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* Posts by Pen-y-gors

778 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab

Pen-y-gors
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Sauce for the goose?

So will they at the same time legalise the hacking of US-based computers by overseas users? Only seems fair...

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Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway

Pen-y-gors
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1000 years?

Yep, long term preservation of storage is critical, but I'm not sure if a DVD-like thing that lasts 1000 years is actually going to be much use beyond the lifetime of the Third Reich, that other well-known 1000 year thingy.

The disk may well survive. Will the equipment to read it still be available? I think not. Will the algorithms to decode it still be known? Remember the Domesday Project.

And why does the Naval Research Dept need to preserve its data for 1000 years?

Really, if you want serious long term preservation, print it out on vellum, or chisel it into the stones at Stonehenge! Sad but true...

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Will Apple give Chinese iPhone workers cancer? THE TRUTH

Pen-y-gors
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The blame game

"But to blame Apple, or Foxconn, for a disease that we know can be brought on by the simple collection of migrants into one place seems a bit harsh."

Yeah, but it's such fun!

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First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads

Pen-y-gors
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8.0 or 7.0.1

I'm not an apple user, but the description of the new features makes me wonder whether it should really qualify as a major new release, or just adding a few minor features. Perhaps iOS7.0.1 would be a better name?

(Just remember how much difference there is between Windows 7 and 8)

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THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug

Pen-y-gors
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Why the Telcos?

I bought my phone from Amazon, SIM-free. Nothing to do with a Telco - I think you mean the manufacturer.

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Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills

Pen-y-gors
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Re: for an IT site

Easy: .scot for the scots (already on the way), .fuk for former uk

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Pen-y-gors
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Re: Royal Mail??

Hmmm...since our beloved Westminster Government sold the formerly-Royal Mail to their chums in the city for peanuts, I can rapidly see an English (or UK) mail service that won't deliver to anywhere outside the major towns and cities, unless the sender pays a massive postal cost.

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Pen-y-gors
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If prices go up, we'll know who to blame.

The mobile Telcos.

It's entirely up to them if they decide to charge massive (but rapidly shrinking) roaming costs.

Look at the situation in Ireland - special plans available to minimise the costs for people caught out with inadvertant roaming charges. Why would Scotland be any different?

In fact, many of the scary 'unanswered questions' raised by the No campaign can be answered by looking at Ireland. Do they have customs posts on the NI border? No. Do they have to use passports to cross the border? No. Do thay have armed border guards at every crossing? No. Is it impossible for locals to live on one side of the border and work on the other? No. Can people live on one side of the border and shop on the other, even with (gasp!) different currencies? No again...

I don't live in Scotland, but if I did, I'd be inclined to vote for certainty. The certainty that in an independent Scotland the government would be chosen by and work for the Scottish people - much better than the uncertainty of staying in the UK - do the No campaign guarantee that the UK will stay in Europe? Do they guarantee that the NHS will be safe under a Westminster government? Do they guarantee that there will never again be a Tory or Labour government in Westminster? There is no certainty in life - whether the Scots vote yes or no.

Let's face it, there are times when a marriage ends in divorce - it can be friendly or it can be hostile, but it doesn't need the consent of both parties. When it's time to go, it's time to go.

</rant>

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Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s

Pen-y-gors
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Quite right

TV has to change. This is the 21st Century. We shouldn't be sitting down in our homes, relaxing after a hard day with a couple of hours in front of the idiot box. We should be busy, busy, busy...TV programmes (new or reruns from the seventies) are so much better seen on a tiny screen as we go about our lives, walking into the middle of traffic while we're glued to that seventeenth repeat of Poirot After all, tiny TVs made Clive.Sinclair a billionaire (or is my dementia setting in again). Who on earth wants to watch an old movie on a 42" telly while relaxing in a comfy chair with a beer and a curry and friends - I much prefer to hold a smartphone while standing on the bus.

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Weekly webinar: How to get started with Microsoft Azure

Pen-y-gors
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Question...

Does it include a session on building a full LAMP webserver using Azure?

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LOHAN tin-rattles to a whopping £27,000 on Kickstarter

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Tankard?

Quite right! and anyway, only effete golf-playing southerners drink beer from a tankard with a handle. Real men (and ladies) use a straight glass, prererably without that funny bulge at the top.

