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* Posts by John Smith 19

9556 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Space tourist Dennis Tito begs US to BANKROLL HIS manned Mars flyby

John Smith 19
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Tito's pitch. Mars version of Apollo 8 for about $700m of NASA money.

Sounds a bargain.

Except.

It puts NASA and SLS in their critical path.

For a launch in early 2018 < 1 year after SLS's 1st launch.

Next shot is in 15 years, or a 551day launch in 2021.

Plausible?

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John Smith 19
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Joke

Actually with the plenty of wool passing the time will not be a problem

Wrinklies (Seniors + wool) x Time --> lots of knitwear

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John Smith 19
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WTF?

Re: A Wasteful Stunt

"Sending a couple of human beings to orbit around Mars and return is a waste of resources even if it is private money"

Not really if it's private money that's people's personal choice.

But when it's "Oh by the way Congress, could you get NASA to let us have an SLS for this little jaunt? Thanx"

WTF's that about?

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John Smith 19
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No real upside to NASA, lots of cash from the govt. So Uncle Sam does the hardware.

Who makes the cash?

I think the Legislature may find this "offer" quite resistible.

It's like a "Flags & footprints" mission.

Without the footprints.

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Wolfram's new equation: Mathematica+RPi=child geniuses everywhere

John Smith 19
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Re: Free Sage?

"I hope that you're being facetious."

Well it was too good a misunderstanding to pass up.

Now for a bit less ambiguity you could have chosen SciLab. :)

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John Smith 19
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Meh

As in "Mathmatica, the monster resources hog" Mathmatica?

Only I thought the Pi is fairly low powered in absolute terms.

Such tools can be wonderful if you have a)Imagination b)Guidance.

I wonder how many children have the first and how many teachers can provide the second?

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John Smith 19
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WTF?

Free Sage?

"Personally I'd be happier if they bundled Sage instead, which is not only Free Software (in the important sense), and thus is far more suitable for an educational environment, but is also written in Python, the programming language that was supposed to be the Raspberry Pi's entire raison d'être in the first place."

You want them all to learn an Accounts package?

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Bug bounty upstart thinks there's BIG MONEY in crowdtesting

John Smith 19
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Intriguing.

Make breaking stuff pay.

Of course the devils in the details but cautious thumbs up.

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US govt cuts squeeze crucial computer science, shoot country in foot

John Smith 19
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It's the old "dedicated" versus "general purpose" argument.

Remember why people bought mini computers, then micro computers?

Availability

My cycles driving My terminal with My bandwidth on My schedule.

Now it looks like Amazon, MS etc can sell you truly huge chunks of processing power, but I wonder for the real cutting edge stuff is it big enough.

Thing is though people don't seem to understand that short term should be handled by industry it's the long to medium term that's a problem.

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Moto's DIY smartphone Ara to be 3D PRINTED in exclusive new deal

John Smith 19
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As Microsoft taught us it's all about the *interfaces* or the file formats

So the question is will Motorola release the specs for the various interfaces in the design and do other mfgs (or other 3d printer designs) allow parts to be made to those tolerances?

The implications are a)3D systems have done significant development work on printable parts tech in terms of resolution, ink properties etc. IE no one else can make parts this good, and you can't buy or make a printer to do so currently. b)They will let others use the tech to make parts but not parts to plug into the Motorola design or in fact any mobile phone design (until the agreement expires)

Of course if you come up with a neat idea and then tell the community of makers "Nah, nah, you can't play with our platform" you're likely to p**s them off quite a bit.

Interfaces can be reverse engineered.

Once it is known that it's possible to make parts of certain tolerances and properties it's possible to find other ways to duplicate those properties.

TBH the design might be ok but the planning behind it seems kind of dumb.

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John Smith 19
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"But probably not the first instance of "open-washing" then."

Like it.

You can have "open-washing" if I can have "conslutant."

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'High impact' Gmail password security hole blew accounts wide open

John Smith 19
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Fix a major security hole in their complimentary email service.

Remember people.

It's Gmail.

The security hole is you're using it.

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Poor Intel TV dies on vine, its fancy pop-up shops turned into cafes, cinemas

John Smith 19
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"refocus on its traditional markets."

Selling the only over priced processors than run certain over priced operating systems?

