* Posts by Bernard M. Orwell

957 posts • joined 12 May 2010

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UK.gov 'could easily' flog 6m driver records to private firms this year

Bernard M. Orwell
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"set to recover the cost of providing the information."

You know, I think I see a way of reducing your workload, overheads and the need to recover costs...

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Bernard M. Orwell
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PICNIC

Problem in Chair, Not in Computer.

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Donald Trump's tweets: Are they presidential statements or not?

Bernard M. Orwell
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"Ah, so airbrush the inconvenient past, Soviet style"

Airbrush the past? Soviet Style? You really want to talk about historical revisionism in America? Yeah, lets do that. Lets start with Reagan and go backwards....

...I don't think you'd like that. Not at all.

(Also, be wary of assuming that because someone is a critic of Trump that they are automatically a fan of Obama. That's called a false dilemma and specifically in this instance, is not true. Obama had many failings as president too, though perhaps not as severe as Trump you could say.)

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Dear John.....

"It should be clear what "hat" you are wearing at the time. It's not clear which one Trump is using..."

Yeah, it is. He's wearing the ass-hat.

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Bernard M. Orwell
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"but what about Obama?"

Don't know whether you've noticed, BJ, but Obama isn't the sitting president anymore. It's some fellow called Trump now. Perhaps we ought to focus on what he's doing?

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User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Bernard M. Orwell
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Headmaster

Re: "saying less words"

"Interesting.....either can be correct, but the meaning is different."

If you can count the quantity of something it's fewer, but if you can't then its less.

e.g. There is less milk in fewer bottles.

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: PBKAC

Let me tell you a story...

Not so long ago, I had to hire a long wheel base transit van. Now, I've been a driver for a few decades now, and I've driven a van or two before. I was handed the keys, hopped in and spent a weekend driving the van around happily. On the return trip I had to fuel it up, as per the hire agreement, so I stopped in a petrol station about a thousand yards from the hire shop and filled the van with diesel. Job done, I hopped back in and turned the ignition. Nothing. I turned it again. Still nothing. Again, with the clutch down (as some vans I've experienced need that to start sometimes.). Nope. Not a flicker. Then the van alarm sounded as I got out to check things like fuel cap being closed etc. Now I couldn't get back into the van. Played with the keys a bit and alarm stopped. Finally got back into van, still couldn't start it. Queue of people behind me waiting the fuel pump are starting to get annoyed... it was a commercial petrol station, so its experienced lorry and van drivers behind me too. So, I called the hire place and explained. The guy on the phone *laughed* at me whilst explaining that I'd clearly activated the anti-theft alarm somehow and thus, obviously, I had to hold down the clutch AND the brake whilst turning the ignition key the opposite way from starting. Success. I pulled away. To the applause of the grizzled van driver behind me. What a noob I was eh?!

No. fuck them all. I used the van the way I had always used a van and was not privy to the specialist knowledge that the experts clearly thought I should obviously know. Arseholes.

That day, I understood the users plight.

Let me ask you a question, fellow techs; where is the ON button on your TV? Your microwave? Your kitchen appliances? They're on the front, right? They're not on some other box connected to the device by a cable, are they? In fact, can you think of anything other than a PC that works that way? Even your multi-component stereo has a single on button that switches all the components on, yes?

Food for thought, and perhaps understanding the users a bit?

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NHS could have 'fended off' WannaCry by taking 'simple steps' – report

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Which is it??

"Which was it, England or Britain?"

You have to bear in mind that, according to most media, England IS Britain. That's certainly part of the problem, but its also worth remembering that to Parliament, England is London, and everything else is "The Northern Powerhouse" (Pardon me whilst I vomit from the patronization) or "bloody Europe".

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Fines for crossing roads while TXTing enacted in Honolulu

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Need in UK

"Its the cyclists right to take on pedestrian rules and go on pavement"

Citation please?

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Trollface

Re: Need in UK

"Thanks for going completely off topic. Twat."

