* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2735 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

MPs blocked from ogling 'web smut' 300,000 times – WHILE IN PARLIAMENT

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Can't even sort out their own house... @ Gordon Pryra

Clearly I'm not part of the English people, then. I haven't got the government I think the country deserves, and I doubt I ever will.

Also, I now live in Scotland!

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Universal Credit CRUNCHED: Dole handouts IT system to be rebuilt

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Jess-- @ Irongut

When the system only leaves you the option of defrauding it in order to leave it, then fraud is logical.

Let's just pay everyone a nominal, non-means-tested living amount and tax accordingly. Get rid of a whole bunch of bureaucrats who don't give flying fuck about the people they are dealing with in one stroke.

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NAO: UK border bods not up to scratch, despite billion-pound facial recog tech

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Targets?

Yes - the stupid target system encourages the people at the sharp end to find problems even when they don't exist. From the point of view of the Border Force, it is a bad day when there have been no dodgy documents.

Utter insanity ...

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Intractable Potsherd
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Thanks, Alister - that's a very fair point to make. This is about politicians scoring points off each other at the expense of the people with no effective say in the matter.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Used the automatic gate at Edinburgh airport the other day for the first time. Whilst quicker than Mrs Potsherd who went through the manned gate, it did seem to take an incredibly long time to adjust to my height (short person > taller than average). Didn't especially like having to take my specs off so it could get a reading.

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China, India the key to Micr-okia's fate says IDC

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Lumia already run on "low-end" hardware - and how many apps one needs?

I seem to fall into a slightly different category - I didn't think I would use many apps (which I still think of as "programs"), but, since getting my Note a year ago, I have acquired and regularly use several that are better than the stock items, or have functionality that should have been, but wasn't on the phone, or which only make sense on a phone. Examples? - and note I use these regularly (daily or several time a week): "Co-pilot" for satnav; "MapsWithMe" for offline mapping; a compass widget; "Aldiko" ebook reader; a better Torch widget with three levels of brightness; an easier, more configurable sound-profile manager ("Sound Profile"); an LED-style clock for timing ("StudioClock"); a scanner ("CamScanner"); Firefox and Opera; a better app manager (AppMGR III); a better file manager ("Astro"); a sleep monitor ("Sleepbot"); Google Authenticator; a better calculator; and two Czech-English-Czech dictionaries (fairly niche, I suspect).

Would I go to a platform that didn't offer a wide range of apps? No, I wouldn't. Symbian was killed by too few apps, and Microsoft need to encourage people to be porting their existing apps from other platforms as quickly as possible if they are to survive.

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Bionym bracelet promises to replace passwords with ECG biometrics

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What exactly does it do?

Yes, I'm confused, too, especially since it refers to "continuous verification" (or similar term - I'm not going back to that really smug video to check), implying that there is some active component to the whole thing.*

*Which raises a different issue - sometimes I want to be near my gadgets without actually being logged on to them (think mobile phone lock screen). If this type of "one token for all" idea is to take off, it would need a lot of fine-grain control before I even thought about adopting it (and still probably wouldn't - security in depth).

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Heartbeat waveforms are *very* odd

I'm clearly missing something here. Biometrics is about using aspects of the person that *don't* change much, or only very slowly. All the aspects of the heart's regulatory mechanism are prone to rapid change uncontrollable by the individual (at least, that was accepted wisdom when I did cardiac anatomy and physiology a couple of decades ago). This just looks like a system designed to fail at the important moments - like fingerprint readers on laptops failing to authenticate just before a presentation because the presenter is nervous and has cold, sweaty fingers.

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Microsoft's $7.1bn Nokia gobble: Why you should expect the unexpected

Intractable Potsherd
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"A very poor one then. Lumia sales are increasing at over 30% a quarter and Nokia were expected back into profit before the end of the year..."

Hmmmm ... unrealistic conclusions drawn from unsubstantiated figures. If it wasn't for the fact that Elop's ego wouldn't allow him to admit being "poor" at anything, I'd suspect that AC might stand for SE!

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Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Encrypted Contents @MyHandle123

"Guilty conscience is what drives them."

Unfortunately, that is one of the most powerful motivators.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: What about borders?

Yep - remember part, and also have a couple of places where you have altered the key ever so slightly: an O to an 0, or a couple of transposed figures. Even if it is captured, and assuming they don't beat it out of you (but, as has already been said, if they physically have you all that is left is your resistance to "questioning") then there is a level of "something you know" that can't be (easily) guessed.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Happy

Re: How about strapping a micro-SD card to a homing pigeon's leg?

"It'd be like the Cold War all over except bird vs bird vs drones disguised a birds and anti-bird artillery batteries surrounding every town, maybe some giant nets too!"

