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* Posts by Gray Ham

282 posts • joined 10 Dec 2012

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Oz metadata proposal: no to IP addresses, yes to MAC address logging

Gray Ham
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Unhappy

Call me naive, but ...

Doesn't identifying the destination MAC address imply that at some point you are also recording the requested url and/or IP address?

That's also the only way I can make sense of Irvine's comment about a phone directory ... if a phone directory contained just a list of phone numbers, it would be pretty useless. However, a phone directory that contains a list of names, linked to the relevant phone number ...

It appears that this document is once again simply obfuscation to put people off the scent and disguise the actual intent.

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EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz

Gray Ham
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Pint

"WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog"

What? The weather in Canberra is beautiful ... you're just jealous because it's pissing down in Sydney ...

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Oz metadata retention won't include URLs: report

Gray Ham
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Re: Source vs destination

@Kevin

And you are prepared to accept what Malcolm Turnbull is saying at face value?

For one thing, he is not the one who is driving this legislation - that appears to be coming from the AG. If, as you point out, the information that the government wants and the process for obtaining it is already in place, then is there an urgent need for fresh legislation? and why is there a need for secrecy about the actual proposals?

Given that this government has some spectacular form in trying to keep its proposals and actions hidden from the public, how confident are you that the actual data retained will be no broader than Minister Turnbull is suggesting?

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Gray Ham
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Unhappy

Why the secrecy?

While stating that URLs and “destination IP addresses” are excluded from the data collection, the report in The Australian says providers will be required to collect information sufficient to “trace and identify the source of a communication and the device used".

Trace the source of the communication but not the destination? This just sounds to me like more obfuscation from a government that is desperate to keep its real proposals secret. I wonder if the final legislation will contain some provision that the actual definition of metadata will be by ministerial direction.

Am I overly cynical, or what?

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China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft

Gray Ham
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Joke

New user interface ...

西:>

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NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial

Gray Ham
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Re: Yes.

"Transact demonstrates the fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD factor) being spread by ignorant and greedy people that want the taxpayer to give them everything and won't pay for anything themselves."

Conveniently forgetting here that, while TransACT is now privately owned, its genesis relied heavily on the support of a Territory-owned corporation for its viability. People have such short memories ....

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Your Bitcoins aren't money – but it is barter, so we'll tax it, ta ... says Australia's taxman

Gray Ham
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Re: A fair cop

Even if it was illegal, the ATO would still tax it - just they won't allow any deductions against income from illegal activities. (see here).

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Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

Gray Ham
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Happy

Re: Leads very rapidly to change...

You must work in local government too

Indeed yes, I do. And sometimes, 10 years can be a short timeframe.

But in this case, it isn't ten years - Dieter Reiter was elected mayor of Munich in March 2014.

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Gray Ham
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Re: Lack of integrated email/contacts/calendar?

Possibly the significant comment is the one about it taking several weeks to set up the Mayor's smartphone to receive email.

That sort of embarrassment in front of the big boss tends to lead very rapidly to change, regardless of any other factors.

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NSW to build federated ID management rig for staff, punters

Gray Ham
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Stop

“The solution is designed to extend seamlessly out into the public cloud, allowing businesses and citizens accessing government services to be incorporated into the solution,”

Sounds a lot like some hyperbole written by a marketing executive. It's a big state, with a lot of people and what works in Sydney may not work that well in, say, Bogan Gate.

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Xen to practice art of motor vehicle embedded development

Gray Ham
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Joke

Re: Just wondering ...

And a Windows VM could ... ?

... resurrect the Office Assistant "it looks like you are about to crash. Would you like me to operate the airbags? [OK] [Cancel]"

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This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives

Gray Ham
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A couple of thoughts here ...

This system would rely on pretty much universal adoption in order to work effectively (and somehow would have to be retrofitted to older vehicles), so the cost of this is going to be quite significant. And, if it slows the development and introduction of self-driving technology, the benefits may be questionable - whereas autonomous vehicles with self-driving features could be introduced gradually.

