* Posts by Jason Bloomberg

1611 posts • joined 8 Mar 2008

Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Optional

I have original Kodak DC-20 and DC-50 cameras. They were incredibly expensive but absolutely brilliant for the time.

It certainly wasn't the cameras which were a failure. Kodak were more like a textile mill which had invented the knitting machine and put themselves out of business.

I am also a little sympathetic to the Philips DCC and Sony MiniDisc. Apart from the nonsense to prevent CDs being boot-legged both were just too late to market, arrived just as alternative and better technologies were emerging.

Not sure I would be so generous though when it comes to the Sinclair Microdrive.

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Ministry of Justice scraps 'conviction by computer' law

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Still "be able to" attend court?

As long as people are offered the option "pay this or take it to court" I do not see a great deal of problem with the scheme. If one is guilty, or expects to be found guilty, and has to "pay this" anyway, and probably more on top in lost wages etc, it's actually doing them a favour.

For the type of cases being considered most people would know whether they are guilty or not and it's just a waste of everyone's time to go to court, plead guilty, and get the fine an online service can just as easily hand out.

There is an issue of people believing they are guilty when they actually are not and have grounds to escape conviction but they would probably mistakenly admit guilt in court anyway. That rests on what legal advice they get (or don't), not the means of processing the case.

It might lead to innocent people paying-up simply to avoid inconvenience and costs but I don't think that is a great enough risk to reject the scheme.

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: The future?

I realised product placement was a problem when I was driving my old but entirely reliable Vauxhall Nova home one night while listening to the Archers on BBC Radio 4. Ferguson may make the world's best tractors, and the 135 may be the best they ever made, but I do not need to be told that.

Mine's the Pierre Cardin.

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Jason Bloomberg
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Is that like; if you don't like the way the police abuse you when you call them out you don't have to call them out?

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That apple.com link you clicked on? Yeah, it's actually Russian

Jason Bloomberg
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Pint

Re: an easy fix for firefox

Many thanks. You have likely saved a lot of people a lot of time in searching for that solution.

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Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

Jason Bloomberg
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Burger King

Worst cup of tea I have ever tasted. I quite like their fries. Never had one of their burgers.

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Broadband providers almost double prices after deals end

Jason Bloomberg
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Low income and older customers

Those on low income may not have credit or debit cards, nor a good credit rating, and do not want to take the risk of changing and finding the switch falls through leaving them stranded with no one willing to take them on, leaving them far worse off than they were.

Most stick with what they have; better the devil one knows. And that likely applies to older customers who will have had plenty of experience of the mismatch between reality and expectation in their lifetime.

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Apple’s premium TV plans – the hobby doomed to stay that way

Jason Bloomberg
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Yet another subscription i will be expected to have if i want to watch everything?

I suspect getting into the fray in a saturating market may be why Apple aren't really pushing hard. They may, for now, be happy to be just another player, keeping their finger in the pie and an eye on what's happening around them, but with no great commitment.

We tend to expect big corporations wanting to dominate in all markets they step into. This might be an exception to the rule.

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Subpostmasters prepare to fight Post Office over wrongful theft and false accounting accusations

Jason Bloomberg
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FAIL

Injustice

Most of the cases seemed to allege ringing up amounts and then not handing over the cash, pocketing that. It seems pretty stupid for any Postmaster to even try that on, and incredible that so many would.

But courts were finding that to be the case and Postmasters were unable to prove more was being rung-up than they were taking in. The innocent had Hobson's Choice but to settle out of their own pockets and admit false accounting or face even more serious charges of fraud with a very real risk they would be found guilty.

They were in a no-win situation, their lives were ruined either way, and did what most people would do; paid-up to minimise consequences.

As well as holding the Post Office to account; we need to take a closer look at how our legislative and justice system let this travesty continue. There was far too much confidence that the computer evidence was right, true and accurate.

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Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Jason Bloomberg
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WTF?

2017 - The year of XP on the desktop

Something has gone badly wrong when one has to think hard about which is more insane; running XP or W10?

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Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Makes sense

The app doesn't need to know jack shit about it's desktop environment.

I guess you have never had to create an app which needs to keep users with HD displays and those stubbornly still using 640x480 monitors happy.

It is hard enough crafting web pages which one or the other doesn't complain about, before adding landscape and portrait modes into the mix.

Having auto-resizing grids and complex rules as to how things should shuffle and re-align in different environments can help but at best it feels like a compromise. A particular target environment often dictates the aesthetics of the whole and it can be very hard to achieve the same satisfactory feel in another.

