* Posts by DavCrav

1888 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

Leaked NSA point-and-pwn hack tools menace Win2k to Windows 8

DavCrav
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"Let me just adjust my tin foil hat.

I'm going to suggest that these leaks are not from the NSA but from Microsoft.

These exploits cover windows up to and including windows 8.1."

As mentioned above, this was created before Windows 10.

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ZX Spectrum reboot project's Great Ormond Street charity cash questions

DavCrav
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"If all 6,500 Vegas remaining from the orignal 10,500 toal were sold direct to the public, the sum due for donation would be £64,350."

That's assuming £9.90 per console. So we are assuming that Amazon don't take a slice of the cash then? If they take 30% say, then we get about £7 instead, which brings us to the same sort of range as the other estimates.

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Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

DavCrav
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"Actually, yes, that one could be infected with malware strictly by downloading a bunch of compressed but otherwise inert data* to be interpreted as sound or pictures is indeed very much news to me. I DON'T mean clicking on the "use our shiny automatic 'downloader' instead!" button roughly four times as large as the actual link, mind you. Nor downloading something called BlockbusterActionMovie.mp4.rar.docx.bat.exe and just double-clicking it blindly as a bat either. Nor browsing a malicious download page with a browser full of holes and enabled scripting. Just the media file itself - how exactly does that "infect" anyone, again...?"

Could be a drive-by download on the website itself? I know, I know, NoScript, AdBlock, etc., but if you are running those you probably know about malware on warez sites. (Does anyone call it warez any more?)

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Spanish cops snatch suspected top spammer as US moves against Kelihos botnet

DavCrav
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Re: Russian propaganda TV channel.....

"Russian propaganda TV channel.....

Yeah and the BBC is a paragon of virtue and unbiased reporting!"

A is bad.

B is bad.

Therefore A and B are equally bad.

You can do better than this.

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Google fumes after US Dept of Labor accuses ad giant of lowballing pay for women

DavCrav
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Re: Comparing like with like

"I suppose this is why Google is asking for the data and methodology. Google almost certainly has the better statisticians."

Better statisticians just improves your ability to lie with statistics.

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Overcharge customers, underpay the serfs. Who else but Uber (allegedly)

DavCrav
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Re: I fail to understand why ubber* still exist

"it's pronounced ubber, because there's no umlaut on the U"

If it's ueber, it's pronouned something like 'ew-ber'. If it's uber, it's pronounced something like 'oo-ber'.

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We know what you're thinking: Where the hell is all the antimatter?

DavCrav
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Re: The little man who wasn't there

"But of course I'm sure they've thought of that."

Yes, they have. Because they know what they are doing, and have decades of experience with this thing. Some of them will have produced the factoid you are quoting.

"A neutrino, or in this case an antineutrino, has a 50% chance of making it through half a light-year of solid lead."

But there's loads of them.

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Yee-hacked! Fired Texan sysadmin goes rogue, trashes boot business

DavCrav
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Re: Lenient

"No part of the payment of any fine levied for an offence of this kind should be accepted until complete restitution is first made to the victim. Because a criminal should never be able to pay a fine with his victim's money, and what is owed for vandalism should be treated exactly like stolen property."

What? In what sense is this lenient? He has to do both. If he goes bankrupt because of it, somebody doesn't get the full due, and you can just decide which one later. But, quite clearly stated in the article, he has to pay compo to the company.

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Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'

DavCrav
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Re: side on impact

"How can you drive so fast, while turning left at an intersection, that the freaking Volvo you hit rolls over!? Was the woman driving a tank?"

You can be doing zero, if the Volvo hits you at the right speed and angle to career off and hit something else and flip. Since the other person was turning left at an intersection, they won't have been going very fast, let's be honest. And 38 at a blind intersection is insane.

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Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

DavCrav
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Re: Why?

"For values of "a while" that equate to "not yet" even after nearly four decades for Billy bookcases, and at least three for Ivar racks."

