* Posts by Richard Wharram

1199 posts • joined 7 Apr 2008

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Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

Richard Wharram

Re: But El Reg complained first!

"Why would one fictional story be better than any other?!"

Have you seen Highlander 2?

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Richard Wharram

Re: But El Reg complained first!

The Sky Fairy should care more about the blatant usage of a nativity scene not described in the Gospels (regardless of the sausage roll replacing baby Jesus).

The 3 wise men/magi/kings were in the Matthew version of the nativity story. In that they follow a star to what is definitely a house, not a stable. There is no 'manger' (actually the Greek word for manger and crib was the same so that is probably a mis-translation anyway) and Jesus was not described as a baby but a child.

The Luke version of the story has shepherds, angels, an inn, a BABY Jesus and possibly a manger (see above) but no wise men.

Mark and John don't describe the events.

Greggs at least need to move their pastry into one version of the story not some hybrid/reboot.

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Russian spies used Kaspersky AV to hack NSA staffer, swipe exploit code – new claim

Richard Wharram

I remember stuff like that used to get referred to as Jap-crap.

Ironic when you consider the quality of British cars in the 70s.

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Richard Wharram

Wouldn't surprise me either way

Maybe Kaspersky was a knowing actor in this under their obligations as a Russian company or maybe not. It wouldn't be that hard for the FSB to get hold of it without Kaspersky's help. The big issue is the contractor moving highly sensitive info onto their personal laptop on a personal internet connection. Software that dials home of any origin is just the icing on the cake. A determined foreign agency could have found a way to get that info in some manner. That's the problem.

I'm not sure what they hope to gain by washing dirty laundry in public.

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Russian bot-herder and election-fiddling suspect closer to US trial

Richard Wharram

Re: "I will die within a year"

I think his bigger worry if he does have some info the CIA might like to get hold of is being served nice cup of Pollonium tea or similar. Russian efforts to quiet troublesome people aren't limited to their own shores:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/report-us-intelligence-believes-russia-assassinated-14-in-uk-10

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Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

Richard Wharram

Re: Ignorance isn't bliss

Would upvote twice if I could.

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Facebook ran $100k of deliberately divisive Russian ads ahead of 2016 US election

Richard Wharram

Oh for fuck's sake. I though this had vanished and typed another, similar one. This is eating into the time I was planning to spend watching the Richard Donner cut of Superman II with my 9 year old. We've just watched the Theatrical cut and I wanted to go through it frame by frame with him until he is bored rigid :)

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Richard Wharram

Original reply got lost in the Forum mists re-typing what I remember...

"Where did you find the ads that Facebook blocked? I have looked and looked and can't find them.

As to the specifics, there certainly are non-citizens who vote in the USA. Voter registration and verification in the USA is woeful. But I've no idea what the figures are. I'm not sure anyone does. But it's irrelevant to my point which is that we should be allowed to see counter-points and not have them censored. If the above is one of the ads (again, please tell me where you found the ads because I cannot), then ads should be discriminated against based on their truthfulness, not on where they originate. And in this case, they have been blocked because they are alleged to be from Russia. There are active efforts to discredit and block foreign news sources and viewpoints and this should be of great concern to all of us."

I saw them on some accounts on Twitter that I have reasonable trust in. There's a chance they may not be correct, time will tell, but they certainly fit the description in the article. Again, I point you at Kasparov and Browder. Great accounts to follow on twitter if you are interested in 'all viewpoints'.

Again you present a misleading argument. Facebook isn't blocking these accounts because they are Russian or because they present a different viewpoint. It is blocking them for violating its ToS. They pretended to be from the US as persons or entities that did not exist. You have to be who you say you are to advertise, fake accounts aren't allowed. You could dismiss this as a 'fig leaf' but if you can just dismiss everything everyone says you aren't debating. You are just asserting that you are correct.

The US government may also have a problem with the adverts as US law states that foreign entities can't do campaign advertising in the US. Now maybe these adverts didn't constitute that. And in the US those who placed the ads could defend themselves in a court of law because the judicial branch is not subservient to the executive one in the US, unlike in Russia.

