* Posts by Credas

508 posts • joined 23 Jan 2013

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

Credas
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Re: "Was Baroness McDonagh pushed or did she jump?"

Perhaps if we offered the cushy-jobs-for-life-for-our-mates crowd actual solid gold lifeboats, they could all be persuaded to jump ship. Except then we'd need a highly paid Chair of the Sunken Golden Lifeboat Salvage Delivery Agency, I suppose :(

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

Credas
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Lack of upgrades is a killer for me

I've tried Mint, liked it, but when the next version came out there was no in-place upgrade option. WTF? It's nice to hear that there's a limited ability to upgrade this time, within the 17.x family, but the prospect of being forced to do a fresh install when 18 comes along is enough to make me stick with Ubuntu, for all its many and various faults.

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

Credas
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The RN's inability to operate unsupported wasn't the RAF's fault

This was all the more embarrassing as it was the RAF's fault that the British fleet did not have proper fighter cover - the airmen had successfully managed to ensure that Britain did not replace its big fleet carriers and catapult jets when they were decommissioned in he 1970s, arguing that the RAF could provide air cover to the British fleet wherever it might go to war.

The navy in 1982 was really designed solely to fight Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic. That's why the large "East of Suez" carriers had gone and weren't replaced, why sea-keeping in cold conditions was prioritised so highly at the expense of equipment, and why the RN's ships had what looked like a shocking shortage of air defence capability, particularly when it came to dealing with fast jets. All they expected to encounter were long-range bombers and maritime patrol aircraft. All of the services were similarly manned and equipped for a very narrow range of missions in Europe, and operating out of area in the South Atlantic at no notice was very much a case of make do and mend.

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Credas
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Re: Cockpit

The cockpit was snug because it was never designed to have two seats up there - with a navigator back down behind the cockpit Avro thought that one pilot was perfectly capable of flying the aircraft. However the MoA and RAF insisted that bomber=pilot+copilot, so two ejection seats were shoehorned in there.

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Credas
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Re: A "Pocket" Bomber

I doubt it had the range, altitude or outright speed required to be a successful cold war bomber.

What a "cold war bomber" is meant to be I have no idea. However the purpose of the V-bombers then, as Polaris and Trident later, was to guarantee (as near as you can do that) to destroy Moscow to decapitate Russia, and also to render their Atlantic fleet useless by hitting Murmansk. This they did, until manned bombers became incapable of penetrating the defences around Moscow. They were never intended to roam around the Russian interior destroying ICBM fields and the like, as were the B52s.

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Mobe encryption guru Charles Brookson picks up OBE from the Queen

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Re: Secure from the security services?

That's kind of the point I was trying to make. His algorithm was good, but the implementation in the GSM standard was crippled from Day 1 by deliberately weakened keys. I wasn't dissing him.

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Credas
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Secure from the security services?

Hardly. A5/1 may well have been a good crypto algorithm for its time, but our fine upstanding security services made sure it was weak enough for them to break, by nobbling the keys. A5/1 keys aren't 128 bit as originally proposed, nor 64 bit as later planned, but 64 bit with 10 bits set to zero - i.e. an effective length of just 54 bits.

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Bloke called Rod struck by lightning for second time

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Re: re how many are called Rod

But it makes you wonder what roughly 41'000 Americans were thinking when naming their child.

Probably what a fine name Rodney or Roderick is, much better than those old-fashioned names like Frederick or Franklin, and so well suited to an exciting period of change like the late '50s. Fast forward 60 years and parents want their kids to have fresh and original names like Jackson or Noah. Fashion, huh?

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Layoff-happy Capita charges staff to use cutlery in canteens

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Classy

But then this is the same company that bought the largest and reputedly most litigious private parking outfit in the country, notorious for suing their customers en masse when they don't pay up for disputed "parking charges". Why would you expect them to be all cuddly towards their own call centre staff?

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Cambridge boffins: STOP the rush to 5G. We just don't need it

Credas
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All driven by the manufacturers

Consumers don't need 5G, network operators don't want it, spending vast amounts of money deploying it will preclude regulators forcing operators to improve 3G/4G coverage. In reality this is all driven by the manufacturers, and their need to insert as much of their own IP into any new standard as possible. None of them dares step back, because then they'd have no essential patent war-chest embedded in the next standard. This whole standards churn merry-go-round has become a self-sustaining monster that delivers ever-decreasing real-world benefit.

