* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1120 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

Dodgy Geezer
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Nice to see...

...someone talking about a Clarke orbit.

Now tell us whether Skylon could do this even cheaper, and we'll start to see some of the British contributions to space flight...

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Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I would gladly pay the BBC, if they only let me to do so...

...Why does the BBC force me to VPN's and other goofy means to get their content???...

We won't forget 1776 in a hurry...

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Dodgy Geezer
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I don't have a telly..

...Don't pay for the BBC? Then no Doctor Who for you, I'm afraid...

...and I don't watch Dr Who either. But if I wanted to, I'm sure that I could. Without paying anything to the BeeB...

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Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

Dodgy Geezer
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We DO..

...have the first amendment. And all the others. Because we don't have a written constitution, we can change anything we like.

I have nothing but the deepest pity for any country that has a written constitution, and hence has to try to mould 18th century thinking and concerns into 21st century situations. How's that one about the federal government not being able to regulate state commerce working for you? Or the 3rd, 12th or 18th amendments?

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Dodgy Geezer
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A minor alteration...

...much of the ad focused entirely on an actor in her underwear...

"...much of the ad focused entirely on an actress in her underwear..."

There. Fixed that for you. I'm allowed to say that word, because I'm old enough to know better....

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HAWKING ALERT: Leave planet Earth, find a new home. Stupid humans

Dodgy Geezer
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Just a slight change...

..."I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival," said Hawking, ...

"I believe that the medium-term future of the human race must be space..."

There. Fixed that for you...

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Inside GOV.UK: 'CHAOS' and 'NIGHTMARE' as trendy Cabinet Office wrecked govt websites

Dodgy Geezer
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Remember CCTA!

The government HAD a competent internal computer consultancy in the 1980s. CCTA.

This was closed down for political reasons. They were told what would happen as a result. They didn't listen....

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BBC: SOD the scientific consensus! Look OUT! MEGA TSUNAMI is coming

Dodgy Geezer
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I've just watched...

...the Channel 4 docu-drama, showing how, if UKIP were elected, race riots and the collapse of the British economy would follow, with fascist gangs roaming the streets. This was broadcast in the run-up to an election.

But I bet if you complain, their response will be:

- It's only fiction, so it doesn't count as political comment

- the election period actually starts tomorrow

- can't you take a joke?

...and so the slippery slope proceeds...

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German minister photo fingerprint 'theft' seemed far too EASY, wail securobods

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: In a sane world

...In a sane world

...this should be the nail in the coffin of fingerprint authentication, at least of the cheap variety. What is the use if it is tuned to accept anything vaguely resembling the real print?...

A bit of explanation.

1 - Manual fingerprint authentication is done by an expert comparing all aspects of a fingerprint. This is a skilled job which takes a bit of time. Its effectiveness depends on the expert's skill and experience.

Automatic 'biometric' fingerprint recognition is done with a pattern matching algorithm (originally invented in the UK at RSRE for use in radar signal analysis) which identifies a few 'salient' points and matches these. With limited processing power and the need to avoid false negatives these matches may be quite poor and still 'pass'.

2 - There is indeed a question mark hanging over the whole of fingerprint identification. It has simply been asserted to be true that no two fingerprints are the same. But no one knows if this is true, or how good fingerprint experts are at distinguishing similar prints. It is just assumed that they are infallible and fingerprints are all unique, because that supports the justice system...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Agreed

...A fingerprint is a userid not a password....

No. If that were so, why not just type the ID in - it's cheaper and simpler.

The fingerprint is used as both an identification AND an authentication. It's much like a swipe-card pass, which has a name on it, but also gives the bearer the right to enter doors.

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DoJ's extra-territorial data demands: now Ireland is baulking

Dodgy Geezer
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I can pre-empt that advice...

..and now Ireland's minister for European affairs and data protection has asked the European Commission for its advice. ®....

1 - Bend over

2 - Say "Ready".....

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It's not easy being Green. But WHY insist we knit our own ties?

Dodgy Geezer
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Er...NO!

...The concerns about climate change seem entirely rational assuming that it is actually happening. But I really cannot understand what it is that they've all got against markets, the trade in them, that makes that division and specialisation possible and thus enriches us all....

1 - What is currently being done to address Climate Change is entirely irrational, and failing, and, if (anthropic) Climate Change were real, would result in the collapse of society in short order. Luckily, it's just a scam, and so the only problem is that we will lose a lot of money.

