* Posts by Peter2

578 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Peter2
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Re: You want a bigger picture?

It really comes down to how many pixels per inch you want.

At 1920x a 24" would be 80ppi and 152" would be 12ppi. Even a 4k resolution would only give you 26ppi so it might be a little pixelated.

So you wouldn't want one. You'd want 3 for a multi monitor setup so large that in a FPS you'd see things in your peripheral vision.

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TrueCrypt + Norton AV = BSOD, wail disgruntled users

Peter2
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Re: "Who uses Norton?"

And 7zip's LZMA format blows RAR out of the water in compression sizes, absurdly so when you get to very large numbers of slightly similar files since it deduplicates.

More usefully, it's supported by NSIS, so you can wrap an installshield like GUI around it so that people don't need to care about the format your using.

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

Peter2
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Re: Accented characters in windows

Or just press the alt button and type the code of the accented thing, such as ALT-136 for e with an accent (îê.)

Most of them are in the extended ASCII set. You could then either print out a list (or more usefully) stick the common ones in macros tied to something she can use easily like the F1-F12 keys which are usually unused.

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Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

Peter2
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Re: Grzegorz Brzeczyszczykiewicz

"Since this name seems to be fake, I find myself wondering about the veracity of the whole story.".

Maybe the people responsible for doing the work didn't want to give their names to the NSA in case they suffered a traffic accident along the same lines as Iranian nuclear scientists do? (generally caused by a bullet rather than other road users)

If I was releasing something like this then I can see why I might get quite paranoid.

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Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Peter2
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Re: Retrogression of the "Force".

I've only ever read a few star wards books, but I seem to recall "I, Jedi" had them charging their lightsabers.

German and Japanese technology actually improved after the war, courtesy of us bombing everything flat. Then the Americans made very generous loans and donations to allow them to rebuild with the latest technology. Sadly, as this same courtesy wasn't extended to their own citizens (or allies) this meant that after a decade our former enemies had a better tech base than the allies who won the war.

Still, better than what happened after WW1...

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El Reg's plucky Playmonaut eyes suborbital rocket shot

Peter2
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Re: Great, but....

Getting to the minimum practical height for a circular orbit requires an input speed of 7.9KPS. You get to an elliptical orbit at 8.3KPS, and can break out of orbit with an imparted velocity of >11.3KPS

However, all of these speeds are based on high burn rate chemical rocketry that rely on you throwing a huge amount of thrust in at the start and then coasting the rest of the way on the imparted momentum. Future made at home devices will probably be multistage rockets with chemical stages to get you high enough up for an ion thruster to run.

Improbable and impracticable at the moment, yes. However, if you'd have told somebody 30 years ago that you were going to build a rocket that was going to get to 100KM out of your pay packet from commercially available materials then you'd probably have been thought insane.

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Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to EAT ITSELF

Peter2
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Re: The Answer

"we can sabotage it en masse from home submitting sensible questions and getting everyone to submit totally stupid answers"

Have you ever googled a moderately serious problem? Answers given are utterly hillarious. A lot of people posting replies do it for the "status/reputation/ego boost" they get answering questions and often have absolutely no frigging idea whatsoever to a degree it's hillarious.

My favourites are questions on networking. I'm not a network engineer, just one of those little SME admins who has to deal with all of these other things, but I got quite ratty with a chap on a support forum who was adament that his word was gospel, yet didn't understand networking basics like subnetting(!) let alone that there were different types of NAT to full cone. While trying to debug a network problem, naturally.

As one might imagine, the advice provided was not hugely useful.

I eventually came to the conclusion that the problem was that the program had been programmed as if full cone NAT was the only type in existance, and didn't work on restricted cone NAT. As soon as this made it's way through the support team to a programmer the program got a patch and the unfixable problem went away entirely in the next version.

The chaps response on the forum? "Your pointlessly overeducating yourself in a niche area that nobody ever needs to know".

I love customer support forums.