Billy bookcases might have the same name, but they have changed. Current Billy bookcase shelf supports are not backwards compatible. I found that one out last year.

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LastPass scrambles to fix another major flaw – once again spotted by Google's bugfinders

DavCrav
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Re: "some people prefer to think that ignorance is bliss."

"WHAT f*cking attack? You have not been attacked at all, by anyone. [snipped]"

The word 'attack' here is a metaphor. When someone attacks a problem they don't go running towards it with an axe.

Seriously, calm down.

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UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35

DavCrav
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Re: Stop taking the p***

""It isn't however, an excuse to pay less tax."

Yes it is. They have a higher risk than a permanent employee..."

Go do one. That's the reason to get paid more, not the reason to let old people die on the street. You seem to be mixing up the company and the Government. One of these is the place that pays you, and the other taxes people to provide hospitals, schools, roads, defence, and so on. You being at higher risk of being made redundant does not mean that you shouldn't pay for the school your child goes to, or the care your parents need, or for the roads you drive on.

Contractors making themselves 'tax efficient' might be legal, but austerity is your fault: you and Amazon and Starbucks and every other tax cheat.

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DavCrav
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Re: Stop taking the p***

"You kind of contradicted your own argument there. If a contractor gets paid the same as a permie but then has fund his own holiday pay, sick pay and pensions why should he pay the same tax?"

I must have missed the bit where the UK Government pays for people's holiday and sick pay. That's nothing to do with taxes, and is why contractors get paid more. They should still pay the same *rate* of tax as other people, as the precariousness premium should already be on their wage bill, not taken out of the schools budget.

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After London attack, UK gov lays into Facebook, Google for not killing extremist terror pages

DavCrav
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Re: the Guardian is polarizing

"Kieren McCarthy opined "Even the polarizing newspaper the Daily Mail"

Only a Corbynist would say the Daily Mail is polarizing. Many of us think the Guardian is polarizing."

Oh behave. The Daily Mail is simultaneously one of the (used to be the, not sure now) most viewed news websites in the world, while at the same time reviled by many millions in the UK. It has ran more sickening stories than any other newspaper in the UK, while at the same time (according to a journalist friend of mine) employing some of the best investigative journalists in the business.

So yes, polarizing.

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Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

DavCrav
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Re: "will be TUPE’d to IBM including... contractors"

""will be TUPE’d to IBM including... contractors"

What? Do they mean their contracts will be novated? TUPE'd sounds bad for IR35!!!"

I don't see that. I mean, if a company gets taken over, they can keep the same window cleaning firm.

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Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

DavCrav
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"You're clearly too drunk to read the article properly: with "moderate" defined as around three pints of beer a day for men, and two glasses of wine for women (as recently as the 1960s, official health advice suggested that a bottle of wine a day was fine)."

Depends on the article. The original BMJ article seems to say it's 3 units per day, approximate 1-1.5 pints.

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Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

DavCrav
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Re: Power corrupts

"Wherever you work, how many of your fellow employees do you trust not to abuse private information they have access to in the course of their jobs?

If the answer is no more than 98%, that suggests police are no more corrupt than the average."

Garbage. This shows that 2% were misusing and got caught.

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Uber bans 'brilliant jerks', will train staff on Why Diversity Matters

DavCrav
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Re: Too little, too late

"Why do I have the impression that action was only taken now because it starts to affect profits?"

What profits?

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Dr Hannah Fry: We need to be wary of algorithms behind closed doors

DavCrav
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"Finally a Fry that actually knows what they're talking about."

Were you thinking Stephen Fry? Or Elizabeth Fry? Or Fry from Futurama?

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DavCrav
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Re: Algorithms that sit behind closed doors

"If I balls this up I can totally fuck up your career.

PS you as the person trying to get the job have no access to the code or the rules that determine weather [sic] you are selected or rejected."

