* Posts by auburnman

1141 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

Spooks: Big-screen upgrade for MI5 agents fails to be a hit job

auburnman
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When Spooks first came on the telly, and they killed off what was presumed to be a main character in the first episode (quite gruesomely)* it was a refreshing change to have a series where there was real drama and a feeling that our heroes might not come out unscathed. Unfortunately after many series they seemed to go too far the other way, refreshing almost the entire cast every 3 series or so. Everyone who 'left' was usually killed or disgraced or forced to flee the country, to the point where you failed to see the point in caring about New Guy #5, or why anyone would take such a disastrous and thankless job.

*They later sent the SAS out on a revenge hit, which was also an interesting departure from super squeaky clean good guys.

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Red-faced Germans halt NSA cooperation after Euro spying revealed

auburnman
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Yes but then the joke wouldn't work unless they had coincidentally ordered a ton of lemons.

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auburnman
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Helping the NSA be naughty at a station in 'Bad Aibling'? You couldn't make this stuff up.

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Docker vs the container world: Techies rally around CoreOS-led spec

auburnman
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Joke

A name like Kelsey Hightower is wasted in project management. He should be fighting crime as a loose cannon detective or masked vigilante.

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Plod wants your PC? Brick it with a USB stick BEFORE they probe it

auburnman
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Re: Automatic bricking...

"If the USB device tied to your wrist is removed the encryption key for the hard drive is dropped"

You could probably tie <security action of your choice> to something more innocuous like when the system detects a device has been removed from the headphone jack. That way you could trip the switch by backing away from the computer with your hands up (assuming a reasonably sturdy set of phones round your neck.

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auburnman
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Re: Automatic bricking...

'Semantically, that implies guilt. I prefer "innocent unless proven guilty".'

I disagree, because I think the time bound of 'until' is important is important in the framework of law. Even the guilty have the right to be treated innocent UNTIL PROVEN guilty. So e.g. if an offender is caught red handed on camera and some newspaper calls him 'the offender' instead of 'the alleged offender' before trial, and then the offender is found guilty, the paper can still be sued/fined/cautioned whatever for violating the principle of innocent UNTIL proven guilty.

If the wording is 'unless', you could make the argument that no-one can touch the paper after the guilty verdict comes down.

TL;DR: My opinion is that from a law standpoint 'innocent until proven guilty' offers more protection tha 'innocent unless proven guilty'.

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'Rombertik' malware kills host computers if you attempt a cure

auburnman
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Re: MBR

Agree; it feels almost like a White Hat has gone over to the dark side...

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Console yourself: How the PS4 Spring Fever indies stack up

auburnman
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Re: helldivers

It is hilarious the first time something like this happens to you. Less so the fifteenth.

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auburnman
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HellDivers is great fun and a beautiful satire of modern newspeak, but be warned you need an organised party of friends - preferably on voice comms - to play anything other than the first few ranks of difficulty missions. I've tried a few of the harder levels with randomers and it's just a frustrating grind punctuated by being shot in the back by teammates and being pulped as reinforcements/equipment land on you with only a split second's warning.

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Cylon is golden: Backstabbing bank holiday board games

auburnman
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"Battlestar Galactica .... The rules are simple"

This is absolute bullshit don't believe it. It's an entertaining game once you understand the rules but if you do play it go in with the understanding that there are literally 7 or 8 different card decks that are poorly labeled and you need to constantly reference the rules to look up the military hierarchy, the political hierarchy and what the NPC's do at specific points in the turn depending on the level of Cylon presence.

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

auburnman
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Re: 4,192 KWh

The problem then becomes keeping the battery sufficiently cool in a hot environment. Anyone smarter than me done the sums for the additional energy draw on your AC in a hot climate? It's bound to put out it's own heat with constant charging & discharging, and with the battery size it can't be an insignificant amount.

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Android gaming platform Ouya is down to its last life

auburnman
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I think the OUYA team's biggest failing was to assume they had a long term future based on the hunger for the console. They thought the OUYA delivery was the beginning of a brand new ecosystem with a loyal following. The backers however saw it largely as the END of an arrangement, namely delivery of a product they paid for (months ago.)