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Weekend reads: A new Poirot, drug-fuelled Champagne Supernovas and The Establishment

Pen-y-gors
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Peter Wimsey

Sometimes authors can get it right when they write a follow-up using characters created by a dead author - Jill Paton Walsh has done a few good books in the Peter Wimsey series, (some based on papers/drafts by Dorothy Sayers admittedly). If they work well then they can help tie up loose ends in the story of a long-lasting character.

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Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Pen-y-gors
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No Android?

Why do companies like Withings still produce kit that only works with iOS (less than one third of UK market) rather than starting with Android (nearly two thirds) and then moving on to iOS?

Or is it a reflection that fanbois are more likely to splash the cash on very expensive gadgets to 'protect' their other very expensive gadgets?

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General Motors issues STOP DELIVERY for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

Pen-y-gors
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2015 model?

Is some sort of time machine in use here? Or are we just slipping into that strange time zone where the 'September edition' of Good Food magazine comes out in late July, and Euro 2016 footie matches take place in 2014.

Please bring back the old calendar!

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Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names

Pen-y-gors
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Odd

I have (I think) four or five FB accounts, none of them in my 'real' name - what is a real name? Under UK law you can call yourself anything you like, so long as there is no intention to commit fraud.

Actually, as this is El Reg, and I'm amongst friends here, I can finally reveal that my real name is Di Enw

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Sod the IT arguments

I think you'll find the SNP had a commitment to an independence referendum in their manifesto.

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Pen-y-gors
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What's in a name?

" the new UK of England, Wales and Northern Ireland"

<pedant mode on>

Strictly speaking the rumpUK will at least have to drop the 'U'

The 'United Kindom of Great Britain' reflected the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1707.

Later the Irish were added and we had the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Then the Irish left, but the 'United Kingdom' bit still made sense as the kingdoms of England and Scotland were still there.

But if Scotland goes then the only Kingdom left will be England

Neither Wales nor Norn Ireland are Kingdoms. Wales is officially part of England (Acts of Union 1536 and 1542), as a result of conquest. NI is just an anachronism.

So, what do we call the former UK if Scotland goes independent? England? Former United Kindom (FUK)?

I suppose you could argue that it's united (England, Wales and NI) and it's a Kingdom, but that's pushing it.

</pedant mode off>

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Intellifridge terror: Internet of Stuff kit must fend off hackers of the FU-TURE-TURE-TURE

Pen-y-gors
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Don't hold your breath

We've been using the Internet of Computers for 20+ years and that's still not secure, so don't hold your breath for an IoT that's secure now and for the next decade.

Of course, part of the problem is that everyone feels driven to upgrade their software and hardware every other Wednesday, which fixes old bugs and introduces new ones. There's a lot to be said for someone developing a simple, secure IoT thingy and keeping it in production, without any changes, for 20 years

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Smart meters in UK homes will only save folks a lousy £26 a year

Pen-y-gors
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They're a bit OTT

I fitted one of the little boxes that gives an approx measurement of current usage on a display in the house. Very useful at first, and encouraged me to go round switching things off. Haven't got round to changing the batteries recently!

Bod came to fits smartmeter some months ago as old one due for replacement, got it all done - and it couldn't get a phone signal (well, I could have told him that). Thought it might be faulty. Came back a week later with another. Still didn't work. Had to remove it and fit old style one. Ho hum, what a waste of money.

Really a bit wasteful - existing meters work fine (particularly if separate monitor installed).

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SAN-free, NAS-free? Scottish PHDs lift kilt on how they'll pull storage out of the aether

Pen-y-gors
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Get a calculator!

Easy - at 60 groats to the Pound (or Poond), and at $1.61 to the pound, that would be 18633.5 groats.

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Pen-y-gors
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What happens when...

that file you need for an urgent meeting has got corrupted, and you try and pick up the backup from another machine on the network, only to find that it's been switched off and taken away on holiday by your colleague?

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

Pen-y-gors
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Medical?

I was reading an article earlier about the Tricorder X Prize (medical wizardry) - and all of the competitors say that body contact is needed to make any meaningful personal medical detector (paired with a smartphone)

Maybe that will be the killer (sorry, lifesaver) app for wearables?

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Doubts cast over FBI 'leaky CAPTCHA' Silk Road rapture

Pen-y-gors
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And the lesson is...

If you're planning to host something dodgy, hack into the FBI servers and host it there. That'll confuse 'em!

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Easily done by mistake

Re: paper tenders

It's not changed - I still sometimes get asked to provide 3 printed copies of a tender - plus an electronic copy as well! (Could be worse, they might ask for three electronic copies...)

