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* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1019 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

Dodgy Geezer
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Another mission failure

Missed the greenhouse, I see.

Better luck next time...

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Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: It's about time

In the UK we have a reasonably good workaround for vehicular speed control. It is against the law but we make sure nobody looks too closely

Nobody looks at all if you're a policemen...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: It's about time

...on the positive side you would be allowed to hunt Jeremy Clarkson with dogs...

I quite like your idea, but possibly not for your reasons.

You see, the system would also allow Jeremy Clarkson to respond to YOU. And, seeing as how he has quite a lot of experience with big man-toys like bulldozers and tanks, and a large army of friends and well-wishers from the southern states of the USA, I wouldn't give much for your chances...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: It's about time

...this won't eliminate all piracy but it will certainly get some scum off the streets....

...where 'scum' are defined as ' those people you have cleared off the streets...'...

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German space centre endures cyber attack

Dodgy Geezer
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How do you think...

...Given the United States’ pre-eminent global position in space exploration, it’s unlikely but not impossible that it would resort to such tactics...

... you STAY pre-eminent..?

(Actually, what's more likely is that NSA is suffering a lot of budget hits internally - the Treasury won't have liked all the problems NSA have been causing. And so NSA has, of its own bat, started a push to help other parts of government who might support it and who might need budget. NASA would be a good example. I can easily imagine a meeting between NASA and NSA chiefs where NSA say: "You know, if you support our bid for another $100bn, we might be able to provide some satellite guidance designs...")

Who am I kidding? What's MUCH more likely is that, having got the satellite guidance designs, NSA go to Treasury and say "You know that request of NASA's for $100bn to develop satellite guidance designs? Well, here is a complete German design. Can we have their $100bn now?"...

Signed,

an ex-government employee...

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FTC gets judicial thumbs-up to SUE firms over data breaches

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: It's a stumper

..Hate the notion of the state extending its power even a shred more. .

I agree. However

the FTC also alleges that Wyndham stored credit card information on its servers in unencrypted plain text...

is a clear PCI-DSS violation. The state should allow people to sue if basic standards are not met...

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Dodgy Geezer
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?

...and in some cases didn't even know where its servers were physically located...

So they used the Cloud. Why is this (on it's own) an issue?

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Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Dodgy Geezer
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And not a mention of...

Linux.

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Internet is a TOOL OF SATAN that destroys belief, study claims

Dodgy Geezer
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Childcatcher

Where have I seen this before...?

..."Although a third unidentified factor could cause both disaffiliation and Internet use, we have controlled for most of the obvious candidates, including income, education, socioeconomic status, and rural/urban environments. Also, in order to explain changes over time, this third factor would have to be new and rising in prevalence, like the Internet, during the 1990s and 2000s. It is hard to imagine what that factor might be."

So the argument is

1 - the cause needs to be fairly new and expanding over the 1990s and 2000s

2 - we can't think of anything that matches apart from the Internet

3 - it must be that, then.

Does this remind you of:

1 - the average Earth temperature rose in the 1980s and 1990s

2 - we find that CO2 concentration was also rising during that period

3 - it must be that, then.

Both of these hypotheses assume that there is one single cause for your phenomenon, and once you have identified a likely candidate there is no point examining the data closely or looking any further...

("Won't someone think of the children!" - because climate change and religion also use exactly that argument as well...)

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Too late, Blighty! Samsung boffins claim breakthrough graphene manufacturing success

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: The Fountains of Paradise.

With the data available, someone should be able to work out whether a rope made of this material would theoretically be able to handle the expected strain for a space elevator application...

Come on, you materials science post-grads...

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Dutch doctors replace woman's skull with 3D-printed plastic copy

Dodgy Geezer
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Of course, for Formula 1...

...it really ought to be made of carbon fibre...

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First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Dodgy Geezer
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Of course...

...if as well as your instrument package you included a rocket, you could have a game of cosmic pinball.

Or, if you were American, you could drop the comet on the next country you wanted to have a war with...

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China's rare earth supply crimp plan ruled to be illegal

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: If the shoe was on the other foot...

...In a statement, the EU claimed the ruling shows that “the sovereign right of a country over its natural resources does not allow it to control international markets or the global distribution of raw materials”....

