* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2426 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Slapping crap bosses just got cheaper: Blighty's Supreme Court nixes tribunal fees

Loyal Commenter
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"If Grayling et al aren't cringing in embarrassment when they read it, they are not fit for public office."

You could probably lose the 'if' from the beginning of that sentence, and it would still be perfectly valid.

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Observations of what is going on in Poland at the moment only serve to reinforce the fundamental principle that the justice system has to be kept separate from politicians.

An argument I heard made by one Polish minister was that the courts could send a politician to prison if they broke the law, but that politicians cannot do the same back. How this is anything other than a good thing in anyone's eyes other than those of this particular politico baffles me.

Our own government hasn't got much of better record in eroding the separation of legislature and judiciary. This ruling today is amazingly good news for everyone, with the exception of those who seek to abuse the rights of employees with no recourse. No prizes for guessing which colour tie those people tend to wear.

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Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

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The email addresses of concerned parties probably aren't though

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Constant work makes the kilo walk the Planck

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Re: Lego?

I thought the Planck was just a really large ruler.

Nah, it's really small ruler, the Planck length being 1.6 x 10-35 M.

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

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Remonds me of this...

A Story about Magic

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

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Re: Dane Geld

I have no idea why you got down-voted for making a helpful and factually correct statement.

Why let those pesky facts get in the way of uninformed opinions, eh? Isn't this why Gove hates experts?

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Re: Dane Geld

...oh, and the SF MPs (who refuse to take their seats in Westminster) also don't get paid.

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Re: Dane Geld

At least SF have enough integrity to not take their seats in the commons because they won't swear an oath of allegiance to the crown.

Both sides in NI have a shady history, but I would cast the DUP as the most regressive of the lot just because of their science-denying, women's-rights denying, gay-rights-denying backwards religious fundamentalism, which is ironic since SF are nominally the party linked to the Catholics, but appear to be more progressive in these regards.

The history of Ireland (both Eire and the North) is long and complicated, but it does essentially come down to the fact that English/Dutch protestants invaded the island in the 1680s, and despite being pretty much clearly in the wrong for doing so, the UK still wants to cling onto the parts of it that it managed to colonise.

This is, of course, a massive oversimplification, and the thing that can be said about Westminster's involvement in the politics of NI is that it should be done at arm's length, and not with one arm around one involved party, whether it be the DUP, SF, UUP, SDLP or any of the other minor parties.

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She'll get pushed first, as soon as the brexit negotiations get far enough, they'll either be too 'soft' for the 'hard' backbenchers, or too 'hard' for the 'soft' backbenchers, and there'll be a vote of no confidence.

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Men charged with theft of free newspapers

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Re: Possible reasons

What about if I used aluminium oxide paste as a bonding agent to hold the papers together?

It would be significantly more flameproof. You were probably thinking of iron oxide and aluminium powder, which are the ingredients of thermite. Bonus points for knowing that aluminium is highly flammable if you can get it hot enough to melt the oxide layer, which is another reason a sandwich of polyethylene between sheets of aluminium is really not fire proof.

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In England a man was successfully prosecuted for a related offence. He would read his home snailmail on the way to work - and put any unwanted items in a litter bin en route. The local council tracked him down through the addressed items. Apparently it is not allowed to dispose of household waste in a public litter bin.

A woman was recently given an on the spot fine of GBP80 for emptying the remains of her drink of coffee down a street drain - before putting the disposable cup in a litter bin. Her alleged offence was "polluting a water course".

[[CITATION REQUIRED]]

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Reading comprehension 101

There will be no jury, it will be dealt with by either a Judge or some Magistrates.

In the article:

Larezserrano and Mejia are due to appear before Central London Magistrates’ Court this afternoon to answer the charges.

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BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

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Ask them to hold while you connect them to your boss who can authorise the purchase, and then forward the call to the police non-emergency number (101 IIRC)

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

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Re: "error in line 123, colum 43"

If you can't figure out the error by reading the whole line of code, your line of code is too long. Come to think of it, you're probably using linq.

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Re: Bad Surveys

ObCrustyOldGit: Real Programmers don't waste bytes on spaces or tabs. Fancy layouts are for quiche-eaters. Unless your entire language is quiche (FORTRAN or Python).

