* Posts by Tom Paine

1306 posts • joined 19 Aug 2008

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You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Tom Paine
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Re: Bucolic programming

Split the difference between local and London market pay rates?

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How to avoid getting hoodwinked by a DevOps hustler

Tom Paine
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Re: If they’re a 'DevOps Expert', they probably aren’t

If you catch them young and enthusiastic enough, yes: it can be made to work, really well. I've seen it and worked in such an org for a couple of years not that long ago.

Admittedly the level of clue in the org was way ahead of generic IT shops. The level of stupidity and ignorance even at the 'five years experience" level for generic sysadmin / engineer never ceases to amaze me.

</anecdote>

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IT at sea makes data too easy to see: Ships are basically big floating security nightmares

Tom Paine
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Re: How current is this?

No defence against ballistic missiles. Carriers are dead, they just haven't noticed yet.

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Tom Paine
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Re: How current is this?

Indeed. http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/

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Tom Paine
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Re: How current is this?

Spoiler alert: encrypting data in transit does /not/ mean you can't be hacked.

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Tom Paine
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Re: Die Hard: Offshore

Perrow, Charles: 'Normal Accidents", https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Normal_Accidents.html?id=VC5hYoMw4N0C&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y

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Super Cali's futuristic robo-cars in focus – even though watchdogs say they're something quite atrocious

Tom Paine
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Re: Fully exposed?

Gedanken: supplies autonomous cars were standard, and then someone proposed letting humans control them. I suspect the scenario would be like aspirin not being able to get thru modern pharma trials (ISTR it wouldn't even make stage 2 trials because the ratio of clinical to LD50 level is far too low), or tobacco or alcohol being illegal if they'd only just been discovered.

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Tom Paine
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Re: I'm still fearful about the IT security and surveillance aspects of this

Spoiler alert: of course they can be hacked.

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Russia and China bombard Blighty with 188 cyberattacks in 3 months

Tom Paine
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Facepalm

Ever hheard of a thing called 'espionage'? How about "SIGINT'?

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It's 2017... And Windows PCs can be pwned via DNS, webpages, Office docs, fonts – and some TPM keys are fscked too

Tom Paine
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Re: Who designed this then?

You write it in C/C++ of course. Keep up.

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Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

Tom Paine
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Re: "The better approach is surely to educate the agencies ..."

And how long do you think you should expect to spend in the big house when code you wrote / systems you design or operate gets hacked?

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Tom Paine
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Errr

The better approach is surely to educate the agencies (and others) so that they stop asking for it in the first place?

With the additional benefit of the end of consumer credit from anyone but banks, with the concommitant collapse of the car, consumer electronics, interior design, package holiday and subscription media industries! Sounds like heaven to me, though most of the rest if the population will be a bit lost for a few years

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Tom Paine
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Re: Force majeure!

The US is fuckedf until they stop worshipping that vwretched thing and write themselves a modern Constitution, like most if the rest of the world. One good solid civil war should do it.

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Tom Paine
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nuts

Neither did the UK or US data protection help, so spare us the bulgy eyes please

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German Firefox users to test recommendation engine 'a bit like thought-reading'

Tom Paine
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Re: Screenshot Beta embedded into Firefox, records Audio?

Dude, if you don't want to take screenshots, maybe don't take screenshots? Seems fairly straightforward to me...

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Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

Tom Paine
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The horror

I lol'd on the Monday morning commute. The shame of it...

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Tom Paine
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Just one more thing...

....what's that, Clippy? 232 comments, you say? You think maybe my main points have probably already been covered pretty well?

Well, back under the bridge for me, then.

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The UK isn't ditching Boeing defence kit any time soon

Tom Paine
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The thing about NI politics....

...you don't tend to get huge swings against unpopular parties. Voting patterns are still horribly tribal and sectarian. The DUP wouldn't lose those seats if Boeing sent a Dreamliner to circle Belfast trailing a banner saying "Up yours, Ulster!" So the posturing is even /more/ meaningless than the piece suggests.

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Did the Earth move for you, too? Grav waves sensed from black holes' bang 1.8bn LYs away

Tom Paine
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Re: A three-sun tidal wave!

Um. I'll share the little secret Ms McEvoylet us into in fourth year GCE physics.

Everything you are taught at O level is a lie. When you do A level, the first thing yhou need to do is forget everything you've been taught.

The the same thing happens at degree level.

Or so she said. She's not around to check with, alas.

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Tom Paine
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Re: A three-sun tidal wave!

*I* once personally experienced a tug, you know. Oh yes.

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Tom Paine
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Re: Mass moves in mysterious ways

...and the Heart of Gold tells them both to get knotted, IIRC.

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Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book

Tom Paine
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Devil

Manic Street Preachers and Microsoft

(Context for overseas readers: the Manic Street Preachers are a very successful stadium rock band from Wales with famously Trotskyite politics.)

The title track and closer of the Manics' second album, Gold Against the Soul, starts with the line:

Somebody told me to vote Conservative...

