* Posts by itzman

1259 posts • joined 28 Jun 2011

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So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?

itzman
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Re: Well, that's one man's opinion...easy credit?

Credit risk is low in an expanding economy.

Its when that expanding economy falters, that credit risk mushrooms.

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itzman
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Pint

We need to kill a few billion people, maybe 5.

The greens are well on the way there. But we dont need to actively do it.

Juts sit back whilst the idealists destroy everything that works, on the basis that its unfair in some way, and then we will *all* die, equally and together.

Hurrah!

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itzman
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Re:a different conclusion reached by an economist starting from a different viewpoint.

Of course. Deductive logic always starts from an assumption, and thereby in the end all logic that applies to the real world is inductive.

I aksed a socialist what he means by the term. "I think its all to do with how society treats its weakest members".

"Oh?" I queried. "Isn't that a bit unfair? Why not its strongest members, or the ones with red hair and perfect teeth?"

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itzman
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Re: But without unions, taxes, controls...

The irony is that who in the end are those massive corporations going to sell to, if there are no affluent classes to act as a market for their goods?

Yes, its possible to concieve of techno based neo feudalism, of a really nasty sort - more perhaps like Tsarist Russia or Communist Russia, where all the production is co-opted to make a few people very comfortable, and the rest just die.

But that's why we have a democracy.

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itzman
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Re: Not so much public ownership but public wealth creation

One wonders how the internet - never nationalised and never in public ownership, managed to bring IP data packets to everyone?

Its the myth that only centralised command and control can actually generate standards.

That is, pardon me, utter codswallop. People adhere to standards because that way they make more profits. In the end local grids would have adhere to common standards because that way the same electrical appliances could be sold. We have, worldwide, without a world government, broadly two electrical standards at the domestic level - 110V 60Hz and 230V 50Hz, plus minus.

Likewise train lines are standard world wide.

DVDS are standard, world wide, regional codes and DRM aside. Globalisation drives standards, not world government.

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itzman
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Re: how does a western services-based capitalist society survive..

...in a situation with a global oversupply of labour and improving skill sets up in Asia and Africa?"

By going massively hi-tech. And having the arms to defend its wealth against those who would seek to take it from them.

De Gaulle built the French Nuclear industry largely on the basis that he didn't want to be dictated to by OPEC.

If you want a nation to survive and prosper when global forces are turbulent, you isolate it, and make it as self sufficient as possible.

And throw money at real education, as opposed to political indoctrination, to assist the best and brightest to construct things that will make use of low resources and be very effective,

In that process sadly, the not so best and not so brightest will have to accept that they sadly didn't get the best education, and there are not necessarily the top jobs available.

However there are always the arts...and humanities, and so on.

As the old Jewish joke goes :

"This is my eldest son, and we are so proud, he is the finest concert pianist of the decade.

And this is my daughter. She is a writer and her books are acclaimed everywhere.

This is my youngest son. Sadly he is only a tailor.

But he feeds the whole family"

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itzman
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Re: A bit simplistic

The model that I find most attractive is that an economy is essentially a complex dynamic system and a very non linear one at that. Any attempt to 'control' it is useless as the only way to do that is to damp down its ability to respond to almost anything, so command and control economies are OK if nothing changes, but will be inefficient in times of rapid (technological?) growth.

Laissez faire capitalism doesn't attempt to control, it just follows.

And that may ultimately be the least worst of all approaches. In the absence of an external moral standard, one can only judge attempts to control economies on the moral standards of those who have imposed them. That is, for example, did the application of communism result in the sort of world those that espoused its principles wanted? I would say not.

In the UK 15 years of Labour has resulted in a less, not more, equal society.

And there I find myself poised on the horns of a dilemma. Those that espouse the sort of Corbynist policies are all good well meaning people for the most part: They see politics as a means of expressing ideals about the nation state, and ideals about human progress that are arguably laudable.

Those that decry them, do so on the grounds that such an idealistic approach is not only massively implausible, but, if implemented, would lead to in many cases the reverse of the 'ideal' solution.

We have in effect a battlefield between idealism and pragmatism in terms of the political map, and that strikes at the very heart of the matter, which is I believe expressed very simply: What, in the final analysis, is the point of government at all?

To the Left it would seem to be a moral instrument tasked with presenting a hope filled picture of human endeavour. To the pragmatic right, it is merely a necessary evil that should impinge upon the freedom of the individual only so far as to ensure some form of social stability and cohesion.

Pragmatists are more humble: They do not presume to know what the fate of Man should be, nor seek to dictate its terms. Merely that men do not routinely slaughter each other, steal from each other, and obey the minimal set of public codes that seem reasonable to the majority.

