* Posts by Alan_Peery

237 posts • joined 14 Jun 2009

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UK IBMers lose crucial battle in pension row

Alan_Peery

Re: Huge betrayal of trust

Some years ago I had to figure out if the two and a half years of accruals I had towards the five year minimum required for entitlement to the IBM DB pension was worth anything. I decided it wasn't, and made job choices accordingly.

The world would be a more just place if the court had proven me wrong.

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Autonomous driving in a city? We're '95% of the way there'

Alan_Peery

Re: "Like a human"

Lorry puts on turn signal, road train parts to let him in.

Simples.

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Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs have nasty hyper-threading bug

Alan_Peery

Re: ugh

Maybe the processor bug makes a function call fail, and that failure is caught by an exception? Unless the exception logs a message that could be a silent cause of slowness.

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Alan_Peery

Re: How about

That's why you send a robotic ship ahead that makes the fuel for you. You only launch when the refining rocket says "I've got fuel, any takers?"

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Kill Google AMP before it KILLS the web

Alan_Peery

Re: No opt out for end users -> extortion

So what word do you use to describe this situation?

"I broke your experience of _____, you have no choice in the matter, and I profit".

Because that is exactly how I see the situation. You may disagree, feeling that the experience is not broken, but failing to give a general and easily accessed opt-opt is not right.

Having consulted a thesaurus "coercion" may be more appropriate, but extortion isn't far off.

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Alan_Peery

No opt out for end users -> extortion

It breaks my search history, as I didn't go to the originating website.

It breaks my offline reading with Pocket, as I can no longer search for articles the same way.

That's the start of the issues, I've posted elsewhere in the comments in more detail.

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Alan_Peery

Re: ".. it'll look like it's from a legit new organization endorsed by Google."

Send a link to that post to The Guardian -- both the editorial side, and the web site administrator side.

Tackling the AMP users one site at a time. :-)

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Alan_Peery

My AMP critique from back in December

Originally posted at https://plus.google.com/+AlanPeery/posts/7E8cRhfx587, I hit on some different aspects of why AMP is a technology that should die.

=======

Speeding up the Web, what could be wrong with that?

Google has implemented something called AMP into the Google+ Android app, and on a post there I ended up writing a substantial critique of AMP.

AMP is a new Google technology I'm not fond of, because

1) It's breaking my reading and bookmarking workflow and

2) It centralizes more power with google and

3) It might hurt the originating website's viability and

4) For the same original URL, users in Google+ (and probably soon Gmail) get different URLs depending on what device they read on and

5) There's no easy way for me to opt out that I have found

In very quick summary, an "Accelerated Mobile Page" link points back to cached content is substituted for the direct link to a website if that website opts in. The page loads faster, but the link points back to Google rather than the original site (leading to complaint #1 as I can no longer track by site, etc), and Google knows I have followed it (#2) and the website doesn't get the traffic (complaint #3) though there may be a reporting mechanism I am not familiar with and they do have to opt in.

I'm only getting a grip with how AMP shows up now, and it changes depending on where you're reading content. When I first read the original post I was using my mobile phone, and the URL shown in the Google+ post was an AMP style URL -- so I edited the URL by hand into a normal URL by hand as I thought the original poster had posted an AMP URL. Looking at the original post in the a PC web browser I saw the normal URL. We suddenly have two URLs instead of one which makes confusion possible (#4).

The final bit is that I haven't been able to find a way to disable the AMP mechanism from affecting me personally, as Google+ doesn't make this an option(#5). This means my workflow is broken, as the URLs I add to Pocket for offline reading when I am using my phone don't reference the real website.

https://www.wired.com/2016/02/googles-amp-speeding-web-changing-works

https://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/introducing-accelerated-mobile-pages.html

The original URL, with some editing so you can see the URL fully:

http:// www.smh.com.au /world/us-election/trumps-tech-adviser-peter-thiel-backs-utopian-technology-less-sure-democracy-20161116-gsqrnu.html

The AMP'd URL that I see when using my Android phone:

https:// www.google.com /amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/world/us-election/trumps-tech-adviser-peter-thiel-backs-utopian-technology-less-sure-democracy-20161116-gsqrnu.html

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Alan_Peery

Re: Only one question

Next time use the vote instead for the Liberal Democrats -- who have a sensible policy in this area if memory serves...

