* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2802 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Huh?

"Talk doesn't rhyme with Bork. At least not where I come from."

It does where I'm from (also South Yorkshire), and where I live now (Fife). I can't think of any dialect where it doesn't, so what does "talk" rhyme with where you are from?

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: PlusNet

Have to say the same. I've been with Plusnet in three different houses over the past six or seven years, and never had a significant problem that wasn't down to crappy copper - which isn't Plusnet's fault. The helldesk staff are always helpful and knowledgeable, and don't seem to want to get me off the line as soon as possible to meet their targets.

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Google accidentally reveals new swipe-happy Android UI

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Please no @Brewsters Angle Grinder

I agree completely about discoverability. There is some evidence that a lot of older people struggle with the "new" tech because a switch is no longer a switch - depending on length of press, number of presses, etc, it does something different. How did we get to a world where you need an instruction manual for a simple switch?

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Please no @Manu T

"You obviously haven't tried Sailfish OS, have you?"

I have - I have a Sailfish phone. It is my spare - the gestures are unintuitive and unreliable. I couldn't give it to my wife to use, for instance - too much to learn too quickly. I appreciate that it is one of the best gesture-based OSs on the market, but it is rubbish as a concept.

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not voting...

For many years, that was my sole way of voting, in both locations and general elections, since there was no way any candidate other than the favoured party donkey would get in. It is different in my current constituency - the current MP had a majority of just two votes in the last election!

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Intractable Potsherd

The party system is the root of most of the problems. Ban them, and make everyone stand as an independent on their own policies.

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Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Makes you think "Intellectual Property" is shady business ...

@hplasm: "The Law is a tool used by Lawyers to make money."

Yes, in the same way as copper pipe is a tool of plumbers to make money. What is your point?

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Police chief wants citizens to bring 'net oligarchs to heel

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not really dispelling the idea that generally the police are a little dim ..

In fact, despite having great respect for the judges who gave this judgment, especially Brenda Hale, I think they came to the wrong decision this time.* Hugely expanding the scope of the HRA is going to lead to more attempts to get rid of it, and perhaps all human rights protection. Indeed, the decision has the implications that human rights will be eroded as a direct result of it. Requiring the police to legally, rather than operationally, prioritise certain crimes will result in a greater number of offences against property being ignored, with only serious offences against the person being worthy of investigation. The tactics for investigating e.g. rape will become exceedingly heavy-handed (large numbers of men being pressured into giving DNA samples, for example - and we know how easy it is to get those removed from the database, don't we?) Looking outside the police, other investigatory bodies will now look for a human rights angle to justify action that is unpopular - I don't think it will be long before e.g. HMRC justify tax investigations using human rights).

This is a piss-poor judgment that will reflect badly on the Supreme Court as a whole, the individual judges, and human rights in general. We will live to regret the decision.

*I say this as a law lecturer with considerable experience of human rights teaching and research.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not really dispelling the idea that generally the police are a little dim ..

@ Adam 52. No, they didn't. They simply reiterated the underlying feature of the HRA - that all *organs of the state* have a duty to uphold human rights. There is, and never has been, a duty on private individuals or bodies to have regard to human rights unless otherwise stated in specific legislation (e.g. equality Acts).

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I'd prefer that to my usual hypothesis that it's a bunch of thick racists - @Phil

"So looking at your categories you're basically assuming that the only possible reasons for voting leave were racism, stupidity, or greed?"

I am willing to accept that some leave voters had some thoughtful reasons based on democracy etc - you seem to be one of them. However, of the people I know who voted to leave (unfortunately, most of my family and friends), racism, stupidity (in the sense of not thinking about consequences, or actually knowing what they ultimately wanted), and greed are the primary reasons they state. All of them cite the fact that there are more non-Asian foreigners in their town centres (the fact that my family and some friends live in Rotherham makes this complaint somewhat bizarre!). Others just went with the number of "Pakis" as justification. One of my friends worked for Tata Steel, and somehow the fact that they are closing his location down was a reason for voting leave (no, I really don't understand). Those with trades seemed to focus on how much more they will be able to charge if there weren't so many EU workers available. So, there you have it - a reasonably large and varied sample which indicates elements of racism, stupidity, and greed.

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Privacy folk raise alarm over schools snooping on kids' online habits

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Privacy? What's that? @Pen-y-gors and other school IT commenters

Thanks for your input, folks. Mrs IP and myself are currently trying to decide where to send the IP-lings to school. Home schooling has been at the top of the list for a while, partly because of the whole surveillance thing, but your input has just made it an almost certainty.

The State has become malignant over the past 20 years, hasn't it?