Orwell was a pretty good prophet - it would be great if Hanna-Barbera were, too! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dastardly_and_Muttley_in_Their_Flying_Machines.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Pish @ Michael C.

"It may come as a surprise to you but in democracies governments are elected. People contribute to and develop societies to define and shape the laws we live under, the laws that governments govern. Those are the two most prominent differences between terrorist organisations and governments."

And, as has been pointed out all over the place, the German government of the 1930s was elected.

"Your historical references are all examples of where governments have gone wrong, or were never established by the people."

And what are your criteria for a government that has "gone wrong"? From my point of view, we have one - it is using draconian powers that should only be used in the direst of emergencies to stifle free-speech and legitimate investigation by the press. It is removing freedom from the average individual every day, and has been caught actually having a level of information about the everyday activities of its citizens that a government should never have. It has turned (over a number of terms of parliament, but it is still "the government") the police into a para-military organisation above the laws it is fails to enact without prejudice.

If you are old enough, look back to, say, 1990, and consider whether you would have thought that this country could ever have become what we are living in, and that this discussion could ever have been seriously had by anyone other than those at the very extremes of society. I say it couldn't - the government has gone wrong, it has acted over-zealously in the face of a trivial threat, and we, the population are suffering for it. That, by any definition, is a government gone wrong.

So, what was your point again?

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Snowden journo's partner wins partial injunction on seized data

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: So what's changed?

"Jonathan Laidlaw QC said that the information the police had found was, in their view, "highly sensitive material, the disclosure of which would be gravely injurious to public safety".

He added that Home Secretary Theresa May believed it was necessary to examine all the data "without delay in the interests of national security". "

I refer all to the comment by Mandy Rice Davies ...

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Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Thank you to all concerned

"... a decent short term solution (with fewer challenges) might imo have been taking bookings by phone rather than Internet ..."

Possibly - it depends how many bookings are lost as a result of the current library-trip set-up. I don't know what minority I'm in, but no email/web booking service = no booking at all. I simply do not want to talk to someone to make a booking - it is inefficient and time-consuming. Also, in the event of dispute later, I want to be able to refer to what was sent.

The standard of internet provision up here on the east side of Scotland (which is all I know about because it is where I live) is atrocious. I currently live six miles from the centre of Dundee (the fourth largest city in Scotland), and there is no fibre anywhere around here, and, according to the maps, no plans to put it in. Coming down to ADSL after years of VM goodness is a real let-down. Oh, and for the "well, you chose to live there" - I'm glad you are in a position to choose where you can get work and promotion.

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Why all the fuss about flash? Pin your ears back and find out

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: This article is a stub.

I agree, but people who are offering a podcast/e-seminar/whatever term for whatever reason aren't going to give away the information prior to the event. It would be nice if there were transcripts available after, though.

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Space-walker nearly OPENED HELMET to avoid DROWNING

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Drowned in space...

I think you are referring to "The Haunted Spacesuit" by Arthur C. Clake. http://hermiene.net/short-stories/haunted_space_suit.html

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Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Can't do the time, don't do the crime @ Bumpy Cat

"Civilians carrying weapons and shooting are no longer civilians."

How many armed people in the USA? How many rounds expended every year? There are a lot of people shooting there, and so, by your definition, they are not civilians? Or does that only apply when they speak a funny language?

Let me put it this way - wherever you live, if a hostile force invaded, would you let them do what they want, or would you fight? That's the choice the Afghans have.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Sacked from the Army

"Mandatory down-vote for using the word 'sheeple'."

It's funny how Matt uses that word to describe those who disagree with him, when he is usually supporting the majority case ...

I like a lot of what Matt says, but his use of ad hominem is becoming irritating.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: No.... @Steve Knox

"The law is not a moral construct."

As a teacher of Law and Ethics, I disagree with you absolutely. Some very respected thinkers do, too.

Your opinion shows you to be a legal positivist, which I shouldn't be surprised by on a site like this - research shows that techie types are more prone to thinking "If X then Y", and expect the law to do the same. It is therefore good that techie types rarely go into law.

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Manning's lawyer plans presidential pardon campaign, says client will appeal

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: I'll take odds on this

"The judicial system is in place to protect society from predators like Manning."

Military justice, like military intelligence, is an oxymoron. Do you seriously think this would have happened if Manning had come before a jury of real people?

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Appeal.................

On the other hand, it could be cheap and easy good publicity for the man with the Nobel Peace Prize ...

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Guardian lets UK spooks trash 'Snowden files' PCs to make them feel better

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Options?

Lots of people standing as independent candidates. No worries about "political career". No links to dodgy firms. A desire to actually do the right thing. No need to follow a Party line.

Even a relatively small number of independent MPs would have an effect.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: A message from Whitehall Man

The trouble is, I'm starting to think that isn't so unlikely.

That is really sad.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Not China Only One Agent Here!