To me the flaw in the Left's model is that if people do not willingly follow its tenets, they insist on enforcing them, by diktat, legislation or deep moralising. In so doing they oppress the very class they claim to represent, because they 'know better' than the people themselves 'what is good for them'.

If we, the people , do not know what is good for us, why on earth do we have a vote at all?

And indeed, we can see that where Leftish power structures really rule, that democratic right becomes an irrelevance and a nuisance. As the standing joke goes:

"Democracy means one man, one vote. And I am that man" (attributed to a fictitious Robert Mugabe).

What ultimately do we expect a government to deliver in economic terms, and what ultimately is its scope?

The Assumptive Close of the Left has been to skip over the question of whether or not it is a valid thing for a government to engage in social and economic engineering at all, to move the agenda to the exact means by which it shall do it.

It may be time to challenge that assumption, because in times of rapid change and deep political instability and economic fragility, it is possible that government's role must needs change to simply ensure political stability at almost any price, or risk being swept aside by forces who have no intention of preserving social order, freedom or democracy, but imply using force of arms or naked economic power to dominate for the narrow interests of a very few.

Finally, in the context of economics, the real correlation of 20th century growth has been one single fact alone. Petroleum.

Lightweight independent machines to replace the sweat of the working man's brow (or his horse) , running on dirt cheap fuel, allowed a complete and total transformation of production and transport (and war)..

Electricity generation followed by cost reducing the application of that fuel. The devastating combination of fossil fuel and electrical energy means that anywhere any time you have a power source to do the 'heavy lifting' at far far less cost than human energy. Toss in computer technology and robotics, and that's another layer of white collar work that simply vanishes. Add expert systems to THAT and good bye to many skilled jobs as well - how much of e.g. general practice of doctors is matching a reported set of symptoms to an internalised database of disease knowledge and producing a diagnosis and a treatment plan? How hard is it to make a driverless train or car that is safer than a human driven one?

No, the reality of the 20th century was nothing to do with politics, or economic theory, and everything to do with the rapid exploitation of technology, especially power technology, and post WWII the IT revolution.

Nobody intended it to happen, no one designed it on ideological grounds: It happened because it could.

Ex of the sort of totalitarian systems that would e.g. Ban the Wheel in a hugely Luddite system that would 'restore the dignity of human labour' and keep peasants in their place forever we are stuck with a population level that can not be sustained without the application of massive amounts of energy and highly developed technology.

All those urban Greens who dream longingly of windmills and solar panels would be dead within a week if that was all we had to rely upon.

And that is the irony of politics. The urge to achieve idealised solutions, and the transformation of politics into a battlefield of morally inspired ideals, is ultimately the gross decadence of the West. Before you can go chasing ideals, first of all you need a society and infrastructure that actually works well enough to keep its population alive. And defend it from those who see it as nothing more than a morally decayed occupier of a bit of real estate that would be highly welcome to them.

Economic growth is more or less a symptom that you have such a system in place. Economic growth relies on a very few things, and none of them are ideals.

It relies on a sufficient resource base to draw upon, and sufficiently sophisticated population to understand and maintain the system that exploits those resources and just enough political authority to ensure that the fruits of that exploitation are distributed sufficiently to avoid major political instability, or, failing that, a sufficiently cynical 'peacekeeping' force that divides the world into those that shall have, and those that shall not, on pain of death.

Economics and economic theory is almost irrelevant in that picture. As are emotional ideals.

And the philosophy of Marxism, that drives the left, is almost utterly irrelevant in a world in which there are no human workers, only machines.

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Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

itzman
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Mushroom

The mutha of all botnets..

"...you're looking at half a BEELION PCs running Windows 10 sometime in March 2016...."

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

itzman
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Paris Hilton

A mill;ion years of evolution...

.. to .an opposable thumb, for this?

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Sengled lightbulb speakers: The best worst stereo on Earth

itzman
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Shades of the Sinclair loudspeaker

With its 'acoustically contoured sound chamber' that was in fact a fibre moulding from a production car heater IIRC.

And a cheap elliptical speaker as used in the 60's TVS of the previous decade..

http://rk.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/audio/gallery/q14_ad_2.jpg

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Wait, what? TrueCrypt 'decrypted' by FBI to nail doc-stealing sysadmin

itzman
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Re: An alternative option..

PSYOPS exists, you know, and people in panic rarely think logical.

E.g. Climate Change.

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Assessing the power of Intel’s SSD 750 … but check your motherboard before buying

itzman
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Angel

How long before the motherboard itself comes with a TB of SSD memory already on it?

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Obsolescence of food is complete: Soylent now comes in bottles

itzman
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Trollface

Re: "Unlike crispy bacon, Soylent 2.0 is available on a subscription basis"

And if you smoked said pork the problems would be solved......

...until they showed it gave you lung cancer.

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itzman
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Trollface

Re: Sad, sad fucks

they are not selling Zyklon B...