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Got some broken tech? Super Cali's trinket fix-it law brought into focus

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "Apple is the only poster child for destructive repair monopolies" @DougS

"I await the inevitable downvotes for daring to say something against Reg reader's strange obsession with going back in time to battery doors"

Well, in the 20 or so years, and six or seven phones I've had (I don't change them often, and many of them have been second-hand), I've never had a battery "door" come off. Most, if not all, required the entire back to come off, usually requiring incantations and dead chickens to do it smoothly. I admit that all my phones have lived (and four of them still live) in leather cases, and I rarely, if ever, drop a phone. So I've given you a down vote because I don't see why I should lose the convenience of swapping out batteries easily just because some people don't look after their phones.

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When clever code kills, who pays and who does the time? A Brit expert explains to El Reg

Intractable Potsherd

@ Kain

"What if that USB stick was not made when the drivers were ? So you are content holding the vender liable know full well that you can not test for every condition?"

Yes - why not? You are looking at just one part of the problem - the important part is error-catching. Nothing should happen that would cause a fatal error.

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Use ad blockers? Mine some Monero to get access to news, says US site

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Amazing stupidity on part of the blockers

I don't agree with you. Advertising is not an immutable fact of life - it is (by and large) an invention of the industrial age. There are other solutions being suggested here - micropayment being one - but you think that advertising is the only revenue stream that will work, even though the evidence is showing that it doesn't (hence this article).

When everything was on paper, I generally paid for it if the price was worth it to me, and, by and large, I ignored the adverts. Yes, some magazines had more pages of ads than actual content, but it didn't matter - I could choose whether to look at them without penalty. I also lived through the pre-ad blocker Internet, where untargeted ads got more and more intrusive, and the beginning of "targeted" ads that were anything but, and still hugely intrusive. I began to block ads initially because they counter-productively demanded my attention, and now because, as I said in my earlier reply to you, because the risk to me of accepting them is greater than the risk to the ad-slingers whose security gets breached. That doesn't mean that I don't want to pay for content, but that I can't do so in a way that suits my assessment of risk.

I also think you are wrong in thinking that content creators don't care about the total number of views - it is that figure that says to a potential advertiser that there is X chance of someone responding to an ad. Lost views make a site less attractive - undermining your whole argument.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: So-@FF22

There is plenty of evidence to show that a small number of big ad-slingers are a risk to a large number of individual users - the reports can be found on this here website. The risk to me is too great, with little or no risk for either the hosting website or the purveyor of adverts - until that changes, no ads on my devices. I have no reason to trust you (I am inferring from your comment that you have something to do with the advertising "industry").

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Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Films / TV-shows ever dramatize the collision of galaxies?

Hah! Until I checked the poster's name, I thought it was someone saying that no other politician was as successful at being ignorant about science as Trump.

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Rogue IT admin goes off the rails, shuts down Canadian train switches

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I have seen people work out their gardening leave.

@AC "HR go home early every day."

It would be better if they never came in.

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National Museum of Computing rattles the bucket: Help shift war-winning proto-puter

Intractable Potsherd

To answer your question about whether it is worth visiting BP, my opinion is that it isn't if you are on limited time. The changes under the new manglement have done nothing for the place - it is now no better than a theme park, unfortunately. Definitely go and see TNMOC if you can - you won't be disappointed with the exhibits, or the sheer depth and breadth of knowledge possessed by the guides.

Hope that helps!

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Let's get to know each other first: Joe Public won't share their data with just anyone

Intractable Potsherd

From the article: "However, 13 per cent said they wouldn't trust any of the organisations on the list – which also included governments, insurers and medical research charities – with their data."

I'm in that 13 per cent - I don't trust any of them, not necessarily because I think they are all inherently untrustworthy, but because, as we are all aware, there is always the risk of a successful exploit. With paper records, snaffling and aggregating personal information an even a single person was practically impossible without huge time and resources, but now it is trivial and the information only one hack/lost thumb-drive/underpaid techie away from being spa fed who knows where.

I deliberately give different false information to keep some sense of control (perhaps pointless, but it makes me feel better).

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Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court

Intractable Potsherd

@AC OP

"I am not convinced of his innocence or guilty either way,"

I am convinced of his guilt with regard to jumping bail - he did it, he admits it - therefore guilty, and it is irrelevant whether he is a journalist or anything else. It cannot be ignored. Regarding allegations of impropriety in Sweden, I am convinced of his innocence - he has not been proven guilty of anything (or charged with anything, for that matter). My opinion might change if there was ever a proper court hearing, but for now he is innocent.

Wikileaks comprises of more than Assange. Yes, they have done some fine work, even if they have been careless at times. However, suggesting that JA should get away with blatantly breaking a fundamental law just because Wikileaks is overall a force for good speaks of special pleading.

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Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Digital?

