* Posts by AndyS

847 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Lenovo literally has a screw loose – so it's recalled flagship Carbon X1 ThinkPads

AndyS
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Re: Fault analysis undertaken and fix identified

> Investigation has identified the problem: the production line ran out of glue so the screw wasn't glued in.

You do realise this is likely exactly the problem? Screws are normally retained with a thread locker (the blue gunk on nearly all tiny screw threads). No thread lock? The screw will work loose over time.

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Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

AndyS
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Re: Excellent news

> All this means is potentially spending time rotting in a UK jail as opposed to a US jail.

It means a fair trial, not a stitch-up in a hostile foreign country. And if found guilty, yes, it will mean jail time - in a country which doesn't glorify prison rape against weak inmates.

> Last time I checked, claiming you have assburgers and that you are going to kill yourself if you go to jail is not really a valid defense.

He has never claimed it as a defense. His mental health is an aspect of his appeal against extradition, not against the hacking (for which he has not yet been tried).

> It's clear UK and US have pretty solid evidence that he took all that data (otherwise why fight this), and eventually that hard disk will be decrypted, revealing all. (and the meantime, failure to provide decryption details is also a criminal offense)....

Yes. And now he will stand trial for those accusations, as is right (assuming the US actually provide any evidence, which in itself is perhaps unlikely as they will then be torn to shreds in our courts for their totally inadequate security, while it is made clear that US laws do not rule the world). In the process, he will be treated fairly, given appropriate care for his disability and illness, and will be able to stay in close contact with his family. None of those were likely if he was extradited.

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Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

AndyS
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"She was so vile... She was an arse"

Good to see nice, succinct character descriptions used so appropriately!

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The blockchain era is here but big biz, like most folk, hasn't a clue what to do with it

AndyS
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Am I the only one who doesn't really have a clue what blockchain is?

Something to do with bitcoin transactions, right?

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Dodgy parking firms to be denied access to Brit driver database

AndyS
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£350 million a week!!?!11!

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Elon Musk offered no salary, $55bn bonus to run Tesla for a decade

AndyS
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Yup. Paragraph 2 makes no sense at all.

Big numbers is hard for poor journalists.

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Electronic voting box makers want kit stripped from eBay – and out of hackers' hands

AndyS
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@ DaLo

Who are you replying to? What are you on about? Did you just have a pre-prepared rant, and copy-and-paste it into the least irrelevant place you could find?

The guy above you didn't say the UK does not have voter fraud.

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AndyS
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> "You'd think you could only buy these if you had a government ID and wee in the state of Michigan..."

Exclusively? Or just on occasion? I would certainly qualify if I was in Michigan, and I can categorically say that, when I was in Michigan, I did. But I wouldn't have linked that to any sort of security clearance. I mean, surely even their senators wee elsewhere when they are out of state?

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Hey American business, here's how to use blockch ... sorry – we've been shut down

AndyS
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What a bunch of bloody imbeciles.

I live in NI, where similar nonsense happens. At the moment, we are under "direct rule" from Westminster. Does America need a mother figure to step in and hold their hand when they get a bit scared too?

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

AndyS
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The verse followed by canteens and grans across the country:

Sprouts on in March,

Carrots in May.

The veg will be ready

come Christmas Day.

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Intellectual Property Office drops, er, patently cool cartoon to teach kids about trademarks

AndyS
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> She said: "In today's digital environment, even very young people are IP consumers, accessing online digital content independently and regularly.

What, unlike 30 years ago when they were reading books, magazines, cartoons, and watching TV? Some could even operate the VHS independently and regularly. Were they not "IP consumers" then too?

> "They are creators of IP, and many will leave school or university to take up careers in industries that depend upon inventiveness and creativity.

Ah, unlike any time since, I dunno, the creation of the printing press?

Here's a suggestion. If this woman can't learn to talk English, and make a point which can't be trivially torn apart in 20 seconds, she'd probably better think twice before trying to patronise kids. Who will probably be a lot more savvy than she seems to think when it comes to a bullshit detector.

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YouTube turns off cash tap for automatic video nasties

AndyS
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Re: *checks YouTube channel stats*

> in fact one multirotor guy recently quit his job and is doing YouTube / Patreon full time now

Joshua Bardwell

Drew (le drib)

Stingerswarm

Stu (UAVFutures)

...That is 4 in the last couple of months that I can think of. I guess there is a fair bit of money in the hobby just now!

And you are right, all of them have sources of income other than Youtube.

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AndyS
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Re: I have a question!

