* Posts by Jonathan Richards 1

799 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Not enough personality: Google Now becomes Google Not Anymore

Jonathan Richards 1
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Stop

@Steve 39, in re permissions

I also: I did something that I hardly ever do, viz. reply to an email using the Android 6 gmail app on my phone. It was bloody difficult because a message would pop up every few seconds (literally) saying "This app will not function without proper permissions: enable access to body sensors [which I could just about understand] and the camera [uh, nope]". What sort of a mail client wants access to the camera?

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Boffin

*Real* smarts...

... are required to parse the verb "to Shazam".

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Lenovo denies claims it plotted with Microsoft to block Linux installs

Jonathan Richards 1
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Headmaster

Outrageous language!

> do you really believe Microsoft give a flying fuck...

For heaven's sake, we don't have to have disgusting language like that here! Microsoft gives a flying fuck. Microsoft is singular. Cripes.

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Nomenclature... @peter_dtm

> ss Great Britain

SS doesn't mean what you think it means! (no, it doesn't mean your thing either, Herr Goebels). SS is an abbreviation for Screw Steamship, to distinguish them from paddle steamers.

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: With this tonnage...

> The Treaty of Versailles had nothing to say on the size of Battleships apart from that Germany couldn't have any.

> The treaty DID establish a maximum size of 10,000 tones standard displacement for Cruisers along with an 8" gun size limit.

None of which stopped Germany from building the Panzerschiffe at up to 12,000 tons, with 28cm (11") guns, and all before the Treaty of Versailles was repudiated by the National Socialists.

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Is Tesla telling us the truth over autopilot spat?

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: It is all in a name...

... indeed, and not just the name 'autopilot'. There is a strong feeling in many quarters that Nicola Tesla himself was a wronged genius, done down by The Powers That Be, etc. etc. I sometimes think that the Tesla brand operated by Mr Musk feeds off that association.

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Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: the United States ruled today

> The Americans came to liberate us, the thing is they never left.

If by "us" you mean England (location of the courts which issued this ruling), then you want to revisit your 20th Century History notes. England, or the rest of the United Kingdom, was not in need of liberation [1], but was in need of hundreds of thousands of troops, and hundreds of thousands of tons of military equipment, in order to open a Western Front and relieve the pressure of the Third Reich on the USSR in the East.

[1] The Channel Islands were occupied, but they're not constitutionally part of the United Kingdom.

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You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

Jonathan Richards 1
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Facepalm

Oh, the irony

The point of the famous xkcd cartoon 936 was that the four words "Correct horse battery staple" would be easily remembered as a password.

Alistair wrote:

> correct battery horse staple

PASSWORD INCORRECT REDO FROM START

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Non-doms pay 10 times more in income tax than average taxpayer group

Jonathan Richards 1
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Alien

Re: So in summary....

> If income is not earned in this country, and not brought into this country, why should tax be paid in this country?

Address this question to the US tax authorities, who sent Boris Johnson a bill for capital gains tax on a house he sold in the UK. As I understand it, USians owe tax to Uncle Sam wherever they are in the world, though they can offset local taxes against their US tax liability. BJ was selling his home, so UK capital gains tax didn't apply.

Alien, obviously -->

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Tesla to stop killing drivers: Software update beamed to leccy cars

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Inattentive twat behind the wheel

> Do we know how the accident unfolded?

I read a report of the investigation; the answer is yes, we do, to a certain extent. The long trailer truck was turning across the carriageway in front of the Tesla, so it was a side-on impact, at speed. The truck driver probably mis-estimated the speed of oncoming traffic, if he saw it at all, and the Tesla didn't slow, slicing its roof off on the underside of the truck and continuing on down the road on the other side.

See e.g. reports at Electrek.

There are also allegations that the Tesla driver was watching a movie while the car's 'Autopilot' was engaged.

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Megaphone

Never mind the Mansfield bars...

... why isn't Tesla running out an update which forces cars to obey the posted speed limits?

