* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1987 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Change it back quickly -

The NSA wants their feed back.

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Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

@John 104 - "The goal is to make the users the betaalpha testers."

FTFY

"The compiler gave no errors, it's perfect code."

FTFM

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Cathay Pacific hack: Airline admits techies fought off cyber-siege for months

Allan George Dyer
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Re: There are two types of system out there.

@AC- "but one has to admit that if anyone can track, block and prosecute originators of nastyograms within their border, they probably can"

They aren't suceeding in eliminating 'nastyograms', so either they aren't trying, or complete traceabilty is not the solution.

I doubt whether complete traceability is a solution... as you said, you just find a botnet victim. Tracing the next layer requires exponential resources, against an attacker who will always be erasing the evidence. You spend ever more resources chasing an elusive goal. Time to look for a different approach.

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My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Allan George Dyer
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Windows

@Franco - "I still have a 56K US Robotics external modem that would connect to a COM port."

Pfft! I'm still using a 28.8K Hayes modem, connected to a Serial/USB adapter. Well, it's better than keeping a fax machine. Some of my customers still send POs by fax.

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UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

@Barrie Shepherd - "while they take data from the signalling control systems they cannot interact with the control equipment"

Thank Goodness!

Much appreciation to the techies and safety officers who fight the on-going battle to keep it that way.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Windows

@Jason Bloomberg - "in another decade they'll be so behind the times we'll be laughing at them like we're laughing now"

Why? It'd just be a dusty screen that still works.

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In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers

Allan George Dyer
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Mushroom

Antiquarian Booksellers: almost as badass as Librarians.

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Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

Allan George Dyer
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Pint

Re: I really don’t believe in the paranormal, but

@ICPurvis47 - No, the head is a waxwork, the rest is him. It's not just period clothing, it's his clothing. He asked for his body to be preserved and displayed as an auto-icon. Unfortunately, the process went badly wrong for his head, so that is kept in a box elsewhere.

Glad to see someone twigged what I was on about.

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Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: I really don’t believe in the paranormal, but

I don’t believe in the paranormal either, but, true story, at my old college, if you walked through the cloisters at the right time, you would see one of the founders sitting in his chair, with his book and glasses on the small table next to him without his head. I saw him with my own eyes.

Rumour was that his head still attended college council meetings, where he was recorded as "present, but not voting".

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Spooning toner into the copier

@John Brown (no body), @Solo Owl - I once saved a student's thesis by combining those techniques. Student's husband spills coffee on 5.25" floppy, desperate student brings it to tech support (me) for help. Carefully slice open floppy, remove disc, wash gently with distilled water then alcohol, allow to dry, slice open a new floppy, insert washed disc in new case, copy data (it survived!) to another new floppy, return to grateful student with a reminder to keep multiple backups.

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Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Allan George Dyer
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Re: I think it's time for a woman ...

I'm not a geologist, but if you'll accept Extra History as a source (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-CW0B4YeBQ), Mary Anning disputed the claims of established scientists and was proved right. She went beyond collecting, carefully studying her finds, and was noteworthy for being good at it.

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Allan George Dyer
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Simple solution

All of the above. Put each one on a different denomination, and Sterling becomes the only currency where you can always pay the exact amount. Convenience and practicality are overrated.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: 1+2+3+4+ to infinity = -1/12

@Nick Kew - he lived during British Rule in India, so he was British by the standards of his time.

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UK.gov to roll out voter ID trials in 2019 local elections

Allan George Dyer
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@Volands's right hand - "Papers by end of the week prole"

I recall being told that too... but I've never worked out, if you don't turn up and identify yourself, how do the police know who they want to arrest? It probably only works in villages where everyone knows each other, where it isn't needed.

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Transformers: Robots... at least it tries: Watch boffins' Optimus Dime rearrange on the fly

Allan George Dyer
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Terminator

Robopocalypse Delayed

We still have some time to prepare:

2:46 "The object becomes caught in a crack in the floor surface, and is freed by a human operator. Note that this is a flaw in the experimental setup, which is assumed to have a floor with no cracks."

Time to lay some crazy paving.

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Woman who hooked up with over 15 spectres has found her forever phantom after whirlwind romance and plane sex

Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Re: Dear God,

@David 132 - Ghent man, GHENT!

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Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: blow torch... pfft

@JLV - forget the sharks, coconuts are more deadly

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SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Allan George Dyer
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@Mycho - If you're interested in the matching set of obsidian carvings (I used to think they were, somehow, disturbing, but now they seem quite friendly, almost like they are beckoning), and the black, leather-bound book I found in the ruined library, I'm taking them to the clearing in the old forest tonight. Meet me there.

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Allan George Dyer
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I have a theory, but I need to complete my investigation to be sure.

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Allan George Dyer
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Is anyone else reading 'CoC' as Call of Cthulhu?

I should record this in my journal.

