* Posts by Credas

841 posts • joined 23 Jan 2013

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Apple's Breaxit scandal: Frenchman smashes up €50,000 of iThings with his big metal balls

Credas
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To be fair, they clearly weren't doing anything that would have actually impeded his breathing. It certainly didn't seem to affect his ability to struggle, or to run off when given half a chance. I thought the security guard was very restrained in the circumstances.

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Credas
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Re: Dijon

I'm not surprised - a nutter clutching a solid steel pétanque ball, and clearly happy to use it, is not someone your average shop assistant can safely "have a go" against.

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Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

Credas
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Sense of proportion required

This is all very nice, and thank you the Zuckerbergs, but the lofty ambition of ridding the world of disease is hardly likely to be achieved by splashing $3bn around three US universities, in fields cherry-picked by a privacy-loathing social media geek who seems to think that biology is just a messy form of software that needs debugging.

By comparison the Wellcome Foundation alone has an endowment of over $23bn, and its funding priorities are decided by real medical scientists.

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Great British Great Bake Off gets new judge

Credas
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Re: The BBC is skint?

Given how much the IOC demand for the TV rights, £28m to actually screen them would be a drop in the ocean.

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Credas
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Re: The BBC is skint?

All flights first class? Really? Any source for that that's not the Daily Fail?

Personally I'm delighted that it's one of the few major sporting events that's still available FTA in this country, rather than being sucked into the paywalled extortion machine that's Sky Sports like all the rest.

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Google GPS grab felt like a feature, was actually a bug

Credas
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I'm slightly puzzled why Apple haven't bought TomTom. Apple's own mapping is slightly rubbish,

Probably wouldn't do much good, since TomTom provide the basic mapping data for Apple devices already. Apple sprinkle over their magic fairy dust combine this with data from other sources, to make their maps richer, and therein lies the problem.

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End all the 'up to' broadband speed bull. Release proper data – LGA

Credas
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As has been mentioned previously, the BT Openreach estimator that's available to wholesale suppliers is pretty accurate. Mysteriously that isn't exposed to the poor bloody consumer, who instead is fed the simplified away-with-the-fairies "up to" numbers. I wonder why?

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Printers now the least-secure things on the internet

Credas
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Re: If he had a clue about the situation...

The point isn't that the printer itself could burn the house down, it's that if it's readily compromised then it can be used as a point of access to all the other devices on the network, including those IoT things that potentially could be used to cause harm.

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Tim Cook: EU lied about Apple taxes. Watch out Ireland, this is a coup!

Credas
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Re: Well, bears in the woods etc.

Unfortunately for your argument, the basis for funnelling profits made outside the US through Ireland, and it's extremely generous tax treatment, is the notion that the Irish companies own the ex-US IP rights. The result is that Ireland makes a small but (for them) decent amount of tax, at the expense of every other country where those products were actually sold, and Apple pays stuff all by comparison with "normal" companies. Nice deal if you can get it.

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Got to dash out for some rubber johnnies? Amazon has a button for that

Credas
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Re: If this is the culmination of the knowledge of the human race

I'd be OK with this as long as every button also triggered a request to the Soylent Green Feedstuff Collection Service. Or possibly just self-detonated.

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Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

Credas
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Re: I bet it floats better than 120 London buses....

The shipbuilding parts were actually inherited from GEC when it "merged" with BAe to form BAE Systems. They were originally Yarrow Shipbuilders, Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering, and Kværner Govan - nothing to do with the aircraft parts that came from BAe.

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Reports: Autopilot will go on strike if you're not paying attention

Credas
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Re: Plane vs Cars

You think the experience of very experienced engineers who've found out the hard way how difficult it is for highly trained humans to effectively monitor and supervise automatic systems is irrelevant to anyone trying to do something similar in a far more time-critical environment using minimally-trained individuals, because "road" not "air"? God help us.

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Credas
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Re: eh?

I'm also undecided on whether dumbing-down an interesting technology to suit the lowest level of driver stupidity is a laudable goal.

It's not a simple case of driver stupidity, it's human nature - humans make lousy monitors of automated systems. Also the public roads are not the place to run uncontrolled experiments with "interesting" technologies, thank you very much.

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Credas
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Re: Welcome to Britain. Home of the shittest customer service, anywhere in the world.

Welcome to Britain. Home of the shittest customer service, anywhere in the world.

