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* Posts by John H Woods

1270 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Quit the 2D internet, flee your cave, and GET LAID, barks rock star

John H Woods
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Re: He's quite right

"Stop giving planning permission to the large out-of-town centres."

... with free parking. Often the town centres not only have expensive parking but extremely short maximum stays, which ensures you can't spend too much time in the local shops. Because you will avoid spending money in the retail parks owned by the friends of local government.

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Sony promises PC-based PlayStation 4 for Christmas

John H Woods
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Re: What a shame! What a fraud!

3D benchmarks would have been a better choice for this purpose.

The A10 can be seriously pushed: my sons got theirs running at 4.6GHz (rather than 3.8 with 4.2 turbo) with the iGPU at 1.2GHz (rather than 800MHz) and our RAM is running at 2.4GHz rather than 800MHz, doubling the stock 3D benchmarks.

PS: With air-cooling and only a tiny voltage increase, this isn't some impractical LN2 system (in which the A10 has hit nearly 8GHz!)

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BBC: Monster cargo ship delivers '863 million tins of baked beans'

John H Woods
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Re: Me like

with an eyelash

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Baby-boulder bowling burglar breaks Boulder Apple Store's $100k glass door

John H Woods
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Re: Its thread likes theses which is why pc pro, moderates all posters now...

... and that's why PC pro discussion threads are so boring. There are plenty of proper discussions here, just not attached to articles like this --- why would there be? There is really nothing to discuss here apart from to take pot shots at Apple and make amusing comments about cavemen and rocks. It's entirely up to you whether to read any given story and, even if you do, whether you proceed to the comments.

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AMD: Star Trek holodecks within reach

John H Woods
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Boffin

we don't need *that* much processing power

Our impression that we can see everything in front of us all at once is a trick played on us by our brain, as demonstrated by the admirably-titled "Gorillas in our midst". The trick will be to work out what we are really looking at in any given fraction of a second and render thoroughly in that +/-2 degrees or so; less precision from there to +/-10; and beyond that everything else can remain rather fuzzy and we'd never know.

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Barclays: So sorry about LIBOR... How about some free Wi-Fi?

John H Woods
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Wifi makes it all ok...

Get in the van!

No!

The van has wifi!

Umm, ok!

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Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We'll find you the right Linux to swallow

John H Woods
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Happy

Am I just thick-skinned?

I don't understand the idea that the Linux community is hostile. A bit of gentle taking-the-piss when you ask a stupid noob question is a very small price to pay for free support! And most of the time I haven't even got that, just people earnestly trying to help - and it's always amazed me how much total strangers will go out of their way to help you. (*Looks at PS/2 lead Dvorak/Qwerty switcher custom made for me at cost ($5) by some South Korean I've never met*).

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Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one

John H Woods
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Re: 0/10 for acronym crafting

IS2R we used to call this kind of thing a "DOOM" --- a riDiculously cOntrived acrOnyM.

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John H Woods
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Funny, but...

... a megaton of energy is a fairly well-established amount of about 4.2PJ, as it refers to the energetic content ---- by combustion, rather than antimatter annihilation --- of a million tons of TNT.

So just under 6 PJ/day or about 70GW. (1 GW is very roughly the output of a decent size power station.)

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Boffins FREEZE PHONES to crack Android on-device crypto

John H Woods
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capacitor-based overwrite

I've always wondered why devices don't include capacitors that can power them down sensibly in the few seconds after power failure. We were always warned about suddenly depowering HDDs, but I never understood why they couldn't contain a component holding enough charge to flush the cache and park the head. And in this case, a small capacitor on the mainboard, or in the RAM module, could zero the volatile memory in a few seconds.

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Reg readers scuffle over the ultimate cuppa

John H Woods
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Did the milk first abomination really start with people protecting sub-standard porcelain from tea stains?

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Spanish boffins increase GPS accuracy by 90%

John H Woods
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FAIL

90%?

Surely "improving accuracy by 90%" is making it a little less than twice as 'accurate' whatever that means. I'm pretty sure you meant a 10-fold improvement in precision.

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Fashionably slate

John H Woods
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it's all about the video, of course.

