* Posts by tony72

391 posts • joined 2 Jul 2008

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Volterman 'super wallet': The worst crowdsource video pitch of all time?

tony72
Facepalm

At first glance ....

At first glance, despite Hipsterman's ridiculous pitch, there are actually a few desirable features being proposed, but I am dubious about the practicality of the whole thing, in terms of implementation and cost. It does integrate several items that I sometimes carry around when I travel. And I did leave my phone on my windscreen again last night (doh).

But my wallet is already thick enough without adding a battery and a bunch of electronics; I just can't see any way that this thing is going to be something I actually want to squeeze into my pocket. And how's that global wi-fi hotspot going to work? Is that just basically an embedded MiFi that you're going to buy a local SIM card for wherever you, or are they talking about something more interesting? And you're now going to add your wallet to the list of things you have to charge up every day?

I will be amazed if this ever actually sees the light of day.

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Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

tony72
Thumb Up

On the plus side ...

On the plus side, I'm betting these stamp machines will never be taken down by ransomware or hackers.

25
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1Password won't axe private vaults. It'll choke 'em to death instead

tony72

Re: KeePass

+1. I use KeePass too, and sync the database between my PCs and phones using Resilio Sync, no cloud required. KeePassDroid is effective (if a little aesthetically challenged) on Android.

5
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Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

tony72

It's the way things are going

It's a shame how fast this seems to be becoming the norm. I fixed many of my own phones over the years, up to my Nexus 5, which needed the screen and back replaced at different times due to drop damage. My current Pixel will be the first phone that I'd need to deal with heating up adhesive to get the screen off, and having had a bad experience doing that with my Lenovo ultrabook (it's amazing how fast thin plastic parts can melt under a standard heat gun, even on the lowest setting, if you're not paying attention), I'd be a bit scared of that process.

But the fact is that repairability is not likely to be a key consideration in most people's buying choices, since repairing the phone is something you probably hope never to have to do, and most people will probably upgrade before the battery dies, so it's going to come way down the list of considerations when choosing a phone. So with little incentive for manufacturers to worry about it much, I suspect they'll do whatever suits them best, and if that means potting the whole innards in resin and making it 100% non-repairable, that's what they'll do.

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50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

tony72

Re: Extinct in ten years?

You could still hold gold, or bitcoin. Both gold and bitcoin ATMs actually exist, so maybe that's the future for ATMs if cash goes extinct.

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Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

tony72

Re: Who actually uses the router ?

I do that with the SuperHub 3 that they forced on me. Can you believe that in router mode, you can't change the lan-side IP address of that thing? Must be the only router on the planet that brain-dead.

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Cloudflare goes berserk on next-gen patent troll, vows to utterly destroy it using prior-art bounties

tony72

So...

"In the past, patent trolls had to hire lawyers and law firms," Prince said. "These guys do away with it entirely and have the owner be a law firm themselves."

So basically Blackbird Technologies LLC is to patent trolling as Prenda Law was to copyright trolling? If so then I wish CloudFlare spectacular success.

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Huge flying arse makes successful test flight

tony72

Re: 'world's largest flying craft' - I think not...

Maybe they mean "at the moment", as in currently operational?

0
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Another ZX Spectrum modern reboot crowdfunder pops up

tony72

Re: Why?

The hardware compatibility is an interesting twist, and that does make it a somewhat interesting proposition, although similarly not £200 worth of interesting. And the thing does look pretty cool, I have to admit. But I can't help feeling that a new, updated speccy is no more a "real" speccy than an emulator is. I no longer have a speccy, but if I got one, it would be for the nostalgia of having the real thing that I had back in the day. A clone, no matter how good, is still a clone.

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'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

tony72

Re: It only makes it easier to crack...

Well said. But I have to say, I'm a techie, and I don't care (that much). As far as I'm concerned, my password strength is selected to stop someone easily guessing my password, or working it out from readily available information. If someone is going to get hold of the encrypted password DB and make a concerted effort to crack it, assume they're going to succeed, and look to other layers of security for protection. Otherwise it's just stupid; with the continually advancing power of CPUs and GPUs, do we just keep recommending longer and longer passwords? Reductio ad absurdum, people.

