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* Posts by Tom 38

2317 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

Titanfall, shoot-'em-up gamers, cloudy contracts and cattle

Tom 38
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Re: Thoughts

It largely depends upon the game engine and how it's lag compensation works. In very simple games like the original counterstrike (and, to a lesser extent, source), then someone with a 10ms ping vs someone with a 90ms ping will have *vastly* better game play and the ephemeral "reg" - when you have your crosshairs over someones face and press fire, does the game register a hit or say "sorry, try again".

In games like this, ping is crucial.

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Judge rules Baidu political censorship was an editorial right

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: World Police?

What a load of bollocks, it has nothing to do with trade agreements.

They are suing Baidu, who are a US registered company listed on NASDAQ and regulated by the SEC, based upon the search results they offer to US users.

This is why the US court has jurisdiction, not some "interference in the ability of American companies to compete in the Chinese market".

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Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Tom 38
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Mushroom

Is there an app to speed up those morons who think they can walk and use their phone at the same time, but actually walk slower than an old fat lady with a shopping trolley.

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BT finally admits its Home Hub router scuppers some VPN connections

Tom 38
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Re: Comedy gold

Why fixate on fixed line? Because of the USO, which propagates the monopoly position.

BT didn't invest in that area, the tax-payer did.

Another example, I just moved to a new house. The new house is pre-wired with BT infinity. In order to move my phone service and internet there I had to fight through the BT infinity sales team. BT use their USO to force me to at least discuss (repeatedly) that, no, I don't want your internet, thank you very much, just the phone line. Yes I'm sure. Please stop talking about BT Sport.

PS: In the area I linked to, you're lucky to get 2G service. There is BT, or there is nothing.

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Tom 38
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Re: Comedy gold

Downvote all you like, but you are plain wrong. In most areas, they have an absolute monopoly on fixed telephone lines which is why Ofcom can butt in on pricing access to poles and ducting.

Take this market. Monopoly? Yep.

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Tom 38
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Re: Comedy gold

You misunderstood which bit was "comedy gold" in "one time state monopoly" - it wasn't the "state monopoly" bit.

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ECCENTRIC, PINK DWARF dubbed 'Biden' by saucy astronomers

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: I'm disappointed

Pluto is a "dwarf planet". This is a "dwarf planet". Eliding context fail.

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Tom 38
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Re: What else is out there ?

But they do transition the heliopause each orbit - which is super cool.

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Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores

Tom 38
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Re: Is Windows 8 fundamentally broken?

The standard problem with this is that intuitive isn't a tick-box property. Linux is intuitive for a UNIX user; SQL Studio is intuitive for a Windows user. Nothing is intuitive out of the box, as everything relates to previous experiences.

What utter crap. UI/UX design and A/B testing has clearly demonstrated in a scientific manner that there are simple UI idioms that *do* make a user interface intuitive - particularly a well known WIMP system.

MS completely changed that interface in an effort to "win" touch. Ubuntu did the same thing with Unity, GNOME with GNOME 3, both for the same reason and both with the same result. All three continue to make efforts to reduce the differences with each point release.

Sure, anyone can learn to adapt, however why should we when we can continue to use the same interfaces we are comfortable and efficient with?

iOS (and most Android for that matter) is not intuitive because it is "cool to learn", but because it is impossible not to work out what to do. I've never had to show anyone how to do anything on a tablet, not one "family support" call, and yet they all have them. Windows Vista, Windows 8, those I get plenty of calls..

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Facebook taps up NASA boffins to launch drone fleet, laser comms lab

Tom 38
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Joke

Zuckerberg's main problem

Eleventy billion dollars in the bank, but all the hollowed out volcanoes have already been snapped up.

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FINALLY Microsoft releases Office for iPad – but wait there's a CATCH

Tom 38
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Re: 5 people editing one document simultaneously

It's actually extremely useful on corporate google docs, I don't know about Office.

You can configure "viewers" and "editors" so only approved people can change it.

Each user sees where the other users cursor/selected cell, so you don't really get conflicts.

There is only one version of the document in existence, so it doesn't accidentally get wiped out when Bob from accounts finally completes his section and puts it on the share.

You can chat to the other people viewing the doc, and they can see your cursor/position to see what you are talking about.

You can (just about) use it as a poor man's Trello.

However, the most commonly used example in our org is:

"Hi everyone. Can you fill in your row in this spreadsheet with your home working details over the xmas/easter/etc period please"

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Dear Reg: What is a 'Lag' and a 'Jacksey'?

Tom 38
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Joke

Careful Lester

If the delightful lady who penned this missive reads this article, I'm afraid you have just trolled her and are now eligible for a 2 year sentence the next time you visit these shores from lovely Spain.

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Tom 38
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It definitely doesn't compare to £1800 worth of separates - in fact I doubt it compares to £500 of separates.

