* Posts by Pen-y-gors

1233 posts • joined 1 Oct 2010

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London to Dover 'smart' road could help make driverless cars mainstream – expert

Pen-y-gors
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Re: computer aided burglary.

Interesting point - remember when scumbags used to break into cars to nick the stereo and then flog it to some guy down the pub, who'd buy it because they were all a standard size and fitted into the standard rectangular slot in the car? Security meant a detachable front panel that you were meant to put in your pocket when you left the car.

Now every car comes with a built in system, so no point in nicking the stereo as they don't come out easily and no-one needs to buy one.

It would be interesting to know the actual statistics.

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Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

Pen-y-gors
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Bury it and mark it

Burying it deep is a sound idea, but the site needs to be marked well so that people in 10,000 years know not to go fossicking around underground. That's tricky - a nice painted skull and crossbones is likely to have faded.

How about a nice big ring of giant granite stones raised up on end with more stones across the top, and a massive slab in the centre marking the entrance? Should be good for a few millenia...

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So where has the legal 'right' to 10Mbps broadband gone?

Pen-y-gors
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Strange silence

"it might be reasonable to speculate that if money were to be set aside for the project we'd know about it by now"

True. Given the tendency of our politicians to announce every bit of spending three or four times, and try to pretend that each time it's new money, silence is very worrying.

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Microsoft's done a terrible job with its Windows 10 nagware

Pen-y-gors
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Faulty nagware

I got the usual pop up this morning but realised there is a serious error in the design. I'm really amazed that it managed to slip through their QA system. The screen pops up and offers three choices - Upgrade Now, Upgrade tonight and Choose a time. What wally managed to forget to include a button for 'When hell freezes over'?

Makes you laugh - massive software giant can't even get a simple thing like that right. Bet there are red faces at Microsoft!

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GCHQ: Crypto's great, we're your mate, don't be like that and hate

Pen-y-gors
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FTFY

"...there was an ethical problem presented by encryption money, cars and oxygen and it was necessary for industry's technical experts to help them work out a solution on its use by criminals."

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Apple: FBI request threatens kids, electricity grid, liberty

Pen-y-gors
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Time for a compromise?

Given that it appears to be possible (if somewhat surprising) for Apple to get access to 'the phone' perhaps they should do what the court orders and hack it, under protest, this time. Really, it's not that different to a safe manufacturer cracking a safe. BUT, Apple then update their OS so that that hack isn't possible in the future.

Seems a reasonable compromise, no? Both sides save face, and future security is enhanced.

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Activist investor tells dot-word biz to sell off 'garbage' new domains

Pen-y-gors
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Expectations?

"Cannell is certainly right in that the sales of new internet extensions have been far lower than expectations."

That would be the expectations of a handful of greedy optimists who dreamt up the whole stupid extension of the tld system, as opposed to the millions of web professionals whose expectations were that sales of most new tlds would be pretty damn close to zero.

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HTTPS DROWN flaw: Security bods' hearts sink as tatty protocols wash away web crypto

Pen-y-gors
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Slight correction

"DROWN basically allows a miscreantGovernment agency to snoop on and decrypt a victim's encrypted web connections, allowing crooksGovernment agents to swipe passwords and so on.

"DROWN allows attackersGovernment agencies to break the encryption and read or steal sensitive communications, including passwords, credit card numbers, trade secrets, or financial data," said the research team.

FTFY

GCHQ/NSA will not be happy with this disclosure.

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Computers abort SpaceX Falcon 9 launch

Pen-y-gors
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Quite positive really

It's better to fail-safe rather than make a mega-expensive fireball on the launch pad that destroys the payload (even more important once the payload includes wetware)

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MapR acquires Geneva Lake to embiggen its worldwide reach

Pen-y-gors
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Confusion?

"Vulture Central's backroom gremlins would like to emphasise that Geneva Lake is a person, not a geographical feature in central Europe. That's Lake Geneva, in case you were wondering."

I was wondering... some sort of story about serious water-cooled datacentre?

