* Posts by Tom 38

2519 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Tom 38
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This is true, if only somewhere in the EU made things.

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Tom 38
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Re: I think...

businesses collect sales tax on anything purchased in your state, or from a business with a location in your state. The percentage varies by state.

Even then... You are compelled to pay that tax at the end of the year, via a box on your state tax forms.

it would be a mistake to think your govt is more adamant about collecting taxes.

On out of state purchases, the consumer is supposed to pay a "use" tax and pay it at the end of the year. Would you think it is accurate to say that 100% of this revenue is reported by each consumer and remitted in full to the IRS each year?

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Tom 38
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Re: I think...

US sales taxes can be avoided or minimized by choosing where you purchase something from though.

I think the interesting point is that we would know precisely how much we were getting ripped off if the grey channel was not considered illegal. As it is, we just have to take whatever price the company sets us, or sets its disties.

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Watching smut at work is bad but emailing it is just fine, says Oz court

Tom 38
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Re: Common sense failure

Why stop there? Don't just fire everyone, also kill them, and burn and salt the bodies..

If you don't like the "work from home" example, say every Friday everyone knocks off 30 minutes early. This goes on for months, everyone takes part, suddenly 4 of them are sacked for skivving off work early.

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Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!

Tom 38
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Re: Seriously folks

I don't know about ebay, but paypal require the executor to provide proof of death, proof of executorship and identification, at which point they will issue a cheque in the deceased's name to form part of the estate.

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

Tom 38
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Re: Are you implying...

I'm thinking of just saying "fuck it" and upgrading to 10 GigE at home. Pushing data around at gigabit speed when the source and sink will both read/write at least 4 times quicker is tedious.

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Tom 38
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I'd say 3TB has already been the sweet spot for at least a year.

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Home Office threw £347m in the bin on failed asylum processing IT project

Tom 38
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Re: WTF

It wasn't a paper system, it was replacing an electronic system (which might also have used paper records I suppose, but it was an electronic system at heart).

The problem with government IT is there are hundreds of chiefs to keep changing what the thing is supposed to do.

Finally, something is produced, and it is put in front of the people who are expected to use it, and they find that they cannot use it efficiently because it has been poorly specified and somehow mutated to do something that was never originally in spec, and so they continue to use the old software, at least for some tasks.

This means that you cannot then remove the old software, and so instead of delivering cost savings, the project has delivered extra costs.

It all comes down to poor management and design processes, which still happen a bit in the private sector, but not as much - if you screw up, you probably no longer have a job - so in the private sector we spend a lot of money making sure that our processes are good and deliver continuous improvement.

In the public sector, train-wrecks like this happen constantly, and so it seems it is not such a judgement on someone who led/designed these failed projects, they seem to land another one immediately after presiding over hundreds of millions of pounds in losses.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Tom 38
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Flame

"hacking" seems to be in the list of categories that are filtered. What the fuck? How is information about hardware and software considered so harmful that it cannot touch the minds of our precious little children?

Where will the next generation of hackers come from? In 15 years, will we find that 99% of CS graduates only know how to prod .NET or Java?

Filter hardcore porn? Sure. Filter gambling? Sure. Filter drugs? Sure.

Why filter hacking?

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WTF is ... Virtual Customer Premises Equipment?

Tom 38
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Re: My data went to 65,536 ports and all I got was this lousy browser

No, he described Web (HTTP) as "the open Internet's interface" - it's right there in the quote you've included.

Seems pretty uncontroversial.

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Lawyer reviewing terror laws and special powers: Definition of 'terrorism' is too broad

Tom 38
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Re: When did Britain lose its way?

Here in Britland, we've had to deal with proper terrorism for years, and everyone has dealt with it with rational perspective.

Back then we were tough and dealt with things - we didn't have the Matt Bryant / Daily Mail paranoia that we have now.

Lets go back a sec and look. The majority of terrorism that we've encountered in the UK was due to The Troubles, and the government response to that was.... to give military intelligence to the "good" Protestant terrorists so they could go kill the "bad" Catholic terrorists (and deal drugs and run criminal enterprises).

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NO TIME to read Facebook? Delegate the task to your FUTURE SELF

Tom 38
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Only you can see the items you save unless you choose to share them with friends.

Plus Facebook, and anyone they want to sell advertising space to..