My ideal TV would copy 5.1 sound systems, where you plug in a microphone and they can make a passable effort at self-calibration. Why can't TVs do this? Most people i know are watching their TVs with colour and contrast completely out of whack.

How about a very rapid power saving mode that goes off when there is no one in the room and comes back on again when you come in? Audio muting optional.

How about non-sucky picture-in-picture controls? Or digital logo removal processing?

There's a lot of smart things TVs could do, but smart TVs don't seem to do any of them.

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Soak up CO2 with sponges, says CSIRO

John H Woods
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What is needed is a fuel ...

... that is really energy dense, and does not produce much CO2 when 'burnt'. We all ready have such a wonder-fuel, and we know how to use it. It's called URANIUM.

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Ask Google this impossible question, get web filth as a reward

John H Woods
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Re: There's porn? On the interwebs?

upvoted for Ave Q ref

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USA sinks Atlantic cable plan over Huawei worries

John H Woods
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Backdoors in a cable? I thought we knew how to defend ourselves from MITM attacks?

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Vertu-alised Android revealed at an all-too-real €7,900

John H Woods
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Re: <probably mistaken pedant>

"at (say) 800m/s and a weight of say 50g I'd make the kinetic energy ~2500J"

Isn't kinetic energy 1/2 m v^2? In which case your assumptions should make it 1/2 * 0.05kg * (800 m/s)^2 = 16kJ

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Could this be Google's slick new touchscreen Chromebook?

John H Woods
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Headmaster

To be really pedantic ...

... its is not an exception to the rule. "Its" doesn't have an apostrophe for the same reason that "yours", "hers" and "ours" don't: they are possessive pronouns. The easy way to remember this is to remember how you would spell "his" -- an apostrophe would obviously be incorrect.

An even easier rule is to never to put an apostrophe in unless you are absolutely sure one is required - its quite possible to pass off an unintended omission as a stylistic choice, whereas the spurious apostrophe cannot be so justified.

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The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

John H Woods
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Re: Why bother?

Thanks! Now I can't get rid of the mental image of de Kirchner's face as she sees the entire of Mainland GB hove into view from over the horizon.

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Why you need a home lab to keep your job

John H Woods
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Re: But if this cycle continues

Can you offset the cost of these things against tax if you are a regular PAYE employee?

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Android gets tipsy on Wine, runs WINDOWS apps

John H Woods
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Re: Daniel Palmer

As a performance engineer, I completely agree. And they should be forced to execute their unit tests (on client-sized PCs) against production-size DBs.

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Bring out your dead: Reg readers reveal filthy, filthy PCs...

John H Woods
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I opened a Sun workstation once ...

... inside was the standard anti-static warning on a Sun label. Underneath was a further label, in neat handwriting, attached, I presume, by a previous tech. It posed the following riddle.

Before, dear user, you hoover this horrible dusty mess, answer me this question:

What's the difference between a Vacuum Cleaner and a Van de Graaf generator?

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First video inside thinking fish's brain captured by boffins

John H Woods
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I thought it was well known what pets think...?

Dogs: "These people feed me, they must be gods"

Cats: "These people feed me, I must be a god"

Fish: "OMG THERE IS FOOD! FALLING! FROM! THE! SKY!"

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Oh, Sony, you big tease: Mystery PlayStation reveal date set

John H Woods
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Re: I already have a PC

I bought my two boys parts for a budget games PC (AMD K-5 based) and we overclocked it to half way decent 3Dmark score. What I didn't realise was how much more expensive the games are. Because, thanks to Steam, I appear to have to buy two copies of every game now.

Unless I'm wrong, in which case I would be very much obliged if someone could put me right.

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ESA proposes 3D printing on the moon

John H Woods
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Re: more techo-wanking

Repeating it might not be enough. You probably need to address the points that (a) this article indicates that liquid isn't that important and (b) there may be enough liquid on the moon for what we need to do anyway.

I do like your idea of a CNC router, but I think 3D printing will also be useful, and I'm not sure why you seem to be so annoyed by it. Of course there's hype, but behind most hype there is at least something worth talking about.

