* Posts by Mongo

404 posts • joined 26 Apr 2009

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Purple glistening plasma, you say? Orion plummets back to Earth

Mongo
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Re: New NASA development for you.

God forbid that "Harry the Bastard" should ever complain about a video nasty...

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Staples comes clean: 1+ million bank cards at risk after hack

Mongo
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Re: It's all about the money, ya stupid git!

Plus their dreadful habit of seemingly keeping all the customers' details in the db forever, because it could be useful for CRM or marketing or leaking or something. Shades of the Gary Larson cartoon of people in a rubber liferaft hauling a box aboard while remarking "We may as well keep it, though I don't know what use we'll have for broken glass and sharp bits of wire"

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Mongo
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Sub-head superhero is on fire tonight!

One hit after another - I wish the eggnog made me so witty :-)

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Misfortune Cookie crumbles router security: '12 MILLION+' in hijack risk

Mongo
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Re: Safe, I think

Or perhaps it's just YOU who doesn't see them on the list, your rooted router having done a little sanitising of the PDF en route :-)

[it does feel a little ironic that I'm using a device I suspect to check whether I should suspect it...]

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Crossbar says it's 'one step' from delivering miracle RRAM

Mongo
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Re: "Crossbar RRAM is targeting 100,000 write cycles"

Yep, that suggests that the byte-addressability will come with a mapping layer for wear balancing, just like flash, all so that "for i=1 to 100000" doesn't melt an "i"-shaped hole. Wonder if that will steal some performance (power & time)?

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Rosetta beams back colour pics: 67P shades of grey are SO HOT right now

Mongo
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Re: Water???? Ice????

Actually it looks a lot like a snowfield with a dusting of volcanic ash does - there too the top layer stays dirty as it melts, the dark grit "floating" on the ice because as the sun heats the rock it melts the snow beneath. On Earth the meltwater trickles down, on a comet it sublimes, but the result is an ever-dirtier snowball.

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Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Mongo
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Re: bah

ooooooooo! Nice troll!

I shall steal this for the next OS war hereabouts; any operating system being mere hand-holding for duhvelopers who code with the lights on in case the naked hardware calls them names...

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Apple lawyers fight to silence dead Steve Jobs: 'No right' to hear him from beyond the grave

Mongo
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Don't get distracted by their deliberate mistakes!

The real devilry afoot here is that the World Govt gets to perpetrate the biggest lie of all, that New York is some kind of city, and not just the studio backlot used because filming in actual Gotham is so expensive these days. Never wondered why New York "city" is named after the state? Sloppy scripting by the Illuminati, my friend!

We can argue all day about planes, missiles, demolition charges but do know that while we worry about the set dressing the puppet-masters laugh!

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Mongo
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Re: Blowin' in the wind

I don't like sand molecules. They're coarse and rough and irritating and they get everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is porous hydrocarbon slurries.

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Mongo
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Dead!? Why, no...

...just waiting.

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Linux software nasty slithers out of online watering holes

Mongo
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> hardened against reverse-engineering through the use of stripped symbol information

"That's it, man. Game over, man! Game over!"

-- Anti-virus engineer Hudson

If the terrorists have got access to our secret "strip" technology then our worst fears are realised and they may be on the cusp of compiling with "-g0 -O3"...

(I know AV firms like to spice things up but that's a bit ripe. C'mon El Reg, peck back at them a bit and find the real meat behind the scare quotes)

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Misty-eyed Ray Ozzie celebrates 25th birthday of Lotus Notes by tweeting about it ...

Mongo
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> impressive corporate workflow systems

This is perfectly true - Symbian had a number of much-used discussion databases, the best of which amounted to a brain dump from some rather choice brains - when stuck at an airport there was no better reading than an offline replica of "Programming" or "Design". And each was tailored to need: some were purely for announcements without replies, some had threaded discussions, etc. It even got used for defect tracking, though the appalling search and execution delays suggested that this was better done by a dedicated system.

But that very flexibility demonstrated some of the weaknesses - it's all up the designer. Everything. So what features are exposed (and how) was quirky - some had separate buttons for "reply to post" and "reply to reply" (of course with lots of misplaced orphans hanging from the root), some had quirky ways of backing out ("NO! Don't press <Esc>, that's non-confirming irrevocable cancel entire posting!"), what shortcut keys are provided, it all depended on the database. So the "consistent look and feel" fell apart and even after years of use the muscle memory would misfire. In fact the only truly consistent bits were those most hated: CTRL-N always meant "create a new database" (not that plebs even have rights to do this) rather than "create a new document appropriate to my current context" (like an email), F5 means not "refresh view" (necessary since that wasn't automated) but "lock screen and make me enter my password again".

