* Posts by John Robson

1933 posts • joined 19 May 2008

Smut site fingered as 'source' of a million US net neutrality comments

John Robson
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Re: American democracy

@Dr Syntax.

It was deliberate...

The EC system is particularly broken because of the way the different colleges decide to handle their votes. Surely a proportional split would make much more sense than each section of the country rounding their votes up to provide 100% support, when a candidate likely only received 60%.

I'm not suggesting that anywhere else has a perfect system - but this peculiar artefact of the US system is particularly screwy.

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John Robson
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Re: American democracy

"Well, you get the government you majority vote for (unless there's electoral irregularities at work)."

In general governments are made of the largest minority, not a majority.

IIRC the actual figures of population voting are not in Trumps favour - but it's only the weird electoral collage system (paint by numbers) that actually votes for a president...

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Baywatch hero drone saves silly struggling swimmers Down Under from going down under

John Robson
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Pretty accurate drop...

And a good inflation upon impact with the water. Looked pretty decent to me, and an excellent use of the technology. Have one sat on the roof of the lifeguard hut, fuelled/charged and ready to roll pretty fast.

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Ofcom cracks on with spectrum auction rules, despite Three's legal challenge

John Robson
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Re: 1st... nope.,.. 2nd... almost ... 3rd world .. yes!

> my mobile data speed in Vietnam was 75m/bits, my home fiber was 24.... using Wifi is from the 90s and your reasoning shows they have managed to convince you it is acceptable!

Oh, yes - that's where I'm going wrong - I'm still in the 90's ...

There are good physics reasons that fixed line services should be higher capacity and speed than mobile services.

My home connection is about 75MB/s, I have no idea what my mobile data speed is, because I don't use it for large volume downloads - but it's quite fast enough for mapping and browsing.

If I want to watch a film then I will either stream it when I get home, or if you insist on torrenting it (which really does seem daft on a mobile device) then I'll trigger my home device to do that...

I don't want a movie on my phone/tablet in general. If I do then it's more than likely a planned trip, so I'll have preloaded it.

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John Robson
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Consumers can benefit...

Really?

When we have universal 2G coverage, and close to universal 4G coverage then we can consider moving to 5G.

Pretty much the only people who will benefit at this stage are the government coffers...

Yes, a few people in select locations in cities will be able to download their latest film desires in a few seconds less, but why aren't you doing that on WiFi anyway???

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UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

John Robson
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"The delivery driver should not have had access to the buyers phone number."

Agree...

But your solution falls short.

As the delivery driver for a JustEat using provider he should therefore log into the JustEat app (either on a personal device or one provided by the provider) as a driver and log that there is a delay, that will then be sent via SMS or email to the buyer without the driver ever needing to see it.

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Self-driving cars still do not exist even if we think they do

John Robson
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Re: They kinda do and kinda don't

JeffyPooh: Keep In Lane, meet snow-covered roads, meet filthy camera, meet inconsistent and faded markings.

Telsa have a significant number of cars in Norway - this isn't a problem they are unable to solve.

> Naive trust in Self Driving technology will see you decapitated by a semi truck's "invisible" 53-foot trailer.

Well, yes - if you ignore the warnings the car is giving you, and the warnings you were given when you bought the car, and completely fail to pay any attention to the road *and* someone turns in front of you poorly then you'll come a cropper... But you will note that despite being told (repeatedly) to keep their attention on the road the driver you refer to also failed to observe the trailer.

This is where L4 on Motorways comes in. The environment is massively simplified, and it's relatively easy to wake the driver up and say 'hey, in a minute or so we'll be heading off the motorway and you'll be needed'.

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John Robson
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Re: They kinda do and kinda don't

> Do they? Without a human there just in case? No.

Because motor cars still have men with red flags walking in front of them. Of course they still have people around, but from the bits and pieces I've seen, and my own ability to look at the road and assess what is happening I suspect that *commercial* L4 on motorways is not actually that far off.

I'd like to think that my kids might never have to learn to drive, but I suspect that is somewhat optimistic (as it always has been).

I'd also like to think that when we do get Full L5 cars the courts might start growing a pair and actually revoking the licenses of those who have demonstrated themselves unfit to hold a lollipop, let alone a steering wheel.

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Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

John Robson
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>>Because it *looks* unusual in that it not the same as any of the other systems we've observed.

>>It might be observational bias that makes us look unusual, but I'm pretty sure I went over that before...

>Yes, but as others have noted: we can't expect to observe similar systems with our current technology.

Would those mysterious 'others' you mention actually be me (in the very first reply on this thread, and mentioned in the post you selectively quoted)?

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John Robson
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>> "But we can reasonably say that it looks like our system is unusual."

