* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1253 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Ten top stories from Classic Doctor Who

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Ark in Space

We had a discussion last night on the scariness of the modern series, during the vampires in Venice episode. My wife thought it was too scary for the children. My daughter (11) disagreed.

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Bitcopocalypse! Top crypto-currency can be HIJACKED, warn boffins

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Electricity is free is you steal it

Isn't a zombie botnet the most "efficient" way to mine bitcoins? So, very soon, mining will be dominated by a single gang of criminals, rather than multiple independent criminals.

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Digital deviants: The many MAD COMPUTERS of Doctor Who

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

So it wasn't Al Gore

both WOTAN and BOSS were first with the idea of connecting the world's computers and enslaving humanity with mind control.

What? We're not mind-controlled? Have you looked at anyone with a smartphone?

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Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Printers do all support postscript or something

The problem is the "or something".

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Allan George Dyer
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Go

I'm redirecting my company's printer support webpage to this article.

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Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

Allan George Dyer
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The "we've made something invisible up to make one set of theories work" approach has been successful in the past, e.g. for the Periodic Table of the Elements, so I wouldn't dismiss it out-of-hand.

Obviously, as, no doubt, the scientists in this field are telling their funding committees, we need more data.

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FREEZE, GLASSHOLE! California cops bust Google Glass driver

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

"Monitor visible to driver"

Easy, just plug the video feed directly into the optic nerve.

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Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

Allan George Dyer
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plumbing and car mechanics

I'm not a plumber or a car mechanic, but I know enough to turn off at the main to stop a flood, and change a wheel. These are basic life-skills, and, with the number of digital devices we have nowadays, so is programming.

I'm reminded of a Monty-Python sketch, a world of Supermen, where the skills of Mr. Bicycle Repairman were much needed.

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Allan George Dyer
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existential national threat?

So John-Paul Sartre's followers have turned nasty?

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Snap-happy blogger babe posts catcalling blokes' mugshots online

Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Re: It must get really, really boring

@Khaptain, "which would you like to bring back first, hanging or decapitation". Really, that is your response to Bronny's detailed concerns with your previous comments?

I'm sorry everyone, I've been feeding a troll.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: It must get really, really boring

@Khaptain, sure, we are subject to many interactions without choice but the society we build together forms a consensus on what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't. There's a scale, some behaviour is classified as criminal, some is subject to group disapproval, some is welcomed. Personally, I think that non-consenual targeted behaviour that I know most targets find intimidating should be discouraged, and, from the other comments and votes here, many seem to agree with me. Your views seem like a throwback to a time when women were seen as subordinate to men.

"only one vital instinct, procreation" Hmm, I suspect our survival at the moment depends on suppressing our basic instincts to grab as much food/resources as we can, and to use the biggest weapon we can find against anyone who tries to stop us, in favour of efficient resource allocation and peaceful cooperation, but that is rather off topic.

Which Victorian values were you thinking of? The child labour, women as husband's property, the dark, satanic mills, or stealing entire countries? The manners and polite society were available only to the privileged few. Being able to walk along the street without feeling threatened should be available to everyone.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: It must get really, really boring

It is not a game if there is no choice whether to participate. Ignoring a comment aimed at you that you obviously heard is recognised as a response, so the target has no choice about participation.

Some men enjoy boxing as an expression of their masculinity, is it acceptable for me to walk down the street punching men in the face because some might appreciate the attention? No, we have boxing matches where all participation is voluntary. We have other events, such as wet T-shirt contests, that people who appreciate cat-calls can enter.

We are not only animals, we are the story-telling chimpanzee, that changes the world through our stories. We have more effective responses to exciting situations than screaming, jumping up and down and throwing shit.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: It must get really, really boring

OK, there is a wide range of behaviour, and perhaps cat-calling does gradually fade into chat-up lines at one end of the gradient. However, even your Coca Cola ads feature group behaviour, and, if the call doesn't increase the chances of a pick-up, then it can't be a mating call. It does alert other members of the group, and seeks to increase status within the group ("look what I've found", "see, she recognises my power"). The ad-men are also being deliberately manipulative in the scenario... it's not overweight, middle-aged office women, but the real-life scenario?

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: It must get really, really boring

I disagree, cat-calling doesn't usually occur where there is opportunity or expectation of further interaction. A chat-up line is a mating call. Cat-calls are often used by males in a group. I would interpret cat-calls as a combination of territorial claim, group bonding, and intimidation/threat to outsiders.