Of course this was a local failing: with better discipline consistent styles would have been developed and applied. But great designs find ways to guide the users into good decisions without removing their freedom and Notes seemingly didn't manage this. And even today in release 9 (2013) fundamentally poor UI persists, such as the lack of edit redo: it's great that finally multi-level undo exists (for text edits anyway, many more complex actions can't be undone) but undo too far and you can't redo: somehow in the move to an Eclipse framework IBM still managed to bring its custom, user-expectation-breaking, controls. As other commentators here have noted it wouldn't be surprising to learn that almost all their business is upgrades and license packs rather than greenfield site sales, which is sadly perverse of IBM: given the strengths of the core idea and the shallowness of many of the paper-cuts they could have been more than an industry joke.

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

Mongo
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Re: Good, good

Well in this case it was probably straightforward: pics posted on Facebook, cops get FB to cough up IP address etc, cops go to ISP and get subscriber info, etc. All quite routine unless the perpetrator is fairly careful, and the intersection of "prepared to take the time to research and execute a crime with technology" and "jilted bloke" is probably small: the "revenge is a dish best served cold" saying is memorable because it's exactly what is rarely done.

But yep, evidence can be faked, computer or real world, and we have to hope that police professionalism coupled with an adversorial justice system detects and punishes fakery enough to keep it rare.

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Orion: To Mars, the Moon and beyond... but first, a TEST FLIGHT through Van Allen belt

Mongo
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Mk II Chocolate Teapot

Now twice as chocolatey for the same high price!

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New 'Internet Security Council' struggling to get off the ground

Mongo
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Since it lets a bunch of wannabe puppet-masters unambiguously out themselves and creates a tarpit to house them indefinitely: if everyone else quietly agrees to disregard them then it's a happy ending

(providing a wary eye is kept on their lobbying of govt; wouldn't want them "educating" the likes of Theresa May)

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Mozilla remembers 2013. Y'know, back when it still gobbled at the Google money-trough

Mongo
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3D graphs belong in PowerPoint

specifically in presentations on dodgy timeshares, complete with animated dissolves and clipart, where it doesn't matter so much that it destroys the proportionality of the areas, i.e. the very thing that you're trying to communicate.

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Internet Society slams online 'UN Security Council' plan, snubs permanent seat offer

Mongo
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...must be done!

They're misapplying the evergreen "Yes, Minister" joke:

1. Something must be done

2. This is something

3. Therefore we will do it

Because in this case nobody (besides them) seems to believe in even the first step.

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

Mongo
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Had it done just right one time

Xmas eve at Stansted, heavy fog choking flights across Europe, terminal choked with despondent milling wannabe passengers while the Easyjet and Ryanair announcers took it in turns to deliver more bad news. He opted for the standard corporate arse-asbestos passive voice pablum "apologise for any inconvenience...", she shot straight with "Ryanair apologises for the obvious disruption this causes you".

And that rescued Xmas, because if even when tired and trapped in a sweaty crowd you can find some love for Ryanair then surely "It's A Wonderful Life"

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Japanese boffins build rounders-playing ROBOT SCHOOLGIRL

Mongo
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This clip from "The Untouchables" suggests a more RotM use for such skills

<a href="m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy3MtznDeqg>m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy3MtznDeqg</a>

Of course the Japanese schoolgirlbot will swing even harder while simultaneously making a deferential giggle and blushing

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BOING, BOING! Philae BOUNCED TWICE on Comet 67P

Mongo
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Escape velocity of 1m/s - tilt head up when nose tickles...

By schoolboy maths if I let an apple roll off my head it would take 60 seconds to reach the ground (though with so little gravity it probably wouldn't even roll; hardly any friction). A truly weird place - and striking how it looks exactly like the proverbial "dirty snowball"

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

Mongo
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Marketing did use the web!

It's probably the first time in months most of the world was reminded that GroupOn exists - and it didn't cost them a thing! [*] Now they can boast of increasing their reach into the prized geek demographic by up to one billion per-cent.

[*] our respect?? that horse is long gone! self-respect?? c'mon, we're talking about a Marketing Dept!

