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* Posts by John Smith 19

9492 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

CIA super-spy so sorry spies spied on Senate's torture scrutiny PCs

John Smith 19
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The "one bad apple" theory is popular with police and security organisations.

It's like the "Lone gunman" of political assassinations.

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Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata

John Smith 19
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"*most* of the time, they are subject to public scrutiny. "

And there's the problem.

You know the government will play the "National Security" card and say this is too sensitive to discuss/monitor/question.

I did not know that the Aus gov has such advanced cross government data management and I agree that if the government the usual cabal of data fetishist career spookocrats who are usually behind this BS wants it done they should pay for it.

I also agree it's a butt headed stupid thing to do and is grossly disproportionate to the size of threat involved.

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NASA boffin: RIDDLE of odd BULGE FOUND on MOON is SOLVED

John Smith 19
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"Volcanic activity."

I did not know it had volcanoes.

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'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece

John Smith 19
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Re: Security framework

"Isn't there a security framework that developers can use to help them build secure apps? How about a security test suite that developers can use to make sure they have done the job correctly?"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

That is all.

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John Smith 19
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Remind me again why we "need" this BS?

I don't know.

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Senate introduces USA FREEDOM Act to curb NSA spying excesses

John Smith 19
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*Sounds* good.

But it all hinges on 2 things

Effective oversight and avoidance of regulatory capture.

Time will tell who is offered the NS Koolaid and who drinks it.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Not to worry.. there's a backdoor...

"This exactly what the CIA has done for decades. Their charter prohibits their ops inside the USA, so they worked out a reciprocity deal with the Brits long ago..."

No.

The CIA was barred from operating on US soil.

But the format of DHS and THE PATRIOT Act ended that little impediment a long time ago.

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

John Smith 19
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Re: Realism

"I say, living in the Home counties, "Go Scotland, show us how it's done. Show us an alternative to the rotting, stinking neoliberal carcass that's Westminster. The English will then follow soon enough, or borrow Guilloutines from French museums.""

Hello Nigel.

How many splinter parties have you formed this week again?

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John Smith 19
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Coat

A little question. If you think Salmond is right do you think Farage is right also?

Both are campaigning on basically a separatist ticket, although Farage's goals are much more modest in some ways, much broader in others.

So if you reckon Alex can pull it off do you think 'Nige can as well? And if you don't does that mean Al's not got a prayer either?

I'm just stepping out for a pint and a fag to improve my "Bluff man of the people" credentials.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Fag packet maths

"Also, an independent Scotland would absolutely, definitely never be allowed to join the EU."

AFAIK Salmond is basically asking to do a 3 point turn out of the EU (as the Scottish region of the UK) and then "reverse back" into it as Scotland/Scotia/Gillie Jocko Land (for those familiar with the Spitting Image Thatcherite world map).

There are at least 2 problems with this cunning plan.

1) There are no provisions in the EU governing documents for it. Not a sausage. We are talking a major re working of the EU constitution on a much bigger scale than call-me-Dave's attempt to block "Bonkers" as the new EU Commission head.

2)The Spanish. It turns out Spain is big. So big that Madrid/Barcelona football matches are played as internationals. Letting the spawny one have his way opens up a very big can of paella, without even mentioning the Basques or the Bretons, who it can safely be said this would start giving ideas to. When asked the Spanish ambassador said Spain has no problem with Scotland having a referendum.

It's just what happens after that would make the Spaniards a bit combative on the subject if the wrong decision were made.

BTW I wonder if anyone has considered that rather big building on Threadneedle Street?

It's not called the Bank of Britain, is it?

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John Smith 19
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Re: Realism

"If faced with a rational argument, spout patriotic poetry. Got it."

Indeed.

And so far the Scots are saying about 58% No, 47% Yes, so it looks like logic is ruling emotion.

Although Alan Cumming and Sean Connery are still in favor.

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Canada's boffins need A WHOLE YEAR to recover from China hack attack

John Smith 19
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SOP. When caught. Deny everything.

But remember people can fake source locations.

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Warm, perhaps ALIEN LIFE-bearing water gushers FOUND ON MOON of Saturn

John Smith 19
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Astonishing.

Thumbs up for such results so far from home.

Note this very different environment also allows for the construction of new weather models starting from a very different basis.