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Ray-Ban to produce Google Glass data-goggs: Cool - or Tool?

Tom 38
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Google aren't in the hardware business? Who do you think owns Motorola?

Lenovo?

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MPs blast HMRC for using anti-terrorism laws against whistleblower

Tom 38
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Re: We want action

Margaret Hodge shocked?

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'Arrogant' Snowden putting lives at risk, says NSA's deputy spyboss

Tom 38
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Re: NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett: Go To Jail. Go Directly To Jail…

On the contrary... a great many people, myself included, are saying loudly and plainly: "Disband the spies, police and military, and by all means, bring on the terrorists!"

And then voting Democrat or Republican.

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ICO decides against probe of Santander email spam scammers

Tom 38
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..deluged with Trojans..

The capitalisation of 'Trojan' gives mind to America's #1 brand rather than the malware.

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ISPs failing 13m Brits on broadband speed, claims consumer group

Tom 38
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Re: GigE over Coax

Yes, 1000baseT is rated for a maximum cable length of 100m.

I'm moving house next week, in to a block served by hyperoptic, they run fibre to each block and then 1000baseT from the central point to each flat.

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Microsoft frisked blogger's Hotmail inbox, IM chat to hunt Windows 8 leaker, court told

Tom 38
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Re: So many WTFs!

world police how? He was arrested in Seattle for a crime against an American company. Not sure what you are getting at.

He didn't commit the crimes in America. They are charging him in America. They are American crimes because the company is American. Hence, TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE - someone does something wrong somewhere else in the world, America involves itself.

Missing from the story is how someone who works in Russia and Lebanon ended up arrested in Washington without extradition. Presumably MS asked him to fly over for a chat...

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Tom 38
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WTF?

So many WTFs!

Confidential data allegedly uploaded by Kibkalo to his personal Windows Live SkyDrive account…

…emails sent from a mail.ru account to a Hotmail address maintained by the blogger. The two allegedly chatted about the illicit exchange of information using MSN chat.

How not to leak from your employer.

Russian national Alex Kibkalo was arrested yesterday and ordered held without bail

Kibkalo, who worked for the software giant in Lebanon and Russia

Kibkalo, who was based in Lebanon at the time of the alleged leak

The case is filed as US v. Kibkalo in the US District Court, Western District of Washington.

TEAM AMERICA WORLD POLICE

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Shuttleworth: Firmware is the universal Trojan

Tom 38
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Re: Wow

The suggestion is not that hardware manufacturers absolve themselves of the responsibility to write their own firmware by calling in the "amateurs". They're free to do that, of course, if they want to see their sales plummet.

The idea is that after writing their own craptastic drivers that they then publish the code. This lets competent people look for security holes, and allows the amateurs to fix or re-write the code.

It also allows other competent people to look at what commodity chips the hardware manufacturer has put onto the breadboard and produce a knock-off for virtually no investment.

It also provides insight into any proprietary algorithms you use, eg wifi firmware frequently has (had?) proprietary rate algorithms, and nVidia and ATI keep the very proprietary bits of their drivers in their firmware.

Shuttleworth doesn't care about any of that though, since he is an ideologue and this gets in the way of his faith. Yes, it would be fucking awesome if we had at those bits and pieces, but it would suck balls if it meant that hardware was either more expensive, less readily available or not developed.

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Tom 38
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Re: Trade secrets

AMD have been publishing hardware specs for years. Nvidia started more recently - because it was to their advantage.

Bad example I think - AMD started publishing hardware specs for their graphics cards after they separated out the proprietary bits into loadable firmware modules that you load and run on the card. The firmware then provides the "hardware interface" that is described in the specs - this is what Shuttleworth wants to remove.

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Previously stable Greenland glaciers now rushing to the sea

Tom 38
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Re: Models

strum, science is a model constructed from scientific hypotheses. What is the difference between climate change hypotheses and scientific hypotheses? A scientific hypothesis can be tested.

Climate science produces models that describe what happened in the past in order to generate current measurements. The model takes historical data, and churns out the right number for today - hurrah!

We then look at the future predictions of that model and turn it into policy and taxes, but at no point is that model tested - it fits the old data, and it is right now, and that is good enough seemingly for most people.

It also seems that when you have new historical data that then doesn't fit the existing model, or changes the model forecast, then the implication is that the model is wrong, and it is tweaked until it gives the forecasts that are desired.

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GitHub probes worker's claims of hostile, sexist office culture

Tom 38
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Re: Code ripped from projects

There shouldn't be comments at the top of a file declaring ownership because you should not "own" the code you write, it leads to terrible confrontations when someone refactors or otherwise rewrites "your" code in a way "you" don't like. Oh snap.

