* Posts by Paul Smith

216 posts • joined 11 Jul 2007

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Deprivation Britain: 1930s all over again? Codswallop!

Paul Smith

When I were a lad...

"3YM: Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to 'ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o'clock at night and lick road clean wit' tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit' bread knife.

4YM: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

1YM: And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you."

(Monty Python, Four Yokshiremen, circa 1974)

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Paul Smith

I Really like it!

Nah, just kidding

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Which country has 2nd largest social welfare system in the world?

Paul Smith

Ah but, who do they spend it on?

"As that chart shows, the net effect of all of this is that the US really does spend more on social welfare than anyone other than France." Correct, but not complete.

I did a report using US Census office figures that showed that while what you say is true, a significant portion of this is given to the already wealthy and rich. How much? Enough that if some of this state support was given to the poorest instead, 9.4% of ALL US householders would be pulled above the poverty line.

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

Paul Smith

"we are currently the only species known to have deciphered its own code"

That is just what the mice want you to think.

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Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

Paul Smith

Nation states?

"Looking at the balance of probabilities, the possibility of Regin being the result of a non-nation-state coder is between slim and none," Thakur said.

Are you seriously trying to tell us that the coders behind the NHS patient records debacle or the MOD procurment process are somehow better then a couple of gifted and motivated amateurs? In fact, can you name a single piece of not-shit software that can be credited to a nation-state? Even BT's fucked up Phorm was written by a private entity.

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GT sapphire glaziers: You signed WHAT deal with Apple?

Paul Smith

Silly little three year old...

So what? That GTAT screwed up their contracts and went bust as a result is not the interesting storey here. Why not use your industry skills to tell what is happening to the businesses that used to buy GTAT machines to make saphire screens? Where will they get their machines now?

Tell us about the businesses who woke up to find their suppliers in direct competition with them, did they survive or go bust? Do they still make saphire screens or have they moved into different markets?

Also, why not tell us who you think Apple (and other) phone makers are going to buy their screens from now? Instead of going from $30 to $10, are they going to go to $60?

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Murder suspect charged after pics of strangle victim posted on 4chan

Paul Smith
IT Angle

Why is this here?

A sick fuck kills a woman, and posts/boasts about it on 4chan.

The same sick fuck announces that he has deliberatly arranged for a child to find his dead mother and that he intends to commit suicide by cop.

What do the sick fucks on 4chan do about it?

What is the IT angle?

Is it a sick fuck usng the internet to boast about his 'acheivements'?

Or is it the sick fucks on 4chan doing nothing to stop a drama from turning into a tragedy?

Does El Reg really believe this sick fuck deserves the 15 minutes of fame you are helping him to get?

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Facebook says vendor secrets forced it to homebrew switches

Paul Smith

Epic

"...Finally, and this is advice of the most sound sort, if it looks like, in spite of all efforts, your kludge will begin to resemble an ordinary computing machine, it is time to put more men on the job...."

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Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit

Paul Smith
Facepalm

Odd reactions

I don't get all the comments about unacceptable behaviour and malicious damage and so on. Why is it that you expect FTDI to play nice with components it can positively identify as fakes? That the end user might not have known it was a fake isn't really relevant as if they were dupped, they can demand recourse from the seller, and if they knowingly bought a cheap knock-off, then they shouldn't be too surprised if it stops working.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like what FTDI did, but I am surprised that no one has done it before.

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Paul Smith

Re: Depends on assumptions

bet you wish you still had the Alpha...

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Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

Paul Smith

Re: You don't need rights when you've money

You have that completly backwards.

1) If you have enough money, you don't need someone else to defend your rights, you can do a damn good job defending them yourself.

2) You are also badly mistaken if you think the Tories care about profit, perhaps you are confusing them with the republicians in the US. The proper name for the tories is the Conservative party. They wish to conserve things just they way they are, so that the tories with the power, keep the power.

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Microsoft vs the long arm of US law: Straight outta Dublin

Paul Smith

Do a little research

This is not about one individual keeping details of their drug deals on a server in Dublin, this is about MS trying to sell Office365 to every company in Europe. It looks like having every European quote, tender, offer, invoice and patent application sitting almost in within its reach has prooved too much temptation for the greed of US lawmakers and corporations.

