* Posts by Lotaresco

1139 posts • joined 24 Sep 2007


Accused hacker Lauri Love loses legal bid to reclaim seized IT gear

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Re: Is this how far we have sunk?

"Charge him with something, or give his stuff back."

One of the things that the judge determined, beyond reasonable doubt, is that it's not all his stuff and that there is stuff there for which ownership cannot be determined without his co-operation. The judge is saying that until Love choses to decrypt the information in order to make a decision if the content belongs to him or someone else he can't have it. He is being asked to prove that he owns the data he claims to own.

Love is in the situation of someone being in a hotel where someone has stolen a diamond. He wants to take a sealed container in his possession out of the hotel, stating that there is nothing in it other than stuff he owns. But he's refusing to open the box. Forensics show that the box had been at the scene of the crime. Police are therefore not willing to let him leave with the box unopened. He can leave the box in custody or he can open it and prove it contains no diamonds then he can leave.

Actually it's worse than that, because the evidence to-date shows he was in possession of "quite a bit" of other people's "stuff" like credit card details and personal data. He certainly not entitled to have continuing access to that "stuff".

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"Freedom of speech in the UK used to include the right not to speak."

It still does. You still have the right to remain silent. And a jury has the authority to make inferences from your silence and the circumstances that pertain to that silence.

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"Rather like saying that because his wallet contained a counterfeit bank note, that he wasn't entitled to have the wallet back."

If you follow your analogy to its logical conclusion, as a judge would, that means that he could have the metal case back and the rest would be sequestered because he is not able to establish that the data he is requesting belongs to him.

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Re: Something not ringing true here ...

"Personally I think it's a screw up of language somewhere along the line and the reality is that some of the drive was readable and the rest was encrypted in a trucrypt volume."

I agree with you.

This is a judge's summary. I don't expect a judge to know much about disk forensics. I used to belong to a group that existed to raise awareness of technical issues between forensic analysts, IT practitioners and the legal profession. Even though we were dealing with intelligent, motivated people it's difficult to ram several years of knowledge of IT and forensics into someone with limited time.

Given that it's decent enough summary. The problem for the black helicopter/tinfoil hat brigade is that they imagine there is one unexpected trick that will cause a legal case to collapse, as it does on TV. That's rarely so.

In this case - "We recovered this information from the unencrypted disk, it contained some encrypted containers some of which we could access and others we couldn't." is a charitable take on what probably happened.

BTW, based on what has been recovered, Love's "Poor little innocent me." claims aren't looking too good.

'Occult' text from Buffy The Vampire Slayer ep actually just story about new bus lane in Dublin

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Re: pro-Buffy flame war.

"a stake through the heart might be thematically appropriate."

In Damon Knight's Eripmav (1958) a vegetarian vampire is killed with a steak through the heart.

LG folds at prospect of launching bendy phone while Samsung flaunts its upcoming kit on telly

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I don't even understand the need for a bendy phone.

How's this for sci-fi: A cosmic river of 4,000 stars dazzles lifeforms as it flows through a galaxy. And that galaxy is the Milky Way

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All Hail Gregory Benford!

Great Sky River, anyone?

National Museum of Computing to hold live Enigma code-breaking demo with a Bombe

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Re: Support the TNMOC

" we need to establish here if you really think I'm a simpleton"

Oh we really don't need to establish it.

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"I used to play chess with one the Bletchley code breakers, John Herivel, as a kid."

The headmaster at my grammar school was a former Bletchley code breaker. Sadly he was a bullying martinet with a short fuse. I respect what he achieved, not what he was.

Data flows in a no-deal Brexit are a 'significant' concern – MPs

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"We will still have electricity right?"

Sure, we just need to keep rubbing the cats together.

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Re: Eh?

"DPE (1918)"

Ah, yes I am sure that all of the personal data processed by Mr. Babbage's Analytical Engine is covered by the Act of 1918. Is DPE something to do with PPE, BTW?

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Re: Make Tax Digital!

"Only struggling artists use Macs and only cheapskate dole wallahs use that free Linux thing."