My standalone sat-nav will beep at me if I drive faster than a posted speed limit. The engineering problem to hook that up to an EMS is trivial.

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Jonathan Richards 1
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I do remember...

> simply looking at the SSIDs it can see

... but was it recording SSIDs (which can be changed by the user) or the MAC address of the AP (which generally can't). I know that Google was recording a certain amount of *traffic*, which was temporarily embarrasing. I only ask, because I set up a new router recently (different MAC, of course) with the same SSID as always (because that's simpler). Do you suppose Google knows the location of my router?

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The next Bond – Basildon or Bass-Ass? YOU decide

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: In the absence of a poll…

>Why do people keep banging on about Idris Elba

Maybe because they think he's a good enough actor to take up the baton of Bond? After all, choosing an actor *simply because he is "black"* would be definitively racist, wouldn't it?

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L0phtCrack's back! Crack hack app whacks Windows 10 trash hashes

Jonathan Richards 1
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Pirate

Re: Nope

> booting off a live linux {CD, USB}

All BIOSes allow one to define allowable boot devices, and I haven't seen one for decades that doesn't have a degree of password protection for the BIOS setup [1]. If you care enough, you can forbid the possibility of booting from a CD.

Having said that, I used regularly to use a live CD on a secure network for which I had *my own* Windows credentials: the tools available were just so much more powerful than the ones I could get installed for Windows.

[1] The BIOS password will also be crackable, of course. Mantra: "If the geezer in the Black Hat has unfettered access to the physical device, you're screwed."

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Former RN flagship HMS Illustrious to be sold for scrap – report

Jonathan Richards 1
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Late, and beside the point...

... but I would just like to point out that there was no Falklands War. Argentina did not declare war on the UK, the UK did not likewise declare war on Argentina, due to the unpleasantness that would have caused in the United Nations. There was a military operation, codenamed Operation Corporate, to expel the Argentinian invaders. Had there been a state of war, then the Vulcan operation Black Buck might have been carrying a different weapon to a target further north.

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

Jonathan Richards 1
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Megaphone

OT re St Columb Major

>...hamlet...

Oi! It's been a chartered market town since the fourteenth century! Well, there was still a cattle market there when I was a boy, but now ... not.

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IP mapping hell couple sues

Jonathan Richards 1
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Marketing 101

> why didn't they just say no data was available for that IP address

Because it's hard to sell a dataset that looks like

nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn NaN NaN

[repeat] ....

....

....

....

What would be interesting is to know just how many "default" locations, i.e. non-data records, were being sold to MaxMind's customers.

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BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Jonathan Richards 1
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@Andrew

Could you ask the BBC specifically whether it has carried out a Privacy Impact Assessment [PDF]?

If they have, could they share it with us, please? And if they haven't, pray why not?

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By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: No, it just means the end of the desktop pc

Why do you think that the silicon running the "cluster" will use less electricity per bit than the silicon in a single-user device? In as much as there is any sense in the press release, it's about pointing out that the physics is becoming the limiting factor, rather than the technology.

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Boffin

Re: That is one serious bullshit chart

> Energy production line stays flat?

Looks flat; isn't flat. There is a very slight upward slope on the energy production line (only three pixels across the years 2010 to 2040, dy/dx = 0.008...) but it's on a logarithmic Y axis. I can't be bothered to do the arithmetic, but I think that represents a pessimistic forecast for growth in electricity generation.

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Boffin

Re: Good thing world electricity production won't flatline until 2040

@DougS

That was my initial reaction, too. But look again at that graph: the Y axis is logarithmic. Even if you plot a line on it where electricity production doubles every five years [1], it's still going to intercept the IC demand lines some time before I'm a centenarian.

[1] I'm reminded of a Dilbert cartoon, in which Dilbert points to a presentation slide, and says "In phase 3, we meet an alien civilization which shares its advanced technology with us".

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London Stock Exchange's German mega-merger: It's a go, despite Brexit

Jonathan Richards 1
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Pirate

Distance matters...

