* Posts by Mongo

522 posts • joined 26 Apr 2009

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Assange™'s emotional plea for asylum in France rejected

Mongo
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> Imagine Assange in Paris

It would still be reckless endangerment to remove the condom. However in this case the peril would be all his...

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Boffins 3D-print ROBOT SEAHORSE, then BATTER it with rubber mallets

Mongo
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Are the military and/or their really presumed to be thickos?

The way "defense" is listed as a separate application field to robotics and biomed. imagine the scene:

Head of research excitedly announces: "We now understand how to build stronger, more agile robots!"

(no reaction from the Chief of Staff, who keeps idly toying with his cigar cutter)

HoR: "For super-soldiers!"

CoS looks up like puppy promised a walk

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French privacy cops snarl at websites over crap EU cookie warnings

Mongo
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Yep-I-already-know

I'm fed up with these click-through warnings that are so ubiquitous that they amount to "This website also uses cookies". It doesn't seem to achieve anything for me - and as usual the really bad actors will hack around the letter of the law or simply ignore it. So I'd like my browser to set a "yep-I-already-know" field on all GETs.

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NASA's New Horizon probe rudely fires its thruster at gnome planet

Mongo
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Re: "Everything is going extremely well"

"I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all, I think, that any conscious entity can ever hope to do."

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Yikes! Facebook will run on TELEPATHY, thinks Zuck, in Q&A

Mongo
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I think Mark [Zuckerberg, sadly not 85] will get yet richer?

And (stealing from a palaeolithic Steve Bell cartoon on trickle-down economics) if he uses that wealth to eat an enormous meal and then farts at the end it creates a richer atmosphere for us all.

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KRAKKOOM! SpaceX Falcon supply mission to ISS EXPLODES minutes after launch

Mongo
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Stirring stuff

The tank stirring likely saved the Apollo 13 crew: the tanks needed regular stirs (else wouldn't have had stirrers fitted) but on a slower schedule. However the tank sensors were giving bogus readings so NASA had them do additional stirs in the hopes of getting sane readings. If the insulation sparking had occurred with the normal stirring schedule then the spacecraft would have been entering lunar orbit when the explosion occurred, meaning that it would need the service module's rocket engine to get them back to Earth. And that engine was damaged in the explosion...

So stir, Swigert, stir! :-)

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Tower of BT Bubbly: Fancy nibbling atop a strategic data hub?

Mongo
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Re: Is it safe or not?

I doubt it's really driven by terrorist fears now, since we trust scanning / surveillance to keep aeroplanes and Westminister safe. My guess is that it's partly a matter of convenience (not an enormous money spinner on BT's scale and keeping access routinely open may impede telecoms work, or just get in the way of senior staff jollies) and possibly also related to building codes, health-and-safety etc: sporadic limited invite-only noshes with guests signing a waiver may be allowed under conditions where a normal restaurant wouldn't be.

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Anakin Skywalker chased by cops, crashes podracer into tree

Mongo
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> you're supposed to use "Police Service", force sounds too aggressive

The 70s (or at least the Monty Python version) were a more manly time - the Papperbok had a recruitment form for the British Police with the section:

Tick force of interest:

[ ] London Metropolitan

[ ] Counties

[ ] Brute

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Are ALIENS hiding on Jupiter's Europa? Let's find out, cry NASA bods

Mongo
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The black monolith detector is already finished

If the lander comes suddenly hurtling back we've found one. Especially if it has a "No junk probes or other unsolicited mail" sticker attached.

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Heinz cockup sees Ketchup's QR codes spurt saucy sites

Mongo
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"You say toe-MAH-toe, I say toe-MAY..."

"...sweet-mother-of-mercy-he'll-never-fit-that-in-there"

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Airbnb beats actual posh hotel chain with stupidly large valuation

Mongo
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> civil servants ... to use sharing economy solutions to book accommodation and transport

And of course as part of the Leadership-with-a-capital-L that we hear so much of, the Cabinet & assorted senior wonkers will be leading this initiative from the front? Or is it yet another do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do endeavour, seemingly designed to eradicate any remaining goodwill among the rank & file?