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Tom 38
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Re: re : James 51

You appear to have confused the need for vehicular traffic when turning to give way to pedestrians WHO HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO CROSS THE ROAD they are turning into. There is otherwise no overriding priority for pedestrians on the road. They are road users like any other and are expected and required to abide to rules that apply to them.

You need to actually read the highway code as it relates to pedestrians, Mr AC.

The number of things which pedestrians have to obey are marked with the word MUST bolded and in capitals - hey, its just like an RFC. There are only 4 rules which pedestrians must obey, the others are simply advice on how best to use the road:

Motorways. Pedestrians MUST NOT be on motorways or slip roads except in an emergency

Moving vehicles. You MUST NOT get onto or hold onto a moving vehicle.

You MUST NOT loiter on any type of crossing.

Railway level crossings. You MUST NOT cross or pass a stop line when the red lights show,

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Tom 38
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Re: Typing texts at the wheel is incredibly dangerous

What I find interesting is that you can be fined for eating an apple, but smoking a cigarette (which involves picking one out of a pack, and fiddling with lighter and ashtray) is perfectly OK.

Cigarettes are fine, its rollies that are tricky, especially if you use filter tips.

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Tom 38
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Re: Ban? What ban?

Ah well, you should have mentioned this was in advice from a Dorset Policeman, they never get things wrong or give misleading legal advice.

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Samsung supplier halts assembly line amid child-labor probe

Tom 38
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Nah, Dongguan Shinyang is GONE! Completely last months news.

However, Foshan Shinyang, Huizhou Shinyang, Shunde Shinyang and Zhuhai Shinyang are just getting ready to start their production lines..

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HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert

Tom 38
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"I don’t buy for a minute that these services are intended solely for diagnostics. The data they leak is of an extreme personal nature. There is no notification to the user. A real diagnostic tool would have been engineered to respect the user, prompt them like applications do for access to data, and respect backup encryption."

Don't recall any of those features in gdb or Dr Watson tbh..

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PROOF the Apple iPhone 6 rumor mill hype-gasm has reached its logical conclusion

Tom 38
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Cmon, you know how this works by now. It's white only for now, but the blue will be "coming soon" and will be in vvvveeeeery short supply.

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You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary

Tom 38
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Come after me industry!

I have a license for all the media I view, but not necessarily for the specific means by which I acquire the media.

Uncle Rupe wants me to spend an extra £10 a month so that I can download that media to my tablet - which seems excessive, this is a feature the tablet already has.

He also insists on me turning on (and leaving on) location services so he can use GPS to ensure I'm actually present in a territory to which he has permitted me to watch his curated media - despite my permanent residence in that territory being a pre-condition to registration.

Therefore, even though I do pay Rupe to license that content, I don't actually get it from him. I use an alternate provider to source DRM free media for the content I have licensed from Rupe.

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Google shows off new Chrome OS look

Tom 38
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Re: hmmm

Look, it's basically religion at this point. You believe that something exists, for which no proof can be shown for its existence, but in order for you to be convinced that it does not exist, you must be shown evidence of its non-existence.

You can get sweary and downvote me, but the only thing you aren't doing is convincing me of your position with your fallacious arguments.

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Tom 38
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Re: hmmm

I'm downvoting the new-speak "Google do not sell your personal data, they use your data to place more appropriate adverts." followed by the fanboyish "If you think you can buy personalised data from Google, please provide a link to where they offer that service." Prove that they don't

It's not a very good argument though is it? You're the one making the unsubstantiated claim, and asking others to prove a negative. You might as well say Paul Daniels bites the heads off hamsters (prove he doesn't). I'm sure there is some clever word describing the fallacy of this kind of argument - oh hey, here we go: onus probandi.

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UK.gov pops lid off £700m barrel of non-Cloudable hosting pork

Tom 38
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Even taking the low end of the billable, it's still over £9k per 1U server per year.

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

Tom 38
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Re: Poor Bug Fixing

There is a school of thought that suggests the 'big....mass' actually contains a lot of information about the problem being modelled by software.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

Consider the source... Joel makes a lot of money by spreading FUD about OSS and selling closed source alternatives.

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Tom 38
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Re: I, personally, am not surprised

Some people only run Firefox for a few hours or so and do not realize how awful it still is at leaking memory when used for days or weeks. Use it without restarting for a week or more, close down all tabs, and it will still be using gigabytes of RAM.