You clearly don't get out (abroad) much. Bad as British customer service can be, there is much, much worse out there!

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Tesla touts battery that turns a Model S into 'third fastest ever' car

Credas
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Damn

Musk also noted that although tweaks and improvements in battery technology had enabled the latest super-powerful battery, "we are quite close to theoretical limit."

That's unfortunate. The thing we really, really need to make electric cars attractive to the mainstream isn't face-ripping acceleration (which is a given with the torque characteristics of electric motors) but battery capacity and charge time. Where's the advance in battery technology going to come from?

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Former RN flagship HMS Illustrious to be sold for scrap – report

Credas
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Re: I would actually argue..

and Bristol Buccaneers

Blackburn Buccaneers, surely?

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Five-storey Blue Screen Of Death spotted in Thailand

Credas
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Re: It sucks when it's your bank's ATM...

I later found out (to my horror) that damn-near EVERY financial institution's ATM's run either Windows XP... or in some cases... Windows 95 Embedded.

Not saying they're using them, but of course there are versions of XP Embedded that are still in extended support.

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IOActive turns up the most SOHOpeless router so far

Credas
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Re: Tell us more

The blog post linked to in the article does tell you more. However for the left-click challenged, the JavaScript file is loaded from a remote host; at the moment it's "just" a block of ads for other BHU products, but obviously that could change to be anything they wanted to make it.

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Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

Credas
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Re: Conspiracy theory

I don't believe in conspiracy theories but [...conspiracy theory...]

I really hope that you're wrong and that you are paranoid, because otherwise the diagnosis will likely be something much more serious.

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Credas
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Re: FB Useful

Using a common Facebook login for website comment sections and forums is possibly one of the most privacy-intrusive ways of using Facebook. Rather than just trivia about what your cats are doing today, they can reveal your thoughts and opinions across a wide range of interests.

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Virgin signs up record ultrafast broadband subs

Credas
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Re: Meh

Eh? Haven't you heard about Project Lightning?

Yes - infilling in areas where they already have cable, but haven't previously bothered connecting up particular streets, or even premises. Worth doing, but very much plucking low hanging fruit - it's not cabling up new areas to compete with BT Openreach.

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Credas
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Meh

But we think the pace of that migration will need to quickly pick up if Virgin Media's triple play services are to prove decisive in the ongoing fight for market share with BT

Nothing they do will be decisive in a battle for market share with BT, unless they do something about their roughly 50% population coverage. And since that would require significant investment, rather than just milking the assets buried long ago by defunct cable companies, there seems to be stuff all chance of that happening.

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Mastercard armours its contactless cards against relay attacks

Credas
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Still a very difficult attack in practice

- as the blog linked to in the article acknowledges. Not that that's prevented me from buying a wallet with RF screening, just in case - keeps the convenience of contactless payments, but with significantly lower risk.

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Loss-making data-viz biz to investors: You know what our problem is? We did too well

Credas
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Re: Am I being thick?

Sounds like they've been booking large multi-year enterprise deals, and paying commission on booking rather than when the revenue comes in. Add in the costs of starting up that kind of complex account and the overall costs of the business are horribly front-loaded, with profits coming in later years.

Of course that same explanation can also be used in a self-serving way to disguise declining margins, so you end up having to make a judgement on the integrity of any company that deploys it.

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Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Credas
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It's this kind of intrusive bullshit that turned me from a fairly happy majority Windows 7/occasional Linux user to the reverse of that, to the point where Windows 10 is kept on hand for emergency use only. What on Earth are they thinking of???

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Not enough competition in payment processing tech, thunders regulator

Credas
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Could someone explain to me how near complete ownership of a monopoly payment processor (VocaLink) by a member (MasterCard) of the payment card provider duopoly is any way be better or more competitive than ownership distributed widely amongst the users of that infrastructure?

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Here WeGo! Google Maps rival drops Maps branding

Credas
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There's a reason they're focusing on navigation

It's what they're really good at - their app is great for driving, displaying all the information you need very clearly, including the current speed limit. It's why they've been bought to put their navigation software in all the major German car manufacturers' vehicles. If one of the things the Strategy Boutique said, before suggesting a stupid name, was "stick to your knitting" then they got that right, at least.