Making a rod for my own back, I know, but having found that there's no support for Open/Libre Office at all (so far only big accounting packages and some add-ins for Excel support MTD). I've asked HMRC how I can register as a developer so that I can produce something to interface Libre Office to the HMRC API. I'd rather contribute some hours/days to a project than stick money into the pockets of the big five.

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Re: We will still have electricity right? [citation welcome?]

""Brexit BASICs" in terms of data interchange might mean punched tape by horseback, in the Rees-Mogg view of the world."

In the event of Brexit RFC 1149 IPoAC will apply.

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Make Tax Digital!

In another masterpiece of planning, with companies struggling to cope with whatever Brexit will bring, because we still don't know, and government clearly doesn't have a clue. HMRC chose to have their flawed "Make Tax Digital! (MTD)" initiative coincide with Brexit. To demonstrate how little they care for the people who have to make MTD work, they have listed lots of approved products but offer absolutely no guidance at all about which product will work with a particular OS. If you want to know, you have to trawl every website listed looking for details. And of course the vendors are most unwilling to make it clear which platforms they support and they are certainly not going to be clear about how much it will cost.

To compound woes there's very little written guidance from HMRC. Some moron thought that making several long videos with "friendly" little animations that take a long time to say nothing was more important than writing some short, effective guides to what the changes actually mean.

It's a perfect clustermess. Two significant changes in a four week period, but neither is defined, there's no help available and the government departments concerned don't care. All to be made at a time when, if the politicians slip on the banana skins that they have used to carpet Westminster, business will bear the brunt.

Gee thanks gummint, you really do have the attitude that Boris Johnson showed, "F*ck business!"

Yes, you can remotely hack factory, building site cranes. Wait, what?

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Some hysteria

Cranes used for materials handling have other safety systems besides software. They have to, because having a crane suddenly drop stuff isn't a desired outcome. So entertaining as it may be to speculate, speculation should take into effect the mechanical controls and also the (usually) ladder logic controls built into limit the cranes being used unsafely or becoming unsafe as a consequence of mechanical, electrical or electronic failure.

I'm not daft enough to say "never", but do bear in mind that safety controls are overlapping and it takes a cascade of failure rather than a single event. Yes, I know cascades happen but the guiding principle is ALARP, not "never fail under any circumstances".

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

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Re: Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch

"For some reason I had a flashback to 1970s television: an image of a gorilla wearing a bizarre helmet and riding a horse."

A gorilla wearing a bizarre helmet and riding a horse? You mean Harvey Smith?

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Re: "What they brought was an expertise we didn't have."

The claim that Crapita brought something that the Armed Forces did not have is complete and utter horse-feathers. Crapita had no relevant experience and certainly had no L33t Skillz previously absent. The previous contract had been run well by an organisation that understood military recruitment. Crapita had no experience of military systems to draw on.

As you say, the only experience available was negative.

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Re: Actually...

"If I was feeling really cynical, I'd say that it is just the another step of the ongoing attempts to privatise the entire British state."

You can be as cynical as you like, but Army recruiting had been privatised years ago. Capita just bid for and got the contract that had previously been awarded to and run by another systems integrator. The odd thing, and a thing the Select Committee didn't focus on, was that the previous contract was run well and didn't suddenly leave the Armed Forces without recruits.

Once can only assume that the Capita bid was "reassuringly cheap" and that those awarding the contracts were blinded by the cheapness.

Goddamn the Pusher man: Nominet kicks out domain name hijack bid

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Re: lesson ?

Well, duh. But sometimes it goes wrong. I lost a domain set to auto-renew because the registrar took the money and forgot to renew it. However if you check the contract, all you can get back is the fee. Still, the loss of the domain wasn't an issue for me, and I told the Russian cyber-squatter who tried to hold me to ransom over it to take a hike.

From time to time I check the domain, as in "just now" and yes, the idiot is still sitting on the domain and it has cost him more than I paid for it, ten times more, to maintain it. He's an idiot.

Who cracked El Chapo's encrypted chats and brought down the Mexican drug kingpin? Er, his IT manager

Lotaresco Silver badge

Re: Well at least that soles the mystery

"... soles the mystery"?

