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* Posts by frank ly

3393 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

China switches on 'BDS' civilian nav-sat rival to GPS

frank ly
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Re: "who reserve the option of denying GPS service, though this has never actually happened."

There were also rumours that the GPS signals over the gulf were gradually skewed at certain times to lead enemy convoys off track. Rumours ...... often interesting and inventive?

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Major new science: WOMEN MORE NUDE more OFTEN online

frank ly
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@Tom 13 Re: Who'd have guessed

"...toss off an innuendo or three ..."

I saw what you did there :)

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frank ly
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Re: Goodness gracious - " ... the tanned hides of five mice ..."

Softcore eh? I read comics where they use the hides of three small mice.

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Apple supremo Tim Cook's pay packet SLASHED 99% in 2012

frank ly
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Re: all that dosh!

Yachts, big ones, expensive ones; but not beautiful ones I suspect.

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frank ly
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@NumptyScrub re.

"Unless there is an infinite source of money, a value increase in share price should consequently de-value something else, surely? "

In which case, we'd be stuck in the Victorian age (or earlier) as far as share valuations and total wealth was concerned. Don't ask me to explain it, I'm just observing and commenting here. An economist will be along in a minute.

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Chill out, biz barons... your new IT system might not look like the old one

frank ly
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Examples are often useful

"The state set 12,310 specific requirements for deliverers of the contract but realised, after awarding the contract to a single supplier, that some of the work it specified did not need done, the report said."

Is it possible to give an example of one, or more, of these unnecessary requirements? Have they been classified and grouped according to severity/silliness. What percentage of the total number of examples do they represent. Where did these requirements come from, in terms of who wanted them? Such examples would be useful and interesting.

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Steve Jobs' Apple yacht freed after family settles the bill

frank ly
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If I were a rich man ...

If I had as much money as the techno-plutocrats, I'd have a replica of a tea clipper (or similar) built. It would be a thing of beauty and serious sailing people would beg for the chance to be crew members.

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CSIRO mine safety tech becomes archaeological tool

frank ly
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Bouncy

I assume the sprung suspension is to reduce shocks and sudden movements that might affect the accuracy of the inertial positioning system. Does anyone know if it uses a ring laser gyro, or something else?

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Amazon outage whacked Netflix US customers on Christmas Eve

frank ly
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Re: Outsourcing

"If that single source is also a competitor, ..."

That is a very scary thought. Who would let themselves get into that situation?

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Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

frank ly
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@Thomas 4 Re: Left out...

Z-cars was a police drama series, using real actors (and real cars). It's funny how things melt and run together with the passage of time :)

I remember watching it in black and white, 405 lines. Ah, when I were a lad .........

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Trust the cloud with my PRECIOUS? You gotta be joking

frank ly
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Take care of your own data - and use redundancy

I used to store my 'media' files on a 500GB NAS drive with a 500GB USB drive as backup copy. Now, I use a 1TB NAS drive with those 2x500GB drives rigged as a USB backup (USB hard drive adaptors are cheap and easy).

This has lasted me for 3 years. Soon, I'll buy a 2GB drive for the NAS box and get another 1TB drive to give me 2x1TB for backup copy, an arrangement that should last for a few more years.

What I really should do now is ask family/friends to keep the backup copies for me, in case of domestic accident or disaster. Storing large amounts of your own data is easy if you think about it and expand your capacity over time.

For 'working' files, I use Dropbox and Sugarsync and GoogleDrive, all having identical copies of zipped up versions of my folders (if i remember to update them after file changes). It's all easy to do, you just need some planning and some regular maintenance effort.

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Boffins build elastic wires with liquid metal

frank ly
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Re: Plastic/Elastic - Fantastic

This is why a dictionary is so useful. (Wikipedia too, if you really want to.) :)

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8086 and All That. Revisited

frank ly
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Happy

Through a glass, darkly

And she dances! Thank you Verity.

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Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

frank ly
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@ pollock

Can you give links to other online publications where 'OffBeatMammal' has made similar posts, in a manner that indicates 'shill' behaviour?

Also, I agree with him about ease of use aspects of Linux. (It may have got better since the last time I tried it, four years ago.)

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Senator pushes data cap and ISP monitoring legislation

frank ly
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re. "Can care less ..."