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Takeaway order spewer Just Eat plans to raise £100 MEEELLION in IPO

Tom 38
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Re: Unbelievably expensive

That's what fridges, freezers, and store cupboards are for: you stock up in advance, then cook as and when you see fit.

What if you don't live in SmugGitopia?

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Tom 38
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Re: Unbelievably expensive

Do you only get hungry when your convenience stores are open? Never been hungry after 5pm on a Sunday?

Plus, you aren't taking in to account that all the time that you are walking to the convenience store, shopping, walking home, making the dough, making the sauce and so on, I can be sitting on my arse watching TV.

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Google's Drive SLASH, secret 'big upgrade': Coincidence? HARDLY

Tom 38
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FAIL

You can still pick up a decent 1TB drive for about 60 dollars, working out to the low price of $5 a month over a year versus Google's $9.99.

This is why you are a journalist and not an engineer or an accountant. Your drive costs you $5 a month, but you have not taken in to account the costs of the server to put it in, the electricity to power it, and the network connection to make it accessible. You would also normally buy hard drives that last a bit longer than a year, so running the depreciation over one year seems unnecessary.

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Tom 38
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Re: De-Dupe on a gloibal scale

They might run dedupe on specific datasets, but the example you gave - uploading audio to the Play Music service - definitely would not use dedupe, it performs psychoacoustic fingerprinting to the file, and only uploads if it does not already have a match for it.

Dedupe is insanely expensive computationally, you need a really good dataset for it to be useful.

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Web inventor Berners-Lee: I so did NOT see this cat vid thing coming

Tom 38
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Re: Que?

Which bit of that was the joke?

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Snowden: You can't trust SPOOKS with your DATA

Tom 38
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Re: @Tom 38

No John, I did not forget that the patriot act puts any US registered company in the NSA's pocket.

You however failed to grasp that the entirety of my post was that US registered companies choose to be US registered. They could choose to not be a US registered company, if what the NSA asked them for was so abhorrent - they make out that it was, now that we know about it.

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Tom 38
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Re: Or do you really think it's going to all be okay even in 100 years time?

Actually, the worst we can do is fuck it up so badly that all the humans, possibly all the large mammals die.

Give it a couple of million years, the old girl will get going again.

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Tom 38
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Re: I know the Reg hates Google but

None of these companies have a choice in 'co-operating' with the NSA, it's all done at the end of a metaphorical gun barrel. Point your hate in the right direction, the US and UK govs.

No, you are absolutely right, when the NSA comes to those companies, they have to obey. Except those companies do have one thing they can do - they do not have to have physical nor corporate presence in the US. If google were *so* upset about it, after the first order came in they could have announced that they were upping sticks and moving everything outside of NSA's explicit reach.

"Due to the current political climate and state intrusion we can no longer operate in the US. Please direct all queries to Fort Meade."

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My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

Tom 38
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Re: I can rotate my widescreen TFT into portrait mode

Yes you can rotate it, but I've yet to come across a desktop OS and monitor that automates the screen rotation … Windows 8.n, MS's tablet OS, can't, likewise Linux.

Well, I personally I use FreeBSD, this works pretty fine for me:

> $ grep xrandr .xinitrc

xrandr --output DP-0 --rotate left

xrandr --output VGA-0 --rotate left

I guess you meant "automatically detect what way up a screen is".

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Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

Tom 38
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Re: I know it's contentious in a free internet

Its alarming just how many routers one can find in the internet with open admin logins and for which the name 'admin'; and the password '1234' will actually work..

This only became a problem when ISPs forced/cajoled router makers to allow the possibility of remote logins by your ISP. There should be no management interface of your router on your WAN iface. Ever.

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Fee fie Firefox: Mozilla's lawyers probe Dell over browser install charge

Tom 38
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Re: Are they blond?

But Dell aren't charging for distribution, they are charging for installation, configuration and support of the installation. If Mozilla isn't careful, then Dell will just stop offering this service thereby ensuring that the only browsers available are IE via the OS and chrome via Google nagging...

That is just weasel words, they are charging you to place firefox on some media and deliver it to you. That is basically the definition of distribution.

The cost paid is above what you would pay if you did not have firefox distributed to you.

Plus, no-one will ever choose to pay an extra £16 for Firefox. If they know they want it, they will know to install it themselves, if they don't know they want it, they will forgo paying for things they don't want.

This is basically a rehash of the Dell/MS tax on PCs with no OS, I wonder how much they are being bunged now drive IE usage. Of course, now Dell are privately owned, we need never know.

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PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

Tom 38
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A fridge that can order you milk when it notices you are getting low

I don't get it, how will fresh milk make me feel better?

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Get out your Allen keys: Facebook's cooked up flat-pack bit barns

Tom 38
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Re: StoreNav

The other thing with ikea kit is that a lot of their pieces - and I don't know if this is accident or by design - are precisely the right width for 19" rackmount kit. Yep, instead of seeing it as "the 4th goddamn coffee table we've looked at this morning", look at it as "my new AV unit and projector mount".

