hawkinspeter Re:TCO (138 comments)

My experience is the opposite of yours with installing Windows/Linux. I've found that ghosting Windows installs requires that the hardware be virtually identical. Having a different disk controller, or switching between ATA and AHCI modes usually causes blue screens and failure to boot. Any modern Linux distro, however can quite happily run even by putting the installed hard disk into a completely different machine.

10 hours ago
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Researchers Design Bot To Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews

hawkinspeter Re:Robo-Polygraph? (102 comments)

That actually sounds interesting as they'll need to get a machine to be able to repeatedly interpret polygraphs when the current usage depends entirely on the examiner's judgement (or guesses).

It should be relatively easy to fake a robotic polygraph - just clench your buttocks at the right time.

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:this is great news! (94 comments)

In general, though, aren't the speeds increasing rather than decreasing?

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

hawkinspeter Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

And, if it's put to the public as '100 spying incidents on members of opposition parties or a document format that is completely free and belongs to the people', then I imagine you'll get a different response.

I'm curious, you seem to have a strong pro-microsoft agenda here. Why is that? (or are you just getting a bit old and are afraid of new-fangled technology)?

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:this is great news! (94 comments)

Sorry, I might have been using too much irony for you. Do you not find it amusing that a person complaining that "privacy violation is complete bullshit" is posting that as an Anonymous Coward? They obviously do care about privacy whilst also decrying it.

I'm a big fan of Anonymous Cowards in general and I'm not attacking the messenger - it's just funny considering what was said. Personally, I do use a PS3 and I'm not concerned about what code is running on it largely because Sony is too incompetent to be truly evil. However, open BD code would be useful as I stream from Linux using PS3MediaServer.

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

hawkinspeter Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

Yes, that as well, but I didn't want to get bogged down by details as logically his argument is specious.

5 days ago
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China Plans Particle Colliders That Would Dwarf CERN's LHC

hawkinspeter Re:Super-collider (218 comments)

Anecdote accepted. Snappy comeback not found.

AWKWARD

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

hawkinspeter Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

Your argument about not wanting to change something due to the length of time that it's been unchanged is laughable. I don't get why you are so opposed to such a sensible, intelligent change. I bet you could have used the self-same arguments for keeping government documents on micro-fiches (or similar old-time technology).

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

hawkinspeter Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

Also, I don't get why/how Apple are more predatory (I'm not a fan of them, by the way) and I fail to see why a school buying iPads will lock up the content that, as a tax-payer, I have paid for.

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

hawkinspeter Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

The obvious tangible benefits are that the documents will no longer be locked into some stupid proprietary format that can never be converted due to ridiculous macros and scripts (quite why a static document needs to have macros and scripts is beyond me).

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:"Compatible" (94 comments)

Seconded! I use PS3MediaServer on a Linux box to serve media to a PS3 and it works well. Recently my old fat PS3 overheated again (YLOD) so I started looking at replacing it with a PS4, but the two requirements I had were that it should be able to play my PS3 games and to use it to watch media. Somehow Sony have managed to make a PS4 utterly useless to me, so I ended up buying a cheap second-hand thin PS3.

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:"Compatible" (94 comments)

She was hot in those skin-tight pants!

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:"Compatible" (94 comments)

So, do you actually pay more if lots of people "freeload" the same film? I suspect that you're not paying for it to be made, you're just being sold the content at whatever price they think the market will bear. If you feel so hard done by, just stop buying it - you don't have to whine to us about it.

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:this is great news! (94 comments)

Very interesting, Mr Anonymous Coward.

Care to explain why you didn't login to an account to say why "privacy violation is complete bullshit"?

5 days ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

hawkinspeter Re:this is great news! (94 comments)

I don't know about the US, but here in the UK our broadband speeds keep getting quicker (for the same price). My cable connection gets doubled in speed every couple of years as otherwise, I'd go somewhere else. I don't see why streaming will get less popular over time.

5 days ago
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UK Cabinet Office Adopts ODF As Exclusive Standard For Sharable Documents

hawkinspeter Re:This a wheeze to get Office 2013/ 365 cheaper (164 comments)

As a UK tax payer, I welcome the move. Finally, someone in government is looking further ahead than just the next election.

I would imagine that someone at GCHQ could easily convert the documents for a tiny fraction of the budget that they've got. In fact, they've probably already got conversions of everyone's private/secret documents already.

Plenty of money for spying on UK subjects, but no money for protecting their interests in not being tied to a predatory US company.

5 days ago

Submissions

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BBC ignores 50000 austerity protesters outside BBC in Portland Place

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a month ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "It seems that the BBC didn't notice a crowd of 50,000 protesters right outside their front door on Saturday. The march was organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity on their one-year anniversary and was led by comedian Russell Brand who has become a figure head for the movement. He called out for a "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution".

The protesters started their march outside the BBC to protest against the broadcaster ignoring the impact of the cuts on the impoverished. Sam Fairbairn (the national secretary of the People's Assembly) spoke to the crowds at the end of the march, outside Parliament, saying "Make no mistake, these cuts are killing people and destroying cherished public services which have served generations".

