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* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

985 posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

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Warning to those who covet the data of Internet of Precious Things

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: How can IoT stuff help me?

Maybe it can't and perhaps never will, but then again you may see some merit in something which can tell you the water is inches deep in your home and rising rapidly, or perhaps not. It might depend on whether you bought a house on a flood plain or near the coast.

Just because you haven't seen an IoT application which you perceive would or could help you doesn't mean that others haven't or won't. There is plenty of technology I don't see myself having any use for but that doesn't mean others feel the same way.

You need to ask, not what IoT can do for you, but what you would like IoT to do for you. Perhaps there is nothing you need which IoT could fulfil, in which case it's a technology you can ignore.

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That's PROFESSOR Woz to you from now on, young whippersnapper

Jason Bloomberg
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"Coolest person in the Universe"

Debatable and I am not sure, even if it were true, it would justify the award of an honorary professorship. But I have never approved of honorary awards which are self-serving or promote the cult of fame or celebrity.

Not that I am saying Woz doesn't deserve accolades; just that I don't feel this is an appropriate one.

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Police stats inflate the number of guns actually stolen in Blighty

Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

Re: Other "Firearms" Included ?

I recall "rock splitters" may also be classed as a fire arm. They are effectively a tube with lines of holes in the side, filled with water with a shotgun cartridge stuffed in the end. Drill a hole in the rock, drop it in, kaboom, high-pressure water ejection; crack. A poor man's 'laser cutter'.

And you don't want to mistake a primed one for a dildo!

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Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Thanks for all the fish!

Why that show and no others?

Because it makes for the best click-bait?

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Banksy puts down spray can, goes corporate in banksy.com cybersquat brouhaha

Jason Bloomberg
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Criminal damage and vandalism that's worth a few tens of grand, perhaps more. I imagine there are plenty wishing Banksy would drop by and paint something on their façade.

It is a terrible tragedy that some great art has been destroyed simply because it has been considered mere graffiti or vandalism, but I guess that is a risk of the trade and choice of means of expression.

I would love it if Bansky 'scrawled' on my wall though I am not sure I could afford the cost of keeping it as public art and stopping thieving bastards from taking my rendering away while I wasn't looking.

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Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS

Jason Bloomberg
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A hacker's delight

If I have got this right; I can put my iThing data usage on someone else's contract if I can find the right details to enable that.

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: If the tone is wrong the content is lost

There is a fundamental problem in a volunteer project. If someone's contribution is crap and is not improving how to tell them to go away.

If there are not mechanisms and processes which can overcome that without having to publicly insult people and swear at them then something is seriously broken in the organisation and management of that project.

Public dressing-downs are a sign of failure. And what when that doesn't work? You send 'the boys' round to break some fingers?

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Software gurus: Only developers can defeat mass surveillance

Jason Bloomberg
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Thumb Up

Re: Well meant but still narrow minded thinking...

I have to disagree that this is something related to the developer (or designer even). It's up to the people who use the product who are ultimately responsible, and these guys should know and acknowledge that fact too.

I would agree it's not the developer's responsibility; they are simply wage slaves and out of a job if they don't bend personal principles to fit their employer's desires. It's not their job to be guardians of the rest of us. In fact; that even goes for the companies doing the things we don't like too.

I am not however convinced it's the user's responsibility when they equally have Hobson's Choice of accept it or do without. So called market forces don't work when people are not offered a full choice.

It is a societal problem which can only be solved collectively and probably only controlled by legislation.

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: About recording calls.

UK law on recording calls is a bit vague. You can record a call without telling the other party, if that recording is not going to be given to a third party. Not sure how it works if you later want to give that recording to a solicitor, or produce it in court.

The law is mainly about casual dissemination of recordings rather than use within legal proceedings. Limited disclosure solely for the purpose of legal proceedings is okay.

As an earlier AC notes; the courts in the UK hold that evidence is evidence no matter how it is obtained. If evidence was obtained illegally that is a matter to be dealt with separately. We don't have the same 'get out jail of free' approach as America if something is done wrongly.

Whether the recording and/or transcripts are admissible evidence or not is the real issue. If both parties agree it accurately represents what was said then it is admissible. If one party disputes it, it may be withdrawn as evidence, or there will be pre-trial proceedings to asses its admissibility.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Never quite got...

If you say you don't want your old job back then people who later assess any compensation for being fired may hold that against you - You don't want the job, you haven't got the job, what's the problem?

