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* Posts by Peter Simpson 1

949 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Turing biopic with Cumberbatch, Knightley to premiere at London Film Festival

Peter Simpson 1
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Cheap shot.

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

Peter Simpson 1
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Stop

Re: Red X

Heh. We have you beat by a mile (or is that a month) here in Massachusetts. They're called "phantom work zones".

They have work zone signs, "Fines Doubled in Work Zone" signs, cones, barrels, etc....but no work.

Oh, maybe once a month, you'll actually see workers doing something, but the rest of the time, nothing at all. The best ones last for multiple years. Six, in the case of a bridge which was "under construction" on my commuting route.

// Stop sign, because there wasn't a "Work Zone" one...

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Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Peter Simpson 1
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Flame

Fireworks?

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute vessel Knorr

We see it when it's in port, every time we take the state ferry to Martha's Vineyard.

...they set off a barrage of fireworks in my honour from their rear deck...

All fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts (hah!)...so they must have stopped at a port at which it was legal to buy them (any southern state), right? Kidding...it's important to celebrate an achievement like this and I commend the crew of Knorr for being prepared to do so!

Well done that man...or was it just an excuse to remove himself from modern life for a month and a half? Either way...Thoreau would be proud!

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Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Sad, but hardly surprising

"And it has just occured to me that the absence of actual fans might be the problem that Microsoft has."

At some point, the idea might occur to someone at Microsoft!

The problem with being the default operating system on every computer shipped.

// have an upvote

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Peter Simpson 1
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Hmmm....

It appears there may be an off (*very* off!) chance of having the lovely lady herself at the launch.

She'll be in the area this year:

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-28271691

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Peter Simpson 1
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Paris Hilton

Re: Some thoughtful(?) submissions from marketing...

Caricature Lindsay Lohan astride the El Reg vulture (ala Heavy Metal) with a caption of "Going my way, boys?"

Nose art?

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LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Why, we might as well have been buying AIR

The whole thing was stupid from the start.

The whole thing was a scheme thought up by sharp businessmen (aka "job creators"), who thought they could get rich by pulling a bait-and-switch on the FCC.

They got called on it.

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El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

Peter Simpson 1
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Thumb Up

Re: For extra bonus points...

@nbauers: But my hovercraft...

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Hang on..

You've made a wrong turn. You're in the "red light" district...

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Kickstarter unplugs iFind miracle battery-free locator

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: Whatever next?

The lack of any demonstated experience by the technical lead, the sketchy, unverifiable bios provided and the "identity theft" excuse (a full Linkedin profile can't be used to steal your identity, because those folks want home address, national number and DOB, at a minimum, none of which I have ever seen on Linkedin).

If *I* was asking for $250k from Kickstarter, you'd better believe I'd have a Linkedin profile and some information that would lead potential investors to believe that the gadget I was basing my company on would actually work (like a list of similar projects and pointers to papers on them)

Energy harvesting is real, and you can power devices from harvested energy. But physics is also real, and it *always* trumps wishful thinking and marketing optimism.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: NOT A SCAM!!!

Methinks they doth protest too much.

Just show us the working prototype, with independently verified numbers, and we'll decide if it's a scam or not.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Re: I have no opinion on this project, but

...and would be considered energy theft by both the power company and the law.

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Another Samsung supplier fingered in new 'child labor' probe

Peter Simpson 1
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Coat

Chinese government?

Shouldn't the Chinese government be watching out for this kind of thing? Unless, of course, the appropriate "campaign donations" have been made, I guess.

Isn't capitalism wonderful?

// the one with the thick envelope in the pocket

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Re: Violating the laws of other legislatures

Surely the fault lies with the authorities in the country where whatever you have posted is regarded as a violation.

The authorities only act when political pressure requires them to. They are an instrument, not the problem. Well, they are the problem, but only because they are a blunt instrument without any sense of judgement.

The problem, to poorly paraphrase the Bard, is not in the authorities, but in ourselves. We need to get a grip on reality before it's too late. Surely there are bad people in this world, but they can be dealt with appropriately, without penalizing the vast majority of us, who want nothing more than the chance to let our kids run around without clothes on and not go to jail for it.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Peter Simpson 1
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Black Helicopters

...the NSA doesn't care what _American_ politicians...