Don't diss quiche. Made properly, it is basically a bacon and egg pie. And what, may I ask, is wrong with bacon, eggs, or pie?

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Look who's joined the anti-encryption posse: Germany, come on down

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Re: Short memories

It is to give normal policing a chance of actually tracking down paedophiles, people who convince young men to become terrorists, drugs dealers, financial fraudsters, etc, before they cause too much harm to others, or at least make it considerably harder for them to carry out their acts unidentified or undetected.

The thing you need to combat those is not mass surveillance, it is evidence and intelligence-led policing. Mass surveillance of mobile phones would give you a very narrowly focused, but very large volume of mostly irrelevant data, which is essentially useless for 99.9% of police work. Much better value is to spend money on policing itself. In this country, there have been large cuts to police budgets, resulting in fewer police working longer hours who are also responsible for a wider range of tasks. There have also been cuts to police staff, including analysts who are the ones who can actually look at patterns of behaviour and evidence and direct the investigations towards the right people.

The important distinction between the police and the security services, is of course, that the work of the police is open to public scrutiny, whereas the security services are not. You can apply right now to your local force to go on a 'ride-along' with officers. You can go and attend court sessions and see what goes on. Complaints are investigated by an independent body (the IPCC), and warrants are issued by a court. There may be flaws here, and arguments that the system is not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than the mess that politicians want, who seem to be hell-bent on eroding the distinction between judiciary and legislature, and on doing things in secret with no oversight.

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Re: Short memories

You are seriously deluded if you think this gets anywhere near as bad as the STASI were. Read your history.

Unlike you (I suspect), I have actually been to the museum in Berlin built in the headquarters of the Stasi, and seen the equipment they used en-masse for steaming open envelopes and reading the contents. If you are unable to see the parallel, I can draw you a picture.

It was very enlightening, you should go.

Stasi Museum (Wikipedia)

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Holmes

If it is "via access to device" that is only on individual subjects and most likely authorized by court order or an equivalent procedure as required by the local legal intercept laws. This is not breaking encryption in general and mass surveillance. So it does not do anything to Internet banking, etc.

In practice, law enforcement agencies won't know what devices a 'terrorist' is using until after the fact, so what they must want, in order to be able to do this, is to install this software on all phones, and then have a court order to use it (or to use the evidence gathered by it). There are myriad technical and practical reasons why this is fundamentally insecure, not least of which is the fact that if there is a 'master' key that allows access to unencrypted data, the most efficient way to obtain that key is not by hacking, but by repeated application of a short length of rubber hose tot eh right person until the key is obtained. In other words, there is always a weakest link, and criminals tend to have a much lower threshold of what is considered acceptable in order to break that link.

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That stance reflects a very similar one taken earlier this week by Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who told Parliament: "The privacy of a terrorist can never be more important than public safety – never."

There was this guy you might have heard of, called Benjamin Franklin, who said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

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

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I think you have bigger problems if she's moved on to "fucking Lovejoy" Mr Dabbs.

Or as he is now known, 'Mr Wednesday'.

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El Reg straps on the Huawei Watch 2

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Re: Reasons to be Wear-y

Well they certainly shouldn't be on the fucking pavement, like most of the idiots round here!

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

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Re: Never do this

"To give you an analogy: if you notice someone's bag is open with a visible wallet inside, it's OK to tell them that they left the bag open and that you advise them to close it. But it's not OK to take the wallet yourself just to prove the point."

That's a bad analogy. A better analogy would be to slip a piece of paper into said wallet pointing out that they have left it on view and someone could have nicked it. Would that be a crime? I don't think it would, which illustrates a flaw in the Computer Misuse Act (and analogues in other countries, such as Eire in this case).

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Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

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Re: "as well as knuckleballs and sliders"

I assume any US English I don't understand (or indeed British English) is to do with sport.

Sport, or guns / the military.

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Sadly no black monolith found

The Dwellers have hidden it.

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'Major incident' at Capita data centre: Multiple services still knackered

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You're a couple of decades late to that party.

I had the misfortune of working with them some fifteen years ago, and we called them that back then.

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UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

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Joke

Bloody Vikings

Coming over here, colonising Norfolk.

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Re: As if the government had done so much...