I look forward to seeing how well an AI deals with processing that sort of Garbage input. At some point you need a person who is actually able to sit down and diagnose problems step by step and come up with a solution. Search engines can't do that, and aren't hugely likely to endanger (many of) us that much since generally we are the people who come up with the solutions.

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Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES

Peter2
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Re: And for non-aviators

Personally, I tend to identify a camel by the dihedral (and shape) of the lower wing, but I guess identifying the tailplane works. :)

It is a lovely picture though. Props to whomever found it. Hands up who knew that when Sopwith Aviation was forced out of business Tommy Sopwith sold the remaining assets to his test pilot, Mr Hawker who then went on to build aircraft such as the Hawker Hurricane, of WW2 fame?

"If I recall correctly, Sopwith Camel's also helped sink the Bismark as they flew too slow"

That was the swordfish, and it's a largely true story. The Germans expected that we'd be using high speed monoplanes instead of low speed biplanes and had their sights calibrated and crews trained to shoot at high performance aircraft. When obsolete biplanes came crawling by with an attack speed around a quarter of what was expected they were using way too much deflection to hit the aircraft and tended to miss quite badly.

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Forget robo-butlers – ROBO-MAIDS! New hotel staffed by slave-droids

Peter2
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"We will make the most efficient hotel in the world," the park's president Hideo Sawada told a news conference, Japan Times reports. "In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots."

I'd bet he'd love to. Less humans to pay and machines can simply be run 24/7 until they break at which point they can be ditched sans pension or redundancy costs.

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O2 notifies data cops 'for courtesy' ... AFTER El Reg intervenes in email phish dustup

Peter2
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Re: " Companies are required by law in most places to maximise profits."

s.172 CA 2006, "to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole". It sets out six factors to which a director must have regards in fulfilling the duty to promote success. These are:

-the likely consequences of any decision in the long term

-the interests of the company’s employees

-the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others

-the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment

-the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct

-the need to act fairly as between members of a company

Conspicuously missing is a bit that says "you must produce the maximum financial profit". Or a bit where it says "you should act as a sociopathic knob persuing these objectives."

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Veritas is home. Symantec’s storage split-off adopts old name

Peter2
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Veritas.

Well, it's good of them to rename it back to Veritas.

I, and everybody else I have worked with in the intervening years has still been calling backup exec "Veritas" out of force of habit, so it's good that new entrants will now know what we are talking about...

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Peter2
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Re: Experts?

The problem in the house of lords is the people that the political parties have stuffed in there.

The chap covered in the article was a perfect example, and was identified as representing a political party, rather than being an independent. If we are doing anything with the lords then it should include the utter exclusion of political parties, voting factions and ensure that debates are held to inform and persuade, rather than provide sound bytes to the media.

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Migration skills shortage looms as Server 2003 DEATH DATE approaches

Peter2
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Re: Really?

The real "skills shortage" if you could call it that is with the users. I'd be interested to know how many of those physical boxes are acting as terminal servers.

The upgrade from 2003 TS is sensibly 2012 RDS. Sadly, this uses TIFKAM which may be the biggest barrier to an upgrade ever devised.

The only remaining 2003 box we have is our terminal server, which is almost certainly going to be in use long past the EOL date simply because of user rejection of the fucking awful touch screen interface.

Now try selling (expensive!) RDS licenses to upgrade to that, which will lower the productivity of anybody using it.

One can't help but think that a "Plus pack" for RDS on 2012 containing a Win7 like interface would dramatically improve the adoption of 2012.

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US and UK declare red-team CYBER WAR – on EACH OTHER

Peter2
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Re: 150 years ago private citizens in the UK formed local rifle clubs

There has always been a Territorial Army, all be it not by the same name. It may have been called Militia or Yeomanry depending on the times.

It would be fairer to point out that the militia was a backup supply of basically trained personnel to the military. Milita could more easily reach the (higher) professional standards of the military virtue of having been partially trained in the first place.