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Yer a solicitor, 'arry! Indian uni takes cues from 'Potterverse' to teach students law

Allan George Dyer
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@Big John - "These allegedly-intriguing legal issues aren't really specific to the Potterverse. Any universe with magic will do."

I disagree. In Middle Earth, the legal system is largely feudal: the local lord decides. The Shire does seem to have some code of law, but it doesn't seem to be consistently enforced; Bilbo had a lot of trouble re-acquiring his possessions after been declared dead.

Conversely, in the Potterverse, the legal structures are frequently referenced: the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts law, the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, there's two trials at the Wizengamot shown, characters are imprisoned, released and escape from Azkaban, 28 Education Decrees, the list goes on. There is also a lot about how law, society and a free press (well, a slightly beetle-napped Rita Skeeter, anyway) interact in the rise is extremism. It's easy to see the influence of JK's time with Amnesty International.

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Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Justice and law according to JKR

But she did later work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, so her plans changed.

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Allan George Dyer
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Coat

I hope the reporter wasn't trying to Currie favour with those puns.

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Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Allan George Dyer
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Re: I expect to be flamed

You're confusing "two factor authentication" with "dual control".

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Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

Allan George Dyer
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I recently replaced an old server with powerful fans that produced a rushing-air noise. The guy in the next room alerted me that there was now an annoying noise. The whining of the fans of an adjacent server had been complete masked by the smooth white noise.

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UK.gov withdraws life support from flagship digital identity system

Allan George Dyer
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The difference is the security. When you use the same password on a dozen sites, any one of those sites could have poor security, allowing your credentials to be stolen and used on the other 11. With a central authentication service, only one place has your credentials. That place can* be given maximum protection.

*But it could just be outsourced to a bunch of muppets.

Also, with a single user experience across the services, you could educate users about what to expect in "security messages", and therefore make it less likely that people fall for phishing emails.

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Pentagon's JEDI mind tricks at odds with our 'values' says Google: Ad giant evaporates from $10bn cloud contract bid

Allan George Dyer
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Big Brother

Wait! What?

Google has Principles?

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Dutch cheesed off with Russians, expel four suspects over chemical weapons Wi-Fi spying

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Russian Intelligence agency codenamed Sandworm

@Walter Bishop - "c. How did your sources come by the codename of this hacking group?"

I assume the investigators gave the group the codename, it's a lot easier than referring to them as, "the group we detected at... and...". Surely the GRU would use a Russian codename, google tells me that песчаный червь is Russian for sandworm.

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Allan George Dyer
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Not GRU

These guys are obviously four civilian tourists visiting Amsterdam Cathedral.

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US mobe owners will get presidential text message at 2:18 pm Eastern Time

Allan George Dyer
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At least it wasn't 2:18am.

Obligatory xkcd

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New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: Mission Creep

@Aqua Marina - "And yet everyone forgets, Frodo ended up simply walking into Mordor!"

Not quite, Frodo was carried while unconscious. Sam walked, but it wasn't simple.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Mission Creep

@Mike Henderson - That direction makes sense, but the announcement seems standard on all flights into Auckland. I was arriving from HK, "If you have an onwards international flight...", so I asked the cabin crew, "Do you have many flights to Antarctica?

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Screwed SAP salesman scores $660,000 jury award

Allan George Dyer
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So SAP are still ahead?

They still pay him $145,000 less than he claimed. Of course, there's the costs - was he awarded costs? If not, and assuming SAP were using in-house lawyers, their additional costs could be minimal.

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Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

@Efer Brick - "What is it if a gun isn't involved in a mass shooting?"

The Battle of Agincourt?

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

@Timmy B - "According to the CDC 500,000 to 3 million people per year are protected in the US by the defensive use of firearms."

Is this the same CDC that is specifically prohibited from using its funds to advocate or promote gun control? Do you think that might make unbiased research difficult? Do you have a citation for your claim?

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

@Big Al 23

No, IEDs, poison, cars and planes are rarely used in mass murders in the US.

Why the hell does the US have a problem with black market guns from Russia and Ukraine? You don't have a land border with them. Is your Customs and Excise Department totally incompetent?

In Europe, Australia and Asia (excluding actual war zones), mass murders, when they happen, are headline news. In the US, shooting of 4 or more people is a statistic. If we've got our fair share of mass murders, the US is greedy and has far more than its fair share!

Now tell me how much free diagnosis and healthcare the mentally ill get in the US.

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Allan George Dyer
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Headmaster

Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Big Al 23 - "Actually a gun is NOT involved in every mass murder. IED's, poison, cars, plains, etc. are often used in mass murders."

Yes, but it's really difficult to get the victims in-line when you start the bison stampede.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

@EveryTime - "Or simply run a truck into a crowd of people. Or poisoned them. Or blown up a truck of ANFO next to the building.

The exact weapon or method is almost incidental to the act."

But with those alternatives available, this guy chose a gun. Maybe he chose it for its many advantages: easier to target than a truck in an office environment, easier to administer than deadly poisons, no need to build it yourself, unlike a bomb. It almost seems that having purpose-made devices for accurately shooting lumps of metal to kill people readily available makes it more likely that they are used in mass shootings. Who would have guessed?

