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* Posts by Sonny Jim

97 posts • joined 28 Aug 2008

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NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports

Sonny Jim

Re: @sampler

> The guy who then posted them was a real jerk about it

If you are talking about rikkid, actually he came across as rather helpful when I was chatting to him in IRC. The mods have been spreading loads of FUD about him, you seem to have bought into it without knowing the full story.

If anything, the Pi mods have been total idiots by deleting threads without comment and banning people when other sites *already had the Pi on sale*. Stable, bolted. I'll get me coat

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Brit inventors' GRAVITY POWERED LIGHT ships out after just 1 year

Sonny Jim

Re: Stairs payback

As someone who used to live at the bottom of said hill, I wholeheartedly concur. Nothing quite like waking up to the smell of roasted coffee and burnt brakes :-)

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Dopey dope-growing dope smoked out by own dope dope-growing vid

Sonny Jim

Re: First rule of growing pot

> 4. Don't use lots of leccy

No electricity company in the world is going to go looking for what are probably their best customers and hand them over to the police. Much more likely that there will be approached by the police for the bills when they have other evidence.

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FAA: 'No, you CAN'T hijack a plane with an Android app'

Sonny Jim

Re: Every article I've seen about this neglects to mention the most important thing

Fair comment, although I have to admit I've taken a variety of PCB's and power supplies in my carry on baggage and I've only ever had them comment on it once (about my Tokyoflash "Pimpin ain't easy" watch).

Still, the headline "Phone + expensive transmitter can be used to hack planes" doesn't have the same ring to it ;-)

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Sonny Jim
Stop

Every article I've seen about this neglects to mention the most important thing

You need a computer (Laptop/Phone/Whatever) and a TRANSMITTER in the form of an Software Defined Radio. You can then spoof the various signals the plane receives, such as ACARS, TCAS, GPS etc.

An SDR is fairly bulky and probably wouldn't make it through secuirty, so I question the validity of this guys claims.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Sonny Jim

Another design feature of the Crays

The C-shaped design was all to do with making the signal paths shorter, so they could run quicker. Very interesting guy and it's a real shame he isn't still around.

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Got a BMW? Thicko thieves can EASILY NICK IT with $30 box

Sonny Jim
FAIL

You don't need to grab the key transmission

"Would-be car thieves need to grab the transmission between a valid key fob and a car before reprogramming a blank key"

There is a blind spot on the alarm system where it's possible to break a window and access the OBD port without setting the alarm off. Once they've gained access to the OBD they use the car to program the blank key. There's no need to get access to the original key, it's just a modern day version of 'hotwiring'.

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Oz regulator tells telly-makers to mind their language

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

Re: ACCC are reasonably good at common sense

What passes for Bacon in the UK is ridiculous. Even the cheapest of the cheapskate bacon over in Oz is several times better than the water-injected crap they sell over here.

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Slim debut sales for fatter Nintendo 3DS

Sonny Jim
Thumb Down

"NO ONE WOULD BUY IT cause they would be scared of the new one getting replaced in a year or so with a slightly improved one where new games would be completely incompatible."

Take off the bit about new games being incompatible and therein lies the problem. Every Nintendo fan knows that if they just wait a bit, a new one will come along and the prices will plummet.

"Playing games online is a gimmick"

Are you being serious? I can't tell. Three words for you "World of Warcraft".

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Sonny Jim
Stop

The reason I haven't bought one is....

I've had several DS's, ranging from the original grey fatboy to the lites and love them down to the ground. I take at least one of them every time I have a long journey but I've never made the jump to the later consoles because:

1. A DS Lite can be accurately described as pocket sized, although my hands do cramp up a bit on it. Yes I know I can just put them in a bag but I like the idea of being able to sit at a bus stop and stuff it in my pocket when the bus turns up.

2. Lack of technology advancement and too small incremental steps. I'm not a fan of 3D and see it as a bit of a fad and once that's been taken out of the equation there's not much else different between my Lite and the 3DXL Gti Turbo Hyper Fighting II editions.

