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* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1047 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Epiphany hits Raspberry Pi founders, users

Allan George Dyer
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So the kids can watch the YouTube videos talking through how to flash lights and spin motors?

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GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine

Allan George Dyer
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Re: ANY photos of GCHQ staff?

EssEll, I used the pedant icon, would the joke alert have been more helpful?

Yes, I do think the police can tell the difference, but crimes should not be defined in a subjective and arbitrary way. Anyone who wants photos of the buildings or staff to do bad things can probably think of many less-obvious ways of getting them. If such a person was caught, the photos could still be used in court to demonstrate who they were targeting, and linked to other evidence showing their bad intentions (e.g. stockpiles of explosives and weapons), regardless of whether taking the photos was illegal. The heavy-handed, "You're not allowed to do that" is to intimidate people who might ask awkward questions.

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Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

ANY photos of GCHQ staff?

So you can get arrested for a birthday or wedding group photo with GCHQ staff in the background?

How far does this extend from GCHQ? Does this make all photography in the UK illegal, unless you ask all subjects, "are you employed by GCHQ?" first?

At least it should make it difficult for the police to take photos or videos of the protesters (who might just be staff waiting for a bus).

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Virgin Media blocks 'wankers' from permissible passwords

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Belgium, man, BELGIUM!

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Love XKCD? Love science? You'll love a book about science from Randall Munroe

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Oxford Electric Bell

You need a phone that rings continuously for a hundred years?

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Siri: Helpful personal assistant or SERIAL APP KILLER?

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Missed an example...

Siri, ask Hal to open the pod bay doors please.

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Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

If people will watch a fish playing Pokemon on Twitch, then some people will want to watch Siri playing Angry Birds. Why, I don't know.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Einstein didn't wear socks

so that proves it.

Proves what? Well, whatever you want, really.

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Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo

Allan George Dyer
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Would you do that by GPS, or by a camera recognising which side of the road you are driving on?

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Galileo can't do the fandango: Two Euro GPS nav sats sent into WRONG ORBIT

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

I was going to suggest deliberate sabotage by GPS, but your's is more likely.

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BOFH: We CAN do that with a Raspberry Pi, but think of the BODIES

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

Arduino? Just a toy… get a bunch of Siemens PLCs, one for each floor, and wait for Stuxnet and a drone attack. No need for a bulk carpet order.

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Back in the good old days

Unless you are a professional driver, why do you take 5.5 hours driving London to Glasgow when you could take a train in about the same time?

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New voting rules leave innocent Brits at risk of SPAM TSUNAMI

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Old data on 192.com

I just checked myself on 192.com and found they have my name on a company directorship. I'm assuming (not wanting to pay them) that this must be the only directorship I've held in the UK, for a Resident's Association over 20 years ago.

I wonder how far back their records go… maybe I'll search for William the Conqueror next.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: DPA

The Electoral Register has always been open for the public to check, and there is a very good reason for that to continue. If the public cannot check it is accurate, elections can be fixed. I know of cases where dead people have 'voted'.

Now, it would be nice for the DPA to be used to say, 'this data can only be used for Election purposes. Anyone can check it to make sure the election rules are followed, but not use it for anything else', but it is difficult to prove where the data came from in court.

Perhaps the databases should be seeded with canary names, any use of those by marketeers gets a swift prosecution?

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Two factor ...

No, the username is NOT securing anything. It is an identifier, and not secret. It isn't hidden when you type it in, there is no expectation of secrecy.

Actually, I find it convenient to use an email address as a username. It is guaranteed to be globally unique, and I don't have to remember that I was adyer1234 on site A and adyer4567 on site B. If I'm worried about spam, I use companyname@mydomain.com and I get a clue who resold my address.

If we want to be secure, we need to insist on using 2048 bit RSA for logins instead of passwords.

And your title? If you are suggesting that you wrote anything about Two Factor Authentication, you are wrong. A username + a password is a single factor: something you know. Two factor is any two from Something you Know, Something you Have, Something you Are.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Chris Miller Re: @J.G.Harston

Which is one more reason why 'verified by Visa' is bad.

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Face-recog tech spots US fugitive wanted for 14 years ... from a photo

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Wishes for a fair trial

If he is Stammer, and he abused the children, then he should go to jail for a long time.

On the other hand, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Maybe he really is Kevin Hodges, and just happens to look similar to Stammer 14 years ago. The information released so far does not offer any corroboration.