2 - The WHOLE raison d'etre of the Green community IS to close down international trade, all technology, and make us all MUCH poorer. That is the actual aim - and it is stated often enough. They want a world with fewer people, living a peasant existence, closer to nature. Think 1450.

Their belief is that we have advanced too far, are putting too much pressure on the world, and must retreat back to a simpler time. THAT'S what they have against markets, factories, communication , all the paraphernalia of a modern existence. I can't see how you can have studied Green documentation without becoming aware of that fact...

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Violin-fiddling boffins learn that 'F-HOLES' are secret to Stradivarius' SUPERIOR sound

Dodgy Geezer
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Learning something new...

...Violins carved from wood are relatively elastic:...

Wow! I didn't know violins were carved from solid. I thought they were assembled from a set of parts - back, front, sides, sound post, etc. I'm impressed at the way violin makers manage to get the wood thickness so even....

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Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS

Dodgy Geezer
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Sounds good...

...Skin colour's irrelevant. Just hire competent folk on their merits, FFS...

It's just that people still don't want to hire people older than 50....

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Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Even a "harmless" site is still a potential attack vector

...they are like democracy (as per Benjamin Franklin quote): they are bad, but we are yet to figure out anything better....

I don't think Franklin ever said anything like that, though the evils of democracy were frequently discussed by his contemporaries. He commented that democracy was like two wolves and a lamb voting on what they should have for lunch.

The quote nearest in meaning to your comment is probably Churchill's "...democ­racy is the worst form of Gov­ern­ment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…" (House of Commons speech, Nov 1947)

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Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Dodgy Geezer
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Given...

...that the scare about CO2 emissions is a scam, and that the new OCO-2 satellite has shown that human emissions are not able to be measured compared to the HUGE output from areas like the South American rain forest - why are we wasting time and money on this?

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Google mouthpieces: 'Right to be Forgotten' should NOT apply on google.com

Dodgy Geezer
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What makes something outdated?

The original complaint, IIRC, was about an old bankruptcy, which was not relevant to current business.

But supposing I'm doing a historical study on 30-year-old bankruptcies?

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Then we're fucked

...Non-renewable energy sources will run out sooner or later

Apart from the fact that things like Thorium won't, have you ever stopped to wonder why people have said what you have just said since the 1600s? And they've ALWAYS been wrong.

The reason, as Julian Simon carefully explained in the 1960s, is that technology does not stand still. People from 1600 worried about wood running out, and they could calculate just when that would happen. By 1850, they said, Britain could not have a Navy, and would probably get invaded. And yet, by 1900, we had the biggest navy in the world. No one in 1600 realised that you could use steel to build boats.

Future generations will use power sources which we know nothing about, because they haven't been invented yet. This development has been the case throughout ALL recorded history. And yet people insist on scaremongering - even after 'Peak Oil' was shown to be a fallacy.

If you still want to argue that we MIGHT need hundreds of billions of tonnes of hydrocarbons in 100 years time, I invite you to look at the surface of Titan....

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Bitter Lake: Know your enemy? Impossible, surely, when you don't know if the enemy exists

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: "a system of rewards that both keeps us passive and happy"

...I've always thought that UK daytime TV was introduced ....to give the unemployed something to do instead of rioting about what was going on....

If that were true, would it have been a bad thing?

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Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Meanwhile the US Politicians

...Perhaps it might be worth sending all those Congress Critters and Senators to places where Climate change is real..

That would be La-La Unicorn land. Where most of the world's politicians (and AC's) are already...

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'It's NOT FAIR!' yell RICH KIDS ... and that's a GOOD THING

Dodgy Geezer
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Have we found Althruism?

... A split that's worse than 70/30 tends to get rejected. People will give up $30 of free money in order to punish someone they believe is treating them unfairly....We've discovered altruism in humans, not economic rationality...

Er, NO!

What you've discovered is a hatred of UNFAIRNESS.

The experiment simply presents an unfair division to a subject, and asks them if they want to accept it. Unsurprisingly, people say no when the advantage to them is small, but can be persuaded if the advantage is high enough.

If, for instance I was offered £1m under similar circumstances, I wouldn't turn it down, even if the offerer was going to get £99m. I would rationalise my unhappiness away.