More likely, it's Matt Bryant desperately showing that he isn't "sheeple" who are wrong in our distrust of the government he seems to implicitly trust!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Where was the Guardian's BOFH?

>KZERRT!<

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: DeMockRacy

There may be a way. If enough people stand as independents at the next election, some will get in. Hopefully, enough people who aren't career politicians, and not in the pockets of vested interests, would get in to make some sort of difference.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Missing the point? @ G Murphy

And that is where the difficulty lies. You and Matt Bryant have the opinion, for whatever reason, justified or not, that there is an external "ill-intentioned" person or persons that could have a significant negative effect on the lives of you and, presumably, significant numbers of others. The government is, therefore, entirely justified, in your opinion, in doing these things.

On the other hand, there are a significant number of people on here, and, presumably elsewhere, who see the "ill-intentioned" as being the government, which is taking action far in excess of anything proportional to any significant risk. It is acting not in the best interests of the populace, but of itself. It is unable to accept that it might have gone too far, that it is looking ridiculous, and has become the body most likely to cause a significant negative effect to all - you and Matt included.

In my opinion, what the government and security forces are doing is utterly horrifying. I know they are nasty fuckers at the best of times, but it looks as if they are acting with overweening arrogance. The deaths of David Kelly and Gareth Williams look more and more like assassinations by those that should have protected them. The police look more like a paramilitary force to be feared by the population. The government, and, by extension, Parliament, looks like a threat to health and well-being of anyone that dares to question it.

What do you see in the actions and justifications of those you are defending that I don't?

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100 MEEELION self-driving cars will be sold globally in 2035 – report

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: If we have automated driverless cars,...

Well, yes - these things might see pubs open again where they have closed over the last few years!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Driving a chore?

You aren't the only one, ted. Driving is one of life's pleasures to me. I don't mind driving in traffic (it is still a skill), or on long motorways - there is the knowledge that I am doing perhaps the most difficult thing I have in my skill-set. When I'm competing, it gets better!

I recently rented a car with cruise-control etc. For economy, I set the speed at a reasonable compromise - not dawdling, but not as fast as I would if I had full control of the throttle. Most boring journey (350 miles) I've ever done, and it was really hard to keep concentration.

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Does the RSPCA have your gun licence or car registration? NOBODY knows

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Don't Give A Penny To The RSPCA

I've cancelled the direct debit to them because of this, and told them why. The amount is now divided between two real animal charities.

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Court throws out Icahn's demand to stall Dell shareholder vote

Intractable Potsherd
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I have wondered to my self for a while if this is a breed of nominative determinism - Icahn has heard "I can" so often he believes it.

Also, the judge used the words "nifty cool"? I'm not sure whether that is good or bad ...

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Intractable Potsherd
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: I assume the plod are looking into this... @ElNumbre

"Wand Erection"!!!

Your fault, bastard :-)

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Bradley Manning: 'I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States'

Intractable Potsherd
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Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning

There is a petition to support a nomination for Bradley Manning to get the Nobel Peace Prize. It could do with a bit more support, so if you could spare a bit of time, it's at http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6194.

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Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy'

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Handed to conveyor

@Bluenose: I tend to agree - there is a world of difference between the "personal assistant" opening mail, and the delivery-person doing the same. One would be an authorised act by someone with whom there is a relationship of control which can be terminated at any time and for any legitimate reason by the person whose information is being seen.* The other would be an illegal action, and also one that breaches the contract the delivery person has with her/his employer (AFAIK, a postie** would not be able to open my mail due to contractual restrictions even if I gave express permission). However, if it is a postcard, the postie will, if they are so inclined, see the picture on the front, and the message saying that my mother is having a great time and wishes I was there.

To my mind, the question is whether an email is more akin to a letter (something that has some expectation of privacy merely due to being in an envelope to protect it from all and sundry looking at it, more so if says "Private" or "Private and Confidential"), or is it a postcard? This is a vital question for email service providers and users - does someone need to come up with the "email envelope" which is, in fact, trivial to overcome, but which conveys an idea of expectation of privacy?

*There is, however, an interesting argument about the information about the sender is giving, and what expectations of privacy there are from that side.

** Just as an example: there are many others in the chain that could do the reading, of course.

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Does Gmail's tarted-up tab makeover bust anti-spam laws?

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Dear Gmail. STFU & GTFO.

There is something to the whole interface discussion, IMHO. GMail's web interface used to be nice and uncluttered, but no longer. I am forced to use Outlook on work systems, and I cannot fathom how *that* UI is supposed to be any use at all, and Thunderbird is, as a previous poster has said, lacking in anything that might be termed as a pleasant user experience. I don't hate the GMail interface enough to look for other options at the moment (X-Notifier and GMail Notifier do a good job of letting me know when I've got new mail, and which box), but it surely cannot be so hard to come up with an easily configurable interface for on-machine email clients, can it?

