* Posts by Number6

1559 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Friday beers scam up 240 percent, inflicts $1.2 billion in damages

Number6
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It's probably on his business card, I know my work email address is on mine. Plenty of opportunity to pick up such things at shows and conferences, or even a bin somewhere. Lots of places have an easily-guessable email address format so once you've got the names (which are not hard to find on-line in public records), you can crack it.

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Number6
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We had one of these, CFO got an email apparently from the CEO telling him to wire money somewhere, except a phone call was made by the CFO to the CEO first to confirm authenticity and so it didn't work.

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Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

Number6
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Telcos, terrified of being consigned to eternal status as ‘dumb pipes’, keep coming up with crazy ideas for over-the-top (OTT) high-value services.

As far as I'm concerned, that's all I need from the telco in the first instance and is all I rate them on. I don't use any other internet service from them.

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Why is the smart home insecure? Because almost nobody cares

Number6
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Of course, the only reason any of these devices needs to talk to the wider internet directly is because someone out there wants to make money from it. If I've got a home security system, smart Fridge, alarm clock, whatever, I want all the information gathered by these devices to stay within my network, talking to a server under my control within that network. If I want remote access then I'll do it by implementing an ssh tunnel or VPN from the remote device and minimise both the attack surface and the leakage of personal information to third parties.

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Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

Number6
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Re: There is one way to fix this problem forever

I have indeed clicked on sites where I get a blank page due to NoScript blocking stuff and after trying and failing to guess which of the other weird domain names are relevant, I've gone elsewhere.

I'm with Wade here, until they tone ads down to something harmless, I have no option but to block the lot. This even goes back to the animated gifs and the dreaded pop-up stuff. I know the advertisers want to get noticed, but if they irritate me by the method they use, they're even less likely to get my business.

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Wow, Barcelona really has a problem with tech disruptors. Watch out Airbnb

Number6
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Re: oh dear god.

But an Uber user does (hopefully) travel in a vehicle for which local road-related taxes have been paid, powered by fuel for which local fuel taxes have been paid, etc. I agree that Uber should have some form of umbrella liability insurance because a court somewhere one day is going to hold them jointly liable for an accident involving one of their drivers despite the protestations of their lawyers. Perhaps they could charge a lower fee to drivers who've provided proof of adequate insurance. AirBnB could do the same - lower rates for those people providing proof of third-party insurance.

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BYOD? More like CYOD as companies still set the parameters

Number6
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Re: Why?

Even if you use the stock email so on an Android and add the company Exchange account it will require the factory wipe permission.

Interestingly enough, that wasn't the case for me. Using straight IMAP worked without having to agree to anything, so I suspect someone slipped up somewhere. Of course, when I raised the issue of the Outlook factory wipe I was told that of course the company would never do that.

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Number6
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Re: Why?

I refused to allow the Outlook app on my phone. It wanted to be able to do a factory reset on the phone (i.e. wipe it) and I said no. My kit, my rules. At the moment my phone doesn't even use any of the work wifi options - we're supposed to use the guest network but the performance is worse than just using the telco-provided 4G data so I never bothered to set it up on the phone.

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Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so

Number6
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Re: Multiple projects can be a good thing

That's how venture capitalists work - fund ten projects in the expectation that most of them will fail, only they don't know at the start which one or two will be successful so they have to start with all of them.

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That thing we do in the UK? Should be ILLEGAL in the US, moans ex-State monopoly BT

Number6
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Re: Competition

BT used to be a monopoly and it was hard for others to gain access because of what they had to do to build infrastructure to compete with that monopoly. Now they're not the biggest telco in the UK but they still control the fixed line infrastructure. Even that isn't strictly a monopoly in many places because VM offer phone service and decent speed broadband to compete, and by all accounts do so fairly well.

