* Posts by Ken Hagan

4515 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Windows Phone 10: Less stuff that does more – plus IE-killer Project Spartan

Ken Hagan
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Re: Spartan is not an IE killer

"Windows 8.1 will be supported until 2023."

Don't bet on it. I would expect that Win8.1 will not be supported for those customers who are offered a free upgrade to Win10. Remember that Win8.0 originally had a 10-year life-cycle but is now going to expire in 2016 simply because 8.1 is offered free.

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What's Meg Whitman fussing over: The fate of HP ... or the font on a DISRUPTIVE new logo?

Ken Hagan
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That double T speaks to me...

...and what it says is "bad kerning". ( https://xkcd.com/1015/ )

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LA schools want multi-million Apple refund after kids hack iPads

Ken Hagan
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"the kids were not forced to take them home, they were ALLOWED to take them home"

These would be kids who are too young to enter into a legal contract. Sorry, the responsibility for the laptops remains with the last legally responsible entity who had them That is the school unless you can persuade each and every parent to take on the burden.

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Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Ken Hagan
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Re: isnt that a good thing?

"a handy, built-in, self copying protocol."

You mean if we don't stamp out this DNA stuff then it will infest the whole planet? Ahh ... that's proper malware, that is.

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Ken Hagan
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Sigh...

If only there was a version of Java that was designed to be provably secure. Then all someone would have to do was implement the spec and we'd have a write-once-run-anywhere platform that was also the answer to all our malware woes.

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China weaponizes its Great Firewall into the GREAT FIRE CANNON, menaces entire globe

Ken Hagan
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Childcatcher

The killer application for IPv6

The obvious solution is to align IP address blocks with national boundaries, so that it is easy for end-users to write rules that describe which blocks they trust. With IPv4, it is too late to do the renumbering. With IPv6, it isn't since the address space is large enough that you could invent a new kind of unicast address range for the purpose and allow both sets of addresses to run alongside for a few years.

Note the focus on end-users. At present, firewalling entire countries is possible but only if you have the resources of a large organisation (or government) to keep the firewall rules up to date. We need to work out a way to give end-users the same power.

If any politicians are listening, please note that the same capability would let end-users restrict their domestic internet usage to countries with laws on censorship/porn/whatever that they approve of. This would be far more effective than passing yet another law that applies only to servers in your own country, most of which already conform to your local laws and the rest of which you can already deal with through your own legal system on a case-by-case basis.

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Instead of public sector non-jobbery, Martha, how about creating REAL entrepreneurs?

Ken Hagan
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Re: But no, it's obviously all down to the suits. Obviously.

Slightly off topic, I know, but if the UK *was* a meritocratic democracy, and had been for a generation or so, it might well have an identifiable group of people who had done well at school, gone to the (well-known) leading universities, and gone on to do rather well in whatever their chosen field happened to be. They might also have been able to influence the major political parties to the extent that they all were singing largely from the same hymn sheet on economic matters and differed only in terms of social policy.

OK, we aren't quite there yet, but if we ever do get there then the country might not be quite as you expect or hope.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Red tape

"Suitable proof includes Geolocation by IP address ..."

Really? The lawyers count that as proof these days? Christ on a fucking bike...

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Ken Hagan
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In fairness, it's the suits that usually set the pay rates.

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The VMware, Nutanix mud wrestle is hilarious, but which one is crying with fear on the inside?

Ken Hagan
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16% ?

That's a just a few months improvement in the state of the art, isn't it?

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Operation Redstone: Microsoft preps double Windows update in 2016

Ken Hagan
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"might be the last Microsoft OS to receive a version number at all"

Sounds unlikely. The need to be able to distinguish between different releases is fairly fundamental, so they *will* get version numbers/names and I imagine that Microsoft might want to have some influence over what those are.

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Astronomers battle plague of BLADE-WIELDING ROBOTS

Ken Hagan
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Re: @Paul Crawford

"I just wish I had more upvotes to give you."

That's OK. By posting, you've given me a second place where I can upvote the sentiment. Ta!

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Ken Hagan
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"iRobot has reviewed comments filed by the NRAO and believe that there is an infinitesimal likelihood that the proposed RLM system will impact any radio astronomy measurements."

I wonder if these guys know what infinitesimal means to an engineer. Actually, no, I don't wonder that at all. They clearly don't and therefore should be totally ignored on any question that requires even a modicum of technical knowledge.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Ken Hagan
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Re: Just because the US still have an outstanding number of wires on poles...

"The best piece of advice EVER I was given here was to get everything behind UPS and surge protectors."