People shouldn't be allowed to have confusing names. I DEMAND that everyone (apart from me) has their name changed to John Smith at once. That would stop any possible future confusion

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California methane well leak filled a Rose Bowl a day

Pen-y-gors
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Doesn't sound a lot

My Mum had a Rose Bowl - it was about 12 inches across and six inches deep.

Could we please have some INTERnational standards?

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These Chicago teens can't graduate until they learn some compsci

Pen-y-gors
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Wrong subject

For all I know this may still be the case, but when I was at St Andrews University back in the 70s it was not possible to graduate in the Arts Faculty without passing the first year philosophy course. And no student was admitted, whatever their subject, without at least a GCSE in a foreign language. A well rounded education is built on solid foundations - and learning a few basic bits of coding that will be out-of-date in a couple of years isn't part of that foundation.

Codoing is a useful skill, and we need plenty of skilled coders, but in the same way that we need skilled plumbers and electricians. We all need to know how to operate a light switch or turn on a tap, but we don't all need to understand how to safely install them. Same with computers - how to use one is important, but not how to make it run.

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Reminder: How to get a grip on your files, data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft

Pen-y-gors
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Re: "gaming achievements"

I agree - Windows 3 1 was bad enough, I really don't want to go back to Windows 1 0

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Pen-y-gors
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Missing option?

What about option 0 - "Fec off you nosy gobshites" that doesn't send a single bit without explicit permission

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NASA's Orion: 100,000 parts riding 8 million pounds of thrust

Pen-y-gors
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The march of technology...

thrust... comparable to that of the Saturn V

Wow - after only 50 years they've managed to build a rocket with the same oomph as a Saturn V - what on earth will they achieve in the next 50 years?

[Must stop being so cynical...]

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US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order

Pen-y-gors
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Security hole?

Surely the mere fact that anyone can download AND RUN a firmware update while the phone is locked is a bit worrying? I would expect on a secure system it would only accept updates when an authenticated user was logged in, who gives permission for the update, otherwise all sorts of bad things could happen.

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Two storage startups walk into a bar. One gulps investor funds, one sips gently

Pen-y-gors
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Which one is right? ...Easy

The one who gulps investor funds, obviously.

1) Get £20 million investment

2) Pay CEO £19.5 million salary

3) go bust

4) CEO retires to live in luxury

5) Result!

Where do I sign up?

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Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Pen-y-gors
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Hydrogen filling

It's tricky when you're the first kid on the block, but some sort of standards will be needed. Depending on how much hydrogen is needed to refuel, wouldn't some form of hot-swappable canister be the way forward? Bit like camping gas bottles. Then no need for massive infrastructure - any garage can just start with half-a-dozen bottles and ramp up as demand increases, and owners (sorry, 'renters') could keep a couple of spare bottles at home.

But jesus it's ugly!

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Ah, that new 'baby' mainframe smell: IBM shows off z13s

Pen-y-gors
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Ah, mainframes...

Having just spent hours going round in circles trying to get a website that works on my local machine to work on the live server, I have happy mnemories of the simplicity of System/370. Come back CICS, COBOL and DB2 - all is forgiven!

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ESA's Sentinel satellite to ride converted ICBM

Pen-y-gors
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"Decommissioned"?

So, all Putin needs to do to start (continue?) world war 3 is to announce a couple of 'satellite launches' using 're-purposed ICBMs' from a 'decommissioned ICBM base'. So no-one worries when the launches are detected...

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Boffins show Ed Vaizey what superfast means: 50,000x faster than UK broadband

Pen-y-gors
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Eyeball upgrade

Ok, so they can download a dodgy DVD in .003 of a second - how do we upgrade our eyeballs so we can watch that DVD in .003 of a second?

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NASA charges up 18-prop electric X-plane

Pen-y-gors
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That reminds me of something

With all those props should it be called the Spruce Gosling?

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Norks uses ballistic missile to launch silent 'satellite'

Pen-y-gors
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Re: God Save the Rocket!!!

You are amanfrommars and I claim my £5.

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That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Soon...

Tell that to the Tibetans...

