* Posts by Alan Brown

3204 posts • joined 8 Feb 2008

Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!

Alan Brown
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Re: Kiwi AC I assume this was their intention all along... @Matt Bryant

"He and his co-defendants are accused of hosting, encouraging and financially rewarding the deliberate pirating of copyrighted material. Seriously, did none of the Crim Dotcom supporters even read anything factual relating to the matter?"

Of course we did.

The fact remains that the original search warrant was illegally overbroad (granted by an unnamed North Shore judge who seems to have been overly credulous), illegally executed and to cap it all off went _far_ beyond what was actually authorised by the warrant.

Kim Dotcom is in no way, shape or form a "nice guy" - but the law is the law and everyone must be treated equally and accorded the same rights. If the cops can throw away the rulebook in order to go after XYZ bad guy, what's to stop them doing so to go after _you_ and make shit up later?

The NZ Police have a fairly long track record of taking the easy way out deciding someone's guilty and then finding or manufacturing evidence to back that claim (Arthur Allen Thomas and David Bain being classic examples) instead of looking objectively at the evidence in order to work out who's the culprit, along with giving people with connections a free ride (example: Roastbusters - where several of the teens in question are the children of cops). Gene Hunt is alive and well and living in Napier.

The NZ courts have an equally long history of ignoring police excesses or sweeping them under the carpet - hardly surprising when the police, judges and most lawyers are all drinking in the same pub after hours.

http://laudafinem.com/2014/12/04/a-line-in-the-sand-has-been-drawn-a-royal-commission-into-police-corruption-urgent/

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Alan Brown
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Re: Kiwi AC I assume this was their intention all along... @Matt Bryant

It's been fairly clear for a while that NZ will quite happily let people in as long as they pay lots of money to the appropriate politicians.

Which is why the Chinese govt is asking for some of them back - quite a few were let in despite Interpol Red Notices being in effect.

Kiwis should take a look at offshore blogs such as http://laudafinem.com/ - assuming they can get past the undocumented geoblocking which seems to be in effect against that site....

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Alan Brown
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Re: I assume this was their intention all along...

"The ability to do so is a comparatively recent legal development (writs of Mareva, freezing orders etc.) and normally part of the civil law, but clearly now being used to hobble the defendant in a related criminal case."

The New Zealand govt routinely seizes a defendant's assets in criminal cases in order to prevent mounting an effective defence. One I'm personally aware of is the Lundy case

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lundy_murders

(Not mentioned in the Wikipedia article is that a NZ police unmarked car attempted to drive the same route in the same time period the prosecution claimed and caused at least 8 emergency services calls from concerned motorists due to the recklessness of the driving. This came up in the trial, but the jury still convicted him.)

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Alan Brown
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Re: AC I assume this was their intention all along...

"but he instead chose (just like Assange) to try every legal delaying trick in the book to avoid justice"

Judging from the news reports, that particular boot is on the Crown's foot. KDC's lawyers filed several motions to try and speed things up and it's the govt which has been asking for more time.

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REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Alan Brown
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Re: Failure rates

"This is WHY Mainframe Failures are so rare."

All the hardware protection in the world won't protect you against faulty software.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Mirrored systems

"So, are there any real world examples, from recent history, of places where dissimilar redundancy is used in a production system?"

Most Boeing and Airbus fly-by-wire airliners have some form of dissimilar redundancy onboard.

The ISS has dissimilar redundancy throughout.

A lot of military aircraft use dissimilar redundancy in critical parts (such as automatic carrier landing controllers)

Check chapter 28 of the Avionics Handbook.

Yes, it's a bugger to spec out and yes it's expensive, and yes it doesn't cover all bases, but there are cases where the expense is worth it.

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Alan Brown
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They can swarm in the sky as much as they want - they can only land or take off from any given strip one at a time and commercial ATC is as much about ensuring that aircraft don't leave the ground until the receiving end can be guaranteed to take them as it is about keeping aircraft from bumping into each other whilst on the way.

