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* Posts by HMB

578 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010

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We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie

HMB
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Re: Get your own toys

Well at least in theory, governments are supposed to represent their people. Are you saying that the majority of users of the internet (i.e. not US citizens) don't deserve a say in how they use it?

I sympathise that governments often do a crap job of meddling, but what else are you suggesting, anarchy?

The U.S. has done a wonderful job of creating the internet. CERN (Centre for European Nuclear Research) has done a wonderful job of creating the world wide web.

It's time to grow up and share your toys boys.

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Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech

HMB
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Re: So many things to consider.

Good point about refuting.

Pilots have lots and lots of training. They don't have other aircraft jumping out in front of them or traffic lights turning red suddenly as they fly along.

Neither do they have the potential for a facebook app to interface with their HUDs.

Whether it's an improvement or not really depends on what software gets used. If we look past the novelty of it being a HUD, what we're really looking at is buying another smartphone to pair to your smartphone that has the sole job of doing all the things your smartphone could do, but doing them in a way better thought out for driving.

My google voice recognition works well in quiet environments with short requests, but becomes unreliable either with too much background noise (like a motorway) or if I say too much, so if I try and write a text with it. It's for this reason I really don't see Navdy working like you'd hope it would for text messages.

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

HMB
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Rolling Shutter FTW

Using the rolling shutter from a regular DSLR at 60fps was both inspired and amazing, very impressive result.

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NASA tests crazytech flying saucer thruster, could reach Mars in days

HMB
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Re: Is it patented?

I don't think so, but I expect it's already covered by Apple's patent for 'magical effects produced from a shiny metal something'.

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UK data watchdog broke data law, says UK data watchdog

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Re: Stop press

"To be fair, being either public or private seems to be absolutely no barrier to being utterly clueless"

Fixed that for you :P

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EE rolls out London bus pay-by-bonk app – only fandoids need apply

HMB
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Smartphone NFC rocks, but not so much for payments.

I've used a phone to pay by NFC and I've used a debit card to pay by NFC. Honestly, I'd much rather take out my cheap, easily cancelled, easily replaced debit card out my wallet than start tapping my smartphone against payment terminals.

That said, I do enjoy sharing webpages, contacts and the like just by touching my phone against some of my friends phones. It's an exceptionally easy way of sharing data.

I like smartphone NFC, but I don't like it for payments, having actually tried both my phone and my debit card in that role.

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You, Verizon. What's with the download throttle? Explain yourself – FCC boss

HMB
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Re: A sternly worded letter?

Yeah, I was kind of thinking the same thing.

"Naughty Verizon! Now say sorry and promise you wont do anything like this again."

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Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low

HMB
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Re: Great attempt at explaining the unexplainable

I can't say it better than the great man Douglas Adams:

“There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

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BitTorrent launches decentralised crypto-fied chat app

HMB
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Re: Whenever toast be a croissant and one be loving the COFFEE.*

Ergo, vis à vis, concordantly, something about the Matrix.

Mmmmm croissants.

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SOULLESS machine-intelligence ROBOT cars to hit Blighty in 2015

HMB
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Re: Unaffected by new laws

Don't get me wrong, most motorists commit speeding offences so they're no angels, but at least most motorists don't drive around at night with their headlights off or drive consistently on the wrong side of the road for no good reason. I even saw some police cycling without proper lighting recently!!

When I was cycling I wasn't perfect but I did bother to put lights on my bike front and rear.

I realise I'm sounding like a cliché.

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BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu

HMB
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Re: Confession time

I really hope you're trolling there Natalie Gritpants.

I've always felt that using the motorway properly, keeping to the left and using all other lanes as overtaking lanes, genuinely makes for a more interesting drive. If I were to keep in one lane constantly and was not required to pay a lot of attention to other traffic I think I'd find motorway driving quite dull and tedious, as it happens there's always plenty to overtake and plenty of bad habbits, absent indicating and dick manoeuvres to bitch about. I don't have dull motorway journeys.

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THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy

HMB
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Re: Storage cost

Around 12 years ago I had a dream of a crazy RAID setup at home that would give me 2TB of storage. I'm going loosely off memory here, but I think it would have been around 8-10 250 Gb drives.

The advantage it offered me was to allow me to erm... record many more TV shows from my TV Capture card.