But I want to know what Trump is doing about this? Is it linked to cycle laws in Russia? Is Assange involved somehow? I bet Hillary is behind it all!

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Orwell alert!

"Really must get a blog going one day..."

Am I allowed to do this here? Sorry if not!

https://orwell.blog

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Stargatesg7

Indeedy. You see, SG7, we have this saying around here that goes "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." You may have heard this elsewhere, such as on Reddit. So, ante up some evidence for your claims as, clearly, us techies would be very interested in the BEST ENCRYPTION written by the BEST CODER (sic), wouldn't we?

Also, would you happen, I wonder, to be the same Stargatesg7 as found commenting on behalf of WikiLeaks a while back? Perhaps "Q" on behalf of "The Traveller"? If not, your writing styles are very similar.

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Stargatesg7

@stargatesg7

"No legislation she makes will be able to touch me or my COMPLETELY FREE AND OPEN SOURCE ENCRYPTED VIDEOPHONE/TEXT MESSAGER/FILE TRANSFER APP !!!"

Hi chap. Get I get a link to that app? Sounds great!

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Orwell alert!

Mr James, Mr Spoon; thank you very much!

Really must get a blog going one day...

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: I see what you are doing there...

"All websites/blogs/social media accounts with views/comments that specifically challenge or go against what the government is saying are creating a sense of fear within said officials, therefore one might say they are "terrorist content".

Not far from the truth, I fear. The current definition of terrorism, as found below, certainly would allow the prohibition of almost anything that the government doesn't like. Pay careful attention to the words used, especially the word "influencing". Just about anything can be called an "influence" and "force" can mean public pressure, popularism, or any kind of movement of persons or ideas - not just limited to actual, physical force. They may say that they MEANT only physical force, but this is a legal document and language in law should be/is an exacting thing. Be wary of such weasel-words.

"acts of terrorism" means acts of persons acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organisation which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom or any other government de jure or de facto.

Terrorism Act 2000 - Wikipedia

[Source] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_Act_2000

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Big Brother

Re: Orwell alert!

Hello... Did someone call my name?

Look, lets not fool ourselves here any longer. I've seen some people ask why the war against encryption is a thing; the governments response is "because terrorism, ofc!". This has led others to ask why there isn't a similar approach to cars, knives, the postal service or anything else that terrorists have demonstrably used in terror attacks. Furthermore, we are told that mass surveillance and intrusion into our private comms. is essential "because terrorism, ofc", despite the evidence being that such terrorists are often "known to the security services" or used unencrypted messaging (as in the Bataclan and Westminster attacks) or runners with notes (as in AQ and ISIS known methodology).

When our tech experts poke their head above the parapet to question the move against encryption, when political analysts suggest that perhaps government policy is off the mark, when the EUHCR and the supreme courts rule against surveillance and when intelligence specialists criticize government strategy the answer is changed to "we're BORED WITH EXPERTS, isn't EVERYONE? Eh?!"

This isn't about terrorism, is it? This is about social control. This is about freedom of speech and association. Most of all, this is about the internet and modern communications. It *terrifies* the powers-that-be.

The internet is without borders, at least in the traditional geopolitical sense. It facilitates instant communication and thus, instant coordination of like-minded persons. It sees censorship as a fault and routes around it. It cannot be taxed. It cannot be silenced. It is beyond the control of politicians.

And that's why they denigrate it and seek to undermine it. Its why they want to censor it and monitor it, because, like the printing press before it, the freedom of knowledge and interchange of ideas that it represents; the very evolution of thought that is the inevitable consequence of so many people freely communicating, is the harbinger of the end of "traditional politics".

Their politics. Their power.

So, we must defend net neutrality, we must resist censorship and state control, we must celebrate our freedom of speech and association, and we must retain our encryption and develop the right to be forgotten. It's that, or we allow a tiny elite minority to determine all those things for us.

Except it won't be for us. It'll be for them. Which is just how they've had it for centuries.