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Fallover Friday: NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank go TITSUP*

Allan George Dyer
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Coat

Re: Back now

@tfb - "moving services into the clown"

I know that sketch, it's the one with the ladder, bucket of whitewash, and the hilariously large syringe. This way is a lot more fun than running your services on someone-else's computer.

Yes, the large coat with the flower in the buttonhole. Would you like to smell the flower?

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Guilty: The Romanian ransomware mastermind who infected Trump inauguration CCTV cams

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Why?

"Each of their CCTV units consists of a camera attached to a Microsoft Windows-powered computer"

Imagine the scene...

Washington DC Police HQ, some years ago

Heat of IT: "We've completed the desktop upgrade, but now I have a thousand Windows PCs with webcams that need secure disposal, and no budget!"

Chief of Police: "Don't give me that. I need to deploy CCTV across the city and there's no budget for that either!"

and the rest is history...

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'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU

Allan George Dyer
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Re: In the current environment, women are too much of a business risk..

@AC - "Given that women

* Work less hours on average

* Get sick more often

* Take more leave days overall

* Are the overwhelming majority of sexual harassment complainants

* In manual labour jobs, get injured more seriously, more often

* Are the majority of OHS complainants

* Are more likely to leave after having kids, and never come back.

etc etc

Why WOULD you hire them?"

Even if your claims are true, it doesn't mean that a woman's productivity is any worse than a man's. If they work fewer hours, they get paid for fewer hours, and might be producing more because of less fatigue. Someone who complains about OHS might be reducing your overall injury rate and associated costs compared to people who put up with a dangerous situation. And leaving to have kids sounds like a positive advantage to employers who want to fire their expensive, experienced staff and replace with cheaper new hires: age discrimination by the back door.

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Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'

Allan George Dyer
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Re: One word missing from the entire article.

@AC - "sends me emails that consist essentially of a https:// link to the place on their secure website (user handle and password required)"

This explains the amount of phishing emails containing links to fake login pages.

"online (password protected)" - We all know how good people are at choosing and remembering passwords.

"Axe the Fax" focusses on a symptom, not the problem of efficient, secure communication.

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Allan George Dyer
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Trollface

Ochib - "So you will need a encryption system that all the parties agree to and can use. Or you use a fax"

Yes, fax is so good at doing signatures. My standard method, when someone insists on me faxing a signed document, is to prepare the document in my wordprocessor, paste in my signature image and fax using my fax server. No-one has objected.

Fax fails on the 3rd and 4th requirements for electronic signatures that you quote. As soon as I have ever faxed a signed document to anyone, I no longer have sole control of the image. Image files are easily edited.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Dangerous

@martinusher - Secure? Hardly, they are unencrypted and can be intercepted anywhere along the POTS wires. Someone with the motivation could hook up a small device to record every incoming and outgoing fax.

In comparison with plain email, then you're only exposed to attackers who can access the wires, not everyone on the internet. In comparison to end-to-end encrypted email, then the email is a lot more resistant to attack.

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You'll never guess what you can do once you steal a laptop, reflash the BIOS, and reboot it

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Again,

Don't you find that the liquid nitrogen makes the sharks sluggish? You have seen the memo making sharks compulsory in moats?

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The Reg takes the US government's insider threat training course

Allan George Dyer
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General statistics do prompt some odd thoughts...

"67 per cent of spies have been civilians; 37 per cent had no security clearance;" - So your secrets can be stolen by people who shouldn't have access to them?

"84 per cent of spies were successful;" - Can you be called a spy if you haven't successfully done any spying?

"67 per cent volunteered to commit espionage; 81 per cent received no money for their services;" - Were 48% trying to improve the 'voluntary service' section of their resume?

"94 per cent went to prison" - That's a pretty good prosecution rate, but did you count the ones that weren't caught? Do you have any idea how many weren't caught?

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Anyone suggesting Parent/Child as a replacement for Master/Slave has no idea of how likely a child is to obey.

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Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: Be careful...

@Herby & @veti - I totally agree with both of you. The Internet has both a VERY good and a *terrible* memory. It's probably some sort of quantum state, which is collapsed by the observer to the detriment of the person that would be most heavily affected. Thus, when a prosecutor goes looking, the result is incriminating records are found and the defendant is jailed, but when a defendant looks for exonerating records, they're not there and the defendant is still jailed. You're lucky it's only your Greybeard status based on your Usenet posts that is at stake.

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Fruit flies use the power of the sun to help them fly in straight lines

Allan George Dyer
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This article says black widow spider silk was used by the US because it was thin, elastic and durable, no mention of the web angle. Also, the UK used spiders from the Yorkshire moors. Have an upvote for leading me to an interesting topic.

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Allan George Dyer
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Could fruit flies be used as Britain's alternative to Gallileo?

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