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* Posts by JimmyPage

1385 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

Nudge Unit flies into Nesta's arms: Is the hype justified?

JimmyPage
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Stop

So ...

the end justifies the means ?

Heard that before somewhere

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London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

@PatientOne

Vehicles supplied to recipients of the mobility component of the higher rate of DLA* are eligible for a 100% discount on VED for their primary vehicle. So the DVLA database works there.

However, not all cars with 100% VED exemption are driven by the person claiming the benefit. Like my wife, for example. Her eyesight is too poor to drive, so I am the driver.

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BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Re: pip pip pip pip...

you joke, but back in 1984, I worked on a terminal emulator for a Spectrum, and borrowed an acoustic coupler to use in my digs with an old style payphone.

It worked too. I could log into the Uni PR1MEs at the breathtaking speed of 300 baud (look it up, youngsters). Although I was never sure why, since I couldn't actually do anything productive (I'm sure there's a point to make there somewhere).

Any followers I have (!) will now know why I mentioned the plethora of RS-232 connectors and cables ....

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Virgin "Super" hub

the second I got it, I put it into modem mode, and used a real router. ISP provided routers are crippled and open to OTA "upgrades".

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'Maybe we haven't been clear enough about med records opt-out', admits NHS data boss

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

I call this "The Facebook Conundrum"

(although Facebook tends to be used with other C-words).

Despite the fact I have never been near Facebook, they know an awful lot about me. First off they know I don't have a profile. They know who my friends are. And were. They know when I make new friends. They know who I work for. Who I used to work for. They know what music I like. What films I like. My age. My marital status. Number of kids I have. Simply by cross-matching all the chatter from people who have my email address in their contacts list.

No one can be anonymous in a non-trivial dataset. The only crumb of comfort, is that the politicians too dumb to understand this now, will find out the hard way.

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JimmyPage
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Holmes

Premium rate phone numbers

why not make them opt in too ?

I suspect the answers to both are remarkably similar.

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JimmyPage
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Alert

Out of interest ...

what are the sanctions or remedies in the inevitable cases where someone who has dotted i's crossed t's and done everything correctly, in order and in time to opt out, finds they *haven't* been opted out ?

If, as I suspect the answer to this question is measured on a scale from "fuck all" to a generic "we know how important etc etc" with no way to (a) unring the bell, and (b) gain any recompense, then you can't help but feel "what's the point ?".

We can only hope that as time rolls on, and more people realise how irrevocable a loss of personal data is, the clamour for proportionate punishments grows.

People like Max Moseley are a good example.

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Ker-ching...Er, ZZZWIP: Square-alike mobile swipe type scores $96m

JimmyPage
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Stop

All you need to know in one line :

The key to this is a proprietary technology – Powatag – which is not NFC and about which Wagner will not reveal any details,

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Boffins tell ALIEN twin-sunned planets: You're adopted

JimmyPage
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Does anyone remember "Space 1999" ?

Where a nuclear explosion on the moon kicked it out of orbit, doomed to wander the universe in flared trousers and lapels ?

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Tell us we're all doomed, MPs beg climate scientists

JimmyPage
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Re: The elephant in the room

You don't need to propose a cull on humanity. Nature will take care of that by itself. Just as the climate has changed in the past, so has the human population.

1348 anyone ?

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JimmyPage
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"old men die"

what an astute observation ...

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El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Showing my age ..

But RS-232, and it's spawn of 25-pin, 9-pin male/female variants, which meant you never had the right pairing ....

Does anyone still remember Data Circuit Equipment and Data Terminal Equiment ?

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UK picks Open Document Format for all government files

JimmyPage
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WTF?

This from a government that makes you use IE6 ?

That's all

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Judge: Google owes patent troll a 1.36% cut of AdWords' BEELLIONS

JimmyPage
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Worth reading the article

just to be reminded that Lycos existed ;)

Was the first search engine I used in 1994 !

