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* Posts by M7S

704 posts • joined 4 Jul 2007

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'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV

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The '70's called and would like their peril sensitive sunglasses back.

Vogon poetry in motion.

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New UK.gov DATA SLURPING diplomat to push US telcos to share more subscriber info

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Switzerland

I understand that they have some pretty strong and well observed data protection laws there. It would be enlightening to see the effect, if any "diplomacy" has in that jurisdiction.

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'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator

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USS Jimmy Carter

Just sayin'.....

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Hackers-for-hire raided 300 banks, corporates for TWELVE YEARS

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Did they by any chance have red hair?

As I seem to remember this being a feature of House Harkonnen

http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0008386/quotes

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Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom

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Re: Anything goes?

Not every blue light service can afford TETRA/Airwave. The billing system is that they take the heaviest usage on any day of the billing period (usually a month) and then apply that for every day of that month. If you're a small service, or one doing mostly "events" such as St. John, Red Cross or any number of the other voluntary/privates, this is unaffordable, leaving aside the issues such as management of talkgroups, security of the handsets and cost (a typical large football stadium will require over a dozen handsets for first aid teams alone, many come in at over £1,000 each). For operators far away from base stations (lifeboats, mountain rescue, cave rescue etc) its even less of a viable option.

There are also resilience and capacity issues with TETRA, I've been on operations with a major statutory service where it has simply failed for hours at a time in a major metropolis with no "disaster" issues such as enviornment or power issues for events that occur every year.

There is a privacy issue with the use of open VHF, sometimes in the normal course of events patient details have to be transmitted from a control to a vehicle (or similar) and this has always caused some concerns. In the event of a major incident, the press are likely to be swarming around more than normal and it might be nice for a relative not to get their first notification that the nearest and dearest have snuffed it from twitter or being doorstepped by some reporter with a scanner. In such circumstances I would think encryption the lesser of two evils, although I realise that any commonality for inter-operation might then lead to the means to defeat this being publicly available....

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Scottish independence: Will it really TEAR the HEART from IT firms?

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Data Protection

If Scotland votes yes, and doesn't get EU membership straight away, Data Protection would presumably be an issue for a bit. I'm not particularly impressed with safe harbour arrangements already enacted elsewhere... This might rather scupper much of the operational side still being based in Scotland for rUK business.

And then there's the question of "what if they rob all your money" as presumably a new extradition treaty will be needed and if the follow the line of some countries "we'll never extradite our citizens" then all sorts of shenanigans could be perpetrated with impunity

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You are here => Earth is in 'the suburbs' of an IMMENSE HEAVEN

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Really dilute

Does this make Earth/humankind some kind of galactic homeopathy and if so, what are we the treatment for?

Additional musing for Friday: If so, homeopathic practitioners might be the ultimate genocidal warmongers, on the basis that the less of us there are left, the more effective we are.

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US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account

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Re: What's the problem?

Actually, I believe that can be the case particularly in houses of shared/multiple occupancy. I think if (UK) police exercise the powers of search available immediately after arrest they can only go into common occupancy areas or those exclusive to the accused. The bedroom(s) etc belonging to other residents are supposed to be off limits.

I would expect that the same should be the case for any warrant issued for a "raid" but that might rely on the court being told of any such circumstances.

I'd be interested to learn of any misunderstanding of the current law I might have.

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Cave pits, ideal for human bases, FOUND ON MOON

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Mind the Exogorth

It might have other ideas.

(And I'm not that sad, I had to look up the name)

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HP CEO Meg Whitman dons TRIPLE CROWN of POWER

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still, with all that power she'll have a certain amount of....

.....Autonomy

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Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd

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"designed to perform well in /snip/ multi-dimensional environments"

Clearly I'm missing something. Whilst I am sure (and as mentioned in comments above) there are plenty of devices that don't work well in multidimensional environments (as in the four that it is generally accepted we live and work in day to day), has anyone challenged the marketing droids about what this actually means?