3. The fact that everyone who wants one knows the price will plummet within a couple of weeks.

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LG readies bonkers big telly for sale

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

I had a 56" one of these 6 years ago

Google maps looked *the business* on it, no zooming in, it was literally like having a map on the wall:

http://www.thruput.co.uk/products/monitors/56-8-Megapixel-3840x2160-Display

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Ten... celeb headphones

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

Gotta love the Sennheiser HD-25's

Comfortable to wear, they sound alright and although they aren't indestructible as some people like to make out, the last pair I had lasted for 10 years.

For the life of me I don't know why anyone would want to wear in-ear headphones, hat fanciers maybe?

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Lesser-spotted Raspberry Pi FINALLY dished up

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

Did some say "Homemade pinball"?

Because that's exactly what I've been doing and I have plans to port our project to the Pi (if I can ever lay my hands on one)

http://code.google.com/p/freewpc/

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Cloudy QR code bike theft stopper gets Police thumbs up

Sonny Jim
Thumb Down

QR code does seem a bit like overkill

Why not just have a registration number, anyone can read that? Or spend some money on a decent lock?

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BBC Micro team to celebrate historic machine's 30th year

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

6809

The 6809 saw a lot of use in pinball machines, amoungst other things. There's even a GCC port for the 6809 which we are using for our open source pinball operating system ;-)

http://code.google.com/p/freewpc/

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TDK BA100 earphones

Sonny Jim
Meh

Closed cup or go home

I understand the usefulness of in ear (small, discrete) but for me there's way too many disadvantages to them as compared to closed cup headphones.

1. They can be painful to wear

2. They have a tendancy to leak audio out and cause annoyance to people around you (tsch tsch tsch on the train)

3. Outside noise can leak in and no amount of noise cancelling technology will get around this.

4. In simple physics terms, to produce the lower range of frequencies requires a larger speaker cone. In ear headphones are limited by the size of your ear canal. If you want bass, you need closed cup.

Unless you a security guard or don't want to mess your hair up, buy a decent pair of closed cup.

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Netgear debuts first next-gen powerline network kit

Sonny Jim
Unhappy

It's not about having a beard and being called a luddite

It's the fact that these things broadcast illegal amounts of inteference and the government body that is supposed to regulate this sort of thing is being paid off or just flat out ignoring the problem, even when the GCHQ spooks are telling them that it's a problem.

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Steve Jobs named most influential game guy – ever

Sonny Jim
FAIL

Fail

The Playstation gave us true arcade style graphics and subsequently spelled the death of the arcade as we know it. The Wii introduced console gaming to a huge untapped market.

I think Nokia had more of a contribution to shaping gaming in the form of 'Snake' for the older handhelds than any frickin' iPhone game.

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BT gets 14 days to block Newzbin2

Sonny Jim
Trollface

Electricity companies and Cannabis factories

Electric companies will not report excessive usage to the police, it's just plain not in their interest. What's more likely to happen is that the police will approach the electric company rather than the other way round, but even then that's unlikely to happen as a large electric bill is circumstantial evidence at best.

You are much more likely to get caught by the smell, neighbours reporting suspicious activity and good ol' thermal imaging cameras on helicopters.

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Nokia pitches cheapest voicephones yet

Sonny Jim

Designed for 'Developing nations'?

They look more like throwaway phones for drug dealers?

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PS3 controller makes move on Android games

Sonny Jim

If you have an N900....

You can do it for free:

http://tomasz.sterna.tv/2010/03/two-sixaxisdualshock-3-controllers-support-for-nokia-n900/

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Police arrest alleged LulzSec hacker 'topiary' in Scotland

Sonny Jim

Let me guess....

They'll chuck a few terrorism charges on him then lock him up for not disclosing his password?

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Hacked Sun site greatly exaggerates Murdoch's death

Sonny Jim

Re: How odd

The Reg have offices in San Francisco if memory serves.

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Akira Blu-ray remastered disc set

Sonny Jim

subplots

I thought they did what they had to do, ie give a background setting without over complicating the main story. WRT to the last 20 minutes, I'm wondering if there's some cultural differences that cause confusion, as I'm always left scratching my head also.

