* Posts by JohnG

1412 posts • joined 27 May 2007

Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

JohnG
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Re: Even *if* it was the Russians that leaked the information

"That said, it's a novel situation for a US president to be elected with help from a country that he supposedly wants to have an arms race with."

Bill Clinton's campaign saw some illegal donations from China. An English language newspaper owned by the Chinese Communist party has talked of war with the USA being "inevitable, if the US government does not concede China's reasonable demands in the South China Sea".

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JohnG
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Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Actually, the Russians have not done nothing - whilst Obama has been on his "the Russian did it" campaign, the Russians (along with Turkey) have apparently brokered a peace deal in Syria. The funniest part is - the USA were neither invited to participate nor even told of the deal. It is almost as if some parties believed the US was only helping to fuel the war.

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JohnG
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Re: Retaliation coming in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

"So, we already have reports of an English-language school used by US, Canadian, and UK diplomatic staff in Moscow closed down as a retaliation."

Yes - and the reports are fabrications. The story about Putin/the Kremlin closing an English language school in Moscow is fake. So much for "the liberal media" combating fake news - they seem to be sources of fake news.

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JohnG
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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

There is absolutely no evidence that any Russians had anything to do with the Wikileaks leaks. The emails concerned were obtained in a person to person exchange made in Washington, between a disenchanted democrat staffer (who had legal access to the emails) and a former British ambassador. There was no hacking and no Russians involved.

Wikileaks have a history of leaking information in small chunks, not least to retain the interest of the news outlets who publish their material. No doubt those affected by the leaks would rather everything was leaked in a single batch, to get all the bad news out on one day - but that is a selfish goal.

The story that "the Russians did it" has been presented without any evidence and seems mostly designed to deflect attention from the content of the leaks and from criticism that a number of Democrats have been discussing government business using free commercial email services e.g. Gmail.

Feel free to come up with any evidence that "the Russians" were involved.

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JohnG
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Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

"Under the American political system there can only be one ... president at any given moment in time. Obama is still president and has the power to issue orders like this ... and in time, Trump will gain the same power."

It is, to say the least, unusual for any outgoing president to make significant changes, like the expulsion of Russian diplomats and the sudden withdrawal of support for Israel in the UNSC.

It seems hard to justify a sudden change in what has been a forty year policy of support for Israel. Why wasn't this done earlier in Obama's presidency and why did neither Obama nor Clinton signal their intentions to the electorate? It looks as if Obama is trying to do damage to Trump's presidency (and, by implication, to the USA), simply for revenge.

I am not commenting on the rights and wrongs of either the expulsions or the withdrawal of support for Israel, simply the timing and intentions of these actions. Maybe these ideas looked good amongst a group of dedicated Democrat believers but I believe the US public with not see them in the same light.

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Hackers actively stealing Wi-Fi keys from vulnerable routers

JohnG
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Re: MAC filtering, all that does is create trouble for legit users.

"The idea is not that your lock will be inviolable but that faced with a rank of bikes a thief is going to go for the easiest locks first."

Yes but like thieves, the intentions/ambitions of the thieves may vary. Faced with a row of bikes, some thieves may ignore them and go for a nearby Mercedes. More effort may be required but reward vs effort vs risk calculation is different. Some hackers may see increased security as a challenge and imagine the promise of something more worthwhile than access to someone's willy photos.

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Navy STEALS? US sailors dispute piracy claim

JohnG
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Re: They won't win.

Given that the USA is generally the instigator of tighter intellectual property legislation/treaties/rules and enjoys significant income from the export of software and related services, this doesn't look like a winning strategy for the USA. They already lost the battle about the resale of secondhand software licenses in the EU - allowing Europeans to legitimately buy MS Office Professional Plus 2016 for £20 or less.

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Some! at! Yahoo! knew! about! mega-breach! as! early! as! 2014!

JohnG
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Re: It! Hurts! To! Read! These! Titles!

I guess the Reg will stop when Yahoo stops (using exclamation marks in an unnecessary fashion).