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14 antivirus apps found to have security problems

John Smith 19
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Black Helicopters

Found by *how* big a team? 1 you say?

So what's the betting the TLA's have been using this approach for at least the last 20 years?

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Kiwi Rocket Lab to build SUPER-CHEAP sat launchers (anyone know 30 rocket scientists?)

John Smith 19
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Re: favourable launch location in NZ

"NZ is about 41deg S.

Unless they have changed the Earth's rotation recently the only thing favourable about it's location is that you could explode something rather large there without disturbing the neighbours."

True. Florida is not good at 28deg compared to French Guiana at about 5 but NZ is rubbish.

Mind you plenty of ocean to drop a dud launch into.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Amortise

"I haven't a clue what it would cost to develop a new, commercial launcher from scratch - but lets make a WAG¹ at about $1Bn (which sounds incredibly low - you'd think NASA would have new launchers coming out of it's ..."

Wrong.

SpaceX's figures (checked over by NASA) were about $200m including the F1 and 1st launch of the F9.

However LOX and Carbon Fibre make quite an interesting propellant mix on their own.

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Resistance is not futile: Here's a cookie sheet of luke-warm RRAM that proves it

John Smith 19
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Go

Sounds potentally very good.

Reasonable materials (for semiconductor mfg)

Reasonable voltages.

Density and cycle life however....

It's V 0.1 tech but it might have some legs.

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Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart

John Smith 19
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@JohnMurray

"And the companies can have MP's on the board, if not owning them!"

Let's not forget the reason this item is included in legislation is someone bunged a Lord to include it in the relevant legislation.

There is no EU mandate for it if it's too difficult (or expansive) for the country to do it.

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Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency

John Smith 19
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Either GE or GM had research on "cold flames" and cold plate burners in the 70's

However that gravity gradient makes a hell of a difference to results (hence the need to do it in the ISS).

Thumbs up for original research and the possibility that this has indeed taken it to the next level.

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Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket

John Smith 19
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I'm curious who the down vote was from.

Probably some little troll who can't string a coherent argument together I should imagine.

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John Smith 19
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@fritsd

<lunar orbit plan needing multiple launches>

There's really a few reasons why NASA won't do it that way. some sensible, some dumb as a stump.

1) The Congress told them not to.

2)They are actually s**t scared of orbital rendezvous having spent nearly 5 decades failing to invest in better EVA suits (although they got a radically better glove design for a couple of $m when they did it as a competition) and on orbit propellant management.

3) The biggest US rocket (the Delta IV Heavy) can do 28 1/2 tonnes to LEO for about $500m and is not human rated, although it's sibling the Atlas V is. So between them you could launch 100 tonnes for about $2Bn. But NASA is also terrified of launch failures and long delays with the LH2 (which will be what NASA will use for the upper stage) boiling off since the longest an on orbit LH2 stage has lasted has been 12 hours (Centaur upper stage). See what happens when you don't invest in basic research over 1/2 a century?

4)The Congress told them to.

QED Must build big rocket because must build big rocket.

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John Smith 19
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Re: This isn't NASA's budget

"This is Congress' budget. NASA just gets whatever Congress scraps off the plate and has just about zero say in it. I don't see why they're pounding NASA about it."

True.

But it was Congress who asked the GAO to find out what the state of play was.

I think their concern is the apparent level of denial within SLS management

Keep in mind that NASA's standard level of confidence that a programme will get done on time and budget is 70%. IE there's roughly a 1/3 chance it won't happen at that budget and/or schedule as standard.

I think that under the UK Major Project Authority that would be a Red traffic light.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Solid boosters?

"Solid rockets on man-rated vehicles are risky, but manageable as the Russians have proven. It's strapping them onto liquid rockets that makes them a disaster-in-waiting."

Which solid fueled Russian rocket did you have in mind?

You are aware the boosters on the Soyouz are liquid, right?

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John Smith 19
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Re: I thought the business case was obvious?

"If you don't have your own man-rated rocket then you're committing to being dependant on buying rides on the rockets of a government you're not exactly on good terms with. "

You do get that this report is about SLS?

SLS has nothing to do with getting people to and from ISS.

That's due to the planned Commercial Crew Transport Programme, which Congress have tried to strangle with the same vigor they continued to feed this cuckoo.