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Chess crown stripped in plagiarism furore

Sonny Jim
FAIL

There's quite a lot of evidence to say that he did copy the code

From: http://www.chessvibes.com/plaatjes/rybkaevidence/RybkaInvestigation.pdf

"Nearly the entire evaluation function is derived from Fruit. This includes

the formulas for calculating piece-square tables, methods and features of evaluating

piece mobility, rook king file proximity, rook and queen on the 7th rank, and king safety. "

"Disassembly of the root search analysis indicates nearly identical code and

variables, even including the ordering of the variables."

"Pre-Rybka 1.6.1 contains much identical code to Crafty, even including large

blocks of code with obsolete code inside them, and code that performs tests that make

no sense today (code that was left in Crafty by accident, by Robert Hyatt, also shows

up in Rybka 1.6.1). It is inconceivable that a second author could duplicate this code

purely by chance. At least hundreds of lines of code appear to be copied."

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Groupon India publishes 300,000 user passwords

Sonny Jim
Coffee/keyboard

Keypass/Keysafe?

Surely the best method for keeping online passwords safe is to have an 'airgap' and write them down on a bit of paper?

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Stealth-cam software snaps laptop looter

Sonny Jim

There's SMSCON for the N900

You can set a 'trusted' SIM card and a number/email/sshd to phone home to. If someone inserts a 'untrusted' SIM it will turn on the GPS and tell you where the phone is. You can also SMS it commands to lock the device, take pictures etc.

http://wiki.maemo.org/SMSCON

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ASA smackdown for Yahoo! Thelma & Louise

Sonny Jim
FAIL

I complained about the recent 'Cuts are Criminal' advert

And received a very nice letter from a Laura Walker saying they were going to do sod all.

Can we get rid of OFCOM, ASA and the PCC ASAP please?

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Firefox add-on with 7m downloads can invade privacy

Sonny Jim

Sounds like TACO all over again

Although this is slightly different, whereas TACO used to be trusted and slim, then got bought out and turned into bloatware. The way they got it past Mozilla that time was to have one of the Firefox add-on's board members in their back pocket.

I wouldn't be surprised if something similar happened here.

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GCHQ man: Powerline networks do interfere with radio

Sonny Jim
Coat

Yay for Number Stations

Before any one says "Why don't they just use the internet" I'll explain:

1. Radio doesn't have a definitive 'end point', you can find out where it's being transmitted but you can't find out who is receiving it or where they are (only make an educated guess). With the internet they'll be logs and an IP it needs to be sent to.

2. Radios are cheap and ubiquitous, if you were an operative working in the middle east and you were carrying around some kind of uber smart phone to do your decrypting, you'll stand out like a sore thumb. A shortwave receiver and a pen and pencil can be found almost anywhere on the planet.

Most governments don't really use Number Stations any more, the UK one shut down a long time ago (google Lincolnshire Poacher) although the Chinese still use them quite a bit.

Mines the one with the Degen 1103 in the pocket.

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CEOP to retain ops control under National Crime Agency

Sonny Jim
Coat

@AC, Erm, couple of questions:

1. Why did you need to encrypt the file? Surely just jump on a bus/train to a neighbouring city, walk into internet cafe (checking for CCTV of course) and upload from there, or just use TOR. Or post them a USB key, or a million other anonymous methods.

2. Sending the key via email is slightly stupid, as anyone with access to their mailbox now has the decryption key. Key distribution is a hard thing to crack, which is why you should of asked them to generate a public key for you to encrypt the information with.

Mines the jacket with the tin foil lining.

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Entrants called for 80s-era games coding contest

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

Awesome

Really glad to see stuff like this, remember back in the day when the UK was pumping out microcomputer after microcomputer (Speccy, BBC B, Tandy, Amiga, Archimedes et al) whilst the rest of the world was trying to catch up.

Oh well, at least we gave the world ARM before it all went tits up :-)

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Think file-hosting sites guard your private data? Think again

Sonny Jim

The reason why the 'cloud' buzzword is popular

Is because when people use 'the cloud', they think they are using some kind of massive super computer you'd find tucked away on the Starship Enterprise. It's bragging rights, nothing else.

