* Posts by BillG

894 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

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English Uber alles in London taxis? No way, TfL – taxi app titan

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: Do I really need my driver to speak English?

YES, my cab driver needs to speak English. Why? Because sometimes things go wrong, and when they go wrong I want a cabbie that understands what I'm saying. Make sense?

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What next for the F-35 after Turkey's threats to turn its back on NATO?

BillG
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Coat

Turkey has hinted it may try to leave NATO – which could cause difficulties for the Lockheed Martin F-35 programme because the country has signed up to buy 100 of the advanced jet fighters.

Turkey always threatens to leave NATO the year of a US Presidential election. They do this to pressure the U.S. President to send Turkey "aid" (bribes) to shut up so they do not make the present President's party look bad.

This will all go away in a few weeks when Barry buys $25 Billion of girl scout cookies from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's daughter.

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Julian AssangeTM to meet investigators in London

BillG
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Holmes

Re: Ministerio de Movilidad Humana

No, the real salt will be when Sweden says "no further charges, off you go." Then he gets arrested by the UK for dodging court and bail, and the US doesn't request extradition.

True. Assange's greatest nightmare would be if he is free on the streets and he finds that Obama doesn't want him. Although at this point I think Barry would rather leave Assange™ to whomever succeeds him.

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Huawei P9 Plus: Leica-toting flagship gets a big brother

BillG
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Headmaster

Re: Weighing stuff..

"But now the fuss has subsidised,..."

Shouldn't that be "But now the fuss has subsided,..."?

or where does one go to apply for a grant to subsidise fuss?

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F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

BillG
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IT Angle

Re: None-story

No, you missed the point. These planes are still in trials. If, during testing of the laser tracking system, something goes wrong, it makes debugging a whole lot easier if you know there are no other lasers or other optical devices in the testing area.

Of course later testing will probably flood the area with lasers in an attempt to confuse the laser tracking system.

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Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Eh? What?

Ford, best known for playing CSO Jack Stanfield in the 2006 cyber-thriller Firewall...

Really?

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The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

BillG
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Holmes

Re: The timing is interesting

Just because the hack originated in Russia doesn't mean it came from the Russian government. Especially since Putin can't possibly like Trump's economic policy as it would weaken the ruble (or whatever the hell currency they use over there).

Anyone with good enough connections, and enough money, can hire a Russian hacker organization to do their dirty work with complete and total anonymity. So who is the list of suspects? Take your pick - Trump, Sanders, Wall Street, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, or any Kennedy Democrat.

Personally while I do not look forward to a Hillary presidency, can you image having Bill as First Gentleman? Imagine the trouble he could get into with less responsibilities and more free time!

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FTC dings InMobi ad network for tracking world+dog

BillG
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Devil

Murphy's Rule of Personal Data

Once they have your personal information, they will ignore laws and EULAs and privacy settings and exploit it at will.

(Also one of the Ferengi Laws of Acquisition)

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Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung

BillG
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Headmaster

Law of the Trailer

"If, after you watch a movie's trailer, you cannot tell what the plot is, the movie stinks."

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Nasty session stealing hole filled in WordPress All in One SEO plugin

BillG
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Pint

Re: A Matter of Trust

> "Call me old fashioned, but I just can't trust code that I did not write myself."

Cool! So you wrote your own browser, running under you own OS,...

I never wrote that I would not use it, I wrote that I would not trust it.

For a website, I'd much rather write my own server-side code and HTML as that gives me the most flexibility, and enables the best efficiency. I know where everything is, and I can block potential attacks.

No, I did not write my own server OS. But I do trust the people that manage my server and that makes it O.K.

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BillG
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Angel

A Matter of Trust

Good old wordpress, allowing those people claiming to be web developers, but with no proper web authoring or security skills (normally from the print design industry) to make lovely pwn-able sites for other people that can just about open a web browser, what could possibly go wrong.

Call me old fashioned, but I just can't trust code that I did not write myself.

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IoT puts assembly language back on the charts

BillG
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Holmes

Re: You can "learn" assembly?

I program in assembly because I can. It's an exercise that makes me a better C programmer because I can get a feeling for what the compiler is doing.

In the end, it's not the language, it's the programmer behind the language.

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Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

BillG
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Meh

Texas Reg Reader Gives Context

The reason they used the bomb disposal robot in the first place is he told the cops he was rigged with a bomb.

