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* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1096 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

BIGGEST DDoS in history FAILS to slash interweb arteries

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: @Stuart Moore

So who's up for sending them one tin of meat each?

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Cyberwar playbook says Stuxnet may have been 'armed attack'

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Zombie Cleanup

Does anyone trust a grunt with a drone to correctly tell the difference between a hacker behind a cyberattack (who can legally be targeted with lethal force when there is open conflict) and a user with a zombie-infected PC? No?

Time to make sure your PC is clean.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Defence Doublespeak

That's a fix? I was thinking it might be closer to, "He dropped a USB drive in our carpark, so we nuked his country". If a cyberattack is an armed attack, then armed retaliation is justified, right? And dropping a USB drive could never be an accident, right? We just prevented cyber-Armageddon, right? Your own choice of nationality for the USB dropper and the carpark, it works either way.

Stuxnet looks like a good result, but we were told Iraq had chemical weapons, so there might be a tiny bit of unreliable information floating about, you know?

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Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

Re: Defence Doublespeak

"He looked like he was gonna punch me, so I nuked him!"

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Wealthy London NIMBYs grit teeth, welcome 'ugly' fibre cabinets

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: Onroad parking would be better

"Gentrificator"? Nice neologism for builder, have an up vote.

But, unlit obstructions where cyclists will run into them, have a down vote.

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BIGGEST DDoS ATTACK IN HISTORY hammers Spamhaus

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: But

Too many layer 8 devices have buggy software, and they are notoriously difficult to re-program.

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GCHQ attempts to downplay amazing plaintext password blunder

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Re: Sadly common in UK Gov

Perhaps they think you're complaining because you want to use a shorter password?

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Ubuntu tapped by China for national operating system

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Which Chinese Calendars?

I know of only two, the lunar calendar, popular for determining the date of Chinese New Year and other festivals, and the Minguo calendar.

The Minguo calendar was defined by Sun Yat-Sen with year 1 = 1912 in the Gregorian Calendar, and is only used in Taiwan. I would expect, uh, political difficulties in including it in a PRC Ubuntu.

So, what is the other Chinese calendar they'll be including?

Incidentally, functions for date conversion between the Minguo and Gregorian calendars were included in WordBasic, Word 6.0.

The lunar calendar depends on which side of midnight the full moon occurs, so a small uncertainty can sometimes change the date by a day.

icon - well, yes, I think today's a holiday...

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Google turns Street View into Mountain View

Allan George Dyer
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Abominable!

How long before the Yeti makes a privacy complaint?

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US national vulnerability database hacked

Allan George Dyer
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I would have thought laundry reports would be very useful... follow the troop numbers as they are moved from base to base.

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eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Maybe if they bought relevant ads?

@Lockwood: How big was it?

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HEAVILY ARMED SEX CRAZED DOLPHINS on RAMPAGE in Black Sea

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Almost perfect...

But ALL dolphins are bald! Though, I have to admit, they also have uniform, mid-grey colouring.

Mine's the one with the dripping thesis in the pocket.

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Jennifer Lopez gets you more Facebook friends than Iron Maiden

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Re: "Jennifer Lopez gets you more Facebook friends than Iron Maiden"

The 80's? So, did you warn them about sub-prime mortgages, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Fukashima disaster your Lordship? ((c) xkcd, of course)

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Oklahoma woman cuffed with loaded .22 in pork holster

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

She's lucky she got arrested...

when a Darwin award was the obvious outcome.

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Boffins implant almost-cellphone in the BRAIN

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

My last excuse...

for not answering my phone has gone.

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Bank whips out palm-recognition kit - and a severed hand won't work

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Less severing option...

1. Invite your victim to wave their hand above your fake scanner

2. Take image of vein pattern

3. Fake scanner is linked to 3-D printer that reproduces vein pattern in plastic

4. Fill pseudo-hand with blood substitute

...

5. Profit

Selection of a suitable plastic and blood substitute to fool the real scanner is left as an exercise for the reader. If you get stopped for questioning, explaining a plastic hand with fake blood is probably easier than explaining a real one.

Obligatory xkcd reference

Headline:

Trick-or-Treaters Arrested for Bank Heist

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Tito's Mars mission to use HUMAN WASTE as radiation shield

Allan George Dyer
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Alien

Sounds like the plot of many monster movies...