The States has never had a tradition of respecting anyone or anything else, but when the judges are now saying that international treaties are not worth the paper they are written on, you have to ask cui bono? Who is this benefiting?

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Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

Paul Smith

Not difficult.

Whether or not the feds have access to the data already is irrelevent if they can't use it in court.

The reason that MS needs to win this case is because losing it will cause the collapse of the cloaud market, not just for them, but for Amazon, IBM, Google and everyone else trying to sell online services that involve offsite storage.

Corporate governence demands that the board takes all 'reasonable' measures to keep their data secure. If the feds bang on the door with a warrant or sopena, then they must mount the appropriate legal defence. If MS loses this case, then the feds would be able to issue a warrent or supeona for data from someone who might not defend it as rigourously as the board would, opening the board to the risk of being sued by their own shareholders. The means the board would refuse to use the cloud for corporate data. End of market.

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Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears

Paul Smith

Re: Other options

Cool! Do the Sony players plug into the BOSE docking station I have in my living room? Or the logitech speakers I bring when I go travelling, the are sound like shite but I can run them on a couple of 'AA' batteries if there is no mains available.

How about the docking stations all my friends seem to have? Can I use the Sony players to play my latest music when am visiting them?

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Google on Gmail child abuse trawl: We're NOT looking for other crimes

Paul Smith

re: Lawsiut magnet

Does this mean that I could sue Google for not alerting the police that scumbags were planning to break into my flat? Or for allowing some tosser to park in my parking space? Maybe any lawers here could say if they would be complicit by having the information and not acting on it, or merely accessories after the fact by providing indirect assistence? After all, they have now proved that they are happy to read peoples mail in search of potential crime.

Google might think they were doing the right thing in this case, but I suspect that the harm they have done by proactivly playing at Big Brother will end up causing a lot more damage to society then one sicko ever could. If nothing else, sicko's lawyer can probably get the sicko off scot free by claiming that Google is the actual criminal here by knowingly transporting and delivering contraband material to his equipment without his knowledge or consent.

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Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Paul Smith

Re: And Google's and Apple's

"Why don't the feds simply ask the Irish authorities for their help instead of bludgeoning the US tech industry to smithereens? That would be a lot simpler, quicker and would leave everyone including most users (apart from the individual(s) being investigated) entirely happy that things have been done properly."

Because they would be told to fuck off in no uncertain terms. The "Civilised World (tm)" has a concept you might have heard of known as "presumed innocent until proven guilty", the US has a shortened that to "presumed guilty".

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Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

Paul Smith

Screw vs bolt bs

The way I was taught, the thread has nothing to do bolt verses nut. Something is a bolt if it is fitted by applying torque to the nut and a screw if torque is applied to the head. So the bolt in picture no.2 is a bolt in most applications, but it would be a screw if it was being screwed into a threaded hole.

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Writing about an Australian Snowden would land Vulture South in the clink

Paul Smith
Thumb Up

Very well said

I could not have put it better.

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The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Paul Smith

Re: Chocolate Teapot

Someone clever once said "I don't know what technology the next war will use, but the one after that will be fought with sticks and stones".

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Paul Smith

Re: bummer...

Bullshit! Big or small doesn't matter. They had no disaster recovery plan, so they had no chance of recovering from a diaster.

Remember that the next time you think of trusting someone else with anything you own or are responsible for, if it is important enought to worry about losing, then you must have it is more then one place, and that those places must not be reacheble from each other.

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Asus Z97-A puts Intel's 9 Series chipset through its paces

Paul Smith

UEFI - uck

UEFI makes for pretty bios's but makes dual booting to anything other than Windows a right royal pain, and it seems to be getting harder and harder to disable, or am I just getting paranoid?

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Dogevault praying backups work after confirming attack

Paul Smith

Duh...

So its a hard 'g' as in doggy and not a soft 'g' as in dodgy.

Silly me...