You have to make it look like they ruined your life to get maximum compensation, not that they did you a favour, or you were likely to leave anyway.

If they offer to take you back, even if you don't actually go back, it also means you can change the reason you are no longer in that job on your CV from "fired" to something else.

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Google AXES AndroidScript app used by 20,000 STEM coders WITHOUT WARNING

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

Re: Android named apps

You mean apps named for Android?

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Antarctic ice at ALL TIME RECORD HIGH: We have more to learn, says boffin

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: oracle@delphi.gr

What worries me is that governments absolutely believe its 3 when the facts are that its 1.

Well if they are wrong we will have wasted billions and incurred huge costs for no gain. If you are wrong we'll be dead :-)

And that is why people are naturally cautious, because they don't want to be fatally drawn to the wrong conclusion. I don't know the answer and am not as certain as you are that the facts prove it is 1. I wouldn't want to stake my life on it yet, and less so would want you or anyone else to stake my life on it.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

oracle@delphi.gr

1) Everything is fine and we have nothing to worry about.

2) It's all gone wrong and there's nothing we can do about it.

3) It's all gone wrong but we can do something about it.

What worries me is that it could be 3 but we won't do anything because people choose to believe it's 1 or 2.

It seems the only thing we do know is that we don't know. We are gambling with some pretty big stakes here and I am always concerned when anyone won't accept they may be wrong.

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Doctor Who becomes an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera in Kill The Moon

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Wrong, Dr Who has ALWAYS been an illogical, unscientific, silly soap opera.

Laughably bad since day 1.

More laughingly good I would say, with the added advantage that the laughable can also be somewhat scary for the kids.

The thing is though that it doesn't insist you watch it nor enjoy it. It goes through phases one may like and dislike. You can't please everyone all the time. I would say it's better that it's on even when I stop watching than not on at all.

Those who enjoy it get 45 minutes of enjoyment and the rest can find something else to better entertain themselves. Of course some will spend that 45 minutes or more telling us how they didn't enjoy it and telling us why others shouldn't enjoy it and that's fair enough. Each to their own.

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Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Jason Bloomberg
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Pint

TV Entertainment

I find it hard to criticise Dr Who without having to mention Tumble, Splash, Celebrity Come Dancing, X Factor, Pop Idols, and hours of what I would personally call drivel, and, when I've done that, Dr Who seems highly admirable regardless of which doctor, sidekick, 'monster', alien, writer or director it has.

It's not always great but it's rarely been bad either. It's certainly got great production values these days and that alone is worth applauding. I could find fault but I always feel a little mean-spirited in doing so when there's so much else which is worse elsewhere.

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POISON PI sniffs WiFi from your mail room, goes on rampage

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: If it is public news ...

Indeed. It highlights an attack vector and shows proof of concept but it's nothing new. Get any clever bit of kit into an organisation and it can start snooping around and doing its stuff.

A suitably hacked shiny new mobe left where an employee could find it could do the job just as well, attract less attention, and the finder would probably keep it charged up allowing it to be more effective.

The pi is actually an unsuitable board for low-power use and anyone wanting to actually attack a company would unlikely be overly concerned about cost. It's also a rather risky venture as waking up regularly to see if it's reached its target could leave a trail of bread crumbs right back to the sender. Every pi has a unique serial number which often manifests itself through the MAC address, so it may be possible to track them down quite quickly.

Ultimately it may be no more than fuel for the fire for those who want to log all our interactions on the net to prevent this sort of thing happening and catch people when it does.

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A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Making things simple

I like manual controls.

Do you still get out of your chair to push buttons on your TV and DVD players or do you use a remote control?

IoT - despite the nonsense of internet connected toaster and the like - is all about making things easier for us, allowing things to be remote controlled when that makes sense. IoT success will be far less glamorous than vendors would have us believe in promoting the technology to us.

Ignore what vendors say it could do and simply consider how it could be useful for you. It will likely make a whole lot more sense then.

How many wouldn't want a handy "f--k off" button for when cold callers ring the landline and the answer phone kicks in with "about your accident/PPI claim"? Perhaps an IoT call ID unit which could email Ofcom the number of cold callers, deluge them in complaints until they do something about them? All at the push of a button.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Lack of protocols

It's not surprising there's such a lack of adherence to common protocols when those protocols didn't exist and manufacturers had to go their own way or not release a product at all. I expect every manufacturer used protocols they thought were best and hoped theirs would become dominant or the de facto standard. Every other manufacturer thought they could do better and 'market forces' were left to sort things out. End result; the mess of incompatibility we have.