In addition, although multi-vehicle accidents are common, most accidents are either single-vehicle or involve pedestrians/cyclists (Australian Bureau of Stats figures here), in which circumstances the technology would likely not be very effective.

Still, if it works and can be effectively implemented, who am I to criticise?

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

Gray Ham
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Joke

Revealing answer no 1 ...

So, when your office calls and the picture of your boss appears, apparently 1.8 metres in front of you, will you:

a) slam on the brakes; or

b) attempt to run him down.

Answers on a postcard please ...

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Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Gray Ham
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Re: Uber, Lyft, stop being such dumbasses.

Madrid, pfffft!

Try Jakarta. The only city I know where a taxi driver needs to stop 3 times in a 10k trip to ask for directions. Anything harder than "airport to Jl MH Thamrin" is probably going to be a challenge.

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Vulture South party: the winners and grinners from our limerick comp

Gray Ham
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Coat

How about the geographical location of the Government's core principles?

Oh, wait, no we need that ... as you were ...

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Now YOU can build apps for Google's all-seeing gadgets for fat losers

Gray Ham
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Coffee/keyboard

Neil, I'm sure it was a great article, but I'm afraid I couldn't read past the sub-heading.

Oh, and while you're at it ----->

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Spooks, cops, say Oz metadata push is for consistency, not data grab

Gray Ham
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Flame

"Colvin said at least one high-profile case, the murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher, was solved because the perpetrator's carrier is one of a handful that does store metadata."

I'm afraid this comment just makes me angry. It's a blatant and misleading attempt to use the death of an unfortunate young woman to garner public sympathy for his hidden agenda.

The perpetrator was out on parole, after a series of sex offences, and had committed a violent crime while on parole. There was also cctv footage showing him in the area talking to the victim on the night of her disappearance. It was completely standard piece of police work that didn't actually need any metadata to solve. Certainly, retaining it for two years wasn't relevant, because the suspect was picked up inside a few days.

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Help Australia's PM and attorney-general to define metadata

Gray Ham
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@Mark 85

You're welcome.

The worrying thing is, that they are really not idiots ... I believe they do in fact know what they are doing, but know that they couldn't sell their real plans to the electorate.

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Surprise! Government mega-infrastructure project cocked up

Gray Ham
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Pint

"There was no business case or any cost-benefit analysis, or independent studies of the policy undertaken, with no clear operating instructions provided to this completely new government business enterprise, within a legislative and regulatory framework still undefined, and without any consultation with the wider community."

Somewhat like sending 700 drunken convicts and 200 corrupt plods half way round the world to found a colony - no CBA (or even a coherent plan), no consultation with stakeholders, no legislative framework, and no studies that would have revealed the extremely dangerous fauna occupying the proposed site,

Still, it worked out well (in the end) - and better than some expeditions that were properly planned.

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Australia's metadata debate is an utter shambles

Gray Ham
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Joke

it's becoming increasingly clear that our politicians have no idea"

Richard, you could really have stopped writing there ... the rest of the article is somewhat superfluous.

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Australia to retain telecommunications metadata

Gray Ham
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FAIL

Why?

Apart from the expense, inconvenience, security and privacy issues, etc, etc, ... I just wonder what the point of all this is.

I mean, if it's really about stopping terrorism, you'd hope that the security services would be a bit more on the ball than 2 years. Not to mention that any competent terrorists will find alternative means of communication to avoid the whole scheme.

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A modest proposal: Australian ISPs should JUMP at the chance to store metadata

Gray Ham
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Thumb Up

You had me there, Simon

It's 9 am, I haven't had any caffeine, and my brain is still at the ambient Canberra temperature (currently 5 degrees).

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Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata

Gray Ham
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Re: Simon is being prescient, sensible and is an exemplary Australian.

"To round up the two leading parties and herd them into the ocean with horses and bull-whips is geographically impractical, given Canberra's location"

We have a lake, you know.