Exactly. Now let's all put this in context.

"He was rigged with a bomb" = "he was wearing a suicide vest". Let's remember that this shooter, Micah Xavier Johnson, had already shot and killed police officers and indicated he wanted to kill more. After hours of negotiations where Johnson continued to fire at officers it was clear that he had no intention of surrendering himself. A bomb disposal robot was sent in with a bomb.

Johnson was told a robot with a bomb was being sent it, he saw the robot with the bomb and was given another opportunity to surrender. He refused. The bomb was then detonated.

I really can't fault DPD for how they handled this as Johnson had a clear understanding of what was going to happen. In this case it's better and safer for the police to detonate a known device at a time of their choosing (which would not necessarily set off the suicide vest) than wait for the inevitable detonation by Johnson.

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Attention, small biz using Symantec AV: Smash up your PCs, it's the safest thing to do

BillG
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Thumb Up

Re: Right, that does it

Symantec was one of the biggest security firms of the 1990s,

We miss you, Peter Norton.

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FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Wrong type of privilege

Take a look at the CNN and MSNBC websites and see how deeply they buried this story.

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

BillG
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Pirate

I keep my old drives for just this reason. It's not worth doing a military wipe just to sell it for $30 on eBay.

BTW I do buy used drives off eBay for new laptop builds and enjoy doing a data recovery. Usually I just find porn, but I have found family photos, personal information, photos of driver's licenses. I also found one drive that I realized was from a lawyer as there were contracts, letters, memos, and plenty of other confidential information.

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: It's all relative

Love's situation is comparable with that of Gary McKinnon, who in 2012, after a decade of legal battles, had his extradition to the US on hacking charges refused by the then-new Home Secretary, Theresa May, who said the risk of him committing suicide if extradited made the process incompatible with his human rights.

So we now have a precedent for anyone willing to fight extradition.

Assange™ - are you listening?

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Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest

BillG
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Flame

Re: Murphy's Rule of Personal Data

Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

Motto of the Catholic Church.

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BillG
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Boffin

Murphy's Rule of Personal Data

Once they have your personal information, they will ignore laws and EULAs and exploit it at will.

(I think a Ferengi said that)

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Russian government hackers spent a year in our servers, admits DNC

BillG
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Joke

Re: A exercise run for new recruits

An analysis of the servers showed that no financial, donor or personal information had been accessed or stolen by the two teams, the DNC said

Adding, "Hey, we're politicians, would we lie to you???"

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Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

BillG
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IT Angle

Boffins decipher manual for 2,000-year-old Ancient Greek computer

"O.K., Robert, you've been working on translating the first page, what does it say?"

"This Page Intentionally Left Blank"

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Eh?

I use LinkedIn all the time, I find it a very valuable professional resource. And unlike others here I am rarely critical of Microsoft.

But I can't see this as anything less than a complete and total disaster. I see MS using this to try to start to build a Google-type information-sharing, privacy-ripping empire. I see MS demanding everyone have an outlook.com email address the same way Google services require Gmail. I see my LI email address being spammed to high heaven while my privacy is violated more times than a stripper in the VIP room. I see LI features that only work if the Win10 app is installed. Nothing good can come of this.

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Wi-Fi hack disables Mitsubishi Outlander's theft alarm – white hats

BillG
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Happy

Re: Yay, Yet Another Vehicle Hijacking By Maker Lazyness

My car has no wireless connectivity, and uses an ignition key. My next car will have the same.

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Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

BillG
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Headmaster

Just as the AP created a furore when it dropped the hyphen in "e-mail" back in 2011

Compound words start off as two words, then become hyphenated, then become one word. Examples are downstairs, WiFi, etc.

IMO as a writer and author, when we are referring to the Internet we are obviously referring to a proper noun and we all know what we are referring to. Proper nouns are capitalized.

OTOH I can get lazy and not want to hit that Shift key like everyone else.

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Nest's bricking of Revolv serves as wake-up call to industry

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: What sort of wake-up call?

Here's the thing - while many potential Nest customers may not notice Nest's irresponsible shutting down of Revolv by bricking products people paid good money for, you can bet that huge commercial and industrial customers will notice. They will especially notice when a Nest salesperson comes knocking at their door. This is going to crush Nest's future.

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Sources! say! Twitter's! after! you! Yahoo!