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John Smith 19
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I smell set up.

"Fortunately $400m is just about what's allocated to Commercial Crew, so by terminating one of the competitors early there should be plenty of cash left to fund this abortion achievement."

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Arcserve on split-up with CA Technologies: 'We’re a startup now. We’re really hungry'

John Smith 19
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That all sounds very promising and buoyant

If only I knew what they were talking about.

Some sort of backup system?

I seem to recall Arcserve did a LAN system for small businesses. Smallish scale but very cheap.

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Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins

John Smith 19
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OH and BTW it's pattented.

So fork over the cash first.

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John Smith 19
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Holmes

On eof those "We can build a new internet that's X times faster if we scrap the old one first"

proposals.

But that 1st step is kind of a biggy.

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Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle

John Smith 19
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Re: A Mockery of Justice outs the Law in a Banana Republic as a Fat Assed Fool and Idiots' Tool

Deep.

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Google to feed machines with evidence of human physical weaknesses – and that's a good thing

John Smith 19
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The American healthcare and insurance system

Offering the enterprising data fetishist ever more opportunities to turn your data into their profit.

But you can bet they won't be the last.

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BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

John Smith 19
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Still V 0.1 tech.

Obvious concern what's the cost (in bulk) of those carbon nano spheres and how do you lay them down consistently.

Still thumbs up for continuing to try to improve capacity, which has a long way to go.

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Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers

John Smith 19
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@Trevor_Pott

"They aren't. That's why independent security testing is required.

Insider threats are something every company has to consider."

Indeed.

True companies lemming like desire to wire themselves up to the internet has certainly made hacking the in house system a game almost anyone can play but the insiders still have the edge.

There's an old novel called "The Consultant" in which a bank is scared into conducting a security audit. As the auditors point out the person you have to worry about is already inside. :( .

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John Smith 19
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Re: @John Smith 19

"Pay us or we'll steal from you/your customers? What is the difference between that an extorsion?"

I guess you didn't read the rest of what I wrote.

"This is a Board level issue. Someone saves you a $m+ hit from a hack a script kiddie could mount at any time and you want to hand them a f**king tee shirt? How about $100k instead?"

The implied but not stated point of that paragraph was twofold.

1) If a major part of the value your business adds to it's products or services comes from your in- house software that development process (including bug handling) should have Board level representation.

2)The reward should be proportional to the potential damage. Some would say 10% is not generous. But it depends how bad is the software your company writes.

Keep in mind time is usually a factor with these things. You seem to be thinking that the first finder who reports to the company is a) The 1st finder ever and b)They will be the only finder.

Both of these assumptions are naive.

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John Smith 19
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Remember, business people, there're telling you about it because they like you.

If they didn't the first you'd find out about it would be when exploits appeared and started hitting your (or your customers) bank accounts.

So make it worth their while.

And if you're worried that too "generous" a reward encourages people to go bug hunting on your software why don't you institute better development methods to catch them before release?

This is a Board level issue. Someone saves you a $m+ hit from a hack a script kiddie could mount at any time and you want to hand them a f**king tee shirt? How about $100k instead?

Thumbs up for some simple sensible guidelines.

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Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS

John Smith 19
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Re: Software written more carelessly? More buggy libraries inhereting faults? More reporting?

"The ICL VME target architecture used data descriptors to try to avoid unintended data overflows. IIRC that effectively established a hardware range protection specifically for each data item"

The Burroughs machines also seemed to use this. A mainframe sized stack based processor built in the early 60's and programmed in something like ALGOL at a time when the common state of practice was still assembler.

I've long joked proper software could be 1/4 the size it is if you could just make 2 assumptions about the users. 1)They always know exactly what they are doing 2) They never make mistakes.

IRL both are a total fantasy.

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John Smith 19
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Software written more carelessly? More buggy libraries inhereting faults? More reporting?

Is the bug count really rising or is it simply that more software is being (in the widest sense of the word) "written"?

Just to be clear the #1 fail is buffer overflow at about 25% of all bugs and about the same of critical bugs.

IOW teaching people only how to do this part of their job properly would eliminate 1/4 of all web vulnerabilities.

And that's been the case for the last quarter century.

