* Posts by Adam Foxton

775 posts • joined 16 Nov 2007

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UK prison reform report wants hard-coded no-fly zones in drones to keep them out of jail

Adam Foxton

Why?

Just install a bunch of cameras with motion trackers to see what's happening from the top the of the walls up. Any motion across the wall is either illicit or a bird.

The drone isn't even the issue, it's the items being delivered that are the problem. So you don't even need to stop the drone, or prevent a throw-over- you just need to have a system look to see if anything breaks the perimeter and if the intruder falls to the ground or leaves anything. If it just overflies the prison without doing anything then it's not an immediate issue (and could be halted with a directional jammer / net gun / interceptor drone). You can then identify where the payload landed and identify / collect / isolate it.

This way there's no reliance on criminals not circumventing geofencing attempts, and it covers throw-overs too. Occasionally you'll get a false positive from a seagull dropping a pizza.

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Uber's robo-truck makes first delivery of ... Budweiser in Colorado

Adam Foxton

If it can't cope with things like pedestrians and roadkill

What the hell is it doing on public roads?

I understand, highway driving is- for the most part- simple. Especially for trucks. Maintain a constant speed in the left-hand lane (or right-hand lane for some odd bits of the world). Don't leave your lane, slow down if you're going to hit anything.

But in those circumstances a human's pretty safe too. It's only (mainly) when they've been lulled into a false sense of security and then things change that there are problems. So designing in this false sense of security seems to me to be a mistake. It HAS to be able to cope with a deer crossing the road, or an unexpected icy / oily patch or a tyre blowing out. If it can't cope with any eventuality you could reasonably throw at it, it shouldn't be allowed on any roads without the course being closed to public traffic.

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Every LTE call, text, can be intercepted, blacked out, hacker finds

Adam Foxton

There is an upside!

We can expect 4G coverage in the UK to increase to 100% at the behest of GCHQ within a few months :P

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I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop

Adam Foxton

Re: I have a solution!

AC, when Run-Flats came out the manufacturers just beefed up their Stingers. Stuff like Magnum Spike at least claims to be effective against run-flats, too.

http://www.magnumspike.co.uk/product-comparisons.html

So... yeah, they can already disable any car they can get in front of, and relatively quickly and safely at that.

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Adam Foxton

I have a solution!

Nice simple solution. Cars need tyres to drive on, right? So why don't we get something like a board with nails in it to burst the miscreant's tyres? They'd lose control of the car and have to pull over or crash- or at least slow down.

Wait, what do you mean they have those already? Good news, everyone. The Met already have the possibility of disabling/hobbling almost any tyre-using vehicle. Problem solved, cash saved.

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Oh, ALL RIGHT, says Facebook, we'll let Windows admins run osquery

Adam Foxton

Re: So like WMIC then?

Yes, but we're not allowed to say 'Windows had it first", "Windows does it better" or "It's easier on Windows, you just don't know enough to make an informed judgement". That goes against the current IT Orthodoxy that the One Great Penguin is the way to truth.

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Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

Adam Foxton

No, what he meant was that he's not aware of a way to pull up the Product ID or Vendor ID for USB or PCI devices in Linux. He may have been referring to devices without drivers that enumerate but then can't be worked with.

In Windows this is easily accomplished in Device Manager, and means that you can use the likes of PCIDatabase.com to look up which manufacturer and chipset you're working with, then get a driver that's close enough that it'll get your device working.

This is something that's been in Windows for decades and has saved my ass on a good few occasions.

Does such a thing exist in Linux?

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It's time for humanity to embrace SEX ROBOTS. For, uh, science, of course

Adam Foxton
Thumb Up

Re: Futurama

You should write a book, chivo243. People need to know about the CAN EAT MORE.

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Replacing humans with robots in your factories? Hold on just a sec

Adam Foxton

If I might make an observation

Surely the first thing to do should be to flowchart the law, to make the rules as they stand properly bounded and clear. Weightings can be given to different crimes to determine punishment, threshhold of evidence, etc

Which also has the advantage that we can start to get rid of Lawyers too!

