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* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1017 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

Allan George Dyer
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Flame

Re: Tip

Hah! If only they were so standardised and so simple. No, to get a human, press 1 - 3 - 7 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 1 - 7, or some other combination, but listen to 30 seconds of advertising telling you about their "exciting" products or "easy-to-use" website before a confusing set of menu items between each one, ending with a description of an unrelated service and "Thank you for your call", then call again, press 1 - 2 - 7 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 1 - 7 and get "all our customer support staff are busy", with, either, annoyingly tinny musack, or nice music interrupted at intervals by a repeat, "all our customer support staff are busy", until, eventually, you get a human that tells you, despite supplying services on one piece of wire and charging in a special bundled offer, the service you are complaining about is provided by a different company (both in wholly owned by a single holding company) and you have to call this other number, no, they can't transfer you, yes they are a telecommunications company, no, they really can't transfer you.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: If you're buying a basket full of

booze, knives, tape, rope and glue go to a manned checkout, give them a good long straight faced stare as you pound each item onto the counter…. and, smiling, say, "I'm having a little gathering, would you like to come?"

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Allan George Dyer
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A Flat-Bladed screwdriver works with ANY raised head...

if you also have a hacksaw.

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

Allan George Dyer
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Re: AC:- I want a driverless car!

@Bill B… And, if several people are going in the same direction, they could share a larger community car.

Hmm, needs a catchy name… how about a Bus?

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Dusty pre-Facebook, pre-Twitter laws will do for social media crimes

Allan George Dyer
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"The last thing we need is laws protecting the vulnerable"

Wrong! The only thing we need is laws protecting the vulnerable. Think about it, if they were invulnerable, they wouldn't be intimidated into intimate photos/robbed/raped/murdered/... every other crime that has ever existed.

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China in MONOPOLY PROBE into Microsoft: Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 yuan

Allan George Dyer
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Pirate

Think I'll get the popcorn out...

Surely MS's long-term gameplan was to let the Chinese users pirate their software until they were addicted, and then turn up the anti-piracy heat for good profit, eventually. Now let's see China's counter-play.

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Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

But first...

They'd have to get the Chinese Constitution changed.

Actually, China does have other political parties, and they even have representatives with seats, but only the Communist Party is allowed to be the Government. I think they asked Lewis Carroll to write a democratic constitution.

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Indian techies-in-training face down MAN-EATING LEOPARD - and WIN

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

"spotted by the metallurgy department"

Did it get too near the arc-welder?

Wild? It was furious, it was lion until the incident.

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CAPTCHA challenges you to copy pointillist painter Seurat's classic

Allan George Dyer
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Easier to complete for a machine...

A program could make mouse movements accurately, based on the challenge image, only a human would produce a semi-random mess. Abbott wants machines, not humans, to comment.

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HP settles suit with popstar Chubby Checker over todger tester app

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Well that explains...

If that's a European size, I understand why you posted anonymously...

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LOHAN's stirring motto: Ad Astra Tabernamque

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: Hmm.

Regrettably, the opposite. The water will freeze first, and the alcohol boil first.

Have a fresh one, to inspire a new idea.

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NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Schroedingers luggage?

Once I answered the related and less nonsensical question, "Has your luggage been out of your control since you packed?" with

"I left it at King's Cross left luggage this morning"

he decided,

"Well, I think we can trust them."

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Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

"third most-popular type of DDoS attack"

Who runs these DDoS popularity contests?

"And our next contestant is sporting an off-the standard GET request with unusual headers..."

Surely prevalent is a more appropriate word in this context.

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Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Feathers != fluffy

And, if your local fast-food restaurant was supplied by Husi Food Company, it's prehistoric too!

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Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London

Allan George Dyer
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"individual journeys will be shown online to anyone who registers their account"

But I don't want anyone to view my journeys!

Seriously, has anyone thought of the privacy implications? Apart from the stalkers, of course.

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How long is too long to wait for a security fix?

Allan George Dyer
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"the balance between security and stability"

But stability is security, just another aspect in "Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability".

The key is layered defence - requiring attackers to break into your home to reach the management interface is one example.

For the Internet of Things, we need the manufacturers to make it easy to layer the security, not make a one-time setup insecure for "user convenience".

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Already Given Up

"WORD was a major step forward in clerical productivity"

No, WORD wasn't the first de facto standard, it toppled WordPerfect from its perch, which had replaced the earlier WordStar. At least, in my circles. All proprietary standards and each, in its time, the file format you could assume everyone used.

Unfortunately they all trapped our data. WORD was "integrated", but we depended on MS for the features. Anyone can grab hold of a 1/4-20 UNC bolt and use it to mount their camera anywhere they want.