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US judge: Our digital search warrants apply ANYWHERE

Paul Smith

Re: Conflicting Laws

"Can American courts compel a citizen to commit a crime in another country? I can't wait to find out the answer!"

Yes.

American law does not recognise non-american law or juristiction. Their law is written as if it is the only law.

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Whaddaya mean, NO REFUND? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

Paul Smith

Re: Pissed again?

"The speakers answer"? Surely you mean the drunkards recollection of what he thinks someone else might have answered to a witty and clever question which the author cant quite recall in full detail at this time?

Whoosh right back at you.

There is absolutly nothing different about a refund in bitcoins from a refund in Pounds, Euro, Dollars, gold, pork bellies or any other unit of exchange. The one and only thing you can not do with bitcoins, which you can sometimes do with other currencies, is pretend that it never happened.

Buy a gold ring or any other volitile commodity from your local pawn shop tomorrow, and take it back the next day for a 'refund'. Maybe you will get one, and maybe they will offer to but it back from you at its new price.

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Paul Smith

Pissed again?

So you were not only technically, intellectually and sartorially outclassed at this networking event, you got pissed as well. I have to assume that you hadn't sobered up when you wrote this excuse for an article.

Let me try to explain it as I would to a five year old.

The old fashioned pound sterling used to be a pound of sterling but people who were rich enough to own one were too posh to carry them, 'cause they were bloody heavy at almost half a kilo each. After a while, they came up with the idea of a paper version which was simply an IOU to say that you would be given the actual pound if you asked for it, but in the meantime, they would keep it in a safe place for you. It was just as good for paying for things and was easier to carry around so it became popular. Of course there were a few problems when people asked for their actual pound back, but nothing a standing army couldn't handle.

Crypto is just a little word for big mathamatics so a crypto currency is one based on a pound of crypto. Instead of carrying around big computers to do the maths on the spot, you just carry the token that shows you (or someone else) did the math.

Your confusion regarding refunds seems to be, how can I put this politely, fucked up?

If you order a £5 cup of fresh sewage and get raw sewage instead, you ask for a refund and get your £5 back. You don't get exactly the same £5 back, the one your granny wrote 'happy 1st communion' on. You get 'a' £5 note, or perhaps 5 pound coins, or any other combination of monetary tokens that add up to a fiver. What doesn't happen is that people to not pretend the transaction never happend. The transation of them giving you a cup of sewage in return for your fiver was recorded on a journal and written to a ledger and sealed when the cash drawer closed. If another transaction is needed, to cancel the sewage and refund the fiver, it also has to be recorded in the journal and written to the ledger. It doesn't matter if the fiver was a promise for a pound of silver or a token for 600 Flops.

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Spooks vs boffins: MIT bods say they've created PRISM-proof encryption

Paul Smith

@ itzman

"I have been constructing a private 'cloud' to enable a distributed organisation to access sensitive data across the internet: Why?..."

Since some of your fundemental assumptions on security and encryption are wrong, you are probaly not the best qualified person to create such a cloud. I suggest you google Diffie-Hellman key exchange to get some of the basics. Then you can revisit everything you have done so far...

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Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

Paul Smith

The new and improved ?

New and improved drugs? I am not sure if you have been paying attention. When is the last time you heard about a drug company coming up with a cure? They have no interest in cures, and they don't want you to be healthy.

The drug companies operate exactly the same way any other drug dealer does.

They want you to be just healthy enough that you can continue to pay for their drugs, and sick enough that you need to take (and pay for) their drugs every day for the rest of your life!

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Home lab operators: Ditch your servers ... now!

Paul Smith

I don't get laptops

I do not understand why laptops are considered attractive in this context. Yes they are designed for the most power per watt, but, so what, the power bill is simply not the expensive bit of a home VM.

Laptops are designed to be portable, and charge a hefty premium for the privilege. A diy desktop running an oc'ed i7 with 32G ram with space for all the storage you can imagine, will still set you back £500 or less, and that sort of money does not get you much of a laptop.

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

Paul Smith

re: Micky mouse the fifth

I can just imagine you trying to make a cup of tea...