You see the same sort of thing going on when dictators make people into concentration camp guards and mass murders by threatening them with death if they don't agree. Effectively, they are being offered their life as part of an unfair bargain...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Question:

You are right. As reported, the basis of the experiment is fatally flawed. It is critically important to work with a figure that each person considers to be minor...

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Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Dodgy Geezer
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Old laws?

...Now court documents have emerged showing just how far the Feds are willing to go to decrypt citizens' data. The paperwork has shown two cases where federal prosecutors have cited the All Writs Act – which was enacted in 1789...

That's NOTHING! There was a murder in London several months ago, and the suspect was charged under a law that stretched back further than the 10 Commandments...

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Dodgy Geezer
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It used to be the case...

...that the police would do all the hard work necessary to obtain read solid evidence. And if they didn't have it, they couldn't arrest their suspect.

Now they seem to arrest people and manufacture their case later...

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LIFELESS BEAGLE on MARS: A British TRIUMPH!

Dodgy Geezer
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I wonder...

..."Overall, I would say it has been a great success," the prof opined...

...what he would have said if it had worked...?

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Elon Musk: Wanna see a multimillion-dollar rocket EXPLODE? WATCH THIS

Dodgy Geezer
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Meanwhile...

...Skylon, the all-British revolutionary spaceship that lands on a runway, has no funds and is mired in EU bureaucracy...

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TERROR in SPACE: ISS 'Nauts end panic by switching computer off and on again

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I wonder what it was?

Rare it may be, but there are a lot of high-speed sub-atomic particles zooming around outside the atmosphere. if one of those hits some other atoms where a bit is stored, you might get a change of value...

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Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Dodgy Geezer
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While you're at it...

...It's still possible that Badawi, 30, could be spared the flogging on Friday if international pressure is brought to bear on the government....

... you could try stopping 'dishonoured' daughters being killed, or the usual slaughter of journalists in Pakistan... Good luck with that.

This is not a 'religious issue' in the sense of a doctrinal one. It's a straightforward cultural difference. This is standard practice for the Muslim heartlands - Saudi, Syria, Iran, Pakistan. The two Muslims who attacked Charlie were not behaving in an unusual manner - for Pakistan, where there were 15 such incidents last year alone.

Two cultures with such major differences cannot co-exist peacefully. Unfortunately, 'multiculturism' is a sacred cow of the liberal left, so they find it quite easy to look the other way in places like Rochdale...

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30,000 people buy a box of BOVINE EXCREMENT

Dodgy Geezer
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One of our staff left to join a consultancy...

... I can assure you that gathering a small tin full of bullshit as part of the leaving do festivities was not an easy exercise.

But it was fresh....

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Thin plot, great CGI effects

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: no more Tolkein movies? really?

...That was a pretty shocking omission....

Actually, the battle for the Shire was by far the worst omission. It effectively 'Hollywoodised' and made nonsense of the entire meaning of the LOTR - a fate that Tolkein expected and dreaded.

Tolkein wrote the LOTR as an English myth. It was meant to illustrate fundamental features in the English character - in the same way as Irish or German myth underlies these respective cultures. The English are shown as parochial, stubborn, neither particularly intellectual nor romantic. And yet, when called on in dark times, they are capable of rising to the occasion and saving the world. And when they do, they gain nothing from this, and end up damaging their own land such that it is never the same again.

That's why the Battle of the Shire and the departure of Frodo are key parts of the cycle - missing one of them out shows that the film writers had no idea what the books were about. That, and the continuous refrain of Irish incidental music ...

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The future looks bright: Prepare to be dazzled by HDR telly tech

Dodgy Geezer
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The fundamental problem for Greens...

...“If the EU is going to pursue its energy consumption strategy, I think not. Even 800 Nit is going beyond its limits,” he says candidly....

...is that humanity keeps improving things, and they want to stop this. In every generation these nutters think that we have gone just too far beyond the ideal, and ought to be pulled back a bit to our grandfather's time.

Imagine trying to design cars to a limit of 20 hp (the 1905 Rolls), or aircraft to 110hp (Sopwith Camel). The only reason that they're trying to force down power usage is that windmills can't actually produce very much...

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Dodgy Geezer
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Reasons to visit Titan

...“Titan is a strange place indeed,” says co-author Nathan Bridges, rather understatedly...

One day, Titan will almost certainly become a major tourist/holiday destination. Because it has less gravity than the Moon, combined with an atmosphere about 1.5 times as dense as Earth's. So humans could simply strap wings on and flap their hands to fly....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Irony

...Either they can never economically be reached...

