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* Posts by Number6

1350 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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South Korea faces $1bn bill after hackers raid national ID database

Number6
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British Database

Look at the bullet we dodged when the current government scrapped the biometric ID cards. An on-line database, accessible from a lot of places with poor control over the access terminals. What could possibly go wrong?

Roll on the fall out when it happens to the US SSN database...

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Greedy datagrabs, crap security will KILL the Internet of Thingies

Number6
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Big Data

The problem is that all these companies are coming up with fancy new devices with features that require your device to connect to their server. That immediately puts a breach in the (fire)wall of your home because someone is extracting data that they think may be useful to them. I notice they generally use proprietary and unpublished protocols and never give you the option to run your own server that does not need to talk to the outside world. I appreciate that most people are sleepwalking into the surveillance society, but some of us are unhappy about having all these devices that phone home even though it's not strictly necessary for function. Some are even designed to require a remote server even when it's not necessary, solely to be able to gather the data.

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Facebook storage techies: We sift through your family snaps to find 'warm BLOBs'

Number6
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Colour Schemes

Will they be painting their data centres pink with yellow spots?

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Be Your Own Big Brother: Peeking at pussy

Number6
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One of our cats somehow learned that if she took a live mouse into the shower, she could play with it happily in there because the mouse couldn't climb out of the shower tray. The first we'd know of a new arrival would be thumping noises from the bathroom as the cat did backflips and other strange contortions. If I heard her, I'd go supervise because just occasionally she'd whack the mouse with her paw and give it enough momentum to escape into the bathroom. I usually managed to grab these, and once confiscated, would be returned outdoors. The ones that weren't so lucky would end up as a pile of entrails, fortunately easy to clean given the location. Mouse skulls audibly crunch when chewed, who knew?

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US astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: US is losing science race

Number6
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It may be too late

Interviewing people for engineering jobs, not many make it through initial screening and none so far have made it through the interview process. The number who seem to really understand the subject is worryingly small. This is not a new problem, I remember doing the same thing six or seven years ago, where the one candidate who was prepared to have a go at a question and work through it really stood out from all the ones who just sat there with a blank look and refused to step out of the comfort zone.

There may be young people coming through the education system who haven't been broken by it, but I don't think there are enough of them.

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Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a MONSTER

Number6
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Myth Busted

No one seems to have picked up on the autonomous driving feature yet. Perhaps we are getting closer to the point where the guy can safely engage cruise control in his Winnebago and go into the back to make some coffee.

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Activist investors DESTROY COMPANIES. Don't get me started on share dealings...

Number6
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Money Talks

The problem is that the interests of the long-term shareholders is at odds with the get-rich-quick types who, flush with cash from their previous exploits, can come in, buy up shares, extract value from the business and then move on to the next one, leaving the other shareholders much poorer for the experience. This is not a sustainable model, although modern society seems to favour the quick and easy gains over a longer-term investment that builds for the future. Then there are the employees, who end up bearing the brunt of the asset-stripping, either by losing their jobs, or being expected to pick up the work of those who have. Customers suffer because the customer service is pared to the bone and sometimes beyond, and cost-cutting can compromise the quality of the product, so that when the activists have moved on, what they leave behind is in a death spiral.

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LTE's backers vow to KILL OFF WI-FI and BLUETOOTH

Number6
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Re: Going nowhere fast

Qualcomm and friends argue that LTE Direct has better range (around 500m)

Surely the appeal of Bluetooth is that it is intended for short range communications. Arguing for better range is largely irrelevant for a bunch of devices that would normally be expected to operate within a few feet of each other, possibly in an area where a large number of such groups of devices exist. If they're all blocking each other's signals then it's not going to work. If you only have to coexist with stuff in a 10m radius then it's going to be much easier than sharing with stuff in a 500m radius.

Of course, it would give new meaning to the old phrase "he saw you coming!" if they can spot you 500m away.

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You can ring my #bellogate. EMAIL STORM hits 29,000 hapless UCL students

Number6
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Re: Not so true

It's scary though, I got a new phone and went to set up the work email on it. Then I discovered the list of things I had to allow the corporate email system to do to my phone, including a complete factory reset and disabling all sorts of things I use. So I don't have access to the work email system on my phone because I'm not agreeing to that list of permissions. I fully understand why such actions might be needed, but I don't wish to be subject to them so I opted out.

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

Number6
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Re: "32-bit Windows-powered ATM"

I think they should go back to using OS/2, then all the hackers would have to sit down and learn something new.

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Britain’s snooping powers are 'too weak', says NCA chief

Number6
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Context

It's also interesting to research the context of the quote. It was regarding the US government giving up privileges, not a comment about the individual against the government.

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Marriott fined $600k for deliberate JAMMING of guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

Number6
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Re: Harvey's law

This is why the first thing you do when connecting to hotel wifi (or even a wired connection) is to establish a VPN to a trusted machine elsewhere that you know can access all the services you want.

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Number6
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That was my thought too, I've used the phone on a USB cable before now.