> "Why?"

Because it *looks* unusual in that it not the same as any of the other systems we've observed.

When that number was one ours looked typical.

Now that that number is somewhat larger - we look very unusual.

It might be observational bias that makes us look unusual, but I'm pretty sure I went over that before...

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John Robson
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But we can reasonably say that it looks like our system is unusual.

Of course I don't actually know how many small, rocky exoplanet containing systems we know - as opposed to those where we know about gas giants close to the parent star.

Is our current detection technology only picking up those systems where a gas giant formed 'close' and then dominated proceedings rather than forming further out and creating a system like ours.

I have *NO* data on any of the above, the astroboffins almost certainly do, and I imagine that since they are probably rather smart they have looked at such possible observation causality.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

John Robson
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"consistent with the public trust"

So just randomly and as much as you can, before putting it all on an unsecured S3 bin with a copy of the victims passport etc?

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Apple agrees to pay £136m in back idiot taxes to UK taxman

John Robson
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Re: largest taxpayer in the world

Well, they do pay (some) tax.

And they are very fat cats.

Whether they are the fattest fat cats in the world is a different question...

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Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

John Robson
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Re: I'm Guessing Russian Hackers

Sky were 3,999 of the viewers...

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You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

John Robson
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Re: Discuss

"Cinnamon seems to have the best "windows-like" appearance"

My car has the best 'crash like' brakes available...

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Parliamentary 'puters made 30k tries to procure pr0nz last year

John Robson
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Is that not a challenge?

The parliamentary filters bans all porn sites.

Guest network runs through the filter.

How long before someone finds one it *doesn't* block.

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UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

John Robson
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Extra tax on pubs...

After all people can have conversations in them... Shock horror.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

John Robson
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Re: God bless her...

> One person could bail this leak with a teaspoon.

> Actually make that a cup. It's 0.06 L/sec, so you'd have to move your arms really fast with a teaspoon...

Depends how many decks you need to run up each time to tip the bucket of water back into the sea...

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John Robson
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Or we could promise that £3.5b to *all* of the things that cost that much...

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Windows 10 Hello face recognition can be fooled with photos

John Robson
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"ORLY? I've lost count of the number of times I've heard of lost keys and wallets or found the same lying around in the middle of nowhere."

Yes - we genuinely are quite good at keeping things safe.

And of course if you find a secureID token, or one of those debit card based versions...

You still don't have the 'other' factor.

2FA does nothing for the man standing behind you with a lead pipe... but it does make systems much less vulnerable to simple hacks.

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John Robson
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>How does the user authenticate themselves on that other device?

You don't - but without that device (we're quite good at keeping physical objects, like phones, keys and cash secure) *and* something you know... then you don't get in.

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Dump ur mobile provider via txt by 2019: LMFAO cu l8r

John Robson
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Re: Alternatively...

>Call your current provider and request a code?

>That's a bit 20th century isn't it?

It comes from the aggressive 'pinch your number and contract' techniques of less than scrupulous sellers.

You have to tell your existing provider that your number is being ported, else it's locked.

It's actually not a bad idea - it's just that getting the PAC can take longer than it should (and it should be available through the 'manage my account' section of their website/app)

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John Robson
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Re: Erm...

>It could also be killed by wiping out all the settings, or by dropping it on the floor and breaking the screen. Don't leave your phone unattended or especially unattended and unlocked in places where you don't trust people around you not to be assholes.

Yes it could - but at least a legal contract couldn't be changed without any attempt at verification of authority.

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John Robson
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Erm...

So an unlocked phone sat on a desk would be killed by sending a single text message from it?

That seems, how shall I put this? Risky?

The current method isn't great, but I wonder if this is a step too far.

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Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

John Robson
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I need another wooden spoon for the kitchen...

And this was my first thought.

Why involve any change externally. With the size of drive caches nowadays the disk is doing all the data rearranging anyway, so it could reasonably intelligently divvy the data up itself.

Of course a naive striped pair approach would simply tie the heads back together again (on write at least), but an internal firmware change to take advantage of what I suppose is effectively 'more spindles' strikes me as an easier approach than most other options (unless you genuinely present as two disks (can a normal SATA/SAS port take that?)

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2017 – the year of containers! It wasn't? Oops. Maybe next year

John Robson
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Re: Container == process

It's slightly more than that - it's a way to easily share and distribute that chroot directory with associated library dependencies.

It's a way to share config amongst the directories and to obfuscate the networking to the point where an epileptic spider dipped in ink would be considered coherent.

IIRC there is also a bit more memory protection than a plain chroot process has - but I might be wrong about that.

