* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1733 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Where Do I Find These Lawyers

@Sampler - So you invented social networking for lice, when previously they could only network before they hatched? I never realised.

Nit - the egg of a louse or other parasitic insect.

Close-knit - bound together by strong relationships and common interests.

And now a need a shower.

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

Allan George Dyer
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Pirate

Re: Benefits

@MGJ - 1945 UK General Election it is! Good choice!

You do remember that the UK elects people to Parliament, not parties? So Clement Attlee would still be Prime Minister. I think a Government led by a 50 year-old corpse would lend definite stability to the country. Is there anyone still alive who was elected in 1945?

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Google routing blunder sent Japan's Internet dark on Friday

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

"An elegant protocol... for a more civilized age."

@eldakka - No! This mythic time on the internet ended far earlier than you imagine. BGP was first used in 1994, and updated in 2006, when security threats were already a widespread concern. Already, we'd had the Morris worm and the Michelangelo virus. The IPsec working group started about 1992, and the RFC was published 1995, so someone was working on secure protocols when BGP was developed. Hell, the film Wargames came out a decade earlier, so network threats were even part of the popular consciousness!

Rather than pointing the finger at academic institution trust, it might be worth looking at the cost trade-off of doing it properly, and the telecoms companies wanting to get into this new era quickly.

icon - there's no Star Wars icon, and a deerstalker is very elegant.

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Airbus issues patch to prevent A350 airliner fuel tanks exploding

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Do you drive a car?

@SkippyBing - Unless you think that cars are driven by zombies, you should only include the extra food consumed to fuel the transportation running/cycling.

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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

Allan George Dyer
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Re: So much for digital

@DailyLlama - Downvoted for:

1) sexism

2) Failure to calculate 2^11-1

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British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: It looks like they were quite desparate to pin something on him, judging by the last paragraph:

"They are not allowed to carry firearms, or have firearms at their residence"

So do criminals wanting to do burglaries and home invasions look down the lists of recently-bailed people to identify safe targets? If firearms are so effective at home defence and deterring those crimes, then it should be the criminals' natural response.

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Q: How many drones are we bombing ISIS with? A: That's secret, mmkay

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Interesting stuff

@Ledswinger "That's what war is about. Kill, or be killed, and fuck collateral damage.."

That's killing your friends, remember? Sure, accidentally or inadvertently, but still your own side! If you were in Théoden's charge, you'd be the one wildly swinging his weapon (nominative determinism?) and injuring your companions!

The Geneva convention may be often breached, but it is part of what keeps us from becoming as bad or worse than those we fight. Protect civilians, care for prisoners. Who wants an endless cycle of escalating revenge?

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Sorry, but those huge walls of terms and conditions you never read are legally binding

Allan George Dyer
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Up for it? Already did it, last time I renewed my phone contract. Went to the shop, insisted they printed the T&C in English, not Chinese, read it standing there in the shop, amended the bits I wanted to in pen and signed. Didn't even need the thermos and sandwiches, only took half an hour.

It worked because the assistant wasn't briefed on how to handle it, and thought it was easier to complete the transaction and hand the paper on to administration.

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Commentard Quizwall experiment ends with more quizzing than commenting

Allan George Dyer
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Re: OutRageUs

I am absolutely disgusted at the price of five beans nowadays. I blame the government!

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WannaCry vanquisher Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty to flogging banking trojan Kronos

Allan George Dyer
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FAIL

Re: UK NHS got his because of many vulnerabilities

@leeneubecker - There are too many gaps in your blog and sources to build a credible link between the Raspberry Pi and the NHS outbreak of WannaCry. You say that the Pi has WiFi vulnerable to BroadPwn, but only the Pi 3 and Pi Zero W have built-in WiFi. You say that the NHS has adopted Pis for use in hospitals, but link to an article about a pilot project giving Pis to patients for home monitoring (and no information on whether they use the Pi 3 or PiZero W). You have no statistics on the numbers of vulnerable Pis used in actual hospitals. You have no evidence linking even one incident to a vulnerable Pi. You don't even seem to have tested whether a Pi with built-in WiFi is actually vulnerable.