Indeed.

Ask the Yanks about Helium trading...

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Brit game devs WILL get tax relief for, er, EastEnders Game and Legend of Slough

Dodgy Geezer
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Have you read the rules?

They give points (you need 16 to get the cash) for games sited in Britain OR IN ANY EU COUNTRY.

A game pushing French, German or Belgian 'culture' would qualify...

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Here's more sensible analysis...

In support of the 'fire' hypothesis, it may be of interest to note that the 777 has had a well-publicised cockpit fire on the ground at Cairo.

And if you look through the accident reports, you see at least one more, reported as 'smoke coming through vents' at Heathrow in 2007. But that was actually an electrical fire where the insulation was burning.

There could be a scandal waiting to happen here. Insulation is not meant to burn. And incident reports are not meant to conceal what has happened. I suggest that the 777 needs a good look at its electrics...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: But what motive?

...There seems no rational motive at present. Elaborate pilot suicide is the most rational speculation, but even that exists in somewhat of a vacuum...

How about:

Pilot plans to crash aircraft into Petronas Towers for political reasons

Pilot kills passengers with hypoxia and turns plane round

Pilot bottles out over Malacca Strait, flies to Maldives instead

Pilot lands aircraft in sea close to island where it sinks, and paddles to shore to hide with local tourists

....

I suggest that we drop the current investigation and turn it over to a Hollywood script writer. Preferably one who is an Agatha Christie fan. We probably need Miss Marple AND Hercule Poirot on this one, with Holmes acting as a consultant...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Why could they turn everything off?

..."Another way of asking that is - is there any failure mode of the comms and/or transponder equipment which represents such a hazard to the plane - or to others - that shutdown of all such equipment is justified?"

Yes.

Firstly, some kit sometimes stops working and as we all know the best way to fix it is to turn it off and on again.

Secondly, from what I understand, transponders can sometimes cause interference in cluttered airspace, and pilots are routinely asked to switch them to standby mode.

Thirdly, ANY electrical kit needs a circuit breaker/isolation switch to protect the circuit/enable routine maintenance/cut power in case of short/etc, etc...

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Dodgy Geezer
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...This whole exercise could be a mistake, but once started, everyone involved is just too scared to say that what they are doing is pointless.

1 thumb down

Ahmad Jauhari Yahy? Is that you?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Hijacking foiled scenario?

...A downvote? Guess in 2014 there are still wankers who actually believe 9/11 was a "complete surprise"..

That's nothing. I got downvoted for pointing out that you could disable the oxygen mask deployment from the cockpit....

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Dodgy Geezer
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There is at least one other possibility...

...that there was nothing wrong with the plane at all, it's not lost, it's just touched down at a minor airport in China for technical reasons and the passengers are all in a local hotel waiting for a part to be flown in.

This whole exercise could be a mistake, but once started, everyone involved is just too scared to say that what they are doing is pointless.

Don't underestimate the power of humans to do something wrong, and then dig themselves into much bigger problems simply by telling lies to themselves. I've seen it often on big computer projects - I assume it happens to humans everywhere...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Hijacking foiled scenario?

2. Plane is hijacked by tech savvy terrorist intent on a 9/11 type attack on Beijing.

5. Co-pilot alters course without alerting terrorist.

6. Plane flies out to sea where it can do no more harm.

And tech-savvy terrorist forgets how to read a compass....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Spy satellite?

...I was thinking more of Malasian ATC phoning their opposite numbers in the next airspace over and saying "We just relinquished control of flight XYZ at location+date+time. According to the flight plan they should contact you in X minutes time."

With swift escalation if the flight does not register by whatever means with the next ATC.

As far as I can tell by the reports/comments I have seen so far it just waved goodbye to Malaysian ATC and nobody got at all worked up when it didn't register with another ATC in a few minutes time...

I'm pretty sure that the Vietnamese ATC was well aware that they would be receiving a standard airline flight from Malaysia at that time. It was a scheduled flight and I'm sure the timetable would have been agreed months in advance. They would surely know about all flight plans routed through their airspace.