The OUYA was bought by curious people and tinkerers who wanted to put XBMC or emulators on it for playing old games in the living room. Gamers continued to get their new content on Steam or Playstation as usual. The delayed delivery, PR blunders and lacklustre performance at launch were also nails in the coffin.

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DARPA's made a SELF-STEERING 50-cal bullet – with video proof

auburnman
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

If it's smoothbore, it's not a rifle by definition. I can't see any articles confirming one way or the other, do you have a link?

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auburnman
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

So it's not fin guided then.

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auburnman
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Re: "imagine what a trained Scout Sniper can do"

According to the quote from the article, the shot is taken from a "standard rifle." Where did the assumption a smoothbore will be required come from?

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Free markets aren't rubbish – in fact, they solve our rubbish woes

auburnman
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Re: supermarket pricing

In the UK there's usually a price per 100g/ml/item in the small print on the shelf sticker in most of the supermarkets for easy comparison. Not sure if this is due to legislation or a voluntary code or just trying to one up the other mob, but all the same studying the shelf sticker closely usually pays dividends.

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UK's annual PCB waste = 81 HMS Belfasts, says National Physical Lab

auburnman
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Re: Reminds me of the classic

Sometimes it's a Long Stand...

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Amazon lifts lid on AWS money factory, says it's a $5 BEEEELLION biz

auburnman
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Re: It's a tax con

Yeah I thought this was common knowledge by now; I was actually a little surprised by the 'poor Amazon' tone, as if the author doesn't know this is how it looks when it's going to plan for them.

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>Ring, ring< Hey Wall St. Yeah, it's Google. Yeah, bad news again, fellas

auburnman
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Something occurs to me: would it be possible (in terms of navigating the legal hurdles) for companies to hedge against Wall street manipulation by publicly publishing a strategy of share buying/selling at set prices?

e.g. "We at ChamChung believe our company is worth $XBn, which corresponds to a share price of $100/ share. We will therefore automatically buy up our own shares trading under $80/share and sell shares when buyers are offering in excess of $120.

I realise no-one would ever actually do this due to executives usually having vested interests in the Wall Street shenenigans and not wanting to admit when your company is tanking, but would it be a feasible thing to do without being accused of insider trading or somesuch?

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JUNK in your TRUNK is Amazon Germany's new delivery plan

auburnman
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Re: Cars/bulter ratio

Then surely the solution there would be an Amazon locker in the train station near the car park. What if it's a multi story park? I still maintain that with a number of delivery companies barely managing to service a static address, a moving target is a recipe for disaster. Or at least coming home to a "We could not (be arsed to) deliver your parcel" email.

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auburnman
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Re: Cars/bulter ratio

That'll never work in a million years. Some delivery companies can barely deliver to static addresses, now they want to go after moving targets? Banking on Joe public for accurate directions better than "the grey Audi on Somesuch street" and remembering they can't move the car on that day?

This all sounds way more complicated than just getting a parcel sent to your work if you can't be home.

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auburnman
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Why?

How are they going to deliver to your car, unless your car is at home? And if your car is home, it's a good bet you are too? And if this is aimed at two car homes, surely they can just get the butler to receive the parcel :)

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Google versus the EU: Sigh. You can't exploit a contestable monopoly

auburnman
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Google users are Google customers as well as the product. In the web search market they buy search services by providing eyeballs on the Google page; Google takes these eyeballs, categorises them by the likely interests of the user and delivers them in bulk for a fee to advertisers in the advertising market. Google's 'products' are free to take their business elsewhere at any time within the search market for the low low cost of a few keystrokes. Google's customers are free to buy advertising space from any other ad provider at any time (and I imagine they already do), but Google remains the biggest supplier of eyeballs on ads due to its dominance (not monopoly) in the separate web search market.

There is no loss-leading going on; web search is a no monetary cost operation and was long before Google entered the business. I won't deny that Google's might creates a massive barrier to entry. But whatever your opinion of Google, the failures of other market entrants/participants can't be laid at their door.

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auburnman
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Monopsony not Monopoly?

I have issue with the headlines assertion that 'you can't exploit a contestable monopoly.' Clearly you can, even if it (might) attract competition (after a time lag where you lap up the gravy.)