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Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Re: Of course it won't get rid of MS

@Roland6, "I suspect the real issue government has, or rather we will have, is that we need to be able to read electronic documents after 30 plus years when they get released to the public..."

I suspect that the government will regard the difficulties in reading the documents in 30 plus years to be something of an advantage...

"We are being completely transparent and accountable, all the documents were released today..."

"But we can't read them!"

"As I said, all the documents have been released, not tampered with in any way, exactly as they existed when they were written. We have made no attempt to conceal anything."

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Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

But Atlanta is mostly local flights, Heathrow is almost all International.

Yeah, troll. 'Round here we have the "Worlds longest combined road-rail suspension bridge". Choose the category carefully, and anything can be a world-beater.

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

If your smartphone is in Airplane Mode...

shouldn't your goTenna be in “Airplane Mode” too?

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

Allan George Dyer
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Re: innocent or guilty

What? Mad Magazine is a front for the US Government?

Or the US Government is a front for Mad Magazine?

Perhaps that explains a lot.

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Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: My first thought was ...

To conceal the story the name has been changed to Adolf Beck in all online copies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolph_Beck_case

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Unbridled BONKING and rampant ROGERING at YOUR office!

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

And the next headline...

Alistair Dabbs thinks sickening and obscene images on Instagram are acceptable.

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

You heard it here first...

So Microsoft's researchers have been reading El Reg? I've seen the same advice discussed here endlessly.

OK, OK, I participated in some of the discussions.

If a user is willing to use a bad password on your system, it implies they don't care about the data they are entering. Either the data in your system is worthless, or you're trusting the wrong people.

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Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Wait - How are they planning to use this?

In field-tests on one team of developers:

Dilbert - Constant levels of high stress = code tagged as consistently bad

Alice - Generally low stress, with occasional peaks off the scale

Wally - Zero stress all the time = code tagged as perfect

Next generation systems all coded by Wally.

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Native Americans KILLED AND ATE DUMBO, say archaeologists

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Lovable Gomphothere

Whistle pig? What's a whistle pig? Ahh, google is my friend… "WhistlePig is a 100 proof 100% straight rye whiskey that has been aged for 10 years."

Don, how much "whistle pig" have you been drinking?

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NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports

Allan George Dyer
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Thumb Up

Double Fix

Four mounting holes! Excellent!

40 pin GPIO - I've got a new use for all those old IDE cables!

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Asymmetric laws and asymmetric justice

I'm not planning to get pregnant, I'm too busy buying tropical fish in Liverpool.

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The Windows 8 dilemma: Win 8 or wait for 9?

Allan George Dyer
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Coffee/keyboard

What else?

Taste?

Smell?

icon: "of course I spilt coffee on it, I was trying to write a letter"

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What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

Allan George Dyer
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Guessing game:

You baby has

i) a high fever

ii) thrown the pacifier into your tea (again)

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In space no one can hear you scream, but Voyager 1 can hear A ROAR

Allan George Dyer
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I don't blame NASA for making do...

the call-out fee for repair would be astronomical.

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Panic like it's 1999: Microsoft Office macro viruses are BACK

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Really Shitty Impractical Security Advice..

If you're pooling data from hundreds of different sources, then it isn't content *in* the Excel sheet. I just deserve a pedant alert for that, but, if you're *receiving* the document, how many of those data sources are accessible to you? If it's from outside your company?

So, you're unlikely to get useful results from an Excel spreadsheet with macros unless you already know everything about it (who wrote it, what the macros do, what data sources they're using). Enabling macros on a file you've just received from an unknown source because the file asks you to is foolish.

Additional pedant point, Szappanos said "document", and every one of the example attacks in his paper is a Word file. For ordinary users, a document *is* a Word file, and I'd be interested to hear of scenarios where sending a Word document with macros is good for the recipient.

Szappanos was offering foolproof advice. What does this mean for the half of the world's banking systems that are running on cobbled-together VBA, have they learnt anything from RBS?

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Regarding the terminology problems...

In the same vein, 'Hit "Enter" to exit' and 'To shutdown, click "Start"'.

I think I'll get a set of keycaps marked "Any" for the next user that asks where the Any key is.

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Allan George Dyer
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Megaphone

Re: Turn off the computer, then turn it on again...

@Darryl: Have an upvote. I've been telling some people for years that they need to tell me the error message, but it hasn't sunk in. How can I say a simple, eight-word sentence and not be understood? Am I mute, and only I hear myself, in the privacy of my mind?