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Phone crypto shut FBI out of 7,000 devices, complains chief g-man

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Best Password

I like it. I may have to make my password "IRefuseToGiveYouMyPassword".

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: @Lee D Weak Logic

"we aren't leaving the ECHR."

Has anybody else noticed a trend on el reg lately of people downvoting posts with hard facts in them? Some people just don't like truth or what?

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

Bernard M. Orwell
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"1 thumb down"

I'm sorry you don't like facts. I know they can be uncomfortable.

Hugs and Stuff from Uncle UK.

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Bernard M. Orwell
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"So it's a natural state of affairs that the rest of humanity must live in fear of that ignorant lout in the White House?"

The United States was founded in 1776. That's 239 years ago. During that period of time, the US has been in a formal state of war with one party or another for 222 years. That's 93% of its existence, or, if you prefer, it has been in a state of peace for 17 years of its entire life. It's longest period of "peacetime" was six years, from 1935 to 1940.

I think that speaks for itself.

[Source] : http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/america-war-93-time-222-239-years-since-1776.html

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Facepalm

Re: erm isn't this what law enforcement is for?

Good Grief....I was wrong....

"[THAT, by the way, makes me a *HARD* *TARGET* - meaning I'm in the house they avoid, or the person they avoid on the street or in a crowd - the one who FIGHTS BACK]"

That's the one. Yep. forget my last post.

" And *revenge* is a GOOD thing"

oh sweet jebus....he keeps going further....

So folks, if you want to know what's wrong with America, I give you Bob - AKA Exhibit A. This is how they train their soldiers....

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: erm isn't this what law enforcement is for?

"you have EVERY right to use deadly force in many cases, and that's the point. Citizens are as good as cops at stopping crime."

Possibly the most moronic statement I've ever seen in El Reg forums.

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Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

Bernard M. Orwell
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Holmes

Re: Start menu

You are StarGateSG7, AICMFP.

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Brit spooks 'kept oversight bodies in the dark' over data sharing

Bernard M. Orwell
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Big Brother

Like!

Well damn. Time to unfriend GCHQ.

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

Bernard M. Orwell
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Immune to Prosecution

"Our society has never had a system where evidence of criminal wrongdoing was totally impervious to detection"

Yeah it has. The Federal Reserve and a large slice of Wall St. to name but two.

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Computers4Christians miraculously appears on Ubuntu wiki

Bernard M. Orwell
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"Kiddle"

Is that app particularly popular with the Catholic priesthood?

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You better explain yourself, mister: DARPA's mission to make an accountable AI

Bernard M. Orwell
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Terminator

I asked...

The Computer said No.

So, I asked it to explain why it said no.

The Computer said No.

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Twitter reckons Trump's Nork-baiting tweet was 'newsworthy'

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Twitter

"Just ban it globally."

Now, you didn't put a joke icon on that, or a trollface, so I am going to assume that you think this is a serious potential solution.

So, if a platform doesn't raise the level of political discussion, no doubt measured by some arbitrary scale then it should be banned? You fancy making a list of things that might fall into that category? I bet you'll be making a very, very long list of things to be banned. Next, what organisation in the world do you think should have the power to globally ban something like Twitter? I'm glad you see such an organization as entirely trustworthy with all such issues of global governance (for our own good, no doubt!). What other things do you think they should ban? I know! Perhaps they should ban paper! After all, paper is often used to record and express things that someone, somewhere will think devalues the level of political discussion! Oh! let's ban Television too! and Radio! In fact, lets stop all forms of communication if it might, in the opinion of your unnamed global power, lower the level of political discussion.

Twitter, like the rest of the internet, is a medium for thought. It is not the fault of the medium itself if some of the thoughts expressed are bloody stupid, and it would be deeply foolish to ban the medium on that basis. Yes, twitter can be used by morons like Trump or ISIS to peddle their absolute bull, but it was also instrumental in the Arab Spring movement, and in establishing rapid communications in the wake of several natural disasters.

Gutenberg would be turning in his grave!

