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* Posts by breakfast

706 posts • joined 24 May 2007

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Ghostwriter: Assange™ is NARCISSISTIC and UNTRUTHFUL

breakfast
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Re: Don't be distracted

I think that if you were to ask Malfoy... ahem... Assange, he would be quick to tell you that he was unbelievably important. Probably the most important person who ever lived. And then to condemn you vociferously if you didn't immediately agree.

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Wii got it WRONG: How do you solve a problem like Nintendo?

breakfast
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Re: Even now there are really no games to play for the wii.

Xenoblade Chronicles is an outstanding game. I certainly feel that I got the most benefit from the Wii by getting one late on so there were more games around for it.

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IT'S ALIVE! China's Jade Rabbit rover RETURNS from the DEAD

breakfast
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Paris Hilton

Mechanical abnormal vibrations?

This rabbit isn't just alive- it's rampant!

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NHS website hit by MASSIVE malware security COCKUP

breakfast
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But it's alright for Google to have and crossreference this data...

Where they didn't typo, they were linking to Google APIs, which is probably going to be for traffic and link monitoring.

So that's another thing that Google will be able to cross reference when they are building up our profiles.

Which was nice.

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Creepy US spy agency flings WORLD SLURPING OCTOPUS into orbit

breakfast
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WTF?

Reminds me of that Mitchell and Webb sketch...

"Have you noticed that our caps actually have little pictures of skulls on them?"

"I don't... er-"

"Hans... are we the baddies?"

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Robo-drones learn to land by going bug-eyed

breakfast
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Just in time

I look forward to seeing this implemented for the landing system in LOHAN. It would make quite a change from the "identify tree, crash into tree" approach that SPB have favoured so far.

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You're more likely to get a job if you study 'social' sciences, say fuzzy-studies profs

breakfast
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The other arts subjects are soft, but not my one...

I studied Philosophy as a first degree and I can't imagine a better foundation for working as a programmer- a solid training in analytical thinking and a good understanding of logic and problem analysis is more useful in my day to day work than the operating system design and formal system algebra courses my computer science peers were studying.

Of course, I only know that because I went on to study computer science afterwards ( turns out there's not much money in Philosophy ) so I guess I'm not pure fuzzy anyways.

Also a subject with a long reading list and not too many lectures a week is way more conducive to an enjoyable university life. Back when one didn't incur a lifetime of debt by going to university, that was actually a real thing. I still feel that it is important for people to enjoy youth for the brief flash it is afforded to them, not just having to work three jobs to finance a degree course they don't even really want to be on except that everyone else in the job market will have one.

That said, if I was in charge soft degrees would subsidise hard ones, both for national economic purposes and for the betterment of humanity.

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Dino-boffins discover 100-million-year-old BIRD TRACKS in Australia

breakfast
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Playing into their hands

Those creationist birds are going to be all over this, leaving volichnia everywhere.

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Is it barge? Is it a data center? Mystery FLOATING 'Google thing'

breakfast
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Re: Where is Bond when we need him?

Not enough fluffy cats? Are you sure? Have you seen the internet?

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

breakfast
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Re: It just goes to show....

If the money spent on spying on the populous was spent on almost any other social endeavour- mental health services seems particularly badly supported lately - how much better would life be for many people? We cannot eliminate risk entirely, but if our spending was commensurate how much risk there was of a given event maybe we could make a better effort to mitigate the highest risks rather than the high-fear, low-risk events.

The CIA actually encouraged the assassination of health workers as that was one of their cover stories they used when hunting down Bin Laden. I guess they considered that an acceptable price to pay.

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breakfast
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Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

In fairness, there isn't much point worrying about what the Chinese know about us if a) we use chinese kit for almost all of our network infrastructure and b) China owns more of our currency and major businesses than anyone else. If we got into some kind of fracas with them they would just have to sell all the things they own and western capitalism would be over. They are making a gradual, careful and well planned move to taking over the world and fair play to them, it's probably going to succeed.