OTOH their suggestions for local points of interest are pretty hit and miss, at least in my neck of the woods - presumably because they lack the depth of local knowledge that Google acquires through its search business - so maybe that's why they've given up pushing that aspect of it. Being directed to a "nearest" petrol station 10 miles away, and subsequently finding there were several others just around the corner, does not endear you to the app!

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By 2040, computers will need more electricity than the world can generate

Credas
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Dubious extrapolation

Whenever I see projections of exponential growth continuing for decades ahead (which is what that energy consumption chart, noticeably devoid of any actual data points, indicates) my bullshit detector goes off the scale.

I'd also suggest that the 2015 energy consumption figure of 10^14 J/year does not justify the assertion that "the world's computing infrastructure already uses a significant slice of the world's power", when energy production is shown as well over 10^20 J/year!

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Apple, Facebook and Coinbase coughed data to finger alleged pirate king

Credas
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Appalling OpSec

Not much more to say, really. If you're doing something that's going to attract the attention of the Feds, even if it is just Homeland Security, you really shouldn't be reusing email addresses, trusting companies like Apple to keep your information confidential, or using IP addresses that can be connected to you or your other activities. Amongst other things.

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Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

Credas
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Re: In this case though, I don't think it's really the cost that's the big deal

Or could maybe set it so once the battery was charged, it uses the panels to run the A/C at a low level - just making it a bit more pleasant whenever you decide to get back in.

Running the AC compressor typically uses something like 3kW. Just running the ventilation fan, as some vehicles already can when the engine's off, uses a couple of hundred ways - both well beyond the capability of a solar panel on the car's roof.

Sustainable energy policy needs a lot more practical engineers and a lot less wishful thinking and "every teensy weensy little bit helps" posturing from evangelists.

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LTE-U vs. WiFi fight gets closer to a settlement

Credas
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Trying to avoid building masts?

The whole point of a cellular system is that it can work with minimal spectrum by reusing frequencies in non-adjacent cells, and you can increase capacity by adding more cells. Acquiring more spectrum by stealing, sorry "borrowing", unlicensed spectrum is just a cheap way (for the telcos) to avoid speeding money on increasing cell site density.

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Dying! Yahoo! writes! off! half! of! the! $1bn! it! paid! for! Tumblr!

Credas
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Any idiot can achieve revenue of $1,300m if they're prepared to lose $400m doing so. It seems perfectly reasonable to sneer at that as an achievement - or a business, for that matter.

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Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

Credas
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Magical "EMP guns", firefighting aircraft equipped with swivel mounts and gunners, ... Someone's spent too long playing Call of Duty.

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Dear Tesla, stop calling it autopilot – and drivers are not your guinea pigs

Credas
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17 seconds? Do they insist on finishing the chapter, or what?

It's the reality that the likes of Tesla are choosing not to acknowledge. A driver who's been lulled into a false sense of security because "the car's driving itself" not only isn't holding the steering wheel, and doesn't have feet anywhere near the brake, but will likely have let their attention drift and have no situational awareness. When the bing-bongs go off first the driver will just be startled, then they'll have to get their hands and feet into the controls, scan their instrument panel to work out what the hell caused that, and then start looking around outside their vehicle to start the process of working out what their vehicle's doing and what's happening around them. Only then can they decide what action to take and effectively take control (assuming they didn't do something daft when first startled). It doesn't at all surprise me that this might take 17 seconds.

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You really do want to use biometrics for payments, beam banks

Credas
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Re: @scott

I can't change the PIN code on my bank or credit card.

Last time I checked, I could change the PIN for any of my (UK) debit and credit cards on the spot at an ATM.

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Google slammed over its 'free' school service

Credas
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Re: And is anyone surprised?

I totally agree that we need transparency over how Google et al use their users' data. But it should equally hardly be a surprise to anyone, and certainly not a school board, that a commercial organisation can't possibly supply its services free of charge without having some otter way of recouping its costs and ultimately profiting.

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Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas

Credas
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Anybody else think that humanity is reduced by this?

We've already done away with the likes of lighthouse keepers, now ships' crews are on their way out, drivers and pilots sure to follow not too long after. I can't help wondering what human beings will be left to do that doesn't amount to sitting behind a desk competing on cost with a server somewhere, or wiping someone's arse - unless you're one of the gods controlling capital.

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Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

Credas
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Who would have guessed ten years ago that in Britain by 2016 a VPN would be an essential tool if you wanted to visit any non-government approved website. I certainly didn't. What a deeply depressing state of affairs...