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Samsung Mega 6.3: Enter the PHONDLESLAB

Intractable Potsherd
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"You can argue it all you like, but somewhere it has to stop. Or we'll be walking around with 10" phones soon."

If *some* people want to buy them, why is that a problem to you? It isn't as if phones at the small end of the market are vanishing, so you buy what you want, and let others choose according to their own needs.

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: VLP == Vain Losers Poserphone @ OP AC

Well, I have a Galaxy Note 1 which I have made *even bigger* with an Otterbox case which fits to a lovely belt-holster. If I'm going to be in a situation where that might be difficult (wearing a suit with no belt loops or loops only for a narrow belt), it comes out of the case and then it fits in a shirt or jacket pocket. The only time it becomes a bit difficult to carry is when I'm out running, but I simply wear a money-belt for that. I hope your head* hasn't exploded at the sheer un-coolness of all that - no that's a lie; I sort of hope it has.

Please guys and gals, remember that different people have different requirements. For me, it is to have a phone that fits comfortably in my big hands (especially now it seems I'm getting arthritis in some of my knuckles), that I can comfortably read e-books on, and which has a pen. I have never been [what I regard as] silly enough to text or dial one-handed - a recipe for dropping a phone if ever there was one - and I always carried even chocolate-bar phones in a holster on my belt because it seems the most sensible place to keep a phone. Substance over style should be the keyword here, not what the idiot marketers make you think.

Oh, and the Mega 6.3 - if it had a pen, I'd be seriously considering it.

* and all the other fashion-police commentators on here.

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REVEALED: Simple 'open sesame' to unlock your HOME by radiowave

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Who..?@ Stevie

"Why do morons think it is cool to carry a dozen keys and a bottle opener dangling off one hip?"

It isn't cool, but it *is* efficient. My keys are attached to an anodised bright red carabiner (with a torch in it!), all the time. In the house they are hung up in the same place. Out of the house they are on my belt (unless I'm dressed up, in which case in my computer bag or suit pocket). No-one else in my house does remotely the same thing - guess where the delays and panics come from when keys can't be found? I then get told off for being grumpy due to basic inefficiency.

I do take care not to scratch people's cars though - mainly by not squeezing through gaps between them!

To cut a long story short - you'll prize my keys from my cold, dead belt-loop!

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DARPA calls Big Data boffins: Help us lock up everyone's privates

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Lay down your life for another

Leaving imaginary beings out of it, I sort of agree with you. The trouble is, I doubt the (putatative) powers of totalitarianism will be so crude as to mere kill these days. There are ways of hurting that don't kill, and leave all involved ruined. I won't go into detail - I doubt I need to.

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Court hearing on Icahn's Dell buyout block set for Friday

Intractable Potsherd
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"I prefer F*&^&*g C*&t!" So do most men, but presumably not whilst thinking about Carl Icahn. That would be a very odd perversion ...

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Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Pop quiz: What did Obama promise before the election and what did he do after he was voted in?

"If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government."

I'm intrigued by that statement - is he following the fallacy that electing people who have been chosen for not rocking the boat (too much) will actually be able to do anything useful against the entrenched civil servants, or is he advocating something a bit more ... revolutionary?

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Peak Apple? HOGWASH! Apple is 'extremely undervalued,' says Icahn

Intractable Potsherd
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@Destroy All Monsters

"Hell, let's outlaw being rich."

For certain values of "rich", yes, certainly.

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Mobe-slurping Wi-Fi SPY BINS banned from London's streets

Intractable Potsherd
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"... el register no longer provides links to related stories"

Yes, this is irritating. Please fix it, guys!

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Intractable Potsherd
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Re: ...and leave your house and car unlocked while you're at it

I'm not sure what you are getting at, Don. I switch off everything (GPS, wifi, mobile data) on my phone unless I actually want any of those things - basically, most of the time it is just a mobile phone (or as close as I can make it). I also have a passably good lock on the home-screen. Does this make me someone with a "serious underlying condition" too? If so, which, and why is it a problem to you?

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Feds arrest rogue trucker after GPS jamming borks New Jersey airport test

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: If you ask me

Except in certain situations, such as near an airport, what other "dangerous" situations do you consider GPS blockers cause? I'm also intrigued as to what you think is "antisocial" about them.

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20 injured at LG phone giveaway as PR stunt turns into freetard riot

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: PR @ Lusty

Two things worry me about your post:

1. That you *care* that they may be a difference between those three things

2. That you think anyone else cares about them

No matter how you dress it up, anything other than respectable, trusted word-of-mouth recommendation is a form of fraud.

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Nude swimmers warned of GONAD-GOBBLING FISH ON THE LOOSE

Intractable Potsherd
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Re: Fake Story

Ummmm ... what?

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