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NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'

Tom 38
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Re: I would laugh at this if it weren't so sad

The U.S. has between 15 and 40 million people here illegally.

Some might consider that any of you west of the Appalachians are also there illegally.

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Chromecast hack Rickrolls Google's TV stick

Tom 38
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Re: Further to Andrew Jones 2 post

I thought it works like this:

It uses aircrack to discover the network the chromecast is currently using.

It broadcasts bad packets in order to disrupt the chromecast's wifi connection.

When this happens, the chromecast will accept new connections, as it thinks it needs to be configured.

When this happens, the pi-rickroll box sets up a new network and instructs the chromecast that it is the new controller.

Once it has control, it sends content to the chromecast.

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Say goodbye to landfill Android: Top 10 cheap 'n' cheerful smartphones

Tom 38
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Tom 38
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Joke

Re: 75 bucks? WTF?

Actually, the price of the phone is £75, but some retailers will accept 75 freshly shot adult male rabbits.

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Tom 38
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Once upon a time, Alcatel was known for making budget tat.

Hmmpf. Once upon a time, Alcatel was known for producing the highest quality fiber optic interconnects known to man.

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

Tom 38
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Re: Sorry about this..

We're out of cake!

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

Tom 38
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Re: I like mass surveillance

Which group is the minority and which group is the majority depends on whether the audience is register readers or genpop.

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Tom 38
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Re: The UN is not *excatly* powerless but

The UN has power because it consists of powerful nations, but it has no power when it wishes to control the actions of the powerful nations that give it power.

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Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Tom 38
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Re: Mad

However much of an arse he is, his rights and fears shouldn't be subjugated to the comfort of the state.

What a load of bollocks. You cannot ignore the law because of "fears". All that does is say that your personal inclination is more important than our laws.

<p>Sweden seems to have done nothing to allay those fears. They could interview him in London, or issue an assurance that he wouldn't be extradited after being interviewed in Sweden.</p>

He has been given those assurances, he "fears" that they are not being forthright and will extradite him anyway, despite it being against Swedish and EU law, so he is ignoring our laws.

And you're still apologizing and justifying his behaviour and actions..

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Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

Tom 38
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On the spectrum, Gauntlet came on 2 tapes, once you finished tape 1 side a, tape 1 side b, tape 2 side a, tape 2 side b it would instruct you to insert tape 1 side a, and you start again from the beginning, but with a few more beasties!

Infinite play :)

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Tom 38
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Re: For me, the game changed when someone said ...

I've not seen such bravery?

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Programming languages in economics: Cool research, bro, but what about, er, economics?

Tom 38
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No, their paper is not on execution speed of languages, it is on choosing the best language for a macro-economic model, and yet they chose to measure a metric that is irrelevant for choosing the best language for a model, and admit as much in their conclusion.

A "scientific" paper presumably has a hypothesis, an experiment that tests that hypothesis, and conclusions that can be derived from the empirical results of the test. To be valid science, the test must be valid in order to draw conclusions, and the purpose of being a scientist is to devise valid tests.

In order to determine if your test and conclusions are correct, you release the information to your peers, who examine your work to see if they can determine logical inconsistencies from your experiment method or your conclusions, which would invalidate your conclusions.

By critically examining their paper for these logical inconsistencies you can determine that their experiment did not produce valid test results, since they only measured execution time, which TFA explains is not worth measuring.

Science. It works bitches.

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Tom 38
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Thumb Up

Re: Hire Tim Almond

Are you hiring?

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Tom 38
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Re: Re Tom 38

The dichotomy is that you are trying to state what is required to produce a high quality product, but manufacturers mainly produce what most consumers want, which is cheap products.

In general as consumers, we are far happier to pay less for a lesser, buggier experience than we are to pay more for a premium, high quality experience.

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Tom 38
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Is that your understanding from a lifetime of dealing with software provided by hardware manufacturers, that they spend a lot of time and effort making it work efficiently?

Mine is that they get it right enough to put it in a shiny box and sell it. If it sells well and there are software bugs, they can fix them in rev 2, if they care enough.

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Barclays Bank counter staff to become iPad-toting 'community bankers'

Tom 38
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Re: Horror Stories with these machines!!

