* Posts by Sir Sham Cad

349 posts • joined 15 Jun 2009

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BATWINGED DINO-PIGEON causes FLAP in bone-boffinry circles

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: most of the time, they barely have a tenth of one.

Yes, but with luck they find more identifiably the same remains in another location with maybe a couple of additional bones to add to the jigsaw puzzle so there's evidence that there wasn't just one of these things which, in the wake of the "Archeoraptor" hoax, would make it a strong candidate for a healthy dose of scepticism.

I'm quite happy that they may not have much of a complete skeleton. Less so that what they have got has only been unearthed in one location. That said, I hope they do find many more because dino-boffinry is cool. Bloody hard but cool.

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Sir Sham Cad
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Re: I wonder why that's the case

I'm no paleontologist but I think it's because every example of a feathered dinosaur with wings that we've found have been feathered wings and, until now, only the pterosaurs have been known to have a membrane.

It does seem obvious to me, though. Feathers were around before feathered wings evolved so if a feathered animal around that time was evolving to fly it really only had one option for limb form.

Still, if it is a genuine find (always a worry when there's only one of them) it's a cracker!

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Brits send Star Wars X-wing fighter to the stratosphere

Sir Sham Cad
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Hoping to catch the eye of JJ Abrams.

Not quite. Needs moar lens flare! Get those images to Photoshop* stat!

*or GIMP or Paint Shop Pro if that's still going or other commentard-approved image editing software.

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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: every pilot should have permanent acces to two tablets

No, he's suggesting that, instead of Pilot + Co pilot having 1x Tablet-X each, the Pilot has 1x tablet-X and Co pilot has 1x Tablet-Y running the same software but on different platforms for system resilience.

Yes there's an initial cost of porting your app to a different platform but given the business impact of not getting your birds in the air at all for want of a second device type is huge.

In that case scenario all the flights would have taken off as each of the 737s would have at least one functioning flight plan tablet.

Proper resilience and business continuity is only expensive until you don't have it.

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Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse taunted with sausage sarnie snap

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Sauce

That Oranjeboom 8.5% is the only one of those super strength brainbreakers that actually tases like beer rather than alcohol and syrup.

As such I keep one in the fridge for emergencies such as Monday.

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Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Sir Sham Cad
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Yes but...

What was the camera, Mr Dabbs? Enquiring minds (well, me anyway) need to know!

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Chinese 'Superphone' manufacturer declares war on Apple

Sir Sham Cad
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Well, it got the headlines.

On another note, 6.3 inches for a phone screen? I know it's designed to maximise the VoD experience but seriously, how sodding big have your hands got to be to use that as a phone? I had to make a call on an iPhone 6+ earlier and that was a fistful!

Deffo more to the Tablet side than Phablet. God it's beautiful, though.

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Graphic designs: Six speedy 17-inch gaming laptops

Sir Sham Cad
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Razer Blade Pro - HOW MUCH?

According to Bezos' Bargain Basement Bazaar, a Razer Blade Pro will set me back well north of 2 grand! The Gigabyte reviewed here looks a proper bargain compared to that.

Not that I can afford any of them but one can dream.

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BT slams ‘ludicrous’ Openreach report as Vodafone smirks

Sir Sham Cad
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And now it all makes sense

"Vodafone wants direct access to dark fibre"

Well of course they do but they didn't lay it. They'll also want access to it at rates they decide are competitive.

I mean, BT are obviously massaging the truth a bit with the desperate PR chaff countermeasures here but Void-a-phone are blatantly just throwing some shit here to see if Ofcom or BT will gift them a fibre network to get them to go away. Bunch of chancers.

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Apple Watch: Wait a minute! This puny wrist-puter costs 17 GRAND?!

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: What's that sound?

+1 purely for the "Andromeda" reference in your handle. I thought I was the only one who remembered that series.