Sounds like cobblers to me.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

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Re: Simple solution: e-residency

"I'd guess hmrc will take a very dim view of you declaring your income in Estonia when you are sat in the UK. Good Luck!"

I'd guess that you don't understand the difference between personal and corporate taxation.

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Re: Simple solution: e-residency

"I hate to think what else it has committed you to but I guess any business now done in the EU is taxed in Estonia."

Gosh yes, that would be terrible. Having to pay a flat rate (proportional, not "progressive") tax rate of 20% with no higher rate tax, no Corporation Tax, no withholding tax. How do those poor Estonian's manage, eh? Oh, by being wealthy, happy, most digitally switched-on in Europe with universal free education, free healthcare and the best maternity leave in Europe. And they are full-fledged members of the Euro. Life must be hell.

Remind me, why are we leaving the EU?

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Re: Simple solution: e-residency

"It costs €100 (one-off payment) to apply for e-residency in Estonia"

Blimey, first useful advice ever in these forums, thank you.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

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Things I miss:


demon.local (aka demon.loco)

EvapOr8 (a being of pure thought)

Iolo Davidson


Things I don't miss:

The scientology flame wars

james g. keegan (jr)

All the other net-loons who, TBH, now look quite rational compared with the Twitterati.

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Re: Sad News...

"a lifes supply of fake tanning lotion."

Don't forget the pink Rolls-Royce!

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Re: Bye bye.....

"I think I was one of Demon's first thousand;"

I was, IIRC Demon's twenty fourth customer. Having been aware of Giles Todd at university I got a tip-off that the service would be starting and knew that I could trust the Demon team who were all well-known among geeks at the time. I lasted as a customer up until Godfrey vs Demon Internet and the sale of Demon to Thus plc. at which point the Demon "Crack Legal team" swung into action and demanded that customers sign an open-ended agreement to indemnify Demon without limit for any future libel action. I declined the offer to underwrite Demon's costs and went elsewhere around 2002, I think. That was when their "Crack Legal Team" started to get all shouty and threaten disconnection unless I signed a document that no one in their right mind would sign.

Boffins don't give a sh!t, slap Trump's face on a turd in science journal

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Re: Curious precedent on what is allowed

"So the fact that the USA is the only industrialised country to REDUCE CO2 emissions must please you?"

That sort of claim is so easy to debunk. When you say "only industrialised country to REDUCE (sic) CO2 emissions" all someone needs to do is to provide evidence that a single industrialised country has reduced CO2 emissions and you end up with egg on your face. Not only that, but if the USA has actually increased its CO2 emissions you end up egged from head to foot.

Consider yourself egged. The UK has reduced its CO2 emissions from 600Mt to 379Mt, a 36% reduction, and is on target to meet its Second Carbon budget (internationally agreed) emissions. Meanwhile the USA's CO2 emissions have *increased* from the 1990 baseline (5 billion tonnes in 1990, 5.2 billion tonnes currently).

I suggest that you do a little bit of research before making bold statements and that you cease obtaining your news from the US propaganda machine.

Virgin Galactic test flight reaches space for the first time, lugging NASA cargo in place of tourists

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Re: 80km?

"Not even close. The highest jet-powered/non-rocket-powered aircraft so far is the Ye-266, which is a modified MIG-25 that reached 37.65km."

SpaceShip One piloted by Brian Binnie reached 112,010 m (367,487 ft), quite a bit higher than the 37.65 km achieved by the Mikoyan Gurevitch E-266M. SpaceShip Two should be able to reach the same height as SpaceShip One, although probably not when full of paying guests. SpaceShip One currently holds the altitude record for a manned aeroplane.

Cambridge Analytica's administrators misled judge, High Court told

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Re: Er, what?

It makes sense, but you need to read carefully through the guarded language used by barristers.