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NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Next

Oh, they've been doing that for years. Remember all the alligator in the sewer stories? An alligator can carry a lot of monitoring equipment. It also allowed them to develop a highly-profitable handbag business for additional slush funds.

Yes, the one with the tinfoil hat. No, that's NOT my handbag.

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Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: "You would need a tap on every one of thousands of transformers..."

@JefftPoooh: Umm, no, the variations are transient, caused by large loads switching (e.g. lift motors). These will affect the locations fed by the same substation, but the substation acts as a filter, so little disturbance goes beyond. Therefore the pattern of disturbances will be unique to the substation, but you need a tap there to record it.

It sounds just about feasible, with enough resources, but it would be a lot easier to profile journalists' recording equipment, and follow them around. There's probably less dedicated journalists than substations.

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LIFE on Titan: If there's one thing aliens HATE, it's a SALTY BALL

Allan George Dyer
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Re: ummmm...

Yes, halophiles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halophile

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Lords try shoehorning law against REVENGE SMUT into justice bill

Allan George Dyer
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Use the Data Protection Laws

The data protection principles already cover this:

Fair collection: no secret filming,

Use of personal data: consensual bedroom shots assumed to be for private enjoyment of participants*

Duration of retention: Not kept longer than necessary. When the relationship ends, the original purpose (shared enjoyment by participants in the relationship) has ended, so the data must be destroyed*.

Security: protection from unauthorised access. If you're keeping the pics, it's your responsibility to make sure they don't "accidentally" leak onto the internet

* unless there is another agreement.

There are grey areas (topless beach is a public place, but a deserted beach plus a telephoto lens?), and things to be worked out (can you secretly film, then ask for consent?), but it fits, and simply brings more personal data under the same protection.

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Allan George Dyer
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Windows

Re: the only joke about regular expressions

No-one remembers the one about them being indistinguishable from modem line noise?

I must be getting old.

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27 Data-Slurping Facts BuzzFeed Doesn't Want You To Know!

Allan George Dyer
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Let's see...

If I get fewer inane quiz invitations after I post this on Facebook.

I love my friends and relatives, even the ones who post BuzzFeed quizzes.

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You are ALL Americans now: Europeans offered same rights as US folks in data slurp leaks

Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Brought to you by the US Travel Industry

Europeans can file for redress in America.

What with the US having inferior privacy protection and multilevelled justice, I'm surprised Holden could keep a straight face when he announced this.

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EXPOSED: Massive mobile malware network used by cops globally

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Firewalling cell phone data connections

Until you plugged in to an infected computer...

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'Most sophisticated DDoS' ever strikes Hong Kong democracy poll

Allan George Dyer
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There is an "abstain" option. The other three options are proposals by different pro-democracy groups. I suppose a pro-Beijing group could have made a proposal and demanded it should be added to the list, but they were all too busy saying (shouting outside the polling stations in some cases) the poll was "illegal". Unofficial, yes; not legally binding, yes, but Illegal? Why?

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: "Security outfit"

@Hans 1 - These days, the PLA is already here, (defending us against invaders?) in their barracks. They could remove their insignia and take to the streets, but the Police and/or the PLA would be expected to respond to unidentified gunmen roaming around, so really not deniable.

Beijing already has the physical power, but they promised to let HK run its internal affairs. The plan appears to be to appear to keep that promise, while fixing the elections so they have control. They can't do that if enough people say it's a sham.

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Allan George Dyer
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China agreed in 1990 that Hong Kong would be able to elect its leader by universal suffrage, but is trying to weasel out by "approving" the candidates... which sock puppet do you want to vote for?

This poll is HK's response: we want a meaningful election with a real choice of candidates.

Also worth mentioning: Udomain and Amazon were also providing services for the poll, but dropped out when the DDoS happened. Kudos to Cloudflare for handling it.

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'I'm for free speech!' brave Boris bellows, bewildered by 'right to be forgotten' bluster

Allan George Dyer
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Childcatcher

He wants people to weed out the truth?

As in remove the unwanted stuff, leaving the lies to grow?

Please, someone call the Metaphor Police!

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

Allan George Dyer
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Summary

"Please use cloud services, it makes both the technical and legal aspects easy for us" - spies everywhere

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Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Allan George Dyer
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Re: She reads El Reg!

11/10 is also a fraction, but we could accuse them of improper use of maths.

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Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Where do you think Apple's factories are?

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Toyota catches up to William Gibson with LED hood

Allan George Dyer
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and the default password is?

I predict a high demand for services that will put your chosen image on someone-else's car. Especially if it changes back when the ignition is off or a door is open, so the driver never realises.

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