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

JimmyPage
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Headmaster

Re: Why, just Why?

er ...

10 PRINT "Why, just Why?"

20 GOTO 10

FTFY

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New Doctor Who's new costume newly REVEALED by Beeb

JimmyPage
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Re: Bugger...

From memory ... (CAK!)

"There's only one thing that unites us,

it's not colour creed or roots.

The only thing that unites us

Is Doctor Martens boots ...."

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

JimmyPage
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Joke

I would gladly sell my house

and all it's contents to pay for the BBC ...

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Microsoft loses grip on Christmas shoppers... despite XBox boost

JimmyPage
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Meh

How many sales of Windows Phone

have been driven by corporates (like mine) that have a "Windows Only" policy ?

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Margaret Hodge, PAC are scaring off new biz: Treasury source

JimmyPage
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Stop

Re: Hodge told Google that it was "immoral"

Whilst I take your point, it would only carry any weight if Ms Hodge *didn't* have a point. The fact that it does makes it all the more shameful.

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JimmyPage
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WTF?

How on earth can this happen ...

I actually feel well-disposed towards Ms Hodge !

One of the few bastions of democracy the UK has left - the ability of parliament* (in the form of select committees) to force people, companies, institutions - and occasionally countries - to account. In public.

Instead of whinging, companies should trumpet their engagement with such a process. Oh, and not do anything to be embarrassed about ....

*That's an elected parliament.

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UK.gov to Google: Kill impostor taxmen ADs hogging top spot in YOUR search results

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

And the water temperature goes up another tenth of a degree ...

When will the frog die ?

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Developers: Behold the bug NOBODY can fix

JimmyPage
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FAIL

OT:RSA algorithm ...

do I recall dimly that when the US ban on exporting encryption *software* was in place, you weren't allowed to export disks, but paper was fine ? So the guys who developed PGP just printed out the code, and scanned it in the other end ?

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

JimmyPage
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Meh

Is anyone surprised ?

Gosh, a story where laws intended to prevent "terrorism" are being misused.

This is so 2004.

(Waves across the pond) "Hello USA. Glad you could join us"

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Clink! Terrorist jailed for refusing to tell police his encryption password

JimmyPage
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@dropbear

I was envisaging a device where the actual silicon gets blown.

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JimmyPage
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@mastodon't

but who destroyed the evidence ? Certainly not the suspect.

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JimmyPage
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Here's another legal hypothetical ...

suppose a company devises a circuit which can't be read without the correct key being loaded into a register somewhere. Loading the wrong key causes the device to short and destroy the contents.

Police seize device. Ask for key. Suspect accidentally (!) gets a digit wrong. Police try key, and device bricks itself, and is completely unreadable.

Since the device no longer contains encrypted data (in fact it contains no data) what's the score under RIPA ?

As a rule, if changes in technology can cause a law to become invalid, then the law was probably a bad one to start with.

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JimmyPage
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Boffin

and another thing ...

How do they tell the difference between encrypted data, and a capture of a few seconds pink noise from a quiet part of the FM spectrum ?

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JimmyPage
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Once more proof

that we have to rely on the baddies being marginally more stupid that the people tasked with catching them.

He should have used a TrueCrypt style encrypted container. Police unlock device, unaware there's a hidden file within.

As a matter of interest, since terrorists work in cells, what would the situation be if the password was broken into pieces and shared out with no single terrorist knowing the whole? If the police catch one, and he gives them *his* piece, but they can't decrypt because they haven't caught the others (or have killed them in apprehension) would he still be liable under RIPA ?

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Amazon workers in Delaware reject trade union membership

JimmyPage
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Coat

Why can't elections all be like this

a small minority vote against (say) a candidate in an election, so they don't get returned. Would work wonders for the UK government

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JimmyPage
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Meh

Re: Why?

Something in the Merkin psyche really distrusts anything vaguely socialist. Never understood it myself.