Mickey: "Whats this shiney thing?"

Mickey's Mom: "A kettle, it boils water"

Mickey: "Boil! Thats a pain in the arse. Why isn't it working?"

Mickey's Mom: "You have to put water in it,....

Mickey: " fuck that I'm bored "

Mickey's Mom: " ... plug it in,... "

Mickey: " Boring! "

Mickey's Mom: " ... and turn it on"

Mickey: " I'm always turned on!"

Mickey's Mom: " then wait until it boils"

Mickey: "Fuck that, I wait for nothing! Tea bag, cup, sorted!"

Mickey: "What's this shit! Tastes like piss water. All tea drinkers are puffs!"

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Paul Smith

Well. it's lasted for over ten years now and it's still going,...

So did the TV show "Friends".

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MPAA spots a Google Glass guy in cinema, calls HOMELAND SECURITY

Paul Smith

Re: Going to be a painful future

Their ignorance of geography does not mean the have no right to other opinions, but when ignorance is publicly demonstrated in one area, it can safely be assumed in others, so it shouldn't be a surprise if their opinions are not given the respect they believe they deserve.

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How much should an ethical phone cost? An extra penny? Or $4bn

Paul Smith

Missing the point.

I think too many people have missed the basic point of this article, and the author isn't doing them selves any favours.

The core if the article is not that an extra 1cent, or $32 or whatever the current figure is, will save a life or prevent a rape, it is that the original cost of 1 cent has now grown to $32 and still will NOT save a single life or prevent a single rape.

The people who will benefit from your extra $32 per electronic device are the bureaucrat's who will have a safe job for the rest of their lives followed by a comfortable pension. It makes no difference to the people forced to work in these countries.

And to those of you who cliam that you can not put a cost value on a life but still support this idea, do you not reaslise that what you are saying is that you are prepared to pay $32 so you dont have to feel bad about the rape and murder required to make your phone?

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Two million TERRIBLE PASSWORDS stolen by malware attackers

Paul Smith

password policy

I got so peed off with different sites requireing different policies, that I came up with my own.

I have three passwords, (four if you include the ones I don't bother remembering) that I use for everything.

I have my use everywhere password for low value sites that wont hurt me if they are cracked (such as this one). It looks like Passw0rd (but isn't) giving me 8 character mixed case with digit to satisfy most sites.

I have the passwords that must be changed on a regular basis such as work, it looks like Password1311 (but isn't), the digits are the year and month I last had to change it.

I have a complex non-guessable password for bank accounts etc.

And finally, for infrequently visited sites, I just use the "forgot my password" link and have them send me a new one when I want access.

I am not a fan of keypass or the likes as they are just a single point of failure. If someone hacks my hotmail account, if they take the time, they can find references to some of the other sites I access, and maybe even some of the user ids I use. They can they try to access each one individually to see if I have used the same password. If the break my keypass account, they have full access to every site I have registered with keypass, no need to guess. And that motivates hackers to target keypass.

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I thought I was being DDOSed. Turns out I'm not that important...

Paul Smith

Re: Happens all the time

You mean in addition to GCHQ and the NSA?

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Microsoft, HURTING after NSA backdooring, vows to now harden its pipe

Paul Smith

Who are they voting for?

Has anyone asked who google, microsoft, etc. will be supporting in the next presedential race, and what they will demand in return?

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Thanksgiving ROAST in SPAAACE: Comet ISON faces FIERY SUN DEATH

Paul Smith

Intelligent design at Nasa?

"... it will have started falling towards the Sun more than a million years ago, well before mankind even came down from the trees... "

I think our ancestors left the trees a lot more then one million years ago...

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Dark HEAVY METAL star fires up jets, vomits hot ROCK into space

Paul Smith

Lots of it about

I have always wondered how there got to be so much Iron around if it could only be distributed by Super-novas. Now I kow :)

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PlayStation daddy on new PS4: She's ALL 'PLAY', NO 'Station' this time

Paul Smith

...historical record of plundering AMD's patents constantly,..

