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* Posts by frank ly

3515 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft tries to sell home Office users on subscription pricing

frank ly
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Facepalm

Wait a minute

"...the ability to share Office documents between multiple devices and getting availability over the internet ..."

That's what file systems, removable storage, networks, cloud storage and, er ... the internet are for. Or so i thought.

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Google fills in the blanks on North Korea map data

frank ly
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They waited ....

... until Eric Schmidt had left North Korea before announcing this. Quite sensible really.

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Iran develops working ICBM: Intercontinental Ballistic Monkey

frank ly
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@Shaun

UNIT is part of the UN and the Doctor helped them out with some time travel.

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Google offers $3.14159 MILLION in prizes for hacking Chrome OS

frank ly
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Coat

$3.14159 million

You could buy a lot of pies with that amount of money.

(The one with 3.14159 old pie wrappers in the pocket)

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Pentagon plans massive surge in Cyber Command staff

frank ly
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I love the smell of mission creep in the morning

"US companies and those international companies that use American-hosted services won't be touched."

"There's no intent to have the military crawl inside industry or private networks and provide that type of security,"

(For now .....)

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Google reveals TAPE-TASTIC data centre in saucy vid

frank ly
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Re: Hmm...

"...there aren't really any custom robot arms or shelfing for a tape library, it's all bespoke."

You mean nobody has made a 'jukebox' type system for tape libraries? I'm surprised because it sounds as if it should be an established technique. How hard can it be?

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Helium: Can it prevent the onset of Shingles?

frank ly
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Re: Helium leakage...

There might be problems selling consumer devices with radioactive isotopes in them. Also, the disposal of the drives would be subject to various laws and be quite expensive. No more smashing them with a club hammer and chisel when you want cheap secure disposal.

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frank ly
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More explanation please

I don't see why using helium in a drive (in itself) enables more platters to be used. I suspect that the drag factor means that more platters can be used and not cause excessive drag leading to unacceptable drive power requirements. Has anyone got a clearer idea?

In itself, filling with helium should have no effect on the manufacturer's ability to pack platters in or what kind of recording they use. (If filled with air, there may be an effect due to oxygen reacting with the surface of a read head or disc surface, but I doubt it.)

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Chinese upstart smears Android's Ice Cream Sandwich over PCs

frank ly
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re. Bluestacks

"Running Android apps on Windows is nothing new. BlueStacks already does a reasonably good job of that ..."

I've had Bluestacks on my laptop since they started. It works, in a slightly clunky way, for some of my useful apps and is good for any Android app that needs lots of typing and reading/checking. Now I have an Asus Transformer (with keyboard dock and 10" screen) I don't bother with Bluestacks. I thought they ran the Android emulation on their own servers and my laptop acted as a remote terminal?

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Pop tix touts slung in the cooler for 4 years after £3m web scam

frank ly
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Purely as a matter of intellectual curiosity .....

How did these men get found out and caught?

International bank transfers, internet connections, VPNs, online trading identitiies ....... etc. What's to go wrong? I suspect they tried to enjoy the fruits of their scam in £-sterling in the UK, where the flow of money is very carefully monitored.

Many years ago, someone who worked at a high technical level in the UK banking industry 'jokingly' advised me to carry out serious monetary crime using US-dollars and gold; then to enjoy the proceeds outside the UK.

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YouTube and Netflix take on AirPlay, DIAL up the big-screen goodness

frank ly
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Sounds insurmountable

"...one is often required to have a glowing second screen in the room - which isn't ideal."

If only there was a way to control the brightness of a phone/tablet screen so that it was dark, while still putting out the video signal on its connector. A major development effort is needed.

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Brisbane online flood maps woefully inadequate

frank ly
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re. "...AND an excel list of streets expected to flood."

It seems to be a foolish assumption that people can be expected to have Excel and know how to use it.

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Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'

frank ly
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Re: Silver star and up/down votes

I'm thinking .... silver bullet...... for the weirdwolves.

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Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script

frank ly
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Comments from Chinese coders please?

Can any Chinese programmers/coders tell us about their early learning experiences of coding in English? Was it a confusing experience and did they wish they could use Chinese characters instead? Has a Chinese character coding tool been developed?