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Sir Sham Cad
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Re: check the time while unconcious in bed

Well, my Moto360 (when I remember to take it off my wrist and charge it) acts like a bedside clock when in the charging dock which is nice. I've no idea if Apple Watch has a similar function or not.

However, my Moto360 lasts 36 hours on a full charge so if I leave the dock at work (which I've done on occasion because I'm a moron) on Monday, for instance, it'll last me until Tuesday lunchtime. If it only lasted 18 hours then quite often I'd find it completely flat and useless. For essentially twice what I paid for the 360 I'd expect better from Apple. 18 hours really is a big miss in my opinion.

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HAPPY 20th Birthday MICROSOFT BOB

Sir Sham Cad
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MS Comics Sans

Eww. I thought that debuted in MS Comic Chat which is the second worst IRC program I've ever seen.

Didn't know it was originally created for Bob. I've learned something today. That means I can officially go back to bed, doesn't it?

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Nothing says 'Taliban' quite like net neutrality, eh, EU Digi Commish?

Sir Sham Cad
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What if

The YouTube videos are educational videos on how to cross a road safely and, because of the buffering, the pedestrian thinks "well the Internet hasn't told me I *shouldn't* step out in front of this bus..." and is killed all because traffic jam updates were given network priority?

See, Herr Oettinger, I can make up completely hyperbolic bullshit to support my opinion too.

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Win! Classic El Reg tees, plus something special for the weekend

Sir Sham Cad
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There was a limited edition LOHAN pint glass released as part of the Kickstarter rewards. I remember it was quite popular. I completely agree with these commentards, can we please have an El Reg pint glass for sale?

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Who uses the Universal Credit system? ALMOST NOBODY, says report

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: The best plan ...

Nah, he'll just claim it on expenses.

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Daybreak Game Company GOES TITSUP after painful Sony DIVORCE

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: charge a subscription

They do. I've got one. All the stuff you can buy with Station Cash (I assume that's what you're talking about as it's the only non-subscription real world money transaction system they have) that you can't get by playing is appearance stuff.

OK, the worry now they're Daybreak and owned by an investment firm is that they'll change it into whatever scenario you think is currently in place.

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Blighty quietly signs deal to read giant EU border control database

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: free movement - that's Schengen

Well, Schengen makes the free movement simpler, yes, but all you need is an EU passport and you have free movement even in non-Schengen EU states.

I'm not sure how much benefit there would be from implementing Schengen in an island nation with no common borders to neighbours, anyway.

I've had my own experience of Schengen, when travelling from Finland to Estonia by ferry. I love the idea but I must admit it scared the crap out of me, all these people in the ferry terminal, the destination country assuming that they were OK because the country of departure *obviously* screened them with the diligence required by the Schengen Agreement on the way in, so they must be fine. That's a lot of trust to put in your neighbours.

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Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Will it really

Only if it is actively checked against which will only happen if it is integrated into existing checking database/query systems which, if it happens at all (money, contracts, competency etc...), won't happen for a long time to come. Like another 10 years, I'd say.

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Cortana to form CIRCLE OF LIFE in Windows 10

Sir Sham Cad
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"Sensitive" and "Abashed"

ARGH! It's a piece of software, stop trying to anthropomorphise it by pretending it has moods! The whole point of having a piece of equipment is that it does its job and you don't need to care about how it's "feeling".

Most of those all look the bloody same, too!

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Boffin the boffin and his boffinry pals in double dwarf super-prang alert

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Who names these things?

Boffins.

Possibly Boffin's boffins.

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NASA plots methane-detecting laser in SPAAACE

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Stop that, it's silly.

It is particularly cringeworthy and you can see they've just given up and gone "sod it, that's close enough".

The MERLIN one, though, just doesn't work at all.

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The new Falcon Heavy: MOST POWERFUL ROCKET since the Apollo moonshots

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Is it?

It'll be 975259.3 falcon heavy.