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

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We should show Ford the absurdity of its ways on this matter

Perhaps Jaguar, having actually sold the Mk. 2 (amongst others) might be persuaded to sue any American car maker that ever refines a model and tries to retain a normal numbering system.

In fact didn't they use the letter E some decades ago for an iconic car?

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UN to Five Eyes nations: Your mass surveillance is breaking the law

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Re: Dangerous precedent

Here's one: Saddam Hussein terrorised and slaughtered significant elements of his population. I believe he gassed around five thousand Kurds at some time.

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Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee

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Powering thermostats (and other stuff) in Europe

How much of a "have to" is that these have to be either mains or battery powered? Is this something to do with electrical safety standards, building regulations or just the fact that manufacturers don't offer mainstream alternatives?

I ask simply as I'd thought of wiring the house with a secondary 12v dc supply in future to effectively UPS my alarm and a few other things (backup lighting etc) and it would be nice if I could power other bits like home automation from this kind of supply.

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Will GCHQ furtle this El Reg readers' poll? Team Snowden suggests: Yes

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Facepalm

Manipulating online polls.....

And some political parties want us to be able to vote in general elections by SMS.

Of course I'm only concerned that the capability might be found in/escape to the wild sometime and be used by someone nefarious....

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'The writing is TOO SMALL': MPs row over Parliamentary move to Office 365

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Re: Really?

What do you expect? One MP (read: standard user) informing another MP (ditto) about an IT system.

For most of us, whilst it is hardly the way we'd wish IT decisions to be made, it reflects reality in many workplaces. I frequently get "I've read you can get software to do this for free on the internet" either from a user with a new pet idea or as a rebuttal from finance/the MD when I want to do something properly. It's depressing.

It is a shame there wasn't an IT bod there who could have clued them up on the legal and technical aspects around this idea, let alone the security risks of running the government on a system where the data governance is openly overseas. Perhaps they're thinking that as the system will be hacked to death by people (those we pay, or those we share everyting with) with really good skills in that field, what's the point in spending on ineffective security. They might actually have a point......

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UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention

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"This bill will simply replicate what currently exists"

So its a duplication then? If so, why bother?

Mind you, given HMG's drive to cut duplication and superfluous red tape, perhaps we can look foward to the same bill repealing all the preivous mish-mash of regulations, so that everything is nice and clear. Then again....

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Daddy, what will you do in the new security wars?

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In the home arena...

The biggest single improvement would probably be a simple explanation for the non technical user included with every new PC or in the OS setup (and I've never seen this in either, although I don't buy many PCs) explaining the following:

Administrator lever accounts should only be used for setup and software installation.

Have two, a main and a backup just in case you lock one and need to reset the password.

User accounts should be used for everything else; your email, shopping, watching videos and surfing the internet. Have one for each user, so that you can keep your emails and surprise purchases for your loved ones private.

If you run things as an administrator and your kids get on the computer, all the viruses they come across on dodgy websites or are emailed will run as if "authorised by the administrator" and you will have problems, just as if you gave them the pin to your ATM/Debit card.

All accounts should have a password, if only to prevent the kids reading your emails, but it also helps protect against other unwanted problems as well.

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France frostily foists flat fizz fear on ICANN's .wine plans

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Pint

To placate the Frenchies, why not give them tld with English spelling, free

perhaps with an h inserted as the second letter.

Icon, in the spirit of the TV adverts that Rik Mayall did not long ago

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Firefighters deliver trapped student from GIANT GERMAN LADYPARTS

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I see the Germans responded by sending a snatch squad

(sorry)

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Google spaffs $50 MILLION on 'get girls coding' campaign

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Has this campaign released an inspirational video?

like that one the EU did for getting girls into science....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g032MPrSjFA if you'd forgotten

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That's no plane wreck, that's a Google Wi-Fi balloon

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Google Balloon Recovery Officer

An uplifting job?

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LOHAN in FIGHT to DEATH with brace of cantankerous canards

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Re: Phew!

Me too, that or it had been affected by Mal(lard)ware....