So how do we know you haven't ballsed it up? This sounds like a totally unaccountable, closed-source system that has real-life consequences with no oversight whatsoever. If we don't know your criteria then we cannot be certain you aren't breaking the law with regards discrimination. And you probably are, since you are apparently writing algorithms to decide whether someone is interviewed based on their personal information.

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MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

DavCrav
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"It's rapidly descending to the level of an infant school playground."

Only on the one side. If someone is talking rubbish (which Trump is) then calling it rubbish is not infant school level. It's using language correctly, albeit undiplomatically.

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Lawyer defending arson suspect flees court with pants on fire

DavCrav
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Re: Pommies

"Pomegranate rhymes with immigrant, also, the newly arrived would turn a lovely shade of red in the heat."

Not because the sailors ate pomegranates to ward off scurvy then? Like they are called 'limey' in the US?

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DavCrav
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Re: Limeys?

"And Yanks or Seppos is the Aussie for Merkins."

Seppo presumably comes from Septic Tank, the Cockney rhyming slang for American.

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UK.gov gears up for IR35 private sector crackdown – say industry folk

DavCrav
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Re: @ 2nd AC

"There is a very significant difference between evasion/avoidance [sic].

Since using so loosely the terms [sic] you sound like not knowing [sic] the difference."

Actually, you sound like you don't know the difference between tax avoidance and aggressive tax avoidance, which is an offence in the UK, just as evasion is.

Pro tip: when trying to correct someone, make sure you are right.

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DavCrav
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Re: @ 2nd AC

"It isn't a rocket science to be a contractor, but requires certain degree of ability to tolerate risk, understanding that there might not be tomorrow, etc."

That's why you get paid more than permanent staff. It doesn't give you an excuse to aggressively avoid/evade tax.

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Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

DavCrav
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Re: "We need to promote women disproportionately, pay them equally or better..."

""One that has been debunked* many times". *For value debunked, substitute attempts have been made to discredit using circular logic and post hoc/faulty causality. Actual derived data supports the opposite. Facts. They're a thing."

Fine, I'll bite. The 'gender pay gap' (in the UK) is:

1) negative for part-time work;

2) negative for under-30s;

3) positive for over 30s if you look at the so-called undifferentiated wage rate, i.e., not taking into account what the person does, but negligible (around 2-3% IIRC, which is statistically significant, but in light of 2) is likely a legacy issue) when differentiated.

(1) and 2) above were undifferentiated.)

Facts. They're a thing.

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UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts

DavCrav
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Re: Ban?

"He has invaded far fewer countries than the previous Republican president."

Fake News! In the first 50 days in office, Trump invaded Yemen. I don't think Bush invaded anyone in the first 50 days in office.

You have to give Trump time, he's only just got his feet under the desk. Then we'll see how many countries he can invade...

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The gospel according to Blockchain, or is it the other way round?

DavCrav
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Re: Can someone explain

Disclaimer: I do represent logic and reasoning. (I'm a mathematician.)

"There are multiple ways to peel an orange as there will be multiple ways of securing data."

Q: Does the person get the e-mail address in plain text?

If so, it cannot be secured. If not, you won't be able to send e-mail to the person.

"we do understand that there is going to be a need for educating the market on its merits."

It's not the merits I have an issue with. It's the possibility of its existence. If you want to secure the data, the person you are securing it from, which appears to be the user in this case, can never get it in unencrypted form.

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DavCrav
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Re: Can someone explain

"How this is in principle any different from giving people a database of encrypted rows, and providing a way for them to get the key to unlock certain rows? This is probably a little simpler, and you can post the blockchain publicly, but they appear to be making claims about its security that they can't deliver on."

I agree. It sounds like rubbish to me. I don't see how you can, after giving someone the e-mail address of a third party, stop them using it any way they want with 'the cloud', 'blockchain', or any other word off the Bullshit Bingo card.

