* Posts by tfewster

527 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

tfewster
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Re: Fibre

"The name will be like USB speed names"

Hmm, beyond infinity => Buzz Lightyear? "Buzz" has a short, snappy ring to it - "I'll use the Buzz", "Buzz speeds" etc. etc. ad nauseum

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

tfewster
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Re: There goes

Yes, Mr Ad-man, I'm now aware of the product you're pushing. And thanks to your irritating presentation, I've developed a personal hatred for you and the company you're representing. It makes buying choices SO much easier when I've immediately eliminated the irritating ones!

Was that the response you were looking for?

P.S. Your techniques for informing and persuading aren't much better

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Ew! HTC jams pop-up adverts into people's smartphone keyboards

tfewster
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Re: Trivago?

It's 2017, and the Trivago ads are telling us how to use a website to search for hotel rooms. Unfortunately their target viewer is more likely to put the credit card in the CD holder than complete a booking successfully.

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All your bass are belong to us: Soundcloud fans raid site for music amid fears of total collapse

tfewster
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Joke

Aha, that's just what the RIAA and NASty manufacturers WANT you to think, to increase their sales!

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UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

tfewster
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Joke

Physics is just applied mathematics, so gravity will be easy-peasy

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Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course

tfewster
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Re: Contrition

Strange - "Barker" doesn't sound like a Native American name, and they're the only ones who can legitimately claim to be "not foreign"

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Trump Hotels left orange faced: Hackers plunder systems for credit cards

tfewster
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Re: "Card security code"?

Yep, if Sabre themselves take payments from cards, I guess they just lost that privilege. If they're just a booking service and the hotel takes the payment from the card details forwarded from SynXis - dunno how PCI sanctions would work there (but also not clear how that could work if the hotel/bank interface used additional authentication, e.g. Verified By Visa)

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May the excessive force be with you: Chap cuffed after Star Trek v Star Wars row turns bloody

tfewster
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Question 3

x The one with 7 of 9 in it

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Google ships WannaCrypt for Android, disguised as Samba app

tfewster
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Re: This is what happens ...

It's not as simple as that. Engineering would have to be pretty clueless and/or spineless to play along. And Marketing would be sensitive to PR own goals, so they must have been poorly advised. That said, I can imagine the conversation:

Engineering manager: We have your demo of SMB ready

Marketing: Cool, ship it

Engineering manager: But it only supports SMBv1...

Marketing: No worries, we'll sell SMBv2 support as an upgrade. We're hearing a lot of buzz about SMB, we need to be in that space right NOW.

Engineering manager: $RESPONSE

case $RESPONSE in

"But" ) fire manager;;

"I quit" ) while resistance from subordinates do (fire replacements);;

"Yes|OK" ) sleep until PR disaster;fire manager;;

esac

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Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

tfewster
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Re: CVE's

Destktop/mobile OS's v servers - it's the difference between stealing car stereos and robbing a bank. Harder, but vastly more rewarding* And Linux and Unix are pretty popular for servers.

* Ransomware has changed the balance somewhat - potentially $300 a time for fairly easy pickings!

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

tfewster
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Re: Public Sector Purchasing Frameworks

That's how it's supposed to work, but it rarely does. The £4 flash drive price is inflated by the cost of tendering for and administering the contract, compliance with regulations like d3vy's examples, hospitality (negotiators kickbacks), non-standard item charges (8GB drives? No, but we supply 8x1GB drives cheaply) and the "we got your guaranteed business with a few loss leaders and now we're gonna milk it" factor. I've seen it many times in public and private sector organisations.

Add to that, the purchasing department is focused on the main stuff the organisation needs - Nurses unifoms, beds, tongue depressors - and weird IT stuff isn't a priority for them. Whenever I hear "framework agreement", I know someone just got screwed for over for the convenience of the purchasing department.

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Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

tfewster
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Flame

Re: You surely must have forgotten

This. Be right back, just going to rent a botnet to upvote Terry 6 a few million times.

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

tfewster
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Re: Good luck.

Did you read the part of the article that said "not for clinical systems"? The attitude* that "We can't do everything, so we won't do anything" infuriates me.

Re: Training - How much training do you need to use a different browser? Especially given that most people have already chosen to learn a new UI, on their smartphone?

* I'm not saying YOU are saying that, but it's a short step from your sensible caution to organisational paralysis.

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NHS WannaCrypt postmortem: Outbreak blamed on lack of accountability

tfewster
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Re: You have have a million Cyber (euughh) security professionals...

...if the software is out of date, unpatched, unsupported...

You don't need a cybersecurity professional, consultant or industry body to tell you that's bad.

On the other hand, the Board tends to listen to and fund InfoSec teams, so InfoSec _could_ direct and fund remediation efforts - as long as they don't fall into the trap of just listing the problems without contributing to solutions.