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

tony72

I'm sure I'll get flamed for saying it, but if we're going to have the TV licensing system as it stands, then everyone who's supposed to pay up needs to pay up, and that requires enforcement. If they were nice about it, people just wouldn't pay (that is to say, even more people than the hundreds of thousands of freeloaders that already steal BBC content by dodging the license fee); that's a fact, so distasteful as it is, they're getting a necessary job done.

I already watch very little BBC content, and chafe somewhat at paying the license fee as it stands, but if I have to not only pay for stuff I don't watch, but subsidise even more free-loaders who watch without paying makes it even more annoying. Personally, I'd support switching to a subscription model, instead of this silly pseudo-tax nonsense we're stuck with; so if you want to watch, pay for a subscription, just like any other pay TV. But sadly there doesn't seem to be any great deal of momentum behind implementing such sanity at the moment.

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Huawei P10 and P10 Plus: Incremental improvements but a few annoyances

tony72

Re: An array of lenses?

I'm guessing because it's not that easy a task to usefully combine the output from an array of lenses into a single image. I have read papers on doing that (Googles for PiCam [PDF]), looks like a good read. Certainly looks possible, but no idea how close that kind of thing is to being a commercial option.

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Neuromorphic progress: And we for one welcome our new single artificial synapse overlords

tony72

Re: That's how to do IT

Of all the things the EU spends/wastes money on (I'm sure we can all name a few hideously expensive EU white elephants, not to mention the absurd Brussels-Strasbourg shuffle), scientific research is probably the one that I have least problems with. Even if this particular project is not particularly well managed, some useful research will probably come out of at the end of the day, regardless of whether its specific goals are met.

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The Mail vs Wikipedia: They're more alike than they'd ever admit

tony72

Looks bad for Wikipedia

I have long been unimpressed by Mr. Orlowski's chip on the shoulder about Wikipedia, but I might have to change my opinion over this Daily Mail move. While the Daily Mail certainly has its issues, some other news organisations, for example some widely acknowledged to be little more than propaganda outlets for certain governments, are not similarly banned. I looked through the discussion they had before deciding on this ban, and while a handful of examples of factual errors on the part of the Mail were given, they were mostly on issues of low importance (celebrity news etc), and not enough anyway to say that they are systematically unreliable. I could certainly point to similar numbers of factual errors on far more important topics from a number of other news organisations.

Wikipedia has now put itself in the position of being the arbiter of what constitutes a reliable source for citations, without having a clear set of criteria for what constitutes such, or a rigorous process for considering and implementing a ban on a particular organisation. It looks bad to me, really bad. They need to step up and regularise this now, set credible criteria and procedures for deciding what constitutes a reliable source, and explain how they plan to evaluate all news organisations that are currently widely cited on Wikipedia in a fair way. But I'm not holding my breath.

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

tony72

Re: All mixed up in the Doctor's timey-whimey time stream...

That's a really feeble excuse for bringing Clara back. But I can't say I blame you.

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Google loses Android friends with Pixel exclusivity

tony72

Non-story?

There doesn't seem to be much behind this. Huawei made the choice to go with Alexa over Google's assistant for it's own reasons, according to Andrew's source; "It’s likely that Huawei made the decision in order to be in Amazon’s good graces, given that Amazon is an important seller of Huawei phones to U.S. customers." The post also mentions that Google has selected a single partner for the Android One (probably LG), and the blogger speculates "You’d have to think this is going to cause even more friction with Android OEMs. The smartphone market is slowing down (in the US as much as anywhere) which could mean some wondering whether it’s worth competing if Google isn’t making the field level (as well as playing in it the game itself)."

So we have one probably unrelated decision by Huawei, and some idle speculation from some blogger. No real information to support it. And even if he's right, as others have pointed out, the OEMs are the ones causing major problems in the Android ecosystem, with their inability to provide updates, and their insistence on stuffing their phones with bloatware and crapware that does the same job as the Google defaults only worse, and completely unnecessary clunky UI overlays.

