* Posts by Joe Harrison

706 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Max Schrems is back: Facebook, Google hit with GDPR complaint

Joe Harrison
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Re: Whos'e on first...

I say, you remind me of a man.

What man?

The man with the hoodoo

Hoodoo?

You do

What?

Remind me of a man

What man?

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UK's Royal Navy accepts missile-blasting missile as Gulf clouds gather

Joe Harrison
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Re: We're wasting money fighting a previous war - as usual.

Aircraft carriers are not meant for actual warfare against people with hypersonic missiles. They are meant for putting the frighteners on small nations who get uppity.

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Advanced VPNFilter malware menacing routers worldwide

Joe Harrison
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How is Joe Pr0nwatcher supposed to know if his router is a vulnerable one, given that it was likely rebadged by the ISP.

Now that the FBI seized the botnet C&C the fix seems to be just reboot the router to lose the non-persistent stage 2 malware. The persistent stage 1 code then contacts the C&C with a re-infection request which now won't get honoured.

Hardly any consumers are going to do the factory reset so not perfect solution, but doesn't sound too bad to me just zombie malware cluttering up the router.

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Facebook Android app caught seeking 'superuser' clearance

Joe Harrison
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Re: Presumably with superuser access

Easier said than done after they recently changed Facebook mobile browser access to disallow messaging. Also it will nag the hell out of you all the time "why haven't you installed the app", "this would work much better if you installed the app", etc, ad nauseam.

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Your software hates you and your devices think you're stupid

Joe Harrison
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I just bought an MP3 player actually

If you're listening to anything other than music (dictation, language tuition, whatever) you are 99% certainly going to want to keep toggling the pause button. Just try that on a phone, in a hammock, I double dare you.

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AWS won serverless – now all your software are kinda belong to them

Joe Harrison
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Custom fabbed hardware that you can't have any of, custom fibre links which are faster than yours can ever be, surely some might feel it was worth the lock-in?

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Bombshell discovery: When it comes to passwords, the smarter students have it figured

Joe Harrison
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Re: Smartest People (without Fat Fingers)

No the medical students shorten everything as well. Subcutaneous fat becomes subcut, etc.

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Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park

Joe Harrison
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Re: Don't wear high vis

Anyone remember when UK Morrisons used to be Safeway? The employee uniform jacket was a red fleece. I also had a red fleece and got collared sometimes by customers.

If they were nice I used to explain apologetically that I didn't work there, or sometimes just tell them where the pickles were if I knew. If they were snotty with me though I found it was entertaining to make stuff up, we don't stock that anymore sir after all the werewolf problems etc.

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T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

Joe Harrison
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I am appalled

My company has a history of literally weeks using our unique classic house style of White background overlaid by a scientifically-developed Black lettering typeface font. Why has a reputable organ such as El Reg blatantly plagiarised our corporate livery in plain site [sic] on this very forum?!

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Windrush immigration papers scandal is a big fat GDPR fail for UK.gov

Joe Harrison
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"to make the country as hostile to ILLEGAL immigrants practically everybody"

FTFY :(

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Joe Harrison
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When I was a kid

When I was a kid nobody had a passport because nobody had ever been abroad except the ones who got sent there with a rifle and were lucky enough to come back again. When I got a Visitors Passport for a school trip to France everyone crowded round to see what one looked like.

I doubt if any of my family could have *proven* they had the right to be there to the standard now being asked.

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The tech you're reading these words on – you have two Dundee uni boffins to thank for that

Joe Harrison
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Actually I'm using a teletypewriter but they have promised me a CRT if I get an A in my performance review.

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Good news: AI could solve the pension crisis – by triggering a nuclear apocalypse by 2040

Joe Harrison
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Don't know whether this is true or apocryphal but I heard of an AI designed to optimise a naval convoy for delivery of maximum cargo to destination.

After being given (simulated) total control of the merchant vessels and military escort it immediately used its own weapons to vaporise the two slowest merchant ships.

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UK's Department of Fun seeks data strategy head – experience not needed

Joe Harrison
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a salary of up to £66,665

Somewhere there is a Reward Committee with no sense of humour. I would have been itching to, even paid the extra quid myself. Perhaps they thought it would attract the wrong kind of replicant er I mean applicant.