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Our pacemakers are totally secure, says short-sold St Jude

Adam Foxton

7 Foot range for an immobile target

It's a good thing people with Pacemakers are in the peak of physical health and don't need to lay still in, say, a Hospital bed. Or at home. Or sit in a car. Or anywhere else that could be fitted with a pinging 'bug'.

And that's before all the comments above about different aerials etc kick in.

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Adam Foxton

That's not Capitalism.

That's crime.

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Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

Adam Foxton
WTF?

You're absolutely right. In the whole history of socialist and communist endeavour there has never been a very wealthy ruling class sucking up all the wealth, nor have there been famines, shortages and brutal suppression of groups- entire ethnicities- who don't stick closely enough to what the State says.

No, wait, I got that backwards. They ALL ended up with an oppressive bunch of rich 'elites' at the top, with massive nepotism and old-boys-networking. And with the state owning rather more than 99% of the are they're in power over.

Automation wouldn't be bothered with as manpower becomes cheap and expendable. This is why the Soviets beat the Nazis back in WW2- they just threw millions and millions of their soldiers at the enemy, many without training or equipment, and stood another line of troops behind /them/ to stop the first lot retreating.

Or outside wartime, lets use the Great Leap Forwards which killed 45 million people and lead to a few people getting very very rich.

So yeah, lets all be commie bastards and hand the world over to our masters who will treat us like shit and run the country into the ground. Let's do that, because it sounds like such a fucking great idea.

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Adam Foxton

Whatever happened to

just hitting the drive repeatedly with a hammer until the casing is buckled and PCB smashed? It's quick, effective, and great stress relief!

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Manchester cops to strap on 3K bodycams

Adam Foxton

That's not too bad

Anything visible from the street is publicly visible anyway.

It can easily be thwarted by curtains, blinds, clothes horses, some sort of legal indoor foliage, or anything else not optically transparent.

As other have said, the worry is when they turn it off. Why even give officers that ability? Storage is cheap and something like a mobile-phone-grade camera reading onto an SD card would take sod all power to run.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Adam Foxton

Re: Concorde

No, Concorde was the British version.

We dispensed with the American's vulgar evacuated tube concept and simply added wings and engines to get it to a height where there was naturally sod all air.

This also allowed it to travel rather a lot faster than a Hyperloop, take off and land all over the world without needing to lay new track, operate alongside existing infrastructure, and for a bill of £1.2Bn rather than $6Bn.

Its passengers also didn't suffer the G-force issues Hyperloop passengers will, and had access to what was described as a 'surprisingly large' selection of drinks. If it was still in operation it'd also no doubt have wifi, which will be in short supply inside a big steel tube in a bigger steel tube.

So Concorde looked better, was faster, more flexible, more practical and pleasant... and we built it about 50 years ago. A more elegant solution from a more civilised age.

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'I hacked Facebook – and found someone had beaten me to it'

Adam Foxton

Re: Shhh!

Nah, it's not the classic injunction- it's just the SQL

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MH-370 search loses sharpest-eyed robot deep beneath the waves

Adam Foxton

Re: At least they know where THAT is

Quite possibly. If they're towing it subsea it'll have a USBL beacon on it, hopefully rated to the full depth of the water column they'll be in.

For some reason no-one fits this sort of thing to aircraft flying over huge water masses, though. It's a shame as we'd have been able to find at least part of the plane in no time at all.

The question with the tow fish is 'would it be worth recovering?' though. SAS kit is expensive, but then so's hiring in a 6000m rated ROV, vessel, etc before the battery runs out!

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Donald Trump wants Bill Gates to 'close the Internet', Jeff Bezos to pay tax

Adam Foxton

These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. You know...morons.