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Gray Ham
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"Before a single bit of ISP-sourced data about any of us reaches a single magneto-resistant atom we need legislation to determine who gets to see the data, under what circumstances and with what kind of oversight and disclosure."

The problem here is that the legislation won't be static. Once the data is there, agencies that feel the need to access the data will be able to ask for changes that will enable them to access it (no doubt with laudable aims). This kind of expansion is often controlled by a web of different acts and instruments and can often be quite hard to unravel who has access to what information and what real oversight or control exists.

Although I agree with Simon that there is no way ISPs should be picking up the tab for data retention, the proposed scheme is still a bad idea. And no amount of legislation or oversight is going to turn a bad idea into a good idea.

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Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO

Gray Ham
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Unhappy

"Parkes, most famous as “The Dish” that received the first images of NASA's 1969 moon landings"

Note that the first TV pictures came from the NASA tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, near Canberra rather than Parkes. As so often happens, the movie took many liberties with facts ... see here: http://members.pcug.org.au/~mdinn/TheDish/.

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Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

Gray Ham
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Re: Nothing works faster ...

@Big_D

You have my sympathy ... it must be damned hard to live with. ln my case, I am very fortunate that the chronic pain is my knee and ankle rather than my back: I can live with it and manage it with exercise.

Paracetamol, I have found, is completely useless for pain relief (including the special strength marketed for arthritis) - though, I sometimes use ordinary aspirin, which seems to have more effect. Also use a traditional Chinese liniment that seems to help (yes, I'm aware it may be a placebo, but it works for me).

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Gray Ham
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Nothing works faster ...

... so take nothing.

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iiNet says metadata retention means a great big tax on everything

Gray Ham
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Meanwhile, at No. 3 Highview Crescent

Steve Kerrigan: Dad, there's a bloke here selling a data retention scheme ...

Darryl Kerrigan: How much does he want for it?

Steve Kerrigan: $60,000,000

Darryl Kerrigan: Tell him he's dreamin'

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Data retention: ASIO says Web browsing habits would need a warrant

Gray Ham
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Pint

Irvine said a too-broad retention regime would be ruinous: “If ASIO had to pay for mass surveillance, we'd be broke in a week”

Oh, dear .....

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Supposed 'leader' of LulzSec pleads guilty to hacking, hubris

Gray Ham
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Facepalm

Well, that was obviously worth all the police and court resources expended on the case. Now we can all sleep safe in our beds, happy in the knowledge that this threat to our way of life has been removed.

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Elon Musk GIVES UP ON SEX: He'll make do with a 'cheap' Tesla III instead

Gray Ham
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Re: SF (San Jose) to LA (Pasadena) nonstop??

@Jan 0

Doesn't California have laws against that sort of thing (in public at least)? Just asking, no reason ...

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Chinese biz bloke builds his OWN 3,500-mile Tesla charger network

Gray Ham
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Re: So...

You beat me to it, Charles!

But, I think 5,000 km must be the scenic route ... Guangzhou to Beijing is only a bit more than 2,000 km and about 9 hours by train.

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Data retention saves Australia from TERROR says Labor MP

Gray Ham
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It is unfortunate that Byrne is using this one as a stick to beat the government - for one thing, the data retention regime was the one recommendation on which the Committee was (justifiably) ambivalent, even with the proposed safeguards, compensation for costs incurred by industry, and maximum period of 2 years, etc. As well, the concentration on DR is distracting from many of the other, useful, recommendations for modernising legislation.

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Give an exoplanet a new name: Fill in this form and hope these astro-boffins pick your $input

Gray Ham
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"... only non-offensive names will be accepted"

So, no planet Belgium ...

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Facebook Australia's 'small company' status makes it a small target

Gray Ham
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Unhappy

Or maybe ...

Just possibly, this has more to do with avoiding Australian taxes. The privacy thing is just an added bonus.