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UK consumer help bloke Martin Lewis is suing Facebook over fake ads

Joe Harrison
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Also don't bother with the ASA

Not any longer but a few years back I used to get ads with photos of nice-looking girls named Sandra only 3.2 miles away who were looking for a guy just like me. Great! But then when I did an image search I found the ad photo was basically stolen off somebody's unrelated website.

I don't know why but it never crossed my mind to complain to Facebook but I did complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. Who did absolutely nothing about it. Eventually as I say the ads stopped by themselves (maybe one too many fake Sandras got cross enough to get it stomped on.)

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'Your computer has a virus' cold call con artists on the rise – Microsoft

Joe Harrison
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Need to stop worrying about fake calling number

Who cares whether the calling number is fake or not. What you really want to verify is the identity of the caller. Now that the telcos are anyway starting to ditch the old-style clockwork phone system we need the opportunity to present your verified identity, perhaps via an x.509 client certificate. I was working on this with Thawte over a decade ago but Verisign discontinued it after the acquisition.

Note to tin-foilers, I do say "opportunity" not "requirement".

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Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

Joe Harrison
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Have you tried doing some "tethering" (hate the word telcos invented) and then checking the network's view of your data-used figures? I rarely tether but when I do it doesn't subtract from my theoretical tethering allowance. This is as you would expect surely - how can they tell?

Mind you I am SIM-only and not using a phone supplied by the network and running their own software.

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Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Joe Harrison
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Fleet

My one and only bribe was when I went to a frenzied customer on an industrial estate in Fleet to examine a shipment of PCs where they said our com ports did not work with their proprietary gadget. I suspected their implementation of RS232 but said I would have to go back to my office to work on it. They locked all the doors and the bribe was that they would let me out if I fixed it there and then.

Managed to escape two hours later with root cause still unknown. It did turn out to be their fault as well.

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OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone

Joe Harrison
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Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2050 - doesn't time fly! Seems like only yesterday we were driving around in manually-controlled cars and buying things with pounds instead of cryptocredits. That was before Korean War II of course.

Anyway to business - IPV4 addresses are really really REALLY about to run out. What to do about IP V6?

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How 'parasitic' Google's 'We're journalists!' court defence was stamped into oblivion

Joe Harrison
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Re: "get those taken down"

Or maybe if someone looks for "suicide" is better to return results about how to get help, and not info about

That's what we need for every search engine, a governing body who decides what is Better for you to be allowed to see. I propose we call it Ministry of Truth.

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Honey, I shrunk the mainframe: Fujitsu freshens up GS21 kit

Joe Harrison
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It's all about the base

Mainframes are stunningly profitable. Code written in the 1970s is still wurdling around in the CPU and obviously those development costs were recovered long ago. The customer base is generally very happy to have something that works and the effort of migrating to something else is almost unthinkable anyway.

The only problem these days for mainframe vendors is that staff who know the hardware and OS inside out are near retirement age, and entry level employees would rather do something else.

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Google, AWS IPs blocked by Russia in Telegram crackdown

Joe Harrison
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Binary weapon

Part 1: You can have crypto so long as the keys are escrowed at the ISP. Reasonable right? After all it's not like the government can just grab the keys on a whim, they need a proper court order first.

Part 2: Eh, for your safety all ISPs have a secret room where the government sits on the in and out pipes

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France building encrypted messaging app for politicians

Joe Harrison
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Re: |matrix| ?

That's hard to say, because unfortunately noone can tell you what the matrix is.

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill your process and roll you back into storage...

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UK spy agency warns Brit telcos to flee from ZTE gear

Joe Harrison
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Don't know about infrastructure but great phones

Must have been about 2012 ZTE had surprise smash hit in UK with their Blade phone. I had several and they were fantastic phones and excellent prices.

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'I crashed AOL for 19 hours and messed up global email for a week'

Joe Harrison
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Compuserve

I was summoned to the top people one day and told that henceforth I would be working on something called Novell NetWare. As the official support channel from Novell was via Compuserve I was given an account and a dialup modem.