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Internet handover is go-go-go! ICANN to take IANA from US govt

JohnG
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Re: Doom I tell you

Under "the repressive regimes that dominate the UN", the ITU has managed to have international direct dialling between countries around the world for decades - even when some US politicians would have happily seen some countries isolated.

It wasn't Snowden's revelations that altered the situation - it was the declarations from both Russia and China that they would go their own way and ignore ICANN/IANA if the US control didn't end. The Russians are apparently going ahead with measures that will allow the Russian government to control routing and DNS within the country. This includes maintaining their own IP allocation and DNS databases. It would allow the Russian government to isolate the country's Internet or to severely restrict traffic heading in or out of the country.

Do you think the USA would not do likewise, if IANA and ICANN were sitting in some foreign country?

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Apple's Breaxit scandal: Frenchman smashes up €50,000 of iThings with his big metal balls

JohnG
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This nutter claims to have been fleeced by the Apple store at the Golden Fleece shopping centre.

He is previously unknown to police,a 30 year old local man, unemployed and living alone. He was arrested Thursday and remained locked up through Friday and is under psychiatric assessment.

Penalties for this sort of offence could range from probation to two years in prison.

I doubt this episode will increase his chances of finding gainful employment or a girlfriend.

The guy who took the video was just some customer and found to have no connection with the nutter and his metal ball.

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JohnG
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Like Kristallnacht?

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Self-stocking internet fridge faces a delivery come down

JohnG
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In the middle of Gloucestershire

"I might also make the switch to Apple Maps, despite its inexplicable obsession on geolocating me somewhere in the middle of Gloucestershire when I’m in central London."

Anywhere near this lot?

https://www.gchq.gov.uk/

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

JohnG
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Geolocation spoofing

Given that there are several means by which your location can be determined, if you are paranoid about Google and others knowing your location, you might consider spoofing your location, instead of hiding it. If your phone is reporting that the GPS is turned on and giving a good location, Google et al are unlikely to double check.

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Great British Block-Off: GCHQ floats plan to share its DNS filters

JohnG
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Re: Who uses the ISP DSN anyway?

"The first thing I do on any setup it to ditch the ISP DNS servers and use multiple DNS servers from different organizations. Google, OpenDNS etc."

Some ISPs (e.g. BT) intercept DNS requests (regardless of their destination) and redirect them to their own DNS servers, supposedly to improve performance. This becomes apparent if you try to reach a website on their naughty list: the IP address returned from a DNS query (directed to DNS servers at OpenDNS or Google) will be to the BT server hosting the message about this site being "blocked by order of the high court". In summary, regardless of what DNS servers you set on your broadband router or your local PC, BT will intercept all your DNS queries.

You might consider using DNSCrypt instead.

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Web meltdown: BT feels heat from angry punters

JohnG
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Whilst I can resolve names to IP addresses and I can connect to some websites (gmail, the Register, Guardian, Telegraph), the routing for others seems to get lost in Telehouse (including my VoIP phone service with Sipgate). When connected via a VPN out of Italy, I can access most but not all of the stuff not accessible via BT.

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JohnG
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Maybe the Chinese are testing the remote control features of Huawei's equipment or GCHQ has screwed up an upgrade of their interception kit.

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JohnG
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"So they're now awaiting an engineer visit. Should be fixed by next Friday."

However, the engineer will not show up but they will subsequently be told that they will be charged if the engineer is to return and that there is no availability of an engineering appointment for another couple of weeks.

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Torrent is a word, and you can't ban words, rules French court

JohnG
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"...a trio of French artists – Kendji Girac, Shy’m, and Christophe Willem. SNEP wanted to use Article L336-2 of France's intellectual property law to force Google and Microsoft to delete searches that included both “torrent” and any of the artists' names."

If Google and/or Microsoft were feeling vindictive, they might choose to simply fail to return results of searches for the names of the three artists concerned, just to be on the safe side. After all, that would encompass the request of the SNEP.