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Alan Brown
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"The problem these days is that the airspace is already 98% used"

Not really. Air corridors are heavily used but they account for less than 10% of the actual airspace available and things are setup that way because antiquated computer systems can't handle the complexity of myriad "best route" paths.

Sorting this was one of the (failed) objectives of the last great North American ATC rebuild.

Effectively, current ATC systems _increase_ the danger, because they push most traffic into geographically constrained areas for "convenience" reasons instead of letting it spread out.

It's another one of "those things" which could be allieviated for substantially less than the cost of bailing out a few banks and which would pay economic dividends in short order. However it's not sexy, which means that getting governmental approval to invest the necessary sums of money simply won't happen until the entire thing comes crashing down around our ears (and a crash investment means poor design choices).

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Alan Brown
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Re: Mirrored systems

" If you go for powering down the failed system (AKA "shoot it in the head", zombie apocalypse style) to be damned sure its not meddling with shared stuff, how do you then avoid the risk of mutually assured destruction if both lose the heartbeat link and more or less simultaneously kill the other?"

That one's simple (I have to deal with STONITH systems on a daily basis) - set differing delay periods on each node, based on prime numbers. That way you can be sure that one will always win in such a situation instead of a mexican standoff result.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Mirrored systems

Mirrored systems only protect against hardware failure.

Proper redundant systems use parallel setups using different architectures and different languages to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Bad flight plan?

If the system is susceptable to bad input, how hard would it be to validate everything before it gets that far?

If builders built houses the way programmers built programs, the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

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ASA slaps Ebuyer AGAIN - this time for ignoring regulator

Alan Brown
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Re: Quite amazed...

"They arrived not terribly well packed with one drive packed quite differently from the others"

My policy with hard drive shipments is to shake the box.

If anything noticeably shifts around inside it, the delivery is refused.

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Alan Brown
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"Last order, for a laptop, was delivered to a random address"

Anyone want to take bets that it was the address of the courier or a close friend?

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Alan Brown
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Ebuyer: bunch of numpties.

Last year, as a test, I ordered a couple of video cards from Ebuyer on economy delivery.

5 days after taking my money the order hadn't been dispatched (parts were listed as in stock the entire period), so I cancelled it.

It took them another 28 days to actually refund.

First, last and only order. I don't deal with companies which operate like that.

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Alan Brown
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Re: "The ASA ruled the ad should not appear again in its current form"

"Chocolate teapot..."

Nope. It's working exactly as designed.

The design is to provide an illusion of "industry self regulation" in order to prevent government intervention, whilst actually doing as little as possible.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising_Standards_Authority_(United_Kingdom)

"Not long after the inception of the ASA the Molony Committee considered but rejected proposals to introduce a system to regulate the advertising industry by statute. The Committee reported that it was satisfied that the industry could be regulated effectively from within by the ASA. A guarded comment within the report, however, warned that the self-regulatory system depended upon the satisfactory working of the ASA and the maintaining of acceptable standards."

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Alan Brown
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Re: What's the next level below Toothless Tiger?

"Because the ASA can say you're not fit to advertise without your ads bein pre-screened. Then everyone who's anyone in the advertising industry won't show their ads."

1: The ASA is a trade association, not a regulator.

2: The ASA can say all they want, they can't control what Ebuyer put on their own web page, nor will they be able to prevent them obtaining banner ads or other online advertising.

3: Have you ever seen an Ebuyer advert in mainstream media? I for one have not (newspaper adverts are next to useless as a rule anyway)

4: Leading on from 3, even if Tv/print/radio refused Ebuyer adverts, do you really think it would stop them? They'd proven that nothing happens other than "Stop! And if you don't stop, I'll tell you to Stop! again."

Trading standards can (and should) step in(*), but Ebuyer's far from the only outfit which is ignoring the ASA and getting away with it. Meantime there are a bunch of recidivist offenders ignoring PhonePayPlus too - that's another trade association calling itself a regulator.(**)

(*) Given the usual speed of trading standards, that might happen sometime in 2017.