I didn't dismiss the FT articles. I took the time to read them and concluded that they didn't support the conclusion you drew from them. No dismissal needed. Again, a misrepresentation.

I've frequently stated that I don't believe the US is perfect and has done many things wrong. It seems to me though that your idea of everyone should be open to 'alternative viewpoints' only runs one way. I am supposed to read things provided by yourself and have a Millhouse moment. When have you ever criticised or accepted criticism of Russia?

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Richard Wharram

"As to the specifics, there certainly are non-citizens who vote in the USA. Voter registration and verification in the USA is woeful. But I've no idea what the figures are. I'm not sure anyone does. But it's irrelevant to my point which is that we should be allowed to see counter-points and not have them censored. If the above is one of the ads (again, please tell me where you found the ads because I cannot), then ads should be discriminated against based on their truthfulness, not on where they originate. And in this case, they have been blocked because they are alleged to be from Russia. There are active efforts to discredit and block foreign news sources and viewpoints and this should be of great concern to all of us."

I've seen them on accounts on Twitter that I have reasonable trust in. Time will tell if they are correct but they certainly fit the description in the article. Again if you want to see the other side try following Kasparov or Browder. Can't remember if it was them but they are a good starting point.

Your description of the problem here is again misleading. Facebook is not saying it has a problem with them because they might be from Russia. It is saying they have a problem with them because they violated their policies. Specifically they were paid for by entities that did not exist claiming to be from the US when they were not. Facebook's policy is that you don't lie about who you are. Of course you could just argue that that is yet another 'fig-leaf' but if all statements can be dismissed in this manner then you aren't having a debate. You are just asserting that you are correct.

The US government is saying they may have a problem if they are from Russia because that would violate US law on foreign campaign spending. Although in the US someone would be able to defend against such a charge should it come to court because the judicial branch is not subservient to the executive as it is in Russia.

I'm not 'dismissing' the FT. I took the time to read those articles and they didn't support the conclusion you asserted they did.

Your idea of all viewpoints being valuable only seems to apply one way. That I should read things you post and draw the same conclusion. I've readily admitted the US has done many bad things. What have you ever admitted is wrong with Russia?

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

I freely admit I don't have the time to pick through every paragraph so I pick an easy one I that takes me 2 minutes. This is not my full-time job sorry. You are attempting to turn this into a war of attrition.

Rather than go down that road why not go back to the original point of the article. You express that Facebook should not be blocking access to 'foreign viewpoints'. Reportedly one of the adverts in question said:

"Up to 5.8 million illegals may have voted in the 2008 election. Share if you think this is wrong."

This is not a foreign viewpoint. It is a straight-up lie. You can't even discuss the original point of the article without putting a ridiculous spin on it.

I'm not trying to prove that the US is perfect. I don't believe it is.

Please try reading the two books I recommended earlier. It is possible that you could learn too.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

"This is why it's so important that groups like Facebook or the EU don't get away with restricting access to foreign viewpoints"

That's a highly circuitous way of describing that Russians should be allowed to break US laws.

You haven't provided any concrete evidence that sanctions against Gazprom are purely for the purposes of propping up US shale gas, just hearsay and some pissed-off Germans already involved in NS2. Indeed, given the logistics in trying to get US gas over to Germany with the Atlantic Ocean in the way rather than building a pipeline to a different European or Asian country that would be a pretty weak strategy.

You even mention Enron which was a scandal in 2001, widely publicised in the so-called MSM, and which led to new legislation, Sarbannes-Oxley, to try to prevent it happening again. Would these sorts of things happen to Gazprom or Rosneft? Not a chance. Any irregularities in their business will be with full approval of Putin and certainly won't have RT or Sputnik clamouring for corporate heads to roll.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Actually I thought you'd have picked up on why I chose 'idiot' rather than any other pejorative term. I was referring to the common phrase in international relations and apologia, a 'useful idiot'. In this case it is not the critic of the apologist who holds them in contempt but the party being apologised for who does so.

It reportedly dates back to Lenin but has applied to defenders of questionable regimes for many years.

