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* Posts by JetSetJim

647 posts • joined 4 Jul 2009

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Look out, bankers! It's Lily Cole and her (Brit taxpayer-funded) WISH-PRINTING ATM

JetSetJim
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Facepalm

Re: Just for this...

Go on there and wish for Ms Cole to give the £200K back to the taxpayer, as she clearly doesn't need the financing

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Son of Phillips: Northamber is not exiting Chessington HQ

JetSetJim
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I'd be surprised if the planners went for it - I grew up around there and there is not much around - nowadays the planners want walking distance to facilities (school, shop, doctors, etc..) in any new developments and that place is not reasonable walking distance to anything (although I did on many occasion wander past rather drunk after the last bus had finished - but at that stage of inebriation pretty much anything is walking distance). As for bus links, there used to be a bus service that went past, but it was rather infrequent and only used small buses as the roads around there have width restrictions. II suppose it's reasonable for the commuter to walk to the Waterloo-serving train station in Tolworth (just under a mile) (or Chessington North station) - parking is a bugger around those stations. If local industry is shrinking enough to warrant them investigating a residential conversion, then there are unlikely to be any jobs around in the area, either.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

JetSetJim
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Re: BT

Well, the problem is swings and roundabouts. Early on in the days, it didn't matter that it could take a long time to resolve a problem. But then managers started to measure the Cost of Poor Quality, and wanted to minimise it. That leads to targets, which leads to manipulation of the metrics. Then the managers would wander off wielding the torch of "Right First Time initiatives" to justify a further cut to support budgets & targets.

I don't think I've ever seen a metric system that engineers didn't try to game.

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Apple: You're a copycat! Samsung: This is really about Google, isn't it?

JetSetJim
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Re: Meh

At least until you consider the dumb-assed s/w and design patents allowable in the US which means Apple and others can play this game in the courts rather than the marketplace

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Monkey steals iPod touch, loses interest in minutes

JetSetJim
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Re: Spider Monkey 1, Homosap 0

I thought this was an article about Ballmer - naturally he'd quickly lose interest in the iThing

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

JetSetJim
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Re: re Lionel Baden

>Suppose they all last for an average of 10 minutes

Standard industry models are calls lasting 90-120 seconds. Obviously it varies a bit by country and pricing plan, too (Italians talk a lot IIRC, for example).

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

JetSetJim
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Re: Mobile phones and tracking

If you know the name & address of the user, you can pull the records of where they attempted to register once you've obtained their IMSI from their home network. Assuming the networks in the country in question have any data retention policies for legal intercept/tracking activities.

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JetSetJim
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Re: Mobile phones and tracking

Maybe low to the ground, but up high it is rare to get reception due to the antenna patterns on phone masts - no sense in radiating power 7 miles straight up. Not saying it absolutely cannot happen, but the absence of such data for this flight is not indicative of anything.

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JetSetJim
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Re: "Disillusioned pilot possibly with a political motive"

> Still, I still can't quite see how destroying your aircraft (having first ensured to as great a degree of certainty as you can that it will never be recovered or the truth known) and killing 239 innocent people advances any personal or political agenda, no matter how deranged you are

Didn't you know - killing people is a good way of changing their minds.

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PAF! MPs go postal over postal location data sell-off by Coalition.gov

JetSetJim
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Obviously..

> The proposal, which we expect to finalise very soon, aims to widen take up, encourage greater use of PAF, and meet the current and future needs of users, solutions providers and developers of PAF based products in today’s marketplace.

So that's a price hike, then?

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It's not just incredibly hard, it's really quite pretty: Dark Souls II

JetSetJim
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Ringu vs Pingu

Had to say I initially mis-read it and conjured up all sorts of weird imagery of little flightless birds attacking castles...