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TalkTalk and Three want to make it easier to switch mobe networks

Number6
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Re: Dangerous Game Is Being Proposed.

Yes, those who want it all to be done by the company that benefits most should go look at the practice of slamming, as operated by phone companies in the US. A positive, defined step by the customer is needed, that can't be faked or obtained by deception. It should be possible to do it on-line though, for those who don't wish to have to tell the old company's retentions department to piss off.

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US Attorney Gen latest to roast Apple, Google mobe encryption

Number6
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I'm thinking of the children, which is why I support Apple and Google to work towards preventing abuse of privacy by government organisations which clearly think they're above the law.

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Atlas plugged: Facebook hooks ads to profiles, smears 'em over the web

Number6
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Separate Browsers

It's because of things such as this that I use a separate browser for Facebook and Twitter to keep them and their tracking stuff as far away from anything else I do. Good job there's actually a few decent browsers out there now so I can do this fairly painlessly.

I don't know if logging into Facebook on a private window is going to be enough to keep it separate from the rest, hence using something I know is separate.

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Ello, 'ello, what's all this then? We take a spin on the new social network driving everyone loopy

Number6
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Re: noun too

I'm a proper English speaker and I'm sensitive to this kind of thing, too.

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Number6
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Re: I would not mind taking a look at it

I think when that happens, I just remove Facebook instead.

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'Could we please not have naked developers running around the office BEFORE 10pm?'

Number6
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Management

being a good manager doesn’t mean micromanaging and berating your employees, it means getting out of the way and clearing away all the obstructions and red tape so they can do their job properly.

Definitely this. The manager's job is to make it easy for the team to do the work.

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How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

Number6
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I always remember the one about the audiophile hearing all of the noise but none of the music. Unless you're deliberately doing a review, enjoy what you can hear, don't go listening for faults. That way lies a bottomless pit.

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Number6
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Joke

Top-class equipment

Of course, it probably makes a difference whether your codec was compiled on some random PC or a high-end one with all the correct gold-plated oxygen-free cables and connectors. Guarantees a crispness to the bits.

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Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team

Number6
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That about the other lot?

Did he ban Linux and Android devices?

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FBI boss: Apple's iPhone, iPad encryption puts people 'ABOVE THE LAW'

Number6
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Re: Biter Bit

"I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law," Comey moaned today.

I would further point out that if he really believes this, he should be campaigning for all the people who are violating the "unreasonable seizure and search" provisions in US law to be prosecuted to the full extent of that law. It's the actions of his colleagues in the government law and security apparatus who are making his future job more difficult because they do think they're above the law.

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Number6
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Biter Bit

Perhaps if the spooks hadn't been abusing their powers up to now, people wouldn't see the need for encryption. If you catch someone with his fingers wrongly in the pie you make it more difficult for him to repeat the act.

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

Number6
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Re: This was fixed before you even reported it

The problem is all those devices that might have a vendor tweaked version of Linux installed, edge devices such as routers for example.

Most of those are likely to be running Busybox rather than Bash. It also depends on whether they invoke shell scripts with user-defined variables, which may limit the attack surface.

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Number6
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Oops...

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Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS

Number6
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The only way Comcast and TWC should be allowed to merge is if they end up like BT, where the network department is detached from the retail services and other ISPs are allowed access to the network at the same rates as the retail arm.

They're overpriced and slow, and are attempting to extract as much as they can from subscribers because of their effective monopoly position. Making one bigger entity is not going to improve that.

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus: GORGEOUS FAT pixel density - but it's WASTED

Number6
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Re: Antennas

It is quite possible for a little gap to *be* the antenna. A basic slot antenna is the dual of a dipole - you feed the two ends of the dipole from the centre or the slot from couple of points either side of the centre of the slot. A horizontal dipole gives horizontal polarisation, a horizontal slot gives vertical polarisation.

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Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

Number6
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Thumb Up

Good Stuff

Nice to see them not just scaring off the trolls but exposing them to sunlight.

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

Number6
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Audiophile Cables

I'm sure someone will start selling the gold-plated, oxygen-free copper, unidirectional cables in order to make sure each bit arrives in perfect condition with minimal distortion. They've done it with ethernet and other cable types, why not this one as well?

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Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Number6
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Re: Have lots of ideas, try them out

Valid tactic to try once - what happens if we take something less than popular and try to force people to use it? Now they know, and one would hope they will learn and not do it again.

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Bloat-free, unlocked Moto X to be dubbed 'Pure Edition', says report

Number6
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One plus point

Regardless of its performance as a phone, removing the bloat is a major step forward. At least if you get a PC from one of the big manufacturers, it's possible to remove the unwanted bloat, on my current phone I'm stuck with a bunch of useless apps taking up space I can't easily recover. We've managed to get carriers to offer phones independent of the airtime contract, now perhaps we can get them to offer phones without the extra crap. Admittedly we're still stuck with some Google presence (request to Google - do what Microsoft did and add an option to disable the bits we don't want to run) unless we're willing to add another layer of complexity, but to some extent that's true for Apple and Microsoft too.

