* Posts by Chris Miller

2676 posts • joined 6 Apr 2007

Robot Overlords: Tween babysitting fodder with no in-jokes for the adults

Chris Miller
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Re: @Chris

Yes - they made two out of three and then cancelled the last one. According to WikiP, Disney have the film rights and a project that''s been 'under development' for decades (but they'd probably set it in Iowa).

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Chris Miller
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Sounds like a slightly dumbed-down Tripods (not that there's anything wrong with that).

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Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Chris Miller
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Re: Good riddance, I say

Although Clarkson sold the majority stake in the company that made Top Gear to BBC Worldwide, I'm pretty sure he kept a significant stake (?14% rings a bell), which must be worth a few million quid a year in repeat fees.

I disagree with most of your post (why do people think Clarkson is his TV persona - do you think Ricky Gervais resembles David Brent IRL?), but May is the only one of the trio with a substantial hinterland. He's done lengthy interviews for BBC Radio 3 (Essential Classics and Private Passions) on his interests in renaissance lute music and Stockhausen - he did a music degree before going into journalism.

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Chris Miller
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How Internet chat works

According to Scientific American.

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Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

Chris Miller
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Obligatory Dilbert

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Everything is insecure and will be forever says Cisco CTO

Chris Miller
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Joke

Re: Security is easy

Reg readers read and understood things before commenting or up/downvoting

You forgot the joke icon again!

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Chris Miller
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Re: Security is easy

Oh dear, Ollie - 2 downvotes already. You should really have used the 'Joke Alert' icon, for the benefit of those not familiar with 3514 (issued 1 April, 2003).

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Chris Miller
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Maybe

But Android (to take one example) already does something similar. What proportion of users do you think read that message about "this app requires access to your location, pulse rate, bank account, ..." before clicking 'install' on their 'must have' game? I'd bet it's <<1%.

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Layla enjoys a Sanskrit makeover: Clapton set to become one of several Gods

Chris Miller
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Joke

लीला

(which means "Garland of Flowers" in Thai)

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

Chris Miller
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He looks forward to a day when he needs only one web browser but that rather depends on both the browser and all websites throughout the world making an effort to adhere to web standards.

Which ones? Computer people love standards - that's why we have so many of them.

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Nesting falcons interrupt £200m Vodafone 4G mast upgrades

Chris Miller
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'Falcons' is a term encompassing several species, including the Kestrel. It looks very much as though these are specifically Peregrine Falcons.

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AUTOPILOT: Musk promises Tesla owners a HANDS-OFF hands-on

Chris Miller
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Re: San Francisco to Seattle, eh????

But Google maps (as per the image in the article) also shows the distance as 807 miles. To do that in under 12 hours, you must average over 67 mph. How does that work?

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Chris Miller
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Re: San Francisco to Seattle, eh????

And yet the Google maps show an average speed of 65 mph. 12½ hours of driving exactly at the speed limit without stopping?

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Another GDS cockup: Rural Payments Agency cans £154m IT system

Chris Miller
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Never mind, there are all those wonderful new GDS systems that are working really well ... aren't there?

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Windows 10 build 10041: 99 bugs on the wall, fix a bug, add a feature, 114 bugs on the wall

Chris Miller
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Re: Looks f-ing awful

I agree that it's fugly, but has it been done to achieve a standard look and feel including the phone versions? What looks really cool on your 28" 4k screen may be illegible on a mobile.

Even so, I'd hope they can come up with something a bit better than this.

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Let's get patchin' now, everybody's watchin' how, baby fix Safari with me

Chris Miller
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Re: I gotta tell you...

And a Beach Boys headline, to boot!

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Leaked Windows 10 build hints at peer-to-peer patching

Chris Miller
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Saving bandwidth

True, but only if you have a standard domestic configuration. I've got 2 x Win7 Ultimate, 1 x Win8.1 & 1 x Win7 Home Premium; so that means 3 different patches in many cases (and at least they're all 64-bit). It may be more effective for small businesses.

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Chris Miller
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Re: In the UK Medical Doctors aren't Real Doctors!

What do the Germans call a man with two doctorates? Herr doktor doktor. In fact "Herr Professor Doktor Doktor Schmidt" would be considered a perfectly normal form of academic address. And then if he's an engineer as well ...

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Blackberry touts UNCERTIFIED 'secure' slab in hunt for public sector biz

Chris Miller
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For those as confused as I was:

CeBIT doesn't start until tomorrow and will be (as ever) in Han(n)over. This pre-emptive unveiling took place in Düsseldorf where Blackberry have their German office.

HTH

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Swedish prosecutors finally agree to London interview for Assange™

Chris Miller
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Even if the charges are ultimately dropped by the Swedes

Won't the English authorities want him for skipping bail (generally considered a pretty serious offence)?

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Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics

Chris Miller
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Re: Nothing Is Illegal For A High Government Official

Richard Nixon: Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.

The David Frost Interview

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Chris Miller
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Re: Too Simplistic

Actually, Amazon as a global entity has made hardly any profit since its inception. They have significant surpluses, but these are all invested back into the business (building server farms, warehouses, etc). So even if they were wholly and solely a UK operation, there'd be relatively little liability for Corporation Tax.