I found it amazingly useful and you could do all sorts of things such as book flights electronically which was unheard of back then. Unfortunately the bosses forgot to tell me it cost something like 25 dollars an hour to use, with predictable results :(

Afterwards I found that if you waited until 7PM it "only" cost 7 dollars so I used to login at 7:01 and typed my fingers off trying to cram everything in.

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Boffins find new ways to slurp private info from Facebook addicts using precision-targeted ads

Joe Harrison
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I don't get special ads

I don't make an effort to block Facebook ads, this is so I can keep an eye on how well-targetted the ads are hence how much they know about me. The ads are not targetted at all; vaguely aligned with my lifestyle for example they have obviously figured out I work in IT but that's about it. Although I can't say I use their system much therefore perhaps they have less to work with.

Maybe they are not all-knowing, maybe that is just what they pretend to their advertisers?

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Samsung Galaxy S9: Still the Lord of All Droids

Joe Harrison
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A grand for a phone

No. Manufacturer name doesn't matter - no amount of bells and whistles can justify it's just a phone. Which you have a good chance of losing or dropping down the toilet. Have you seen inside these things there is very little there.

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What most people think it looks like when you change router's admin password, apparently

Joe Harrison
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Don't screw with your ISP router

I have a Sky Q router which does some really counter-intuitive things in order to support its wireless mesh for delivering TV all over your house. If I did change its default passwords and something weirdly unexpected happened then I could be forced to spend all afternoon getting the answer out of their call-centre, and frankly I'd rather not.

While I'm here, if anyone knows how to configure a Sky Q router to allow its wirelessly-connected devices to talk to ethernet-connected devices please kindly let me in on the secret.

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'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Joe Harrison
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Privacy fail

The papers printed the letter after carefully blurring out some of the text, but helpfully left the data matrix right next to it for anyone with a barcode scanner app...

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Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Joe Harrison
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Simpsons

After eating Chief Wiggum's Guatemalan insanity peppers at a chili cook-off, Homer wakes up in a strange, New Mexico-esque dream world where he meets his spirit guide (Johnny Cash), whom Homer dubs "Space Coyote."

https://youtu.be/H3CyMWS7YXA

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They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

Joe Harrison
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Disinformation

"Wahh we have a backlog of all these phones we can't get into."

I don't believe there is a single smartphone you can buy which is not already backdoored. (I am talking about normal phones for normal people here, not something you made out of two Raspberry Pi velcroed to a 7 inch display.)

I can certainly believe though that most of the "can't get in" complainers are simply too junior in the law enforcement infrastructure to be allowed into the backdoor secret.

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Sysadmin shut down the wrong server, and with it all European operations

Joe Harrison
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Re: Funnily enough...

Sounds very reminiscent of the story of Ron Crane's rabid insistence on building in "useless" lightning protection to the 3Com Etherlink card.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/28/ron_crane_saves_3com/

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Amazon and eBay agree to expose potential VAT evaders for UK tax man

Joe Harrison
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Re: It is not just lost VAT ...

Depends what kind of company surely? I knew a guy who ran an office cleaning business and (just one example) bought toilet rolls by the containerload. When you visited his house and went to the loo do you think you saw Tesco toilet roll there? There must be loads of unprovable ways to avoid tax when you have a business.

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Don't want to alarm you, but defence bods think North Korea could nuke UK 'within a few years'

Joe Harrison
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It is said by many scurrilous doubters that...

Obviously it is crazy talk but some say that NK is no real threat to anybody. It does though provide a fantastic excuse to put lots of military things near to China with "Behave!" signs displayed on them.

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Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly 1.1.1.1 public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

Joe Harrison
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Re: Still no go

Well ninety-nine times out of a thousand I would agree with you but...

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Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation

Joe Harrison
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Is it even worth thinking about?

What if the religious people are correct and god made just one planet then stopped. What if we are in a simulation. What if you Register Forum people don't really exist and I'm lying flat on my back somewhere having a fake life programmed in. If so can it be a nicer fake life please.

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UK.gov's shift to AWS: It's squeaky-bum time for small cloud pushers

Joe Harrison
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Re: Nail hit on head...

Calm yourself citizen you don't need to worry about these things. Why not read the royal wedding stories in the Daily Mail, and Eastenders is on later. Have you bashed Russia today?