So, you do care at least a little bit. How much do you care?

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Facebook tests feature to let strangers pay to message you

frank ly
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I wonder what it feels like to be pimped out by Zuckerberg

Just wondering. I'll never walk that particular street.

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'Shake to charge', similar crapps foul up Amazon Android store

frank ly
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In the Google Play store ....

... try finding a good looking analogue clock that _doesn't_ require internet access, or even access to your phone state and more. (The ICS clock requires no permissions but isn't what I'd call 'attractive' - personal opinion.)

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'Instagram, you were my favourite app and you stabbed me in the back'

frank ly
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xkcd has this nailed

http://xkcd.com/1150/

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PGP, TrueCrypt-encrypted files CRACKED by £300 tool

frank ly
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Re: that reminds me...

It doesn't have to be under the floorboards; it could be incorporated into that nice electric fireplace with decorative surround. Also, you'll have other equipment with powerline data connections, as I do, such as printer, desktop computer, NAS drive.

" ...when your laptop has a network drive listed which isn't amongst any collected gear."

That is very easy to take care of. I'll leave you to figure it out for yourself.

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frank ly
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Re: that reminds me...

If you're really interested in doing 'dodgy stuff', you put a small networked drive under the floorboards with power and powerline data fed by cables to the underfloor mains wiring; and you encrypt it. Then, when you get your door kicked in, they take your computer and thumb drives and NAS box in the corner and DVDs and spend ages analysing them. In the meantime, you lift the floorboards and deal with the small network drive.

Note: I am not a criminal, I'm a reasonably intelligent techie who can think about problems and propose 'solutions'.

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frank ly
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Re: 300+$ for such a limited tool?

I use Hibernate all the time on my Windows laptop and have done for many years. It gives a quick and simple 'back to life' experience, compared to a full Start.

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US: We'll drag cyber-spies into COURT from their hideouts

frank ly
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Not sure about this:

"Offensive cyber retaliation is legally fraught, especially if directed against countries with business and economic ties to the US."

So the 'legality' of state retaliation can vary depending on which country it is directed against?

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Cameron defends U-turn on web filth ban, leaves filtering to parents

frank ly
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Mobile service providers seem to have become interested

About two weeks ago, I changed tariff with my smartphone SIM only provider (Tesco mobile, uses the O2 network and I pay by credit card).

The guy at the helpdesk quickly ran through some required legal statements and then asked me, "Will any child have use of the phone?" My answer was, "Not at all.", after which he carried on telling me the stuff he had to tell me.

I've never been asked that before, but about three years ago Vodaphone did require a nominal £1 payment via credit card before they would unblock 'adult site access ' from a 3G dongle I had.

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Samsung spaffs $3.9bn on chip factory in TEXAS

frank ly
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I thought that ...

..Apple were taking steps to pull away from Samsung as component suppliers; after some recent unpleasantness between the two of them. ??

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Japanese firm lifts lid on Android-controlled toilet

frank ly
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"Wipe my arse."

"I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that. You could try asking Siri."

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Penguin gives in to US Feds over ebooks

frank ly
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This sounds weird

Penguin have been fighting it in the USA since April and have just capitulated. But in Europe, Penguin are still fighting.

Apple and MacMillan have capitulated in Europe but are still fighting it in the USA. The others caved in early, in the USA and Europe.

Do they all have some kind of multi-dimensional magic spreadsheet that tells them when to stop fighting and when to carry on, in different jurisdictions? Maybe it works with profit forecasts, legal costs, regulatory fines, notional PR and goodwill values etc., then tells them the best date to give in?

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Google can't use finger-fumble patent to poke Apple - Trade panel

frank ly
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Re: Hmm, typical Leach article

Oh dear; when did she stop being 'Anna'?

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Mark Zuckerberg doesn't know how to use HTML5

frank ly
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Re: Maybe ElReg could hire these guys to make the videos work on The Register's site

I'm using Chrome on Android (Jelly Bean) and I saw the review pic ok and it played well within the web page. Sometimes (on El Reg) it shows a grey box with 'plugin not available', and sometimes it opens up the You Tube app (with mobile web presentation). It's certainly confusing.

Don't get me started on the way the BBC iPlayer keeps changing and fouling up.