Full disclosure: I'm a fan of Pis. I own and use a number of Pis.

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Ancient IETF 'teapot' gag preserved for posterity as a standard

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Made My Day

You mentioned kittens?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/girliemac/6508102407/in/album-72157628409467125/

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Kaspersky axes antitrust complaints against Microsoft after Windows giant vows to play nice

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: In Time

@DougS "require signed binaries, and even that isn't a guarantee (you can still be hacked, but you don't have to worry too much about viruses and worms"

Unless you're a developer (some has to sign those binaries), or until someone adds a macro language to your favourite app, because of course everyone needs wordprocessor documents that are programs.

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Can GCHQ order techies to work as govt snoops? Experts fear: 'Yes'

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Who cares?

@boltar - "How many welshmen have been legally murdered in chester recently then?"

Trick question! None, because murder is defined as unlawful killing.

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FBI's spyware-laden video claims another scalp: Alleged sextortionist charged

Allan George Dyer
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Re: One overlooked problem

If he'd gone war driving, then the connections would likely have come from a handful of networks within easy driving distance. So a suitable stakeout could still catch the perp. Yes, more resources, more subpoenas but ultimately still trackable.

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NotBeingPetya: UK critical infrastructure firms face huge fines for lax security

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

How quickly standards slip. It would be OK if organisations followed what the government actually said, "assessed the risks adequately, taken appropriate security measures, and engaged with competent authorities", but already it's slipped (here in the comments) to "current best practice", which I guess means, "no-one else bothers with more than this".

Anyone want to predict how long before a court accepts, "industry standard practice" as a defence?

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Four techies flummoxed for hours by flickering 'E' on monitor

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Also, light bulbs

@Lord_Beavis "Wasn't that an 'X-Files' episode? Except the people went crazy or exploded?"

You'll have to be more specific, people going crazy or exploding was every X-Files episode.

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UK taxmen slammed for tech glitches rampant on child benefits website

Allan George Dyer
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@deathchurch - So you're not planning to retire, ever? Sure, your pension looks adequate now, but with fewer working-age people around, prices for nursing care, transportation, food... hell, everything that requires people, is going to skyrocket. If you want a stable society that continues for your lifetime, you'd better put some investment in the basic infrastructure to support it: young people.

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WannaCry-killer Marcus Hutchins denies Feds' malware claims

Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Have they been reading Kafka?

"can have no contact with his unnamed accused co-conspirator"

Did they tell him who this accused co-conspirator is?

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Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Pikey Computers

Durham's pretty far North... just redirect the heating pipes through the data centre, and shut down the boilers.

I don't know what you do in summer, but one day downtime a year isn't too bad.

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Confessions of an ebook eater

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

@Alister - Well, it was pre-Colour of Magic publication, so I think I've got an excuse for not thinking of that. On my way out, I did notice a man in a black fedora receiving a package from a short figure with red hair in a long coat.

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Allan George Dyer
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Coat

One time in Foyles, I came across a half-height, arched door at the end of a row of shelves, like it was from a monastery for dwarves. I carefully re-traced my steps, and was relieved to find myself in the same universe.

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The lady (or man) vanishes: The thorny issue of GDPR coding

Allan George Dyer
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One DB to rule them all, One DB to find them; One DB to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

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HMS Frigatey Mcfrigateface given her official name

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Towns again....

"great names like Revenge, Glorious, Implacable"

Don't forget HMS Scarab! That certainly gave the enemy shit!

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Allan George Dyer
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Re: @King Jack:

@fruitoftheloom - Those cancers have really metastasized, if she needs a telescope to find them!

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Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Just sayin'

@MachDiamond - Nope. If only one C-level executive is at risk, you've only created the position of CES: Chief Executive Scapegoat, though I guess in most cases they would use a different name.

