* Posts by Joe Harrison

741 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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What can $10 stretch to these days? Lunch... or access to international airport security systems

Joe Harrison
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Re: I was "hacked" via RDP

Having a 30+ character password is not ideal though in terms of convenience.

If you feel you are that juicy enough a target then surely login with a client certificate (maybe stored on a USB security key) is the way to go.

RDP (well mstsc.exe at least) also supports optionally having the server present it's own client certificate to you at login time so you can be sure you are not connecting to a spoofed server configured to look like yours. Time-consuming to setup but no particular expense involved if you can use self-signed certs.

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Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025

Joe Harrison
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Just turn off the cctv

The lads round our way would be more than happy to rip all the copper out for you

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A curious tale of the priest, the broker, the hacked newswires, and $100m of insider trades

Joe Harrison
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There's this thing called parallel construction where law enforcement find out stuff using methods which are themselves illegal. Then they have to explain their investigation by inventing a daft story about how their AI spotted patterns etc.

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Every step you take: We track you for your own safety, you know?

Joe Harrison
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Dominos

Family member worked as pizza delivery and one day they got issued a smartphone with tracker and I was asked to help. Manglement were sort of half competent at complying with DPA (a year before the GDPR) and despite initial misgivings it worked out alright.

Not unreasonable for people to want to know where their pizza is, also protection for pizza person should they have the misfortune to deliver a pepperami to someone whose reason for ordering was not because they were hungry.

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They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today

Joe Harrison
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Rocketmail

Fairly sure rocketmail was first. At least I remember everyone in my office signing up for an account on same morning to this amazing new mail in yer browser thing. There were some other good ones later such as mailandnews which also gave you browser-based usenet, and Novell's myrealbox - both dead now.

I recall mobile phone customers could at one point get a vodafone.net or orange.co.uk free personal account, which always seemed dodgy to me if you decided to call yourself billing-admin@ or something like that.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: GMail

Reminds me of the joke about the boy born without a body who's complaining that the only gifts he receive are hats.

Think his name was Ed.

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IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

Joe Harrison
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Re: He was the top salesman in the group

When I'm on a plane I will take a safe and boring pilot over a dynamic agile guy with edgy haircut any day of the week.

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Google Chrome update to label HTTP-only sites insecure within WEEKS

Joe Harrison
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What about public wifi

When I go to Aldi my phone tells me it has connected to Aldi Free Wifi. Everything then stops working until I actively start a browser and go to an http site and the Aldi router/proxy/gubbins can intercept it, show me an advert for Aldi, then redirect me to where I pretended I wanted to go.

All my bookmarks are by now https and I have to think hard for an http. Currently I am using BBC news site. What will public wifi operators do if http disappears?

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Oracle, for one, says we'll welcome our new robot overlords: '90%' of you will obey an AI bot

Joe Harrison
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The first time I used a sat-nav it went something like

In 200 yards cross the roundabout take the first exit

(then 200 yards later)

cross the roundabout take the first exit

Even though this roundabout had a light which was red and normally I would of course have waited until went green. I was shocked that I so easily just obeyed what the voice told me.

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So... where's the rest? Xiaomi walks away from IPO with less than hoped

Joe Harrison
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Business model needs looking at

Xiaomi has begun an expansion into Europe by promising razor-thin margins on hardware – making up the rest on services

I have a Xiaomi phone and laptop and the hardware is very good for the money. They certainly are bundled with loads of "MIUI" services but I never use any at all, partly because only some are in English. They will need to look again at services if that's where they consider the money is.

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No more slurping of kids' nationalities, Brit schools told

Joe Harrison
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Yes but going to the gym is optional. Education in UK is compulsory.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: Fair enough, but as a matter of balance

I have heard of this as well, child going to primary school with zero English and nothing special happening in terms of extra teaching provision. The head teacher at the time correctly predicted that the child would pick up English super-quick and so it was. Lady now grown up and totally fluent in both languages without even an accent.

Agree that useless data should not be collected and that if it has been it should be deleted. There is the famous example of Denmark who for years collected people's religions on official forms all the time as they saw no harm in it. Which there wasn't much - until the Nazis invaded and occupied the country.