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Most IT contractors want employment benefits if clobbered with IR35

Joe Harrison
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Re: Because it is EU legislation

Which EU legislation specifically?! Oh come on everybody knows there are over 9000 different directive thingies. Take back control, Make Bananas Bendy Again.

/sarc

I'm afraid that's the level of debate you have to put up with when trying actually to discuss Brexit in a logical way.

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A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

Joe Harrison
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Need help from the Russians

Last week they announced tiny nuclear engines for their missiles. So just shrink the nuclear doobery a bit more until it fits in a phone then voilà no more recharging every night. I'd pay for that; I wouldn't pay for dancing poo.

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Does Parliament or Google decide when your criminal past is forgotten?

Joe Harrison
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I always get an irresistible compulsion to find out who it is I'm not supposed to know about, even though I wouldn't have the least interest otherwise.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: Things can and do come back to haunt you

I once had a manager whose name was Duncan and it didn't take us long to give him the moniker of Duncan Disorderly. Bet he wants that to be forgotten.

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Netflix could pwn 2020s IT security – they need only reach out and take

Joe Harrison
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Finally I have found my niche in IT

Blundering about and randomly knocking important things offline, yes I will be changing my job title to Chaos Monkey forthwith.

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'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials

Joe Harrison
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Don't like it being different per-constituency

Swindon doing this, Bromley doing that.

OK these are pilots but what if Constituency 1 (full of natural "Party A" voters) needed full photo ID and urine sample, but Constituency 2 ("Party B" voters) needed only a big smile and every voter gets a Free! chocolate bunny.

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Wearables are now a two-horse race and Google lost very badly

Joe Harrison
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Def worth 20 quid

I too have the famous Chinese wearable (Xiaomi Mi Band 2) and think it's fantastic - for less than 20 quid. Doubt if I would be so enthusiastic if I'd paid 250 of course. It does all the heart rates and step-counting and all that but I find if you turn that stuff off the battery life improves dramatically and I can almost get two weeks out of it.

So why do I have it, I can hear you ask, well it is so useful in meetings or presentations where your phone is on silent. Can look rude pulling your phone out to look at an incoming message but much more acceptable discreetly looking at your wrist when it buzzes.

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23,000 HTTPS certs will be axed in next 24 hours after private keys leak

Joe Harrison
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Some of us value our time too much to use certificates from Let's See If It Feels Like Working

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IPv6 and 5G will make life hell for spooks and cops say Australia's spooks and cops

Joe Harrison
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Internal strife

We tinfoil hat people always imagine that "They" are trying to find ways to snoop on us. In reality there are many competing agencies (who hate each other) who all have their own reasons to get into our stuff. It's not just the hatred, they have many other reasons not to be motivated to share data with each other.

As in this story, officials regularly complain that their detection ability is being undermined by technology X but what they really mean is that it will defeat themselves as agency Y but it won't be such an obstacle for agency Z (who they hate) and who will thus laugh at them.

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Perusing pr0nz at work? Here's a protip: Save it in a file marked 'private'

Joe Harrison
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Re: The real story

The upside if that is that when US management is looking to expand, they'll hire in the UK long before they'll add staff in France.

I think you'll have a long wait before seeing any future evidence of "expand" or "hire" in the UK ☹

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Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Joe Harrison
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That's what they want you to think

Have you ever actually seen this very low power chip mmmhey?

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IT peeps, be warned: You'll soon be a museum exhibit

Joe Harrison
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The best use for microfilm (or microfiche as we used to call it when it arrived in postcard-sized sheets instead of reels) was night-shift entertainment. For some reason it seemed really cool to fish failed-test microchips out of the reject bin, saw the top off with a Stanley knife, then if you put them under the fiche reader you could actually see all the registers and gubbins in the chip just like on the hacker movies.

Well we didn't have hacker movies in those days so perhaps we thought we were 007.

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That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it

Joe Harrison
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I have the answer

Any Android phone with NFC can read everything you want to know from passports (or national ID cards, on which some people travel instead of passports.)

For example this app will read the .jpg copy of the photo plus the entire certificate chain from my UK passport:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nl.innovalor.nfciddocshowcase

Problem solved.

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