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DavCrav
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Re: Does this mean though...

"That if blockchains are compute and network intensive that as more data is added it becomes uneconomical to continue to hold onto the data? Especially if the data is rapidly changing as well as increasing in size (I thought that was one of the limitations of bitcoin that it was of a finite size for the initial data that the blockchain revolves around?) Surely then if it's in a constant state of flux and increasing in size the overheads would become exponential?"

Pretty much, yes. The computing time required to record the transactions becomes more and more onerous. At the moment the people recording this information are rewarded with Bitcoins. Let's see what happens if that is no longer the case.

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WikiLeaks promises to supply CIA's hacking tool code to vendors

DavCrav
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Re: maybe the leak was INTENTIONAL?

"This release puts egg on their face and makes them look incompetent in managing their own information security, so I can hardly see how it benefits them."

Maybe very competent people want to be seen to be incompetent? Maybe people now think they are safe from the CIA because their device wasn't on this list? And so on.

I doubt this, but it's easy to find reasoning for this.

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DavCrav
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Re: Thank you to Assange?

"Actually, Trump doesn't need the defense. The news broke two days ago that Obama issued a FISA order to wiretap all communications through Trump Tower one month before the election. Obama's Attorney General Lynch signed off on the FISA order."

What you meant to say, in stead of 'the news broke', was 'some bloke in a bar said', as it has about that level of reliability.

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If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths

DavCrav
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Re: "accelerate nano craft to speeds up to 161 million km/h"

"or their social structure is much more insect like than ours so they wouldn't consider resources to be wasted if their descendants won't benefit from them for a few hundred generations."

I think you underestimate humans in this respect. It's the only way to explain investments in Twitter and Snapchat.

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Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

DavCrav
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"One way around it is to use the netflix model and open the market up to many countries, including of course the US. Then it'll be probably more like the £10 a month that netflix charges, saving £40 a year for households that want it. But then it won't be British-orientated so much."

Nice idea, probably can't be done. The BBC rarely holds worldwide rights for the programmes it shows. Something like iPlayer might work, if all of the licences can be acquired, but for the actual channels it would be more or less impossible to negotiate the licences.

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Self-employed bear the brunt of Spring Budget with additional National Insurance contributions

DavCrav
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Re: Here's a thought

"We've had 7 years of this bullshit in one form or another. 7 years of "tackling the deficit". That deficit continues to sit there, it doesn't go down. "

Nobody has actually challenged this. The deficit has reduced significantly over the last seven years. Look at this chart for proof.

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Trump, Brexit, and Cambridge Analytica – not quite the dystopia you're looking for

DavCrav
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Re: Ms May

Or 99% sure that her speechwriter is a man?

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Euro Patent Office puts itself on Interpol's level, demands access to staff phones and laptops

DavCrav
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Re: re. 'draconian'

"It's a reference to Draco Malfoy, from the Harry Potter stories. It means to misuse your powers, arrogantly and for evil purposes in a place that isn't quite connected to reality."

Nice, and worthy of an upvote. For anyone who wants the non-alternative fact version, however, it's named after the first Greek legislator, Draco was a massive bellend, who hid his true agenda, got elected, and then made everything really terrible.

Absolutely no recent parallels there.

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Pence v Clinton: Both used private email for work, one hacked, one accused of hypocrisy

DavCrav
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Re: @Stu

"Pence for all of his questionable religious beliefs are his right. We have this thing called Freedom of Religion, where as the UK has an official state church (CoE) and still there are fights between Christians. (Catholics and Protestants )"

Yeah, the US doesn't discriminate against certain religions. Apart from Islam, of course.

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BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!

DavCrav
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Re: No spectrum analyser?

"Any reason why it wouldn't have been easier to just point a microphone at the bell and use a spectrum analyser to find the resonant frequencies?"