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Bill Gates-backed SOLAR POO RAYGUN COMMODE unveiled

JetSetJim
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BBQ

Sterling work, although I think there's going to be an issue selling it to the public for use as a BBQ fuel. Hickory smoked - fine. Poo-smoked - maybe less fine

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Apple granted patent for two-faced iPhone with wraparound touchscreen

JetSetJim
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Re: Nonsense

Ah - but think of the scratches. Think of the screen replacement revenue...

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John Lewis unzips mega Oracle ERP package

JetSetJim
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Parallels

If it's anything like the "upgrades" of the Waitrose Online over the years, expect a few weeks of fail before they adjust for new load.

On the other hand, stick some orders in during that time as, when they inevitably fail, they'll probably give you some decent presents to compensate just like Waitrose did

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New radio tech could HALVE mobe operators' bandwidth needs

JetSetJim
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Batteries...

> Won't this kill battery life?

No more than the updates for Angry Birds to squeeze yet more adverts into it.

Seriously, there's other stuff in the LTE spec that allows the operator to suck the juice from your phone. Take MDT, for example - a feature designed to make your mobile a radio test station and let the operator suck up the logs to do radio optimisation. It'll be a lot cheaper for the operator to do this than send out a van stuffed full of expensive electronics - and it will obviously let them collect data in places the vans can't get to.

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Steve Jobs statue: Ones and ohs and OH NOES – it's POINTING at us

JetSetJim
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As someone else has noted...

It's a Pez dispenser - only it spits out iPhones

Still fugly though

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Mobe operators, need to check your network? There’s an app for that

JetSetJim
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not always

A lot of this info can just be sniffed by the mobes - no need to transmit and interfere.

Obviously more advanced tests could be done with transmitting data, but you could easily imagine a good build of this s/w being able to schedule calls/downloads for each device from one central point

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JetSetJim
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There's an app for that (already)

Or even like the Root Metrics app, which aggregates data from lots of users and then sells it back to the operators. It even plots it on a pretty map for folks to browse.

Saying that, drive testing type data is always useful as you get the proper GPS track along with it, rather than the cute hexagons offered by Root Metrics (not sure if the data they sell to the operators is better, though, as it obviously does log the GPS for each measurement)

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Top Brit docs wade into GP data grab row, demand 'urgent' NHS England talks

JetSetJim
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Re: NHS blocking the NHS

Or try https://faxyourgp.com/ - this site, linked to from the one blocked, will fax them your opt-out.

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Samsung flings sueball at Dyson for 'intolerable' IP copycat claim

JetSetJim
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Re: The picture ..

The Sammy variant also available with a smattering of blue or red, at least:

http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/home-appliances/vacuum-cleaner/cylinders/VC21F50HDER/EU

Not quite as garish as the Dyson, admittedly.

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JetSetJim
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Re: The picture ..

Upvote for pointing out the lack of reading comprehension, although one has to admit that they do look decidedly similar:

http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/home-appliances/vacuum-cleaner/cylinders/VC20F70UKGC/EU

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Scotland to test mobe signals slammer jammer

JetSetJim
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even easier

Operators are currently playing with tech to geolocate every call in the network. just run an analysis, list all IMSIs that made calls from that area and put those that make calls in the prison on a blacklist that all operators share. could do some other tests to see if those numbers make any calls elsewhere too. or check the subscription address. lots of other things you could do to gain confidence in the decision to mitigate false positive chances.

this would not require installation of extra masts, either

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Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down

JetSetJim
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Re: I don't think 3 uses any 2G service any longer

Apparently they still have a little bit of 2G, but it depends on where you are. They started disconnecting from 2G in some areas back in 2010:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/08/3uk_orange_roaming/

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JetSetJim
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> Given that your phone has to register with a cell tower, I wonder why they couldn't send you a text telling you that there is a problem when you enter the affected area?

Because your phone doesn't have to register with an individual tower if it's not doing anything. Instead it registers on the Location or Routeing Area, which can be a large collection of towers covering a reasonably large geographical area. In theory you could still probably do something, but it wouldn't be that cheap to implement on the expensive big boxes in the middle of their network.