It's not that auto-layout cannot be done it is more that the results are rarely pleasing and need to be tweaked based on knowing the environment.

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Manchester pulls £750 public crucifixion offer

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

You could even get three kings and a donkey for the authentic experience

Are you suggesting we should be inviting foreigners in now! I suppose that if they are packing gold, frankincense and myrrh, have their own transport, they would pass any points-based immigration test, would likely be coming from outside the EU and can take over a local football club when the play's done.

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Londoners will be trialling driverless cars in pedestrianised area

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Squashed jogger or two?

It does seem the perfect environment for a test; joggers, cyclists, skaters, and skate-boarders over-taking, under-taking, cutting in, hanging on, coming head-on, with adults and children running across and wandering along the road in random directions, a fleet of autonomous cabbage crates making deliveries, and the occasional El Reg reporter cowering in the bushes, uncertain when to make a dash for it.

I wonder if there will be a giant Roomba which also travels the route to clean up all the potential mess ?

The one with the "Death Race 2000" ticket in the pocket, thank you.

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'No deal better than bad deal' approach to Brexit 'unsubstantiated'

Jason Bloomberg
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FAIL

Re: The times they are a-changin'

It reminds me of watching American fervour to 'go kick Saddam's butt' grow to a crescendo. Then decline as the reality of what the US had got herself into sank in.

Eventually most realised they had been over-optimistic, had leant their support through falling victim to lies and demonisation, false notions of patriotism, were misguided, misinformed, and had failed to see the warned of consequences of their actions.

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Jason Bloomberg
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For Queen, Country and St George!

If May gets the deal she wants she will be absolutely entitled to round it off with breakfast at Milliways.

While some consider May's plan bold and ambitious I am more inclined towards delusional.

Securing a deal requires backing down on red-lines each side have publicly said they will not allow to be crossed. With neither side seeing any necessity to pander to the other; there is little prospect of that and little room for negotiation.

Unless something comes along to cause either to blink first I fear we have already sealed our fate.

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British biz Imagination Technologies admits Apple may dump its IP

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: So a court battle

If there is a risk of infringing IP rights then Apple would most certainly have bought the company and may still do so.

It is being reported elsewhere that Apple had been in talks about a buyout of Imagination last year but they had turned that opportunity down. Looks like they've just paid the price of that.

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D'oh! Amber Rudd meant 'understand hashing', not 'hashtags'

Jason Bloomberg
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Big Brother

The trouble is, the electorate is only given a choice between sets of clowns, so inevitably clowns is what we get.

If we all made a concerted effort to spoil our ballot papers it would become quite obvious that the current 'system of democracy' was broken.

Unfortunately it's not easy to convince people to do that and the powers that be will counter by making it easier for people to vote online, by post, by SMS, through Smart TVs, ATMs etc. As long as people are voting they can pretend the system is working just fine.

It doesn't matter who gets elected, so long as the system persists.

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Reg now behind invisible HTML5 Bitcoin paywall

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Hmm

And another thing - what's this troll malarky? Give me back my beer (icon)

You'll be pleased to know I can see your beer icon when I hit reply.

As well as the troll icon there was some other 'text scrolling' crossing the icon selector when I made a post earlier today. That seemed entirely meaningless. I guessed it related to April 1st but couldn't figure out what. Perhaps it wasn't rendering properly in my browser.

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Trump sets sights on net neutrality

Jason Bloomberg
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Trollface

Net Neutrality

Invented by the lying failing @nytimes to hide how bigly Democrats failed in their election loss. Watch @foxandfriends. So sad!

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UK gov draws driverless car test zone around M40 corridor

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

Missed opportunity

"Human error is a more dependable source of accidents and fatalities than well tested, well demonstrated, and well regulated technologies,” Clarke said.

The perfect cue for someone to have arranged for a driver-less car to come crashing through the wall for shits and giggles.

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PC survived lightning strike thanks to a good kicking

Jason Bloomberg
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Ghost mice

In my experience it's usually some USB-to-Serial adapter which Windows has decided is a legacy serial mouse when the system boots up.

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Facebook, Google, etc: Yeah, yeah, we'll work on the nasty stuff about bombs – but we ain't doing no backdoors

Jason Bloomberg
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They will change their processes.

Anything which makes their processes less effective could be called an improvement in the situation.