It's not a new story and I suspect all emerging technology goes through the same process unless there's an agreed spec up-front. In situations where necessity of product precedes agreed specification it's always going to be somewhat messy.

Now we have a wider penetration of IoT-style devices it is easier to see what is and may be needed and what protocols should cater for and hopefully that will become an agreed industry-wide specification which everyone follows from now on and everyone benefits from. That doesn't mean everything is solved just yet but we are on the way.

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Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Jason Bloomberg
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Windows

Windows 11

With start-up music from Spinal Tap, obviously.

I think they missed a trick there.

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Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Nobody reads those things

And why would anyone? Most T&Cs simply boil down to "we may abuse you any and every way we can", the rest is ensuring they are immune from complaints and devoid of responsibilities.

The only time I read T&Cs is to check exactly how I will be abused, particularly regarding copyright as many claim rights over anything and everything with respect to their service.

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

Jason Bloomberg
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I actually agree with him, but -

I believe that in some exceptional circumstances there can be powers which are not normally exercised and I also believe we generally already accept that in the west and it's measured using 'for the greater good' principles.

The covenant between us is that we allow those powers on the understanding they will only be used in genuinely exceptional circumstances.

Unfortunately the powers that be - particularly during the last decade - have come to a completely different view of what exceptional circumstances are, circumstances which suit them rather than suit us. In fact that it has become 'us' and 'them' shows the degree of the problem; they no longer work for us but are a law unto themselves and that's the root problem

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Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER

Jason Bloomberg
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Hang on ...

Doesn't this simply tell us that Swedish employers are fatist?

How are things in the UK, or America for instance?

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Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

Jason Bloomberg
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As 'tards have pointed out, IP cameras etc. aren't equipped with Bash, why would they be ? Embedded stuff, even more substantial items like NAS boxes routers, come with Busybox only.

Would you bet your life on either of those claims?

It might feel true, and I suspect most likely don't use bash, but it's not guaranteed to be true and we have no idea how true it may be.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Not as serious as openssl issue

It's not simply "one patch" if the system is embedded and everything boots from on-board flash chips. Those can be very difficult to patch and especially if the manufacturer has deliberately made it that way.

Desktop systems and the like probably can be easily patched, it's the billions of routers and IoT-type devices which are the big risk.

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NSFW: Click here, watch iPhone 6 being TORTURED

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Is it just me...

When you have seen one phone in a blender you have pretty much seen them all dropped in a blender. The first time (so many years ago) it was an amusing novelty, proved what people thought would happen did happen at no cost to themselves, "neat", but now it's rather tedious.

Like firework displays, you have to go bigger and better to keep people interested, but the destroyers seem to have run out of fresh ideas.

Show me something which doesn't blend.

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Fake tape detectors, 'from the stands' footie and UGH! Internet of Things in my set-top box

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: BBC documentaries

Part of the problem with programme material for the BBC is it has to fit the BBC time slot but may also be sold to other broadcasters who have shorter slots, especially advertising based channels. It is easier to make the programme for the shorter slot and pad it out than it is to cut to fit. Recaps fall after where ad breaks would appear and many may have been made for advertising channels in the first place.

I am sure the reason we have so many 'coming next' and other BBC self-promotions and pointless idents are to make imported programmes fit the artificial 'on the hour' programme start times we expect in the UK.

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Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: wtf

Iceland food stores sell frozen square sausage slices. Rather like a square pork burger, 12 to a bag for a quid. I imagine the real thing is even more tasty, and probably less healthy :-)

http://groceries.iceland.co.uk/plumtree-farms-12-lorne-slices-720g/p/48383

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: No law against asking somone a question is there?

There is (probably) no law against asking the question but in the case of this referendum there is law which makes the publishing of exit poll results and similar a criminal offence.

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Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Knee Jerk Off

who the fuck drives dangerously where there's a police car near by?

Seems to me everyone tends towards that. I suspect most drivers feel pressured by the presence of a police car on their tail, keep checking their speedos and mirrors looking to see if they have gone yet and worrying they are about to get pulled for some reason. Trying to drive absolutely perfectly and simple paranoia seems to do odd things to normal people.

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iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!

Jason Bloomberg
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It's good to laugh at Apple ...