As others have already said, the words 'if', 'then', 'else', 'for', ...etc are symbols with a rigidly defined meaning and could be replaced by any other combination of symbols to make code that does exactly the same thing.

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Facebook DIES ON THE VINE hours after Twitter tie-in

frank ly
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" ...Mark Zuckerberg's free content ad network ..."

I think that should be 'content free ad network'

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Shiny, shiny! The window's behind me...

frank ly
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Headmaster

"...that’s the kind of nobend you are turning into."

I think you'll find that it's 'knobend'.

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Tiny tech ZigBee harnesses puny power of the press

frank ly
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Re: Car keys?

I'd have though that the 'expected distance' for car keys would be very small, e.g a few feet. Just squeeze the 'handle' of your car key and it generates enough power to send its ID to the car.

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Sympathetic Scots scoff-house offers hard-up Apple fanbois a discount

frank ly
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He makes Chilli Jam !

And he might give us the recipe one day..... Must keep watching his videos.

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Twitter adds loopy videos with Vine integration

frank ly
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I'd like to see .....

... a video of the average Twitter user attempting to make a compelling/interesting/useful six seconds video. What's that you say?.....It would take six seconds?

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Pope: Catholics, go forth and multiply... your Twitter followers

frank ly
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Re: They'd be better off...

I started to wonder about the brand of cigarettes called 'Douwe Egberts', then I realised that I'd confused 'Gold Blend' with 'Gold Flake'. I need a coffee and a cigarette.

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Oh, those crazy Frenchies: Facebook faces family photo tax in France

frank ly
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Re: I'm terrible sorry for the inconvenience - Just wondering ...

" ...nymphomaniac midget."

Where can I find pictures of her on the internet?

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Tech titans sell yesterday's idea wrapped in tomorrow's dream

frank ly
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Re: Cloud cloud cloud. - I like cloud.

Cloud cloud ........ cloud, wonderful Cloud. Cloud cloud ........ cloud, superlative Cloud. etc.

(You know the tune.)

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Dotcom's Mega smacks back: Our crypto's not crap

frank ly
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@Steve Re: dedupe

With 4KByte chunks of what is essentially random (encrypted) data, the probability of finding an identical chunk is even less than 1/2^(8*4000) in theory. This is vanishingly (and ridiculously) small. That can't be the technique that Mega uses.

(I realise that in practice, no chunk will be all zeros or all ones, etc; but it will still be a tiny probability.)

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Dead Steve Jobs' patent war threat to Palm over 'no-hire pact'

frank ly
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"no-poaching" agreements

I think that the use of the expression 'poaching' gives the impression that large companies regard their staff as farm or game animals. Oh, .....wait a minute.

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‘That’s not art’ says Apple as it pulls nudes from AppStore

frank ly
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I was shocked

I went to 500px, looking for harmless pictures of tits and was presented with a spread-legs picture with an offensive title. It's a dangerous internet out there.

http://500px.com/photo/8424098

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Google v Microsoft mobile war: Who's REALLY to blame?

frank ly
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@Rich 2 Re: IMAP IDLE?

Big fat 'yes' from me. K9 mail app on my Android is set for IMAP and PUSH on all my accounts and no polling. I get notification of an e-mail within seconds of it being received. How do I know? - I've tested it.

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Mobes, web filth 'PORNIFYING' our kids, warns top Labour MP

frank ly
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Thumb Up

@Lars G Re: She's probably right but

Your comment should be read aloud to every MP who 'moralises' in public.

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UK taxmen turn heat on tax-swerving big biz, hope to smoke out £1bn

frank ly
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Re: VAT = Turnover tax!!

"There is a growing claim by tax lawyers ..."

Slippery people put forward slimy arguments. This is to be expected and must be treated with the contempt it deserves. As you say, VAT is a sales tax, only paid by the final consumer (you and me) and is _collected_ by companies, on behalf of government.

"... financial businesses ... cannot reclaim VAT in the main."

That's because they provide services which are not only intangible and not immediately recognisable, but are also often imaginary and unbelievable (see recent history).