BillG
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Happy

Re: Got to love those contracts

Yahoo has a vast number of email users and extensive online real estate. Ripe for someone who wants to branch out into new territory.

IMO potential suitors for Yahoo from highest probability to lowest:

Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

Microsoft

eBay

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Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

BillG
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Thumb Up

Re: Science needs to know

While understandably screaming, the bleeding 38-year-old did have the presence of mind to call to his missus Sawittree Shooyoung to bring a rope, which he used to lash the serpent's head to the bathroom door.

That is some pretty shrewd thinking under the circumstances. To be in that much pain, and still come up with a plan to rope the snake to the bathroom door is some very smart thinking under the circumstances.

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Lyft, Uber throw Texas-sized tantrum over Austin driver law

BillG
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Paris Hilton

"Unfortunately, the rules passed by city council don't allow true ridesharing to operate," Lyft said in announcing its closure... The dial-a-ride app-makers have been in almost constant battles with local officials in major cities around the world, usually over charges that the ride-sharing services violate taxi codes.

Despite Uber's and Lyft 's best efforts, they cannot convince people that ridesharing is not another name for taxi service.

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Hacked in a public space? Thanks, HTTPS

BillG
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WTF?

The one nugget of truth in the article is that the list of CAs built in to browsers etc. is ridiculous.

Wow, I just checked the list of trusted certificates on my work computer and it's almost 300. There is a scary one from my employer with the two purposes "All issuance policies" and "All application policies".

I remember when the used to be about a dozen trusted certificates and you could recognize the issuer of each, like "Verisign", "Thawte", or "Microsoft". Now, I've got a certificate issued by "TÜBİTAK UEKAE Kök Sertifika Hizmet Sağlayıcısı - Sürüm 3" (sic). Really???

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Google asks the public to name the forthcoming Android N operating system

BillG
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WTF?

Re: Nougat

Nutty feature of Nougat:

On the apps front, Android N will have a new feature, still in development, called Instant Apps. This allows a user to click on a link to a site that has its own app and just download a few parts of the software to help the link run more smoothly and with more features, but without installing the full code.

Gee! What could POSSIBLY go wrong with THAT???

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LinkedIn plays down '117 million users' breach data sale

BillG
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"For several years, we have hashed and salted every password in our database" Wait, does that mean that there has been some point at which they *didn't*?

Yes, LinkedIn admitted that during the original breach in 2012, passwords were definitely NOT salted.

So in this case, "several" = 4.

You need a marketing-speak decoder ring when reading LI press statements. For example, when LI announced:

In 2012, LinkedIn was the victim of an unauthorised access and disclosure of some members' passwords.

In the above statement, to LI, "some" = 117 Million.

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Dark net LinkedIn sale looks like the real deal

BillG
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Holmes

the link about salting is from 2006

Actually, it's from 2012.

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BillG
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Facepalm

It gets worse - the passwords were not salted:

LinkedIn Hacked, Passwords Please No Salt

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IBM's Internet of Things brainbox foresees 'clean clothes as a service'

BillG
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Holmes

Re: They are still missing the point.

Despite white goods makers cramming washers with multiple programs, he said, many people rarely used more than two settings. Manufacturers might be completely oblivious to this.

Actually, manufacturers do know this. They offer product lines to consumers with two settings, and four, and eight, etc. People pay for the higher-priced models, regardless of how many setting they later use. They snub the two-setting machine, instead buying the 8-setting machine and then only use two settings.

It's not about what features consumers use, it's about what they are willing to buy.

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IT glitch causes 'nationwide' Post Office outage

BillG
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Facepalm

"Post Office"?

Um, since this is an international website, it would be nice if the author pointed out which country's P.O. she is referring to.

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

BillG
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Devil

Re: <standing ovation>

That was bloody awful. It's my new ringtone.

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Watch it Apple: time has come for cheaper rivals' strap-ons

BillG
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Coat

Re: Ugh

Ugh for battery life, the Apple Watch requires daily charging, unless you actually use the thing in which case it needs charging two or more times a day.

Feedback I've gotten from bartenders is that iPhone people lean over the bar and ask for a charger much more often than Androids.