I can only applaud Google's making sure that there are at least a couple of "clean" Android handsets on the market (fair disclosure; I'm a long term Nexus and now Pixel user). I'm pretty sure Google would play ball with any OEMs that were willing to return the favour, but they mostly want to preserve their ability to crapify Android, and try to divert users away from Google's ecosystem. That's their right, but you can't expect Google to be entirely happy about that.

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tony72

All "flagship" phones are shit price-performance wise, compared to what you can get for 1/3 or even 1/4 the price in the midrange. You don't buy a flagship phone if value for money is your primary goal, they're priced as luxury items.

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Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns

tony72
Paris Hilton

Umm

“If the machine over-exerts the human, it reduces the possibility of human sex,” Bendel warned.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you have a sexbot that you find so attractive and sexually fulfilling that you allow it to "over-exert" you, then you're probably not going to be that bothered about human sex.

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Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5-inch phone

tony72

Narrow bezels is the new thin?

Just like it used to be "ooh, look how thin we can make the phone", now it seems to be "ooh, look how narrow our bezels are", regardless of whether it actually does anybody any good.

Personally, I'd rather have an extra millimetre or two of thickness, and a battery that lasts a few hours longer. And likewise I'd rather have an extra millimetre or two of bezel, and be able to hold the damn thing without accidentally touching the edges of the screen. But hey, can't have such practicalities get in the way of fashion, eh?

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Huawei Mate 9: The Note you've been waiting for?

tony72

Only a tiny fraction of them burst into flames, the only problem really is with you not being allowed to take in on many airlines now; if you have to travel, that's a bit inconvenient.

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Microsoft's nerd goggles will run on a toaster

tony72

Re: HoloLens is Standalone, Doesn't Have Minimum Requirements

Yes, this article makes no sense, or I'm confused. As far as I'm aware, the only "nerd goggles" Microsoft is producing is HoloLens. Windows Holographic is not "nerd goggles" in any sense that I can relate to; it's an augmented reality software platform which requires a suitable display device to display its output; that is HoloLens right now. So contrasting the requirements for Windows Holographic and HoloLens would not seem to be meaningful.

Microsoft has also said it plans to make Windows Holographic work with other VR display devices than HoloLens in the future, but again, contrasting the requirements for Holographic with the requirements for its potential display devices doesn't seem to get you anywhere, since you'd be using both.

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AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

tony72

Re: Lack of Research

It's a creditable effort to recognise even that short list of acts to the claimed degree of accuracy, though, give them some credit. But if there's one thing the internet's not short of, it's source material to test this application on, so I imagine it will improve fast if it's being actively developed.

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Elon Musk wants to launch 4,000 satellites and smother globe with net connectivity

tony72

Almost every paragraph has a fake 'fact' in it.

Astounding, even for El Reg.

The whole article has a whiff of character assasination about it. I presume it was funded by a Musk detractor somewhere. ULA? Any car company?

It's a shame, because there are some interesting details about this plan that bear discussion, but the tone of the article may detract from sensible discussion. For example, I read elsewhere that the projected operational life of each of these satellites is only 5-7 years, which would seem to imply that 600+ satellites a year will need replacing. I have no idea how many such satellites can be deployed in a single launch, but it can't be that many, so that would seem to require a pretty ridiculous launch schedule. Or do they plan to somehow refurbish the satellites in orbit once they're initial operational lifespan is over? That's the kind of stuff I'd like to be talking about.

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Aw, snap: Independent disk drive failure rates from Backblaze

tony72
Paris Hilton

I am concerned

My porn collection is on a 6TB WD drive. It's a WD Blue, whereas the WD60EFRX used by Backblaze is a WD Red NAS drive, but my understanding is that the only difference is that the Reds have their firmware tweaked to be more reliable for 24/7 NAS use compared to the equivalent Blue drives. Better check those backups, eh.