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So, you want to get closer to the workers with social media?

frank ly
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Re: Death to "Social Media" in the Workplace, now and forever!

Because of the work/life balance thing, HR need to check to make sure you're playing with the kids or weeding the flowerbeds, etc (choose any four from an approved list of fifteen).

You're obviously not a team player!

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Hard-up Brit bankers bag endless free Wi-Fi during cig breaks

frank ly
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Re: Enjoy the rampant rule breaking this will allow

Unlike the good old, traditional Post Office service, where the sender and contents of every letter and parcel is monitored and recorded with data held for two years, just in case someone sends something illegal.

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Siri: Can you make a Raspberry Pi open a garage door?

frank ly
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re. 1.

Because that could be confused with, "Open the cargo bay door, silly", leading to potential disaster.

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frank ly
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Missed Opportunity

He could have used "open sesame", ..... but he didn't.

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Conmen DID use leaked info of sporty civil servants... to attack HMRC

frank ly
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Why the heck .....

... does a football field or gym (or whatever) need someone's National Insurance number to register their membership or usage rights? Name, address and dob; yes (need dob. for certain age related conditions). Is it a case of the Civil Service department just throwing everything at them because they couldn't be bothered to make a decision about what was appropriate?

I can understand not releasing details because a criminal investigation is underway, but this sounds like a cover-up that has fallen apart.

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GRAIL orbiters make DEATH DIVE into lunar mountain

frank ly
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Burn to depletion experiment

So, how did the amount of fuel left compare to NASA's estimates?

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Grinchy Google to shut down another batch of services

frank ly
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Re: Great.

As I understand it, the Lightening (calendar) plugin for Thunderbird is an independent effort by a some guy somewhere who tries his best to keep up with Thunderbird changes, but doesn't always manage to do this on time.

You're right - why are simple and common standard calendar functions so difficult to provide?

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UN telecoms talks FOUNDER as US, UK, Canada and Aussies quit

frank ly
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The spam thing

"Member States should endeavour to take necessary measures to prevent the propagation of unsolicited bulk electronic communications and minimize its impact on international telecommunications services."

It sounds fine, with possible pessimistic and paranoid outcomes. (Pessimism and paranoia are always sensible when considering what governments will get up to.) I don't understand the following example of US objection:

"... to the US even a Skype call is content, user-generated content but still content, ..."

How can anyone compare a Skype call with 'unsolicited bulk electronic communication'?

Leaving aside that objection using an inappropriate comparison:

"How could an operator know an email was unsolicited, critics asked, without looking at it? "

An operator can't know that an email is unsolicited or not, even if they do look at it. I might enjoy getting lots of emails from bankofnigeria@hotmail.com; but I don't, and I might want emails from juicyrussianbrides@phish.ru; but I don't because I'm not totally ignorant. I can take care of myself when it comes to spam, but the majority of people can't so how about the ISPs provide information to their customers to let them opt-in to spam rejection mechanisms (such as Spam Cop and Spam Assassin)? There are measures that could be taken, including coordinated effort against the serious scammers and malware artists out there. So why don't the 'rejectionists' propose sensible alternatives instead of walking out.

On a final note, I'm wondering how all this is being reported in the rest of the world. What is the tone of newspaper and technical press reports in Russia, India, China, Papaua New Guinea, etc? Are the US and its vassal states regarded as fighters against oppression, or are they viewed as spoiled brats who want to keep the toys (or various points between)?

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Happy birthday, Transistor

frank ly
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I remember spreading the legs of a BC107 .....

... and getting it to do amazing things for me. Ah, the early '70s, wonderful times.

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Falling slinky displays slow-motion causality

frank ly
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Interesting little detail

At about 1:12 to 1:23, you can see small disturbances near the bottom of the slinky being propagated towards the bottom. These seem to be mechanical vibrations being propagated along the length of the slinky material (i.e. high speed travel through a metal) as the coil above bash into each other. As might be expected, these disturbances travel faster than the compression wave of the slinky structure itself.

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Delegates launch dawn spitball raid in battle for INTERNET DOMINATION

frank ly
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"... throwing spitballs ..."

The only honourable way to resolve this outrage is by peashooters at dawn.