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Terrorists seek to commit deadly 'cyber attacks' in UK, says Chancellor Osborne

Adam Foxton

There is another alternative

The issue isn't so much the data streaming out of these facilities as the possibility of sending commands into them.

So the 'internet' connection should just be one-way. Just take the data being fed out of the systems and feed it into a web server box via RS232/RS422/something similar. And then cut the Tx line(s) from the webserver to the computer it's monitoring.

Et voila, instant perfect security; it physically cannot be hacked into.

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Big mistake, Google. Big mistake: Chrome OS to be 'folded into Android'

Adam Foxton

A chrome android?

Yes, Impirious Leader. By Your Command.

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HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

Adam Foxton

Re: Nice hardware, crap management.

Amazing battery life?! Only in that I was amazed at how terrible it was on mine, barely eking out a workday.

That's when I swore off HTC, despite buying 8 of their smartphones from 2004-2010 as better and better devices were released. My two Samsung Galaxy Notes (one either side of the HTC one) have performed better for longer. And have a removable battery and external storage.

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Cambridge boffins: STOP the rush to 5G. We just don't need it

Adam Foxton

Why does 5G have to be faster?

Why not have the 5G specification focus on lowering power consumption, signal range, etc rather than just headline speed?

Okay, they don't get to advertise it as "15,000,000x faster than wax cylinder" or whatever, but it does mean that the standard would be a valuable addition

If it's backwards compatible- or at least can be implemented on the same silicon with a firmware update- then all the better!

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Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

Adam Foxton

I use oil-cooled electronics daily- it's been common for cooling and waterproofing subsea kit for decades, I'm amazed it's considered such a new idea by you guys- and they clean up nicely. Just remember a non-conductive contact cleaner. Even Limonene or alcohol based ones are good if the equipment won't be powered on for a while!

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Gremlins in the first six months? It's the seller's problem – EU court

Adam Foxton

Re: Nothing new

Existing law in the UK, yes. But what about the rest of Europe? Anyone able to update us on how this affects the other however many countries would be covered by the ECJ judgement?

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Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Adam Foxton

Re: Take a good look

Actually the cartels are an example of what happens when drugs are illegal

Their weapons come from the necessity of defending themselves against armed police enforcing laws created by self proclaimed hardasses...

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DEEPENING MYSTERY of BRIGHT LIGHTS on dwarf world Ceres

Adam Foxton

Re: Ceres bright spots iluminate without sun light

Rather than just insulting you, how about a little educated guessing?

The bright spots are bright. Really, really bright. Ceres' albedo is below that of our Moon but not by much, and on the moon the reflected sunlight is incredibly bright- that's why there are no stars in photos from the moon, the brightness had to be lowered that far to stop the cameras being swamped that the pinpricks of light became invisible.

Now look at the photo. Its actual brightness would be like looking at the sun through a slight cloud- still retina-searingly bright. It's clearly had its brightness lowered (or more likely the sensitivity of the camera was lowered). That dull-grey looking surface is very bright indeed. The really reflective spots are even brighter as they're reflecting far more of the sunlight.

When the brightness is juuust right for looking at craters etc, the reflective areas are still substantially above the maximum brightness that the camera can record- hence the brilliant white appearance. And they're so much brighter that the camera finds them off-the-scale bright even when they're not in direct sunlight.

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Ha! Win 10 preview for Raspberry Pi 2 pops out of the Microsoft oven

Adam Foxton

Really?

Microsoft released the .NET Micro Framework- free-as-in-beer and open-source under Apache 2.0- almost 6 years ago, allowing .NET code (okay, MOST .NET code) to run on anything from tiny ARM microcontrollers (anything with >256kbyte Flash and 64k RAM) up through mobile devices, through PCs and on to massive hyperscale Azure deployments.

They've also not set the lawyers on groups like the open-source Mono ".NET on non-Windows platforms" project, either (indeed they're now actively helping them), so that code can be run on Android, iOS, OSX, loads of flavours of Linux, UNIX.