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Mom, mom! Make China stopppp! US govt gripes about Beijing's internet censorship to WTO

Bernard M. Orwell
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Big Brother

Crystal Ball

"In recent months, not only have VPN services been shut down, but the government has killed off crypto currency exchanges, banned non-[State approved] music and TV shows, demanded that chat app users verify their identities, deleted unwelcome images in real time, and forced some citizens to install spyware on their mobile phones."

I wonder if the US will also lodge complaints when, in around ten years time, this is the situation in the UK too?

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Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m

Bernard M. Orwell
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Natures Way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKNN49idCUo

Problem solved?

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Senators call for '9/11-style' commission on computer voting security

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Not The Real. Problem

Looking for how things might be rigged? How about this quote from Walden O'Dell, chairman of Diebold, shortly before the election that saw GW Bush returned to office...

"''I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president [GW Bush] next year.''

That is hardly unusual for Mr. O'Dell. A longtime Republican, he is a member of President Bush's ''Rangers and Pioneers,'' an elite group of loyalists who have raised at least $100,000 each for the 2004 race.

Conflict of interests, perhaps?

Sauce: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/09/business/machine-politics-in-the-digital-age.html?mcubz=0

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Boffin wins (Ig) Nobel prize asking if cats can be liquid

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid.

"weird addiction to slot machines..."

Speaking as someone who once had the lovely job of writing code for such beasties, I can tell you they are the ultimate cheat machines. Anything labelled as a "skill feature" (You know, where you have to stop reels, nudge them, stop a lamp trail lighting at a given point to win a prize) have determined, before you push the button, whether you are going to "win" or not. This is why most of these machines are listed as Amusement With Prizes (AWPs) rather than slot machines, or automated gambling etc. The idea of automated gambling is strictly limited in the UK, though you'll note that the gloves come off the moment you step on a cruise or ferry.

I love these people who write books on "systems" for beating bandits, AWPs etc. They are so full of crap. The only rule that's worth knowing is the UK law on AWP return rates. Many machines are listed as having "Play/Return" rates upwards of 60%; some as high as 80%. What that means is that, in a given period of play (a day or a week for example, depending on local settings) the machine is likely to pay out the return rate. If a machine takes £100 quid in, then it'll pay out between £60 and £80. but the Play/Win rate will be WAY less; perhaps as little as 2%. That's the chance of you winning more than has been put in in a given play period.

Therefore, sometimes, you can watch a machine in a pub eat someones tenner and payout bugger all then you drop a quid in and win a fiver. All that's happened is that the machine has made a profit (£6 in this example) and you've won some of the last mugs money (£5).

Anyone who tells you there is a way to beat these machines, other than by camping them for days and watching the ones that haven't paid out for a while, is talking cobblers.

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Pint

Re: Cats are neither a solid nor a liquid. @Aladdin Sane

"There are several icons that are hardly ever used - just re-purpose those - how hard can it be?"

Nearly sounding like an end-user there! Let's do this properly. Submit an RFC as a non-standard change for CAB consideration, raise SRs as required on the back of that. Wait for six weeks. Send an email wondering where the change went. Wait three more weeks. Give up.

Job well done.

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Developer swings DMCA sueball at foul-mouthed streamer PewDiePie

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Perjury

"...And, PewDiePie has raked in millions? Really?"

Yep. He's currently worth $20m approximately. Don't underestimate the money making engine that is YouTubing/Streaming. If you're good at it, there is gold in them there hills.

[Source] https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/pewdiepie-net-worth

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This article has been deleted

Bernard M. Orwell
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Coat

Re: I am sure the plod had to probe deeply into this...

"It's lucky it wasn't a KFC..."

Because first there are hot thighs and breasts, but all you're left with afterwards is a greasy box to put your bones in.

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Tomorrow, DreamHost will square up to US DoJ to avoid handing over 1.3m IP addresses of anti-Trump site visitors

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Trump brings out the best in people

"No thats "The Blues"'

No, you need to have your nuts nailed to a tree first, then hang there for a few days. Then you *nearly* got the blues. ~ Willie Nelson.