I can barely contain my excitement at the thought.

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Doom god John Carmack teleports from id Software to VR upstart Oculus Rift

John Smith 19
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So motion sickness because it's *too* realistic?

People getting sick by turning their heads too suddenly?

I don't think so.

Still thumbs up for his joining them and hope his work (or as CTO his direction) will solve this soon.

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Stewardess first to book $250k Virgin Galactic 'space trip' with BITCOINS

John Smith 19
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Meh

Intersting, like shares in Berkshire Hathaway.

Trying buying a share in them.

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Vintage WINE laid down in SIXTEEN HUNDRED BC was 'psychotropic'

John Smith 19
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Happy

"honey, mint, cinnamon bark, juniper berries and resins"

And those resins would be.....

Enquiring minds

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LG: You can stop hiding from your scary SPY TELLY quite soon now

John Smith 19
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Gimp

Note "annonymous" *until* they add the data from the warranty card,

Which TBH you'll likely fill in if it's a 1000 £/$/Euro piece of consumer hardware.

Be clear.

This is also data fetishism.

Is it doing you any good? No.

What right have these bandwidth thieves got to this data?

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John Smith 19
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WTF?

Bottom line *nothing* should go out of a home net without *justification*

"Also, it seems to send what appears to be each button push of the remote, for example:

GET /bravia-e/l?cid=0804020703040E0F07090C01050200030807030C&v=CTV1.0&r=1300&i=0483A52C&I=0E155040&s=PKG3.901EUA&c=00524247&l=00676E65&t=0000000000000000&T=0000000000000000&e=1029&d=1 HTTP/1.1

Host: bravia-e.dl.playstation.net"

Every single button?

And this s**t does not have that.

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PANIC OVER DROOPING house prices hits MEMBER-shaped estate

John Smith 19
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@Don Jefe

"Has anyone ever been held prisoner in the basement?

Shouldn't that be "Can you hold prisoners in that basement?"

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Euro chief of scandal-smacked Serco leaves as cop probe continues

John Smith 19
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" rebuilding fractious relations with the UK government "

Translation "The civil service has rumbled we've been making s**t up for years and even I cannot cover this up. Still I've got a nice fat pension and plenty of cash in the offshore accounts, and with the contacts I've got I'll soon be starting up another nice little earner. Fat cats like me don't like to go without the cream for long."

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British visa website goes TITSUP... just before XMAS HOLIDAYS

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Perfect time for an upgrade because noone *ever* leaves their visa renewal to the last minute.

You f**kwits.

I'd call it un-f**king-believable but I've heard stories of UKBA PC's taking 30 minutes to boot (no I cannot explain it either).

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Best Start Schools 'superhead' quits amid probe into tech contracts

John Smith 19
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A "superhead" with only 5 schools

I thought you needed 20 at least.

Seriously some very "anonymous" characters have made a serious amount of cash in both the education and health services as the relevant "Sir Humphries" try to "prove" free markets deliver better service (or get their own fat handouts by playing one provider off against another).

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Meet the man who'll TAKE OVER if UK faces CYBER ATTACK

John Smith 19
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Meh

"Threat sharing"

Isn't that what the NSA, GCHQ and the other "5 Eyes" do?

Only it turns out that means "Anyone whose linked to a suspect in any way"

Very mixed feelings on this one.

.

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New inkjet printer spits out cheap OLED monitors better than your inkjet prints letters

John Smith 19
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Silly question but any, you know, *operating* screens ?

Cynicism aside there approach sounds better than those UHV systems (the kind where a fingerprint contaminates the chamber for a week).

So thumbs up for getting it (sort of) out of the lab.

But it's still a long way from ordering it online at <etailer of your choice>

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Budget decay kills NASA plutonium drive project

John Smith 19
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Re: Our (the US) Congress is filled with idiots by those <ahem> who elected them

"Rather proves that the ancient Athenians had the right of it."

Careful, people might say you're an elitist (or you've read a lot of Heinlein)

Actually it could be argued that the US is an Aristocracy as it's looking as in "The best rule."

By "best" I mean

Well connected

Well inherited

Well financed.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Obama strikes again

"If you include in that farmers and everyone that works in the defense industry - then yes."