There are lots of reasons why the Vietnamese would not have immediately escalated a warning. But the most obvious is that they were busy and had no time to go making extra work for themselves...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: There's a lot more that can be said...

...It is possible for the pilots to depressurise the fuselage AND disable the deployment of oxygen masks from the cockpit.

It is?..

Yes. You close the fuselage engine bleed pressure valve, and electrically isolate the mask deployment using the main circuit breaker board.

Next question?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: There's a lot more that can be said...

No one has yet mentioned a US or Chinese mistake with a whacking great experimental anti-aircraft laser.

So I thought I would....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Mass murder and elaborate suicide...

...Cutting off the oxygen supply supposedly needs to be done on the ground outside the aircraft and cannot be performed in the cockpit...

Where did you pick this up? The pilots have a full flight engineer panel, which includes circuit breakers for ALL electrical systems. This includes the oxygen generator and mask deployment.

They have to have this because they are expected to shut off power to any part of the aircraft in case of an electrical fault/fire.

The only items the pilots couldn't control from the flight deck would be the portable masks used by the cabin staff. But if the passenger masks don't deploy and the pressure warning signs are disabled, the cabin crew would not realise they needed to put these on and they would just collapse like the passengers.

Alternatively, a pilot could empty the small oxygen bottles quite rapidly if he could gain access to these at some point earlier in the flight....

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Dodgy Geezer
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There's a lot more that can be said...

1 - It is possible for the pilots to depressurise the fuselage AND disable the deployment of oxygen masks from the cockpit.

2 - Cockpit doors are heavily reinforced nowadays, so the pilots are safe from the passengers.

3 - The aircraft flew particularly high, and then particularly low shortly after contact was lost. This is consistent with an attempt to kill passengers rapidly from hypoxia and then re-pressurise the aircraft.

4 - The aircraft track seems to have altered several times after contact was lost. This is consistent with an attempt to match speed and height with Singapore Airlines flight 68. If flown closely, two aircraft become one radar blip. SA68 was on course across India and the Middle East.

5 - To the south, the Cocos Islands have a suitable airstrip, and only 600 inhabitants. This is sufficiently low for a small group of armed men to take it over.

6 - Though the only fatal accidents this type of aircraft has had to date have been pilot error, it has had one major cockpit fire while on the ground. Such a fire in the air could render the aircraft uncontrollable and cause all communications to be disrupted, but might not cause it to crash immediately.

7 - If you want to hide an airliner effectively there are very few ways:

a) put it in a row of many similar other airliners

b) crash it into dense jungle or deep snow

c) land it carefully on a deep part of the sea so that it does not break up, and let it sink intact.

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Dodgy Geezer
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Nothing here...

...about flying close to the Singapore Airlines plane to hide from radar...

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TEN THINGS Google believes you believe about Glassholes and wishes you didn't

Dodgy Geezer
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Facepalm

Myth #11

...GLASS owners have paid a lot of money for something that is not very useful, and should NEVER be useful in any well-ordered society...

Response: Er...yes...

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Sort of agree

...But given the choice of giving money to Oxfam or Christian Aid, it goes to oxfam every time.

Given the choice of giving money to Oxfam or Christian Aid, it goes in my pocket. I don't like charities run as businesses.

There are very few charities which are not part of the problem rather than part of the solution. One honourable exception is the RNLI.

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Planes fail to find 'credible' candidate for flight MH370 wreckage

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Mobile phones don't have remotely enough range

...Unfortunately the problem probably meant that the communication facilities stopped working as they turned around. So that's why there was no message from the pilots. They couldn't communicate...

They were flying close to the ground as they went over Malaysia - close enough for passengers phones to connect to cells. I wonder why no one phoned down, if the plane's main comms were dead?

I suspect that comms WERE possible from the aircraft, and that the occupants were either dead or unwilling to use them...

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Dodgy Geezer
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Paris Hilton

I foresee a tinsy snaggette....

...The committee recommended that a "robust age verification process should be in place" to prevent kids from easily stumbling across porn images and vids...

Ah! That will mean specifically identifying individuals who ARE watching the grumble flicks. So every porn distributor will end up having a database of their 'clients' real names. Probably together with a list of what they viewed.