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

Joe Harrison
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If you can leave your workstation to go to the toilet just when you feel like it then count yourselves lucky. The average helpdesk droidperson these days usually has to put their hand up and say please sir to the teamleader, kind of like primary school.

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Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU

Joe Harrison
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Getting a bit ridiculous

There are six satellite navigation systems already and now the UK wants to add a seventh. Space is big but really all that stuff flying around, traffic could start getting difficult.

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In non-startling news, EFF says STARTTLS email crypto is mostly done wrong

Joe Harrison
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Could have been worse

I spent years supporting various X.500 email services which were supposed to be far superior to your noddy smtp delivered over uucp. It never went anywhere much though.

I had got used to using email at work and when I saw redundancy coming up I shopped around for some kind of personal email account, which were rare in the 1990s. BT had one, which was X.500, but in addition to a standing charge it cost 40p per message! Luckily Demon tenner-a-month came along just at the right time.

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'No questions asked' Windows code cert slingers 'fuel trade' in digitally signed malware

Joe Harrison
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Re: "The first time you log onto a server you get a signature"

Certificates can either be self-signed or signed by someone else. The whole point of the story is that you can't trust the someone elses. So why do you have a problem with self-signed? At least ssh is encrypted which is a lot better than telnet was.

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UK taxman has amassed voice profiles of 5.1 million taxpayers

Joe Harrison
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Not just HMRC

My bank is doing this voice is my passport thing now. They do explicitly ask you though. Also heard that for years insurance claims have been using "Voice Stress Analysis" VSA, supposedly the AI can tell when you are lying about your lost expensive camera on holiday.

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NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

Joe Harrison
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That comma, I do not like

NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

I can't put my finger on why this ungrammatical kind of American English (apparently reserved only for use in news headlines!) annoys me so much. May I kindly suggest the British English replacement

NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting and surviving asteroid hits

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Dixons Carphone profits drop 24% amid hack 'n' high street struggles

Joe Harrison
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That's just business

Years ago they cleverly found a way to separate people from their money in exchange for Ooh Shiny. Now people have got fed up with that, not to mention various macroeconomic stresses adding up to people being skinter than they used to be and needing their money for more important things than a donation to Dixons profits.

If phones aren't profitable anymore then find something else to flog to people. Maybe there's mileage left in those daft tamaguchi electronic pets? OK I'll get my coat

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How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Joe Harrison
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PDF has its uses I suppose

As the story says, if you just want to print it out like it's supposed to look then PDF is fantastic. Must be great for people who still own printers.

For everything else just no. When Amazon first started selling the Kindle I had this wonderful idea to load our existing technical documents onto it. Nope, they are all PDFs designed to look like A4 and resisted my every effort at resizing to fit the smaller screen. Even trying to edit a PDF is a series of unpleasant workarounds unless, I suppose, you bought a full copy of Acrobat.

It's got so much more difficult recently because of Adobe trying to "cloudify" everything, plus extend PDF far past simple document representation into interactive forms and their own version of electronic signing.

Funny that PDF originated from a way to print tax forms because as it happens the "Agencia Tributaria" (Spanish tax equivalent of HMRC) have done a thorough job of offering their users a PKI-based online tax system. Works well but its weakness is its dependence on PDFs and problems are guaranteed in those bits every time.

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Shared, not stirred: GCHQ chief says Europe needs British spies

Joe Harrison
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Re: Barnier bombastic bullshit

It's a paradox - the average pro-Brexit person will give you the standard line about how we should take back control of our borders and kick foreigners out etc. Any suggestion that England leave the UK for the same reasons is met with a sudden attack of union patriotism, stronger together, etc.

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Visa fingers 'very rare' data centre switch glitch for payment meltdown

Joe Harrison
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Re: Still not understanding

Why not just turn the damn thing off? The guy who knew how it worked and would have turned it off and on again has been made redundant unfortunately. His function has been right-shored to another time zone and the change control procedure for such a drastic action takes many hours to escalate through 25 levels of management in four countries..