-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-HSjtwmbeI

... sung rather expressively, with a nice mix of disbelief, hatred & contempt.

Now a few days ago, after yet another rant about the nightmare hellhole I'm currently berthed, someone I know on Fb outed themselves as a MIcrosoft employee and suggested I consider joining them, as they're hiring people in all sorts of security-related roles.

I thanked him kindly for the well-intentioned thought and mumbled something about not really fitting in in huge megacorps -- which is perfectly true -- but in truth, my reaction was rather like the Manics'. I suppose you think I should buy an Audi and some comfy fleeces, too? Join the PTA and the Freemasons?

DO. ME. A. FAVOUR.

the fact is that I got started in IT in the 90s, and the founding tenet of everything I've learned since then was and remains that Microsoft, however smiley and cuddly the face, are hiding the face of hell: that they are an emissary of Beelzebub, vomited onto the corporate and computing landscape for not other reason but to fuck shit up.

Now I realise they've come a long way since I grabbed that screenshot of an interim ruling in the antirtrust case saying that the company should be broken up. The technical quality, in security especially, has improved enormously since then. But their DNA remains the same: steal an external idea. co-opt it, hideously mangle the syntax (Powershell? Are you fucking KIDDING me?! It makes Java look clean and efficient! And don't get me started on Active Directory...) and above all slap on the most disengenuous, slimy yet droolproof marketing front and pitch it as the greatest thing since sliced bread.

In summary: no, no, no!

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Deloitte is a sitting duck: Key systems with RDP open, VPN and proxy 'login details leaked'

Tom Paine
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And the consequence was...

Want a bet on Deloitte's cyber business being more or less the same size as it is today in five years' time? There may be a couple of variously-sized cheeses rolling down the street outside their HQ in the weeks ahead as scapegoats are found, they'll announce a big reorg, Powerpoint will fly like leaflets off a printing press in a Laurel & Hardy film, and it'll be buzzword-compliant business as usual before you know it.

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Tom Paine
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Re: Deloitte & Touche

Come back Peat Marwick McLintock, all is forgiven. (Oh those giants of the 70s, subsumed into the belly of the beast(s)

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Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security

Tom Paine
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15 years too late

As anyone who rememberts the Slasdhdot Diebold wars can testify... Not quite 15 years ago:

https://m.slashdot.org/story/40566

(Far, far more in the /. archives)

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Equifax UK admits: 400,000 Brits caught up in mega-breach

Tom Paine
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Unhappy

Krebs freeze

Krebs says a credit freeze is much more use than credit monitoring. (GIYF.) Why aren't credit accounts frozen by default and only unlocked by specific strongly authenticated authorisation?

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Just how are HMRC’s IT systems going to cope with Brexit?

Tom Paine
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Re: The online VAT Form will need to be redesigned

It's as if the Y2K bug had suddenly come to light in Q3 1998

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Tom Paine
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Re: How difficult can it be?

12 months. The least 6 months of the 24 are reserved for getting the remaining member states to ratify the deal in their national parliaments. Cos Tory lies notwithstanding, Juncker, Barnier, Guy vanWhatsisname etc aren't actually supranational dictators.

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Tom Paine
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Re: Ha

You think their instinct will be to ruefully admit that they can't collect aces, levies, duties etc, and wave all the lorries through unchecked?

I don't suppose you're in the market for infrastructure to enable non-aqueous trans-drainage transportation?

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Tom Paine
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Self-limiting feedbacks

<bloickquote> Post Brexit, the volume of declarations is expected to increase by up to 300 million, as 130,000 traders will have to make declarations for the first time.</bloickquote>

Really not going to be a problem after the first few months.

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Act fast to get post-Brexit data deal, Brit biz urges UK.gov

Tom Paine
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WTF?

Fiddlesticks

I bow to none in the devoutness of my remoanyness, but this is just silly. If we uimolement GDPR we'll be a hell of a lot more EU-aligned on data protection than the US, and I don't see them blocking transfers of PII over the Atlantic any time soon...

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Google to kill Symantec certs in Chrome 66, due in early 2018

Tom Paine
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Re: Norton / Symantec is not slow

When we were borged by the bug yellow bucket o'fail, we got yellow silicone rubber wristbands in Fail Yellow, embossed with the word "BELIEVE". We hardly could.

True story.

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Smart meters: 'Dog's breakfast' that'll only save you 'a tenner' – report

Tom Paine
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FAIL

I assume...

...that huge crashing sound was millions of IT workers' jaws dropping in sheer disbelief that something we all thought was going to be a roaring success has failed to deliver. OH WAIT

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Oracle finally decides to stop prolonging the inevitable, begins hardware layoffs

Tom Paine
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Re: Self defined failure

Looking on the bright side... Proof that the E4000 in the dark corner of the living room will be a valuable heirloom one day! \o/

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Disbanding your security team may not be an entirely dumb idea

Tom Paine
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Re: And then there's the staggering lack of competence

don't let bean-counters deny you the £100k you need to ensure that a million customers' travel habits don't get leaked on the net

You've never actually worked in security, have you? Guess what: we don't control the people who control the money. "Don't let them not give you the money"? What are you going to do, bleed on them?