I thought about the prospect of spending around £1,500 on the exciting and exotic setup before realising that actually, I really didn't need that much data storage and it was a really expensive way of saving TV shows. I also reasoned that it wouldn't be all that long before that sort of capacity was available in one drive.

I'm glad I spent my money in more useful ways now.

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Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup

HMB
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Re: Verizon can STFU & FOAD, Kthxbai.

WOW! All of a sudden Bastard Telecom, I mean British Telecom, I mean BT, possibly BT Wholesale, maybe BT Openreach...

They don't look quite so bad after all.

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

HMB
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Re: Sorry about this..

I think AC's understandable confusion is around why anyone, guilty or innocent would want to agree to something like that and perhaps a concern that the police might use some sort of coercion to get people to agree.

"Ok Mr Criminal, do you mind if we save your photos?"

"Yes, I do mind, don't do it please."

"Oh come on! Go on..."

Personally if someone's walking round with the name of Mr Criminal I think they're asking for trouble.

This whole scenario makes me think of another one Eddie Izzard raised.

"Cake or death?"

"Cake please."

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HMB
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You're right about witness testimony, but human eyes are very impressive optically. It's taken a very long time to develop display and recording technologies that are as good as they are and we're still some way away from fooling a TV viewer into the notion that the images on their TV look absolutely real.

I'll agree with you on your other points though.

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Don't panic! Mega cloud biz group says NSA just one among many threats

HMB
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No Mega?

I was honestly thought there was going to be something about Mega from the title. I know mega.co.nz runs on trust in their code, but considering the founder got illegally raided by the US it would seem he has motive to produce good code.

I like the idea of my data in the cloud not being completely transparent to the companies running the cloud service.

I suppose if I wanted to attack Mega I'd work on getting the private key in the SSL and subverting the software sent to a client with a man in the middle attack.

If I can think my way through a possible attack on the most secure public service I know, it really doesn't say much for the integrity of cloud infrastructure.

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Live in the middle of nowhere? CONGRATS. Some of you can pay EE for 4G

HMB
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Re: Top Tip

Mobile networks : Make 1G work first.

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Boffins invent LUMINOUS PIGS again, glow-in-dark bacon sarnies presumably imminent

HMB
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It's not a launchpad, it's an impetus applicator... interesting. :)

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Microsoft: Here, we'll make it easy for you Gmail lot. Meet our Outlook.com movers

HMB
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Re: Change of address

"Perhaps using IE instead of Firefox would help but who would want that?"

Hey, did you know they've released newer versions since IE 8? Have you actually tried them, or is that sort of statement like a reflex reaction?

I use IE10 all the time to watch 4oD when it fails to work properly on Chrome because of some weird issue with Chrome's built in flash. I find it a fast and competent web browser with excellent rendering speed. I'd switch to IE11 but I'm a bit annoyed at Microsoft for having removed simulation of old browsers from IE's development tools.

That's right guys, web developers don't all hate IE any more.

It's a brave new world.

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Justin Bieber BEGGED for a $200k RIM JOB – and got REJECTED

HMB
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Funny Story But...

It is a funny story, but it's an amusing side anecdote. Marketing only works when the product does too. They may well have caught up, but.... perhaps too late.

It's like my Nan quotes from Shakespeare:

"And enterprises of great pitch and moment, With this regard their Currents turn awry, And lose the name of Action."

It's very unusual she quotes from Shakespeare, I guess the quote must have particular resonance for her.

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Three offers free US roaming, confirms stealth 4G rollout

HMB
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Re: [Why do I ever want 4G - can someone remind me?]

Nifty did a great job, but I'll put my twopence in.

4G is a higher capacity shared medium than 3G. Whichever way you cut it, that's more reliable, harder to congest and faster. What's not to love about that?

4G has been designed for much lower latencies for a snappier, faster experience even if you only had the same bandwidth as with 3G. Why would anyone not want a lower ping? I love quick response times.

I can't wait for 3's 4G rollout.

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HMB
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Re: 5GB for £26/month

Quite.

If you were able to get EE's doublespeed 4G with their starting allowance of 500 Mb for £21 a month (SIM only) you could burn through it at top speed (60 Mbps) in 66.6 seconds before empty.

60 Mbps = 7.5 MB/s

500 MB / 7.5MB/s = 66.667 s

It's such a shame Kevin Bacon never starred in Gone in 60 Seconds.