The US is similar to how it was in the UK in many places, there's a single incumbent supplier and you're stuck with their offering. Capitalism breaks down if you've got a monopoly supplier and a high barrier to entry, not least because the monopoly can always undercut new entrants who need to recoup their start-up costs. So if you want competition you have to help it with a bit of regulation. If you've got the newcomers complaining that it's not tough enough, and the incumbent complaining that it's too harsh, then you've probably pitched it about right :-)

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Auto erotica bonk shocker: ja das ist gut, say 56% of Germans

Number6
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Ah! A downvote! I guess there's a BMW driver amongst the commentards...

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Number6
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I guess that for all those businessmen driving themselves to a meeting, it gives credence to what we've always said about BMW drivers...

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And it begins: Ashley Madison bonk-seekers urged to lawyer up

Number6
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He's asking for $760million for embarrassment? Or does that break down to $100 for him and the rest for the lawyers? That's pretty much what happens with a class action, isn't it? The participants get a token amount and the lawyer gets a new yacht.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Number6
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Re: @JoeT

But where do they live while the park is being developed?

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Number6
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Re: Can you trust the county?

That's where a word with a lawyer in advance to see if he can enforce a sell-on clause might be useful: "if you sell this within 10 years for more than $39m then I get half of the excess up to a maximum of $16m". That stops them trying to make a fast buck.

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Number6
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Re: No choice really.

This is probably Earthquake Country liquefaction land, you're not going to want anything much above two or three storeys or the cost of construction will be excessive. The way things work with the property taxes is that the land at the moment is probably paying no more than $100k/year in taxes. I assume if he sells it for $55m, the annual taxes will be $550k plus the added value of what's built on it. So you might fit more people on the land but they'll be ones who can afford rent that's several times higher than the current residents are paying. The county is attempting to stop the low-income families from being displaced.

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Number6
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I assume he'll be paying some sort of capital gains tax on it - is there any way he and the council can work out a good way to offset the loss (given that charitable donations attract tax relief, he's donating $16m to a good cause). I'd go back to them with that proposal, let them pay the legal bods to see what can be done. Or see if he can charge them the full $55m but loan them the other $16m. If all else fails, just accept the $39m, it's probably more than he'll need.

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

Number6
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Don't be too sure about that, it's quite possible that someone else misheard and has corrupted a perfectly innocent expression with something more juicy because he didn't want to embarrass himself by asking for a repeat.

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Budget UHD TVs arrive – but were the 4Kasts worth listening to?

Number6
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I couldn't just have one monitor, whatever the size. I rely on the second one so I can move the current window to it when the cat sits in front of the other one. Only once have the cats defeated this system, which is when two of them teamed up.

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You've been Drudged! Malware-squirting ads appear on websites with 100+ million visitors

Number6
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Re: All your eyes are belong to us

I value my system security. All I'd get from an ad server who contaminated my machine is a "sorry", I very much doubt if they'd pay compensation for the cost (time and money) for fixing the problem. Ads should be small (seeing as they eat up my bandwidth), not involve flash, pop-ups or use of a scripting language. That would cut down on a lot of the malware attack surface. They should also not interfere with the page rendering process - having a page not load because it's waiting for a tardy ad server to cough up is not going to present a product in a good light.

On second thoughts, I'll continue with the script and ad blockers because I don't trust any random third party to protect my system so a good first line of defence is not to let them have access.

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Apple tries to patent facial recognition

Number6
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Re: Never mind the facial-recognition patent issue...

Who knows? Perhaps they paid Randall Munroe to draw their sketches for the application (unlikely, I agree).

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If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

Number6
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Re: 'Cheap' in terms of food, now means selling your privacy too.

In fairness to Curry's I believe it is legislated that a seller must get your address when you buy a TV so that the TV licencing mob can hound you.

They are obligated to get an address from you. You are under no obligation to give them your correct address and they are under no obligation to verify it.

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BOFH: My diary is MINE and mine alone, you petty HR gimps

Number6
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Re: CRT Monitors...

I discovered that my Amstrad PC1640, by the time I'd talked the boss into letting me buy an NEC V30 CPU for it, and a long session reworking the disk interleave, outperformed the IBM AT used by the higher-ups. The V30 microcode seemed to be as efficient as the 80286, and far superior to the 8086, and the AT was running at 6MHz (I think) compared to 8MHz for the V30.

