* Posts by John Smith 19

9799 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

'The Google execs, the journalists, plus Brit and US spybosses in a cosy mansion confab'

John Smith 19
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I guess it depends who'se being convinced of who's viewpoint.

The corps.

"If you steal all the data for free, how will we be able to mine it for profit?"

The organs (of state security)

If you're encryption and privacy are too good how will we ever catch terrorists/paedophiles/paedo-terrorists/drug barons/terrifying threat group de joure.

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Snowden latest: NSA planned sneak attacks on Android app stores

John Smith 19
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Gimp

"expense of the privacy and security of hundreds of millions of users worldwide."

To a data fetishist that's not a problem.

It's the goal.

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'Logjam' crypto bug could be how the NSA cracked VPNs

John Smith 19
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"We must write our own encryption. "

Very bad idea

I think as many holes have been created in crypto by bad implementation as by bad standards.

What's needed is source code that's actually being read by implementors rather than just running it through their local compiler.

AFAIK only the US had this "export grade" BS.

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NASA plots interplanetary cubesat swarms

John Smith 19
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Something like it has been suggested before

A few years ago JPL looked at flying at flying as a secondary payload on comm sat launches to GEO. This (in theory) gave launch opportunities to somewhere (Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, anywhere really) on almost every launch.

The big benefit of this approach (in principal) is that it turns a once a decade mission to somewhere, to maybe once every 12-18 months, ideally using the data collected to drive the next generation of probes.

The challenge with these systems is to choose experiments that make the best use of this ability to sample multiple sites. It's also more likely a good idea to focus on 1 cubesat/1task

That is a sea change in how missions are planned or partitioned. 1 mission per cube sat or 1 mission per swarm of cube sats?

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AI pioneer reckons China's where the Rise of the Machines will start

John Smith 19
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"you need data and you need compute power,"

And yet the brains of babies have neither.

Do you not think they are doing it wrong?

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So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?

John Smith 19
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"So why are banks so different?"

I realize that I have made a false assertion.

I do not know there is any difference between a bank and any other (service) business.

I'm guessing wheather there is or not would be part of Tim's article.

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John Smith 19
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Go

"OK, that's one for the little list then."

Thank you.

I've been re reading my copy of "The Essays of Warren Buffett." His comments on banks, banking shares and "Efficient market theory" have made interesting reading.

It's been fun to just swap "Junk bonds" for "CDO" and see if anything has changed in the 20 odd years since some of them have been written. The word "leverage" comes up quite a lot as well.

No doubt there are some things you can do in the US you can't do in the UK banking system, but I'm not sure what they are.

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John Smith 19
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"how stupid will British economic policy be if it does leave the EU?"

How stupid do you want?

What' I'd really like Tim to do is explain why governments seem to feel it is essential to to bail out banks.

AFAIK a bank is a business. When normal businesses go down the toilet the assets get liquidated. New businesses form or old businesses get bigger by getting the assets, at whatever price they were auctioned off at.

So why are banks so different?

This sounds like something Tim can explain pretty well.

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Liquidator: 2e2 preferential creditors to get £745k payout

John Smith 19
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First rule of liquation

Secure the liquidation fee.

BTW

Historically banks which requested solvency reports from accountants handed the liquidation business to the accountant.

Except the the RBS.

They tendered the business.

Curiously fewer RBS businesses went into receivership (relative to number of business who banked with them) than any other bank.

But perhaps they just attracted more stable companies to their banking services.

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Mildly successful flying car crashes - in mildly successful test flight

John Smith 19
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It may not sound very clever. But...

S**t happened and everyone walked away alive

This demonstrates resilience.

And if you're planning to open up the number of people who can fly this then that's an under appreciated thing to have IMHO.

Hopefully they will get better at building these things so it's not needed.

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Smart grid security WORSE than we thought

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Oh great. Over-the-air updating of the devices in situ?

What could possibly go wrong with that

Unless the same group of inept motherf**kers did that software as well.

Which they probably did.

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POW: Smut-seeding copyright troll slammed as 'extortionate'

John Smith 19
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"If only Roy Bean was presiding..."

Indeed.

