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* Posts by John Smith 19

9556 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Bradley Manning: 'I'm sorry my actions hurt the United States'

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Re: What idiot

"Too true, JS19. Whatever happened to 'need to know'?"

Exactly.

The helicopter footage I can sort of get but the diplomatic stuff? That should have been not just above his pay grade but his CO, their CO and probably several levels further.

In fact how does a DoD employee (well technically) have access to the State Dept at all?

I'm pretty sure there are people in the USG who spend their careers devising filling and access control systems to stop ensure some people can see stuff and other cannot.

So either stuff has been mis filed on an epic scale or they have done the government equivalent of Windows giving users "Administrator" privilege by default.

If so then all it takes is one person with time on their hands and curiosity to find out how far down the rabbit hole they can go.

The rest is history.

Fail for the USG doing this stuff in the first place and fail again for not securing it.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Re: What idiot

"thought this crazy mixed-up kid should be given access to classified information?"

Presumably the same ones who thought the other 2.4 million people have access to this same information.

After all none of them have ever taken a peek at information they don't use, have they?

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Who's Edward Snowden? Capita bungs its email into Microsoft's cloud

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Where is MS's corporate HQ again? Whose laws are *it* subject to?

THE PATRIOT act makes any such assurances meaningless

Of course they could take a leaf out of the IBM playbook and establish a European subsidiary to handle the business.

But do you trust MS?

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Your encrypted files are 'exponentially easier' to crack, warn MIT boffins

John Smith 19
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WTF?

So the mathmatical basis of the "crib" used by Bletchley and the EFF DEScrack

I guess this is part of the reason they used to transmit messages as 5 character alphanumeric groups.

One of the classics for Enigma was (IIRC) to look for fo "Heil Hitler" at the end of the message. Get a station that used that and you could nail it's entire output (if not it's whole network).

Likewise DESCrack had a mode where the processing elements would interrupt the control processor if they found something that looked "interesting". You might get a bunch of false positives but intuitively this is also the idea of non uniform entryopy.

As for wireless door looks.

Oh look another proprietary IE secret protocol that has not been subject to public scrutiny and turns out to not quite as secure as its makers claim.

So bottom line randomness is the enemy of compressability. So first randomize your files contents. I don't mean what a character means, I mean it's actual location in the file IE transmit the file out of order, and try to ensure no one knows what type of file is being transmitted in the first place. If it's known that this file is a Word or Excel document you already know it's structure. You've already got cribs

Frankly I'm very surprised this assumption is made.

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NASA plots Chelyabinsk plume

John Smith 19
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The surprise is being able to *detect* this

As I'm sure people have modelling capability for decades. However testing that model against real data is kind of tough.

Well done for calibrating the model and generally narrowing the error bars.

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Boffins harvest TV, mobile signals for BATTERY-FREE comms

John Smith 19
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Of course that depends if you *want* an "internet of things"

Sometimes being clever is not really enough.

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Xerox admits there's no fix yet for number-fudging copiers

John Smith 19
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FAIL

So what are they using for a development method?

The "No complaints == No faults" rule?

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Most UK privacy cock-ups are 'careless' spaffing of personal data - watchdog

John Smith 19
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Nothing changes till criminal charges can be brought.

Which requires the relevant Minister to change his "Statutory Instrument."

Otherwise it'll be BAU

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Beware the ad-punting crapware-laden Firefox, warn infosec bods

John Smith 19
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Re: AdBlock Plus for security?

"Does AdBlock Plus count as security software now?"

Yes, insofar as it keeps the ignorant from being exposed to advertising for the ignorant.

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Is NASA planning to send LAVA LAMPS to Jupiter?

John Smith 19
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The physics of lava lamps are complex

How that changes under different external gravitational fields.Explaining that behavior in detail would probably be a graduate level problem.

Thumbs up for this remarkable contraption.

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Keep Landsat flying forever, says US Academy of Sciences

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Hosted payloads?

Hosted on what?

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Larry Ellison: Google is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, but NSA is ESSENTIAL

John Smith 19
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Gimp

CEO of major suppliers says biggest customer is a great guy.