(**) In PPP's case, after decades of falsely calling themselves a "regulator", they were actually delegated a tiny amount of authority by Ofcom a couple of years ago(***), but the ONLY recourse available if bad guys ignore PPP or refuse to pay their "fines" is for PPP to refer the matter to Ofcom.

(***) Ofcom stated that all complaints about premium rate lines should go to ICSTIS as it was then, but that's all the delegation they got. Up to that point they had no legal status at all under Ofcom rules.

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Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?

Alan Brown
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2 words: Media tax

Canadians pay one, on the assumption that they all copy stuff rampantly.

That pretty much gives them the moral right to upload/download whatever the fuck they want.

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ICANN HACKED: Intruders poke around global DNS innards

Alan Brown
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Re: The end

"You'd hope that ICANN staff were a bit more savvy than my grandmother."

ICANN staff aren't selected for their technical abilities.

Thankfully, IANA staff are.

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We are never getting back to... Samsung's baking Apple's 14nm 'A9' chips?

Alan Brown
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Re: Ha-Ha!

"Samsung was left with a LOT of very underutilized fab space when Apple chose TSMC to make the A8 and A8X"

Fab space which could be making 3d-nand in huge volumes for all those 850-EVOs, should Apple try that game again.

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Wind farms make you sick claims blown away again

Alan Brown
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Re: Wind farms make me sick

"High-performance motors dispense with expensive rare-earth magnets"

The biggest expense of rare earth mining right now is dealing with the thorium. If that's used properly (LFTRs) instead of being regarded as toxic waste then rare earth mining becomes a cheap byproduct of the thorium mining industry.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Not just windmill nutters

"And now you're going to explain how a powerless GSM mast creates infrasound?"

Wind vibration springs to mind.

About 20 years ago I read about a hi-rise "sick building" which turned out to be caused by infrasound from wind passing through the cooling towers of adjacent hi-rise and geometry of neighbouring buildings focussing the sound. In that case a simple reworking of the cooling tower solved it.

That said, infrasound is unlikely unless the complaints come from people living/working in the floor directly under the antenna farm. Most complaints about "radio waves" are purely psychosomatic.

On the other hand, given that broken blades from 2MW windmills have been known to travel over a mile, there's a good reason for not siting the things near housing. German standards require ~2 mile separation for this very reason.

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Sony hackers dump more hunks of stolen data, promise another 'Christmas gift'

Alan Brown
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Re: Someone is going to prison for a VERY long time

"Only if they (C-level execs) are personally held responsible and accountable."

In some jurisdictions, they are. It will be interesting to see if Sony employees in those countries are affected.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Sticking it to the Man is one thing

"Well, personally, I'd leave the "stars" out of it too,"

Why?

Historically, actors and bards were pretty scummy individuals. It's only recently that hollywood and the recording industry have managed to turn the whole model topsy-turvy.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Sticking it to the Man is one thing

Private signing keys are neither here nor there economically.

Disclosing conspiracies to behave illegally (EG, collusion in the Kim Dotcom shit) could easily take out not only Sony Pictures, but also a number of bent civil servants and politicians.

If that is the case, think of it as Watergate writ large.

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Samsung brings out new longer-lived 1TB Flash podule for PCs, notebooks

Alan Brown
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2TB

Definitely, if the price is right. I'd even buy 4TB

Put them at the $500 mark and they'll sell like hotcakes - and I'm expecting 4TB to BE at $500 within 4 months, assuming the fabs can keep up.

Shit just got real for Seacrates and Western Dodgydrives.

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Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray

Alan Brown
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Re: I like toys but...

"here is a limit for car headlamps but I think it is specified in Watts"

In the EU it's specified in lumens - and there are limits for bike lights too.

That boyracer in the Seat probably put 55/100s in, instead of HIDs - the latter are half the wattage or less compared to halogens and correspondingly less hot.

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Alan Brown
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Re: I like toys but...

"That said I've not seen any news stories involving one of these lasers being used on drivers. "

I've been lasered whilst driving and in general it bloody hurts.