We may all be culture-shocked savannah apes, but is that a reason to tolerate group intimidation?

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Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS

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Forget Wi-Fi, boffins get 150Mbps Li-Fi connection from a lightbulb

Allan George Dyer
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Firewall and Curatins

So windows are a security vulnerability.

No, No! Don't downvote me, I didn't say WindowsTM

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Fiendish CryptoLocker ransomware: Whatever you do, don't PAY

Allan George Dyer
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Discrimination against goblins?

So what have you got against gobbledygook speakers? [Thanks, JKR]

Seriously, once you've considered every language, and acronyms in those languages, you'll find it a major challenge to differentiate between a legitimate domain name and a DGA generated one.

You might have some success if you...

1) Reverse engineer the malware, identify the DGA

2) Predict all possible outputs of the DGA

3) Make legal arrangements with appropriate registrars to screen or revoke domain applications by the predicted output

But, as soon as the criminals realise their domain are being revoked, they'll change the algorithm.

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Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: “Error 0x80040A41: No error description available”

I've got it! It makes sense!

0x80040A41 is the code for the error, "No error description available”

The developers didn't want to confuse poor, dumb users when there was an error with no description, so they decided to throw away the undescribed error, and report a helpful message.

With over 2 billion error conditions to describe, it's going to be a while before they finish. This also explains why the 8.1 download is 3.5GB; at, say 30 characters per message, that's only 125 million new error messages. I think I'll wait for SP18, they should have all the errors described by then.

I was going to use the joke icon but...

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Terminator-style robot busts leg in martial arts demo mishap

Allan George Dyer
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It's all happening in Hong Kong

The other hot news is, "Transformers director attacked by 'zombie' triad wielding aircon unit"

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1333800/transformers-director-attacked-zombie-triad-wielding-aircon-unit

Beware, the Chinese have more weird martial arts than you can shake a stick random improvised weapon at.

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Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Robot out-performed by pensioner. We're safe for a while yet...

Tai chi is very popular among old people here, you can see them in the parks, early in the morning, practising. For those not familiar with this martial art, it is characterised by slow, smooth movements. It is martial in origin, but is a form of gentle stretching exercise now.

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Cannabis can CURE CANCER - cheaply and without getting you high

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

"it was far less intence than LCD"

Wait! Display technology can cause hallucinations?

What drivers are you using?

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Why a Robin Hood tax on filthy rich City types is the very LAST thing needed

Allan George Dyer
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Re: I have a related question

I have a different related question:

What are the costs and benefits of putting oil into shock absorbers as a way of improving comfort and handling?

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Perhaps

".docx has been around since Word 2007" - but is it the same .docx? Word 2000 with the "compatibility pack" opens some .docx files, but not others.

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Microsoft wants to 'move beyond' the Cookie Monster

Allan George Dyer
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Re: @MattEvansC3 Re: @ James Micallef

So, because I read you comment, then I must agree with you? Nah, have a downvote.

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Be prepared... to give heathens a badge: UK Scouts open doors to unbelievers

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Drawing the line at republicans

The Scout promise in (most?) other countries replaces "the Queen" with "my Country".

I would suggest that, as Scouting is a non-political organisation, the point is doing the right thing for your Society, so, in context, the duty of a true republican to the Queen is to overthrow the monarchy as soon as possible. The removal of duty to the non-elected power that appoints monarchs (God) allows republicans in too.

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Allan George Dyer
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Thumb Up

An overdue change

As an atheist and a former Cub Scout Leader in London in the late '80s, I made the mistake of being honest in the warrant application form. The interview with the senior District leaders concentrated on this, they sent the District Chaplin for a followup. She was very nice, and we had a long discussion. She classified me (IIRC) as a non-deist humanist, and everyone was happy. As another leader pointed out to me afterwards, it was a lot simpler to tick CofE, and there would be no searching questions.

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Police constable 1337 stunned by Lego lookalike

Allan George Dyer
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They don't look <b>that</b> similar

unless PC Thomas has recently recovered from jaundice.

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

Allan George Dyer
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Re: The historical accident of little-endian

Also used for time in English as recently as the middle-20th century, such as, "five and twenty to four", as my Aunt used to say. How quaint.

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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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'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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