* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1224 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

Allan George Dyer
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Re: There's UTF-8 and utf8 in Perl

@Frumious Bandersnatch, "completely messed up rendering of some trivial glyphs (like em dash and currency symbols)" - my guess would be the HTML was saved in cp1252, and the browser guessed (or was told) it was iso8859-1. They are almost the same, apart from those glyphs.

I was going to add a rant, but I couldn't decide whether it was agains Microsoft's "embrace, extend, extinguish", incorrectly configured web servers or browsers silently "being helpful" and changing the encoding they're applying so that you can never figure out whether you've configured your web server correctly. Basically, Verity's right.

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Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Re: There's UTF-8 and utf8 in Perl

@Dan 55 - and it will do something useful in the real world That is how brilliant Perl is!!

I take your Troll, and raise it.

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Feds: Silk Road pirate king tried to SNUFF customer AND employee

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

But...

If he'd told the federal agent the mark was a terrorist, he'd have tortured and killed him for free.

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'Instant translation' glasses to come online for 2020 Olympics

Allan George Dyer
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Hungarian phrasebook anyone?

What could possibly go wrong?

My nipples explode with delight!

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Atomic clocks come to your wrist

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

You thought daylight savings was a pain...

with this watch, you need to adjust for leap seconds too.

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IPCC: Yes, humans are definitely behind all this global warming we aren't having

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Such a waste of time and paper.

Doctor: It's cancer

Patient: Is it curable?

Doctor: Well, I generally find it will take care of itself if we let it.

Patient: What?

Doctor: The cancer kills itself. I mean, it keeps growing until you die a painful death, and, as a consequence, it dies.

You will only get raised standards of living, education and contraception if someone puts time and effort into making it so. It is not just the end result, but the route to it that matter.

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Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Realistically...

If you think there is a chance of us wiping ourselves out by a meteor, super nova or alien invasion, I suggest you stop throwing asteroids around, stop fly-tipping into unstable stars, and definitely stop making rude faces at passing UFOs!

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Single reset key!!!!!?????

I meant to type "your cat or a slip of the finger to lose", but perhaps my subconscious was attempting irony.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Single reset key!!!!!?????

There is some uncertainty, but I'd say you're wrong. In the video, Bill specifically references the guy that did the IBM keyboard, and also continues to say that they were doing interesting things, but in the software, like the extended character set with the suit characters. To me, this places the "one button" request when the original IBM PC was being designed. The alternative would be when OS/2 and PS/2 were designed, but the PS/2 keyboard is the old keyboard with a smaller connector, and the extended character set was part of the PC design too. Bill confused the issue by talking about the security reason for OS/2|NT login and then sliding into the hardware decision without making it clear the hardware was PC legacy.

Either way, I don't understand why he thinks it was a mistake to make it difficult for you cat or s slip of the finger to loose all your work.

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Boffins: Internet transit a vulnerability

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

I thought SOP was to hand the Internet exchange a secret federal court order.

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RADIATION SNATCHED from leaky microwave ovens to power gadgets

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: How about .....

And if someone obeys that instruction once a year, they'll wipe out any energy saving.

It's a neat use of leaked power, but if someone switches on the microwave because the parasitic device needs recharging it just becomes a 99.9997% inefficient recharger (assuming a 300W microwave).

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Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

Allan George Dyer
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Pity the urban wildlife...

To rats, cockroaches, owls and pigeons, every streetlight and TV must be pulsing at a headache-inducing rate.

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'Liberator' 3D printed gun enters London's V&A Museum

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

The V&A was right

Based on the discussion here, the Liberator definitely "represent[s] a turning point in debates around digital manufacturing."

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Lip-wobbling boffins: Eating Chinese food is like kissing a vibrator

Allan George Dyer
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Coffee/keyboard

I hope they used a new device.

"Did the last volunteer have a beard?"

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Intel shows off wine-powered processor and biometric boffinry

Allan George Dyer
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If the device works...

the wine is undrinkable. I prefer drinking ethanol to vinegar.

How about connecting the accelerometer to a speaker, so that your drink can warn you not to drink it?

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John McAfee tweets from BEYOND THE GRAVE: Drug binge death? Not me, mate

Allan George Dyer
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I can't believe...

you didn't have Mark Twain in your list of premature obituaries, ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration’.

Also, did McAfee start the rumor himself? As you said, he has been quiet recently.

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Enterprise storage: A history of paper, rust and flash silicon

Allan George Dyer
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Rosetta Stone Re: Downside

Egyptian hieroglyphs couldn't be read for centuries, and some ancient scripts are currently undecipherable. As you say, it's an encoding problem. One nice feature of older storage methods is their ability to be accessed with no more equipment than the eyeball Mk.1 (or the finger Mk.1 for Braille).

I wonder how long it will be before the only economic way of "playing" a phonographic record is to put it into your domestic 3D printer/scanner and run a conversion program on the resulting CAD file.

