11 posts • joined Monday 11th February 2008 16:32 GMT
A hollowed out asteroid is almost certainly the most feasible way of creating a permanent off-earth habitat. Despite there being lots of technological and biological problems to solve, the asteroid belt could be the home to millions by the end of this millenium.
The US won't be sending anyone there yet though - instead they'll be aiming for one of the stray lumps of rock which occasionally come close to earth. Finding out exactly what they're made of will help plan the peaceful expansion of the human race. It also might be handy in working out how to break chunks off and drop them on Moscow, Beijing or Tehran should the need ever come up.
I agree that it has been a very cost effective form of advertising in the past, but it's not free. Setting up and maintaining a botnet is likely to take a lot of man hours. You have to assume that there are people out there trying to catch you, so regularly have to shuffle your systems around to cover your tracks, At a guess one success in a million isn't enough to cover this - maybe it's one in ten thousand or less. And remember, nowadays with anti-spam improvements maybe less than 5% of the spam ever gets to the point where there's a chance that someone 'might' click on a link.
I can see how well crafted phishing attacks might make money, but I'm still hoping that perhaps broadcast spam just isn't worth it any more.
"simply too lucrative to disappear"
Maybe not. Surely the pool of internet users who are dumb enough to follow links in spam emails is shrinking? When the day comes that I need some illicit Viagra I'm confident that a quick Google search will sort me out.
Here's hoping that they've given up because it just wasn't making any money.
The US government / political class is risking a great deal for very little benefit.
Amazon, Paypal, Facebook, Twitter and Google* are US companies which contribute massive amounts to the US economy. These companies are all global brands, and as such their success relies upon non-US citizens, 95% of the world's population, feeling able to trust them with their data and custom. If due to the US government's actions we start moving to non-US based alternatives the US economy will suffer badly in the long run.
This huge risk needs to be balanced against what they hope to achieve - the best outcome for the US govt would be that they get their hands on Julian Assange, prosecute him successfully and jail him for a very long time as a deterrent to others. However, anyone following this story knows that that's very unlikely. Extradition from the UK or Sweden to the US will prove almost impossible, and even if he did end up in the US, expert US legal opinion is that it's unlikely that he could actually be prosecuted for anything. Beyond that, the 'deterrent' aspect would also fail utterly - Assange would become a martyr and 100 Wikileaks clones would appear in its place.
For its own self-interest the US badly needs to take a step back, accept that Wikileaks has a right to exist and tighten up its own internal security to try to prevent leaks in the future. After all, we know that if Wikileaks' current target was Iran, China, Russia or many other countries, the US govt would be applauding them rather than trying to shut them down.
*It's reported and seems almost certain that Facebook and Google have received subpoenas along with Twitter. Apple's actions in removing a Wikileaks app probably have more to do with their own procedures than any political pressure. The most likely to suffer is Paypal - I am very angry that a US Republican senator can control who I can and can't donate to.
Toe the line....
...it's toe the line.
If they don't make a profit...
...it's entirely through incompetence.
The majority of the data requests by parking companies are now electronic, so no data entry operative needed. They ought to be able to make £2.49 profit on each transaction.
You are not able to 'opt-out' of this. The DVLA have been asked many times, but have refused.
See http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showforum=30 for lots of informed comment on this.
Common Sense for once...
...but what did it cost the organisation to defend it, and could they get these back from the claimants?
I love the BBC but....
am I the only one getting utterly sick of them inventing news stories to promote their own programmes? This was on the morning TV news and BBC Radio Scotland radio news today, and now I find even The Reg falls for it!
There may well have been an overreaction, but the cost of a genuine but mishandled event of this type would likely run to billions for the producer.
As El Reg has taken to describing the actual cost as 'astronomical', I wonder which adjective you'd have used if it had gone wrong?
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