* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2429 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Who will Dr Who chew in 50th TV do before Matt Smith bids adieu?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Thanks El Reg for trying not to spoil it from the headline

Telling the world that the Daleks are going to be in the 50th anniversary special is as much of a spoiler as telling people that the Doctor will be in it.

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Intractable Potsherd
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I was bored with Daleks by Jon Pertwee's iteration of the Doctor. The only time I think I have ever actually liked the pepper-potoid creatures was in "Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.", though I don't know why.

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WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters

Intractable Potsherd
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Wrong and illiterate!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I have found my next ISP

It's definitely yellow on my screen, Jamie.

AAISP look a bit pricey, but I've bookmarked the site for future reference.

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Intractable Potsherd
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It has been on the cards since R v Brown. You can only consent to things the law says you can. BDSM can't be consented to if it causes injury. Stupid case, but it was House of Lords and so we're stuck with it unless and until they decide to reverse themselves, which isn't likely at the moment.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: This is madness

Signed!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: 'I have a very clear message for David Cameron'

"make us interact in Farsi, Welsh, or Klingon"

There's an interesting thought: the end of English as the default language of the internet because porn can't be accessed in it!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Neigbours WiFi?

And it's going to be a brave person that has an open wifi connection ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Optional

"Just think of the ... potential votes in the next election."

I hope he has made the Tories unelectable (again). Whilst no-one will have the balls to campaign on a platform of "get rid of this nonsense", hopefully there will be a lot of pissed-off blokes that will vote for "not-Tories".*

Perhaps it is time for my plan to encourage lots of people who have never been involved in politics to stand as independents to give the electorate a real choice. Just think about it - a Parliament with a big enough number of people that aren't in the pockets of someone else that something sensible might get done!

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US town mulls bounty on spy drones, English-speaking gunman only

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: This would be cool

"There is no God given right to shoot any any aircraft, manned or not."

You are right. You need to apply for a licence. It's right there, in the article!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: English speaking? @ribosome

ribosome, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Are you on the same lines as the fabled sky-blue pink with yellow polka-dots shirt, or what? Seriously, I don't get it.

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US secret court renews government telephone snooping

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Destroyed All Braincells Please adopt this notation

It looks as if your bluff has been called, Matt!! Thanks, Mr Orwell :-)

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Matt

"... then surely to have done what you thuggishly demanded would actually indeed make them both useless and cowards?" Or, just possibly, it might have shown some respect for the notion of democracy - you know, that little idea that government is for the people, not the other way around?

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Goodbye Blighty: The alternative reality of Quatermass II

Intractable Potsherd
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Guns

Great article, putting Quatermass into its historical milieu. However, I take some issue with the comment "Their machine guns sport a drum magazine and look a lot like the Red Army's PPSh-41". From the still on page 1, it is fairly clear that it is a Thompson sub-machine gun with a drum magazine, well known to British viewers in those days as the weapon of choice for gangsters (often carried in violin cases for some reason). It would be good to be able to read more into that, but is is probably that the props department had plenty of them lying around.

Equally, the helmet in that still looks more like those worn by GIs in WW2. I'll leave others to talk about the predictive powers of Nigel Kneale, and whether he should be nicknamed "Nostradamus" ...

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UK parliament presses for pardon for Alan Turing

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: praos

I didn't see the comment, but I'm surprised it took so long. There are still some frothing loons out there that think HIV is somehow a "gay man disease" and that it is punishment from "God" (the sadistic construct from the book of older desert-dweller fairy tales).

Thanks, Matt, for saying what I would if I'd been here earlier.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: The Right Idea

@ John Savard: I think there are some heavy doses of irony/sarcasm in there, but I'm not sure.

@jake: this is a strange day - agreeing with both you and Matt ... :-)

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Quash it, don't pardon it

Today is one of those wonderful days when I can agree with Matt!

Have a tipple, old boy (over there, somewhere ---------->>>)

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: You've just made the point.

I strongly believe that no-one can apologise for someone else. It makes no sense: it is completely meaningless.

I tend towards the attitude that we should say "<insert person or body> was wrong", but leave everything else to stand as evidence that wrong things were done, and then work to ensure the wrong thing doesn't happen again. Apologising for and to dead people is just false humility.

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SIM crypto CRACKED by a SINGLE text, mobes stuffed with spyware

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Like I said a million times.