Although this event seems to have been ignored by a lot if the UK press, it is covered by a few of them: Daily Express, The Independent and The Huffington Post."
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China rejects 545,000 tons of US genetically modified corn

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 7 months ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that US corn that was found to contain an unapproved genetically modified strain. Although China doesn't have a problem per se with GM crops (they've been importing GM soybeans since 1997), their product safety agency found MIR162 in 12 batches of corn.

"The safety evaluation process [for MIR162] has not been completed and no imports are allowed at the moment before the safety certificate is issued" said Nui Din, China's vice agricultural minister.

The Chinese are now calling on US authorities to tighten their controls to prevent unapproved strains from being sent to China after the first batch of corn was rejected in November due to MIR162."

Link to Original Source
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Doom comes to Kickstarter boardgame project

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  1 year,1 day

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Kickstarter backers are up in arms and accusing the head of developer The Forking Path Erik Chevalier of fraud following the cancellation of a tabletop game that successfully brought in nearly $123,000 on the crowdfunding website.

According to Chevalier, the project — a game called The Doom that Came to Atlantic City — ran out of money following 13 months of development despite earning nearly four times the amount originally asked for through Kickstarter. Chevalier began the Kickstarter campaign in May 2012, asking for $35,000 to create the title.

"The project is over, the game is cancelled," he wrote. "Every possible mistake was made, some due to my inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications. No matter the cause though, these could all have been avoided by someone more experienced and I apparently was not that person."

Chevalier added he hopes to personally refund the full amount to his backers beginning with those who pre-ordered the game through its official webstore.

"Unfortunately I can't give any type of schedule for the repayment as I left my job to do this project and must find work again.

"Again, I never set out to con anyone or to perpetrate a fraud but I did walk into a situation that was beyond my abilities and for that I'm deeply sorry." A number of backers since claimed to have reported Chevalier to the Oregon Department of Justice. According to the designer, he has contacted the department himself in response.

"While they gave no promises their agent didn't feel that I'd committed any fraud. I am going to provide them with more information and work with them to see what I need to do to make this right in their eyes. I will also be contacting any other agencies who receive reports in order to provide them with a transparent view of the scenario from all angles."

Angry backers are of the opinion that the project money was used to fund Erik's move to Portland and to set up a video production company (formerly Suicide Pact LLC and now renamed as Intrinsic Gray). Additionally, it appears that Erik had to have legal action threatened by the game designers themselves before agreeing to come clean about the wasted money."
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MIT blocking release of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service files

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  1 year,9 days

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Lawyers representing MIT are filing a motion to intervene in Wired's Kevin Poulsen's FOIA lawsuit over thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz.

It looks like MIT are afraid of the public finding out about the individuals who thought that sending Aaron to prison (for the digital equivalent of checking out too many library books) was a really good idea. Does that justify a non-governmental interfering with a FOIA request?"

Link to Original Source
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Ruby-on-Rails allows remote-code execution on over 240,000 websites

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Popular programming framework Ruby on Rails is affected by two critical security vulnerabilities — one allowing anyone to execute commands on the servers running affected web apps.

The bugs both involve the parsing and handling of data supplied by visitors to a Rails application. The CVE-2013-0156 hole is the more severe of the two because it allows remote-code execution against any Ruby on Rails application that has the XML parser enabled — a feature switched on by default. According to security tools firm Sourcefire the flaw allows hackers to run system commands on the server with the same level of privileges as the app.

Both vulnerabilities can be resolved by updating to the latest version of the Ruby on Rails platform.

But what makes the holes particularly nasty is that, until the patches are applied, every application running on the insecure open-source framework will be vulnerable — like castles built on sand and the tide is rising: at least 240,000 websites powered by RoR are thought to be at risk."

Link to Original Source
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Caught on camera: quantum mechanics in action

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Scientists at the University of Glasgow have captured images of ‘quantum entanglement’ on camera for the first time.

In quantum mechanics, entanglement is one of the bizarre behaviours exhibited by particles where the rules of classical physics are broken and seemingly impossible events are a reality.

Described by Einstein as ‘spooky action at a distance’, entanglement is the phenomenon whereby two particles act as one system even when separated by immense distances.

The entangled particles are in a superposition where their individual state isn’t known. However, as soon as one of them is measured or observed the other will take on a correlated state instantaneously, seemingly violating the speed of light.

Being able to exploit such behaviour would have major applications in communications encryption and could underpin the next generation of computer technology, known as quantum computation.

Their paper is available from Nature"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft drope 'Metro' name for Windows 8

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is dropping the 'Metro' name for the new Windows 8 UI. Apparently, the catchy new name they've settled on is 'Windows 8 style UI'! This has happened due to a (potential) trademark dispute with Metro AG , a German retail giant.

I'm wondering if Microsoft planned this to get publicity for their new OS and UI or whether they just forget to check on how 'Metro' is used around the world."

Link to Original Source
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Man claims cell phone taken by DC police for taking photos

hawkinspeter hawkinspeter writes  |  about 2 years ago

hawkinspeter (831501) writes "Just one day after Chief Cathy Lanier made it illegal for MPD cops to take recording equipment, a 26-year-old local man had his phone taken as he was trying to record a violent arrest. They eventually gave back his phone, but without the memory card which also contained photos of his daughter along with the record of the alleged police brutality."
Link to Original Source

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