But let's be fair, we would have been a whole lot more abusive had they gone ahead and released with a buggy API and we found out they were aware it wasn't fit for purpose. In the circumstances it seem they have done the right thing, there would be more damage done by shipping than not, but let's hope they can fix it sooner rather than later.

Not a fanboi, just someone who hasthemselves faced the 'ship now and be criticised' or 'hold back and be criticised' dilema. Even keeping quiet until everything is perfect for shipping will invite criticism. No matter what one does it will be criticised.

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Microsoft buys Minecraft for $2.5bn. Notch: I'm getting the block outta here

Jason Bloomberg
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Alert

Year Of Code

I am sure there is some link between school kids being so enamoured with Minecraft and it being Year of Code. After all, we all know that programming is simply 'moving the blocks around until the program does what it's meant to' :-)

It could be quite the gravy train if schools were forced to have it via the curriculum. Especially at a time when schools are moving away from the traditional desktop PC to iThings and tablets. A little bit of lock-in goes a long way.

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Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts

Jason Bloomberg
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Go

Oxford Street

Many busy pavements (sidewalks) could benefit from having lane segregation; a "dawdle" and a "fast" lane in both directions, even 'hard shoulders' for people browsing in shop windows or stopped to cross the road.

Most people tend to 'lane' naturally and, like ants, it seems it's mainly follow the leader. It generally works okay until the stream runs into an individual coming the other way, or someone creates a rival stream in the hope of overtaking and getting there faster which invariably causes everyone to jam up as streams start criss-crossing each other.

I don't think we actually need lane markings; just tell people that's the best way to do it as it seems some people simply haven't figured it out yet.

Of course there is no way to enforce lanes without impinging on someone's right to do whatever they damn well please, even if that spoils things for the rest of us. Unless we introduce draconian punishments for not walking in correct file. That did work for 'school crocodiles' so perhaps we need some form of detention; fenced-off areas where people have to stand it out for some time for not doing it right. Whining down the pub later won't get them any sympathy if the majority buy into the idea.

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Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

In other news

Superior forces of the American military will whup the asses of third-world, first century savages armed only with rocks and sticks in a matter of weeks at minimal cost.

It doesn't always go the way the analysis might predict.

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Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: industry subpar knock-offs

You need a 64-bit CPU to access more than 3 gigabytes of RAM, though (same as with a PC)

You seem to be confusing address bus width with data bus width, though the definition of "N-bit CPU" does seem to have changed over the years. You can connect a humble 8-bitter to any amount of memory you want if your fancy takes you, though it's often sensible to have register and data bus width the same size as address bus width for efficiency.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Not for fitness nuts

If they can do away with the heart strap, I might be tempted... I am no sure how reliable the "pulse" measurement is compared to the electrical pulse measured by my polar...

That should be pretty easy using reflected IR and should be just as accurate.

I was actually thinking about this problem just a couple of days ago, wondering why I needed a heart strap when a finger tip push against an IR sensor works just as well. One only needs a few consecutive pulses to determine BPM and missing pulses can be easily compensated for through software filtering. It should be easy enough to built a wrist mounted pulse reader and I doubt Apple would have gone with that if it didn't work reasonably well.

Of course, I was wondering how I could build such a device for a few quid; wasn't dreaming of paying Apple prices. Maybe I could use a Raspberry Pi? Lugging a car battery around to power it should also do wonders for my cardio workouts :-)

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Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Does it really matter who shot it down?

Whoever fired it and was able to hit a target flying six miles up at nearly 500 miles an hour miles up knew exactly what they were doing with complex anti-aircraft weaponry...

Or perhaps saw the "target acquired" light come on and simply hit the launch button, whooped with delight until they realised what they had brought about.

The transcript which puts the blame on the rebels even has them talking of shooting down an enemy plane and I can well believe that's exactly what they thought they'd done and intended to do. A simple repeat of bringing down a Ukrainian transporter as they'd already done earlier.

There was nothing to be gained by rebels deliberately shooting down a civilian airliner and everything to lose so I cannot believe it was intended if the rebels did bring it down.

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Jason Bloomberg
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All systems go for take-off

Pilots and crews are busy enough in the final few minutes before takeoff. You are talking about adding another technical check at that busy time.

I would rather they do that check before they trundle down the runway and find themselves up shit creek during take-off. It shouldn't be an overly onerous or time consuming check; probably just checking whether the "out of kilter" light is red or green. It's not like we are asking pilots to do something pointless. And lives are at stake, including the pilots' own.