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Tom Paine
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Re: And then there's the staggering lack of competence

As others have pointed out, a dedicated security team rapidly becomes a major obstacle to getting anything done.

And as others have pointed out above, that's clearly anecdotal evidence based on bad experiences with bad security teams. I imagine you've been unfortunate in your choice of employers. I'm not for a moment suggesting there isn't plenty of crap security ops around, but that is not the only way, oh grasshopper. (Sorry, it just popped out.)

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Tom Paine
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Re: Interesting hypothesis

InfoSec get the ear of the board, and hence funding, in a way that IT don't.

* gasps for breath, wipes away tears of mirth

I'm sorry, you were saying?

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Tom Paine
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FAIL

Gartner, Schmartner

Using a couple of anecdotes about poorly organised and/or functioning security teams barely even qualifies as a logical fallacy, it's so obviously nonsense. Cars sometimes crash, injuring or killing people. Therefore cars must be banned. I wonder if Marketing deliberately saves up nonsense like this all year ready to drop it in the silly season, or perhaps it goes on all the time unnoticed except when things are quiet...

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Virgin Media customers complain of outages across UK

Tom Paine
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Nice story

I like it when El Reg picks up on increased background levels of DownForEveryoneOrJustMe type complaints like this.

I have no TV or Broadband in the TW15 area, do you have an update on this ?

I've never had cable anything. Do they deliberately make it so that you can't just press a button and failover to ye olde stream-powered broadcast TV? Or is it a case of "why it's easy, press this button out of 75 on your remote control., navigate through to this menu, press "OK" three times, then press "Override", then stand on one leg and recite that thing about coffee from Dune, backwards" complexity and terrible UI design? I helped an elderly retired friend from the pub install a fancy all-singing and dancing curved screen monster last year and between the BT STB, the Freeview, the damn thing's own UI, and the confusion caused by not really knowing which device's UI it was actually showing you,.. well, I got it working in the end, but it was a lot more faffing about that anticipated.

Personally I'm one of those smug bastards who hasn't got a telly and only ever watches the odd programme, usually a bit of news but more recently the fantastic THIS COUNTRY, off the iPlayer.

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Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server folk. NO! WAIT!

Tom Paine
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Happy

n=85

(From a footnote on the embiggened chart.)

That's all you need to know.

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Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'

Tom Paine
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Re: Also

@CarolynPorco (currently imaging PI on Cassini) is a great follow on Twitter for Voyager-related wow-ness.

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Tom Paine
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Boffin

Re: Bah!

This is what we call "circular reasoning". Hint: consider your starting assumptions.

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Tom Paine
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Re: Wow - that's fast!

WAT.

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Tom Paine
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Facepalm

Re: Unfortunately...

You've bent the needle in my Wrongometer when it pegged off-scale high.

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Tom Paine
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Oddness

Thing is, NASA and JPL spacecraft don't downlink images that you can doubleclick and view. There's a whole toolchain needed to process the data into a format suitable for human viewing. As a simple forinstance, many of the imaging devices are "pushbroom" -- that is., a single line of pixels is scanned, followed by the next line, the next line and so on. This comes down in a variety of exotic formats. There's far, far more than you'd ever want to know over on http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com

See for instance this thread: http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=8198

(Far more with all the scripting and C wizardry you can shake a stick on UMSF. Well worth registering if you're interested but READ THE FAQ FIRST.

All the data's public domain; NASA / JPL make it avaiilable via the PDS if you'd like to have a go. You can still get images from Mars and have them in a postable state quicker than the actual project team if you're good, and lucky, and diligent :)

PDS: http://pds-imaging.jpl.nasa.gov/search/

Anyway, I'm not quite calling BS on this guy, but I'd be interested to hear what toolchains he uses / used in 1989.

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70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

Tom Paine
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Re: "Should have gone to System76"

...or Dell or HP, like the one I have.

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She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base

Tom Paine
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Lovely trunk...

Bags of room in the back, in the space where the aeroplanes would go. And that trendy off-white colour too, just like all the "stormtrooper" looking black-trim-white-paint cars you see nowadays. Bad news for the ants, of course...

There are those, of course, who say that the CBG is a deathtrap for any part regional force projection, as it's very hard / impossible to defend against a ballistic missile, whether nuclear or conventional:

http://exiledonline.com/the-war-nerd-this-is-how-the-carriers-will-die/all/1/

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Dismayed by woeful AI chatbots, boffins hired real people – and went back to square one

Tom Paine
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Well put

"I don't see the path from what we have right now to a completely automated system that is as capable as me calling up a friend on the phone," he explained.

40 years of AI research in a nutshell.

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Tom Paine
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Re: "why Blacks are such fast runners?"

You are Tom Archer and I claim by five pints of Shires.

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Tom Paine
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Boffin

Re: Just to clarify

Wall St is making easy money while the sun shines and (apart from the dumber funds) quietly diversifying and hedging the hell out of everything.

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