OK, Ok, I'm ducking off now. Maybe I'll go and play a game of Qua(c)ke

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Apple files patent for camera lens controlled by 'artificial muscle'

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Mecah

IIRC artificial muscle was used (rather than hydraulics etc) as the motive force for Battlemechs in the books/game of the same name.

Here's hoping it becomes cheaper. Sheds await its availability.....

(but no iRobot, please)

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Today's get-rich-quick scheme: Build your own bank

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Re: Where's the cash again?

I advanced my arguement as the author of the article frequently referred to cash (as in taking people's deposits of wage packets*), defined elsewhere (dictionary.com) in the first place as "money in the form of coins or banknotes, especially that issued by a government" and something I use regularly in local shops, parking meters etc.

If there is no cash in the traditional sense, and all you've got is the "internet banking" part of a relatively normal current account, then I agree my argument falls. In this case the terminology used in the article/proposition needs to be clearer, and somehow I think "place your corresponding bank's accounting entries with us" might make it seem less attractive, even though this is the truth of how much retail banking actually works.

*yes, some people still get these in cash, every week, in a little envelope. Not everyone passes KYC or is credit worthy enough for an account, even the "basic bank account" offered by the main retail banks that is a backstop for those on the breadline.

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Where's the cash again?

If deposits are taken each night to the Bank of England, given a time for the close of business there (5pm?), then allow for the the travelling time of all the security lorries leaving all the branches to get there by then, during rush hour, then you can figure out when the branches will have to close each day. Not exactly going to be handy for small businesses to go there with their end of day takings.

- Do they keep them in the shop overnight and deposit them the next morning or does the bank create some sort of overnight credit account, of the sort they said they wouldnt?

It could also make operating beyond London very challenging.

Those cash lorries gong back and forth every single day aren't going to be cheap either, especialy as every "laaaagg wiv a shoo.er" will know the times and routes within a couple of days and in the event that there is some sort of national fiscal crisis resulting in the BoE deciding it can't release 100% of the cash overnight, or a strike by fuel tanker drivers (think about it) then people might be put out, to put it mildly. Still it would make life easier for HMRC to deduct interest or tax they believe you owe.

And the cash in the ATMs, that will need to belong to the bank, until such time as it is withdrawn (when the bank then reimburses itself from the customers account, presumably placing the account as overdrawn until the cash comes back from the Bank of England the next morning) so that will need to be bank's assets, as of course it cannot borrow from other customers by crediting their account whilst putting the cash into the machine....

Of course you could solve all this by not physically taking the cash to the Bank of England, but then all of a sudden like every other bank, you've got an account with them, involving credit and debit entries. Now what was that thing that made you so different from all the others?.....

And where's the profit in all this for the quick rich scheme?

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

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Does using HMG online services count?

Will any of these (other examples may abound) be counted as external communications as they involve (directly or indirectly) sending our data to servers based overseas?

Paying the congestion charge http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/20/dvla_outsource/

Completing the UK National Census http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/23/lockheed_census_select_committee/

It's just that a cynic might think this sort of thing gave these services carte blanche to be able to access stuff based on a technicality, rather than the spirit of the law. I couldn't possibly comment.

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We'll PROBE Pluto's MOON CRACKS for mystery ocean – NASA

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Surely it's about to hatch?

I, for one, etc

Hoping for a Soup Dragon

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How practical is an electric car in London?

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Re: Dead end.

I have to disagree. I live in a very rural area (see rants ad nauseam in other posts about broadband, public transport etc) and there's no facilities within reach by foot, reasonable bicycle journey etc so I'm pretty wedded to the car/motorcycle on a daily basis.

I like the idea of something like the BMW i3 as a 2nd car (not main car, at least not yet) for the runs of about 6 miles to the shops once or twice a week, the twice daily 20 mile school round trip (no, its not private, council had no places locally) and the odd relatively local night out (maybe 20 miles to the nearest town). Price is a different matter but on the basis that I can plug it in each night, so long as I dont find that the power has been "nicked" as part of some national grid storage/balancing scheme (as proposed in other articles) when I need it, then this should be fine. If I lived in the city (as I have done) the probably even better. Hopefully with the tech improving over time then as my current ICE vehicles reach the ends of their lives I might dispose of all except (probably) the very old Land Rover for use in very very poor weather.