Once, oil under the North Sea could not be economically reached...

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Government locked into £330m Oracle contract until 2016

Dodgy Geezer
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A slight addition.

...the centres could save up to £600m per year...

...where the words 'up to' clearly include the figure '£0'...

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Furious GTA V gamers seek similar ban on violent, misogynistic title: the Holy Bible

Dodgy Geezer
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You can find...

...but it does make the point that you can find violence against women in far too many places if you look for it....

...violence against men in quite a few places as well. And violence against animals, aliens... you name it.

Humans can be violent creatures. But worse, I think, are the people who manufacture fake outrage because they know they won't win an argument, purely in order to suppress any debate and to enforce their will over others...

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Whitehall at war: Govt’s webocrats trash vital digital VAT site

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Sounds to me....

...So I am surprised at the praise for CCTA from Geezer....

The detailed history of CCTA is a little more complex than can be presented in at three-sentence comment. There was opposition to it from a number of sources.

Remember that machine computing was effectively invented by the British Scientific Civil Service - mechanically with Naval gun-laying and electronically with cryptanalysis work. This meant that early computing skills lay with the government organisations which had 'boffins' (using the archaic term!) - typically the military and associated services. Systems developed by these staff were typically one-off specialist installations which could not be replicated, and which cost huge amounts...

CCTA could see the commercial future of computing, the huge expansion it would undergo, and the need for structured organisation, maintainability and de-mystification of this novel skill. That was why it developed structured methods such as SSADM and CRAMM, and why it tried to drive the use of open standards in government, formal computing qualifications and bulk purchasing.

This was opposed, not only by industry, but also by the few pre-existing departments with skilled staff, who saw CCTA standards and methods as threatening their unique position of being able to spend large sums on specialist equipment under their own control without worrying about interoperability or standardisation. Look at the disaster that was the Foreign Office 'FOLIOS' project for an example of how some departments tried to avoid CCTA, and the problems that resulted....

The above is necessarily a simplistic comment, of course, and CCTA did not get everything right all the time. But it could see where computing was going, and tried to put the UK government in the best position to take advantage of it. The tragedy was that this was not understood by its 'customers'...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Sounds to me....

...like Cabinet Office has tried to re-invent the impressive internal government computer consultancy that they once had - the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency.

CCTA was a small division of world-class computer experts retained by HM Treasury and later the CO, to provide support for departments and develop methodologies. They created PRINCE and ITIL, amongst other things. They were also instrumental in the development of BS7799, which became the ISO 27000 series of security standards. In those days government computing worked.

They were closed down as a result of lobbying from outside industry, who wanted to take over government computer service provision, during the Thatcher/Major era. A great loss....

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Euro spacemen clear Ariane 6 for liftoff

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: I see that ...

Score 0 for research.

Skylon timescale is entirely dependent on funding. Reaction Engines have said that if they had full funding, they could deliver a vehicle in 2020. Exactly matching the Ariane. But, of course, they won't be given any, and instead will just be kept 'in long-term plans'. As they have been since the 1980s.

If you don't know how to Google, try these URLs:

http://sen.com/news/skylon

http://spacekate.com/2014/skylon-the-answer-to-uk-space-dreams/

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Dodgy Geezer
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I see that ...

SKYLON is nowhere.

I wondered how ESA would manage to avoid funding an all-British proposal. Just ignoring it seems to be the preferred option...

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Is EU right to expand 'right to be forgotten' to Google.com?

Dodgy Geezer
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None needed...

...I was a paedophile mass murderer but it was only the once...

Really? Me too.....

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By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Been in the museum where they have this object

7 thumbs down?

That touched a nerve! There are a lot of people here who don't understand political theory...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Been in the museum where they have this object

... For the frankly nauseating elogy (sic) of state control, consult Plato....

Er...State Control is a LEFT wing Socialist concept. Far Right Wing attitudes are libertarian, and 'social control rejecting'.

Note that Hitler's party was termed the 'German National Socialist Workers Party'....

Also, a slave's life was not necessarily a poor one. For 'slave', nowadays read 'contractor paid board and expenses only'...

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SUPER-SUEBALL heading IBM's way in Australia

Dodgy Geezer
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No one will remember CCTA...

...the UK Government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency. Though you may remember some of the methodologies that they created, such as PRINCE and ITIL...