Trolls.

Hang'em high.

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John Smith 19
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So 90+ YO judge get this is an extortion operation.

I guess the judge grew up on a farm.

He knows the smell of BS when it wafts across his nose.

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Hey! Want a FREE TOASTER that makes BITCOIN? What? You DO?

John Smith 19
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So personal poverty giving corporate prosperity

Rather than public poverty and corporate prosperity.

At least this one only the gullible buy into.

Unlike bank bailouts.

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HP lifts lid on Autonomy lawsuit claims, but Lynch cries BOLLOCKS

John Smith 19
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@Tim Worstall

"There's no one at all in The City who ever really believed Autonomy's accounts. Nothing specific, just a whiff to them."

That certainly sounds like a warning bell to be weary of them but of course that's still the outside view.

As HP was buying the company their auditors should have much better access to the companies finances and operations.

My only awareness of this was when a US company sent 3 auditors into a UK company (single site) with essentially "Access all areas" authority. they went deep

The only issue identified was the large number of unlicensed games running on 3 machines on the network.

The machines the auditors had brought with them. |:-)

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John Smith 19
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Correct me if I'm wrong but when you *buy* a company

You get to dig deep into the other firms accounts.

And I find it very hard to believe HP's didn't find any of this.

I smell the fatal attraction of two CEO's, both with enormous egos IN some ways they are always the easiest to fool.

It's the HP stockholders I actually feel (slightly) sorry for. $11Bn wiped off their share price.

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Security bods gagged using DMCA on eve of wireless key vuln reveal

John Smith 19
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FAIL

@martinusher

"Surely the better thing is to talk to IOActive about minimizing the damage that disclosure will cause"

Why? It was a management decision to sell something that was cheap to make and insecure in use. If you've decided to do that your "business continuity" or "disaster recovery" planning should have covered the eventuality that your product would be discovered to be a PoS.

"and coming up with a plan to remedy any shortcomings in the existing product line?"

Again, why?

AFAIK all of Cyblerlock trouble is due to internal management decisions. Their development team should have warned them the system was vulnerable (and I hope they kept the emails where they did so). If they didn't it would seem they were pretty incompetent as well.

It seems a whole generation of "managers" have grown up that don't have the ability to stand by their decisions and whine "Oh the market/Board/creditors/partner/voices-in-my-head made me do those things"

No.

You did it because you wanted a big bonus, a big pay rise and stock options. Everything else is self justifying BS.

You want to be a manager, manage the mess you made.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Oops

"What IOActive have unwittingly done is demolish an entire business. Cyberkey has a thriving business based on an extensive range of products and systems. "

Wrong.

There seems to be something about the makers of RF security locking devices that says "We'll knock up some cheap computationally simple algorithm but no one will ever know because it's a secret"

It seems the "security by obscurity never works" meme has not penetrated the syllabus of MBA course.

TL:DR. Company management did it to themselves

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DEFCON 23 to host Internet of Things slaughterfest

John Smith 19
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Bring the pain.

You know the line those vendors are going to spout

"Oh, time to market is everything we had no time to test because we had to get it out there and the financial markets would write down our stock price and and....sob"

I despise PHB's who trouser fat profits then complain they feel "humiliated" by these sorts of contests. You wanted the money, accept you're management decisions were those of an a**sehole..

I hope that until all manufacturers get the idea that privacy and security are not "optional extras" and need to be planned in from day one this contest continues.

Something tells me it will be running for a long time into the future.

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Meet the man who inspired Elon Musk’s fear of the robot uprising

John Smith 19
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"Maybe he should have read Two Faces of Tomorrow"

Actually he's concerns are more along the line of Jack Williamson's "Humanoids" and their pursuit of the prime directive 'to serve and obey and guard men from harm"

Which like the fate of the women in the starship crew of the short story "Cold Storage" is down to the law of unforseen consequences.

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In a galaxy far, far, far away ... Farthest ever star system discovered

John Smith 19
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Headmaster

" cracked by fusion in early stars into helium, "

Fusion is the process of sticking things atoms atoms together to make bigger atoms.

Cracking (in the petroleum industry sense of the word) is the reverse process.