This reminded me of the Tesla home battery story we saw here a few weeks ago. Apparently some more details are leaking out. I do wonder if this-connected-to-a-nuclear-grid, rather than loads-of-renewables, might be how everyone gets their electricity in a decade or two.

http://gas2.org/2015/04/03/tesla-home-battery-details-emerge/

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Ken Hagan
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If God had intended us to think, He'd have given us brains.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Exploding somethings

"No, I don't really know, and maybe nothing actually so much exploded as vanished in a bright blue flash."

If so, then the power company now has an unknown number of customers who are currently receiving electricity without the financial inconvenience of their meter spinning around. That'll be a nice earner for the lawyers.

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Mozilla piles on China's SSL cert overlord: We don't trust you either

Ken Hagan
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The solution is for anyone who wants to prove their identity to make their own certificate and get it signed by several CAs. That way the certificate remains valid until all of the counter-signatories have mis-behaved.

It's also more expensive (ie, a money-spinner for the CAs) so I'm surprised the CAs themselves aren't pushing this approach.

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Bloke faces 25 years in the cooler for upsetting Thai king on Facebook

Ken Hagan
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Re: Warning to The Register

That'll be why the BBC aren't (*) covering the story at all, I suppose.

(* I expect someone will prove me wrong shortly, but I couldn't find it. I searched for Thai lese-majeste and found a few other examples of idiocy, though.)

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Why Feed.Me.Pizza will never exist: Inside the world of government vetoes and the internet

Ken Hagan
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Sshhhhh

Don't anyone tell Columbia (CO) about this, or else all those countries that already have a *.co.ccTLD second level domain for commercial sites will have to scrap their registries. And I suppose all those *.com.ccTLD nations will have to get Verisign's permission to exist.

More seriously, it's a hierarchial namespace so there shouldn't be any restrictions on someone else's second level domains. This is a point of technical correctness, so the various governments concerned can take a running jump or set up their own internet.

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Microsoft update mayhem delays German basketball game, costs team dear

Ken Hagan
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Re: Why did I suddenly remember

I can't imagine. I haven't seen such a thing for over 20 years.

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Dot-sucks sucks, say lawyers: ICANN urged to kill 'shakedown' now

Ken Hagan
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So if ICANN have reserved all rights over their real name, it'll have to be ICONN.sucks instead.

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No, really, the $17,000 Apple Watch IS all about getting your leg over

Ken Hagan
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Re: Its just the mating ritual

"As she told it to me, she told him that he didn't need the bright yellow mating display any more, he'd got his female."

I think that's called pulling the ladder up behind her and if he objects then she knows where she stands.

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Metro app meets Windows 10. A Microsoft win? Maybe after a little improvement

Ken Hagan
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Re: Only techies care about phone OS

"And forget about Android apps. Google won't even supply a WP version of Youtube, let alone allow MS to use their app store."

Why should that matter? Microsoft could allow third-party developers to put their Android apps on Microsoft's app store. It would then be up to Google to decide whether to risk an anti-trust suit by kicking those devs out of the Google store in revenge. Oh, and Google have spent quite a lot of time in the courts establishing that it is perfectly legal to write your own implementation of someone else's platform, so MS would be in the clear there as well.

Since apps of all flavours are several layers of abstraction/emulation above the bare metal, it is really quite surprising that MS are trying to break into the market *without* going down this route.

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Ken Hagan
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Re: hold up a 30 sign

On most UK motorways there will be no need to do this because there are already maliciously posted "70" signs every so often.

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Half of Android devices open to silent hijack

Ken Hagan
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Re: Users should upgrade to at least Android 4.4 to avoid being exposed.

This, especially at the bottom end of the market.

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Fame earlier this month, new, running 4.1.x and it tells me that there is no update, which I dare say is true for a Clintonesque interpretation of "is".

One could argue that a phone, designed to be connected to the public network, isn't fit under the Sale of Goods Act if no-one patches the known bugs.

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Windows 10 apps to rule them all – phones, slabs and PCs: Microsoft pulls out 'universal' tool

Ken Hagan
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Re: Visual Basic isn't totally out of the equation, long term

This is very puzzling. The link you mentioned strongly suggests that the .NET Native compiler goes to work on the MSIL. Since that is the common intermediate representation shared by all .NET languages, it really shouldn't be limited to C# code.

In short, how the hell have MS managed *not* to be able to handle all the .NET languages?

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Review: McAfee Endpoint Protection for SMB

Ken Hagan
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Re: "I have four criteria by which I judge endpoint security products"

As well as mentioning the corrections link at the foot of the article, I'd like to say that if this product causes Trevor to lose the ability to count up to five then that's probably the most damning review I've ever read of a software product.