It was a centre of expertise for computing projects, set up in the late 1970s, run by civil servants and contracted specialists, which provided expert contract and project support to all Government computer projects. Since the staff there were all very experienced, and were negotiating ALL projects, they had the computer industry well under their thumb, and projects came in to time and budget - in the 1980s and 1990s.

The computer industry always lobbied against them, and finally got CCTA closed down in the late 1990s. Since then, government departments have been at the mercy of the big IT companies, who have been taking them for everything that we, the taxpayer, have.

If the Aussies had a CCTA, the State Government would not have been able to produce a poor specification for their project. They would not have been allowed to add and amend the requirement in an uncontrolled way. And if IBM had performed badly in supporting the project, it would have been pulled by the independent CCTA rather than continued by the embarrassed State Government.

Likewise, if we still had a CCTA, our computing projects would be run a lot better...

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Japan pauses asteroid BOMBING raid – still no word from Bruce Willis?

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: The only reason they've done this is that...

Yes... it's a bit like all food from that part of the world.

You have one, then a few years later you want another...

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Dodgy Geezer
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Re: ?

...So do they shrink or don't they?...

Read what was said!

1 - the waist sizes of the test group shrunk

2 - the amounts that they shrunk was small, and could have been random variation.

So the trial did not produce conclusive results for waist size alteration. Was that difficult?

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Dodgy Geezer
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I...

...Why gov food advice might have been wrong all along...

...have been working on the assumption that government advice of all kinds was wrong for the past 10 years.

In many cases it's just pointless, simplistic and non-applicable. But (and this has been increasingly the case recently) whenever it's advice driven by activists who have hijacked a government department) it's frequently evil....

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Social media data is RIDDLED with human behaviour errors, boffins warn

Dodgy Geezer
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No shit, Sherlock...

...in recent years, there has been an explosion of studies on human behaviour using social media as a barometer for all kinds of predictions about the world we live in now.

"Many of these papers are used to inform and justify decisions and investments among the public and in industry and government,"...

It's not only social media. There has been an explosion in fake science everywhere. It turns out to be easy to feed data from any source into a spreadsheet, and then fiddle with the statistical tools until you get a nice full-colour chart showing you what you want to see.

Activists everywhere are doing this, and then claiming that: "Science says that..." you should do what I say.

If only the educational system had taught people:

1 - to understand maths

2 - to be properly skeptical

But, alas, it's too late now. We have bred a generation of gullible morons and put them in charge of us. Our foreign policy and energy infrastructure are two illustrations of the result. Look for many more appalling similar messes in the future...

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Jacking up firearms fees will cost SMEs £3.5 MILLION. Thanks, Plod

Dodgy Geezer
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Two points...

...A Home Office mouthpiece ignored our questions and instead sent us a press release full of the dodgy stats, along with the statement: “We won't be adding anything further.”...

A question addressed to your friendly local MP should get the HO to disgorge...

...At this point it's important to note that firearm certificate (FAC) and shotgun certificate (SGC) fees do not offer shooters anything other than the ability to purchase a firearm or a shotgun, unlike angling licenses where the fee revenue goes towards maintaining rivers and so on. ...

Tell me about it. I used to fly radio controlled model aircraft back in the days when you needed a license for them. We were told that the cost of the license went to ensure an allocation of radio spectrum so that our aircraft were safe from interference. Then along came Citizens Band, and the government just sat there and did nothing. They kept taking the license money, though...

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Will security concerns scupper your BYOD policy?

Dodgy Geezer
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Why do journalists write about this?

... Workers should be made fully aware of the consequences to their personal data should the company decide to carry out a forensic examination of the device or perform a remote wipe, Honan adds. Guidelines to avoid shoulder surfing and eavesdropping should be handed to employees,...

Er... It's MY device. That MEANS that the company can't fiddle with it or tell me how to use it.

Quite how you do security in that situation beats me - this proponent seems to think that the way you do it is by giving your device to the company. Why can't someone point out that they're trying to square the circle?

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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

Dodgy Geezer
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Today's laugh...

...Some cloud locker services are suspected of actively colluding with pirates and creaming off revenue from advertising, copyright cops once told us. ...

I'm sure that they are also suspected of hosting paedophile links, terrorist plans and climate-change denier plots. And any other smear the 'copyright cops' can think up. Perhaps they'll bring back Communism?

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