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414,949 D-Link cameras, IoT devices can be hijacked over the net

JohnG
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Re: Your wifi cam is not directly accessible from the internet

"These devices (and I have some myself) are behind firewalls -- so they are not that easy to access unless you are already on the wifi where the device is running."

And the punter follows the manufacturer's instructions so that he or she can view their baby/pet/nanny from work and bob's your uncle, their webcam is exposed to the Internet.

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Facebook ‘glitch’ that deleted the Philando Castile shooting vid: It was the police – sources

JohnG
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Re: Guns don't kill people....

"In the UK they prefer Brazilian Plumbers."

In the UK, one Brazilian electrician was shot dead by police in 2005. The annual toll of people shot by police in the USA is quite different:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/

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Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman

JohnG
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Re: AC @YetAnotherLocksmith ... It makes sense, but...

"He claimed to have a bomb."

So, we are afraid he will detonate a bomb, so we will send in a robot with a bomb and detonate it (to kill him), thereby risking the detonation of the bomb we are afraid of. This makes no sense whatsoever.

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Telia engineer error to blame for massive net outage

JohnG
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No change management at Telia?

Do Telia not operate some kind of change management or is their change management system inadequate (e.g. checking the results of the change)?

Do they really let individuals make it up as they go along, rather than stick to changes that have already been discussed?

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Why you should Vote Remain: Bananas, bathwater and babies

JohnG
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The EU and the Cold War

"Before the Cold War ended I was regularly scared about the four-minute warning, and my parents' generation were tangled up in WWII, foreigners were frightening, different was bad."

The EU had nothing to do with the end of the last Cold War, just as they have little to do with the new Cold War that is now in the making.

The end of the Cold War came with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, as they were unable to match the defence spending of the USA.

Mikhail Gorbachev said of the EU "The most puzzling development in politics during the last decade is the apparent determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe."

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JohnG
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" my a la carte EU feast ..." won't happen

" my a la carte EU feast ..."

There is no prospect that the EU will reform itself to correspond with any of the ideas to which you aspire.

Anyone you ask will agree that regularly moving the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg is silly and a huge waste of effort and money - but the same people also say that it cannot be changed "because it is in a treaty". If the EU cannot change something on which almost all EU politicians agree, what chance is there to address any of the more difficult issues?

For example, recent moves to make lobbying (of the European commission by multinational corporations) more transparent, along the lines of US rules, have been quashed. The EC's position is that there is no hard evidence of the sort of corruption that brought about the transparency rules on lobbying in the USA (as if the Santer Commission never existed). All the while, the majority of EU citizens are unaware of lobbying or of the associated transparency issues.

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Euro Patent Office prez's brake line cut – aka how to tell you're not popular

JohnG
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Here is the PROTOCOL ON PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES OF THE EUROPEAN PATENT ORGANISATION

http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/epc/1973/e/ma5.html

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JohnG
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"It is worth explaining that EPO has been granted sovereignty status by the European Comission, hence no local laws apply"

This is the norm for international public organisations of this type. Typically, the Director General will have full diplomatic immunity, other staff members enjoy some immunities (notably, from local tax/fiscal law) and even contractors may have certain immunities when working at/for one of these organisations. Staff members and their family members are given special identity cards (Sonderausweiss in Germany) which can be shown to police, immigration or customs officials and the like.

Premises will normally have a status like that of a foreign embassy i.e. inaccessible to local national authorities, police, etc. without permission from the ruling council or DG and each organisation will have their own legal system. Of course, this means that staff and contractors are subject to the law of the institution, whilst on the premises. However, as the institutions need to be able to sue their contractors after they have left, their contracts are typically under local national law, unlike those of staff members.

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Microsoft and Facebook, swimming in the sea,
N-E-T-W-O-R-K-I-N-G

JohnG
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Re: Meanwhile

"but there's only so much space in landing stations"

"GCHQs tapping bays are full to capacity?"

Luckily, the US end is in northern Virginia, which should keep this sort of thing fairly simple.