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BOOM! Stephen Elop shuffled out of Microsoft door

Mongo
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Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

Truly I come to bury Elop, not to praise him!

(and it would take a veritable honey-tongued Mark Anthony to whip this here crowd into riotous indignation at the fall of Nokia's Caesar. Probably have better luck opening a backstabbing knife concession)

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Pirate Party founder: I wanna turn news into a series of three-line viral gobbets

Mongo
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Re: The Consumer.

There's a classic short story (Asimov?) where an entrepreneur notes that people don't really like paying attention to the news but they dislike even more feeling out of the loop. So he starts selling the ultimate Reader's Digest of news: all the stories of the day boiled down to a single nonsensical word by patented process: the happy consumer reads "pudquitch" at breakfast and goes about their day feeling informed.

(now I wish I could find it again - searching finds nothing but infinite blogspam on becoming a writer. Maybe some commentard blessed with functioning brain cells knows the story's name?)

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Apple no-pay-for-plays streaming risks indie boycott

Mongo
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It's actually an experiment in metaphysics

Some believe that a "spirit" survives the death of the body and can interact with the living, others hold that spirits exist but pass immediately from this world, still others reject all "ghost in the machinery"... So here's Apple running a large public test of whether the notorious Jobs' "reality distortion field" still functions all these years after his death - because surely it would take him & his RDF in person to get this shit sandwich swallowed.

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'It’s irrelevant whether Elon Musk is a dick or not. At least he’s trying to make things'

Mongo
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> Werner von Braun

Bravo! That's an apt and insightful comparison - it's all too easy to lose WvB behind the Lehrer ditty and Dr Strangelove but as you say he went beyond "mere" rocket science to be an astute exploiter of bureaucracies, a marketer of visions, and to patiently play decades-long games. Very much the exemplar of Shaw's "all progress depends upon the unreasonable man"

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Mongo
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People used to say Bill Gates was lucky with the DOS contract

And it's true that lots of things could have scuppered it (if Kindall had been in the office, etc) But as well as lucky he was smart, indefatigable, ruthless, and unswerving in his drive. Given his luck I'd have taken it approximately nowhere, and these characteristics seem evident in Musk too.

I'm glad we have such people around, I hope the systems of law and society can (mostly) keep them on the side of the angels, but I don't think I'd like to be one.

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Mongo
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You know who else he reminds me of??? HITLER!!

(I see your troll and raise you a Godwin)

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Network Services delayed AGAIN. Suppliers: Oh FFS

Mongo
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This has actually happened? Was there a choir of angels hosannahing away? (the on-time thing; the seat thing seems a lot less like a Biblical miracle)

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Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

Mongo
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"We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British government."

said Tom Harper. I do hope he said it with a knowing lascivious wink - a good old-fashioned tart can always do with some broad innuendo.

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US mega-hack: White House orders govt IT to do what it should have done in the first place

Mongo
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The other 17 hacker gangs now hate the 18th

They'd had easy access for years, now some new kids come in knocking things over and (finally) waking up the guard dogs. Probably take them weeks to get new access now!

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Mongo
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Re: Government needs a new department...

But how can we bootstrap the process? Because it's obvious that a Dept for the Obvious is needed, without that dept already in place no action can be taken!

We'll just have to trust to the cornerstone of modern US democracy: give an ungodly amount of money to lobbyists, lie back and think of the children.

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Activist shareholder Elliott spotted lurking on Citrix parade route with rain cannon

Mongo
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Is the headline writer auditioning for "Private Eye"?

The rich vein of coined euphemisms is in the league of "taking out an onion" - proceed with such foolishness forthwith! (especially in connection with topics that truly bring a tear to the eye)

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Confusion reigns as Bundestag malware clean-up staggers on

Mongo
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"any sensible organization..."