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Nokia touted Meego to rivals, but nobody wanted to know

Sonny Jim
Stop

RE: RIP N900 (Sonny Jim)

Fanbois much? I think you missed the point where I said I really do *like* the phone, I was just pointing out it's failings:

> battery life sucks: mine works at least as long as the android phones of some co-workers

Yes, but how many 'tweaks' have you done to get it to the same performance level, like bigger batteries, turning off wifi and the various software tweaks. And I'm not 'generalising my specific problem": http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%22n900+battery+problem%22

The point I was trying to make about the Ovi store and developer support is the fact if you look at the Android and iPhone stores, just look how many quality apps from known companies you can PAY for if you want to, not apt-get'ing some alpha software from a repo. Nokia did it's best to be completely unhelpful to it's developers, Smoku produced some great software for the N900 and this is what they have to say about Ovi:

http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=60078

>GPS takes ages to lock on: only when no internet connection is available

So, if I'm in a middle of a field and want to use my GPS (and don't want to spend bucks on 3G data), what happens then? Oh yeah, that's right, I just walk to where there is an internet connection. Because whenever I use GPS I'm nearly always near an internet connection. Other devices use the GPS information sent by the Cell towers, why can't the N900 do this instead?

>Headphone output

If you look into it, you'll find that whenever the N900 has anything plugged into it's headphone output, it deliberately limits the volume (to save damaging your ears). The problem with this is that it's not 0.7Vpp (ie standard line level), meaning you have to overdrive the input stage of the amplifier it's plugged into, causing distortion. But of course, you knew this already, because you have no problems, therefore none exist.

>MMS is expensive crap

Unfortunately it's the method that 90% of people use to send images between phones and for a $400 phone you'd expect it to support something out the box that most phones could do 10 years ago.

And it is slow, try not reflashing it every 2 months and you'll see what I mean. Once the various databases start to get filled (conversations, call log, autocomplete etc) it starts to crawl along.

But iit's ok, because none of these problems effect you, therefore they don't exist,. right?

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Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

RIP N900

For all it's failings (and lets face it, most smartphones are more unreliable than the old Nokia bricks), I <3 my N900.

It's slow, expensive, bulky, the battery life sucks, there's issues with the charging connector breaking, it's not multitouch, the screen cover scratches easily, trying to build a playlist in the media player can only be described as a sadomasochistic event, the battery indicator no longer works, there's no HD output, the headphone output is deliberately limited so it's not line level, the Ovi app store is a joke, the GPS takes ages to lock on, there's no developer support, you can't send or receive picture messages (yes, believe it or not, out of the box MMS isn't supported)....

erm, I could go on, but I won't. The reason I <3 it is because:

Aircrack-ng + Kismet + Nmap + Hostap + waiting for a bus/plane to turn up = WIN

TV-Out + Bluetoothed PS3 controller + PSX/SNES/Megadrive/MAME = WIN

SMSCon (find my phone when someone nicks it = WIN (Yes, it does work, see the forum for sucessful 'finds').

and finally:

IT'S MY PHONE, NOT APPLES, NOT GOOGLES, MINE ALL MINE MUUHAHAHAHAHA

I'd dearly love to find a replacement but I think I'll be holding on to it for a while longer, at least until the battery dies again.....

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Apple squashes location tracking 'bugs' with iOS update

Sonny Jim

Re:Bugs

Back in the day, we used to call that an 'undocumented feature' rather than a bug.

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Hacker pwns police cruiser and lives to tell tale

Sonny Jim

It's CSI becoming real....

If I was watching a Hollywood film from the 90's which featured a hypothetical scene where a hacker was streaming live video from a cop car dash camera to their desktop, I would of waved my fist and muttered something about bandwidth.

Now it's *actually* happening....

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So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Sonny Jim
Stop

No more Asimov please

I found his stuff to be misogynistic, or maybe I missed the point. Also the whole thing of 'Robot is built, robot goes bad, robo-psychologist figures out obscure logic puzzle to make Robot be good' gets a little boring after a while.

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WTF is... 4K x 2K?

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

Solution looking for a problem?