Despite the other cynical response, adverts are only run against a video if the creator selects them, and revenue is shared with the creator. Unless they make other changes to the T&C, there is no reason to believe they will run ads against videos on channels which cannot be monetised.

The exception is when copyrighted music is used, ads are run and the revenue goes to the copyright holder. Again, no reason to think this will change.

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Software that predicts whether crims will break the law again is no better than you or me

AndyS
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If your freedom, or the length of your sentence for a crime, was in question, would 50% seem like a reasonable threshold to you?

Let's say it means the difference between a 20 and 25 year sentence. Do you think a loss of 5 years of freedom should be dependent on a 50% chance? Even the 60-70% seems very low for such grave decisions.

If accuracy cannot be improved beyond that, how about this: sentence based on the crime committed.

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China's first space station to – ahem – de-orbit in late March

AndyS
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Re: The other big firework display

> Though even SpaceX are expecting this one to URD*. Butt hey will learn a lot from it either way.

What?! You seriously think SpaceX are expecting this to fail? They have lower confidence than usual, and a failure (RUD, Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly, is the usual acronym) is possible, but saying they expect it is a stretch.

Also, But. Nobody likes finding random butts on their screen.

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Ford giving 'leccy car investment a jolt to the tune of $11 BEEELLION

AndyS
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This is good news. I love the look & function of the high-end Teslas, and the practicality and running costs of the Nissan Leafs, but there is an enormous gap in the market for an electric "normal family car." Companies like Ford, Volvo, GM, VW etc indicating that they are moving into this space is great news. Excited to see what will be available in a few years.

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Junk food meets junk money: KFC starts selling Bitcoin Bucket

AndyS
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Truck kit?

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Cabinet reshuffle leaves UK digital policy and GDS rudderless. And now the news...

AndyS
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Digital what?

> Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Digital, like Cyber, is not a noun.

Now I know words are hard and all, but aren't these people meant to be smart?

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GoPro exits drone market and slashes jobs amid sales warning

AndyS
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mrsknight - you want to take a tiny, robust action cam, and add a flip screen, additional outputs, additional ports, and increase its footprint by nearly 4 fold (adding 2 cm to every dimension increases volume by 380%).

Something tells me an actioncam, Gopro or not, isn't the camera you need.

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European court: Let's not kid ourselves, Uber. You're a transport firm, not a 'digital service'

AndyS
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Re: So...

> I was under the impression that Uber drivers use their own cars. Obviously, if that its not the case, it is just another taxi company.

Virtually every taxi company runs driver-owned vehicles. Doesn't alter the point at all. If I phone Valu-cabs and ask for a cab, and a man turns up with a cab to drive me to the airport for a fee that I agreed with Valu-cabs, the exact ownership structure of the car used is irrelevant. Valu-cabs are providing the service to me.

As that stands, the Valu-cab driver might or might not be self employed. But as soon as Valu-cabs says the driver can't also take work for A2B, then he has become an employee.

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AndyS
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So...

Company which provides a car and driver to take a person from A to B, whose drivers are not allowed to work for any rivals, has been classed by the courts as a taxi company which employs drivers.

Glad to see some common sense prevailing. It's really impossible to classify the company any other way, unless you also allow all bus companies to classify themselves as printers and also ignore all transportation rules (since all they do is sell small bits of paper, after all - just like all that Uber provide is a simple app).

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Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

AndyS
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Re: it's already doing 17.46 km/hour

I imagine the Reg reporter made a slight error working with such unfamiliar units. If we could all just start using the Reg Standard Units, ff/f, there would be no such confusion (football fields per fortnight).

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Russian rocket snafu may have just violently dismantled 19 satellites

AndyS
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Does someone really have to mention bloody kerbels every single time any aerospace topic is being discussed?

Every time someone relates something in the real world to a game, or to fiction, all it does is advertise that they don't have any direct experience or anything to add.

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SpaceX 'raises' an extra 100 million bucks to get His Muskiness to Mars

AndyS
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Re: Universities actually teach how to be an 'entrepreneur'?

Yes. And it physically hurts when, as an engineering student, you have to sit through those lectures, trying not to let the buzzword bingo drill small holes through your skull to let your brain leak out. Surrounded by enthusiastic 1st year social "science" students, who are getting awarded twice the number of credits for exactly the same course.

For some reason, though, the University of Glasgow though that was a good idea 15 years ago. Maybe buzzwords still sounded exciting back then?

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London mayor: Self-driving cars? Not without jacked-up taxes, you don't!

AndyS
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Re: I've never understood...

> I have no idea why Brits (and to be fair many other countries) tolerate the confiscatory levels of taxation that currently apply to fuel.