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NSW government agencies bend over and take it from telcos

Gray Ham
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Two down ... six to go

This sort of mirrors the Victorian Auditor General's report last year. With the two largest states reporting similar findings, any bets it's happening everywhere?

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NBN Co reveals THOUSAND-node FTTN trial built by Telstra

Gray Ham
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Hamilton and Warner (assuming he means Warner's Bay?) as regional NSW ... obviously there is a different perspective from Bondi and NSW (that must stand for Newcastle, Sydney, and Wollongong) stops at the limits of the City Rail network ....

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Rejoice, Australia! SBS trials SOCCER AND SEX on ONE SCREEN tech

Gray Ham
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Call me old-fashioned ...

but, while Mariana Rudan's on, she gets my full attention ... ogling some other woman at the same time is terribly bad form, old chap.

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A future queen, the spy chief behind the Iraq 'dodgy dossier' – and a war base rendezvous

Gray Ham
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Unhappy

. .... ..--..

I feel the sub-heading was sadly lacking in wit ... unless there's a joke in there that this ignorant antipodean colonial didn't understand.

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ALP email SNAFU spaffs campaign plan to world+dog

Gray Ham
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Devil

I can't imagine this slogan getting anywhere ... maybe it's not the real campaign plan, it was just "accidentally" sent to some journalists to put people off the scent.

Or do I just have a nasty, suspicious mind, it coming just after the NSW budget?

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Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Gray Ham
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Happy

Re: Just who is getting that money?

@Jason 7

Ooh ... details please. At that rate, my colleague and I should be getting $150k per month each.

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Unregistered car drivers rejoice! Cops kill buggy auto plate recognition

Gray Ham
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Headmaster

Re: WA behind the eastern states again ?

"Australia, a country of 6 8 quasi countries."

Maybe you forgot the NT, and of course our own brave little socialist enclave, holding out against the reactionary hordes?

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Oz refugee data leak a SNAFU, says KPMG report

Gray Ham
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"Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection needs to tighten up its publishing processes to prevent repeats of a January incident ..."

... and they needed a consultant's report to work that out?

Well, if they need an expensive consultant to advise them on procedures, I'm available!

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So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Gray Ham
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An Australian response

"I would like to offer the Pyke as a unit of boffinry"

I must disagree ... the standard unit of boffinry is obviously the Kruszelnicki.

Quite apart from the Ig Nobel prize and having an asteroid named after him, Dr Karl's line in shirts clearly qualifies him for this honour.

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Urine a goldmine for fuel-cell materials: boffins

Gray Ham
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I hope this means there'll be a market for it. This could provide a handy income stream for my retirement.

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Anti-coal protestors rated top threat to Australian e-voting

Gray Ham
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"Brightwell said iVote should never become the main method of voting in the state because this would increase the chance of detecting online ballot stuffing since scammers would need to pump a huge amount of forged votes to influence elections"

I must be misreading that ... it sounds like he wants the online ballot stuffing to be undetectable. But then again, it is New South Wales ...

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Teen jailed for ARMED ROBBERY says he and pals had been inspired by Grand Theft Auto

Gray Ham
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Re: Odd world.

Back in the good old days this kind of excuse was called "bollocks"

Which neatly paraphrases the judge's remarks in a single word, don't you think?

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Trolls and victims watch Supremes for definition of meaningless patents

Gray Ham
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Re: Dear Reg editors:

What's wrong with SCOTUS? ... well, if I don't have my reading glasses on, I tend to read it as "scrotums" ...

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Selfies are so 2013. Get ready for DRONIES – the next hipster-cam-gasm

Gray Ham
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What do I think of it?

Well, it's not illegal and, like a BMW with personalised numberplates, it enables easy identification and avoidance of a tosser with too much money ...

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Boffins claim machines now beat humans at face-matching

Gray Ham
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Pint

Re: Better than this human, for certain

If there's a version that helps me to remember someone's name, that'd be even more useful

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