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Sun? In Blighty? Nah, just build that rooftop data centre, it’ll be fine

Number6
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Little-league stuff

Not quite in the same weight category as most stories, but on an individual machine basis it can be important too.

I had a Pentium 166 (that will date it nicely...) machine with a SCSI disk and a few other add-ons. One day the disk started giving read errors, so I went to fish the machine out from where it lived to have a look at it. When I did, I could feel the heat radiating from it, it turned out that every single fan in the machine had failed. This was before the addition of speed sensors on PC cooling fans. It had soldiered on bravely with the internal temperature rising, until it reached a point at which the disk drive couldn't maintain performance, hence the read errors. When it was cool, I stripped it down and there was noticeable discolouration on the Pentium chip where the die temperature had clearly reached impressive levels. As I recall, the chip survived another couple of years before expiring, but by then it had been relegated to a secondary role so it wasn't a catastrophe when it did finally shuffle off this mortal coil.

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Contractors who used Employee Beneficiary Trusts are in HMRC's sights

Number6
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Re: Clarfication

I thought the legal obligation on the company was to maximise shareholder value. If you're the sole director, shareholder and employee then there is no conflict of interest if the scheme provides you, as the shareholder, with the most money.

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7/7 memories: I was on a helpdesk that day and one of my users died

Number6
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Re: No more terrorism.

The irony is that the Franklin quote is used out of context. It's such a good soundbite though, but in its original context it was about taxation and the elected government giving up powers. Google has quite a few articles on the matter.

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Q. How much did Google just spend applying political pressure in the US? A. $4.6 million

Number6
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I'd like to see how much they spend on lawyers. I suspect a million before legislation getting it right[*] is worth tens or hundreds of millions afterwards trying to fix the damage.

[*] Use any definition of 'right' you want here...

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Brandis' metadata retention recipe doesn't prohibit USB drives stored in a garden shed

Number6
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A shame they can't just encrypt it with a SHA-2 hash.

"What's that? You meant reversible encryption?"

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Canadian dirtbag jailed for SWAT'ing, doxing women gamers

Number6
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Re: Sounds like an ideal candidate

Not just a 1Mbit connection but random packet loss too. Nothing like a bit of unexpected lag to screw things up.

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Biologists gasp at lemur's improbably colossal bollocks

Number6
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This is the sort of weekend bollocks we've come to expect from El Reg.

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Apple's mystery auto project siphoning staff from other divisions

Number6
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Re: Bah!

Probably San Francisco - have you ever tried parking there?

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Number6
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Re: Precedent

I'm looking forward to a claim that curves on wheels is one of their design features to be protected in court.

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US police to throw big balls in criminals' faces

Number6
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Re: Totally unrealistic

Of course, that's the downside of a camera, the cops will have to learn how to delete images.

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Number6
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Re: Limited application?

The obvious one is a WiFi jammer, put out enough noise and they won't get to see the image. For added fun, but beyond the average perp, might be a spoof device so that the image received is not the one from the ball. Given its roots as a humanitarian device, I wonder how good its security is. If all else fails, a baseball bat might be adequate countermeasure, either to return the ball if it comes in high enough, or simply to just squash it. The physical methods will probably work until the police had had training in how and where to throw it.

On the other side, if it's a bit bouncy, one could send it round corners, harder to do with a mirror on a stick. And if you think of the latest Star Wars robot, BB8, you could make a mobile version.

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BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard

Number6
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I know I have some former colleagues on here, so who remembers the day the US IT department did some changes just before midnight their time and went home? Leaving those of us just starting work at 8am in the UK without a functional network... I remember hearing the boss telling someone "I don't care what time it is there, get them back in to fix it".

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The slow strangulation of telework in Australia

Number6
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Fact Check

The A in ADSL stands for ‘asynchronous’.

Surely it stands for Asymmetric?