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I watched Excel meet 1-2-3, and beat it fair and square

John H Woods
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Re: Improv

Actually, it became Quantrix. Download a 30 day eval copy and blow your mind, just by following the really good intro doc that comes with it. THIS is how spreadsheets should be, tables with sensible column names like Item, ItemPrice, Quantity and Subtotal, and rules like Subtotal = Quantity * ItemPrice, Total = Sum(Subtotal).

I'm not sad Excel beat 1-2-3. But Improv should have at least made people aware that there is a better way than 'stretching' elementwise formulae over ranges.

Honestly, if you have 10 mins, and you like this sort of thing, check out Quantrix.com. Unfortunately I could never persuade my company to buy it.

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Greedy Apple told it can't triple Samsung's $1bn patent payout

John H Woods
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Re: No such thing as bad publicity

"while i wouldn't buy another sammy TV after the last one died at 14 months old.."

Did you ask them to fix it? When my 8+ year LCD packed in before Xmas, I phoned Samsung - just for advice on how repairable it was. They asked me for the S/N and when I told them they said they had had an issue with bad caps on some PSUs on that model. Long story short, free engineer visit and, shortly afterwards it was repaired for free.

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Squillions of bytes in one cup of DNA

John H Woods
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Obligatory ...

http://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/dna.html

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Google's Larry Page: MY SECRET TO VAST WEALTH, SUCCESS

John H Woods
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Re: Modest

Agree 110% about Google Docs.

In what other word processor would it be acceptable for the *pagination* in the print out (downloaded PDF) to differ significantly from what was displayed when you were editing? I don't care whether the fonts look that similar, but for the pages to be different is totally unforgivable.

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Smarm-bot Siri seeks side-splitting script-writer for charm transplant

John H Woods
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Re: Does this relate to...

Becky O'Donohue - one of two gorgeous twin sisters (the other is Jessie). I don't think either of them is really Siri though.

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Google's JavaScript assassin: Web languages are harder than VMs

John H Woods
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Re: Not so much

I agree with you, but this is less true with properly OO languages, where differences in syntax hide a much bigger underlying similarity in function. Look at Smalltalk - in one sense (class libraries) it is absolutely enormous but in another (syntax) it is minute - it doesn't case statements, if-then-else or loops.

The only thing wrong with Smalltalk bytecode is that it was not secure, and that was, if I recall, one of the underlying principles of Java bytecode design (not that it worked completely). A standard bytecode into which a bunch of different OO languages could be safely compiled would be a wonderful thing.

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Google files patent for eyewear that SHOOTS LASERS

John H Woods
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Was excited because I misread the headline...

... thought it said "...shoots lawyers"

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Microsoft to end Windows 8 discounts on January 31

John H Woods
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Upgrade = Full

You can 'allegedly' use the upgrade as a full licence

Strategy 1)

a) Download Win8 prerelease beta from some torrent site

b) Use upgrade on that

Strategy 2) - more Lulz

a) delete your disk partitions and install your upgrade

b) now you have a copy of Win 8 that won't activate

--- with the stern message that your licence was only for upgrade purposes

c) now upgrade that inactive install with the same upgrade

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El Reg's 'Chuck Norris' faces down charging elephant

John H Woods
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Re: An alternative unit of Force

* with regards to scaling here, more thought required.

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MEGAGRAPH: 1983's UK home computer chart toppers

John H Woods
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Re: A technical question

This has got to be the worst graph I have seen for a while, will add to my collection of 'how not to present information'. The raw table with the sales figures would have been vastly better, and whenever raw data is easier to interpret than a given visualization, the visualization is a total waste of time.

"Crunched the figures" -- yes, virtually to oblivion. Publish the figures, and a dozen commentards will provide you with better graphs.

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Samsung ordered to cough mobe sales figures to world+dog

John H Woods
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Re: um

Downvoter might like to check their facts. I was never a fan of the short scale, but it has been used officially by the UK government since 1974.

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John H Woods
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Re: um

It's a billion dollars. A billion pounds would be slightly more - not much, because long scale billion is not used for UK currency. Or for much else, tbh, but it very definitely is not used for pounds sterling.

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How an Amazon engineer's slip-up started a 20-hour Netflix cock-up

John H Woods
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As with the NatWest disaster ...

