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Comment Re:This is why you need redundancy and backups. (Score 1) 61

That depends on where you live and how much you are prepared to pay.

Afaict in most urban areas BT openreach "broadband" services top out at "up to 80Mbps" FTCC. In a few trial areas they have "up to 120Mbps" FTTC or "up to 330Mbps" FTTP.

There was supposed to be a product called FTTPoD which would allow people in FTTC areas to get FTTP if they paid a steep (usually thousands of pounds iirc) installation charge but new installations under that program have been suspended.

Virgin media are offering a 200Mbps cable package for home broadband customers and a 300Mbps cable package for buisness broadband customers.

If you move beyond the "broadband" products to the dedicated fiber products then it becomes a matter of how much you are prepared to pay.

Cellphones

US Judge Throws Out Cell Phone 'Stingray' Evidence For The First Time (reuters.com) 118

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects' cell phones into revealing their locations. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis' rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment. Stingrays, also known as "cell site simulators," mimic cell phone towers in order to force cell phones in the area to transmit "pings" back to the devices, enabling law enforcement to track a suspect's phone and pinpoint its location. The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis' apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search. The ruling marked the first time a federal judge had suppressed evidence obtained using a stingray, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which like other privacy advocacy groups has criticized law enforcement's use of such devices. "Absent a search warrant, the government may not turn a citizen's cell phone into a tracking device," Pauley wrote. FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin suggests in a report via Motherboard that decrypting encrypted data fundamentally alters it, therefore contaminating it as forensic evidence.

Comment Re:Man, I'm glad I got out of IT (Score 1) 331

There are some fields, such as banks and embedded work, where code bases stay around for a while. For example, at the bank where I worked, many of our Unix boxes were Solaris and AIX versions from 10+ years ago. Too old for my tastes. But still you worry that the longer you stay there, the more the rest of industry is leaving you behind and you might be stuck in this niche.

Comment Re: Why do people think self driving cars will cat (Score 1) 622

Plenty of people in cities get by on public transport, and it's generally quicker in a lot of major cities.

That depends very much on when and where you are travelling. The practicality of public transport also depends on what you want to take with you.

If you live in the city center of a major city then public transport is good so you rarely need a car. Plus keeping a car in the city center is expensive. For these people Public transport takes the bulk and Taxis and/or car share services cover the minority of journeys where public transport is unsuitable. Obviously poorer people will have more of a bias towards public transport while richer people will be more likely to use the Taxi and car share services where conviniant.

Out in the suburbs public transport coverage is worse, car share services (at least where I live) are practically non-existant and the distances involved make taxi's an expensive option. For many people this shifts the balance towards owning a car. Especially for people who have already paid the upfront costs of starting to drive.

If/when self driving cars are able (both legally and technically) to operate unsupervised I would expect this balance to shift. The driver represents a large propotion of the operating costs of a taxi.

Comment Re:They still make Top Gear? (Score 1) 251

Clarkson got fired after hitting a producer effectively ending the series in progress. There was a farewell episode some time after the incident which IIRC used already-recorded location footage, studio footage with just Hammond and May.and a voiceover recorded by clarkson. Hammond and May also left the show out of solidarity with Clarkson. The trio went to Amazon where they have been working on a new car show (which has not been released yet so it's yet to be seen how succesful it will be).

Meanwhile the BBC who still own the "TOP Gear" trademarks, distribution contracts etc started casting up a new iteration of the show. The first series of this aired recently to dissapointing ratings.

Comment Re:rule changes (Score 1) 165

but no amount of computing power would give them the ability to change the rules (because cryptography).

That depends.

If you have more than half the hashing power then you can unilaterally make the rules tighter. Blocks contining transactions that do not satisfy your rules will not be used as a base to mine on by your miners and so will be quickly forked off. For example you could require a transaction fee of a minimum percentage of the transaction value or you could require that all bitcoin addresses were registered in a govrnment database.

On the other hand you cannot unilaterally make the rules looser without forking the network.

Comment Re:Meanwhile.... (Score 1) 397

My guess is that they are trying to catch people who intend to or have in the past worked illegally in the USA while pretending to be tourists. Some fraction of those people will be dumb enough to blab about it on social media and dumb enough to give details of said social media account to the border gaurds.

Comment Re:No deal (Score 1) 634

No really, the Romans build it, since those pesky Picts wanted their independence so badly. It's called Hadrian's wall and you can walk along it.

And if you had ever walked along it you would know in it's present state it's more of a ruin than an effective barrier wall. You would also know it doesn't line up with the modern England/Scotland border.

Comment Re:false comparison... (Score 1) 771

true surround sound headset / speakers?

We already have that — binaural recordings work with normal stereo headphones. You only have two ears, so you only need two speakers.

There's something called Dolby Headphone, but all that does is mix 5.1 channels down to 2 channels in a fancy way, and it's essentially a software function that if implemented in the phone, can work with any stereo headphones.

Comment Re:Has IPv6's reputation just been destroyed? (Score 1) 229

So you believe they're buying routers and switches that can't do ipv6, rather than that they simply haven't changed a config file to turn it on for the end user?

As I understand it reality is somewhere between those two extremes.

Afaict pushing out IPv6 consists of

1. Making sure the hardware and software in your network (including CPE if you provide it) *really* supports it, not just has a checkbox on the feature list for "IPv6" but can handle IPv6 with comparable features, performance and reliability to IPv4. Some hardware can have a long lifecycle so this can take a while.
2. Coming up with a plan for allocating addresses and distributing addresses to customers and routes to routers. Since NAT is strongly discouraged you need to have a system that hands out not just individual addresses but blocks and that tells your routers which customer has which block.
3. Training all your suppport and admin staff on IPv6.
4. Running limited trials to make sure you actually did 1-3 successfully and you can turn it on without breaking things and causing a massive support load.
5. Actually pushing it out.

That's doable but it's a fair bit of work. Until recently there was little motivation to do so. Now with IPv4 exhaustion actually upon us the ISPs are starting to take IPv6 more seriously.

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