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/opinion/sierakowski-putins-useful-idiots.html

A list of 'Whatabouts' of does not change the fact the the US still has Rule Of Law, as Trump finds out to his cost, whereas Russia has rule of Putin regardless of law or constitution.

Neither does it change the fact that RT and Sputnik are not equivalents or 'the other side' from CNN and NBC. The latter outlets are in no way mission-driven to push the narratives of the President of their country. As Trump has again found to his cost.

False equivalences. The stock in trade of the Useful Idiot.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

I didn't say Saudi Aramco is abnormal. Read more carefully.

Neither am I trying to persuade anyone I'm a jingoist. Im not even American. I just won't put up with idiots pretending there's any moral equivalence between Putins mafia state and most western nations.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

But that is just missing the point. Saudi Aramco is owned by the Saudi state and that is not a normal state either. I grant you both in a second. But the US, for whatever reasons, is not trying to impose sanctions on the House Of Saud. Therefore it is not under sanction.

I truly wish it was under sanction. Unfortunately that is not the point in hand.

Another point to note about US Shale Gas and Oil though is that it has put more pressure on both the Putin and Saud regimes than any sanctions ever have. Just the fact that one of the largest energy consumers in the world could suddenly become independent of Saudi and Russia (not China though because of debt and manufacturing) because of a technology choice has changed the world immeasurably,

/edit: also I am not even remotely in a hole. Honest question. None of you are going to change my mind any more than I am going to change yours. Why do you still bother?

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

The articles you just posted don't even take the position that the NS2 sanction is about increasing US shale gas export. The rightly say that some in Germany are a bit pissed off and think the US is interfering where it shouldn't but most of the EU wants to diversify gas supply away from Russia as it has used its position to hold states to ransom in the past.

There's clear statements in your articles that many EU nations disagree with Germany (which as pointed out by the FT would become an energy powerhouse itself to the detriment of Ukraine from NS2 so is far from impartial here) and would prefer new pipelines from other European/Asian nations. Not that they would all wish to import US shale gas.

The articles do not support your position that the sanctions affecting NS2 are primarily about helping shale gas exports. Only that some people (mainly Germans already involved in the project) suspect this may be part of the reasoning. It may even BE a PART of the reasoning. There's a lot of pork-barrelling in anything that goes through congress. However it is not the stated reason or the primary reason. Gazprom and Rosneft are targets of sanctions because they are not normal oil companies. They are part of the Russian state's (which is not separated from the interests of any particular group as it would be in a normal democracy) criminal enterprise and personally enrich its dictator and oligarchs and pay for its ability to repress its people, wage war and interfere in US elections.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Sanctions are not only ever about the most recent cause or only ever about 1 cause. They are more often based on a pattern of behaviour over years and whether any previous sanctions have been seen as successful or if they need to be reinforced with further sanctions. Maybe once in a while the MSM might be a useful source?

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/25/europe/russia-sanctions-explainer/index.html

(Oh, and accusing you of employing a misleading argument is not an ad hominem)

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Richard Wharram

Influenced by advertising is a slightly misleading premise. They weren't trying to sell a product or a candidate. They were attempting to change mindsets by triggering viral outrage.

Instead of the advertising industry, think of how the Daily Mail in the UK and Fox News in the US have successfully turned millions of our parents into grumpy old gits who think everything is rubbish about the modern world and associate that with 'progressive' politics. Works pretty well doesn't it.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Ah yes, the good old "everybody does it so let me go" trick...

Gets an upvote from me :)

Whilst I'm completely on the side of Obama/Clinton in the question of which side should have won the 2016 election, Obama and Clinton both failed badly in actually dealing with Putin and Medvedev. They basically did nothing until after 2014 when more experienced heads like 2008 candidate John McCain saw the danger then and wanted action ASAP.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Nordstrom 2 = Gazprom = Russian State = Criminal

I'm not going point to point as I stated. I don't have time or inclination so yes sometimes I will have moved between different points. Really not a big deal.

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Richard Wharram

Re: @Richard

Because your points are typical Kremlin talking-points. They rely on misrepresentation of stories that are mostly true but to give a misleading impression and will have been answered better elsewhere by the likes of Kasparov or Max Boot or Snopes. I don't need to go into them point by point. Just google beyond your usual sources as you advocate.