""The great thing is that we live in a democracy. If we don't like what NSA is doing, we can just get rid of the government and put in a different government," "

Because the American people voted to be spied upon in the first place, right, Larry?

Like f**k they did.

This was the work of the people behind the people who wrote THE PATRIOT Act and a group of high level Intelligence bureaucrats.

Because they could This is data fetishism. It's irrational.

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Obama appoints intelligence boss to run 'independent' review of NSA

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Head poacher says "No poaching going on here."

What a shock

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REVEALED: Simple 'open sesame' to unlock your HOME by radiowave

John Smith 19
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FAIL

So the *illusion* of security without the reality.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: LA <--> SF in 30 mins for $20

If the passenger volume is a result of the pricing they've used then no they won't. Higher price --> lower volume --> fall in overall volume.

If you've got the car you're already OK with the delay. If you fly It's borderline.

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John Smith 19
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Facepalm

Re: Pragmatic, sensible and workarounds exist for the problems

"ot really. Take a look at a map of faults in CA. There are small ones all over the place and they are moving quasi-independently. There will be sheering problems along the length of the Hyperloop. This is not a big deal with a normal roadway, but trying to build a 613 km long low-pressure vessel on top of that seems kind of tricky."

Darn I think you've hit it's Achilles heel. Perhaps page 5 might give some guidance.

"A ground based high speed rail system is susceptible to Earthquakes and needs

frequent expansionjoints to deal with thermal expansion/contraction and

subtle, large scale land movement.

By building a system on pylons, where the tube is not rigidly fixed at any point,

you can dramatically mitigate Earthquake risk and avoid the need for expansion

joints. Tucked away inside each pylon, you could place two adjustable lateral

(XY) dampers and one vertical (Z) damper"

As long as those dampers have the range to accommodate those motions (and this thing is ever built) that should not be a major problem.

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John Smith 19
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Facepalm

Re: So basically ...

"... he's (re)invented the transport system from Logan's Run ...."

No.

He's engineered a transport system pictured in Logan's Run.

Which means doing like, actual mathematics.

Films are like product demonstrations. Anything can look good in a movie.

This looks good IRL.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: what could possible go wrong?

"A metal tube, with a partial vacuum, and capsules full of squashy humans travelling at 760mph, 30s apart through deserted countryside. It's not as if our gun-toting friends are known for say, taking pot shots at things...."

You are perhaps thinking of something with the thickness of air conditioning ducting?

Think again.

This stuff is 20-23mm thick. That's high pressure gas pipe thick. I suspect quite a lot of ammo will simply crumple if fired at it.

In a pipe that's either 7'4" or 10'10" wide it'll take a pretty big hole to depressurize a 700 km long pipe.

BTW If you want to work out the air volume rushing in keep in mind that the pressure difference would need to be about 1.4 atm to get choked, IE speed of sound airflow, so below 340m/s of air in rush speed.

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John Smith 19
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Boffin

Re: Pylons 100m apart?

No pylons spaced 100 feet apart. Page 7, 2(b).

American audience, so the metric unit is in brackets.

Does 30m apart make you feel better?

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John Smith 19
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LA <--> SF in 30 mins for $20

How does that compare with the alternatives?

Well page 8 of the report says

$105 for HS rail taking 2:38

$158 by air 1:15

$115 by car 5:30 (30mpg with fuel at $4/gal)

Provided there is adequate parking and vehicle rental facilities at either end it sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Of course if some of those vehicles were battery powered and they got their charge from the surplus produced by the line....

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John Smith 19
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IT Angle

Pragmatic, sensible and workarounds exist for the problems

Not hard vacuum, well below the milliTorr range. So relatively easy to create and maintain.

Sidesteps eminent domain because he plans to site next to Interstate 5.

1 track is more equal to a freeway lane than a conventional rail track, with its associated security fences etc.

Putting it on stilts mitigates the earthquake issue in CA and allows re boost if it slows down.

Small town don't have to be cut out of the loop as you could install Y joints (admittedly at very shallow angles) to allow them to join the path.

The joker in the pack is the software. We're looking at something like the Denver baggage handling system with the baggage carriers moving at M0.9. Anyone remember how well that worked out?