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Former GDS head Mike Bracken quits Co-op

tfewster
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Re: Twat

Don't be so shy - tell us what you really think of him?

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UK parliamentary email compromised after 'sustained and determined cyber attack'

tfewster
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Everything our elected MPs say and do is apparently so important and sensitive that they're exempted from the Snoopers charter etc. Yet their email doesn't require 2FA or lock them out after multiple failed logins? Oh, sorry, I forgot they were too important to be bothered with plebian matters like that.

I guess the ones who were still able to access emails had auto-forwarded them to hotmail

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Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

tfewster
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Who said it was about YOUR wellness? I bet the peddlers bank account is quite healthy right now.

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Waymo: We've got a hot smoking gun in Uber 'tech theft' brouhaha

tfewster
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"No, don't bring any hard evidence on-site. We just want what's in your head ;-) ;-)"

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WikiLeaks doc dump reveals CIA tools for infecting air-gapped PCs

tfewster
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Happy

Re: Air gap with Windows gateways, you say (imply)

Would that be an African or a European swallow? And will that change post-Brexit?

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

tfewster
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Alien

You question my indentation?! I should kill you where you stand!

Klingon developers do not believe in indentation - except perhaps in the skulls of their project managers

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Boeing preps pilotless passenger flights – once it has solved the Sully problem, of course

tfewster
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Re: Remote pilots?

Ding! You have a new ticket, flagged "Urgent"

OK, let's log in and check it out. Hmm, Dreamliner, that's a 16 char password, remote into Boeing password database to retrieve the password...Right, we're in. Let's see - Altitude 300ft, both engines out - f***, must be time for my break, let someone else deal with this ticket - It's not like my life is on the line.

The alternative, having one trained pilot on board but out of the loop, isn't much better:

Ding! Computer says "Emergency, over to you". Huh, whut? OK, hit "override", check status, get a feel for the controls - lessee, the 787 has a worse turning circle but better glide characteristics than the 767, this one feels like 200 passengers with just a weekends luggage, got it now...

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What a tit! Uber CEO hijacks his staff breast-pump room to meditate

tfewster
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I agree it's probably not significant, but it sends the wrong messages. Presumably he already has an office and a PA, to ensure he's not disturbed. Is meditating on company time a perk for everyone at Uber? And can anyone at Uber just take over an empty room, denying its use for its intended purpose?

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tfewster
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Joke

Perfect

A lactation room is just the place for a tit

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Hand in your notice – by 2022 there'll be 350,000 cybersecurity vacancies

tfewster
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Re: What do they actually do?

You're talking about vulnerability management and auditing there, which involves scanning, pen-testing and interminable meetings about how to fix the problems with 0 resources.

There's also Incident Response (Long periods of boredom followed by a few hours of frantic activity), Policy and Compliance (that no-one listens to), and Identify and Access Management (The nasty people who make it difficult for techies to do their jobs).

I do the technical bits for free, as I enjoy that. But I get paid handsomely for the meetings and paperwork.

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Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

tfewster
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Outdated, yet still pushing bullshit

"In a democracy, it would not be acceptable to have a security service police force that is so enormous that it can follow everyone around."

But that's precisely what they want to do, using computers instead of agents. And she still avoided the question of why they didn't "follow a small number of known hostiles around"

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WannaCrypt: Pwnage is a fact of life but cleanup could and should be way easier

tfewster
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My initial reaction was the same, but it's an idea. In theory, all critical industries should already have backups and disaster recovery plans. In theory, existing data protection legislation and the duty of Directors to protect the business should be sufficient. In theory, software companies should ensure their products are fit for purpose.

In practice, it's hard to anticipate every attack vector, or to apportion blame when things go wrong. So Trevor's approach, to brainstorm/spitball/blue-sky recovery mechanisms, is an important tool in a sysadmins kit.

Take it further - NHS owned DR DCs, with a ("secure") warm copy of a hospitals data, copied over fat pipes, fast enough for staff to use the DR systems remotely when their local system is down? When disaster strikes a hospital, just connect the data disks to a suitably powerful system and boot it. I don't know if it's practical, original, or even useful in this scenario, but I'll risk the derision and downvotes because it might just spark a better idea in someone.

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Uber fires robo car exec for insubordination

tfewster
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Re: Dropped

If you only want British English on El^WThe Reg, don't expect to see any more articles posted at 23:26 BST!

Incidentally, why "Greyball" and not "Grayball"?

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TRUMP SCANDAL! No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.

tfewster
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Obviously imaginary (i.e. fake) - too few superlatives, far too coherent and you finished some of the sentences.

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Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

tfewster
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Charles 9, your account appears to have been taken over by a newcomer!

https://xkcd.com/927/

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Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

tfewster
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Angel

Ah, the scream-tracing method. Power an unknown server off and see who screams.