@AC - the perpetrators of the miners' strike atrocities° and the Hillsborough mess-up were *South* Yorkshire police, not *West* Yorkshire.

° Well, until Thatcher brought in coppers from everywhere else in the country, and possibly some soldiers too...

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Women beat men to jobs due to guys' bad social skills. Whoa – you mad, fellas? Maybe these eggheads have a point...

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Gender roles are the problem

"They quickly realised that the wife had much more earning potential (and enjoyed her old job a lot more than the husband enjoyed his) so they swapped: The husband stayed at home and the wife worked."

Mrs P and I are currently doing exactly this with our recent twins. I am better equipped temperementally to deal with high-dependency creatures with limited communication skills than Mrs P, and she is far more career-minded than I am. Contrary to some comments here, I have had no problems with respect once the initial "there's a man at the playgroup" reaction has passed. In fact, people are impressed (which is a bit sad, since it shouldn't really be worthy of any note).

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Brace yourselves for the 'terabyte (sic) of death', warns US army IT boss

Intractable Potsherd

Re: slang v gospel

It sounds to me that you are more closely related to A Man from Mars :-)

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1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Isn't it a small minority

I can name two separate university departments (different universities, different subjects) where the number of male academic promotions fell to zero, and the promotions of females with much less experience and fewer and less prestigious publications became laughable in its obviousness. I have no particular axe to grind since I didn't want any of the posts, but it is easy to see that there isn't a level playing field. The goal is simply to have more female* senior lecturers/readers/professors as quickly as possible, regardless of qualification. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries of positive discrimination will always be looked at with suspicion, as will any others with the same relevant characteristic.

There is pressure on the judiciary to do the same, simply so the numbers can look good - waiting a few more years until the increased number of female lawyers get the usual amount of time in before applying to become a judge just doesn't seem to be acceptable.

*Odd that the number of promotions for people with e.g. disabilities doesn't seem to have gone up in the same way ...

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CCTV commish: Bring all surveillance systems under code of practice

Intractable Potsherd

Re: @AC

Even after all these years, there are still some people that still think it is important...

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hmm

Well, yes - he wants more power to regulate surveillance cameras because he doesn't have enough now. Like most government regulators that protect the populace from government and big business, his office is deliberately underfunded. To do otherwise might actually constrain the data fetishism.

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US Homeland Security breach compromised personal info of 200,000+ staff

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Digital revenge

"...the crim population is increasing exponentially by the week."

Citation needed.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Counting chickens? @Dan 55

Not really a rant, though, is it - more of a "WTF?"

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Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died

Intractable Potsherd

Young Scientist of the Year

If anyone was serious about getting young people into STEM subjects, this would be back on the TV. I used to watch it regularly when I was a youth, and we had several of the yearbooks around the house. In fact, it is YSotY that I associate Heinz Wolff with, not "The Great Egg Race", because you could see his enthusiasm and support for the contestants.

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Brit cyber-spies: Fancy meeting outside court to talk about evidence?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: AC

Needlessly cynical with no evidence, I think. TPTB might have made a mistake and appointed someone who actually takes his responsibilities seriously. Let's wait and see what happens - anything from a change of tune to sealing himself in a body bag...

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Lauri Love's US extradition appeal judges reserve decision

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Just send him over there and good riddance.

"So what's the alternative, that the UK never extradite anyone to the US because our prisons are worse than UK prisons?"

Yes - that should be the default position, especially for crimes that were not committed by a person on US soil. The US "justice" system is irretrievably broken, the penal system even worse. The UK should withdraw from the disgustingly one-sided extradition treaty immediately so that this situation does not arise again, and think very hard about renegotiation.

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NHS England told to get a grip on patient records after £6.6m blunder

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not getting a break

Because nothing else would be better, and probably worse?

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Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "At-scale deployment to provide the evidence that AVs are safe for at-scale deployment"

@commswonk;I took JS19's comment to apply to the current rules about drivers of some types of heavy vehicles having to stop for a certain length of time after a certain length of driving (one hour after every four?). Thus, if the answer to his question is "no", then drivers would be able to knock one hour off a journey time for every five on duty, making the length of time away from home shorter.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: So long as the following criteria are met.

400 words for snow, and 650 for rain... :-)

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El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

Intractable Potsherd

Which raises a really good point - since none of the banks covered in the article have stellar internet security, which one should we use? I'm in the market for a new bank myself, and was considering Nationwide because of its customer service and not planning to shut local branches (which is one reason I'm leaving RBS), but the security report posted by an earlier commentard suggests Nationwide might be really lacking internet security.

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USB stick found in West London contained Heathrow security data

Intractable Potsherd

Re: How as this even possible?

@COCM: I think you mean "PHB", not "PFY" (a mistake I regularly make when reading!)

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Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I know it's not capitalised but...