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Boffins build FREE SUPERCOMPUTER from free cloud server trials

John Smith 19
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I did not know there *were* that many cloud providers. Or are they

like those "mobile phone companies" that are actually switchless resellers and are basically a telephone sales operation? IE Amazon or Azure resellers?

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Internet of Stuff my Pockets: Investors plough 1 BEELLION dollars into IoT

John Smith 19
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WTF?

Why?

Title says it all.

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SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans

John Smith 19
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Re: ... a mammoth 2,000 olfactory receptor genes, ..."

"Another policy. Helper elephants for old people. They've got to have extra-wide doorways because of wheelchair access, so the elephants will fit in your kitchen, they can pass you the stuff you need with their trunk. And help with other household tasks. They'd be great at bath-time."

You need to spend more time with some real old people.

That sense of smell will make the elephants head explode quick quickly.

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Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

John Smith 19
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Never thought paracetamol was *any* good for it

I always associated it with Lemsip as "Something for a tickly cough."

IE B**ger all use for back pain.

A Codeine Paracetamol mix is meant to be pretty good if you don't mind potential constipation (even at low doses).

That said I found a little gentle stretching and staying mobile cleared up my back pain within a few days.

But I fully admit I was damm lucky.

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World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record

John Smith 19
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The Solar Challeng has come a *long* way since it started

And so have the cars.

Which was the point.

Thumbs up for this

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Are you broke? Good with electronics? Build a better AC/DC box, get back in black with $1m

John Smith 19
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Re: RE. Re. 240V 60Hz...

"I did have a few ideas, seems that the big problem was the tendency for voltage fade as power increases due to self heating of the ceramic, and eventually the heat causes the ceramic to fracture."

Oh I know this one. It's from a Frank Herbert short story called "Committee of the whole."

You cross connect a Peltier cooler so the more current it draws the more the Peliter module cools it.

I was never really comfortable with the whole Dune thing. A bit too epic, but his short stories (and the Dragon in the Sea) were fascinating.

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John Smith 19
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Re: 240v 60Hz...

"That's a funny spec... I don't think that's standard for anyone.

Most of the world uses 220-230v, and IIRC, 50Hz is more common than 60Hz.

The USA being the big 60Hz fan, although I'd have thought they'd be terrified of the idea of the 240 volts."

I think the Americans have some weird thing they do when they want to wire up a cooker or other high usage device to the mains. It's some cross wiring between 2 phases at that junction box. Seemed a bit of a kludge to me but apparently it's what they use when they don't want full 3ph but do want high power.

Like maybe a small server farm?

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Who should do security clearance checks? Did you say 'chat-bot'? This military slinger hopes so

John Smith 19
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So chatbots wired to lie dectectors make more effective HR droids.

Oh dear

This looks like a very bad day for HR droids.

I must get out my thumb violin and play a concerto.

Thumbs down (Roman Emperor style) for HR.

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MPs to sue UK.gov over 'ridiculous' EMERGENCY data snooping law

John Smith 19
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Re: Conspiracy Theory

""There is actually an extensive, ongoing, developed monitoring of a specific known threat. Why else would ALL parties agree to this rushed legislation."

Yes, it's called The Public."

Correct.

That's the only "enemy" these people ever need.

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FRIKKIN' LASERS could REPLACE fibre-optic comms cables

John Smith 19
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Meh

Didn't know about the relative time frames of pulse and survival of the light guide

But this has been talked about for decades.

The big one is making the "pipe" conductive.

So a laser lightening rod you can shine at the sky.

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Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530

John Smith 19
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Bin royalties for the platform.

So Microsoft really weren't able to give Windows phone away?

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Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'

John Smith 19
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Re: I think...

"Riiiight, John Smith. I'm sure that's your real name."

Thing is you can look up all my posts and form an opinion of what my views are, as I can of you.

Climate stories attract lots of SEL's and what looks like various kinds of astro turfing.

So I'll normally stick a down vote on that wheather I agree with them or not.

Is that a little clearer for you?

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John Smith 19
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Re: I think...

My rule.

AC + Climate change -->downvote.

You can't put your name on the post.

Either post outside of office hours or don't post.

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STILL no move by Brit data cops over Google's 2012 privacy slurp

John Smith 19
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Re: " how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services"

" not about allowing Google to creat simpler, more effective services to slurp them."

You have the emphasis exactly right.

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