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Are EU having a laugh? Europe passes hopeless cyber-commerce rules

JohnG
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Re: looks good to me

"At the moment the catch is always that the vendor won't deliver to anywhere other than the cardholder's address, nor to anywhere outside of Blighty."

This varies, depending on the vendor. Some UK vendors will send an invoice to the cardholder's address and the goods elsewhere. Some vendors will take orders and deliver to addresses outside the UK, although they usually want the card and delivery addresses to match.

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JohnG
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Re: creating a website that will attempt to list all those rates

"It's be best for the EU to refrain from passing on any new legislation, or even proposals, until the day of the referendum in the UK ;)"

They have delayed the announcement of proposals for a European Army until the day after the Brexit referendum. Apparently, those involved in discussions of this topic have not been allowed to take any electronic devices or storage media in the meetings. Nothing like a bit of open democracy, eh?

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JohnG
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Re: They aren't entirely mad.

"So how come all the cheap crap in the shops managed to get here all the way from China and still be cheaper than all the other tat?"

China Post.

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

JohnG
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Pocket PC

Microsoft had cornered the market in the early 2000s with Pocket PC running on MDA/XDA devices. Then they somehow managed to lose the plot, allowing Apple and others to takeover.

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BlackEnergy malware activity spiked in runup to Ukraine power grid takedown

JohnG
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Re: MBR?

"This suggests that the Ukraine is using Windows boxes to control their infrastructure."

...also, don't have adequate antivirus, configuration control, security and they don't believe in backups.

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JohnG
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Re: Power cuts caused by destruction of two pylons

Where are the affected remotely operated breakers? In a country with such an archaic electrical supply infrastructure, it seems unlikely that any of it would be modern enough to be hacked.

Coincidentally, they had limited coal supplies and problems with their nuclear power stations.

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UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse

JohnG
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Maximum sentence for theft: 7 years

Offence: Theft - General

Legislation: S1 Theft Act 1968

Mode of Trial: Either way

Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty: 7 years

http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/theft_general/

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FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

JohnG
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Re: Yet more evidence

"Root problem is that judges and courts have geographically-based jurisdiction, and of course the Internet isn't geographically-based."

Those in the FBI who are in the habit of writing trojans which they subsequently install on suspects' systems probably ought to understand the Internet and the laws pertaining to obtaining evidence, warrants, etc,

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Kent Police handed domestic abuse victim's data to alleged abuser – a Kent cop

JohnG
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"Not to mention what the law society should be doing to the solicitor."

Standard practise for the Law Society is to close ranks and state categorically that their member is an upstanding individual who has done nothing wrong.

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Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas

JohnG
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Project Gutenberg

Long before Google existed, Project Gutenberg started digitizing books in 1971 and has been making them freely available to everyone in long-lasting open formats. They deserve the title of "humanity's last library".

https://www.gutenberg.org/

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So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

JohnG
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Re: So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

In the EU, companies falling foul of the law can be fined and their directors/managers might suffer some impact to their finances and/or career progression. In China, some businessmen have been executed for breaking the law.

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Putin's Russia outlaws ECHR judgments after mass surveillance case

JohnG
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Re: If Russia's surveillance is incompatible,

"If Russia's surveillance is incompatible,

...why is the UK's going to be OK?"

Quite.

The UK government will probably take the stance that matters of national security interests are excluded, quoting The War Against Terror. I imagine the Russians will do something similar.

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JohnG
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Re: This could get rather interesting ..

"as Russia has placed itself in a position to derive benefits from its EC membership without having to meet any of the commensurate obligations."

EC : Russia is not a member of the European Commission

CoE : Russia is a member of the Council of Europe, although their voting rights have been suspended.

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European Patent Office heads rapidly toward full meltdown

JohnG
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"Wait... the EPO is its own f-cking country?? WTF?"

This is the case for most intra-governmental organisations. To avoid undue interference from the country (or countries) where they have offices, they are treated rather like embassies. Authorities from the local country (police, tax/customs officials, etc.) are not allowed on the territory of the organisation, unless with permission from the director general or governing council. The director general usually has full diplomatic immunity, while other staff members typically have partial immunity (which includes immunity from local taxation and privacy in their financial affairs).