Take a rich biological environment, subject it to unusually high levels of radiation for an extended time.

Enter the naive honeymoon couple.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Vint Cerf: 'The internet of things needs to be locked down'

Allan George Dyer
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Re: because the windows were left open

Note: WINDOWS BURGLAR SECURE is an option extra for AUTOMATIC HOME WINDOWS. The company is not responsible for unauthorised ingress or complete trashing of your home.

Confused by endless conflicting configuration screens? Get our ULTIMATE SECURE CONFIGURATOR and say goodbye to gaping security holes because of stupid configuration errors.

You know, there might be an endless market here...

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Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: WTF?

The "personnel on station" are the end users. These are devices for home use, "tell your home to prepare as you drive, and it's comfortable, your favourite music is playing, and you meal is ready when you arrive". The only way these will get secured is if the manufacturers build in security as the default.

I suspect that the novelty of arriving home to a cacophony of pets disturbed by the sudden music who have eaten the toast again and an enormous electricity bill because the windows were left open will quickly wear off, but by then the devices manufacturers will have made their profit, and the devices will still be vulnerable when you are not using the features.

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APT1, that scary cyber-Cold War gang: Not even China's best

Allan George Dyer
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Re: More critical reading is needed

@Kevin - did you talk to the network contacts in Chinese and Korean? Have you junked any Chinese or Korean spam? That might have been your reply.

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Trekkies detect Spock's Vulcan homeworld ORBITING PLUTO

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

How old was Hagrid?

Hagrid claimed to have raised Fluffy from a pup, so Fluffy can't be an alias of Cerberus. Probably a relative.

I should get out more.

I like the idea of naming an astronomical body Kerberos. Fluffy should be reserved for a warm body that you can cuddle (as long as the music is playing).

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Clarkson: 'I WILL find and KILL the spammers who hacked me'

Allan George Dyer
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Pirate

Re: I don't mind being compared by age...

@dcluley, it might have "worked as intended", but that is not the same as being a well-designed, secure system. Could a criminal set up a direct debit to a front company just using the same details? Could a criminal set up direct debits to a charity, then take the money from the charity because it is poorly administered (concentrating on its intended purpose)? How difficult is it to reclaim an "incorrect" payment? Do the banks care that their weak system allows their customers to be robbed?

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Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one

Allan George Dyer
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You've got it wrong...

It's a laser pointer to attract the giant, interstellar cat to deal with the problem.

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Traceroute reveals Star Wars Episode IV 'crawl' text

Allan George Dyer
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Megaphone

Re: <rant>An unused /24?!

Definitely, the internet needs a "<rant>" tag! I <rant>NEED</rant> a "<rant>" tag.

Incidentally, is there a style guide that specifies how to pluralise /29 while shouting?

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Allan George Dyer
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Childcatcher

<rant>An unused /24?!

DOESN'T THIS RYAN WERBER KNOW THERE ARE DEPRIVED PEOPLE WHO NEED THAT /24? A /24 CAN PROVIDE 254 CHINESE PEASANTS WITH A VITAL CONNECTION TO POLITICALLY ACCEPTABLE PARTS OF THE WORLD, OR IT CAN BE SPLIT INTO /29s AND PROVIDE VALUABLE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES TO THIRTY TWO SMALL/MEDIUM ENTERPRISES STRUGGLING TO SEND OUT LOTTERY WIN NOTIFICATIONS AND LINKS TO FAKE BANK WEBSITES</rant>... oh, forget it...

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Forget wireless power for phones - Korea's doing it for BUSES

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Backups and bank cards...

Hopefully, all the banks will have changed to chip-and-pin before this is deployed.

The popularity of tape for transfers to off-site backup might suffer.

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Curiosity photographs mysterious metal object on Martian rock

Allan George Dyer
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Alien

Wait for...

a martian emailing NASA, "thanks for finding my keys"

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Study: Gay marriage support linked to pr0n consumption

Allan George Dyer
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Perhaps...

it shows that people who oppose gay marriage are more likely to lie about their porn usage?

