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* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

919 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: A *very* small step on a very long road.

^^^thank you for posting this.

9/11 did far less damage to the US than the legislative reaction to it did. In the aftermath of 9/11, the security and law enforcement agencies reacted quickly...to get everything they'd ever wished for enshrined in the USA PATRIOT Act. The great thing about the US, used to be that there were limits on police power. No more...the excuse for any overreaction is "It's all different after 9/11".

The 9/11 terrorists got exactly what they wanted...a US afraid of its own shadow, and seeing terrorists under every bed. The best way to fight these people is to refuse to be terrorized, while taking prudent measures to catch them.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: I am delighted to see this...

As am I.

Now, maybe we can get something done about the USA PATRIOT Act...like getting it repealed.

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Barack Obama was ALMOST EATEN by a ROBOT GIRAFFE

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Where's a WASP when you need one?

[Gabby Johnson]

He said, the sheriff is NEAR!!!

[/Gabby Johnson]

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LOHAN in FIGHT to DEATH with brace of cantankerous canards

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Nice to see safety first

With the fire extinguisher guy.

Good luck...it would appear you're learning a lot in the process of getting LOHAN ready for her maiden voyage

// two words not normally seen together

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Non-Practising Entities: USE IT OR LOSE IT

...index the damages on the amount of income the patent-holder makes from selling objects that use said patent.

I like that. But average the income over the three (five, seven) years previous to the filing of the suit.

That way, they can't claim they were just about to make a profit...

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A future queen, the spy chief behind the Iraq 'dodgy dossier' – and a war base rendezvous

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Bletchley vs. NMC

As somebody once said: "why can't we all just get along?"

I realise there are tremendous egos involved at the management level, but wouldn't some kind of synergy be better than building walls? Can we, the nerds who support both institutions, work to cause a breakout of common sense?

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'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Bell Labs

Best history I can find...

http://www.shadycharacters.co.uk/2011/05/the-octothorpe-part-1-of-2/

http://www.shadycharacters.co.uk/2011/05/the-octothorpe-part-2-of-2/

Also of interest: the # symbol, above the "3" on my keyboard, is replaced by the "script-L pound" symbol on UK keyboards...

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Tom Hanks NICKED my COPYRIGHTED PIC, claims Brit photog

Peter Simpson 1
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Pirate

Not subject to copyright laws?

"Twitter is a social network platform which is available to most people who have a computer and therefore any content on it is not subject to the same copyright laws as it is already in the public domain."

So is Pirate Bay...

:-)

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NASA scrubs FLYING SAUCER over Hawaii ballocket mission

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Ballocket? Sounds familiar

Lester and the rest of SPB are on the payroll (and on site, of course) as technical consultants.

// no surf baggies icon???

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Spaceplane design nipper Ariadne gets a promotion

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Holdy Ony! "Dr."?

It's an honorary PhD...you know, like they give to politicians (pardon my French), who do a heck of a lot less to "earn" them.

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SLOW DOWN: Insecure-by-design software on road

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: My Message

to all my fellow road users would be "WAKE UP YOU DOZY B******S AND PUT THE BLOODY PHONE DOWN!!".

Sadly, they probably wouldn't see it

// unless you sent it by SMS...

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Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Already failing

The ones Massachusetts purchased rarely have all character positions operable (even when new!). The number of available characters is so low, that most messages require multiple screens. The time between screens has been set to 5 seconds or so, resulting in only being able to read half the message before passing the sign. They seem to have popped up everywhere, they all have defects and some company is congratulating themselves for having carted off a shedload of cash while unloading a bunch of obsolete and defective merchandise at full list price.

Thankfully, the signs very rarely display useful information, more often the message is something along the lines of:

SLOW DOWN OR MOVE OVER FOR STOPPED EMERG VEHICLES ITS THE LAW

(^^^ you see a random third of this message)

USE YAH BLINKAH!

DRIVE DRUNK GO TO JAIL

Why can't they just leave the damn things off, unless they have something important to say? Seriously, if they're always displaying unimportant messages (no, not driving drunk is very important, but by now, we should all know that) don't people tend to ignore them after a while?

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Flying cars, submarine cars – Elon Musk says NOTHING is beyond him

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

How about a flying underwater car? And it must make that "Jetsons car" sound.

Musk is bright and has a track record of success. However, as they say in the stock market: "past performance does not guarantee future results."