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Docker hired private detectives to pursue woman engineer's rape, death threat trolls

BillG
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Megaphone

Re: Utterly unacceptable

"This industry is fucked," she wrote

I would not blame the industry. It is that, unfortunately, the internet is an outlet for sociopaths. These are the people on forums that have no interest in sharing ideas and only feel pleasure at hurting people. It's a mental health issue, which also makes it a parenting issue.

What these people desperately want is to be taken seriously. The best psychological defense really is to laugh at them. It drains their venom which stops them cold.

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Kent Police handed domestic abuse victim's data to alleged abuser – a Kent cop

BillG
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WTF?

Kent Police has been fined £80k...

But no individual was punished. Kent Police took the hit instead. Not much of a punishment if the group takes the blame for the individual.

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: America

The bill requires transgendered people to use the bathroom of their original gender unless they have changed it on their birth certificate...

There's a reason for this. In California, you have straight guys dressing as women so they can walk into the women's rest room and get a quick thrill (hope I haven't given anyone reading this any ideas...).

...banned local LGBT equality ordinances

I've read the bill PDF and I can't find this anywhere.

I do know that the U.S. Constitution does not allow for a "protected class". While discrimination in any form is unconstitutional and hence illegal, you can't pass a law that says discriminating against people of XYZ is more illegal.

This was emphasized in California in LA around 1986. LA passed a law making it illegal to discriminate against gays. Soon after that, LGBTs, African-Americans, women, Native Americans, Japanese-Americans, and more all demanded their own law. It got outrageous when at a rally each minority group accused other minority groups of discrimination against their minority group.

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Firefox features will land out of cycle and Mozilla's cool with that

BillG
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Happy

Re: Ohh, Gee...

Firefox, with ten tabs open: 755Mb

Allow me to be the rebel in the lot that doesn't like being told what's good for me:

Firefox 28 with ten tabs open - 520Mb

Yes, I still use FF28 on my daily driver. I have another similar laptop that stays updated with the most recent version of FF and FF28 is consistently faster and uses less memory.

Why am I still using FF28? It's faster and uses less memory. Also, my computer, my browser, my choice. Remember choice? Mozilla used to be all about that.

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Microsoft's bigoted teen bot flirts with illegali-Tay in brief comeback

BillG
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Headmaster

I love the inevitability of this - they create something that learns from the internet and get surprised when it learns from the internet...

True, when you read up on the AI it seems that it learns from what is tweeted towards it, so if you constantly tweet racist crap it becomes a racist crapper.

Now, here's the big challenge for Microsoft: how do you program in a sense of morality in an AI interface?

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Top! tip! for! Yahoo! – 'Fire! your! board! of! directors!'

BillG
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Facepalm

Re: the lazy way out

Kodak, Xerox, and Yahoo. All companies with management afraid to change. For weak managers sometimes it's safer to do nothing, than take a risk and do something.

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Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019

BillG
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Pirate

Re: A boondoggle through and through and now ejection seats are also a problem?

What did they do, reinvent the wheel or something similar?

No. The unfortunate truth of the F-35 fiasco is that all the major contractors, in order to keep costs down, laid off experienced engineers and hired young, inexperienced hardware and software engineers instead. Take a look online and read it for yourself.

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Pope kicks off Easter week by triumphal entry into ... Instagram

BillG
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Thumb Up

the papal piccy feed has amassed 1.5 million followers already. In the old days, holding the attention of just 5,000 followers required five fish and a couple of loaves.

Love this turn of phrase. +1

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FAA's 'drone smash risk to aircraft' is plane crazy

BillG
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Mushroom

Beware the Dangeours Idiots

We are all forgetting that sooner or later some idiot is going to strap some explosives onto a drone and go after an aircraft, maybe go for the cockpit windows. If they happen to get ahold of some highly dense military grade explosives then it's a whole new range of hurt.

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Apps that 'listen in' to your mobile get slapped by US watchdog

BillG
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Holmes

Re: Siri and Cortana

"the FTC said that anyone who plans to make use of the code and covert ultrasonic signals in America will only be able to do so legally by obtaining consent."

Screw consent. It is called wiretapping and should be punishable by imprisonment.

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Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

BillG
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Happy

Re: Websites visited by millions of people daily

Adblock Plus to the rescue!

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Google fends off EFF's claims kids probed by Chromebook software

BillG
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FAIL

Re: How many times have Google ...

Google always, always, always has a well-prepared excuse when they are caught.

The proper answer to Google's excuse here is that children's privacy is more precious than search results.

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