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Google burns promise of 'no big banner ads'. Don't Be Evil next?

breakfast
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Re: Where to turn next?

Funnily enough a point will come where all a search provider needs to do to be way better than Google is be more or less exactly like Google were a few years back. Thus the wheel turns again.

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How to spot a coders comment

breakfast
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Bracketing out

Lets not forget lisp comments:

()((()()))()))())))()()()))))()))))((()()))()))) ; (()()))()))()()))

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Anonymous and pals gather in support of girl at centre of rape case

breakfast
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Although I quite enjoyed Frasier I wouldn't say I'm a Grammer nerd.

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The importance of complexity

breakfast
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Useful to know about, detail less important

I can think of a few times in the last 15 years of software development that I have been asked to do something that, when thought through in detail, could be regarded as one of the classic NP-Complete problems like the Knapsack or Travelling Salesman. In most case there was value in recognising them because we could go back to the customer and say "this is tricky, and therefore likely to cost more, are you sure it is what you want?" and suggest some alternative approaches to the problem that would get reasonable results without nearly so much work and they were happy to go for that.

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Deploying Turing to see if we have free will

breakfast
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Freedom through ignorance

I came up with almost exactly this theory in a Philosophy essay twenty years ago. I seem to recall my tutor at the time was unimpressed by what he termed "freedom through ignorance" but it's nice to see the idea popping up again, albeit far better expressed than my undergraduate ramblings could achieve. I still think it's as close as we're going to get to any kind of useful free will.

The flipside is that given an omniscient observer, our actions would be entirely predictable ( indeed all one needs to have absolute determinism is to consider time as a direction ) but if they don't feel that way from the inside, then we're still acting and feeling as though we have free will, which I think is probably what free will actually is.

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breakfast
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Re: quantum non-determinism

Given that quantum events happen at a quantum level and are very predictable at any larger level and that their variability is truly random, then it only really means that we have free will at a sub-atomic level and that free will means the same as unpredictable behaviour.

How would free will of that nature be useful?

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Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

breakfast
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Re: So long M$

I hold Metro in absolute contempt, but I cannot fault the startup time in Windows 8, it is way faster than any other OS I have used, including Mint on the same machine.

That said, booting up into an operating system which is experiential equivalent of placing one's face in front of a jet of raw sewage rather negates the benefits- I only boot into Windows about once a month at most these days and then it makes me angry.

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Snowden: NSA whacks US in the WALLET, slurps millions of contacts books

breakfast
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Re: How could one check

Oh man, this is Descartes all over again!

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breakfast
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How could one check

Is there a way to check if one has been man-in-the-middled? Like is there somewhere at Gmail I could send the certificate I have been authenticated with and they could say "no, that is not the certificate we sent you"?

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Thousands! of! Yahoo! Mail! users! driven! crazy! by! revamp!

breakfast
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On the upside, I hated those tabs. For glancing over emails ( most of what you want to do on Spamhoo messages ) it was a total pain in the ass because it wasn't obvious that you were in tabs, closing them was counter-intuitive and there was no way to use the back button, which is pretty much #1 on the list of classic web usability gotchas.

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Wikileaks FAILS to start Twitter bitchfight with Guardian hack

breakfast
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Sharing in menstruation?

I am not sure what exactly co-menses are, or how it/they would interact with a Snowden cash-in.

No matter how much Wikileaks hates journalists, at least the journos are usually literate.

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Osborne to China: Keep watching Downton and we'll gloss over Huawei security worries

breakfast
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I don't know how the UK stands in this regard but as far as I can tell the Chinese own the dollar, so if America want to kick up a big fuss or start getting lairy, China could just render their currency worthless overnight. In the light of that, seems a bit trifling to worry about a bit of network infrastructure really. They already own the US, might as well let them have a play with it if they want to.

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COMET DIAMONDS from SPACE found in Libya's glass desert

breakfast
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Re: Not the first cometary material recovered on Earth either

And yet they still haven't found what they're looking for.