As for their Windows range of OSes, CE/Compact have been about for years on a variety of platforms. It also provided the basis for their older Windows Mobile platform and the (terrible) new Windows Phone platform.

So no, Microsoft doing things with ARM based devices isn't exactly anything new, and neither is their fondness for developers.

I'll just leave this here for a laugh too... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8To-6VIJZRE

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Chinese 'Superphone' manufacturer declares war on Apple

Adam Foxton

Re: Chinese And Hitler ? Wong

Does he have a sibling with a similarly Nazi-ish name?

If so, could the two Wongs make a Reich?

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KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

Adam Foxton

Re: Call in Scott and Alan Tracy!

That's because the vertical-takeoff Thunderbirds landed on ground. SpaceX have already done that.

Plus, when landing they dropped onto a catching apparatus. Which is what SpaceX needs, actually- something to catch the underside of the rocket and fasten it down.

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Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Adam Foxton

Re: Astroturf

Not quite

I have a job that requires lots of travel for short periods of time, so when I bought my house I tore up the lawn and replaced it with AstroTurf.

I've since done no maintenance to it, what with it being UV resistant plastic and all, but have recently found that it's covered in weeds!

Gardening with a bucket of weedkiller once every 2 years isn't much of a problem, I guess...

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Sony nabs cloud gamers OnLive, administers swift headshot

Adam Foxton

What, like having to choose between being able to use a linux installation on your console or having it locked down to be a dumb gaming rig, even when when sold it included both features simultaneously?

Sony has form on this sort of thing. The sooner people stop buying Sony products the quicker they'll learn.

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

Adam Foxton
Joke

Even nuclear reactor rods

Even nuclear reactor fuel rods are pissed with how the Argentinians treated the Top Gear team.

Let's hope they don't find out what''s happened since or they'll be popping up in the middle of Chipping Norton in... òh, about exactly a year today.

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Nesting falcons interrupt £200m Vodafone 4G mast upgrades

Adam Foxton
Joke

Re: World’s fastest bird

But just imagine the packet droppings

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'What don't we want? Robots. When don't we want them? Ever.' Anti-droid hipsters hit SXSW

Adam Foxton

You can't uninvent something

And you can't keep something from being invented- especially something like intelligence which could emerge from a complex system.

So we should push forwards as fast as possible. Crash through the barriers. Accept that we'll develop dangerous things, and trust that by having us- the technically adept though potentially amoral- develop it early society can take advantage of the good aspects and identify- and counter- the dangers as early as possible too.

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Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'

Adam Foxton
Happy

A salt and battery

What Electronic Engineer worth their salt hasn't already though of doing this, far past that basic description?

Didn't BOFH do this many years back? Except with a Laptop full of batteries?

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Adam Foxton

Re: There's Nowhere To Go

@AC The guy's talking about murdering 3 billion people as a first step and you're criticising his religious views?!

Lowering the earthbound population without nigh-genocidal actions could be accomplished by simply moving us somewhere else. Then there's space and resources for everyone.

It's an engineering challenge then, nothing more. And if there's one thing Humans are good at it's solving engineering challenges.

Unfortunately as well as Engineers and Scientists we also breed the sort of short-sighted retard who think that success is bred in Gigadeaths.

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You'll NEVER guess who has bought I Taught Taylor Swift How To Give Head dot-com

Adam Foxton

Re: Asking for trouble...

Or ITaughtTaylorSwiftHowToGargle... and well, that opens up a few interesting choices of its own!

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Adam Foxton

Pearl Harbour sucks.

Team America agrees.

http://youtu.be/_pM8PrqY5Rg

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

Adam Foxton

Re: Why change the system?

I was thinking that. Unless you're sending photos or video 7kbit/sec should be sufficient.

If they were equipping the police with live helmet cams or drone downlinks or something like that then it could make sense to use 4G. But why would you tie a power-sucking frivolity like that to the officer's main method of communication?