I think quite a lot of people in Colorado could also be described as "Welfare Queens"

Mine's the one with a copy of "Interface" (by the guy who wrote The Diamond Age and Snow Crash).in it.

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John Smith 19
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@Wzrd1

"A 250 watt nuclear reactor would be quite a sight to see, as you'd need a self-sustaining fission reaction with far, far, far, far less fissionables than the laws of physics allow."

Actually IIRC NASA's 1st test run to connect a live reactor to a Stirling generator was (IIRC) about 20W, done in < 6months with a shoestring budget.

And yes it was reported in El Reg and was not too long ago.

This was of course just a proof of concept. BTW you forgot the #1 way to shrink reactors is to increase the enrichment.

IIRC the SNAP design ran about 97% U235.

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John Smith 19
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Re: @John

"Is that true?"

Yes.

Reactors put out a distinct radiation signature that is just too awkward to shield. That's how the US knew the Russians were running them for their "ocean surveillance" radar sats.

I'm quite sure if the US were running some "black" reactor powered sats the Soviet Union (as it was) would have been keen to expose the fact.

"Or are we talking about the difference between a Reactor and Radio-Isotope source?"

We are. At one point the US was keen to ship a couple of Soviet Sat power reactors over to test run them. Trouble was the agency most interested (The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization) had sort of lost it's reason d'etre when the Berlin Wall came down.

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Meet Stuxnet's stealthier older sister: Super-bug turned Iran's nuke plants into pressure cookers

John Smith 19
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Chinook Mk3

"Nonsense, young man! Chinook Mk3 proves that they can get malware written, documented and installed. Admittedly only on their own aircraft, but they can do it."

Indeed.

A fine piece of "development" work. Yet another example of the MoD's "Oh we can't use anything off the shelf because our needs are so special."

Still got to keep the (what is it?) 14000 staff in MoD procurement Bristol employed, eh?

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John Smith 19
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Remember people "cyberwarfare" is a game for *any* size and number of players.

IOW.

First we had the arms race.

Then the legs race.

Now we have the brain race.

Why yes that is a copy of "The Shockwave Rider" in my jacket pocket.

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John Smith 19
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Apart from being what most people would call an "Act of war"...

This should make every country in the world on notice that whenever one of their strategic government programmes starts experiencing a convenient run of "bad luck," they should have this on their check list.

I do hope Israel and the US behave as well when, say some of the hardware at Dimona, or the flight software of the F35 gets a little surreptitious "upgrade."

Something tells me there will be major "Pacifier ejection event" from their respective national perambulators.

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Vint Cerf: 'Privacy may be an ANOMALY, now over'. And it's no secret I think that

John Smith 19
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Re: ""Privacy may be an anomaly.""

"You assume it's BS. Thing is, for the most part, it's not. We've really become the Global VILLAGE (And I mean that in the sense of a small, tightly-knit community that can easily tell who's doing what. IOW, Villages have no expectation of privacy)."

Funny yous should say that.

I think it's also like a village. Actually I think it's like The village, as in The Prisoner.

Complete with the pandemic data surveillance.

Nobody asked to have their privacy taken from them.

It was merely taken.

So if they did not ask to take our privacy, why should we ask to take it back.

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FCC: How we'll RIP 'n' REPLACE OLD phone system for new IP tech

John Smith 19
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Boffin

@RobHib

"Re EMP, if that were still a worry, perhaps there's nothing better than Strowger. As you say it's unlikely there's any of that left for that purpose. (Even if EMP protection were a requirement, I can't imagine the modern-day telecoms engineer not brought up on the stuff ever contemplating its use.)"

Actually the ESS computer was designed to survive WWIII.

An old James Martin book describes the hardware as using punch card sized metal sheets with magnetic "dots" for RAM and ROM functions.

And yes they were tested to survive nuclear explosions.

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US House and Senate push patent troll bills

John Smith 19
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I don't suppose Sen Goodlatte's bill was co-sponsored by a Sen. Zuccero?

What better than a sugar rush in good coffee?

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Super-stealth FLYING CAR prototype seen outside GOOGLE HQ

John Smith 19
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Meh

Yet *another* flying car

Wake me up when it a)Flies b)carries a person on board c)does not crash d)slurps up all the investors money before the CEO "discovers" we can't do it.