Well, whilst this annoys the hell out of me too, I have to play devils advocate here for a moment and voice the opposing argument; would you really want a state where someone/anyone can be arrested BEFORE committing a crime?

You misunderstand me; this is not what I am advocating either. My point is that cuts to police, and more importantly, police staff mean that there are fewer people to actually analyse the intelligence. At any time, there can be a large number of people 'known to the police', and they could be doing something that would be grounds for being picked up, if there was someone to sort through the intelligence. For example, they might be seen on CCTV doing something suspicious, or there might be a suspicious pattern of purchases (such as large quantities of the substances that used to make TATP). These data might already be collected, but it's of no use if there's nobody to collate them and then send an officer round to investigate.

I'm not saying this particular attack could have been stopped this way, but removing the resources to be able to do this certainly won't have made this sort of crime less likely.

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Re: Liberty for temporary safety

Not to mention several 'terrorist bombings' over the past few years allegedly orchestrated by 'Kurdish separatists', and very convenient for a religious-right wanna-be dictator who might wish to further marginalise and demonise the on-the-whole secular and democratic Kurdish peoples.

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Which was precisely the point he was making for his sycophantic courtiers who told him he could do anything.

A point well made. He is remembered as the idiot who tried to control the tides, rather than the guy using a metaphor to explain that there are things you cannot control.

Sadly, morons don't understand metaphor, but they still get a vote.

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Re: As if the government had done so much...

Just like the parliament attack thug, known to authorities and ignored.

So who is really to blame?

They do have the information but do not use it.

Well, the next obvious question is whether they choose to ignore the information, or do not have the resources to handle it?

Discuss, then vote accordingly...

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Re: Liberty for temporary safety

Don't trust Labour either. Remember ID cards?

It may have escaped your attention, but those who were in power and responsible for that sort of thing around a decade ago are substantively not the same people in charge of the Labour Party now. If you concentrate really hard, you might remember a leadership election, where the red Tories got voted out, and replaced by a leftie vegetarian bloke with a beard, and then a couple of failed coups where they tried to get rid of him again.

Many of the people who now support the Labour Party share my opinions of those who were at the head of the party under Blair, and those opinions are not kind. This is why the membership of the party fell while Labour were last in power, and then grew massively once the Blairites were toppled.

Add to this the suggestion that Home Secretaries are usually not well qualified for the job (I can't recall one who has actually ever worked in policing, for example), then they will be getting their opinions from the senior civil servants who feed them to them. You have to ask yourself who the 'Sir Humphrey' is, because the coordinated drive towards authoritarianism across a number of successive governments could only plausibly be coming from Whitehall.

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Re: The encryption horse is free

My theory is that the only things they allow the Home Secretary to read are the worst crime statistics and Judge Dredd stories.

If this were the case, then why did May cut funding to the police when Home Sec? There have been a number of Dredd storylines recently concerned with understaffing and lack of resources for the Judges. Add to that, if they read 2000AD, it would have been banned by now as a subversive publication, given its propensity for sometimes not-so-subtle parody of the British government.

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Re: Clueless govt...

At least Corbyn engages with people, rather than hiding in an ivory tower.

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King Canute can legislate for the tide to stay out, but his feet will still get wet...

What these idiots are asking for is technologically impossible without breaking the way the internet works for anything practical (i.e. SSL). Trying to unilaterally impose your own ideas on a global structure like the internet, by the means for nationally-scoped legislation is also doomed to failure, for pretty obvious reasons.

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Re: Known to Authorities. @Bernard M. Orwell

I agree with most of those, but Trips back and forth to Libya is hardly surprising since his family are Libyan and live there.

Trips to Syria (reportedly), now that's another matter...

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Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

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I remember watching a documentary on Windscale/Sellafield, and back in t'day they just dumped the spend rods in to a swimming pool that was on site.

The correct term is 'cooling pond', and they're still there. It's not a swimming pool because if you tried to swim in it, you'd die - not from the radiation which is very well attenuated by water, but from the bullet wounds.

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And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin hologram ... Sir, it is only wafer thin

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Trollface

Re: Help me Obi-wan Kenobi...

That's a bang-up-to-date pop-culture reference you've got going there.