In terms of "having a strong signal, but no data", basically it means that the 2G side of things was probably working fine - so making calls may have been perfectly OK (I don't know, and the article doesn't say). But as 3 piggyback on 2G networks (I forget whose) and have their own 3G network, it's not that much of a surprise that if their 3G network falls over all the impacted subscribers can still fall back onto the 2G network.

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Want a touch-friendly solar-powered laptop? Apple just patented it

JetSetJim
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Re: At last!

You can already get electrically switchable transparent/opaque glass - it's been in Grand Designs, for a start. I think you can get it in one of two flavours - either "unpowered = transparent, powered = opaque", or the other way round. Thus there is a default setting that does not use power at all.

A lot of this patent looks like "take a bunch of existing stuff and glue it together", which is not patentable. The devil is in the detail, however, and some claims may well be valid patentable ideas - even if the assignee is Apple Inc

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Quadrillion-dollar finance house spams Reg reader with bankers' private data

JetSetJim
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Surely it needn't eat his data plan

Just stick a filter on the sender email address (I'm guessing that at the very least it was all from the same domain, if not the same email address) and stuff them all into a separate folder that is not set to sync with the phone.

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WTF is... NFV: All your basestations are belong to us

JetSetJim
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Re: If it walks like a duck...

Indeed - most mobile phone core networks run on standard boxes anyway - be they Sun servers, ATCA chassis, or bog standard routers. Just not Intel boxes, AFAIK.

The key differentiator here is what they want to do at the edge of the network. Now, with traffic density going up and up, you will need more and more masts. This is quite possibly the most expensive part of the whole network. Some masts can be dumber than others, but LTE ones need a fair few smarts. But, perhaps it can be pooled in the cloud - who knows. But then, if you dimension your "cloud" incorrectly, and a few different and unexpected conditions start placing demands on the resources in rather large ways, you're still going to have blocking due to congestion. Perhaps Intel are on to something, but UMTS had an intermediate "clever" box (the RNC) and they got rid of it as it added too much latency to handovers and call setups. You'd need a moderately major shift in the 3GPP standards to put it back in.

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Apple patents technology to STALK YOU in your own HOME

JetSetJim
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Re: Patenting...

Hmm - not even reaching that far back in time, IMS presence is supposed to enable this sort of thing, as well as a raft of other tech. I'd be fairly certain that this "idea" is just a logical extension of something that already exists (who will no doubt start quaking at the thought of the cost of lawyering up when Apple serve a Cease & Desist (or pay up) order on them).

The patent was filed in July 2012, too, so there's all sorts of stuff out there. Doesn't Sonos do something like this?

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Google Street View goes INSIDE a Royal Navy submarine

JetSetJim
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Re: Upholder class

I imagine Lewis is eagerly tapping away at an article as we type. The BBC has a write up, though

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JetSetJim
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Joke

Disappointed

The SV camera does not allow for exit via the launch tubes.

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Alca-Lu posts loss, share price rises

JetSetJim
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Headmaster

Errata

It's "Michel Combes", not "Michael"

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TalkTalk to block nuisance calls with no help AT ALL from Huawei

JetSetJim
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No, that's a computer ringing you up, waiting for something that doesn't sound like an answer phone, and then begins playing you it's spiel, whether it's "Congratulations, you have won ....", "Have you been mis-sold PPI?..." or "Your mobile contract may benefit from renewal...". Either way, hoping you press the correct button to be connected to someone, with a similar hope that you can then either be scammed out of some cash, or scammed out of some personal information that can be sold on further.

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Like iPads? Like stuff called AIR? Here's our REVIEW ROUNDUP-squared

JetSetJim
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Happy

Re: Quote.... It's just an iPad, FFS

> You could say this of anything - my washing machine still washes clothes, my fridge still keeps beer cold etc. - it is probably a lot more efficient and had other 'under the hood' changes but essentially it does the same job.