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Gang-briefed by IBM bosses in Hawaii? Nah, I'll take redundancy

Alan_Peery

Re: The Island with Bear Grylls

Not if you have been forward looking, and ordered bags with built-in flotation device using the company cards...

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Alan_Peery

Needs broadband is ridiculous in this day and age.

For most people, yes. But for the frugal or the very income-limited, there is a huge role for over the air reception. Hopefully with a PVR, as the benefits of time-shifting and advert avoidance are huge.

>my entire setup - with all those boxes and necessary cabling - doesn't come to

>half what that guy paid for his TV. Probably not even a quarter. And I've

> had the same setup for nearly 10 years now,

Did you add the cost of your network into the above computation?

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Jimbo announces Team Wikipedia: 'Global News Police'

Alan_Peery

Re: Trust Jimmy Wales to make decisions for us?

Why is a comment like this made as Anonymous Coward? If true, it's neither embarrassing nor likely to be something that couldn't be said because the policies of the person's employer requires clearance first.

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SPY-tunes scandal: Bloke sues Bose after headphones app squeals on his playlist

Alan_Peery

And where is the quarterly/annual confirmation of snooping continunce

Just because you said Yes once, shouldn't mean you've said it for all time...

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Startup remotely 'bricks' grumpy bloke's IoT car garage door – then hits reverse gear

Alan_Peery

Re: re Why do you need the intermediate server, which is just another thing to go wrong?

Don't you turn your heating down at night?

Or when you leave the house for 12 hours? If you don't do this, you're wasting money heating an unoccupied house.

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Alan_Peery

Sounds like you've found some nice kit on Amazon, stuff that would be hard to dig out amidst everything they carry. Could you post links to the kit?

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Alan_Peery

Re: re Why do you need the intermediate server, which is just another thing to go wrong?

You just assumed the household has a regular occupancy pattern. That's not true for all households, and those with irregular patterns do have a use for "warm up the house, I've arrived back from the sales trip" functionality.

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Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?

Alan_Peery

vi and emacs -- the Janus faced god of editors

The wise man sayeth:

The manifold path of editing on the world of the file system is best followed by worshiping both aspects of the true editing god(s), vi AND EMACS.

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Clone it? Sure. Beat it? Maybe. Why not build your own AWS?

Alan_Peery

Re: AWS vs the real world

With the cloud, you get a list of risks as well -- you just don't get to read them.

Just wait for a hurricane to hit AWS-East and you'll see what I mean.

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Confirmed: TSA bans gear bigger than phones from airplane cabins

Alan_Peery

Re: Obviously a real bummer for the Theives Support Association

I think you've got it backwards -- this makes it *much* easier for thieves.

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Alan_Peery

Re: So...

This will make it *easier* for devices to be copied at the border, as they will be out of the traveler's hands and thus more vulnerable.

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Today's WWW is built on pillars of sand: Buggy, exploitable JavaScript libs are everywhere

Alan_Peery

Re: Lots of shouty, no content - because the topic is messy

The scope of this topic could be described as list of websites -> list of libraries -> library -> list of vulnerable versions -> list of vulnerabilities in each version -> technical details of each vulnerability. The paper only looks at the first four components. If you're looking the details in components 5 & 6, start with the list from component 4 and consult each release note and CVE.

I'd argue that the list from component #4 (mentioned on page 4, point 4 of the doc) is the most valuable point from a deployment strategy, because it would allow you to check your version(s) against that list and patch. The problem is that the javascript library world is poorly managed, because there are approximately 400 (!) versions across 11 libraries (pg 4, figure 1), so the list is simply too massive to include.

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Uber hires Obama's attorney-general to review its workplaces

Alan_Peery

Re: Re:Why? and then we ask ourselves why women in are few and far between

> the same as enrollment in university CS

Seems you should be taking the population into account, and not just grads. If you're only hiring grads, you're practicing age discrimination.