At least the 5GB will last you 10 minutes :D

Personally I want more than 10 minutes of data a month.

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HMB
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Re: There is a reason why it's free...

You know what, you're kind of right. Do I choose between great customer service over the phone, or a great network without data limits?

Hmm.... What will I be doing the most of?.... Support calls or using the service?

I'm going to pick the better network! Wait... I already did!

In my experience 3 run a cracking network unless you're in rural Scotland, then it gets ropey.

I think they're the most competitive network so long as you don't need hand holding too much. I keep my dealings with their support to the minimum.

They also seem to be the only network not seeing 4G as a cash cow, but as a way to really strengthen their product. They seem to realise that a stronger product will lead them into a stronger position. I like their style. It's seems to be engineering lead rather than marketing lead.

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Bitcoin value breaks $1,000 barrier in FRENZIED HYPEGASM

HMB
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Ending In Tears?

I love bitcoin, but it wasn't a finalised production piece of software, if only in distribution. Maybe that's changed now, anyone can feel free to update me, but when I was using it, the windows download was an unsigned executable. There are big chinks in the guarantee of the software's integrity on the client side (not disputing the impressiveness of the cryptography, but it's only as strong as it's weakest link).

I think the biggest currency theft in history is not a question of if, but when.

Serious concerns.

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Microsoft releases wonderfully loopy experimental GIF-jiggler

HMB
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Re: HTML5 ?

"You mean, there is equivalent animation processing technology in HTML5 standard?

Wow, I'm impressed. Wonder what next will W3C standardize - voice control perhaps?"

There doesn't have to be, you can do your own implementation with canvas and javascript.

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MY EYES! Earth engulfed by BRIGHTEST EVER killer gamma-ray burst

HMB
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Re: > so bright ... because it was so close to Earth

"Indeed. And the actual event happened over 3 billion years ago :D"

This is true.

Come on reg! More up to date reporting please!

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Wintel must welcome Androitel and Chromtel into cosy menage – Intel

HMB
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Cheap as Chips?

Intel don't sell their latest chips cheap. If the Nexus 5 had an Intel chip, it might have been £395. Look at how much they nobbled the atom platform (Netbooks limited to 2GB RAM) just because they were afraid of their low price experiment cutting into the desktop share.

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China bets the house on LTE TDD

HMB
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Re: Gives the standard momentum??

If other countries decided to use it too? You mean like the UK? You're looking for the unpaired 2.6Ghz slot in the recent 4G Auctions.

I find TDD intriguing, I just hope it's efficiency compares well against FDD when links are loaded and that upload doesn't become too much of a second class citizen.

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Brit graphene maker poised to go public: Yes, wonder stuff WILL float

HMB
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Re: That's not graphene!

I think we might be venturing into the 'little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing' zone.

I'm not a graphene expert, but I imagine that graphite is a lot more of a patchy sandwich of small 'graphene like' pieces. Also if in graphite there are occasional stray carbon to carbon bonds, it will change the structure of the carbon 'sheet'. Layering graphene together could have radically different properties to graphite.

Also at this level, intermolecular forces will keep the layers stuck together (just not with a huge amount of strength).

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Decades ago, computing was saved by CMOS. Today, no hero is in sight

HMB
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Re: DRAMA!!!!

Dear stu 4,

Until you started swearing, I found reading your message in a Sheldon Cooper voice worked quite well for me.

Software quality is often something you could contrast sharply with say, the quality of bridge engineering. I think if you assume software engineers are all idiots, you have cast yourself perilously close to the label you are so happy slapping on other people.

I feel that a more enlightened, less aggressive approach to the subject might simply be to realise that the economic decision by managers of what is "good enough" dictates the entire culture of an engineering discipline. The balance between cost and product quality is determined by people trying to get a feel for what customers will accept.

Software that crashes occasionally but allows productive work to be done is somewhat tolerated. Bridges that fall down occasionally killing hundreds of people are frowned upon.

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Getting it right on the second attempt: Sony Xperia Z1

HMB
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Re: Zoom?

Did you just criticise it for having a high megapixel count and then say that you understood why the Lumia has a high megapixel count?

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London businesses to signal UNSWERVING LOYALTY to capital with .london domain

HMB
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Re: For me, a good sign

I rather like the idea that every country (yes including you America) get's it's own TLD and then decides how it wants to do things after that.