Instead of overtly stating that CA was operated fraudulently, they have to tease out the evidence on piece at a time. The information that Emerdata were funding CA's costs is (IMO) damning because it shows that Emerdata are effectively cutting CA free in the hope that the problems with CA are not then traced back to the wider group of companies and that Emerdata don't have to face any legal consequences. If they succeed, and it looks as if they have, then they get to open another CA-like company and do it all over again. The picking around Green's involvement appears to be trying to highlight that CA wasn't necessarily bankrupt but was positioning itself to become bankrupt in the hope that would kill off any SARs.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

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Re: First step - ID cards...

"Second step - centralised database linking all government data"

Already exists.

"Third step - mandatory registration of CCTV systems with government"

Already required.

"Fifth step - mandatory tracking of all vehicles..."

Already done.

"... to replace outdated fuel duty and VED."

Probably a good idea.

One problem with conspiracy nuts is that they don't seem to be aware of which systems have already been implemented. ID Cards will be the last piece of the jigsaw, not the first.

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Re: Why don't we have a referendum...

"We can piggyback it on the second EU referendum."

I think you mean the third referendum. We already had two.

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Re: "...universally acclaimed digital ID system which nowhere in the world has yet,"

"Try Turkey"

Are you sure that you want to use Turkey, with its dreadful human rights record, as the poster child for ID cards? It's a country where people practice self-censorship because they know the cost of speaking out against government abuse of power.

Even membership of Amnesty International can see one facing charges of being "a member of a terrorist organisation". And the Turkish government has a clever wheeze of putting people into indefinite "pre-trial detention" so that they don't even have to take them to court.

"An ongoing state of emergency set a backdrop for violations of human rights. Dissent was ruthlessly suppressed, with journalists, political activists and human rights defenders among those targeted."

--Amnesty International

NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform

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Re: Red flag

"unprecedented levels of protection"

Having no protection at all is unprecedented.

NASA's Mars probe InSight really has Mars in sight: It beams back first pic after touchdown

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Re: A Mercury Tooth Filling?

If they do hit a mercury filling it will be evidence that they have identified the root canal, proving Giovanni Schiaparelli was right all along.

NASA has Mars InSight as latest lander due to arrive today

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Re: Dusty

"Got this damn image of Chrichton "


That robot from Red Dwarf.

Excuses, excuses: Furious MPs probe banking TITSUPs*

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Beancounters don't want to see the obvious.

Over a decade ago I was appointed by a client to look at the resilience of their operations. They wanted proper 24/7 always on operation but they had a single data centre and that was handily located under the final approach to "a major airport". The "backup strategy" consisted of making tapes stored locally, some of which were migrated to a "secure location". From time to time. I wrote a report detailing the flaws in their approach. Surprisingly they took it quite well and decided to spend the big bucks creating a second data centre to provide remote backup and failover. That was also situated at the end of a runway.

I pointed out that this was just the same as their current, flawed, installation and got the message "Don't be silly, what are the chances of having two crashes on the same day?"

At the planning stage it was zero cost to ensure that both DCs had different risk profiles. In fact a very good location (old nuclear bunker) had just come up for sale which would have cost a fraction of the price of the new build that they did. However that had been rejected because it was in a location that didn't attract government grants; even though with the grants the new build option was still more expensive.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

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Re: Front Line Opinion

"Anon Ex-RN IT administrator"

There's a horribly high probability that I trained you :-)

Even Sanctuary is outdated since it's now HEAT.

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Re: Boatnotes?

"Surely this should be filed under "Shipnotes", as a Boat in Navy parlance is a Submarine?"

A submarine is a type of boat, not all boats are submarines.

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Re: The Enterprise runs Windows ME?

"Does that mean Captain Kirk & the others were talking to Clippy?"

"I see you are trying to remove Klingons. Would you like more paper?"

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Re: Few comments

"Been working on trying to PXE boot to a Linux installation that can image the hard drives. Backups via 2.5" floppy drive are painful in so many ways."

Same advice as before, buy an appropriate adapter card and sidegrade to CF or SD card. You can get adapters designed either to use inside the case or fitted into an ISA card to give external access to the socket, allowing you to backup to a CF card.

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Re: Few comments

"The 200-500GB drives I had didn't work and didn't have a jumper for 32GB compatibility..."