Or, to use the proper units: 348.3069 KiloJub.

ShowYourWorking:

Female Peregrine Falcons can get up to 1.5kg in mass. A Falcon Heavy is predicted to weigh in at 1,462,836kg and add another 53 for payload.

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SO. Which IS more important to humanity: Facebook, or Portugal?

Sir Sham Cad
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Yeah but...

Cristiano Ronaldo. So no.

Hmm, Peri-Peri. So yes.

Wait... Super Bock. So yes.

Sod it, can I change my vote?

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NINETY new DOOM ASTEROIDS found in 2014

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Say what?

Maybe they're trying to say 1.3 AU, where an AU is the distance of the earth/moon system from the Sun. Which is still a horrible approximation and terribly worded.

TBH, I read it as you did, that they'd screwed up the definition of an AU.

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BT bemoans 'misconceived' SUPERFAST broadband regs

Sir Sham Cad
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Market share

From the BT Spokesperson who obviously didn't pay attention in maths at school or to actual facts, it seems:

"They have more than 40 per cent of the broadband market between them, compared with BT’s 31 per cent"

The maths alone tells you that 31 is likely to be more than either of the others if they're splitting 40 between them and both have a significant slice of the proverbial pie.

According to Ofcom:

http://media.ofcom.org.uk/facts/

TalkTalk have 15% market share

Sky have 20%

BT have almost as much as the two combined and 2x the market share that TalkTalk have.

Please shut up, whiny BT spokescreature, you're not being hard done by.

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iPhone addiction will RUIN YOUR LIFE – if only that were true

Sir Sham Cad
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Meta Study?

The only thing that makes sense to me is if this is actually a study/research into how to carry out "blind" research experiments.

1) Selecting for iPhone ownership seems arbitrary but it turned out to be the largest group. This was almost certainly done out of a prior assumption that this would be the case as a small group makes for bad Significance.

2) The only things that were done aith any scientific merit were all designed to ensure the test subjects did not guess the true nature of the test and skew results accordingly.

Sure, adding the brand recognition of "iPhone" in the title, much like adding "Star Wars" or any other popular cultural icon is a good way to get interest in your research (and to get it published far and wide) but I think that's secondary.

On reading this, the first challenge to the findings of this research would be "How have you shown that this phenomenon is uniquie to iPhone or even smartphone use and not due to cultural programming that a ringing telephone must be answered?"

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Router creds admin/admin? Lizard Squad thanks you

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: randomly generated admin and wireless passwords

I'm fairly sure (as in, I have 1st hand experience of this so it's true) that at least one of those ISPs you mention stick a default administrator password (easily guessable) on the router and the installation engineer is supposed to make you *ahem* change it, on installation.

If you don't then you have a *very* insecure home router.

The wireless passwords do all seem to be randomly generated, though.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Hot Spanish tongue action

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: frying with olive oil

It is the healthiest of the oils to fry with and is not dangerous to human health at all. Unless you stick your head in a bucket of it and drown.

Would you care to share the science behind your position?

Allow me to share some of mine:

http://scienceornot.net/2012/09/15/is-it-safe-to-cook-with-olive-oil/

http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/myth-buster-olive-oil-is-one-of-the-safest-oils-for-frying-and-cooking/

Christ, even Fox "News" takes a step backwards from this claim.

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Peers warn against rushing 'enhanced' DATA SLURP powers through Parliament

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Yet in most cases the offenders were already known.

Have an upvote.

Apparently (from an article on a different site so remaining unnamed) one of the major issues is that they've got too much data on too many people (French, other EU and US agencies included) and don't have the resources to make much use of it so they literally cannot use much of what they have.

Standard Government answer: Let's collect more, for longer!

When you're trying to answer the cries of "something must be done" then it's often a lot easier to do "something" instead of "something effective".

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Sir Sham Cad
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"murders will not crush our spirit or our values."