TBH I think it's a very clever idea and sidesteps the need for a working "Subterrene" but that SW issue is a biggie.

Musk has said he's not really interested in anything that either helps fund his trip to Mars or helps build the tech needed to get him there. I think this could help with the funding. The really attractive part of this is that it's incremental costs are low (relative to rail) once you've built the tube.

For the duration of a short drive and the price of a bus ticket (I'm guessing) you get a long journey done in a very short period of time.

BTW I've also learned that "Kantrowitz's limit" is why why drop a soda can into the end of an empty food tin it slides like an air piston. Interesting.

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Gov: Half of new tech spending must be made with SME suppliers

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Only civil servants think the usual suspects do *all* their own work.

When one of them says something like "Drawing on our extensive expertise in this area" what they mean is "Drawing on our extensive phone book of sub contractors, individual contractors and competent ex-employees we will offer to throw a bone to on the condition they don't let on they don't actually work for us."

TUS major "skills" are in fact

Schoozing politicians and senior civil servants.

Powerpoint.

Drawing out the diagrams their assorted subbies will implement.

Failing to point out obvious problem so they can make serious money on the change requests EG EDS and the 2000+ change requests for. the CSA II system

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Anecdotal experience

RTA.

"It pointed to the abolition of pre-qualification questionnaires for contracts under £100,000 and the launch of the Contracts Finder service that allows SMEs to locate business more easily, as success stories for SMEs."

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John Smith 19
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FAIL

Of course the muti billion £ decades long projects will stay in 1 piece, which (oh gosh) means..

"The Usual Suspects" remain the only viable (as in the only ones HMG "trusts" despite their track record of fu**ups) to do the job.

Option b). TUS set up a raft of pseudo SME's to snout up the work.

It's a commendable idea and might actually save taxpayers money.

But the devils is (as always) in the detail.

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IBM unleashes 'big data' on wind, solar power management

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

"Supplement," when the target is wind power generation on shore <= 26% of the time

I think on that basis it's the other way around. Wind power "supplements" conventional generation.

Oddly I thought China had quite a lot of rivers. I'd have guessed micro hydro and biogas would have been better at the village level. Geothermal as well?

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The man from Del Monte, he says... NO! .delmonte gTLD bid crushed, juiced

John Smith 19
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Happy

How about .con ? Of course that might confuse users but would be quite honest.

All those spammers, viagra salesmen and representatives of former members of the Nigerian govt for example.

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John Smith 19
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Go

Re: I wonder if the top level domain "gimp" is available

"Me: I don't have Photoshop, but I can go at it with the GIMP."

Well bring on the GIMP then.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Did anyone see "The Man from Del Monte" and think

"My wife is Uruguayan and you'd never think, from looking, her family has been in South America since Uruguay's independence in the early 19th century."

Actually I was aware of this peripherally. When Peru elected a Peruvian of Japanese descent and of course Pinochets planned successor was one Eric Strosser, who did not sound particularly Spanish or Portugese (the other great colonial power in that area before the US decide to treat it as their back yard).

What was the old line about Argentinians? Dress like Italians, cook like the Spanish and think their English?

It's a bit more diverse than perhaps people think.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Did anyone see "The Man from Del Monte" and think

(Tall, upright European in a white suite but lives in Latin America. Hmmm)

Old Nazi war criminal?

NB given the involvement of the United Fruit company in payrolling soldiers to kill union activists (hence the term "Bannan republic.") who better to put in charge of the local operation?

IRL The Man from Del Monte says "Ja."

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John Smith 19
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Gimp

I wonder if the top level domain "gimp" is available

Since it seems so many governments want to reduce their citizens to that status.

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Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

"The only things that will in theory be easy are those in byte compiled languages such as Java and .NET, but on the RT the underlying framework is just not there. .NET is only a small subset implemented and Java is non existent.

Runtime environments for C/C++ etc - again just not there. Microsoft didn't implement full Windows on RT. They implemented a subset of it, or rather an approximation of something looking like Windows that just runs Windows Store Apps, and nothing more."

And that is exactly my point.