You may recall that Dominique Strauss-Kahn (at the time, head of the IMF) tried to claim diplomatic immunity when he was arrested in NY (the police chose to ignore it).

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Hacks rebel after bosses secretly install motion sensors under desks

JohnG
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Re: Moral police

"... some customers don't quite have such a liberal view either. This is why some companies have extra clauses in their contracts that allow them to boot you if you behave in such a manner that you bring the company into disrepute."

Yes, but the employer cannot just make up rules on the fly and/or apply them retroactively.

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UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

JohnG
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Re: Purpose

"The government will be able to switch off your power before they raid your home..."

Thus providing the targets with some warning of the imminent arrival of the men in black (or blue). Time enough to destroy or flush any incriminating evidence, break out weaponry, etc.

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Catalan town hall seriously downsizes monarch

JohnG
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Re: Inventive?

"...I suspect, like most monarchies, that presenting the reigning monarch in a less-then-respectable light can result in penalties..."

In places like Thailand or Saudi Arabia maybe but unlikely in any of the European monarchies. Way back in 1977 (during the Queen's Jubilee), the Sex Pistols released the single "God Save The Queen", with some fairly controversial artwork - nothing happened.

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

JohnG
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"It is possible to have network infrastructure that has more bandwidth than the consumers can use."

Yes - but on average, consumers aren't prepared to pay for an Internet which has more bandwidth than they use.

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Facebook profiles? They're not 'personal data' Mr Putin

JohnG
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Re: Putin's problem

"Protectionist measures only make sense if you can offer local alternatives, and Russia is not set up for that."

That's not correct - sites like VK and Odnoklassniki are probably more popular in Russia (and some other parts of the former Soviet Union) than the likes of Facebook.

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JohnG
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Re: Hmm...

"Does that particular law really mean that any personal data of Russian nationals needs to be stored exclusively on servers located in Russia?"

Russian citizens and residents. There are quite a few exceptions - things like data needed for travel security (PNR) and medical data for treatment in foreign hospitals, etc.

"That's neither feasible nor enforceable."

Sites ignoring the legislation may end up with access blocked for users located in Russia. Technical means can probably be used to get around such blocked access, just as is the cases for sites blocked in the UK e.g. Pirate Bay.

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Idiot thieves walk free after stolen iPad uploads pics of them with loot

JohnG
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Re: The punishment

"We regularly see reports of X caused £1000's damage, but gets ordered to compensate the victim a couple of hundred at a fiver a week.*

*citation needed"

The bastard who organised a group of children (12 - 13 year olds) to empty my house of cash and electronics was 17 years old, had a long criminal record and was on probation. None of my property was returned. He was sentenced to 200 hours community service and ordered to pay me £100 in compensation - which took him a year to achieve in irregular payments of £5 or £10 (without interest). The insurance company deducted the £100 from their payout.

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Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

JohnG
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Re: Prices?

"While the quality of service is important, it's hard to come to any sensible conclusions without knowing what everyone actually pays. If UK customers pay half as much as German ones, having a slightly lower quality service wouldn't actually be bad (although sadly I suspect reality is closer to the opposite)."

Quite. Unlike the UK, prices and deals in Germany don't encourage mobile use to replace landlines and many of my German colleagues were not using mobile data at all.

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Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

JohnG
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Re: I have to defend the police here...

"The police response was correct, whether you like it or not."

I disagree - I think the letter was a waste of time and money.

"They are not going to immediately send round an armed rapid response team on a tip-off of piggy backing."

Who suggested that? You're exaggerating.

" They had a tip-off and the letter to residents was an appropriate response in the face of possible criminal activity going on in their neighbourhood."

If the police didn't see the point in gathering any facts or pursuing an investigation, they should have simply recorded the incident and left it at that. They didn't have enough information to warrant sending out their network security letter and it appears, they didn't have anyone suitably qualified or experienced to offer such advice.

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