Meanwhile, we in the free world will never understand the bullshit that USians put up in terms of crap public services, expensive (or non existent public) education, abusively awful healthcare, failing infrastructure... It turns out that an ideological crusade against tax, run by corrupt idiots like Trump and Moore, isn't exactly a good way to run a country either.

Fuel tax is a perfectly reasonable way of raising revenue. Own a small cheap car, and minimise your use of it? Pay less tax. Own a flashy 4x4, and drive it all day every day? Pay more.

The alternative is a higher level of vehicle tax (an annual charge, which does not reflect the vehicle usage), or higher general taxation. Increasing general taxation isn't normally very popular.

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AndyS
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Re: Khan being an idiot on this one

I don't think that's how it was intended.

If you read it as "this new tech is great, people will convert to it but that means we will lose revenue, so we need to change our tax systems," isn't that a perfectly reasonable thing for him to say?

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AndyS
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Re: What about the downsides?

I know you're being facetious, but I think the article is slightly harsh on Khan here. He doesn't appear to be opposing the new tech, but recognising that it's likely to lead to a loss of revenue, largely because it is better. Hence the statement:

>A move towards new technologies like electric vehicles is likely to reduce taxation income for the government which could impact on the funding available for highway improvements

This doesn't say "new tech is bad", but the opposite. New tech is good, but we need to make sure we don't lose tax revenue.

Seems perfectly reasonable.

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DJI bug bounty NDA is 'not signable', say irate infosec researchers

AndyS
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What exactly is objectionable?

The article doesn't really go into what is objectionable about the NDA.

I'd assume that the signing of an NDA is a reasonable request. It also seems fair that, to be paid for a piece of work, you should hand that work over to the company paying you. Aren't you effectively selling your work to the company?

So, what have DJI slipped in there which people objecting to, and which is different from other bug bounty schemes?

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Apple succeeds in failing wearables

AndyS
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Nice to hear it's got a niche in which it is useful. However, do you really have to think to work out who doesn't own one?

Apple phones are about 40% of the UK smartphone market, and this article says 1 in 7 iphones sells with a watch. So by a very rough calculation, approx 5.5% of the UK own one.

I guess either they are all concentrated in a small area (which wouldn't be surprising, several of your uses make sense in London, but not so much elsewhere), or you mix with a really small cross section (also not surprising - everyone does to some extent).

Personally, I can't see a single compelling use. All those listed, perhaps with the exception of the Tube payments, are either such marginal improvements or are just a solution looking for a problem. Maybe if I lived in London it'd be a different story.

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Two drones, two crashes in two months: MoD still won't say why

AndyS
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Re: Accident Investigation

Skippy, interesting comment.

Do UAVs fall into the DAIB's remit, and is it likely that these crashes are subject to such an investigation? In which case, how long is the usual delay before publication? And why, when the author of this article contacted them, did the MoD not explain that?

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The UK's super duper 1,000mph car is being tested in Cornwall

AndyS
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Re: Cool, but why?

I think the (very real) engineering challenge was to create a super-sonic land vehicle. All previous supersonic vehicles have been firmly in the air. Solving engineering challenges like that almost always have knock-on effects in terms of general increase in understanding of physics.

However, since that was achieved with Thrust SSC, I'm not sure exactly what science will be advanced by this incremental speed increase.

Bloody exciting though, I'll give them that!

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Sick burn, yo: Google's latest Pixel 2 XL suffers old-skool screen singe

AndyS
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Re: What did you expect?

So, your calculations are nothing to do with the phone in question. Why post then?

Even at that, you are out by a factor of 12 or so:

Solar radiation is around 150 W/m^2, of which about half is visible light.

So, a normal phone (6x11cm screen), screen area approx 1/150 m^2, receives ~0.5W of (visible light) radiation when faced directly at the sun.

Assuming 20% efficiency (as you do), that gives us 2.5W, not the 30W you calculated.

So your estimations are both not relevant (by your own admission), and comically wrong. Hence my original question of who, on a tech site with a supposedly educated readership, was upvoting such drivel? It's not hard to see how irrelevant and wrong it is. Back to one simple test - does your phone get as hot as a kettle? No? Then your calculations are wrong.

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AndyS
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Re: What did you expect?

> So, your device needs to dissipate about 0.5 W/cm2, or 10 W/cm3 (assuming it is 0.5 mm thick). This roughly what your kettle is dissipating when it is boiling - so expect to have some thermal issues.

Why on earth has this drivel been upvoted?