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tony72

Re: This is very helpful.

Umm, these are consumer drives that Backblaze uses, are they not? At least that used to be the case.

Not sure it would be in any way practical for El Reg to test a sufficient quantity of a sufficient range of drives to be worth doing, unless they were going into business as a cloud storage provider or something.

2
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Google's new VR Daydream View will cripple your phone

tony72

Re: Boo

No! Noooooo! NOBODY can possibly believe that, no matter what marketing peeps claim. It's a phone FFS.

A Daydream-compliant phone is by definition designed, at least in part, for VR; that's the whole point of having the spec. Now while a manufacturer could in theory go to the trouble of meeting the fairly stringent display, sensor, and processing requirements to comply with the Daydream spec (which only the Pixel and the ZTE Axon 7 currently meet), and then not bother to do any development or testing of it under VR usage, that would seem to be a strange thing to do. Especially if the phone is being built for Google, and VR with Daydream View is one of it's more hyped features.

1
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tony72

Boo

Hmm, well I just bought a Pixel, and am waiting for the headset to become available, so I guess I'll find out soon enough if this is a real issue. For sure, extended VR use of my Nexus 5 with Cardboard leaves it very hot and crashy, but I kind of expected that since Pixel has actually been designed for VR use, that that wouldn't be such an issue.

On the plus side, it's winter, and the advantage of phone-based VR is you aren't tethered to a PC, so I guess I can always go outside and freeze my nuts off to keep the phone cool.

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More movie and TV binge-streaming sites join UK banned list

tony72

Re: Thanks, MPAA

@ FuzzyWuzzys - unfortunately I see a growing number of average Joe's buying £50 Android boxes with Kodi pre-installed, following a couple of simple steps apparently widely detailed online, and streaming away to their hearts content; it's pretty much plug-n-pirate, no skills needed. Premium TV, latest movies, the lot. I'm talking about people who barely have the IT skills to turn on a PC, so it can't be very hard. If the anti-piracy people really want to stop illegal streaming, they need to do something about that, because I can see that really turning into a nightmare scenario.

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Euro Patent Office staff demand new rights to deal with terrifying boss

tony72

Brexit

And yet, for largely political reasons, the Administrative Council – which consists of representatives from all the European countries that make up the EPO – refuses to fire the president.

It's stuff like this that means I'm beginning to warm up to the whole Brexit thing.

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Google Pixel: Devices are a dangerous distraction from the new AI interface

tony72

Re: VR

I don't see how you reached that conclusion, and I suspect you haven't actually used Gear VR or Daydream. Plenty of reviewers who have seem to have a very different take, e.g. this, "go blow a chunk of paycheck on the Samsung Gear VR. It’s 85-percent of the same experience for 50-percent of the price."

If Gear VR is really not all that much worse of an experience than Rift, by all reports Daydream is significantly better than Gear VR. The Daydream spec for screens, sensors etc was set precisely to enable a good VR experience, we're not talking slow-refresh LCDs and whatnot here. Plus mobile VR is, well, mobile; you don't need to lug a PC around like with your Rift.

0
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Oops: Carphone burps up new Google phone details

tony72

Re: Dual-SIM ?

Dual-SIM means extra cost and space, and only benefits a tiny fraction of customers, so it's going to be a very rare feature in mass market phones, it just doesn't make sense except maybe as a differentiator.

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EU turns screws on Android – report

tony72

Re: Typical EU

I'm not sure if it's fair to claim that the EU goes easy on Apple, but what you can say for sure is that this is political bollocks, and not in the least bit acting in the consumer's interests. It's in the consumers interest to be able to pick up and switch between Android handsets from any manufacturer, which actually requires a standard set of apps and user experience. Stop Google from providing that, and what we'll see is a proliferation of carrier bloat, manufacturer lock-in and fragmentation; exactly the opposite of what I'd like to see. Great, thanks EU. As long as Google isn't actually preventing users from installing alternative apps, as far as I'm concerned, the status quo is by far the lesser of two evils.