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Apple wants to patent iBeacon stalking

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Nothing but upside

Not being bought into the Apple ecosystem, I can only see upside to this patent; since Apple don't license their patents I'll never encounter this intrusive stalking crap on any device I own.

If I weren't so happy about that, I might observe that this seems to be another example of a "something that's been done many times before, but on a ..." patent application. I can see that wifi mapping might be novel enough to patent (and doubtless is), but to then patent every GPS-based navigation or tracking application, "but using wifi mapping", really is nonsense.

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Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS

Credas
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Re: This is a good mission for them

This is a good mission for them

No sarcasm intended - I like it.

You are surely joking; "Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more". So anything that helps anyone, anywhere do anything better to any degree, would fit into Microsoft's mission. It's almost meaningless, it's entirely unhelpful in informing their strategy, it's just standard CEO garbage.

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Get your WELLIES to MARS: Red Planet reveals its FROZEN BOTTOM

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Happy

would alien scientists be any more able to detect signs of past life on Earth than we are on Mars?

Of course - there'd be billions of pristine McDonald's burgers sitting lonely in the dust!

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Cupertino GIVES IN to Taylor Swift, will pay Apple Music royalties

Credas
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If I am a butcher and want to give out free samples then that's my business, but I still have to pay my suppliers.

If you're a small butcher then that's exactly right, but if you're a Tesco then you do exactly what Apple tried, and screw your suppliers by getting thern to pay for promotions. Disgusting and unethical bullying behaviour seems to be the norm for dominant businesses in all sectors.

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Buh bye fakers? Amazon tweaks customer product reviews system

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What about fake products?

I'd be more impressed if they showed any signs of being willing to tackle the issue of fake products being peddled on their site. It doesn't seem to make any difference if customer reviews flag the issue up, the junk stays listed. "GENUINE" [insert name of famous OEM here] phone chargers, batteries, memory cards, ... The list is endless.

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At last, switching between rubbish broadband providers now easier

Credas
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Seems to have started already

I started the process of switching away from Sky a couple of weeks ago. Despite Sky telling me I needed to phone them to get a MAC (no simple web or email option, surprise, surprise) it's all gone through quite happily with no MAC.

While this was all very convenient, with no long and expensive conversation with Sky trying to persuade me not to switch, it is curious that the experience of "slamming" by power companies seems to have been ignored. It's not as if Ofcom has shown itself to be the toughest of regulators and could be relied upon to prevent that.

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MILLIONS of broadband punters aren't getting it fast enough – Which?

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Given the market shares of BT, Talktalk and Sky that total of 2,000 will still include several hundred users of each of those providers. That's ample to give a fair impression of whether customers of those providers are falling well short of what they promised.

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British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015

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Re: Your taxes at work

Contrary to what the article would lead you to believe, clauses on privacy were actually the largest single category the kids proposed. The problem is that there was no attempt to rationalise or merge similar proposals, so they ended up with multiple versions of people's main priority in the top ten.

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

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Re: Bounce

The problem with multiple cube-sat type probes is that they wouldn't be able to carry capable scientific instruments. Whilst as lay people we all appreciate the fascinating pictures, the scientific results are after all actually the main purpose of the probe.

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Google – you DO control your search results, thunders Canadian court

Credas
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Google-bashing aside...

What is it that a Canadian court, and El Reg's head honcho, and the rest of us, would agree is a sensible way of dealing with these issues?

The reported comments by the court seem to imply in one place that UK-style geo-blocking is the required solution, but then in another that the search results should be removed globally because, trust us, nobody could possibly disagree with what we decided in this case in Canada. And we wouldn't be nasty in less clear-cut cases, and demand global removal that would affect other peoples' rights. The problem with that, of course, is that if that approach took off then any court in any country could demand global removal - and not every court would be as scrupulous in defending third parties' rights as this particular Canadian judge.

For all its limitations I can only see that geo-blocking is a viable solution, for all it's manifest limitations. The extra-territorial way this court seems to be leaning would be ominous indeed.

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Don't panic. Stupid smart meters are still 50 YEARS away

Credas
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Staggering incompetence

Government's ability to piss away mind-boggling amounts of our money on utterly pointless projects, apparently decided on a whim - and then fuck it up anyway - never ceases to amaze.

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No Silicon Roundabout U-Bend U-Turn: Build that peninsula boys

Credas
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What to call it?

Can't use "roundabout" any more. Silly Con iSore?