They will still be a place for ICE for many users some time to come, but I'm actively looking at an electric motorcycle for the daily commute (45 road miles each way), only the cost (they are excluded from subsidy, presumably due to prejudice regarding the image of motorcycling, one manufacturer has just pulled out of the UK due to lack of support for the vehicle class from HMG) and lack of a fairing for year round use is putting me off. I've found a couple of suitable models that will cover the round trip on major roads (Brammo and Zero for the curious) and for the final bit into London and the City they are perfect.

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London commuter hell will soon include 'one card to rule them all'

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Mushroom

Perhaps we might borrow a term from the Germans and call it....

...an Ubercard.

That should go down well with the cabbies.

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Car titans WON'T STEAL our tech, says Musk: DAMNIT, I'll GIVE IT to 'em

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How "available" is this information? Is it only to established automakers?

As if not then there could (and hopefully should) be quite a cottage industry forming as we all head to our sheds.

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Apple's Irish tax lair to be probed by European Commission

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It would be interesting to see the effect, should the tax incentives be removed....

....on prices of Apple products, and how they explain any change, accepting that in this instance they have applied the law and it is the various states under investigation for possibly cocking up the rules for parochial reasons.

Would they maintain their profit per unit and see the costs go up (any idea how much more per mac this would be?) or just maintain the current price which is at something of a premium over other systems already, with reduced profits. (Yes, I know, different levels of support, function and all that, but for the normal shopper in the street.....)

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PICS ON GROUND: Cabbies PARALYZE London in Uber rebellion

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Re: Wont be using black cabs again

I'm neutral on the Uber thing at this time and also I'm not excusing in any way the experience you had, but sometimes I am required to return children from an event back home unaccompanied (by prior arrangement). Parents and I have agreed that only a black cab can be used. Whilst not all are angels (as the recent Worboys case proves), the odds of a bad 'un are very low and they know they can all be traced if there is a complaint (and you've bothered to take the licence number) and they've something to lose (the means by which many licensed trades are effectively controlled generally for the benefit of society, something worth noting).

Also the hackney cabs have several public service obligations that the Uber cabs do not.

Their vehicles have to be adapted for the disabled.

In the event of a major incident they can be pressed, en masse, into service for patient transport in order to releive the strain on medical resources. This might seem like a small thing to some but if non-urgent patients can be cleared from a hospital, whilst not clogging up the ambulance service's front line and PTS vehicles, it could literally be life and death for some.

You might want to get a copy of "the absract" from the Public Carriage Office. IIRC it lists all the offences applicable to licensed hackney carriages. Mention of this booklet can often bring to heel anyone not playing nicely or by the rules.

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Egghead dragged over coals for mining Bitcoin on uni supercomputer

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Best operating system for mining Bitcoins

Would that be Linux Mint?

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Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

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"Fooling celebrities" - insufficient data

We need a list, if the rest of them are the sort of people who appear on Big Brother and it was carried by majority vote, then I don't think we need to get too worried for a while yet.

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Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

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My old escort had airbags

Probably as she was Bulgarian

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Poll: Climate change now more divisive than abortion, gun control

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Re: Is Al Gore a "scientist"?

Amongst other things, a computer scientist of some sort. Apparently.

0:50 in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnFJ8cHAlco

Climate scientists may be judged by the company they keep.

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Redmond slow to fix IE 8 zero day, says 'harden up' while U wait

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IE8 is how old?

Oh 5 years.

At least no car company would take this attitude to the operating system of an autonomous vehicle.