Does your phone get as hot as a kettle? No? Then it isn't dissipating that much heat. "Thermal management," as you call it, doesn't magically make heat go away.

Let's look at your numbers. 0.5W/cm2, on a 5" screen, would be over 30 watts. The Pixel 2 has a 2,700 mAh battery, or 10 Wh. So, by your calculations, having the screen turned on would drain the battery in 20 minutes.

Say what you like about battery life or heat, that is clearly bullshit.

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EU: No encryption backdoors but, eh, let's help each other crack that crypto, oui? Ja?

AndyS
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Re: Refreshing

> the pyrrhic victory of "no deal"

Ah yes, the "stabbing yourself in the head just to prove how independent you are" victory.

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AndyS
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Re: Refreshing

> How very refreshing to hear this from the EU...

If only there was some way we could benefit from the relative sanity of this massive, powerful union, standing up to the sort of nonsense that May and Trump spout. Oh well.

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Aviation industry hits turbulence as Airbus buys into Bombardier’s new jetplanes

AndyS
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Re: Missed a point...

I presume the "country of origin" has to add a certain amount of value to a product. Final assembly of an aircraft fits that category - there is a huge amount of work, and a very significant percentage of the value of the final aircraft, added during assembly and finishing. Assuming major air-frame components continue being manufactured in the same locations as currently (NI, Canada, China and the US, and sub-assemblies from all over the globe), if the aircraft is then assembled in Alabama, the only reasonable country to name on the "made in" label would be the USA.

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'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

AndyS
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Re: Actually, I think he is right

> I've learned from firsthand experience that edge cases don't stay edge cases and that truth is stranger than fiction (see Edward Snowden).

OK, so what happens when someone has a super-encrypted message which can save the world if it's delivered to the right person, but he's arrested by an enemy state who have the back-door keys to the encryption protocol?

See, typing nonsense scenarios doesn't help an argument. What helps is to look at the history of how things have actually happened and, very roughly, it has gone like this:

1. Government can snoop on specific people, with a court order.

2. Communications go digital. US government (imitated by many others) discovers it can freely ignore law and intercept all communications of everyone, everywhere.

3. Snowdon leaks reveal extent of illegal government spying. Government does nothing about it.

4. Tech companies and consumers move to apps and platforms which encrypt communications by default. Back to step 2 (via bugs, covert software, and hardware attacks against specific targets)

Most likely, any attempt at banning encryption will be entirely unworkable. Either in the physical sense (and it will be ignored), or the legal sense (and courts will rule against it).

Additionally, people who are going to commit attacks still will, either using unencrypted platforms (as per the Paris attacks, which were discussed and coordinated over SMS) or, if they are going to take serious planning (eg 9/11 attacks), over proper secured channels. Or even in person.

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AndyS
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Re: Actually, I think he is right

> What about ongoing black projects which have to be denied they even exist, whose revelation could bombshell major government relations if not start a war?

You like your bullshit hypothetical situations, don't you?

The whole point of a suggestion like this is to prevent a scenario like you describe. So, don't get your "democracy" doing things which could bombshell relations and start a war when they become public. Because, you know, a democracy should be working for the people, not against them? And since it often needs pointing out, "people" isn't limited to "Americans".

Or maybe, as per your other comments, you're a masochist?

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AndyS
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> It used to be the case that in the physical world, using warrants to force physical access (backed up with coercive force where required) was a well-worked out system with checks and balances that (mostly) worked well to balance privacy and law enforcement concerns. Encryption technology has borked that balance...

I would agree with most of this, but actually I believe the wide-spread use of encryption isn't what has borked the system. That was the wide-spread use of domestic spying, tapping every phone line in the world, eves-dropping on every conversation, and data mining every single electronic communication.

Wide-spread use of encryption has been a direct reaction of the tech companies to that (following the Snowdon leaks), and has not broken the balance, but helped to restore it. Remember how the spooks still managed to break into the single iphone, in their physical possession, in the San Bernando case? That is how things used to work, and is clearly acceptable.

Nobody every opened every single envelope to read and catalogue every bit of physical mail sent. Why should they have the right or ability to do that now?

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Rattled toymaker VTech's data breach case exiting legal pram

AndyS
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Re: Long ago

I have 3 young kids, and absolutely hate VTech, with a passion.

Cheap, nasty, hard plastic, blaring out non-stop noise, continually. The sort of "Why aren't you playing with me any more? I'm a train, come and push me on the track" attention seeking crap that actually destroys creative play.

We have a few which slipped through the net, but I took the batteries out. They're still hard, nasty, cheap plastic rubbish, so as soon as the attention grabbing noise stops, the kids almost instantly lose interest, and they can be reassigned to the box in the attic as soon as possible.