Likewise, Rifle Clubs never became the TA per se, but merely acted as pools of available personnel who could be absorbed into the TA and trained to standard more easily than starting from scratch as they at least knew how to shoot strait.

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Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack

Peter2
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Re: "newly discovered attack" ??????

Microsoft office has the same feature, and the same problem with the users.

Hence why we are discussing removal at source, rather than education efforts.

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Peter2
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Re: "newly discovered attack" ??????

Likewise.

This seems to be the only solution to macros and PDF exploits that exists, but it's a good one.

http://www.decalage.info/exefilter

Basically, it detects if there is any embedded active content in pretty much any format (including extracting and scanning files embedded in zip files!), and it has options to remove any said active content.

The standalone version is excellent and in tests of the stuff that makes it through to the quarentine mailbox it has proven excellent, but I can't see a hugely easy way of implementing it in an exchange environment given it's a python script. The only way I can think of to implement it is via other third party programs such as XWall.

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Peter2
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That'd be lovely, which firewall supports scanning a word doc for embedded VB code and removing offenders?

I don't know of a single firewall on the market that does that, and the only security setup I know of that would support doing that is the truly excellent (and free) "EXEFILTER".

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Why has the Russian economy plunged SO SUDDENLY into the toilet?

Peter2
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Re: So if I have this straight

I thought the reason the Saudi's were doing it was to screw up investment in western shale oil which would wipe out a lot of their customers.

Worse, from their point of view is that if the US/UK don't need to obtain oil from the middle east then we have no further geopolitical reason to attempt to stabilise the middle east.

You see, Saudi Arabia funded most of the terrorist organisations. Given, not because they have any particular love of them but because if you don't pay them then they start operating in Saudi Arabia, and paying them was simpler and not particularly harmful. Now they have a large group of terrorists they funded setting up a country on their doorstep. Oops. Still, it's ok. The US/UK can be relied on to do the dirty work in removing ISIS. As long as we don't get fed up, and tell the middle eastern countries to deal with it themselves instead of paying terrorists protection money.

It'd actually be good for the middle eastern countries to deal with this sort of thing themselves. Western countries developed through civil wars, revolts and revolutions and the middle eastern countries need to do the same to progress.

At the moment I think a lot of people would be quite happy to leave the middle eastern countries to it. However, we can't because we actually have to buy oil from them. But not for long, if shale oil takes off. That we might be in a position to say "your on your own" genuinely scares them.

From their point of view, dropping prices by 35% screws up shale oil investment, keeps us in the middle east to deal with the problem they created by funding terrorists for years and it also dents ISIS's income from oil revenue.

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White hats do an NSA, figure out LIVE PHONE TRACKING via protocol vuln

Peter2
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While people are starting to be slightly paranoid about surveillance after Mr Snowdons revelations, might we have a think about precisely why mobile phones send signals whilst turned off? It's easily verifiable simply by having your phone next to a poorly shielded (ie cheap) speaker. You can then hear when the mobile is transmitting by the interference caused on the speaker.

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Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

Peter2
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Won't happen.

What would happen is that there would be a great storm, and clouds would start raining into on premises servers.

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Microsoft promises open plan mobile Office. Who sits by the Windows?

Peter2
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Re: Macros

I'd pay extra for a desktop version of office without macros.

I live with the ever present fear that despite disabling them a user is going to discover how to reenable them to figure out how to receive details of how to claim one hundred and forty two million (142 million) dollars from the bank of scameria which are contained in the attached email.

I think the last time I saw a legitimate use for office macros was a massively complicated macro for creating quote letters in 2002, which is done through a CMS these days.

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We can change a bit from 0 to 1 WITHOUT CURRENT, say boffins

Peter2
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Re: ?

LIkewise.

Presumably they mean "less current" required (to the point of being hardly detectable) rather than "no current".

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Who wants SLEEP DEPRIVATION for Christmas?

Peter2
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Re: And with a normal book?

I don't suppose the esteemed boffins have any suggestions as to how much of a gap you should leave between reading and attempting to goto sleep?