It happens regularly enough around here (which is uncomfiortably close to a motorway, should the oiks start getting that idea) that the cops don't give it blues and twos priority until the twats responsible start pointing it into the sky.

Even with incidents of lasering aircraft, 9 times out of ten the cops don't catch the culprits, no matter what they like to claim.

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Alan Brown
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what about burning holes in their trousers?

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Hold the front page: Spain's anti-Google lobbyists lobby for Google News return

Alan Brown
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"However now that news.google.es has shut Spanish newspaper sites are buying AdWords space on google.es with keywords like 'noticias' (news) and 'ultima hora' (breaking)."

Totally predictable.

The same thing happened in New Zealand in the early 1980s when the music companies wanted royalties for tv stations airing music videos - the tv stations simply stopped airing music videos.

Sales dropped drastically, despite increases in product adverts (consumers were generally pissed off with what was generally seen as stupid moneygrabbing tactics resulting in a general "cultural wasteland" and stayed away from record outlets in droves)

The record companies finally cried "uncle" after about 3 months - the abjectness of their surrender was underscored by the fact that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video debut was aired in an advertising slot in the 6pm news, at full commercial rates (I did say it was the early 80s) a few weeks before they finally pulled their demands.

I give it about 6 weeks at most before spanish news media ask for the law to be repealed.

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Alan Brown
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Re: ROFLMAO

The real way to make AEDE hurt thoroughly is to encourage a consumer boycott of spanish print media and those who advertise with them.

What hurts the newspapers even more than losing views is having the people who pay them (no, not the people who buy newspapers) take their money and put it in more effective marketplaces.

(Disclosure: In a previous life and business I used media advertising. Several weeks of newspaper ads cost a hell of a lot more than 2 radio adverts - and the radio adverts picked up several hundred times more business. TV ads picked up even more, but the cost:benefit ratio didn't favour it.)

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Sick of the 'criminal' lies about pie? Lobby the government HERE

Alan Brown
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Re: @ I ain't Spartacus (let the flamewar begin)

"Oi, cheval is pretty damn tasty. "

The issue wasn't that it was horsemeat, the issue was that it was horsemeat of dubious provenance.

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Cool technology: Submerged blade servers escape the heat

Alan Brown
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"Sheds"

"They are basically a full depth 12U 19in rack bolted to the side of some steel monstrosity made up of nightmares and solar absorption. Inside the box sit 4U of server, 4U of networking and 4U of heating, ventilation and air conditioning."

Sunshade, or double skin (shed in a shed) with ventilation top and bottom.

Solar chimney tech works extremely well, something that we tend to forget in this age of electrical slaves.

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This week it rained in San Francisco and the power immediately blew out. Your tech utopia

Alan Brown
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Re: Infrastructure Crumbling

"There are NO CONSERVATIVES in California. "

The USA has an odd social structure where the coastal and great liakes cities are "hotbeds of liberalism" and most of the rest of the country is deeply conservative - including rural California (The central Valley is extremely conservative)

In the midwest, where cities are fairly conservative, they are still regarded as "dangerously liberal" by much of the surrounding countryside.

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Sony Pictures hit by 'fightback on filesharers' DDoS claims – report

Alan Brown
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Re: What about OFCOM or The Information Commissioners Office?

" If any of the compromised data has a UK component to it would this mean a massive fine?"

For Sony, yes.

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Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

Alan Brown
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Re: If MS loses

"A company can't walk away from a contract it doesn't like by transferring ownership to someone who didn't sign on the dotted line."

That's more or less what's happened with FRAND patents and sales to trolls.

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Alan Brown
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Re: they will lose customers if they fold

"AFAIK that is total BS. "

It is. The assurance was anything SHORT of a PATRIOT act order.

There will be a number of unintended consequences whether or not the SCOTUS rubberstamps the state court order.

Expect cloud providers to become fully separate companies in each jurisdiction, contracting to Google, MS, etc.

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Alan Brown
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Re: they will lose customers if they fold

"What better cloud offering was that? "

Gmail vs Outlook.

Google's system was (and is) more reliable/technically superior but HE entity which pulled in data lawyers were told in no uncertain terms Google couldn't be used for the reasons given above.