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Poor NASA sods sent to spend Xmas in Antarctic ahead of satellite launch

John Robson
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Joke

Re: Baby, it's cold out there...

>Oh, yes you will get some sun. In fact you can tell time by it. Hopefully it doesn't shine in the window at 3am (like it did to me).

Just make sure you get a south facing window ;)

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'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

John Robson
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"It is a VERY bad idea to secure the lid on a LN2 flask except during temporary transport. Otherwise what you will have is a bomb."

Well, that depends on the lid...

A non gas tight lid is fine, it stops it spilling if accidentally knocked over, reduces losses and doesn't result in a pressure buildup.

However leaving an open dewer in front of a door is genuinely daft...

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PHWOAR, those noughty inks: '0.1%' named Stat of The Year

John Robson
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80% artificial...

Is very dense, and massively depends on the area you look at (it's worse than measuring the coastline)

If you look at the street where I live you could either say that 0 of it is more than 80% covered, or that 50% of it is more than 80% covered...

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No hack needed: Anonymisation beaten with a dash of SQL

John Robson
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Just stop...

Don't try to anonymise the data...

It's clearly too hard a problem for those who are trying to do it - and if it isn't anonymised at all then people might realise that it isn't anonymised....

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FCC douses America's net neutrality in gas, tosses over a lit match

John Robson
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Re: Black arm bands for everyone

>> "Imagine if in the plain old telephone days that AT&T owned a share of Pizza Hut. They easily could have blocked all phone calls going to Dominos or even rerouted them to Pizza Hut. The public would have gone berserk and likely burned AT&T to the ground. This is the type of thing that Pai's decision today will allow with regards to the Internet."

>That's a great example - I believe that the people will go berserk if the ISPs start messing with access to sites or services. And I have no doubt that people will be watching very closely for it to happen, too. And the outcry will be much more powerful of a deterrent than any slap on the wrist the government would issue.

The only issue is that of 'what good does going berserk do?'

As I understand it there is negligible competition in last mile broadband services in large parts of the US.

So as a USian you have the choice of broadband with all your Netflix requests rerouted to Prime, or not having an internet connection...

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Erase 2017 from your brain. Face ID never happened. The Notch is an illusion

John Robson
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Re: Prefer authentication on the front of the phone

>Balls! iPhone needs two hands to unlock the display. The Pixel needs one. (I have both)

I manage quite easily with a single hand...

Actually I manage quite easily with one hand on the iPad mini as well, so I don't even think it's device size related.

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IETF protects privacy and helps net neutrality with DNS over HTTPS

John Robson
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Re: @the d-rat (non e-mouse)

>> Now tell us how you propose to scale that to serve a few billion devices.

>That's a very valid question (And I'd be interested in the answer) but it wasn't the question that was asked ;-)

Given that there is a reasonable likelihood that you'll want a handful of queries then you could do a couple of things to make it much more efficient...

You don't drop the https connection straight away - you hold it open for a second or two, so that subsequent queries can be sent over the existing connection.

Maybe even have a scan through the page you load and fire off all the queries in one question as well.

The point isn't individual scale at this point - it's getting a 'known' and (for some level of the word) trusted provider to give you DNS results.

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Archive of 1.4 billion credentials in clear text found in dark web archive

John Robson
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Re: STOP. In the name of love.

>>Write the code on the access point. If someone has access to the AP, it's game over anyway.

>Not really. Sure they could factory-reset it, but then a) it'd be discovered quickly and b) would be

>of limited use (your reset would wipe the ISP details so no WAN connection). The admin is fairly

>well locked down and I haven't yet found a way to break it, so unlike a lot of crappy ISP-supplied

>ones, just visiting the admin page won't get you anywhere even if you are plugged in by cable.

Depends what they do with physical access - most routers will happily give you and ethernet connection without question. That might be the valuable thing. Or you could put in an ethernet/wireless bridge to which you can later connect at will.

If the issue is protecting the WiFi passcode then you are correct physical access isn't necessarily game over (although many devices have a physical button to let devices connect without auth for thirty seconds.)

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John Robson
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Re: STOP. In the name of love.

Two factor authbstill tends to use a password as one of the factors...

I can’t get to my AP very easily - it’s ceiling mounted. Writing it there is no help. A long, but typeable, key is a good compromise between usability and security. If I was being really paranoid I’d have a radius server and post connection authorisation dropping me onto an appropriate vlan. Of course the connection would be cert based as well...

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John Robson
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Re: STOP. In the name of love.

Slightly missing the point of the XKCD cartoon there.

Password managers are clearly a good way to go - I have no idea what most of my passwords are, and I don't need to. That much the article has correct.

But there are a host of passwords which I *do* need to remember.