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Don't assume public trusts you, MI5. 'Make a case' for surveillance – Former security chief

Mongo
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Trust and fear

I do have a degree of trust in our security establishment, but it comes with a measure of fear since they have substantial power to make my life worse and generally there seems to be little I can do to appeal against their actions; it will be swept under some Kafkaesque carpet. While ISIS on the other hand are unmitigated bastards their direct ability to affect me is smaller and crucially outside the law: should they attack then this will probably result in some kind of consequences for them.

Now I know that the security establishment will say it's precisely because of them that ISIS lack that ability to affect me, and there's surely some truth in that. But I'd trust that statement (and more from them) if they stopped giving the impression that they regard truth and oversight not even as necessary evils but quite dispensable whenever it could reduce their freedom to operate.

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First space Hasselblad goes under the hammer

Mongo
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Re: Coincidence

It's a shame that Tom Wolfe didn't complete his original project of writing about the entire US space program up to the space shuttle. Granted, this would probably have meant that he didn't get diverted into test pilot anthropology and it wouldn't have been half as good, but in my dreams what we have is just "The Right Stuff volume 1 of 3"

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Mongo
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The problem is that the sun is very very bright

And you are not...

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Mongo
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Re: But why.....?

NASA pensions weren't inflation indexed so now that "Life" magazine is defunct 3/4 of his income comes from selling knock-off Rolexes at markets. He has another dozen inside the jacket

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Mongo
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Re: from the 3rd photo

Quite right - not just the moon landings but in fact all space travel is faked. It is of course quite impossible to penetrate the crystal dome that our flat land is nestled beneath, within the encircling sea. The only remaining puzzle is why the Govt of our land goes to such extraordinary lengths to maintain the fiction of other countries existing.

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Banksy denies Banksy impostor's claim to Banksy.com – which isn't owned by Banksy

Mongo
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So he's not an artist because he just sprays over stencils?

I wonder where he gets the stencils from though? They're rather good, and my local Woolworths doesn't seem to carry them...

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Mongo
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Re: Impressed

The naysayers do have some point - a few years back there was a Banksy hypegasm which gave the air that all of his utterances come inscribed on stones from Mt Sinai. Overly reverential handling does no favour to an artist, the lightest squib gets scrutinised for deep wisdom, like the mob following Brian of Nazareth.

But it seems likely that he'd agree with much of the criticism - his sort-of-documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop" takes the piss out of the art business, including graffiti. And it's enthralling and funny to boot.

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Mongo
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Re: FUCKIN VANDAL

I once saw a plonker yelling at some kids who were drawing with chalk on the footpath outside their house. I'd like to think that was you also, as opposed to having to suspect the existence of many more dour-faced killjoys.

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NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM

Mongo
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The Apollo sites are designated national monuments

And for additional protection they fly US flags.

(real answer: probably ok since the several fresh impacts in the LADEE case are across a few km, so a bullseye on a few square metres is fairly unlikely)

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UK.gov rushes out broken 'Orphan Works' system as EU Directive comes in

Mongo
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I'm sure the P.M. will give it his full attention

...the moment he can get a breath in past this "Dave" chap ranting about EU directives being rammed through in bad faith without due notice and consultation...

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'It's NOT a fishing expedition', say police over random spot checks on gun owners

Mongo
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Thought experiment

Can you imagine a proposal for extending policing powers ever being resisted by the police themselves? That someone senior might say "narp, that's really overreach, that's going to damage our relationship with the public we serve"?

Me either - I trust ACPO's perspective on "fair and reasonable balance" just as much as I trust any union lobbying, such as Bob Crow deciding on my commute through London. They all have valid points but are devoted to their self-service and must be read as such.

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Something ate Google's 8.8.8.8 at about eight in Asia's evening

Mongo
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Re: There's nothing wrong with using 8.8.8.8 for DNS...

Thanks! - actual user testimonials are always more interesting than the sort of "I ran it for half an hour and it didn't crash and I think maybe my drive is happier now" reviews I've seen. So the rescuing being done was the recovery of the contents of bad sectors and mapping them out? Or the more mysterious "refresh the magnetic disk surfaces to allow them to operate more reliably" (which I guess may mean systemically re-writing the disk contents in the hope of countering bit-rot?)

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Mongo
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Re: There's nothing wrong with using 8.8.8.8 for DNS...