This isn't just a large organization, nor just a government organization: that alone would get you a Westminster-grade mess. It's also the Federal govt, so the familiar mess of political and departmental fiefdoms gets to interconnect with the equivalent of the state governments too - imagine the UK once Cornwall, Shropshire, etc have devolved... Naturally the usual practices of weather-cocking policies and back-scratching of big contractors occur too, and as with any govt spending money on defensive measures takes a back seat to crowd-pleasing.

Frankly the fact that we haven't heard of the UK state systems being ransacked like this suggests (a) they haven't noticed (b) they have but are better at covering up (c) not such a high-priority target (this time)

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Adobe to hire security auditor to prevent repeat of password SNAFU

Mongo
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Given that it's Adobe

I was pleasantly surprised that the passwords weren't stored in plaintext

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Glass door to the ancient past FOUND ON MARS

Mongo
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For the next kareoke evening, The B-52s "Rock Boffin"

We were all on Mars (Eww)

Everybody had matching helms (Eww)

Somebody went under the dome (Eww)

And there they saw a rock (Eww)

It wasn't a rock (Eww)

Was a rock boffin! (Eww)

Aaaah Rock boffin

Aaaah Rock boffin

Rock bof-fuh-fin!

Rock bof-fuh-fin!

(the pub will never know, or want to know, what hit it)

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Engaged to be worried – Verify borks married tax allowance applications

Mongo
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The problem with being re-elected...

...it makes it rather harder to blame shitty decisions on the previous administration. So (seeing as there's little hope of it working well enough any time soon) I'd like to volunteer MongoCorp as the official provider of scapegoat solutions. All the govt need do is appoint us to the project, pay our exorbitant fee, spend a week practising histrionic pulling of hair and rending of garments, then loudly discover that we've wrecked the otherwise excellent project.

Oh, please don't use "Verify" when processing the MongoCorp invoice: we're scapegoats, not sacrificial lambs...

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So why the hell didn't quantitative easing produce HUGE inflation?

Mongo
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>> Consumer prices DOUBLED during the last recession

"Citation needed", I feel: while some things that I was personally exposed to such as London housing and rail tickets certainly took some painful steps (a) I'm pretty sure it wasn't 100% and (b) those are selected items from one of the world's premier la-la lands (London), so I wouldn't dare generalize to the other 60 million green-and-pleasant-landers

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Microsoft spunks $500m to reinvent the wheel. Why?

Mongo
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Stealing from Douglas Adams...

There is a theory, that if anybody ever figures out what Microsoft's strategy is, it will instantly be replaced by something even more baffling.

There is another theory: that this has already happened

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NASA shock: Flying saucer predicted over Hawaii on Wednesday

Mongo
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LOHAN on steroids

Bigger balloon, bigger rocket - heck it's almost as if they have a bigger budget! (and they get a Hawaiian holiday out of it as well...)

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Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Mongo
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Quick! Microsoft is drowning - throw them a lifeline!

Only half-joking...remember how the security enhancements of Windows Vista worked out in practice? A security nag dialog every time you scratched your nose with two results: clicking "go ahead and do your worst" became muscle-memory AND everybody wanted a quieter OS. For some MS users that was iOS or Ubuntu, for many more it was eventually Win7 (greeted like the Second Coming simply for not sucking so hard)

Piss users off enough and they'll even buy a new machine. But in the browser space? A quick non-disruptive download away will be Chrome, IE, Opera even...all eager to import bookmarks and provide hand-holding for the migration.

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SpaceX’s anti-hacker tech powers UK launch of security startup

Mongo
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So in essence this is a proxy browser providing a "remote sandbox"?

Run on a separate machine and with more modest compatibility goals than a sandboxed desktop browser so probably a reduced attack surface so likely safer. But at core won't much of its present security be down to obscurity - e.g. If MS and Google both adopted it then it would face the level of attacks currently breaking their browser sandboxes all too often?