We're not supposed to call them "cat's eyes", are we? It upsets children and foreign visitors, or something.

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UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Fascinating Ignorance

Downvoted because you are assuming too much about how the proposed scheme will work. Shared Lives grew organically, with a great deal of input from all concerned. This proposed system has none of these qualities - instead, there is a get-rich-quick doctor using his contacts in the health trust to line his pockets. If there was the slightest inkling that this was a grass-roots movement, I'd be supportive of the idea, but not at present.

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

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I'm going to keep sneering, Amber

Indeed, Kurt. In my opinion, part of the current crisis in Western politics is that there are too many politicians with degrees, who have never actually worked in a "real" job. They don't know what it is like to live below a comfortable life, and they have rarely had to interact with people who have other opinions and motivations. The traditional Labour party made it possible for working class people to enter Parliament and have their voices heard, and the country was better for it. Sadly, this is not going to happen again.

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UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

Intractable Potsherd

AManfromMars for prime minister!

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Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

Intractable Potsherd

@Michael Habel

Sorry, Michael - Win XP was hardly affected by Wannacry:

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/wannacry-windows-7-xp

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15665488/wannacry-windows-7-version-xp-patched-victim-statistics

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/30/15712542/windows-xp-wannacry-protect-ransomware-blue-screen

It's time to put this myth to bed.

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Intractable Potsherd

Hovercraft and submarine museums

The thick end of 25 years ago I stayed with a friend who was a doctor in the Navy, and lived in Hampshire. She had both of these museums on the itinerary for my visit - trust me, you need to make more than "a day" of it - a day for each is recommended (at least ...)

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Dover @ Rich 11

"... the wind and waves were still high enough to throw everyone around. Not fun when a number of kids had spent their last francs on fizzy pop and sweets..."

Almost the same here, only it was going to France on the hovercraft, and probably 1976, but the memory of sitting next to a classmate who had scoffed two packets of strawberry Chewits before boarding has never faded. Vomit should not be violent pink and smell like that ...

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Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Fuck mom-and-pop stores

I sort of know what you mean - small shops sometimes have curious restrictions on what they will sell, and really iffy service when you ask why. However, since I have never really liked buying things because of the need to interact with other humans, I may not be the best person to assess these things (the Internet has made buying things so much more pleasant).

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Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Interesting principles behind this

Mike - rights imply duties from those protected by them*. Animals cannot comprehend, therefore cannot fulfil, duties commensurate with the rights groups like PETA want them to have. Thus, any talk of rights is nonsense. Animals do have interests, though, which humans might have a duty to observe.

* Don't get me started on the nonsense about children having rights before they are capable of understanding the concept.

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Prejudiced humans = prejudiced algorithms, and it's not an easy fix

Intractable Potsherd

Re: people NATURALLY discriminate

Perhaps the word 'discriminate' isn't quite the right word to use... "

Actually, it is exactly the right word. What is being referred to in the article is *unfair* discrimination. We all discriminate with regard to people all the time - my experiences mean I'm likely to favour certain people than you would, for instance. The issue is how to separate these personal preferences so that people are not unfairly discriminated against. This, as mentioned, does cause a problem when building a team - someone with the best qualifications on paper, and then does well at interview might not "feel" right compared to someone who you know that would fit with the team, but has fewer qualifications. I end up being ambivalent about this - on the one hand, it leads to Oxbridge cronyism in high places, but, at the same time, I have been the beneficiary and the benefactor of this at various times.

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Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

Intractable Potsherd

True!

My wife and I regularly go to mainland Europe, both to for holiday and to visit family. Until recently, we flew, even though I regularly suggested ferry and drive. Since the birth of our twins last year, my wife accepted that flying is just too hard, so we have gone the ferry/car route, and the difference is huge. Yes, it takes longer to get wherever we are aiming for, but we get to see much more, can eat for significantly less than the airport/flight prices, and we can take all the water and laptops we want! Added to that, the security people at ferry ports are much nicer than those at airports.

I doubt we'll be flying again.

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

Intractable Potsherd

Re: DYSUN is like TRUMP

Oh, come on, Ishtiaq - didn't the "IWANKER TRAMP" give it away that this is a spoof comment? It is the second one by this commentard I've read today, and I hope there are more - they are funny(ish)!

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I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I can't see this guy winning the case

But that is the key point here - being sued is a civil action between two individuals (natural or legal), and where the penalty is damages (money). What you have described is not criminal (where the actors are the State and the individual) and you could not be arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned for it. The question here is whether what the sysadmin did was criminal or civil - and I think the point being raised by the lawyers is a good one. Even if the appeal is unsuccessful, we need to ask ourselves very seriously if we want the State intervening in this sort of dispute - i.e. *should* it be criminal?

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