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: Government staff: need I say more?

@Olivier2553 - Sure, in some contexts, there is nothing wrong with saying it like that, but when calling your IT support? What sort of answer do you expect?

"Yes. Thank you for calling. Goodbye."

and

"No. Thank you for calling. Goodbye."

are perfectly reasonable, full answers to the question. But the conservation really doesn't achieve much. An ideal caller would succinctly communicate their problem, as they understand it ("I get an error when I send email", "I'm expecting an urgent email that hasn't arrived", "I can't reach my favourite porn site an important supplier website", etc.), and the ideal IT support would respond with diagnostic questions leading to a solution, or information on a known fault and a fix timescale ("did you type the address correctly?", "the server room is on fire" etc.). The ideal caller would then be overjoyed at the efficiency of their IT support, and offer them beers and/or fire extinguishers.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Government staff: need I say more?

You get a question? I thought the more normal form was, "The Internet is down!!"

Next time I'm told that, I'm booking a three-month trip to "fix the Internet"

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Multics resurrected: Proto-Unix now runs on Raspberry Pi or x86

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Anything we should steal ?

@Voyna i Mor: "Given access to the source code and the ability to modify it, you could in principle be very sure of that."

Have you read Ken Thompson's classic paper "Reflections on Trusting Trust"?

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Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: "Internet e-mail is not a secure medium..."

Well, I wouldn't classify UUCP as more secure than SMTP. UUCP was, more-or-less, an electronic implementation of PG Wodehouse's method for physical letters: throw them out the window, and trust that an honest person will pick them up and pop them in a letter box. At least with SMTP you have a TCP connection between your mail server and the recipient's mail server, so the bar is raised to ankle height: only admins at the sending or receiving organisations, plus anyone who can get a packet sniffer on the route in between.

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Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Allan George Dyer
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Childcatcher

@d3vy "Its my company, Im the only employee" - it could be worse, if you employed your wife and used a home office, you'd have a devil of a job proving there was no sexual harassment at the workplace!

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Don't give me no static ...

"opening envelopes with self-adhesive flap generates static"

That's triboluminescence, not static electricity.

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Kaspersky Lab US staff grilled by Feds in nighttime swoop

Allan George Dyer
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Paris Hilton

"But the security firm doesn't have many friends in the US government at the moment."

Uh, is "the security firm" Kaspersky or the FBI?

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Breaking news, literally: Newspaper's quakebot rumbled for fake story

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Real time monitoring...

"If you can't reach this page the river is flooded/the pub has a blown fuse/someone's spilled their pint/..."

FTFY

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Queen's speech announces laws to protect personal data

Allan George Dyer
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Is this a deterrence?

What is the point of increasing the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences when terrorist incidents generally result in the death of the suspects?

I'm not saying that the guilty shouldn't get long sentences, but the proposal sounds like someone wanted to tick the "keeping the public safe from terrorists" checkbox, without bothering to consider whether it was an effective way of doing it.

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Tesla death smash probe: Neither driver nor autopilot saw the truck

Allan George Dyer
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Re: They still call it Autopilot?

Ah, yes, the Sellafield solution.

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US voter info stored on wide-open cloud box, thanks to bungling Republican contractor

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Quote of the week proposal:

"Based on the information we have gathered thus far, we do not believe that our systems have been hacked," Deep Root Analytics' founder Alex Lundry

Because you left it open access you numpty!

I'm not sure what frightens me most, that he thinks that he can downplay the incident by saying they weren't "hacked" (scary word warning!!), or that he's right.

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Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

That's the automatic warning system...

When you see adverts for re-location and fake passports, you know your profile's been viewed by someone with links to terrorist groups.

When you see adverts for bullet-proof vests, you know they've clicked on the ads for assault rifles and ammunition.

When you see adverts for funeral parlours, well, it's too late.

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Banking websites are 'littered with trackers' ogling your credit risk

Allan George Dyer
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Are there any legitimate uses for client side scripts on a banking website?