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Overdraft-fiddling hackers cost banks in Eastern Europe $100m

AndyS
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> the average amount around $5m (in cash)...

> In all cases, the theft took place using normal withdrawals from various cash terminals outside the bank's originating country.

Where does one find cash machines which can hand out this much cash? Aren't most limited to around £300 (or the local equivalent) per day, or at least per transaction?

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BAE confirms it is slashing 2,000 jobs

AndyS
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My heart goes out to anyone losing their job.

But rejoices that, in this case, it appears to be because the world is buying fewer machines for killing people. Long may that trend continue, and the best of luck to those affected in finding new, more morally productive, work.

I wonder what the ratio is of people killed by each Typhoon to those employed building it?

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How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

AndyS
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Re: Dutch East India company, GEC, TWA, Pan Am, Sperry, DEC, Kodak ...

FYI, you're using the word "whom" wrongly.

"Who" is a subject, "whom" is an object. In both cases, you've used "whom" as a subject. It's the same difference as "I kicked the ball" vs "me kicked the ball."

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You may not have noticed, but 'superfast' broadband is available to 94% of Blighty

AndyS
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Re: Just FYI

Fivemiletown is in Ulster. And it is in Northern Ireland. That's OK.

Donegal is in also Ulster, in the bit that is in Republic of Ireland. That's also OK.

I know people love to get offended, but this is more than a bit silly.

Still, the Reg has removed all references to Ulster, so I guess everyone can put away their pitchforks until something else offends us all.

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AndyS
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Re: Just FYI

Aye, whatever. Fivemiletown is is in Tyrone, which is in Ulster.

Sadly Dundrod (Antrim, Ulster) chugs along at a regrettable 600kb/s or so on a good day.

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German Firefox users to test recommendation engine 'a bit like thought-reading'

AndyS
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Re: Get real Mozilla! There are more important things to fix:

I would humbly suggest that blocking all images is such an unusual install case that changing an obscure setting as a one-off after install is, in fact, perfectly acceptable.

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MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

AndyS
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Re: Conspiracy theories @ Mi Tasol

It is possible to have systems which cannot be disabled from the flight deck, but not always desirable. In fact it was such a system which led to the search area - the engines had an independent coms system which performed a satellite handshake once an hour. Although it exchanged no data, the time it took for the signal exchange allowed a rough calculation of how far away it was from the satellite at each hour.

A much more complex system, exchanging GPS location and flight parameters etc, would almost certainly need to be designed such that it could be disabled from the cockpit. It's impossible to say if the systems were actively turned off or failed through some catastrophic event, and even if they were deliberately turned off it's impossible to establish malicious intent, but it seems likely that, in the case of MH370, a more complex sat-com system would also have been disabled at the same time as the other systems.

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AndyS
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Conspiracy theories

This is an absolute tragedy, but also an illustration of the limitations of the technology we have available.

Sadly, the publication of this report will pull all the conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork (as already in this thread). The truth is probably much more boring. It had all coms turned off and lost presurisation, (probably related, perhaps malicious), and flew on until fuel exhaustion.

Since nobody is monitoring the centre of the oceans, and the satellite coms were mostly turned off or disabled from the aircraft (except the hourly handshake direct from the engines), we don't really know where it is.

The reality, sadly, is that this could easily happen again, since nobody is magically going to start actively monitoring remote oceans, and systems can always be disabled from onboard the aircraft. Remember, it's not that we COULDN'T know where the aircraft was, it's that the system for locating it was turned off (or broken).

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'Dear diversity hire...' Amazon's weapons-grade fail in recruitment email to woman techie

AndyS
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Re: ???

> So this statement is either claiming that women and minorities are MORE competent than white men, or (more plausibly) that you can pay equally competent women and minorities less for the same work.

Debate the figures if you like, but this is a false dichotomy. The reason for increased profits is that a diverse workforce makes better, more balanced decisions. To push the stereotypes, men take more risks than women, so having an all-male board means a higher chance of bankruptcy.

More generally, a workforce (and particularly management) which reflects the target customer market is more likely to be successful within that market. Do you think, for example, that Snapchat would release Blackface filters if it had more black employees who understood the offence that would cause? Or that Instagram would release facial recognition that doesn't work on black people if they had a few kicking around to test it?

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IKEA flat-packs TaskRabbit to crack assembly code

AndyS
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@ Prst. V.Jeltz

> Complaining about other people's literacy levels

> Writes "skillz"

Tell me, what were you talking about again?

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