That's because they know whatever happens, *they* have jobs -- important ones, like defending the free world against the forces of evil, and stuff like that.

Unlike the poiliticians, who drift in and out of the government at the whim of the voters -- along with their investigations and reforms.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

I'm contacting my MP and MEP....American criminal gang...

Right - you're on the list!

// "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal."

-- Richard M. Nixon, TV interview with David Frost, May 20, 1977

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Lindsay Lohan sues Grand Theft Auto V makers for 'using her image'

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: Well then-

Yeah, but the paintjob is far better than the human version.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Coat

Re: Well then-

No worries...the aircraft looks nothing like its namesake, and contains far fewer banned substances.

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Experts suspiciously eye LOHAN's cantankerous canards

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

Re: I told you so...

^^^ He's AC because his real name is Murphy.

// Capt. Murphy to you

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OMG, sorry about 'poor comms' on Facebook secret emoto-meddle tests. Laters!

Peter Simpson 1
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Pint

I lie to them

at every opportunity. My DOB, place of birth, age, university and place of residence are all false.

If they're going to mine my data, I see it as my duty to pollute their database as much as possible.

Why yes, I am over 50. But you're welcome on my lawn -- as long as you bring refreshments.

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FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

Peter Simpson 1
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Stop

Unfortunately

not all none of these third-party providers acted responsibly

FTFY

// I'm sure there were one or two legit companies in there somewhere

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PayPal says sorry: Fat fingers froze fundraiser for anti-spy ProtonMail

Peter Simpson 1
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Re: A fat finger...

Right. And when the company called and asked for an explanation of why the account had been frozen, they were told, on two different occasions, that they needed "permission from the US government" to offer their product

That doesn't sound like fat-fingering, that sounds like a long arm getting caught in the act.

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And now for someone completely brilliant: Stephen Hawking to join Monty Python on stage

Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

boffin of the highest order

super-duper-über-boffin?

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You want a medal for writing a script? Sure: here it is!

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

It sometimes amazed me he could walk and talk at the same time.

Why would it amaze you?

He's a boss.

// "I'm in Management. I don't actually do anything." - Dilbert

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Send Bitcoin or we'll hate-spam you on Yelp, say crims

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

Pizza Restaurants as extortion targets?

That seems...inadvisable.

// Vito and Tony here would like a woid wit youse...

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iFind: Critics slam Kickstarter campaign for miraculous battery-free phone finder

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Very, very fishy

Strike 1 - No demonstrable prototype

Strike 2 - Back of envelope calculations conflict with claims

Strike 3 - Principles are reluctant to disclose qualifications and verifiable backgrounds

Also: size of device is unreasonable, given that they claim RF energy harvesting on multiple bands. It can be done, but antenna size is key. I'll give them the storage medium but the device shown would need to be all antenna and energy storage to work.

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Peter Simpson 1
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Holmes

Re: Dr Paul McArthur

He does seem to be a bit of a non-person. Claims to have taught at Univ of Utah, worked in management at Freescale and Philips, but of him there seem to be few traces on the net. Claims to have had his identity stolen and that's why he doesn't have a Linkedin page. One would expect such a high flier to have left more of a footprint.

Perhaps he is not all that he claims to be?

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Microsoft's Online Exchange fixed after going titsup for NINE HOURS

Peter Simpson 1
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Facepalm

"a portion of the networking infrastructure entered into a degraded state"

Isn't that why we have redundant infrastructure and switchover?

// must have been a VERY LARGE portion of their network infrastructure...

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Fearful of the drone-filled skies? Get some protection

Peter Simpson 1
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Happy

quadcopter, not Reaper?

Barrage balloons? Acoustic sensor and pneumatic chaff dispenser? PTZ camera and image processing software? This could be a lot of fun. Short range guided missiles would probably be overkill, huh?

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

Peter Simpson 1
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FAIL

Re: Reminds me of the "Cat stuck in a tree" call.

Nah, but I've seen plenty on the ground, under trees.

// squirrels under telephone wires as well

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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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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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