And like I said a million times, I do.

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Intractable Potsherd
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According the article in the NYT*, "... [Nohl] added that consumers using SIM cards more than three years old should get new cards from their carriers." Elsewhere on the web** he is quoted as saying ""Different shipments of SIM cards either have [the bug] or not," Nohl told Forbes. "It's very random," he said.

So, it seems that there is no way you can tell about any particular card :-(

*http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/technology/encryption-flaw-makes-phones-possible-accomplices-in-theft.html

**http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/mobile-security/313914-encryption-bug-in-sim-card-can-be-used-to-hack-millions-of-phones (quoted from the Forbes article, but I can't get into it)

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How our shaken Reg Playmonaut survived a 113,000ft stratodangle

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: THIS is what you get...

So what perceived mischief does the parachute requirement claim to address?

... and can't it "accidentally" fall off just after release?

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Dear Linus, STOP SHOUTING and play nice - says Linux kernel dev

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Different people respond to different things

"when was the last time you had an examiner call you a fucking idiot?"

We aren't allowed to any more. It apparently reflects badly on the organisation to be honest.

To my mind, calling someone a "fucking idiot" is fine, as long it is proportionate to the error, you explain why you said it, and how it can be avoided next time. Torvalds ticked all these three boxes, and it is his organisation so he sets the rules. What is the problem with being hones and clear.

So many delicate little flowers in positions of responsibility - no wonder Western civilisation is on the skids.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Passion is one thing

If I screw up, I expect to be told exactly how, and how badly. If I've screwed up badly, I expect to be told in the bluntest possible terms. Profanity evolved because it serves a purpose.

Let me put it this way - when I am in the navigator's seat of a rally car, and I call a bend wrongly so that it risks the integrity of the car and/or the occupants/spectators, I expect to be told in no uncertain terms that I was very, very silly. Equally, if my driver doesn't listen to me with the same results, I am going to use an appropriate amount of Anglo-Saxon on him/her.

The cruellest tellings-off are the ones that are apparently polite, but play on emotion. I've never wanted to kill anyone that swore at me, but I've spent hours plotting the demise of someone who used the latter.

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Admen's suggested tweaks to Do Not Track filed straight into the bin

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: DNT is a mirage @dephormation

Yes, this should be the starting point: the assumption that data about me is mine. From there, cases can be made for collection and storage of that data (and there are good reasons why I may want to allow this). However, my personal data should not be a commodity to be routinely flung around the world without any respect for it, or me, beyond "How can we try to make money from this"?

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Intractable Potsherd
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"Listening to the admen? that's like consulting criminals when drafting new laws."

They do - why do you think lobbyists are so common?

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UK gov's smart meter dream unplugged: A 'colossal waste of cash'

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: SOP @ Ledswinger

"When can we march on Whitehall with our pitchforks, and stick some MP's and civil servants' heads on pikes?"

What are you doing next Saturday?

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Intractable Potsherd
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@ undefinedNaN

Leaving aside your ignorance about the difference between ionising and electromagnetic radiation, which has already been pointed out to you, I'll answer the other part of your question.

If I were likely to live in Japan (which I'm not, and have absolutely no plans ever to do), and supposing that Fukushima was on the right island for whatever I planned to do, and then assuming that the Japanese authorities were allowing domestic habitation of the area, then I would have absolutely no fears of living there. In fact, I'd live there today if need be, just as I'd happily live in Pripyat.

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CONFIRMED: Driverless cars to hit actual British roads by end of year

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Next headline

"... but we need to be able to start working towards it."

Need?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: @ Goldmember

I spend quite a lot of time in some countries with the jay-walking rule, and, whilst they seem completely objectionable to the British mindset*, they do seem to work. It is very funny seeing British tourists getting fined for just wandering into the road without due care and attention.

Which brings me to the next point - there most certainly should be an element of "due care and attention" on pedestrians, just the same as on any other other user of the roads. The loon with the headphones/mobile phone/book/newspaper/group of friends who is utterly oblivious to what s going on around her/him should be liable if an accident occurs and their behaviour contributed to it. The idiot parent sticking the pushchair into the road into the path of oncoming traffic should be prosecuted and have the child removed from them. Actions should have consequences.