Thank goodness for that

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California gives green light to test self-driving cars on public roads

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Re: The logical next step

"A computer does not get tired, distracted or upset"

I beg to differ. Mine is around 2yo. It worked fine when new but now it frequently hangs, especially when browsing, mostly due to the increased froth that websites insist you have (animated adverts etc). The same might appIy here if, for example, new electronic traffic control signals are introduced over time, or perhaps a new car-to-car data protocol. I am sure that there will be all sorts of careful management of these things, but as a general premise, I don't think we should rely on that statement.

My greatest worry is the continuing availability of updates etc.

I live in a part of the country where from time to time a 4x4 is essential.

I have one nearly 40 years old. I accept it's not the most efficient vehicle, but for the few weeks of the year I need something like this, its better than being stranded, and the cost, both to the environment and my wallet of manufacturing a new car is too high.

I can get parts for it and find someone to fit them if required and its gets all its annual tests to ensure it is safe and legal.

On the assumption that autonomous vehicles will not be "disposable" and engineered to last, battery packs aside (if electric), I hope that there is something to ensure that older vehicles are not required to be written off prematurely.

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Scoff ye not: Chap carves crunchy carrot-copter

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When do vegetables finally die....

....and could this be thought of as a new class of cyborg?

(Presumably with "see in the dark" capabilities)

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New South Wales' top cybercrime cop talks to Vulture South

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Nothing?

I thought I'd have generated some kind of response, positive or negative.

Hopefully witty.

Oh dear.

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How will they charge suspected criminals?

Now that van der Graaf is leaving?

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Boffins 3D-print biomimetic shark skin

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From the archives (2009)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8022000/8022077.stm

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UN to debate killer drone ethics

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If they might be considered capable of making decisions, what about self defence?

As if so, situations like this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-27354269 could prove unfortunate, to say the least.

Its unclear where the error lies (apart from probably not with the civilian aircraft), whether it's stupidity or faulty system programming but like a motorcyclist in a road collision, regardless of who's fault it is, the unarmed vehicle is likely to come off worse.

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Spain clamps down on drones

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Off topic but relevant to UK IT

In the second article linked in Dan55's post, the expropriation of roofs is required to "help Spain meet its obligations under the European Union's Digital Agenda for Europe project.

Those obligations include providing everyone with minimum broadband speeds of 30 megabytes per second."

Is this really an EU obligation?

If so why is the UK doing something apparently inferior, certainly out in the sticks but in many towns as well, given that normally we gold plate every EU regulation to the detriment of our nation's interests? Perhaps some technical (rather than financial [/cynicism]) limitation?

I'd be interested to learn if there's anything we can do about this, assuming that all the above is not an oversimplification of the situation.

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Über-secure Blackphone crypto-mobe spills its silicon guts

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Re: If that's not a typo...

Why do you need all the extra processing capability? With all the articles on here about apps leeching data from users concerning their whereabouts, contact lists etc, surely any security aware user will eschew these?

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Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

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Is there a little Sandy Toksvig?

Just to illustrate their export capability

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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

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It's a bit unfair to describe the potential victims as not having sense

This is an IT site and many here are well versed in technology.

If there was similar discussion on, say, a medical site about how to treat a minor ailment using a household item rather than an expensive medicine bought over the counter, do you think you'd like to be thought of by the medics as having no sense?

It's a simple question of knowledge, which is rather different.

Do we start to criticise users for not knowing the difference between POP and IMAP for their emails or not knowing the transport protocols? I'll admit I need to look these up as they're simply not part of my regular remit and I suspect I'm not the only practitioner hereabouts lacking such "basic" knowledge.

Many industries really do stuff that any person could do with the time and knowledge, there's no particular skill. I'm sure I could change the tyres on my rims if necessary. The fact that the world is complex means that there's a demand for other people to perform such services, although one might argue over the relative costs. It doesnt mean we're all suckers.

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Tooled-up Ryobi girl takes nine-inch grinder to Asus beach babe

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Grinder

Isnt that a "men only" app?

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Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog

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Would this work on our ex-XP PCs

now that they've gone EOL?

I'd be interested to try it if it does, and from Apple's perspective it might be a route to attracting new customers.

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