* Posts by Allan George Dyer

1712 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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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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
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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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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
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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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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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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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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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Allan George Dyer
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Facepalm

Re: thoughts on future regulation of encryption

'Why would this not "work"?'

Just off the top of my head...

1. Backdoors

i) The security services will leak the backdoors (couldn't keep EternalBlue secret, could they?) exposing everyone's data

ii) The AI will produce high numbers of false positives that occupy the investigator's time

2. Approved services

i) lucrative market in stolen strong encryption licenses created

ii) thefts of vital IT equipment from hospitals increase as that will be the easiest source of strong encryption

3. Deep packet inspection

i) steganography

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Schiaparelli probe crash caused by excessive spin, report concludes

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Several recommendations...

"updating onboard software"

Most people would think it's a bit late for that, but, if you want to try, you'll need a shovel, glue, and a trip to Mars.

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What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

Allan George Dyer
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Re: But isn't the environment itself just as important?

"Say detonate a flashbang once in a while nearby to condition people to react in desired ways."

Pavlovian disaster drills?

Do you give a reward after the flashbang if they react in a desired manner? Will there be problems with excessive saliva at the scenes of real emergencies?

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Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Re: Question from the UK

"Also, a disbarred shyster can not appear before any feral court."

I would have thought that a wild court that had escaped from domestication would be the perfect place for him.

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Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

Allan George Dyer
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It's an investment!

$17.31 is a small price to pay for a happy future.

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Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

Allan George Dyer
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Black Helicopters

Interesting you should mention that... would you classify mandating a Government backdoor in encryption software as an "exploitable bug"? I would.

Now, does anyone have a list of politicians who were in favour of backdoors, and who are now pushing for this bill? Bandwagon politics. Invertebrates!

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Car Analogy Fail

@JamesPond - I don't know when MS started developing XP, but let's say it was when they released its predecessor, W2K was released in 1999, when the malware threat was well-established and growing fast. There was an encryption attack, the AIDS Diskette, much earlier, in 1989; though that was badly-planned it showed the possibility. The possibility of an asymmetric encryption extortion attack was the subject of nightmare scenario speculation among anti-virus researchers during the 1990's, as I recall. But that, and the possibility of a nation state attack, is not really relevant, the patch fixed a flaw in the SMB implementation, and MS knew their customers would be plugging into public networks so the security of their network protocols was critical.

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Allan George Dyer
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Proposal: Copyright Ceases when Support Ceases

Require developers to provide fixes for security and original functionality (but not upgrades) at reasonable cost, say 10% of the original purchase price per annum. They can choose to discontinue this support, but the software becomes public domain.

This allows the developer to make a commercial choice, and may reduce the amount of electronic junk sent to landfill because it's 'too old' to support.

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: All products have a support life

@jpo234 - "You wouldn't claim that a car maker is at fault if a car explodes when somebody maliciously shoots it with a gun."

I would if the car was an Armoured Personnel Carrier. MS has marketed each new version of Windows (from as far back as NT) as 'the most secure Windows ever', during a period that has included all sorts of malware and vulnerabilities, so MS knew they were designing for a hostile environment. They released the code with this vulnerability, ideally, they should have fixed it before release. So, by releasing an XP patch, they are merely fulfilling their obligations 16 years late.

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

Allan George Dyer
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Re: It doesn't have to be connected to t'internet

@Tridac - "Teach users to delete any emails that they don't recognise"

So do you open the email with the subject, "Please change my appointment"? Anyone whose job is to interact with the public can be targeted by a suitable email. Sure, dumping any email client with scripting support is good (if you disable it, do you trust that the next update doesn't turn it back on silently, for whatever reason), but how do you force the public to only send plain text?

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Allan George Dyer
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Re: Ransomware

What a limited view of warfare you have. Why not lock up assets, demand a ransom, get paid and destroy the assets anyway?

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Cost (not just of cleanup)?

@AC - Downvoted, not because I don't agree that the NHS would be better with Linux, but because you haven't considered that lots of the old kit is connected to specialist equipment, and who knows whether the custom app will run on Wine? And what about all those staff who believe they know how to use Windows, and can't learn Linux? But mostly because you wrote, "Honest to F&%# it's not that difficult."

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Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit

Allan George Dyer
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"The Cloud Crashed"

Will have a whole new meaning.

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

ANPR? Easily defeated

Obligatory James Bond clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUG1GexVz2k

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Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

Allan George Dyer
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Re: How about taxing other "sins"?

Wait! Sloth is banned in public? Forget the coat, I'll need the running shoes.

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US Air Force networks F-15 and F-22 fighters – in flight!

Allan George Dyer
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Joke

Countdown...

to the first combat mission that fails because a pilot falls for a phishing message.

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Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Mr Obvious

I'd hate to be the first person to stray out of range after the Base management had decided to use LTE for emergency communications!

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We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Pepper spray is a delicious example!

"He routinely carries his knives back and forth from home to work. He walks. His skin is brown. What would his life expectancy be in Sussex?"

Longer than in California? For a start, beat officers in Sussex aren't usually armed. However, if he carries the knives with blades exposed, I'd expect an adverse reaction in most places. If he's carrying them packed in a bag and doesn't try to grab and unpack them when challenged (i.e., acts normally), then I'd expect very little effect on his life expectancy anywhere.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Landgrab again

"Unlike, say, doctor which meant someone had passed a specific degree at a university."

You mean a DThM? Or a PhD? Or DMA? Or DDSc? Not very specific, really.

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A switch with just 49 ns latency? What strange magic is this?

Allan George Dyer
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Boffin

Re: The future...

HFT shows that the financial system is broken and working against the needs of Society. If the financial system was an audio amplifier, then HFT would be ultrasonic ringing, and the designer would insert a low-pass filter to improve the amplifier's performance. Instead, the HFT traders throw money at increasing the problem, because it makes them more money.

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Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

Allan George Dyer
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Re: Good on Jim

"Urine's sterile, BTW" - right up to the point when it leaves the urethra. After spending the night in a nice, warm laptop keyboard, I should think that all the organisms in the accumulated dust would have multiplied very happily.

I agree about checking out the disc drive, though. At least see if the compartment is dry.

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