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Les unsporting gits! French spies BUGGED Concorde passengers

Credas
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Re: And how is this surprising

I think everybody would expect that the French were spying on the Soviet military. The surprise for many is that they were (and no doubt still are) carrying out commercial espionage against their own allies. I sat "for many" because certainly the UK security services made sure that large companies and those working in sensitive areas were well aware of the threat t posed by our friends across the Channel.

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Chips can kill: Official

Credas
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Re: I believe the bacon...

+1

I have no desire to live a tiresome and insipid life just so I can "live" to be 105 and die dribbling into my cornflakes (unsweetened, with skimmed milk, natch).

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UK.gov to 'overhaul' hated digital services framework

Credas
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Cart-horse?

He said: "We’ve had feedback from suppliers who want to be able to supply teams of people, focussed on addressing specific needs and outcomes, rather than body shopping. As a result, we’re designing the new framework to meet this need."

I'm not necessarily saying that this is a bad aim, but since when did the supplier's wishes determine the customer's requirement?

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Half a billion for BLOODY BIG telescope in Chile

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Re: European Extremely Large Telescope...

Apart from the altitude, dry air, and low light pollution, Chile has two big advantages for astronomy - it's politically stable, and even more importantly it's in the southern hemisphere, unlike all those North American and European observatories, so sees a different region of the sky.

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Credas
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Not the biggest for long

You have to do your willy-waving while you can in this game - the ELT is already under construction and will be a 39.3m monster when it achieves first light in 2024.

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Couple sues estate agent who sold them her mum's snake-infested house

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Re: Inspections dont work in the UK

In the UK people have massively unrealistic expectations about what their survey can uncover. Most surveys of standard construction houses are just external valuations; nothing is removed to see what lies underneath, for example. Even when people claim to have had a structural survey, they rarely mean a proper one, rather a more detailed valuation and report. A full structural survey can be done, but it's very expensive, not only for the surveyor's fee but also for rectifying the damage caused lifting floorboards, making holes in walls, etc. In practice hardly anybody has an in-depth structural survey done, and even then only on the highest risk properties.

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AQL looks for Ofcom approval, maybe more blue hotspots to come?

Credas
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Re: Not sure why the snidey quotation marks, when he does have a PhD in Physical Chemistry.

1. Duh. It's not only medical doctors who are entitled to use the title "Doctor".

2. A science-based PhD is at least as good a qualification as almost anyone else running an IT company holds. Not that it matters much, since his title is "Dr" regardless of the context.

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Credas
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Re: There were going to 'dozens' of the blue boxes...

Not sure why the snidey quotation marks, when he does have a PhD in Physical Chemistry.

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Beware Red Hat interviews: You'll pay for coffee, lunch and fuel

Credas
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Strange rationalisation

When I look back at that meeting now, I realize that Szulik and Cunningham were just being open and treating me like any other person they may have had coffee or lunch with or got gas with.

The normal, open people I have lunch with would make damn sure they had money on them to pay their share of the bill before going out to lunch, and would be embarrassed if they found they couldn't pay. This sounds more like some perverse kind of "amusing" test.

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Microsoft to TAKE OUT THE TRASH in the Windows Store

Credas
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Re: Has El Reg employed F7 as Editor-in-chief?

It's only one little typo. Replace the second "than" with "that".

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Wheely, wheely mad: Petrolheads fume over buggy Formula One app

Credas
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I think the "£26" is a mix-up between the Pound and Euro pricing - essentially they charge £20 or €26. Either way, it's a complete ripoff for a non-functional POS.

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Driverless cars deal DEATH to Detroit, says Barclays

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Hype

We already have autonomous cars that we can hire, often at lower cost than owning and operating our own car - we call them taxis. Replacing a low-paid human with a shedload of computers, sensors and servos doesn't make it a magical new class of shared transport, although recognising that wouldn't make for a breathless headline-grabbing report for an "analyst", would it?

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Airbus warns of software bug in A400M transport planes

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Re: Under "wraps"? Seems odd....

There's nothing "proper" about holding up a flight safety investigation. The only value of the flight recorders, either to the criminal investigation or to the rather more useful manufacturer's one, is the data they contain. There's no point in hanging onto the recorders without having the data downloaded, something the investigating judge certainly can't do anyway without outside help. If the judge wants to use the recorder as an evidential doorstop after the data's been downloaded then fine, but don't prevent the problem with the aircraft being identified and fixed. This may be the way things are done in Spain, but that doesn't mean it's sensible.