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Wikipedia Foundation exec: Yes, we've been wasting your money

breakfast
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Re: Parallels with blood donors

The Administrators, who I took the article to be considering paying, are the people who put in their time to managing the content users provide in addition to any content provision they are doing. One would hope that by the time someone was appointed to that role, they would have shown reasonable skill as editors.

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

breakfast
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Just going to buy some apples

Most of my shopping has gone through now, but I have these apples. No bar code.

Luckily we can add things from the nice list of pictures, but these aren't on the "popular items" page so you get to play the "guess which letter the creator of this list thinks this item begins with" game...

"A" for Apples? What is this? Playgroup? Far too easy.

"B" for Bramley Apples? Of course not.

"C" for Cooking Apples maybe? No.

After a long slog through the alphabet I find them under "Loose Apples ( Bramley)" because "L" is the OBVIOUS LETTER for this product. Fortunately this ridiculously poor usability will be fixed by my next visit. Unfortunately it will be with a swap to another totally incomprehensible letter.

Thanks "Fast" checkout. Really living up to your name there.

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Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

breakfast
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And another thing

A lot of albums ( which were a thing back in the day ) consist of songs in a particular order that the artists who created them felt fitted together in some way to form a whole that exceeds the components from which it is constructed.

It saddens me a little to think how infrequently the care and thought that goes into putting together an album as a whole is noticeable once we get to mp3 players on constant shuffle. I don't know if it will result in fewer great albums being made, but I hope not. ( As an aside there seems now to be such a glut of music that even when great music is made, it is very hard to find )

In spite of this my MP3 player is almost always on shuffle. But I do listen to CDs often too.

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

breakfast
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"Lukin, I am your fatherin," surely?

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Full Steam Ahead: Valve unwraps plans for gaming hardware

breakfast
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Re: Old consoles mean games must be dumbed down

Another way of looking at it is that older consoles are the reason that programmers working in game dev have to learn to optimise for their hardware rather than working with the constant assumption that the hardware will be able to handle it by the time they go to release.

Working within constraints often inspires originality and results in interesting work.

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EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

breakfast
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Re: EasyJet PR

And yet it seems that EasyJet have denied denying boarding due to comments on social media.

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Austerity BITES: Greece ends extra hols for civil servants forced to use hated COMPUTERS

breakfast
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Re: Oh, the irony

Is it governmental policies that cause problems in California? I had got the impression they had a problem with too much democracy, where everyone can vote for everything and the outcome is an unplanned hotchpotch of policies with no facility for serious budgeting, but I would be interested to learn more.

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Valve shows Linux love with SteamOS for gamers

breakfast
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Re: Thanks yes thanks

If you don't like lock-in then write some truly open games that require no kind of lock in at all, distribute them freely across all platforms and change the world. But if you happen to have a massive runaway success and find yourself supporting everyone and their granny installing it on every platform you can imagine and then blaming you because they have a broken hard drive, no video drivers, forgot to plug the computer in or it simply won't run on their Nokia 8210, you might start to like the idea of locking it to a slightly more limited range of platforms too.

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breakfast
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Re: In addition to Steam it's also Linux

Since XP I don't think I have had any significant driver problems for Windows, meanwhile I have never been able to get my laptop's built in card reader to work at all under Linux in spite of a few wasted evenings trying to figure out what it is and where to obtain drivers.

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RADIATION SNATCHED from leaky microwave ovens to power gadgets

breakfast
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Free energy

The ideal time for this tool would presumably be while grabbing an after-work pint in a local Wetherspoons - if they're preparing food, the microwaves will be going crazy.

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Latest Snowden reveal: It was GCHQ that hacked Belgian telco giant

breakfast
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Those with nothing to hide

"Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from Whistleblowers."

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One year to go: Can Scotland really declare gov IT independence?

breakfast
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Re: A downside?

Would probably need to be less than 40% as there would presumably be a jump in unemployment resulting from the redundancies.