But let's look at it as Google being a supplier for a minute: Google is more or less a monopsony with a stranglehold on the eyeball supply. Every single advertiser could hate them and be ready to jump to another advertising space seller, but how does a competitor contest Google's position when market share in search is the resource that you are using? You can't make more eyeballs so you have to steal Google's somehow. Only on that side of the equation you are competing with a (financially) free service with years of experience in delivering effective, relevant search results.

Google may be pushing their own services and agenda all they like on their website; until they piss off a critical mass of search users or they pull an unambiguously illegal stunt that lands them in doo-doo, advertisers have the basic choices of putting up with it or pissing off.

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Thinking of following Facebook and going DIY? Think again

auburnman
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Re: FFS

The Fast Show was (IIRC) the first sketch show in Britain to (heavily or almost exclusively) feature recurring characters. While it was entertaining I think the combination of nostalgia and rarity (watchable comedy was rocking-horse shit rare back at the time) has inflated its status over the years.

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auburnman
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Saying that prices have crept up is cherry picking facts slightly as well. Sonic 2 and their ilk cost about £50 from Woolworths in the 90's. Years after this Sony slashed prices on PlayStation games and prices have steadily crept back up after that point, but we're still shelling out roughly the same as we happily parted with for 16-bit titles decades ago.

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BLAM! Valve slams brakes on Steam flimflam with $5 spam scram plan

auburnman
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Re: Is this a problem?

It's becoming one. I went years with no Steam spam, but lately I log in and see 5-6 messages that 'vlkdhbvkjef' has added you to their friends list, and have started seeing items like "Hi bro my friend want trade wit you but he cantfor sum resn add <<dodgy scam here>> pls" cluttering my inbox.

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auburnman
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Re: WTF?

But $5 each and every time a new account is created will add up to a lot, and more than likely will stop a lot of spam as it stops being profitable for the spammers. Valve should go further and tier the response, so that a brand new account that has spent no more than the minimum $5 could only message say, ten other accounts in the first week.

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You! GOOGLE! HAND OVER the special SAUCE, says Senate (of France)

auburnman
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Next Monday's headline - Google closing it's '.fr' domains.

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Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

auburnman
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Sounds like Worstall should chip in on this in his next Economics article, maybe do a teardown on how realistic the claims of each side are.

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Revealed: The AMAZING technology behind Apple's $1299 Retina MacBooks – a lot of glue

auburnman
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"never tried it but just know they won't like it."

I've never lit my testicles on fire either but I'm reasonably confident I wouldn't like it.

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Sticks and stones may break my DRONES – but I'm worth $10bn, laughs China's 'copter giant

auburnman
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"Last month, a DJI drone was used in the first attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison"

first unmanned attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison

in fact, first detected unmanned attempt to smuggle drugs into a British prison

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DRONE ALONE: US Navy secretary gives up on manned fighters

auburnman
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Re: All will be well then...

If they can actually support aircraft unlike ours we will gladly have them (or we would if we had any money to buy them)

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+5 ROOTKIT OF VENGEANCE defeats forces of gaming good

auburnman
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Re: Why is this still an issue?

Of course you get players that are just good being called hackers*, but there is massive scope for the game client to pick up things that are really obvious exploits like repeatedly getting headshots through walls, surviving attacks that are supposed to be 1 hit kills, using powers their class/level shouldn't have access to to name a few; all of which you see these days and it seems like sweet FA is done about it.

*Oh to be the lucky little shit who thinks someone with an 18-10 KD ratio is hacking - they've clearly never played against an actual hacker in their life

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auburnman
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Why is this still an issue?

It's high time multiplayer games distributed anti-cheat software so that the clients are all watching the OTHER clients in a match and came to a consensus about kicking/banning automatically after a certain number of stikes, eg:

-Client_123 suspects client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA be added to suspected cheater watchlist (headshot through wall)

-Client 124 suspects client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA of cheating (6 headshots within 6 seconds)

-Client 125 suspects client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA of cheating (Client 125 player actor dealt 1600 damage to client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA player actor which did not enter death state)

-Consensus reached to kick client HACKAHACKACODECRACKA.