"the js modifies the page to fit various size screens under certain rules"

How about using

@media (min-width: 800px)

in the CSS. That's what it's there for, right?

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Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Not surprising

"sell the raw server logs to anyone who waves half a groat in their direction"

So they do care tuppence about privacy!

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Damian Green now heads up UK Cabinet Office

Allan George Dyer
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"you have to wonder about how efficient (or not) the department is."

As Sir Humphrey Appleby would say, you don't measure efficiency by results, you measure efficiency by activity.

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Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

Allan George Dyer
Silver badge
Headmaster

Clever stuff...

"new dictation button on the touch keyboard, though this currently only works for US English and Chinese (Simplified)"

So they can detect the script you would use to write down the the words you are speaking? That is amazing!

(Traditional and Simplified are alternative scripts, used in Mainland China and Taiwan, respectively. Putonghua|Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese & others are spoken dialects of Chinese)

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Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

Allan George Dyer
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Holmes

Re: Re-crimp?

"so that the wire support does its job "

You assume there was a wire support.

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DUP site crashes after UK general election

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Conservatives + DUP = IRA?

"I think the Wall (somewhere just north of Alderley Edge) will help"

Is that Beyond the Pale?

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Pop-up Android adware uses social engineering to resist deletion

Allan George Dyer
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Re: No other options but to press "OK"

@DougS - "correct their spelling and syntax, they'd probably have a lot higher success rate in getting past what little skepticism"

One possibility is that the intention of the bad spelling and syntax is to filter out targets with even a little skepticism. They only want the most gullible victims for stage 2.

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Europe to upgrade its continental GPS

Allan George Dyer
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Windows

Reliable but not accurate

I've found that different phone GPSs in my flat very reliably report a position about 200m away, in a public park. I've guessed this is due to [hand-waving] reflections from nearby buildings and diffraction by reinforced concrete. I wonder whether the proposed upgrade will actually find my home, or merely pinpoint a particular park bench.

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The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Typo? Looks strange - Everyone should read Richard Feynman.

Voyna i Mor - "(I would prefer that Daesh supporters continued to believe in miracles rather than science, thanks.)"

Really? If they believed in science, surely they'd stop supporting Daesh?

What is the scientific likelihood of enjoying 72 virgins (or white raisins) after death?

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Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: " For example replacing a hydrogen with deuterium slow significantly (~~2 fold) at that point"

"99.9% D2O is available from Sigma-Aldrich in 4L bottles for example. Cost ? ~~$1000/L in small amounts."

WTF! That's expensive bottled water, is it available at Harrods?

I'll take the icon.

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Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: yes the Uranium is being used as metabolic fuel for the bacteria.

"Another example of evolution in action."

Yes, but in which direction? Was metal reduction the dominant biological energy reaction until those pesky cyanobacteria evolved photosynthesis and destroyed the ecosystem with abundant free oxygen?

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Microsoft founder Paul Allen reveals world's biggest-ever plane

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

It's that big...

"can launch from different runways"

At the same time?

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Allan George Dyer
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Re: thoughts on future regulation of encryption

@Pat 11:

1i - That's not a counter-argument, that's just saying we'd be *really* screwed!

1ii - How about proving the technology works before making it a cornerstone of the anti-terror strategy?

2i & ii - Terrorists with jobs in finance and healthcare continue using strong encryption (you're not going to force Barclays to get a new license every time they move a server, are you?), corrupt license issuer staff sell dodgy licenses, or sneak extra IP addresses onto genuine licenses.

There's probably possible countermeasures for those ideas too, but the added complexity will make it even more cumbersome, and introduce bugs.

3 - steganography to hide the strong encryption. Say, embed your strongly encrypted material in a live stream of your home security camera (extra irony points for pointing the camera at your back door), and wrap that in the government-approved backdoored encryption. Even if the security services figure out what is going on and capture an endpoint, they won't have the keys to decrypt the strong encryption for other endpoints.

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