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Another new asteroid-mining firm: 'First commercial space fleet'

frank ly
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I have a business idea

"However, Deep Space Industries is promising an animated video that shows off not just its spacecraft but “a breakthrough process for manufacturing in space”.

The company also claims to be “pursuing an aggressive schedule” for its mining ventures."

I'm working on an animated video of my planned business venture and I'm pursuing an aggressive schedule. If you want to be a pre-IPO investor, you get the right to name certain characters in the video. Send me your e-mail address to get details and a share application form.

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Kim Dotcom's locker may be full, but the cupboard is bare

frank ly
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"So I haven't come to mock the rotund self-promoter, ...."

You just did. I don't think that making points about a person's weight or body shape is helpful to any serious discussion about their business activities.

(In case anybody is wondering, my BMI is 22, so it's not me being sensitive about it.)

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Martian 'lake' said to hint at 'deep biosphere'

frank ly
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@Moonshine Re: Meh?

He's an engineer!!

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frank ly
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"...groundwater-fed lacustrine setting”

I initially read that as 'langoustine' and was quite excited for about a second. Then I used a dictionary.

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WTF is... Weightless?

frank ly
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Re: Doomed from the start

The reason you know this is that your credit card has been talking to your cooker, which is now logged in to premium utensil porn.

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AT&T 'violates net neutrality' by NOT charging twice for same data

frank ly
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But, but, but

They are not 'discrminating' on the basis of the data (it's type, original source, etc), they are discriminating in favour of their own customers, to avoid annoying their own customers. This sounds reasonable and sensible.

If the Postal Service had to use a private (different) courier over part of their distribution network, would they charge their customers extra for that delivery? - no. If the customer had delivery to a PO box and then tasked a private courier to forward it to their home, would they have to pay extra to the private courier?- yes.

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Forget bonking, now mobes can buy stuff using pay-by-SQUEAK

frank ly
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I may be wrong here but .....

"Using the microphone and speaker, the two devices beep to each other until the transfer has been authenticated."

The payment processing fee is 0.69%

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Oz library finds Lance Armstrong books a new home: The fiction section

frank ly
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Re: WTF??

In some libraries, the books classify themselves; and you'd better not disagree with them.

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China turns to no-name handsets: Android - without the Google-iness

frank ly
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Can anyone tell us .....

What form of open source license did Google release Android under? Will Microsoft be going after the Chinese manufacturers in the same way as it has with the big name ones for patent fees per unit sold? Does Amazon also pay patent fees to Microsoft?

Given that a smartphone is a consumer device, then even if the license has conditions requiring release of source code during 'redistribution', this will not apply to any Android adaptations or forks that are used, since they are 'black box' implementations. This also means that anyone is free to copy Amazon's Kindle code and make their own clone (I think).

I also have a feeling that Google wouldn't be too bothered since any entrenchment of Android or it's derivatives would tend to reduce sales of iPhone and Microsoft offerings.

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Engineers are cold and dead inside, research shows

frank ly
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Medical researcher finds that medical people are wonderful!

What a surprising result.

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Google pulls 'racist' Make Me Asian app

frank ly
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Facepalm

@AC 06:59 Re: "...other racist apps, such as a Nazi app..."

No. _OTHER PEOPLE_ would be using it on _THEIR_ photos ....... they'd be making themselves look like me .......

I have to explain jokes now .....

FFS

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frank ly
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"...other racist apps, such as a Nazi app..."

Apparently, the 'Nazi' apps were actually promoting Nazi ideas of racial supremacy (and anti-Jewish sentiment), and were not 'make me Nazi' apps. I'm not sure how the objectors can conflate the 'Make me ..' apps with outright racist propaganda.

Is there a 'Make me English' app, that gives a pasty white complexion with crooked yellowing teeth, a permanent frown and a bowler hat? If so, I'd be very offended by the use of my image in that way.

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Global mercury ban to hit electronics, plastics, power prices

frank ly
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"Mercury-rich devices like thermometers and blood pressure meters..."

It's many years since I saw a mercury column blood pressure meter in use. Are they still used much, since the battery powered, electronic pumped-cuff ones are so cheap nowadays? (I paid £15 online for mine and it seems to work just fine.)