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Kickstarter project says open source can blast Death Star costs

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

But how much...

do you have to pledge for the right to aim it at the planet of your choice?

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First video inside thinking fish's brain captured by boffins

Allan George Dyer
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Alert

Re: "...paramecium the size of a grain of rice"

Not very rice-shaped, the rice I eat doesn't have an oral groove. A 4mm paramecium is the the stuff of nightmares.

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Blobs that swarm spark ‘it’s alive’ hypegasm

Allan George Dyer
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With a little more work...

they might prove the whole media and web 2.0 phenomenon is not only unintelligent but not the result of any living agent1. Something that has been suspected, but not proved.

(1) Including this post. I'm going, but there's no evidence I'll need that coat.

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Worst broadband notspots in the UK named and shamed

Allan George Dyer
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Guilty confession...

I'm in Aberdeen, and I usually get 24Mbps or higher... up to 51Mbps occasionally, and some round here have a Gigabit connection, which might skew the statistics. That's Aberdeen, Hong Kong, in case you're wondering. Did they check more than the town's name when they took the measurements?

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Naked intruder cracks one off in Florida rampage drama

Allan George Dyer
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Half man, half kangeroo?

"jump naked onto a Florida couple's roof" - or, as the later part of the article clarifies, he jumped off the roof... onto Mr. Land. Perhaps he thought that was a functional description, not a name?

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Panasonic: We'll save Earth by turning CO2 INTO BOOZE

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: Hmm...

No cognitive dissonance, the geological-timescale Carbon cycle is often mentioned, e.g. in @Kubla Cant's dragonfly comment above. However, I would suggest large, aerial carnivores would be a concern to parents of small children and pet-owners.

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Backdoor root login found in Barracuda gear - and Barracuda is OK with this

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: ...firewall off port 22 completely.

Henry, Michael's remark is a good example of why, although /24 is "factually correct" and "shorter than Class C", it is less informative to people who are unfamiliar with networking jargon.

You are correct, but failing to communicate.

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Squillions of bytes in one cup of DNA

Allan George Dyer
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Alien

Long-term reliability?

You store your lizard-based blueprints for your galactic-domination army on a convenient planet, but when you come back in 65 million years you find:

http://www.sphericalcow.org/index.php?p=3

Raptor 2.0

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Allan George Dyer
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Why is there a mammoth carcass in the storeroom?

Don't worry, it's just the archive storage, I'll need your help tomorrow when we make a copy and take it off-site.

Bring a warm coat, and a map of the tundra.

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'End of passwords' predictions are premature - Cambridge boffin

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Biometrics?

@FartingHippo - I'd agree with your counter-arguments, but I was talking about a laptop in the real world. Password strength isn't mandatory, it's at the discretion of the owner, who has just been told by the salesperson how fantastic the fingerprint scanning is. Vein scanners might be better, how many have you seen on laptops?

You're thankful that bolt-cutters would be the only realistic alternative for a crook? What do you keep on your laptop! I think passwords offer more flexibility against this level of attack. You can choose your level of resistance, based on the value of the protected data, and your assessment of the attacker... you can give up the password at any stage from "calling you rude names" to "here come the bolt-cutters" or beyond. As an additional advantage, you get to avoid the punishment by giving in. With a fingerprint scanner, the crook's fastest, easiest option is the bolt-cutters, so you loose the finger AND the data.

Sorry, that's getting away from the real world again. For most laptop buyers, a fingerprint scanner is a convenience for people who forget their password a lot, is likely to be used with a weak password backup, and a crook will either be stealing it for the hardware value, or will take the disc out to access the data direct because there's no full disc encryption.

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Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: Biometrics?

So, a laptop with a fingerprint scanner is less secure than one with just a password. The attacher can choose which method to attack, there is no protection from a poor password AND there is the opportunity to try a gummy finger cast or other false fingerprint method.

Making biometrics mandatory for all forms of password submission would be so bad. Don't get me wrong, biometrics is a useful form of authentication when used correctly. I've got an ID card with my thumbprint stored, and I can leave the country through an automatic gate by presenting it and my thumb. Very convenient. However, the gate is at a manned checkpoint. Someone with a fake thumb, or who tries to take the gate apart will be caught. Most places we use passwords do not have that sort of protection, so you cannot trust that the biometric reader is reporting correctly. For website authentication, the website owner doesn't even own the reader, so there is no control. BYOD is making the same true for office computing.