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Lap(top) of luxury: Porsche Design revs up 2-in-1 Windows 10 slab

Alan_Peery

Avoided a big error in the Surface Book

The tablet portion has a USB port, something that is missing in the tablet portion of the Surface book. Lack of USB connectivity in the tablet means a lot less flexibility.

It's a USB Type-C 3.1 with Thunderbolt.

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GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

Alan_Peery

Re: All of the above notwithstanding, it's a bit hard to understand use of rm -rf ...

After you're done with the copies of data you're holding in a temporary filesystem, you clean out the temporary filesystem.

Just make sure you're in the right filesystem... :-(

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise to outsource global IT team to CSC borg

Alan_Peery

Re: Déjà vu

There was the minor fact that Worldcom had been indulging in *lots* of financial shenanigans completely unrelated to EDS work, IIRC.

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Computer forensics defuses FBI's Clinton email 'bombshell'

Alan_Peery

Re: Governmental emails had already been provided

The prosecution side (aka crime lab), didn't do the test well and destroyed the evidence -- it wasn't there any longer to be lost by Clinton or the independent lab. That's all a right-wing distortion of facts. See my other comments in this chain for details and links.

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Alan_Peery

The *government crime lab* (prosecution) destroyed the evidence

re 3) So you're now alleging that *Hillary* covered something up in the sexual misbehavior of Bill, rather than being an uninformed spouse defending her husband?

re 5) Above you said 'because the rape evidence had become "lost" [while in HER custody]', implying per personal possession. Now you admit that your sources don't say when it was lost, or by who. It could have been lost by the police. It could have been lost by the independent lab. It's pretty unlikely that it was lost by the defense attorney, as they are not allowed to hold evidence for very good reasons. For Hillary to be blamed for this, it would have to proven that she turned either the police or the lab to illegal behavior.

But turns out the story is completely different than that. The police lab cut the evidence (a bloodstain) from the defendant's underwear, and after blood testing (not DNA, this is 1975) ended up tossing out the bit of material. So when the defense (Clinton) asked for the underwear to test (as required by her duties as public defender), there was nothing to test. The government lab had destroyed the evidence, collecting only a blood type, and it was their incompentence that let the defendant plead guilty and get a lighter sentence. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2f13f2awK4&feature=youtu.be, Hillary Clinton being interviewed about the case.)

Then you go onto the notion of defeating a polygraph test, but again offer no proof that Clinton coached the defendant to do so.

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Alan_Peery

Re: Governmental emails had already been provided

So you're blaming Clinton that the FBI failed to follow good process and show up with a warrant and get a copy of the full email server? Or show up with a warrant and oversee the extraction process?

Government related emails were requested, and provided. If the FBI failed to follow sensible process, leaving the individual involved with a reasonable understanding that requirements had been complied with, how is that the fault of the individual? Or must we all keep a copy of all our documents in case the relevant government agency decides to broaden their initial request years down the line?

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Alan_Peery

Re: It's incredible how this has become a "scandal"

A very nice summary of open issues on candidate Trump in that last paragraph -- well done.

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Alan_Peery

Large numbers of emails have already been inspected, no smoking guns...

Just because there is a large number of something doesn't imply anything will be found. Given that the FBI took a quite thorough look at a rather large pile of email and found no smoking guns makes it pretty likely that nothing will be found in the 35k emails very broadly estimated in this article.

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Alan_Peery

Governmental emails had already been provided

Skip to #5 for the part of this response related directly to the article, or read on for US politics rebuttal.

Since you appear to bringing your politics into this, rather than sticking to the technical details of this well-written article, here is some relevant politics back at you:

1) It's pretty easy to explain Hillary's old time reporting spreadsheets from her time as an employee of Rose being in the White House. You move out of one house in Arkansas, you move into another -- random documents come with you unless you're particularly good about purging files.