You write "OK, so I'm walking through town at four in the morning; it's deserted, quiet enough for me to hear a car coming from a quarter-mile away, and I come to some traffic lights. According to you, unless I stand and wait for two or three minutes, waiting for the green man to grant me permission to cross the safely deserted street, I'm so idiotically reckless that I should be punished as a criminal. But, if I cross the same road a few hundred yards away, where there are no lights, I'm perfectly sensible and safe." Yes, it sounds silly, but it is what is required of a driver. Many times I've been stopped at red lights in the middle of the night, when there is no good reason (on roundabouts, for instance). We can argue the toss about what could be done about that, but the rule is "wait for the green to appear" - no excuses.

* The same British mindset that tends to come into play when "interpreting" all rules of the road, regardless of mode of use. Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers all tend to think "this is mine, and bugger everyone else".

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Intractable Potsherd
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@Rob Moss

"Human beings should not be trusted with a two-ton lethal weapon." And you presumably also think that we shouldn't be trusted with fire, pointy sticks, or stones.

FFS - people like you should be made to live on a nice safe island somewhere, where there is nothing that can hurt you. The rest of us could take bets on how long you would survive (it would last about the same time as a series of a reality show, so it could be televised).

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Intractable Potsherd
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I am a bit more concerned about "A groundbreaking trial of these vehicles on the road is expected to start later this year. " If they are breaking ground, haven't they done something wrong?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "most likely be configured,,," @ Cambridge AC

No, but you will find it easier to park your car because those who would find this useful won't be filling up all the spaces at the end of their 20 minute drive (that could have been done on the excellent London Transport system).

It seems a bit odd you are using a car into London from Cambridge - the train service is very good, isn't it?

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Ex-prez Carter: 'America has no functioning democracy' with PRISM

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: no surprise here

And we can't have educated idealists running things, can we? Who knows what might happen!

The world needs some idealistic statesmen who have a view of the world that doesn't revolve around cynicism and selfishness. People with the strange (to you) notion that things can be better. The USA had the moral authority and the resources to make the world a better place, but it spaffed it up the wall with the first Iraq, and consolidated it with the second excursion.

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UK investigators finger emergency beacon for 787 Heathrow fire

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Plastic Vs Aluminium

"Whereas the characteristics of composite fuselages, in the unseasonal London sun for 8 hours with no electricity to power the aircon, therefore getting hotter by the hour in the higher parts of the fuselage (heat rises, etc)"

And according to a poster at PPRuNE (Professional Pilots' Rumour Network) who seems to know his stuff, there is inadequate (read "no") fire-retardant material in the top half of the fuselage on the 787 (see postings by amicus at http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/518971-ethiopean-787-fire-heathrow-20.html). He also writes that the resin used will ignite at about 550 degrees F (288deg C), and that it is the same stuff that got banned for use on oil-rigs after Piper Alpha. Just to add to the fun, he reckons that a fire that burns through the skin whilst in flight will tend to propagate in the air-flow rather than extinguish (like a blown-on cigarette end, as I imagine it). Now, I don't have the technical expertise in composites to evaluate all this, but it makes me rather worried about this particular aircraft if even part of it is true! Now add a new type of wiring that is brittle, and I think I'll be avoiding it for a considerable time.

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Ground control? My space helmet is FILLING WITH WATER!

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Oscar, what are you doing?

For some reason, it is still one of my favourite books. It is one of the few I have in dead-tree and ebook formats just in case I fancy reading it where-ever I am.

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PRISM scandal: Brit spooks operated within the law, say politicos

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Johnnie Thicko Let's not forget @ Matt

Why the ad hominems, Matt? I know you are capable of putting forward reasoned arguments, but you seem to have given up on this one, preferring to use bullshit and bluster instead.

You have failed to show that we have nothing to fear - since we do fear, surely it is up to you to put the other side, of which you clearly feel you have privileged information.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Let's not forget @John Smith 19

'AFAIK most of them don't think of those time as "The good old days."'

That may not be quite as true as you would hope. I have quite a lot to do with ex-Iron Curtain countries, and there are quite a number of people (often those who were adult during the regime, rather than adolescent when the change came) who privately think that the change from then to now was not a good a thing, and that they might have made a mistake in supporting the downfall of the communist regime. There have been some quite startling gains made by far-left parties in some areas.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: "Operated within the law"

I thought the cake is a lie ...