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High Court derails Google defence in Safari browser stalker cookie brouhaha

JimmyPage
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FAIL

@obnoxiousGit - you undermine your own argument

Just to clarify this, this is a statement made by a man who brought an Apple device? Really? A man who joined a walled garden, and willingly handed over all his personal information to Apple, has some grounds to complain about companies not respecting personal privacy?

Just because I willingly buy a copy of The Times, doesn't mean it's OK for Murdoch to mug me, steal £1 and force a copy into my hands.

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Boffins hampered by the ampere hanker for a quantum answer

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Is this the 21st Century equivalent

of counting how many angels can fit on the head of pin ?

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Even 'Your computer has a virus' cold-call gits are migrating off XP

JimmyPage
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Coat

For some reason ..

I have just had an image of someone with 2 phones, a scammer on each line, putting the handsets down with mouthpiece to earpiece, and walking away ....

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Sinclair’s 1984 big shot at business: The QL is 30 years old

JimmyPage
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68000 - 16 bit

The QL was released when I was in my first year at Uni - doing a course which had a large element of microprocessor design. Our lecturer commented that it was a bit of sharp practice described the 68000 (lovely processor btw) as 16 bit. I still recall his comment ...

"It's a bit like sending of five quid for a coat hanger and cigarette lighter, to receive a bent nail and a red headed match"

He *may* have once worked for Sir Clive ....

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Staffs Police face data protection probe over 'drink drivers named' Twitter campaign

JimmyPage
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Flame

It's immaterial. Really.

Whatever the outcome. No one will be censured. No one will be blamed. No one will held accountable.

Life as a public servant means never having to say sorry.

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Judge orders Yelp.com to unmask anonymous critics who tore into biz

JimmyPage
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WTF?

Re: Amazon ?

Did you read my comment ?

Yes, anyone *can* place a review on Amazon. But Amazon tell you if that person actually *bought* the item they are reviewing.

Thus empowering you to make you own mind up.

I find it fascinating to see reviews for DVDs which have yet to be released, from the ignorati. There was one (which rightfully drew some cutting comments) for a comedians live DVD from someone who said "I don't like him on telly, so this will be pants".

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JimmyPage
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Amazon ?

Curious as to why people are so down on Amazon reviews - at least you can see if it's been certified as a genuine purchase (although, to be fair it's *Amazon* who certify it).

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Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Desmond Bagley "Running Blind"

The premise of this book was an electronic thingamijig which the US & UK had fed information to the USSR about, claiming it was part of a revolutionary radar system which could see down to the ground, and over the horizon.

In reality, it was a circuit board with every single odd and anomalous electronic effect designed it. (At one point in the book the protagonist asks an engineer to examine it, and the engineer is baffled by it's behaviour).

The idea was to let the Russkies "intercept" the component when a jealous UK had supposedly stolen it from the yanks. And then waste many man-years of their expertise trying to examine it.

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Nearly 1 in 5 of UK's Xmas gifts were bought online... not that it helped

JimmyPage
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Re: Couriers.

There are still some around. I order from a home brew store, and it's delivered by a woman in a saloon car. My first thought was it was an employee or relative (the shop turned out to be 15 miles away from me, although I didn't know it when I ordered). But then the same woman delivered something else (at 7pm) for the wife ... I think it was vitamins or something.

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JimmyPage
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Re: Imagine how much better it could be

The courier companies have missed the boat. Big Time.

Our regular supermarket (Sainsburys Tamworth) has a locker system outside. Collect your goods at your convenience.

And I'm guessing it won't be long before they integrate online shopping with Amazon et al, so your Amazon order comes with your groceries. For a price.

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Thought sales were in the toilet before? Behold the agony: 2013 was a PC market BLOODBATH

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Would these analysts ..

be the ones telling farriers back in the 1900s that "things will look up".

Or telling sail manufacturers "we're through the worst of it" in the 1800s.

There has been a paradigm shift in the computing landscape. Take my missis (oo err !) as an exemplar. We bought (actually acquired box through work. I've never bought a PC) a PC in 2009 specifically for her. She used it daily. Emails, surfing, and forums, with a little media playing (mainly YouTube).