CAN YOU IMAGINE the security requirements around such a database, and the threats to it? CAN YOU IMAGINE the lengths to which journalists will go to obtain access to it? CAN YOU IMAGINE the fun politicians (and their detractors) are going to have...?

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China chastises cheeky chirpers with WeChat clampdown

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Fuck mainland China.

...They are not doing anything anything useful, for anybody, anywhere....

On the contrary!

I am sure that our masters are watching their censorship and control actions closely, and are probably sending over teams to study their methods. I'll bet consultants from bodies like the Internet Watch Foundation are working closely with them.

What you see in China is coming to an ISP near you pretty rapidly. Justified by the need to save the children from pedophiles and terrorists....

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Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

Dodgy Geezer
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@M7S

..Probate is NOT required to settle an estate.....

It just depends on how reasonable the other parties are going to be about the will etc....

...and the parties involved (Banks etc) want to be able to avoid liabilities should they release funds etc to the wrong person, understandable from their point of view...

I think you have just reversed your initial statement. Apple are quite within their rights to ask for a grant of probate, and probate is a pretty standard requirement. There's nothing special about it. As has been said elsewhere, it doesn't have to be a full court hearing, a 'probate office' is fine, but it is the formal proof that you are an executor. And necessary except in some special circumstances.

From the UK.Gov advice site - overview of the process:

1 - Check if there’s a will

2 - Apply to get a ‘grant of representation’ - sometimes be known as a ‘grant of probate’, ‘letters of administration’

3 - Pay Inheritance Tax

4 - Collect the assets

5 - Pay any debts

6 - Distribute the estate

You don’t normally need a grant if the estate either:

- passes to the surviving spouse/civil partner because it was held in joint names

- doesn’t include land, property or shares

That seems fairly clear. Unless the wills you executed were simply between spouses, I can't see how you got away without probate if you needed to transfer a house. Perhaps the solicitor arranged it as part of the process? I guess they MUST be talking about probate, because what else could a court order say? Probate legally states that YOU are the executor of THIS will, which is all that is needed - indeed, all the court could say...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: No it still isn't enough

...However, they seem (and I say seem because it is not clear why this is not enough) to want a court order to declare the sons are executors...

I can't see what the fuss is. Getting a court to declare that the sons are the executors is perfectly normal. It's called 'getting probate', and it's what happens with EVERY estate.

If (when!) you die, you leave an estate. If you have left a will, that is a direction as to how your estate is to be disposed. If you have not, the state will dispose of it for you, following standard rules.

If you have named an executor, that is the person who will carry out that admin job. If you have not, the state will do it for you (and, I suspect, though I haven't checked, charge the estate). But the rights of the executor can be challenged, so an executor is not an executor until a specialist court says he is. This process is called 'getting probate', and for most deaths it's a fairly standard (though slow) business.

Directly a death occurs, anyone who thinks he's an executor needs to apply for probate. Once this is granted, the executor can act as the representative of the dead person and distribute the estate. All Apple seem to be doing is waiting for probate to be granted. A bank would do the same.

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Flying fondleslab causes injury after plane hits turbulence

Dodgy Geezer
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Perhaps we need to update this one...

"When Baby's cries got hard to bear,

I popped him in the Frigidare.

I never would have done so, if

I'd known that he'd get frozen stiff.

My wife cried, "Dear, I'm so unhappy,

my darling's now completely frappé..."

Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes - Harry Graham

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Another climate change myth DEBUNKED by proper climate scientists

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Risk

...Sure, there's only a small chance of death, but personally I won't take the risk...

Can I cut off your legs, then? There's a small chance that you'll walk under a bus tomorrow, and I'm sure you wouldn't like to take the risk...

In other news the BBC reported on increased green levies on energy, so they're starting to cut our toes off already...

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Tell us we're all doomed, MPs beg climate scientists

Dodgy Geezer
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...man made global warming's widely predicted effects...

What was widely predicted was drought. That's why we were forced to save water.

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EU warns United States: SHAPE UP on data protection OR ELSE

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Once again, the elephant in the room ..

...So, no matter what the law 'says', it's never clear on what it 'means'. Only a fool would attempt to interpret it as the keywords have dynamic values based on the will of the user. ..