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Pen-y-gors
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We love Muffin,

Muffin the Mule..

[an activity banned in most of the EU]

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Finally, a USEFUL smart device: Intel boffins cook up gyro-magneto-'puter bike helmet

Pen-y-gors
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Battery life

What if you forget to charge your helmet before use - not very effective then. Unless there's an option to plug the helmet into a bike dynamo? Then you'd look REALLY dorky

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Something smells PHISHY: It's the celeb nudie iCloud PERV trap...

Pen-y-gors
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and in other news...

Vatican reveals Pope is a Catholic.

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Power station fault cuts electricity, water and internet in Cairo

Pen-y-gors
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Re: UK too this winter

Make your emergency plans now!

Actually, it's fairly easy for me - small woodburner for heat and cooking if the power goes and knocks the cooker and boiler out, UPS and car battery starter charged up for lighting and minimal IT (charge phones, power router) - and having a selection of LED lights makes a big difference to power requirements compared to the old incandescent bulbs. Oh yes, and water from the stream to flush the loo if that conks out as well.

A couple of cases of baked beans and an Uzi and I'll be ready for anything!

(But my sympathy to residents of electrically heated flats in inner-city tower blocks. Not so good...)

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Work in the tech industry? The Ukraine WAR is coming to YOU

Pen-y-gors
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Personal morality

At the end of the day we must all do what we, personally, consider to be the right thing. If you are happy to support and trade with people like Putin then fine, that's your decision. But if you do, don't expect me to trade with you, because I DO have moral principles.

"We must do what we conceive to be the right thing, and not bother our heads or burden our souls with whether we are going to be successful. Because if we don't do the right thing, we'll be doing the wrong thing, and we will just be part of the disease, and not a part of the cure." Fritz Schumacher

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Pen-y-gors
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Morals, ethics, principles...

Yep, we've heard of them.

It really shouldn't be necessary for governments to impose sanctions. Businesses should themselves stop trading with people and governments like Putin. There is more to life than making money wherever you can, from whoever you can, no matter who suffers.

And it's not just a matter of deciding not to sell weapons to the Russians (because they may be used to invade other countries) - if they are invading other countries then we should have nothing to do with them - seal off the country: nothing goes in or out, aircraft and ships impounded, electronic transmissions cut off.

If people are concerned that they'll lose business by not selling to the Russians, perhaps they could make it up by selling kit to the unIslamic nonState?

After all, why should business suffer just because their customers are evil war-mongers who shoot down airliners. Surely their money is as good as anyone elses? (We've been here before - remember that IBM sold punched-card systems to the Nazis so they could keep track of the Jews and Gypsies...)

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Crack team weighs LOHAN's substantial box

Pen-y-gors
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Customs

Having had to move to New Mexico because of Spanish customs, it's odds-on that US customs will refuse admission to one small (but essential) component.

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The BNP can rip off your works for ‘parodies’ – but only if it's not racist

Pen-y-gors
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Billy's safe (I think)

The point is that the work can only be lifted for "caricature, parody and pastiche" - they can't just use it as a soundtrack for a broadcast. They've got to be making an amusing point.

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NUDE SELFIE CLOUD PERV menace: Apple 2FA? Sweet FA, more like

Pen-y-gors
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Security questions?

There have been suggestions that some accounts were accessed because the hackers had access to personal details (Facebook profile?) and so they could answer the security questions.

What kind of peabrain gives real answers when setting up 'security' questions?

Much better to have fun:

"Mother's Maiden Name' - Hitler

"First School" Dotheboys Hall

"First pet" Godzilla

etc.

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Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

Pen-y-gors
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Old technology?

"The most obvious and pressing example is the criminal opportunities provided by new technology."

What about old technology - trrrrrsts can wander round with a sock filled with wet sand that will be completely invisible to modern metal detectors. Or they can stab people with an undetectable icicle (thank you Father Brown - I think) or hit us with a frozen shoulder of pork (well, perhaps not the un-Islamic trrrrsts - leg of lamb?) - what is our so-called 'Home' secretary doing to protect us against old-tech trrrrrsts and crims in our homes?

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Our Vulture 2 rocket spaceplane crammed with MORE POWER

Pen-y-gors
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Defence?

As weight's no object, how about adding a couple of air-to-air missiles to protect the heroic Playmonaut from gun-totin' redneck Merkins flying drones?

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BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Let's try to see if coding works @ El Reg

Goto considered harmful...

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Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?