Maybe he could take a short cut and team up with this guy, who has a lot of "valuable experience" in the field: http://moller.com/dev/ :-)

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Texan parks quadcopter atop Dallas Cowboys stadium

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Expensive lesson for the dumbass...

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Tech talk bloke compares girlfriend to irritating Java tool – did he deserve flames?

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

He definitely hashad a girlfriend because his analogy is spot on.

FTFY

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Happy Birthday Tetris: It's flipping 30

Peter Simpson 1
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Data General DG/ONE

I worked at DG, and there was a copy of the Spectrum Holobyte version floating around. If you put it on the right machine, you could get the music. Oh, for the good old days of VGA graphics and tinny Russian music! Sad about the authors having to fight so hard for a share of the profits, though. The two of them deserve to be wealthy men.

Great game, my wife is still addicted.

// where's the Tetris icon?

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REVEALED: GCHQ's BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE

Peter Simpson 1
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As I understand it, a TDR scan should identify the location of the tap. If I was the cable owner...

Ahhh! That's where the real magic takes place. The techniques for tapping the cables *without* making the tap visible to OTDR are the real classified secrets.

GCHQ, NSA...I'm torn between righteous outrage at their activities and an overwhelming desire to join their engineering team...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: TRAITORS

Do you seriously think that anyone at GCHQ has the time, or interest, to look into the average El Reg commentard's extra-martial philanderings?... I doubt if the message even got noticed.

Message? No.

Selfies of wife/GF in reply? Definitely.

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Peter Simpson 1
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WTF?

Re: TRAITORS

You want to really blow lunch? Read "Blind Man's Bluff". Published ten or more years ago, it made very clear that the US had the ability to tap undersea cables.

Anyone who did not have a strong feeling this was going on is living in a fantasy world. Nobody learns anything new from this article, except a bunch of code names and some hypothetical locations. And the data is still being gathered.

If you want to get really ill, think of the amount of data being slurped, in Oman, where it arguably does some good, but also in the US and Great Britain. Yup, mate...that naughty email you sent to your wife or girlfriend, or both, is right now sitting on some GCHQ numpty's screen. That should loosen your lunch a bit.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Re: Black helicopters galore

Heh. Old news in the US:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

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How to strip pesky copyright watermarks from photos ... says a FACEBOOK photo bod

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Flip It

From the US Copyright Office website:

Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook.

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Jade Rabbit nearly out of hop

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Should have used Duracells ...

Yeah, that was my first thought: dodgy Chinese off-brand batteries.

Seriously, though, a good first effort! Full marks for just getting there, extra credit for being able to drive around for this long.

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Microsoft walks into a bar. China screams: 'Eww is that Windows 8? GET OUT OF HERE'

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Nothing to do with Windows Support

Next headline:

Peoples' Republic Software Factory Number 36 offers continuing support for WinXP...

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NASA preps flying saucer ballocket flight

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Hmmm

SPB's hoping for a buyout.

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Honey, the satnav app says you're to leave at 6am... Yup. I'll have that coffee off you

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Because.....

Or, worse, the tailback you went out of your way to avoid, has already cleared.

(the police car that was sitting by the side of the road, moved on)

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Portable toilet mistaken for killer Nork drone

Peter Simpson 1
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Mushroom

I'll just leave this secret video of Nork weapon testing here, shall i?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-smlwZPDV4

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Feature-phones aren't dead, Moto – oldsters still need them

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: It's not just the oldies who like this sort of thing.

And Real Buttons(tm) allow you to operate your phone by feel, instead of by having to look at the screen.

Handy in all kinds of situations, when your (visual) attention should be elsewhere.

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Now that's PROPER SCIENCE: Boffins teach robo-arm to catch flying beer bottle

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Wow.....

Could somebody get Dr Shukla a Red Sox t-shirt, please?

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Where are your rich friends? Facebook's Zuck sued for NOT BEING SOCIAL ENOUGH

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: I heard it too! Have an upvote.

1% problems :-)

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SMASH AND GRAB iThieves run car through front of Berkeley's Apple Store

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: how do you fence that stuff?

The bad guys already have their money by the time the customer attempts to activate a stolen iDevice. Since they purchased it from a friend of a friend in a darkened parking lot, I doubt the cops will get much of a lead on the original thief. Still, I suppose there's a chance. Better luck with fingerprints or DNA on the crashed car, I would think.