Back to RT:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/how-russia-dominates-your-twitter-feed-to-promote-lies-and-trump-too

And now I'm going to watch Ray Donovan with the Mrs and have a beer.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Missing the point. Putin cronies are punished by the Magnitsky Act and such because they are criminals, complicit in a murderous regime, trying to use laundered money to live the high life in the west not because they are pro-Russian therefore your conflating the two is disingenuous and is a standard propaganda tactic used by RT, Sputnik and the like.

I may also point out the usage of whataboutism. Another standard Kremlin-line.

I'm surprised I haven't seen the "Russian critics are just trying to bring about World War 3 to enrich the military-industrial-complex" line yet.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Or from the sensible side of the fence we have the common truism:

"Never believe anything until the Kremlin denies it."

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

"Or the sanctions it has imposed on Russia and Ukrainians who were pro-Russian?"

Just as a quick example. pro-Russian being used instead of Putin's cronies/gangsters. Conflating the two.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Fake accounts? Say it ain't so!

"With Facebook you have the advertising outreach to reach all 7 trillion Venusians. Just enter your credit card details here."

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

"I presume you don't mean it as a criticism because he's Russian, after all! :)"

This is the standard diversion tactic you are using again and again. Conflating dislike of Putin, cronies and his corrupt regime with anti-Russian sentiment. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's like calling someone who was critical of Mao anti-Chinese, anti-Han or sino-phobic. The interests of a dictator and those of his subjects rarely coincide. There are plenty of Russians and ex-soviets I admire. Unfortunately many of them are now dead for various reasons.

In the spirit of 'free speech' and 'assessing all the viewpoints' why not read one or both of these:

Gary Kasparov: Winter is Coming

Bill Browder: Red Notice

(As typed in the brief interlude between work and getting kids ready for bed so sorry I don't have time for a point by point)

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Richard Wharram

Re: @Richard

Because I have a job.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Figures

White Helmets are not an anti-Assad group. Not unless you count acknowledging that there is a humanitarian crisis in Syria and attempting to help saves lives as being anti-Assad.

http://www.snopes.com/syrian-rescue-organization-the-white-helmets-are-terrorists/

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Richard Wharram

Re: Figures

In the Breitbart world these people are 'Globalists' and regularly have their names surrounded by globes in headlines. This is because putting Star of Davids around their name would be just a little bit more obvious. The alt-right, conspiracy-theorists and Russian Propaganda have been dog-whistling Jews like Soros for years now.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

Your analysis of the Euromaidan revolution could have been made by Sergei Lavrov himself. The protests against Yanukovych started before the Nazi-leaning party joined and was not led by them. It was much more led by Vitaly Klitschko, the boxer. Ukrainians from across the political spectrum (albeit less so in Eastern Ukraine) protested against having their country moved back into a new USSR-Lite.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_world_/2014/02/20/russia_says_the_ukrainian_protesters_are_fascists_and_nazis_are_they.html

Etc...

And the Crimean referendum should be held in the same regard as Russia's elections. A parody of democracy.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

'our side' implies a false equivalence. CNN, NBC etc are not directly state-controlled by an overt state propaganda arm.

Pointing out that no news outlet is perfect does not contradict the fact that RT and Sputnik are propaganda channels and CNN and NBC are not. Both can be true.

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Richard Wharram

Re: Figures

As an American citizen it's completely within his rights to display an allegiance to either candidate. How is that relevant?

(ignoring the NWO/Soros gubbins as I don't read InfoWars)

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Richard Wharram

Re: Just when you thought...

There are sanctions with Russia because it invaded Georgia and Ukraine.

There are also 'sanctions' from the Magnitsky Act that are not really sanctions on Russia at all but on certain of its oligarchs with the aim of stopping them from enjoying the fruits of wealth corruptly siphoned from ordinary Russians. Putin's underbosses very much prefer to spend their ill-gotten gains in the west by moving them to western bank accounts. The Act aims to prevent that which is very much in the interests of ordinary Russians whose welfare is adversely affected by living in a corrupt and brutal dictatorship.

