* Posts by smudge

509 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008

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TRUMP SCANDAL! No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.

smudge
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Holmes

Re: Weird.

You all hate a president that you think is "racist" because he took a stand against Islamic Terrorism

That's not racism. It's religious bigotry. Although you presumably think there is a Muslim or Islamic race?

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The revolution will not be televised: How Lucas modernised audio in film

smudge
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Star Wars (the first one when it was just Start Wars) opened in the UK only at the Dominion Tottenham Court Road and the Leicester Square cinemas. I was there.

I saw it at the Dominion too - January 1978. I was down from Scotland for interview at either Scicon or Logica, who had offices in neighbouring streets nearby. My first time in London. With some time to kill before the overnight sleeper back north, I wandered round, and came across the Dominion. "Can I really get in to see this? Later this afternoon?".

It was fantastic!

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

smudge
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Re: The encryption horse is free

The only respite we got was with the Lib Dems from 2010-2015.

Ehh??? Have you forgotten who was Home Secretary? Kim Jong-May. Snoopers Charter, etc etc...

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Telecoms fail in UK takes down passport scanners in Australia

smudge
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Big Brother

Re: International data transfer?

Interesting point about data going international though, were they trying to connect to GCHQ?

I suspect they route them all to Assange for him to check, since he's an Aussie with time on his hands. My guess is that he had a visit from Pamela Anderson last night.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

smudge
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Re: Fidelity portable

I played to death Concerto for Group and Orchestra (those who know, know)

Not only do I have it, but I have the DVD too. Was at both nights of the 30th anniversary shows at the RAH in 1999. And have the DVD and CDs of that. Plus a bootleg of the material that wasn't released. Saw them perform it on tour in Prague in 2000. And have the 2012 studio version.

But I bought a BMW today :(

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UK.gov plans to overhaul £6bn in big IT deals 'watered down'

smudge
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Facepalm

Re: What a surprise...

In addition, there will surely have to be a large fortune spent on upgrading systems to handle the new rules, regulations, tariffs and taxes which will be in force in the post-Brexit UK.

And of course we can't start working on that until we have a confirmed, detailed deal.

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

smudge
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Black Helicopters

A different question

For former GCHQ chief Sir David Omand :

"Should government agencies - such as NSA and GCHQ - be obliged by law to inform manufacturers about security vulnerabilities in PCs which those agencies know are used for essential public services?"

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

smudge
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Re: "Ban Bitcoin!"

Maybe she should talk to Jeremy Hunt about why he stopped paying for extended support from Microsoft in 2015, and why he vetoed any upgrade strategy from XP?

Here is what she has said to Sky News, according to the Guardian:

“It is disappointing that they [the NHS] have been running Windows XP - I know that the secretary of state for health has instructed them not to and most have moved off it.”

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10Mbps universal speeds? We'll give you 30Mbps, pleads Labour in leaked manifesto

smudge
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Holmes

5G coverage

"We will improve 4G coverage and will invest to ensure all urban areas as well as major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage,"

Excellent! I look forward to my uninterrupted 5G connection as I drive or take the train between Blair Atholl and Inverness.

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TalkTalk full-year profits rise but shares slump after raid on dividends

smudge
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Holmes

Thanks, Dido. The new job is a bit of a come-down, isn't it?

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IBM: Customer visit costing £75 in travel? Kill it with extreme prejudice

smudge
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Re: nothing new

It happens everywhere - not just IBM. In one company I worked for, we knew how well we were doing according to whether the (hired) potted plants in the office were still with us or had been taken away.

Another time, a PHB thought they could save money by not providing cardboard cups at the coffee machines. Everyone could use their own mugs. But someone then pointed out that a mug holds more coffee than than a paper cup...

The one I always anticipated but which never happened was the request to charge up laptops at home and run them off the batteries in the office. I offer that to any beancounters reading this.

And finally there is my favourite Dilbert of all time - http://dilbert.com/strip/1995-08-24

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Sorry, Dave, I can't code that: AI's prejudice problem

smudge
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Re: Transparency...

It didn't decide to do anything. The input photo is all the data collected about you. The output photo might be a single pixel describing your credit rating. And the filter is the entirety of the program.

One of us isn't getting this, and I don't think it's me!

To derive a description of my credit rating from all the data about me, the program/filter/macro/neural net/AI must have followed a finite number of steps of sequence, selection and iteration.