...when high-frequency trading comes into the picture. If your way of (making money | sucking blood) relies on arbitrage between prices on a scale of milliseconds, then you can't afford to be waiting even a few milliseconds for information from distant markets. London already has the IT infrastructure to support this (important financial mechanism | disturbing parasitism).

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Google Chrome deletes Backspace

Jonathan Richards 1
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Mushroom

Re: Long overdue

Alt-SysReq-b works better on Linux systems...

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Panama Papers finally online

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Torrent file

... and a rich set of relationships, too, with over 80 unique labels for those 1.27 million relationships, e.g.

Auditor of; Beneficial owner of; Nominee Director of; Power of Attorney of; same address as; Tax Advisor of

Now I shall embark on a script to convert the CSVs to Graphviz :)

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Torrent file

Indeed, but a substantial quantity of data if you want to extract some relationships:

/offshore_leaks_csvs-20160510$ wc -l *.csv

151128 Addresses.csv

1269797 all_edges.csv

319422 Entities.csv

23643 Intermediaries.csv

345646 Officers.csv

2109636 total

So, approximately 1.27 million relationships between 840 thousand nodes.

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The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

Jonathan Richards 1
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Hello, my name is Gavin

Interestingly, when the scammers are asked point-blank if they're calling from Microsoft they get a bit jumpy, and hedge around the question: they say things like "We are the Windows Support Department", but hesitate actually to lie about being Microsoft(R). I guess that Microsoft's lawyers are a bit scary, even in Mumbai.

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Router hackers reach for the fork: LEDE splits from OpenWRT

Jonathan Richards 1
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Go

You say downside, I say upside...

... but nobody calls the whole thing off.

First of all, forking a project when it has the maturity of OpenWRT is not 'very easy', I suspect. However, your analogy with a childrens' ball game is inapt. The whole point is that there isn't just one ball. The forkers are taking a clone of the ball, and starting a new game in the same field. Current and future players can decide which game to play in: hell, we can play in both, if we like. Meanwhile, there are two games going on, rather than "tough conversations" on the sidelines which cut no code.

Some forks are what you might call 'hard', with a disagreement about technological direction, e.g. the Devuan thing, but this seems to be softer, more about project management. Don't rule out a merger in the future.

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Jonathan Richards 1
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Headmaster

Re: Great Britain

It's a size thing. Great Britain is a geographical entity, not a political one. It's just the largest of the British Isles, with Ireland second, then Man, Wight, etc (several thousand all told). Great USA? Well, it's big, but not as big as Russia ...

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Greenpeace leaks TTIP texts, reveals strained negotiations

Jonathan Richards 1
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Stop

They expect WHAT, now?

> companies complaining that new regulations would spoil their expectations of a stable business environment

On what planet, in which galaxy of which multiverse has it ever been reasonable to expect a stable business environment? There's a joke in there about livery stables not being remunerative any more, but I can't be bothered to go after it. The serious point is that over my lifetime we've seen vast innovations that have destabilized loads of business models. Where are the typewriter manufacturers, and the videotape rental chains? They didn't go out of business because of regulations, but the manufacturers of ethyl lead fuel additives, and most purveyors of tobacco products did.

Bottom line: businesses do not have a right to expect stable business environments. Negotiating the perils of unstable ones is the risk that C-level executives already get paid obscenely large salaries for.

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Good enough IT really is good enough. You don't need new hardware

Jonathan Richards 1
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Not only is good enough good enough...

... but better has to be >= (good enough + cost of implementation) where 'implementation' includes but is not limited to capital costs, installation, training, modification of test procedures, overhauling backup and disaster recovery, and the salesman's fat commission.

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NASA eyes stadium-sized orb launch: Part 3

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Wanaka is a lovely place.....

Why Wanaka Works Well for NASA Balloons

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Another abort?

20:10 UTC, and the doozers [1] seem to have brought the launch vehicle back up the runway and are unloading the payload, again. Not calm enough, or some other glitch? wanakaweather.co.nz reports very little wind at surface level.