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UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: No Detail On The Accuracy Of System

"Facial recognition tracking - what if people at the time know about the facial recognition system, and then decide to wear glasses that disrupt the software ?"

Or, better and more weirdly still, straight from your favourite cyberpunk setting; https://cvdazzle.com/

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Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

Bernard M. Orwell
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"That gives one solution. Not all solutions."

given the question about accommodation as posed, we only need one solution, surely? If that's a sidestep and ignores the actual mathematical conundrum, I would suggest the example question is flawed.

Perhaps a better example would come from the Hamiltonian Path Problem: given N cities to visit, how can one do this without visiting a city twice?

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FBI's spyware-laden video claims another scalp: Alleged sextortionist charged

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: 15-30

"I'm rather disgusted with the amount of people on here that support those who commit crimes against children."

So, I am against the crime of prison rape and reject revenge as a just process, so therefore I am a supporter of those who commit crimes against children?

Do you know what a false dilemma is? Logic fail, that's what.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: 15-30

Justice is based on four pillars with imprisonment as a measure available to those tasked with administering justice. Reformation, Protection of the public, Punishment and Deterrant.

What you, and many other commentards, are focused on here is Revenge. It isn't justice is it? Revenge, in fact, can be considered a crime in and of itself; taking law into your own hands. Now, you might say that when the law fails what you believe is its duty then its fine to go mob-handed and vigilante, but that's just anarchy; what you and your neighbor believe is punishable are likely to be two different things quite often. Fundamentalist nutcases and mass shooters are revenge types, taking retribution or delivering punishment to those that do not conform to their thinking.

Revenge is not a hallmark of a civilized society. Revenge is reactionary and not logical.

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WannaCry-killer Marcus Hutchins denies Feds' malware claims

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: Bernie asking him to confirm or deny

"Actually, that is incorrect. Whilst he is on US soil and charged in public court he has exactly the same rights."

Wasn't there a recent change to US law that suspended constitutional rights within a specified range of the border? Such as at airports etc?

Update: Further research would indicate that its the fourth amendment rather than the fifth that is often ignored, so your point is indeed taken. A judicial note on the fifth amendment indicates that it applied "in any criminal prosecution."

https://www.aclu.org/other/constitution-100-mile-border-zone

https://law.stackexchange.com/questions/238/how-does-the-us-constitution-apply-to-aliens

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Facepalm

Re: Oh dear... maybe

" it's OK to share code that can be used for criminal purposes because it can be used for legitimate purposes as well."

OMG! we'd best stop selling C# and C++ compilers immediately just in case they are used by evil people!

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: asking him to confirm or deny

"It is the Fifth Amendment ."

5th amendment doesn't apply as he's a foreign national and not a US citizen. He has about the same level of rights as a Guantanamo in-mate. ie, none.

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Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

Bernard M. Orwell
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Trollface

Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"Let me guess, you're a white male?"

Hey! Don't you go presuming this persons gender and race based on their name! that's discriminatory! They can choose the gender they want! He can identify as an eskimo if he wants!

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Bernard M. Orwell
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Headmaster

Re: Dare I say

"and if you can't be assed to spellcheck your CV then your not likely to work hard"

You're

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WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON

Bernard M. Orwell
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Headmaster

Re: Good info.

"innocent UNLESS proven guilty"

Actually, neither Unless nor Until is correct. In both UK and US law, the actual law states that the legal process must "Proceed from an presumption of innocence". Subtle alteration in the wording, but amounts to the same thing.

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Cardiff did Nazi that coming: Hackers slap Trump, swastikas, Sharia law on e-sign

Bernard M. Orwell
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Pint

Re: Sarf Wales

"And they were amazed anyone would want to keep drinking after nine on a weekday. "

You have clearly never actually been to Newport.

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Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

Bernard M. Orwell
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Re: YOS!

Thinking we may have missed the subtle satire in your post.

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