Pen-y-gors
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Why ask economists about the economy?

"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable" J K Galbraith

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Boiling point: Tech and the perfect cuppa

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Quick boil - until the EU bans them.

It's very strange - I'm guessing that the EU rules are drafted by people with degrees in modern languages or media studies, rather than Physics. Surely someone should explain to them that a 30kW kettle uses just the same amount of energy to boil a pint of water as a 3kW kettle - it just does it a lot quicker. Banning higher power kettles won't save a single Wh.

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'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder

Pen-y-gors
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Shouldn't have resigned

Should have kept up the criticism (where valid) and then waited for them to sack her - much more embarassing.

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Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch

Pen-y-gors
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Battery life

To be honest, the important thing is that it's more than 24 hours - which means that the charger is on the bedside table, next to the smarrtphone charger. When you have a wear-all-day device that runs out in less than a day (Glass?) then you have a major useability problem.

Still can't really see why most normal people would want one though.

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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

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WinPho/Win 9

I agree with earlier poster that the Metro approach may work on well on a phone, but I think MS need to go a step further than adding a start menu with Win9, and include an option to completely disable the whole Metro/Apps thing so that desktop users can have a desktop OS, without worrying about confusing apps that duplicate real programs.

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Netflix releases home-grown DDoS detectors

Pen-y-gors
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Unexpected consequences...?

Once everyone starts using it to look for threats to their own sites, then the added workload should effectively DDOS Facebook and Google!

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China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE

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The wake?

Methinks something travelling underwater at a lot of mph will leave a fairly obvious surface wake to trace.

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Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

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Re: Why?

@Mark 85

"Define "innocent"?"

People happily going around minding their own business, working in their fields, going to school, shopping in the market, attending a wedding - when a rocket from a US drone or aircraft abruptly draws their activity to a permanent close, or at least means they have to do it in future without the help of legs.

The US military do have a rather bad record with this you know, and being able to do it at 3600 mph is unlikely to improve their targetting accuracy.

But to be fair, we don't really want anyone else doing this sort of thing either - I suspect the average peasant who's just been blown into the next world isn't too fussed who fired the missile.

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Pen-y-gors
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Why?

Why do they need the ability to kill innocent people anywhere on the planet within 60 mins? Surely their existing capabilities are more than sufficient? Perhaps if they spent the billions (hundreds of billions?) that this is costing on delivering aid to people anywhere on the planet in 60 hours they would have a few more friends and a few less enemies.

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Loss of unencrypted back-up disk costs UK prisons ministry £180K

Pen-y-gors
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Fine should be much smaller

perhaps £5K or so - but it should have to be paid personally by the CEO (or equivalent - in this case the Minister) - then they might actually start paying attention.

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Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids

Pen-y-gors
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Raises an interesting point

Part of the package seems to have been ID card numbers which allow the identification of individuals.

Just shows how important it is to differentiate between requiring account credentials that identify someone authorised to access an account (MickeyMouse23, born 01/01/1900), and credentials that include data to identify the account holder as a unique individual (NI number, Passport number etc). The former means that a hack of one database does not automatically lead to the ability to hack other sites/systems with the same data, which is so much safer.

Always use different account details for every website! For instance, I really can't understand why anyone would want to log in to any website (other than Facebook) with their Facebook account - just asking for trouble when their FB a/c is hacked.

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

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They've got you...

It's not actually READING it that's the problem - "(e) transmits the contents of such a publication electronically" - a useful phrase meaning that clicking on the link causes the file to be transmitted electronically to your router, where it is again transmitted to your tablet/phone/laptop etc - they've got you bang to rights, you evil terrorist!

As far as the plods are concerned, using any electronic equipment makes you a terrorist suspect

Good to read that someone is challenging them - can we have the name of the senior officer who authorised the statement? At a minimum they need to be sent off for some lengthy re-training, ideally they should spend a year or two on traffic duty in Port Stanley. They are obviously unfit for their current role.

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BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes

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It wouldn't be so bad...

if the price increases were to cover increased investment in and improvements to the network and service. In fact it's to cover the cost of £300 million a year (about £50 per broadband subscriber) that they wasted on buying Premier footy.

I don't want to watch footy. Please can I have a £50 cut in my annual line rental?

By all means provide an option to watch footy, but please do it as an optional extra, which is paid for entirely by those opting in to the service.

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LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!

Pen-y-gors
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How about Rockall?

Unlikely to worry any of the locals if you launch from there.

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