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Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

Adam Foxton

Re: Apparently the big meme so far

For EpIV special edition, Lucas had a bunch of rocks added to cover R2 when he's hiding. It looks ridiculous when you think about how he got into.this space in the first place...

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Adam Foxton

Re: That lightsabre...

"Your anger mays you strong. Let the hate flow through you, don't hold back. Let it goooooo, let it goooooo! Can't hold it back anymoooooore!"

"We're sending you to Hoth." "The cold never bothered me anyway."

"Do you wanna be a Sith Lord? Come on lets go and train. The Light Side it can be a bore, but the Sith is more, powerful everydaaaay"

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This 125mph train is fitted with LASERS. Sadly no sharks, though

Adam Foxton

Re: Good, but not good enough

You're moving along at 125mph, and producing a phenomenal amount of wide-band noise. Plus with steel rails and pulsing through the air there'd be multipath errors galore- the steel can conduct sound faster and re-radiates it efficiently so you can get 'phantom' readings.

Sonar isnt practical on trains. Laser measurements maybe, but high frame rate optical measurement is probably easiest.

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Apple on the art of the deal: 'Put on your big boy pants and accept the agreement'

Adam Foxton

That just means the followers change tactics

In the main, this seems to be by inventing things before Apple...

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Faster, Igor! Boffins stuff 255 Tbps down ONE fibre

Adam Foxton

Re: Pfffft !

Obligatory Futurama quote: "Those things are all from the 19th century"

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SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION

Adam Foxton

Re: I find this report...

Missiles tend to operate in the air, so with view of a lot of satellites. If one of them was looking out of sync with the others it's likely just discard that satellite.

Also, missiles use inertial nav, star-fixes and other such techniques for nav rather than just relying on GPS. Otherwise a simple GPS blocker would have them dropping out of the sky.

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Judge nukes Ulbricht's complaint about WARRANTLESS FBI Silk Road server raid

Adam Foxton

Theres a right against self incrimination

Shouldnt the Feds be working on the principle that SOMEONE- the owner- has a personal privacy interest in that server?

Or that warrantless hacking of a computer system is plain illegal? That's why we have warrants for things- it means they're allowed to do this thing that would otherwise be illegal.

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Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

Adam Foxton

How about a war metaphor

If I want to destroy a city, I don't start by bombing cartography offices. Erasing every map reference in the world for a city doesn't affect that city except making it harder to bomb in future.

The courts should be mandating the removal of the information, so long as it's incorrect or untrue. Removing it from Google does nothing to remove the data.

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You don't have to be mad to work at Apple but....

Adam Foxton

Re: The same podcast?

I hate to feed trolls, but pinch-to-zoom was demoed long before the iPhone was released... IIRC it even worked on some single-touch phones.

What messaging functionality was copied? Texts predate the iPhone, as do emails and IM. And mobile video calling. All by a decade or more. Conversation views were done to death by the time it was released, the keyboard-with-a-magnifier/indicator thing had been done on phones before. You could get all the functionality of a modern iPhone- albeit a little slower- on a top-end smartphone from 2006, 2007ish.

As with the mouse and... well, anything else technical they're known for, Apple just copied what was done before and shouted about how innovative they were. They are, however, good at making pretty things.

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Coming to a theater near you: the TETRIS MOVIE

Adam Foxton

why goes it have to be the game?

If memory serves, Tetris has a convoluted international story about its copyright. Throw in some peril (rampaging lawyers, armed russian gangsters (well, KGB) Enforcing the copyright) and you could have a decent drama movie. Maybe blocks falling into place as the link to show that an action is done and you're moving on. Fades to cities crated by falling blocks arranging to make the city's skyline then fading in the buildings.

The Lego movie wasn't about lego, it was about a small boy's creation. ai don't think they used the term Lego once in the film. And it was still Awesome. Tetris could do the same.

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Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights

Adam Foxton
Joke

Re: @Vimes

It's the world of Tech.

We don't need Wat Tyler, we need Watt Tyler!

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