...and your car may still get 20mpg, just like the 1908 Model T Ford :-)

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Dead Steve Jobs' Apple donut SPACESHIP HQ gets permission to land

JetSetJim
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Re: where do you park?

There will be underground parking for a large swathe of senior cultists, and nearby surface parking for the multitude of lowly acolytes, apparently. There's a link to a Jobs PPT (in PDF) here that shows the offsite parking. I think you have to get at the proper building plans to see the underground parking (I've seen them, but can't find them again, this PDF refers to 2,300 basement parking spots, but with no pics)

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Can you trust 'NSA-proof' TrueCrypt? Cough up some dough and find out

JetSetJim
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Re: Honey Pot

Perhaps they might also pretend to do a very public "audit" of the code - with the added bonus that the members of the public are conned into paying for it....

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Look out, Gartner: Behold the El Reg all-Flash Quadragon™ wonder map-o-graphic

JetSetJim
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Complete failure

Everyone knows that any decent scatter chart should be segmented into a 3x3 array, nowadays, so you can easily filter the "middle-of-the-pack" out.

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DEAD STEVE JOBS kills Apple bounce patent from BEYOND THE GRAVE

JetSetJim
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Boffin

Re: Regardless of the merits of the Apple patent

According to a Patent Attorney acquaintance, it gets better than this. He could have demo'd the phone, making no reference whatsoever to the bouncy-bounce-back action, not even showing it, and it would still count as prior art if it could be proved that it was in the software load of the phone he demo'd.

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Ericsson adds Dot to the office mobe coverage map

JetSetJim
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Re: Dot vs Lightradio

Plus you seem to need to lay fibre to connect up the "digital unit" with the "indoor radio unit". The Dot just seems to be a remote radio head. Additionally, ALU offer an ethernet based indoor small cell, too.

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Boffins have constructed a new LIGHT SABRE. Their skills are complete

JetSetJim
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Re: Crystals made of light...

More like gates on the end of footballers driveways for the ultimate bling

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Ministry of Sound sues Spotify over user playlists

JetSetJim
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Re: Do they mix?

Spotify needs to release a plugin called "auto-mix" to do the job for any playlist to really wind MoS up. It's not hard, a quick frequency analysis to get the bpm of neighbouring tracks, and then a simple calculation to get the relative playing speeds. Ramp them in/out and Bob's your uncle. Might sound a bit s*it compared to a professional DJ who knows the intro/outro sequences a bit better, but an easy first cut. You could even have tunable lengths for mixing in/out for each track.

There was some fella on Dragons Den a while back who claimed to have patented the above, effectively, but I had my doubts about the value of that when he presented it as it's just some moderately simple maths.

I've often wondered about making something like this to ensure I get tunes to a beat I can run to.

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Eggheads turn Motorola feature phone into CITYWIDE GSM jammer

JetSetJim
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Thumb Up

Hmm...

In GSM, you are not actually known to the BSC, you're known to the logical grouping of cells known as a "Location Area" (LA), which will comprise a number of cells (typically all connected to one BSC).

So, before you attack a specific mobile, you have to know at least which LA it is in.

TMSI's change each time the mobile changes LA, and may also change if the mobile does what is called a "periodic location update" (which is not triggered by movement) so this attack isn't that long-lasting.

The attack relies on the attacker responding to the paging message faster than the mobile does. In practical terms, this means locating yourself at an "earlier" base station within the location area, as the BSC will typically clunk through BTS's in the LA one at a time - but the differences are in the milliseconds, so you may be at the mercy of the speed of being able to get radio resources to send your paging response. It's certainly possible, but I doubt it's that reliable.

The article claims the hijack is not detectable, but I'd argue that's not true - the MSC will receive multiple paging responses, therefore a trivial modification is required to detect this in software (and indeed may already be implemented in some vendor equipment for all I know). In addition, the network KPI's on call termination success rate would plunge through the floor (for the "global" attack, anyway) and alarm bells that "something" is happening would be ringing within 30 mins. It would take longer to diagnose, I admit, but it is diagnostically possible to work out that this is happening by examining traces from the BSC.