All I'm asking is why people think that that cannot be logged and output - ie why the AI cannot explain how it arrived at an outcome.

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smudge
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Re: Transparency...

For each pixel in the output we can say it added 1% of the pixel to the left, 2% of the pixel two to the left, and so on, but that doesn't really help us understand why the first photo looked good and the second looked awful.

Thanks, but that's not answering my question. I wanted to know "why can't an AI explain how it came to a particular decision?". Not "was that a good or bad decision?".

In your example, explaining what happened to the pixels is simply describing what the program did. My question would then be "how did the program decide to do these things?".

Whether or not the processed photos look good or bad - or whether an AI's decision was good or bad - is not the question that I was asking.

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smudge
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Re: Transparency...

Someone can tell you the architecture of their AI, and all the weights of the trained network, but it doesn't tell you why it makes any particular decision. Perhaps we have to wait until AI is conscious enough to explain itself.

OK, everyone can call me naive and shoot me down in flames, but is there any reason why an AI CAN'T tell you why it has made a particular decision?

It's just a computer program. It must have followed a particular series of steps and decision points. Why can't it log these along the way? (Just like I did years when I used to insert code into programs to help debug them.) Even if it has derived the rules it is using - rather than the rules being explicitly coded into it - then the rules must be represented somehow, and its path through them must therefore be loggable.

I know nothing about the size and complexity of today's AIs. Answers such as "it would slug the performance" and "it would generate too much information" would be perfectly acceptable responses to the question "why DOESN'T an AI tell you why it has made a particular decision?".

But "why CAN'T it..." is a very different question. I see no reason why not - they are only finite state machines after all, albeit with an awful lot of states and state transitions.

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Intel's data center boss Diane Bryant logs off

smudge
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No, dickhead, we're thinking that people at that stage in their career often have an elderly parent with serious health problems. I did. Although it could be children problems, divorce, etc....

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Male escort forgot pregnancy protection, scores data protection instead

smudge
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Coat

So if his name...

... was Lou, he'd have been Halle Lou, ja?

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Shooting org demands answers from Met Police over gun owner blab

smudge
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Holmes

Re: it's happened before, a few times

You are obviously from the US. This is London, England we are talking about here.

We have a different approach to firearms, and to data privacy.

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30,000 London gun owners hit by Met Police 'data breach'

smudge
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Re: Now now...

Seriously though, im astonished at the number of people that own guns...why?

Most likely target rifle shooting and clay pigeon shooting. Both perfectly legit - and well controlled - sports. With national HQ just outside London, at Bisley.

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Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

smudge
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Facepalm

Looks like someone has got feet and metres mixed up

No, smartarse. Much of the canal - eg the bit between Tomnahurich and Loch Ness - IS 100 feet wide. The locks are narrower.

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smudge
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Minimal disruption?

Opening and closing in a remarkably quick fashion, the [Muirtown] bridge operates in such a way as to cause minimal disruption to the road it bears.

Errr, no. Half-mile queues the length of Telford Street are the norm. Great article, though!

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UK gov draws driverless car test zone around M40 corridor

smudge
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Re: "UK...leader"...?

Google, Apple, Tesla are all years ahead. Have we got even a single manufacturer working on this - and I mean under UK ownership?

Fair point. But I'll bet you that none of them has thought about producing an autonomous car that drives on the left.

And before you shoot me down, I'll remind you that Google Glass was available only for the right eye.

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Confidence in £70m customs system has 'collapsed', warns Treasury Committee

smudge
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Holmes

Requirements?

The CDS is needed in order to handle a possible five-fold increase in declarations that could occur when the UK leaves the EU.

I'd like to assume that this has been included in the requirements, either as a requirement for the appropriate capacity, or as a requirement for scalability up to that capacity. But I'm not optimistic.

And, of course, if the requirements were specified before the Brexit vote, then there is going to be the mother of all change requests....

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Cambridge wheels out latest smart city platform, ready for devs

smudge
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Pint

Re: Hmm...

Do they have anything which can detect puddles of sick on a Friday night and help drunken students navigate safely around them?

Some sort of chemical (but not radioactive!) marker in the beer, together with sensors for detecting it? Personal sensors would have be mounted well away from the wearer's head, to avoid false positives from the wearer's exhalations.