...yet...

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Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

itzman
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FAIL

Cookies now non negotiable...

Most websites that are useful these days seem to depend on being able to set cookies - deliberately one assumes..

That's the result of all this cookie legislation. Instead of 'we use stealth cookies that you can disable if you are smart' its now 'we have made cookies mandatory for the operation of this site, and if you don't want to let us set them, you cannot use our site'.

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

itzman
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Re: Let the arms race begin...

Bit more than that. I've heard pellets rustling through the leaves about 150m from where someone was shooting.

I reckon top range is 200m, but once over 50 m is definitely sub lethal and at 100m unlikely top even sting.

Unless you are loaded with other than birdshot.

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itzman
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Re: He should go free...

"it seems probable that some or all of the shot will have landed outside of his back garden"

Not if he shot straight up, as he claimed.

Shotguns dont have much carry at all.

200m maybe at 45 degrees.

if he had a reasonably large garden, very unlikely a high angle shot would have gone anywhere else.

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itzman
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Hard to hit with a shotgun?

With respect, shotguns were designed to hit fast moving highly manoeuvrable objects at moderate range.

And be reasonably safe at so doing - the kinetic energy of the pellets drops away fast over 100m or so.

They are the weapon of choice for anti-drone flak operations.

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Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping ONE PER CENT of EU energy

itzman
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Offshore wind really IS that intermittent

http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk

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New study into lack of women in Tech: It's NOT the men's fault

itzman
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Paris Hilton

Re: How about construction then?

its a bit of a self fulfilling thing: after all who wants to go into a profession dominated by the opposite sex?

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It's all Uber! France ends its love affair with ride-sharing app

itzman
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Childcatcher

Luddites?

There's now an app for that

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Will rising CO2 damage the world's oceans? NOT SO MUCH – new boffinry

itzman
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Re: Not news?

Lotta carbon in green soup

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Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

itzman
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Re: Maybe...

Well off you go. Lots of toolkits available for the OS/2 window manager to build upon

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itzman
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Re: Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

I keep all my data on an old atom based debian thing somewhere else on the network

The only stuff in /home/me is to do with the config fles for various apps.

This is a delight when upgrading.

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itzman
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Re: Enough of Redmond, I want to make the switch, but all the flavors & choices leaves me lost...

simply run a windows splurge in a VM and use photoshop there.

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Rise of the Machines: ROBOT KILLS MAN at Volkswagen plant

itzman
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no reason for the article unless we can:

e) Blame global warming

f) Blame capitalist greed (that one might even stick).

g) Blame the EU.

h) Blame Nuclear power

i) Blame fracking.

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Goodbye Vulcan: Blighty's nuclear bomber retires for the last time

itzman
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Valiants Victors and Vulcans - the soundtrack to my childhood.

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WikiLeaks docs show NSA's 10-year economic espionage campaign against France

itzman
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Holmes

If you cant be gooid...

Be careful.

Of course everyone of note is spying on everyone else, of note.

The cardinal sin is getting caught, doing it.

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

itzman
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Thank Clapton for open source

As this is exactly why companies end up supporting open source projects.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

itzman
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Re: Current Renewables are a Band-Aid

Would love to see this claim backed up with some hard data and plenty of details that spell out exactly what they mean by renewable sources.

Try http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france

Some data on German exports and imports to France

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itzman
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Re: Stop proposing....

Nowhere NEEDS aircon. People lived everywhere before aircon.

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itzman
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Flywheel storage?

Er no, flywheels cannot handle it just fine.

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itzman
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Mushroom

Re: In addition

..." uranium, by all sensible definitions, is 'renewable'."....

Try telling Greenpeace that.

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itzman
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Re: He's close....

According to some other scientists, we are about to enter a new and destructive ice age.

According to some Christian sceintists, God is going to come down next week and sort out the sheep from the goats and then its barbecue time.

According to so Islamic Scientist, he alrday did and they are in charge of the barbecue, thank you very much.

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itzman
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Paris Hilton

we'd have answers to this problem (and literally millions of others) by now.

And had Mr. Gates pushed for a humanlike scalable AI years ago, we'd have answers to this problem (and literally millions of others) by now.

How quaint. So the assumption here is that the only thing that stops a new dream technology from appearing is that not enough people are employed to dream it up?

That if we - say - spent a trillion on 'scientists' and 'technologists' to create a perpetual motion machine, we would inevitably discover laws of physics that make it possible? Just by spending money?

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itzman
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Re: very old news, deliberately ignored for too long

And a real pity we don't have the benefit of 20yrs focussed research on cost and solving the storage&network problem, from people who don't have old industries to defend.

Well, we dont. We have something like 150 years of research into energy storage from people who have every incentive to make it work, because its a highly lucrative market and in no way competes with conventional electricity generation.