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Car hacker secrets revealed: Clutching up a tank engine in a classic motor

Peter2
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Well, the one question nobody has asked.

How long does it take to go from 0 - 60?

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Sony Pictures hit by 'fightback on filesharers' DDoS claims – report

Peter2
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But you can't just kick the crap out of somebody if committing a citizens arrest ANYWHERE other than America. Look at Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The law in all of them is effectively identical- if you catch a thief then you can detain them, even using force. That is generally held to mean "catching them in the act and putting them in a restraint position", rather than "I tracked down the thief a week later and then beat them with a cricket bat until it snapped".

This has always been the law. It's been the law since before the existence of a police force, hell- there's an example immortalised in Oliver Twist from 1838! The law has *always* demanded that the minimum possible force be used to prevent the person from escaping and that punishment should be the preserve of the court, not the capturer.

Arguing otherwise is absurd. Even the link you provided backs me up. Did you read it? It's the same rules as everywhere else in the world implementing common law and the practicalities haven't changed much more than a few iotas for a quarter of a millennia.

The only reason America is different is because they started off with the same system but were almost entirely rural for a very long time, instead of urban. On the frontier if your several days ride away from a sheriff and armed then shooting a criminal in the course of committing a crime is perfectly reasonable, and disabling somebody without killing them is actually showing a lot of restraint as is actually taking them to the authorities instead of just digging a shallow grave which is probably why their system is a lot more lenient in that respect.

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Peter2
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"In Canada, you'd go to jail for this. You aren't allowed to run down robbers, shoot people because they're on your property and you don't want them to be, etc. Be mindful that almost every country on the planet has laws against being a cowboy vigilante."

On the contrary, like other countries descending from the common law system Canada does allow you to make a citizens arrest. Your just not allowed to arbitrarily hang the person you've caught or give them a good kicking before the police arrive.

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Brit GUN NUT builds WORKING SNIPER RIFLE at home out of scrap metal!

Peter2
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Re: I blame the empire!

Hah. You'd think, but how heavy was a french 36 pounder cannon ball? The answer is 39 pounds, 11 and a half ounces. In generally accepted English pounds before standardisation in 1824 of course. No idea what that is in modern (1876) Imperial, but I'd assume that it's going to be different.

Muskets were actually hand manufactured everywhere to different sets of measurements and it was reasonably common to get your own set of moulds to pour lead into to make bullets for your weapon that would fit. ;)

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Peter2
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Ten round detachable magazine, ordinarily fed with 5 round charger clips. Given, the magazine was attached to early rifles with a small length of chain because the generals of the time had a similar amount of faith in their troops not losing detachable parts than I have in my users, but hey. They stopped doing that on the earlier models about 50 years before this particular one was produced.

You don't know much about firearms, do you?

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Peter2
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Re: Funny sizes?

"you probably work in inches so why would you choose .203 or .303?"

If you look up the measurements of a .303 round, you'll note that the round is .54 at the rim, .46 at the base, and .34 just before the crimping to put the (.31) bullet in. The round is 2.2" long in total.

So it does extensively use imperial measurements. .303 seems to have come from measuring the bore size in 1880, which seems to have allowed a 0.01" gap on either side of the barrel, possibly to allow for black powder fouling the rifle. (The .303 originally started with gunpowder as a propellent, before using "smokeless" guncotton and then cordite in British Army use, and pretty much everything imaginable in commercial production since 1880!)

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

Peter2
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Re: Slight edit error

I have to agree with your rough take, though personally I have a personal, almost utterly unscientific yet disturbingly accurate way of looking at wage costs for the "middle classes". The cost of transport.

If you look at the cost of a low end car, a middle range car and a high end car then they tend to hold prices relatively well with the range of what the range of salaries were actually out there as opposed to how the average is being calculated or fiddled that year.

Going further back? Look at the relative cost of horses. It tends to hold true and be acceptably accurate.

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US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Peter2
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>"under the terms of the Geneva Convention it can't be used against humans directly."