2) Trump shredded documents that had been actually requested in a governmental investigation of racially biased leasing policies: http://europe.newsweek.com/donald-trump-companies-destroyed-emails-documents-515120?rm=eu Failing to note this given that we're in the final week before an election where Trump is the other candidate would be bias by exclusion.

3) How are the accusations against Bill Clinton around sexual misbhaviour relevant to email retention?

4) You should really provide a link to this supposed "lost evidence" as this summary http://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-freed-child-rapist-laughed-about-it/ doesn't mention it, depsite being apparently pretty complete.

5) The admin for Clinton's personal email sent in the emails matching matching a reasonable "government business" filter, and months later deleted the other email (eg personal) on the system after significant time for the other side to check that the data delivery had been fine. There was no requirement that Clinton maintain backups of personal email into the indefinite future AS THE GOVERNMENTAL EMAIL HAD ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED. For a well-written summary of the steps carried out, see this post: https://plus.google.com/+AmandaBlain/posts/6ugnBQCdL9S

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Tesla's big news today:
sudo killall -9 Autopilot

Alan_Peery

Re: "This progress must be ..."

That's just NIMBY in a different place. It has to be tested *somewhere* even for the difficult cases, so why should your roads be special?

There is also no indication that Teslas running under autopilot features are more dangerous than other cars under human piloting.

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Alan_Peery

Re: Switched Off?

Rather the opposite of that. "It's just the every so often one of the meals gives them superpowers." Superpowers like automatic braking that avoids an otherwise occurring collision.

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OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

Alan_Peery

There are *many* other phrases that would be unique, and not trip false positives. I would go with "Nebuchadnezzar" myself.

A large part of the "OK, Google" insistence is about branding, and brand reinforcement, not technology.

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Alan_Peery

Re: Trickery

Your points are valid, but no longer required if a simple button press/long press is required before the voice recognition starts.

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Microsoft won't back down from Windows 10 nagware 'trick'

Alan_Peery

Re: so Desperation

I had a Windows phone, a fancy Lumia that was handed out to one lucky attendee at a Microsoft one day conference on Azure and other technologies.

* I couldn't adjust the font size small enough in any of the apps. I prefer to read emails more than 30 words or so at a time.

* Inflexible home screen layout compared to Android.

* No ability to replace the keyboard functionality

* Many of the apps I wanted were not available, and no corresponding work-alike available.

*** Stitcher for podcasts

*** Zinio for magazine reading

*** Pocket for offline web page reading

*** IMDB for movie lookup

*** App for renting the city bikes available in London aka "Boris bikes"

*** Weather Pro -- a weather app that breaks the next five days by 4 hour forecasts, very good for planning outdoor activities

*** App for accessing the detailed Ordnance Survey maps for planning UK hikes

*** Strava app for tracking bike rides

*** App like FB Reader for reading public domain (out of copyright) books in .mobi and .epub formats

* Commercial and market leading apps weren't as good as either the iOS or Android versions

*** Kindle page formatting options not as flexible

*** Google Photo style backup didn't seem to include a "photo album" feature up on the website viewer

*** Skype was just weak overall

*** Web browser lacked the "save image to file" function

*** Map tool lacked verbal directions, ability to plan trips via public transport or bike

As it's been a while since I used the Lumia, I might have forgotten a few things or the story might have improved. My feelings at the time were that anyone who was satisfied with the Lumia phones simply didn't know what was possible.

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US power grid still fragile in the face of EMP threat: GAO

Alan_Peery

You should read up on Startfish Prime

It's the biggest, and happily the last, of the atmospheric EMP tests.

Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link. The EMP damage to the microwave link shut down telephone calls from Kauai to the other Hawaiian islands.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime#Explosion

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Microsoft Surface Book: Shiny slab with a Rottweiler grip on itself

Alan_Peery

Re: The Dance while you wait to get permission to remove a drive/device

I believe that you can use the SysInternals tools to find what's got the device locked. Better if it was surfaced for the less-skilled enduser...