But it somehow sounds cooler.

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UK rail comms are safer than mobes – for now – say infosec bods

John Smith 19
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"UK testing has already begun ahead of a roll-out"

So a bit better than the roll out of smart meters to UK consumers.

But not much.

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Boffins laser print flexible transistors

John Smith 19
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Re: No mention of how fast these transistors are

"Sure, it doesn't give a solid number in Hz, but you can't really claim there's no mention of how fast they are when it clearly says their performance is just as good as regular transistors."

Wrong again. Mobility is a property that contributes to high speed.

But size and defect density are just as important and if they are printing those transistors they will be huge relative to those on a chip.

So to give the same results their materials properties have to be much better to achieve the same result.

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John Smith 19
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Re: No mention of how fast these transistors are

"Given that they state that their primary application would be in sensors and the like, MHz range would be good enough."

True provided you can avoid using any kind of modern high frequency comms protocol.

People use GHz transmission frequencies because the aerials are much smaller.

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John Smith 19
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No mention of how fast these transistors are

Odds on bet slooooow.

The problem with this tech has always been if you use the really low cost methods you end up with really slow transistors. IIRC the record is something like 20Mhz.

OK so that's a pretty sporty PC, back in the mid to late 80's.

Now how do you do WiFi, BlueTooth etc with those sorts of frequency?

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Republicans in sneaky bid to reauthorize Patriot Act spying until 2020

John Smith 19
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Big Brother

Of course there are *no* innocent people

There are merely people whose crimes we have not discovered yet.

But rest assured comrades citizens we will.

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Dailymotion staying VousTube thanks to Vivendi offer

John Smith 19
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Quoi?

Been a while since I checked DM.

Must have something on it worth checking out.

The fact they are not American should give them an advantage in some areas.

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France accused of tabling 'Patriot Act' style surveillance law

John Smith 19
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Gimp

"accelerated legislative procedure"

Right there is a big Red flag taht something very shifty is going on.

Data fetishists.

There everywhere.

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Popular crypto app uses single-byte XOR and nowt else, hacker says

John Smith 19
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"So... Trying to understand this... Exactly what does anyone gain using this app?"

Simple. Money to the developers.

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

John Smith 19
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Was the "Anarchists Cookbook" the CIA's *best* disinformation excercise ever?

Possibly.

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NASA to take MARTIAN FLYING SAUCER for a spin

John Smith 19
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Impressive.

Flexible and useful.

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Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills

John Smith 19
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"I assume this started as an idea with good intentions. "

Why?

AFAIK it's main benefits are a) Eliminate human meter readers (because they still have to be paid, so short range systems won't cut it) b) Re-price your utility prices to consumers by the second c) ability to run fine grained power cuts "demand management"

None of these have any benefit to actual consumers.

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Easy come, easy go: Euro astroboffins blast brace of Galileo sats INTO SPAAACE

John Smith 19
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First built by SSTL, rest by Astrium (after they bought SSTL)

So later ones likely to grossly over budget and schedule.

But time will tell.

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LOOK OUT, Brits – is that a Facebook LASER-GUN drone above us?

John Smith 19
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Joke

What every regime needs

A free test vehicle for it's anti aircraft missile industrial base to practice on.

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Wind turbine blown away by control system vulnerability

John Smith 19
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IT Angle

A small note on Windmills

While they won't hit the 100 000 RPM+ of an enrichment centrifuge they can still store a fair bit of kinetic energy.

Back in the day the IBM test team were reputed to have found a pattern of start/stops that got a mainframe tape drive (reel to reel) hopping about the floor.

You wouldn't want it to start raining turbine blades (even small ones), would you.

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John Smith 19
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Large hunks of spinning metal needing to be kept running smoothly.

Like Stuxnet for civilians.

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Microsoft and Oracle are 'not your trusted friends', public sector bods

John Smith 19
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Meh

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you

Companies chasing organizations for revenue.

What next?

Seriously I think at some point a bunch of users are going to be bitten hard by all those unreadable old proprietary file formats that their current version can't read (why bother with such support ?) and naturally the only thing you didn't archive was a copy of the program, along with all the passwords for the password locked files.