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(Cryptographically) sign me up! Android to take bad app checks offline

Joe Harrison
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I don't understand why we need App Stores

DOS/Linux/Windows managed for decades without one

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Joe Harrison
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Why they really want ID cards

What people have said already is true enough, but to my mind the real reason is so the card can have a "pleb bit" available. Just guessing but if you are a VIP member of the 1% it must really grind your gears having to go through the "take your belt and shoes off and get in the machine" thing like everyone else, because you feel you're above all that.

What they really really want is when they walk through the electronic gate the scanner detects "pleb_bit = FALSE" and gives them the electronic equivalent of a forlock tug and they are on their way.

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Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China

Joe Harrison
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Re: Stupid... Just stupid...

Not denying the truth of Snopes' treatment of the pencil story, but I find the positioning of Snopes as an authoritative reference point for the elimination of fake news to be somewhat disturbing. As I understand it Snopes is actually operated by just a couple of people with colourful personal lives. Don't understand why I should accept their "fakeness" verdicts unquestioned.

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Xiaomi the money? OK, here's a one beeeeellion dollar loss ahead of IPO

Joe Harrison
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They're goo

I have a phone and various other gadgets from them and am very impressed. They make all sorts of odd things for example smart plant pots which connect to your smart home and tell you how your shrub is doing and whether it needs anything. The nicest thing I've had from them is their "Xiaomi Air" i7 laptop which cost me half of what I would have paid for an equivalent model from suppliers in UK.

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Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon

Joe Harrison
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I thought economy class was bad

Imagine doing a nine-hour flight in one of those things with no movies or gin-tonic. Then being compos mentis enough to land it in a strange place.

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VPNFilter router malware is a lot worse than everyone thought

Joe Harrison
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Sky Q router

I was kicked off the internet at 1:40AM and trying to browse to anywhere on port 80 gave me a page "Your Sky device is updating its firmware please be patient etc."

Never seen that before

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1,300 customers of Brit bank TSB defrauded due to botched IT migration

Joe Harrison
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Re: Another false claim...

Perhaps a career in politics beckons.

Why not, he has more than proved he is grade-A politician material

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'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism

Joe Harrison
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Re: They does

not sure how they would get political persuasion

There must be more people like me who haven't got a political persuasion (because they're all equally crap) or do have but it changes from day to day (depending on what stupid thing Party X did yesterday.)

It could be quite handy if I were to ask Tesco what my political persuasion actually was, if I had a card.

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Joe Harrison
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Re: Tesco Does Not Know More About Me

Not using a supermarket loyalty card will have serious repercussions. For starters you will not get the coupon to which you are entitled, i.e. 15p off something you were not going to buy.

I have photos of my friends' cards' barcodes on my phone and I randomly pick one when I'm in the relevant supermarket. Win-win for everyone except the supermarket.

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MH370 search ends – probably – without finding missing 777

Joe Harrison
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Science everyone, science

When you're faced with a problem to which you don't know the answer you use scientific method until you do. You don't arbitrarily and angrily rule out hypotheses calling the proposers of said hypothesis crackpots, idiots, etc.

Anyone who disagrees might like to check out the abuse to which Edward Jenner was subjected when he published his theory of a cure for smallpox (and later proved right.)

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Britain mulls 'complete shutdown' of 4G net for emergency services

Joe Harrison
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Re: Why only 4G??

So, one asks, why not put 4G at 900MHz, get better propagation as a big part of solving that coverage problem? Ah, well, you see the 900MHz bands were given to Cellnet (O2) and Racal (Vodafone) in perpetuity for free on the condition that they run a 2G service in those bands.

I'm on the Three network and every so often my phone switches to their 900MHz spectrum, connection remaining in 4G for their VoLTE.

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US-China trade war is back on: White House repeats threat to tax Middle Kingdom imports

Joe Harrison
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Re: I wouldn't trust Trump to make a deal at a car boot sale...

Sometimes you need a tax loss and if one of your companies has a problem anyway that you don't want to bother fixing then yes why not let it go bankrupt.

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Chief EU negotiator tells UK to let souped-up data adequacy dream die

Joe Harrison
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Gordian knot needs scissors

More and more rumours of an October general election.

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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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