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Calling your redundancy programme Baccarat? Immense Bummer, Management

smudge
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Devil

Re: They called it Baccarat...

... or because the house always has the edge over the punters :(

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

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

... fly US companies!!

I've just checked - very quickly and informally - and as far as I can see, there are no US airlines using these airports. I'm surprised - I guess I always thought that any route would have airlines from at least the two end-point countries flying on it. It seems not.

US to Saudi or UAE must be popular business routes? Or am I assuming that there is trade when there isn't that much?

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Fire brigade called to free man's bits from titanium ring's grip

smudge
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Re: Do I see a new product opportunity?

Now... what can one charge for such a thing, and what the hell to name it?

About £1.50. A Jubilee Clip.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_Clip

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More Brits' IDs stolen than ever before

smudge
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Holmes

Re: The report only talks about the bad side of things....

At best that Jimmy Krankee look alike you have whining in your parliament will resign. Thats good for everyone...her only mission seems to be independence, I've never heard her talk about anything else.

That's because she is only shown on things like the "national" news when she is talking about something that affects the UK as a whole. Independence, in other words.

Meanwhile, on the same "national" news, the people of Scotland have to endure endless reports on things like the failing health, social care and education systems. Reports which very seldom make it clear that they are not "national", but apply only to England and Wales, or even to England only.

Just another reason why the people of Scotland are fed up.

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US regulator looks at Internet of Things regulation, looks away

smudge
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Holmes

Re: @ Alister

The problem with that approach is stopping good things from happening and regulating everything pointlessly. Solving a problem when there is a problem is better than stopping progress.

So you drive on whichever side of the road takes your fancy? Until a problem occurs.

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Kaspersky launches a range of perfumes to, er, defend your odour

smudge
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Paris Hilton

Has to be advertised using the old Blind Boy Fuller song "What's That Smell Like Fish?"!

Paris because she's trying to figure out the answer.

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Police Scotland and Accenture were at odds over ill-fated IT project i6

smudge
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Facepalm

Of course they did. You make most of your money from change requests.

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MP brands 1,600 CSC layoffs as the 'worst excesses of capitalism'

smudge
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Facepalm

DXC

Great choice of name!

"O, I wish I was in the land of cotton

Old times there are not forgotten

Look away! Look away!

Look away! Dixie Land."

"Since the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, many have identified the lyrics of the song with the iconography and ideology of the Old South. Today, "Dixie" is sometimes considered offensive, and its critics link the act of singing it to sympathy for slavery or racial separation in the American South."

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Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

smudge
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Re: CAPS LOCK

Pah! I wrestle poodles and win!

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RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive

smudge
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Not wishing to add to his woes...

... but are personnel allowed to take cameras - presumably it was his own camera - into military planes? No classified documents or instrumentation in there?

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

smudge
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Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions in a London court were brought against women

Our weekly local newspaper in Hertfordshire lists cases from the town's Magistrates Court. I noticed a long time ago that 75% or more prosecuted licence evaders were women, and I often wonder why this should be so.

Looks as though it may be a widespread phenomenon.

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Autonomous cars are about to do to transport what the internet did to information

smudge
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Holmes

an interesting intersection of electric vehicles + autonomous vehicles + on-demand vehicle fleets.

Excellent. I look forward to the day when I can summon an electric vehicle with the range to take me from my home in the south of England to my home-town in the north of Scotland. And with the autonomy to perform safely and reliably in the glens of the Highlands, where network connection is not guaranteed and having to reverse back to the last passing-place is common.

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More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

smudge
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Re: It's a Trap

Rentokil should be able to take at least £10K per mug punter before their relatives put a stop to it.

You must know my sister-in-law! If they can do one which can catch a spider and then alert her male relatives to come round to empty it, she'll be hammering on their door to give them her life savings.

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Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO

smudge
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WTF?

Re: The Curse of "Cowboy Keith"...

A thumbs down! Is that you, Keith?

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smudge
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Re: The Curse of "Cowboy Keith"...

Years ago, I was trying to reflash the BIOS on my home PC - IIRC, to enable it to handle disks bigger than 1GB - and the process failed halfway through, leaving me with a large brick.

I knew what type of chip it was, and the code was on the motherboard manufacturer's website. Went to my local Cowboy Keith shop, and asked if they could run me up a new BIOS chip.