[1] See explanation, if req'd.

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The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

Jonathan Richards 1
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@1st 2nd 3rd

> average el Reg piece is 2K to 3K bytes

I downloaded the article with lynx, which packs the html into a 6K gzip file. Unpacked, it weighs in at a smidgin under 21 KiB.

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Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

Jonathan Richards 1
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FAIL

ROM?!!

>code that was installed after the machine had been audited

Why was the code not in Read-Only Memory? There are so many things that don't add up, here. A "security boss" with access to the code repository and the code release mechanism... Mutable code in the actual machine which draws the numbers (I assume there is only one, or maybe two, to give redundancy)... No checksumming of the audited code, to be verified before each run? And this for a lottery enterprise, that by definition depends on the trust of its users. At least in the UK national lottery, the numbers are chosen by an assured chaotic physical system in plain view. Why is anybody using digitally generated random numbers, anyway?

Ref: National Lottery Commission

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ExoMars probe narrowly avoids death, still in peril after rocket snafu

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Don't Panic

You did. It's a Beagle.

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Gov opens consultation on how to best to use your data

Jonathan Richards 1
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Reverse anon.

I'd be more happy with the prospect of data sharing if there was a specific offence of de-anonymising. It's not hard to write programs to put together two or more "anonymous" datasets with a personal one, and infer the identity of the data subjects. Writing, possessing, using, or using the products of, such programs should be specifically dis-allowed.

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Gopher server revived after 15 years of downtime

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: "a file system is a good model for locating documents and services"

> Copy of New Folder (1)

Ah, yes. An essential element of my plan (i), i.e. a filing system for document retrieval, is that you NEVER let the users create a folder; there has to be a very controlled process for that, along with updating the file plan.

Slightly OT: this is where the metaphors get a bit mixed. In the formal filing systems which I have in mind, viz. the UK Civil Service of thirty years ago, paper documents were sequence numbered by a Registry and inserted into folders (colour coded for security classification). One or a series of folders constituted a Registered File. In the computer metaphor, most often, a "file" is the same thing as a "document".

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: "a file system is a good model for locating documents and services"

> hunting for a document in a filetree

Yup. For effective information retrieval, you need either (i) a filing system with associated fileplan, or (ii) indexes and and a unique document ID/location. There's a reason that many libraries implemented the second of those two concepts hundreds of years before computers were invented. Mis-filed documents in plan (i) are effectively lost, and as the quoted post says it's almost certain that human error will result in mis-filing, and soon. Compiling and maintaining the indexes for documents is resource-intensive, but provided that the documents are on the literal or metaphorical shelf where you're expecting them, then retrieval is much more precise.

HTTP became the protocol of choice across much of the Internet, but it needed search engines (web indexes) really to bring it to life; Lycos, Alta Vista, and some other outfit that I mis-remember...

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Investigatory Powers Bill to be rushed into Parliament on Tuesday

Jonathan Richards 1
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Go

Many eyes...

... make bugs shallow; maybe this works for draft legislation, too.

Instead of unfocussed beefing to our MP's why don't we divide up the draft bill between us, and give just our bit a good read, then pool our problems, to be distributed to said MPs. After all, there's a wealth of expertise here, a wide range of opinions, and a fortnight to go before the second reading.

However, as I post this, the draft bill does not appear on legislation.gov.uk. Does anyone know where to get a copy?

Edit: Found it

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Crowd-funded OpenShot 2.0 delivers graphic Linux package

Jonathan Richards 1
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Version compatibility

I used OpenShot 1.4.3 last year to edit a couple of videos from a friend's camera, so was pleased to see v2 beta. However, v2 will not open the Project files that v1.4.3 wrote, so for future edits, I'd have to re-import.

In fact, I expect that I won't want to do that, but this is heads-up: don't change versions in the middle of a project.

Edit: The release notes say:

"Projects should be completely portable now, between different versions of OpenShot and on different Operating Systems. This was a key design goal of OpenShot 2.0, and it works really well now."