Count me out!

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IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

Ken Hagan
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Re: Hmmm....

@Bleu: I suggest you google El Reg forum archives for "platinum membership". It may never have existed but that never seemed to matter.

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Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari EXPLOITED to OWN Mac, PCs at Pwn2Own 2015

Ken Hagan
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"Seriously, when is a project going to be formed to write a new browser and rendering engine from the ground up with security in mind?"

Microsoft are working on Spartan even as we speak. Naturally, they claim that it is completely fresh, just like Vista, 7, 8, etc... were completely re-written, and therefore have none of the security problems of their predecessors. We'll see.

Sadly, at least part of the problem is probably that a browser has to implement existing web standards and few of them were designed with security in mind. As far as I know, they don't explicitly require insecurity, but neither are they explicitly designed to be provably secure. I think the last time someone tried to design such a thing was back in the 90s, but client-side Java never caught on.

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

Ken Hagan
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"If it's going to be standards compliant as they claim presumably it'll render pages just like Chrome and Firefox"

The point is that if you have only one rendering engine in widespread use, the W3C have to make the standard match the engine, rather than the other way around.

If only Opera had released Presto as open source... (It's probably too late now. The world, and HTML5, has moved on.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: IE 4. Oh gods, no...

"... the implementation was terrible. The IE rendering engine was a bit RAM hungry, and was famously buggy ..."

On the other hand, there were bugs in Windows (specifically COM categories) that could officially only be fixed by installing Active Desktop (because it brought a load of replacement DLLs with it). It was a required feature of our product (which had no internet- or desktop-related features at the time) for several years for this reason.

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Zombie SCO shuffles back into court seeking IBM Linux cash

Ken Hagan
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"Unfortunately it's impossible to kill lawyers this way. There's no heart to drive your stake through."

There's a wallet, isn't there? IBM's legal team presumably reckon it is free money for them. I have to say I don't see the problem in "SCO" volunteering to pay IBM a fresh round of legal costs every year.

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Apple's portable power podule patent promises paroxysms of fanboi joy

Ken Hagan
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Re: Patent madness

In the US, you can patent anything (for a fee) and then someone else has to hire a lawyer (for a fee) before any commonsense examination will take place.

It's almost as though the system was invented by lawyers.

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Microsoft open sources MSBuild, aims for cross-platform dev tools

Ken Hagan
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Now might a good moment to point out that parser generators have been available for longer than I have, so there's really no excuse for using XML for anything intended to be written or maintained by a human being.

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Windows 10 build 10041: 99 bugs on the wall, fix a bug, add a feature, 114 bugs on the wall

Ken Hagan
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Re: Desktops????

NT has had multiple desktops since the early 90s. SysInternals did a tool to let you use them. For whatever reason, Explorer (and Program Manager before it) never made use of them. For what it's worth (which is 1 vote in a survey that no-one is conducting) it is the feature that I turn off first when I install a Linux system. I have windows and I know how to minimise them, so I don't need another kind of virtual screen space.

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Honey, I shrunk the Windows footprint

Ken Hagan
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Re: Old update files

Worth compressing? Probably not.

On DOS and Win16, when you loaded a program, the executables were opened, read, unpacked, patched, yawn, have I forgotten anything, and then used. It was likely that most of the file was read and so compression reduced the amount of raw file I/O.

On Win32 and pretty much any OS from the last quarter century, the executables would simply be memory mapped and paged in as necessary, so if you only refer to a handful of functions in a large DLL, most of the file is never touched. If you compress your program files, however, the whole file needs to be read and decompressed before the handful of pages you were interested in can actually be used.

Given Windows' propensity for having (unused) references to DLLs that in turn have unused references to other DLLs, compression is probably a substantial net loss.

But I haven't made any measurements, so I'm talking out of my behind.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Apple Internet Recovery

Quaint, but probably cheaper for the vendor than shipping the same data on a USB stick or SD card.

But I don't much care and I don't suppose the OP does either. The point is that storing it on the platter is a daft idea unless you are into "fate sharing". (Whether that fate involves a virus attack or a disc head crash is neither here nor there.)

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

Ken Hagan
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Re: Does nobody use Engish anymore

At the risk of making an equally sweeping statement: No-one on the Eastern side of the pond uses the word "physician", at all, for anything. It's not a word.

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Angry Austrian could turn Europe against the US - thanks to data

Ken Hagan
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"He says the infringement came about thanks to Facebook transferring its users' data to the US National Security Agency (NSA)."