I've seen a few of these come.

And a few of these go.

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John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: Ever been close to a Heli?

"Is the ground effect better or worse with many small propellers as compared to one"

"Ground effect" is usually described in terms of the length of the wings.

So if tip to tip it's 2metres then ground effect is maybe 0.7 of that.

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Native Americans were actually European - BEFORE the Europeans arrived!

John Smith 19
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"Continued proof that first to market doesn't always mean you keep dominating it. You still have to innovate or your competitors will take it all away."

Or just rape, murder and infect you with diseases you don't have any immunity to.

Which works pretty well too.

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What does the NHS’s new IT plan really want to extract from us?

John Smith 19
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Gimp

So it's the NHS "National Identity Register." What is it with f**king burocrats?

No. The UK is a small country with broadband access to every medical practice.

The truth is this sort of massive central data repository is simply unnecessary unless you want to flog off all medical records to whatever drug company wants it, for peanuts

This is a data fetishists wet dream. Anonymity is at their discretion.

Britards. Tell your GP's,

Do not want. Do not need.

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Ultra-green Europeans scorn Facebook's data centre blueprint

John Smith 19
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Facepalm

"carbon neutral" versus "efficiency"

I don't really see the disagreement.

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Capita: We WILL be more accountable for our services

John Smith 19
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"Command & Control Centres"

Like for malware?

"Accountability"

We've heard of it.

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Dry, cold and volatile: How to survive Mars, and your fellow crew

John Smith 19
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So only about 140x further than human kind has *ever* traveled

One thing continues to baffle me.

Why send a single ship?

Given the learning curve it makes much more sense to build a pair (or more), given how much they will have sunk in R&D.

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SCADA flaws put world leaders at risk of TERRIBLE TRAFFIC JAM

John Smith 19
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Wow. A governement that tries to find out vulnerabilites *before* it gets hacked.

Thumbs up for shear novelty

Now, lets see what the other operators (and the mfgs) do about it.

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Who wants a Xeon-powered, 12-core, RAID 10 … LAPTOP?

John Smith 19
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Happy

It's a bit of a beast

Title says it all.

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Magnetic slurry could deliver heatsink-as-a-service

John Smith 19
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Neat.

Focused heat removal where you need it.

Although I'd presume the particles are encapsulated to prevent settling and forming a lump in the low points of the systems.

Personally I've always wondered about about a sort of "liquid crankshaft" linking the cylinders on an internal combustion engine. The system acting as a regular hydraulic system with 1 way valves to keep the pistons cycling, then turning on the magnetism to shut down part of the engine (any part of the engine) and let the rest of the cylinders run.

Handy (I though) for any big engine that runs a lot in traffic, where a lot of the time is spent on ideal.

Thumbs up for bringing this out.

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Google's Schmidt predicts end to global censorship in a DECADE

John Smith 19
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Meh

Still creepy.

And wrong.

But as Snowden demonstrated in a connected world "secrets" don't remain secrets.

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You THINK you're watching your LG smart TV - but IT's WATCHING YOU, baby

John Smith 19
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So what about their competitors?

Is this just an LG thing?

You've got to wonder, and I'm sure there's a few people out there ready to check their router logs or run NetShark.

Looks like it's the same as the UK ID card b**lcks.

No need to ask.

No need to know.

Now f**k right off.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Linked to the TV Guarantee card

"Right with you but do people really fill out warranty cards?"

How much is the product?

Toaster, hair dryer not so much.

Big screen smart TV.

Bit more I think.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: For shame

"In my opinion and experience LG's answer is most certainly NOT going to fly if a complaint is filed, "

So it would seem that a complaint needs to be filed for the ICO to start taking action.

Would anyone (who has an LG smart TV) care to do the honours?

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RIP Frederick Sanger: Brit bio-boffin who pioneered DNA sequencing dies

John Smith 19
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Sadly missed.

Few manage a single Nobel, he got 2.

It would seem in both cases his work was not the "State of the art," it was the Start of the art.

That puts him in the company of John Harrison and Frank Whittle.

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US senator asks: Will Bitcoin replace Swiss bank accounts?

John Smith 19
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'guilt offensive'

exactly

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