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Spotify strikes back at Radiohead - but artists are still angry

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Well, to a point, Lord Copper.@ Geoff Campbell

This has been an opinion I've held for some time (and occasionally put forward here). There is no reason whatsoever that any band these days needs to be in thrall to the record companies. No longer do the vampires in silly suits hold the keys (recording equipment and distribution channels) to getting music out there where people can enjoy it, and possibly pay for it. There is absolutely no reason in the 21st Century to hand over lots of money to tits who can't do anything but ride on the coat-tails of the musicians.

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1953: How Quatermass switched Britons from TV royalty to TV sci-fi

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: How much the Doctor owes to the Professor...@M7S

I was just going to mention the late '70s version with Sir John Mills. So sad, and a really horrifying picture of societal breakdown. I have the book, and still read it every now and again when I feel sufficiently brave.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Thumb Up

I can only upvote you once, but I would do more if I could!

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Ad man: Mozilla 'radicals' and 'extremists' want to wreck internet economy

Intractable Potsherd
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It is possible that he is afraid that all those people that don't know about ad-blocking will get "on by default" blocking and suddenly realise how nice the internet is without it!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

I did!

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From Russia with no love: Prez Putin dubs Ed Snowden 'unwanted gift'

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Got that the wrong way round ..... @ Titus

Titus, hiding behind a contract which requires you to do something illegal or immoral is a version of the Nuremberg Defence - which we know doesn't work.

Let's put it this way: say that for some reason the local chief police officer takes out a contract, legal in form, on your life. Should the person who takes the contract just fulfil it and be able to say "Well, I was just doing what the contract said" without sanction, or would you prefer that the person perhaps notifies someone else who can do something about it, and, given the power the local police chief wields, decides the best way is to go public? Snowden is in the latter position: it wasn't clear who the best person to report it to, so he has gone public with the information that [possibly] illegal and [certainly] immoral actions have taken place.

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El Reg Playmonaut soars to 113,000ft

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What is this CHARM?

Look again at Parax's name, and see what acronym is produced. It is certainly more in keeping with El Reg standard nomenclature!

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UK.gov fines itself harshly for hurling NHS records to the winds

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Consequencies?

NHS Trusts have boards of governors, who have quite strong powers if they choose to use them. Why don't they demand a full accounting, and put forward motions for real action?

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Security bods boycott DEF CON over closed door for feds

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Hmmm, how empty does he want the event to be?

Matt, do you seriously think that the majority of white-hats work for government agencies?

I think you are wrong, since a lot of white-hats think the government agencies are the black-hats.

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Chinese police probe iPhone user's death by electrocution

Intractable Potsherd
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That has been one of my thoughts since I first saw the iPhone stainless-steel edging, but I thought it was just me being odd again! Thanks for the reassurance I'm not alone!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Skimpy article

My wife and her family, from an ex-Iron Curtain country, believe that it is dangerous to touch a washing machine whilst it is on, because there were a lot* of incidents at some point in the past of people being electrocuted.

Pointing out that:

- a lot of people have their washing-machines in the bathroom in that country**

- the building wiring there. It is entirely possible that it was not entirely safe,

- it is not entirely inconceivable that a number of washing machines had an electrical path to the casing,

- therefore, it is the combination of wet people and dodgy electrics that led to the deaths,

falls on deaf ears. Washing machines are dangerous!!. They then go in and use the hair dryer over a sink full of water ... or, worse yet, go to the cottage and use the two-ring electric cooker set lower than the sink next to it, and cannot understand why I think it is not a good idea ...

* for whatever value of "a lot" strikes them as significant.

** Most live in apartments in which, for some unfathomable reason, the bathroom is big enough to hold a party in, and the kitchen isn't big enough to swing an amoeba. The number of 240V electrical sockets in a bathroom terrifies me!

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Icahn offers to sweeten his Dell deal with warrants

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I hope Icahn wins and LOSES

Absolutely fair comments, Ledswinger. I should have phrased it differently, but I know that I can sometimes come across as a complete big-business-hating loon, so I responded to the original post as written.

It is a poor situation when the least-bad option is someone I wouldn't piss on if he was on fire. I suppose it is quite amazing how bloody awful Icahn is when he makes Dell look like the more humane option ...

What a mess.

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