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Alan_Peery

Re: The real question of course

The interesting limitation for me is that there is no USB on the tablet -- only on the keyboard. This makes simple storage expansion difficult, and limits your choice of audio devices you could use in an audio conference when you've only brought the tablet because it's lighter and easier to carry when biking somewhere.

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Alan_Peery

The value of a pen

> But then it doesn't do anything worth doing that a laptop a quarter of the price doesn't do.

There's no laptop with pen input the quality of the Surface at 1/4 of the price. If you value the ability to annotate on PDF images, sketch as you present on a webex, or do artwork while travelling then you need that ability.

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Amazon kills fondleslab file encryption with latest Fire OS update

Alan_Peery

Grounds for return of defective product or class action suit

As the Fire was originally sold with disk encryption, any removal of that ability would seem to render it "defective", and thus no longer meet the Product Quality portion of the Consumer Rights Act:

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act

In the US, it's probably grounds for a class-action suit along the same lines.

IANAL

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Alan_Peery

Re: The Issue

Because the actor was less chauvinistic, less racist, and less divisive?

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Ravello tames public cloud from Inception to Infinity

Alan_Peery

Overhead figures from an earlier Reg article -- much higher than this article indicates

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/05/ravello_systems_cloud_hypervisor/

Thadani says that on CPU-bound applications, the overhead imposed by HVX can be as little as 5 per cent and as much as 30 per cent compared to native KVM or Xen hypervisors, and that on I/O-bound workloads, the overhead can be quite a bit higher. So this is no free lunch, at least until HVX features are added to x86 processors.

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How to build a starship - and why we should start thinking about it now

Alan_Peery

Re: Sad reality

I am afraid I can't agree. Look at these projects:

1) LHC

2) James Webb Space Telescope

3) ISS

4) Worldwide climate modelling efforts

5) Serious discussions about moving towards a zero carbon world

All of the above are expensive, and the last will be expensive and painful.

Humans are tackling large scale problems, but not starships. Yet.

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Engineer's bosses gave him printout of his Yahoo IMs. Euro court says it's OK

Alan_Peery

Or that 90% of the messages were work related, perhaps with copy-paste for bulk, and 10% were to the personal contacts.

BTW, I didn't see the volume figures in the Register article, or that the 45 pages over 8 days were entirely messages to the personal contacts. Where did you see this?

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IETF's older white men urged to tone it down

Alan_Peery

Re: Who is John Galt?

> Any answer to the problems she poses that leaves Eddie Villers to die

> in the desert is monstrous. Anyone willing to leave Eddie Villers to

> die is a monster.

Thanks for the interesting reference. It's been decades since I read Atlas Shrugged, so I did a quick search to see what the story around Eddie was. The comments here are worth a read, as they refer both to the book and to what Ayn Rand said about the character (albeit without specific enough attribution to chase down the interview).

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1806899-what-happened-to-eddie-willers

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Grow up, judge tells EFF: You’re worse than a complaining child

Alan_Peery

Re: The Judge is right ...

A UN Report has declared it *is* a right, as linked in a comment above:

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/11/25/grow_up_judge_tells_eff_youre_worse_than_my_teenage_son/#c_2707119

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Alan_Peery

Re: Somebody better arrest me then

Comparing parental oversight and guidance to this situation isn't particularly sensible.

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Ex-GCHQ chief: Bulk access to internet comms not same as mass surveillance

Alan_Peery

Re: What database?

> anyone can buy a cheap phone without any identity check and pop in

> a prepaid sim card, then throw it away once the job is one.

Yes, and anyone can put on gloves before they enter the crime scene. Yet the police still find a lot of fingerprints.

Yes, you're right that people can use burner phones. But there will be mistakes where they don't get the burner phone bought, or run out of power an resort to the main phone, or when they accidentally leave the main phone turned on while the crime occurs.

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Alan_Peery

It is horrible

And the text has been purposefully crafted to obscure its horrible nature, by avoiding terms that would be used in a standard discussion. Avoiding the term "database" when a database is clearly being created is one of the techniques.

A second technique is failing to clearly point out that *everyone is monitored all the time* and not just the suspects.

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