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GE boffins build micro-lungs to cool PC innards

frank ly
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@PeterdeBock

Thank you for that information Peter. I'm wondering about a couple of points as a result:

With an oscillation frequency of about 150Hz, the wavelength in air will be about 2 metres so any vibration cancellation effects would not be due to air-wave interference at a distance from the source. (I'm not an acoustics expert by any means so I hope anyone with knowledge of this subject will join in....). Do the oscillating plates vibrate in the same direction (one goes into the 'fan' cavity as the other goes out) or do they vibrate in opposite directions (both go in/out at the same time) thus expanding the cavity and then compressing it? Given that a flat plate is vibrating at 150Hz and given the complexities of vibration and sound propagation inside a PC or laptop, I'm surprised that a nearby plate (on the other 'side') is able to cancel sound waves launched by the first plate.

Is the frequency of operation related to the mechanical resonance characteristics of the fan plate assembly, or is it related to requirements due to the characteristics of air flow through the fan?

It seems to be a fascinating and useful development and I look forward to large and silent PCs and laptops one day.

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Worldwide Gmail crash was due to Google Sync bug

frank ly
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"There is WRONG in the cloud. "

That should be 'There is wrongness in the cloud', or 'There is a wrong in the cloud', or 'There are wrongs in the cloud', or perhaps 'Wrongly does/goes the cloud', or "There is something wrong......

You're doing this deliberately aren't you?

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Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

frank ly
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I think that my idea is better

An idea I had a long time ago, which is blindingly obvious, is for small communities to have an old bicycle rigged up on a fixed frame with the rear wheel replaced by a dynamo charging some batteries, that would be used to power the village radio, LED light, charge up mobile phones etc. The fit young people could jump on and make their 'contribution' at any convenient time, and a simple LCD display energy meter would display how much they had contributed - this gets some competition and social kudos going.

All the parts required are mostly generally available, understandable and fixable by many people, though the control and monitoring package may need to be donated.

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frank ly
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Deep breath ....

"... if it can generate more power than it uses it shouldn't be an issue."

If it actually could do that, it would be an enormous issue. Anyway, the perpetual motion machine has been invented (or 'designed') many times throughout history. For some reason, a working model has never been constructed.

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Russian space research org targeted by mystery malware attack

frank ly
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Basic security measures .....

"... username/passwords that Firefox remembers for different online services ...."

I've got Firefox rigged to forget everything when I exit. I can remember my usernames and passwords, and I'd write them on a piece of paper if I couldn't. A regular zapping with CCleaner is also a good idea.

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Review: Apple iMac 21.5in late 2012

frank ly
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Re: THE POWER CABLE WILL COME OUT REGULARLY

Just push the connector in firmly, then run some hot-melt glue around the edges. It's the Apple way. :)

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Another Apple maps desert death trap down under

frank ly
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Re: All we need are some inbred cannibals living at down that road and we've got a B-movie!

I'm working on a film script that has inbred cannibals using GPS spoofing to misguide victims to their isolated lair. So, will you be suing me or can we come to an accommodation of some kind?

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Bio-integrated circuitry melds man and machine

frank ly
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Happy

Re: Now this *is* clever

"Stick on Alcohol warning alarm for people who don't realise they are over the limit?"

Do you think they'd pay any attention to it?

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Mother of All Whistlers: Virgin Media superhub. Listen to recordings

frank ly
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I understand what's gone wrong

" ..problems which have dogged the SuperHub since it was first deployed by Virgin Media in early 2011 are a hot topic of debate in management meetings at the company. "

They need to make it the subject of engineering meetings - and then act on the recommendations.

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Parliament: Snoop Charter plan 'too sweeping', 'misleading', 'suspicious'

frank ly
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'too sweeping', 'misleading', 'suspicious' - 'Goes much further than it need or should'

Is this about Theresa May, or her draft bill? It's important to draw a distinction between the two.

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'UK DNA database by stealth' proposed in £100m NHS project

frank ly
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Nice little earner, for some.

"...the market is ripe to be exploited by private companies hoping to cash in by using these rich datasets .."

Datasets provided by me, and other NHS patients , via an organisation funded by me and most other adult citizens of the UK. That's my data. You want to make money from it - you pay me an agreed percentage.

However, I suspect that senior figures in the medical establishment, the Civil service and politicians have already got themselves lined up for 'advisory' positions on several boards, so it'll all go through without objection.

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