As proved in court so many times that AMD makes more money from the fines and penalities imposed on Intel then they do by selling chips. Oh wait, they don't.

"I am an IT technician and engineer by trade", don't feel too bad about it, I used to work in Currys too.

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Want to BUILD YOUR OWN Tardis? First, get a star and set it spinning...

Paul Smith

c as a constant

Relativity is based on c (the speed of light) being constant and does a good job of showing that to be true. However, if that is changed to say "constant at a given moment in time" then most f it still hangs together just fine, but a whole bunch of really difficult problems just go away.

How do we actualy know that the speed of light is the same now as it was when the universe was only a few minutes old?

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Want a support contract for GlassFish 4.0? Tough luck, says Oracle

Paul Smith

The circle turns...

Everybody back on the JBoss bus.

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NSA justifies hacking world's digital communications

Paul Smith

"They are there to enforce justice, not to prevent things before they become crimes."

Either you believe in the concept of "innocent until proven otherwise" or you accept that it is sometimes ok to remove undesirable people from the general population.

One extreme means you might have to put up with weirdos living next door, the other leads to concentration camps. Since plenty of people already think I am a little weird, I know which option I prefer.

There will always be people that abuse the system, that rape, steal or murder. This can and will never be totally elminated, even in a totalitarian society, and yet, if you look around the world, you will see that the more free the society, the lower the levels of abuse.

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Thorium and inefficient solar power? That's good enough for me

Paul Smith

Off topic

Consider a heat recovery ventilation system instead of putting holes in your walls.

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Oracle sued over $33,000 bill for SaaS: STRIPPERS as a SERVICE

Paul Smith

Re: @Grogan: You clearly have no idea how charge cards of any sort work.

And the hotel that no longer accepted AMEX gave a damn because...?

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Ellison ditches own cloud keynote for billionaires' America's Cup boat race

Paul Smith

Re: If I had just paid a bezilllllion dollars....

Why, what happened in Headingly in 1981?

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Ex-CEO Elop's plunder to total $25m in voyage from Nokia to Microsoft

Paul Smith

"front-runner for the chief executive seat"

Shares drop 30% plus under his tenure.

Awesomly distructive internal policies.

Once mighty organisation utterly humbled.

On the other hand, as CEO of Microsoft, he would make Ballamer's run look good...

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Huawei CTO insists: 'We are not a threat to UK and US national security'

Paul Smith

Oh yes they are...

I would say that Huawei were a massive threat to US and UK national security, but not for the obvious reasons. In order to comply with FISC, PRISM and various other quasi-legal programs, Huawei would have to be told what to collect and how, and where to deliver it. Potentially, this information could render the western networks as open to the Chinese as they currently are to the NSA. And since the are not heavily dependent on the US government, they can not be blackmailed into the same degree of secrecy.

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Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Paul Smith

Re: Another "spoilt child stampie footie session"

Would that be the Gordon Ramsay who is a multi-millionaire, whose own resaurants are consistently voted among the ten best in the world, who consistently turns around failing enterprises and makes them critical and commercial successes, and who keeps being awarded Michelin stars that recognise his outstanding skills and talents?

Or were you thinking of some other foul-mouth Gordan Ramsey who should not be used as a role model?

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MIT clears itself of responsibility for Aaron Swartz's prosecution

Paul Smith

Re: Not neutral.

To fix the US judicial system, just replace politicians with professionals. You don't elect judges, juries or defence attorneys, why elect prosecuters?

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Oracle deploys lawyers against Solaris fix-it duo

Paul Smith
Happy

Madness

"Those wom the gods would destroy, they first make mad."

Looks like Larry might have pissed someone off :)

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Admen's suggested tweaks to Do Not Track filed straight into the bin

Paul Smith

Re: DNT will be about as effective as the evil bit

Again with this "Worldwide Government Regulation" crap?

If you want an internet that no one else owns or controls, then you have to put up with other people using it in a way you don't like, including annoying ads, spam, kiddy porn, blasphemy, hate speak and incitement to violence.

If you want an internet that doesn't have things you don't like, then you have to put up with someone else choosing what is allowed and what is not.

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