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

tfewster
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Re: Banning encryption is unenforceable

information = Data + meaning, surely?

Data: 2,3,5

Meaning: You've just been insulted 3 times, in American, British and Roman fashion

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NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

tfewster
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Uh-oh

Not the AE-35 unit. We know how this plays out.

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Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

tfewster
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Re: Is what we might learn about the terrorists worth risking people's lives for?

@WatAWorld "If you patch the NHS computers, civilian computer types are going to know..."

Which is why I said the "suggestion" would be to block SMB at the firewall, which can be justified for other reasons.

@Richard 12 > "excellent, we now have a way inti these targets"

Agreed, they would have scanned for targets and then identified those targets to find the "interesting" ones.

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tfewster
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I'm still amazed that no-one else had found this vulnerability* It would have come out eventually, though having a ready-made exploit toolkit made it worse. The lesson is, some vulns are too serious to hoard, so more oversight must be a Good Thing.

* I assume the Russians hadn't, or there would have been some "suggestions" to Russian organisations to at least block SMB at the firewall. Though maybe the Russian security services liked having their own EternalBlueski that they could use to snoop on their own people?

---> for the backronym

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Police anti-ransomware warning is hotlinked to 'ransomware.pdf'

tfewster
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"like resolving IP addresses"

with a GUI written in VB?

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

tfewster
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Pint

I'd be grateful if you could provide a link to that thread - My Google-fu is weak tonight

---> In anticipation

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

tfewster
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Joke

Re: Problem Solved.

If you enjoyed Camilla Smythes jest but, like me, can't bring yourself to upvote it [in case someone takes it seriously], please indicate that by upvoting this post ;-)

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tfewster
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Re: Antivirus?

Yes, it ran very nicely on XP - at one time it was the most effective AND least intrusive scanner available.

From memory, package updates ended about 3 years ago, and virus signature updates about a year* ago.

* Length of a year may vary, depending on which planet you live on.

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

tfewster
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Re: Alternatives?

"If you've just spent millions on an MRI machine and the software for it is [out of date]..."

You say "We're not paying for that, as it's faulty." A few pushbacks like that, and I expect the vendor would start taking security seriously. It may cost them millions up front to do so, but they can recoup by dividing the cost between their customers, by increasing maintenance contracts by a few %.

The first MRI supplier to do that will be rewarded with a monopoly on sales for a while, as insecure systems will be disqualified from tendering. Win-win.

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Microsoft is on the edge: Windows, Office? Naah. Let's talk about cloud, AI

tfewster
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Re: cloud

Microsoft: On the edge, and about to take a big step forward.

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Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

tfewster
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So, how much do you pay for your El Reg membership?

To be fair, I don't know how the Internet infrastructure is funded either, but just hope the people providing the backbone never notice us freeloaders ;-)

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Booze stats confirm boring Britain is drying

tfewster
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Pint

Re: Possible reasons

Another possible reason: You can escape your shitty reality without booze or drugs by firing up the computer/console. Have fun with your mates, meet new people with similar interests, broaden your horizons etc. from the comfort of your home.

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Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

tfewster
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Get an additional credit card?

With a limit of £1?

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

tfewster
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Re: Jim didn't pull the hard drive & try to save the data? - not my job!

"Other duties as assigned....."

Sorry, I'm not certified to handle biowaste. Perhaps we should continue this conversation with HR and a union rep present?

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Google's 'adblocker' is all about taking back control

tfewster
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Will Google be taking responsibility for ensuring any ads it lets through don't contain malware?

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No, Microsoft is not 'killing Windows 10 Mobile'

tfewster
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Re: 2014's flagship Lumia 930 is no longer eligible for new versions of Windows 10

I'm not the OP, but I bought an iPhone 3 just before the 3S came out; 18 months later, Apple dropped support for the 3 in IOS updates.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

tfewster
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True, but it does seem rather cowardly to say "you can't sue us because we're Americans" instead of fighting the ruling in Australia.

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Verizon's bogus bills tanked my credit score, claims sueball slinger

tfewster
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"Tell me again what's good about living in America?"

It's worth your while to take scumbag companies to court and get an award for emotional distress*, plus cost them a lot in lawyers fees & fixing your credit? They can't ignore a court order like they can an ex-customers complaint.

* Disclaimer: I'm not normally sympathetic to "emotional distress" claims, but in this case I'll make an exception.

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Burger King's 'OK Google' sad ad saga somehow gets worse

tfewster
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A harmless prank

Like setting off an storm alarm or TP'ing someones house?

This being the US of A, I expect to see a slew of lawsuits against these evul haxxors

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Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

tfewster
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Re: It's all verry simple

Unfortunately it's the batteries the counter-terrorism types are now worried about:

Bag check

But what happened to the idea of getting passengers to switch their laptops on to prove the battery hadn't been replaced with a "berm"?

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