Doesn't for me, as described above. YMMV.

J.

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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Completely wrong

@Mark 85

Amen to the sentiment, brother, but SCO v. IBM was in re. literally dozens of things, none of which were patents. As they say in these parts, "What happened, was, -->" [groklaw.net]

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Canonical accused of violating GPL with ZFS-in-Ubuntu 16.04 plan

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: @HCV - I don't quite get your point

> considering GPL to be unmodifiable is the height of conceit

I don't think anyone has said that they consider that, have they? Of course the GPL is modifiable: we're currently on Version 3, already. What you *can't* do is go back and retro-actively modify Version 2. Re-licensing the kernel under a later version would require the assent of all the kernel contributors who hold a copyright. I'm unaware that there's an appetite to undertake that task.

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Microsoft urges law rewrite to keep US govt's mitts off overseas data

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Worrying - I agree with an American politician!

"Reasonable suspicion" seems to be a bar that is set WAY lower than "probable cause", just on the basis of English semantics ('cos I ain't a lawyer, either). 'Probable cause' implies that one has to be able to articulate some evidence pointing to probability, whereas 'Reasonable suspicion' just has to demonstrate that a suspicion is not unreasonable. Arguing over the applicability of the word "reasonable" in any given context has paid for the private education of generations of lawyer's children...

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Jonathan Richards 1
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Joke

Re: I already got mine

>I call it my computer. Because it is mine.

Famously, MS Windows labelled PCs "My Computer", and for exactly the same reason!

RFI: I've never seen Windows 10. Does it still have 'My Computer'?

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US Congressman calls WIPO 'the FIFA of UN agencies' at hearing

Jonathan Richards 1
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Mushroom

Naming of parts

> Blatter isn't a good Chinese name

The scientific name derives from the Latin blatta, "an insect that shuns the light" Wikipedia.org

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Yelp minimum wage row shines spotlight on … broke, fired employee

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Not just Trump

Oh Homer wrote:

> Most shocking, to me anyway, is the fact that this sick attitude extends to the deeply impoverished working class majority

I'm coming late to these comments, but shortly after seeing an even older Youtube video on the subject of US wealth inequality. It's difficult, as an outsider, to see how this situation survives in a democracy, except that the phrase 'indoctrinated by centuries of neoliberal doctrine into the delusion that they are all merely "temporarily embarrassed millionaires"' [Oh Homer, op cit.] sums it up very nicely. I can't be the only observer from the Old World, where "liberal" is a respectable description of a political outlook rather than a deathly insult, who wonders at the instability of the US system. By that I mean an analogy with the stability of the spinning plate trick: it requires constant intervention to prevent it from coming crashing down in an irretrievable mess.

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The field at the centre of the universe: Cambridge's outdoor pulsar pusher

Jonathan Richards 1
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Alert

Re: Pulsar GPS?

Both Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft carry a plaque indicating the position of the Sun in relation to pulsars, so the first people to use pulsar navigation may not be people at all...

Wikipedia article

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Move over, Google. Here’s Wikipedia's search engine – full of on-demand smut

Jonathan Richards 1
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Coat

Embedded reality

> Why trawl the world, when the world is inside Wiki?

"He's on an intergalactic cruise... in his office"

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Thirty Meter Telescope needs to revisit earthly fine print

Jonathan Richards 1
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Re: Time to move to La Palma

OK, pedantic wet blanket moment: the Milky Way is composed of billions of stars, but you can't resolve them with the naked eye. Despite the apparently overwhelming number of points of starlight in a dark sky, there's probably no more than 5,000 that one can see.

Source: earthsky.org

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Reports: First death from meteorite impact recorded in India

Jonathan Richards 1
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OT Re: Ludicrous false claim

Thank you for the link, it's good to know that somebody has done some decent anecdote collection.

But... my eyes! my eyes! I haven't had to read orange on black since I elected to have that colour scheme on a DEC VT320, circa 1987. The site colour scheme brought it all flooding back: the hours writing extensions to EVE...

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