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Nokia declares war on data centres to win back telco customers

Mongo
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"act and think differently"

Nokia has always been good at both - that is acting differently to how they think and thinking differently to how they act. See also: three-legged race, pantomime pony

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Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane

Mongo
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Joke

Extrapolating wildly from my SETUP experiences

They were in a hurry and didn't spot the pre-checked "ASK toolbar" selection...

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Welp, PEAK GIF is upon us! Facebook now supports animated images

Mongo
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Let's animate a boot!

And raise a glass to Facebook's future success:

There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always -- do not forget this, Winston -- always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- for ever.'

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The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found

Mongo
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"The pig industry doesn't deliver a year's worth of bacon to every fridge"

But just imagine if they did! (he says, sadly eying the Great Bacon Void of the fridge)

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It's not over 'til Saturn's spongy moon sings: Cassini probe set for final Hyperion fly-by

Mongo
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Very shrewd!

If the photos don't feature domed cities and Person cars this can only be cast-iron proof that Hyperians [*] exist. And if the photos do have B.E.M.s galore then that's certain proof that NASA are covering up something yet more amazing. And so proceed ad infinitum...

[*] the cool ones who were into Earth probes before Cassini was launched are of course Hypsters

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Zuck-Up as Facebook Messenger app tracks you everywhere forever

Mongo
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Probably it's worded innocuously

Something like "this app wants to access your location" which is a far cry from "this app will spaff your location to everyone you have any contact with, even through contact groups, until you guess that some dinky little icon is actually a button that can be clicked to stop this"

Granted, the paranoid and/or previously scorched will fear the worst of any app, but there are still many who default to old-fashioned notions such as "I own the phone and it does what I tell it to", whereas the gentle readers of El Reg know that we have a revokable license to use the phone in accordance with the current version of a Bible-length EULA (available on a website, last updated at lunchtime)

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Yahoo! must! face! class-action! suit! over! email! snooping! – judge

Mongo
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Re: Boo-frikken-hoo

Now then, now then! Where will we be if majestic business plans are allowed to crumble into dust just because they don't work?

But happily once the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into effect then Yahoo! can try suing the state for undermining its "investment expectations", on the grounds that it is unreasonable that it shoulder the burden of complying with the ever-changing legal frameworks. And if that doesn't work it can try suing the entire US population since the phrasing "we, the people" surely creates joint and several liability for any acts that imperil Yahoo!s profitability.

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Win Phone to outgrow smartmobe market for next four years

Mongo
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Big Brother

Status: B.B. is loving his new Blackberry

Here's BB gaining another user:

‘They've got you too!’ he cried.

‘They got me a long time ago,’ said O'Brien with a mild, almost regretful irony. He stepped

aside. From behind him there emerged a broad-

chested guard with a long black truncheon in his

hand. ‘You know this, Winston,’ said O'Brien. ‘Don't deceive yourself. You did know it — you have

always known it.’

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VR rift OPENS UP: Total Recall Technologies hurls lawsuit at Facebook's Oculus

Mongo
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At last! The business use case for VR

You are gliding through an immense space filled with filing cabinets of legal documents. You gesture at one with your digi-glove and it opens, showing a seemingly infinite array of prior art. You reach out and

CRASH! OW! and in the real world you just hit a decidedly non-virtual brick wall

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GDS to handle Govt payments? What could possibly go wrong?

Mongo
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Time to update the acronym dictionary

We used to talk about an SPF (single point of failure) but in govt circles it's obviously now a GDS.

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Adult FriendFinder hack EXPOSES MEELLIONS of MEMBERS

Mongo
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Re: Oh no!

But when hanging them check periodically that the bonds are not too tight and that the mask (I any) doesn't hamper breathing.