They looked at me as though I had two heads and was speaking Martian. Had no idea what BIOS was.

In the end, a new motherboard was little more expensive than a new BIOS chip. And Cowboy Keith is still in business.

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UK website data insecurity worries: Users in bits over car break-up emails

smudge
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Re: Nothing new under the sun

...in the 80s, I used a variety of middle initials to trace junk mailers. (One of my final year project suggestions was a database to allow easy identification of the culprits).

The most interesting one was the one I used for the 1991 census - my real one.

Where were you back then? I only ask because you appear to have been a couple of decades ahead of the curve...

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Soz telcos you're 'low priority' post-Brexit, says leaked gov doc

smudge
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The high-priority industries include pharmaceuticals, car manufacture, textiles and clothing, and aerospace and air transport

Probably ranked according to the size of the sweeteners that they will require if they are to remain in the UK.

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Well-rested women in danger of bouncing their men into early grave

smudge
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Headmaster

Re: I think the article might be a little confused...

I think what they mean is this: "“men who had sex once a week much more likely, five years later, to experience cardiovascular events than men who were sexually inactive.”

As it is written in the article, it means that the sexually active have to wait an extra five years for their cardiovascular event.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth is delayed, Ministry of Defence confesses

smudge
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Coat

Re: Blue ensign flown by many yachts

It is flown by yachts owned by people with an association with the Royal Navy, such as members of the Cruising Association.

"Well, hello sailor!".

Bet they've never heard that one before.

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Dido queen of carnage steps down from TalkTalk

smudge
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Holmes

"...focus more on my activities in public service.”

Well, if Giuliani can advise Trump on cyber-security, I'm sure she can advise the UK Government on it.

"Spend nothing, learn nothing, and talk your way out of it."

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Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks

smudge
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WTF?

Re: Whisky vs Whiskey

Incidentally (and brought on by your legal reference) it is the only single-malt whisky in the world, after having won a court case declaring "single malt" to be incidental to the process and not a distinct feature owned by Scotch.

Ehhh??? "Single malt" is simply a term that means the hooch comes from a single distillery. It is not and never has been a term exclusively applied to whisky from Scotland.

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Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?

smudge
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Mushroom

Re: Trump has become more deranged

I grew up in west London....

There was literally no where I could go that wouldn't have received it's own atomic pressie.... east of me... Northwood / High wycombe, west of me central London, south west of me Heathrow...

And if that wasn't bad enough, your sense of direction is completely fubar'd too.

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Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

smudge
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Holmes

Re: Political Imprisonment?

It's my was a weird day when the greens seemed the sanest choice..

Having lost all respect for the "major" parties many years ago, I have been voting Green ever since.

I don't agree with all of their policies. But climate change is the biggest problem that we all face, dwarfing economic woes, Islamic terrorism, and whether post-Brexit UK can quickly do a trade deal with Outer Nowhereland.

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UK Parliament suddenly remembers it wants to bone up cyber security *cough* Russia *cough*

smudge
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Facepalm

Re: Re-inventing the wheel

Better question is wtf are GCHQ doing

Last time I looked, CESG was still a part of GCHQ.

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smudge
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Facepalm

Re-inventing the wheel

The Committee is inviting written submissions that address various element of government cyber-security strategy including overall objectives, working with the private sector and bridging the skills gap

So WTF are CESG and CPNI doing, if not exactly that???

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Assange confirmed alive, tells Fox: Prez Obama 'acting like a lawyer'

smudge
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Devil

Re: Street Magic.

Trump, Palin and Assange walk into a bar...

In my defence, your Honour, when I swung round whilst carrying an iron girder, I had no idea that the injured parties were walking together behind me. If I had, I'd have swung round a damn sight faster.

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Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

smudge
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WTF?

Re: Ahem

The presenter clearly had no idea what the Y2038 problem was; fortunately the questioner let him stew gently.

So I watched the Q&A to see this. And I have to say that you are talking bollocks.

The guy clearly knew what the problem was, and indeed asked to confirm that it was about the date. He then twice said "I have no idea" - meaning that he had no idea whether smart meters were affected - and then said "Maybe they'll need a software update.".

He may have been a prat. He may have been scaremongering. But at least he was honest there. And making stuff up when you attack him puts you in the Donald Trump school of post-truth.

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