A significant number of HEs didn't bother with lawyers and just signed with Google. Those responsible for that decision really should be feeling the wrath of the ICO (which basically means a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket).

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Alan Brown
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VMS certainly does have a far richer security model than *nix does and Windows NT is derived from it, however most of the security paradigms were stripped out of WinNT before the first version ever shipped.

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Alan Brown
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Re: A question and a kudo

"If the appeal goes the Fed's way the precedent will only apply in US law. "

Courts in many parts of the world (including europe) look at and are guided by precedents set in other parts of the world (including the USA).

In MS's case, it has signed a number of contracts stating that short of a PATRIOT act order, data stored in irish servers was not obtainable by non-EU entities without obtaining an irish court order first.

The fact that this isn't a PATRIOT case is why there's so much heat and light about it.

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Groupon flees from army of angry GNOMES: Trademark bid for 'Gnome' tab scrapped

Alan Brown
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Re: You need random names like XKCD now

Raw sewage is pretty close - particularly if it's the kind of raw sewage that's been festering for a couple of days.

When I lived in east asia the things were generally banned from public transport.

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Denmark BANNED from viewing UK furniture website in copyright spat

Alan Brown
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Re: A little outdated on our news are we?

"Note that in this case the british websites had been court ordered in May to do what Voga.com has now been ordered to do."

Danish courts have no jurisdiction over UK websites unless they get a UK enforcement order - which a judge wouldn't allow if not covered by local laws.

In other news, voga.com sales to danish addresses triple, as Danes become aware of it.

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Alan Brown
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I'm not buying green bacon. Or eggs or ham.

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Mushy spam law's IDEAL for toothless watchdog: Spamhaus slams CAN-SPAM

Alan Brown
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Re: Shame list

Spamford? Is that you?

Every single claim of false positives has been ripped to shreds by the spamfighting community being more than able to provide supporting evidence.

I can see why you're posting AC to make false assertions.

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Alan Brown
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Re: ROTFLMAO

Let me introduce you to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

You don't need to complain to the FCC. Just fill out a couple of forms and trot down to your local small claims court for $500 per instance ($1500 for wilful violations)

The fax/phone spammer AND the company that they spammed for are jointly and severally liable under the TCPA, and even if the spammer isn't traceable, the company who hired them always is (they're usually more than willing to 'fess up who they hired, in order to reduce the fees levied against them if they don't and you get a court order compelling 'em to 'fess up anyway.)

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FCC: You, AT&T. Get over here and explain this 'no more gigabit fiber' threat

Alan Brown
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Re: Telephone companies, like Leopards never change ...

and now the almost completely reformed AT&T borg carries on the tradition, without that pesky universal service requirement.

There, FTFY.

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Alan Brown
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Re: The fundamental problem for Greens...

"The only reason 'they' (we) are trying to reduce power consumptioon is because we can't afford more, and keep the planet viable for our grandchildren."

We can and we can. The thing is we _can't_ with windmills or solar power - ever.

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Alan Brown
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Re: I'll wait thanks

"Just how clearly do I really need to see the wrinkles on a newscaster's face?"

Depending on the age of said newscaster those might not be "wrinkles" so much as "polyfilla"

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WD and HGST: We tried to merge our two drive makers, MOFCOM said NO, NO, NO

Alan Brown
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MOFCOM aren't stupid

The "synergies" touted would be a result of selling WD drives with HGST labels.

The real result would be a mass exodus to SSDs and WD + Seagate both going down the financial shitter - but right now there isn't enough SSD capacity to cope with the demand.

MOFCOM don't really care about the former, but they're very aware of the latter, and of the commercial chaos which would result from a storage shortage.

The enforced delays on consolidation are precisely to keep the mechanical hard drive sector alive long enough for solid state manufacturing to catch up.

$orkplace is only buying mechanical drives in 3+TB sizes now. Anything smaller gets SSD - and we also don't bother with warranty claims on sub 1TB mechanical drives. SSDs get used instead.

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