Gibson's clearly bright enough so it's a real shame that so much of what he writes is laced with puffery and snake-oil. Those "nanoprobes" are still there too: https://www.grc.com/np/np.htm, still a page of unbelievable claims with the coy mention of the cooperating client left to the end.

Have you got a link for a detailed writeup of SpinRite? I only ever saw uselessly shallow "reviews" of it

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Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES

Mongo
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Worst of all only the black-hats will make it work

You just know that with so many big industry stakeholders trying to get some unswervable IP in the pie it'll turn into a clusterfuck of almost-connected things. Think of MMS and DLNA: all those lovely use cases collapsing at system boundaries where one device mutely refuses to access another and the best advice is to avoid heterogeneous configurations, just go and buy new kit from the same maker and try to get the same version software on it...

Whereas by wednesday arvo the black-hats will melt your ice-cream with the heat of your fridge mining bitcoins and have custom firmware on your internal router. Which as it's a Belkin could even be a good thing!

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Mongo
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unfortunately this is the likely bit of Tuttle for us:

Sam Lowry: I only know you got the wrong man.

Jack Lint: Information Transit got the wrong man. I got the right man. The 'wrong man' was delivered to me as the 'right man.' I accepted him on good faith as the 'right man.' Was I wrong?

Sam Lowry: You killed Buttle?

Jack Lint: Sam, there are very rigid parameters laid down to prevent such things happening. It wasn't my fault that Buttle's

heart condition didn't appear on Tuttle's file...

(to his young daughter) We're going to have to bring Mr. Tuttle in,

aren't we? And interrogate him at the same

voltage as Mr. Buttle - and juggle the books in electrical banking.

Sam Lowry: What has Tuttle done?

Jack Lint: We suspect him of, uh, free lance subversion. Then all I need to wrap up the

case is the Layton woman.

Sam Lowry: What has she done?

Jack Lint: Oh, she witnessed the Tuttle, uhm, the Buttle arrest and essentially is going

around making wild allegations, obviously

trying to exploit the situation. She's working

for someone and I don't think it's us.

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Put down that shotgun: Wi-Fi's the way to beat Zombies

Mongo
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regular 15 minute spikes for email checking

Not if it's tethered to my laptop - lucky to get 15 seconds of quiet between checks for updates, attempts to reconnect some stale network share that probably fell with the Roman Empire, some web page reloading an advert, something somewhere forcing a browser election, some media player fishing for DLNA so that it can blurt incompatibly...my zombie detection algorithm is to look for the ones not aghast at the frittering away of their data allowance (might accidentally whack a few flash city gents this way but I can live with that)

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Economics prof denies digital pirates plundered €20bn from EU coffers

Mongo
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Re: Even their marketing shit is dumb

That's their claim, not D.A.M's. Maybe try it with highlights?

"Without piracy, the value added and employment levels in the creative industries would have evolved in the same way, and at the same level, as the overall economy, claimed BASCAP."

So D.A.M. is advancing the scurrilous notion that for the past few years boasting that your operation is performing every bit as well as the UK economy is akin to saying "it's pretty fucked". Though of course their fantasy figures do claim that their sector is even more fucked, but lumping in "wired telecommunications" with the music makers does seem rather like over-egging the pudding (indeed it's probably piracy that gives the impetus for upgrading telecoms - won't those selfish musos stop and think of the hard-working "creatives" in the cable trench beside Abbey Rd?)

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Mongo
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> Where does it go to?

For fiscal year 2014 it's a 60:40 split between terrorists and paedophiles, although of course that's before they remit the standard 2% to the Illuminati.

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DOCTOR HELL and his henchmen score Nobel for the NANO-SCOPE

Mongo
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Nice to see some quick recognition

Sometimes the prize goes to work that has stood the test of time: wait 40 years and see if that really was ground-breaking work or just an interesting blind alley. But in a case like this I guess the assessment is easier: "twitchy nose...whiskers...yep, those magicians have pulled out a rabbit"

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Mongo
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Re: So, to Hell with the Nobel prize!

But be sure to drink a helles Bier

(nominative determinism kicks in again: "hell" being "light" as an adjective. So an IPA would suit :-) )

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No, Big Data firm, the UK isn't teeming with UBER-FRISKY GIGOLOS

Mongo
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Perhaps that legion of blokes offering aren't meeting with quite the level of success as the sheilas? Certainly I could try offering my special services for £50 a pop but I suspect my first prospective customer would say that's about £100 too much...