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NASA sends Mona Lisa into space by LASER

frank ly
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More detail on the error budget?

"Reed-Solomon coding was used to overcome interference caused by atmospheric turbulence."

Of the total errors, what proportion were caused by atmospheric turbulence? I'm wondering how well this method would perform if the laser communication was through the 'vacuum' of space over the entire path. Also, I assume that modifying a ranging laser is not the most effective way to give high speed data transmission.

In the future, I can imagine a high orbit laser being used for the 'space' part of the link with a broadband radio downlink to earth. The narrow beam spread of a laser would give much better energy density on the target but would make steering and pointing more difficult.

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TSA to pull backscatter perv scanners from US airports

frank ly
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Try a new recruitment strategy

"It seems that when TSA screeners are shown finely rendered images of air passengers' nude bodies, rather than simple outlines, they tend to linger on each image, which slows the lines down."

If they recruited scanner operators who have been active members of a nudist/naturist club for at least a year, or perhaps retired porn actors/actresses, then the operators wouldn't be fascinated by the sight of naked bodies.

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US general: Beware of Iran's Revolutionary Cyber-Guard

frank ly
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Sow the wind ....

... you know the rest.

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Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition

frank ly
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Just provide a reliable basic service

"... inevitably out-innovate and reduce operators to the status of bit pipes."

The gas company don't try to sell me saucepans and food to cook. The water company don't try to sell me bottles of flavoured mineral water; they concentrate on providing a reliable basic service. For at least 10 years, ISPs and telcos have wasted money trying to be something they are not. They should pump my data through their pipes and work at doing it well and effectively, so they can make a profit and be content with that.

Tesco Mobile (using the O2 network) provide me with 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of data for £10 a month on a 1 month rolling contract. If I could find anyone who did it cheaper with a good signal in my area, I'd change to them very quickly.

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Google sinks millions into plush new £1bn London HQ

frank ly
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" ...an office in France with its entrance in Switzerland."

I have an idea for a whacky science-fiction story; suitable for children's television. The stationary cupboard is in Basildon, but that can change at random.

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Use your loaf, Europe! Eat more fibre - high-speed web lobbyists

frank ly
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@AC 10:20 Re: @AC 09:14 An unfashionable idea ......

1: I'm not answering the point because I'm asking the question. You say it's too expensive and we can't afford it. (Note: I don't play computer games and consume about 15GB a month. Don't try ad hominem stuff unless you're sure of the facts.) Others say it's vital for our future and will pay for itself in terms of increased productivity and economic activity in the future.

2. You might be right.

3. Another reason why 'it can't be done'. Oh well, I'll stick with 10MB/s down, 1MB/s up for the foreseeable future. I'm fine with what I have.

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frank ly
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@AC 09:14 Re: An unfashionable idea ......

You raise good points and I did make the comment hoping for discussion.

Point1: Who paid for the roads, the national grid, the NHS, etc?

Point 2: They could and they might. That would be for planning and discussion and El Reg would do it's usual job of keeping us informed (or inPhormed) I'm sure.

Point 3: Disregarding my tongue in cheek final comment, would it matter who built it?

"Why not simply create an environment ......."

Why not indeed? Why isn't it happening? How the heck did this country ever get a national motorway network, A-road system, national electricity grid, gas grid, water network, sewage treatment system, NHS infrastructure, etc? I am beginning to wonder.

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frank ly
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An unfashionable idea ......

If it is vital to the economy and an essential regional/national infrastructure, like roads, then why don't the government plan/make/fund it, like they do with roads? They could then hire it out to ISPs, and if it was worthwhile then a consortium of ISPs may even be willing to buy the completed project from the government.

One caveat: In the UK, BT would not be allowed to bid for the initial laying of this national fibre network.

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Record numbers of you are reading this headline right now

frank ly
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Well done!

"Our fellow sci/tech websites seldom allow any external scrutiny of their traffic, ..."

If they've nothing to hide then they've nothing to fear!

I'm sorry; I've been reading the Daily Mail (I found it on a train).

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