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Who wants a quad-core 4.2GHz, 64GB, 5TB SSD RAID 10 … laptop?

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Cost...

My first 'real' laptop (mid 1990s?) packed some sort of desktop chip (to keep the price down), a 10" screen, not much disk or ram, a 15 minute battery life and cost £2500 then - that's about £4500 now or $7000! It's still in a cupboard somewhere..

I think I'll pop out and order one of these monsters now - bargain!

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NOTHING trumps extra pizza on IT projects. Not even more people

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Teams that "can be fed with two pizzas"

In a previous job the brown stuff hit the fan and one of the teams was in working throught the weekend. When we got in on Monday morning there was a stack of empty pizza boxes the height of the coffee machine (6 ft?) including some of the mega-24 inch jobs! Not the healthiest of lifestyles...

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Chef reviews internal update plans after 'degradation incident'

Pen-y-gors
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Errm...?

I know I live in the sticks, but am I the only commentard who has absolutely no idea what this article is talking about? Is this some sort of service enjoyed by the inhabitants of Shoreditch?

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Dutch cops train anti-drone eagle squadron

Pen-y-gors
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Won't someone think of the eaglets?

What's wrong with a good old 12-bore?

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Former tech PR Jeremy Hunt MP ordered by judge to delete tweet

Pen-y-gors
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Tech PR?

Why do you assume that a PR hack should know anything about technology, even if they specialise in Technology firms? Surely the evidence from just about every press release we see is that PR plonkers have no understanding of any technology more complicated than a light switch.

Jezza Ffrynt-Botham is no different to every other brain-dead MP.

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Research: By 2017, a third of home Wi-Fi routers will power passers-by

Pen-y-gors
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Share and share alike

Whilst I have concerns about how well locked down this would be, I have no problem with the principle - depending on exactly how the scheme works.

I'm happy to let other customers of BT use a second WiFi link from my router when they're passing, provided I can use their WiFi when I'm passing them. It's a simple and sensible arrangement, bit like lending my ladder to a neighbour who then lends me his chainsaw. Everyone benefits. I like the idea of being able to get free WiFi when I'm out and about, rather than relying on dodgy mobile signals.

I'm less happy if the WiFi is available to people who aren't in 'the club' - with the ISP charging £5 an hour for people to use my connection. Of course, if 25% of the payment comes to me as a credit on my bill, then I might be less concerned.

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Google patents robotic 'mobile delivery receptacle'

Pen-y-gors
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Too complicated.

Why bother with the drone bit? Why not just get the robot to walk down to the mail delivery office and collect the parcel from there?

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Met Police: Yes, outsourcing IT to Steria has 'risks'

Pen-y-gors
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Risk?

"Risk" implies a certain level of unquantifiable uncertainty.

There is absolutely no risk with this strategy. What there is is a CERTAINTY that it will go wrong in some expensive way, and will fail to deliver all that is required within cost and on time. After all, it's a massive outsourced government IT project

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

Pen-y-gors
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Who gives a flying fig...

what some brain-dead moron believes? Just ignore the prat.

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Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Kaolin and Morphine anyone ?

I remember buying a bottle back in the early eighties when I'd ingested some dodgy food with seriously bad effects. Slightly zonked already from lack of sleep, and started knocking it back without worrying about quantities (I think about half a bottle in eight hours). Worked wonders but I did have some very very strange dreams...

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Watch: SpaceX Dragon capsule breathes fire during crucial hover test

Pen-y-gors
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Weight?

Retro-rockets are cool (well, actually they're really, really hot, but you know what I mean)

But how much does the whole setup weigh, including the fuel? And what is the cost of lugging it all up into orbit in the first place? Would a detachable escape rocket + parachute be more efficient?

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That one weird trick fails: Google binned 780 million ads last year

Pen-y-gors
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wow, 780 million impressions...

so, only another 978 trillion billion gazillion to go then...

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Gov must hire 'thousands' of techies to rescue failing projects

Pen-y-gors
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Nope

1) Try hiring a rather smaller number of experienced techies who actually understand what they're doing.