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IRONY ALERT: Former MI6 chief warns of 'mass snooping' - by PAEDOS

Mongo
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Unlikely scenario: John Q Nonce thinks "She's hot! I'm going to write me a Facebook to find out where she is!"

More common scenario: Robert Policeman thinks "She's hot! I'm going to look up her vehicle registration and personal records!"

(but it's Ok, because we're very good at weeding out bad apples and never mislead the public)

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That PERSONAL DATA you give away for free to Facebook 'n' pals? It's worth at least £140

Mongo
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"Beverly Hills 90210" was the best show ever!

because it means that I know a valid US zip code for filling in my "personal" details.

My occupation, you ask? "Accountant" - presuming your drop-down list is alphabetically sorted...

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Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’

Mongo
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Re: Firstly

You're right that if this is proves to be a productive an investment then it's cheap as chips. However the problem I have with it is that it's not clear (at least from this article) how that success will be monitored and how failure might be addressed (and from Andrew's earlier articles on this sort of innovation funding, Lily Cole et al, I don't expect there really is such feedback - instead it's "meaningful engagement with 10,000 innovators and SMEs", which Humphrey Appleby will smoothly explain can be met by a mailshot inviting them round for coffee). And without any feedback then spending can steadily ramp up - if coffee in a nice room is synergistic then how about some snacks? rent one of Google's chefs? someone to do the shopping for the innovators so they're not distracted? hookers & champagne? More than one company has wandered down this slope of escalating perks, but as private concerns they're answerable to their owners and shareholders. This is the State (and one allegedly wedded to austerity), so it should be laying out the rationale for this investment in such terms that a steely-eyed investor would advance the money with a clear conscience.

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Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

Mongo
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"80% of our laws come from Europe" [citation needed]

Unlike most of your remarks this at least seems sourceable, and a quick search turns up:

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP10-62.pdf

The former Commission President, Jacques Delors, predicted in July 1988 that within ten years 80% of economic legislation, and perhaps also fiscal and social legislation, would be of EC/EU origin.

Using statistics from national law databases and the EU’s EUR-Lex database, it is possible to estimate the proportion of national laws based on EU laws. In the UK data from these sources provided estimates that suggest that over the twelve-year period from 1997 to 2009 6.8% of primary legislation (Statutes) and 14.1% of secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) had a role in implementing EU obligations, although the degree of involvement varied from passing reference to explicit implementation. Sectoral studies suggest that the agriculture forms the highest area of EU influence and defence the lowest. The British Government estimates that around 50% of UK legislation with a significant economic impact originates from EU legislation.

So perhaps that 80% figure is a stale prediction from a Eurocrat's wet-dream?

But even if four-fifths of all law was being rubber-stamped by anti-democratic puppets in thrall to THEM it's pretty clear that the home-grown 20% is where the really pernicious and vile stuff lies.

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Mongo
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Re: It's the British government that overrules the British courts

Thank you for linking that! The whole posting there is also short and well worth reading - as well as prompting us to ask precisely which of the rights we would choose to discard there's this trenchant description of the fundamental purpose of such law:

Fourth, it is important to note that the whole purpose of human rights law is, from time to time, to frustrate governments and others with power.

Human rights law which allows politicians to do what they would have done anyway is not meaningfully human rights law at all.

Of course, government do not like human rights law – they also dislike legal aid and judicial review – as it empowers the individual to stand up to the State.

So the protests of senior politicians (of all parties) about human rights law should never be taken at face value.

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Labour outsources digital policy, Tories turn up to finish it

Mongo
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"Factory" is all too correct

Don't like the current installed set? Our apologies! - we'll press the big green button and churn out a few hundred identikit replacements.

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BlackBerry slowly pulls out of power dive into toilet

Mongo
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Re: Bravo!

Remember those good old days, when El Reg's standard reference was to "Lawsuits in Motion"? Back when the industry trembled when they took a step, as opposed to at the impact of them falling over...

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Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished

Mongo
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Take a closer look at that TrustSec proof-of-concept:

https://www.trustedsec.com/september-2014/shellshock-dhcp-rce-proof-concept/

That's an evil DHCP server sending shell script to the client, which will get executed under root (if the dhcpclient is configured to use bash at all)

So may be a rather bigger attack surface than just "LOL! Lame CGI!" - what other services have helpful extensions like this?

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