For future reference, we had similar problems in the past. It's possible to get CF Card to ATA connectors, which means you can use a 32GB CF card or add another layer of kludge by using a CF card to SD card adapter. Possibly a good idea to get some of the adapters now while they are still available. They cost all of £2 to £4 for the adapters and they are available for 2.5" and 3.5" pin configurations.

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Re: Few comments

"You do realise that the flagship of the Royal Navy is a First Rate Line of Battleship, which was laid down in 1759 and predates the formation of the United States of America?"

You forgot to mention it has no headroom and it leaks like a sieve. It's possibly not a great example to wave around.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

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"I work for the US Navy with coworkers"

How many cows do they ork each day?

What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?

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Re: @mark i 2

"They were better made than the Ural a friend rather foolishly bought"

The Belgian Lada distributor also sells UAZ trucks, for incredibly high prices. Crash protection, none. Design fossilised about 1947. I can't imagine that they sell many of them.

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Re: 6 downvotes and counting

"A friend owns and operates an auto service company here in the States that specializes in Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, Land Rovers, and Jaguars, as well as Mercedes and BMWs. He has often said 'If you know 30 people who own British cars, you've got a reliable monthly income.'"

None of the cars that you list are British. German, German, Indian, Indian, German, German. Now, if he had a Morgan franchise...

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I'm thinking of buying a Lada, I wonder if this will instantly identify me as a Russian spy? After what feels like a very long absence from the European market, because they couldn't meet emissions standards, the Lada 4x4 is back on sale in Germany and Belgium. They are are great rough and ready alternative to the Faux by Fours sold by the major manufacturers.

Lada Niva, Germany

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

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And there's another...

... place to add to my list of sh*tholes that I won't travel to.

Not long before I add "The UK" to that list.

Manchester nuisance-call biz fined £150k after ignoring opt-out list

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Re: 0161 = block

"Although the 'babs from Camel One in Rusholme were supreme"

I did six years at Owens. I can honestly say that I have no idea what you are on about. The salubrious joints of my day were the Conti (New Continental Club), Band on the Wall, the Russell Club and dodgy café behind the medical school that sold suicide specials.

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Strict Liability

One of the many things that the EU and US FDA did in the past was to introduce "strict liability" for the pharmaceutical industry. This means that directors get to go direct to jail without collecting their pay cheques in the event that the pharma company does something bad, like knowingly selling drugs that cause harm.

The fallout inside the industry was impressive. In the 80s company directors largely were deaf to scientists saying "This drug does very little good, and could actually harm people." If it could clear the FDA hurdle it was going to be sold. After strict liability the directors scrambled to enhance the powers of regulatory compliance within the companies.

The same should apply to all businesses, TBH.

A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

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"From a gross profit perspective, Maplin was incredibly profitable (the full accounts made up to 28 December 1996 show gross profit of £15.6m on turnover of £32.6m), a result, perhaps, of its broad appeal to a mix of different clients "

I'd say the reason for the profitability was the ludicrous prices charged in Maplin stores. And there lay the roots of the demise. It wasn't "online" that killed Maplin it was "competition". Maplin had originally, in the catalogue days, been both competitive and extremely helpful. The catalogue was a brilliant source of information and something I looked forward to receiving each year. The many examples, plans and technical info sections in the catalogue encouraged experimenting and that lead to buying components, cases, etc from Maplin. The shops were originally the same, staffed by people with an interest and willing to help. The shops were also well stocked.

The rot set in partway through the 90s. The knowledgeable staff started to drift away, the availability of stock became intermittent. By the 00s that had turned into guaranteed unavailability of almost everything. I recall wanting some aluminium knobs only to be told that they weren't a stock item and the wait for delivery was two weeks. I could buy them online for a tenth of the price and have them delivered next day.

The suits were more interested in pushing very expensive tat and gouging on the price of cables and cards. I suspect that many customers stayed on though inertia but eventually everyone gave in to the fact that you can buy the leads at a fraction of the price in a supermarket / DIY store and any "unusual[1]" components like knobs, resistors, cases, PCBs, etch baths etc. could all be obtained faster and cheaper via eBay/Amazon.


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