Katie Hopkins' radicalising influence would be greatly reduced if she were not given her platform of being a columnist in the Daily Mail.

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How to leak data from an air-gapped PC – using, er, a humble scanner

Jason Bloomberg
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If slow speed data extraction is acceptable; one can use malware to cause the PC to turn itself off (or not) at certain times of the day..

One then monitors for power changes, the frequency of "FFS!" utterances, calls to support, or use a drone to watch the power LED.

Or maybe the hacker crew could just set themselves up a support service, get dodgy kit into a site, sit back and wait for the unsuspecting users to report back the seemingly meaningless error codes which annoyingly pop-up every half hour.

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Security co-operation unlikely to change post Brexit, despite threats

Jason Bloomberg
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Unhappy

Threatening self-harm and 'we'll make you sorry if you don't give us what we want' are really the only negotiating gambits we have. We really need a grown-up to take charge.

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Boffins give 'D.TRUMP' an AI injection

Jason Bloomberg
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Mushroom

Misconceptions

The most common misconception I see from clients I have to support is that I have a fully working crystal ball and will know what they are talking about without hint or clue.

"I have read the web page numerous times but it does not work. Do you have a fix?" arrives more often than it should. Not quite as bad as "It doesn't work; is it meant to?" which helps me understand why some people do snap and go postal.

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UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: I think they genuinely don't see the problem.

I tried to use Rudds envelope steaming analogy ... if you create a mechanism to decrypt messages and wrap a legal process around it, the cat is out of the bag as there is now a mechanism which can be used by those not overly fussed about the legalities.

That's the crux. I don't think most of us really object to terrorists and the like having their secret messages exposed, but we do care about people poking about in our affairs when we cannot see the legitimate need to do so. It's a matter of trust.

What Rudd wants is something which requires a trust which is not actually there, probably never will be.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: I think they genuinely don't see the problem.

There is no incompatibility as they see it. Only encrypted messages involving terrorists, paedophiles and other designated bad guys will be revealed for what they are, and everyone else can sleep safe in the knowledge that their information will remain secret. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

If they were only accessing the encrypted information of 'proven criminals' post-fact, requiring court orders with demonstrated legitimacy to do that, and could absolutely guarantee that was the case and always would be, I believe many of us would say fair enough.

But we know that's not how it will be, that any promises it will be are entirely false and utterly hollow.

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Robo-Uber T-boned, rolls onto side, self-driving rides halted

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: I'll give

I'll give self driving cars 18 months before its back to the drawing board...

I don't see why. So far there does not seem to be evidence that self-drive cars perform worse than human drivers in the same circumstances, though I am sure there will always be those who cling to the notion that 'if a human had been driving it wouldn't have happened'.

It's reasonable and responsible to take the fleet off the road while that's checked out, but I am not convinced the self-drive was worse than a human here. Sure; drop a gear and accelerate away, steer onto the sidewalk; all imagined escape plans a human could conjure up which a self-drive will be accused of not having the wits to do. But, in reality; success of such escape plans is down mostly to luck and whether one even sees it coming.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Jason Bloomberg
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Flame

Auto Page Jumping Web Sites

Those web sites which assume you want to jump to a new article as you scroll down drive me nuts, especially when I haven't finished reading the last paragraph and going back doesn't go back to where I was. And it then jumps to the next article again if I am not slow and careful when scrolling down to get to what I actually want to read.

And those sites which have slide-downs and slide-ups which get in the way of what you are reading when scrolling come a close second place in annoyance quota.

As do those slide-in-from-the-right frames which require one to take the mouse round the edge of the screen to actually scroll without permanently activating them and obscuring half the text one is reading..

Grrr.

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'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Actual case aside

Evidence on an encrypted drive is the same as evidence in a safe - you have no right at all to keep that evidence unknown to the police if they have a search warrant, and no right to keep it secret from the court.

I would say people have every right to try to keep things as unknown and as secret as they can, while the police have every right to try and reveal the same.

The accused should have no obligation to incriminate themselves or prove a case or allegation against them. It is up to the prosecution or accuser to prove the facts of their claimed case.

As soon as we go beyond that we are all in very dangerous and frightening territory.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Unhappy

Future Justice

Why not cut to the chase; introduce a law which says "if we believe you to be guilty then you are. No evidence needed".

That would save a whole lot of court and police time and massively cut costs. That seems to be where we are heading anyway and it worked for Guantanamo detainees.