I'd agree that it's possible to hijack a session in networks where the authentication/ciphering are not implemented, although their claim "an attacker can fully impersonate the victim after cracking the session key Kc" seems a bit brief (perhaps it's feasible, I don't know).

The "Detach" attack is clever, I admit.

The standards changes they propose are unlikely to be implemented - the s/w stack for GSM (and UMTS) is so old, there would be too many different devices that would need their firmware re-flashing. Not economical to do.

Overall, a good bit of fun and potentially a headache for an operator. Buy the phones with cash and your attack can be suitably anonymised, too.

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Firefox takes top marks in browser stability tests

JetSetJim
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Re: Firefox

Indeed, I'm already on FF 23.0.1, so their tests are out of date

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Bureaucrats foil Nestlé's bid to TRADEMARK KitKat's chocolatey digits

JetSetJim
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Indeed, on reading the article I fondly remembered memories of the almost identical Norwegian choccy:

Kvikk Lunsj.

Delving into the history, only a couple of years separate their inception (yes the Kit Kat is earlier), but they've both been knocking around for nigh on 80 years, and Freia is now owned by Kraft Foods.

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

JetSetJim
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Holmes

Re: "The SF to LA route alone would cost only $6bn to build"

The Hoover Dam?

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JetSetJim
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Re: Yeah, good luck.

The Shanghai MagLev train is indeed cool, and wondrously easy to use as a transfer into the city. Use it before it falls over due to shoddy construction techniques - IIRC, there have been a few articles in recent years on the concrete supports not being of the highest build quality.

Apparently they've also extended the metro out to the airport, too, which is a goodly amount cheaper to use (10RMB/£1 rather than 50RMB/£5). The ticket machines can also operate in English, so also rather easy to use (provided you know where you're going).

Either way is a lot more relaxing than the roller-coaster ride of the local taxi drivers. Beware landing around 11pm at Pudong, it's end of shift time and some of the drivers struggle to stay awake while driving....

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Two more counties to get gov-funded bumpkin broadband from... guess?

JetSetJim
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Black Helicopters

Re: The telco giant will spend £11m in Oxfordshire

Yeah, but the PM's constituency wasn't there until recently.

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Scalpers gouge China's fanbois for Genius Bar appointments

JetSetJim
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Re: easy one to stop

or even just link it to an (unchangeable) iTunes account that has a device attached to it - a no show then blacklists the account.

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Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser

JetSetJim
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Re: @JetSetJim

That's the one - ta, it was bugging me

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JetSetJim
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Done properly, it might actually be quite good. I recall reading a science fiction book ages ago which mentioned something similar - the subscribers "news service" gave them stories about topics they were interested in and a smattering of other stuff that they might be interested in, rather than present them with everything.

Strange as it may seem, the Daily Mail might be a good place to implement it as their stories can easily be categorised/tagged:

Kardashian clan

Royal Baby (admittedly only recently)

Various celebs being "brave" by not putting on makeup

Nature photography (usually excellent, btw)

Immigration

Helen Flannagan's boobies

...

Couple it with the ability to "downvote" topics so that as they keep getting presented to you, you can make it less likely that this topic is presented to you again.

At least in this way the targeting is giving me something I want. With ads I never want to click on any of them, irrespective of the targeting (which is why I use Ad-Block & Ghostery).

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PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

JetSetJim
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Paris Hilton

Watershed

"A surprising number of parents simply assume the internet is already filtered, just like the TV has a watershed, and their children are wandering unprotected on an open network parts of which are really quite unpleasant."

So why not apply this filter in the same way as it is on the telly - i.e. turn it on before 9pm, off afterwards (until some arbitrary time in the dead of night)?

Personally, I'd prefer the control to reside in the devices, rather than in the network, but then I'm literate enough to police my kids network connectivity.

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