Salting and stronger hashes only protect users who choose strong passwords, starting an arms race is only marginally effective when so many users choose "password1" or "secret"

We need to move to PKI, then there is no problem with using the same certificate for multiple websites (or whatever) because the private key is never disclosed.

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Ex-Doctor Who babe Karen Gillan touts dodgy diet pills in twit gaffe

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: if you want to lose weight

I think it was H G Wells, and he wore a lead belt and other weighty accessories to appear normal.

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Unbelievably vast quasar cluster forces universe-sized rethink

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Space is big.

So he has returned to his original profession, though apparently not his partnership with Hotblack.

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Swedish school puts Minecraft on the curriculum

Allan George Dyer
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Childcatcher

I think my kids will begin lobbying for emigration to Sweden.

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Europe's cybercrime fighters get new digs... complete with Faraday room

Allan George Dyer
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Never heard of a Faraday Bag?

The one with the mesh-lined pockets, please.

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Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth

Allan George Dyer
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Alien

"Hang on, I thought we were first?" Re: How old is the star?

@toof4st - that sounds like the abandoned first draft of 2001 - A Space Odyssey . An ancient, mysterious technological artefact is found on the moon, it does nothing when discovered because it was created by an entirely extinct species, and nothing happens for the remainder of the film (in the book, an insane AI deletes all the research papers based on the artefact, because of a numeric overflow in the dates).

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Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: How old is the star?

"would have left an indelible mark somewhere" - really? The chances of an individual becoming fossilised are generally pretty small, and the same would be true of most of our technology. That iron oxide stain next to your newly discovered velociraptor fossil? Maybe it was driving a car. Maybe a large building could survive, but the Lighthouse of Alexandria didn't, and the Pyramids are looking a bit tatty after only a few thousand years. You could easily miss them if you're not looking in the right place.

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Drop that can of sweet pop and grab a coffee - for your sanity's sake

Allan George Dyer
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Re: So...

Isn't Cthulhu a Monsanto product?

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5,000 UK pubs get free Wi-Fi... and they're not even all in London

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: Free as in "complimentary for paying customers"

I'd get you a pint, but I don't know who to give it to, your details are false...

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Chinese Twitter Sina Weibo goes bilingual

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Oddly enough...

How private is a Twitter direct message? I don't think I'd want to rely on it for any communication I seriously needed to stay private. Unless it is end-to-end encrypted, it's like sending a postcard - probably no-one will bother to look.

Sorry, I should have added a "Joke Alert" to my second paragraph.

Who says the van is arriving from China? I'm sure Bradley Manning can explain how transferring documents, even in a private message, can get you into trouble in many places.

OK, that's a big jump, from a private tweet to loads of secret documents, but I think there is a continuous range. Whenever people do things online, they must consider the wider consequences, whether that is not getting a job interview because of student party photos, or getting arrested for treason, or finding disturbing "targeted advertising" appearing. When you post a private message in twitter, you are trusting that they actually follow their own privacy rules; they don't screw up; the company that buys them in 10 years doesn't decide to misuse the data; and so on...

Society depends on trust. The internet is changing trust in non-obvious ways. People need to be aware of that.

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Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: Oddly enough...

Why would anyone worry about being monitored while micro-blogging? It's a public forum where you EXPECT people to listen to you! Next you'll be saying intelligence agencies shouldn't buy newspapers.

Though it'd be nice if they would actually be open about doing it... great for one-upping your friends, "I'm being followed by MOSSAD", "So what, I'm being followed by FSB and CIA".

There's a big difference between monitoring a public forum and the, sometimes related, arrival of an unmarked van in the middle of the night to take you on an unexpected holiday at a re-education camp (though China might be getting rid of re-education camps this year).

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Boffins develop microwave weed-zapper

Allan George Dyer
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Deadly weapon!

OK, the power cable might be a bit limiting, but plenty of scope for in-the-heat-of the-moment manslaughter, or meticulously pre-planned homicide.

Also an open invitation to Darwin awards for anyone close enough ("it really warms you up if you stand here").

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