I used to have one of these on my desk (3840x2160 56"):

http://www.thruput.co.uk/products/56-8-Megapixel-3840x2160-Display

Well, I say on my desk, you had to sit about 3m away from it. These displays really work well when you have a large amount of data (numbers, radar tracks etc) that you need to show on one screen. The 56" I had was used to show a coordinated air traffic picture of Europe, so I could see every single plane from South England, all the way down to the top of Africa and all the way over to the start of Russia. And when I say I could see them, I mean that I could read the altitude data, call sign etc or over 200 planes on one screen without having to touch a mouse.

And Google maps looked sh*t hot on it also, the resolution was so high it was literally like having a proper printed map on the wall.

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The Sun still not shining on Nintendo's 3DS

Sonny Jim
Happy

Great comment on the Sun's website

"Dallas, 1963....if you look closely, it's a 3DS you'll see on that grassy knoll. "

Well, I lol'd anyway....

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iPhone morphs into pinball machine

Sonny Jim
Happy

I'm a massive pinball fan

Why not write about something infinitely more interesting, like an Open Source Pinball operating system:

http://www.oddchange.com/freewpc/

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Ofcom refuses to interfere on powerline networking interference

Sonny Jim
Thumb Up

Good on yer Reg

I know it's not the most popular issue, but I think it's important. Forget the radio geeks, forget the people with the million dollar mansions that they refuse to run CAT-5/6 around, at the very least this whole debacle has made OFCOM look like the clowns that they are.

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Ofcom forced to publish tests on dodgy radio kit

Sonny Jim
Thumb Down

Worse scum than pedophiles?

I dislike these devices also (UVB-76 ftw) but I wouldn't go that far. It is an absolute travesty that these were even allowed to be sold in the first place and I think things will only change when the first Rescue helicopter/Police car/Army/whatever user finds that they can only hear the beeps and chirps of the interference.

Cue the standard argument process:

"I live in a 6 million year old house with 5 meter thick walls, I couldn't possibly run CAT-5/6, that would just be what a MENTAL would do"

"I am a radio HAM and I'd like to strongly physically violate anyone who either uses these devices"

and so on and so forth

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Spaniards bemoan 'joke' speed limit cut

Sonny Jim

Turbo's are actually more fuel effiecient

"My 'even more turbo nutter' 250bhp Saab does about 32/33mpg at 80mph."

A turbocharged engine is actually more efficient than a non-turbo'd engine, it's just the way they are driven that causes the low MPG:

http://autospeed.com/cms/A_109931/article.html

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Natalie Portman slaps John Galliano

Sonny Jim
WTF?

Err.....

"the Christian Dior house has decided to lay him off immediately and has begun firing procedures against him."

Err, firing procedures? What?

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Flash drives dangerously hard to purge of sensitive data

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Anonymous security firm hack used every trick in book

Sonny Jim

I wouldn't say they used every trick in the book

What about Rubber hose cryptography?

http://xkcd.com/538/

Anyway, it seems a straightforward (but multi-vectored) hack. Now, if you want a sophisticated attack, have a look at the Stuxnet analysis:

http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/media/security_response/whitepapers/w32_stuxnet_dossier.pdf

Now *that* really did use every trick in the book, and then some.

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UK.gov braces for Anonymous hacklash

Sonny Jim
WTF?

Open source

I've been looking but can't seem to find a source for the "This has since been circulated around many open source websites" quote, as I'd like to formally complain about it. Could someone point me in the direction as to where this bit of drivel came from?

As an aside, the Scotland Yard statement you linked to has this at the bottom of the page:

"IMPORTANT NOTE: This site is for the use of media organisations only.

Media organisations should not publish links to this site."

Oops.

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Pothole-spotter app aims to stop arse ache

Sonny Jim

Aggregate Industries

That would be the people who supply the concrete, no surprise that they would sponsor an App that would increase sales of their products.

Still, it's a shame that they are so blinkered in their choice of platforms, I was of the assumption that there were actually more Android phones that iPhones now.

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US Wikileaks investigators can't link Assange to Manning

Sonny Jim

Someone posted a copy of the wikileaks mailing list

http://cryptome.org/wikileaks/wikileaks-leak.htm

If you have a read through it you'll find that they went to great lengths to protect their sources, with drop-boxes and various other 'spy-like' trickery. I'm not surprised they are finding it hard to find evidence to link them, this was Wikileaks main purpose after all!

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