I got her a nice 10" android tablet in December. She hasn't used the PC since.

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Never mind bungled Universal Credit rollout, Maude wants UK to be 'most digital' gov by 2015

JimmyPage
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Re: After the General Election

Well I for one, who is one of these types who always votes, will not consider any of the big 3 parties. My current thinking is to vote Green. I can't say I agree with their energy policy, but life's full of compromises anyway.

My sincere hope is we get no majority party at the next election AND no way for any two parties to achieve a majority. Maybe then we'll see some consensus politics.

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Woman whipped gun from vagina in SPACE ALIEN spat, reports Officer Zook

JimmyPage
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Happy

Has El Reg teamed up with "Viz" ?

just asking ?

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Sony seeks mojo reboot with 147-inch 'honey-you-can't-afford-me' 4K home projector

JimmyPage
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Joke

Re: why?

surely the reflected ones will have picked up some dirt from the wall ?

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Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

JimmyPage
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er ...

are you sure it was *laser* surgery ? I was under the impression the Russians devised the technique using conventional surgery (against a chorus of scepticism from the medical community). They used to do it on board ships they sailed around the world (for hard currency).

It was the west which refined it using lasers ... at which point it became Big Business.

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Fasthosts goes titsup after storm-induced power outage

JimmyPage
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A timely reminder to all

to check EVERY SINGLE element of their business infrastructure.

A few years ago, the clowns that hosted our web site and database had a power failure. When I asked why this had taken our website offline for 2 hours, they replied it was because the primary and backup servers were on the same circuit. Which they thought (in writing !!!!) was a perfectly acceptable setup, and they had never had any complaints before.

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Apple fanbois warned: No, Cupertino HASN'T built a Bitcoin mining function into Macs

JimmyPage
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Meh

plus ca change ....

back in the 80s, people used to advise that "FORMAT C:\" was the magic command, and many "lulz" ensued.

Of course everyone got wise to that.

And then people started circulating "hacks" to speed your machine up. They were suitably impressive. You had to run DEBUG, and then issue an "OUT" command. Which proceeded to call your hard card (remember them ?) low-level format routine ...

Am I alone in having no sympathy for someone who blindly follows something from the internet ? It's almost Darwinian .....

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We MUST be told: How many Bitcoins do I need to kill a melon-head?

JimmyPage
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Black Helicopters

Interesting POV.

Of course if people did just use Bitcoins to avoid transaction fees, and for cross-border payments, then it's volatility is less of an issue. You just but whatever value of bitcoins you need for the transaction (say £50 worth) and then transact. It's immaterial whether that £50 bought 1 or 0.00001 bitcoins.

Which is exactly what the banks *don't* want.

I wonder if part of the hype surrounding bitcoins is pushed by a shadowy cabal of bankers hoping there will be a bubble-burst which will put people off digital currencies ?

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Bitcoin cred boosted by $25m cash infusion into Coinbase

JimmyPage
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FAIL

That's if you convert it to cash

I have just spent my Bitcoins to buy stuff. No conversion needed. How can UK plc prevent people buying stuff with bitcoins ? Wait till people on eBasy start using them. Remember Virgin Galactic recently accepted $200,000 worth of Bitcoins.

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Enraged by lengthy Sky broadband outage? Blame BT Openreach cable thieves

JimmyPage
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FAIL

@Bluenose

sorry to downvote you, but criminals already start off being less bright than the average bear. There are many documented cases of fibre cables being stolen because the thickie crims think they're copper.

The best way to clamp down on metal theft is to ensure scrap merchants are required to take proper ID from anyone selling scrap metal - even someone bringing in an old saucepan.

Also, given they aren't likely to smelt the copper down (although I have heard they burn the insulation off) I wonder if it's possible to mechanically mark the cables (maybe an imperceptible notch every so often) to aid detection.

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