No. We'll do that all by ourselves. Let's go legislate away some more civil liberty and right to personal privacy. Because down with that sort of thing!

*sigh*

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HTC Desire Eye: The Android superior selfie shooter

Sir Sham Cad
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Bezel balance

It's not easy to see with the pictures provided but it looks as if the top bezel which needs to house all the front facing optical gubbins is noticeably larger than the bottom bezel which is a shame as it makes the phone look unbalanced to me, in the same way as the M8 (and M7) is pleasingly symmetric.

Is that the case? Does it actually look top-heavy in the, er, plastic?

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ALIEN EARTH: Red sun's habitable world spotted 470 light years away

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: do these planets still exist

In order for planets to form you need a stable(ish) solar system and lots of time (think: in the millions of years). Now, usually the planets start to form from discs of material, dust etc... surrounding their start shortly after the star's birth. Close enough that you start the "millions of years" clock from star birth.

It's reasonable to assume, then, that these planets have orbited that star since about 3-10 million years after its birth. A Red Dwarf star burns longer the smaller it is and these stars (according to the article) are smaller than our sun meaning they could go on for more than 15, 20 billion years. I can't find info on the mass of Kepler 442, the star Kepler 442b orbits so will have to leave the guess as to its age in the billions of years.

This means the planets have been around for likely billions of years and, at least up until 470 years ago, in a stable system.

So the chances of them undergoing some catastrophic event that has destroyed them is 470 divided by those billions of years. Sufficiently small for us to conclude they're so overwhelmingly likely to still be there now that it's not statistically credible to propose that they are not.

Good question, though!

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NHS refused to pull 'unfit for purpose' Care.data leaflet

Sir Sham Cad
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@AC Re: Loyalty cards

1) I choose to give these people my data when I choose to present my loyalty card at the till. On a visit by visit basis. Care.data is opt out so you're in by default and you don't get to choose who gets what data about you.

2) I am incentivised by the loyalty card company to give them my data with money off stuff and special offers on things I buy normally. In return the big supermarket chain might sell me more cheese and beer. With the care.data scheme I am not incentivised, the data recipients get all the benefit.

3) Loyalty card schemes are not set up at taxpayers expense to benefit private companies.

In fact I was unsure how I felt about the care.data scheme until you came up with that marvellous false equivalence and I had to think about it.

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Snowden leaks lack context says security studies professor

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: I'm sorry but

What is it you're not "buying into"? That the leaked docs originated from the NSA? That Snowden leaked them for public interest reasons/whistleblowing? That Snowden isn't sat over a keyboard in the Kremlin sending out another snippet when Vlad gives the go ahead?

What is this duck you speak of and what is it that you have identified as the duck-shaped object?

1) The NSA and other authorities have already copped to the info being theirs and gone on the attack accusing Snowden of being a traitor/terrorist/ etc...

2) There are easier ways to getting celebrity status if I'm honest.

3) As has been said, Snowden spaffed the lot in one go before jumping on the plane to wherever the hell would take him and going into hiding. It's the journo who is now "leaking" the info on the drip feed, whether that's to keep it in the public eye (so it's not just one story that can be quickly forgotten when the next big story comes up) or to ensure a regular supply of articles or some of both isn't really relevant.

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Marriott: The TRUTH about personal Wi-Fi hotel jam bid

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Uk Hotel, Premier . Jamming

They could just be binning any connection they see more than one MAC address on as well (to prevent you running your own private network on theirs). Not very nice if you happen to fire up a VM and then your connection gets canned.

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Ladies and trolls: Should we make cyberbullying a crime? – Ireland

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: no one is forced to use twitter or facebook.

Nor are people forced to have a website or an email address. However, it's increasingly difficult to function, especially if you're self employed, for example, without the use of social media.

If you remember some of the examples given as to why being forced to use your real name on Google+ (also Facebook) was bad then it follows that any breach of your privacy on social media is just as bad. The most recent example being the disgusting doxxing attacks carried out in the pursuit of "ethics in gaming journalism" *cough*.