Placenames as TLDs are going to work real well right up until someone realises that there's a Birmingham in Alabama as well as England. There's a Sutton in Surrey and one in the West Midlands. All of a sudden that meaning behind the TLD becomes a bit more vague.

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TOQ of the TOWN: A second screen for the second screen. Third screen?

HMB
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Didn't Get the Memo

Nothing ruins a sleek, neat design like a logo. There's a reason you don't see an apple logo on the front of an iPhone or the Google brand on the front of a new Nexus.

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Brit ISPs ordered to add more movie-streaming websites to block list

HMB
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The Big Five

I've always found it being the big five who are asked to do these blocks quite fascinating. It's a really interesting decision. I certainly don't want to knock it in any way, but it somewhat amuses me that the most determined freetard™ will simply seek other ISPs such as plusnet.

"Judge encourages ISP market diversity by blocking certain sites from the most popular ISPs" - Just an amusing notion.

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BROADBAND will SAVE THE ECONOMY, shriek UK.gov bods

HMB
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Short term gain, long term pain

"Frankly, all this hand-wringing about BT having a monopoly on rural broadband is utter bollocks."

LTE may challenge that somewhat, but I can't think of any other providers in rural areas. I'm with plus.net (owned by BT) who can't offer me anything other than ADSL 1 because of decisions made by BT Wholesale who supply the service.

I hear what you're saying. You want broadband and you don't care if you have to play tonsil hockey with the devil to get it, but history teaches us that monopolies don't work in favour of the consumer. If you don't believe this I'd suggest you look into it. It's not just you affected by these decisions.

Short term gain, long term pain. Yay!

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BT jabbed by ad watchdog AGAIN over fibre deployment fibs

HMB
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Legen.....

(Wait for it)

I remember I tried to get regular FTTC Infinity once, after the engineer who was already hooked up across the street came round to install the line, I was told that it wasn't in my area (after a month or two of back and forth). Then BT tried to bill me for a cancelled contract to the tune of £576 or something. Ended up getting Virgin in the end, took them a week to get it working without trouble.

....dary .... Legendary.

Bless you BT, bless you.

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Cisco: We'll open-source our H.264 video code AND foot licensing bill

HMB
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Google Chrome Undead H264 Support

Ladies and Gentlemen....

Once again, for your amusement I present the fabulous, undead, zombie for your fascination and curiosity....

Chrome (on Windows at least) still hasn't stopped supporting H264 without any drama:

Quirksmode HTML5 Video Test

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Virgin Media only puts limited limits on its Unlimited service

HMB
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Re: What a bunch...

I'm glad you pointed them out. I did notice that they're around 20% more expensive, but I'm glad to see they're doing a 12 month term instead of defaulting to BT's 18 months.

However, Zen or not, I'm pretty sure that it's all just BT wholesale to the ISP.

All I'm trying to say is that if BT has had their grubby mits on it I'm sure it's not a shining beacon of unsullied light.

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EC: NSA slurps scare you? Europe's clouds are open for business

HMB
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Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

@Graham Marsden, @AC

Firstly I'd like to thank you both for your replies. It very much confirms my suspicions of why what I said has proven unpopular.

I think there's always a question of who watches the watchers. I don't really believe that transparency and spying go hand in hand, though I think the gist of what has been said is admirable. If the government did tell us about thwarted plots though:

A) Would you believe them?

B) Is open sourcing failed terrorist plots really a good idea?

Getting back to whether security agencies thwart plots and do us all good...

I don't seek to prove this to anyone here. I would have thought that a lot of people would have come to this conclusion from their own thinking. Do we really think that a mass of smart, intelligent people get up to go to work in the morning just to undermine our freedom and privacy? I don't believe that. If you don't think they offer us some protection and do some good, what do you actually think they do and what do you think motivates these people?

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HMB
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Re: Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

Since no one who down voted cared to share their wisdom or perspective with me so far I'm going to be forced to conclude that it was my degree of sympathy with the security services that got me in trouble with the 'Rage Against the Machine' brigade.

I'm not afraid of opposing views to my own you know, you can speak up. Come on, try and enlighten me ;)

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HMB
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Hahaha, Oh wait, they're serious.