Multiplayer inherently requires the game clients to tell each other what they are doing, it's ludicrous that no-one is using this to automatically catch the signs of abuse

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auburnman
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Trollface

Re: "kernel driver providing a rootkit-like functionality to hide activity"

You 'crack' something that is strong and well built, like concrete. You 'pop' something that was soft and not really up to withstanding deliberate abuse anyway, like bubblewrap or anti-cheat software

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Ex-cop: Holborn fireball comms outage cover for £200m bling heist gang

auburnman
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Re: This doesn't add up at all

Makes perfect sense to me, in the aftermath of the big fire people will probably think any alarms are just acting up, and you can clart around town with big tools / climbing gear quite openly. If you get challenged you can say you're on the way to the fire site or checking other underground infrastructure for secondary damage.

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auburnman
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I think he's perfectly likely to have heard of it if there was ever a fire of that scale in his working lifetime; surely any disaster big enough to cause evacuations would be an all hands to the pump job for all the emergency services.

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The Internet of Stuff is a gigantic ultra-perv robbery network – study

auburnman
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Joke

Re: My fridge

There is the small matter of the house being robbed by a yob who stood on the back of the Smart Droid and got carried into the house, but that's a small price to pay for such convenience surely?

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Irvine Welsh offers A Decent Ride, while the The Discreet Hero is yet to be revealed

auburnman
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Re: Bizarre as it may seem

I seem to recall when they tested the procedure on a group with severe gut disorders they had to stop the test early as the results were so black and white. The treatment group almost universally saw massive improvement and the control group quickly figured out they hadn't actually had the procedure and begged for it.

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Light the torches! NSA's BFF Senator Feinstein calls for e-book burning

auburnman
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I thought the link would have been posted by now, but isn't there an XKCD where they try burning ebooks?

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

auburnman
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To me it looks like a statement that just happens to end with a question mark. Downvoting it might seem a little harsh but the thinking that household fuses can handle grid-scale voltage is dangerous.

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auburnman
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A downvote doesn't mean people want you to burn in hell, it just means people have disagreed with your statement enough to give you imaginary negative internet points. Nothing controversial about disagreeing with an inaccurate idea unless you take it personally.

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Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

auburnman
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Facepalm

"Subsequently a voice connection is established to avoid sending rescue services to small accidents”

That'll be exactly what you need when you've just had a prang bad enough to launch the airbags and your adrenaline is through the roof - a disembodied voice from nowhere questioning you!

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auburnman
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Re: Will it be easy to disable ?

I would guess technically yes, but in reality it will be engineered too deep into the system and/or an insurance nightmare for all but the most diehards.

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

auburnman
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Re: Apathy and abstention

Sadly the majority of voters voted against the Alternative Vote referendum which gave the politicians an excuse to leave the voting system as is.

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BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

auburnman
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Headmaster

Pedantic point of order

"However, the Beeb simply can’t afford to give away £5-10m every year in hardware"

"According to the BBC's 2013/14 Annual Report, its total income was £5 billion" (Wikipedia)*

Pretty sure they could afford it, but that dosh would probably be better spent on youtube-style video series explaining coding in detail with the core principles & practical examples.

*Yes, terribly lazy of me and probably wrong, but what can you do.

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Siri, you're fired: Microsoft Cortana's elbows into iOS, Android

auburnman
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Re: Yet to see

It's a great idea in concept - a PA you don't have to pay - but who is realistically going to talk to their phone in public like a bellend? Add to that the voice recognition is dependent on a data connection to more powerful servers to turn your abhorrent shrieking into recognisable language, and it's practically guaranteed to not be available when you really need it.

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Should online pirates get the same sentences as offline ones?

auburnman
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"Physical copyright offences carry a maximum 10-year penalty, but online infringers can only be sentenced for up to two years."

How do both of those stack up against shoplifting the equivalent priced item?

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ALL comp-sci courses will have compulsory infosec lessons – UK.gov

auburnman
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Own goal for GCHQ?

The more people who become properly educated and informed on InfoSec matters the less they will be likely to trust/work for the various 'hoover up all data!' organisations. Bring it on I reckon.

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