Indeed.

For a textbook example of this in the UK, note how the words "to stop an imminent threat to life" can be construed by a policemen with a firearm...

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Dodgy Geezer
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...So, as an example, if a UK company ships data to the US under safe harbour, the NSA should need approval from the UK courts to collect that data. This should be included in any future safe harbour agreement, or safe harbour should be terminated.

Uhn....ok, fine.

Blanket approval will be sent by return of mail. Also draft of suitable speech for both US and EU Presidents, saying how much they value their relationship, how important proper security is, and how everything will be safe with these brand new checks on the proper operation of the Security Services...

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Cameron: UK public is fine with domestic spying

Dodgy Geezer
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In later news...

Cameron says that the British Public are strongly supporting his proposals for all taxes to be increased 400% and MPs to be given unlimited access to Treasury expense accounts.

He also claims that the man in the street feels that elections are a waste of money, and would be happy with MPs having life-time tenure...

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Japanese quantum boffins 'may have the key to TELEPORTATION'

Dodgy Geezer
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A few minor implications...

Not that I understand anything about the science. But I wonder how much power a personal transportation booth would draw. There'd probably be one sitting in the hall of each house. But I find a lot of my friends insisting that we ought to save energy - and they don't listen to me when I say that there's a lot of energy in the universe. So I made up a little illustrative story:

1900 - typical power to transport a person = 1Hp

1950 - typical power to transport a person = 20Hp

2000 - typical power to transport a person = 100Hp

2050 - typical power to transport a person = ?

If the above trend is followed, it will probably be around 1000Hp, say, 750Kw. Which means that we'll need bigger cables going into each house. I don't anticipate any problems generating the power, but it certainly won't be from windmills...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Sod Teleportation

...and the self drying coat would be good too...

Burtons did a self-drying coat in the 1960s - didn't catch on...

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BBC Trust: 'LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING' to this DMI mega-tech FAIL

Dodgy Geezer
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BBC waste is comparatively minor...

..."Too many staff members' and contractors' jobs depended on DMI continuing, many of them recognised the project had little chance of success however speaking up would impact their careers and livelihood. Many senior figures had reputations invested in DMI."..

I wonder if anyone can think of any other major world programme about which this might be said?

(Hint - it has something to do with the Climate...)

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Quivering, spine-tingling wearable tech: Strap it on and don't look back

Dodgy Geezer
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Reminds me of an earlier craze....

Around 1820.

Google 'Grecian Bend"

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

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Actually old boy,

Treason doth NEVER prosper - what's the reason?

If it doth prosper, none dare call it treason....

Sir John Harrington. 1561-1612

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German frau reports for liver transplant clutching bottle of vodka

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I need new glasses

Well, if they've failed to manage a head transplant, perhaps they could lower their sights and try a whole body transplant...?

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Nearly HALF of South Korea hacked in insider data theft

Dodgy Geezer
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There were 20 million records stolen.

There are 50 million people living there.

I would guess that means that practically each household has at least one hit. I don't know how many kids there are there, but 20 million must be practically ALL economically active adults.

Opportunity there for a tender for complete card replacements for a whole country...

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NSA: It's TRUE, we grab 200 MILLION of your text messages A DAY globally

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Even if it were effective...

..."e.g. 'right to bear arms'"...

I really enjoyed the Jasper Fforde series of 'Nursery Crime Division' police stories.

At one point a politician thinks it's unfair that bears should be hunted without any means to defend themselves, and puts through a 'Right to Arm Bears' act...

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Boffins: Antarctic glacier in irreversible decline, will raise sea levels by 1cm

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Best. Comment. Ever

..The point of scientific method is that is IS by consensus...

Um.. what do you think 'the scientific method' is? It has nothing to do with consensus AT ALL. It is to do with finding things out by experiment. That's all.

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DOOMSDAY still just MINUTES AWAY: As it has been since 1947

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Only 5 minutes before the hour?

...What I don't understand is what has happened since the break up of the USSR to warrant such a change from 1991...

What has happened is that a lot of people who were employed in the 'scare' industries of the world have found themselves out of a job, and are frantically inventing new scares to get back into employment...

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