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Chris Miller
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It's the old political syllogism

Something must be done.

This is something.

Therefore, it must be done.

QED

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Yes our NAS boxen have a 0day, says Seagate: we'll fix it in May

Chris Miller
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Who said anything about waiting for years (apart from you)? Accessing a reasonably configured system over the Internet is indeed 'unlikely'. In the real world, we have this thing called prioritising - look it up, you might learn something and it may prevent you from becoming 'part of the problem' (when you grow up).

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Chris Miller
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I've no idea what a 'typical' Seagate NAS customer looks like. It may well be that some of them are home brew systems used for storing torrents of old Star Trek episodes, for which enabling remote UPnP might be sensible. But for any commercial operation to expose their NAS directly to the Internet without disabling unnecessary services and the placement of an intervening DMZ (or at least a firewall) would be a bit, well, daft. That doesn't rule out the possibility of misconfiguration, of course.

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Job cuts klaxon: SAP axes 2,200 staff, denies 'cost cutting' to blame

Chris Miller
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'We are in growth mode'

By 'growth', I assume they're referring to the remuneration of the CxOs and the board?

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Massive gravitational lens flare unveils EINSTEIN CROSS SUPERNOVA

Chris Miller
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Gravitational lensing was first predicted by Einstein: the presence of enough mass, he reasoned, would bend light passing an object.

Not quite right. Newtonian physics predicts the bending of light in a gravitational field (the calculation is A-level standard, and was first performed in the 18th century - the fact that light may be massless doesn't matter because all objects with a given velocity and initial position, whose mass is small in comparison with the gravitating mass, follow essentially the same path). But General Relativity predicts a deviation twice as large, which is what Eddington famously measured.

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UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

Chris Miller
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Re: Where to put it?

Correct, Geoff. The other requirement is a good deal of unoccupied area to the west of the site. Failed birds and spent stages from Canaveral or Kourou tend to come down in mid-Atlantic, failed launches from the UK?

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International effort to wrangle t'internet from NSA fizzles out in chaos

Chris Miller
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UK ruling the realm?

I can see how the US has a disproportionate degree of influence over the running of the internet, what with ICANN, IANA etc, but I'm not so clear about the UK. Or did you just mean that GCHQ have made the second-greatest penetration of Internet services?

[Genuine question, probably caused by my ignorance.]

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C'mon! Greece isn't really bust and it can pay its debts

Chris Miller
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I'm not sure what you understand by 'savage' transaction fees. My (personal, not business) bank charges a flat 2% and gives me market rates (which also contain a very small margin) - and I haven't shopped around for the best deal, because (like most people) holiday spending money isn't a big part of my total expenditure.

To be clear, I'm not claiming that there are no benefits to a currency union, just that they're vastly outweighed by the inevitable 'one size fits all' approach to economic policy - and the experience of the UK suggests the costs are relatively small in the overall scheme of things, though I'm sure there are some businesses for whom they're quite significant.

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Chris Miller
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I don't think the benefits of currency union are as great as you make out. Sure, it's convenient when you go on holiday, but the fact that your UK credit card provider screws you when you withdraw euros at an ATM doesn't mean that the same level of screwing goes on if I'm in receipt of several million euros from a eurozone business deal. As evidence, the UK economy doesn't appear to be hamstrung by the costs of currency conversion (not even a rounding error).

As Tim points out, not joining the eurozone was probably the only good decision Gordon McMental took as Chancellor (certainly better than flogging off half our gold reserves at the very bottom of the market). Of course, he only adopted this position (like nearly all his positions) just to spite Tony, who was desperate to join.

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Chris Miller
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Re: That's a lot of words...

It was partly a cultural thing. I've asked German friends why on earth they believed the numbers that the Greek government (aided by the Vampire Squid) produced in order to demonstrate that they met the criteria for entry into the eurozone. Their answer: "Of course we believed them, they were Official Government Statistics. Whereas what the Greeks thought (in their own minds) was: "These are our Official Government Statistics. And, if you don't like them, we have others."

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W*nkers of the world unite to SAVE THE PLANET one jerk-off at a time

Chris Miller
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A month early?

That is all.

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Chris Miller
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@The Beeb

A few years back, the BBC went through a major 'rebranding' exercise on their home page, intended (I imagine) to make it more iPad-friendly. Previously, you could 'design' your own front page by removing items you weren't interested in (in my case: football, pop charts and children's programmes) and moving the ones that you were interested in to the top of the page. All this customisation was thrown into the bit bucket, severely pissing off regular users who had spent a fair bit of time getting 'their' page to look how they wanted, and were now being bombarded with irrelevant dross (a bit like the perpetual adverts now infesting BBC output).

The BBC offered (prior to the change) the opportunity to beta test - the public comments were overwhelmingly negative. They went ahead with the change anyway. Within a few days there were over 2,000 comments, at least 98% of them negative. Initially, the managers responsible responded, but without any indication that they were prepared to do anything. Shortly thereafter the comments were cleared, within a few days there were another 1,000+, nearly all negative. Some of us used Google to locate 'old' versions of the home page lurking around the BBC site - if they were linked on the comments, the pages were soon closed down.