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Airplane bomb fears spark America's laptop, tablet carry-on ban

Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

Re: Dont fly Emirates/Etihad/Turkish/etc...

I wonder if this is a "security" measure - or a masked commercial one.

Or simply a means to help make questions as to why those countries were not on Trump's 'Muslim ban' go away.

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Norfolk County Council sent filing cabinet filled with kids' info to a second-hand shop

Jason Bloomberg
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The problem with holding individuals responsible is they will want more money to reflect that degree of responsibility and it will only end in the fiasco of buck-passing anyway.

If anyone ever is held as responsible as people might like, there will be no one willing to take on those job lest some underling fucks up and they have to carry the can. But it's probably going to be an underling who carries the can while the exec really responsible walks away without punishment courtesy of lawyering-up.

While saying individuals should be held to account, punished for mistakes, it's very hard to achieve that in practice.

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Why is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ project so delayed?

Jason Bloomberg
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Paris Hilton

Re: 0/0

The problem seems to be that backers often believe the product exists, is ready for purchase, and is only unavailable because manufacturing needs to be funded.

It doesn't help that some some crowd-funded projects and media reports on those give exactly that impression.

People skip over the 'it's not guaranteed to happen' part and assume that it will. Despite numerous examples where it doesn't.

I imagine they think that's 'meaningless small-print' only put there 'because they have to' and does not reflect the actual situation when it very much does.

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National Insurance tax U-turn: Philip Hammond nixes NIC uptick

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Pledges

"The plans were reversed on the basis that they breached his own party's 2015 manifesto pledge"

Fake News!!! Hammond says otherwise. He says the proposal did not breach any manifesto pledge because that pledge only applied to Class 1 NIC. However, he says he recognises "that compliance with the ‘legislative’ test of the Manifesto commitment is not adequate” so has decided to drop his change.

Whether we believe him or not...

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

Re: Themes for device names

But will they ever find pete.yourdomain.com

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UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Jason Bloomberg
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There's a danger of legal creep in any ruling or injunctive relief. That's not good enough cause to not make a ruling or we would never have any on that basis alone.

I sympathise with those resorting to streaming services because official providers are too expensive, because they paid huge amounts for rights, because they want to make themselves a monopoly in provision of coverage, while the sports have taken advantage of that willingness to pay ridiculous amounts.

But the fact is, if one tries to get around it by dubious or illegal means, those who own rights will come gunning for the people doing that and the people aiding and abetting them. The greater the effort to avoid paying, the greater their efforts to ensure people do.

Having an addiction to sport does not justify illegality. Resorting to dodging subscriptions isn't going to work long term. If people want to get things changed they have to find a way to achieve that change. Courts aren't there to say whether things are fair or not, they can only apply the law and lay down rulings as deemed appropriate.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: So, are all ISPs affected, or not?

From the link in the article; "FAPL seeks an injunction against the Defendants ... requiring the Defendants to take measures to block, or at least impede, access by their customers to streaming servers which deliver infringing live streams of Premier League footage to UK consumers".

From that it would appear to be an order only applying to those named defendants.

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Family of technician slain by factory robot sues everyone involved

Jason Bloomberg
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Unhappy

Re: Isolation 101

Sounds like endemic failure on the company's part.

Yup. And that is the one entity the victim's family are prevented from suing, the one who is exempted from blame by state law. Absolutely appalling; a travesty of justice.

I sincerely hope we don't get that sort of crap once we have brexited. But I fear that we eventually will.

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Lawyer defending arson suspect flees court with pants on fire

Jason Bloomberg
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Coat

Re: Ahh colloquial meanings of words.

I was quite surprised when "Married with Children" was airing and Al Bundy, commenting on his wife Peggy, made a proclamation along the lines of; "and that's why I married a wanker". I believe she was said to have hailed from "Wanker County".

It was only some time later that I discovered Wanker is a common American surname, and not as derogatory as it sounded.

And then there's "Ginger Minge".

Just popping outside to get myself a fag and some sticky buns.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Flame

Re: "not part of his defence strategy"?

I once had my jacket pocket burst into flames when a match had fallen out of its box and rubbed up against the 'sandpaper'.

I have also accidentally set fire to tissue paper while cleaning gunk out of an e-cig battery connector when I inadvertently pressed the power button.

It still feels too much of a coincidence to have occurred spontaneously in this case.

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Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

Jason Bloomberg
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Pint

Still, on the bright side, it's something to add to the list to churn out next time a Talk Talk rep tries to get me to sign-up in the town centre on a Saturday.