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City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

Mongo
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Damned lies

A few years back I cashed in the residue of a UK ISA (remaining balance just £1.50 but local tax laws forced it to be closed). No longer being in Blighty it transpired this would be a serious posterial pain involving sending of certified passport copies to validate signatures, etc, but their helpful man on the phone explained I could skip all that simply by registering for their internet banking access, then login and transfer the investment funds to wherever I liked. So off I toddled and being in a hurry and not overly concerned about the risk that some miscreant steal my half-a-cup-of-coffee's worth I pasted "sasquatch" into all the security question prompts. Clickety-click, done, now to close the account... "Please phone our banking service team for this request"

"Hello Mr Mongo, I can see your account number but first I just have to ask you some security questions...what was your grandfather's occupation?"

"Sasquatch"

"That's fine ... now what was the name of your first school?"

"(nervous giggle) Sasquatch"

"Ahhh...and was your first pet's name?"

"Sasquatch, too. I mean too as in also, not two as in the number...I really didn't expect I'd be telling these to a person, it was just a nice word to say..."

He kindly overlooked my embarrassed tittering, didn't go all jobsworth about this horrific breach of security best practice, nor yet accuse me of lying to one of Her Majesty's civil servants for pecuniary advantage. And (in my defense) no amount of dumpster diving or Facebook scraping would have revealed my family's secret shame that grandpa used to roam the American woods in a monkey suit.

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Spotify smashing new media paradigms with something called ‘video’

Mongo
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You're a jogger after my own heart

"<gasp> no I'm not taking <pant> a rest, I'm just <puff> selecting the next track on <pant> the music player. Music is <gasp> to be savoured like fine wine, one selects <puff> it with care to fit the <pant> moment"

I'll gladly add this to my existing sneaky-breather techniques: oh-no-this-damned-shoelace-is-slipping-again and the evergreen what-an-intriguing-view-I-must-just-quickly-take-a-photo (well to YOU it may be just a stained concrete wall near a scary council block but to this connoisseur's eye it merits a moment's <puff> contemplation)

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After #Election2015: How can we save Big Data?

Mongo
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it's both :-(

Horribly prescient article about our stupid inane future

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Well YES, Silicon Valley VCs do think you're a CRETIN

Mongo
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Unfortunately Mr Worstall is out of his depth here

He often provides interesting insights into real-world finance and economic behavior but can't offer us much on the wisdom of crowd-cloud-meta-ponzimatics, trapped as he is in the old paradigm of profit-orientation.

Perhaps Steve Bong could explain how this quantum leap makes us all winners?

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Are we looking at the first domain name meme? Neigh

Mongo
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Tickled the cockles

of my heart to think of Google sploodging on .meme as part of synergising the zeitgeist (or other such marketirrhea), only to find the shits & giggles nomads have set up tent on a different lawn

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Russia will fork Sailfish OS to shut out pesky Western spooks

Mongo
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Same old hokey-cokey

You put the NSA in

You take the NSA out

You put the FSB in

And you're back under the knout

You do the "*we're* the good guys"

And start the secret courts

That's what the new state's about

Poor old Sailfish - started as Nokia's great hope, now bedrock for Finland's historic foe.

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Jay-Z freestyle attack on Tidal's rivals leaked to Tidal's rivals

Mongo
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I'm just a self-indulgent consumer

And I'm not especially fussed which bunch of megacorp bastards wins any particular market joust, providing that my life keeps getting better.

So if Jay-Z & co can explain simply and clearly what's specifically in it for *me* right now if I switch my entertainment bucks to Tidal instead of their competitors then they'd be a step closer to a sale. That's how salesmanship used to work: tell me how you'll fix *my* problem, not how I can fix yours.

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Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP

Mongo
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Re: Old news

How exactly is the MH370 investigation "hidden"? Interim report issued, status updates about sonar ships, etc, what more do you expect of an ongoing investigation - live-blogging and tweets about their choice of breakfast cereals? Several teams from several countries are working on a complex puzzle and often talking to insiders in confidence; of course they can't and won't just scratch our itch for updates.

And as for the aircraft manufacturers doing nothing, that's just a silly claim: if such a problem exists then it's the biggest liability and reputational timebomb for decades and they'd be moving heaven & earth to (quietly) fix it. Just look at the damage Boeing took from the 787 battery fires.

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