It's not as simple as "I'm being harrased/stalked/bullied on Facebook, I'll just move to Ello instead".

Remember, also, that in some cases the cyber bullies are also those same bullies you can't avoid at school.

The reason the medium is relevant is that Law relies heavily on wording and Case Law. When the medium changes to something new that wasn't thought about in the original draft and/or has little to no case law to go on, there's essentially little to nothing to go on in order to bring a successful prosecution. There's also the difference in scale. If BT erroneously publish my telephone number in the business directory when I've opted out of the residential phone book then the potential privacy breach is maybe the tens of thousands (no idea, just pulling handy numbers out of my arse for illustrative purposes) but if someone sticks my number in a public post on Facebook to invite harrassment or otherwise to cause me grief, then the potential breach is the number of people on Facebook plus anywhere it gets reposted (Reddit, Twitter, 4Chan etc...) and that's enormous. A potential that just isn't taken into account in current harassment laws.

So, in my opinion anyway, I think it does need either new laws or old laws being extended.

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Here's Johnny! Top Ten fantasy Blu-ray boxsets and special editions

Sir Sham Cad
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BSG

I really didn't know that original Battlestar Galactica only had 24 episodes! Suppose I was too young to care or notice repeats.

Did see some battlestar 1980 though but even that couldn't taint my memories of the original series.

And the swell of that theme music still does funny things to me now.

Gotta get that for my birthday!

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Freedom of Info at 10: Tony Blair's WORST NIGHTMARE

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Burden

Why wasn't all that info public? Because we have better things to do with our time and taxpayers money than curate and herd data that doesn't have a direct bearing on delivering the service and releasing it pre emptively on the offchance someone might have a separate motivation of interest.

Mortality rates for a hospital? That's already collated as BAU so that's ready to publish. What that hospital has spent on cleaning up spills from the coffee machine in the canteen? Technically public money so according to your logic that should also be pre emptively published. But why the hell would a hospital collate that data in the first place unless specifically asked?

Also, doing so would take an army of number crunching admin staff and nobody has money to spend on that luxury.

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Sir Sham Cad
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Burden

I work with a poor colleague who, among other duties, has to respond to FoI requests. Some of these requests are simple to serve. We have the reports, it's a straightforward public interest case, no problem. Others require a tortured process of pulling together separate data, various bits of separate reports and it's all a bit trivial in terms of the value of the information released. Takes many people away from their day jobs for a long time and is disruptive to the service.

Then you get the out and out fishing expeditions from journalists just asking deliberately controversial questions and asking for our data on it. My colleague then has to try to find any info we have related to the ridiculous question, at least as involved as the previous example, and then must prove we actually don't have anything to back up the insinuation and yes we really can't help, no we're not hiding anything.

FoI. Fantastic and I'm glad we have it. What a fucking pain in the are to comply with, though.

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The Theory of Everything: Stephen Hawking biopic is immensely moving

Sir Sham Cad
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Hawking's book black holes, baby universes and other essays gives a very good picture of him as a student and then working scientist as the disease progressed.

Well worth a read from a more Physics perspective.

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No, I won't SNORKEL in your server room at STUPID-O'CLOCK

Sir Sham Cad
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proceed with this nonsense at flank speed!

Great read and great idea for a column, El Reg. Makes me feel better about my on-call experiences.

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Lizard Squad gang moves from PlayStation, Xbox Live attacks to Tor

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Can we stop calling them hackers yet?

They know how to run DDoS scripts from decentralised nodes (bought some time on a botnet) and run Tor nodes on some cloud hosts (bought some time on ... )

I'm sensing a pattern in these terrifying, unstoppable leet hax attacks, I just can't quite put my finger on it.