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Anti-TV Licensing petition gets May date for Parliament debate

Jason Bloomberg
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Please list any action taken (beyond "discussing it") about any of the Parliamentary petitions whatsoever.

That is hard but they do influence those deciding things and do consequently affect outcomes. They are not entirely pointless or a waste of everyone's time; even if it is difficult to discern where a petition has had impact.

The 'deny Trump a state visit' petition did not succeed, and I doubt anyone actually expected it to, but it does appear to have influenced when that visit will occur and how it will be. It also enabled MPs and others to speak out with the confidence that a huge number supported them in speaking out.

I can recall legislation and proposals which seemed to have been influenced by petition and public outcry but I'll admit I can't list it; I don't track such things. Disbanding the Red Arrows, Gurkhas, refugees and Tax Credits come to mind but I might be wrong.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Good going cobber

Speed cameras are not there as revenue generation but to stop bad drivers speeding.

Except those monitoring 30mph stretches which have been inserted along dual carriageways for no good reason, and on roads where the speed is inexplicably lower than what it would be presumed to be, and often was.

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YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond

Jason Bloomberg
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Joke

LOL

"YouTube’s dominant position in online video is likely to make YouTube TV a huge success"

Only if they include blip-verts. And that might present it's own problems.

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Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: @Valarian

Whether your code will compile and run correctly is beside the point.

Exactly; even "tree = BalanceBinaryTree(tree)" shows some knowledge of programming concepts. They are looking for the reaction of someone who claims to be something but knows nothing of the subject they claim to be skilled in.

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CloudPets' woes worsen: Webpages can turn kids' stuffed toys into creepy audio bugs

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Grab the burning torches and pitchforks

I've come back to this because it's still annoying me. This wasn't scaremongering over the Bluetooth API as such

Except for the sub-headline; "Warnings about leaky Bluetooth Web API all-too-accurate".

That appears to me to suggest the Bluetooth Web API is at fault here.

From the article: "Basically, it is possible for a webpage to connect to CloudPets plushie, via Bluetooth in the computer or handheld viewing the page, without any authentication"

Yes; and that's a failure of authentication, not a failure of the Web Bluetooth API. I would refer you to the post below from pdjstone; "Author of the blog here ... I don't think there's anything particularly bad about Web Bluetooth itself (Chrome pops up a prompt and the user has to explicitly choose a device to connect to)".

There is no automatic means for a web page to automatically connect to any Bluetooth device, including CloudToy. That requires human intervention.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Range

Someone connecting to a child's toy at long range from outside your house is effectively impossible.

I am not convinced of that. Not sure what 30 metres is in El Reg units, but it's about 100 foot in old money. I worked with BT/BLE and our scanning application using an off-the-shelf Bluetooth dongle detects neighbour's equipment three doors down and people walking past the office.

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Jason Bloomberg
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Stop

Grab the burning torches and pitchforks

Scaremongering over the Bluetooth API is simply opportunistic agenda pushing; no better than criticism that a browser allows a web cam to be turned on when the user allows it to be turned on, accusing safety filters of not working when the user has explicitly disabled those, blaming a browser for allowing the upload of confidential files when the user decides to upload those files.

Presumably the gun, rope, pills or razor blade - or those who sell such things - are to blame when some poor sod decides to top themselves.

And I guess routers should not allow people to expose their networks to the public because bad things can then happen.

I can agree there are some people who need help protecting themselves from themselves but that does not mean we need wide sweeping nanny-statism which prevents those who understand what they are doing from doing that. Just because El Reg doesn't like it doesn't mean that others don't.

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Raspberry Pi gives us all new 'Pi Zero W' for its fifth birthday

Jason Bloomberg
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Re: Why not just sell the on Amazon

The root cause of limited availability is the Zero was not manufactured in sufficient quantity, and the reason for that is the RRP is too low to allow them to be economically manufactured in quantity and have too little margin for larger retailers to stock them.

Hopefully the increased price changes that.

If they can manufacture enough, with enough margin for larger retailers, we might see them in superstores alongside DVDs, SD cards and TV streamers and elsewhere.

It hasn't helped that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has repeatedly underestimated the popularity of their products. They expected to only sell 10,000 at the start, did not do much better with the Zero. Let's hope they do better with the Zero W. It has so far proven the case that the best engineers don't necessarily make good business leaders.

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