You mean under Protocol IV of the Geneva convention?

The one the American's still haven't signed up to?

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Peter2
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How?

The transponders are only read by the SSR when it's pointing at them. How does that happen if the dish is pointing up at the flying things, and your illegal transponder is on the ground?

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Peter2
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Re: not very big

When he says "damage to the engine" he means it's going to stop working, so it's effectively "destruction of the engine".

Without engines, a plane becomes a metal box weighing a couple of hundred tons a mile or so up in the air. It touching the ground in a manner that allows reuse of the plane or in fact the survival of everybody on the plane entirely depends on the skills of the pilots.

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Peter2
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That's not entirely accurate. Airports do have "real" RADAR however since it only gives the direction and distance from the transmitter it's not very useful for ATC purposes with the number of aircraft we have floating around these days, so ATC would normally use secondary surveillance radar which is what your thinking of. That does rely on a transponder and as drones don't have transponders it won't pick up one.

You'd imagine that the professionals know more than us though, and wouldn't have been checking a system that just checks transponders. That said, a few more many incidents like this will end up with drones being licensed and having to have transponders.

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Peter2
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>"However, investigators were unable to detect the drone on air traffic control radar after the incident had occurred."

That's not really hugely surprising really. The drone is likely under the size of a propeller on a light aircraft so the RCS would be tiny and even if the radar detect it then it'd probably get squelched due to the size of the radar return.

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Experimental sci-fi novel Elysium is ALMOST irritating ...

Peter2
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If your going to do reviews/publicity for books, how about supporting good ones like this:-

http://www.amazon.com/Contractor-Contractors-Book-Andrew-Ball-ebook/dp/B00MQED6EA/

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The internet is less free than last year. Thanks a bunch, Snowden

Peter2
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Re: passing laws...

Innumerable.

Two bookcases worth of laws as of 1974, a third for the compiled annual updates since then and another bookcase to cover the encylopedia of forms and precedents which as case law are effectively laws.

For comparison, we also have one singular book (without a publication date) listing every law written at the time of publication. It contains provisions for colonists in the American colonies however, which dates it.

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Nothing illegal to see here: Tribunal says TEMPORA spying is OK

Peter2
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>"According to Privacy International: “The policies reveal that the government considers it justifiable to engage in mass surveillance of every Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google user in the country, even if there is no suspicion that the user has committed any offence, by secretly redefining Britons’ use of them as 'external communications'."

Except that IIRC the security services were recently complaining that they couldn't prevent the murder of Lee Rigby because they didn't have access to Facebook etc to see that they had quite openly been discussing murdering a British serviceman. Since one would suspect that if they did have access then his messages would have lit off even a basic word filter like a christmas tree then it's pretty safe to assume they weren't and likely aren't monitoring all facebook access, at the very least.

Still...

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Orion 'Mars' ship: Cosmic ray guard? Go. Parachutes? Go. Spacerock shield? Go!

Peter2
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Re: WTF??

No, they don't. They don't even use Imperial measurements, but some random system that uses the same unit names as Imperial but has different measurements(!) in random places where you least expect them.

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Star Wars: Episode VII trailer lands. You call that a lightsaber? THIS is a lightsaber

Peter2
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Re: Guards are good

Most of the time a hit to the fingers is received by deflecting an incoming blow with your blade at an angle. The other blade then slides down yours and hits your fingers because there is no intervening guard.

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Peter2
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Re: I'm pretty sure it won't cut your hand off

I play with sabers, including against martial arts clubs.

You could potentially take yourself out while spinning a saber as they do in star wars episode 1-3. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuRYp3l1UhQ)

The reason this wouldn't have been a problem with a broadsword is that it wouldn't have been a cutting edge, and nobody would ever attempt to spin a broadsword like that in the first place. The reason every sword (other than a lightsaber) has a guard is because getting hit on the fingers is exceedingly painful even when only with a blunt bit of wood/polycarbonate. The consequences of being hit with a sharp bit of metal is likely to lead to the loss of important bits of your anatomy.

