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* Posts by M7S

721 posts • joined 4 Jul 2007

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London police chief: City bankers, prepare for a terrorist cyber attack. Again

M7S
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"push back and take action now before it happens"

Is this what Terry Pratchet described in one of the Johnny Maxwell books as "getting your retaliation in first"?

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US Marshals commit DIRTBOX INTRUSION on Americans, says report

M7S
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"What is done on US soil is completely legal"

And if the devices are only switched on once the craft are airborne, then there's no deviation from that statement. I can't see any spokesperson having difficulty keeping a straight face with that one, it might even work in a court of law!

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Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title

M7S
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Getting back to "What books do you think should be on the list"

Anything by David Gemmel*, and some by Terry Pratchet if you're after guidance on how to live. In some cases by laughing at the mistakes of others

*"Do not complain of life's unfairness. It is never fair - at best it is impartial"

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Brussels' transport chief demands a single European sky to end 'air traffic gridlock'

M7S
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Re: "This is not a challenge to European diversity or the sovereignty of any country"

Apologies if I was not clear.

Currently as I understand it, each country controls aircraft in its own airspace. If a plane fails to respond, the military of that country can be called on by the local ATC to investigate as in the article I referenced. They'll know who to contact and how to do so quickly.

If the control is centralised, then unless there is some pan-European air force on call, a controller in whatever node is in charge (lets say for example that a centre in Italy had for some reason got responsibility for Europe for that shift/day/week/whatever, perhaps if the Northern Node is undergoing some technical issue) seeing a problem such as that described in the article has got to work out which nation to contact to scramble their aircraft, and then perhaps (in the case of a large country) which region/airbase/whatever to direct the call to. I am sure they'll have procedures but its all adding time to the response.

A busy controller might go a bit "meh" if dealing with an errant aircraft in some far away place of which they perosnally care little, becoming in effect a call centre. If I may draw an analogy, fine for controlling your AA breakdown response (within reason), not fine for sending you a fire engine when your abode is going all Piper Alpha on you.

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M7S
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Re: "This is not a challenge to European diversity or the sovereignty of any country"

@AC "This only concerns civilian traffic (CAT and GA) under the provisions of the Chicago Convention (1948). State and military aviation is an entirely separate matter."

The trouble is these things can very rapidly become a military matter when (as for example a couple of weeks ago) that large Antonov suddely stops responding to ATC radio. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-29823148 and I'd be wary of beleiving that every node which might at some stage be responsible for our airspace under this plan will know exactly who to callon the hurry-up.

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Israeli ex-spies want to help you defend your CAR from cybercrooks

M7S
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Cue "let them try and hack my Series 3 Landrover" comments

Yes. I have one.

But I also have (and expect in future to have) a modern car.

Maybe we should look at changing manufacturer perceptions regarding security in ALL areas where IT is becoming an issue. TVs, Fridges, electricity meters, home security systems etc etc

Whilst generally legislation applied to tech tends, even if done with the best of intentions, to fail as laws stagnate and tech (usually) doesn't, this might be one area where some broad principles could perhaps be laid down, with manufacturers being subject to penalties if they dont secure things so that joe bloggs buying on the street doesnt have to be an IT expert.

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RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.

M7S
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Joke

Re: The Neanderthal must have been really drunk... - Paedo Alert!!!!

"the Neandertals were attracted to Cro-Magnons/Early Modern Humans because the details of the latter's physiology, such as lack of a heavy brow ridge, made them look like a Neandertal child"

Detectives will be along shortly to seize assorted cave walls for evidence of making indecent psuedo-images of children.

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Apple, GT in SECRET SAPPHIRE peaceable parting PACT

M7S
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If shareholders might never know the true reason....

Investors will usually weigh up risks before purchasing shares in anything. This goes from the large pension funds to the individual buying shares or even putting some money towards a kickstarter project.

If things go wrong, then whilst you might not get your money back (such is the nature of speculation) you should at least be able to find out why and lessons might be learned for next time. There's a lack of transparancy and accountability in this kind of arrangement that will dent the confidence of the market and thus make investment in future projects more difficult for people to obtain. If the law permits this kind of arrangement, then the law needs to be revised.

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SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?

M7S
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Mushroom

SDI - Suddenly I'm reminded of Ronald Reagan

And the various shades of Armgeddon anticipated in the 80's that meant HMG thought it would never have to make good on the state and public sector pension schemes.

Thanks for that. just in time for the weekend.

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Finnish PM: Apple has DESTROYED FINLAND

M7S
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Joke

"The Finnish language is difficult, especially if you are trying to make yourself sound sexy"

Was the sound of fur clad Finnish females trying to attract a mate on a saturday night out the inspiration for Rovio's big hit then?

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€2 BILLION: Steelie Neelie wants US to pay for her Big Data splurge

M7S
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Big Brother

100,000 new data-related jobs

Is that the estimate for all the government staff and commerical contractors acting on their behalf who will be sifting our browsing habits, comms traffic, social media postings etc in order to "protect the public from [latest thing]"?

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

M7S
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Blue LEDs - The real world thanks the boffins.

They're certainly much better at getting people to notice the response vehicles I'm involved with than the old incandescent rotators or gas-discharge strobes, so there's a saving, although in a very different sense than in other comments.

There is some anecdotal evidence that when driving in a severe blizzard, the lack of heat from the lamp means that the lightbar doesn't "self clear", and I'm very much against dazzling other drivers with the high level spots, particularly at night, which could help with this, but overall I'm very pleased as are many of my colleagues.

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Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so

M7S
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Joke

Wrong result

It should have been explained to the claimants that Red Bull does indeed give you wings, invisible ones that pop out should you leap from the top of a canyon with no other means of slowing your descent.

But only in an untraceable email.

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Australia mandates* cloud use by government agencies

M7S
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Its a common UK/Aus cultural link: Kate Bush saw it all coming decades ago

Lines from "Cloudbursting" illustrate both the initial uninformed enthusiasm of cloud evangelists:

"Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.

And I don't know when,

But just saying it could even make it happen"

and the by product for those of us using it in everyday life

"You looked too small

In their big, black car,

To be a threat to the men in power.

<snip>

I can't hide you

From the government."

I realise now they've probably also been listening to "Experiment IV"

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Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'

M7S
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Simple three letter code used to empty ATMs in parts of the UK

JCB

usually also only used at night, but I'm not sure it is restricted to Sunday and Monday.

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Apple's iPhone 6 can REVERSE BALDNESS (and cause it, too)

M7S
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Automatic patent protection mechanism.

It removes an obvious rounded corner.

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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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USS Jimmy Carter

Just sayin'.....

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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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?

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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Coat

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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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?

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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'

M7S
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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

M7S
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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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M7S
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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?

M7S
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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

M7S
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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?

M7S
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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'

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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

M7S
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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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