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Twin GEEKS: NASA studies identical brothers – one on Earth, one IN SPAAAACE

Tom 38
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Ideally the test subject that stays on the ground should not have been to space before at all, in order to properly test the effects. Mind you, you wouldn't want to be the one left behind.

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Inside Facebook's engineering labs: Hardware heaven, HP hell – PICTURES

Tom 38
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Re: An event horizon for economists?

I suppose if you're spending $3bn in opex, sometimes it can be worth speculatively spending $50m in capex to try and reduce that to $2bn, but delivering 4 times the capacity.

Plus facebook imagines itself a disruptive company. You don't pay IBM $50m when you can put some geniuses in a shed with some credit cards - much more disruptive.

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Tom 38
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Re: Cool!

The point of the exercise is to knock things up quickly and cheaply from commodity components.

Yeah, but they did it by defining their own commodity components in way of the open compute project. All that stuff is custom, but its now "facebook custom".

If facebook said "We're going to order $100m worth of 5" SSDs each year for the next 10 years at least", there would be companies falling over themselves in Taiwan to assemble them for them, and anyone else using OCP spec kit.

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Tom 38
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Re: !!STOP THE PRESS!!

3D is the new colour laser?

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Dell thuds down low-cost lap workstation for cheap frugal creatives or engineers

Tom 38
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Re: low cost?

Did you not see the bit where it has workstation graphics and drivers?

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British Pregnancy Advice Service fined £200k for Anon hack, data protection breaches

Tom 38
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Re: From the BBC article

Yes, that is the entire purpose of the data controller, they are responsible for ensuring an entity confirms to the DPA where they deal with personal data. Admitting they had no clue they were even storing the data just demonstrates their failings in regard to the act.

BTW I said misfeasance, not doing your job competently. Malfeasance is deliberate wrong doing, completely different.

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Tom 38
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From the BBC article

BPAS chief executive Ann Furedi said: "We accept that no hacker should have been able to steal our data but are horrified by the scale of the fine, which does not reflect the fact that BPAS was a victim of a serious crime by someone opposed to what we do.

"This fine seems out of proportion when compared with those levelled against other organisations who were not themselves the victims of a crime."

This sort of attitude makes me angry - yes you were the victim of a crime, that crime exposed your own illegal practices, ergo fine.

Someone at BPAS was being paid to be a data controller, and was plainly not doing their job. They should not be appealing the fine, they should have dismissed their data controller for incompetence and sue them for professional misfeasance to recover the fine.

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How AGILE DIPLOMACY will spike PUTIN'S GUNS

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Where's BoFH

The whole thing can be described with one word: Hipocrisy.

Want to try again?

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Tom 38
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Re: Great headline!

Maplins have to keep stock, pay staff and rent prime (ish) retail locations, which is why it does cost more. On the other hand, you can walk in to a shop on your high street and buy a lot of useful kit that you cannot get other than online.

I miss the old fashioned kind of ironmongers/everything shop that you went in with a sheared bolt, gave it to the old timer who would wheeze, then scurry off to an impressive wall of cabinets, rummaging around and then pulling out the exact thing you were looking for. B&Q does not compare.

This may be rose tinted, as when I was a kid almost every saturday involved Dad popping off to Martin & Newby's to get the one thing he was missing. I was talking to him about this the other day, it was brilliant when it worked, less so when it didn't...

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Blimey! ANOTHER Bitcoin bleed brouhaha

Tom 38
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Re: This is why you have transactional systems.

Tulip Mania wasn't a ponzi scheme, it was a pricing bubble. Your "real physical" money is exactly the same as tulips, prone to fluctuations in value.

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Tom 38
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Re: theft in plain sight.

The blockchain address is not a real address, it does not enable you to find an entity.

Instead, it is an identifier. When BTC are transferred from one address to another, all you know is that ID <n> now has <x> more BTC. When <n> sees it, he adds the BTC mentioned to his wallet.

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Hey, MoJ, we're not your Buddi: Brit firm abandons 'frustrating' crim-tagging contract

Tom 38
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WTF?

Buddi's founder claimed the MoJ wanted a system that was a "figment of their imagination" … said in a leaked email to staff that the ministry wanted "the development of a product which does not yet exist".

Crikey, she's never come across the idea of someone developing a new system that does exactly what the client wants?

Or the concept that a client, having paid you a lot of money to develop a new system, would expect you to hand over the IP that you generated developing that new system.

I make my daily bread developing things that do not exist yet and only exist in the figment of someone's imagination, have done for quite some time.

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CIA snoops snooped on Senate to spy spy torture report – report

Tom 38
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Spy vs Spy

I'm only playing if I can be Black Spy - White Spy is such a wuss.

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