Whatever the result, this case is likely to be quoted as a statistic in favour of deploying more facial recognition, and false positives will be ignored or downplayed.

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Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Speed of light

They've been using this camera in Hollywood for years to shoot all those laser weapon scenes.

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US 911 service needs emergency upgrade and some basic security against scumbags

Allan George Dyer
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Press 1 for English, 2 if you are in a fatal accident...

I don't think adding an extra step in emergency calls is helpful. Every so often, we get a news story about a toddler who saved a life by making a "Mummy won't wake up" call. The more serious the call, the more likely the caller is in shock, distressed, or confused.

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Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: re: Nighthawk. It not only sounds like a US military war machine

@ChrisBedford - Pardonne?

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'Be super careful with AI. It's potentially more dangerous than NUKES'

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

"AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes"

But no-one ever said, "Take off and AI it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure!"

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Hey guys. We've got 1.2 BILLION stolen accounts here. Send us your passwords, 'cos safety

Allan George Dyer
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Why didn't they...

Ask the users to enter their email address and send a message to that address saying either:

We have no matching records

or

We have matching records:

i) list the services they relate to

ii) include the hashes so the use can check which passwords themselves

(i) assumes they know which services the stash was stolen from

(ii) might need another validation step to prevent new criminals using it to harvest hashes. But they would need to compromise the target's email address first so not very efficient, and it shouldn't be a problem if the hashes are strong and salted. The other problem is enabling users to check the hashes in the privacy of their own computer.

Even just telling someone, "we have matching records, change your passwords now" is useful and preferable to training users to enter passwords into unrelated sites.

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Allan George Dyer
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Re: I call bollocks.

"Older generation are afraid of the first two tech support steps, lest the break something. Younger folks on the other hand will happily click whatever until something works."

So, youngsters go around clicking on everything, until they learn (usually on something vitally important, say, a thesis) that there are ways of breaking it. By the time they become old fogeys, they are afraid of clicking anything.

Maybe we should explain that, along with clicking things, people need to observe, and figure out what is going on?

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Scottish independence debate: STV player flops under weight of viewers

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

"what do you imagine should happen if Scotland or Northern Ireland were to vote to leave the UK, but the English voted to keep them within it?"

What if the English voted for them to leave, and they voted to stay?

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UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

"beyond your own ability to recover it"

So the users who call me because they've just saved an attachment but can't work out where are completely safe. Conversely, anyone with a data recovery or forensic qualification had better be prepared to grind their storage devices into dust and drop them in the sun because, you know, they're experts who could reconstruct the offending images by quantum entanglement.

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Astounding: We're about to stick a probe in orbit of a COMET

Allan George Dyer
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What is the orbital period of 67P, and can Rosetta's batteries recharge from zero?

We might need to leave a note for the next intelligent species on this planet to listen out for it.

Could be a premise for a sci-fi story... young civilisation detects coded transmissions from what they thought was a comet and starts preparing to greet the aliens.

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Hacker crew nicks '1.2 billion passwords' – but WHERE did they all come from?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: This is why "Live and let spam" is EVIL

"the spammers' human victims are idiots" - We're all victims of the spammers. You admitted it yourself when you said the Internet would be more valuable with less spam.

Also, unlike the meat product, email spam is not homogeneous. Anyone who falls for the penis enlargement stuff is pretty gullible, but I'm seeing a lot of "purchase order in the attachment/link" that is aimed at installing malware or grabbing the victim's credentials. I'd think it would be quite easy for a busy order clerk to click without realising the danger, especially if they are worrying about losing the order.

Anyone who produces a "really effective anti-spammer tool" is going to find the spammers adapt to avoid it quickly.

But, in this case, I'm impressed by how well these scumbags have audited the internet, and simultaneously surprised at how badly they have monetised and secured their ill-gotten gains.

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Crumbs! Holiday phish based on genuine hotel booking surfaces

Allan George Dyer
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Four Seasons Re: Covering all bases..

They want you to stay 32 months?

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The Therapod diet: From HUMUNGO DINO to TINY BIRD in 50m years

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Planning a big Christmas Dinner?

Then it's important to know the Tyrannosaur has got a wishbone, but the sternum is not large, so not much breast meat.

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Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: Next Step

Damn you! Having totally avoided Commonwealth Games coverage, I'm now searching for the montage. The lyrics don't seem appropriate - /You know I'm gonna lose/

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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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Coat

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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Coat

"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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