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Nissan CEO: Get ready, our auto-wagons will be ready by 2020

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Re: Yes but no, okay maybe...

I don't see the point of anything less than a fully autonomous car (from both technical and legal perspectives). If I've got to be awake, alert and sober to take over at any time, then I might as well drive it myself. In fact if I don't drive it myself then I'd probably be so out of practice when the automatics do go "what the hell is that? I've no idea - over to you!" that I'd stuff it up anyway!

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KA-BOOM! Russian rocket EXPLODES over Siberia minutes after lift-off

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Re: Just a reminder...

Just because someone makes something look easy doesn't mean that it is easy.

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Google fastens buy buttons to paid mobile search results – report

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Apparent-itis

"Apparent"/"apparently" crop up rather a lot in this article, don't they? Doesn't give a lot of confidence that there's much in the way of hard information behind it.

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Starbucks denies mobile app hack, blames careless customers

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Re: It is interesting to see lots of IT people mocking users for ticking the linking boxes etc

You don't need to be some kind of IT expert to work out that effectively handing over your wallet to a retailer just to avoid the inconvenience of fishing a card or cash out of it each time you buy their product, is a bad, bad idea.

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Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

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Re: Reactions

Personally I'd like it to brake as hard as possible, as late as possible. That way drivers won't become inclined to rely on it to maintain a safe distance, because they won't enjoy having their face imprinted with the maker's logo on the steering wheel every few miles. If this is a last-ditch protection, like ESP, then it's a good thing. If it encourages the driver to disengage brain and stop driving the vehicle properly then it's a bad thing. So no adaptive auto braking for me, thanks.

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SAP crypto offers customers choice of remote code execution or denial of service

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Why "Crypto"?

I don't get the reference to crypto in the title. LZH and LZC are (ancient) general purpose compression algorithms, not cryptographic algorithms. They might be used in crypto products, but surely that's kind of incidental to this vulnerability?

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Time to get your babble on: Microsoft opens Skype Translator Preview to all comers

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Not nearly as reduced as their experience will be if they can't understand what you're saying. :)

I wasn't suggesting simplifying meaning, rather simplifying vocabulary and syntax, and avoiding idiomatic speech, which is surely sensible? It's a very well understood approach in technical authoring, where writing to a given comprehension score is a requirement, for example.

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I try to avoid idiomatic language when talking to a non-native English speaker anyway in order to make understanding as easy as possible, so I don't think it's unreasonable or a hardship to do the same when dealing with translation software. More problematic with real-time translation IMO is how it copes with all the umms, ahhs, pauses, repitition, etc that normal speech is littered with.

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What the BLEEP? BitTorrent's secure messaging app arrives

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Re: Works well

If something's "free", and the supplier's not a charity, then it's generally wise to at least be sceptical.

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Door keys are an option. It's just a matter of time

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Industry pushing unwanted tat

the biggest barrier to adoption for smart-tech is easily understandable and industry-wide policies

No, the biggest barrier to adoption is that this flaky, costly, unreliable, privacy-busting tat doesn't solve any problem that most people have.

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Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

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Doesn't make sense

Why would the New Openreach board be less willing to invest in broadband infrastructure than the current BT board is? That only makes sense if the current arrangement enables BT to make profits from being able to "manage" the relationship (and pricing) between its two halves, and those profits would vanish if it had to deal with New Openreach on the same basis as its competitors. Ofcom should regard those comments as good reason to act like a real regulator, get out the anal probe and start exploring.

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Kiwi company posts job ad for Windows support scammers

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This works?

Unless this is well-known long running joke down under, personally I'd assume it was a scam pretending to be from the power company, like the Microsoft prize draw winnings my spam filters are informed of with monotonous regularity.

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Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

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Re: IoT Doorlocks...

+1

The problem they have is that they're trying to flog a solution to a problem that hardly anybody thinks they have. And an expensive solution, at that.

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Accused Aussie game hacker flees to Europe ahead of trial

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Re: Australian Take-away

Jeez - who would have imagined that there was such a thing as a Lynton Crosby fan to downvote you?

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Not pro-Bono: Russian MP wants Apple to face stiff action for cramming 'gay' U2 into iCrevices

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Very telling

This kind of complaint says very little about the object they supposedly find abhorrent, while telling you a great deal about what the complainant is obsessively thinking about...

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