There seem to be only three rules for senior managers at the Beeb: never explain; never apologise; and never, ever admit that you might in any way ever have been wrong about anything. I can see no reason why the GDS would be any different.

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MELTDOWN: Samsung, Sony not-so-smart TVs go titsup for TWO days

Chris Miller
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Re: Why would you even fix this?

I think the problem (on Samsung anyway) is that the Smart TV is a walled garden - it displays a page (which I'm guessing comes from a Samsung web site) of icons that you can select using your remote (including iPlayer and YouTube, but not e.g. 4OD). So if you can't reach 'samsung.com', you're really dead in the water.

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Chris Miller
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Now working again

My Samsung Blu-ray PVR is now back online - it was still broken last night, so something must have changed in the last few hours. Its DNS config points (as it has always done) to the local gateway (192.168.1.1), which some on other forums have claimed is a problem.

FWIW e1722.g.akamaiedge.net (= www.samsung.com) resolves (for me in the UK) to 184.24.107.225

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BOFH in mugnificent return to Cash'n'Carrion

Chris Miller
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Unhappy

That's not Reg the Vulture

Where's his woolly hat and scarf?

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MP resigns as security committee chair amid 'cash-for-access' claims

Chris Miller
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Facepalm

Re: The Superman defence

If you or I were called out of the blue for what was effectively an interview for a highly lucrative job, I think we might take 30 seconds to Google this foreign company and its apparent representative that we'd never heard of. At which point "no results found" might start a few alarm bells ringing. But not for these two bozos! Even if they can't figure out how to turn on their iPads (provided by us), presumably they have access to people who can.

And yet they have both at one time been in charge of our foreign policy. Not exactly Viscount Palmerston material, are they?

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

Chris Miller
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Re: *ahem*

There's no doubt that Marconi was the first to demonstrate long-range radio transmission and reception - the arguments with Tesla were about who held the US patents, the courts eventually decided in favour of Tesla (and we all know how reliable US patent judgements are).

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Microsoft to store deleted Exchange Online mails FOREVER

Chris Miller
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Shift-delete?

On 'real' Outlook, shift-delete actually deletes an item, as opposed to moving it to the "Deleted Items" folder (just as with files). I've no idea whether the same holds true if you're using web-based Outlook365, since I have a 10-foot bargepole under my desk with which I'm not prepared to touch it, but it reads as though you can set an option to keep deleted items only fro a set period of time - it's just that the default has been changed to 'keep forever'.

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Superfish: Lenovo? More like Lolnono – until they get real on privacy

Chris Miller
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Re: Simple solution

Good points, Trevor. I wasn't really aiming at Lenovo with my comment, I think any manufacturer would do well to think about it as an option.

I really miss the good old days when life for PC guys offered simple no-brainers: you want a laptop? IBM; you want a desktop? Dell; you want a server? Compaq.

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Chris Miller
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Simple solution

Offer a clean OS install without all the bloatware/spyware/crapware for - what? - an extra £20/£30/£50 (as has been pointed out, maybe Microsoft would be willing to subsidise it for Windows). Of course, I'd buy it, and so would Trevor and so would many of the ElReg audience, but I'd bet 99% of sales would be for the cheap version.

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Be your own Big Brother: Covert home spy gadgetry

Chris Miller
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What's even creepier than the song

is to find Sherlock Holmes singing it.

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

Chris Miller
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Happy

@getHandle

It's just you!

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Royal Mail's Colossus move gets ex-WREN's stamp of approval

Chris Miller
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encrypting a message 1,600,000,000,000,000 times

I think you mean something more like: having 1.6x1015 configuration settings.

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El Reg chefs whip up Post-Pub Noshographic

Chris Miller
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Define 'drunk'

You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.

Dean Martin

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Watch a hot, speeding space alien explode all over Earth's Beaver

Chris Miller
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Headmaster

Re: Beaver and Jubs

To be slightly pedantic, when NASA estimated its mass as 500 lbs, they probably meant somewhere between 400 and 600 pounds, so translating this to an exact number of kg (or jubs) is overkill.

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Are you ready to ditch the switchboard and move to IP telephony?

Chris Miller
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Unhappy

Re: My personal opinion...

No, it's in England with no mobile signal.

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Chris Miller
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Re: My personal opinion...

I used to ask clients: "What do you do if you have network problems?"

"Well, first we ring round our list of key contacts to notify ... oh."

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First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

Chris Miller
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Two things

1. Since this is government departments getting their VAT wrong, isn't this essentially an internal transfer between HMRC and some other dept, there's no 'real' money involved (either plus or minus).

2. The article claims: "Money spent on off-the-shelf software, hardware and interim IT staff is not eligible for recovery." That's news to me - I've been recovering VAT on hardware and software, and charging it on my consultancy services (admittedly not as interim staff) for more than a decade - should I dob myself in? (Perhaps this means that it's only the case for government depts?)

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