WiFi codes are one obvious example, and actually they are one where the correcthorsebatterystaple is a decent mechanism (assuming you can choose random words).

I am slightly surprised that such an article doesn't major on keys/certs - register with a site by sending it your public key/cert, and bingo.

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VW's US environment boss gets seven years for Dieselgate scam

John Robson
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Re: Gimme that old time religion

No it's not an entire defence, at no point did I say it was - you said that you couldn't see anything that justified omission of *any* of the OT restrictions.

That is one reference to a passage which does just that.

Since you clearly have no interest in actually having a discussion (claiming that Paul's letters are non biblical is a new lone though - trolling credit where it's due) then there is no point in continuing the conversation.

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John Robson
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Re: Gimme that old time religion

Matthew 15.

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John Robson
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Re: Gimme that old time religion

"I'm having difficulty following the reasoning about the 10 commandments."

What are you struggling to understand?

From what you've written it sounds like you suggesting that I don't follow the restrictions about shellfish purely because they are in the OT... That's the not reason I don't live out those restrictions.

If you read the gospels then you might find out why those restrictions are no longer observed, and therefore understand why the Ten Commandments are still observed.

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John Robson
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Re: outrageous

> And since we know that the root of all evil is the love of money

>> Any other bits of the bible you take seriously? Not wearing mixed fabrics? Stoning adulterers?

>> Not eating shellfish?

Yes, I do take the bible seriously.

Those were OT restrictions and penalties - I'm not quite sure why you think they are relevant to a discussion of the nature of greed.

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John Robson
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Re: outrageous

"There are a couple of classes of shareholders to consider. The Wall Street crowd are certainly only interested in the short term which can be defined as the end of their current bonus period. Those of us who are pensioners and who actually provided the money invested in this are interested in the long term continuation of profits; we are not particularly happy with the antics of the speculating crowd, nor of those company employees who respond to them. "

Agreed - but unfortunately the short term burners seem to rule the roost, whether by bullying and chancing their way to owning more of the shares than they should or by just shouting loudest.

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John Robson
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Re: outrageous

"the premise that ALL corporations are inherently evil, and must be punished, is a COMMUNIST one. It should be rejected on THAT basis, alone."

Corporations exist to make profit for shareholders - since shareholders (the generic blob of shareholders represented by Wall Street) are only interested in short term profits and dividends then their prime motivation is money.

And since we know that the root of all evil is the love of money I think we can reasonably suggest that corporations have an inherent bias to evil.

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Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

John Robson
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Re: Paper rocket

>>Any rocket designed in Powerpoint should never get out.

>What about Excel?

Some of my first rocket simulations were done in excel (IIRC there was a macro pack called something like Watson??)

Some of those were where I spotted a fuel reporting error on the NASA website for one of their deep space probes (this is 20 years ago now) and asked them what the actual situation was. Got a nice reply, and the website updated.

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John Robson
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Well - since they crashed 4 (or was it 5) of the third stages into the moon (as seismometer calibration tests) I have to disagree.

The Saturn V was designed and built to send men to the moon (using the Apollo spacecraft)

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Opportunity rover survives Martian winter for eighth time

John Robson
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Re: Obligatory...

Also - how do you power the wipers at the end of winter?

I've often thought that a sot bristled brush which could be used by the robot arm would be fun...

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Bring me your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to see behavioural advertising

John Robson
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So can we install the 'go' version

on 'full fat' hardware?

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Expert gives Congress solution to vote machine cyber-security fears: Keep a paper backup

John Robson
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI

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Lauri Love appeal: 'If he's dead, no victim's going to get anything'

John Robson
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Re: Evidence is portable...

The crime might have affected a computer in the US - but it was committed in the UK. There is no absolute way to know where any given computer is located (except the one in front of you). Or do we have to consider the location of every router which was used as well?

The hypothetical Mexican who was shot... was shot from the US, the crime was pulling the trigger, and was therefore committed in the US, and should be tried there. If that trial isn't going to happen for some reason then extradition is reasonable.

It really is as simple as case closed - the US are quite at liberty to use the British Justice System to seek appropriate redress, since the crime they are claiming is a crime in the UK...

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Unfit to plead before a US court? You may face 'indefinite detention'

John Robson
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Re: The CPS argument is fallacious

"About 50% of teenagers in the US have had sex before reaching the age of consent. Only a vanishingly small percentage of them are prosecuted."

Isn't it the person *not* under the age of consent who should be being prosecuted?

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Hey girl, what's that behind your Windows task bar? Looks like a hidden crypto-miner...

John Robson
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All Browsers?

Will it work with Links?

Or should I carry on browsing in a nice readable way?

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