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Jason Bloomberg
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The fundamental premis is flawed

I have a hard time believing coding is (or will be) an absolutely essential skill that people will need to have and find it hard to believe kids believe that either and suspect those who say otherwise are simply repeating what they have been told to believe.

It's snake oil for the 21st century.

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Siri: Helpful personal assistant or SERIAL APP KILLER?

Jason Bloomberg
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Siri....

"... please explain voice connected thin client networking to me".

Having a central mainframe and a termina^W voice connection to it is all well and good until you don't have a connection, bandwidth or contention becomes a problem.

I expect, just as we are about to burn our apps and rely entirely on Siri, someone will remind us of the advantages of running local apps on our own devices and we can run round the circle again.

If only using Siri for voice activation and controlling local apps, that's an argument for putting Siri on the phone. And that adds another app :-)

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Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Good, but Banana Pi is the better beasty.

The ODROID-W might be of particular interest to Pi owners, especially those wanting to use LiPo or other battery power. That uses the same SoC as the Pi does and runs the exact same software as the PI -

http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php

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Cracking copyright law: How a simian selfie stunt could make a monkey out of Wikipedia

Jason Bloomberg
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Cry me a river

Slater says he made a mere £2,000 in licensing the image - which, we're told, only just covered his travel expenses to Indonesia to obtain the photo.

I am sick of hearing this. He never knew he would get this shot and, if he hadn't got lucky, he would not have had any photograph at all which commanded anywhere near the royalties he has received.

I don't mind him arguing he owns copyright and is entitled to licensing fees - I believe he does and is - but that his outlay was only just covered is an irrelevancy, was a risk he took when he set off. Unless he can prove that he went with the deliberate intent of taking 'that photograph' as the means to break even, and from what else he has said about it, it would appear not.

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Vampires and Ninjas versus the Alien Jedi Robot Pirates: It's ON

Jason Bloomberg
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Brian Blessed

Will be last man standing I reckon now Oliver Reed has gone. Shame no one else will be around for the triumphant "VICTORY IS MINE!" shout echoing around the world and across the universe.

And don't give me any Chuck Norris nonsense - he's a lightweight! Bring it on :-)

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

Explosives factory

So; are you going to open one, or at least apply to open one?

That's got to be worth a few giggles along the way.

Seems apt -->

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Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Sorry...

We no longer care, oh, hold on - we never really cared to begin with.

Speak for yourself. True, I don't particularly care about Assange per se, but I do care about the predicament in which he finds himself.

Given what passes for American justice, due process and punishment, I believe he has every reason to fear for his future. That he chose to break the law in jumping bail and effectively imprisoned himself rather than risk being extradited shows what a terrible state of affairs we have.

There, but for the grace of god...

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

Jason Bloomberg
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Stop

Re: Why?

The basic idea of a HUD is good, just cut out all the other crap.

Absolutely. I don't care how much it improves their networking interactions and access to social media but I do care how much it impacts on my safety.

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

The real problem is that IPv6 goes far beyond fixing the limitation of 32-bit IP addresses.

If tasked with solving the problem I would have simply added more bytes on the left to extend global addresses and on the right to allow more local (but globally accessible) addresses.

Of course that was far too simple but, more importantly, doesn't provide a gravy train to ride.

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Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner: Capital is top target for computer thieves, say police

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

An alternative viewpoint is...

That Londoners don't have much else worth stealing. Perhaps because they've blown all their money on fancy must-have gadgets, sky-high mortgages and over-priced beer.

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Snowden is FREE to ESCAPE FROM RUSSIA, say officials

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: He can STAY there for all I care

he fled to Russia.

Or, more accurately, he fled from America.

And I can't say I blame him.

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UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

Jason Bloomberg
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Headmaster

"That's why this judgement is, well, lunacy, really."

No; the judgement couldn't really have been any different in the light of the guilty pleadings.

The same also applies to "the law is an ass" and similar comments elsewhere; they had an option to plead not guilty but chose not to do so.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: The guilty plea

And the police aren't adverse to using "admit guilt and we'll go easy on you" persuasion. In fact that's build into our British justice system.

People will often believe they have committed offences even when they haven't so plead guilty rather than risk it all. Having 'other matters' dropped can also work wonders in helping sway the decision. If it seems the best deal available most people will take it. Everyone has some skeleton in their closet which can be twisted to appear far worse than it is.

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