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Life … moves … in … slow … motion … for … little … critters … like … flies

breakfast
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Also because we have fewer novel experiences- driving a new route or to a new destination always seems to take ages the first time we do it. I think this is why holidays have so much experiential value- being in a new place and doing new things lays down many more memories than being in the same place doing much the same thing most of the time.

It seems plausible to me that people who seek out novelty most of their lives may well have experientially longer lives than those who have fitted largely into the same activities and the same rhythms.

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breakfast
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It would be interesting to research that, actually.

It certainly seems as though big horses react way slower than small ones to most rider cues, but they all react pretty fast if they perceive peril of some kind.

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Ghastly! Yahoo! Groups! gripes! grip! grumpy! gremlin! grumblers!

breakfast
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Re: Reminder

The weird thing is there seem to be some pretty awesome engineers at Yahoo! they are just harnessed in the direction of maximum idiocy most of the time.

Yahoo somehow manage to be one of the great online also-rans, never seeming to quite be able to make the most of the talent and user base they have.

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OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

breakfast
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Re: Why?

I tried to transfer away from BT only to realise after waiting 6 weeks to get an unreliable internet connection that my new ISP ( Plusnet ) was in fact wholly owned by BT. Sad times.

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ATTACK of the ROBOT BANKERS brings stock market to its knees

breakfast
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What is a stock market for?

The question that is interesting to me is what stock markets are for?

If they are about providing capital to companies then there really is no place for high frequency trading in them and maybe something like a Tobin Tax or a turn-based market of some kind would help to limit their antics. If they are about creating an interesting and entertaining computer game where different algorithms play against each other then wicked, sounds like this is just the thing!

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You thought NFC tags were Not For Consumers? Well, they're in Maplin's

breakfast
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Joke

Rural communications

Often in yokel country where I reside, it can be a bit tricky to get decent phone signals, so anything that improves communications when near fields could be a boon for farmers.

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The bank that likes to say... crash: TSB's online banking goes titsup on launch day

breakfast
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Side question

Can anybody recommend a bank that actually has a modern site and that allows you to do anything interesting/useful with your money that is facilitated by the web instead of just offering some very basic account management functionality.

My bank hasn't changed any aspect of their website in the 8 years I have been with them and I can't help but feel they could have introduced at least *one* new feature in that time...

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: The mobe for CHUCK NORRIS TYPES

breakfast
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Good so far

I got one a couple of weeks ago because I needed something that could survive life around horses and Samsung seem to be doing better than Sony in reviews even where their devices have a lower on-paper spec.

So far it seems pretty good- my last phone is a fairly old Xperia, so I don't really have a modern benchmark, but it does far more than I need a phone to do and the battery life seems quite reasonable- certainly if I forget to leave it on charge overnight my alarm still goes off in the morning, which is a marked improvement over what I had...

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Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

breakfast
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Headmaster

Where do I sign up

Seems like they need someone competent to run it. I may not be the best in the world but compared with the bumbling imbeciles who have been doing this so far I would basically have to be able to do a better job and my rates are probably lower. Who do I write to?

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breakfast
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Re: Cost

Oh, Lewis is going to ban you so hard for that one.

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Xbox One launch date REVEALED - and it's on the 360's birthday

breakfast
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Unhappy

Re: 8 years

I still think of the 360 as "that new XBox" :(

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LOHAN slowly strips lens caps off hi-def imaging arsenal

breakfast
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Coat

Re: Product Placement

Maybe the accurate term as it passes through the jet streams is "windbreaking"?

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

breakfast
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Peak of the flight?

Cease LOHAN Immediately- Must Abort Xplosively

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Boffins follow TOR breadcrumbs to identify users

breakfast
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Trollface

Re: BYOS

And lets face it- anyone who would dedicate the time and effort to do that would have no time for subverting the state and, dare I say it, possibly even be a tiny bit boring so the only secure system in the world would be in the possession of someone nobody would ever want to listen in on.

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