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That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: @Ted Treen

@Daniel B., actually I was avoiding mentioning the Guildford Four, because they were stitched up by the Police, not the army. There were other incidents of torture, as Ted admits, committed by the army in Northern Ireland.

I'm sad to say that too many people on every side of every conflict mistake revenge for justice.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Dear, Dear, Mr Dyer

No, Mr Treen, I'm talking about suspects, who are innocent until proven guilty, not guilty, and we're going to get them to admin it. There was violence and injustice on both sides, the torture was more fuel on the fire, not a solution.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Look at NSA-approved crypto

@DougS, you're right. But it also depends on their relative levels of arrogance, complacency and paranoia.

Arrogance and complacency: We were 15 years ahead in the 70's, we must be 20-30 years ahead now. We [can't find a flaw | have found a flaw] in AES, no-one else can find a flaw, therefore we are safe telling eveyone AES is OK.

Paranoia: If we can do it, they can do it. If we can't do it, they can still do it.

Of course, Snowden has dented their arrogance and fueled their paranoia, but they are probably in denial, and it's on operations, not on the crypto theory. If you see a large order for rubber hosepipes, they've figured out their next move.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: re: Why would we have known about it?

@Ted Treen Just to be clear, I downvoted you and I am younger, but, being 50 I DO remember the Heath , Wilson and Callaghan governments. Rule by the thugs that were tourturing suspects in Northen Island would not have been welcome, neither is the fascist-right's historical distortions.

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'Unreliable, shambolic' ... a top CompSci prof slams Serco's UK crim tag tech

Allan George Dyer
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Alert

Re: Numbers

Any statistics for the number of dead offenders Serco accused of tampering?

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Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: Really?

"are they saying here 1-in-5 applicants knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who once went to a radical Mosque somewhere?"

Among applicants for Arabic translation jobs, I would expect a far higher ratio.

@Vimes, the article doesn't mention Al-Qaeda links, but "hostile intelligence services and or terrorist groups", which probably includes journalists in their eyes.

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

Allan George Dyer
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Half the Earth?

So the next World War will be fought over control of the light side of the Moon?

Me? Pessimistic? And who stole my bloody glass!

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

I fear for the future...

Some brain-dead design committee is going to take up the "check radio signal for time" idea, but also insist on an option for manually setting the time... Resulting in the oven* that won't work until you set it to the correct time.

* Or other appliance

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Allan George Dyer
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Childcatcher

Re: Not so much

UPS in a domestic environment? There is a reason for RCCBs.

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NSA: NOBODY could stop Snowden – he was A SYSADMIN

Allan George Dyer
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Re: In response

And in tomorrow's news, following new leaks, they are also removing the Alt key and numeric keypad.

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Tesla cars 'hackable' says Dell engineer

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Tesla did it on purpose...

so they can blame the battery usage on "hackers".

(can I have the black helicopters AND the joke alert?)

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BALLMER TO RETIRE FROM MICROSOFT

Allan George Dyer
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Devil

Re: Ming The Merciless

But Ming always escaped for the next series...

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Rasp Pi skydive: Ballsy Baumgartner best beware Brit bionic Babbage Bear

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: ...and wir attracting the kidz, narteyemin, yeah?

There seems to be an epidemic of keyboard failures here. The consonant keys appear to be reppeatinng. Perrhhaps ssolch llanfr ddyotsccy ammlly llochylloch yn lllllllylllllllllllllllll

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NSA admits slurping thousands of domestic emails with no terror connection

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: As they should

Nah. It's Mr. Terrorist trying to build his cover as Mr. Model Citizen.

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Boffin blends benevolent beer

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Alternatively...

have some salt'n vingegar crisps with that.

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Who says "The Kids Are Alright"?

"Don't Let Go the Coat"

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Boffins claim Voyager has already left the Solar System

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Obligatory xkcd reference

xkcd: Voyager 1

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Google: Cloud users have 'no legitimate expectation of privacy'

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Shock! Gmail works just like Google said it would...

And the Ts&Cs make Hamlet look like a comedy.

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Is NASA planning to send LAVA LAMPS to Jupiter?

Allan George Dyer
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Love the project...

Question: Is American home wiring generally so under-rated that the lights dim when a moderately-serious appliance is turned on? The PSU looks like 12V, so, with the motor drawing 25A, the mains current is only around 2.5A. Less than a hairdryer.

At last, we have a replacement for the ancient phrase, "not enough room to swing a cat".

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Philips' smart lights left in the dark by dumb security

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Post Analysis

Sure, but Phillips chose security-through-obscurity. They could have chosen a random number at authorisation time to use as a shared secret. I bet the developers had a discussion...

"So what happens if the user has a disc failure or installs a new OS?"