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Buses? PAH. Begone with your filthy peasant-wagons

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: google car?? LOL

I can see you have a complete understanding of the technology in question and your opinion is based on knowledge and data.

The frigging cars can "see" the environment around them, they don't just use the sat nav and ignore the actual surroundings. FFS! You're thinking of humans.

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Sir Sham Cad
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toll lanes

Which is what you're proposing with the robin-hood priority lane permit idea is fine if you don't hit any junctions of which London has lots of especially Escheresque ones. If you do, you need to filter into the bottlenecked pleb lanes, which is where the buses will be, so you're still going to be held up by inefficient transport.

Trains and tubes run on a managed, dedicated route, so are more efficient if you have a station nearby.

That said, outside of the island of London, a car is a must and I'd happily pair my android phone to a google car via Bluetooth and punch in mum's postcode, sit back and let the robot car carry the Christmas presents if it wasn't too expensive.

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NSA's Christmas Eve confession: We unlawfully spied on you for 12 years, soz

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: I'm not believing this...

"Learn how to not get caught. It's the NSA way".

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Judge kills Facebook's bid to dismiss private message sniffing case

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Similarities

Yes. A fact I found out when reading an email from a friend whilst I was at work, inviting me to a burlesque show. The ads that Google decided to show on my work screen were, er, NSFW to say the least.

I just assumed FB did it too.

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Xiaomi: It really ISN'T a biz-miracle idiot tax like Apple

Sir Sham Cad
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swamping markets

But that was not what was in the article. Now I do enjoy a Worstall read even if I don't grok everything but this seemed simple.

Xiaomi are straddling that Apple supply/demand line by making nice kit, keeping it scarce enough to be considered premium but flogging enough to not be niche. But, the point Tim W was making is that Apple do that whilst raking in hefty profit margins. Xiaomi aren't doing that part.

Hence: not Apple. Yet.

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New Zealand Supreme Court says Kim Dotcom search warrants were legal

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: worked with the authorities

The key phrase there is "when asked".

There's no doubt Megaupload made a lot of money from filesharing subscriptions and there's no doubt a lot of the files that were shared were copyright infringing. The question is whether or not Dotcom knew about it and didn't care as long as the dosh rolled in as a matter of policy.

The Feds must prove that he wilfully and knowingly made money from illegal filesharing.

The hostile takedown I can only put down to the fact his gaff looked like a Bond villain lair and they couldn't resist storming the castle of the Blofeld of copyright infringement enablers.

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Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Sir Sham Cad
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wireless for critical systems

Hahahahahaha! I agree with you absolutely 100%. As someone who manages a Hospital wireless network. However that doesn't take into account clinical requirements for mobility, medical devices at patient bedside, critical heart monitors etc... that we need to accomodate and make work wirelessly.

As it happens, it can work very well (and does). You just need to invest properly in a top notch wireless network infrastructure, subject to full RF survey etc... beforehand. We use a solution that automatically bypasses interfering networks (and can identify whether the interferer is a rogue AP, XBox, Microwave oven etc...). In case anyone is interested, it's a Cisco CleanAir solution but there are loads of others out there.

But (and it's a big one - insert your own joke here) for most of these systems there is a wired backup, it's just more inconvenient for the clinical staff to use and takes more time away from patient care.

Yes, I've broken my own rule on not commenting on something directly related to my job but, hey, it's Christmas.

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JPMorgan Chase mega-hack was a simple two-factor auth fail

Sir Sham Cad
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Re: Without downplaying the possibilities...

Doesn't The Phone Book list the forename(s) by initial? So the entry for Joseph Owen Edward Bloggs get listed as

J.O.E. Bloggs

1 Bloggs Towers

Bloggs Street

Blogston

If so, is knowing the initials sufficient to commit some sort of ID fraud (registering for loans, store cards etc...) or would you be required to know the full names? I assume for a credit check you'd need to know the bank details as well which I hope were not included in the JPM hack.

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