When I bought my house, I assembled my funds in an "Instant Access" savings account at HSBC. At some point, I needed to transfer £25k to my solicitor:

Log on online, go through security, add solicitor's client account as payee, but I can't pay them more than £500.

wtf

Website says to try phone banking.

Ring up phone banking, go through security twice (automated, and then in person), re-supply solicitors account details, finally "Steve" tells me I can't do it over the phone, I have to go in to branch.

wtf

Walk to nearest branch, queue up for counter.

Get to front of queue - "This is business customers. You want the counter around the corner that isn't signed at all"

wtf

Queue up again. Get to the front of the queue - "You can't do withdrawals here, you need to make an appointment to talk to an advisor"

wtf

Go to the front of bank, there is a man with a clipboard. He can give me an appointment in 1 hours time to do a withdrawal, it will cost me £40.

WTF

At this point I enter meltdown and had a fit of pique and threatened to close my "instant access" savings account on the spot, walk across the road with £25k in cash and deposit it with my solicitors bank directly. This got action, they do not like having to physically give you your money..

I would move my current account, but they are all similarly cretinous these days.

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ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

Tom 38
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Re: Get a grip

Most people who are planning or have committed really serious crimes are extremely paranoid and will naturally limit or disguise their communications.

Citation.

Most of the people who get caught via these means will be minor criminals - such as the person who gets drunk and emails or posts a racial or homophobic rant, or small-time drug dealer/users

Citation.

and it really doesn't need special laws to get access to that information.

It currently does, so what do you think changes in the future?

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Tom 38
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Re: Get a grip

Sucide bombers dont care if the data is retained, what are you to do with it? prosecute the crater they leave?

Not all terrorism is suicide bombing, and RIPA is not only used for terrorism but also organized crime. Even if it were a suicide bomber, do you not think it would be handy for the police to know who he spoke to 10 minutes before-hand?

A panopticon only works if everyone is rational (they aren't), the punishment always outweighs the benefit (it doesn't) and that the surveillance is perfect (it isn't).

Except this isn't a panopticon, for two main reasons.

Firstly, this isn't the mass collection of data on everyone and everything that security services apparently do legally, which could be considered a panopticon.

Secondly, it differs in that the idea of a panopticon is that people who are constantly observed will not offend, where as the idea of this is that if people offend, it's easier to determine who and why if you have this data available to query.

It's not perfect, but in most cases, if two people communicate digitally, this may record the fact, which can then be used to prove that they communicate with each other when their defence is predicated that they do not.

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Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of PUREST ... BLACK?

Tom 38
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Re: Groundbreaking

"This [Vantablack] is not a groundbreaking thing," sniffed professor George Stylios at the school of textiles and design at Heriot-Watt university to the Graun. "It's a progression of a group of scientists who didn't ask me to play

FTFY

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Amazon France routes around free shipping ban with €0.01 charge

Tom 38
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Re: Money isn't everything,

Only the autistic think a free market will solve all of life's problems.

Obviously, when people think thoughts politically different to your own, they must have a neurodevelopmental disorder.

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Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!

Tom 38
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It's been some years now since I have read any of your articles because every time I read your stuff, I feel like committing suicide.

Expressing your feelings is good, but it is even better to actualise them.

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FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

Tom 38
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Joke

The FBI are also hoping that this latest arrest will lead them closer to apprehending Su Bin's cousin Paste, the man they believe to be behind most recent information disclosures.

\o/

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Samsung in Brazilian strip: Robbers snatch $6.3m in gear from plant

Tom 38
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Inside job

Definitely knew which truck would have the easily shifted consumer tech in and not big bulky washing machines.

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

Tom 38
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Headmaster

the outage lasted for "approximately an hour and a half in the North East."

Interesting, does time pass at different rates in different parts of the country?

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Manhattan drone pair cuffed for NYPD chopper near miss

Tom 38
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Re: Struck by "comparatively flimsy"

Playing Devil's Advocate, there is some issue to be taken with the alleged offence. The police helicopter was only endangered after it began following the quad-copter, (wild speculation follows) tracking it by observing it from above. The quad-copter operators, unaware of the police helicopter following above them, raised altitude, which alarmed the police operators and they took avoiding action.

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Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

Tom 38
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chose the Isis name […] because it "brought to life our company and our values,"

Presumably by gathering the parts of the company in a big chest and burying it on a magical island?

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