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Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC

Number6
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Re: If

I bought a car and then decided I didn't like the engine, I wouldn't expect to be able to just pull the engine out and ask for some of my money back.

Back when I last bought a new car, I had the option of choosing which variant of engine was fitted, along with the colour, accessories, etc. However, as someone else pointed out, Windows on the PC is more like the chauffeur driving the car than the engine.

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BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS

Number6
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Re: Fairhead also defended criminal penalties for non-payers - and over 70 sent to jail.

The tale goes that in certain cities with a line of houses down a street, back gardens/yards that backed onto an alley, more back gardens, houses, street etc, the trick was to position someone at the end of the alley where he could observe all the yards, then drive a van clearly marked as a TV detector van slowly down the road. Then the guy at the back would observe all the men running out of their houses to hide the TV in the shed and note which houses they were. Then the team could go knock on the door, go out to the shed and find the still-warm TV (remember they had valves in back then), demonstrating that the TV detector van was so good it could detect the location of a TV even when switched off and hidden.

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Number6
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Harassment

It's a great shame that prosecuting the BBC for the behaviour of their licence department isn't really possible. Those who don't have a TV get harassed regularly and are sent bits of paper that accuse them of being criminals (with a get-out in the really small print at the bottom). Somewhere I still have the red "final demand" letter they sent me a few years ago with the "pay up in seven days or else" threat in big, unfriendly letters. I'm still waiting for the "or else". Even telling them you don't have a TV doesn't work, they still keep coming back.

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FTC: We didn't robocall you and thousands of others asking for bank details. IT'S A TRAP!

Number6
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Pay-only numbers

Banks need to set up a system of inbound account numbers. That way, I can quote an account number to someone so they can pay me money, but it's not one that allows withdrawals, that would be using a different number attached to the same account. It would mean that the response to a scam like this would be to give the scammer a number he can use to give money away, but not use to extract it. Provided there was no way to connect an inbound and outbound number, it's got a lot going for it.

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Comcast using JavaScript to inject advertising from Wi-Fi hotspots

Number6
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Re: That should be illegal

Working on the principle that those with lots of money seem to get away with all sorts of things, you just have to add enough zeros that you qualify for the exemption.

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Number6
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Which data stream?

Is this the initial sign-on webpage or are they piggybacking on normal browsing? If the latter then that's an even bigger incentive to log in and then fire up the VPN so they can't interfere with my traffic.

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Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT

Number6
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Re: Apple Pay? Not if they use the current iTunes approach..

They're not the only company that has problems coping with people who move across international borders. That doesn't make it right, though.

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Number6
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Coat

Watch Plugins

Is it true that they're going to offer a BBC timesignal plug-in that gives you six pips every 15 minutes?

Mine's the one with the core technology...

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Heads up, Chromebook: Here come the sub-$200 Windows 8.1 portables

Number6
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So how many of these have secure boot locked down so they're useless? I finally managed to get Linux to boot on a bigger Asus laptop, but that wasn't locked down. I know the Surface tablets were locked, it will be interesting to know if the netbooks are too.

How do they compare performance-wise with the original Eee PC and Aspire One machines?

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

Number6
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Re: No Legs, No Stairs, No use.

You just buy one for each level. This is where cheaper ones are more attractive.

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Number6
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Re: A true Roomba competitior..

Or the Neato,with its laser scanner for navigation and brush positioned where it stands a chance of cleaning in the corners.

Wonder what the battery life of the Dyson tank is - there's a reason the rest of the market has less suction.

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CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

Number6
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Europe

I assume advice for Europeans is to change to "pa€€wort" or "motdepa€€e"

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Discovery BATTLED 2-foot-long WEE ICICLE on first mission - 30 years ago today

Number6
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Sublime

I would have expected it to sublime, a bit like dry ice does down on earth. I assume the side of the orbiter heated up and transferred heat via conduction to the base of the icicle and weakened it. Using the robot arm to remove it is a bit like someone scratching his back.

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Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

Number6
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Re: Real coding!

Same reason we can't have decent filesystems (ext4 anyone ?) on USB sticks - Microsoft insist on FATxxxx-only to keep the monopoly rent on the patents I'm afraid.

I happily have ext[2-4] on my USB sticks, it just means I can't lend them to anyone running Windows :-)

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

Number6
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Clearly a challenge for the Special Projects Bureau when they've finished conquering outer space - apply their rocketry to inner space.

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Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years

Number6
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Snoozefest

The first I knew about it was when I read about it on the web this morning. Good job I didn't crash overnight at yesterday's party, that was only about ten miles from the epicentre. South end of the Bay obviously got a much gentler version because it didn't disturb me.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Number6
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Re: **** the European badge

I bet there are people who'd pay to have the European map with Spain deleted from it. Although Portugal would have to get used to being an island.

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Number6
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Re: @J.G.Harston and spelling

'Pterodactyl' should have been replaced by 'floccinaucinihilipilification' just to show that the IT department was listening to their complaints. It's what any good BOFH would have done.

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