In fact it complements ANY energy generation...

The reaosn why we dont have any large scale energy storage at a sane cost is simply because there is no way to achieve it with known science, let alone technology technology, and unless you believe that new science comes into being because people wish it to, like magic or pixie dust, then spending billions on con men in laboratories won't make it happen any quicker either.

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itzman
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Thorium Salt reactors.

Not as clean, efficient, safe or from what I understand able to be used to burn up our existing nuclear waste stock piles as people think they are..

Slightly harder to make a safe weapon from than uranium 235, true, but are terrorists worried about getting radiation sickness themselves?

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itzman
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Re: nuclear

I am not clear as to what exact linkage you think there is between nuclear power and nuclear weaponry.

They dont use the same technology, the same elements or the same enrichment processes.

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itzman
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Re: Current Renewables are a Band-Aid

Scotland can announce what it likes. The fact remains that when the water in the damns is low, the wind ain't blowing and the sun ain't shining 100% of Scotland's energy does NOT come from renewable sources.

Or from Scotland.

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itzman
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Re: The richest pragmatist in the world.

it is even more important to keep doing back of envelope calculations on new technologies and new uses for old technologies to demonstrate they cannot ever work at all economically and therefore no not need billions invested in them.

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Boffins set networking record with marathon 12,000 km fiber data run

itzman
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Headmaster

Re: 12,000 km at, for example, 0.4 dB per km

0.4dB/km x 12, 000 km = 4,800 dB of loss not 48,000 dB...

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

itzman
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Paris Hilton

The modern age ....

Seems to be one where the technology gets smarter and smarter so that people can get stupider and stupider.

Who remembers hand calculation with tables of logarithms?

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

itzman
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Re: LinkedIn is for people worried about their job security

So linked in is if you are worried about getting laid off, and facebook if you are worried about getting laid?

Sounds plausible.

So what is twitter?

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itzman
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Re: Nobody is immune...

My mail server now bounces everything from LinkedIn to abuse@linkedin.com.

I like it.. hmm I could do something similar here.

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itzman
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Headmaster

Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

Gramophone IIRC....

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itzman
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Mushroom

Re: Oh yes!

What icon, exactly, best expresses this sentiment?

Surely the one on this post?

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US mega-hack: White House orders govt IT to do what it should have done in the first place

itzman
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Re: Fine with me

The NSA has, so far, failed to detect a single terrorist attack despite its massive surveillance of citizens.

The history of the Uk's involvement with N Ireland terrorism is littered with incidents that made the papers and MI scuttlebutt about what really happened.

Murders by e.g. the Unionist paramilitaries of (largely unknown) IRA high command.

The mysterious early detonation of bombs and even weapons caches by 'inept terrorists'

The way in which the IRA high command eventually turned coats and joined a peace settlement.

The point about secret intelligence, is that it is secret.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodyguard_of_Lies

Is a book worth reading that illustrates just how much of the secret intelligence war of WWII was devoted to disguising how much the secret intelligence agencies had actually penetrated the enemy intelligence systems.

And how much even when it was published remained secret. And a lot still is.

The problem with secret agencies is that you have to take them on trust.

There is an apocryphal story about a newly elected Harold Wilson calling in the heads of the security services and saying 'I am the duly elected representative of this country: Can you tell me the sphere of your operations?'

"No: Its a matter of national security"

"And who are you answerable to, if not me?"

"Can't tell you: National security".

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itzman
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Boffin

Re: Well, THERE'S your PROBLEM....

It's the only product you buy which comes with a 'known list of bugs' and nobody cares.

Er no, all products now come with a list of 'known bugs' in order to limit legal liability.

This microwave oven is unsuitable for the drying of pets.

Your mileage may vary.

Only those who buy software even remotely expect perfection, and no one in the engineering and manufacturing industry who has the least idea of the modern ideas of Quality Management expects any product to be perfect without continuous effort devoted to improving it - not till its perfect, but until all known and serious flaws have been identified fixed or documented into a 'limitations of use' type tome

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Industrial Wi-Fi kit has hard-coded credentials

itzman
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Re: It's a difficult crowd

plenty of peoiple might if they had set up secure tunnels etc.

Its total cobblers to talk about this or that piece of kit in itself being insecure, when what is required is overall security of whole networks.

I remember asking a security consultant 'what is the weakest link in their Internetwork security' and being answered 'the dial up modems to their windows PCS the staff plug into their DDI numbers in order to be able to work from home'

Because the corporate firewall denied them internet access...

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itzman
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Megaphone

The only options...?

...are to make sure the APs aren't accessible from the Internet, and are isolated from the business network.

Rubbish.

That's what vpn's and firewalls are for. To wrap insecure connections in secure ones. To create trusted networks across insecure networks.

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