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Phone scamming up 30 percent last year: Report

Number6
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Call Blocking

I have a simple approach now. I have an Asterisk PBX running on an old Sheevaplug, a MySQL database and a few Perl scripts. An incoming call gets the CLI looked up in the database and known bad numbers are answered, a recorded message is played and then it hangs up, all without ringing the house phone. Unknown numbers get ignored, on the basis that real people will leave a message, scammers will just hang up. Then I look up the dodgy ones and add them to the database for next time. Known good numbers also get added to the database so that they'll present an identifiable text string to the phone.

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If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

Number6
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Size?

So would that be a 32-bit or 64-bit bus? Or is he going to survive until the next big leap in size?

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Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

Number6
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Re: Old trick that

Many years ago they had problems with the local amateur repeater and the 433MHz car systems. Despite the repeater being up on the roof, the car receivers were crappy enough to be jammed by it. There have been tales of MoD Mould repeaters, also in that band, causing similar issues.

I have no idea which idiot decided that 433MHz, a very popular amateur band, was a good place to put poorly-designed consumer electronics, but I hope their name is high on the list to be put against the wall when the revolution comes.

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Crude scammer targets Brit oil brokers

Number6
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Re: grey area? line crossed?

You just need a good lawyer. The compromised machine already had permission to access the server, else how could it upload the credentials. There was nothing in writing restricting it to write-only access so one assumes they could use the same machine to read from the server too.

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Health & Safety is the responsibility of Connor's long-suffering girlfriend

Number6
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Re: H&S Certification

Isn't a half-decent memory all you ever need to pass an exam? Either you've memorised all the questions and answers or you've memorised enough of the subject matter to know what you're doing.

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Number6
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Re: General Approach

We learned (c) at uni. For part of the course we were in project teams and had to do regular presentations on the progress of the project. It was soon learned that if we did an immaculate job, they'd ask hard questions, so the trick was to leave some small flaw in there, brief the whole project team on its existence (so we could all competently field questions on it) and let the review team find it. Once they'd found something wrong they were happy and stopped digging and so didn't ask the hard questions.

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Your metadata and the cost of collecting it belong on your phone and internet bill

Number6
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Re: what about a line that says

They might need an extra line occasionally:

"Last month your metadata was also viewed by three hackers who successfully gained access to the server"

Even if it's harmless, it highlights the danger of collecting information without proper care.

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BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Number6
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A well-polished article.

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NASA snaps first full family photo of Pluto and its five moons

Number6
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Two missing

A shame it's two short or we could have had a picture of the Dwarf and its seven Snow Whites.

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Facebook echo chamber: Or, the British media and the election

Number6
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Re: It's still true.....

That just proves the corollary to free speech - you can say what you like but it has consequences. With freedom comes responsibility.

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Number6
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As usual, I turn out to be the exception. The content of my FB feed does not generally reflect my views but I clearly associate with people who do hold views so reflected.

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Traumatised Reg SPB team barely survives movie unwatchablathon

Number6
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To be fair, the book version of Battlefield Earth is far better than the film. A bit like 2001, it's far easier to understand the film if you've read the book beforehand.

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Google's 'stale pale males' to be replaced by crack black chick pack

Number6
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Google seem to have the right idea, putting engineers into schools to inspire the children. Positive discrimination is bad, it needs young adults with the right skills and the best place to get them is in school. Of course, this isn't to say that adults can't go take courses and learn, but jobs should be assigned on merit, not to fill a quota. If there's not enough then look at why that is so and fix the cause, don't just stick a plaster over the top.

Teach the children to treat others on merit rather than physical attributes but to show tolerance and understanding towards old people who can't do that on the basis that they can't help it. Let the bias die of old age while trying to make sure it isn't perpetuated.

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NSA domestic dragnet NOT authorised by Patriot Act, rules US Appeals Court

Number6
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Re: impliedly?

So yes it is indeed a real word, one that is also quite old too; goes back to the 1500s.

Damn Yanks need to update their language.

And their accents, so 1700s...

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