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UK's pirate-nagging VCAP scheme WON'T have penalties – report

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: "I say, would you stop doing that, please?"

So...about as effective as the UN, then?

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: "I say, would you stop doing that, please?"

So...it will be about as effective as the UN, then?

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Peter Simpson 1
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Pirate

Re: I dont agree with piracy

Nor do I, but Pirate Bay offers what I want, when I want it.

I would happily pay a $20/month "all you can download" membership fee, if that would make the media companies happy. The big attraction of Pirate Bay, is that it has *everything* in one place, and it's pain-free to get and watch or listen to anything, from any media company.

Hey, media companies: just make some kind of deal with Pirate Bay...I'll pay the fee, just make it reasonable: $20, $30 or whatever. $1 or $2 to Pirate Bay, to keep them on the air, $1 or $2 to the media moguls, cause that's all the f*ckers deserve, the rest to the artists and techies (grips, best boys, whatever) who actually create the stuff.

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Winklevoss twins eye up NASDAQ: Publicly traded Bitcoin fund... what could go wrong?

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Pair of twits?

They may be very nice people, but their actions to date indicate to me that they are clueless and so detached from the real world as to have not a clue what to do with themselves. Fortunately, they have loads of cash, so getting a real job isn't necessary.

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Cameras for hacks: Idiot-proof suggestions invited

Peter Simpson 1
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Oh, and "F" the manual -- nobody ever reads it anyways. The UI is almost intuitive. Suggest you get the intern to distill the multipage multilanguage manual that comes with the camera to a single cheat-sheet.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

Powershot S90 here. Love it, but question its "beer-proof-ness".

I'd suggest one of the Panasonic "splashproof" P&S cameras. Got one for my wife and she takes it snorkeling.

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Spain clamps down on drones

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

Easy! Just get the SPB LOHAN project adopted as an official arm of the Spanish Space Agency. What? They don't have one? Well, now they can!

// helicopter 'cause no drone icon

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Roof antennas are a laugh

I'd go for the "no preblem with the antenna as long as I get free service" approach.

May as well get something for the inconvenience. Of course if my proposal is denied, my attitude would rapidly switch to "nice antenna you have there...be a shame if something was to happen to it"

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Scariest NSA revelation yet: Spooks are RUBBISH at CIPHERS

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Ob:

"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

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10 PRINT "Happy 50th Birthday, BASIC" : GOTO 10

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: C

(* Seriously. Been there, done that. 6809 circa 1980.)

Oh, yeah, you and your fancy-pants index register with the arithmetic operations. When I was a lad, we had INX and DEX and were glad of it!

(6802, and we built the Data General Dasher D200 around it in 1978).

// Good times.

// We would have built a Pac-Man game into it if we had had enough spare RAM...one of my regrets.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: C

I believe C is best described thusly:

"It combines the power and flexibility of assembly with the readability and ease-of-use of assembly."

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Comcast to dump 3.9 MEEELLION subscribers to quell Time Warner merger antitrust fears

Peter Simpson 1
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Unhappy

Re: Not be a monopoly?

In my Massachusetts town, we have a choice between Comcast and FIOS. Same price (within a couple of bucks), for similar data rates.

So...not really much of a choice at all.

I'm thinking of telling Verizon to wire me up for FIOS, then playing Comcast and Verizon off againste each other every time the "introductory" rate expires.

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Spy back doors? That would be suicide, says Huawei

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Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey

Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

"Science ignorance is pervasive in our society,"

I don't think it's limited to any one particular field.

The sad thing is, we *have* the technology...in spades (broadcast, printed and internet), but it's the content that's nissing, plus the motivation of the idiots who'd rather watch "reality TV" than learn something.

// thanks for letting me vent

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Tooled-up Ryobi girl takes nine-inch grinder to Asus beach babe

Peter Simpson 1
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Check McMaster or Grainger. Carbon brushes are often a standard size and can be ordered as generic replacements.

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So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Testicul par canem

Romanes eunt domum!

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Peter Simpson 1
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Childcatcher

Re: Spanish

All hat and no cattle?

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

THIS is why I read El Reg!

Furthering my linguistic skills is a far better use of my time than anything my silly employer wants me to work on.

// My hovercraft...eels!

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