What I was describing is what MS could have done and why it would have been fairly easy to do.

What you have described (very succinctly) is what they actually did

Which is to gut Windows and barely leave the name in tact.

That is deliberately making it more or less useless by stripping out core functionality. It's crap by design not accident, and you have to ask why?

The only sensible justification is to make ARM look bad. The equally likely explanation is MS is internally deeply dysfunctional as an organization and at some level people were convinced this was the right thing to do.

No I cannot devise a scenario where that makes any logical sense, but just being barking mad does not mean it did not happen.

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John Smith 19
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Go

So wait till it comes up cheap on eBay and install a proper OS?

I keep hearing either a)Great hardware, not good OS or b) OS is not really Windows compatible as you'd expect from such a device.

So blank the software and install a better OS.

Tricky for anyone but a hard core techie but what a challenge and what kudos for pulling it off?

As for the Outlook thing that could work given the high penetration of it into companies.

But are companies who bought WinRT tablets in the first place?

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

"Unfortunately this doesn't work well on Arm devices as they are 32 bit and the different chip architectures really get in the way :("

And that's kind of why you were voted town.

Which means your experience is long out of date.

As for ARM not running it well modern OS's (and that includes anything influenced by Unix) are about 90-95% written in a high level language. So the porting process is just a case of switching the compile option from x86 to ARM. Since ARM is the most common embedded architecture in the modern world, finding a bunch of good assembler programmers to build the underlying support (which they already have a template for) would be fairly straightforward also.

And of course the Common Runtime Environment, IE the VM that supports a lot of the interpreted systems that MS (EG Visual BASIC) and other 3rd party languages support is AFAIK also written in C or C++, as is the core of Office. MS are not stupid enough to write those things in anything interpreted.

In fact the only way MS can make such a clusterf**k of it was to develop a separate (or highly crippled) version of the code base.

So no, your view does not really hold up.

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John Smith 19
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Re: The killer feature would be x86 emulation

"Windows RT essentially forces companies to ditch their old legacy products moving to, for example, something web-based with perhaps the ability to have multiple different VPN setups. In essence a company would need to make itself less dependent on Windows to use Windows RT."

Interesting strategy.

Not good for MS of course.

No I don't have a problem with that.

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John Smith 19
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Unhappy

Re: Outlook Is The Killer App On Surface RT?

"Good lord, that's just stupid. That isn't Outlook at all then is it? Why even call it Outlook if all the good stuff is not available?"

Because that's what MS have always done with mobile devices.

"Yes your HP palmtop can run Excel & Word just like your desktop."

"What can you download copies of your files to it and work on them? Well no, and the desktop version can't read your laptop written files either. But the commands are just the same, mostly"

And let's not forget Windows NT. It's just like Windows but supports proper multitasking and is "brand compatible" with Windows.

*That is it's written by MS and called Windows but is actually completely different inside.

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John Smith 19
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Re: Microsoft do stupid things

"All Microsoft have to do is remove the really stupid limitation of not being able to run Desktop software on the RT. If they allowed recompilation of existing applications to the ARM architecture, they would have a much larger impact IMO..."

What makes you think that is MS's goal?

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John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Fabulous

"Who the hell is this product aimed at? It certainly isn't the professional and it can't be for students, is it aimed at anyone? Does it have a purpose? I don't believe it does."

Well being a bit paranoid for a moment...

It appears to have the sole purpose of making ARM powered hardware look like crap. Few people realize that their cell phones are ARM powered as they are hidden inside others SoC so MS can start the "ARM powered mobile devices are crap" meme going.

Keep in mind the last dodgy benchmark that showed Intel give brilliant power consumption next to ARM, and the fact that most of things people are complaining about are controlled directly by MS.

The MS/Intel relationship goes back to the days when MS contracts charged PC makers for the number of processors they bought, not the number of MS licenses.

Intel and MS are the Mickie & Mallory Knox of IT. The word "normal" does not apply to their business relationship.

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The secure mail dilemma: If it's useable, it's probably insecure

John Smith 19
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Flame

NB EU Date Retention Directive Made In Britian

In the wake of the Madrid rail bombings and not supported (or asked for) by the Spanish, despite their long history of fighting the ETA, perhaps because they knew what a real fascist dictatorship feels like.