... it should not be possible for a single engineer to wreak this kind of havoc: systems like this should be resistant even to deliberate malice. Your engineer could be tired, inexperienced or unwell. But they could also be a saboteur working for a competitor, an employee with a grudge, a criminal who is going to hold your system to ransom or even an out-and-out terrorist.

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Making MACH 1: Can we build a cranial computer today?

John H Woods
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Interesting...

... primarily in that such piss-poor prose can qualify as great sci-fi, even if the content is startlingly interesting. Almost makes Harry Potter look like part of the Western literary canon by comparison. Of course, I may be reading it wrong ...

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John H Woods
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Re: Memory is the second thing to go

Remember you can train the brain ... so the interface may not be as tricky as you think, the wetware is much more flexible than the hardware. For instance, with the brainport, a 2D array of electrodes is placed in the mouth. It doesn't take too long before blind people wearing one of these devices report a phenomenon very much like seeing.

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UK games market clutches chest, bleeds out sales in 2012

John H Woods
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Re: Just a thought...

... also, in retail stores the price of new games reflects time elapsed since release rather than quality, and it is only once they are on the pre-owned shelves that any relationship between price and quality is apparent.

When the games are new, however, they are often cheaper in the supermarkets than in the specialist stores. It's almost as if the latter don't want to compete ...

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It's JUST possible, but Apple MIGHT not make an iWatch in 2013

John H Woods
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Devil

When I was at school ...

... we had this joke:

A man is at the airport catching a flight to Germany, when he meets his boss flying back from Japan. Hi Mike, says the boss, how are you? Mike has a few minutes before his flight, so he goes up to the boss for a chat. Putting down a couple of heavy suitcases the boss says, you gotta look at this, and shows Mike the most amazing watch he has ever seen. Got it in Tokyo airport, says the boss. It has a Z80 processor and 16MB of RAM [remember this joke is at least 30 years old], and if you press this ... a tiny aerial pops out and the color display starts showing BBC news.

Now Mike is a real gadget freak and is green with envy. But his boss is really nice, and says - look, Mike, I'm back in Tokyo next week. Why don't you have this, I'll grab another one? Mike is ecstatic; strapping the watch on he goes to his flight, which is now being called - only for his boss to say "wait a minute" - points at two massive suitcases - "don't you want the batteries?"

It is somewhat ironic that this joke predates mobile phones.

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Steve Bong's 3D printing special Xmas showcase

John H Woods
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This was funny ...

... but if anyone thinks 3D printing is hype, watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ-aWFYT_SU&noredirect=1

If you don't think the action at 3:00 minutes is magic, you don't belong here :-)

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The year GNOMES, Ubuntu sufferers forked off to Mint Linux

John H Woods
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Happy

On the off-chance any of you missed it ...

... this has to be one of the funniest Ubuntu bug reports I've ever seen, (complaining that 'grep' does not automatically search Amazon):

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/command-not-found/+bug/1055766

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Steve Jobs' Apple yacht freed after family settles the bill

John H Woods
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whose butt hurts?

One does not not need to be able to purchase a thing to form an opinion on its aesthetic qualities. One does not necessarily say something is ugly because one has a beef with the people who created it or to whom it belongs. What is irrational, however, is to assume that the only reason someone can have for criticising something is that they couldn't afford it themselves.

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That square QR barcode on the poster? Check it's not a sticker

John H Woods
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Re: Do you follow every random URL you encounter?

But I agree with Lee Dowling - you SHOULD be able to follow any URL without compromising your device. The fact that you can't is simply due to the fact that a lot of browser security sucks.

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Parliament to unleash barrage of criticism on Snoopers' Charter

John H Woods
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Mushroom

It's about trawling, not about process.

Your are not telling me that any remotely compent national security agency does not have a good few moles embedded in telcos, Google, Facebook etc. If they want data on any single person, I bet they can get it in minutes without going through any formal processes whatsover.

The only purpose for a dragnet this big (and this leaky) is to hoover through vast quantities of data to see if anyone is doing anything wrong - or, even better, to ensure that when the government do want to go after someone, there's a previous record of them having done something "wrong" like watching internet porn or visiting suspect sites.

I'm sorry to keep saying it, but we used to be prepared to risk nuclear war to avoid ending up in such a sick, surveillance society.

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