"Well, they'll have to reauthorize"

"No good, too inconvenient"

"Well, the MAC address will usually stay the same"

"Too obvious"

"We could hash it"

"Hmmm"

"with MD53"

"with What? Yeah, sure NO-ONE will guess that"

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Notorious Mexican drug kingpin nabbed thanks to drones and spyware

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Re: Drones help capture drug kingpin

Surveillance with rules is OK, extra-judicial killings are bad. They captured this guy, and will try him.

The slope isn't slippery if we can keep the distinctions clear... I hope.

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Feds arrest rogue trucker after GPS jamming borks New Jersey airport test

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: Stupid Airport

A major security breach? When anyone with a directional aerial could locate the augmentation transmitter themselves? Completely ineffective, and, therefore, with the current level of security theatre, a completely believable policy.

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Silent Circle shutters email service

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: Why don't they just go abroad?

Well, you did say, "set up the hosting there too", so I think you did suggest hosting in two countries.

Anyway, if the plan is to stay where you are and offshore the hosting, it doesn't stop the Gov turning up and demanding the data. Sure, you haven't got the data, but that doesn't prevent you spending lots of time in court and lots of money on lawyers, just the same as saying "it's all encrypted, and I don't have the keys".

Charles 9 is right, Turing was a genius. You can tell the guys in the helicopter your "Nothing is impossible".

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Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Re: Why don't they just go abroad?

Because hosting in two countries doesn't make them immune to demands from one, it makes them subject to both. Of course, they could move the whole operation, including staff... but that is quite complicated.

Also, "ethical country" should replace "business ethics" on the standard list of oxymoron examples.

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Manning's max sentence cut, may only spend up to 90 years in the cooler

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Re: Once Apon a Time........

Isn't there a difference between:

"I swear to serve my country"

and

"I swear to serve my country and conceal evidence of crimes against humanity"

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Tax dodging? It's harder to do - and rarer - than you think

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

Re: Career suicide

"Why does a society want to handicap the engine of the economy with income taxes?"

Because businesses use infrastructure and resources, benefiting from investments the rest of society make. This includes water, roads, refuse disposal; but it also includes healthy, educated workers. Public health services and education are some of the most important investments a society can make for its future. Businesses can choose to participate in society and its future by paying their fair share of tax. If they don't, they are parasites and should be treated as such.

If you want an example of why not everything can be a consumption tax, consider the Police:

"Officer, I've just been robbed. They took EVERYTHING!"

"Yes, Sir, I'll need to take the details, and the £10000 Investigation Tax"

"But they took EVERYTHING!!"

...

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Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Fiduciary duty

"The best interests of the shareholders is maximizing profits."

"We have calculated that we can maximise profit by inviting all shareholders to participate in production of our new product, Soylent Green"

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Did a bunch of bankers fax a stranger's sensitive privates to YOU?

Allan George Dyer
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Stephen Eckersley was very Ernest in his remarks.

I think that's important.

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REVEALED: Cyberthug tool that BREAKS HSBC's anti-Trojan tech

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Hands up who trusts Trusteer.

OK, Lee, Entrope, we seem to mostly agree: AV is not a 100% perfect solution to malware, but it does have an important place in an InfoSec strategy. Your initial remarks didn't give the same impression.

However, Lee, I do disagree with your assessment of heuristics, and your test is not valid: changing bytes at random is not likely to result in a working program, so why should it get recognized as dangerous? I could say you've proved the opposite: the heuristics can distinguish between working malware and a similar corrupt file that does nothing.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Hands up who trusts Trusteer.

So, Entrope, you reject the idea of Antivirus (described by Lee as checking against "a blacklist of known viruses"*) and embrace a blacklist of known bad hosts on the internet? How often is the list updated? Never seen an innocent site that's been broken into and planted with malicious stuff?

I wonder how big a hosts file can get before it brings your machine to its knees?

* an over-simplistic description of modern anti-virus, which will also try to recognise never-before-seen variants of known malware, and apply other rules in its determinations.

Full disclosure: my company sells anti-virus. It should be part of your information security management strategy.

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Allan George Dyer
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Childcatcher

Is that a solution, or a way of making the problem worse?

Suppose you use this automatic link-fixing tool...

scenario:

1. You build your website and protect it with this link-fixing tool

2. Unknown attacker breaks into your site and uploads CP into an unlinked folder

3. One of the links on your pages goes bad, the link-fixing tool automatically searches for an alternative and chooses the CP folder

4. You loose your job and get thrown into jail.

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Davros liable to criticism for huge STRAW DALEK he never built

Allan George Dyer
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Alien

Re: have they been grassed to BBC for copyright violation yet ?

There may be a kernel of truth there, but didn't even the BBC have to credit Terry Nation in the credits of every Dalek episode?

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Terror cops swoop on couple who Googled 'backpacks' and 'pressure cooker'

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: Suffolk

So Loudoun County is using their Jail as an armoury? Storing lots of weapons locked up with dangerous criminals?

Does anyone see a problem with that?

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