Presumably Facebook will argue that the data was entered onto a US server by the user. Therefore, the transfer from the EU to the US was performed by the data owner, not them, and any subsequent transfer from Facebook to the NSA comes purely under US law.

It's a little different from (say) European airlines transferring customer data to the US. In that situation, the initial transfer was from a European resident to a European company.

Certainly if I went onto a North Korean web-site and entered a load of stuff I wouldn't expect that data to enjoy the protection of EU law. Whenever you have transactions between two entities in different legal jurisdictions there is bound to be some dispute over whose legal system takes precedence.

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Microsoft hints at faster release cadence for Windows 10 previews

Ken Hagan
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Re: Better ??

"all the signs are the features are mostly set in stone"

That would be nice. For about two decades I've been wanting Microsoft to actually fix the bugs in the feature set they've got before they start re-imagineering the universe. If Win10 really is an attempt to get everyone from Win7 onwards onto a level playing field then it will have some value even if isn't the playing field I'd have chosen.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Ken Hagan
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Re: Hmmm

"I avoid minerals extraction duty by not being a oil company."

And by not farting, I presume.

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Linux kernel devs adopt Bill and Ted's excellent code of conduct

Ken Hagan
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Coat

"This development process has been proven to create the most robust operating system kernel ever"

Which OS is that, then?

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

Ken Hagan
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Re: Smart? Smarter than those designing them, anyway!

"the ability to turn off our supply during periods of energy shortage"

The last time a government tried that, the public turned round and switched off the government's oxygen (vote) supply. With our increased reliance (and addiction) to electrically powered toys, I'd be amazed if any government could introduce rolling blackouts and win the following election.

If these blackouts are expected to start before 2020, perhaps no-one actually *wants* to win this year's election.

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Quantum computers have failed. So now for the science

Ken Hagan
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Those Bell inequalities...

Implied by, but not explicitly stated in, the article is the caveat that Bell's theorem actually assumes the usual rules of special relativity, so only local actions are allowed. I'm therefore not at all surprised to hear the claim that you can reproduce quantum wierdness if you allow non-local interactions.

The curious thing, for the social scientists to look at perhaps, is that when physicists are presented with the experimental facts, they are more willing to accept the fundamental unknowableness of mainstream QM rather than the idea that action might happen at a distance. They are happier to postulate a universe that has no underlying reality rather than one that is merely spooky.

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

Ken Hagan
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"The UK's HMRC also wants access to the NHS database to check that individuals are not avoiding tax."

I'm curious to know how that works. If HMRC are so bereft of information that they don't even know who is alive, then giving them the NHS database probably isn't the simplest solution to the problem. Beyond that (ie, existence), I can't see that medical records and tax liability are sufficiently closely correlated to make the exercise worthwhile.

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Google creeps up on another sector: Adds car insurance to Compare

Ken Hagan
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Re: What about a Comparethecomparisonsite.com?

Appears to have been taken last year.

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Ken Hagan
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That sub-heading...

Is it some kind of record to invoke Godwin's law before the first word of the actual article?

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Boffins say Mars had ocean covering 20 per cent of planet

Ken Hagan
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Re: Where did it go?

"...building a humoungous superconducting coil around the equator..."

You should go and find some particle physicists and get them interested. As an added bonus, if they accidentally create a strangelet, it would only be Mars that gets trashed.

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Ken Hagan
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Re: Sudden Capitalisation

You're thinking of Yoda. Germans prefer to put the verb second, if I remember correctly. (Apologies to Mr Buxton if I haven't.)

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Ken Hagan
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Re: NASA

It's not beyond any realms, but it looks like we are several orders of magnitude down on what you'd need for an HD camera, even with compression.

e.g.: http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-mars-communication3.htm

There's a table at the end of that article suggesting that we currently manage 5.7KB/s at a cost of 15W in power, but if you had 100W to play with then you might manage 4.8MB/s, which would support a video signal.

Bear in mind also that (as noted at the start of that article) Mars is sometimes quite a long way away and when it is you are also trying to transmit the signal past a nearby Sun.

On the other hand, for the inner solar system it might be practical to build some relays. Each relay's reception dish would have to be a similar diameter to the dishes used on Earth because the inverse square law doesn't grant exceptions to spacecraft, but (freed from gravitational constraints) that would not require as much metalwork as an Earth-based dish. Power would be another issue but again not insurmountable because we have solar power in the inner solar system and a relay could actually be quite close to the Sun and still be usefully half-way between (say) Earth and Mars in the worst-case scenario.

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