Another little present from those wonderful civil servants at the Home Office.

Thank you so verymuch.

It seems if you want privacy and personal freedom destroyed electing an (allegedly) socialist government run by a lawyer is a pretty good idea.

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NSA to world+dog: We're only watching 1.6% of internet, honest

John Smith 19
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Gimp

I think we need some kind of "pig with snout in trough" icon

Because I don't think these guys understand moderation.

They want it all and they want it now.

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John Smith 19
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Big Brother

Tranlation

"We'd like to spy on more of you more often, but we just don't have the facilities to do that in real time. Good thing we have lots of backup capacity so any of you step out of line we can just do a quick restore and see what you history says about you. Trust us, we're here for your safety."

Somehow I find my myself strangely unconvinced.

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John Smith 19
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Big Brother

Re: 1.6% could probably include all the email and…

"This isn't about terrorism or targeted surveillance of specific subjects of interest: their own figures and a little common sense show this is a blanket trawl of any juicy tidbits."

Exactly

And remember the rest can always be archived for later "review" should you become a person they have become interested in.

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Google Glass: Would you pay a mere $299 to plop one on your brow?

John Smith 19
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Gimp

Does anyone see a booming sale of cell phone jammers and up to EMP devices?

Back in the day people had cameras, and then film cameras and then video cameras and use them on holidays, events ans social gatherings.

And generally people cringed at the prospect of going around to them to look at this stuff, which might be borderline interesting.

So this seems to multiply the a***hole factor by about a 1000.

Can I think of useful things to do with a HMD/camera combination hooked up to a package with internet access and substantial storage. Yes I can. Will I be getting one off Google to do so? F**k no.

I'll leave the data fetishists to their fetish.

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John Smith 19
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Meh

AC@21.34

"Personal data processed by an individual only for the purposes of that individual’s personal, family or household affairs (including recreational purposes) are exempt from the data protection principles and the provisions of Parts II and III." I"

Well that seems nice and clear.

Except it's not, is it?

Because Google will be storing and processing that data.

They are not doing it for "domestic use," are you , Mr AC?

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John Smith 19
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""Have you registed as a data controller under the 1998 Data Protection Act? "

A few of those applied on a regular basis should cut down their "popularity" nicely.

"What security have you in place to stop unauthorised personnel accessing that data?""

It's Google.

The answer is of course, none.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

" Apparently around San Francisco, the term used for those wearing these is "glassholes.""

I doff the hat to you sir.

That beats "conslutant" for my favorite new word this year.

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John Smith 19
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Happy

Re: Still sounds like a lot of money

"I'm sure there are cheaper ways of looking like a prick."

In the words of Armstrong and Miller.

"Ponytail!"

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Jimbo: Software used for network-level smut-blocking DOESN'T WORK

John Smith 19
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Happy

You kind of hope the Doctor will channel some of Malcolm Tuckers charm and politeness.

Sadly such episodes could not be broadcast before the watershed.

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Open source 'Cubesat' set to soar

John Smith 19
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Cubesat propulsion is the cutting edge of this technology

But even without it they will deliver some useful results and give people experience of this sort of hardware.

Thumbs up.

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Obama proposes four-point plan to investigate US data spooks

John Smith 19
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FAIL

Re: Time to grow up

<long rant>

Everybody else does it.

The US does it a less to ordinary citizens.

The first does not make it right.

The second is simply because they do not have the manpower to do it. Not because they would not if they did.

Bottom line instead of the govt trusting the citizens the citizens have to trust the govt not to come round and arrest/imprison/shoot them.

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US taxmen told to hush up shadowy drug squad unit laundering NSA intel

John Smith 19
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Meh

Re: Back up a bit...

" question I have is about how the information in this database is being obtained. How is the government finding out that Joe Blow is dealing drugs, before putting that fact in their database, then sending it to the relevant local agency(ies)?"

Simple.

They listen to the phone calls of US citizens as well as furriners.

What, you actually believed that BS from the NSA?

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