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Theft of twenty-somethings' IDs surges

Credas
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Re: Are we surprised?

This "sharing" attitude becoming the norm isn't helped by presumably reputable companies routinely asking for waaaaaaay more personal information than they really need. Sign up for a Pets at Home (just a pet supplies retailer for those outside the UK) loyalty card and they not only want your real name (why?), email address and street address (why?), but also your date of birth (why?), gender (why?), landline and mobile phone numbers (why?), pets' names and dates of birth (why?), and a host of questions about things like pet insurance you may have (OK, I can guess why their marketing department wants to know that). I pollute their databases to the best of my ability, but I'd bet that most people just unthinkingly cough up their real details.

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Credas
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Re: For context, how much has the rate increased for those over 30?

You'd be right to be sceptical; data on the CIFAS website (near the bottom of the page) seems to indicate that identity theft is growing more slowly among "millennials" than almost all older age groups.

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Obi Worldphone MV1: It's striking, it's solid. Aaaand... we've run out of nice things to say

Credas
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Re: Unremovable Google Bar?

Similarly for the apps being displayed one line per letter in the app drawer: long tap on the wallpaper, tap the three dots to get to the home screen settings, set drawer layout to paged and sorting mode to title, and you're back to the more familiar Android app listing.

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Drones, weed and prison: Bloke pleads guilty over plan

Credas
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Joke

But if they passed out weed wouldn't you just have folks lining up to get in to prison?

On the plus side, that would make the detection of drug crime much easier for the police, also letting the politicians pretend to have achieved something, and reduce the costs of those expensive trials as well. Unfortunately that last point means that the lawyers wouldn't allow it.

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Sirin Labs' Solarin isn't for pro-privacy bankers. It's for rich execs who want bling

Credas
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"High net worth" individuals

For when "rich" is just too vulgar, darling.

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Ransomware scum build weapon from JavaScript

Credas
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Re: How exactly does this execute?

Nothing to do with a JVM. Windows helpfully comes with Windows Scripting Host, which provides an environment for JavaScript to execute in. Quite handy for creating batch files or other automation tasks, but why this is enabled by default in consumer versions of Windows is beyond me.

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Filet-O-Phish: Insecure NFC tag relics hidden under Maccas tables

Credas
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Re: So you "secure" these tags but.... um....

Quite; this would just be an unremarkable and unnecessarily complicated way of implementing a phishing attack. Could be a NFC tag, but equally could just be a sticker with a QR code, or simply a printed URL with a plausible domain name. This is making a very big deal out of not very much.

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Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest

Credas
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Re: UK Energy Market

Like all EU governments the UK had a massive let-out if it wanted it, though - it wasn't compulsory if it was found not to be cost-effective. Given the eye-watering cost of the UK programme, and the negligible projected benefits, that should have taken about 5 minutes if our government wasn't so obsessed with green vanity projects - as long as someone else is picking up the tab, naturally.

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Voter registration site collapse proves genius of GDS, says minister

Credas
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Confusing waste of money

All this site does is cause confusion. It obfuscates the fact that electoral registration is a local government responsibility by expensively providing a central government shim, which won't help the prospective voter understand how the system works in the future, and it bypasses any front end the local ERO might already have and gives them more work to do. At most all that was needed was a curated set of links to the local ERO sites - hell, throw in a postcode lookup if you really want to look like you're adding value. Completely pointless, and now it's caused chaos with the need for emergency legislation, and possible legal challenge to that. Idiots.

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Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

Credas
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Then there's the bit about "cat café". Is this were cat's eat or are they eaten?

Cat café.

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US military tests massive GPS jamming weapon over California

Credas
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Re: Airborne jammer - GPS/Flight Control wrecker

Airbus' aircraft are no more (or less) dependant on GPS than are Boeing's, say. If you're going to have a pop then at least first make the effort to understand the difference between a navigation and a flight control system.

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That didn't take long: Shareholders sue Oracle in 'fake cloud sales' row

Credas
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Never quite understand these lawsuits

Like the Blackburn case, the Klarfeld complaint would look to collect money from Oracle, in this case to be distributed to shareholders

What's the point of shareholders extracting money from their own company? I could understand it if they were suing Larry et al personally for compensation, but targeting the company only seems to benefit the legal vultures.

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