RT is not a less western viewpoint. It is propaganda. Modern day Pravda.

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WikiLeaks a 'hostile intelligence service', SS7 spying, Russian money laundering – all now on US Congress todo list

Richard Wharram

Re: The real hostile intelligence service

Zerohedge reader?

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Foot-long £1 sausage roll arrives

Richard Wharram

Re: but does it taste any good

Were these bakers overly reliant on bottles of rough shit from that bloke on the precinct? About time they closed down tbh. Not been the same since the gaffer died.

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Richard Wharram

Re: You've got to question the quality

Loss-leader / gimmick.

/edit: Haku beat me by a second to that comment.

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Richard Wharram

The basics

3 well-cooked sausages

Tinned tomatoes with loads of pepper (over the sausages)

2 extra-crispy slices of smoked back bacon

2 hash browns

1 fried egg (runny yolk for dipping in)

1 slice of black pudding

1 slice of fried white bread

Quantities may be increased in times of need.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Richard Wharram

Re: Wading in late

"while you wouldn't trust Bonnie Langford's character to change a lightbulb the Doctor has had his fair share of useful companions through the years"

Mel Bush was a computer programmer with a photographic memory.

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UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

Richard Wharram

Gambling

The gambling model is a dumb one to follow. Gambling websites need access to your cash by definition. Streaming pr0n doesn't (necessarily, so I'm told. Obviously I don't know.) This is just a measure to make people scared to fap.

So the purpose of the legislation is to scare people from masturb4ting by leaving them open to fraud if they do. Is that how responsible governments should behave?

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Richard Wharram

Whose name is on it?

Name, shame and fire.

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Richard Wharram

The One Show has clearly lost the plot

Get back to stories about hedgerows and 80s pop stars please!!

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Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance

Richard Wharram

Liberty

Liberty may be opposing this but former leader Shami Chakrobarty didn't do shit once she joined Labour.

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UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

Richard Wharram

Sure let him go

But just ensure there's a mix-up so he accidentally lands in Sweden.

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Walmart tells developers to stay away from AWS

Richard Wharram

Headline

Is slightly misleading. Had to read a few sentences to realise.

Walmart has banned it's own teams, or partners developing software that it will own on completion, from deploying on AWS (or more pertinently S3) since forever.

Presumably this is guidance for partners offering SaaS / PaaS that if you only deploy on AWS you'll probably not get past initial review on RFP.

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Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

Richard Wharram

Aiden Gillen

Doctor Littlefinger.

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Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

Richard Wharram

Re: I wonder...

https://twitter.com/pwnallthethings/status/816621553643294720

Seems a fair enough bet the Russians were involved tbh.

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US judge rubber-stamps Volkswagen's 'Dieselgate' settlement

Richard Wharram

Re: Once was a Fan ...

EU consumer law is unlikely to be set up to disadvantage the VW group in favour of the customer I suspect :/

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Dirty diesel backups will make Hinkley Point C look like a bargain

Richard Wharram

Greens just don't understand numbers

Build more storage, they cry

What storage, is the reply

Duh. Pushing water uphill. Look it's already done all over the world, they retort

Someone crunches the numbers and finds that Britain would need 390 more Dinorwigs which don't actually exist so it would require large quantities of dynamite and the biggest structural engineering project in the history of the world...

Ah, but, never mind that, can we just talk about how wind and solar are a bit cheaper than nuclear in some countries again please?

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HP Ink buys Samsung's printer business for a BILLION dollars

Richard Wharram

Nooooooo

Admittedly I don't print much so don't buy the top-of-the-range printers but I've never had a printer I didn't physically hate and fantasise about attacking with shit-smeared power tools until I got my Samsung.

I am largely indifferent to the Samsung printer which is probably about the best I could hope for.

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

Richard Wharram

Buh?

I, err, what?

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Dropbox: Leaked DB of 68 million account passwords is real

Richard Wharram

Meh

If the salt is complex enough then a leak doesn't matter. That's the whole point. It shows that the company's security needs work but they won't get your password.

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