If the computers are outside America, then there'll be less data slurping. *snigger*

Maybe now is a good time to suggest The Menwith Hill Ballooning Experience with Mark Thomas.

Since I'm poking fun, I might as well take the time to say for the sake of balance (and I do believe it) that a lot of people are working hard to keep us safe and have almost certainly averted some major disasters. It's churlish not to be thankful to them for that.

It's difficult to resolve top secret citizen surveillance against the principles of democracy though, and the massive potential powers any government could have over it's citizens if this sort of thing went wrong.

It's a tricky one.

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'Donkey-tugging' EU data protection law backed by MEPs

HMB
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Concerned

I worry this will be just as splendidly well thought through as the EU enforcing annoying pop ups about accepting cookies that did nothing but waste end users time.

Who wants to replace them all with Monkey's on typewriters?

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Send dosh (insecurely) via email, Jack Dorsey's Square tells punters

HMB
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Re: Social Engineering

>You don't really need to go that far.

I'll grant you that, although I was trying to illustrate as well that you don't need to be registered with Square for this service for it decrease the security of others.

These two statements don't mix well:

"Email can be faked. Be careful and don't trust email if in doubt."

"You can now safely send and receive money via email."

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HMB
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Social Engineering

Let's not forget the social engineering risk.

Bob's heard of cash via email, so he knows it's real and not necessarily a scam. Why, Alice got some cash via Square yesterday and was telling Bob all about it. Come to think of it, Bob's antics almost always involve Alice, funny that, Bob wondered.

So anyhow, Bob sees this email from Triangle that he's got new funds but needs to run SecureTriangleRegistration.exe in order to secure the transfer to keep his money safe. Bob, believing what he wants to believe and buoyed by Alice getting cash yesterday, runs the attachment.

Oh nos!! :( Bob's computer has been pwned.

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Ofcom flogs ex-military 4G spectrum, but ONLY the iPhone 5 can use it

HMB
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All Good

I think this is good news dressed up as chaos. I'm very happy that this spectrum is being made available.

Phone releases don't usually mean spectrum authorities releasing spectrum. Spectrum authorities releasing spectrum however, do usually mean phones released that can use it.

I can go with TDD, but I want my fat upload. I want to be able to stream HD video from my phone to someone else, because why not?

I wonder at full duplex, full load usage, what the efficiency of TDD is in relation to FDD.

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Price rises and power cuts by 2016? Thank the EU's energy policy

HMB
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Re: Cloud cuckoo land thinking...

> Nuclear power - great (i'm massively in favour), but how much? Those championing nuclear as a solution clearly don't have much handle on the total costs - renewable subsidies have nothing on decommissioning costs.

Just to make that clear (it's been said above but buried in a larger reply.

Nuclear decommissioning costs are minimal because new plants have the decommissioning cost paid up front gathering interest. Considering a 40 to 60 year period of operation, the amount up front doesn't have to be much even with low interest rates.

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HMB
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Re: It's great having ideals......... But we can't afford eat, heat or have a bath.

It's not a problem with ideologies. It's a problem with competence and having the backbone to do the right thing and that's a profound issue running across the entire political spectrum.

It makes me so angry that something so basic as power generation is in danger. It's not the 1970s anymore. The economy can't afford the loss of basic infrastructure. Business doesn't run on pen and paper like it used to, it's mostly run on computers and networks.

I'd like to see our civil servants held to account for any extreme dereliction of duty. I think that actual black outs on the power grid would amount to that as well.

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Leaping SpaceX GRASSHOPPER ROCKET jumps 2,500ft, lands safely

HMB
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@Brewster's AG

An up vote wasn't enough. I was properly laughing out loud, cheers for the XKCD, very appropriate.

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Control panel backdoor found in D-Link home routers

HMB
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If I Was a Security Agency

I would have ensured a back door existed in an incredibly common driver binary for DD-WRT and received endless amusement watching people installing it to escape the other firmware I nobbled some time ago.

Is your router secure?

We'll see.

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MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

HMB
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Monopolies

Monopolies, bad for everyone but the owners of the aforementioned.

Of course eventually they loose the plot so badly that a smaller, more flexible upstart will challenge them, but luckily this problem is being fixed by patent libraries so large than any attempt to infringe on an established market will lead to immediate financial ruin.

Whatever happened to a good old honest free market economy powered by ideas, innovation and meritocracy? (With social safeguards of course)

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