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Peter2
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Anybody who thinks a guard on a hilt is a stupid idea clearly hasn't taken a high speed impact on their fingers when duelling with a saber.

And yes, you can buy sabers meant for duelling these days. Google "The Custom Saber Shop" if you have reasonable wiring skills and want to make your own, or Google "Ultrasabers" if you haven't and therefore need something working out of the box.

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Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

Peter2
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Re: Why do they think gun licencing should be done on the cheap?

Sadly however, only your car needs an inspection of competence once a year. You can drive pretty much as dangerously as you like, and the most that's going to happen is points on your license, even if you end up leaving somebody crippled for life. Killing somebody might lead to a couple of years in prison, but even then, you probably won't lose your driving license.

It would be nice if people would treat driving a car with a similar respect to a firearm given that both can easily inflict fatal wounds, but despite 2.5k dead every year it's not seen as important by the public.

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Will security concerns scupper your BYOD policy?

Peter2
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Re: "Indeed, BYOD is for life, not just for Christmas."

Exactly.

Security concerns aren't going to scupper my BYOD policy, because the policy in question reads "BYOD is never going to happen".

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MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

Peter2
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Re: A rod for their own backs

No, this is still the case and outright absurd.

However, IIRC the problem was created by a court ruling, not by legislation.

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YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins

Peter2
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Re: Do this

>"What about automatically disabling the account if it's not used for 30 days and then doing an automatic cleanup after 90 days? Zeeze..."

I take it that you haven't heard of "pregnancy" or the common employment terms of "maternity leave", "long term sickness", "suspension" (ie; garden leave) and the army of related issues where simply deleting an account because a user hasn't used it for 3 months can cause the company serious problems?

"No, your honour, and esteemed members of the jury. We had fully intended to allow employee X to resume their duties after their time away from the workplace. The person standing in for them was only working on a temporary basis and we hadn't already made a decision to dismiss employee X and replace them with this temp..., no the fact that employee X's computer account had been deleted is a total coincidence and this entire court case is a terrible misunderstanding! No, your honour, we don't think you look stupid and we aren't trying to insult your intelligence..."

Motto of the story. IT has one job- HR has another.

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UK urged to stop bigging up startups, feed 'growing' firms

Peter2
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Re: Outside london?

Brilliant. Don't you love the city boys/girls?

She's probably never seen a cow* and doesn't appreciate that even walking across a field with cows in they just look at you with a bemused look and a "moooooh" before going back to the busy task of chewing grass.

Unless you've got a wheelbarrow, in which case they think they are being fed and the entire herd will charge the wheelbarrow to get too the food they think is going to be in the wheelbarrow first.

*of the four legged animal variety.

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Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals

Peter2
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Re: Yeah right

Except that if the US do try and make any one of the examples posted above stick, then the cloud is going to rain really, really hard into data centres or on premises servers that the USA cannot possibly touch. Microsoft in particular will probably just give up with the cloud, and start pushing servers again.

This would be bad news for American cloud providers, and good news for pretty much everybody else (especially readers of this site) as more jobs in local countries are created building, selling, shipping and supporting servers.

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Microsoft .NET released from its Windows chains... but what ABOUT MONO?

Peter2
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> "what are the implications for Mono, the existing open source project which already provides .NET support on Linux and the Mac?"

Very limited, if the communities using it have any sense of self preservation. I can see why people might want to use slices of the code or fork it, but why in the name of $deity would anybody want to use Microsoft code directly given their infamous trademark embrace, extend etc strategy?

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Someone has broken into your systems. Now what?

Peter2
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Re: All good stuff but...

> "My fail...I work for a company that is regulated by the FCA" [snip] "One of the things they seem to be interested in is if we log and read the logs and what actions are taken with regards to logs."

I feel for you. My industry is regulated, but our regulator basically states that they'll shut down anybody who has a serious data breach, and data breaches should be avoided by seeking the advice of a IT Professional or IT consultancy.

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