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Jeremy Clarkson and Co. rise to top for Great British Bake Off replacements

tony72

Re: £75m tent for sale, includes cookers, vacant possession

I think they're insane. That being said, the argument is probably that the bakers make the show more so than the presenters; we spend a lot more time watching the former than the latter during the course of the show, and so as long as they can keep getting great characters in the tent, they might just pull it off. It's not quite like Top Gear in that respect, as with that, the presenters are the show. The presenters are the glue that holds it together though, and they will do well to replace Mel and Sue.

1
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Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

tony72
Coat

Lethal 4-hour-erection?

Any duration of erection can be lethal, it just depends where you stick it.

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Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

tony72

Re: J.J. Abrams

@LDS - to be fair, they were right about the Borg queen. Talk about a weird boner.

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

tony72

Re: James should retire

I agree. If they must keep on milking the franchise, how about some spin-offs based on some of the better bond girls? Jinx Johnson or Xenia Onatopp for example, must have some pretty decent back-sorry potential.

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Still got a floppy drive? Here's a solution for when 1.44MB isn't enough

tony72

Re: @ D@v3

@ }{amis}{

Unfortunately that won't work. The form factor is good, but it is not a drop-in floppy disk replacement, and I'm guessing there aren't any drivers I can install on old CNC machines.

From your link; "FlashPath is hardware compatible with all standard 3.5" High-Density Floppy disk drives, but is not a drop-in replacement for real floppy disks. A special software device driver must be installed on the computer that is to access data via FlashPath. Thus, FlashPath is only usable with computers and operating systems for which such a driver exists and can be installed."

Historically interesting device though, I don't recall hearing about those before.

1
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tony72

Re: @ D@v3

I still deal with people using CNC machines etc that take their data via a floppy drive, and so have to have a PC with a floppy drive, so I thought for a second this might be an option. However for this to be a solution to that problem, they'd have to be willing to modify all of the machines with one of these drives, as well as putting one in the PC. And that's assuming the drives in the machines use standard PC floppy connectors etc.

What would be ideal for them is something in the physical shape of a floppy disk, that you can put in a regular floppy drive, but which actually stores the data on an SD card, or built in flash memory, doesn't need to store more than 1.44MB. But I guess the potential market for that product would be so minuscule that it would never be worth developing.

3
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No, we haven't found liquid water on Mars, says NASA

tony72

Re: Grasping at water straws

I'm afraid it's you that can't read. Going to Mars involves a trip through space, and that is what the links refer to. Let me give a few quotes from your NASA link;

Strange things can happen to the human body when people venture into space -- and the familiar pull of gravity vanishes.

That's the sub-heading. Note "venture into space", "gravity vanishes".

In zero-G, muscles atrophy quickly, because the body perceives it does not need them.

Paragraph 2. Note "zero-G", not martian G.

Within two to three days of weightlessness, astronauts can lose as much as 22 percent of their blood volume as a result of that errant message.

Paragraph 4. Note "weightlessness".

The question is, do such losses matter? Perhaps not if you plan to stay in space forever.

Oh look, we're still talking about space, not Mars.

"You want the crew members to function normally when they come back to Earth ... and not have to lie around for long periods of rehabilitation," he says.

And Earth isn't the only planet that astronauts might visit. One day humans will journey to Mars -- a six-month trip in zero-G before they disembark on a planet with 38% of Earth's gravity. "[We'll have to maintain] those astronauts at a fairly high level of fitness,"

Paragraph 10 or so. Now here we do mention Mars, but notice the context; we're talking about Mars as another gravitied destination for the astronauts, like Earth. The article is talking about maintaining the health of the astronauts while they are in space, so that when they land on a planet, be it Earth or Mars, they are able to function.

The article is absolutely clear that it's talking about health issues resulting from weightlessness while the astronaughts are in space, not effects experienced under Martian gravity, and it's a complete mystery to me how anyone could read it otherwise.