But surely no one would be that stupid?

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Labour has a pop at the government over missed GDS targets

John Smith 19
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And let's not forget Labors interst in cradle-to-grave surveillance with the NIR.

Tracking your every move for your safety.

Right.

I'm wondering if there's an argument for forcing single term administrations, so only stuff that all major parties agree on continues through multiple terms and the rest thrashes, like an OS trying to run too many jobs.

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The hyper-collapsed data centre: Vapor IO's all-in-one info chamber

John Smith 19
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Coat

So is this a Cray style vertical cylinder or more a tank on its side?

Enquiring minds....

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Stuxnet Redux: Microsoft patches Windows vuln left open for FIVE YEARS

John Smith 19
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Re: Just a reminder of how CMM 5 organisations handle failure.

"Mine: None of the above!!"

That was me trying to give MS the benefit of the doubt.

I'm curious who down voted me though.

Looks like some one with a very thin skin.

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John Smith 19
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Just a reminder of how CMM 5 organisations handle failure.

Identify the failure.

Fix it

Identify why your development process did not catch it in the first place.

Fix gap in development process

Identify the code pattern of the failure.

Scan code base for other examples.

Fix them.

I'm sure we all have our opinions which of these MS will actually do.

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Everything is insecure and will be forever says Cisco CTO

John Smith 19
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And as long as THE PATRIOT Act stays in force

You can bet that situation will never improve.

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Judge OKs HP's cash-free settlement plan in Autonomy investor suit

John Smith 19
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Wow. $8Bn down the toilet and HP don't pay a $

Impressive.

You have to wonder what has persuaded the Judge of the validity of HP's arguments.

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SpaceX to deliver Bigelow blow-up job to ISS astronauts

John Smith 19
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That structures is something like 10 layers thick and *very* tough.

Keep in mind by deforming (slightly) on impact it absorbs some of that kinetic energy rather than letting it penetrate.

Such modules can change the whole basis for things like L2 habitats in Lunar orbit, Mars moon exploration or Mars missions in general.

You get a lot more volume for mass than with a solid wall design.

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Bulk interception is NOT mass surveillance, says parliamentary committee

John Smith 19
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Wot. 100 psts in and *nothing* from our favorite apologist for mass interception?

Someone on the naughty step again?

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John Smith 19
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"So, ha, ha, we got the NSA to do it for us!"

Literally true.

Britons are foreigners to the US.

US nationals (or at least comms originating from the US) are foreigners to the UK.

"Conflict" what conflict?

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John Smith 19
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Re: Bulk interception of net traffic is not mass surveillance...

"I have said before that it's no good complaining about mass surveillance if we want to stop mass collection; the government will otherwise simply continue to say they don't do mass surveillance while continuing mass collection."

Exactly

And while protestors continue to ignore this subtle (but critical) point the data fetishists can continue to indulge their unhealthy obsession with everyone's information

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John Smith 19
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Big Brother

Re: Pure sophistry

"They can observe selected people using time-honoured techniques: by bugging their phones, their computers and watching their houses. Modern technology means that none of these activities requires a 'spy' to sit in a car across the street for hours on end any more. And more to the point: modern technology means that none of these activities requires a vast, information slurping infrastructure that spans the globe, with everyone's communications being shared amongst the 5 eyes."

True.

But that would require judgement of who is a real threat.

They prefer the view of Comrade Stalin "Better a 100 innocent men to to prison than one guilty man goes free."

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

John Smith 19
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Re: Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure'

"All this kit was designed when worries about security were supposedly reserved for the paranoid. If it is ever deployed it will be a hackers' paradise [PDF]- spoofing readings and remotely disconnecting supplies."

And note the first paragraph in the report.

"The European Parliament mandated the replacement of electricity meters with

new ‘smart’ meters by 2022, except in Member States who certify this year that it would be uneconomic. "

Which I think includes Germany.

Smart Meter Bitte?

Nein danke.

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John Smith 19
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Mushroom

Only in the Bill because of some "cash for amendments" Peer.

<profanity filter off>

Bastard.

</profanity filter off>

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