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Yo, patch that because scum still wanna exploit WannaCrypt-linked vuln

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Re: It's worth following the link in the article

Even if you're using dial-up, why would you have port 445 open as an incoming port, to the entire internet? Unless you're serving material to the internet, why do you have any incoming ports open?

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Vigorous tiny vibrations help our universe swell, say particle boffins

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Re: Why?

At the quantum level, such things are random. If they were not, there would be no source of randomness in the universe, everything would ultimately be entirely deterministic, and there would be no free will. Luckily for us, a combination of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (which in essence states that you can never measure all things precisely) and zero-point energy (which tells us you can never remove all the energy from a system) stops this form being the case. The appearance of order comes from statistics...

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Can we have your liver then?

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Ireland to make revenge porn, cyberstalking criminal acts

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'Ahead of most' in some respects only. Lets not forget those blasphemy laws now...

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

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Re: Risk Management

Of the >140,000 million NHS yearly budget, only about 40,000 million is available for things like buying drugs, new hospitals, MRI scanners and desktop refreshes. The rest goes on wages. That's a political failure.

1.3 million people work for the NHS, that makes the average wage around £75k, for people who are mostly highly qualified professionals with medical or nursing degrees, often working unsociable shift patterns. I don't think that is an unreasonable staffing cost. In fact, I think the numbers should be higher, considering how much politicians get paid (an MP gets £74k plus some juicy benefits and expenses).

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Re: Risk Management

The root cause for all this is IE6's non standards compliant browser with ActiveX controls that microsoft then did not upgrade.

No. No, it isn't. You should make sure you have a clue about what you are spouting before you demonstrate your ignorance to the world. The root cause of this is reportedly a buffer overflow vulnerability in SMB. SMB (Simple Message Block) is a file-sharing protocol that allows drives etc. to be shared on a network; nothing to do with IE, nothing to do with ActiveX.

Furthermore, if you think buffer overflows are unique to Microsoft then you are sadly mistaken (try googling 'Linux buffer overflow' for example), they are the result of programming mistakes, which can occur in any software.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of MS, some of their business practices raise ethical questions, but then again most large companies are guilty of the same; it could be considered a software flaw in capitalism. People use the tools they need to get the job done.

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Re: Risk Management

3. fire the politician who told them to do this, I believe his name rhymes with Funt...

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Huge flying arse makes successful test flight

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@Bit Brain

I now live in Bristol, I was fortunate enough to see Concorde make it's last flight over North Bristol, landing at Filton Airfield, now sadly a housing development.

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One of the few positive things about growing up in Bedford in the '80s was the fact that we used to get buzzed by the Skyship 500 flying our of Cardington (made famous as Max Zorin's airship in View to a Kill). I say buzzed, because you could always hear it quite a long time before you could see it.

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Re: 'world's largest flying craft' - I think not...

What about the ISS? Does orbiting the Earth count as flying, or is it just continually falling and missing?

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10Mbps universal speeds? We'll give you 30Mbps, pleads Labour in leaked manifesto

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@AC

Here's another graph for you:

Corporate taxation rates in G8 countries

Oh look, we're equal last with Russia, that bastion of economic competency.

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Loyal Commenter
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@AC, it is trivially easy for you to google any number of graphs showing the national debt, or deficit to confirm my assertions, for example:

national deficit

edit - this graph show national borrowing, those bit above the baseline are deficit; try overlaying the party in power with this graph, and tell me which is the party of high debt?

It is probably worth reminding those with a short memory that the debts incurred around 2007/2008 were as a result of a global financial crisis, not one caused by the party in power in a country with around 1% of the world's population.

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Blah blah blah Labour debts

The current Tory government has increased national debt by more than all past Labour governments combined. Their austerity policies, rather than paying down the budget deficit have increased it (don't trust me, look the numbers up for yourself), whilst simultaneously destroying any growth that might have seen increased money from the tax revenue that comes with economic growth.

Don't believe everything you read in the papers, especially the UK ones which have the worst right-wing bias in any developed country (you can verify this for yourself too rather than simply believing what you are told).

Oh, and the tax cuts the Tories have given to corporations and on capital gains tax? Those give us the lowest taxation rates on the rich of any G8 country. There's your "costs us more yearly" right there.

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