2) pay them a decent salary, make them government employees, and offer them a long-term career path, so that their allegiance is to their team and department, and not to the shareholders of a dodgy outsourcing firm. Then recruit your managers from your pool of experienced staff who understand the actual needs of the business.

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Florida cuffee surprised by pills in vagina

Pen-y-gors
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"introducing contraband into a detention facility"

Being ever so slightly serious...that sounds like a very dodgy charge. I assume that walking down the street with various items stored in body cavities is generally legal, even in the US. This women was then taken involuntarily (I presume) into a detention facility and they then use that as an excuse to charge her. But surely it was the filth who took her there that were the ones introducing the contraband into a detention facility? Bit Kafkaesque really, being charged with doing something that wouldn't be illegal except for the actions of a police officer.

Although it does all sound a bit odd!

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SlemBunk slamdunk: Mobile banking Trojans found worldwide

Pen-y-gors
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Explain to me again...

in which alternate universe would I ever think it's a good idea to use a mobile banking app?

Using the bank's website from a bookmark in my browser on my home computer - that's the one with several different lots of malware protection + Trusteer and a VPN - I'll take the risk.

Using the website via my phone - still pretty unlikely.

An App - really, no. I like Android but I don't trust it.

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

Pen-y-gors
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Rule 1

Rule 1: You can assign to a variable exactly once. - I think the term you're looking for is 'constant'. The clue to assigning value(s) to variables is in the name...

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Oh UK.gov. Say you're not for weakened encryption – Google and Facebook

Pen-y-gors
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Report publication?

Why will they wait until 11th Feb to release a report that was probably written before the enquiry started?

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DevOps is no excuse for cowboy devs. Right. Let's talk Composable Infrastructure

Pen-y-gors
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Composable infrastructure?

I confess I read that as Compostable infrastructure - which seems pretty accurate.

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LogMeIn adds emergency break-in feature to LastPass

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Seems sensible ...

Alternatives: I notice that /. are plugging an offer of 75% off a lifetime sub for Sticky Password (i.e. down to $25) - no idea if it's any good, but possibly worth a look.

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SanDisk offers super-slim terabyte SSD to tablet-pushers and other bulge-watchers

Pen-y-gors
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...in search of a problem?

Sounds like it will be a premium price for a premium product, but I've racking my brains, and I really can't think of any serious use cases that require 1TB of SSD in a tablet - possibly a few individuals in the film industry who need to store high-res copies of new movies to show to people at trade shows, but that's about it.

1TB of chunky SSD in my development laptop - now that would be nice!

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Watch out, er, 'oven cleaners': ICO plans nuisance call crackdown in 2016

Pen-y-gors
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Individual fines please

It's all very well to impose large-ish fines on bad callers, but the whole process of complaining is soul-destroying, so who bothers? Much more practical would be a fixed £250 fine for cold-calling someone on TPS (or paying someone to do it), split 75:25 between the recipient of the call and the ICO. £500 for second call to the same number, £1000 for 3rd etc. Incentives all round to complain.

Wonder why no-one at the ICO has thought of it? Oh, I know, they're a bunch of useless self-abusers.

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Apple on the attack against British snooping bill. Silicon Valley expected to follow

Pen-y-gors
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Slight correction

the powers laid out in the bill could will be misused

FTFY

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25 years ago: Sir Tim Berners-Lee builds world's first website

Pen-y-gors
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Re: Over 4 billion web pages?

I wondered about that - an average of 4 pages per website seems a tad on the low side...

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NASA books second Boeing space taxi

Pen-y-gors
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WiFi for control systems?

Is it a coincidence that today we also have the story of Iranian hackers targetting US control systems. What could possibly go wrong?

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ICO slaps HIV support group with £250 fine following email blunder

Pen-y-gors
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Re: " ... a fine of four per cent on their global turnover ..."

"HMG loses so much money every year that the fine would probably be MINUS £25 Billion."

Great - a few decent leaks and the deficit is sorted...

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Windows for Warships? Not on our new aircraft carriers, says MoD

Pen-y-gors
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So, instead of XP?

It'll be Vista then?

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