3
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tony72

Re: Grasping at water straws

@ST - your links are both talking about what happens to people in zero gravity, not in Martian gravity; in other words, effects suffered during the journey to Mars, rather than after they arrive. They both talk about potential methods to counter those issues, so they're hardly insurmountable. That's not to say that Martian gravity won't cause some issues, but 38% of Earth's gravity is a very different case from zero gravity.

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Two-speed Android update risk: Mobes face months-long wait

tony72
Flame

Nexus 5

Nexus devices were excluded from the study since they always receive the latest Android updates on the day they are released.

Not that that's necessarily fast enough, as any of my fellow Nexus 5 users that were affected by the recent volume fiasco will testify. Still, I suppose that bug only made the phone practically useless, it wasn't a security issue, so who cares, a month is fast enough to fix it, right?

0
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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

tony72

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

People like who? This "no smoke without fire" nonsense makes a mockery of our legal system.

Sorry, but I disagree. A judge looked at details of the case, and based on what he saw, elected to grant the order against this guy, and he did that for a reason. Do you also think that people who've been linked with terrorist or extremist organisations and radicalised, but haven't yet been convicted of any crime, shouldn't be subject to extra monitoring?

People can show clear signs that they are on the path towards committing certain crimes prior to actually committing them, and it is entirely right of our legal system to identify such people and take steps to prevent them from committing said crimes in the first place. Denying that is what I would say makes a mockery of justice.

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38
tony72

Re: "He was found not guilty, therefore he is innocent"

@ Bloodbeastterror

I 100% agree with you*, and I would support some sort of extra monitoring order for people like this. But that doesn't change the fact that the terms of this particular order seem to be unworkable and draconian. I'm surprised he hasn't made a Human Rights Act challenge to it, but I suspect that'll be on the cards if he doesn't get it overturned by other means.

*except for the Daily Mail reader bit, The Sun FTW though ;).

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Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

tony72

Ah, the memories. Demon was my first ISP, before there were any local POPs in Aberdeen, so I was paying long distance to dial down south to connect with my 14.4k Supra modem and my Amiga 1200. Next time you're complaining about your data charges, figure out what I was paying per MB back then!

11
0

Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

tony72

Re: Risk?

If anything "has been established", it's that the article/research you link to is pretty useless!

It is limited, but there seems to be a distinct lack of any research or data contradicting the conclusions.

No account is made of the fact that the drones are almost certainly being deliberately flown close to the aircraft, as opposed to a bird just randomly being in the vicinity.

True, but by the same token, the drones pilots probably want to actively avoid the aircraft, whereas those birds probably have no clue what's coming at them.

Moreover, as the article confesses, no account was taken of the difference in composition between a bird and a drone which is, let's face it, pretty significant.

True again, they are making an assumption. There is however some discussion on that subject in this article, where Ian Horsfall, head of Cranfield University’s Impact and Armour Group states that "The controlling factor is how big a drone it is,” he said. “If it’s a small drone then it’s unlikely to be any worse than the equivalent size bird." So the assumption doesn't seem to be entirely unreasonable.

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4
tony72

Risk?

A drone was involved in a near-miss with a Flybe passenger flight on approach to Newquay Airport on Tuesday, putting the aircraft's 62 passengers and crew at risk.

I believe it's been established that drones do not really pose much of a threat to aircraft. Given that, do we really need to give the idiots a headline every time? It probably just encourages people to pull stunts like this.

11
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Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

tony72

Re: Criminal offence to impose a diet lacking in essential elements ?

It is difficult, though not impossible, to have a healthy vegan diet without taking some supplements, slightly less so for vegetarian. You can look at any reputable source, such as the NHS advice on vegetarian and vegan diets for children for a rundown on the supplements that will probably be needed.

You could certainly argue that a diet that requires supplements in order to provide the necessary nutrition is, by definition, "inadequate". However with the appropriate supplements is probably as healthy as a proper balanced diet. So I guess it depends which of those two cases you're referring to as to whether the diet is inadequate or not.

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

tony72

Re: or perhaps

Snap.

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