Because you can't hear the shape of a drum. I mean this literally, the shape of a drum cannot be determined from the sound it makes. (It can in reasonable general circumstances, but anyway.) Knowing the resonance of the bell ring gives little information about how it is being produced.

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

DavCrav
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Re: Simple Answer

"*merging IT, CGT and NI is obvious*

I largely agree - but I suspect that you have never lived under high inflation - CGT without indexation can be punitive and grossly unfair."

Why can that not be taken into account when calculating the capital gain? Like it currently is.

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DavCrav
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Re: Simple Answer

You need to simplify it even more. Eliminate EE and ER NI, roll it all into income tax. (You can pass a law saying that the full ER NI is passed on to employees at the time of elimination, and fiddle with the bands so this doesn't alter things.) Then you treat earned and unearned income the same, by bringing CGT into income tax.

Then you forbid all companies without a banking licence form lending money to individuals. That closes the unofficial lending loophole. And so on. But merging IT, CGT and NI is obvious.

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Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

DavCrav
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Re: Just look at where and what the two ministers studied....

"We can't expect them to handle the complex mathematics on which encryption is based (neither can most of us, I suspect; certainly not me) "

I can. I'm a professional mathematician.

It can't be done.

But what do I know, I'm only an expert.

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DavCrav
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Obviously these people don't understand what's going on, so why doesn't someone give them an analogy?

What they want is equivalent to car companies producing a Master Key, one that will work on any car anywhere in the world. How exactly do we stop criminals stealing, copying or making another Master Key?

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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

DavCrav
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Men are 22 times as likely as women to be imprisoned. We should do something to correct this imbalance.

Or something.

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IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again

DavCrav
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Re: This is just a way to get rid of people

"Easy, they schedule meetings at the office for 8am every day.

Don't want to move, fine but attendance of the meetings is compulsory.

Enjoy your 3am wake up each day."

Constructive dismissal. Tribunal, payout. Next!

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You're Donald Trump's sysadmin. You've got data leaks coming out the *ss. What to do

DavCrav
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"Sounds like a lot more effort than needed. There are plenty of small cameras available that don't have any form of radio transmitter that needs to be turned off. No need to over think things when there are simple solutions, especially since they don't do a full body scan/search of staff. Yet."

The small camera is an option, but difficult to explain if caught with. The small mobile phone offers plausible deniability.

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DavCrav
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"1) If you are planning on using a non-company phone to steal stuff, would you not put it in air-plane mode before brining it in? So cell phone scanning won't do much for anyone that dedicated."

I did think this. Mobile phone, airplane mode, take a few shots, onto an micro SD card in your underwear, factory reset the phone, nobody's any the wiser. Only way to stop that would be to completely ban mobile phones and security scan everyone. I don't even know if standard metal detectors would pick up a micro SD card, as they don't pick up metal buttons on jeans.

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DavCrav
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"he genuinely thought that there was a technical way to stop the camera from focusing on anything other than his face. This was in 2001."

I can manage that. It's the 80 x 60 resolution. You might just about be able to tell there are black marks on the paper, that's about it.

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Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

DavCrav
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Re: Technically the smear campaign has not begun

"They are not "Too big to fail.""

No, but they might be too important to fail. There are a variety of companies that are essential for an economy. Think power, telecoms, postal services, and so on. You cannot just let a cable company shut down, as millions of people's Internet connection will be removed. In the UK, it's fine for Vauxhall (to pick a topical one) to be shut down. Thousands of people will lose their jobs, but it's not a serious problem. You cannot let National Grid PLC (in charge of electricity transport in the UK) shut down.

Whether banks are too important to fail is an interesting question, but it is definitely not as clear cut as people make out.

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Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

DavCrav
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Re: Two Rules Apply

"And yes, I did once take an axe to a particularly recalcitrant PC many years ago :)"

I haven't gone that far, but I had a keyboard with a dodgy Enter key. I calmly unplugged it, went to the window, opened it, and threw it out.

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